A truckload of about twenty (20) armed riot police officers today, 9 April
2011, violently descended and disrupted the Praying for Peace to Save
Zimbabwe Church Service at the Church of Nazarene, in the high-density
suburb of Glen Norah. An estimated, flock of 500 including 4 Bishops and 46
pastors, from Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo and Gweru had congregated at The
Church of Nazarene to pray for peace amidst the resurgence and escalation of
politically motivated violence, arrests, polarization and the general
breakdown of peace. The flock also sought to commemorate the historic events
of the March 11, 2007 Save Zimbabwe Prayer Rally. The rally, ironically, was
also quashed by brutal and heavy handed police action, resulting in the
death of Gift Tandare, the arrest and torture of hundreds of political,
civil and ecumenical leaders together with some members of their
The Riot Squad, which stormed the Church of Nazarene during prayer, ordered
everyone to disperse, while putting to use their arsenal which included AK
47 rifles, baton sticks and tear gas canisters which they fired into the
church. The ensuing pandemonium led to a stampede with some worshipers
forced to escape through windows and run for dear life, as the armed squad
had barricaded most exit routes which left several congregates including
women and children from the adjacent neighborhood injured. The squad went on
to fire the tear gas canisters indiscriminately at several churches in the
vicinity, as well as the general residential area around the church and
At the time of writing, 4 clergymen, including 2 Bishops (Bishop Paul Isaya
and Bishop Paul Mukome – who heads the Church of Nazarene, Pastor Nemukuyu
and Pastor Caroline Sanyanga) had been arrested. In addition 5 other
congregates, including Shakespeare Mukoyi, who is also the Deputy
Chairperson for Harare Youth Assembly in the Movement for Democratic Change
Led by Morgan Tsvangirai, were also arrested.
Several injuries were noted from the worshipers, and are being attended to
at a local clinic. The Crisis Coalition fears that the list of causalities
may increase as police seem to be keeping Virgil in Glen-Norah B, and also
because of other injuries sustained by residents including children who are
reeling under the toxic consequences of the tear gas.
The church service was initially scheduled to be held at St Peters Kubatana
Centre but congregates had to relocate, after The Riot Squad barricaded the
main entrance and refused access to worshipers. The Coalition contends that
the reasons behind the violent disruption were clearly contrived and serves
the narrow political interests of section of the regime who are full of
paranoia. The Public Order and Security Act (POSA) exempts’ church services
from the need to be cleared by the police or for them to be notified of the
activities of the church. The heavy-handed disruption of the church services
is a shameful violation of the constitution of Zimbabwe, which allows for
freedoms of religion and worship. The attacks also fly in the face of the
SADC Troika resolution of 31 March 2011 from Livingston, Zambia, which
called on the government to allow free political activity and to put an end
to violence and unwarranted arrests. The Coalition, reminds authorities, and
urges them to take head, of the advice proffered by civil society to them on
the 6th of April 2011, to attend to the message rather than attach the
Also amongst the worshipers were some senior representatives from political
parties, civil society and church related organizations.
“BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD”
9 April 2011
ZLHR CONDEMNS POLICE ABUSES IN SUPPRESSING PRAYER FOR PEACE
Anti-riot police on Saturday 9 April 2011 violently stormed and suppressed a
church service organised to pray for peace in Glen Norah suburb of Harare.
The church service had originally been scheduled for St Peters Kubatana
Centre in Highfields, but the venue was changed after police camped in
Highfields overnight and sealed off the venue to block people from accessing
A truck load of riot police carrying tear gas rifles and truncheons
descended on the Nazarene Church in Glen Norah while the service was
underway, stormed the church hall during prayer, and dispersed the
congregation, which included many church, civic and community leaders.
The police, numbering about 20, assaulted congregants who were inside and
outside the church and used tear gas to drive congregants out of the church
and eventually out of the volatile suburb.
The police went on to indiscriminately fire tear gas canisters at residences
and churches surrounding the venue of the church service. Even children who
were within and outside the parameters of the church were affected by the
tear smoke and the police clampdown.
The police arrested Pastor Mukome, the Resident Priest at the Nazarene
Church, Pastor Isaya and some other congregants.
A team of lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) observed
police indiscriminately arresting people walking near the environs of the
Church of Nazarene even after they had suppressed the service and hounded
congregants out of the suburb.
ZLHR lawyers have been deployed to attend to those who have been arrested.
