International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: July 31, 2008
DAKAR, Senegal: Zimbabwe's embattled opposition leader said Thursday he has
faith in talks with President Robert Mugabe's government, saying
negotiations are the only way to end a crisis he says has brought his nation
"to its knees."
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai spoke to reporters in Senegal's capital,
where he met with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and urged him to help
find a peaceful settlement.
Despite obstacles he declined to name, Tsvangirai said he was "fairly
satisfied" with the power-sharing negotiations that began last week, adding
they might continue past a two-week deadline.
"In the spirit of trying to quickly resolve the plight of our people, we
have put faith in the only solution where we don't have guns to fight, the
only solution that will see a settlement arrived at in the best interests of
the people," Tsvangirai told reporters.
"Every conflict at some stage has to end up at the negotiating table, and
... it is our assessment that the moment for negotiations is now,"
Tsvangirai said. "No one sees a future without that negotiation process,
ZANU-PF and MDC included," he added, referring respectively to Mugabe's
ruling party and his own political movement.
Tsvangirai, who won the most votes in March elections, withdrew from a June
runoff against Mugabe after weeks of military-orchestrated violence left
dozens of his supporters dead, thousands severely beaten and thousands more
homeless. The 84-year-old Mugabe has held power since independence in 1984.
After a July 21 agreement, power-sharing talks began last week in South
Africa. But they have deadlocked over Mugabe's insistence he lead any unity
government and over what position Tsvangirai should hold in a new
administration, according to officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity
because of an agreed media blackout.
He said the talks did not aim to settle who gets top posts. "We hope that
... whatever arrangements are made about positions and allocations, it has
everything to consider the will of the people."
But "in any negotiations there are bound to be obstacles on the road to
finding a common ground," Tsvangirai said.
Though suspended Tuesday, talks are set to resume Sunday.
Tsvangirai said he was "satisfied" with South African President Thabo
Mbeki's mediation efforts, saying Mbeki was supported by southern African
leaders and the continentwide African Union. Mbeki has been criticized by
some for not adequately speaking out against Mugabe and failing to
facilitate a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.
Tsvangirai said any help Wade offers would not detract from current peace
efforts. "The more African leaders are involved in this issue ... the
better," he said.
Asked what kind of interim government he envisioned negotiations could
produce, Tsvangirai gave no details. But he said all parties "accept the
fact that what we are going through is a transition, and that transition ...
should soft-land the crisis, allow for the parties to work together to allow
Zimbabweans to come out of this trauma."
Tsvangirai revealed Wednesday he met with Mugabe over dinner last week. On
Thursday, he said the two discussed "what we as leaders should do to resolve
"What did I feel in shaking hands (with Mugabe)? It was quite an
experience," said Tsvangirai, who has been accused of treason, beaten and
survived assassination attempts by Mugabe loyalists. "When you meet for the
first after 10 years, there is always a tendency of feeling that ... this
one has spears and all that. But you can't have one and a half hours of
dinner shouting at each other."
"I think for him it was quite an experience," Tsvangirai said. "He found out
what kind of man I am, I found out what kind of a man he is."
When journalist asked: "and what is the kind of a man is he?" looked down
and chuckled briefly. He did not respond.
Tsvangirai gave few details of the meeting, but said he and Mugabe "agree
totally" on the need for land reform.
Zimbabwe's trials began nearly a decade ago when white farmers, then the
driving force of the economy, started supporting Tsvangirai's opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe sent supporters to violently invade
white-owned farms, saying he was reclaiming ancestral lands for poor black
Instead, the land went to Mugabe's Cabinet ministers and generals, who left
the fields untended. Hundreds of thousands of farm laborers lost their jobs
and homes. Today, a third of Zimbabwe's people depend on foreign food aid in
a country that once exported food to its neighbors.
"We discussed the issue. And contrary to his own perception that I was
opposed to land reform, I actually said, 'Look, we are the ones who said
that land reform is an unfinished national agenda, and that for 10 years he
had set it aside without even looking back at it,'" Tsvangirai said.
Land reform cannot be the replacement of "4,000 whites with 4,000 black
elites," Tsvangirai said. "It is about dealing with land hunger. It is about
dealing with an economic asset."
Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai said, "must again restore its position as the
breadbasket of southern Africa, not be a basket case where it is today."
2 hours, 48 minutes ago
DAKAR (AFP) - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday
that South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating in the southern
African nation's political crisis, was roping in other players in the
"President Mbeki has also created a resource reference group which will
expand the level of assistance in the mediation beyond just South Africa,"
The opposition leader was in Dakar for a meeting with Senegalese President
Abdoulaye Wade, who has often taken on a mediating role in Africa, even when
not asked to.
When asked is his meeting with Wade could be seen as a vote of no-confidence
in Mbeki, Tsvangirai laughed it off.
"Far from it, the more the merrier," he said.
Tsvangirai visited Dakar ahead of the resumption of power-sharing talks with
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC set to
Tsvangirai and Mugabe signed an accord on July 21 to begin talks on sharing
power after a lengthy election dispute.
Tsvangirai pulled out of last month's presidential run-off with Mugabe,
citing violence and intimidation by pro-government supporters.
The veteran trade union leader had secured a majority of votes in the first
round on March 29 but fell short of an absolute majority. The second-round
vote went ahead regardless with Mugabe scoring a predictable landslide.
By Blessing Zulu
31 July 2008
Under intense pressure from African and Western governments to conclude
power-sharing negotiations, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has agreed
to create a prime minister's post for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
sources close to crisis talks said Thursday.
But sources in Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and in Pretoria said Mr.
Mugabe would set tough conditions for Tsvangirai, leader of the dominant
formation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Tsvangirai
outpolled Mr. Mugabe in the March 29 presidential ballot, but declined to
take part in a June 27 run-off amidst escalating political violence.
The ZANU-PF sources said Mr. Mugabe insists that the opposition must not
expect him to become a purely ceremonial president, and that it must agree
to work within a government of national unity, rather than the transitional
authority which it has been seeking.
Many of the MDC's civil society allies are adamant that the only acceptable
arrangement is a transitional authority that would prepare the ground for
new elections in two years.
Mr. Mugabe said Wednesday that he was totally committed to the success of
the talks. He hinted he would compromise where possible but would not budge
on certain issues.
Speaking in Senegal on Thursday after meeting with President Abdoulaye Wade,
Tsvangirai said he was fairly satisfied with the progress of the talks,
adding that the Monday deadline for conclusion of the negotiations, spelled
out in the July 21 memorandum of understanding that established a general
framework for talks, is a flexible target date.
Talks are expected to resume Sunday, political sources said.
Tsvangirai was quick to add that sticking points remain to be overcome. He
told a British television network that the talks must ensure Mr. Mugabe an
honorable exit through a transitional government which would have a life of
Tsvangirai spokesman George Sibotshiwe told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Tsvangirai was briefing President Wade, who has
previously made known his availability to help resolve the crisis, on
progress achieved in negotiations to date
By Patience Rusere
31 July 2008
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's plan to lop 10 zeros off the currency and
issue new notes and coins quickly drew opposition Thursday from business,
labor and opposition politicians who said redenominating the Zimbabwe dollar
will not put a dent in hyperinflation.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions put out a statement saying issuance of
new money won't resolve shortages of cash, as new coins will be rendered
useless by "galloping inflation." It was also critical of the central bank's
move to allow cash withdrawals from banks of up to Z$2 trillion - the union
had recommended it be increased to Z2.5 trillion dollars a day.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation of Morgan Tsvangirai
argued that "tinkering" with the currency will not solve the country's
economic crisis unless agricultural and industrial production are revived.
The MDC said agriculture and mining output have declined and that Zimbabwean
exports continue to plummet.
The MDC said only a political solution can restore economic confidence - the
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara MDC formations are in power-sharing
negotiations with the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe aiming
to form a national unity government.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President Callisto Jokonya told
reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono's monetary policy statement on Wednesday was a
This Report analyses politically motivated and food-related human rights violations in the run up to the 27 June run-off of 2008. Since the release of the ZPP Post Election Violence Report No.2 of May 2008 which had, among other things, postulated an escalation in election violence, questions have arisen about the extent to which these postulations have remained consistent with unfolding scenarios in the run up to the June election. Also of interest is how this presidential run-off [the first of its kind in Zimbabwe’s post independence electoral history] will influence trends and patterns of violence.
In the wake of the 4th of June 2008 Government Order suspending the operations of a number of nonprofit food aid agencies [CARE, Save the Children] until after the 27 June 2008, interest has also arisen about the possibility of food politics in the election campaign. This interest is well-founded given that people in rural areas have three main ways of accessing maize, namely through government food for work program, buying it directly from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), and through donor schemes for school pupils and the under fives- sources that are vulnerable to political manipulation.
Trends and Patterns
Since January there has been an exponential increase in human rights violations. A shocking total of 16 400 cases were recorded with 593 in January, 685 in February, 806 in March, 4375 in April, 6288 in May, 3653 in June. While June records suggests a drop in incidents of violence, much should not be read from this drop as the nature of violence has sharply swung towards fatal forms of violence with 77 murder cases having been reported across the country by end of June, an almost double increase from the May record of 47. The table below portrays cumulative trends in violations since January:
Cumulative Human Rights Violations: January-June 2008
CUMULATIVE VIOLATIONS TABLE 2008
The nature of injuries sustained by victims of violence reveal chilling features characterized by lacerations, head injuries, gun-shot wounds/stabs, rib, leg, and arm fractures, severe burns, and severe tissue injuries-a poignant signal of possible increase in the use of knives, fire, sharp weapons, guns, metal rods, knobkerries and logs. These developments also suggest visible shift to terror tactics rather than the traditional political re-education.
Recurring experiences across the ten provinces reflect growing concern with increases in reports of night visits and abductions, torture, malicious damage to property, murder, evictions and rape. Narratives from victims point to unnerving cases of assaults with hammer on genital areas, sexual abuse, beating with hot metal rods, kicking of fire, people who had hot coals poured on their back, people beaten while hung upside down, among other cases.
The organization of post election violence has also visibly shifted from mere coordinated and organized violence to heavy military-style-retributive violence against known and unknown opposition characterized by brazen coercion, intimidation, beating and torching of houses and homesteads. The ferocity with which victims were targeted has no parallels other than those akin to a war situation.
In both rural and urban areas, the run-up campaign was relegated to a witch-hunting orgy characterized by sniffing for the presence of anything humanly, material or thought-wise that is directly and indirectly related the opposition politics. On the 2nd of June 2008, one Godfrey Shoko was severely assaulted in a shop in Mberengwa District Centre for allegedly “looking angrily” at the portrait of President Mugabe.
While initially election violence had an individual focus, by June, election violence had visibly assumed a collective and national focus- with the Zimbabwean electorate at large threatened with war if they do not “vote correctly”- a ruling party euphemism for voting for the ruling party candidate. In fact by the polling day, threats of war had become a publicly adopted campaign tactic with its echoes reverberating in new party slogans, party songs and public pronouncements. Threats of war resonated from the top leadership down to the grass-root structures of the ruling party.
While in May election violence had sought to induce fear in the ordinary MDC supporter, June election violence, in military-style, looked set to disable, maim, and suffocate the opposition campaign framework. The month of June witnessed upshots in cases of abduction and unlawful arrests of opposition elect MPs and councillors, polling agents and monitors. By the time of the run- off, close to 20 MDC MPs and councillors were reportedly arrested for alleged political violence.
