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Archbishop of Canterbury cheered in Zimbabwe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Thousands of worshippers cheered the Archbishop of Canterbury Sunday in a Harare stadium, after a renegade bishop aligned with President Robert Mugabe provoked a violent split in the Anglican Church.
Archbishop of Canterbury cheered in Zimbabwe: The Archbishop Canterbury, Rowan Williams arrives in Zimbabwe
The Archbishop Canterbury, Rowan Williams, arrives in ZimbabwePhoto: AFP / GETTY

Dr Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans, entered the City Sports Centre to loud cheers from thousands of people who filled the terraces and the floor of the stadium that normally hosts tennis matches.

Archbishop Albert Chama, who represents the Church's Central African province, along with bishops from neighbouring Botswana and South Africa accompanied him into the venue in a show of solidarity.

Zimbabwe is the most contentious stop on Williams' three-nation African tour, where national political troubles have engulfed the Anglican Church.

Excommunicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a fervent backer of President Robert Mugabe, has seized all of the Church's property in Harare and moved to claim 3,800 properties in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries.

Zimbabwe's renegade bishop labelled Dr Williams as a "homosexual" who has destroyed the faith around the world.

Nolbert Kunonga was Bishop of Harare until 2008 when he split from the central Anglican church over the ordination of homosexuals and was excommunicated.

But with the backing of President Robert Mugabe - whom he describes as a "prophet from God" - the partial courts and the security forces, he has seized control of 40 per cent of Zimbabwe's church property including schools and orphanages.

Many of Zimbabwe's 350,000 Anglicans have been reduced to praying in private gardens, sports grounds and meeting halls.

Dr Rowan Williams arrived in Zimbabwe this morning and is due to lead a Eucharist service for an estimated 20,000 people at a sports stadium in Harare at lunchtime.

He is also expected to meet President Robert Mugabe on Monday and to appeal to him to reign in Dr Kunonga.

But in a rare interview with the *Daily Telegraph* at Harare's Anglican cathedral, St Mary's, Dr Kunonga said that Mr Mugabe would not involve himself in church matters and Dr Williams never should have come.

"He is no threat, there's nothing he can do," he said.

"I am in charge of the church, of all its properties. I am in the cathedral. That's my throne. He cannot come here.

"It's a great shame that is visiting Zimbabwe, lobbying for homosexuals and acting as a British envoy. He is appointed by the Queen and represents England."

He said it was "at the discretion" of President Mugabe who he meets, but that the 87-year-old, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, had no power to influence the workings of the church.

"There's no church-state relationship here. In the colonial state, the Anglican church was the state church but from 1979 to the present day it is just one of the denominations," he said.

"Whether they meet doesn't affect us, Mugabe has no right to impose anything on us. If he were to, you would call him a dictator."

He said Rowan Williams was to blame for the split in the Church of the Province of Central Africa, which includes the Anglican church in Zimbabwe.

"Rowan Williams is the reason why the Anglican church all over the world in divided because he has not taken a position on homosexuality," he said.

"Many people say he is an educated guy but he is very naive not to take a position."

Dr Kunonga arranged for buses to bring worshippers from around the region to a Sunday morning service at St Mary's, which has remained largely closed to the public since he seized it, and visited only by a handful of worshippers most Sundays.

Before the service started, placards bearing slogans including "Rowan go back to England" and "Canterbury must repent" were handed out to the 1,000 congregants at the church who were sent to march around the block.

Asked about the fact that most of the 350,000 Anglicans in Zimbabwe still support the church under Dr Williams, he said: "It's not a majority or minority, it's about a moral right, what the scripture says. When even a few people are gathered in the light, it's enough."

He denied that he had previously used the police, who are generally seen as pro-Mugabe, to chase Anglicans out of churches using tear gas and batons.

"I don't know who is being intimidated, I am not intimidating," he said.

"These people you say can't come to church, they can. No one is stopping them. If they say they don't like who is bishop, that is a very different matter."

He denied that he was "Mugabe's bishop", adding: "I am everyone's bishop".

"This church was here before Zanu PF and I have been a priest for 40 years now. Zanu PF has been in power for 30 years," he said.

He said he believed the Anglican church in Zimbabwe was already healing but swore it would never rejoin with the central authority "as long as the Archbishop of Canterbury remains homosexual".

"He is a weak man who can not make a decision," he said. "They say he is an academic man but I am myself an academic and I have never seen an academic like him. I am schooled enough in the Anglican faith, I am better than him, it's for sure."


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Rowan Williams takes Mugabe to task in Zimbabwe sermon

http://www.guardian.co.uk

Archbishop of Canterbury risks riling president before meeting aimed at
ending violent Anglican rift

reddit this

Riazat Butt, and David Smith in Harare
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 9 October 2011 16.41 BST

The archbishop of Canterbury has risked angering the Zimbabwean president,
Robert Mugabe, ahead of a crucial meeting with him, by attacking the
country's lawlessness and comparing it with the "greed of colonialists and
imperalists".

In a brave and possibly career-defining appearance at Harare's national
stadium, Rowan Williams told a crowd of more than 15,000 that it was tragic
that so many lived in daily fear of attack if they failed to comply "with
what the powerful require of them".

His sermon, which frequently drew applause and cheers, comes as a
devastating split in Zimbabwe's Anglican church wreaks increasing havoc on
parishioners and clergy. A power struggle between the Mugabe-supporting,
excommunicated bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, and his replacement, Chad
Gandiya, has resulted in Anglicans being arrested, beaten and locked out of
churches. Police loyal to Mugabe have helped evict people from buildings.

Williams praised Anglicans for their "patience, generosity and endurance" in
the face of "injustice and arrogance" and said they did not have to live in
"terror, in bloodshed".

He told them: "You know very well what it means to have doors locked in your
faces by those who claim the name of Christians and Anglicans. You know how
those who, by their greed and violence have refused the grace of God, try to
silence your worship and frustrate your witness in the churches and schools
and hospitals of this country.

"But you know that the will of God to invite people to his feast [in heaven]
is so strong it can triumph even over these mindless and godless assaults."

Williams's reception was more fitting of a rock star than an archbishop,
with whistles and ululations erupting as he arrived.

The spectacle followed weeks of headlines surrounding the archbishop's
two-day visit to Zimbabwe and his requested meeting with Mugabe to discuss
the hostility and violence meted out to Anglicans.

Under a grey metal roof, Williams said it was Africa's natural wealth that
provoked the greed of colonialists and imperialists. It had become a curse,
he said, as people were killed and communities destroyed "in the fight for
diamonds that will forever be marked with the blood of the innocent".

"For a long period in this country, an anxious ruling class clung on to the
power they had seized at the expense of the indigenous people and ignored
their rights and their hopes for dignity and political freedom.

"How tragic that this should be replaced by another kind of lawlessness,
where so many live in daily fear of attack if they fail to comply with what
the powerful require of them."

In spite of his forthright words, Williams has sought to downplay the
Zimbabwean leg of his central African tour by emphasising its spiritual
nature.

He told reporters gathered at Malawi's Blantyre airport: "This is a pastoral
visit at the invitation of my bishop brothers, but of course I shall be
raising with President Mugabe the issue about the harassment and persecution
of our church in Zimbabwe. What difference that will make is in God's hands,
but I want to put that on the table."

Mugabe's office has yet to confirm whether there will be a meeting. A
presidential spokesman, however, told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper
that Mugabe would challenge Williams about homosexuality and sanctions if
the two men were to speak.

George Charamba said: "Fundamentally, he would want to know why the church
of the British state, the Anglican church, has remained so loudly silent
while the people of Zimbabwe, and these people include Anglicans, are
suffering from the illegal sanctions.

"The second issue that the president wants this man of God to clarify is why
his Anglican church thinks homosexuality is good for us and why it should be
prescribed for us. He thinks the archbishop will be polite enough to point
to him that portion of the Great Book [that] sanctions homosexuality and
sanctions sanctions."

The breakaway bishop Kunonga and his supporters protested against Williams'
visit outside Harare's main cathedral, saying it was a "demonstration
against homosexuality".

But there was far greater support for Williams. Hundreds of people were
sitting on the stadium's concrete terraces hours before he was due to take
to the stage, itself decked out with white chairs bearing blue ribbons, lit
candles, a cross and a podium. The hundreds soon swelled to thousands and a
party atmosphere developed. The stadium still bears the traces of its former
life as a venue for basketball matches: old scoreboards, decrepit press
boxes and a sign urging sports fans to "please remain seated during play".

Warm-up acts, more often seen in television studios or at concerts than in
the run-up to a church sermon, entertained the crowds by singing, dancing
and shaking maracas.

Esther Murazi, a 40-year-old vendor, wore a neckscarf with the words
"Archbishop of Canterbury's Visit, October 2011, Harare, Zimbabwe" printed
on it. She told the Guardian: "It's a big day for Zimbabwe. I've come to
pray for my family and for my life."

