by Staff Reporter
A BULAWAYO judge on Thursday ordered a halt to the exhumation of mysterious
skeletons discovered in a disused mine shaft in the Chibondo area of Mt
Darwin, Mashonaland Central.
Justice Nicholas Mathonsi granted an interdict sought by the Zimbabwe People’s
Liberation Army (ZIPRA) war heroes who are demanding that any exhumations in
Mt Darwin, and any part of the country, should be carried out in a
government-led “legal process”.
The Fallen Heroes Trust, a previously obscure group aligned with Zanu PF and
its former military wing, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army
(ZANLA), says it has dug up 640 bodies and thousands more could still lie in
the Monkey William Mine.
The Trust claims the remains belong to combatants killed in the 1970s bush
war for independence from white minority rule.
But the interdict granted by Mathonsi on Thursday compels the Fallen Heroes’
Trust to stop the exhumations forthwith, leading to a government process
which will seek to identify the remains where possible and facilitate
ZIPRA veterans, represented by Abammeli Human Rights Lawyers, argued in
court that they were concerned some of the remains belonged to their former
comrades either killed by Rhodesian forces before independence in 1980, or
in the period after independence when ZANLA and ZIPRA fighters clashed in
the Mt Darwin area during demobilisation.
The skeletons have been turned into election campaign fodder for President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.
Since early March, state television has shown Mugabe’s supporters pulling
bones from the mine and hauling them off in plastic bags and old sacks.
The pictures also show the site being used to encourage people to sign a
petition against western sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF claims the remains are of victims of the 1970s liberation war
against the white-minority Rhodesian regime led by Ian Smith, when an
estimated 30,000 people died.
Others have cast doubt on that claim, saying the victims may have been
killed by Zanu PF forces during one of the many waves of repression that
have swept Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
George Rutanhire, who heads the Fallen Heroes’ Trust, says the mass grave
was known since the 1980s, but the remains were never exhumed.
"There were no resources, people had also not organised themselves to carry
out the exhumations," he said in state media.
"The reason why we are exhuming them now is because gold panners were now
vandalising the mine shafts in search of gold so we had to take action."
But others in Zanu PF say the grave was found only in 2008 by gold panners.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's partner in a shaky unity
government, said Wednesday that the grave could include victims of a 1980s
army campaign that left 20,000 minority Ndebeles dead in a purge of Zanu PF
rivals, mainly in southern Matabeleland.
"We have recently witnessed the exhumation of dead bodies in one corner of
the country for cheap political gain," Tsvangirai said at a memorial service
for his party's activists killed during the bloody 2008 presidential
"There are graves in Matabeleland (and) the Midlands provinces," Tsvangirai
said. "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."
The Zimbabwe African Patriotic Union (ZAPU) accuses Mugabe of using the
grave as a ploy to remind people of his past as a liberation hero in the
run-up to elections expected later this year.
"ZAPU believes the exhumations have been engineered by Zanu PF to stir
emotions among the people for its own political mileage as we go towards
elections," ZAPU spokesman Methuseli Moyo said.
"We are in the process of organising a parallel process of exhuming the
remains of our members to counter Zanu PF's attempts to distort history."
Experts say it might now be impossible to correctly identify the bodies
because professional forensics experts have not had access to the site.
"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.
"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."
By Tichaona Sibanda
7 April 2011
The three political parties in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) on
Thursday began formal talks to draw up an electoral roadmap, that is hoped
will pave the way for free and fair elections, once a new constitution is in
Thursday’s talks in Harare between ZANU PF and the two MDC’s are being
attended by South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team. The team
on Wednesday met the three party negotiators separately.
Contrary to state media reports, the team’s visit to Zimbabwe was planned in
March and made known to all the parties in the GPA, according to a senior
official in the MDC-N.
‘They were supposed to have held the meetings in March but postponed it to
April because the party negotiators had not yet sat down to discuss the
roadmap,’ the official said.
A highly placed source told us there are going to have to be ‘painful
concessions’ from all sides if the bickering parties are to come out with a
draft roadmap acceptable to all sides. But analysts believe if there is any
hope of the country having a free and fair election, ZANU PF is the party
that will have to make major concessions.
‘The possibility or impossibility of a credible election this year or in
2012 substantially depends on the outcome of this meeting. This will not be
easy. The parties have divergent views on what they want in this roadmap so
a genuine document can only be achieved through mutual and painful
concessions by all parties,’ our source said.
ZANU PF for instance has been reluctant to entertain any issues that fall
outside of the GPA. They argue that a roadmap towards peaceful, free, fair
and democratic harmonised elections is laid out in the GPA, which they say
was adopted at the formation of the inclusive government.
But the two MDC’s say the situation on the ground has changed, following
ZANU PF’s deployment of state security agents, the youth militia and war
vets into the countryside to intimidate the electorate ahead of the
An MDC-T insider told SW Radio Africa they were going into the talks to
insist that soldiers be removed from rural areas and returned to their
barracks and that there be a code of conduct for the armed forces during the
‘Basically, the roadmap talks, as explained by (Tendai) Biti, will see the
negotiators evaluate the individual clauses of the agreement after which
they will produce three separate reports that will be incorporated into one
document. At the end of the day, Zuma’s team will fly back to South Africa
with one document that will be presented to SADC by the mediator,’ the MDC-T
He said ZANU PF should not expect the MDC to be part of a document that will
be silent on major issues such as violence, intimidation and the need for a
new voters roll.
by Charles Tembo Thursday 07 April 2011
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday called for the arrest
of those behind a 1980s military campaign in south-western Zimbabwe that
killed at least 20 000 civilians, in comments likely to stoke up tensions
within the country’s troubled coalition government.
Tsvangirai, who was speaking at a ceremony to unveil the tombstones of four
activists of his MDC party killed during electoral violence in 2008,
described the army campaign, infamously known as Gukurahundi, and the
political violence of the last decade that has claimed hundreds of lives as
“senseless and systematic genocide” that must be punished.
The MDC activists were killed by suspected state security agents during
political violence in the run-up to a second round presidential election in
Tsvangirai, who had been tipped to win the run-off vote after defeating
President Robert Mugabe in the first round, withdrew from the election
citing state-sponsored attacks against his supporters.
“The perpetrators of these heinous acts are walking scot-free and the police
have not even bothered to make a single arrest,” said Tsvangirai, who has in
the past demanded justice for victims of political violence but refrained
from calling for the arrest of the perpetrators of Gukurahundi.
Launched barely three years after then Prime Minister Mugabe rose to power
in 1980, Gukurahundi was ostensibly meant to end an armed insurrection
against the government of the newly independent Zimbabwe.
But the campaign ended up targeting the minority Ndebele ethnic group
resident in the south-western Matabeleland and Midlands provinces and that
was the support base for the then main opposition PF-ZAPU party.
“There are graves in Matabeleland the Midlands provinces; innocent victims
of a senseless and systematic genocide,” said Tsvangirai, while calling for
the, “the arrest of all perpetrators of violence without fear or favour”.
Tsvangirai slated the culture of impunity afflicting Zimbabwe, saying those
behind political violence have not only been allowed to go scot-free but
were already preparing to launch more attacks against political opponents in
elections that could take place either later this year or early 2011.
He cited the example of government secret service agent Joseph Mwale who is
accused of petrol bombing and killing two MDC activists in 2000 but has not
faced justice despite a High Court judge recommending that the agent be
brought before the courts.
The police say they have not been able to arrest Mwale because they cannot
find him even though he is an employee of the government.
Tsvangirai said Mwale was, “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.”
But it is Tsvangirai’s calls for the arrest of the perpetrators of
Gukurahundi that should send temperatures soaring in Harare’s political
The Gukurahundi atrocities are a sore point in Zimbabwe’s history that
Mugabe, who is believed to have personally ordered the campaign, has always
sought to sweep under the carpet.
Despite calling the killings an “act of madness”, the Zimbabwean leader has
never personally accepted responsibility for the civilian murders or
The Zimbabwean strongman has also not yielded to calls by human rights
groups for his government to compensate the victims of the brutal army
Political analysts have often suggested that Mugabe is too afraid to give up
power over fears of prosecution for the rights abuses and that Zimbabweans
may need to live with the fact that the octogenarian leader plans to die in
Meanwhile the Prime Minister used the tombstone unveiling ceremony to pay
tribute to the Southern African Development Community after the bloc’s
security organ last week strongly criticised resurgent political violence in
The organ last Thursday strongly condemned a political violence by Mugabe’s
allies in the security forces against MDC supporters and urged the Harare
coalition government to speed up reforms including drafting a new
constitution that should lead to holding of free and fair elections. --
By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 April, 2011
Details have been revealed of how ZANU PF youths and “armed men in riot
gear” brutally attacked innocent civilians on Wednesday, at a memorial
service for five MDC members who were murdered during the 2008 election
A statement by the MDC-T said party supporters at Warren Hills cemetery were
performing the traditional Shona ritual of “unveiling of tombstones” for the
deceased when the attack started.
Teargas and baton sticks were used in the violent assaults, causing 14
people to seek treatment at a local Harare hospital. According to the MDC
there had been no provocation from their members.
The brutal nature of the attack was shocking. The MDC statement described
one incident where the riot police dragged three catering staff members into
the windowless catering truck, threw in teargas and locked them in.
In another incident the men threw rocks at a woman who had fallen into a
ditch while trying to escape. People who had queued for food were also
assaulted with baton sticks as they ran from the teargas.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the arrival of the
uniformed riot police just a few minutes after the assaults by ZANU PF thugs
began shows that the police were well aware of the plan to disrupt the MDC
“They never come so soon when MDC members are being attacked and this shows
that they apply the law selectively,” said Muchemwa, adding that the
disruptions also disrespected the very important tradition of “unveiling
The memorial at Warren Hills was to honor Abigail Chiroto, Tonderai Ndira,
Better Chokururama, Cain Nyevhe and Godfrey Kauzani, who were murdered by
ZANU PF agents during the violent 2008 election period.
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”.
On the programme Crisis Analysis, political commentator, Professor John
Makumbe said the attacks took place when President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation
team were in Harare on a SADC mission. This clearly shows that ZANU PF pays
no regard to SADC at all.
“It was their way of telling SADC to go to hell after the recent criticism,”
said Makumbe. Although he added that, “…so far it is just a lovers’
With many MDC members suffering visible wounds at this time, Makumbe said it
was a prime opportunity for the MDC-T to show Zuma’s team evidence of the
state sponsored violence that ZANU PF has been denying.
Masvingo, April 07, 2011 - In a bid to stop divisions which were likely to
split the party in Masvingo, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ordered a
re-run of Masvingo congress following serious complaints by a faction which
boycotted last weekend’s party provincial congress in Mucheke stadium.
Tsvangirai has since assigned his deputy, Thokozani Khupe to attend the
congress which is now set for April 9, 2011.
Party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa has confirmed the development.
“We have since resolved that Masvingo should have another congress on
Saturday,” Chamisa said.
The venue for the congress is not yet known as the party is still deciding
to have it at either Masvingo Polytechnic or Mucheke Stadium.
“Thokhozani Khupe is expected to deliver a speech before the elections.
Khupe was assigned by Tsvangirai to plead for unity in Masvingo. She is also
expected to start by asking for forgiveness over what took place last
weekend,” said a highly placed source in MDC-T.
Khupe will be accompanied by Sekai Holland, Edie Cross, Dr Henry Madzorera,
Shepherd Jack and Joel Gabhuza.
