JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's
biggest farmers union Agri SA Monday urged the country's government to
ensure a planned investment protection agreement with Zimbabwe includes a
clause to protect land and property rights.
South Africa and Zimbabwe
have for several years been in talks over a bilateral investment promotion
and protection agreement that would pave way for South African investment in
Zimbabwe and, among other things, protect the properties of South African
nationals in the country's northern neighbour.
conclusion of the agreement, which was expected to have been signed earlier
this year, has apparently been stalled by Zimbabwe's demand to have land
omitted from the pact.
"Agri SA wishes to urge the South African
government not to succumb to Zimbabwe's demands to exclude land from the
proposed bilateral investment agreement between the two governments," the
union said in a statement.
It said South Africa's response to the demands
"will also send an important signal to local land owners regarding the South
African government's willingness to respect and protect their interests (in
South Africa) and in (a) regional context."
South Africa's government
plans to resubmit a draft law to parliament that would make it easier for
the state to forcibly seize land if negotiations to buy it from white
But farmers' groupings say the law would be
unconstitutional and have called for more protection for their
Thousands of white farmers have fled
Zimbabwe since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe's government started often
violent seizures of land from whites to give to blacks under a land reform
Critics say the land reforms were responsible for plunging farm
output and accelerated the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy, whose recovery is
the biggest challenge for a new inclusive government formed by Mugabe and
rival Morgan Tsvangirai.
Agri SA said several South African farmers
and business people had had their farming assets in Zimbabwe confiscated by
the government without compensation.
"This should first be rectified
before investment can be considered," Agri SA said.
formation of the unity government, Zimbabwe has been on a drive to attract
foreign investment to key sectors in a bid to boost its economy.
Agri SA has been leading a push for South African farmers to invest and farm
in a number of other countries across Africa, including the Republic of
Congo, Libya and Zambia, the union has urged its members to stay away from
countries where South Africa has no investment protection
Agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has also said
the government will not assist any South African farmers going into
countries where they have no protection.
Magodonga Mahlangu and her organisation, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA),
have been named as the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Human Rights Award
Mahlangu, as a recipient of the award, has been described as a
bold leader and a pioneer of the women's rights movement, who has led WOZA's
ongoing campaign of direct but peaceful action. Tens of thousands of women
have joined WOZA in standing up for human rights and speaking out about
Zimbabwe's worsening economic, social and political conditions. Since its
founding in December 2002, WOZA has staged more than 100 non-violent marches
in support of democratic reform and women's empowerment. As a result, WOZA
has often been the target of severe police brutality, with Mahlangu and
co-leader Jenni Williams as well as thousands of other WOZA supporters,
being arrested many times for their participation.
"I feel both great
excitement for the recognition of my work with WOZA and sadness because
although my work has gained recognition internationally, in my own country I
have been labeled an enemy of the state," said Mahlangu in reaction to the
award. "Now I know I am not alone, the world is watching and one day
[Zimbabwe] shall be a normal society - with the determination of the members
of WOZA, anything is possible."
Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy will present
Mahlangu and WOZA with the 2009 Award in a ceremony in mid-November.
Mahlangu joins 39 RFK human rights laureates in 23 countries as the
recipient of the 26th annual prize.
"In a country torn by violence and
economic ruin, Magodonga Mahlangu and WOZA provide a desperately needed
voice for the people of Zimbabwe and we were proud to select her and her
organization for this prestigious award," said Gay McDougall, RFK Human
Rights Award Judge and U.N. Independent Expert on Minority
For 41 years, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice &
Human Rights has worked for a more peaceful and just world. The Robert F.
Kennedy Human Rights Award was established in 1984 to honor courageous and
innovative human rights defenders throughout the world who stand up against
injustice, often at great personal risk. The award includes a cash prize of
$30,000 and on-going legal, advocacy and technical support through a
partnership with the RFK Center. Winners are selected by an independent
panel of human rights experts. The 2009 panel included McDougall; Makau
Mutua, Dean of University at Buffalo Law School; Sushma Raman, President of
Southern California Grantmakers; and Dr. William F. Schultz, Senior Fellow
at Center for American Progress.
The Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange,
Manicaland province are still off-limits for journalists working in the
This was demonstrated by Friday's incident where freelance
journalist Annie Mtalume was arrested on allegations of entering the '
protected' area without a pass. She was detained overnight in Chiadzwa and
was only transferred to Mutare on Saturday.
Nyasha Nyakunu, senior
programmes officer for MISA Zimbabwe, told us Mtalume was a freelance
journalist accredited by the now defunct statutory Media and Information
Commission (MIC). Mtalume appeared in a Mutare court on Monday and was
charged with violating the Protected Areas Act. She was granted $30 bail and
remanded out of custody to 26th October by a Mutare magistrate.
speculation Mtalume was in the area investigating ongoing human rights
abuses by the country's armed forces that have ring-fenced the fields.
Residents in Mutare are reporting ongoing cases of fortune seekers
recounting harrowing experiences in their attempts to gain access to the
diamond fields in search of instant riches. The diamond fields first came to
the world's attention after government ordered a clampdown on illegal miners
and mass violence and killings took place under the army.
reports say there are still cases of gross human right abuses by the
security forces that are unleashing vicious dogs on suspected illegal
dealers and outright shooting of dealers found roaming the area.
Chiadzwa diamond fields, also known as the Marange fields, were seized from
African Consolidated Resources Plc and handed to the state-owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation three years ago.
The smuggling of diamonds
has continued unabated, long after the government introduced tight security
measures around the diamond fields. Not only have the law enforcement agents
failed to stamp their authority, there is growing evidence that in many
instances they have joined the swelling ranks of the illegal panners and
The government has withdrawn legal assistance
to 'torture masters' who last year were responsible for the abduction and
torture of prominent human rights activist Jestina Mukoko and several other
The deputy Attorney-General, Prince Machaya, told the
Associated Press news agency on Sunday that the state will not represent
officials who are being sued by Mukoko and eight others.
activists are seeking US$500 million, for wrongful arrest, torture
and abduction, after their terror charges were dropped by the Supreme Court
two weeks ago. Mukoko is seeking $250 million of that settlement with the
rest split between the other activists.
Former intelligence Minister
Didymus Mutasa, co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, national Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and several senior police and intelligence
officers, are those being sued for the abduction, wrongful arrest and
torture of Mukoko and the MDC activists.
Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku ruled recently that Mukoko and her co-accused could not be tried
now, or in the future, because their constitutional rights had been
Mukoko was abducted from her Norton home in the early hours of
the morning last year in December and was held incommunicado for three
months. When she finally appeared in court she was charged with helping to
recruit people for purposes of military training in Botswana.
accusations that Mukoko and the others had been plotting to overthrow Robert
Mugabe had been widely denounced as trumped-up and politically motivated.
Human rights lawyer Nyaradzo Muza told us that by withdrawing legal
assistance to the defendants, the inclusive government was actually
distancing itself from acts of torture.
'If the state went ahead and
represented them, they will be endorsing torture. Don't forget the Supreme
Court has already ruled that their abduction and torture was illegal and
that their constitutional rights were violated,' Muza said.
tacit admission by the AG's office that Mukoko and others were wronged by
these officials outside official government guidelines. What the state is
doing is separating what these people did in their personnel capacity from
official duties,' the human rights lawyer added.
