By Tichaona Sibanda
8 April 2010
The MDC-T will this weekend release a statement detailing the issues covered
in the final report of the recent Global Political Agreement talks between
ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.
The report was handed over to the South African facilitation team on
Wednesday, although the three party principals Robert Mugabe, Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara received their copies last week Friday.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC national spokesman, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday
that issues covered in the report will be made public over the coming
This will be the first time ever that one of the parties involved in talks
will officially reveal issues covered during negotiations, which started two
It has become normal practice for journalists to merely speculate about the
talks because no information was made available as a result of a media
blackout, imposed by the South Africans. A clause in the document that
brought the parties to a round table specifically stated that as long as the
talks were going on, neither side could 'directly or indirectly communicate
the substance of the discussion' to the media, nor use the media as a
Journalists have long complained that this is a real stifling of freedom of
expression, and denies Zimbabweans the right to information about a process
that decides their future.
Veteran Journalist Makusha Mugabe told us that the decision by South Africa,
as the mediator, to silence the media merely created stories based on
mis-information speculation and half-truths.
'I think we should applaud what the MDC is trying to do. These negotiations
were done by a group of party representatives on behalf of all Zimbabweans
who deserved to be updated on a regular basis,' Mugabe said.
He added; 'We should have been kept abreast of developments at every stage
of the negotiations. Most times the negotiators were being economic with the
truth, telling us they were close to a deal while in reality they've been
worlds apart for the entire duration of the talks.'
Makusha said since the talks were now officially over, he believed the MDC
were no longer hamstrung by the clause in the GPA that prevented each party
from divulging information.
President Zuma is expected to go over the report with his facilitation team,
after which he will present it to the chairman of the SADC organ on
Politics, Defence and Security, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.
It's believed the Organ will convene an extraordinary summit that it is
hoped will bring about finality to the implementation of the GPA, by
imposing its own solutions.
But given the fact that most regional countries seem determined to maintain
support for Robert Mugabe, that hope may not materialise.
Harare, April 08, 2010 - The land scandal - in which the minister of local
government Ignatius Chombo and former Rhodesian police officer turned
businessman Phillip Chiyangwa are implicated - has taken a new twist with
police launching a crackdown against Harare City councillors who reportedly
compiled the report.
Two councillors, Casper Takura of Tafara and Warship Dumba were on Wednesday
interrogated and charged with criminal defamation following a report by
Chiyangwa. Police are reportedly looking for six more councillors who
participated in the land scam investigation. The notorious Law and Order
department is conducting the operation.
"Police have decided to charge the two of us and six other councillors with
criminal defamation. We were quizzed for several hours. They released us but
we are going back today (Thursday) to sign warned and cautioned statements.
Chiyangwa is the complainant.
"Thereafter we will go to court. It's ridiculous but that's the country we
are living in and we have to get used to these kinds of harassments and
abuse of power by those who claim to be well connected," Dumba told
A councillor who spoke to RadioVOP Wednesday but has not handed himself over
to the police confirmed the crackdown. "Police are visiting the homes of all
MDC councillors wanting to arrest us at the instigation of Chiyangwa. This
is ridiculous to say the least.
"Instead of arresting Chiyangwa for stealing council land, the police are
intimidating us a week after they intimidated journalists who exposed the
scandal. When we go to court, we will expose these land looters further.
"They will not intimidate us. Actually we want out find out why Chiyangwa is
so desperate to stop this investigation. Chiyangwa thinks that this is still
Rhodesia where, when he was police officer he used to intimidate and
brutalise freedom fighters. The game has changed and the country is now free
from people like Chiyangwa," said the MDC councillor who was on his way to
hand himself over to the police Monday afternoon.
Chiyangwa has laid criminal defamation charges against Harare mayor
Muchadeyi Masunda and members of a special council committee appointed to
investigate land sales in Harare accusing them of leaking a report
containing the allegations to the media with the malicious intention of
harming his reputation and his businesses.
Last week, journalists Stanley Gama, Jennifer Dube, Feluna Nleya and Vincent
Kahiya were questioned after they exposed the land grab scandal in The
Sunday Times and The Standard.
Police did not charge them but recorded their statements. The police wanted
to know the source of the document which is now public following its
adoption by council. This has paved the way for police to arrest and
investigate the land theft. But so far police have not made a move on
Chiyangwa, Chombo and others named in the scandal.
Chiyangwa is not new to controversy. In 2004, he was arrested for allegedly
spying for the South African government and spent months in remand prison
but was acquitted while his accomplices received lengthy jail sentences.
Chiyangwa admitted in court that he was getting USD$10 000 a month for his
role in the spying ring but claimed that he was doing consultancy work. He
denied charges of the spying.
Early the same year he was arrested for obstructing the course of justice
after trying to protect directors of ENG capital which had allegedly
swindled people of millions of dollars.
By Violet Gonda
8 April 2010
An annual report by the US State Department on the human rights situation in
Zimbabwe has revealed that ‘corrective rape’ against gay men and lesbians is
on the increase.
Journalist Angus Shaw said the latest 50 page report compiled by the US
Embassy in Harare gives emphasis to the harassment of the gay community,
including revelations that there is now a practice in Zimbabwe called
‘corrective rape’, where some homosexuals are being raped ‘by those
intending to convert their sexuality’.
Although persecution of gays and lesbians is on the increase, very few
victims are prepared to speak publicly about the attacks because of the
stigma surrounding the issue of homosexuality.
Shaw said the human rights report shows how through the guise of ‘corrective
rape’ lesbian women are raped by men to ‘make them enjoy heterosexual acts’,
while gay men are raped by women, sometimes, under supervision of villagers
and relatives to ‘remove their sexual orientation tendencies’.
The journalist said the report shows how some homosexuals are forced to
marry to encourage heterosexual conduct, while others are ‘taught the errors
of their ways’ by being raped by family members.
