By Alex Bell
19 April 2013
Serious abuses at the hands of security details controlling the goings on at the Marange diamond fields are still being reported, with desperate diamond panners being subjected to beatings, dog attacks and more.
According to the Centre for Research and Development (CRD), which has been monitoring the human rights situation in the area for many years, scores of people have been assaulted, shot at or attacked by dogs in recent months. Leading the attacks are the guards hired by the firms mining the diamond fields, namely Anjin, Mbada and Marange Resources.
Of the 11 confirmed attacks the CRD detailed, one of the incidents resulted in the death of a Marange villager named Herbert Manhanga. He was shot in the head at Marange Resources last month and died on the scene. A family member told the CRD that no investigations were being conducted by police because Herbert was shot in a ‘protected’ area.
Other incidents include an attack on 27 year old Netsai Nechipote from Chipinge who was caught by Mbada guards last month, with a syndicate of six panners. Netsai was severely beaten on the buttocks and taken to the guard room for further beating. She was released the next morning and driven and dumped close to Odzi River by company guards.
Days before, a young man named Tariro Saungweme from Mutare was caught panning on the Marange Resources mining area, also with a syndicate. He was arrested and seriously beaten, while dogs were set loose on him and the other members of the syndicate.
The CRD report†details eight more incidents of violent attacks, and it is expected this actual number could be much higher. The group’s Acting Director James Mupfumi explained that the situation is of serious concern, and urged the mining firms in Marange to exercise “best human rights practice.”
Mupfumi told SW Radio Africa that the panners have been driven to the illegal activity because of a number of factors including the vast unemployment and economic instability affecting most Zimbabweans. He added that many people also feel ent9tled to a share of the diamond profits, which remain the closely guarded benefit of a minority.
“There is nothing to show from these resources, and nothing has come from promises to empower people. So many feel they should also have a claim to mine,” Mupfumi explained.
The CRD called on the government to force the mining companies to account for incidences of human rights abuses taking place in Marange and to immediately address security problems in the fields.
By Alex Bell
19 April 2013
South Africa’s ruling ANC government is being urged to explain the details
of a multimillion dollar loan it is allegedly giving Zimbabwe, amid calls
for the money to be hinged on tough pre-conditions.
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti said this week an estimated $100
million has been approved by South Africa to loan to its financially
challenged neighbour. Biti had approached his South African counterpart
Pravin Gordhan last September for assistance, with Zimbabwe still battling
to make ends meet.
Biti then told a press conference on Monday that a “positive decision” had
been made by South Africa.
“Pursuant to discussions in September 2012, I’m aware the South African
Cabinet has made a decision — and it’s a positive decision,” Biti told
There has been no official confirmation about the loan from South Africa’s
Finance Ministry. But finance portfolio committee chairman Thaba Mufamadi
has slammed Biti for going public with the proposed loan before it had been
finalised by the two governments.
“While issues are still being discussed between the two governments,
somebody jumps the gun elsewhere. Biti says we’ll bear the brunt of not
adhering to their request because people will vote with their feet and come
across (to South Africa),” said Mufamadi.
Opposition groups in South Africa, along with concerned citizens and
observers, are now demanding answers from the government about the details
of the loan. The main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has led the
calls, saying any loan to Zimbabwe must have preconditions that the election
in that country this year be free and fair.
DA finance spokesman Tim Harris said this week he had submitted a
parliamentary question to the South African Finance minister to clarify the
terms of the supposed funding.
“If we indeed intend providing the loans to Zimbabwe then Minister Gordhan
has a duty to explain to South Africans the motivation for extending such
generous financial support. There are three main issues that urgently need
to be clarified: the motivation for the loan, the terms of the repayment and
any conditionality attached to it,” Harris said, adding that South Africa
should not be extending credit without strict political conditions.
Last week, ZANU PF blocked a visit by a United Nations (UN) delegation that
was meant to conduct a fact-finding mission in Zimbabwe, as part of the UN’s
preconditions for financial support for the country’s elections. These
preconditions angered ZANU PF who want money without any strings attached,
and a request for a loan from the UN has reportedly been withdrawn.
Political analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Friday that it is
no surprise that Zimbabwe would now turn to South Africa, which,
historically “has a controversial friendship with ZANU PF.”
“The preconditions stipulated by the UN should be enforced, just like the
Global Political; Agreement should be enforced. But ZANU PF has been
defiant. Yet they will still find money elsewhere, like South Africa,”
He continued: “South Africa, as the mediator in the Zimbabwe political
situation, has a conflict of interest by supplying these funds.”
Published at 12:01AM, April 19 2013
After 33 years of plundering the national treasury to secure his grip on power, President Mugabe has had to ask his South African friends to finance his next election campaign.
Elections have to be held this year — the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it expects them in September — but Zimbabwe is broke. “It is self-evident that the treasury has no capacity to fund elections,” Tendai Biti, the Finance Minister, said this week. He said President Zuma’s government had agreed to provide £65 million for the election, although South African treasury officials would only confirm that the matter was “under discussion”.
It was an unusually mellow President Mugabe who addressed the crowds yesterday at celebrations of the country’s 33rd independence anniversary at Harare’s National Sports Stadium.
There was no ranting against whites or the pro-democracy MDC opposition party. Instead, he declared: “Go and vote your own way. No one should force you to vote for me.”
Zimbabwe had already appealed to the United Nations for funds, but two days after Mr Biti’s announcement, Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, said that “the UN avenue for sourcing resources is now closed”. The UN “kept talking about security and media reforms, all sorts of euphemisms, and that we reject”, he said.
Diplomatic sources say that any funding will have strings attached. “There will be no blank cheque for Mr Mugabe to wage a war of terror,” said a South African official who asked not to be named.
President Zuma was appointed by the Southern African Development Community to oversee the implementation of the coalition agreement— and the elections at its end — between Mr Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader and Prime Minister. He has carried out his task energetically. At summits of the 15-nation grouping, Mr Zuma openly berates Mr Mugabe for not keeping his undertakings to introduce the political reforms that are crucial to the pending elections.
By Tichaona Sibanda
19 April 2013
The suspended Mayor of Mutare Brian James said he’s not surprised or shocked
that Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has issued a statement saying
he’s now fired him.
Chombo this week said he had fired the suspended James, accusing him of
mismanagement, misconduct and insubordination. The ZANU PF minister said
James will not be allowed to occupy any local authority post for the next 10
James was suspended by Chombo in March last year after he claimed the Mayor
was incompetent and mismanaged council affairs. However James hit out at
Chombo on Friday insisting he will ignore the dismissal as there was a
pending High Court matter where he was challenging his suspension from
“We’ve been waiting for a year to get a date for the case where we are
arguing against the merits of the suspension. The High Court matter
overrides any decision that Chombo has made or wishes to make,” James said.
The suspended Mayor said the strategy behind Chombo’s latest move was to
keep him away from contesting again in the forthcoming polls.
MDC-T spokesman Pishai Muchauraya said the fact that Chombo issued a
statement dismissing James without the conclusion of a court case proves
there is no rule of law in ZANU PF.
“Even if Chombo succeeds to bar James, the MDC-T will still be in a position
to find another credible candidate to run as Mayor. ZANU PF and Chombo don’t
have any political foresight and I’m afraid their thinking on political
games is now shallow,” Muchauraya said.
by Staff Reporter
A Zanu (PF) "mole" on the social networking site, Facebook, has claimed that
South Africa's ruling African National Congress is helping President Robert
Mugabe rig the coming elections.
Going by the name Baba Jukwa, the "mole" has won respect from most users of
the site, with incisive postings that have exposed some of the party's
underhand activities, including providing confidential communication and
private phone numbers and email addresses, which have all proven to be real.
Recently, Baba Jukwa claimed that some ANC officials have been sent to help
Mugabe rig the polls, so that he retains power in what is viewed to be the
second most-decisive poll in the history of the country, after the 1980
elections that brought independence and thrust Mugabe into the power he has
refused to let go of for more than three decades.
"The ANC been at our party Headquarters since the beginning of the week,
holding a workshop with the members of the party Politburo, Central
Committee and Provincial Chairpersons," wrote Baba Jukwa.
