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Zimbabwe suspends flights to S.Africa over debts

Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:39am GMT

HARARE Dec 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state-owned airline has suspended
flights to neighbouring South Africa over fears its planes could be seized
for outstanding debts, a senior airline official told state media.

Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga said the corporation,
which is struggling to pay off debts of over $140 million, had decided to
temporarily stop its daily flights to Johannesburg to avoid creditors there.

"We are not flying into South Africa. We are trying to secure funding to pay
our debts in South Africa," he was reported as saying.

Mavhunga however was unavailable on Friday to explain why Air Zimbabwe was
not worried about continuing flights to other foreign destinations, Lusaka
in Zambia and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Earlier this week, Air Zimbabwe scrambled for days for money to save a
Boeing 767-200 which had been impounded on landing at London's Gatwick
Airport after a U.S. firm, American General Supplies, got a court order for
$1.2 million owed for aircraft spares.

Last week, a South African airport support services company, Bid Air, forced
Air Zimbabwe to ground a plane in Johannesburg as it pressed for payment of
a $500,000 debt.

Economic analysts say Air Zimbabwe is on the verge of collapse after years
of mismanagement and poor funding by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF

The suspension does not cut the Harare-Johannesburg route since South
African Airways has three flights daily and British Airways' Comair also has
a daily flight

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Air Zimbabwe passengers stranded as airline runs out of money

More than 70 passengers have been stranded at Gatwick International Airport
for nearly a week because Air Zimbabwe’s only long haul aircraft was grouned
because the airline couldn't pay nearly £1m in bills.

By Peta Thornycroft, Johannesburg

6:17PM GMT 16 Dec 2011

Air Zimbabwe’s 767-200, named Victoria Falls, was seized by American General
Supplies when it landed from Harare at Gatwick International Airport early
on Monday.

That evening about 100 mostly Zimbabwean passengers checked in and then
learned their flight was delayed. Some were given camp beds on which to
sleep at Gatwick and next morning they learned the aircraft was seized via a
US court injunction by American General Supplies for unpaid debt for spares
of £966 000.

“We demanded proof that the debt had been paid and saw documentation
suggesting a transfer of US$1 million (£644 000) was made which is less than
the American company is claiming,” one passenger said on Thursday.
“Departure is now supposed to be Monday night which is disgraceful,” said a
Harare resident whose wife is stuck at Gatwick.

Air Zimbabwe’s London manager, David Mwenga had to flee Gatwick earlier this
week as fuming Zimbabweans chased him when he was unable to provide a firm
departure date.

Acting Air Zimbabwe chief executive, Innocent Mavhunga, meanwhile announced
the airline had now suspended daily flights to Johannesburg.

"We are not flying into South Africa. We are trying to secure funding to pay
our debts there,” he said.

Last week, a South African airport support services company, Bid Air, forced
Air Zimbabwe to ground a plane in Johannesburg as it pressed for payment of
a £320,000 debt.

Zimbabwe's economy has virtually collapsed in the years following the forced
seizure of white-owned farms by President Robert Mugabe. The policy led to
sharp falls in prodcution, rampant inflation and food and fuel shortages.

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Kunonga militants target schools helping evicted Anglicans

By Lance Guma
16 December 2011

ZANU PF militants are harassing school authorities that have offered their
premises to Anglican parishioners, evicted from their own church buildings
by the faction of the church led by excommunicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.

In 2007 Kunonga unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his diocese from the Church
Province of Central Africa (CPCA), claiming differences over the ordination
of gay priests. Without the necessary two thirds majority support he still
went ahead to unilaterally withdraw the diocese and form his own church.

Since 2008 Kunonga has seized over 90 properties belonging to the church,
including the main Cathedral in Harare, 19 primary and secondary schools and
several orphanages around the country. The seizures have been done with
tacit support from Mugabe’s regime, that has also provided police to protect

The head of the Anglican church worldwide, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Rowan Williams, travelled to Zimbabwe in October and handed over a dossier
to Mugabe detailing the abuses suffered by their members over the last four

But Precious Shumba, a press officer for Bishop Chad Gandiya from the CPCA,
said the visit didn’t change anything and they are still not getting any
protection. He said Kunonga’s priest in Mhondoro, identified as Langton
Munindwa, is moving around with ZANU PF youths and threatening school
authorities who have offered premises for worship to Rev Charles Muzanenhamo
and his parishioners.

Not only has Kunonga taken over churches he has also taken over some of the
prominent educational institutions run by the church, and run them into the
ground. St David’s Bonda, St Faith’s, St Augustine’s and St Anne’s Goto High
Schools are all now under the control of Kunonga’s sidekick Elson Jakazi.
They are both said to be interfering with work at all these schools and
demanding large levies.

Matters came to head last month when students at St David’s Bonda went on a
rampage, demonstrating against inadequate food supplies and the declining
living and educational standards. The girls then starting walking, trying to
reach the

Ministry of Education offices in Mutasa District. But after walking many
kilometres they were stopped by the school authorities.

Explaining the problems at the school, Shumba said Kunonga and Jakazi “took
money meant for the purchase of food for school pupils at Bonda Mission” and
diverted it “for their own administrative needs at their offices in Mutare.”
Shumba said Bonda’s reputation as one of the best schools in the country has
been ‘torn apart’.

In Harare, parishioners evicted from their church building are worshipping
under trees or using premises provided by local schools and other

As Kunonga has few parishioners he can’t justify all the buildings he has
seized and is renting them out to private businesses for offices, or hiring
them to people needing wedding venues.

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Daggers out for Biti

Friday, 16 December 2011 08:37

Paidamoyo Muzulu

ZANU PF hardliners are reportedly pushing for a cabinet reshuffle that will
see the ouster of Finance minister Tendai Biti for allegedly sabotaging
agrarian reforms, the economic indigenisation drive, and the constitutional
review programme through his control of the public purse.
Impeccable sources in Zanu PF told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that
knives were out for Biti, citing the concerted condemnation he received from
President Robert Mugabe and his party’s bigwigs during last week’s annual
conference in Bulawayo. The sources claim hardliners in Zanu PF wanted
Mugabe to ask Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to remove Biti from the
Finance portfolio.

During the Zanu PF conference Mugabe led the charge in attacking Biti. The
public lynching of Biti appeared well choreographed over the past four weeks
amid reports Zanu PF wanted to wriggle out of the coalition government and
force an election without full implementation of reforms envisaged in the
global political agreement.

“We want elections to end the GNU since our coalition partners are
deliberately derailing our policies aimed at improving the majority of our
people,” Mugabe told delegates. “They have thrown in spanners on
agricultural funding, indigenisation and constitutional review by not
providing sufficient funds,” he said.

Mugabe added that Biti’s budgets were a fraud in that he never released the
amounts he indicated in the Blue Book each budget year.
Biti has become a soft target for Zanu PF because of his prudent financial
management and refusal to engage in quasi-fiscal expenditures that had
become the hallmark of Mugabe’s regime, particularly after 2000. The central
bank was used to bankroll any petty project Zanu PF conceived resulting in
the state nearly doubling its debt to US$7,4 billion within a five-year

Tsvangirai appoints ministers from his party to the inclusive government
and, without his consent, Biti cannot be fired or moved to another ministry.
The plan, the sources said, may hit a brick wall because of Biti’s high
approval rating regionally and internationally for fiscal discipline.