The service was organised by a coalition of churches under the theme “Saving
Zimbabwe….the unfinished journey”. The church service was aimed at
presenting an opportunity to pray for peace in Zimbabwe as part of the
process of finishing the journey to save the country. It was also meant to
commemorate the events of the 11 March 2007 Save Zimbabwe Prayer Meeting,
where one activist Gift Tandare was shot dead while over 100 political and
human rights activists were arrested, tortured and detained through similar
heavy-handed police action.
ZLHR unreservedly condemns the events of Saturday 9 April 2011 and the
indiscriminate violence meted out by police whose responsibility is to see
that fundamental freedoms such as freedom of assembly, expression and
worship, are enjoyed by all Zimbabwe citizens. Such criminal behaviour makes
a mockery of the SADC Troika Communique, issued in Livingstone on 31 March
2011 in which the Zimbabwe government was warned to immediately end the
harassment, arbitrary arrests, intimidation and violence which is currently
prevailing in the country. It also calls into question the sincerity of
pleas from political players such as Oppah Muchinguri who, only the previous
day, urged people to turn to prayer as a contribution to efforts towards
national healing and reconciliation.
ZLHR urges restraint by the police, an immediate investigation into the
unlawful conduct of the police involved in Saturday’s disruptions, and calls
for an opening up of space for people to freely assemble, associate and
worship rather than the criminalisation of such lawful activities.
Harare, April 09, 2011 - Zanu (PF) and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
negotiators nearly traded blows on Thursday following a heated argument on
whether Zimbabwe’s partisan security chiefs should keep their jobs.
The MDC is adamant Zimbabwe’s security chiefs, who have never disguised
their loyalty to President Robert Mugabe, are the stumbling block to a
return to democracy in Zimbabwe.
“The feeling is that Mugabe could have resigned himself to the wishes of
SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) which want him to resign but is
under pressure not to relinquish power from service chiefs,” said the
The security chiefs are Defence Forces Commander Constantine Chiwenga, Air
Force boss Perrence Shiri, army commander Philip Valerio Sibanda, Police
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Prisons Commissioner Paradzayi
Zimondi and CIO director general Happyton Bonongwe.
According to the source, the MDC want them to resign and be replaced with
new officers who do not have a history tainted with political bias.
Moses Mzila Ndlovu, one of the negotiators from Professor Welshman Ncube’s
MDC, said the meeting went on well but refused to confirm reports the
negotiators were almost at each other’s throats.
Arriving from a tour of four SADC nation two weeks ago, MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said he had impressed upon SADC leaders to help the country
return to civilian rule.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tsvangirai attacked Chihuri for his continued
refusal to arrest Zanu (PF) perpetrators of political violence.
Some supporters of President Robert Mugabe, above, fear that his health may
be ebbing, so they want Zimbabwe to hold an election soon.
By CELIA W. DUGGER
Published: April 8, 2011
HARARE, Zimbabwe — As Zimbabwe hurtles into another violent political
season, President Robert Mugabe’s party is fiercely pushing for a quick
election this year because of fears that the president’s health and vigor
are rapidly ebbing, senior party officials said.
In 1985, Mr. Mugabe campaigned in Harare before parliamentary elections. His
party, ZANU-PF, increased its majority.
With no credible successor to unite the quarrelsome factions that threaten
to splinter the party, its officials say they need Mr. Mugabe, who at 87 has
been in power for 31 years, to campaign for yet another five-year term while
he still has the strength for a rematch against his established rival, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, 59.
“There’s urgency, real urgency,” said a party insider, speaking anonymously
because of the delicacy of the topic. “The old man is not the same as he
Zimbabwe’s neighbors, who helped broker a power-sharing government led by
Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai after a discredited election in 2008, have
strongly warned against trying to hold another one too soon. But a separate
Mugabe confidant said the party’s power brokers worried that the president
would no longer be a plausible candidate by next year.
“Imagine him being supported all the way to the podium to address a rally
and him telling the people he is the future of this country,” the Mugabe
confidant said. “Even the staunch supporters would not believe that.”
The intensity of the party’s determination to hold an election this year was
evident as a newspaper controlled by Mr. Mugabe’s party carried out an
extraordinary attack on South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, the official
mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, after he publicly called for a halt
to political violence in the country.