"The workshop will continue until Saturday and is covering a wide range of
issues, but specifically centering on how they can assist our party to win
elections. The ANC has dispatched it's top technical personnel from its
elections department to assist the party with tactics and strategies to
defeat other political parties."
He said the ANC officials were emphasizing on" exaggerated anticipations".
"This is the concept of building a big lie to its receptions that there
would be exaggerated anticipations. People will be promised what they assume
can be fulfilled. This is the beginning of the ANC's fulfillment of the
promise to help the party win elections. This, if known by other political
parties that will contest elections, will create problems because the ANC
government should deliver a free and fair election as SADC Facilitators.
"It was not supposed to take sides in this event and it has destroyed its
role as a neutral arbitrator in the problems the country is facing. Some of
the political parties are not aware of it, as they snore thinking the ANC
will play a neutral game in our politics. There must be an outcry over this
contact and protests should be sent to the ANC Secretary General Gwede
Mantashe, that Zimbabwe needs neutrality in their conduct in our politics as
they are Facilitators to our problems."
The ANC, which has, through its youth league, publicly said that it would
make sure that Zanu (PF) rules Zimbabwe till "Jesus' second coming", had not
responded to the allegations at the time of going to print.
By Tichaona Sibanda
19 April 2013
During Thursday’s celebrations to mark 33 years of Independence, President
Robert Mugabe once again renewed calls for Zimbabweans to shun violence
ahead of harmonized elections.
While it may not be the first time Mugabe has preached peace in the last 12
months, violence and intimidation has not entirely stopped, a signal he has
not enforced it amongst his ranks.
Political analysts said the leader of the former ruling ZANU PF must show
his ‘sincerity’ by reforming the security sector that has been responsible
for most of the state sponsored violence.
US based analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba told SW Radio Africa that while Mugabe
may be genuine in his calls for peace, the problem he faces is his lack of
authority to stop his security chiefs from acting with impunity.
The MDC-T has persistently said Mugabe could prove his sincerity by asking
the police not to be partisan and for the soldiers to stop attacking
civilians and other political opponents.
The last election in 2008 led to widespread violence, in which some 500,
mainly MDC-T supporters were killed and an estimated 500,000 forced from
At 89 years old, Mugabe still wants to stand as the ZANU PF presidential
candidate and faces a stern challenge from the MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, 28 years his junior.
Mugabe’s military chiefs are accused of orchestrating some of the bloodiest
violence after he lost the first round of elections in March 2008.
Already there are growing concerns ZANU PF is using the military to lay the
groundwork for Mugabe’s campaign for re-election in elections expected
between now and October.
The military has been pivotal in Mugabe’s continued stay in power, with army
generals previously indicating that they would not salute anyone other than
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said that because of SADC’s
‘hands-on’ approach to the Zimbabwean crisis, the strategy to use violence
might backfire against ZANU PF.
“President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team is constantly in Zimbabwe getting
updates and checking on issues of intimidation and violence as well as
working on ensuring the country holds free and fair elections,” Muchemwa
“While people may not discount the use of violence entirely it may not be as
bad as five years ago, where the crackdown on MDC-T supporters helped turn
the sway the tide in Mugabe’s favour during a run-off election that
Tsvangirai boycotted,” Muchemwa added.
A commentator said with a new constitution in place, it might help if Mugabe
was to also pledge to ensure a smooth transition and allow who ever wins the
presidency to take over without any glitches.
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:45
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his former ally-turned-foe
Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube are under pressure to form a
coalition from smaller political parties and the generality of Zimbabweans.
Although Ncube has already ruled out any prospects of a poll pact with his
former president under a united MDC — political analysts say a grand
coalition is the solution to unlocking President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu
PF’s hold on power.
Political think-tank, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), says such a
coalition would effectively end Zanu PF hegemony.
“In articulating the significance of the need for the democratic forces to
unite, the two MDC formations — one led by Tsvangirai and the other by
Ncube — need to show and exercise leadership for the broader democratisation
cause,” said Pedzisai Ruhanya, the director of ZDI.
“The idea of an electoral pact is not limited to the MDC formations, but
should include other groups such as those led by liberation war veteran and
Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn president Simba Makoni and
the leadership of progressive civic society institutions such as the
National Constitutional Assembly, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the
Zimbabwe National Students Union, and the Progressive Teachers’ Union of
Zimbabwe,” said Ruhanya.
One Zimbabwe Campaign, an outfit formed by more than 10 smaller political
parties that include the National Development Party (NDP), Zapu/FP and
Zimbabwe People’s Party (ZPP), is also advocating for an alliance of all
political parties to avoid splitting votes and remove Zanu PF from power.
“We came up with One Zimbabwe Campaign after realising that successive
elections since independence have been rigged and we would like to ensure
that this would be prevented by forming a grand coalition that could be led
by Tsvangirai, Ncube or Makoni,” Kisinoti Mukwazhe, coordinator of One
During the first round of 2008 presidential election Tsvangirai got 1 195
562 votes (47,87 percent), Mugabe 1 079 730 (43,34 percent) and Makoni who
was riding on Ncube’s MDC got 207 470 (8,31 percent). A subsequent runoff
was disputed after Tsvangirai pulled out citing military-led violence which
he said killed at least 200 of his supporters in weeks.
The One Zimbabwe Campaign says it has already held talks with officials from
Tsvangirai’s MDC, Mavambo and also Zapu.
“The problem we are having is who should lead the coalition, everyone wants
to be the leader of the coalition and that is proving to be the stumbling
block. We hope that we will be able to deal with that once we have a
meeting,” said Mukwazhe.
Despite calls for unity, the chasm between the former comrades is widening
daily and last week Ncube attacked Tsvangirai and Mugabe for sidelining him
in crucial government meetings.
However, Tsvangirai says it is Mugabe who is blocking Ncube from attending
the principals’ Monday meetings.
“It is at the instigation of prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai that the
principals meeting be split into two with the Monday meeting focusing on
government while the Tuesday meeting being for political party leaders,”
said Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka.
“It is the view of the prime minister that Professor Welshman Ncube should
have attended the Tuesday meeting but this was objected by other
†principals,” he said, going further to defend the decision to appoint
ministers from Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s parties only to craft the poll
“It is in his personal view that when the two ministers (Chinamasa and
Matinenga) tasked with crafting the political and legal roadmap for our
polls, all political parties in the inclusive government should be
consulted,” said Tamborinyoka.
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:45
HARARE - Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube’s MDC has accused
coalition government principals of sidelining his party and Sadc from the
country’s election processes.
The principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and his deputy Arthur Mutambara on Tuesday agreed to set up a committee to
come up with an election roadmap that takes into consideration the need for
voter registration and inspection of the voters’ roll before election dates
Addressing the media in Harare yesterday, Ncube said his coalition partners
had ganged up against Sadc and his party when they assigned Justice minister
Patrick Chinamasa and Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga to draw
up the roadmap notwithstanding that there is one authored by the three
parties in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) under Sadc’s tutelage.
“It is clear to us that there are insidious repeated efforts by Mugabe and
Tsvangirai to re-write the GPA election roadmap by deliberately excluding us
and sidelining Sadc,” said Ncube.
“On March 28 we had written to the Sadc troika chair (Jakaya Kikwete)
indicating that their Maputo resolutions that the inclusive government must
work on an election roadmap are being flouted everyday.
“We briefed the Sadc facilitation team today (yesterday) on these things
underlining the contemptuous disregard of Sadc resolutions. We told them
that unless they intervene, we will not recognise an election result coming
from a process where the GPA has been jettisoned,” Ncube charged.
Turning to election funding by the United Nations, Ncube said the deal was
“as dead as a dodo” as the UN would not accept anything short of unfettered
access to every stakeholder. - Mugove Tafirenyika
HARARE — The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has renewed its calls for Police Commissioner
General Augustine Chihuri to quit his post saying he would not be able to
ensure that the forthcoming crucial general elections are peaceful.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 that the police
commissioner general will not be able to deal with issues of political
violence ahead of fresh polls expected to be held sometime this year because
of his links with Zanu PF.
Chihuri has openly declared that he is an apologist of President Robert
Mugabe's party while Mr. Mugabe and some top officials of his party have
said there was nothing wrong with securocrats openly supporting political
parties of their choice while still in office.
The MDC-T’s demand follows calls by President Mugabe during independence
celebrations Thursday for the police to ensure that there is peace during
the forthcoming elections.
Mr. Mugabe urged police to arrest all perpetrators of political violence.
However, Mr. Mwonzora said peace in the pending elections can only be
achieved if the police commissioner general resigned and is replaced by a
The MDC-T says credible elections are critical for Zimbabwe at this stage
after disputed polls of June 2008 forced President Mugabe to form a
coalition with Mr. Tsvangirai.
Mr. Mwonzora also took a swipe at Zanu PF political commissar and the
country's Information Minister Webster Shamu who told an independence rally
at the National Sports Stadium Thursday that results of an election will not
necessarily reflect who will lead the country.
Mr. Shamu said Zimbabwe got its independence through the barrel of the gun,
adding that former freedom fighters will not allow anyone without war
credentials to lead the country.
Mwonzora said such statements are tantamount to advocating for violence.
Mwonzora urged the Southern African Development Community and the African
Union, as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement to ensure that peace
prevails in the country before, during and after the elections.
The MDC-T is calling for international observers to be in the country at
least six months before polls are conducted. But Zanu PF is insisting that
international observers from countries that imposed sanctions on President
Mugabe and some senior Zanu PF officials will not be invited to monitor
Zimbabwe's elections if those restrictive measures are not lifted.
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:18
HARARE - More Zimbabweans are sinking into poverty compared to the situation
at the beginning of the decade, figures released yesterday show.
According to the latest Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats)
survey for 2011/2012, cases of extreme poverty have however, reduced.
In a document entitled Poverty and Poverty Datum Line Analysis in Zimbabwe
2011/12, Zimstats states that although individual poverty prevalence in
Zimbabwe improved between 1995 and 2001, it worsened in 2011.
“Individual poverty prevalence for Zimbabwe dropped from 75,6 percent in
1995 to 70,9 percent in 2001 and then rose to 72,3 percent in 2011.
However, persons in extreme poverty have also declined from 47,2 percent in
1995 to 41,5 percent in 2001 then further declined to 22,5 percent in 2011,”
reads the report.
According to the report, the impact of economic decline experienced in the
last decade negatively affected all sectors of the economy.
The introduction of Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme, (Sterp), and
the three-year Macroeconomic Policy and Budget Framework, and the crafting
of the Medium Term Plan, have played a pivotal role in economic recovery.
“There is, however, some fragility in the economy due to limited fiscal
space which has led to low levels in public investment in social sectors
thereby negatively impacting on poverty. Since independence, poverty
reduction has been a primary objective and, over time, Zimbabwe has been
relatively successful in addressing the needs of the poor,” reads the
“The macro-economic crisis of the last decade has, however, increased the
urgency of the challenge, and development of policy requires substantial
analysis of correlates of poverty and how they change over time,” noted the
The report measured the wellbeing and welfare of citizens in a bid to
ascertain poverty levels. It states that poverty is far worse in rural areas
than in urban set ups.
Poverty varied significantly among households across provinces and within
provinces. The prevalence of household poverty ranges from a low of 34,5
percent in Bulawayo to 81,7 percent in Matabeleland North, which is
It also shows that rural poverty is most prevalent in communal lands
followed by resettlement areas.
The worst living conditions are in resettlement areas with 42,9 percent of
the households having no toilet facilities at all while 42,8 percent receive
their water from unprotected wells or a surface 8water supply such as
rivers, streams and dams.
Director General of Zimstats Mutasa Dzinotizei said Zimbabwe was unable to
produce a poverty datum line analysis in 2007/2008 due to a number of
“Data should have an impact on policy formulation and this report is
different because it was able to establish the contribution of the informal
sector and it has representations of the provincial areas,” he said. -
Margaret Chinowaita, Community Affairs Editor
By Alex Bell
19 April 2013
Zimbabweans around the world will on Saturday gather once again for the 16th
round of the ‘Free Zimbabwe Global Protest’, calling for key reforms before
elections back home.
The protest action, dubbed the 21st Movement, takes place every month in the
Diaspora and encourages Zimbabweans around the world to join in and call for
real democratic change in Zimbabwe.
Since its inception last January, the protests have targeted Zimbabwean
embassies around the world as well as the embassies of key Southern African
nations involved in solving the Zimbabwe crisis. This has included South
Africa, Mozambique and others.
The protests this Saturday will take place outside Zimbabwean embassies
worldwide. The theme this month is “Simuka, Phakama, Stand Up” and be
According to the protest organisers “the events unfolding at home are
pointing to a violent election that will make the 2008 episode look like
“We have the opportunity to stop the bloodshed by bringing awareness to the
world on the machinations of ZANU PF to ‘win’ the election at all cost. We
have to demand in no uncertain terms the implementation of the outstanding
GPA reforms that will guarantee the protection of the vote and the voter. NO
REFORMS, NO ELECTIONS,” the organisers said.
More information can be found on
†††† by Obert Pepukai I VOA
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has failed to get candidates to represent it in four
constituencies in Masvingo in general elections expected to be called
sometime this year.
The party has since waived stringent requirements and re-opened applications
in the respective constituencies.
Chiredzi South, Chiredzi North, Mwenezi East and Mwenezi West have been
tough battlegrounds for the MDC-T in Masvingo. The party has struggled in
the past to garner enough support in these areas.
After the completion of its candidate selection process for primary
elections, the MDC-T failed to come up with candidates who met set down
requirements to represent it in the forthcoming elections.
So in an effort to find people who can stand on the party’s ticket in the
four constituencies, the party has had to scrap some of its strict
requirements so it can have representation in the crucial polls. Aspiring
candidates are being invited to file their applications with the party.
The party’s Masvingo provincial spokesman Harrison Mudzuri confirmed these
developments saying fresh applications have already flooded the party
Some MDC-T supporters in Chiredzi North said they were not free to campaign
for the party in the area because of intimidation and harassment from
traditional chiefs and Zanu PF activists.
Chiredzi North supporter Jairos Mutubu said the situation in the area is so
bad that it is difficult to mobilise locals for MDC-T activities.
But Mudzuri, who is also the MDC-T legislator for Zaka Central, said the
political situation in Masvingo is manageable despite what he called demons
of violence and intimidation from Zanu PF activists.
The four constituencies have always been Zanu PF strongholds. During the
2008 general elections, President Robert Mugabe garnered 18,000 votes in
Chiredzi South alone while the MDC-T got a paltry 2,000 votes.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:31
HARARE - In a first for Zimbabwe, the coming harmonised elections will see
female politicians benefitting following the decision by Zanu PF and MDC not
to allow male politicians to contest against them in primary elections.
Currently there are 30 women MPs in the House of Assembly and 21 Senators in
the Upper house from MDC and Zanu PF out of 300 MPs in both houses.
The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has 11 women in the lower
house, out of the 99 seats they won in the 2008 elections while seven are in
the Senate with the rest of the seats being shared by Zanu PF and Industry
and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube-led MDC.
MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the decision taken by his party’s
national council, its supreme decision-making body.
“We took that decision because we want to empower women so that they can
occupy powerful positions in government. We realised that the number of
women in Parliament is a far cry from the 50 percent that we intend to
achieve — besides the 60 seats they will get through the proportional
representation in the new constitution. I understand that Zanu PF wants to
follow us in taking that decision,” said Mwonzora.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said his party had received the proposal
from the women’s league and was going to consider it, although they already
have a quarter for women.
The decision if implemented, shuts the aspirations of many aspiring male
politicians who had set their eyes on toppling women parliamentarians at
their respective parties’ primary elections.
Female MPs being spared include Zanu PF’s Vice President Joice Mujuru (Mt
Darwin), Olivia Muchena (Mutoko South), Flora Buka(Gokwe Nembudziya), Monica
Mutsvangwa (Chimanimani), Stembiso Nyoni (Nkayi North) and Biata Nyamupinga
The MDC stable comprise of Jessie Majome (Harare West), Theresa Makone
(Harare North), Paurina Mpariwa( Mufakose), Margaret Matienga (Sunningdale),
Lucia Matibenga (Kuwadzana) and Nomahlanga Khumalo (Umzimgwane).
MDC led by Tsvangirai has already set April 20 as the date for primaries,
while Zanu PF struggles to find common ground as factionalism rock the
In the Seventh Parliament, Nyamupinga heads the Women Parliamentary Caucus
which is tasked with spearheading women’s issues in the August House. She is
deputised by Senator Keressenia Chabuka, (MDC) with Senator Spiwe Ncube
(MDC), Anastancia Ndlovu (Zanu PF), Ellina Shirichena (Zanu PF), Maina
Mandava (Zanu PF) and Agnes Sibanda (MDC) as committee members.
Nyamupinga said women were grateful that they now have the opportunity to
contribute to national development after years of lobbying.
“The draft constitution provides that women should get 60 seats in
Parliament uncontested, and now we are going to have 50-50 percent
representation in every aspect,” said Nyamupinga.
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:55
MUTARE - Manicaland provincial governor Chris Mushowe has appealed to
President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Joice Mujuru to quickly intervene
in the political squabbles bedevilling the party in the eastern province.
Mushowe, speaking on the sidelines of the 33rd independence celebrations at
Sakubva Stadium, begged Mugabe and Mujuru to stamp their authority as the
factionalism in Manicaland was tearing Zanu PF apart ahead of crucial
He said the infighting had the potential to harm Zanu PF’s ability to win
back support in the province, where the party won only six constituencies
out of 26 which went to the MDC.
“We need to be united in this province. What we saw last week, which is a
culmination of political squabbles taking place in this province, must
really be avoided,” said Mushowe.
“We have no luxury in this province to fight against each other; sometimes
fighting to secure personal political interests. We cannot destroy Zimbabwe
to nurture individual and self interests. After all, if president Mugabe and
his party fall, where will our interest be?
“As governor and resident minister of this province I really would like to
plead with the leadership to end this infighting and not cause the country
to be in the same situation like that cost us in 2008. We must have learnt
the lesson by now,” he said.
“ I hope that the leadership of president Mugabe and the presidium will one
day decide on how Manicaland should be handled and take a decision that will
save Manicaland,” said Mushowe.
He said those involved in factional fighting in Zanu PF were keen on
destroying the party.
“The people that will cause the demise of Zanu PF would be doing so against
the wishes of those who died for the liberation of this country. We do not
want that to happen,” he said.
Zanu PF has been dogged by infighting in Manicaland and other provinces
ahead of primary elections to choose candidates for a watershed general
election whose actual timing is still a subject of haggling within the shaky
Last week, the Zanu PF leadership dispatched party national chairperson
Simon Khaya Moyo on a fire fighting mission in Mutare after factions
intensified plots and counterplots which are tearing the party into pieces.
Manicaland has become the epicentre of the factionalism, which is largely
caused by manoeuvres to take over Zanu PF leadership after Mugabe has left
Mugabe has failed to groom a successor, a factor many say has caused the
deep divisions as warring factions within the party are engaged in a fierce
battle to succeed Mugabe.
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice president Joice Mujuru
reportedly lead the two largest factions.
Mnangagwa is famed for the 2004 Tsholotsho Declaration, a clandestine
meeting of party heavyweights described by Mugabe as a coup plot.
Like Tsholotsho in 2004, Manicaland has of late become the epicentre of the
factionalism affecting Zanu PF with secretary for administration Didymus
Mutasa pitted against a camp of other heavyweights led by politburo women’s
boss Oppah Muchinguri.
This forced Mugabe, who badly needs the factions to rally behind his
candidature, to appoint a special probe team headed by Khaya Moyo, which
convened the weekend meeting.
Sources said Mutasa appeared to be losing the war going into a meeting after
Muchinguri, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and former provincial
chairperson Madiro appeared to have successfully plotted a revenge mission.
The camp had been angered by the way Madiro was suspended after being
accused of looting close to $1 million donated to the party by diamond
Madiro was also recently in court accused of looting beasts donated for
Mugabe’s birthday bash held at Sakubva Stadium last year.
According to reports, the camp met at Muchinguri’s house in Mutare and
drafted a petition for Mugabe’s attention lambasting Mutasa, resulting in
the Khaya Moyo-led probe. - Sydney Saize
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:47
HARARE - Zimbabwe is so insignificant that only two percent of congressmen
can spot the southern African country on the global map, at least according
to a top United States diplomat.
This comes as Zanu PF gloats that the US is desperate to thaw relations
which have been on ice for over a decade to access Zimbabwe’s resources.
But a visiting US envoy says folks in his country have no particular
interest in Zimbabwe.
Andrew Young, a former US ambassador to the United Nations who met President
Robert Mugabe during a visit this week said Zimbabwe is a tiny dot when it
comes to US global interests although improved relations would be better for
“We do not need Zimbabwe, nothing changes in America if Zimbabwe does
whatever it does.
“But we want to work with Zimbabwe, we are ready to move forward in building
our relationship,” he said.
He was responding to a question from a journalist who was stressing on
sanctions and the negative relations between Harare and Washington.
Young, who said he was airing his personal views, was speaking at a civil
rights movement and non-violence discussion in Harare.
The top diplomat’s revelation also came after Zanu PF activist Goodson Nguni
accused the British, the US and other Western countries of “hiding behind
re-engagement” to “fool” Zanu PF ahead of elections.
Zimbabwe and the United States’ relationship went sour in 2001 when the
global powerhouse imposed travel and financial sanctions on Mugabe and over
100 of his close military, governing and business associates.
The US claimed Mugabe had rigged elections and was involved in gross human
Mugabe claims the sanctions are revenge for his drive to repossess farms
from white land barons to resettle landless blacks.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Reuben Brigety,
who together with Young met Mugabe on Tuesday, said the meeting focussed on
“We had an exceptional meeting with Mugabe for 90 minutes.
“He did not dwell on difficulties to our bilateral relationship.
“We came with a message that the United States is prepared to move to the
full normalisation of relationships, which a peaceful and credible election
will seal,” Brigety said.
He said Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections will be a crucial moment in defining
relations but said the United States was ready to work with any Zimbabwean
leader freely voted into power.
“The US government has no stake in who wins the elections.
“But we care that no one dies trying to express their choice,” Brigety
said. - Bridget Mananavire
Friday, 19 April 2013 11:37
MUTARE - Manicaland's border communities, who have previously suffered
attacks from Mozambican Renamo bandits, are on edge as the unpopular
Mozambique opposition party continues to spoil for a return to hostilities
after a two- decade hiatus.
Chiefs Ngorima and Mutasa in Manicaland have since October last year
convened meetings to warn their subjects to be wary of interactions with
their Mozambican neighbours as Renamo toys with the idea of returning to
Chief Mutasa has even approached the army to deploy along the Mozambican
border and has passed a prohibition order against locals crossing the porous
border or entertaining those who cross over from Mozambique.
Chief Mutasa’s son Fanuel Mutasa said at some point they had received news
that Renamo bandits intended to infiltrate the country through Honde Valley.
Catharine Matsanamure from Rusitu in Chimanimani says local traditional
leaders have since warned against hiring Mozambicans as domestic workers for
fear of infiltration by Renamo sympathisers.
Matsanamure said locals feared that they will be subjected to reprisal
attacks if Zimbabwe moved in to support its strategic neighbour as happened
in the early 1980s when Renamo bandits attacked Zimbabweans living along the
border. The Zimbabwean army helped crush Renamo under the guise of
protecting the Feruka Oil pipeline.
“We hear that they will attack us the moment our soldiers join the conflict
on Frelimo’s side,” Matsanamure said. Frelimo is Mozambique’s ruling party
and enjoys warm relations with Zimbabwe.
Renamo has maintained a private army since the end of the country’s civil
war in 1992 and apparently enjoys more support among shona speaking
Mozambicans, according to locals.
Although the situation remains tense in the wake of nine civilians and four
security personnel killed in the past two weeks in Mozambique, most
Zimbabweans are oblivious to the risk of travelling into the country in the
absence of any government warnings.
Maxwell Mukodza, a transporter in Mutare, says the flow of Zimbabwean
travellers into the country has not been affected by the recent reports of
escalation of conflict. - Bernard Chiketo
Zimbabwe fast bowler Kyle Jarvis' disciplined spell of six overs for one run
at the start of the day set the platform for Keegan Meth and Shingirai
Masakadza to rip out five wickets in the morning session, before Jarvis
returned after lunch to claim three wickets in seven balls.
Agence France Presse††††† |† Last updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 22:31
Harare:††††† Zimbabwe will go into day four of the first Test against
Bangladesh eyeing victory over their closest rivals after gaining the most
from a wicket-filled Friday at Harare Sports Club.
The hosts went to stumps on 187 for seven in their second innings, with
captain Brendan Taylor again leading from the front with an unbeaten 81,
giving them an overall lead of 442.
Bangladesh will already require a world-record score to win the match.
After the first two days of the match had produced a combined total of 484
runs and 11 wickets, at one stage the third had seen 11 wickets fall for the
addition of just 48 runs.
That was largely due to an embarrassing collapse by Bangladesh, who began
the day on 95 for one but were bowled out for 134 shortly after lunch to
give Zimbabwe a first-innings lead of 255.
Each of the Bangladeshi top three made 29 or more, but the next eight
batsmen managed just 18 runs between them, with the last four all
registering ducks. The last five wickets went down without a run being
Zimbabwe fast bowler Kyle Jarvis' disciplined spell of six overs for one run
at the start of the day set the platform for Keegan Meth and Shingirai
Masakadza to rip out five wickets in the morning session, before Jarvis
returned after lunch to claim three wickets in seven balls.
Despite Zimbabwe's significant advantage, Taylor opted not to enforce the
"In the back of our minds we still knew there were two and a half days,"
"Keegan had bowled 20 overs, I had bowled 16 and Shingi had bowled a similar
"If they had batted well second time around then we would have ended up
bowling around 40 each which we didn't think was in our best interest with
just three days between Tests."
The decision appeared to have backfired when Robiul Islam took four wickets
for nine runs at the start of the second innings, as Zimbabwe stuttered in
spite of their huge lead.
"I thought credit must go to Robiul - he bowled well and deserved all those
wickets," said Masakadza.
However Taylor once again steadied the innings, finding support from Elton
Chigumbura, who made 27, and Graeme Cremer, who scored 43.
In between those partnerships Robiul picked up two wickets in two balls to
claim a six-wicket haul in the innings and increase his match haul to nine.
Bangladesh will require a world record score to win, leaving Taylor with the
decision of whether or not he should declare overnight or seek to become
just the third Zimbabwean to score two centuries in the same match.
by Farai Bango
The Mugabe regime has turned a people’s revolution into a tragedy, says Zapu
national spokesperson, Mjobisa Noko in a statement to mark the 33rd
Independence Day celebrations.
“Zapu believes that there is nothing to celebrate given that the
independence that is there has no freedom to talk about,” said Noko adding
that: “The country lurched from a white racist’s establishment into a black
racist’s establishment that has turned itself into a semi-god.”
He said as a party they are humbled by how resolute Zimbabweans have
remained in the face of total violation of their rights.
“Numerous innocent Zimbabweans have disappeared; some have died at the hands
of the state. Some 20 000 civilians are still to be accounted for since the
Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands in the mid 80s.
“Zapu therefore demands that a truth and reconciliation commission be set up
without delay to resolve this issue,” reads part of the statement.
Nook said independence is incomplete when citizens cannot feed themselves,
social services like health, education and water supply is non-existent
while some leaders still declare that the majority want them.
“Zapu will fight to liberate the citizens of this country this time
democratically. People are demanding to have a chance to choose their
leaders without coercion.
“In the new draft constitution, they have demanded devolution of power, an
end to dictatorship and they have a God given right to be accorded what they
so wish,” added Noko.
He said while they salute those that sacrificed for the motherland, Zapu
frowns at those that have turned Zimbabwe into their personal property,
where they have personal fiefdoms and encourage regionalism and espouse
tribal overtones to divide the people of this great nation.
“Today we also want to inform all Zimbabweans that Zapu, the peoples’ party
withdrew from the Unity Accord and is not going back,” reads the statement.
In what is undoubtedly a product of what I now know to be the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF, Freedom House hosted “A Conversation with Tendai Biti on Zimbabwe’s Elections” yesterday.† Tendai Biti, the Secretary General of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance in the Government of National Unity mixed optimism with concern in his remarks on the elections anticipated in Zimbabwe this year (regarding the time frame, he said that it would not be legally possible to hold the presidential election until late July at the earliest, by which time the mandate of Parliament will have expired).
Biti argued that this would be a ‘defining election for Zimbabwe’ and compared its importance to the February 1980 contest that ended minority rule and brought President Robert Mugabe to power.
In the spirit of optimism, Biti pointed to three developments†that he felt would ensure a (relatively) transparent and accountable election -
He then turned his attention to the matters that gave him concern -
Biti mentioned several politically motivated cases currently going through the courts at a tortuously slow pace.† However, when a congressional staffer asked him about the recent†arrest and detention†of one of Zimbabwe’s leading human rights lawyers, he said that he maintained his confidence that Zimbabweans desired change and that new institutions like the†Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee†would play a key role in resolving these types of disputes.
He went on to acknowledge that there would likely be violence in the election.† However, he said that the Government of National Unity ushered in a cooling off period and he applauded Mugabe’s verbal commitments to non-violence since the aborted 2008 elections. His opinion† was that the worst dregs of the 2008 election atmosphere will not return, particularly if there is a significant presence of international observers (he said he’d be happy with their mere presence, regardless of their nationalities).†† Biti also thinks that the increasing penetration of social media in Zimbabwe makes wide scale repression less likely. As an example of this societal change, he lamented his son’s musical preference for Kanye West over Thomas Mapfumo and Chimurenga music.
Funding for the elections was also a key issue for Biti, who†has previously stated†that the country has no money to finance elections; this contention was repeated at Freedom House.† He added that although there†has been some confusion†regarding UN financial support for the elections, he wants UN assistance and thinks that it is essential for Zimbabwe’s efforts to rebuild its legitimacy in the international community.
Biti also exhibited a pan-African consciousness.† He announced that the loser in Zimbabwe refused to step down in 2008, just as in Kenya the same year and in the Ivory Coast in 2010.† He praised the provisions in the new constitution that provide for citizenship of immigrants to Zimbabwe from neighboring SADC countries and said that a rash of upcoming elections would allow the African continent to prove that it has come of age.
Befitting his status as Finance Minister, Biti burnished his economic credentials, speaking of Zimbabwe as a reliable destination for investors (he cited its abundance of natural resources, educated labor, etc.) and lauding its progress since abandoning the Zimbabwe dollar.† He did however, express concern with the role of diamonds in shaping the political landscape and lamented the fact that no diamond revenues were accruing to the national treasury.
In what seems to be a best case scenario, Biti appears to envision the MDC winning Presidential elections that will be held in five to six months and that after a turbulent period of another 6 months, a smooth transition to a legitimate, free Zimbabwe will gather traction.
I don’t think that this optimism is founded, but as Biti said, Zimbabwe certainly ‘deserves’ it.† None of the southern African liberation movements (SWAPO, ANC, MPLA, or FRELIMO) have lost power and I don’t see ZANU-PF willingly bucking that trend.
Fire burning ... President Mugabe lights the Independence flame at the
†††† by Robert Mugabe
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE
ZIMBABWE DEFENCE FORCES, COMRADE ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE, ON THE OCCASION OF
ZIMBABWE’S 33rd INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS, HARARE:† 18TH APRIL, 2013.
Honourable Vice President Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru,
Honourable Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara and Mai
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe,
Honourable President of the Senate, Mai Edna Madzongwe,
The Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Lovemore Moyo,
The Honourable Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
His Worship the Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda,
Families of Heroes of the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle,
War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-† Detainees, and Restrictees,
Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Esteemed Foreign Guests and Visitors,
Performing Artists joining us on this day,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and Friends,
I am delighted and honoured to preside over this Thirty-third Anniversary of
our country’s Independence and sovereignty. To a great extent, the
Celebrations attest to our ability as a people united by a common destiny, a
people called by one name - Zimbabweans – rising up to various challenges
and remaining vigilant through the three decades, in order to protect our
Sure, the Nation still faces challenging but not insurmountable tasks ahead.
Hence I wish this early on, to encourage the continuance of the hard work,
patriotism, dedication and selfless service which are the tools we need to
carry our country forward.
However, for now, at this juncture it gives me great pleasure to convey my
congratulations to every one of you on the auspicious occasion of this 33rd
Anniversary of our Independence Day.† Makorokoto! Amhlophe!
We celebrate this happy and joyous birthday with a great sense of national
pride. Our joy is, however, stronger when we hold dear the memory of how our
Independence was achieved.† Colonialism was a stubborn and obstinate beast
that would not yield to peaceful means of seeking a settlement to the
question of majority rule. Hence, it had to take an armed struggle to bring
the settler colonialists to agree to majority rule, which eventually brought
us to the negotiating table at Lancaster House, resulting in the attainment
of our Independence in April, 1980.
Fellow compatriots, we now know the story of climate change only too well.
Once again, this year, the early rains promised a good agricultural season
only for us later to face the stress of a prolonged mid-season dry spell in
most parts of the country, which has threatened the country’s food security
situation. As Government closely monitors the situation, drought mitigating
measures have been adopted to ensure the extension of the Grain Loan Scheme
and to activate an enhanced, timeous Grain Importation Programme.
In addition, Government’s commitment to food security at both household and
national levels is reflected in our National Food and Nutrition Security
Policy, which is a collaborative effort with United Nations agencies and
The development of a national irrigation policy, for long a talking point,
is without doubt our best hope for alleviating the impact of the persistent
droughts that are clearly a result of climate change. The successful conduct
of last year’s Population Census should further strengthen our national
policy formulation and subsequently better equip Government in dealing with
the important issue of food security.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, you will recall that Article VI
of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which led to the formation of the
Inclusive Government recognized our fundamental right and duty as
Zimbabweans to work on a new Constitution for the country.† We now have
Once the Draft Constitution was ready, a national Referendum was held on
16th March 2013. The results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) show that the people voted resoundingly for its adoption as the
supreme and fundamental law of the land. As Head of State and Government, I
am glad to note that the successful outcome of the Referendum demonstrated
beyond any doubt the greater values and aspirations that bind us as a people
than those which divide us.
Allow me to congratulate all Zimbabweans who voted for the Draft
Constitution in large numbers, and for showing great maturity by voting
wisely and in a very peaceful manner.† May I also commend the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission, polling officers, the security services, particularly
the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and all those who were involved in making the
entire process a success for a job well done!† Our people have spoken and
eloquently enunciated their wishes. I say Amhlophe! Makorokoto!
Congratulations once again!
The country is now due to hold Harmonized Elections, guided by a new-home
grown Constitution.† As with the Referendum, I wish to urge the Nation to
uphold and promote peace before, during and after the elections.
It is pleasing to note that our economy has remained resilient on a positive
growth path registering an estimated 4,4 per cent growth rate in the past
year.† Agriculture, mining and tourism were the key drivers of this growth,
a reminder, if one was needed, that we have the resources in our land to
lift our Nation to greater heights.
The stable macro-economic environment characterized by low inflation of less
than 5 per cent, enabled Zimbabwe to maintain its position as one of the
fastest growing economies in the region.† Against the combined background of
the illegal sanctions, the fragile global economic environment, negligible
external support and the negative effects of climate change on our
agriculture, Government is largely relying on domestic resources to address
infrastructure bottlenecks such as shortages of spare parts for industry,
repair of vandalized installations and the erratic electricity and water
supplies. Government is also aware of the liquidity crunch faced by the
country and will take appropriate measures to ensure that the matter is
The Land Reform Programme, for which we were vilified, testifies today to a
palpable improvement in livelihoods of Zimbabweans who benefited from the
Programme.† This is a fact now widely acknowledged, at times still
grudgingly, by our critics.
Agriculture grew by 4, 6 per cent in 2012 led by tobacco, cotton and sugar.
Tobacco accounted for 10,7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is
set to continue its leading role in the economy, following the registration
of more than 66,245 tobacco farmers compared to 35,749 farmers in the
previous season. It is Government’s wish to see sanity in cotton prices as
this sector provides strategic industrial raw material for our clothes and
for the production of edible oils and stock feeds.
In manufacturing, the primary focus of the Government is to increase value
addition and promote trade relations within the bilateral, regional and
multilateral frameworks.† In this regard, Government has been promoting
enhanced value-addition of primary commodities in all the sectors in order
to restore the manufacturing sector’s production capacity, increase output
and hence availability of commodities for both the domestic and export
As a major sign of confidence in our countries and their people, Zimbabwe
and Zambia won the bid to co-host the 20th Session of the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Victoria Falls and
Livingstone respectively in August this year.† Preparations for this major
event continue.† As the date for the UNWTO General Assembly approaches, I
wish to urge all Zimbabweans to contribute to the Nation’s preparations and
support this initiative which has the potential to increase opportunities
for new investments, employment creation and income generation.
Through aggressive destination marketing, Zimbabwe has witnessed surging
interest from regional and international airlines intending to come to the
country.† Consequently, in 2012, four airlines, namely the United Arab
Emirates, KLM Dutch Airlines, Mozambican Airlines and Air Namibia commenced
services to Harare thereby improving capacity, connectivity and
competitiveness; moves that are set to further promote Zimbabwe as a tourist
destination. We look forward to the full resumption of regional and
international flights by the national airline, Air Zimbabwe.
As part of strategies to alleviate poverty, 59 Community Share Ownership
Trusts (CSOTs) have, to date, been registered throughout the country to
develop and rehabilitate community infrastructure in accordance with the
priorities of the different communities. Furthermore, employee Share
Ownership Schemes are also being set up in order to enable workers to
participate and benefit from the indigenization and economic empowerment
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are a major source of livelihood
for many people and will continue to receive financial support from the
Government. In this context, the Small Enterprises Development Corporation
(SEDCO) disbursed US$1,022 million in 2012, sustaining at least 1,205 jobs.
In addition, one hundred and fifty four (154) Savings and Credit
Cooperatives were registered in 2012, recording a total savings of
$386,800-00 in the first six months of the same year.
To improve their operational environment, a total of 5,846 MSMEs were
relocated into factory shells, vendor marts and flea markets, while others
were allocated commercial stands.† Local authorities and the private sector
are encouraged to work together to house micro, small and medium business.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, it is most appropriate for me on
this occasion to pay tribute to our defence and security forces for their
dedication and commitment in maintaining the peace and security of our free
and sovereign Zimbabwe.
Our foreign policy continues to be anchored on the sacred desire to
safeguard our hard-won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
These principles, as well as those of peace, stability and economic
prosperity, underpin our relations with countries within SADC and beyond.
The country is grateful for the unwavering support and assistance it has
received from SADC and the African Union in the implementation of the Global
Zimbabwe welcomes the reengagement efforts that were recently initiated by
Britain and the European Union, and we hope that these efforts will lead to
the unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.
As we celebrate our 33rd Independence Day Anniversary, let us take time to
reflect on the need for full commitment to Zimbabwe, and gear ourselves
towards holding peaceful Harmonized Elections this year. I urge our people
to replicate the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that characterized our
Referendum and thus shun all forms of hate and violence.
Let us strive at all times for peace, respect, and goodwill towards one
another and to work for the unity and development of our country and people.
Once again, I say
Happy Birthday Zimbabweans!
Happy 33rd Independence Day Anniversary!
Long Live Zimbabwe!
Long Live our Independence!
I thank you.
†††† by Prof Welshman Ncube
Independence Day message by MDC president Welshman Ncube on the occasion of
Zimbabwe’s 33rd Independence:
As the MDC joins the rest of the nation in celebrating our 33rd Independence
anniversary and remembering the sacrifices made by our forbearers to free us
from the shackles of colonialism and racial segregation, we take a moment to
reflect on how far we have come as a nation.
This year’s Independence Day comes at a time when as Zimbabweans we finally
have a constitution that we can truly call our own, a constitution by which
the people have reclaimed their rights and their power, in particular the
power to determine through devolution, their own local affairs.
In this way, they have reserved for themselves the power to determine the
use of their local resources, determine development priorities and be
directly involved in the decisions which affect their daily lives. And I
have never been more proud to be a Zimbabwean.
We salute the people of Zimbabwe for coming this far in their quest for a
free and fair Zimbabwe. As we move towards elections, I encourage you all to
take the final leap and make sure that you are registered to vote. I appeal
especially to the youths and first time voters to embrace the spirit of
voting as this will determine your future. If you do not register to vote,
all the work we have done in the making of the constitution would have been
In the same vein, we urge you to be tolerant, united and non-violent before,
during and after elections. We believe as a party that nothing good was ever
brought by violence.
Before independence, we took to the bush and fought for our freedom. But
today, thanks to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us in the
liberation struggle, all we need to do is exercise our democratic right in
the ballot box.
The last 33 -years have taught us that our enemy is not an individual but a
system, a system of dictatorship, corruption, lawlessness and gross human
rights violations. As we celebrate our independence today, the MDC pledges
an open democracy, in which national government is accountable to the people
through the devolution of power and decision-making to the provinces and
We hope that as we go forward this will help us as a nation to build a
dynamic economy, built on the principles of a mixed economy with a strong
social conscience enabling the creation of jobs, accessible and affordable
health and education through sustainable economic reconstruction,
transformation and development.
To us, independence means ensuring food security and the development of all
rural areas through secure agricultural production, the prosperity of all
the people through sound business policies, creation of secure jobs with
adequate pay and the empowerment of all the people. It also means
empathetic, non-corrupt and dependable leadership which you can hold to
account through participative democracy.
As MDC, we remain guided by our unwavering desire for the freedom and
liberty of all citizens in a Zimbabwe free from all forms of violence,
intimidation and coercion as means of political organisation and
We remain unflinching in our quest for a Zimbabwe in which all nationals are
equal and free to express their political views and make such political
decisions without fear of harassment or vilification.
To each and every Zimbabwean, we say Amhlophe, Makorokoto, Congratulations
on our 33rd year of independence.
PROF. WELSHMAN NCUBE
APRIL 18, 2013
19 APR 2013 07:22 - JASON MOYO
The country is calling its children back, but most seem unwilling to risk
returning to an unstable environment.
The fears of a Zimbabwean who is eager to return to his home country were
best portrayed by comedian Carl Joshua Ncube in one of his acts not long
He describes how he and his wife, who both recently returned home to start a
business, have learnt to share a bucket of water in a way that preserves the
peace in their marriage. "One splash for her, one splash for me, one splash
for her …" Ncube said, to peels of knowing laughter from his audience.
It is one of many tales of woe – water shortages – that Zimbabweans at home
easily joke about, but it is the kind of story that terrifies those outside
the country considering a return to Zimbabwe.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara acknowledges these fears, but says
these can be opportunities: "Yes, there are problems and challenges in
Zimbabwe – poor infrastructure, low access to financial services, food
security matters, governance, low productivity and low beneficiation – but
these must be seen as potential opportunities by creative entrepreneurs."
Many people are indeed taking the plunge, with private agencies being set up
in Zimbabwe to help returning citizens to settle in, and large companies are
actively recruiting from within the diaspora.
But the government appears more interested in making sure that repatriated
funds are channelled into state coffers. There is no official data on how
much Zimbabweans send back to the country each year because most of the
transfers happen informally. Bus conductors on the Johannesburg to Harare
route make a pretty penny by charging a minimum of 20% in commission to send
A report by South African nonprofit organisation People Against Suffering,
Oppression and Poverty says that Zimbabweans living in South Africa
repatriated $847-million in 2011.
According to central bank data, remittances into Zimbabwe through formal
channels were $190-million in 2009, 142.6% higher than in 2008, and 335%
more than what was recorded in 2007. A more recent Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) report puts annual remittances through "formal channels" at
First National Bank, which recently launched a cellphone-based cash
remittance service to Zimbabwe, says its research had shown that about
1.9-million Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa send home an
average of R6.7-billion a year.
Another indicator came from Standard Bank, which says it handled more than
R1-million in transfers to Zimbabwe since it launched a money transfer
service in December.
There are also no recent official figures on how many Zimbabwean households
still depend on remittances. At the height of the economic crisis, a study
by the Economic and Social Research Council found that 50% of urban
households in Harare and Bulawayo were dependent on migrant remittances.
But the impact of remittances appears to have weakened, according to the
central bank. RBZ governor Gideon Gono says that "diaspora inflows" are one
of the main sources of income for Zimbabwe, but that Zimbabwe was now
increasingly seeing only "moderate remittances", owing to changes in
economic realities both at home and abroad.
Exodus of professionals
Zimbabwean professionals began leaving in large numbers late in the 1990s,
with the exodus speeding up after the economic crisis deepened after 2000.
According to Zimbabwe's Scientific and Industrial Research and Development
Centre, by 2003, 500 000 skilled workers had left. In the same year,
Zimbabwe lost 80% of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and radiologists it
had trained since 1980. According to the ministry of health, 92% of
pharmacists' posts were vacant by September 2004.
In 2008 alone, the year the global economic crisis peaked, mines lost half
of their critical skills base, mostly to South Africa.
However, Zimbabwe still appears undecided about what it really wants out of
its diaspora; its people back, or their money.
A 2005 International Organisation for Migration survey found that 67% of
exiled Zimbabweans surveyed had said they would like to return to Zimbabwe
at some point in future. But the years of economic crisis since then, and
the delayed reforms under the unity government, would likely have dampened
the hopes many may have had of returning.
In 2009, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was booed off a stage by his own
supporters in London after he called on them to return home.
But there are many efforts under way to reverse the trend. Websites such as
comehometozim.com and motherlandzimbabwe.org on which "diasporans" register
for jobs at home are increasingly popular.
On zimbabwehumancapital.org, set up by the government and the migration
organisation, Zimbabweans abroad can submit applications for jobs at home.
The website, comehometozim.com, calls out to Zimbabweans abroad: "Don't wait
for ‘things to come right' in Zimbabwe. Things don't fix themselves, it
takes people – that's why Zimbabwe needs you."
19 APR 2013 00:00 - EVERJOICE J WIN
After a decade away, Everjoice J Win returns and battles with a different
Zimbabwe. Or is she ultimately the one who has changed?
"There is that Satanist ‘church'. Look, it doesn't have a cross on it,"
Aunty snorted derisively, her voice full of concern and anger. The three
heads in the back seat all nodded in agreement.
"You mean the Mormons? Mitt Romney's church? Where did you hear that from?
You Zimbabweans and your stories!" I said in shock.
"Meat who?" asked concerned Uncle 1. Disgusted Aunty and concerned Uncle 2
all vehemently lecture me about the rise of witchcraft and Satanism in
They recounted stories of snakes coming out of women's handbags, babies born
after three days of pregnancy, and cows delivering calves with six heads.
They gleefully affirmed the magical powers of the born-again prophets. Uncle
1 was particularly pleased that even government ministers were outwardly
embracing Christianity, wearing apostolic gowns, joining mass prayers.
"This nation will be blessed by God. The Satanists will be destroyed,"
opined Aunty, reclining in her seat, a satisfied smile on her face.
I had lost yet another battle. EJ: zero, Zimbabwe: too many to count. I do
not have the weapons to fight these battles at all.
I realised this just a few weeks after I returned at the end of 2011. Ten
years away from home is a long time. Home. A very problematic concept. I was
born and grew up in Zimbabwe. I only went away in my late 30s. I should feel
at home. I moved back into my own house, dusted the furniture, killed the
roaches and ran the rats out of the 'hood. The street names are still the
same. The villages are exactly where I left them. Yet I can no longer
navigate this place.
A new Harare
I am discovering a new Harare. Phillip, my old hairdresser, is still in
Harare's Avenues. He shares space with about 10 or more hairdressers. It is
called "rent a chair". Each hairdresser brings their own supplies and their
Aunty Mary closed the big salon after the Zimbabwe dollar crashed, and went
back to Kenya. She must have taken the fluffy white towels and functional
driers with her.
Here, in the down-market area of Harare, is where I get to experience real
life the way an ordinary person on the street lives it.
As I sit in the wobbly plastic chair, a veritable supermarket passes me by:
fresh chickens, at $5 each;† sweet potatoes, even in the middle of December;
car parts and stationery; shoes and toilet paper. Skin lightening creams are
back in vogue, at $6 for the one with the most strength, straight from
Europe – where the women have milky white skin, the vendor assures me!
I regret not learning haggling skills in the markets of Lagos or Kolkata
when I still had an international job. So I let the hairdressers negotiate
on my behalf. Me, I would pay $20 dollars for a $5 handbag. That is the
problem here. One never knows what the real price of anything is supposed to
be. The US dollar is treated as if it is the old Zimbabwe dollar or even the
South African rand.
"Ah, mother! To fix this geyser we need only 500," quoth the electrician.
Rand or dollars, I stupidly ask no one in particular. The job takes him less
than two hours.
"Just $10" is what a young man charges for working 16 hours a week in my
mum's garden. "We bought this Mercedes for just $25 000," says the apostle
of a newfangled church.
I keep converting into rand. But none of the pricing makes sense. I don't
ask how people survive, on both ends of the economic spectrum. All of it
defies economic logic.
In my neighbourhood, Westgate, a big Pick n Pay supermarket opened last
December. That's shopping I can understand. The familiar blue and red logo
invites me in. I saunter down the wide aisles as I would in Rosebank in
Johannesburg. Here is my favourite Clover milk. My son's Parmalat cheese.
"Product of Zimbabwe" it says on the freshly packaged veggies. Yeah right.
Who gives a fig? All I and other happy shoppers want is washed and
ready-to-eat salad. It could be from Mpumalanga, just like the apples, the
juices from Ceres valley, or the toothpaste made in Isando.
Indigenisation my (made in South Africa) Essie pedicured foot! It doesn't
matter how many times Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his lot
pontificate, over here in the 'burbs indigenisation is as foreign as
lasagne. We love our imported stuff, we Zimbabweans. If Britain's
Sainsbury's was to open a branch here, a big political man and his wife I
know would be the first to go and buy their favourite bread.
Gone are the big department stores we once knew. The ones that offered me
credit as a fresh university graduate. One can shop for or sell goods
anywhere! I just peer out of my gate and the neighbourhood security guard
sells me an airtime voucher. I buy guavas in traffic jams. I am happy that
the big "bambazonke" multinationals have been unbundled, creating
opportunities for the small trader. Everyone has seemingly become an
entrepreneur. I am amazed by the women who daily manage to sell me something
I do not need or want. I marvel at those I see in airports, screaming at
customs officers and then triumphantly clearing their goods for resale. I
just worry about the disorderliness of it all. But that's just me: reared on
classic capitalism and so-called Western standards. Pronounce it with
distaste in your voice, please.
Even Harare's city has "moved". I still have not been to the old CBD. There
is nothing there, my middle- class friends tell me. Unless I want dodgy
moneychangers, cheap Chinese products or, heaven forbid, a bank – I still
deal with real human tellers rather than use internet banking!
We order fresh croissants from Mohammed, the French baker. A "new farmer"
delivers beef to your door. Chickens are reared by your office
administrator. Clothes are found at a friend's cousin's wife's place; she
brings them from Dubai or China. Your car gets fixed by a cousin's fixer
buddy who runs a mobile service. Money is not in the banks;† it comes
through Eco-cash on your cellphone. Every second house in Mount Pleasant
seems to have been turned into a restaurant, serving the most delicious
filter coffee and exotic sounding food. The food critics in the papers can't
There is another whole world in Zimbabwe, the one you don't read about in
the papers. Here is where I discover just how many white people there are in
Zimbabwe, the old and the new ones. The old ones (in both senses of that
word) have their own universe. I have discovered "missionaries" in long blue
skirts in Mabelreign. Young Christian volunteers from the US are here to
"spread the word". They too live in a parallel universe, away from the
"Zimbabwe will never be a colony again" mantra in the public arena. I see a
21st-century Pioneer Column arriving in their wake. But then I am known for
I live here physically, but I may as well be in Johannesburg. I shop at Pick
n Pay. I stream my favourite Kaya FM on my laptop. Thank my employers for
good bandwidth! I read the Mail & Guardian. I can't wait for the Sunday
The Christian-fundamentalist holier-than-thou messages on local radio are
too much for my atheistic head to tolerate. The local papers are too full of
stories about goblins, witchcraft, sexual scandals and, quite frankly, no
new news. I can read all the daily newspapers during the 15-minute drive to
work. How many times can you read about what Robert Mugabe said or what
Morgan Tsvangirai predicts? The antics of the Chimbetu brothers have become
stale from too much daily reheating. I watch ZTV news just so that I can
keep up with the important funerals.
I socialise more with my friends strewn across the globe. I have deep Skype
conversations with Neelanjana in India, political discussions with Jorge in
Brazil or Wandia in Kenya. I keep up with Laura in New York on Google chat,
Shamim in Johannesburg by SMS and Korto in Liberia on Facebook. I have
un-friended most of my clan who have become Jesus's deputies.
The markers of Zimbabwe, my home city Harare, or what it means to be
Zimbabwean, have all been yanked out.
Friends and family have become strangers. I cannot relate to the national
fascination with superstition mixed with religiosity. I am confused by all
the proselytising, and at the same time everyone has become self-centred,
seeking political power, wealth and prosperity. My people's unquenchable
pursuit of monstrous houses, big money, huge cars and even huger Bibles are
the stuff of Nollywood movies for me.
I too have changed. I see things differently. I speak a different language.
Maybe it is not the country that has moved. Maybe it is me who needs to
Everjoice J Win is a Zimbabwean feminist. Her body lives in Harare, her
heart is in Italy and her head resides in Johannesburg.
April 19, 2013, 1:00 pm
The last nine days in the UK have been given over to Margaret Thatcher who
died at the age of 87. Love her or loathe her, one has to admit that she
left her mark on Britain and the wider world. Zimbabweans are probably not
aware of the strong feelings the former prime minister aroused in this
country. She had been out of office since 1992 but the anger and resentment
she inspired in some quarters was positively vitriolic, the adulation from
her supporters was equally strong. Her funeral in St Pauls Cathedral after
the cortege wound its way through the streets of London with a military
escort was given full coverage in the media. I was half expecting to see
Robert Mugabe there after Zanu PF had just expressed its sorrow at her
passing. Rather surprising, considering that Margaret Thatcher had once
described Mugabe and Zanu PF as “terrorists”. In truth, Africa as a whole
has no reason to mourn Margaret Thatcher’s passing. She had been decidedly
out of step with the rest of the world’s view of the apartheid regime in
South Africa which perhaps explains why Frederic de Klerk, the one time
South African president, was there for her funeral.
In the nine days between her death and the funeral, various anti-Thatcher
groups had made their feelings heard. There were threats of public protests
and even parties thrown to celebrate her death. “Ding-dong the witch is
†dead” was the anthem of the anti-Thatcher activists and as a result of all
this overt hostility there was a heavy security presence in London on the
day of the funeral. Then, to heighten the atmosphere of impending terror,
came the news of the Boston bombing.
In the event, the funeral passed off without any trouble; there were a few
anti-Thatcher placards and one group turned their backs as the cortege
passed but other than that it was what some people described it ‘a typically
British affair’. The Queen was there with the Duke of Edinburgh and some two
thousand dignitaries packed St Pauls. As the Bishop of London said in his
address, in the end “she was just one of us”, subject to the same hurts and
joys and the same inevitable ending. It was a timely reminder that we are
all mortal, however high we may rise in the world’s estimation.
And in Zimbabwe, it was interesting to note the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission’s statement this week that it had removed some 300.000 dead
voters from the Electoral Roll, including Ian Smith who died six years ago!
Yesterday, April 18th was Zimbabwe’s anniversary, marking 33 years since
Smith and the white regime he led was defeated. It is to Robert Mugabe’s
credit that Ian Smith was permitted to reside peacefully on his farm in
Selukwe for the remainder of his life. Speaking at this year’s Independence
celebrations Mugabe called for peace, “You are all Zimbabweans” he told the
crowd. “Go and vote your own way. No one should force you to vote for me,”
No one can accuse Mugabe of not saying the right thing, it’s just a pity his
followers don’t seem to hear him. Police Chief Augustine Chihuri was also
making the right noises. Violence will not be tolerated, he told police
officers. “Exercise your duties with assertiveness, conviction and boldness
without fear or favour.” Unfortunately, not everyone is singing from the
same hymn sheet; just last week, Jabulani Sibanda, the war veterans’ leader,
threatened widespread violence if Zanu PF loses the election. Strangely
enough there was no ‘bold’ and ‘assertive’ reaction from the police to
Sibanda’s threat of violence. It’s not hard to tell which side the police
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson.