by Ndodana Sixholo Friday 09 April 2010
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday promised business
leaders new and “more progressive” empowerment laws, as Zimbabwe’s ruling
coalition continues to give conflicting signals over its controversial plan
to place more of the economy in the hands of local blacks.
Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist seen as friendlier to business compared
to veteran President Robert Mugabe, said the unity government was reviewing
empowerment laws announced last February and which sent foreign-owned
business into panic with threats of stiff penalties against firms that fail
to sell 51 percent stake to locals by March 2015.
Mugabe has backed the earlier version of the empowerment laws announced by
Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, among the hawks in the President’s
ZANU PF party.
But Tsvangirai, who has led calls on foreign investors who quit Zimbabwe
during the past decade of political turmoil and recession to return to help
rebuild the country’s shattered economy, said the new versions of
empowerment laws will not force foreign-owned businesses into mergers with
locals and would not criminalise those that fail to meet indigenisation
“Let me assure you that the new regulations . . . will be very different and
much more progressive than when originally gazetted,” Tsvangirai told a
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce meeting in Harare.
As the government pursues economic empowerment of locals it will also aim to
create conditions that will ensure Zimbabwe is able to compete for the
limited available international investment capital, said Tsvangirai.
The new empowerment laws will ensure the majority benefits instead of a
“minority elite”, Tsvangirai said, in thinly veiled reference to fears among
Zimbabweans that only a few elite blacks will benefit from empowerment as
happened with Mugabe’s controversial land reforms that saw top ZANU PF and
military officials walking away with most of the best farms seized from
Tsvangirai said: “The revised regulations will ensure amongst many other
changes, that no-one is criminalised, there will be no forced acquisitions
and assets will be purchased, not ceded.
“The regulations will reflect broad-based empowerment and ensure that a
minority elite does not benefit at the expense of the many who deserve to
benefit from our nation’s riches.”
Under the empowerment laws announced by Kasukuwere, foreign-owned firms have
45 days from March 1 to submit to plans showing how they will transfer
shareholding to black Zimbabweans.
Kasukuwere, who threatened to impose punitive taxes against
foreign-controlled firms that fail to transfer majority stake to indigenous
Zimbabweans by March 2015, did not say where impoverished locals will get
cash to buy shareholding in large mines banks and other businesses.
Critics fear that Mugabe and ZANU PF – who wield greater power in the unity
government – could be plotting another chaotic seizure of property in the
style of farm seizures that destroyed Zimbabwe’s farming sector to leave the
country facing acute food shortages. – ZimOnline
by Ndodana Sixholo Friday 09 April 2010
HARARE - Two prominent Zimbabwean academics who had been appointed to
represent the civil society on parliamentary committee leading the country's
constitutional reforms have been dropped at the request of rights activists.
Women's University head Hope Sadza and former National University of
Technology vice chancellor Phineas Makhurane - both regarded in some circles
as too close to President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party - had been appointed
to the Constitutional Parliamentray Committee as rapporteurs.
But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told civic society leaders on Thursday
that the two academics will be replaced by National Association of NGOs
(NANGO) chairperson Dadirai Chikwengo and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR)'s Jonah Gokova.
Tsvangirai said the two educationists were removed from the committee after
talks between himself and Mugabe.
He said: "There have been some consultations. NANGO submitted two names,
Gokova and Chikwengo. Those will replace Sadza and Makhurane."
Orgainsed civil society in Zimbabwe is split right through the middle over
the Parliament-led constitutional reforms with some groups backing the
reforms while others including the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the
National Constitutional Assembly are opposed to the process that they say is
open to abuse by politicians.
Meanwhile the COPAC this week resumed training of rapporteurs who will
record views of Zimbabwe during an outreach programme to establish what
citizens want included in the new governance charter.
The constitution making process is legging behind because of problems over
funding and frequent squabbles between the country's three governing parties
over the direction of the reforms.
Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee human rights, strengthen
the role of Parliament and curtail the president's powers, as well as
guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms.
The new constitution will replace the current Lancaster House Constitution
written in 1979 before independence from Britain. The charter has been
amended 19 times since independence in 1980. Critics say the majority of the
amendments have been to further entrench Mugabe and ZANU PF's hold on
power. - ZimOnline
By Lance Guma
09 April 2010
In a taste of things to come, as far as the constitutional outreach is
concerned, the ZANU PF governor for Mashonaland Central banned a meeting
organized by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) which was meant to
discuss electoral reforms as part of the new constitution. A statement
issued by ZESN said it had organized two workshops in the Mbire area of the
province scheduled for the 7th and 8th of April this week. Despite the
District Administrator sanctioning the meetings, instructions were later
issued by the governor claiming the community did not need the workshops.
ZESN has since expressed its disappointment at what is meant to be a people
driven process where every citizen has the right to participate and express
their views. The country's largest independent election monitor says it
wanted to 'sensitize the communities on the various options available for
electoral reforms, exploring the pros and cons of each. The issues for
discussion included the constitution-making process, electoral systems, and
electoral management bodies, systems of governance as well as encouraging
peace and tolerance in the process.'
Members of the community wanting to participate in the workshops received
threats of 'unspecified action' if they got near the venue. ZESN said; 'This
act reveals the levels of intolerance still prevailing in some parts of the
country,' and that this was a 'gross violation of democratic principles and
processes as well as the letter and spirit of the GPA.'
The training of rapporteurs who will be responsible for recording what
people say during the outreach program finally began on Wednesday, raising
hopes that the process was back on track. But despite initial reports that
outreach teams from the Constitution Parliamentary Committee would be
deployed at the weekend, ZANU PF co-chair Paul Mangwana put a damper on
this, claiming donors had only provided US$2,1 million out of a total pledge
of US$14 million. He said this meant outreach teams will only be deployed
once the remaining funds are released.
It is often pointed out by critics that ZANU PF is not sincere about having
a new constitution and has used numerous delaying tactics to stifle the
process. A first all stakeholders conference held in Harare last year
provided a warning shot of ZANU PF's attitude when war veterans and party
youths besieged the conference centre chanting slogans and disrupting
proceedings. Human rights activists also report that youth militias are
currently being deployed countrywide to intimidate people into pushing a
draft constitution that favours ZANU PF.
