The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Government of Zimbabwe withdraws invitation to UN Rapporteur on
Torture at the last minute
As previously announced, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, was invited by the
Government of Zimbabwe to conduct an official fact-finding mission, from 28
October to 4 November 2009.
Upon his arrival in Johannesburg, on transit to Harare, the Special
Rapporteur was informed, that the mission had been postponed by the Government
on 26 October 2009, stating that it “regrets to advise that due to the
previously unanticipated Consultative process currently taking place in Harare
involving the Government of National Unity and the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), the Government of Zimbabwe will be unable to receive the
Special Rapporteur on the proposed dates.”
The Special Rapporteur welcomes the SADC initiative and all efforts to
resolve the political crisis in the country. He also understands that the SADC
Consultative process might lead to certain changes in his meetings with
Government officials foreseen during his mission and offered his cooperation and
flexibility to the Government in this respect. He fails to be convinced,
however, that the Consultative process on Thursday, 29 October should be a valid
reason to cancel his eight-day mission at such a late stage.
Recent allegations that MDC supporters and human rights defenders have been
arrested, harassed and intimidated during the past few days, highlight the
urgency of objective fact-finding by an independent UN expert at this crucial
stage. The Special Rapporteur therefore calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to
receive him in Harare and allow the mission to go ahead as planned.
Manfred Nowak, appointed Special Rapporteur on 1 December 2004 by the UN
Commission on Human Rights, is independent from any government and serves in his
individual capacity. He has previously served as member of the Working Group on
Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the UN expert on missing persons in the
former Yugoslavia, the UN expert on legal questions on enforced disappearances,
and as a judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nowak is
Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna,
and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.
Via the website of the UN Office of the High Commission for Human
expert to meet Zimbabwe PM despite invite U-turn
2 hrs 2 mins
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - A UN independent torture expert said Wednesday he
travel to Zimbabwe to meet Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai despite the
government's last-minute withdrawal of an unprecedented
"I am going to Zimbabwe tonight. I will meet the prime
minister tomorrow at
10," Manfred Nowak, UN special rapporteur on torture
and cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment told a press conference in
"I expect to meet him tomorrow and then I hope that we can
define in what
terms the mission will go and for how long."
Zimbabwe government on Monday withdraw its October 1 invitation for the
eight-day mission set to start Wednesday, amid a renewed political crisis
between power-sharing rivals Tsvangirai and President Robert
However, informed of the U-turn on arriving in neighbouring South
Tuesday, Nowak said he was invited the same day to meet Tsvangirai in
originally planned session on Thursday.
"Receiving two completely
different messages, one via the Zimbabwe mission
in Geneva and one directly
from Harare from the head of the government," he
"I got the
clear message from the prime minister that it is his
understanding that the
mission is going on. That leads me to the conclusion
that there must be some
kind of misunderstanding between the different
Harare suddenly announced that it could not maintain the
citing a "previously unanticipated consultative process" with
African Development Community (SADC).
The shift came as
Tsvangirai and ministers drawn from his Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)
party boycotted a cabinet meeting led by Mugabe for
Tsvangirai has suspended ties with the 85-year-old until all
issues in the government's unity pact are ironed out which
over key posts and a crackdown against his
Earlier this month, Nowak had announced the invitation to
conditions in Zimbabwe earlier this month, welcoming it as a sign
government was willing to open dialogue on human rights and allow
"unfettered access" to detention centres.
The UN human rights office
on Wednesday underlined the urgency of the
highlighting allegations that MDC supporters had been
intimidated in recent days.
Nowak said the last minute postponement was
not "the way one should deal
with the United Nations" and that he hoped to
meet other members of the
unity government once in Harare.
meeting was not a valid reason to postpone the eight day trip, he
"I still count on the understanding and hope for the
understanding of the
government ... I mean the entire government of Zimbabwe
to receive me in a
cooperative spirit," he said.
to tear apart unity pact: MDC
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's Movement for
Democratic Change Wednesday accused
President Robert Mugabe of trying to
tear apart a unity pact by threatening
to replace cabinet ministers chosen
by the former opposition.
"It is tantamount to tearing apart the unity
government," MDC spokesman
Nelson Chamisa told AFP.
Herald reported Wednesday that Mugabe was pondering replacing
who have not attended cabinet meetings since Prime Minister
Tsvangirai cut ties with Mugabe's ZANU-PF after a deadlock over key
"His Excellency may have to consider appointing ministers in
capacity to key ministries for the sake of a successful
and general economic turnaround," Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made told the
"Important Cabinet decisions have to be
translated into action
expeditiously," he said.
Mugabe for acting outside the spirit of the global political
(GPA), which has been hampered by a deadlock over key appointments
Mugabe insists and by a crackdown on MDC supporters.
"That is a laughable
proposition. This is precisely the reason why we are
deadlocked. They are in
a mode of unilateralism and arrogance which has not
helped the spirit of the
GPA," Chamisa said.
"You cannot appoint an acting minister when there is
a substantive minister.
It will create a parallel government," he
The unity government, created in February a year after disputed
polls, is in
deep trouble and hopes are pinned on a meeting by the Southern
Development Community (SADC) security organ Thursday to resolve the
"This deadlock will have to be broken. SADC and the
AU (African Union) as
guarantors will have to break this deadlock. It is in
the interest of all of
us," said Chamisa.
The MDC has accused
Mugabe's ZANU-PF of spurious arrests, and said Tuesday
that the party's
transport manager Pascal Gwezere had been abducted and
arrested hours after
a similar attempt on another party member.
cannot appoint acting ministers: MDC
Correspondent Wednesday 28 October 2009
President Robert Mugabe's intention to appoint acting
ministers to replace
members of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party
who have stopped
attending Cabinet meetings is unconstitutional, the former
said on Wednesday as the fallout in Zimbabwe's troubled
"The announced intention by ZANU PF to appoint acting
through the office of the President is not only unfortunate but it
illegal as it is ill-thought," the MDC said in a
Tsvangirai and his MDC two weeks ago stopped attending
meetings and said they were cutting cooperation with Mugabe and his
party to protest the veteran leader's refusal to fully implement
global political agreement (GPA) that gave birth to the
The MDC action was also in protest
against the arrest of one of its
senior officials, Roy Bennett, on
controversial terrorism charges that the
Prime Minister says are politically
motivated and a further breach of the
Tsvangirai and his
MDC ministers again boycotted the yesterday's
Cabinet meeting, throwing the
eight-month-old coalition into a quandary and
leading to the announcement by
Mugabe's ZANU PF of the intention to appoint
"It is self-evident that Zimbabwe at the present is on a precipice
the decision announced by the MDC president on the 16th October
disengage the MDC from the two executive organs of government where
interacts with ZANU PF; namely Cabinet and the Council of Ministers," the
"Such a decision, which was made on the
backdrop of a serious history
of callous disregard to the GPA and lack of
respect of the MDC as an equal
partner is a decision with grave
The MDC said its action meant that
executive power was crippled and
Mugabe, whose spokesman George Charamba
boasted early this week that
government would continue working without the
MDC, cannot make substantive
decisions without consultation with his
coalition partners - Tsvangirai and
another MDC faction leader, Arthur
"Executive power resides in office of the President, the
Minister and Cabinet. The proper quorum and representation of Cabinet
not lie in individual ministries but in their respective political
"Put simply, Cabinet executive power is being shared by
political parties represented in the same. That means that if one
political parties withdraws from that Cabinet, then the same cannot
and the same cannot make any meaningful decision.
State media reported on Wednesday that Mugabe could soon appoint
ministers from his ZANU PF party to carry out duties of MDC Cabinet
- a move that effectively shows that the MDC disengagement has
"With the agricultural season upon us, the
issue of portfolio
leadership at ministerial level has to be addressed by
His Excellency the
President as the Head of State and Government one way or
the other," the
state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Media and
Webster Shamu as saying.
may have to consider appointing ministers in an acting
capacity to key
ministries for the sake of a successful agricultural season
"Important Cabinet decisions have to be
translated into action
expeditiously," Shamu told the Herald.
But the MDC said according to the GPA, Mugabe can only appoint or fire
ministers after consulting his coalition partners.
"Furthermore, it was clearly defined that ministers and deputy
be relieved of their duties only after consultation of the
principals of the
parties participating in the inclusive government," said
the MDC, adding;
"What ZANU PF intends to do is not to appoint acting
ministers, but to usurp
the Constitution of Zimbabwe by appointing their own
Tsvangirai and Mugabe met on Monday, when the
former opposition leader
returned from a tour of regional capitals to drum
up support to try to exert
pressure on the 85-year-old Mugabe, but failed to
reach agreement on the
power-sharing dispute threatening the shaky coalition
A team of ministers from the Southern African
(SADC) politics and security organ - also known as the
Troika - is expected
in Zimbabwe today to review progress of the country's
Analysts say neither Mugabe nor
Tsvangirai wants to see the coalition
government collapse because both stand
to benefit from its continued
existence. However, they warn that the
incessant squabbles between the two
could in the long-run cripple the
administration and render it
ineffective. - ZimOnline
jets in as attacks on MDC & NGO's escalate
By Tichaona Sibanda
With a SADC team heading to Zimbabwe Wednesday a leading
human rights lawyer
said there is a disturbing escalation of conflict and
violence in the
Recent attacks on MDC activists, both in
urban and rural areas, have
escalated the tense relations between Morgan
Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe.
The human rights defender, who asked not to be
named, warned that the
country was on the brink of a major catastrophe,
which if not addressed
'immediately and decisively' would plunge Zimbabwe
into a crisis worse that
The latest crisis is being
covered widely by the region's media, with
newspapers in South Africa and
Botswana calling on the SADC bloc to step in
and take action without delay.
But the African Union Commission chairman
said on Tuesday that the AU and
SADC will not unnecessarily 'interfere' in
Dr Jean Ping said AU members should be given an opportunity to
domestic problems, before the matter could be tackled at regional
But an editorial from a leading South African
newspaper, Business Day, said
it should be noted that the Zuma
administration bears a particular
responsibility for what has gone wrong
with the power-sharing agreement, and
is therefore under a special
obligation to take action to resolve the
The human rights
lawyer told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that ZANU PF was
thousands of its militias in the countryside and that already
been unleashed to attack the rural population.
'This trend indicates that
the bloodshed could exceed the levels we've
previously seen in Zimbabwe, if
ZANU PF is not checked. SADC should act fast
to ensure the country does not
slide back into anarchy,' the lawyer said.
But he said that SADC is
taking a back seat while Zimbabwe is fast hurtling
towards the precipice.
The SADC team arriving Wednesday is from the less
influential SADC Troika
and is a very low level team. It comprises three
foreign ministers from the
organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
'Their mandate is to assess the
situation and report back to the Troika, who
will make a decision on what to
do next after studying the recommendations.'
'Those who seek peace and
justice must not remain silent in the face of this
aggression by Robert
Mugabe. We believe that the recent attacks by ZANU PF
will not serve the
interest of peace and greater humanity in the SADC
On Wednesday the state media reported that Mugabe may appoint
ministers in place of officials from Prime Minister Morgan
further straining the tense standoff.
government mouthpiece The Herald newspaper, quoted Information Minister
Webster Shamu, saying the MDC boycott was 'affecting the inclusive
government's work in preparing for a new farming season'. He said the
agriculture-related ministries headed by MDC-T appointees are Finance,
Economic Planning, Energy and Water Resources, among others.
Transport Manager abducted, party fears for his life
Release - Six armed men in a grey Isuzu last night kidnapped MDC
manager Pascal Gwezere from his home in Mufakose, Harare
Gwezere had just
arrived home from work when the six men descended on his
home and said he
was under arrest and took him away.
A witness said six men using a grey
Isuzu without number plates came and
took him away, saying he was under
Today, the men reportedly came back using a cream Mitsubishi
Number AAB 0646 and took away his wife's cellphone. They
reportedly told her
that Gwezere had been detained at Marimba police
MDC lawyers are desperately trying to establish whether it is
true that he
is at Marimba Police Station.
Over 200 MDC supporters
were abducted and killed last year after Zanu PF
unleashed an orgy of
violence in the run-up to the sham June 27 Presidential
Gwezere's abduction came hours after the attempted kidnapping
Administrator Edith Mashaire in central Harare. Four armed men
in an Isuzu
truck Registration Number ABA 8742 tried to kidnap her on her
way to work
yesterday morning but were foiled by the crowd.
fears for Gwezere's life, which exposes the soured political
the country which flies in the face of the letter and spirit
The kidnappings come barely four days after armed police raided an
in Chisipite. There appears to be a desperate and laughable
attempt by Zanu
PF to link the MDC to the disappearance of an arms cache at
in Borrowdale. Two MDC MPs, Hon Reggie Moyo (Luveve) and Hon
(Pumula) were arrested at a roadblock in Bulawayo and
detained overnight at
Bulawayo Central Police Station on a spurious
allegation that Hon Moyo's car
had been used to ferry the stolen ammunition
from Polomona Barracks in
The two were released without
charge the following morning.
