Friday, 09 April 2010 14:44
VILLAGERS in Chiadzwa, Manicaland, are demanding the immediate withdrawal of
soldiers from the diamond rich area, whom they accuse of demanding national
identity cards and assaulting those found without. According to an
application filed at the High Court by Malvern Mudiwa and Newman Chiadzwa on
behalf of the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, the villagers also want
the declaration of Chiadzwa as a protected area in terms of the Protected
Places and Areas Act (Chapter 11:12) declared unlawful and void.
They said the police and the army have unlawfully ordered the business
operators at Zengeni Business Centre to close their shops.
The villagers said the police, acting on orders from Police
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, were also threatening to close all
businesses operating in Chiadzwa.
Through their lawyer George Gapu of Scanlen & Holderness, the plaintiffs
served summons on co-Ministers of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo
Mohadi, Chihuri and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in December last
year and the case is now before the High Court.
Public buses have been prohibited from plying routes in Chiadzwa that pass
through Zengeni business centre, the court papers read.
The villagers said demanding identity cards, prohibiting public buses and
closing businesses in the area were unconstitutional as such acts violate
Section 22 of the Zimbabwe constitution that guarantees freedom of movement.
In the summons the villagers blamed the abuses on the declaration made by
Mohadi in 2007 making Chiadzwa a protected area in terms of the Protected
Places and Areas Act.
The summons read: “The plaintiffs’ claim is for a declaratur that the
declaration of Chiadzwa as a protected area in terms of the Protected Places
and Areas Act is unlawful and therefore void; ii) a declaratur that the
prohibition of buses from plying routes in Chiadzwa is unlawful as it
violates section 22 of the constitution of Zimbabwe and has no lawful basis.
“A declaratur that members of the Zimbabwe National Army are not authorised
officers in terms of the Protected Places and Areas Act.”
In their declaration, the plaintiffs added that: “In pursuant to the
declaration, officers employed by the Zimbabwe National Army and the
Zimbabwe Republic Police moved into the Chiadzwa area and are demanding
identity cards from the local residents/inhabitants and are randomly
assaulting people found without the identity documents.”
The villagers want the court to direct and compel Mnangagwa to remove
soldiers from the Chiadzwa area or alternatively direct him to ensure that
members of the army cease demanding their identity cards and stop assaulting
In response, the ministers and police commissioner represented by the Civil
Division of the Attorney-General’s office denied the allegations and
dismissed them as malicious.
“These allegations are malicious, further shown by the lack of proof, proof
which can only be in the form of affidavits by business people alleging such
threats”, read the defendants’ plea. “The declaration of the area was done
way back in 2007 and the applicants now seek to reverse a process that has
seen the moving in of investors in Chiadzwa and diamond mining is underway.”
The defence also said the allegation that provisions of the Protected Areas
Act are unconstitutional could only be challenged in the constitutional
“The plaintiffs have approached a wrong forum to have their concerns
addressed. Therefore we pray that this application
be dismissed with costs,” the defendants said.
The defence further said that the plaintiffs have issued summons against the
defendants without giving notice in writing of the intention to bring claim
in accordance with provisions of the State Liabilities Act as read with a
section of the Police Act.
Replying to the defendants’ plea, the plaintiffs said the State Liabilities
Act does not apply to the claim in issue and that they were not required to
give notice for a claim of this nature.
One of the plaintiffs, Newman Chiadzwa, was last month jailed for five years
and fined US$132 764 for possessing 43 028 carats of diamond by a Mutare
The Zimbabwe army and police have been accused of mass murder in a fierce
crackdown on illegal diamond mining in the Chiadzwa area.
Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 200 people were killed during the
crackdown, but local villagers believe that the figure was much higher and
that people were secretly buried. Government has rubbished the claims.
Government sent in the army and intelligence officers after the local police
were accused of taking bribes from the miners and failing to keep law and
order in the area.
Friday, 09 April 2010 13:30
DONORS funding the constitution-making process have disbursed only US$2,1
million of the total US$14 million they promised and outreach teams will no
longer be deployed this weekend until the rest of the funds are released.
According to plans from the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac),
the outreach teams were supposed to be deployed to provinces as from
tomorrow after the training of rapporteurs, but the process has now been put
on ice until donors have released the remaining funds for the process.
The budget for the constitution-making process has however gone down from
the projected US$21 million to US$18,5 million.
It also emerged this week that funds for training the rapporteurs were not
supplied by the donors but by government.
Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana told the Zimbabwe Independent
on Wednesday that the donors have not provided the requested funds as they
were still looking at the budget submitted by Copac.
"The donors have indicated that they are still consulting their home
countries on the budgets we supplied and until the funds are released the
constitution outreach programme will be delayed," Mangwana said.
Asked when exactly the process will begin, Mangwana said it was difficult to
come up with dates when dealing with donors that have different procedures
to follow before releasing funds.
"They (donors) will only disburse after approval from their home countries
and the outreach process will only begin once we have received funding from
the donors as the training of rapporteurs was funded by government,"
Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga however said there was no
crisis at the moment as donors were working at satisfying their procedures.
"The donors through the UNDP have agreed to provide the funds and they will
do that through phases. The Swedes last week released 15 million Swedish
Kroners (US$2 million) that they had pledged to the process," Matinenga
He however could not give dates as to when the outreach programmes would
commence in the provinces.
"The process is on course and the donors are supportive and we agreed with
the donors that the funds will be disbursed quarterly and the first quarter
will be to cover the outreach process and the training of rapporteurs," he
Matinenga however said the process will not be behind time as the donors are
in the process of disbursing funds that were promised.
The constitution-making process has been delayed by close to nine months.
The three political parties in the inclusive government agreed to craft a
people-driven constitution after which elections would be held.
The parties have clashed on the process with Zanu PF campaigning for the
Kariba draft to be used as the basis for a new constitution. The Kariba
draft was crafted by the three parties before the March 2008 harmonised
The two MDC formations however want people's input in drafting the new
Friday, 09 April 2010 09:14
ZANU PF and MDC negotiators have in their latest talks agreed on a raft of
far-reaching electoral reforms designed to prevent a repeat of the
March/June 2008 presidential election fiasco which edged the country to the
brink of civil strife.
The proposed new amendments to the Electoral Act, exclusively obtained by
the Zimbabwe Independent this week, are designed to prevent the 2008
experience by introducing strict procedures on how the poll is to be
conducted and results announced. They are also calculated to stem systematic
rigging. Zimbabwe's elections since 2000 have been hotly disputed due to
political violence and rigging.
After the extensive changes, touted as the single biggest achievement in the
last round of inter-party negotiations which ended last week with agreement
on many issues but deadlock on several disputes, presidential election
results will no longer be delayed by more than five days.
"We agreed to amend the Electoral Act so as to oblige the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC) to declare the presidential results by not later than five
days after the final date of voting," one of the negotiators told the
Independent. Elections could be next year.
Results will be audited to ensure reconciliation and the date for the
run-off will be fixed ahead of the first round of the election.
"We also agreed to an amendment to the Electoral Act to provide for an audit
with respect to presidential election results to verify that the numbers do
add up.† The verification is to be done at the polling station, district,
province and national levels," another negotiator said.
The results of the March 2008 presidential election, in which President
Robert Mugabe lost the first round to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
before bouncing back in June via a campaign of violence, were delayed by
more than a month amid fears of manipulation and panicky attempts to manage
the president's shock defeat.
After the reforms, there will be counting of presidential election ballots
at a local level to prevent manipulation and vote-rigging.
There will also be the creation of presidential constituency centres to
collate results at the House of Assembly constituency level.
Direct transmission of presidential election results from the polling
station to the appropriate House of Assembly constituency centre and
straight relaying of the results return from the House of Assembly
constituency centre to the provincial command centre en route to the
National Command Centre will also be introduced.
As a result, the controversial National Command Centre - manned by state
agents accused of manipulating past elections, especially the 2008 one -
will no longer be able to fiddle with the results.
The changes also seek to prevent parties from using political violence as a
tool of winning elections. There will be a special body in the electoral law
to deal with political violence.
The Attorney-General's office will set up a special unit to prosecute
perpetrators of violence. Special courts will also be established at a
magistrate's court level to deal with cases of violence.
