By Tichaona Sibanda
12 April 2011
Twelve people, among them four priests arrested on Saturday during a prayer
meeting in Glen Norah, have been released from police custody.
They include the resident priest at the Nazarene church, Paul Mukome, and
Pastors Caroline Sanyanga and Paul Isaiah Yesah. The other pastors, except
Mukome, refused to pay the fines for being ‘a criminal nuisance in a public
But one person remains in custody after police charged him with assaulting a
police officer. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said in statement that
police have kept in custody Shakespeare Mukoyi, one of the congregants who
were arrested on Saturday when authorities stopped the prayer meeting.
Mukoyi was brutally assaulted by police in the church building in Glen Norah
and there are reports he is being denied medical examination and treatment.
Reports say the pastors and others were arrested when baton wielding police
stormed the Church of the Nazarene in Harare’s Glen Norah suburb and threw
choking teargas inside the church to disperse the worshippers. Frightened
parishioners, among them old women and children, were forced to break
through the church windows, trying to escape the menacing police
ZLHR said police released the 12 on Monday evening after charging them with
contravening Section 36 of the Criminal Law Act and indicated that they
would proceed by way of summons.
‘After the release of the other congregants, police detained Mukoyi
overnight in police cells. By lunchtime on Tuesday the police had not yet
taken Mukoyi to court as they were reportedly waiting to be furnished with
medical affidavits detailing the injuries sustained by the police officer
who was allegedly assaulted by Mukoyi,’ a statement from ZLHR said.
Many civic organizations, including the MDC-T, have strongly condemned the
police actions, describing it as barbaric.
12 April 2011
Police on Monday 11 April 2011 kept in custody Shakespeare Mukoyi, one of the congregants who was arrested on Saturday 9 April 2011, when police suppressed a church service and released 12 pastors and congregants, who were arrested while attending the prayer meeting in Glen Norah suburb of Harare.
The police released the 12 congregants, who include Pastors Pastor Mukome, the Resident Priest at the Nazarene Church, Pastor Isaya on Monday evening after charging them with contravening Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and indicated that they would proceed by way of summons if need be.
After the release of the other congregants police detained Mukoyi overnight in grubby police cells at Harare Central Police Station and pressed another charge of assault against him. The police, who recorded a warned and cautioned statement from Mukoyi on Tuesday 12 April 2011 in the presence of his lawyer Marufu Mandevere of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, who is a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights charged him with contravening Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
By lunchtime on Tuesday, the police had not yet taken Mukoyi to court as they were reportedly waiting to be furnished with medical affidavits detailing the injuries sustained by the police officer who was allegedly assaulted by Mukoyi.
Mukoyi and 13 other congregants were arrested by anti-riot police on Saturday 9 April 2011 during a church service organised to pray for peace in Glen Norah. But one juvenile was released after the arrest on Saturday before the police freed 12 congregants on Monday night on summons.
by Edward Jones Tuesday 12 April 2011
HARARE – A road-map being pushed by regional leaders in Zimbabwe ahead of
the country’s next vote may not guarantee free and fair elections unless it
clearly spells out measures to punish parties that break its provisions,
political analysts said.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) troika said at a summit
last month it would help Zimbabwean political rivals craft an election
road-map to ensure the next general election was free from violence and
President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and a smaller splinter MDC group are
discussing a road-map that critics say is necessary to avoid past election
“Without specific and tangible consequences that would punish an
unwillingness of principal parties to implement their responsibilities
enumerated within a road map, the agreement will just be as untenable as the
current GPA,” think-tank Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA) said in
its latest report on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean elections have been marred by violence and disputes since 2000.
In 2008 ZANU-PF lost its parliamentary majority for the first time to the
MDC and Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the parallel presidential election in
results published after five weeks, which, however showed the former trade
union leader had not garnered enough votes to win outright.
Mugabe won the run-off vote after Tsvangirai quit the race, citing a
campaign of violence by the military and militia linked to ZANU-PF.
Regional leaders, who pushed Mugabe and Tsvangirai into a unity government
two years ago, are fretting on the prospect of Zimbabwe going back to
elections without a new constitution, electoral reforms and a cessation of
Government officials who attended the meeting in Livingstone, Zambia said
the troika leaders believed that the next presidential and parliamentary
elections were not possible this year.
“What was not captured by the communiqué is that President Rupiah Banda (of
Zambia) told Mugabe and Tsvangirai that ‘the region is not convinced that
the building blocks to a free and fair election in Zimbabwe have been
established and so we do not see elections possible this side of the
calendar year’,” an official who attended the summit told ZimOnline.
As part of the roadmap, regional leaders want an end to army deployments in
the countryside, guarantees on freedom of assembly by political parties,
establishment of election dispute resolution mechanisms, a new voters’ roll,
end to political violence and for security forces to act impartially.
Mugabe has defended political violence, even saying it is a culture
associated with African elections but analysts argue that Zimbabwe was
unique in that the violence is sponsored by state agents against unarmed
South Africa, which is the facilitator in the Zimbabwe crisis and has fended
Western criticism against the octogenarian leader, is increasingly
frustrated by Mugabe’s refusal to fully implement terms of a 2008
power-sharing pact and analysts fear a road-map without benchmarks would be
abused in the same way by ZANU-PF.
“I believe at this hour the MDC itself is alive to the need to ensure that
any road-map is well signposted and has clear timelines and checks to make
sure that it is adhered to in letter and spirit. I am sure they have learnt
from the apparent weaknesses in the GPA,” John Makumbe, a senior political
science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe said.
In his drive to force Mugabe to fulfill all the terms of the global
political agreement and adhere to conditions of the election road-map, South
African President Jacob Zuma will have to rally other regional leaders to
take tougher action against the ageing leader.
Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980 and his
critics say the 87-year-old leader who is in the twilight of his political
career plans to die in office.
Political temperatures are rising in Zimbabwe with ZANU-PF and the police
accusing the MDC of perpetrating violence and then crying victim, a charge
denied by Tsvangirai, who says pro-Mugabe securocrats have hijacked the
Diplomatic sources say South Africa is concerned about the role of security
forces who have taken sides with Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s political disputes,
which Africa’s biggest economy sees as complicating any transfer of power
IDASA said South Africa should step up the monitoring of Zimbabwe’s
political environment and even suggested Pretoria could assign a special
envoy in Harare to deal with problems in the resource rich but troubled
southern African country.
“The implementation of the road map must be considered a pre-condition to
any future election. Furthermore, the road map should have teeth,” IDASA
“The deployment of retired generals to various provinces under ZANU-PF’s
electoral strategy along with continued rhetoric encouraging active
political ‘participation’ in politics will have long-term implications that
could entrench and institutionalise the various security forces in Zimbabwe’s
political processes.”-- ZimOnline
Harare, April 12, 2011 - The much publicised exhumations of the liberation
struggle victims at the Mt Darwin mine are continuing despite a High Court
order to stop the exhumations on the pretext to bury them at a mass grave
next to the mine, Radio VOP has learnt.
The Zimbabwe People's Army veterans (ZIPRA) won a High Court ruling at in
Bulawayo last week after they had argued that their members were also killed
in the Mt Darwin area by the Ian Smith regime during the liberation
struggle. High Court judge, Nicholas Mathonsi in his ruling said all
exhumations that were being carried out by the Fallen Heroes Trust in Mt
Darwin at Chimondo mine must be stoped immediately.
Radio VOP understands that despite the ruling bodies are still being exhumed
for reburial at a mass grave that is being built by government workers next
to the Chimondo mine. Chairperson of the Fallen Heroes Trust, Goerge
Rutanhire refused to comment but referred all the questions to the Minister
of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi.
He said the bodies that are being exhumed are being carried out by the
government for reburial at the mass grave to be built next to the shrine.
"Our organisation is no longer carrying out the exhumations. What I
understand is that the government will rebury the bodies that we exhumed at
the mass grave that is being built next to the mine," Rutanhire said.
However, a source who visited the Chibondo mine over the weekend said
'exhumers' were still at the site and were still carrying out the
exhumations in an effort to bury the remains at the mass grave in
contravention of the High Court order.
"The exhumations surprisingly are still going on. The people at the mine
said they just want to clear all the remains of the bodies from the mine
shaft for reburial at the mass grave hat is being constructed. But it is
against the High Court order," the source who requested anonymity said.
Political analysts have accused President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party of
using the exhumations of the bodies in Mt Darwin to score political marks on
the political field. Zanu (PF) officials were witnessed sloganeering at the
Chimondo mine while officials of the Fallen Heroes Trust have been telling
visitors that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai 'will never rule Zimbabwe.'
Tsvangirai has condemned the way the exhumations were being carried out
saying the people who were carrying out the exhumations were doing it for
'cheap' political scores adding that the dead were not being respected.
By Oscar Nkala
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 12:37
BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe African People Revolutionary Army (Zipra) Veterans
Trust has warned that it will undertake an international campaign to force
the government to respect a High Court ruling which last week ordered a stop
to the exhumation of bodies of former freedom fighters in Mount Darwin.
Bulawayo High Court judge Nicholas Mathonsi ruled that the Fallen Heroes
Trust and its leader, Zanu PF Politburo member George Rutanhire, stop the
controversial exhumation of human remains from Monkey William Mine.
The threats by the Zipra War Veterans follow reports that the Fallen Heroes
Trust has not stopped the exhumations while the police have not intervened
to stop the process despite the court order.
Efforts to obtain a comment from the police and the co-ministers of Home
Mathonsi ruled in favour of the Zipra Veterans Trust which wanted the
exhumations stopped forthwith until such a time that other stakeholders, who
include Zapu and Zipra, are involved and the process done within the
framework of the law.
It also wanted the government to seek the help of internationally -
acclaimed forensic specialists to help with identifying the deceased and how
The ruling also directed the co-ministers of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi and
Theresa Makone, to perform their duties in enforcing the court order by
taking physical steps to ensure that Rutanhire and the Fallen Heroes Trust
abide by the ruling.
However, a source in the Harare branch of the Zanu PF - allied Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association, ZNLWVA, told The Daily News
that the exhumations have continued uninterrupted.
“The High Court order is one thing but it’s business as usual at Monkey
William right now. The remains that have already been exhumed are still
within the custody of the trust, so I don’t think that ruling ever meant
anything. Maybe that is why Rutanhire or any of the ministers never bothered
to file opposing papers when that case was heard in Bulawayo."
“This is a party programme, Rutanhire and his group are just the vehicle to
execute it. No one can stop it,” said the source.
Zipra Veterans Trust spokesman Buster Magwizi said they are aware that the
exhumations have not stopped.
“From day one, they never stopped. We continue to hear of very high ranking
party officials like Zanu PF national political commissar Webster Shamu
visiting the site to show their support to the Fallen Heroes Trust.
