By Staff Reporter 20 hours 57 minutes ago
HARARE - The coalition government is rocked by the news that another cabinet
meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been suspended again amid reports that
President Mugabe is battling for his life in Singapore, sources in
government revealed last night.
A senior Zanu-PF official whose identity cannot be revealed said the
President is undergoing intensive treatment in Singapore and he also
comfirmed that some members of his family have since joined him after
boarding a chartered private jet on Saturday evening.
Mugabe reportedly went to Singapore to oversee university postgraduate
studies arrangements for his daughter Bona, but this has not helped quell
speculation that the president had health issues to contend with.
Questions have been raised as to whether it was necessary for Mugabe to
personally oversee Bona’s registration or aides could have done that on his
Singapore University registration starts in September.
In a statement yesterday secretary for Media, Mugabe's spokesman George
Charamba, said: “The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck
Sibanda wishes to inform all members of Cabinet that sitting has been moved
from Tuesday, 10 April to Thursday 12 April 2012.”
Last week ministers snubbed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s bid to chair
Cabinet in President Mugabe’s absence. The meeting was called on the pretext
of following up on issues raised in the Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Policy at last Thursday’s Council of Ministers’ meeting.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman Mr Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the meeting
did not go ahead as scheduled.
The MDC-T, however, expr-essed dismay that Zanu-PF ministers boycotted the
meeting, which he said, had been called on the recommendation of Youth
Development, Indigenisation and Economic Em-powerment Minister Saviour
President Robert Mugabe's failing health has forced his ZANU-PF party to
press for early elections in Zimbabwe and accelerate a plan compelling
foreign firms to surrender majority shareholdings, but it has not so far
loosened his grip on power.
While factions within ZANU-PF are battling to take over from Mugabe, the
88-year-old leader is still the only figure who can unite the party and has
so distanced himself from possible successors that no direct challenger has
emerged, but recent reports says he has struck a secret "gentleman's
agreement" to hand over power to his feared defence minister, Emmerson
In any case, ZANU-PF would be hard pressed in elections, that must be held
by 2013 but which could come this year, if it fielded a candidate other than
Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from
Britain in 1980.
But Mugabe has slowed down, diplomats have said. His meetings are fewer
while his visits to Singapore for medical checks have increased.
Over the past few years, he is thought to have spent several weeks abroad
for treatment, described as routine and for maladies such as eye trouble by
official media. But talk in Zimbabwe of Mugabe's deteriorating health is
taboo and harshly punished.
A June 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks last month said
Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread to other organs. He was urged by
his physician to step down in 2008 but has stayed in the job.
In the cable written by James D. McGee, the former U.S. ambassador in
Harare, Zimbabwe's Central Bank governor Gideon Gono was cited as saying the
cancer could lead to Mugabe's death in three to five years.
Mugabe was flown to Singapore last week after collapsing at his home, but
his spokesman said he had gone there to assist his daughter on her
application for Post-Graduate studies.
"The health of Mugabe is deteriorating and ZANU-PF's success at the next
elections is not assured unless it builds up a war chest and relies on
coercion," said Anne Fruhauf, an expert on Africa at the Eurasia Group
political risk consultancy.
ZANU-PF leaders fear that if Mugabe dies in office or his health forces him
to quit before settling the succession battle, the party could disintegrate
or the army could be tempted to take over.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, forced
into a unity government with ZANU-PF after a disputed 2008 election marred
by violence, said the empowerment law has undermined investor confidence and
could strangle a fragile recovery in an economy crushed by hyperinflation
under ZANU-PF management.
But whatever the potential problems for the economy as a whole, the income
generated from implementing the law could be crucial for ZANU-PF and its
"(The law) is little more than an extortion scheme, with rival players
offering companies 'protection' in return for pay and equity stakes,"
Mining firms risk losing their claims in the country with the world's
second-largest platinum reserves if they do not play along. Many are waiting
for a future government more amenable to international investment before
they ramp up production, analysts have said.
The MDC has a lead in opinion polls, and ZANU-PF likely needs cash to
finance the tactics it has been accused of using to win elections -- hiring
armed thugs to intimidate voters and rigging ballot boxes.
"Mugabe's health impacts entirely on Zimbabwe's political landscape.
Everything revolves around his health and his age," said a U.K.-based
Zimbabwe analyst who asked not to be named.
ZANU-PF is in a bind. Voters may not want to support Mugabe if they think he
may not survive the term, but the party has no other candidate who can rally
Zimbabweans in urban areas have probably heard of Mugabe's failing health,
but urban areas are MDC strongholds. Many rural areas, considered ZANU-PF
strongholds, have far les access to news and are probably not up to date on
the health reports.
The most recent report on Mugabe's health came from the out-going Archbishop
of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who met him during a visit to Zimbabwe this
week and told reporters: "He's on top of things intellectually."
The problems facing ZANU-PF as it considers a post-Mugabe future were
highlighted by the death of a top Zimbabwean army officer in a fire.