Murambinda, April 09, 2010 - A member of President Robert Mugabe's much
dreaded arm, the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), who recently
publicly apologised to villagers in his home area for being used by Mugabe
to torture suspected Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) party members has
gone missing according to relatives.
Innocent Makamure recently confessed to villagers and apologized for
victimizing them during and after the 2008 elections. He was part of hit men
who were based at Gaza business center here.
A family spokesperson, who declined to be named for security reasons, told
Radio VOP that Makamure's whereabouts were unknown since he made the bold
decision to bite the hand which used to feed him.
"He never came back after he went to the beer hall, it is now close to a
week while he is AWOL. His phone is switched off; we think something bad has
happened to him. We have made a police report," said the relative.
Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Philip Makomeke
confirmed having received such a report, but said he was booked under the
missing persons list. He refused to talk more about the issue.
"I believe he has been abducted or even killed by now. We were seeing
strange faces near our house days after he made the confession," he said.
Makamure had said to villagers; "I was used for peanuts; I did not gain
anything in my life by beating people. I violently campaigned for
President Mugabe towards the June run-off elections," he said in a public
apology to the villagers.
"All I know is that I was used and I am no longer interested in such
Recently some war veterans in Mutoko and Murewha also said they were tired
of being used by Mugabe and were seeking to break free but feared for their
lives. Some of the war veterans have since had their pensions and other
Harare, April 09, 2010 - Confusion surrounds the fate of eight Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) councilors who were arrested for exposing land grab
scandals involving the mega rich minister of local government and urban
development Ignatius Chombo and controversial businessman Phillip Chiyangwa
after the state failed to take them court as previously arranged in Harare
The councilors were supposed to appear before a Harare magistrate in the
morning but were still at Harare Central police station by end of day Friday
the police still to decide how to proceed.
In the morning they had been told that their court appearance would be
delayed because the mayor Muchadeyi Masunda who is likely to face the same
charges had not been questioned.
But Masunda was eventually quizzed in the afternoon. "The just recorded a
statement and have not charged me. It's in connection with Chiyangwa who is
alleging that there is a case of criminal defamation," Masunda said on
Friday evening soon after returning from the Law and Order section.
Sources however said he will face the same charges with the councilors and
they are now expected to appear in court either Saturday morning or on
Monday depending on whether the Attorney General's office decides that there
was a case to answer.
The charges emanate from a report made by Chiyangwa to police in which he
claims that the contents of the explosive report produced by the special
council committee are defamatory and injure his good name and impeccable
reputations in the eyes of the general public.
Chiyangwa, a former Rhodesian police officer during the Ian Smith regime,
claims to police that the council report is harmful to his good reputation
and standing in the eyes of the community. Chiyangwa is also arguing that
the leaking of the report to the media was maliciously done to damage his
reputation and this has led to him losing lots of business.
Journalists from South African based Sunday Times and the Standard have
already been interrogated by police over the same issue. They wanted to know
the origin of the council report at the instigation of Chiyangwa.
A Harare city councilor who was still holed up at Harare Central police
station by end of day Friday said they were still in the dark on their fate
as police officers ran from one office to another working on the issue.
"When Phillip Chiyangwa went to the police to make the report, he was
supposed to be arrested for stealing council land. Yet the police decide to
twist the law and arrest us for investigating a clear case of land theft. We
are yet to establish the deal between Chiyangwa and the police.
"It becomes even more ridiculous if you consider that Chiyangwa is dictating
pace, forcing police to arrest councilors even if some of the police
officers are telling us that there is no case to answer.
"Even the investigating officers are clearly not confident of what they are
doing. You can tell from the way they are investigating that they are under
severe pressure. Right now we have been loitering around the police station
like streets kids.
"Yesterday, they told us we were supposed to appear in court today but they
keep changing goal posts saying they are waiting for further instructions.
"There is a clear attempt to silence everyone including journalists. We are
aware that the arrest of councilors is a determined effort to stop us from
proceeding case," said the councilor just before appearing in court.
The lawyer representing the councilors Aleck Muchadehama also said he was in
the dark about what exactly was happening saying he was also waiting to hear
from the police on the next move.
Harare, April 09, 2010 - Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (Zimrights)
director Okay Machisa has said the organisation will not be intimidated by
police in their quest to showcase pictures of the victims of political
violence and will soon be taking its photo exhibition to rural areas.
Machisa said taking the pictures to rural communities across the country
will be don in the spirit of "truth telling" and national healing. "We have
planed exhibitions across the country and I think they will go ahead. We are
not doing this in order to confront anyone but in the
interest of truth telling to facilitate a genuine national healing process,"
He said police officers have been visiting their offices in Harare and other
provincial offices in search of the pictures but they have not
managed to confiscate anything.
"We are not intimidated at all by those threats. Why would the police want
those pictures? It is now evident that they must have
participated in maiming of political activists and all the killings that
happened in 2008," he said.
Machisa said the police claims that they want to take the pictures to the
Censorship Board were baseless since the pictures are not an
"This is not a matter for the Censorship Board. These people did not seek
any permission when they were beating up people. Those pictures are of real
people who were beaten up at the height of the political violence in 2008
and the exhibition is meant to denounce all the perpetrators of the
violence," said Machisa.
Zimrights last month started an exhibition to show gory pictures of the
victims of political violence and the showcase was officially
opened by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Machisa was briefly detained by
police just a few hours before the exhibition started and had to be released
after Tsvangirai had intervened. The police also took away the photos and
had to return them after a High Court ruling.
The exhibition narrates the story of Zimbabwe's political violence from
March 11 2007 when the police blocked a Save Zimbabwe Campaign prayer
One photo shows former opposition leader Tsvangirai, his face swollen after
he was assaulted by police two years before he joined the coalition
government with Mugabe in February last year.
By Alex Bell
09 April 2010
Yet another journalist has been arrested, this time in Beitbridge, as the
ongoing clampdown of the media continues.