Others also shared the sense of hope and longing inspired by Williams – who
seldom arouses such sentiment back home – and the feeling that his visit
could transform their lives.

Innocent Richards, a 39-year-old quantity surveyor, said: "He's the head of
the church. Very, very special. We regard him as a leader. He's very brave
coming to Zimbabwe in view of what's happening with the Anglican church.
Some of us don't have anywhere to go. We hold the services under trees
because all the properties have been taken. I think he's here to resolve
some of these issues regarding the running of the church."

But the issue of homosexuality, so divisive in the Anglican Communion for
decades, played on the minds of some.

Edgar Munatsi, 22, a medical student and secretary general of the Student
Christian Movement Zimbabwe, said: "The people of Zimbabwe need solidarity
from the UK. But people need clarity on the issue of homosexuality and he
should have given it."


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Christianity not about politics, Archbishop of Canterbury says on Zimbabwe visit

http://www.washingtonpost.com

By Associated Press, Published: October 9 | Updated: Monday, October 10,
1:43 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe — The head of the worldwide Anglican church said Sunday
during a visit to Zimbabwe that Christianity should not be about politics
but about God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, told more than 15,000
mainstream Anglican worshippers gathered for mass at a city stadium that
Anglican worshippers are constantly “tortured by uncertainty and risk of
attack” and have endured “mindless and Godless assaults,” in the southern
African country.

He praised the worshippers for being “active and courageous” amid a bitter
dispute between the followers of breakaway Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and
mainstream Anglican church worshippers.

Kunonga, a loyalist of longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe, was
excommunicated in 2007 by the main Anglican Province of Central Africa and
the worldwide head of the church. He was accused of inciting violence in
sermons supporting Mugabe’s party.

The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been divided since Kunonga’s
excommunication. He has taken over the main cathedral, schools and the
church’s bank accounts.

The schism in the church has left mainstream Anglicans without places of
worship and they’ve experienced intimidation and alleged threats of
violence. Last month Kunonga took over Shearly Cripps orphanage which is
home to at least 80 children and named after its founder, an Anglo-American
missionary who died in 1952.

A flawed ruling in August by Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court allowed Kunonga to
retain control of Anglican properties until a court appeal by the mainstream
Anglican church is resolved. That ruling was made by Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku, who, like Kunonga, is an open supporter of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF
party.

“The property belongs to us because of the court judgments, Mugabe was not
there in courts when we won,” Kunonga said when asked whether the ruling was
politically motivated.

Williams on Sunday urged the worshippers not to be embroiled in violence or
retaliation.

“Day by day, you have faced arrogance. We have been treated with so much
contempt and scorned by the rich but we give thanks and praise to God for
your patience, generosity and endurance,” Williams said. “It is not a
building that makes the church, but spiritual foundation.”

The Archbishop is expected to meet Mugabe Monday to discuss an end to the
disruptions.

Meanwhile Sunday, Kunonga and his supporters demonstrated outside Harare’s
main cathedral against Williams’ visit.

Kunonga insists he split from the Anglican church because of its position on
gay marriage.

Leaders of the global Anglican Communion have condemned gay relationships as
a violation of Scripture. However, the Anglican Communion is loosely
organized without one authoritative leader such as a pope, so some
individual provinces have decided on their own that they should move toward
accepting same-gender unions.

Mugabe is a bitter critic of homosexuality.

Kunonga led the demonstrations Sunday because he said Williams’ visit to
Zimbabwe is a “crusade for gays.”

“This is a demonstration against homosexuality. I told people to come and
demonstrate if they wanted,” Kunonga said. “Rowan Williams erred by
accepting homosexuality and that has broken up the church all over.”


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Kunonga followers protest Williams visit

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

09/10/2011 00:00:00
by AP

THE Anglican faction led by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga on Sunday demonstrated
outside Harare's main cathedral against a visit to Zimbabwe by the
Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Rowan Williams is visiting the country amid a bitter dispute between
Kunonga and mainstream Anglican Church worshippers, and he was due to hold
mass at a city stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Kunonga was excommunicated in 2007 by the main Anglican Province of Central
Africa and the worldwide head of the Church. He was accused of inciting
violence in sermons supporting Mugabe's party.

But Kunonga – seen as a staunch supporter of President Robert Mugabe --
insists he split from the Anglican Church because of its position on gay
marriage.
Mugabe is a bitter critic of homosexuality.
Leaders of the global Anglican Communion have condemned gay relationships as
a violation of scripture.

However, the Anglican Communion is loosely organised without one
authoritative leader such as a pope, so some individual provinces have
decided on their own that they should move towards accepting same-gender
unions.

The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been divided since Mr Kunonga's
excommunication. He has taken over the main cathedral, schools and the
Church's bank accounts.

The schism in the Church has left mainstream Anglicans without places of
worship and they have experienced intimidation and alleged threats of
violence.

Kunonga led the demonstrations on Sunday because he said Dr Williams's visit
to Zimbabwe is a "crusade for gays".

"This is a demonstration against homosexuality. I told people to come and
demonstrate if they wanted," Kunonga said.
"Rowan Williams erred by accepting homosexuality and that has broken up the
Church all over."


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Archbishop Rowan Williams warned over meeting with Mugabe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been warned by senior church leaders that
he risks handing a propaganda coup to President Robert Mugabe by seeking to
meet the Zimbabwean dictator on Sunday.

By Aislinn Laing, Harare and Jonathan Wynne-Jones

8:58PM BST 08 Oct 2011

Senior church leaders are concerned that the 87-year-old leader could use
photographs of himself admonishing Dr Rowan Williams to his political
advantage.

There are also growing fears that the archbishop's visit to the country
could worsen the plight of Anglicans, who have seen their priests arrested,
beaten and forced from their homes in a dispute with a breakaway faction
backed by Mr Mugabe.

The visit, which begins on Sunday, is regarded as one of the most critical
and diplomatically sensitive trips of Dr Williams' time in office. He is
expecting to meet Mr Mugabe on Monday and has expressed his determination to
challenge him over the persecution of the Church in Zimbabwe.

However, the Rt Rev Sebastian Bakare, the former Bishop of Manicaland, urged
Dr Williams to reconsider asking for time with the dictator.

"For me, that meeting is a waste of time because Mugabe is making his
position very clear and we as a church should not go and kneel before him,"
he said.

The British government has already distanced itself from Dr Williams' visit,
stressing he is making it in a pastoral capacity rather than a political
one.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "He is not a representative of the
government and his proposed meeting with Mugabe in no way reflects a change
of government policy."

The Rt Rev James Langstaff, the Bishop of Rochester which is twinned with
the diocese of Harare, said there was a danger that a summit between the two
leaders could backfire, but that this should not prevent it taking place.

"There is a risk that pictures of the archbishop shaking his hand will be
used as proganda, but sometimes we have to take risks as Christians," he
said.

"If there's an opportunity for him to make clear to Mugabe the impact the
persecution is having on the Church, that has to be worth taking."

If the president agrees to the meeting - which on Saturday was still
unconfirmed - the archbishop will be the first British dignitary to visit
him in Zimbabwe since Baroness Amos saw him in 2001.

A senior aide to Dr Williams said the archbishop is fully aware of the
extremely sensitive nature of his visit and is agonising over whether he
would shake the president's hand. "The stakes are very high. This is not a
game," he said.

"We have a strategy in place. The main message the archbishop wants to
convey is that the Church is in solidarity with the Anglicans in Zimbabwe
who are going through an extremely difficult time."

In recent months, worshippers have been violently ejected from churches and
mission schools by police using tear gas and batons.

Up to 40 per cent of the country's Anglican churches have been seized by
Nolbert Kunonga, the ex-communicated Bishop of Harare who has described Mr
Mugabe as a "prophet of God" and denounced Dr Williams for failing to stop
the appointment of homosexual bishops.

Bishop Bakare said he does not expect the meeting to be productive, but
stressed that the archbishop's visit was of great symbolic importance.

"For him to come to Zimbabwe at this juncture is a morale boost for people
who feel persecuted, sidelined and lonely," he said.

Dr Williams will arrive in the country today after a visit in Malawi, where
he yesterday delivered a thinly veiled attack on the actions of Mr Kunonga.

"This [harmony] will work only if our churches truly are places where all
people are honoured and where rivalry and violence are utterly rejected," he
said.

"When a church is enslaved afresh by greed, by regional or ethnic loyalties,
by personal ambitions, it needs the wind of the Spirit to purify it."

The Rt Rev Chad Gandiya, the Bishop of Harare, who was robbed and threatened
last month, revealed some Anglicans are afraid the archbishop's visit could
"escalate our suffering".

However, last night he said that a meeting with Mr Mugabe would given Dr
Williams an opportunity to appeal for an end to the persecution.

"We would welcome a meeting and I hope to attend as well. We want to ask for
the violence to stop," he said. "When you talk, there are always
possibilities."