Structures that were also viewed as indirectly oiling or giving oxygen to MDC structures were raided, their infrastructure impounded. A number of human rights organizations were raided and placed under an indefinite operational blanket ban.
Liberation-style ‘pungwes’ , initially restricted to the rural areas had by the time of the run-off become part and parcel of life in most urban high density areas with reports in Epworth and other high density areas of residents who spent the election eve at these pungwes and in the morning commandeered to polling stations. In Harare ruling party youths roam both city and residential areas, harassing the public with impunity.
In rural areas, villagers were reportedly forced to report at the base three times a day, at 6am, 1 pm and at 8 pm. Villagers were also asked to make a contribution of up to $5 billion with businesspersons contributing $20 billion dollars in some areas.
Freedom of movement was curtailed with villagers being asked to carry passes and other authorizing letters if they intend to visit another village. Un-official curfews were set up and those not attending meetings were expected to explain themselves.
A number of bases that were set up in the pre-election period are still operational with reports of people being assaulted like what was happening before the election.
By early June 2008 post election violence had reportedly transformed into a highly retributive violence with the army, ruling party militia, war veterans and CIO operatives abusing human rights with an impunity that was not even witnessed during the legendary war of liberation.
Cases of houses being petrol bombed were recorded in early June. On 4th June, MDC offices in Jerera Masvingo were reportedly bombed at around 3 am and two people died.
By 2nd June, Gweru residents had been subjected to new versions of fear-inducing antics which saw ZANU PF supporters’ toyi-toying within Gweru city centre, jet planes flying around the city and vehicles with water cannons strategically parked.
The election violence dragnet also roped in directors and managers of parastatals. ZBC went through a major shake-up which saw the firing of the Chief Executive Officer and a number of managers, reportedly for mishandling the coverage of the election campaign. Directors, Managers at ZISCO and Hwange Colliery were reportedly placed under political pressure to ensure they tell their subordinates to vote wisely in the presidential run-off or risk loss of their jobs if the opposition wins. Some ZESA and Hwange Colliery employees who had contested for councilor posts under an MDC ticket were either transferred or forced to resign.
On 4 June, police officers in the Midlands were reportedly asked to register their wives and children aged 18 and above as polling officers, reportedly in a bid to manipulate the vote in the form of a postal vote for all those who will be polling agents.
Mid June saw food politics worming its way into election campaign processes with government on 4th June ordering a number of nonprofit food aid agencies [CARE, Save the Children] to suspend distribution of food until after the 27 June 2008 accusing them of using food to undermine the government - a decision that generated much dust with fears that it was going to leave millions [especially children in schools, orphanages and the elderly in nursing homes] in drought-hit areas starving.
Displacements which had initially featured mostly in rural areas had on the eve of the run off become a common feature in most urban areas. In Mbare, a virtually no go area for the opposition, there were distressing reports of evictions [displacements] of suspected MDC residents from their Mbare rooms. In most high density areas, residents were reportedly forced to go for ZANU PF night and day party meetings. An MDC rally scheduled to be held in Harare on 22 June 2008 was reportedly disrupted by ruling party supporters, with heavy beating of MDC supporters and local and regional observers, all in full glare of the police!
In Mashonaland East, on 15th June 2008, vehicles travelling to Nyamapanda border post were reportedly stopped by war veterans who asked passengers to alight from the vehicles and attend a ZANU PF meeting. The meeting was held at Chikondoma Stadium at Mutoko centre in preparation for the President Mugabe’s rally on 18th of June 2008. Villagers were informed that all persons with names appearing in the Herald as election agents would “disappear at night one by one”. The war veterans were using a Mitsubishi truck and another written C.A.M without number plates.
Human rights abuse is increasingly becoming inhumane and immoral with disturbing cases of known or suspected HIV patients being denied access to their monthly courses.
On the polling day, voters were told to submit their ballot serial numbers, an outright abuse of voter secrecy. In Gwanda South on June 27, people were reportedly forced to go and vote at Bango primary school. It was also alleged that even those who were not registered as voters had to cast their votes in the company of the village head who was mandated with the responsibility of going to the polling station with all his subjects.
Also disquieting were increases in reports of literate people [mostly teachers] being forced to profess illiteracy. Suspected opposition, human rights activists and teachers were expected to repent and that repentance had to be demonstrated by feigning illiteracy on the polling day and seeking assistance from polling officers, comprising mostly of ZANU PF youths and so called war veterans. A teacher from Sadza, who observed the elections under ZESN, reported that he had to be assisted to vote in his own classroom which was being used as a polling station. He even reported that the last essay he had done with the class was still on the board, yet on the voting day he had to profess illiteracy.
The post run-off era was also greeted with a new type of human rights violation code named show the red finger [mark of the indelible ink] as a strategy to detect those who had not voted. Not having voted in the 27 June election was akin to endorsing the MDC NO VOTE campaign. At Hopley farm in Harare, by 28 June, a witch-hunt for those who voted for the MDC had started with reports that those suspected to have voted for the MDC and spoiling ballots lost their lodgings. People who were found without the red finger were also victimized.
In Nyika area, villagers from Chikunguru village were reportedly beaten on the 30th of June 2008 by ZANU PF youths and war veterans allegedly to account for 6 votes which were cast for the MDC T presidential candidate at the local polling station.
Traditional leaders-chiefs, mostly out of fear of retribution have been turned into instruments of political displacements while local councillors are chief culprits in issues of food discrimination.
PATTERNS AND TRENDS OF POLITICALLY MOTIVATED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Human rights abuse trends continue to scale new heights. The impunity with which they are perpetrated is so alarming to the extent that the public have cynically questioned if the 27 June election is a run-off or run-over.
Consistent with past trends, human rights abuses have remained concentrated in the traditional hotspots of Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Harare, Midlands, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central.
Prime targets are those who participated as polling officers, presiding officers and polling agents in the 29 March harmonized elections. People are forced to attend pungwes, forced to denounce their support to the opposition, assaulted for celebrating March election victories, beaten for failing to produce ruling party cards and chanting the latest ZANU PF slogans and for failing to show the red finger, among others. While these abuses were initially restricted to the rural areas, by the eve of the run–off, they had become common features of urban life, day and night. In most provinces, bases that were set up in the pre-election period are still operational.
In stark contrast to regional and international calls for dialogue and a GNU between ZANU PF and MDC T- scenarios from the ten provinces indicate that it is generally business as usual as bases that were set up in the pre-election period have not been disbanded, the MDC T remaining the prime hunted game.
In the month of June, human rights incidence spread was as shown below:
Incidence Analysis by Province [June]
JUNE 2008 INCIDENT TABLE
Trends and patterns of election violence as gleaned from June records show that:
· There was a significant drop in gross total recording of violations from their May level of 6288 to 3473 cases- a statistical scenario that may be suspect given increases in reports of displacements, abductions, and attacks on election observers and monitors across the country. As was cautioned in May, we could be facing another case of declines in access to hot spot provinces rather than a case of declines in election violence! The possibility of cases going unrecorded cannot be ruled out.
Consistent with its traditional record, Manicaland emerged the lead hotspot province with a record of 1173 human rights violations featuring 7 murder cases, 717 harassment cases, 164 looting cases, and 51 displacements among others. Hotspot constituencies included Makoni North, Makoni South, Makoni West, Musikavanhu, Mutare South, Mutasa Central, Chipinge, and Buhera West. The nature of violence in terms of type, methods, victims and perpetrators generally take the pattern observed in other provinces-namely, a disturbing inclination towards fatal forms.
On 19 June 2008, the rural home of Dr Lovemore Madhuku, who is the Chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly, was allegedly burnt together with 22 other homes in Chipinge. His father was reportedly abducted.
In Nyazura, Rukweza and Murahwa villages, villagers were reportedly subjected to a reign of terror by ruling party activists and war veterans, allegedly for having voted for the MDC in the area. The fact that some of the perpetrators were in army and police uniform were scenarios that left villagers with nowhere to report. Perpetrators had established a base in the village where they were forcing villagers to contribute chickens, goats and money for their upkeep.
The worst affected are known and suspected MDC members who were coerced to denounce their party and be “born again” as ZANU PF members. They were asked to pay fines of $20 billion, 5 goats and two chickens. Failure to pay the fines results in serious beating and torture. Known or suspected MDC activists had their national identity documents confiscated. At least 50 goats and thirty chickens had been looted by 20th June. More than forty people, women, men and youths had been beaten-developments that saw villagers running away from the area out of fear.
On 9 June 2008, two ZANU PF members [Lovemore Simon and Boniface Chikasha] were reportedly slashed to death by a machete by an MDC activist named Justin Gundumurwa. The perpetrator was allegedly retaliating to an earlier attack by a group of ZANU PF activists who were going about beating people in the Mutambara area. ZANU PF activists had reportedly destroyed Gundumurwa’s DVDs, a generator and house. In a related incident, Maxwell Simon, who was attending the funeral of Lovemore Simon was allegedly attacked by ZANU PF supporters who suspected him to be an MDC member. Maxwell Simon died from injuries sustained in the attack. On 15 June, Farai Gombe of Makoni, Rusape [an MDC party official] was reportedly abducted from his home in Vhengere Township by ZANU PF supporters and shot in the chest, 100 km from his house. The victim died on the spot. The perpetrators, who are reportedly well known, four war veterans, are still roaming the streets.
On 20 June 2008, Nyamusosa residents of Makoni were reportedly denied medical assistance for not attending ruling party political rallies. On the day in question, ruling party militia controlling Nyamusosa clinic were allegedly selecting patients by checking their names on the register. Those whose names did not appear on the register were reportedly not given treatment, the assumption being that they are into opposition politics. Reports of partisan treatment were also reported at Weya clinic in Chiendabuya village, Makoni, where a group of mothers who went to the clinic with babies for scaling or for BCGs, Polio, DPT and measles treatment, were allegedly ordered to introduce their ruling party cards first, upon which service was denied if there was no ruling party card. 10 mothers were reportedly denied access.
In Nyanga on 30 June 2008, at around 7.30 am, a bus load of police officers reportedly raided Saviour Chiodza’s home in Mangondoza Township, Nyanga. Chiodza is the chairperson of the MDC in the area. The police officers were reportedly using an ISUZU bus. Four gunshots were allegedly fired and thirty four people who were seeking refuge at Chiodza’s home were arrested and taken to Nyanga police station. The arrested people are still in police custody.
Mashonaland West reported 1056 cases of human rights violations in June, making it the second hotspot province in June. As was generally the trend in other provinces, harassment, assault and kidnapping remain the most highly committed offences in the province. Those who had participated in the 29 March Election as polling agents, observers, monitors, or contested as MPs and Councillors remain prime targets.
Illegal road blocks and base camps that were established before the elections are still largely operational, with reports of suspected ZANU PF supporters moving around informing people that bases would remain because the vote was not 100% as campaigned for by ZANU PF.
In Fulechi, Hurungwe, since 29 March, war veterans were reportedly forcing villagers to attend daily meetings at base camps in Hurungwe and Fulechi under Chief Dandawa, allegedly terrorizing villagers suspected of having voted for the opposition. They reportedly moved around with registers of those who had acted as polling agents in the area. Villagers were forced to report at the base every day in the morning, noon and evening. Headmen were told to prepare a register of names of people living in their areas and also to bring one bucket of grain and five billion dollars to the base and punishment was meted out on those who failed to attend.