South Africa had long been criticized for coddling Mr. Mugabe through a
decade of rigged, bloodstained elections, but last week Mr. Zuma persuaded
regional leaders to endorse assertive, time-consuming efforts to ensure that
the next time Zimbabweans voted, they would be able to do so freely and
“There is no way we can agree to an election in Zimbabwe when the
institutions needed to ensure a credible, free and fair election are not in
place,” Mr. Zuma told Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai at the meeting,
according to Mr. Zuma’s adviser, Lindiwe Zulu.
A day later, Mr. Mugabe defiantly told his party’s central committee that
Zimbabwe’s neighbors should not meddle in its political affairs and urged
his followers to prepare for an election. An editorial in The Sunday Mail, a
state-controlled newspaper, accused Mr. Zuma of duplicity and dishonesty and
called him a puppet of the West.
South African officials reacted sharply to the vitriolic, personal attack on
the president of the region’s most powerful nation, and Mr. Mugabe’s
spokesman this week sought to soften Zimbabwe’s tone, saying the editorial
was not government policy.
“President Jacob Zuma’s erratic behavior is the stuff of legend,” one of Mr.
Mugabe’s loyalists wrote in the editorial’s opening line.
Mr. Mugabe’s domineering rule has led to the country’s disastrous economic
decline, pervasive corruption and an intensely repressive society, but as
the centerpiece of the state, there is uncertainty about whether his death
would lead to a military coup, a vicious internal battle within his party,
ZANU-PF, or some still unforeseen outcome.
“Mugabe’s health is a matter of national instability,” Mr. Tsvangirai said.
Having been pressured by regional leaders into the power-sharing deal with
Mr. Mugabe, his political enemy, two years ago, Mr. Tsvangirai said of his
still dominant partner, “He left the succession way too late, and now there
is a scramble between the two main factions of ZANU-PF.”
A Western ambassador here likened this period in one of Africa’s
longest-surviving autocracies to the last days of Brezhnev and Franco. It is
a time of fevered rumors and back-room plotting.
And it has brought a crackdown on pro-democracy civic groups and members of
Mr. Tsvangirai’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change. The authorities
have banned its rallies, rounded up activists and party workers and put
truckloads of riot police officers on the streets to head off protests.
The revolutions in North Africa, and particularly South Africa’s support for
a no-fly zone in Libya, have unnerved the sprawling spy operation controlled
by Mr. Mugabe’s party. Dozens of students, trade unionists and activists who
had gathered to watch news reports on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt
were arrested in February and charged with treason, accused of plotting to
oust Mr. Mugabe.
“We are hearing from the intelligence services that M.D.C. meetings are
intended to incite people to engage in an Egyptian-, Tunisian-style
uprising,” said a spokesman for Mr. Mugabe’s party, Rugare Gumbo.
Enlarge This Image
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press
Beyond that, recurrent speculation that Mr. Mugabe suffers from prostate
cancer has quickened since he made trips to Singapore in February and March,
ostensibly for routine follow-up care after cataract surgery he had there
over the Christmas holidays. But why would such an elderly man have made
three grueling, transoceanic flights unless he was really sick, analysts
Cabinet ministers say Mr. Mugabe is mentally sharp, but tires easily and has
difficulty walking up stairs. Mr. Mugabe himself declared at his 87th
birthday celebration in February, according to an Associated Press account,
“My body may get spent, but I wish my mind will always be with you.”
At a conference here in November, Mr. Mugabe was natty in a charcoal gray
suit, blue silk tie and matching handkerchief peeking from his breast
pocket. A waiter in white gloves poured his juice and hovered nearby. The
president’s sonorous voice still echoed in the hall as he read a speech he
held up close to his eyes.
But as he left the stage, Mr. Mugabe — his days as a vibrant liberation
leader long past — gripped the banister as he slowly made his way down the
steps. Outside, an ambulance trailed his limousine.
His press secretary, George Charamba, said at the time that Mr. Mugabe had
dashed up 22 flights of stairs when elevators at the party headquarters
malfunctioned, leaving security agents panting in his wake. Even some
political opponents wonder if he has years left. His mother lived to nearly
“There’s nothing that tells me he’s about to drop dead,” said Theresa
Makone, a leader of Mr. Tsvangirai’s party and the co-minister of Home
Affairs in the power-sharing government.
But the uncertainty about his health has profoundly unsettled politics here.
After each of Mr. Mugabe’s Singapore trips, Mr. Charamba insisted in
interviews that his boss had just been seeking routine eye care. But the
spokesman revised that explanation in a recent interview, saying the
president had actually made the trips to accompany his wife, Grace, who had
badly injured her back while exercising at a gym.
