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CSU workers bailed after “illegal”transfer to Bulawayo

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 November 2012

The three employees from the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) in Harare,
arrested on Monday after police raided their offices, were on Thursday
released on bail by a Bulawayo magistrate.

Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi and Tafadzwa Gesa had been “illegally”
transferred from Harare to Bulawayo on Wednesday, without any charges
specified against them. The trio were reportedly transported in the back of
an open pickup truck, exposed to the blazing sun.

The bail was granted after they were detained much longer than the 48-hour
period stipulated by law for police to either charge or release suspects.
Lawyers said their transfer and continued detention in Bulawayo was illegal.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the three were
being held under a fresh detention order that was written and signed in
Harare. The bail conditions they received Thursday include a $500 fine and
surrendering their passports.

CSU has no offices in Bulawayo, where the police allege that the accused
defaced some property using spray paint.

CSU director, Frances Lovemore, told SW Radio Africa police found three
small cans of spray paint in their Harare offices, which are used to mark
the separate areas of the office, in compliance with environmental health
regulations.

Lovemore explained that the CSU provides a non-partisan service to victims
traumatised by political violence and torture. But their service was
disrupted on Monday when the riot squad surrounded their building and
threatened to fire teargas.

“The tragedy was that many people at our offices had travelled far and from
outside Harare to receive treatment. But they were kept waiting inside the
building for four hours, without food or water,” Lovemore said.

CSU managed to reopen their offices and restore full service on Tuesday.
In a statement Wednesday the global rights watchdog, Amnesty International,
condemned the arrest of the CSU employees. Amnesty’s southern Africa
director, Noel Kututwa, said: “This flagrant bullying and intimidation of
human rights defenders in Zimbabwe must end.”

He added that Amnesty, “believes the unlawful detention of the three men is
part of a pattern of systematic harassment and intimidation of civil society
by the government, as it attempts to stifle dissent ahead of elections in
2013”.


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Coltart condemns police double standards

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Education and Culture Minister, David Coltart has condemned the police and
the Attorney General’s double standards for arrestting Counselling Services
UNION (CSU) representatives yet failing to arrest named Asiagate match
fixers.
08.11.12

by Ashly Sibanda

Coltart called on the police and the AG, Johannes Tomana to arrest Asiagate
match fixers with the same speed and determination they did against CSU
officials on Monday.

Three CSO officials, Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi, Tafadzwa Gesa have
since been transferred to Bulawayo to face trial for allegedly having
subversive material.

“As I said earlier on this week we in the MDC condemn the arrest and
detention of these folk who look after and counsel torture victims. The
circumstances of the arrest and detention is so unusual that we expect the
AG and ZRP to explain what they have been arrested for.

“It would be nice if the AG and ZRP acted with the same haste and
determination as they have in the CSU case in prosecuting those responsible
for match fixing and corruption in Zimbabwe football,” Coltart said on
Thursday.

The MDC’s and a number of civic society activists have condemned the police
for raiding CSU offices and arresting its repreventatives officials.

CSU is a non-governmental organization that provides psychological and
medical assistance to individuals traumatized by political violence and
torture.

The raid has been condemned by civic groups and political parties in the
country, who accuse the government of conducting a crackdown on human rights
defenders and political activists.

There have been several other raids and arrests of journalists and MDC-T
officials in the last few months, which some observers have linked to
elections due in the country next year.


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Civil Society Coalitions issue response to police crackdown

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 November 2012

Civil Society Coalitions, which represent hundreds of member organisations
in Zimbabwe, met in Harare on Thursday and issued a collective response to
the intensifying crackdown on human rights defenders and political activists
in the country.

The gathering of key groups came in the wake of a police raid on the offices
of the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) on Monday, which saw three staff
members arrested and computers and files confiscated by the police. The CSU
offers counselling and medical support to victims of violence and torture.

The CSU police raid brought many angry reactions from around the country and
the world, mobilised civil society and, more importantly, cast a spotlight
on the abusive, partisan and illegal actions of the Zimbabwe Republic
Police.

The raiding team included officers from the bomb disposal squad and an
information technology expert. Armed riot police who surrounded the building
also threatened to fire tear gas, which scared other tenants who occupy the
building and frightened away traumatised clients who were scheduled for
treatment.

In addition, the police confiscated a computer with confidential client
files. This was not listed on the search warrant they produced. The seizure
of these files was completely illegal and characterises the behaviour of the
police in Zimbabwe.

Abel Chikomo, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, told SW Radio
Africa that the Coalitions felt it necessary to issue a strong statement
condemning recent police actions because they have a lasting effect on the
general population, which determines how they act during elections.

“It’s about the communities, the people, the electorate itself. The people
will look at it and say ‘if they can arrest and torture those activists like
they are doing, what about me?’ Some people will end up shying away from
processes that have to do with them. Processes to do with governance and so
forth,” Chikomo explained.

Asked why the police would target a group like CSU, which helps victims of
political violence, Chikomo said: “My suspicion is that they want to make
sure there is no avenue that people have to access medical support when they
are victimised by political violence and torture.”

He added that places like the government-run Parirenyatwa Hospital require
victims to produce a police report before they can receive medical
treatment. The CSU is not partisan and does not require clearance from the
police.

The Civil Society Coalitions who issued the statement include the Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe, National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations, National Constitutional Assembly, Women’s
Coalition, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO
Forum.


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CSU statement on continued detention of staff


8 November 2012

Dear Colleagues,

Fidelis, Zachariah and Tafadzwa have just spent their third night in the
police cells, two in Harare Central and last night, in Bulawayo Central
Police Station after an unwarranted transfer to Bulawayo. They were
transported on the back of an open pick up truck, registration ACD 6377,
with no protection from the sun, despite the temperature reaching 33 degrees
in Harare. They were then moved to Bulawayo from Kwekwe in a twin cab ABI
3608 and arrived at 18h00. They were not interviewed by the police, but
immediately detained in the police cells on a detention order which had been
prepared in Harare.

The following facts of the arbitrary raid and arrest and detention need
highlighting.

Counselling Services Unit is a lawfully registered medical clinic providing
non-partisan counselling and referral to all victims of trauma.

On Monday 5 November, the clinic was threatened with violence and normal
services were disrupted by the invasion of the clinic by 12 uniformed and
non-uniformed police officers, including members of the Bomb Disposal Squad
and an Information Technology expert. The clinic was surrounded by armed
riot police who threatened to fire tear gas into the building, which is also
occupied by other tenants. Patients awaiting services were left unattended
for 4 hours while the police demanded and forcibly accessed confidential
medical records. They removed a computer which contains confidential client
information and client records. No further booked patients were able to
enter the building to receive treatment.

Counselling Services Unit adheres to the Environmental Compliance
requirements for health facilities, following the guidelines issued by the
Ministry of Health. The guidelines require separation of cleaning materials
for areas of ablution and areas of food storage and preparation. The
cleaning utensils are clearly marked using spray paint, and the paint is
stored on the premises in the work area of the janitor. It is not hidden or
stored secretively and was purchased in July 2012. CSU have handed the
receipts of purchase of three 250ml cans of spray paint from the local
hardware store to the police. The police fixated on the finding of this
paint and refused to listen to any explanation. With no further
investigations, 5 staff members were arbitrarily arrested and transported to
Harare Central Police station for further questioning. 2 staff members were
released 2 hours later, and 3 have been detained since then with no warned
and cautioned statement and no indication of charges. The removal of the 3
staff to Bulawayo after the required time for a court appearance and the
further detention order with no defined charges or substantive evidence of
illegal activities constitutes serious and illegal harassment.

Counselling Services Unit is deeply concerned about the protracted course of
this situation and the non-adherence to the law by the arresting officers.
CSU is concerned about the safety of Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi and
Tafadzwa Geza.

We would request solidarity and protest on the following fundamental issues
of this series of events.

1. Disruption of medical services to victims of trauma, and the
unwarranted terrorisation of patients awaiting services
2. The illegal access to confidential patient medical records
3. The unwarranted deployment of armed riot police to the offices
creating alarm and fear to the other tenants of the building and surrounds
4. The illegal removal of a computer, which is not covered in the search
warrant which stated a “search for material likely to deface any house,
building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate or elevator without the consent of
the owner or occupier thereof”.
5. The removal of confidential medical and legal records without
permission of the patients to whom they pertain.
6. The arbitrary selection of staff for arrest with no concrete evidence
of any crime having been committed, particularly in Bulawayo where CSU has
no clinic.
7. The illegal detention and transfer of senior staff to Bulawayo without
formal charges, and exceeding the time limit for appearance before a
magistrate with formal charges.

Thank You.

Dr Frances Lovemore
Director
Counselling Services Unit


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Court Punishes Editor For Violating Media Law

http://www.voazimbabwe.com

Jonga Kandemiiri
07.11.2012

WASHINGTON — The editor of a weekly Zimbabwean newspaper, who was arrested
Tuesday for publishing without a license, has been sentenced to eight months
in prison and fined $100 with six months suspended on condition that he pays
the fine.

Mirror editor Dennis Kagonye appeared before a magistrate in Chinhoyi,
Mashonaland West Province, and pleaded guilty to operating without a
license.