“There is a plot by the hardliners to have Biti moved from the Ministry of
Finance or dropped from cabinet,” one of the sources said. “During our
conference, Biti was widely condemned by not only Mugabe, but other bigwigs
in the party. The only hurdle to achieve the plot is Tsvangirai.

Without his consent, Biti cannot be removed from the portfolio.”

The Zanu PF central committee report tabled at the conference contains
numerous charges against Biti for allegedly frustrating the implementation
of policies which the party claimed it is pursuing on behalf of the
electorate. The conference only fell short of calling for Biti’s removal
from cabinet.
Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo in his report lamented what he
claimed to be Biti’s deliberate underfunding of agriculture which was
critical to the party’s survival at election times.

Khaya-Moyo said: “Zanu PF wanted resources to be made available to our
farmers to get them back on the land but the MDC thought otherwise. The
Minister of Finance up to now has not paid farmers for the produce delivered
to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and has also not disbursed funds to banks
for farmers to borrow.”

That thread of thinking extends to the other senior Zanu PF leaders like
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment secretary Saviour Kasukuwere.

Mutasa is quoted in the report saying: “The ministries held by the party
members (Zanu PF) performed well, albeit with constraints imposed by the
Minister of Finance with regards to resource allocation.”

Kasukuwere on the other hand believed Biti was against indigenisation by his
alleged non-funding of empowerment transactions, expansion and
rehabilitation of black-owned businesses and funding for the warehousing of
shares from foreign controlled firms.

“The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (NIEEF) was
allocated a paltry US$5million in the current financial year, which is not
enough to meet the operational requirements of the Board and Fund,”
Kasukuwere opined.

There were unconfirmed reports that Mugabe and Tsvangirai met recently and
agreed to a mini-cabinet reshuffle early next year.
Presidential spokesman George Charamba was not immediately available for
comment yesterdayon whether there will be a cabinet reshuffle in the new
year as he was said to be attending a series of meetings.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday said he was not aware
of any imminent cabinet reshuffle or approaches from Zanu PF for Biti to be

“I am not aware of the approach and in any case if there is going to be a
reshuffle the prime minister reserves the right to appoint whom he wants
without being frog-marched by anyone,” Tamborinyoka said.

Tamborinyoka added that going by the budget Blue Book, agriculture was
receiving incremental support annually since the conception of the inclusive
government in 2009.

Biti, the MDC-T secretary-general, was one of the key negotiators of the
global political agreement (GPA), which gave birth to the inclusive
government in February 2009.

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Tsvangirai Slams Pro-Mugabe Media

December 16, 2011

Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned the recent
allocation of two new radio licenses, both of which went to operators with
records of partisan reporting. The 2008 agreement that brought the inclusive
government to power said the airwaves should be opened up beyond media that
support President Robert Mugabe.

Addressing parliament Thursday, Prime Minister Tsvangirai spoke of Zimbabwe’s
mixed progress during this, the third year of the inclusive government which
includes his Movement for Democratic Change party and President Mugabe’s
ZANU-PF party.

In particular, Tsvangirai criticized the awarding of broadcast licenses to
two new operators which have strong links to ZANU-PF. The Broadcast
Authority of Zimbabwe was set up without reference to the MDC, and several
political analysts say this is a contravention of the global political
agreement, or GPA.

The only electronic media based inside Zimbabwe is the state broadcaster,
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, ZBC, which has four radio and two
television stations. All are partisan and support ZANU-PF, according to the
Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe.

The broadcasting authority, known as BAZ, recently reviewed applications
from 13 hopefuls for two new national radio stations.

Without giving any reasons, it awarded one to a new division of Zimbabwe
Newspapers, which publishes dailies that make no secret of their support for
ZANU-PF. The other license went to a group led by a former ZBC employee who
also openly supports President Mugabe's party.

"To all intents and purposes, this has become a national joke. One of the
key reforms, as envisaged in the GPA and as agreed by the principals, is the
issue of comprehensive media reforms, which includes introduction of more
and diverse players in both the print and electronic media as well as the
immediate cessation of hate speech. To date, there has been outright
arrogance and intransigence from the responsible minister and his
officials," Tsvangirai noted.

Tsvangirai said the BAZ had been set up illegally, in regards to the media
reforms spelled out in the GPA. “The current illegally constituted BAZ board
is now adjudicating and approving broadcasting licenses unlawfully. The
current BAZ board needs to be directed to stop operating immediately and the
licenses it has dished out immediately revoked," he stated.

There are several other public boards involved in Zimbabwe's media, and
Tsvangirai called upon the ZANU-PF information minister Webster Shamu to
reconstitute those boards according to agreements already made with Mr
Mugabe last year.

"The editorial policies of the state newspapers and the state broadcaster
has remained partisan and unreformed, and the media field remains dominated
by the same partisan state players. The minister of media, information and
publicity should finalize appointments of all the media boards,” Tsvangirai

Since the inclusive government came to power nearly three years ago three
new privately-owned newspapers have begun publishing. One has since closed
down for financial reasons, and the other two say they are doing well in
terms of both circulation and advertising.

Tsvangirai also said that the 2012 budget depended heavily on revenues from
diamond companies in eastern Zimbabwe, now cleared by the international
regulator to export rough stones.

He said he wanted to see more transparency in sales from the diamond mines
which are half owned by the government.

The prime minister said also said the pace political reform had been
disappointing in 2011, and that political stability was the key to growth
and ensuring free, fair and legitimate elections.

No ZANU-PF legislators were present Thursday for Tsvangirai's speech, his
end-of-year address to parliament.

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Property seized in Nyazura over unpaid water bills

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 December 2011

Several households in Nyazura, Manicaland province have had property seized
as the Makoni Rural District council seeks to recover close to $2 million in
unpaid water bills.

The council said it was forced to resort to this form of action when over
500 households and 100 companies ignored summons to settle their bills.

But there has been an outcry as most of the affected residents are
unemployed and cannot raise the required amounts. Most of the residents owe
the council sums that range from $600 to $1,000 each.

Benny Tembo, who had his refrigerator and motorbike confiscated this week,
hit out at the council for not taking into consideration mitigating factors
raised by the residents. Others have had vehicles impounded, some have had
furniture taken away.

‘This same council failed to supply water to residents for about seven
months but they never stopped billing us for services they were not
providing,’ Tembo said.

Nyazura served as an administrative centre for the mostly commercial farms
that surround the small town along theHarareto Mutare highway. Most of its
residents are former farm workers who lost their jobs during the infamous
ZANU PF land grab program. Most of the farms now stand derelict.

Tembo told us he has been to the council to try and arrange a payment plan
with the local authority so he could recover his goods. He was told to go
back and engage a lawyer.

‘I can’t even afford the services of a lawyer as they explained that an
arrangement made by word of mouth was not legally binding. So we were left
with no option but to approach our MP,’ according to Tembo.

TheMDC-T MP for the area, Pishai Muchauraya, said he met the local
government Minister Ignatius Chombo on Tuesday over the issue. The
legislator said the least the council could do was reduce the debt by 50
percent to cover the period residents were not getting water.

‘Minister Chombo said I should bring to him the council resolution to see if
they are empowered to seize property from residents. This issue has been
politicised as there are many ways to solve this case without going as far
as attaching residents’ properties,’ Muchauraya said.

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New diamond discoveries

By Farai Mutsaka, News Editor
Friday, 16 December 2011 15:01

HARARE - Zimbabwe has discovered more diamond deposits in Marange, an
official has said.