This entry was posted by Sokwanele on
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at 7:52
Tsvangirai top aide's house attacked
by Own Correspondent
Wednesday 28 October 2009
HARARE - A group of unknown people
early Wednesday tried to break into the
house of a top aide of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the latest of
several attacks against the
Premier's followers since he partially withdrew
his MDC party from
Zimbabwe's coalition government two weeks ago.
Gorden Moyo, who is
Minister of State in Tsvangirai's office, said a group
of people who did not
identify themselves came to his Harare residency and
tried to force their
way in, banging on doors and broke some windows before
they ran away after
he threatened to shoot at them.
"They banged on my door several times and
broke my window. When I threatened
to shoot that's when they ran away," said
Moyo, who is not provided with
state security guards at his Harare
Asked if he thought the incident was linked to the country's
political crisis Moyo said, "I think so."
Police were not
immediately available for comment on the matter.
Political tensions that
had relatively eased following formation of a
between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe last
February are on the rise
after the MDC two weeks ago began boycotting
Cabinet over Mugabe's refusal
to fully implement the coalition accord.
A police raid last weekend on an
MDC-owned house in Harare to search for
guns allegedly stolen from an army
barrack outside the capital, the
abduction earlier on Tuesday of one of the
party's workers and the attempted
kidnapping of another have heightened
tensions in the country.
Tsvangirai's decision to partially withdraw his
MDC party from the coalition
government plunged the administration into the
worst crisis of its
The former opposition leader
wants Mugabe to agree to speed up democratic
reforms and that the veteran
leader fires his supporters he unilaterally
appointed to head the central
bank and the attorney general's office in
violation of the power-sharing
Mugabe refused to concede to the demands in a Monday meeting with
and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, the third signatory
A Southern African Development
Community delegation is due to meet
Zimbabwean parties on Thursday to try to
resolve the dispute between
Tsvangirai and Mugabe. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe's Lawyers Withdraw From Justice Conference
Zimbabwe's main professional associations, including the law
"Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights", will not attend a
by the ZANU-PF-controlled justice ministry. The
withdrawal of the
professional groups represents a serious blow to the
A government-sponsored conference,
scheduled to get underway Thursday in
Victoria Falls, was to be the first of
its kind since the unity government
came to power in February. Delegates
were to discuss access to justice for
all Zimbabweans and the systems
through which justice is delivered in
But Zimbabwe lawyers'
associations say selective prosecutions, arbitrary
arrests, detention of
human rights defenders and abuse of the constitution
continue unabated in
Zimbabwe. They say they will not attend the conference.
groups charge the continued abuse of the rule of law indicates
institutions and personnel in the department of justice remain
seriously address flaws that threaten the breakdown of the
They say this further erodes public confidence in the
The systems of justice are controlled by President Robert
Patrick Chinamasa, a senior member of ZANU-PF, is minister
of justice and
another party loyalist, Johannes Tomana was appointed
the Movement for Democratic Change and ZANU-PF signed
a political agreement
a year ago.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai stopped attending
Cabinet meetings with ZANU-PF citing
violations of the political agreement,
Human-rights groups say that since the political agreement
was signed scores
of human-rights activists, Movement for Democratic Change
journalists, and lawyers have been kidnapped, allegedly
Since the unity government was formed in
February seven MDC legislators have
been arrested, charged and three found
guilty in remote rural courts in
cases which the MDC says were designed to
strip it of its narrow
A senior human-rights
lawyer Alex Muchadahama is facing trial after he was
attending to a client's bail, at the Harare High Court, on
obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
The Commercial Farmers'
Union says more than 150 remaining white farmers,
about half those still on
their land, are on trial for trespass. One, Marnie
Grove, said he was told
by ZANU-PF defense minister Emmerson Mnangagwa he
had to get off his land
immediately because he had sought and received
protection from the Southern
Africa Development Community's legal tribunal,
a court of last resort for
the regions' citizens.
On Sunday the two most senior officials of the
umbrella body representing
all Zimbabwe's non government organizations were
arrested in Victoria Falls
and are now out on bail.
The MDC says on
Tuesday evening an official from its Harare head office was
arrested at his
home by unidentified men in an unmarked vehicle. The party
escaped after her kidnappers were overcome by people in the
Also in Zimbabwe, there was the last minute withdrawal of
a visa for the
United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel,
degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, who was due for
"consultative" mission to Zimbabwe.
ZANU-PF officials in
foreign affairs informed him that his visit was not
possible as the
government will be in talks Thursday with the SADC troika on
defense and politics.
The United Nations said Nowak is not convinced this
meeting is a valid
reason for canceling his eight-day mission "at such a
Attempts by VOA to reach Mr. Chinamasa and Mr. Mugabe's
Charamba were unsuccessful.
Bennett's Former Farm Used For Illegal Activities
28 2009 - A former leading coffee farm in
Zimbabwe, owned by Roy Bennett in
Chimanimani, is now ground for illegal
activities including, sell of opaque
beer and gold panning.
Radio VOP has established that one
of the cottages at the former
farmhouse of Deputy Agriculture Minister
designate and Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) treasurer general,
Bennett, currently facing
terrorism charges, is now being used to sell
traditional brewed beer by
Solomon Mashingaidze, a war veteran, who invaded
the property during the
height of the land invasions in 2002.
Mashingaidze, sells traditional beer (seven days ) to fellow invaders
have abandoned farming and have resorted to gold panning in the farm.
The place popularly known as "kwaPachedu" has become popular with
from surrounding farms and timber Estates and gold panners who
especially during month ends and weekends.
Ironically Pachedu is
Bennett's nickname which he got from the local
community for his friendly
and harmonious working relationships with them.
"We are trying to keep
our workers here motivated by selling them
traditional beer at very cheap
prices. Before we started brewing the beer
workers were shunning us and
preferring to work at nearby timber estates. I
was given the permission to
sell beer in this building by our local party
leadership," said Mashingaidze
in an interview with Radio VOP.
Mashingaidze is also accused of
exploiting farm workers by giving them
traditional beer in exchange of
labour at his plot.
Both the cottage and the farm house, which
according to government
policy is supposed to be communally used either as a
school or clinic, is
now in a dilapidated state. The farm house has been
vandalised and stripped
off things like water taps, bathing tubs and window
All the coffee bushes at the farm have been destroyed and
pockets of maize and rapoko fields.
Bennett, who is due
in Court on November 09, is still fighting to get
back his farm.
given to Zimbabwean lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa (October 29, 2009)
visit to France, Beatrice Mtetwa, a lawyer and president of the
of Zimbabwe, will be presented with the Ludovic-Trarieux
Rights Prize by the President of the Senate, Gérard
Mtetwa is the second African recipient, after Nelson Mandela in
this prestigious prize, which is awarded by lawyers to lawyers who
distinguished themselves in their fight to defend human rights and
Within the framework of her work, Beatrice Mtetwa has also
rights of lawyers, journalists and representatives of civil
have been indicted as a result of their efforts to protect
freedoms. Her unwavering commitment means that Beatrice Mtetwa
is central to
Zimbabwean political life.
firm involved in illegal diamond mining in Chiadzwa
By Alex Bell
A leading South African investigative television series has
revealed that a
business firm in that country is involved in illegal diamond
Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa diamond fields.
instalment of Special Assignment exposed the horrors of the
rights abuses at Chiadzwa, as well as the criminalisation of
diamond trade. The program further revealed that a South
Africa scrap metal
company has spearheaded a shady business deal in
Zimbabwe, to illegally mine
in the Chiadzwa diamond fields. The firm,
Reclamation, has dismissed the
allegations as inaccurate, but Special
Assignment Producer Sasha Wales-Smith
told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that
there is concrete evidence to prove
the allegations are true.
"Reclamation has spearheaded a shady joint
venture between a Zimbabwean
minerals group and a Mauritian off-shore
company, which is trading under the
name Mbada Diamonds," Wales-Smith
explained. "Any diamonds they trade will
have been obtained
The footage broadcast on Tuesday night was gathered by
Zimbabwean NGOs, many
too afraid to put their names to a report that would
likely have a violent
backlash. Wales-Smith explained the footage was
'horrifying', with the
military grip on the diamond fields tighter than ever
before. She said it is
clear that human rights abuses are continuing at the
hands of the military,
and expressed shock at the lack of accountability by
"The mines minister (Obert Mpofu) has publicly dismissed
atrocities at the diamond fields and reports of smuggling,"
said. "That couldn't be further from the truth."
continued militarisation of the diamond fields has been in direct
contravention of recommendations made earlier this year by a delegation from
the Kimberley Process (KP), the international body tasked with stopping the
trade in blood diamonds. The group was shamed into sending the review
mission after receiving widespread accounts by Human Rights Groups of
violence, torture, child labour and murder at the diamond fields last year.
Survivors of the military violence have reported mass deaths at the hands of
soldiers in 2008, after the military was ordered to 'clean up' the
The KP delegation found evidence of serious non-compliance with
diamond trade standards, as well as dramatic human rights abuse. The
interim report, which was leaked to the media and was never
published, recommended Zimbabwe's suspension from the regulatory
the suspension recommendation was quickly denounced by the
Chair who told reporters in Harare, before the team's
report had even been
completed, that suspension would never happen. Under
pressure, he has since
denied that he ever made the statement.
Kimberley Process is now expected to decide on Zimbabwe's fate at a
meeting in Namibia next week. But while a course of action is still
debated, the abuses in Chiadzwa are continuing. Special Assignment's
Wales-Smith explained that there has been 'no effort' to demilitarise the
area, and she described how every few kilometers on the Chiadzwa road,
people are stopped by security check points, manned by police and soldiers.
She said the soldiers are all profiting from the illegal mining of the gems,
explaining they are involved in syndicates, which illegal panners often risk
their lives to be a part of. Only last month, diamond panner Moreblessing
Tirivangani, was beaten to death during a rotation of army units who patrol
the area. His death is believed to be syndicate-related.
with this programme is to make people aware of the horrors that are
being committed," Wales-Smith said. "We also want to alert the
Process that it is time for them to deal strongly with this
High Court upholds prosecutor's jail sentence
Maronga Wednesday 28 October 2009
HARARE - The High
Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction and
sentencing of prosecutor Andrew
Kumire by a Harare magistrate for contempt
of court during the trial of
prominent human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama,
but it was not immediately
clear whether the state had complied with the
order to send Kumire to
Harare magistrate Chiwoniso Mutongi last Thursday slapped
Kumire with a five-day jail term after she found him guilty of
court when he clicked his tongue in disapproval of an order the
After the sentencing by Mutongi last week,
Kumire appeared unnerved by
the ruling and simply walked out of the
courtroom only to appeal against the
ruling some hours later at the High
But High Court judge Tedias Karwi's confirmation of the
likely to send a powerful message to the state counsel who was
out on a
Justice Karwi, after reviewing the matter
said the magistrate had
handled it well and the proceedings at the
magistrate's court were in
accordance with substantial justice.
"Confirmed. Proceedings are in accordance with real and substantial
justice," ruled Justice Karwi in his review remarks.
effectively means that Kumire now has to serve the five days in
stated in the earlier ruling at the lower court.
decision, Mutongi said after Kumire raised a certain
point of argument, the
defence council objected to his line of questioning
and the court held the
"The same state counsel produced a sound
that is always regarded as
contemptuous and clearly undermined the court's
authority. The court decided
that the behaviour was intolerable; he should
have led by example," said
She said the court felt
that such conduct should not be tolerated and
he should be committed to
prison for five days.
During the trial Kumire continuously defied
the magistrate arguing
that he had not asked any leading question. The
magistrate further cautioned
him against undermining the authority of the
court. But he proceeded
undeterred and grumbled his disapproval against the
Kumire was representing the
state in the trial of Muchadehama, who is
jointly charged with High Court
Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu's clerk,
Constance Gambara, for conniving to
unlawfully release on bail three
political detainees from police
The state alleges that last April Muchadehama and Gambara
facilitated the improper release of freelance photo-journalist
Manyere from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, as well as MDC
Kisimusi Dhlamini and Gandhi Mudzingwa who were under hospital
the Avenues Clinic after their abduction by state security
allegedly masterminding terror activities in the country - a
Muchadehama's trial was postponed to November
17 after the state
requested a postponement following Kumire's conviction. -
Coal reserves dwindle
October 28, 2009
By Martin Kadzere
Colliery Company Limited's coal reserves suitable for electricity
from the dragline pits will be exhausted in the next three years.
estimates indicate the colliery's reserves for power coal lasts for 15
years, HCCL managing director Mr Fred Moyo said there were huge deposits on
the Colliery Old Number 3.
The reserves are however under
Although the mine was looking at ways of dewatering the mine, the HCCL
pointed out that the process was capital intensive and "the success is
Hwange Colliery deposits are into two categories, the
extracted by the dragline and dip reserves which are mined
methods which are costly.
The recently commissioned
dragline at Hwange has a lifespan of about 50
years and the reserve scenario
does not support such an asset's life.
"Coal suitable for power generation is
found in shallow reserves and our own
resources from the dragline pits do
not go beyond three years," said Mr
"While we have some reserves at
Old Number 3 Colliery, the deposits are
under water and we still need to
look for ways to dewater the mine without
polluting the surrounding
This now raises fears of a major power crisis if HCCL eventually runs
power coal reserves from the dragline pits and if not issued with new
Equally confounding would be the fate of the Hwange
Power Station, as lower
reserves would be insufficient to support the
current and envisaged Zimbabwe
Power Company expansion project. ZPC, a
subsidiary of Zesa Holdings which
plans to build two more power generation
units in Hwange and these will
demand more coal.
Mr Moyo however said
that they had discovered that there were more
quantities of industrial coal
under the company's current operations.
"While we are running out of power
coal deposits, we still have substantial
quantities of industrial coal which
cannot be used for power generation."
ZPC has not been generating enough
power at Hwange Power Station, the
country's oldest electricity power
generation plant largely as a result of
Mr Moyo said coal
deliveries to HPS have drastically improved during the
Monthly deliveries are averaging 180 000 tonnes and are expected to
200 000 tonnes next month.
"Zesa is paying us in advance and they
are running their four units.
"At least we are now managing to build up stock
piles. We are no longer
living from hand to mouth which I think is a very
At this time last year, HCCL was supplying only 100
000 tonnes per month.
The HCCL boss said the conveyor belt which carries coal
from the crushers to
the power station would be replaced at an estimated
cost of R4 million.
dismisses Thondlana from NewsDay
October 28, 2009
HARARE - Preparations for the launch of NewsDay, the
proposed first daily
from publisher Trevor Ncube's ZimInd stable have hit a
snag - Barnabas
Thondlana hired back in May to spearhead the launch of the
paper has been
As Thondlana struggled to build an editorial
team for NewsDay, Ncube took
the market by surprise when he announced in
September that his new paper was
coming on stream at the beginning of
November 2009, next week. Ncube
confirmed on Tuesday that his company had
parted ways with Thondlana. He
said the parting was amicable.
now in the process of looking for someone to run the NewsDay both
and externally," Ncube said.
Tondlana, 47, was the news editor at the
launch of The Daily News 10 years
ago but was soon relieved of the position.
He returned to the Zimbabwe
Independent from where he had been recruited.
His premature departure from
NewsDay will be the second time he has been
hired to launch a newspaper as
editor but has been sidelined at the last
Just before the launch of The Daily News on Sunday in 2003
invited to launch Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe new weekly
Tondhlana did arrive back but the company proceeded to appoint
journalist, Bill Saidi, as editor of the new weekly, which was soon
along with its sister paper, The Daily News.
News of the
removal of "Boss Barns" as he is affectionately known among
received with shock in media circles in Harare.
While Ncube spoke of an
amicable parting, Thondlana said he was equally
shocked by his sudden
"I was called in by (chief executive) Raphael Khumalo Friday at
offices," said Thondlana. "He told me that since the newspaper
still to be licenced they were letting me go because it had
become a burden
to pay me while not producing a paper. Khumalo also told me
they would call
me once they got the licence."
Thondlana said he was
not certain he would be recalled if the newspaper was
granted its publishing
"I can't help but think there is something sinister about the
especially since my deputy is still there and some journalists
to start this coming Monday."
Sources at The
Independent, Zimind's current flagship, say Thondlana was
fired after he
failed to attract recognised journalists to the new project.
Thondlana himself was appointed editor designate after the company's
accomplished journalist, Davison Maruziva, the most obvious candidate
the job, turned down Ncube's invitation for him to launch NewsDay.
is the editor of The Sunday Standard and former deputy editor of
News as well as The Chronicle and The Herald before it.
performance since he was appointed to prepare for the launch
Tondlana said: "We had over 600 applications but most of them
were below par
so we ended up handpicking people. It wasn't my fault. I know
they were not
happy about that but what could I do."
The preparations for the launch of
NewsDay and announcement of a November
launch date at a time when the
government of national unity is dragging its
feet on the issue of
registration of new independent newspapers has
generated curiosity and
speculation in media circles.
In May Ncube told the Los Angeles Times
that he had spoken to government
ministers from all sides.
received a single indication that there's somebody who doesn't
want us to be
licensed," he said in an interview at his office in
Africa, where he published The Mail and Guardian.
The Los Angeles Times
reported that NewsDay aimed to surpass the circulation
of the popular Daily
News launched by ANZ in 1999 under the editorship of
Geoffrey Nyarota, now
the managing editor of The Zimbabwe times. It was
envisaged NewsDay would be
profitable within nine months.
The circulation of The Daily News peaked
at 129 500 copies sold a day in
June 2000, just a year after its launch. The
Daily News was the only
independent daily newspaper in Zimbabwe at the time.
printing press was bombed by government agents in 2001 while
itself was banned in September 2003.
The two newspapers
in the ZimInd stable, The Zimbabwe Independent and the
Standard both have a
circulation of less than 20 000 copies per week.
If newspapers are
allowed free registration once the long awaited Zimbabwe
Media Commission is
established the daily newspaper market will be crowded
and the competition
for readers and a slice of the advertising cake will be
The Herald, which currently also sells less than 20 000 copies per day
from 165 000 in the 1980s, will probably endure an erosion of its
readership, it will fight to retain its long-established hold on
advertising, especially the classifieds, where it has enjoyed a monopoly for
more than a century.
NewsDay will also face a stiff challenge from
Reserve Bank governor, Dr
Gideon Gono's proposed Daily Evening Gazette and
the revived Daily News. The
Daily News will enjoy the advantage of an
established reputation and an
There are other
players on the sidelines, notably Nyarota's Zimbabwe Times
and Wilf Mbanga's
The Zimbabwean, which is published in the United Kingdom,
printed in South
Africa and shipped across the border into Zimbabwe.
can solve own problems: AU
Oct 2009 03:34:00 +0000
THE Chairperson of the African Union Commission
has told reporters he
believes the 'deadlock' over issues of public
servants' appointments in
Zimbabwe is solvable and best handled by the
partners to the inclusive
Government of Zimbabwe.
Dr. Jean Ping who
was speaking at a Press conference on the sidelines of the
Session of the Second Pan-African Parliament at the Gallagher
Centre (Midrand, South Africa) yesterday said the African Union,
the Southern Africa Development Community will not interfere in
affairs of Zimbabwe.
"African Union members should be given an
opportunity to address domestic
problems before the matter could be tackled
at regional and continental
"Our organisation remains guided
by the principles of solidarity and
subsidiarity so as to promote the common
good throughout the African
continent," said Dr. Ping who is also President
of the Pan-African
The principle of subsidiarity is
enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the
African Union. It emphasizes that
conflict resolution, decision-making,
enforcement, and judicial recourse are best
conducted at the lowest
practicable level of government, not at the regional
would only be asked to try and help if the country cannot sort out the
dispute," Dr. Ping said in response a question on Sadc's role in breaking
the political impasse in Zimbabwe.
"If the region cannot also help,
then we (the AU) and subsequently the
United Nations, can come in."
CFU Press Statement
The Commercial Farmers' Union of
28 October 2009
farmers continue to be prosecuted by the Attorney
Currently this figure stands at 152 farmers. Several
other farmers are
facing forced evictions, illegal possession of farm
equipment and materials
in the presence of both beneficiaries and Government
authorities. This is
clearly in violation of the terms of the Global
The impact of these prosecutions and occurrences countrywide on
summer cropping programme is disastrous.
Farmers' Union therefore calls upon Government to immediately
current situation as a matter of urgency. This call is made in
interests of the nation as a whole.
As commercial farmers, we are
prepared to contribute to Zimbabwe's food self
sufficiency, but can only do
so when given the opportunity.
Full production of commercial farmland
would alleviate the necessity for the
constant importation of essential food
We now call upon Government to clarify whether white
commercial farmers have
any role to play in the future of food production in
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION OF
Tel: +263 4 309 800 (CFU - Harare)
Cell: +263 912 246 233
refer also to our attached media release:
"Food crisis set to escalate as
Zim farmers forced off land"
Food crisis set to escalate as Zimbabwean farmers forced
MEDIA UPDATE FOR IMMEDIATE
Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe 28 October 2009
Food crisis set to escalate as Zimbabwean farmers forced off
dramatic upscaling of violence against the few remaining Zimbabwean commercial
farmers and their workers is cause for great concern, both for food security in
Zimbabwe and for the region.
the past 12 months, the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has seen a steady
continuation, and in some cases escalation of state-sponsored violence and
unlawful disturbances on commercial farms.
Farmers are being driven from their farms by beneficiaries who have
been fraudulently allocated the farms on the basis
previous listing of their farm(s) in a Government
existence of an offer letter issued at the sole discretion of a minister or land
officer in favour of the listed farm(s) in question
- Fraudulently generated offer letters.
the law into their own hands.
beneficiaries are from all walks of life including government ministers or
related families, force officers [army, police and the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO)] and senior businessmen.
prevailing unjust legal position is such that, if a matter can be classified as
“political”, as is the case with all matters relating to land, then the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) refuse to carry out their constitutional duties, leaving
commercial farmers and farm workers unprotected by the law, which has been the
case since March 2000.
week the number of farmers who were evicted through the courts doubled, with 152
of the estimated 400 remaining farmers currently facing prosecution. Five were found guilty of remaining on their
farms and ordered to vacate their properties.
They were also given fines of around US$300.
total of 12 farmers and 34 workers have been convicted to date, heightening
insecurity in the agricultural sector countrywide. Farmers who continue to occupy and use their
farms face prosecution and imprisonment.
paralyse farming operations
Beatrice: The situation with respect to Mrs Hester
Theron, a 79-year-old widowed farmer from the Beatrice area is a case in
point. Mrs Theron, who owns
Friedenthal, a dairy and beef-producing farm, was taken to court, allegedly for
refusing to vacate her property and for ignoring a fake offer letter given to
the new owner, Mr Chagwadere. On October
22, Mrs Theron was found guilty and given an automatic eviction order. She has to return to court on November
The same day, KweKwe farmer Hermanus (Manie) Grove of Innogo Ranch faced
continued harassment and intimidation, with drunken employees of the beneficiary
of his farm breaking through the security fence. The intruders tried to force their way into
the homestead and interfered with Mr Grove’s farm equipment and tractors. The situation became extremely tense and the
KweKwe police were informed but failed to arrive on the
Grove is one of 79 farmers protected by the landmark Southern African
Development Community (SADC) Tribunal ruling of 28 November 2009. On Saturday 24 October 2009, Mr Grove
approached his local MP, Mr Mnangagwa to relieve the situation on the farm. Mr Grove was told by Minister Mnangagwa to
vacate his farm because he, Mr Gove had gone to the SADC
Headlands: Soldiers threatened to shoot
Charles Lock, the owner of Karori farm, when he tried to enter his property
after the High Court granted him access to collect his belongings. The police said there was nothing they could
do to make the soldiers adhere to the court ruling.
On October 6, police arrested Carl Pistorius of Chidza farm in the
Masvingo area and took him to the police station where he was intimidated and
harassed. They also attempted to fast
track his case in order to evict him.
The offer letter for his farm is alleged to be
Mateke Hills Area,
farm managers arrested on 26 October 2009 for allegedly contravening the
Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act.
has become apparent in most cases is that the direct orders - which were
allegedly given to police, magistrates, prosecutors and lands officials via the
document titled “Handling Land Cases” - have been used.
document was issued in February by the Attorney General’s office. It is believed to be a direct assault against
the independence of the judiciary and also the Constitution because of its
alleged prejudgement of cases before they come to
Furthermore, it is in direct contradiction of the “presumption of
innocence” and is largely responsible for the aggressive actions of the new
beneficiaries who are attempting to illegally evict the owners, without
significant number of judicial officers who preside over cases involving
commercial farmers, including the Chief Justice himself, are beneficiaries of
the land reform programme.
Farmers face up to two years’ imprisonment if found guilty for
remaining on their farms and in their
General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) reports
that over 60,000 farm workers have been made homeless since February
Farm workers in Zimbabwe, who together with the farmers once
constituted the backbone of the economy, are largely still unemployed, have no
homes and are dependent upon humanitarian aid.
GAPUWZ says the new owners are not interested in carrying out farming
- for them the properties are primarily a source of capital.
The union estimates that between 80 and 90 percent of farm workers in
Zimbabwe have lost their jobs. GAPWUZ currently has 15,000 members, less than 10
years ago membership was closer to 200,000.
barred from producing food
2007 farmers were told that farms were available (or were allowed to be
retained) on a one-man-one farm and non-racial basis and they were encouraged to
make applications to the Minister of Agriculture through the A2 application
Approximately 800 applications were made but to date no individual
farmer has received confirmation or rejection of their application.
a well-known fact that a substantial amount of agricultural land has been
abandoned and unutilised during the course of the fast track land acquisition
programme. However, Zimbabwe’s
commercial farmers, who are very highly rated internationally, and who have the
knowledge and experience required for high volume and high quality commercial
production, are being denied access to their farms.