Muza said it was quite a
momentous decision in terms of human rights progress in the country. The
state may be now trying to distance itself from human rights abuses and
torture, but it is a commonly accepted fact that the violence spiral that
plunged Zimbabwe into chaos was orchestrated and organised at the highest
levels of government.
The trial of Roy Bennett, the MDC Deputy
Agriculture Minister-designate, is supposed to start in Mutare on Tuesday
but his lawyer, Trust Maanda, has said it may not kick off because the
defence team has still not been furnished with the indictment papers. The
lawyer said he will apply for his client's removal from remand because since
July the prosecutor has failed to give him the indictment papers which are
supposed to outline the State's charge sheet and the witness statements.
This is information that is supposed to help the defence lawyers know what
accusations their client is facing and the State's evidence against him, in
order to prepare for his defence.
Bennett was arrested in February,
soon after his return from South Africa where he had been living in exile,
and spent a month in remand prison. Ever since his arrest Bennett's lawyer
have complained that their client is being victimised and that the State is
failing to come up with a case against him. Since his arrest the State has
slapped him with various charges ranging from flouting immigrations laws to
treason, and then reverted back to terrorism charges after the first two
accusations failed to stick. Maanda said the State had for months failed to
come up with a trial date because they are not ready and have failed to come
up with any incriminating evidence against the former Chimanimani
Maanda said during Bennett's last remand hearing in July the
prosecutor settled for the 13th October for the trial. "But because we knew
the State would not be ready we asked the court to put it on record - that
if that day comes and the state would not be ready, then Mr Roy Bennett
should be removed from remand."
Maanda went on to say: "We think the
State is not ready because it does not have anything on its hands in terms
of evidence, specially as they say this matter was being investigated since
2006. So for them not to be able to come up with a trial date immediately,
to us it shows that they don't have any evidence at all and they are trying
to postpone the Ides of March."
The defence lawyer said no proper reasons
have been given by the State for the delay, even though he has demanded the
indictment papers consistently from 1st July, both in writing and by phone
with the Attorney General's office.
Meanwhile, Robert Mugabe
continues to refuse to swear the MDC Deputy Agriculture Minister-designate
into office, insisting that it's because he is facing serious charges of
possessing weapons for the purposes of insurgency and banditry. Bennett, who
served a year in jail for pushing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in
parliament, denies the allegations.
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's former opposition Movement for
Democratic Change said Monday that it had unearthed a plan by state
prosecutors to revoke the bail conditions of its treasurer general who is
facing banditry charges.
The trial of MDC national treasurer and
deputy Agriculture Minister-designate Roy Bennett on charges of insurgency
is due to start in the regional court in the eastern border town of Mutare
"However, it has come to the attention of the MDC that the
Attorney General's office is intending to serve indictment papers on Senator
Bennett at the start of his trial requesting that the matter be moved to the
High Court and that Senator Bennett be remanded in custody," an MDC
Bennett was arrested on 13 February 2009 for offences
allegedly committed in 2005.
He was initially granted bail in June by
the High Court but the state appealed against the bail order with the effect
that the case was referred to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court
upheld the High Court decision and he was released on bail.
the state set down October 13 as Bennett's trial date in the regional court
The MDC spokesman said the state had since June failed to
provide Bennett with evidence against him despite numerous demands by his
lawyers for them to do so.
The serving of indictment papers to
Bennett on a day his trial is scheduled to commence would therefore
immediately result in him being remanded in custody, the MDC said.
would also mean that his trial in the High Court would only commence
sometime next year as the High Court calendar is already full until February
"The intended serving of indictment papers on Senator Bennett
is therefore a malicious ploy by the Attorney General's office to keep his
criminal charges pending thereby denying him opportunity to be sworn in as
the deputy Agriculture Minister," the MDC spokesman said.
Robert Mugabe has said Bennett would only be sworn in after he is cleared of
the charges he is facing.
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti vowed on Monday that he
would quit if he is asked to return the local dollar which was abandoned as
the country fought a losing battle with hyperinflation.
is to ask me bring back the Zimbabwe dollar, then there will be a vacancy on
the sixth floor of the government complex and I will go back to my law
firm," Biti was quoted as saying by the state-owned Herald
"The Zimbabwe dollar has been an instrument of arbitrage and
rent-seeking behaviour. It had become an instrument of theft so we can't
He said debate on the possible return of the Zimbabwe dollar
should only start in November next year.
Biti, a lawyer, was
appointed finance minister in February in a power-sharing government of the
country's three major political parties - long-ruling President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) and a breakaway faction of the MDC led by Arthur
The compromise government sought to ease political tensions in
the wake of a contentious presidential run-off election and to mend the
country's economy which was on its knees after taking years of
When it took office the new government abandoned the Zimbabwe
dollar and adopted multiple foreign currencies as a measure to curb
galloping inflation which forced thrice-daily price increases in some cases,
rendering the local currency unusable.
The move saw shops which
resembled empty sheds restocking although the foreign currency was hard to
come by for the average citizen.
Mugabe hinted that he would ask Biti to
bring back the Zimbabwe dollar, saying the majority of the people had no
access to foreign currency.
Biti said he was reluctant to join the
"I took this job because Mr Tsvangirai asked me to
do it," the Herald quoted him as saying.
"As you know, I didn't want
to be part of this government but after the [MDC] party's national council
resolved that we should go in, I had no option." -- AFP
unity government has gone into damage control after the freezing of Nestle's
accounts threatened to spook investors away from the country.
The country's investment minister says the freeze, which was ordered by the
central bank, has now been reversed. Nestle had its Zimbabwean accounts at
five banks frozen and faced an audit after the reserve bank said it had
detected irregular transactions.
The move was widely viewed as a
backlash for Nestle's decision to stop sourcing milk from the dairy farm
belonging to first lady Grace Mugabe. Investments Minister Elton Mangoma
says the accounts have now been unfrozen.
across Zimbabwe struck for three weeks last month over demands for higher
pay. The country's unity government is coming under increasing pressure as
it struggles to raise funds for education and other basic services in the
face of depleted revenues caused by the country's economic
School children from Ruvimbo school read outside
the school premises in Harare (File Photo - 05 Feb 2009) The teachers
strike closed schools and caused parents to worry that their children might
lose a second school year to the country's economic crisis.
civil servants in Zimbabwe, teachers have been earning about $100 a month.
The power-sharing government offered this salary to all civil servants after
its inauguration in March.
The new government took over following years
of hyper-inflation that had eroded salaries, devastated economic production
and caused widespread unemployment and food shortages.
It said the
salary was a temporary measure until it could revitalize the economy and
restore government revenues.
The president of one of two main teachers
unions, Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union, says teachers
want $500. But they decided to end the strike because it was hurting the
"The best way for teachers is go back to the schools and teach
and allow their leadership to engage government," he said. "Then more
positive results are going to come. We are killing ourselves because the
very children who are not learning are our own children."
education system has been in decline for a decade, due to falling government
revenues and an exodus of teachers.
Analysts blame the crisis on the
policies of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, but the party blames
the problems on sanctions imposed by Western countries.
Minister David Coltart is a member of the former-opposition Movement for
Democratic Change that joined the government as part of the power-sharing
agreement between Mr. Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Coltart has been trying to rebuild the school system on a
"The problem that we face, however, as a government,
is that our economy is in state of near-collapse," he said. "Our treasury
coffers are almost bare."
