Libya's fallen leader Muammar Qaddafi still has friends in the Zimbabwe government of President Robert Mugabe, who shares ideological and financial ties with Libya's former leader.
The government of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi effectively fell last week when anti-Qaddafi forces took effective control of the nation's capital, Tripoli. Yet, for the Zimbabwe government – which has maintained close ties to Mr. Qaddafi because of the Libyan leader's financial and military support of rebel movements such as Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party – Qaddafi's government is the only one that Zimbabwe will recognize.
"The Libyan ambassador and his staff decided to renounce their allegiance to the government of Colonel Qaddafi," Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said on Tuesday. "This act deprives the Libyan ambassador and his staff of any diplomatic status in Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe does not recognize the NTC." He added, "So it is in this context that the Libyan ambassador and his staff are required to leave Zimbabwe within the next 72 hours.”
Qaddafi and President Robert Mugabe share a lot in common, especially their anti-Western stance and their preference for iron-fisted rule. El-Magrahi last week led his compatriots in burning portraits of Qaddafi and lowering the green flag synonymous with his regime. The embassy replaced the flag with that of the anti-Qaddafi rebellion. Mugabe and Qaddafi are said to have “deep” economic ties, but this has not yet been substantiated.
Qaddafi’s son, Saadi, was in Zimbabwe last August to seek business opportunities where he was feted like a king. He was escorted around the country at the time under heavy security and was taken to the majestic Victoria Falls for sight seeing by government officials. According to reports, he visited the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Masvingo province, where he promised to make a sizeable investment in the dam’s construction. (Rebels claimed to have captured Saadi Qaddafi on Aug. 22 in Tripoli.)
According to the
Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, trade between the two countries is negligible.
According to Zimtrade export figures, Zimbabwe exported only $390,000 worth of
goods to Libya between 2005 and 2009. Libyan Foreign Bank owns 96.6 million shares in government-controlled
Commercial Bank of
Zimbabwe (CBZ), one of the largest
indigenous banks in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe government is the largest of CBZ's
shareholders, but Libya controls about 14.12 percent of CBZ Holdings Ltd’s total issued share capital.
Libya used to own around 14 percent of the Zimbabwe-based Rainbow Tourism Group’s total issued share capital, but it disposed of its holdings some time ago. Rainbow Tourism Group is the second largest hospitality company in Zimbabwe after African Sun and owns one of the five star hotels in the southern African nation, Rainbow Towers.
Qaddafi’s other investments in Zimbabwe were exposed at a court case involving a Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings employee Stanley Musendo, who was being accused of defrauding the Qaddafis of $4 million. Mr. Musendo was being accused of stealing from Crieff Investments, which later changed its name to Aldawlia Investments, belonging to the Qaddafis. The company, according to reports, bought 12 haulage trucks and properties, which included 10 flats in the capital Harare.
Yet such business ties explain only part of why Zimbabwe's leaders are reluctant to see Qaddafi's departure. Like many nations of the African continent, Libya and Zimbabwe are led by men with strong "liberation credentials," with a common disdain for what they regard as Western interference and colonialism on the continent.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 15:19
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s government yesterday “cowered” Libyan
diplomats who had turned against Muammar Gaddafi’s fallen regime by giving
them conditions on which they can stay in Harare or ship out.
This comes after Taher Elmagrahi’s team was hauled before the Foreign
Affairs ministry yesterday morning amid expectations that the North African
emissaries were going to be ejected from Zimbabwe.
“We told them to lower the National Transitional Council (NTC) flag and
hoist Gaddafi’s flag because we don’t have any diplomatic relationship with
the NTC. If they had disagreed, it meant that they had no legal status to
remain in the country,” Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Joey Bimha told
the Daily News yesterday.
So, we did not give them the deportation order because they have
re-negotiated with us. Go and see for yourself at their embassy whether the
rebel flag is still flying, he said.
The Munhumutapa showdown and incident comes after Elmagrahi led his
compatriots in pulling down the fallen dictator’s favoured colours and
replaced it with a new flag — reflecting the new developments and political
dispensation in Libya two weeks ago.
Mohammed Elbarat, Tripoli’s first consular in Harare, yesterday confirmed
that they had held talks with the Zimbabwean officials and no deportation
order was served on them.
“We met this morning with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we were not
given the deportation order and we shall remain in the country until further
“I have no comment to make as we are busy working on mending our diplomatic
relations with the foreign affairs officials," he said.
When the Daily News visited the North African state’s Kopje embassy
yesterday afternoon, Gaddafi’s green and white flag had been restored.
This week, Elbarat delivered a stark warning to Zimbabwean authorities that
the country faced similar disturbances and unrest that toppled the runaway
dictator if its leaders keep suppressing its citizens.
The Libyan man said they had told Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs officials that
Harare faced similar uprisings if calls for greater individual freedoms go
“We need to support democratic trends… on the continent as (they are)
“Our people knew about the need for democracy (for 42 years) so they decided
to rise against Gaddafi after 42 years of dictatorship and these events can
also happen here,” he said, after Libyan diplomats were summoned by the
Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, last week.
Along with Mugabe, the once feared Libyan ruler had been one of Africa’s
longest running power brokers, but a six month western-backed offensive has
seen Gaddafi vanish into thin air, and unknown bunkers.
And as his whereabouts remain unknown and a mystery, Gaddafi has also been
linked with asylum to Zimbabwe, as rebels continue to hammer or pummel his
former strangleholds including Sirte.
by Staff Reporter
A POLICE investigation into Rtd General Solomon Mujuru’s death in a house
fire on August 16 is complete, police said.
Mujuru’s charred remains were removed from the sprawling farmhouse in
Beatrice amid conspiracy theories suggesting foul play.
Now Vice President Joice Mujuru, the liberation war hero’s anxious widow,
could be close to learning how her husband died.
Police spokesman Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said on
Tuesday that the teams of investigators from the police, forensics, fire
department and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority had packed up from
the crime scene to “consolidate” their findings.
“We are consolidating what we have gathered including specialist reports,”
he told the NewsDay newspaper. “The results of the investigations will be
made public at the appropriate time by the appropriate authorities.”
Bvudzijena said the ZRP had complete faith "in the competence of our
officers and professionals who attended to the scene".
But even before police release their investigations, Vice President Mujuru
has already voiced her suspicions that her husband could have been dead
before the fire started.
She indicated that a military man of her husband's stature could have easily
escaped the fire through the many exits, especially those in the bedroom –
suggesting that he may have been incapacitated before the fire started.
“The problem is we just hear its fire. But what happened from 8.30PM [when
he arrived at the farm] to when the fire was seen [2.30AM]? That’s where the
story is,” the grieving Mujuru said
29/08/2011 23:13:00 Staff Reporter
HARARE - In a seemingly direct challenge to those behind the death of her
husband, Vice President Joice Mujuru has urged the nation to remain united
and resolute in consolidating the legacy left to the nation by the late
national hero, Retired General Solomon Mujuru.
Mujuru was speaking to a delegation of pastors from the United Methodist
Church (UMC) who had gone to offer their condolences to the Vice President
on the death of her husband, the late Retired General Mujuru.
The Vice President said the passing away of the late Commander of Commanders
has re-energised her and given her strength to continue working for the
nation in a way similar to what was done by the late General Mujuru.
"A soldier is known for a never die spirit. I won't drop the batton stick
that was being used in the race by General Mujuru," she said.
Leader of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa urged Vice
President Mujuru to remain steadfast saying the whole nation is praying for
the Mujuru family.
"We pray that God gives you more energy than you had, so people will be
shocked at how diligently you execute your duties," said Bishop Nhiwatiwa.
Retired General Mujuru passed away on the 16th of this month and was laid to
rest at the National Heroes Acre on the 20th of this month.
The death of Zimbabwe’s retired Gen. Solomon Mujuru, widely regarded as the
kingmaker in the former ruling party Zanu PF and a potential successor to
President Robert Mugabe, has changed the political landscape in the troubled
southern African country.
General Mujuru, husband of Vice President Joice Mujuru, was a senior
behind-the-scenes leader for politically connected officers in Zimbabwe’s
army, and a fierce rival of defense minister and former intelligence chief
Emerson Mnangagwa, who now appears to have an upper hand in succeeding the
aging President Mugabe.
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, when the white
minority leadership of a country then named Rhodesia lost elections to Mr.
Mugabe’s black majority party.
Mugabe’s rule is credited with wholescale reform of the education system,
making Zimbabwe one of the most literate countries in Africa, but also
condemned for its disastrous economic policy of business and agricultural
expropriation, which have made Zimbabweans among the continent’s poorest
Mujuru was a senior commander of the Zanu PF fighting force that brought the
Rhodesian government, under Prime Minister Ian Smith, to the negotiation
table in 1979. The late former guerrilla died in a suspicious inferno at his
farm, about 60 kilometers to the south of capital Harare on Aug. 15. Police
investigators claim the blaze was accidental, started by a candle lit by
household staff following a power cut.
Political observers have dismissed the police claim, saying there is high
suspicion that Mujuru was assassinated by state security agents for his
outspokenness and willingness to challenge Mugabe. The former commander of
the army was said by analysts to be the only person senior enough in Zanu PF
to face up to Mugabe and to Mr. Mnangagwa, the leader of the rival faction
that was competing to succeed Mugabe.
His death, analysts have said, could be the harbinger of a violent power
struggle within the liberation struggle party.
“A close analysis will show you that the death of Mujuru has changed
politics in many ways,” says political analyst Takura Zhangazha in Harare.
“Firstly, the faction he used to lead has been weakened because he was the
power behind it because of his history. The fact that he played a pivotal
role in the liberation of this country gave him special powers. (Now) his
faction is exposed. Vice President Mujuru is not that powerful.”
“In the same vein, the faction led by Mnangagwa is now in the picture and
coming out strongly because the head of the other faction is no longer
there,” Mr. Zhangazha adds. “They clearly have an advantage over of the
other faction of Zanu PF.”