Houses of known and suspected opposition supporters were targeted. In Banket Township, the house of C. Chinanzwavana [wife of the MDC councillor for ward 23] was reportedly destroyed by suspected ZANU PF militia around the mid-morning of 19 June 2008. Although the matter was reported to the police, no arrests have reportedly been made.
People in the area were also reportedly harassed for not attending base meetings. On 9 June Silvia Maruta of Deve School, Dandawa village was allegedly assaulted for not going to cook at the introduced base camp. On 14 June, around 20 Rafingora residents were reportedly attacked at Rafingora Estate by suspected 80-100 ZANU PF militia on allegations that they are MDC supporters. Although the case was said to have been reported to the police, arrests are yet to be made. On 9 June, Mr B. Nyabanze, the headmaster of Saton Mine Secondary school [and also an MDC activist] was reportedly threatened with death by suspected ZANU PF supporters. The victim was forced to confess and surrender to the ruling party and upon refusal, was allegedly given a rope to hang himself on a tree in front of the school children.
A Zimbabwe Election Support Network Observer (ZESN) observer, Elliot Machipisa, was reportedly murdered by a group of 20 Zanu PF members including Stella Kaimbwa and Zivanai Mapakati at his homestead in Karuru, Hurungwe North, during the harmonised elections and was suspected to be an MDC supporter. The perpetrators beat the victim until he was conscious and died.
Masvingo with 13 murder cases led the provincial murder case race in June. While cases of assaults and intimidation are widespread, the province has also been home to new versions of human rights violations where HIV and sick patients reportedly access treatment at clinics on partisan lines.
Denial of Health Services to HIV patients
On 18 June 2008, Susan Mutenha of Makoni North was reportedly denied access to her July course of tablets for HIV treatment at Gowakowa Clinic. It is reported that when she introduced her cards to the nurse on duty, a nurse aid on duty told her that there were no tablets for anyone from her family because her brother was a strong MDC activist. She was allegedly ordered to leave the clinic and get tablets from “MDC party medics”. This system was reportedly also applied to sick patients.
Cases of Arson and Evictions
MDC elect MPs and Councillors, polling agents, and teachers were common targets of retribution. In Bikita South, an MDC MP elect Jani Makuku was reportedly attacked and left with broken legs when youths and war veterans invaded his home on 12 June 2008. The alleged perpetrators also torched his house and looted food reserves. The victim is now hospitalized nursing amputated legs. On 17 June 2008, Marima of Ward 28, Bikita South was reportedly ordered to vacate his farm at Nyahunda for alleged involvement in opposition politics. Perpetrators reportedly looted his livestock and destroyed his house. In the same area, on the same date, Ndongwe T [a teacher] at Gumunyu School was chased away from the school house where he was staying and his property destroyed on suspicion that he was an MDC supporter. On 15 June 2008 the Gwariro family of ward 7 were reportedly forced to surrender their MDC material [party T/shirts cards] by party chairperson upon which they were ordered to go through “baptism”- a process that entailed heavy beating with logs by ruling party youths. On the night in question, the victim’s houses were burnt down. On 8 June 2008, June Dubi, an agent for Simba Makoni in the 29 March elections, was reportedly beaten by ruling party youths at Nyika Growth Point, Bikita. After a severe assault, the victim was forced to march together with other ruling party youths. In Chikuku village, Bikita, June Tinarwo and his family were on 21 June 2008 forced to surrender their MDC material to the ruling party. On the night in question, their huts were burnt. When they reported the case to their kraal-head, the case was reportedly rejected.
Human rights violations were also committed in connivance with some kraal heads. On Election day, villagers in ward 13, Bikita West, who were suspected to be MDC supporters, were reportedly ordered by headman Mupakwa to shout loudly that “I am illiterate. I cannot read or write.”
As highlighted earlier, Masvingo is home to high incidents of murder. Perpetrators were both MDC and ZANU PF supporters, although in the case of MDC, offences tended to take a retaliatory course. Mabika Mudzingwa, a war veteran as well as a Councillor for the ruling party, was reportedly axed to death on 9 June 2008 by suspected MDC supporters. Mabika, accompanied by ruling party youths, had allegedly tried to disrupt an MDC meeting that was in progress. The perpetrator was arrested and is now in prison. In Nyajena village, Mr Jerera, a suspected MDC party member was reportedly abducted from his homestead at midnight on 12 June 2008 by unknown armed men. The victim was reportedly shot dead, his hands and legs cut while his house was burnt. In Bota, Ward 28, Zaka West, Mageria [an MDC known activist], who had been earlier forced to join ruling party youths, was later found dead in a stream in Makonese village. Police are still investigating the matter. On 16 June 2008, S. Chikomba, a teacher at Zaka Secondary was reportedly murdered by a fellow teacher who accused him of being an MDC member. On 24 June 2008, Chamba, a Secondary teacher at Chitenderano Secodary School reportedly died after being tortured at bases established at Wephanry and Portgietar Farm.
Cases where villagers were gathered by war veterans to witness how those who supported MDC supporters were punished were also recorded. In typical liberation style, villagers were asked to sing war songs while the beatings, usually heavy ones, were going on.
Harare recorded 282 cases visibly featuring assaults, night abductions, harassments, looting and displacements, among others. There were also disturbing reports of houses of suspected and known opposition supporters being torched and petrol bombed of houses.
Base camps have reportedly been established in most high density areas where residents were forced to attend pungwes for daily doses of political re-orientation. In some areas like Epworth, residents allegedly spent the night at pungwes and were in the morning commandeered to polling stations where they were ordered to bring their serial numbers after voting.
Mostly prone to human rights abuse were Chitungwiza, St Marys, Zengeza, Kuwadzana, Rugare, Kambuzuma, Dzivarasekwa, Glen View, and Glen Norah, with most assaults reportedly taking place at shopping centres. Losing ZANU PF MPs and councillors, ruling party supporters, war veterans and youths militia were visibly involved in the campaign exercise. Youths took over the control of prices, an exercise that saw the mushrooming of youth’s road blocks across Harare.
In high density areas, human rights abuses entailed youths going into night clubs, beating up people randomly accusing them of having voted wrongly. At Babylon Night Club, Mabvuku Constituency, 10 youths [in bandanas and, ZANU PF T shirts] reportedly assaulted revellers on 24 June 2008.
In Epworth, more than fifty people were reportedly assaulted and injured and houses destroyed in Overspill Epworth by ZANU PF youths on June 17. Epworth residents were forced to attend ZANU PF campaign meetings where all known opposition party members were assaulted at the designated ZANU PF bases and subjected to threats of displacement if they voted wrongly. The youths mounted roadblocks after every 500 meters on to Overspill demanding that passers-by chant ZANU PF slogans, produce party cards and disclose their destination.
As in other provinces, the polling day in Harare had its own version of human rights violation. Known party activists were forced to submit their ballot serial numbers after voting- a strategy that was apparently crafted to ensure that known MDC supporters vote for the ruling party.
After the 27th June, most Harare residents reported being asked to show the red ink on their fingers-a device that was designed to detect those who had not voted. Not voting in the 27 June run-off was interpreted as heeding to the opposition NO VOTE call by the MDC and accordingly attracted a penalty from ruling party supporters.
In Mbare, about five hundred  ZANU PF militant youths under the leadership of Chipangano were reportedly marching in Mbare unleashing terror on all known and suspected MDC supporters, polling agents and observers.
Incidents of Kidnappings, Arson and Displacements
Harare province was also home to cases of night abductions and MDPs. On 19 June, Tendai Marindati, [an MDC Youth organizing secretary for ward 5] was reportedly kidnapped at Chigovanyiaka Shops, detained for 48 hrs, tortured and dumped along Beatrice Road. The victim is currently detained at the Avenues Clinics where he is said to be recovering. In Chitungwiza North, Godfrey Mangoma [an MDC running councillor candidate in Unit O] was reportedly forced into a red car on 25 June 2008 and taken to an unknown place. His whereabouts are yet to be established. 0n 10 June 2008, Mai Yolanda [a tenant at a house owned by an MDC party member] in Epworth, Jacha area reportedly had her door forced open at night, assaulted, and ordered to remove all her belongings from the house by suspected ZANU PF supporters. The victim was accused of lodging at a house owned by an opposition member. The two roomed house was pulled down using sticks, axes, hoes and knobkerries.
In Kuwadzana, the Musonza family [suspected MDC activists] had their house stoned on 10th June by ruling party supporters. At Glen View Shopping Centre, Joel Chipoyera- a business man, had his music recording business destroyed on 26 June 2008 when suspected ZANU PF youths discovered that he was recording an MDC new album. The victim is reportedly on the run. In Epworth, Overspill, Magaba, Harare, Mr Zhou and his family were on 20 June 2008 reportedly awoken at night by suspected ZANU Pf supporters armed with knobkerries, axes, stones and sticks, ordered to remove property from their house and move out of the house and also from Epworth area. The house was torched and reduced to the ground, the stand reportedly confiscated by ZANU PF supporters arguing that they were “the rightful owners of Epworth”.
At around 11 pm on June 17, 15 ZANU PF youths reportedly went to the home of the MDC Councillor Philemon Chipiyo of Ward 18, Chitungwiza with the aim of destroying his property. They allegedly petrol bombed the house and damaged property worth trillions. Four  MDC youths who were abducted at the house on the day in question, were reportedly found dead the following day. When ZPP visited the place, they saw Pan African Parliament observers at the scene and police only came to the scene after 5 pm, the following day.
In a similar case, in Ward 23, the winning MDC Councillor Wendy Chiriri’s house in Unit N, Chitungwiza was reportedly destroyed and property worth trillions of dollars also destroyed on the same night of 17 June 2008 by about 200 suspected ZANU PF youths who reportedly visited the house.
Cases of looting/Theft
Some residents also took advantage of prevailing lawlessness to loot property belonging to suspected or known MDC supporters. On 19 June, the merchandise of Moses Tukunye of Budiriro 2 Home Industry was allegedly seized by youths accusing the victim of “being an MDC supporter campaigning for his party through hiking prices”. The matter was not reported to police as the victim feared victimization. On 23 June 2008, suspected ruling party youths, singing and chanting new ZANU PF slogans, reportedly looted sugar from a Gazaland Sugar Wholesale. In a closely related case, on 16 June 2008, suspected ruling party youths wearing 100% Total Empowerment regalia reportedly looted food stuffs that belonged to a vendor at Glen Norah Spacemen Shopping Centre “because she was not wearing ruling party regalia”.
Murder cases were also reported in Harare. At Vision Complex, Mbare constituency, a Mr Booker allegedly died on 12 June 2008 allegedly from wounds sustained after being beaten for celebrating MDC victory in the 29 March elections. On 19 June 2008, four MDC activists were allegedly abducted and murdered by more than fifty ZANU PF activists in Chitungwiza.
Consistent with its traditional hotspot track record, Midlands recorded 223 incidents of human rights violations with 5 cases of murder, 10 cases of abductions, 86 cases of assaults, 10 cases of displacements, 9 cases of Malicious Damage to Property and 94 cases of harassment, among others. Human rights violations are most prevalent in Mberengwa West, Chiwundura, Gokwe Kabuyuni, Gokwe Chireya, Gweru Urban, Gokwe Mapfungautsi, among others. Victims are targeted on suspicion that they are MDC supporters or sympathizers. Teachers, by virtue of having participated as polling officers, presiding officers and polling agents in the 29 March harmonized elections have generally borne the brunt of political abuse.