Gillian Sithole, mine manager at Mbada Diamonds, one of the firms mining in
the area, said government has discovered a further 53 000 hectares of
diamond deposits.

“There are now 120 000 hectares, if you add the existing 67 000 hectares
discovered earlier, but exploration is still underway to ascertain the true

“Further findings are possible as exploration continues,” said Sithole,
whose firm is a 50-50 joint venture between government and foreign partner
Grandwell Investments.

He was addressing reporters on a tour of the area, about 400 km east of the

Marange is often touted as one of the biggest diamond finds in recent
history with a potential to contribute 25 percent of global supply of the

Mbada and Chinese-run Anjin Investments are the biggest players in Marange,
both mining on just over 12 000 hectares.

Anjin chief engineer Hu Shijie said the firm, which has close ties with the
military, has started selling a stockpile of 3 million carats after getting
the green light from global diamond trade regulator, Kimberley Process
Certification Scheme (KPCS).

He said Anjin is targeting between seven to 10 million carats in 2012.

The KPCS is a consensus industry, government and civil society body aimed at
stopping the flow of diamonds mined in conflict areas or used to fund

Controversy still surrounds operations in Marange, even though the KPCS
recently allowed most firms mining there to export diamonds after a lengthy
stand-off led by Western countries that wanted a 2009 embargo to remain
citing human rights abuses.

Private firms have secured their own security, but police and soldiers long
accused of human rights abuses against illegal miners by civil society
members, KPCS and Western countries still “guard” areas that are yet to be
allocated to commercial miners.

The United States, a key member of the KPCS, has just added Mbada on its
travel and financial sanctions list of companies and individuals said to be
aiding the regime commit human rights abuses and electoral theft.

Another firm, Marange Resources, a government entity in joint venture with
all firms mining in Marange except Anjin, is also on the list.

Last month, Global Witness, a civil society KPCS member pulled out of the

It said the KPCS had failed “to stop diamonds fuelling corruption and
violence in Zimbabwe”.

But Zimbabwe is buoyed by interest from emerging giants China and India.

Government has recently stepped up efforts to open offices in other major
diamond markets, the European Union and Dubai.

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Zanu PF MPs walk out of Parly

By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Friday, 16 December 2011 14:59

HARARE - Zanu PF legislators yesterday walked out of Parliament in protest
of moves by MDC members of Parliament to oust Clerk of Parliament Austin
Zvoma who stands accused of incompetency, unprofessionalism and misconduct.

But the MDC MPs continued to debate the motion which they adopted in the
absence of their Zanu PF colleagues.

MDC MPs resolved to set up a select committee of five members to investigate
Zvoma and report back to the house when Parliament sits in February.

The motion was moved by MDC MP for Hwange Central Brian Tshuma and was
seconded by Mazowe Central (MDC) MP Shepherd Mushonga on Tuesday.

Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo said: “I want to give the side of our party
that we are not going to debate this motion because we believe we are going
to legalise an illegal process.

“The Clerk, Zvoma has appealed to the High Court to stop Parliament from
debating this motion so we want the court to make a ruling before we can
debate this matter.”

As the Zanu PF MPs walked out, MDC MPs celebrated. Some of them immediately
occupied seats normally occupied by Zanu PF members.

MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese justified the stance taken by his party to
continue debating and adopting the motion in the absence of their Zanu PF
counterparts saying the court had not yet made a ruling.

“It is within our rights to debate this matter because we have no court
order to stop us. There is nothing wrong with this and we just have to wait
and see what happens with the motion,” said Gonese when the House adjourned.

This is the first time that Zanu PF has walked out of Parliament. In the
past it used to be MDC MPs walking out due to inferior numbers but now the
ball game has changed as the combined MDC numbers have the majority.

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Moyo Refuses To Back Down On Zvoma Motion

Harare, December 16, 2011 – Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo has refused
to back down to pressure by Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma backed by some
Zanu-PF MPs who want him to relieve himself from presiding over a motion
seeking Zvoma’s immediate dismissal.

In a court application he filed on Monday, Zvoma argues the motion moved by
MDC-T MP for Hwange Central Brian Tshuma is a political ploy to oust him by
both MDCs and that he will not be given a fair hearing.

Zvoma further says Moyo, an MDC-T legislator, chairs Parliament’s Committee
on Standing Rules and Orders, which can exercise any action against him,
saying there would be conflict of interest.

Zvoma further wants parliament to be interdicted from proceeding with the
motion arguing the matter is already before the courts.

But in a ruling on the matter on Thursday, Moyo insisted parliament is an
autonomous arm of the state adding that this violated the doctrine of
separation of powers.

Moyo told Parliament a matter in which a judicial decision was pending was
one where pleadings have been closed and all parties in the case have
submitted their arguments to the court and await the judge’s decision.

“The mere filing of the court application is insufficient to warrant the
revocation of standing order 62 (b),” he said.

“If the speaker was to expunge the motion on the order paper on the basis of
someone having merely filed a court application, the house will never
conduct any business.

“In any event, parliament has not received a court order barring debate on
the motion.”

Moyo said the role of the Speaker was to “chair the house and ensure that
all members of parliament were afforded an opportunity to exercise their
constitutional role as they debate upon matters in the august house of

“The speaker does not descend into debates,” he added, “He maintains an
impartial role in refereeing the conduct of the debate regardless of the
content of the debate.”

In some of the arguments, Zanu-PF MPs say Moyo is being “cited” in the
motion having been the main beneficiary of a flawed election process August
2008 in which MDC-T MPs want him punished for failing to conduct.

“The reasons put forward seeking the Speaker’s recusal are insufficient for
such action because the motion refers to the flawed election process not the
officer elected as a result thereof,” Moyo said.

“Further, the speaker and all the chairs of the house are cited in the court
application leaves an untenable situation that no presiding officer can
chair over the debate of the motion.

“The matter before this house relates to the internal procedures of the
legislative arm of government.

“Unwarranted interference in these internal processes seriously undermine
the authority and integrity of the legislative arm of government and
compromises the doctrine of separation of power.”

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Chinese-built houses’ roofs blown off

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 16 December 2011 14:53

MARANGE - About 60 families in the Arda Transau area of Marange were
recently holed up in houses without roofs after strong winds blew off the
roofs owing to poor workmanship by the Chinese.

This emerged during a media tour of the resettlement area this week.

Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu recently declared that
houses constructed at Marange were of a world standard.

“You have seen what the companies (at Marange) have done, the kind of
settlements in Chiadzwa right now are compared to nothing anywhere in the
world,” said Mpofu.

“The communities have benefitted immensely you know; the schools, clean
water, the clinics and roads which were never provided for them before this
development took place.

“There is a lot of it; there is employment creation and many other
developments which they would never have experienced if it were not for that
development in that area,” he said.

However, the latest discoveries point to a serious contrast to Mpofu’s

Romeo Daniel Mutsunguma, Anjin Investments’ relocation co-ordinator, told
journalists the roofs had been poorly secured by the company’s construction

“There has been a lot of cutting down of trees in this area as people seek
alternative sources of energy as well as clearing of land for other
purposes,” Mutsunguma said.

“That process has seen close to 60 houses having their roofs blown off by
strong winds as the nails used in securing the roofing materials were the
wrong ones,” he added.