Mashundu Netsianda, a Beitbridge correspondent for The Chronicle newspaper,
was arrested on Thursday in the southern border town, over a story titled
"Cops flee police station as injiva opens fire". The story detailed an
incident involving a Zimbabwean man, living in South Africa, who is said to
have shot at the police when he was being searched on suspicion of carrying
an unlicensed firearm in his bag.
The police questioned Netsianda over the 'offending' article in question,
apparently saying it put the security of the country at risk. The journalist
was then pressured to reveal his sources before being told that he should
not have published the information without an official comment from the
police. Netsianda was reportedly warned before being released two hours
later, without being charged.
The incident comes in the wake of the arrest of journalists Stanley Gama,
Jennifer Dube, Feluna Nleya and Vincent Kahiya, who were detained after
exposing the Philip Chiyangwa land scandal. Their stories, which appeared in
The Standard and The Sunday Times newspapers, quoted a Harare council report
exposing how Chiyangwa, with help from ZANU PF officials, bought council
land on the cheap without following proper procedures. Police demanded to
know the source who 'leaked' the council report to the journalists.
Loughty Dube, the chairman for the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute
of Southern Africa, expressed his concern Friday over the ongoing clampdown
against media professionals, calling it a 'worsening situation'. Dube called
promises of media reform made by the unity government, 'empty' because they
haven't been coupled with reform of repressive laws like the Access to
Information Protection and Privacy Act (AIPPA).
"Until these repressive laws are reformed and the country's security force
is reined in, then we will likely see more intimidation of journalists,"
The ongoing harassment of media officials and the lack of media reform in
the country have already seen severe criticism aimed at the unity
government. A recent report by an international press group in February
detailed how ZANU PF loyalists have continued to harass, detain, and attack
journalists, despite the formation of the coalition government in February
A May 2009 conference organised by Minister of Information Webster Shamu was
touted as promoting 'an open, tolerant, and responsible media environment.'
Instead, the government demonstrated its own intolerance. The media
conference was boycotted by members of the private press in part over the
government's harassment and detention of freelance photojournalist Andrison
Manyere. Then, while the conference was under way, police arrested Zimbabwe
Independent Editor Vincent Kahiya and News Editor Constantine Chimakure on
charges of 'publishing falsehoods.'
Last month a Mexican journalist was arrested while he was in Masvingo where
he was gathering footage for a documentary on the upcoming football World
Cup in South Africa. He was released only after the Minister of Tourism's
intervention, despite his having received permission from the Minister
himself to be in the country. Meanwhile in January freelance journalist
Stanley Kwenda was forced to flee the country after receiving a death
threat. The caller, allegedly a police officer, warned Kwenda that he would
not survive the weekend if he didn't leave.
By Tichaona Sibanda
9 April 2010
Nathaniel Punish Mhiripiri, a ZANU PF ‘enforcer’ and an aspiring MP who
shocked MDC activists in January by declaring he had ‘authority and an open
licence’ to eliminate them, is now behind bars facing charges of bank
robbery and murder.
Mhiripiri was last Thursday arrested by the homicide squad on allegations of
supplying a firearm that was used by a gang to rob the Nyanga ZB Bank on
18th March. The gang was led by Mhiripiri’s close friend, John Teramayi,
alias John Cena.
Teramayi fled to South Africa but Zimbabwean police supplied information to
their counterparts in Durban and he was tracked down and cornered and when
he tried to flee he was shot dead.
In the gang that robbed the bank SW Radio Africa understands Mhiripiri’s
late friend Teramayi had teamed up with Tafadzwa Nindi of Rusape and Bright
Madani of Headlands.
Police found Nindi and Madani in Nyanga two weeks after the robbery and
there was a shoot out, during which police Detective Sergeant Joseph Maximus
(29) was killed by the gun that was used in the bank robbery, and traced
back to Mhiripiri. Although the suspects fled from the scene, they were
arrested a few days later when they had disposed of the gun.
MDC MP for Makoni South, Pishai Muchauraya, told us police in Rusape
confirmed the gun used in the robbery and the shoot-out in which the
policeman was killed was registered in Mhiripiri’s name. The gun was
recovered from his farm in Rusape along the Harare-Mutare Road.
‘He was a loose cannon in ZANU PF, a hired gun for the party whose name will
always be associated with terror. He is a purveyor of evil, a man who enjoys
torturing and killing people, but unfortunately this time he killed one of
their own, a policeman under Chihuri, the police commissioner,’ Muchauraya
When police pounced on Mhiripiri at his business offices he was immediately
put in leg irons and looked subdued and humiliated. All he could do was
shake his head in disbelief.
Mhiripiri, who runs the Dumukwa Safari and Tours, gained notoriety for his
rule of violence and intimidation across the Rusape district in Manicaland
province. He instilled fear in MDC activists who say that in recent years
his life was full of violence, intimidation and underworld activities.
They alleged that on many occasions he led ZANU PF youths to torture, beat
up and even murder MDC activists. Police were too scared to bring him to
book because of his close links to big fish in ZANU PF.
His brutality is something of a legend and his violent history can be traced
to its beginning nearly eight years ago when he invaded a farmhouse in
Nyazura and evicted the farmer. Soon after the presidential elections in
20002 he had gone to Abed Farm and declared himself the new owner of the
farmhouse, forcing Barry Martin, the owner, off his property at gunpoint.
In January this year Mhiripiri told a ZANU PF meeting at Jani resettlement
area in Makoni South that he alone in the area was ‘allowed to kill’ in the
name of ZANU PF. He also told the meeting he moved around with guns in his
vehicle and was always prepared to deal with ‘sell-outs.’
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said corporate sponsors will fund public
viewings in cities where "critical mass" presents a marketing opportunity
Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye | Washington 08 April 2010
The Zimbabwean government has allocated US$2 million through the Ministry of
Tourism to provide free access for rural dwellers to transmissions of the
World Cup of soccer in South Africa starting in June, while corporate
sponsors are funding public viewing stations allowing urban residents to
watch the games.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous
Mhlanga-Nyahuye that corporate sponsors will fund viewing locations in
cities where "critical mass" presents a marketing opportunity.