Around 20,000 people are expected to attend a Eucharist service being led by
Dr Williams today at Harare's sports stadium, but there are concerns it
could be disrupted by supporters of Zanu PF, Mr Mugabe's party.

It is also understood that Mr Kunonga has been given permission to hold a
demonstration today, which local clergy fear could increase tensions.

The Rev Admire Chisango, a spokesman for the excommunicated bishop, raised
the possibility that Dr Williams' service could be stopped from going ahead.

"If the police see fit to bar it then they will be acting within the law,"
he said.

"The bishop legally and constitutionally of the Diocese of Harare is Bishop
Kunonga and Rowan Williams doesn't have any invitation according to the
order of the courts of Zimbabwe."


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Secret moves within SADC to get Mugabe to retire

http://www.timeslive.co.za/

JAMA MAJOLA | 11 September, 2009 12:32

Secret diplomatic manoeuvres are being made by key leaders in the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) region to persuade President Robert
Mugabe to retire before the next elections are held.

It is becoming increasingly clear that polls are likely to be held only in
2013, when Mugabe will no longer be capable of standing as a candidate.

SADC diplomats at the United Nations (UN) mission in Geneva, Switzerland,
told the Sunday Times this week regional leaders had been exchanging notes
on how to approach Mugabe to offer him an "irresistible package", which
includes the necessary security guarantees and benefits for him to retire.

Top Zanu-PF officials are pressing Mugabe to call for an extraordinary
congress to choose a new party leadership and candidate for the elections.

Zanu-PF is due to hold an annual conference in Bulawayo from December 6 to
10, but senior party leaders want a special congress instead. Mugabe is
expected to again be endorsed as party candidate at the December meeting,
hence demands similar to those of 2007 for a congress to elect a new leader.

SADC leaders are said to be thinking of getting countries Mugabe considers
friendly to be involved in the deal. One such country is Ghana, where Mugabe
lived for years and married his first wife, Sally. Ghana is said to have
come more into the picture after revelations that Mugabe had put out feelers
in the West African country to view the prospects of living there, if the
need arises.

One of Zimbabwe's governors is said to have been dispatched to Ghana
recently to check the prospects of securing a plot for Mugabe, should he
need it.

A senior SADC diplomat said: "There are very secret discussions going on now
in the SADC, involving South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia, to approach
Mugabe to offer him an irresistible deal to retire before the next
elections. The idea is to help Mugabe to retire with dignity.

"Although most SADC leaders are not necessarily close to Mugabe, the same
way at one time [former Mozambique president Joaquim] Chissano was, or
[former South African president Thabo] Mbeki or [ex-Namibian president Sam]
Nujoma, they agree Mugabe needs to be treated with respect and deserves an
honourable exit," he said.

Mugabe used to be close to Chissano, who was best man at his wedding. But it
is doubtful their relationship remains the same after Chissano was quoted in
Wiki-Leaks as saying Mugabe was behaving "like a mad dog". Mbeki and Nujoma
remain on friendly terms with Mugabe.

Diplomats said there was a strong feeling within the SADC that what former
SA president Nelson Mandela tried a few years ago, when he unsuccessfully
tried to persuade Mugabe to quit, should be revived. Mandela tried to secure
Mugabe's retirement before the 2008 elections, but to no avail.

"There is some consensus that Mugabe is part of the founding fathers -
although he has messed up his own record and legacy - and thus must be
treated with respect and helped to retire with dignity," another diplomat
said.

"Exploratory talks are under way involving officials in SA, Mozambique and
Namibia. The Ghanaians are seen as people who could help in this situation.
There is a desire in the SADC to help Mugabe achieve a soft landing."


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Heads of Commonwealth must try to help Zimbabwe in Perth

http://www.timeslive.co.za

ANDREW MUBAYIWA | 09 October, 2011 02:13

Commonwealth leaders meeting in Australia in three weeks must find ways to
re-engage with Zimbabwe before the country is readmitted into the club of
mostly former British colonies, the Commonwealth Advisery Bureau (Cab) has
said.

President Robert Mugabe withdrew Zimbabwe from the 54-member group in 2003
and has been a fierce critic of Britain, which he accuses of working to
topple him, as punishment for seizing land from white farmers, mostly of
British descent, for redistribution to blacks.

In a policy briefing for the October 28 to 30 Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting in Perth, the Cab said it was highly unlikely that
Zimbabwe could rejoin the Commonwealth any time soon.

But it said the Perth summit provides an opportunity for political action by
the Commonwealth to try to support change in Zimbabwe and help it to
"rediscover the hopes of independence".

It urged summit leaders to devise a plan to reduce sanctions against
President Robert Mugabe and his top lieutenants, to engage with civil
society in Zimbabwe, and also to offer to help fix the chaotic voters' roll.

The University of London-based Cab is an independent think tank and policy
advisery service for the Commonwealth.

"There are plenty of things the Commonwealth could do, if it so wished," the
Cab said. "It could, for instance, calibrate a reduction in international
sanctions against Zimbabwe to match progress towards democracy and human
rights, just as it did to match progress in the Codesa negotiations in South
Africa in the early 1990s."

Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the four heavyweights of the
Commonwealth, are all part of Western countries which have imposed visa and
financial sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle.

The Commonwealth should also consider organising an investment conference
for Zimbabwe similar to the one the association helped organise for Nigeria
after the end of the Sani Abacha dictatorship, the think tank said.

It also called on the Perth meeting to give the "green light and financial
aid to Commonwealth civil society bodies to assist in the multifarious ways
they can". The Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative could, for
example, be summoned to provide technical support to Zimbabwe for "the
necessary overhaul of policing, prisons and the judiciary," the Cab said.

The think tank urged Commonwealth leaders to be pro-active on Zimbabwe,
whose recovery it said was "likely to be slow and long-term, even after the
demise of Mugabe".

Zimbabwe is still struggling to shake off the effects of a decade of
recession and political strife that critics blame on Mugabe.


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Miner sues for $500m

http://www.timeslive.co.za/

SUNDAY TIMES CORRESPONDENT | 09 October, 2011 02:13

South Africa-based Amari Platinum, whose joint mining ventures in Zimbabwe
were cancelled by the Ministry of Mines in controversial circumstances last
year, is suing the government for a whopping $500-million for breach of
contract at the International Court in Paris.

The broke inclusive government is said to be panicking over the massive
lawsuit, but it has failed to come up with a concrete solution as the deal
was done by the Zanu-PF regime.

Amari, which sunk $35-million into platinum exploration in the country, went
into a joint venture with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)
to form Zimari before the licence was cancelled.

Zimari was in the process of developing a $200-million Serui platinum
project in Selous, about 70km from Harare, when the joint venture was
stopped.

Earlier this year the High Court in Harare dismissed an application in which
Amari Holdings challenged the cancellation, saying the matter was not
urgent, but it will still be heard in the courts.

But the SA-based company feels that it could have lost $500-million due to
the cancellation of the project, which was set to be fully operational by
2014. Amari was the largest foreign investor in the mining exploration
sector between 2008 and 2009.

Mining experts and Ministry of Mines officials say the Serui Platinum
Project, which was going to be a world-class venture, would have become one
of the biggest platinum producers in the region.

While Amari officials were not available for comment this week, a Ministry
of Mines official said they had already been informed that they faced a
tough battle ahead. "We have been told that Amari has appointed a formidable
legal team made up of top lawyers from leading South African law firms to
press its damages claim.

"We believe this will be the first South African company to seek restitution
under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA)
signed last year between Zimbabwe and SA to protect bilateral investment,"
said the official.

This is first time Zimbabwe has been sued in the International Court in
France for a commercial damages claim.

Several companies whose mining deals have also been cancelled by government
are watching the outcome of this case with keen interest.

Amari is said to have support and sympathy from the mining sector in
Zimbabwe, which is helping the South African company with information and
documents to support its claim.

There are also reports that Core Mining is also planning a lawsuit against
government after its licence and joint venture with the ZMDC was cancelled.


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Deportation threat to census

http://www.timeslive.co.za

ANDREW MUBAYIWA | 09 October, 2011 02:13

South Africa's decision to resume deporting undocumented immigrants from
Zimbabwe could undermine efforts to lure foreigners to come forward to be
counted in a national census beginning tomorrow, a top official has said.

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla said the move by the Department of Home
Affairs to deport illegal foreigners, whether they are Zimbabwean or of
whatever nationality, was a "legitimate exercise" meant to ensure
immigration laws were upheld.

But he said choosing the eve of census to resume expelling illegal
Zimbabwean immigrants - after a nearly three-year hiatus - was an
"unfortunate coincidence" likely to impact negatively on the enumeration
exercise.

"It may certainly impact on the exercise," said Lehohla, the head of
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the government data agency carrying out
the census.

"It makes life difficult for us. It will complicate our lives in terms of
people trusting what we are saying [that information given to enumerators
will not be used against those giving it]," he said.