According to construction experts, roofing nails used in securing asbestos
should have washers to help the securing process. However, the Chinese
company which constructed the 300 units is said to have used the wrong type
of nails. It is alleged they used flat nails instead of the recommended
washer-fastening type.

“Some of the houses might have had some defects, which of course include the
roofing issues. But as things stand now, those challenges have been fixed
and our hope is that there will be no serious problems later on,” Mutsunguma

He also said the company had deployed a construction expert who was on
standby in case there were other faults that need to be attended to.

“We have since reinforced the roofing sheets with proper nails to avoid
similar mishaps again. We have also deployed a maintenance expert on site so
that he can attend to the problems as and when they arise,” he added.

The company is said to have spent millions of dollars on the construction of
the four-roomed houses while also providing water to the families resettled

However, the units are different from those provided by the other three
companies also mining for diamonds in the Marange area namely Mbada
Diamonds, the Diamond Mining Co-operation (DMC), and Marange Diamonds.

Anjin did not provide power to the housing units but opted to connect water
and also to tar a section of the road that leads to its units.

Munyaradzi Machacha, Anjin managing director for Zimbabwe said the terms of
the company’s agreement with government allowed the four companies to choose
what he said were extra provisions.

“Our agreements were to construct these houses,” Machacha said.

“The contracts then allowed the companies to then choose one other activity
outside the provision of the houses that it could also shoulder in terms of

“As Anjin, we opted for water connections and road surfacing. Others then
opted for electrification of these homes, something we could have loved to
do resources permitting,” he added.

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Ministers opposing reforms –– PM

Friday, 16 December 2011 08:28

PRIME-MINISTER Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday told parliament that some
ministers in the coalition government were defying cabinet directives to
implement political and media reforms.

Ministers, he said, have deliberately frustrated the implementation of the
agreed reforms under the Global Political Agreement. This was exemplified by
the small rate at which the ministers bring bills to the House.

Tsvangirai said: “Non-implementation of agreed issues has been the major
challenge confronting this government and because of the nature of our
coalition where various political parties seconded their people into
government , it is impossible to take decisive action on errant ministers
some of whom have resorted to open defiance.”

Among the outstanding Bills that ministers, particularly from Zanu PF, have
been stalling in the House are the Media Practitioners Bill, Mines and
Minerals Amendment Bill, Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Bill, the
Electoral Bill, and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill.

Tsvangirai further bemoaned the implementation of the indigenisation policy
that he described as affecting foreign direct investment in the economy.

“The indigenisation policy has largely been turned into political rhetoric
which has intimidated investors as some political players sought to make
cheap political gain out of this policy,” Tsvangirai said. –– Staff Writer.

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Baz: Shamu defies cabinet

Friday, 16 December 2011 08:31

Paidamoyo Muzulu

MEDIA, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu defied a cabinet
directive to regularise the appointment of the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (Baz) board, which were controversially awarded two commercial
radio licences last month to companies linked to Zanu PF forcing the matter
to play out in the courts and parliament. Baz chairman Tafataona Mahoso
announced last month that they had awarded two operating licences to
Zimpapers and Supa Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications after going through and
listening to submissions from 14 applicants. The decision torched
disapproval from losing contestants, various political players and civil

Documents seen by the Zimbabwe Independent show that Shamu defied two
directives from President Robert Mugabe’s office and premier Morgan
Tsvangirai to reconstitute and regularise the appointment of Baz.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda wrote to Shamu
on June 15 directing him to reconstitute the Baz board in line with an
agreement reached by the principals in their meeting on May 9, but the
minister turned a deaf ear to the directive.

“You are requested to recommend twelve (12) nominees to the board for
consideration by the principals in terms of Section 4 of the Baz Act. The
nominees should be conveyed at my office for onward transmission to the
principals,” wrote Sibanda in his letter to Shamu.

Shamu had earlier ignored a letter from Tsvangirai in November 2009 ordering
him to dissolve the Mahoso-led board, which was appointed in September 2009.
Tsvangirai had said the board had been appointed without following the law.

Tsvangirai said Shamu had neither consulted the premier nor the Standing
Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) before making the appointments, thereby
making them illegal.

Tsvangirai wrote: “In line with my meeting with the president on Friday 13
November 2009, and the agreement reached that the appointments were illegal,
I direct that you immediately proceed as follows hereunder, taking into
account the importance of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe insofar as
media is concerned and the obvious sensitivities of the country on this
important board which manages a finite state resource in the form of

Shamu declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

“I am not commenting on the matter over the phone. You should come over to
my office,” Shamu said yesterday.

In a related development, Shamu’s defiance has sparked a heated debate in
parliament with Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya moving a motion calling for
revoking of the two licences which Baz awarded to Zimpapers and AB

Chikwinya’s motion, among other things, calls for dissolution of the current
Baz board unilaterally appointed by Shamu and immediate withdrawals of
licences to Zimpapers Talk Radio and AB Communications to allow for further
consultations by all stakeholders.

Speaker of parliament Lovemore Moyo told the House on Tuesday that the SROC
had not participated in the appointment of the Mahoso-led board.

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Community radio backs MPs in bid to dissolve BAZ

By Alex Bell
16 December 2011

Community radio stations have voiced their support for MPs, who this week
moved to have the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ)

Parliament on Tuesday adopted a motion to dissolve the board, on the grounds
that it was illegally constituted. The motion was tabled by MDC-T MP
Settlement Chikwinya, who is also calling for the withdrawal of two
commercial radio licences recently granted to the government owned Zimpapers’
Talk Radio and AB Communications, owned by journalist and ZANU PF
sympathiser Supa Mandiwanzira.

The adoption of the motion is being welcomed, but the implementation now
depends on the Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu.
There are doubts that the ZANU PF minister will take any action that affects
a ZANU PF sympathetic BAZ board, given that he has repeatedly refused to do
so since 2009.

On Friday, the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS)
called on Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to ensure that
the board is reconstituted, as they agreed to when signing the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).

ZACRAS chairman Gift Mambipiri told SW Radio Africa on Friday that “the
current BAZ board is a stumbling block towards the true liberalisation of
Zimbabwe’s airwaves.”

“We have always maintained that this board needs to be reconstituted,
because it is not acting in the interests of real media freedom,” Mambipiri

He added: “We are happy that the MPs have adopted this motion and we support
them wholeheartedly.”

The ZACRAS chairman meanwhile said that Shamu is not the problem standing in
the way of the motion being implemented in the future.

“The problem is ZANU PF. Shamu is acting on party directives, he is not
acting in isolation. Mugabe might have agreed once that the board needs to
be reconstituted as part of the Global Political Agreement, but we now know
he has been insincere,” Mambipiri said.

He added that community radio stations should be given priority when it
comes to legitimate licencing of broadcasters.

“We are what the public want. We are ready to go. We should be given
priority over any commercial station,” Mambipiri said.

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It's what all the tyrants are wearing, darling!
Mugabe, yes THAT Mugabe, puts his name to Zimbabwean fashion label

By David Richards

Last updated at 4:46 PM on 15th December 2011


To seasoned Robert Mugabe watchers who have to reach for a pair of sunglasses every time he puts in a personal appearance, this might come as a bit of a surprise.

For the 87-year-old Zimbabwean tyrant has agreed for his signature to be used with a new fashion label in a bid to reach out to younger voters.

The news - unlikely to send a shiver through the fashion houses of Milan and Paris - was been reported in gushing tones by the Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation which said demand had already been high after the fashion line was launched in the capital, Harare.