Mzembi said there will be no charge to watch games in the rural viewing
locations, while city residents will be charged one dollar to access the
FORMER Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Prime Minister and retired Bishop Abel Muzorewa
died at his Harare home on Thursday apparently after receiving news about
the passing of a younger brother based in the United States.
He was 85.
Bishop Muzorewa had not been feeling well but his condition is said to have
deteriorated after he received news that younger brother Farai, whom he
visited in the US three weeks ago and was shocked to find hospitalised, had
later passed on.
Farai's widow, Angeline and other family members arrived in Harare on
Wednesday with news of the younger brother's passing but the elder Muzorewa's
condition deteriorated leading to his death on Thursday afternoon at his
Bishop Muzorewa served for a few months as Prime Minister of
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia after the Ian Smith regime cobbled-up an internal
settlement in 1978 with moderate black leaders who were opposed to the armed
The settlement was rejected by the Zanu PF and PF Zapu movements which
continued with the armed struggle. The agreement also failed to end
international sanctions after the United Nations Security Council declared
the agreement illegal.
The British government then pressured Muzorewa to participate in the
Lancaster House negotiations which led to fresh elections and independence
Murozewa's UANC party only managed to win three out of the 80 seats reserved
The Bishop then lost dismally after contesting the Glen View parliamentary
seat in the 1985 elections and was soundly defeated again in 1996 before
retiring from active politics in 2001.
He briefly returned to the limelight ahead of the 2008 elections when he
claimed that people had approached him to run for President.
Born to a lay preacher on 14 April in 1925, Bishop Muzorewa was the eldest
of eight children and was educated at the United Methodist School at what
was then Old Umtali.
He worked as a school teacher in Murehwa between 1943 and 1947 before
becoming a full time lay preacher in Mutoko between 1947 and 1949. He
studied theology at Old Umtali Biblical College between 1949 and 1952 and
was ordained in August 1953.
Bishop Muzorewa obtained a masters degree from the Christian Education
Scarritt College in the United States and another MA in Philosophy and
Religion from the Central Methodist College also in America.
In July 1963, he became pastor of Old Umtali and a year later was appointed
national director of the Christian Youth Movement, in the process being
seconded to the Christian Council. He became Secretary of the Student
Christian Movement in 1966 and was consecrated Bishop of Rhodesia in the
United Methodist Church at Masera in Botswana in 1968.
Bishop Muzorewa gained national prominence in the early 1970s after forming
the United African National Council with the late Professor Canaan Banana to
oppose a 1971 settlement between Ian Smith and the British government which
offered to end international sanctions in exchange for a transition to
Zanu, then led by Ndabaningi Sithole and Joshua Nkomo's Zapu initially went
along with the Bishop but later broke-off after Muzorewa opposed the armed
Following the fall-out, Muzorewa's UANC was, then, the only legal black
party tolerated by the Smith regime because of its opposition to the armed
Bishop Muzorewa was reported to have taken over a white-owned farm near the
eastern border city of Mutare in January 2008 stating that: "I just wanted
to have land which was taken from my forefathers without any recompense. It's
correction of injustice".
In March of the same year , he issued a statement which commended the
government's land reforms attacked the Britain for reneging on promises made
during the Lancaster House negotiations to compensate white farmers for land
taken for re-distribution.
Commercial Farmers Union vice-president Louis Fick confirmed some members of
his organization have sought tribunal action and intend to refer the matter
to SADC, whose next summit is likely to be held in the Democratic Republic
of Congo in August or September of this year.
Patience Rusere | Washington 08 April 2010
Some white Zimbabwean commercial farmers who lost their farms under land
reform have asked the Southern African Development Community tribunal in
Namibia to find the Zimbabwean government in contempt for ignoring a 2008
judgment by the tribunal saying farm seizures were illegal and
The farmers also intend to ask the next SADC summit to take up Harare's
refusal to respond to the tribunal ruling and rejection of its jurisdiction.
Commercial Farmers Union Vice President Louis Fick confirmed members of his
organization have asked the tribunal to take enforcement action and will
refer the matter to SADC as a whole. The next SADC summit is likely to be
held in August or September of this year in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, which currently holds the rotating SADC chairmanship.
Spokesman Nickson Mau of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition's Johannesburg
office told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that putting the matter to
the SADC summit will mainly be for the record as it is not likely to give
the white farmers satisfaction
April 8, 2010
By Mxolisi Ncube
JOHANNESBURG - The opposition Zapu this week accused its suspended national
executive members of trying to destroy the re-launched party.
Six members of the executive were suspended in December last year on
allegations they had among other things, held unauthorised meetings with the
intention of showing insubordination to the party and its leadership.
The members were also accused of making statements to the press that were
viewed to be in contempt of the party's leadership.
It is alleged they participated in the distribution of material on the
formation of a party called Matabeleland Progressive Party, which Zapu said
was pursuing a "cessationist policy".
The suspended members - Evans Ndebele, Retired Colonel Ray Ncube, Smile
Dube, former Bulawayo councilor Alderman Charles Mpofu, Nhlanhla Ncube and
Charles Makhuya, last week threw a salvo at the party's interim leader,
Dumiso Dabengwa, whom they accused of maintaining strong links with his
former party Zanu-PF.
However, party spokesman, Methuseli Moyo, on Thursday accused the rebels of
working in cahoots with "their handlers" to destabilize the party, which was
re-launched in 2008, after pulling out of a Unity Accord they signed with
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party in 1987.
"The stunt by suspended Zapu members, namely Charles Mpofu and Smile Dube,
and those whom they claim to represent and speak for, has gone too far and
can not be ignored anymore," said Moyo in a statement.
"Their latest charade of authoring a screed containing defamatory
allegations against our party and interim national chairman, Dr Dumiso
Dabengwa, is further confirmation that the gang is under pressure from their
handlers to accomplish their mission of destroying Zapu.
"Their strategy is to present themselves as more Zapu than all of us; yet
they are the opposite. Mpofu two months ago declared Zapu "dead", yet he
spends sleepless nights co-authoring anti-Zapu documents and forging other
so-called "concerned members" signatures with his handlers for distribution
to the media. If Zapu is dead, why is he overworking himself to kill a dead
Moyo castigated the members for singling out Dabengwa for vitriol as if the
interim leader was the one who signed their suspension letters, adding that
the rebels were suspended by their respective provincial executives.
"Also, Mpofu and crew are fully aware that the Zapu Council of Elders
chaired by Advocate Cyril Ndebele, and not the National Executive Committee,
is responsible for disciplinary issues," added the Zapu spokesman.
He said that the actions of the six members were meant to put a spotlight
Dabengwa with the motive of trying to influence Zapu members
against him, something the party said had failed to work.
"We are glad to announce that their plan has only succeeded in rallying more
people to join Zapu," said Moyo.
"The revival of Zapu can only be lead by a real Zapu person, who in the
present circumstances is Dr Dabengwa - a man who pioneered, prosecuted and
won the war of independence with Zapu, Zipra and the masses, survived
Gukurahundi, came out of prison in 1986 to work for the unity of the people
of Zimbabwe, always voiced his displeasure while in Zanu-PF, and heeded the
call by Zapu members to leave Zanu-PF and come back home.
"Such a hero and icon does not deserve the sort of disrespect and
provocation he has been subjected to by dubious, opportunistic,
failure-prone, empty vessels of the sort of Mpofu and crew.
"Mpofu thinks he can make it big by shouting obscenities at political giants
like Dr Dabengwa. Our leader has fought and won real wars, survived real and
serious plots, and remains unshaken by the childish, foolish and amateurish
actions of Mpofu and his gang."
He further accused Mpofu of trying to mislead people into believing that
Dabengwa was still attached to Zanu-PF simply because the former minister
was in Zanu-PF as part of the unity accord. He said Mpofu himself was once a
Zanu-PF councillor for Bulawayo for years, attaining Aldermanship in the
"The charlatan is not even ashamed to blame others for what he himself was
and still is: Zanu-PF to the bone. Charles Mpofu is not the right person to
accuse anyone of being Zanu-PF," said Moyo,
"Mpofu is a political nomad with no match in Zimbabwe's political history.
There is no party that he has ever joined that did not expel him. Was it Dr
Dabengwa who expelled him from all the parties he has been to?
"Here is a man who is so dull that he does not realize that no one takes him
seriously anymore. He does not realize that what makes news is that he is
barking at a newsworthy person, Dr Dabengwa, and not that Charles Mpofu is
speaking. That is his tragedy: he talks and never thinks.
"Mpofu needs to be reminded that the real problem in Zimbabwe is Robert
Mugabe and Zanu-PF and not Dr Dabengwa and Zapu. He also needs to understand
that Zapu is Zapu and MDC is MDC. Zapu does not owe any
party any favour, in as much as no party owes us any favour.
"It is not Zapu and Dr Dabengwa's problem that the MDC factions refused to
unite to win the last elections. Their chance came and went. Now is our
"Zapu, the founder and authentic liberation movement and defender of human
rights in our country, remains focused on organizing our congress set for
August 2010 to prepare ourselves to win elections and form a government next
"It is the Zapu Congress, and not Charles Mpofu and his crew that will
choose who leads Zapu. Mpofu remains free to go back where he came from. He
will not be missed by anyone at Zapu. No one can kill Zapu.
"Mpofu and his fellow agents cannot achieve what a whole brigade and CIO
failed to achieve - killing Zapu."
By Lance Guma
09 April 2010
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) is demanding an independent
commission of inquiry to investigate the death of Batanai Hadzidzi 9 years
ago. During a student protest on the 9th April 2001 riot police descended on
the University of Zimbabwe 'closing all emergency exit doors, firing tear
gas canisters into the halls of residence and indiscriminately beating up
students.' During this chaos riot police entered Hadzidzi's room and beat
him to death.
In a statement marking the 9th anniversary of the incident ZINASU say they
want a commission to revisit the case and ensure the culprits are brought to
book. 'If the truth and reconciliation commission agenda is to be pursued
then the overzealous riot police officers involved in the murder of Hadzidzi
should face the wrath of justice'. It also warned those responsible for this
crime and other brutalities against student leaders 'that they may abandon
responsibility but they will not elope to impunity.'
Narrating the background of the case, union spokesman Kudakwashe Chakabva
told us that when police arrived at the UZ 'it was unfortunate that his
(Hadzidzi's) door was unlocked and the police door-to-door operation started
in his room. The police bashed him and realizing that he was either dead or
critically injured, they poured water on him in an attempt to resuscitate
him.' He was later put on a mattress and taken to the trauma center, where
he was pronounced dead.
Although an inquest was held at the Harare Magistrates Court the police
simply denied responsibility, by claiming Hadzidzi had been 'trodden upon by
fellow students in a stampede during the demonstration.' A post mortem
examination however concluded that he died of 'Asphyxia due to bilateral
lung contusions and rib-cage soft tissue injustices caused by blunt force.'
The marks made by baton stick beatings were visible all over his body and
this beating, combined with suffocation from teargas smoke, led to his
The students union believes the inclusive government has failed to deliver
justice for victims of past abuses. Chakabva told us ZINASU will campaign
for justice for the Hadzidzi family and make sure his case will be a
template for other people to get their own justice. He said it was critical
to have one case that sets an example for all and this was the only way to
discourage future abuses.
Harare, April 09, 2010 - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will next
week formally complain to the African National Congress (ANC) over
sensational outbursts by its youth league president Julius Malema in which
he described the MDC as a "popcorn" party.
In a statement the MDC has hit back at Malema describing his attack on Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party as irresponsible and immature outbursts.
A highly placed MDC official told RadioVOP Friday that they were now left
with no option except to complain to ANC president Jacob Zuma. "The
outbursts by Malema are just coming out from nowhere and without substance.
We need that to be corrected as soon as possible even if it means going to
South Africa to understand what is going on.
"Given that President Zuma is involved in talks to resolve the crisis in
Zimbabwe we find it strange that Malema attacks us like this," said the top
In the official statement released on Friday evening, the MDC says it is
dismayed by the inflammatory hate speech by the ANC youth league president
saying it was improper and impolitic for him to do so.