February this year, the World Food Program (WFP)
announced that it aimed to provide food assistance to 5.1 million people across
Zimbabwe - the highest number of beneficiaries in a single month since the
regional crisis began in 2002. In January, WFP assisted 4.3 million
decline between 2000 and 2008
- Wheat -90%
- Citrus -50
- Dairy -58.82
- Beef -66.94
- Coffee -92%
- Tea -40.36%
- Tobacco (flue cured)
-79.36 (a major foreign currency
too dangerous to plant
to the ongoing violations of commercial farmers and their workers, the
prosecution threats and lack of security of tenure, the majority of commercial
farmers will not be able to plant crops this season.
estimated tonnage of maize, the staple food crop, for the 2009/2010 season is
just 500,000 tonnes from 2,043,000 tonnes in 2000.
failure to initiate a comprehensive and impartial land audit as directed by the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) is viewed as a major impediment to progress in
the resolution of both the land crisis and lack of production on remaining
the land reform programme began in 2000, compensation has only been paid for 203
farms out of the 6,571 gazetted farms.
CFU has been exploring potential solutions, particularly regarding the elements
of both compensation and restitution for our members and past members, which are
an essential component of recovery. The
proposal, if accepted by our farming community, could provide a platform from
which the agricultural sector and Zimbabwe as a whole could begin to
Equally so it is important that Government stabilises the current
agricultural sector. A recommended
starting point is the announcement of a moratorium on all new offer letters,
disruptions and the prosecution of farmers.
Full production of commercial farmland would alleviate the necessity
for the constant importation of essential food to Zimbabwe by the donor
It would also ensure that Zimbabwe is in a position once again to
produce food for the SADC region, impacting positively on food security.
However, until there is sufficient stability in the agricultural
sector to encourage substantial investment, Zimbabwe will be unable to produce
sufficient food to satisfy the requirements of the country and the population
will continue to depend on high volumes of food
THERON - PRESIDENT
COMMERCIAL FARMERS’ UNION OF ZIMBABWE
Note: Contact details
For further information or
Commercial Farmers’ Union Of
+263 4 309 800 (Harare)
Zim Cell: +263
912 246 233
Note: Please refer also to our attached media
School Priced Out of O-Level Exams
"HOW can responsible authorities sit back, watch and do nothing
rural school fails to register a single pupil for Ordinary Level
"Why should we keep quiet when a student is left
with no option but to drag
the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and
Culture to court to force him to
extend the examination registration
"Our education sector is in shambles and something should be
done to restore
sanity," a disgruntled parent complains.
comes amid shocking revelations that Bambadzi Secondary School in
Matabeleland South Province failed to register a single student for this
year's Ordinary Level examinations.
This is despite a deadline
extension by the Education Ministry when they
realised that thousands of
students had failed to beat the initial deadline
twice on September 11 and
To cushion the cash-strapped parents, the ministry unveiled a loan
which, however, failed to change their plight, as many could not
themselves to register their children.
Registration fees for a
single subject was US$10 for "O" Level and US$20 for
loan scheme required the parents to register their children for free and
the fees over three months.
Bambadzi School Development Association
deputy chairperson Mrs Vonolia
Ndlovu said most Form 4 students who failed
to pay the exam fees dropped out
of school while a few opted to join the
Form 3 class.
"The entire Form 4 class has collapsed and there are no
Form 4 students as
we speak," said Mrs Ndlovu.
She said such a crisis
requires a bold decision and commitment from both the
Government and the
Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council, as thousands of
children have been
deprived of their right to education.
According to a Government official
from the province, 40 percent of the
prospective candidates are not going to
sit for their exams and some had
joined Form 3 classes.
were not patient and chose to drop out of school, leaving them prone
social vices," said the official.
The crisis reached its peak when a
Bulawayo student, Gracious Thambo,
dragged Minister Coltart to court in a
bid to force him to extend the
This proved a
further sign of desperation of many students whose parents
failed to raise
the money needed to write examinations.
Most parents interviewed said the
country should fully abide by the UN
Convention on the Rights of a Child,
which explicitly explains that every
child has the right to education and
the State has the duty to ensure that
primary education, at least, is made
free and compulsory.
"The State must recognise that education should be
directed at developing
the child's personality and talent, preparing the
child for active life as
an adult, fostering respect for basic human rights
and developing respect
for the child's cultural and traditional values,"
said Mr James Moyo of
Zimbabwe is also a signatory of the
Millennium Development Goals, which seek
to achieve universal education for
all by 2015.
Despite efforts to salvage Zimbabwe's ailing education
fees are driving away thousands of poor Ordinary and
Advanced Level students
from writing their examinations, which are a
passport to higher education
and formal employment.
while parents complain, Minister Coltart believes the
examination fees were
"cheaper" compared to Cambridge.
He said this during a
question-and-answer session in the House of Assembly
Failure by thousands of prospective students to register for
examinations prompted analysts to conclude that the low
is the "highest in the history of the
Former Minister of Information and Publicity Dr Sikhanyiso
founder of the Zimbabwe Distance Education College said the
should urgently look into the issue.
"An urgent united
approach is needed if we are to move forward.
"Are we going back to the
pre-colonial era where education was a preserve of
the elite with the poor
being edged out?" he asked.
While parents worry about their children's
fate, the examination body has
decided to hold onto the actual number of
students who managed to register.
However, sources within the examination
council revealed that thousands of
pupils failed to pay the required
"They have completed compiling the figures but are
refusing to release them
because of fear of criticism since the registration
levels are so low," said
the Zimsec source.
Persistent inquiries did
not bear any fruit, as Zimsec remained mum on the
Minister Coltart admitted that the registration levels were very
promised that they would map the way forward as soon as Zimsec makes
available the final statistics.
"It is clear that a lot of students
failed to register mainly because of
poverty but we have to wait for Zimsec
to give the final figures and map the
way forward," he said.
attributed all the problems to poor funding and general poor
has rocked Zimsec over the past years.
"The nation has lost faith in
Zimsec because of its poor performance and
people have opted for other exam
bodies like Cambridge," he said, adding
that Government had no money to undo
years of damage.
"Assistance has not been coming as expected so there is
no money to
subsidise the cost of administering the exams," he also
To make matters worse, while students in neighbouring South Africa
writing public examinations on Monday, Zimsec is yet to come up with
for this year's "O" and "A" Level examinations.
In the event
that the timetable is released, it is likely that exams will
December or even next year while in previous years the public
exams ended in
But what is sad is the fact that innocent children and parents
sacrificed so much to get this far only to be disappointed at the last
Hard hit by the chaos surrounding Zimsec exams are children
in rural areas
and farming communities who travel between 10 and 15
kilometres to school
However, a large number of those who
have managed to register were forced to
cut the number of subjects they are
sitting for, as they could not afford to
pay for all the
"You will find that students doing eight subjects have managed
to pay for
"This defeats the purpose of spending four
years in secondary school," said
a Harare secondary headmaster who declined
to be named.
"This is far beyond what is required when one would be
hoping to further
"Students require a minimum of five 'O'
Level passes to proceed to 'A' level
or to qualify for an apprenticeship or
gain admission to a teachers' college
or school of nursing.
making history by failing to register a single pupil brings to the
effect the examination fees announced by Government had on students
communities," added the headmaster.
Civil servants have not been spared
with many arguing that they do not have
the money to pay for their
"Where do they want us to get the money considering what they
are giving us?
It is better for my child to go back to Form 3 and write next
year," said Mr
Taitus Marimo, a teacher in Seke.
Rate Causes Havoc In Bulawayo
HARARE, October 27, 2009 - THE "cross
rate" is allegedly causing havoc
in Bulawayo - The City of
Matabeleland North Governor, Thokozile Matuthu told
Radio VOP in an
exclusive interview that the cross rate was resulting in
items in shops
going up almost daily in the city.
rate is killing industry in Bulawayo," she said. "It has
also resulted in
women coming onto the streets again selling foreign
Bulawayo uses the South African Rand to conduct business.
to SA to sell their wares such as doilies and African wear as
well as peanut
butter and vegetables.
In Harare the United States dollar is the
major means of tender.
The US and the SA Rand change rates almost
daily at commercial banks
such that items in shops in Bulawayo also change
as the rate decreases or
The rate in Harare is US$1
equals Rand 10 while on the streets the
rate can be as high as US$1 for
about SA Rand 14.
"The cross rate is killing our city," Mathuthu
said. "We need to do
something about it very soon before we go back to the
days of the Zimbabwe
dollar when we had too many unemployed people roaming
the streets selling
She said women from the Apostolic
Faith Church were mainly responsible
for the "cross rate" saga.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said Zimbabwe will return to use of
currency only when the economy returns to normal.
Tembani’s children forced out of the school their father built
Two primary schoolchildren have been forced out of a school their father, Luke
Tembani, built after the family was evicted from their farmer in defiance of a
SADC Tribunal ruling protecting the pioneering black commercial farmer.
Tembani, a successful pioneer indigenous commercial farmer was evicted a
fortnight ago by a Mutare Deputy Sheriff from the remainder of his Minverwag
Farm at Clare Estate Ranch, which he bought in 1983. The new owner, Takawira
Zembe claims to have bought the farm from the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe
(Agribank), formerly Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).
Tembani’s twin children Luke and Terrylee, who were in Grade 3 at the time of
eviction at the farm’s Chimwanda Primary School have dropped out of school as a
result of the displacement. They are now staying with their parents in Rusape
where they are temporarily occupying a single room.
So insulting and distressing is the fact that Tembani is the one who built
the farm school in 1986. The school opened its doors to students in 1987,
offering free education to 321 pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 7.
Tembani said the huge cost incurred during the construction of the farm
school was one of the reasons why he ended up failing to service his debts to
“In 1990 I had to purchase school furniture which cost me a lot of money.
This was worsened by the national drought of 1992/1994 and as a result I became
very short to service my AFC loans…It really pains me,” said Tembani.
Meanwhile, Zembe has proposed an “outrageous” proposal to allow Tembani’s
children back on the farm school.
In a letter to Tembani, Zembe asked the former owner to first withdraw his
appeal against the eviction and cede total ownership of the farm to him for Luke
and Terrylee to be allowed back on the farm school.
Zembe said he would be willing to accommodate Tembani’s children at the farm
on condition that he provided a maid to take care of them.
Tembani, who became one of the country’s first black commercial farmers
shortly after independence in 1980 was evicted from his Nyazura farm in
Manicaland which he has occupied for the past 26 years in defiance of a Southern
African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal ruling barring his eviction.
The Windhoek-based Tribunal recently ruled that the repossession and sale of
the farm by the State-run Agribank in order to recoup an outstanding loan was
“illegal and void.”
ordered the government to take all the necessary measures through its agents not
to evict Tembani or his family from the property and to stop interfering with
his use and occupation of the farm.
But the government has refused to comply with the regional Tribunal’s orders.
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa unilaterally pulled
Zimbabwe out of the SADC Tribunal, a decision which was disproved by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
This story was extracted from Edition 18 of The Legal Monitor.
Available to download here in pdf format. More about Luke Tembani via ZimOnline.
better off without Gono
SINCE the inception of the coalition government, the disputed
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, has displayed
tendencies that have demonstrated beyond doubt why he should be
evicted from the central bank.
From the day that Tendai
Biti took over as the Minister of Finance and put a
full stop to the central
bank's quasi-fiscal misadventures, Gono, who is
apparently very bitter, has
been running in all directions like a headless
assistance of hired foot-soldiers in the state media, especially
and the Sunday Mail, the emasculated governor has launched a
campaign to sabotage and vilify everything good that the minister
is trying to do to turn around the economy.
Gono's well publicised
tomfoolery has not only served to annoy the majority
of hopeful Zimbabweans
but is now threatening to derail strategic operations
of the ministry which
has been given the crucial task of resuscitating the
economy which collapsed
when he was in charge as quasi-finance minister
between 2003 and
Among other outstanding issues, Gono's contested presents in the
government, at the expense of the integrity of the central bank, is
reason why the delicate coalition is now disconnected and facing
Gono's evil and doomed campaign to sabotage and vilify Biti can
in four episodes which have received remarkable media publicity
they are newsworthy but because the governor has always used
persuade underpaid journalists from the state media to write PR
his behalf which are always passed as business news.
wonder small-time journalists at the Sunday Mail and the Herald now drive
expensive cars -- Mahindra trucks -- which they cannot afford considering
their paltry salaries, but were sourced by Gono through the central bank in
2007 using taxpayers' money.
Immediately after the appointment of
Biti in February, a bitter Gono went on
the offensive accusing the minister
of having a personal vendetta against
him when Biti demanded that the
governor should be relieved of his job not
only because he had failed in his
duties as evidenced by the comatose
economy but also because his appointment
was unprocedural in terms of the
Global Political Agreement
Gono went to the desperate measure of writing a long
letter to Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pitching the preposterous
allegation that Biti
was out to settle a personal score against him although
it is common place
that everybody in the MDC, including the Prime Minister,
knows the naked
truth that Gono's appointment is irregular in terms of the
letter and spirit
of the GPA.
