The service chiefs are on record saying they won't accept the results of the
elections widely expected to be held next year if Mr. Mugabe does not emerge
as the winner of the presidential ballot
Blessing Zulu | Washington DC 10 December 2010
Zimbabwe's Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, a mechanism to see
that power sharing unfolds as agreed under the 2008 Global Political
Agreement, has summoned service chiefs for an explanation of increasing
intimidation of critics of President Robert Mugabe.
The so-called securocrats, seen as a mainstay of Mr. Mugabe's continued
personal power, are to be questioned by the three co-chairman of the
committee known as JOMIC: Nicholas Goche of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF, Elton
Mangoma of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube of the MDC formation of Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara, political sources said.
Ncube and Mangoma confirmed the meeting but declined to disclose details.
Sources say Zimbabwe National Army General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Marshal
Perence Shiri, Central Intelligence Organization Chief Happtyon Bonyongwe
and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri have been summoned to meet
individually with the committee.
The sources said they were called individually to discourage intransigence
as a group.
The service chiefs, who sources say have agreed to attend the meetings with
JOMIC, are on record saying they won't accept the results of the elections
widely expected to be held next year if Mr. Mugabe does not emerge as the
winner of the presidential ballot.
Mr. Mugabe was defeated in the first round of the 2008 presidential election
by now-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, but was declared the winner of a
run-off election that June amid widespread violence that led Mr. Tsvangirai
to withdraw from the contest.
Sources say the military has begun to deploy officers nominally on leave to
locations around the country, especially in rural areas, to bolster
ZANU-PF's hold on the electorate, while the Zimbabwe Republic Police
reportedly has recruited retired officers and self-styled liberation war
veterans to beef up their ranks ahead of the anticipated 2011 elections.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing
Zulu that JOMIC does not have the power to rein in the securocrats.
Written by IRENE MOYO
Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:52
HARARE - Members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the police have
been fingered in an orgy of gang-rape in which Zanu (PF) militias sexually
assaulted hapless MDC-T supporters in the run-up to Zimbabwe's elections
over the past decade, a new report revealed last week.
The joint report by the Harare-based Research and Advocacy Unit, Zimbabwe
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) and self-help organisation
Doors of Hope Development Trust showed that soldiers and police officers
participated in politically motivated rape in Harare, Manicaland and
Masvingo provinces between 2001 and 2008.
They allegedly worked in cahoots with Zanu (PF) youths and so-called war
veterans who terrorised MDC-T supporters in Bikita, Birchenough Bridge,
Buhera, Chikomba, Chitungwiza, Epworth, Gutu, Headlands, Honde Valley,
Murehwa, Mutoko and Harare's Whitecliff. The report, which was based on 27
sworn affidavits and medical examinations of women, showed that the victims
were raped because of their political activities or the activities of their
"The sexual assaults reported by this sample are ruthless, with horrific
reports of gang rape. Some of the women were raped by numerous perpetrators
until they lost consciousness," the report said.
Members of the ZNA were implicated in eight of the cases, with one senior
officer being fingered in five of these rapes. In one of the incidents, a
woman from Manicaland province testified that she was attacked in April 2008
by an army officer who was in the company of Zanu (PF) youths.
"At the beginning of April 2008, at about midnight I heard some youths
singing and playing drums in our yard. I was in my bedroom sleeping with my
daughter. Suddenly the door was broken down and two people came into the
room. They dragged me outside and when I was outside, I saw our yard was
surrounded by Zanu (PF) youths, about 12 or 13 of them," she narrated her
She was force-marched to a bushy area where she met the unnamed top army
official and a well known war veteran. The army official allegedly told the
youths pin her down and raped her. "He raped me in a violent way and while
he was raping me, he was shouting 'You prostitute, do you know I fought for
this country?” the victim told the researchers.
In a separate incident, another victim from Manicaland province said she was
gang-raped by a group of Zanu (PF) supporters who included a policeman. "On
the 22nd of June 2002 at 1pm three men came to my homestead. They entered
the kitchen where I was and stood by the door. The policeman said they had
come for a final search for a gun," the victim recalled.
She said after finding nothing the militias threatened to burn down her
house but later decided to rape her. "Then one of the men covered my head
with a cooking pot and told me not to remove it. Then they kept beating me
with sticks on my left leg around the hip area. I fell down and the pot fell
off my face and they put it back and continued beating me. “They said, 'You
refused to give us the information that your husband is hiding, so we are
going to make you our wife,'" she told the researchers.
Most of the cases occurred in the run-up to the disputed June 2008
presidential election run-off between President Robert Mugabe and then
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who had won the first round polls held
in March of the same year. Buhera in Manicaland province recorded the
largest number of politically motivated rape cases, with 10 incidents or 37
percent of the reported cases.
All in all Manicaland accounted for 15 of the 27 cases sampled in the study,
followed by Mashonaland East with four cases, Mashonaland West with four,
Harare with two and Masvingo with two cases.
Another interesting finding by the researchers was the active participation
of some Zanu (PF) women in the rape of fellow women.
"Four women came to my home. They were Zanu (PF) supporters from my
neighbourhood. One of the women told me that Zanu (PF) youths were planning
to come to take me and beat me so I should go with her and sleep over at her
house because I would be protected since she was a Zanu (PF) supporter," a
woman from Harare said.
She said the women instead took her to a Zanu (PF) base in the neighbourhood
where they allowed a war veteran and others to rape her. "We arrived at the
base at about 10 pm. I was handed over to the war veteran in charge. He told
me to go and sit behind the big boulder of stones that was a few metres from
where I had been beaten. Five men followed me and two of the men raped me,"
she narrated her ordeal.
One of the women reported being raped by 13 people while 14 of the victims
said they were abused by at least three perpetrators.
"While the second person was raping me I fainted and I do not know whether
the other men raped me as well but the women who were also detained at the
base told me when I woke up that I had been raped by about 10 youths after
the commander of the base," another Harare woman recalled.
Most of the victims did not bother to report the rape at all while those
that reported to the police where refused assistance. "The policemen at the
reception told me that they were not attending political violence cases. He
also told me that I deserved it and I should go back and beat my
perpetrators. I left and never went back to report my case," said one of the
victims from Masvingo.
According to the report, many of the victims suffered severe psychological
disorders following their ordeals.
At least 14 were observed as having symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder while two displayed symptoms of psychotic depression "Women in the
study exhibited high levels of sleeplessness, nightmares, flashbacks, and
hopelessness. A third of the women reported these symptoms, which are
commonly associated with experiences of trauma," the report said.
By Reagan Mashavave
Friday, 10 December 2010 18:25
HARARE - Zimbabwe has seen an increase in poaching activities over the past
nine months, with nationals from most regional countries being involved in
Parks and Wildlife Authority spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the
country lost 62 elephants and 30 rhinoceros to poachers from January to
September this year, compared to 65 elephants, 30 rhino during the same
period last year.
From January to November 2009, the country also lost 59 Buffaloes, 40 Zebras
and 114 Impala and Kudu to poachers.
“A total of 1 901 poachers, who include nationals from regional countries,
were arrested this year alone for poaching the endangered species,”
"The authority, through its investigation unit and the commitment of its
officers on the ground, successfully managed to have these people arrested
for poaching. These include locals as well as nationals from Zambia, Congo,
Botswana and South Africa."