Attorney Kudzai Choga of Muchineripi and Associates said his client has
until the end of the month to pay the fine.

Choga said the magistrate gave Kagonye a light sentence because the
newspaper is currently in the process of trying to regularize its
operations.

Magistrate Funny Nyakudya said Kagonye was also a first offender who has
since deposited $500 with the government seeking an operating license.

Meanwhile, the three Counseling Services Unit employees arrested Monday for
allegedly possessing subversive materials were on Wednesday transferred to
Bulawayo where the state said the offense was committed.

Spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights told VOA
that their clients’ rights were being violated, especially as they have been
in custody for more than 48 hours.

The three are director Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi and Tafadzwa Gesa who
are accused of defacing a building and posters in Bulawayo.

Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release
of three.

“The detention of these NGO workers is illegal and Amnesty International
calls on the Zimbabwe police to release them immediately,” said Noel
Kututwa, Amnesty International’s southern Africa director.

Kututwa said: “Amnesty International regards all three of these men as
prisoners of conscience, arrested solely for their legitimate work providing
counseling services to victims of torture and organized violence.”

He noted that the unlawful detention of the three is indicative of the
Southern African Development Community’s failure to enforce security sector
reforms in Zimbabwe as agreed in the Global Political Agreement.

“SADC should urgently act to stop this ongoing harassment and intimidation
of civil society organizations in Zimbabwe,” said Kututwa.

In another development, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Energy Minister and party deputy
treasurer Elton Mangoma on Wednesday received summons from the police
ordering him to appear before the Bindura Magistrate Courts on November 13
to answer charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Mangoma was arrested last month and was charged with insulting Mr. Mugabe at
a rally last month at Manhenga Business Centre, Mashonaland Central
Province. Mangoma is denying the charges.


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VMCZ Statement on arrest of Chinhoyi publisher


VMCZ statement on the arrest of Chinhoyi publisher, Dennis Kagonye

The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) notes with the greatest of
concern the arrest and conviction of Mr. Dennis Kagonye, editor of the
Weekly Mirror on charges of contravening Section 72 of the draconian Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). Mr. Kagonye was
arrested on 6 November 2012 and was fined $100 for operating a mass media
service without a licence.

VMCZ maintains that AIPPA remains an undemocratic law that arbitrarily
inhibits media freedom and freedom of expression. Mr. Kagonye’s case is but
the latest example of the undemocratic character of this Act of Parliament.

The VMCZ calls upon Parliament and government to urgently repeal AIPPA and
as a direct result thereof enable journalists and publishers to operate in a
free and democratic media environment that does not criminalise the media or
freedom of expression.

Where the Legislature and Executive fail to do so, freedom of expression and
access to information will remain the remote preserve of the few and not the
majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens.

Loughty Dube
Programme Officer -Advocacy and Complaints
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe


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Lawyer threatened by Supreme Court

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
08 November 2012

A human rights lawyer has been threatened by a Supreme Court judge this
week, in what observers say is deliberate intimidation.

Charles Kwaramba from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) was
threatened with contempt of court charges by Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku. He
is defending the 29 MDC-T members accused over the death of Glen View
policeman Petros Mutedza last year.

The case has dragged on despite a lack of evidence implicating the arrested
group, and repeated attempts to have them released on bail have failed.
Kwaramba, who is one of the many respected ZLHR lawyers representing the
arrested group, was questioned by the Daily News newspaper last month about
the delays.

Kwaramba explained on Thursday that the newspaper incorrectly quoted him
criticising High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu, which led him being called
into chambers to explain. Kwaramba told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he
thought he had clarified the situation with Justice Bhunu during that
“routine housekeeping talk.”

However, Bhunu then used the situation as part of his judgment in once again
denying the MDC-T members bail, accusing Kwaramba of ‘contempt’.

“He said what I had done was close to being contentious… I eventually wrote
to the Supreme Court for direction because I was not granted the opportunity
to defend myself,” Kwaramba said.

But Chief Justice Chidyausiku responded to this letter by warning Kwaramba
against “disrespecting” the courts. He added that Kwaramba should consider
himself “lucky” for being spared from prosecution for contempt of court.

Observers have said that the case demonstrates not only the ongoing
intimidation facing human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, but also the blatant
partisan nature of the legal system.


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Mugabe insults flood courts

http://www.thezimbabwemail.net

by Tangai Chipangura 7 hours 26 minutes ago

The number of people, mostly ordinary Zimbabweans, who are being arrested
for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe has swollen significantly in
recent months.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) alone are representing over 50
individuals who have been dragged to court for calling Mugabe all sorts of
names in anger, frustration, excitement or in jest.
Some political observers and commentators have attributed the development to
growing resentment of the 88-year-old leader by his subjects, who blame him
for their individual predicaments.
But other analysts blamed it on the overzealousness of the law enforcement
agents who arrest the offenders, hence bringing the otherwise “common and
insignificant” insults out into the public domain.
ZLHR communications officer Kumbirai Mafunda yesterday said his organisation
was concerned about the growing number of arrests involving the alleged
undermining of the authority of the President.
He said the fact that the human rights lawyers were representing over 50
fairly recent cases was indicative of a likelihood there were many more
similar cases around the country which his organisation might not be aware
of.
Ironically, according to ZLHR statistics a Mugabe insults, Mashonaland
Central, the bastion of his Zanu PF party, topped the list of cases of
people that have allegedly called Mugabe names.
Political analyst Alexander Rusero said the increase in the alleged insults
had various reasons to it, one of which was repressive laws enacted by
Mugabe’s successive administrations.
The other dimension, he said, was an indication of the growing frustration
among the people of Zimbabwe over the current leadership which they found to
have overstayed and responsible for their maladies.
“The implications are multi-dimensional. It is, on one hand, indicative of
the problems that we have with the redundant laws of an old regime,” he
said.
“The President occupies that office by virtue of his being a politician and
should, therefore, be open to criticism in a democracy.This situation where
we have people arrested over a slight slip of the tongue is wrong.”
“Political opponents should be free to say their minds about the President
for the purpose of winning votes.”
The more worrying scenario, however, he said, was the growing number of
cases of insulting the President, an indicator of deepening frustration
among the people or hate of the leader.
“This is a case where the centre no longer holds. The increase in the
contempt of the national leader may be indicative of rising frustration of
the ordinary person,” Rusero said.
“They are amplified messages being sent to the President where you find
simple villagers being bold enough to insult the person of the President
without fear of the consequences, or where drunkards act in such insultive
ways as tearing up images of the President or pelting his portraits.”
Another political commentator, Ibbo Mandaza, attributed the growing trend to
overzealousness of the law-enforcing agents. He said cases where presidents
were insulted by their subjects were common and should not be seen as unique
to Zimbabwe.
“Presidents the world over are prone to public banter and political jokes.
That’s the reality of politics. The problem is that our authorities are
overzealous. Look, even in the United States, President Barack Obama was
subjected to even racial insults. There is, however, need for careful
distinction between outright insults and political jest.”
Mafunda said cases of people being arrested for such offences had increased
since 2010.
The lawyers have since referred some of the cases to the Supreme Court where
they are challenging the constitutionality of the sections of the law under
which the people are being charged. Police use Section 33 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act, which deals with “undermining the
authority of or insulting the President”.
Among the people arrested is a Chiredzi man who, while drinking in some
beer-hall, allegedly threw missiles at Mugabe’s portrait, apparently angry
that he was jobless despite being educated.
Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora, who is also MDC-T spokesperson, was
arrested in March 2009 and charged for allegedly likening Mugabe to a goblin
while addressing a rally.
Meanwhile, Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma was yesterday
summoned to appear before a Bindura magistrate on Tuesday next week on
charges of insulting Mugabe. The minister was served with the summons at his
government offices by two detectives from Bindura. - NewsDay


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ZRP corruption reaches new high

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

A regional corruption watch dog said an increase in police checkpoints on
Zimbabwe’s highways had seen officers attached to the traffic section
becoming rich overnight.
07.11.12

by Staff Reporter

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa said a recent assessment it
carried out showed that corruption by the Zimbabwe Republic Police was
worsening.

The report revealed that police officers between Plumtree and Bulawayo were
more corrupt than their colleagues between Bulawayo and Kwekwe as they
received bribes at six out of the seven checkpoints – a prevalence rate of
85.7%.

Alouis Munyaradzi Chaumba, the ACTA coordinator, encouraged the responsible
authorities to take appropriate action against the culprits.

“The fact that the prevalence of corruption on Zimbabwean roads is high and
takes place publicly should make it easy for either the ZRP management or
the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to lay traps and catch the culprits
red-handed,” he said.

“Failure to nip the problem in the bud is a manifestation of a lack of
political will to fight the problem head-on.” He also urged motorists and
members of the public to take video footages using their phones and cameras
in order to name and shame the culprits.