What Gono was trying to achieve with
his long letter was to try and put a
wedge between the minister and the
prime minister in the naive hope that he
would successfully recruit the
prime minister to fight in his corner against
But everybody now
knows that Gono's long letter, written in broken English
in most parts, was
rejected before it landed on the Prime Minister's desk.
highlight of Gono's doomed campaign was his call in August for
the return of
the inflationary Zimbabwe dollar, a dead horse that he has
to Zanu PF loyalists including President Robert Mugabe who
is part of the
discordant orchestra advocating the revival of the useless
From the look of things, the ageing Mugabe does not even
believe in the
chorus he is being made to sing beyond the singular fact that
banker is the one leading the choir.
Biti has made it
clear that he will resign from the government if he is put
pressure to revive the dead and buried Zimbabwe dollar for the
that the currency had become an instrument of arbitrage and
behaviour during Gono's reign as quasi-finance minister.
And that should
be good news to Gono whose four-pronged campaign is to
frustrate and displace the Minister of Finance by any
But it is also the reason why the MDC will not allow Biti who
has done a
sterling job so far to resign from his post come rain or
The most recent highlight of Gono's atavistic tendencies has
been the absurd
allegation that Biti is blocking capital injections from
Over the past few weeks, Gono
has been using his attack dogs in the state
media to peddle the scurrilous
allegation that Biti is blocking a total of
US$800m from the International
Monetary Fund, the Preferential Trade Area
Bank and the African Import and
Everybody except Gono and his friends in Zanu PF knows that
block funds which are meant to help resuscitate the comatose
the same minister has been going around the world with a
begging bowl trying
to raise such funds.
It is on record that for the
past eight months, the Finance Minister and the
Prime Minister have
criss-crossed the globe, visiting Britain, German,
Belgium, the Netherlands
and USA among other countries, trying to raise
billions of United States
dollars that are urgently needed to get Zimbabwe's
Nobody except the superstitious dead wood in the Zanu PF
leadership - who
believe that diesel can be extracted from a rock -- will
believe the hogwash
that Biti is going out of his way to block badly needed
loans from donor
institutions when the minister knows more than anybody else
how badly the
country needs that money.
And where loans have been
extended to the coalition government by the
international community, Gono
has relentlessly sought to usurp Biti's powers
by demanding that he be
allowed to decide how the money should be used when
that fiscal role is the
sole function of the Minister of Finance while the
governor may only give
advice, nothing more nothing less.
What is coming out clearly from Gono's
mischief is that Zanu PF is trying to
resurrect the bygone era of
quasi-fiscal insanity where the minister of
finance took instructions from
the central bank governor instead of the
other way round.
imperative to remind Gono that he is an illegal Reserve Bank
appointment is not recognised by the GPA which gave birth to
government that he purports to be serving.
Remember being a senior civil
servant, Gono's appointment was supposed to be
done after consultations
among the three principals of the unity government
coming as it did three
months after the signing of the GPA on September 15,
Minister has made it clear that these mandatory consultations did
place which makes Gono's appointment null and void regardless of
President Mugabe thinks or says.
The lie being peddled by Zanu PF
mandarins that the appointment of Gono was
made before the signing of the
GPA will not fool anyone because everybody
knows that Gono was re-appointed
by President Mugabe three months after the
GPA on December 1, 2008, after
his five-year term expired on 31 November
Gono and those who
have supported his unprocedural appointment are making
the ignorant and
dangerous assumption that President Mugabe is the sum total
of the unity
government with the final say on all GPA matters when he
obviously is not -
that is why it's called a coalition.
If the unity government collapses
today, Gono should be prepared to shoulder
culpability for this national
catastrophe and to live with the wrath of the
suffering masses who will
blame him eternally for refusing to vacate office
when the cohesion and
success of the unity government depended on it.
Strictly speaking, what
is urgent now is for Gono to be evicted from 80
Samora Machel Avenue before
he achieves his sadistic ambition to resuscitate
the dead and buried era of
quasi-fiscal madness where the central bank was a
major player in the opaque
black market economy.
After his eviction, maybe we may then talk about
why Gono should be
investigated for corruption and criminal conduct during
his tenure at the
central bank between December 2003 and November
The truth of the matter is that in the coalition government, we
problem called Gideon Gono and as such all Zimbabweans need to look
individual and his intentions with suspicion and doubt.
track record will continue to tarnish the integrity of the unity
which will not succeed in attracting major financial assistance
larger international community for as long as the coalition retains
incompetent and corrupt civil servants within its ranks.
line is that Zimbabwe's government of national unity will be
without this blundering civil servant.
Jacob Rukweza is the MDC
councillor for Ward 17 in Chitungwiza
Before the GNU Collapses - Remodel Zimbabwe's Chikurubi
"Mbudzi yaba nyama imbwa iripo" - The goat steals the meat
while the guard
dog looks on.
As the bankrupt apartheid
regime in South Africa was waning, and in its very
last days of existence,
it was said that the cabinet of President P.W. Botha
convened an emergency
meeting. The purpose: frantically allocate funds that
were still held in the
national coffers before Nelson Mandela assumed power.
As frenzied ministers
jostled for monies to be allocated to their respective
of Defence Magnus Malan requested for the lion's share
of the fiscus. This
instantaneously triggered a counter-plea from the
the dreaded Adriaan Vlok, Minister of Law and Order.
apparently requested funds to enable him to re-equip the SADF, so that
could effectively defend apartheid, while Vlok wanted the money to build
more prisons. Minister of National Education, F.W. De Klerk, stood up and
asked for all the funds so that he could build better schools for blacks
Vlok had eloquently laid out an elaborate
proposal to build state-of-the-art
prisons complete with air-conditioning,
gymnasiums, wall to wall carpeting,
and beds with therapeutic mattresses,
colour televisions with satellites,
three hot meals a day, and hot showers.
Weekly conjugal visits from the
prisoner's partner of choice (any sexual
orientation and ethnicity) were
proposed as an amendment to the Prison
P.W. Botha requested Vlok to explain his unusual,
extravagant and seemingly
irrational request. Vlok emphatically asked the
entire cabinet, "When these
ex-freedom fighters take over, do you think they
are going to imprison us in
Whether this cabinet
debate took place or not is contentious; however, what
is not debatable is
the urgent need for ZANU (PF) to recalibrate its violent
posture. The day
for justice is looming closer and indeed ZANU (PF) human
are not going to be housed in schools or on the farms they
Zimbabwe's gulag is the notorious
flea-infested Chikurubi Maximum Security
Prison; a colonial relic built in
the 1940's and home to ZANU (PF)'s
imagined and perceived enemies since
independence. It shall soon become the
new zip code, the eternal domiciliary
for all ex-ministers, and the secure
abode for their unrepentant
To cater for the spill over, and to avoid sharing beds,
ZANU (PF) needs to
include Khami Maximum Security Prison, Kwe Kwe,
and the Wha Wha detention centres in the same
remodelling project. A
constitutional amendment to allow the privilege of
conjugal visits to
ZANU(PF) prisoners shall not be
Mugabe is cognisant of the looming day of reckoning
and has proactively
pardoned over one thousand hardcore criminals to
prudently make room for his
bloated government's war cabinet (amadhodha
sibili). Dockets alleging acts
of murder, rape, torture, and theft of state
property are being prepared by
the people of Zimbabwe who have been
witnesses and are the innocent victims
of ZANU (PF)'s misrule, since
Phil Matibe - www.madhingabucketboy.com
Zimbabwe Trapped Again – Mugabe and Moyo’s Genocidal Incitements
Important lies were told this
week while it is increasingly becoming more difficult to be optimistic about
Zimbabwe again. Especially when you hear that armed police, under military
supervision, raided MDC residence over the weekend. Subsequently,
Jonathan Moyo’s dire warning that war veterans will set Zimbabwe ‘on fire’ if
Bennett is sworn was another shocker. Instead of recanting such contemptible
incitements, Mugabe was quick to vow that Bennett will never be sworn. He
obtusely told MDC and SADC that Zanu PF has ‘fulfilled’ every obligation
stipulated under GPA terms.
Even more debilitating was yet
another lie from Jonathan Moyo. He recently told the nation that only Zanu PF
can win free elections. “MDC cannot win a free and fair election
as was shown in March 2008,” he said. What an oxymoron! Moyo is doing exactly
what he does best – spin. On his website he admits that “the dictator” has been
rejected Mugabe on March 29”, wrote Moyo on his website
- http://prof-jonathan-moyo.com/?itemid=55 . In another
article entitled “Reject Mugabe’s ploy to rule forever” -
http://prof-jonathan-moyo.com/?itemid=32, Moyo called
for massive resitance against Mugabe. Similarly, last year Mugabe showed his
total contempt for democracy declaring that he will "never allow an event
like an election to reverse our independence…only God who appointed me will
week Moyo said, “Given that the late three Vice-Presidents (Nkomo, Msika,
Mzenda) all died in office… why should the only remaining founding father, that
is President Mugabe, be treated differently from the three who have left us
while in office and with the dignity of the office even when they were no longer
discharging the responsibilities of their office?”
schizophrenic, delusional or suffering from selective amnesia, but what we have
here is a case of a political deceiver and trickster. Moyo is always ready to
disown his entire legacy for political expediency. As his application for
readmission to Zanu PF was still pending, Moyo conveniently apologized. He
recently pleaded for clemency saying, “I regret some of the things I have said”.
Never mind that the statements he made were statements of fact and not
speculation. Zimbabweans must prepare for the unknown and be aware of old
political manipulations by Jonathan Moyo in the pursuit of damnable personal
Moyo wrote “Mugabe
is a fatal danger to the public interest of Zimbabweans at home and in the
diaspora that each day that goes by with him in office leaves the nation’s
survival at great risk while seriously compromising national sovereignty”- (Full
article available at http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/sky90.12869.html). But now the people of Zimbabwe know that Moyo and Mugabe
are both fatal dangers!
Moyo knows pretty well that what
is called the Government of Zimbabwe is a real illusion. At face value, it looks
like a well-organized and robust criminal entity. But intrinsically it is Mugabe
and a few evil men strategically placed to do his dirty work. Moyo knows how
state machinery works. There is a huge political price to be paid for not
heeding such doomsday ‘prophecies’ from Moyo.
After all, it was Moyo who
breathed life into an otherwise imploding dictatorship beginning
the year 2000 with a botched constitutional re-writing exercise which he
presided over. Following that he animated the land-grab exercise. He literally
composed lousy jingoistic anthems pandering to chauvinistic patriotism. He
played them non-stop on state television and radio having successfully created a
state monopoly of press after muscling his way to upper echelons of power in
and Zanu PF thugs (also masquerading as war veterans) overwhelmingly responded
to Moyo’s incitement causing cold-blooded deaths and destruction on the farms
throughout Zimbabwe even to this present day.
Moyo is the sole architect of
draconian laws that gagged free press.
He essentially ordered the bombing of the independent Daily News and the
nation will never forget how its printing press was bombed military-style on
January 28, 2001. 48 hours before the Daily news was bombed, Moyo had gone on a
frenzied verbal assault of the paper on national state television describing it
as a “threat to national security” that needed to be dealt with “once and for
Moyo went on to mastermind the sham election of 2002 which was stolen by
Mugabe. That violent presidential
campaign of 2002 left hundreds of MDC supporters murdered.
The political calculus of Moyo
rejoining Zanu PF is already taking shape. He is back, thrusting himself at the
top, even though most of his former comrades in Zanu PF publicly expressed their
desire to see Moyo organically growing in the party. “He will have to start at
cell level and rise through the ranks like everyone else. He is not going to
start at the top; that is for sure,” said party insiders.
They were wrong. Little did they
know that in less than a month Moyo would have taken over, as he has done
before. Moyo has skillfully mastered the concept that power is not given but
taken. “Zanu PF must rise from the dead if it is to remain in power”, he said.
We know fully well that Zanu PF can only rise through political
In spite of his evil intentions
and animalistic callousness, I think there are few important lessons to be
learnt from this man especially the courage, the unapologetic approach to
politics, hard work and his zealousness. Regrettably, these are
some of the qualities that make him a very dangerous person. If MDC had many men
and women with that kind of passion, political gravitas and stamina fighting for
the people, things would be different today.
With the power of the
media on his side, he warned MDC that “they haven’t seen anything yet” as he
made his grant re-entry into Zanu PF having invented a great lie that MDC is
being funded by USA and EU to effect regime change. He has taken over the Herald
bombarding MDC left, right and center, writing as himself and using several
pseudonyms. Moyo is Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda)
reincarnated who during the Nazi era once said “A lie,
repeated often enough, will end up as
Turning to the Roy
Bennett debacle, it does not only make a mockery of national healing and
reconciliation but raises questions about Zanu PF’s selective application of
racism. David Coltart served alongside Roy Bennett in the British South African
Police. But he was sworn-in. Was it because he belongs to a friendlier (dubious
at best) opposition party (MDC-M) led by Mutambara? In 1980 didn’t
Mugabe say to the whites “stay with us, please remain in
this country and constitute a nation based on national unity.”
are they sending people like Nick Price who have served Zimbabwe with so much
pride and honor, carrying the Zimbabwe flag and unashamedly proclaiming that
Zimbabwe is their motherland given all the shame surrounding Zimbabwe? He bore
the burden of carrying a stinking Zimbabwe brand. Will Moyo and Mugabe disown
him because he once served in the Rhodesian Army? What about Mugabe’s own crimes
which killed 20 000 people including Moyo’s father?
intellectual curiosity, here are some miscellaneous questions never asked
before: Is Moyo therefore seeking revenge for his late father by inciting Mugabe
into genocide? How genuine is Jonathan Moyo this time around? What is really
behind the Moyo facade? What is Moyo’s real agenda? What are the
unintended consequences of re-admitting Moyo? How does
burning Zimbabwe benefit Moyo? Why is Moyo so close to Chinamasa -a former Zapu
die-hard, a Tsholotsho co-conspirator and a ruthless Zanu PF
hardliner? Apart from jostling for his power, is
Moyo working hard to incite Mugabe to ‘Gukurahundi’ the Shonas? Mugabe ‘don’t’
care, he can kill as long as it benefits his throne!
Zimbabweans must wake up to the
political realities of the country. Moyo and Chinamasa alongside the military
and so called security apparatus know very well that Mugabe’s days are numbered.
They are fighting for a post-Mugabe era. "I worked well with him
(Moyo), as you know, and he made an immense contribution to our fight against
imperialism and neocolonialism. He ranks among the patriots in the party,” said
Chinamasa. Of course as minister of (in)Justice, Chinamasa wants Roy Bennett
dead just like Jonathan Moyo. Remember that Chinamasa-Roy Bennett fist-fight in
In a series of articles
written last year, Moyo succinctly reveals his anger towards Mugabe’s “crude
tribal bigotry and the evils of Gukurahundi”, as he described it. He wrote,
“Mugabe’s Bantustan ideology bred the Gukurahundi atrocities
between 1980 and 1987 and the Murambatsvina atrocities in
These atrocities were a
product of hallucinations of ethnic challenges to Mugabe’s
“ In the case of
Gukurahundi, Mugabe’s tribal hallucination led to the massacre of over 20,000
people in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces and the destruction of homes
and livelihood of many more” - http://prof-jonathan-moyo.com/?itemid=15 In another article he wrote: ”Robert
Mugabe is an ethnic bigot masquerading as a nationalist” Isn’t it fascinating
that all of a sudden, Moyo sees a noble leader in
In the meantime, our
leadership ‘disengaged’ or ‘withdrew’ or ‘boycotted’ (whatever
they ended up calling it) and wasted no time escalating the sticking issues back
to SADC and AU, the very embodiments and conduits of Mugabe’s dictatorial
entrenchment. Some of us - the loyal opposition of the opposition (MDC), were
quick to provide reality checks in form of self-criticism arguing that the
strategy which our party was pursuing had not been carefully thought out.
Of course in MDC,
there exists the civility of respectful disagreement and accommodation of
opposing views as we believe that no-one possesses monopoly of political
thought. To my followers on facebook, tweeter and elsewhere in the blogosphere,
I described the strategy as an antithesis of a political masterstroke, devoid of
wisdom, contrary to how others in the party viewed it.
scorched earth politics, it’s almost as if MDC will have to renegotiate its way
back into the inclusive agreement no matter how one looks at it (with or without
spin)especially considering the fact that MDC has been in office but not in
power all along.
of us believed that the strategy would open doors for all kinds of distractions
and vitriolic attacks, humiliation and ridicule at a time when some progress is
being made on the economic front and somewhat political. In the process, it
depleted MDC’s political capital, to a certain extent. In retrospect, some might
argue that it was a necessary public relations offensive to show the world the
kind of animals we are dealing with in Zanu PF.
But again who
doesn’t know that and how does it benefit the nation at this stage given the
fact that the outcome (of nothing) was almost guaranteed? We took our eyes off
the ball and provided breathing space for Zanu PF to the extent that they are
threatening to appoint acting ministers to replace MDC ministers. Sounds vain,
but that is Zanu PF game plan!
Just like his
predecessor Mbeki, Zuma dithered and so did that useless Mozambican chap, what’s
his name? PM went to Angola but Angola is a waste of time. When that Chinese
ship suffocating with weapons to kill Zimbabwean opposition members, was
barricaded from entering South Africa, didn’t Dos Santos volunteer to sneak them
in? In spite of the tokenism, going to DRC was the ultimate joke. It’s like
going to seek help from Afghanistan. DRC is burning!
Outside of our
brothers Ian Khama and Raila Odinga, MDC is alone on the continent. Even
though SADC and AU are the guarantors of the GPA, their profound lack of urgency
and compassion for the Zimbabwean crisis has always been consistent. But
it is gratifying to note that the people of Zimbabwe are solidly behind us,
that’s what really matters at the end of the day. The rule of thumb therefore is
for MDC to consult the people especially before making such huge decisions of
destiny even though the leadership is entrusted with the authority to lead the
to Mugabe’s strategy of trying to frustrate us until we cut and run. Mugabe
mockingly said “"I do not read that they would want to leave the inclusive
government. I think they will come back to it soon”. As previously stated, the
solution lies within Zimbabwe. The political reality is to fight for change from
within: taking media wars head-on, pushing unyieldingly for a new constitution,
influencing SADC and AU in a strong way, and pressing for economic and political
reform day by day no matter how painstakingly slow the process might be as well
planning for new elections and rebuilding alliances with other civic bodies.
At the same time Zanu PF
is manipulating a basic fallacy that sanctions were indirectly
imposed by the MDC. There is a fundamental disconnect in this argument
because sanctions were a response to daylight murders, abductions
and torture of ordinary citizens. It is absurd to lump it as MDC’s
responsibility. Not to mention that violence is on the increase in Zimbabwe.
After all, the sanctions are targeted at those responsible for violence.
Somewhere in Zimbabwe a rapist or a murderer is laughing instead of languishing
in prison for crimes against humanity.
Zimbabwe’s justice system had not been successfully privatized, Mugabe and his
men would be answering for crimes against humanity. Instead they continue to use
violence to silence the people of Zimbabwe. In any case didn’t they say Zimbabwe
is for Zimbabweans and bombarded us with the gospel of their version of newfound
friends in the East. Now they realize that their policies represented a
dangerous lack of knowledge of the rudiments of the international
By now I sound as if
I am really fawning for Mr Biti, but ‘give it up to’ the Minister. He is doing a
terrific job under the most trying of circumstances. As they raided the MDC
residence Mr Biti delivered this:, “"We will look the dictatorship in the eyes
(and) we will not blink. We want to see who will blink first and it will not be
us, I tell you," Thank you Tendai!
Mr Biti’s most
recent courage and candor are stupendous, especially considering last week’s
inconvenient truth where he revealed that Jongwe was indeed murdered by Mugabe
and his thugs. Zimbabweans already knew that but someone with real political
clout like Biti had to say it (on our behalf). Even though I previously
ridiculed Mr Biti for calling the late Msika a true hero”untainted by
corruption” the very same week he (Biti) got a bullet in the mail,
I have since seen the best of him so far.
My central argument in the
article, probably one of my best, “Msika’s Botched Legacy” (www.nationalvisiom.wordpress.com) was that how can Msika be a national hero given the
fact that he co-authored Zimbabwe’s miseries especially the violence against
many MDC supporters who were murdered by the regime. While at a rally in Zaka
last year, Msika declared: “Voting for the MDC in the runoff will be like voting
for Rhodesia and the British and that means voting for war”.
As a direct
beneficiary of Mugabe’s overstay in power and rape on democracy, Msika’s
infamous statement that “there was someone who wanted to bring up that issue (of
succession) here, we were going to deal with him. Mugabe cannot go”, lingers on.
His sole pre-occupation since becoming Vice President in 1999 was all about
promoting the selfish interests of Zanu PF hegemony.
needed to be told that he is an incompetent especially considering how he
bungled the Meikles saga. Similarly as our co-Home Affairs Minister he needs to
explain what he knows about the recent raid of MDC residence by the police or at
least get an apology from Mohadi and demand a thorough investigation of such
lawlessness. There is no vendetta against the Minister, it’s just that life or
death issues are at the doorstep of many Zimbabweans!
There are ominous signs that
Zimbabwe is inching closer to yet another dark episode of mass torture and mass
murders. The word ‘genocide’ is no longer a remote possibility especially
considering that militia camps have been sprouting across Zimbabwe against a
backdrop of growing incitements by Mugabe and his newly rehired propaganda
chief, Jonathan Moyo.
Janjaweed militias were a bunch
of rented thugs on government payroll hired to systematically exterminate and
butcher innocent civilians as ordered by the Islamic government of Sudan. In
2008, Zimbabwe’s militia tortured, raped and murdered hundreds of opposition
supporters, real or perceived, with the government’s unconcealed approval
and guaranteed immunity from prosecution.
MDC cannot afford to mismatch
Jonathan Moyo’s negative energy. If necessary let every Ministry be a
battleground for change and not just maintaining the status quo. We have got to
weather these troubling times. For every Kasukuwere who is corrupting our
youths, there must be deliberate campaigns by MDC Ministers to engage youths in
entrepreneurship programs and human rights fundamentals, for example.
At the same time I am also
sensitive to the difficulties faced by MDC leadership in the homeland especially
our Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who is steadfastly seeking to improve
livelihoods of fellow Zimbabweans. At a time millions of Zimbabweans are haunted
by the regime, we appreciate the Prime Minister’s efforts and courage. It is
never easy dealing with geriatric dictators in the mold of Mugabe.
But all hope is not lost, it’s
time to gather ourselves with the people of Zimbabwe who gave us the mandate to
lead and build a united front, reaching across the isles even to an iota of
progressive Zanu PF men and women. That’s not conceding defeat but seeking to
build a nation. The people of Zimbabwe must devote to end the crisis before
aspiring dictators, virulent polarizers and rabid opportunists like Jonathan
Moyo entrap Zimbabwe again to recede to the perils of yesteryear as they pursue
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More articles: www.nationalvision.wordpress.com
Letter from Zimbabwe: Child-headed
Nineteen-year old Lazarus, now in his first year at a
commercial college in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second capital, has been the head of
his family, comprising of him and two younger siblings for the last four years.
They live in the family’s four-bedroom house in a leafy and quiet suburb.
Meanwhile, in a small backyard shack in Harare’s oldest township, Patricia who
has just turned fourteen is responsible for her ten-year old brother and six-
year old sister.
The sad phenomenon of child-headed families as a result
of parents‘ permanent or temporary absence due to the HIV/AIDS scourge or
relocation to other countries to work and live as economic refugees has been
well pronounced since the turn of the new millennium. In the past, the extended
family system would have absorbed them but that is slowly disappearing because
of economic difficulties, greed and jealousy among families.
|In his weekly column 'Letter from Zimbabwe', John
Masuku, Executive Director of Radio Voice of the People (VOP) comments on a hot
topic in his country busy going through a transitional phase. VOP strives to
bring an independent voice to a muzzled Zimbabwean media. John Masuku writes
“Letter from Zimbabwe” in his personal
In Lazarus’s case, sad as it is,
after both parents died of AIDS, he and the young ones are actually better off
on their own. Their parents’ clearly written will saved them from lots of
unnecessary trouble. For example, relatives who would only be after the
possession of their beautiful house and other property left as their heritage.
Luckily, Thabo their elder brother, who migrated to the United Kingdom three
years ago, sends them money for school fees and food. However, he cannot visit
them because he has no proper work permit. He has to make more money doing
menial jobs to send for basic essentials back home, than to think about saving
for an air ticket.
Abandoned and abused
divorced two years ago and, one by one, abandoned their children in a two-room
rented accommodation until they were kicked out by the landlord for not paying
rent. But he was “kind” enough to accommodate them in a backyard plastic shack
and exploits them in his informal trade, selling cigarettes, sweets, candles and
matches for almost nothing. Their school attendance is very erratic since it is
not monitored by anyone. All their close relatives in the city reject them while
their uncaring parents are understood to have founded new families
Young house maids have also been left to care for children of
professionals who have secured well-paid international jobs with, for example,
the United Nations agencies and a variety of non-governmental organizations in
hotspots such as Rwanda, Darfur, Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan
“We face a lot of temptations from
unscrupulous relatives and neighbours who want to take advantage of our
vulnerability. Some persuaded us to sell our house and property or attempted to
abuse us sexually, but we know others like us who have easily fallen prey due to
poverty, hopelessness and helplessness,” said seventeen- year old Chipo whose
parents died in a road accident a year ago and she now looks after her two young
sisters and brother.
Unfortunately, Lazarus, Patricia, Chipo and many
other young heads of families around the country are suffering from a lack of
parental care, love, advice and proper social integration which would mold them
into being loving and responsible citizens themselves.
Zim Democracy Now Weekly Bulletin
Week Ending 27th October
ZIMBABWE WEEKLY UPDATE
Lengthy talks on
Monday between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
President Robert Mugabe
ended with no agreement, deepening the political
crisis. It was the first
meeting between the two men since Tsvangirai
disengaged from the coalition
government on Oct. 16. The MDC says it is now
looking to a meeting in Harare
later in the week with the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to
try to end the stalemate. "If that fails...
a free and fair election under
the supervision of the international
community, SADC and the African Union
will be the only option," Mr Chamisa
told the BBC.
insisted that his party has abided by all the conditions laid out
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Note: However, after the signing of the
GPA on September 15, 2009 there were
still disagreements, resulting in
further negotiations. Agreement was only
achieved four months later through
the SADC communiqué of January 27, 2009 -
in effect an addendum to the GPA.
It is the communiqué which contains some
of the issues that are outstanding
in the GPA implementation, such as the
appointments of the Reserve Bank
Governor, the Attorney General, and the
Zimbabwean armed police raided a house in Harare on Saturday
the MDC. The party's secretary general Tendai Biti said fifty
officers searched the house, in which senior party members
they were looking for weapons stolen from the police. "[They]
every room and took a bunch of valuable party material from a room
by our organising secretary Morgan Komichi.They beat up the wife
of the caretaker before they started digging part of the garden
in search of weapons," said Biti. Zimbabwe's police spokesperson
Bvindzijena says they will investigate the raid.
of State José Eduardo dos Santos told Prime Minister Tsvangirai
on Friday in
Luanda that he will continue aiding efforts to resolve the
the MDC and ZanuPF. Tsvangirai spent most of last week
lobbying SADC leaders
with stops in Mozambique, South Africa, the Democratic
Republic of Congo and
The Zimbabwe government has finally agreed on
how to allocate a US$400
million grant from International Monetary Fund
(IMF), after months of
feuding about its allocation, said Industry Minister
Welshman Ncube last
Wednesday. The money will be used in the completion of
public works. The
decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on October 13,
before the MDC's
withdrawal from Zanu-PF.
investors are drawing back from Zimbabwe following the MDC's
from cabinet. Industry Minister Welshman Ncube last Wednesday
told a meeting
of local business executives that since February, several
investors were now hesitant.
"For example, investors who were keen to
invest in Zisco (Zimbabwe Iron and
Steel Company) are now phoning asking if
it is worthwhile, given the
announcements which were made last week Friday,"
The pro-ZanuPF Affirmative Action Group (AAG) described as
Nestlé's decision last month to bow to global pressure and
milk from First Lady Grace Mugabe's Gushongo Dairy Estate. "We
that with immediate effect Nestlé must be indigenised," said
spokesman. This farm is one of at least six of Zimbabwe's most
commercial farms to have been taken over by Mrs Mugabe since
At 8.10 this morning (27 Oct) Edith Mashayire,
senior security officer for
the MDC Headquarters at Harvest House, was
accosted by four armed men in
civilian clothing, three with AK 47 assault
rifles and one with a pistol.
They tried to force her into their white twin
cab Isuzu truck but people in
the vicinity reacted immediately and were able
to free her.
Intimidation and violence are on the increase in Zimbabwe's
the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said
Friday. The union
said ZanuPF youth militia are targeting teachers who are
regarded as MDC
loyalists in the wake of the MDC's withdrawal from ZanuPF.
The PTUZ reported
incidents in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central province,
province, and Murehwa, Mashonaland East. It said the
jeopardise the upcoming national exams.
belonging to known MDC supporters in Chiweshe district were
burnt down by
ZanuPF militias last week. MDC MP for Mazowe central Shepherd
SW Radio Africa that MDC supporters and activists are being
driven out by
Reports were received of militia moving into the Mhondoro
area, east of
Chegutu, and Mashonaland East and into Masvingo
Zimbabwe's controversial Attorney General,
Johannes Tomana, says he has
taken the lead role in the prosecution of MDC
treasurer general Roy Bennett
because the case poses a serious security
threat to Zimbabwe. "This case is
a very serious one and carries serious
security issues," said Tomana in an
interview with the Zimbabwe Times last
Tuesday. Bennett faces weapon and
terror charges that he denies and that the
MDC says are false.
Two officials from the National Association of
Organizations (NANGO), the umbrella organization for all of
were arrested on Sunday after attending the Directors'
Forum Summer School.
The arrest of chief executive Cephas Zinhumwe and
Chikwengo took place at the Victoria Falls airport.
"Police have accused
them of holding an unauthorized political meeting,
which is untrue," said
spokesman Farai Ngirande. The officials were held by
police overnight, and
were due to appear in court Monday
Commercial Farming Sector
Finance Minister Tendai Biti
said on Monday that the government would float
grain bills valued at US$5
million this week to buy an additional 50,000
metric tonnes of
Biti said that the grain bills were the start of a programme under
government would buy more than 400,000 tonnes of surplus maize
farmers. The programme aims to rebuild strategic reserves
years of poor harvests. Small maize growers have been
reluctant to sell
their grain to the parastatal Grain Marketing Board as
many did not get paid
for their last deliveries, receiving promissory notes
Last week the number of commercial farmers who were evicted
courts doubled, with 152 of the estimated 400 remaining
currently facing prosecution.
International humanitarian organisations on Friday said the
political order and lack of respect for its citizens is putting
population at risk as hunger and disease threaten to seize the
again. In a joint statement following the MDC's boycott of ZanuPF,
organisations, which included UK-based Oxfam, Medecins Sans Frontieres
(MSN), UN's Roll Back Malaria Partnership and United Nations Children's Fund
(UNICEF), said Zimbabwe needs coordinated "robust leadership" to prevent
another cholera epidemic and widespread hunger. "We are obviously concerned
that the government of national unity continues to work," head of Oxfam-UK's
operations in southern Africa Charles Aban said.
Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity has allegedly ordered the
ZanuPF-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and other
state-controlled newspapers to stop covering MDC-T ministers until the party
reverses its decision to withdraw from ZanuPF. According to the privately
owned Zimbabwe Standard, ZBC chief executive Happison Muchechetere told the
state broadcaster's senior editors about the directive last Friday
Homeless put their hope in handmade bricks
BULAWAYO, 28 October 2009 (IRIN) -
The use of handmade bricks is revolutionizing housing in Chinhoyi, 120km north
of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, where housing estates built by poor people
have mushroomed in a development that has caught the attention of the housing
bricks in Zimbabwe|
"We hope to come up with a new dynamic housing policy that
addresses the needs of the poor, together with enabling legislation on
standards, as well as how the homeless can access affordable funding," housing
ministry secretary David Munyoro told IRIN.
"We also want to change the
legal framework of housing delivery in Zimbabwe and learn from the best
practices," said the national housing and social amenities minister, Fidelis
The nationwide shortage of accommodation resulted from a lack of
government investment in housing, and President Robert Mugabe's Operation
Murambatsvina (Drive out Trash) in May 2005.
Murambatsvina was launched
on the premise of slum clearance, but was seen by analysts as retribution for
city residents giving their support to the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). The evictions and demolition of homes and other buildings that
began in urban centres and then spread across the country were condemned
internationally; about 700,000 people were left homeless.
operation began, more than 300,000 people in Harare were on the housing waiting
list, but this is seen as a fraction of Zimbabwe's housing deficit.
1999 Timothy Garamimba, in Chinhoyi, signed up to a government housing scheme in
which prospective homeowners paid monthly instalments to a national housing fund
while they waited for houses to be built.
The scheme collapsed, mired in
corruption and allegations of abuse of funds, forcing the government to allocate
residential stands in lieu of refunds to subscribers, on which they could build
their own homes.
"We waived the bye-law concerning standard building
material on residential stands in three of the suburbs [that the town] council
was opening up, and allowed people to build using farm [handmade] bricks,"
Chinhoyi's town engineer, Pretty Masekesa, told IRIN.
manufactured bricks cost US$0.23 each - US$230 per 1,000 bricks, the equivalent
of about two months' salary - compared to US$50 per 1,000 handmade bricks.
Homeowners have now built "farm brick" homes on more than 4,000
residential stands, but the local construction boom is also attributed to the
presence of soils ideal for brick-making.
"You cannot tell those
[houses] built with commercial bricks from the ones constructed of bricks that
owners mould on their own," said Garamimba, 30, standing ankle-deep in thick
"Using these bricks has really cut my construction costs, because I
can mould them myself or buy additional quantities from groups engaged in
brick-moulding - it is way cheaper," he told IRIN, pointing to a group of young
men putting firewood into a kiln a short distance away.
It has been a
long wait for Garamimba, who is building a three-bedroom house. "There is no
security of tenure if you are a lodger, and nothing is as exciting as having a
home of your own."
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
boost power supply by June 2010
Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:38am GMT
Hwange to reach full 750 MW capacity by June 2010
* Botswana to invest $8
million in 90 MW power station
* ZESA revenues rise to $25 mln from below
$1 mln in Feb
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE, Oct 28
(Reuters) - Zimbabwe's Hwange power station will reach full
capacity of 750 MW by next June while 90 MW would be produced
from a smaller
station with help from Botswana to boost output, the energy
minister said on
Elias Mudzuri, Minister of Energy and Power Development said
units were running at Hwange thermal power plant and two
more units would
come to life in January and June 2010.
"At Hwange we
have four units which are producing 450 MW and we have a
deficit of 300 MW,
so we will be able to produce 750 MW when the fifth unit
is running in
January and the sixth unit in June," Mudzuri told Reuters.
Botswana Power Corporation had agreed to invest $8 million to
Bulawayo power station, which has not generated electricity for
The deal is similar to one signed with Namibia's utility NamPower
which allowed the company to invest $45 million to rehabilitate
exchange for electricity.
"We are likely to share 50-50 and
the capacity of Bulawayo is 90 MW, but it
could go to 120 MW. We are
targeting that by June we should be producing
electricity from Bulawayo
power station," Mudzuri said.
Zimbabwe has faced serious power shortages,
relying on imports to make up
for the deficit.
The southern African
country currently produces 1,100 MW against a peak
demand of 2,000 MW and
imports between 300-500 MW, mostly from neighbouring
To guarantee adequate supply, Zimbabwe has long planned to add
units at Hwange, generating 300 MW each, and expand its Kariba
plant with two generators, adding 150 MW each by 2012 at a total
But the government has
so far failed to attract independent power producers
and Mudzuri said the
country's unstable political environment deterred
A unity government formed in February between President Robert
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that had raised investors' hopes
unravel after Tsvangirai's party boycotted cabinet meetings over how
share executive power.
State power utility ZESA is seeking an
independent power producer to develop
its Gokwe North power plant to produce
1,400 MW at a cost of $1.6 billion.
Zimbabwe could also tap 300 MW from
Lupane Gas project, a greenfield project
at a cost of $300 million while
ZESA jointly owns with Zambia the Batoka
power project with potential to
generate 1,600 MW at a cost of $1.8 billion.
Mudzuri said monthly revenue
collections by ZESA had increased since
February when the utility began
charging for power in foreign currency.
"This October we have had
reasonable collection. It has been increasing
gradually. I can tell you that
we started below $1 million in February and
we have increased to about $25
million and our target is 35-40 million,"
Mudzuri said. (Editing by James
frican governments must pressure Zimbabwe on human rights - Amnesty
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 17:38
International today warned that Zimbabwe is on the brink of
into the post-election violence that marred the country last
undermining the stability brought about by the creation of the
government in February.
The organization called on Southern African
(SADC) foreign ministers, visiting Zimbabwe on
Thursday to assess the eight
month-old unity government, not to ignore the
worsening human rights
In recent weeks, there have been
several arrests of civil society
leaders and reports of harassment and
intimidation of political opponents by
ZANU-PF supporters in rural areas. In
particular, Amnesty International has
received reports of increased threats
of violence in Mashonaland East and
Central provinces against known
supporters of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) formation led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
On 25 October, Cephas Zinhumwe,
Executive Director of the National
Association of Non-Governmental
Organisations (NANGO), and Dadirai
Chikwengo, NANGO board chairperson, were
both arrested by police in Victoria
Falls after NANGO convened a workshop
for NGO directors.
"Dozens of human rights and MDC activists are on
trial for simply
exercising their internationally recognized rights,
including the rights to
freedom of association, peaceful assembly and
expression. Some of these
people were victims of enforced disappearance in
2008," said Erwin van der
Borght, Director of Amnesty International's Africa
Amnesty International urged the SADC ministers to rethink the
the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), created
Global Political Agreement (GPA) establishing the unity
ensure the implementation of the agreement, including its
"JOMIC is ineffective and has fallen victim
to political polarisation.
It is very weak and is solely dependent on the
good will of the feuding
parties - a recipe for disaster," said Erwin van
Amnesty International also challenged the SADC and the
(AU) to tackle human rights violations by government bodies
control of ZANU-PF.