Mujuru’s death is likely to result in “instability” within Zanu PF, says
University of Zimbabwe lecturer John Makumbe, since one powerful faction
within the country’s security cluster is now without a protector and
advocate within senior Zanu PF leadership. Talk of a succession battle after
Mugabe’s death, he adds, is premature, since Mugabe’s health appears to be
“Politically, the death of Mujuru is significant in that he was one of the
two leaders of known factions in Zanu PF and his passing on means the other
faction has been robbed of its leader, but this has serious implications,”
says Mr. Makumbe. “The development might signal the beginning of instability
in Zanu PF because the other faction thinks Mujuru did not die
“All kinds of suspicion exist, but President Mugabe is not prepared to step
down and pass on the baton,” says Makumbe. “He firmly believes that there is
no one except him who can stand shoulder to shoulder with [opposition leader
and current coalition goernment Prime Minister Morgan] Tsvangirai in any
election. In the final analysis, the ongoing factionalism benefits President
Mugabe, but Zanu PF needs a new unifying man now for them to stand the test
Political analyst Eldred Masungure warns against making predictions in the
murky world of Zimbabwean politics.
“It’s too early to tell what impact the death of Mujuru on national
politics,” says Mr. Masungure. “But in Zanu PF, yes, although it’s
speculation at the moment but other parties think the former ruling party is
at its weakest following this death.
MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC)
Foreign Banks must stop enabling violence and corruption
in Marange diamond fields, say human rights groups
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Johannesburg—Human rights groups called today on foreign financial institutions invested in Zimbabwean banks to use their influence to stop violence and corruption in the diamond fields of Marange.
The call follows the release of a leaked document that shows the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), a government parastatal, offered over US$200 million worth of illicit Marange diamonds for sale earlier this year, in blatant contravention of the Kimberley Process (KP), the international scheme that governs the trade of rough diamonds. Marange diamonds have been subject to international export restrictions since November 2009.
The MMCZ letter to potential buyers also counseled them to make the financial transactions through three banks—the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), BancABC and Premier Banking Group—which count among their major shareholders several well-known foreign banks.
Barclays Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Barclays UK, is a 3.72% shareholder, while Standard Bank, trading under the name Stanbic, holds 2.12%, according to the CBZ’s 2010 annual report. BancABC’s most recent annual report lists a US$89 million loan from the International Finance Corporation, a “member of the World Bank Group”. BancABC records also show 62 unnamed shareholders in North America and Europe comprise almost 24% of the company’s stock.
“These banks subscribe to a higher ethical bar than those who are trafficking these dirty diamonds,” said Alan Martin, research director for Partnership Africa Canada, noting that they are all signatories to the Equator Principles or the International Financial Corporations Performance Standards, voluntary benchmarks aimed at promoting more ethical and socially responsible banking. “By facilitating these transactions Barclays, Stanbic and the IFC could be not only exposing themselves to reputational harm, they could be putting themselves offside with international sanctions regimes in place against Zimbabwe.”
The MMCZ document also notes that while exports will be issued a “local” Kimberley Process Certificate, an “internationally recognized…certificate will have to be arranged by the buyer”.
“The illegality of these trades is not in doubt,” said Tiseke Kasambala of Human Rights Watch. “It really begs the question: What legitimate diamond buyer would touch stones advertised as such?”
“Whether you purchase these stones, or help facilitate banking transactions, your actions are contributing to the continuation of the worst case of diamond related violence since Charles Taylor and Jonas Savimbi,” added Martin. “Helping corrupt parastatals circumvent the Kimberley Process and international sanctions could pose great financial risks to these banks.”
Martin and Kasambala offered a three-step plan the foreign banks should follow to remedy the situation:
· Undertake an audit of your investment in these Zimbabwean banks and the facilitation of these diamond transactions to determine if they breach your IFC commitments. Make the findings of your audits public;
· Should an audit determine that involvement with these banks compromises your commitments to ethical banking, commit to using your shareholder influence to stop illicit diamond related transactions;
For more information:
Alan Martin, Research Director at Partnership Africa Canada
Cell: +1 613 983 6817 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiseke Kasambala, Senior Researcher, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
Cell: + 0792205254 E-mail: email@example.com
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) undertakes investigative research, advocacy and policy dialogue on issues relating to natural resources, conflict, governance and human rights in Africa.
PAC is internationally recognized for its efforts to halt the trade in conflict diamonds. In 2003 PAC was jointly nominated by U.S. House of Representatives and Senate members for the Nobel Peace Prize for its work exposing links between conflict and diamonds in several African countries.
PAC works on a number of global initiatives aimed at regulating the trade of high value and conflict prone resources. While PAC is best known for the leadership role it played in establishing the Kimberley Process (KP) —a UN mandated system initiated in 2000 to break the link between the trade in rough diamonds and armed conflict—it is also active in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Publish What You Pay, two other international mechanisms aimed at promoting accountability and revenue transparency in the natural resource sector. PAC currently serves as an adviser to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and its efforts to create a mineral tracking and certification scheme.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.
Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For more than 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.
The evidence gathered by Human Rights
Watch contradicts claims that areas controlled by private mining companies,
instead of by the Zimbabwe government alone, are relatively free of
Over the past six months, police and private security personnel have attempted to clear the fields of local miners whom they accuse of illegally mining diamonds. Human Rights Watch research found that in many cases, the police and private security guards used excessive force against the miners. The violence follows claims, in June, by the government and the head of an international industry monitoring body that conditions in the Marange fields are sufficient for it to be allowed to resume exports of diamonds from Marange.
“Shooting defenseless miners and unleashing dogs against them is inhuman, degrading and barbaric,” said Tiseke Kasambala, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The diamonds from the Marange fields are tainted with abuse.”
Local civil society activists told Human Rights Watch that the government has granted six international mining companies concessions in the Marange fields. The companies’ private security guards carry out joint patrols of the mining areas with Zimbabwe police. Local miners said that most of the companies have built electric fences around their mining concessions, while security guards with dogs regularly patrol the concessions. However, local miners are still able to reach the fields and sometimes stray into areas under the companies’ control.
Some members of the international diamond monitoring body, known as the Kimberley Process, have tried to argue that conditions in the areas controlled by joint ventures are not abusive, and that those diamonds should be certified and allowed onto international markets. But Human Rights Watch has found, on the contrary, evidence of serious abuse by private security guards patrolling the joint venture territory.
Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 10 miners in Mutare and towns close to the Marange diamond fields who had been beaten by guards and attacked by their dogs after being caught by mine security in the past six months. During patrols, police would also fire live ammunition at the miners as they fled, the miners said.
“I was attacked by all of them,” one of the miners told
Human Rights Watch. “The dogs were biting me and I was screaming. It was
Medical personnel who treated the miners at neighboring clinics and the main provincial hospital confirmed that they had treated wounded miners. An official at a local clinic told Human Rights Watch that he had treated between 15 and 20 victims of dog attacks a month since April, many with serious wounds. Clinic officers also reported seeing people with gunshot wounds, including people who had been shot in the head.
Many of the miners were reluctant to report the incidents to the police, miners and local activists said, as they were afraid of being arrested for digging in the fields because they were unlicensed. The government has conducted no investigations into these abuses.
The Ministry of Mines and Development, other relevant
Zimbabwe authorities, and the mining industry in Marange need to take immediate
measures to stop these abuses and ensure accountability for abuses by members of
the police force and the private security guards, Human Rights Watch said. At a
minimum, the companies should follow internationally recognized standards on
security, such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights,
investigate any allegations of abuse, and urge investigations of those
Human Rights Watch urged the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP), an international body that oversees the diamond trade, to suspend all exports of diamonds from the Marange fields and asked retailers to refuse explicitly to buy Marange diamonds. The KP has not adequately addressed the abuses in Marange.
“The ongoing abuses at Marange underscore the need for the Kimberley Process to address human rights instead of capitulating to abusive governments and irresponsible companies,” Kasambala said.
On June 23, Mathieu Yamba, the KP chairman, announced that he had made a unilateral decision to lift the KP ban on exports of diamonds from the Marange fields. He took the decision even though independent monitoring, including the organization’s own investigation, had confirmed serious human rights abuses and rampant smuggling at the Marange fields. This decision, if implemented, would mean that the export of Marange diamonds is now permitted, without any monitoring for human rights abuses or credible evidence that Zimbabwe is complying with the Kimberley Process standards.
However, the Kimberley Process operates by consensus, and members such as the European Union, the United States, Israel and Canada criticized Yamba’s position. Others, such as South Africa, supported it. As a result, the organization remains deadlocked over whether to allow exports of diamonds from Marange.
“The Kimberley Process appears to have lost touch with its mission to ensure that blood diamonds don’t make their way to consumers,” Kasambala said. “By ignoring the serious abuses taking place in Marange, it is losing credibility as a global diamond regulating body and risks misleading consumers too.”
For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Zimbabwe, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
In Johannesburg, Tiseke Kasambala (English): +27-11-484-2640; or +27-79-220-5254; or firstname.lastname@example.org
In New York, Daniel Bekele (English): +1-212-216-1223; or 917-385-3878 (mobile); or email@example.com
Abuses by Police and Security Guards
Human Rights Watch interviewed 10 miners in July, 2011, who were mauled by dogs and beaten by private security guards. They reported that the majority of incidents involved security guards working for Mbada Mining, a South African and Zimbabwean owned joint venture. The guards were identifiable by their black uniform. One miner said: “The Mbada guards are the worst. They don’t hesitate to set the dogs upon you and they also beat you up.” Human Rights Watch was unable to interview Mbada Mining officials during the mission, because they were not reachable by phone.
In one incident, private security guards working for Mbada set four dogs on a handcuffed artisanal miner caught digging for diamonds close to the fields mined by Mbada. “I was attacked by all of them,” said the man, who is in his 20s. “The dogs were biting me and I was screaming. It was terrible.”
A clinical officer in the town close to the fields told Human Rights Watch: “We have so many people coming to the clinic with dog attacks. It’s easy to tell they’ve been bitten by dogs. You see the marks. During the week we treat around five or more miners with dog bites. They tell us that private security guards are the ones who set the dogs upon them. They say that it’s guards working for Mbada.”
Human Rights Watch’s research found that in many cases dogs were used not just to restrain the victims, but apparently deliberately to inflict as much injury as possible. One miner told Human Rights Watch that security guards would shout at the dogs to “attack” even if the miners had surrendered or stopped running.
A provincial hospital clinical officer told Human Rights Watch that he had seen at least 15 victims of dog attacks since April. In one case, the victim died from his injuries. Local miners and civil society activists reported that the numbers of dog attack victims could be much higher, but that the majority of the victims chose not to go to the hospital to receive treatment as hospitals often required a police report. Most victims preferred to recover at home without medical treatment, increasing the risk that their wounds would become infected.
Local civil society activists reported that police often carry out joint operations with private security guards in advance of visits to the fields by senior government officials or foreign delegations. For example, police and private security guards carried out operations to clear the fields of diggers in advance of visits to the fields by President Robert Mugabe in March and delegates from the African Diamond Producers Association in April. Some of the worst incidents occurred in the days before these visits.