The United Nations recently donated $70-million
for materials for Zimbabwe's schools. But donor countries hesitate to
subsidize salaries for fear the funds will be diverted.
he can only hope additional funding begins to flow in the next six
"I cannot today make any promises and all that I can do is to
call on the sense of patriotism of our teachers and the trade union movement
to recognize that we are acting in good faith, but there is a limit to what
we can do," added Coltart.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
President Lovemore Matombo says the group's 350,000 workers in 32 trade
unions are struggling to survive. But he says economic reforms eight months
ago ended hyper-inflation and restored some economic production.
workers now know that the economy has started to stabilize and that there
should be an increase of salaries," said Matombo. "Should they fail to do
that [increase salaries], there is very much this feeling among workers that
we should take [strike] action."
He says if worker demands are not met,
there could be strikes before the end of the year, placing more pressure on
the unity government and Zimbabwe's economy.
Chinhoyi, October 12, 2009 -
Journalists here had to run for their dear lives after marauding Zanu PF
youths chased them away from a meeting aimed at discussing the fate of
Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka, who faces expulsion from the
Mahoka and central committee member from Kadoma,
Jimayi Muduvuri, were suspended from the party two weeks ago for "putting
the party into disrepute", but this was resisted by another faction in the
party led by John Mafa. The journalists had congregated at Chinhoyi
Hall where the meeting was to take place on Sunday when hired youths from
Hurungwe, Karoi and Chegutu descended on them. ''This means Zanu PF
is still yet to embrace media reforms...barring us will not unite the party
that is divided,'' said one of the Chinhoyi based freelance
journalists. Mahoka faced stiff resistance from the party's
heavyweights in Mashonaland East, who included Ignatius Chombo and Webster
Shamu who want her expelled from the party for standing in the election
against their wishes. ''Chombo's camp is not willing to accept
Mahoka whom they believe is linked to Emerson Munangagwa for presidency
while the other camp prefer Joice Mujuru,'' said a source. Mafa
confirmed that the politburo members failed to endorse Mahoka's suspension
at the weekend meeting. ''Those senior members wanted to bulldoze their
way into our affairs as a province. We see no reason to suspend her...
although they hired youths from as far as Karoi to demonstrate. As an
executive we stood our ground and Mahoka will not be suspended by
anyone...'' said Mafa who is from former Zapu before the 1987 Unity
Accord. Mahoka is said to be originally from Masvingo but had settled
in Hurungwe as a new farmer. Mafa's executive claims that Mahoka is
''the party workhorse who does not deserve to be suspended during these
trying times when the party is still yet to get more support after the March
election when it lost to Movement for Democratic Change''.
The government has adopted a new, controversial, land
'reform' policy aimed at 'resettling' the wildlife sector, as the
countrywide rush to grab any remaining commercially viable land
The programme has been adopted under the position of
conservation and 'sustainable use of wildlife'. The policy document, which
was recently adopted by Cabinet, will see the roll out of three models of
wildlife land 'reform' programmes.
National Parks and Wildlife
Authority director-general, Dr Morris Mtsambiwa, last week said in an
interview with the state-run Herald that the major thrust of the policy was
to facilitate the indigenisation of the wildlife sector and to ensure more
access by Zimbabweans to land and wildlife resources.
"All land under
conservancies and game ranches shall cease to be an exclusive right of the
few," Dr Mtsambiwa said. "Those owning conservancies and game ranches shall
be required to surrender portions of their land to accommodate indigenous
The move comes as conservancy and safari owners have
already reported being forced to give up their land, mainly to top ZANU PF
affiliated officials. Most recently a top army official has become the
latest in a string of high-level ZANU PF members who have grabbed wildlife
conservancies in Masvingo, in a new exercise that could soon see the total
destruction of the private conservancy sector.
Engelbert Rugeje, who is the army's chief of staff, last month seized
control of Wanezi Block Ranch in Mwenezi. Other unnamed senior army and
police officers have apparently also seized vast tracks of land in the area.
It is further understood that several conservancy owners in Mwenezi have
been ordered to either vacate their properties or enter into forced
'partnership' with so-called 'beneficiaries' of the land. Rugeje joins the
likes of Attorney General Johannes Tomana, President of the council of
chiefs Fortune Charumbira and Chivi central legislator Paul Munyaradzi
Mangwana, who have all grabbed conservancies in Masvingo, arguing the sector
is too white-dominated.
Top government officials, including the
Masvingo provincial Governor, Titus Maluleke, have been passing down orders
to private conservancy and safari operators, to give up their lucrative
businesses or enter into 'partnerships' with chosen individuals. They have
reportedly compelled safari operators in the Save Valley Conservancy, a
thriving wildlife reserve, to cede shareholdings from 50 to 80 per cent, to
allies in the police and military, as well as party
President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Deon Theron on
Monday said the surge for commercial land is nothing more than "racially
motivated theft," arguing that it "doesn't matter what you are farming, or
producing or even if the country needs what you're producing, you will lose
"This is not about land reform or new policies or
anything, this is just about taking as much as you can for your own gain,"
Theron said. "If this is allowed to go then we're headed for
The commercial farming community has been left reeling by the
intensified offensive to remove them from their land, with more than 80
farms forcibly seized since the formation of the unity government. But
Theron said the community is more determined than ever to fight to hold on
to their land. This includes Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, who has travelled to
Washington to ask the Obama administration to put pressure on the Zimbabwe
government before it seizes the last remaining white farms.
has come under severe initmidation and attack for remaining on his Mount
Carmel farm, and most recently his home, his parents-in-law's home and the
homes of his workers, were burned down in a suspected arson attack.
Africa is a continent rich in natural resources, yet sustainable development
and use of these resources is still to be fully realised.
In Zimbabwe, despite a severely troubled economy, protected areas still
extend to 13% of the country’s land surface. Along the length of the Zambezi
River and its Zimbabwean hinterland, formally protected wildlife and forest
areas (Pas) form a mosaic with adjacent Communal Areas. Many of these areas
also support CAMPFIRE-initiated wildlife programmes and projects. The present
socio-economic crisis however, has presented numerous challenges to maintaining
conservation integrity and the continuity of community wildlife protection
In full collaboration with the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
(PWMA), this Wildlife Protection Project seeks to address the problem of
unsustainable resource use, illegal activity and the lack of operational
capacity within PWMA. This will be achieved through a set of targeted outputs
for The Tashinga Initiative’s selectedProtection Area Clusters (PACs) in the
The Tashinga Initiative will operate through its USA Foundation, The
Tashinga Initiative Foundation Inc., its partner UK Registered Charity,
Conservation Zambezi and its local The Tashinga Initiative Trust to implement
the project, which is designed to provide support to PWMA in the management and
protection of its wildlife areas along and adjacent to the Zambezi River.
Funding will be sought through business and philanthropic organizations and
individuals, taking a business and private-public partnership approach to
achieving its objectives. Geographical Coverage
The Project intends to target all PACs in the Zambezi Valley, a total area
covering more than 17,000 sq miles of wild land. Four discrete Protection Area
Clusters have been identified, which encompass the targeted PA system of
National Parks, Safari Areas and Forest Areas (see map), namely:
Given the needed inputs (human and financial resources), the project
intends to deliver 5 outputs, each of which have an anticipated outcome. The sum
or aggregation of the outcomes meets the purpose of the project. Each outcome
yields an anticipated impact after the project has ended. The sum of the impacts
meets the development objective, or long-term goal of the project.
Thus the social return on the project investment is measured in terms of the
deliverables reflected by the anticipated project outcomes and impacts. These
are the intended long-term environmental, social and economic benefits following
The word “Tashinga”, loosely translated means “we have been on a journey of
endeavour, and despite the difficulties, we have won through”.