The month of June also witnessed an upshot in politically-motivated food-related human rights violations in the Midlands, with 60 out of the 106 gross cases having been recorded in June -- a trend that is particularly disturbing given that the province is currently under a heavy bout of drought with looming threats of starvation.
Reports from the 4 Mberengwa constituencies show that the onslaught on opposition supporters continued unabated. The assault, displacement and torching of the homesteads and houses of known and suspected opposition members remained in force after elections. Bases that were set up in the pre-election period have not been disbanded.
In Mberengwa West, victimization of teachers was reportedly wide spread, a disturbing scenario that has seen most schools closing and learning sessions disrupted. In Chari village, Norman Chihora [a teacher] was chased away from a local ZANU PF meeting on suspicion that he is an MDC sympathizer who leaks information to the MDC, a charge the victim vehemently denied. At Mabika Secondary School, Lovinah Matavire [a teacher and polling officer in the March 29 harmonized elections] and other teachers were allegedly assaulted on 7 June 2008 and 12 June 2008 by youths from the resettlements who were accusing teachers of directing the vote of those who were not able to write [elders] to vote for the opposition. This onslaught resulted in the injury and hospitalization of teachers at White hospital in Zvishavane. Schools reopened under police and army escort. In all the cited cases, there were no reports of the subsequent arrest of perpetrators of violence.
In Shurugwi, Mlingwa Albert of Boterekwa primary school, ward 3, was on the 10th of June 2008 forced to flee from his homestead allegedly by war veterans who got to his homestead at night singing and accusing him of being an MDC supporter. After his eviction, war veterans reportedly stayed at his homestead, converting his family food reserves and livestock to their own use. In Shurugwi South, Luke Shumba [a school teacher and a polling officer in the 29 March elections] was reportedly assaulted on 15 June 2008 for having “clapped hands and showing joy” after the announcement of the results of the 29 March poll. At Kandodo Hall in Zvishavane Ngezi, 19 teachers who had acted as presiding officers in the 29 March elections were reportedly replaced by ruling party activists on 18June 2008 on allegations that they were sympathizing with the MDC.
In Mkoba 13, Gweru, F. Chibaya, an MDC activist and brother to the MDC Mkoba MP elect was reportedly abducted at night, blindfolded and taken to a ZANU PF base on 24 June 2008 where he was said to have been stripped, assaulted using falanga and blunt instrument, and also threatened with shooting by suspected ruling party supporters. Chibaya was later admitted at Gweru Provincial Hospital where he died from sustained injuries. In Mkoba 13, T. Njanji [ruling party youth leader] was fatally assaulted on 21 June 2008 by suspected MDC youths, reportedly in retaliation for torching MDC supporters ‘houses, including the house belonging to the MDC MP for Mkoba. The deceased was reportedly abducted, tortured for four hours while blindfolded and handcuffed and left for dead. He eventually died four days later on the 27th of June 2008. Perpetrators were arrested but immediately released without charge. On June 30, police in Gweru raided shops and allegedly confiscated sugar which was later sold from the Central Police Station at $600 million per 2kg instead of $15 billion. Gweru residents were reported to be milling around shops anticipating other raids.
In Gokwe Mapfungautsi, two suspected MDC supporters [names available] of Gwenyika ward in Chief Njelele area reportedly fled to the nearby forests for fear of their lives. It is alleged that in that area, on the day of elections, ZANU PF polling agents were taking down ballot paper serial numbers to detect those who had voted for their party and those who had not. All those that had voted for ZANU PF were said to have submitted the serial numbers to the polling agents, an exercise that led to the discovery that the two had not voted for ZANU PF. The two were reportedly still in the bush at the time of printing. At Chitapo Business Centre, in Dengu village, Gokwe South, 28 village heads were allegedly called to a meeting where they were threatened with war and other dire consequences by the MP for Gokwe Mapfungautsi in the company of war veteran if they “vote wrongly” in the 27 June elections. Incidentally, Dengu area had voted for the MDC in the 29 March elections. In a move that was aimed at punishing Dengu villagers, on 1 June 2008, a prominent member of ZANU PF for ward 20 in the Dengu area reportedly removed from the ZUPCO queue people whose destination was Dengu village.
In Mberengwa East, on 26 June 2008, President Robert Mugabe, at a rally at Mataga Growth Point, reportedly urged ZANU PF supporters to weed out MDC puppets and NGO sell-outs. Incidentally, several homes were burnt soon after with over fifty people fleeing to Zvishavane and Gweru after savage assaults and destruction of homes.
The atmosphere in the province was generally tense with threats of going back to the bush reverberating across the province. June alone witnessed 9 murder cases with high incidents of assault.
Villagers were reportedly forced to report at the base three times a day, at 6am, 1 pm and at 8 pm. An unofficial curfew was set up at 6pm and those not attending were expected to explain themselves. Villagers were also asked to make a contribution of $1 billion and businesspersons contributing $20 billion dollars for food for those manning the base. Freedom of movement was curtailed with villagers being asked to carry passes and other authorizing letters if they intend to visit another village.
Freedom of movement was severely restricted. In Mutoko North, on 15th June 2008, vehicles travelling to Nyamapanda border post were reportedly stopped by war veterans who asked passengers to alight from the vehicles and attend a ZANU PF meeting. The meeting was held at Chikondoma Stadium at Mutoko centre in preparation for the President Mugabe’s rally on 18th of June 2008. Villagers were informed that all persons with names appearing in the Herald as election agents would “disappear at night one by one”. The war veterans were using a Mitsubishi truck and another written C.A.M without number plates.
People were assaulted for failing to attend ZANU PF rallies and meetings, denounce and destroy any associations with the MDC T, sympathizing with the MDC, refusing to surrender to the ruling party, for celebrating March election victory. Assaults were done in townships, drinking places and base camps, assault modes involving receiving a prescribed number of wooden strokes on the buttocks, beaten by sticks, heavy wires, heavy logs, sjamboks and metal rods while lying fully stretched on the ground. Victims suffered broken legs, arms, head injuries, fractured ribs. After being punished, some were forced to profess illiteracy and ask for assisted voting.
As in other provinces, chiefs, village heads and kraal heads had also become willingly or unwillingly part of the human rights abuse network. In some cases they, like their subjects, fell victim to assaults by either the youth militia or war veterans. In Ketero village, Goromonzi, kraal head Ketero was allegedly assaulted on 15 June by Mai Mudhara, a war veteran for failing to identify MDC supporters in his kraal. In Chikwati Village, Ward 15, Musami, Mrewa West, a Peter Murirwa was on 24 June 2008 reportedly assaulted at night and forced to vacate his homestead on allegations that he was one of the MDC election agents in the 29 March 2008. His eviction was allegedly enforced by the village headman because the victim was “an unwanted element in society”. The victim has reportedly sought refuge in Harare.
Some were assaulted on apparently flimsy reasons. On 19 June, Julie Munetsi of Munetsi village, Goromonzi, was allegedly assaulted and injured by Kenneth Nemhara, a war veteran for behaving in “an MDC party manner”. Others were assaulted for failing or refusing to chant latest ruling party slogans. On 28 June 2008, Annah Juru of Mupingidza village, Mudzi was assaulted by 3 unknown boys when she refused to chant the slogan Pamberi na Va Mugabe—Pasi ne Chamatama (down with Tsvangirai of chubby chicks). In yet other cases, people were assaulted for being seen in the company of incorrect people. On 10 June, Mrs Abgail Museyamwa of Chidawaya village in Ward 14 of Musami was abducted, assaulted, allegedly for having been seen some time last year in the company of Women Rights Activists in the area. She was attacked with wires, chains and heavy logs. The incident was reported at Msami police, however no arrests have been made so far. In Mhembere Village, Murehwa North constituency, 5 ZESN Observers had their livestock [hens and goats] taken to the base and slaughtered by ZANU PF youths allegedly to fix them for “being MDC observers”- a charge they vehemently deny.
Mashonaland East also has a high record of murder cases. With 9 cases of murder, the province is only second to Masvingo with 13 incidents under her belt. On 27 June 2008, Manhenga Travor of Chipfunde village, Uzumba was allegedly murdered on election night by a group of youths based at Chimhodzi Business Centre. Trevor was on the wanted list for supporting MDC party during the harmonized elections. On 16 June 2008, Charles Kamugoti of Chanetsa village, Musami Rodzi Area, Mrewa West [an MDC activist] was abducted and fatally assaulted by suspected ruling party youths militia for his active involvement in opposition politics. While a report was made to the police at Musami, perpetrators are still to be arrested. On 16 June 2008, two Mtoko ruling party chairpersons, Mrs R. Chapfika and T. Chidzidzi were reportedly shot by unknown assailants. On 13 June 2008—Mr Chen -- an MDC supporter and also headmaster at Katsukunye Sec was abducted from school at around 1300hrs and was found the following day dead near the 2.1 Infantry at the side of the road, his head reportedly shot and cut off. Being a suspected or known MDC T supporter could be a recipe of death. In village 26, Murehwa South, four  MDC activists were reportedly murdered at Changwe farm on 26 June 2008, allegedly by suspected war veterans and ZANU PF youths who were still camped at Macheke Grain Marketing Board [GMB] base camp. The perpetrators reportedly ordered people not to bury the dead. Although the police were reportedly aware of the incident, arrests are yet to be effected.
Known and suspected MDC supporters were common targets for arson, assault and displacement. On 11 June 2008, Sarudzai Murangariri of Magobo village, Wedza [an MDC party secretary and youth activist] was reportedly harassed, intimidated and displaced from her homestead by the ruling party youth. Youths reportedly arrived at her homestead at 4pm and told her that she had an hour to prepare and leave, to which she complied. Her whereabouts are not known to this day. Nothing was done to the perpetrators. 0n 7 June 2008—Misheck Shoko of Sable Range, Marondera had his letter of offer for a 6 hectare piece of land withdrawn, allegedly by the leadership in the area. On the day in question, the local MP was leading a group of senior party officials from the provincial head office when the victim allegedly uttering sentiments that “who-ever wins in the run-off should be accepted as the leader of the country”-a statement that did not go down well with the provincial leadership.
On 15 June 2008, Duncan Chipiso and Ngwarai Masviba, teachers at Machinjike Secondary School, Murewa North had their property destroyed allegedly by ZANU PF youths on allegation that they are MDC party supporters. The teachers have since fled from the school. On 21 June 2008, Katsande of village 22, Mutoko South, was allegedly assaulted by a group of suspected ruling party youths led by 4 war veterans who were moving around the village with the list of names of people suspected to be MDC party activists. The perpetrators reportedly gathered at his house singing and chanting liberation songs and telling him to “go to Britain” before torching his house. On 20 June 2008, Tendai Mbidzo of village 20, Mutoko South, [a known MDC activist] was reportedly harassed, beaten and had his house burnt down by ruling party youths reportedly led by war veterans from Mutoko Centre. The victim has since fled from the area.
As reported in most provinces, known and suspected opposition members, polling agents, ZESN observers and monitors, elect opposition MPs and Councillors remained prime targets of victimization. Assisting displaced or injured relatives was akin to sympathizing with opposition politics. Cases of retaliatory violence have also been reported.
