The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

'White African' Mike Campbell dies

By Alex Bell
06 April, 2011

Chegutu farmer Mike Campbell, who led an historic legal battle against
Robert Mugabe in the regional human rights Tribunal, has passed away. In
2008 Campbell was abducted and seriously beaten in connection with the legal
case, which made history when the Tribunal ruled that Mugabe’s land grab
campaign was unlawful. He was once again leading another landmark legal case
in the Tribunal this year, but passed away on Wednesday afternoon.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe distances himself from attack on Zuma

Apr 6, 2011 10:44 AM | By Sapa

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe distanced himself from his state media's
blistering comments on South African President Jacob Zuma, in a bid to end a
diplomatic spat between the neighbours.

Last week, the government mouthpiece Sunday Mail published an editorial
calling Zuma "erratic" and "disaster-prone", and criticised his tough stance
on Zimbabwe and his support for the no-fly zone in Libya.

"A lot of dire reading has been made out of this week's Sunday Mail
editorial comment and an opinion piece it carried on the same matter,"
Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba said in full-page statement printed in
the state-run Herald newspaper.

"The opinion of the Sunday Mail has been conflated with the opinion of the
government of Zimbabwe," he said.

Charamba said his statement reflected "views and concerns of the government
of Zimbabwe and puts this needless conflation to rest".

Mugabe himself lashed out Friday at the 15-nation Southern African
Development Community, after Zuma and other leaders at a security summit
slapped him on the wrist over escalating political violence ahead of
elections expected later this year.

"We are a sovereign country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We
will resist that," Mugabe said.

The Sunday Mail went further, with a personal assault on Zuma. The paper
described him as a "liability, not only to South Africa, but also to the
rest of the continent".

An accompanying opinion piece said "President Zuma is now tainted beyond
recovery by the Libyan situation" after South Africa voted on the UN
Security Council in favour of imposing a no-fly zone.

Zuma's office issued a lengthy reply to the criticism, saying if Zimbabwe
wanted to understand its position on Libya they should contact the South
African government through the normal channels.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

SA insists Zimbabwe sticks to election deal

Tense International Relations Minister takes stern line on Zimbabwe unity
Published: 2011/04/06 06:40:13 AM

A TENSE and visibly irritated International Relations Minister Maite
Nkoana-Mashabane took a stern line with Zimbabwe’s unity government

"We will refuse the temptation to respond in anger because we have a
responsibility to focus on the mandate given (to us) by the Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) as facilitators," she said at a briefing in
Pretoria. She said SA remained resolute that it would enforce the conditions
of the Global Political Agreement .

It was forged three years ago and culminated in the formation of a coalition
government between Zimbabwe’s main political parties .

Zanu (PF) and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
agreed to draft a new constitution before elections were held. However,
President Robert Mugabe vowed to hold elections this year and accused Sadc
leaders of interfering in the affairs of his country.

Ms Nkoana-Mashabane said the inclusive government of Zimbabwe should
finalise constitutional amendments and hold a referendum, which were
"necessary steps for the holding of elections".

"Sadc remains the guarantor for the full implementation of the Global
Political Agreement. So there’s no lowering of the guard by Sadc on playing
that role," she said. "The status quo (the agreement) remains because that’s
the mandate we got from the people of Zimbabwe."

Ms Nkoana-Mashabane distanced the Zuma administration from former president
Thabo Mbeki ’s "quiet diplomacy", insisting President Jacob Zuma had a
different approach .

Mr Zuma was heavily criticised in Zimbabwe’s state media last weekend.
"Bemused people have often asked: how does the disaster- prone Zuma manage
to run Africa’s biggest economy?" a Sunday Mail editorial asked. "The answer
is really simple: he does not run anything, not even a tuck shop in Soweto.

"President Zuma and Sadc — individually and collectively — have no legal or
moral authority to meddle in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs."

Last week Mr Zuma took the unprecedented step of inviting MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal to hear his grievances.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Amnesty: Zim mass grave bodies must be exhumed by experts


April 6 2011

Zimbabwe: Mass grave bodies must be exhumed by forensic experts

Hundreds of bodies found in a mass grave in Zimbabwe may never be identified
unless professional forensic experts carry out the exhumations, Amnesty
International warned today.

Bodies recently discovered in the Mount Darwin area in northern Zimbabwe,
have been shown on Zimbabwean television being bundled into plastic bags and
old sacks to await re-burial increasing the risk that evidence of serious
human violations could be lost.

“This is a crime scene and exhumations require professional forensic
expertise to enable adequate identification, determination of cause of death
and criminal investigations,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s
deputy director for Africa.

”Families of the victims expect the bodies to be identified and to be given
decent burials in line with traditional and religious practice. As such,
these bodies cannot simply be consigned to history without proper forensic
tests to determine who they are and how and why they died.”

In early March 2011, the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
Television (ZBC-TV) reported the exhumations of hundreds of bodies from a
site in Monkey William Mine/Chibondo Mine in Mt. Darwin district.

ZBC-TV claimed the bodies are those of people killed by the Rhodesian forces
in the 1970s during the country’s war of independence.

Exhumations were initially carried out by members of the Fallen Heroes
Trust, a group linked to President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, before
government officials took over.

On 27 March, the co-Minister of Home Affairs Mr Kembo Mohadi told ZBC-TV
that the government was taking over the exhumations from the Fallen Heroes

However, given the scale of human remains discovered so far and the failings
of the government to immediately secure the site, Amnesty International is
concerned that international best practice on exhumations is not being
adhered to.

“The Zimbabwe government must ensure that exhumations are professionally
conducted according to international standards to properly establish cause
of death, ensure proper identification and, where possible, to return
remains to family members,” said Michelle Kagari.

”If the Zimbabwe government does not have the capacity to undertake these
exhumations properly it must ask for international co-operation and
assistance to ensure that forensic experts can undertake the exhumations.”

Mishandling of these mass graves has serious implications on potential
exhumations of other sites in Zimbabwe. Thousands of civilians were also
killed in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the mid 1980s and are
allegedly buried in mine shafts and mass graves in these regions.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Judge to rule on Mt Darwin exhumations

06/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

ZIPRA war heroes have gone to court to stop the on-going exhumation of what
are claimed to be remains of the 1970s liberation war combatants in a mine
shaft in Mt Darwin, Mashonaland Central.

A Bulawayo judge on Wednesday reserved judgement in the application by the
Zimbabwe People’s Liberation Army Veterans Trust which says the exhumations
must follow a “legal process”.

The Fallen Heroes’ Trust, an organisation aligned with independence war
veterans from the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), began
exhuming skeletons from a disused mine in Mt Darwin last month.

The Fallen Heroes Trust says it has so far recovered over 600 skeletons,
thought to be victims of atrocities committed by Rhodesian forces in the
1970s bush war, leading up to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

But the exhumations have sparked controversy, with pathologists suggesting
visual evidence may point to more recent killings in a nation plagued by
election violence and politically motivated murders.

The opposition ZAPU and the Welshman Ncube-led MDC have demanded that the
exhumations be done by pathologists, with a view to determining the
identities of the dead.

The ZIPRA Veterans Trust, through its legal team headed by Advocate Lucas
Nkomo, filed a court application last week saying it had concerns that some
of the skeletons may belong to its members.

The ZIPRA veterans says some of its fighters based at 2:1 Infantry Battalion
in Mount Darwin died or disappeared during the ZIPRA-ZANLA clashes at the
time of demobilisation at independence.

“This is the same area where the Fallen Heroes Trust and George Rutanhire
are conducting the on-going exhumations of remains of persons found in a
disused mineshaft,” ZIPRA Veterans Trust chairman Retired Colonel Lazarus
Ncube said in an affidavit filed at the Bulawayo High Court.

Ncube said his organisation has a direct interest and right to take part in
or be consulted regarding any programme of exhumation of the remains of
persons who died during the war of liberation or during the
post-independence military or political hostilities in Zimbabwe.

He added: “During the period from about 1980 to 1988, there are ZIPRA
fighters who died and others who disappeared during a military operation in
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces by the Fifth Brigade, commonly known as

“The Fifth Brigade Gukurahundi operation not only affected ZIPRA members but
over 20,000 civilians as documented by the Legal Resources Foundation and
the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe in a report titled
‘Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in
Matabeleland and Midlands, 1980 to 1988', published in February 1997.

“The Fallen Heroes Trust and George Rutanhire have not consulted all
stakeholders and interested parties before embarking on the on-going
exhumations in Mt Darwin.

“The government does not seem to be involved in the on-going exhumations,
yet the exhumation of the remains of persons who died during the
pre-independence and post-independence military and political hostilities is
of undoubted national significance as it touches on many people countrywide
whose relatives died during that time.”

