Mutare, April 21, 2012 – Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF secretary for
administration and a fierce loyalist of President Robert Mugabe, has joined
other heavy weights in Zanu PF in the race to succeed the 88-year old
Mutasa, a minister of state in Mugabe’s office, is said to have thrown his
hat into the ring and was reportedly using his Manicaland base as a launch
pad to succeed Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980.
Insiders said Mutasa was being encouraged by his hangers-on from Manicaland
Province where he is revered as a “Godfather” in Zanu PF circles.
The sources said those touting Mutasa said he was seen as the most loyal
from those vying to succeed Mugabe and hence was likely to ensure the safety
of the ageing and ailing leader would be guaranteed.
The sources said Mutasa was spearheading the ouster from the Zanu PF
provincial leadership of Mike Madiro, believed to be a protégé of Emerson
Mnangagwa, another contender for the country’s top job.
A sequel of anti popular demonstrations calculated at ousting Madiro and his
Mnangagwa – aligned provincial executive have hit Mutare and other parts of
Manicaland in the past week.
Sources said Madiro was unlikely to survive the plot against him and his
executive. They said he was likely to be replaced by an executive loyal to
“Mutasa wants to build a solid launch-pad from his province and Madiro will
be an impediment because he is known to support Mnangagwa,” a source said.
In 2009 Mutasa shocked everyone in Zanu PF when he launched a bid to land
the post of national chairman in the party but other Zanu PF provinces
refused to support Mutasa’s candidacy on the grounds that the post of
national chairman in Zanu PF was a preserve for politicians from the former
As a result Simon Khaya Moyo, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa then,
landed the powerful post ahead of Mutasa.
This prompted then Zanu PF Manicaland chairman Basil Nyabadza to resign in
The sources said Mutasa’s ambitions to climb up the ladder were not dampened
by the events of 2009.
The sources said although Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru or John Nkomo are
seen as the best placed persons to take over given their positions in both
government and Zanu PF internal dynamics in Zanu PF may deny them such an
Mutasa has already moved in to block Mnangagwa’s possible ascendancy to the
Last week he said it will be abnormal and not possible for the Defence
minister to succeed Mugabe ahead of the party’s two vice presidents and
Mutasa was refuting claims that Mugabe had reached a “gentleman’s agreement”
with the Midlands “godfather” to hand over power to him if he managed to
successfully campaign for the 88-year-old in the next presidential election.
“We have a hierarchy that we follow as a party, Mai Mujuru is better placed
as well as John Nkomo or even SK Moyo, and those are the people who can take
over today. But why are we talking about this when the President is still
there?” Mutasa was quoted by The Daily News as saying.
The source said despite saying this, Mutasa was building his launch pad for
By KITSILE NYATHI NATION Correspondent in Harare
Posted Saturday, April 21 2012 at 18:51
Two senior officials from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF widely reported
to harbour presidential ambitions say they will not challenge the veteran
ruler as long as he is still in power.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru (left) described the 88-year-old President
Mugabe, who is reportedly battling against ill-health, as a “gift to the
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa also dismissed reports by Britain’s
Telegraph newspaper that he had reached a secret pact with the long-serving
ruler to take over the reins when he steps down due to ill-health.
The two reportedly lead two Zanu PF factions angling to take over from
President Mugabe when he decides to retire or in the event of his death.
Ms Mujuru, whose late husband General (rtd) Solomon Mujuru was considered a
powerful power broker in Zanu PF, is seen as one of the leading contenders
for the job.
She has been in President Mugabe’s cabinet since independence in 1980. “I
have known him for 37 years,” she told a function on Friday that was also
attended by the Zanu PF leader.
“Our problem as Zimbabweans is that we do not understand our president.
“Had we understood him well, we were not going to have any challenges. I
will never challenge him as long as he is still in power,” she said.
Mr Mnangagwa told students at a university in the city of Gweru that he was
surprised to see reports linking him to the presidency.
“I was as surprised as you to learn there was a pact between the president
and myself to take over office,” he said. “I also read about it in the
“This is a strategy by our enemies but we are too mature and intelligent as
a nation to fall for that.
“We do not read much into that.” Senior Zanu PF officials have admitted that
the party is riddled with factionalism fuelled by campaigns to succeed the
In interviews to mark in his 88 birthday in February, President Mugabe said
he was not ready to retire because he feared his departure will worsen the
20 April 2012
Violet Gonda | Washington
The parliamentary select committee spearheading Zimbabwe's constitution
revision has reiterated its calls for unity government principals to
intervene and push for resolution of contentious issues hampering the
finalization of the new charter.
President Robert Mugabe urged the committee Wednesday to expedite the
process to allow elections this year.
But co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora said they were waiting for the management
committee, which comprises chief negotiators from the three political
parties in the unity government, to break the deadlock on the outstanding
issues, which include dual citizenship and devolution.
Spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka, for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA
that the principals have had to defer a meeting with the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission because they have not received the draft constitution.
Tamborinyoka said the unavailability of the chief negotiators over the past
few months has also contributed to the delay.
Early this week the president of the smaller formation of the MDC, Welshman
Ncube, said the three principals had failed to break the constitutional
logjam and called on South African President Jacob Zuma to intervene.
But Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara disagreed, saying Zimbabweans
should not outsource the writing of the country’s new charter to outsiders.
by Gilbert Nyambabvu
FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has urged the United States to re-engage with
Harare, warning that sanctions imposed by the West are hurting ordinary
people and not President Robert Mugabe.
"Your foreign policy could be better, you don't deal with trouble states by
disengaging. You must engage strategically to assist the people of
Zimbabwe," Biti said in Washington on Thursday.
He was addressing the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank and policy
group, on progress made in Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and how to move the
country out of its current political impasse.
A top official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party which
joined government in a coalition with Mugabe’s Zanu PF after inconclusive
elections in 2008, Biti has found sanctions imposed by the West a major
stumbling block in efforts to turn-around the country’s economy.
Hopes for the resumption of Western aid and increased investment flows
following the formation of the coalition government have largely been
dashed, with critics blaming Mugabe’s presence in the administration where
his Zanu PF party also holds clear sway.
But Biti said the West should ignore divisions in the coalition government
and support efforts to help the country recover from a decade-long
"Don't look at politicians, don't look at Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, look at
the ordinary people. The wait-and-see attitude is very retrogressive," Biti
The US and European Union (EU) countries slapped Zimbabwe with sanctions
over a decade ago accusing Mugabe of human rights abuses and electoral
fraud. The Zanu PF leader denies the allegations and claims he is being
punished for economically empowering his people.
Biti said Zimbabwe, which defaulted on its foreign obligations in 1999, was
being crushed by a US$9.1 billion debt and needs some US$14 billion for
rehabilitation and development.
"This is part of the things we are battling with on this trip. How do deal
with the issue of the crippling sovereign debt? There is no way that we are
going to be able to generate these funds," he said.
Treasury had also expected a US$600 million boost in 2012 from diamond sales
but some of the companies operating in the controversial Marange fields were
slapped with sanctions by the US.
Biti said he had not received any money from diamond sales in the first
quarter of the year.
"We have a short-fall of US$92 million, part of the explanation is that
there were no auction sales recently," Biti said.
"But (the) question is, is there smuggling and stealing? People talk about
that, I don't have evidence of it so I am not excluding it or including it."
Biti also said there was no money for polls Mugabe says must be held today
insisting the government could not start worrying about funding elections
when it could not pay civil servants.
"We didn't budget for elections, so there is no money for elections, we
can't even pay our civil servants," he said.
Written by Bridget Mananavire and Kaleen Gombera
Friday, 20 April 2012 12:32
HARARE - Opposition Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD) president Simba Makoni has
accused politicians of neglecting people who voted them into office.
Makoni was speaking during a tour of Mashambanzou Care Trust where close to
28 people living with HIV are housed.
He said it is important for politicians to stay in touch with people from
different livelihoods so they know their needs and address them accordingly.
“Some people get carried away when they are in power. Instead of
concentrating on the people, they concentrate on power. As a party we are
here as a way to connect with people with different backgrounds so that we
know your needs,” Makoni said.
“We also want to help those that have diverted interests, so that they focus
on the nation,” he said.
“It is good working well with the people and knowing well where they stay
and how they are living. It is important to come to the people as we are in
the process of rebuilding the nation,” said Makoni.
Mashambanzou’s coordinator Ivy Mudangandi said it was important for
relatives to support their family members who are living with HIV.
People living with HIV have been subjected to stigma.
“We take various patients whose home conditions compromise their recovery.
We have people who do not have anyone to give them care and we also have
those whose health is compromised by the lack of hygiene conditions at their
homes,” said Mudangandi.
The institution at present has only one child in its wards, a decline that
was attributed to effectiveness of mother to child transmission prevention.
“We are receiving fewer children now since the introduction of mother to
child transmission prevention drugs. It has been very effective as proved by
the number of children who are being admitted, has decreased,” said
Ironically, the institution has a logo which has a rising sun that looks
like that of MKD and one of its workers Margaret McAllen said it signified
“Like in the logo of the institution, we have the dawning sun which
signifies hope for the patients, the river signifies hope and the hands that
are shaking signifies friendship which is exactly what the patients need in
life,” said McAllen.
Friday, 20 April 2012 15:10
BULAWAYO — The Dumiso Dabengwa-led ZAPU is going through dire financial
straits, with eviction notices now becoming the order of the day; a
situation analysts predict might hamper the political party’s chances of
holding a credible election campaign ahead of polls President Robert Mugabe
want held this year.
Indications of financial woes started surfacing two months ago when the
party was issued with an eviction notice to vacate its rented offices in
Bulawayo after failing to settle several months’ rent arrears amounting to
over US$10 000.
The party was given seven days to vacate the premises but after pleading and
begging was given a grace period to allow them to scrounge around for funds.
Sources within the party told The Financial Gazette that the party was also
failing to pay its staff and was having a torrid time sourcing campaign
material, with quite a number of members also having defected to the smaller
faction of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Welshman Ncube.
The party’s secretary for legal affairs, Stephen Nki-wane, was adamant this
week that ZAPU would emerge out of the woods.
“We are still using the premises, but we are not sure for how long. I cannot
talk much about that because it might compromise our position with the
landlord,” said Nkiwane.
He, however, confirmed that the party was broke.
“Everyone is broke these days, it’s not just ZAPU,” he said.
To beef up its coffers, the party is mulling mounting a legal challenge to
get back properties, which it claims it owned before being seized by ZANU-PF
during the political disturbances that rocked its then Matabele-land
stronghold and parts of the Midlands province in the 1980s.
This was before PF ZAPU, then led by the late vice president Joshua Nkomo,
forged a Unity Accord with President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF in 1987 to end
Guku-rahundi, as the Matabele-land disturbances were popularly known.
“At the moment we cannot afford to take legal action. We are prepared,
however, to beg, borrow and do anything at all except steal to get those
properties back into our hands. What stands to be gained from those
properties is a lot. If we have our land and properties back, the result is
a million fold,” added Nki-wane.
The properties include Magnet House in Bulawayo, which currently houses the
Central Intelligence Orga-nisation, Windermere farm, Davies Hall currently
the ZANU-PF headquarters in Bulawayo and Sna-ke Park area in Harare. But the
legal proceedings seem to be in limbo amid revelations that the party cannot
even afford legal fees.
Dabengwa is on record as saying that his party was self-sponsored and that
all activities were funded from members’ own res-ources.
“If ZAPU had just 10 percent of the budget and logistical support that some
parties have we would win elections in all of the Southern African
Development Co-mmunity,” stated Dabengwa recently.
The party celebrated its golden jubilee in December last year at
Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo amid much pomp and fanfare.
The event, however, failed to live up to expectations as the majority of
attendees left without eating because there was not enough food, despite the
party leadership having promised that 20 cattle would be slaughtered for the
Political analysts are now questioning the party’s ability to hold a
credible election campaign. Effie Ncube said: “ZAPU have an immense
challenge. If they rely only on membership for sponsorship they are bound to
run into financial difficulties, unless they increase their membership by
say, a million people.
“But then again how do you grow membership if you cannot sell party cards,
and how do you produce those cards if you do not have money? In the end the
challenge is on our multiparty system, where due to lack of proper funding
you might find the political climate being re-duced to two political
parties,” he added.
Formed in 2008, after the general elections, the party does not occupy any
seats in Parliament, a fact the party vows will soon change after the
upcoming elections. — Own Correspondent
Bulawayo, April 21, 2012- Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association (ZNLWVA) leader, Jabulani Sibanda has described Zanu-PF leaders
in Bulawayo as a “big joke” following the suspension of party’s Bulawayo
Provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela recently.
Dakamela who is the war veterans’ leader’s ally was suspended last month
from the party on allegations of being stubborn and arrogant. The Bulawayo
Province Coordinating Committee then appointed his deputy Killian Sibanda as
the acting provincial chairman.
Speaking to Radio VOP on Friday in Bulawayo Jabulani Sibanda said Bulawayo
Zanu-PF leaders are selfish and not of good quality.
“The dismissal of Dakamela shows what quality of leaders we have in
Bulawayo. There are selfish people who only think about political games
instead making the party grow. There are not of good quality and a big
joke,” said Sibanda.
Sibanda added “these are the same people who put Dakamela on that position
and now they are kicking him out and appointing Killian. They will also kick
him out and put another one .It has become a trend which will go on and on”.
Before Dakamela, McCloud Tshawe who has since joined Zapu was the Zanu-PF
Zanu-PF youths had been calling for Dakamela’s removal since last year
accusing him of incompetence. In August last year the youths passed a vote
of no confidence on him. They accused him of receiving “protection fees”
from foreign businesspeople in the city to guard against invasion of their
buildings by the party activists.
Since June last year Zanu-PF youths in Bulawayo have been seizing buildings
located in the central business district owned by Indian and Italian
Dakamela, on numerous occasions had voiced his concern at the takeover of
city buildings by the party youths who have also hit back and threatened to
topple him on charges of being a stumbling block to the black empowerment
20 April 2012
Violet Gonda | Washington
Long linked to a series of women, and largely criticized for his escapades,
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai finally indicated Friday he was
Mr. Tsvangirai introduced his new fiancée, Elizabeth Macheka, at an
engagement party in Harare, six months after terminating traditional
marriage proceedings with another woman, Locadia Karimatsenga-Tembo.
His spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka told VOA’s Violet Gonda: “Yes, the prime
minister has finally found his loved one. We are happy because he has now
found us a mother.”
Tsvangirai was widowed in 2009 when his first wife, Susan, died in a car
crash. Tamborinyoka said the prime minister had begun proceedings to
formalize his relationship with the Harare business woman.
The move by Tsvangirai has not been without controversy, as did his failed
affair with Karimatsenga. Macheka, a widow, is the daughter of a ZANU-PF
politburo member and former mayor of Chitungwiza, Joseph Macheka.
Critics say Mr. Tsvangirai should have looked elsewhere and avoided marrying
someone with strong ZANU-PF ties.
But Tamborinyoka said: “The Prime minister has not just plunged into this
engagement. He has done thorough work on this issue and he is now committed
to a new wife.”
“He can’t just plunge into a relationship without the necessary checks on
the background of whoever he has fallen in love with.”
In November last year the prime minister ended his relationship with
Karimatsenga-Tembo a day after paying the traditional bride price. He said
he had been caught up in a media storm nurtured by the state agents,
alleging a vague "plot.”
He said at the time: "Everything has been played in the press and I have
become an innocent bystander in what is supposed to be my relationship. I
have become a spectator in this relationship and things are happening too
fast, on camera and without my knowledge.
"This has led me to conclude that there is a greater and thicker plot around
this issue which has undermined my confidence in this relationship."
The premier drew criticism, in particular from Chief Luscious Chitsinde
Negomo, who threatened to attach his property for failing to pay a fine for
allegedly violating Shona tradition by marrying Tembo in November – a sacred
At the time Tembo, who was said to be pregnant, insisted she was still
married to Mr. Tsvangirai under traditional law and went on to camp at the
prime minister’s rural homestead in Buhera.
Asked if Tembo was still in Buhera, Tamborinyoka said: “She is no longer
there and the fact that the prime minister has moved on is evidence enough
that there has been some developments. All that is water under the bridge
the prime minister has started a new relationship with a new wife.”
An International Monetary Fund delegation is expected in Zimbabwe next month
to assess the country's economic performance. The visit is in line with
Article IV of the IMF's mandate, which requires the institution to conduct
consultations aimed at assessing economic progress and solutions to
challenges affecting productive sectors.
The IMF team is expected to meet Government ministries, Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe authorities and captains of industry and commerce. Zimbabwe's
economy has largely been on a recovery path since dollarisation, a fact that
previous Article IV consultation visits have confirmed. Economic Planning
and Investment Promotion permanent secretary Dr Desire Sibanda has said that
Zimbabwe's economic growth rates have averaged 8 percent over the past
couple of years, making it one of the leading countries in yearly Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) rate rankings in Southern Africa. The IMF has,
however, been rather pessimistic in its view on the country's growth
prospects. For instance, the IMF has estimated that Zimbabwe's economy has
grown by an average of between 3 and 4 percent in the years since
introduction of the multicurrency system.
Some observers have also lamented the limited role of the IMF in respect of
The multilateral lender is more likely to maintain its focus on giving the
country advice on its fiscal and monetary policies and less likely to extend
any financial assistance due to Zimbabwe's debt overhang.
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Business Council (CBC)
secretary-general Mr Trust Chikohora, however, says the role of the IMF --
beyond financing -- can be of benefit to the country. "IMF's visit to assess
economic performance is important for the country as we continue on our
journey of economic revival and growth. It allows us to measure our progress
vis-a-vis against generally accepted international economic bench marks. It
also gives us an opportunity to interface with the IMF and tell them our
economic development story from our own point of view while at the same time
being able to find out more on their own views," he said.
Zimbabwe is, however, in serious need of funding as the National Budget is
inadequate to fund critical projects. The financing situation has further
been heightened by the underperformance of the diamonds sector, which had
been anticipated to contribute at least US$600 million to the US$4 billion
2012 National Budget.
According to statistics from Treasury, Zimbabwe's budget deficit has swelled
to US$93 million as at the end of last month due to depressed diamond
revenues. Mr Chikohora contends that greater engagement with the IMF can
open the doors for funding opportunities.
"Technical assistance can also be given by the IMF in the interim. This
regular interface will eventually lead to progress and unlock some funding
"The idea is to get funding from the international institutions as soon as
possible," he said.
Despite the challenges, the local economy is this year expected to grow by
9,4 percent on the back of anticipated growth in the mining, agricultural
and industrial sectors.
The Government of Japan has donated US$4, 8 million grant to the United
Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for the procurement of children vaccines and
programmes aimed at addressing violence against women and children.
by David Chidende
The support for the UNICEF project titled, “Improving Child Health and
Addressing Gender Based Violence,” will go a long way in helping Zimbabwe’s
battle against high under five years mortality rate which stands at around
100 deaths per day.
Speaking at the announcement of the project, Japanese Ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Mr Yonezo Fukuda said Japan has been an active partner in the
prevention of infectious diseases in children, particularly the under fives.
According to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2010 and
2011, Zimbabwe’s full immunisation rates have declined from around 80% in
1991 to 65% in 2011.
Low immunisation rates coupled with the reduced capacity of the country’s
health sector over the past decades and a high prevalence of chronic
malnutrition have contributed significantly to the high under five mortality
rates in the country.
Ambassador Fukuda added that the specific objective of the grant is to
increase immunisation coverage to at least 90% at national level by year
“We hope that this grant will help Zimbabwe achieve two of the Millennium
Development Goals – MDG 4, the reduction of under 5 mortality by two thirds
by 2015 and MDG 3 and the promotion of gender equity and women empowerment.
“We are fully committed to assist Zimbabwe in the attainment of these
goals,” he said.
The support by the Government of Japan will be critical for the Expanded
Programme on Immunisation (EPI) with which additional support from Global
Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the country plans to
introduce the pneumococcal vaccine in July 2012 and the Rotavirus life due
to pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Pneumonia and diarrhoea have been noted as the biggest killers of children
under the age of five in Zimbabwe.
Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Country Representative added, “the introduction of
the two life saving vaccines against these diseases are an important step
towards ensuring child survival.”
20 April 2012
Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC
A dispute between a traditional chief in Matopo district, Zimbabwe, and a
village head accused of witchcraft landed the family of the suspect in jail
for close to a week after it refused to pay a fine imposed by the chief for
the alleged crime.
Witchcraft is a common phenomenon in Zimbabwe and is recognized by the
Mapoto chief, Maliki Masuku reportedly fined Shadreck Dube a beast after a
traditional healer, or inyanga, accused him of owning goblins that were
allegedly terrorizing nurses at Nathisa Clinic.
After the female nurses complained of nightly sexual harassment by the
creatures, sources said, chief Masuku called in the spiritual man to do a
cleansing ceremony at the clinic where he charged the goblins belonged to
The chief then ordered him to pay a fine in the form of a beast. But his
family met with the chief last Sunday and told him they would not oblige
because the accusations were false.
Tampers flared at the meeting, witnesses said, resulting in Dube's arrest
together with six members of his family and charged with undermining the
Family spokesman, Anele Dube told VOA they were only released late on
Thursday after prosecutors in Kezi said they were still assessing evidence.
"We did not do anything that disrespected the court of the chief," he said,
adding that "the witchcraft accusations against my uncle are simply false."
Under Zimbabwe's Witchcraft Suppression Act, engaging in witchcraft
practices is a criminal offense punishable by a fine or up to five years in
Chapter V of the law reads: "Any person who engages in any practice knowing
that it is commonly associated with witchcraft, shall be guilty of engaging
in a practice commonly associated with witchcraft if having the intention to
cause harm to any person.”
Lawyer, Matshobana Ncube told VOA that the traditional chief didn't have
jurisdiction to put Dube to trial.
Friday, 20 April 2012 12:21
Shame Makoshori,Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE'S petroleum imports were 24,8 percent higher during the first nine
months of 2011 compared to shipments during the full-year to December 2010,
a trade report by ZimTrade indicated this week.
ZimTrade, the country's export trade promotion body, did not say how many
litres of fuel were imported during the review period, but Zimbabwe requires
one billion litres of fuels annually.
The body said, however, that Zimbabwe had witnessed an increased demand for
fuels due to use of generator power to plug shortfalls created by
electricity blackouts from the national grid.
"Imports of petroleum oils in the first nine months of 2011 grew by 24,8
percent compared to last year's (2010) 12 months," ZimTrade said a report
released during the annual exporters' conference in Harare.
"This is probably a reflection of increased reliance on alternative power
sources such as generators as the country continues to suffer from power
outages," said ZimTrade.
A sharp rise in volume of petroleum imports was also the result of better
capacity by fuel importers after the industry was opened up to efficient
private players in 2010 to compete with a troubled government-controlled
The country has experienced a rise in cheap, used vehicle imports from
At least 250 second hand cars have been shipped into the market per week
since 2009, increasing demand for fuels, and activity in the automotive
ZimTrade said Zimbabwe's major imports during the period under review were
fertilisers, which constituted 18,5 percent of the imports, petroleum
products at 13,7 percent, motor vehicles 12 percent, phone sets 5,3 percent,
wheat 1,8 percent, sunflower seed 1,5 percent, maize 1,2 percent and
pharmaceuticals 1,2 percent.
"On the other hand, major export products were un-manufactured tobacco
constituting 13,5 percent of the export proceeds, followed by nickel with
13,1 percent, gold 12,6 percent, diamonds 7,1 percent, cotton 6,6 percent,
ferro-alloys 3,9 percent, platinum 2,9 percent and sugar 2,5 percent,"
"The exports were dominated by minerals and unprocessed products. Zimbabwe's
exports are growing at a slower pace because of low levels of capacity
utilisation in the manufacturing sector."
ZimTrade chief executive officer, Sithembile Pilime, told the conference
that it was important that Zimbabwe took advantage of the recently launched
Industrial Development Policy (2012-2016) and the National Trade Policy
(NTP) (2012-2016) to help in the recovery of the economy.
"We shall utilise the two policies, in particular the NTP, as guiding
instruments for our programmes and activities targeted at the beneficiaries,
who happen to be the manufacturing and exporting sector," Pilime told the
"We are all aware of the challenges that we face in our quest to be
competitive in the export markets. It is therefore (good for) both industry
players and stakeholders to work together to find solutions to these
challenges and position Zimbabwe in its rightful place in the global arena.
"The conference is being held against a backdrop of myriads of challenges,
which include: the use of antiquated machinery and equipment, some of which
is over 50 years old and is thus prone to frequent breakdowns; high factory
machine downtimes and poor quality finishing; dilapidated and inadequate
infrastructure; erratic supply and rising costs of enablers such as
electricity, water and transport; high labour costs; low productivity; low
effective demand; high competition from imports, some of which are of very
low quality; and, high cost of borrowing, among others. The culmination of
the above scenario is that we are experiencing a serious trade imbalance and
we do not have meaningful foreign currency reserves," she added.
She said Zimbabwe's trading partners have much more comprehensive export
incentives package like the export marketing and investment assistance
scheme in South Africa, which gave them a cutting edge over local
"ZimTrade's view is that meaningful recovery of our economy is premised on
the development and promotion of value-added exports," said Pilime.
Friday, 20 April 2012 15:11
BULAWAYO — The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) will seek audience with
Saviour Kasukuwere, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment, over teachers’ participation in the black economic empowerment
ZIMTA, which held its annual national conference in Bulawayo, resolved at
the end of the gathering that teachers needed to be empowered under the
government’s economic empowerment programme to augment their meagre
Kasukuwere was supposed to officially open the conference but could not do
so due to other commitments.
But ZIMTA officials said they would nonetheless seek his assistance in a bid
to improve the lot of their members.
A lowly paid teacher earns US$296 against the poverty datum line estimated
“ZIMTA resolves to engage government on the policy of indigenisation and
economic empowerment,” said Tendai Chikowore, ZIMTA president.
“The media has been awash with information and reports that there are
sectors that are benefiting from loans from this ministry (indigenisation)
with the youth and women benefiting. We are now saying as teachers is the
government making a provision for us to say we also have a fund that will
allow teachers to access and also come up with their small businesses? You
will be shocked to realise that maybe up to now there is no provision for
us,” she said.
Chikowore said if teachers were economically empowered in other areas, they
would not be strained during salary negotiations with their employer because
the government would have put in place a plan to augment their remuneration.
The ZIMTA president said teachers were living from hand to mouth and had
nothing to show for their work when they retire, except clothes they put on,
adding it was high time they demanded a share in the wealth of the country.
Chikowore said poverty among teachers was not an accident but a result of
poor past policies that constrained teachers from running businesses while
“When we joined this profession, we graduated after training and each time
we were addressed by officers or government ministers from the ministry of
education it was hammered over and over again: ‘civil servants cannot get
into businesses because that would divert you from your day to day work.’ It
has been passed on from generation to generation and we still find ourselves
in this kind of predicament,” she said.
Friday, 20 April 2012 15:19
Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor
NEW regulations with provisions barring judges from participating in
political activities are on the cards following years of accusations that
the country’s bench was heavily politicised and partisan, The Financial
Gazette can report.
The Judicial Service (Code of Ethics) Regulations, 2012, that are meant to
exorcise the allure to dabble in politics which some members of the
judiciary found too tempting to resist would be gazetted into law, weeks
after the head of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku, unveiled them.
The regulations will guide the conduct of judges and whip into line those
who would have crossed the line.
Among other things, the regulations will bar judges from partaking in
political activities, more than a decade after the African Comm-ission on
Human Rights had recommended the formulation of a code of conduct to control
the esteemed profession.
Part of the regulations in The Financial Gazette’s possession state that a
judicial officer shall not allow political and social relationships to
influence his/her judicial conduct or judgment.
Judicial officers shall also not be accountable or answerable to any other
State or non-State organ, entity or authority and in the discharge of their
duties they shall not show bias or prejudice to any persons or groups.
“Political engagement — A judicial officer (a) must not actively engage in
any political activities or hold any office in a political organisation or
be a member of any political organisation; and (b) shall not solicit funds
for or make a contribution to, a political organisation and shall not attend
political meetings,” reads part of the regulations.
“Equality — A judicial officer shall strive to be aware of, and to
understand, and be sensitive to; diversity in society and differences based
on various grounds that are not (except in strict compliance with the
express terms of any law) material or determinative of any issue arising in
connection with his or her performance of judicial duties; including (but
not limited to) differences on the grounds of race, colour, gender;
religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status; social and
economic status and other like grounds.”
The regulations emphasise that a judicial officer shall devote his/her
professional activity to judicial duties. This follows previous complains
that some judges appeared to be expending most of their time on farming
activities thereby delaying the administration of justice, mostly in handing
down judgments after acquiring properties through the agrarian land reforms.
While Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, could not be
reached for comment, his deputy Obert Gutu, said Chinamasa has since
approved the regulations.
The deputy minister said the regulations would be gazetted in due course,
adding that as standard practice, the Parliamentary Legal Committee would
give its legal opinion as to whether or not they pass the constitutionality
“The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, in terms of Section 18 and 25 of
the Judicial Services Act has since approved the regulation. Publication of
the Statutory Instrument is now a mere formality,” added Gutu.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) members have routinely complained
over the alleged partisanship of some of the country’s judges.
Some of the judges have been exposed by fellow judicial officers for towing
the ZANU-PF agenda as revealed by international whistleblower, WikiLeaks in
leaked cables penned by United States diplomats.
Retired chief justice Wilson Sandura, who retired last year after reaching
the retirement age of 70, was quoted as saying Chief Justice Chidyausiku was
more of a politician than a judge.
The cables said various judges had alleged that Chinamasa had arm-twisted
judges to retire so as to flood the judiciary with ZANU-PF sympathisers.
In one cable dated February 16, 2001 the US diplomats alleged that Supreme
Court judge Nicholas McNally, was told by Chinamasa to resign to which he
had said he wanted to consult his family.
“Justice Ahmed Ibrahim, who was also approached by Chin-amasa February 9 and
asked to resign is wavering, but has not decided whether or not he would
quit. Ibrahim reportedly told Chinamasa that he would have to consult his
family before he makes a decision. The Financial Gazette of February 15-21
(2001) reported Ibrahim’s family has urged him to step down, but was under
pressure from other judges,” said the cables.
Besides secret conversations with US diplomats, some of the country’s
judicial officers have publicly stated that some of their colleagues
operated on political lines.
One of them, former High Court judge Benjamin Paradza claimed that he had
been charged with corruption because he was a victim of a political plot to
weed out “non-compliant judges”.
A self-exiled former Administrative Court judge, Michael Majuru also claimed
that Chinamasa had directly and indirectly pressed him to rule against The
Daily News when it was shut down, an allegation the minister denied.
Superstar Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi's maiden appearance at the Uhuru gala
celebrations yesterday had more into it than just a performance.
by Yeukai Moyo
Tuku performed seven carefully selected spiteful songs, Hero, Zano (Idea),
Gunguwo (Eagle), Pindirayi (Intervene), Hurunduwe, Zimbabwe and Ndiri Bofu
(I'm Blind) at the Rainbow Tours.
The first four songs could be easily interpreted as directed at the
stronghold leader President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party.
He opened with a thought provoking track titled "Hero." The song queried the
criteria used to bestow the country's heroes and whether only political
parties are the only ones eligible to be buried at the national shrines.
"What does it takes to be a hero? Who should be a hero? What's a hero..." he
sings in part of the song.
"Should you be dead to be a hero? Can Safirio Madzikatire be a hero?"
questioned the husky voiced musician.
Zanu (PF) is well known for monopolizing the national shrines. Its politburo
is responsible for selecting the country's national hero's status, which has
biasly been bestowed to Zanu (PF) political loyalists.
In "Zano," Tuku sings about the struggling Zimbabweans who are tirelessly
searching for a solution to emancipate themselves from their woes, mainly
caused by unstable political environment at the hands of Zanu (PF).
"Pindirayi" states that the country's woes need the divine intervention of
God since a political solution in the form of the former opposition MDC-T
has not yet yield tangible results.
In "Hurunduwe," Tuku sings "Haikona kutya mhandu yaparara, haikona kutya
Here the international award winning star encourages the masses not to fear
an ailing enemy, which is unmistakably in this case an old and very ill
Mugabe who lost popularity due to his continuous stronghold on power.
In the same song, Tuku declared 2012 as the year, the oppressed become
"Gore remasimba evanhu. (The year the strength of the oppressed rule
supreme)," he sings.
To dismiss criticism from Zanu (PF) critics, the "Bvuma" hitmaker completed
his 1 hour performance with a patriotic song followed by a groovy one,
"Zimbabwe" and "Ndiri Bofu."
Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:11 Editor News
By Faith Moyo
Over the past 32 years human rights situation in Zimbabwe have been
blatantly violated by a black government that masquerades as a champion of
peace and democracy, thus the Mugabe regime has eroded all norms of 21st
In contrast, Ian Smith’s Rhodesian era turns out to be better than "our"
Most black Zimbabweans would now prefer Ian Smith as leader to Robert
Mugabe – though the human instinct of freedom remains high on the agenda.
The Mugabe regime has perpetrated serious crimes against its own people –
For what’s the purpose of freedom when freedom kills you, when freedom
denies you free speech, when freedom kills your relatives, when freedom
starves you, when freedom excludes you on tribal grounds?
I always hear some of my fellow Shona friends saying the crisis in Zimbabwe
started in the 1990s when Mr Mugabe started expropriating white farmland
including denying Morgan Tsvangirai presidency. No for us in Matabeleland
the crisis began right in 1980 when Mr Mugabe became Prime Minister of the
newly independent Zimbabwe. Up to 20 000 people were massacred by the North
Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in the early 1980s.
Two human rights organisations, the Legal Resources Foundation and the
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Zimbabwe however, produced
a report entitled Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace in 1997,
detailing human rights abuses during the Gukurahundi era. Yet, you still
find some people saying “Mugabe was fine up until the 1990s”. This explains
how Mr Mugabe has successfully divided our beloved country.
The hope is now based on amplified calls for Gukurahundi justice, thus
compensation and reparations. A Bulawayo-based pressure group, Ibhetshu
LikaZulu has warned that they intend to launch a High Court bid to force Mr
Mugabe to release two reports containing findings of official inquiries into
the Matabeleland disturbances in the 1980s.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu has already engaged human rights lawyers, Abammeli
BamaLungelo Abantu Network, to force Mugabe to release the Dumbutshena
Commission and Chihambakwe Committee reports, which have never been made
public although they were presented to him.
The group argues that publicising the documents was necessary to achieve
national healing and reconciliation.
Faith Moyo is an MDC-UK chair-lady in the women league, Derby Branch. She
can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 21, 2012, 10:27 am
Dear Family and Friends,
Nothing about our thirty- second Independence day in Zimbabwe seemed real
this year. It was a gorgeous day under a bright blue sky and warm sun. Heavy
dew covered the early morning landscape and an extravaganza of birds were
busy harvesting seeds from the golden grass and carrying fluff for their
nests. Everywhere the aloes and indigenous succulents are throwing up
enticing spikes getting ready to show off their glorious winter flowers:
orange, yellow, delicate purple and rich, creamy white.
For me Independence day started with the drudgery of bucket filling because,
perhaps as an Independence present, there was water coming out of the taps.
It was the first time in three days we had had water. It was neither clean
nor clear but it was water and the fear that it wouldn’t last long became
reality when the taps had already run dry before midday.
The second Independence day present was electricity. Amazingly we had woken
up to find the power on and this meant chores: ironing, cooking, charging
batteries, catching up on computer work. Like the surprise appearance of
water in the taps, we knew the electricity probably wouldn’t last long but
at least it stayed on until sunset that day. For the rest of the week we
paid the price, only getting electricity in the middle of the night.
The third Independence day present came with two young men walking down the
road. Both were black Zimbabweans and both far too young to have been born
before independence in 1980. Friendly greetings were exchanged; “Happy
Independence,” I said to them and they echoed my words, big smiles on their
faces. For most Zimbabweans, on most days, this is the real face of Zimbabwe
32 years after Independence because, despite the past and despite our
different skin colours, we are all Zimbabweans and all living the same
struggle of not enough electricity, water, jobs or money and corrupt
officials lording it over a decaying infrastructure. The brief but cheerful
exchange with the two young men lifted my spirits after a week of vitriolic,
racist statements by senior government ministers who provide little example
to the new generation of Zimbabweans.
Then came the biggest surprise of Zimbabwe’s 32nd Independence Day. A cup of
tea made with real electricity, a TV being powered by real electricity and
ZBC were showing live coverage of President Mugabe’s Independence Day
speech. After three weeks of rumours of a leader on his deathbed, there was
no sign of frailty or ill health whatsoever. Inspecting the forces, walking
completely surrounded by 9 dark suited bodyguards my eyes were glued to one
man in a dark suit who walked slightly apart from the pack and he carried a
small black briefcase. We could only imagine what might have been in that
briefcase. Mr Mugabe spoke for almost an hour and his words came as a big
surprise. Instead of the usual, fist clenched, anti west rhetoric, he spoke
at length about peace, tolerance, freedom of choice and association and non
violence. He said: “the fights of yesterday are left in the past,” and
said people should be free to choose whichever party they wanted to belong
to and whoever they wanted to vote for.
Gob smacked is perhaps the best way to describe the national reaction to
this Independence speech. It comes after years of brutal crackdown; laws
which curtail free speech and publication; legislation which allows seizure
of land and Title Deeds and prohibits redress from the courts; thousands of
people raped, tortured, beaten and murdered and a quarter of our population
living outside the country. Now suddenly comes talk of peace, tolerance of
peoples differences and freedom of choice. How can we suddenly believe this
spectacular change of attitude? How do the same leaders eradicate the
political violence, racial and political intolerance that they themselves
have encouraged with 32 years of clenched fist slogans of “Pasi na.” (Down
with) Is it really possible to put this demon back in its box?
I will be taking a short break for the next few weeks so until next time,
thanks for caring about Zimbabwe, love cathy
April 20, 2012, 3:15 pm
Not for the first time there is a marked contradiction between what Robert
Mugabe says and what his followers do. His speech at the 32nd Independence
Day celebrations was classic Mugabe double-speak. Despite their leader’s
call for peace and tolerance, there has hardly been a day in the past week
alone when violence of one sort or another has not taken place. Even as
Mugabe was speaking, an MDC man was violently attacked by a group of Zanu PF
thugs in the Harare suburb of Epworth.
Independent observers agree that this ongoing violence is largely due to the
activities of Zanu PF. The fact that the notorious Chipangano gang is
actively campaigning for Zanu PF proves the point. Although a parliamentary
committee is investigating the ongoing political violence in the country, it’s
hard to see that anything positive will result when the police themselves –
the guardians of law and order - openly support Zanu PF. As for the army,
ironically, it was Zanu PF itself this week who called on the military to
desist from interfering in politics. It seems certain sections of the
military have involved themselves in the often violent struggle for power
that is going on between the contenders for the top job. It’s striking how
the struggle for power is such a timeless and universal phenomenon; I was
reminded of that this week when an historian pointed out that five hundred
years ago England was caught in much the same dilemma. Elizabeth the First
was on the throne for 44 years and had no legitimate heir. Who would succeed
her was the question the whole country was desperately asking, much as
Zimbabwe is now concerned with who will succeed Mugabe. The uncertainty
caused by this question is causing violent upheavals within Zanu PF itself
as the various factions fight for supremacy.
Violence has many forms, including threats and inflammatory language. On the
eve of Independence Morgan Tsvangirai called for “A new culture, a new ethos
and a new thrust to respect the dignity and freedoms of the individual. It
(Independence) is not a Zanu PF day” he said and the MDC attended the
celebrations instead of boycotting it as some sections of Zanu PF no doubt
hoped he would. Violence, or the threat of violence, interfered with the
celebrations in Mutare where Zanu PF claimed that they had been threatened
with death if they attended. We were not told where these threats came from.
In the week leading up to Independence there were several new land seizures,
by chiefs and political bigwigs, including a politburo member Dzikamai
Mavhaire who took over a farm and kicked out all the farm workers. These
farm seizures can no longer claim to be in pursuit of an ‘indigenisation’
agenda since it is now black African farm owners whose property is liable to
be taken over by greedy chiefs – and chefs - as we saw this week. We no
longer see pictures of beaten and bloodied white farmers but it’s hard to
believe that the current spate of land seizures is without violence of one
sort or another.
The cabinet recently approved a Code of Conduct to curb political violence;
one solution would be strong legal sanctions to punish offenders but putting
people in prison for violence – political or otherwise - is unlikely to
produce any change in behaviour when the prisons themselves are in such a
deplorable state. A report this week claims that Zimbabwe’s Prison Service
is near collapse with hunger and disease rife in the grossly overcrowded
prisons. Pellagra, typhoid, scurvy and diarrhoea are all commonplace
diseases in prison and children are the most vulnerable. No provision is
made for those children who have no choice but to accompany their mothers as
they serve their sentences. The violence that these children witness during
their mothers’ incarceration must surely scar them for life and domestic
violence too, experienced by children in their own homes further blights
their young lives.
Robert Mugabe’s talk of peace and tolerance is meaningless unless it is
accompanied by firm action from the courts and the police to stamp out all
forms of violence.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.