“She’s up and about so we can talk about it” now, he said.
In a rare interview with Reuters last year, Mr. Mugabe himself brushed off
rumors he was dying of cancer.
“I don’t know how many times I die, but nobody has ever talked about my
resurrection,” he said.
“Jesus died once, and resurrected only once, and poor Mugabe several times,”
the president added, laughing gleefully at his own joke.
Under the current Constitution, if Mr. Mugabe died in office, ZANU-PF would
choose the next president to finish out his term, legal experts said.
Zimbabweans are supposed to vote on a new constitution before the next
election, but drafting one has spurred an intense struggle between the
parties. The member of Parliament leading the constitution-making effort for
Mr. Tsvangirai’s party was recently jailed for almost a month.
Mr. Mugabe wants an election as soon as possible, not because of his own ill
health, but because the power-sharing government is not working, his
Mr. Mugabe has unhappily shared the stage with Mr. Tsvangirai in what they
call an inclusive government for the past two years. The deal has brought a
tenuous political stability and improving economy, but has left Mr.
Tsvangirai with little authority.
It was formed after the 2008 election. In May and June of that year, Mr.
Mugabe’s lieutenants orchestrated a campaign of beatings, torture and murder
against Mr. Tsvangirai’s workers and supporters. Mr. Tsvangirai, who won
more votes than Mr. Mugabe in the first round, quit the race days before the
A senior ZANU-PF leader offered a blunt assessment of his party’s current
political quandary, acknowledging Mr. Tsvangirai as a formidable opponent.
“Morgan has been in the making for 10 years,” he said, using Mr. Tsvangirai’s
first name. “He has contested three elections. So there’s fear he has
momentum. Who among our so-called leaders can face Morgan if the old man is
A journalist in Zimbabwe contributed reporting.
While the latest outbreaks are far from the scale seen in Zimbabwe three
years ago, officials are concerned about the persistence of the water-borne
disease in a number of parts of the country
Patience Rusere | Washington DC 08 April 2011
Cholera has claimed the lives of some 36 people in Manicaland and Masvingo
provinces over the past month, say health officials who add that they are
still struggling to eradicate the disease in the country following a
2008-2009 epidemic that killed 4,200 people.
Epidemiology and Disease Control Director Portia Manangazira of the Ministry
of Health said five people died of cholera in the past week in the Masvingo
districts of Chiredzi, Sangewe and Chilonga. Eight died in Rusito district,
Dr. Managazira said the death toll might be even higher as ministry records
are not completely up to date. The outbreaks are due not only to
contaminated water but also resistance by local apostolic sect members to
medical treatment, Dr. Managazira said.
Dr. Managadzira told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that while the
latest outbreaks are far from the scale seen three years ago, officials are
concerned about the persistence of the water-borne disease in a number of
parts of the country.
BULAWAYO, April 9, 2011- Fighting between rival MDC-T factions loyal to
minister Gorden Moyo and prominent senator and businessman Matson Hlalo
marred Saturday,s provincial elections for the crucial post of the party,s
Witnesses say supporters of Gorden and Hlalo factions traded insults and
blows during the accreditation exercise.Feuding MDC- T factions vying for
influential posts in the party provincial assembly traded blows and insults
on the back of accusations between them that the accreditation process was
flawed to deny other members a chance to cast their votes for their
The biggest battle is for the post of chairmanship which is between minister
Moyo and Hlalo.Moyo who is now unpopular among senior MDC-T leaders in
Bulawayo was accused of vote buying and of using residents associations for
support among the residents.Moyo supporters accused their rivals of trying
to prevent them from being accredited for the congress.The elections were
supposed to take place at 10am in the morning but due to the chaos and
confusion in the morning they were pushed to late afternoon while police
were also called in to control the two factions.
Hlalo is a veteran community and business leader in Bulawayo dating back to
the 70s while very few people in Bulawayo knew of Moyo,s political
credentials until the time he headed the civic group, Bulawayo Agenda.
“Today’s violence and chaos during the accreditation process was always
coming because there has been violence all along in the district elections
as Moyo and Hlalo’s supporters were fighting to position their members to
vote in the provincial assembly polls, ” a MDC -T member said in an
Bulawayo MDC -T spokesperson, Felix Mafa blamed what he called thugs for
trying to disrupt the party’s provincial assembly elections.
“Elections will take place…there are people who are trying to tarnish the
party image,” Mafa said.
Campaigns in Bulawayo for influential positions ahead of the MDC- T’s long
awaited national congress have all along been characterised with violence
leading to the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai making a surprise visit to
the city recently.MDC-T insiders believe that Moyo is likely to win
provincial chairmanship post after he successfully lobbied the Bulawayo
Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) for support.
Moyo is the patron of the organisation which was formed two years ago to
rival the Zanu (PF) aligned Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA).
Matabeleland North and South provincial elections are set to be held on
Sunday and Monday.
Saturday, 09 April 2011 14:52
THE MDC-T legislator Douglas Mwonzora was on Friday charged for insulting
President Robert Mugabe.
Mwonzora’s lawyer David Tambiri said the MP was summoned to Mutare Central
Police Station where he was informed he was facing a new charge of
undermining or insulting the authority of the President.
Tambiri said: “The allegations are that on March 7 at Nyanga Magistrate
Court, which is a public place, the accused (Mwonzora) is said to have made
a statement while pointing at the portrait of the president of Zimbabwe.
“He is alleged to have uttered the words Makadii Baba? Irisei Miviri? Riri
sei ziso? In English meaning; How are you father, how is your health and how
is your eye?”
They said the statement was meant to cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of
the President, his person or his office.
He signed a warned and cautioned statement.
Mwonzora who is also Nyanga North MP and Copac co-chairperson, however
denies the charge. The state will proceed by way of summons.
by Staff Reporter
AIR Zimbabwe pilots look set to push on with their strike into a third week
after rejecting a Labour Court ruling which said their job boycott was
The pilots grounded the state-owned airline's planes on March 22 in a
long-running pay dispute.
But the Labour Court said their strike was illegal after a judge found they
had not followed accepted labour procedures before the damaging industrial
Air Zimbabwe’s board chairman Jonathan Kadzura told the New Ziana news
agency: "They have launched an appeal and are sadly still on industrial
In the last walk-out by pilots lasting 15 days in September last year, Air
Zimbabwe said it lost an estimated US$5 million in potential revenue.
The struggling airline, said to run losses of up to US$3 million every
month, has appealed to the government to step into the dispute but ministers
say the country is broke.
"We are losing revenue everyday and our credibility," said Kadzura.
Air Zimbabwe has been leasing some of its idle aircraft to a regional
airline which is running its Johannesburg-Harare schedule. But flights from
Harare to Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Zambia have been cancelled.
Also affected is the airline's cash-cow route of Harare-London and the long
Written by Chief Reporter
Saturday, 09 April 2011 13:00
HARARE – The proposed indigenisation legislation will not expropriate
ownership in foreign mining firms, says Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
“We are talking about existing business telling us how they intend to set
thresholds, industry by industry, within a period of 10 years to bring the
local indigenous people into the economy. There is nothing wrong in
empowering citizens," Tsvangirai said.
The Chamber of Mines says the regulations gazetted last month essentially
fast track indigenization, without taking into consideration the negative
consequences on investment and growth. Foreigners regularly cite the law as
their main concern about investing in Zimbabwe, which is desperate for
external capital to rebuild an economy shattered by decades of chronic
mismanagement and decline under President Robert Mugabe.
The law is silent on how payment for surrendered shareholding would be made,
and observers have express concerns that the regulations would allow another
land grab – this time of white-owned businesses.
But Tsvangirai said: "This is the ambiguity of the coalition. Really what I
am explaining is that there is nothing wrong in a law that empowers the
majority of citizens to be part of the economy. What is coming out is that
this is another land reform. That is not the case. I want to say, and this
is not just political rhetoric, the indigenisation regulations do not
threaten existing or new business."
Mugabe has said the regulations would target foreign mining firms from
countries that have imposed targeted measures against him and his henchmen
and an arms embargo against Zimbabwe – to prevent him procuring armaments
with which to further oppress Zimbabweans.
"That is rhetoric," Tsvangirai said. "There is no legal power for anyone to
grab anything. There is no nationalisation or expropriation law in the
country. This is not Rhodesia."
While initially there was an exemption of those mining firms with below a
net asset value of $500,000, the regulations published recently by
Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere remove that exemption.
“I want to assure you there is no such thing,” said Tsvangirai. “Ask the
minister, 'where do you derive your power to go and take over or even to
grab whatever you like?’”