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Obert Mpofu on a Vote buying spree

http://www.mdc.co.zw

Thursday, 09 November 2012

The MDC has read with disdain mischievous reports from surrogates of ZANU PF
propaganda that there are wide fissures in the party’s Matabelelend North
province and also the alleged plot to suspend all councillors in Victoria
Falls. These reports are unfounded, misleading and a product of the
maize-for-vote campaign trail spearheaded by Obert Mpofu the Minister of
Mines and Mining Development.

For the record, the party has embarked on a grassroots audit programme that
seeks to ascertain the structures in all provinces in Zimbabwe. The aim of
the exercise is to strengthen grassroots structures, clear grey areas on
party policy and procedure and ensure that every party structure is aimed at
the ultimate goal of unseating the brutish and corrupt Zanu PF practices
that have left the country in limbo.

The party is aware that due to shady deals at the diamond mines in Marange
and the subsequent refusal to remit proceeds to treasury in an open and
transparent manner, Zanu Pf has gone on a naive campaign trail in
Matabeleland characterised by massive binges and gluttony.

“It is Zanu Pf through Obert Mpofu who are peddling lies yet the Party of
Excellence is firm. In Matabeleland North, we will claim 13 districts
including Obert Mpofu’s constituency which is up for grabs. Obert will learn
that money cannot buy a person’s heart. The people will not vote on the
bases of wealth but they will do so on the basis of character and moral
standing in the community and a good party policy document.” Sengezo
Tshabangu Provincial MDC Chairman for Matabeleland North said.

Tshabangu said the party will not be moved by Obert Mpofu’s strategy which
intelligence gathered shows that he intends to buy off all MDC candidates by
offering them undisclosed amounts of money so that on the day when they
should hand in their papers at the nomination court they are nowhere to be
found and only Zanu Pf candidates are available uncontested.

The MDC is determined that Matabeleland people cannot be bought through a
meal and beer at a rally at the expense of critical developmental projects
that have been spearheaded ever since the party went into the inclusive
government. People are aware that children can now attend school, there is
value for money on goods, health care is improving, and roads are being
repaired and constructed due to sound policies and a willing political
acumen displayed by the MDC’s invigorated leadership in government.

The majority of people in Matabeleland North, due to massive intimidation
before Obert Mpofu’s rallies have adopted a strategy of survival where they
attend his rallies for food and beer while in their hearts are bitter about
the unresolved cases of abuse, abduction and perpetual torture dating back
to the Gukurahundi era which to date Zanu Pf has denied to avoid atonning
for the damage.

It is a pity that Mpofu has chosen to use state resources on petty political
aspirations with no national appeal at the expense of the suffering of the
people in Matabeleland North. The proceeds from diamonds which surely are
lubricating this scandalous Zanu Pf campaign could go a long way if they
were used to tar the road to Tsholotsho, build bridges, buy books for
children in the province, among other essentials.

The MDC reiterates its call for people in Zimbabwe to be aware of the hyena
in sheep’s skin. True democracy as witnessed through the elections in the
USA recently can only be achieved when the MDC is given the mandate to lead
the nation. The party is aware of the massive abuse of people in
Matabeleland by Zanu PF due to the poverty which the same party has thrust
upon them over decades of misrule and neglect.

The MDC promises to treat all people as equal and desist from the Zanu Pf
looting syndrome which has compelled anyone with resources to concentrate on
one area where they have interests excluding the rest. The political endgame
is in site and surely some will atone for the ill-gotten wealth which is
driving Zimbabweans into abject poverty, misery, suffering and death.

My Vote is in: My Vote is YES!!!


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Free elections possible: Australian ambassador

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:28

HARARE - Australia says free and fair elections in Zimbabwe can only be held
when a new constitution that properly balances power between the Executive
and Parliament is in place.

Zimbabwe is set to hold a watershed election next year, but experts have
warned a rushed poll could result in increased violence and economic
meltdown.

Australian ambassador to Zimbabwe Matthew Neuhaus said despite economic
gains and political stability brought about by the formation of the
coalition government, more reforms were necessary before an election could
be held.

“Technically, there is no doubt Zimbabwe has the capacity to hold elections
but there are milestones that have to be met,” he said.

Ambassador Neuhaus said voter education, delimitation of constituencies and
actual voting should all be transparent.

“For elections to be free and fair in Zimbabwe there has to be a new and
clean voter register where dead people are removed and new, younger people
are incorporated. The register must be fully transparent with observers
being allowed to view it,” he said.

“Voters must be able to participate in a free environment with no evidence
of violence and intimidation,” said Neuhaus.

Neuhaus, who has spent the better part of his life in Africa, described
President Robert Mugabe as a significant figure who deserved recognition in
Africa for his role in securing Zimbabwe’s independence.

“He is a historic figure because he has been around for a long time and that
he has played a key role in the independence of Zimbabwe. President Mugabe
has a wide breadth of knowledge and we are looking to him to create an
environment that is conducive for free and fair elections,” he said. - John
Kachembere


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Chinese exploiting Zim labour: Report

http://www.financialgazette.co.zw

Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:51

Shame Makoshori Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS providing cheap labour in the fast-growing Chinese mines bear
the brunt of extremely harsh conditions and low wages, a Johannesburg-based
advocacy group, Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) reveals in its
research, the first such report detailing China's labour practices in the
country.
Hard labour, exposure to risky conditions, violation of labour laws, long
working hours, non payment of overtime, disregard of public holidays and use
of Chinese language in corporate literature were among extreme conditions
faced by workers at most Chinese interests in Zimbabwe, the report said.
Launched in Lusaka, Zambia, two weeks ago after an extensive investigation
into Chinese operations in SADC, the report, titled ‘Win-Win Partnerships?
China, Southern Africa and Extractive Industries', offers new insights into
Chinese investors' controversial business practices in a region that is
increasingly looking East for foreign direct investment (FDI).
"The culprits are the small Chinese mining companies," said SARW. "Most
Chinese mining firms exceed the legally stipulated working hours of eight
hours per day. They generally work 12 to 18 hours.
"At Makwiro platinum concessions, workers complained that they do not get
overtime for the 12 hours per day they work, and are instead asked to take
time off. Local holidays are not observed. Protective clothing (if any) was
also said to be in short supply, and workers had been observed wearing their
own clothes for work."
"While some mining houses have put up reasonable accommodation for their
employees, this is an area still in need of attention, especially among the
new investors," the report reveals.
It said the Chinese had violated labour laws but hinted that the Asians
generally enjoyed government protection.
"Another bone of contention between trade unions and Chinese mining firms
has been their use of contract labour in violation of the Labour Relations
Act," said SARW.
"Contract labour is generally preferred. Neither are minimum wages observed.
Chinese firms now suffer the common allegations that they export jobs by
bringing in workers for the meanest tasks like opening the main company
gate.
"A minister from one SADC countries who visited the Chinese company, Anjin,
which is mining diamonds in Marange, was disturbed to find that it was a
Chinese person who was opening the gate," the report added.
SARW also gave a sad overview of Chinese labour practices in Zambia, the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa.
At Luanshaya Copper Mines in Zambia, SARW investigators exposed unequal
treatment of Zambian workers.
"Information gathered suggests that for the same kind of job done by a local
and a Chinese employee, a Chinese staff member is being paid three times
more than a Zambian," said the report.
It said a trend toward the casualisation of labour in Zambia, where
President Michael Sata had threatened Chinese investments, had raised
concerns about workers' security.
"Employees interviewed said they were very concerned about their job
security, as they are hired and fired at will," said SARW.
In the DRC, conditions of work in Chinese companies are generally harsh, it
said.
"The research team was told a story of a company called Magma Mining which
used to let its Congolese employees sleep with the minerals in the store
rooms. The managers have refused to accept the presence of worker's unions
in their installations. It is widely assumed that to work in a Chinese-owned
plant is to experience considerable hardship and that Chinese owned
enterprises are particularly harsh work environments. In several country
studies, informants were highly critical of these conditions at Chinese
owned plants."
SARW, however, singled out Sino Steel in Zimbabwe as one of the Chinese
firms putting considerable efforts towards improving working conditions at
its ZIMASCO operation in Gweru.
ZIMASCO employs over 2 700 workers at the operation.
Recent reports said a trade union investigating unfair labour practices at a
Chinese firm where 60 workers were fired received a "directive from high
offices" to drop the case.
Workers at a Chinese firm in Harare's Graniteside industrial estate were
reportedly being locked in a factory during an 18 hour shift to prevent them
from stealing.
In a much publicised incident, government courted public ire after granting
a Chinese firm the greenlight to construct a hotel in Harare even as an
Environmental Impact Assessment warned of dire consequences to fauna and
flora.
Zimbabwe has depended on Chinese investments for a decade and appears
politically weak to speak out against excessive violations taking place in
these mines. The Chinese built the National Sport Stadium, funded the
construction of a defence college and donated a US$11 million plane,
fortifying their influence in the country.
But as events in South Africa's Marikana Mines recently showed, boiling
anger among abused labourers can trigger uncontrolled revolts. China has
prioritised African countries in its strategic move to influence the
region's politics and economics, and link the continent's commodity and
consumer markets to its vastly expanding industries.
Africa-China trade statistics indicate that shipments climbed to over US$100
billion in 2010 from less than US$5 billion in 2000, with its development
assistance in the region rapidly increasing.