Malema was in Zimbabwe over the Easter holiday to prop up failed Zanu PF
policies like the violent and chaotic land reform programme and the
indigenisation and empowerment act. He however also lambasted Zanu PF for
using violence to win elections.
"Malema should know that the MDC is not an opposition party but a ruling
party that overwhelmingly beat Zanu PF on 29 March 2008. It is unbridled
naivety on the part of Malema to refer to a party that overwhelmingly won an
election as a "popcorn party."
"Malema's pilgrimage and his chanting of Zanu PF slogans represent gross
interference in Zimbabwe's internal party politics to prop up the fortunes
of the rejected Zanu PF.
"The MDC is a party that is fighting for democracy, rule of law and human
rights for all unlike Zanu PF, which has a violent track record, which saw
over 20 000 people killed during the Gukurahundi period in the 1980s and as
recently as 2008. This violence prompted even Malema himself to say
militancy does not mean violence
"The MDC is shocked by Malema's claims that the MDC is holding rallies in
leafy suburbs such as Sandton in South Africa when it is well known that the
MDC has been holding real change rallies across the country, which have been
attended by thousands of Zimbabweans who overwhelmingly voted for change on
29 March 2008," reads part of the statement.
The MDC added that they are now demanding answers from the ANC leadership.
"The MDC is a party of excellence. We demand an unequivocal position from
the ANC on whether Malema's utterances represent the official position of
that party which is involved in a delicate mediation process in this
"We hope the ANC realizes the gravity of Malema's utterances and their
significance to the people of Zimbabwe.
"Zimbabweans know what they want. Zimbabweans want real change as
represented by the MDC. Zimbabweans deserve hope, freedom, prosperity,
security and dignity."
By Alex Bell
09 April 2010
South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, has distanced itself from the
behaviour and comments of the President of its youth league, who once again
made headlines this week after throwing an international journalist out of a
press briefing and aligning his group firmly alongside ZANU PF.
Controversial ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was addressing reporters
in South Africa on the outcome of his Zimbabwe tour last weekend. But the
press briefing took an unexpected turn when Malema lashed out at BBC
journalist Jonah Fisher, called him a ‘bastard’ and an ‘agent’, and then
forced him to leave the briefing. Fisher had interrupted Malema with a
question that the ANC youth league has since argued was ‘disrespectful’.
Malema also used the same press conference to state that the ANC Youth
League would follow in ZANU PF’s footsteps, applauding the country for its
destructive land and indigenisation policies. Malema said he would encourage
the ANC leadership to adopt the same policies, because of their so called
‘successes’ in Zimbabwe.
But the ANC has now moved to condemn Malema’s behaviour and comments,
calling his treatment of the BCC journalist ‘aggressive’ and ‘insulting’.
The party, whose leader and South African President Jacob Zuma is the
regional mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis, also moved to distance itself from
Malema’s comments on Zimbabwe. The party argued it was fully supportive of
the mediation process involving both the MDC and ZANU PF, saying: “The ANC
would like to strongly disagree and distance itself from utterances by the
ANC YL that they will support President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF to win
the forthcoming general elections in Zimbabwe.”
“The ANC stance on the Zimbabwe issue is that we fully support the mediation
process that is currently underway, which is led and facilitated by
President Jacob Zuma,” the ANC said in its statement.
Observers have commented that the ANC’s statements, while welcome, are not
necessarily true of the party’s real sentiments. The ANC has previously
referred to ZANU PF as their ‘comrades’, who share the same political
history. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki also had a close
relationship with Robert Mugabe, which led to his policy of quiet diplomacy
as Zimbabwe’s political mediator. That policy has been continued by
President Zuma, who has repeatedly demonstrated his allegiance to ZANU PF by
lobbying on its behalf for the removal of targeted Western sanctions that
are in place against Mugabe and his inner circle.
But his lobbying has been dismissed by Western nations, with Germany this
week becoming the most recent country to state that it is too soon for
sanctions to be lifted. German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Guido
Westerwelle said in South Africa on Friday that the ‘time is not right’ to
lift sanctions against Zimbabwe
“We don’t believe that the moment is right to take away the measures put by
the United Nations. Democratisation in Zimbabwe has not advanced,”
Westerwelle told reporters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
by Caroline Mvundura Friday 09 April 2010
HARARE - Zimbabwe's cash strapped central bank will next month begin
retrenching about half of its bloated staff as it embarks on an exercise to
realign its structures after governor Gideon Gono was instructed to halt his
controversial quasi fiscal operations last year, a senior official at the
bank said Thursday.
Speaking on condition that he was not named the official said most
departments in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which were set up to run
the controversial operations, have been disbanded and staff in those
divisions are expected to be offloaded once the bank's new board is set up
in the next month and approves the staff trimming exercise.
The official said hundreds of workers who had initially decided to quit the
RBZ, which had only been paying allowances because of the cash squeeze, have
decided to stay until the packages are paid.
"The package is expected to come once a new board is appointed within the
next month," said the official, adding; "The bank has promised attractive
RBZ media manager Kumbirai Nhongo was not immediately available for comment.
Since Zimbabwe's power-sharing administration between President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai came into office in February
last year and introduced the multicurrency system, the RBZ has failed to pay
its workers and announced plans to cut the headcount last year but sources
said retrenchments had been delayed by the shortage of cash.
The RBZ, once described by Finance Minister Tendai Biti as a mini government
during the height of the quasi fiscal operations, is also facing multiple
lawsuits from companies that it contracted to provide food, agricultural
equipment, furniture and other goods in the past five years but has failed
to pay them after the dollarisation of the economy.
Last month auctioneers flogged off RBZ property including beds, DSTV
decoders, bedroom suits, vehicles and refrigerators to recover money the
central bank owes to an agricultural equipment supplier, marking an
embarrassing end to Gono's controversial operations that made him an instant
hero among Mugabe's cronies at the height of the country's economic crisis.
Economists and the International Monetary Fund blame Gono, who became the
country's chief banker in December 2003, for compounding Zimbabwe's economic
crisis through quasi-fiscal activities that saw the RBZ pump trillions of
dollars into financing Mugabe's populist projects and political programmes.
