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Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Friday, 16 April 2010
HARARE - As the Constitution drafting process draws nearer, Zanu
yet again coined a new operation - 'Operation Hapana Anotaura', to
people in remote parts of the country from participating in the
According to the Centre for Community Development in
Zimbabwe (CCDZ), Zanu
(PF) plans to make sure that citizens of Zimbabwe do
not take part in the
constitution making process.
"CCDZ has it on good
authority that Zanu (PF) has launched "Operation Hapana
Anotaura" to stop
grassroots people from freely airing their views during
outreach programme to be done by the Parliamentary Select
a statement from the organization.
There has been a rise in cases of
intimidation and violence since late last
year, with the former ruling party
supporters on the rampage. The intention
being to make people endorse the
Kariba Draft constitution that the party
leader, President Robert Mugabe,
CCDZ reacted angrily to statements by the Co-Minister of National
and to Integration, Sekai Holland that there is no violence in the
countryside and that Zanu (PF) has not set up or reactivated 'bases' to beat
up civil society and political activities.
"CCDZ is working in deeply
polarised communities where Zimbabweans live in
fear and violence and
intimidation is a living reality that haunts them on a
daily bases," reads
Exclusive photos show life in Zimbabwe after 30 years of
Around 2.17 million people are in need of food aid, mainly in poor rural
© Amnesty International
Water supplies in townships remain erratic
© Amnesty International
A man outside his home in a settlement near the affluent suburb of Gunhill in
© Amnesty International
Children play at Hopley Farm, an informal settlement on the outskirts of
© Amnesty International
16 April 2010
On Sunday, Zimbabwe commemorates 30 years since the end of colonial rule.
However, the celebration of Zimbabwe's independence is marred by the
plight of hundreds of thousands of victims of human rights violations for whom
freedom and dignity remain out of reach.
To mark the 30-year anniversary,
Amnesty International has released a series of exclusively commissioned
photographs showing the effects on those who were evicted en masse in 2005 under
The photographs provide a glimpse into the lives
of ordinary people living in informal settlements, set up on the outskirts of
Harare after the forced evictions.
The images show their daily struggle
to cope under a government that seems unwilling to address past human rights
violations and their effects.
The victims of Operation Murambatsvina are
not the only ones who continue to be denied justice. Thousands of victims of
state-sponsored human rights violations, from the 1980s in Matabeleland to the
2008 state-sponsored election violence, are still waiting, 30 years after
Church with answers to Zimbabwe's
Apr 18 2010 09:35:49 GMT+1000.
Construction of a multi-million dollar church which has
the answers to
Zimbabwe's political and economic problems has been completed
and it was
used for the first time at Easter.
The Mbungo Church and
Conference Centre which cost an estimated US$2 million
was built by the Zion
Christian Church led by Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi. It is
about 60 km East of
Masvingo town and will officially be opened later this
church has a capacity of 15 000 making it one of the biggest in Africa.
Construction started in October 2005. Initial projections were that the
church would be completed within a year but the project has taken nearly
The project was funded entirely by contributions from
church members. The
Zion Christian Church was founded in the 1920s by
Engenas Lekganyane of
South Africa and Samuel Mutendi of Zimbabwe. It is now
being run separately
with Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, son of Samuel Mutendi,
heading the Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe chapter now has
congregations in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, the
United Kingdom, the United States and Zambia.
The church believes
strongly in prophecy. Before constuction started it was
when the project is completed a cure for AIDS wil be found
and the country
will once again prosper.
The Zimbabwe dollar, which is now out of
circulation, will regain its value
and compete with major currencies in the
region, the South African rand and
the Botswana pula.
has been widely publicised in the country's biggest daily, The
the past three years when church followers make their annual
the holy shrine at Defe, in Gokwe in the Midlands Province.
Defe was the
resting place of Samuel Mutendi who died on 20 July 1976.
make an annual pilgrimage to Defe on or close to that day
The project was entirely being funded by church members because
Mutendi said he wanted them to prosper while here on earth and go to
when they die.
Bishop Mutendi said Zimbabwe today is like
Israel during the reign of Saul.
The Israelites were so poor that they had
to go to the Philistines to
sharpen their ploughshares, mattocks, axes and
Zimbabweans have flocked out of the country into the diaspora to
so that they can feed their families and relatives at
After King Solomon built the Lord his temple, the Israelites were
Today Jews and Israelis are among the wealthiest people on earth.
Mutendi said the same would happen to Zimbabwe once the church was
Every member of the church who contributed to the
construction of the
building, the bishop said, would proposer as stated in 1
Kings 4:25, with
"every man under his vine and under his
The Bishop told his followers that he had decided to embark on
ambitious project when things were at their worst in Zimbabwe
wanted to demonstrate power of God.
Though the church is
small by comparison to the conventional churches such
as the Roman Catholic,
the Anglican or Methodist churches, it has a strong
influence because most
if its prophecies have been fulfilled.
The construction of the Mbungo
church was also a clear demonstration that
Zimbabweans can develop their own
country with their own resources. All that
was needed was hard work and
determination. The country did not have to rely
on donors or foreign
Korea face hostile reception in Matabeleland
Saturday, 17 April 2010
TOURISM Minister Walter Mzembi has begged for peace from activists
Matabeleland in the wake of planned protests against the government's
invitation of the North Korean soccer team to camp in the country ahead of
the June soccer World Cup in South Africa.
The team is expected in
Zimbabwe on May 25.
But activists from Midlands and
Matabeleland provinces feel the presence of
the North Koreans in Zimbabwe
would be a "symbolic insult" and are already
planning massive protests
against the team.
The activists some of them based in the Diaspora
said wounds of the
Gukurahundi atrocities inflicted by the North
Korean-trained Fifth Brigade
which killed an estimated 20 000 civilians were
They have threatened a series of protests at the team's
camp, their hotel
and matches in South Africa.
Methuseli Moyo, yesterday said the invitation of the
North Koreans was "very
provocative and insensitive".
The Gukurahundi massacres targeted Zapu
supporters after President Robert
Mugabe deployed the army to fight
"We are totally against bringing the team to Zimbabwe,
the reason being the
fact that they trained the Fifth Brigade which went on
to kill tens of
thousands of our supporters. Having a team flying the North
Korean flag is
very provocative," Moyo said.
In an interview
yesterday, Mzembi appealed to his "uncles" from Matabeleland
not to mix
sport with politics, and allow national healing to take place.
added that there were vast economic benefits associated with the visit by
"As Minister of Tourism, my brief is to invite teams
to come to the country,
and only one team (North Korea) responded," said
"The basis of my invitation which we extended even to England
and the United
States was that sport must remain the bridge for
probably the only bridge that has remained
standing even when nation states
are in a state of fallout.
wouldn't want to make this a political issue; it is purely a sports
But Moyo said if that was the idea, then North Korea was
a wrong choice.
"North Koreans are not known to be tourists, I don't
think bringing them
will attract anyone to visit Zimbabwe.
basically a continuation of the friendship between Zanu PF and North
"It is actually insensitive for the inclusive government
at the time of
national healing to bring a team that is known to Zimbabweans
more for its
evil association with Gukurahundi exercise than for its
"If they come to Bulawayo, we
will do all in our powers to make them aware
we are not happy."
however said the invitation was within the spirit of national
"What has happened to madzisekuru angu (my uncles) to always
in a position of the vanquished? It is not good to relive
"The language these days is on national healing, we have to
find each other
as a people.
Mzembi said as the government they
had not determined whether or not the
North Koreans would go to Bulawayo
during their visit.
Contributing to an online forum, exiled former
student leader Nkululeko
Sibanda said there was need to "to defend our dead
and our blood".
"The relationship between Zimbabwe and North Korean
was cemented by the
blood of our kin," said Sibanda, urging activists to
"mobilise in any way
possible" against the North Koreans.
based Zimbabwean academic and activist Brilliant Mhlanga said the North
Koreans should not be allowed "to train and merry-make in our environment
when the scar caused by the genocide continues to bleed to this
BY VUSUMUZI SIFILE
deadline deferred indefinitely
Saturday, 17 April 2010 19:25
on Tuesday postponed indefinitely an April 15 deadline for foreign
to submit plans to cede 51% of their shareholding to locals
consultations on 10 key principles that will see an overhaul of the
controversial empowerment regulations. Sources revealed last week that
despite political posturing by President Robert Mugabe and Indigenisation
Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, cabinet was unanimous that the regulations that
seek to operationalise the 2007 Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act
cannot be passed in the form proposed by Zanu PF.
cabinet position is that the deadline of 45 days from March 1 for
to provide their indigenisation plans has been set aside pending
finalisation of consultations around 10 principles that are central to the
empowerment exercise," said Gorden Moyo, the Minister of State in the Prime
The Standard understands some of the
principles that are being reviewed
include the hotly contested requirement
that companies must cede 51% of
their shareholding to locals.
new proposals would see companies selling shares at market value and the
prescribed asset value of US$500 000 would include both liabilities and
Companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and
new investors may also
be exempted from the regulations.
of being forced to comply with the law within five years, companies
given up to 15 years, the new proposals have shown.
also no longer impose a blanket threshold on the number of
shares to be
ceded as each sector would be allowed to come up with its own
An indigenisation compliance board will also be set up
to assess and approve
localisation plans by companies to allay fears that
the empowerment process
would be abused by the responsible minister to
Sectoral boards for each sector such as mining,
industry and retail would be
set to deal with issues at micro
Firms that have also invested heavily on community development
also be excluded from the process.