Both factions in Masvingo have expressed confidence that they will win the
“We knew that last weekend’s event was a mock rally. We were confident that
Tsvangirai in his normal senses would not accept that dubious committee to
stand for Masvingo. Now we are going for a real congress where true party
leaders are expected to be elected,” the incumbent vice chairman Charles
However, the provincial chairman Wilstuff Sitemere who was re-elected for
the same position last week said nothing is going to change on Saturday.
“You will see that those who were elected last week will remain the people’s
choice. We shall go for that congress so that those who boycotted last week’s
congress will witness us being re-elected in to office,” Sitemere said.
There are two factions in Masvingo with the one being led by Gutu South
legislator Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro while the other faction is under
Masvingo urban MP Tongai Matutu.
Mkonoweshuro’s faction boycotted last weekend elections citing a lot of
irregularities and vote rigging among other things.
MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 April 2011
Zim farmer who took Mugabe to court dies of his injuries
Mike Campbell (79), the Zimbabwean commercial farmer who made legal history when he took President Mugabe to the international court of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in 2007 and won the case a year later, passed away at his temporary home in Harare on April 6.
Campbell never recovered from the abduction and brutal beatings meted out to him, his wife Angela and son-in-law Ben Freeth by Zanu-PF thugs late at night in a remote militia camp on June 29, 2008 just two days after the Presidential run-off election.
Eventually their captors forced them at gunpoint to sign a paper stating that they would withdraw from the SADC Tribunal court case, due to be heard in Namibia the following month. They were dumped outside the town of Kadoma from where they were rushed to hospital.
Campbell sustained severe head injuries which resulted in brain damage, broken ribs and damage to his lower limbs caused by a crude and brutal torture method known as falanga.
This involves beating the soles of the feet with iron bars, logs or cables and can result in permanent disability or death due to kidney failure. Campbell’s medical report noted that severe force had been used and that the possibility of permanent damage was likely.
A dedicated farmer and conservationist, Campbell purchased Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district in 1975 and spent the next 24 years paying back the loan.
The farm was transferred legally into the family’s company name in 1999 on receipt of a “certificate of no interest” from the Mugabe government which had the first purchase option on any sale.
Over the years Campbell built up the farm, stocking it with a wide variety of game long before the importance of wildlife conservation had become widely recognized.
He played an important role in forming the Wildlife Producers’ Association of Zimbabwe and was appointed its first chairman.
After independence in 1980, Campbell purchased the neighbouring farm to make his wildlife area viable and built what was to become a popular tourist destination, the Biri River Safari Lodge, on the property.
On Mount Carmel, Campbell grew tobacco and maize and built up a sturdy Mashona / Sussex cattle herd, providing valuable breeding stock for the region.
Later he experimented with mango growing and, by importing carefully selected varieties, he eventually developed those that would best suit their area and the export market.
Campbell became the first and largest commercial mango grower in Zimbabwe, generating critically needed foreign currency. He was brought onto the committee of the Southern African Mango Growers’ Association and attended international mango symposia.
The Mount Carmel pack shed became one of the first to be accredited by EUROGAP for good agricultural practices that would assist with the export market.
Described as a model employer, Campbell had a large workforce and, with wives and children, the farm sustained more than 500 people.
After the farm invasions began in 2001, Campbell, his family, their workers and other farmers in the district became the target of unrelenting state-sponsored violence and intimidation. The safari lodge was burnt down, their wildlife slaughtered and their cattle rustled.
After getting no recourse from the Zimbabwean courts, Campbell took his case to the SADC Tribunal in October 2007 and in March the following year an additional 77 other white commercial farmers joined the case as interveners.
In November 2008, the SADC Tribunal ruled that the farmers could keep their land because the land reform programme was not being conducted according to the rule of law and was also discriminatory.
However, the victimization continued and the following year both the Campbell and Freeth homesteads were burnt to the ground, together with worker homes and their linen factory, an upliftment project initiated by Freeth’s wife Laura for the wives of farm workers.
Last month Campbell and an elderly black commercial farmer Luke Tembani, who has also been dispossessed, lodged an application with the Tribunal for an order that would ensure the Tribunal would continue to function in all respects as established by Article 16 of the Treaty.
This followed the Tribunal’s suspension by the SADC heads of state pending a review of its role functions and terms of reference, thus attempting to block further court action.
A documentary film about the court case and the family’s brave stand, “Mugabe and the White African”, has brought the plight of Zimbabwean farmers and their farm workers to the world stage and has won numerous international film festival awards.
“What Mike and his family have achieved for Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa in setting an international precedent in property rights and the rights of white Africans in international law will only be realized by most people in years to come when we have a government that will respect the rule of law and the rights of people,” said Deon Theron, president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union in Zimbabwe.
Campbell is survived by his wife, Angela, their son Bruce, two daughters, Cathy and Laura, and 5 grandchildren as well as 6th due to be born next month.
For further information:
Cell: +263 773 929 138
By Reagan Mashavave, Staff Writer
Thursday, 07 April 2011 16:26
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday castigated police
commissioner general, Augustine Chihuri for failing to investigate and
apprehend perpetrators of the 2008 election violence in which 200 MDC
supporters were killed.
Tsvangirai singled out Chihuri for being partisan in exercising his duties
saying the police chief has ‘chosen to engage’ in selective application of
The premier was speaking in Harare at the memorial service of five MDC
supporters who were murdered towards the presidential run-off in 2008.
Victims of political violence have been getting assistance from Heal
Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organisation.
“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.
“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.”
Five of the MDC supporters who were being remembered are Tonderai Ndira,
Better Chokururama, Cain Nyeve, Godfrey Kauzani and Abigail Chiroto. All the
five, the MDC said were abducted and murdered by yet to be identified
assailants towards the 2008 elections.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the presidential run-off election with President
Robert Mugabe four days before the election citing violence against his
supporters and a ban on their rallies by the police.