Lehohla suggested, without making a firm commitment, that he might have to
approach his colleagues at Home Affairs to request that they postpone
deportations until conclusion of the census.

South Africa is home to millions of immigrants from across Africa, many of
them living in the country illegally. Failure to record the number of
immigrants correctly has potential to significantly distort the census.

To ensure an accurate count, Stats SA has gone out of its way to encourage
foreign nationals, including illegal immigrants, to come out to be counted,
promising them that information collected by its enumerators would not be
passed on to immigration officials.

But the decision by Home Affairs almost two weeks ago to restart deporting
illegal Zimbabweans could achieve exactly the opposite, by scaring away the
immigrants, who will feel safer staying underground than coming out into the
open, where there is greater risk of being caught and deported.

A refugee rights group, the People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty
(Passop), said the move to deport illegal Zimbabwean immigrants
simultaneously with the census had created an atmosphere of fear and
paranoia, not only among Zimbabweans, but within the immigrant community in
general.

"Fear and paranoia have begun among immigrants. It is obvious that, sadly,
many immigrants in South Africa will 'go underground' into hiding and be
unwilling to open doors to officials conducting the census," the group said
in a statement.

But Home Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa dismissed Passop's concerns,
saying the group does not speak on behalf of Zimbabweans. He said while the
South African government would ensure that the rights of foreigners were
protected it was, however, not going to allow illegal immigration.

Mamoepa said Zimbabweans who applied for the regularisation of their stay
through the Zimbabwean documentation project would not be deported even if
they had yet to receive permits from the department.

He said: "Nobody who has applied for the regularisation of their stay in
South Africa will be subject to deportation, as their stay is protected in
our rules and regulations."

Home Affairs two weeks ago said it had issued 142732 permits out of the
275762 applications received by the end of December last year, the deadline
that the department gave undocumented Zimbabweans to submit applications for
permits.


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Humanitarians unite to help those facing expulsion from SA

http://www.timeslive.co.za

ANDREW MUBAYIWA | 09 October, 2011 02:13

Humanitarian groups have begun implementing contingent plans to assist
Zimbabwean migrants, who may be forcibly expelled from South Africa after
the end of a two-year moratorium on deportations of illegal immigrants from
its neighbour.

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) said it
was placing its network, which includes lawyers and health practitioners, on
standby, to "respond quickly" to ensure that police and other state agents
uphold the human rights of immigrants arrested for not having permits to
stay in South Africa.

"We are actively encouraging our network members to be ready to respond
quickly to any emergency," said Alfani Yoyo, the communications and media
officer of CoRMSA.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said its Zimbabwean wing
was ready to help deportees. This includes protection, basic medical
treatment, temporary shelter, food and transport.

The body said its reception centre at Beitbridge had the capacity to assist
600 people a day or about 18000 a month.

"The IOM seeks to ensure that the rights of people [deportees] are
respected, and that special cases such as the elderly, the sick,
unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking, abuse and exploitation get
special care," said Nofipho Theyise, the media and communications officer at
IOM SA.

Pretoria has refrained from deporting illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe while
it was carrying out a special project to issue permits to thousands who had
flocked to their more prosperous neighbour.

Ronnie Mamoepa, the spokesman of the SA Department of Home Affairs, said
this week Zimbabweans who had applied for permits under the special project
would not be deported, even if their applications were not finalised.

"However, those who did not take advantage of the regularisation project,
including those who continue to undermine SA's immigration laws by entering
the country illegally, cannot claim protection," he said.


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Tough times ahead for Zimbabwe's farmers

http://www.businesslive.co.za/

09 October, 2011 13:38
Patrick Musira
BusinessLIVE

Commercial farmers in Zimbabwe this week issued a damning outlook of the
coming agricultural season, saying the future of the sector was gloomy, with
dismal statistics on productivity on farms and an uptick in violence a
challenge.

Zimbabwe's former white commercial farmers under the Commercial Farmers'
Union (CFU) umbrella body are, however, engaging in dialogue with powerful
political players "behind the scenes", as one strategy to hang onto the
remainder of the land still in their hands.

"Security on the farms is a challenge," president of the CFU Charles Taffs
told I-Net Bridge/BusinessLIVE in an exclusive interview this week,
describing how one of their members had been attacked and robbed at his farm
in Mashonaland West and was on life-support during the interview.

He also slammed authorities for moving slowly in dealing with the cases.

"It has been difficult to find any support for our member. We have written
to the police but got nothing - not even an acknowledgement. We got nothing,
nothing, nothing," he said.

However, the CFU believes the new initiatives going forward will help.

"We're trying to bring all stakeholders, civil society, industry and even
the diplomatic community together for them to understand and appreciate our
situation and our profile as we seek a solution to the land issue as well as
property rights and compensation," said Taffs.

"The political drive - local and regional - is ongoing," he said, adding:
"We can't ignore these power players."

Taffs noted that most of these "powerful players" had also gone into
farming -albeit with disastrous results so far.

"They have failed," he said bluntly, adding: "But now since they no longer
have cheap, easy access to printed money, they are now realising how tough
farming is. They are stressed financially."

Looking at the future, Taffs said the outlook was gloomy, with latest
figures showing that less than 10% of the productive land during the land
reform programme was being productively used.

Add to these problems is the lack of finance from banks.

"It's a vicious circle with the new farmers trying to survive in a paradigm
of won't pay, can't borrow," he said, explaining that the result is a huge
default rate.

A source in the banking sector and privy to the agro-business units, says
debt-servicing has seen defaulting by commercial farmers exponentially
shooting up to an unprecedented rate of about 80%.

"Prior to the fast-track land reform, the default rate was around 5%," he
revealed, adding that there was zero money for agriculture and "we are going
to witness plenty of casualties".

"Without a change in the way we are going about our agriculture, it is like
going against a strong headwind, and the future looks bleak," the farmer
come banker said.

And the CFU president concurred.

"If you want the farmer to produce, give the value of land into the farmer's
hands so he can borrow against that," Taffs insisted, elaborating: "The
farmer will definitely not only use that land productively but he will also
promote good land use sustainably."

Taffs said compounding the challenges ahead was the growing issue of
unannounced and prolonged power outages by the power and energy utility, the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

However, he believes there is a silver lining to every cloud and he urged
those still on the land to remain resolute, telling them: "Despite all the
seemingly unending challenges, on the positive side we know everyone wants a
solution and the solution is surely behind the turn."


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Water woes strike hit higher education

http://www.universityworldnews.com

Kudzai Mashininga
09 October 2011
Issue: 192

Zimbabwe's government has appointed a ministerial team headed by its deputy
prime minister to deal with a water crisis at two of its universities.
Meanwhile, lecturers at polytechnics and teacher colleges have gone on
strike for better pay on the eve of examinations.

There are fears of a health hazard at the University of Zimbabwe and the
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) due to water shortages,
three years after more than 4,000 Zimbabweans succumbed to cholera due to
lack of safe drinking water.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara (pictured), a former University of
Zimbabwe student leader who was in 1989 charged by President Robert Mugabe's
government for distributing 'subversive materials', is heading the
ministerial team that was announced by Higher and Tertiary Minister Stan
Mudenge.

Three years go, UNICEF sank 13 boreholes at the University of Zimbabwe to
avert a cholera crisis. But the action fell short of facilitating the
reopening of student halls of residence.

The problems at the university in the capital Harare came as the city
council urged residents to brace themselves for continued water shortages,
with water demand outstripping supply. The city said it was currently
processing only 650 megalitres of water a day against a daily demand of
1,200 megalitres.

In the country's second largest city Bulawayo, where NUST is based, there
are also water shortages. There have been plans to draw water from the
Zambezi River that divides Zimbabwe and Zambia. But those plans have been on
the cards since 1912 and have failed to see the light of day, mostly because
of lack of political will.

A study done in 2010 by Remigios Mangisvo, a lecturer in the geography and
environmental studies department at Zimbabwe Open University, attributed the
water crisis in urban centres to poor rainfall, insufficient trained water
resources personnel, population growth, ageing infrastructure, lack of funds
(including foreign currency) and corruption, among other factors.

Mangisvo wrote in his report that Zimbabwe's urbanisation rates, which are
among the highest in the world, were "exerting unbearable pressure on the
water". And Zimbabwe is not alone: water experts say that most cities
Southern Africa have not been able to develop basic utilities for water and
waste to keep pace with rapid growth.

According to a story on the Independent Online website, in August the
African Development Bank granted US$29.6 million to five Zimbabwean cities
for upgrading water and sewage systems. The grant was prompted by the 2008
cholera epidemic and the need to ensure water security into the future.

Meanwhile, the water crisis has compounded problems in Zimbabwe's higher
education sector, where lecturers at state-run polytechnics and teachers
colleges have gone on strike demanding better pay. There are 28 polytechnics
and teacher colleges in Zimbabwe and students are currently preparing for
examinations.

The lecturers are demanding US$1,200 a month, the minimum salary for
university lecturers, at a time when the lowest paid is currently earning
US$220.