A clinical officer at the main provincial hospital told Human Rights Watch:
“From March to June we have had many people coming to the hospital with gunshot wounds. They get shot at. Some of them have head injuries, some shot in the legs, arms, shoulders. We have one man who is in a coma. He was shot in the head about three weeks ago. There were four of them who were shot but one of them was serious because of the head injury. He was brought in by the police from Chiadzwa. They didn’t explain who he was.
A local clinical officer described a joint operation between the police and private security guards to drive away miners in late May and early June. He told Human Rights Watch:
On the day they started the operation a lot of guys were bitten by dogs and a few came to the clinic for treatment. Three came on one day. The guys came with wounds similar to tears – not just teeth punctures. The injuries showed that the dogs were tearing the flesh and not just biting to restrain the miners. Such wounds are difficult to treat. I also treated three guys who were shot by the police. They were shot from the back and behind their legs. We tried to operate on them but their injuries were serious and we transferred them to the provincial hospital.
Blessing G., 21
There were six of us who went to mine in the fields. We were digging in the bush when we were caught by these private guards led by a white man. They had four dogs. One of the guards had a gun. When they saw us they released the dogs. I tried to run away and fell. My friends escaped. Three dogs attacked me. One caught me on the leg and the other one on my hand. The other dog bit me on the stomach. I lay on the ground still begging them to call the dogs off. After two or so minutes, it felt like a long time they called off the dogs and told me, “We don’t want people like you mining illegally for the diamonds.” I couldn’t walk for several days because of my injuries.
James T., 27
I was busy digging for the diamonds next to the Mbada area when I heard a shout, “Catch.” The guards were with a white man. There were four dogs and I was attacked by all of them. The dogs were biting me and I was screaming. One of the guards came, pulled off the dogs and then handcuffed me and then he shouted, “Attack” and the dogs came back and started biting me as I lay on the ground. It was terrible. After a few more minutes they grabbed the dogs off and marched me to their diamond base where they bandaged my wounds and then drove me out of the fields. I didn’t go for further treatment. I just went home.
Peter N., 20
During one operation we were caught by private security guards and police. There were many of us. The guards had dogs but they also had teargas, which they threw at us. We started running, and then they let the dogs loose. Many of us were bitten on that day. They had many dogs. The guards were wearing dark uniforms. The police were also there and they had guns. At some point they started shooting. I kept running but when the police started shooting I stopped and surrendered. That’s when the dogs came and started biting me. I know that some of the others were shot by the police because I saw them fall. I don’t know if anyone died.
Richard L., 22
I haven’t gone back since I was bitten by the dogs and hit by the guards. It was around May and there were around 10 or 15 of us. We were working in a syndicate with the soldiers and they had told us which area to dig for the diamonds. Suddenly we heard shouting and the security guards came running after us. They were not armed. They shouted at the dogs, “Attack” and then we all started running. I was caught by one dog. I don’t know how many dogs they were. The dogs bit me on the legs and stomach. Afterward some of the guards came and started kicking us saying we should learn not to dig for diamonds in that area. The Mbada guards are the worst. They don’t hesitate to set the dogs upon you and they also beat you up. I didn’t go to the hospital I just went home and healed by myself.
Fambai K., 30
Going into the fields is dangerous for us these days. The soldiers are better because we now work with them. But the security guards all have dogs and they work with the police. I was attacked by dogs in June. As you can see my wounds are still fresh. I don’t know who the security guards belonged to but they wore a black uniform. Some say they are Mbada but I don’t know. The first dog caught my leg and I fell. Then the guards came and started hitting me. They were kicking and punching me. Then another dog attacked me. I was trying to hold its mouth. It went on for a few minutes and when they saw I was bleeding they took me to a place called diamond base. They stitched me up there then handed me to the police.
Partnership Africa Canada
30 August 2011
Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Sells Illegal Marange Diamonds
· In August 2011, PAC received a document purporting to be an offering of Marange diamonds from the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) to unspecified buyers.
· The sale offered 1.651,828 carats at a value of US$201,196,957.
· Average carat value was US$121, almost three times higher than the average price quoted by former Kimberley Process Monitor Marange, Abbey Chikane.
· Despite the high quantity of industrial stones (listed as boart in the document) this indicates there is a focus by ZANU elites who control Marange to unload the higher value, gem quality diamonds, to maximize profits.
· The document is dated March 17, 2011, two days before KP Chair Mathieu Yamba issued his controversial and unilateral notice in favour of allowing exports of non-compliant Marange diamonds.
· This is significant as it provides more evidence of Zimbabwe’s bad faith in dealing with the KP. It shows Zimbabwe, and those that bought these stones, were willfully in breach of a universally respected ban on Marange stones.
· The document also notes that while exports will be issued a “local” Kimberley Process Certificate, an “internationally recognized KP certificate will have to be arranged by the buyer”. What legitimate diamond buyer would touch stones advertised as such?
· The document lists three banks into which funds are recommended to be deposited—the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), BancABC, and Premier Banking Corporation.
· While all three banks are Zimbabwe-based, their shareholders include well-known financial companies such as Barclay’s Bank, Stanbic, Old Mutual and the International Finance Corporation, which lists itself as a “member of the World Bank Group”.
· The CBZ’s Equity and Reserves were valued at US$89.5 million, according to the CBZ’s 2010 annual report. This would mean Barclays Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Barclays UK, holds shares worth almost US$3.2 million (3.72%), while investments by Standard Bank, trading under the name Stanbic, are worth US$1.8 million (2.12%).
· The CBZ also counts a Libyan bank listed on international sanctions as its second largest shareholder, raising possibilities all transactions made since March run afoul of UN sanctions passed unanimously by the UN General Assembly. As a member of the UN Security Council, South Africa took a lead in drafting and approving those sanctions.
The Kimberley Process and Marange diamonds:
· Marange stones have been subject to export restrictions since November 2009, following an incident in which the Zimbabwean military gunned down over 200 diamond panners in November 2008.
· In November 2009, the Zimbabwean government agreed to a Joint Work Plan (JWP), a 12-point roadmap to bring Marange diamonds back into compliance with KP minimum requirements.
· While there has been some positive movement in how some of the mines have managed activities within their concessions, there has been little progress in meeting the overall goals of the JWP.
· This is particularly true in the following areas:
o Illegal smuggling remains rife;
o Violence, although down from 2008 levels, remains chronic;
o There has been no effort to register and legalize informal panners;
o The government remains hostile to working with civil society groups despite commitments to work collaboratively.
· Since November 2009 there have been six KP meetings aimed at finding a resolution to the Marange issue—Tel Aviv, Israel (June 2010), St. Petersburg, Russia (July 2010), Jerusalem, Israel (November 2010), Brussels, Belgium (November 2010), Dubai, UAE (April 2011) and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (June 2011).
· All have ended in deadlock after failing to find the consensus upon which the KP is governed.
· While South Africa, Zimbabwe and DRC publicly recognized Mr. Yamba’s notice, the major trading and consumer markets did not, including India, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, the European Union, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.
· Almost all financial transactions related to official Marange exports have been handled by the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe.
· Its most recent annual report (2010) lists Barclays Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Barclays UK, as a 3.72% shareholder. Standard Bank, trading under the name Stanbic, holds 2.12%. The value of these shares is approximately US$3.2million and $1.8 million respectively.
· The second single biggest investor after the Government of Zimbabwe is the Libyan Foreign Bank, with 14.12% of shares (valued at over US$12 million). The LFB is better known as the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank Ltd and is a listed entity on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
· Since March 15, 2011, the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank has been subject to OFAC sanctions (pursuant to Executive Order 13566) for being owned or controlled by the Government of Libya. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions involving a Libyan state-owned entity or in which any Libyan state-owned entity has an interest.
· This raises questions that in addition to Marange diamonds running afoul of OFAC through their links to the ZMDC and MMCZ, greater scrutiny should be given to the banks that are facilitating these financial transactions.
· The Group's shareholders include, Old Mutual, Botswana Insurance Fund and the International Finance Corporation.
· The latter currently has an outstanding loan (“convertible loan”) of US$89 million to BancAbc, according to its 2010 Annual Report
· The IFC lists itself a “member of the World Bank Group”. Its “vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives.”
· Company documents list 10 shareholders in the “Americas” holding 16.68% of stocks, the third highest concentration after Zimbabwe (49%) and Botswana (28%). Europe had 52 shareholders, holding just over 5%.
Premier Banking Corporation:
· In December 2010, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (based in Lome, Togo) announced its move into Zimbabwe, by acquiring 70 percent stake in Premier Finance Group of Zimbabwe for US$10 million. The remaining 30% is held by a consortium of individuals.
· Premier rebranded itself as Ecobank Zimbabwe in May 2011.
· Ecobank is a “portfolio company” of the African Development Corporation.
· To foreign banks investing in the CBZ, BancAbc and Premier Banking Corporation:
o With the exception of the Libyan Foreign Bank, all are signatories to the Equator Principles and the International Financial Corporations Performance Standards, voluntary benchmarks aimed at promoting more ethical and socially responsible banking:
o With this in mind, undertake an audit of your investment in these Zimbabwean banks and the facilitation of these diamond transactions to determine if they breach your IFC commitments;
o Make the findings of your audits public;
o Commit to using your shareholder influence to stop illicit diamond related transactions.
o Should Zimbabwean banks refuse your requests for better financial governance, disinvest yourself from these banks
· To the diamond industry, particularly in South Africa, India and UAE:
o These documents show members of your industry were willing to buy sizeable quantities of illicit diamonds that did not have proper KP certification.
o By purchasing illicit Marange diamonds you are contributing to poor governance, violence and corruption in Zimbabwe.
o By circumventing the Kimberley Process, powerful elements of your industry are signaling to Western consumers markets that diamantaires have no interest in human rights or ethical sourcing of diamonds.
o Individually and collectively, the diamond industry needs to state publicly and unequivocally that they reject any criminality and brutality in Marange.
o Do not trade Marange diamonds.
The Equator Principles:
· The Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary set of standards for determining, assessing and managing social and environmental risk in project financing.
· Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) commit to not providing loans to projects where the borrower will not or is unable to comply with their respective social and environmental policies and procedures that implement the EPs.
· The Equator Principles were developed by private sector banks – led by Citigroup, ABN AMRO, Barclays and WestLB – and were launched in June 2003.