"Some elements in the unity
government continue to persecute perceived
political opponents through
unlawful arrests and malicious prosecutions.
This is fuelling tension in the
unity government and increasing fear amongst
the people," said Erwin van der
"SADC needs to recognize this recent deterioration in the human
situation and tackle it immediately - before it degenerates
The organization said that central to addressing the crisis
Zimbabwe was the need to rein in the country's security agencies and end
culture of impunity for human rights violations. Amnesty International
called on the Zimbabwean government to implement institutional reforms,
including reforming the country's security agencies to ensure that they
respect and protect human rights of all people in Zimbabwe.
Stop living the lie
Speaking with a friend on the telephone the other
night, we discussed just
how difficult it is to maintain a stand against
Mugabe's brutish rule in
Zimbabwe - and we also agreed that whilst we may be
divorced physically from
events on the ground, at least we have the freedom
to write (within reason)
about the warped situation in Zimbabwe.
for that, I am profoundly thankful.
And, as I got to thinking along those
lines, I began to focus on the
comments and emails I get from anonymous
readers who belittle me for what I
have to say, for my opinions and my
Interestingly, the majority of these comments which tell me to
back off, and
leave the idea that I might be in some danger, come from
who live in the Western world. My stock reply to them is:
"Go home to
Zimbabwe and see what it is like to live in a country ravaged by
the rule of
But I gave the situation in Zimbabwe further
thought and I realised that
ZANU PF seem to think that if they say it is so,
then it is so. Little
regard is given to the truth, and little regard is
given to the consequences
of that action.
Just recently, Didymus
Mutasa, a senior figure within ZANU PF, denied that a
warrant for his arrest
had been issued by a magistrate as Mutasa had failed
to appear in court
having been subpoenaed to appear.
On a radio interview with SW Radio
Africa, Mutasa became quite vocal in his
responses to presenter Violet
Gonda, and he decided to terminate the call.
Typical ZANU PF.
see that the magistrate in the case has recused himself.
A court recently
ordered the police chief and the army chief to discipline a
officer who was intent on taking over a farm which was protected
by a court
order. The order was defied and we sort-of expect the Judge
issue a warrant of arrest for Sibanda and Chihuri - and if that
will be ignored.
And nothing will happen in response to that
Mugabe repeatedly tells the world that the West is seeking to
Zimbabwe - but he fails to substantiate that claim. He claims
that the West
is seeking 'regime change' in Zimbabwe, but fails to
He sells the land grab to the world as a
return of the land to the 'landless
black' and then gives the seized land to
He offers no explanation, and maintains that what he and
his band of
brigands have done is for the good of the country.
expects the nation to accept his word on the exercise - whilst his
government continue to excuse the lack of a land audit on lack of finance.
They say that a land audit will cost in the region of US$30
And now that financing has been offered, we hear nothing
He and his ministers claim that Zimbabwe can feed itself and
season will see a bumper harvest. How so, when the land is in the
ZANU PF bigwigs who have done nothing with it?
He and his
close advisers, ministers and supporters may be able to feed
financed by money taken from public and private coffers.
Mugabe lies to
the people of Zimbabwe, lies to the international bodies and
everyone to believe it - because Mugabe said so.
But his lies are proving
his undoing - and as he lies himself into a corner,
less and less people
believe him and more and more people enter the fray
pitted against him and
If ever he wanted to make a comeback, then the answer is
Stop living the lie.
Robb WJ Ellis
Bill Watch 35 of 26th October 2009 [SADC Organ TroikaMinisters in Harare Thursday to discuss GPA]
House of Assembly reopened last week and has adjourned until Tuesday 3rd
has adjourned until Tuesday 10th November
last week: After a two week
adjournment following the opening of Parliament on 6th October the House of
Assembly sat on Tuesday [1 hour 37 minutes], Wednesday [2 hours 38 minutes] and
Thursday [2 hours 49 minutes] before adjourning to 3rd November. The Senate
sat on Tuesday and Wednesday before adjourning to 10th November; the sittings
were brief [31 minutes and 86 minutes respectively].
As assured in the MDC
statement of disengagement, Parliament sat with MPs and Ministers from all
parties attending to business.
in the House of Assembly
Debate on the
President’s speech opening
the Second Session took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday’s debate
became heated when a ZANU-PF MP criticised the MDC’s disengagement and an MDC-T
MP was critical of the President’s speech, leading to spirited interjections
requiring several interventions by the Deputy Speaker.
Time on Wednesday saw
Minister of Finance Tendai Biti
explaining that in November he will ask Parliament to approve the use of the IMF
special drawing rights [SDRs] about which there has been much controversy; he
stressed that the special drawing rights are a non-concessionary loan carrying
interest, not a grant. He also gave details of Zimbabwe’s “huge debt”. Minister of
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Elton Mangoma discussed what needs to
be done to attract investment, and referred to the problems created for
potential investors by land invasions and political interference in business,
such as threats against international companies operating here.
Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe Amendment Bill received its First
Reading on Wednesday and was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
SADC Protocol on
Gender and Development was approved with
support from all parties, and will now go to the Senate for its approval.
Report – the report of the
on Transport and Infrastructural Development on the Zimbabwe National Roads
Authority Fund was presented to the House of Assembly on Thursday.
Auditor-General’s Reports – the Minister of
Finance tabled reports for the 2007 financial year and for the first quarter of
in the Senate
The only business
dealt with was the debate on the President’s speech opening the Second Session.
Disengagement: Impact on Government
President in a belated public comment on the
disengagement late last week, dismissed it as a “non-event”. Minister of State in the
President’s Office Mutasa said: “Zimbabwe is going to go on without
them, as in the past.”
Minister spent most of last week outside the
country on an outreach mission to brief regional Heads of State on the current
situation ahead of an anticipated SADC Organ Troika meeting. He met Presidents
Khama of Botswana, Guebuza of Mozambique, Zuma of South Africa, Kabila of the
DRC and dos Santos of Angola.
Ministers did not
met on Tuesday without MDC-T members – an MDC-T press release stated
“Any purported Cabinet decision made
by the Zanu PF caucus in the absence of all the three political parties is null
and void.” Constitutionally this is incorrect –
there is no required quorum and decisions are taken by consensus. Deputy Prime
Minister Mutambara said that, while he sympathised with Mr Tsvangirai’s
complaints, MDC-M ministers would not disengage and would be
“going to Cabinet in order to stop
ZANU (PF) from making outrageous decisions”. He also saw the role of MDC-M as
that of mediator between the two other parties. These sentiments are in direct
contradiction to Mr Chaibva’s statement when interviewed by ZTV as representing
MDC-M [Bill Watch 34]. Mr
Chaibva is not in fact an MDC-M MP.
Ministers and Deputy
Ministers from MDC-T reported for work as
usual. There were reports of difficulties and delays in work of some Ministries
where Minister and Deputy Minister are from different parties, and lack of
liaison – but that is not exactly new, having already been the case in some
Ministries. But following the “disengagement” lack of communication becomes
more problematic. An example being that ZANU-PF Minister of
Information Shamu has been quoted as saying that “MDC-T ministers cannot speak on behalf of government
following their decision to disengage”… "So until the party reverses its
decision, these ministers will not be covered." His MDC-T Deputy
Minister Timba said he “was not aware of
this” and “these are some of the issues that are causing tension in the
inclusive government where the public media is used to advance the interests of
one political party or individual”.
sat as usual last week [see
process – the Select Committee and the new
Management Committee, which includes Ministers, have met as usual, with all
parties present. The “disengagement” relates to activities of the executive –
Cabinet and Council of Ministers – not to the work of Parliamentary Committees
and of individual Ministers.
Meeting Monday 26th October
The meeting between the three
principals – President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and DPM Mutambara went
on for three hours this afternoon. An MDC-T spokesperson said afterwards that
the MDC-T and ZANU-PF remain “worlds apart”.
Organ Troika Mission to Zimbabwe
The SADC mission to
Harare on 29th October will consist of the
foreign ministers of the Organ Troika countries – Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland – not
the three Heads of State. The ministers will report back to their principals.
The chair of the Organ Troika is President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique,
currently busy campaigning ahead of polling in that country’s national elections
on 28th October, which rules out his coming to Harare on the 29th. [Note on SADC responsibilities: SADC and the AU are
guarantors of the GPA. In addition, as pointed out by Tendai Biti when briefing civil society on 23rd
October, MDC-T’s list of unresolved issues includes ZANU-PF’s failure to comply
with directives on sorting out these issues given to the parties by the SADC
of SADC, President Kabila of DRC to visit Harare?
Mr Tsvangirai announced
from Kinshasa on Thursday that President Joseph
Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] will visit Harare in the coming days
to mediate the crisis bedeviling the Zimbabwean government. "President Kabila
has committed himself to come and share with us the rich experience of DRC in
matters of political transition." Mr Kabila is the current SADC chairperson.
Vacancies Awaiting By-elections
A new vacancy in the
Senate – with the death of
elected Senator Misheck Chando [ZANU-PF Bindura-Shamva] on 23rd October in a
road accident the number of Senate vacancies requiring the holding of
by-elections has risen to 6. In the House of Assembly there are 9 constituency
seats vacant. The country is now awaiting 15
Senator and Deputy
Minister of Agriculture Designate Roy Bennett – the High Court
trial on two charges under POSA is due to commence on Monday 9th November in
Thamsanqa Mahlangu – the
defence case has been concluded and the magistrate will deliver judgment on 2nd
November [the Deputy Minister and his co-accused are charged with theft of a
on Independent Constitutional Commissions
Human Rights Commission
[ZHRC]: A list of 16
nominees for appointment to ZHRC was sent to the President by Parliament
following the interviewing of 35 short-listed candidates by the Committee on
Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] on 12th October. CSRO members were unanimous
in their assessment of the candidates. It is now for the President to appoint
the 8 members [4 of whom must be women] of this Commission. To complete the
composition of the Commission the President must also appoint a chairperson, who
must be a legal practitioner of at least 5 years’ standing, after consulting the
Judicial Service Commission and the CSRO [he is not bound to follow their
advice, but if the appointment is not consistent with any recommendation of the
JSC the President must inform the Senate of that fact “as soon as practicable”].
Commission [ZACC]: No
interviews are scheduled for those who applied to Parliament for positions on
this Commission. The Constitution does not require the CSRO to submit a list of
nominees for ZACC; instead, it states that the President must appoint the
members of ZACC [not less than 4 and not more than 9] “in consultation with” the
CSRO. Further developments are awaited.
[ZEC] and Media Commission [ZMC]: There has been
no announcement of
appointments of members and chairpersons of these commissions. The President’s
spokesman has been reported as stating that the President’s intention is to
announce the formation of all four of the Commissions together, once all
appointments have been settled, something the MDC-T’s present disengagement from
ZANU-PF may hold up.
Tribunal: Another Ruling Defied by Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean commercial farmer Luke Tembani was evicted from his farm in defiance
of a SADC Tribunal ruling in August prohibiting the eviction. The eviction was
carried out by the Deputy Sheriff. Mr Tembani, who owed Agribank money, fell
victim to the law allowing Agribank to repossess and sell his farm without
recourse to the courts. The Tribunal ruled that the repossession and sale of
the farm by Agribank was "illegal and void", holding the law under which it was
done to be inconsistent with the principles of the SADC Treaty. This eviction
has gone ahead in spite of the Prime Minister’s statement that the Cabinet was
yet to decide on Zimbabwe’s position vis-à-vis the
Tabled in Parliament: Reserve Bank Amendment
Bill [HB 7, 2009] –
gazetted on 14th August. This Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Legal
Committee following its First Reading. [See Bill Watch Special of 8th October,
which notes that one clause may be inconsistent with the Declaration of Rights].
gazetted awaiting introduction in Parliament:
Management Bill [HB 9,
2009] – gazetted on 16th October. [Electronic
version available on request.]
Audit Office Bill [HB
10, 2009] – gazetted on 2nd
October. [Electronic version available on
Bill [HB 8, 2009] –
gazetted on 25th September. [Electronic version
available on request.]
passed by Parliament but not yet gazetted as Act The Appropriation
(Additional) (2008) Bill, passed in early
April, has at last been submitted for the President’s assent and signature but
has still not been gazetted. It is not an Act until gazetted. [The Bill approves expenditure incurred without
Parliamentary authority in 2008.]
New licensing fees
under the Broadcasting Services Act were mentioned in press reports last week –
although these were in fact gazetted over two months ago [SI 130/2009 of 7th
gazetted on 23rd October included:
SI 164/2009, which
fixes a new rate of interest [5 per cent per annum],for the purposes of the
Prescribed Rate of Interest Act. This is the default rate of interest
applicable to overdue debts; it applies unless a different rate is fixed by a
court or by agreement of the parties. [Electronic
version available on request.]
SI 165/2009, which
contains the agreement between Zimbabwe and Zambia
for the establishment and implementation of the one-stop border post at
every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal
responsibility for information supplied.