Harare, December 14, 2012 - Zimbabwe teachers are bracing for a crippling
industrial action in January next year as civil servants push for a salary
increment ahead of polls President Robert Mugabe wants held in March without
In a circular to its membership, president of the militant Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Takavaflra Zhou, says the year 2012 is
ending on a bad note for teachers and unless they seriously strategise
between now and early 2013, the next five years would be worse off for
teachers than this year.
“The struggle that we must engage in early next year must develop the
strength we may need thereafter and there should be no room for giving up by
"Our numerical strength, intellectual prowess and acumen will see us
through. For the whole of 2012 government was reluctant to deal with
salaries and only nominally increased transport and housing allowances,”
On average the basic salary for a teacher has remained at less than $259 - a
salary Zhou said was worse off than President Robert Mugabe's farm workers
who earn $350.
He said the 2013 budget indicates 'inflation related index increments’ and
“if this is anything to go by, teachers should expect an increment of less
than US$18 in 2013.”
“You need not be a rocket scientist to see that this is not only an insult,
affront, a charade, but also a travesty of justice to the hard working
teachers of Zimbabwe. This is enough to send us back to the trenches,” he
Zhou added that owing to the recent express permit by the Kimberly process
for Zimbabwe to sell its diamond on the global market and revelations by
diamond mining companies that they have made capital investments to ensure
they double diamond production next year, teachers expect a heavy inflow of
revenue into the fiscus that should translate into payment of salaries above
the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).
Zimbabwe’s PDL is presently estimated at US$600.
Zhou said with election looming next year, the best time for public workers
to “extract” an increment from government is before elections than “after
victories have been declared.”
“Unless we take a leaf from history, teachers would have to wait for five
years after 2013 before they can dream of any meaningful increment,” he
said, adding that whenever there are elections in Zimbabwe teachers become
open targets of violence.
Zhou claimed that in the bloody 2008 elections, the teaching profession lost
eight teachers in state-sponsored political violence.
Teachers are demanding the convening of the National Joint Negotiation
Council before schools open.
He added: "Teachers must brace for industrial action in January 2013 and if
it means chewing barbed wire in order get better salaries so be it.”
With the clock ticking down on Zimbabwe's 2012 and elections expected next
year, as early as March if President Robert Mugabe gets his way, the
seven-member cabinet and parliamentary committee writing the new
constitution remains at odds.
Their meeting Thursday only highlighted their competing ideas on how to
resolve the outstanding issues.
The dispute is now expected to be taken Monday to the three principals in
the government of national unity and also the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to try and unblock the logjam.
SADC is the guarantor to Zimbabwe’s unity government. Sources privy to the
meeting say six issues remain contentious, with Zanu PF demanding that
devolution, a national peace and reconciliation commission and a land
commission be scrapped.
The president’s party also opposes the creation of a national prosecution
authority trimming the powers of the attorney general. Zanu PF is also
calling for a compulsory national youth service and is challenging the
composition of the constitutional court.
But the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations insist that the
document must not be opened up to new additions as it will only delay the
process further. The committee has decided to put the outstanding issues in
a separate document.
There has been some reported progress, however, as Zanu PF is said to have
compromised on dual citizenship and some security sector reforms.
Speaking to his supporters at the annual Zanu PF conference in Gweru, Mr.
Mugabe delivered an ultimatum to the committee, saying that if the
constitution is not finalized by the year’s end he will dissolve parliament
and call for elections.
Both MDC formations and SADC leaders, have said elections without a new
constitution would not be acceptable. Even so, some analysts fear that the
stalemate is likely to continue.
A human rights lawyer with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Jeremiah Bamu,
told VOA that he believes the chances of a sensible compromise are slim.
Zanu PF officials say they are concerned that the final draft may not adhere
to the people’s wishes, so have asked that the draft be audited against
recommendations from the Second All-Stakeholders Conference.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said this review has been
concluded and there are some areas of disagreement.
The constitution is now three years behind schedule, per the timetable laid
out after 2008’s disputed election that saw the formation of Zimbabwe’s
government of national unity.
By Tichaona Sibanda
14 December 2012
Representatives from the MDC formations have blamed ZANU PF’s ‘intransigence’
for the latest constitutional deadlock.
Robert Mugabe’s party stands accused of revisiting issues already agreed to
by all parties. The latest deadlock after Thursday’s management committee
meeting stemmed from differences to do with devolution, the national
prosecuting authority, the truth and reconciliation commission and the land
Analysts say it is not possible to resolve the differences and it is high
time the doors were opened for others ‘to come in and diffuse the deadlock.’
Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairperson, believes the MDC formations have
‘done their work,’ and the onus is now on ‘ZANU PF to do theirs.’ Mwonzora
said it is deeply frustrating that a lot of time has been wasted on talks,
yet the deadlock keeps creeping back on the table.
Dewa Mavhinga, a policy and research director with the newly formed Zimbabwe
Democracy Institute, said it will be a monumental disaster if COPAC failed
to deliver a new constitution to the people of Zimbabwe.
‘If you look at the differences between the sides, they are not that huge
and certainly not insurmountable. There are bigger issues to worry about
than certain provisions in the constitution, like lack of reforms to the
security apparatus,’ Mavhinga said.
The country’s constitution-making process has taken over three years and the
exercise has just been a battleground in the endless war between ZANU PF and
the MDC formations.
Most of the issues in the draft were tackled during the three years of
crafting the charter, but ZANU PF intends to undertake a fresh audit to the
process. An analyst said such an exercise would amount to ‘reinventing the
will of the people’ after they submitted their wishes during the outreach
Mavhinga insisted that such an endeavour would add no value to the
exhaustive constitutional making process.
He said one way of breaking the deadlock may be to bring a wide range of
different expert groups together for a constructive public dialogue, adding
that there was a need to suppress partisan interests in favour of the
overarching goal to write a new national constitution.
Others believe the deadlock over the constitution can only be broken by
regional leaders who brokered the coalition, after the disputed and violent
elections in 2008.
Friday, 14 December 2012 09:51
HARARE - A seven-member Cabinet taskforce produced a new draft constitution
for Zimbabwe on Wednesday, seeking to beat a Christmas deadline set by
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is
also eager to get the draft out of the way by Christmas.
The move advanced progress on the writing of a new governance charter, which
now has a Zanu PF slant that rights experts say could give war veterans
expanded constitutional rights, explicitly bar homosexuality and bring new
restrictions on access to information.
The new “December 12 draft”, a copy of which is in possession of the Daily
News, will be transmitted to Parliament but has to be approved by Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and Industry minister Welshman Ncube, the three political party
leaders who have hijacked the process from Parliament committee, Copac.
A referendum is expected early next year.
The hung assembly that has been leading the constitution writing for months
before it was hijacked by the principals through the Cabinet taskforce is
expected to rubber stamp the document coming from the principals.
There are hardly any fundamental changes to the July 18, 2012 draft, with
the two drafts essentially being the same, save for small changes in the
founding provisions and other clauses.
The founding values and principles in the December 12 draft now give
“recognition and respect of the war of liberation”; and the State, its
institutions and agencies of government at every level must accord due
respect, honour and recognition to war veterans.
The new draft now recognises Zimbabwe as a “multi-party, democratic
The draft also explicitly recognises the rights of women, the elderly,
youth, children and war veterans.
While the July 18 draft made Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan,
Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana,
Venda and Xhosa, the “official languages” of Zimbabwe, the December 12 draft
says they are the “officially recognised” and “the State, its institutions
and agencies” of government at every level must ensure that all languages
are treated equitably.
The July 18 draft states that the State must take all practical measures to
promote free and compulsory basic education for children, the December 12
draft extends these rights to higher and tertiary education.
The December 12 draft recognises preservation of traditional knowledge.
However, the December 12 draft seeks to hobble access to information.
It also explicitly bars gay marriages.
“Every person who has attained the age of 18 has the right to marry provided
that same sex marriages are prohibited,” the new draft reads.
The new draft compels the defence forces to “respect fundamental rights and
freedoms of every person”.
It compels the commissioner-general of police to exercise his or her command
“under the directive of the President”.
Under functions of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the December 12 draft adds
“to register voters”, “supervise voter registration” and to “compile voters’
rolls and registers” meaning Tobaiwa Mudede will no longer be the registrar
of voters if the December 12 draft sails through in its present form.