Washaya-Moyo blamed an “orchestrated syndicate” involving international
poachers for the escalation in elephant and rhino poaching.
Zimbabwe this year embarked on a massive dehorning exercise which resulted
in 50 rhinos being dehorned. Dehorning rhinoceros is a method devised to
prevent the poaching of rhino horns.
"The authority engaged in a dehorning exercise which resulted in a total of
50 rhinos being dehorned," Washaya-Moyo said.
Zimbabwe has an elephant population of over 100 000, but its holding
capacity of the jumbos is 45 000, while only 700 white and black rhino are
left in the country, Washaya-Moyo said.
Zimbabwe is currently banned from trading in ivory and rhino horns and can
resume trading in 2017 if it gets the nod from the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) when its nine-year
The country is sitting on over 37 tonnes of ivory and about five tones of
10 December, 2010 10:19:00 By Correspondent
HARARE - Zanu PF has started cranking up the propaganda on Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai demanding immediate resignation from Government and public
life or face what it called prosecution for a litany of treasonous offences
he committed as detailed by WikiLeaks.
The calls come amid fresh revelations in the latest batch of the US
diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks that Mr Tsvangirai would publicly call
for the removal of sanctions, but secretly urge the Americans and their
allies to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The economic embargo has caused untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans.
In an interview yesterday, Tsholotsho North legislator Professor Jonathan
Moyo said: "There are only two things that could happen in any civilised
democracy, for him to resign not just from Government but public life
altogether. He must also be prosecuted for a litany of treasonous acts
against the State."
"The only questions about those two thi-ngs is not whether they should
happen but when they are going to happen," he added.
Prof Moyo said it was shocking to note that while in Government and having
taken an oath to uphold the laws of the country and as a Cabinet member, Mr
Tsvangirai continued to campaign for the retention of sanctions and for use
of unlawful means to cha-nge the Government.
"As early as 2000 he was actively asking the US to bring troops to Zimbabwe
to effect a coup," he said.
Former MDC national executive member Mr Gabriel Chaibva echoed Prof Moyo’s
sentiments adding that it was treasonous for Tsvangirai and his party to
craft ZDERA and continue to call for the retention of sanctions against
"This is treasonous and Tsvangirai should be held accountable for his
actions. The only sensible thing for him to do now is to resign because more
evidence is coming from WikiLeaks or those in the MDC-T must push him out
because he is a traitor and has become a liability to the people of
Zimbabwe. The quicker he goes, the better," Mr Chaibva said.
He said another alternative to rid the country of Mr Tsvangirai and his
party was to call for elections.
"There has never been a more compelling reason for elections than there is
to get rid of this political party. More importantly when we go for
elections, the people of Zimbabwe now know that this man (Tsvangirai) all
along has been working to advance the US and British interests in Zimbabwe.
"He never worked for the people of Zimbabwe and this explains why he has
been making senseless demands on the so-called outstanding issues. It has
been about usurping powers through the back door. Zimba-bweans must punish
him at the polls for who wants to associate with an American puppet," added
Another political analyst Mr Godwine Mureriwa said because of wild
shortcomings, Zimbabweans would deal decisively with Mr Tsvangirai through
the ballot box.
"The people of Zimbabwe will judge him at the polls," he said.
Another Zanu PF political observer said Mr Tsvangirai owed his supporters an
explanation or else they needed WikiLeaks to know what is brewing in the
MDC-T leader’s mind.
"Certainly he owes his own supporters an explanation. What these WikiLeaks
reveal is that he is a person without principles." - Herald
Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Friday, 10 December 2010 16:45
BULAWAYO -- Police from the Law and Order section have intensified their
monitoring of the media in the country with several officers from the
department attending press clubs and media workshops disguised as reporters
from the police Outpost magazine.
In one such case when police have posed as reporters from the used the
Outpost as an excuse to gate crush reporters meetings and functions, two
unidentified officers last week forced their way into a meeting of
journalists here, claiming they were from the law enforcement agency’s
This was despite the fact that the journalists had not invited anyone fro
Outpost to their meeting.
The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has expressed dismay at the police’s
rather bizarre tactics.
ZUJ secretary general Foster Dongozi said the way the police is now
interfering with the activities of the press is shocking and a clear
indication of desperation that is meant to prevent journalists from freely
carrying out their duties.
“We are aware that police are now attending journalists activities. This
intrusion only reflects a deep rooted paranoia from the government of the
country who would like to silence the media, it’s a further clampdown on the
media,” said Dongozi.
Zimbabwe remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for the media
with journalists liable to arrest and imprisonment for violating a raft of
state security, secrecy and criminal defamation laws.
A string of half-hearted reforms by the Harare unity government including
issuing licences to more private newspapers had helped ease the media
environment and encouraged hope that the administration could go all the way
to scrap tough security and press laws that restrict journalists from freely
carrying out their work.
But hardliner elements in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party and the
security forces have in recent weeks moved to clamp down on the media and
whittle down the little democratic space that had opened up during the
nearly two years of unity government.
Four journalists including the editor of The Standard, Nevanji Madanhire and
his report Nqobani Nldovu have been arrested in the past two months while
the police have a warrant of arrest out for Wilf Mbanga, who is based in
Britain from where he publishes The Zimbabwean newspaper.
The police want to arrest Mbanga in connection with a story that –
strangely -- appeared in another publication that is neither owned nor
produced by him.
Written by Staff Reporter
Friday, 10 December 2010 15:50
MUTARE - This year in Manicaland, more than 8 000ha of timber plantations
were gutted by veld fires that destroyed some 17 300 hectares of land and
The plantations provided valuable timber for local consumption by various
industries, as well as for export to earn much-needed foreign currency.
Addressing a fire awareness campaign recently in Headlands, the Minister of
Environment and Natural Resources Francis Nhema said at that the country
continued to experience serious outbreaks of uncontrolled fires throughout
the country causing untold destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems.
“We continue to preach the same message that people should not tamper with
fire, but all our efforts appear to be futile as veld fires have been
running wild in this country especially in this part of Manicaland leaving
death and destruction,” he said.
He added that if current trends continued, the nation faced an even more
disastrous 2011 fire season.
Nhema said Zimbabwe could not afford to lose its rich biodiversity and the
much needed foreign currency due to careless throwing away of cigarette
stubs or unattended open fires meant to warm bodies at bus terminuses.
He warned that government would not fold its hands as careless and wanton
destruction of forests continued through unlawful practices, and urged all
stakeholders to assist in protecting the environment.
“All these problems are due to human negligence, hence the need to reorient
our attitudes towards fighting veld fires. Local authorities, traditional
leaders, chiefs’ headman, kraal heads and other critical stakeholders
involved in local governance should establish and train fire fighting teams
in their areas” said Nhema.
Commenting on the rampant occurrence of veld fires in Makoni, Chief Makoni
said his people needed environmental education and training.
“We are very saddened by this environmental catastrophe but we are working
on a comprehensive programme where we want to train our people on the
dangers of using fire and the benefits of using it as a controlled resource.
We are working in partnership with the district council to make sure that
our efforts and resources are put to good use,” Chief Makoni said.