They say printing money was fuelling inflation. Hyperinflation and the
shortage of banknotes were the most visible signs of a severe economic
crisis blamed on Mugabe's policies and seen in shortages of food and every
essential commodity. - ZimOnline
U.S. Embassy, Harare
Public Affairs Section
Press Release: U. S. Congressman Donald M. Payne concludes Zim tour
Congressman Donald M. Payne concluded a two day trip to Zimbabwe on April 9. He met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and leaders of civil society in order to assess political and economic progress since the signing of the Global Political Agreement. The Congressman expressed disappointment that he was not able to meet with President Robert Mugabe, despite a U.S. Embassy request made two weeks before the visit.
Issued by Tim Gerhardson, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Harare, April 9, 2010
09 April 2010
James Myburgh says it's time Western opinion made a 'question' of African
JOHANNESBURG - In many ways Julius Malema should not pose much of a threat
to South Africa. He loudly articulates the basest desires of racial
nationalism. The track record of the project he advocates is so horrendous
that no reasonable person can be in any doubt about what the consequences
would be if it were to be fully realised here. His faction's agenda is
transparently aimed at looting and self-enrichment.
Faced with the combination of bad men that Malema represents, enough good
South Africans should be able to associate to safely see off this threat.
Or, at least, this would be the case if Western intellectual opinion also
pushed back against the noxious racial nationalism that threatens to destroy
our future. One reason this country is edging ever nearer to the abyss is
that it has not, and still does not.
There has been a very disturbing subtext to much of the Western commentary
on the events of the past week. This is that while Malema might be a nasty
little thug, who says odious things, the real problem facing South Africa is
the continued prosperity of the white minority.
In a facetious piece in The Times (London) Hugo Rifkind commented that
Malema "has a fondness for singing a song called Kill the Boer. With more
than 3,000 white farmers having been murdered since the end of apartheid,
this obviously makes him pretty evil. And yet, in this vast and
disproportionately white-owned country, there is a clear moral case for land
reform. In a very, very tiny way, despite being chubby bum-faced scum, he
sort of has a point."
What point is that? Seventy seven years ago members of the Hitler Youth went
around singing Jude Verrecke in their vast and disproportionately
Jewish-owned country. Does Rifkind think that there was a clear moral case
for Aryanisation, and "in a very tiny way, despite being chubby bum-faced
scum," they also sort of had a point? At the time many sanctimonious Western
intellectuals thought they did.
The Financial Times editorial (April 7) was even more sinister. The
newspaper had two pieces of advice for Jacob Zuma. The first was to make
Malema shut his mouth. The second was to accelerate racial land transfers
from the white minority (what it also euphemistically termed 'land reform.')
The editorial stated:
"Mr Zuma should address one of the substantive issues that Mr Malema has
exploited: the glacial pace of land reform. In 1994, nearly nine-tenths of
arable land was in the hand of white farmers. Despite 16 years in power, the
ANC has largely failed to redistribute it. This is a running sore and stirs
up the rural violence. The longer meaningful reform is delayed, the greater
the risk that unscrupulous politicians may turn to Zimbabwean solutions to
cover up their own failures. Mr Zuma has to his credit sought to revive land
reform. He must follow through. Having raised expectations, he cannot afford
to dash them."
The editorial confuses the 87/13 apartheid-era political divide between
'white' and 'black' South Africa with the allocation of arable land (i.e.
land on which it is possible to grow crops). Since the homeland areas were
generally located in the high rainfall areas to the east of the country, and
much white farmland in the arid West, the black/white division of arable
land was actually far more even.
Setting this aside, there is a curious moral logic to the editorial. It
accepts that the property and lives of white farmers are under threat. But
what is its solution? The ANC government must move quickly to take away more
and more of their property. To avoid a Zimbabwe solution South Africa must
adopt a Zimbabwe solution. The fact that these farmers acquired their
property completely legitimately and their enterprises feed the entire
subcontinent is irrelevant. Their continued success and productivity is a
provocation to Western intellectuals and racial nationalists alike, and they
should be dispossessed.
It is striking how in its editorial on April 8 the racist Zanu-PF mouthpiece
The Herald expressed much the same view as the FT had done the day before.
"Wisdom should have convinced the white community in South Africa that they
need to co-operate with the South African government to address the
inequalities prevalent in that country. In the same way that Zimbabweans got
frustrated with the willing buyer-willing seller approach, the South
Africans will also begin to take what is rightfully theirs by force if they
see no progress in land redistribution. Their patience is wearing thin with
each passing year."
In a sense, what is truly frightening is that a significant body of Western
opinion instinctively sides with our racial nationalists; and backs the
application to our country of the same principles that have brought such
ruin to the rest of Africa.
Although the bulk of ordinary opinion in Britain and America is humane and
decent, and sympathetic to the plight of minorities in Africa, the
interpretation of events in South Africa is dominated by a stratum of
intellectuals with a very different attitude. This group regards it as
intolerable for a racial minority, in a nationalist democracy, to own a
share of the economy too much greater than its percentage of the population.
In their analysis one can see the same emotional impulses (and mental
short-circuiting) at work that underpinned earlier debates around the
'Jewish question' in the 1930s and the 'Asian problem of East Africa' in the
In 1940 the German journalist Sebastien Haffner wrote of how after the Nazis
took power in 1933 ordinary decent liberal minded Germans looked westwards
for rescue and liberation from the barbarous regime that had taken control
of their country. Over the following five years their hopes - that the
Western powers would act to protect the basic values of European culture
(and them) - were repeatedly betrayed. Haffner observed:
"In all the years up to 1939 there was no active opposition to Nazism from
Western Europe. But spiritual resistance was also lacking... The world's
problems and topics of discussion were dictated, without opposition, by
Hitler. He decreed anti-Semitism, and the docile world discovered the
'Jewish Question'. He attacked Austria, and there was an 'Austrian
question'...To make a 'question' of Hitler, the Nazis, the German Reich,
occurred to no one...In those years European-minded Germans experienced a
physical and spiritual sense of being utterly forsaken and lost, such as no
one can realize who has not felt it."