· Barclays and Standard Bank (Stanbic) are members. The World Bank is not, but all adherents to the Equator Principles implicitly support the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards, voluntary benchmarks aimed at promoting more ethical and socially responsible banking.
For further information:
A list of Partnership Africa Canada reports on the Marange diamond fields is attached overleaf.
Or visit our website: www.pacweb.org
Alan Martin, Research Director
Partnership Africa Canada
Cell: +1 613 983 6817
 CBZ Holdings Limited Annual Report 2010, p. 17
August 30 2011 at 09:00am
Independent Foreign Service
HARARE: Zimbabwean authorities issued warrants of arrest yesterday for four
South African truck drivers who failed to show up at the Harare Magistrate’s
Court, six months after they were arrested for an alleged scam by first lady
Cassimjee Bilal, Henry Radebe, Samuel Risimati Baloyi and Sydney Masilo were
being held in Harare so they could stand trial with another South African,
Ping Sung Hsieh, a former business partner of Grace Mugabe.
But the Zimbabwean government failed in its attempt earlier this month to
extradite Ping from South Africa to Harare. Ping helped Grace Mugabe buy a
$5 million (R35m) mansion in Hong Kong several years ago, but their
partnership later went sour.
After the extradition attempt was turned down in the Vanderbijlpark
Magistrate’s Court, Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who represents the
drivers, said she hoped this decision would prompt the release of the
They spent weeks in police cells after their arrest, but their detention was
relaxed to allow them to live in a secure house in Harare with access to a
Zimbabwean Attorney-General Johannes Tomana said in court papers in Harare
that the drivers were arrested so that they could stand trial with Ping.
All five men were accused jointly of stealing $1 million from one of Grace
Mugabe’s former aides, Olga Bungu.
Lawyers in South Africa and Zimbabwe believe Bungu is acting as a “front” in
this case for President Robert Mugabe’s extravagant wife.
Grace Mugabe allegedly wanted Ping to buy a fleet of haulage vehicles for
her oldest son Russell, from her first marriage. She also allegedly ordered
substantial equipment for her new dairy outside Harare, which Ping claims he
by Irene Madongo
30 August 2011
ZANU PF youths are refusing to leave a building they seized in Bulawayo,
despite calls for their business-grab ploy to end, SW Radio Africa
correspondent Lionel Saungweme reports.
Over the past year the youths reportedly took over some buildings owned by
Zimbabweans of Indian origin, claiming it was part of their indigenisation
drive to pass businesses onto black people. Such buildings include Elons
Court, Zambesia and the Capri. It’s understood that these buildings are used
for retail purposes and the owners are no longer getting rentals.
On Tuesday the owner of Elons court, Khalil Gaibe, tried to have the youths
evicted. But riot police who showed up at the premises were unable to move
“They did not manage because after nearly engaging in physical
confrontation, the ZANU PF youth produced a stay of eviction, which is a
court document that allows them to stay in the buildings. The ZANU PF youth
were arguing they were staying on grounds of indigenisation and that the
owner had not made repairs on the buildings and until such time the owner
made the repairs they would not move out of the building,” he said.
The Bulawayo property incidents fit into ZANU PF’s strategy of taking over
property owned by non-blacks in the name of indigenization, as in the
so-called land reform programme. In other places like Harare youths have
looted and damaged shops belonging to foreign nationals.
Saungweme said that if the property raids in Bulawayo continue it will hit
the city’s business sector, which badly needs investment, extremely hard.
“It actually affects Bulawayo a great deal. This is happening after Bulawayo
lost 87 companies that are said to have relocated to Harare. All this
negatively impacts on the investment and employment of people who live
within the city.”
Senior politicians, concerned about the damage this will cause in the city,
have condemned the youths conduct and called for it to end.
On Monday Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe reportedly stepped into the
crisis, calling for an end to the property invasions. “It is totally
unacceptable and that should stop immediately. No one has the right to do
that and economically, we cannot grow by grabbing other people’s
properties,” she said.
ZAPU has also come out strongly criticising the youths’ conduct, going as
far as to say it will defend the business community. “ZAPU is influential in
Bulawayo. It issued a press statement last week saying it will protect the
properties. A lot of Indians were part of the liberation struggle. Indian
families such as the Patels and Narans in Bulawayo, among others, helped
ZAPU and its military wing ZIPRA,” Saungweme explained.
Saungweme said the youths are also facing resistance within the ZANU PF
Bulawayo committee, especially from senior figures like ZANU PF provincial
chairman Isaac Dakamela, who tend to be sympathetic with the business
community. He added that the youths will face problems getting the
properties registered in their names as the majority of local councillors
are MDC members and will not approve their applications.
When contacted for comment Dakamela and ZANU PF Bulawayo Youth Chairman
Butho Gatsi both denied the youths were engaged in property grabs, despite
the fact they have been witnessed by several people.
Police from the Law and Order Section on 29 August 2011 questioned Zimbabwe
Independent editor Constantine Chimakure and senior political reporter
Wongai Zhangazha over a story the paper published in its edition of 8 July
The story titled: Ministers rejected Kasukuwere plan, alleged that the two
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations had resisted attempts by the
Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour
Kasukuwere, to re-introduce the National Youth Service training programme
arguing it was a ZANU PF election strategy.
The two whose statements were recorded by Detective Murira were questioned
on the sources of the story which was allegedly based on Cabinet
deliberations, an offence under the Official Secrets Act.
Chimakure has since stated that the story did not originate from Cabinet but
from senior officials in both ZANU PF and the MDC as well as from
By Lance Guma
30 August 2011
A lot was expected when the coalition government took charge two years ago
but as Zimbabwe inches towards another uncertain election, evidence is
growing that the much promised media reforms will remain a pie in the sky.
This week alone provided ample evidence of ongoing harassment and backward
steps being taken.
According to an alert from the Media Institute for Southern Africa
(MISA-Zimbabwe chapter) the editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent
newspaper Constantine Chimakure, and senior political reporter Wongai
Zhangazha, spent 4 hours being questioned by police from the Law and Order
Section on Tuesday.
The police harassment stemmed from a July story published by the paper
titled “Ministers rejected Kasukuwere plan”. In the story ministers from the
two MDC formations are said to have resisted attempts by Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to re-introduce
the controversial youth militia training.
Police are said to have recorded statements from both Chimakure and
Zhangazha, while trying to intimidate the journalists into revealing their
sources. The Mugabe regime is claiming the story was based on discussions in
cabinet and that it is an offence under the Official Secrets Act to disclose
those details. Chimakure has since stated that the story did not originate
Meanwhile the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), Godfrey
Majonga, has warned that foreign newspapers circulating in the country risk
being banned if they do not register under the draconian Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). "We will use the police
to confiscate all copies until the newspapers abide by what we want,"
Majonga said on Friday.
"They are supposed to remit 0.01 percent of their earnings to ZMC if they
are operating in Zimbabwe. They are printed outside the country, don't
import newsprint or create employment," he argued.
But MISA said: “The threat will have a negative impact on the citizens'
right to access diverse information as it will push the cover prices of
foreign newspapers at a time when Zimbabweans are struggling to make ends
meet.” The media pressure group said newspapers will become a luxury that
only the elite will have access to.
In July it was reported the principals from all three parties in the
coalition had agreed to appoint new boards for the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe, ZBC and the Mass Media Trust, in order for there to be true and
inclusive media reforms. But ZANU PF has continued to stall on this, amid
clear signs they are not interested in freeing up the airwaves or loosening
their control of state owned newspapers.
In May the broadcasting authority board called for applications for two
commercial radio licences. By the end of June deadline a reported 15
entities had put in applications. But since then nothing has been heard.
In July the same body told a Parliamentary portfolio committee that even
though they had called for radio licence applications it could take up to 18
months to grant them - a clear indication ZANU PF wants to ensure there will
be no independent radio until after the elections.
Harare, August 30, 2011 - Prisoners serving time in Zimbabwean jails may
soon have a better diet consisting mainly of beans and milk as pressure
mounts on the government to improve the nutrition of inmates.
A notice by Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, carried in
the latest edition of the government gazette, Chinamasa who belongs to
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party said prisoners would be fed with
beans and milk five times a week. Besides beans, the prisoners will also be
fed with cow and fresh peas and groundnuts.
The Justice and Legal Affairs Minister said detainees wallowing in the
country’s jails would only be entitled to eating meat two times a week
including offal and fish.
He also decreed that prisoners would access bread, vegetables, maize meal,
rice and potatoes. The inmates would be entitled to eating fruits once a
The gazetting of the prisoners diet comes at a time when there are calls to
improve the nutritional situation for the country’s malnourished prisoners.
Recent reports indicated that the government was considering feeding
prisoners with elephant meat in a bid to improve their diet and keep the
animals under check.
Organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross have come
to the rescue of the Zimbabwe Prison Service by feeding malnourished
prisoners and ensuring that they access three meals a day.
Apart from grappling with food shortages, Zimbabwe’s prisons also battle
with diseases such as tuberculosis, pellagra and HIV and AIDS.
by Edward Jones Tuesday 30 August 2011
HARARE – Zimbabwe should enact a law to criminalise political violence
associated with elections and reform the security sector to ensure service
chiefs remain impartial as part of efforts to curb politically motivated
crimes especially against women, local rights group Research Advocacy Unit
(RAU) said in a report.
The southern African country has over the last decade seen an increase in
political violence as ageing President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF seeks to hold
on to power in the face of opposition from the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party.
According to RAU’s report, the Zimbabwe Republic Police was among the top
three perpetrators of violence against women, as well as ZANU-PF supporters
and youth militia.
“It is apparent that almost all types of violations were recorded as highest
in the year 2008 alone, save for property destroyed and harassment …. it is
apparent that violations are significantly more likely to be reported during
an election year,” RAU said in its report.
Zimbabwe held four major elections between 2000 and 2010, which were marked
by violence and resulted in Mugabe being shunned by the West over related
human rights violence.
Some of the political violence against women was mostly reported in rural
areas, where women reported of rape, arson, displacement and even murder
often at the hands of Mugabe’s supporters.
The MDC says up to 200 of its supporters were killed ahead of the 2008
presidential run-off as Mugabe battled to reclaim power after a stunning
defeat in the first round vote to then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai is now Prime Minister in a shaky coalition with Mugabe after the
two were forced to share power following run-off which Tsvangirai boycotted
citing violence against his supporters by ZANU-PF supporters, youth militia
and state security agents aligned to Mugabe.