He said that, while the goal was ultimately black Zimbabwean majority
ownership, minimum thresholds would be implemented in the immediate future,
with companies adopting much lower levels of black ownership than the stated
Written by Gift Phiri
Saturday, 09 April 2011 14:57
HARARE - A US auditing firm is suing Zimbabwe's bankrupt central bank for
failing to pay US$34million for service rendered in February 2006.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) failed to pay Alex Stewart International
for auditing its books in 2006 to ascertain the production and export of
minerals from Zimbabwe. The firm was hired on February 8, 2006 at the height
of an economic crisis which many people blame on President Robert Mugabe's
"In terms thereof, first defendant (RBZ) acknowledged and agreed that the
debt due to plaintiff was US$34 995 200," ASI stated.
"Second defendant (Finance Minister Tendai Biti) was made aware of
plaintiff's claim on May 17, 2010 in written correspondence from plaintiff
pleading for payment of the entire debt due to it for services rendered.
"Notwithstanding numerous negotiations and discussions regarding payment of
the debt, no such payment has been made forthcoming.
"This is in spite of the fact that first defendant (RBZ) does not and has
never disputed its indebtedness to plaintiff," ASI says.
The firm says attempts to settle the matter out of court were futile and
that its October 14, 2010 letter of demand penned by its lawyer GN Mlotshwa
and Company, demanding payment and accrued interest within seven days had
"Notwithstanding such demand first defendant (RBZ) has failed or neglected
to pay amount due and payable to plaintiff. Indeed in a separate lawsuit,
plaintiff intends to sue the first defendant for damages in an additional
amount of US$100 million for breach of contract," ASI's suit says, which
also demands interest on the outstanding amount of 10 percent per annum and
that the RBZ bear the cost of the suit.
In its opposing papers, the central bank says the auditing firm did not give
60 days notice of intention to sue therefore the suit must be dismissed on
"The honourable court should refuse to exercise its jurisdiction in the
matter because the agreement being sued upon provides for an elaborate
dispute settlement namely arbitration in terms of the Rules of Conciliation
and Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce," the RBZ said in
its opposing papers.
"The US firm is peregrinus it should provide security costs in such sums as
the court may determine before the matter is heard. The firm should prove
its allegations that it is indebted."
Biti cites more or less the same arguments.
"The plaintiff declaration falls foul of the provisions of the State
Liabilities Act in as far as the pre-requisite 60 day notice as prescribed
by the said Act were not given and accordingly the plaintiff's papers are
improperly before the court to the extent that they relate to the second
defendant," the minister said.
"First defendant (RBZ) is capable of being sued in its own name, the second
defendant (Minister of Finance) was irregularly cited and should not be
party to the proceedings," the minister stated.
The matter will be heard before Justice Susan Mavangira The unity government
President Mugabe formed with rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had
decided to halt the auctioning of the bank's assets by creditors.
And Biti cited this in his papers.
"We agreed to stop the attachment and auctioning of RBZ properties with
immediate effect," he said. "It has become clear that some individuals and
companies are acting like vultures after buying the bank's assets for a
Zimbabwe's central bank, which the IMF has certified as broke and is
struggling to pay its own workers, is now playing a marginal role in efforts
to revive the country after being at the centre of the economy for years.
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change blames Gono, a Mugabe ally, for
contributing to the economic collapse and wants the power-sharing government
to appoint a new governor.
Written by Tavada Mafa
Thursday, 07 April 2011 14:51
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has expressed concern over the
government’s reluctance to legalise its operations and accused the state of
failing to finance it.
The eight-member Human Rights Commission, which was sworn in last year, has
no secretariat of offices.
“It’s over a year since we were sworn in, but we still have no Act which
gives us power to perform our mandate. Besides,we do not even know how we
are going to operate because there is no law to guide us,” the commission’s
Chairperson, Reg Austin, said on Wednesday.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission was created following a Constitutional
provision agreed to by the Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations. The
commission is expected to investigate human rights abuses/atrocities and
protect and promote the human rights of citizens.
Professor Austin said they needed at least US$8 million for the body’s
operations this year alone.
“We have not had a budget since last year and we have just presented our
budget proposal which amounts to US$8 million to the government. Lack of
funding by governments in Africa has failed Human Rights Commissions, and we
believe it is the government that has the responsibility of funding the
commission,” he added.
Professor Austin has been under pressure from Human rights groups who have
demanded that it investigate all human rights violations dating back to the
Professor Austin said issues like the Gukurahundi atrocities, Murambatsvina
and other human rights abuses committed during the colonial period should be
dealt with by the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation while the
Human Rights commission should dwell on the way forward.
“From consultations we have so far made from other Africa countries which
have similar commissions it’s important for the commission to look at
contemporary issues and move forward because its task is not only to
criticise, and attack issues of past human rights violations, but to create
and build an awareness and a culture of promoting respect to human rights,”
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 09 04 11
When he realized that his regime was under pressure from SADC’s Troika,
Robert Mugabe immediately seized the opportunity to convene negotiations on
the election roadmap which he knew would go nowhere except to give him a
breathing space. Suddenly, there was a positive mood all round in the civil
society that SADC had finally put pressure on Mugabe’s regime to reform.
That optimism was very short lived.
As the week drew to a close, the truth dawned that actually nothing of
substance was achieved in the weeklong negotiations or wrangling by the
three parties in Zimbabwe’s coalition government. Reading between the lines,
one can immediately tell that the only winner was Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-pf
and the securocrats who knew very well from the start that the talks were
going nowhere but were necessary to silence SADC’s disquiet about political
violence, hate speech, selective arrests and denial of civil liberties. The
talks were just a ceasefire.
What is disappointing is not the lack of details of the progress review of
the GPA but the fact that the public was not expecting the negotiations to
dwell on what they already know and that is there is no progress in the GPA.
Instead people expected discussions to focus on the election roadmap.
Ironically, after three days of talks, all that was achieved was a deadlock
as we earlier predicted.
Security sector reforms
In the absence of security sector reforms what election roadmap can there
be? Was it worthwhile for SADC to waste it’s time sending facilitators to
Zimbabwe only to be kept out of fruitless talks by their hosts? Will SADC
continue to watch the regime in Harare play games of hide and seek? Will
Jacob Zuma be amused by the waste of his facilitators’ time in addition to
the hostility he endured from the Zanu-pf press championed by Jonathan Moyo?
If the negotiations hit a snag on the election roadmap what else did they
achieve which they have not disclosed? What is clear is that rather than the
SADC having pulled the rug under Mugabe’s feet, it was Mugabe who actually
pulled the rug from SADC’s feet by rescuing his sinking ship on false
assurances that Zimbabweans would rather be left alone to take care of their
own business without any foreign interference.
Happy but disappointed
The contradictory statement by the facilitation team that it was encouraged
by the progress made during its visit but was unhappy and left the country
frustrated on Friday 8th April is unhelpful diplomatic stuff. You cannot be
happy but disappointed at the same time. Equally, the negotiators should
start to take Zimbabweans seriously by giving full press briefings on what
would have transpired during their talks rather than leave people guessing
while the situation remains the same.
One important observation of the week is that Zimbabweans seem to have put
too much trust in the tripartite negotiations not realizing that it was just
a fire-fighting tactic used that proved handy for Robert Mugabe’s regime.
Elsewhere dictators we thought were on their way out still remain in power
after adopting similar tactical maneuvers. Whoever thought that Ivory Coast’s
Gbagbo would last until the weekend when he was said to be negotiating his
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
Dear Family and
Zimbabweans began to take notice of Mike Campbell, his wife Angela and their
son in law Ben Freeth in December 2007. Having exhausted their legal options
in Zimbabwe, Mike Campbell tried to stop the seizure of his farm by going to
the regional SADC Tribunal. Just before Christmas 2007 the SADC Tribunal
ruled in their favour. The Tribunal set a hearing date for January and
granted interim relief which: “orders that the Republic of Zimbabwe shall
take no steps ... to evict from or interfere with the peaceful residence on
and the beneficial use of the farm known as Mount Carmel."
Following the interim order, Ben Freeth wrote to JAG (Justice for
Agriculture) and his words were invigorating to those of us farmers who had
already lost everything, and challenging to those whose turn hadn’t yet
come. In his first letter Ben wrote: “Sitting on the sidelines in secret
"dialogue" simply will not do. It has failed. It never had a chance of ever
working. The truth of this may hurt for some…”
The challenge came in his second letter where Ben wrote: “Do we continue to
allow these injustices to continue so that we are then wiped off the land
without trace; or do we try to stand for justice and the future of this
country and indeed our future on this continent?”
A few months later, on the 30th June 2008, a chilling email came telling of
the abduction of Mike and Angela Campbell and Ben Freeth from their home on
Mount Carmel Farm in Chegutu. It had happened two days after the
presidential run off elections. The JAG message read:
“Mercifully, at midnight, Mike and Angela Campbell and Ben Freeth were
released at a house of a black lady in Kadoma. All three have been severely
beaten. Mike has serious concussion and a broken collar bone and fingers.
Angela has a broken arm, in two places. Ben has a badly swollen and totally
closed eye and feet severely beaten…. The purpose for the brutal attack and
vicious beating carried out at Pixton Mine (youth militia torture camp) was
the forced compliance, under extreme duress, with the signing of a formal
withdrawal of the Campbell Case from the SADC Tribunal. The Campbells and
Freeth were taken by ‘war vet’ Gilbert Moyo and approximately twenty thugs
to the mine. They were viciously beaten until they complied with the
signing of a withdrawal of the case….”
On 28 November 2008, the SADC court delivered its ruling, with the five
panel judges finding the land reform programme to be racist and in violation
of international treaties and human rights. Justice Louis Mondhlane said
that constitutional Amendment 17 put in place in 2005 to clear the way for
compulsory acquisition of land in Zimbabwe had resulted in expropriation
targeting only white farmers. “Its effects make it discriminatory because
targeted agricultural land is owned by white farmers” Mondhlane said.
Zimbabwe refused to be bound by the SADC Tribunal ruling.
In 2009, Mike Campbell and his family left Mount Carmel farm after it was
burnt down by so called ‘land invaders.’ A few weeks ago Mike Campbell
launched yet another application to the SADC regional Tribunal. For the
first time in legal history, all 15 leaders of the Southern Africa
Development Community were cited as respondents.
Sadly Mike Campbell passed away this week but he will not be forgotten. His
brave and determined fight for justice will always be remembered; he will
not have been wiped off the land without a trace. One day, when Zimbabwe
again respects property rights, we will have Mike Campbell to thank for
showing us the way.
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy. 9th April 2011. Copyright ©
Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE SERIES
Parliamentary Committee Meetings: 11th to 15th April
The following meeting is the only committee meeting open to members of the public this coming week. Please note that members of the public will be admitted to the meeting as observers, not as participants, i.e. they can listen but not speak.
Monday 11th April at 10 am
Portfolio Committee: Transport and Infrastructure Development
Oral evidence from Air Zimbabwe Acting CEO on current industrial action by pilots
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon Chebundo Clerk: Ms Macheza
Note: As there are sometimes last-minute changes to the meetings schedule, it is recommended that you avoid possible disappointment by checking with the committee clerk that the meeting is still on and still open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 or 252936. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced.
Reports on the General Laws Amendment Bill Two portfolio committees – the committee on Justice, Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs and the committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development – presented critical reports during the Second Reading debate on the Bill on Tuesday 5th April. [Electronic versions of both reports available.] Both committees had received representations, submitted by civil society and stakeholders, seeking changes to the Bill. The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs accepted some of the criticisms and:
· dropped the Bill’s provisions affecting copyright in official publications and local government procurement procedures, and
· moved an amendment to a provision allowing the Civil Aviation Authority to impose civil penalties on offenders against the Civil Aviation Regulations.
This is welcome evidence of the growing effectiveness of parliamentary committees and the value of lobbying to get changes made to Bills.
Committee Reports Being Prepared
Several committees are preparing reports and will be considering the latest drafts during the week. These include reports on:
· Political violence –Thematic Committee on Peace and Security
· Prisons – Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
· National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce
· Fact-finding visit to Tobacco Sales Floor – Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement
· South African fact-finding visit – Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology
[Note: Committee reports are not publicly available until they have been presented to the House of Assembly, in the case of portfolio committee reports, or the Senate, in the case of thematic committee reports.]
Also still available are electronic versions of the following reports:
· Thematic Committee on Peace and Security – “The Role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Promoting and Safeguarding Peace and Security in Zimbabwe”.
· Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing – “Constitutionalisation of Housing”
· Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology – “The Fee Structure, Cadetship Support Scheme and Scholarship Programmes in Institutions of Higher Learning”
· Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development – “Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority”
· Portfolio Committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals Management – “Supply of Water Treatment Chemicals by Chemplex Corporation to City of Harare”.
Requests for electronic versions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.