“This is the highest level of contempt against the courts and while we may
return to the courts to press contempt of court charges against all the
respondents, it will be better for us to turn to the international community
for help to force the government to respect the courts,” said Magwizi.
He added that the Zipra Veterans Trust will call for help from other former
liberation movements which operated in Zimbabwe like South Africa’s
revolutionary-era African National Congress army, Umkhonto Wesizwe which
fought alongside Zipra.
Magwizi said other combatants who participated in the liberation war include
those from Namibia’s South West African People’s Organisation, SWAPO, and
some Tanzanians who are believed to have made up part of the Fifth Brigade,
a unit of the post-independence army which is blamed for the Gukurahundi
atrocities in the Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces.
“Umkhonto we Sizwe fought our battles in Hwange, Mount Darwin and vast areas
of Mashonaland West. Their men were killed in battle or captured in various
theatres of operation and they could be among those bodies that are being
abused by Zanu PF to win votes.
“All these armies need to be involved because their freedom fighters are
certainly among the casualties of our own liberation struggle. The
international community should not just try to hold Zanu PF to account over
this abuse. It must come in physically and stop this process since the
powers that be cannot even listen to their own courts,” Magwizi said.
Harare, April 12, 2011 - The influential Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries (CZI) says the country's industry is now operating at about 45
percent due to dollarisation.
The CZI conducts annual surveys on how business is going on in Zimbabwe,
currently undergoing economic surgery after years of economic stagnation.
"Yes I can confirm that our industry is currently operating at between 40
and 45 percent," a CZI economist said in an interview."It would be great to
be able to operate at 100 percent but this is very difficult at the moment."
She played down the issue of sanctions slapped on the cash-strapped nation,
saying sanctions could actually help boost the economy as business
executives would become more prepared for change and competition.
Zimbabwe's top leadership including President Robert Mugabe and his inner
circle have been slapped with sanctions. All companies belonging or linked
to mainly the former ruling Zanu (PF) party and its bosses can also not do
business with major international firms.
She said there was too much competition within the manufacturing sector
because China and Tanzania were doing "brisk business" with local tycoons.
"There is a lot of competition from countries such as China and clothing
from Tanzania and our business people should be able to compete," she said.
China has virtually taken over the country's struggling business sector with
their "US$1 for two" tactics countrywide.
The Chinese and Nigerians have also used their US dollars to snap up
lucrative buildings around the cities and sell items at much cheaper rates
than their Zimbabwean counterparts.
The CZI economist said Zimbabwe could, however, soon get back on track
because of the current dual cash being used.
Zimbabwe is currently using the US greenback and the South African Rand as
legal tender having dumped the worthless Bearer Cheques that were being
minted "hourly" at Dr Gideon Gono's Fidelity Printers and Refineries
(Private) Limited, a subsidiary of the now former influential Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
Zimbabwe has a shocking unemployment rate of above 80 percent despite having
a very vibrant Scale and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) sector.
The World Bank (WB) has, meanwhile, told all African countries to focus on
their SME sectors because there is much potential in them and they could, in
fact, help spur necessary economic growth.
Africa has about 55 percent uncultivated lands, but is very poor.
Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 11:40
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s delicate ability to pit rival partners in
both government and his party in order to prolong his stronghold as
President were on Monday left in turmoil with the passing away of Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss, Menard Muzariri.
Muzariri a close ally of Emmerson Mnangagwa and a fierce rival of the
current intelligence chief Happiton Bonyongwe died on Monday and is expected
to be declared a national hero.
Bonyongwe a career soldier was controversially reappointed by Mugabe in 2009
when Muzariri was certain his turn to be the head had arrived. Muzariri had
written to Mugabe detailing the close ties between Bonyongwe and Simba
Makoni of the Mavambo party, according to intelligence sources.
Bonyongwe is also a close ally of Solomon Mujuru a fierce rival of
Mnangagwa. Analysists said Mugabe has been left in the quandary as he has
been relying on setting the two rival camps in intelligence against each
“President Robert Mugabe will have to appoint a person who will ensure that
there is balance in the CIO, otherwise the Mnangagwa faction will feel that
it has been left behind. At the moment it is the Mujuru faction that has
overall control and that does not augur well for Mugabe,” said an analysist.
Unlike Bonyongwe the late Muzariri was a career intelligence man who was in
1980 deployed to the Prime Minister’s Office as an intelligence officer from
the intelligence unit of zanu's guerilla army, zanla.
According to the President’s Office “He attended prestigious intelligence
institutions in Africa and abroad, obtaining
internationally recognised intelligence qualifications that saw him being
promoted to the post of Head of Division in 1984.”
The loyal Muzariri was in 1997 appointed to the post of Director Internal.
“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander In
Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Robert Mugabe, in 2003 appointed him
to the rank of Deputy Director General in the President’s Department, a rank
he held at the time of his untimely passing-on,” said the office.
Harare, April 12, 2011 - Zanu (PF) has declared the late Deputy Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director Mernard Muzariri a national hero.
The party's spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed Muzariri's hero status on
Tuesday afternoon after a long day meeting.
"I can confirm that the politburo has accorded Cde Muzariri a hero status
and burial will be on Thursday”, he told Radio VOP in a telephone interview.
The late deputy director of the CIO, died Monday morning at a private
hospital in Harare.
Sources said Muzariri who unleashed error in Mashonaland Central province in
2008 by directing members of his organisation to ban suspected Movement for
Democratic Change supporters from entering the province, died of cancer.
Muzariri was said to be instrumental in the Gukurahundi Massacres in the
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:07
HARARE - Former Zanu PF secretary general, Edgar tekere says he feels
embarrassed that his colleagues have gone against the ideas of liberating
the country through greed and that Zimbabwe was now a dictatorship.
In an interview with the Daily News Tekere said that he feels sad to be
asked to explain what went wrong in the country in the past decade against
the reasons why he and others went to war for the country to attain
Tekere said the violence perpetrated by war veterans in the country runs
against the reasons for the liberation war of this country.
He said war veterans know that when they went to war they were fighting
against vices like corruption, violence and dictatorship – all of which are
endemic in Zimbabwe today. He castigated war veterans who are being used by
politicians and said that “my party Zanu PF” is disintegrating.
“What is happening is definitely not what we fought for. Things have gone
hay wire; this is just bad. When I look at what is happening, I just cry in
my heart that my party (Zanu PF) is disintegrating and there is nothing I
can do,” Tekere said.
“When we were in detention we would discuss a lot of things and ideas we had
for our country, planning what our country would be like when we won
independence. Ghana was already independent. They were so many wrongs in
many independent countries and we were saying we should avoid some of those
things, but now some of the wrongs we criticised are being committed by
people who fought the war.”
Tekere, the author of the book ‘A lifetime of struggle’ said he became
‘unpopular’ in Zanu PF for rebuking corruption and the one party state
policy that was being driven by his former party in the late eighties.
He said he tried in vain as the secretary general of Zanu PF, to convince
the party leadership that a one party state and some of the ‘wrongs’ that
were being done by the former liberators were against the foundations of the
“As far back as 1981, I protested in parliament and everywhere that
corruption was setting in and that our country will be rotten like the
countries in Asia and Western Africa and people did not like it including
President Robert Mugabe,” he said.
“I was fired because I rebuked the one party state that was being advocated
by others. People like late Ernest Kadungure were saying at that time that
when one is voted in power why people should vote again. I protested against
that, and it explains why I am unpopular with some of the people who are in
power including President Robert Mugabe.”
Tekere said war veterans and people often ask him to explain why things have
gone wrong in the country. He said violence must not be tolerated in any
“People should not be intimidated or beaten in this day and age. They should
be convinced of the ideas of any party and people should not be violent.
People should not be intimidated because you will end up getting deceived by
the same people you think will support you,” Tekere said.
“War veterans should scratch their heads and denounce violence. They can
even come back to us and we will remind them what we fought for. The song
Kune Nzira Dzemasoja that taught about Mao Tse Tung’s teachings, follow the
words you will see what it means.”
Asked on if he has raised the issue with former liberation fighters, Tekere
said he has not been given the chance.
He said he was once chosen by the Manicaland province to be the patron of
the War Veterans in the region but he could not hold the position because
there was going to be a conflict with Mugabe on the course the veterans must
“Incidentally there is a conflict with Mugabe. I was chosen to be the patron
of the war veterans in Manicaland but now Mugabe is the national patron of
the war veterans’ body. There is a conflict; we no longer talk with Mugabe,
even merely to come face to face with me. At times I want to go to the
national heroes to bury our former colleagues but I just have to let it pass
because I know that Mugabe will not like it,” Tekere said.
“Former liberation fighters come back to us asking us that Shefu things have
gone bad, what should we do? I have received complaints from genuine war
veterans who say that the war veterans name is being tarnished by rogue and
fake war veterans. I am now afraid and embarrassed that I was a former
senior member of the liberation struggle because even the people we trained
in Mozambique they still come back to me to ask if what is happening is what
we fought for. Definitely not!.”
War veterans’ leader, Jabulani Sibanda however said the media has been lying
about war veterans in the country. He refused to answer questions on whether
he is a real war veteran saying the time will come when he will answer all
the ‘lies’ that the press was writing about him.
Sibanda has been accused of forcing people to attend Zanu PF political
meetings in Masvingo province, he denies the accusations. He has also been
accused of forcing people to sign the Zanu PF anti-sanctions petition.
“People say a lot of lies and when the time comes I will respond to those
lies. If you beat up people or force them to attend your meetings do you
think they will vote for you or your party? Violence is bad; I am a kind of
person who reports people who are violent to the police,” Sibanda said.
“Journalists have lied about me and war veterans. If you come and experience
how we do our meetings you will find out that we are not people who behave
Sibanda refused to respond to questions to clarify if he indeed participated
in the liberation struggle and that he is a genuine war veteran.
“There are people who have been saying I was nine years in 1980. I don’t
claim to be a war veteran but I am a war veteran. If you look at me, I am
now my 50’s. When the time comes I will call a press conference for people
to know the truth,” Sibanda said.
“I am not a guy who wakes up and reads the paper and work to try to correct
the falsehoods that the papers report.”
Monday, 11 April 2011 22:40
EIGHT people, six from the same family, have died of cholera while another
eight, all members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Sect, were hospitalised
All the cases were recorded from Rusitu District of Chimanimani, which was
hit by a cholera outbreak last month.
Director of Epidemology and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and
Child Welfare, Dr Portia Manangazira said they were continuing dialogue with
members of the sect so that they can consider accessing health care
"We are still making dialogue with members of the Marange Apostolic sect so
that they can access treatment at health care facilities," said Dr
She said the 16 cases from Rusitu were detected early in March but were only
attended to later in the month as the sect members were allegedly hiding the
sick from members of the public.
"People were hidden in the area so they could not receive medical
assistance, the matter only came to light late March," said Dr Manangazira.
In a bid to curb cholera and other non-communicable diseases, Government is
training rapid response teams to assist in responding to emergency disease
Dr Manangazira said they had introduced integrated disease surveillance
rapid response teams.
Twenty-eight districts in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland West
provinces have been trained to deal with disease outbreaks.
Although the training programme was introduced to equip health personnel
with information when handling cholera cases specifically, Dr Manangazira
said they were looking forward to training the personnel in handling all
common health emergencies.
"We are going to use this mechanism to train these teams in all high
epidemology diseases so that they are able to deal with any other health
related issue," said Dr Manangazira.
She said the programme, which begun last year was expected to end in May.
Nationally, Dr Manangazira said cholera cases have been contained.
12 April, 2011 03:15:00 Staff Reporter
HARARE – Zimbabwean President Mugabe, and not his wife was rushed to
Singapore after a health scare, a Senior State Intelligence officer and a
Zanu PF official told The Zimbabwe Mail reporter last night in Harare.
This claim has since been confirmed by a number of senior Zanu PF officials.
The privately owned Standard newspaper quoted "impeccable" sources as saying
that Grace "slipped and fell in the bathroom at (the Mugabes') Borrowdale
house and was said to have suffered a dislocated hip", but this morning The
Zimbabwe Mail has been told that the information leaked to The Standard was
a deliberate ploy to pre-empty any new health speculation on President
Mugabe’s mounting health problems.
Mugabe has travelled to Singapore four times already this year, including
his annual holiday in January, sparking headline reports of his mounting
George Charamba, Mugabe's spokesman, is said to have deliberately leaked the
information that the Mugabes had gone to Singapore for the First Lady's
medical check-up, and told the state-run Sunday Mail it was "a
However, last night, a senior intelligence official told our reporter at the
funeral of Mernard Muzariri, the Deputy-Director General in the Central
Intelligence Organisation, that last week the President collapsed four times
at his mansion in Borrowdale, Harare since his return from Zambia where he
had attended the SADC Troika Summit.
We can also reveal that at some point the President passed out and his
family members, including his wife weeped uncontrollably as they feared for
the worse. His medical team is said to have played a very crucial role in
resuscitating the 87 year old.
The president's health has become an issue of public concern and even we as
his security aids don't know what exactly is going on," another security aid
told The Zimbabwe Mail. "
Lately, his aids have worked out how to manage the media each time he leaves
the country on a health scare and the pre-emptive leaking of information has
been identified as another strategy.
With the coalition government in place, managing Mugabe's health problems
has been a nightmare for the President's Information and Publicity
Concerns about President Mugabe’s health mean his potential successors are
jockeying for power behind him in Zanu PF and each time there are reports of
a health scare the scramble for succession escalates.
The two frontrunners to succeed Mugabe for Zanu PF leadership are seen as
Joyce Mujuru, the Vice President, who is backed by husband Solomon, the
former Army chief, and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the current Defence Minister.
Human rights groups have warned that both were using illicit deals in the
country's bountiful diamonds to build up "war chests" to fight for power
once Mr Mugabe dies.
Mr Mnangagwa, 65, was Mr Mugabe's election officer during the violent 2008
He is seen as the instigator of most political violence against Zanu PF's
political opponents and widely blamed for the massacres of opposition
supporters in Matabeleland between 1983 – 1987.
Mrs Mujuru, 55, is popular in her rural home area and is seen by some
regional leaders, especially South Africa, as an uncontroversial successor
to Mr Mugabe, untainted by allegations of involvement in violence.
Harare, April 12, 2011 - The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has licensed
seven more publications to the country’s opening print media, Radio VOP can
ZMC chairperson Godfrey Majonga revealed to Radio VOP that the commission
had just given the green light to seven publishers and will soon make a
press statement announcing the names of the new publications to hit the
streets of Zimbabwe.
“It is true we have given licenses to seven new publications and we are
going to give the finer details of that issue later in the day,” said
Majonga in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Radio VOP understands that of the seven publications that were given the
green light by the Commission over the weekend, three are weekly newspapers
with four others being magazines.
Journalist-cum businessman Supa Mandiwanzira is one of the publishers who
got the license and he will be publishing a weekly paper to be called The
In a surprise development early this, the Zimbabwe Media Commission
announced that it had registered a new daily newspaper which will be called
the National Daily and will be owned by the Boka family, whose father, Roger
Boka died a few years ago.
Although the Zimbabwe Media Commission has issued operating licences to
several print titles, the same cannot be said for the issuing of
broadcasting media house, despite the Global Political Agreement which
brought together the country’s t three major political parties, Zanu (PF)
and the two factions of the MDC in 2008.
The state-run ZBC is the sole broadcaster in the country and because of its
monopoly; it continues to serve only the interests of Zanu (PF) and its
ageing leader, Robert Mugabe whose party lost to Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in
the last election in 2008.
By Brian Latham - Apr 12, 2011 9:17 PM GMT+1000
Air Zimbabwe, the African nation’s state-owned carrier, needs at least $4
million to pay pilots to end a strike that began on March 23, Newsday
reported, citing acting Chief Executive Officer Innocent Mavhunga.
The airline can’t afford arrears it owes to pilots and engineers after it
last year cut salaries to between $1,000 and $1,500 a month from between
$3,000 and $7,000, the Harare-based newspaper cited Mavhunga as saying
Air Zimbabwe employs 49 pilots, though of the company’s aircraft, only two
Boeing 767s, two Boeing 737s and one MA60 are currently functioning, Newsday
Harare, April 12, 2011 - Striking Air Zimbabwe pilots on Monday blamed the
company’s previous managements for the ill fortunes that have left the
national airline grounded.
The pilots’ spokesperson Captain Charles Chikosi told the Parliamentary
Portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development that the
management had failed to capitalise on its unique and advantageous routes
within the region and internationally leading to the crippling of the
Chikosi said that the airline had failed to utilise its virtual monopoly on
all the internal routes to make huge profits.
“The airline is the only one that flies directly from Harare to London yet
due to its incompetence, greater share off the market had been taken up by
other carriers. It has an operation base that is well geographically placed
and most of its fleet is fully paid up in comparison to other carriers that
lease aircraft at greater costs” he said.
Chikosi told the committee that because the planes were outdated and did not
meet the international standards in the aviation industry, passengers opted
for the services of their competitors such as Kenyan and South African
He said: “Even our own legislators and high rank officials do not want to
fly with Air Zimbabwe because it still lags behind when it comes to meeting
state of the art standards”.
Chikosi also said the failure by the company to embark on air cargo business
that is very profitable as evidenced by other cargo airlines such as Martin
Air and SAA cargo as one of the reasons that has led to the company into
“We have a lot of cargo that comes into this country that our airline has
failed to utilise to generate income” he said.
Captain Emilia Njovana told the committee that air Zimbabwe had failed to
utilise training facilities at Charles Prince airport leading to a massive
shortage of pilots.
“Brilliant young people are leaving the country to train elsewhere while the
company is failing to utilise its training school,” Njovana added.
The pilots who have embarked on an industrial action for two weeks now told
the committee that they knew how the company was ailing in debt hence they
were not asking for more but only wanted it to pay them what they are owed.
Acting chief executive officer of the Air Zimbabwe Innocent Mavhunga earlier
on had told the same committee in a separate meeting that the airline was in
urgent need of recapitalisation.
“Our planes are now more than 23 years old which makes them very expensive
to maintain. All these things are the reason why Air Zimbabwe is at this
current state. If you not reliable you do not expect passenger to fly your
planes,” said Mavhunga.
Mavhunga blamed the previous managements for failure to examine the company’s
capacity before signing new contracts for employees.
”In all previous agreements, the company’s capacity to pay had not been put
into consideration putting the company under duress,” he said.
by Staff Reporter
AIR ZIMBABWE currently has only five operational aircraft – but the airline
still employs 49 pilots, MPs heard on Monday.
A staggering 280 engineers service one plane, the Parliamentary Committee on
Transport and Infrastructure Development heard as the full extent of the
problems bedevilling the struggling state-owned airline was revealed.
Air Zimbabwe, with debts of US$108 million, also owes US$4 million to its
pilots who have been on strike since March 22, said CEO Innocent Mavhunga.
Both the airline and the striking pilots told MPs that Air Zimbabwe’s only
exit out of the current malaise would be for the government to acquire new
planes to give it a competitive edge.
Mavhunga said: “Our planes do not have the modern facilities and are
expensive to maintain. We have on numerous occasions aborted flights and
“Having new planes, we believe, at some point we will be able to pay the
pilots’ salaries within six months. If we are recapitalised, this would mean
new routes, new partners and then salaries will increase.”
Air Zimbabwe currently has two operational Boeing 767s which service the
Harare-London and Harare-Malaysia-China routes. Two Boeing 737s service
regional and domestic routes and only one of three MA60s is currently active
on the domestic routes. All the planes, save for the MA60s, are more than 20
Courage Munyanyiwa, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Pilots’ Association,
revealed that the airline was overstaffed, with a mouth-watering 280
engineers servicing a single plane.
Reports last year suggested that the government had acquired two Airbus A340
aircraft, and Air Zimbabwe pilots underwent training, but the planes were
never delivered. Explanations have not been forthcoming from the government.
With ageing equipment and a demolarised staff, Air Zimbabwe has been
reportedly making losses of US$3 million every month.
The strike by pilots which is now in its third week looks set to further
inflict more financial blows on the airline.
“The strike by pilots has had a negative impact on the company’s image, the
country and industrial relations within the corporation were left sour,”
“All the four contracts with the pilots’ union were entered into under
duress and the pilots have not considered the company’s capacity to pay them
as it is not in a position to settle all the arrears simply because it does
not have resources.”
But Charles Chikosi, a spokesman for the pilots, accused Air Zimbabwe of
“serious breaches of employee contracts” and arbitrarily reducing pilots’
Mavhunga admitted that the pay scale for pilots was reduced from between
$3,000 and $7,000 in 2009 to the current $1,000-$1,500.
The pilots want the difference paid in full before they return to work, and
Mavhunga estimates that the airline must find US$4 million to end the
The cash-strapped government, which is facing pressure from other underpaid
state employees, has asked Air Zimbabwe management to devise a strategy for
privatising the airline, but the company’s executives say it is currently
unattractive without recapitalisation.
By Alex Bell
12 April 2011
Hundreds of people were arrested on Tuesday as the government in Swaziland
moved to crack down on planned public protests against the regime of King
Mswati III, an ally of Robert Mugabe.