The gay community has long been under siege in Zimbabwe and hate speech
against this group is common. Robert Mugabe says homosexuality is ‘abhorrent’
and famously described homosexuals as “worse than dogs and pigs”.
Recently both the principals in the inclusive government, Mugabe and Morgan
Tsvangirai, publicly condemned the practice of homosexuality, with Mugabe
adding that he would not allow any gay rights to find their way into the new
Ironically, the two were speaking at an International Women's Day
celebrations in Chitungwiza, where the theme was ‘Equal Rights, Equal
Opportunities: Progress for All’.
Engaging in homosexual acts is unlawful under the common law offence of
sodomy and the issue of gay rights has now become a hot debate in the
discussion on a new constitution.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum urged the political leaders
to desist from making statements likely to promote hate and prejudice,
especially when the country is going through a transition from a period
characterised by hate, violence and economic suffering, and hopefully moving
towards national healing.
The group said in a statement: “We support a Constitution that protects
Zimbabweans against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, just
as it prevents discrimination on grounds such as race, gender, ethnicity, or
religion. The immediate challenge the nation is facing is overcoming social
deprivations in areas such as hunger, health, education, unemployment and
violence against women and children and above all the functionality of the
GNU. These are the areas in which the Principals in the GNU should be
providing leadership; rather than fostering antipathy and intolerance.”
April 8, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Human rights groups here are urging the newly constituted Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to ensure that Zimbabwe quickly ratifies the
UN Convention Against Torture (CAT).
President Robert Mugabe last week swore into office members of the ZHRC
which is expected to investigate past rights abuses.
Reginald Austin, a distinguished law professor, took oath as the new chair
of the the commission at State House, together with his deputy Dr Ellen
Also sworn-in by Mugabe as human rights commissioners were Dr Kwanele
Jirira, Nomathemba Neseni, Carrol Khombe, Elasto Mugwadi, Dr Joseph Kurebwa,
Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube and Jacob Mudenda.
Human rights groups this week acknowledged the daunting task the commission
faced but urged it to immediately ensure that the country was party to the
CAT, which the Zanu-PF side of the inclusive government has staunchly
refused to ratify.
The ZHRC's core mandate is "to promote the protection, development and
attainment of human rights, to monitor, assess, investigate and ensure
observance of human rights in Zimbabwe and to perform such other functions
as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament."
The Commission was provided for under the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
and inserted into the Constitution through Constitution Amendment No. 19,
which came into force in February 2009 when the inclusive government was
"The commission has a mandate to persuade the government of Zimbabwe to
ratify the UN Convention Against Torture," said ZimRights in a statement to
The Daily News.
"It is ZimRights' hope that the commissioners will be capacitated so that
they can fulfil their duties in tandem with the will of the people."
Section 111B of the Constitution requires prior Parliamentary approval
before Zimbabwe becomes party to international treaties and conventions.
Approval is granted by resolutions passed by both Houses.
Because Zimbabwe was not a signatory of the Convention and the Optional
Protocol when they were drawn up in 1984 and 2002, respectively, the
technical procedure for becoming party to them is for the government to
lodge instruments of accession with the Secretary-General of the United
An instrument of accession is a simple legal document signed by the
President on the recommendation of Cabinet.
Legal and Parliamentary affairs think-tank, Veritas, said of all the human
rights abuses that have taken place in Zimbabwe, torture was the most
heinous and it was imperative that the new commission takes steps to
eliminate torture through the ratification of the UN Convention.
"It (torture) involves premeditation and planning, often total isolation,
and not only incredible infliction of pain but the uncertainty of if and
when it will end," Veritas said.
"It is a violation of all that makes us human. It is hoped that the
Commission will persuade the government to sign the United Nations
Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol."
Zimbabwe is one of the few SADC countries that have not signed this
It is several years since Parliament passed a resolution recommending it be
signed and a year since Zimbabwe's failure to sign the convention was raised
in Parliament and co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa said he would
look into the matter. That was last year in April. Almost a year later,
Zimbabwe is still not state party to the protocol.
President Mugabe's military generals and politicians have organized
campaigns of terror for decades to keep him and his party in power. This
cabal has fiercely resisted the ratification of the Convention amid fears
perpetrators would be vulnerable to prosecution, especially for crimes
committed during the 2008 brutal election campaign.
Zimbabwe is in the midst of a treacherous passage from authoritarian rule to
an uncertain future. After a bloody election season in 2008 stained by the
state-sponsored beatings and killings of opposition supporters, Mugabe and
his rivals in the Movement for Democratic Change agreed to a power-sharing
government that included both victimizers and victims.
Observers say Mugabe's lieutenants, part of an inner circle called the Joint
Operations Command (JOC), know that their 86-year-old leader may not be
around much longer to shield them, and therefore fear losing, not just their
power and ill-gotten wealth, but also their freedom.
The cabal is accused of sanctioning the use of torture. Pointedly, it has
become the preferred method of investigation by the Zimbabwe Republic
Police; it is used against suspects in the process of interrogations in a
bid to extract evidence and confessions.
Torture is also used against human rights defenders and opposition political
activists and common methods of torture widely used in Zimbabwe include
Falanga (beating on the soles of the feet), mock drowning, and whipping,
Unfortunately, torture is not criminalised under Zimbabwean law. This leaves
victims of torture with no recourse or effective remedy at the domestic
level. The perpetrators are also charged with lesser offences, if at all.
Human rights groups have demanded that the human rights commission must
immediately take steps towards the ratification and domestication of the
United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The ZHRC is one of four constitutional commissions, including one to
overhaul the electoral system, oversee the media and another to investigate
The commissions are part of reforms that Zimbabwe's power-sharing government
must implement to re-shape and democratize the country's politics that has
been characterized by violence and gross human rights violations almost
since independence from Britain in 1980.