The network reported: 'A new fashion stable, House of Gushungo, whose label is President Robert Mugabe's signature, has hit the capital by storm.

If you like this, you'll just love my latest fashion line: Robert Mugabe gestures during a tree-planting ceremony

If you like this, you'll just love my latest fashion line: Robert Mugabe gestures during a tree-planting ceremony while sporting a interesting take on the Hawaiian shirt. It appears to have a pictures of him as a young man (top left of shirt), a cow being milked (bottom left) and the wheels of a steam train (peeking out from under the paper in his hand)

The looks that's taking Harare by storm, apparently. No prizes for spotting Mugabe's signature - it covers the entire chest area of this House of Gushongo T-shirt in stylish black

The looks that's taking Harare by storm, apparently. No prizes for spotting Mugabe's signature - it covers the entire chest area of this House of Gushongo T-shirt in stylish black

'The newly formed House of Gushungo clothing stable has introduced a new clothing line from the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe's signature.  

'The clothing stable is set to redefine the country's fashion industry which is mostly dominated by foreign clothing labels.

'The contemporary line appeals to today's modern men and women, offering style, comfort and a splash of attitude.'

This time the former freedom fighter wears a shirt with chains being broken and the name of his party, Zanu PF, emblazoned on his lapels

This time the former freedom fighter wears a shirt with chains being broken and the name of his party, Zanu PF, emblazoned on his lapels

Attempts by Mugabe - rumoured to be suffering from prostate cancer - to reach out to the young are not new.

Last month it emerged that Mugabe is to appear in pop songs by a local band linked to Zimbabwe's information minister Webster Shamu.

The ZBC reported that the line of Mugabe clothing was launched recently by a Zimbabwean company Yedu Nesu Holdings.

The firm's range is designed for men and women and includes formal clothes, t-shirts, winter wear, jackets and caps.

Mugabe's signature is emblazoned on every item to allow their wearers to demonstrate their support for the freedom fighter-turned dictator.

Label boss Nicholas Munyonga said the range had been designed to honour Mugabe after his three decades of power.

He told ZBC: 'We decided to come up with something that is long lasting, something that will last for ever and in honour of the our President.'

The news has been interpreted by some as part of an attempt by Mugabe to appeal to young voters.

Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

But in recent years he has seen support for his Zanu-PF party collapse after the country's once-booming economy went into meltdown.

At the last presidential election in 2008 Mugabe suffered the indignity of losing in the first round of polling to the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

He later claimed victory in a controversial run-off poll after Mr Tsvangirai withdrew from the race amid widespread political violence.

The two men later formed an uneasy unity government which has theoretically controlled Zimbabwe since February 2009.

However Mugabe has repeatedly spoken of his desire to secure a fresh mandate for his own party to rule alone once again.

He was last week re-elected Zanu-PF leader and told the organisation's annual conference he planned to call new elections next year.

Some analysts believe he would be unable to secure sufficient support to win a free and fair election and could resort to intimidation and terror in an attempt to shore up his support.

Zanu-PF leaders are also reportedly worried that Mugabe's advancing years could count against him at the polls.

The octogenarian has recently faced repeated rumours about his failing health and is believed to be suffering from prostate cancer.



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No Reconciliation With Nkiwane’s ZCTU: Matombo

Charity Bulawayo, December 16, 2011-The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) led by Lovemore Matombo kicked off its Congress in Bulawayo Friday
morning in spite of a High Court judgment expected later in the day.

The High Court was expected to make a ruling on the use of the name (ZCTU).

A faction led by George Nkiwane yesterday appealed to the High Court for an
order to bar Matombo’s faction from using the ZCTU name.

The Congress started with welcome remarks from Matombo who said that there
will be no going back and there will be no reconciliation between his
faction and that led by Nkiwane.

Matombo accused the Nkiwane-led faction of electoral fraud when under the
then leadership of Wellington Chibhebe it organised a congress in August
this year.

“We don’t mix with this affiliate. We belong to the left and they belong to
the right. We represent the working class and they represent capital. It is
in the spirit that we seriously have to crystallise our ideology.

“It should be borne in mind that the Nkiwane faction has no numbers and we
have 17 affiliates behind us,” said Matombo.

Matombo and his faction were represented at the High Court by three leading
labour lawyers, Munyaradzi Gwisai, Caleb Mucheche, and Rodgers Matsikidze
and supported by Lovemore Madhuku while George Nkiwane is represented by
Aleck Muchadehama.

Elections are likely to take place Friday and Matombo is expected to retain
his position as president while Progressive Teachers’ Union secretary
general Majongwe is tipped to become the ZCTU secretary general.

Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union president, Angeline Chitambo who is widely
believed to be the brains behind the faction is expected to become the first
vice president.

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Tsvangirai Calls For Reforms Before Vote

Harare , December 16, 2011- Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
warned on Thursday that crucial reforms were needed before credible
elections could take place.

President Robert Mugabe has said he wanted early polls to be held in 2012 as
his uneasy power-sharing deal with Tsvangirai was coming apart at the seams.

Speaking to lawmakers, Tsvangirai admitted the coalition had failed to
deliver on most of its targets and had become unworkable.

"We have had our success stories but this government largely remains
dysfunctional," said at his end-of-year address to parliament.

Tsvangirai led Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980, in the
first round of the 2008 presidential election but failed to win an outright
majority. He pulled out of the run-off citing intimidation, handing victory
to Mugabe.

Following an international outcry, sanctions on the ruling party and months
of arduous negotiations, a power-sharing agreement was reached in which
Mugabe kept his job and Tsvangirai became prime minister.

"The year 2012 must not be characterised by rhetoric about an early election
that is not accompanied by the necessary reforms that will ensure a free and
fair election," Tsvangirai said.

"Political stability is key to our prosperity as a nation and only a free
and fair election can guarantee legitimacy, peace and stability."

At a conference of his Zanu-PF party last week, the 87-year-old Mugabe said
Zimbabwe should hold a fresh election in 2012 without fail, arguing that he
power-sharing deal was "undemocratic and illegitimate". AFP

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Mutambara booted out

By Pindai Dube
Friday, 16 December 2011 10:07

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha yesterday ordered
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to stop masquerading as a principal
in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and also to stop acting as president
of the smaller faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube.

In a judgment read on his behalf by Justice Nicholas Mathonsi at the
Bulawayo High Court yesterday, Kamocha granted the order in favour of the
smaller MDC faction and its secretary-general Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga who are first and second applicants in the case.

“The applicants are entitled to the final provisional draft order granted in
February,” said Kamocha in the judgment.

On February 16 this year, another Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas
Ndou had granted MDC and Misihairabwi-Mushonga, a provisional order
interdicting Mutambara from purporting to be the MDC leader.

Last month, the applicants again sought an amendment barring Mutambara from
continuing as a GPA principal.

Mutambara will pay the costs of the lawsuit.

This High Court judgment now means Mutambara should step down as a principal
in the GPA and also stop exercising any function vested in the presidency of
smaller MDC. He is barred from interfering with the structures and organs of
the party.

Speaking to journalists outside the High Court after the judgment Edwin
Ndlovu, spokesperson for the smaller MDC in Matabeleland region, said this
was a welcome development for his party.

“As the MDC party, we are happy with the High Court judgment and this means
Mutambara will stop masquerading as a principal in the GPA and also as the
party president. Now we are going to work without being disturbed by him,”
said Ndlovu.

Ncube was elected as smaller MDC faction president at the party’s congress
in Harare in January this year.

Mutambara initially accepted the outcome of the congress including the
election of Ncube but suddenly made an about turn well after the congress.

That election was later challenged by a section of the smaller MDC, which
argued that the correct process had not been followed.

Mutambara retained the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Ncube could not be
sworn in as DPM.

That prompted the Ncube-led MDC formation to file the urgent chamber

Last month, Mutambara could not attend the indaba on political violence in
Harare because of the interdict as the meeting was for presidents of
political parties.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of mainstream MDC and President Robert
Mugabe of Zanu PF are other principals in the GPA.

Mutambara was being represented by Alec Muchadehama of Mbidzo, Muchadehama
and Makoni Legal Practitioners while the smaller MDC faction was represented
by Advocate Adrian De Bourbon.

Mutambara was invited to lead the smaller faction of the MDC in 2006 after
the main party split.

But in the 2008 presidential elections, he refused to stand as a candidate
and offered to support Simba Makoni.

Mutambara however, decided to stand for Member of Parliament in Zengeza East
constituency, but was embarrassingly trounced.

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More duty woes for travellers

By Roadwin Chirara, Business Writer
Friday, 16 December 2011 09:13

HARARE - Cross Border traders and shoppers are set to fork out more on duty
after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) announced the suspension of a
rebate on clothing imports with effect from the 1st of January next year.

Zimra said its decision follows changes announced in the 2012 national
budget and amendments made to the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations
(Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001).

“The travellers rebate now provides for the duty free importation of
travellers used personal effects, as well as other goods of a value for duty
purposes not exceeding $300,” the revenue body said.

Duty, according to a notice placed by Zimra, will be charged at a rate of 40
percent plus $300 per kilogram on all new  clothes.

“The list of other goods, other than the traveller’s used personal effects,
will not include items of clothing whether new or second hand.Therefore, all
clothes — other than the travellers used clothing — even if they are within
the $300 duty free allowance, will not qualify under the rebate,” the notice

Minister of Finance Tendai Biti in his Mid Term Fiscal Policy Review in
August excluded shoes, refrigerators, stoves and blankets from being covered
by the travellers rebate.

The scrapping of the rebate comes while travellers have raised concern over
the formula used by Zimra to calculate duty on various imported goods.

In a recent visit to Beitbridge many cross border traders had their wares
confiscated after failing to pay duty for shoes and electrical products due
to what there termed “inflated amounts.”

The country has been battling to grow its revenue inflow due to increased
government expenditure with $2.95 billion being projected to be raised by
December against the original budget target of $2.75 billion.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says the country is likely to miss its
$3,4 billion revenue target for 2012 owing to time lags between ongoing tax
reforms and the realisation of revenues.

The AfDB said over 70 percent of government revenue was likely to be
consumed by its huge wage bill.

The government succumbed to mounting pressure in July and awarded its
workers a paltry $31 increase despite the fact that the country is reeling
from a $9 billion debt and has a $700 million budgetary deficit.

According to ministry of finance, recurrent expenditures continue to be
skewed towards employment costs, which were originally budgeted at $1.4
billion, but are now projected at around $1,8 billion or 63 percent of the
total budget, following the salary and wage review for civil servants
affected in July 2011.

The ministry said the bill for employment costs, which averaged $121 million
per month in the six months, rose to the current monthly average of $161
million, against the 2011 Budget provision of around $113 million.

The civil services salary increments require government to raise an
additional $188,3 million to cover the increase in employment costs to
December 2011.

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Coventry named sports person of the year

16/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Sports Reporter

SWIMMING sensation Kirsty Coventry was this week named 2011 Sportsperson of
the year. at the Annual National Awards (Ansa) ceremony in Harare.

Coventry also won the sportswoman of the year award at a swanky ceremony
held in Harare on Wednesday and supported by Delta Beverages who poured in
$50000 while the sports ministry chipped in with $20000.

Her major achievements this year was at the All-Africa games held in Maputo,
Mozambique in September where she won four of Zimbabwe’s six gold medals
along with a one silver and bronze.
Coventry also took part in the Maria Lenk Brazil championships where she won
three gold medals and one silver.

She also grabbed two silver medals Competed in the Mare Nostrum in Monaco as
well as gold and a silver medal at Italy’s Setti Collin.

Coventry told she was delighted to have done well this year
adding she would continue to be a good “ambassador” for the country.

“I am proud to be here celebrating this great achievement with fellow
Zimbabweans. It has been a while but this is the sweetest of all the three
Sportsperson of the year awards I have won so far,” she said.

“Look at the atmosphere - its just carnival and I am overwhelmed by the
support I am getting from fellow Zimbabweans and will continue to raise the
Zimbabwean flag.

Ultra-marathon runner Stephen Muzhingi won the sportsman of the year award
after his exploits in the Comrades’ Marathon in South Africa.

International chess master, Robert Gwaze was voted first runner up and
Maputo All-Africa Games tennis gold medalist Takanyi Garanganga was the
second runner up.

Other Winners
Junior sportswoman of the year with a disability: Nyaradzai Tagarira
(visually impaired athletics)
Junior Sportsman of the year with a disability: Munyaradzi Mamombe (tennis
Junior Sportswoman of the year: Samantha Welch (swimming)
Junior Sportsman of the year: James Lawson (swimming)
Sportswoman of the year with a disability: Margaret Bangajena (wheelchair
Sportsman of the year with a disability: Winner Elford Moyo (wheelchair
Team of the year: Senior rugby senior national team
Coach of the year: Brendon Dawson (Rugby national team coach)
Technical official of the year: Ricky Fulton (Triathlon)
Sports development award: Zimbabwe Cricket

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U.S. pushes for African solutions to climate change

Harare, December 16th 2011: The United States government is banking on innovations and technology from Africa to address the challenge of climate change with the Apps4Africa: Climate Challenge Program. The Apps4Africa competition will be rolled out to countries in Southern Africa in 2012 according to a senior United States government official.


xlarge.jpg“This approach echoes President Obama’s statement in Ghana in 2009 that the future of Africa is in the hands of the African people. Appsfor Africa is allowing Africans to come together and discuss the challenges, explore applications and respond to those challenges using technical solutions developed in Africa,” said Bruce Wharton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa.  Wharton spoke with African journalists in a telepress conference hosted by U. S. Embassies throughout Africa December 15.


The U.S. is sponsoring Apps4Africa: Climate Challenge (, a series of three regional competitions to develop innovative, web-based and mobile technology solutions to local climate change challenges. These contests build on the outcomes of regional climate change adaptation workshops organized by the Adaptation Partnership, which includes the United States and more than 20 other countries. 


“The applications that are coming out of this process are really very cool, very exciting things like helping hospitals manage during storms, helping farmers do a better job of managing their cattle herd,” said Wharton (in picture) who hailed previous innovations from Zimbabwe in the ICT sector.


Zimbabwe has witnessed several innovations in the new information and communications technology sector. These include the online civil society communication platform, Kubatana, which received the Breaking Borders Award in 2009.  Another initiative from the same organization, Freedom Fone, was awarded the SABC-Telkom Highway Africa New Media Award in the Non-profit category in September this year.


However, Wharton emphasized that the competition will specifically target innovations that work to fight climate change noting the benefits of young innovators and entrepreneurs in participating in the contest.


“A number of entrants to the competition are building on pre-existing platforms…one of  the honourable mentions was iprotect, which was built on pre-existing platforms…we just need to see people take these things a step further,” said Gosier.


The West/Central Africa Regional competition concluded in early December and winners were announced on December 7th by the U.S. at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban.


Apps4Africa: Climate Challenge project coordinator, Jon Gosier, said the contest will be rolled out in Southern Africa, building on the success of the 2010 Apps4Africa: Civic Challenge that ran in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Civil society groups and citizens challenged program developers to find innovative technological solutions to everyday problems on issues ranging from transparency and governance to health and education.  The winning application – iCow - enables farmers to better manage breeding periods of their cows and monitor nutrition leading up to the calving day, helping farmers yield the most from their farms.


He said his organization was working with other organizations to ensure contestants benefit beyond the duration of the competition.


“We are working with organisations to help proliferate the Apps that have been developed for the competition throughout different parts of the world; it’s a huge net benefit for the participants. It is not a requirement that everyone open-sources, but it is working favourably so we encourage it,” said Gosier (left), who is also co-Founder of metaLayer. Prior to metaLayer, Gosier founded the East African software development firm Appfrica before joining the open-source disaster response organization Ushahidi building an algorithm for verifying the accuracy of real-time information for which it won the Knight News Challenge


“The important thing that came out of Durban is that basically everybody understands and agrees that we have got to keep working on this.  The fundamental agreement that came out of Durban is that we are not going to give up,” said Wharton in reference to the two-week Conference of Parties climate change conference held in Durban, South Africa- ZimPASİ December 16, 2011.


# # #


ZimPAS is a product of the United States Embassy Public Affairs Section. Queries and comments should be addressed to Sharon Hudson Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs,, Url:




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Profile: Obert Mpofu

December 16th, 2011

Obert MpofuBorn on 12th October 1951, Obert Mpofu began his political life as a member of ZAPU’s Youth Movement in 1966, joining Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle the following year. In 1973, however, he left the war to undertake extensive academic study and claims to hold a bachelors degree, two diplomas, and two masters degrees.

It was not until 1980, therefore, that Mpofu embarked on what was to be his controversial career atop the political and financial hierarchy of ZANU-PF. Becoming a Provincial Member of ZANU-PF for Matabeleland North that year, he entered Parliament as a non-constituency Member in 1987 (and again in 1995), to be elected ZANU-PF MP for Bubi-Umguza in 1990. Thereafter, he became Governor and Resident Minister for Matabeleland North and MP for the same province in both the 2000 and 2005 elections. Becoming Minister of Industry and International Trade that same year, Mpofu won the Umguza Parliamentary seat in the 2008 elections. In 2009 he undertook his current appointment as Minister of Mines, but failed in his bid for the ZANU-PF National Chairmanship.

Each of his political appointments over the last decade have been mired in reports of violence and intimidation. In 2000, as Governor of Matabeleland North, Mpofu is said to have been indirectly implicated in the death of Martin Olds, a white farmer evicted from his land by “about 100 war veterans” said to have “beat him to a pulp”.[1] Mpofu is said to have coordinated the systematic repression and persecution of MDC supporters in Matabeleland areas in 2008.[2]

Mpofu also commands a substantial network of business interests across Zimbabwe. This includes revenue alleged to have been misappropriated from the Chiadzwa diamond mines by virtue of his position as Minister of Mines[3]. Moreover, Mpofu’s alleged failures to secure the diamond fields and his permission of abusive and exploitative mining practices have led to vocal calls for his resignation, amid claims of “shocking levels of incompetency and corruption”.[4] Mpofu was reported in 2009 to have inadvertently admitted to the widespread corruption and diamond-profiteering by the security sector said to have occurred on his watch.[5]

Extensive reports of massive human-rights abuses and pervasive corruption have abounded under Mpofu’s watch as Minister for Mining. The reports have led to Mpofu’s direct questioning by Parliament as the Minister responsible, including questions over reports of mass graves of diamond panners killed by security forces commissioned by his Ministry.[6]

With over $1 billion estimated to have been lost from the diamond fields by 2010, Mpofu has been accused of soliciting bribes “to facilitate mining deals”.[7] Mpofu is also alleged to have “led efforts to block oversight of the companies, Canadile Miners and Mdaba Diamonds, by imposing his allies as board members, and sidelining the state mining company, ZMDC”.[8] Further reports attest to a history, as Minister of Mining, of denial, evasion, and obfuscation.[9]

In 2010, Mpofu was reported to have undertaken a million-dollar property “spending spree” in Bulawayo and elsewhere, including “at least 27 properties in Victoria Falls alone”.[10] This also includes two speedboats in Bulawayo for $250 000, alongside 2 garages in Hwenge. Mpofu has nonetheless denied having used misappropriated diamond revenue to purchase his array of properties, despite claims of having purchased them with cash alone and having no obvious source of available funds.[11] Experts suggest that he purchases properties with cash so as to obviate the need for substantial bank-loan securities.

He has been reported to have produced “wads of cash” to pay for $40 000-worth of gardening equipment in the same year.[12] Reports on the ground suggest he is currently in negotiations to purchase a transport company. He also owns the string of Bulawayo supermarkets, Busco, Bulawayo’s newly-built casino at Ascot race course, and one of the tallest buildings in the city, York House. It has been further independently, and anonymously, verified that he has recently purchased another of the city’s prestigious buildings for $750 000 and in cash.

Moreover, he is reputed to have built a house along Victoria Falls Road at Cold Storage Commission Ranch, complimenting another residence on Magpie Road, Bulawayo, as well as the house he is currently renovating in Hillside, Bulawayo. These stand within his property empire alongside two farms in Ugumza, a further farm in Nyamandhlovu, and some recent alleged property acquisitions in Harare.

He reputed to register companies in his family members’ names, sometimes written in code, including one by the name of Zainali.

In 2007, Mpofu was fined  Z$40 000 for giving “conflicting statements about allegations of corruption at the then state-run steel manufacturing firm Ziscosteel”.[13]

He has also been implicated in the illegal trading of ivory and the illegal hunting of game.[14] This year, he has been accused of “grabbing” a farm said to hold substantial gold deposits within its soil.[15]

Obert Mpofu’s history forms a mosaic of violence, corruption, and near-total impunity for both. His current tenure as Minister of Mining comes at a time when the revenue available from Zimbabwe’s natural resources could not meet greater need. This is also, however, a time when their misappropriation and abuse could not pose greater risk. Mpofu’s thuggery and venality at the highest levels of government and below present the utmost blight on the safety and security of Zimbabwe.





[5] Diamonds in the Rough, Human Rights Watch, 2009, pp. 51.




[9] Deliberate Chaos, Human Rights Watch, 2010.







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Bill Watch 56/2011 of 16th December [Parliament Adjourns until 28 February]

BILL WATCH 56/2011

[16th December 2011]

Both Houses have adjourned until Tuesday 28th February 2012

Parliament Goes into a Long Recess

The adjournment until the end of February suggests that the Government does not at present anticipate having any business ready for the House until then – and that  three important current Bills will not be dealt with for at least another two months: the Electoral Amendment Bill, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill and the Public Order and Security Amendment Bill.  It is particularly regrettable that the failure to move on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill means a further delay in the “operationalisation” of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, although its members were sworn in on 31st March 2010. 

Both Houses can be recalled only at the request of the President.  If he so requests, then under Standing Orders the presiding officers – the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the President of the Senate – have the power to interrupt an adjournment and recall members if satisfied by representations from the President that the “public interest” requires legislators to meet before the scheduled end of the adjournment. 

This Week in Parliament

House of Assembly [13th to 15th December]

Prime Minister’s End of Year Address:  The Prime Minister addressed the House before the start of other business on 15th December.  In a speech stressing the many problems within the inclusive government, he mentioned the slow pace of implementation of the Government’s legislative agenda, revealing that the principles of four key Bills listed by the President for the current Parliamentary session have not yet been introduced before Cabinet: these are the Referendums Amendment Bill, the Diamond Bill, the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill and the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Bill.  [Cabinet must approve the principles of a Bill before it is sent to the Attorney-General’s Office for drafting.]  He said the Media Practitioners Bill and Criminal Law Code amendments, among other Bills meant for introduction in the previous session, had simply disappeared from the agenda.  [Electronic version of full speech available.]

Bills:  The House did not deal with the only Bill on the Order Paper – the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill. 

Motions:  Two controversial new motions by MDC-T MPs were debated. 

Motion for investigation of conduct of Clerk of Parliament:  This motion recited complaints against Mr Zvoma and called for a resolution to “invoke provisions of 48 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to dismiss Mr Austin Zvoma from the service of Parliament forthwith through a secret ballot process”.  It caused uproar in the House on both Wednesday and Thursday, with ZANU-PF MPs invoking the sub judice rule [Mr Zvoma has lodged a High Court application for an interdict] and taking strong objections to the constitutionality and fairness of both the motion in its original form and an amendment proposed by the motion’s seconder, Hon Mushonga, which appeared on the Order Paper for Thursday.  The Speaker overruled the sub judice objection and turned down a ZANU-PF request that he recuse himself from presiding over the debate because the complaints against Mr Zvoma involved his own election as Speaker.  On Thursday, when debate continued despite their protests, all ZANU-PF MPs present walked out of the chamber, led by their Chief Whip Joram Gumbo.  The motion was then passed in their absence, incorporating the amendment proposed by Hon Mushonga.  The clumsily-worded operative part of the resolution as amended is very different from the original demand for dismissal, but still of dubious legality.  It is to this effect:

·        a special 5-member committee must be appointed by the House to look into the issue and invite the Clerk to give his side and respond to the allegations raised during this motion;

·        the committee is to make recommendations to the full House on its findings whether:

          i)     to terminate immediately the Clerk of Parliament's contract of employment;

          ii)    to suspend without pay for a period of time;

iii)    to demote and or reprimand the Clerk of Parliament;

·        the committee shall report to the House within six weeks.

[A more detailed discussion of this contentious matter will be undertaken in a separate Bill Watch.]

Motion on Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe [BAZ] Board and broadcasting licences:  There was heated debate on this motion on Tuesday, with ZANU-PF MPs strongly contesting the proposer’s assertions that the existing BAZ board had been illegally appointed and  that its recent granting of two broadcasting licences had been contrary to the GPA commitment to open up the airwaves.  Nevertheless this motion, too, was passed on Thursday afternoon.  As the resolution adopted merely “calls for” the substitution of the BAZ Board by one properly appointed and the immediate withdrawal of the licences granted to Zimpapers Talk Radio and AB Communications, it has no legal effect; it merely records the views of the House and a request for action.  [Note: Two unsuccessful applicants for broadcasting licences have said they are taking BAZ to court to get these two licences annulled.  In his end-of-year address on Thursday the Prime Minister referred to the BAZ Board problem in a complaint about the “outright arrogance and intransigence” over media reform of the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, and his officials; see above.]

Senate [13th December only]

Budget Bills passed:  The Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals Management, Hon. Gorden Moyo, presented the Budget Bills to Senators on behalf of the Minister of Finance.  The House passed the three Bills without calling for amendments:

·        Finance (No. 2) Bill   

·        Appropriation (2012) Bill

·        Appropriation (2011) Amendment Bill.

The Bills will now be sent to the President for his assent.  They are expected to be gazetted as Acts before the end of the year.

International agreements approved

The Senate approved the following international agreements:

·        Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in Mauritius on 29th August 2009 between the Eastern and Southern Africa states (ESA) and the European Union (EU)

·        International Coffee Agreement of 28th September 2007.

Bulawayo Court Interdict against Mutambara a Temporary Bar

On 15th December Justice Kamocha of the Bulawayo High Court confirmed and extended the scope of an earlier interdict granted to MDC against Professor Mutambara.  This is a final decision in that particular court case which was an application for an interdict on Professor Mutambara acting as MDC party president and GPA principal until a decision in the main court case which is sub judice in the High Court in Harare.  Therefore this is an interim bar on Mutambara.  In the yet to be heard case in Harare, the anti-Ncube and pro-Mutambara faction have challenged the validity of the January 2011 party congress at which Professor Ncube was elected party president.  The Bulawayo court decision is valid for the time being, so that Professor Mutambara is:

·       prohibited from "purporting to be president” of the MDC and exercising any function vested in the president of the MDC or interfering with the structure and organs of the party [which was the position under the earlier provisional interdict]

·       expressly barred from attending any meeting of whatever description of the principals in the inclusive Government or any regional or international body as a principal in the GPA.  The court ruled that Prof Ncube immediately became the principal in the GPA upon his election as president of the party

Professor Mutambara has already said that he will appeal to the Supreme Court against the Bulawayo court decision.  The noting of an appeal will immediately suspend the operation of Justice Kamocha’s interdict, thereby lifting the prohibitions against Professor Mutambara pending the hearing of the appeal.  The matter is still not settled.  In all this, Mutambara’s position as Deputy Prime Minister of the country is not affected.

Ex-Deputy Minister Mutinhiri

Tracy Mutinhiri, former ZANU-PF MP for Marondera, automatically ceased to be a Deputy Minister by operation of law on 14th December – three months after her Parliamentary seat became following her expulsion from ZANU-PF.  Section 31E of the Constitution lays down that no-one can hold office as Minister or deputy Minister for more than three months without being a member of Parliament.

Status of Bills

[Electronic versions of these Bills are available from]

Bills passed by Parliament awaiting gazetting as Acts

Finance (No. 2) Bill

Appropriation (2012) Bill

Appropriation (2011) Amendment Bill

Deposit Protection Corporation Bill

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill

Bill awaiting Second Reading in the House of Assembly

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill

Bill gazetted and awaiting presentation  

Older Persons Bill [gazetted 9th September]

Bill being printed for gazetting

Urban Councils Amendment Bill [Private Member’s Bill] 

Lapsed Bills awaiting restoration to the Order Paper

Public Order and Security [POSA] Amendment Bill [Private Member’s Bill]

Electoral Amendment Bill

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Amendment Bill

Government Gazette

Trade marks – Banjul Protocol Notice – SI 147/2011, dated 16th December 2011, sets out the text of the Banjul Protocol on Marks, an international agreement within the framework of the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation.  The Protocol has had the force of law in Zimbabwe since 10th September 2010, the date of commencement of the Trade Marks Amendment Act (10/2001).  Publication of the text by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs is obligatory under section 97A of the Trade Marks Act, as amended by Act 10/2001. 

Public Holiday on 27th December – GN 588/2011 from the co-Ministers of Home Affairs confirms that both 26th and 27th December are public holidays this year.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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