The ZIMBABWE Situation
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‘Huge Fault’ at Hwange Plant leaves Harare without power

By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 April 2012

A technical fault is said to be the cause of a power cut that left Harare
without power since very early Thursday morning. The state-owned Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) blamed a “huge fault” at the Hwange
thermal power plant for the problem, which forced many businesses to stop
operations and others to shut down.

ZESA is functioning with old equipment that has not been well maintained or
properly serviced since independence in 1980. Mismanagement and corruption,
which have destroyed other parastatals, are also contributing to the utility
company’s ongoing crisis. Many areas of the country go without power
regularly and power cuts have become a way of life.
ZESA is also owed millions of dollars by top government officials who have
received power for years without making payments. SW Radio Africa reported
earlier this month that the national power utility is under increasing
pressure to switch off these officials, with the first family being among
the worst offenders.

The Mugabe family reportedly owe ZESA more than US$300,000 as of December
2011. Despite this, ZESA has been cutting off power for the ordinary
citizens who are struggling to pay much less. Energy and Power Development
Minister Elton Mangoma has said ZESA is owed more than $140 million by

Human rights activist Tariro Manhendere told SW Radio Africa that although
some parts of the capital got power back Friday afternoon, many others, like
Kuwadzana and Dzivarasekwa, still had none. She said these areas experience
power cuts more frequently and for longer periods than the Central Business

Asked how bad this week has been in terms of power cuts, Manhendere said:
“It’s quite this frustrating. You can’t plan anything, especially those that
are in home industries who have no choice.”

The frustrated activist said vendors who sell products that need
refrigeration, like meat, lose money when their products go bad but out of
desperation sometimes still try to sell them.

More repairs to the aging equipment at Hwange Power Station were expected
over the weekend and reports quoted ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira as
saying: “Technicians and engineers are working flat out to fix the problem.

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Why we’re stuck in the dark

Don’t know about you but 16 hour long power cuts are starting to get me
down. This update from the Zimbabwe Power Company helps to explain the
current spate of bad power:

    It is with regret that I advise of the fact that we (Zimbabwe Power
Company) lost the four producing units at Hwange Power Station yesterday
afternoon (Wednesday 25th April). One unit was brought back onto the grid
last night and we hope to bring a second, larger unit, back around 4am
tomorrow (Friday 26th April). Repair on the third unit is scheduled for
completion such that it will be ‘returned to service’ on Saturday morning.
Two phase one (smaller) units are having their rotors re-wired in South
Africa – this is major work.

    Kariba has five units on line with the sixth due back on the grid in
mid-May after routine, but critical, maintenance ahead of winter.

    The Hwange and Kariba expansion plans remain on program at this time.
The tenders are out and close in June. this will be followed by 2 three
month periods for tender review and finalisation of funding/award.
Thereafter construction will take between three to four years (2016-17).

    R. Maasdorp
    Chairman ZPC

This entry was posted on April 27th, 2012 at 12:41 pm by Amanda Atwood

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Mugabe, Sata arrive to Bulawayo council strike

26/04/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

BULAWAYO was in the throes of a major health crisis on Thursday as President
Robert Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart Michael Sata arrived for the
official opening of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
A four-day strike by 2,300 council workers over outstanding salaries had
paralysed most services.

Mayor Thaba Moyo stepped in to handle the talks with unions late Thursday,
but the talks appeared to have failed.

Clinics remained closed, burst water pipes had cut supplies to at least four
suburbs and rubbish heaps were piling up around the city – all in the middle
of the country’s premier business exhibition.

The MDC-T run Bulawayo council has not paid workers for two months, and
unions say the February salaries – the last time staff was paid – were
slashed by 40 percent without notice.

“I don’t want to call this a strike. People have gathered at the council
offices looking for their money. If they pay us now, we will leave here and
go to work,” said Moses Mahlangu, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe
Urban Councils Workers’ Union.

He added: “What we have had so far are demands for council workers to go
back to work. How will they collect rubbish when they are hungry? How do
they work hungry?
“The council says there is no money. When your father says he has no money,
his actions should show that.

“Now, you have heard that they bought over 20 cars for top management
including the mayor, and they are still buying. Council staff is unpaid but
people are buying cars.

“We are not asking for luxury. We are talking of students who have been sent
back from school because they have not paid fees; we are talking of lodgers
who have been thrown out because they can’t pay rent… we are talking about
sick people who are sleeping outside in this cold.”

Since Monday, the workers have been gathering everyday on the lawn at the
Tower Block building which houses council offices. A bank has threatened to
seize the building over a US$5 million debt.

Several suburbs including Paddonhurst, Sunnyside, North End, Tegela and
Romney Park have been without water for three days after a water pipe burst.

Garbage was also collecting in several parts of the city centre, mainly the
Basch Street Terminus commonly known as Egodini, Lobengula Street and the
market place along 5th Avenue between Robert Mugabe Way and George Silundika

Some council officials have accused the workers of using the Trade Fair to
“blackmail” and “embarrass” the local authority. Mahlangu rejects the

“Us being here to ask for our money has nothing to do with the Trade Fair,”
he said. “We get paid on the 21st day of every month. What we have here is
akin to a situation where someone who owes you money decides the terms of
when you can claim it, and even withholds some of your money and still
expects you to be grateful and obedient.”
Mugabe and Sata arrived in the city on Thursday ahead of the official
opening of the annual exhibition on Friday.

With nearly 200,000 people expected to visit the Trade Fair grounds by
Saturday night, council bosses are desperate to end the work boycott before
a full-scale crisis.

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Bulawayo Council workers call off week-long strike

By Tichaona Sibanda
27 April 2012

Bulawayo council workers have called off a week-long strike that has been
paralysing service delivery in the country’ second largest city. All workers
went back to work on Friday.

Thousands of council employees went on strike on Monday to press demands for
the city fathers to pay their salaries, in arrears since January this year.

Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us both parties failed to reach an
agreement on the pay dispute and that the issue will now go to the Ministry
of Labour for arbitration.

The Bulawayo council owes its employees over $700,000. They’ve not been
paying them for the last four months, claiming the local authority is broke
and saddled with a huge debt of over US$3 million. Ratepayers in the city
owe council about $1.5 million in arrears.

On Wednesday the strikers demanded that before they returned to work,
council should work out a payment plan for all outstanding monies, with the
March and April salaries paid before the end of this month.

The workers also sought guarantees that there would be no victimisation of
staff if and when management complied with their demands.

But Saungweme said: ‘There was no agreement on the issue of salaries and the
only guarantee council gave was not to victimise leaders of the workers
He said the reason council workers decided to go back to work was that they
had failed to give notice to management about their intention to go on

‘The workers though say the case is still not over and can go on a
full-blown strike, if the issue is not resolved amicably. The workers union
has said they will give council ample time of their intensions to go on
strike if they continue to defy their demands,’ Saungweme added.

The strike coincided with the presence of local and international exhibitors
to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair that kicked off in City on Tuesday.
The 53rd annual exhibition was officially opened by Zambian President
Michael Sata on Friday.

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Tsvangirai ‘boycotts’ trade fair opening

By Alex Bell
27 April 2012

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is believed to have boycotted the official
opening of the Zimbabwe Trade Fair on Friday.

Zambian president Michael Sata arrived in the country on Wednesday for the
Fair, which started in Bulawayo at the beginning of the week. He officially
opened the event on Friday and Tsvangirai was noticeably absent.

The Prime Minister was said to be on other business elsewhere in the
country, but SW Radio Africa was told by a reliable source that Tsvangirai
had deliberately boycotted the opening. A source said that Tsvangirai also
boycotted the state dinner held for Sata on Wednesday night. The source
described this as another deliberate move motivated by anger over Sata’s
comments earlier this year that Tsvangirai was a Western ‘stooge’.

Earlier this year, MDC-T members and supporters reacted with fury to
disparaging remarks about the party leader by Sata, during an interview with
the UK Telegraph newspaper. In the interview in January Sata indicated that
he would not block Robert Mugabe’s push to abandon the unity government. In
the same article the 74 year-old Sata made comments likely to have irked
pro-democracy movements in Zimbabwe. He first dismissed Tsvangirai as a
‘stooge’, and described calls for security, electoral and constitutional
reforms in Zimbabwe as ‘unnecessary’.

Sata’s loyalty to Mugabe has been put on display during his state tour this
week, with the Zambian leader going so far as to chant a ZANU PF slogan,
‘Pamberi neJongwe’ (forward with ZANU PF) during the official opening of the
Trade Fair on Friday.

The Trade Fair meanwhile has attracted exhibitors from around the world, but
there was another surprise boycott this week. Russia and India, both usually
classed as Zimbabwean allies, both reportedly boycotted the event,
apparently over the indigenisation plans being spearhead by ZANU PF.

The UK’s BBC news service reported that the two countries did not join the
other nations exhibiting at the fair “in protest against the country’s
policy of taking control of foreign companies.”

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Zimbabwe trade fair boycotted by India and Russia

27 April 2012 Last updated at 12:29 GMT

India and Russia have boycotted a major international trade fair in Zimbabwe
in protest against the country's policy of taking control of foreign

Chinese firms, however, have come to the trade fair in Bulawayo in droves.

Earlier this month, President Robert Mugabe's government said it had taken
majority ownership of foreign-owned mining firms which had not ceded a
controlling stake to black Zimbabweans.

Observers have expressed scepticism about how the state could take control.
Soured relations

Mr Mugabe's power-sharing government is keen to attract foreign investment
and had high hopes for the event this week in the country's second city.

China is the single biggest investor at the trade expo, with Chinese
companies taking up 90% of the stands.

Some companies from Germany and Italy have also taken stands.

The theme of the trade fair is "investing locally, reaping globally".

However, the absence of investors from India, Russia and elsewhere in Europe
highlights how relations, which soured between Zimbabwe and Western
countries over allegations of human rights abuses, are still far from
restored, says the BBC's Brian Hungwe based in Zimbabwe.

In recent years, foreign direct investment has dried up, but the Chinese
appear to be well on their way to filling the gap, he adds.
Land seizure

The Mugabe government set a deadline of late last year for foreign firms to
hand majority control to locals under its controversial indigenisation

Mr Mugabe says such moves are needed to right the wrongs of the colonial
era, which left most of the economy in the hands of the white minority.

But his seizure of most of the country's white-owned land has been widely
blamed for causing the country's economic collapse.

Mr Mugabe's coalition partner and long-time rival, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, has always opposed his plans to seize control of foreign firms.

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Sata slams sanctions, supports grabbing of white owned farms in Zimbabwe

April 27, 2012

President Michael Sata Thursday bemoaned the effects of what he called
illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries.
He also supported the land reform programme, saying the liberation strug­gle
would have been in vain had land remained in the hands of a few, according
to the Herald newspaper of Zimbabwe.
President Sata said Zimbabwe’s econ­omy could perform much better with­out
the illegal sanctions.
He made the remarks during a tour of Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited.
“Zimbabwe is surviving under harsh conditions because of sanctions. If there
were no sanctions, they (Dairibord) would do very much better than this.”
Sata said entrepreneurs in Zambia had a lot to learn from Dairibord.
“We need to get some of those people to come and see how their friends are
doing here,” he said.
He pledged to create business for Dairibord in Zambia.
According to the Herald, President Sata was in a jovial mood and cracked
jokes throughout his tour.
On noticing Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara’s name and
signature in Dairibord’s visitors’ book, he said: “Mutambara was Acting
Prime Minister, where was the Prime Minister? Why was he acting PM?”
Sata later toured Tyron Farm in Mashonaland East Province owned Cde Noah
Mangondo where he threw his weight behind the country’s agrarian reforms.
“You should not be cheated, the whole world survives on land. America is
what it is because of land. The fight for Zimbabwe would have been in vain
if land did not go back to where it belonged.”
President Sata was addressing people gathered at the farm to welcome him.
“This is the first country we are pay­ing a State visit because we think
like you people,” he said.
“Pamberi naJongwe,” a feast-waving President Sata said.
He urged farmers to put land allo­cated to them to good use.
Mashonaland East Governor and Resident Minister Aeneas Chigwedere said
contrary to reports in the interna­tional media that farms allocated to
blacks were lying idle, Zimbabweans were fully utilising the land.
“We are here to show you what some of us are able to do to utilise the
 land,” he said.
“When you are out there you are told that former white-owned farms are lying
derelict but this is evidence that a lot is happening. Africans are closely
attached to their land.”
President Sata also toured the National Heroes Acre in Harare accompanied by
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
He laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and commended Zim­babwe
for according its heroes a proper burial.
“It is a good idea to remember those who lost their lives in the struggle,”
Pres­ident Sata said.
“It is encouraging that in all of Africa, it is only Zimbabwe and Namibia
that have Heroes Acres.”
President Sata said some people were enjoying the benefits of independence
out of sacrifices made by Zimbabwe’s gallant sons and daughters.
He recognised a number of heroes buried at the national shrine, including
Cdes Herbert Chitepo, Samuel Parirenyatwa, Julia Zvobgo and Mark Dube.
“Some of the people buried here I saw them physically,” he said.
When he reached the grave of Zanla Commander General Josiah Tongogara, he
quipped: “Everybody feared him.”
President Sata cracked jokes while touring the National Heroes Acre.
On realising that there were more male heroes than females buried at the
national shrine, he jokingly said: “This is discrimination. We need more
women to die.”

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CIO, army battle Zanu PF bigwigs

Friday, 27 April 2012 10:47

Owen Gagare/Wongai Zhangazha

SECUROCRATS are increasingly tightening their grip on Zanu PF amid further
indications several members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO),
police and retired army officers are battling to become candidates in the
next general elections President Robert Mugabe wants  this year.
The securocrats are challenging Zanu PF heavyweights whom they accuse of
destroying the party by imposing themselves or unpopular candidates, among
other charges.

Since independence in 1980, the security sector, particularly the military,
has played a significant role in the political and electoral affairs of the
country. The visibility and influence of the military has  risen gradually
over the years to current levels of dominance and control over  civilian

Key positions in Zanu PF’s commissariat department are already occupied by
security personnel who, like Mugabe, are against the imposition of
candidates. In 2010, Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena retired from the Air
Force of Zimbabwe and joined the party where he is working with former CIO
director-internal, Sydney Nyanhongo.

The militarisation of Zanu PF, bringing it more under the control and
direction of security actors, has shaken senior leaders who believe the
increasing number of people with security backgrounds moving to occupy high
positions could destabilise the party and alienate it from voters. Others
say the escalating factionalism in Zanu PF and widespread chaos during the
ongoing District Coordinating Committee elections is a clear manifestation
of problems associated with infiltration by security personal.

Intelligence and Zanu PF insiders say the movement of security personnel
into the party is a well-calculated plan to militarise Zanu PF structures
and prepare for the takeover of the party by a Joint Operations Command
cabal plotting to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga has been
linked to Zanu PF succession battles.

Of late security operators have been quietly manoeuvring to become candidate
in the next elections. In Epworth, for instance, former minister and Harare
province chairman Amos Midzi is being challenged by Coxwell Chigwanha who
has confirmed he would challenge the former diplomat. He claimed he was
asked by the people to stand as they feel Midzi had done his part.

“Yes, I am interested in Epworth because people asked me to stand in as
their MP and it is basically  for three reasons. One I was born in Epworth,
I have been a political activist in Zanu PF youth ever since and I have
worked in important structures of government offices,” he said.

“Cde Midzi has always been a candidate since 2002 when he lost to Elias
Mudzuri in the mayoral elections and then lost to (Elijah) Jembere in the
2008 elections. What that now means is that he cannot run for the next
elections. It’s the people of Epworth who are saying this.”

Another serving CIO operative Lesley Humbe is seeking to oust Tourism
minister Walter Mzembi from his Masvingo South seat. Colonel Phillip
Toperesu, a serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army, was also
reportedly interested in Mzembi’s seat.

Mzembi confirmed he may face a challenge from some “scavengers” although he
insinuated some people had embarked on a dirty campaign which he feared may
destroy the party.

“There are no official primary elections candidates because the party has
not triggered off the process of accepting and recognising people as
candidates. Those who are running around are just political scavengers,” he

“Having said that, the party must be mindful that it does not create a
free-for-all scenario, a game without rules, to ensure the party does not
disintegrate. There is need for strict discipline and guidelines that seems
to be fast fading away. The party was built on strong pillars of discipline
which mustn’t be shaken.”

Sources in the party said Elias Kanengoni, the CIO deputy director-internal
is interested in the Mazowe senatorial seat, while his daughter Tabeth is
eying the Mazowe Central national assembly seat.

Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao is being challenged by another serving CIO
operative, Francis Mukwangariwa, who has made his intentions public.
Sources said retired colonel Claudius Makova, a former legislator for Bikita
West, is reportedly eyeing the Bikita Senate seat, while retired colonel
Mutero Masanganise wants the Gutu Senate seat.

Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke is likely to battle it out with retired
Brigadier-General Callisto Gwanetsa for the Chiredzi senatorial post while
retired Brigadier- General Livingstone Chineka, a former Zaka East
Parliamentary representative, is also said to be interested in representing
Zanu PF in the Zaka Senate seat.

In Masvingo West, retired major Bernard Mazarire is also reportedly among
several Zanu PF candidates who are on the ground campaigning for the ticket
to represent the party when elections are called. A senior serving CIO
operative by the name Raira is also seeking a seat in Masvingo.

“In Manicaland a large number of people with security backgrounds are eying
parliamentary seats. Among them are retired Brigadier Elliot Kasu who wants
to stand in Nyanga South while another retired soldier Hubert Nyanhongo (who
is MP for Harare South) will probably stand in Nyanga North. A former CIO
operative Nation Madongerere may stand in Makoni West and Winnie Mlambo, who
was a security attaché at Zimbabwe’s embassy in London, may stand in
Chipinge East,” said a source.

“In Buhera South Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, a police
spokesperson, is likely to stand and a serving operative in the CIO training
department, Francis Muchenje, wants to stand in Makoni North.”

Sources say there were many other people with military and security
backgrounds who want to stand on the Zanu PF ticket.

The securocrats who are moving into Manicaland accuse political heavyweights
from the area of failing to capitalise on the province’s link with the war
of liberation to woo votes for Zanu PF.

Most Zanla forces operated in Manicaland during the liberation struggle.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo refused to say why a high number of
serving and retired members of the security services were campaigning to
stand as Zanu PF candidates, saying he would only do so after the politburo
discussed the issue. “The politburo is yet to meet and decide on candidate
selection. Until politburo meets I can not comment on the issue,” said

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War vets threaten to deal with faction leaders

Friday, 27 April 2012 10:37

Faith Zaba

CONTROVERSIAL war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda has warned Zanu PF
bigwigs, whom he accuses of fanning factionalism, they would soon be
confronted and dealt with head on for causing chaos in the party.
Speaking to the Zimbabwe Independent this week, the visibly irate Sibanda
castigated Zanu PF factional leaders for undermining the hard work done by
war veterans to mobilise voters ahead of crucial elections expected either
this year or in 2013.
Sibanda, who has been on a mobilisation drive in Manicaland, Masvingo and
Mashonaland West, slammed party heavyweights grouped around the two main
factions led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa for sabotaging the efforts of war veterans who are trying to
re-energise the party’s support base.
He warned those vying for President Robert Mugabe’s position through
“political corruption”, saying jostling for the top post now while it is not
vacant would fuel infighting  within the party.
“What we find is that people want to benefit themselves through all this,
but the question is are those people working for the party? My main mission
is to defend the revolutionary party by ensuring it is well-organised.”
He accused factionalists of working against the party while putting on party
regalia, and  warned their leaders will be “malfunctioning” very soon.
“Don’t ask me how or when this will happen; all I can tell you is these
people will malfunction very soon. Their political corruption is typical of
political lumpens.”
Infighting has rocked Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Bulawayo,
Matabeleland North and South provinces, as the factions led by Mnangagwa,
Mujuru and another group loyal to Mugabe battle for control of the
Disgruntled supporters in Masvingo and Manicaland have been demonstrating
against vote-rigging, imposition of candidates and vote-buying in district
coordinating committee elections.
“A lot of our leaders have political ambitions, but they are destroying the
party. A person vying for a council, parliamentary or senatorial seat will
do anything to get that post. A person eyeing the presidential post will
also do everything to get that top post,” Sibanda said.
“This factionalism is the reason why there is imposition of candidates. We
are going to stop them — we are going to deal with them. I am glad people
are speaking out now before elections through demonstrations.”

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Proposal to have extra 90 MP’s slammed

By Lance Guma
27 April 2012

A proposal by political parties in Zimbabwe to increase the number of
legislators in parliament by an extra 90 individuals has been slammed as
another attempt to increase the number of politicians on the gravy train.

It’s reported there are attempts to increase the number of parliamentary
seats from 210 to between 250 and 300 to accommodate more female MP’s. The
current 210 seats will be contested, while the extra seats will be allocated
to individuals.

ZANU PF have suggested an extra 90 MP’s, the MDC-T 40, while the smaller MDC
formation suggest 70 extra MP’s.

The plan is being driven by the three political parties in the Constitution
Select Committee (COPAC) and the regulations to form the new seats will be
created through an act of parliament. The Senate, which is the upper house
of parliament, will have a composition that reflects the representation in
the lower house.

COPAC co-Chairperson, Douglas Mwonzora from the MDC-T, is quoted as saying:
“The principle of gender equity has been constitutionally provided, but can
only be practically attained legislatively.” The parties argue that the new
representation will be in line with the SADC Gender and Development

Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya expressed outrage at the proposal saying:
“The majority of right thinking Zimbabweans will be disturbed and surprised
that the MDC is part of this proposal.” Ruhanya drew comparisons between the
population of Zimbabwe and the United States compared to the number of its

The US has more than 300 million people and its congress has 435 legislators
while the senate has some 100 senators, 2 senators per state in a country of
some 50 states. Zimbabwe on the other has less than 15 million people but
under the current proposal Zimbabwe would have 300 MP’s in parliament.

Ruhanya said: “At a time when Zimbabweans have no jobs, the economy is
shrinking, these people (MP’s) are creating jobs for their friends, jobs for
the families and jobs for their prostitutes.” Ruhanya said there was nothing
wrong in increasing the number of women in parliament but this could still
be done while reducing the number of MP’s.

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku also
queried the need to increase the number of MP’s in parliament and said the
same gender equity could be achieved by reducing the number of seats.
Madhuku said parliament was already bloated and 150 seats was an ideal
number. He suggested 100 seats be contested and the other 50 set aside for
proportional representation.

“It’s total madness. This is just a trick by politicians who are pursuing a
self-serving agenda by increasing the number of corrupt elements as
evidenced by what we have seen so far. Fortunately for the country, this is
going to be rejected by the people on such grounds,” Madhuku said.

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Central Bank Board Investigates Mines Minister's Source of Funds

26 April 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe board has started investigating Mines Minister
Obert Mpofu’s source of funding after he was given the greenlight by the
government to buy the struggling state-owned Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group

Authoritative sources told the Voice of America’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
the board is expected within the next two weeks to submit a detailed report
on the minister’s financial status.

Mpofu has already paid $10 million for the bank and declared some of his
assets including the highly-priced York House in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second
largest city. He is reported to have a number of properties in the city and
other parts of the country.

The minister was not immediately available for comment.

The ZABG has been failing to raise the $12.5 million minimum capitalization
requirements demanded by the RBZ.

Independent economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said the RBZ board
routinely investigates sources of funds for any entity or individual
venturing into the finance sector.

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Zanu PF power struggle debate shifts

Friday, 27 April 2012 10:17

Owen Gagare

ZANU PF power struggles and President Robert Mugabe’s intensifying
succession debate is now taking a new twist as senior party officials begin
to interrogate the character and content of internal factional leaders, as
well as their ideological and policy positions in a bid to establish what
they stand for as they bid to rise to the helm.
Zimbabwe is currently gripped by political uncertainty, partly as a result
of Zanu PF internal strife which has been going on  for a long time, with
senior officials battling to succeed Mugabe. Senior Zanu PF officials are
now beginning to ask who is behind the rival factions and what their
policies and programmes are.

Senior party officials, led by Zanu PF politburo member and strategist
Jonathan Moyo, are now bringing a new dimension to the debate. The Zanu PF
infighting is intertwined with the fate of the country, given Mugabe and his
party’s institutionalisation and their lengthy period in power.

Since Independence most African states have experienced different forms of
political conflict rooted in both internal and external factors. Usually,
conflict generated by leadership succession is over control of the state and
involves who governs. It does not usually envisage the creation of a new
state and  ideological and policy shift. Such power struggles usually
centres on control of levers of the state and access to state resources.

Put differently, political succession, as in the case of Zanu PF, is an
attempt to capture the state by factions using their positions in power at
the expense of their rivals. The major objective is to take over the
leadership of the party and the state to control access to power and
resources, while establishing a patronage network to sustain factional

Moyo, no longer linked to any of the major two Zanu PF factions led by
Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, is
leading the debate within the party on factionalism and succession.

Besides, Mujuru and Mnangagwa, State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi has
also been mentioned as a possible successor to Mugabe. The name of Zimbabwe
Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga is also being raised
although some say those outside party structures have no chance.

A new group comprising young turks described as Generation 40 (G40) has also
emerged on the scene trying to influence the succession battle.

Moyo, now a Mugabe diehard, is trying to shift the debate from personalities
and their record in the liberation struggle to their leadership qualities,
policies and programmes as Zanu PF officials begin to question the
suitability of their faction leaders to rule.

“When all is said and done, the most critical failure of the nationalist
movement in Zimbabwe today is the rise of factionalism to its current
shocking levels,” Moyo wrote early last week.

“While this has been bad enough, what has made it particularly worse is that
the type of factionalism which has taken root within our nationalist
movement is content-free in ideological and policy terms. This is terrible
because when factionalism has no ideological or policy content it means it
is only a personal project of an individual with no public or national
purpose of value and invariably ends up becoming private, tribal or

Showing the debate has shifted, Moyo continued: “This explains why all media
reports of alleged Zanu PF factions always mention the names of some fancied
individuals who purportedly lead the factions in question without ever
saying what the named individuals or the factions they allegedly lead stand
for or represent.”

Moyo said the younger generation should be “vigilant against being trapped
by content-free factionalists in pursuit of patronage which of late is being
peddled under the cover of succession politics”.

“Our youth who now make up at least 70% of the electorate and who are
therefore in a position to peacefully and democratically shape their future
through the ballot — thanks to the heroes of our independence — should
understand that succession is not about individuals and is certainly not
about age but about ideas, ideologies, policy programmes and generations,”
he said.

“There’s absolutely no point in supporting factions led by individuals who
have not shown that they are able to use their brains to articulate national
ideas that seek to secure Zimbabwe’s revolution to improve the lot of our
people. In other words, our youth must understand that it is far better to
support policies than personalities.”

In the past Moyo has written articles urging leadership renewal and openness
on the succession debate.

“Why is it that some comrades in the nationalist movement in general and
Zanu PF in particular seem to be afraid of change when it is a fact of
everyday life and is thus essential to the survival of any living thing
whether biological, social, economic or political?” he asked last year.

Political analysts say Zanu PF factions have not done much to explain what
they stand for unlike Mugabe.

Harare based political analyst Charles Mangongera said leaders aspiring to
take over from Mugabe have failed to state what they stand for because of
the political dynamics in Zanu PF in which personalities take precedence
over policies. Mangongera said people could only assume what each of the
factional leaders stand for based on their personalities and past. “Based on
that, Mnangagwa comes out as a hardliner and if he takes power he is likely
to lead a commandist sort of economy,” said Mangongera. “He is the kind that
may clamp down on the media and civil society and given his background in
the security sector. He is likely to severely curtail certain freedoms,”
said Magongera.”

“Mujuru comes across as a moderate, who would try to strike a balance
between Zanu PF’s ideals as a liberation party and the need for a
progressive party. Because the Mujuru family is business-orientated, she is
likely to pursue a pro-business approach to attract investment and move the
economy forward.

On Sekeramayi, Mangongera said: “I’m afraid I don’t understand what
Sekeramayi stands for. His quietness suggests he is a shrewd and calculative
character. I doubt if he has strong democratic credentials. He speaks very
little and is difficult to understand. The only political statement I saw
him making was shedding of tears when General Solomon Mujuru died last

Zanu PF insiders say Mnangagwa’s strength lies in his vast experience having
worked in key ministries, mainly security, since Independence. As a former
aide to Mugabe, Mnangagwa is generally trusted and knowledgeable and has
strong connections with the security establishment although his image has
been tarnished by accusations of human rights abuses against him.

Mujuru is also experienced having participated in the liberation struggle
from a tender age and been in government since 1980. However, questions
marks remain over their vision and competence.

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ZITF: Traditional firms in no-show

Friday, 27 April 2012 10:21

Brian Chitemba

THE de-industrialisation of Bulawayo was evident at this year’s edition of
the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) after the city’s major
companies failed to exhibit and were replaced by small-to-medium-scale
enterprises (SMEs) and a host of Chinese firms.
Traditional exhibitors such as Merlin and Dunlop, which employ hundreds of
workers, failed to showcase their products due to viability problems. The
companies, which have previously scooped awards at the ZITF were a no-show,
and instead a myriad of SMEs were prominent at the fair.

ZITF chairman Bekithemba Nkomo said of the 675 exhibitors, only 141 Bulawayo
companies were direct exhibitors while 21 were indirect participants. “We
are not happy with the response from Bulawayo companies but we understand
that a lot of local companies are struggling and they can’t afford ZITF
rentals (which are US$50 per square metre),” said Nkomo.

Bulawayo firms have been hard-hit by viability challenges, which resulted in
the closure of 87 companies, rendering 20 000 workers jobless.

Government then launched the US$40 million Distressed and Marginalised Areas
Fund to bail out ailing firms countrywide including Bulawayo.

ZITF was this year partly dominated by non-performing parastatals and public
entities. The National Railways of Zimbabwe, New Zimbabwe Steel, Cold
Storage Company, Air Zimbabwe and Hwange Colliery are exhibiting with their
officials saying they merely did so as a routine.

Municipalities, including the Bulawayo City Council, which has failed to pay
workers for the past two months, are also participating at the fair.

While council workers are engaged in a crippling strike, Bulawayo Mayor
Thaba Moyo hosted a lavish banquet on Tuesday night for ZITF exhibitors.

A survey by the Zimbabwe Independent this week showed that although a number
of ailing state enterprises were showcasing, they however had nothing to
offer. The parastatals’ pavilions were almost empty and had the same old

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‘No mandate to hand over draft’

Friday, 27 April 2012 10:22

Elias Mambo

THE drama surrounding the constitution-making process has taken a new twist
with Constitution Select Committee (Copac)’s management committee,
comprising political party negotiators in the Global Political Agreement,
saying they do not have an obligation to hand over the draft constitution to
the three principals in the inclusive government.
This emerged after Copac, which is deadlocked on issues  such as devolution,
structure of government and dual citizenship, referred these matters to the
party negotiators.

MDC party negotiator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (pictured) said
yesterday reports principals had given Copac until next week to submit a
completed draft constitution were misleading.

“We are reading this in the press but as Copac our position is that we are
under no obligation to hand over the draft to the principals,” she said.
“After we complete the drafting process we are to hand it over to our party
presidents because in as far as we know this is a party process so there is
no need for deadlines from the so-called principals,” she said.

Her MDC-T counterpart, Elton Mangoma concurred saying: “Copac has no mandate
to submit the draft to the principals but we submit to our party presidents”.
The team has met three times without reaching an agreement on the
contentious issues and hopes a compromise could be reached in the fourth
meeting on Monday.

“We have met three times over these issues, including the death penalty that
parties concluded last month and we hope the Monday meeting will bring
positive results and put the issue of the constitution to bed,” Mushonga

“I have received the incomplete draft constitution and we are to meet as the
negotiators to try and solve the deadlock on the three parked issues,” she

The three Copac co-chairpersons, Douglas Mwonzora of MDC-T, Edward Mkhosi
from the MDC-N and Zanu PF’s Paul Mangwana all confirmed that a draft had
been completed without the three contentious issues.

“We have completed the draft constitution without the three parked issues
and these have been handed to the management committee to come up with a
final solution,” he said.

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Zanu PF elites in land dog fight: Part II

Written by Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Friday, 27 April 2012 10:48

HARARE - But Mugwadi in November last year ordered the arrest of the
resettled farmers on criminal charges of trespassing after he obtained a
High Court default judgment by Justice Francis Bere evicting the A1 farmers
from the land.

The judgment came after Mugwadi had already used political power to muscle
the hapless A1 farmers out of their land, according to the farmers.

His victims say on two occasions Mugwadi bulldozed the homes of the A1
farmers using his tractor and efforts to seek justice by the hapless
settlers failed.

As the dispute escalated, Lands minister Hebert Murerwa withdrew Mugwadi’s
offer letter on November 15, 2010 giving reprieve to the farmers.

But Murerwa was forced to back down after Chombo wrote a letter to him
recommending that Mugwadi get the disputed piece of land because he had
“contributed immensely to the country after independence.”

The directive to dispossess the settlers  was made disregarding the fact
that among the 10 farmers being forced out of Selby Farm is a veteran of
Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war currently serving as a policeman.

“…it would be unfortunate if not tragic if Mugwadi was to lose the land that
government deservedly allocated him merely because a small portion of the
same happened to fall under Mazowe District,” Chombo said in an August 3,
2011 letter to Murerwa.

“I am convinced there is nothing administratively neither amiss nor illegal
in having a property straddling across provincial and or district
boundaries. On the contrary, this scenario is prevailing in a number of
areas and there is no reason why Mugwadi should be an exemption” reads
Chombo’s letter pressuring Murerwa to act in favour of Mugwadi.

The Daily News has a copy of that letter.

So eager was Chombo for Mugwadi to get the farm at the expense of the
pioneering farmers that he offered to approach Mugabe to expedite the
adjustment of boundaries so that the piece of land wholly fell under Zvimba,
in Mashonaland West Province.

But Mugwadi’s second offer letter for the same land dated October 31, 2011
is silent on the fact that land straddles provincial boundaries and fails to
mention the number of hectares taken from each province.

An investigation by this paper discovered that Mugwadi’s offer letter could
have originated from elsewhere other than the provincial offices.

According to a ministry official, both chief land planners for Mashonaland
West Lovemore Vambe, and Mashonaland Central province’s Gerald Chirapa are
ignorant of Mugwadi’s new offer letter.

Asked to comment on his role in the saga, Chombo told the Daily News on
February 23 that he was not aware the 10 farmers hold offer letters for
Selby Farm.

“I wrote the letter to Murerwa basing on submissions he got from Mugwadi. I
am not aware that the 10 resettled farmers held valid offer letters from
Mazowe District Council,” said Chombo.

Chombo was not the only senior official fighting the hapless farmers.

Lester Muradzi, who is the chief national lands planner, was a star state
witness when Mugwadi forced the arrest of the farmers on trespassing

Sitting in the Land Dispute and Resolution Committee and the National Lands
Inspectorate, Muradzi wields enormous influence on land issues.

Efforts to contact Murerwa were fruitless as his secretary said the minister
was in South Africa for a medical review and would only be in office on
Monday, April 23.  When the Daily News finally got hold of him, Murerwa
requested written questions.

Latest efforts to get a comment from the minister were fruitless as
officials in his office said he would be tied up with other business until
after the Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

Mugwadi dismissed the allegations as unfounded. In confirming the issue,
Mugwadi told the Daily News the 10 farmers were “fresh farm invaders.”

“I bought a piece of land adjacent to Shamwari farm in 1998 and applied for
more land which I was awarded in 2006. The group got offer letters in 2009 —
long after I had been awarded the land and had already cleared it,” said
Mugwadi on Tuesday last week.

He claimed to hold no political links, saying he was “simply a popular
person” due to the role he played when he was still the country’s top
immigration officer.

“I don’t have political links but people should know the whole land issue
was a political decision,” added Mugwadi.

Some assets left behind by evicted white farmers have also contributed to
the internecine black-on-black conflict.

At Galloway Farm in Mazowe District, a retired army officer and now Zanu PF
MP for Mazowe North, Cairo Philbert Mhandu is involved in a fight over fuel
storage tanks and a service station left behind by the former white farmer
with another black resettled farmer Fidelis Gweshe.

Muradzi, the chief lands planner is again at the centre of the storm.

In a letter to the principal director in President Mugabe’s office, Gweshe
accuses Muradzi’s office of doctoring the map of Galloway Farm in Mazowe to
benefit Mhandu.

Investigations show that the first approved map drawn after a meeting in the
boardroom at the Lands ministry offices in Harare on June 24, 2011 and
attended by Murerwa and Provincial Governor Martin Dinha, awarded the
service station and fuel tanks to Gweshe.

However, a map now at the offices of the Surveyor General in Harare
submitted by Muradzi on October 7, 2011 shows the fuel tanks are now on
Mhandu’s side of the farm.

Gweshe abandoned his job at Zesa Holdings to concentrate on farming when he
was awarded 109 hectares of land on October 11, 2003 but to date, he appears
to be the biggest loser.

He is losing portions of his land annually and now remains with less than 60

Three weeks ago Muradzi refused to comment and referred the matter to his
superiors when asked why so many offer letters and different maps existed
for a single farm.

Visited at his offices for the second time a week later, Muradzi referred
the Daily News to Sophia Tsvakwi, the permanent secretary in the ministry of

Tsvakwi also refused to comment telling the Daily News through Muradzi to
follow procedure when
enquiring about land issues.

She did not explain what procedures she wanted followed other than just
lodging questions with her office.
According to court papers in our possession, Muradzi was last year involved
in a nasty fight with a female subordinate in the ministry over land with
the subordinate claiming her boss was trying to withdraw her offer letter
for a farm because she had turned down his sexual advances.

Muradzi was briefly detained by police for sexual assault allegations.

Magistrate Tayengwa Chibanda ruled out that while it could be true that
Muradzi could have sexually molested his subordinate, there was also a
possibility that he could be framed because the case now involved farms.

*Read the final part of this special report in tomorrow’s issue.

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Sikhala acquitted over illegal alien

27/04/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

MDC-99 leader Job Sikhala was on Thursday acquitted on a charge of helping
an illegal alien enter the country.

Harare magistrate Anita Tshuma said prosecutors had failed to prove that
Sikhala had facilitated Sharon Bester’s entry into the country through the
Beitbridge border post last July.

The 40-year-old had been charged under Section 36(1) (C) of the Immigration
Act and faced up to two years in jail if convicted.

The state had rested last Friday after leading evidence from Bester, who
pleaded guilty to contravening Section 29 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act and
was fined.

Bester turned state witness as she told how she met Sikhala at the home of
one Okkie Volschenck in Johannesburg while the former St Mary’s MP was
fundraising for his political activities.
Innocent Chingarande, prosecuting, said Sikhala had offered Bester a job as
his personal assistant.

Sikhala, 40, his publicist Aaron Muzungu, Bester, and Volscheck then drove
to the Beitbridge four days later. She told the court that Sikhala had
facilitated her illegal entry at the border.

But defence lawyer Augustine Runesu Chikazani argued that the state had an
obligation to prove if Sikhala had ever assisted Bester in skipping the

He challenged the credibility of the evidence given by Bester and contested
the fact that the charge sheets bore no specific dates of the alleged crime.
"It is ridiculous that a man is being put to his defence over a crime that
has no date,” the lawyer said last Friday.

The defence lawyer had applied for a discharge before Sikhala could be put
to his defence, and the magistrate granted the motion on Thursday.

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Mbeki answers University of Zimbabwe SOS

27/04/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

FORMER South African President Thabo Mbeki arrives in Harare on Saturday,
seeking to boost an initiative to raise US$20 million to revive the
University of Zimbabwe.

The University of Zimbabwe, hit by budget cuts over the last decade, has
struggled to maintain its infrastructure and preserve academic standards.
Now the new initiative championed by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
is aiming to put a stop to the rot.

A committee of trustees with some of the university’s most notable alumni
has been formed to lead a worldwide fundraising effort whose ultimate aim is
to mobilise US$70 million for long term capital projects.

The trustees include Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Africa Sun CEO Shingi
Mutasa, TN CEO Tawanda Nyambirai, Cyril Ruwende (Diaspora USA), Professor
Rueben Simoyi (Diaspora USA), Alex Magaisa (Diaspora UK) and Brian Kagoro
(Diaspora SA).

On Saturday evening, Mbeki will be the guest of honour at a fundraising
dinner to be held at the UZ’s Great Hall. Guests will pay US$200 each for a
ticket, while companies are being charged US$2,000 per table.
In a statement, Mutambara said they aimed to raise US$10 million from the

But in the fundraising push’s most ambitious plan, the committee is
targeting US$100 donations by every graduate from the UZ from 1957 to date.
The plan has been dubbed ‘The US$100 for UZ Campaign’.

“We aim to raise US$10 million at the dinner event and US$20 million by the
end of 2012 through the ongoing activities of the fundraising committee.
These funds will go towards meeting part of the UZ’s US$70 million
requirement for capital projects, which are outlined in the UZ’s Fundraising
Handbook,” Mutambara said.

With the government virtually broke, Mutambara said the private sector could
play a critical role in maintaining the University of Zimbabwe’s

He added: “The UZ, as the premier and oldest university in the country, has
the vision to be one of the world’s greatest broad-based teaching and
research institutions. It seeks to join the league of globally visible and
competitive universities.

“To realise this ambition, the university’s academic departments and
research institutes need constant renewal, modernisation, and upgrading. The
university should attract and retain administrators, lecturers, professors
and researchers of the highest quality. World class equipment, teaching
materials and academic resources are essential.

“It is within this context that the UZ Fundraising programme was initiated.
This effort is an on-going exercise, and the dinner will become an annual
event, where fundraising outcomes are announced and reviewed.”
You can donate to the fun using the following details:

Bank Name: CBZ
Branch: Kwame Nkrumah
Account number: 20770100062
Account Name: University of Zimbabwe Endowment Fund
Bank Swift code: COBZZWH

For more information, contact Dr. T. Munyanyiwa, University of Zimbabwe Pro
Vice Chancellor for Business Development on: 0774769157 e-mail:  website:

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Mars workers on strike

Written by Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Friday, 27 April 2012 10:43

HARARE - Over 100 Medical Air Rescue Services (Mars) workers in Harare and
over 200 countrywide are staging a strike following non-payment of salaries
and low safety standards provided by their employer.

Mars Zimbabwe is the only air rescue in the country.

When the Daily News crew arrived at Mars offices at Athol House in Eastlea
yesterday, the workers were seating some outside the offices.

The workers told the Daily News they had not been paid for four months and
some have been evicted by their landlords due to failure to pay rent.

“One of our colleagues, an intensive care nurse, was arrested by the police
because she had failed to pay her maid. It is really bad; they actually took
her from here."

“Moreover, our safety conditions are deteriorating. We are people who work
with blood every day but we have not received safety equipment for two years
and no uniforms for two years again.”

“We also need to wash blood and fluid from our equipment but as it is, we
have no running water,” the workers said.

The striking workers called on health inspectors and the Vehicle Inspection
Department to assess if Mars’ vehicles were roadworthy since they have been
experiencing technical problems.

The workers said they were risking being dismissed from work due to the
strike as management had threatened to terminate their contracts if they
continued with their strike.

“We can’t take it anymore, we are only getting promises and $30 dollars a
month at the moment, which is inhuman.”

According to the workers, the problems started two years ago when Mars was
taken over by SpiritAge Health, which also has a stake in some
telecommunications businesses.

They also complained that medical aid, funeral policy and loan money is
being deducted from their salaries but the company has not been paying up to
the service providers.

“We took loans from the bank, now we face losing our property because the
company does not own up to the agreement.”

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Zim man on round the world fundraising trip

By Alex Bell
27 April 2012

A Zimbabwean man has embarked on a global road trip trying to raise money
for Hospice, hoping to visit more than 700 people in more than 27 countries
around the world.

Fifty year old Steve Calasse, who now lives in Mozambique, is hoping to
raise a million dollars to support needy Hospices in South Africa. His plan
is to visit all his Facebook friends around the world and take a photograph
with them, in exchange for a donation to five chosen Hospices.

Calasse spoke to SW Radio Africa from the south coast of South Africa on
Thursday, during his stop in Munster. He explained that the road trip has
been on the cards for many years.

“Well my ex-wife died of cancer five years ago she received amazing care at
the hospice in Zimbabwe. So I said that when our three kids were grown I
would do this trip. So it’s quite daunting, but I don’t give up easily,”
Steve said.

Steve has plunged headfirst into the journey, giving up his job and packing
his belongings in boxes. He will now be living out of a backpack and
travelling as much as possible by road for the foreseeable future.

He explained how he plans to make the journey “one by any means,” explaining
that already, the kindness of strangers has been proved time and time again.
He said the travelling, with 23 stops already under his belt, has been
tiring and sometimes lonely, but “it’s just the start.”

Steve’s travels through Southern Africa are the start of his Africa leg,
which he has funded out of his own pocket. He explained that his aim is to
take the journey to international shores, but said sponsorship is the one
thing that will ensure this happens.

“Basically I am looking for sponsors to help me, just to help me with travel
costs and communications costs,” Steve said.

After South Africa, Steve will be heading to Mozambique, before travelling
to Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and other parts of Africa. The Africa leg will
culminate in Zimbabwe.

For more information or to befriend Steve and support his trip, you can find
him on Facebook. You can also email him on

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Taylor Gone, but Blood Diamonds Are Forever
| April 27, 2012, 7:14 am
Miners at Zimbabwe's Marange field in 2006.Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated PressMiners at Zimbabwe’s Marange field in 2006.

LONDON — Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia convicted of war crimes by an international court on Thursday, fostered a murderous conflict in neighboring Sierra Leone in order to get his hands on “blood diamonds” mined there by slaves.

As governments, rights activists and Taylor’s victims welcomed the first such verdict against a head of state, his conviction might seem a fitting end to an era in which the lust for gems brought slaughter to the African continent.

Sadly, that is not quite the case. Pressure groups and legitimate members of the trade say that a certificate-of-origin system intended to govern the industry is inadequate and that diamonds continue to fuel a cycle of suffering.

The scandal of conflict diamonds led to the establishment of a certification scheme in 2003 under the auspices of the Kimberley Process, an alliance of governments, non-governmental agencies and the industry, represented by the World Diamond Council.

The aim was to provide a guarantee to customers that the gems they bought came from a genuine source and not from the smuggled cache of some African warlord.

The system is specifically designed to stem the flow of rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. So far so good.

But the Kimberley Process takes no account of diamonds produced by what are deemed to be legitimate governments.

The most dramatic signal of unease about how the system was working — or rather, not working — came late last year when Global Witness, a lobby group that spearheaded the campaign against conflict diamonds, pulled out of the Kimberley Process.

In a statement in December, it said the organization’s “refusal to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny has rendered it increasingly outdated.”

Global Witness said consumers could still not be sure where their diamonds came from, or whether they were financing armed violence or abusive regimes. It described a system plagued by flaws and loopholes and run mostly by governments that showed no interest in reform.

The tipping point for Global Witness was a decision by the Kimberley Process to authorize exports from the Marange field in Zimbabwe, seized by that country’s army in 2008 in an operation in which 200 miners were killed.

The allegation is that the regime of President Robert Mugabe milks the profits from Marange to fund the violent repression of its opponents. The government recently allowed journalists to visit the area to try to show that it is properly run but the initiative has been described as a publicity stunt.

Tendai Biti, the Zimbabwean finance minister, said last week that his treasury had expected a $600 million boost this year from diamond sales but that the target was being undermined by U.S. sanctions against companies that operated in Marange.

The dispute over Marange is certain to be raised, and potentially resolved, when Kimberley Process members meet in June.

For the time being, however, it is a case of “buyer beware.” Some dealers now make a point of highlighting their ethical credentials in response to public concern.

As Ingle and Rhode, a jeweler in London’s Mayfair district, notes on its website that links to the blood diamonds campaign: “We ensure that our diamonds and gems are conflict-free and cut and polished by adults (not children) working in good conditions and for fair pay.”

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Simba Makoni on Question Time: Part 1

Former Finance Minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Simba Makoni

Former Finance Minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Simba Makoni, is the guest on Question Time. Makoni now leads the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party and joins journalist Lance Guma to answer questions from SW Radio Africa listeners.

The former SADC Executive Secretary responds to accusations that he split the opposition vote in 2008, when he suddenly ran as an independent presidential candidate without a strong political party behind him.

Interview broadcast 11 April 2012

Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining me on Question Time. My guest tonight is former Finance Minister and ZANU PF politburo member, Dr Simba Makoni. We asked listeners to send in their questions for Dr Makoni who now leads the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn political party.

Thank you for joining us Dr Makoni.

Simba Makoni: It’s my pleasure, thank you very much Lance.

Guma: The most asked question from our listeners is almost an accusation directed at you; many people who have submitted their questions accuse you of having split the opposition vote in March 2008 to the benefit of Mugabe and Zanu PF. Let’s start off with your response to that.

Makoni: Firstly Lance I would like to disabuse anyone of the notion of splitting votes. First, Zimbabweans are entitled to their choice. It’s a choice of two, a choice of four, a choice of ten – it’s their democratic right so when I offered myself to stand for president I wasn’t taking away votes from anyone.

I was giving those people who did not want to vote for Mugabe or Tsvangirai an opportunity to vote for someone else. All the people who voted for me would not have voted for Mugabe or Tsvangirai so I think it’s rather misdirected that they think I split votes.

Guma: Some will say in fighting a dictatorship unity is key and your last-minute throwing of your hat into the ring, confused matters.

Makoni: I don’t believe so. Unity is important in any cause that people fight for but that unity needs to be anchored on common vision, common values and common expectations, common standards. The important thing is not to highlight what we are against but what we are for and when I offered myself to stand for president I offered myself not because I was against so-and-so.

It was because I was for unity, I was for peace, I was for tolerance, I was for inclusion and more importantly, I was for competence and restoring the efficacy of our economy and our social services. That’s what I offered Zimbabweans. I didn’t offer them to be against anybody, so I wasn’t against Tsvangirai, I wasn’t against Mugabe, I was for Zimbabweans.

Guma: But at the time some will say you didn’t have any solid political party behind you and your candidacy was never going to work.

Makoni: Well I think it’s a debatable point; I didn’t have a political party that’s true, I stood as an independent candidate and I made it very clear on February 5 2008 when I announced I was going to stand for president that I was standing as an independent candidate but we still built up a machinery that enabled us to campaign countrywide and to garner, according to the ZEC of George Chiweshe, 8.43% of the votes.

There’s a lot of discussion about whether that number is accurate or not but the point I want to make is – yes I didn’t have a political party, we built up a campaign organization all the same that supported an independent candidate. The most important thing is what do you stand for? What are you campaigning for not how?

Whether through a political party, through an independent movement, the more important issue is what is it you are offering the people and the electorate and there was no doubt about what it is I offered the Zimbabwean electorate in March 2008.

Guma: One of your key allies at the time was former Home Affairs minister and also politburo member Dr Dumiso Dabengwa. Now I spoke to Dr Dabengwa in 2008 and he said the basic strategy behind your candidacy was to stop either Morgan Tsvangirai or Mugabe from being president and that you had succeeded in your objectives. Would you agree with that line of thinking?

Makoni: Obviously not. If you recall what I just said about what it is I stood for, it wouldn’t be that. I wasn’t against anybody, I was for Zimbabweans. If Dr Dabengwa understood our programme and campaign at that time to be against Morgan Tsvangirai then quite clearly we misunderstood each other.

Guma: Still on Dr Dabengwa, several questions from people, several people who have contributed, Mary in Bulawayo would like to understand the basis of your falling out with Dr Dabengwa. He initially was behind you but then left Zanu PF to form his, or to revive Zapu rather. What happened there?

Makoni: Well I think Dr Dabengwa would be the best person to answer that question. He told me he was leaving our movement, at that time we did not have a party at the end of 2008 when he started reviving Zapu, we were still the movement of volunteers who supported the independent candidate but he told me he was going to revive Zapu and that was his main mission, I wouldn’t hold him prisoner to our movement. We then proceeded to form our party in July of 2009 after Dr Dabengwa had already left.

Guma: Does that not though, send a very negative message that people who are frustrated in the political parties they are in, just move out and go and form their own? Does it not portray a message that politicians at times are merely opportunists who look out for their own interests?

Makoni: Well Lance I won’t deny that we have a brand and a breed of politicians who are opportunists and greedy and selfish. We see it every day here but that’s not me. I don’t know that the mere fact that Dr Dabengwa left our movement to go and form Zapu necessarily suggests greed and opportunism.

What I want to emphasise to Zimbabweans is that the right of choice is theirs and must be undiluted. Even if 40 people offer themselves to be president of Zimbabwe, let the people choose the best out of the 40. Let’s not circumscribe the people’s choice by limiting numbers because the driving force for who people choose is who best represents their yearnings and their aspirations.

Let’s not just play a numbers game.

Guma: The next question comes from Gabriel Gidi; he sent it to us via Face Book and he says – it’s really three questions in one – he says would it be fair to say that Dr Makoni’s party is an election time party? Is it the ego that is driving him or does he actually have a political plan for Zimbabwe and the third part of his question is what is Mavambo’s plan for the coming election?

Makoni: Well all of them can be answered very simply in the following manner. Firstly our party was launched on July 1 2009; there has not been an election since then so I don’t see how anyone can suggest we are an election party.

Secondly – what are we doing? We are building a party with the intention not only of participating in elections but continuously contributing to the political, social and economic life of Zimbabwe. We want to build a party of ideas. One of our by-lines is ‘The party of constant renewal’.

We are about new ideas all the time, not just at election time but indeed when elections do come, we will participate and what we are doing at the moment is to build a party, to publicise our values, our vision for Zimbabwe and to recruit people who share that vision and those values to join us in a party that will build a brighter future for Zimbabweans.

Guma: Sidney Chisi on Face Book sent us the following question: he says is it true the MKD was formed as an instruction from the late General Solomon Mujuru? That in actual fact General Mujuru hoodwinked Dr Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa to leave Zanu PF as a way to open up space for his wife Joice Mujuru and this being the reason why General Mujuru did not follow you to the new party? What do you make of his theory?

Makoni: Well the answer is no to all those allegations or suggestions.

Guma: What was the role of General Mujuru in the formation of Mavambo?

Makoni: I’m not aware of any. General Mujuru was a member of the politburo of Zanu PF and he stayed so to his last day and I’m not aware of any role that he played and if he had played any role, I would have known.

Guma: There were reports though that he backed your candidacy and in fact he was one of the few, or depending on what the numbers were, one of the senior Zanu PF figures that supported you and encouraged you to challenge Mugabe within Zanu PF.

Makoni: When I was still in Zanu PF, I can confirm to you General Mujuru was one of the comrades who was in conversations about the need for change in the party and the need for change in the country. When I left Zanu PF I am sure he continued to work for change from within Zanu PF as I was working for change from outside Zanu PF.

Guma: One of the people who came out publicly to support you was Dumiso Dabengwa and everyone expected General Mujuru to do the same. Were you slightly disappointed he didn’t do so publicly?

Makoni: Well like I say, I’m not aware that General Mujuru ever wanted to come out and support me and so I couldn’t have been disappointed of something I didn’t know about.

Guma: We move onto the next question: Eugene on Twitter wants to know your views on a proposed age limit in the new constitution for presidential candidates in Zimbabwe. He says can you please ask Dr Makoni what his views are on this clause?

Makoni: We’re very supportive of that. It’s one of the propositions that we put forward. I know we are not the only ones but we subscribe fully to the need for limiting the age at which one holds public office. In the public discussion at home it’s been centred around the president; we have gone beyond just one office to say all national offices, no-one should be eligible to stand for national leadership beyond the age of 70. So we are very fully in support of it.

Guma: How democratic is that clause? If people want someone even at a particular age, why should they be proscribed from voting for that person?

Makoni: Well you must appreciate that you are voted for a purpose. If the purpose is performance then we must all accept that even if the mind and the spirit wills, the body does tire. And if you are 70 and above what more can you offer that you haven’t been able to offer between 18 and 70?

Guma: Godwin Mutematsaka on email says and I quote ‘What are the prospects of you teaming up with Morgan Tsvangirai into a strong, formidable alliance or party that will realistically unseat Zanu PF and Mugabe?

Makoni: I think my answer to Godfrey was partly given when I talked about what we stand for not what we stand against but let me tell you, the prospects are very high of me teaming up with many millions of Zimbabweans to make, to get Zimbabwe working again.

Morgan Tsvangirai could be one of those millions of Zimbabweans that we can team up with but we are not going to single out a particular individual and say we want to team up with them to be against so-and-so.

We are going to team up with them to be for recovery, to be for renewal, to be for development, for tolerance, for inclusion. Any Zimbabwean who subscribes to those values and who is fired up to achieve that objective, I will readily team up with anytime.

Guma: You talk a lot about ideas being what you stand for; some will say politics is a numbers game and it is the numbers that get you into State House, so what sort of strategic alliances are you working on to ensure this because given what the voting patterns were in 2008, you wouldn’t confidently say you have the numbers to go into State House, do you?

Makoni: Well nobody knows what numbers we have at the moment, they can only talk about the numbers we got in March 2008, but let me say that the numbers don’t come for nothing, the numbers come behind ideas. The numbers come in support of ideas. When Barack Obama said ‘yes we can’ and when Deng Xiaoping said ‘China must modernise’, the numbers followed the idea.

So it is important to know what you want to generate or mobilize the numbers for, and that’s why we put a lot of emphasis on the ideas and values and vision because people will not just follow for the sake of following. People will follow where they see hope for a better future.

Guma: Now when you initially launched Mavambo there were some problems with in-fighting, I believe with the likes of Major (Kudzai) Mbudzi and others who made all sorts of accusations. Have you recovered from that period and how would you describe the way you have gone about recruiting members into the new movement?

Makoni: Well let me urge Zimbabweans to get clarity on the facts; Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn the party was launched on July 1 2009, the characters, you are mentioning, Mbudzi, had already left what at that time was the movement of volunteers who supported independent candidate Simba Makoni. So we launched the party already on a strong platform and we are building the party already on a strong platform. There are no discordant voices among us.

Guma: On email Panashe Martin Nyagumbo says and I quote from his question: ‘You are on record as having called out to the electorate to resist participation in elections called by Zanu PF in the current environment which does not guarantee a fair outcome, at the same time I believe you have described the inclusive government as a failure. What do you propose as the best way forward given the existing circumstances you have described?’ Close quote.

Makoni: There are two ways forward: the first one is for the inclusive government to focus merely on creating conditions for free and fair elections so that the people can make their choices, undeterred, unencumbered and without fear.

If however the inclusive government is unable or unwilling to do that then I have proposed a solution that I advanced at the end of the March 2008 elections – that a transitional national authority be created, of broad based leadership that comes from all walks of life, that the mandate of that transitional authority be to prepare the country for free and fair elections and that those of us who are leaders of political parties would not participate in that transitional national authority.

So the first choice, because the inclusive government is in place and they have squandered almost four years of our time, let them commit to creating conditions for free and fair elections. But if they don’t want it as suggested from their actions then let’s have a different entity that will have the mandate of putting the country on a footing for free and fair elections and the rest is for Zimbabweans to judge.

Guma: The truth is, you are clearly aware Zanu PF will not allow that?

Makoni: Well Zanu PF is not the only actor in Zimbabwean life and I don’t believe that Zanu PF is stronger than all of us. So yes, they won’t want it because obviously it will spell doom for them but that’s no deterrent for us who wish and are committed to creating a better Zimbabwe to stay away from making efforts towards that end.

Guma: Well Zimbabwe, we have to end Part One of our interview with the former Finance Minister and Zanu PF politburo member Dr Simba Makoni. We asked listeners to send in their questions for Dr Makoni who now leads the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn political party. Thank you for joining us on Part One Dr Makoni.

Makoni: It’s my pleasure. If I have a simple wish Lance, I would very much like to be known as the leader of the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn not as former this and former that. I’m not unhappy about my past involvement with Zanu PF, the government, with Sadc; everything I have done I have done to the best of my ability but let’s not condition people too much to the past.

Guma: Thats Dr Makoni, Part One of Question Time on SW Radio Africa.

To listen to the programme:

Feedback can be sent to

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Time to rebrand, refocus trade fair

Friday, 27 April 2012 11:36

THE 53rd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which began on
Monday and ends tomorrow, has shown that Zimbabwe’s economy is at the
cross-roads, with its direction henceforth becoming more unpredictable. A
number of factors stick out from this year’s fair: The return of key
European economies, Germany and Italy, plus former Eastern European
counterpart Poland; the absence of two major emerging Bric economies, Russia
and India; the heavy presence of the third Bric, China, and the wary attempt
by South Africa–a member of the expanded Brics group-to maintain its grip on
its traditional backyard export market Zimbabwe.

From the Zimbabwean side,the glaring phenomenon is the absence of Bulawayo
corporates, and their replacement by small- to- medium enterprises. The
return of Germany, Europe’s largest economy and the 5th largest in the
world, might be interpreted as indicating renewed interest in the region by
the EU.  However, this is not necessarily so. There may be good reason for
Germany to be one of the few EU countries at the expo, given its continued
dominance of engineering products, automobile sector through  Mercedes Benz,
BMW, Audi and VW.  The absence of India and Russia, key Brics members, may
suggest that the Look East policy , may not necessarily be the way the
economy should go.

While Brazil is a major player, its brand presence has not been consolidated
in spite of it exporting to this country engineering products such as the
Marco Polo range of bodies for buses, whose engines are mainly from the EU,
and its export of chickens when GMO rules are relaxed. As for South Africa,
no one can doubt what has been dubbed the re-colonisation of Africa via this
southern neighbour of Zimbabwe. Given its proximity to the country and links
that extend to historical and cultural spheres, South Africa’s strong
presence is to be expected.

However, the most aggressive presence at this year’s showcase has been by
China. It appears the “Look East” policy pursued by the government following
the imposition of targeted sanctions by the United States and the EU was
actually a “Look to China policy”. There are 40 Chinese companies and a
200-strong business delegation.

Given the Red Dragon’s dominance this year, visitors might be forgiven for
thinking that they were at a trade show in Shanghai. What the general
presence at this year’s showcase indicates is that every market counts, even
little Zimbabwe. Exhibiting countries are all trying to secure more markets.
Sadly, the importance of this marketing platform is lost  only to the hosts

That many marketing officers for Zimbabwean exhibitors have been quoted as
saying they only attended the fair as a tradition is a serious indictment on
our business acumen as a nation.

Ideally a trade show matches buyers and sellers and therefore it is an
important promotional vehicle. A fair such as ZITF is particularly important
for local exhibitors as it brings potential partners from all over the world
home, cutting down marketing costs in terms of travel and subsistence.
However, an unlikely section has taken advantage of the fair, it is the
local SMEs.

So heavy was their presence that some have suggested that the organisers of
this event re-invented and rebranded it as an SME’s event. The SME's sector
in Zimbabwe is largely ignored, yet it accounts for a significant portion of
GDP. Though not much has been realised yet, for Zimbabwe the future lies

The SMEs must be more aggressive at the fair to obtain manufacturing
licences for the small components that the big exhibitors find cumbersome to
make.  One must not forget that a trade fair is  not only a  showcase but is
a window through which potential investors look into a country by assessing
the local environment on the ground.

At such platforms foreign participants seek, apart from local distributors
of their products , potential local partners. Instead of waiting for Dimaf,
companies in Bulawayo and indeed Harare, should take the opportunity to show
the diverse foreign exhibitors local opportunities. To an entrepreneur,
these are opportunities.

The biggest threat, however, to investment in this country remains the
hostile business environment, political uncertainty and policy

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Candid Comment: Let’s give IMF prescriptions a chance

Friday, 27 April 2012 11:28

Itai Masuku

THE International Monetary Fund is expected in the country beginning of the
next month for routine Article IV consultations. These are routine meetings,
usually annual ones, which the institution holds with its 186-strong member

The organisation says through these consultations it attempts to assess each
country’s economic health and through its advisory services help forestall
future financial problems. It is this aspect of advisory services that our
government loathes. And indeed it is not alone. Several other governments
worldwide, particularly those whose economies have at one stage or another
been in distress, share the same sentiments. But if we pick a keyword in the
purpose of the Article IV Consultations, that of assessing the “health”, we
may see where the acrimony comes in.

If we liken the IMF to some form of economic doctor who examines world
economies’ health and offers preventative medicine to some, therapeutic
medicine to others and in worst case scenarios offers surgical operations,
the picture becomes clear. Those that have taken preventive measures, ie
many in the developed world, see little wrong with the IMF for the simple
reason that they stopped at the preventive stage.

Had they proceeded to the next stage, ie where they had to be given
prescriptions, they might share the same views as those of us who have had
to take IMF drugs. So the bottom line is prevention is better than cure. And
by the way, the cocktail of drugs has generally remained the same; fiscal
discipline and monetary discipline. And for economies in transition from
central command systems add financial sector reform and public enterprise
reform. The rest are derivatives of these four pillars and lead to a stable
balance payments position, a central objective of the IMF.

But countries like ours have resisted this over the years arguing, among
other things, that the IMF prescribes the same medicine for all the
countries in the world. Well, generally, a drug does cure a particular
illness in all people, be they, short, tall, fat or slim. What may differ is
the dosage. And even where an individual responds better to a different
drug, it is in the same class of drugs, eg antibiotics. Had we listened to
advice in the booming years after Independence when there was more goodwill
towards our economy by the international community we would not be lamenting
today. Those were the days of prevention.

However, we allowed ourselves to fritter away all the funds that came our
way in rampant populist expenditure and in the process squandered the
goodwill. Because we ignored the preventive stage, illness set in and by the
early 1990s we needed therapeutic medicine in the form of the Economic
Structural Adjustment Programme. We actually followed the doctor’s orders
for a while and showed signs of great recovery with our economic health
peaking in 1997.

However, from 1998 we thought we were fine and no longer needed to take our
medicine, and in fact we exposed ourselves to greater economic pathogens,
including our costly misadventures in the DRC and the like. Not
surprisingly, our health became worse, culminating in the economy being
literally on its deathbed in 2008. It was then that we grabbed one of the
drugs in the cocktail prescribed ages ago; exchange stabilisation, through
the multi currency regime and now we are recovering.

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Editor’s Memo: Taylor conviction lesson to our leaders

Friday, 27 April 2012 11:34

Dumisani Muleya

THE conviction of former Liberian president Charles Taylor of war crimes and
crimes against humanity by a special tribunal in The Hague yesterday must
serve as a lesson to African leaders, that abuse of power and human rights
are increasingly becoming unacceptable.

The world over, leaders often abuse office with reckless abandon, forgetting
one day they would be held to account in a court of law or court of public

This subject is compelling, given Zimbabwe’s record of human rights abuses;
some bordering on crimes against humanity, before and after Independence.

Since coming to power in 1980, Zanu PF has waged a campaign of terror and
barbarism against real or perceived opponents. Thousands of Zimbabweans have
been maimed or killed during President Robert Mugabe’s largely horrific

From the Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s to the 2008 election killings
via Murambatsvina in 2005, Zimbabweans have been brutalised in ways which
have shaken the conscience of the nation and left all civilised citizens
wondering why some people should be allowed to beat,  torture and kill other
human beings without consequences.

Up to now victims of Zanu PF brutality, who bear scars of cruelty, have not
been able to get justice. Perpetrators of horrendous crimes continue to walk
the streets freely and in some cases even enjoy comfy lifestyles after being
rewarded with top jobs and perks for work well-done in the killing fields.
I will return to this later. For now let’s go back to Taylor and his

The abuse of power, although prevalent everywhere, is largely dramatic in
Africa, although times are changing.

Just yesterday Taylor was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against
humanity by the tribunal. The Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled he aided
and abetted severe human rights abuses during Sierra Leone’s civil war
between 1991 and 2001.

Taylor was convicted of helping Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front
(RUF) rebels wage a terror campaign during the vicious civil war. He gave
RUF rebels arms in exchange for diamonds.

The trial even saw British model Naomi Campbell testify she had received
diamonds from the flamboyant ex-warlord. Prosecutors charged the RUF paid
Taylor with “blood diamonds” worth millions, sometimes stuffed into
mayonnaise jars. During the trial, prosecutor Brenda Hollis told the court:
“Taylor created, armed, supported and controlled the RUF in a 10-year
campaign of terror against the civil population of Sierra Leone.”

Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said Taylor was guilty on all 11 counts of
murder, rape, sexual slavery, recruitment of child soldiers, and
Taylor is the first head of state to be convicted by an international court
since the Nuremberg trial in 1946 of Karl Doenitz, who briefly ruled Nazi
Germany after the death of Adolf Hitler. .

Taylor, who pleaded not guilty,  will be sentenced on May 30.  He has the
right to appeal.

There is no doubt the Taylor ruling, which brought a measure of justice to
the people of Sierra Leone, sends an important message to high-ranking state
officials; no matter who you are or what position you hold, one day you will
be brought to justice for your crimes.

Zimbabwean leaders must take notice, especially those who have been
spearheading human rights abuses against innocent people. Time will come –
hopeful soon – when you will be held to account. People are beginning to
take a robust stand against those who abuse power and perpetrate human
rights abuses with impunity.

Apologists for murderers must be also condemned because in reality they are
no different from butchers themselves. Those sent to do the hatchet jobs of
beating up and killing people must know they will also be held to account as
the plea of superior orders is no longer enough to escape punishment.

What is really problematic in the case of Zimbabwe is not just the scale of
abuses, but the arrogant lack of remorse and failure to embrace truth and
reconciliation by the brutal perpetrators beyond their choreographed phoney
remarks and  insulting gestures.

But as the Taylor verdict shows, those in power in Zimbabwe must not think
they are untouchable because the day of reckoning will come, maybe sooner
rather than later.

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Anders Behring Brevik and Charles Taylor

April 27, 2012, 1:18 pm

The names of two killers have dominated the news this week. One man freely
admits his crimes, the other categorically denies them. Anders Behring
Brevik comes from Norway and Charles Taylor is an African from Liberia.

When most people think of Norway, they think of snow-capped mountains and
superb scenery. The truth is that however beautiful the scenery or
peace-loving the population, every so often society throws up a violent
killer, a psychopath, an individual who is a danger to himself and to
others. At his trial in Oslo, however, Anders Behring Brevik insists that he
is perfectly sane. He knew what he was doing when he killed 77 people and
what is more he would do it again, he said. His victims deserved to die
because they supported the pro-immigration government which was destroying
the purity of the race by allowing so many Moslems into Norway. The
maintenance of racial purity was Brevik’s motive.

Charles Taylor’s motive was greed for diamonds. This week he heard the
verdict of the International Criminal Court after a trial that has lasted
for five years. Taylor is charged with war crimes and crimes against
humanity including murder and rape and the deliberate mutilation of hundreds
of Sierra Leonians. Taylor’s greed for diamonds in exchange for weapons led
directly to a ten year long civil war that blighted the lives of innocent
civilians in Sierra Leone and killed or maimed over one million people. It
is alleged that Taylor planned, instigated and ordered the violence, using
an army of child soldiers armed with weapons obtained in exchange for

While, Anders Brevik’s victims are for the most part dead, leaving their
bereaved relatives to mourn them, Taylor’s victims are the amputees who are
living testimony of his crimes as are the women who were raped by his army
and now struggle to bring up their children in the face of public

The relevance of Charles Taylor’s trial and verdict to Zimbabwe is clear;
the victims of Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and countless other crimes against
human rights also deserve to see their torturers publicly tried. Justice
demands no less. Taylor was a warlord who inflicted dreadful suffering on
his African brothers and sisters and the public have the right to see him
brought to justice. Taylor is the first Head of State to be tried before the
ICC and his trial is a clear reminder that no one is above the law, not even
presidents. The message is clear: ultimately all violators of human rights
will be caught and punished, no matter how high their office.

In Zimbabwe, the involvement of senior members of the ZNA in the diamond
trade was highlighted again this week with the news that the Zimbabwe
Defence Industries are about to sign a diamond pact with China and Russia.
Indeed, the Minister of Mines, Obert Mpofu, publicly confirmed that the army
is involved in the diamond trade. Mpofu also vowed to continue relocation of
villagers from Chiadzwa – with or without compensation. Once again we see
that this diamond wealth is destined to benefit only the rich and powerful
and not the villagers on whose land the diamonds are located. It seems that
the discovery of diamonds is a mixed blessing - wherever they are found.

The two cases, of Taylor and Brevik illustrate the moral and legal
complexities of crime and punishment. In the past such men would have faced
the death sentence but today only 42 member states of the UN maintain the
death sentence in law and practice. And on Thursday April 26th Charles
Taylor heard the verdict against him. He was found guilty of aiding and
abetting crimes against humanity, murder, rape and terrorism; sentence will
be delivered in May. Accusations that Taylor’s trial was no more than a plot
by the west to unseat African leaders reveals the Africanist agenda but is
unlikely to give comfort to human rights abusers. They should be shaking in
their shoes because the law will catch up with them.

Yours in the (continuing) struggle, PH.

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