David Dzatsunga, President of the College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe,
accused the government of favouritism, saying it had awarded lecturers at
universities a pay rise but omitted those at polytechnics and colleges, even
though they held similar qualifications.

A report in The Herald quoted Dzatsunga: "Traditionally, we have been
getting 70% of what they earn but the gap is too wide. The abnormality does
not mean we begrudge university lecturers at all, but we are even earning
less than university general hands and that's why we are saying government
should respect us."

Dzatsunga said they had notified government early in September of planned
industrial action but had received no response.


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Wikileaks: Moyo begs UK tycoon to oust Mugabe

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Sunday, 09 October 2011 18:39

HARARE - United States’ “useful messenger” and serial political
flip-flopper, Jonathan Moyo, courted and connived with British billionaire,
Sir Richard Branson to help fund part of his plot to have President Robert
Mugabe out of power, WikiLeaks has revealed.

The Daily News on Sunday understands that among other initiatives, the
Moyo/Branson plan involved dangling a US$10 million carrot to Mugabe to
sweeten him to step down, but the 87-year-old leader was reportedly not
interested.

Branson is one of the wealthiest businesspeople in the United Kingdom and
owns reputable airline Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Megastores, Virgin Records,
Virgin Mobile as well as a game lodge and several other businesses in South
Africa and the UK.

Branson is said to be interested in investing in Zimbabwe but wants to do it
in a post-Mugabe era and is desperate for Mugabe to go.

According to a cable prepared by former US Ambassador to South Africa, Eric
Bost on 11 July 2007 and leaked by whistle blower website, WikiLeaks, Moyo
discussed, during several meetings and in correspondence with Branson, ways
that could be exploited to oust Mugabe from power.

Moyo told Branson that it would be easy to use a group of African leaders
whom he was to fully brief on how to convince the octogenarian leader to
leave power.

In the cable, Bost listed former presidents Nelson Mandela (South Africa),
Sam Nujoma (Namibia), Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Jerry Rawlings (Ghana),
Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique), Daniel Arap Moi (Kenya) and Sir Ketumile
Masire (Botswana) as the leaders that had agreed to take Mugabe head on and
convince him to step down.

Before coming to Zimbabwe, the “elders” were to meet in Johannesburg, South
Africa in July 2007 where they were to discuss how best they could engage
with Mugabe.

“The ‘elders’ planned to meet secretly in Johannesburg on July 17-18 with
Branson to discuss their initiative,” wrote Bost in his cable.

“Former United Nations Secretary General (UNSYG) Kofi Annan also plans to
attend the meeting. President Carter will also be in Johannesburg and will
meet with the group of Elders, although it is not clear if he will be
involved in the Zimbabwe discussion. UK businessman Richard Branson is
bankrolling the African ‘elders’ initiative to convince Zimbabwean President
Mugabe to step down,” he added.

Bost also disclosed that Moyo was the brains behind the approach.

“Former Mugabe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is working with Branson on
the plan.

“Moyo reached out to Branson, who owns Virgin Atlantic airline as well as a
game lodge and chain of gyms in South Africa, in early June to suggest the
involvement of the former African leaders.

“Branson agreed to fund the initiative, including Moyo's travel and
technical assistance. Embassy contact Sydney Masamvu (strictly protect)
provided Bost with e-mails between Moyo and Branson, as well as a copy of
Moyo’s draft concept paper for the initiative,” Bost said.

The US diplomat added that Moyo supplied Branson with a document where he
clearly outlined why Zimbabwe had sunk into an economic and political abyss.

Most of the country’s problems, according to Moyo’s paper, were as a result
of Mugabe’s refusal to step down due to fears he could be prosecuted for
human and people’s rights violations, a flawed constitution, and many other
issues.

“Moyo’s draft concept ‘Review of Issues and Strategy’ paper outlines his
views on the reasons behind the Zimbabwean crisis: the disagreement between
the GOZ (Government of Zimbabwe) and UK over the ‘source or cause of the
crisis,’ a ‘flawed constitutional dispensation,’ and Mugabe’s unwillingness
to allow anyone to succeed him ‘due to his deep-seated immunity fears and
concerns.”

Moyo proposes to the elders a four-point strategy to deal with Mugabe,” Bost
added.

According to Moyo’s plan, the “elders” would travel to Zimbabwe to meet with
Mugabe where they would urge him (Mugabe) to support a new constitution,
which would include “watertight” provisions on the ageing leader’s immunity
from prosecution and allow for a truth and reconciliation process.

“The new constitution would allow Mugabe to appoint an executive Prime
Minister, who would form a “broad based government of all national talents
and interests;” Parliament would then select a new, non-executive President.

“This new government would last until November 2010, when a general election
would be held,” Moyo tacitly laid out in his plan which was tabled with the
US.

He also “advised” elders to “tell Mugabe that they are approaching him
because they “respect him” and want to safeguard his “proud legacy;” and
also to express concern about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

“…tell Mugabe the time has come to step aside ‘graciously and with dignity
to allow his country to move on. (The elders should)… stress that “it is
now certain Zimbabwe will slip into dangerous chaos” if Mugabe does not step
down; and suggest that they support Mugabe now, but “will not be able to do
so if the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates,” wrote the ambassador on what
Moyo had proposed.


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Zimbabwe Vigil’s 9th Anniversary: 8th October 2011

Description: Description: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6053/6224512312_03472ced31_m.jpg

The Vigil is glad to tell you that Vigil supporter Shamiso Kofi was not deported to Zimbabwe as planned on Tuesday night. After a harrowing experience, Shamiso was taken off the Kenyan Airways flight from Heathrow with her three escorts and returned to Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

Shamiso has given us full details of what happened but, for her sake, we are withholding further information at the moment while she takes legal advice. There are some serious issues involved. When we last spoke to her she was due to see a doctor.

Shamiso was grateful for the support she has received from the Vigil and others. Kenyan Airways eventually put the phone down on protests. We also contacted the Home Office and MPs.

We say again, as we observed our ninth anniversary protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, that we do not believe the time is opportune to return failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. Every day brings more reports of violence in Zimbabwe and the continuing refusal of the authorities to respect the rule of law. We suggest that the Home Office takes a look at what the Foreign Office is saying in their travel advisory about Zimbabwe . . .

We marked our anniversary with Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu, wearing our Mugabe mask, standing at the front desk with wife Grace (played by Josephine Zhuga). Mugabe was holding the following petition:

Petition to the Unfair World

The oppressed people of Zimbabwe demand an end to the illegal and unfair sanctions against me and my Zanu PF cronies.

We have redistributed farms to deserving nearest and dearest

We have transferred businesses to indigenous ministers

Our security forces make sure there are no London-type riots

We have cleared slums by pulling down houses

We have liberated our diamonds

We have nationalized the Anglican Church

NO TO ZIMVIGIL LIES – YES TO MUGABE’S REVOLUTIONARY TRUTH

Mugabe had managed to get signatures from Gaddafi (Libya), Gbagbo (Ivory Coast), Mubarak (Egypt), Ben Ali (Tunisia), Assad (Syria), Saleh (Yemen) and Mutharika (Malawi).

Mugabe also promenaded around the Vigil with the following placards:

Mugabe (estimated wealth $1 billion) supports the right of excommunicated Bishop Kunonga to seize Anglican churches

Mugabe says no to Western human rights: yes to murder, rape and torture

Mugabe scorns British aid: says starvation a product of neo-colonialism

Mugabe (16 farms) supports the right of West London nurse Irene Zhanda to seize a farm in Zimbabwe

On the question of Irene Zhanda (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news031011/beatrice031011.htm - Beatrice farmer & 84 workers threatened with eviction), the Vigil received the following email on Friday from Wayne Greaves, the owner of the farm involved: ‘Myself and 84 permanent farm workers and their families totaling 400 people, last week were given a 7 day eviction from our farm. One of the people that have evicted us is Irene Zhanda who is working as a nurse in a hospital somewhere around Wimbledon UK. John Worswick advised me to contact you to see if you could locate Irene Zhanda and maybe ask her why she has displaced so many people. We were all evicted yesterday by the Sheriff of Court. Please could you try and help us locate Irene and to put pressure on her.’ We have replied that we will try and track down nurse Zhanda and try and get her kicked out of the UK so that she can concentrate on farming! We appealed for help on this from people attending the Vigil. If anyone has information about this monstrous woman please contact us.

Other points

Thanks to people who have sent us messages of support on our ninth anniversary, particularly to Judith Todd who said: ‘Congratulations on your 9th anniversary and thank you all for your vision and selfless tenacity’.

A typically blunt assessment of the situation in Zimbabwe was given by Roy Bennett, one of the people who inspired the Vigil, in an address the other day to Duke University in the United States (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/bennett061011.htm).

We were joined by a team from Voice of America who came to film the ZimVigil Band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani). VOA also interviewed Vigil Co-ordinator Rose and Vigil management team member Fungayi and others.

Thanks to Vigil regular Louisa Musauerenge who brought some tasty snacks for Vigil supporters on our anniversary.

It was good to have Zimbabwe We Can office bearers with us today: Ephraim Tapa (President), Everisto Kamera (Secretary General), Isaiah Bizabani (Info and Publicity Secretary), Arnold Magwanyata (Organising Secretary), Givemore Chandawi (National Chair) and David Kadzutu (International Relations). They are planning two public meetings as part of their ‘Meet the People’ Campaign: Woking – 29th October and Wolverhampton – 5th November (more details as we receive them). They are also encouraging people to meet at the Vigil every Saturday.

A Dickensian-attired street theatre group passed by and were photographed with Batson and Fungayi (check photos).

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 98 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future demonstrations: 26th November, 31st December. Same time and venue.

Zimbabwe We Can Public Meeting. Saturday 29th October in Woking (more details as we receive them).

Zimbabwe We Can Public Meeting. Saturday 5th November in Wolverhampton (more details as we receive them).

ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 12th November (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road,Manchester M13 9UB. Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future meetings: 10th December. Same times / venue.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to ngwenyasr@yahoo.co.uk and send a cheque for 10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.


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JAG open letter forum - No. 767- Dated 7 October 2011



Email: jag@mango.zw; justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
jag@mango.zw with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

2. Letter from Marc Carrie-Wilson to Ben Freeth

3. Letter from Ben Freeth to Marc Carrie-Wilson

4. Letter from Pat Mangwende

=================================================
1. Cathy Buckle - The Whole Story

[already published - B]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Letter from Marc Carrie-Wilson to Ben Freeth

Dear Ben

I write in response to your letter to the JAG open letter forum in which you
expressed grave concern about the CFU and its policy direction.
Specifically, your letter made mention of a media article in which I was
allegedly quoted in an "exclusive interview" as making certain statements.

The article was written by Mr Ngoni Chanakira, a journalist who writes
primarily for the Zimbabwean. I met Mr Chanakira at a workshop convened by
the National Manpower Advisory Council (NAMACO) on the 21st of September,
2011. In informal discussions with him over a tea break, and before he
identified himself to me as a journalist, I mentioned the following points
which I made clear were my own opinions and not necessarily those of the
CFU:

There are serious constraints undermining the viability and competitiveness
of the agricultural sector at present. These are in my view threefold:

A lack of secure tenure and a proper efficient, fair, apolitical and
transparent land administration system. In this regard, the compensation of
disposed farmers is essential to restore investor confidence which will in
turn open up lines of affordable credit.

Related to this is the lack of collateral and an efficient land market
meaning that farmers cannot access working capital; let alone longer term
loans to develop their businesses. This must be comprehensively addressed if
agriculture is to sustainably recover.

There is a skills and technology gap in respect of those persons who
currently have access to agricultural land. There is need to comprehensively
address this. This will involve a change of national attitude in two
regards:

Farming amongst smallholders is associated with poverty, a lack of resources
and other negative aspects. Young people may wish to move away from
agriculture because of this perception. Farming is first and foremost a
business. Farmers need to learn business acumen, focus on the
commercialisation and discover the joy of farming. Farming can have rich
professional and financial rewards if the right approach is taken.

Farming is an activity that can be done by anyone. This is not an accurate
perception. It takes years of intensive training and apprenticeship to
foster a successful commercial farmer who must be familiar with a wide range
of skills over and above the knowledge of agriculture (e.g. vehicle
maintenance, logistics, electrics and the like). The profession is also
entrepreneurial in nature and knowledge of basic business, time management
and finance is essential.

Also, related to skills and technology, there is need for Government to
focus resources on more appropriate technologies (e.g. conservation
agriculture) and reduce fiscal expenditure on other less appropriate focus
areas such as agricultural mechanisation.

The CFU has a new President who amongst other things argues for the
restoration of economic fundamentals in order to achieve recovery in the
agricultural sector.

When I discovered that Mr Chanakira was a journalist I agreed to set up an
interview with the President. We exchanged contact details etc so that this
could be facilitated.

I was consequently as surprised as anyone to note the articles mentioning my
name, and attributing those statements to me. At no time did I give him
permission to interview me or publish any of my comments. Moreover, the
things I had said had been completely misquoted. It is not my place, nor am
I authorized to give comment in the media about matters pertaining to CFU.
The policy is that only the President can give press statements; and those
must be written or live interviews to avoid this very problem. Please bear
this in mind whenever media articles pertaining to the CFU are published.

For the avoidance of doubt, I reiterate that at no time did I say any of the
following controversial statements with which you took specific exception:

"The major problem facing the commercial farming sector in Zimbabwe today is
lack of finance and knowledge...,"

"Things have now changed," said Carrie-Wilson said. "The CFU has changed and
we are working with the government on land reform."

As an aside, we have in the past discussed ideas to which you alluded in
your letter; those being a commitment to the full realisation of human
rights and the fact that strong and respected property rights are the
foundation of freedom and economic prosperity. I had hoped you understood
that I, along with many other Zimbabweans, share these desires with you.
Indeed, the very reason I opted to work with the farm worker and farming
community in the first place is because I wanted to do something meaningful
in working for a better life for all Zimbabweans. I had hoped that the few
interactions we had in the past would have been sufficient to convince you
of that, and therefore negate the necessity for me to defend myself against
any hint of impropriety that may have emanated from this article.

I do however appreciate that your letter was aimed at CFU and not me. In
this regard, I urge you to engage the President to get a full and factual
report of what the CFU position is today.

My very best regards to you

Marc Carrie-Wilson

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Letter from Ben Freeth to Marc Carrie-Wilson

Dear Marc,

Thank you very much for the clarification. I knew you better than to
believe that you had said what you were quoted as saying - but when I saw no
correction, retraction or protest I was very concerned. Most of us as the
victims of the crimes against humanity that the land reform program
undoubtedly is, have become very wary of where others are coming from in
this world of fear and opaqueness. The CFU's former stance was very clear
regarding it working with Government on land reform. That was the reason
that organized agricultural bodies fragmented. CFU has never apologized for
that. What has happened previously can happen again and we all need to
assist in ensuring that is not the case - but CFU has certainly come a long
way since those days and I give credit to the leadership over the last few
years for that.

There is a very critical constraint that you left out regarding the
viability of agriculture and that is the whole sale looting of crops,
equipment and livestock that has been allowed by the authorities and has
happened to so many. This is a big factor in viability! There are others
too of course - like the indiscriminate burning of the veldt each year and
the poaching of wildlife and the spread of disease through the lack of
movement permits etc. They all relate to the controlled anarchy that
continues to characterize this thing they call land reform.

I do believe that it is important that you write to the Editor of the
Zimbabwean with your concerns over what is quite obviously from what you say
here, the unprofessional reporting of Ngoni Chanikira - and get it onto
Zimbabwe Situation too.

I much appreciate your letter.

Kind regards,

Ben

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Letter from Pat Mangwende

Well said Ben Freeth!

Ben raises the absurdity of current thinking. He highlights how blood-red
are the rose tinted glasses and how ridiculous the utterances of these
Makabusi visionaries have become.

The bottom line is that 30+ years of the zanufucation of thought has become
very real in this abnormal and brutalised society. The bucket of logic has
been turned on its head and has been replaced with reverse and destructive
logic.

Zanu-PF are laughing all the way to the bank on this one and when the money
runs out, they'll just come back and steal more.

So let's all keep blaming lack of finance and knowledge!! It takes the heat
off the real cause which seems yet to be discovered by some.

Regards
Pat

====================================================

All letters published on the Open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

====================================================


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The Tide of Time and Change

The struggles of humanity for justice, freedom and equal rights seem to have
gone on forever, but they must all be viewed against one constant – the tide
of time. Somehow God created time and this, like many other aspects of life
in the universe, is a reasonable constant. I say reasonable, because nothing
is perfectly constant. We are locked into a system that is tied to 24 hours
a day, seven days a week and months and years. We live three score and ten
and if we have gone beyond that, we are doing OK.

Somehow we never seem to learn to judge our lives against this scale. When
we are small it seems that growing up will take forever, when we are young
it seems that everything by comparison is so old, when we are old it seems
that time has flown and the days seem so short. When we are in politics and
have power, we think we are immune to the tides of time. We are not.

Mr. Mugabe is in a race against mortality and he is going to lose that race,
all of us will, he sooner rather than later because he is way past his “sell
by” date. Yet he is in a bizarre dance inside Zanu PF pretending that he is
able to carry on indefinitely and capable of leading his Party into the next
elections – whenever they are held. There are signs that he is in a hurry,
perhaps this is the only hint that he knows he is mortal, but these nuances
are silenced by his strident demands for his underlings to kowtow and
faithfully support his candidacy at the December Conference/Congress on the
Party in Bulawayo.