Harassment generally entailed forcing people to attend ruling party rallies and meetings, confess and denounce their affiliation with MDC politics, surrender MDC items. Perpetrators, mostly youths led by war veterans, approached the homes of suspected or known MDC suspects in groups, mostly at midnight singing revolutionary songs and denouncing the target. In some cases, mock coffins were reportedly placed in the suspect’s yard, usually after issuing threats of destroying the homestead and crops in the field. The placing of the coffin was meant to scare and subsequently displace victims.
On 7 June 2008, two Makotore brothers from Howard, Chiweshe reportedly suffered intimidation, victimization, torture, and threats at the hands of suspected ZANU PF youth militia on allegation that they were recruiting residents of the area into MDC activities and issuing MDC party cards and T shirts. In Bindura District, Nyasoka Tichaona of Chirikadzi village was reportedly abducted on the 7th of June 2008 by a group of suspected 60 ruling party youths stationed at Chirikadzi Shopping Centre. The victim was heavily assaulted and driven to Bindura Police Station where false charges were allegedly laid on him. The victim is still in police custody.
Cases of displacements and Malicious Damage to Property were also very visible. On 5 June 2008 Manyika Crispen of Shonhiwa Village, Mt Darwin South, was reportedly threatened with eviction from his lodgings by ruling party militia, allegedly for staying with his uncle who had attended MDC meetings. The victim has since fled from the area. On 9 June 2008, unknown assailants visited Siyavhuma [a suspected ZANU PF member] at his homestead in Chawanda village, Mt Darwin West and burnt his homestead during the night. The act appeared retaliatory as the victim had reportedly been perpetrating violence in the area. In Chadzimba village, unknown assailants reportedly killed four oxen belonging to Edward Chadzimba on the night of 9 June 2008 apparently in retaliation as the victim was alleged to have influenced ZANU PF supporters to victimize MDC members. On 6 June 2008, Silvia Forsta of Corncorpio Farm was forced to move from the farm house, allegedly by a group of ZNA members, on suspicion that she was a suspected MDC supporter. The victim had reportedly distributed MDC T shirts during the 29 March MDC campaigns. On 16 June 2008, Isaac Gandari, village head of Kapfudzaruwa village, Mt Darwin was left homeless when unknown people burnt his homestead. The victim had also acted as an election observer in the 29 March elections.
Consistent with earlier ZPP warnings, violence is slowly creeping into Matabeleland South - a not so surprising development given the competition that is raging on between the ruling party and the MDC T.
ZANU PF losing MP and councillors are engaged in retributive violence against rural villagers. Chiefs, village heads and kraal heads, possibly out of fear rather than outright co-optation are reportedly involved in these acts of human rights violations.
War veterans were reportedly forcing recruited civilians to base camps that have been established in most parts of the province. In the rural areas like Wenlock Communal lands, Wabayi village, Sigodo Village, Sitezi, Dwala and West Nicholson, there is a war veteran base in almost every village of the ward where people are required to spend 48hrs undergoing political re-orientation. Women were reportedly ordered to these camps to cook and wash, among other things. This tight schedule reportedly had its toll on married women who, because of these obligations, no longer had enough time to look after their children as refusal to serve in these security duties immediately invited an opposition tag. A number of villagers reportedly fled to Botswana.
In Ward 22 and 23, Gwanda, villagers have reportedly deserted their homes for Bulawayo, Gwanda and Beitbridge because of the two camps [ruling party campaigning headquarters] established in Gwanda Central farms at Dwala and West Nicholson. Dwala villagers are a group of resettled farmers who were strongly suspected to be opposition supporters.
In Mtshabe village, Ward 6, Gwanda District, losing Gwanda constituency candidate and losing councillor of ward 6 reportedly established camps [commanding centres] in the Wenlock Communal land with Chief Mathema’s consent where they are intimidating members of the winning party, forcing people to meetings, conducting door to door campaigns, ordering people to surrender their cards and threatening villagers with displacements and starvation. At most meetings, villagers were ordered to register with their kraal heads in preparation for the 27 June elections. The perpetrators allegedly threatened to deny villagers access to buy cheap grain from the GMB if the ruling party loses in the 27 June presidential run-off. Most villagers have reportedly fled to town leaving their homes, properties and livestock.
In Waboyi village, ward 6, Gwanda District, a kangaroo court was reportedly set up at the Sofa Business Centre where members of the winning MDC party were allegedly harassed and tortured by war veterans for voting for the opposition. They were reportedly told to abandon the winner of the 29 March harmonized election. Bases have also reportedly been set at Sofa, Mtshaza and Sigodo.
In Maphane village, ward 7, Gwanda District, Chief Khulumane Mathema reportedly convened a meeting on the 11th of June where he told villagers that he was employed by the ruling party and not the government and as such the ruling party can take back the vehicle it gave to him if the party loses the presidential run-off. The Chief allegedly then told the village heads to ensure that their communities vote wisely.
Teachers and students are also reportedly bearing the brunt of human rights abuse. In Umzingwane, teachers and A-level students were reportedly forced to attend a campaign meeting which was convened at Swazi High School where they were roundly threatened for voting wrongly. Teachers, in contravention of their code of professional ethics, were reportedly told to campaign for the ruling party and tell people to vote correctly.
The MDC presidential candidate and his campaign entourage [on tour of Matebeleland South], were reportedly detained on 6 June 2008 for four and half hours at Esigodini Police Camp allegedly for failing to produce a clearance letter. They were then forced to go back to Bulawayo under police escort.
In Sitezi village, Gwanda, Juliet Nkiwane, an MDC candidate in the March elections had her home set ablaze on 13 June 2008 by members of the ruling party who had earlier issued her with threats and intimidation for her role in the MDC. Property worth trillions of dollars was burnt. No arrests were made despite the case being reported to the police.
Human rights violations in the province entailed forcing people to join solidarity marches, forcing people to attend political meetings, threatening villagers with war, reminding villagers how sell-outs were punished during the liberation struggle.
Parastatals in the region also bore the brunt of the 27 June run-off. Since the 29 March elections, management positions at ZESA and Hwange Colliery have allegedly been held by political appointees of ZANU PF. The parastatals are under pressure to dismiss employees who are perceived to be politically incorrect.
In No 5 village, Hwange Colliery, Robert Ndhlovu [an MDC councillor elect] for Sinderrella No 1 North was intimidated and allegedly displaced from his place after receiving threats of gross harm from unknown people. The victim is traumatized, harassed, displaced and unsure of his security of employment.
On 19 June, Hwange Dlakama, a ZESA [ZPC] employee [councillor elect for MDC] for ward 1, Hwange, was forced to transfer to Munyati with immediate effect allegedly for his “un-patriotism”. The victim has since been transferred to Munyati Power Station.
In Hwange Central, two MDC supporters, Cosmas Ndhlovu and Admire Munhenga [ZESA employees who in March contested and won the Hwange Local Board Council elections on an MDC ticket] were reportedly intimidated, harassed and threatened with dismissal by suspected ZANU PF supporters. Perpetrators allegedly forced them to resign on 20 June from their place of employment before the 27 June run off. They were accused of “misleading other workers---a bad influence to the Hwange community as a whole”.
Rallies in Tsholotsho resonated with threats of “going back to the bush” and “burning of homesteads” if villagers do not vote correctly. In Tsholotsho, the ZANU PF presidential candidate, addressing villagers at Tsholotsho Business Centre on 19 June 2008 reportedly told Tsholotsho villagers telling them that although he is old he will not leave the office as he has a job to do.
On 23 June 2008, MMPZ officers and committee members were rounded by CIOs, while they were having a workshop at Binga Rest Camp. The officers and committee members were handed over to the police and were locked up for three days. They were released with no charges levelled against them.
The province witnessed a visible decline in election violence. It recorded 37 cases of human rights violations, a drop from the May record of 44 cases. When compared with other provinces, Bulawayo casts a stark and even incomparable contrast to scenarios in Manicaland [1173 cases], Mashonaland West [with 1056 cases]. This is however not to imply that the province has not been with its own gray areas as some pockets of human rights abuse have been witnessed in some parts of the province.
In Luveve constituency, Bernard, a disabled and blind ZANU PF supporter was on 30 June threatened with food denial for telling ZANU PF party members that he had voted for the MDC. He was also reportedly threatened with assault until his eyes open.
In Mpopoma/Pelandaba Constituency, around 30 MDC members wearing party T/shirts and singing aboard a bus campaigning for their MP candidate were on 26 June stopped by the ZRP and ordered to disperse, accused of disturbing traffic flow.
On election-day, residents in some constituencies like Luveve were reportedly forced to vote and show their red fingers to the local ruling party councillor as confirmation that they had voted. On the same day in Pumula East constituency, ZANU PF supporters and war veterans were reportedly campaigning within 80m of the polling station with radio on full blast-in apparent breach of the 100m threshold provided for in the Electoral Act. This was reportedly in full view of ZRP officers.
INCIDENTS OF FOOD DISCRIMINATIION BY PROVINCE
The run-up to the June run-off witnessed unbelievable cases of political motivated food-related human rights violations. Experiences from all provinces point to a tight, partisan and highly centralized food distribution network. Access to Government Subsidized Food, agricultural inputs, tillage support, agricultural credit, food loan, irrigation is through a tight vetting process in which village kraal heads, village chairpersons, ward councillors, war veterans, and ruling party youths are involved.
To access subsidized maize or mealie-meal at GMB depots, one has to be on the village register which had to vetted and endorsed by the ward councillor in consultation with war veterans and ruling party leadership. To qualify for such registration, one has to be in possession of a ruling party card and also a regular attendance of ruling party meetings. In addition to this, in most provinces, GMB Maguta programs are headed by either army officers or retired army officers or war veterans. Most millers are reportedly ZANU PF supporters. Suggested by this network is that access to buying food is not dependent on possession of money but access to political networks.
Selection of food beneficiaries is the preserve of ruling party structures. Councilors, ruling party chairpersons make decisive decisions on who and who not to benefit.
Reports from all provinces show that people [both urban and rural] are reportedly denied access to Government Subsidized Food [GSF], seeds and fertilizer, tillage support, agricultural credit, food loan and irrigation cases, among other reasons, for being known or suspected MDC supporters, for failing to attend ruling party meetings, failing to produce party card, voter registration receipt, failing to chant the latest ZANU PF slogans and failing to denounce one’s party. Residents/villagers from areas that were suspected to have voted for the opposition were subjected to community-targeted food sanctions-scenarios that seriously exposed villagers to starvation given that most provinces are currently under drought.
In the post run-off era, food discrimination revolved around the red ink requirement.
Drought prone, Matebeleland South was home to nine cases of food discrimination in the month in question. Reports indicate that access to food relief, food loan scheme, tillage support, agricultural inputs is heavily partisan. Villagers were reportedly forced to attend political meetings, ordered to produce party cards, forced to chant party slogans, forced to denounce one’s party, in order to access relief food.
The perpetrators are district party members, traditional leaders, war veterans and losing councillors. On 24 June 2008, Njabulo Moyo of Mtshabezi village, ward 8, Gwanda North was reportedly denied access to agricultural Credit, forced to attend political meetings and ordered to produce party card in order for him to get agricultural credit forms. In this incident, the perpetrators were reportedly village secretaries and other ruling party members. Most violations occurred at GMB depots and shopping centres.