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Magura murder suspects intimidating witnesses

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
08 November 2012

Some of the suspects charged with murdering MDC-T member Cephas Magura in
May this year are allegedly intimidating state witnesses in Mudzi, just
weeks after they were released on bail.

High Court judge Justice Hlekani Mwayera freed on bail David Chimukoko,
Graciano Kazingizi, Biggie Office, Raphael Bobo, Perkins Karikoga and
Phillip Katsande and ordered them not to interfere with witnesses. The
activists, who spent five months in custody, were granted $100 bail each on
19th October.

67 year-old Magura, who was a party chairman in Mudzi North in Mashonaland
East, was set upon by a group of ZANU PF activists who included the
suspects, when they attacked MDC-T supporters returning from a rally at
Chimukoko Business Centre.

As part of the bail conditions, the six suspects were ordered to reside at
their given addresses, not to interfere with state witnesses and to report
at Kotwa Police Station once every week, on Fridays.

But SW Radio Africa can reveal some of the released murder suspects were
part of a group of ZANU PF youths who visited the homes of witnesses to the
murder, singing revolutionary songs and chanting party slogans.

The group has mainly been led by the wife of the ZANU PF ward 2 councillor
in Mudzi, Jevas Chiota. The same group has threatened two MDC-T headmen,
Naison Kurima and Claudius Nyamudangara, with eviction from the area.


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Unemployment fuelling rise in sand poaching

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Alex Bell
08 November 2012

As unemployment continues to affect an estimated 90% of the population, a
growing number of Zimbabweans are turning to sand poaching as a means of
bringing money into their homes.

The most recent cases have involved villagers in Chisumbanje, where people
employed by an ethanol plant there are resorting to river sand poaching to
support their families. The workers have been trying to survive on half pay
since the plant suspended operations in February.

The closure of the plant has been linked to political bickering, after ZANU
PF Minister Didymus Mutasa gave party crony Billy Rautenbach permission to
take over 5,000 hectares of land at the Chisumbanje Estate (then owned by
the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority – ARDA) to grow sugarcane
for production of ethanol fuel. In the same year Mutasa reportedly signed a
letter authorising Rautenbach to operate the ethanol project at Chisumbanje,
but never disclosed this to Cabinet.

A government investigation was then launched to resolve issues at the plant
and according to a report released by that committee in September, the
Ethanol Project was abusing the community and their livestock. The report
also said the project had misrepresented the facts of the
multi-million-dollar venture to the government.

The report also noted the need for the project to be reopened as soon as
possible. In the meantime, thousands of workers and their families have
turned to illegal river sand poaching from the Save River to supplement
their small income.

A recent report from the area described women and children loading trucks
with river sand, in an illegal syndicate that sees the villagers getting
paid only five dollars for a 15 ton truck load of sand.

A similar situation has been playing out elsewhere in the country, including
around the capital Harare, where sand sellers are digging and excavating
anywhere they can. Precious Shumba from the Harare Resident’s Trust told SW
Radio Africa on Thursday that in areas like Glen Norah, Mabkuva, Tafara and
Water Falls, groups of mainly unemployed youths are digging for sand and
selling it.

“Along the roads you find trenches have been dug and the result is serious
road erosion. There are also other areas where big holes have been dug, and
usually you find it is people just trying to supplement their small incomes
or make some money,” Shumba said.

He said the situation has been allowed to get out of control because of a
“systems collapse” at local authority level that means basic monitoring and
environmental regulations are not followed. He also said that the myriad of
social problems in Zimbabwe means people are becoming increasingly
desperate.

“There is a serious challenge to sort this out, because of the multiplicity
of problems facing the communities. There are so many problems that need to
be addressed,” Shumba said.


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Zanu issues ‘illegal’ licenses: CZC

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Zanu (PF) has been accused of doling out illegal gold mining licences in
order to gain political support ahead of elections.
07.11.12

by Ashly Sibanda

According to the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Zanu (PF) is targeting gold
panners in the party’s electioneering campaigns in an act of desperation.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said it was more rampant in Midlands where
Zanu (PF) youths have scaled up illegal gold mining with the support of the
party’s leadership.

“Deep controversy continues to surround the exploitation of minerals across
the country for patronage purposes disguised as indigenisation and
empowerment.

“In what appears to be a coordinated patronage program, it is alleged that
Zanu (PF) party structures have been coordinating illegal and
environmentally unfriendly gold extraction activities in Kwekwe but have had
to scale up this activity as other avenues of patronage close up,” the
coalition said in a report.

According to the human rights group, Zanu (PF) is supporting illegal gold
panning activities in areas around Globe and Phoenix mine, Chaka Mine, BD
Gold Mine and Tiger Reef Mine in Kwekwe for support.

Zanu (PF) Umguza legislator, Obert Mpofu, has said gold panners should be
given free gold claims, arguing that they contribute a lot to the national
output of the mineral.

Mpofu, who is also the Mines and Mining Development Minister, has said his
Ministry will also pass a law legalizing the activities of artisanal miners
known as ‘makorokoza’.

However, analysts have warned that care should be taken to preserve the
environment and also ensure that the law is not another way of entrenching
and legalising patronage along party lines.


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Anthrax outbreak hits Zim

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:09
HARARE - At least 100 cattle have died and hundreds of people hospitalised
in Zimbabwe following an outbreak of the cattle disease, anthrax.

Farmers say attempts to control the spread of the disease have been
undermined by dwindling supplies of vaccines and the failure to prevent the
movement of cattle.

Supplies of vaccines are reported to have run short, heightening fears of a
more severe outbreak.

Since cases of anthrax began appearing in some parts of Mashonaland
provinces, Manicaland and farming areas to the east of Harare a month ago,
at least 100 cattle have died.

Chenjerai Njagu, deputy director of the state-run Veterinary Technical
Services Department, said there are fears the outbreak could be far more
widespread, given that rains can act as a major vector of the disease.

“In the three provinces, we have had about 100 deaths and what is worrying
is no reportage of some cases. We only pick up some of the cases when people
come to clinics with symptoms of anthrax,” Njagu said.

The disease is passed to humans through contact with the animals, or eating
infected meat.

Victims suffer from nausea and fever, developing sores.

In normal times Zimbabwe’s relatively efficient veterinary service would be
expected to control the outbreak.

These, though, are far from normal times. Njagu said government was
cash-strapped and urged farmers to pool resources, buy the vaccines and
government can help with veterinary officers to conduct the vaccination
programme.

Farmers in the communal area say infected cattle are being driven onto fresh
pastures without hindrance, spreading the disease.

The outbreak threatens to decimate further the already meagre national herd
that has been steadily declining since the illegal invasions of white-owned
farms by Zanu PF supporters throughout the country in 2000.

In the southeast of the country there are also growing fears of a serious
outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. - Gift Phiri


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COPAC hands over national report to management committee

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
08 November 2012
COPAC has not altered the draft constitution after the Second All-Stakeholders conference, because suggested changes were shot down by delegates, a COPAC co-chairman said on Thursday.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-Chairman, told SW Radio Africa a national report on the conference makes it clear that many of the issues recommended during the conference were rejected.
COPAC handed over the national report to the management committee in Harare on Thursday evening. The Nyanga North MP explained that they will get directions from the management committee on the way forward, once they go through the report.
‘The report we handed today (Thursday) shows all the recommendations made during the conference and how they were rejected. The amendments were not adopted simply because there was no consensus.
‘We can only interfere with the draft if there was consensus on all parties involved,’ Mwonzora said.
The legislator said he’s hopeful the draft will be tabled before parliament soon to enable them to complete the drafting of a new charter for Zimbabwe. After debate in parliament the draft will then be put to a referendum, before the country can have elections under a new constitution in 2013.
The adoption of the new constitution is a critical step towards holding free and fair elections after the 2009 formation of the inclusive government.
The unity government emerged in the wake of the violent 2008 polls that saw ZANU PF lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.
Read COPAC 2nd ASC draft report


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New Constitution - Mugabe 'Will Comply'

http://allafrica.com

BY VICTOR CHIPATO, 8 NOVEMBER 2012

Cape Town — A leading figure in the development of a new Zimbabwean
constitution says Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party will resist
strongly any attempt by President Robert Mugabe to hijack the
constitution-making process.

Douglas Mwonzora, Constitution Select Committee co-chairperson and spokesman
for the Tsvangirai's wing of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), was
speaking in Cape Town this week at a meeting organised by the Crisis
Coalition of Zimbabwe, an umbrella grouping of Zimbabwean civil society
organisations, and the University of the Western Cape.

Mwonzora said that Mugabe did not have "much of a role to play" in the
constitution-making process as it was "a parliamentary process".

He said that the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) was driving the
process through parliament. Now that it had been scrutinised at the second
"All Stakeholders Conference", the draft constitution was due to be taken to
parliament and then finally to a referendum – according to Article Six of
the Global Political Agreement which determines the process.

Mwonzora said that President Mugabe had no option but to comply. If he
failed to do so, the MDC-T "will do something under the guidance of the
Southern African Development Community". Mwonzora did not specify what
action his party would take.