“RAU strongly urges the Zimbabwean government to seriously consider …
immediate security sector reforms to ensure all service chiefs are impartial
and non-partisan, in the execution of their duties,” RAU said.
“There is an urgent need for the enactment of a specific law that directly
criminalises politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe if a long lasting
solution towards ending politically motivated violence and attaining total
peace is to be achieved.”
Mugabe has previously said both the MDC and ZANU-PF are responsible for
political violence and while he has often slammed violence, analysts say the
87-year-old leader has not acted on known perpetrators, who continue to
intimidate his opponents.
RAU also said the government should come up with measures to rehabilitative
victims of political violence while there should be a separation of powers
to enable courts to operate independently of the state as a means to end
impunity for political violence crimes. -- ZimOnline
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 16:38
HARARE - A serious examinations’ results scandal has rocked the Zimbabwe
Open University (Zou), throwing the authenticity of some students’
qualifications into serious doubt.
The scandal resulted in the postponement of a graduation ceremony last year.
Students have qualified in various fields amid revelations their results
would have been doctored by data capture clerks who had formed a syndicate
specialising in receiving bribes to alter examination results.
Four clerks in the data capturing department have since been fired from the
institution over the issue.
Two other employees from the same department have been dragged before a
disciplinary committee to answer similar charges and may face dismissal as
The Daily News has it on good authority that two female staffers were fired
following a disciplinary hearing held on June 28, while two male workers
were sacked last Tuesday for “fraudulent alteration of student marks”.
The termination letters were signed by a B. Mafunga, the director of human
resources and copied to the chairperson of the workers’ disciplinary
committee, Gabriel Kabanda.
The Daily News has copies of the letters of dismissal.
One of the letters reads “Following the disciplinary hearing proceedings
held on 28 June 2011, the Staff Disciplinary Committee has ruled that you
are guilty as charged.
“The staff disciplinary committee, after a perusal of the misconduct
documents pertaining to your case has overwhelming evidence to the effect
that you altered the student record of (Name and student number given) 14
times on July 16 2011.”
Furthermore, the letter stipulated that the actions of the said employees
violated Section 4(a) and Section 4(d) of the Labour Regulations 2006.
Mafunga added: “Accordingly, therefore, the staff disciplinary committee has
ruled that you be dismissed from service with effect from after duty on 31
“This penalty is in terms of section 7 (3) of the already mentioned
According to sources, the matter came to light last November after one of
the lecturers at the institution queried results of some of his students.
It is alleged that the lecturer, who was certain about the number of his
students who were supposed to graduate, was shocked when a completely
different figure was given before graduation.
Upon raising issues about his students’ graduation, the institution’s
administration was forced to suspend the graduation ceremony scheduled for
November 2, moving it three weeks later to November 26 to pave way for
No reasons were given for the postponement.
“The university never explained to anyone why the graduation date had been
moved and I think the plan was to make sure that the matter would not get to
the university Chancellor, President Robert Mugabe, and the Zimbabwe Council
for Higher Education (Zimche),” said the source.
Zimche council chairperson, Christopher Chetsanga professed ignorance about
“I am not aware of the matter. But I endorse the expulsion of such workers,”
Chetsanga told the Daily News yesterday.
The university registrar, Daniel Ndudzo, could neither confirm nor deny the
existence of such a scandal at the institution.
He requested to be granted more time to respond to written questions.
A worker with the university attributed the problem to an insecure database
“What makes it more curious is that the workers were charged of fraud but
the matter was never reported to the police."
“With the graduation season on course, how can the university testify to the
Chancellor, President Robert Mugabe that all students he will cap are bona
fide,” asked the source.
“While action is being taken against members of staff, nothing is being done
to the students involved in the scandal as they are allowed to carry on with
Zou rules and regulations require that such students be brought before the
students’ disciplinary committee with appropriate action taken including
suspension from studies for a specific period or expulsion,” said the
According to the worker, the scandal started a long time back and had been
happening sporadically as a well-guarded secret until recently when more and
more cases were reported, compromising the quality of the degrees offered by
“Even if the university react to the crisis now, the question that will
remain unanswered is that: “How many have passed through the system and
filtered into industry and commerce including other spheres of life with
these fake qualifications, wittingly or unwittingly sponsored by Zou.The
nation need answers,” said the source.
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 17:22
HARARE - For a man who spends a fortune sending his children to high-end
overseas colleges, it came as a shock for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
to see schoolchildren sharing “classrooms” with livestock.
Clad in a red designer shirt, a gold-coated watch on the left wrist and
donning stylish sunglasses, Tsvangirai appeared lost when he came
face-to-face with the reality of poverty and under development that rural
folk grapple with on a daily basis.
More than two years after the pomp and fan-fare that greeted the formation
of the now fragile inclusive government, pupils at Maodzwa Primary School in
Mashonaland Central’s Mazowe Central constituency have to endure the smell
of raw cow dung as they go about their classes.
The conditions at this cattle pen-cum-school are at variance with the
top-notch learning institutions attended by children of top government
officials such as Tsvangirai and his partner President Robert Mugabe.
So astonished was Tsvangirai that he could not help but yell at an aide:
“Huya uone zvirimuno (Come and witness this).” as he was negotiating his way
round rows of cow dung in what doubled as a classroom.
All this time, villagers that had gathered for Tsvangirai’s tour appeared
mesmerised with Tsvangirai’s convoy of flashy cars.
Missing from the convoy was Tsvangirai’s top-of-the range official Mercedes
He had parked it very far from the school after his advance team warned him
of the treacherous nature of the road ahead.
At Maodzwa Primary School, children as young as 10 were equally daring with
the truth to the former trade unionist whose major handicap, according to
supporters, is to share power with Mugabe’s anti-reform Zanu PF party.
While performing dazzling traditional dances for Tsvangirai and his
entourage, the children told the Premier that his government had so far
“Imomu muchatobuda president we Nyika (It is possible for a president to
emerge from such a place),” Tsvangirai had earlier on tried to placate
But the children appeared to demand more concrete action from Tsvangirai and
“Chirimo zvochosvika. Tonayiwa here muripo (Can we get into the rainy season
without a roof over our heads when you are there?) Please help us,” pleaded
one of the pupils, bare foot like the rest of her school mates.
While Mugabe, Tsvangirai and their ministers have gobbled over $30 million
in foreign travel and another $20 million in luxury cars, pupils at schools
such as Maodzwa learn in mud structures, have neither desks nor textbooks
and have to make do with the scantiest of resources.
Educationists say the largesse shown by coalition government partners when
it comes to catering for their own swanky tastes makes Finance Minister
Tendai Biti’s statements about government being broke hollow.
Addressing villagers later at the official opening of a clinic in the same
constituency, Tsvangirai bemoaned the poor state of education sector to lack
of investment since independence in 1980.
“Surely, after 31 years (of independence) toita chikoro chekuti vana nemombe
zvino vogara pamwe chete (Surely we can’t have a situation where children’s
classrooms double as kraals). This is terrible,” said Tsvangirai.
Yet, as the Premier’s motorcade sped away raising a wave of dust, villagers
were left with no hope for the future, particularly as Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s
Harare, August 30, 2011 - Eighteen people were reportedly injured during a
stampede at a congregation convened by United Family Interdenominational
church in Harare at the weekend.
Congregants who attended the Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa-led Sunday service
at the City Sports Centre told Radio VOP that 18 worshippers were injured as
they rushed to attend the church service which was presided over by Prophet
Parishioners said the injured worshippers were taken to hospital by
ambulances for treatment and Prophet Makandiwa later addressed the
congregation on Sunday afternoon.
Prophet Makandiwa had been out of the country for almost a month where he
was reportedly meeting his spiritual father in the United Kingdom.
Worshippers said he told the congregation that he returned to Zimbabwe on
Friday. The charismatic prophet did not attempt to respond to media reports
alleging that he had fled away in the wake of reports that the Postal and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) was
investigating him over his church’s system which runs short message services
The SMS system allows Prophet Makandiwa’s followers to receive devotional
messages from the popular evangelist.
According to the church’s website, the United Family International (UFI)
Ministries, the evangelist is being used by God mightily to transform people’s
lives and has changed a great deal of people’s lives through his preaching
Makandiwa draws huge crowds at his church services and about 35 000
congregants attend each session of the weekly prayer services.
2011 August 30 20:12:34
Five people were killed and dozens more were injured when a passenger bus
overturned on a highway near the South African capital of Pretoria on
Tuesday afternoon, emergency officials said.
The bus was en route to Zimbabwe. Most of the victims were Zimbabwean
The accident happened on the N1 highway near Carousel, north of Pretoria,
when the bus veered off the road and overturned, skidding to a halt on its
side. Around 40 people were on board the bus.
The N1 was closed temporarily as emergency personnel raced to rescue those
South African emergency services used the jaws of life to get to free people
still trapped inside the bus. The bus was en route to Zimbabwe. Most of the
victims were Zimbabwean nationals.
Survivor, Jeremiah Mupfapaire says: "The bus was not moving too fast. It is
just that the tyre burst and the driver swerved to dodge the bridge. But,
the trailer got caught by the pillar of the bridge and the bus overturned."
The number of fatalities could increase. Tshwane Emergency Service Head,
Joan De Beer says: "Thirty people were seriously injured, 14 people with
minor injuries. Five people died and four are critically injured."
"Initial reports indicated that four people had been killed. The body of a
fifth person has since been found," said Jeffrey Wicks, a spokesman for
Netcare 911. "Several occupants of the vehicle had sustained critical
injuries, ranging from chemical burns to multiple fractures. Approximately
thirty-five people were injured in total."
Wicks said the victims of the accident were stabilized at the scene before
they were transported by ambulance to Kalefong State Hospital and Steve Biko
Academic Hospital for further treatment.
"Common cause information suggests that a front wheel blow-out caused the
driver to lose control of the passenger coach which pushed from the road and
overturned," Wicks added. Police have launched an investigation.
Meanwhile, it will be difficult to conduct roadworthy tests on the bus
because it is registered in Zimbabwe.
by Lunga Sibanda
BULAWAYO is to rename its busiest street after the late Vice President
Joshua Nkomo, officials said.
Main Street, which will also host the former ZAPU leader and liberation icon’s
statue, is to be renamed Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street, Bulawayo mayor Thaba
Moyo said on Tuesday.
“As soon as the statue is erected, the street name will be changed,” Moyo
said. “We wish Father Zimbabwe’s name to be known throughout the world.
“The name will be on all maps of the city and those who do not know about
the great man now, will soon learn about him and his history.”