After the run-off, those who did not have red ink mark on their fingers were reportedly chased away from queues for buying subsidized grain at GMB depots.
ZPP Reports to widespread politically-motivated food-related human rights violations in Harare Metropolitan, recording a total of 32 cases. Even access to scarce and basic food stuffs such as sugar and cooking oil is largely partisan as most queues at shopping centres where such commodities will be available is largely monitored by party structures. Cases where soldiers and ruling party activists access scarce commodities while residents go empty handed have in fact become so regular that they risk being viewed as a right of the perpetrators.
In Glen View Shopping Centre, Phylis Chataika [an MDC activist and HIV volunteer for Chiedza Home of Hope] was on 3 June 2008 allegedly denied access to mealie-meal meant for those affected with AIDS. On the day in question, people were reportedly forced to chant slogans or produce ZANU PF party cards before being sold mealie-meal. On 14 June 2008, Chimbwanda, a resident of Caledonia Transit farm Camp and a well known MDC supporter was allegedly denied food relief at Juru Growth point.
In Old Canaan, Highfield, Home Based Care Kits, medicine belonging to an AID Counselling Trust [ACT] were ransacked by youths demanding a register of all people who receive food AID from her organization. The volunteer [Mandy Gwenzi] was forced to attend a lunchtime “base” meeting at Zororo Centre. The Home based Care was perceived to be used to woo voters for the MDC. At a Roman Catholic Church in Highfield East, Noel Chikata was on 3 June 2008 ordered to chant the latest ruling party slogans and produce party card. When he failed to meet the order, access to subsidized food was allegedly denied to him. In Highfiled West, Thompson Warikandisi [a volunteer at Mashambanzou] reported that Children Living with HIV/aids at Roman Catholic Church in Zororo had their food looted by ruling party youths to an unknown destination on 20 June 2008.
The Midlands province recorded 60 cases of politically motivated food-related human rights abuses, the highest record in the country. This record is not surprising given that most parts of the province are drought-prone areas. As was the trend in other provinces, victims were denied access to cheap food for a variety of politically-motivated reasons that included coming from a constituency that was suspected to have overwhelmingly voted for the MDC, refusing to attend ruling party/base meetings, failing to produce voter registration receipts, failing to surrender MDC regalia, or seen in association with known or suspected MDC supporters, among others.
Victims were allegedly subjected to public humiliations such as being shouted at, chased away food queues or advised to “get food from England”. Notable havens of these violations were constituencies in Gokwe, Mberengwa, Kwekwe, and Zvishavane. Most offences were committed at business shops and at GMB depots with kraal heads, village heads, councillors, war veterans, ruling party youths and GMB officials as main perpetrators.
In Kwekwe, Ventura Farm, Gilbert Shoko was on 18 June 2008 reportedly refused to buy agricultural inputs and threatened with beating on allegations that he was an MDC supporter. The victim stays in Torwood, Redcliff, an area labelled as an MDC stronghold. At the Roasting Plant Compound Shopping Centre, Kwekwe, Judith Mwanza [a well known MDC activist] was on 22 June allegedly denied access to subsidized maize sourced from Blackman Millers [a company owned by a ruling party activist] allegedly for refusing to surrender her MDC garb. The victim had earlier been advised to surrender T/shirt, card, wrapping material. At Gwedza Primary School, Mbizo, Kwekwe, Susan Zulu [an MDC activist] was on 21 June 2008 denied access to subsidized maize meal because “the cheap maize was for ruling party supporters” as it was sourced from a ruling party activist.
In Zhombe constituency, Anna Zinyama was on 23 June 2008 reportedly denied access to cheap GMB mealie-meal at Chiroro Business Centre by the local leadership, headman Farson Masvosve, allegedly for “not attending ZANU PF village meetings”. The victim was also not on the ZANU PF food register.
In Mberengwa West, Jonathan Nhliziyo was on 17 June reportedly denied to buy subsidized GMB mealie-meal at Nyororo Business Centre because “his son had been an MDC party agent” in the 29 March elections. At Mahindi Primary School- Gumbo Mufaro [a widow] was on 16 June 2008 denied to buy cheap mealie-meal by the headman, allegedly for failing to call back her son working in Harare to “join others in the rural areas that are fighting for the soil”.
In Gokwe Kana, Mharadze villagers were on 21 June reportedly denied access to cheap GMB maize delivered at Gawa Business Centre, allegedly by the kraal head for “not attending party meetings”. Failure to attend village party meetings was equated with supporting the opposition. Teachers at Gawa Primary School, Gokwe Kana were also on the same day reportedly denied access to buy subsidized GMB maize by the ruling party chairperson arguing that maize was for “the ZANU PF campaign and not for MDC sympathizers”.
Food-related violations in drought prone Masvingo was generally consistent with experiences in other provinces. Access to government subsidized food was largely through ruling party vetting processes in which kraal heads, war collaborators, party chairpersons, village heads, councillors, party youths and war veterans, among others were visibly involved. In some Wards, kraal heads were reportedly ordered to register the names of those suspected to be into opposition politics. Most food-related human rights abuses occurred at local business centres, notable among which were Mavhiringidze Township, Nyamakwebi Township and Chibi Growth Point.
Just after the run-off, on 28th June, Masvingo Urban residents reported selective supply of sugar to ruling party supporters by army, war vets and party youths at Tsungai Shop and Mutema Brothers Shop [shops allegedly owned by ruling party supporters]. On 6th of June, Shumba Lawrence, a losing ruling party councillor reportedly told villagers, suspected to be mostly MDC supporters that they were going to vet villagers who are going to buy maize seed from GMB. On 28th of June, some residents of Runyararo, Ward 4, Runyararo West, Masvingo Urban, were reportedly severely prejudiced when cheap mealie-meal sourced from a local grinding mill was allegedly diverted to ruling party youths as a token of appreciation for their participating in the run- off campaign- a campaign that had reportedly entailed force marching residents of ward 4 to go and vote in the one-man contested presidential run –off. On 10 June, Zimuto villagers were reportedly denied access to subsidized GMB maize at Mazambara Business Centre, allegedly for “campaigning for an opposition councillor in the 29 March election”. In some cases, suspected MDC supporters simply had their names skipped or removed from the list to buy GMB mealie-meal.
At Chivi Growth Point, on 19th June, GMB officials [led by a known army captain who heads Operation Maguta at Chivi Depot] reportedly denied GMB food to villagers from Mawararire and Muvhundisi accusing them of being MDC supporters. On 3 June, villagers from Govo, ward 33 were reportedly cancelled from the Food for Work Program list allegedly by kraal head Nyengeri on suspicion that their ward had voted for the MDC. On 14 June, in Ward 3, teachers at Saint Staurkans primary and secondary schools were reportedly denied access to subsidized GMB food at Mushagashe by soldiers in the constituency allegedly accusing them of having “campaigned for the opposition”.
While the province was relatively calm, its food-related human right record was not that impressive. With 15 recorded cases, Bulawayo emerged second in terms of food related violations. As in other provinces, food denials were based on party card issues, party meeting attendance record and on the red finger requirement, especially after elections. Perpetrators included army and police officers, Task Forces, councillors [most of which were losing councillors] and ruling party supporters. Mainly affected were Pumula, Nguboyenja, Makokoba and Luveve constituencies.
In Pumula East, Pumula constituency, Sharon Sibanda, a ZANU PF member was on the 28th of June reportedly denied registration for mealie-meal because “there was no sign of ink on her finger to show she had voted”. In the post 27 run-off period, failure to vote was viewed as a serious betrayal of the ZANU PF cause. In fact it was tantamount to an endorsement of the MDC NO VOTE call in the run-up to the 27th June presidential run-off. In the same constituency, Teresa Mugago was reportedly denied access to buy subsidized mealie-meal by war vets on 17 June-because the “mealie-meal was for party supporters and those who attend party meetings”.
Even in ordinary shops, suspected opposition supporters were reportedly denied access to scarce basic food stuffs. At Chigumira Shops in Luveve, B. Mpala was on 9 June reportedly denied access to buy scarce mealie-meal by ZANU PF supporters because “she had no party cards”. In Nguboyenja, Makokoba constituency, Soshongane residents were reportedly denied access to scarce and subsidized mealie-meal, sugar, and cooking oil at Nguboyeja Grocery [Mumba Store] on 5 June 2008. In Richmond, J. Mhungira, an elderly widow was reportedly refused to buy scarce, subsidized GMB mealie-meal at Richmond Falls Garage shop because “she did not have a party card”.
Consistent with its poor track record of politically motivated violence, access to Government Subsidized Food was largely through party structures. People were denied access for failing to produce voter registration receipts, names not appearing at the base camp register, for staying/associating with MDC supporters/relatives, among others. Cases where suspected and known MDC supporters were chased away from queues for subsidized mealie-meal and basic food stuffs and coldly advised to buy “food from their own party” were reportedly widespread.
In Dombotombo, Marondera, a Mrs A Manzungu was on the 4th June reportedly told point blank by a ruling party losing councillor that she was not going to get maize from GMB because “she had voted for the MDC”. At Cherima Township, Marondera, Mr Muswere Bernard was on the 10th of June reportedly denied access to subsidized maize from GMB Maguta by losing councillor E. Tsuro, who was in charge of food distribution in ward 5 on grounds that he was “politically suspect”. At Rusike Park in Marondera, Mrs S Phiri was on the 9th of June reportedly denied access to subsidized maize from GMB Maguta by ruling party councillor Kwaramba, allegedly for “staying with an MDC supporter”. At Dorset Farm, Marondera, villagers who were suspected to be MDC supporters were on 13th of June 2008 reportedly discriminated against in the selection of people to benefit from the Government Maize Aid delivered by Mr Jeche, the chairperson of the ruling party and responsible for the selection of beneficiaries.
In Chitanda Village, Mahusekwa, John Maoneka was on the 9th of June denied access to buy some maize meal at the local shop by village headman because he was “seen wearing MDC regalia and also celebrating the March 29 harmonized elections”. The victim was chased away from the mealie-meal queue. In Marondera, John Matiza [a school teacher] at Chitanda School was on the 17th of June denied access to buy scarce basic food stuffs and mealie-meal at the local shops by local villagers because “he was seen moving together with MDC members in the ward”. The perpetrator allegedly directed the shopkeeper not to sell mealie-meal to “sell-outs” before proceeding to grab and push the victim out of the shop promising to beat him.
Highly centralized food allocation systems are prone to political abuse during election time. The risk of politically abuse is even worse when elections are conducted under highly polarized contexts. The risk is worst where traditional supplementary sources have been disbanded. The risk is even most threatening when elections are conducted under contexts of drought and a general economic meltdown characterized by scarcity of basic food stuffs. Such scenarios characterized Zimbabwe in the run-up to what later turned out to be a one-political contender run-off.
Against this backdrop, when the Government of Zimbabwe, on the 4th of June 2008, ordered a number of nonprofit food aid agencies [CARE, Save the Children] to suspend distribution of food until after the 27 June 2008 accusing them of using food to undermine the government-the decision naturally generated heated debates within and outside Zimbabwe, with most people expressing fear that the decision would see millions [especially children in schools, orphanages and the elderly in nursing homes] in drought-hit areas starving.
These fears were indeed well-founded given that people in rural Zimbabwe have three main ways of accessing maize and mealie-meal, namely through government food for work program, buying it from the GMB, and through donor schemes for school pupils and the under fives- sources that are vulnerable to political manipulation.
The June food-related human rights violation incidence spread was as shown below:
Food Distribution Analysis June 2008
FOOD DISTRIBUTION SOURCES
by Jameson Mombe Friday 01 August 2008
JOHANNESBURG - More than 16 000 cases of politically motivated murder,
torture, rape, assault and other abuses were committed in Zimbabwe in the
first half of this year alone during which the country held major
presidential and parliamentary elections, a leading human rights group has
Politically motivated violence and human rights abuses have accompanied
Zimbabwe's elections since the emergence in 1999 of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as the first potent threat to President
Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF's decades-old stranglehold on power.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said there was an "exponential increase in
human rights violations" since January, in a report highlighting one of the
hardest questions power-sharing talks between ZANU PF and the MDC have to
tackle - what to do with Mugabe's top officials accused of masterminding
most of the violence.
"Since January there has been an exponential increase in human rights
violations. A shocking total of 16 400 cases were recorded with 593 in
January, 685 in February, 806 in March, 4 375 in April, 6 288 in May, 3 653
in June," the ZPP said in its latest report made available to ZimOnline on
Giving a breakdown of some of the cases of violence, the ZPP said it had
recorded 157 murders, 14 cases of rape, 328 cases of torture, 380
kidnappings and 2180 assaults committed against mostly opposition supporters
during the first six months of 2008.
The ZPP said that unlike in previous election periods political violence in
the run up to the June 27 presidential run-off election showed a sharp swing
towards "fatal forms of violence with 77 murder cases having been reported
across the country by end of June, an almost double increase from the May
record of 47".
"The nature of injuries sustained by victims of violence reveal chilling
features characterised by lacerations, head injuries, gun-shot wounds/stabs,
rib, leg, and arm fractures, severe burns, and severe tissue injuries-a
poignant signal of possible increase in the use of knives, fire, sharp
weapons, guns, metal rods, knobkerries and logs," the rights group said.
The violence in the run-up to the June vote also showed a marked shift to
"terror tactics rather than the traditional political re-education"
campaigns, the ZPP said.
The run-off election, won by Mugabe who was sole candidate after MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out because of violence, was denounced by both
African and Western nations as having been undemocratic.
China and Russia blocked attempts by Britain and the United States to have
the United Nations Security Council impose sanctions against Mugabe's
government after the Zimbabwean leader ignored international calls to cancel
the run-off poll.
The African Union has also opposed Western calls for more sanctions against
Harare. But the continental body has pressured Zimbabwe's political leaders
into dialogue aimed forming a government of national unity that is seen as
the best way to resolve the country's political and economic crisis.
The talks between ZANU PF and the MDC resume next Sunday after they were
called off earlier this week, with chief mediator South African President
Thabo Mbeki saying they had adjourned to allow negotiators to return to
Harare to brief their principals on progress made so far.
However, unconfirmed reports suggested that talks were temporarily called
off after negotiators hit deadlock over what posts Mugabe and Tsvangirai
should take in the unity government.
ZANU PF negotiators were said have demanded that Mugabe should remain as
executive president, while Tsvangirai becomes prime minister or a
vice-president. On the other hand, the MDC demanded that Tsvangirai should
become executive prime minister with Mugabe serving as a titular president.
Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have in recent days publicly voiced their support
for the talks with the MDC leader on Thursday telling reporters on in
Senegal's capital, Dakar, that negotiations could be extended beyond the
initial two-week deadline if that is what was needed to reach agreement.
However, analysts say the differences between ZANU PF and the MDC are many
and run deep.
The issue of security for Mugabe's henchmen who allegedly oversaw the
violence that left at least 100 opposition supporters dead and displaced 200
000 others was among one of the biggest obstacles in the way of successful
dialogue, according to analysts. - ZimOnline
July 31, 2008
THE latest significant leakage from the power sharing talks by Zimbabwean
political parties has been reported in the Cape Times newspaper (South
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has said it will accept nothing short of the
role of executive prime minister in a two-year transitional authority that
would pave the way towards constitutional reform and fresh elections. This
is very reasonable and possible!
At the same time, Zanu-PF has revealed a key position i.e. of prime
According to the Herald (July 25, 2008), the Zanu-PF politburo meeting
resolved on July 23, 2008, among others, that the June 27 presidential
election result shall not be negotiable. To Zanu-PF, the run-off outcome was
underpinned by requirements of Zimbabwe's Constitution that if there is no
absolute winner with the required threshold in the first round of a
presidential election, there shall be a run-off.
The meeting is said to have agreed that there has to be a figure who
appoints the all-inclusive government, and that figure is President Robert
Mugabe who won the run-off. There also has to be a figure that creates the
all-inclusive government. Although the newspaper did not say it explicitly,
the creator will be Morgan Tsvangirai, based on the legislative majority
seats his party won on March 29, 2008.
The appointer of the person, who would create the government, is
respectively, the Head of State (President) and the Head of Government
A Prime Minister is the most senior minister and member of cabinet. Where
the President is (in)directly elected to become both the Head of State and
Government, it is called the 'presidential political system'. Based on the
Herald story, these two responsibilities are to be split. We are to have a
new political system called semi-presidential. We should recall that this
was the Zanu-PF preferred set-up going as far back as the Draft Constitution
A semi-presidential system is where the president and a prime minister are
both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state. The
Prime Minister is appointed by the President with parliament's approval. He
appoints and manages the civil service and runs the economy. Similar systems
are found in France, Russia and South Korea.
In a semi-presidential system, it is possible for the president and the
prime minister to be from different political parties if the legislature is
controlled by a party different from that of the president. When it arises,
such a state of affairs is usually referred to as political cohabitation.
Revisiting Russia and France as models of the imminent political system in
Zimbabwe because President Mugabe has taken a position that he will not
allow himself to be 'castrated' by the process of power sharing agreement
and an all-inclusive government by being made a ceremonial President. Mugabe
cannot imagine and will not accept spending time twiddling fingers and
having tea at home as a titular President as was Canaan Banana.
In general, the Executive Prime Minister in a semi-presidential system
serves more of an administrative role, nominating members of the Cabinet and
implementing domestic policy. The Prime Minister exercises the following
1. Determines the basic guidelines of the Government activity;
2. Presents to the President proposals on the structure and functions of the
central institutions of the executive branch (e.g. ministries and national
3. Nominates ministers and other senior officers and presents them to the
4. Represents the government as an institution in foreign relations and
inside the country;
5. Heads the sessions of the government and its presidium and has the right
of decisive vote;
6. Signs the executive orders of the government;
7. Systematically informs the President about the government activities.
8. Chairs the Cabinet consisting of Ministers.
Rights and duties of Executive President
1. The President shall be the head of state and the guarantor of the
Constitution and of rights and liberties. He shall take measures to protect
the sovereignty of the Republic, its independence and integrity, and to
ensure the concerted functioning and interaction of all bodies of State
2. The President shall define the basic domestic policy guidelines of the
3. The President shall define the basic foreign policy guidelines of the
State and shall accredit ambassadors and envoys.
4. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces.
5. The President shall resolve issues of citizenship of the Republic, award
national decorations, and grant pardons.
6. Chairs the State Council, is an advisory body to the Head of State, which
considers issues of particular importance to the state, such as the
development of governmental institutions, economic and social reforms and
other objects affecting the public as a whole. It consists of the President,
Vice Presidents and Prime Minister and formal special advisors to the
President and heads of Presidential executive office divisions.
7. Chairs the national Security Council, a consultative rather than
decision-making body that meets once a week. It has the authority to prepare
decisions for the president on military policy, protection of civil rights,
internal and external security, and foreign policy issues, and it has the
power to conduct basic research, long-range planning, and coordination of
other executive-branch efforts in the foreign policy realm. It consists of
the President, Vice Presidents and Prime Minister, ministers responsible for
defence, internal (home) affairs, foreign affairs, security, intelligence,
justice and the service chiefs responsible for the military intelligence,
police and prisons.
If Zanu-PF wants MDC to concede the ground of the claim to the Presidency
based on the 29 March 2008 election results, it should realise that the
semi-presidential system is very accommodative of the MDC expectations.
Zanu-PF should give up its ground of having a full presidential term and
allow Tsvangirai to be an executive prime minister. MDC's demands for an
Executive Prime Minister and reduced term of office are easily accommodative
in good faith while allowing Mugabe to keep the executive Presidency.
According to Nathaniel Manheru (aka George Charamba) writing in the Herald
of 26 July 2008, Zanu-PF sees the MDC as being the cause of the economic
meltdown that has currently engulfed Zimbabwe. This informs the likelihood
that most economic-related ministries will be given to the MDC.
This arises from the fact that the MDC is better disposed to engage the IMF,
World Bank and the Western countries for balance of payments support.
Tsvangirai must get ready to manage the economy as the Prime Minister.
By: Barnabas Thondhlana
Published: 1 Aug 08 - 0:00
Three firms - Metallurgical Construction Company, of China, Sunflag Iron &
Steel Company, of India, and The Reclamation Group, of South Africa - have
submitted bids for a stake in the Zimbabwe Iron & Steel Company (Zisco).
The Zimbabwe government is seeking a private placement for Zisco, which has
been on a slide over the years and is now a shell of its former glory.
However, although a tender for investors interested in partnering Zisco
closed on June 30, government is still accepting proposals from interested
firms, Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu says.
The State Enterprise Restructuring Agency is spearheading the sale of equity
in State firms to the private sector, and Zisco will be its first major
Government, the majority shareholder in Zisco, with a 88% stake, has not yet
declared the number of shares it is prepared to sell.
But the Redcliff-based steel producer, reeling under serious financial
constraints, requires an investment of between US$100-million and
Recently, Zisco refuted reports that it was in talks with ArcelorMittal
South Africa, which is said to be intent on increasing its capacity, which
curently stands at seven-million tons a year.
Two years ago, Zisco terminated a US$400-million deal with Global Steel
Holdings, of India, as the partners failed to agree on certain issues.
Zisco shut down its blast furnace number four to pave the way for
refurbishment, expected to cost US$9,5-million. The furnace has exceeded its
A Chinese company has been contracted to refurbish the furnace, the only
According to figures released by Zisco late last year, production will
increase to 25 000 t/m when the refurbishment has been completed.
Production will rise to levels of about 63 000 t/m in 2010, which is close
to the full capacity of blast furnace number four.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
July 31, 2008
IF JOURNALISM is history's first draft, then Zimbabwe is in trouble.
I find that it is occasionally necessary to take a holiday from reading
Zimbabwean newspapers. I fear that a daily dose of news from these sources,
consumed over an uninterrupted period, will sour the taste of life's sweet
things, raise my blood pressure to stratospheric levels and imperil my
In my more paranoid moments, I believe that the collective purpose of the
press in Zimbabwe, both the private and the public media, both print and
online publications is to obfuscate and not to enlighten, to speculate and
not to report, to dissemble and not to inform, and above all, to make us all
pawns in their games of one-upmanship.
The last week has been particularly instructive.
The reporting on the ongoing negotiations in Tshwane has veered from the
grossly irresponsible to the downright libellous. Last Friday, The Zimbabwe
Independent ran a headline story that said a deal was "close". The story
must have been filed and laid out last Thursday evening, in time to hit the
streets on Friday morning. And yet the negotiations only began on Thursday,
and, if further press reports are to be believed, the negotiators were more
concerned about punishing the whisky than closing the deal.
The reporting on the negotiations has highlighted the fourth estate's
preoccupation with framing particular narratives and reporting facts and
events only as they fit within those narratives. It is in part because they
are so keen to advance their individual narratives, rather than just report,
that our journalists rely almost exclusively on unnamed sources. What they
call "news" is more often speculation, and, frankly, gossip dressed as news.
If journalism is truly history's first draft, all I can say is, oh boy.
You would have to have been living under a diesel rock to fail to see the
different narrative strands of each outfit; they support their chosen causes
and candidates with all the subtlety of a Form Two schoolboy writing his
first love letter. The mandate of NewZimbabwe, for instance, appears to be
to support any leader who is not Morgan Tsvangirai, which is how it feels
perfectly justified to quote an unnamed source as reporting that "it was
clear [Tsvangirai] had been overpowered" by Mugabe at a dinner following the
signing of the MOU. The Theresa Makone leak story was given particular
prominence by the same publication, precisely because it was perceived as
being damaging to Tsvangirai whom they report to be supportive of Makone and
For The Zimbabwe Times, which appears to be pro-Tsvangirai and
anti-Mutambara, the focus of the Theresa Makone leak story became, not the
necessity to establish what had actually happened, but to prove that
NewZimbabwe must have got it wrong, and thus limit any damage to Tsvangirai.
And it is not just these two that have taken sides: the reports of The
Zimbabwe Independent, particularly in the run up to the March election, were
so contemptuous of Tsvangirai that you could be forgiven for thinking that
the problems in Zimbabwe were not, in fact, the creation of Robert Mugabe
and his party, but those of Tsvangirai and his, while ZimDaily, the leading
light in the Campaign For Sainthood For Tsvangirai, Mother Theresa Can Wait,
has run attacks against the breakaway wing of the MDC as rabid and vicious
as anything The Herald runs against the MDC.
Central to these narratives are political analysts whose views are inserted
judiciously to comment on the revelations of anonymous sources, who are all,
incidentally, impeccable. A political analyst, apparently, can be anyone,
even a politician, who happens to agree with the view of the reporting
journalist. These coy creatures prefer to shun the limelight, so they are
usually qualified as "anonymous". And as if the authoritative information
from impeccable unnamed sources backed by anonymous political analysts were
not enough, journalists increasingly insert commentary into their news
stories, thus spicing the story beautifully with little nuggets direct from
the journalist's mind.
The problem with narratives is that facts have this rather inconvenient
habit of getting in the way. Before the March elections, The Zimbabwean
newspaper was convinced that the Makoni candidacy had created such seismic
shocks in the Zanu-PF foundation that the main protagonists were in quaking
fear. "VP Mujuru under House Arrest", screamed a headline. When Mujuru was
seen out campaigning in her constituency and clenching and shaking her
not-at-all-under-house-arrest but well-manicured fist, The Zimbabwean simply
moved on. No explanation required.
And then there is the journalist's preoccupation with getting a scoop. So
hungry are our journalists for their scoops that they appear willing to
swallow even the unpalatable fare of rumours and spin. There has been no
attempt to penetrate the web of spin and double-spin that has come from the
parties and mediator in the ongoing negotiations. Instead of questioning the
sound bites, our journalists have swallowed them whole, and have spun the
spin, the better to assure us that they are in the know. Thus a deal is
"imminent", it is "close", it is being "fine-tuned"; even when all
indications are to the contrary.
Why is Zanu PF continuing to ride roughshod over the agreement? What is the
meaning of Mugabe's threats of emergency rule? Why would Thabo Mbeki fly all
the way to Harare just to "brief" the parties on the progress of the talks?
Don't the parties have representatives to do this for them? Whatever
happened to telephones?
So many questions, so many journalists, but they are all too busy trying to
out-scoop each other to answer them.
Nietzsche wrote that if you look long enough into the abyss, the abyss looks
back into you. One of the side effects of struggles against tyranny is that
the fighters often take on the characteristics of the oppressor: we have
seen in the case of our Second Chimurenga that violent revolution is the
gateway to tyranny. The toll of fighting Smith produced evils in Zanu-PF,
and the toll of fighting Mugabe is also producing evils in our politicians,
in our press, in each one of us. We are in danger of becoming so caught up
in the battle that we can no longer see who or what we are fighting, as we
flay and lash out at everything.
And our journalists are in danger of being so clouded by who they hate and
who they support that they no longer see what it means to be journalists. We
are watching the slow suffocation of objectivity and the triumphant
heraldification of the private press. And it's not pretty.
The publications I have cited are not, by any means, the worst offenders in
the who-can-be-the-most-partisan-stakes; nor do they get everything wrong
all the time. There are many things that they do very well indeed; they
perform an important function in a repressive environment. But their
unbridled excesses are fast approaching proportions that lead me to
conclude, with Thomas Jefferson, that the person who reads nothing at all is
better educated than the person who reads nothing but newspapers. So if you
wish to be healthy, happy and wise, I recommend that you take an occasional
break from reading the news.
You will be the better informed for it.
by Own Correspondent Friday 01 August 2008
JOHANNESBURG - Temporary shelters set up to accommodate foreign nationals
displaced by the May xenophobic attacks will be closed within two weeks,
South Africa's Gauteng provincial government said on Thursday.
"Based on the good progress made on the integration process, we are
convinced that the remaining 3 000 people who are still accommodated at the
shelters will use the two weeks to either return to their homes or find
alternative accommodation," said provincial social development minister
Local government minister Qedani Mahlangu said conditions were now conducive
for foreigners to return home. Any form of violence against them would be
harshly dealt with, adding that police would monitor the situation and were
ready to take steps to prevent any further attacks in the province.
The violent attacks started on May 12 in Johannesburg's Alexandra township
of the poor before spreading to other townships in Diepsloot, Hillbrow,
Jeppe, Cleveland, Thokoza, Tembisa and provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, North
West, Mpumalanga and Western Cape leaving thousands of African immigrants
without shelter or food after their homes were looted and burnt down.
Rampaging mobs of South African men armed with machetes, axes, spears and
guns attacked and killed immigrants looting their property in an
unprecedented two-week wave of xenophobic violence that shocked a nation,
which prides itself as among the most tolerant societies in the world.
It is estimated that more than 30 000 foreign nationals mostly from
Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other African countries fled xenophobic attacks in
poor South African townships and sought refuge in police stations, churches
and public buildings.
Government later set up temporary shelters for the homeless foreign
nationals and has been seeking to reintegrate displaced people back into
The six shelters where thousands of displaced foreign nationals in Gauteng
have been accommodated as a stop gap measure to provide urgent humanitarian
relief following the xenophobic horror attacks, will be closed on August 15
after which water and electricity supplies will also be cut immediately.
Foreigners at the shelters have been given a six-month temporary permit to
stay legally in the country.
Lekoro said it had never been the intention of the government to create
permanent settlements for foreign nationals.
"Foreign nationals have lived in South Africa for many years and through
their stay here they have lived side by side with locals," he said.
Reintegration had already taken place in the Johannesburg residential areas
of Alexandra, Diepsloot, Tembisa, Thokoza, Bophelong, Mohlakeng and
Mahlangu explained that a number of displaced foreign nationals had either
reintegrated themselves or had opted to return to their home countries.
"In Tembisa, for instance, people had already gone to their homes when buses
were dispatched to collect them from the police station."
She indicated that foreigners would not be forced to reintegrate nor would
communities be forced to accept them back. - ZimOnline
|Written by Yusuf Serunkuma|
Book: The shackled Continent
Reviewer: Yusuf Serunkuma
Two professionals have read this book and their responses are starkly opposed. “This is my Bible; I have read it four times”, “good prose, but little ideas”. The latter is Andrew Mwenda, a journalist. The former is Peter Mugyenyi, author of Genocide by Denial, and a medic in charge of the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Uganda.
The doctor choosing to replace the Bible with Robert Guest’s writing could have a justifiable case. Guest graphically paints the theft and murder that Aids has done as it wanders untouched through the streets and villages of the continent. This strongly adds to the campaign against ‘blissful ignorance’ and stigma in which most African peasants and middle class alike are inextricably caged. It has a great healing effect akin to that of the Bible as the doctor seems to suppose.
The Shackled Continent is in principle very lucid. Robert Guest captures the grotesque realities of prostitution, and long distance truck driving and how successful it has been in the spread of AIDS. He narrates in precise details the shock that Africans find sex a pleasure that cannot be enjoyed in a condom, likening it to sweets that cannot be eaten in a wrapper and how it is a taboo that cannot be comfortably discussed in public. He appreciates efforts put in place by African governments against the pandemic, citing Uganda as an example on the anti-stigma stance. As he highlights why and the extent AIDS still ravages Africa like a bush fire, he is providing healing. And since healing starts from speaking about the illness, the doctor’s choice is by far justifiable.
The journalist on the other hand, finds this rather too simplistic. He seems to argue that graphic paintings of events in good prose provide pleasant reading, but rarely go beyond this. He seems to subscribe to a school of thought that regards writing as a forum for psycho-social transformation and political healing.
The book is extensive on the grim and bizarre in Africa; how in Zimbabwe, Mugabe uses martial arts experts to clobber and intimidate voters. How businesses stifle when bribe-hungry officials manipulate bureaucracy and use offices to out-compete genuine businessmen. It is graphic on how Africa is mismanaged by a seemingly irremovable gang of crooks and thugs. It is also vivid on the blood saddled history of Rwanda and the East African states, the drama and conspiracy pillaging the jungles of the Congo, and the curse of gold in Ghana and Chad, the dynamics of receiving and distribution and the effects of aid, and of course the sexual insanity of poverty-caged girls with tourists and long distance truck drivers—all these cold realities are captured in amiable prose. The journalist considers this out of depth as to the demands of the time.
Put together, these different conclusions are true about this book. The prose of the book does not only sustains pleasure but it also breaks the coldness around the complex issues which society, for cultural fear, or fear of political persecution, has chosen to keep mum.
The book now is providing vent and purgation. Africa’s unattended to problem has been ‘understanding the problems’. The book then could stand as a problem directory. For example, the author notes; African politicians...prefer to emphasise the role of outsiders in keeping Africa down. But ordinary Africans tend to look closer to home for an explanation of their plight. This is precise.
However, this very political game, unfolding through corruption, vote rigging, beating up news men, racism and tribalism, the investors and lords of poverty, the thieves and murderers masquerading as nationalists who categorise themselves as more equal than their other compatriots—the book is scanty on analysis and pragmatics. It does not provide reliable pragmatic suggestions on how to uproot a dictatorship, or how to sustain a democracy. It paints pictures of the mismanaged Africa to the western world and this sound like a telling of the old common story and Africa needs a little more. Attempts to energetically vindicate colonists as not a cause of the current African quagmire are a little bit wounding. But yes, African ought to carry the cross themselves.
The author writes at the end of the preface which he builds on the tale of a group of ‘disciplined’ rebels that stopped them in Ivory Coast…But it would have been better if there had been no road blocks, and no need to ask men with guns for permission to go about ones daily business.” In countries run by leaders with acute paranoia and greed and selfishness, Robert Guest is not particularly pragmatic, just an identifier of fault.
Certain readers could discard this literature as so tough about the tropics, but yes, these outlines are the long awaited talking-points to spark off the modern African post-colonial debate for the pacification of sub-Saharan Africa.