General Solomon Mujuru, a powerbroker in Mugabe's party for nearly four
decades, was, according to authorities, burned to ashes when his farmhouse
caught fire, which led to rumors he was murdered.
The incident has further muddied the waters within ZANU-PF, meaning that
with the bruising succession battle still unresolved, attention remains
focused for now on the state of Mugabe's health.
Mugabe's absence also forced the cancellation of the last week Cabinet
meeting and that of inclusive government principals a day before.
Zanu PF was last week due to hold a special politburo meeting to discuss
what they deemed to be a deliberate slowing-down of the constitution-making
The party was also supposed to make a definitive stand on when it wants
elections held, but the meeting had to be postponed as Mugabe was away.
Mugabe also missed the high profile visit by Chinese Premier, Mr Hui Liang
Yu and Vice-President Joyce Mujuru had to cut short her trip to Asian to
come home to preform some Presidential duties since the other Vice-President
John Nkomo is also not feeling well.
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is expected back in Zimbabwe on Wednesday after a
week's absence which fuelled fears about his health.
Mugabe, 88, left on what was described as a "private visit" to Singapore on
Aides said Mugabe would use the trip to oversee arrangements for his
daughter, Bona, to begin post-graduate study, after she received her
accounting degree from a Hong Kong university last year.
Officials in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party have publicly
suggested Mugabe's absence was paralysing government, with last week's
Cabinet meeting cancelled.
On Monday, Misheck Sibanda, the chief secretary to the Cabinet, announced
that Tuesday's Cabinet meeting had been moved to Thursday when Mugabe would
be back in Harare.
And a member of the Zanu PF politburo told New Zimbabwe.com that Mugabe was
set to fly into the country sometime on Wednesday.
He denied the President had a health emergency, suggesting instead that the
Zanu PF leader was enjoying an Easter break with his family in Asia.
He said: "The President is on his Easter holidays, like everyone else.
"He returns to his post this week, at the same time as those who are asking
about his whereabouts from their holiday hideouts."
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980,
visited Singapore eight times last year.
His spokesman described the trips as necessitated by cataract surgery, or
simply private visits, amid repeated media reports that he was suffering
His health has been the subject of much speculation, especially since
WikiLeaks last year released a 2008 US diplomatic cable saying central bank
chief Gideon Gono had told then-US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had
prostate cancer and had been advised by doctors he had less than five years
Mugabe's health has been cited as one reason that a faction of his Zanu PF
party has pushed to rush new elections.
But the Zanu PF leader, who has already been named as his party's candidate
for the next elections, has shot down rumours that he is sick.
Bulawayo, April 09, 2012 -Zanu-PF’s Bulawayo province is not attending
weekly joint peace rallies held in the country’s second city because it has
not been given a go ahead by the party leadership, Radio VOP was told.
Only Zapu and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations (MDC’s) have
been attending the peace rallies held at various suburbs, calling on their
supporters to shun violence.
But Zanu-PF officials in the city have been conspicuous about their absence
because they have not been a directive to do so by the top leadership.
“We are worried by the no show of Zanu-PF officials in the joint peace
rallies. These rallies are important peace building initiatives and the
success of these initiatives will only succeed if all stakeholders
“However, that has not been the case.
“We have extended numerous invitations to them (Zanu-PF) to attend and call
for zero tolerance on violence but the message we get all the time from the
Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial executive is that they are still waiting for the
green light from the party leadership to attend,” Zibusiso Dube, the
spokesperson of the Bulawayo progressive Residents Association (BPRA) which
organises the meeting told Radio VOP in an interview.
Zanu-PF Bulawayo province spokesperson, Michael Sikhosana also confirmed,
saying “our Party elders have not given us a green light.”
Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu-PF national spokesperson was not available for
The failure of Zanu-PF to attend the Bulawayo peace rallies has raised
speculation of the party’s sincerity in addressing the issue of violence.
Last year in November a conference on political violence was held in Harare
by the three political parties in the unity government but Zanu-PF
supporters continue to unleash violence countrywide, according to the MDC’s
and civic groups.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network
(ZESN) recently said Zanu-PF which is feared for unleashing violence to its
opponents is still forcing people to attend its political meetings as well
as to buy party cards countrywide.
ZESN and ZPP said political tolerance is still very low in Zimbabwe as the
country prepares to hold elections to end the coalition government formed by
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.
by Staff Reporter
INDIGENISATION minister, Saviour Kasukuwere has said he’s the “Hitler of our
time” for forcing foreign-owned companies to sell or cede 51 percent of
their shares to black Zimbabweans.
Kasukuwere said he’s seeking justice for his people and a restoration of
their rights over the country’s resources.
Quoting remarks made by President Robert Mugabe when he dismissed Western
media comparisons with the former Nazi leader Kasukuwere said: “I am still
the Hitler of the time.
“This Hitler has one objective, justice for his people, recognition of
independence of his people and their right to resources. If that is Hitler,
let me be a Hitler tenfold.”