ZEC will now have powers to summon parties accused of violence and give them
warnings. Those convicted of violence will be banned from elections.
The amendments span presidential elections, political violence, the period
between nomination day for election candidates and polling, creation of ward
centres for council elections for the collation of results, House of
Assembly constituency centres, senatorial constituency centres and
presidential election constituency centres.
They also deal with posting results outside polling stations and new
election centres, postal voting, police and council clearance certificates
for candidates in local government elections, the police's role in
elections, voter education, delimitation, jurisdiction of the Electoral
Court and announcement of presidential elections results.
Section 38 of the Electoral Act currently provides that the period within
which an election should be held after nomination day should not be less
than 28 days and not more than 50 days. The parties agreed to extend the
period between nomination and polling day to not less than 42 days and not
more than 63 days to give candidates more time to prepare for elections.
Negotiators agreed after extensive discussions on the need for new and
effective measures to deal with "the menace of politically-motivated
violence during the campaign and post-election periods".
The parties agreed to the following measures to be incorporated into the
.††† Set up a Special Body to receive complaints or allegations of
politically motivated acts of violence, to monitor and to carry out
investigations of such reports. The special body will closely liaise with
the police and with multi-party liaison committees;
.††† To refer these allegations to police for expeditious investigations and
.††† To empower ZEC to summon candidates, election agents or political
parties against whom allegations of violence have been made or on their own
initiative where they believe or have reason to believe that acts of
violence have been perpetrated;
.††† To empower ZEC to warn candidates, election agents or political parties
against acts of violence perpetrated on their behalf by their supporters;
.††† Set up special courts at the magistrates' level to try cases of
politically- motivated violence committed during the election period;
.††† Ensure the Attorney-General sets up a special unit to prosecute cases
of politically-motivated acts of violence committed during the election
.††† Provide in the law that upon conviction by special courts, the court
can make a special order banning candidates from further participation in
the election process.
Thursday, 08 April 2010 16:39
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe last week jointly swore in commissioners of the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission in line with constitutional provisions.
His partners in the inclusive govern-ment, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and his deputy Arthur Mutambara described the move as progressive. But
sceptics say it takes more than a ceremonious event for the commissioners to
carry out their duties.
Firstly, critics argue that the calibre of some of the commissioners is
questionable. They also say other commissioners have no "demonstrable
†record" of upholding human rights. The appointments of the commissioners
have also been seen as comeback time for some political activists who
hitherto had been relegated to obscurity.
A local human rights pressure group, ZimRights, this week said ZHRC could
fail to deliver.
"While the move is a stepping stone in the fulfilment of the provisions of
the Global Political Agreement, ZimRights doubts that it will make
meaningful contribution to the human rights situation in the country," read
a statement issued by the rights group.
"A peek at past commissions shows that they have been nothing but toothless
bulldogs, and have done nothing yet to change the status quo."
Secondly, with no enabling Acts of Parliament to operationalise the
commissions and parliament currently adjourned until June, no meaningful
work can be carried out unless the new laws are fast-tracked. Again this
could come with its flaws.
However, MDC-T Senator Obert Gutu, who last year chaired the interviewing
panel of lawmakers that selected the commissioners, said the ZHRC is
"composed of men and women of integrity who should be able to rise above
partisan politics and ensure that the democratisation process in Zimbabwe
continues to gather irreversible momentum."
Only time will tell.
The Zimbabwe Independent this week looked into the profiles of ZHRC
commissioners. The commission comprises chairperson Reg Austin, Ellen
Sithole, Kwanele Jirira, Nomathemba Neseni, Elasto Mugwadi, Joseph Kurebwa,
Japhet Ndabeni Ncube, Jacob Mudenda, and Carol Khombe.
Reg Austin, a renowned law professor and experienced election administrator,
the University of Zimbabwe Dean of the Law faculty is an ex-Zapu activist
who joined the former liberation movement as a teen. He subsequently worked
in various countries where he was among other things instrumental in
formulating legal policies for transitional governments.
He served as Chief Electoral Officer of the United Nations Transitional
Authority in Cambodia; as Director of the Electoral Component, United
Nations Observer Mission in South Africa; as Director of Legal and
Constitutional Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London; as a
Director of the Electoral Unit at International IDEA in Stockholm; and
served as Chief Electoral Adviser for Afghanistan's 2004 presidential
Austin was last week quoted by a state-controlled daily saying the
commission would attempt to authenticate "rumours" of human rights
"There are a number of rumours that we have heard and we will have to find
out the facts," he said.
Jacob Mudenda (64) is the former Zanu PF governor for Matabeleland North who
according to reports† fell from grace after his name was implicated in the
messy Willowgate Scandal. Mudenda then went into private practice at his
Bulawayo-based law firm after the 1980s car scheme scandal that involved
senior government officials. For him this could be a major comeback. Former
Standard editor Davison Maruziva, who was then Chronicle deputy editor,
reported in 1988 Mudenda's alleged purchase of a 30-tonne Scania P112
mechanical horse, ostensibly for his father's refuse removal business in the
small town of Dete.
Jonathan Maphenduka, then business editor of the Chronicle, reportedly
contributed to the Willowgate investigation when he travelled to Dete to
probe the Mudenda family garbage removal enterprise. Maphenduka's report
revealed that the Scania was, in fact, due to replace a donkey-drawn cart.
It also emerged that Mudenda profitably sold the truck in question to a
Ellen Sithole (47) - the name could probably ring bells for "learned"
members of the legal fraternity who read law at the University of Zimbabwe.
She is also sister of Irene Sithole, former law officer in the Attorney
General's office who unfortunately failed to make it during last year's
interviews. A Google search of the UZ law lecturer shows that apart from
imparting knowledge to law students, Sithole has written various papers
advocating women's rights. She is "fighting" for women's rights, we are
Ellasto Mugwadi (60) - The appointment of Mugwadi, a former chief
immigration officer, received wide criticism from pressure groups. A lawyer
by training, Mugwadi's unceremonious deportation of American journalist
Andrew Meldrum made him infamous. Reports show that Mugwadi in 2003 refused
to comply with a High Court order that blocked the deportation of Meldrum.
The journalist was abducted despite promises to his lawyer that he would not
be, and forced out of the country despite having a valid residence permit.
It is also during Mugwadi's tenure that former Southern Rhodesian prime
minister Garfield Todd was stripped of his citizenship under controversial
provisions that outlawed dual citizenship.
Apart from Todd thousands of farm workers of foreign origin and some white
commercial farmers also lost their right to vote due to this piece of
legislation that came on the eve of the 2002 presidential elections.
Kwanele Jirira is a social worker with a doctorate in Gender and Labour
which could make her influential in advocating gender mainstreaming. She
also has an MA in Political Science and BSc in Social Work. Jirira has 23
years of lecturing experience.
Carol Themba Khombe is a professor at the National University of Science and
Technology department of Animal Science. Despite being a renowned researcher
in this field, Khombe's name is little known. Her studies include, The
inheritance of weaning weight in Mashona cattle grazing on free range in
Zimbabwe. But she has no notable record on human rights.
Joseph Kurebwa (44) University of Zimbabwe political scientist and pro-Zanu
PF scholar with an interesting past. His appointment as group
editor-in-chief of a CIO-owned outfit, the Zimbabwe Mirror Newspapers Group,
was controversial. During the 2008 general elections he ran a controversial
poll ostensibly on behalf of the UZ political science department which
placed Mugabe ahead of his rivals, Morgan Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni. This
survey was disowned by the department and the opposition MDC-T described it
as an intelligence ploy to campaign for the octogenarian leader.
At the interview he promised to make the commission "visible" after
revealing that Zimbabweans were now losing confidence in the justice system.
Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube (71) - for the former MDC executive mayor of Bulawayo
this could be time for him to bounce back to prominence after losing in the
2008 House of Assembly elections on an MDC-Mutambara ticket. Ndabeni-Ncube
holds a doctorate in economics among other qualifications in commerce.
Nomathemba Neseni - a social worker who through the Institute of Water and
Sanitation Development is renowned for advocating for the provision of safe
and clean water. Urban residents have been living for years without the
precious liquid due to the breakdown of infrastructure.