According to statistics, a total of 7 500 fire incidences were experienced
country wide as at October 2010 and destroyed 950 905ha of natural
The landscape of Manicaland, particularly Chimanimani, Nyanga and Vumba,
offers beautiful scenery but of late, wild fires have left a trail of
Verges of major roads especially along the Mutare-Headlands and
Mutare-Nyanga highways as well as some grazing land in Headlands, Nyazura
and Odzi areas were not spared the destruction.
This year saw Nyanga National Parks losing at least 50 hectares to fire,
believed to be caused by poachers.
The province has approximately 100 000ha of exotic plantations, mostly
located in the Eastern Highlands, which stretch from Mt Selinda in the south
to Nyanga in the north.
The plantations are generally intensively managed and comprise pines, wattle
and eucalyptus species. Commercial entities and small growers privately own
about 60 percent of these plantations, while 40 percent is publicly owned.
Despite the importance of forests and woodlands to the economy, there has
been a general increase of uncontrolled fires in the whole country, with
Manicaland being one of the worst affected.
These fires have been particularly devastating in the in the new
resettlement areas, national parks and commercial timber plantations.
Major causes of uncontrollable fires in the plantations have been discovered
to include arson, gold panners, neighbouring settlers, honey collection,
electrical faults, cigarettes and campers.
In the newly resettled areas, lack of fireguards, mice hunting, clearing of
arable areas and bee smoking are the major factors.
The implementation of the fire protection strategy has been slow due to lack
of adequate capacity and resources to allow for stakeholder interaction at
grassroots level. Budgetary constraints have also made it difficult to
effectively control fires.
Major causes of fires
arson, gold panners, neighbouring settlers, honey collection, electrical
faults, cigarettes and campers.
lack of fireguards, mice hunting, clearing of arable areas and bee smoking.
Destroyed by fire
7 500 fires
950 905 ha destroyed
8 000 ha timber plantations
17 300 ha destroyed
Written by IRENE MOYO
Saturday, 11 December 2010 13:33
HARARE – British-based financial institution Standard Chartered has again
been sucked into the controversy surrounding the busting of European Union
sanctions against Zimbabwe amid allegations that it has been giving loans to
President Robert Mugabe’s allies through syndicated facilities offered by
non-EU banks. (Pictured: A Standard Chartered bank branch in China)
Influential political think-tank Africa Confidential said Standard Chartered
has been routing loans through local banks in Zimbabwe as well as the
African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Eastern and Southern
African Development Bank (PTA Bank) in order to circumvent sanctions which
the EU renewed for another year in February.
Under the sanctions, no European companies are allowed to do business with
Mugabe and more than 200 officials and organisations linked to his Zanu (PF)
party. “As Harare steps up pressure for the European Union to abandon its
sanctions on Zimbabwe, it has emerged that a British-based bank has found a
legal way to circumvent the ban on loans to President Robert
Mugabe’s allies,” the think-tank said.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono revealed in July
that Standard Chartered, Afreximbank, PTA Bank and a Chinese tobacco trader
Tian Li were responsible for at least US$442.5 million in lines of credit
approved by the RBZ which had gone to 23 Zimbabwean companies this year.
Gono, himself under EU sanctions, wrote: ‘Due to sanctions Standard
Chartered Bank London mainly lends through syndicated facilities through
Afreximbank (affiliated to the African Development Bank) and the PTA Bank
(East and Southern African Trade and Development Bank).’
Standard Chartered however says all lending conformed to EU sanctions and
was done through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Standard Chartered Zimbabwe.
Afreximbank says Standard Chartered had a $50 million revolving credit
facility which it lent to the Zimbabwe cotton company AICO, formerly Cotton
Company of Zimbabwe. Sylvester Nguni, Minister of State to Vice President
Joice Mujuru and also under EU sanctions, is an AICO shareholder.
Gono is also a shareholder through his investment in Sakunda Energy, a
petroleum distribution company, as is Mujuru’s husband Solomon, also under
sanctions, through various nominees, says a source close to AICO. According
to Africa Confidential, Mujuru’s partners are hotel and banking tycoon Farai
Rwodzi and Zanu (PF) Mashonaland East chairman and former provincial
governor Ray Kaukonde.
Standard Chartered was in 2008 at the centre of another Zimbabwe sanctions
inquiry by the British Foreign Office for allegedly
breaching EU sanctions on Zimbabwe. The bank was at the time said to be one
of three British-based groups that allegedly provided an estimated US$1
billion in direct and indirect funding to Mugabe's administration.
Together with Barclays Bank and the insurance firm Old Mutual, the banking
group was accused of continuing to provide an economic lifeline to the
regime. They were accused of providing loans to senior members of Mugabe's
government running farms grabbed by mobs organised by his Zanu (PF) party.
Many of the farms, previously white-owned, were distributed to leading
figures in the regime rather than to landless black Zimbabweans.
Written by ZimOnline
Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:31
HARARE - Shocking child deaths being recorded at Hopley Farm settlement near
Harare are replicated throughout the city because of poor funding and
equipment, top local authority officials has said.
Amnesty International recently released a report detailing how the death of
21 newborn babies within the first five months of this year highlighted
unacceptably high child mortality rates caused by poor sanitary conditions.
The farm houses families evicted by government during its unpopular
Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order in 2005.
“There is no major difference between what is happening here and the
situation in all parts of the city,” a city health director, Prosper Chonzi,
said during a visit to settlement by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe
this week following the Amnesty report.
“Some of the equipment is non-functional. There is too much pressure on
resources and the city is suffering from inadequate funding,” he said. Like
Khupe, Chonzi appealed to Western donors to intervene with funding. Harare
City Council, with 58 health institutions, is the country’s biggest health
provider and is in a dire situation, Chonzi later told ZimOnline. “We serve
about three million people and that is just a night population because
during the day we have patients coming to our institutions from areas
outside Harare because their situation could be worse than ours,” he said.
Hopley Farm is holding 25 000 people against the initial population of 2 000
in 2005 when vicious police and other State agencies razed down thousands of
homes in an operation government defended as necessary to restore order, but
said by the UN to have affected close to a million people. During her tour
of Hopely Farm, Khupe, who is deputy leader of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s MDC party, came face to face with the humanitarian disaster
unfolding at settlement. Unrelenting flies swarmed her and her delegation as
they assessed the state of the “toilets”. Residents told her this was their
everyday life, and accused the government of dumping them.
Running water is scarce, the swampy settlement smells of sewer and residents
live in falling grass, wooden and mud structures – clearly worse than the
city backyard shacks and shantytown homes destroyed by police bulldozers
during Murambatsvina. “This has become a death compound. Everyday someone,
especially children, dies here of causes that could have been prevented had
government chosen to stick to its promises when it forced us here.
Government has reduced to worse than dogs,” Yvonne Bosha, a resident at
Hopley, told Khupe.
Written by VUSIMUZI BHEBHE
Saturday, 11 December 2010 13:16
HARARE – South Africa has failed to rein in President Robert Mugabe whose
flagrant abuse of power in Zimbabwe is threatening the credibility of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), a British lawmaker said last
week. (Pictured: President Jacob Zuma)
Contributing to debate on Zimbabwe in the House of Commons last Wednesday,
the House of Commons Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield, Richard
Burden said Zimbabwe’s neighbours in the SADC regional grouping,
particularly South Africa, had failed ordinary Zimbabweans by failing to
reprimand Mugabe who is accused of human rights abuses.