"We have all
accepted that there should be indigenisation but it must be
Moyo said. "The only objections were that the regulations
should not be
implemented in the formula they were proposed."
In public, Mugabe and
Kasukuwere have maintained that there is no going back
However, the law has scared investors and dampened
interest in the ZSE.
BY KHOLWANI NYATHI
am claiming what’s mine,’ says Mliswa
Saturday, 17 April 2010
“FIRST people were calling me a land grabber, now they are
labelling me a
company grabber. What have I done to deserve this?” Temba
Mliswa, a sports
fitness trainer and businessman with strong Zanu PF links
understand why controversy always follows him.
days as a rugby player, moving to farming and now the corporate
Mliswa has seldom attracted complementary headlines.
Not even the
announcement that he would be joining the board of one of
diversified companies, Meikles Limited last month could
Last week he was back in the spotlight after reports that he
for 24 hours for allegedly trying to grab a motor vehicle
company in Msasa from its white owner.
member of the militant Affirmative Action Group (AAG) allegedly
take advantage of the now suspended empowerment regulations
foreign-owned firms to 51% shareholding to take over Noshio Motors
But he has come out guns blazing, accusing a senior police
pursuing a personal vendetta by ordering his
He says his reputation as a businessman with interests
stretching into the
region has been tarnished by the publicity that followed
“I have businesses in South Africa and they have been
affected, one of my
companies is on the stock exchange and it has suffered
because of those
allegations,” Mliswa said.
Mliswa was arrested
on accusations that he threatened Paul Westwood, a part
owner and operations
director of Noshio Motors, an allegation he vehemently
a letter written to police deputy commissioner general responsible for
crime, Babra Mandizha, Mliswa tried to explain his situation regarding the
“The key background to this ominous and
disturbing case is that my company
Casital Investments took 51% share in
Noshio in December 2009 belonging to
Hammerskjold Banda, which he had
pledged as security for a US$100 000 loan
given to him months earlier and
had fallen due,” read the letter.
He also showed The Standard a copy
of a share certificate, which he said
proves that he is now the owner of the
51% stake previously held by Banda.
Some of the correspondence he
provided also shows that Westwood is
challenging the share
Mliswa maintains the company is not affected by the Indigenisation
Empowerment Act because it does not make the US$500 000 income annually
specified in the law.
“Westwood has seen it in his favour to
not only to trash our efforts but
project an image that we are trying
furtively to dispossess him of his
business,” Mliswa says in the letter,
also copied to other service chiefs.
“May I also take this
opportunity to inform you that Westwood has sought to
misrepresent or twist
our march to fully assert our rights in Noshio, as an
arm-twisting tactic motivated by the new empowerment laws.”
said after joining the company he uncovered “a number of financial
operational irregularities which were brought to Westwood’s
He said Westwood whom he describes as a British national
connived with a
senior police officer (name given) to frame
In another letter to Mandizha addressed March 24, Mliswa accuses
defrauding the company of US$20 000, swindling the police of
US$5 000 and
forging documents to retain a company-owned Toyota Virgo
But Westwood through his lawyer Victor Zvobgo of Mhiribidi,
Ngarava and Moyo
Legal Practitioners said Mliswa did not own 51% of Noshio
“According to Westwood’s instructions, as far as he is
concerned the only
person he knows as the shareholder of the company is
Banda,” he said.
“Whatever agreement that transpired between Banda
and Mliswa he is not privy
to it and there is nothing that has changed
according to the Companies Act.”
Zvobgo refused to comment on the
fraud allegations saying the matter was
likely to spill to the
The Noshio fiasco is not likely to be Mliswa’s last dance
His involvement in agriculture has left a trail of
The Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial secretary for
lands is on a crusade
to “expose” senior party officials who allegedly own
more than one farm
Local Government minister Ignatius
Chombo and Webster Shamu were his first
allegedly ordered war veterans and party militia to resist the
land audit in the province until sanctions imposed by the West on
PF officials were lifted.
His entry into Premier Bank Finance Group
where he bought an 8% stake late
last year also raised a lot of
Mliswa also owns Saltlakes Holdings. He is chairman of Afriven,
African-based firm with interests in African Beef Corporation, Sachi
Sachi, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Tristar Group Holdings
In addition, Mliswa is also chairman of Hurungwe Development
a member of the Crocodile Farmers’
He blamed the media for always reporting “lies” about
him and believes he is
a successful businessman in his own
“People once said I beat up my father,” Mliswa said. “That’s
how bad it is.”
BY SANDRA MANDIZVIDZA
destroyed in ‘acts of madness’
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:56
President Robert Mugabe described the killings of the Gukurahundi era
government as an “act of madness”, it was widely believed that it had
on the ageing leader that the sanctity of human life must be
flip-flopping social, political and economic policies of the
past 30 years —
characterised by disease, hunger, intimidation, rape and
murder — have
equally been a series of “acts of madness”.
Analysts say Mugabe has
made Zimbabwe a worse-off country than it was at
University of Zimbabwe lecturer John Makumbe says the country
“In terms of democracy and civil liberties we
have moved a step or two
backwards,” said Makumbe.
“It is as good as we
are 70 years backwards in history.
“It is really unfortunate that at
a time when it wassupposed to be
celebrating 30 years of independence, our
enjoyment of civil liberties is
now worse than we were before
Mugabe embodied a lot of hope when he came into office
in 1980 as the first
Prime Minister of an independent
The late President of Mozambique Samora Machel and
President Julius Nyerere
of Tanzania told Mugabe: “You have the jewel of
Africa in your hands, now
look after it.”
With vast natural
resources and relatively good infrastructure, this seemed
In the first years of Mugabe’s rule, the country’s economy —
driven by a
sound manufacturing, mining and agricultural production base —
But the “acts of madness”
Mugabe grabbed the opportunity to settle scores against his
and unleashed the North-Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in
Midlands provinces to quell dissidents activities in that
An estimated 20 000 civilians were butchered during one of
periods in Zimbabwe’s history.
Gukurahundi ended in 1987
with Zanu PF signing a Unity Accord with the then
opposition party, PF
Mugabe never really apologised for the killings. Repeated calls by
activists for Mugabe to, at least, compensate victims of Gukurahundi,
fallen on deaf ears.
Close to two decades later, at a
memorial service for former Vice-President
Joshua Nkomo in Bulawayo in 1999,
Mugabe said Gukurahundi was an “act of
madness” that should not be
There were many dramatic turns along the way.
In a bid
to contain simmering corruption among party officials, Zanu PF in
introduced a leadership code that limited the number of properties
government officials could own.
Mugabe was among the first to
breach the code, which was largely ignored,
until it was
Things went out of control when a number of senior officials were
what got to be known as the Willowgate Scandal.
was the beginning of our journey backwards,” said Makumbe.
In a bid
to regain fading popularity in the light of a strong challenge from
society which culminated in the formation of the MDC, Mugabe in 1997
war veterans with gratuities of Z$50 000.
This, and the deployment of
soldiers into the DRC war, chewed all that
remained of the country’s
Economists have traced the genesis of the
country’s debilitating economic
crisis to November 14 1997 now known as
“Black Friday” when the Zimbabwe
dollar lost 71,5% of its value against the
US$ on the back of concerns about
the direction government was taking with
the DRC war and the unbudgeted war
the prospect of losing an election as discontent grew, in 2000
unleashed war veterans to violently grab land from white farmers
losing a referendum on a new constitution.
Analysts say this was yet
another “act of madness”.
Zimbabwe immediately fell from being the
breadbasket of southern Africa to a
basket case. Since then, Mugabe and his
cronies have employed violence in an
attempt to reclaim lost
This heightened after the defeat of the government sponsored
constitution in 2000, and the near-defeat of Zanu PF in the 2000
The violence was even more pronounced in
2002 when Mugabe faced a stern
challenge from MDC leader Morgan
In 2005, the government was to embark on another “act of
madness” in the
form of Operation Murambatsvina, which the United Nations
over 700 000 people.
After losing the March 2008
elections, Mugabe started a campaign of violence
in the run-up to run-off
elections that the MDC says left hundreds of its
But all this did not work for Mugabe as services and
continued to collapse.
What used to be the best
education system in Africa is currently in
doldrums. Some of the world’s
best trained professionals have settled for
menial jobs in neighbouring
countries and overseas.
Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu)
spokesperson Wisdom Mgagara aptly
summed Mugabe’s legacy saying: “Today, 30
years into independence, the
liberator has turned into the oppressor
employing the same tactics used
during the colonial period.”
MDC-T says independence has “been bastardised”.
“Are we really free
as a nation to subscribe to the economic, social and
political pursuits of
our choice?” said the party in a statement.
“Does our situation
justify the blood of our gallant sons and daughters who
lost life and limb
so that future generations could walk again?”
For the ordinary
Zimbabwean, the negatives of the last few years overshadow
“Life has not been that good,” said Loveness
Mutyavaviri, who lives in
Whitecliffe on the outskirts of
“We never thought that 30 years after independence we would
sleeping in shacks like this, our children going to a makeshift
(called Herbert Chitepo), under a tree.”
The only way out
of the current situation, she noted, would be the holding
of fresh elections
under a new constitution, with international supervision.
all the tussling around the implementation of the Global Political
Agreement, it is not yet clear whether these elections will ever be
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE & VUSUMUZI SIFILE
bemoan swift arrests
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:50
THEY are facing
problems which are threatening their future but no one is
They then resort to confrontation and aggression and earn
in the country's filthy cells.
Students across the country are
saddened by the continued deterioration in
the education standards as this
is a threat to their long cherished dreams
worsens our situation is that we do not know who to turn to," a
the University of Zimbabwe said last week.
"There was a time when we
believed that authorities were unwilling to listen
to us and thought we
would directly make our concerns known to President
Robert Mugabe through
demonstrations which will be publicised in the media
but state security
agents have been planted in the institutions and all our
Student representatives and organisations with an
interest in education last
week condemned widespread arrests of students at
saying involving the police in student issues was a
way of curtailing
"We are very worried about
police's interference in issues of academic
freedom," Student Solidarity
Trust (SST) social safety net officer
"We believe that security guards and college authorities have
capacity to solve conflicts with students
Madzonga said his organisation expected incidents of
"victimisation" to end following the formation of the unity
"But in April 2009, we realised that the numbers of
students arrested for
instance at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo and
University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo were even
higher than in
the same period the previous year," he said.
especially worries us is that in some cases, students are forced to
admission of guilty fines and once a student does that, they are usually
susceptible to expulsion on allegations of putting the institution's name
Madzonga said his institution had recorded 38
cases of arrests since January
this year, with the bulk of students having
been arrested at Bindura
University of Science Education in January
following a demonstration over
against a directive that those who had not paid full
tuition fees were not
eligible to sit for end of term examinations.
The students had a
short break for the December holiday, with some forgoing
respective homes waiting for the examinations which were
Students have also been arrested following protests over the
poor state of
accommodation facilities at institutions.
they have been arrested for requesting to see the vice chancellors
others claimed they had been arrested for wearing t-shirts deemed to
politically incorrect, especially those to do with opposition to the
parliament-led constitutional reform exercise.
Others said they have
been arrested for expressing disgruntlement over the
poor state of ablution
facilities and also agitating for provision of clean
water at institutions
of higher learning.
While the Joshua Chi-nyere-led faction of the
Zimbabwe National Students
Union (Zinasu) said it recorded 37 arrests
countrywide on March 29 alone,
the Tafadzwa Mugwadi led faction said it has
recorded eight arrests since
the beginning of the year.
Chinyere faction's spokesperson Wisdom Mugagara said in their case,
followed a demonstration in which students were agitating for the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement as failure to do so
negatively impacting on the education sector.
"Police had given us
clearance to stage the demo in Masvingo and Bulawayo
but prohibited us in
Harare but the arrests were countrywide," Mugagara
saddened us was that we informed Home Affairs co-minister Giles
about students' arrests but he did not assist in any way leading to
colleagues spending three nights in police cells.
"All we wanted was
to petition government through parliament and provincial
governors, to look
into our plight.
"With almost 30% of students dropping their studies
due to failure to pay
fees, 50% only were able to pay at least half the fees
and the remaining 20%
deferring studies to look for money with a hope, just
a hope, of proceeding
the following year, we certainly have enough reason to
get worried and
agitate for our rights."
spokesperson of the Mugwadi faction said in their case,
their leaders were
arrested after distributing their magazine at Harare
Many students across the country only go to campus once or
twice per week to
attend tutorials due to lack of money for transport, they
They added that students were also saddened by the fact that
not recognise their unions whom they accuse of being
extensions of political
parties; especially the Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai led MDC.
Failure by authorities to recognise students'
unions made it impossible to
interface on an internal level, opening space
for the interference of
external forces including the police.
quality of education has also sunk to the lowest levels, with most
institutions failing to provide practicals, something which makes life
difficult for students going for industrial attachments and even those who
get jobs on completion of their studies, they said.
the parent ministry of pre-occupying itself with fundraising,
institutions were currently enrolling more students than they
They also said there was a critical shortage of education
most faculties using outdated syllabi.
faction claimed it had tried to engage Higher and Tertiary
Minister Stan Mudenge on several occasions but were always
any getting help.
They have also tried the parliamentary committee on
higher education without
Police spokesperson Wayne
Bvudzijena said the police only arrested people,
be they students or not,
only when there has been a commission of a crime
and said the police will be
happier should authorities and students solve
their differences internally
without being violent and causing threat to
Higher and Tertiary Education permanent secretary
Washington Mbizvo said it
is only when authorities feel that the offence
committed is beyond the
institution's powers that they call in the
"Usually, the student would have committed a crime that is in
the country's civil laws and they cannot expect to be exempted
type of disciplinary action simply because they are students,"
"But as a ministry, we will also be happy if conflicts
can be solved
internally following procedures laid down in the ordinances
entirely depend on the situation as such things as possessing
theft for example is clear police cases."
students should also approach the ministry's director of student
office which is tasked with looking into matters from students,
councils and vice chancellors.
He also urged students to always
prioritise dialogue over demonstrations as
the latter did was not usually
associated with intellectuals.
The problems continue - many students
are currently failing to access their
results at polytechnic colleges due to
failure to pay at least US$750
tuition fees while lecturers at NUST are
reported to be on a go slow.
At Harare Polytechnic, the Library
Science class was recently dissolved as
students failed to return to college
due to lack of money for fees.
The Harare Institute of Technology has
since told students it will soon
revert to boreholes as council water bills
are beyond its reach.
BY JENNIFER DUBE
landlord to shack dweller
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:48
down her cheeks whenever Sipiwe Chigwada (35) passes through
Hostels, once her home for 17 years until she was forcibly
evicted two years
ago. The mother of five now lives in a plastic shack with
her children less
than three kilometres from her home.
"It hurts to know that I am the
rightful owner but someone is living in
there and I am in a shack," she
Chigwada is one of the estimated 150 families that lost their
flats to Zanu PF activists in Mbare in the run-up to the violent
2008 presidential run-off poll.
Most of the beneficiaries
are members of Zanu PF's vigilante group - the
notorious Chipangano gang -
that allegedly killed and tortured members of
the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) with impunity.
Chigwada, former MDC chairwoman for ward
11 in Mbare, said she was thrown
out of her home on the day of the poll by
Chipangano who accused her of
supporting an opposition
They force-marched her and her two daughters to their "base"
near Bata Shoe
shop where they were tortured.
Five of the
Chipangano militia, said the widow, urinated in a tin before
forcing her to
do the unthinkable.
"They assaulted us all over the body before forcing us to
urine," said Chigwada. "After drinking the urine, they forced
us to clean a
blocked toilet using MDC T-shirts."
ordeal, her property was thrown out of the hostel.
Blankets and other
property were burnt to ashes.
Since then Chigwada has never set foot
in her flat.
Zanu PF youth leader Nathan Mapuranga, whom Chigwada
said is a member of
Chipangano now lives in her home.
could not be reached for comment last week.
MDC activist Gibson
Matimbe (45) is another victim of Zanu PF's farm-style
He claimed that he had inherited a house in the Majubeki
area but was
evicted by Zanu PF youth chairperson for Mbare, Forbes
Chihambakwe paid a fine for assaulting Matimbe while
forcing him out of the
A medical report by Dr G Mtize
shows that Matimbe suffered "scalp bruises,
soft tissue injuries to face,
back and chest."
"I have since sent my relative's children to the
rural areas because of
that," said Matimbe, who is now a lodger at
But Chihambakwe, who denied being a member of
Chipangano, said he was
allocated the house by the Harare City Council
through formal channels.
"It was discovered that the house was being
rented to someone else following
the death of the original owner, which is
not legal," said Chihambakwe.
"So, being a person who was on the
(housing) waiting list I was allocated
that house by council and it was
MDC councillor for Ward Three in Mbare Paul Gorekore
estimated that 150
houses and flats were forcibly taken from his party
supporters by Zanu PF
activists in June 2008.
He said council
last year passed a resolution that instructed the Chamber
liaise with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Local Government
to assist the
evicted get their flats back but that has not been applied.
fighting hard so that council repossesses those houses from
members but we are facing resistance from politicians who feel
support base would be eroded if we reversed what they did," said
He accused Minister of Local Government, Public Works
and Urban Development
Ignatious Chombo of failing to act against the home
In August last year Chombo ordered the illegal occupants to
vacate the houses but they ignored him.
was serious those people would have been evicted a long time ago.
protecting them because they are Zanu PF," said Gorekore.
could not be reached for comment last week.
But Harare City Council
spokesperson Leslie Gwindi claimed the house
ownership wrangle in Mbare was
addressed a long time ago.
"As far as we concerned that issue was
resolved a long time ago.
"Those who had taken over were evicted.
Bring the list you have and we can
start from there," said
An inquiry by The Standard last week established that
Chipangano, formed by
the late Ali Khani Manjengwa in 2001 to bolster his
election campaign, is
still active in Mbare.
Manjengwa wanted to
contest council elections in 2002.
Zanu PF politicians later adopted
the group and used it to terrorise all
those supporting the then opposition
Those familiar with the shadowy but militant group said it was
formed at a
"community kitchen" at Block 13 at Nenyere Flats near Siya-so
The majority of its members are not formally employed and
they own stalls at
Mupedzanhamo, Siya-so or at Mbare Musika.
least 30% of the Mbare population is comprised of unemployed
Seventy percent of the unemployed adult population have been
vending, carpentry at Siya-so, Mbare and Mupedzanhamo
Chipangano has since "colonised" market stalls and bus ranks
protection fees to the vendors of the market.
years, their criminal activities have been sanctioned by Zanu PF
and were used for the party's membership recruitment.
It is believed
that some of them are members of the police neighbourhood
at Matapi, Mbare and Stodart Police Station.
Their Zanu PF bases at
Siya-so and Bata have become torture chambers for
those opposed to Zanu
"They behave as if they are the gods," said Chigwada. "And in a
are because they do what they want with
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
rich yet so poor: the sad reality of communities with mineral
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:44
THEIR area is endowed with one
of the most valuable minerals in the world
and many of their visitors in the
last few years have left the place awash
with cash. But many inhabitants of
Chiadzwa in the Manicaland province
remain trapped in the vicious circle of
This is the sad reality of many rural communities living in
areas endowed with natural resources such as diamonds,
wildlife and black
granite in Zimbabwe.
These are some of the
injustices that the Zimbabwe Environmental Law
Association (Zela) is seeking
to address by empowering rural communities to
derive benefits from resources
within their areas.
Formed in 2000, Zela aims to promote
environmental justice and sustainable
use of natural
Recently the association launched a project that is set to
community-based organisations to build their capacity to promote and
the rights and interests of communities over their natural
Speaking at the launch of the project, Chiadzwa Community
deputy secretary Lovemore Mukwada, said although the
village boasts of large
deposits of the precious stones it remained one of
the poorest in the
"The illegal mining of diamonds was
allowed to go on for a long time because
there were hidden hands benefiting.
. . in the process our community lost
valuable resources," Mukwada
"Now that there appears to be some control on the mineral our
will be consulting at various levels to ensure that as people
of Chiadzwa we
have some sort of stake in the mining of diamonds in our area
so that we can
develop our communities."
Mukwada said as a result of
illegal and unsupervised mining the area now had
to contend with the dangers
of siltation, which has seen water sources
also working with Mutoko community based organisations where foreign
local companies have been mining black granite since the
Mutoko North MP Mabel Chinomona said it was disturbing to note
constituency remains underdeveloped although it has made many
"We have towns such as Zvishavane
developing into big mining towns but
Mutoko has not seen any growth at all,"
"Some of these mining companies have been there for
many years but they have
done nothing for our community but of course you
will see companies such as
Natural Stone that are doing the little.we should
commend them for that but
more needs to be done," said
He said most of the companies were only interested in
making profit and did
not invest anything in things like decent
accommodation for their workers
and in infrastructure.
Enock Chapoto said although his people were benefiting from the
resources in their area through Communal Areas Management Programme
Indigenous Resources very little had been spent on
"Our roads are poor, we do not have that many clinics
and schools, we have
no bridges and these are the many issues that concern
us a people and yet
our area is rich in wildlife," he said.
director Mutuso Dhliwayo said he believed the solution lies in making
that views of people in the affected communities are heard in the
constitution making process.
"The on going constitutional reform
provides a window of opportunities for
the concerns of communities in areas
like Mutoko, Chiadzwa and Guruve," said
economic, social and cultural rights should be enshrined in
under the Bill of Rights section.
"These communities will have a
basis (rights) to benefit from these
"We are working
to empower community based organisations on issues like
BY BERTHA SHOKO
South Africa’s own Chinotimba?
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:08
Malema, South Africa’s African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL)
president, is young, famous, rich and very presentable.
In appearance and
stature, Malema definitely cannot be likened to Zimbabwe’s
veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba, the self-styled leader of
invasions in the country that resulted in the current economic
But in deed the two have many things in
They both are rabble-rousers with very limited formal
Like Chinotimba, Malema also advocates for destructive
policies and hides behind imperialist and racial rhetoric
to push for
political gains of his masters regardless of the
Malema’s recent utterances before and after his visit to
showed that South African president Jacob Zuma might — by
coincidence — be creating “a Chinotimba” in his country if he does
in the youth leader now.
Malema’s travel bill was
footed by Zanu PF which wanted to use him in its
drive to pacify the highly
controversial land reform programme and economic
requiring foreign firms to cede 51% of their
shareholdings to indigenous
And he did just that. He even falsely claimed
South Africa would soon take
the same route.
The 29-year-old politician,
known for his controversial and inflammatory
statements, commended Zimbabwe
for embarking on the violent land reform
programme that resulted in the
collapse of the economy as well as the murder
of scores of white commercial
Addressing a press conference in South Africa after the
visit, Malema hailed
Zimbabwe’s land reform policy as “courageous and
“Land reform in Zimbabwe has been very successful,” he
said, adding that the
controversial programme was a “very correct
Sounding like Chinotimba, Malema said he would do the same
in South Africa.
“We hear you are going straight to the mines. That
is what we are going to
start doing in South Africa,” said Malema. “We want
the mines. They have
exploited our minerals for a long time, now it is our
turn to also enjoy
from these minerals.”
Political analysts fear
that Malema’s inflammatory statements could spark
invasions of farms and
mines by poor landless black South Africans who feel
they have not benefited
since independence in 1994.
Japhet Ncube, the news editor of City
Press, said after his meeting with
Mugabe, Malema appeared even more
unstoppable and determined to push for the
indigenisation of South African
farms and mines.
Some analysts strongly believe that his Shoot the Boer song
linked to the murder of
Eugene Terre’Blanche, a top member
of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging
His murder allegedly
by his employees over a salary dispute has created
racial tension between
whites and black.
Zuma has appealed for calm amid growing racial
tensions in the country.
Just like Chinotimba who supports President
Robert Mugabe, Malema
practically worships Zuma, former President Nelson
Mandela, his former wife
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and ANC hero Oliver
He has openly expressed his hatred for former President Thabo Mbeki.
his visit to Zimbabwe, Malema did not mention Mbeki in any of his
Educationally both Malema and Chinotimba did not go far.
Harare City Council security guard who rose to prominence
through Zanu PF’s
partisan politics, does not have even an “O” level
According to the reports, Malema also has very little
During his early years in school, he was once expelled
after vandalising the
school, destroying some colouring books.
appears like Chinotimba, Malema will never be called to account or take
responsibility for his inflammatory speeches and actions.
CAIPHAS CHIMHETE AND VUSUMUZI SIFILE
maternity fees raise mortality
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:03
women in progressive countries, pregnancy is usually an exciting
But for many Zimbabwean women it is nine months of anxiety and
The expectant mothers, more often than not, have to
contend with the high
costs of maternity care and the poor state of the
country's public health
Mercy Mbwanda* (29) from
Kambuzuma's high density suburb is expecting her
second child and is
certainly not one of the happiest mothers.
Mbwanda is unemployed
while her husband works at the nearby food processing
industries. The family
has to get by with US$120 a month that he brings
past five months Mbwanda and her husband have been putting US$10
raise the US$50 required at the local clinic.
"I know the nurses are
going to be very angry with me for coming to register
late (five months into
pregnancy) but I had no choice.I will have to explain
that to them," Mbwanda
"I am just hoping that my delivery goes on well and that I
deliver at the
clinic because if I were to be transferred anywhere else we
might just have
to sell some of the property in our home to raise extra
Like Mbwanda the majority of expecting mothers who cannot
medical care begin their journey to childbirth at local
The US$50 paid by expecting mothers covers the cost
of their delivery and
monthly antenatal checkups.
Should they develop
complications such as high blood pressure or prolonged
labour, they are
referred to either Harare Hospital or Parirenyatwa
Hospital, which are more
At Parirenyatwa the cost of a normal delivery is US$150
while a caesarian
section costs as much as US$450.
This is over
and above other costs such as clothing for the baby and
for other medical conditions related to pregnancy.
That is why for
most women like Mbwanda it is more about cost cutting than
their health and that of their unborn child.
"Often when we tell a
woman in labour that the clinic has to refer her to
another hospital for
whatever reason, they plead with us to stop that from
happening," said one
nurse at Mufakose clinic speaking on condition of
first thing they say is 'mbuya (a term used to refer to most midwives)
will I get the money to pay the ambulance and then the cost of
wherever we have referred them to.
"If you insist they must be referred they
actually hate you for that, they
think you are being mean to
"They don't realise that by referring them, I am actually
trying to save
their lives and that of their unborn child because at a small
this we are limited in terms of what we can do for
Some expecting mothers in urban areas travel many kilometres to rural
mission hospitals seeking cheaper maternity care.
They travel to
places such as Howard Mission in Chiweshe and All Souls
Others choose to deliver through traditional midwives who are
some urban settings.
While for rural women maternal deaths
can be largely attributed to delays in
seeking medical care because of the
long distances to hospitals, the high
costs of maternity care in urban areas
has resulted in a number of deaths.
Recent statistics from a Multiple
Indicator Monitoring Survey conducted by
Central Statistics Office (CSO)
together with the United Nations Children's
Fund (Unicef) showed that at
least 50% of women are giving birth outside a
Unicef country representative, Peter Salama said the
high costs had become a
major barrier to access to critical
"Recognising that user fees are not the only barrier to
Unicef supports the call for full implementation of the
policy that all basic health services for pregnant women
and children under
five be provided free at the point of delivery," he
According to the United Nations Population Fund, at least eight
everyday while giving birth.
This translates to a maternal
mortality ratio of 725 deaths per 100 000 live
births, according to the
Zimbabwe Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Study
Zimbabwe has the highest mortality rates in the
"No woman who needs maternal health services should fail to get those
services at public health facilities because they cannot afford the costs,"
said Hillary Chigavaure, the UNFPA deputy country
"For those public institutions charging user fees for
maternal care, as a
necessary requirement for service provision, the fees
should be affordable,
the costing model should be not-for profit and cost
"There is strong evidence that
charging maternal health services does not
generate meaningful revenue to
sustain service provision but simply and
significantly creates a strong
barrier to accessing services for our women.
"Lives are being lost
for lack of $50 and at times for less than that.the
result is that four
women are dying today from pregnancy and delivery where
one woman was dying
10 years ago.
"And the trend is worsening."
*Not her real
BY BERTHA SHOKO
drifts from MDGs on health
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:03
continues to drift away from targets set to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) in the health sector a year after the formation of
the inclusive government.
In its 2009 annual report released last week,
the Community Working Group on
Health (CWGH) attributed the deterioration in
the health service provision
to escalating social, economic and political
instability in the country.
"The nation also continues to drift away
from the targets for achieving the
Millennium Development Goals," says the
report. "Much of this deterioration
can be traced to the escalating social,
economic and political instability,
dithering in meeting the GPA (Global
Political Agreement), increasing
poverty, HIV and Aids, ill-health and
Under the MDGs, Zimbabwe pledged to have halted, and
begun to reverse the
spread of HIV and Aids by 2015.
pledged to reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio as
to cut by two thirds, during the same period, the under-five
The country had also pledged to halve the proportion of people
sustainable access to safe drinking water and as well as the number
people who suffer from hunger during the same period.
expectancy remains the lowest in the world at around 37 for
males and 34 for
females, according to the World Health Organisation
Inequalities between the rich and poor continue to widen with
topping 80% while poor planning, persistent droughts and harsh
patterns have seriously affected agriculture.
As a result, the
number of people requiring food aid this year is expected
to be almost half
of the country's population of 13,5 million people.
chairman, John Ngirazi, said the right to health has been
compromised because most Zimbabweans can no longer access medical
Following the dollarisation of the economy last year,
communities in the
rural areas resorted to barter trade as they could not
easily access foreign
This made it difficult for people
to pay for social services including
"This gloomy picture
continues, in-spite of the government having, on
several forums, committed
itself to tackling the above challenges," said
foreword to the report, health promoter Itai Rusike said the impact of
and Aids, the cholera outbreak and reduction in the health budget as
household incomes had reversed gains made in the health sector.
quality of health care has deteriorated while health workers and their
clients have become demoralised," he said.
Ngirazi said the right
to health - regardless of race, gender, economic,
social and political
status - must be clearly spelt out in the new
constitution, which the
country is currently drafting.
"It will be a right that we will fight
to include and that we will ensure is
not left on paper, but protected and
promoted, through social action," he
Rusike, who is also
CWGH executive director, said there was need to empower
enable them to protect themselves from ill-health and plan
"But when empowered, through health literacy, better
education and health
care, the benefits are immediate: families are
healthier, and so is the
nation," said Rusike.
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
women come together to drive own agenda
Saturday, 17 April 2010
A GROUP of women living with HIV last week launched the Zimbabwe
the International Community of Women Living with HIV
The ICW is the only international network led and made up of HIV+
was founded in response to the lack of support, information and
available to women.
It encourages the participation of
HIV+ women in the formulation of public
policies and in forums where
decisions that influence the lives of thousands
of people infected by the
virus are made.
The ICW was founded by women from different countries that
met at the 8th
International Conference of AIDS in Amsterdam in
Members of the Zimbabwean chapter are drawn from all the
Martha Tholanah, an Aids and HIV activist said
the launch of the chapter was
a positive development for Zimbabwean women
affected by the pandemic.
"ICW Global and ICW Regions, including ICW
Southern Africa, have been going
through a massive restructuring exercise
since the last 18 months," she said
at the launch.
"This has been
happening in line with the changing trends in the epidemic.
was formed in 1992, members were joining individually through the
international support office that was based in London.
in the epidemic changed and the ability to disclose increased,
there is now
a large number of ICW members in Zimbabwe."
But Tholanah said there
was no formal structure to support the membership
of the chapter, Vimbayi Zisengwe, said they would work hard
to ensure that
it was as inclusive of all HIV+ women as possible.
"We appeal for
support from all stakeholders. Our motto as ICW-Zimbabwe is
in line with ICW
Southern Africa and ICW Global - "Nothing About Us Without
Sharon Evelyn Mashamba, another Aids activist said the
establishment of the
network in Zimbabwe was an opportunity for HIV+ women
to share information,
confront challenges and tackle plans for the
She said the three-day workshop that coincided with the
launch of the
network had shown that there were many issues affecting women
the disease that needed to be addressed.
moves to rescue RBZ assets
Saturday, 17 April 2010 17:16
of Finance will move in to deal with the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) debt
and protect the apex bank from writs of execution, a
development that might
stop the stripping of its assets by creditors. Over
the past two months, RBZ
assets have been auctioned to offset debts incurred
during the 2008 farm
Finance minister Tendai Biti said reforms at
the central bank will start
with the appointment of a new board to formulate
policies and deal with the
"We have to protect the bank
from writs of execution. The problem with a
writ and the problem of forced
sales is that you don't get value.
"Cars and assets are going for a
song and we can't allow that situation so
we have to move in to correct
that," Biti told journalists on Thursday in
his update on the state of the
Biti's announcement came as relief to the central bank that
has been crying
for funding to run its operations.
This year, RBZ
was allocated US$10 million for all its operations, including
of the electronic payment system and subscriptions to SWIFT
providers, an amount monetary authorities say is inadequate.
now focusing on its core business and can no longer print money like
to do during the quasi-fiscal era.
Such is the sorry state of affairs
at the central bank that it cannot
perform its lender-of-last-resort
As a result, the central bank will be a spectator in the
event that a bank
faces problems. Biti turned up the volume on banks saying
rates were discouraging deposits and worked against moves to
"If we are to build the savings
stock of 30% of GDP that we want and if we
want to encourage Zimbabwe to be
a savings nation then there must be real
positive rates on deposits in
banks," he said.
"Equally, if we are going to be a low cost producing
country the cost of
money cannot be high on Zimbabwe and therefore we cannot
accept a situation
where lending rates are as high as 70%."
warned that if banks do not self-correct, there could be a statutory
"We have spent the whole of 2009 trying to use
moral persuasion to persuade
our banks to play by the rules, we have been in
discussions with them and we
hope that we will not be persuaded to intervene
statutorily in order to
ensure that this unacceptable situation does not
continue to reproduce
itself," he warned.
businesses for speculative behaviour that has driven inflation
But business believes Biti was barking up the wrong tree and
"They are completely unfounded in
the sense that business reacts to the
environment created by politicians,"
said Kumbirai Katsande, Confederation
of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)
Katsande said more energy has been devoted to politics
leaving the economy
as a hostage to the pace of political
Katsande said the economy needs bold decisions and action to
Asked whether business is not afraid of price controls,
Katsande said: "I
don't think the government would be unwise even to think
Katsande said power cuts and high interest
rates had affected production
meaning that capacity utilisation would remain
BY NDAMU SANDU
Danish investors hesitant
Saturday, 17 April 2010 17:13
Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), a Danish
financel institution, is prepared to invest in Zimbabwe's
amongst others but is holding out until there is political and
IFU's Kim Gredsted who heads the southern African regional office
investment manager Hans Jørgen Nyegaard were in the country last
attend a board meeting and an AGM for household and commercial
IFU has a 24% stake in
The duo also touched base with pork processor, Colcom,
where IFU has a 1%
In an interview with Standardbusiness,
the duo said IFU would want to invest
in Zimbabwe but they wanted to
understand the business environment in the
country so that they can advise
"The Danes would very much want to do investments
here but want stability
and less commercial and political uncertainty,"
"If you play a game of soccer, if you don't know what
the rules are, then it
is difficult to play the game. We would like to know
the rules of the game
throughout the match."
Nyegaard chipped in:
". it's necessary that we know the rules so we can tell
those are the rules in Zimbabwe, if they like them then
that's fine, if they
don't like them then don't invest."
IFU invests in conjunction with Danish
Investors' fears have been heightening following the
promulgation of the
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment regulations in
that foreign owned companies with a value of US$500 000
should dispose 51%
shareholding to locals after five years.
move unnerved investors with Norwegian development fund, Norfund,
off its proposed US$1, 5 million investments into an agricultural
company in Zimbabwe.
Nyegaard said investments into the hospitality
sector could be directed
towards the refurbishment of existing hotels with a
Danish company as
The tourism sector has been crying
out for long term funding to revive the
IFU would capitalise on the under-funding of the hospitality
Nyegaard said: "Any industry in Zimbabwe is lacking capital.
are areas that you have a competitive advantage, you have the climate
tourism, you have tourism attractions, if could also be a business
IFU investments are driven by the interest from Danish
companies, the two
officials said, but added that the interest on Zimbabwe
On empowerment regulations, the officials said, "We will
dig into that if we
have somebody coming to us and asking if we will invest
together with them
in Zimbabwe then we will update ourselves (about the
Eligible host countries of IFU investments must be on
the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Committee's list of development aid recipients, and
2008 GNI (gross national
income) per capita income must not exceed USD
A general exception for the limit is given for Botswana,
Namibia and South
Africa, IFU said on its website.
Salvador, Angola, Armenia, Jordan and Cape Verde now have a
GNI per capita
income above the limit, but are still eligible for IFU
investments in 2010,
BY NDAMU SANDU
debt: parties find common ground
Saturday, 17 April 2010 16:38
nearly a year of wrangling over strategies to clear the US$5,7 billion
national debt, parties to the inclusive government have finally found common
ground and will adopt a hybrid model that uses traditional methods and
Clearing the debt had split cabinet along political
lines with MDC-T
advocating for Zimbabwe to be declared a Highly Indebted
Zanu PF on the other hand argued the country
"is too rich to be poor" and
could pledge its vast mineral resources to
clear the debt.
Finance minister Tendai Biti told journalists on
Thursday that Zimbabwe will
work on a document, Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears
Debt and Development
Strategy to deal with "the nuts and bolts" of the debt
The model has already sailed through cabinet.
a debt strategy has to work after the key issues - inflation and
unsustainable wage levels - were addressed.
"There is no point of
rushing into dealing with debt particularly if you are
going to use the
traditional methods without dealing with key policy issues
that stand in the
way of debt strategy. . . unsustainable wage levels,
inflation are the
things that stand in the way of debt strategy," he said.
"There has to be a
track record of good macroeconomic performance."
According to a
report seen by Standardbusiness the debt clearance strategy
recommended by a cabinet committee on debt chaired by Deputy Prime
"While the efficacy of traditional methods such as
HIPC should be seriously
considered, the country should not be
straight-jacketed," Mutambara's report
"In addition to
clarity about both the benefits and constraints of such
methods, room should
be created for the use of hybrid approaches that
techniques with the creative use of natural resources for
The report recommended that the debt problem should
concurrently with the push for the removal of
"The country cannot effectively resolve the challenges
presented by the
US$5,7 billion debt without simultaneously dealing with the
illegal economic sanctions," it said.
that, in Zimbabwe, a holistic and sustainable debt strategy must
three inextricably linked pillars: traditional debt resolution
as HIPC), creative use of natural resources for development,
efforts to remove sanctions against the country."
The report said
that all key stakeholders interested or involved in
addressing the debt
crisis in Zimbabwe, in particular the IFIs
institutions, World Bank, International Monetary
Fund and African
Development Bank) and western countries "must overtly
Zimbabwe is operating under economic sanctions".
"The work of the
Cabinet Re-engagement Committee responsible for crafting a
Sanctions Removal Strategy must be directly linked to that of the
Inter-Ministerial Committee on Debt.
"In fact, addressing the
debt crisis should be understood as a sanctions
removal mechanism," the
The cabinet re-engagement committee will travel to
Brussels on Wednesday for
a meeting with EU officials on
Mutambara's committee also has Biti, Stan Mudenge (Higher
Education); Herbert Murerwa (Lands and Rural Resettlement),
(Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development) and
Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Regional Integration and Economic
Zimbabwe's debt is unsustainable.
to the Debt Sustainability Analysis exercise done last year, the
debt would be highly unsustainable until 2029.
Since 2005, government
has been sued by a number of creditors including KFW
(Germany), Daro Film
Distributors (Switzerland), UBS AG (Switzerland), SACE
(Netherlands), Exim Bank (USA), West Merchant Bank and Lloyds
Some of the creditors have won court cases against the
In the case of Exim Bank, government ended up paying an
amount of US$42,2
million in 2007 towards its arrears.
under fire for estimated bills
Saturday, 17 April 2010 16:34
you have not had electricity at your house since February last year
every month you receive bills based on estimated meter readings. Some of
bills could be as high as US$640, yet you do not even earn half that
In any other country, such bills would be unimaginable but
welcome to the
world where the power utility, Zesa, rules.
Since the use
of multiple currencies started last year, customers and the
been at loggerheads over the high bills being charged by the
Customers contend that the huge bills are based on estimates
meter readings would have solved the problem.
spilled into a stakeholders meeting held recently where
customers ripped the
power utility apart for what they viewed as "daylight
meeting was organised by the Competition and Tariff Commission after it
received an avalanche of complaints from residents over the power
abuse of its monopoly.
Another meeting was held at the Large City Hall to get
The Combined Harare Residents
Association (Chra) opened the floodgates
accusing the Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company
(Zetdc) of shortchanging residents "by
inflating estimate meter readings
which are always far off from the actual
Zetdc is a transmission and distribution arm of Zesa.
the power utility is extorting poor residents to sustain itself.
strong accusation but the body has case studies.
"Residents in the following
streets: Nyangombe, Makwiro, Mwenezi, Tugwe and
Shamba last had electricity
on 4 July 2009 because their transformer was
burnt out and Zesa can
acknowledge that but consumers have been receiving
shocking bills amounting
between US$120 to US$150 based on estimates even
though the service is
non-existent," the group said.
"In Zororo area (Dzivarasekwa 3) a transformer
was burnt out on 15 September
2009 and replaced on 21 January but Zesa has
been charging these residents
for electricity consumption for that period
despite the fact that they did
not receive electricity."
Chra said it had
resolved that there would be no payments where there is no
"Residents should not pay for non-existent services," it
Residents are not lying low and have already built a buffer in the
litigation by the power utility.
They are even planning to go
for the jugular: conduct peaceful protests at
Zesa offices and campaign for
total electricity payments boycott in Harare
and neighbouring towns.
Zesa's charge sheet is the unprofessional manner in which it engages
Ollis Munetsi, representing the Bindura Residents'
Association, said the
power utility's employees have become "war-like"
breaking into secured meter
boxes with bolt cutters in a bid to switch off
He said they had written a letter to the power utility identifying
individuals whose properties had been vandalised "and hope that the powers
that be take us seriously for once".
The Commercial Farmers' Union said
it had been inundated with calls from
members complaining against the high
bills ranging from US$11 000 to US$44
000 per month.
It said it advised
members to stop paying the bills. When they confronted
the power utility,
the bills were significantly reviewed.
The Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) said
the power utility was switching off
farmers without even giving a
ZFU second vice-president Berean Mukwende warned that power cuts
affect winter wheat production this season.
Enerst Muchayi, Zetdc
managing director said the billing system crashed last
year and they engaged
a company to work on the system.
Work on the system commenced in August and
by November it was running.
He said the major challenge was on meter readings
and the company had now
resorted to using estimates to calculate
"Those estimates to tell you the truth, we haven't explained it
we just haven't," he confessed.
He pleaded with residents to
pay whatever amount they have in the meantime
until the actual meter
readings were carried out.
"I can actually say to you pay me what you want
today. . . pay me whatever
six months down the line I can read the meter and
if you have used more we
can reconcile," he said.
Muchayi said Zetdc was
owed US$347 million in unpaid bills and some of the
consumers had not paid a
dime since last year.
According to Muchayi 73 000 customers in Harare (about
35%) have never paid
for electricity consumed since February last
In Bulawayo 28 000 of the 127 000 had not paid the power utility.
said Zetdc has been struggling to pay its suppliers which include the
Zimbabwe Power Company (Zpc) and regional utilities.
It owes Zpc US$156
million and US$100 million to the regional utilities.
stakeholders the company required US$383 million to operate
"then we can talk of adequate and reliable power supply" but
cannot approach regional utilities because of the debts.
"How can I go to
Cahora Bassa (of Mozambique) when I owe them US$70
Does he believe that the power utility should charge for a
"Why should I charge you something you have not
consumed, it can't be fair?"
BY NDAMU SANDU
Desk: Following in the footsteps of Nkrumah?
Saturday, 17 April 2010
After re-reading President Robert Mugabe's speech on the eve of
in April 1980 (reproduced on page 21 of the print version) I
and many other
people have been asking: "What then went so completely
wrong?" I thought of
Ghana's independence ruler, who also just happens to be
Mugabe's role model,
Kwame Nkrumah. Mugabe was last week calling for the
preservation of Nkrumah's
Rashid Suleiman, who is one of
the many of his biographers, had this to say:
"Though Nkrumah is hailed in
many quarters as a genuine African hero because
of his rabid
anti-imperialist stand and overzealous pursuit of Pan-African
ideals, a look
at his record reveals he was one of the worst dictators on
Even his supposedly hallowed reputation as a Pan-Africanist
is marred by his thinly veiled ambition to dominate the
"In 1963, Nkrumah's suggestion to form a union
government of Africa was
rejected after he was accused of harbouring
ambitions to rule the entire
continent. Many fellow African heads of state
were always wary of him
because his overzealous pursuit of Pan-African unity
betrayed a grand plan
to dominate the continent.
"On the domestic
front, a liberal mixture of extreme paranoia, a verbose
sense of grandeur, a
misguided notion of messianic calling and know-it-all
Nkrumah into the worst dictator Ghana has ever seen.
guided Ghana to become the first black African country to gain
in 1957, it may be safe to say that later dictators on the
from his book of political tyranny. He set the stage and
one-party dictatorship, personality cult, ruthless suppression of
opponents, detention without trial, paranoia, grandiose projects,
mismanagement and election rigging.
"Africa has produced many crazy
dictators but none of them ever dreamt of
turning into a one-man electoral
commission like Nkrumah. In a
yet-to-be-broken record in the continent, the
late Ghanaian leader 'elected'
an entire parliament of 198 MPs
single-handedly within minutes.
"The moment of history was June 1965,
when a Nkrumah-weary Ghana was poised
for elections. On the morning of
polling day, the Osagyefo ("Redeemer") as
Nkrumah was fondly known, entered
the national radio station to announce
there would be no election. He
proceeded to read the names of those he had
selected to become MPs and the
areas they represented.
"It was a fait accompli - the actions of a
man who loved and worked to
obtain absolute power. The move was inspired by
Nkrumah's deep fear that his
enemies would win the elections, though Ghana
was a one-party state at his
beck and call.
performed the civilian coup despite the fact that he
was in firm control and
could easily decide who goes to parliament from
behind the scenes. He did
not need to be this crude and rash.
"Right from Ghana's independence on
March 5 1957, Nkrumah made it clear he
wanted to be an unchallenged
dictator. He wasted no time in introducing
measures meant to concentrate
absolute power in his hands.
"In the year of independence, he
masterminded the enactment of the
Deportation Act, which empowered him to
kick-out anybody whose presence in
Ghana he considered detrimental. A year
later, the Preventive Detention Act
followed to check the growing strength
of the opposition alliance. The Act
allowed Nkrumah to detain without trial
anybody suspected of engaging in
"anti-state activities" for five years or
"By the time he was kicked out of power in 1966, it is
estimated that at
least 1 000 Ghanaians had been detained under the Act. The
included one of Nkrumah's most prominent opponents, Joseph
lawyer politician who came second to Nkrumah in Ghana's
election in 1960 died in detention in 1965.
Ghana became a republic in 1960, the hitherto Prime Minister Nkrumah
President with unbridled power. He made sure the constitution gave
mandate to rule by decree. He formed an intricate network of spies
tabs on his real or imagined enemies.
"In January 1964, Nkrumah
contrived a special plebiscite to consign his
opponents to the political
wilderness. The referendum was to decide two
major issues. The first was
whether the country should become a one-party
state under Nkrumah's ruling
Convention Peoples Party. The second was to
grant or deny Nkrumah powers to
sack judges. After massive rigging and
manipulation, the "Yes" vote narrowly
carried the day.
"Fresh from the stolen victory, Nkrumah flexed his
muscles by sacking the
Chief Justice who had acquitted his opponents in a
treason trial. He then
made himself life president though he was by then
presiding over a tottering
economy and a country where human rights abuses
"After entrenching himself in power in the 1960s, Nkrumah
seemed to have
lost touch with the realities in Ghana. He preferred to
Pan-African schemes and paid little attention to the deep
Ghana. Some of his close advisers even said he did not care
"By this time, he had cemented his
position and felt safe in power.
"It was virtually impossible to
remove Nkrumah from power by any means, as
he had blocked all
"However, he opened a weak chink in his armour when he
ordered the military
to undertake regular exercises in preparation for a war
against the then
white-ruled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
morning of February 24, the soldiers seized Accra and prepared
fight a civil war if Nkrumah loyalists in the military
resisted the coup.
The resistance never came as jubilant Ghanaians
celebrated the fall of a
ruthless dictator who had traumatised them for nine
"Despite his high intellect, Nkrumah's major weaknesses
were paranoia and
his love for flattery and quislings. This made it easy for
him to be misled
by court poets, sycophants, wheeler-dealers and influence
peddlers. That is
why he hand-picked socialist acolytes to top positions in
the private and
The appointees, most of them with
shady backgrounds viewed their positions
as a licence to loot and proceeded
accordingly. Some of his loyalists used
the detention law to arrest innocent
people so they could inherit their
business, wealth or
"He embarked on lavish spending on parlous and grandiose
bankrupted Ghana, one of the richest African countries at
nationalised most commercial, agricultural, mining and
"At independence, Ghana was one
of the wealthiest and economically advanced
colonies in Africa. But
Nkrumah's penchant for grandiose projects,
corruption, mismanagement and
desire for rapid industrialisation brought
economic ruin to the
Adding anything to this would be totally
BY NEVANJI MADANHIRE
Opinion: Muzo: Cheated out of history
Saturday, 17 April 2010
ABEL TENDEKAYI Muzorewa, retired Methodist Bishop walked away from
32 years ago when he signed the Salisbury Accord. This ill-advised
consigned him to the dustbin of history. So when he passed away last
Thursday, April 8 at 85, not a few might have asked, Muzo
Yet he had played important roles in the struggle against white
rule in Zimbabwe (then called Rhodesia). At a point in the
struggle when the nationalists were mainly in jail, underground
or in exile,
Muzorewa, rose to mobilise the populace and give them
From the pulpit, he encouraged them not to despair, not to
situation and that apathy was no option. He told the African
sit down and cry, but cry while you're
To the Ian Smith white minority regime, the church was
political organisation, and Muzorewa its political leader who
resistance and sabotage from the sanctuary of the church. But
argued that the duty of religious leaders is to serve the people
even if the
law forbids it.
He told religious leaders that it is
part of their Christian duty to oppose
unjust laws. He declared: "If
religion just means to go to church and pray,
then it is a
Born on April 14 1925, he was ordained in August 1953 and
of Rhodesia in the United Methodist Church at Masera,
Botswana in 1968.
Two years later, he was banned from entering the
tribal trust lands in the
country where 75% of his flock
In the early 1970s, Muzorewa and Reverend Canaan Banana
United African National Council (UANC). He did not see
himself as a
politician, rather, he believed that racism was ungodly and
that it could be
brought down by passive resistance.
joined his UANC and his national stature grew. His fall began
breakdown of the negotiations in Geneva between the minority regime
declared a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from
England, and the local and exiled nationalists.
Fearing a bloody end
to minority rule, and perhaps acting on the advice of
Britain, the Smith
regime decided to accede to the primary demand of
majority rule based on
"One Man, One Vote".
Muzorewa, took this on the surface. Another
leader who accepted this was
Ndabanigi Sithole, the veteran guerrilla leader
who had returned from exile.
Smith was quite optimistic and said:
"Our assessment is that once the
agreement is made there will be gradual
winding down (of the war) and that
in time terrorism will wither
Muzorewa could not see that the agreement and the follow up
bound to fail because the two main exile-based nationalist
and Zapu, and the supportive African countries were not
Secondly, there was no real transfer of power as the whites
effective control of the armed forces, police, politics and the
some cases, envoys sent out by Muzorewa and other internal
leaders to parts
of the country to explain the agreements and appeal for
seized and executed as traitors.
elections were held, Muzorewa had 67% of the votes, winning 51 of
black seats, Sithole won 14 per cent and 12 seats, Kayisa Ndiweni
Ndebele won 11% and nine seats while Chirau won no seats.
Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher said the elections
democratic and acceptable. The United States Senate by a vote of 75-19
declared the elections free and fair, and the dawn of majority rule. But the
Jimmy Carter administration, Africa and the rest of the world rejected the
elections and Muzorewa's government was not recognised
An all inclusive Lancaster House Agreement followed,
and in the
internationally supervised elections that brought true
Zimbabwe (on April 18 1980) Mugabe won 63%, including 57 of
the 80 black
seats in parliament, Nkomo 23% and 20 seats, and Muzorewa, the
white favourite, won eight percent and three
With this, Muzorewa whose initial struggles can be likened to
roles played in neighbouring South Africa by Bishop Desmond Tutu
unforgettable Reverend Allan Boesak, faded away. His star dimmed,
former nationalist hero went down in history mainly as a
collaborator of the
white minority regime.
In 1985 and 1996 he
lost parliamentary elections. He was a simplistic and
naive politician who
could not decipher when he was being used by the
minority white regime. That
cost him his place in history. - Vanguard
Undo culture of violence
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:28
Recent calls by
Zanu PF's national political commissar Webster Shamu for
members of his
party to shun violence as they mobilise new and old members
must be praised
provided he means what he says.
In the past his calls to the same effect
have been disingenuous. They have
been a matter of saying one thing during
the day and doing quite another
under the cover of darkness.
January 2005 Shamu urged his supporters to welcome members defecting from
opposition parties, especially the MDC, and implored them to avoid violence
in the run-up to the March parliamentary elections.
speaking at the launch of his campaign to retain the Chegutu seat in
parliamentary elections of that year. He urged his supporters to bury past
differences and concentrate on strengthening the party.
But what happened
after these calls are a matter of public record.
Chegutu is on record
as the area most affected by political violence even
periods. It is about the only area where farm invasions
unabated in spite of the clauses in the GPA that urge an end
Chegutu town is the only place where independent newspaper
resistance. Recently there have been reports that Shamu's
pulling down posters advertising newspapers such as The
and The Standard.
In the past few weeks
Shamu has been spreading the same message of peace,
this time on a larger
scale as he attempts to stamp his authority as his
party's new chief
There is a resurgence of violence in some parts
of the country which flies
in the face of the global political agreement and
the efficacy of the organ
on national healing and
Disturbing reports are flowing in from many areas,
where Zanu PF supporters have allegedly gone on the
property - including churches - that belongs to members
of rival political
Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to suffer
again the violence that gripped the
nation in the run-up to the presidential
election run-off of June 2008.
The inclusive government brought with
it a lull in the violence but there
are so many impediments to peace, not
least of which is intra-party violence
in Zanu PF itself. Not to say this is
a new phenomenon.
There has been infighting in the party for as long as
we can remember but
this is usually put on the backburner as soon as a
common enemy emerges.
Indicators of oncoming violence include the
infighting among the so-called
war veterans and also among party provincial
executives as the party
prepares for the election that may come as early as
It was reported last week that a fistfight broke out in
Chinhoyi that pitted
senior members of Zanu PF against each other as the
factions grapple for
control of Mashonaland West province. One of the
victims, former provincial
chairman John Mafa, said he was violently removed
from the venue of the
meeting by people he deemed to be "thugs" hired by
senior party members.
What was interesting in all this was that it
was done while senior members
of the party including stalwarts of the
This shows that the culture of violence has been
irrevocably entrenched in
the Zanu PF psyche. No political office, according
to the party's thinking,
can be obtained - and maintained - without
The war veterans and the youth militia have come in handy
to put this
thinking into effect. Although these two pieces of the party's
to be lying dormant for the time being it is a known fact they
live at the
beck and call of their seniors in the party who are fighting
It is now common cause that the violence
begins in the party itself before
it spirals out to consume members of the
Instead of paying mere lip-service against political violence
put in place a well-thought-out programme to destroy this
This is not going to be easy since his party cadres have
seen that political
office comes with handsome perquisites well worth
fighting - and even
killing - for.
Malema is just a messenger
Saturday, 17 April 2010 18:25
continue to urge people to read Malema not for his illiteracy but for
lies below those outbursts.
He might not be able to express himself in a
less brutal manner or in a
candy-coated manner but what he seeks to say is
what a conscious black South
African youth would say albeit in a different
Behind what could be perceived as shallowness by the majority
of the media
and our intelligent white brothers is a quest to express a
distortion in the South African society.
shooting the messenger, my white brothers should take hint of
become of them if they do not help find an amicable solution to
This happened in Zimbabwe, my white brothers failed to read
the trends when
the Chenjerai Hunzvi- led war veterans invaded farm lands
as far back as
1990; they were silenced by police, they were silenced by the
they were even silenced by Zanu PF. But what eventually
It exploded in a manner that could have been avoidable had
there been better
and holistic engagement between the two races and
What the BBC reporter Jonah Fisher and many other people
fail to appreciate
is that it doesn't necessarily need a pauper to represent
The fact that Malema is staying in Sandton doesn't necessarily
make him out
of touch with the people nor does it make him oblivious of the
There are many examples; Morgan Tsvangirai stays
in Strathaven but still
effectively represents the people of Domborembavha
in the communal lands of
Gutu. Even the greatest revolutionaries of our time
were from the middle
class yet represented the interests of the poor peasant
effectively - Lenin,
Mao, Nyerere etc.
If Malema is stupid as
many people - black and white - would want us to
believe let it be known
that the matters that he treads on recklessly are
the same matters that most
of them would choose to ignore not because these
matters are not important
but because of their sheer cowardice.
Now this fear is allowing the
"stupid" to show their courage whilst the
"intelligent" wallow in veiled
My hope is that South Africans will not allow their struggle
to be skewed by
the media which finds it a thrill when something happens to
supremacist or when a certain Malema speaks broken English while the
media continuously avoids reporting the disparities that exist at the
of South Africa's booming economy.
Sooner or later the same
white supremacists are going to be the champions of
human rights when
everything they own is taken away. We have had those cases
today we have more white people as champions of human rights
even if some of
their hands are dripping with blood of black people killed
before 1980. Some
were in the notorious BSAP.
The same might happen in South Africa
when those with the blood of Chris
Hani, Hector Pietersen, Steve Biko would
erupt from their cocoons as
champions of emancipation of black people in a
veiled attempt to derail the
ideological morale of those who genuinely
believe in equality and unity.
South Africa's heroes will become enemies
whilst yesteryear's enemies become
So, to my South
African brothers (white and black) I say: postpone dealing
sensitive issues at your own peril. Sooner or later you will have
to wake up
to the realities of procrastination when some opportunists will
take it upon
themselves to be champions of your struggle all in the quest of
With brotherly love from Zimbabwe.