The Zimbabwe Media Commission is compelled in the new draft “to formulate or
encourage the formulation of codes of conduct for persons employed in the
It asserts the independence of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
“In the exercise of its functions the Anti-Corruption Commission shall not
be under the direction or control of anyone or body,” the December 12 draft
From assessing the December 12 draft, the amendments that Zanu PF would have
wanted to be in the draft were not incorporated, and if it sails through the
Cabinet taskforce, it will be a major victory for the two MDC formations.
Paul Mangwana, Zanu PF Copac co-chairperson said they have not assented to
the December 12 draft, which he described as a “working document”.
“There is no deal,” Mangwana told the Daily News yesterday.
“The principals have said the issues that have been agreed on, factor them
in. There is no deal right now, there is nothing. We are still discussing.”
Eric Matinenga, the convenor and chairperson of the Cabinet taskforce,
professed ignorance on the December 12 draft.
“The negotiations are on-going,” Matinenga said. “It is still work in
progress.” - Gift Phiri, Political Editor
Friday, 14 December 2012 09:51
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is pulling out all the stops,
unveiling a cocktail of empowerment strategies to fight Zimbabwe’s most
tightly-contested presidential election in more than a decade.
Rival political parties and civil society say Zanu PF and the state security
agents have already stepped up the “usual” election violence in many parts
of the country.
Besides violence and intimidation, it seems the party is also looking at
means of enticing voters who ditched both Zanu PF and Mugabe in 2008 when
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his party won the March 2008 polls.
Styling himself as a champion for the poor, Mugabe is working on increasing
access to wealth for many of Zimbabwe’s disadvantaged in a re-election drive
his party says “has the capacity to appeal to electorate in a massive way,”
according to Zanu PF’s strategy paper seen by the Daily News.
Mugabe’s party is proposing nine empowerment strategies for key sectors of
the economy ahead of elections.
It is moving to immediately set up a “small-scale miners’ fund” that will
enable miners to buy critical equipment such as water pumps, generators,
stamp mills and compressors in a blatant vote-buying gimmick.
“The loans will not require that the small-scale miners provide collateral
other than the mining claims they would be holding and the equipment,” said
the strategy paper from the just-ended Zanu PF conference in Gweru.
“The equipment will be given on a leaseback arrangement that will allow them
to buy back the equipment at the end of the lease.
“The revolving fund should (also) be used to capacitate buyers of minerals
like gold, emeralds, feldspar, tantalite, quartz and tourmaline to ensure
that competition is brought about in the marketing to reduce incidences of a
few buyers short-changing the small-scale miners.”
In the run-up to the election, Mugabe has stepped up public spending, he
unveiled a controversial $20 million farm inputs scheme last month and has
been giving away free inputs to villagers.
“The inputs distribution network should be widened to new groups of
farmers,” the party’s strategy paper says.
Zanu PF says it will use existing structures like the State-run Agritex and
technical colleges Chibero Agricultural College in Norton and Kushinga
Phikelela National Farmer Training Centre in Marondera to run customised
farmer training programmes in each and every district.
The 49-year-old liberation party is also proposing a cocktail of measures to
curry favour with indigenous traders.
Mugabe says a further five years would allow him to deepen his “revolution”
and increase socialism in Zimbabwe.
“We therefore seek to open opportunity for expanding trading spaces in urban
areas,” the strategy paper says.
“Efforts will also be made to identify trading spaces within urban areas,
which shall be established as ‘Empowerment Parks’ and opened up for
indigenous Zimbabweans to carry out their businesses.
“We call for the establishment of Empowerment Wholesalers in the rural areas
to be linked to a rural retailer’s fund.”
Zanu PF is also promising less electricity load shedding if elected by
opening up the energy and power sector to private players, according to
documents at hand.
“We need to prioritise investment in energy sources with a possible
extension of compliance periods for those companies seeking to invest in
this sector because it is key to the revival of the economy,” the paper
“Where extension is granted, we will insist on technological transfer
through the setup of Built-Operate-Transfer industries in the sector.”
But another five years of a Mugabe government is a worrying prospect for
Foreign business owners say some of Mugabe’s policies have made life
extremely difficult for them.
Expropriations of land and businesses have sown seeds of uncertainty in the
minds of investors.
Foreign currency shortages have made importing extremely difficult, causing
headaches for entrepreneurs.
A tourism operator on the banks of Lake Chivero, who declined to be named
fearing victimisation, is just about ready to give up on Zimbabwe.
“There have been invasions as late as 2010, after the GNU,” he says.
“We are looking at pursuing interests in Zambia where we recently set up
another venture. We feel we can do much better there than here.”
It is not only Zimbabwean residents who will be watching this election
closely, but several other investors.
Says Zanu PF in its indigenisation strategy paper on the tourism and
hospitality sector: “There is need to deliberately empower local people in
areas that are congested by foreigners especially in the conservancies,
restaurants, casinos etc. Locals must be trained to run white-dominated
Zanu PF is also planning to set up community share ownership trusts in all
tourism and related activities.
Zanu PF, buoyed by diamonds cash, also wants to set up a “loan fund”
specifically designed to assist indigenous players in engineering and
construction — with guarantees of government construction and engineering
projects or tenders serving as collateral in the envisaged deals.
And all foreign firms will be forced to subcontract at least 10 percent of
total value of work to indigenous construction firms based in that
respective province. This will be gazetted soon, according to the strategy
Zanu PF is also ramping up the computerisation programme to rural and urban
schools as well as to community groups and church organisations, with local
indigenous computer suppliers given top priority.
The party says it will also facilitate the setting up of agro-processing
industries in areas with abundant resources; and again companies will be
compelled to buy raw materials from indigenous Zimbabweans.
Despite stern warnings even from Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono against
the planned seizure of majority stakes in foreign-owned banks, Zanu PF
insists that the banking and financial services sector “should be further
indigenised and transformed so that it serves the needs of local people.”
“Banks should be compelled to up their deposits-to-loans ratios while
micro-finance institutions need to be capitalised and assisted to spread to
rural areas to fund previously marginalised (groups).”
Zanu PF is also mulling an indigenisation stock market.
“We are devising ways of facilitating the entry of new money into the
economy including planning for the creation of an indigenisation stock
exchange and mobilisation of empowerment bonds and other funds on the
Mugabe told his supporters at the Zanu PF conference last Saturday: “Let us
now go to the election with this strong weapon of our policies. That is our
greatest weapon. We are different from the other creatures.”
Challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, the 60-year-old Prime Minister, a trade
unionist-turned-career politician, has been criss-crossing the country
trying to galvanise support among the wider electorate for his presidential
bid, promising to create one million jobs by 2018 if elected, increasing the
economic growth rate exponentially, reducing the inflation rate, delivering
a $100 billion economy by 2040, improving electricity generation and
building a social contract between government, workers and employers.
Tsvangirai’s promises to maintain social programmes while also encouraging
private enterprise appear to have struck a chord with many voters.
Given what is at stake, there are concerns that violence could erupt between
rival supporters, but all parties have spoken out strongly against the
Gift Phiri, Political Editor
14 DEC 2012 00:00 - JASON MOYO
Zanu-PF will use empowerment to win votes, but may be hamstrung by the sorry
state of its coffers.
President Robert Mugabe will place his controversial empowerment policy at
the head of his re-election campaign, according to a strategy detailed in a
new internal report by his central committee. But should this not be enough,
his party is ready to target Zimbabwean churches, singers and even burial
societies to win Mugabe a seventh term in office.
Zanu-PF is still divided, the document says it is broke and there are doubts
about how much campaigning Mugabe, who will be 89 when the next election
takes place, will manage. But the latest report of the Zanu-PF central
committee lays out a campaign strategy that shows how desperate the party is
to overcome its problems and win his re-election.
Not surprisingly, the empowerment crusade, which Mugabe describes in a
preamble to the report as being of "immense historic and revolutionary
significance for our people and for posterity", will anchor his campaign.
According to the report, the empowerment programme will "decrease fear in
our supporters and increase the fear [in] our opponents, leading us to
"As we approach the impending election, we have stepped up efforts to
implement a political programme of mobilisation anchored on
the ≠indigenisation and economic empowerment policy," the report says. "This
political programme might have a strong bearing on the success of the
All party candidates will need to develop "a localised campaign plan that
neatly ties in with the indigenisation and empowerment imperatives" of their
area, the report says.
To make sure the empowerment message wins votes, the party will target
church groups, unions and young people and "empower their members to get
their endorsement and support".
The report reveals the party's plans to lure popular figures into its web of
patronage in exchange for public endorsement: "We must identify influential
people in our society, like celebrity musicians [and] sports personalities,
empower them and get them to support the indigenisation programme – and
Zanu-PF by association."
