Bulawayo, April 28, 2012--Ailing Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe toured the
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Friday morning in a vehicle for the first
time due to poor health and advanced age.
This is the first time in years for Mugabe (88) who usually tours the ZITF
exhibition Centre on foot to use a vehicle.
The geriatric leader only walked few meters from ZITF VIP lounge to nearby
Zambia Embassy and Mozambique Railways stands before getting into his
official vehicle and finished the last three quarters of his tour in his
He toured the Chinese Hall one, Poultry Hall before heading to Hall Four
where the South African companies were exhibiting. When inside most ZITF
stands, Mugabe was walking with the support of Zambia President Michael
Sata, who was holding his hand.
Some journalists who were following the octogenarian leader on ZITF tour
could be heard whispering among themselves that “the old man should step
down and take a rest”.
Mugabe recently went to Singapore for medical treatment, despite his loyal
officials continuing to claim he went there to sort out his daughter’s
post-graduate registration papers.
His prolonged stay in Singapore however fueled speculation that he was
battling for his life, after Cabinet meetings had been postponed as a result
of his absence.
Leaked US diplomatic cables recently also stated that Mugabe was spotted at
Singapore’s up market Glen Eagles Hospital in 2008 where an oncologist
(cancer specialist) reportedly confirmed that Mugabe was a patient.
Mugabe himself has spiritedly denied that he is dogged by ill health.
Meanwhile all gates to the ZITF were closed during Mugabe and Sata ZITF tour
of stands. There was tight security at ZITF grounds like never before, as
heavily armed soldiers and police officers were manning all the entrance to
the ZITF on Friday morning.
In the past years of the ZITF, staff usually mann the gates. Members of
public including children were also being searched, questioned and harassed.
“This is really shocking we have never seen this, we are being searched and
harassed for no apparent reasons,” said John Ndlovu a Bulawayo resident who
had brought his children to ZITF.
South Africa and China have the highest number of exhibitors this year.
28 April, 2012 21:24
At 88 years of age and with suspected prostate cancer, Robert Mugabe is
definitely slowing down.
His recent two-week trip to Singapore, which caused two cabinet meetings to
be called off, was brushed aside by his aides as a mere holiday. But anyone
with even a fleeting interest in the country sat up and took notice.
Zimbabwe is poised to become one of the biggest recovery stories on the
continent, says Chris Hart of Investment Solutions. Hart is of the opinion
that regeneration will go ahead but could be delayed if members of the "old
guard" take power after Mugabe.
He says there is a solid infrastructure base, although there has been no
capital expenditure for more than a decade. There is power, there is a road
network and the education system hasn't collapsed so skills are available.
And while a great deal has broken down there is significant institutional
memory that will fast-track growth when the political landscape becomes less
Zimbabwe has one of the largest reserves of platinum in the world and a
wealth of other resources including diamonds, gold, chrome, nickel and coal.
Hart suggests that investment in tourism, telecommunications, financial
services, transport and retail would come in relatively quickly if the
Mugabe is believed to have entered into a "gentleman's agreement" with his
65-year-old Minister of Defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa, that will put him in
power when Mugabe steps down. If the veteran of the 1970s armed struggle
against British rule does assume control, analysts warn that things could
In the 1980s Mnangagwa was chief of the Central Intelligence Organisation
and was instrumental in causing the deaths of thousands of civilians during
a campaign to suppress the rival Zapu party. He was recently sent on a
mission to Iran where he met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss
getting military aid in return for uranium. The UK's Sunday Telegraph
reported that Mnangagwa was virtually guaranteed to succeed as long as he
successfully campaigns for Mugabe in this year's presidential elections.
But several analysts believe that when Mugabe cedes power the current
constitution will be followed, which will mean one of the two
vice-presidents - Joice Mujuru or John Nkomo - will take over.
John Legat, head of asset management at financial services company Imara,
says Mujuru will likely take charge since Nkomo has health problems of his
According to the constitution, elections would then be held in 90 days.
However, Legat believes Mujuru could opt to pursue a new constitution, which
is nearly complete. This would give her time to put herself forward as a
candidate for election and build up a support base.
Legat says this scenario will be the most positive for business since Mujuru
has in the past two years shown herself to be pro business. He says she and
Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister of Zimbabwe and president of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, get on well and are "on the same
The indigenisation law would probably be amended or scrapped, Legat says.
While it had had limited practical effect, it had been egregious for
Still, there is a definite trickle of business moving back to Zimbabwe, and
people are beginning to position themselves for a post-Mugabe era. Legat sa
ys major changes will be seen when the IMF finally start s to support the
country, and that will only happen once Mugabe has gone as there is too much
uncertainty with him in power. T he IMF has been engaged in debt
rescheduling and increasing its mission in Harare.
Despite the indigenisation laws, mining is continuing with the big Impala
Platinum and Anglo Platinum operations. Gold, too, is being mined, albeit on
a far smaller scale, and diamond, chrome, coal, copper and nickel operations
are all continuing but are nowhere near their potential levels of
Other limited investment is also going ahead. In December, Pick n Pay took a
49% stake in Zimbabwe's TM supermarkets. Group Five is dualising the road
between Harare and Bulawayo in a joint venture with the Zimbabwe National
Roads Administration. Funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the
road will be tolled. Tenders are out to expand power stations to Hwange and
Kariba, and Rio Zimbabwe has been given the go-ahead to build a power
Though agricultural land is owned by the state, lease agreements where
tenure is taken up for 99 years are a way to get around this. If security of
tenure can be guaranteed by the state, this will carry weight with financial
institutions and a move towards corporate farming will likely ensue. Some
farming success can already be seen in tobacco and sugar, with BAT Zimbabwe
having recently posted excellent results and Tongaat-Hulett having increased
its Zimbabwe investment by about $135-million.
Zimbabwe has been left behind in Africa's growth story. According to
Accenture's Grant Hatch, it is the only country on the continent where
poverty levels have consistently increased in the past decade. But change is
coming and as Chris Hart says, they don't necessarily need a good system in
place to get the regeneration ball rolling. All they need is a system that
stops doing harm.
April 28, 2012
Nico Colombant | Washington
Despite outside pressure, Zimbabwean activists and analysts fear long-time
President Robert Mugabe is trying to get away with stealing another
election. Activists say they want help before it is too late.
Zimbawean protesters have been holding monthly protests around the world
this year, such as one recently here in Washington, outside the South
South African President Jacob Zuma is the main mediator of the ongoing
political crisis in Zimbabwe, four years after an accord known as the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) was signed to ensure reforms and free and fair
A national unity government was set up, but protest organizer Den Moyo says
there has been no progress on reforms.
"We are saying Mr. Zuma as we stand here as Zimbabweans, we are calling upon
you to use the powers vested in you as the mediator of the GPA in Zimbabwe
to ensure that there is a road map to free and fair and indisputable
elections," said Moyo.
One stipulation is that there must be constitutional change before the next
round of voting. The Africa director at the Wilson Center in Washington,
Steve McDonald, says President Mugabe is trying to get re-elected as soon as
possible, so he may try to convince South African mediators to change their
view on the need for constitutional reform.
"He wants to get beyond the power-sharing arrangement," said McDonald. "He
is under pressure from the South Africans who have declared that they will
not recognize or work with him if the preparations for the election do not
precede it and the main thing there is the constitutional referendum."
At recent celebrations marking 32 years of Zimbabwe's independence and his
power, the 88-year-old president called on political parties to go beyond
the violence of recent elections.
"We must take absolute care and caution and ensure that the fights of
yesterday are buried in the past," said Mugabe.
Mugabe has denied rigging previous elections. He has said he needs to stay
in power to correct the wrongs of previous white minority rule and ensure
the economic empowerment of Zimbabweans.
Back in Washington, Nyare Joe sang opposition protest songs. She said
Zimbabweans inside Zimbabwe are not free to question anything related to Mr.
Mugabe or his ZANU-PF party.
"I want everybody even in my country to be able to do anything, once it is a
free country," said Joe. "Mugabe - now you cannot talk about the name of
Mugabe or you go to jail. You cannot even laugh when ZANU-PF is there, or
you go to jail."
The protesters warned if there is not more pressure against President
Mugabe, he would remain in power as long as he is still alive, through
stalling tactics or rigged and violent elections.
Efforts to reform the constitution have gone slowly, while no date has been
set for the looming presidential and legislative election.
27 April 2012
Gibbs Dube | Washington
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says the southern African country should
use proceeds from its mining sector to revive collapsing industries in the
nation's second largest city, Bulawayo.
Mr. Mugabe said this as treasury finally released $10 million as part of its
contribution to the Distressed and Marginalized Areas Fund for boosting
firms crippled by lack of capital.
President Mugabe is quoted in the state-controlled Herald newspaper as
saying diamond and other mineral proceeds can play a crucial role in curbing
the closure of the city’s industries.
He said he's dismayed by reports that treasury had not yet released $20
million as part of its contribution towards the $40 million fund set up last
year with Old Mutual Insurance Company to help struggling firms in the
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube announced Thursday that treasury had
released part of the funds last Tuesday.
According to the Central African Building Society which is handling the
fund, at least $3.1 million has been disbursed to 10 companies out of 49
Urging the speedy release of the remaining funds, Percy Mcijo, Matabeleland
regional manager of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said workers are
suffering while politicians are bickering over the disbursement of the fund.
More than 20,000 workers have been left jobless between 2009 and this year
following the closure of 80 companies in the City of Kings
by Staff Reporter
STRIKING Bulawayo council workers have returned to work after agreeing to
take their pay dispute to arbitration.
The strike between Monday and Thursday lost the council nearly US$1 million
in revenue after residents neglected to pay rates, financial director
Kimpton Ndimande said.
The BCC collects an average US$4,1 million from residents every month, but
Ndimande says they will miss that target by US$1 million in April.
He said the local authority got an average of $4,1 million per month, but
this month it is estimated that it would get $3,1 million.
“Ratepayers thought that since there was a strike, the Revenue Hall was
closed. We were open and working with cashiers in the rates department,”
The strike had sent council bosses into a panic, coming in the middle of the
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair whose five-day run was set to end late
Most council services including clinics, rubbish collection, water pipe
maintenance and even grave digging were affected by the strike.
The 3,200 council workers say their February salaries – the last time they
were paid – were slashed by 40 percent without consultation by the council.
The workers have not been paid their March and April salaries with the MDC-T
run council insisting that it is broke.
Unions say 12 of the 23 urban councils are in pay arrears. The councils
blame a bloated workforce and a poor debt recovery mechanism for their
The Bulawayo City Council, with debts of US$55 million – including US$17
million owed to ZESA. But the council says it is owed US$35 million by
residents, US$23 million by companies and US$4 million by the government –
making for a total of nearly US$62 million.
Written by Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:08
HARARE - Prisoners are living in dire conditions exposing them to diseases
and malnutrition due to poor diet and lack of utilities, a government
minister has said.
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, who has in the past said the situation
in prisons is improving, yesterday admitted that the state of the country’s
jails is unfortunate and needs urgent attention.
The minister said government lacked the capacity to solve the problem and
appealed to the public and corporate world to assist.
Chinamasa said government is failing to provide uniforms for prison guards.
“Our prison guards are now washing their uniforms on a daily basis because
they have one pair, we have no plates, no pots, no cups and we are not
producing enough food,” said Chinamasa.
He said this at a function to receive 500 uniforms worth $10 000 for
prisoners from the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ).
The minister took an aim at corrupt judicial officers whom he accused of
running down the profession and at times contributing to the increase in
“Some of the people are in prisons because of lawyers. I would like to see a
situation where we have a corrupt-free justice system that has sound
integrity,” Chinamasa said.
“It is so sad that even prison guards are involved in this vicious cycle,
they actually advise accused persons on which lawyer to approach, which
magistrate to go to and even which prosecutor to bribe so that they are
released,” Chinamasa said.
A senate thematic committee responsible for overseeing the state of prisons
last year produced a damming report on the living conditions in most jails
saying in most cases, inmates were overcrowded with no standard meal.
Speaking at the same function, LSZ president Tinoziva Bere complained that
some lawyers were tarnishing the image of the profession by engaging in
Last year, a prosecutor was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission on
allegations of receiving a bribe from a relative of an accused person who
sought to be released from of custody.
27 April 2012
Violet Gonda | Washington
The number of women dying during delivery has increased in Zimbabwe from 725
deaths for every 100 000 live births to 960 deaths for every 100 000 live
births, Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe revealed Thursday.
The deputy prime minister, who is also the ambassador of goodwill for the
Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa told VOA
that revitalizing the primary health care and the removal of user fees
maternal care will go a long way in addressing the unacceptably high rate of
maternal and infant mortality in Zimbabwe.
She said the inability by the majority of women to pay maternity fees
contributes to this increase in maternal mortality.
The alarming new figures come at a time when the World Health Organization
says Zimbabwe is lagging behind in its efforts to achieve the United Nations
Millennium Development goals by 2015 on reducing child mortality, maternal
health and combating HIV/AIDS.
Khupe said she will make an immediate follow up with the government and
relevant donors for urgent disbursement of funds to be extended through the
Multi-Donor Health fund.
She said the Finance Minister Tendai Biti had stated in his budget to set
aside $10 million for maternal health care and that she will follow up on
this promise at the next week’s cabinet meeting.
“I am committing myself and I will like to promise the women of Zimbabwe
that I am going to make sure that in two weeks, at the latest, I want to
make sure that something happens so that women don’t pay when they go to
“When women give birth they are performing a national duty. Women are the
backbone of our economy,” added Khupe.
“Women give birth to future presidents, to future prime ministers, doctors
and future engineers you name it. And therefore they must not be punished
for performing that national duty by paying money when they go to give
Three workers were fired while 19 others were slapped with punitive measures
by the Mutare City Council for taking up an unsanctioned industrial action
against the management.
by Yeukai Moyo
The trio included executive members of the Zimbabwean Urban Council Workers
Union (ZUCWU), Mutare Chapterchairman, Baya Musa,the union’s branch
executives James Lizwe and Timothy Mavhiza.
Theywere found guilty of organizing an illegal strike along with other 12
general hands and 6 nurses from the Municipality‘s Infectious Disease
Hospitalwho were demoted.
They accused the Council of owing over 1 200 workers a total of $550 000 in
unpaid bonuses of last year at a time when the local authority was buying
top of the range vehicles for the management.
An official with the Local Authority’s Human Resources Department stated
that the workers’ action was grossly misdirected as they breached the
stipulations of the Labour Act in embarking on a strike action.
‘’The three were dismissed for organizing and participating in an illegal
strike action. It was discovered that their action was even outside the
mandate of their union of affiliation which is the Zimbabwe Urban Councils
Workers Union (ZUCWU),” he said.
He said the six nurses who participated in the illegal job action were
demoted by a grade each and $280 will be deducted from their salaries for
the next 12 months whereas the general hands’ monthly$100 grocery allowances
were suspended for six months.
Bulawayo, April 28, 2012---Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC) has demanded that, new independent radio and television stations be
opened in Zimbabwe with immediate effect.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo last Thursday JOMIC member Qhubani Moyo
who belongs to the Welshman Ncube led MDC said it is high time the country
gets new independent radio and television stations like what happened to the
“We call upon for the opening of the country’s airwaves with
immediate effect , we need new independent radio and television
stations, like what is happening in the newspapers where there is
variety,” said Moyo.
Moyo also called for “Zimbabwe journalists to respect Article 19 of the
Global Political Agreement GPA which prohibits them from hate speech”.
MDC-T JOMIC representative Tabitha Khumalo who also attended the function
said journalists should not be harassed while doing their work.
Zimbabwe has no independent radio or TV stations at the moment.
Last year the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) only granted two
licenses to AB Communications and Zimpapers’ Talk Radio which have links to
Zanu-PF and the state respectively. While Radio VOP and Oliver Mtukudzi’s
Kiss FM were denied radio broadcast licences.
Critics say Talk Radio and Zi Radio will never be able to operate
independently because of their close ties to Zanu-PF and the state which has
a majority stake at Zimpapers.
As a result of government’s reluctance to open up the airwaves offshore
broadcasters such as Radio VOP, VOA's Studio 7 and Shortwave Radio Africa
are forced to broadcast on shortwave and have often been jammed by the
Critics note that Zimbabwe is the only country in southern Africa without
independent or private broadcasters despite being the first country in the
region to have a television broadcast as far back as the early 1960s.
South Africa, which established a television station in 1976, has several
independent television stations and more than 100 private and community
27 April 2012
Ntungamili Nkomo & Mavis Gama | Washington DC/Harare
Zimbabwe's labour union condemned the government Friday for failing to
protect local workers against abusive Chinese employers operating in the
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, adding a voice to the national
discord, said the government chose to protect the Chinese merchants at the
expense of mainly local black workers, despite abundant evidence of gross
"This issue has been presented even to the ministry of labor, but no one in
government wants to talk about it," ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo told a
news conference in Harare.
Matombo said the Chinese employers, accused of physical and emotional abuse,
behaved “like first class citizens, treating Zimbabweans as second class
In some instances, the merchants are said to refuse to pay workers, and when
they make a police report, it is alleged, they are fired from work; at times
The abusive behavior has continued unchecked because the Chinese enjoy full
protection of the inclusive government, said secretary-general Raymond
He expressed concern at reports of sexual abuse of Zimbabwean women, adding
the complaints will take front-burner status in their Workers' Day
commemorations next week.
The MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a brainchild of the
labor movement, also weighed in calling on government to "protect citizens
It cited an incident this week where "more than 30 construction workers at
the National Defense College were barred from protesting by armed soldiers
over illegal termination of their contracts and non-payment of their wages."
Encouraged by Harare's so-called Look-East-Policy, which favors mainly
Beijing, the Chinese continue to settle in Zimbabwe, opening up factories
and investing especially in the construction industry.
But it is their abusive nature, lack of work ethic and the flooding of the
Zimbabwean market with substandard goods that have earned them a bad name
And as long as government does not censure them, argued Japhet Moyo,
secretary-general of a rival ZCTU formation, the abuse of local employees
will only get worse.
27 April 2012
Blessing Zulu | Washington
Shaken by the serious factionalism they say is tearing their party, some
senior officials in President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF are calling on him to
intervene and save the former liberation movement from total collapse.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA the party’s supreme decision-making
organ, the politburo will next week try to resolve the infighting that has
rocked its district coordinating committees in Masvingo, Manicaland,
Mashonaland East, Bulawayo, Matebeleland North and South provinces.
But ZANU-PF insiders said the politburo's effort could amount to nothing as
it is also deeply divided.
Sources said the party is now plagued by four factions - one led by Vice
President Joyce Mujuru and the other by Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Army General Constantine Chiwenga, the sources say, is heading another
faction, with Mugabe’s loyalists staying with him.
The Chiwenga group enjoys the backing of the powerful Joint Operations
Command, comprising the Central Intelligence Organization, police and army.
Sources say the faction is fielding serving and retired security officers.
The most notable being police spokesman Chief Superintendent Oliver
Mandipaka who could not confirm or deny that he wants to contest for a
parliamentary seat in Buhera South.
In Nyanga, Manicaland province, activists exchanged blows Thursday over the
district coordinating committee election.
Controversial war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda, meanwhile, has
threatened to beat up ZANU-PF bigwigs whom he accuses of fanning intra-party
Political analyst Joy Mabenge of the Institute For a Democratic Alternative
of Zimbabwe told VOA that the unresolved Mugabe succession issue is the
root cause of the friction in ZANU-PF.
Written by Wonai Masvingise, Staff Writer
Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:10
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s loyalists have come out guns blazing as
infighting caused by differences concerning the completion of the
constitution-making process threaten to widen divisions within Zanu PF.
Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF secretary for administration yesterday told the
Daily News his fellow party colleagues should take Mugabe’s call for the
speedy completion of a new constitution as final because he is the head of
Last week, Mugabe along with fellow Government of National Unity (GNU)
principals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara demanded
the speedy completion of the new constitution which is running way behind
However, Zanu PF Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) members on
Wednesday made “impossible” FROM P1
demands to stop the release of the draft constitution which is now
Copac is a cross party parliamentary body driving the writing of a new
constitution which is viewed by regional leaders as key to the future
stability of the country.
Mutasa, who is also minister of State in the President’s office, slammed
fellow senior party officials who are pushing to delay the completion of the
He added that it was deviant for party members to oppose Mugabe.
“The party’s official position is expressed by the leader of the party
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. What he says, goes; he is the chief
spokesperson of Zanu PF. He has repeated this over and over again, elections
must be held this year with or without the new constitution."
“All this that is being written is rubbish; you would help me if you made
this clear to other reporters so that I avoid having to answer stupid
questions,” Mutasa said.
Recently, Zanu PF hardliners fronted by serial political flip-flopper
Jonathan Moyo have been agitating to destabilise the making of the supreme
law of the land.
Moyo viciously attacked Copac saying it was “stuffed with mafia elements,”
to which fellow Zanu PF colleague and Copac co-chair Paul Mangwana responded
by saying Moyo was “crazy” and was being “used by the devil”.
This week Mangwana said: “We are not going to be commenting on him (Moyo)
because it is the work of the devil. They are messengers of evil as they
wanted to distract our work as Copac.”
However, the joint statement released by the GNU principals last week called
upon Copac’s Select Committee and Management Committee to brief the three
leaders on any challenges they may be facing in the constitution-making
GNU leaders also expressed concern at Copac’s failure to brief them on these
“The principals directed that the minister of Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs, Advocate Eric Matinenga should work closely with both
the Select Committee and the Management Committee in order to conclude the
drafting process by next week so as to deliver the draft constitution to the
principals,” reads part of the statement.
Tsvangirai’s MDC and Zanu PF both have 10 members each to the select
committee while the smaller MDC breakaway formation has two members.
Sadc has pointed out that for the country to hold credible free and fair
elections, which are being demanded by Mugabe, a new constitution has to be
put in place as stipulated in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:07
HARARE - Chief Negomo has approached the Supreme Court challenging High
Court Judge Justice Bharat Patel’s ruling which dismissed his bid to fine
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for marrying in November, traditionally a
sacred month for some locals.
Tsvangirai last year allegedly married Locadia Karimatsenga in November
resulting in Luscious Chitsinde, who is chief Negomo, fining him for
breaking cultural laws that prohibit such acts in the month.
Tsvangirai denied ever marrying Karimatsenga, insisting he had only paid
damages for impregnating woman.
Negomo fined Tsvangirai two cows and two sheep, 10 metres white cloth and
some snuff for spiritual appeasement and land cleansing last December.
In his bid to execute the ruling, Negomo approached a Bindura magistrate in
December last year to confirm the default judgment and Tsvangirai, through
his lawyer Selby Hwacha, in March challenged the ruling.
A provincial magistrate agreed with Hwacha, resulting in the case being
forwarded to the High Court.
Yesterday, Negomo accompanied by his aide Dugmore Chimukoko, filed his
appeal at the Supreme Court claiming Justice Patel undermined his authority.
Negomo now wants the Supreme Court to confirm the ruling he delivered in
December last year at his traditional court at Gweshe Business Centre.
“What the High Court sadly did by that irregular precedent was akin to say
that a chief should stand idle when abominations are committed in his area
until someone complains,” read Negomo’s court papers.
He said Patel’s ruling renders traditional leaders useless as the procedure
he demanded was inapplicable to them.
“That common law rule is not applicable in customary law. That is why chiefs
are not asked to recuse themselves when presiding over cases where their
relatives within their areas of jurisdiction appear before them,” said the
appeal by Negomo.
Negomo further claims that Justice Patel did not dispute Tsvangirai did
marry in the month of November and was not against the traditional law which
puts the month as a taboo.
“The High Court did not say that what the Respondent did by marrying in a
sacred month of November is taboo but demands a plaintiff separate from the
chief as he is a presiding officer,” read Negomo’s court papers.
Since December last year, Negomo has been involved in a legal battle with
Tsvangirai after he supposedly married Karimatsenga.
In his appeal papers, Negomo said Patel’s ruling undermined his authority as
a traditional chief over his subjects and customs.
Negomo defended the use of Morris Nyikadzino as the appellant in the High
“The High Court misdirected itself in speculating on the identity of the
Plaintiff as a result of its failure to correct the error committed by the
provincial magistrate of not affording the Appellant the right to make
representations and therefore failed to appreciate the fact that Morris
Nyikadzino being the Ancestor of the Negomo clan, is the name used to
represent Chief Negomo,” said Negomo.
Tsvangirai engaged Elizabeth Macheka at a private ceremony in Harare last
Elizabeth is the daughter of Zanu PF Central Committee member and former
Chitungwiza mayor Joseph Macheka, while Locadia is the younger sister to
Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi, Biata Nyamupinga.
Police officers who were providing security at the traditional Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF) Delta media cocktail party on Wednesday
looted beer which was meant for the scribes.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare
Journalists and invited guests were shocked when the police officers who
were manning the gates when the cocktail commenced suddenly left the gates
unattended and took control of beer serving. The police officers who were
wielding baton sticks ordered Delta officials from serving journalists
"The journalists have been drinking beer while we were guarding the gates.
The beer which has left is now ours. The journalists have had their share,"
said one of the officers as he stood guard to one of the beer fridges.
At one point the police officers threatened to beat the journalist if they
continue demanding the beer. One journalist who attended the party described
the police's behaviour as unacceptable.
"This was a function for journalists and I wonder why the police took our
beer. In future the organisers of this cocktail should put their house in
order. When I am invited to a party like this, I do not expect any
harassment from anyone especially the police," said the journalist who
refused to be named for fear of victimisation.
Delta spokesperson, George Mutendadzamera could not be reached for comment.
CONSTITUTION WATCH 2012
[26th April 2012]
COPAC Directed by GPA Principals to Deliver Second Draft of Constitution Next Week
Lead Drafters have Finished their Work on Second Draft
On Monday 23rd April the lead drafters ended their current drafting session. Working closely with COPAC Co-chairs Forum, they have gone as far as they can on the second draft. Unfortunately this is incomplete because COPAC has still not resolved contentious issues. On 25th April the COPAC co-chairs announced delivery of the second draft, still incomplete, to COPAC Management Committee.
Directive From GPA Principals
Minister of Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu made a statement on Wednesday that at the Cabinet meeting of Tuesday 24th April the three principals in the inclusive government, President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara, had complained about the delay in concluding the constitution-making process and directed that the Management Committee of the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee [COPAC] responsible for the process deliver the revised draft constitution to them next week. The Minister said Cabinet unanimously agreed with the principals. He also reported that the principals had expressed concern at the failure by both the Select Committee and the Management Committee to inform the principals about any challenges they may be facing in the constitution-making process and they had now directed the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga, who chairs the Management Committee, to brief Cabinet regularly on its progress.
Minister Shamu’s statement also included a reminder that President Mugabe told the ZANU-PF Central Committee last month that if the Referendum on the new constitution was not held by May, he would announce a date for the new elections.
Problems Raised by this Directive
An argument has raged in the last three COPAC Management Committee meetings about whether they have an obligation to hand the draft over to the principals. Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga stated that the MDC position is that they do not have an obligation to hand it over to the three principals, but to their party presidents. This argument is fuelled by the fact that MDC negotiators on the Management Committee do not recognise Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara as their party president – although he is still occupying the role of GPA principal. The Management Committee will be having another meeting on Monday 30th April to try and resolve this argument and to settle the remaining contentious issues. Even if the dispute is resolved in favour of submitting the draft to the party principals, it is unlikely that the principals will get it in time for the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. There are still the parked issues.
Issues Still to be Resolved by Management Committee
The issues on which the COPAC Select Committee could not agree and which accordingly are still not provided for in the second draft, have been referred up the line to the Management Committee. They are:
· Devolution of power – this involves matters such as the structure of the provinces, how many provinces and provincial governors there should be, and how many people will sit in provincial parliaments. [Comment: Professor Welshman Ncube’s MDC formation has already said it will not sign a constitution unless the provisions on devolution are acceptable to it. ZANU-PF spokespersons on the other hand have stressed that they think devolution will threaten Zimbabwe as a unitary state. An acceptable compromise may be difficult to arrive at.]
· Executive structure – the question is the number of Vice-Presidents the constitution should allow [in the present constitution it is either one or two, but many countries manage with only one]. [The pressure for two is from ZANU-PF – presumably because the 1987 Unity Accord between ZANU-PF and ZAPU calls for two Vice-Presidents.] It is already agreed there will be no Prime Minister.
· Dual citizenship – although it has been agreed that Zimbabwean citizens by birth are entitled to dual citizenship, differences remain over the circumstances in which an individual will lose his or her Zimbabwean citizenship.
It remains to be seen whether the Management Committee and/or the principals/party presidents can resolve the remaining issues. Only once they have been resolved can final instructions be given to the lead drafters to incorporate the agreements into a final, complete, draft.
Will Management Committee be able to Resolve “Parked” Issues
It is doubtful that the Management Committee at their meeting on Monday will in one day be able to finish with issues that have remained unresolved all this time – unless they decide, like COPAC, to park these issues and leave them to the principals/party presidents to decide. There have been many conflicting views – between parties, between personalities both in the Select Committee and among the co-chairs, and in the Management Committee. In addition there now seem to be conflicts between the party negotiators and the rest of COPAC, with last week seeing a blame game being played between some of the negotiators and the COPAC co-chairs. The co-chairs said COPAC could not finish the draft until they had been told through the Management Committee how the remaining unresolved issues were to be handled. Two of the negotiators said members of the Management Committee could not meaningfully consult the principals on those issues without seeing the second draft as far as COPAC had been able to take it. This has been arranged, with the delivery of the draft now ready, i.e., with the parked issues, but it does not bode well for getting those parked issues solved.
Reminder – Members of COPAC Management Committee
The composition of the Management Committee is as follows:
Chairperson: Eric Matinenga, Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Party negotiators: Patrick Chinamasa, Nicholas Goche, alternate, Emerson Mnangagwa [ZANU-PF], Tendai Biti, Elton Mangoma [MDC-T]; Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Moses Mzila Ndlovu [MDC]
COPAC co-chairs: Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana [ZANU-PF], Douglas Mwonzora [MDC-T], Edward Mkhosi [MDC
Will The Principals/Party Presidents be able to Expedite the Process
If there is an impasse over the still unresolved issues and they go to the principals/party presidents, it still seems doubtful whether this will expedite producing a final draft constitution. Each principal/party president is likely to consider the draft separately and take advice from his own party before having a combined discussion. Advisors may have different ideas to COPAC or even the negotiators in the Management Committee. An example of this possibility is that there are reports that the President wants to have his own advisory team when he come to consider the draft. Considering who he is reported to have in mind, this process could delay a final draft constitution even further or in an extreme scenario put an end to any hope of getting a new constitution.
A Potential Stumbling-Block? After the ZANU-PF Politburo and Central Committee meetings at the end of March a press report suggested that the party had set up a team to handle the constitution-making process, consisting of Ministers Chinamasa, Goche and Mnangagwa – the party’s GPA negotiators – and Jonathan Moyo, Jacob Mudenda, Tafataona Mahoso, Goodwills Masimirembwa and Alexander Kanengoni. Its task would apparently be advisory, to highlight disputed issues in the COPAC draft Apart from Jonathan Moyo and Tafataona Mahoso, all the team members are associated with the COPAC process either as members of the Management Committee [the three Ministers] or ZANU-PF representatives on the COPAC technical committee that has been assisting the drafting process. The presence of Professor Moyo and Mr Mahoso is interesting, because in recently published articles both have been outspoken opponents of the COPAC process and the contents of the COPAC draft. And Mr Mudenda and Mr Masimirembwa were co-authors of the scathing attack on the first four draft chapters of the new constitution printed in the Herald in December last year. Did this move, not publicly confirmed since, signal a possible ZANU-PF rejection of an eventual COPAC draft, notwithstanding ZANU-PF’s full participation in the process so far through its co-chair Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana and the other ZANU-PF parliamentarians who are the party’s representatives on the COPAC Select Committee? Hostile reactions in the State media [how do they always get the “leaked” draft before anyone else?] suggest that there is continuing strong opposition to its contents within ZANU-PF.
May Referendum Impossible
The President’s desire for a Referendum in May is obviously going to be impossible to satisfy. Even if a draft is agreed by all, the steps between agreed draft and Referendum – translations, time for people to study and evaluate it, the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference, possible alterations, presenting it in Parliament, and its gazetting in its final form – will take months. Finance would have to be raised, the Zimbabwe Election Commission, which will conduct the Referendum, will need time to prepare, etc. It remains to be seen if the President’s threat to announce the date of the next election if there is no Referendum in May was merely to expedite the process – or if he really will do so.
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