Clearly he still thinks he is capable of carrying out the responsibilities
of candidacy and the future possibility of leadership or he would not be
acting like this. He must also live under the illusion that he is
indispensable, both to Zanu and to Zimbabwe. Both are fallacies – he will
soon have to face the inescapable fact that both assumptions are false.

That being the case why do we not prepare for the inevitable? A mystery of
the human character and not uncommon in Dictators of one kind or another.
You find them in business and politics. Invariably their actions have
similar consequences and can be very destructive in organisations and
countries. We can all think of leaders who have overstayed their welcome.

But in Mugabe’s position there are added anomalies – he appears to have no
idea of just what destruction he and his regime have wrought on the people
of this country. In a speech to the Central Committee of Zanu PF last week
he said that their defeat at the polls in 2008 must not be repeated. But
what has he or Zanu PF done to prevent that or change people’s minds? Under
Zanu PF Zimbabwe has become a wasteland – derelict and abandoned farms and
factories, massive unemployment and hunger. Homelessness and a collapsed
infrastructure that can no longer meet the basic needs of the people for
water, food and energy. Living standards that have collapsed to the lowest
in the world along with the shortest life expectancy for any people on
earth.

The only records we break are negatives – the highest infant and maternal
mortality in Africa, the worst inflation in the past century, the fastest
collapse of GDP in history and all can be laid at the feet of Zanu PF under
the leadership of Robert Mugabe. And he still expects his Party to nominate
him as the Presidential Candidate and the people to vote for him and his
Party in the next election. This has to be a record of some sort for
self-delusion.

While he hangs onto power and privilege, the activities of Zanu PF continue
to ravage and decimate what is left of this once quite decent small country.
Denied the opportunity to rape the resources of the country through massive
corruption at NSSA, NOCZIM, the Reserve Bank and many other institutions of
the State, they have driven off the thousands of small miners who were
making a living on the Marange alluvial diamond fields and are now stealing
the proceeds – estimated at several billion dollars a year. They are
finishing off what is left of agriculture and are now trying to consume what
is left of industry, commerce and banking.

Not satisfied with controlling all the institutions that represent key
economic and political interests they are trying to subvert and control the
Church through surrogates like Kunonga, a shepherd surely described in the
Bible in Jeremiah 23:1-4. They are intensifying their control of the legal
system and subverting the rule of law, preaching peace in public they are
using violence and intimidation, murder and disappearances as tools of
oppression. Pretending to allow freedom of speech they are racking up the
propaganda campaign on TV and radio. Arrogant and worse, they are trying to
subvert the agreements they have signed up to in the GPA and in regional and
international forums. They despise fellow leaders in the region and anyone
who opposes them.

Their record in the Transitional Government has been totally negative – all
the portfolios they control show no progress, no signs of reform or change,
no grasp of the fact that history and the political and economic environment
is changing rapidly. Zanu is a typewriter in an electronic age. They are yet
to learn that you either change faster than the average or you get left
behind and become irrelevant and obsolete.

The question is why does otherwise sophisticated and experienced political
parties like Zanu PF fall into this sort of trap? The only constant in life
is change and unless we keep abreast of this, we fall behind and eventually
lose the race. I have often argued that Mr. Mugabe has been the biggest
asset of the MDC in the past decade just as Smith was essential to the
success of the nationalist’s struggles in the 60’s and 70’s. Reform and
change in Zanu Pf is the last thing we want and they seem intent on
delivering on both fronts. But the down side of this destructive process is
that the country continues to suffer and stagnate while the Parties fight
each other and jostle for power.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo 8th October 2011


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Let’s report bribery in Zim

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/7070

October 9th, 2011

[I have not written this blog to bleat about the seemingly endless litany of bribery stories, speak to any Zimbabwean and they have hundreds, but what I love is a new website I recently discovered on the net. For all you Zimbo’s reading this out there in cyberspace, let’s report our stories on this great site. Go to bribespot.com and have some worthwhile fun, it’s anonymous, it’s easy and it’s free!]

Bribery and corruption have become the norm in the Zimbabwean way of life, with the disease spreading its tentacles to every facet of our society, from match fixing to having to bribe medical staff for access to ARV’s, the list is endless. There is no need to detail the degree of corruption in political circles, that has been done over and over again. Sadly, it seems the MDC are as vulnerable to the temptation of using their GNU inspired influence as the old guard, but that is a different blog altogether.

I recently read about the “Anti Corruption Commission” being a dangerous job to find yourself in and this comes as no surprise. I would hate to have the job, it would be an almost impossible task to end corruption in Zimbabwe. Then I laughed when I read an interview in the government mouthpiece Zimpapers, Augustine Moyo interviewed the Zimbabwe Republic Police National Traffic spokesman Inspector Tigere Chigome (TC).

The interview opens with the information that the Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Development Minister Mr Nicholas Goche has gone on record to say that, “there is no need for new rules” to deal with the issue of loss of life on our roads, instead he bemoaned the lack of enforcement of the Road Traffic Act (RTA) as the reason for the chaos on the country’s roads. So Goche blames the cops, and Chigome then blames the public, the legal system, motorists and above all ….. sanctions!!!! So it’s all the fault of the west that we have the worst reported bribery on the roads in SADC, oh please, give me a break!

Bribery is so common that this writer encounters it on almost a weekly basis. Last week it was the normal pay your bribe to the speed cops. The fine was $10, I was 7km per hour over the limit, and I immediately said to the cop that he could give me $15 change for my $20 note. This incident was just so normal that our conversation didn’t lose a beat, and with my grubby change in hand off I went. The fact is I just cannot be bothered to spend the half an hour it takes for the cops to write out a receipt. A sad admission I know, but quite honestly I would rather the friendly cop got my money than the officers at the top as apparently the revenue from these fines now stays within the police coffers. 21 police officers were recently arrested for corruption, I wonder how many of them have bribed their way out of the offence!

What scares me more is the well known fact that it is impossible to get a driving license without a bribe being paid to VID inspectors. The rate is $100 and that is a guarantee to successful and “legal” entry on to our potholed roads. Ok, the person taking the test has to successfully complete the reverse, three point turn and hill start segments of the test in the VID grounds, but then as along as the inspector is handed his $100, the drive around town to test for driving competency is replaced with a quick round the block and off goes the happy holder of a license.


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Whoever takes over from Mugabe could be even worse

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 09/10/11

The reported secret moves within SADC to get Mugabe a so-called soft landing
(Sunday Times, 09/10/11) do not inspire confidence at all because they are
an admission of failure by the regional body to rein in the recalcitrant
octogenarian on overdue reforms.

Given the ongoing legalised looting, Zanu-pf arrogance and impunity, it is
safe to say that whoever takes over from Mugabe as party leader no matter
how young could be even worse than the geriatric tyrant.

After meeting Mugabe for the greater part of his 31 years as the ruler of
Zimbabwe, during which he convinced them to dissolve the SADC Tribunal, it
is rather odd that SADC leaders have been reportedly exchanging notes on how
to approach Mugabe to persuade him to retire.

SADC needs to be reminded that Zimbabweans are not amused at all by their
foot-dragging on the GPA and now an “irresistible package” including
security guarantees and benefits for Mugabe to retire. With all that Mugabe
has, what other benefits and security guarantees does he want?

According to a leaked US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks website,
Robert Mugabe was worth more than one billion US dollars in 2001, with
assets ranging from residential properties and farms to funds stashed away
in offshore bank accounts.

With those billions appreciating every year since 2001, Financial experts
say he could live on interest only for the rest of his life. Mugabe must be
worth in excess of US$10 billion by now considering he does not use his
money and assets daily like we all do.

What more does Mugabe need with at least six residences in Zimbabwe,
including the 25 bedroom Chinese-style mansion in Helensvale near Borrowdale
which he built with foreign funding and materials while still in office,
something that would be deemed as corruption in other countries?

On top of that, the Helensvale mansion which was estimated to have cost more
than US$25 million to build was in 2004 declared a ‘shoot –and-kill’ area.

Furthermore, according to the Sunday Times (31/07/11) Mugabe and his family
own thirty-nine farms. Media reports claim “one of Zimbabwe’s governors is
said to have been dispatched to Ghana recently to check the prospects of
securing a plot for Mugabe, should he need it.” Of course, he doesn’t need
it.

From whom is SADC getting the security guarantees before even one line of
the new constitution has been written, let alone free and fair elections are
held to decide once and for all the people’s choice as opposed to the
current Zanu-pf dominated coalition?

Is SADC about to repeat what it did in 2008 by ‘cajoling’ the opposition
into signing the most regrettable agreement in Zimbabwe’s living memory, the
so-called Global Political Agreement?

SADC should not change Zanu-pf leaders before a new water-tight constitution
which restricts any president of Zimbabwe to a maximum of two five year
terms and strips him/her of those menacing presidential powers of pardoning
murderers, arsonists and looters after elections.