The decision to rename the street, he said, was adopted unanimously by the
MDC-T run council last year.
A bronze statue of the nationalist leader was erected at the intersection of
Main Street and 8th Avenue in August last year, but it was taken down after
Nkomo’s family complained it was too small.
A reworked statue was expected to be installed at the same site before
Heroes Day earlier this month, but Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, who
is in charge of the project, said they were behind schedule.
The city’s main airport, formerly the Bulawayo Airport, was renamed the
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in 2001.
Nkomo, affectionately known as ‘Father Zimbabwe’ for his contribution to the
country’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule, died on July
29 August 2011
Teachers said they collectively pay well over US$500,000 a month in dues but
no longer receive vehicle and housing loans or funeral assistance they used
to count on from their trade unions
Gibbs Dube | Washington
Sources among teachers said ZIMTA and PTUZ have not been reliable as a
source of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive members
Some Zimbabwean teachers complain that they pay a lot of money in
subscriptions to the organizations that represent them including the
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) – but are not
getting much in return while union leaders derive substantial benefits.
Teachers said they collectively pay well over US$500,000 a month in
subscriptions but no longer receive vehicle and housing loans or funeral
assistance they used to count on.
Sources among teachers said ZIMTA and PTUZ have not been reliable as a
source of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive members.
As a result, some have pulled out of the unions, they said. Each ZIMTA
member pays US$10 a month, while members of the PTUZ and TUZ pay US$8
Assuming all members pay their subscriptions, the unions could receive up to
US$632,000 a month or more than US$7 million annually.
One teacher in Bindura, Mashonaland Central province, speaking on condition
he not be named, said he has decided to quite ZIMTA because it does not
A teacher in Harare who also spoke on condition he not be named, said he
believes teachers unions are short-changing their members.
But ZIMTA Chief Executive Sifiso Ndlovu said his association has rolled out
several programs that benefit teachers countrywide.
PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe said complaining teachers are
misleading the nation. “We have several programs that benefit our members
which include a funeral scheme which is well-known by almost every
Zimbabwean,” Majongwe said.
The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) group was recently rocked by infighting and the emergence of two factions, each claiming to have fired the other for a variety of allegations. This is Part 2 of the debate between the two rival chairpersons, Ephraim Tapa and Grace Mupfurutsa. SW Radio Africa journalist Lance Guma seeks to find out who is in charge and what created the acrimony?
Lance Guma: The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe group was recently rocked by infighting and the emergence of two factions, each claiming to have fired the other over a variety of allegations. We managed to get the two chairpersons of the rival groups, Ephraim Tapa and Grace Mupfurutsa last week on part one of the debate. This week its part two and we start off by asking Grace Mupfurutsa if allegations that Mr Tapa diverted money from the organisation for his own use are true, why hasn’t the matter been reported to the police?
Grace Mupfurutsa: Okay, if you just allow me a few minutes to give you a bit of background so you know exactly where we are, when we concluded the board meeting in Harare and appointments were made, we then sought to clarify the position of the organisation at the Registrar and this is where all the private companies and all NGOs register, and what we found was an irregularity that ROHR was wiped off the files completely and we were very concerned and this was criminal in nature but also of much concern because the organisation was operating but there was no paper trail that ROHR Zimbabwe existed.
So I actually extended my stay there so we could put those things right and we also needed to ensure that the named board members are the ones that remain on the Notorial Deed of Trust because when we engage in grant applications and when we get sued, the board members are liable therefore we needed to just ensure that all the documents were updated.
So the situation had been that since I returned to the United Kingdom from Zimbabwe, we made sure that legally, the five board members that remain on record are the five board members that are with the Registrar’s Office in Zimbabwe and the reinstatement of ROHR as an organisation was done using the very effective legal systems in Zimbabwe.
That was the one issue. So we ensured that the legitimacy of the organisation was restored so that happened. What it would have meant if we didn’t do that was that ROHR would have been operating as a ghost organisation with no accountability and no legal processes that are in place as would be any other charity or NGO. Then when I came back, my assignment was to address the national executive in the United Kingdom and also to address Mr Tapa and Mrs. Rose Benton.
I addressed the national executive in Newcastle the weekend of the, I think it was the 2nd of August, the first Saturday in August I did that, and what we didn’t want to do was to sensationalise what was going on for ROHR Zimbabwe because there are a lot of people that are in very difficult situations that actually contribute in terms of finance to make ROHR happen and to be a success.
This really is not about personalities; ROHR is an organisation that is registered within Zimbabwe and has the leadership of succession so nobody can claim that ROHR belongs to them personally because it is an organisation which has…
Ephraim Tapa: I think she has answered the questions, so can I come in?
Guma: No, no, no, sorry Grace are you getting to the part why you, because the question is have you reported the matter to the police?
Mupfurutsa: Yes, the police matter is being dealt with through the bank fraud office…
Tapa: Okay right…
Mupfurutsa: …That is, the account for ROHR registered with Barclays and Barclay’s fraud office are processing with those particular issues. We’ve also got outstanding issues of other assets that Mr Tapa and Mrs. Rose Benton are refusing to hand over such as the web site which is now being used for Yes We Can and other issues Mr Tapa is using after the 7th of July which is unconstitutional and illegal.
Tapa: Thank you very much. Can I come in now?
Guma: Yes Mr Tapa.
Tapa: The issue she keeps on bringing in, the issue of Yes We Can, it is a non-starter, it’s not relevant here. She talks about the registration of the organisation, the organisation is properly registered and I can confirm that Last Maengahama who is a renowned human rights lawyer is the one who registered the organisation on our behalf and Last Maengahama is also the patron; we have appointed him the patron of…
Guma: Sorry, Mr Maengahama registered which organisation?
Tapa: ROHR Zimbabwe.
Tapa: Right from the inception, the constitution, the deeds, everything he did for us and he went onto register that organisation. Mr Last Maengahama is actually our patron as we speak. He has been involved in fund raising activities, he has been involved in most of our activities and even providing us advice on how to handle these people who are claiming to have taken over ROHR Zimbabwe.
So I wouldn’t think a renowned lawyer like Last Maengahama would be involved in a bogus organisation. What I know and what I’m made to understand is that the government of Zimbabwe had wanted to control non-governmental organisations by way of having them to register for control purposes, and what then happened was that I understand they went there to register the organisation for that purpose but we said we will not register to be controlled or to be given parameters or frameworks within which to, so we are registered with the deeds office in Zimbabwe and Mr Maengahama is right at the centre of all this.
So we then come on to the executive meeting that was addressed here in the UK, this was done when I was in South Africa. I had not gone to South Africa for a Yes We Can campaign business because Yes We Can campaign business, I mean the Yes We Can is not yet a constituted organisation as yet. It’s still an idea, it’s not even formed so there was no way I could go there and have a meeting for Yes We Can, but we said, for logistical reasons and for reasons that are to do with the background of the people, the genuine activists involved in ROHR Zimbabwe who are the victims, we have held our board meetings in South Africa always…
Guma: Can I throw in this question Mr Tapa? You may as well answer it at the same time – a statement issued by Grace Mupfurutsa and her colleagues says the board of trustees is also demanding eight thousand pounds from Mr Tapa which it says he got for educational expenses unconstitutionally without their approval. Could you respond to that because a lot of listeners are sending in this question, wanting to get an answer from you?
Tapa: I’ve got an email, thank you very much for that, I’ve got an email here which is written by Mr Zvorwadza to Mr Justin Shaw-Gray which reads like – you haven’t responded to my last email; we need Mr Tapa to undertake this programme because we feel it can be helpful in networking and Mr Tapa has already, thank God Mr Tapa has already secured a place at the university so please let’s give him all the support that he needs. As for me I have already said yes to Rose (Benton) to release the funds. And then Justin’s response is – and says, agreed. And…
Guma: So a struggling human rights group that you say didn’t have funding, authorized eight thousand pounds for educational expenses?
Tapa: Let me also add that this matter then is addressed at the 2009 board meeting where it is fully written in the minutes, it’s captured in the minutes and all that so, development, professional development for our front line activists is a policy of ROHR Zimbabwe.
Guma: Eight thousand pounds is a lot of money though.
Tapa: It’s not even eight thousand.
Mupfurutsa: Can I come into this and just make a comment?
Mupfurutsa: I have a lot of concerns regarding hearsay and one of the principal things that we did when we were in Harare was to make sure that the operations of ROHR align themselves directly with the mandate that is set out in the Notorial Deed of Trust and for the record, it’s Mr Muchadehama, Mr Tapa…
Tapa: Oh yes, sorry, sorry, sorry, thank you very much for that.
Mupfurutsa: I visited him at his home in Borrowdale and I also visited his offices in Harare when we were discussing these issues and he was not ready to take up the position of patron because of the conflict of interest and the issues that were currently clouding the organisation, so as far as we were concerned when we finished the board meeting in Zimbabwe, we agreed in principal that ROHR needs a patron.
We would have liked Mr Muchadehama, Alec Muchadehama to be the one but we wanted to ensure that the transition was managed properly before we could approach him or any other suitable individual. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is, when we look at the financial statements of ROHR Zimbabwe which I have in my computer and I have been sharing them with all the national executive, you (Tapa) are the sole beneficiary of most of the resources and I take issue with this because a lot of asylum seekers, even myself, yes I’m not a victim of Robert Mugabe’s government at any point, however I am in Diaspora, I have been working on issues concerning Zimbabwe from very long ago.
I came into this country in 1991 and I used to meet you at the Forum, I used to meet you at the Vigil and there were so many other meetings that were happening concerning Zimbabwe in which I was involved. I have never been an asylum seeker but I am passionate about Zimbabwe’s affairs. That qualifies me to be a member of ROHR, it qualifies me to be a board member so when money is misappropriated that is coming from people’s hard earned pockets, I take real personal issue with this and that is the reason why I sacrificed my own resources to ensure that I was at the last board meeting.
I did not ask to be the chairperson of ROHR Zimbabwe, I was elected to be the chairperson. My contribution within ROHR Zimbabwe stands as of today and ongoing and what I want to stress here is this – that ROHR Zimbabwe is not your baby, it is not your organisation.
It is an organisation that belongs to all the members and it is supported by other people who are international and they make donations; some people give pledges, some people give membership in the form of ten pounds every month. That money is supposed to be funding our overheads in Zimbabwe and programmes in Zimbabwe. It is not for the benefit of any single individual.
Tapa: Thank you very much. Can I say before you go any further, maybe I may forget, the money that was authorized, the money that was authorized by Stendrick and the board for me to undertake these studies was not coming from the membership, it was coming from a donor…
Mupfurutsa: We know that, it was still a donation…
Guma: Okay let’s just give each other a chance to talk. Mr Tapa is talking at the moment, just finish your point Mr Tapa.
Tapa: Yah, what I was saying is, I think what is happening now is Grace is trying to twist matters and stuff to her advantage which doesn’t work here. The thing here is the professional development programme we have had to send people to undertake professional development programmes and it is still policy of ROHR Zimbabwe. That’s one.
Number two she says she has looked at the statements and I’m the beneficiary of those monies. I’m saying to her now, I’ve got all the documentation which accrued as a result of the transmission that I was making to Zimbabwe so all those monies went to their intended destination. There was not even a penny missing, if anything if I were to show you some of the statements that I have here, the vouchers and stuff, I was even making additional, putting additional funds on top of the ones that I will be given by Rose.
Reason being that the organisation had no money and because I had stuff that had to be paid. Can you imagine – I crisscrossed the whole of the UK trying to bring people into this organisation, trying to grow the organisation, mostly at my own expense and then someone then says, from nowhere she comes in and says I am now the leader of ROHR Zimbabwe, which was built how, by who and all that kind of stuff.
Guma: Well to be fair Mr Tapa if I may interrupt you, we did explain as the programme was going along that there was an extraordinary board meeting, but the question that people want to understand – any organisation, and I’m sure our listeners as they are listening in have this question also, any organisation will have problems and I’ll throw this question to Grace – was it impossible to resolve this matter internally before people went to the press and started firing each other?
Tapa: They went
Guma: No, no, let Grace answer the question Mr Tapa.
Mupfurutsa: That was the desired outcome and in fact when we progressed with the board meeting for the 7th and the 8th there was a recognition that there were forces at play to try and disrupt the convening of that particular meeting and it’s very difficult to challenge the person who is in leadership who is the one who is doing wrong.
So we had the secretary doing wrong, we had the president or the chairperson doing wrong and they were taking action to stifle the convening of a constitutionally called board meeting. When we went to Zimbabwe we wanted everybody to just have a good discussion, to understand where Mr Tapa was.
We are very happy for him in his ambitions and we wanted to support him. What we didn’t want to do was to compromise the integrity of the organisation, as I have said it is a membership-based organisation and the sole beneficiaries are those that are resident in Zimbabwe because of the hardship that they have endured over the past years.
So when Mr Tapa did not attend, Mr Gandanga did not attend, Mr Muzenda did not attend it meant that we would not be held at ransom by individuals because ROHR continues as an organisation irrespective of personalities. When we finished the board meeting, we wrote letters to each of those individuals, we also wrote to Mrs. (Rose) Benton and also put in a provision in there for us to have a discussion.
Those never materialized because of the obstructive nature in which Mr Tapa operates and the others. I met Mr Gandanga at the Peace Rally in Masvingo, at Macheke Stadium on the 10th of July, I shook hands with him, I introduced myself and we had a conversation so if I could do that with Mr Gandanga I don’t understand how that could fail when I return to the United Kingdom and I was seeking the same with Rose and seeking the same with Ephraim.
Guma: Okay so let’s throw this same question to Mr Tapa. Mr Tapa, like I said, any organisation will have problems, why was it difficult to resolve this internally?
Tapa: Right, to start with their, the so-called extraordinary board meeting – I don’t have a notice of an extra-ordinary board meeting; I don’t have their venue; I don’t have their time; I don’t have nothing. It’s not properly constituted so but we gave them the properly constituted dates for the board meeting in South Africa. They did not attend.
We continued to invite them to come even after they had had their clandestine meeting, they still did not attend so our view was then that they had formed by doing what they did, they had formed themselves into a different organisation and I now hear that they are busy trying to form or they have already founded a web site, they are busy trying to recruit members and all that kind of stuff and we wish them all the best but then, the thing is, there are procedures that people, I mean procedures in place for people to come into leadership and go, you don’t just gatecrash.
We have it on account that Zvorwadza claimed to be acting on the, as a conduit pipe of the MDC to remove me. We have it also on account that Zvorwadza’s nephews has previously castigated him for his fraudulent activities, for his violent activities. At one time he even assaulted his nephew in a board meeting in Zimbabwe and we are saying at the time that we had our board meeting or that they had their so-called extraordinary meeting, Mr Zvorwadza had already been suspended as a board member and also from the organization.
So he was going to be submitting himself to a disciplinary process. As to the so-called, I mean Ronald (Murevererwi) had also been expelled for reasons to do with aiding and abetting Mr Zvorwadza’s clandestine activities.
Guma: Now Mr Tapa I’m left with two minutes, I’m left with two minutes for the programme and I need to wind up because of time. Can I give you each a minute to summarise your arguments? Let me start with you Mr Tapa since you were already talking. Could you, what happens from here? You have these two camps now and everyone is just getting statements from different camps, people want to hear from you what happens from here, within a minute if you could summarise your position?
Tapa: What I’m saying is – the arrest of Mr (Tichanzi) Gandanga for the so-called theft was instigated by Zvorwadza and he actually paid police, we now know and the police have said we want an audit. The audit statement has now been given to the police so all this was cooked up in order to try and remove people from positions.
We hear that it is because of the money that is coming from the donor, we also hear that Zvorwadza was angry that Mr Gandanga could not hire his vehicles at five thousand US dollars a month per vehicle which he said was unprocedural and also included conflict of interest.
So in this whole thing, my view is that the people that you have calling themselves ROHR Zimbabwe and purporting to have met in Harare at an extraordinary board meeting which no-one knew about, which was blatantly unconstitutional, we are saying we don’t recognize them. As a result of that they have formed themselves into a new group and we wish them all the best…
Guma: Okay your one minute is up, I really need to wind this up. Grace your minute – could you summarise, where does this leave ROHR Zimbabwe and what’s your position?
Mupfurutsa: Thank you very much to SW Radio Africa for this opportunity, as far as ROHR Zimbabwe is concerned, takanaka, we are legitimate, we are registered in Zimbabwe and we will continue operating in the UK and in Zimbabwe. We are not taking over any system, we are just continuing business as usual. We have removed some unhelpful individuals whose conduct has let the organisation to come under fire from members for violating their human rights, so we have removed those negative elements and we are cleaning up shop.
We have got debts that are outstanding which we are honouring for accommodation in Zimbabwe of our office, staff who have not been paid since January of this year because the money had gone into Tapa’s pocket…
Tapa: …that is not true…
Mupfurutsa: …We have put up another web site because Mr Tapa is refusing to hand over the official web site for ROHR and he is also refusing with Mrs. Benton to hand over the bank accounts etc but the legal processes for the police to get involved and the fraud office has already kicked in. I do not foresee a further week without a complete resolution to this. I am not going to be name-calling or slagging Mr Tapa down because as an individual I really like him. His conduct has left much to be desired and I wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.
Guma: Alright, we’ll have to end the programme there. That was Ephraim Tapa and Grace Mupfurutsa from the two rival groupings that formed the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe. I have to thank both for joining us on the programme and having a mature discussion and debate on the issues at stake. That does it for Question Time this week.
To listen to the programme:
SW Radio Africa – on line 24 hours a day at www.swradioafrica.com and daily broadcasts on 4880 kHz in the 60m band between 7 – 9 pm Zimbabwe time. Twitter : Facebook : RSS feed You can now get SW Radio Africa on the Tunein Radio smart phone app.
August 30th, 2011
Media reports in July highlighted a notable development; namely, a stepping-up of SADC’s continued efforts, led by South African President Jacob Zuma, to pull the Global Political Agreement (GPA) back on track for free and fair elections. This month, a total of 88 media articles were logged, recording breaches of the GPA.
Cases of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality, and violations in the form of legal harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters made up the bulk of articles logged, with 29 articles recorded for each (33.0% of total). 8 articles (9.1% of total) comprised cases of deliberate non-cooperation with other partners of the GPA, while violations denying or abusing freedom of speech were represented by 7 articles (8.0% of total).
In total, these four breaches account for 83.0% of the total media articles logged in July. The Zanu-PF party complied the least with the terms of the GPA, being either responsible for, or involved in, 96.6% of all breaches recorded in July through media reports.
We have compiled ten articles at the end of this report to represent this month’s media coverage of events in relation to the GPA. Our first example focuses on the commanding officer for Murehwa District, Chief Superintendent Simon Mwatsikesimbe, who asked traditional leaders and chiefs in Murehwa to generate lightning through witchcraft and kill MDC-T Secretary General and Finance Minister Tendai Biti. This inflammatory public statement, violating several clauses in the GPA, was made before more than 100 traditional chiefs and headmen on the 5th July.
In early July, Mathias Mlambo and Pishai Muchauraya – both MDC-T legislators – decided to confront Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba over an attack that had taken place in June, where soldiers assaulted villagers in Chipinge East. Nyikayaramba did not respond favourably, allegedly threatening their security, telling the two that he was going to “send his ‘scorpions’ to deal with them”.
Media reports also highlighted breaches by the MDC-T party when internal factional violence erupted on the 9th July. The party was forced to abandon its district elections in Chinhoyi, and three people were left seriously injured after the violence erupted at Chinhoyi Hall.
Towards the end of July, on the 23rd, further violence occurred when hordes of Zanu-PF supporters were allowed by police to invade the Parliament building and disrupt a public hearing by a Parliamentary Committee on the Human Rights Bill. Brian Tshuma, MDC-T legislator for Hwange Central was assaulted inside the senate chamber where the hearing was taking place, and journalists Levy Mukarati, Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, Nqaba Matshazi, Aaron Ufumeli, and John Cassim were also beaten up. More journalists from both the State and independent media were forced to seek refuge in offices within the Parliament building as the Zanu-PF supporters ran riot. The police are reported to have done nothing to stop the rampage.
Media articles highlighted instances of harassment against Zanu PF’s senior political partners in the GPA with reports that police have attempted to clandestinely intercept Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti’s cellphone communications. Their attempts were disclosed by cellphone operator Econet, after Biti moved to block the police from accessing his cellphone call register in early July. Biti’s lawyers wrote to Econet to protest against the police’s conduct in prying into their client’s affairs and Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni confirmed receiving a request from the police for the company to disclose Biti’s records.
A Catholic rights group is appealing to the authorities to act fairly in dealing with the political violence in Mbare, Harare, after its investigations revealed bias against victims opposed to ZANU-PF. On Monday 4th July Alouis Chaumba, national director of CCJP, said following Mbare violence, the organisation investigated, interviewing several people. Their recorded statements revealed MDC residents were being harassed and attacked by marauding youths, and more specifically, that it was ZANU PF youths who were attacking MDC members: “[…] of the victims are saying that their perpetrators were arrested but [within] less than two hours they were set free [by police”, Chaumba said. As part of the harassment by the youths, Chaumba said people were being evicted from hostels. In addition, their wares and stalls in the market being taken away. In one testimony, when a victim went to Matapi Police Station, he was told that the MDC supporters had no place in Mbare and they must ‘go to Britain’.
It was reported that Police have arrested a 76-year-old white commercial farmer and miner, Mike Van Rooyen, in a move viewed by many as calculated harassment designed to help Zanu-PF’s Bulawayo provincial deputy secretary for transport, Joel Tshuma, to forcibly acquire Van Rooyen’s farming and mining business. Van Rooyen was arrested on Friday 22nd in Bulawayo on charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe. Charges against Van Rooyen are that last week he was phoned by Tshuma over [the acquisition of] the farm and mining businesses and he allegedly told the Zanu-PF official “to go and hang together with Mugabe”.
Thirteen members of a human rights group who were arrested on Wednesday 27th July for protesting the continued detention of eight Glen View residents charged with murder, were themselves freed on Friday 29th. They were forced to pay US$10 fines each for what the police called ‘public nuisance’. Cosmas Ndira, Kimberly Nyatanga and 11 others were detained at the Harare Central Police station and were due to appear in court, also on Friday 29th. With no serious charges the state opted to fine them instead. Group spokesman Stendrick Zvorwadza said they were taking three of their members to hospital immediately as they were subjected to ‘beatings’ and ‘serious torture’ by the police. He condemned the arrests as “a systematic ploy by the law enforcement agencies to deny Zimbabweans the right to freedom of expression.” Zvorwadza also noted that, “the conduct of the police exposes their bias and lack of will in carrying out their duties professionally in respect to the upholding of the Rule of Law.”
In a case that highlights lack of cooperation by Zanu PF with its partners in the GPA, a NewsDay article reported that the wage increments paid out to civil servants on 22nd July came directly from diamond sales. Tthe salary increases were apparently provided by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and paid directly into the Salaries Services Bureau account, bypassing Finance Minister Tendai Biti and the Treasury, who reportedly confirmed the development and said the Treasury was unable to sustain this salary hike. The state run Herald newspaper then published a report claiming the wages went up despite statements from Biti, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, that the government had no money.
In another case where the state controlled media was exploited for political advantage, the state controlled radio, on 22nd July, broadcast inflammatory messages to discredit discredit Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman Simpson Mtambanengwe ahead of crucial elections. These messages are part of a campaign by Zanu PF to tarnish the image of the man who is expected to run the poll and announce the results, and it started after Mtambanengwe embarked on reforms to make the ZEC more transparent in line with the GPA. War veteran and Chivi North MP Trynos Huruva called on Mtambanengwe to resign, claiming he was a “puppet of the British”. The Mugabe loyalists have also vowed to invade Mtambanengwe’s offices, as they did to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, if he announces election results they do not like.
This list is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive in exposing the volume of human rights violations against the people of Zimbabwe. We invite all our readers to review the full list of summarised articles for July as well as previously captured articles, on the webpage http://www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch and ask you to share this information with your colleagues and other interested parties.
urges chiefs to kill Biti using lightning
Nehanda Radio: 07/07/2011
A senior police officer fiercely loyal to Robert Mugabe has asked traditional leaders and chiefs in Murehwa to generate lightning through witchcraft and kill MDC-T Secretary General and Finance Minister Tendai Biti. In a shocking example of hate language Police Commanding Officer for Murehwa District, Chief Superintendent (DISPOL), Simon Mwatsikesimbe, made the speech while addressing more than 100 traditional chiefs and headmen from across the district at the Murehwa Community Hall last Tuesday. Mwatsikesimbe justified the call to kill Biti using lightning claiming civil servants in the country will continue living in misery as long as Biti was alive. Economic hardships faced by government employees, especially police, is a result of Biti’s stinginess with state funds.
Nyikayaramba threatens two MDC-T legislators
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 08/07/2011
Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, recently threatened two MDC-T MPs saying that he would deal with them for daring to challenge him over the deployment of soldiers in 0Manicaland province. Last month in an unprovoked attack, soldiers assaulted villagers at Daisy Hill in Chipinge East and left four of them seriously injured. Following the attack, MDC-T legislator for the area, Mathias Mlambo, plus Pishai Muchauraya MDC-T MP for Makoni South, decided to confront Nyikayaramba over the issue. ‘He didn’t take it lightly ….,’ Muchauraya said. The MP, who is also the party spokesman for Manicaland, said Nyikayaramba went on to threaten them by telling the two that he was going to send his ‘scorpions’ to deal with them.
erupts at MDC-T polls
Zimbabwe Standard, The (ZW): 10/07/2011
CHINHOYI — MDC-T was yesterday forced to abandon its district elections after violence erupted between two factions. Chinhoyi is one of the five districts where elections were postponed until after the April party congress held in Bulawayo following disturbances. Three people were seriously injured after violence at Chinhoyi Hall. Two factions – Zvinguruve (backing former organising secretary Elias Mudzuri and Zvipani (supporting secretary general Tendai Biti) – were accused of igniting the violence. Eddy Kadewere (Zvipani) and Martha Mataruse (Zvinguruve) were vying for the district chairperson’s post. Some victims of the violence filed a complaint with police, claiming that they were attacked by two councillors. MDC-T deputy publicity secretary Tabitha Khumalo referred questions to spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.
supporters go berserk inside Parliament
An MDC legislator and five journalists were Saturday beaten up by hordes of Zanu-PF supporters who invaded the Parliament building to disrupt a public hearing by a parliamentary committee on the Human Rights Bill. Brian Tshuma, MDC-T legislator for Hwange Central was beaten up inside the senate chamber where the hearing was taking place while journalists Levy Mukarati, Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, Nqaba Matshazi, Aaron Ufumeli, and John Cassim were also beaten up by the mob. More journalists from both the State and independent media were also forced to seek refuge in offices within the parliament building as Zanu-PF supporters ran riot, while police stood by. The meeting was abandoned as a result of the skirmishes.
State security agents have intensified their onslaught against Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti by making clandestine overtures to intercept his cellphone communication. The covert advances were disclosed by cellphone operator Econet, after Biti moved to block the police from accessing his cellphone call register. Biti’s lawyers wrote to Econet to protest against the police’s conduct in prying into their client’s affairs. Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni confirmed receiving a request from the police. “We take note of the contents of your letter …. after our receipt of the police request. Kindly be advised that Econet will act in compliance with its operating licence and/or any lawful legislation governing the release of such information.”
Commission investigation reveals police bias
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 04/07/2011
A Catholic rights group is appealing to the authorities to act fairly in dealing with the political violence in Mbare, Harare, after its investigations revealed bias against victims opposed to ZANU-PF. On Monday 4th July Alouis Chaumba, national director of CCJP, said following Mbare violence, the organisation investigated, interviewing several people. Their recorded statements revealed MDC residents were being harassed and attacked by marauding youths, and more specifically, that it was ZANU PF youths who were attacking MDC members. “…, some of the victims are saying that their perpetrators were arrested but [within] less than two hours they were set free [by police], …,” Chaumba said. As part of the harassment by the youths, Chaumba said people were being evicted from hostels. In addition, their wares and stalls in the market being taken away. In one testimony, when a victim went to Matapi Police Station, he was told that the MDC supporters had no place in Mbare and they must ‘go to Britain’.
farmer arrested for insulting Mugabe
Daily News (ZW): 25/07/2011
Police have arrested a 76-year-old white commercial farmer and miner, Mike Van Rooyen, in a move viewed as meant to facilitate the grabbing of his farming and mining business by Zanu-PF officials. Van Rooyen was arrested on Friday in Bulawayo on charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe. He runs Cynthia Mine and Asher Estates in Matobo district in Matabeleland South, which was a scene of earlier clashes between a group of Zanu-PF youth and his workers. Charges against Van Rooyen are that last week he was phoned by Tshuma over the farm and mining businesses and he told the Zanu-PF activist “to go and hang together with Mugabe”.
ROHR protesters released after paying fines
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 29/07/2011
Thirteen members of a human rights group, who were arrested on Wednesday 27th July for protesting the continued detention of eight Glen View residents charged with murder, were themselves freed on Friday 29th. They were forced to pay US$10 fines each for what the police called ‘public nuisance’. Cosmas Ndira, Kimberly Nyatanga and 11 others were detained at the Harare Central Police station and were due to appear in court, also on Friday 29th. With no serious charges, the state opted to fine them instead. Group spokesman Stendrick Zvorwadza said they were taking three of their members to hospital immediately as they were subjected to ‘beatings’ and ‘serious torture’ by the police. He condemned Wednesday’s arrests as “a systematic ploy by the law enforcement agencies to deny Zimbabweans the right to freedom of expression.” Zvorwadza also noted that “the conduct of the police exposes their bias and lack of will in carrying out their duties professionally in respect to the upholding of the Rule of Law.”
funds used to pay civil servants wage hikes
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 22/07/2011
Zanu-PF has continued efforts to undermine MDC-T over civil servants’ salary increases, with reports saying the wage increment paid out this week came directly from diamond sales and bypassed Finance Minister Tendai Biti and the Treasury. According to NewsDay newspaper, the salary increases were provided by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and paid directly into the Salaries Services Bureau account completely undermining Biti, who reportedly confirmed the development and said the Treasury was unable to sustain this salary hike. The state run Herald newspaper then published a report claiming the wages went up despite statements from Biti, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, that the government had no money.
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 23/07/2011
Hate messages were broadcast on state radio last week as Zanu-PF mounted a campaign to discredit Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman Simpson Mtambanengwe ahead of crucial elections. The campaign to tarnish the image of the man who is expected to run the poll and announce the results started after Mtambanengwe embarked on reforms to make the ZEC more transparent in line with the Global Political Agreement (GPA). War veteran and Chivi North MP Trynos Huruva called on Mtambanengwe to resign, claiming he was a “puppet of the British”. The Mugabe loyalists have also vowed to invade Mtambanengwe’s offices, as they did to finance minister Tendai Biti, if he announces election results they do not like.