By Bernard Mpofu
Friday, 09 April 2010 12:55
CONSERVATIONISTS, villagers and tour operators in Zambia want to bar Protea
Hotels Zambia's plan to build a 144-bedroomed hotel on the banks of the
Zambezi River. Protea Hotels plans to construct the hotel in a wild area
upstream from the world-renowned Mana Pools National Park and World Heritage
Site. The hotel will be about 12km from the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Protea Hotels Zambia is 97,5% owned by Union Gold and 2,5% by Mauro
Guardigli, an Italian living in Zambia.
The group operates under the Protea Inns and Hotels (Pty) Ltd franchise of
The construction of the hotel, the environmentalists argued, would have a
huge impact on Zimbabwe.
According to information from various sources, the hotel will be built in an
area which has already exceeded Zambia government's recommended number of
A campaign against the project was started on the social network Facebook,
with 8 070 individuals in support of the campaign -- "Save Mana Pools
against the building of the hotel as of yesterday".
Conservationists said the proposed hotel would disturb plans to have World
Heritage Status extended to the Zambian side of the Zambezi.
But Protea Hotel chairman Mark O'Donnell said protests against the proposal
were out of context because the environmental impact assessment (EIA) was
yet to take place.
"Management wants to develop something that is appropriate and in harmony
with the area," O'Donnell told businessdigest from Zambia yesterday. "I have
been quoted out of context most of the time. I do not know if I should
continue talking to the media. We are a responsible company that follows the
law and do things properly. So much of this is taken out of context, it is
so disturbing, the negative reports are coming from people who do not know
what is going on down there."
Grant Cumings, vice chairman of Conservation Lower Zambezi of Zambia, was
quoted in the Zambian media saying "the size and nature of the development
was inappropriate for the site".
"That model has proved successful for Protea Hotels in downtown Lusaka, but
why put it in a wilderness? It will double overnight the number of hotel
beds in the area, which are all operating at less than 50% occupancy, so it
is not like there's a huge market waiting to go there. And they're not
coming in at a cheap price," Cunnings said.
An environmental planner, Derek Chittenden, said the hotel proposal "flies
in the face of all sound planning principles".
"If this goes through, it's the beginning of the end for that area. It will
have a huge impact on the Zimbabwean side, yet neither the Zimbabwean
national parks or the government -- or even Unesco -- knew about the
proposal," Chittenden was quoted saying.
O'Donnell however said management had approached the Environmental Council
of Zambia (ECZ) to consult them about producing an EIA study.
He said the purpose of an EIA was to ensure that what is done in the lower
Zambezi area is appropriate for the area.
"People with concerns on the project are free to approach ECZ and submit
their proposals. Protea will take into account what ECZ will advise," O'Donnell
The hotel will consist of a central lodge, conference centre and six
double-storey blocks of rooms. There will be moorings on the river for boats
and a parking lot to take 40 vehicles.
Friday, 09 April 2010 12:41
HWANGE Colliery Company Ltd has attributed a decrease in production to
persistent breakdowns of the aged plant and equipment. Hwange Colliery
chairman Tendai Savanhu said despite all three mines working, consistent
breakdown of equipment resulted in production declining by about 11%.
"The decrease in production was caused by the persistent breakdowns of the
existing aged plant and equipment. The dragline was down for the first three
quarters of the year," said Savanhu when announcing the company's year-end
Total coal and coke sales for the year amounted to 1 709 952 tonnes ended
marginally lower than 1 722 801 tonnes achieved in 2008. Export sales stood
at 138 062 tonnes against 251 575 tonnes during the same period last year.
"Demand for coal and coke products in the domestic market was not as
anticipated because most sectors operated below capacity. However demand in
the export market remains strong," Savanhu said.
The Hwange coking coal and Hwange industrial coal sales amounted to 429 213
tonnes and were slightly below the tonnage of 494 990 achieved the previous
A total of 185 726 tonnes of coal fines were sold during the year locally
and to export markets and this was 26% above the 147 228 tonnes sold in
"Hwange Power Station coal supplies to Zimbabwe Power Company's Hwange Power
Station amounted to 1 033 602 tonnes and is comparable to 1 073 602 tonnes
delivered the previous year," said Savanhu.
Coke sales, including breeze amounted to 47 785 tonnes of which 80% was
exported and this was far less than the 154 529 tonnes sold in 2008. The
coke oven battery which is currently under maintenance was out of production
for the greater part of last year.
During the period under review Hwange Colliery achieved a turnover amounting
to US$66,4 million and a gross profit of US$23,3 million.
The company realised an operating profit of US$5,8 million. Attributable
profits for the year amounted to US$2,6 million.
"The property plant and equipment amounted to US$71,6 million. Share capital
and reserves amounted to US$52 million," said Savanhu.
Current assets amounted to US$49 million and included the trade receivables
of US$25 million mainly attributable to the company's major customer† --
Zimbabwe Power Company.
Friday, 09 April 2010 12:24
AFRICAN Consolidated Resources (ACR), which was elbowed out of the Marange
diamond fields, is prospecting for the precious stones in an unspecified
area in the country. ACR had rights to mine diamonds in Marange but
government cancelled its licence saying they had inappropriately acquired
The company has stopped operations and two other companies - Mbada and
Canadile - have partnered with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Company to
extract the precious stones.
ACR, which has continued to be optimistic and kept shareholders informed on
the events surrounding the Marange issue, a fortnight ago concluded a
contract with a company to assist them in prospecting for alternative
ACR signed an agreement with Aero Mags to have the latter supply the diamond
mining company with survey services over an area prospective for diamonds.
"The area to be investigated is unrelated to the company's interest in the
Marange diamond fields," said ACR.
Aero Mags specialises in aeromagnetic survey based on an aerial survey of
the earth's magnetic field.
Under the contract, ACR is expected to pay US$151 792 whether the survey is
successful or not while US$115 890 is payable conditional upon discovery of
a kimberlitic pipe, that is a rock that has a probability of containing
ACR would pay an additional US$115 890 in the event of a discovery of
diamonds which can be economically mined.
The AIM listed company (London Stock Exchange's international market for
smaller growing companies) has seen a lot of movement in its share price
since the beginning of the year.
It opened the year trading at £14,50 (US$22,03) per share before sliding to
£8,62 at the beginning of March.
This drop in share price was at a time when the
company was making efforts to resume operations
at Marange through effecting a High Court order which confirmed their right
to the diamond fields, which was issued last September.
The share price started to pick up in the second week of March and it was
trading at £11,75 at the close of business on Wednesday.
Shares traded have also been fluctuating with the highest (more than 8
million) two weeks ago.
A sharp increase in the number of shares traded two weeks ago saw one of the
company's major shareholders, London and Amsterdam Trust, increase its stake
to 6,07% from 4,93% at the beginning of the year.
It is not clear from whom London and Amsterdam Trust bought the ordinary
shares amounting to 1,14% of the issued shares.
Friday, 09 April 2010 12:20
ZIMBABWE has so far earned US$45,3 million from 13,39 million kgs of tobacco
since the auction floors opened last month, the Tobacco Industry Marketing
Board (TIMB) said this week. In its latest weekly update, TIMB said 13,39
million kgs of flue-cured tobacco worth US$45,3 million has been sold during
23 days of trade so far.
A total of 19,6 million kgs worth US$56,4 million were sold during the same
period last year.
Auction floors are not open daily during working days as was the case last
Tobacco is the country's second largest foreign currency earner after
mining. It contributed 26% to the GDP last season and this year it is
expected to contribute more.
Seventy-seven million kgs of the golden leaf is expected to be sold this
year, up from 42 million kgs last season.
About 45% of this is to be auctioned with the balance being sold under
contract.† The Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) auction floors have so far handled
3,5 million kgs valued at US$11,68 million. The average price was US$3,33 a
Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Centre (Zitac) handled 4,18 million kgs valued at
US$14 million at an average price of $3,35 a kg.
Zitac usually caters for large-scale tobacco farmers, while TSF mainly
accommodates smallholder farmers.
A total of 5,7 million kgs valued at US$19,59 million have been sold under
contract farming at an average price of US$3,44 a kg.
TIMB said most of the tobacco being presented is from small-scale producers
(A1 and communal area growers).
It said the quality of the crop presented was "very good" despite 11 381
bales out of the 136 843 bales delivered being rejected.