It is a 'spiritual sense' familiar enough to those liberal-minded southern
Africans who have resisted the ANC's racialist agenda. If Western
intellectuals are going to perform any kind of constructive role in South
Africa at this critical moment in its history they need to recognise and get
over their prejudices and start making a 'question' not just of Malema but
also the racial nationalism that he so bluntly articulates.
Rights, challenges and opportunities
Rights, challenges and opportunities
With leading Zimbabwean civil society activists
11.15am Saturday, 17 April 2010
Unite, 128 Theobald's Road, London, WC1X 8TN
As Zimbabwe marks 30 years of independence, this landmark conference will
hear from three of the country's most prominent civil society leaders.
'Zimbabwe 30 years on' will examine the country's current challenges and
opportunities for the future from a diaspora, trade union and human rights
Confirmed speakers include:
Lovemore Matombo,President, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Irene Petras,Executive Director, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Gabriel Shumba,Executive Director, Zimbabwe Exiles Forum
John Mawbey,South African Municipal Workers Union
Lunch is available on the day for £5 if reserved in advance
Places are limited so please confirm in advance:
Email address ____________________________________________
...I/we will attend all day 11.15am-3.30pm (registration from 11.00)
...I/we will attend the morning only 11.15am-1pm (registration from 11.00)
...I/we will attend the afternoon only 2pm to 3.30pm
...I/we require lunch £5 (indicate numbers for lunch, payable on day or in advance).
Please return to:ACTSA, 231 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1EH
E:firstname.lastname@example.org T: 02032632001 F: 02079319398 www.actsa.org
Returning to my desk after two weeks away, the one picture that shocked me
more than any other was the image of Christian worshippers in Harare forced
to conduct their Easter services in the open air. I have no religious
allegiance myself but the concept of freedom of worship is basic to any
democracy and the thought that Christians in Zimbabwe are prevented by the
ZRP from entering their own churches is deeply shocking. And, as always in
Zimbabwe, the reason for this assault on a basic human right is political.
The ZRP in their partisan support for Zanu PF have chosen to back the
ex-communicated 'Bishop' Kunonga for no other reason than his fanatical
support of Robert Mugabe. Despite a High Court ruling that St Mary's
Anglican Cathedral in Harare be shared between the two factions of the
Anglican church, the police continue to bar Anglican worshippers at gunpoint
from entering their spiritual home. The most shocking aspect of this dispute
is the failure of other Christian churches to raise their voices in support
the Anglicans; once again Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have succeeded in
dividing people. Through fear of incurring the violent retribution of the
political class, the churches remain silent instead of speaking out on an
issue which should concern all Christians: the freedom to worship. As a
result, Kunonga and his handful of violent supporters remain in control and,
with police protection, bar genuine Anglican worshippers from entering their
From the thuggish fanaticism of Kunonga, it is just one short step to the
rabid rhetoric of Julius Malema, the ANC Youth leader who was in the country
on a four-day visit at the invitation of Zanu PF's Youth League. Why he was
in the country and whether he represents the ANC's official policies is not
clear; he said he had come to learn from Zimbabwe's 'land reform' and the
Indigenisation process. Whether he was learning or teaching, Malema was
certainly singing from the Zanu PF song book. His own hymn of hate 'Kill the
boer'- which has been banned in South Africa- rang out in Harare and is
reported to have been sung with gusto by his Zanu PF hosts. The ANC defence
of such songs as 'part of our liberation history' is hardly surprising when
you consider that President Zuma's own theme song is 'Bring me my machine
It was while Malema was in Zimbabwe that the white supremacist, Eugene
Terreblanche, was murdered back in South Africa. We have yet to understand
whether there is a connection between Malema's hymn of hate and Terreblanche's
killing. President Zuma's office immediately issued a statement designed to
prevent any possible violent outbursts from any quarter and that appears to
have had the desired effect, at least in South Africa.
But Malema's message, contradictory and illogical though it was, went down
well in Zimbabwe with the likes of Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and other fat
cat business leaders hoping to profit from 'Indigenization' which Kaukuwere
describes as "the final blow against colonialism". In a message to the
opponents of his Indigenisation Act, Kasukuwere repeated his earlier remarks
that there was no going back. "We have no reverse gear in our gearbox. If
there is an insane Zimbabwean who is opposed to the Act then he must go and
die" Yet again, Zanu PF demonstrates that violence is their only response to
opposition. The invitation to the young firebrand from South Africa was
surely a desperate attempt by the former ruling party to re-ignite their
flagging support inside Zimbabwe. When even war veterans say they are fed up
with Mugabe and Zanu PF, as they did in Mutoko last week, then we can fairly
assume that the writing is on the wall; desperate measures are needed; hence
the invitation to Julius Malema who was received by Robert Mugabe in the
presence of journalists. Malema said he would not talk with the MDC because
they were not his friends and they had not been part of the Liberation
In the light of all this talk of violence and evidence of Zanu PF's clear
intention to continue along the path of non-co-operation with its partners
in the Unity Government, it is confusing to say the least that Morgan
Tsvangirai should choose this moment to go to the EU in Brussels to call for
the lifting of travel restrictions on 192 named Zanu PF individuals whose
crimes have included horrific attacks against MDC members. Indeed the news
this week that it is only the North Koreans who have taken up the offer to
train in Zimbabwe for the World Cup is a painful reminder that Zimbabwe is
prepared to host the very nation which provided the training of the
notorious Fifth Brigade which carried out the massacre of 20-30.000 Ndebele
people during Gukuruhundi in the 80's. It is incomprehensible to me that
Morgan Tsvangirai of all people should be the one to intervene on Zanu PF's
behalf with the international community when it is his own MDC followers who
have been murdered and continue to be brutalised and arrested by Mugabe's
police and CIO agents. If Morgan Tsvangirai hopes to convince the EU that
Mugabe and the so-called Unity Government is on the way to a democratic
future, the news that none other than Iran's President Ahmadinejad will be
the 'honoured guest' to open the International Trade Fair in Bulawayo is
hardly going to convince the Europeans - or the Americans for that matter -
that Zimbabwe is a friend of democracy.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH