By Roadwin Chirara
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 13:41
HARARE - Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Wednesday snubbed
Parliament's mines and energy portfolio committee for the second time this
year where he was due to explain his role in the placement of Shabanie
Mashaba Mines (SMM) Holdings under state management.
Portfolio Chairman, Edward Chindori-Chininga said despite the committee
having communicated with the Chinamasa over his appearance, the committee
had only been made aware that the minister would not appear when it had
"The committee met and discussed the matter and resolved that a letter will
be written to the minister advising him that we did not appreciate the fact
that there was no confirmation in writing that he would not make it.
He said the committee had now set the 10th of January next year as his final
date of appearance and failure to do so would result in unspecified action
"A letter is being written to the minister to again request him to appear
before the committee in January," he said.
"If he fails to appear after three requests, then the committee will take
the necessary measures to ensure the minister is forced to appear before the
Chindori-Chininga said it was regrettable that despite his committee’s
efforts to allow him to explain his side of the story he had not turned up.
“It’s regrettable this kind of scenario is taking place. All we want is to
hear is his side of the story. We want to find out if what he did was in
accordance with the law and why the company has failed dismally after being
placed under the control of a judicial manager,” he said.
“People are out of work and asbestos is being imported yet we have mines
that can produce the product.”
Owned by Mutumwa Mawere, SMM was placed under administration in 2004 through
a statutory instrument for the Reconstruction of State-Indebted and
The company then owed various state firms a combined 800 billion Zimbabwe
dollars. Accountant Arafas Gwaradzimba was appointed administrator of SMM
and all companies related to it.
By Tichaona Sibanda
15 December 2010
International donors have threatened to pull the plug on the Family Aids
Care Trust (FACT), a non-governmental organization that was allegedly
hijacked by ZANU PF and is now removing perceived MDC supporters from its
SW Radio Africa reported on Monday that FACT has for years worked with the
poor and the vulnerable in Manicaland, without looking at political
affiliations, but that this has changed in recent weeks.
It’s alleged that FACT’s new head in Makoni district, Portipher Guta a ZANU
PF functionary, has purged all known MDC sympathisers from its program. FACT
has in the past distributed farming inputs, medicines and bicycles to
communities in Makoni district, but lately only ZANU PF card carrying
members have been the recipients of aid from the NGO.
Following our revelations on Monday, international donors have reacted and
have demanded an explanation from FACT. One of FACT’s prime donors has
reportedly threatened to withdrawn a pledge of $6 million, until there has
been a full investigation into what is happening in Makoni district.
But Mutare based FACT executive director, Jephias Mundondo, said most of the
allegations raised by MP Muchauraya were not correct. Mundondo visited
Makoni and had several meetings with all the stakeholders.
He told us Wednesday that FACT has not changed its mandate as from when it
started in 1987 and ‘FACT will never change its mandate and its approach to
HIV and development interventions.’
‘The article has had a very negative report on our part. I’ve received over
30 calls from all over the world with donors wanting to know what is
happening because they are unhappy reading reports of their money being
diverted by politicians,’
‘In its work, FACT does not serve community members based on their
political, religion or whatever other class they may belong. Our focus is on
the problems faced by the community and serves them in totality. This is
based on HIV, AIDS and development issues in the communities, which has been
the case for the past 23 years and will remain so,’ Mundondo said.
He added; ‘The report on the ARV’s in not true, FACT does not have an ARV
programme in Makoni and even if there was, the drugs will be through the
hospitals and clinics as FACT does not directly manage any hospital or
clinics in the district.’
He said the replacement of 32 health workers with war vets, youth and
militia was also not true, ‘as the health workers who were supposed to
receive the bicycles are the ones who were trained in 2006 and the training
list is what is going to be used.’
‘From my observation, the problem in Makoni is not a FACT problem, but
political confusion and misplaced expectations of seeing all activity based
on political representation and vulnerability and community choice. There
also seem to be a hate relationship between politicians and Guta which I
will have to explore more when I meet the local MP on Friday,’ Mundondo
But MP Muchauraya said he stands by what he said and would present Mundondo
with the facts and evidence, when they meet on Friday.
15 December, 2010 12:14:00 Staff Reporter
Harare, - Zimbabwe government said Wednesday it had started updating the
controversial voters' roll ahead of a general election expected in the first
half of next year.
The exercise, campaigned for by opposition parties, is mainly meant to
strike off the names of dead people from the register.
Opposition parties often accused President Robert Mugabe's party of rigging
polls by using the votes of dead people.
''The exercise involves deployment of teams to visit chiefs, headmen,
village heads, farms, resettlements and other community
leaders to collect information of those who died within their localities,''
registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede said.
''People are always complaining that the voters' roll has names of deceased
people; that's why we introduced such an exercise to
clean up the voters' roll, but this exercise is not linked with the
forthcoming elections which are expected to be held mid next year,"
President Mugabe has brushed off opposition misgivings and said the country
should hold elections by June next year, when a
two-year coalition deal expires.
The country is currently ruled by a coalition, including the opposition
which is campaigning against the poll proposal, saying conditions
were not ripe for elections.
They are insisting on a new constitution, among other things, to be in place
first before fresh elections can be held.
But an ongoing constitution-making exercise has been bogged down by
infighting and under-funding, and is not expected to be
ready before the poll.
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe’s year-on-year inflation rose to 4.2 percent
in November from 3.6 percent the previous month, according to latest data
released by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency on Wednesday.
The indicative month-on-month inflation – which reflects actual movements in
prices from one month to the next – also leapt from 0.2 percent in October
to 0.5 percent last month.
The rise in inflation was driven by increases in prices of milk, beef and
Zimbabwe’s inflation rate has fallen since the coalition government adopted
economic stabilisation measures last year that saw the southern African
country discarding the weak Zimbabwe dollar and adopting the South African
Rand, US dollar and British pound sterling as legal tender.
The free-falling Zimbabwe dollar had seen the country’s inflation rising to
more than 500 billion percent in 2008.
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) The European Union has unveiled a €20 million aid
package to support Zimbabwe’s health sector and smallholder farmers, APA
learns here Wednesday, APA learns in an EU statement issued in Harare.
The European Commission said in a statement that it was providing €10
million to assist Zimbabwe stock its public health facilities with drugs and
other medical supplies while a further €10 million would be availed in the
form of agricultural inputs for smallholder farmers.
"This ad hoc allocation responds to the impact of the global financial
crisis on Zimbabwe by providing support to the most vulnerable Zimbabwean
population affected by the loss of revenue," said Aldo Dell’Ariccia, head of
the EU delegation in Zimbabwe.
He said the agricultural support is aimed at reducing extreme poverty in
Zimbabwe by protecting the livelihoods of the vulnerable population in the
The funds would be channelled through the United Nations children’s agency
15 December, 2010 07:09:00 TANGAI CHIPANGURA | HARARE
The scandalous US classified diplomatic cables, leaked by the whistleblower
website WikiLeaks have attracted one of the first major legal suits in
Africa — from Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Grace Mugabe who is suing The Standard
newspaper for a whopping $15 million.
This comes after the family of a Spanish cameraman Jose Couso, killed by
United States forces in Baghdad in 2003 also launched what could be the
first legal action to use WikiLeaks diplomatic cables as evidence in Europe.
The First Lady claims The Standard’s WikiLeaks-sourced story headlined
“First Lady Grace Mugabe, Gono in diamond scandal”, has lowered the respect
with which she is held as “the mother of the nation” to “a point of
The story in question recounts detailed allegations in the WikiLeaks
claiming Grace Mugabe and Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, were among the
people that had “reaped tremendous profits” from illicit dealings in the
“The said words, in the context of the article, being false, scandalous, and
malicious are wrongful and defamatory of plaintiff, in that they were
intended and were understood by readers of the newspaper and the online
publication (readers), to convey the scandalous aspersion that plaintiff,
(the First Lady, wife of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe), engaged
in criminal and unsavory activities . . .” Mugabe says in papers filed at
the High Court on Wednesday through her lawyers, Chikumbirike & Associates.
The classified cables implicating the First Lady, were written by the former
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, in November 2008.
The information apparently originated from African Consolidated Resources
(ACR) chief executive Andrew Cranswick.
When the cable was released, Cranswick dissociated himself from the leak
claiming he had not given any of the names published by the whistleblower
and that he had “never met any US officials”.
The First Lady questions why The Standard mentioned only herself and Gono as
being involved in the diamond scandal when WikiLeaks had named other
prominent persons in Zimbabwe. She says the diamond scandal story was likely
to be believed without question by The Standard’s readers most of whom were
opposed to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
“The Standard newspaper is a weekly newspaper, well-sought out by the
general readership in Zimbabwe, as it represents the views of the media that
are generally anti-Zanu PF, and its component in the inclusive government,”
she says in the court papers.
“(The Standard) is avidly sought and read by persons who are opposed to His
Excellency, The President, and Zanu PF. Whatever it prints is regarded as
truth by those people in Zimbabwe and abroad. The Standard holds itself out
as accurate, and a newspaper of high prestige, whose readership is generally
educated, well informed, and influential persons. Defendants are aware that
the newspaper is taken seriously and carries considerable weight.”
The First Lady’s lawyers said The Standard story had implied that besides
being corrupt, her conduct was “one of the dirtiest” and also that she was
complicit in the murder and displacement of thousands of people because of
her participation in the illicit trade in the gemstones.
“This is an imputation of criminality, and an association with violations of
human rights,” Mugabe’s lawyers said.
Respondents in the matter include reporter Nqaba Matshazi, The Standard
Editor Nevanji Madanhire and the printers and distributors of the
By Alex Bell
15 December 2010
South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister has blamed her Zimbabwean counterparts
for not issuing enough passports in time, for the hundreds of thousands of
Zim nationals trying to regularise their stay in South Africa.
The deadline for Zimbabweans to apply for relevant work or study permits has
still not been extended, despite acknowledgments by Home Affairs Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that there is a massive backlog of applications.
Getting the permits depends entirely on having the right identification, but
Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs department has only been able to process less than
ten thousand passports in recent weeks.
Well more than a million Zimbabweans are believed to be without proper
documentation in South Africa and so far only 116 000 applications for
permits have been received by South Africa’s Home Affairs. Of those
applications only an estimated 27 000 have been approved since the
documentation process was launched in September. About 10 000 applications
have been rejected and about 79 000 are still being adjudicated.
Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs meanwhile has said that it has received about 46 000
applications for passports, but said it has a backlog of 36 000.
South Africa’s Minister Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday that it was Zimbabwe’s
failure to issue enough passports on time that had led to the massive
backlog on South Africa’s side. Speaking after a meeting with civil society
groups about the ongoing documentation process, she said one of the main
problems facing Zimbabweans was that their government was incapable of
producing more than 500 passports a day.
“They have close on 40,000 applications still outstanding as we speak. So
clearly they will not be able to finish that backlog before the end of the
month,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma also said there had been no request for assistance from the
Zimbabwean government to the South African government to help out with the
issuing of passports. Zimbabwe’s co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone
recently said that calling on the South Africans for assistance was a
possibility. She said after a meeting in South Africa earlier this month
that Zimbabwe's equipment for processing the documentation could not cope
with the demand for passports.
“Even last week we were on the phone to them (the Zimbabwean Home Affairs
ministers) saying that time is running out and saying tell us if you need
assistance and what assistance you need. We are still waiting for them,”
Makone and her co-Minister, Kembo Mohadi, were booed out of another meeting,
this time with Zimbabweans in South Africa, after telling them the
documentation process was “running smoothly.” The pair also refused to take
questions from the scores of Zim nationals who had been forced to pay R75
each to hear the pair talk.
Gabriel Shumba from the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum told SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that civil society is shocked and disappointed with the Zimbabwe
Home Affairs Ministry. He explained that the co-Ministers have on multiple
occasions shunned any meetings with civil society about the documentation
process, and said, “it indicates that they just don’t care.”
Some observers have argued that it is not surprising that Zimbabwe is
delaying issuing legal documents to its hundreds of thousands of citizens in
South Africa, especially with elections in Zimbabwe around the corner. The
passports will allow this strong contingent of Zim nationals, many of whom
fled the Robert Mugabe regime, to vote in 2011. Questions are now being
raised over whether failing processing equipment is the scapegoat for a
greater reluctance to allow the critical Diaspora vote.
Meanwhile South Africa’s Dlamini-Zuma on Wednesday again reiterated that the
December 31 deadline will not be extended, despite mounting pressure for
more time. The Exile Forum’s Shumba said that there have been a few
concessions made by the authorities, but that civil society still wants an
extension on the deadline.
“We will keep calling for the deadline to be extended, but in the mean time
we would urge all Zimbabweans to get their applications in on time,” Shumba
The concessions by Home Affairs include waiving the requirements for people
to give fingerprints. You can also download the application form online and
those nationals who don’t have physical passports will now be allowed to put
in their applications, as long as they have a receipt to prove that their
passports are being processed.
The South African authorities have also tried to allay fears that there will
be a return to mass deportations in the New Year, by saying that no forced
removals will take place until the documentation process is finalised. All
applications made before the deadline will be processed, but the authorities
have warned that new applications made after the deadline will not be
It is also a requirement that Zimbabweans who have submitted applications
may not leave the country until their applications have been adjudicated,
despite the process falling over the Christmas period. Tens of thousands of
people traditionally return home to be with their families, and many will be
facing a bleak Christmas while they wait for their documents.
Lawyers for Human Rights and a coalition of 18 other groups have so far
welcomed the concession by South Africa, but they said in a statement that
“it remains to be seen whether this will be sufficient.” According to Kaajal
Ramjathan-Keogh at Lawyers for Human Rights; “We hope that the state will be
able to achieve the objectives and purposes of the project. However we are
not convinced that in the short space of time which is left, this is
Ramjathan-Keogh added: “We remain concerned that the extremely short
timeframes for such a large project may be used as a smokescreen for
starting up large scale deportations again. We note Home Affairs’ commitment
that they will not start deportations immediately after the deadline, but
ask for them to issue instructions to the police in this regard to prevent
unlawful arrests and deportations from occurring.”
Already there is fear that the police will not adhere to these changes, with
a number of reports, mainly from Johannesburg, showing increasing police
harassment of Zim nationals. Last month, the MDC in South Africa said that
police were ‘fleecing’ Zimbabweans for bribes, threatening to transfer them
to deportation facilities if they didn’t pay up. The police officers are
apparently insisting that legal documents be produced, despite people still
queuing for days at a time to get the right permits.
Meanwhile a delegate from Wednesday’s meeting with Home Affairs, who spoke
on condition of anonymity, told the South African Press Association that
“the message (from the authorities was not filtering down to the police.” He
said arrests were still happening despite the minister’s assurances that
police would not take action against undocumented Zimbabweans.
Harare, December 15, 2010 - President Robert Mugabe says Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai is not allowed by law to sue him over the arbitrary
re-appointments of governors.
According to an opposing affidavit in Radio VOP's possession filed by
Mugabe's lawyer, Maxwell Ranga, the application by Tsvangirai seeking to
reverse the appointment of the 10 governors should be dismissed because
Tsvangirai was "ill advised and rash in approaching" the High Court.
Ranga said in terms of Rule 18 of the High Court Rules, RGN1047/1971, it was
not possible to sue a sitting President.
The rule reads: “No summons or other civil process of the court may be sued
out against the President or against any of the judges of the High Court
without the leave of the court granted on court application being made for
Ranga said it was clear from the said Rule that leave to institute
proceedings against the President was required before an application could
be instituted against him.
“The Applicant (Tsvangirai) has neither alleged that he obtained such leave,
nor has he attached to this application proof of such leave. It is
respectfully submitted that no such leave has been obtained in terms of the
Rules of this Honourable Court,” said Ranga.
He added that this Rule had been the subject of a number of decisions of the
High Court and of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe and that these decisions had
unequivocally stated that a failure to comply with this Rule was fatal.
“I am advised that this rule which is peremptory has been in existence in
our statutes mutatis mutandis for the past seventy-one years and can be
traced back to the 1939 Rules of this honourable court. It is pertinent to
note that the Applicant (Tsvangirai) has not sought to explain why he has
not complied with this mandatory legal position nor why he believes he
should be exempt from compliance,” said Ranga.
He further added that President Mugabe was therefore not required to address
any other issues raised in Tsvangirai’s lawsuit as the objection raised was
dispositive of the matter.
“The First Respondent (President Mugabe) will suffice to say at this stage,
that the Applicant (Tsvangirai) has been ill-advised and rash in approaching
this Honourable Court. The political posturing exhibited in the Court
Application has very little to do with legal rights but more to do with
grandstanding for an audience which will not be found in the dignified forum
of this Honourable Court,” reads part of Mugabe’s affidavit.
The lawyer said President Mugabe humbly prayed that “this ill-conceived
application” be dismissed as the Rule relating to the requirement to seek
leave was clear and unambiguous and had been frequently clarified by the
Tsvangirai maintains that as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe as defined in the
Global Political Agreement signed by the three principals, Mugabe should
have consulted him before re-appointing the governors.
Karoi, December 15, 2010 - Some five Zanu (PF) youths here are accused of
inflating prices of party cards to unsuspecting supporters.
The suspects have been selling the cards for US$13 instead of just a dollar.
It could not be established how many cards have been sold by the youths.
The youths were forcing members of the community to join the party to
justify a membership audit. Audit results seek to resolve among other things
the election of the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chair in the area
to replace the late member, Briden Zimba, who died in October.
There are two warring camps in the party district over who should take over.
Zimba belonged to a camp led by Deputy Minister Reuben Marumahoko who is
Hurungwe senator. Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka leads the other faction.
According to party insiders the party cards scandal was being 'downplayed at
senior level awaiting resolutions of party conference to begin in Mutare on
A senior party member said they wanted the party to deal with the irregular
selling of membership cards by the youths.
'We have heard complainants of how cards are being sold at inflated prices.
If elections are due next year, we have to be cautious in dealing with
culprits as they will be part of campaign teams' said an official.
Zanu (PF) youths are accused of being 'above the law' as they have been
scaring away potential supporters using violence and intimidation.
By Alex Bell
15 December 2010
Zimbabwe will host its first ever Diaspora conference from Thursday, when
multiple stakeholders interested in the country’s reconstruction will
The conference gets underway Thursday in Victoria Falls and is set to bring
together business leaders, civic society, politicians and Zimbabweans from
around the world. The meeting will run under the theme ‘Engaging the
Diaspora toward Zimbabwe's Economic Reconstruction’.
The conference, organised by the recently launched Development Foundation
for Zimbabwe, will be the first in a series of high profile meetings which
will consider ways in which the Diaspora and key players within Zimbabwe can
work together to promote development.
Executive director of the Development Foundation, Nokwazi Moyo, said the
conference will explore ways in which the skills of the Diasporans can be
“We hope to be able to strengthen Zimbabwe Diaspora networks and increase
their ability to contribute towards comprehensive national recovery and
development,” said Moyo.
Delegates to the conference are expected to come from Australia, Botswana,
Ethiopia, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United
They also include representatives of the country’s labour movement, opinion
leaders from the key political formations of the country, religious leaders
and Zimbabwean professionals.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
15 December, 2010
The province of Masvingo is reported to be witnessing an increase in the
number of soldiers deployed there. According to Bulawayo Agenda, a civic
education group, the soldiers parade and march along the streets in uniform.
The group believes this is a political strategy meant to intimidate local
residents and instill fear ahead of elections.
A statement released by Bulawayo Agenda on Wednesday said ZANU PF is forcing
youths in the province to join the army. But some youths are reported to be
reluctant to join, because they are aware that the army is used to
perpetrate political violence during elections.
Zenzele, a journalist in Bulawayo, told SW Radio Africa that he had received
reports from Masvingo residents who said the soldiers were recruiting youths
who have ‘not even completed their o-levels’. Some of the youths in the
rural areas are joining ‘out of desperation’ and ‘just to have something to
According to Zenzele, some youths are being paid before they join and ‘they
think it is always going to be easy’. “It is only when they are sent to
their area to beat up people that they realize what they have done,”
explained our contact.
Zenzele said ZANU PF has been using the visual presence of the soldiers to
ignite fear in people who support the MDC. They associate the image with
elections and immediately remember the violence from previous experiences.
Masvingo has been a target of political violence by ZANU PF as the party
attempts to increase its support base in the province. Earlier this year a
group of thugs, under war vet leader Jabulani Sibanda, was forced to leave
the province after the MDC resisted their reign of terror and publicized
Sibanda’s presence. This led to calls by the MDC for the war vet leader’s
arrest. But the police did not act and Sibanda is currently reported to be
causing violence in parts of Matabeleland province.
SW Radio Africa reported last week that two chiefs in the Buhera district of
Manicaland had turned away army officers who wanted to open so-called youth
training centres in the area. Our sources said the chiefs did not want any
venues that can be used as torture bases during elections due next year.
The increased presence of soldiers has been reported mostly in Manicaland
and Masvingo provinces, where the MDC won by large margins in the 2008
Written by Zwanai Sithole
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 07:06
MUTARE - A Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) soldier implicated in the notorious
2008 election violence in Chimanimani West constituency has launched his
political campaign by dishing out cabbages to villagers.
Major Charles Muresherwa, who has been at the centre of most of the
political violence in the district that saw scores of MDC supporters being
tortured and assaulted, is aspiring to represent Zanu (PF). According to the
villagers, some of the cabbages are being forcibly taken from the few white
commercial farmers who have remained in this once prime commercial farming
“Some people are not ashamed. After all the suffering which we endured at
the hands of Muresherwa, he has the gall to try and buy our votes with
cabbages. Everyone in the village has cabbages and some of them are grown to
feed pigs. This is an insult,” said a villager who refused to be named for
fear of victimization.
Last week officials from a German-based aid organization, Germany Agro
Action, were forced to suspend the distribution of farming inputs in
Biriwiri area after Muresherwa and Zanu (PF) youths attempted to hijack the
farming inputs distribution programme.
“Muresherwa and his youths come to a Germany Agro Action farming inputs
distributing point and demanded to take charge of the process. The officials
simply suspended the distribution, leaving Muresherwa and his Zanu (PF)
distributing his cabbages,” said another villager.
During the run-up to the harmonized elections Muresherwa coordinated a
paramilitary operation in the area which saw scores of MDC supporters being
tortured and severely assaulted at the numerous torture bases which he set.
One such base was at the disused Manicaland Development Offices (MDA) where
one MDC supporter was confirmed killed. Muresherwa also shot and injured an
MDC activist in the area. Lynnet Karenyi of the MDC-T is the incumbent
Member of Parliament.
External relations − 15-12-2010 - 14:47
The European Parliament backed plans to create an EU law ensuring
traceability of imported minerals, as a tool to combat illegal exploitation
of conflict minerals in African countries, in a resolution passed on
Wednesday. This resolution assesses the outcome of the third EU-Africa
summit of African and European heads of state in Tripoli on 30 November.
MEPs also regretted the participation of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe
in the summit and the absence of several European Heads of State.
Among the key positive developments from the Tripoli summit, Parliament
cited the new US "conflict Minerals'" law as a huge step forward in
combating illegal exploitation of minerals in Africa and called for a
similar EU proposal to ensure the traceability of imported minerals on the
EU market. It also urged the EU and African Union (AU) to cooperate on
sustainable exploitation of raw materials and the transparency of mining
The same call for an EU law to fight illegal exploitation of minerals had
been made by the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Joint
Parliamentary Assembly during its 20th session in Kinshasa (Congo) on 2
Those who weren't there... and those who shouldn't have been
The resolution expressed support the partnership created by EU and African
Heads of State three years ago, including annual summits, which this year
led to the adoption of a Strategic Action Plan for 2010-2013.
Yet it strongly regretted the fact that several EU leaders did not attend
the summit, and also the fact that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe had
been invited and had actively participated in the meeting, despite the EU's
repeated commitments to democratic governance and human rights.
Human rights obligations
MEPs again stressed that any partnership agreement with African countries
needs to be conditional upon non-discrimination on grounds of gender, racial
or ethnic origin, religion or conviction, disability, age or sexual
orientation or against people living with HIV/AIDS.
Some African countries recently managed to have the term "sexual
orientation" excluded from the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement -
which delineates political and trade relations between the EU and African,
Caribbean and Pacific states and includes human rights requirements. Out of
79 ACP countries, 49 criminalise homosexuality.
Maternal health and food security
Further action to improve maternal health - the most off-track UN Millennium
Development Goal - and ensure food security are crucial elements of any
strategy to help African countries, said MEPs, deploring the fact that the
summit did not discuss the current farmland acquisition in Africa by some
government-backed foreign investors, which may easily endanger local food
No plan works without money
Finally, MEPs criticized the lack of a financing plan to accompany the
Africa-EU joint strategy and call once again for the European Development
Fund to be incorporated in the EU budget, so as to ensure parliamentary
oversight of its implementation.
Masvingo, December 15, 2010 - More than 1 000 residents of Runyararo West
here face eviction from their homes because the city council has declared
the area a 'ticking health time bomb' and that it is not suitable for
The residents had their homes demolished by the government in 2005 in its
controversial countrywide clean- up operation known as Murambatsvina. They
were resettled by the government in semi finished houses but now the council
here said the area had become a health hazard due to lack of proper water
and sanitation facilities.
Masvingo city mayor Alderman Femius Chkabuda said an engineer report had
declared the area unsuitable as a residential area and therefore council was
unable to connect sewer pipes.
“The area was not meant for a residential area. Technically we cannot
connect our pipes there. The government just rushed to construct these
houses without proper survey,” said Chakabuda.
“Residents who live there do not have proper toilets and have resorted to
using blair toilets most of which are already filling up while accessing to
clean water has largely remained a pipe dream for most of them,” he added.
Residents, most of who are unemployed, told Radio VOP they were afraid of
being homeless again.
“We understand the argument by the city council but we only need a guarantee
to have somewhere we can call our home. All the same, staying here is like a
life punishment, the conditions are not proper for people to stay here,
"said John Kurunzirwa, a resident of the area.
“We are failing to drill boreholes or construct proper blair toilets because
we lack money and resources,” he said
Written by The Zimbabwean
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 10:36
On 25 May 2005, Africa Day, the Government of Zimbabwe began an operation
labelled "Operation Murambatsvina". The widespread destruction of housing
throughout the country caused the most immediate and unrelenting hardship.
Literally thousands of dwellings were bulldozed in the first three weeks,
displacing people on a massive scale. Not even in apartheid South Africa
were close to half a million people ever forcibly relocated in the space of
a few days. There is no precedent in southern African for such a movement of
people in a nation supposedly not at war with itself. The government made no
contingency plans whatsoever to move people, or to create new housing for
them. Today, more than 5 year later, thousands are still destitute as a
direct result of Murambatsvina. MAGARI MANDEBVU spoke to women at Gun Hill.
This is what they told him.
We came in 2005 from an area stricken by Murambatsvina. We managed to carry
our property with us and settle in Borrowdale, at "Gun Hill Squatters".
There we suffered because our property was all rained on while we were there
in the camp. Blankets, maize meal, all our food and clothing were gradually
destroyed by the rain because we could not afford to buy plastic sheets to
cover our property.
Children began to fall ill because there was no clean water here. We
suffered greatly from the lack of water; some children died. Then our tents
were burned down by the police. What was worse, they arrived in the early
dawn about 4am. Where we came from we were told to leave because we were
rubbish; here we were told "Go back where you came from because you are
rubbish". - again!
We have been staying here for five years. The children don't go to school.
They just sit here. Some should have started form 1 but they don't go.
Others should have started grade one but they are all just left here. We are
very troubled. The nearby schools are so expensive that we cannot hope to
pay the fees.
We suffered more trouble this year when the police came with seven big
lorries and two small ones - T35s carrying dogs. Those lorries were full of
police, who told us to take our property out of the tents. We were slow to
obey, because we were afraid of their guns - they were firing them (into the
air) - so very few of us could take our property out of the tents in time. A
lot of our things were burned there with the tents. Some of us were beaten
by the police.
We beg for help. We don't know what to do and we are hungry. We have nowhere
to go because we are many and we don't know where "home" is. Our parents met
and married here, but they were all from Malawi. Now they have died, we have
no home to go to. Here even our maize was burned by the police.
Some of us tried to send our children to school at Domboshawa, but that
didn't work out because when children come home from school they need food,
but we don't have enough money for school fees and food. It is better that
they have food.
We faced nothing but robbery in one place. The police came harassing us and
saying "You are thieves". We didn't know anything about that. Please help
us, our troubles are killing us. We need tents so that we don't get rained
on, because the rains have arrived now. We ask for a place where we can live
legally. We request food and clothing. We are many here, about 40 families.
Each family may have five children - and their father and mother.
We are crying out, we are suffering from all the tsunami did to us. We beg
for help to send our children to school. There really are very many
children because one family has seven, another three and others four or
five. Look at how many children there are here: what will become of them
Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 17:16
HARARE - In 2005, President Robert Mugabe committed what some say was one of
his biggest sins against the people of Zimbabwe. He destroyed their homes
and left close to a million homeless.
After international condemnation, Mugabe launched a scheme to build new
house, Operation Garikai Hlalani Kuhle. It was an abysmal failure and, five
years on, people are still homeless. Harare and Chitungwiza combined have a
backlog of over a million people who want houses. Government initiatives to
build new houses in the past year have been a drop in the ocean.
Mugabe’s Hlalani Kuhle houses still have no electricity or water supply and
no toilets. In true Zimbabwean spirit, though, people have devised their own
ways around the problems. In the sprawling town of Chitungwiza, where a
stand costs more than $3,000 and accommodation is getting more expensive,
houses are returning. These are not only new homes for hundreds, but are
also a source of income for many pensioners whose savings were wiped out by
the Gideon Gono era of hyper-inflation.
“I built this room out of desperation. I am not employed and cannot afford
the rentals. I therefore decided to build this other room so that the
tenants can help me pay the bills,” said Andrew Nyoni, who lives in a
two-roomed house. These new houses are as inconspicuous as possible and are
made of cheap bricks, because people are wary of losing their investment
“People from Chitungwiza town council have not said anything about the
cottages and, therefore, we have hope that we are going to be left alone,”
said Munyaradzi Gwena. “I pay $30 for my room and even though it is small I
have a roof over my head and have access to water and electricity things
that I did not have at Hopley Farm where the government had resettled me.”
Hopley Farm has a bad reputation. There are no basic facilities and pregnant
women have died there because of the lack of transport to get medical help.
There is no clinic at the camp, dubbed the camp of death. “Women we spoke to
felt that their minimal access to healthcare contributed to the deaths of
their babies. Others suspected that their babies died of cold because they
live in plastic shacks,” said Amnesty International Deputy Africa Director
While many have soldiered on in the murky shacks in Hopley some have
preferred to returned to their destroyed homes to start afresh. “I came back
here because this is my home. Family and friends livehere and here schools
are available. The schools at Hopley are far away and my son had to walk for
at least 8 km to get to secondary school,” says another resident.
With the return of people from rural homes and camps, landlords have taken
the opportunity to increase rents. A room in Chitungwiza costs an average of
$50 and people have seen building what are called ‘side pockets’ as a route
to the elusive US dollar.
By Lance Guma
15 December 2010
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed ZANU PF apologists, calling
for him to resign over the WikiLeaks revelations, saying there are more
serious things that deserve a commission of inquiry in Zimbabwe.
Diplomatic reports leaked by the WikiLeaks website appeared to show
Tsvangirai discussed peaceful options for removing Mugabe from power, with
Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, released a statement on Tuesday
saying; “The mischievous and barbaric calls for the prosecution of the Prime
Minister of Zimbabwe over the WikiLeaks reports represent desperate acts by
those whom the people unequivocally rejected in March 2008.”
Tamborinyoka said; “Zimbabweans are not worried about what the US embassy in
Harare cabled to Washington. They are only aware of their strong opinion
which they cabled from the various polling stations in March 2008,
entrusting their hope and faith in the person of Morgan Tsvangirai.”
Tamborinyoka said it would have made more sense to call for the prosecution
of perpetrators of violence and ‘those who have recently uttered treasonous
statements to the effect that Zimbabweans should not exercise their
democratic right to use the pen to elect their government through a free and
Tamborinyoka was referring to recent comments by police commissioner
Augustine Chihuri who said; “This country came through blood and the barrel
of the gun and it can never be re-colonised through a simple pen, which
costs as little as five cents.’ Chihuri added; ‘Vote wisely and consider
that this country came through the barrel of a gun and we will never allow
puppets to lead us.”
Only last month Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa told a lavish party
hosted by ZANU PF that; “In the last elections, you voted for the wrong
party but today I am happy to see all of you here and I assume that you are
here because you support the revolutionary party. He went further to say;
‘If you don’t vote for us in the next election, this country is huge, we
will rule even if you don’t want.”
Speaking to the NewsDay newspaper, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
chairperson, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, said; “You cannot wish prosecution of the
Prime Minister on the basis of the WikiLeaks report, while ignoring those
named in the same report as the chief culprits in the illegal mining and
sale of the diamonds in Chiadzwa. Those are serious allegations deserving an
The leaked US diplomatic cables fingered first lady Grace Mugabe as one of
the people involved in illegal diamond deals and said that she had reaped
‘tremendous profits’. The reports also said central bank Governor Gideon
Gono was also heavily involved in the deals. He printed the money to finance
the purchase of diamonds and proceeds were shared with Mugabe's wife and
sister and top ZANU PF chefs.
Meanwhile Tamborinyoka reminded those calling for a commission of inquiry to
first demand the publication of results of previous commissions. “Before
anyone dreams about a Commission of Inquiry on the Prime Minister, they
should first give us the results of the Utete Commission on multiple farm
owners and the Chihambakwe Commission on the atrocities in Matabeleland,
which reports have never been made public.”
By Enock Muchinjo, Deputy Sports Editor
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 13:57
HARARE - Results of a survey by South African tourism authorities show that
Zimbabwe dismally failed to attract tourists to the country during the 2010
The Zimbabwean government had targeted tourist arrivals as the country’s
biggest benefit and a significant amount of ratepayers’ money was spend on
campaigns such as trips abroad by Tourism minister Walter Mzembi and
South Africa’s Tourism minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyn, said results of
the survey, carried out by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and
South African Tourism (SAT), shows that the World Cup will have a lasting
legacy in terms of the South African tourism industry.
Zimbabwe was not even mentioned among African destinations which received a
significant number of visitors, losing out to such distant countries as
Kenya and Ghana.
In terms of land arrivals from within the continent, the top three source
markets were Mozambique (24,483), Swaziland (19,593) and Botswana (16,387).
In terms of air arrivals, the top three markets were Nigeria (4,324), Ghana
(3,578) and Kenya (2,089).
South Africa as the hosts was the biggest beneficiary.
Van Schalkwyk said in addition to more than 309 000 tourists arriving in
South Africa for the primary purpose of attending the World Cup and a R3.6
billion boost to the economy in terms of spending, the survey shows that
tourists were extremely satisfied with their experience in the country and
would highly recommend the destination to friends and family.
The Bulawayo-based war veterans said they will recommend to the Ministry of
Indigenization that such companies be taken over even if the indigenous
acquirers do not have sufficient funds to buy shares
Gibbs Dube | Washington 14 December 2010
Zimbabe liberation war veterans affiliated with a politically moderate
ZANU-PF faction led by retired army general Solomon Mujuru vowed Tuesday
that they will not allow any company to shut down its factory in Bulawayo to
relocate it to Harare.
The Bulawayo-based war veterans said they will recommend to the Ministry of
Indigenization that such companies be taken over even if the indigenous
acquirers do not have sufficient funds to buy shares as required under the
The war veterans said they will soon block the relocation of Hunyani
Printopak, Cotton Printers, National Blankets and National Foods, all
planning to relocate.
The veterans said they will work with progressive ZANU-PF politicians and
Bulawayo City Council to “restore normalcy in the industrial sector in the
Jabulani Sibanda, chairman of a harder-line faction linked to ZANU-PF
strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa, minister of Defense, promised what he called
fireworks within the next few days after taking stock of company closures in
He said people in southwestern Zimbabwe are seriously concerned about the
large number of factory closures.
Max Mnkandla, director of the Liberators Peace Initiative Trust, a third
veterans group not linked to ZANU-PF, also condemned the factory
relocations. But Mnkandla said war veterans should not interfer with the
operation of private companies.
Economist Bekithemba Mhlanga said the threat by veterans against companies
closing factories in Bulawayo sends the wrong signal to local and
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg 14 December 2010
Later this week, President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF holds its annual
conference at which the party is expected to decide whether it will insist
on fresh elections next year. Many prominent Zimbabweans believe elections
will plunge the country back into violence and despair.
In October, Mugabe called for elections in 2011, saying Zimbabwe's unity
government had been created as a transitional body and had served its
The September, 2008 political agreement does not set a time limit for the
inclusive government but the next elections must be held before the end of
Now the aging president wants the ZANU-PF conference to endorse his call.
Many Zimbabweans, like veteran politician Paul Themba Nyathi, say Mugabe's
advancing age has much to do with the 86-year-old's determination to hold
elections next year. "The most difficult thing in the timing of this
election is Mugabe's own personal circumstances. If he still wants to be a
candidate for his political party he has to do it now. If he does it in
three years' time he will be 89," he said.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure also says
Mugabe's age is spurring the drive for early elections. "ZANU-PF's biggest
asset is Mugabe himself, and the laws of biology will take their course.
Those who are planning early elections have that as one of the biggest
factors so that the asset is there for elections," Masunungure said.
Simba Makoni was a teenage member of ZANU-PF during the liberation war and
served in Mugabe's post-independence Cabinet. Frustrated with Mr. Mugabe
and ZANU-PF he quit the party weeks before the 2008 elections and stood
against his former boss and the president of the then-opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai's party won the general election, but no clear winner emerged
from the presidential poll, forcing a runoff between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
There was widespread violence leading up to the runoff presidential poll and
Tsvangirai withdrew, saying he could no longer allow Zimbabweans to pay such
a heavy price. International human-rights organizations and governments
such as the United States said most of the violence was perpetrated by
Makoni believes there are reasons beyond old age for Mugabe's determination
to hang on to power. "There are lot of things that motivate Mugabe to stay
where he is, but they all center around power, command, and control. Mugabe
has enjoyed power for the last 30 years. I think it is fair to suggest that
he also has fears of leaving office as he has a lot to account for and that
is what drives him," Makoni said.
In terms of the 2008 political agreement from which the power-sharing unity
government emerged in February 2009, Zimbabwe must adopt a new constitution
before elections can be held. The agreement also stipulates that Zimbabweans
must vote in a referendum to approve the new charter.
But even if all of that happens, Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Unions
President Lovemore Matombo says he expects there will be even worse ZANU-PF
sponsored violence than in 2008.
"Starting with the referendum, [there will be] a blood bath against those
resisting ZANU-PF," Matombo said.
One of the senior military leaders of the liberation war, Dumiso Dabengwa,
says his party, ZAPU, was crushed and thousands of its supporters massacred
by Mugabe's North Korean trained troops in the 1980's.
He said violence is against the ideals he and his colleagues fought for
during the liberation war that ended minority white rule. "We could not
understand how anyone could get that desperate to start using violence to
get rid of a political opponent," he said.
Analyst Masunungure says that for most Zimbabweans elections next year will
not be about political choice. "So elections in 2011 in Zimbabwe will be a
barometer of fear, not of who [people] would like to govern them,"
The secretary general of the minority MDC faction, Welshman Ncube, said the
climate in Zimbabwe is far too fragile for elections next year. "If we
indeed have elections next year it will be a national tragedy, we will be
cursed. I have no doubt we will get to the position of Ivory Coast," Ncube
We attempted to obtain comment from several ZANU-PF officials, who, despite
promises, were not available. In the past, Mugabe and his party have denied
they use violence and intimidation against voters.
By Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 10:03
HARARE - Charles Ray, the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, says change can only
happen if there are real reforms in the country's security sector, which is
blamed by many for entrenching President Robert Mugabe's rule.
Ray’s comments are captured in his communication with his superiors in
Washington which have been leaked by the whistleblower website – WikiLeaks.
"There is a strong need in Zimbabwe for security sector reform, as without
it, none of the efforts at political reform can be assured," Ray said
according to WikiLeaks.
The cables, which have sent a chill to western governments and their
intelligence services, carry secret and classified information between the
US diplomats and their government on activities in different countries.
WikiLeaks has more than 3000 cables on Zimbabwe and so far released five
cables which have caused discomfort in both formations of the MDC and Zanu
ThelLeader of the main faction of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, whose
conversations with the US diplomats have renewed Zanu PF propaganda
onslaught against his party, is also captured in communication with high
ranking European and US officials, in the latest cables.
In a brief to ambassadors from the US, the United Kingdom, France, the
Netherlands and the European Union at his residence on December 24, last
year WikiLeaks revealed that Tsvangirai told the foreign diplomats that if
the electoral body hires its own staff and gets rid of securocrats in the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) winning an election will not be
"Winning the election, he (Tsvangirai) said, is not the problem, but a
peaceful transfer of power is," the cable released by WikiLeaks read.
"His goal is to have the Electoral Commission hire its own staff and be
independent. The key is to wrest control from the securocrats."
Service chiefs remain the pillar of strength for Mugabe and Zanu PF. They
have repeatedly, in different fora, said they won’t salute Tsvangirai.
Other high ranking military officials such as Brigadier Douglas
Nyikayaramba, have warned that they won’t recognize a Tsvangirai victory in
Against this background, civic groups have been lobbying for reforms in the
security sector and Ray’s communication is the latest in a growing list of
organisations concerned by the role of security agents in human rights
The release of classified documents by WikiLeaks is set to hurt the US
foreign relations with developing and developed countries.
WikiLeaks has said it is holding over 250 000 classified documents by the
United States embassies across the world.
Released classified cables on Zimbabwe so far include communication by
former US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell who described Tsvangirai
as a flawed figure who is indecisive and not open to advice.
Written by John Makumbe
Monday, 13 December 2010 12:06
Once Robert Mugabe says it, then everyone in his decaying political party,
Zanu (PF) has to shout it even though they might not agree with it. This is
the situation pertaining to the call for elections in 2011 by Mugabe. The
majority of the Zanu (PF) legislators are not keen on elections next year
because they are fully aware of the real possibility of certain defeat at
the hands of the dynamic MDC-T.
Some of them know that any call for elections might be the death knell for
their political career, and would prefer that elections be held in 2013 or
even later. Most Zanu (PF) legislators actually lost elections in 2008 but
the results were manipulated to enable them to “win” their seats.
This benefit might not be readily available to them this time around and
they might end up being thrown out by the voters. Yet they dare not sing too
loud about the dangers of holding elections in 2011 lest Mugabe and his
running dogs of dictatorship hear them.
This week the devastated political party, Zanu (PF) holds its annual
conference in Mutare, and one of the items on their agenda will be to
endorse Robert Mugabe as their candidate for the forthcoming elections. No
sane party member dares challenge the geriatric for this position and expect
to live to tell the story. Indeed, those who have been even slightly
suspected of having strong views that are at variance with those of the Dear
Leader are mostly six feet under today.
Some were even granted hero status and buried by that party’s official
undertaker, the First Secretary himself. He seems to enjoy burying them
since he is able to deliver some of the most scathing attacks at his
political rivals, real or imagined. There will be no dissent regarding
anything the supreme leader may wish discussed in Mutare this week. Neither
will there be any surprises at that festival. The usual feeding frenzy will
obviously be in full colour this time courtesy of some misguided black
It may also be the right time for Mugabe to fill the gaps left by some of
the departed members of the central committee and politburo. Hence the
widespread praise singing of the commander in chief and the call upon his
nemesis, Morgan Tsvangirai, to step down from office on account of the
But Tsvangirai is not going to resign from office because he was placed
there by the people of this country, and they want him to stay put. Robert
was rejected by the people in 2008 and is the one who should resign given
the exposure of his wife Grace and Gono’s looting of the Marange diamonds.
Life would be wonderful for Mugabe and Zanu (PF) if Tsvangirai would resign
from politics. Indeed, since MT formed the MDC in 1999, politics and
elections have been a time of shame and misery for both Mugabe and his
sinking party. How many former Zanu (PF) legislators are now just ordinary
peasants because of the MDC’s political clout?
Tsvangirai is correct to call for targeted sanctions to be retained against
the 220 or so perpetrators of bad governance and human rights violations in
this country. If he has a treason case to answer, then the state should take
him to court. But then they will also have to take Grace Mugabe and Gideon
Gono to court for looting our diamonds.
We all know who will come off worse than the other. We now know how the
first family acquired and equipped the 14 commercial farms they are alleged
to own. May God intervene at this stage.