Bulawayo, April 28, 2011 - Zimbabwe's prime minister Thursday said the
country will hold an election in "12 months" and he wants an outcome that
can't be contested.
"In 12 months time we have an election in this country. Let it be free and
let it be peaceful," said Morgan Tsvangirai, speaking in Bulawayo -- about
450km south-west of Harare -- to his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party supporters ahead of a congress set for Friday.
At the congress new MDC leadership will be elected to prepare for general
elections in which Tsvangirai will lock horns with President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai predicted the MDC will win, ending the coalition government that
has ruled Zimbabwe since 2009.
"We are the next government of this country responsible to deal with
unemployment which is over 85 percent. We have to resuscitate the economy
and make it one of the best in Africa," added Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a fragile coalition government in 2009 after a
disputed, violent election in 2008. But the coalition has been marred by
disagreements between the former political foes.
"People's will must be respected (in the next elections). The outcome of the
polls must not be contested," said Tsvangirai.
"Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF took this country to its knees in 30 years. We
have a duty in the next government to bring it back," added Tsvangirai,
critical of his coalition partner and his party.
Zimbabwe experienced a decade of negative economic growth before the
formation of the coalition government, he noted.
Mugabe has indicated that he wants an election this year to end the
coalition government. But earlier this week, the country's finance minister
said the economy was not performing well enough to finance an election this
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to attend the MDC congress on
Friday as "the guest of honor".
Odinga, a fierce critic of Mugabe, was Kenya's opposition leader before
joining President Mwai Kibaki in a 2008 power-sharing deal following
contested elections that sparked tribal violence in that country.
A similar deal was later agreed to in Zimbabwe by Tsvangirai and his
long-time rival Mugabe.
This will be the first time that Odinga has visited Zimbabwe since being
appointed prime minister. CNN
Harare, April 28, 2011 - Police on Wednesday ransacked offices of the Harare
International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) and left with files but did not
Officials at the annual multi-arts extravaganza, which roared into life on
Tuesday, confirmed the police raid but would not give details saying they
would issue a statement later. The officials said the police did not have a
search warrant and were uncompromising.
Police general headquarters were evasive when contacted for comment. An
officer in the press unit said they were not aware of the raid.
The raid, at the HIFA offices located at the Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel
in the city centre, did not come as a surprise to artists neither was the
festival new to such police action.
Artists particularly said the hard hitting music-theatrical production,
titled Treasure, that was performed during the opening night of the ongoing
12th edition of HIFA on Tuesday must have provoked the state security.
The musical appeared directly targeted at the style of rule of Zimbabwe’s
veteran ruler, President Robert Mugabe, in power for 31 straight years and
still seeking to further extend his rule.
The musical, produced by Brett Bailey, combined astounding dances and
imagery telling the all too familiar day-to-day story of corrupt fat cats
and how they manipulated the povo who survived on crumbs while the leaders
lined their pockets with riches.
The production climaxes with overwhelming triumph of people power after the
masses revolted against the despotic ruler who was portrayed as an aged and
frail man constantly guarded by aides in military fatigue.
Earlier in the day sharp tongued poets had lashed out at Zimbabwe’s rulers
and criticised the state of democracy.
A youthful Bulawayo based poet Bhekumusa Moyo lashed out at dictators in
poetry that kept audiences captivated.
Moyo chanted: “I declare war on leaders who don’t uphold democracy.
Directors of dictatorship shall fall one by one in no particular order but
they shall all fall. No government will kill forever.’’
Moyo told Radio VOP in an interview: “As artists we have the mandate to make
the leadership accountable to the people. If I fear for my life then I lose
relevance as an artist.”
Regional artists have also descended on HIFA to lend support to their
Renowned South African poet Pitila Ntuli told VOP after his performance: “We
want HIFA and particularly poetry to engage the issues of the day. We want
to mobilize the people to be sensitive to what is happening without
insulting anyone. We are saying the African dilemma is that we are
independent but not free. It’s not yet uhuru (freedom).”
In 2003 police banned a theatrical production Super Patriots and Morons
during its run at HIFA. The play depicted dictatorship and was widely seen
as being targeted at President Mugabe.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Staff Writer
Thursday, 28 April 2011 16:04
HARARE - Civil servants are planning the “mother of all strikes” if they do
not receive massive salary increases in June from the cash-strapped
inclusive government as promised by President Robert Mugabe.
While all GPA partners are agreed that state employees need and deserve more
money, Mugabe’s unrealistic promises, and the resultant threat of rolling
mass actions by civil servants, has heightened tensions in the coalition
government – amid accusations that the 87-year-old is “happy to wreck the
economy of this country if it can buy him one more day in office”.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti warned on Tuesday that the government’s wage
bill, in relation to the size of the state’s purse, was already
astronomically and worryingly high, compared to other Sadc countries.
“Total employment costs during the first quarter amounted to US$248,6
million, accounting for 48% of the total recurrent expenditure. More
appalling is the fact that, despite this high wage bill, individual salary
levels in the civil service are pathetic.
“As it is, we are going to have a shortfall of US$150 million by the end of
the year. I don’t know where I am going to get the money, but it has to be
“We can only improve the salaries of the civil servants when we are able to
create jobs, attract foreign investment and have transparency,” he said.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Progressive Teachers’ Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe and Zimbabwe Teachers
Association (Zimta) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu confirmed that
there would be a crippling strike in June if teachers did not get their
Other civil servants who also spoke to the Daily News said they would join
the industrial action if they too do not receive hefty increases.
“Civil servants have shelved their strike action, but if we don’t get our
salary increments by June, then there will be a big backlash. It will be
bad. Let’s wait until June and see what happens,” Ndlovu said.
Majongwe said as far as they were concerned, Mugabe was organising their
salary increments as he had promised. “We are still waiting for the money.
We are two months away from June, where President Mugabe promised to
increase our salaries. We don’t care where the money will come from. I can
tell you if we don’t get our money by June we are going to strike. However,
we cannot pre-empt anything as the month of June is not yet due,” he said.
Responding to Tuesday’s statements on the state of the economy by Biti and
public service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro that the government was
failing to raise the money for the civil servants, Majongwe said the
announcements were unfortunate.
“These are MDC ministers who are saying that and it is not what the workers
will want to hear. They should know that the workers want money and we begin
to wonder who to believe between these ministers and Mugabe.
“Mugabe gave us an assurance that the money is coming, yet these ministers
are saying there is no money. These ministers must be careful about their
statements as it does not inspire confidence among the civil servants,” he
However, Zimta distanced itself from Majongwe’s other pronouncements that
they were planning to meet Mugabe soon for a second round of talks on the
salaries issue, saying they were just waiting for the June increments.
Last month, Mugabe promised civil servants representatives at State House
that he would make sure that they received increases of at least half the
poverty datum line of US$520. The octogenarian leader also said this would
be done by June - giving the firm impression at the time that he had already
found the money.
But speaking on Independence Day, Mugabe backtracked on this promise
somewhat, saying he would consult his partners in the GPA to find ways of
raising the money to increase the civil servants’ salaries.
This about-turn, coupled with Biti’s revelation that the government was
practically broke, appears to have hardened workers’ attitudes and hence
their threat to embark on massive strikes.
Many civil servants canvassed by the Daily News yesterday, said it was
immoral for Mugabe and his ministers to spend millions of dollars in
worthless trips while the workers were “scavenging for food”.
Speaking at the Tuesday briefing, Biti also revealed that the civil service
audit that was sanctioned by government in 2009 had exposed the rampant
existence of ghost workers.
“However, there has been slow movement in rectifying the anomalies and the
nation continues to suffer. Clearly, eliminating these ghost workers remains
the only avenue, not only to stop the haemorrhaging of the fiscus, but also
to competitively reward genuine civil servants. “Government should
therefore, move with speed on this issue,” he said.
Biti said the civil servants audit had revealed that at least 75 000 jobs
were questionable and 13 500 of these were definite ghost workers who
remained on the government payroll.
On average, depending on the grade, civil servants earn between US$240 and
US$520 a month.
by James Mombe Thursday 28 April 2011
JOHANNESBURG – The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR)
must investigate torture and other human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and
Swaziland, a leading non-governmental organisation has said.
In a statement ahead of the 49th session of the ACPHR that began in the
Gambian capital, Banjul, today, the Human Rights Institute of Southern
Africa (HURISA) called on the continental rights body, to act to end
impunity and the culture of human rights violations in the two southern
The HURISA said the African commission’s special rapportuers on freedom of
expression and access to information, and on torture should be called upon
to investigate cases of torture, and violations of freedom of expression in
Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and Swaziland’s Mswati III are considered
among southern Africa’s most autocratic rulers that regularly violate the
rights of citizens.
Mswati, southern Africa’s last absolute monarchy, two weeks ago sent the
army and police to ruthless crush mass protests called by human rights
activists to call for democracy in Swaziland.
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe, who retains control of the security forces and the
judiciary despite formation of a unity government with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has -- since mass protests toppled despotic governments in North
Africa -- clamped down on civil society activity and dissent in general,
banning several public meetings and marches by groups he fears could provoke
For example the police have banned public marches to commemorate Workers’
Day next Sunday, apparently scared the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions-organised processions could degenerate into anti-Mugabe protests.
The HURISA said a general breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe has made
it difficult to access justice or enforce judgments, especially those
against the state. It cited a judgment of the Southern African Development
Community Tribunal declaring Mugabe’s land reform programme racist and
illegal but which the Zimbabwean leader has refused to implement.
The regional NGO said draconian pieces of legislation continue to shrink the
democratic space impinging on Zimbabweans’ right to freedom of expression,
assembly and association.
It cited the recent arbitrary arrests and detention of Zimbabwe Human Rights
NGO Forum director Abel Chikomo and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition coordinator
Macdonald Lewanika as examples of ongoing rights violations in Zimbabwe. --
The International Crisis Group, in a report issued this week, concluded that
the worsening climate of fear and violence means Zimbabwean security sector
reform is more urgently needed than ever
Blessing Zulu | Washington 27 April 2011
Harare-based political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya said the Zimbabwean
military and the national security apparatus is ZANU-PF’s last line of
The United States government and the International Crisis Group in recent
reports said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's former ruling ZANU-PF
party is using the national security apparatus to crack down on its
The US State Department in a briefing on the release of a report from its
Bureau of Democracy and Human Rights for 2010 said that security forces,
police and ZANU-PF-dominated elements of the government “continued to commit
numerous, serious human rights abuses” despite the formation of a national
unity government in 2009.
The report said security forces continued to torture, beat and abuse
political activists of parties other than ZANU-PF. Washington said the
projections of an early election this year have led to the escalation in
harassment and intimidation of rights activists.
“Security forces, which regularly acted with impunity, arbitrarily arrested
and detained political activists not associated with ZANU-PF, members of
civil society, labor leaders, journalists, demonstrators, and religious
leaders," the report said.
The International Crisis Group, in a report issued this week entitled
“Zimbabwe, the Road to Reform or Another Dead End?” similarly concluded that
the worsening climate of fear and violence means Zimbabwean security sector
reform is urgently needed.
The independent think tank accused ZANU-PF of insincerity in its
participation in the unity government and of using "securocrats" to block
The Crisis Group cited an internecine struggle in ZANU-PF for control of the
party after President Robert Mugabe, 87, has left the scene, as an
aggravating factor. "Mugabe's health and ZANU-PF succession turmoil are
further complications," it said.
The analytical organization added that, "Without stronger international
pressure on ZANU-PF, the tenuous current coalition [in Harare] may collapse,
triggering further violence and grave consequences for Southern Africa."
But ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu
that the US and Crisis Group reports were off target, dismissing them as
Roger Bate, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in
Washington, said continued human rights abuses in Zimbabwe are likely to
strain US-Zimbabwean bilateral relations, which have been less tense under
President Barack Obama given the normalization of ties at least with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Harare-based political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya said the Zimbabwean
military and the national security apparatus is ZANU-PF’s last line of
Bulawayo, April 28, 2011 - Heavily armed police and soldiers have mounted 24
hour road blocks at all main roads leading into Bulawayo where motorists are
being harassed and searched thoroughly as the three day mainstream Movement
Democratic Change (MDC-T) national Congress begins Thursday.
The police and the army officers manning the road claim that they are
looking for weapons of war.
MDC-T deputy spokesperson,Thabitha Khumalo, condemned police behaviour
saying police and soldiers were not supposed to harass their members
entering Bulawayo. She said MDC members were not terrorists who carry
weapons of war.
“What weapons of war are they looking for? That’s a silly excuse they are
using to harass and frustrate our party members coming for the congress. MDC
members don’t carry weapons of war; we condemn this kind of behaviour by
police and army. We are not rebels but a legal registered party holding its
On Wednesday night at a police and army road block mounted near Fairbridge
police station along Bulawayo –Harare highway motorists were being ordered
to step out of their vehicles and have cars and body searched thoroughly.
Morethan 6000 delegates are expected to attend the party's third national
congress at Barbourfields Stadium where Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga
will be the guest of honour.
The theme of the congress is; “The MDC Third National Congress – United,
Winning – The People’s Covenant to Real Change.”
New members of the national executive will be elected but party president
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is assured of retaining his post as he
is going to the congress unopposed.
By 5 more MDC officials arrested
Thursday, 28 April 2011 17:25
HARARE - Five more MDC officials have been arrested in Kariba as the
crackdown on President Robert Mugabe’s opponents ahead of their congress in
This brings to 10 the MDC officials arrested this week in Kariba. While a
group led by provincial secretary-general Greenwish Ndanga was picked up on
Monday, another five including Tafadzwa Charumbira, Opa Makwenya, George
Masendu, Robby Tigere and Joyna Whachi were arrested on Tuesday, provincial
spokesperson Charlton Hwende said.
The officials arrested were scheduled to appear at the Chinhoyi Magistrates’
It was unclear what charge the group was facing by late noon on Wednesday,
although the MDC hierarchy believes the crackdown was part of broader plans
to disrupt the party’s congress which starts today.
“After the Monday arrests, we learnt of another assault on Tuesday and the
entire group has now been taken to Chinhoyi by an officer Mandamba, who was
peeved by our members’ presence at a Kariba waterfront club for
refreshments,” Hwende said.
Hwende, who is tipped to be the provincial nominee for a seat on the
national executive, said they were in sixes and sevens as to how the group
was moved or transferred to Chinhoyi, while the expectation was that they
would be charged in the resort town of Kariba.
“As stated before, we are not blind to Zanu PF’s thuggish ways, but the
threats will not break our spirit for the congress and march for the full
democratisation of our country.
“Surely, Zimbabweans will not respond to this needless and unprovoked
aggression or harassment through counter measures on violence, but will
answer back through their vote,” he added.
Meanwhile, Douglas Mwonzora was yesterday said to be in hiding after police
officers were said to be hot on his heels for the violence that rocked
With the country’s security chiefs accused of bias and working in cahoots
with Zanu PF to muzzle dissenting voices, Zimbabwe has witnessed an
escalation in arrests and a general clampdown on democratic forces by Mugabe’s
securocrats as it hurtles towards another bloody election soon.
Apart from the 10, several other top MDC and other opposition officials,
including Elton Mangoma and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu have been arrested or held up
on frivolous charges brought up the police.
Despite calls for wide-ranging reforms in the security sector by independent
bodies such as Amnesty International and Sadc — guarantors to the country’s
September 2009 Global Political Agreement — a clampdown on Mugabe’s
perceived opponents continues unabated.
By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, April 29, 1:26 AM
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s prime minister says his party will expel
members who are involved in violence as they prepare for elections he says
could be held within a year.
Morgan Tsvangirai acknowledged Thursday during his party’s two-day annual
convention in this western provincial capital that his supporters have been
accused of violent retaliation against attacks by President Robert Mugabe’s
militants. Mugabe called for polls later this year to end a shaky coalition
government formed after disputed and violence-marred elections in 2008.
Bitter internal squabbles have also emerged over key posts in Tsvangirai’s
party ahead of fresh national polls.
Tsvangirai said youths, unemployed in the nation’s economic meltdown, were
often used by politicians “to mete out violence” to their rivals.
by Staff Reporter
MDC-T national chairman Lovemore Moyo has called on the party to make a
deliberate effort at tribal balancing on the eve of a key congress.
Moyo said the party must ensure minority tribes got more “substantive” posts
as opposed to deputising to a Shona majority.
The MDC-T’s three-day congress opens in Bulawayo on Thursday with party
leader Morgan Tsvangirai the only senior official assured of keeping his
Moyo said tribal exclusion in political representation at the top of
political movements started with Zanu PF, admitting that some MDC-T
officials had got indoctrinated in that culture and genuinely had no
understanding of the aspirations of minorities.
He told the Voice of America’s Studio 7: “What I can say is that this is
something that we must be patient about in the way we approach it. Let’s not
forget the history. From independence, Zanu PF’s rule has been marked by the
marginalisation of the Ndebele tribe.
“When we started the MDC, some among us were previously in Zanu PF and these
are people who have not felt the pain that Ndebeles felt during Gukurahundi.
“It’s time that the people we work with understand the importance of
respecting all tribes, making all tribes feel as part of Zimbabwe and part
of MDC. We are fixing it, it’s not easy, but we must face it.”
Moyo’s candid comments lifted a lid on growing concerns in the Matabeleland
regions that political actors from there are being crowded out of key
structures in the party.
He added: “The only substantive post, one a Ndebele doesn't deputise, is the
national chairman’s post which I am seeking to retain on Saturday.
“I have heard that there is someone [Lucia Matibenga] who has put his name
forward to contest me and they are not from Matabeleland. That’s what people
are pointing at, that a certain group is trying to grab everything not
realising that other tribes should also be represented, and feel part.
“We will work hard as Matabeleland provinces to ensure we get a few
positions which are substantive.”
Meanwhile, Moyo said the congress must pass a resolution on dealing with
members fingered in violent campaigning in the primary elections. Voting in
Bulawayo province had to be postponed twice after supporters of Matson Hlalo
and Gorden Moyo, who eventually prevailed in the chairman's contest,
“The message of the standing committee and president [Tsvangirai] is very
clear and unambiguous. No-one will be spared when it comes to the issue of
dealing with indiscipline and violence,” Moyo said.
“In the meantime, we have assigned our security people to document, in all
the provinces, the people who have been involved in violent activities. We
know them in some instances, we know their sponsors in some instances. It
will be easy to identify these individuals and deal with them.
“We must get a congress resolution as to what will happen to these
individuals. There would be no sacred cows. We would be able to confront
every incident with due diligence to make sure we put a stop to violence.”
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the guest of honour at the congress
which will give Morgan Tsvangirai a third term which will stretch his
leadership of the party to 17 years when it expires.
By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Thursday, 28 April 2011 17:19
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has released the final list
of candidates vying for senior posts to be contested at the elective
congress which begins today in Bulawayo.
MDC spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa said party officials concluded the
contentious Bulawayo provincial elections which were marred by violent
clashes between supporters of Gorden Moyo and Matson Hlalo.
Moyo eventually won the post and was endorsed by the MDC leadership.
“The Bulawayo provincial elections were concluded peacefully. We are ready
to conduct our congress,” Chamisa said.
He added that Makokoba MP, Thokozani Khupe will contest for the vice
president’s post with Bulawayo East MP, Thabitha Khumalo and Bulawayo party
stalwart Norman Mabhena.
Matobo North MP as well as Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo will contest
for the party chairperson’s post with trade unionist and MP for Kuwadzana,
Kwekwe Central MP, Blessing Chebundo, Morgan Komichi and Zengeza East MP,
Alexio Musundire will contest for the deputy chairperson position.
Chamisa, who is the MP for Kuwadzana East will battle it out for the
organising secretary position against former Harare Mayor and Warren Park
MP, Elias Mudzuri.
Harare East MP and current secretary-general, Tendai Biti will square up
with Gutu South MP, Eliphas Mukonoweshuro for the secretary-general’s post.
Four candidates have been listed for the deputy secretary general post. The
four are Hatfield MP, Tapiwa Mashakada, Mufakose MP Paurina
Mpariwa-Gwanyanya, Southerton MP Gift Chimanikire and Bhekithemba Mpofu.
Roy Bennett is set to retain his post as treasurer general unopposed,
However, three candidates will contest the deputy treasurer general post.
The three are Makoni North MP Elton Mangoma, Lobengula MP Sipepa Nkomo and
Chizhanje Senator Sekai Holland.
Kadoma Central MP Editor Matamisa is set to contest for the women’s assembly
chairperson against Harare North MP, Theresa Makone. Evelyn Masaiti who has
previously been linked to the post withdrew at the last minute.
Mkoba MP, Amos Chibaya faces Solomon Madzore in the contest for the youth
chairperson position which was left vacant by Thamsanqa Mahlangu.
Nyanga North MP, Douglas Mwonzora is contesting for the position of
secretary for information and publicity against, Masvingo Urban MP Tongai
The MDC invited Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga to grace the congress
as guest of honour.
By Tichaona Sibanda
28 April 2011
MDC-T Treasurer-General Roy Bennett has been re-elected unopposed for a
second five-year term, pledging to continue his efforts to help his party
win the next general election.
The third national congress of the MDC-T kicked off in Bulawayo on Thursday
with the accreditation of delegates in the morning and elections of the
Women’s assembly and Youth wing in the afternoon. Elections for the senior
positions will take place on Saturday.
But it was the re-election Bennett that was making news in Bulawayo. The 53
year old former commercial farmer, together with party President Morgan
Tsvangirai, are the only two nominees to be re-elected without facing any
challengers from the country’s 12 administrative provinces.
‘I am so happy and my commitment has always been to the people of Zimbabwe.
The MDC is a great party and very soon the people will speak with one voice
to get rid of the dictatorship,’ Bennett told SW Radio Africa on Thursday.
Our correspondent in Bulawayo, Lionel Saungweme, told us there had been no
doubt Bennett was going to retain his position because of the immense
support he has among MDC cadres.
‘Bennett is a supreme democrat, who uses his great gift as an inspiring
speaker to make the case for justice, liberty and peace. His command of the
Shona language and knowledge of customs resonates very well with many
Zimbabweans who regard him as one of their own,’ Saungweme said.
Pishai Muchauraya, a close political ally of Bennett, hailed the
re-election, describing him as a strong politician ‘who always has the
interests of the common man at heart.’
‘Roy is an indomitable figure, who always stands up for his beliefs and
whether people agree with him or not, they admire his character and his
steadfastness,’ Muchauraya said. However, Bennett remains a thorn in the
side of the ZANU PF regime not only because he is white, but because he is
popular, well-connected, competent and outspoken.
Over 5,000 delegates are already in Bulawayo for the Congress that is to be
officially opened by the Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Friday. There
are fears some party heavyweights could face defeat at the Congress as they
are facing stiff challenges from some of the contestants.
On Wednesday party insiders said what looked set to be a straight contest
between deputy leader Thokozani Khupe and party legislator Tabitha Khumalo
for deputy President, has now been transformed into a three-horse race.
Another Bulawayo based party stalwart Norman Mabhena has also thrown his hat
into the ring to contest the post.
Others facing formidable challenges are National Chairman Lovemore Moyo, who
is being pitted against leading trade unionist Lucia Matibenga.
Organising Secretary Elias Mudzuri could be another high profile figure who
will find the going tough as he faces the ever so popular party spokesman,
Nelson Chamisa. Women’s Assembly Chair, Theresa Makone is also one of those
fighting for her political life.
She’s facing a strong challenge from another well known trade unionist and
Kadoma central MP, Editor Matamisa. SW Radio Radio is reliably informed that
Evelyn Masaiti pulled out of the race and is now backing Matamisa to try and
In the Youth wing race, Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya is expected to romp to victory
against Solomon Madzore, younger brother to Glen View MP Paul Madzore.
By Alex Bell
28 April 2011
A leading human rights group in Zimbabwe has demanded that Mines and Mining
Development Minister Obert Mpofu hand in his resignation, because of his
failure to ensure the security and transparency of the country’s diamond
The Center for Research and Development (CRD), which has led the exposure of
the level of human rights abuse and other irregularities at the Chiadzwa
diamond fields, said this week that Mpofu should immediately resign. The
group said in a statement that the Ministry’s failure to bring the diamond
industry in line with international standards is “prejudicing the government
of revenue that could make a difference in the lives of the suffering
Zimbabwean people, in particular our loyal and hardworking civil servants.”
“CRD holds the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, as head of the
responsible Ministry, accountable for the losses,” the group said.
Their statement comes in the wake of the arrest of two diamond smugglers who
were caught in India last week with more than US$2 million worth of Chiadzwa’s
rough diamonds. The two men who are Indian nationals, were arrested last
week by the Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligence after they were
caught with more than 48,000 carats of rough diamonds. It’s understood that
the diamonds were illegally smuggled out of Zimbabwe and transported through
Kenya before being taken to India.
The arrests come amid ongoing reports of smuggling out of Chiadzwa, which
are continuing despite claims that Zimbabwe is now fully compliant with
international diamond mining standards.
In September 2010 a consignment of 4,000 carats of rough diamonds was
reportedly seized by the United Arab Emirates and returned to Zimbabwe.
Other parcels suspected to have originated from Chiadzwa were also seized in
Israel and Belgium last year.
“The large quantities of diamonds intercepted suggest that this could be the
work of a well coordinated syndicate involving well placed people with
tremendous power in the mining companies and in government,” the CRD said.
The group added; “The fact that government was not aware or pretended not to
be aware of any missing diamonds despite such heavy losses reveals shocking
levels of incompetency and/or corruption.”
The international trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), is said to be
in the process of finalising an agreement which will allow the Zimbabwe
Mining authorities to export Chiadzwa stones with certification. The KP
chairman meanwhile has unilaterally cleared Chiadzwa exports, regardless of
the evidence that international standards are still not being met.
Gabriel Shumba from the Zimbabwe Blood Diamond Campaign told SW Radio Africa
on Thursday that this latest evidence of ongoing smuggling shows that
measures by the KP to try and get Zimbabwe in line with international
standards “are not effective.”
“There are top politicians and top army and police officials involved in the
extraction and smuggling of the diamonds. They are the ones that the KP has
no control over,” Shumba said.
Shumba added that the CRD’s call for Mpofu to resign is long overdue, but he
added it was “doubtful that this will happen.”
“But we can realistically expect some kind of investigation from parliament.
And if anything, this is a wake up call to all those people who want to
legitmise Zimbabwe’s diamond trade, that things still are not right,” Shumba
The CRD meanwhile has called on Parliament to institute a thorough
investigation into the continued smuggling, also demanding that Mpofu take
full responsibility for the failures to bring Zimbabwe in line with
international trade standards. The group has also insisted that Mpofu
publicly apologise “for letting down the nation and resign with immediate
effect. This is in the best interest of government, the people of Zimbabwe
and the diamond industry.”
by Lifa Khumalo
2011 April 28 14:25:57
OLD and sick President Robert Mugabe will not be attending the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair scheduled to run from May 3 to May 7 - ZimScibes
has been told.
According to Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) sources in Harare the
87 year old dictator might not turn up this time around as he is busy
attending to his health and that of his wife - Grace Mugabe, who reportedly
is nursing a dislocated a hip after tripping and failing a month ago.
Said a source in the President's Close Protection Unit: "I don't see the old
man coming that side (Bulawayo) this year. The dates coincide with his
routine checkups and he is also set to Visit Amai KuSingapore during the
days ZITF would be running.
"If he attends that will be after confirming with the doctors whether
postponing his critical appointment is ideal or not," he said adding that
the specialists attending to the President have refused to "come" to
Zimbabwe for the procedure.
"We requested them to have them coming this side to do the checkups but they
said their bookings could not allow them, so we have to go back," he said.
Contacted for comment the Presidents Spokesperson George Charamba said : " I
am unsure of the President's schedule as of then but I can assure you that
he will be at ZIFT,' whereas Mugabe's chief of staff - Micheck Sibanda could
not be reached for comment.
Mugabe, the sources say has a faulty kidney and heart which has for the past
months caused him to shackle between Zimbabwe and Asian countries
especially - Singapore, seeking medical aid. The President’s costs of
attending to his ills are reportedly a staggering US$3 million per trip,
according to recent press reports.
Vice President John Landa Nkomo is expected to officiate at the trade
showcase and few international traders have confirmed their participation
this year owing to the country’s poor human rights record and an ugly image.
To date, no foreign head of state has been named as the guest of honour as
in previous years. Last year, controversial Iranian leader - Ahmahandinejad
was the guest of honour and he promised great uranium deals with Zimbabwe,
which to date have not materialized.
The state run Chronicle newspaper ( 28 April 2011) has attempted to woo
people to the obviously quite trade fair by claiming that players in the
hospitality industry are expecting brisk business as most hotels and fully
booked for the showcase.
Everyone in Bulawayo and elsewhere in Zimbabwe knows well that the said
lodges and hotels are fully booked because of the ongoing Movement of
Democratic Change congress ( bigger faction led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai ) - which has thousands delegates from all over Zimbabwe, United
Kingdom, South Africa and members of the diplomatic community from more than
The trade fair comes at a time when not all is rosy in the City of Kings and
Queens. There is no denying the fact that companies in Bulawayo are reeling
from economic challenges being experienced throughout the country and are,
worse off than their counterparts in Harare.
These challenges are as a direct result of the country failure to attract
international investments due to its ugly human rights record and absence of
democracy. Zanu PF has claimed that the economic ills are as a result of the
restrictive measures imposed by the some members of the international
community because of its continued actions that are a perversion of basis
standards of democracy.
Big companies like Dunlop, Edgars, Cold Storage Company, Tregers, National
Blankets and the National Railways of Zimbabwe to mention just a few , are a
pale shadow of their former self and most of them have over the past year
been operating on a short working week basis.
The economic balance of power seems to have shifted to Harare, the capital
city - hence the uproar from business and other Matabeleland based activists
over glaring marginalization superintended by the Robert Mugabe regime.
Most firms in the ZITF host city, Bulawayo have shut down completely,
throwing thousands of workers onto the street due to the tough operating
environment. Others have relocated, or have threatened to relocate to Harare
where they perceive a better business environment.
RSS Facebook April 28, 2011
More than 50 foreign heads of state and government leaders will attend the
beatification of Pope John Paul II.
Among the guests will be at least one whose presence is likely to cause some
consternation among Vatican officials: President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe,
whose regime has been repeatedly criticized by the nation’s bishops for
corruption, mismanagement, and violations of human rights.
Poland will send a large delegation, led by President Bronislaw Komrowski
and the speakers of both houses of the country’s parliament.
King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium will be at the ceremony, as will
French Premier Francois Fillon and the president of the European Commission,
José Manuel Barroso.
27 April 2011
Harare, Zimbabwe (ENInews). Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe's latest attack
on Catholic bishops, in which he accused them of lying about the nation's
dire social and economic situation, was a sign that the relationship between
the two will continue to be difficult, observers said.
"The utterances show that he no longer cares about relations with the
bishops who have been bold enough to stand up to him," Lovemore Madhuku, a
political commentator from the University of Zimbabwe told ENInews.
"[Mugabe] knows it's almost impossible to get the mainstream churches to
follow him," Madhuku added.
In his latest tirade at the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference on 21
April, Mugabe said the bishops spread lies about the country's situation.
"There are other so-called bishops who fall under what is called the
bishops' conference who are always telling lies, no truth at all," Mugabe
said at the opening of a conference hall in the town of Masvingo, south of
Harare, for an apostolic sect, the Zion Christian Church. He praised the
leaders of the sect while attacking his critics.
"Look what these bishops of my own church are doing, always attacking me
every year. They say our government oppresses the people when the truth is
that the bishops don't understand the wishes of the majority of the people
of this country," said Mugabe, who was raised Roman Catholic and educated in
Joseph Tanonoka Whande, a columnist in the privately-owned Daily News said
Mugabe's conduct was not consistent with his Christian background and urged
believers to stand up against the three-decade ruler. "I cannot understand
Mugabe's behaviour against the church and how he reconciles his beliefs with
what he is doing," Whande said in a column on 21 April. "It's no longer just
politics. It is now the perpetration of evil. We cannot continue to stand
and watch as Christians are abused by thieves and murderers who have ruined
a nation so much blessed by God," Whande wrote.
Previously, the Catholic bishops, in a February pastoral letter, deplored
violence by supporters of Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriot
Front (Zanu-PF) party. "We are concerned about politically-motivated
violence," the letter read in part. "We urge our political leaders to desist
from intimidating and mistreating members of the public, the media and civic
communities and uphold human rights."
Mugabe's attack on the clergy last week came days after police detained a
Catholic priest, Fr. Marko Mkandla after he gave a sermon at a memorial
service for victims of a government crackdown on dissidents in the 1980s
that was believed to have left over 10,000 people dead.
On 9 April, riot police broke up a church service in the capital, Harare,
beat up and arrested 14 people including priests attending the service. It
was held to commemorate a similar prayer rally in 2007 which was stopped by
the police who beat several people including Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime
minister in a power-sharing government with Mugabe. An activist from
Tsvangirai's party was killed as police used live fire to disperse the
After falling out with the mainstream church, Mugabe has sought the support
of apostolic sects. Last year he attended an annual pilgrimage of one of the
sects and appeared in pictures wearing the church's white robes and wooden
rod. On that occasion he railed against gays and lesbians and urged the
adherents to oppose rights groups seeking to have gay rights in Zimbabwe's
"This is a strategy to gain votes because members of these sects tend to
follow what their leaders tell them," Madhuku said.
Despite the strained relations, churches still play a leading role in
Zimbabwe, providing low-fee education and health services as the country
battles to recover from a nearly decade-long economic crisis which saw
annual inflation at one time peak to 231 million percent. In addition,
church hospitals are the major health service providers to the poor as
government hospitals still lack essential drugs and are often short-staffed.
No money .... Temporary structures at the Bulawayo airport
by Staff Reporter
PEOPLE leaving Zimbabwe via its international airports have been hit with an
extra $30 charge in a scheme the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAZ) insists is
aimed at raising funds for infrastructure development.
CAAZ says it needs the money to fund infrastructure upgrade at the country’s
airports most of which are in need of a revamp.
Under the plans passengers will pay US$10 and US$30 for domestic and
international departures respectively beginning May 1, 2011.
Travelers already fork out US$35 and US$10 per head in service fees for
international and domestic routes respectively.
CAAZ chief executive, David Chawota told state-media the authority needed to
raise US$400 million over the next 10 years for the redevelopment of the
"For us to do that, we have had to adopt the user pay principle for such
developments," he said.
Chiwota added that this method of raising funds was standard practice in
other parts of the world.
"We are saying this method of raising funds for the infrastructural
development has been repaying in many countries in the world and has been
found to be successful," he said.
The CAAZ boss insisted that money raised would go into an Avian
Infastructure Development Fund which would be kept separate from the
authority’s recurrent expenditure.
Refurbishment of infrastructure at Harare International Airport which
started in 2002 stalled in 2007 due to budgetary constraints
The new Joshua Nkomo International Airport, in Bulawayo is also yet to be
completed because of the lack of funds.
Other airports such as Victoria Falls, Kariba, Hwange and Buffalo Range are
also in need of a revamp.
By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Thursday, 28 April 2011 17:22
HARARE - South African President Jacob Zuma, through Sadc mediation in
Zimbabwe, must demand a stop to the deployment of soldiers or any military
personnel in constituencies before and during elections in the country, the
Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe has said.
The influential human rights organisation says Sadc must also stop the
military’s participation in electoral affairs.
In a statement yesterday, Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe regional co-ordinator
Dewa Mavhinga said Zuma must make sure that institutions like the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) are demilitarised to allow free and fair
elections in the country.
Mavhinga said Sadc must deploy a peace keeping mission in the country six
months before any election so that the regional body can assess if the
country is ready to hold a credible poll.
“Sadc must categorically call for a return to the barracks of all soldiers
currently deployed in various areas across the country where reports of
violence and intimidation involving them have been received,” Mavhinga said.
“To demonstrate security chiefs’ commitment to democratic values and to
their constitutional mandate, they must be called upon to publicly issue
statements renouncing any partisan involvement in political and electoral
affairs and their willingness and readiness to serve under any leader who
emerges from a democratic election.”
Some security chiefs in the country have openly showed their political
affiliation by announcing that they support President Robert Mugabe and his
Zanu PF party.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has complained that soldiers and security
personnel who openly support Mugabe have been deployed across the country in
anticipation of polls this year.
The soldiers, Tsvangirai said, are meant to rally support for Mugabe.
Zimbabwe formed a unity government over two years ago after disputed
elections in 2008. The June 2008 elections were marred by deadly violence
which the MDC led by Tsvangirai say resulted in the deaths of over 200 of
their supporters and officials.
After the formation of the unity government, an organ on national healing
was formed to heal the wounds of 2008 but the institution has been battling
to reach out to the people.
Mavhinga said Sadc must ensure that ZEC is run independently and that the
institution must be fully resourced to carry its mandate to run elections
without the interference of other state institutions adding that the
electoral body must invite local and international election observers at
least six months before polls are held.
“Sadc must play a direct and central role in the management of Zimbabwe’s
next election. Firstly, Sadc needs to independently examine and publicly
certify that conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe are conducive to the
holding of free and fair elections where violence and intimidation play no
part before an election date can be set,” Mavhinga said.
ZEC delayed to announce elections results in 2008 and the reasons for the
delay remain unknown although speculation was rife that the results were
being “cooked up.”
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said a new constitution without restrictive
laws must be established before any elections.
The organisation said the country must strike off laws like the Public Order
and Security Act (POSA), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA), Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act), and the
Presidential Powers Temporary Measures Act to allow ordinary people their
Alpha Media Holdings chief executive officer Raphael Khumalo said the stolen
equipment was not only worth thousands of dollars but contained much
information and data vital to the newspaper
Sithandekile Mhlanga | Washington 27 April 2011
The editor and publisher of the independent Zimbabwean daily newspaper
Newsday said Wednesday that they will not be daunted by the theft of a
laptop and 10 hard drives with critical data from the premises of the
recently launched paper earlier this week.
The laptop was stolen and the hard drives were stripped from the 10 personal
computers by parties unknown who broke into Newsday's offices Monday night.
Publisher Raphael Khumalo, chief executive of Alpha Media Holdings, said the
equipment was not only worth thousands of dollars but contained much vital
Khumalo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that the paper has
replaced some of the gear to resume operations, but was deeply troubled by
the theft which appeared to be targeting Zimbabwe's still-vulnerable free
He said the theft was meant to have a negative psychological impact on
“It’s coming a few days away from World Press Freedom Day celebrations,"
Khumalo said. "That again does not put Zimbabwe in good light. It is going
to be seen as a fight against the independence of the media.”
Newsday Editor Brian Mangwende said the break-in was a calculated crime
intended to demoralize staff and paralyze the paper’s operations. But he
told reporter Sandra Nyaira that although his team was disheartened it was
not deterred from its mission.
“This is a calculated act of criminality designed to paralyze the operations
of the country’s fastest-growing newspaper whose impact on the market has
been felt through the length and breadth of the country," Mangwende said.
“The thieves knew exactly what they wanted targeting my laptop and
vandalizing computers of senior editors to render incapable production of
Mangwende said the attack was a serious blow at press freedom.
“We will not be deterred by these criminals who are not merely targeting the
property of Newsday, but freedom of the media," Mangwende said.
We hope the police will do all they can to unmask whoever did this," said
Mangwende, who said police had been "very cooperative," taking photos and
By Alex Bell
28 April 2011
The British media have added their voices to criticism of the invitation of
a Zimbabwean envoy to the UK’s royal wedding, which will get underway in
London on Friday.
The event will see high profile dignitaries and other personalities from
across the world converge in the British capital. But many rights groups
have been left outraged at the inclusion of controversial figures, including
representatives from oppressive regimes like Zimbabwe.
London based protest group, the Zimbabwe Vigil has called on the UK Foreign
Office to withdraw the invitation to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador, Gabriel
Machinga. Observers have also called the invite a “shocking display of
hypocrisy,” with British officials arguing that the invite is a matter of
diplomatic relations and protocol.
British media has also been left outraged after two of the country’s
previous Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, were left off the
guest list. Stephen Glover, a columnist with the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper,
said it was “mind-boggling that Blair and Brown should have had to yield to
men such as Gabriel Machinga, Zimbabwean Ambassador to London, a loyal
servant of President Robert Mugabe's murderous and kleptomaniac regime.”
Glover said it was “highly regrettable” that Blair and Brown had been
overlooked while “some pretty unsavoury foreign leaders, as well as some
rackety private individuals” got invites.
The Independent newspaper said; “Despite Zimbabwe having withdrawn from the
Commonwealth in 2003, and Robert Mugabe being subject to a travel ban and
sanctions, Zimbabwe's ambassador to London, Gabriel Machinga, remains on the
guest list because the two countries retain ‘normal’ relations.”
There has also been a wave of criticism for the invitations extended to King
Mswati III of Swaziland, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz and
Princess Fadwa bint Khalid.
The Bahrain Crown Prince has declined the invite to escape controversy,
while Libya’s ambassador had his invitation rescinded. An invitation was
also extended to Syria’s ambassador, despite hundreds of people dying in the
past week in violent uprisings against the authorities there. That
invitation was then rescinded on Thursday.
Harare, April 28, 2011 - The British government has defended its decision to
invite Gabriel Machinga, Zimbabwe’s ambassador and top Mugabe ally, to
Friday’s Royal Wedding insisting the high profile marital ceremony was not a
“Representatives from all countries that the United Kingdom has working
relationships with have been invited to the Royal Wedding, “Keith Scott,
British Embassy First Secretary Political/Communications told Radio VOP in
an interview on Wednesday.
“The United Kingdom has contacts with all parties subject to the Global
Political Agreement, and this includes contact with the Zimbabwean Embassy
in the United Kingdom. This is a State occasion, not a political event.”
The British government has come under fire from critics and its media for
inviting individuals whose governments are known for human rights
President Robert Mugabe leads a blacklist of Zimbabwean politicians who have
been put in a Western travel ban and sanctions for gross rights violations.
By Chris Goko, Business Editor
Thursday, 28 April 2011 17:42
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) is pressing government to
honour a 2006 empowerment plan under which Harare would discount higher
equity in the platinum miner for a 10 percent offer and 86 claims.
This also comes as a local investment group Nkululeko-Rusununguko Mining
Company of Zimbabwe (NRMCZ) — fronted by Alex Manungo —‚ is reportedly back
in the running for a 15 percent stake in the South African-owned mining
Although company spokesperson Busie Chindove was not readily available for
comment, Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday said he was
unaware of alternative plans to indigenise Zimplats and the recent
publication of the 51 percent mining-ownership regime meant the new order
superseded any prior arrangements.
“As far as l know (and understand), Zimbabweans will own 51 percent of any
mine operating in the country,” he said.
Following March 25’s promulgation of the localisation thresholds, foreign
miners have been under renewed pressure to handover majority shares in their
companies or businesses to black Zimbabweans.
Despite a plea for reduced direct equities on account of significant civil
infrastructure investments, initial public offerings and local procurement
initiatives, it is understood that Zimbabwe’s small band of heavyweight
miners have been under such pressure that they were “hurtling to court
Founded in 1998, the US$2 billion company gained key platinum group metals
(PGMs) assets in the country after taking over the assets of Broken Hill
Proprietary in May 1999.
Zimplats , which is 87 percent–owned by SA’s Impala Platinum, produces 180
000 ounces of PGMs a year from its northern Dyke operations or site of
Hartley and Ngezi mine.
In the meantime, NRMCZ’s name has not only popped at the envisioned scramble
for suitable partners by foreign-owned mines, but also at the back of
Kasukuwere’s statements in January that government was in talks with the
white metals producer over the empowerment stake.
Initially named as the winner or consortium to buy the coveted stake in July
2004, Manungo’s empowerment grouping announced five years ago that it had
lined up an array of potential funders — about eight of them — to fulfill
its takeover of the 15 percent stake in Australian Stock Exchange-listed
The consortium, which includes bankers and an array of businessmen, said
then that financiers were from China, Germany, Russia, South Africa and the
With the company’s market capitalisation at 1,3 billion Australian dollars
as at Wednesday, observers said Zimplats has always been willing to do
business with any Zimbabwean party since commencing operations and NRMCZ’s
promoters had reactivated its contacts in anticipation of a re-engagement
While the Zimbabwean government and cabinet had okayed the NRMCZ
transaction, it fell through at the hands of some powerful bureaucrats in
President Robert Mugabe’s financial-management system and a few issues that
needed ironing out at the time.
The company holds 165 million ounces of platinum resources at its greenstone
and upper Zimbabwe concession, which assets also position the country as a
key player in PGM supplies for industrial uses, including glass production,
auto-catalysts and electrical productions.
In Zimbabwe, the company competes with a range of producers, including world
number one producer Anglo Platinum and Aquarius, owners of Mimosa mine.
Pretoria, April 28, 2011 - South African President Jacob Zuma in an apparent
attack on Zimbabwe on Wednesday said he was proud that his country had done
more in a short space of time compared to what other countries had failed to
do in many years of their independence.
Marking Freedom Day, Zuma said: “We are proud of the substantial progress we
have made together since 1994. In comparison to many countries that have
deteriorated after liberation, we have done exceptionally well, against all
odds, in only 17 years,” Zuma said at the Union Building.
“We have established a solid, sound, stable, functional constitutional
Zuma shared the stage with leaders of opposition parties, although there
were media reports that these were heckled by ANC supporters.
Mugabe who has exclusively took to the podium over the last 31 years of
independence to speechify against perceived western enemies and dice his
Zuma however used his independence speech to unite his country and offer
solutions to its problems while the Zanu PF government has consistently laid
the blame for the country’s problems to others except itself.
In 1996 South Africa adopted one of the world’s best constitutions, now used
as a benchmark on good governance. The constitution seeks to among other
things heal the divisions of the past, establish a society based on
democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.
However, 31 years after independence, Zimbabwe is still using the outdated
Lancaster House Constitution which has so far been patched 19 times. The
constitution is replete with laws that reflect a colonial country. President
Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party have consistently used the law to stifle
political opponents and maintain their iron-fist rule over the country’s
Efforts to draft a new constitution for the country have consistently been
undone by scenes of violence and manipulation of text.
Meanwhile, the Welshman Ncube led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is
pushing for a relaxation of bail conditions slapped on Co-Home Affairs
Minister, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu to allow him to attend intra-party negotiations
set for South Africa in a fortnight.
Mzila-Ndlovu last week missed intra-party negotiations that came up with an
He is set to miss negotiations scheduled for South Africa in a fortnight
ahead of a full SADC summit in late May as he is not supposed to leave
Zimbabwe before the finalization of his case.
The National Healing and Reconciliation Minister was slapped with stringent
bail conditions following his release after five days in custody for
statements he made during a Gukurahundi memorial service in Lupane.
Among some of the bail conditions, Mzila-Ndlovu’s passport was seized by the
state, effectively grounding him in the country. He was ordered to reside in
Bulawayo, a move that makes it impossible for him to attend intra-party
Nhlanhla Dube, the MDC spokesperson when contacted for comment said his
party will push for a “relaxation of the bail conditions so that
Mzila-Ndlovu will attend the negotiations scheduled for South Africa.”
Mzila-Ndlovu told Radio VOP: “The bail conditions make it impossible for me
to attend any of the party negotiations. I missed last week’s negotiations
that came up with an election roadmap.
“We are supposed to go to South Africa for the next round of negotiations on
the election roadmap but because of the bail conditions, I don’t think I
will be able to attend them,” Mzila-Ndlovu noted.
The next round of negotiations before the full SADC summit in Namibia on 20
May 2011 will be in South Africa.
“As long as my passport is not released and my bail conditions are relaxed,
I cannot travel outside Bulawayo attend any negotiations.”
During the first round of negotiations that came up with an election
roadmap, Mzila Ndlovu’s MDC was forced to pick party vice president, Edwin
Mushoriwa to represent him.
Zimbabwe’s political parties to the unity government last week reached
consensus on an election roadmap but are still deadlocked over security
sector reform and staffing in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
By Lance Guma
28 April 2011
Zimbabwe's sole manufacturer of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, Sable Chemical
Industries Ltd, has been forced to suspend operations after the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) cut off power over a US$30 million debt.
A report by NewsDay says most of the workers have now been sent home as a
result. Electricity to the struggling company was cut off during the Easter
Holiday and had still not been connected by Wednesday, the report said. It’s
the second time since January this year that power has been cut off over the
Speaking to NewsDay, Sable Chemicals deputy board chairman Misheck Kachere
said the company presented a payment plan to ZESA which it had been
following for some time, until it later defaulted owing to cash flow
In September 2009 the company shut down owing to what it called high
electricity tariffs and their impact on running the Electrolysis Plant.
Several meetings with ZESA management to revise the tariffs yielded nothing.
At the time ZESA argued that customers like Sable actually paid a lower
tariff of US5,6 cents while the rest of the industry paid US7,3 cents for
the same unit of electricity.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
28 April, 2011
Zimbabwe’s Affirmative Action Group (AAG) announced this week that they were
sending a delegation to South Africa to support Julius Malema, the highly
controversial Youth League leader of the African National Congress (ANC) in
South Africa. Malema is facing hate language charges due to his insistence
on singing a racially charged ANC song from the liberation struggle.
The AAG said the trip was in solidarity with Malema as “an honorary member”
who supports empowerment issues. But some observers have said it appears to
be a ZANU PF strategy to appease the ANC, after a recent row with President
Jacob Zuma over the recent SADC troika summit in Lusaka.
The AAG delegation is due to leave on Friday, represented by the group’s
President Supa Mandiwanzira and Secretary General Tafadzwa Musarara.
Mandiwanzira is a devout ZANU PF supporter who is also heading up a new
weekly newspaper called The Patriot.
“We know who Supa is and who he represents,” said former student leader and
activist Mfundo Mlilo, adding that the gesture appears to be a ZANU PF
attempt to reach out to the ANC.
Mlilo explained that the position of South Africa on Zimbabwe is changing
because the country has a huge economy and therefore a “big brother”
responsibility in the region.
The activist believes the AAG trip is also a sign that ZANU PF does respond
to pressure, despite the non-caring image they like to portray. “And this
pressure needs to continue,” he added.
Reports said the AAG will also be taking a written letter of support to
Malema. The letter reads in part; “On behalf of the Affirmative Action
Group, the vanguard of broad-based black economic empowerment in Zimbabwe, I
would like to categorically state that, as our honorary member, the group is
fully behind you during and after your court trial proceedings. Our entire
membership is disturbed and extremely infuriated by the goings- on at the
Malema was taken to the Equality Court by the human rights group Afriforum,
who want him to stop singing the lyrics “Dubuli’bhunu”, which mean “Kill the
Boer”. The group says these are hate lyrics that are partly responsible for
the ongoing murders of white farmers in the country.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Today is a significant day for the women of Zimbabwe. You as the women representantives of the country’s largest political party -the MDC- have come to this Congress to elect a new leadership and to chart the way forward for the MDC Women’s Assembly and for the country.
I hope that you will use this important day to reflect on the past five years and derive valuable lessons on how best the women of this country can actively take part as leaders in this important journey towards a new Zimbabwe and a new beginning. It is a fact that 30 years after overcoming the racial inequalities for which the liberation struggle was waged, the gender inequalities remain. This is despite the fact that our women played such a central role in the our liberation struggle.
Indeed, you have also played a central role in the struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe that has been ongoing now for more than a decade. Unfortunately, it is the women of Zimbabwe who had to pay the highest price in our national struggles. When any hardship stalks our land, it is the women of this nation that bear the brunt of the suffering, whether it be from disease, hunger, or poverty.
Therefore, let us take this opportunity to remember the gallant women who defied fear and played an active part in the formation of this party in 1999. Women who must continue to inspire us as we run the last mile to full democracy and freedon. Some of them are now departed and I am talking here about passionate fighters for democracy such as the late Getrude Mthombeni. May her soul rest in eternal peace.
Yet others braved violence and stood firm in this struggle, like our colleague Thabitha Marume who was callously and publicly murdered by Zanu PF activists in Manicaland in 2007. Talent Mabika, a committed woman who was plucked down in mid-stride and brutally murdered in April 2000 at Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera, is a pick from this rich galaxy of brave women who paid the ultimate price in their quest for change.
Abigail Chiroto, another brave woman who was killed simply because her husband was a senior MDC activist. We must remember all these gallant women; brave daughters of this land who decided to be part of the national quest for a new dispensation.
Our mothers and our sisters in Murehwa, Nkayi, Muzarabani and Chendambuya who were raped, murdered and assaulted over the years for their unstinting belief in change. In the face of threats, intimidation and brutal murders, they maintained their resolve to continue fighting against oppression, violence and plunder.
And there is one woman I knew so well and loved so much -a woman who insisted that women were equal shareholders in the struggle for change in Zimbabwe. A woman who would have been happy today to see such a huge gathering of friends and colleagues committed and determined to finish the struggle they started so many years ago.
And I am talking here of my late wife, Susan Tsvangirai, who tragically perished in an accident on 6 March 2009, exactly 23 days after hope had beckoned for this country following the formation of the inclusive government on 11 February 2009. All these women, including the women in the villages, on the farms and in urban townships who have borne the brunt of violence, are the true heroes of our struggle.
They have refused to be cowed and they continue to be associated with the national desire for change.At this historic congress let us honour their sacrifice. Let us treasure the memory of those that have paid the ultimate price and let us ensure that their legacy is a New Zimbabwe that is truly free, democratic and prosperous.
This is what they stood for and this is what they were fighting for when they died. We owe it to them to carry on the struggle courageously, peacefully and relentlessly. In light of this, I wish to address the allegations of factionalism, conflict and corruption that have preceded this Congress. Let me state once and for all that there will no tolerance of violence in the MDC. There will no sanctioning of corruption in the MDC and there will be no reward for patronage in the MDC.
It is these traits that our party was born to eradicate. It is these traits that condemned an entire generation to poverty and repression and there can be no room for them in the New Zimbabwe.
Soon, you will vote for your new leaders.Let me tell you now that it is your duty to shun those that encouraged violence; To reject those that promoted factionalism; And to discard any individual that attempted to tarnish your precious vote by trying to buy it. As we prepare to govern our beautiful country let us ensure that we represent the very best that the people of Zimbabwe have to offer.
Let us truly be the Party of Excellence!
Women of Zimbabwe, I am heartened by the enthusiasm that I see here, the high spirits and the emotive contest which all go to show that we are a true democratic party.Serious business for the Women’s Assembly must begin today.And we must begin with an honest introspection into whether we have succeeded in the past five years in creating a strong women’s movement that can mobilise women across all sectors and classes to be part of the change agenda.
Our last party Conference approved a 50-50 threshold for women at all levels of leadership and you must rise up to the challenge and demand your space. I urge you to step up to this challenge and as a Women’s Assembly; I hope you have comprehensive proposals to the Constitution for adoption by this Congress, including the demand for equal representation at all levels.
Until we have such a Constitution and until our women take their rightful place in the Party and in Zimbabwe, our nation will never be truly empowered. Only then will the MDC truly be a Party of Excellence. I take heart that you have remained resolute over the years, undaunted by a dark past but excited by the prospect of a better future for yourselves and your children.
I also hope that you have managed to debate the party policy on gender in order to enrich the party position on all major issues affecting women and to keep the party appraised of the special needs and concerns of women. At the epicentre of our beliefs as a social democratic party is gender equality, the need to eradicate poverty and the empowerment of women to take care of every area of their lives.
We must be alive especially to the needs of rural women and the key role they continue to play in the country’s economy.
We must recognise the role of women as mothers in the family and as the ultimate care-givers even where national institutions have collapsed.
This nation is poised for an election and the role of women in this important national process cannot be underplayed. Women must be on the forefront in the collective quest for a clear roadmap to an election; with a clear role for our African brothers and sisters in ensuring that the election will take place in a peaceful environment with neither fear not coercion.
We must not merely seek peace. We must demand it! The women of Zimbabwe must continue to occupy their space by taking part in national struggles, national discussions, national processes and national events.
I equally hope that the new leadership that will emerge from here will be able to take the struggle forward and to ensure that women have an important role to play in shaping the country’s future.
Your future is in your hands.
I thank You
MDC Information & Publicity Department
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 28/04/11
The recent snub of EU and UN funding for elections by Zanu-pf should not be
taken as official Zimbabwe policy because it was not sanctioned by the
coalition government, at least until the other parties publicly endorse that
It is regrettable that Zanu-pf hardliners reportedly ‘turned down’ an offer
by the United Nations to fund and supervise elections in Zimbabwe, accusing
the UN of siding with Alassane Quattara of Ivory Coast instead of the loser
in that country’s elections Laurent Gbagbo whom Zanu-pf credited with
fighting ‘the imperialist West’.
Rather than allow Zanu-pf’s weird foreign policy transform Zimbabwe into an
appendage of Laurent Gbagbo’s ‘Ivory Coast’, the Prime Minister and
President of the Movement for Democratic Change of Zimbabwe Morgan
Tsvangirai who won the 2008 elections should spell out the correct position
of what was agreed in cabinet on this issue.
Ideally, the MDC should directly follow-up the funding with the UN before it
is committed for other use because Zimbabwe cannot afford the arrogance of
turning down help when it has a budget deficit of US$150 million and also
faced with a request for US$400million by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Ironically, President Robert Mugabe has used an estimated US$12 million in 3
months in private travel to Singapore reportedly for medical treatment when
the government cannot pay salaries. For instance, on average, depending on
grade, civil servants who have threatened to go on a ‘mother of all strikes’
in June, earn between US$240 and US$520 per month against the Poverty Datum
Line of US$520 (Daily News, 28/04/11).
Part of the reason why Zimbabwe would need outside funding is to meet some
preliminaries for the planned referendum and elections such as guaranteeing
the Diaspora vote i.e. the right of an estimated 3 million people outside
Zimbabwe to vote in the forthcoming referendum and harmonised elections. It
appears the recently agreed roadmap is silent on the Diaspora vote. In view
of the fact that Zanu-pf’s ‘war veteran’ Jabulani Sibanda has threatened to
force-march people to re-join his party and vote for it, the importance of
the Diaspora vote in the upcoming referendum and election cannot be
I would like to assure the coalition government in Harare that we will make
the loudest noise if they ever try to disenfranchise Zimbabweans who are in
the Diaspora by using lame excuses of inadequate funding for elections which
they are turning down but at the same time urging exiles to repatriate their
Impartial Chief Elections Officer
Similarly, security sector reforms needed which may need funding includes
redundancies in the army, air force, police, prisons and intelligence
services whose continued presence in the new dispensation does not instil
confidence. At the same time the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the
office of the Registrar General obviously need a complete overhaul
especially the appointment of an impartial chief elections officer.
For example, in 1991 Lesotho had to approach the United Nations for
assistance in the recruitment and appointment of an expatriate Chief
Electoral Officer after extensive discussion on the modality of appointing
the country’s Chief Electoral Officer whose impartiality and general
acceptability would ensure confidence in the electoral processes leading to
the return to democratic civilian rule (Professor L Adele Jinadu, Africa
Journal of Political Science, 1997, Vol 2, No1, 1-11).
Unless it has something to hide, Zimbabwe should not shy away from EU and UN
funding for elections as operational costs especially logistics for
electoral administration can be can be so prohibitive that even the state
may not have the funds. For example, in the 1991 Zambian elections, funds
and logistical support were provided by a consortium of western European
countries. In Ghana, during the 1992 elections, a number of foreign
countries and international organisations also assisted with funds and
In March 2010, the EU provided 960,000 Euros to Georgia to help the country
‘in conducting free, fair and credible elections’ according to a press
release of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia
Two sets of elections
Iraq got assistance from the European Commission to the tune of 30 million
Euros in preparation for elections in 2005. The Commission financed 100% of
the United Nation’s requirements for preparation of the referendum in that
country and together with member states financed nearly two thirds of the UN’s
budget for preparation of the two sets of elections (www.europa-eu-un-org,
In 2006 the EU funded television and radio broadcasts to Belarus ahead of
presidential elections after accusations that the EU was unwilling to take
tough action against the authoritarian regime of President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka of Belarus (www.rferl.org, 11/01/06).
Special training programme
Next month, twelve Egyptian and 12 Tunisian journalists are due to attend a
special training programme on the electoral process in the United Kingdom’s
Welsh Assembly elections and Scottish parliamentary elections on 5 May, as
part of the UE-funded European Neighbourhood Journalism Network (ENJN)
project (www.enpi-info.eu, 14/04/11).
The European Union funded the Palestine Central Elections Commission (CEC’s)
mock election in West Bank high schools in 2009. The project was
administered by the CEC in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and
Higher Education as well as UNRWA schools (www.humanityvoice.net, 13/05/09).
Of course there are times when some countries are more convincing when they
decline foreign assistance. For example, early this year, Guyana’s President
Bharrat Jagdeo said that his government would be financing the country’s
general elections due to be held this year and ruled out the need for
funding by donor agencies. He, however, gave an assurance that anyone
desirous of monitoring would be welcome, with no restrictions placed on
their monitoring activities.
Confidence in Guyana’s electoral processes
The EU expressed confidence in Guyana’s electoral processes and confirmed
that the EU would not be funding or monitoring Guyana’s upcoming elections.
Monitoring bodies will most likely be the OAS, CARICOM and the Commonwealth
While the foregoing may not be exhaustive, it goes to show that election
funding by the EU and the United Nations is standard practice if the
recipient country has a genuine need like Zimbabwe does. Until the correct
position is officially confirmed by the coalition government, the question
will continue to be asked: ‘Is Zanu-pf snub of elections funding official
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
MDC will start its congress tomorrow with the women congress, then the Youth
and finally the Main wing Saturday 30 April 2011. This will be the third
congress after MDC formation and ironically will be the third election MDC
had won but failed to claim back from the jaws of ZANU (PF). Its easy to
understand the dynamics of Zimbabwean politics if you are a politician but
totally unacceptable if you are a Zimbabwean voting each time for a change
but ending up with the same result, still living in abject poverty. I can
not emphasis enough the burden which awaits those fortunate enough to be
elected this week. The generality of Zimbabweans are fad up with
politicking, they want real change and indeed MDC has the challenge to
deliver to the expectation of the people of Zimbabwe, it’s not an easy
mandate but this time around it will determine the capacity of MDC to force
throat change. The winds of change sweeping North Africa and the Middle East
or should I say on dictators all over the world, have a psychological impact
on the outcome of this congress. The Bulawayo punch!!!
Every election anywhere in the world draws bitter enemy lines of vitro
words, in western world it leads to a hand shake while in Africa it leaves a
deep sense of hatred and mistrust. As we prepare for the congress I urge my
fellow MDC co patriots, that it’s not your post at stake but the country at
stake. While some will emerge morally bruised, you should never have a sense
of being politically bruised. In a real world of politics with the
challenges that ZANU (PF) and Mugabe poses to our national integrity, they
should be enough roles for every politician to play, before and after Mugabe
is gone. I draw your attention to a quotation by Mikhail Gorbachev (1991)
former president of USSR, “Tomorrow you may have another president. In any
case, we are all one, side by side, and we shouldn’t spit on each other”
This is a powerful reminder that what ever we do, we must remember that
there is always a tomorrow. Don’t personalise the struggle, it’s not your
struggle, it’s the people’s struggle. The problem that we have is that we
become vindictive of those whom we perceive to have different views to us.
Let’s reach out to those who challenge us for their views are a shortfall of
If the truth is to be said, the press isn’t the best friend either, it does
give you positive coverage when it suits it but can be a brunt instrument to
self destruction. Headlines will appear, again and again, so and so did this
and said this to that. There is also perceived stigma in our society to
failure, taking a loss as a bad omen. For God’s sake is not the end of the
world, this is only MDC versus MDC, our target is Mugabe and ZANU (PF). If
you are born a politician, you should die a politician. A loss this weekend
shouldn’t give you the right to recoil but the inspiration to fight on and
prove that you are worth what you said you were. To some unfortunately age
has already taken toll on you, it’s not the end of the world, wine mature by
age, and we still need you in other capacity.
I wish all the best and to those who will win must acknowledge that you have
won because somebody contested you and its very health to the Zimbabwean
democracy that we all want to build. Lets encompass everyone in the
struggle, the journey is not over until is over.
Academic who writes from UK
BILL WATCH 18/2011
[26th April 2011]
The Senate has adjourned to Tuesday 10th May
The House of Assembly has adjourned to Tuesday 17th May
In Parliament this Month
The Senate did not sit this month. Its last sitting was on the 31st March.
House of Assembly
The House of Assembly sat on 5th, 6th and 7th April. It passed two Bills and sent them to the Senate to be considered in May. On Wednesday 6th April Ministers dealt with members’ questions.
Bills passed and Sent to Senate
Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill – this was passed without amendment.
General Laws Amendment Bill – this was passed with several amendments, including the dropping of the clause on Government copyright in legislation, court judgments and various other official documents and the clause on local authority procurement procedures, and the addition of three new clauses seeking to amend the National Biotechnology Authority Act and the Banking Act, and to backdate the legal practitioners US dollar fees tariff of 2011 to 1st February 2009. [For details see Bill Watch 17/2011 of 19th April.] [Electronic version of Bill as passed by the House available.]
Bills carried forward to May - awaiting Second Reading
· Deposit Protection Corporation Bill [Electronic version available.]
· National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill [Electronic version available.]
Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] – presented non-adverse reports on:
· National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill
· General Laws Amendment Bill as amended by the House
· Statutory instruments gazetted during February.
Members Question Time
Questions dealt with by Ministers included:
Mount Darwin Mass Exhumations Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara said concerns about these exhumations would be addressed by the Ministry of Home Affairs which had now taken over responsibility for the matter.
School text-books The Minister of Education stoutly defended his Ministry’s arrangements for the supply of school textbooks, pointing out that by handing over the procurement process to UNICEF significant economies of scale had been achieved, a considerable sum saved and some 30 million text-books produced and delivered, resulting in every primary school child having his or her own English, Maths, indigenous language and environmental sciences textbook. He also rejected allegations that the books supplied were not acceptable to schools, saying they were all approved by the Ministry’s curriculum development unit.
Boosting Bulawayo industrial sector The Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion gave a detailed response to a question about Government’s plans to boost Bulawayo industry to stop imminent closures of factories that had ceased to be viable.
Senate Thematic and House of Assembly Portfolio Committees sat until 15th April, then adjourned until the week commencing 9th May.
Update on Legislation
Bills Passed and Awaiting Presidential Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts [Electronic versions available.]
Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill [being printed]
Attorney-General’s Office Bill [being printed]
Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill [printed, awaiting President’s assent]
Energy Regulatory Authority Bill [being printed]
Bills in Parliament
· Public Order and Security Amendment Bill – this Private Member’s Bill still awaits its Second Reading [Electronic version available.]
· General Laws Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading [Electronic version available.]
· Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading
House of Assembly
· Deposit Protection Corporation Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading
· National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading [Electronic version available.]
Bills Gazetted and Awaiting Presentation in Parliament – None
Bills Being Printed for Presentation in Parliament
Older Persons Bill [this is a Bill from the Ministry of Labour and Social Services – text and summary not yet available.]
Bills Referred for Drafting after Approval in Principle by Cabinet
· State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill
· State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill
· Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill.
Requests for electronic versions that have been offered should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Statutory Instruments and General Notices
No statutory instruments were published in the Gazette of 8th April, and none of any significance in the Gazettes of 15th and 22nd April.
Government financial statements for January and February
Published as supplements to the Government Gazette of 8th March were the Government’s consolidated financial statements for January and February 2011, as prepared by the Accountant-General. The ten-page statements give Government income and expenditure, broken down under a number of sub-headings. So it is possible, for instance, to ascertain the official figures for revenue from mining royalties [$6 717 155 for January, $6 370 500 for February]. [Please note: Electronic copies of these financial statements are not available from Veritas. Hard copies are available from the Government Printer’s outlets.] According to section 34(3) of the Public Finance Management Act the Ministry should have been publishing such statements every month since April 2010, when the Act came into operation, but these are the first to appear. Concerned citizens are entitled to demand that statements for the preceding seven months of 2010 are published now, even if somewhat belatedly. And it is to be hoped that there will be no further lapses in compliance with this important statutory obligation, because the point of making such information publicly available is to promote transparency and accountability in the handling of public money.
MDC-T 3rd National Congress: 28th to 30th April [new dates]
The Congress has been moved forward by one day to ensure that senior party officials will be free to take part in Workers Day functions on 1st May. It will be held in Bulawayo. Guest of honour will be Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The agenda includes election of the national leadership; Mr Tsvangirai is set to continue as party President as the only nominee for the post. Some of the party’s provincial elections have been marred by violence between rival factions. The Congress will not interfere with Parliamentary business, as both Houses and all Parliamentary committees will still be in recess at that time.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied