By Tichaona Sibanda
31 March 2010
Robert Mugabe has reportedly said he will not appoint provincial governors
from the MDC, as they may not be loyal to him. He has also dug in his heels
and said that Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and central bank boss Gideon
Gono are going nowhere.
The ZANU PF leader is said to have told all this to South African President
Jacob Zuma two weeks ago, also reiterating that he will not appoint Roy
Bennett, the MDC treasurer-general, to the agriculture portfolio or any
other ministerial post. The comments were made during a private meeting
Mugabe had with President Zuma in Harare.
Yet another clear indication that the latest talks can go nowhere as Mugabe
has no intention of sharing power.
The revelation about these comments was told to a Zimbabwe delegation during
a meeting with senior officials in South Africa's department of
International Relations and Cooperation (formerly the Foreign Affairs
On Monday the delegation, under the banner of the Global Zimbabwe Forum, met
with officials from the coordinating office for Zimbabwe in Pretoria. This
office was established by former President Thabo Mbeki in 2007 to help
Zimbabwean groups interact with that government on issues of concern to
Luke Zunga, spokesman for the group, said the South Africans also revealed
they were disheartened by the lack of progress in the Global Political
As Zuma was told directly by Mugabe that he would not fully implement the
GPA it's unclear how a positive spin was put on his visit two weeks ago.
In this latest round of talks inititated by Zuma, the negotiators missed the
Monday deadline to end discussions and are almost certain to miss Wednesday's
deadline to present a report to President Zuma.
It is expected that negotiators will still present a report to Zuma at some
time in the near future, detailing how once again the talks are deadlocked.
Zuma would then be expected to meet SADC troika chairman, Mozambican
President Armando Guebuza, on how to deal with the situation.
While it was never confirmed, reports suggested Zuma had managed to push the
political rivals to bridge their differences on some of the contentious
issues, giving the impression that he had secured an elusive breakthrough in
Zunga said; 'What we interpret from the discussions we had in Pretoria is
that there is no progress in these talks. In fact the South Africans
expressed deep concern to all the three parties for lack of movement to
conclude the negotiations.'
He added that it was clear Mugabe and ZANU PF were the stumbling blocks in
efforts to bring real change to Zimbabwe. He said it also proves that South
Africa is being ineffective in dealing with the crisis.
'In Zimbabwe the President's powerbase in the provinces is anchored on the
governors. So when he told Zuma that governors from the MDC might not be
loyal to him he feared his power will be eroded once he appoints them,'
On Wednesday Prime Minister Tsvangirai said the SADC regional bloc should
intervene and convene an emergency summit on Zimbabwe, in the event that
negotiations to resolve the country's political dispute yielded nothing
after Wednesday's deadline. 'If this situation continues, I will ask
President Zuma to call upon SADC to break the deadlock once and for all. We
cannot allow our nation to be trapped indefinitely by the failed policies of
the past, while countries around us prioritise people's rights, economic
development and the rule of law,' Tsvangirai said.
By Violet Gonda
31 March 2010
Roy Bennett, the MDC-T Treasurer General and Deputy Minister of Agriculture
designate, was hit with a summons to appear at the Chipinge Magistrates'
Court in April, on a new charge of allegedly hoarding maize in 2001. He
faced these new charges on the same day that he was appearing in the High
Court to hear the judgement on his terrorism charge.
But Bennett will have to wait for another month and a half to know his fate
on the terrorism charges, after Justice Chinembiri Bhunu deferred ruling on
whether he should be discharged until 10 May. The judge said there were
'delays' in the transcription of the case and that he needed more time to
consider the application claiming: "There was no way I could have finished
early without the transcript as you are aware of the procedure."
Cynical observers have said the judge has just not heard from Robert Mugabe
yet, about what ruling he should make over Bennett.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa soon after his court appearance Bennett said the
judge was 'absolutely arrogant and very, very disrespectful'.
"The judge told us to be in court at 10 o'clock but only pitched up at
12:15pm to tell us that he is not ready to hear the case and that the case
is now postponed to May."
Bennett's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, immediately asked the court to relax his
bail conditions and to return his passport. But the prosecutor, Attorney
General Johannes Tomana, strongly opposed this. Eventually the judge granted
part of the application saying Bennett will no longer have to make regular
reports to the police, but he could not release the passport.
"Mr Bennett will have to make a formal application to have his passport
released to him when he wants to travel." Justice Bhunu said in his ruling.
The former commercial farmer also narrated the developments that took place
as he arrived at the High Court on Wednesday.
He said: "As I arrived at the High Court with my lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, we
were confronted by CID officers from Chipinge who had a summons, summoning
me to appear in court in Chipinge on the 6th of April for charges under the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Act, for failing to declare maize."
"This stems back to 2001, when the army came to my farm and confiscated 92
tonnes of maize from me and they are now charging that I was unlawfully
holding the maize."
Bennett went on to say: "Yet this is maize that I have grown on the farm,
that I kept from year to year to feed the people through the dry period. And
I had just finished harvesting the maize when they confiscated it, and they
are now charging me for having that maize."
"Some rule was brought in that you had to declare whatever maize you had on
you to the GMB, but the time limit for that had not elapsed and they
prematurely came and confiscated my maize before I even had time to submit
my stock to the GMB," the former commercial farmer added.
When asked what the penalty for the crime of having too much food is, if
found guilty, the MDC official joked: "Most probably the death penalty when
it comes to me! I am not sure what the penalty will be."
"It is so petty and so ludicrous that you have to laugh at it. To bring
fresh charges nine years later on the day that they are supposed to give me
a ruling as to whether my case is being dismissed in the High Court is very
Last Friday Chimanimani police set up a roadblock to specifically block
Bennett and his wife Heather from going to their Charleswood Estate, after
he had been granted permission to collect his personal property, including
his deceased father's ashes.
Bennett said since his farm was illegally taken over by the Zimbabwe Defence
Industries and later by ARDA, there has been an ongoing court case around
the issue of his personal possessions, because he has never been allowed to
retrieve anything from the farm.
But he was recently granted permission and given a letter to say he had
permission to collect his personal belongings, including his father's ashes.
He said: "I had hired two 7 tonne trucks but was stopped by a roadblock that
had been specifically set up for me. I was harassed and treated in a very
bad manner by the police who also threatened to kill my wife."
"The whole time they were throwing jibes at me saying 'what are you talking
about the unity government? We only recognize the President, we don't
recognize anyone else'."
The MDC official believes there are elements in ZANU PF who do not want the
inclusive government to move forward and will do anything to prevent it from
working. "It's these elements that are persecuting and victimising me. It
doesn't bode well for the fact that we are in a transitional period with a
transitional government, where we are supposed to be working together for
the interest of Zimbabwe."
Meanwhile, the MDC-T said it views the latest charge against Bennett to be a
contrived political plot to haunt him and prevent him from taking up his
post as Deputy Minister of Agriculture. "The latest so-called charge is the
height of persecution of a man whose only crime is that he is white and he
is MDC," the party said in a statement.
By MacDonald Dzirutwe - 54 mins ago
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe Wednesday swore-in
members of a Human Rights and an Electoral Commission, expected to steer
reforms toward free and fair elections.
Mugabe formed a unity government last year with long-time foe Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, but
reforms, which Western donors say are critical for a fair vote, have been
The MDC was formed in 1999 and has come closest to ending Mugabe's grip on
power, but the party says Mugabe's ZANU-PF has rigged elections and used
violence against its supporters.
An official list seen by Reuters showed the Electoral Commission would be
headed by Simpson Mutambanengwe, a former Zimbabwean Supreme Court judge who
was serving as acting Chief Justice in the Namibian Supreme Court.
Mugabe also swore-in members of the Human Rights Commission, the first body
tasked with investigating cases of rights abuses.
Reg Austin, a law professor and former Commonwealth secretariat's head of
legal and constitutional affairs division, will chair the rights body.
The commissions were agreed by Tsvangirai and Mugabe.
Last month the government published names of members of a media commission.
It said this month it would soon start licensing newspapers.
Analysts say the three commissions look politically balanced with
technocrats and officials with ties to ZANU-PF and the MDC.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai remain deeply divided over appointments of provincial
governors and Mugabe's refusal to swear-in Tsvangirai's ally Roy Bennett as
deputy agriculture minister.
Mugabe has refused to sack two of his allies who he appointed central bank
head and attorney general without consulting Tsvangirai.
The 86-year-old said last Friday his party would not concede ground to the
MDC until Western sanctions against his inner circle and a general financial
freeze on Zimbabwe were lifted.
Wednesday, ZANU-PF and MDC negotiators were holding a final round of talks
on the power-sharing dispute but a breakthrough was not expected. State
television said negotiators would compile a report to be discussed with
South African mediators before presenting it to their political leaders.
31 March, 2010 01:22:00
FRANCE has denied Robert Mugabe's rogue Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa a
visa to attend a Zimbabwe-European Union re-engagement meeting in Brussels,
France is in charge of granting Belgian visas to Zimbabweans. It also
emerged yesterday that the EU has deferred the meeting scheduled for this
week to April 21 though no reasons were given.
Last week, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the talks would resume this
Divisional head for policy, research and training in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Mr Sam Mhango, said the Zimbabwe delegation would now travel to
Europe on April 21.
"The EU has sent an invitation to the Zimbabwean delegation to visit Europe
on April 21.
"In her invitation letter, EU representative for foreign and security policy
Catherine Ashton said the European bloc would receive the Zimbabwean
delegation," said Mr Mhango.
He said the delegation would likely visit seven other European capitals.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi heads an inter-ministerial
committee representing Zimbabwe at the talks.
Other members of the committee are ministers Chinamasa, Tendai Biti
(Finance), Elton Mangoma (Economic Planning), Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga (International Co-operation), and Welshman Ncube
However, it emerged that Minister Chinamasa had problems in getting his visa
with the French Embassy in Harare. The French said he was on a list of
people barred from travelling to the EU.
This is the second time that the minister has had problems in attending the
talks because of visa issues.
Charge d'Affaires at the embassy, Mr Dietmar Peprausch said they had advised
Minister Chinamasa to get his visa from South Africa.
"France represents Belgium for the granting of visas for Zimbabweans but as
Mr Chinamasa is on the EU travel ban list, it is only Belgium itself which
can decide whether it accepts the visa or not for the Minister.
"So we told him we could not deliver the visa - and not that we did not want
to - and told him to apply directly to the Belgian Embassy in South Africa,
which is competent.
"France is supporting the inclusive ministerial visit to Brussels to promote
the EU-Zimbabwe political dialogue and will do all it can to facilitate this
visit for the whole delegation," he said.
However, diplomatic sources said France - along with three other countries -
did not like the idea of ministers from Zanu-PF being part of the delegation
visiting their countries.
"Minister Chinamasa only got his visa after the European Commission
delegation in Zimbabwe intervened," the sources said.
The EC acts as the EU's secretariat.
The sources said head of the EC delegation here, Ambassador Xavier Marchal
then facilitated the visa for Minister Chinamasa after France stuck to its
The EC had not responded to questions sent to it at the time of writing.
In June last year, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara had to intervene
at the last minute - at President Mugabe's instruction - to get the British
and French embassies to issues visas to members of the delegation.
After that, Chinamasa was delayed at Frankfurt International Airport for six
hours by immigration authorities. ZimDaily
The current dialogue process started soon after the formation of the
inclusive Government with a number of meetings being held between the
inter-ministerial committee and EU ambassadors in Zimbabwe.
Little headway has been made mainly due to the Zanu-PF's failure to fully
implement the GPA.
In February, Zimbabwe wrote a letter to the European bloc requesting
resumption of the dialogue after it had stagnated for months.
However, the EU did not respond to the request and instead slapped more
sanctions on Mugabe and his Zanu crooks for another year.
The dialogue is to explore the lifting of the widely supported embargo.
The sanctions were imposed in February 2002 after Mugabe went on a rampage
after losing the elections.
The sanctions are on individuals and companies and also include an arms ban.
Meanwhile, yesterday negotiators to the inter-party talks on implementation
of the Global Political Agreement said their discussions would continue.
They are expected to finalise and present a report to the party principals.
It is understood that the previously set deadline for finalisation of the
talks today is "not cast in stone".
By Gerald Chateta
Published: March 30, 2010
Harare -The Zimbabwe Republic Police has ordered all officers-in-charge to
eliminate 'unpatriotic' officers from the force as the country prepares for
a possible fresh election.
According to a radio signal emanating from the Police General
Headquarters(PGHQ) and sent to all the country's police stations
officers-in-charge are directed to hold meetings with their subordinates,
conduct lectures on the country's history and take note of those officers
who resist complying with the lectures.
"It has been resolved that all members of the force needed to be enlightened
on the country's history as well as to jealously safe guard our independence
and sovereignty. In pursuance of this noble patriotic objective, all
officers-in-charge of all stations are required to carry out lectures on the
history of Zimbabwe. May this Headquarters be supplied with information of
the stations that have complied or not with the directive in the following
format, that is , Province, District , Station, Number of participant and
Comments. This information to reach HQ before the last day of this month,"
read the directive which came from the Police General Headquarters recently.
A middle ranked police officer stationed at the PGHQ said they were last
week addressed by senior police personnel who advised them that anyone who
was suspected of supporting any party other than ZANU-PF would be to be
dismissed from the police force.
"We were told that because the country was going to have a fresh
general election officers were expected not to bite the hand that has
been feeding them for a long time, meaning to say that everyone was
forced to rally behind ZANU-PF.
"This time we are not going to let them force us to vote for them like they
did in June 2008, and officers have openly refused to be used. We want to
see what comes next if we do not attend such lectures," said the officer who
could not be named for his personal security.
The police, military and other security organisations have remained partisan
to and controlled by ZANU-PF.
Service chiefs who are in-charge of the security forces have rejected to
respect the Global Political Agreement by continuously having their Joint
Operation Command which was made unconstitutional by the GPA.
In February the police ordered officers to join a public service strike.
This was in contrast to the conduct of the uniformed forces which states
that they are not allowed to partake in both mass action and politics.
By Violet Gonda
31 March 2010
There have been numerous reports from human rights organisations and from
the MDC-T of an upsurge of violence in rural areas such as in Mutasa North,
Mudzi, Bindura and Masvingo, by ZANU PF sponsored thugs. On Wednesday the
pressure group Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) reported that terror had
broken out in Muzarabani, resulting in 16 families fleeing their homes.
A ROHR statement said: "16 families from Hoya ward 17 in Charunda village of
Chief Kasekete in Muzarabani yesterday fled their homes at night to seek
refuge at St Albert business centre to avert organized terror from a group
of more than 200 ZANU PF youths hired from Chiwenga ward."
According to ROHR unidentified ZANU PF youths also burnt down the Charunda
village AFM church and a house belonging to an MDC member at the weekend.
Freddie Matonhodze, an MDC district chairman for Muzarabani, is quoted as
saying the church was burnt because the ZANU PF supporters say it's a church
for the MDC people.
ROHR went on to say: "55 members from Charunda village; men, women and
children including the headman, aged 70, had to walk for more than 84km
during the night and are now destitute following an arrangement that was
made by the ZANU PF district chairman to hire youths from a neighbouring
village to come and assault all members of the MDC."
The report comes on the same day the Herald quoted Sekai Holland, the
Minister of State in the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and
Integration allegedly dismissing reports that ZANU PF had set up bases for
purposes of violence against MDC-T supporters.
The newspaper said the MDC-T Minister stated this during a public lecture in
Harare on Monday. "We went to Muzarabani and spent the whole day there and
there were no bases at all. There was no beating up of people. During this
transition there have just been flashes of violence but not hardcore
violence. There is no organised violence in Muzarabani as had been
reported," Holland is quoted saying.
We were not able to reach the Minister for comment.
But last week the MDC-T MP for Mutasa North, David Chimhini, told SW Radio
Africa that soldiers and ZANU PF sponsored thugs were brutalizing MDC
members. Chimhini said politically motivated violence and partisan policing
are getting worse in his constituency, where at least 15 MDC supporters,
including a heavily pregnant woman, were arrested for singing while walking
past a ZANU PF gathering.
There were also more shocking reports of a new wave of political arrests in
the volatile Mashonaland East province, where last week the Mayor of
Marondera Farai Nyandoro, Carlos Mudzongo the MDC councillor for Nyameni and
Freddy Munemo, a former policeman who was dismissed in 2008 for being
sympathetic to the MDC, were arrested following disturbances between MDC and
ZANU PF youths.
These were just a few of the many reports from last week highlighting the
unrest prevailing in some rural areas, in stark contrast to Minister Holland's
alleged statements that the 'inclusive government had seen a drop in reports
of political violence'.
The MDC leadership is coming under increasing attack from critics who say
they are protecting ZANU-PF when they say there are no bases, only 'pockets
of violence'; when it's clear human rights violations are continuing. One
observer said: "Someone has to expose this hypocrisy. Why are they not
condemning police for arresting innocent citizens? Why are they not making
noise about the forced exile of Gertude Hambira and Okay Machisa? What about
that Rautenbach guy kuChimanimani - Is that a good way of promoting peace,
intimidating and threatening citizens?
By Lance Guma
30 March 2010
A grouping of NGO’s, under the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, say they are
seeking an audience with South Africa’s mediating President Jacob Zuma, over
the rising levels of violence and harassment in Zimbabwe. Media and
Communications Officer Nixon Nyikadzino told Newsreel they will use the
South African Embassy in Harare, or their regional office in South Africa,
to request a meeting with Zuma and members of his facilitation team.
Nyikadzino said the last few months have seen an escalation in the
persecution of human rights and civil society activists. He cited the
intimidation and harassment that led to farm worker trade unionist Gertrude
Hambira fleeing the country and the recent arrest of students after they had
held demonstrations to highlight their grievances. Zimbabwe Human Rights
(Zimrights) Executive Director Okay Machisa was also arrested for organizing
a photo exhibition highlighting political violence, he added.
‘A plethora of such events calls upon the mediator to be made aware. What we
are simply saying is that the President (Zuma) must tell the truth whether
there has been progress in the mediation or not. We also want the mediator
to be more realistic and active in terms of engaging ZANU PF since ZANU PF
is the culprit and be able to call a spade a spade,’ Nyikadzino said. He
said the mediation team needed to know that Zimbabweans are getting
impatient with the slow pace of progress.
‘If you look at the Madagascar issue, the way they have dealt with it, after
they failed they proceeded to the AU (African Union) and the AU actually
issued restrictive measures on the leadership that is not complying with the
agreement that was put in place to bring Madagascar to tranquility. So that
is the same kind of action that we expect from the mediation team, to be
more pro-active,’ Nyikadzino added.
The state owned Herald newspaper quoted National Healing Minister Sekai
Holland from the MDC-T as saying there were no militia bases in Muzarabani
after their tour of the area, despite earlier reports describing the
violence there. Nyikadzino dismissed this as a ‘political statement’ from a
government minister with her own responsibilities in that regard. ‘We have
our reports on the ground as the coalition that confirm the existence of
these bases. It does not take ZANU PF 30 minutes to dismantle a base,’ he
Meanwhile all 12 students who were still in custody following Monday’s
countrywide demonstrations have now been released. Zimbabwe National
Students Union coordinator Mfundo Mlilo told Newsreel the students paid
US$20 bail and will next appear in court on the 15th April. Students marched
in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru protesting high tuition fees and the
country’s political deadlock, all obstacles to their education.
by Patricia Mpofu Wednesday 31 March 2010
HARARE - South African facilitators are in Harare monitoring the inter-party
dialogue as it emerges negotiators from the Zimbabwe coalition partners were
late Tuesday working over time to meet today's deadline set by Pretoria to
complete negotiations on a dispute threatening the country's power-sharing
The talks to iron out issues still outstanding from implementation of a 2008
power-sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and
the two MDC formations led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy
Premier Arthur Mutambara have dragged on since the former foes agreed to
join hands in February 2009 in a coalition government that has been credited
with stabilising the country's economy to improve the lives of ordinary
South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team, which consists of
former South African minister Charles Nqakula, Zuma's political advisor
Lindiwe Zulu and Mac Maharaj, quietly slipped into Harare on Monday.
"The SA facilitation team is in town monitoring the talks which are being
held at a secret location in Harare," a government official privy to the
talks told ZimOnline on condition that his name was not published.
Zuma, who controls the region's biggest economy is the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) mediator in Zimbabwe.
"It's deadline today (Tuesday), the negotiators are finishing everything
today so that they submit a report to the principals tomorrow which will
also be forwarded to the SADC-appointed facilitator President Zuma," said
"The SA facilitators have been here since Monday morning and they are
watching the deliberations with keen interest," added the official.
Sources said indications were that the negotiators would miss the timelines
set by Zuma due to sharp differences over solving the outstanding issues.
Zuma who held talks with the Zimbabwean political leaders two weeks ago told
journalists that the three parties to the GPA "have instructed their
negotiating teams to attend to all outstanding matters during their
deliberations on March 25, 26 and 29 and to report back to the facilitator
by the 31st of March".
The facilitator would then report to SADC troika chairman Mozambican
President Armando Guebuza who may call a meeting to discuss the deal. The
troika also involves Swaziland's King Mswati III and Zambian President
But sources from ZANU PF and the MDC formations maintained late yesterday
they were still far from reaching any binding agreements on the outstanding
The parties still held entrenched positions on the unilateral appointments
of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, Attorney General Johannes
Tomana, the re-appointments of provincial governors and the status of MDC T
national treasurer Roy Bennett, who is Tsvangirai's nominee for the post of
deputy agriculture minister.
At the end of his visit to Harare Zuma told journalists that ZANU PF and the
MDC had "agreed to a package of measures to be implemented concurrently" to
end the political dispute. But Mugabe on Friday was singing a different
tune, coming short of accusing the South African leader of lying about his
mediation efforts in Harare.
Mugabe, addressing his party's 80th session of the central committee on
Friday last week, said ZANU PF would not cede any more concessions to the
MDC unless and until the West and its allies removed targeted sanctions
slammed against him and his inner circle.
Sources said the South African facilitators were concerned by the discord
from Harare hardly two weeks after Zuma "triumphantly" left Harare with an
announcement that a deal was on the cards to bring finality to Zimbabwe's
ZANU PF and MDC chief negotiators - Patrick Chinamasa, Tendai Biti and
Welshman Ncube - refused to shed light on the latest developments
surrounding the talks.
The facilitation team is expected to return to Pretoria on Thursday morning,
officials familiar with the talks said yesterday.
Zimbabwe's unity government has stabilised Zimbabwe's economy to improve the
lives of ordinary citizens. But a dispute between Tsvangirai and Mugabe over
how to share executive power, senior appointments and security sector
reforms is holding back the administration and threatening to render it
The unity government's failure to win financial support from Western powers
and multilateral institutions has also crippled its efforts to rebuild an
economy shattered by a decade of political strife and acute recession. -
Johannesburg, March 31, 2010 - Zimbabwe political party representatives in
negotiations aimed at ending a decade long economic and political crisis,
say they are about to rap up the current round of talks, probably the last,
with agreements on many of the 27 outstanding issues but disagreeing on a
few issues that are now almost set to be referred to SADC facilitator Jacob
A source involved in the talks, taking place in the resort town of Nyanga,
under the watchful eye of Zuma's facilitating team, told Radio
VOP, Wednesday that only a few issues were still under dispute.
"We are almost there, we have been working hard and I can tell you that most
of the 27 outstanding issues have been agreed with only very few issues set
to be referred to President Zuma by end of day," said the source who would
not reveal what exactly are the issues still
The talks which began last year following the formation of a coalition
government between long time rivals President Robert Mugabe and former
opposition leader and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, have been
dragging on since with no end in sight.
Tsvangirai told his weekly newsletter on Wednesday, that he will be asking
Zuma to call upon the regional SADC body to intervene to break the political
deadlock in Zimbabwe, a sign that the current round of talks might not be
making any progressing on key dispute issues. Tsvangirai said he wants SADC
to solve Zimbabwe's political woes "once and for all."
A visit by Zuma two weeks ago ignited hope that a solution was within reach.
At the end of his visit Zuma told the media that the
parties had agreed on a package of measures that will lead to an agreement.
But Mugabe poured scorn on these comments last week
when he told his Zanu PF party's politburo meeting that nothing had been
agreed saying an agreement will only be reached when western countries
remove targeted sanctions imposed on him and his allies are removed.
Contacted for a comment, one of the negotiators, Welshman Ncube of the
smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party said, "We look to
conclude the talks today and a report will be forwarded to President Zuma."
The coalition government has stabilised the country's economy since its
formation last year although key political reforms are yet to be
implemented threatening to reverse the gains made thus far.
As part of the reform agenda, the MDC wants the unilateral appointment of
the Attorney General and Reserve Bank Governor by Mugabe rescinded. It also
wants its officials appointed to five provincial governorships posts as well
as the dropping of charges against its Deputy Agriculture designate
Minister, Roy Bennet and his subsequent appointment into government.
On the other hand Mugabe and his Zanu PF party wants targeted sanctions
imposed on him and members of his party dropped and also for the MDC to
ensure that so-called pirate radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe are
Posted By Own Staff Wednesday, 31 March 2010 08:39
NON-Zimbabwe citizens commonly known as 'aliens' are lobbying for dual
citizenship and the scrapping of the additional foreigners levy that they
pay in schools.
Contributing during the proceedings of a Habakkuk Trust sector meeting for
non-citizens, participants noted that some of them were born in Zimbabwe and
know nothing of their ancestral countries and therefore they should be
accorded Zimbabwean citizenship.They said dual citizenship would make it
easy for children of 'aliens' to be realised as Zimbabwean citizens and have
full enjoyment of human rights in their country of birth.
Mr Giyani Moyo, an educationist by profession, bemoaned the rampant
discrimination and disrespect of human rights in the country, based on
He said most people Malawian and Zambian descent were treated as
second-class citizens in Zimbabwe , which ironically was their country of
"We demanded that 'aliens' should enjoy equal rights and privileges as other
citizens," he said.
Moyo also challenged the use of derogatory and discriminatory terms used in
the country's national documents, terms such as 'extra-territorial students'
for non-citizen students, and 'aliens' which is used in the national
identity cards referring to those not of Zimbabwean origin.Another
participant, who preferred to be called Mrs S. Sakala added that the
Government should indicate one's country of origin, instead of inscribing
the word 'alien' on their identity cards.
"Why can't they indicate my country of origin instead of using the word
alien or use acronyms such as NC or FC (Non-Citizen and Foreign Citizen
respectively) instead of Alien," she said.
Participants also stressed the need for non-citizen children to be accorded
equal educational opportunities with local students. They called for the
scrapping of the additional foreigners levy that they pay in schools and
ensuring that the students were also awarded scholarships.
"We also want our children to receive the same as those who have Zimbabwean
citizenship, and it is unfair for us to be charged foreign levy in schools
when we have lived in Zimbabwe for more than 30 years. If that number of
years does not qualify one to be a citizen, then what does," said an
evidently petrified Mrs Sakala.
Hundreds of thousands of 'invisible' and 'forgotten' Zimbabweans inside the
country, disenfranchised by the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2001, have been
denied many rights, including the right to vote during elections.
The Act denies citizenship to anyone whose parents were born outside
Zimbabwe unless he/she renounces their claim to a second citizenship.This
requires those seeking to retain or acquire Zimbabwe citizenship, and who
have a second citizenship, to provide documentary proof to the Registrar
General that they have legally renounced that foreign citizenship.
The ruling party enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act in reaction to the
most serious challenge to its de facto one party rule, the MDC 's attainment
of 57 of the 120 contested seats in the parliamentary election of 2000.
The Act was designed to disenfranchise the largely immigrant white
population (accused of backing the MDC as a collective) before the crucial
2002 Presidential election. However, the Act affects not just the estimated
30 000 white Zimbabweans but also another significant constituency - an
estimated two million plus second and third generation Zimbabweans,
descendant from immigrants - all of whom enjoyed unqualified rights of
citizenship prior to 2002.
The disenfranchised are mainly found on the farms and mines, and in the
urban industries and ghettos of Mbare, Makokoba, Njube, Mabvuku and Tafara
where they have lived and provided cheap labour for the country since the
The largest group affected is black Zimbabwean descendants of immigrants
from Malawi , Zambia and Mozambique .In early 2003, the government amended
the Citizenship Act to exempt descendants of African immigrants originating
in the SADC region.However, Section 9 of the Act, enforcing renunciation,
has continued to render many Zimbabweans stateless. The actual process of
renunciation is laborious and expensive. In some cases, there is not even a
basis for renunciation.
Most of the people required to renounce either their foreign citizenship or
entitlement to foreign citizenship or their parents' foreign citizenship,
especially those in the rural farming communities, have no access to
information on the new laws and no access to the resources that would
As a result, since the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (2001),
the politics of citizenship in Zimbabwe has become increasingly divisive and
More fundamentally, the legal citizenship of most Zimbabweans has become
murky and this has had adverse implications for their civic and legal
Harare, March 31, 2010 - Maverick Harare businessman Philip Chiyangwa and
some senior Zanu PF officials are said to have incited the police to launch
a witchunt of journalists and councillors in an attempt to block the
publication of a report that names them in a serious land scam.
On Wednesday two officers from the Law and Order section spent approximately
two hours interogating journalists and editors at 1 Kwame Nkrumah, The
Standard Paper offices in Harare. They interviewed editor in chief Vincent
Kahiya, Editor of The Standard Nevanji Madanhire and the two reporters who
authored the story, Feluna Nleya and Jennifer Dube.
The police have already summoned free lance journalist Stanley Gama for
publishing contents of the report in the Sunday Times.
The 54-page-report is titled "Special Investigations Committees report on
City of Harare's Land Sales, Leases and Exchanges from the period October
2004 to December 2009". It names Chiyangwa, Local Government Minister
Ignatious Chombo, former Harare mayoress Sekesai Makwavarara among other
senior Zanu PF officials who were involved in clandestine dealings involving
prime land in Harare. The report recommends that the officials be arrested.
But in a move to counter the report, Chiyangwa has already launched a
complaint with the police, and also requested that the journalists and
councillors involved should be silenced before the report is adopted as a
public document by council.
During a full council meeting on March 30, Ward 17 Councillor Warship Dumba,
who led the special investigation, told his colleagues that it was getting
more and more dangerous to keep the report.
"It is now dangerous to keep this document, as it is continuously being
leaked. It must be adopted and become a public document," said Dumba. "There
are already instances where some people are already being called by the
police to indicate where they got the document. It is now dangerous to keep
this document; a lot of politics has been brought into play."
The council finally decided through a vote that the document would be
discussed on April 1 during a special full council meeting.
Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said Thursday's meeting will discuss only the
"We are going to convene a special council meeting to have a more focused
discussion on the issues raised in the report," said Masunda.
Tempers even flared among some councillors over the differences of opinion
on the direction to take regarding the report.
Another councillor, Wilton Janjazi said the officials implicated in the
report were "already working on the contents to counter what is in the
documents". The counter moves started last week with the implication of MDC
councillors in illegal property take overs in high density suburbs.
But Peter Moyo argued that councillors needed more time to study the
document so that they make an informed decision. Also prominent among the
councillors against the discussion of the report were Julias Musevenzi and
The differences that emerged following Dumba's proposals raised suspicions
that there were fresh divisions in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Through his company Kilima Investments, Chiyangwa reportedly connived with
officials in Sekesai Makwavarara's commission to clandestinely acquire
properties. In some cases, they swapped leases with council.
By Alex Bell
31 March 2010
Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa are still living
in desperate squalor, in a country that offers them no official sanctuary.
This is according to a new report released by the Solidarity Peace Trust,
titled: "Desperate lives, twilight worlds - how a million Zimbabweans live
without sanction or sanctuary in South Africa." The report released on
Wednesday details the dire reality facing Zimbabwean immigrants who fled
their country seeking safety and work in South Africa, a trend that is still
"The crisis of immigration into South Africa is a direct product of the
crisis in Zimbabwe; as economic recovery in Zimbabwe is not likely to occur
soon, its biggest export will remain its people," the report reads.
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma recently labelled the crisis as placing
'significant strain' on South Africa's capacity and resources, and yet, as
this new report shows, "there is no coherent indication from (the South
African) Government on how it intends to deal with this, either now or in
the future." Zuma, as the regional facilitator in Zimbabwe's political
crisis, has only moved to appease Robert Mugabe and not solve the crisis
that has driven millions of people out of the country. His approach has been
mirrored by his government's treatment of Zimbabwean refugees, who are
treated either as criminals or intruders.
"There is an urgent need for the South African government to develop a more
sensible policy towards the hundreds of thousands of undocumented
Zimbabweans within its borders," the report reads.
The report also details the crisis facing more than a thousand Zimbabweans
still living in a refugee camp in the Western Cape farming town, De Doorns.
Last year, the group was forced to flee their homes after angry locals
threatened them with violence, accusing them of stealing their jobs. More
than four months later, they are still living in appalling conditions in the
refugee camp, and the attitude towards them has not changed.
Braam Hanekom, from the refugee rights group PASSOP, explained this week
that the situation is 'rapidly deteriorating', explaining how there is
little or no aid reaching the refugees. He explained how promises made by
government officials to safely reintegrate the Zimbabweans into the
communities they fled, have come to nothing, leaving the Zimbabweans
"The government seems to be more preoccupied with local disputes and the
football world cup," Hanekom explained, adding: "The Zimbabweans in De
Doorns seem to have been completely forgotten."
Meanwhile, a special permit promised by the government to help deal with a
backlog of Zimbabwean asylum seekers, has still not come to light. Hanekom
explained that it leaves the Zimbabweans vulnerable, because they fall
through the cracks of the overwhelmed asylum system. Hanekom also decried
the 'prejudiced' actions of aid groups who have refused to help Zimbabweans,
because they are not labeled refugees.
"Their refusal to see Zimbabweans as refugees is a huge problem, and if the
government does not offer them some protection, no one will," Hanekom said.
The Solidarity Peace Trust report also detailed how thousands more
Zimbabweans are living 'on the edge of visibility', in run down, squalid
buildings in Johannesburg. It says the official response has been to evict
people and arrest them, in a bid to remove the 'ugly' sight of migrants from
the sight of tourists ahead of the June soccer World Cup. The Trust warned
that "the writing is on the wall that there will be more xenophobia in South
Africa, as none of the underlying issues are being adequately addressed."
"Violence will continue to be seen, as long standing prejudices against
foreigners and political turf wars play out at the expense of migrants," the
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg 31 March 2010
A leading Zimbabwe analysis group, the Solidarity Peace Trust, says despite
massive political problems, there is no alternative for progress towards
democracy outside the country's shaky inclusive government.
Solidarity Peace Trust Director Brian Raftopoulos, told journalists in
Johannesburg the Global Political Agreement, which brought the unity
government to power, has not lived up to expectations.
He says President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is determined to remain in
power at any cost. "Be very clear this is a struggle for the state. Any
struggle for the state is intense, it is violent, it is problematic,
especially when you are fighting a party whose very future is invested in
control of the state," said Raftopoulos.
He said the Movement for Democratic Change, which narrowly won the last
elections in 2008, has demonstrated it is the most popular party, but
despite that it was stopped by Mr. Mugabe's security forces from taking
power. He said the Zimbabwe military loyal to Zanu-PF remained the major
obstacle to fulfilling outstanding conditions of the global political
To unblock political dialogue between Zanu-PF and the MDC, Raftopoulos said
EU and U.S. financial and travel restrictions against Zanu-PF leaders should
end. He says the sanctions are used by Mr. Mugabe as an excuse to delay
full implementation of the political agreement.
"For me the quicker we get beyond the sanctions question the better," said
Raftopoulos. "As a deterrent I do not think the sanctions policy has
"Since 2001 it has not stopped the electoral violence, it has not stopped
the attacks against civics and political leaders, it has not stopped
continued land occupations and has mobilized SADC and [the] AU around Mugabe
again. So the issue is now, 'Mugabe versus the West', it is right where
Mugabe wants the debate, it is where he is always most comfortable," he
Analyst Raftopoulos says there has been little economic recovery in Zimbabwe
because donors and investors see the political agreement remains
He said the option of withdrawing from the inclusive government would work
against the MDC because Zimbabwe's future remains with its regional
"It is also most clear SADC and [the] A.U. continue to invest in this as the
most viable option, notwithstanding the great limits that SADC has in
putting pressure on the Mugabe regime," said the analyst.
The Solidarity Peace Trust said the flight of so many Zimbabweans to South
Africa is the largest refugee problem South Africa has experienced.
It said more Zimbabweans have fled their country in the past 10 years than
those who fled Mozambique at the height of its long and bloody civil war.
The group says until South Africa, which mediates the Zimbabwe issue on
behalf of the Southern Africa Development Community, ensures the political
agreement is fulfilled, more Zimbabweans will flee across the border in
search of a better life.
by Ndodana Sixholo Wednesday 31 March 2010
HARARE - Zimbabwean students on Tuesday called for the immediate resignation
of co-Ministers of Home Affairs and police Commissioner General Augustine
Chihuri over the brutal manner in which the police crushed a students
demonstration on Monday.
The students also demanded the immediate release from police custody of
their leader Joshua Chinyere and 11 others who were arrested during the
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) vice president Georgina Sango told
journalists in Harare that the country's security sector needs to be
reformed urgently because it is still "biased in favour of ZANU PF and are
not conducting their work in a non-partisan manner".
The arrested students have been denied access to medical attention since
their brutal assault on Monday, Sango said.
"As of this afternoon there are 12 students detained at Harare Central
Police Station. Our lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara is working flat out to secure
their release," she added.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was not immediately available for comment
on the matter.
The students staged demonstrations in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru
on Monday in commemoration of the March 29 2008 harmonised elections under
the theme, "Igniting students voices - 29 March 2008 my vote spoke".
The students were also demonstrating against deteriorating educational
conditions and failure by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's unity government to fully implement a September 2008 political
agreement that gave birth to the coalition administration, but the process
was violently crushed by heavily armed police.
"The regime responded in a barbaric manner because they gave us the
clearance but on Monday they informed us that we could not continue with the
march," ZINASU spokesperson Wisdom Mugagara told reporters. - ZimOnline
Johannesburg, March 30, 2010 - Officials at the Zimbabwe Embassy in South
Africa on Tuesday said the Zimbabwean envoy to Pretoria had to gone to
Zimbabwe to consult on how to respond to the seizure of property belonging
to the government in Cape Town.
A civil rights group, Afri Forum, seized a Cape Town luxury property
belonging to Harare saying it was starting a "civil sanctions campaign"
against President Robert Mugabe's government.
An official at the embassy in Pretoria told Radio VOP, that Ambassador
Simon Khaya Moyo had travelled to Harare to consult.
"He is in Harare consulting on the matter, we are aware of the matter but
can not comment it is only the ambassador who can speak to you," said an
official who cannot be named.
Afri Forum seized a property valued at R2, 5 million in Cape Town's
Kenilworth at number 5 Salisbury Road. It was by Tuesday in the process of
trying to attach three other properties in the Cape Town suburbs of
Zonneblom, Kenilworth and Wynberg.
A regional court here ruled in favour of white farmers saying Zimbabwe's
land reform programme was discriminatory in nature.
The ruling which was roundly ignored in Zimbabwe was registered as part of
South African law on February 26 in the North Gauteng High Court.
Published: 2010/03/31 06:35:01 AM
A Zimbabwean property valued at R2,5m in Cape Town was seized yesterday to
cover the legal costs of obtaining an order against President Robert Mugabe
for illegally confiscating property from 79 Zimbabwe farmers.
The attachment of the property comes after two years of Mugabe thumbing his
nose at rulings of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
Tribunal that the land grab was both racist and unlawful. The process has
been driven by local civil rights group AfriForum, which succeeded in
getting an order of the North Gauteng High Court to attach Zimbabwean
The saga began in 2008 when 79 of Zimbabwe’s farmers took the Zimbabwean
government to the Sadc tribunal where they won a ruling that the land grab
was unlawful. This was described by Mugabe as nonsense, and of no
consequence. He continued with the confiscation of the remaining farms . The
tribunal followed its earlier ruling with a ruling that Mugabe was in
contempt — this he also ignored.
AfriForum then persuaded the High Court in Pretoria to register the tribunal’s
rulings and allow the attachment of properties in SA owned by the Zimbabwe
government. Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa also thumbed his
nose at this ruling, calling it “political grandstanding”. He said the
properties were protected by diplomatic immunity.
AfriForum attorney Willie Spies said they had been asked by Zimbabwean
farmers to help in the case.
“What happened today is the attachment of a property situated in Kenilworth.
It is being leased to a third-party tenant. The fact that it is being leased
makes it a commercial property, which makes it liable for attachment as a
result of the court order,” he said.
Ben Freeth, of the Sadc Tribunal Rights Watch, said: “The attachment of
these properties is something that is hugely symbolic. After 10 years of the
annihilation of property rights in Zimbabwe where no one has been
compensated, the long arm of the law is finally reaching out to make itself
“Of course the attachment of four Zimbabwe government properties is a drop
in the ocean compared to the attachment of the thousands of once-productive
agricultural properties in Zimbabwe that were the homes and livelihoods of
more than 2-million people. But this is a huge symbolic step in the quest
for global justice through the international courts.”
Collen Makumbirofa, of the Zimbabwean Foundation for Reason and Justice,
said: “The attachment of properties belonging to the Zimbabwe government by
the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is an act of last resort by AfriForum,
acting on behalf of Zimbabwe farmers, who have exhausted all available
channels of engaging the Zimbabwe government to reach a mutually amicable
solution to the land saga.
“It is an indictment on a government that has lost its constitutional place
in the progressive family of nations. That the Mugabe regime regards the
Sadc ruling as ‘nonsense and of no consequence’ demonstrates the extent to
which the Zanu (PF) government pays scant regard to the rule of law.” With
Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Parliamentary Select Committee for
Constitutional Revision told VOA that the UNDP had promised to US$21 million
for the process, but now wants Harare to cover 30 percent of costs
Patience Rusere | Washington 30 March 2010
Zimbabwe's often-interrupted constitutional revision process has hit another
snag with Parliament saying the United Nations Development Program, a key
donor, is asking Harare to cover 30 percent of costs.
Co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Parliamentary Select Committee for
Constitutional Revision told VOA that although the UNDP had promised to
bring US$21 million to the table, it now wants the government to cover 30
percent in cash or in kind.
He quoted UNDP officials, who are coordinating general donor support of the
constitutional rewrite, as saying this would show government commitment to
VOA could not reach UNDP officials for confirmation or comment of Mwonzora's
The lawmaker told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that a meeting was
set for Wednesday between his committee and UNDP officials to discuss
finances, but he noted that the delays are starting to add up.
Under the timetable spelled out in the 2008 Global Political Agreement for
power sharing in Zimbabwe, the revision of the constitution is supposed to
be completed with the draft ready for a referendum by October 2010 - but
that deadline seems likely to be missed.
Political wrangling - not only between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, but also
between Parliament and elements of civil society who say politicians should
not be given oversight of the redrafting - has repeatedly halted progress.
Donors are said to have expressed concern at the cost of the exercise, and
to have insisted on accountability and transparency in the use of funds.
The Chiadzwa Community Development Trust said the presence of soldiers in
the Marange or Chiadzwa area as it is known promotes corruption with
syndicates diverting diamonds from the zone into the Mozambique black market
Sandra Nyaira | Washington 30 March 2010
As Zimbabwe Parliament committee members opened a fact-finding mission to
the Marange diamond field of Manicaland province on Tuesday but immediately
ran into resistance from one of the firms developing the resource in
partnership with the government.
Local activists meanwhile declared they are increasingly concerned about the
continued presence of the Zimbabwean military controlling the area.
The Chiadzwa Community Development Trust voiced its concerns Monday in a
meeting with lawmaker Shuwa Mudiwa and environmental lawyers. The group said
the presence of soldiers in the Marange or Chiadzwa area as it is also known
promotes corruption. Activists charged that syndicates have been siphoning
diamonds from Marange to sell in nearby Mozambique.
The community group said local miners should be able to obtain licenses to
dig for diamonds alongside the government's joint venture partner firms,
Mbada Holdings and Canadile Mining.
Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Research and Development in Mutare,
told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that the government should
immediately order the military out of Marange district because soldiers
continue to abuse residents.
Meanwhile, members of Parliament's Committee on Mines were stuck in Mutare
late Tuesday after being barred from the offices of Canadile Mining, a firm
mining diamonds in Marange under a joint venture with a Zimbabwean
government entity. Canadile officials told the lawmakers that they could not
enter the offices because the lacked proper police authorization.
The committee, en route to Marange to look into a wide range of alleged
abuses, had a letter from the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation,
sources said. They wanted to inspect Canadile's facilities for the storage
of diamonds, among other aspects of the operation.
Committee Chairman Chindori Chininga, a member of the ZANU-PF party of
President Robert Mugabe and a former mines minister, was said to have been
livid when his team was barred from Canadile's premises.
The fact-finding team is now expected to enter the premises on Wednesday
armed with a letter from the police, before proceeding to Marange itself.
Mbada barred journalists from accompanying the panel members into the
alluvial diamond zone.
Masvingo, March 31, 2010 - Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators (ZILIWACO)
members who went on the streets here on Wednesday claim sanctions imposed on
Zimbabwe by the West have caused the deaths of half a million people.
The demonstration was called to pressurise Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
to push the removal of sanctions.
"We know it very well that Tsvangirai asked for sanctions which killed about
500 000 Zimbabweans due to its negative impact on us. Cholera was brought
because of sanctions and the economic melt-down was caused by sanctions,"
said Josephine Chindeya ZILIWACO's vice national chairperson.
Chindeya said Tsvangirai had no option besides asking for forgiveness and to
speedily plead with western countries to lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
"We will not eat his lip service. Although he (Tsvangirai) said sanctions
must go we need to see more happening," she said.
She also added that ZILIWACO had another option of asking President Mugabe
to pull out of the inclusive government if Tsvangirai failed to lobby for
the removal of sanctions.
"We know that sanctions are delaying the implementation of Global Political
Agreement. if Tsvangirai drags his feet in lobbying for removal of
sanctions, then we can as well go and ask our President Mugabe to pull-out
of the inclusive government," she added.
However, some war veterans refused to join the demonstration, condemning it
saying nothing will be solved by hate language and going in the streets.
War veterans Masvingo provincial chair Isaiah Muzenda said the demonstration
"It is just something which is organised by unguided individuals. Yesterday
people thought it was something good but many refused to go in the streets
when they discovered that there were many hidden agendas.
"There is nothing which can be solved by demonstrations and hate language,"
said Muzenda in an interview.
By Tony Hawkins in Harare
Published: March 31 2010 03:00 | Last updated: March 31 2010 03:00
When Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's prime minister, agreed to open an
exhibition commemorating victims of political violence, the police were
quick to defy the man who is supposedly a pillar of the government.
A day before Mr Tsvangirai was due to speak at the event in Harare, police
seized the exhibition's 65 photographs, all of which showed graphic images
of violence before Zimbabwe's 2008 elections.
Although the prime minister and his Movement for Democratic Change are
theoretically equal partners in the coalition government with Robert Mugabe,
the president, the reality is very different. Mr Tsvangirai lacked the
authority to prevent the police from sabotaging an event he had chosen to
Only a High Court order compelling the police to return the photographs
allowed the exhibition to go ahead. "There is nothing new in this story. It
reminds us of the trauma we went through as a nation," said Mr Tsvangirai,
saying that such exhibitions were a necessary part of the "healing process".
Analysts believe that he and his party are in office but not in power. Mr
Tsvangirai's growing number of critics accuse him of being co-opted by Mr
Mugabe to lend a veneer of respectability to the government.
"When the president speaks, people sit up and take notice because they know
that his is the voice of authority," said a leading businessman. "People
app-laud Morgan's promises of change but they don't believe them."
Mr Tsvangirai's actions have fed the suspicion that he has been reduced to
serving Mr Mugabe's agenda. Last week the prime minister was reported to
have urged western countries to lift the restrictions they have imposed on
Mr Mugabe and his allies, which ban them from visiting the US and the
European Union and freeze their overseas assets.
Then Mr Tsvangirai said that he "supported" Mr Mugabe's opposition to giving
gays legal protection in Zimbabwe. While the prime minister's handlers have
sought to "clarify" his remarks, some fear that he is becoming a convenient
stooge for Mr Mugabe.
Jacob Zuma, the South African president, has set a deadline of today for the
three parties in Zimbabwe's government to settle their differences. In
particular, Mr Tsvangirai wants to dismiss Gideon Gono, the central bank
governor, who is accused of undermining the economy, and Johannes Tomana,
attorney-general, who is allegedly protecting powerful figures
But Mr Mugabe has refused to get rid of either. Last weekend he insisted
that EU and US restrictions must be lifted before other issues could be
Written by Editor
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 08:31
Recently the police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, attacked The Zimbabwean
and its editor for publishing stories about police partisanship against the
MDC and other democratic forces.
In his denunciations, he denied that the Zimbabwe Republic Police were in
any way partisan and insisted that they were a professional force - as
evidenced by the selection of some officers to serve with the UN
We accept that there are some policemen remaining in the ZRP who wish to do
a professional job of maintaining law and order - without fear or favour.
However, there is now irrefutable evidence that Chihuri is targeting these
police professionals and trying to get rid of them.
The report in this issue about a directive from police general headquarters
to all police stations, instructing them to bar supporters of Bishop Chad
Gandiya from conducting services in Anglican Churches throughout Harare, is
Copies of the directive have been widely circulated to media organisations
so there is no denying it.
This order is despite a High Court ruling that the excommunicated Nolbert
Kunonga faction must share the church premises with the authentic Anglican
Congregation headed by Gandiya.
It is well known that Kunonga is an active and vociferous Zanu (PF)
supporter. So is Chihuri.
Our lead story in this issue reveals a directive to all police stations to
root out any policemen sympathetic to the MDC. There is no mention about any
policemen who are not only sympathetic to Zanu (PF) but who are active
members, and carry out their policing duties in a disgracefully partisan
We would have thought that with an inclusive government supposedly running
the country, the spirit of inclusivity would be extended to all government
departments, including the police. This is evidently not the case and the
ZRP under Chihuri has turned itself into nothing more than a Zanu (PF)
Kubatana recently received the following press statement from Voice of Democracy on the subject of the (alleged) forthcoming New Zealand cricket tour to Zimbabwe:
There is a fine line, as the international community knows full well, between supporting democratic change in Zimbabwe and collaborating with a dictator. Zimbabwe's Minister of Sport, David Coltart, seems to believe that New Zealand has an obligation to play cricket in Zimbabwe (New Zealand Herald, 23 March 2010). We disagree. New Zealand should stick to its principles, ignore Coltart, and shun Zimbabwe's dictatorship.
In his article, David Coltart repeats a claim he made in December 2008 that going into government with Robert Mugabe was the 'only viable non-violent option'. This was untrue then - as it is now. As one commentator wrote, the MDC had a 'fistful of options' for peaceful democratic change which were squandered when they reinstalled Mugabe to the fullness of his abusive powers.
Coltart then adds insult to injury by making such disingenuous claims that Zimbabwe's Inclusive Government has "made remarkable progress in the last year" and that the political agreement "is gradually being implemented in its entirety." This is not remotely true, which is why the European Union renewed its targeted sanctions against those members of Zimbabwe's government accused of gross human rights abuses.
Indeed, if Coltart listened to himself he would be hard-pressed to recognise the lawyer who opposed human rights abuses in Zimbabwe for the last 27 years. It seems incredible that he now claims that there has been a "massive downturn in the number of human rights abuses" when ZANU(PF) is busy reestablishing the very bases in rural areas that unleashed such horrific violence during the June 2008 presidential elections.
He claims that maladministration and racism in cricket is being addressed, when the same top officials who were responsible for that corruption, racism and abuse of power remain firmly in place. It is all the more painful when he lauds cricket's collaborator-in-chief, Heath Streak. Our heroes are Andy Flower and Henry Olonga who forfeited their cricket careers because they took a principled stand against the dictatorship.
Coltart is right in one respect: if the New Zealand team decides to come to Zimbabwe they will be welcomed with remarkable warmth and friendliness by our patron of Cricket Zimbabwe - Robert Mugabe! Dictator 1: New Zealand 0.
BILL WATCH 13/2010
[31st March 2010]
Members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission were sworn in by President Mugabe at State House this morning
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Those sworn in were:
Chairperson: Justice Simpson Mtambanengwe
Vice-Chairperson: Joyce Kazembe
Other Members: Daniel Chigaru, Geoff Feltoe, Theophilus Gambe, Petty Makoni, Sibongile Ndhlovu, Bessie Nhandara, Mukuni Nyathi
Note: In fact there is no constitutional nor legal requirement for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be sworn in at all – as was the case for the Zimbabwe Media Commission. The Constitution [section 100R(4)] only makes provision for the swearing in of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. The gender balance of this Commission is correct. The Constitution stipulates that at least 4 of the 8 members [excluding the chairperson] should be women. Although there is no constitutional provision for a vice-chairperson, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act stipulates that the President appoints one from the 8 members. The role of the vice-chairperson is likely to be an active one for the present, as the chairperson is still a judge on the bench of the Namibian Supreme Court.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
Those sworn in were:
Chairperson: Professor Reg Austin
Other members: Kwanele Jirira, Carol Khombe, Joseph Kurebwa, Jacob Mudenda, Elasto Mugwadi, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, Nomathemba Neseni, Ellen Sithole.
Note: There is a gender imbalance on this Commission. The Constitution lays down that at least half of the 8 members [excluding the chairperson] should be women. Only three on the list are women. There is no constitutional provision for a vice-chairperson, and there is not yet an enabling Act for the Commission – when there is one, it could well make provision for a vice-chairperson.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.