Justice Nicholas Mathonsi said he would rule on the matter on Thursday after
determining the ZIPRA veterans’ “locus standi” on events happening in

The skeletons found in a mine shaft of the remote Monkey William Mine, about
160km north-east of Harare, have brought a macabre thrust to election
campaigning in Zimbabwe — but the presence of some corpses still with skin,
hair and body fluids has raised doubts over claims white colonial-era troops
committed the massacres more than 30 years ago.

The Fallen Heroes of Zimbabwe Trust, a previously little known group made up
of President Robert Mugabe's loyalists, last month launched a programme to
exhume skeletons in the mine shaft saying the country's former white rulers
were guilty of human rights violations that far outweigh any accusations of
rights abuses levelled against Mugabe's party and his police and military.

Zimbabwe's sole broadcaster, in news bulletins and repeated interruptions to
regular programmes, has urged ordinary citizens to visit the disused mine in
the Chibondo, near the provincial centre of Mount Darwin, to witness the
horror of colonial atrocities.

Reporters taken to the mine on a trip organised by the Ministry of
Information said school children were bused there. Militants sang
revolutionary songs, shouted slogans and denounced whites and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's pro-Western party for its links with Britain, the former
colonial power.

"Down with whites. Not even one white man should remain in the country,"
villagers, evidently carefully choreographed, proclaimed. They danced at the
site in what was said to be an ancient ritual to appease the spirits of
those killed.
Villagers appeared to go into trances and others wept and simulated firing

Exhumed skeletons, bones and remains lay in random heaps, some covered by
sheets and blankets, near a pile of coffins. Hair and clothes were clearly
visible; one corpse wore black tennis shoes. The mine shaft emitted an
overwhelming stench.

Journalists who descended a 40-meter shaft found a body with what appeared
to be blood and fluids dripping onto the skulls below.

Jimmy Motsi, a leader of the trust group, told reporters the remains of more
than 640 bodies have already been removed. Four other mine shafts in the
district contain human remains, he said.

The Mount Darwin district saw some of the fiercest fighting in the
seven-year bush war waged by ZIPRA and ZANLA guerrillas that ended white
rule and swept President Mugabe to power.
Former colonial soldiers say guerrilla dead were disposed of in mass graves
often doused with gasoline or acid.

Forensic tests and DNA analysis of the remains won't be carried out, said
Saviour Kasukuwere, a cabinet minister. Instead, traditional African
religious figures will perform rites to invoke spirits that will identify
the dead, he said.

Kasukuwere said the Chibondo remains were discovered in 2008 by a gold
panner who crawled into the shaft. But spirits of war dead had long
"possessed" villagers and children in the district, he said.

"The spirits have refused to lie still. They want the world to see what
Smith did to our people. These spirits will show the way it's to be done,"
he said, referring to Ian Smith, the last white Prime Minister of the former
colony of Rhodesia.

"This is the extent of atrocities committed by the Smith regime. They loot
our resources and they close up the mine with our bodies."

Zimbabwe's own pathology and autopsy facilities have been crippled by the
country's economic meltdown under Mugabe's rule. No DNA testing is available

Maryna Steyn, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Pretoria in
South Africa, said human remains should not retain a strong stench after 30
"Usually, when we have remains that are lying around for more than a few
years, the bones are no longer odorous," she said.

Steve Naidoo, a pathologist at South Africa's University of KwaZulu-Natal,
said it "seemed strange" that bodies from three decades ago would still have
some skin.

"Bearing in mind that the bodies are exposed to an open environment, albeit
in a mine shaft, scavengers can access them quite easily. In 30 years, one
would expect complete and advanced skeletonisation," he said.

But Shari Eppel, a Zimbabwean activist of the Solidarity Peace Trust, said
in the group's latest Zimbabwe bulletin that the presence of soft tissues
"is not necessarily an indicator that these bones entered the grave more
recently, although it could be."

A process of mummification can occur when bodies are piled on top of each
other in large numbers and to all but the most expert eye "mummified flesh
will look the same as rotting soft tissues from a more recent era," Eppel

Only expert forensic anthropologists can establish ages, the sex and causes
and dates of death from a complete set of skeletal remains of one individual
and therefore "return identity and life experiences" to the dead.
The era of the manufacture of clothing, coins, belt buckles and other items
would also be taken into account.

Eppel said the human remains are being indiscriminately hauled from the
Chibondo mine shaft without decency, respect or any regard for traditional
African customary beliefs on reverence for the deceased.

"What is happening ... is a travesty. Bones speak quietly and in a language
only an expert can hear. Let's not silence them forever, but bring them the
help they need to be heard," she said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Riot police and teargas at memorial for murdered MDC

By Tererai Karimakwenda
06 April, 2011

Armed riot police are reported to have assaulted supporters of the MDC-T who
attended a memorial service on Wednesday at Warren Park cemetery outside
Harare. Witnesses said teargas was also used on the crowd, without any
provocation or warning. The incident took place just after MDC President
Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the crowd at the cemetery and food was about to
be served.

The memorial was to honour five MDC activists who were murdered by ZANU PF
agents during the violent 2008 election period. A religious service was
first held at the Dutch Reformed Church in Mabvuku, where Tsvangirai
described the murdered activists as the “true heroes of our time” who died
pursuing “genuine democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe”.

The memorial then continued at Warren Park cemetery, where some of the
victims are buried. SW Radio Africa spoke to an MDC member who was caught up
in the attacks. She said the notorious ZANU PF gang known as Chipangano
showed up at the cemetery and assaulted people without any provocation. MDC
youth and security at the location fought back and drove them away.

But according to the witness, truckloads of riot police arrived not long
after and spread out through the crowd. “People did not run away because it
appeared as though they were there to protect us,” she said. But without
warning they started assaulting people and throwing teargas into the crowd.
It is not clear whether any arrests were made. Our witness said some people
were hospitalized.

The five murdered activists that were honoured are Abigail Chiroto, Tonderai
Ndira, Better Chokururama, Cain Nyevhe and Godfrey Kauzani. They were killed
by ZANU PF agents during a brutal campaign against the MDC which followed
the March 2008 elections. Tsvangirai withdrew from the presidential runoff
against Robert Mugabe due to the violence. The MDC has said that over 500 of
their members were murdered during this period.

Abigail was the wife of Harare’s deputy Mayor, Emmanuel Chiroto. She was
abducted by security agents along with her young son, in front of whom she
was murdered. Her body was later discovered at a nearby farm.

Tonderai Ndira was dragged out of his home in Mabvuku at gunpoint on May
14th. His decomposed body was discovered with gunshots in Goromonzi almost a
month later.

On the same day Ndira was abducted, Chokururama, Kauzani and Nyevhe were
abducted in Murehwa. Their bodies were also found later found in Goromonzi,
at different locations.

In his memorial address, MDC President Tsvangirai said it was important to
reflect on “the lives of the many gallant sons and daughters who were
callously murdered for their belief in democratic change in Zimbabwe”.

He urged police commissioner Augustine Chihuri to arrest all perpetrators of
violence saying; “In the absence of arrests and prosecution, history will
record that the police force in this country folded its arms and closed its
eyes while the merchants of violence killed and brutalised innocent

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Speech by President Tsvangirai, on the occasion of the memorial service and unveiling of the tombstones of heroes of democracy

Wednesday, 06 April 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, We gather here today in remembrance of the true heroes of our time; four gallant men who died in pursuit of genuine democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe.

Today is an important day in our unfolding journey towards full democracy as we take time to reflect on the lives of the many gallant sons and daughters who were callously murdered for their belief in democratic change in Zimbabwe. From the time of the liberation struggle, ours has always been a story of a heroic people who have always fought oppression and repression of whatever nature. Whether the repression is white on black or black on black.

Ours is the unfolding story of a brave people who are prepared to die for their beliefs; a committed people of fighters prepared to pay the ultimate price so that we can all live in an atmosphere of peace, freedom and prosperity. It is a story of courage; a tale of selflessness in which thousands of patriotic Zimbabweans have lost their lives so that our hopes and national aspirations can live again.

Yes, dedicated Zimbabweans have lost their limbs so that the wishes and aspirations of future generations can be realised. Today, we gather here to remember and celebrate the lives of Tonderai Ndira, Better Chokururama, Cain Nyevhe and Godfrey Kauzani.

These four were brutally murdered for their political beliefs and the tearful memories of their lives and their painful death will remain etched in the collective memory of this nation for a long time to come. They fought for a just cause and they died in the course of national duty.

They were ordinary, unarmed citizens with an unstinting belief in democracy and faith in bringing real change to Zimbabwe. They had families and relatives, many of whom are gathered here today. But they had a higher calling to serve the nation and its people, beyond the narrow and selfish interests of serving their immediate families and relatives.  To them, Zimbabwe mattered more than their villages and their immediate families!

We must equally remember the many innocent Zimbabweans across the country  that have been killed in senseless political violence over the years.
We remember them.
We salute them.
We treasure and celebrate their lives and the only worthy gesture we can make is to create a peaceful and a violence-free Zimbabwe which they cherished and for which they paid the ultimate price.

The liberation struggle, the Gukurahundi massacres and our own struggle for democracy have resulted in needless casualties of great magnitude; a magnitude that must be shameful to ourselves as the leadership of this great country. We have recently witnessed the exhumation of dead bodies in one corner of the country for cheap political gain. We should accord those that died violent and unnatural deaths the respect they deserve.

We should ensure that in creating a final resting place for their earthly remains, we leave no stone unturned in determining who killed them and why and ensuring that their relatives achieve the disclosure they deserve. There are victims of violence all over Zimbabwe, including the bodies of Ndira and others whom we are remembering here today.

There are graves in Matabeleland the Midlands provinces ; innocent victims of a senseless and systematic genocide and we all wonder whether the current exhumations will spread to that corner of the country as well.  I know all of us here are angry and tormented; not least because those who were close to us were violently killed by the merchants of death.

We are angry because the perpetrators of these heinous acts are walking scot-free and the police have not even bothered to make a single arrest.
Joseph Mwale, the alleged murderer of Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika in that gruesome murder in April 2000, remains in the employ of the State and a free man despite overwhelming evidence against him. He is a living example of the culture of impunity that has afflicted this country; a true testimony of the failure of the justice system in Zimbabwe.

We are angry because our parents, our brothers, our husbands and our wives were killed in State-sponsored violence, which is a cruel irony because it is the duty of the State to protect citizens and not harm them. We are angry because the Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri has chosen to engage in selective application of the law and to personalise what should otherwise be a State-institution.

There has been no single arrest of these murderers and all perpetrators of violence and this has made the majority of our people to lose faith and confidence in the police force as a people’s institution.

We urge Commissioner Chihuri to arrest all perpetrators of violence without fear or favour and without the needless selective application of the law. In the absence of arrests and prosecution, history will record that the police force in this country folded its arms and closed its eyes while the merchants of violence killed and brutalised innocent civilians.

We are angry because once again, we are seeing the resurgence of the same culture of impunity and State-sponsored violence and I know we are all saying: “Not again.” We are however heartened that our brothers in SADC have now realised that violence as orchestrated by partisan state institutions is the single major threat to democracy in Zimbabwe and stability in the whole region.

Today, we make a bold statement that no amount of violence will stop an idea whose hour has come. We stand here to celebrate the triumph of peace over violence, light over darkness and good over evil. We are all here as survivors of a dark era which must not return again to this country because it is dehumanising, unAfrican and an assault to the ideals of our liberation struggle.

The theme of today’s event is “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5 verse 9).

Indeed, we call for peace in Zimbabwe. We call for a peaceful election in which the people’s rights for free expression, movement, speech and assembly are respected. We call for a roadmap to a violence-free election in Zimbabwe in which everyone is free to choose their leaders and live in peace. That is the Zimbabwe which the gallant sons and daughters of this country died for.

And that is the Zimbabwe for which Tonderai Ndira, Cain Nyevhe, Godfrey Kauzani, Better Chokururama and many others across the country paid the ultimate prize. We shall continue our determined fight for such a peaceful Zimbabwe until we achieve full democracy in our motherland. Only then can the souls of our departed loved ones rest in eternal peace.

God bless you and God bless Zimbabwe.

I thank you

MDC Information & Publicity Department

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

94pc of MDC-T rallies approved: Chihuri

06/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

POLICE Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has dismissed claims by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party that the ZRP was barring its rallies,
insisting that 94 percent of applications by the party had been approved
this year.

The MDC-T accuses the police of selective application of the law and turning
a blind eye to perpetrators of political violence linked to President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

Tsvangirai repeated the allegations on Wednesday at a memorial service for
youths the party claims were killed by suspected state agents in 2008.

“We are angry because the Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri has chosen
to engage in selective application of the law and to personalise what should
otherwise be a State-institution,” Tsvangirai said.

“There has been no single arrest of these murderers. We urge Commissioner
Chihuri to arrest all perpetrators of violence without fear or favour and
without the needless selective application of the law.”

However, in a report prepared for a cabinet committee following complaints
by the MDC-T, 644 political gatherings were allowed to go ahead by the
police out of 682 applications by the party. This represented a 94 percent
approval rate for MDC-T meetings.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube made 31 notifications and 29 (94 percent) were
sanctioned while Zanu PF had 816 notifications with 788 (97 percent) being

Chihuri said in the instances applications were not approved, the MDC-T had
deliberately organised their activities on the same days as important
national events.

"Despite being in the inclusive government, the MDC-T does not only ignore
national events but even has the audacity to despise those events on the
national calendar like the Heroes Day," he said.

The police commissioner said political parties could not be allowed to do as
they please otherwise the police force -- which numbers 30,000 for a
population of 13 million people – would not be able to cope.

"If each individual was allowed to do as he/she pleased, holding parallel
events to national events, no doubt the ZRP will fail in its mandate to
maintain peace in the land,” he said.

"The ZRP will not brook any spurious, vexatious and cheap propaganda stunt
targeted at portraying the organisation as partisan."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tsvangirai's MDC refute Zimbabwe police claims

by MDC Information Department
2011 April 06 20:04:02

MDC-T dismisses media claims made today by the Police Commissioner - General
Augustine Chihuri that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has sanctioned 94
percent of the meetings and rallies.

The statement is a clear negation of facts. The police chief has in the past
openly shown that he is a partisan public officer when he declared that he
was a supporter of Zanu PF.

The MDC stands by its position that the police have been denying the party
to hold its meetings and rallies across the country in clear defiance of the
Public Order and Security Act (Posa).

According to Posa, the police needs only to be notified that a political
party is holding a meeting and they have no right to deny that.

Only two weeks ago, the MDC was at the courts appealing against a police
decision in Harare to deny the party from holding a People's Peace rally at
Zimbabwe Grounds and Glamis Arena. The peace rally has been cancelled three
times consecutively.

It was claimed that Zanu PF had booked the two venues. The Harare City
Council even wrote an affidavit dismissing these claims.

Senior police officers have been quoted on record declaring that the banning
of MDC rallies was because the country was on some false high alert.

However, what the MDC finds amazing is that another political party – the
unpopular Zanu PF has been granted and escorted by the police to hold their
meetings.  Most of the Zanu PF meetings have turned violent as the rowdy
Zanu PF youths looted and assaulted innocent people but no arrests were

The MDC has evidence that the party's internal congress meetings have been
disrupted across the country especially in Bulawayo, Marondera, Masvingo,
Chinhoyi, Mudzi, Victoria Falls, Hwange and Mutare.

MDC members have been arrested, some beaten for attending internal party

As a Party of Excellence, the MDC feels that it has not been treated fairly
by the ZRP when it comes to holding its peaceful meetings especially at a
time when the party is preparing for its crucial 3rd Main National Congress
to be held in Bulawayo.

For the record, below are just some of the various MDC meetings that have
been disrupted by the police in recent weeks;

Bulawayo Province notified the police of eight meetings. However, seven of
them failed to take place because the police dispersed MDC members who had
gathered for the meetings.

In Chitungwiza province, of the eight meetings scheduled this year, five
were disrupted by the police and three were refused clearance.

In Mashonaland East province, two of the scheduled meetings were refused
clearance and did not take place.

By the time Midlands North province applied for their one intended rally in
Kadoma, the police had instituted a ban on MDC programmes nationwide.

On 5 February 2011 – Collin Ndlovu and Alward Mhlanga are arrested in Njube
Bulawayo at a ward meeting and are charged US$20 each for holding an illegal

On 8 February 2011 – Police in Mufakose, Highfield and Budiriro bar MDC
members from holding ward Congress meetings.

On 12 February 2011 – At least 51 MDC Harare province Youth Assembly members
who are arrested by the police in Mabvuku for holding an illegal meeting
they are released on 14 February after heavy interrogation and harassment.

On 6 March 2011 - Lucia Matibenga, an MDC executive member who had travelled
to Bulawayo to oversee the province's restructuring exercise was told by the
police in riot gear to order party members gathered at the provincial office
to disperse.  Two of police officers, Superintendent Fumai and another
Superintendent Moyo said they had been sent by a Chief Superintendent Masina
to tell them to disperse because the country was on high alert.

On 26 March 2011 – An MDC ward meeting is disrupted at Beit Hall in

On 12 March 2011 – All ward Congress meetings are disrupted by the police in
Mberengwa East.

On 13 March 2011- 10 MDC youth activists from Chitungwiza are arrested
outside Harvest House, the party's headquarters as they leave the offices
after attending a Zengeza East Youth Assembly congress meeting.

Out of the 30 meetings that the MDC notified to the police, only one rally
took place in 20 February Mkoba. The MDC therefore finds that Chihuri's
claim that 94 percent of MDC meetings were approved is not only a gross
misrepresentation but a miss on facts by a significant margin.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zuma’s team back in Harare for more talks on electoral roadmap

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 April 2011

The South African facilitation team to the crisis in Zimbabwe is in Harare,
to push for a speedy drafting and implementation of a roadmap ahead of
elections now likely to be held early next year.

Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor, told
SW Radio Africa the team was in Harare for talks with the negotiators to the
Global Political Agreement.

‘Yes we are in Harare and I can’t say much because I’m actually in a
meeting,’ Zulu said. Latest talks on the roadmap started on Monday in Harare
following the SADC Troika summit in Livingstone, Zambia that censured Robert
Mugabe for the slow pace of implementing the GPA.

It has long been hoped that the full implementation of the GPA would allow
at least minimum conditions for a free and fair election. But Mugabe and his
ZANU PF party have delayed the process in the hope of unilaterally calling
an election without any reforms in place, including a new constitution.

A senior MDC-N official said the outstanding points in the GPA must be
implemented if there is to be any hope of a free and fair election.

‘We impressed upon our negotiators after the Livingstone summit that we
should have a new constitution in place first before anybody can talk about
elections. More importantly the roadmap should guarantee the security of
Zimbabweans, an end to violence and the introduction of a new voters' roll,’
the official said.

During the Troika summit in Livingstone, SADC resolved to appoint a team of
officials to join Zuma’s facilitation team on Zimbabwe, to ensure full
implementation of the GPA.
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that SADC wants this three member team
to be permanently based in Zimbabwe, despite misgivings from ZANU PF, which
has been at odds with resolutions adopted in Livingstone.

A source in Harare told us Zuma’s team was in Zimbabwe to work on expanding
the process and include civil society groups and other stakeholders to work
on the roadmap.

‘As it is both the MDC’s have already submitted their draft documents while
ZANU PF has not. I can only assume that they will present theirs this week,
after which the facilitation team will invite various stakeholders to work
with the three political parties to combine the drafts and come up with one
document,’ the source said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Intergovernmental African Delegation In Zimbabwe To Check Marange

06 April 2011

A high-powered African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) delegation is in
Zimbabwe to get firsthand information on diamond mining in Marange in
preparation for an ADPA Heads of State Summit, which will reportedly tackle
the Zimbabwe issue, reports the state-run The Herald. Earlier this week, the
visitors met Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu in Harare.

The ADPA is an intergovernmental organization that seeks to strengthen the
level of influence African diamond-producing countries have on the world
diamond market. Its delegation in Zimbabwe includes DRC Minister of Mines
and Energy Martin Kabuelulu, South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan
Shabangu, Namibian Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali and Guinea's Mines
and Geology Minister, Mohamed Lamine Fofana, reports the news source. Sierra
Leone's Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Abdul Ignosi Koroma,
and senior government officials from Ghana and Angola are also part of the
delegation that is also expected to visit the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

The visit comes about a month after the ADPA held an Extraordinary Council
of Ministers meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

"The ministers deemed it relevant to organise an ADPA Heads of State Summit
which would principally deal with the Zimbabwe issue as an initial step
before moving the matter to the African Union Heads of State," Minister
Mpofu said, as quoted by The Herald.

While meeting with the delegation, Minister Mpofu reportedly expressed his
enthusiasm over the recent Kimberley Process (KP) Chairman's decision to
allow the immediate resumption of rough exports from Marange despite a lack
of consensus on the matter by the participants of the KPCS.

"Our view is that the chair's intervention must be supported for initiating
measures which restore the fundamental principles of the KP with regard to
respect of equality, mutual benefits and consensus," said Mpofu, as cited by
the news source.

"Our anticipation is that ADPA is now well placed to spearhead an African
agenda which would place Africa in a much stronger bargaining position than
before," Minister Mpofu said, before adding that Zimbabwe would continue to
"enhance its KP compliance, particularly with regard to Marange," reports
The Herald.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim imports arms despite embargo

By Oscar Nkala
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 10:37

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe has been importing arms of war from countries like
China, Ukraine, Russia and Libya, a new study by Stockholm International
Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed.

The institute says by continuing to supply arms to Zimbabwe, even after the
controversial 2008 elections, the countries have weakened the impact of the
international arms embargo and exposed the inability of the EU and the US to
prevent its violation.

SIPRI blamed this on the lack of collective universal action in enforcing
the embargo. According to the report, Zimbabwe has been secretly importing
military equipment like automatic rifles. The report says Zimbabwe has also
been buying military equipment from Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech

The study, which was released on Monday in Stockholm, Sweden, was conducted
by SIPRI researcher Lukas Jeuck. It reveals that while China has always been
among the main arms supplier to Zimbabwe since independence, its role
expanded to that of chief arms supplier throughout the turbulent decade of
2000 and 2009 when the security forces were alleged to be at the forefront
of suppressing political prularity.

“For the period 2000-2009, China remained the largest supplier, accounting
for 39% of Zimbabwe’s imports of conventional weapons, followed by Ukraine
at 35% and Libya at 27%. Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have
exported small volumes of conventional arms to Zimbabwe since 2000, while
the Czech Republic was a supplier in the early 1990s,” the report says.

Despite well-established facts that China is the main arms supplier,
confusion surrounds the nature of weapons delivered to Zimbabwe.

“For example in 2004, it was reported that Zimbabwe was in the process of
acquiring 12 Chinese FC-1 combat trainer aircraft and 100 Dongfeng military
vehicles in a deal worth US$200 million. While Zimbabwe took delivery of the
Chinese-made armoured vehicles, assault rifles and support material via the
Mozambican port of Beira in early 2005, the FC-1 deal was not completed.”

The report also documented Zimbabwe’s acquisition of 12 Chinese K8 military
trainer aircraft in two batches in which the first six were delivered in
mid-2005 while the second batch of six was landed in 2006.

It also discussed the infamous incident in which an international outcry
prevented a Chinese registered ship, the An Yue Jiang, from docking and
unloading a Zimbabwean-bound weapons cargo that included heavy artillery
pieces at sea ports in Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Angola just
before the controversial 2008 elections when repression by the security
forces was at its worst height.

“It is unclear how Zimbabwe is paying for its arms imports from China, but
some have speculated that China is paid in land and mining rights,” the
report says of costs of the arms trade.

The report notes that although Russia is not known to have sold any arms to
Zimbabwe since the supply of MI-24 MP Hind combat helicopters for use in the
army’s operations in the DRC in 1999, the state arms trader Rosoboronexport
is actively cultivating Zimbabwe among its high-potential Sub-Saharan arms
importer nations.

“Russia was also said to have supplied 21 000 automatic rifles to Zimbabwe
before the elections in 2000. Other East European countries have been active
in exporting arms to Zimbabwe. Ukraine provided the engines for the 12 K8
trainer aircraft supplied by China. Zimbabwe also imported a small volume of
major conventional weapons from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia
between 2000 and 2001.”

The report also quotes the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics
Database as revealing a Brazilian export of shotgun ammunition worth US$2.3
million in 2003 although it remains unclear if these were destined for the
security forces, which were at that time busy suppressing mass protests
which the then opposition MDC tried to use to ask President Robert Mugabe to
step down.

“It is also difficult to identify the purposes of other acquisitions, such
as the three MIG-23 MS combat aircraft that were supplied by Libya in 2003
but which were never used operationally by Zimbabwe.”

The report concludes that the various regimes of US and EU arms embargoes on
Zimbabwe have had a mixed effect because only a limited number of states
that enforce the embargo were ever significant exporters to the Southern
African country.

The report warns it is possible that Zimbabwe is also being armed by
non-state party weapons exporters in the United States and the United

“There is anecdotal evidence that arms dealers based in the US and the UK
have been willing to breach the arms embargo, which implies that Zimbabwe
could also find Western (arms) suppliers.”

The study also found that South Africa, until recently the country’s
principal arms supplier on the African continent, has enforced the
anti-Zimbabwe embargo dutifully since 2009.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Ministers in tug of war

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 15:31

HARARE - The fight for control of town house between Local Government
minister Ignatius Chombo and his deputy Sessel Zvidzai has escalated with
Zvidzai insisting that the firing of three councillors and a moyor by Chombo
is legal.

Chombo fired two Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, councillors Warship
Dumba and Casper Takura in Harare, Clever Manhombo, a Zanu PF councillor in
Seke and Bindura mayor, Tinashe Madamombe on allegations of corruption and
dishonest conduct.

Yesterday, Zvidzai an MDC official, wrote a stinging letter to Zanu PF’s
Chombo saying he was not consulted on the firing of the councilors and mayor
and insisted that he also had the same powers as his boss.

Zvidzai’s letter comes after Harare mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda barred Dumba
and Takura from entering town house.

The two councillors, at the centre of investigating Chombo for corruption
had returned to Town House at the instigation of Zvidzai.

Wrote Zvidzai: “As Minister and Deputy, we are part of the Executive as
provided in Article 20.1.6 of the GPA, the effort is that whilst the Urban
Councils Act (29:15) contains peremptory provisions vesting authority in the
minister, such has been varied by the formation of the inclusive government
as adopted in terms of Act 1/2009,” read part of the letter written by
Zvidzai to Chombo.

Zvidzai said most of the fired councillors are from the MDC led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as some of the councillors who were fired were
part of a probe team that implicated Chombo in corruption.

“Councillors Dumba and Takura of Harare sat in an Audit Committee which
compiled an audit report in which you are alleged to have acquired several
pieces of land in Harare improperly,” Zvidzai said.

“The same councillors reported their findings to the police on your alleged
unlawful acquisition and subsequent illegal sale of subdivision of Nthaba of
Glen Lorne as police report ER-09/2011 among other reports filed of record.”

Zvidzai said Chombo again fired Bindura Mayor after he had instigated a
corruption probe on some councillors in Bindura who were accused of
unlawfully acquiring stands.

“Mayor Madamombe of Bindura Town council has initiated a probe against
Bindura councillors over allegations of unlawful acquisition of stands, the
same councillors who later petitioned your office for an order to dismiss
him from office and you upheld their petition knowing fully well that the
mayor had levelled allegations against the councillors,” Zvidzai said.

Schedule eight of section (115(2) and (3) states that “in the exercises of
executive, the President, Vice President, the Prime Minister, the deputy
Prime Minister, ministers and deputy minister must have regard to the
principles and spirit underlying the formation of the inclusive government
and accordingly act in a manner that seeks to promote cohesion both inside
and outside government.”

The deputy minister argued Chombo’s actions were illegal and that the
minister was acting outside the constitution of Zimbabwe.

“The provisions of Act 1/2009 (Amendment No.19) place an obligation on you
to consult your deputy minister who is duly vested with executive authority.

“As such any unilateral actions in the exercise of the said authority can be
interpreted as being ultra-vires the constitution,” he said.

Chombo is on record saying Zvidzai cannot reverse his decisions.

When Masunda barred Dumba and Takura, he said: “I don’t want to be caught
taking side between the minister and his deputy on this matter. The bottom
line of the issue is that they must approach the High Court and challenge
the decision made by the minister.”

“They will not be taken back into the council until they do that, we are not
expressing our views but we are saying let the law take its course.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabweans’ passports ready

April 6 2011 at 07:06pm

Passports of Zimbabweans who have applied for the documents are ready for
collection, the Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa said. Photo: Independent

Passports of Zimbabweans who have applied for the documents are ready for
collection, the Zimbabwe consulate in South Africa said on Wednesday.

“We are currently dealing with applications from Gauteng and will go to
other areas in the country at a later stage,” spokesman Chris Mapanga said.

However, if people who have applied for the passports in areas outside
Gauteng needed the documents urgently they could collect them from the
consulate's office in Meadowdale, Johannesburg.

Mapanga was responding to a statement earlier issued by Passop that the
consulate would allegedly not deliver passports to applicants outside
Gauteng and that there was a deadline for people to pick them up only at its
Johannesburg office by Friday, April 8

- despite some people having applied in various provinces across the

“Passop remains extremely concerned about the Zimbabwean government's
failure to deliver passports to its citizens in South Africa.

“The many thousands of people who applied and paid for passports in Cape
Town and other parts of South Africa should be able to collect their
passports where they applied,” spokesman Langton Miriyoga said in a

“The Zimbabwean consulate cannot withhold passports from its citizens who
paid for these passports, and it has an obligation to deliver passports in
line with the promises it has made,” he said.

Mapanga said people who had applied for passports outside Gauteng were a
small number and the consulate would go to their areas at a later stage to
deliver the passports.

He said people should visit the consulate's website on to check if their passports were available for

Mapanga said the consulate put up a deadline date for people in Gauteng to
collect their documents because some had not been fetching them. He said the
passports would still be available for collection after Friday's deadline.

The deadline was set to encourage people to collect their documents,
especially because the consulate was also planning to relocate its office
later in April to another area in Johannesburg.

Details of the move would be posted on its website soon, Mapanga said. -


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim passport ‘threat’ dismissed by SA refugee rights group

By Alex Bell
06 April 2011

The Zimbabwean consulate’s announcement that all available passports must be
collected from its Johannesburg office by Friday, has been dismissed as an
empty threat by a South African refugee rights group.

The Cape Town based PASSOP group said on Wednesday that a deadline announced
by the consulate for the collection of passports was no reason to panic.
PASSOP’s Braam Hanekom explained that a notice was placed on the consulate’s
website, saying all passports must be collected from Johannesburg by Friday,
regardless of where in South Africa applications were made for the
documents. That noticed has since been removed.

Hanekom told SW Radio Africa that traveling to Johannesburg to collect
passports was out of the question for most Zimbabweans in Cape Town and
other cities. The documents cost more than R700, a princely sum for the many
Zimbabweans scraping together a basic living in South Africa. Hanekom said
the additionally prohibitive cost of travel means that the Zim authorities
have an obligation to deliver the passports to where the applications were
originally made.

Hanekom said the Zimbabwean Consulate “appears to be trying to manipulate
both the South African government and to intimidate Zimbabwean citizens.”

“The Zim government has been manipulating the authorities in South Africa
using the Zimbabwean passport applicants as leverage for their own political
means,” Hanekom said.

This suspected ‘manipulation’ is related to the Zim government’s ongoing
failure to produce enough passports for the thousands of Zimbabweans who
have applied to regularise their stay in South Africa. The passports are
necessary to finalise the permit applications, which the South African
authorities are trying to do before August. But a deadline for the Zim
authorities to produce the documents has been extended twice, and only a
token effort appears to have been made to get passports rolled out.

South Africa has also extended its moratorium on Zimbabwean deportations
until August, in an effort to make sure that all the permit applications are
processed. But it is widely believe that officials within the Zim government
are deliberately trying to stall the delivery of passports, to ensure that
citizens in the Diaspora cannot vote in upcoming elections.

“We remain highly suspicious that the problems surrounding the delivery of
passports might be part of broader motivations by the Zimbabwean government
to obstruct this documentation project,” Hanekom said.

Meanwhile, some observers have commented that the Zim consulate’s efforts to
frustrate the documentation process could also be related to the region’s
apparent change of stance towards the Zim crisis. South Africa’s Jacob Zuma
has been blasted by the ZANU PF regime after he, together with other leaders
in the region, harshly criticised the violence and political deadlock in

The criticisms came during a summit of the regional SADC’s security organ in
Zambia, where SADC leaders apparently had strong words for Robert Mugabe
during closed door sessions. Mugabe left the Troika summit visibly angry and
South Africa’s Zuma has since been accused of ‘betrayal’. Some commentators
have said that the Zim authorities’ refusal to honour its commitments in
South Africa is a reaction to the fallout with Mugabe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

High Court Says Air Zimbabwe Workers Can Attach Carrier's Assets

Attached Air Zimbabwe property includes some 16 motor vehicles, 100
computers, 10 lathes and five milling machines

Gibbs Dube | Washington  05 April 2011

A High Court judge has authorized some Air Zimbabwe workers to dispose of
attached airline property to recover US$400,000 in unpaid salaries and

Attorney Selby Hwacha, representing Air Zimbabwe, said Justice Andrew Mutema
dismissed with costs his urgent application for a stay of execution and
instructed the deputy sheriff to sell Air Zimbabwe property attached in
November last year.

The property includes some 16 motor vehicles, 100 computers, 10 lathes and
five milling machines. The salaries and allowances concerned are for 2009
and 2010 work.

The strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots, engineers and cabin crew is in its third

Hwacha said he is exploring several options in order to save the airline
property from being sold by the deputy sherrif. But Bulawayo lawyer
Matshobana Ncube said the only option left for the national airline is to
pay its workers all outstanding wages.

“They still have a chance to avoid the auctioning of the property through
raising the needed cash and paying directly to the deputy sheriff together
with some legal costs incurred by the messenger of court,” Ncube said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZNA ‘retires’ soldiers to run ZEC

Written by Jane Makoni
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 14:27

HARARE - In anticipation of elections later this year the Zanu (PF) element
in government has ‘retired’ a number of army officers and moved them
permanently to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Some of the soldiers have been responsible for running elections in Zimbabwe
for the past eight years, and many helped President Robert Mugabe and Zanu
(PF) to rig the landmark 2008 elections.

A highly place ZEC source revealed that these Mugabe loyalists have been
‘retired’ from the army to become full time employees of the elections
monitoring body, which was re-constituted last year under the terms of the

“The partisan soldiers were permanently transferred to ZEC under the
pretence that they had terminated their services with the army. The truth of
the matter is that it was a desperate Zanu (PF) strategy to hoodwink the
world and maintain its influence on the outcome of the elections. Once a
partisan soldier, always a partisan soldier,” said the source.

But there seems to be a revolving door between the Zimbabwe National Army
(ZNA) and ZEC. Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba, who was said to have retired
from the army to run ZEC before the 2008 elections, is now back in the army.
He is commanding 3 Brigade in Manicaland and spearheading Zanu (PF)’s
election campaign in the province.

ZEC Director for Information, Shupikai Mashereni, was one of the former
soldiers, all reportedly die-hard Mugabe sympathisers, who was ‘retired’
from the army to protect Zanu (PF) interests within ZEC.

“Mashereni is a former public relations officer with the Army Public
Relations Directorate based at KG6 Barracks in Harare. He and others were
seconded to ZEC some eight years ago. Over the years other pro-Mugabe
soldiers, police officers, prison officials and war veterans have been moved
over to ZEC to manipulate the outcome of past elections,” said the source.

He added that, if ever Zimbabwe was to achieve free and fair elections,
there was an urgent need for a complete overhaul and recruitment of new
personnel at the country’s electoral supervisory commission.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chinese snap up prime property

Written by Radio VOP
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 08:33

HARARE - A Chinese company has snapped up prime properties in some of Harare’s
affluent locations in deals worth millions of dollars.

The properties were acquired through a Chinese cement company, SINO-Zimbabwe
Development Private Limited last year in October, but the Chinese only took
over management of the properties this year.

SINO-Zimbabwe is a joint venture company between a Chinese company and the
Zimbabwe government through the Infrastructural Development Corporation

The properties are in the exquisite suburbs of Borrowdale and Glen Lorne
which are highly sought after prime property areas.

Highly sought after

The Chinese bought Gecko Gardens located at number 306 Sunninghill Close in
Glen Lorne. The gardens are made up of a restaurant, conference and
accommodation facilities. Another property is the Highlands Park conference
and functions venue located at number 1 Worpleston in Glen Lorne. The
property, currently under renovations, is being used by the Chinese company
to accommodate its Chinese workers.

The Chinese also snapped up a jackpot in the famous Imba Matombo private
hotel which is located at 3 Albert Glen Close in Glen Lorne.

The other property now in the expanding Chinese property portfolio in
Zimbabwe is Pangolin Lodge which is at number 54 Carrick Creagh Road in
Borrowdale. The four properties which are worth millions of dollars,
according to estimates from several estate agents are prime leisure
locations in the capital.

During a visit to all the four properties by Radio VOP, workers at these
prime locations confirmed that the Chinese company had taken over. Several
cars with SINO-Zimbabwe inscriptions could be seen parked at Highlands Park
during the visit.

A consortium of white businessman used to own the highly sought after
properties in Harare.

No problem – AAG

The Affirmative Action Group (AAG), a Zimbabwean black empowerment group
said there was nothing wrong with the Chinese buying property as long as the
move was not used for speculative purposes.

But after being told the number of properties that SINO-Zimbabwe had bought,
Mandiwanzira said, “It will be a problem if they are now in the business of
buying a string of properties. We then need to understand why they are
buying so many of them because that pushes out locals in the property

Meanwhile the Parliament of Zimbabwe is planning an investigation into the
operations of Chinese mining companies operating in north of the country in
areas that are designated for wild life conservancy and safari.

The companies, San He Mining Company Private Limited Zimbabwe and Lebbenon
Investments are mining in pristine land set aside for wild life conservancy.

The chairperson of the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and
Energy, Chindori Chininga told Parliament his committee was keen to visit
the area.

The companies are said to be operating without Environmental Impact
Assessments (EIA) certificates.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Fresh Cholera Outbreak Hits Chiredzi

06/04/2011 17:03:00

Chiredzi, April 06, 2011 - Officials from Ministry of Health are battling to
control a serious Cholera outbreak which has hit Chiredzi district where
five deaths have been recorded since last week.

Sangwe and Chilonga areas are the most affected with official figures
indicating that Sangwe alone recorded 150 cases while Chilonga had 36.

Chiredzi district medical officer Dr Paul Ngere confirmed that his district
was under serious cholera outbreak but refused to give detailed information
to the press as he preferred to direct all the questions to the Provincial
Medical Director (PMD) Dr Robert Mudyiradima.

“We are currently battling to fight cholera here, however, I am not the best
person to give details to the press,” said Dr Ngere.

However, Dr Mudyiradima downplayed by neither denying nor accepting the
disease outbreak in the lowveld.

Nonetheless, Dr Mudyiradima accepted that he has since dispatched a team to
Chiredzi where they are expected to come out with what is ‘exactly taking
place on the ground’.

“Our officers who went to Chiredzi are not yet back. Once they come, we will
be able to give you exact information on what is exactly taking place on the
ground,” said Mudyiradima.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe’s SADC entourage blasted

Written by Chief Reporter
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 14:12

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe  travelled with a 65-strong crew to the
SADC Troika summit last Thursday, prompting observers to blast the needless
duplication of the security effort that cost the nation lots of scarce

The Zimbabwean president was seen taking off from the Livingstone
International Airport with 59 hangers-on at 9pm on Thursday, including at
least six medical personnel.
Also on the Air Zimbabwe plane – which only took off from Harare after
assuring striking Air Zimbabwe pilots they would get their allowances - was
Finance minister Tendai Biti.

In Livingstone, Mugabe made use of a golf cart to traverse the ubiquitous
Zambezi Sun Hotel during the duration of the Troika summit, underlining the
87-year-old President's waning health.
He struggles to walk now and sources say he could soon need a walking stick.
A senior government source said in the entourage included Munhumutapa
Building political aides, national security personnel and specialists from
other government departments.

Zim1, as he is known in Secret Service circles, had at least two dozen
agents in Livingstone, according to a mid-level intelligence source. His
wife Grace did not attend.

Dhewa Mavhinga, the Regional Information and Advocacy Coordinator for
pressure group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, who was lobbying for political
reforms in Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the Troika meeting in Livingstone,
said Mugabe's security paranoia had gone overboard.
"I was taken aback when I saw President Mugabe leave for Harare immediately
after the summit ended at 9pm, with his entourage of 59 people, including at
least six medical personnel," Mavhinga said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Infant mortality rate triples

Written by Ngoni Chanakira
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 13:35

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s infant mortality rate has almost tripled from 285 per
100 000 to 725 to-date, the Multiple Indicator Monitoring Survey (MIMS) has

The MIMS said that the maternal mortality rate was 725 per 100 000 live
births - almost triple the 1990 rate of 285 per 100 000 live births.
Likewise, it said, the under five mortality rate has shot up by 22 per cent
from the 1990 baseline.

"This deterioration has been attributed to the unavailability of essential
maternity and Emergency Obstetric and Neo-Natal Care equipment and
commodities and the shortage of trained human resources," MIMS said in its
latest report.

The Government of Japan recently gave Zimbabwe US$9,9 million to be
disbursed through four United Nations (UN) Agencies and the Red Cross.

"This project, therefore, seeks to redress this declining trend," the MIMS
statement said.

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Morita said he hoped this humanitarian
gesture from his government would contribute to the improved standards of
living to the more vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mthwakazi Liberation Front Drags Mugabe To Court

06/04/2011 17:01:00

Bulawayo, April 06, 2011- The Mthwakazi Liberation Front which is calling
for the secession of Matebeleland region from the whole of Zimbabwe is now
dragging President Robert Mugabe and his government to the African
Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) over arrests and harassments
of its members.

Three MLF senior executive members Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas
are currently facing treason charges following their arrest last month in
Bulawayo for distributing party flyers calling Matebeleland secession. Gazi
and Thomas were released on US$ 2000 bail this week but Siwela is still in
remand prison facing another charge of Public Order Security Act (POSA).

Speaking to Radio VOP from his Johannesburg base, MLF secretary for Legal
Affairs, Sabelo Ngwenya confirmed they had made contacts with ACHPR over the
continuous arrest and harassment of their leaders by the Zimbabwe

“Yes I can confirm that we have decided  to take Zimbabwe government to
ACHPR  over  the continuous arrests and harassments of our  leaders,  and
also over Mugabe’s  refusal  to hold  a  referendum regarding the separation
of Matebeleland region,” said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya said “the arrest and harassment of their leaders in Bulawayo has not
dented their sprits and will continue fighting for the separation of

The militant and radical MLF was launched in January this year and is
advocating for the independence of the Matabeleland region located in the
southern part of Zimbabwe saying the Ndebele speaking people of have been
marginalised by the government for too long and also face discrimination
every day at work places and tertiary institutions.

The call for Matabeleland secession from Zimbabwe appeared to have been
encouraged by events in South Sudan where people there voted overwhelmingly
to break away from mainland Sudan in a referendum.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chihuri's shady past

By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 09:48

HARARE - Sensational and little known details that police commissioner
general Augustine Chihuri was once convicted of corruption in 1993 by a
lower court, and sentenced to a fine of $600 or six weeks imprisonment with
labour, have set tounges waging among Zimbabwe's chattering classes.

Although Chihuri’s conviction by Justice Tendai Uchena – then a regional
magistrate – was later quashed by the Supreme Court, it has triggered huge
debates around his suitability to be the country’s top cop.

The Daily News could not establish at the time of going to press last night
whether Chihuri had served time before his sentence was quashed by the
Supreme Court where the case was presided over by justices Nicholas McNally,
Ahmed Ebrahim and Simbarashe Muchechetere.

Legal experts said last night it was possible for people to appeal straight
to the Supreme Court from the regional magistrates’ court.

In the 1993 case, Chihuri – then the acting police commissioner waiting to
be confirmed – was charged along with a senior assistant commissioner with
two counts of corruption under section 4 (a) of the Prevention of Corruption
Act, 34 of 1985.

At the time, it was generally believed that Chihuri was being set up by
fellow senior police officers and politicians who did not want to see him
land the powerful post.

According to the state case then, Chihuri and the other senior assistant
commissioner were charged with ordering the unlawful release of two vehicles
held by the Southerton police station Car Theft section in March 1990.

There were allegations at the time that one of the cars had been stolen.

The lower court trial was long, with 30 witnesses giving evidence. The
record had 1853 pages, while documentary exhibits covered 150 pages and the
judgment ‘extended’ to 89 pages.

Canvassed by the Daily News, some police officers who had been oblivious of
the case expressed surprise that Chihuri had been allowed to continue
operating as police officer let alone being appointed to the top job.

This was notwithstanding his later acquittal.

“What we know is that if a police officer commits any minor crime, he is
fired and it is worse if there is a conviction in a criminal court. Maybe
the laws were different then because what we know is that you are fired on
the spot,” said a junior police officer who refused to be named.

Police spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena said if a police officer was convicted
of corruption by the courts, he or she would be dismissed.

He said besides the criminal courts, the police also charged the public
officer in the administrative courts under the Police Act.

“If a police officer is convicted of corruption by the courts they are
discharged of their duties, and they will be dismissed. It depends with each
particular case but where there is clear corruption, then the person is
fired,” Bvudzijena said.

When asked about the 1993 Chihuri case and whether police took action
against him, Bvudzijena said he did not have the details of the case.

Prominent Harare lawyer Alec Muchadehama said if a police officer was
convicted by the courts the police could set up a ‘suitability board’ to
determine whether the public officer was still capable of continuing his
duties as a public officer.

Muchadehama also said police could decide to wait until the case had been
completed by the court of appeal to set up the suitability board. “If a
police officer is convicted by the courts, the police can set their
suitability board to determine whether that person in the police force is
still suitable to carry his duties as a public officer.”

“Sometimes they wait until the case is completed in the courts to set up
that suitability board. If that person is found not guilty by the courts
that means from the beginning he was innocent. He would have been cleared by
the courts,” Muchadehama said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Rallying region against Mugabe: Zuma’s test

by Edward Jones     Wednesday 06 April 2011

HARARE – President Jacob Zuma is losing patience over Zimbabwe’s Robert
Mugabe’s refusal to fully implement terms of the 2008 political pact he
signed with his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai but he may struggle
to rally other regional leaders to take tougher action against the
octogenarian leader, analysts said.

Mugabe was last week rattled by the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) troika summit in Zambia, which for the first time adopted a hard
stance when it criticized the 87-year-old’s recent crackdown on opponents.

The criticism by the troika, which consists of Mozambique, South Africa and
Zambia, came at a time of deteriorating relations between coalition partners
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over the 87-year-old’s refusal
to appoint provincial governors from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) and to reform the security sector.

Pretoria Shift

Tensions between the two rivals have escalated in the last month over a
crackdown on the MDC, including the arrest, twice, of Energy and Power
Development Minister Elton Mangoma and the banning of the former opposition’s
rallies by security forces who publicly support Mugabe.

“We can say with a fair degree of certainty after events in Zambia last week
that there is a clear shift in attitude in Pretoria,” an African diplomat
based in Harare told ZimOnline.

“I believe the question consuming the South African leadership at the moment
is ‘how can Zimbabwe have a credible and acceptable election when the
parties cannot even fulfill what they agreed in the global political

Leaders of the SADC troika have demanded an immediate end to violence,
intimidation, hate speech, harassment and want elections to be held after a
referendum on a new constitution.

Mugabe responded by saying he would not brook any interference from a
regional body that forced him into the coalition after disputed elections in

The official weekly government mouthpiece Sunday Mail attacked Zuma as
“erratic” while questioning his role as Zimbabwe mediator and said he was
now a liability to Africans.

Protocol blip

Mugabe and Tsvangirai were last week told to leave the meeting to allow the
troika leaders to freely discuss Zimbabwe, something the ageing leader has
resisted in the past, when he has reminded regional leaders that his
position as head of state allowed him to attend such meetings.

This had particularly angered the MDC, which accused SADC leaders of
treating Mugabe with kid gloves.

“The old man is very bitter with his treatment as an elderly statesman. Yes
he is disappointed with the outcome of the meeting but to be treated as an
equal to Tsvangirai and (deputy prime minister Arthur) Mutambara was an
ultimate humiliation and you can then understand his anger,” a senior
government official who attended the meeting said.

Officials from Mugabe’s camp who attended the Livingstone summit said Mugabe
was further irritated when he arrived early for the summit last Thursday
only to be informed that the meeting was seven hours away.

The officials said Zambian President Rupiah Banda had on Monday send an
envoy to explain what the officials said was a “protocol blip” during the
summit but Banda remained unapologetic on the decision taken by the troika.

Political analysts said Zuma had had enough of Mugabe’s blatant refusal to
fully implement the political accord in a bid to maintain his tight grip on
power and could not stomach Zimbabwe calling another election without the
parties first implementing the global political agreement.

But Zuma faces a harder challenge to an already divided SADC to bring full
pressure to bear on Mugabe.

Mugabe’s allies

“The biggest challenge for President Zuma is to win over Mugabe’s allies in
SADC because without them he cannot rein in Mugabe in the same way Nigeria
has managed to rally ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)
against Laurent Gbagbo (of Ivory Coast),” leading political commentator
Eldred Masunungure said.

“So this leaves Mugabe with some room to maneuver but it is clear pressure
is building  from SADC but only time will tell whether it is enough to
change political events in this country.”

Mugabe, one of the oldest and longest serving leaders in Africa, still
towers above other regional leaders and has the full support of Angola,
Namibia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which are in one camp.

Another African diplomat said Mozambique’s Guebuza wanted a dignified exit
for Mugabe but preferred a ZANU-PF stalwart to succeed him while Namibia and
DRC believe the veteran leader still has a role to play in regional

Botswana, which has been the most vocal against Mugabe’s rule, South Africa,
Tanzania and Zambia all want Mugabe to retire and sympathise with
Tsvangirai, whom they see as a victim of Mugabe’s dictatorship and are not
opposed to him ascending to power.

Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Swaziland are seen as political
lightweight and can support any of the two main camps although they are
likely to lean on South Africa for economic reasons.

Analysts said Mugabe’s attack on the regional group was political posturing,
adding that he would not attempt to pull out from bloc, which has shielded
him from Western countries who accuse him of human rights abuses and
election rigging.

“It has to be understood that Mugabe has managed to withstand a barrage of
international pressure before because SADC has absorbed most of that
pressure in solidarity with one of its own,” Masunungure said.

“I have no doubt that without the insulation provided by the region, Mugabe’s
powerbase would be severely diminished.” -- ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

SADC Troika can bite

Written by John Makumbe
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 08:40

Good old Bob had the surprise of his life when after several serious threats
to his usually loyal “wives” in Parliament at least two of them went ahead
and voted for Lovemore Moyo and not for S. K. Moyo as Speaker of the august
house. This is the kind of disloyalty that normally costs a party member
their seat if not their life. Even now, a serious witch hunt is in progress
to identify the “sell-out” and deal with them in the Zanu way. There is
strong suspicion that the culprits might be from the Mnangagwa faction as it
is generally believed that SK is more aligned to the Mujuru faction.
Lovemore Moyo’s win has therefore left both factions with heaps of egg on
their faces.
But that was not the only surprise that Mugabe had to face last week. The
SADC Troika, meeting in Livingstone, Zambia had an even worse surprise for
the geriatric. Contrary to the usual toothless bulldog approach typical of
the 14-member regional body, the Troika meeting was opened by President
Banda with a scathing attack on the regional dictator, Mugabe, who was
warned in very clear terms that if he did not speedily ensure the resolution
of the Zimbabwe crisis what was happening in North Africa could easily also
happen in his country as well as spill over in to the other southern African
The Troika had all of a sudden developed teeth, thanks to Egypt, Tunisia and
now Libya. It went on to make several firm resolutions essentially
instructing Mugabe and his colleagues in the inclusive government to get on
with the job of implementing the global political agreement (GPA) as had
been agreed.
In more than three decades at the helm of this damaged nation Mugabe had
never been instructed by anyone on how to run this country. When the
Commonwealth came too close to doing that, Bob dragged his country out of
the Club. The question is will he do the same with the SADC? Is Mugabe going
to defy the Troika and threaten to pull his country out of the regional
body? Is he going to stop the political violence that is occurring in
various parts of this country? Is he going to stop arresting MDC Members of
Parliament and supporters?
We wait to see what he will do in the next few weeks. My guess is that the
old man will do only some of the things that the Troika directed that they
be done. His attitude after arriving home was quite telling. He basically
told the Troika to go to hell, after it effectively read him the riot act;
he would not spend the following night in Livingstone, but flew back home
straight after the meeting.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai must be commended for the good work of lobbying
the relevant SADC leaders well in advance of the Livingstone meeting. He
briefed the leaders fully on what was happening in the country, highlighting
the real danger of an uprising should they fail to rein in the old man and
his securocrats. A situation where Zanu (PF) is allowed to hold all and any
meetings it wishes to hold while the MDC formations are refused permission
to hold their meetings is totally unacceptable.
The arrest of MDC MPs failed to enable SK to win the vote to become the
Speaker of Parliament. Most, if not all, current cases before the courts,
where MDC members are alleged to have broken the law will also come to
nought. Try as it may, Zanu (PF) is clearly on its way out of power. Chii
chati go mugomo?

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The Elton Mangoma Case: A Rare insight into ZANU PF Theftocracy

By Sanderson N Makombe

Whoever within the ZANU PF machinery that decided to naively haul Hon Elton
Mangoma, the Minister of Energy and Enterprise to court must be commended,
though in hindsight, he must be cursing himself. If at all he is pleased
with the progress of the trial, then probably he belongs to that brigade in
ZANU PF that is playing ‘bhora mudondo’, the same brigade that played ‘bhora
mudondo’ as regards the election of the Speaker of parliament.

In their overzealousness to embarrass MDC-T ministers, and prove to the
endearing public that MDC-T government officials are corrupt, inept and
mediocre, ZANU PF has shot itself in the foot in spectacular fashion. In
addition to the shenanigans, drama, controversy and jurisprudence associated
with the courtroom, their role as a public platform for interrogation of
public issues, remain heralded. We get to know what in normal circumstances
we are not supposed to know through court proceedings. Proceedings are
public, available and therefore undisputed. The watching public are afforded
a fair chance to understand operations that are covert and make informed
decisions and judge who best in their opinion is right. In addition defence
lawyers love their day in the court: the opportunity to cross examine so
called ‘star state witnesses

Now it is not Hon Mangoma who is the subject of discussion, but how US$35
million disappears under NOCZIM, cash strapped public body, and no one is
taken to account for the disappearing of such a vast sum of money. This can
only happen in Zimbabwe. The permanent secretary is quoted telling the court
that ‘those responsible are known’ through a forensic investigation done by
the Comptroller Auditor General. The same permanent secretary Justin
Mupamhanga objected to the Hon Minister referring the alleged looters to the
AG or police for prosecution, asking to ‘come up with a better way forward’.
Apparently the better way forward was to allow the alleged looters to be
retrenched with very high packages, packages the Hon Minister refused as it
was tantamount to ‘rewarding criminals’.
Justice Samuel Kudya, in granting Hon Mangoma in the High Court bail had
noted ‘it seems to me that in the absence of evidence that the applicant
personally benefited from the deal, his actions were prompted by national
Is this the criminal that ZANU PF want us to believe? Contrary, the true
profile emerging is that Hon Mangoma is a minister of repute, high integrity
who is hard working and honest, thriving to nurture a culture of
accountability and responsibility in the corridors of power. The generality
like this kind of Minister, the kind that know criminals must be prosecuted
and not rewarded with high packages.

Unintended Consequence
The blind muppets prosecuting Hon Mangoma did not anticipate this
unconscious marketing of the MDC-T brand. These emerging details from the
court are the sort that defence attorneys in such cases love to dance on. I
am reminded of one Ari Ben Menashe, the ‘star witness’ in President
Tsvangirai’s treason trial in 2002.He arrived from Canada thinking he would
have a field day in court embarrassing Tsvangirai. When the good counsel led
by George Bizoo started cross examination, the case degenerated into a
circus that left even the Hon Judge displeased. Menashe ended up complaining
for the time it was taking to complete the case as he wanted out of the
country soonest.ZANU PF was left with eggs on their faces.
Then in 2000 Kenneth Manyonda took to the witness box during the petition
challenging the results of Bindura North parliamentary elections result.
Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya had been torched to death by known ZANU
PF functionaries led by Joseph Mwale in the same constituency. Manyonda was
the ZANU PF candidate at the time, as well as Manicaland Province Resident
Governor. The car used for the atrocity was under Manyonda’s control. He had
actually given the car keys to his driver that night the murders were
Manyonda sought to deny any knowledge and complicity to the murders. Enter
Advocate Erick Matinenga.

In front of cameras, journalists and the public, Manyonda was taken to task
meticulously. The case exposed the sanctioning of election violence from the
highest offices of the state. Not only was the resident Governor aware of
the murders, he had supplied the truck used for commissioning the crime. In
addition, he had received the truck back the following morning knowing fully
well what had happened the prior night but never raised an eyebrow. We lost
count how many times Manyonda asked the Judge to go to the toilet as he kept
seeping water every four seconds. To conclude he was made to look stupid is
an under statement.

If senior management in government parastatal can make US$35 million
disappear without facing arrest, what more about deals done by senior
politicians and securocrats presiding over Zimbabwe? Either the money was
looted under strict orders from powers above, powers that are protecting
these individuals from arrest, or simply US$35 million is loose change to
warrant any attention. But then, we recently heard how ZANU PF led by the
egg headed professor strenuously refused Hon Biti’ demand for an audit of
the diamond proceeds. Very ironic that the minister of finance is not
allowed to account for state money. What are they afraid of?
More revealing was the presence of two procurement boards in
NOCZIM.Government tenders run into millions and were there is conniving
between awarders and service providers, the ‘cutback’ from these deals
potentially manufacture overnight millionaires without breaking sweat. If a
forensic audit is made of all tenders awarded during the tenure of the ZANU
PF government, surely the amounts embezzled runs into trillions. That’s the
reason why Mangoma had to be stopped.

Gains of the liberation war or Spoils of War?
It is not difficult to discern who has benefited from the war of liberation.
When the mandarins in ZANU PF talk of ‘gains of the liberation war’, what
they actually mean is ‘spoils of war’. It is akin to the medieval times when
the conquering army would loot everything that the conquered owned and
appropriate to themselves. Zimbabwe and its resources are the spoils for
ZANU PF.The systematic looting of state resources is evidenced in NOCZIM, in
the billions that Gono printed and never accounted for, in Chiadzwa, the VIP
housing scandal, Willowgate, the collapse of Boka Empire, the looting of the
War victims compensation fund, and many more. The sick joke is epitomised by
Chombo’s vast wealth as disclosed during his divorce case, were a minister
owns land nearly in every town in Zimbabwe.

Thanks to Hon Mangoma, we get to know on record how money is siphoned in
Zimbabwe. To those of us in MDC-T, Hon Mangoma represents what exactly we
mean by being a party of excellence. Well done Hon Mangoma for not
compromising your principles. Zimbabweans know who the criminals are and
will speak with their vote come election time.

The writer can be contacted at

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Assessing Zimbabwe'S "GPA" As A Mechanism For Change - A Legal Perspective

Click here to read this article

Back to the Top
Back to Index