HARARE - Zimbabwe's voters' roll is in
shambles and should be completely overhauled before the next general
election to eliminate cases of multiple entries and weed out ghost voters, a
study by a local pro-democracy group has revealed.
An audit of the
voters' roll conducted by the Research and Advocacy Unit of pressure group
Sokwanele unearthed several anomalies in the current voters' roll maintained
by the Registrar General's office.
These include a surprisingly large
number of people aged 100 and above. The audit identified names of 74 021
voters aged above 100 on the roll used in last year's harmonised
parliamentary and presidential elections. There were also 82 456 people
registered who are aged between 90 and 100, according to the report released
at the weekend.
"These figures are quite amazing when you consider that
average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 34 for women and 37 for men, and in
light of the fact that the World Health Organisation predicts that only 14.7
percent of people live beyond 60 in Zimbabwe," the pressure group observed
in a report titled "2013 Vision - Seeing Double and the Dead".
Sokwanele researchers said they were not able to determine whether the very
large number of elderly people on the voters roll (over 17 percent of the
roll comprises people aged 60 and over) are living or deceased.
attempts to get an electronic copy of registered deaths were
Under Zimbabwe's repressive Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, the RAU researchers were obliged to apply to
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede for an electronic copy of registered
The Registrar-General is obligated to reply within 30 days of
receiving the request - but he failed to comply with the law.
audit also discovered a "large number of duplicate entries" on the
The report noted that despite denials by Mudede that there was no
way identity numbers could appear twice in the same roll, the audit proved
that several ID numbers, names, addresses, birth dates and all details were
"Specifically: 182 564 instances of duplicate entries
were identified where people were registered in two or more constituencies
simultaneously," the report said.
The report acknowledges that this
could happen if, for example, a person was registered in one constituency
during one poll, and another a second time.
The researchers however
pointed out that about two thirds of the constituency shifts occur in rural
areas, and therefore do not reflect the typical rural-urban migration
pattern that has taken place in recent years in Zimbabwe.
HARARE - Parliament will
today interview candidates wishing to serve on the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission (ZHRC), a senior official announced at the
Zimbabweans hope establishment of the commission will help
protect citizens' rights and freedoms after a decade of worsening political
violence and rights abuses as President Robert Mugabe's pervious government
resorted to more repressive methods to contain rising public discontent in
the face of an economic and food crisis.
Parliament spokesman Edward
Mbewe confirmed that interviews for the country's first ever rights
commission would be held today. "The standing rules and orders committee
will conduct interviews for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission on Monday
morning," Edward Mbewe told ZimOnline.
Nine people will sit on the ZHRC
The ZHRC is part of several commissions to be formed by
Zimbabwe's power-sharing government as part of a raft of reforms meant to
reshape and democratise Zimbabwe's politics.
The other commissions
provided for under Constitutional Amendment Number 19 that established the
power-sharing government are the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC),
Independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (IZEC) and Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).
Once the commissions and a new
constitution are in place the government will call fresh elections with the
whole process that began in February expected to last between 18 to 24
Rich Western nations have refused to back the Harare government
or lift visa and financial sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle
seven years ago, saying they were not happy with the slow pace of political
reforms. - ZimOnline
OPINION: On Saturday,
October 10 2009, an article http://www.herald.co.zw/inside.aspx?sectid=11222&cat=1
entitled: "KMAL saga: TM Cleared" was published by the Herald informing the
public and investor community that the government of Zimbabwe had revoked
the specification of TM Supermarkets, a subsidiary of Kingdom Meikles Africa
It is significant that in the same article that it was
reported that more evidence of corruption against companies and individuals
linked to the major shareholder of the group, John Moxon, had been
The above-mentioned statement was attributed to Jacob
Gonese who represented himself as acting principal director in the Ministry
of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies fully fixed with the knowledge that
in the framework of the inclusive government no such ministry
To the extent that the reporter and the editor of the
Herald, a newspaper that is state-controlled, found no problem with
accepting the position that a person representing a non-existent ministry
can have the authority to make such profound and far reaching statements,
exposes the gravity of the Zimbabwean crisis and its seemingly intractable
Accepting that Gonese may very well have no legal standing
to make the kind of representations that he is alleged to have made, it is
startling that notwithstanding the fact that the co-Ministers of Home
Affairs who appointed separate investigators pursuant to the Prevention of
Corruption Act (PCA), Gonese whose role in the KMAL affair is not clear was
reported to have said: "Investigators have also unearthed further alleged
acts of corruption on the part of the (following) companies and persons:
Andrew Lane Mitchell, Kingdom Meikles Limited, Tanganda Tea and Company
(Pvt) Ltd, Thomas Meikles Centre (Pvt) Ltd and Murlis Investments (Pvt)
The authority of the co-Ministers of Home Affairs to issue
the specification order is already under judicial review and yet it appears
that the investigators appointed pursuant to the operation of the disputed
order are not only already at work but in truth and fact report to Gonese,
person not mentioned in the specification order.
There is no
disclosure in the said article about the connection between Gonese and the
dubiously appointed investigators let alone an interrogation into the kind
of constitutional democratic order that would produce this kind of
Surely, people who purport to represent a higher moral
order must be underpinned by legitimate authority. The anti-corruption
function of the state no longer has a home and there is nothing that can be
done to authenticate the specification and de-specification of people using
state organs not vested with the authority to do so.
Notwithstanding, Gonese is reported to have said: "In order to curtail any
further prejudice to the taxpayers the last shareholders' meeting was barred
to enable the finalisation of investigations into attempts to sweep an
alleged case involving the externalisation of US$22 million by Moxon, under
the carpet. The co-ministers are naturally unhappy about the gravity of the
allegations and have given directives to the investigators to get to the
bottom of the case and the investigators are doing their work
It is important that we attempt to analyse the
full import of the above statement as it raises interesting and fundamental
legal and commercial issues.
Gonese is essentially justifying
the intervention by the state in the holding of an emergency shareholders
meeting duly called in accordance with the Companies Act on the grounds that
holding such a meeting would further prejudice the taxpayers without
explaining precisely how taxpayers' interest feature in matter involving
shareholders exercising their constitutional right to make decisions on
behalf of companies in which they have interests.
What kind of
political morality would justify the state's purported interest to override
the constitutional rights of shareholders? Do shareholders still have the
sovereign right to make choices under the inclusive government?
Gonese further makes the allegation that if the general meeting of
shareholders were to be held before the conclusion of the investigations,
then this would be tantamount to "sweeping" the alleged externalisation
charge under the carpet. Hose carpet, one may ask?
As if he is
the spokesman for the co-ministers, Gonese makes the case that the
co-ministers are unhappy not with the fact that the state is interfering in
a purely commercial matter but about the purported gravity of the untested
In any democratic society, no one would expect a state
actor to be unhappy about matters that involve the interests of private
What is being alleged is that the proceeds generated in the
disposal of certain assets situated in a foreign state have not yet been
remitted to Zimbabwe and, therefore, that non-remittance constitutes a
criminal conduct on the part of not all shareholders but the former chairman
of the company who also happens to be a major shareholder of the
It is common cause that the funds in question are the
exclusive property of KMAL and not the state. The state's interest in the
funds could only conceivably be in the taxes due and payable but the
principal amount whether in a foreign or domestic account is and must be the
property of the owner i.e. the company and definitely not the
The only legitimate way for the state to access such funds
is to make Zimbabwe an attractive investment destination by respecting
property rights and observing the rule of law.
Would it have
been in the interests of the company to remit such proceeds to Zimbabwe at a
time when it is commonly acknowledged that there exists a crisis whose
resolution lies outside the control of private actors?
made the case that the specified persons could present their evidence to
prove their innocence if they so wished.
What kind of political
morality would make it discretionary on the part of the accused to prove
their innocence? Should the state not presume the accused to be innocent
until proven guilty by a court of law?
Until the startling
revelation by Gonese that it is "hot air" to claim that the decision to
specify KMAL was not made by the inclusive government as maintained by the
MDC-T and following the widely publicised comment by Minister Mutsekwa, the
general public was and is legitimately entitled to assume that the
co-Ministers of Home Affairs are at loggerheads over the specification issue
as it undermines the credibility and integrity of the new
To the extent that any rational mind that wishes
Zimbabwe well would expect the kind of culture that preceded the formation
of the inclusive government to end, it is remarkable that Gonese had this to
say: "The hot air surrounding this case does not surprise this office or
that of my co-ministers who have co-operated well as politicians. In this
particular case, like in all others, the co-ministers are behind each other
every step of the way."
How can co-Ministers of Home Affairs be
Gonese's supervisors when it is common cause that the administration of the
PCA has not been assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs?
there were people in doubt about the values, beliefs and principles
informing the inclusive government, Gonese has provided the
He pointed out that the co-ministers are guided by
sustained consultations and, indeed, the decision to specify KMAL was in the
national interest. Accordingly, using this reasoning, the enforcement of the
order is justifiable.
As if Gonese is completely oblivious to
the many examples in which the specification route has been used to
undermine private property rights, he made the case that the specification
of the companies and individuals was not implemented so that the government
could take over the entities concerned, but rather to create conditions for
the smooth and legal operation of business.
I can only remind
Gonese that in May 2004, a warrant for my arrest was issued by the Zimbabwe
Republic Police that then paved the way for the GOZ to apply for my
extradition in South Africa. When the extradition application was dismissed
in South Africa, nine days later, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa issued
a specification order in terms of the PCA.
On August 13 2004,
Assistant Commissioner Mangoma was appointed as my Investigator. On August
26 2004, CFI Holdings Limited (CFI), a listed company on the ZSE was also
specified in conjunction with other companies deemed to be associated with
me. Saruchera was appointed as Investigator of the companies.
At the time of specification, the shareholding of CFI and ZIMRE Holdings
Limited (ZHL) was different from what it is today. The difference can only
be due to the effect of the specification order. Gonese will no doubt find
out that the government is now the controlling shareholder of
How did the government come to be the controlling
shareholder? He will understand that without the assistance of the PCA, the
control of both ZHL and ZIMRE would not have changed.
is the case, Gonese must accept that the public is not naïve and more
importantly Moxon is and must also be alive to the real dangers of trusting
a government that has not only already shown that the concept of self help
is not inimical to the rule of law but that it can achieve its ulterior
motives through the assistance of unjust laws and unconstitutional
How can the state be a judge unto its own cause? It
has no shares in KMAL? However, it must be obvious to Gonese that state
power is being rented to improve the bargaining power of the "chosen"
people. Should state power be used in this manner? Can Gonese be allowed to
make untested allegations without the involvement of the
What Gonese may also not know is that the Zimbabwean
judiciary has so far not only turned a blind eye at numerous attempts by
victims of this kind of tyranny but has creatively sought to use the courts
to give life to the abuse by refusing to deal with the merits of the cases
choosing to use technicalities to dismiss any legal challenge.
When Gonese says: "Government is in no way taking over these companies but
simply trying to cure them of their mischief", one is forced to accept the
general proposition that when the wheels are off the remedy may not lie in
targeting the head of the fish but in better understanding the true extent
of the decay of the political and economic morality as this will naturally
focus people's attention beyond personalities to the core of what is clearly
a systemic problem.
Gonese who evidently has not done his research
or he is naïve goes on to say: "In fact, specification does not and should
not affect the day-to-day operations of these going concerns but the same
provides for a period during which specified companies must account for
their alleged corrupt actions to appointed investigators and once stolen or
externalized resources are returned, an affected entity will not stay
specified for a minute longer."
I was specified in July 2004
and after five years; Messrs Mangoma, Saruchera and Gwaradzimba (appointed
to give life to the expropriation agenda) have yet to produce reports that
deal with the merits of the original allegation but evidently Gwaradzimba is
richer today because of state intervention.
Surely, Gonese must
tell the public the truth if, indeed, he is the most senior state actor
responsible for anti-corruption, albeit, with no ministry to house his
Before commenting irresponsibly on the KMAL
affair, perhaps he should start by commenting on his decision to ignore the
evidence confirming that the allegations that I externalised funds were
Indeed, Gonese appears to have taken the view that he can
be the judge, jury and executioner and anyone who has critically reviewed
the statements attributed to him will not be mistaken to conclude that he is
doing a hatchet job to defend the indefensible.
We now know
that the government no longer has the burden to amend the constitution as it
can deprive citizens of their rights using instruments like PCA and
With people like Gonese in government, who is safe?
Zimdiaspora publishes unedited letter of good news to all welwishers of
Nomatter Taremedzwa Mapungwana operation out come.
On behalf of Girl Child Network
Worldwide and Girl Child Network Zimbabwe I would like to inform you that
Professor Hutchison successfully and diligently removed two tumours from Tare
.The operation took more than six hours and Tare suffered no facial cuts ,no
excessive bleeding and no major problem .Everything went on according to plan
and hats off to Prof H for a job well done !! This is one man Zimbabweans must
plan to meet one day .He talks less and does a lot and in his own words ,`As
long as my patient and her mum are smiling I am happy`, and then he hugged Tare
mum and said a warm bye because he had to rush for a bath and family as well as
his cup of coffee!!!
My collegue Priscialla and I
watched events unfold since Friday and on Saturday we followed Prof Hutchison`s
car to the theatre and then we were allowed to take her just three quarters to
the theatre. Tears fell down endlessly as we walked back to the ward just to sit
where her bed was .We were anxious for 8 hours and during the day Rudo ,the
woman who made a passionate plea to God on Friday joined us .Later in the day,
an entertainer calledSimple Dread and Lady Gee the DJ ,showed up
with news that entertainers had donated £1008,00 and every name was read out to
us and each message said out clear and those were the best wishes Tare got from
Zimbabwean DJs and musicians as doctors made final stitches in her
Two cameramen supposedly making a documentary on Tare for UK
mainstream television stations came out with news that all was well and
everything would soon be over and the next time I called the cameramen it was
Professor Hutchison who answered the phone and he said he was already with a cup
of coffee while Tare was in the recovery room.We broke into song , Hoyomushandiri waMwari and Hutchison inumber one and most of you we sang for
you over the phone .In short, the tumor has been subdued and conqueredand it must have been shocked to deathbecause I could not
see even its traces on Tare by at least today 2pm ...Tare`s face is in shape now
and of course many visiting the hospital will see her mouth still wide open and
her face big and swollen and know you such a huge tumour left this temporary
physical harm but soon such thesewill follow the tumors and
disappear as well.
Now as GCNW we plan to monitor
the recovery period very closely and we have drawn up a rehabilitation plan and
Prisciallah and Nyasha as well as Ruth seniors in GCN have been asked to review
post operation plans in line with what the doctors will advise us .It means we
will be very busy to support Tare emotionally so that she prepares to be the
great young woman she has always been
Otherwise Tare and her mum will
be in hospital until the 16th of October or even before . We have organised a
private retreat after discharge from hospital .After that we hope to have Tare
and her mum hosted by GCNW staffhere in England for what we call
family and established counseling so as to be fully integrated into
communitybut all this depends on what doctors and other medical
GCNW will make sure all bills at
the hospitals are paid in full and a full set of accounts is presented to Tare
and her mum
I hope to take Tare through an
empowerment process and this is based on our Girl Child Empowerment Model where
we facilitate,instil and provide the means so that Tare walks in the fullness of
her potential as a doctor .This normally takes four weeks of coaching ,role
modelling and a few leadership practicals .This is when Tare will start reaching
out to some of you and ask you to join her on her Facebook .We will not at this
stage preempt what Tare wants to do but when she is empowered she will announce
what she wants to do
Otherwise ,our team in Zimbabwe
and UK and all over the world now await Tare`s full recovery and we hope very
soon she will be on her facebook and phone to directly say thank you
My friends without you we could
not have achieved much and thank you all and keep your generosity
As some of you heard I was
selected top ten CNN Hero because of my work back in Zimbabwe for Girls
empowerment and last week I whispered to a friend that I am too embarrassed to
ask People to vote for me when Tare is victim to this tumor but now its done and
soon mission will soon be accomplished the vote can go ahead!!!!!!!
This must be my last email to
this group but wait as I will send you new look Tare after a week or so because
after such a major operation one hopes everything shapes after sometime
Otherwise you are great a people
and thanks so much for reaching out to Tare
my work partner will be in touch with you very soon because we are hoping to
have Tare`s partyand please email her for ideas
THE Zanu-PF Politburo will select a candidate for nomination to
the post of Vice President of the party if the three Matabeleland provinces
fail to agree on a single candidate by Wednesday, secretary for
administration Cde Didymus Mutasa said yesterday.
nominated and endorsed by at least six provinces, the candidate will fill
the vacant posts of Vice President and Second Secretary of Zanu-PF following
the death of the fearless founding nationalist Cde Joseph Msika in
That process will take place only in the event that more than one
name is forwarded by the three Matabeleland provinces, which were given
until Wednesday this week to select a single candidate to be endorsed by all
the party's 10 provinces.
"As soon as I get the report, it would be
tabled before the Politburo and Central Committee. If the three Matabeleland
provinces select a different candidate each, the Politburo will pick
"The Politburo, will use its discretion to select a single candidate
and present him before the 10 provinces,'' said Cde Mutasa.
the Politburo would arrive at a single candidate, Cde Mutasa said seniority
in the party would take precedence.
"We cannot run away from the
precedence of seniority now. All our leaders have always been seniors in the
party," he said, giving reference to the ascendancy to the Presidium of the
late national heroes and Vice Presidents Cde Joshua Nkomo, Cde Simon Muzenda
and Cde Msika.
He said the Politburo had only asked the three provinces
of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South to select a candidate to be
endorsed by all provinces.
"We are not saying all given by the three
provinces is final. The candidate would have to be endorsed by at least six
provinces. The person should achieve six nominations from the provinces," he
He said the media had got it wrong by referring to the ongoing
process as nominations.
"We want selection of a candidate to be
nominated in terms of our constitution. The candidate would have to be
nominated and endorsed by all provinces," he said.
has already selected Zanu-PF national chairman Cde John Nkomo while the
other two provinces are still to either second his selection or proffer
Officially, it is not clear if there is any candidate
challenging Cde Nkomo for the post, although several names have been thrown
around in the rumour mill.
THE reason why the Zanu-PF politburo readmitted Jonathan Moyo
into its structures last week is because the disintegrating party
desperately needs anyone who will bring even the slightest number of voters
to bolster the shrinking support base of the former ruling party severely
weakened indirectly by policy bankruptcy and more directly by its failure to
replace its ageing leadership.
Zanu-PF which has failed to re-invent
itself beyond what Moyo did for the party when he was the vociferous
information minister and politburo member between 2000 and 2005 desperately
needs the services of a sabre-rattling spin doctor who will do better than
what the former DJ currently running the ministry of information is
From where he stands, Moyo is in a hurry to vacate his lonely
corner as an independent MP who faces the clear and present danger of being
defeated in the next general election in 2011 because of the obvious fact
that the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai will not repeat the unintelligent
mistake of not fielding a candidate in the Tsholotsho North constituency
which he currently represents.
Everyone, including Moyo himself,
knows that he is extremely lucky to be a legislator today and that the only
reason why he is part of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe is because the
MDC naively decided to support him instead of fielding its own candidate who
could have easily won the Matabeleland North constituency.
importantly, after the dramatic but expected collapse of the 1987 Unity
Accord and the re-launch of PF Zapu whose powerbase is in the Matabeleland
region Zanu PF urgently needs new legs to stand on in the
When re-admitted, Moyo, who has a strategic constituency and
has no historical ties with PF Zapu, will be useful in retaining the
critical Ndebele vote that PF Zapu is threatening to take away from
The re-emergence of PF Zapu under the leadership of former
Zanu-PF politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa and the recent defection by former
Zanu-PF stalwart Thenjiwe Lesabe, who commands considerable respect in the
Matabeleland region, has shaken the foundations of the former ruling party
to the extent that its leaders are running scared and clutching at
Moyo who realises that Zanu-PF is in panic mode and alarmed by
its apparent loss of grip in Matabeleland has characteristically seized this
opportunity to rejoin Zanu-PF with the promise of delivering not only the
Tsholotsho North constituency to Zanu-PF but also pledging to resuscitate
the party's propaganda machinery which is currently in comatose.
former information minister already had crucial supporters within the
Zanu-PF politburo in the form of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa,
politburo members Didymus Mutasa and Emmerson Munangagwa who had already
started welcoming Moyo back into the party, describing him variously as
patriotic, hard-working and an important asset, even before the politburo
had made a decision on his application for re-admission.
backers had a relatively easy task of convincing the ageing President Robert
Mugabe, who has a soft spot for Moyo but considers him as headstrong and
arrogant, to accommodate the Tsholotsho MP because the Zanu-PF leader still
believes that the former minister has the granite needed to turn around the
waning fortunes of his party.
John Nkomo, the chairman of Zanu-PF and
head of the party's disciplinary committee, who does not see eye to eye with
Moyo but has a very dark cloud of homosexuality allegations hovering over
his balding head, will find it difficult to thwart Moyo's come
More so because Nkomo belongs to the emasculated group of former PF
Zapu cadres suspected of harbouring intentions to defect from Zanu
The other reason why Moyo applied for re-admission into Zanu-PF, a
political party he in 2007 described as a dead party full of geriatrics
clinging to power, is because he sees abundant opportunity to grab power as
well as bounce back as the party's chief's spin doctor given that Webster
Shamu, the clueless man chosen by President Mugabe to replace him has failed
It is evident for those in and outside Zanu-PF that Shamu
has retarded the velocity with which the information ministry operated when
Moyo was in charge a few years ago and has failed to match the abrasive
manoeuvring of his predecessor.
Another reason why Moyo was
re-admitted into Zanu-PF without any hassle is because he never resigned
from Zanu-PF in the first place and has in fact remained a crucial member of
the now influential faction led by Mnangagwa which emerged stronger from the
recently held youth league conference where its candidate, Edson Chakanyuka
from the Midlands Province, was elected to the powerful post of deputy
secretary of the league.
Moyo's recent attacks of Prime Minister
Tsvangirai and MDC ministers are meant to convince both his sympathisers and
detractors in Zanu-PF that he is still part of them by speaking their
language and crying louder than the bereaved.
That is why Moyo is
making laughable claims about the MDC forming a parallel government and
compromising national security when in fact it is President Mugabe who is
guilty of the crimes that Moyo is accusing Prime Minister Tsvangirai of
SADC leaders do not need to be told because they already know
that it is President Mugabe who is running a parallel government by
contravening the Global Political Agreement and illegally appointing or
retaining senior government officials including provincial governors, the
attorney general, the central bank governor and diplomats not the prime
Nobody will believe the preposterous claims by Moyo that the
MDC is creating a parallel government just because a handful of employees in
the prime minister's office are getting an extra allowance for working on a
publication whose sole function is to enhance transparency and
accountability in the prime minister's office unless if they are coming from
Zimbabweans know that it is President Mugabe who, until the
formation of the unity government in February this year, deliberately and
relentlessly compromised national security by his continued efforts to
starve the masses and underpaying civil servants including central
intelligence operatives, policeman and soldiers thus fertilising conditions
for civil and military unrest in the country.
Moyo was watching but
did not rebuke President Mugabe when agitated soldiers went on the rampage
destroying shops and looting food and clothes in central Harare last year
when these manifestations spawned by Zanu-PF's misrule clearly represented a
grave threat to national security.
Moyo who has returned to Zanu-PF to
usurp power is defending the indefensible by supporting President Mugabe who
is violating the GPA and threatening to take Zimbabwe back to the pre-unity
government era where the spectre of civil or military unrest was an ever
present danger as result of pervading poverty and starvation engineered by
More than anything else it is Moyo's self serving return to
Zanu-PF and his support of President Mugabe's violation of the GPA that
should worry everyone as this represents the clearest threat to the cohesion
of the government of national unity and national stability.
Rukweza is an MDC councillor for ward 17 in Chitungwiza.
HARARE - Tension is simmering within the ministry of
information amid suggestions Webster Shamu, the minister, and permanent
secretary George Charamba, have completely shut out Jameson Timba, the
deputy minister, from decision-making.
Central to the discord is
Charamba, also President Robert Mugabe's press secretary.
known to have direct control of the state media, was heavily criticised by
Deputy Prime Minister Athur Mutambara last week. Mutambara said Charamba's
behaviour threatened the image of the inclusive government.
appointed Shamu after retaining the strategic ministry of information under
a power-sharing agreement with the MDC parties led by Morgan Tsvangirai and
Timba, an MDC official, was appointed deputy to
Recently, Shamu, in cahoots with Charamba, made appointments to
boards of organisations under his ministry, including Zimpapers and the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
The move sparked protests
from Timba, who said the appointments were illegal.
in, stating the appointments, which include retired military officers, were
null and void.
"Those appointments are null and void," Mutambara said in
an interview on BBC's Hardtalk. "The cabinet was not consulted, the prime
minister was not consulted. We are going to reverse them."
Timba also said he was not consulted when Shamu made the media board
appointments. So far, Shamu has backtracked on Zimpapers appointments.
Charamba claimed they were made in error.
relations between Timba, on the one hand, and Charamba and Shamu on the
other, appear to have broken down.
Timba says he has been completely shut
out he cannot even raise his concerns with his colleagues in the
"I do not have a platform to do so," he said. "The Minister and
the Secretary (Charamba) hold management meetings to which they do not
invite me. They make most of their decisions and I see them in the newspaper
like every other Zimbabwean.
"Unless we are forced to meet because
there is a requirement to do so from another office, then I am
"I am supposed to be the Deputy Spokesperson of this inclusive
government but, I am excluded in its processes, including not being given
information on government decisions which if the minister is not reachable I
am supposed to communicate."
Charamba, a long-serving official at the
ministry, holds an influential role within the ministry. Critics say he has
virtually abandoned his functions as a civil servant to act as a Zanu-PF
He clashed with Mutambara again when he told editors at a media
conference in Harare last week that the long awaited Zimbabwe Media
Commission (ZMC) would only come into existence when three other
constitutional commissions had been put in place.
These are the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and
the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. But Mutambara said Charamba was wrong
and unqualified to make such comments.
"These are the individuals who are
damaging the standing of the government by speaking out of turn and speaking
without authority," said Mutambara. "We do not take that very kindly; he has
no authority to speak as he has done."
"He is a civil servant but he is
behaving like a political commissar, which is a travesty of justice in our
At the same UNESCO-sponsored media conference, Charamba was
also at variance with Timba when he threatened to shut down NewsDay, sister
publication to the Zimbabwe Independent, if it hit the streets without
This is despite lack of clarity and controversy over the
current licensing procedure.
Charamba said the High Court ruling
nullifying the existence of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) did
not preclude his ministry from demanding licences from new
"What that judgment cannot do is to stop the ministry from
visiting a publication that is on the street to ask it to produce its
licence," said Charamba. "That we will do without fear or favour - get it
from me because you will be breaking the law. That we will definitely
"If you find yourself on the street without proper registration, ahh,
you are inviting us and we will react instantly."
He added: "We have
a very funny situation where Barnabas (Thondhlana - editor- designate of
NewsDay) should be editing a paper but can't do it because there is no
registering authority. And certainly he knows that if he goes on the street
without registration, Charamba will be on him.
But Timba said: "Zimbabwe
is not a police state. It is not the policy of this government that its
employees go around threatening citizens with arrest for imagined
"The alleged remarks and threats by Secretary Charamba to cause
the arrest of Editors of NewsDay are not only unfortunate and regrettable
but do not represent government policy and are not in keeping with the
Zimbabwe the three political parties in government have committed to
A CHARITY boss wanted by the United States Federal
Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on allegations of fraud is seeking Zanu PF
protection after claiming the charges were "fabricated" by individuals said
to have opposed "support he lent to the Zimbabwe government".
Zimbabwean police confirm they have received a request from Interpol to
apprehend Phillip Mazorodze, 45, and send him back to the US state of
Indiana to face "counterfeit/forgery, fraud and theft" charges.
Mazorodze is head of WishKids International, a US-registered charity.
New Zimbabwe.com revealed last month that Mazorodze was a fugitive after he
applied and was interviewed by MPs to be a member of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC) which will oversee Zimbabwe's next elections.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena last
Friday said they were "trying to verify if Mazorodze was still in Zimbabwe",
just days after he handed over 155 wheel-chairs bought from China to Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The wheel-chairs were distributed to three
But Mazorodze's charm offensive on the
unsuspecting Prime Minister will look like a desperate attempt to
Zimbabwean officials to prevent him being sent to the
United States to face the music.
Mazorodze told the state-run
Herald newspaper on Saturday that he was in Harare and "not hiding from
"The issue was ironed out last year and neither US
authorities nor Interpol are looking for me," he said, before casting
himself as a political target of "people who were against the idea of
supporting Zimbabwe because of the sanctions on the country."
Despite his claims, Mazorodze is still listed on the Interpol website as
"wanted" (SEE HERE).
Mazorodze said: "The allegations were
fabricated by some individuals who were against the support I lent to the
government. It started when I was in America when we used to run programmes
to support medical institutions in Zimbabwe.