Kasukuwere – from Mugabe’s Zanu PF party -- has been involved in a public
spat Prime Minister and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai over the country’s
The minister announced last week that the state had taken over control of
all mining companies which either failed to submit plans for complying with
Zimbabwe’s empowerment laws or had their proposals rejected by the
Tsvangirai intervened and told Kasukuwere that he did not have the authority
to unilaterally seize private companies.
“The minister’s statement poses a real risk of creating anarchy in the
industry and the PM will take corrective measures within the proper fora and
channels of Government,” Tsvangirai said.
“The Prime Minister would like to inform mining entities that, should anyone
or any institution be it private or public, attempt to enforce minister
Kasukuwere’s pronouncements, they would be doing so unlawfully and without
the mandate of the Inclusive Government.”
But Kasukuwere remained defiant and dismissed Tsvangirai as “a courier” of
British Prime Minister David Cameron
“In the past few days, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has sought to abuse
his role in government to undermine the laws of our country,” Kasukuwere
said in a statement published by the Herald.
“He has brought us a tired legal opinion written by white supremacists in
Whitehall and those still in Salisbury, seeking to overturn the empowerment
“We have had enough time to play and we are determined and will not, even
for a moment, waste our precious time sitting down and listening to their
masters speak through them.”
By Gugulethu Nyazema, Senior Writer
Monday, 09 April 2012 12:30
HARARE - Police impounded 400 vehicles and issued 11 000 tickets during the
Easter Holiday which had by yesterday claimed 28 lives and registered 193
Since Good Friday, Police recorded 200 road accidents.
Press and public relations officer Inspector Blessmore Chisaka said the
police issued over 11 000 traffic offence tickets and impounded over 400
cars during this Easter holiday.
“We are worried about the carnage on our roads and we are appealing for
caution among all road users as they travel back to their homes at the end
of the holidays,” Chisaka said.
He attributed the accidents to speeding and lack of good judgment on the
road by motorists.
“We urge motorists to observe the rules of the road, to avoid driving under
the influence of alcohol and driving defective motor vehicles. It is also
important that motorists cooperate with police officers even those that are
doing general work on the roads,” he said.
The statistics on road carnage have, however, gone down compared to last
year where 69 people died in traffic accidents during the Easter holiday.
In 2011, 410 people were injured in 420 accidents recorded countrywide.
Drunken driving or driving under the influence of alcohol has become a
serious national concern as road carnage statistics continue on an upward
Although every single injury and death caused by drunken driving or driving
under the influence of alcohol is certainly preventable, in Zimbabwe the
extent of crashes that are alcohol-influenced during the country’s public
holidays, is alarming.
By Sharon Muguwu, Staff Writer
Monday, 09 April 2012 12:22
HARARE - There is confusion among motorists and police on the contentious
issue of spot fines which government said should be scrapped following an
outcry by road users who complained of extortion by some corrupt police
officers manning the roads.
Yesterday, the Daily News was inundated with calls from angry motorists
seeking clarity on the issue of spot fines.
One of our readers claimed to have been detained for over three hours at a
police roadblock in Chishawasha yesterday.
“They asked for my licence, insurance, spare wheel, everything and I gave
them. They asked me to pay $20 for my vehicle not having the gross mass
inscribed on it but I am not a public transporter operator. My car is a
private vehicle and I am carrying the correct number of passengers who
happen to be my relatives and we are attending a funeral,” he said.
The man who preferred anonymity said: “After realising all this they said
some inscriptions on the fire extinguisher were not clear. I feel that they
just want money but I am not going to pay. I have been here for three hours
but I will not pay it is against my morals.”
Harare Province police spokesperson James Sabau said they had not received
any directive to stop spot fines. He said the fines were legal.
“There is wrong knowledge on spot fines. People are basing their facts on
what they read and hear from the media but we do not operate from the media.
We work under directives and it is not in black and white that spot fines
should go. We have not received that instruction,” he said.
Sabau added that spot fines were introduced as a way to prevent people from
running away from paying fines.
“We have had problems with issuing out tickets; people give police the wrong
information. It seemed like people were deliberately committing offences,
knowing that they cannot be traced."
“In most instances they give the wrong residential address or you find that
the car would have been sold to four different people and the name would not
have been changed. That is the dilemma we faced as police, hence the
introduction of spot fines. We have been writing tickets to no avail,” he
Asked to comment on whether the police have the right to detain someone at
the roadblock when they do not have money on them, Sabau said it is up to
the police dealing with the case.
“We have a problem that people think a certain offence is smaller than the
other. An offence is an offence and when a person does not have money the
vehicle can either be impounded or the police do what they see necessary
according to the law. When the vehicle is impounded it is taken to the
nearest police station until the matter is resolved,” he said.
Sabau added that spot fines should always be accompanied by a ticket.
“When one is asked to pay a fine for a certain offence they should receive a
ticket. The money which is paid without a ticket raises suspicions and it is
not encouraged to do as they will be assisting in corruption,” said Sabau.