TIMB said the bales were rejected because they were oversized, underweight
or overweight and bad handling of the crop resulting in some of the tobacco
becoming too wet.
Farmers are expected to get better prices for their crop this year because
of an envisaged global shortage stemming from hailstorm damage of tobacco in
About 22 000 growers had registered to sell their tobacco this season, which
is a reduction from 28 000 that registered last year. The early opening of
the season in March is expected to assist farmers repay their loans ahead of
time, thus cutting down on interest payments. This will also assist early
preparations for the coming season.
Friday, 09 April 2010 12:16
AT least 21 foreign companies have confirmed participation at this year's
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) being held in Bulawayo under the
theme "Unlocking investment potential". ZITF general manager Daniel Chigaru
said about 484 exhibitors had confirmed their participation.
The trade fair will run for four days starting April 20.
Of the 484 exhibitors, 21 foreign exhibitors from 14 countries which include
Botswana, Ghana, India, Iran, Indonesia, Italy, China, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey and Zambia will be exhibiting.
Chigaru said they were also expecting visitors from Germany, India, South
Africa and the United Kingdom.
Companies that have confirmed their participation from South Africa include
ABC Ventilation systems Pvt Ltd, Cemcrete (Pvt) Ltd, Department of Trade and
Industry Panasonic Business Systems, RS Digital, Sew-rite (SRI)
International Linkages and the South African - German Chamber of Commerce
Foreign participation at the ZITF has been improving this year, according to
organisers who credit the turnaround to the generally improved economic and
"Apart from that we have many local exhibitors who have not participated in
this event during the past 10 years who have shown keen interest in
participating in this year's commercial event," Chigaru was quoted saying.
Chigaru said due to the strong response from exhibitors and investors, his
organisation has engaged international agents to step up marketing of this
In recent years the trade fair has been an empty shell due to the country's
economic decline over the past decade, drawing mostly state-run enterprises
and some Chinese companies.
But the economy has shown signs of recovery since the installation of a
government of national unity in 2009 - Staff Writer.
Friday, 09 April 2010 09:24
IT had all the trappings of a state visit.
But below the surface of speeches, presidential receptions and a busy
itinerary, Julius Malema's solidarity tour was nothing more than a squalid
pantomime designed to boost the sagging fortunes of the two parties
Both desperately need some good publicity. Malema has been immersed in
controversy for much of this year as revelations emerge of his
"tenderpreneur" tendencies. Questions have been asked as to how he became so
rich so quickly. And the Zimbabwe visit, designed to be a triumphal tour,
ended with Malema being castigated in South Africa for inciting race hatred
which, his detractors say, led to the killing of white farmers.
The murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche last weekend was laid squarely
at the door of Malema who the Afrikaner leader's followers blame for stoking
racial tensions with his "Shoot the Boer" song.
He gave us a sound-byte during his visit here which has placed President
Jacob Zuma in a spot of bother.
Zuma has been trying to knock heads together in Zimbabwe. But his
impartiality will have been undermined by Malema's cavorting with Saviour
Kasukuwere. It will be difficult for the South African facilitators to claim
an independent stance when Malema openly identified with Zanu PF.
That will make Zuma's job that much harder. And Zuma's appeal for calm on
the land issue in South Africa where Terre'Blanche is just the latest
casualty of politically inspired violence will carry much less weight after
Malema's predictably maladroit behaviour.
We knew the Malema visit would backfire -- just like everything else Zanu PF
does. Now Zimbabwe will appear more disgraced and more isolated than ever
just when it is attempting to build bridges to the West. South Africa is in
a position to take risks over matters such as nationalistion. Zimbabwe isn't.
There are two saviours involved in this story and neither is the real McCoy.
As the MDC Youth League aptly pointed out, Malema's pro-poor stance was
"false struggle rhetoric". Malema was "a false revolutionary leading a
lavish lifestyle", said MDC Youth League secretary-general Solomon Madzore,
quoted in the M&G.
"If you look at him and the likes of Kasukuwere you will see that there is
nothing that will identify them with the poor. I have seen Malema's two
mansions in Sandton," he helpfully added.
At the several rallies he addressed during his stay Malema consistently
praised President Mugabe and Zanu PF's policies saying he would lobby his
party to follow Zimbabwe's land reform and indigenisation programmes which
the ANC has largely eschewed.
Malema obviously did not consult the majority of Zimbabweans to get their
views on Mugabe's record on the economy and land reform.
These views were made known on March 28 2008 when the majority of
Zimbabweans rejected Mugabe and his Zanu PF party for taking the country to
Malema has not been told that previously productive commercial farms became
derelict after they were occupied by Mugabe's followers.
As for the indigenisation programme, we are glad Malema was there at
Zimplats near Chegutu and Ngezi Mine in Mhondoro to witness BEE Zim-style.
He saw Zanu PF Youth League leaders Absolom Sikhosana and Mugabe's nephew
Patrick Zhuwawo holding a closed door meeting with senior officials at Ngezi
Mine who were berated for having the temerity to submit their own proposals.
We were not told what they discussed but we can bet they want a stake in the
lucrative mining concern and appear determined to use their political muscle
to benefit from the indigenisation diktat.
It is becoming increasingly obvious the indigenisation laws were designed to
empower a small clique of Zanu PF stalwarts and their hangers on.
And why did the Herald allow Kasukuwere to attack Zimplats Mine's
indigenisation proposals without telling us what the proposals were?
How professional was that?
"Indigenisation plans submitted by Zimplats are "crazy, retrogressive and
unacceptable as they fall short of what is envisaged by the law," the Herald
reported Kasukuwere as saying.
Instead of telling us what the company had proposed we were only told of
Kasukuwere's anger towards the proposals submitted to his ministry.
"Zimplats' proposal is very crazy, it is crazy," Kasukuwere told the Herald.
"I am going to meet them next week on their proposal, which is very crazy.
We insist that 51% should go to indigenous people."
Zimplats management should tell Kasukuwere where to go. Bloated fat-cats of
a discredited regime need to be confronted. We do not know as yet what is
"crazy" about the Zimplats' indigenisation proposals but we know that what
is certainly crazy is Kasukuwere's call for parliament's portfolio committee
on Mines and Energy "to look at the foreign-owned mines and see how they
contributed to the fiscus and the community they were serving".
"They should go to these mines and see who owns them. They (parliamentary
portfolio committee on Mines and Energy) are scared," he said.
Nothing wrong with the committee visiting Zimplats as suggested by
Kasukuwere. But why can't the same parliamentary committee tour Chiadzwa?
Can Kasukuwere tell us why the government has made spirited efforts to
thwart the committee's attempts to tour Chiadzwa or to hold public hearings
with the Chiadzwa community and residents of Mutare to get their views on
the goings on in the diamond sector?
As for Kasukuwere's demands to know how much foreign-owned companies have
contributed to the fiscus, can he tell us how the country has benefited from
the diamonds being extracted from Chiadzwa?
The people from Chiadzwa know who has benefited from this national resource;
that is why they are not allowed to meet with the parliamentary committee on
Mines and Energy.
Malema wasn't told that every time Mugabe visits Zimplats' Ngezi mine, he
speaks highly of their social commitment. With its network of houses, roads,
schools, and recreation areas it is a model for the country.
Why now is there a different tune from ministers? Could it be because they
are preparing to carve up the pie?
Chris Mushohwe has let the cat out of the bag.
As mentioned above, last Thursday the governor and resident minister for
Manicaland barred MPs from the portfolio committee on Mines and Energy
access into the Chiadzwa diamond fields saying they "will pick up diamonds
which are all over the place".
The MPs wanted to see for themselves what is happening at the Chiadzwa
We curiously wait to hear Mushohwe's response to comments made by MP for
Chiredzi West, Moses Mare. Furious at Mushohwe's actions, the MP queried:
"Does this mean that each time he visits Chiadzwa he picks up diamonds?"
Mushohwe is always touring the diamond fields. Let's hope he is not
pocketing the diamonds that are "all over the place" each time he goes
there. But evidence that the diamonds are being picked up and pocketed by
someone is there for all to see.
Our eyebrows were raised by police reactions to a story about
recommendations by the Harare City Council that Philip Chiyangwa should be
arrested because of the alleged irregular manner in which he acquired land
in the capital. He is threatening the City of Harare with a criminal
defamation suit and digging around for evidence.
Detectives visited journalists at the Standard last week who wrote stories
about the recommendations, wanting to know the source of their stories.
We find nothing unusual in the stories because they were sourced from
What we find disturbing is the exercise of Chiyangwa's clout. Someone is
frantically trying to prevent journalists from opening a can of worms, using
his wealth and power to do so. This is not the new Zimbabwe we all want to
see. Journalists must be allowed to get on with their public watchdog role
Poor old Arthur Mutambara. It must be bad enough being seen as a tool of
President Mugabe, then not being taken seriously as a result of eccentric
behaviour. There was the notorious ABC interview where he completely lost
it. And the US dinner party that went pear-shaped after a difference of
opinion. There was also the swearing-in ceremony where "So help me" was
separated from "God" by a pause that seemed like hours!
More recently we recall him trying to get into the picture at the swearing
in of the electoral and human rights commissions. And before that, praising
Mugabe to the skies despite the president's failure to meet any of the
targets Mutambara identified a year ago as essential for investor
confidence. There was also a visit to some farms followed by robust
criticism but zero follow-through.
Now he has been subjected to a new form of ignominy: media manipulation!
Every time Herald hacks mention the episode last year when Mutambara "had to
intervene at the last minute" to get the British and French embassies to
grant visas to an inter-ministerial lobby seeking the lifting of sanctions,
it has to be reported as "at President Mugabe's instruction". So Arthur is
reduced to a mere cypher. That will make his intervention less credible next
Mutambara is a likeable and intelligent politician -- a national rarity! But
he must find a way to project himself that is neither comic nor fawning. No
more funny intonations please. Seriousness of purpose and consistency of
outlook are key. What for instance does he think of a society where artists
are locked up for depicting Gukurahundi atrocities or forced to cancel a
display of photo-journalism covering the 2008 violence because Zanu PF is in
denial about its sanguinary role?
Has he been completely neutralised? And what of other members of his party?
Where is the once principled voice of Paul Themba Nyathi? When did we last
hear from him? Paul: Vuka! Time for an op/ed piece.
One of the main tenets of a professional press is the right of reply. That
means allowing those who are subject to claims by politicians and others to
have their say by way of response.
Recently President Mugabe held a meeting with the press. Mugabe commented on
the absence of white journalists. His spokesman George Charamba claimed that
they had been invited but chose not to attend.
That was not in fact the case. They had not been asked. Worse still, when
one of those concerned, AP correspondent Angus Shaw wrote to the Sunday
Mail, where Mugabe's and Charamba's remarks had been published, setting the
record straight, the paper declined to publish his letter.
Muckraker therefore publishes the letter below. Nothing could more usefully
illustrate the way in which state editors refuse to do the right thing at
the behest of their political masters. This is unprofessional behaviour at
its worst and is a predictable product of a captive press where editors are
marching orders by state functionaries.
For the record, Shaw wrote as follows:
"I would like to put the record straight regarding your report in the March
7 edition quoting Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity George
Charamba on invitations to President Mugabe's 'Meet the Press' briefing. It
is not true that everyone was invited, as Mr Charamba contended after the
president asked where were white journalists and then went on to suggest
maybe we had 'chickened out'.† I was not invited and certainly would not
have missed the event if I had been informed on the telephone numbers
regularly used by Mr Charamba's ministry to contact me."
"Angus Shaw, Associated Press."
Finally, we have heard from the Media Commission. They have woken from their
long slumber and are ready to start work. And what grand project are they
about to embark on? They want to hold a workshop!
Muckraker hereby offers to address the workshop and tell them their
Thursday, 08 April 2010 16:53
ZIMBABWE'S ranting and raving against allegedly "illegal" international
economic sanctions continues unabated. Aided and abetted by the war
veterans, the Zanu PF Youth League, the Affirmative Action Group and other
radicals, the president and his political colleagues endlessly persist in
their contentions that the cause of Zimbabwe's economic ills, and of the
consequential hardships and sufferings of most of the populace, is almost
wholly those sanctions. In so doing, the focus of Zimbabweans from the real
causes of Zimbabwe's immense economic ills has been progressively, most
successfully, diverted from the real sources of the devastation that has
been wrought upon the economy.
Although often said before, the reality is that those sanctions that have
been imposed have had minimal economic consequences. The Zimbabwe Democracy
and Economic Recovery Act of the United States imposes only one notional
sanction, being the US veto of funding for Zimbabwe by the International
Monetary Fund. There is no substance to that sanction, as the IMF is, in any
event barred from giving funding to Zimbabwe for so long as the country
continues to be in default in servicing debt on past advances, except for
occasional grants of special drawing rights. The US legislation does not
prohibit trade with, or investment in, or travel to, Zimbabwe. Effectively,
therefore, no sanctions have been imposed by the US which have jeopardised
the Zimbabwean economy to any significant extent.
Somewhat more far-reaching sanctions are applied by the European Union (EU),
for trade with, and funding for, Zimbabwe's government, its parastatals, and
other entities directly or indirectly linked to government. But, as with the
US, no constraints have been imposed on Zimbabwean trade, investment or
travel. Despite the recurrent, vitriolic and recriminatory contentions of
the Zanu PF elements of government, the reality is that sanctions have had
very little impact upon the Zimbabwean economy. The only sanctions of
substance are of a non-economic nature, being restrictions imposed upon less
than 200 politically-active Zimbabweans, who may not travel to the countries
imposing the sanctions, may not operate bank accounts or invest in those
countries, and cannot send their children there for education.† Undoubtedly
it is these personalised sanctions that have fuelled the ire of the
politicians, whilst at the same time it is very convenient to them to be
able to blame, although without substance, sanctions for the traumatised
state of the economy.† It also suits their agenda to claim that the
sanctions are illegal, notwithstanding that it is the right of any country
to decide who it will not interact with economically.
However, it cannot be denied that the Zimbabwean economy has been decimated
by sanctions. The tragedy is that those sanctions are self-imposed. One of
the first and foremost sanctions was against white Zimbabwean farmers.
Instead of addressing very necessary land reform constructively (and
equitably), Zimbabwe legislated grossly discriminatory land policies, and
implemented them in a manner that very rapidly emaciated the previously
virile agricultural sector, which for many decades had been the foundation
of the economy. It compounded those sanctions by blatant disregard for the
fundamental principles of justice and of international law, and further
compounded them by contemptuous breach of numerous Bilateral Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreements.
As disastrous as that self-imposed sanction proved to be, it did not suffice
to satisfy the government's determination to regulate and control the
declining economy ever more intensively, notwithstanding that in doing so it
was achieving naught but to accelerate the decline.
The regulations, and the controls that they constituted, were naught but
further economic sanctions. They ranged from excessive labour legislation,
undermining industrial productivity and viability, to two years of
devastatingly disastrous price controls which exacerbated product shortages,
and fuelled a virile black market. They included vastly excessive direct and
indirect taxes (amongst the world's highest), further undermining the
economy and intensifying the survival traumas of formal sector enterprises,
of their employees, and of the populace at large. Of course, as these
economic "sanctions", created by those charged with furthering the nation's
wellbeing, intensified the economy's collapse, those who created the
sanctions more and more determinedly sought to disclaim culpability. They
attributed all the ills to alleged diabolical stratagems of the
international community in general, and especially those of the former
colonial powers and their allies. In order to give apparent credibility to
these specious contentions, they placed especial emphasis upon the so-called
"illegal" sanctions, despite their virtual non-existence.
So great was the political resolve to ascribe all fault for the never-ending
contraction of the economy to others, and thereby to delude the populace to
believe that the politicians were guiltless, coupled with an equally great,
paranoic hatred for the colonialists of old, that the craving to impose
evermore sanctions became more and more pronounced.† With Machiavellian
cunning, they devised a further sanction par excellence.
Recognising the very real need for indigenisation and economic empowerment
as a just and necessary action to advance Zimbabweans and activate them in
the economy, it resolved to legislate to bring that into being.
But, in order to exact revenge upon all non-indigenous Zimbabweans that
their hatred of those non-indigenous sought, they legislated in such a
manner as to only destroy the economy yet further and to hinder and reverse
what had been a slowly developing potential of economic recovery.
They cavalierly disregarded and dismissed all reasoned and rational advice
from the existing business community, from intending foreign and domestic
investors, from many of the international community, and others.
Not only had they legislated destructively, instead of pursuing
indigenisation and economic empowerment that would be nationally beneficial
and an enhancement of wellbeing for many Zimbabweans, but they have
dogmatically refused to heed good and sound, unbiased advice.
Those advice, if reacted to positively, would ensure successful attainment
of substantive indigenisation, and of wideranging economic empowerment.
Instead, since† February 12, when the regulations were gazetted, the economy
has contracted, business confidence decimated, and potential investors
almost wholly alienated, concurrently with critically-needed international
lines of credit being withheld.
Hundreds of intending investors have lost interest in Zimbabwe as an
investment destination.† An intending German trade mission, due to have
visited Zimbabwe this month, has cancelled the visit (as have several other
similar missions from several EU countries). In a nutshell, government has
self-imposed yet another devastating sanction upon Zimbabwe.
Thursday, 08 April 2010 16:49
WHILE South African President Jacob Zuma is reportedly pushing for elections
as early as April 2011, most Zimbabweans, including the feuding three
political parties, are not ready, politicians and analysts have said.
The analysts said statements from Zanu PF and the MDC-T calling for fresh
polls next year were political gimmicks.
An early election, the analysts said, would be suicidal for Zanu PF because
President Robert Mugabe’s party may never regain absolute power after having
lost its parliamentary majority, especially now when it is deeply divided.
The MDC-T feels that a new constitution must be crafted first, followed by
creating an environment that will guarantee security of people, freedom to
campaign, and media and electoral reforms before Zimbabwe can hold elections
that are credible, free and fair.
Zimbabweans want a guarantee that there will not be a repeat of the June 27
2008 period, during which more than 300 MDC supporters were allegedly
killed, thousands tortured, injured and displaced by state security agents,
Zanu PF militia and war veterans.
They said people would only heal if justice is done to perpetrators of
violence during the 2008 elections, while others said government should set
up a truth and reconciliation commission for people to publicly admit their
Nothing has been done to those who raped, tortured, assaulted and killed
opponents and they are still freely roaming the streets and villages
throughout the country, leading a normal life.
According to a report titled Fighting for a New Constitution: Human Rights
Violations Experienced by Female Members of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) launched last week in Harare, 90% of the women interviewed
said a truth and reconciliation commission should be established and 98%
were of the opinion that people who committed violence against women should
While the situation has improved under the global political agreement (GPA)
compared to the chaotic and violent 2008, Zimbabweans argue that elections
should be held after achieving national healing.
Although they are aware that at some point, the inclusive government will
have to give way to a popularly elected government, people feel that time
cannot be 2011.
The Zimbabwe Independent spoke to MPs from the three political parties to
get people’s views on early elections.
Legislators interviewed agreed that national healing should be prioritised
before elections are held.
The legislators said Zimbabweans were concerned about bread and butter
issues and would prefer to see the economy improve first before elections
Zanu PF MP for Mudzi South, Eric Navaya, said: “Because of the drought and
low incomes, people are not thinking about elections. They are more
concerned about making money to feed their families and about service
“Where will government get money from for elections when they can’t even
raise enough to improve service delivery and to pay their workers?
Zanu PF MP for Mazowe South, Margaret Zinyemba, said national healing should
come first before elections.
“At leadership level, we have come to tolerate each other and we understand
each other, but this has not filtered down to the grassroots where people
are still looking at each other with suspicion,” she said. “National healing
should have come first. They should set up committees to assist the three
ministers (of national healing) because the ministers alone cannot do it.
National healing should be taken as the most important thing –– until people
are healed, there cannot be elections.”
Navaya said areas that experienced high incidents of violence in 2008 should
be given time to heal before elections can be held.
“National healing is extremely important. These areas need to be given time
for national healing to avoid more violence in future,” he said.
Harison Mudzuri, MDC-T MP for Zaka Central, said government was not doing
enough to ensure national healing took place.
Mudzuri criticised the manner in which the ministers of national healing
were conducting their meetings, which he pointed out did not give victims of
violence a chance to narrate their ordeals.
He said such meetings should be done in such a way that those people who
committed politically motivated crimes should be able to publicly confess.
“The term national healing should be done in the same way as South Africa
conducted its truth and reconciliation hearings. This thing of let’s forget
and forgive is not what people want,” Mudzuri said. “We are not doing enough
in terms of national healing – it is far below what people are expecting.
Reports in the media that they had a meeting here and there is not what
people want. People want to see victims narrating their experiences, crying
and expressing their emotions. People need to experience it.”
In addition, Mudzuri said people would be ready for polling if there were
guarantees that they would be free and fair and also non-violent.
“People need proof that they are going to be violence-free and that people
who committed those crimes are being arrested and that something is being
done to stop violence,” he said.
As the government embarks on the constitution-making process, Mudzuri said
people in rural areas were being intimidated to support the Kariba draft.
“There is also violence being done in a subtle manner in terms of
intimidation. People are being told that they will be beaten up after the
elections if Zanu PF loses and are being told to support the Kariba draft or
else,” he said.
Already, there have been several reports of violence in some parts of the
country. The Victims Action Committee (VAC), Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
and the Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe said some churches were being
persecuted for political reasons.
VAC said 28 people, including 10 children under the age of 12 and two
teenagers, were last Wednesday forced to flee their homes in Shamva after
being threatened with violence.
A Zanu PF supporter allegedly threatened to descend on them with a group of
youths at night to destroy their homes for being MDC supporters.
VAC said the families are now squatting in nearby bushes with no access to
food, water and shelter.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe
reported that Zanu PF supporters burnt down an Apostolic Faith Mission
Church building in Muzarabani before threatening villagers there with
About 55 people have since fled their homes to seek refuge at St Albert’s
Meanwhile, Energy and Power Development minister Elias Mudzuri experienced
the intimidation first hand about a fortnight ago when youths yielding
machetes and knobkerries tried to bar him from addressing villagers in Zanu
PF’s stronghold Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe.
Press reports said youths aligned to Zanu PF set up roadblocks to stop
people from going to Mashambanhaka and Katiyo clinics where Mudzuri was
expected to commission electricity.
Mudzuri was quoted later saying: “I was shocked to see youths stopping
vehicles and demanding answers to ridiculous questions. We all know Uzumba
Maramba and Pfungwe (UMP) are Zanu PF strongholds and people in this area
have been brutalised and are still very afraid. But at this stage in this
time we do not expect this.
He added that: “I went there prepared for such an eventuality because we are
aware that UMP is a difficult place in terms of intimidation. It is this
culture of impunity that makes Zanu PF militia take the law into their own
The government must now walk the talk on national healing and in promoting
non-violence, civics say.
Articles XVIII of the GPA says “the government shall apply laws of the
country fully and impartially in bringing all perpetrators of politically
motivated violence to book”.
Until this is done, politically motivated violence will continue to
escalate, particularly now as the country embarks on the constitution-making
process and as they prepare for fresh elections.
By Faith Zaba
Thursday, 08 April 2010 16:44
THE recent visit to Zimbabwe by the African National Congress (ANC) Youth
leader Julius Malema is expository to the juncture at which most if not all
of Southern Africa's liberation movements find themselves at.
My understanding is that one of the main but subtle reasons that Malema
visited Zimbabwe was a public relations manoeuvre in his quest to establish
a vibrant network of youth movements from the liberation parties across
Malema strikes me as someone whose current antics are directly or indirectly
aiming towards presidential ambitions in South Africa. He may therefore be
thinking ahead in order to create a trail towards this larger-than-life
dream for self or someone behind the scenes. There are huge prospects that
President Zuma may either not make it or may struggle at the ANC's 2012
congress, which will ultimately determine the party's candidate for the next
The main reason for former president Thabo Mbeki's fallout with the ANC at
their Polokwane meeting and his eventual ouster was his supposed leftist
political posturing as well as his sublime approach towards revolutionary
objectives. He was adjudged to be too mild towards pro-poor programmes and
policies, which in the eyes of the party's radicals was tantamount to a
betrayal of ideals of the struggle for democracy in South Africa. Some
smeared him with pro-capitalist excesses protective of the economic
imbalances that had been predominant in the apartheid era.
Zuma's short romance as the head of state is already under heavy scrutiny
from an otherwise impatient ANC. There is therefore already talk of a
reluctance to retain him at the 2012 congress. In that light, I believe that
many other individuals are already busy permuting possibilities while others
are creating grand mastery plans for self-elevation, should Zuma's ejection
create a presidential space.
From the unfolding events in the recent past, I have doubt that the actions
and expressions of Malema are in any manner isolated from a particular
thought process that has some tinge of consideration for a post-Zuma
Malema's main ecstatic insinuations include his radical stance towards a
pro-poor policy framework, a rushed economic re-distribution framework, an
urgent Zimbabwe-style land reform programme, a reincarnation of
revolutionary attributes and discharges of the intra-apartheid era and a
general anti-imperialist notion hinged not only on a racial divide, but an
international acclamation of Africa's total liberation.
Malema's agenda is being pursued through a vehement disregard for
conventional authority structures either within the party or the country's
legal system. In fact he has gone on to attribute the media and the
judiciary sectors in South Africa as still being dominated by apartheid
regime operatives whose mandate is derived from the historical structures
rather than the new dispensation. Malema is therefore on a trail and he may
be the only or one of the few who know exactly where this will lead.
Malema's strategy (or whoever is behind him) is to approach this rise into
prominence through a wider and regional appeal rather than an entirely
internal methodology. The intention seems to be to reconnect the regional
revolutionary youth movements through the creation of a common identity in
the fundamentals of the struggles of the past.
The consideration may be to bring together the ANC, Zanu PF, MPLA of Angola,
Frelimo of Mozambique and Swapo of Namibia youth wings into a coalesced
force that can then gain regional prominence. If this were to succeed Malema
would naturally become the face behind the coalition. Judging by the rousing
and "demi-god" status afforded to him on his Zimbabwe tour, I have no doubt
he will be found befitting of leading this regional onslaught. Once Malema
has secured the leadership of a powerful regional body of youth movements
from Southern African countries' revolutionary parties, it will allow him
muscle to position the ANC and his personal brand not just as a South
African entity but also rather with a regional influence.
The ANC does not really face a major threat from opposition political
parties in South Africa. It has a sizeable following and loyalty which may
see it sweep into power many times over before a formidable opposition
offers severe contestation. The major battle is however within the ANC
itself where there is an evident split between revolutionary conservatives
of the nature of Malema and those that seem to find comfort in a more
liberalised political execution. Zuma was seen as one who would rescue the
ANC from its fall from being a precisely revolution-credentialed party;
however this hope is hastily fading away as he is now viewed as compromising
the radicalism expected of such a political genre. Malema is out to expose
the alternative pathway that Zuma should have followed and therefore remind
the party of the need to place him exactly where Mbeki ended up.
If Malema is able to re-ignite the revolutionary spirit in the party and
re-connects it to the emotions of the poor people, then the scales will tip
in his favour and whoever else may be behind him. If he even goes as far as
re-igniting the revolutionary spirit in regional political parties through
their youth wings, this will be another feather in his political cap, which
will convince all internal ANC functionaries of the relevance of the party
in the wider regional revolutionary agenda. A regional platform will
influence a regional agenda and will inevitably set a broader revolutionary
scheme within which the ANC becomes attached to. This will result in the
obliteration of any vestigial resistance of half commitments to the
revolutionary agenda of the party. Malema's prominence will therefore be
validated and the ANC agenda predetermined.
However, as Malema came to Zimbabwe, it may be unfortunate that our dear
comrades in Zanu PF may not have been aware of the grand plan behind his
euphoria. They could have therefore endorsed a grand plan, whose details may
have escaped their analysis. In essence, Zanu PF's hero granting to Malema
may have been an endorsement of the power struggles tearing apart the ANC.
So the revolutionary warpath that Malema brought to Zimbabwe could have
really been a sly abuse of Zanu PF in inducing internal ANC political
disputes and the creation of personal positioning in readiness for his final
onslaught, come 2012.
At his rally in Mbare, Malema unorthodoxically attacked the violent nature
of political campaigning that has become synonymous with Zimbabwe's
landscape. Remembering that Malema represents a youth wing which has utterly
rebuffed dominance by its mainstream party leadership, he could have been
hinting that Zanu PF's youth wing should transform from being a
rubber-stamping and abuse-prone appendage of the party into a more
autonomous wing. If the Zanu PF youth wing follows the self-styled and
free-willed demeanours of Malema's ANC youth wing, then they may be able to
resist the recurrent abuse by some party leaders in perpetuating or
retaliating in political violence.
Political violence in Zimbabwean political parties has become the preserve
of the youth wings driven to fulfil the ambitions of senior party leaders.
Malema's influence could therefore cause the emergence of a defiant youth
wing in Zanu PF premised on the revolutionary stance of party structures'
self-determination. Malema's open challenge to his party leaders and his
political ambitions could also set a tone in Zanu PF where the youth wing
may break from blind loyalty and even allow a self-set agenda. Could Malema's
influence be the breaking point for the transformation of Zanu PF's youth
wing? His euphoria will surely have deeper influences than could have been
=Trevor Maisiri is the co-founder and executive director of the African
Reform Institute - a political leadership development organisation which
also functions as a political "think-tank".
By Trevor Maisiri
Friday, 09 April 2010 10:06
THE current debate about indigenisation in Zimbabwe is intensifying as
companies submit their plans to achieve a broad-based ownership structure to
fulfil government's controversial requirements. The debate has also been
fuelled by the visit to Zimbabwe last weekend of South Africa's ruling ANC
Youth League firebrand Julius Malema.
For nearly three decades the subject of indigenisation has been on the
It is very important that we now have informed public debate on this issue.
We need broad consultations and consensus on the matter to ensure a
structured and workable programme, instead of taking a headlong plunge into
implementation, risking disastrous consequences.
Government, which is spearheading the issue, must learn from previous
mistakes, especially on land reform, and use those calamitous experiences to
inform sound policy initiatives and implementation.
There is no doubt that Zimbabwe, like many other post-colonial societies,
needs indigenisation and economic transformation to emerge from colonial
economic ownership structures.
Many enlightened and progressive people do agree with the ideological
underpinnings of indigenisation, the principle of it, the policy and even
the law in the case of Zimbabwe.
However, there is serious disagreement on the approach. Just as on land
reform, there are differences on how to achieve the same objective. Those
who supported Zanu PF's violent and chaotic land seizures argued that it was
the most practical way of doing it given the resistance of the landowners at
But critics argued that a structured and organised programme would have
achieved land redistribution while safeguarding the economic base and
ensuring sustainable economic growth.
Zanu PF's strategy prevailed. Land was seized violently and haphazardly.
Peasants marched onto the farms and grabbed everything they could find.
Politicians and other well-connected individuals confiscated prime land and
creamed off the output.
But the majority of new farmers have dismally failed. Sooner rather than
later it dawned on them that they did not have the capital, technology or
skills to utilise the farms. As a result most of the land now lies fallow
and derelict. What followed, as they say, is history. This is not
"destructive criticism" as Zanu PF apologists claim, but reality.
The same - if not worse - will happen if foreign companies are seized
recklessly. What Zimbabwe needs is a measured approach, not a reckless and
irresponsible method, to achieve indigenisation.
It should not be seen as an event but a process. This is what Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere and his noisy sycophants from the Zanu PF Youth League
need to understand and appreciate.
They have a good cause, but should not spoil it through uninformed arguments
and inflammatory rhetoric.
Malema, their guest last weekend, spoke eloquently on this issue despite
occasional lapses into poisonous demagoguery. Indigenisation policy must not
be informed by populist rhetoric but economic realities on the ground.
The programme must be designed to ensure a broad-based ownership of the
economy by locals, sustainable economic growth, employment and poverty
alleviation. As Malema kept on saying throughout his visit, it must not be a
pretext for primitive accumulation of wealth by the elite.
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono has† - for a change - been clear on this
issue. He has been consistently urging caution and the need for a structured
and measured indigenisation programme.
Gono says Zimbabwe needs economic empowerment and transformation but
"strategic thinking" must drive this, not populist rhetoric. He says
indigenisation must not be allowed to degenerate into a calamity like the
land reform programme or become a ploy which thieves in public office and
business vultures use to loot the economy.