“SADC countries need to face up to that, but most of all South Africa needs
to face up to the fact that, in terms of securing leverage and change in
Zimbabwe, its role is absolutely crucial. So far, it has not exercised that
role as assertively as many of us would like,” Burden said.
South African President Jacob Zuma has been mediating on behalf of SADC in
the power-sharing wrangle between Mugabe and his former opposition enemies –
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of MDC-M – who came
together in a unity government under immense pressure from the regional body
keen to contain a political crisis that followed Zimbabwe’s general
elections in 2008.
The comments by the British MP coincided with another report by South Africa’s
opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party which called Zuma a poor mediator
in the Zimbabwean crisis, describing the SADC point-man in the Harare
wrangle as worse than his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. In a scathing attack on
Zuma’s rather lukewarm handling of the Zimbabwe crisis, DA parliamentary
leader Athol Trolip described the South African leader as meek and pandering
Trolip accused Zuma of standing idle in the face of Mugabe’s refusal to meet
his obligations under the power-sharing agreement with Tsvangirai. The
British MP said Mugabe has strung other SADC leaders along as he continued
to even violate the regional body’s own statutes. He cited Mugabe’s refusal
to recognise rulings from the Namibia-based SADC Tribunal regarding the
constitutionality of Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme.
“When Mugabe just ignores and cocks a snook at the decisions of the SADC
Tribunal, that is a problem not just for the people whose farms and
livelihoods have been taken away, but for southern Africa as a whole and for
the credibility of SADC itself,” he said. The Tribunal first ruled against
Mugabe’s land reforms in November 2008, declaring the chaotic and often
bloody farm redistribution programme discriminatory, racist and illegal
under the SADC Treaty. The court also ordered Harare to compensate those it
had already evicted from their farms.
But Mugabe ignored the ruling while his supporters have stepped up a
campaign to drive Zimbabwe’s few remaining white farmers off the land.
Written by VUSIMUZI BHEBHE
Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:40
HARARE – A British parliamentarian has warned that the fragile marriage of
convenience between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai was the only thing standing “between Zimbabwe and chaos” and said
more efforts should be invested to ensure that the country does not slide
back to the pre-2009 political crisis.
Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Malcolm Bruce described the political
climate in Zimbabwe as a disaster but cautioned that there were no quick
fixes to the problems besetting the fragile coalition government formed by
Mugabe and Tsvangirai 22 months ago.
“Frankly, that government are the only thing that stands between Zimbabwe
and chaos and we must use whatever influence we have to try to persuade
people, wherever they are, that there is a better place for Zimbabwe to head
for than back to where it was,” the MP told the United Kingdom’s House of
Commons during debate on Zimbabwe last week. Bruce is chairman of the House
of Commons’ International Development Committee which visited Zimbabwe in
February to review UK-funded aid projects in the southern African country.
In his report to the House of Commons, Bruce said observance of the global
political agreement (GPA)—the basis of Zimbabwe’s government of national
unity—is highly dysfunctional but noted that it has helped to create some
space in which positive things can happen. He added that his committee “saw
genuine benefit to people who had been in abject hopelessness prior to that
The MP said the British government should continue to engage with the Harare
authorities in order to help Zimbabwe avoid sliding back to the chaos
experienced prior to the formation of the coalition regime in February 2009.
"We must do nothing that allows this troubled partnership to be brought to
an end and the re-establishment of a one-party state. That would set back
not just Zimbabwe but the whole of southern Africa for another generation,"
Bruce said. He however ruled out the lifting of visa and financial
restrictions against Mugabe and senior Zanu (PF) officials, charging that
there has been no significant movement in terms of fulfilling the
pre-condition of instituting much-needed political reforms in Zimbabwe.
Written by Pambazuka News
Thursday, 09 December 2010 17:02
While some have looked favourably on Essar Africa Holdings Ltd being
selected as the preferred private corporation to take on 54 percent of the
Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO), Khadija Sharife points out that it’s
not all good news:
When the Mauritius-based Essar Africa Holdings Ltd, an arm of India's Essar
Group, was selected as the preferred private corporation to take on 54 per
cent of Zimbabwe's ailing state-owned steel maker, the Zimbabwe Iron and
Steel Company (ZISCO), many breathed a sigh of relief. ??
Under the terms of the agreement, Essar Africa, which beat out ArcelorMittal
and Jindal Steel, will acquire a 53 per cent stake in ZISCO, also taking on
board a US$270 million debt. Essar, a medium-sized firm, was allegedly
selected by Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
Of this debt, US$240 million must be repayed to a German bank, and a further
US$30 million to a Chinese bank, to be repaid by end 2011. With a production
capacity of one million tonnes annually, and Essar's promise to have the
company up and running within 24 months, on the surface, things appear to be
looking up for the country, currently receiving Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) of just US$60 million annually.
The deal symbolises the first privatisation under the unity government
between Zanu-PF's Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC)
The parastatal is said to be immune from the country's law stipulating that
foreign-owned companies must eventually sell 51 per cent of shares to local
All not well
Once a significant source of foreign currency, in recent time, ZISCO
produced just 12,500 tonnes in 2008 (when the parastatal ceased
operations) - well below break even capacity of 25,000. No doubt, the
increased revenue will greatly aid Zimbabwe's drive to source sustainable
development revenue. ??
With major interests in oil, telecommunications, steel and energy, Essar's
presence - and its US$450 million acquisition - indicates that Zimbabwe is
now open for business. Yet Essar's operating base - Mauritius - does not
The jurisdiction, a key conduit used for 'round-tripping' (parking wealth in
Mauritius before re-investing in India) by Indian corporations, provides
almost half of India's FDI, estimated at US$39 billion.
With its vast selection of opaque legal and financial secrecy tools,
including banking secrecy, zero taxation and almost complete lack of
disclosure of beneficiaries, shareholders, directors, company accounts and
trusts, Mauritius represents the perfect anonymous environment for regimes
eager to exploit resources and siphon revenue through legal paper
Companies not only prefer Mauritius for zero taxation and corporate opacity,
but also thin capitalisation. This is a process whereby holding companies
internally supply high-interest loans to subsidiaries in developing
countries, draining pre-tax profits, resulting in severely diminished
taxable income, or even creating losses, despite the health of the business.
'Management' fees, allowing for holding companies to artificially mis-price
goods and services procured from the company, is yet another tactic commonly
used. ??Essar is not the only company active in Zimbabwe to utilise
Not through Mauritius
South African scrap metal corporation New Reclamation holds a concession to
one of the world's largest diamond field discoveries in recent times:
Marange. Through Mbada, a joint venture between the ZMDC and New
Reclamation, the company has long begun exploiting diamonds.
Yet New Reclamation's Zimbabwean arm - Grandwell Holdings - is a tax exempt
Global Business Category II (GBCII) paper company established in Mauritius,
which the ZMDC itself stated was immune from government due diligence due to
this very fact.
Primarily controlled by the Zimbabwean military, Marange's overflowing
alluvial diamond resources could well supply the cash-strapped Zimbabwean
government with as much as $1.7 billion in revenue annually. ??
Using the same secrecy tools listed above, not only could myriad war vets
and political elites use nominee shareholders to conceal their role in the
company, but little of this revenue will reach Zimbabwe's tax base.
Given that such environments are selected precisely because of high-level
confidentiality, it is unlikely that such companies can be penetrated and
held to account. ??
Consistently ranked one of the world's easiest places to do business, and
Africa's leading, by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World
Bank, also topping the charts on the Mo Ibrahim Governance Index, Mauritius
has charmed those seeking a superficial African success story.
But what is the impact of such success on the democracies of other African
nations? With donor aid of just under $630 million, and life expectancy of
42, Zimbabwe is urgently in need of self-generating sustainable revenue. The
way is not through Mauritius
Written by Derek Matyszak
Friday, 10 December 2010 13:06
Political divisions of land
Zanu (PF) is using Chiefs to control land and ensure that opposition
political parties do not have access to rural areas, which are its
stronghold areas. Last week we looked at strategies used by the party to
maintain a grip of its waning support in the rural areas and instil fear in
the villagers since 2000.
The local government in Zimbabwe's communal lands is characterised by a
multi-tiered and hierarchical two-strand administrative structure.
One strand comprises democratically elected local government councils while
the other is that of appointed traditional leaders and appointed officials
imposed by central government. There are thus two loci of power in local
government running parallel to each other, one democratic and one appointed,
with some formal linkages between the two established by statute.
The result is that numerous tentacles of power emanating from different
sources in this system touch upon and control the lives of the inhabitants
of rural areas.
There are two significant land marks in the history of the development of
the structure of local government of relevance here. The first is the
amalgamation of rural councils with district councils. The former had
governed small country towns and large-scale commercial farms, while the
latter fell within communal lands.
Legislation merging the two was passed in 1988 but only became effective in
1993. The pre-independence government utilised traditional leaders as
primary policy implementers (particularly in regard to land), and they were
given extensive powers as means of exercising control over the rural
populace. As a result, Chiefs’ relations with their communities was often
fractious, though the view that Chiefs were completely and successfully
co-opted to act as agents for the minority white government does not appear
to be supported by close examination.
Stripped of powers in 1982
Nonetheless, the position of Chiefs had been sufficiently compromised. The
post-independence government stripped the Chiefs of most of their powers in
1982. Official policy became one of devolution of local government power to
elected representatives in rural areas.
However, despite this policy, in practice central government found the
extensive power of central government over local government structures
established in the pre-independence period too seductive to relinquish. As
opposition to the rule of Zanu (PF) has grown, this power has been used with
a directly proportional frequency.
Furthermore, noting the pre-independence government’s success in exerting
control over the rural areas through traditional structures, the Traditional
Leaders Act was passed in 1998, becoming effective in 2000. The Act restored
the jurisdiction of the traditional leaders in some aspects relating to
rural communities, most of which had been removed in 1982.
For administrative purposes, Zimbabwe is divided into provinces, districts,
rural councils, wards and villages.
The President may declare any area to be a province and any area within a
province to be a district. The President may establish a rural council
within a district and divide any rural council into wards. Rural local
government is thus dependent upon the discretion of the President rather
than being constitutionally enshrined and protected. Provinces and districts
so established by the President may also be abolished by him. These powers
effectively allow the President to act as a one- person delimitation
The Minister of Local Government has the responsibility to ensure that all
communal land is surveyed and the boundaries of villages determined in such
However, the Minister has the power to appoint a commission apparently for
the purpose of making recommendations on delimitation to the President, and
where such commission is not appointed, to solicit views from residents for
the same purpose.
Chiefs are almost exclusively male, though in1997, for the first time a
woman, was appointed as Chief in an Ndebele area of Zimbabwe.
Next week we examine provincial structures and the authority exerted by the
Ministry Local Government, Rural and urban Development. - Editor's note:
This article is based on a report entitled Formal structures of power in
rural Zimbabwe, by Derek Matyszak for the Research and Advocacy Unit in
[The complete article is available at
Written by VUSIMUZI BHEBHE
Saturday, 11 December 2010 13:08
HARARE – The People’s Republic of China (PRC) holds the key to dismantling
Zimbabwe’s ruling cabal and is likely to be influential in achieving elusive
reforms to nudge hardline security chiefs to agree to political changes,
according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.
The cable, obtained by WikiLeaks, says German Ambassador to Zimbabwe
Albrecht Conze told US ambassador Charles Ray that the PRC plays a
significant role in Zimbabwe and that Western nations need to involve them
more in cooperative activities wherever possible. In the December 2009
cable, Ray said Conze agreed with him that while China was unlikely to want
to participate in pro-democracy programmes, economic stability was clearly
in its interests.
“Conze believes that the PRC might even be useful in moving security sector
reform forward as it has a potential impact on economic stability, and he
does not believe South Africa will be really useful in this regard,” the
cable said. President Robert Mugabe, ostracised by the West for his failure
to uphold the rule of law, human rights and democracy, has turned to China
and other Asian countries since 2000 as part of a "Look East" policy aimed
at propping up Zimbabwe's troubled economy.
Presiding over what was once considered the world's fastest-shrinking
economy in 2008, the 86-year-old Zimbabwean leader has offered the Chinese
open access to all economic sectors at a time when other investors have been
leaving in droves. The cable said as part of the plan, the Western
diplomats have considered inviting the Chinese ambassador to weekly meetings
Fishmongers Head of Mission to explore potential areas of cooperation.
The group currently consists of envoys from the US, Canada, Australia and
the European Union. Security chiefs are Mugabe’s staunchest allies and are
credited with keeping the President in power after waging a ruthless
campaign of violence in 2008 to force then opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai – now Prime Minister – to withdraw from a second round
that analysts had strongly tipped the former trade unionist to win.
Tsvangirai had beaten Mugabe in the first round ballot but failed to achieve
outright victory to avoid the second round run-off poll. The security chiefs
have previously vowed to never salute a president who did not take part in
Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle, in what was seen as a clear warning
they would topple any government led by Tsvangirai who did not take part in
the independence war.
Speech by Roy Bennett,
Treasurer General of the Movement for Democratic Change,
to the Foreign Correspondents’ Association
Johannesburg, 10 December 2010
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you tonight. It’s always a
privilege to meet again with those I know and to have the
opportunity to develop new relationships and better
Zimbabweans are again at a crossroads. We are again faced with
failure and opportunity, fear and promise. Let me explain, using
my own personal situation as an illustration, a set of circumstances
mirrored in the lives of millions of my countrymen. I am again in
exile, driven from my home by a malevolent and vengeful regime.
Zanu remains determined to deny us our most basic human right—
the right to live peaceful and productive lives among our own
people. Increasing harassment of me was a clear precursor to
further imprisonment and fabrications. I was left with little choice
but to take my leave for a second time. I am better off than my
many brothers and sisters in South Africa, most of whom live in
dire poverty and despair. But, like them, I am tired, homesick and
My experience is symbolic of the political malaise that continues
to grip Zimbabwe. Indeed, the painful trials and tribulations I have
undergone in the last 18 months go beyond mere symbolism and
are a direct result of the ugly reality that holds sway in Zimbabwe.
The leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change entered
the so-called inclusive government under pressure—and yet also
with the utterly desperate cries of ordinary Zimbabweans ringing
in our ears. Zanu’s deliberate abuse of the economy for its own
enrichment had reduced the people to rags. Cholera was running
rampant, schools had collapsed. We wanted to put SADC to the
test, to see if they would back their own guarantees around a new
constitution and free and fair elections. The alternative was a
brutal, no-holds-barred showdown with the forces of repression.
Let me expand a bit. Much has been written about the MDC being
‘naïve’, being ‘hoodwinked by Mugabe’ and so on. I returned from
exile in February 2009 to participate in a critical party meeting that
would decide whether or not we would participate in government. I
arrived at Harare airport, unsure whether I was to be arrested and
jailed again. Zimbabwe had already effectively closed down. All
its vital economic organs were beyond critical. There was no fuel,
no food, people were starving and the currency was worthless. We
felt that Zimbabwe’s immediate future might resemble Somalia.
Our party put the people’s interest first. Observers should
acknowledge the proper motives of the MDC leadership, even if
they take issue with us on tactical grounds. Robust debate took
place behind closed doors, but the final decision was that we
should try to implement the Global Political Agreement for the
good of the people. If our leadership had rejected this proposal,
Harare would quite conceivably have gone up in smoke. Do not
underestimate the anger of people on the street, people whose
support for MDC in successive elections had been simply ignored.
We strove mightily to avoid a Kenyan conflagration.
It came as little surprise that Zanu had few intentions of meeting its
obligations under the GPA. For me it was the beginning of a rollercoaster
ride. I had received an exhilarating welcome by the people
in Harare, carried shoulder high to party headquarters at Harvest
House. But, as you know, I was soon arrested at Charles Prince
airport—at the very moment my colleagues were being sworn in.
Mugabe could not bear the prospect of shaking my hand. That was
no loss to me. The idea of holding hands with a mass-murderer
leaves me cold. I spent 40 days in the unspeakable squalor and filth
of Mutare Remand Prison. During this period, six inmates died of
malnutrition. I was surrounded by walking corpses, surreal
apparitions of skin and bone, men whose bodies barely clung to
their souls. If a government is to be judged by the way it treats its
most helpless and vulnerable, then truly Zanu is but a half step
from the infamy of Nazism. The conditions in Zimbabwe’s jails
were little different to what I imagine they were at Auschwitz. The
Commissioner of Prisons, Paradzai Zimondi, is criminally
indifferent to the lives of the thousands who have perished
needlessly—and he must surely account for this one day.
Demonstrations of the regime’s arrogance multiplied in short
order. The junta’s humiliation and intimidation of the country’s
elected representatives was commonplace from the outset. Some of
these incidents were public, but many were private and
unpublicised. Nelson Chamisa was physically shirt-fronted by
Constantine Chiwenga in a cowardly display of bullying. My wife
and I were threatened with death by drunken militia who had been
instructed to set up a roadblock for us. The shenanigans
surrounding my show trial and the framing of numerous MDC
Members of Parliament were a further demonstration of Zanu’s
As a Christian who has experienced the goodness and love of Jesus
Christ, it is clear to me that Zanu is an anti-Christ. Zanu has turned
on its head all that is good and right. Where there is plenty, it
brings hunger. Where there was joy, it brings tears. Where there is
hope, it brings despair. Where we would build, it destroys. Where
we would save life, it kills. Where there is peace, it wages war.
Where there is truth, it spews lies.
Just this week Robert Mugabe had the gall to tell President Zuma
(and I quote): ‘I am a lawyer and I am not happy to be in a thing
which is semi-legal’. Apparently, semi-legalities bother him, but
not blatant illegalities. Let us never forget that the MDC is the only
legitimate party of government post-2008. We won that election
outright. Zanu lost. But aided and abetted by Thabo Mbeki,
Mugabe bludgeoned his way to the negotiating table, treading on
the broken lives and limbs of Zimbabweans to secure a place in the
current dispensation. The liberation mantras and haughty claims to
authenticity and legitimacy which litter Zanu rhetoric are just
that—rubbish, refuse, a stench in the nostrils of the Zimbabwean
people. So too are the oft-repeated allegations by Zanu and its
supporters that MDC is a front for ‘The West’. We expect that
from Zanu, but to those in SADC who take this line we say: who
are you to second-guess the democratic will of the people of
Zimbabwe? Why should the votes of millions count for nothing?
Who are you to suggest that Zimbabweans are too stupid and too
ignorant to choose for themselves? A case of reverse neocolonialism
if ever there has been! We are tired of the insults and
insinuations. We make no apologies and will not tip-toe around the
region. What is said privately about crazy old men must be spelt
out directly. Mugabe and his military junta must be told their
game is up. The situation in the Ivory Coast has shown again the
absurdity of rewarding the losers—though a different approach
might do that other loser, Thabo Mbeki, out of a job. He seems to
have carved out a niche as an advocate for failed dictators.
What is the road ahead in Zimbabwe? Mired in a dysfunctional
constitutional process, caught in an economic holding-pattern and
held to ransom by Zanu’s coterie of gangsters—comically known
as the Joint Operations Command—the GPA is hardly a blueprint
for recovery and national healing. It was always meant to be a
temporary measure—and its trajectory has underlined the need to
move beyond it as a matter of urgency. What good has come out of
it is almost exclusively the work of the MDC. Dollarisation and the
efforts of the party through the Finance Ministry have made life
more bearable for Zimbabweans. But the people must finish the
job. We must stand up and show Zanu the door. We must re-group
and move forward together. It is time for all Zimbabweans to unite,
to focus on the goal and the obstacle, Zanu-PF! Civil society must
retain its independence but must accept the leadership of the MDC
during this phase of the struggle. For its part, the MDC must see
civil society as a strategic partner and recognize that there are
multiple centres of resistance. I hope to play a role in building
these bridges. The lessons of South Africa’s United Democratic
Front are there for all to see.
From SADC, and from South Africa in particular, we ask for
nothing more than a level playing field. Genuinely free and fair
elections are enough for us. And the major part of that is an
election campaign and aftermath that is free of violence and
intimidation. It is not enough to have a quiet day of voting after the
people have been battered in the preceding three months—and are
to be battered again after polling. For South Africa, surely it is time
to see that a stable, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe is in its
interests? During the Mbeki era, we came to expect pseudointellectual
hubris as a substitute for the pragmatic assessment of
national interests. We hope that the new dispensation under
President Zuma will be more attuned to the day-to-day needs of
ordinary South Africans. Zimbabweans in South Africa want to go
home. If Jacob Zuma wants to create a million jobs, he can do no
better than to create the conditions that will help Zimbabweans do
what they want to do: to return home and make a living among
their own families and communities. The alternative is further
stress on service delivery—and on a social fabric that is already
groaning under the weight of migrant Zimbabweans. It is vain to
believe that Zimbabweans can be prevented by force or by
regulation from coming and staying in South Africa. Faced with
hunger and abuse at home, they will continue to come.
In all this we are not naive about Zanu. It will require more than
polite talk to push a group of delusional political deviants to hold
free and fair elections. Zimbabwe’s post-independence history
shows that the barest shreds of humanity, let alone democratic
norms, mean nothing to Zanu when confronted with a loss of
power. As we speak, Zanu-PF, the party of violence, has deployed
soldiers to mobilise brown-shirt brigades against the people.
Rewarded by the spoils of blood diamonds, they have been
instructed to kill and wreak havoc. We may yet see violence of an
unprecedented nature. Mugabe’s madness is underway. It must be
exposed by people like you.
I am sure South Africa’s negotiators have seen glimpses of this
radical self-centredness in recent months. But it goes further than
they might imagine. It is a fact that Zanu collaborated with the
Apartheid government at the same time as it played host to ANC
representatives in the 1980s. Moreover, it collaborated with the
Apartheid regime in the brutalisation of its own people. In 1983, at
the height of Matabeleland massacres, Emmerson Mnangagwa
requested material assistance from the South African Defence
Force. It is also a fact that Mugabe used Central Intelligence
operatives, many of whom had served under Ian Smith, to monitor
ANC cadres while they were in Zimbabwe. Ironically, one of those
placed under surveillance was Thabo Mbeki.
Zimbabweans themselves need little reminding of the character of
Zanu’s criminal mindset. We have seen Zanu slay our people, felt
its cruel rod on our backs, its boots on our necks. We see the guilty
mock us every day. It is a system and a perverse ideology—but it
is much more than that. It is deeply personal. Those who butchered
the Ndebeles were rewarded and now queue up to succeed
Mugabe. This junta laugh and leer, they ridicule the blood and
tears of the people. We know they will not go quietly. We hope
and pray for a non-violent transition—but we do not expect it. Yet,
against all odds, we will achieve the dream of a new Zimbabwe
built on justice and dignity. What we have is not good enough. No.
We want and deserve something better. We want to be free—
totally and completely free of the Zanu pestilence. Free to build a
future for ourselves and our children.
I sense that this is the last chance for a peaceful resolution. Let us
not beat about the bush: if Zanu will not accept the will of the
people, what remains for Zimbabweans? How long must we suffer
these humiliations and degradations? Long, long ago, mass
mobilisation became a moral right. SADC is at a crossroads. Will
it do what is right? If it will not, Zimbabweans cannot continue to
be trampled, to be taken for granted. We must shoulder the burden,
we must take control of our destiny, we must seize our birthright—
and we will.
I thank you and wish you all a peaceful, blessed Christmas and ask
humbly that you write for, and in the interests of, the aspirations of
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) today held commemorations of the International Anti-Corruption day at the Africa Unity Square in Harare to call for the full domestication of the United Nations convention on anti-corruption which was ratified by the Zimbabwean government in 2003 as well as the declaration of assets by public office bearers.
Speaking at the commemorations, Hon Theresa Makone, the MDC National Women’s Assembly chairperson and co- Minister of Home Affairs said, transparency was the most vital element in our country if we are to realise real change.
“Our societies and communities will improve only when there is transparency, accountability and honesty among public office bearers. Where corruption is rife, the people suffer, but where there is transparency and accountability, the people will witness real change,” Hon Makone said.
Hon Makone has pledged to declare her assets on Monday, a first to be done by any public official, whilst Hon Willias Madzimure, the member of Parliament for Kambuzuma declared his assets during the commemorations.
Mr Titus Gwemende, the Programmes Officer for TIZ said the attendance was good and commended the MDC leadership for showing commitment as well as offering to declare their assets.
“We are extremely impressed with Hon Makone for volunteering to declare her assets on Monday, which is the best news we have heard in the year to have such a high ranking official from government especially from the MDC, it shows that the MDC is taking the issue of transparency more seriously,” said Mr Gwemende.
The MDC has adopted the Real Change Code of Ethics and Values which is a declaration of assets by the leadership of party as a gesture of achieving transparency and accountability.
The International Anti-Corruption day is commemorated on the 9th of December yearly.
Meanwhile, in Mbare, there are continued reports of violence after Zanu PF youth attacked informal traders at Mupedzanhamo market for being MDC. The rowdy, machete wielding youth are said to have ransacked the Mupedzanhamo stalls in the morning, beating MDC supporters.
In the ensuing conflagrations, two MDC supporters were injured whilst two others were arrested.
Speaking from Mbare, the Mbare District Chairperson Cotton Godfrey said two Zanu PF youth were also arrested but were released that morning. However, the two MDC supporters are being held at Matapi police station yet no charges have been leveled against them.
The officer in charge, one Shoko was said to be drunk on duty and refused to attend to the District chairperson.
“He has refused to see us. We do not understand why they are holding the two here and we are yet to locate the two people who were injured at Mupedzanhamo,” said Cotton.
Noah Chinodya and Angirai Moyowatidhi brothers are at Matapi police station whilst the two who were injured were identified as David Mazibiya and Wonder Chombe.
Together, united, winning, ready for real change!!
Robb , Derby
I probably do not have to detail the inherent problems that come to mind when studying the provisions within the Constitution of Zimbabwe, notwithstanding Mugabe’s habit of applying changes - in retrospect - to protect himself and his fractious party.
People are probably not aware that Section 30 of Chapter 4 headed “Executive” gives provision to protect the President from prosecution.
That section reads:
“(1) The President shall not, while in office, be personally liable to any civil or criminal proceedings whatsoever in any court.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1), it shall be lawful to institute civil or criminal proceedings against a person after he has ceased to be President, in respect of –
(a) things done or omitted to be done by him before he became President; or
(b) things done or omitted to be done by him in his personal capacity during his term of office as President;
and, notwithstanding any provision contained in any law relating to prescription or to the limitation of actions, the running of prescription in relation to any debt or liability of the President, whether incurred or accrued before or during his term of office, shall be suspended during his term of office as President.”
Realistically, before Mugabe can be charged with any crime, or face any legal action in any court he has to be out of office.
But perhaps this is one of the things that motivates him in his desperation to remain in office.
Having read, yesterday, of the plan that Mugabe and his party have of banning the MDC, rendering them illegal - along with other political parties in Zimbabwe, except ZANU PF - I got to thinking about the other legal questions concerning this sort of thought process and intended action.
Which brought to mind the crime of ’sedition’.
“In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organisation, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.” (Wikipedia)
One would be forgiven in making the assumption that Mugabe is now protected by the provision of the Constitution, but I do believe that the crimes he is responsible for, by either commission or omission, mean that the Constitutional protection falls away, given that the crimes are against the people of Zimbabwe - the very people he swore to serve.
His Constitutional immunity has to have some ‘overflow’ mark, which he must have exceeded many times before today.
It would be ridiculous to assume that the Constitution allows him to act without any threat of punitive action. The office of President cannot provide solace to a criminal, and should not be allowed to be used as a shield.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe, even as it stands right now, is the document which provides the backbone to the legality of life in Zimbabwe. It cannot be used as a weapon on the population of Zimbabwe, and then as protection when applied to the actions of the incumbent President.
Perhaps this is yet another reason why Mugabe does not like the idea of the Constitution being rewritten.
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man
Read more: http://mandebvhu.instablogs.com/entry/mugabe-protected-by-constitution/#ixzz17m7wD0Jq
Dear Family and Friends,
Christmas in Zimbabwe is a sumptuous extravaganza of peaches and
plums, litchis and apricots. It’s the time of flying ants and flame
lilies, of dark purple skies and vivid, searing streaks of lightning
crackling in the air. This year Christmas is coming with some of the
most violent and torrential rain storms we have ever seen, with strong
winds, hail and sheets of water covering the ground in minutes. It’s
a frantic money raising time of year though, and almost as soon as
each rain storm subsides the vendors emerge from cover and get back to
business. All along the roads women and children sit displaying piles
of tomatoes and bowls and buckets filled to overflowing with wild
fruits, running out with their wares whenever a vehicle slows down.
In between the vendors and all along our highways there is a very high
police presence. Sometimes its road blocks with drums, signs and
cones, other times it’s a couple of police on a motorbike waving
vehicles down; or a pair of police on foot standing in a lay-by who
risk their lives and yours as they just step out into the road and
signal for you to stop when you are on the open road travelling at 120
kilometres an hour. In the busiest locations in towns roadblocks have
sprung up in the last few weeks with police accompanied by ZBC radio
licence inspectors who are fining drivers and making motorists buy a
full 12 month licence which is only valid till the end of the year and
expires in two weeks time. None are immune from this Christmas revenue
It’s the time of year when prices go up, almost overnight, as shop
owners anticipate more customers and increased sales. It’s the time
of year when everyone expects a Christmas bonus; a 13th cheque which
is unaffordable and crippling for most employers whose businesses are
struggling to stay open but it’s a payment nonetheless that most
employees here have come to regard as their right.
This is the time of year when you see people trying to sell the
strangest of things. This week two men outside a supermarket were
selling what looked like mini tennis racquets but which had a
criss-crossed wire gauze in them. “Mosquito swatters” they told me
when I stopped for a second, a confused look on my face. Stranger
still where the 20 kg bags of seed maize being sold in what used to
Zimbabwe’s busiest book shop and stationery outlet. A shop with
branches around the country whose slogan is: ‘Leading stationers to
the nation,’ but which now stands almost empty stocking only a few
political memoirs by Zanu PF figures, a meagre selection of stationery
and of course the seed maize!
Christmas in Zimbabwe is also the time of year when Zanu PF hold their
annual congress and the rhetoric is flowing fast and furious, feeding
feverishly on each new Wikileaks disclosure. The talk is of traitors
and plots, of plans for regime change and at the hidden agendas of
foreigners from the west. Fingers are being pointed, accusations are
being made and we are being warned that Zimbabwe “will not brook any
This rhetoric aside, Zimbabwe is approaching Christmas 2010 with a
growing sense of trepidation and unease. The warnings of what lies
ahead for us in coming months as we hold elections, are growing louder
by the day. We are listening, watching and again looking over our
shoulders while we try to inhale the magnificence of December in
Zimbabwe. Until next time, thanks for reading and for the wonderful
response to my new book, love cathy 11th December 2010.
Copyright � Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com
Saturday 11 December 2010
8 June 2002
Readers may remember the story of Tom Bayley, an 88-year-old Zimbabwean
farmer whom this magazine interviewed in mid-April. He was then sitting in
the living-room of his homestead at Masowe, near Harare, where he had been
under siege by Robert Mugabe's thugs for more than a month. With tears
running down his cheeks, the old man explained that he had come to Rhodesia
in 1930, and bought his first small plot of land for £5. He described how he
had built up the farm, to the point where he had generally been able to
expect a thousand tons of maize every year. This year, though, there will be
no harvest at the Bayleys' farm.
After 35 days in which neither he nor his wife was able to leave their
house, Tom Bayley has died, bullied to death by a dozen or so malodorous
'war veterans'. They illegally invaded his property, and illegally prevented
the visits of their children. They ate the seedcorn, butchered the cattle,
and kept up a nightly barrage of threats and taunts. One day in May the old
white farmer fell, broke his hip, and died from complications in hospital.
When he spoke to this magazine, he described the last years of his life as a
'torture'. He felt cast adrift, abandoned by Britain. As for the Zimbabwean
police, it was clear that they actively connived with the brigands. They
wanted the Bayleys off the land, thought to have been earmarked for an
important member of the Mugabe regime, and they did no more to help Mr
Bayley than they helped Charles Anderson, who became, on Sunday, the twelfth
white farmer to be killed by the mobs.
After two years of pogroms, Mr Mugabe has now succeeded in expelling 3,000
white farmers from the land they cultivated. All the rest are in theory due
to leave by 10 August, or else face a two-year sentence in prison. It would
be naive, of course, to think that it is only whites who have suffered. A
total of 800,000 black workers have also lost their livelihoods; and since
the land has been given over to a total of 560,000 invaders, there has been
a substantial net loss of employment for black workers, too. The damage to
the Zimbabwean economy has been incalculable. This was once among the most
robust economies in Africa. It is now on the brink of starvation, with six
million in need of food aid. In the space of the last two weeks, the
Zimbabwean dollar has depreciated from 250 to the US dollar, to 500.
It is not just the chaos and bloodshed that should make us angry. It is the
seeming indifference of the British government, and of the media. Britain
has just celebrated 50 years of the Queen's rule; indeed, the Jubilee has
gone stunningly well, a devastating rebuke to the republicans. What we seem
to have forgotten, in this jovial orgy of self-congratulation, is that there
are British people, with British passports, who are being killed and driven
from their farms in what was a British colony. Why is it that we were
prepared to spend three months bombing Serbia and Kosovo on behalf of the
Kosovo Liberation Army, which now turns out to have links with the al-Qa'eda
network, when we do absolutely nothing to help people like Tom Bayley? There
are supposed to be some EU sanctions in place against Mugabe. They are a
joke. With the explicit knowledge and connivance of the British government,
Mugabe's chief of police, Mr Augustine Chihuri, was allowed recently to
attend a meeting of Interpol in Lyons. What price the travel ban on senior
members of the Mugabe regime? Where was the outrage from Jack Straw? Chihuri
is a man whose corrupt and sniggering police have overseen the robbery and
murder of white farmers, and he is waved through by the French without a
blink, and shown to his table in the restaurants of Lyons.
It is arrant nonsense to say that Britain can do nothing. It remains true
now, as it was in the 1970s, that the Zimbabwean economy is dependent on
South Africa. If he so chose, Thabo Mbeki could pull the plug on Mugabe
overnight, just as John Vorster eventually pulled the plug on Ian Smith.
Britain is the single biggest investor in South Africa, and remains hugely
influential. And yet we are doing nothing to put pressure on Mbeki to end
the madness north of the Limpopo.
South Africa must be made to see that it was not enough to suspend Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth; and that the agricultural catastrophe in Zimbabwe is
affecting the whole of southern Africa. This month Mbeki will be at the G8
summit in Canada, holding out the begging bowl for the New Project for
African Development. He should not get a penny until he shows a firmer
resolve in dealing with the election-stealing thuggery of Mugabe.
The reason so much of black Africa is a disaster is nothing to do with
colonialism, or droughts. The trouble is the despotic behaviour of Africa's
rulers. It suits Mbeki, and it suits Blair, quietly to forget about the
horrors of Zimbabwe. They must not be forgotten.