On several occasions, the police have been accused of demanding bribes from
motorists, particularly public transport operators.
Apr 9 2012 3:31PM
Zimbabwe can leverage its natural resources to settle its debt and harness
development if it carefully enters into deals with foreign firms, Zimbabwean
Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara said.
Addressing a seminar on “Debt, diamonds and development in Zimbabwe,”
Mutambara said one “good” deal could offset the country’s sovereign debt of
US$9,1 billion, Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald reported.
Mutambara said that the country was losing billions of dollars in “bad”
mining deals and Government would soon revisit these transactions. He also
stated another problem was that big foreign mining companies were not
declaring the value of the unmined assets.
The country is currently recovering from a decade-long economic collapse
President Robert Mugabe recently told foreign firms to form partnerships
with Zimbabweans to secure their investments under new rules requiring them
to cede majority stakes to locals.
"It's our vision to see partnerships between rural communities and
non-indigenous investors to guarantee the security of foreign investment and
the establishment of up and downstream industries," Mugabe said.
All foreign companies in Zimbabwe are required to cede 51 percent of their
shares to local blacks under a law that has been criticised by firms at a
time when the country is looking for investment.
April 09, 2012
Sebastian Mhofu | Harare
Then-US Ambassador to the UN food agency Tony Hall speaks to Zimbabwean
villagers waiting to collect food aid near Mutare, Zimbabwe in this August
2005 file photo.
Then-US Ambassador to the UN food agency Tony Hall speaks to Zimbabwean
villagers waiting to collect food aid near Mutare, Zimbabwe in this August
2005 file photo.
Disagreement is common in Zimbabwe’s three-year-old power-sharing
And the parties in the coalition are once again at odds -- this time over
the status of non-governmental organizations and whether they can or cannot
operate in the country.
The outcome of the debate is important, as millions of Zimbabweans depend on
such groups for safe water, food and even clothing.
Zimbabwe’s social welfare sector, once the envy of many developing nations,
has crumbled over the past decade as government funds and services
increasingly fail to meet people's needs.
“That is a bad statistic," said Henry Madzorera, Zimbabwe's health minister.
"We have deteriorated over the last 10 to 15 years. We have to do a lot of
hard work. If you want to call it desperate, it is really desperate,” he
Madzorera has recently acknowledged the country's maternal mortality rate is
on the rise.
According to United Nations figures, about eight women die in childbirth
each day in Zimbabwe, or about 725 women for every 100,000 live births. Most
of them occur at home as the $25 delivery fee charged at hospitals is out of
reach for most women.
Unfortunately, many Zimbabweans face similar desperate situations regarding
food, clean water, and other basic needs. As a result, millions of people
have turned to non-governmental organizations, commonly called NGOs.
But these NGOs are now in a quandary after Masvingo province Resident
Minister Titus Maluleke issued a statement saying they need to register if
they want to continue operating. Cephas Zinhumwe, head of NANGO, a grouping
of NGOs operating in Zimbabwe, is worried about the effects of the ban.
"The government has already announced that there is going to be a serious
famine and Masvingo is going to be one of the places to be affected," he
said. "If all our members are stopped to deliver food, there is going to be
chaos. People are going to die. Hence the reason NANGO has gone to appeal
to the government to stop that, so that we only focus on that problem of
hunger we are facing instead of fighting on our own," Zinhumwe said.
Repeated phone calls to Minister Maluleke for comment went unanswered.
But Labor and Social Welfare Minister Paurina Mpariwa, who is responsible
for registration of NGOs, dismissed the ban imposed by his colleague.
"I have not pronounced or banned any particular NGO," Mpariwa said. "That is
a non-event because I believe this is the time we need NGOs most because of
our problems. Specifically Masvingo is faced with a number of challenges
including water and sanitation. Food, for example, that is the worst-hit
province, including Mat North Mat Sound and Bulawayo and other provinces
that need food from NGOs that we allocate provinces to work in."
Despite Mpariwa's reassurance, Zimhumwe and the leaders of NGO are concerned
about political trends in Zimbabwe.
At the conference of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party in December,
the party resolved that NGOs must be banned in Zimbabwe, deciding they are
interfering with internal politics.
"We are going to have the constitution rolled out this year and we are going
to have the elections this year," said Zinhumwe. "How are we going to have
civic education if our members are not allowed to get into the villages?
How are we going to make sure people understand what is written in the
constitution? ... For us, we say open up the doors so that our members can
start to work," he said.
One thing seems clear: a large number of Zimbabweans are benefiting from
the work of the NGOs.
Patients at Murambinda Mission Hospital, more than 200 kilometers southeast
of the capital, Harare, stand in line to get treatment. A French NGO,
Doctors Without Borders, has an almost eight-year-old HIV/AIDS project at
the hospital.But this project and others might become history if NGOs are
totally banned in Zimbabwe.
Social Welfare Minister Mpariwa, an appointee of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, believes ZANU-PF's effort to ban NGOs will backfire on the
"This is a campaign which will do away with ZANU-PF," he said. "It is a
disadvantage to ZANU-PF."
Until elections are held, whenever that may be, the status of NGOs in
Zimbabwe remains uncertain.
By Sharon Muguwu, Staff Writer
Monday, 09 April 2012 12:29
HARARE - The MDC Youth Assembly wants speedy resolution in cases involving
its senior leadership and has accused the courts of conniving with Zanu PF
to punish key party officials.
Promise Mkwananzi, MDC youth secretary general said in a statement they were
calling for justice following all the delaying tactics.
“The continued miscarriage of justice on this matter highlights the
fundamental flaws in our justice delivery system. In this matter, we can
conclude that the courts are in connivance with Zanu PF in its quest to deny
the accused justice and keep them in detention for as long as possible. We
demand justice,” he said.
Among the detainees is the youth wing chairperson Solomon Madzore and other
party supporters whose case has been postponed many times.
Madzore was accused of taking part in the violence which led to the death of
Petros Mutedza at Glen View 3 shopping centre last year.
The High Court is yet to commence trial involving other MDC activists
arrested for the same incident.
Madzore has been languishing in remand prison since October last year
following his arrest upon return from South Africa.
He had fled with other youth leaders temporarily during the savage attacks
of the party’s activists at the time of Mutedza’s death in Glen View.
Both Madzore and Mkwananzi had gone to South Africa when police were on the
prowl for alleged ring leaders of the murder.
“Six months down the line, the High Court of Zimbabwe has not adjudicated on
the bail application of the detainees. Even worse, the court has
continuously failed to bring the accused to trial, citing numerous frivolous
reasons, including the illness of Justice Bhunu.
“Much as we wish Bhunu a speedy recovery, we demand that he immediately
recuse himself from the case and allow a competent judge to finalise the
matter. Justice cannot be compromised on account of an individual’s
ill-health,” said Mkwananzi.
The MDC youths met on Friday where they registered their complaints against
the court following the incarceration of its leader, Madzore.
In the meeting the youth assembly also attacked Saviour Kasukuwere, minister
of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.
“Saviour Kasukuwere has caused enough trouble for one person; he must be
fired from government with immediate effect. He has put the country and the
government into disrepute by continuously vomiting statements that
contradict government policy. He continues on his deluded path of believing
that his wishes should supersede government policy."
“The youth of Zimbabwe have not seen a cent from the so-called
indigenisation programme. Therefore, Kasukuwere must go and be replaced by
someone who will respect the country’s laws, constitution and policies. We
don’t want a Malema in government,” said Mkwananzi.
By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Monday, 09 April 2012 12:23
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF is so desperate to "sink" the
constitutional making process and railroad elections this year, with key
advisors such as Jonathan Moyo resorting to uncivil launguage to discredit
In his unrelenting onslaught on the Constitutional Select Committee (Copac)
process, the former Information minister claims that the team is stuffed
with "mafia" elements bent on using the "devolution proposal" to effect
regime change in Zimbabwe.
“As the curtain falls on the discredited Copac drafting process with the
Copac mafia realising... that its strategy of abusing the process to block
or delay elections has been exposed, given that the constitutional roadmap
for the inevitable holding of elections this year is set to be firmly
decided next month," Moyo thundered in a Sunday Mail opion piece.
"...the Copac mafia has become desperate and is now resorting to fallacies,
and scare tactics about devolution and a women’s parliamentary quota to
force the adoption of a Copac’s draft constitution to secure the mafia’s
floundering regime change or succession interests,” he added.
However, Copac officials including spokesperson Jessie Majome and Zanu PF
representative Paul Mangwana have rounded up on the Tsholotsho North member
of parliament, saying his views showed panick and that he was an "idle
“He is terrified about what people said. He is trying to stifle people’s
views. He should however be careful of contempt as the constitution process
is a parliamentary standing order,” Majome said.
“It is one thing to criticise and another to totally disrespect parliament
and Zimbabweans,” she added.
Mangwana, a Copac co-chairperson, was even more scathing.
“He is crazy, what he is saying is not true at all, we know his motives. We
are, however, expecting to complete the draft next week,” the Chivi North
Mangwana did not, however, elaborate what he described as Moyo's motives - a
man once accused of trying to mastermind a leadership coup in Zanu PF in
In March, Moyo claimed “Copac has characteristically lacked a demonstrable,
visible, shared and national vision with a redeeming capacity to rally
Zimbabweans across the political divide around a common cause with
On Sunday, the Zanu PF politburo member also said the process was
“organically flawed and so unZimbabwean that it has no chance surviving
critical scrutiny unless public attention is shifted from examining the
“The new approach is to influence the conclusion of the Copac process by
recklessly highlighting, promoting and fronting false constitutional issues
such as devolution and a women’s parliamentary quota to cover up and
ultimately to sacrifice real constitutional issues all in the pursuit of
regime change or succession politics that have absolutely nothing to do with
genuine constitution-making,” Moyo said.
“Devolution is administrative and not constitutional or even political for
that matter. The kind of devolution that some elements in the Copac mafia
are now talking about is alien and treacherous and is not supported by our
history or by the views that came from at least six provinces during the
Copac outreach programme where the issues raised were clearly about
decentralisation, deconstruction and devolution as statutory matters,” he
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and SADC Election Support
Network join other international non partisan election observation
organisations in welcoming the Declaration of Global Principles for
Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring launched at the United
Nations Headquarters in New York on the 3rd of April 2012.
Representatives from 50 organisations from West Africa, Southern Africa,
East Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe
and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean participated in the launch.
ZESN notes that this initiative not only builds the capacity of election
observation through the adoption of a code of conduct, best international
practice and methodologies but also strengthens synergies between observer
groups around the world.
The ZESN Director and SADC-ESN Deputy Board Chair Mrs Rindai Chipfunde Vava
who attended the Launch in UN Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD) in New
York together with the Malawi Election Support Network (MESN) representative
and ZESN Monitoring and Observation Manager highlighted that “the
declaration will go a long way in enhancing the quality of domestic election
observation and increasing the credibility of citizen observation. It will
complement already existing regional principle guiding domestic observation
in southern Africa.”
The declaration launched in New York sets the tone for more effective and
informed domestic election observation guided by international best
practice. It would enhance the quality, professionalism and integrity of non
partisan election observation and monitoring by citizen organisations like
We do hope that the Zimbabwean and other SADC governments create a conducive
environment to provide for access and the security of non partisan citizen
observers and monitors. This would go a long way in enabling them to play an
effective watchdog role throughout the whole electoral cycle that is,
before, during and after the election period. We call upon SADC and AU to
endorse this declaration and recognise the critical and frontline role
played by domestic observers in electoral processes.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
10 Rochester Crescent, Belgravia
Tel : 250736/791443,798193,791803
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Website: www.zesn.org.zw
By Wonai Masvingise and Ngonidzashe Mushimbo
Monday, 09 April 2012 12:05
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has been accused — for the
umpteenth time — of unashamedly trying to use churches for its own ends
ahead of possible elections this year or in 2013.
In recent years, the former ruling party has repeatedly attempted to court
support from such churches as Johane Masowe, Guta RaMwari and other popular
congregations to advance its political interests.
On Friday, Zanu PF bigwigs led by political commissar Webster Shamu
allegedly “hijacked” popular preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa’s Harare vigil at
the National Sports Stadium (NSS).
With an estimated 100 000 people attending the event, the Information
minister jumped on the stage to join the Mahendere brothers in singing one
of the group’s songs.
John Makumbe a political analyst, said even though people were free to go to
any church they wanted, the latest moves by Zanu PF “smacked” of sinister
“Everybody is free to go to church but Zanu PF is desperate and the presence
of Zanu PF guys at Makandiwa’s judgement night is questionable.
Zanu PF is desperate to garner support because their party is in trouble and
wherever there is a crowd they want to be there, that is why they are trying
to lure Makandiwa to their side to get political mileage,” Makumbe told the
Daily News yesterday.
“Those people are (clearly) not genuine worshipers but had gone there (to
the NSS) on (party) duty.
They were desperate to know what Makandiwa was going to say concerning his
prophecy. Zanu PF has got a habit of sending spies to all churches and
gatherings,” he added.
But Makandiwa, who was last week reported to have predicted future chaos in
the country, did not dabble into politics during his sermon on Good Friday.
The much anticipated judgement night was held two days after he tried to
tone down on his predictions which torched anger amongst Zanu PF bigwigs as
well as the intelligence services, who angrily questioned
the ground for the supposed chaos.
Makandiwa, has, as has been the case with other church leaders, been
privileged to visit and meet President Robert Mugabe.
“It is nothing new. Zanu PF has been using every platform to gain political
mileage. They have been into music, soccer, churches and of late clothing
wear to try and lure as many followers as possible.
Makandiwa is a good target because he commands a huge following,” said
activist Blessing Vava.
“Coincidentally, the TB Joshua and Makandiwa prophecies have sent chills
down many spines in the Zanu PF camp. They are afraid and that is also the
reason why they are now trying to be close to the popular
“They are desperate and after the (Bingu) waMutharika prophecy was
fulfilled, they are really scared. It is on two levels, one is to capitalise
on the congregation and try to lure potential votes ahead
of the elections,” Vava added.
Apart from Zanu PF, other parties, while not being so aggressive about it,
including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), have also courted the religious sector.
And as the battle for the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans hots up ahead of
the forthcoming polls, the turf wars for Christian groups have sometimes
turned ugly, amid worrying allegations that some powerful Zanu PF figures
are using state security agents even on religious issues to outflank their
For example, the MDC claims that there were manouvres to bar it from
addressing a Zimbabwe Christian Church gathering at Defe last year, with a
repeat of that scenario feared at a joint rally in Mutare in
However, Zanu PF denies the allegations, saying religion remains a free
domain in the country. On Sunday, its leaders also insisted that there was
neither wrong nor sinister motive about their attendance at
the United Family International Church (UFIC) event.
With an estimated 200 000 to 300 000 followers in the country, the Masowe
sect has been a popular Zanu PF target and other party leaders, including
Mugabe and Jabulani Sibanda have routinely “graced” its many
Mugabe has even “donned” Masowe garments in his quest to war this religious
sect, while his commissariat teams have also addressed and helped several
religious causes countrywide.
And in the lead up to the Makandiwa gathering, Zanu PF leaders, including
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi spoke glowingly about the UFIC founder and
charismatic preacher, saying he was a “tourist attraction”.
“You can also qualify... if you are a centre of attraction in the manner (in
which) prophet Makandiwa will be attracting so many hundreds of thousands of
people. He qualifies in our definition here... broad definition of tourism
as an attraction, but specifically as religious tourism,” he said.
“With prophets like Mutendi, Makandiwa and Angel (Hubert) set to draw
hundreds of thousands of religious tourists... to their shrines, we are in
for some serious domestic tourism with all its national
benefits and value,” Mzembi added.
The all-night affair, which was dubbed judgment day, had drawn such huge
interest after the lanky pastor had said he foresaw chaos in the country.
With his prophetic words coming hard on the heels of another popular
churchman and Nigerian-based preacher Temitope Balogun Joshua’s views that
an old African leader was about to die, Makandiwa is reported to
have strongly urged Zimbabweans “to remain vigilant in prayer” due to a
number of potentially disturbing socio-economic events.
However, it is believed that after sustained pressure from state security
agents and other political players, the Mashonaland Central-born preacher
sought to downplay his prophecy and to placate his political friends – and
foes – by declaring at the vigil that he was misquoted.
Ruth Maclean, Malawi – Last updated at 12:01AM, April 9 2012
When the President of Malawi died last week, the country rejoiced.
Violently crushing peaceful protests, throwing donors out of the country and lining up his brother to succeed him, President Bingu wa Mutharika was beginning to resemble Robert Mugabe of neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The President’s death last Thursday appeared to be a miraculous solution to their problems. But perhaps they should have seen it coming.
On February 5, Prophet T.B. Joshua predicted, live on the hit Nigerian Christian channel Emmanuel TV, that an African leader would die within 60 days.
“We should pray for one African head of state, what I say, president, against the sickness that will take life,” he told a 15,000-strong congregation and millions of viewers. He said that he was in negotiations with God and that prayer might save the president. He did not say which one.
“I’m just being used by God Almighty,” Mr Joshua told The Times. “I had to send the message ... I cannot say more than that. I will not say somebody will die. I’m not God.”
Many thought that Mugabe, who is 88 and constantly quashing rumours that he is sick, was a safe bet. President Mutharika, although 78, seemed to have considerable life in him. Enough, at least, to get rid of Joyce Banda, the Vice-President, whom he threw out of his party when she refused to back his attempts to line up his brother as his successor.
After Mr Mutharika’s heart attack, clandestine negotiations in the top echelons of his party went on for two days and the Malawian people were not told whether he was dead.
Ms Banda was finally sworn in on Saturday. She is a firm devotee of Mr Joshua, whose latest prophecy is the bizarre crown on a number of “miracles” performed to her benefit.
It is well known in Malawi that when he suffered a serious stroke she took her husband to see the prophet and believes that Mr Joshua’s prayers cured him.
“In Malawi, T.B. Joshua is a person that is dearly loved,” she said before her latest prayers were answered. “I must say that I’m addicted, because every Sunday ... I sit all day watching Emmanuel TV.”
Mr Mutharika’s death came hot on the heels of Mr Joshua’s repetition of his prophecy last Sunday, when he narrowed down the location of the presidential demise, eliminating West Africa: “I’m seeing a sudden death. This is as a result of sickness. Quote me. The Lord showed me the country . . . this is not even in West Africa.”
Although he is often vague and never names his subject, Mr Mutharika’s purported predictions range from the deaths of Michael Jackson and Kim Jong Il to the London riots last summer.
“You remember when I said your country will be burnt and crash, you never listened!” he told The Times crossly. He does not rule out helping again, however. “You want to know what is going to happen? I will make an appointment with [God].”
NIGERIAN Prophet TB Joshua has revealed that the late Malawi president Bingu
Wa Mutharika knew that the prophecy of the death of an elderly African
leader was talking about him.
Speaking during a Sunday service broadcasted live on his Emmanuel
Television, TB Joshua also displayed the letter written by Mutharika to him.
President Mutharika died on Thursday after a sudden cardiac arrest.
TB Joshua’s prophecy was first made on 18th March 2012 and repeated on April
1. Malawi newspapers reported the prophecy but Mutharika downplayed it when
he told local religious leaders that he will not die because a person wished
A cabinet minister Yunus Mussa nonetheless did not take the prophecy lightly
as he offered an animal sacrifice to ensure it did not pass.
TB Joshua informed the packed church and millions of viewers following the
service via Television that when a prophecy is made the one talked about
“Last week on Sunday I told you I see the close Thursday,” said TB Joshua.
He told the service that God shows him a lot of things and he only tells
people what they are suppose to hear.
“When a prophet says I can see death he is simply telling you to put your
house in order,” he said.
“But everyone would like to hear when and how? Here we are only passing
through tell your neighbour”
He revealed: “Nine days ago I received a letter from his excellence Malawian
president. He sent it to me because he knew I was talking to him.”
Knew he was dying ... The late Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika
TB Joshua did not disclose the content of the letter saying it was personal
but just showed the top reflecting whom it was addressed to and the bottom
showing the sender.
He explained that Mutharika knew that his days of living were numbered and
that he had answered God’s call and was now resting.
He prayed for the people of Malawi to forge ahead under the leadership of
President Joyce Banda who has been visiting the Prophet in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Mutharika’s remains will be flown from South Africa to Malawi on
Thursday, a Foreign Affairs ministry official told AFP.
“An official announcement will be made today but the late president will be
flown by a South African military plane,” the official said Monday.
After suffering a heart attack on Thursday, Mutharika was flown to South
Africa and was pronounced dead on arrival at a military hospital there the
The date for his funeral has not yet been made public, but he is expected to
be buried near his home village at his sprawling Ndata farm in the southern
Mutharika’s first wife Ethel, who died three years ago, is also buried at
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 09/04/12
It could be argued that the recent sudden death of Malawi’s Bingu
WaMutharika has left many people puzzled as they thought someone other than
him was meant by TB Joshua’s prophecy.
They have been puzzled because the imminent death of an African leader
appeared to refer to Robert Mugabe.
On the other hand, some Malawians were reportedly not bothered: “We know he
is dead and unfortunately he died at a local, poor hospital which he never
cared about – no drugs, no power,” said Chimwemwe Phiori, a businessman
The same could be said of Robert Mugabe’s obsessive personal indulgence and
will-full extravagance by seeking medical attention abroad while medical
facilities back home are falling apart.
Even if Mugabe finally makes a surprise appearance at the Cabinet meeting
which has been rescheduled for Thursday 12 April, that would not stop wild
speculations surrounding his health and the succession crisis.
His absence is undoubtedly paralysing Cabinet meetings and his party’s
politburo meetings, which can only be chaired by him until his death. Let
alone his party’s push for “elections now” regardless of key reforms.
Given his recent assertions that he was as fit as a fiddle and the regime’s
claims that he was going to help find a post-graduate place for his daughter
alias ‘Tracy Guvamombe’ in Singapore, the only plausible explanations for
his prolonged absence are either he is seriously ill or probably being held
up for unpaid bills, because it is taking too long.
Ironically, the University of Zimbabwe for which Mugabe is the Chancellor,
has fallen on hard times and needs up-to US$70 million for capital projects
that include geo-technology laboratories and the refurbishment of medical
Mugabe’s hypocrisy of pumping money into foreign economies and universities
when Zimbabwe’s economy is on its knees can be clearly understood in the
context of UZ which has suspended geology and metallurgy departments due to
the unavailability of lecturers.
The mining engineering department is reportedly “limping with no more than
three lecturers”. To make worse, for the first time in the country’s
history, the UZ’s school of medicine which used to be the envy of many
regional countries, had a record failure rate in March 2012 when 45 of the
163 medical students failed their examinations.
Proof that some politicians hardly learn any lessons is that after 18 people
had been killed in two days of public unrest sparked by worsening fuel
shortages, rising prices and high unemployment in Malawi, the late Bingu wa
Mutharika obliviously said:
“You demonstrated yesterday and throughout the night until today, but is
there fuel today because of the demonstrations? I think God will do
something top help us, will bless us, because these people are not being led
by God, they are being led by Satan” (Guardian, “Malawi protesters killed
during anti-regime riots,” 21/07/11).
Although, some people are disappointed that TB Joshua predicted “the wrong
despot”, the consolation may be that he did not name the leader he predicted
could be nearing his death but Zanu-pf was quick to issue a denial saying he
did not mean Mugabe.
While puzzling to political scientists, a positive aspect of the yet
unexplained ability of TB Joshua to make politically-relevant claims has
been arguably its multiplier effect.
For instance, whether out of fear or anxiety or having an eye for an
electioneering opportunity, one of the Zanu-pf loyalists who attended “the
Day of the Judgement” service at the weekend drew laughter when he lifted a
clenched fist (a-la Zanu-pf) instead of an open palm (a-la MDC) when saying
‘Praise Jesus” in greeting the crowd as the usual practice.
The prophets seem to have finally shifted the tables on African tyrants and
their followers, at least for now, when the oppressed appeared to be
despairing and finding refuge in fatalism as a safe haven than going on
street protests to effect regime change.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,