Should SADC get its way, there is a very big risk of another 31 years again
under a new Young Turk or the so-called Generation 40 if Mugabe hands power
while still in office.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
zimanalysis2009@gmail.com


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Bill Watch 42/2011 of 7th October 2011 [Does the Human Rights Commission Bill meet the Paris Principles?]

BILL WATCH 42/2011

[7th October 2011]

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill and the Paris Principles

What are the Paris Principles?

The Paris Principles were drawn up at an international workshop in Paris in 1991. They lay down how national human rights institutions should be composed and how they should function in order to protect and promote human rights. The principles were adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 1992 and by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 [General Assembly resolution 48/134]. [Text of the Paris Principles available from veritas@mango.zw].

The Paris Principles are used to determine whether a national human rights institution should be accredited so as to have access to the UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies. The accreditation process is done by a subcommittee of the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, so accreditation is essentially based on peer-review.

Why is Compliance with the Paris Principles Important?

Only fully compliant national human rights institutions are recognised by the UN Human Rights Council and permitted to make statements or submit documents to the Council. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has also made conformity with the Paris Principles one of the conditions that must be met by a national human rights institution seeking special observer status with the African Commission. This status entitles a national human rights institutions to be invited to sessions of the African Commission, to be represented in its public sessions, to participate in its deliberations on issues which are of interest to it and to submit proposals to the Commission.

Will the ZHRC Bill Ensure Compliance with the Paris Principles?

The Co-ordinating Committee has drawn up a set of “general observations” to guide it in deciding whether or not a national human rights institution conforms to the Paris Principles. If it complies fully it gets an “A” classification; if it is not fully compliant it gets a “B” and if it does not comply it gets a “C”. To decide whether the Bill will make the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC] compliant with the Paris Principles, therefore, we shall go through these general observations, as well as the Paris Principles themselves, and see how far the Bill meets the Co-ordinating Committee’s requirements. [Note: this assessment is of the Bill plus amendments proposed by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs– see Bill Watch 41/2011.]

Establishment

Co-ordinating Committee’s Requirement 1.1: a national human rights institution must be established in a constitutional or a legal text.

Will the ZHRC meet this requirement? YES. It is established by the Constitution.

Composition, guarantees of independence and pluralism

The Paris Principles lay down three essential requirements in this regard:

The members of a national human rights institution must be appointed and elected by a process which “affords all necessary guarantees” to ensure the representation of the social forces of civilian society involved in the protection and promotion of human rights.

Does the Bill ensure this? NO. There is nothing in the Constitution or the Bill which ensures adequate representation of human-rights activists among the nominees submitted to the President by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. There is nothing to say that the procedure by which nominees are selected must be transparent or consultative, which is a requirement emphasised by the Co-ordinating Committee.

A national human rights institution must have adequate infrastructure [staff and premises] for the smooth conduct of its activities, and adequate funding to make it independent of the Government.

Does the Bill ensure this? NOT REALLY. The Commission will have the legal power to appoint its own staff and acquire its own premises, but whether it can do so will depend on funding from the Government — which will depend on the goodwill of the Minister of Finance when he prepares the annual budget. There is nothing in the Constitution or the Bill requiring the Government to provide the Commission with adequate funding, nor will the Commission have a separate budget from its parent Ministry.

Members of a national human rights institution must have specific terms of office, which may be renewable.

Does the Bill ensure this? YES. Under paragraph 3 of the First Schedule to the Bill, members will be appointed for five-year terms, renewable for one further term. The circumstances in which they must vacate their offices are spelled out clearly in the Schedule.

Mandate

The Paris Principles list the essential responsibilities of a national human rights institution, which may be grouped under the following headings:

It must be given as broad a mandate as possible, and be able to monitor any situation of violation of human rights which it decides to take up.

Will be ZHRC be given this? NO. The only human rights violations which the Commission is empowered to investigate are those which infringe the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution or an international convention which has been “domesticated” as part of Zimbabwean law. Most of the human-rights conventions and treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party have not been domesticated.

It must be able to advise the Government, Parliament and any other competent body on specific violations, on issues related to legislation and on general compliance with and implementation of international human rights instruments.

Does the Bill lay down this provision? PARTIALLY. The Commission has the function of recommending to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights [section 100R(5) of the Constitution]; and under clause 14 of the Bill, after conducting an investigation into a human rights violation, it will be required to report its findings and recommendations to the authority responsible for the violation and to the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs. If no action is taken on its recommendations, it will be able to send a further report to the Minister for presentation to the President and Parliament – though the Minister is not obliged to present the report to those authorities. But there is no provision in the Bill for the Commission to advise the Government or Parliament on whether legislation or Bills comply with international human-rights standards.

It must co-operate with regional and international organisations [the Co-ordinating Committee highlights the importance of this].

Does the Bill make provision for this? YES, BUT. In paragraph 17 of the Second Schedule to the Bill the Commission is given power “to engage in any activity … in conjunction with … international agencies to promote better understanding of human rights violation issues”. But the Bill certainly doesn’t highlight this power.

A national human rights institution must also co-operate with NGOs and other national organisations.

Does the Bill make provision for this? PARTIALLY. Paragraph 17 of the Second Schedule to the Bill gives the Commission power to engage in activities in conjunction with other organisations “to promote better understanding of human rights violation issues”. But, “better understanding” limits the area of co-operation.

A national human rights institution must have a mandate to educate and inform in the field of human rights.

Does the ZHRC have such a mandate? YES, BUT. The Commission’s main function, set out in section 100R(5) of the Constitution, is to promote awareness of human rights at all levels of society. But, the Bill does not indicate how the Commission is to exercise this function.

A national human rights institution must contribute to reports which the State is required to submit to international bodies in terms of international treaties, but it must preserve its independence.

Does the Bill meet this? NO. Section 100R(5)(f) of the Constitution gives the Commission the function of assisting the Minister to prepare such reports. This is not what the Paris Principles envisage. The Commission must not become a party to the Government’s report: it must provide independent comment on it and, where necessary, correct any inaccuracies or omissions in it.

Some national human rights institutions are given quasi-judicial powers.

Does the Bill do this? NO. The Commission will have no such powers.

Methods of operation

The Paris Principles lay down several requirements for the operation of national human rights institutions. In assessing the Bill against these requirements, it must be remembered that they lay down rules as to how a national human rights institution should operate in practice. The Commission has not in fact begun operating, despite having been established more than two years ago, so in considering these requirements we shall merely indicate whether or not the Bill will permit the Commission to comply with them.

A national human rights institution must freely consider all questions falling within its mandate, no matter how they are brought to its attention.

Does the Bill guarantee this? NO. The Bill limits the Commission’s freedom of action within its limited mandate by imposing evidential and procedural restrictions.

A national human rights institution must hear any person and obtain any documents and information necessary for assessing questions falling within its mandate.

Does the Bill ensure this? NO. There is nothing in the Bill allowing the Commission to obtain documents and information; in section 100R(6) of the Constitution its power to do so is limited to obtaining information annually to help the Minister prepare reports to international bodies.

A national human rights institution must address public opinion directly or through the press, particularly to publicise its opinions and recommendations.

Does the Bill say this? NO, BUT. There is nothing in the Bill to ensure this but also nothing prevent the Commission from doing this.

A national human rights institution must meet regularly in the presence of all its members at duly convened meetings.

Does the Bill cover this? YES. Under paragraph 6 of the First Schedule, the Commission will have to meet at least once every three months, and all Commissioners will have to be given at least a week’s notice of its meetings.

A national human rights institution must establish working groups from among its members and set up local or regional branches.

Does the Bill say this? YES. Paragraph 7 of the First Schedule to the Bill provides for the Commission to set up working groups, and clause 22 enjoins it to establish provincial and district offices.

A national human rights institution must be in consultation with other bodies responsible for protecting human rights.

Does the Bill ensure this? PARTIALLY. The Commission will be able to co-operate with other bodies, for example through paragraph 17 of the Second Schedule, but the Bill does not require or encourage it to do so. Under section 100R(7) of the Constitution, the Commission can refer cases to the Public Protector or take over cases from him or her.

A national human rights institution must develop relations with NGOs that promote and protect human rights.

Will be Bill ensure the ZHRC does this? NO. NGOs are not mentioned in the Bill.

How will ZHRC be Rated by the International Co-ordinating Committee?

It is clear that, if the Bill is passed in its present form, the Commission will fall short of international standards and cannot hope to be awarded an “A” classification. It would rate at the very most a “B” [a “C” is almost the equivalent of zero and it just escapes this]. The Commission, therefore, will not be fully recognised by the United Nations Human Rights Council or the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This is a great pity, as Zimbabwe needs to take its rightful place in the community of nations. While it is understood the Bill is a result of party political compromises, it is to be hoped that Parliament will put party differences aside and amend the Bill to strengthen the Commission and justify an “A” classification, enabling it to participate fully in important activities of the UN and AU. The existence of an effective, internationally accepted Commission would also strengthen Zimbabwe’s case for the lifting of sanctions.

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

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