"But I am
Zimbabwean and I should support my country. I have vowed to continue
Mazorodze's pitch is a common stance taken by
businessmen and other suspected criminals to scare civil servants -
including the police -- from pursuing any action against them for fear of
upsetting powerful Zanu PF officials.
Mazorodze slipped out of
America early this year as police closed in, leaving behind a wife and three
children. He denies abandoning his family.
claims to have "substantial experience (in) implementing HIV/Aids welfare
projects and poverty reduction income-generating projects in developing
nations, especially Africa".
WishKids says it "offers solutions for
developing country projects", claims "significant experience with United
Nations Population Fund impact evaluation projects" and states that its
specialties "include designing management structures for efficient project
implementation and effective evaluative project-data collection
MASVINGO- The late vice president Joseph Msika formally initiated
PF Zapu's pull-out from the unity accord signed between the party and Zanu
PF in 1987, former government minister Dumiso Dabengwa has
Briefing journalists in Masvingo on Sunday, Dabengwa , chairman of
the revived Zapu, said Msika urged aggrieved PF Zapu supporters to organise
a congress and formally pull out of the agreement with Zanu-PF.
accord was signed between PF Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo, also late and
President Robert Mugabe of Zanu-PF in 1987.
Dabengwa has since led a
breakaway of disgruntled PF Zapu members, a move dismissed out of hand
Mugabe and Zanu-PF officials.
"It is vice president Msika who told us to
organise a congress which we did in May this year," said Dabengwa
"He told us that after the congress the party members should formally
endorse the decision to pull out of the unity accord, which we
"We formally pulled out of the unity accord in May this year and we
have a resolution to that effect."
When Nkomo died in 1999, Msika
replaced him as vice-president. After suffering a stroke in 2005, he tried
to retire, but Mugabe insisted on keeping him in office. The ageing and sick
Msika then lapsed into almost total inactivity.
He died on August 4
Dabengwa said that the decision to pull out was made after
members of the party felt that Zanu-PF was trying to destroy PF Zapu's
liberation war history.
"Zapu is the mother of the liberation
struggle," said Debengwa. "Infact Zanu-PF came out of Zapu but if you look
at it now it appears as if it is only Zanu-PF which participated in the
Dabengwa initially teamed up with another former
minister, Simba Makoni under an opposition outfit dubbed Mavambo Kusile Dawn
The former Home Affairs minister said he did not regret joining
the project led by former finance minister, Makoni.
"We are grateful
to Mavambo and we do not regret being party of that project," said
Asked if they were going to recall senior members of Zapu who
have remained in Zanu-PF Dabengwa said; "We are not going to recall them
because we do not have the mandate to do so.
"Those who want to
remain in Zanu-PF are doing that in their personal capacity but Zapu as an
organisation has pulled out."
Dabengwa said the party was happy with the
inclusive government and it would participate fully in the constitutional
"We are going to participate in the constitutional reform
process, and as a party we have our own position," he said.
and PF Zapu signed the unity accord in 1987 to form a united
Dabengwa said that the unity accord no longer existed and
this year's unity day would only be commemorated for the purpose of uniting
people only, and not because of the unity accord.
"Vana vembwa havasvinure
musi mumwecheta" - when puppies are born they are all born blind and yet,
from the same litter, some puppies open their eyes before others
Commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe was efficiently funded by
private banks and the government played no part in subsidising farmers. Even
new entrant indigenous farmers received no direct financial assistance from
the Reserve Bank or the government.
History illuminates the
fact that in the 1890's white settlers were given land and subsidised by the
British South Africa Company (BSAC), their sovereign authority at that time.
This period of subsidies extended up to 10 years until the farmer "stood
The same model was used by ZANU (PF) in 2000, and ten
years later the majority of the so called "new farmers" are neither
productive nor economically independent.
The difference with
these two seemingly similar scenarios is that in the 1890's, the white
settlers started out on virgin land with no infrastructure. However, they
had the advantage of "chibharo" free labour provided by "natives", which was
vital for the development of the savannah into productive
In 21st century Zimbabwe, at the beginning of the new
millennium, the farms were fully developed, highly productive, and had the
most modern agrarian infrastructure in Africa. 600 000 persons were
gainfully employed on these farms with each worker earning the government's
stipulated minimum wage. The majority of the farms that were misappropriated
had crops that had been planted, fertilised, irrigated, and ready for
harvest. The war veterans helped themselves to the profits and lined up at
the RBZ for handouts for the next crop inputs, which were never used for
farming and instead sold on the black market for short term gain. This, and
not imagined sanctions, caused Zimbabwe's economic
The very freedom fighters that had fought gallantly to
redress the land imbalance rewarded themselves first with compensation for
physical and psychological injuries purportedly suffered during the war of
liberation. Secondly, they further recompensed themselves with gratuities
that bankrupted the country, which was mired in an adventurous colonial
style war in the DRC. Thirdly, the government created a housing and car
scheme for the same war veterans, which was looted and benefited the same
circle of war veterans.
The straw that broke the camel's back
for the already battered Zimbabwean economy was the violent invasion and
takeover of productive business units that merely happened to be domiciled
on contentious land, which itself was the precursor to the war of
On these farms were skilled workers, tobacco curing
facilities, floriculture units, seed maize grading machinery, cattle
breeding units, pedigree cattle bloodlines, housing for farm staff,
transportation, tillage equipment and of course, real estate-farm
The tractors that were forcibly taken are now obsolete, the
irrigation equipment, if it survived the smelting into aluminium ingots, is
unusable, the cattle were eaten -"gandanga haridye derere", and the skilled
workers have dispersed.
Farming and agriculture require a
commitment to the land that one is born with. It is impossible to
conveniently convert to farming as a last resort when all other business
Zimbabwe is endowed with generations of
professional farmers, both black and white, who should be in the front of
the queue for agrarian reform and farm allocations. The most competent of
these indigenous farmers earned the Master Farmer badge "hurudza", and
bought farms in the previously designated African Purchase areas before
Independence. It is an easier transition to allocate commercial farms to
this group than to create new farmers from opportunistic absentee city
The second group is the farm managers; every white
farmer employed a black manager, although they were referred to as
supervisors, foremen or "bossboys". They were competent, capable, and with
a little state assistance, will once again be productive on farms they
previously worked on.
Banks have a pivotal role in
agriculture and should be permitted to set the conditions for lending
seasonal finance to "new farmers".
Security of tenure-title deeds
and legal leases-are a prerequisite for any financial institution lending
money to a farmer in the absence of any other form of collateral. The
farmer's track record should be measured by experience, previous crop
yields, and the ability to repay past short-term seasonal loans when
factoring the lending equation.
Zimbabwe has five agro-ecological
regions and each region has unique agronomic characteristics which govern
the type of farming and yields to be expected due to the topography and
An offer letter penned on a defunct Ministry
of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement in the
President's Office's letterhead, signed by a minister who still believes in
clairvoyants, and delivered by the local ZANU (PF) warlord, must never be
the basis upon which our banking system should advance shareholders funds to
an incompetent land occupier devoid of a tangible agricultural track
All non-performing "farmers" must as a prudent economic
measure be permanently jettisoned from agriculture through a vigorous
weaning exercise. The time has come to "throw the baby out with the bath
water". Starve the unproductive farmers of free subsidies and let the
vagaries of the free market economy determine who should be farming. Once
Zimbabwe reverts to the rule law and conducts a comprehensive land audit
coupled with real agrarian reform, she can painlessly feed herself within