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Defiant Mugabe vows to stay on

Sunday, 11 December 2011 10:33

Faith Zaba/Dumisani Sibanda

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has hardened his stance saying he will not retire
until after what his Zanu PF party calls “illegal sanctions” are lifted.
Mugabe told the Zanu PF national conference in Bulawayo, after he was
endorsed as the party’s presidential candidate in elections anticipated next
year, that retiring now when the country was still under “sanctions” would
be a sign of cowardice on his part.

In a passionate plea to his supporters, Mugabe said he would not dump them
now when there is still a dysfunctional inclusive government, which he said
must be buried soon in an election his party wants early next year without

“Sometimes there have been calls that I must retire but as long as there is
still a lot of work to be done …I cannot leave you on your own in the
deep-end,” he said.

Referring to the targeted sanctions, Mugabe said: “I cannot say I am now on
the shore that would be a demonstration of loss of confidence in myself and
an act of complete cowardice. I am not a coward,” he said.

“I am lucky God has given me the longer life than others to be with you, I
cannot let you down. I cannot dump you now.” Mugabe said this as several
senior Zanu PF officials have informally said Mugabe must retire now because
he was now a liability to the party.

This was revealed in the WikiLeaks cables, which revealed that the late
Vice-President Joseph Msika, the late Eddison Zvobgo, the late retired army
commander General Solomon Mujuru, Vice-President John Nkomo, Indigenisation
minister Saviour Kasukuwere, former information minister Jonathan Moyo and
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, among other senior officials, wanted
Mugabe to go.

Mugabe said there was need  to do away with the inclusive  government by
having elections next year as some ministers from the two MDC formations
were frustrating development initiatives like the US$40 million fund for
distressed companies in Bulawayo.

“This is why we say this creature, this inclusive governmental animal must
now see its death.   We must dig its grave.  Let us now start preparing for
elections, as we do that we are digging the grave of this monster,” he said.

“The grave must not only be six foot, it must be six foot times 10, deeper,
deeper, deeper and deeper, never again to come back.”

Zanu PF threatens NGOs

As part of the resolutions, Zanu PF agreed to have primary elections where
imposition of candidates is prohibited. The conference also resolved to
de-register non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are found guilty of
interfering with the country’s internal affairs.

According to a central committee report, Zanu PF says about 250 NGOs are
operating in Zimbabwe, with many of them working to remove President Robert

Another resolution was that the government should come up with a regulatory
framework to protect privacy of people and national security.
The Zanu PF administration has been using draconian pieces of legislation to
muzzle the media.

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Chief slaps fine on PM Tsvangirai

Sunday, 11 December 2011 10:38


A traditional chief has fined Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for flouting
traditional customs by allegedly marrying businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga
Tembo in November, a taboo under Shona customs.

Chiweshe’s Chief Negomo, Luscious Chitsinde, yesterday passed a default
judgement against Tsvangirai who snubbed the proceedings saying they were
illegal and invalid.

“Our hearing went on well, despite the Prime Minister’s decision to
disrespect the court by absconding,” Negomo’s assessor Retired Major Cairo
Mhandu said.

Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party maintain that he paid damages to the
Karimatsenga family on November 18 after Locadia indicated she was pregnant.
The Karimatsengas insist he paid lobola.

“Chief Negomo, with the help of his assessor, found the Prime Minister
guilty and ordered him to pay two cattle, two sheep and a 10-metre white
cloth,” Mhandu said.

“His in-laws were ordered to pay two cattle, two sheep and a goat because
they agreed to receive his money during a sacred month. “We gave him 30 days
to pay and if he doesn’t, we will send debt collectors after him and attach
whatever we can.”

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said Tsvangirai would not pay
the fine. “The Prime Minister did not attend because we do not recognise the
jurisdiction of that chief,” Mwonzora said.

“This is a mere political enterprise being spearheaded by Zanu PF and what I
can say is that Chief Negomo is not going to get any cattle or any of the
things he has asked for.”

Mwonzora said Tsvangirai could have sent his nephew out of courtesy.
Tsvangirai’s lawyer Selby Hwacha yesterday maintained the proceedings were

“A nullity is a nullity,” he said. “We have explained before that this is a
nullity and it remains a nullity. You cannot put something on nothing.”
Hwacha last week wrote to Chitsinde advising him that their client will not
appear before him, arguing the process was illegal.

“From a legal point, Tsvangirai will not appear before your court because
the entire process is manifestly illegal and void,” the lawyer said in
response to the chief’s summons. “It appears to us that you have not read
and or that you do not understand the law, province and your limits as a
traditional Chief.”

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Ncube’s MDC faction good as dead — say analysts

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:16

The MDC formation led by Professor Welshman Ncube was once touted as
kingmakers in Zimbabwe’s polarised political environment, but analysts
believe the party is increasingly becoming irrelevant due to splits and
continued defections of senior party officials.

Recently, five legislators reportedly ditched Ncube’s faction joining the
one loyal to Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. The move came hardly a
day after at least 20 Zanu PF and MDC-T legislators walked out of Parliament
protesting against Ncube’s expulsion of Deputy Speaker Nomalanga Khumalo
from MDC.

Khumalo has since been named Mutambara’s deputy. Other legislators who
defected are Tsholotsho South MP, Maxwell Dube, Gwanda North’s Thandeko
Mnkandla, Umzingwane Senator Dalimuzi Khumalo and Lupane Senator Dalimuzi

Political analyst Charles Mangongera believes the latest defections mark the
political demise of the Ncube formation as it no longer commands significant
support in Parliament and Matabeleland region where the party used to have
pockets of followers.

“All these defections will further disillusion the small portion of
Matabeleland which still supports the faction,” said Mangongera.  “The Ncube
formation is only in existence at the present moment because elections are
still to be held. The next elections will seal their fate.”

Mangongera said the MDC does not enjoy the status of Kingmaker anymore as
the formation no longer holds the balance of power in Parliament.
“We have not seen the Ncube faction playing the balancing act,” he said.

Defections are nothing  but farce

Social commentator and economic rights activist, Hopewell Gumbo said the
defections were nothing to write home about. Gumbo said unless the coalition
government was extended, both the Ncube and Mutambara factions could
disappear from the mainstream political scene.

“After the elections, these two factions may continue to exist, but they
will only be able to waffle from the shadows and sidelines,” he said.
Political Scientist Dr Ibbo Mandaza said it was difficult to tell whether
Ncube’s formation would survive beyond elections, as indications on the
ground were that polls are still far from being held.

“What is clear is that the defections exacerbates divisions within the
formation and suggest that the party will struggle to remain relevant,” he
Mandaza however said Mutambara should not think that the defections have
given him a political lifeline as the courts were still to decide on his

Professor Ncube’s MDC formation have applied to the High Court to have
Mutambara barred from masquerading as its president. Repeated efforts to get
a comment from Ncube were fruitless.

But MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi insisted that the Ncube
formation was still intact. “The MDC is a serious political party working
day and night to address bread and butter issues for the people of Zimbabwe.
We have some serious business to pursue than to worry about a group of
ambitious, greedy and power-hungry individuals.”

Chihwayi said the purported defections had no effect on the party programmes
which were going ahead in readiness for possible elections next year.
“We are still Kingmakers because the MDC is still in government where the
party is influencing policy and development,” he said.

On the issue of the Deputy Speaker, he alleged that Khumalo expelled herself
from the party as she was no longer active in MDC after failing to attend
executive meetings, including programmes in her own Umzingwane constituency.
Khumalo however told journalists that she left the party on her own.


In Zimbabwe’s hung parliament, the MDC was supposed to have the sway votes
with the 10 seats it won in the House of Assembly in the 2008 elections.

However, the formation expelled three MP’s: Abednico Bhebhe of Nkayi South,
Njabuliso Mguni of Lupane East and Norman Mpofu of Bulilima East, accusing
them of allegedly bringing the party into disrepute.

With the latest defections, the Ncube faction  is now left with three
elected senators and three house of assembly members, with the remaining MDC
legislators including Ncube and secretary-general, Priscilla
Misihairambwi-Mushonga being unelected representatives.

There are currently four MDCs in the country. There is MDC-T led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Ncube’s MDC and MDC99 led by Job Sikhala and
Mutambara’s breakaway MDC.

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Clampdown on media not govt policy: Minister

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:15

But Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Murisi Zwizwai says
it was not government policy to clampdown on the media as the GPA clearly
seeks to create media freedom and protect journalists.

“It is regrettable that elements in the inclusive government have embarked
on a total negation of that cause by targeting journalists,” he said. “We
fully support media freedom and urge journalists not to be deterred by these
retrogressive forces. God and people of Zimbabwe are on their side.”

Political analyst and director of  Media Centre Zimbabwe Ernest Mudzengi
argues that the inclusive government never brought freedom of the media as
attacks continued notwithstanding its coming into being amid much

“The fact of the matter is that the government is under the control of those
who are inimical to freedoms of expression and the media. It is not
necessarily a case of being in election mode, but a case of thriving on
dictatorship,” he said.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Abel Chikomo said no
democracy can survive without a vibrant independent media and freedom of

“The media should not be deterred by these attacks which are meant to stifle
dissent and ensure that people remain ignorant of critical issues,” said
Chikomo. “The judiciary should also play its part and avoid being influenced
by the wishes of the political elite.”

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights executive director Irene Petras said media
reforms outlined in the GPA were not being implemented due to sharp
differences among the coalition partners.

“Unless political parties agree that media reforms are critical for the
democratisation process, then the profession will continue to be in
 trouble,” she said.
But Petras believes that the new crackdown provides an opportunity for
stakeholders to renew their energy and push for genuine reforms of the

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Elections hype worsens media onslaught worsens

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:13

MEDIA reforms promised under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) appear to
have  fizzled out with analysts and civic groups warning that journalists
should brace themselves for more attacks as the country enters into an
election mode.

The signing of the GPA in 2008 and the subsequent formation of an inclusive
government in February 2009 brought optimism that finally the operating
environment would improve, but three years down the line, the media is still
under siege with the harassment of journalists increasing by day.

A number of media practitioners were arrested recently, among them Media
Monitoring Project co-ordinator, Andy Moyse, who was picked up by the police
last week.

Two of his Gwanda staffers, Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda, together
with MMPZ’s public information rights forum committee member, Gilbert
Mabusa,  are currently languishing in prison after they were arrested on
charges of holding an unsanctioned civic education meeting.

The arrests came hardly a week after Daily News editor, Stanley Gama and
reporter Xolisani Ncube, were picked up by the police. The Standard Editor
Nevanji Madanhire and reporter Nqaba Matshazi were also recently arrested on
charges of criminal defamation.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe national director,
Nhlahla Ngwenya said the renewed media crackdown should be viewed within the
context of the increasing talk of an election in the coming months.
Elections  have increasingly become notorious for an upsurge in gross
violations of human rights in the country.

Ngwenya said the strategy was to harass media practitioners and
organisations by selectively applying the country’s offensive media laws
with the aim of intimidating journalists to self-censor themselves,
especially on issues that expose the excesses of those in power.

“By harassing the media, those behind this strategy hope to block
unfavourable information from reaching the public domain,” Ngwenya said. He
said the sustainability of the newly licensed media organisations, which the
coalition government touts as one of evident achievements of their
reconstruction programme, will also not be guaranteed under the current
repressive media laws.

Obnoxious laws must go— MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa has always demanded a complete
overhaul of the country’s media legislative environment.
It has argued that for as long as the obnoxious laws such as criminal
defamation, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa),
Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA)
exist, media freedom will remain an illusion in the country.

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Zimbabwe urged to abolish death penalty

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:11

Amnesty International (AI) has said the adoption of a new Constitution
provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to significantly improve its own human
rights record and to align itself with the global trend towards abolishing
the death penalty.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting marking International Human Rights Day in
Harare last Friday, AI researcher Simeon Mawanza said more than 60 years
after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the trend
towards worldwide abolition of the death penalty was unmistakable.

He said although some steps have been taken since independence in 1980,
Zimbabwe remains in a minority of less than one third of countries in the
world that retain the death sentence in law or in practice

“Political leaders in Zimbabwe need to present effective means of managing
crime that do not endorse or contribute to further violence, continue the
cycle of violence, or create more misery through violence,” said Mawanza.

He said crime may be reduced through having better trained and equipped
police officers, eradicating poverty and improving education, among other

Mawanza urged political parties, civil society organisations and the general
public to deploy every effort that could lead to the abolition of the death
penalty in Zimbabwe.

He said the death penalty was a violation of the right to life and the right
not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
These rights recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
other international human rights instruments to which Zimbabwe is a state

Africa is largely free of executions, with only four of the 54 states known
to have carried out executions in 2009 being Botswana, Egypt, Libya and

Zimbabwe last carried out executions in 2005, but a number of people are
still on the death row. There are about 60 inmates on death penalty in the

AI, which is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, believes death
penalty as a crime prevention method does not offer a solution to the
problem of crime.

Scientific studies have shown that countries such as USA have retained
capital punishment but still experience high crime rates. Meanwhile,
ZimRights executive director Okay Machisa said as the country commemorated
International Human Rights Day on December 10, law enforcements agents
should stop harassing the country’s citizens.

He also called on political parties to respect each other and exercise peace
and tolerance.

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Madzore to spend Christmas, New Year in jail

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:09

RELATIVES of incarcerated MDC-T youth assembly chairperson Solomon Madzore
have expressed concern over his continued detention saying one would expect
that to happen to a convicted person.

Madzore, who is facing charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View in
May this year, has been in remand prison since the beginning of October.
Twenty others were released on bail since May although they too are yet to
be tried on murder charges. Madzore and seven others are still in prison and
will spend the Christmas and New Year holidays in jail.

High Court Judge Justice Maria Zimba Dube last week dismissed Madzore’s
second bail application, ruling that the defence’s evidence was compromised
and there were no changed circumstances that warranted his release.

Madzore’s lawyer, Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa and Mtisi Legal Practitioners
said he will this week appeal against the denial of bail to the Supreme
Court as his client is not a flight risk and is a good candidate for bail.

He said the defence had no complaints against prison officials regarding the
treatment of the suspects. Madzore’s earlier bid for freedom in October was
denied for fear he might abscond, prompting him to lodge a second bail
application offering to be confined to 24-hour house arrest until the matter
was finalised, as part of stringent bail conditions.

He also offered to surrender his vehicle’s registration book to the court
while his brother Paul and MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora  offered
US$5 000 surety each to secure his release.

He pleaded with the court to allow him to complete his studies at the
University of Zimbabwe but still lost the bid on grounds that these did not
constitute changed circumstances as Madzore knew about them when he made his
first bail application.

The judge agreed with the State that video evidence presented by Mwonzora to
strengthen Madzore’s case was doctored and could not add any value to the

The prosecution queried one incident which MDC said was recorded at a
Chitungwiza rally saying it was compromised as it showed October 5 as the
recording date yet the accused was already in jail.

Madzore and his fellow party members will next appear in court on January 9

’He was the sole breadwinner’

Family spokesperson, MP for Glen View Paul Madzore said the continued
incarceration of Solomon (pictured) has caused untold suffering to the
family, friends and relatives

“As a family, we are very disturbed by his continued detention, especially
considering that the person he was arrested with was granted bail,” said
Paul, who is a brother to Solomon.

“It is even more painful as we as a family remember very well that on the
day he is alleged to have committed the crime, Solo was with his wife who
had a miscarriage.”

He added: “He is also a person of sober habits and does not go to bars so it
is shocking to hear that he was at a bar on a day when his wife needed him
by her side.”

Paul said his brother’s family — including the wife and two sons — are now
living on donations from family, friends and the party since Madzore was the
sole breadwinner.

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Bulawayo engages private firm to collect refuse

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:07

BULAWAYO — The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has engaged a private company,
Waste Management Services, to assist in refuse collection as the local
authority battles to clear piling garbage.

Two weeks ago, residents who said they feared an outbreak of diseases, were
up in arms against the council accusing it of failing to collect refuse that
has been piling up for months.

The absence of refuse bins had also resulted in residents dumping their
garbage at almost every open space. According to the latest council report,
Waste Management Services (WMS), which has been awarded a 12-month contract,
would concentrate of refuse collection in the city’s eastern areas.

“Waste Management Services would be given eastern areas to collect refuse
and council will concentrate on high-density suburbs and all commercial and
industrial areas including the central business district (CBD),” states the

“It has been agreed that the tenure of the contract awarded to Waste
Management Services be 12 months, instead of six months, so as to allow the
contractor to recoup.”

Most suburbs in Bulawayo are littered with illegal dumpsites because of
council’s failure to collect refuse frequently. Currently, refuse collection
is done fortnightly in eastern areas and once in every month in the western

The engagement of WMS will also see refuse collection in western areas being
done fortnightly. The company will also supply the local authority with
plastic bins to every household.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has in the past expressed concern
over the random garbage disposal in Bulawayo by residents saying it was
causing a serious threat to human health.

Refuse collection and maintenance came to a halt in 2008 during the country’s
economic meltdown. The situation was compounded by the central government’s
failure to approve the council’s supplementary budgets.

In 2008 and 2009, the country experienced a cholera outbreak which was
exacerbated by dumped refuse and poor water reticulation system in most

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Khama, Mugabe mend relations

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:03

BULAWAYO — Botswana President Ian Khama, an arch-critic of President Robert
Mugabe, could be working on normalising relations with the octogenarian
leader after he sent a delegation from his party  to “offer solidarity
support” to Zanu PF at the just ended annual conference.

Khama, who has openly clashed with Mugabe in the past, sent a delegation
from his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to attend the Zanu PF conference.
BDP secretary-general Thabo Fanu Masalila heaped praise on Mugabe urging
Zanu PF members to back the ageing leader.

“You should consider yourselves blessed to have leadership that has such
wisdom,” he said. On the controversial indigenisation and empowerment drive
being spearheaded by Zanu PF, Masalila said the stance taken by Zimbabwe
should be emulated by other countries on the continent.

“It is important to reflect on how indigenisation can help to propel us
forward. As Africans, our greatest resource is our land. This is one
commodity that we have to guard,” said Masalila.

Observers said it was an indication that Khama, who faces accusations of
dictatorial rule in his country, wants to normalise relations with his
Zimbabwean counterpart.

Relations between Botswana and Zimbabwe have been sour due to Khama’s
outspoken criticism of Mugabe. Khama was once quoted by the whistleblower
website, WikiLeaks, poking fun on Mugabe telling Western diplomats that
during a Sadc summit “Mugabe started dozing off as the hours passed, head
nodding and eyes half-closed”, but was always able to respond at the right

Botswana was the only Southern African Development Community Development
(Sadc) country that asked the regional body to confront Mugabe head-on by
completely isolating him by closing their borders.

But Khama made the first move to normalise relations with Mugabe last
October when he appeared in South Africa with President Jacob Zuma and
called for the lifting of sanctions.

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Copac outreach condemned

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:01

SEVERAL civil society organisations last week condemned the
constitution-making outreach programme saying it was marred by violence and
a tense atmosphere that obstructed citizens from giving their views freely.

This, they said, had a large bearing on the final outcome of the programme.
Speaking at the launch of the report titled, Final Report, Shadowing the
Constitution Outreach Process last week, Zimbabwe Election Support Network
(Zesn) national director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said people failed to express
themselves because of fear.
“The environment was tense and people could not openly speak their views,”
said Chipfunde-Vava. “The outreach was also disturbed by logistical

The report was compiled by Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), Zimbabwe Election
Support Network (Zesn) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
In some parts of the country, says the report, the political atmosphere was
so tense that members of constitution select committee (Copac) were chased
away when they wanted to hold meetings.

“In Mashonaland West province Copac meetings were conducted in a tense
atmosphere. According to the report, observers reported incidents in which
some Copac teams were chased away by residents stating that they did not
need a new constitution.”
The report noted that there was limited participation at Copac meetings and
there was evidence of “coaching” on thematic talking points.

“The extent of disruption was too great to ignore and the meeting had to be
postponed to later dates, in view of inter-party political violence between
the two main rival parties, Zanu PF and MDC-T and at times party slogans
were chanted before the arrival of Copac teams,” says the report.
In places such as Harare, the meetings were sometimes characterised by
intimidation, violence, verbal threats, whistling and booing of participants
presenting different views and singing of revolutionary songs which
disrupted proceedings.

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Chiyangwa re-admission turned down

Sunday, 11 December 2011 10:50

IN yet another twist in Harare businessman Philip Chiyangwa’s comeback bid,
Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo revealed last week that the
former Mashonaland West chairman cannot be re-admitted into the party after
the expiry of his five-year suspension as he has not applied for

In the central committee report tabled at the just-ended Zanu PF national
conference in Bulawayo, Moyo said the national disciplinary committee (NDC)
discovered that Chiyangwa never applied for re-admission while deliberating
on his case on August 29 2011 and November 2 2011.

Moyo chairs the five-member disciplinary committee, whose other members are
secretary for security, Sydney Sekeramayi, secretary for legal affairs
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri and secretary for
education Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

Chiyangwa, who faced espionage charges in 2004, but was cleared by the High
Court in 2005, was expelled from the party on March 20 2006.
According to the party’s constitution, a member expelled by the national
disciplinary committee or congress, shall not be re-admitted into the party
until after five years have lapsed.

“The NDC, in its perusal of Cde P Chiyangwa’s record, did not find any
letter of application for re-admission from him directed to the secretary
for administration, Cde DNE Mutasa or the chairman of the national
disciplinary committee bearing a date after the expiry of his expulsion on
March 20 2006,”  Moyo said.

“The NDC concluded the matter by advising the 250th ordinary session of the
politburo that it cannot do anything until it receives Cde P Chiyangwa’s
application letter, if he so applies.”

The matter was discussed at a politburo meeting last month, where some
members put up a spirited fight to fast-track his re-admission into party

Chiyangwa, who could not be reached for comment last week as his mobile went
unanswered, had announced his intention to contest the Mashonaland West
provincial chairmanship at a party he held in October.

However, President Robert Mu-gabe scuttled his bid to contest the elections,
arguing that the businessman was still a “security threat” because of the
espionage case.

It was resolved at that meeting that Chiyangwa would only be re-admitted as
an ordinary member of the party, when he applies.


Chiyangwa, whose role in the succession battle was prominent before the 2004
congress, was accused of selling information to foreign governments, mainly
South Africa.

He was arrested with four others and detained incommunicado for weeks in the
run-up to the explosive Zanu PF congress in 2004. Chiyangwa was arrested
along with former Metropolitan Bank corporate secretary Tendai Matambanadzo,
former Zanu PF deputy director for security Kenny Karidza, the party’s
external affairs director Itai Mahachi and former ambassador-designate to
Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo on charges of contravening the Official Secrets

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Govt unfazed, to continue selling Marange diamonds

Saturday, 10 December 2011 16:24


GOVERNMENT says it would go ahead selling diamonds from Marange despite
reservations by a De Beers retail firm on the quality of the gems.
Forevermark, a De Beers diamond retail arm, recently said that Marange
diamonds are of inferior quality and are too small.

Mines and Mining Development permanent secretary Prince Mupazviriho last
week said the De Beers subsidiary had the liberty to buy whichever diamonds
they wanted as that was within their choice.

“When buying anything you select what you want. That (Forevermark’s claims)
does not mean we cannot sell our diamonds,” said Mupazviriho.
“First and foremost they are competitors. They have been there for quite
some time. Every citizen in Zimbabwe knows that the country has diamonds and
expects to benefit from them, so we will sell them as they (Forevermark) are
not the only buyers.”

Government’s latest response comes against the recent withdrawal of Global
Witness from the KP Certification process citing corruption and the
continued abetting of human rights violations by the diamond trade watchdog.

This came after KP last month gave Zimbabwe the nod to sell gems from
Marange following months of intensive lobbying by the country which felt it
had met the minimum standards required by the international body.

Zimbabwe desperately needs money from diamonds to help rebuild the country
in the absence of lines of credit from international financial institutions
due to its inability to service debts.

This year, the country received US$122 million in diamond receipts. Next
year, diamond revenue would contribute US$600 million to the total budget.
Government’s spat with De Beers has been ongoing after Mines and Mining
Development minister Obert Mpofu accused the company of fleecing the country’s
wealth by allegedly mining for years without remitting any payment to

However, De Beers has maintained that all their activities were above board.

Diamonds from the Marange area have stirred controversy over the years, as
human rights groups have accused the military of gross abuse of human rights
within the area.

MDC-T deputy secretary for mines and expert in the diamond sorting industry,
Pearson Mungofa, said that there was need for government to add value to the
quality of diamonds emanating from the area through investing in processing
and skills.
“Government must take this issue seriously because this (development) has
the potential to deprive the country of the much needed revenue,” said

“The Namibian and Botswana governments have invested heavily in diamond
processing as the final product that they sell on the market is of high
quality, why can’t we do the same?” he said.

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Zim needs debt relief: Report

Saturday, 10 December 2011 16:19


ZIMBABWE will at some point need comprehensive debt relief from the
international community as it faces an unsustainable debt situation,
according to a report released recently. The country is not eligible for
debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

The report, Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and Multilateral Debt
Relief Initiative (MDRI) — Status of Implementation and Proposals for the
Future of the HIPC Initiative, was done by the International Development
Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
IDA is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, according to its website.

The report said preliminary assessment, based on incomplete data, suggests
that Zimbabwe may have met the end-2004 indebtedness criterion, albeit by a
small margin.

It said Zimbabwe was not included in the list of potentially eligible
countries in 2006 because it was ineligible to access funds under the IMF’s
Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PGRF) due to its arrears and that it was
not an IDA only country.

Zimbabwe owes IMF over US$55 million under the Poverty Reduction and Growth

IDA only countries are those where non-concessional borrowing with the
International Development Assistance applies.
“For the Fund, this means that, should Zimbabwe’s PRGT-eligibility be
re-instated following the resolution of its arrears to the PRGT, it could be
added to the list of countries potentially eligible for HIPC Initiative
assistance, if the assessment against the indebtedness criterion were to be
confirmed,” the report said.

“For the World Bank, the HIPC Initiative income criterion is bound by the
end-2004 cut-off, i.e any change in a country’s IDA status post-2004 is not
a relevant consideration.”

It said that because of the joint nature of the relief, for Zimbabwe to be
deemed eligible for HIPC Initiative relief, a modification of, or exception
to, IDA’s HIPC Initiative potential eligibility criteria would be required.

To qualify for debt relief under the HIPC Initiative, the report said,
Zimbabwe would need to build a track record of macroeconomic and structural
policy performance under IMF and World Bank-supported programmes, clear its
arrears to international financial institutions or have in place plans to
clear such arrears, and develop a poverty reduction strategy.

Zimbabwe’s debt has been termed unsustainable by a consultant up to 2029.

At the end of last year, Zimbabwe’s external debt was estimated at US$8,8
billion. Of that amount close to US$6 billion are in arrears. Arrears to the
World Bank and other multilaterals are almost at US$2 billion.

Despite promising to adopt a hybrid model that uses traditional methods and
resources pledging to clear the debt, Zimbabwe has not moved an inch,
mirroring the problems in the inclusive government where consultations can
take ages due to a polarised environment.

The delay in clearing the debt is coming at a huge cost to the country as it
cannot access lines of credit to help rebuild the economy devastated by a
decade of recession which was only halted with the creation of a unity
government in 2009.

For instance, there is US$93,1 million which has been escrowed since 2009 as
Zimbabwe still owes IMF.

The money was part of bail out given to countries to bolster their finances
after being devastated by the global financial crisis.
The World Bank is only providing technical assistance to Zimbabwe and has
said it would open lines of credit if the country cleared its arrears.

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Gold deliveries surge

Saturday, 10 December 2011 16:16

SMALL-scale gold producers have increased gold deliveries and now contribute
over 50% to total output, according to a recent report by the African
Development Bank (AfDB). In its monthly report for November, AfDB said that
the role of small-scale players in the gold sector in Zimbabwe is becoming
more pronounced in the mining industry.

There has been a noticeable increase in small-scale activity in gold
production since the beginning of the third quarter, it said.
“The total gold deliveries from the small-scale players increased from
126,5kg in June 2011 to 388,1kg in October 2011,” it said.
“There was also a noticeable increase between September and October 2011, as
gold deliveries by the small-scale players increased by 49% from 260,1kg in

However, AfDB noted that the increase in deliveries in October occurred at a
time when deliveries from the primary producers were shrinking compared to

“Gold deliveries from the primary producers fell by 11 percent in October to
770,2 kg,” it said.
Primary producers are facing constraints, notably power cuts and under

They are still to get money from the central bank for gold delivered three
years ago.

The country’s gold producers are operating at 44% capacity at a time gold
prices have been buoyant on the commodities markets.
Gold is contributing a significant part in export receipts and generated
US$334,2 million in 2010. The receipts are projected to double to around
US$627 million this year.

In 2013, gold is expected to generate US$823 million.

Production volume increased by 93,7% to 9 620 tonnes in 2010.

In 2011, production is projected to increase to 13 000 tonnes. Despite the
firming world prices, the Chamber of Mines say the sector requires
recapitalisation and estimates that it needs US$2,31 billion to recover and
grow in the next five years.

With that huge capital injection, the chamber estimates that would quadruple
to 50 000kg in 2016.

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Pledge to boost human capacities

Saturday, 10 December 2011 16:15

A South African university has pledged to help in building the human
capacities in Zimbabwe, a country whose human resources base has been
seriously affected by the brain drain. The South African business school,
Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), has entered a partnership with
Mandel Training Centre to provide management programmes that would close the
leadership capacity gap in the country’s economy.

The pledge comes as Zimbabwe is trying to build human capacity base after
thousands of professionals fled to neighbouring countries in 2007 to 2008 in
search of greener pastures.

Simon Tankard, director executive (education) at Gibs told graduands last
week that organisations have to upgrade their capacities in order to survive
in the tough environment.

Gibs partnership with Mandel Training Centre has been running since 2009 to
train managers in the country adapt to the new challenges facing the world.
“We want to help develop the leadership skills and capability, the knowledge
of the organisation of the public, private sector and NGOs and we see
already the positive impact this has made,” he said.

“At Gibs, we have come a long way in a relatively short space of time. We
are confident that working with you in partnership in Zimbabwe, we will
deliver our commitment that we made two years ago.”

Tankard said the challenges being faced are enormous as “the world is
increasingly interconnected and there is a great realisation that we all
need to collaborate to work together as individuals, organisations and
countries particularly in southern Africa in order to benefit our
stakeholders to be able to compete on a level footing”.

A total 41 graduated last week after completing the Executive Development
Programme. The first group completed the course last year and the remainder
in 2011.

Tankard said Gibs plans to increase the number of programmes it runs with

The two organisations would co-host the Mandel/Gibs 2012 Economic Outlook
Symposium on February 3 2012 at the Celebration Centre in Harare.

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Demise of dictators shows people power unconquerable

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:51

When revolutions draw nigh, panic grips those that may be in power, but they
project counterfeit public bravado in a move to frustrate their foes while
at most, they threaten civilians with death.

“We will crush them, kill the rats, deal severely with agents of
imperialism,” such rhetoric has been common, particularly in Africa
including Zimbabwe.
Dictators hang on to power at the cost of civilian lives, mostly fearing
prosecution for genocidal atrocities committed against their own people.

1984, a dystopian novel by the English writer, George Orwell, details a
story focusing on Winston Smith’s life, the writer’s vision of a
totalitarian state, which wields absolute control over every action and
thought of its people through propaganda, constant surveillance and harsh

What Orwell alludes to is typical of most African regimes, others in South
America and the notorious North-Korea, which often bullies the
American-backed South-Korea.

Adolf Hitler tried to mould Germany and a large portion of the 20th century
Europe into his own twisted design, which he failed, but not before
destroying the lives of 17-million innocent souls, with his death still
shrouded in mystery after his fall from supremacy.

Idi Amin rose to become a brutal and utterly ruthless dictator who committed
heinous atrocities against his own people, but died in exile in Saudi Arabia
in 2003 following dissent in Uganda over his rule.

Joseph Stalin, one of the great tyrants of the 20th century, under whose
despotic rule 23-million people perished in the then Union Of Soviet
Socialist Republics, was in 1953 found in his room, lying on the carpet,
unconscious, his pyjama bottoms drenched in urine after he suffered a

Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, was quoted in the Russian media,
saying about her father: “He, out of the blue, opened his eyes and glared at
everybody inside the room. It was an awful look, crazy or maybe furious and
filled with fear of death... Then something incomprehensible and frightening
occurred — he suddenly raised his left hand as though he was pointing to
something above. The next instant, after a final effort, the spirit wrenched
itself free of the flesh.” He died.

Former Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi was dragged out of a sewer drain
where he hid close to Sirte, his hometown, begging for mercy from his
captors; promising them unimaginable riches in exchange for his dear life
before he was murdered.

The once feared Iraq leader, Saddam Hussein, was found groveling; hiding in
a hole close to his home-village in Iraq following charges he faced after he
murdered over 48 000 of his people for an alleged attempt on his life in

His capture showed him disheveled, docilely submitting to a medical
examination; with a doctor running his gloved hand through his hair while
sticking a tongue depressor in his mouth, — a disgusting sight.

Egypt’s ailing 82-year old former President Hosni Mubarak was in power for
almost 30 years until he was toppled in a wave of mass protests.
Ben Ali, former Tunisian President fled amid boiling protests against his
23-year rule and landed in Saudi Arabia.

Back home, after the 2008 March elections, President Robert Mugabe was
rumoured to have fled to Malaysia after sensing defeat in the so-called
first round of the plebiscite, reports of which were quashed by the state

Laurent Gbagbo, former Ivory Coast President, vowed not to step down,
reportedly taking advice from his counterpart, Mugabe and refused to
relinquish power to his foe, Alassane Quattara after he lost elections, but
was shamefully captured at his residence, cornered by French-backed local

This proves that people power is unconquerable. And dictators are the worst
cowards ever.


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Referendum is key to future

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:29

Political parties are interesting establishments because of how they are
overly concerned with accessing, gaining and retaining power. In advanced
societies, they ensure that they retain power through delivering political
goods; they are concerned with creating employment, facilitating economic
growth and guaranteeing liberty and freedoms for individuals.

The scenario is different in other societies, including ours, where power is
retained through social coercion and propaganda, manipulation of different
state arms along with downright violence against dissenting voices.

An interesting case has arisen again in Zimbabwe where the upcoming
referendum has been rendered insignificant as it threatens political
interests. If done in the spirit of achieving long-term national good, the
referendum can result in restraint on the corrupting privileges enjoyed
under the current set-up and as such it is unpopular among those that would
want the status quo to remain intact.

Secondly, the current political dispensation has created a political culture
where political negotiations and outcomes supersede the will of the people
expressed electorally or otherwise.

A simple trend analysis points towards possibilities of a constitution
negotiated along political lines. The fact that the constitution will
precede an election will intensify contestation as the political party whose
position gets popular approval in the referendum will likely hold the aces
going into an election.

If lessons are to be drawn from the 2000 referendum, people’s choices will
be determined more by their political parties’ preferred positions as
opposed to what the constitution guarantees them. The 2000 referendum,
arguably, became the first demonstration of negative public opinion for the
political monopoly that had existed since independence.

The current obsession with ultimate power by sections of the inclusive
government has made strategists, political commentators and opinion leaders
frame the next presidential election as the most important in
post-independence Zimbabwe.

Due to political contestation, the significance of the constitution-making
process as well as the referendum has been lost among ordinary citizens.
However, these two processes should lay the foundation not only for
short-term political processes but for creation of independent arms of the
state that sufficiently counter-balance each other.

The centrality of the constitution to long-term stability can be understood
in the context of how it will outlive the GPA and all its principals.
Societies famed for upholding individual freedoms have well-developed
institutions derived from people-centred constitutions and if Zimbabweans
aspire for those levels of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, the
constitution and referendum ought to be more important than presidential

There is little doubt that the current inclusive government has been able to
offer more political goods than previous governments hence calls for
elections represent nothing more than wishes for a winner-takes-all form of
government. In our context, a one-party government means tolerance for
corruption and governance malpractice in the name of patronage.

Any meaningful discussions on elections now should be on the referendum
because contrary to political posturing, the referendum should be the
election of the decade if Zimbabwe is to move towards more meaningful

The dialogue of elections is incomplete in that we are missing the fact that
the referendum is also an election that we should be wary of equally well or
even more considering that we are likely to record more voters than in the
other elections.

The referendum, to me, will define the political landscape. Depending on the
outcome of the referendum Zimbabwe is likely to enter a new dispensation.

As people opinionate over this negotiated constitution that will come our
way, opinions will once again be drawn along political lines.
I have proposed some scenarios to explain possible referendum outcomes.

The first is when the parties in the inclusive government will agree on the
draft and then the people of Zimbabwe will rally behind their political
leaders and support them by giving the needed “Yes” vote. This is arguably
the best scenario and easiest one if the parties are serious about wanting a
less contested presidential election and the transition we all need.

The second scenario is one where politicians agree but the civil society and
some sections of the society do not and likewise stage a campaign for a “No”

This will be interesting as political party leaders will try to silence
dissenting voices.This scenario is likely to be so if the political parties
want to reduce the document into a political settlement that does not in any
way reflect the needs of the people.

This third scenario is where the two parties continue to fight along part
positions.  This scenario is most likely if the political parties refuse to
divorce constitution-making from immediate political gains.

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Smear campaign on PM escalates

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:26

Charges brought against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai by a chief for
violating traditional values by reportedly marrying Locadia Karimatsenga
Tembo in November expose a hidden political hand in the PM’s marriage

Little known Chief Negomo, Luscious Chitsinde, shot to prominence last week
by summoning Tsvangirai to his court for the November timing of his marriage
considered taboo in Shona culture.

The ceremony took place in Christon Bank, which is outside his jurisdiction.
While Tsvangirai’s antics in the bedroom are morally reprehensible, the
chief’s interest in the matter exposes a grand plot to injure the premier’s
reputation irreparably by exploiting his apparent weakness for women.

Zanu PF is now determined to keep Tsvangirai’s sexual misadventures in the
public domain in a bid to achieve this ahead of elections provisionally
slated for next year — which they can’t win in a free and fair atmosphere.

Tsvangirai has been a pain in the Zanu PF neck for a long time, and after
failing to beat him at the ballot box, the party now sees an opportunity to
exploit his weakness.

The PM is now being painted not just as a promiscuous bed-hopper unfit to
lead the nation but as a leader who is ignorant of the nation’s traditional
norms and values.

So, Chief Negomo has been brought into the picture to buttress this view.
The truth of the matter is that the chief is just a pawn in a grand scheme
to debase Tsvangirai in the eyes of millions of his supporters who see in
him the best hope to replace the ageing President Robert Mugabe.

The chief’s antics, which have been fiercely contested by Tsvangirai’s
lawyers, are designed to humiliate the man who is determined to end Zanu PF’s

The decision by Tsvangirai to ignore the chief’s summons is right. By
appearing at the court, Tsvangirai would have played into the hands of Zanu
PF which is intensifying its attacks by demanding that he undergo a public
HIV test.

It is clear the party, blamed for turning once a breadbasket country into a
basket case, does not want this matter to die a natural death.

Quote of the week

"Dogs are even better than these people. A dog can understand better and
defend its territory than these people.” — War veterans’ leader Jabulani
Sibanda describing top Zanu PF politicians exposed by WikiLeaks as critical
of President Mugabe.

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Only new charter can guarantee free and fair poll

Sunday, 11 December 2011 11:23

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with Zanu PF’s endorsement of President
Robert Mugabe as their presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections.
It is their democratic right to do so!  If like-minded people form a club
and choose whoever they want to lead them so be it; it’s their business.

Many people in and outside Zanu PF are repulsed by the fact that Mugabe is
now an old man who might not have the vigour to lead the country out of the
quagmire it finds itself in.

At 88 next year, many would have expected the party to choose a younger
leader. Mugabe is also said to be not in the pink of health; another reason
why his detractors say he should make way for a younger leader.

But the fact that his party still sees value in him is good enough to
justify their choice. It is, as stated above, their democratic right. But
Zanu PF must surely have something up its sleeve! Analysts and observers are
scratching their heads as to why the party has taken the risk of putting
forward Mugabe as their candidate of choice when the odds are so ominously
staked against him.

He was outvoted in the presidential election of March 2008 and the ensuing
years have not shown any promise that his fortunes may have changed.
Instead, his health seems to have deteriorated if his trips to Asia are
anything to go by.

Zanu PF might be banking on the concurrently deteriorating fortunes of his
main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, whose reputation could have been mortally
wounded by his chaotic private life. The performance of his MDC party in
government has also left many wondering whether they are a viable
alternative to Zanu PF.

Be that as it may, the gamble Zanu PF has taken is huge and it must surely
be premised on some mischief. But what could this mischief be?
Zanu PF might want to pull out of the government of national unity (GNU) and
force an election before a new constitution is enacted. Indeed these are the
vibes we got from the conference that ended in Bulawayo yesterday.

President Mugabe, addressing delegates to the conference last week said:
“The GNU has become a drag on our nation. It must give way to an elected
administration that is free to govern unhindered, free to pursue definite
policies for the betterment of our people.

“It (the conference) must also make it very clear that Zanu PF reserves the
right to dissociate itself from a draft constitution which seeks to
undermine the cardinal goals of our national liberation struggle and our
national culture and values.”

But going to an election without a new charter would be to take us back to
the election scenarios of the past decade where intimidation, vote rigging
and the use of state apparatus to prop up the incumbent party were the order
of the day. A new constitution is meant to restore the people’s basic
freedoms whittled away in the three decades Zanu PF has been in power.

The Zanu PF game plan is becoming clearer by the day: close the democratic
space and deny the people their right to freely choose those they want to
govern them.

This is what they have been doing all along; see how the party has refused
to open up the airwaves, one of the prerequisites of the new dispensation
the global political agreement (GPA) sought to put in place. The recent
awarding of radio licences to two pro-Zanu PF establishments was the
clearest sign that the party wishes to subvert the cornerstones of the new

There are other GPA cornerstones that Zanu PF wishes to sabotage which
include a non-partisan election monitoring body. The Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, as it is constituted today, remains in the suffocating grip of
Zanu PF. Likewise, the Registrar-General’s office, which should provide an
accurate voters’ role, remains in the hands of Zanu PF party operatives who
have ensured that it remains as shambolic as ever, to enable vote

The security services sector remains unreformed; we have seen how this
sector has played an integral role in safeguarding Zanu PF’s hold on power
against the will of the people. Reports indicate that the army was at the
forefront of the electoral violence of June 2008, the police have been
openly partisan applying the law selectively in favour of the former ruling

Zanu PF has also chosen who observes the elections so the world doesn’t see
the charade which our elections have become. But most importantly, people
have not been given their right to vote in secrecy; often people have been
told to show their ballots to electoral officials before casting them.

This has influenced the way vulnerable people, particularly in rural and
farming communities, have voted. Many people have been made to believe Big
Brother watches how they vote.

If elections come next year, as Mugabe and some in his party wish, this is
the same atmosphere in which they will be held. Zanu PF is prepared to damn
the world as it has done before. It has ruled without legitimacy in the past
and it is ready to do so again.

The guarantors of the GPA, the Southern African Development Community and
the African Union, as usual, will be impotent in the face of this. The two
organisations never speak with one voice as demonstrated recently in the
Libyan uprising.

Although they professed to be seeking an African solution to the crisis some
countries were actively supporting the rebels; North Sudan provided the
National Transition Council with guns when the continental stance was that
there should be a negotiated settlement.

Zimbabweans should refuse to be herded like sheep into an election without a
new constitution. Any election that will be held without a new charter will
be a subversion of the will of the people as it will be violent, opaque and

Whoever leads Zanu PF into the next presidential election is not the issue;
the crux of the matter is that people are allowed to vote freely and in
secrecy for whomever they wish to be ruled by.

This cannot come to pass when the playing field has not been levelled and
still works in favour of a certain team. When the field has been levelled
and, if people vote for Zanu PF that’s fine, it’s their democratic right.


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