The demonstration in Swaziland’s largest urban centre, Manzini, was called
in protest over the lack of freedoms in the country and the worsening
economic crisis, which has seen the broke government announcing that it
would have to cut civil servants' salaries. Despite this, the government
went ahead and rewarded its politicians with generous increases in
allowances, resulting in widespread public anger.
Pro-democracy groups called for three days of protest beginning Tuesday, 38
years since King Mswati III's father, King Sobhuza II, suspended the
country's constitution, abolished parliament and established an absolute
But the country’s Prime Minister, Sibusiso Dlamini, issued a statement last
week saying the planned protests were illegal, and from Monday night
security forces launched a brutal clampdown on public mass action, arresting
at least five protest leaders.
On Tuesday morning more protest leaders, including leading trade union
activists and other civil society leaders, were all arrested, along with
some journalists, including two South African reporters and a photographer.
The entire leadership of the Labor Coordinating Council was also detained.
The government also went out of its way to ensure that protests by the
public would have a hard time forming, by ordering commercial bus owners not
to allow groups to hire buses to take to the protest hubs in Manzini. Buses
that were running to Manzini were being stopped and all their passengers
were detained at police stations. Students were also confined to their
campuses, and anyone wearing union or political tee-shirts or caps was
warned to remove the clothing, or risk arrest.
Earlier in the day more than 150 paramilitary police surrounded Freedom
Square in Manzini, separating any groups of two or more people. Police
officers stationed at the four different protest venues meanwhile carried on
rounding up protesters throughout Tuesday and the situation turned chaotic.
Police were seen beating protesters with clubs in an attempt to stop the
mass action, and soon started firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.
Stephen Faulkner, from the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, told SW Radio
Africa on Tuesday that about 400 people had been arrested since Monday
night, explaining that many were beaten. But he said that none of the
brutality and repression had convinced people to stop the protests, saying:
“It is all having the opposite effect.”
Faulkner called the security clampdown the “largest security mobilisation
that has taken place in Swaziland for decades.” He said people were
surprised by the level of repression the security forces have been using in
reaction to the protests, but he insisted this will not stop the planned
three days of mass action from continuing.
“What the regime is doing today is adding fuel to the fire of democratic
change from below. Nothing will be quite the same ever again in Swaziland,
and the days of the regime are numbered,” Faulkner said.
A wave of anti-government protests have swept through North Africa in recent
months, but the Swazi protest is the first civic uprising in the Southern
African region. Similar action had been called for in Zimbabwe earlier this
year, but increased police intimidation ensured that such protests were
quelled before they began.
Leaders in the rest of the region have now been called on to intervene in
Swaziland so that the will of the people is not crushed by government
forces. The regional bloc, SADC, has also been called on to take a tough
stance with Swazi leaders, as it recently appeared to do in Zimbabwe. A SADC
Troika summit recently strongly criticised the political crisis in Zimbabwe,
and pledged to draft a roadmap towards free, fair and credible elections.
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe told SW Radio Africa’s Diaspora
Diaries programme that Swaziland is now a real test for SADC, to prove that
its pro-democracy comments on Zimbabwe are more than just rhetoric. But he
said that SADC has a poor record of intervention in such crises, and
expressed doubt that the regional bloc will intervene there.
He added that Zimbabweans should also keep a close eye on what is happening
in Swaziland, saying: “It would actually be embarrassing if Zimbabwe doesn’t
do anything now that Swaziland has started it off.”
“There will be a real push now for Zimbabwe democratic forces to flex their
muscles against ongoing repression in the country,” Makumbe said.
Meanwhile international solidarity messages for Swaziland have been
increasing throughout the day and world trade unions, human rights groups
and political organisations have voiced their support for the protest. In
South Africa, members of the trade union federation COSATU traveled to the
Swazi border to show their support. At the same time, the South African
Communist Party, COSATU and other anti-regime activists staged a solidarity
protest at the Swazi embassy in South Africa. Another demonstration was also
planned at the Oshoek Border Post in Mpumalanga.
By Staff Writers
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:03
HARARE - In a further warning that Africans across the entire continent are
truly fed up with dictators, Ivory Coast's defeated Laurent Gbagbo was
yesterday captured and detained.
Forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s United Nations-recognised leader, Alassane
Ouattara, captured Gbagbo at his residence – where he had been holed up for
days – and took him to the Golf Hotel, also in Abidjan, where Ouattara has
been operating from since he won the country’s elections late last year,
Ouattara and French government spokesmen confirmed last night.
Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara after losing November’s
The fallen dictator justified his hold on power using President Robert
Mugabe as an example while speaking to journalists inDecember last year.
“When you go through what I’ve been through, you tell yourself: ‘Perhaps
Mugabe wasn’t completely wrong after all’,” Gbagbo said on Sunday.
He was referring to Mugabe’s loss to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in
presidential elections in 2008 although it was later claimed that the MDC
president did not garner enough votes.
Local analysts canvassed by the Daily News last night said the latest
developments in Ivory Coast, as well as those in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya
indicated that the era of tin pot dictators on the African continent was
truly coming to an end.
“This is a stark warning to countries such as ours in southern Africa that
do not respect human rights and where leaders refuse to go when they are
voted out by the people that their end will still come any way. The lesson
here for Africa is that when people lose elections they must go rather than
wait to be arrested and humiliated by those who would have won the ballot,”
one of the analysts said.
Prominent political analyst, John Makumbe said Gbabgo’s fall was progressive
news for the people of Ivory Coast as his brutal regime was attacking people
Makumbe also warned Mugabe about the consequences of holding on to power.
“He (Gbagbo) must be tried in his country and justice must be done to set an
example to other dictators in the world that the people’s will cannot be
superseded by selfish desire to cling on to power."
“Gbagbo thought that he would get away just like the way Mugabe did by
refusing to heed the people’s voice. It is very unfortunate that for him the
international forces could not allow his mischief to rule the Ivorians."
“It is also unfortunate that Mugabe befriends people like Gbagbo who have
reeled the death of innocent people,” said Makumbe.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson, Phillip Pasirayi agreed with
“This shows that the international community is fed up with dictators who
want to continue in power despite being rejected by their own people. The
stance taken by the UN and the international community shows that time is up
for dictators because the rights of the people shall not be stopped by any
political desire that is against the will of the generality."
“What is important is that Zimbabwe should not be friends with people who
don’t respect the will of their people. He must be tried before his own
people so that the whole nation and democratic forces could celebrate the
fall of ruthless leaders,” said Pasirayi.
In January, Gbagbo sent his envoy to Harare to seek support on his bid to
hold on to power while speculation intensified later on that the Ivorian
tyrant had been supplied weapons by Zimbabwe.
The ministry of defence however, vehemently denied the allegations but it is
generally known that politically, the Zimbabwe government side of Mugabe was
There were conflicting accounts about how Gbagbo had been captured, with
France’s ambassador to the Ivory Coast saying he had been taken by troops
loyal to Ouattara – and an aide to Gbagbo saying French Special Forces had
been at the forefront of the dictator’s arrest.
UN peacekeepers have accused Gbabgo forces of endangering the civilian
population, and had asked French troops in Ivory Coast to act against the
defiant leader’s heavy weapons.
Forces loyal to Ouattara launched an offensive from their stronghold in the
north at the end of March, after months of political deadlock during which
Gbagbo bluntly refused to recognise his rival’s election victory.
As they closed in on Gbagbo’s power base in Abidjan, UN and French attack
helicopters targeted heavy weapons being used by his forces.
Numerous attempts to negotiate his exit failed, and his forces appeared to
be making a comeback by the end of last week, even threatening the hotel
used by Ouattara as his headquarters.
On Sunday, UN and French helicopters launched a new wave of air strikes, and
on Monday French tanks were seen advancing on the residence.
Eyewitnesses said yesterday that they had seen pro-Ouattara forces entering
the presidential compound while French and UN armoured vehicles stood on a
road leading to the complex.
According to Isaka Souare, Institute for Security Studies researcher at the
African Conflict prevention programme, there are now several options open to
the country as it seeks to get back to normalcy.
“I think people would be divided on what to do next. A possibility for mob
justice is evident, although not likely if he is detained by Ouattara’s
men,” he said.
“There is no indictment for him to be handed over to the international
criminal court, and legally and politically a home trial is a better
Souare says a Truth and Reconciliation type trial is also possible as
Ouattara supporters have been accused of possible human rights violations. —
with the BBC
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 April 2011
The Manicaland provincial executive of the MDC-T has declared it will
nominate Morgan Tsvangirai for re-election as party president at its third
national congress, set for the end of this month in Bulawayo.
The new executive, which was elected into office on Saturday in Mutare, is
expected to send in its nominations as soon as that process begins next
week. The only high profile figure who will not be backed by the province is
the incumbent organising secretary Elias Mudzuri.
Apparently there is history between Mudzuri and the province. Three years
ago, he was allegedly manhandled by party activists in Mutare after reports
alleged he was working on undermining Tsvangirai by creating parallel
structures opposed to the party leader. Mudzuri faces similar allegations
from other pro-Tsvangirai supporters in other provinces.
‘The province unanimously resolved to back everyone else in the standing
committee, except Mudzuri. Nelson Chamisa is our preferred candidate for
that post. We do not want to rcok the boat at this delicate hour where we
are within touching distance of dislodging ZANU PF from power,’ the source
The same source alleged that candidates sponsored by Mudzuri’s camp in
Mutare were given an ‘electric shock’, evidenced by the sheer number of
‘voters’ who rejected them.
It is believed Tsvangirai, barring any last minute nominations from the
floor, will not face any challengers. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed
that the three MDC-T external provinces, South Africa, the United Kingdom
and the United States led by Kwanele Moyo, Tonderai Samanyanga and Dan Moyo,
are behind Tsvangirai.
The three provinces in the southern region, Bulawayo and Matebeleland North
and South, are all solidly behind Tsvangirai, despite reports that the party
hierarchy might order a re-run in Bulawayo. Elections there that saw Gorden
Moyo beat Matson Hlalo, were marred by violence and intimidation.
Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme said Tsvangirai will still be
nominated by who ever wins in Bulawayo.
‘The only problem is that of Vice-President because I’m reliably told that
while Moyo favours Khupe’s candidature, Hlalo is believed to be supporting a
different candidate. But both Hlalo and Moyo support Tsvangirai,’ Saungweme
The new chairman for Mashonaland East, Piniel Denga, who is also the MP for
Mbare, told us Tsvangirai was their automatic choice for re-election. He
said the province has always vouched that Tsvangirai is the best person to
finish what the MDC set out to do at its formation.