Tsvangirai said perpetrators of violence that include Joseph Mwale, the
alleged murderer of his aides Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika as way
back as the year 2000, are yet to brought to book. He said despite
overwhelming evidence the police have not arrested Mwale.
He said the police have failed to make even a ‘single arrest’ of the
perpetrators of violence which has ‘made the majority of our people lose
faith and confidence in the police force as a people’s institution.’
“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.”
“There has been no single arrest of these murderers and all perpetrators of
violence and this has made the majority of our people lose faith and
confidence in the police force as a people’s institution,” said Tsvangirai.
He said history will one day judge the current police force for its failure
to arrest perpetrators of violence. The MDC leader, however said he is
‘heartened’ by the Sadc troika on politics, defence and security which last
week called for an immediate end to political violence in the country.
“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, ”Tsvangirai
“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.”
Tsvangirai said the country has experienced violence enough in its history
from the liberation struggle that brought independence, Gukurahundi
disturbances and in the past years. He said the recent exhumation of bodies
at a disused mine in Mt Darwin was being done in a partisan manner for
‘cheap’ political gain.
“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,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai later addressed his supporters who had gathered at the Warren
Hills cemetery for the memorial of the five activists, where he said the
next elections must be free from any form of violence.
“From today we will not betray men and women who died for a new Zimbabwe. We
don’t want any violence during the next elections,” he said.
Several top MDC government officials attended the memorial service of the
five activists. The officials include secretary general and Finance
minister, Tendai Biti, Co-Home Affairs minister, Theresa Makone, Economic
Planning minister, Tapiwa Mashakada, ICT minister, Nelson Chamisa and Labour
minister, Paurina Mpariwa among others. There were no Zanu PF officials at
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Heal Zimbabwe director, Rashid Mahiya,
centre, and deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe attend a memorial service
in rememberance of MDC activists in Harare yesterday.
Diamond activist Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Development and
Research in Mutare, said pressure must be put be on Harare to ensure
transparency and accountability in Marange
Sandra Nyaira | Washington 06 April 2011
The European Union is seeking an emergency session of the Kimberly Process
working group on monitoring following the move by Kimberley Process Chairman
Mathieu Yamba of the Democratic Republic of Congo to clear Zimbabwe's
Marange diamonds for sale.
British Minister of State in the Foreign Office Lord Howell said Yamba’s
authorization was invalid because it violated Kimberley’s principle of
Yamba’s move disconcerted Western countries and diamond industry members who
said the Kimberly Process had not agreed to allow the sale of Marange rough
stones. The World Diamond Council told its members not to buy Marange
But Yamba said he will not reverse his decision until Kimberley’s next
Howell said the EU will hold the meeting as a matter of urgency to ensure
Harare does not export uncut diamonds under the cover of Yamba’s recent
"The EU also expressed concerns about the uncertainty it creates for KP
participants, the diamond industry and consumers, and urged the chair to
clarify the situation as a matter of urgency," Howell said.
Howell spoke Tuesday as a delegation of members of the African Diamond
Producers Association visited Marange ahead of a summit expected to cover
Zimbabwean Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said Harare hopes the producers will
advance “an African agenda” putting producer countries in a stronger
"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. He added
that Zimbabwe would continue to "enhance its Kimberley Process compliance,
particularly with regard to Marange."
Diamond activist Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Development and
Research in Mutare, near the Marange alluvial diamond field, says pressure
must be put be on Harare to ensure transparency and accountability in the
Economist John Robertson said political pressure was exerted on the DRC
Kimberley Process chair to clear Marange diamonds for export sale.
By Lance Guma
07 April 2011
The Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Saviour
Kasukuwere, has not paid staff at his United Touring Company (UTC) since
January last year. Despite being the focal point of ZANU PF’s so-called
indigenization drive, Kasukuwere has not seen fit to lead by example.
Last year nearly 60 non-managerial employees approached the High Court over
their unpaid wages and salaries, which stood at $41,887. That figure has
since ballooned to $63,000. Matters came to a head on Wednesday when the
Sheriff’s Office, acting on a High Court judgment, attached a total of 7
vehicles, plus office desks, computers and boats from the company’s offices
in Victoria Falls.
But one worker confirmed that the Sheriff’s Office has already said the
property attached is not enough to cover the monies owed. He claimed the
company moved most of its property to the Harare and Bulawayo offices to
escape the attachment order. SW Radio Africa can confirm that the man
executing the attachment order says he will travel to Harare and Bulawayo if
Kasukuwere is said to be part of a consortium of local businessmen who
acquired UTC in 2001 when it was then ranked among the leading destination
management companies in the region. Bibiana Kabira, the young sister to
Kasukuwere’s wife, is said by workers to be the Chief Executive Officer of
Contacted for comment Kabira said she was not authorized to speak for the
company and said it was going through a major restructuring exercise and
would be changing management. Midway through the interview she made a
dramatic u-turn and claimed she did not work for UTC and had no links with
Kabira also denied she was the young sister to Kasukuwere’s wife, as claimed
by some of the workers. Asked how she knew about the developments in UTC she
said as a ‘banker’ she knew what was happening in the industry.
The company is said to be facing serious cash-flow problems and operations
have ground to a halt. Workers told us that for the few tourists they are
getting, they are having to sub-hire vehicles and equipment from other
companies. If the company does not pay the US$63,000 owed, its property will
be sold by the court on the 20th April.
HARARE, April 7, 2011 - TOBACCO deliveries to the prestigious Tobacco Sales
Floors (TSF) have been stopped with immediate effect, Radio VOP can reveal.
A spokesman from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said they
had been closed due to "severe congestion at the tobacco auction floors".
He said all new tobacco deliveries to the auction floors had been suspended
until further notice.
"Growers should note that the auction floors will not accept any tobacco
that has not been booked for the sale in advance and that such tobacco will
be turned away from the delivery queues," he said in an interview.
The move comes amid reports that some wives of tobacco farmers were begining
to sleep outside the TSF waiting to sell their product in Harare.
Prostitution was said to be rife outside the TSF as women of the night
pounced on their male partners, leaving condoms scattered around the selling
venue at night.
The spokesman said growers were free to book and to deliver on a "first-come
first-served" basis to a floor of their choice.
"The practice of 'deliver today and sell tomorrow' will apply at all auction
floors," he said.
"Growers should only engage the services of transporters registered with
TIMB and whose payment is done through the Central Stop Order System."
He said to make sales bookings, growers could call the auction floor of
Bookings at the TSF are from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm Mondays to Fridays and
6:00 am until 12 noon on Saturdays.
Once the third largest producer of flue-cured tobacco, Zimbabwe's production
has dwindled drammatically courtesy of President Robert Mugabe's
controversial land resettlement programme begun in 2000.
By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Thursday, 07 April 2011 09:33
HARARE - President Robert President is in deep trouble with regional
powerhouse South Africa, as a peeved Pretoria made it clear this week that
former President Thabo Mbeki's much-criticised "quiet diplomacy" towards
Zimbabwe is now officially dead.
Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, an angry South African
Minister for International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, took a tough
stance against Mugabe and Zimbabwe’s political crisis – clearly distancing
President Jacob Zuma’s administration from Mbeki ’s quiet diplomacy and
insisting that Zuma had a completely different approach to Harare’s woes.
Nkoana-Mashabane’s repudiation of quiet diplomacy follows the savage and
incomprehensible lashing that Zuma received in Zimbabwe’s state media at the
The South African foreign affairs minister said no matter what Zanu PF’s
views on Pretoria’s mediation in the Zimbabwe crisis, Zuma still had the
mandate of Sadc to help its northern neighbour out of its myriad crises.
“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 the briefing,
adding that SA remained resolute that it would enforce the conditions of the
Global Political Agreement whatever the difficulties.
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. The status quo (the agreement) remains because that’s the mandate
we got from the people of Zimbabwe,” she said.
To rub salt into Mugabe and Zanu PF’s wounds, Zuma took the unprecedented
step of inviting MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to his homestead in
KwaZulu-Natal to hear his grievances.
Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, tried to water down the tensions
between South Africa and Zimbabwe, saying the offending newspaper articles
in local State media did not represent the official position of the
In the aftermath of the SADC troika’s stinging rebuke of Mugabe last week
against the use of violence, intimidation and the arrest of political
opponents, Zanu PF came out with guns blazing and used its State-owned
mouthpieces to launch scathing personal attacks against Zuma.
Commenting on the latest diplomatic spat between Pretoria and Harare
yesterday, local political analysts said Mugabe was now being pushed into a
corner by the region, where he would have no option, but to give in.
Political commentator and spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
Phillip Pasirayi, said Mugabe stood no chance in this debacle and said
instead of resisting the region’s advice, the octogenarian must listen to
Sadc, which gave him his current legitimacy in the first place.
“We reject this type of thinking that Sadc has no mandate to mediate in the
Zimbabwean crisis. Zanu PF has a tendency to act quickly when decisions are
made in its favour, but when they are not in its favour, they quickly pull
out the sovereignty card. South Africa was appointed by Sadc to mediate in
the Zimbabwe crisis and it is up to Mugabe to listen,” said Pasirayi.
Another political commentator, Charles Mangongera, said: “It’s a significant
departure from the policy of quiet diplomacy. It is a realisation that it’s
about time to call a spade a spade.
“(But) South Africa is not abandoning Zanu PF, they are just fed up with
Mugabe. They would rather have Zanu PF in Government without Mugabe.”
Zuma was heavily criticised in Zimbabwe’s State media after the Sadc meeting
with the comment in the Sunday Mail partly reading: “Bemused people have
often asked: how does the disaster-prone Zuma manage to run Africa’s biggest
“The answer is really simple: he does not run anything, not even a tuckshop
“President Zuma and Sadc — individually and collectively — have no legal or
moral authority to meddle in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.”
07 April 2011
Willie Spies says ANC/YL claim no harm intended with singing of 'shoot the
Commencement of hate speech hearing of Julius Malema
Next week Monday will see the commencement of the most prominent political
court proceedings since the acquittal of President Jacob Zuma in his
corruption trail, when the hate speech trial of AfriForum against ANC Youth
League President Julius Malema will start in the South Gauteng High Court in
AfriForum laid charges of hate speech against Malema after his repeated
singing of a controversial struggle song at his birthday party celebrations
in Polokwane, at the ANC Youth League rally, at a gathering at the
University of Johannesburg, in Rustenburg, in Mafikeng and in East London
during March 2010.
Malema even went on to sing the song, Dubul' iBhunu (Shoot the Boer), in
Harare, Zimbabwe, after the North Gauteng High Court granted an interdict
against him to prohibit him from singing the song, pending the finalisation
of the Equality Court process.
At the time, Malema claimed that the South African courts' ruling does not
apply in Zimbabwe. Malema also at the time accused the South African
judiciary of being the "most untransformed", and said that the judges who
granted the orders against him were the very same judges who banned struggle
songs during the Apartheid years.
The ANC surprised everyone when it decided to join the proceedings in
February this year, shortly after it had effectively distanced itself from
Malema's comments. The ANC and Malema will now be represented by the same
legal team and a leadership of advocate Vincent Maleka SC. In essence, the
ANC and Malema do not deny the words or the meaning of the controversial
struggle song, but alleges that the song is not being sung with the intent
to harm anyone.
To support its stance, Malema and the ANC intend to call various
high-profile witnesses to the stand. ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe,
Minister in the Presidency, Mr Colin Chabane, ANC veteran Dr Wally Serote,
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom, and Malema himself
will be called to the stand.
AfriForum Deputy Chief Executive, Ernst Roets, will testify for AfriForum,
while a senior lecturer of music, Dr Annemarie Gray, will testify as an
expert witness on behalf of AfriForum.
Dr. Gray did a Masters thesis in music under the title, "The role of
struggle songs during the Apartheid era."
Agricultural union TAU SA will also call various witnesses, including a
farmer who has recently been attacked on his farm, a criminology professor
from the University of Pretoria, and the chairperson of the FAK, Professor
The trial is expected to continue for two weeks. AfriForum will on a daily
basis issue updates of the court proceedings at noon and after completion of
the day's proceedings. Journalists are invited to register for this service
by contacting AfriForum's Head of Media Liaison, Leané du Plessis.
Statement issued by Willie Spies, Legal Representative- AfriForum, April 7
Thursday 7th April 2011
Keeping the pressure on Mugabe
Strasbourg, 7 April 2011 -- The political situation in Zimbabwe has taken a
serious turn for the worse. State security forces, controlled by President
Robert Mugabe, have resumed a campaign of intimidation and brutality towards
opponents of the regime, including those who are supposed to be taking part
in the power sharing coalition. Governments of neighbouring countries have
at last begun to toughen their stance.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who spearheads the European Parliament's campaign
for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe, has commented as the
Parliament prepares to express its condemnation of recent events:
"There has been an upsurge in violence and intimidation against those that
Mugabe fears. This even includes arrests of MDC (Movement for Democratic
Change) MPs and Ministers that are supposed to be partners in the Government
of National Unity.
“It is reassuring that the SADC Summit on 31 March has at last recognised
the true nature of the situation in Zimbabwe and called for an end to
political violence and for free, democratic elections that meet
"We are calling on European governments and the EU to mobilise their
political influence in southern Africa to help bring about rapid change for
the better and pave the way for properly monitored elections to be held in
an atmosphere free from intimidation. Until there is evidence of real change
the "restrictive measures", targeting Mugabe and his close allies, must
remain in place."
By Alex Bell
07 April 2011
The remarkable wealth of yet another ZANU PF Minister has been revealed this
week, after the assets were uncovered in the Minister’s divorce case.
Minister of State in Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Office, Sylvester Robert
Nguni, is reportedly in the midst of trying to protect his assets from his
soon to be ex-wife Tsitsi. Nguni is arguing that only the wealth created
during his six year marriage can be divided between the two.
But Tsitsi clearly has her eyes on the rest of the Minister’s considerable
pile of property and other wealth, claiming she is entitled to at least half
of his estate and monthly maintenance.
Mrs Nguni has listed eight houses, a flat in South Africa and a plot in
Norton as the real estate owned by the Minister. She has also listed 14
vehicles, including two Mercedes Benz cars.
Also listed were a host of shares in companies like Cottco, Aico, Olam, Seed
Co, Underfield Investments, Lombard Investments, Valley Growers, Fitmen
Investments, Mike Appel and Interfin. She has also claimed that her husband
owns a boat, a service station, two other companies and also has external
bank accounts and investments outside Zimbabwe.
Minister Nguni has denied only a portion of the claims, arguing that the
flat in South Africa belongs to a friend and the boat is not his. He also
insists that he cannot pay Mrs Nguni maintenance because of his low monthly
wage as a civil servant.
The revelations that such a low level ZANU PF minister has managed to accrue
such wealth will come as no surprise to observers. ZANU PF members are known
to have grown steadily wealthy, while the rest of the country has suffered.
Minister Nguni is also the second party Minister in recent months to come
under scrutiny for his amazing personal wealth. Last year, Minister Ignatius
Chombo faced the ire of the MDC and some civil society groups after his
fabulous wealth was uncovered in his divorce – including interests in
several farms, mines, hunting safari lodges in Chiredzi, Hwange, Magunje and
Chirundu, as well as properties in South Africa. Local properties included
75 residential and commercial stands, plus 14 houses and five flats, all
dotted around the country. And let’s not forget his 15 vehicles.
|Written by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition|
|Wednesday, 06 April 2011 14:23|
|CIVIL SOCIETY STATEMENT ON
VIOLENCE, INSTABILITY AND VICTIMIZATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERS, THE MEDIA AND
We as Civil Society Groups strongly condemn the resurgence of violence accompanying ZANU PF’s rush to elections. The violence, typical of ZANU PF campaigns is characterized by beatings; displacing of over 140 Mbare and Epworth residents; charging of 45 civil society activists with treason for watching a movie, detaining CSO leaders and raiding their offices; abducting Civil Society activists; burning newspapers; looting foreign African owned shops, and invading private property.
Rural communities have not been spared. In events reminiscent of the bloody June 2008 “Presidential Election Run-off”, former and fake liberation war combatants have been deployed in communities to coerce them into voting for ZANU PF.
As Civil Society, we lament the inaction of the police in maintaining law and order, leaving citizens to be brutalized and businesses looted. Demonstrations against foreign businesses have taken a xenophobic tone, which should not be tolerated by any right thinking nation, especially one whose citizens have been victims of similar attacks
Police inaction vindicates Zimbabweans’ demands for non-partisan policing and the need for security sector reforms to guarantee the security of citizens.
We note with disappointment that the country’s security sector has not intervened to protect citizen’s rights and interests in keeping with its constitutional mandate. We note with concern that Zimbabwe’s 7th Parliament has done little to repeal repressive legislation and create an enabling legislative environment for opening democratic space.
We demand that the Zimbabwean Government:
1. Respect its primary responsibility of protecting its citizens through arresting the violence, and ensuring that perpetrators of acts of violence and intimidation are brought to book.
2. Desist from targeting Civil Society actors going about their work, through unwarranted police action and interference.
3. Condemn xenophobic and racist attacks, which are being carried out under the guise of indigenization.
4. Rein-in their political followers in order to maintain peace and stability in the country.
5. Respect diversity and freedom of the media to operate without any hindrance.
6. Ensure the transformation of the state media, especially ZBC, into true public service news outlets, which reflect all shades of Zimbabwean opinion.
7. Facilitate the urgent repeal and amendments to repressive pieces of legislation such as Public Order and Security Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and other laws that impede rather than facilitate Zimbabweans’ full enjoyment of their basic liberties.
8. Urgently reform state institutions, such as the judiciary and the security sector, in order for them to execute their duties in a professional and non-partisan manner that puts the country ahead of partisan interests.
We Urge The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Facilitator of Political Dialogue in Zimbabwe, President Jacob Zuma to:
1. Deliver a road map that countenances these worrying developments against ZANU’s rush to rigged elections without reforms in 2011
2. Urge ZANU PF to stop violence and intimidation.
3. Note that the developing crisis in Zimbabwe poses a potent threat to regional security through mass migration of displaced people.
4. Urgently consider calls by civil society for a closer and permanent monitoring presence in Zimbabwe, as talk of elections continues to gain momentum amongst political actors.
5. Declare that given the situation on the ground, key reforms should take place ahead of talk of elections. A Road Map to Elections will lay out clear benchmarks for the holding of democratic elections. The Road Map should, among other things, deal with violence and intimidation of citizens, remove impediments to freedom of expression such as repressive laws and unprofessional and partisan conduct by the justice and security sector.
6. Urge the African Union to come good on its promises of an assessment mission to Zimbabwe in the 1st quarter of the year to assess Zimbabwe’s readiness for elections.
We urge Zimbabweans to:
1. Exercise restraint and desist from being used as instruments of violence, or being provoked to justify further crack down on citizens, the media and perceived ZANU PF opponents.
2. Stay firm in their struggle and pursuit of a democratic dispensation that will restore their human dignity, economic justice and guarantee the civil liberties eroded by years of tyrannical rule.
Signatory Organizations to the Above Statement
1. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
2. Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe Chapter)
3. Centre for Public Accountability
4. Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
5. Bulawayo Agenda
6. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
7. National Youth Development Trust
8. National Constitutional Assembly
9. Students Solidarity Trust
10. Elections Resource Centre
11. Heal Zimbabwe Trust
12. Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
13. Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe
14. Radio Dialogue
15. Youth Forum
16. Youth in Politics
17. Center for Community Development in Zimbabwe
18. Platform for Youth Development Trust
19. Gays and Lesbians in Zimbabwe
20. Coalition against Censorship Zimbabwe (CACZ)
21. Bulawayo Arts Forum (BAF)
22. Nhimbe Trust
23. Christian Alliance
24. Ecumenical Support Services
25. Zimbabwe National Students Union
26. Counseling Services Unit
27. Zimbabwe Farmers Union Development Trust
28. Transparency International- Zimbabwe
29. Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
30. Zimbabwe Lawyers Human Rights
31. Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network for Peace-building
32. Doors of Hope Development Trust
33. Katswe Sistahood
34. Savanna Trust
35. Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
36. National Association for Non Governmental Organizations
37. Restoration of Human Rights
38. Youth Alliance for Democracy
39. Chiredzi Community Development Agenda
40. Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise
41. Zimbabwe Youth Movement
43. Build a Better Youth Zimbabwe
44. Combined Harare Residents Association
45. Non Violence Action Support Center
46. Zimbabwe Students Christian Movement
47. Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe
48. Zimbabwe United Residents Association
49. Zimbabwe Elections Support Network
50. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
51. Zimbabwe Coalition for Debt and Development
52. Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights
53. Institute for Young Women Development
54. Youth Agenda Trust
55. Women In Politics Support Unit
56. National Association for the Care of the Handicapped
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 07/04/11
It is said a week is a long time in politics. This has indeed been an
eventful week especially in Africa. For instance, nobody thought that the
Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi would ever write US President Barack Obama a
3-page letter ‘To My Dear Obama, Our Son?’ The week has seen dictators
negotiating their safe exits after rejection by their people. Even closer to
home a safe exit for Mugabe resurfaced this week under the auspices of SADC
according to press reports. Odds are it may fall through.
Only impeachment can guarantee Robert Mugabe of Zanu-pf a dignified exit
considering the tragic events in Libya where pro-Gaddafi forces are
allegedly using human shields in Misrata while in Ivory Coast the
International Committee for the Red Cross reported that 800 people were shot
to death in Duekoue (BBC, 06/04/11; CNN, 03/04/11). So far, all anti
government riots in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, UAE, Libya, Algeria and
Ivory Coast have cost lives. Zimbabwe can avoid that but still effect
peaceful change lawfully.
What is impeachment?
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful
activity and the outcome of which, depending on the country, can lead to the
removal of that official from office or other punishment (Wikipedia.org).
We also learn from Wikipedia that in the United Kingdom, the first recorded
impeachment was that of William Latimer, 4th Baron Latimer during the Good
Parliament of 1376 while the last one was that of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount
Melville in 1806. Former President of the United States Bill Clinton was
impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and
obstruction of justice on December 19, 1998 but acquitted by the Senate on
February 12, 1999.
Zimbabwe’1st impeachment attempt
An attempt at Robert Mugabe’s impeachment, probably the country’s 1st, was
made in 2000 over his conduct in the run-up to the watershed June 24-25
parliamentary elections in which 30 people were killed in politically
motivated violence (Financial Gazette, 13/07/2000; Irinnews.org,
25/10/2000). There are now more compelling reasons for Mugabe’s impeachment
Zimbabwe law experts had concluded in July 2000 that there were sufficient
legal grounds to impeach President Robert Gabriel Mugabe over his conduct.
Earlier in 2000, the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai had called for Mugabe’s
impeachment. As to be expected government officials dismissed the threat
saying the then ruling Zanu-pf party would thwart any such move because of
its parliamentary majority.
The Financial Gazette reported that legal experts had said there were
grounds to haul Mugabe before Parliament to answer charges of ‘wilful
violation of the constitution’ (13/07/2000).
Mugabe’s impeachment vote was postponed after the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) officials failed to meet with then Speaker of Parliament
Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu-pf to discuss procedural issues.
In terms of Section 29, Sub-section 3 of the Zimbabwe Constitution, ‘the
President shall cease to hold office if a report prepared by a joint
committee of the Senate and the House of Assembly, appointed by the Speaker
in consultation with the President of the Senate upon the request of not
fewer than one-third of the members of the House of Assembly, has
recommended the removal of the President on the ground-
a. that he has acted in wilful violation of this Constitution; or
b. that he is incapable of performing the functions of his office by
reason of physical or mental incapacity; or
c. of gross incapacity
and the Senators and members of the House of Assembly sitting together have
resolved by the affirmative votes of not less than two-thirds of their total
number that the President should be removed from office’(parlzim.gov.zw).
Can Mugabe be impeached?
Of course, Mugabe can be impeached if the MDC-T can prove that he has
wilfully violated the constitution or is incapable of holding office due to
physical incapacity or grosss incapacity. In order to have the necessary
two-thirds vote, the MDC-T would need to approach MPs and senators of other
parties. Fortunately, the MDC-T has a larger share of parliamentary seats
now than it had in 2000 when it tried to impeach Mugabe. The Speaker is now
Hon Lovemore Moyo of MDC-T. SADC might support the move seeing that it is
constitutional. Admittedly impeachment is a challenge given the regime’s
intolerance to dissent. There would be need for a lot of lobbying behind the
Possiblec reasons for impeachment
Compelling reasons for Mugabe’s impeachment are probably more than
Parliament needs. They include those cited in the earlier attempt. Acting in
violation of the constitution could perhaps encompass controversial military
operations, violent farm seizures (as confirmed by the SADC Tribunal) and
the subsequent election violence of 2008 in which over 200 opposition
supporters notably Abigail Chiroto, Tonderai Ndira, Better Chokururama, Cain
Nyevhe and Godfrey Kauzani were allegedly murdered by suspected Zanu-pf
supporters. More evidence can be compiled from court and human rights
reports including those of rape and torture at Goromonzi; the abduction and
torture of opposition, women’s and human rights activists, lawyers,
professionals and journalists and others as well as the election violence
report that is being withheld by the Zuma Administration in South Africa.
Other grounds are Mugabe’s old age and poor health. For example he has
missed several cabinet meetings while abroad seeking medical treatment.
There are also several pictures of Mugabe online showing him sleeping at
meetings e.g. AU, UN General Assembly and during an investment conference
among others. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has claimed Mugabe is now
sleeping through meetings. Obviously details would require good legal brains
for a foolproof vote that is guaranteed to give Mugabe a dignified exit.
Occupying the office of president also entails being accountable for issues
like the Chibondo mine shaft remains. Amnesty International has called for
forensic experts to identify the victims and how they met with their death.
Fears of an Ivory Coast in Zimbabwe
Reported attempts by Zimbabwe to import arms and ammunition via Beira ahead
of elections despite an embargo raise questions about Mozambique’s
commitment to SADC’s pressure on Mugabe to reform and avert a Tunisia or
Egypt. In a related development, views expressed by Mugabe’s propagandist
Jonathan Moyo in his latest instalment tend to give the impression that
fears of an Ivory Coast in Zimbabwe may not be an exaggeration should Mugabe
go ahead with unsupervised elections before a new constitution is put to a
referendum. Jonathan Moyo wrote:
“Following the Livingstone SADC Troika on Zimbabwe and the African vote on
Resolution 1973 against Libya, it has become very clear that Zimbabwe’s
national security interests do not lie in SADC or AU pacts given the Judas
Iscariot fact that is now rampant in the region and the continent. The time
to forge strategic partnerships that really matter in today’s geopolitics
has come. The summit in Livingstone was an early warning signal for our
country to move rapidly to make defence pacts with real friends with real
power”(Unmasking SADC troika circus in Zambia’ New Zimbabwe, 05/04/11).
Although procedural steps can be elaborated upon by constitutional experts,
first a motion is needed in Parliament followed by the appointment of a
committee by the Speaker the Hon Lovemore Moyo to draw-up a report on
whether impeachment is warranted. If the report agrees with the motion,
impeachment would require the votes of two thirds of Zimbabwe’s
parliamentarians. Finished! It is not a treasonous act because it is not an
offence and is not a crime. The fact that impeachment is on the Zimbabwe
Constitution means there is a roadmap for regime change that is not illegal.
All that needs to be done is to get the ball rolling.
Costs and benefits
The costs could be increased political tension, a witch hunt for rebels or
dissidents within the regime’s circles; more harassment of political
opponents and disruption of rallies and gatherings. Some people will
definitely be expelled at the slightest hint that they support impeachment
in the same way targeted sanctions are being viewed at the moment. But it
could be worse. There is a price for everything. The benefits outweigh the
costs. Impeachment is legal, done through Parliament with the full knowledge
of government is bloodless unless some people hi-jack it and does not
endanger the life of the president and his government. Impeachment is better
than giving the regime an excuse for turning Harare Gardens into ‘the
killing fields of dictator xyz’.
The regime’s MPs and diplomats need to take a leaf from the defections that
have been reported in North Africa and the Middle East. A Western journalist
has described the encouragement of defection by various political figures
and diplomats in North Africa like the peeling of an onion to expose
eventually leaving the dictator vulnerable and exposed. Some defectors are
approaching intermediaries while other are weighing the options of possible
indictment for any rights abuses or having any restrictions lifted. It is
time for ‘decisions decisions’.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,