By: Gerald Chateta
Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2010
Harare - Police have summoned relatives of the 2007 coup plotter, former
Army captain Albert Matapo, who during the weekend attempted to escape from
Chikurubi maximum prison, and have tortured a convicted prison officer
Donald Tapera Gwekwerere said to have assisted in the botched escape,
forcing them to implicate Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in the case,
it has emerged.
Sources at Harare central police's law and order section and Zimbabwe
Prison Service(ZPS) dealing with the case said all inmates involved in
the attempted escape are also being tortured to establish their
relationship with Mnangagwa(pictured).
Matapo was arrested in 2007 together with six other suspects namely Nyasha
Zivuku, Oncemore Mazivahona, Emmanuel Marara, Patson Mupfure, Shingirai
Mutemachani, and Rangarirai Maziofa on allegations of plotting to replace
President Mugabe with a senior ZANU-PF official Emerson Mnangagwa.
"Yesterday Matapo's wife and two of his close relatives were roped into the
matter. They have however distanced themselves from the minister", said the
Donald Tapera Gwekwerere (26) who was sentenced to an effective five years
in jail for assisting the inmates to escape from lawful custody, sources
said was still being held by the police who are forcing him to implicate
Chikurubi maximum Prison officer-in-charge, Assistant Commissioner Pambai,
his deputy Chief Superintendent Tarwira and In-charge Administration
Superintendent Dumbura on Wednesday appeared before a board of Prison
"We are not yet aware of the outcome of the enquiry but what we can
confirm is that they were summoned by ZPS chief yesterday for explanations.
Gwekwerere is limping after he was tortured by the state security agents who
are forcing him to implicate Mnangagwa in the case.
"He told us that he is being forced to say what he does not know. He is
saying, what he knows is his relationship with Matapo's relatives who had
promised him some fortunes", said a ZPS source.
By: Gerald Chateta
Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2010
Harare - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he is next week going to
order Youth Development, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Minister
Savior Kasukuwere to announce the revised Indigenization and Empowerment Act
before the council of ministers which he chairs.
Addressing business people and African Diplomats in Harare on Thursday Prime
minister Tsvangirai assured the nation and the world that the controversial
Empowerment Act has been revised.
"It is unfortunate that some people want to use politics where it is not
necessary. Such statements are just political rhetoric. Next week when
Kasukuwere comes back from Kariba I will insist that he present the full
revised edition of the regulations to the council of ministers .He is
not going to escape from that, that I assure you.
"Let me assure you that when the new regulations are published ,they
will be very different and much more progressive than when originally
gazetted. The revised regulations will ensure amongst other changes,
that none is criminalized, there will be no forced accusations and
assets will be purchased, not ceded. The regulations will reflect
broad based empowerment and ensure that a minority elite does not
benefit at the expense of the many who deserve to benefit from our
nation's riches", Tsvangirai told business people and African ambassadors
who were gathered at a local hotel in Harare.
Under the controversial Empowerment Act, foreign owned companies are to cede
51% of their share holding to the local indigenous people.
Kasukuwere is on record for batting that there was no going back in the
implementation of the controversial law that has threatened the inclusive
government and economic recovery in a country that has seen a decade long
"Those who are opposed to the Act must go and die. We have no reverse gear
in our gear box. Journalists please emphasize that Kasukuwere has said 50%
in the country's minerals are for us. If there is an insane Zimbabwean who
is opposed to that he must go and die", Kasukuwere told Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono at a function hosting ANC youth league
President Julius Malema at Gono's Norton farm last Sunday.
Gono though a ZANU-PF activist, is strongly opposed to the Act and has
publicly clashed with the Empowerment minister Kasukuwere.
HARARE, April 8 (AFP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will officially open Zimbabwe's main
trade show later this month, state television reported on Thursday.
"Iran's President Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will officially open this year's
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair to be held in Bulawayo," the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation said in a news bulletin.
"This was revealed by a cabinet minister after Iran's new ambassador
Mohammed Najav presented his credentials to President Robert Mugabe at State
The trade fair was a major calendar event in Zimbabwe, but has become more
localised in recent years as the country battled an economic crisis which
saw inflation peaking to 231 million percent.
Zimbabwe enjoys good relations with Iran, as well as several Asian countries
after launching a "Look East" policy in response to its isolation which
followed Harare's controversial land reforms and disputed 2002 polls.
The fair, from April 20 to 24, will be officially opened on the 23rd.
Posted by Own Staff Friday, 09 April 2010 01:41
A Chronicle journalist based in Beitbridge was on Thursday morning detained
by police over an article that claimed that eight detectives fled for dear
life after an armed suspect opened fire at them.
Mashudu Netsianda, who is Chronicle Beitbridge office reporter was picked up
by two police officers for questioning over a story titled "Cops flee police
station as injiva opens fire".
Police said the story was likely to place the country's security at
risk.Netsianda wrote that on Sunday eight detectives fled for dear life from
Beitbridge Police Station "after an angry injiva they had arrested for
illegal possession of a firearm opened fire".
Quoting sources, Netsianda said the detectives took the suspect who is now
on the run to the police station. However, the detectives failed to find the
gun but the suspect suddenly withdrew it from a bag and ordered the
detectives to lie down before he fled leaving his car.
One of the detectives, according to the story " plunged into a pool of water
on a drainage system as he ran for dear life".
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Tafanana Dzirutwe told
Zicora that Netsianda was not in police custody.
"I am not aware of that. Infact Mashudu phoned me in the morning inquiring
on some story. So if there was anything wrong he would have told me so,"
said Insp Dzirutwe.
Dzirutwe said the journalist should not be arrested for carrying out his
duties 'unless he/she had incriminated someone".
However, Netsianda told Zicora that police wanted to charge him with
"placing the country's security at risk".
He said he was detained for more than an hour at the Law and Order Section
and a docket was opened for him.
"However, after the police officers consulted their bosses they told me that
they are dropping the charges. But they strongly told me that the language I
used was demeaning the police establishment."
He was then released but now feels threatened by the police action.
Netsianda's arrest comes hardly a week after three Harare-based reporters
where also quizzed by police.Last week two female journalists Feluna Nleya
and Jennifer Dube of the privately owned Standard weekly were questioned by
police from the Law and Order Section for exposing an alleged massive land
scandal involving the Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo and
business person Philip Chiyangwa.
The story was based on a 54-page report titled: Special Investigations
Committees report on City of Harare's Land Sales, Leases and Exchanges from
the period October 2004 to December 2009. Earlier in the week, police had
summoned freelance journalist Stanley Gama over a related story published by
The Sunday Times of South Africa.
The harassment of the journalists comes hard on the heels of statements by
the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu that
harassment of journalists should stop.
Thursday, 08 April 2010 12:07
Harare - Scores of Central Intelligence organisation (CIO) and other Robert
Mugabe's officials were over the Easter holiday left stranded at the Harare
International Airport after Mugabe was provided a Libyan Jet to fly him to
Senegal instead of using an Air Zimbabwe plane as previously planned,
Zimdiaspora can reveal.
Globetrotting Mugabe traditionally commandeers an Air Zimbabwe plane and
travels with a large delegation of over 60 officials and relatives on his
frequent foreign trips, but last week Libyan dictator Muamour Gaddafi
dispatched a plane to ferry him to Dakar to attend Senegal's 50th
A source at Munhumutapa building told Zimdiaspora that only less than 15
officials were able to travel with Mugabe as Gaddafi's jet was too small to
accommodate the ageing dictator's large delegation of over 60 people.
"Most CIO's were left behind at the Airport because the Libyan jet was too
small. They were really disappointed with Gaddafi because they will have to
surrender to treasury the thousands of dollars in travel and subsistence
allowances they had been given," said the source. "Some of them had already
squandered part of their allowances before the journey and they will have to
borrow in order to replace the money."
An official who was left behind told Zimdiaspora that most senior government
officials were hopeful that Mugabe will not buy a small presidential jet in
future as most of them would lose out from the frequent free foreign trips.
He said Mugabe, the first lady and most of his officials use foreign trips
for shopping sprees, adding that the regime is fighting to have sanctions
imposed on them removed to enable them to travel to Paris and London to do
their regular shopping.
CIO's and government officials who globetrot with Mugabe are paid several
thousands of dollars in allowances bleeding the bankrupt government of
millions of dollars.
A few months ago a team of CIO's which travelled with Mugabe for an ICT
meeting in Switzerland were reportedly paid up to US$50 000 each in
The trip reportedly cost taxpayers over US$6 million, yet the country did
not benefit anything as the conference was just a talk show.
Sources say on average officials who travel with Mugabe to areas such
Europe, Asia and the Middle East are paid an average of US$5 000 per day at
a time civil servants in the country are earning less than US$200 per month.
Mugabe loves travelling and used to be nicknamed 'Vasco Dagama after the
Portuguese explorer. His travels to the USA and Europe are however now
limited due to the western travel restrictions imposed on him and his close
cronies due to the Zanu PF's regime's gross violations of human rights.
Harare, April 08, 2010 - The announcement by Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi
that the North Korean national soccer team would train in Zimbabwe has
sparked a tribal storm particularly in Bulawayo where some activists feel
the team's presence would re-open old wounds of the Gukurahundi era.
On Wednesday, Mzembi announced that only the North Korean soccer team had
accepted to train in Zimbabwe during their preparations for the World Cup.
The government approached five World Cup participating countries - England,
the United States of America, Australia, Brazil and North Korea - to train
in the country. According to Mzembi, only North Korea took the offer.
But that deal is now in trouble as some activists feel the presence of North
Koreans was "a symbolic insult" that would reopen old wounds, which would
also remind many that the "relationship between Zimbabwe and North Korean
was cemented by the blood of our kin".
In a forum of mostly activists fighting the marginalisation of Matabeleland,
angry email exchanges have been the order of the day since the announcment,
to share ideas on how "we can protest, embark on massive advocacy to
register our discontent, and if we can possibly attempt to have them barred
from coming to train at Barbourfields Stadium".
South Africa based Zimbabwean actor Bhekilizwe Ndlovu said the North Koreans
"should be pushed out of town".
"This could begin serious dialogue, action and closure to this problem (of
the effects of Gukurahundi atrocities) that continues to haunt us," said
Ndlovu, who is famous for his role as AK in the once popular local ZTV soap
In one of the emails, UK based Zimbabwean academic and civic activist,
Brilliant Mhlanga, said the North Korea had been "an accomplice in many
ways" to President Robert Mugabe's regime. Mhlanga said "it is possible to
have this thing (stopping the North Koreans from camping in Zimbabwe) done".
Among those who support the proposal is former Radio Zimbabwe presenter,
Ezra Tshisa Sibanda, who said he has two documentaries that show people
being raped, maimed and killed.
The Gukurahundi atrocities claimed more that 20,000 lives during the 1980s
when Mugabe unleashed the North Korean trained fifth brigade in the Midlands
and Matabeleland Provinces to smoke out dissidents whom he said were being
haboured in the area. He now claims the actions were "a moment of madness".
April 8th, 2010 by admin
By Our Correspondent
JOHANNESBURG - Civil rights group AfriForum, which helped commercial farmers
attach a property belonging to the Zimbabwean government, says it will wait
to hear from President Robert Mugabe's government if there were plans to
compensate the farmers before selling it.
The group is helping attach properties for loss the farmers suffered as a
result of Mugabe's controversial land reform. AfriForum also said it would
wait before going ahead to attach three others properties in the same city
The attached R2,5 million property is in Kenilworth, Cape Town while the
other three are in Zonneblom and Wynberg.
"We will keep things as they are at the moment," said Willie Spies, of
AfriForum who is acting as a lawyer for the farmers.
"We are not going to sell the house immediately but wait for the response
from the Zimbabweans to see if they are going to act on compensating the
He emphasised that the decision withhold sale was not in any way influenced
by the South African government's intention to appeal against the attachment
of the property.
"This process is about helping Zimbabweans by showing them that it's
possible for civil society to institute civil sanctions against a regime
that does not help its people."
In November 2008, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal
ruled in favour of Michael Campbell and 78 Zimbabwean farmers that the land
reform programme in the country was "racist and unlawful".
In June last year, the Tribunal issued a contempt ruling against the
Zimbabwe government before the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria
registered the tribunal's rulings this year on February 26.
But Zimbabwe Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa described AfriForum's move
as a "day dream," saying the properties could not be attached because they
are under diplomatic protection, while Zimbabwe's Ambassador to South
Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, called it a "nonsensical move by a racist
Meanwhile, the South African government has said it will appeal a ruling by
the North Gauteng which registered the SADC ruling giving AfriForum the
leeway to attach Zimbabwean properties.
A Harare High Court Judge Bharat Patel in January ruled that Zimbabwe was
bound by rulings of the regional court but said the order on farm seizures
could not be implemented because it was against public policy.
In blocking the Tribunal order, Patel said its enforcement would effectively
undo Mugabe's land reforms of the past decade, with all white farmers who
lost land expected to use the judgment to claim their properties back.
The judge said this would require the government to evict tens of thousands
of black families resettled on farms seized from whites in order to return
the land to lawful owners, a move he described as a "political enormity"
with potential to cause upheaval in Zimbabwe.
The decade-long farm invasions which the 86-year-old Mugabe says were
necessary to ensure blacks also had access to arable land they were denied
by previous white-led governments have been blamed for plunging Zimbabwe
into food shortages.
Johannesburg, April 08, 2010 - ANC Youth League president Julius Malema on
Thursday verbally sparred with a BBC journalist at a media briefing on
Zimbabwe's land reform policy.
He called the reporter a "bastard" and kicked him out of the briefing at
Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Malema recently returned from a trip to Zimbabwe to study the effects of
"nationalisation" in that country.
Malema hailed Zimbabwe's land reform policy as "courageous and militant".
"Land reform in Zimbabwe has been very successful," he said, adding that the
controversial programme was a "very correct method".
Malema said violence, however, should never be used to implement policy. He
said this before verbally sparring with the journalist. -SAPA
April 08 2010 ,
The National Press Club has strongly condemned Julius Malema's behaviour at
a news conference earlier today. Malema kicked a journalist out of a media
briefing after hurling insults at him.
Malema was criticising Zimbabwean opposition party the Movement for
Democratic Change, saying they should go back to Zimbabwe instead of working
from offices in Sandton, Johannesburg. Then BBC Journalist Jonah Fisher
pointed out that Malema too was staying in Sandton. It was then that a
furious Malema hurled a series of personal insults at Fisher and told him
to get out of the briefing.
National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee says Malema's behaviour is
unacceptable. He says the media has a job to do, adding that journalists
will not sit back and watch their colleagues being abused and manhandled.
Abramjee says this is not the first time that Malema has chosen to attack
journalists, and he has called for the insults, swearing and name calling to
The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has also slammed Malema’s
behaviour. A member of Sanef's executive council, Raymond Louw says: "We
are appalled at the conduct of Julius Malema. This is no way to treat a
reporter at a press conference…It’s no way to treat the media and we object
to it very strongly."
Malema has just returned from Zimbabwe where he studied the effects of
nationalisation in that country.
By MICHELLE FAUL (AP) - 37 minutes ago
JOHANNESBURG - A white politician stormed out of a live TV debate about race
relations and a black leader of the ruling African National Congress threw
racial epithets at a journalist he kicked out of a news conference.
The events are just part of the fallout in South Africa after the slaying of
a notorious white supremacist. Eugene Terreblanche, leader of the
once-feared AWB paramilitary group, was bludgeoned to death on his farm on
April 3. The acrimonious aftermath reveals strained race relations 16 years
after apartheid collapsed and Nelson Mandela became president, urging all
races to come together.
"I am not finished with you," AWB Secretary General Andre Visagie shouted as
he stormed off the local TV talk show, pointing a finger at a black female
analyst. Video of the Wednesday night blowup, which erupted after the
analyst continually interrupted Visagie and made hand gestures in front of
his face, was posted on YouTube and quickly got hundreds of hits.
At least four musical remixes went onto the Internet, including one by a
popular South African rapper.
On Thursday there was more acrimony.
Julius Malema, leader of the ANC Youth League, held a news conference in
which he sang about beating up white farmers, defying a new directive from
his own party to stop singing racially polarizing songs. Some whites have
blamed Terreblanche's murder on a song Malema had previously belted out,
urging that white farmers be shot.
"How on earth did SA get from Mandela to this guy??" wrote one poster on
YouTube, along side a clip of the press conference that had more than 10,000
Malema and Visagie perhaps represent two extremes in this once white-led
country where blacks for decades were brutalized and belittled by a racist
white minority government. But the aftermath of the Terreblanche killing,
which was allegedly motivated by a wage dispute, shows that rage and wounds
remain raw among many. Some residents of a black township near
Terreblanche's farm even hailed Terreblanche's alleged killers as heroes.
Terreblanche's extremist Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging movement, better known
as the AWB, wanted to create all-white republic within South Africa.
"It does really highlight the fact that race relations in our country are an
unresolved issue," said Chris Maroleng, the journalist who was host of
Wednesday night's TV show. "Eugene Terreblanche's death has opened up a lot
of unhealed wounds and unresolved issues in terms of race."
Maroleng, however, stressed that most South Africans of all races are keen
to get along and work together to rebuild the divided nation of nearly 50
Visagie had become angry when analyst Lebohang Pheko kept interrupting him,
asking "Is it still you versus us?" and whether he cared about starving
South African children or abused farm laborers. Visagie tore the microphone
from his jacket and threw it. Maroleng came between him and Pheko and
warned: "Touch me on my studio and you will be in trouble."
Some who saw the episode sympathized with Pheko. Tshepo Dithipe, a
22-year-old law student, said, "I was actually scared for the woman." Others
thought she provoked Visagie.
"She was not asking questions to find out more," said Innocentai Mdluli, a
22-year-old anthropology student. "She wanted this man to look raw and
The blowup at Malema's press conference happened as the ANC youth leader was
speaking about his recent trip to neighboring Zimbabwe. He said Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party, which is in an acrimonious unity
government with hardline President Robert Mugabe, will not find "friendship"
with the ANC in South Africa.
"They can insult us here from air-conditioned offices in Sandton. We are
unshaken," he said, referring to the wealthy suburb of Johannesburg.
BBC television journalist Jonah Fisher said Malema himself lives in Sandton.
Malema's eyes got big and he blew up.
"Don't come here with that white tendency ... undermining blacks!" Malema
shouted. He insulted Fisher's manhood, called for security officers to throw
the reporter out and said: "Go out, bastard! You bloody agent."
Malema has found an ear among poor black South Africans disenchanted that
their right to vote has not been matched by access to decent housing, jobs,
good education and health care. South Africa is the richest country in
Africa, yet the ANC has been unable to translate that into better lives for
Only a small black elite has become enormously rich since apartheid ended.
Studies show the majority of blacks are worse off financially than they were
under the white government.
"Race still matters very much in South Africa ... particularly the
coincidence between race and inequality, race and poverty and race and
unemployment, with the black youth experiencing all those
disproportionately," said Justin Sylvester, a researcher at the Institute
for Democracy in South Africa.
Associated Press writer Nkemeleng Nkosi in Johannesburg contributed to this
SW Radio Africa Transcript
|Violet Gonda presents the final segment of her interview with
Andrew Cranswick, CEO of African Consolidated Resources, the
company in the middle of a legal wrangle with the government over the Chiadzwa
diamond mine. The alluvial diamond fields in Chiadzwa are one of the richest in
the world but corruption is swallowing up all the profits, which could rebuild
Zimbabwe . Cranswick talks about the corruption, the South African ‘crooks’ who
have been given permits to mine Chiadzwa, and his fears that the unrest created
by these diamonds could lead to war, as has happened in other parts of Africa.
He accuses the State of allowing a ‘bunch of South African smugglers’ to manage
Zimbabwe ’s most important cash asset.
BROADCAST: 02 APRIL 2010
VIOLET GONDA: Welcome to the second part of the interview with Andrew Cranswick, the CEO of African Consolidated Resources, the company in the middle of a legal wrangle with the government over the Chiadzwa diamond mine. In the first part of the interview Cranswick talked about the history of, and the controversy behind, the Chiadzwa diamond mine. The alluvial diamond fields in Chiadzwa are one of the richest in the world but corruption has apparently swallowed all the profits. There is no doubt that these resources should benefit the deeply troubled country yet the Zimbabwean people have nothing to show for the natural wealth under their feet. There are some who say diamonds, like oil are a non-renewable resource and should be regulated. So in this final segment I started by asking Cranswick to respond to those who believe that such resources should not be under the control of private investors but by the State.
ANDREW CRANSWICK: First of all, all minerals – not just diamonds and oil – are non-renewable. Platinum is non-renewable, nickel is non-renewable, copper is non-renewable. The only mineral that we are mining at the moment that is in some way renewable is phosphate. Now we’re mining a non-renewable resource but if we recycled sewage then it would be somewhat renewable. So it’s not just diamonds and oil, it’s all minerals that are non-renewable and I’ve just outlined the best way, and it’s been proven in countries like Australia, Canada, Tanzania and now Botswana, that if you don’t involve private capital and private equity these things will never be developed. The State has controlled Marange, albeit illegally, the State has controlled and mined Marange for four years and yet not one cent has flowed back to the Zimbabwe people and now we want to let South African crooks manage our natural resource? Is that sensible? That’s rubbish! So should the State be involved? Yes because it takes 12% royalty on diamonds. Should the State be involved? Yes it takes 15% corporate tax on mining companies and gold mining companies, 35% on other corporates. It is involved.
GONDA: You keep talking about South Africans smuggling diamonds from Zimbabwe and just now you have described them as crooks. What do you know about their operations in Zimbabwe ?
In the north, the Mbada, the so-called Mbada Syndicate is funded by a company called Reclam or the new Reclamation Group who are scrap metal traders in South Africa and if you read their company documents, the only thing they have ever, ever, ever done or intend to do supposedly is to trade in scrap metal. Now suddenly these are diamond mining experts and the Minister himself admitted that there are crooks in the companies operating. He admitted at the Parliamentary Select Committee - he said I know there are crooks there but the diamond industry is full of crooks so what can I do? He also admitted that the licences were not given with proper procedure.
Now Reclam interestingly has been operating at Zisco for ten years now without any tender process being followed, without any tender renewal being followed, no-one checking on what they are exporting compared to the value they are paying, no-one doing a forensic audit which you would expect. They are digging down a mountain of slag from Zisco’s years of operation and shipping out something called chilled pool iron, there appears to be some discrepancies on paperwork which should call for a forensic audit. So in my opinion they have been essentially taking Zimbabwe ’s assets for ten years already and now they want to up the ante a bit and take more of our assets for cheap or free. So this is just, it is unacceptable, I cannot believe that serious and honest people in the government will allow this for much longer.
GONDA: Is it true that some of the people who are running Mbada Diamonds are related to the Minister, to Minister Obert Mpofu? Have you heard anything about that?
CRANSWICK: Only what I have read in the press from the Parliamentary Select Committee that the Minister decided it appears, to appoint one of Reclam’s own people as his own director and the chairman, Dr Robert Mhlanga has been appointed, yet he is a partner, a long-standing partner, in fact he facilitated and brokered and is involved in the Zisco deal and now he gets appointed as the government representative. How can we have the fox looking after the henhouse? So and then what I hear about other people being appointed, so it’s not transparent, if you look at the joint venture agreement between the Reclam’s subsidiary and the ZMDC it’s heavily loaded in favour of control by Reclam. They have exclusive rights to market all the goods, they are going to do transfer pricing, there’s no security to check whether they are not smuggling some of the goods, so it’s just pathetic.
Why would the government, why would the minister go and joint venture with the scrap metals trader on the north of ACR claims and a bunch of smugglers and night club owners in the south instead of doing it with a transparent public company like ACR who has the legal rights anyway and has offered a more favourable joint venture to government than either of the ones underway? It would immediately clear up the Kimberley Process issues, it would immediately clear up the sanctions issues and we would do it transparently – perhaps that’s the problem. Perhaps certain people don’t want it to be transparent because then money can’t change hands.
GONDA: And what about human rights abuses?
GONDA: Is it correct to say that whenever there is terrible unrest in countries with such resources, the resources don’t last and if this is true are you able to tell us how long will this mine last in Chiadzwa?
Some people argue that Botswana is an exception – it’s not, Botswana ’s diamonds are not alluvial. They are Kimberlite deposits which are difficult to mine by hand and they're buried under desert sand. So Botswana ’s not an exception in that rule. So my terror as a Zimbabwean and as a patriot, never mind ACR ’s interest, is that this is going to lead to war and we’ve already seen death and bloodshed related to this totally unnecessarily and my fear is that it’s going to lead to war. So that’s fear number one in terms of the unrest, much more important than the diamond resource being mined out, human lives are more important than a pretty stone on a finger.
The second thing is the life of the resource. At first we thought it was only ten to 15 years life because we intended to mine it quite aggressively in terms of tonnage and so we were very, very concerned about this rape and pillage of it and we still are because it’s not good for the diamond industry and it’s not good for Zimbabwe. But if it’s mined responsibly and by responsibly I mean at a reasonable rate, we don’t want to mine it too fast because it will affect the price of diamonds negatively or we will be cutting off our own nose to spite our face as a country. So if we mine it responsibly and steadily I believe it has got about a 30 year mine life, that particular deposit on our claims.
But there are deposits that are similar to it and related to it in Chimanimani that have nothing to do with us and there’s a lot of science, very unique, a lot of science has to be applied, we’ve offered our services for free to the government on this in return for a joint venture. There’s a lot of science that needs to be applied and if we look at the whole Chimanimani system and that area, we believe that this could give rise to diamond mining at various levels for possibly another 50 to 100 years. It’s a national treasure and we’ve got to look after it.
GONDA: Let’s talk a bit about the issue of corruption. You’ve talked about South African crooks being involved and you’ve also talked about one or two individuals in government who have vested interest in this mine. What have you managed to gather in terms of corrupt activities, can you give us some examples?
CRANSWICK: Violet this is probably the wrong forum to do this in right this minute. I can tell you that there are a number of people investigating a number of officials in three or four different countries around the world. We are not the only people who are investigating them, we have assisted where we could. We do expect that corruption charges will be laid within the next few months against some senior officials.
GONDA: In government?
GONDA: You have been accused by Minister Obert Mpofu of being one white man holding the country to ransom with regards to diamond revenue, what is your reaction to this?
GONDA: Who are these Zimbabweans that are assisting these South African ‘crooks’?
CRANSWICK: Well in Canadile for example who are mining illegally against a Supreme Court order in the south of the mineral rights that have been declared by the Courts to be worked by ACR , there is for example a company run by a white man by the name of Jan Swart and he is complicit in the shareholding of this business and he’s benefiting from a crime. There are others as well, there’s Lovemore Kurotwi who’s a director and shareholder in Canadile operation. In the north it seems Dr Robert Mhlanga is helping an illegal operation in the north of the claims and that’s unfortunate. Dr Mhlanga is a war veteran, he’s formerly a highly respected member of the Air Force and it’s unfortunate that he is assisting something like this because we’d expect something different from him.
GONDA: And what about Minister Mpofu himself, how is he involved? What do you know about his activities there?
GONDA: And was he the one who gave the licences to these mining companies that are actually working in the Chiadzwa area?
GONDA: And there was a recent article stating that ACR ’s mining rights would once again be cancelled. Is this correct and has the cancellation been effected?
GONDA: So while you say that this matter is still under appeal in the Courts, the website Zimonline reports that the Kimberley Process monitor, or Zimbabwe monitor Abbey Chikane will visit Zimbabwe next week to inspect diamonds being mined and it’s reported that he’s most likely to certify the diamonds especially those that are produced by Mbada Investments - so that they can be sold on the international market. If this actually happens what will it mean to your claim?
CRANSWICK: Well it will mean a lot of things and it’s quite a worry that it’s going to be done unilaterally in that manner - if it is going to be done. Now our understanding is the same, we have some information that is not conclusive, that the Kimberley Process will recommend the allowance of that sale. We have warned them in a very polite manner that the danger of that is they’re essentially endorsing and becoming complicit in a crime in Zimbabwe , the crime being contempt of Court because in Zimbabwe , contempt of Court is a criminal offence. The Supreme Court is very, very clear that those diamonds are supposed to be lodged at the Reserve Bank pending the outcome of the appeal. The Supreme Court was also very, very clear that all mining should cease forthwith pending the outcome of the appeal.
Now you can’t have diamonds without mining so the growing and the growth of that pile of diamonds which has been ongoing, every three days a helicopter arrives at Harare Airport with more diamonds from site, can only be given rise to by mining and in fact the companies have acknowledged they are mining. So the point is that they are in contempt of Court and there’s a double contempt of Court here and the KPS might be endorsing it.
We have had a suggestion made by elements in government which we think is a very credible one and one we endorse and that suggestion is that we do not object to the sale of diamonds, we do not apply to the Kimberley Process or the Supreme Court to freeze this sale, but on the sole suggestion that 100% of the revenue from such a sale must go to government, must go to the fiscus and on that basis - which I think is very fair - we would not object to the sale because essentially we want the government and the people of Zimbabwe to benefit.
This is an idea that would satisfy the requirement to bring money into the economy that Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe desperately need, and we’ll endorse that sale without fighting it and agree to that suggestion provided that 100% of the money goes to government, 100% of the sale money must go to government and the sale should be 100% fair and transparent and open to bidders to get the best possible price. In the future when the Supreme Court decides the final ownership of those diamonds then the decided owner as decided by the Supreme Court will be due a credit from government which will be deductible from future taxes or royalties and that’s a very, very fair outcome and if Mbada or anyone else dismisses or rejects that suggestion it shows that they are aware they will never be the owner of the diamonds.
GONDA: But isn’t that what usually happens? Doesn’t the revenue actually go to the government? What was happening before?
So if the revenue goes 100% to the fiscus, I’m very satisfied with that and we will not object and we cannot be accused of holding the country to ransom or delaying streamer revenues. But Mbada will object because they’ll say they have costs of mining well they have costs of mining – costs of mining – an illegal mining – costs of illegal, illegality should not be borne by the State of Zimbabwe or by ACR so my attitude is there’s no costs.
GONDA: And you said that the ZMDC and MMCZ gave nothing to the government and recently declared a one million dividend to government after three years of operating the Chiadzwa mine, so in your view, how much could Zimbabwe have earned in those years, in the last three years alone?
CRANSWICK: Well we would have taken at least another six months to be fully operational so the earliest we would have been operational at a reasonable production would have been June or July 2007 so that gives us just over two and a half years of production and we’d offered a 50/50 JV to government - so 50% of the likely gross production we would have probably grossed a gross of two and a half billion dollars. Let’s say that just over two billion dollars of that would probably have been gross profit, then government would have earned half of that at least, not allowing for extra taxes and so on, so the government’s lost at least a billion dollars over the last three years compared to the one million paid to it by ZMDC.
GONDA: And it’s said that corruption is rife in Marange so how do you think the sale of the diamonds will be monitored to ensure that the revenue will go to the State, will go to the government?
GONDA: I was actually going to ask you about the government’s involvement in this, in particular ZANU PF because there are some who believe that the diamonds in Chiadzwa are oiling the ZANU PF machinery. What are your thoughts on this?
GONDA: And this money you mentioned that was donated to the MDC by David Mhlanga and co, was it money from the sale of the illegal diamonds?
GONDA: But he is a person who is heavily involved in this diamond saga.
CRANSWICK: Yes unfortunately and hopefully Dr Mhlanga will see Zimbabwe ’s benefit is not being served at the moment and perhaps he will legitimise this. I have great faith that he will do that in the future.
GONDA: So are there people in ZANU PF and the MDC leadership who sympathise with you, who actually want to see your company mine that deposit?
GONDA: So in your view, who then is controlling the situation especially when parliamentarians investigating corruption are blocked by police from entering the Chiadzwa area, like what happened last week? Do you have any idea who’s behind this?
GONDA: What about reports saying the Minister of Mines owns a lot of properties, there’s this new casino that he’s building, what are your thoughts on this because there’s a lot of speculation that this could be money coming from the diamonds?
CRANSWICK: Well all I’m, I have alluded earlier to different organisations in Zimbabwe, in the region are investigating a number of officials in the flow of money from a number of banks and the number of companies and people to other companies that may be linked to certain officials and the outcome of that money – where it’s being spent and how it is being spent is often very traceable and there’s an on-going investigation that we feel will yield a lot of results. We are not funding the investigation but we are being kept abreast of it and we have assisted with it where we can. So let’s leave it at that until the facts come out and speak for themselves.
GONDA: OK. I understand that you have been told to report to the police, that there seems to be an intention to detain you by certain elements of the police force. Why is that?
GONDA: What do you suspect is the motive?
GONDA: What effect does this have, what’s been happening in Marange, have on ACR ’s on-going investment and development programmes in Zimbabwe ?
GONDA: From the feedback from the first interview that we ran last week, a lot of people wanted to know, you mentioned that you have black Zimbabwean investors in your company and they wanted to know who they are. Are you able to tell us at this point in time?
CRANSWICK: There’s at least 25 of them including many of the people who work at ACR and I don’t think they’d object to have their names known but unless, until they tell me that, I can’t do that but perhaps what we can do is ask people to write into you, email into you declaring their shareholding, some people have been criticised by elements of government for having shares in ACR . Why I don’t know. Many people have shares in Bindura Nickel or Hwange Colliery or other listed entities like Rio Zim, I don’t know why there’s this fascination with ACR . It’s a public company, anyone can buy shares so we have a number of black shareholders living in London, a number of black shareholders living in South Africa, a number of black shareholders living in Zimbabwe who are shareholders so I’d invite them to write to you and declare their ownership if they wish to.
GONDA: OK, and a final word.
CRANSWICK: Final word is let’s get on and make Zimbabweans wealthy. We can do it. We’re the richest country in Africa by minerals and all that’s stopping it is corruption and lack of transparency and lack of legality. Let’s get on with it guys, this is pathetic, we’re Zimbabweans, let’s get it working properly. The simple answer is we need Zimbabwe to develop, with our respect for the law and that must apply to all investors whether we call them British or we call them Zimbabwean-based British invested companies – whatever we call them, it doesn’t matter where they come from, we’ve asked for foreign investment, we want the country to develop, let’s respect our own laws. We want to benefit the people and the country, that is the only way to do it – bring in the investors.
GONDA: Thank you very much Mr. Andrew Cranswick the CEO of African Consolidated Resources, thank you for speaking on the programme Hot Seat.
CRANSWICK: Thank you very much Violet.
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