Mwonzora insisted the the Zanu-PF leader had no option but to adhere to the
dictates of the Global Political Agreement. Quoting Russian revolutionary,
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Mwonzora said, "there is no prescribed method of
struggle, every method will depend on the circumstances that exist at that
time. Mugabe will comply".

Opposition groups in Zimbabwe allege that President Mugabe is trying to
wrestle control of the constitution-making process from COPAC by claiming
that the Government of National Unity principals will have the final say.
This has prompted fears that such a move may be another attempt to smuggle
in Zanu-PF's amendments, which were rejected earlier by both MDC formations.

The meeting was attended by MDC-T, MDC-N, as well as civil society groups
from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zanu-PF was invited, but did not attend.


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PM’s spokesman recovering: Chamisa

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

07/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka, who was
involved in a horrific car crash last weekend, has regained consciousness
and is recovering at a Harare hospital.

MDC-T organising secretary and Information Communication Technology Minister
Nelson Chamisa said Tamborinyoka’s condition had improved significantly.

“We have a God who answers prayers. I have been there (at the hospital) and
he is showing remarkable improvement. As the MDC family we are doing the
best together with the doctors and the relatives, but certainly God will do
the rest,” Chamisa said.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jameson Timba added:
“His condition is improving. He is conscious, but can’t speak because of the
gadgets around his face.

"He is responding to stimuli which means he can smile and recognise people.”

Described by Tsvangirai as a "passionate, courageous and capable" member of
his team, Tamborinyoka suffered multiple injuries after his vehicle burst a
rear tyre and rolled three times as he travelled to his rural home in
Domboshava last Saturday night.

“Our thoughts at present are with Luke and his family. Luke is a family man
and we appreciate that this is a challenging time for everyone who is close
to him," said the MDC-T leader

"We trust that God gives them courage. I have known Luke for a long time
and he is a passionate, capable and courageous member of the team. I know
that this is a battle like no other but I know that his strength of
character, his belief and his courage will carry him through this ordeal."

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Media Council has also wished the former journalist
a speedy recovery.
“Zimbabwe Media Council joins the rest of the media fraternity in wishing
Luke Tamborinyoka a speedy recovery after a near fatal traffic accident over
the weekend,” the Council said in a statement.

“Tamborinyoka, a renowned professional journalist who played a positive role
in the establishment of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, has always been a
passionate colleague when it comes to representing workers’ rights. This was
seen during his tenure as secretary-general of The Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists from 2001-2003.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions added: “Tamborinyoka has been in the
trenches fighting for democracy with all colleagues from the broader civil
society and the ZCTU. On behalf of the working people of Zimbabwe, we wish
him a quick recovery.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Prime Minister’s
Office but we all hold on to the fact that Tamborinyoka is a fighter and he
will certainly make a quick and full recovery.”


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Zimbabwe to Force Banks to Buy Debt After Auction Flopped

http://www.bloomberg.com

By Godfrey Marawanyika and Brian Latham - Nov 9, 2012 1:24 AM GMT+1000

Zimbabwe plans to force banks operating in the country to buy its Treasury
bills after attempts to sell the first central bank securities since 2008
failed, the governor of the bank said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Oct. 4 offered its first Treasury bills
since the country abandoned its currency and adopted the dollar in a bid to
curb inflation estimated by the International Monetary Fund at 500 billion
percent. That offer of 91-day securities failed with all bids rejected by
the central bank. The bank rejected all bids in two subsequent sales
including an offering of $30 million on Nov. 4. An Oct. 26 offering was
partially successful.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono said, “Extraordinary
circumstances require extraordinary measures. We will be introducing a
battery of measures that will ensure compliance. A snub begets a snub."
Photographer: Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images
“All the issues have met with some form of resistance,” Gideon Gono, the
central bank governor, told businessmen in Harare, the capital, today.
“‘Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures. We will be
introducing a battery of measures that will ensure compliance. A snub begets
a snub.’’
Units of Barclays Plc (BARC) and Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) operate in
the country while South Africa (SBK)’s Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Nedbank
Group Ltd. (NED) also have operations. In a Nov. 3 interview Tendai Biti,
the country’s finance minister, said he would compel banks to buy negotiable
certificates of deposit if they didn’t support the Treasury bill program.
Political Agreement
Biti and the central bank are trying to kick-start the country’s capital
markets after a decade-long recession ended in 2009 when the 15-nation
Southern African Development Community negotiated a settlement that ended a
political dispute. A coalition government between President Robert Mugabe’s
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Movement for
Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was then formed.
At the Oct. 26 sale of $15 million of the bills the central bank accepted
$9.9 million of bids at an average yield of 8.51 percent.
Sam Malaba, deputy president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, was
said to be unavailable when his office was called. Calls to unit of Barclays
and Standard Chartered in Harare weren’t answered.
‘‘Banks are resisting because they’re not sure government will be able to
repay the T-bills,” John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare, said
in an interview. “There’s a lack of credibility with government and the
banks don’t have much of a gambling instinct.”
Recession, Inflation
Zimbabwe’s government has debt of $10.7 billion. according to the finance
ministry.
“Government likely wants to borrow at about 4 percent and its likely that 8
percent to 10 percent would ultimately be acceptable to the banks,”
Robertson said. 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 agency.
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s shares have fallen 42 percent over the past year
to 29 cents, giving the company a market value of $62 million, according to
data compiled by Bloomberg. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Industrial Index
(ZHINDUSD), the benchmark, rose 7.7 percent over the same period.
Zimbabwe’s economy entered recession and inflation began to surge after
President Robert Mugabe in 2000 backed an often violent program of seizing
white-owned commercial farms and redistributing them to black subsistence
farmers.
Tobacco, Peas
Production of tobacco, then the country’s biggest source of foreign
currency, collapsed as did output of agricultural exports ranging from roses
and paprika to mange-tout peas. Corn production also slumped, forcing
imports of a staple food the country had been self-sufficient in. Several
years of famine followed and millions of its citizens moved to neighboring
countries including South Africa and Botswana.
The economy contracted by about 40 percent between 1999 and 2003, according
to the International Monetary Fund.
Attempts to encourage investment in the country’s platinum industry have
been hindered by a law that compels mining companies to sell 51 percent of
their local operations to black Zimbabweans.
While Biti and Gono have not detailed how they will compel the banks to lend
to the country, Robertson that during the recession they were at times
forced to buy bills.
“If the banks bought them voluntarily, they could do so on a short-term
basis, but if the banks resisted, they’d be 270-day bills, and that
frightens the sector,” said Robertson.


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Mtshabezi pipeline complete: Nkomo

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/


Desperate ... Residents of Magwegwe suburb getting water from a tanker

07/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

BULAWAYO’S four-day-per-week water rationing regime could be eased within days after the completion of a pipeline from Mtshabezi Dam which will pump in an extra 17,000 cubic metres of water to the parched city.

Water Resources Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo announced the completion of the project on Wednesday, with South African engineers who oversaw the project expected to conduct one final inspection this week.

Nkomo said the water from Mtshabezi could see Bulawayo cut the rationing down to three days.

The government is also financing the refurbishment of boreholes at the Nyamandlovu aquifer and Nkomo said it was expected that when the work is complete, Bulawayo would draw 30,000 cubic metres of water from the boreholes, up from the current 5,000 cubic metres.

With the upgrade, ministers hope the rationing period could be reduced further to just one-day-a-week.

“Bulawayo needs about 129,000 cubic metres of water every day, but at the moment it only has capacity for 95,000 cubic metres,” the minister said.

The Bulawayo City Council has been sending water tanks around the city to deliver water to desperate residents.

Bulawayo’s water problems have been made severe by one of the worst droughts in recent years. The city has stopped drawing water from two of its five supply dams – Umzingwane and Lower Ncema – after water levels dropped sharply.

Town engineers warn that two other dams Upper Ncema and Inyankuni could also be decommissioned soon, leaving Insiza Dam as the only viable water source for the city’s two million inhabitants.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti revealed last week that Zimbabwe had received US$854 million of the US$1,2 billion which China committed to fund the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project – a 400KM pipeline from the Zambezi River seen as a long term solution to Bulawayo’s chronic water problems.



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A warning

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

There have been some ominous news items in the past few weeks:
07.11.12

by MAGARI MANDEBVU

• 200 homes destroyed in Epworth

• 228 shops, food vendors, hair salons and offices in Harare have been
shut down.

• ZESA is threatening to cut off customers in high-density areas for
non-payment of bills but not customers who owe them more than $100,000.

• the on-going story of the Mbare petrol station that couldn’t be built
because the owner didn’t have the right party card.

Admittedly, there have been contradictory reports on some of these and they
got more publicity in The Herald than elsewhere, but there’s no smoke
without fire. The question is: whose fire is it? As usual, party politics
sticks its ugly snout into everything.

There have even been hints of another Murambavanhu in preparation. Who would
benefit from that? Certainly not the ordinary inhabitants of our
high-density suburbs.

Over the past six months, we have seen the return of front garden kiosks and
tuck shops, which most people favour. A large number own such kiosks. Buying
and selling is a traditional way of making a bit of income. But these kiosks
are not supermarkets, where you can do all your week’s shopping under one
roof. When there are a dozen in a street, there will be a certain
specialisation. Family A buy matches from their neighbours B, who buy soap
from C, who in turn buy airtime from D; sooner or later everyone is buying
from and selling to everybody else.

There is a kind of power which is no more than the ability to prevent others
from doing anything to help themselves. We should know about that; one party
in our low-level civil war are trying to show that they have that power.
They treat any independent action as a threat to their power. That should
tell us how weak they really feel.

Look at the “threats” they feel compelled to crush: the latest was a group
of youths who set up a guarded parking space, a safe place for residents of
Chitungwiza to leave their cars overnight. These youths did not have the
right party card, so they must be deprived of their income. Nobody may have
anything unless they grovel to the ruining party and beg.

That’s why we have the intensifying kombi wars. That’s why we see open
spaces being fenced as new flea-markets,where you will be allowed to sell as
long as the local mafia get their cut on every cigarette or sweet you sell –
and you buy the right party card.

I thought I had heard it all until I discovered that those government ghost
workers, beardless boys in grey uniforms, are not being paid. The elected
government does not need more than 20,000 cops, most of whom have never
stopped a crime or caught a criminal. They can’t afford to pay “workers” who
won’t work.

But the guys who “employ” them to do their dirty work won’t pay – even
though they are rich, maybe richer than the national exchequer. They still
force their minions to forage for small change to live on at road blocks and
toll gates.

Maybe someone should remind Augustine Chihuri of the parable the prophet
Nathan told to King David when he had murdered his neighbour Uriah just
because, although David – like all kings of his time - was well supplied
with wives and concubines, he had caught a glimpse of Uriah’s only wife in
the bath and wanted to add her to his collection. I see parallels between
the sinful David and men who control a large part of the Chiadzwa diamond
fields - but demand that their private armies be paid out of the fraction of
our taxes that reaches the government we elected.

David was man enough to admit his sin and repent. It would be nice to think
our self-appointed guardians and rulers could find that much honesty and
courage in themselves. We could still be more forgiving than they expect,
but they shouldn’t expect to get off scot-free. David didn’t.


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Solidarity Message with the Counselling Services Unit

Solidarity Peace Trust Logo

Solidarity Peace Trust


Solidarity Message with the Counselling Services Unit
8 November 2012

Solidarity Peace Trust joins other civic groups in Zimbabwe in protesting against the illegal and unjust harassment and arrest of the staff of the Counselling Services Unit (CSU). The continued detention of Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi, and Tafadzwa Geza is only the latest example of the ongoing repression against civil society activists and is a grim reminder of the arbitrary manner in which the repressive arms of the Zimbabwean state continue to be deployed.

We demand the strict application of the rule of law in the treatment of the arrested CSU employees and call on the Inclusive Government and the SADC facilitation team to bring an end to such arbitrary arrests and intimidation. As Zimbabwe prepares for a new election in 2013 under the terms of the GPA, the increasing indicators of state repression on the political landscape provide little reassurance that the country will avoid the debacle of 2008.

We call on the democratic forces inside Zimbabwe, SADC, the AU and other forces in the international community, to urgently develop a consensus on the way forward in Zimbabwe and to ensure that those elements bent on thwarting the democratic electoral will of Zimbabwean citizens are left in no doubt that they will be isolated in their obstructive politics.

For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust

Email: selvan@solidaritypeacetrust.org

Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Fax: +27 (39) 682 5869

Address:

Suite 4
3rd Floor
MB Centre
49 Aiken Street
Port Shepstone 4240
Kwazulu-Natal South Coast


Action Alert: In support of Amnesty International’s call to release illegally detained Counselling Services Unit (CSU) employees

November 8th, 2012

Sokwanele Action AlertUpdate on the detention

Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi and Tafadzwa Gezahave just spent their third night in the police cells, two in Harare Central and last night, in Bulawayo Central Police Station after an unwarranted transfer to Bulawayo. They were transported on the back of an open pick up truck, registration ACD 6377, with no protection from the sun, despite the temperature reaching 33 degrees in Harare. They were then moved to Bulawayo from Kwekwe in a twin cab ABI 3608 and arrived at 18h00. They were not interviewed by the police, but immediately detained in the police cells on a detention order which had been prepared in Harare. More about Amnesty International’s call to release the illegally detained here .

The following facts of the arbitrary raid and arrest and detention need highlighting.

Counselling Services Unit is a lawfully registered medical clinic providing non-partisan counselling and referral to all victims of trauma.

On Monday 5 November, the clinic was threatened with violence and normal services were disrupted by the invasion of the clinic by 12 uniformed and non-uniformed police officers, including members of the Bomb Disposal Squad and an Information Technology expert. The clinic was surrounded by armed riot police who threatened to fire tear gas into the building, which is also occupied by other tenants. Patients awaiting services were left unattended for 4 hours while the police demanded and forcibly accessed confidential medical records. They removed a computer which contains confidential client information and client records. No further booked patients were able to enter the building to receive treatment.

Counselling Services Unit adheres to the Environmental Compliance requirements for health facilities, following the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. The guidelines require separation of cleaning materials for areas of ablution and areas of food storage and preparation. The cleaning utensils are clearly marked using spray paint, and the paint is stored on the premises in the work area of the janitor. It is not hidden or stored secretively and was purchased in July 2012. CSU have handed the receipts of purchase of three 250ml cans of spray paint from the local hardware store to the police. The police fixated on the finding of this paint and refused to listen to any explanation. With no further investigations, 5 staff members were arbitrarily arrested and transported to Harare Central Police station for further questioning. 2 staff members were released 2 hours later, and 3 have been detained since then with no warned and cautioned statement and no indication of charges. The removal of the 3 staff to Bulawayo after the required time for a court appearance and the further detention order with no defined charges or substantive evidence of illegal activities constitutes serious and illegal harassment.

Counselling Services Unit is deeply concerned about the protracted course of this situation and the non-adherence to the law by the arresting officers. CSU is concerned about the safety ofFidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi and Tafadzwa Geza.

WE WOULD REQUEST SOLIDARITY AND PROTEST ON THE FOLLOWING FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF THIS SERIES OF EVENTS.

  • Disruption of medical services to victims of trauma, and the unwarranted terrorisation of patients awaiting services
  • The illegal access to confidential patient medical records
  • The unwarranted deployment of armed riot police to the offices creating alarm and fear to the other tenants of the building and surrounds
  • The illegal removal of a computer, which is not covered in the search warrant which stated a “search for material likely to deface any house, building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate or elevator without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof”.
  • The removal of confidential medical and legal records without permission of the patients to whom they pertain.
  • The arbitrary selection of staff for arrest with no concrete evidence of any crime having been committed, particularly in Bulawayo where CSU has no clinic.
  • The illegal detention and transfer of senior staff to Bulawayo without formal charges, and exceeding the time limit for appearance before a magistrate with formal charges.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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Phone Bulawayo Central Police Station to voice your concern.

Tel: +2639 72515

AT ALL TIMES, PLEASE BE POLITE

Inquire as to the wellbeing of the three detained CSU employees.

Voice your concern at their arbitrary detention and ask when they are going to be released.

You can also phone the Attorney General’s offices to do the same as above.

Tel: +2634 774586 or +2634 772987/8


The banana republic of Zimbabwe

http://www.politicsweb.co.za/

Vince Musewe
08 November 2012

Vince Musewe says he is chilled at depth of wound Zanu-PF has inflicted on
this land its psyche

"Banana Republic" is a term coined by the American writer O. Henry in his
book titled: "Cabbages and Kings" (1904) "A banana republic is a politically
unstable country that economically depends upon the exports of a limited
resource (fruits, minerals), and usually features a society composed of
stratified social classes, such as a great, impoverished working class and a
ruling plutocracy, composed of the élites of business, politics, and the
military. Or to put it in other words; it denotes a country dependent upon
limited primary-sector productions, which is ruled by a plutocracy who
exploit the national economy by means of a politico-economic oligarchy
(Source Wikipedia)

Spot on isn't it?

Our plutocracy in Zimbabwe, truly believes that it has the inalienable right
to political power and will do all it can, to force that reality on its
citizens. It stifles public debate, criminalizes alternative views and seeks
to continually create an illusion of its invincibility. It uses
disinformation, cohesion, incarceration and if necessary, violence, to force
its ideas onto us, its citizens. It continues to deny the possibility that
there is a better way and will seek to damage personal initiative and
ambition in all instances. Like an octopus, its tentacles must lay claim to
all fortunes to be made and on those who might make them.

Its minions, be they hawkers, professors, governors, senators, chiefs,
bishops spies, dealers, small time farmers and drunkards alike, have become
an amorphous conglomeration of willing political factions, who must blindly
endorse and partake in its activities and crimes, while expecting to be the
beneficiaries of its largesse.

What this has done over time, is to stifle objective judgment and postponed
the urgency of us dealing honestly with the pressing socio economic problems
we face. I have seen grown educated men in suits, continuing to blame
sanctions and others for our economic problems, scared to admit that indeed
ZANU (PF) has failed. In fact the truth of the matter is that, ZANU (PF)
never had a solution in the first place. They have never figured out this
economy since 1980. This can be easily proved by how everything, almost
everything which they have touched has been in slow decline, a day at a
time.

Each day that I pursue issues, I am chilled at the depth of the wound that
ZANU (PF) has inflicted upon this land and our national psyche. This applies
especially to the older generation of Zimbabweans, who have effectively
given up on any hope for change, because the wound inflicted, is so deep and
permanent.

They remind me of the phenomenon where, if you shackle an elephant in one
spot for long enough, and then remove the shackles, it will not move an inch
believing the shackles to still exist. I now deliberately avoid talking to
some of them about creating a better future in Zimbabwe because it pains me
to see such despondency and lack of hope in their eyes.

What is further perplexing is the fact that, even though we Zimbabweans are
in general known as educated and hard working, we seem almost incapable to
use that education and that hard work to apply solutions that improve our
life conditions. In other words, we have become a nation of educated fools,
who may have all the academic accolades, but are incompetent in shaping
their circumstances. Instead most have joined the gravy train and are quick
to use the name of ZANU (PF) to get what they want. From occupying churches
for personal gain to cheap market stalls at Mbare musika, all blindly claim
allegiance to the party and use its name to injure fellow citizens.
Principles, conflict of interests, ethics have become the armor of the
foolish, while corruption and unprecedented greed have become the sword of
success.

We must be wise and use the wisdom of the Eskimo, who, when hunting the
wolf, finds a long sharp knife and drenches it in fresh blood and freezes it
in the cold ice. He then adds some more fresh blood until the knife is thick
with layers of fresh frozen blood. He carefully places the knife in the
snow, with the sharp edge facing upwards and waits. In the morning, he wakes
up to find a dead wolf. A wolf that would have licked the knife's sharp edge
to its death while tasting the delicious warm blood as it begins cuts its
own tongue.

Through its own actions and its crimes, we shall see the wolf continue to
drink its own warm blood, believing it to be the delicious rewards of years
of violence, corruption and the suppression of the will of reasonable and
well meaning Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe is indeed poised for a great future.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist in Harare and you can contact him
on vtmusewe@gmail.com


Of political entrepreneurship and greediness



By Blessing Vava
Lovemore Moyo:''Right now I am using a
Discovery as an off-road yet juniour
persons like Deputy Ministers
are driving better cars''

The demand by legislators to get exit packages after the expiry of the term of office for the Parliament of Zimbabwe cannot go unchallenged and should be dismissed with contempt it deserves. The somewhat debilitating demands by the third arm of government should be scrutinised in comparative terms with the general standards that roles which the MPs are expected to discharge during the tenure of office. These roles include but are not necessarily limited to the following

ˇ The law making activity

ˇ The surveillance activity and

ˇ Constituency service activity

When individuals make a deliberate decision to become part of the government’s their arm in complementary duty to the other two arms namely the executive and the judiciary, they must do so with a general appreciation that it is public call for duty rather than a narrow expectation of primitive accumulation.
Luxurygate:
Inside the Speakers garage

Since they were elected our dear legislators have made headlines for the wrong and shocking reasons especially to the electorate who voted them into office hoping to have their grievances being dealt with in line with the afore stated three levels of activities they are supposed to fulfil.

In terms of the law making activity, the legislature has over time degenerated into a rubber-stamping institution with the MPs either sheepishly endorsing directives from the executives and in most cases sustaining a repressive law and policy regime.

Nabbed:St Marys MP Marvellous Kumalo (centre)
accused of looting CDF Funds
At constituency development level, the majority Mps looted the people’s resources and failed to develop the poor communities. The general expectation that an MP is a people’s servant has since sublimated into abysmal nightmare by day light. In essence the current crop should go and never have the guts to claim even a cent from the treasury. It is equally true that the same MPs, with their powers to summon any person besides the president, the function of surveillance remain moribund and presents an oxymoron sense of self defeat. It seems the only purpose that is left with the legislature is transforming the august house into a begging bowl that delivers nothing except a bubble of hot air.

During the last campaign in the 2008 elections a lot of the MPs had flowery manifestos full of promises of development. Like a man proposing love to a woman, they came out sounding sweet and saying all the right things. But in reality, they are nothing more than wolves dressed in sheep's clothing promising heaven on earth and miracle galore. But deep down they have a hidden selfish agenda to benefit only themselves and their kind.

They promised to deal with issue of service delivery, health, education, clean and available water and electricity, all of which has been the most affecting to the majority of the populace. The manifestos were forgotten and slowly but surely the ideals in them were exchanged for the selfish vices of merriment, primitive accumulation and self aggrandisement.

When Zimbabweans voted for them, they wanted the issues mentioned earlier to be addressed as a matter of urgency not packages or allowances for MPs. But alas since 2008, nothing much has been done to improve these communities mainly because of a leadership dearth, corruption recorded both at local government and the Houses of Assembly.

Mutare West MP Shuah Mudiwa (MDC-T):
“We are approaching the end of the session
and we have no assurance that
we will be coming back.
Can the minister tell us if he is going to
give us exit packages and allowances?”
None will forget their demands for a car every year which left many Zimbabweans in a state of shock. The current bunch of legislators is the worst we have had since independence always looking for avenues of milking the treasury dry, while turning a blind eye to their constituencies. The lack of qualitative socio-economic and political debates in the house leaves a lot to be desired, it was neither impressive nor informed by a genuine desire to alleviate the poverty endured by the electorate: NOT impressive at all as nothing much was done as far as the legislative reform and formulation agenda is concerned.

Their affinity for luxury is regrettable. Its sobering as it is mind boggling for an MP to claim an exit package as if they had been working for a company. Zimbabwe has no room for political entrepreneurs! Already they have gobbled enough the money from the treasury, namely their vehicles, allowances and hotel accommodation and the Constituency Development Funds they put to personal use rather than developing their constituencies.

Poverty taking its toll in many constituencies
Those who are calling for these packages know very well that they have not done anything for their constituencies during their horrible stint in parliament, they are fully aware that the electorate will not vote for them again so they want to benefit for the last time. It will be a record set in that some will leave the house after five years without uttering a word in parliament apart from the swearing-in ceremony. The other opportune time they opened their mouths was when they were either singing the national anthem, or heckling other honourable members during debates and of cause they open their mouths wide during those lunches hosted for MPs.

Since 2008, the MPs are now proud owners of two vehicles, Isuzu vehicles they were scandalously given by Gideon Gono, and the Mazda BT50 from the treasury. In Zimbabwe being an MP has since become a profession and one way of getting rich quickly as evidenced by these outrageous demands and all that they acquired during this session of parliament. But the time has now come when rhetoric and empty promises will not have space in our political landscape.

The calibre of legislators we currently have leaves a lot to be desired. It is simply mediocre! In the previous election some became MPs mainly because of bravery at the height of political violence and not what they were capable of delivering. At least the coming in of the inclusive government has afforded an opportunity to the electorate to assess the quality of leadership we have. The coming election will not be about protest voting, it will not be about bravery, but those who are capable of delivering. Those who are corrupt will surely be shown the exit door.

Blessing ‘Vuvuzela’ Vava is a blogger from Chipinge, who believes in the ideals of the Peoples Charter. He can be contacted on blessingvava@gmaill.com


Sokwanele: Will new Constitution change anything for women?

Ratification, rhetoric and rare implementation of international and regional standards on women’s right to participate in decision-making in Zimbabwe: if adopted, will the new Constitution change anything?

November 7th, 2012

Women law-makers in Zimbabwe - infographic

By Rumbidzai Dube: This full article can be downloaded from our website by visiting this link

Executive Summary

Women in Zimbabwe constitute 52% of the population meaning that they are in the majority. This statistic does not translate to women’s proportionate representation in decision-making processes. Women are under-represented and are often left on the sidelines, while men position themselves as the front runners in politics as political leaders, in the law as judges, in business and corporate giants as directors and top management. The advantage that men enjoy, and the disadvantage that women endure are due to a number of political, social and economic factors including the nature of politics characterised by patronage and violence, the patriarchal nature of society, gender stereotyping and how these factors impact women’s decision making abilities, the distribution of wealth and women’s inability to access resources to improve their financial status.

However there are various regional and international instruments that seek to improve women’s participation in decision-making among these the Protocol to the SADC Gender and Development Protocol, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Zimbabwe has done very well in ratifying these regional and international instruments, signifying its willingness to be bound by the provisions therein. The implementation of these regional and international norms has, however, not been as smooth. It has been hampered by a plethora of challenges- top of which is the non-domestication of these norms.

This has largely been a function of the dualist system that the Constitution of Zimbabwe advocates; namely that any conventions or treaties that Zimbabwe signs and ratifies cannot become binding and have the force of law unless Parliament puts in place an Act of law giving them such force. Now, Zimbabwe is in a process of making a new Constitution, whose likelihood of becoming ‘THE’ Constitution of Zimbabwe is becoming more real by the day. It is hence trite that in light of that development this analysis be conducted to determine if at all, the possible adoption of a new constitution will improve the implementation of regional and international standards that seek to improve women’s participation in decision-making processes.


