By Violet Gonda
16 December 2009
The three Principals in the power sharing government have given their
negotiators until Monday to complete discussions around the outstanding
issues plaguing the fragile coalition. One of the negotiators, Elton Mangoma
from the MDC-T, confirmed to SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that they had been
given a timeline to make sure all outstanding matters that need to be
discussed are done by Monday next week.
Mangoma said the negotiators - Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche
(Zanu-PF), Tendai Biti and Mangoma (MDC-T) and Welshman Ncube and Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC-M) - will be meeting from Friday. Ironically
Chinamasa is quoted in the Herald newspaper dismissing reports that the
negotiations were set to resume talks this Friday. He is quoted saying: "I
am not aware of that. I do not know anything and I cannot comment on that."
Mangoma said the talks broke up last week because of the ZANU PF congress
and this week because both Ncube and Misihairabwi-Mushonga are out of the
When asked why there is so much travelling at a time when the group should
be finalizing the discussions, Mangoma responded by saying: "I am sure the
best people to answer that question would be those people who are
travelling, because they know what it is they are giving priority to."
We were not able to reach the negotiators from the MDC-M for comment. But
late last month the MDC-T blasted their counterparts, accusing them of
delaying the talks by constantly travelling - a charge that Welshman Ncube
denied. He told SW Radio Africa at the time that the meetings which they
travelled to were meetings which were predetermined long before the talks
were agreed and before the timeframe was set by SADC.
Ncube retorted: "What the heck do I have an interest in avoiding the talks?
What is it that I have to gain by avoiding the talks when in fact we were
the party which was saying, before these talks were started and were called,
that the parties need to sit down and talk? You look at each and every
comment, every statement that we made prior to the SADC Ministerial visit,
prior to the SADC Troika Summit in Maputo, President Mutambara consistently,
consistently called upon MDC-T, called upon Zanu-PF to sit down and talk. We
are the ones who called upon Morgan Tsvangirai to come back to the country
so that this matter can be resolved by Zimbabweans across the table and if
you look at our oral and written submissions to the SADC Ministerial Troika
we recommended this dialogue and these talks, it is emphatically calling for
the talks. Indeed more than any of the other parties we did that."
But it has not been possible to find out why once again the MDC-M
negotiators are not available for talks, and what meetings they have had to
attend that are more important than the talks.
Meanwhile, it's reported that most of the outstanding issues have been
resolved, except for the perennial deadlock over the appointment of the
Reserve Bank Governor, the Attorney General, Roy Bennett and some other
issues. Furthermore, resolutions from the just ended ZANU PF congress
revealed that the partners in the coalition government are still deeply
divided over these.
At the ZANU PF Congress one of the resolutions was that the ZANU PF
negotiators would not concede anything, if the MDC does not actively call
for the removal of targeted sanctions.
But Mangoma responded to this by saying: "Its hot air. It's grandstanding.
People will recall that on September 10 last year that President Mugabe -
talking to the chiefs - clearly stated that he will not go into any
agreement with the MDC. But that evening, when he flew back to Harare he
came and signed an agreement. So one does not have to listen to what he
says, one has to be able to say what are the issues and how are we going to
Mangoma, who is also the Minister of Economic Planning and Investment
Promotion, said what must be understood is that when the unity government
agreement was signed, issues were agreed in principle and not necessarily on
how they were going to be done. He said what they are now discussing is how
they are actually going to do the things that they agreed upon. "For
instance we all agreed that there must be a land audit but we didn't agree
on how the land audit would be carried out."
The MDC-T negotiator said if there is no agreement then a deadlock would be
declared and SADC would have to intervene - once again.
December 16, 2009
By Owen Chikari
MASVINGO - The mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has
accused President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara's splinter MDC party of scuttling talks to resolve outstanding
issues under an agreement signed by the parties in September last year.
The accusation by the party follows reports that talks will only resume
after December 19 after Zanu-PF and the smaller MDC (also known as MDC-M)
asked for the negotiations to be adjourned.
According to information at hand, Zanu-PF negotiators Patrick Chinamasa and
Nicholas Goche asked for the adjournment so that they could attend their
party's congress which ended last Saturday.
It also emerged Tuesday that negotiators representing the smaller MDC,
Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, had also asked for an
adjournment until December 18, citing government business outside the
This, therefore, meant that talks to iron out all outstanding issues as
spelt out in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) could only resume on
December 19 at the earliest.
Tsvangirai's MDC has reacted angrily to the adjournment and has accused its
two partners, Zanu-PF and the splinter MDC party of scuttling efforts to
resolve the outstanding issues.
According to the MDC official mouthpiece The Changing Times: "The insistence
by the SADC facilitation team that all outstanding issues be resolved before
Christmas is now a long shot because of the unnecessary adjournments caused
by both Zanu-PF and the MDC -M".
"Zanu-PF and the MDC -M are scuttling efforts to resolve all the issues and
want to portray the adjournment as if it is a minor interruption".
However Patrick Chinamasa on Tuesday dismissed the accusations saying that
his party had asked for an adjournment because of the Zanu-PF congress.
"For anyone to say we are scuttling efforts to resolve these issues is being
misguided because as a party we needed time to attend to our congress," said
"Now that another party has also asked for the adjournment, it is not our
problem because we are ready to resume the talks."
No official comment could be obtained from Mutambara's MDC on the
The fragile unity government between the parties nearly collapsed last month
when the Tsvangirai's MDC boycotted government business, demanding the
resolution of all outstanding issues as spelt out in the GPA.
The SADC Troika summit held in Maputo gave the negotiating partners 15 days
to engage in dialogue and resolve all outstanding issues in not more that 30
The 30-day deadline expired on December 6, although the parties suggest the
deadline was flexible. However, the delays suggest resolution to the
outstanding issues can only be finalised after Christmas.
The SADC facilitation team comprises South Africa's former defence minister
Charles Nqakula, South African President Jacob Zuma's political adviser, Mac
Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma's international relations adviser.
The team left Harare for South Africa last week without finalising their
mission following the request by Zanu-PF to adjourn because of the party
ZANU PF ministers KNEEL before they greet or talk to President Robert
Mugabe, New Zimbabwe.com can reveal.
Senior ministers, including Patrick Chinamasa and John Nkomo, regularly go
down on all two, including at cabinet meetings, in what one MDC minister
described as an "astonishing demonstration of Mugabe's power".
Mugabe, 86, was retained by his Zanu PF party to lead it for another five
years last weekend - and his staying power is in no small part down to his
"absolute dominance" of the organisation, the cabinet source added.
The MDC minister was speaking during an off-the-record briefing with
journalists after Mugabe once again emerged triumphant, virtually confirming
his status as Zanu PF's life president.
The Zanu PF ministers' dramatic and outward show of respect for Mugabe has
been a "culture shock" for MDC ministers who only joined the government in
February following the formation of a power sharing government.
During cabinet meetings, normally held on Tuesdays, Zanu PF ministers stand
up when Mugabe enters the room.
"They are pulling us up, they want us to stand with them . but we don't
stand up when [Morgan] Tsvangirai enters a room. It's something new for us,"
the minister said.
Recently, at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, the minister said he was
"shocked" to find National Healing Minister John Nkomo "crawling in front of
He revealed: "At first I feared there was something wrong, then looked up
and there was a grinning Mugabe!
"Only last week, at the end of the cabinet session, Chinamasa wanted to ask
Mugabe for a meeting to brief him on the inter-party negotiations. He went
over and knelt down.
"They all kneel! You have to wonder if their wives know they kneel for
another man. Mugabe has total power over them."
Harare, December 16, 2009 - The announcement for commissioners to sit on
three of the four constitutional commissions has been put on hold as the two
leaders of the Government of National Unity, President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai still have to agree on certain names.
However reliable sources told Radio VOP on Wednesday that Mugabe's men had
attempted to publish lists with dubious names not included in the final
lists compiled by Mugabe and Tsvangirai at their Monday meeting.
The composition of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Zimbabwe Media
Commission (ZMC) and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) will be
concluded when Mugabe returns from the Climate Change summit underway in
Highly placed sources provided RadioVOP with the following lists of the
commissioners as agreed on by Mugabe and Tsvangirai on Monday:
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
Simpson Mutabanengwe (Chairsperson) - subject to acceptance by him
(Currently a Judge in Namibia)
Chigaru (Zim. International Trade Fair G.M.)
Dr. Godwill Shana
either Nandara or Nyati
Zimbabwe Media Commission
Godfrey Majonga (Chairperson)
Dr. T. Hikwa
Dr. Millicent Mombeshora
Rev. Useni Sibanda
Human Rights Commission
R. Austen (Chairperson)
December 16, 2009
By Takarinda Gomo
FOLLOWING Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s budget statement, which left the
nation numb after revelations that top government officials, particularly
President Robert Mugabe and his massive entourage had gobbled up US$28.6
million on foreign travel, one would have expected restraint.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai heeded Biti’s call. This week he cancelled
a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was scheduled to attend the 15th
United Nations Climate Change Conference accompanied by 19 members from his
Not only did Mugabe commandeer (they call it chartered flight), an Air
Zimbabwe aircraft, but he also took 59 people with him including his wife
Grace, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, George
Charamba, the Secretary for Media and Publicity, who doubles up as Mugabe’s
spokesman, and many other officials.
Tsvangirai showed maturity by exercising restraint. More so, it would have
been very embarrassing for him to meet Mugabe there with another 59
member-strong entourage, bringing the total of the Zimbabwean delegation to
It would be interesting to know if Charamba, whose love for classics like
Chaucer, Dickens and Shakespeare etc would contribute anything sensible on
strategies to curb global warming. As he has done at many summits and
conferences, Charamba will most probably not even register to attend.
He will probably accompany the First Lady Amai Grace to the shops of
Copenhagen. According to The Sun, the biggest circulating British newspaper,
Grace Mugabe’s biggest extravaganza was blowing £75 000 in two hours in
Paris last year.
Compare this senseless spending by Zimbabwe’s First Family to another
African leader, Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda. Museveni had been
inundated with complaints from his government officials who did not want to
fly economy class on government business abroad. Returning from a trip to
Trinidad and Tobago, where Museveni attended the Commonwealth Summit, he
booked economy class on the flight from London to Entebbe on December 5.
According to presidential spokesman Tamale Mirundi, who was quoted in the
State-owned New Nation, Museveni was treated like any other passenger.
“If the President can travel economy class, it is an indication that
spending colossal sums of money by government officials on business and
first class is going to stop,” said Mirundi.
Museveni, however, has two presidential jets, but travels on commercial
flights when he goes abroad to cut down on state expenditure. People call
Museveni a dictator, but he is a leader who leads by example. Can you
imagine yourself sitting next to President Mugabe, in economy class on a
scheduled Air Zimbabwe flight from London to Harare? No!
Mugabe will commandeer the plane, leaving passengers stranded at Gatwick, so
that the plane can take the Head of State and Government and
Commander–in-Chief of the Armed Forces and his entourage back to Harare.
Another apt analogy is that of former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae.
He was in New York on official business and asked for his suits to be dry
cleaned. On being informed of the exorbitant rates, Mogae refused to spend
Botswana taxpayer’s money on such expensive dry cleaning. Mogae had the
suits wrapped up to be cleaned when he arrived back home in Gaborone.
Mogae was a leader who exercised frugal and responsible behaviour, befitting
of a head of state.
As President Mugabe listens to speeches and presentations by climate
scientists, sometimes dozing off, the First Lady will be hunting for her
favourite Ferragamo shoes. Not so long ago she was asked why she preferred
such expensive shoes while her people are starving. She replied simply: “I
have very narrow feet, so I wear only Ferragamo.”
In Zimbabwe there is stiff competition to loot the little available state
resources by senior government officials. When the chartered Air Zimbabwe
flight finally touches down at Harare International Airport after the
Copenhagen Summit, the presidential entourage is not subjected to customs
After Mugabe has been swiftly whisked away, his bulky luggage and that of
officials in his entourage is loaded onto government trucks waiting right on
the tarmac without anyone going through customs and paying import duty.
No questions are asked.
by Lebo Nkatazo
THE true extent of the underfunding of Zimbabwe's foreign missions is
exposed in a new report by MPs which reveals the country's ambassador to
Mozambique has resorted to walking to work - because the country cannot
afford him a car.
Zimbabwe's foreign missions are US$30 million in debt and staff go for
months without pay, according to the report released last week by the
Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs .
"The committee was disturbed to learn that the ambassador in Maputo is
currently walking to and from work as the mission no longer has a functional
vehicle," the report said.
The committee also found the Ministry of Regional Integration and
International Cooperation only had one vehicle allocated to it.
The MPs said: "The committee understands that as long as existing arrears on
diplomatic missions remain unresolved, the welfare of officers at missions
"The committee also noted that sufficient funds should be made available to
the Ministry of Regional Integration and International Cooperation towards
procurement of vehicles as the prevailing situation of one vehicle in the
ministry is not viable for effective operations."
In the budget announced last week, the Regional Integration Ministry made a
bid for US$4,3 million but was allocated US$1,2 million -- representing 28
percent of what it was seeking.
The lawmakers also revealed the country's Immigration Department was yet to
be computerised, forcing heavy reliance on the telephone system at a great
cost to the government.
In the December 3 budget, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said "the resources
the government has been disbursing on a monthly basis have been insufficient
in halting further accumulation of arrears".
He allocated US$36,6 million for "mission running costs, including salaries
for embassy personnel" but called for "measures that will align expenditure
at our missions with our ability to pay".
He added: "My ministry is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
other arms of government represented at our foreign missions to come up with
cost reducing measures and also a disbursement mechanism which ensures that
foreign missions get their full allocations."
By Lance Guma
16 December 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai used a Wednesday meeting with Harare City
councilors from his MDC party to call for a probe into the controversial
airport road construction deal. The 'Joshua Nkomo Expressway', as it is
known, is meant to link the Harare International Airport and the city centre
and has been valued at US$80 million, despite a similar 2001 project in
Chegutu covering 77km costing US$19 million. Adding to suspicion is that the
airport road is actually 20km shorter than the one built in Chegutu.
Sources accuse Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and former Harare
Commission chairperson Michael Mahachi of corruptly engineering the deal,
that saw Ukrainian company Augur Investments being awarded the tender. When
the MDC took over council Mahachi was appointed a 'special
interest councilor' by Chombo before he resigned a month later to become the
project manager for Augur Investments.
The new council run by the MDC has already told its workers taking part in
the current construction to stop doing so, until a full investigation into
the tender process has been completed. This year Minister Chombo issued a
directive rescinding this council resolution but the council has defied
this. Only workers from the contractor are still on site.
Harare residents have slammed the project saying it's hardly a priority
given they are going for days without water and the city would be better
advised to focus on improving the water infrastructure.
Meanwhile Tsvangirai used the meeting with the councilors to warn them
against engaging in corrupt activities. This follows a drastic decision a
few weeks ago to suspend the MP for Zengeza East, Alexio Musundire, over
violence charges, and a similar suspension of former mayor Israel Marange,
and the entire Chitungwiza executive, over allegations of corruptly selling
Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa told Newsreel the MDC was serious about
rooting out corrupt officials and Tsvangirai's meeting with the councilors
was part of the wider campaign to emphasize to their members the importance
of not being found on the wrong side of the law. 'We were elected by the
people, to serve the people and not our stomachs,' Chamisa told us. He said
all party members, MP's and councilors are being told the same message and
the 'anti-corruption drum beat was growing louder.
By Alex Bell
16 December 2009
A self proclaimed war veteran and ZANU PF member has been jailed for 32
years, for raping two female MDC supporters during the violent 2008 election
Lovemore Manjeni, who is a Bishop of the Mabasa Avapositori Church in
Rusape, was found guilty of five counts of rape by magistrate Hosea Mujaya,
who lambasted the accused for using rape as a political weapon against MDC
supporters. Manjeni, who was revealed to be a ZANU PF base commander
operating under the name 'Untouchable', attacked and raped two married MDC
supporters in their own homes over a period of a week, armed with a machete
and a packet of condoms. One of the women testified how she was raped in
front of her young children when Manjenji broke into her village hut.
Magistrate Mujaya likened his behaviour to that of an animal and a bully,
questioning how brutalising the women would force them to vote for ZANU PF.
Manjeni is just one perpetrator in ZANU PF's brutal campaign of rape carried
out during the 2008 election period, a campaign that a leading advocacy
group has said Robert Mugabe is clearly complicit in. The group, AIDS-Free
World, last week released a shock report detailing 70 testimonies of rape
survivors, arguing there is enough evidence to warrant the prosecution of
Mugabe and other top ZANU PF officials for crimes against humanity.
The 64 page report (Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe's Zimbabwe)
documents 380 rapes committed by 241 perpetrators, all ZANU PF members who
identified themselves to their victims. All the women targeted in the
attacks were supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party.
Co-director of AIDS-Free World, and a former United Nations special envoy on
HIV/AIDS Stephen Lewis, said the evidence contained in the report is
"Mugabe believes he can sanction rape without fear of consequences and he
has used this tactic as a weapon to successfully stay in power," Lewis said.
"Zimbabwe, for this reason, is the biggest test for ending impunity for
crimes against humanity."
The report details how the rape campaign unleashed on the country's female
opposition supporters, and often their children, was both widespread and
systematic, with recurring patterns. This included the uniform physical and
emotional brutality of the rapes, with all the survivors explaining they
were horrifically abused and beaten. Some women were forced to watch the
rape of their daughters and murder of their husbands and other family
members, before or after they were raped. Other women were held as sex
slaves in ZANU PF camps for weeks at a time. Other testimonies detailed how
the perpetrators even used their HIV-positive status as a weapon of further
cruelty, telling women they were being infected as punishment for supporting
The police have in the majority of cases refused to investigate or follow up
on the brutality, making individual prosecution difficult. But AIDS-Free
World has argued that Mugabe and those who were members of his government at
the time should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, for their
complicity in the rape campaign. The report states that the ZANU PF
government was well aware of the campaign that, along with the election
violence, was masterminded by the Joint Operations Command (JOC). The report
details Mugabe's complicity, explaining how the ageing dictator not only
knew about the campaign, but also refused to prevent it or punish those
"This combination of knowledge, the refusal to prevent, and the failure to
punish the widespread political rape requires that Robert Mugabe and members
of the JOC should be investigated and prosecuted for their individual
criminal liability for the rapes," the report reads.
By Tichaona Sibanda
16 December 2009
There is intense jockeying by individuals and groups in Zimbabwe waiting to
apply for radio and television licenses, once/if the inclusive government
finally frees the airwaves.
SW Radio Africa understands that there has been a lot of interest from a
cross section of Zimbabweans vying to operate independent radio and TV
licenses. The State-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation operates the
country's only TV and four radio stations.
A source told us he has seen many people with links to ZANU PF lobbying
politburo members to push the broadcasting board to consider their
applications. There are as many as 10 groups and a number of individuals
vying for the licenses.
'On the other hand, I also know of other groups and individuals who are
approaching influential politicians from the MDC on a similar mission,' our
The source added; 'Anyone can lobby and win the right to operate a radio or
TV station, but launching and sustaining the stations is another thing. It's
not easy because there is a lot involved so being politically linked to any
party when in broadcasting can turn out to be a huge disadvantage.'
'Look at how ZBC-TV is struggling because of its links to ZANU PF, they've
lost credibility. So if you run an independent TV or radio station, two
entities that bank heavily on advertising revenue to survive, you can't
afford to marginalize your advertisers and listeners by projecting views of
a party they don't particularly associate with, so to survive you have to
remain neutral. In a free media world, it's either you give a balanced view
or you don't belong to that industry.'
The former ruling ZANU PF party has since independence failed to register
any new players in the broadcasting sector because of stringent laws that
maintain the state monopoly in broadcasting.
The Global Political Agreement that ushered in the inclusive government
called for a raft of media reforms, including the processing of applications
for licences in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act.
But civil society organizations and NGO's have criticized the government for
the fact that there has been no movement in media reform, as Mugabe and ZANU
PF fight to maintain their monopoly.
Two months ago there was confusion over the appointment of the new
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe board when Information Minister Webster
Shamu announced the new board would be chaired by former Media Information
Commission (MIC) chairperson Tafataona Mahoso - well known as a media
This clearly indicated that ZANU PF were not serious in freeing the
electronic media and was shot down by both the MDC's as also unprocedural,
because both their principals had not been consulted.
Last month the deputy Minister of Information and Publicity, Jameson Timba,
said the country had the capacity to licence an additional four television
stations and 94 radio stations, in both urban and rural areas.
But many observers doubt that there will be any freeing of the electronic
media, or the print media, anytime soon. There are also serious concerns
that ZANU PF will just go ahead and issue broadcasting licences to those it
Simba Makoni's spokesperson, journalist Denford Magora, recently wrote in
his blog: "One "apolitical" person I spoke to yesterday informed that he had
submitted an application and been subjected to meeting after meeting with
CIO operatives, Minister of Information and Publicity Webster Shamu and many
others. He was asked to list the names of the people involved in the project
as well as the names of the "backers" of the proposed radio station. When he
submitted the names, which he all considered "apolitical", he was informed
by a high-ranking CIO officer that the names were OK except for one, which
"The advice to him was to drop that person and reapply, which he did. It has
now been three months and he has not heard anything since."
"It was when he revealed this that my source told him point blank that
"apolitical" people were "professional broadcasters" and these would never
be issued with a licence because the one question that is asked when
applications go in is "Anoziva gwara remusangano here?" Translated, the
question is: "Does he (or she) know the ideology of the party?"
HARARE, December 16, 2009 - Zimbabwe will soon see the introduction of a
second television station that will broadcast under the state controlled
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's (ZBC's) stable, according to its CEO
This is coming at a time when private media players have been waiting for
the newly set up Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to call for radio
and television licence applications in line with the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) that brought about Zimbabwe's new unity government. The
Morgan Tsvangirai Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has also complained
against the appointment of Tafataona Mahoso as the BAZ chairperson. Mahoso
is the former chairperson of the defunct Media Information Commission (MIC),
which was responsible for the shut down of newspapers in the country,
resulting in hundreds of journalists losing their jobs and leaving the
It is also coming at a time when Zanu PF is decrying and decampaigning
exiled radio stations, that are challenging ZBC's monopoly.
ZBC, the country's sole broadcaster, has been accused of being a mouthpiece
for President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.
Prime Tsvangirai's MDC says ZBC TV continues to make broadcasts biased
against his party, now in government, in violation of the GPA, which says it
must provide balanced and fair coverage to all political parties.
Muchechetere said in a televised interview Tuesday evening that the station
will hit the airwaves in less than a month's time.
The station, to be known as ZBC TV 2, will begin by making half day
broadcasts within a radius of 80km metres from country's main studios at
Pockets Hill, Harare before extending its transmission to the rest of the
country in a projected six months period.
Muchechetere said the new TV station will broadcast under a channel that had
been used by the now defunct Joy TV which was being run by exiled Zimbabwean
businessman James Makamba.
According to Muchechetere, Joy TV, which provided balanced coverage, was
switched off for non payment of transmission charges to ZBC, the owners of
"It is going to be a commercial station. Programmes that we show there must
bring something back to us. They must have a monetary value. The business
community must enjoy watching these programmes so that they can in turn
advertise through us," he said. "The programmes that are there are going to
please everyone from the toddler, the businessman, the professor and to the
Media, Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Jameson Timba says Zimbabwe
has the capacity to licence seven more television stations under the
available broadcasting space.
In terms of the current frequency allocation plan, Zimbabwe has the capacity
to host three new television stations on the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band
and one TV station on Very High Frequency (VHF) band. If Zimbabwe goes
digital through a multiplex, it can have six additional television stations
on the UHF and one more on the VHF and this would be an additional seven
stations in the country.
16th Dec 2009 13:28 GMT
MISA-Zimbabwe has been following with particular interest the seemingly
contentious issue of shortwave radio stations within the context of the
ongoing SADC mediation process.
It is MISA Zimbabwe's well considered view that broadcasts by shortwave
radio stations is an internationally accepted global phenomenon in terms of
the International Telecommunications Union Treaty and is in tandem with the
realization of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Shortwave radio frequencies have been critical in allowing access to
information for disadvantaged and repressed peoples across the world. They
also played a critical role in the heroic struggles of the people of
southern Africa against colonialism.
In view of Article 19 of the GPA, MISA Zimbabwe finds it most unfortunate
that the three political parties that are now in the inclusive government
have misunderstood the purpose and function of shortwave radio stations.
The fact that these radio stations are transmitting within the legally
allocated frequency bands by the host countries and without any
contravention of the ITU stipulations, takes away the credence of the
argument of their illegality.
In addition, there are no laws in Zimbabwe that restrict the broadcast of
shortwave frequencies into our country. In fact, Section 20 of the
Consitution of Zimbabwe guarantees that citizens are free to hold and to
receive and impart ideas and information without interference.
The stipulation in Article 19 of the GPA requesting that foreign governments
desist from hosting/ funding the shortwave radio stations can only be
construed as tantamount to calling for the banning of all shortwave radio
stations across the world.
This would be reflective of disdain on the part of the three political
parties for United Nations Treaties as they relate to both the ITU and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is MISA Zimbabwe's contention that the core issue at hand is not about
shortwave radio stations, which incidentally do not just broadcast into
Zimbabwe alone, but is more of reluctance by certain elements among the
negotiating parties to allow for the proliferation of freedom of expression
and access to information in Zimbabwe.
MISA Zimbabwe therefore strongly recommends that the three signatory parties
to the GPA focus more on the fundamental issue of freedom of expression and
access to information which has been denied the people of Zimbabwe.
This would entail the immediate licensing of private broadcasters for both
television and radio while at the same time converting the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings from a state broadcaster into an independent public
Once that is achieved, the issue of 'outside broadcasts' would be of minor
concern to Zimbabweans yearning for a liberalised media environment that
allows them access to alternative views, opinions and ideas that shape and
inform their decision making on socio-economic and political issues that
affect their wellbeing.
by Own Correspondent Wednesday 16 December 2009
HARARE - CITES secretary general Willem Wijnstekers is expected in Zimbabwe
next month for talks with President Robert Mugabe over rampant poaching
decimating wildlife in the southern African country and said to involve top
politicians and army officials.
A senior official at the government's Department of National Parks and
Wildlife Management told ZimOnline that the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) official was
also expected to meet Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, police chief
Augustine Chihuri and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.
Wijnstekers will discuss with Mnangagwa the alleged involvement of senior
military officers in poaching while he seeks to establish from Chihuri and
Tomana security measures put in place to curb illegal killing of protected
wildlife and measures taken against those caught poaching including the
levels of sentencing.
"CITES secretary general Willem Wijnstekers will be visiting Zimbabwe next
month," said the wildlife official, who spoke on condition he was not named.
The official said CITES has made it clear ahead of Wijnstekers' visit that
it was concerned at "the high levels of poaching of endangered species in
The official said: "Wijnstekers has indicated that he wants to meet the
defence minister because of the alleged involvement of senior army officials
in poaching. He wants to meet the police commissioner and the attorney
general to get a clear picture on the levels of sentencing imposed and also
discuss what sort of deterrent measures can be put in place against
According to the government official the exact dates of meetings between
Wijnstekers and Zimbabwe officials were expected to be finalised during the
United Nations climate summit underway in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Poaching has been rife in Zimbabwe since landless black villagers began
invading - with tacit approval from the government - white-owned farms and
game conservancies over the past nine years.
Some of the country's biggest state-owned nature and game conservancies
including Gonarezhou national park that forms part of the Great Limpopo
Transfrontier straddling across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa have
large parts occupied by villagers.
In many cases farm invaders poach animals for meat and cut down trees for
sale as firewood mostly to people living in urban areas.
But there has also been an upsurge in the poaching of endangered species
such as the rhino targeted for its horn that is exported mainly to China and
Vietnam where it is in huge demand. International syndicates working with
local gangs are said to be behind rhino poaching.
A joint-report released by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) and wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, about two
weeks ago estimated that Zimbabwe's rhino population had declined by an
alarming 14.7 percent since 2007 due to poaching.
There have also been reports of illegal and uncontrolled trophy hunting on
former white-owned conservancies now controlled by powerful government
officials and members of Mugabe's ZANU PF party politicians.
The government however denies politicians are illegally hunting game and
insists it still has poaching under control. - ZimOnline
Published: December 16, 2009
BIKITA A Bikita man was recently beaten and evicted from his home by Zanu
PF supporters in worsening attacks on Movement for Democratic Change members
in Masvingo Province.
The onslaught on the MDC has dampened hopes for a quick end to the
frustrating inter-party squabbles that have rocked the government of
national unity (GNU) for months.
In Bikita last week, Takarambwa Mutanhaurwa (pictured) was asleep with his
family at night when a group of Zanu PF militants pounced on him. They
assaulted him in almost every way they could, and then poured buckets of
water on him in an attempt to revive him. After this, they then left the
place, presuming he was dead, according to witnesses.
Mutanhaurwa revived hours later, after losing a lot of blood, and was rushed
to a nearby hospital by scotch cart, where he received medical treatment - a
swathe of bandages and plasters to cover the huge gash above his eye. But
that was not all.
When he returned home, he was again approached by the same gang, who told
him they were acting under the orders of Chief Masasire to eject him from
his home and take his field as he did not belong to their party.
There is nothing the police can do
"I am very bitter about my field. Some people are already ploughing it and
that angers me most. But there is nothing I can do because I am afraid of
these people. I have reported the matter to the police but they told me
there was nothing they could do because they were not there when the
incident happened," Mutanhaurwa said.
Many people in Zimbabwe regard a field as the ultimate symbol of honour and
losing it in this manner is considered utter humiliation.
Police and Chief Masasire could not immediately be reached for comment.
Youths being trained to kill
Deputy chairman of the Bikita Trust Association, a youth group, Obvious
Madzivanyika said most of the violence was fuelled by a campaign coordinated
by retired army colonel Claudious Makova to become senator. Madzivanyika
said that youths were being trained in the district to become killers in
readiness for elections slated for 2011.
Most of this new evidence has now been recorded on video by human rights
watchdog Zimrights and will be presented in the form of a petition to the
government's Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation headed by Sekai
Holland, Gibson Sibanda and John Nkomo.
In other rural districts visited by this correspondent over the last couple
of weeks - Gutu, Zaka, Mwenezi, Seke and Wedza, supporters of the majority
MDC confirmed that they were under renewed threat. They said Zanu PF backers
were persecuting them in a bid to force them to support Mugabe's party in
future elections and to vote in favour of the unpopular Kariba draft
by Lebo Nkatazo
ZIMBABWE'S biggest mobile phone operator Econet Wireless is braced for
political brickbats from Zanu PF over mass text messages sent through its
network last week claiming President Robert Mugabe would be challenged at
the party's congress.
Mugabe was endorsed unopposed for a further five years, but feelings were so
strong in the party against Econet that the company was mentioned in the
final resolutions issued at the end of the congress on Saturday.
"Congress, therefore . Condemns, unequivocally, the ECONET Wireless Network,
for launching an electronic warfare attack against Zanu PF during this
Congress by broadcasting falsehoods and hate messages designed to cause
alarm and despondency in violation of Zimbabwe's laws and the letter and
spirit of the GPA," one of the party's resolutions reads.
"Congress, therefore, calls upon the Security Ministries and the mother ICT
Ministry of the inclusive government to locate, arrest and take deterrent
punitive action against the perpetrators of this dastardly attack."
Econet - which fought a five-year battle to get a licence - has denied it
sent the text messages.
The text messages had claimed the Zanu PF faction led by Solomon Mujuru was
planning to unseat Mugabe at the congress.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF condemned "in the strongest terms" what is said was the
continuing violation of Zimbabwe's airwaves by the Voice of America Studio
7, Voice of the People, Short Wave Radio Africa and a myriad of
The resolution said: "Congress therefore ... Instructs the President and
First Secretary and the Party negotiators to ensure that all outstanding
issues, once agreed, must be implemented concurrently.
"This means there should be no movement on the concerns of the MDC
formations without corresponding and simultaneous redress of Zanu PF's
concerns such as the illegal western sanctions, western-funded pirate radio
broadcasts and western interference in Zimbabwe's internal politics through
the funding of parallel government structures and the sponsoring of
political activities of NGOs as a force multiplier for the MDC formations."
by Charles Tembo Wednesday 16 December 2009
HARARE - Cash-strapped Air Zimbabwe is in "intensive care unit", grounded by
problems ranging from a debt overhang, an ageing fleet averaging 20 years
and severe staff exodus, a top official of the airline said on Monday.
"Air Zimbabwe is in intensive care unit and needs to be rescued urgently,"
the airline's chief executive Peter Chikumba told a parliamentary portfolio
committee on transport and infrastructure.
"Alone Air Zimbabwe cannot survive," he said.
Chikumba, who painted a bleak future of Zimbabwe's flag carrier said
experienced staff were leaving the airline in droves with 10 of his pilots
scheduled to attend interviews with other airlines abroad where salaries are
higher and working conditions better while Air Zimbabwe's problems continue
He said Air Zimbabwe's Boeing 737s and 767s were bleeding the airline due to
high maintenance costs as they have been in use for an average 20 years.
Chikumba added that restoring investor and public confidence was critical
but the country's political environment was making it difficult for the
airline to attract passengers let alone new capital.
"Investors and other airlines want us to satisfy a checklist which includes
issues to do with balance sheet, debt issues and the operating environment.
We can't answer five questions from the 28 on the checklist and therefore it
has been difficult to attract both traffic and investors," said Chikumba.
"We've no dream of seeing other airlines in Zimbabwe as long as
infrastructure remains as it is," he added.
Zimbabwe's national flag carrier has since the start of the country's
economic crisis in 2000 lost its position as one of the best airlines in
Africa due to mismanagement and interference by the government, including by
President Robert Mugabe who often grabs planes to fly him on his countless
foreign trips leaving passengers stranded.
Infrastructure has been left to rot as Mugabe and his ZANU PF government
failed to allocate budgetary support to infrastructure development. Starved
of cash for re-tooling, the airline uses mostly obsolete technology and
There has been no reprieve for the long suffering Air Zimbabwe from Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's February unity government as Finance
Minister Tendai Biti did not allocate any funds to the airline in his 2010
national budget statement two weeks ago despite serious lobbying from
airline management. - ZimOnline
Harare, December 16, 2009 -Tonnes of paediatric drugs including
Anti-retrovirals for children are expiring in Zimbabwe's hospitals while
hundreds of children in the country under the age of five are dying of HIV
and AIDS related ailments because of ignorance by parents who do not have
access to information on where to get treatment and drugs.
National AIDS Council Media and communications officer Orirando Manwere
said: "Stocks of ARV syrup for children and other paediatric drugs are
expiring in the country's hospitals while children are dying every day.
Parents are reluctant to take their children to health centres for HIV and
AIDS testing. We are worried as NAC to note that development while
policy makers are not saying anything to address that situation.
There is need for education awareness among the communities. They need to be
told where to get these drugs and the benefits of that practise. We are
denying children their right to health and we are destroying our own
"The coverage on HIV diagnosis on children is not pleasing at the moment. We
facing problems of health workers hesitating to initiate ART on
children They are not yet confident in doing the job... but we have
embarked on a training programme."
According to the Zimbabwe's central statistics office November 2009,
infant mortality rate stood at 67 per 1000 live births while under five
mortality rate was at 94 per 1000 live births. National AIDS Council
says 158,798 children are infected with HIV while 39,809 children die per
year from AIDS related ailments.
Harare, December 16, 2009 - The former Finance Minister Enos Nkala says if
Zanu PF is not careful it will die with President Robert Mugabe.
Nkala, who fell out of favour with Mugabe after the notorious Willowgate car
scandal exposed by verteran journalists, Geoff Nyarota, said : "Zanu PF is
an old party for old men. There is no thinking in Zanu PF and everybody is
afraid of Robert Mugabe. In fact it should be called Robert Mugabe (Private)
Limited and not Zanu PF. I am afraid that after or when President Mugabe
dies he will go down the grave with the party."
Nkala was responding to reports that Mugabe would be the candidate for Zanu
PF in the next election.
Nkala, who also served as Finance Secretary in Zanu PF said he had no
regrets that he had left Zanu PF.
"Everybody in Matabeleland and in fact in Bulawayo supports Dumiso Dabengwa
because he is a Ndebele. Zanu PF brought about tribal politics in Zimbabwe
because it is for the Zezurus only."
Dabengwa has broken away from Zanu PF and has revived Zapu.
Nkala said Zanu PF would lose seats in Matabeleland because it was very
Nkala was booted out of government by President Mugabe after the Willowgate
Motor Car scandal during the 1980s.
He is now retired and staying at his farm in Matabeleland.
Meanwhile sources say Mugabe is expected to meet several heads of state and
government in Copenhagen to try and tell them the Zimbabwe story.
"President Mugabe will use this opportunity to meet with big bosses in
Copenhagen," a close source told Radio VOP. "This is the biggest conference
in the world and will allow him to meet leaders he would otherwise never
meet. People are worried about the huge amount of money being spent but Zanu
PF is not worried because this a PR exercise for them."
He said Mugabe would also meet SA boss, Jacob Zuma as well as the SADC
Mugabe and a large entourage left for Copenhagen on Monday night after
allegedly diverting an Air Zimbabwe plane, a move that caused Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to abandon the trip.
Tsvangirai is said to have said the country could not afford to have a large
entourage attending the world summit at a time when the country is battling
to survive financially.
Last Updated: 1:52 PM, December 16, 2009
Posted: 5:46 AM, December 16, 2009
WASHINGTON -- Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe turned the UN climate-change summit in Copenhagen into a farce yesterday, laughing off the travel sanctions of Western governments and throwing the harsh disapproval of his Danish hosts back in their faces.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said his government had no choice but to allow Mugabe to attend the conference, just as New York City or the United States have no choice when horrible heads of state attend UN meetings in Manhattan.
"That is the spirit of the UN -- that the world needs a place where we can meet with those we basically don't like," Rasmussen explained to reporters who had inquired about Mugabe's attendance. "And I guess that is how you can characterize the person you're asking about."
But the real reason for Mugabe's trip is that it's his only chance to go shopping in Europe while he's under an international travel ban, said Stanford Mukasa, a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who has studied Zimbabwe and Mugabe.
"Mugabe has nothing to offer to the climate-control conference because he is one of the guilty parties by his deliberate policies at home," Mukasa said.
And even as Mugabe thumbed his nose at the world, the host country welcomed him.
"I see no problem in greeting him," Rasmussen said, but added: "Nobody can be in doubt about my attitude toward Zimbabwe and Mugabe."
Mugabe is banned by the European Union from traveling to member states, including Denmark, as part of sanctions intended to pressure him to into allowing political reforms and improving the African nation's awful human-rights record.
Mugabe's attendance had many critics saying the global environmental summit stands revealed as a farce.
"This finally exposes what this whole conference is about," said a senior Republican aide on Capitol Hill.
"Thank God Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot didn't figure out they could fund their dictatorships with this global-warming hoax," the aide said. "This guy's just showing up to collect his check."
Under the plans being considered at the UN conference, developed countries such as the United States and European nations will pay billions to Third World countries such as those in Africa to pay for the alleged effects of global warming.
According to African press accounts, Mugabe aims to offer strategies to curb the climate change he believes has caused protracted droughts, floods and erratic rains in Zimbabwe. But Mugabe has been widely condemned for disastrous management of his country's resources -- including stripping lands from competent farmers and giving them to cronies -- and turning Zimbabwe from Africa's breadbasket into a basket case.
Nonetheless, he is set to address the summit later in the week. As a head of state, Mugabe will attend a dinner tomorrow hosted by Denmark's Queen Margrethe II.
Mugabe was joined by his wife and a huge delegation -- as many as 59 other people.
The dictator, who has held a stranglehold on power since 1980 -- an era marked by violence and intimidation and by a decreasing tolerance of political opposition -- and his trip to Denmark was denounced by human-rights groups abroad and back home.
Political opponents at home accused Mugabe of wasting Zimbabwe's precious resources by taking such an expensive junket on top of the more than $28 million he has already spent this year on foreign trips.
They also accused him of hypocrisy and blamed him for much of the environmental degradation that has occurred under his long reign, including the extensive loss of forests and the poaching of wildlife.
Upon arrival in Denmark, Mugabe said he expected from the Copenhagen conference "what everybody else hopes to get -- an agreement."
He said he felt perfectly welcomed.
"I am a member of the world population," he told reporters. "I'm only one dot in the population. I am a member of the world. Why should I feel isolated?"
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that if negotiators cannot resolve stalemates before leaders, including President Obama, arrive tomorrow, the outcome will be either a "weak one, or there will be no agreement."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Copenhagen for meetings tomorrow as well, and then join Obama when he arrives, a State Department official said.
At the center of the summit tension is an alliance of China, India, Brazil and South Africa, which are demanding that richer nations cut emissions and pay poorer countries to slow climate change.
The European Union has offered about $10 billion to fight global warming, and a Japanese newspaper reported yesterday that Tokyo would offer a similar amount over three years to 2012.
But the US position is unclear. The latest draft accords indicated that negotiators are getting farther apart, not closer.
China, the world's largest polluter, accused the United States and other developed countries yesterday of trying to escape their responsibilities.
"We still maintain that developed countries have the obligation to provide financial support," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. With Post Wire Services
Here we go again for once more, Jonathan Moyo has another short at ZANU PF
politics. I will not call it national politics because Moyo's relevance in
national politics has completely waned ever since his infamous sell as the
mischievous minister of information who so bizarrely hated information such
that he had to oversee the crafting of the most draconian anti-media laws in
the history of our country. Even Ian Smith who presided over a terribly
segregating regime that resisted plural politics for decades never went to
such dizzy heights as Moyo did in suppressing the media. No wonder people
have given the nutty professor numerous acronyms.
The only worrying spectre about Moyo's bouncing back, if ever he had left
ZANU PF in the first place, is the motive behind that move coupled with his
track record in government. Moyo is so allergic to political power as was
seen from the hallucinatory reactions he suffered as he galloped more and
more of it during his stray into government. To even think that he is
actually set to take in even more dosses of power this time around will
definitely sent shivers down the spines of many people most of whom have
barely forgotten the trail of Moyo's actions. But one thing for certain is
that Moyo is definitely among his lot. You don't stay or least of all, go
back to ZANU PF if you don't belong there. Only ZANU PF blood stays in ZANU
PF and Moyo definitely is of that blood.
These are people who regardless of how elderly they are and seemingly "just
politicking" they are people who have always demonstrated a chilling
determination to actually see through those elderly antics in very violent
ways. They are the same people who have visited untold suffering upon the
Zimbabwean populace for decades now. No matter how old the ZANU PF guard may
be, they have the zeal to orchestrate violence and the energy to oversee it
all. Most disturbingly they have all the means at their disposal to execute
their pledges for violence. Yes there may have signed an agreement that
could have been a really good thing for the country, but we all know that
ZANU PF is the last group to act in the country's good. They are in the
agreement for themselves rather than anyone else!
There have been incidents of intra-party violence and in-fighting in ZANU PF
that would always spill over into cross-party violence with national
consequences. There will be more bloodshed ahead of any new elections in
Zimbabwe because ZANU PF is baying for it. There will be greater suffering
of any proven or suspected opponents of the rotting ZANU PF regime and more
people will be persecuted because there is nothing left for them (ZANU PF)
than to resort to violence. No amount of bribery or persuasion will win ZANU
PF any votes because the people of Zimbabwe have heard it all before. They
have seen it all before and they know that ZANU PF does not deliver for
anyone but themselves. It is a self-serving organisation that thrives on
killing, maiming and suppressing dissent even of its own members.
The re-organisation that is happening in ZANU PF must never be taken
lightly. The real threats to peace and co-existence that came out of the
so-called congress must never be dismissed as "cheap bravado" or political
suicide. ZANU PF does not make empty threats and their propensity for
self-destruct has national consequences that we have borne with great
suffering. They have a record of delivering on their threats and anyone who
dismisses them as just that can only do that at their own expense. The
threats are a real sign of the times to come. There will be more antagonism
and friction from the direction of ZANU PF because this is a party that is
feeling the pinch of unpopularity and they are taking it quite badly. They
Moyo has not been re-hired or re-lured for nothing. ZANU PF is not that kind
of confused suitor that engages in purposeless courtship. Neither do they
pursue a useless bride. The courtship is never for the benefit of the bride
either. It is always for the suitor who dumps the bride at will even on the
eve of the wedding. Those standing ovations and enthused clapping were never
for nothing. This was a sense of triumph, sensing blood as well because
there is a mission to be pursued and that mission has to be accomplished at
whatever cost. Moyo is reputed as an effective messenger of hate among the
ZANU PF faithful and that is what earned him those plaudits. It is also a
clear sign of urging him to go further during his new stint and boy, he
Moyo is the author the lion's share of Zimbabwean misery today thanks to his
introduction of the menacing politics of vitriol, threats and destruction of
opponents as well as the silencing of dissenting voices. People like
Charamba are the keen graduate scholars of Moyo's school of poisonous
propaganda that brooks no common sense whatsoever. Moyo's intervention
should never be isolated only to his stranglehold of the media and the
suffocating of Zimbabwean airwaves and general intolerance to criticism of
ZANU PF. It dates back to the farm invasions because that was part of the
strategy of stirring a lot of political mud and causing mayhem that could
only benefit ZANU PF. Moyo's re-admission into the senior ranks of ZANU PF
may have been seemingly a non-event but there will be far reaching
repercussions as a direct consequence of that.
There will be more jingles and more mumble jumble programmes of ZTV. The
leaked documents that have been surfacing outlining plans on the revival of
the sinking ZANU PF and the premature destruction of the revived ZAPU are
not by chance. This is part of Moyo's comprehensive plan of eliminating
opponents. It is shocking how Moyo made a complete metamorphosis from one of
Mugabe's staunchest critics to the avid ZANU PF cheerleader he has
successfully turned himself into. It is called singing for supper and that
is the sad spectacle of ZANU PF hangers-on because these are people who are
faced with imminent death if they don't do the ZANU thing. And they are just
too many of them making it almost impossible to dismantle the ZANU PF
machinery because it is their life.
Sadly, they are the real movers of the ZANU PF project who have only two
stuck choices. They can either just die a double whammy, a natural politico-
economic death or die fighting. The pain of dying naturally is that they
will die alone whereas by supposedly dying "fighting" they will have company
in the form of victims whose lives they will claim alone the way. It is all
about spite. Take Moyo as the best example. He has no use other than as a
ZANU PF so-called "strategist". Outside ZANU PF Moyo has no other use and he
knows that he will never win any other clean election without resorting to
his unorthodox means and this is why he couldn't wait to go back "home"
where he belongs. None of this is for anyone other than Moyo himself but he
knows that he has to appease a certain chunk of the ZANU PF establishment to
be able to satisfy himself.
While ZANU PF is busy re-organising themselves in such a disturbing but
unsurprising fashion, the MDC must be very worried about that. ZANU PF mean
business and they will make sure that stones will be strewn all over the way
to scuttle the re-democratisation process. There have been a number of
arrests worth of note here and one is the inexplicable incarceration of the
MDC director of transport Pascal Gwezere. Gwezere is in a spot that stands
in the way of ZANU PF strategy of eliminating MDC politicians. The transport
arrangement makes part of that strategy through staged accidents and other
targeted means. By removing Gwezere that will weaken the transport and
logistics set up thereby allowing ZANU PF operatives unfettered access to
tamper with MDC vehicles. All they need is to get to the vehicles of MDC
officials and fit them with tracker devices that will be monitored by people
paid to do just that. The trackers will tell every move of the vehicle and
its exact location and the rest will be the story how accidents unfold.
Stationery vehicles and donkeys ect.
It is very disturbing to note where the political whirlwind is again
blowing. It's like making three steps forward and then 5 steps backwards.
ZANU PF will fall eventually but they will resist all the way. Stronger and
much more sophisticated regimes than ZANU PF bit the dust and they will be
no exception. But that is no reason for complacency or complicity.
Silence Chihuri writes from Scotland. He can be contacted by email:
In our house I normally have one of the 24-hour news channels on during the
day and keep an eye on things as they pan out in the world - and yesterday I
saw a short report on the arrival of none other than Robert Mugabe at the
Copenhagen Climate Charge summit.
He was filmed coming off the aircraft and walking down the stairs.
I noted that he was unsteady on his feet and that his right hand shook
almost uncontrollably at he reached for the hand rail.
And I thought to myself, "What is this man doing in Copenhagen? What
interest does he have in climate change when he has virtually
single-handedly ruined a once-beautiful country called Zimbabwe?"
But when you read through the various articles, you soon realise just what
Nugabe is up to.
Apart from being given a three-minute slot at the dais, Mugabe will
obviously be a focus for some journalists - and quite rightly so. He is only
on Copenhagen because the summit is held by the United Nations, and so,
although he is banned from travelling to Denmark, he has been granted
travelling rights to the UN summit.
Why is he subject to a travel ban if every two seconds that ban is lifted?
He travelled to Copenhagen on an Air Zimbabwe aircraft which he
commandeered - leaving passengers having to make alternate arrangements. He
travelled with a fifty-nine person entourage - and these people were
preceded by an 'advance team'!
Why is it necessary for Mugabe to travel with such a number of people? They
can't all be close security!
And trust me, they aren't. Many of them are persons who have been sent to do
shopping for Mugabe's wife, Amazing (Dis)Grace, and once the shopping is
done, the aircraft will be packed to the gunnels and upon arrival at Harare
International, the purchases will all be moved to Mugabe's mansion in
Borrowdale Brook without having been subject to Customs & Excise.
Whilst in Copenhagen, Mugabe will do little else than sit and listen to
other State leaders have their three minutes worth - and when it is Mugabe's
turn, I doubt whether he will say anything relevant to the summit, but
rather will vilify the West in general, the USA and the UK in particular -
for fomenting regime change, for wanting to re-colonise Zimbabwe. and so on
and so forth.
I, for one, am particularly pleased that Mugabe's utterances will be limited
to just 180 seconds, but the damage is done elsewhere.
Why is he invited to these summits? Why does the United Nations pander to
Mugabe and allow him to attend? And then they compound the error and give
him the floor!
What on earth does Mugabe have to say to the various conferences and summits
that we haven't already heard? Mugabe ignores the focus of these meetings
and will always make a meal of the West, in the forlorn hope that repetition
will convince people about his lies.
The United Nations needs to stop recognising Mugabe as the Zimbabwean
leader - primarily because he has hung on to power through sheer violence
and terror - and they need to stop inviting him to their meetings. He has
nothing but disdain for the body anyway, and given the floor, will lambaste
them at every opportunity.
Mugabe should be in Zimbabwe, living the lie that he has created, suffering
with the people - not gallivanting around the world preaching his litany of
hate and violence.
Copenhagen or bust? Not quite - but Mugabe's presence proves that the free
world does not view the crisis in Zimbabwe with anything approaching the
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man
December 16, 2009
Harare International Conference Centre
December 9 0 13, 2009
The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) held its 5th
Ordinary National People's Congress at the Harare International Conference
Centre (HICC), in Harare, from 09-13 December 2009 in accordance with
Article 5 (20-28) of the Party's Constitution, as amended, under the theme
'United in Defence of Our National Resources and People's Economic
The President and First Secretary, Cde R.G. Mugabe, officially opened the
plenary on 11 December 2009. All the Party's ten provinces attended.
Congress received delegations and written solidarity messages from invited
political organisations from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) region, the rest of the continent, Asia, the Americas and beyond.
After extensive deliberations touching on the internal and external factors
affecting the Party and the people, Congress made the following resolutions:
A. On the State of the Party.
Congress has acknowledged the hostile informational, diplomatic, economic
and political environmental background against which it has taken place,
which is characterised by the continuance of sanctions, the regime change
onslaught, internal and external negative developments associated with
machinations of the MDC Formations, their handlers and affiliate
organisations as well as a number of debilitating internal challenges within
1. Resolves that the Party's national strategic objective for the next five
years shall be the checking, containment and ultimate defeat of the West's
neo-colonial regime change agenda by securing a decisive and uncontested
victory in the next Harmonised Elections.
2. Directs the Party to re-organise itself, rationalise its structures,
re-introduce focused ideological education at all levels of its leadership
and membership, shun factionalism and stop its current obsession with
leadership positions to refocus on advancing the interests of the people and
meeting their needs.
3. Resolves that the Party, in its mobilisation strategies, should
streamline and enforce its ideological thrust and put the people first in
order to reassert its preeminent position as the Party of Liberation and the
champion of independence, empowerment, democracy, human rights and rule of
4. Calls upon the Party to improve its internal democratic culture, ensure
the conduct of open, transparent and competitive selection and election
processes to fill all leadership positions and allow the will of the people
to prevail in all cases.
5. Directs the Party to develop a clear-cut leadership renewal and
continuity policy at all levels in order to continually reinvigorate, renew
and ensure the effective transfer of the Party's ideological underpinnings,
values, practices and the ethos of the Liberation Struggle between
successive generations of leaders.
6. Directs the Party to adopt a new business culture that generates
sufficient resources to sustain its programmes and activities.
7. Congratulates Cde R.G. Mugabe for being re-elected as President and First
Secretary, Cde Joyce Teurai Ropa Mujuru as Vice President and Second
Secretary, Cde John Landa Nkomo as Vice President and Second Secretary, Cde
Simon Khaya Moyo as the National Chairman, all newly elected members of the
Central Committee and all newly appointed members of the Politburo.
8. Hails and commends the Party, the President and First Secretary and all
its leadership and membership at all levels for having, under Cde R.G.
Mugabe's able and wise stewardship, nurtured, preserved and maintained the
national unity of Zimbabwe as entombed in the Unity Accord of 1987 during
the last five-year review period and, therefore, reminds those who have been
placed at the helm of the Party by the people of the heavy responsibility
they bear in carrying forward this national unity and steering the Party
towards a resounding victory in the next Harmonised Elections.
B. On the State of the Economy
Congress has noted that the national economy continues to be under siege
from the machinations of the Western detractors and their internal MDC
surrogates, in particular, the impact of declared and undeclared Western
sanctions and the resultant low capacity utilisation in all sectors.
Acknowledging Zimbabwe's abundant natural resource endowment, its favourable
climate, high quality human resource base and advantageous geographical
location, Congress, therefore:
1. Commends and heralds the economic stabilisation measures instituted by
the Party well ahead of the formation of the Inclusive Government, which are
responsible for the first signs of recovery that are now evident in the
2. Condemns, in the strongest of terms, the reckless actions of the Minister
of Finance, T. Biti, in particular his abuse of constitutional authority to
prevent the release of the US$510 million IMF Global Financial Crisis
mitigation facility, his systematic denial of seasonal support to the
agricultural sector and his peanut budget for the year 2010 in pursuance of
petty personal ambitions and the parochial reactionary agenda of his MDC
3. Calls on the Inclusive Government to identify sectors of the economy in
which key investments should be focused in order to reap maximum benefit
from the country's comparative advantage in mining, agriculture, tourism and
4. Resolves that the Inclusive Government must institute measures to retain
skilled manpower and stem or reverse the brain drain as a way of promoting
the people as the country's most precious resource.
5. In sensitivity to the difficulties that people, especially the majority
rural and urban vulnerable, are facing in generating and accessing foreign
currency, Congress calls on the Inclusive Government to institute measures
to address the problems associated with the current multi-currency induced
liquidity crunch through the enhancement of productivity, leading, as soon
as key fundamentals in the economy permit, to the reintroduction of a
sovereign national currency.
6. Urges the Inclusive Government to take full advantage of the emergence of
new economic powerhouses (vis Brazil, Russia, India, China, etc) and the
resurgence of South-South cooperation. Concurrently, the country should also
edify and deepen its economic relations with the traditional cooperating
partners so as to maximize national benefit.
C. On Land Reform, Resettlement and Agriculture
Congress notes that the Land Reform Programme represents the successful
transfer of property rights over land from the white colonial settler
community to the rightful indigenous owners of the nation's God given
Recognising the unrelenting machinations of its detractors to reverse the
land reform programme through the current constitution drafting process,
deliberate denial of resources to enhance agricultural productivity by
ministers from the MDC Formations in the Inclusive Government and the
deliberate encouragement and entrenchment of donor dependency/dependency
syndrome amongst the people as opposed to their empowerment.
1. Castigates the MDC formations and their Western handlers for
orchestrating efforts that are aimed at reversing the Land Reform Programme
and undermining agricultural productivity amongst resettled farmers.
2. Instructs the Party to ensure that the new constitution and the current
Post-Maputo Inter-Party Negotiations do not reverse the Land Reform
Programme and instead ensure security of tenure which entrenches ownership
and control of the indigenous population over the nation's land and natural
3. Resolves that the Party should resolutely champion and defend policies
and programmes that enhance assured funding of agriculture, agricultural
productivity and promote reform of institutions that serve agriculture such
as the agricultural banks, marketing agencies, suppliers of inputs,
agro-processors, insurers and research, training and extension facilities.
4. Calls on the Party to spearhead the re-introduction of production side
agricultural subsidies with in-built mechanisms to determine their
appropriate entry-point and cost recovery mechanisms.
5. Urges the Inclusive Government to conclude the Land Acquisition Exercise
by expediting the remaining components of land allocation, distribution and
security of tenure.
6. Calls on the Inclusive Government to resuscitate and continue past
programmes that promote increased agricultural mechanisation and irrigation
development, on farm infrastructure and agro-processing.
7. Commits the Party to fine-tune and rationalise its social democratic
ideology to sponsor the launch of a deliberate developmental economic
paradigm rooted in the following:
. Promotion of household food self-sufficiency;
. The generation of excess production in order to stimulate aggregate
. Value addition through agro-processing at the household level;
. Stimulation of domestic savings as a vehicle for growing wealth at the
. Entrenching the control of the indigenous people over the country's
natural resources through the consolidation of such policies and programmes
as the Land Reform Programme and the 51:49% local-foreign ownership
indigenisation benchmark legislation.
D. On the GPA and the Inclusive Government
Congress acknowledges that the Party entered into negotiations with the MDC
Formations mandated by the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit held in Dar-es-Salaam
on 29 March 2007, which culminated in the signing of the Global Political
Agreement on 15 September 2008 and the inauguration of the Inclusive
Government on 13 February 2009.
In this regard, Congress conveys the profound gratitude of the Party and
people of Zimbabwe to former President Thabo Mbeki and his Facilitation Team
for the patient, humble and skilful manner in which they handled the
protracted Zimbabwe Inter-Party Dialogue from March 2007 until the Kinshasa
SADC Summit in August 2009 and, therefore, takes note of the new
Facilitation Team headed by President Jacob Zuma in the Post-Maputo rounds
of the Dialogue.
Congress has noted that the Inclusive Government brings the Party into
partnership with ideologically incompatible MDC Formations from which it
must extricate itself in order to retain its mantle as the only dominant and
ascendant political party that is truly representative and determined to
safeguard the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.
1. Castigates the continuance of the illegal declared and undeclared Western
sanctions which remain a paramount and decisive outstanding issue in the
Inter-Party dialogue on which the nation must speak with one voice and
challenges the MDC Formations to undergo fundamental mind frame change
(KUCHINJA PFUNGWA) in calling for their immediate and unconditional removal.
2. Expresses confidence that the new Facilitation Team will continue with
the same diligence, patience and understanding that the Zimbabwe issue has
delicate, sensitive and fundamental concerns on both sides that cannot be
3. Instructs the President and First Secretary and the Party negotiators to
ensure that all outstanding issues, once agreed, must be implemented
concurrently. This means there should be no movement on the concerns of the
MDC Formations without corresponding and simultaneous redress of ZANU-PF's
concerns such as the illegal Western sanctions, Western Funded pirate radio
broadcasts and Western interference in Zimbabwe's internal politics through
the funding of parallel government structures and the sponsoring of
political activities of NGOs as a force multiplier for the MDC Formations.
4. Resolves that the President and First Secretary and the ZANU-PF
negotiators should not countenance any introduction or inclusion in the
ongoing Inter-Party Dialogue of provisions or agreements, which seek to
reverse or undermine the gains of the Liberation Struggle.
5. Signals its determination to reject any outcome of the
Constitution-making process that is not home grown. An acceptable outcome
would be a Constitution made by Zimbabweans for Zimbabwe, which entrenches
the ethos and gains of the Liberation Struggle and is not the product of any
external interference. No foreigners, individual, corporate or national in
whatever capacity they may from time to time find themselves involved in
aspects of Zimbabwe's bilateral dispute with Britain, have the right to
dictate or impose a Constitutional order on Zimbabwe.
6. Declares that the raising and maintenance of Security Forces tailored to
specific threat perceptions is an inalienable right of every sovereign
Security Forces are a product of the National Liberation Struggle, belong to
the people and are mandated to defend the country's territorial integrity,
independence and sovereignty. ZANU-PF, as the Party of revolution and the
people's vanguard, shall not allow the Security Forces of Zimbabwe to be the
subject of any negotiation for a so called 'security sector reform' that is
based on patent misrepresentations of Zimbabwe's heroic history and for the
mere purpose of weakening the state so that it can be easily overthrown.
7. Directs all Party members and organs to fully participate in the
constitution making process in order to prevent it from being hijacked by
those who wish to effect regime change or to undermine the gains of the
E. On Media and ICT
Congress reaffirms the Party's commitment to promote access to information,
media freedom, freedom of expression and the enhancement of Zimbabwe's ICT
profile while recognising that this is one of the main areas that are being
manipulated by the MDC formations and their Western handlers in furtherance
of their anti-Zimbabwe propaganda blitz.
Congress further notes that, the MDC Formations, through their negative and
polarising disinformation campaign, are undermining national cohesion.
1. Condemns, in the strongest terms, the continuing violation of Zimbabwe's
airwaves by the Voice of America Studio 7, Voice of the People, Short Wave
Radio Africa and a myriad of Internet based platforms in blatant breach of
2. Condemns, unequivocally, the ECONET Wireless Network, for launching an
electronic warfare attack against ZANU-PF during this Congress by
broadcasting falsehoods and hate messages designed to cause alarm and
despondency in violation of Zimbabwe's laws and the letter and spirit of the
Congress, therefore, calls upon the Security Ministries and the mother ICT
Ministry of the Inclusive Government to locate, arrest and take deterrent
punitive action against the perpetrators of this dastardly attack.
3. Directs the Party to institute measures and programmes to enhance its ICT
and media capabilities in order to counteract this threat to national
F. On International Relations
Congress acknowledges, with gratitude, the solidarity and support for the
Party's principles, ideology and cause that continue to come from friendly
progressive countries and political organisations worldwide.
Congress further notes, with grave concern, the continued efforts by Britain
and its allies to undermine the GPA and the Inclusive Government through the
continuance of sanctions, coordination of politically motivated humanitarian
support and investor resistance through the so-called 'Fishmonger Group' as
well as the West's unrelenting efforts to shrink Zimbabwe's diplomatic
1. Resolves to direct the Party to pursue prudent and innovative diplomacy
which seeks to retain its existing friendships and cultivate new ones in all
regions of the world based on equitable partnerships, mutual respect and
2. Instructs the Party to increase the tempo and content of its diplomatic
leveraging, lobbying and engagement with political parties and countries of
G. On Social Services
Congress recognises the poor state of social services in the country, in
particular in the areas of education, health delivery, water and sanitation,
energy and electricity and public transportation, caused by the decline in
the economy as a result of the Western imposed sanctions and the deleterious
effects of the regime change onslaught.
Congress attributes this poor delivery of social services to the undue
encroachment of foreign funded NGOs into this traditional domain of
1. Directs the Inclusive Government, even as it may welcome the support and
partnership of other well-meaning non-governmental players, to reassert
itself as the primary provider of social services to the population as one
of the key deliverables of Zimbabwe's Millennium Development Goals.
2. Instructs the Party and the inclusive Government to set benchmarks for
all local authorities, when setting their budgets, to remain sensitive to
the needs and the limited savings of the people under the current adverse