Kasukuwere doesn't get it. He can't in all seriousness argue that there is
nothing wrong with him "becoming rich" and expect poor people to support
him. Of course, there is everything wrong with him becoming rich by taking
advantage of his position in public office. It's that simple.
The minister must get this clear and stop uttering ridiculous statements
which only serve to undermine his cause. His puerile outbursts on Zimplats
and other companies were unhelpful just like his dreadful regulations on
indigenisation. Those regulations are bad law and must be withdrawn.
The cabinet committee on indigenisation and empowerment - which Kasukuwere
chairs - must broaden its consultations with business, political parties,
civil society and ordinary people to come up with a realistic policy on the
issue. It must gather input from a wide cross-section of stakeholders to
achieve a broad national consensus and legitimacy among Zimbabweans.
Government must not mess up a good cause through policy and implementation
Friday, 09 April 2010 09:52
WHILE chastising Pharisees for their hypocritical tendencies Jesus said:
"You blind guides! You strain gnats out of your wine, but you swallow
camels." He was referring to people who are very particular over petty
issues and yet are grossly careless about matters of devastating
This verse, found in the book of Mathew Chapter 23 aptly depicts Zanu PF's
reaction to allegations of corruption involving officials from the MDC party
led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
While conveniently ignoring blatant cases of corruption and outright plunder
of national assets by its own officials, Zanu PF has chosen to go to town
with the allegations of graft in local authorities controlled by the MDC.
Councillors from the MDC party in cities and towns across the country stand
accused of self-enrichment through underhand dealings.
They are accused of, among other things, receiving "hefty" sitting
allowances, wresting council-owned houses in the high density suburbs from
poor residents and creating jobs for the boys in the local authorities under
Chitungwiza former mayor Israel Marange (MDC) was convicted and sentenced to
one-year imprisonment for corruption emanating from criminal abuse of
office. He has since been fired from the MDC. He has been granted bail
pending appeal against conviction and sentence.
Evidently embarrassed by all this, the MDC responded by setting up a
committee to unravel cases of corruption involving its officials in public
The committee, led by Tapiwa Mashakada, is crisscrossing the country
investigating the alleged cases of corruption.
The MDC has wasted no time in wielding the axe on those found on the wrong
side of the party's code of conduct. Councillors from Chitungwiza were the
first casualties. More councillors from other local authorities are set to
fall by the wayside as investigations widen.
Reports have also linked top officials in the MDC to corruption although no
specific incidents have been publicly revealed or proved.
But in a curious development, Zanu PF has reportedly begun publishing and
distributing a newsletter - free of charge - openly accusing top MDC
officials as if they were already convicted. The state media does the same:
embarking on a crusade to smear MDC councils as house-grabbers and thieves.
The newsletter is apparently meant to spruce up the image of Zanu PF ahead
of elections expected to be held after the life of the inclusive government
due to end next February.
The newsletter this week carried a lead story titled MDC paying lip service
While corruption must be condemned and crushed wherever it rears its ugly
head, I find it amusing that Zanu PF has the temerity to point a finger at
the MDC while it ignores the mud that soils its leadership. \The MDC has at
least demonstrated its desire to rid corruption within its ranks.
Cases of high level and shameless corruption which has brought Zimbabwe to
its knees has top candidates residing nowhere else but right in the heart of
the former ruling party. Other than vague references, nothing has been said
or done about them.
Although it is fast becoming a public secret, the nation still waits to be
told the names of those behind the plunder of Chiadzwa.
Top Zanu PF officials and government ministers, who in 1980 emerged from the
bush with nothing save for their AK rifles and combat gear, became wealthy
overnight. The source of the wealth that many of them have accumulated
remains a mystery until today.
Certain senior officials in Zanu PF and government have set tongues wagging
over the bundles of greenbacks that have suddenly become synonymous with
Others have gone on a property-acquiring spree of obscene proportions.
Zanu PF has said and done nothing. The party leadership code was long ago
The Harare City Council has compiled a damning report detailing how senior
Zanu PF officials were irregularly allocated prime land in the capital city.
The report has now been adopted by council. Strangely, the police have been
questioning journalists, demanding to know how they got hold of the damning
The land reform programme has seen some of the worst corrupt activities.
Inputs, equipment, fuel and bank loans have disappeared without trace.
Scores of Zanu PF officials now own multiple farms.
President Robert Mugabe occasionally complains but no action has been taken
or is likely to be taken at all. The list is long.
The gnat-sized corruption blamed on MDC councillors could never in any way
be equated to Zanu PF's camel-load of vice. Let's see some consistency here.
Friday, 09 April 2010 09:32
AFRICAN National Congress (ANC) youth president Julius Malema is full of
riddles and his Easter visit to Zimbabwe had his Zanu PF hosts cheering him
on at one moment and then at another left them open-mouthed in surprise.
Malema's visit was in a sense useful as there were many political and
economic issues under the spotlight and observers sought signals on how the
youths in ANC appreciated them, and maybe predict future policies.
When addressing his maiden rally in the country, Malema, showing his roots
as a product of a nationalistic liberation movement, predictably ventured
into the obvious issues of sovereignty, militancy, radicalism, defending the
"gains" of independence and empowerment.
If his Zanu PF hosts expected a glossy appraisal of their track record, they
were shocked when Malema said they could still be militant and radical
without cutting off people's hands.
His message was clear, there is no need to maim, kill and amputate and say
one is defending their position.
Zanu PF youths, the audience to this message, may have felt uncomfortable
with this as they would have expected their fellow comrade, for whom they
had sung the banned song 'Shoot the Boer' to preach killing.
Malema was also spot on when he said the proposed economic empowerment
should not be used as an opportunity to further enrich the fat cats.
For his fellow comrades, used to public policies for individual benefit,
Malema was out of sync.
These are people who have benefited from "land reform" and various quasi
fiscal activities which were implemented by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
between 2004 and 2008 and they believe it is a right to individually benefit
from such policies.
The poor, Malema may have observed, have continuously been used as pawns and
the grand masters were once again preparing to move them around the
This is when Malema should have declared victory and gone back home.
However, as controversial as he is, the ANC youth president steered into the
politics of succession in Zanu PF and by extension the country, saying
President Robert Mugabe should not go.
"In South Africa we had Oliver Tambo who served for 30 years as ANC leader
without being challenged," Malema said.
In November 2008 Malema was saying: "He (Mugabe) must step down. We need a
new president in Zimbabwe. Zanu PF is not the problem, the problem is the
old man who is refusing to leave power."
What is Malema saying? At one time Mugabe should not go and at another he
should go. This would suggest policy confusion!
Comparing Mugabe's stay in power to that of Tambo is like comparing apples
and oranges, arguing that both are round fruits.
Tambo was ANC leader in exile at a time when they were fighting for
liberation and the other leaders such as Nelson Mandela were on Robben
At that time, the ANC was preoccupied by strategic issues and leadership
change was not important and if Tambo had shown signs of faltering in his
leadership definitely he would have been challenged.
One also has to see how there was massive lobbying for positions as soon as
the ANC was unbanned and transformed into an opposition political party
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe will next week mark 30 years as the leader of the
country and in preparing a balance sheet of his stay in power, there is more
debit than credit.
Mugabe, Malema should understand, is now a liability in terms of strategy
and as he was saying less than two years ago, he is the problem. Even Zanu
PF knows the leader is a liability and that is why in 2008 more votes went
to the party than to the president.
Malema should have taken time to reflect and acknowledge that comparing
Tambo's stay at the top of ANC is in no way similar to Mugabe's stay in
Instead, he should have seen the link between the violence he condemned when
he addressed Zanu PF youths, and the desire to stay in power at any cost by
the leaders of the party.
Why would Malema want a leader in Zimbabwe to stay in power when he
spearheaded the recalling of then president Thabo Mbeki after Judge Chris
Nicholson ruled that there was political interference in the Jacob Zuma
Why would Malema, who also campaigned against Mbeki's attempt to have a
third term as ANC president, want Mugabe to continue in Zimbabwe 30 years
It may be an indulgent approach to Zimbabwe's domestic politics or a failure
to appreciate the situation in the country. Whatever the case, the Malema
visit has simply widened the political divide.