Bill Watch 50/2012 of 8th November [New Parliamentary Session Opened; Adjourned to 15th November]

BILL WATCH 50/2012

[8th November 2012]

The President Officially Opened the new Parliamentary Session on Tuesday 30th October

Both Houses then Adjourned until Thursday 15th November [Budget Day]

Opening of Fifth and Final Session of Seventh Parliament

President Mugabe opened the fifth and final session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe on Tuesday 30th October. Immediately after the ceremony, both Houses reassembled separately and adjourned until Thursday 15th November. That is the day earmarked for the presentation of the 2013 Budget by the Minister of Finance.

The President’s Speech at the Opening Ceremony

[full text available from veritas@mango.zw]

The President’s speech on this annual occasion gives him an opportunity to highlight key developments in the previous year and Government intentions for the year ahead, in particular what Bills the Government plans to introduce during the session.

Short session likely President Mugabe started with a warning that the session is “likely to be an abridged one”. This hint at an early end to the present Parliament was followed by an unequivocal statement of the President’s intention that the next elections be held by the end of March 2013.

Comment: The other GPA party leaders, Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Ncube, have since said they do not share this intention. Constitutionally, Parliament can continue until 28th June 2012, and the elections could be as late as 28th October.

New Constitution The President referred to the just-ended COPAC Second All Stakeholders’ Conference on the draft constitution and the need for COPAC to now work frantically to produce a Report of the Conference” to enable progress to be made towards the constitutional Referendum – and, if the Referendum vote is YES, the introduction in Parliament of the Bill for the new constitution for it to be passed into law.

Legislative Agenda

ˇ New Constitution

The Bill for the new constitution will be presented if the Referendum vote is YES.

ˇ Bills for new Acts [4 Bills]

Constituency Development Fund Bill – to strengthen accountability in the management of funds allocated to MPs for development in their constituencies, given experience gained since the CDF was introduced and the irregularities unearthed by the audit of those funds that commenced last year.

Diamond Bill – to give effect to Zimbabwe’s Diamond Policy, which has now been agreed and is designed to guide the development of the local diamond industry. There will be consequential amendments to the Precious Stones Trade Act.

State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill – to codify the Corporate Governance Framework for these bodies.

Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill – to set up a legal framework for the Tripartite Negotiating Forum. This body brings together government, business and labour in negotiations over key socioeconomic matters. It was established in 1998 accordance with International Labour Organisation Convention No. 44. Its success has been limited by lack of a legal framework.

ˇ Bills to amend existing Acts [4 Bills]

Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill – to enhance Zimbabwe’s competitiveness as an investment destination.

Civil Aviation Amendment Act – to provide for the separation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe into two entities: the Airports Management Administration and the Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority. This will enable Government to better discharge its international obligations and responsibilities with respect to aviation safety oversight and security functions.

Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill – this long-awaited Bill seeks to facilitate increased mineral production, provide a more competitive mining legislative framework, facilitate continuous exploration and local beneficiation of minerals.

Attorney General’s Office Amendment Bill – to amend provisions in the Attorney General’s Office Act that potentially infringe upon the independence of that office as enshrined in section 76 of the Constitution. The principal Act was gazetted on 10th June 2011 but has not been brought into force. Presumably it will remain in limbo until this Bill has become law. Meanwhile members of the Attorney General’s Office remain part of the Public Service, a situation which is incompatible with a truly independent Attorney General’s Office.

Comment:

o The first 2 of these bills were on the President’s legislative agenda when he opened the Fourth Session in September 2011, but they were not introduced in Parliament.

o The bill to amend the Mines and Minerals Act was mentioned when the President opened the Third Session in 2010, but the Minister of Mines and Mining Development did not bring it to Parliament.

o The Attorney General’s Office Amendment Bill is the only new Bill of the four.

This is one indication of how little of their planned legislative work the Inclusive Government has actually placed before Parliament. Of the 14 Bills listed in the President’s Speech at the beginning of the last session, only one – the Electoral Amendment Bill – was introduced and passed. Those that were not even introduced included the Referendums Bill, Reserve Bank Restructuring Bill, Public Health Amendment Bill, Food Control Bill, Land Developers Bill and Railways Bill – and none of these is on the President’s list for this session.

International agreement for Parliament’s approval The African Charter on the Values and Principles of Public Service Administration will be presented for approval by both Houses in terms of section 111B of the Constitution. This charter was adopted by the AU Summit in Addis Ababa in January 2011, and it has since been signed by 21 countries but ratified by only 2 of those 21. Zimbabwe has not signed it. The Charter seeks to improve public service delivery, combat corruption, protect the rights of citizens as users of public service and to promote sustainable development on the continent.

Closing remarks on political differences and violence In closing the President said: As we look ahead, irrespective of our political differences, let us continue to be bound together as Zimbabweans, and to maintain a disciplined focus on the task of developing our country for the benefit of our current and future generations. Let us also continue to engender within ourselves the belief that we are masters of our own destiny and the resolve to jealously guard our hard-won independence and nationhood, hoisting national unity as our solid bond. To this end, I wish to appeal to all our leaders, followers of our Parties and other organisations and stakeholders, including the media, to adopt the pledge to work genuinely for national unity and cohesion. Let us all shun violence in all its manifestations and latent forms, especially as we look forward to our national elections.”

Important Expected Bills Omitted

Bills to amend or repeal laws that restrict civil liberties: Public Order and Security Act [POSA], Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act [AIPPA], the Broadcasting Services Act and sections of the Criminal Law Code These have been expected ever since the inception of the Inclusive Government.

Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill In his last year’s speech the President gave notice of the Government’s intention not only to accede to the UN Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, but also to give legal effect to it in domestic law. Also, when the Senate approved Zimbabwe’s accession to this Protocol in July, co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone promised Senators that she would be back with the Bill this session.

Income Tax Bill This is in fact being printed – the Minister of Finance had previously told Parliament he wants it passed before the end of the year.

Budget Bills

Two money Bills to give effect to the 2013 Budget will come up later in the month – the Appropriation (2013) Bill and the Finance Bill. These Bills are never referred to in the President’s legislative agenda because they are part of the normal end-of-the-year Budget routine.

Status of Bills as at 5th November 2012

No Bills on the Agenda for 15th November

There are no Bills listed on the agenda for either House when Parliament resumes on 15th November. This is because the Bills left uncompleted at the end of the last session have lapsed in accordance with Parliamentary Standing Orders. Any lapsed Bill may, however, be restored to the agenda if the House of the Assembly or Senate so resolves.

Lapsed Bills from 4th Session that could be revived

o Bill awaiting Second Reading

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill

o Bill being considered by Parliamentary Legal Committee

Securities Amendment Bill [referred to PLC after its first reading on 9th October]

o Private Member’s Bills held up pending Supreme Court decision

[See Bill Watch 20 and 21 of 15th May 2012]

Public Order and Security Amendment Bill

Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill

Urban Councils Amendment Bill

Bill in Pipeline

Microfinance Bill [gazetted on 31st August] – ready for presentation in Parliament

Income Tax Bill – being prepared by Government Printer

Government Gazettes of 26th October and 2nd November

Statutory Instruments

VAT SI 168/2012 makes the changes to the VAT system with effect from 1st August 2012, as promised by the Minister of Finance in his Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review Statement. Domestic electricity, soya beans, seed cotton and white sugar are now zero-rated for VAT purposes.

Collective bargaining agreements SI 169/2012 notifies new wages for the motor industry for the period July-December 2012. SI 170/2012 sets out complete conditions of service for the textile industry.

Road-tolls Victoria Falls Bridge SI 171/2012 specifies the fees payable for use of the bridge by minibuses, buses, heavy vehicles and haulage vehicles, ranging from $5.00 to $30. Light motor vehicles are not subject to the toll.

Labour Act: Arbitrators SI 173/2012 contains regulations governing arbitrators appointed under section 98(6) of the Labour Act to handle disputes. A code of ethics is included.

Local authority by-laws SI 172/2012 contains by-laws governing the use and conservation of communal and resettlement land in the Makonde Rural District Council’s area.

General Notices

Land acquisition

o GN 489/2012 notifies the Government’s compulsory acquisition of a 1785-acre farm in Makonde district, under the special no-objections-allowed constitutional procedure for taking land for settlement for agriculture.

o GN 490/2012 gives preliminary notice of its intention to acquire, under the Land Acquisition Act, approximately 1000 hectares on the outskirts of Harare for urban development; affected parties have the right to object.

Increase in Magistrates Court Jurisdiction in Civil Cases

Bill Watch 49/2012 of 19th October gave notice of SI 163/2012, gazetted on the 19th October. [SI 163 is now available from veritas@mango.zw]. The SI makes changes to the monetary limits on the jurisdiction of the magistrates court in civil cases. The amounts are as follows: for cases based on “liquid documents” [e.g. cheques, promissory notes] the limit is now $5 000 [was $1 000] and for other cases it is now $10 000 [was $2 000].

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied