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Another deadlock hits COPAC draft

By Tichaona Sibanda
13 December 2012

There’s been another deadlock at the ongoing COPAC talks after the MDC
formations refused to re-negotiate issues they had agreed on as parties to
the GPA.

A highly placed source told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the management
committee working on the synchronization of the draft had come stuck on
issues to do with devolution, the national prosecuting authority, the truth
and reconciliation commission and the land commission.

‘The MDC formations stuck to their guns that they would not revisit issues
that they agreed to and signed as all parties on 18th July. They maintain
that would be taking the process backwards,’ the source said.

In an effort to break the logjam, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Eric Matinenga, who is chair of this committee, recommended that
they meet again on Monday.

Meanwhile the principals to the GPA have now accepted that the drafting of
the new constitution is a parliamenatry led process,’ the MDC-T spokeman
Douglas Mwonzora has said.

This follows threats by President Robert Mugabe two months ago to take
charge of the charter, during COPAC’ second All-Stakeholders conference in

Mugabe caused a stir when he declared that only the principals, and not MPs,
have power over the process.

He argued that the principals in the inclusive government had the final say
on the draft constitution as they were the ones who conceived the GPA that
resulted in the current constitution making process.

But Mwonzora, who is also the COPAC co-chair representing the MDC-T, said
all the principals wanted was to facilitate dialogue to find a breakthrough
to the deadlock that had stalled the process.

‘There was an impasse and the principals unlocked this by appointing a
leaner committee to work on the draft. When work on the charter is complete
we will simultaneously send the principals a report and to parliament a
draft of the constitution,’ Mwonzora said.

The Nyanga MP added that there are only two stages before the constitution
is finalised. The first stage is the presentation of the draft to
parliament, which they hope to do before the Christmas break. He warned that
this depended on parties finding a common ground on current discussions to
come out with a final draft.

‘After that, the state must advise us on the date of the referendum. The
sequence is report to parliament first, which will take just a day and then
have a referendum date.

‘As COPAC we will advocate for time between the declaration of the
referendum date and the actual day to allow for voter and civic education.
People must be conscientized on what the referendum is all about so that
they vote with their eyes open,’ he said.

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MDCs give in

Thursday, 13 December 2012 13:33

HARARE - MDC leaders Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry minister
Welshman Ncube have abandoned protests against President Robert Mugabe’s
takeover of the constitution-making process from an ever squabbling
parliamentary body.

Ncube was the last to yield to Mugabe’s grand plan to hijack the
constitution-making process from the legislature and the move effectively
means the three Principals will determine what goes into the final draft to
be taken to Parliament for rubber-stamping before a referendum is held.

Tsvangirai and Ncube had both claimed earlier that they would not join
Mugabe in his plan, but a Cabinet committee has since Monday been
steadfastly working to make wide-ranging changes to a draft seen whittling
down presidential powers, strengthening the role of Parliament, devolving
power and giving more civil liberties.

Ncube, who had earlier said his party will not allow further amendments to
the draft to be a “declaration of victory of dictatorship over the people of
Zimbabwe”, was forced by his party’s Standing Committee last week on Tuesday
to deploy Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga to join the Cabinet taskforce. The
taskforce is an organ of the Principals, which Ncube once said would
entrench dictatorship.

In a coordinated response to the climbdown, Ncube’s MDC issued an emollient
statement claiming that it was doing this “to participate in the process of
finding the best and quickest route to having a referendum”, and on the
understanding that the Cabinet committee is not a new body: “This (Cabinet)
committee is a continuation of work done by Copac.”

This new position flies in the face of public declarations made by Ncube in
a series of rallies in Bulawayo recently where he made it clear that his
party’s position was that the Principals should not take over the
constitutional parliamentary committee (Copac)’s mandate to produce a new

“We will not agree to Zanu PF’s attempts to change the contents of the
constitution, we will not allow them to replace what people want, with what
Zanu PF wants because all Zanu PF wants is to turn the national constitution
into a Zanu PF manifesto,” Ncube told a rally at Amakhandeni Public Hall on
November 18.

“A constitution of a country can never be a manifesto of a particular party
but an agreement by all citizens on how they wish to govern and to be
governed. We have invited the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement
to deal with Zanu PF who are now denying what they had signed and therefore
agreed to.”

But Ncube has now dispatched his proxy Misihairabwi-Mushonga to join the
seven-member Cabinet committee that is amending the draft, also comprising
minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga
as convenor and chairperson and two other Cabinet ministers, one from each
of the three GPA parties Patrick Chinamasa, and Tendai Biti; and the three
Copac co-chairs Douglas Mwonzora, Paul Mangwana and David Coltart, who has
been standing in for an ailing Edward Mkhosi.

In the smaller MDC faction’s standing committee meeting last week, members
are understood to have told Ncube that there was little to be gained by
boycotting the Cabinet taskforce. With Ncube vehemently opposed to the idea
and offended at his standing committee’s seeming capitulation to Mugabe’s
plan, Ncube restated his opposition but was forced to dispatch
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, according to sources.

Tsvangirai also made a dramatic volte face, agreeing to a compromise with
Mugabe that enables the 88-year-old leader to have his way even though he
has just earlier been pouring scorn on proposals to amend the draft, a move
that has met with widespread disapproval domestically and abroad.

Tsvangirai told a rally at Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera on November 17
that he will not countenance re-opening negotiations with Mugabe over the
draft saying the draft should head straight to Parliament in line with
Article VI of the Global Political Agreement.

“I cannot sit down with Mugabe to discuss the constitution. No, it should go
to Parliament not to Tsvangirai and Mugabe,” Tsvangirai said. But both
Tsvangirai and Ncube’s proxies have detoured the draft to the executive
instead of Parliament, and have been participating in processes to amend the

However, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson William Bango has said it does not matter
where the constitution goes from the stakeholders’ conference, given that
the Principals still retain the right to direct their legislators what to do
even if it was to go to Parliament first.

A confident and ebullient Zanu PF insists the process to amend the draft
should be sped up.

The Cabinet taskforce that has hijacked the draft from Parliament started
meeting on December 5, with the inaugural meeting attended by Matinenga,
Chinamasa, Mangwana, Biti, Mwonzora, Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Coltart.

The Cabinet taskforce failed to meet last week because Chinamasa and
Mangwana were tied up with the 13th Zanu PF national people’s conference
that started with the Politburo meeting in Harare on Wednesday last week and
ended in Gweru over the weekend.

Biti was also away in the UK last week. But the Cabinet committee reconvened
on Monday this week, and has been meeting the whole of this week making
amendments to the draft. It is believed the hold-up remains only on
devolution, the National Prosecuting Authority and dual citizenship, with
substantial changes being made to the draft to suit the three Principals’
varied agendas.

Tellingly, though, Mugabe’s declaration has come to pass and many in Zanu PF
are delighted at the development, which vindicates analysts’ observations
that this constitution will be a negotiated document, and the input of the
people will mean little in the end. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor

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One arrest after police raid on ZimRights

By Alex Bell
13 December 2012

An official from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) is set to
spend a night behind bars on Thursday, after he was arrested during a police
raid on the group’s office in Harare.

Five police members stormed the offices and arrested Leo Chamahwinya, the
ZimRights Education and Programmes Manager. He stands accused of allegedly
conducting illegal voter registration, but no charges have been filed.

One of the Chamahwinya’s lawyers, Tarisai Mutangi, told SW Radio Africa that
his client is still being held at Harare Central Police station and will
likely stay there overnight. He added that investigations into the
allegations are still underway and charges will only be filed later.

It is understood that Chamahwinya’s arrest is part of a police operation
that has been targeting other ZimRights structures, involved in pre-election
education. At least two other officials from other parts of the country are
said to have been arrested in recent days.

Phillip Pasirayi, an activist from the Centre for Community Development,
told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the raid on the ZimRights offices is
part of a “massive crackdown” on the NGO community in Zimbabwe.

“It is not surprising because ZANU PF is in panic mode and the arrests are
in line with ZANU PF’s resolutions made at their people’s conference. They
are targeting NGOs because of their access to communities and the education
they are conducting about democracy and human rights,” Pasirayi said.

He added that groups like ZimRights are vocal and critical “and they will be
targeted ahead of elections.”

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MDC reports abduction of three children and pregnant mother

Staff Reporter
13th December 2012

The MDC-T has reported the abduction of three children and their pregnant
mother, by what they describe as ‘ZANU PF operatives.’

Emmanuel Jamela, Godfrey Jamela (5), Frank Jamela (3) and their pregnant
mother Florence Ngwere Jamela (23) were abducted in the early hours of the
morning in Shagari Midlands South.

The ZANU PF members are alleged to have said that the family was hiding
Moses Jamela, the husband of Florence and father to the children. They found
the family asleep and assaulted Florence in an attempt to find out where her
husband was. When she did not give this information they abducted her and
the children.

The MDC-T say the ZANU PF members responsible for this abduction are Artwell
Zindi, Stephen Mazarura, Jephta and Cosmas.

Moses Jamela has not heard from his family and is extremely concerned about
their whereabouts.

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Coltart says 'rights violators' stymying signature of Rome Statute

12/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE is reluctant to ratify the Rome Statute because hardliners who have
over the years thrived on violating human rights fear prosecutions by the
International Criminal Court (ICC), says Education Minister David Coltart, a
renowned lawyer.

Yet he says the question is not whether the country will ever subject itself
to the jurisdiction of the ICC - but rather, when.

“Those responsible for crimes are fearful that ratification will bring
prosecutions on their own heads,” Coltart told a Consultative Assembly of
Parliamentarians for the ICC in Rome this week.

“But we have made significant progress along the road towards ratification
and we are far closer to ratification now than we were in 2008.

“I think that Zimbabwe will eventually ratify but in our experience I think
that there are lessons for us all,” he said.

President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since
independence in 1980, has been accused together with his allies in Zanu PF
of gross rights violations during his unbroken 32-year rule.

Many people say he should be held accountable for the killing of more than
20, 000 people in the Midlands and Matabeleland regions during a brutal
military campaign codenamed Gukurahundi, which means “the early rains that
wash away the chaff before the spring rains.”

Mugabe and his security apparatus, including the police and the military
stand accused of unleashing violence in the 2008 run-off elections that
killed hundreds of MDC supporters.

Coltart says while the violence has dramatically subsided, human rights
breaches continue.

“There are ongoing human rights abuses, including the selective application
of the law, massive corruption and tight control of the electronic media.
The military looms large and constantly threaten that they will not accept
any transfer of power away from Mugabe's party, Zanu PF.”

The ICC was formed to investigate and prosecute individuals accused of
genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Some 121 countries have subjected themselves to its jurisdiction, but
counties like the United States, China and Russia have stayed away citing
sovereignty. Of the 121 signatories, 33 are African nations.

Many African leaders, including Mugabe, accuse the ICC of targeting feeble
Third World politicians while living Western rights violators to go scot

Former US president George Bush and British premier Tony Blair are often
cited in such arguments for their role in the Iraqi war.

To dispel such criticism, Coltart said, the ICC should convince America to
join it.

“We need to redouble our efforts to persuade our American friends in
particular to ratify especially during the important window opened during
President Obama's final term of office.

“Given President Obama's human rights credentials, it is hard to believe
that he personally would be against ratification. I am under no illusions
regarding the difficulty of persuading the American military of the need to
ratify but I think that President Obama's final term presents us with a
unique opportunity,” he added.

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Soldiers to vote freely

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Thursday, 13 December 2012 13:33

HARARE - Electoral authorities say they are forging ahead with plans to
allow soldiers and police officers to vote freely despite fierce resistance
from some commanders.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) commissioner Geoff Feltoe told the Daily
News that the body is introducing a new voting system for armed forces to
secure their vote, which in the 2008 election was compromised when
commanders supervised voting in barracks.

The new requirements are in line with amendments made to the Electoral Act,
which have attracted angry denunciations from top commanders.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri has been at the forefront of resisting the
changes, writing to co-Home Affairs ministers, Kembo Mohadi and Theresa
Makone on July 26 last year protesting against the agreed electoral reforms.

But Feltoe said yesterday they were moving to make the changes despite the
fierce remonstrations.
“The Act is now the law of the country and if we are going to have an
election, we Soldiers to vote freely shall have to follow it,” he said.

Feltoe said soldiers will be voting freely starting with the constitutional

“Disciplined force personnel and election officers on duty during elections
will vote at special voting stations in each district in advance of the
ordinary poll,” Feltoe said.

“Previously disciplined force personnel voted by post but the parties to the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) decided the system of postal voting for
these voters should be replaced by a system of special voting because some
contended that the way in which the system was administered exposed these
voters to possible influence from their commanding officers.

“Special voting will take place at district polling stations. The procedures
used for voting at the stations will be the same as at ordinary polling
stations except that the voters will produce their authorisations to vote on
a special basis,” said Feltoe.

Before the amendment of the Electoral Act, police officers were entitled to
vote under the postal voting system because they will be on duty on voting

Implementation and management of this provision has attracted widespread
condemnation, especially after reports that junior and senior officers were
ordered to vote for Zanu PF under the watchful eye of their commanders in
the 2008 elections.

The changes will, however allow police officers to vote two days before
Election Day under the supervision of electoral officials and election
observers not commanders.

Chihuri had opposed the new system arguing that the time frame is too short
and will disrupt the force’s election deployment plans.

He had proposed that police officers be allowed to vote 30 days before the
actual polling day “in the worst-case scenario” to cater for logistical
issues such as deployment.

Feltoe declined to comment on the residual resistance by Chihuri.

“As for the refusal of the police chief wanting some changes in the
Electoral Act, you have to ask the police about why they did not want it,”
he said.

Feltoe said Zec, as soon as practicable after the election is called, must
fix two special voting days for soldiers and police.

Feltoe said ballots will be transported to the chief elections officer and
then dispatched back to relevant wards before the ordinary poll so that they
can be counted in the wards they are registered to vote, together with the
ordinary ballots cast.

Asked if Zec had true numbers in the security forces that were going to
participate in the elections as voters, he said: “I don’t have statistics on
how many police and army personnel voted by post in the 2008 elections or
how many diplomats etc outside the country have a postal vote in these

The Zec Act and Electoral Act have been combined into the Electoral Act as
part of the GPA negotiations to hold free and fair elections.

“The election process takes place within the law,” Feltoe clarified.

“It is important for people to know how the process works. Sometimes
misunderstandings arise because people don’t know.

“The election results cannot be changed. Under the new law, Zec has five
days to announce the election results.

“It is now a criminal offence for any political party or anyone to announce
the results, it is only Zec that can do so.

“If there is no official announcement of the results, the political parties
should wait for the Zec announcement.”

Zec is headed by retired judge Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe who is
deputised by Joyce Kazembe, but who has, for all intents and purposes, been
running the authority under the absence of Mutambanengwe, who is a judge in
the Namibian Supreme Court.

The Zec team consists of commissioners Feltoe, Theophilus Gambe, Bessie
Nhandara, Sibongile Ndlovu, Mkhululi Nyathi and Pat Makoni.

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Jacob Zuma denies rift with Mugabe: 'We were freedom fighters together'

South African president says 'we can't interfere' in Zimbabwean politics,
but insists he would be critical if he had cause

David Smith in Pretoria, Thursday 13 December 2012 16.09 GMT

Jacob Zuma in 2007 criticised western powers for holding back aid to
Zimbabwe. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Is liberation blood thicker than democratic water? In his biography, At the
Deep End, Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai tells how he was
"stunned" by South African president Thabo Mbeki's part in a "conspiracy" to
divide and weaken the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

It is also now a footnote in history that when Julius Malema, then president
of the African National Congress youth league, turfed a BBC journalist out
of a press conference, he had been extolling the virtues of Robert Mugabe
and mocking the "Mickey Mouse" opposition for using air-conditioned offices.

Such incidents illustrate how many in the ANC still see Mugabe as a brother
in Africa's liberation struggle while dismissing the MDC as a
Johnny-come-lately conjured up by western imperialists. Mbeki's successor,
Jacob Zuma, is however broadly seen as less sympathetic to Mugabe and more
neutral in his mediation efforts ahead of elections expected next year.

Sitting down with Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, I put to him
bluntly: what went wrong in Zimbabwe? He demurrs: "I avoid being judgmental
to other people."

Many have described Mugabe as a dictator, but Zuma pointedly avoids the
word. "I wouldn't because in Zimbabwe Zanu-PF holds its conferences, they
elect Mugabe; I don't look at how that happened. They regularly hold
elections and that's why you could say these elections did not go very well.
What else do you need? People do things in different places in different

"If you are telling me there have never been elections in Zimbabwe, either
in the ruling party or the general election, it would be a different story.
How Zimbabweans are influenced in one or the other is a different matter."

Malema, who has visited Mugabe like an apprentice to a master, reportedly
claimed that Zuma "hates" Africa's oldest leader. Zuma denies this, saying
of their personal relationship: "It's good. We were freedom fighters
together, we know each other from way back. So I've known him for a long

Does that mean Mugabe receives preferential treatment? "Not necessarily. I
deal with issues as they come as an ANC and as an individual. What we need
in Zimbabwe is to ensure that Zimbabwe is democratic, that's why we talk to
all of them, let the Zimbabwean people decide which party leads them. We
can't interfere."

And what of this notion that the MDC is a stooge of British and American
interests? "We don't say that in the ANC. Much as it is true that we come
from the liberation movement with Mugabe, but that to us does not give
anyone a licence to mishandle his country, so if at all there was
mishandling of the country we'd be critical.

"We don't say because a person has come from not a liberation movement, they
cannot be democratic. What determines everything is how people run their
affairs in their own countries. We are not going to prefer them in terms of
their history, but we are going to prefer them in terms of what they do.
However, the history will remain the history: the fact that I was a freedom
fighter together with Mugabe is a fact we cannot erase. We must judge what
people do at a given time."

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Police bust fake documents ring

Thursday, 13 December 2012 00:00

Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter

FOUR people, including an immigration officer, were arrested last week after
being found in possession of more than 10 fake security date stamps and
blank copies of various registration

The gang had capacity to issue voter registration forms, fake drivers
licences, birth certificates, death certificates, passports and marriage

They could also counterfeit route permits for commuter omnibuses, vehicle
registration documents and certify documents.

Also recovered from the suspects were more than 150 blank voter registration
forms, a serial number printer, blank MDC-T membership cards, blank marriage
certificates and blank birth certificates.

The four also had fake date stamps for the district registry office at
Market Square, the clerk of court at Bulawayo Magistrates Courts, the
Department of Immigration Control Headquarters, the Central Vehicle Registry
and the district registry at Seke.

Other fake date stamps were for exit at the Harare International Airport,
work permits, Masvingo provincial registry, Chegutu Rural District Council
and for a legal practitioner conveyancer and commissioner of oaths.

One of the recovered date stamps was written in Chinese.
Immigration officer Tendai Mapfaka, former immigration officer Monarch
Chibiko, Farai Bhani, a taxi driver, and a clearing agent Ephraim Matiza
were arrested by immigration officials in Harare.

Their arrest follows that of two South Africans — Waylaind Bester and Karen
Bester — who were found in possession of fake residence permits and linked
them to the four.

Assistant regional immigration officer Mr Francis Mabika yesterday confirmed
the recovery of the fake date stamps and documents.

“I can confirm that we carried out investigations on the two (Waylaind and
Karen) and at the moment we cannot divulge any other information as
investigations are still in progress,” he said.

Sources close to the investigations said Waylaind and Karen obtained fake
residence permits when they entered Zimbabwe.

When they sought to renew the permits, they gave their passports to a Mr
Moto, a director of a security company who was still on the run.

Moto was given an undisclosed amount of money before he handed the passports
to Chibiko, a former immigration officer.

It is alleged that Chibiko then passed the passports to Bhani who is
reported to have handed them over to Mapfaka.

Mapfaka wanted to extend the residence permits and during the process his
colleagues at the immigration offices discovered that they were fake.

Investigations were carried out leading to the arrest of Waylaind, Karen and
Following the arrest, immigration officials searched Bhani’s house in
Queensdale and found the fake date stamps, fake documents and blank

Further investigations led to the arrest of Matiza in Chitungwiza.
His house was searched leading to the recovery of blank birth certificates,
road route permits, a serial number printer, three passports belonging to
unknown people, a stamp for the Masvingo provincial registrar and 10
cellphones believed to have been stolen.

The four were still assisting with investigations.
Mr Mabika urged foreigners who have residence permits, but did not obtain
them at any of their immigration offices to have them verified.

He said they would not hesitate to arrest anyone found violating the
Immigration Act.
Cases of the production of fake documents are on the increase in the

The Immigration Department recently investigated a Harare businessman
accused of defrauding several foreigners after issuing them with counterfeit
residence permits.

A number of people were also arrested in recent months for possessing fake
drivers’ licences and other documents.

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ICT to drive economy: Bloch

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:30
Mandla Tshuma
BULAWAYO - Economic commentator, Eric Bloch, has said information
communication technology (ICT) will soon become a key driver of economic
growth in Zimbabwe.
Therefore the business sector should harness ICTs to remain relevant and
competitive in the next six years.
Bloch, who was addressing a recent Computer Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ)
business conference in Bulawayo, said the country's economy would grow
rapidly beginning next year to becoming Africa's fifth largest in 2018.
"ICTs could be one of the key drivers of the Zimbabwean economy. I therefore
challenge the CSZ to conscientise industry and commerce on the need for the
state-of-the-art ICTs," said Bloch.
"The CSZ must be active in its dissemination of awareness; I am now setting
you the target to do more and be a major contributor to economic recovery,"
he said.
Bloch said the envisaged economic boom would be regardless of which
political party would win next year's elections, adding that in 2015, gross
domestic product (GDP) would reach 1997 levels.
He said mining would be the key driver of the economy, citing huge diamonds
and platinum reserves in Zimbabwe which are yet to be fully exploited.
Bloch said he also foresaw meaningful contribution by agriculture and
tourism to the economy, adding that there would be value-addition on
exports, a development he said would go a long way in boosting growth.
"We are going to see a beautiful Zimbabwe in the future," he said.
CSZ president, Artwell Mukusha, said unlike countries such as Australia in
which the ICT sector contributes six percent to the GDP, Zimbabwe ICTs'
contribution to GDP is still unknown.
"No one knows how much ICTs contribute to the GDP," he said.
Mukusha said the uptake of ICTs remained low in the country compared to
other countries with Zimbabwe ranked number 124 out of 142 nations.
He said despite the existence of a national ICT policy, there has not been a
route plan for infrastructure development, while ICT education remained
The other factor inhibiting ICTs growth in Zimbabwe, Mukusha said,, was the
involvement of three government ministries in the sector, namely Transport
Communication and Infrastructural Development; Information and
Comm-unication Technologies; and Media, Information and Publicity.
"Everyone has a claim for ICTs; there is no one ministry directly involved
in ICTs," Mukusha said.
However, Ezra Maningi of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority urged ICT players
to take advantage of the scrapping of import duty on ICT products to
capacitate the sector and meaningfully contribute to economic growth.

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Zanu PF declares blitz on technology

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Thursday, 13 December 2012 13:33

HARARE - Over a year since a devastating wave of civil unrest swept across
North Africa leaving in its wake a string of deposed long-time dictators,
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is still worried about the prospects of
such an action here.

Panicking, the party is now fighting the world — literally — after it
declared at its recent annual conference that latest technology gadgets and
wireless telephone applications embraced globally are the work of detractors
out to get Zanu PF.

In resolutions passed at the close of the 13th Zanu PF annual people’s
conference in Gweru at the weekend, the former guerrilla movement appears
petrified by the spread of social media which has hooked the young

In countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, youths and democracy campaigners
successfully used social media to mobilise against governments they accused
of being repressive.

Under the media, science and technology resolutions, Zanu PF reacted with
panic at the growing number of gadget users in Zimbabwe, expressing fear
these could be used to oust the party from power.

“Noting the strategic advantage of information communication technology
(ICTs) and the comparative advantage of connectivity in political
mobilisation as critical tools for advancing the development of
knowledge-based economy. Concerned about the widespread abuse of social
media by regime change seeking countries for purposes of propaganda to fan
disunity, hatred and engender instability.

“Conference condemns the European Union, America and white commonwealth
countries for supplying ICT gadgets such as mobile phones, decoders and
radios to communities to create conditions for the broadcast and spread of
falsehoods to distort so as to undermine confidence in the electoral process
and trigger Arab-style civil unrest,” part of the resolutions read.

But youthful ICT minister Nelson Chamisa says Zanu PF ageing politicians are
panicking for nothing.

Chamisa, who is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC organising
secretary, said the resolution by Zanu PF is against government policy.

“It is only thieves that will fight tooth and nail to stop the proliferation
of police stations or the expansion of the police force. Information
technology is friendly,” said Chamisa.

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Zim a ‘key target’ for poachers because of unemployment

By Alex Bell
13 December 2012

Zimbabwe’s high unemployment levels mean the country is now considered a
‘key target’ for poaching syndicates, who are raking in millions of dollars
as a result of poaching across Africa.

Poaching is on the increase across Southern Africa, and Zimbabwean wildlife
authorities have been trying to clamp down on the illegal activity. This has
resulted in the recent deaths of poachers, including two in Mbire, who were
shot by Zimbabwe National Parks rangers this month.

The two elephant poachers were discovered with heavy duty weapons, as well
as military hardware such as mortar bombs. As well as thousands of rounds of
rounds of ammunition and guns, the poachers were found with six pairs of
elephant tusks valued at US$12,850. Three others poachers in the group ran

It is not yet known how the poaching group managed to secure the weapons,
but it is suspected they were supplied by soldiers from the Armed Forces for
the Defence of Mozambique (FADM). Three FADM soldiers were late last month
arrested and charged with stealing firearms from the national armoury and
re-selling them to criminal gangs.

The soldiers were arrested during a police sting operation and were caught
while selling an AK-47 rifle to a suspected arms dealer, who buys high
calibre firearms from the military for resale or hire to armed robbers and
ivory poaching syndicates.

Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
(ZCTF), told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that poaching syndicates are rife
in Southern Africa, amid an increased demand for ivory. He said Zimbabwe was
considered a ‘weak link’ in the wildlife sector and, combined with 90%
unemployment, the country is a target for gangs.

“Poaching is escalating but there does seem to be a combined effort from
lots of countries to clamp down on it. However it won’t eradicate the
problem,” Rodrigues said.

He added that in Zimbabwe’s case the lack of the rule of law was making it
even more difficult to monitor and control and until laws are respected,
such problems will not go away.

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Zim troops heading to DRC, again

By Tererai Karimakwenda
13 December 2012

An official within ZANU PF has confirmed that troops from Zimbabwe will once
again be heading to the war ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, this time
as part of a peacekeeping force under the regional Southern African
Development Community (SADC).

Over the weekend SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania and resolved to contribute
4,000 troops to a neutral peacekeeping force to be deployed in eastern
Congo. President Joseph Kabila is reportedly fighting off a strong offensive
from the M23 rebels.

According to Newsday newspaper the permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs,
Joey Bimha, confirmed that Zimbabwean troops would be going to the DRC. He
explained that SADC had made the decision to send what they are calling a
‘Standby Force’.

Bimha also confirmed that the mission would be funded by Kabila’s
government, with assistance from the United Nations and the African Union.
They would operate under the banner of the UN and the AU.

Bimha provided no other details as to the number of Zimbabwean troops that
would participate in the mission, when they would be deployed, or what their
assignment would entail. He simply referred further questions to Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Newsday quoted Bimha as saying: “There is an agreement by SADC and Zimbabwe,
as a member, is bound by it”.

Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC-T Secretary for Defence, told SW Radio Africa his
party only knew what has been reported in the local press but supports SADC
in any regional efforts to maintain peace.

Mutsekwa added: “If this is indeed a decision by SADC, it is in conformity
with what we agreed as a member state that we would contribute troops to the
SADC Brigade. We in the MDC-T are in agreement that we support SADC to
ensure that there is peace in the region.”

Mutsekwa said he had strongly opposed Zimbabwe’s first mission to the DRC
back in 1998, because it, “was not necessary, cost us a fortune as a nation
and we did not reap any rewards from it”.

He added: “As you know our military hardware was expanded, the economy took
a nose dive and the troops themselves had a very difficult time. But that
was when we deployed the troops as a single country.”

In 1998 Robert Mugabe sent Zim soldiers to the DRC saying we were protecting
President Laurent Kabila from rebel troops. Top government officials,
including the late army General Solomon Mujuru, received mining concessions
as a reward for helping Kabila.

Although a coalition government is in place this time around, Mutsekwa said
the current constitution allows Mugabe to send the troops, without
consulting parliament.

This was disputed by political analyst Professor John Makumbe, who said the
current constitution is not relevant because of the Global Political
Agreement brokered by SADC itself. Makumbe explained that according to the
GPA, which is Amendment 19, Mugabe must consult the other principals before
deploying troops.

“The MDC-T should make political capital out of this SADC mission and insist
that Mugabe consult them before sending any troops out of the country,”
Makumbe stressed.

The Professor said this so-called peacekeeping mission will end up involving
fighting against the M23 rebels and Zimbabwe will end up incurring more
costs that SADC can pay for.

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Air Zimbabwe optimistic it will pass IATA safety test

By Tichaona Sibanda
13 December 2012

Three months after Air Zimbabwe was suspended from the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) for failing to comply with global safety
standards, the airline is optimistic that next week it will be ‘cleared for

IATA has contracted an aviation audit company that will visit Harare to
carry out checks on the national flag carrier’s preparedness to resume
flying, following its suspension in September.

For the last two years the national airline has been plagued by woes,
including a series of industrial actions by pilots, cabin crew and ground
staff. The airline is also saddled with an estimated debt of $149 million.

But a highly placed source at the airline told SW Radio Africa on Thursday
they are optimistic they will pass the audit test with flying colours. He
said the audit will be done by an independent team of aviation specialists,
that includes retired pilots, engineers and expert accountants.

IATA is a global aviation body that works with airline members and the air
transport industry to promote safe, reliable, secure and economical air
travel for the benefit of travellers

‘Of particular concern will be the operations of the airline. As such they
will check the booking system, the financial books and the state of the
airline’s aircraft. They will visit the hanger to see if the planes have
been maintained whilst on the ground.

‘From there they will go for one or two test flights to monitor the flight
and cabin crew to ensure their skills are compliant with the regulatory
authority,’ the source said.

Air Zimbabwe has an impeccable safety record but has, like every other
government company or agency, been dragged down because years of

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ZANU PF thugs disrupts MDC youth rally in Uzumba as police arrests and detain MDC officials

Police in UMP arrested and detained MDC-T officials including Mashonaland
East Women’s Assembly Provincial Organising Secretary Edna Muswe.

The cops accused the activists of mobilising people to attend an
unauthorised rally, they were later released after National Youth Assembly
President Solomon Madzore went to the police and asked the police to release
the officials as they had done nothing illegal.

President Madzore was supposed to give a keynote address at the event but
the police told the organisers that the rally could no longer go ahead
because ZANUPF was to using the same venue.

Rowdy ZANUPF youths were bused to the venue by one Stephen Chitunga who
stays in Ward 9 in Uzumba district.

Shadreck Karonga, Chrispen Mashanga both of Ward 8 in Uzumba force marched
villagers to participate in the disruption of the rally as they assaulted
MDC activists and several were injured but surprisingly police did not
arrest them.

Madzore condemned police’s lack of professionalism and told one police
sergeant major who refused to disclose her name that she was supposed to
protect the people not persecute victims.

“I think the state pays you to protect civilians not arrest people who come
to the station to make complains against violence, your conduct is pathetic
and the MDC will not tolerate that,” Madzore said.

She initially refused to give the activists the RRB numbers and later gave
them after the intervention of the Youth Assembly Secretary General, Promise
Mkwananzi who is a JOMIC member.

Other activists who were arrested are Women’s Assembly chairperson for
Murehwa North Magret Chipuka, Ward 8 district Organising Secretary Charles
Dhonza, activists Chamunorwa Munaki Pfupa and Kerry Pfupa.

Harvest House

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Econet Wireless likely to get control of TN Bank


HARARE — An offer by telecommunications magnate Strive Masiyiwa to raise
Econet Wireless’s shareholding in Zimbabwe-listed TN Bank to 100% has been
approved by the bank’s founder, paving the way for the delisting of the bank
on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

As part of the deal, Tawanda Nyambirai, the founder of TN Bank and chairman
of Econet, would resign from the chairmanship and get a minority
shareholding in Econet, which has more than 7-million subscribers in

The company — the biggest telecommunications operator in Zimbabwe — has been
rapidly expanding its operations. Its tie-up with South Africa’s Cell C to
offer a call-home service for Zimbabweans living in South Africa is
described as highly successful.

Analysts said the move to buy the remaining stake in the bank — outside of
Econet’s initial 45% share — has been in the making since TN Bank was
demerged and separately listed earlier this year.

TN Bank is a fast-growing commercial bank enlisted as a "super-agent" for
the EcoCash mobile money product that Econet has unveiled and which is
similar to M-Pesa in Kenya. Econet, however, has expanded its footprint
beyond TN Bank after unveiling CBZ, the biggest commercial bank in Zimbabwe,
as a partner amid indications that the product will be introduced by other
banks in Zimbabwe.

"Having seen what happened with Trustco (Econet’s former partner in EcoLife
mobile life cover), it is not prudent for Econet to roll out a product such
as EcoCash with a bank it does not control," said Mr Nyambirai. He would not
divulge any details about the deal.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that there has been a fallout between Mr
Nyambirai and Mr Masiyiwa.

But Mr Nyambirai maintained that "there is no fallout" between the two

As part of the transaction, Mr Nyambirai will step down from the
chairmanship of Econet and it has been proposed that James Myers will take

Econet injected $20m into TN Bank in a deal that saw the company list on the
ZSE in July. Mr Nyambirai said at the time that the move to have Econet
acquire a shareholding in a banking institution anticipated "the integration
between telecommunications and banking".

An equities analyst said the deal would probably be given the nod by the
Competition and Tariff Commission, the Securities Exchange Commission of
Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwean central bank.

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Tsvangirai holds Masvingo crisis meeting

13/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a crisis meeting Wednesday with the
MDC-T-run Masvingo city council after key emergency services equipment was
seized in a US$3.6 million salary dispute with employees.

The local authority is scrambling to block the auctioning of its fire
tenders and ambulances as well as computers which were attached after
council employees successfully petitioned the Labour Court over some US$3.6
million in salary arrears.

MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, confirmed that Tsvangirai and several
senior officials had met Masvingo mayor Alderman Femius Chakabuda and his
team in a bid to resolve the crisis.

“Tsvangirai held an emergency crisis meeting with the Masvingo City Council
leadership because the attachment of council property by the Messenger of
Court is an issue of extreme concern to us,” said Mwonzora.

He said Tsvangirai sympathized with the city council’s financial predicament
but wanted the workers to be paid their outstanding salaries.

The MDC-T is – which runs most of the country’s towns and cities, is
concerned that the crisis in Masvingo will worsen an already poor track
record in the administration of local authorities after a number a number of
councils facing allegations of incompetence and corruption.

The party recently fired several councilors and officials across the country
over corruption allegations.

Meanwhile the Masvingo council has approached the High Court in a bid to
block the sale of the equipment.
Justice Andrew Mutema reserved judgement over the chamber application filed
by council lawyers Chihambakwe, Makonese and Ncube.

The council argued that it had filed it had filed an application to rescind
the Labour Court judgment adding that the sale of the property should called
of pending determination of the application.

Council also claimed that its operations would collapse if the property was
sold and further challenged the quantification of the arrears.

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Firms face seizure

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:09
Kasukuwere goes for broke

Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

SAVIOUR Kasukuwere’s Youth Develo-pment, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Ministry will soon embark on company seizures similar to the
chaotic farm occupations seen in 2000 as part of ZANU-PF’s power retention
strategy ahead of next year’s make-or-break elections, which the Southern
African Development Commu-nity says should be held by June.
The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal that after narrowly escaping
from the jaws of defeat in 2000 by hurriedly expropriating land from the
perceived white funders of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), ZANU-PF
has again set its sights on taking over foreign-owned firms and giving
majority ownership in these seized companies to indigenous blacks as a
political mobilisation tool.
As fresh polls beckon, the party is leaving no stone unturned as it seeks to
maximise on the empowerment drive to get votes in an election in which
President Robert Mugabe would, for the third time since 2000, lock horns
with his bitter rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
A Central Committee report tabled at the party’s just-ended conference held
in Gweru laid down a number of options being explored by ZANU-PF strategists
on how broad-based economic empowerment could be achieved.
It is now almost certain that ZANU-PF would increase the empowerment
threshold from the current 51 percent as polls draw near.
In its indigenisation status report, the Central Committee, which is the
policymaking organ of ZANU-PF, said about 96 percent of all agricultural
land in Zimbabwe is now in the hands of locals while local ownership in the
energy and power sector was given at 98 percent, even though
power-generation and distribution is dominated by State firms.
The banking and finance sector was said to be highly indigenised with 68
percent of Zimbabwe’s banks said to be indigenous-owned. The country’s 16
asset management companies, except one, were said to be black-owned while 97
percent of the 114 micro-finance/money lenders had been indigenised.
The tourism sector was said to be 56 percent indigenised while the
manufacturing sector had an indigenisation ownership of below 50 percent.
The mining sector was said to have a considerable foreign shareholding with
the biggest mines being 100 percent by foreigners.
Ahead of the elections, ZANU-PF is seen following its 2000 election template
whereupon it embarked on a fast track land reform programme after sensing
defeat at the hands of a newly formed MDC.
ZANU-PF insiders said a list detailing the companies to be targeted for
indigenisation and the empowerment thresholds to be achieved has since been
drawn up.
At the Gweru conference, President Mugabe said all companies including those
owned by the Chinese would be subject to the requirements of the
indigenisation law.
The party’s strategists believe that the initiative has potential to appeal
to the electorate more than Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Jobs, Upliftment,
Investment, Capital and the Environment (JUICE) economic blueprint.
They reason that the party’s main wings namely the Women’s League and the
Youth League should develop plans that fit into the indigenisation
programme. The party’s supreme decision-making body, the Politburo, will
also craft plans on how benefits accruing from the programme would cascade
to the common man.
Candidates seeking to represent the party at any level in the forthcoming
elections are also being encouraged to developed campaign plans applicable
to their communities on how to benefit from assets forcibly taken from their
previous owners.
“The indigenisation and empowerment programme has the capacity to appeal to
the electorate in a massive way as evidenced by the positive public reaction
to the launch of community share ownership schemes, employment share
ownership schemes and various youth economic empowerment funds. We,
therefore, need to build on this awareness and interest and craft a strategy
that will derive political mileage for the party,” reads part of the Central
Committee report.
“Thus, as we approach the impending election, we have stepped up efforts to
implement a political programme of mobilisation anchored on the
indigenisation and economic policy. This political programme might have a
strong bearing on the success of the party in the forthcoming election.”
Lance Mambondiani, a financial markets expert, said a command control
implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act without
broad consultative consensus could be the catalyst for another man-made
economic tragedy just when the country is showing signs of progress.
“Stakeholders have a legitimate fear that the empowerment law will be
spectacularly bungled in similar fashion to the land reform programme, which
was by any standard a catastrophic success," he said.
“In its current form, and based on the current policy position, there is no
evidence to suggest that the law is any different to the land reform
programme or that the outcome will be.”
The chaotic land reforms decimated commercial agriculture, the mainstay of
the country’s economy.
For long, ZANU-PF has resorted to populist policies, dishing out inputs and
farming implements as well as directing key parastatals and schools to
charge uneconomic fares and fees, leading to their virtual collapse.
State-firms such as the Grain Marketing Board and the National Oil Company
of Zimbabwe are some of the companies operating below the red ink due to
political interference.

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Congestion at Beitbridge puts damper on festive mood

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:05
Samkeliso Ndlovu, recently in Johannesburg

BEITBRIDGE – Congestion at Beitbridge border post has put a damper on the
festive mood as Zimbabweans flocking to and from neighbouring South Africa
for early festive season shopping complained of torturous queues, resulting
in some travellers spending up to 48 hours without being cleared.
Long queues, for both human and vehicular traffic are not uncommon at the
border post, but during the current festive season the situation appears to
be getting out of hand.
There are prolonged customs procedures involving physical examinations and
individual searches of luggage.
Adding salt to injury has been the recent hiking of fares by buses
travelling to and from South Africa, which has seen a single trip to
Johannesburg from Bulawayo going up from between R300 and R350 to between
R400 and R560.
The 24 hour border post handles up to 25 000 travellers per day during the
festive season.
Stringent South African immigration laws on children have also added to the
trauma for travellers this festive season. According to new regulations put
in place in May this year, parents or guardians travelling with minors below
the age of 17 into South Africa should have an affidavit signed by the other
parent or both, for the child’s passport to be stamped.
Principal immigration officer, Patricia Mafodya told The Financial Gazette
that travellers had nothing to worry about as her department had everything
under control and had boosted staff to cope with the influx of travelers at
the border post.
“It is common to have increased volumes of travellers, those coming home
from South Africa and those crossing to South Africa for Christmas shopping.
However, we always make sure that all is well on our side. We have boosted
our staff to make sure the process is faster and travellers are not unduly
strained,” said Mafodya.
“We have the capacity to deal with any volume of traffic and travellers
should feel free to make use of Beitbridge,” she added.
A snap survey of the border post showed that most delays were caused at the
South African side where long winding queues could be seen.
“One gets the feeling that they (the South Africans) do not want to clear us
and we don’t even understand why. They are just sitting there and don’t seem
to be in a hurry. We have been standing here for the past six hours and the
queue does not seem to be moving,” said Rudo Mpofu, a shopper who was
returning home to Bulawayo.
“I got lucky because I am travelling with omalayitsha; they bribed the
immigration guys so that we get cleared quickly. I feel so sorry for the
people I saw queuing back there,” said Matthew Ndlovu, another traveller
coming back from South Africa.
A South African immigration official who declined to be named said his
department had not yet beefed up staff to complement the increased volume of
“We will deal with that as soon as possible. Obviously the situation will
get worse during the coming few weeks so we want to be prepared,” said the
Earlier this year, the Zimbabwe-South Africa Joint Commission, announced
plans to establish a one-stop border post concept at Beitbridge to
facilitate the quick flow of trade between the two countries.
Once implemented, the concept is expected to address the long winding queues
among other things.
The one-stop border post concept would be the second in the country after
the pilot phase at Chirundu Border Post between Zimbabwe and Zambia which
came about as an initiative of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern
Africa to facilitate trade and free movement of goods and services within
the region.
Under the one-stop border post concept, travellers will be cleared just once
for passage into another country unlike the current setup in which they have
to undergo formalities on both sides of the border.

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The MDC Today - Issue 488

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hon Tendai Biti said mining is much more than diamond adding that if mining
is managed well, it will be contributing as much as US$14 billion dollars by
2018, with the modest contribution of mining to GDP from 8 percent to about
40 percent in the same year.

He said there is need for an accumulation model based on beneficiation and
value addition as opposed to an extraction model. He said Zanu PF is the
last party to talk of corruption and as the party went to sleep since 1980
when it should have done something to replace the infrastructure in
different sectors of industry.

In Mashonaland Central, Hon Mangoma’s trial on flimsy charges of undermining
Mugabe at a rally in Bindura continues on 12 January 2013. Hon Mangoma
appeared before a Bindura Magistrate with his lawyers Selby Hwacha and
Beatrice Mutetwa.

In Matabeleland, women should vote yes for the constitution as it guarantees
and protects rights of women and children, a government official has said.
Hon Jessie Majome, the Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and
Community Development said at a function organised by women in Matobo
constituency as a belated commemoration of the 16 days of activism against
gender violence.

“I am aware that women and children suffer most from domestic violence in
this area. The draft constitution has specific clauses that guarantee the
safety of all persons especially women and children. As such it is therefore
important that every one of you votes yes for this constitution,” Hon Majome

In Harare, Hon. Margaret Matienga organised the training of 30 women from
Sunningdale on gender training for community women. Some of the issues
covered included the status, trends and strategies to fight gender based
violence. They also discussed on women’s participation and representation in
politics and decision making.

Three children Emmanuel Jamela, Godfrey Jamela (5) and Frank Jamela (3)
together with their mother Florence Ngwere Jamela (23) who is pregnant were
yesterday abducted by suspected Zanu PF operatives in Shagari Midlands
South. The Zanu PF operatives blamed the family members for hiding their
father Moses Jamela who is a member of the MDC.

The MDC demands that the Inclusive government principals ensure security for
all the people in the country. The Zanu PF double standard is not just
retrogressive but to abduct innocent children to settle political scores is
totally unacceptable.

The party underscores the need for total change in the country and the
ushering of a new democratic dispensation where people are respected for
their political affiliation.

Meanwhile, police today raided the Zimrights offices in Harare for unknown
reasons. The 5 officers who ransacked the offices further demanded to see
the Zimrights Director, Okay Machisa.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Save Conservancy: Traditional leaders speak out

Thursday, 13 December 2012 00:00

Lloyd Gumbo recently in Save Valley

Traditional leaders in and around the Save Valley Conservancy have vowed to
scuttle the Germans’ plan to translocate animals from the conservancy to
Gonarezhou Trans-Frontier Park. This followed

reports that the German government was planning to fund the translocation of
animals from conservancies owned by Germans in the Save Valley Conservancy
to the giant frontier park.

However, there are indications that the Germans want to translocate the
animals to Mozambique as a way of skirting the indigenisation and economic
empowerment drive that Government has embarked on.

“There is no way I am going to allow the translocation of animals from the
conservancy in my area to any other place,” said Chief Mabika whose area of
jurisdiction stretches from Bikita into the Save Valley Conservancy.

Chief Mabika is also Senator for Masvingo.
The Governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe last year
officially launched the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Trans-Frontier Park.

Said Chief Mabika; “We want our subjects to benefit from the conservancy
through the indigenisation programme (share ownership schemes) that has been
implemented in other areas. We want the exercise to be done in the area as a
matter of urgency. My subjects are wallowing in poverty yet they can eke a
living out of these animals.”

Chairman for Village 9 in ward 24 of Chiredzi, Mr Dzingirai Hama said they
heard reports that the Germans wanted to move animals from the conservancy.

“We heard about the reports that they wanted to remove animals from here,”
said Mr Hama whose village is in the conservancy.

“But we are saying that is not going to happen because these are our
animals, our heritage. These white people found the animals here so if they
don’t want Government policies being implemented, then they should just
leave us with our animals.

“We are not benefiting anything at the moment so we would want
indigenisation to be implemented here as well.”

Mr Hama said proceeds from the conservancy were supposed to benefit
villagers in and around the conservancy through developmental projects such
as schools, clinics, roads and irrigation schemes.

According to sources, Germany’s Economic and Co-operation Minister Dirk
Niebel told Vice President Joice Mujuru last week when he paid a courtesy
call on her that his Government wanted to fund the translocation of the

However, sources who attended the meeting said VP Mujuru told the Germany
Minister that they were supposed to be concerned with uplifting the lives of
people around the Save Valley Conservancy than to be worried about animals.

Headman for Matsai in Chiremwaremwa area in Bikita, Mr Rodgers Nerwande
whose village borders the Save Valley Conservancy, said they wanted
Government to intervene to make sure villagers around the conservancy

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Community news activist acquitted



Kariba magistrate Felix Chauromwe on Thursday, 13 December 2012 acquitted
community news activist, Kudakwashe Matura, who was being charged with
criminal defamation. Kariba is a town in Northern Zimbabwe.

The ruling came after Matura’s lawyer, Tapiwa Muchineripi, made an
application for discharge at the close of the state case. He argued that the
state had failed to prove its case against the defendant, noting that there
had been no evidence adduced to prove that Matura had published the article
in question.

In his ruling, Chauromwe upheld the submissions made by Muchineripi,
highlighting that the state had not adduced evidence to satisfy the
necessary elements for the charge of criminal defamation.


Matura was arrested on Monday, 8 October 2012 after a Sam Mawuwa lodged a
complaint, alleging that a story published in the Kariba News newsletter
about him was defamatory.

Matura was facing criminal defamation charges under Section 96 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Tapiwa Muchineripi, the lawyer
representing him, is from the Media Lawyers Network.

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‘We have missed it on national healing’

By Guthrie Munyuki, Senior Assistant Editor
Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:36
HARARE - It will be naive for anyone to think that the people of Zimbabwe
will walk into a polling booth and stop thinking!

This was not a broadside at a bald statement by Okay Machisa, national
director of ZimRights and chairperson of Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe CCiZ),
reminding politicians the power of a voter.

Machisa, 42, has been visible in the democratic fight where CCiZ — a
powerful advocacy and lobby group within the civic society movement, has
been in the forefront of calling for reforms and enhancement of the
democratic space. CCiZ has more than 234 member groups under its ambit and
it is not surprising that Machisa did not shy away from making their
position known in the current political discourse.

“It would be a dream for us to think that there will be a complete shift or
change in the current political situation. Since the GNU (unity government)
was formed we have been calling for fundamental reforms and nothing has

“We will still have certain mechanisms that have been put in place to
trigger violence and uncouth behaviour,” Machisa told the Daily News as he
regretted the inertia characterising the national healing and reconciliation

The Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation (ONHR) — consisting three
representatives from Zanu PF and the two MDC formations — has, largely,
failed to achieve its intended targets.

It has taken an Afrocentric approach to promote healing by encouraging
dispute resolution through traditional methods as opposed to the Eurocentric
approach, the criminal route dealt with through the courts.

“Healing is not prescribed by the authorities, healing is prescribed by the
communities, these are the custodians of how healing can take place within
the communities. If you want to come up with a national framework of healing
you might be missing the point.

“The people that have harmed themselves are the ones that are going to
forgive each other, are the ones who create a roadmap towards
reconciliation. “Why we have perpetrators of political violence walking
scot-free in the streets is because we have not put in place mechanisms that
they should be brought to book. If a perpetrator of political violence is
brought to book then people can see it as an example and nobody else can
commit the same crime because there is an example that has taken place.

“We need all the structures that subscribe to the development of the nation
whether you are a political party, security sector, civil service, civil
society: we need all to constructively walk the talk of stopping violence.
As of now I can actually say we have not achieved much,” Machisa said.

“We continuously say we have come up with a code of conduct, we have come up
with some provision or mechanism that would ensure the establishment of an
act of Parliament. That alone is not enough.

“While people are putting mechanisms and acts in place to make sure we have
no violence in the society we need to make community mechanisms that would
bring in the traditional leadership, churches and civil society in the

Machisa himself has been actively involved in the national healing process
through Heal Zimbabwe Trust, a peace and tolerance promotional body he also
chairs in the civic society movement.

But he remains upbeat that the current constitution-making process will lead
to new elections despite the inconsistent signals by the three parties in
the inclusive government.

“What we are much more concerned about is not the executive interfering with
the process; what we are interested in is seeing a quick reasonable,
productive, progressive completion of the constitution-making process. The
executive should not interfere in the parliamentary process.

“Hands off, this process is clearly indicated in the GPA that it is a
parliamentary process which means that the Parliament should put to
conclusion the process of writing of the new constitution,” warned Machisa.

The African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (Sadc),
among a raft of reform targets, both set the completion of a new
constitution and holding of a referendum, as decisive reforms leading to the
conducting of free and fair polls.

“Sadc and the AU as guarantors of the processes in Zimbabwe are determined
to ensure that Zimbabwe goes to elections under a new constitution. We have
called upon Sadc to remain resolute that they continue to assist Zimbabwe to
have credible elections by coming up with a new constitution.

“Zimbabwe cannot go to elections without a new constitution. It is one of
the most fundamental benchmarks that Sadc has set itself. Sadc and civil
society are determined to see the attainment of a new constitution is
carried through,” said Machisa.

As Zimbabwe observed the International Human Rights Day, which falls on
December 10, Machisa bemoaned the toxic environment which at times is laced
with sporadic but calculated violence against pro-democracy groups.

“As a human rights defender and a director of the national human rights
body, I find it very sad at this moment that we are celebrating this
occasion with quite a number of important freedoms that are not realised or
that are not given to the people of Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe has not done enough to make sure that the fundamental freedoms and
enjoyment of the rights of the people are being observed”.

“It is the right time for those who liberated this country to fully
recognise the fundamental rights of the people of this country. They fought
for this country to be liberated so that the people can enjoy their rights.

“We cannot continuously say we have done this in the past and that tradition
should continue, we have to move with the times. We are no longer in the
1970s or 80s we are in 2012”.

Machisa’s struggle for rights can be traced to his roles both in the civic
movement and arts industry where he plays an influential role.

He grew up in Lalapanzi and joined the education sector where he taught at
Gokomere High School, Selbourne Primary, Prince Edward and Zimbabwe College
of Music. He has previously worked at Rooftop Promotions, an arts promotion
body led by Daves Guzha.

Machisa is a board member at Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum, Peace Builders Network of Zimbabwe, Savanna Trust, Nhimbe
Trust, founder of Artists for Democracy in Zimbabwe Trust and Nhasi Mangwana
Traditional Music Organisation.

“I have no political ambitions because my interests lie at the organisations
that I serve,” he said.

Machisa is married and has two daughters.

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Mugabe’s bark worse than his bite


by John Makumbe

While addressing his followers at the recently held 13th Annual Consultative
Conference, President Mugabe decried the fact that some of his ministers
have become so corrupt that they are demanding that foreign investors should
provide them with $5 million up front, of which $1 million will be handed
over to Mugabe as a kick-back.

The President threatened to dismiss any such ministers if they should be
found guilty of corruption. We all have heard similar threats from the same
man numerous times before, but we know of no minister that has ever been
dismissed from his position by Mugabe because of corruption. The President
went on to identify the police in Zimbabwe as among the most corrupt
officers in his government. He lambasted them for making motorists pay huge
sums of money even when their vehicles have no faults.

It is highly doubtful that Mugabe will fire any of his corrupt ministers.
Indeed, his bark is much worse than his bite. It can even be said he has no
bite at all when it comes to issues of corrupt ministers. In countries that
are governed properly, the logical action to take after identifying the
police as corrupt would be to dismiss the Commissioner-General.

Not so in this country. Rather, Mugabe is very likely to renew Chihuri’s
contract when next it expires, despite widespread corruption in the force.
In a normal democratic country, once the President has named the police
force as corrupt, the head of the force would tender his or her resignation.
That is probably the furthest thought from good old Chihuri’s mind right

Why then is Mugabe powerless to discipline his corrupt ministers? Perhaps he
is of such advanced age that he has already forgotten what he said at the
Gweru Conference. He no longer has the capacity to follow up on his threats.
It may also be that most of these corrupt ministers of his know too much
about the President’s own can of worms, and are likely to expose him should
he carry out his threats against them. The third possible reason may be that
Mugabe is petrified of ending up standing alone.

Indeed, almost every Zanu (PF) minister is quite likely to be found guilty
of gross levels of corruption. Transparency International has just published
its 2012 Corruption Perception Index, which places Zimbabwe at number 163
out of the 175 countries surveyed. This is happening during Mugabe’s watch.
It is a serious indictment.

Had Mugabe been serious about fighting corruption in his party, he would
have appointed an investigative committee to immediately do the job and
report to him. We all know that he did not take any such action. It is quite
likely that he would have struggled to identify any “clean” members of his
party to appoint to such a committee. Besides, whoever he would appoint
would run the risk of being buried at Heroes’ Acre prematurely after being
done in by those he sought to investigate.

Most people are quite willing to engage in a fierce debate about democracy,
human rights and the constitution, but when you touch their corruption, they
descend on you with a sledge-hammer. Perhaps Mugabe is well aware of this -
and did not want to endanger any of his faithful followers? We wait to see
whether he will follow up on his threats made in Gweru. -

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