‘Our goal in 1999 was to bring democracy to Zimbabwe and vote ZANU PF out of
power. That has not yet been achieved and as such Tsvangirai will have the
mandate from Mashonaland East province to finish that job,’ Denga said,
adding the province will convene a meeting this week to look at the other
‘If there are to be other considerations, we will sit down as an executive
as I was informed today (Tuesday) that our nomination paper is ready for
collection,’ Denga added.
The eagerly awaited congress will see a number of candidates challenging
members in the standing committee, the top decision making body of the
party. The congress will be held under the theme ‘United, Winning – The
People’s Covenant to Real Change.’
Those considered safe, even if challenged, are Vice-President of the party
Thokozani Khupe, national Chairman Lovemore Moyo and Secretary-General
Tendai Biti. A rising star in the party, Obert Gutu the deputy Minister of
Justice, is reportedly eyeing the party spokesman’s position. Gutu has
however made it known he will consider running for the post only if Chamisa
has plans to seek another post within the standing committee.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to be the guest of honour at
the congress. The MDC Youth and Women’s Assemblies will hold their separate
congresses also in Bulawayo on 29th April. The party has so far completed
elections in over 12,000 branches, 1 985 wards in 210 districts and is only
left with four out of the 12 party provinces.
|WHO sets new treatment guidelines|
|New treatment guidelines announced|
|Malawi moves to adopt WHO guidelines|
|Government takes first steps to roll out less toxic ARVs|
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Posted On : April 11, 2011 8:59 AM | Posted By : Webmaster
By Sandra Nyaira in www.voanews.com
A long-running dispute in the Anglican Church Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe,
hit a new low on Sunday when supporters of former bishop Nolbert Kunonga
prevented the burial of a long-time Anglican parishioner because he belonged
to a rival faction.
The Kunonga loyalists blocked the burial of lifelong church worker Edward
Rinashe, 70, in St. Mary's Cemetery in the Harare satellite town of
Chitungwiza, sources said. Rinashe refused to recognize Kunonga’s authority
and attended services led by Bishop Chad Gandiya, designated head of the
diocese by the Province of Central Africa.
The Kunonga faction, which has been supported by the police over the years
in gaining and maintaining control over disputed church property after
Kunonga initially resigned and left the church, claims ownership of all
Anglican Church properties.
Witnesses said that after skirmishes at St. Mary’s Cemetery Rinashe’s coffin
was taken back to the funeral home which had prepared him for interment.
Relatives said they were making new burial arrangements. Mourners and church
members expressed anger at the interference by the Kunonga faction.
Registrar Mike Chingori of the Gandiya-led Anglican Church told reporter
Sandra Nyaira that the episode was just the latest case of persecution of
Kunonga opponents. Kunonga spokesman Bishop Alfred Munyanyi said his faction
will continue to block that of Gandiya, which he said has promoted a Western
agenda of regime change. Kunonga has been a staunch political ally of
President Robert Mugabe.
|Written by Staff Reporter|
|Tuesday, 12 April 2011 09:30|
|The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, held
on Saturday 9th April 2011 saw the prestigious Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars
London come alive, as the Zimbabwean Community supported and celebrated the
successes and achievements of fellow Zimbabweans Nominated for Awards in a
variety of sectors. |
Hosted by presenters Denver Isaac and Cynthia Muviri, the ceremony saw glamorous high profile figures and performers take to the stage, including the Noisettes stars Shingai Shoniwa and Dan Smith, Miss Zimbabwe - Malaika Mushandu, Eska Mtugwazi, Boxer Dereck Chisora, Tinashe, Actress Chipo Chung amongst others.
As the Awards rolled out, Shingai Shoniwa was presented with the chairman’s honorary award in recognition of her ongoing success and achievements as an International Performer and star.
In a speech read on his behalf, publisher of The Zimbabwean, Wilf Mbanga, said it was tragic that Zimbabwe had lost well over half its skilled man and woman power during the past decade due to migration.
“Any recovery of our nation and its economy is dependent upon the restoration of an efficient public sector infrastructure and service delivery, and we in the diaspora have an important part to play,” he said.
“The Motherland is our own special space. No matter how long and how far we have been away, that will never change. It is the one place where we can truly be alive, where we can sing our own songs and laugh our own laughter.”
Below is the outline of Award Categories and Nominees, with the Winners outlined in bold:-
Given the political posturing and harassment which seems the norm in Zimbabwe these days, it’s easy to wonder what difference any of us can make.
But two pieces of recent news have left me encouraged by the opportunities for small change, at least, and have renewed my conviction that speaking out does matter.
Firstly, Parliament has reconsidered sections of the General Laws Amendment Bill following concerns raised by the public and during the Portfolio Committee review stage. Specifically, sections that would have changed procurement regulations to reduce the power and autonomy of local authorities, and changes in copyright laws which would have restricted the ability to copy and share national legislation have come under scrutiny. As such, Parliament has agreed to rewrite the legislation to omit the problematic sections.
According to VMCZ:
MISA-Zimbabwe filed a complaint with the MCC over a Redds advertisement carried in the Standard Newspaper of 06 March 2011. The advertisement showed the posteriors of four women each holding a bottle of Redds. MISA-Zimbabwe said the advertisement objectifies women. After a complaint was lodged with the MCC, Delta beverages withdrew the advertisement and apologised to MISA-Zimbabwe.
Speaking your mind, voicing your concern really can make a difference.
April 12th, 2011
I don’t think Zimbabwe’s security sector will never be reformed, and if
there is anyone who thinks otherwise, it high time he or she has to accept
Zimbabwe’s security forces comprise the Central Intelligence Organisation,
Zimbabwe National Army, Airforce of Zimbabwe, Police and the Prisons, whose
commanders are war veterans and President Robert Mugabe’s close allies.
The security sector has Happiton Bonyongwe, Constatine Chiwenga, Perance
Shiri, Augustine Chihuri and Paradzai Zimondi as leaders.
To prove their obedience and patronage to President Robert Mugabe and his
ZANU (PF) party the service chiefs last month attended the party’s anti
sanctions campaign which is aimed at taking over European owned companies
operating in Zimbabwe, as a country sanctions measure.
The service chiefs are on the sanctions list, and had a reason to attend the
anti sanction campaign.
Under the GPA who formed the fragile coalition government the security
sector should be reformed and act professionally as opposed to its partisan
At the moment only members of the then opposition party are being arrested
by the police for trumped up charges while ZANU (PF) offenders are left scot
Recently the police Commissioner General Augustin Chihuri snubbed a
parliament hearing when he was summoned to answer questions on why he was
arresting only members of the MDC.
President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU (PF) party accuse the MDC for inviting
sanctions which were imposed on his senior party members by the west.
One now wonders if Chihuri, a senior ZANU (PF) official who is on the
sanctions list, can stop arresting MDC members, whose party they accuse of
imposing sanctions on them?
Mugabe while launching the anti sanctions campaign boasted that the five
service chiefs will never protest against him because they went to the
liberation struggle together, putting to rest any hopes of the
transformation of the security sector.
This means that soldiers will continue terrorising opposition party
supporters as in previous years.
This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 8:59 am
Tuesday 12 April 2011
This paper looks at the factors which helped ZANU-PF as a former liberation
movement retain power and lead to a one-party dominant state. It also
explores the extent to which ZANU-PF is adapting to democratic politics and
Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF offers important parallels and insights into the
challenges which confront former Southern African liberation movements as
they move to become parties of government. These shared aspects include the
importance of personality, ethnic and clan politics which helped to shape
the liberation movement during the struggle for independence.
There is also the important legacy of emphasis on solidarity and lack of
internal discussion and debate. Furthermore, the role of ‘armed struggle’
and the associated use of violence have left lasting influences.
These formative attitudes and experiences forged political cultures which
have continued to play out in the domestic political arena
post-independence. ZANU-PF is an extreme case study of the limits of how
susceptible and receptive liberation leadership may be to internal dissent
and debate as they address the considerable difficulties of nation-state
construction after formal independence.
By late 1990s ZANU-PF was facing a profound challenge to the legitimacy of
its victory, and to the legitimacy and identity of the liberation movement
itself. From 2000 the struggle in Zimbabwe constituted ‘a battle for the
state’, and this battle is continuing to play out in present-day Zimbabwe.
What factors helped ZANU-PF retain power?
In Zimbabwe and ZANU-PF’s case the process of centralising power took place
in stop-start phases: first, there was the period 1980-1987, leading to the
1987 Pact of Unity, after which ZAPU was absorbed within ZANU-PF. The
one-party phase dominated the political scene until 1999, a period ended by
the emergence of the Movement for Democratic Change.
In the third phase post-2000, ZANU-PF maintained its dominance by
restructuring state power, and attempting to manipulate the constitution
and the electoral process, until the Global Political Agreement of September
The GNU was finally implemented in February 2009 with a 24-month time frame
to agree a new constitution. So it can be said that we are now witnessing
another, fourth, phase of significant transition.
The crisis in Zimbabwe is systemic – and the literature on this is enormous.
It is multi-layered and multi-faceted. In addition, it has played out, and
is playing out in multiple ways.
In Brian Raftopoulos’ words, it involves “confrontations over land and
property rights; contestations over the history and meanings of land and
citizenship; the emergence of critical civil society groupings campaigning
around trade union, human rights and constitutional questions; the
restructuring of the state in more authoritarian forms, and its resistors;
the broader pan- African and anti-imperialist meanings of the struggles in
Zimbabwe; and the central role of Robert Mugabe.”
The central role of Mugabe
Richard Dowden, the London Times’ long-standing correspondent and Editor for
Africa and now the Chairman of the Royal Africa Society, was one of the
first to call publicly for discussions with Mugabe in 2005.
As Dowden pointed out, in Africa politics is personal. And calculations of
what is rational in an African context may not be deemed equally rational in
a West European political context. There is certainly the question of Mugabe’s
supreme political skills, his ability as an orator and communicator, and his
We may find it extraordinary, but ‘the old man’ is still held in great
affection by elements of the Zimbabwean population. In the 2008 March
election ZANU-PF received approximately 40% of the vote, and Mugabe’s
leadership of ZANU-PF retains a degree of ideologically popular support (the
size of the vote is not solely down to intimidation).
Furthermore, Mugabe’s rhetoric and in particular his defiance of Britain,
the former colonial power, strikes chords among other constituencies across
There is also the question of affinity of interest and outlook between
ZANU-PF Politburo hardliners, other senior ZANU-PF leaders, and Mugabe: this
is based on a combination of shared ideology (although political observers
have commented that only Mugabe believes the Marxist rhetoric), shared
particular generational experiences and outlook.
Calculations of self-interest are also part of the equation. A web of
patronage and privileged access has emerged, particularly in the last 10-15
years, that the fusion of ZANU-PF and Zimbabwean state has been able to
This operates both at the top level among senior officials, as well as at
the grass roots in the form of access to the state ‘benefit system’ of food.
This process is a direct product, and substitute, of the erosion of broader
political support for ZANU-PF in the 1990s.
Growing dissent from organised labour, civil society, student and youth
groups, as well as within the business community and the civil service, led
Mugabe and the ZANU-PF leadership in the Politburo to search for alternative
sources of support.
This rising political and social discontent in the 1990s was not simply a
product of ZANU-PF’s poor policy choices, unemployment and rising inflation.
It was matched by social grievances from other sections of society,
including war veterans and landless rural populations.
Politically vulnerable because of the rising economic problems associated
with the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), Mugabe offered
first generous pensions, then land to appease these aggrieved
Through his astute manipulation of the constitution, use of patronage,
exploitation of legitimate grievances and political antennae for populist
politics, Mugabe has proved a political phenomenon. His studied alliance
with the war-veterans from 1999 marked a power-shift within ZANU-PF.
The uses and abuses of History
The presentation of history has been critical to the survival of the ZANU-PF
one-party state, particularly from 2000-2005. But this manipulation of the
‘national story’ is not new.
The party has long sought to present a triumphant single-minded narrative,
ZANLA has never comprised a monolithic bloc, seen in the fractious history
of the civilian insurrection in 1970s, its experiences in Mozambique, and
the party and its military wing’s relationship with its rural peasant
Similarly, the role of history proved a key element of identity and
validation in the 1980s. The creation of ‘National Heroes’, and the
destruction of colonial ones, was seen as a crucial early part of
constructing a national identity in the first decade of independence. Given
the recent war in which 30-80,000 people had died, it was understandable why
the Mugabe government used this as a source of national legitimacy.
It was ‘an important emotional symbol and source of legitimacy’. As both
Ndebele and Shona-speaking communities had participated in the liberation
movements, the idea of designated ‘National Heroes’ was a powerful source of
potential national unity, but one that proved controversial – who should be
deemed a national hero: should it be the living or the dead?
The politicians or the liberation fighters? Should the ex-combatants be
involved? And were some heroes more important than others, or were all
equal? So although the ideal and ZANU-PF government rhetoric was
participation and equality, the reality proved rather different.
It revealed a huge disparity between the government and governed,
politicians and ex-combatants. Therefore ‘the self-conscious effect of the
government to create national unity and political legitimacy and identity
had quite the opposite effect’.
There were other less public ways in which history was distorted or
reconstructed in this first decade. In reality, the manner of victory was
not a triumph of armed struggle, but instead the product of a negotiated
settlement under enormous international pressure. So the Lancaster House
settlement represented a constitutional compromise, under the guise of
The myth and narrative of land, one of the key ‘National Grievances’ which
had proved so potent in the liberation struggle, was not firmly and openly
addressed, although all parties and interested observers – British,
Zimbabwean, American, Mozambican, South African and Commonwealth – clearly
appreciated its significance.
Similarly, the place of history on the national curriculum should be
considered. The writing of standard text books emphasised the contribution
of ZANU/ZANLA to the liberation victory, and either down-played or
airbrushed out other players – ZAPU/ZIPRA and non-Marxist nationalist
From the late 1990s, ‘patriotic history’ appeared as a direct product of the
emerging alliance between ZANU-PF and the war-veterans. This narrative,
particularly after 2000, drew upon wider society, and the astute use of
state control of the media.
This repackaging of history, and its use and distortion of legitimate
grievances contributed to ‘patriotic blackness’– in contrast to the
‘patriotic whiteness’ of the Rhodesia Front era of 1965-1980 – and an
exclusive version of national identity.
The party conscripted elements of history which it believed would generate
support and undermine opposition. Themes and events which did not serve
ZANU-PF’s agenda were downplayed or misrepresented.” The dominant narrative
was ‘ZANU-PF as the sole champion, past and present, of the independence and
sovereignty (of Zimbabwe) under constant attack from “imperialist forces”.’
This construction of history tapped existing grievances and beliefs. It
resonated in strong feelings about colonialism and perceptions of Western
hypocrisy about human rights. Inequality of land ownership was key to ‘the
story’ – land hunger and dispossession was plain for all to see – which
strengthened the plausibility of the narrative. And this made ‘patriotic
history’ very difficult to challenge.
A wide spectrum of Zimbabwean intellectuals was involved in the elaboration
and presentation of this patriotic history. This legitimised the persecution
of opponents who were labeled ‘sell-outs’ – a hugely derogative and
dangerous term, dating from the liberation struggle – and radically altered
Political activity outside ZANU-PF orthodoxy was ‘illegitimate’. It involved
a sophisticated strategy in the state-sponsored media, which had assumed a
greater importance with progressive government legislation and repression of
the independent media.
Importantly, in the rural areas, the Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC) or Zimbabwean television were the principal source of outside
information and news.
What was this history that Zimbabwean elites went to such pains to create?
It overlooked or ignored important events: the tensions within ZANU/ZANLA in
the 1970s – the purge of the short-lived Zimbabwean Independence People’s
Army, and the brutalisation of younger and more junior ZANLA cadres; the use
of violence against ‘sell-outs’ in the rural communities in the liberation
war; the ferocity of the Gukurahundi campaign of 1982-1985, in which between
20,000-30,000 people were killed.
Crucially, whites were cast as the scapegoats, and conspiracy theories
multiplied. Patriotic history successfully combined potent narratives of
land and race, and external ‘imperialist’ enemies. However, this ‘patriotic
history’ was not confined to the land question. ZANU-PF’s victory narrative
represented itself as part of a longer-narrative of Pan-Africanism and
‘Sovereignty’ was of key importance, the converse of colonialism. EU nominal
sanctions after 2003 became the main explanation for Zimbabwe’s economic
difficulties, rather than ZANU-PF’s increasingly disastrous monetary and
fiscal policies, and were consistently portrayed as external – subtext:
unwarranted – imperialist interference.
Critics or opponents of this version of history ‘underestimated or
misunderstood its appeal’. Disastrously, they also failed to articulate an
alternative. To a degree, they were also naïve in not understanding the
narrative’s attractiveness to wider Zimbabwean society, and did not
appreciate how their own use of words such as ‘international community’ and
‘regime change’ had very negative connotations.
As the inheritance of the anti-colonial struggle was also embedded within
the trade union movement and wider Zimbabwean civil society, ‘patriotic
history’s’ anti-colonial rhetoric had an appeal outside the relatively
narrow constituency of dispossessed rural communities on the land question.
The survival of ZANU-PF is also associated with the lack of determined
opposition leadership. This absence of a robust opposition was itself shaped
by the violence of 1977-79 experienced in the Zimbabwean rural districts of
Mashonaland and Manicaland; and subsequently in 1983-1987 in Matabeleland. A
genuine democratic and social challenge to ZANU-PF only emerged in late
1990s as the product of wider civil and social discontent.
By the mid-late-1990s the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) was able
to overcome long-standing structural problems, including slow rates of union
recruitment, non-payment of dues, and poor communications between central
and regional organisations, through the formation of a wider civic alliance
pressing for political reform and constitutional change: the National
This intensification of pressure on the state led to the formation of the
Movement for Democratic Change in 1999. In part this can be seen as a
continuum in Zimbabwe’s long history of tension between labour and
nationalist politics dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.
As the NCA developed its own community outreach programmes, a lively
political space for debate opened up, and the NCA received support in the
rural areas from white farmers. This produced a broad coalition of interest
groups: a genuine multi-racial, cross-class alliance challenging the ZANU-PF
state with a democratisation agenda.
This rival political movement was also matched by emerging tensions and
discussion within ZANU-PF in the late 1990s, itself the product of a
combination of parliamentarians pressing for reform and in some cases for a
change of leadership. The upshot was the constitutional referendum of
February 2000 became a referendum on ZANU-PF rule and Robert Mugabe’s
The role of violence
The continuation of ZANU-PF as a dominant one-party state has of course also
been intimately connected to the reorganisation of state structures, and the
role of violence and intimidation.
First, there is the aspect of the legacy of the colonial white settler
state. The incoming ZANU-PF government in 1980 did not just inherit the
political economy of the white settler state.
It inherited the power of the colonial state: the monopoly of the use of
force, and so its security executive and legislative capacity. It also
inherited well-established and particularly effective organisational
structures of surveillance and control: the Central Intelligence
Organisation, and the Special Branch/CID within the British South Africa
Police (reconstituted as the Zimbabwe Republic Police).
Furthermore, there was the legacy of the colonial state using asymmetric and
disproportionate force when dealing with opposition and dissent.
The ZANU-PF government inherited the settler state’s authoritarian political
culture in other ways: in the 1980s there was a marked failure to reform or
democratise the traditional structures of power in the rural areas. Indeed,
there was a concerted effort to replace the experiment of democratisation of
local rural organisation, with ZANU-PF affiliates as regional chiefs and
This meant another ZANU-PF grass-roots network for the party. Mahmoud
Mamdani has described this as the continuation of the ‘authoritarian,
bifurcated state’. The repressive state was again plain to see in the
reorganisation of state structures from 2000, and repressive legislation in
the form of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access to
Information Act (2002).
This emergency legislation and crackdown on the independent media had
unsettling echoes of the UDI era. Formal legislation was matched by pressure
on Supreme and High court judges to resign, state refusal to comply with
court judgments and amnesties to people who had committed acts of violence
on behalf of ZANU-PF.
Second, violence is part of the political culture of ZANU-PF, dating back to
the liberation war era. There is the place of violence in Mugabe’s own
thinking: he has ghoulishly joked that he had ‘a degree in violence’, a
reference to his eighteen other honorary doctorates. He was one of the first
Zimbabwean nationalists to advocate the turn to armed struggle in the early
1960s in ZAPU, before its split into ZANU and ZAPU in 1963. He was confident
in ultimate military victory in 1979, a confidence which was not necessarily
shared by other ZANLA leading military commanders.
However, it is not simply a question of attitudes of the efficacy and place
of violence. There are structural factors which explain the enduring culture
of political violence within ZANU-PF; namely, in the alliance between the
army and party that emerged in the 1970s. As has been said, the experience
of ZANLA cadres in the liberation war was brutalisation to enforce
solidarity and ‘discipline’. During the liberation war the use and range of
violence to intimidate Shona-speaking ethnic groups inside Rhodesia was
deliberately systematic and extreme, to the extent that it constituted ‘a
Post-independence state-directed violence in the continuing Zimbabwean civil
war in Matabeleland against the Ndebele and Kalanga people did not provoke
criticism or comment from the international community, since Zimbabwe was
needed as an international success story in the larger struggle against
apartheid South Africa.
The use of violence from the late 1990s onwards was a substitute for and a
direct reflection of the failed nation-building project associated with the
Faced with the social and political consequences of the accelerating and
precipitous decline of the economy, the sharp contraction of agricultural
and industrial productivity, the progressive informalisation of labour, the
informal dollarisation of financial transactions, and massive internal
displacement and economic and political migration, the state responded with
proven techniques to quell open and suspected dissent.
As Nathan Shamuyarira, ZANU- PF, stated ‘The area of violence is an area
where ZANU-PF has a very strong, long and successful history’.
There was a draconian response to food riots in 1998, in response to the
sharp rise in the price of maize; 10 people were killed and hundreds
The 2000 Constitutional referendum result prompted Mugabe to look to the
radical constituency of war veterans as a substitute for the loss of
political support from both MDC and disaffected ZANU-PF supporters. As farm
invasions were legitimised by the state and war veterans took over the Fast
Track Land reform process, replacing local development committees, violence
against political opponents and internal ‘sell-outs’ spiralled, most
markedly in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Again at local level, government officials, teachers and health care workers
were dismissed if they were thought sympathetic to the opposition, leading
to an evisceration of bureaucracy and the civil service in the districts.
There was also the violence and upheaval associated with Operation
Murambatsvina in 2005. The subsequent UN report estimated that 700,000
people had been affected with a disastrous loss of livelihood.
Again, in more recent years, there has been the systematic use of violence,
particularly in March 2007, and in 2008 in the run-up to and aftermath of
elections, referred to as ‘the Fear’, and again now in the ZANU-PF
heartlands of Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland.
What is notable about this use of violence is its targeted and specific
nature in the run-up to elections. Once election monitors are in place,
elections themselves have been conducted according to Zimbabwe Election
Commission regulations, indicating that
despite politicisation at the top, the lower levels of ZEC are scrupulous
and professional in the execution of their duties.
The sources of violence are varied within the structure and organisation of
ZANU-PF as a political movement: one of the key players is ZANU Youth
militia. As Kenya’s former ‘anti- corruption tsar’, John Githongo has
pointed out in a different context in Kenya, violence is empowering. Here
youth violence has been co-opted, licensed and encouraged by the
party-qua-state, in the formation of the Green Bombers.
The particular Zimbabwean political culture of T-shirts – which confer
identity and affiliation, communicate and intimidate – plays out here too.
Other perpetrators are war veterans, ZANU PF supporters and ‘mixed groups’.
Organisational, logistical and coercive support from the state was, and is,
A pattern appears of grass roots initiatives, and centralised violence and
coercion, with collaboration and other violent acts from elements within the
ZRP (the plain-clothed, uniform and riot police), the CID and CIO, and
Zimbabwe National Army elements. This activity is (unofficially) sanctioned
by the President, as Commander in chief of the Zimbabwe Armed forces, but
who consistently tells listeners in intimate conversation that he does not
know the extent of what is going on.
How far is ZANU-PF adapting to democratic politics?
What is true is that we must move away from simple binary models of ZANU-PF
and MDC. The political reality has shifted markedly from 2008 and is now
very different in 2011, in a number of crucial ways:
First, ZANU-PF has adapted to democratic politics by participating in a
coalition government. Implementation remains imperfect, and very divisive,
over the questions of finance and judicial portfolios, foreign radio
stations, and the appointment of provincial governors and ambassadors.
Full and immediate implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
for ZANU-PF would however have meant carving its own tomb-stone, since it
would mean relinquishing key levers of power over the state. Therefore, the
‘battle for the state’, as already noted, is on-going.
At the same time, new civil and business leaders have emerged. This is
manifest in the recent meeting of civic business leaders and the SADC
Secretary General in Botswana, where they presented the case for postponing
currently proposed elections in June 2011 because of anticipated political
instability and violence, and the knock-on effect on economic activity.
Single issue and determinedly independent organisations, e.g. Women of
Zimbabwe Association (WOZA), remain active.
Third, the debate within ZANU-PF about the succession and the need for
economic and political reform continues in private and is articulated to MDC
politicians, as noted by Eddie Cross, but ZBC/ZTV maintains a strict public
ZANU-PF line. The question of succession is enormously divisive. Mugabe
continues resolutely to refuse to nominate a successor.
There have been repeated press reports since 2008 that the commanders of
Zimbabwe’s joint forces have confronted Mugabe about his succession plans.
The ZANU-PF 11th party conference was scheduled in early December 2010, and
was (ostensibly) be held in closed session.
Although the public face was one of unity, it is strongly suspected that
there was an enormously acrimonious debate behind the scenes. It is likely
that Mugabe will be confirmed as head of ZANU-PF to take the party into this
year’s anticipated elections ‘because the old man wants it’.
However, Mugabe is increasingly unwell, and people know it. Jockeying for
position are the usual suspects: Joyce Mujuru, Vice President of ZANU-PF,
and Emerson Mnangagwa, the Defence minister, with close links with the army.
Mnangagwa himself has declared ZANU-PF would not hand over power to the MDC
in an election as it would be tantamount to “failing departed comrades” of
the 1970s war of independence.
In the same speech, MDC was also accused of doing the bidding of hostile
Western countries, and labeled a puppet political party. The most
pessimistic of knowledgeable Zimbabwe journalists and observers in London
predict a civil war within ZANU-PF following Mugabe’s inevitable death, and
that the army will step in. ZANU-PF itself is divided about the wisdom of
The hard-liners who have consistently tried to wreck the GPA since its
creation want to end the arrangement and to hold elections in June. The
charges against continued cooperation remain sanctions; foreign radio
stations (on which MDC cannot deliver); contestation over the Governor of
the Reserve Bank, the Attorney General, appointment of provincial governors,
and ambassadors; and the claimed loss of sovereignty through the
dollarisation of the economy.
Others within the Politburo and party are rightly fearful that ZANU-PF will
lose, and are therefore keen to either delay elections, or to prolong the
Having said that, ZANU-PF is preparing for democratic politics through the
reorganisation of party structures. Although in the run-up to the last
elections in 2008 ZANU-PF was relatively poorly disorganised and
under-funded, it seems that the party has been swifter to begin addressing
those failings than MCD factions.
However, attitudes within ZANU-PF to elections are still fractious and
contested. Funding is more problematic now that the economic ministries are
in MDC ministers’ hands making access to state funds more difficult.
Preparation of campaign rhetoric – ‘Indigenisation and Empowerment’ as the
latest anti-imperialist watch-words – feature in speeches and state media.
There is recognition that their former ZANU-PF strongholds such as Masvingo,
the Midlands and Manicaland have dwindled, and that the vote in Mashonaland
cannot be banked on.
Because of the constituency map, the majority of constituencies are in the
rural areas, which also explains the concentration of preparatory violence
which is already in play: breaking up meetings on constitutional outreach
and instances of violence in Mashonaland East, and Central, and Manicaland.
Violence, intimidation, hate speeches and abductions have increased
significantly, along with the denial of freedom of speech. In November
ZANU-PF was judged responsible for 99.1% of all breaches of GPA, 40.6% of
those breaches to do with attempts to control and manipulate the election
process through manipulating or preventing voter registration.
Operation ‘Headless Chicken’ has been launched by ZANU-PF activists to
intimidate former ZANU-PF and MDC supporters in the Mount Darwin area. In
Manicaland freelance journalists have been harassed.
Politicisation of the Army
Finally, the Army – particularly the Joint Operations Command (JOC) –
appears to remain crucial as power-brokers and king-makers. The
non-political army formed with the fusion of 3 forces – ZRNA, ZANLA and
ZIPRA under British military mission after 1980 – has now evolved to the
point that its upper leadership is now (nearly) all ex-ZANLA.
There has been a progressive politicisation of the Army since 2000 (together
with internal tensions and friction within the security forces) caused by
varying willingness to use state-sanctioned violence, which is seen by some
as eroding professionalism and morale.
In parallel to the politicisation of the Army there has been an accelerated
militarisation of the administration of the country. With the financial and
economic meltdown of the
Zimbabwean economy, and the flight of socio-economic groups that were the
foundation of the modern Zimbabwean economy (figures range from
3-3.5million, approximately one million of whom live in Britain), there was
a progressive process of the army stepping in to run the crumbling
infrastructure of the country and parastatal organisations.
Between 2000 and 2008 military personnel were running the Grain Marketing
Board, National Railways of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority, and involved in organising the election.
There are also generational factors at play within the Zimbabwean Army, now
the dominant security force within the country. It is a gentocracy who are
determined that ‘the Young Turks’ within the Army and police should remain
subservient. Junior officers’ allegiance is questionable, and if violence
broke out, these junior officers would not side with the generals – as
evidenced by incidents of indiscipline in army barracks.
One of the recent crisis tipping points of the ZANU-PF regime came probably
in July 2008 when junior police and army officers demonstrated against lack
of pay, and the state responded with typical asymmetric violence.
Another guardian coup?
Whether the army will step in with another ‘guardian coup’ – as it appeared
to do in March/April 2008 to prevent the victory of mass mobilisation and
discontent manifest in MDC’s victory in the parliamentary and presidential
elections – is debatable. What is certain is there is continued JOC pressure
on Mugabe to appoint his successor.
The Wiki-Leaks cables of 2007 indicating the army had been in private
discussions with reforming elements in ZANU-PF to ensure a transition to a
younger technocrat with a broader reform agenda, which would have the
support of the Army,46 shows a consistent line of thinking.
This was also indicated in press reports in August 2008 that General Philip
Sibanda and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri were both letting it be
known that ZANU-PF should go into a coalition with MDC.
Sibanda was reported as saying if MDC pulled out ‘it would be a chaotic
situation’ which would make all of them vulnerable, and no African country
would support a forceful seizure of power ‘especially if they know we have
been working to destroy this African Union initiated arrangement’.
There has been progress towards democratisation and pluralism since 2008,
with broad support for not returning to the appalling conditions of 2008 and
early 2009. There are other indications of progress: the official welcome of
seriously researched histories of Zimbabwe by the MDC Minister of Education,
David Coltart, and the current review of the place (and content) of history
on the national curriculum; the picture on land reform, and regeneration of
the agricultural sector is ‘good in parts’.
Finance Minister Biti’s statement to Parliament on the budget in November
2010 noted agricultural production is up by 19.3% – reflecting a more
liberalised marketing environment, and stable currencies. Short term
stabilisation and modest economic revival has been achieved. Biti’s
commentary on 26 November predicted the economy would grow by 8.1% in 2010,
and 9.3% in 2011.
Mineral earnings have increased by 47%, as has the budget for education and
a tax free threshold has been established at US$225 per month, although this
produced criticism from Wellington Chibebe, of the ZCTU. The diaspora is
slowly returning, although the pattern from the UK is more ‘maintaining a
foot in both camps’. Remittances remain key.
The purpose of GPA has been problematic, but it has also been cautiously
successful. Its lifespan, and therefore role has been contested. Is it to be
a government of National Unity, looking to the long-term? Or a interim
transitional arrangement, overseeing the drafting of a new constitution and
renewed multi-party elections?
A perfect storm
A constitutional outreach programme has been carried out, although eighteen
recent meetings were disrupted, and it has been suspended due to lack of
funding. Electoral registration (one of the keys to the distorted vote in
2008) remains problematic, together with the issue of the vote of the
Minor political parties have emerged, and here the importance of GPA to a
wider political scene should be noted, as it precludes the three coalition
partners from election contests. Simba Makoni’s centrist party, Muvambo
Kusile Dawn (MKD), will challenge ZAPU’s constituency. There is tension
within MDC-T on whether to continue, and discussion of the attractions (or
otherwise) of an electoral pact with MDC-M.
Observers have commented that MDC party functionaries have become so
involved in current government structures that pulling out is much harder to
do than staying in. There is the associated difficulty of explaining to
outside supporters if the decision to pull out precipitates a return to the
violence and disorder of 2008. Morgan Tsvangirai’s political skills and use
of a kitchen cabinet (whose own political skills are not widely respected)
are frequently questioned.
2011 could be ‘a perfect storm’, repeating the disastrous events of 2000,
with a constitutional referendum on the Kariba draft; the end of GPA, and
parliamentary elections (June).
If an election is held, will it see the removal of ZANU-PF at the ballot
box? Yes. Will ZANU-PF cede power? No. As Mnangagwa said, ‘If you don’t vote
for us in the next election, we will rule even if you don’t want.’
The likely outcome is therefore re-booted coalition government: an MDC
victory (with an election pact or separately), with support of smaller
parties (ZAPU, MKD), but in coalition with ZANU-PF. What is certain is that
the GPA represents a continuing struggle for the state. This struggle will
be ‘untidy, messy, with slow movements backwards and forwards’.
There is no magic solution from the UN, the African Union or SADC. The
international community has very limited political leverage, and sanctions
are proving a stick with which to beat Tsvangirai and MDC-T.
Under President Thabo Mbeki’s ‘quiet diplomacy’, South Africa was enormously
instrumental in painstakingly persuading the warring factions of the need
for compromise and political accommodation, although Mbeki’s more trenchant
critics argued that the South African government was effectively prolonging
the political life of the ZANU-PF party-state.
Observers have argued South African support for the ‘liberationist
brotherhood’ from 2000 provided an important touchstone of support,
symbolically and psychologically, for Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
Within the organisational structures of SADC, sympathy for ZANU-PF at
ministerial council level, as well as at lower bureaucratic level, has
helped to ensure that the MDC factions’ approaches were smothered or blocked
as issues were neither brought to, nor raised at ministerial level.
The South African President was rightly castigated for not speaking out more
loudly on SADC’s damning report on election abuses in 2002, but both Mbeki
and his successor, Jacob Zuma, clearly see South Africa can only exert
limited pressure. SADC or South African military intervention is simply out
of the question, given the SANDF’s debilitated military capacity.
South Africa is not the sole source of Zimbabwean energy supplies, and with
the progressive implosion of the Zimbabwean economy, the threat of trade
sanctions was also nullified. Indeed, it was in Pretoria’s interests to
minimise the Zimbabwean meltdown because of the associated massive migrant
problem which exacerbated South Africa’s own socio-economic and security
Just as Rhodesia did in the UDI era, the Zimbabwean ‘question’ has proved
toxic for the entire region. Before, South Africa was critical in
pressurising the Ian Smith government to come to terms. Now, however, the
outcome will be decided within Zimbabwe itself.
· Dr Sue Onslow is the Head of the Africa International Affairs Programme
at LSE IDEAS.
Recent events in North Africa and the Middle East particularly offer a
compelling case for systematic, pre determined and clearly defined guard
posts for conflict resolution in the world we live in today.
There are many different kinds of intra and inter state conflicts but this
simple analysis is focussed on conflicts within a state whereby a tyrant
overstays his/her welcome and in the process leads an army of loyal thieves
and murderers to mercilessly clamp down on the very families and communities
whose interests he/she has sworn under oath to represent and serve.
The main advantage for such a Conflict Resolution Strategy is that would be
dictators will understand fully the dire consequences of their actions. In
this regard the approach is a deterrent for waywardness by sitting
governments and as such if properly managed serves the dual purposes of
conflict resolution and more importantly conflict prevention. The UN is
ultimately responsible for this process working closely with regional blocks
and other progressive pro democracy international groups.
I will use examples in Africa to illustrate this simplified model but in
practice this should be used in similar conflict spots the world over. In
Zimbabwe the majority have been yearning for the basic right to choose their
leaders freely. Ironically, Zimbabwe obtained independence from white
minority rule in 1980 and one of the ideals of the struggle for independence
was to confer voting rights to all! Zimbabwe’s President since independence
Robert Mugabe, has maintained an iron fisted rule over his bemused
compatriots leaving them wondering if they were indeed better off under Ian
Smith’s oppression with at least a better managed economy. A lot has
happened in Zimbabwe (it’s not the purpose of this contribution to delve
into the graphic details) culminating in the 2008 stolen election and a SADC
brokered ‘inclusive government’. This shaky arrangement did initially bring
in much sought after stability but Robert Mugabe and his praise singers are
clearly getting irritated by the presence of their foes in government hence
the call for an early election without completing reforms necessary for a
credible and uncontested election. It is not surprising that SADC to this
date is still calling for one summit after another in a vain attempt to
bring back sanity to Zimbabwe but with very little to show for it on the
ground. For a several years now South African President Jacob Zuma and his
predecessor Thabo Mbeki have committed enormous resources (human and
financial) to solve the man made disaster in Zimbabwe instead of
concentrating on their core deliverable of improving the lot of their
countrymen back home. Glaringly, nothing tangible has been achieved and
there is no end to the ‘mediation’ in sight. To make it worse, millions of
‘economic refugees’ have waded across the crocodile infested Limpopo for
greener pastures with far reaching effects on the SA economy and social
Under the proposed structured Conflict Resolution Strategy, SADC should have
been given a specific time line to achieve certain milestones reporting to
the AU e.g. establishment of unity government and carrying out reforms
leading to free, fair and credible elections. Should the regional
intervention succeed within the given time frame the conflict is considered
closed and the concerned parties should be allowed to move on. However, if
it fails (in the case of Zimbabwe SADC to it’s credit achieved the inclusive
government milestone but there has been fierce resistance from the former
ruling party to the establishment of genuine democratic institutions to
guarantee a free and fair election) the matter should be escalated to the
next higher authority, in this case, the AU. Due process should be allowed
to take its course under the AU working closely with SADC and the UN. If
this second phase of mediation achieves the desired goals the matter should
be put to bed but if not the UN should take over. Again the UN should work
under well defined guidelines and within a specific timeline failing which
military intervention remains the only available and viable option to end
Similarly, in Libya military intervention should have come as a last resort.
The Arab League should have attempted peaceful means of averting disaster,
followed by the AU and the UN. Such military intervention would have been
clearly justified, better planned and more decisive than what we are
witnessing now. Similar arguments could be applied to the Ivory Coast
Under this model, there will be no need for the UN Security Council to vote
on this matter because all the parties concerned would have been given a
fair hearing. This is fair as the pattern of voting in the Security Council
reflects on polarisation in the global power dynamic at the expense of
issues of substance on the ground. Some countries with veto powers (so
called UN Security Council Permanent Members) have dubious human rights
track records themselves and are known to lend leverage to known despotic
and oppressive regimes. There won’t be any suspicions of powerful countries
going to war to protect their selfish and personal interests (oil in Libya?)
under the guise of protecting civilians as military intervention will be a
culmination of a systematic and transparent process.
In the unfortunate event that the UN has been left with no choice but to
send an army to the conflict area, a number of countries including those
from the regional blocks will contribute towards the effort under the
command of a UN appointed and agreed upon country. Such military action
should be swift and decisive with the unambiguous objective to dislodge the
offending dictator and his cohorts from power and the establishment of a
Transitional Authority. The latter should oversee a rapid democratisation
process leading to free and fair elections.
This is in sharp contrast to the drama that is unfolding currently in Libya,
for example. UN Security Council 763 was hastily put in place to protect
civilians from Gadaffi’s marauding army which was a noble thing to do. This
was done by the establishment of a ‘no fly zone’ under initially the command
of the US. The US President was accused by his war weary countrymen of
unilaterally committing US forces to yet another war. Understandably, he
beat a hasty retreat and handed over command to NATO. On the ground the
military effort has arguably minimised the wanton loss of life but after
more than a month Muammar Gadaffi is still at large and civilian casualties
appear to be on the rise. In short the intervention strategy has clearly
fallen short of target. Another long drawn out and protracted war is in the
Taking lessons from the US led Iraq and Afghanistan wars, this is
undesirable and cannot be sustained for the following reasons:
• Wars are invariably associated with loss of lives, large scale
destruction of infrastructure and collapse of already fragile economies in
the conflict country. It takes many years to rebuild these shattered
• Wars are a huge burden to participating countries (in today’s world
even the most resilient economies have shown that they are fallible). The
longer the war effort the greater the cost hence some countries may show
reluctance to take part and rather focus on domestic issues. Of course this
is sweet music to despots.
• Wars result in large scale displacement of people putting a strain on
already overstretched economies in the receiving countries.
• Wars create refugees leaving UN and the international communities with
the responsibility and obligation to feed and care for these refugees in the
face of an international donor community clearly showing signs of fatigue.
These resources are better channelled to relief to victims of natural
disasters like earthquakes and famine and other pressing needs.
• Civil wars create failed states which if left unchecked become hotbeds
for terrorist organisations.
The list is endless but what is clear is the overwhelming need to re think
and approach conflict situations in a more strategic and proactive rather
than reactive way. We may differ on the ‘how’ part of it but the need for re
strategising is not debatable. But this calls for strong leadership on the
part of the international community and in particular the UN; a leadership
which is prepared to challenge the status core and carry out far reaching
reforms for present generations and prosterity.
There will be fierce resistance from all corners of the world but people are
tired of autocratic rule and want to live their lives freely and without
fear. We have a moral obligation to play a part in restoring human dignity
to all regardless of colour, social standing, political affiliation and
creed. Dictators have no place in the civilised world that we live in today
and a clear message should be sent out to them.
John Tailor is an independent consultant - firstname.lastname@example.org