Party leaders, including Mugabe, will be "spearheading [the] mobilisation of
religious, traditional and commercial organisations in an endeavour to
increase the support base of the party".
Beyond empowerment, Zanu-PF has a few other aces to play. Apart from
consolidating relationships with artists and music groups, the party plans
"mass mobilisation through funeral insurance and burial societies". The
latter are influential in Zimbabwe, especially in poor communities.
The party wants to produce books, films, documentaries and "articles of
regalia", says the report.
Zanu-PF also envisages a new economic policy, a response to the recently
launched economic plan of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), known by
its acronym Juice (jobs, upliftment, capital investment and ecology).
"The [Zanu-PF] economic blueprint will compare favourably against the MDC's
Juice election manifesto and win the hearts of the electorate, resulting in
a resounding victory for Zanu-PF," the strategy document predicts.
The youth wing plans to recruit "young entrepreneurs" to the party and
infiltrate college student councils to ensure they are led by "student
representatives who have the proper political orientation".
Economically viable policies
Zanu-PF is known for its suspicion of technology and one of the resolutions
at the end of its conference last week warned rights groups against handing
out cellphones to villagers. But the party will finally launch an internet
campaign so that it can fight back in the "global information war" it says
is being waged against it through the likes of CNN, Sky News, the BBC "and
even the English version of Al Jazeera as well as the use of internet
Zanu-PF, says the document, will exert "great effort to put the party
website to better use, in line with modern trends".
But the party says its strategy might fail because of poor finances. It is
surviving on a $500 000 overdraft and the report claims that Zanu-PF
collected only $4.6million this year – from membership card sales,
$2.5-million in donations and a state grant – whereas its spending was close
Zanu-PF owes $240 000 in phone bills, cannot afford to run a website, is
failing to pay salaries and owes money to its lawyers.
The document reveals how the party hopes to raise money by pursuing
"populist but economically viable policies such as the acquisition of mining
concessions and hunting concessions for the party".
The report offers glimpses into just why the party struggles to appeal to
younger voters. Zanu-PF says it remains guided by "the teachings of his
excellency, comrade President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, which are based on the
integration of the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism with practical
experiences of the Zimbabwe revolution".
By Tichaona Sibanda
14 December 2012
In an apparent signal that election fever is heating up, Zimbabwe Defence
Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga recently promised to pay the
war vets $2,000 a month between January and September next year.
Reports in the media Friday quoted Chiwenga saying the money would come from
the Marange diamond fields and investment in the Lupane gas project, which
government is moving to embark on with Russian investors.
The ZDF commander made this pronouncement while addressing over 800 war vets
at One Brigade Headquarters in Bulawayo three weeks ago. Our correspondent
in Bulawayo, Lionel Saungweme, told us most of the war vets who attended the
meeting belonged to ZIPRA, the former armed wing of ZAPU.
‘The war vets were surprised Chiwenga came up with this promise, knowing
there was an election due next year, but he has not bothered to enquire
about the welfare of the former combatants who have been struggling to make
ends meet,’ Saungweme said.
The former combatants said if Chiwenga is serious about his promise, he
should ask the government to enact such an arrangement into the ZDF Act,
which administers war vets affairs, so it becomes law.
Saungweme explained that most of those who attended the meeting were more
concerned with the return of the ZAPU properties that government confiscated
just before the start of the Gukurahundi massacres.
These properties include numerous farms, houses and central business
district office buildings that the war vets want returned to them. They
intend to use the properties for income generating projects.
In 1997 the government made its first unbudgeted payment to war vets, and it
was one of the disastrous economic decisions at that time that caused the
Zim dollar to crash and lose over 80% of its value against the US dollar.
Economists blamed the effects of what is now historically known as ‘Black
Friday’ on the Z$50,000 monthly payments made to vets and the country’s
involvement in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
By Alex Bell
14 December 2012
ZANU PF corruption is helping to drive investors away from Zimbabwe, an
analyst said on Friday.
An investigation is underway into a US$10 million bribe demanded by some
ZANU PF government ministers, in discussions with an ANC-linked company.
It is understood that the company was planning a billion dollar investment
in Zimbabwe’s diamond industry, a plan that was scuttled because of the
attempted extortion by the ZANU PF ministers.
These details were passed on to ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe by former South
African president Thabo Mbeki, who sent an envoy to Zimbabwe recently with a
list of names of who was involved in the extortion. This alleged proof also
includes details of who, when, and where the ministers met, and how they
demanded bribes. It is not yet clear when this attempted extortion happened.
Mugabe meanwhile was said to have been left fuming by the information
supplied by Mbeki, which included insinuations that his party members would
hand some of the extorted cash straight to him. Speaking at the ZANU PF
people’s conference over the weekend, Mugabe told delegates:
“I was getting complaints from outside. Former South African president Thabo
Mbeki was saying some of their people in the ANC wanted to come intending to
do business and this is what they have been told: ‘If you want to do this
business, you bring US$5 million and from that US$5 million we take US$1
million that we will take to the minister to give to the president’,” Mugabe
He added: “If I get information stating that so and so minister is doing
this, he goes. Unfortunately, sometimes complainants do not want to identify
the ministers, fearing persecution but that is happening in the ministries.”
Observers have noted that the former South African president’s indignation
with the alleged bribery is ironic, considering that South Africa is
considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world, with an extremely
high number of government officials implicated in corrupt activities.
South African based economic analyst Luke Zunga however said that the real
problem is the ongoing damage such corruption is doing to Zimbabwe’s
“When corruption is high, then investment is low. So Zimbabwe, with this
kind of corruption, is dissuading investment. ZANU PF’s indigenisation
policies are also part of this problem,” Zunga said.
Zimbabwe was recently listed in a global corruption perception report as
being the most corrupt in Southern Africa, and was also listed in the bottom
20 countries who have earned the title of most corrupt in the world.
Friday, 14 December 2012 09:59
HARARE - A prominent Harare businessman whose employees are in court on
allegations of bribing a top Zanu PF official says he is being persecuted
for being an MDC supporter.
Mashwede Diesel Services managing director Alex Elias Mashamhanda told a
Harare magistrate yesterday that his business was suffering because of his
Two Mashwede Diesel Services employees are being accused of offering $15 000
to Zanu PF Harare youth leader Jim Kunaka, who is in charge of activists who
were disrupting the construction of a service station in Mbare.
“Senior politicians have been enticing people to destroy my property due to
the fact that I am an MDC supporter,” said Mashamhanda, who is behind the
“The issue is with senior politicians who wanted to settle their personal
scores with me, which I believe are political,” he added.
Mashamhanda, who was appearing as a witness, told the court that Kunaka was
being used by rival politicians to stop the construction.
“Kunaka is getting instructions from senior politicians to mobilise youths
to demonstrate against the construction in Mbare. That is why he is not
being arrested,” Mashamhanda said.
“People from law and order (police department) came to my offices saying
they had not arrested youths who assaulted my workers at the construction
site because they were instructed by senior politicians not to do so,” said
“Environmental Management Agency was also influenced by senior politicians
not to give us the clearing certificate which we later obtained after a long
struggle,” he added.
Isheunesu Maribha and Gwezuva Changamire, who are employed by Mashwede
Diesel Services as general manager and sales representative respectively,
were arrested after they allegedly attempted to bribe Kunaka.
Kunaka was leading an outfit called Mbare Residents Committee resisiting the
The two allegedly wanted Kunaka to use his political muscle to influence the
residents to support the construction of the service station. - Ivan Zhakata
Staff Reporter 19 hours 16 minutes ago
ONE hundred and twenty-three police officers have been arrested countrywide
since January this year for corruption as the force maintains zero tolerance
on the vice. Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday said
the force did not condone corruption.
He said of the 123 arrested since January, 32 have since been discharged
from the force while the other cases were pending.
“Zimbabwe Republic Police utterly condemns any form of corruption and shall
continue to invoke the wrath of the law to completely destroy this cancerous
“Let me remind officers and members of the force that we have zero tolerance
to corruption,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
He was speaking at a pass-out parade for 210 cops in Harare yesterday.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said any officer caught in corrupt activities would be
He said all police stations should have boards explaining how the public
should report corruption.
He urged the public not to offer bribes to officers.
“All police officers should bear in mind that the general public deserve a
full measure of police service from them,” Comm-Gen Chihuri said.
He said the force had not been spared by the illegal sanctions imposed by
Britain and its allies to counter the land reform programme.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said the force was operating with limited resources as a
result of meagre allocations from Treasury.
“We are operating in the red, almost nearing to closing shop,” he said.
The police chief said the force was recruiting to close the wide gap of the
“It is quite disturbing to note that there are some misguided elements among
us who do not appreciate the critical role of the police.
“Instead of complementing our efforts as we discharge our constitutional
mandate of maintaining law and order they despise us and have the audacity
to call for the stoppage of recruitment of police officers,” said Comm-Gen
He urged citizens to shun violence during the forthcoming referendum and the
general elections scheduled for early next year.
The recruits underwent a six-month training course.
They covered subjects such as the History of the Liberation of Zimbabwe,
Police Duties and Investigations, Domestic Violence Act, Human Rights and
Policing, Public Order Management, and Weapon Handling among others.
Comm-Gen Chihuri said the inclusion of Human Rights as a subject
demonstrated the force’s commitment to observing human rights.
By Alex Bell
14 December 2012
An official from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) who was
arrested on Wednesday during a police raid, will be spending the weekend
behind bars in Harare.
Five police members stormed the group’s offices and arrested Leo
Chamahwinya, the ZimRights Education and Programmes Manager. The police
accused him of conducting illegal voter registration, but did not lay any
charges against him.
He was held at Harare Central Police Station overnight.
One of Chamahwinya’s lawyers, Tarisai Mutangi, told SW Radio Africa that his
client was formally charged on Friday for ‘conspiracy to commit fraud’ and
will be moved to another detention facility. He will now spend the weekend
there until he is brought before a Magistrate on Monday.
SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent, Simon Muchemwa, said on Friday that
intimidation continues to worsen, particularly in areas where “ZANU PF has
been rejected.” He said it was a sign of “ZANU PF panic” that intimidation
of NGO groups has stepped up.
“Intimidation is happening every day, especially in urban centres where ZANU
PF is not popular. Basically they are using a system established years ago
to clampdown on the activities of NGOs. Clearly no elections can be held in
this environment,” Muchemwa said.
There has been a spate of incidents of intimidation of human rights groups
in recent months. This past week, two officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral
Support Network (ZESN) were detained for organising an “unsanctioned public
meeting” on International Human Rights Day.
Last month several employees from the Counselling Services Unit (CSU), an
NGO that provides support to victims of torture and political violence, were
arrested and illegally detained because CSU was allegedly in possession of
“offensive and subversive material.”
And in August the headquarters of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Zimbabwe
(GALZ) was ransacked on multiple occasions, during which visibly drunk riot
police assaulted GALZ employees and seized office materials. Authorities
later attempted to shut down the GALZ operations altogether, charging a
co-chairperson with running an “unregistered” organisation.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
14 December 2012
A pregnant woman and her three young children, who were allegedly abducted
by suspected ZANU PF operatives, are said to be safe and back home in
Shagari, Midlands South.
The MDC-T had reported that 23-year old Florence Ngwere Jamela and her
children Emmanuel, Godfrey (5) and Frank (3) were abducted in the early
hours of Thursday morning. Their father, Moses Jamela was not home at the
But further investigations by SW Radio Africa have revealed that the MDC may
have been misinformed.
According to Mark Moyo, the MDC-T Policy and Research Secretary for Midlands
Province and a resident of lower Gweru near Shagari, Moses Jamela insists
his family was abducted but he had “found” them in Bulawayo. But the details
of the abduction do not add up and not much is known about Jamela in the
Moyo explained that Jamela arrived back in Shagari a couple of months ago
after a very long absence. The local Sabhuku, Jani Kanda, believes Jamela
works in South Africa and travels through Bulawayo quite frequently. He has
applied for permission to build a home in the area and is said to be
A statement from the MDC-T had named Artwell Zindi, Stephen Mazarura, Jephta
and Cosmas as the ZANU PF members responsible for the abduction. It was also
alleged that the operatives stole a generator that the MDC-T use for power
at their functions.
Moyo said he is not sure exactly what happened to Jamela’s wife and children
on Thursday. But he is glad they are alive and were not physically harmed.
He said eventually the truth will surface.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
14 December 2012
The ex-communicated former Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, has continued
to fight for control of church buildings and properties owned by the main
Anglican Church (CPCA), despite losing a legal challenge at the High Court
earlier this week.
Lawyer Jonathan Samukange filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court on
Thursday, challenging High Court Judge George Chiweshe’s refusal to deal
with Kunonga’s latest application.
The former Bishop was seeking to block the deputy sheriff from evicting
those occupying church buildings he had taken from the CPCA in the five
years since he left. But on Monday Judge Chiweshe said he had no
jurisdiction to hear the matter because the Supreme Court had already ruled
The Supreme Court ruled that Chad Gandiya was the rightful Bishop of Harare
and the CPCA was granted ownership of all church properties. The CPCA has
already taken back many of the buildings they lost to Kunonga, but the
former Bishop refuses to let the case die.
His lawyers now claim the fresh application at the Supreme Court is from the
Anglican Church Province of Zimbabwe (ACPZ), not Kunonga himself. But the
ACPZ was formed by Kunonga and his allies after he resigned from the CPCA.
Staff Reporter 21 hours 13 minutes ago
HARARE - Sharp differences among the main parties over whether or not to
invite western election observers have set GNU partners on a collision
The squabbles are set to place more potholes on the road towards elections
as the process of making a new constitution, a condition for the next polls,
is moving at a snail’s pace.
Zanu (PF) has, once again, decided to play hardball and dismissed the
possibility of entertaining western observers, whom it accuses of seeking
the removal of President Robert Mugabe and his party from power.
The 2008 elections were held with the participation of only African and
Asian observers carefully chosen by Zanu (PF), at Mugabe’s insistence. MDC-T
has threatened to boycott the 2013 polls if international observers are not
Nelson Chamisa, MP for Kuwadzana, told a recent rally of party supporters:
“No international observers, no elections for MDC. We will not be party to
elections which are not observed by the international community. MDC wants
to participate in truly free and fair elections, whose outcome will be
credible and acceptable by all parties involved.”
In a follow up interview, Chamisa stood by his position, saying: “If Zanu
(PF) can invite countries of its choice to observe the election, why can’t
MDC as well enjoy the privilege to invite its friends? The election
situation resembles that of a wedding. Both wedding couples are free to
invite guests of their choice.”
He said the issue of election observers was clearly spelt out in the GPA.
But Zanu (PF) is adamant on the issue.
“Western countries will not be invited to observe our elections. As Zanu
(PF), we will not allow them anywhere near our national affairs,” party
spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said.
Observers noted that if Zanu (PF) was serious about convincing the
international community that the elections would be free and fair, it should
invite the sceptics to prove to them that it has nothing to hide. “They can
get a clean bill of health from their friends, but why are they afraid of
others in the international community – especially those who regularly
conduct their own free and fair elections?” asked one political analyst.
Chris Mutsvangwa, considered a hardliner in the party, confirmed the
position, saying Zimbabwe was not legally obliged to ensure the presence of
foreign observers during elections.
“MDC should take a close look at the constitution, which stipulates that
Zimbabwe is obliged to hold elections only under supervision of the
international community. As a country we must grow up and run our own
affairs without outside assistance or supervision,” Mutsvangwa told The
He accused the MDC of pandering to the interests of the West, and poured
scorn on the MDC-T election boycott threat.
“MDC is free not to participate in the elections, since our constitution
does not force any political party to be part of the plebiscite against its
will. The MDC position on observers serves to confirm that some political
parties are beholden to some outside countries,” said Mutsvangwa.
Zanu (PF) MP for Tsholotsho, Jonathan Moyo, weighed into the debate, saying:
“Chamisa should know that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state. We will invite
organisations of our choice to monitor and observe coming elections.
Naturally, western countries are not among our preferences.”
Zapu spokesperson, Mark Mbayiwa said election observers were necessary foran
acceptable outcome. “We want both regional and international observers …
since we want a clean and credible election. Observers can be invited from
anywhere,” he said.
Nhlanhla Dube from the MDC led by Welshman Ncube said there was need to
speed up the constitution-making process first.
Political analyst John Makumbe agreed. “If elections are conducted under a
new constitution, only the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will have authority
to invite observers, not political parties. If the elections are conducted
under the Lancaster House constitution, government will invite observers and
since the GNU is made up of three political parties each party will invite
whoever it wishes,” he said.
Even though Mugabe and his party recently urged speed in coming up with a
new constitution so as to pave way for elections, their sincerity is in
doubt, as there is a strong clique in Zanu (PF) that is opposed to a new
Mugabe has flouted the GPA on several occasions and acted unilaterally,
leaving the possibility that he can still do the same with the decision on
The international community and civil society have called on the government
to ensure foreign observers are included in the electoral process. In a
recent interview with The Zimbabwean, British Ambassador to Harare, Deborah
Bonnet, said: “We want to see a free and fair election and the involvement
of international observers will give Zimbabwe credit.” - The Zimbabwean
Friday, 14 December 2012
President Morgan Tsvangirai has declared that the MDC is ready to govern. He
said this while addressing Provincial delegates in Manicaland today at
Queens Hall in Mutare at a Provincial council, the 11th of which the
President has been addressing nationwide. “MDC is ready and so am I. I am
ready to take power. After we win the elections, we should defend our
victory but we need stability,” he said much to the great applause from
President Tsvangirai said his message to Provincial councils has always been
the same. “There is a distinctive narrative between the performance of Zanu
PF in governance and MDC performance in governance. We should not repeat a
culture of corruption created by Zanu Pf. Ngatitadzei tichiedza. We should
have commitment to move this country forward. We are in a transitional
period. We are going through a generational transition; from those who
fought the liberation struggle to those who want to develop the independent
Zimbabwe. We are also going through a political transition where we have to
change the political culture set by Zanu PF over the past three decades of
one man one rule of an imperial President. We want to change from a
political transition of dominance by one party, by one man.
“As MDC, we must change that narrative of political governance set by Zanu
PF. Our difference must be like sunrise and sunset. As MDC, we want to
create a modern, democratic and developmental state. Our governance should
give hope to the people,” he said.
He said Zanu PF had politicised everything even the distribution of food aid
or agricultural inputs. President Tsvangirai pointed out some few obstacles
that might draw people back but encouraged them to soldier on saying it is
very much possible to win the next coming elections because we are
determined from a long time back in 1999, when we took a risk and some where
maimed while others were murdered.
“We should overcome fear of defeat. You should not become afraid before an
attempt. We should be determined to win the next elections resoundingly,” he
He also said people need to get rid of fear of victory. “Do not be afraid of
victory. We got into government with no experience but we had a plan. Right
now we will use the experience we got in government but we must be clear on
what we want to do to the people from day one. Our transition plan in
government is to create jobs, build enabling infrastructure, improve the
education and health sector among other things,” he said.
President Tsvangirai explained that the Lancaster constitution was a power
transfer document and not about democracy. “If you have no clear plan of
what you want to do, then you are creating conditions of another revolution
against yourself. You cannot have a government with a party that does not
know what it is doing. “Power is institutional. If you want power for
yourself alone then you are a dictator. MDC is an institution, you can’t
destroy it,” he said.
He also said leadership cohesion and party unity should not be lip service.
“It needs to be genuine, real. You must mean it. Leadership cohesion means
team work. A team is not an individual. If we are to win, we win as a team.
There is no looser in a winning team. Leadership is about influence, it’s
not about how many degrees you have. It’s good to be educated but be
educated with a purpose. Don’t try to run a personal programme, hazvizi
zvako, ndezveparty. Once you elect a leadership, you should have confidence
in them. We waste our efforts looking for the negatives,” he said.
He explained the need to celebrate our successes now and not to wait to just
hero worship dead people. He said the new constitution is an MDC delivery
Concerning election candidates he said there is not going to be a candidate
imposition. “Our message is that we are not imposing candidates. We should
have a protocol because a party with no protocol has no discipline. Some of
the councillors have damaged the image of this party and this time we want
set qualifications for councillors who we will give performance bench marks.
We need to know what you are going to contribute in that council. We have
zero tolerance to corruption. No, No, No, No to Corruption.
President Tsvangirai took a swipe on gossipers and said there is need for
message discipline. “I don’t need problems but programmes. I need programmes
to solve those problems. Let’s not emphasize the issue of problems. Let’s
emphasise on solutions. Why don’t you look for opportunities not
challenges?” he said.
He explained that it is ZEC’s responsibility to conduct voter registration
and that people should be registered at ward level. He concluded by saying
as MDC, we want ZEC, to explain a clear roadmap on the role of security
sector in the next coming elections.
Chairman Lovemore Moyo spoke of the responsibility of the chairman’s office
and said it is to make sure the party is ready for elections, to have a non
violent party, to enforce discipline in the party and conflict avoidance,
management and resolution. “As leadership we should know our values and
principles as a party. The issue of elections is a conflict on its own and
we should not allow ourselves to be divided again.
Deputy Treasurer General, Minister Elton Mangoma explained that resources
are limited but people should perform their best and create strategies to
improvise. “Resources are limited and so there is no favouritism in
allocation of them as some would want to think.
He also explained MDC national economic blue print currently held under the
theme JUICE: Jobs, Upliftment, Investment Capital and the Environment.
“This policy outlines our framework for full economic recovery, with a
return to sustainable and inclusive growth policies aimed at uplifting every
Zimbabwean. JUICE is the pathway to macroeconomic stabilization,
institutional and structural reforms that will restore hope and pride in our
economy and spur long term economic growth.
“Consistent with our vision to create a better future for our citizens, the
MDC approach is a comprehensive economic strategy aimed at job creation,
upliftment, capital investment and sound environmental management.
“Through a cluster based development model, our policy approach will
facilitate the development of economic growth nodes in peri-urban zones to
create a more balanced economy, all of which is aimed at reducing high
levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality,” he explained.
Deputy organising secretary Hon Abednico Bhebhe said their focus is
scientific organising where they are more concerned with figures and
statistics. He spoke of structure audit, accelerated card sales, supremacy
of the branch, regular district real change rallies, to recruit first time
voters, recruitment drive, political education, post congress integration
among other issues.
In his report, the Provincial chairman Julius Magarangoma said they as a
Province are committed to maintain their number one position and not only
retain the 20 seats currently under MDC but to increase them to 23 from 26.
“We have a huge number of dormant voters and those are our target. We know
how important the next elections are and we have since embarked on a voter
registration process. Our number one priority is to win the next elections.
We are not going to deliver less that 23 MP’s out of 26 districts in
Manicaland,” he said.
Chairman Magarangoma explained that as part of their efforts to win the next
elections, they have buried their pre and post congresses differences and
are unitedly moving forward geared to win the next elections.
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
MASVINGO — Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere says Zimbabwe’s controversial black empowerment law is
not meant to hurt whites but to close the wealth gap between white and black
Speaking at an event to officially open a Youth Empowerment and Investment
seminar in Masvingo Thursday, Kasukuwere said the focus of indigenization is
to ensure that blacks and whites attain the same level of economic
Kasukuwere said he does not hate whites but that indigenization would bring
economic balance, so that Zimbabweans might even see whites working for
blacks in the country.
He noted that he hopes personally to employ a white cook or gardener as his
forefathers served as cooks and gardeners for whites.
“We are not against them because they are white, we only want to become what
they were, we are only closing the gap,” said Kasukuwere.
Under the country's Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act, any white
or foreign-owned company must transfer a 51 percent of its ownership to
blacks or in the language of the law, any person who before Zimbabwe’s
Independence Day was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds
of his or her race.
The minister acknowledged that the indigenization process has been marred by
mistakes, adding that mistakes will continue to be made as the country moves
to empower more black Zimbabweans.
The minister also took a swipe at Finance Minister Tendai Biti for what he
called “literally imposing internal sanctions on the country's youths by
failing to release money meant for youth programs from the treasury.”
Kasukuwere said that while such moves are an obstacle to indigenization, the
black economic empowerment programme would continue.
Biti and the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai have openly criticized the indigenization and empowerment
policy, saying it only enriches the elite and discourages foreign direct
investment needed to grow the economy.
The minister also implored youths who have benefited from loans provided by
his ministry to pay the loans back.
Addressing the same gathering, Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister,
Titus Maluleke, also acknowledged that indigenization would continue to be
plagued by problems, but he blamed this on what he called “agents who
ill -advise the youth that indigenization is only a political gimmick”.
He said there are many other Zanu PF programes that cannot be implemented
due to lack of funds.
The three-day Youth Empowerment and Investment Seminar, organized by the
Youth Initiators Association of Zimbabwe, had approximately 30 attendants.
Staff Reporter 21 hours 17 minutes ago
The MDC wing led by Welshman Ncube and ZAPU led by Dumiso Dabengwa are on
the verge of signing a coalition pact in the hope of securing a clean sweep
in Matabeleland, Midlands and Manicaland Provinces at the next election.
In separate interviews the two parties’ spokespersons confirmed that there
have been discussions between senior leaders from both camps to form a
coalition, which will see ZAPU backing Ncube for President.
The MDC-N Deputy Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity, Kurauone
Chihwayi, confirmed that discussions were on-going. “It is something still
in the pipeline,” he said. “One thing for sure is there has been mass
movement of supporters from MDC-T, Zanu (PF) and Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile to our
ZAPU spokesperson Mark Mbayiwa said discussions had taken place but nothing
“put to paper so far”.
“What you have to understand is that leaders in ZAPU and MDC worked together
before and they discuss these issues to find a common goal and how to
conquer come elections. Our party has an open door policy to engage anyone
willing to partner us,” he said.
Chihwayi said working with MDC-T in the coming election was unlikely, as the
party had become untrustworthy – “it can indicate that it is turning left
yet it will turn right”.
“In 2008 we formed a coalition with them and agreed that we will support
Tsvangirai for presidency and that we will have our MPs stand alone in
constituencies but the following day they changed. “They are selfish and
greedy,” he added.
“The MDC President Ncube is the hottest presidential candidate inside
Zimbabwe at the moment,” said Chihwayi.
MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora said his party would welcomes any
prospective coalition that centred on democracy, and denied that his party
cheated MDC-N in 2008.
“We are not in 2008 but 2012, so they must not focus on history because they
supported Simba Makoni then. In order to move forward they should consider
the future and work towards it. MDC-T will never force any party to partner
it, as we believe in democracy,” he added.
by Edgar Gweshe
The government needs to put measures in place to ensure youth participation
in agriculture as a way of guaranteeing the future of the sector, the
President of the Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers Union, Charles Taffs, said.
The involvement of young people in farming activities remains low. Taffs
made the remarks during an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean.
“One big problem we have is that the youths are not getting involved in
agriculture. If young people don’t get involved in agriculture, in 10 years
time, who is going to feed this country?” said Taffs.
Taffs implored the government to implement policies to guarantee security of
tenure on agricultural land as a way of boosting confidence among
stakeholders in the sector.
“There needs to be a policy shift and if there is a policy shift, the youths
will actually turn to that as a career choice,” said Taffs.
Taffs expressed concern over the state of preparations for this year’s
agricultural season and said the country was heading for “disaster”.
The spokesperson of youth empowerment group, Upfumi Kuvadiki, Alson Darikayi
said youths should be supported through government policies to take centre
stage in the agricultural sector.
“At present, youth involvement in agriculture is minimal. Deliberate
strategies need to be put in place to ensure the youths get involved. Even
under the Land Reform programme, very few youths benefited and this
minimizes our participation in the agricultural sector,” said Darikayi.
Xinhua | 2012-12-14 11:01:33
Bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and China reached 750 million US dollars in
the first 10 months of 2012 with Zimbabwe enjoying a trade surplus of 112
million dollars, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Lin Lin said on Thursday.
He told a press conference that in recent years, the two countries have
witnessed fast growth in bilateral trade. As a result, China has risen to
become Zimbabwe's third largest trading partner after South Africa and the
European Union, he said.
"From 2009 to 2011, our annual bilateral trade volume is 297 million US
dollars, 560 million US dollars and 810 million US dollars respectively," he
The ambassador, who was making his first press conference since assuming
duty in July, pledged to further cooperation between the two countries,
particularly in mining, agriculture and infrastructure.
He said China is keen to work with Zimbabwe to improve its infrastructure,
which has suffered years of neglect.
The Chinese government has already started work to expand the Victoria Falls
Airport runway, which would be busy during the United Nations World Tourism
Organization general assembly next year, the Chinese envoy said.
China is also eager to expand economic cooperation with the resource-rich
country to help it achieve faster economic recovery after a decade of
economic decline that ended in 2009 with the adoption of multiple
With its fast growing economy, China would also greatly benefit from
Zimbabwe's natural resources, he said.
The ambassador said China-Zimbabwe relations have entered into a new stage
of fast growth in 2012 as shown by frequent high-level visits from the two
sides, growing economic cooperation and people to people exchanges. Among
China's high-ranking officials who visited Zimbabwe this year was Vice
Premier Hui Liangyu.
"China-Zimbabwe cooperation is a typical South-South cooperation for mutual
benefits and complementary advantages," he said, calling for renewed vigor
in pushing forward relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the ambassador chronicled China's economic and social
achievements over the last three decades, saying these were made possible
through the wise leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) which
recently elected a new leadership for the next 10 years.
He said the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in November passed
several resolutions concerning China's future development. China will follow
the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and stick to the path of
On China's foreign policy, he said the Asian country would continue to
uphold the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefits.
by Garikai Chaunza
NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chair, Lovemore Madhuku, has said
elections must be held without a new constitution, backing a threat by
President Robert Mugabe to ditch the stalled constitutional reform process.
Mugabe recently told supporters in Gweru that he may be forced to dissolve
Parliament and call new polls, accusing his MDC rivals of deliberately
blocking the constitutional reform process in order to delay the elections.
The draft charter is expected to be put to a referendum and lead to the new
polls which Mugabe says will be held in March next year.
But Madhuku, whose NCA has vowed to campaign for a ‘No’ vote during the
referendum, told journalists attending an election reporting workshop in
Kadoma Thursday that elections must be held without the new constitution.
“There is no need for the NCA to keep on talking of Vote NO for the
referendum because there is no referendum to talk about,” he said.
“As NCA we are now saying that elections must be held without the
constitution and deal with the issue later, whoever wins the elections.
“There is no referendum to talk about because of what is happening. What we
are likely to see is a mock referendum after parties have done the usual
Mugabe told supporters at a party conference in Gweru that he would name an
election date if the constitutional reforms remain deadlocked.
Meanwhile, Madhuku also hit out at MDC-T secretary general and Finance
Minister Tendai Biti, accusing him of misleading non-resident Zimbabweans
into believing the draft constitution provides for a Diaspora vote.
GPA parties agreed to scrap provisions for the millions of Zimbabweans
living outside the country to vote citing logistical challenges.
But Madhuku claimed Biti has continued to make misleading statements over
“There are some lawyers who think that they are the ones who know,” Madhuku
“Tendai Biti (has been lying) to the nation about the Diaspora vote; he even
writes rubbish in the independent media lying to the people.
“Biti forgets that even after he joined the (coalition) government three
years ago there are lawyers who have been produced in the country who now
know that what he is saying is not correct.”
Initially pushed by the MDC formations, the provision for a Diaspora vote
was dropped after spirited opposition from Zanu PF.
Zanu PF negotiator and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the
logistical challenges made a Diaspora vote impossible, adding that sanctions
imposed by the West also blocked his party from campaigning in countries
such as Australia, the UK and the US.
14 December 2012 14:54
Shares in Aquarius Platinum rise nearly 2% in Johannesburg as the platinum
says it and its JV partner will sell control of their Zimbabwean mine to
locals in a $550m deal to meet affirmative action targets.
Aquarius, which owns the mine jointly with South Africa's Impala Platinum ,
is up 1.77% at R6.31. Aquarius is also listed in London
"Fears of outright expropriation were abound earlier in the year and was a
major driver for the shares' underperformance relative to other platinum
plays," London-based brokerage house Liberum Capital said in a note.
"We see the indigenisation agreement as a major milestone which
significantly de-risks one of the highest margin platinum assets globally."
Friday, 14 December 2012 09:54
HARARE - Medicine San Frontiers (MSF) is set to open 11 new initiation sites
in Chikomba District, a move meant to make antiretroviral (ARV) treatment
MSF Chikomba field coordinator Jomah Kollie said the move was meant to push
the district’s current initiation statistics.
“This is part of our efforts to beef up existing programmes. We would want
to increase present initiation rates which stand at 60,9 percent, to about
100 percent in the district,” said Kollie.
Shumba, Unyetu, Pokoteke, Tavara, Madamombe, Mbiru, Nyamhere, Gokomere,
Daramombe, Zvamatobwe and Rutanhira are the additional sites assessed for
The organisation already runs eight initiation sites in Chikomba namely
Nharira, Gandachibvuva, Chambara, Mushipe, Masasa, Pokoteke, Daramombe and
Sadza and Chivhu hospital opportunistic infection teams are supported by MSF
through joint visits to outreach sites.
Nharira Rural Hospital and Gandachibvuva Mission Hospital are to be dropped
by December 31 while Chambara, Masasa and Mushipe will stop initiating by
March 31 next year.
“Site assessment for the clinics which are going to be picked to replace
dropped sites is scheduled for the first week of January 2013,” said Kollie.
MSF support in the area ranges from mentoring nurses to treatment of
opportunistic infections including tuberculosis, ART initiation and
follow-up for eligible HIV positive patients, HIV testing and counselling,
HIV/Aids awareness and promotion services within the community, infection
control, laboratory support and psychosocial and pharmacy support.
Recently, government announced that nurses will be trained to prescribe and
manage ARV treatment.
Experts welcomed the move, but warned that nurses would have to be
adequately prepared and supported to take on the additional duties.
Previously, nurses were allowed only to administer the drugs after a doctor
had prescribed them.
The health sector is currently faced with human resource shortages forcing
many people living with HIV to wait long periods before a doctor can
initiate them to take ARVs. - Wendy Muperi
Examining the Challenges of Media Regulation during Elections in Zimbabwe.
A Presentation to the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) Media
Workshop, Kadoma Hotel and Conference Center, Kadoma; 13 December 2012
By Takura Zhangazha*
The holding of free and fair elections is always linked with the necessary
existence of a free media in any political and human rights environment that
claims to be democratic. In Zimbabwe’s case, we have been the only country
in SADC to have held at least five national elections in a period spanning
twelve years. In all of these national elections which have occurred on
average every two years, the media has not been free and neither has there
been an express protection of the right of all citizens to express
It is only after the formation of the inclusive government in 2009 that we
have come to see the incremental expansion of media platforms both as an act
of government policy as well as by dint of technological advancement (via
new communications technologies). Unfortunately the physical expansion of
the media has not been underpinned by a simultaneous expansion in the
enjoyment of freedom of expression and media freedom by media practitioners
and members of the public. This is mainly because the criminalization of
freedom of expression as well as the media still persists as evidenced by
the continued arrest or threats of arrests of media professionals for merely
doing their work and the regular criminal charges laid against citizens for
undermining the ‘authority of the state or President’ on the basis of what
they will have said on social media platforms or on commuter omnibuses.
And this is an important departure point in this presentation. Over the last
twelve years the occurrence of elections has not meant the greater enjoyment
of freedom of the media nor its progenitor, freedom of expression. In fact
elections have by and large led to an increase in the harassment,
intimidation and arrests of journalists. It has also been reported that some
Zimbabwean journalist have been abducted and found dead later, particularly
in the year 2008. The reasons for this state of affairs are many, but
fundamentally are a direct offshoot of the continued existence of laws that
seek to criminalize the media. These laws, Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the
Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, the Official Secrets Act and the
Defense Act, the Broadcasting Services Act. The Postal and
Telecommunications Act and the Interception of Communications Act have
served as a wide range of tools that the state or powerful citizens can use
against the media before, during and after elections.
There is however a general tendency for there to be some sort of
‘exceptionalism’ around electoral periods for the media where the Zimbabwe
Media Commission (ZMC) allows the media to somewhat fall under the purview
of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). This does not however mean a
suspension of laws such as AIPPA or POSA. It merely means a further
bureaucratization of freedom of expression and media freedom during
electoral periods. This is mainly through a separate code of conduct for
media practitioners during elections that is established by ZEC in terms of
the Electoral Amendment Act of 2012.
While the intentions of the latter Act of Parliament are commendable, they
remain mired in the unfortunate ‘privileging’ of the media’s right to carry
out its work without undue hindrance and within a decriminalized context. In
most democratic countries, the rules around fair coverage of all political
parties are mainly applied to the public broadcaster which has a general
obligation to cover every issue of public interest as neutrally as possible
not only during elections but as a part of its ongoing mandate. In Zimbabwe’s
case we have had ZEC failing to influence the editorial coverage of news by
our current state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
in electoral periods.
In light of the foregoing the primary challenge of the regulation of the
media during electoral periods in Zimbabwe are unfortunately many. These
challenges can be listed as follows:
a) The continued criminalization of freedom of expression and media
b) The culture of impunity against journalists by the state and powerful
personalities in Zimbabwean society together with the attendant false and
undemocratic assumption that media freedom is a privilege and not a right.
c) The unnecessary bureaucratization of the regulation of the media with
multiple regulatory bodies inclusive of the ZMC, ZEC, Broadcasting Authority
of Zimbabwe (BAZ), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and others in the work
of the media, particularly during electoral periods. And this bureaucracy is
not to expand media freedom but to curtail it.
d) The undemocratic tendency of seeking media expansion during elections
without an understanding that media freedom is not only related to such
periods only but must be part of the continually mainstream democratic
culture of the country.
As we approach the elections that are constitutionally scheduled for 2013,
with or without the Global Political Agreement (GPA) we must seek to
strengthen a democratic framework of regulating the media not only during
elections but as a force of democratic habit. The fact that the Zimbabwean
media has established the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe and a Media
Code of Conduct is an important stepping stone to ensuring that there is no
undue hindrance to the media’s public interest work during elections.
While there is always more work for the media during elections, it is
important that we understand that electoral periods are not an end in
themselves but are an end-product of the life cycles of governments. It is
what occurs in between elections that informs whether or not citizens enjoy
full access to information and access to divergent views before, during and
long after electoral periods.
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe
14 December 2012
A Londoner forced off her 3,600-acre farm in Zimbabwe vowed today to keep
the pressure on Robert Mugabe’s regime as it admitted illegally seizing
In a landmark statement, the ruling Zanu PF party this week acknowledged for
the first time it had an obligation to pay compensation to Timolene Tibbett
and a group of other former farmers who were victims of land-grabs — but
then claimed it did not have the resources to do so.
Mrs Tibbett, whose family was kicked off their land in the Macheke district
in 2001, said she would not stop campaigning until justice had been done.
She accused Zimbabwe’s ruling elite of siphoning millions of pounds from the
country for its own use.
The Kensington-born former equestrian competitor and 10 others were promised
a payout in 2009 after a court awarded more than €23.9 million (£19.3million)to victims. But the mother of three, who is heading a campaign by Justice
Zimbabwe, is yet to receive a penny and is living in a small flat in Harlow,
Mrs Tibbett blames the stress of the ordeal for her husband Rolf’s premature
death. He died in 2008 from a perforated ulcer, aged 50.
She said: “The Zimbabwean government inflicted a terrible cost on my family
and many others in this illegal action. Our hard-fought World Bank
compensation claim is yet to be paid and we will be campaigning until
justice is done.” At the Zanu PF annual party conference which started this
week, an official report accepted that Mugabe’s land-grab campaign was in
contravention of investment protection agreements taken out by the farmers.
The report stated: “The agreements require that the government pays fair
compensation in currency of former owners’ choice. In this regard, the
government has an outstanding payment of 16 million (£12.9 million) awarded
to Dutch farmers.” But the report went on to claim there was no money to
fund the compensation.
In 2009, a World Bank international court in Paris awarded the 11 former
farmers more than 16 million with an additional 10 per cent interest for
every year since the land was commandeered, taking the total amount owed to
Mrs Tibbett argued that the money was available: “Reports from NGOs and MPs
prove billions of dollars of diamond wealth have disappeared from Zimbabwe.
At the same time Mugabe’s ministers have become fabulously wealthy.”
Campaigners are urging Foreign Secretary William Hague not to ease sanctions
on Zimbabwe when the EU meets next year. The group’s 11 members have also
suggested that previously seized Zimbabwean assets held by the UK Treasury
are used to cover some of the money owed.
on December 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm
By Mutsa Murenje in South Africa
I hadn’t been to Zimbabwe, my beloved country, since 29 May 2010 when I left
for advanced studies in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Such an opportunity
only came on the 26th of November 2012 as a result of my annual leave which
ends on Tuesday, 11 December 2012.
I had wanted to stay longer and to meet as many people as practicable but
being human, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to achieve all I had planned
especially given the limited time at my disposal and so, I returned to South
Africa on the 5th of December 2012.
It isn’t so much the visit that we should grapple with but my discoveries
during my stay in various parts of the country namely Bikita, Harare, Honde
Valley, and Kwekwe. I would like to posit that Zimbabweans especially in the
remotest parts of the country are living in fear ahead of the 2013 polls.
Because of this, only the most naÔve amongst us would believe that Zimbabwe
is going to have free, fair and credible polls next year.
Freedom of expression in Zimbabwe is protected by Section 20 (1) of the
constitution and it means freedom to have/hold opinions and to receive and
communicate or pass ideas and information without interference and also
freedom from interference with a person’s correspondence.
From a more analytical perspective, it can be argued that freedom of
expression is one of the foundations of a democratic society, a basic
condition for democratic progress and the development of every person. It
is, as it were, the most precious of all the freedoms guaranteed by our
In light of this illumination, I would want to exercise my freedom of
expression by bringing to the fore the fact that the expected 2013 polls are
far from being free and fair.
A free, fair and credible contest can tentatively be defined as one in which
contestants start off from an equal position; have equal opportunities of
exercising their efforts to win the contest; face identical environmental
and other constraints; and, are accorded equitable benefits and resources to
enable them to participate without undue hindrance, except that stemming
from their calibre, stamina or some such other characteristic beyond the
control of those who manage the contest.
A contestant’s success or failure in the contest must, therefore, be a
result of his own shortcomings rather than a result of the environmental
conditions which pre-determine the outcome.
Events surrounding the harmonised elections of March 29, 2008 indicate
beyond argument the highest order of authoritarian rule in post-independent
Zimbabwe. They are explicit signs of the dearth and/or lack of democracy in
Robert Mugabe, as a result, has attained a somewhat personal ascendancy over
the political system and Zimbabwe has succumbed, to a large extent, to
personal rule. Zimbabwe now appears to be Mugabe’s private company. And this
works against a free, fair and credible contest come 2013.
I spoke to ordinary Zimbabweans in the areas mentioned above and they all
spoke with one accord that a ZANU PF victory in 2013 will bring back the
difficulties of the last decade or even worse than that.
People are mainly worried about the possibility of a violent poll though
because they know that ZANU PF is far from having a decisive victory in any
future election despite their strong criticism of the ‘monster’ inclusive
government. My uncle’s family in Bikita East was victimised in 2008.
My aunt was beaten by her neighbour while her husband lived in the bush
fearing for his life. Their only crime was having children who have grown to
become teachers. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) enjoys
overwhelming support from teachers and being a teacher in Zimbabwe today is
synonymous with being a member of the MDC!
I also went to Bikita South where my mother’s sisters live. There, I came
across the concept of the ‘ZANU PF Book of Life’.
Previously, meetings were held on the 3rd of every month but are now held on
the 15th of every month. One is required to attend these meetings and
failure to do so would mean that your name isn’t in the supposed book of
life. You will be punished for this.
My aunt for the record was once fined in 2008. She had to pay her fine in
the form of chickens and mealie meal for the ZANU PF youth militia and
oppressive machinery. I also heard about ZANU PF’s agricultural seeds that
have become so important to the rural dwellers in Bikita.
You cannot even trust your neighbour there because you know not who they
work for. You just have to keep your mouth shut and enjoy what these
opportunist politicians are offering. At the present moment, I am glad to
inform you that my brother and I (for I needed company during my travels!)
requested for the names of the culprits and I have to name and shame them
In Negufe we have a Masuka who has made it difficult for our people to enjoy
their constitutional and God-given rights. In Chiremwaremwa a certain
Mukwena is believed to have made that part of Zimbabwe uninhabitable.
Although I never went to Mt Darwin during this trip, my uncle’s son from
Honde Valley, however, works in that part of the country and he informed me
that there are men there who are wearing woolen hats. The main reason for
that is that they lost their ears to ZANU PF thugs in 2008. Their ears were
cut off because of their support for the MDC.
I believe these revelations signify just but a tip of the iceberg. This
could be happening across the country hence the need to ensure both the
security of the person and of the vote itself.
In Kwekwe I learnt more about the significance of the Midlands province in
both economic and political terms. Politically, my uncle enlightened me that
the province is neither ZANU PF nor MDC. It belongs to nobody and no social
or political grouping can claim ownership of the province.
It is a melting pot with people from various political, economic and social
backgrounds. It was also in Kwekwe that I learnt that my father “was a big
time politician” and that my uncle wasn’t surprised that I had chosen to be
like my late father. However, my uncle said he wants me alive!
In particular, he emphasised the need to support those who want to be
supported and to vote for those who deserve to be voted for. In the vulgar,
attend ZANU PF meetings when they want you to do so but remember they have
no vision for the country so vote them out when the time comes.
Hope for a new Zimbabwe is not, however, completely lost. To all Zimbabweans
I say do not lose heart because the dictator is going. This is largely
because Mugabe has not only become godless as a result of the merciless
onslaught of materialism, but has also become a real danger to society and
A God-relating, God-seeking, God-worshipping and God-conscious leadership is
of inestimable value in the process of rapid and bewildering change and
uncertainty. Most important of all, let’s not forget that those who started
the work are people of faith, of integrity, of perseverance-the difficulties
they faced are legion, and one may think, insurmountable.
But they persisted, ever faithful to the struggle for a free, just and
democratic Zimbabwe always hoping that one day, a new Zimbabwe will be born;
a new Zimbabwe in which the young will be educated, the sick will be
treated, and the hungry-physically and spiritually-will be fed. I rest my
May God help Zimbabwe.
14 December 2012
Vince Musewe says Zimbabwe's recovery dependent on foreign investment
Increasing Zimbabwe's economic pie: A pie in the sky.
It is most distressing to hear what ZANU (PF) has to say about the economy
and no wonder why millions of Zimbabweans wrote them off and left the
It seems quite fashionable now for the political parties contesting in the
next elections to sell the idea that, their sole motive for seeking power is
to ensure that Zimbabweans become more prosperous. We have heard these
claims before and unfortunately, we have never had the opportunity to ask
them exactly what they intend to do to achieve their stated objectives. In
my opinion, that is where our political system continues to fail us.
Promises are made that are not achievable and we never go back to question
why and fire them for no delivery.
Zimbabwe's economy has the potential to grow with double digit numbers
because the economic pie has shrunk due to mismanagement over the last ten
years. Zimbabwe currently spends 73% of its revenue to pay civil servant
salaries, while maintaining a huge non productive government. Those who are
fortunate enough to be currently employed cannot make ends meet. We have
also seen a plethora of banking products targeting civil servants who are
slowly getting into serious debt.
This is further wiping out the little disposable incomes that they may have.
There is no transparency in mining and agriculture, and it is now an open
secret that we actually have two parallel economies running; one that is
highly liquid and is for the so called "chefs" and their cronies, and the
other one that is for the rest of ordinary hard working folk.
It is againt this backdrop, that we must consider whether increasing the
economic pie is possible at all, and if so, how this can be achieved. There
is no doubt that Zimbabwe cannot finance its own development from mining
revenues because of patronage and corruption. Zimbabwe cannot access local
savings for investment simply because they do not exist. This leaves two
The one option for any government in this conundrum is to print money, but
of course this we cannot do as long as we do not have our own currency. So
we must borrow or attract foreign direct invements to recapitalise and grow
the economy. We need other people's money .This of course is simple
economics that everyone understands.
Now, we get a party such as ZANU (PF) that is now talking about 100%
empowerment and Mugabe has been reported to say that we really do not need
foreign capital. It is also considering reintroducing the Zimbabwe dollar to
increase liquidity. That is not only insane but dangerous thinking.
Zimbabwe needs foreign investment if it is to grow at all. In that process,
we must compete with other stable African countries such as Ghana, a
politically stable country where the economy is expected to grow by 14% this
year. I just don't get ZANU (PF)'s thinking here. Indigenization is hardly
the solution we need right now.
I continue to be dumbfounded with the stated economic objectives of ZANU
(PF) and what they are saying on the ground. It is like expecting mangoes
from an apple tree. I just wish ordinary Zimbabweans would wake up to the
reality that this economy will go nowhere is long as we continually have the
incoherent thinking that is being demonstrated by ZANU(PF)'s leadership .
We need to realize that, as a country, no matter how intelligent sounding
our economic policies are on paper, we do not have the resources to invest
in our own economy and these must come from elsewhere. No sane investor will
pour his money into an unstable country that has a dictatorship.
No investor will invest where he has no share in the profits. Democracy,
liberty, free enterprise, the rule of law, a free media and private property
rights must be in place if we are to grow the economic pie as intended by
ZANU (PF). In addition, no investor will pour money and support a political
leadership that has lost integrity based on its history.
It is most distressing to hear what ZANU (PF) has to say about the future of
this country and now they even have the audacity to publish an economic plan
for the next thirty years! No wonder why millions of Zimbabweans wrote them
off and left the country. It is clear they are refusing to acknowledge the
reality that surely they are no longer a viable entity nor do they have a
convincing plan for the future. I desperately want to help them.
As we go into 2013 let us all work harder towards change, because if we do
not do that, there is a very high probability that Zimbabwe will be a
Let me take this opportunity to wish all my readers and those that are
working for democracy in Zimbabwe a prosperous 2013. I thank all of you for
your contributions to the debate and the challenges you continue to place
Let 2013 be the watershed year for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Vince Musewe is an independent economist based in Harare. You may contact
him on firstname.lastname@example.org