By JOHN ELIGON
Published: December 16, 2011
JOHANNESBURG — Tens of millions of dollars in diamond profits — perhaps
more — are being secretly extracted from state-owned mines in eastern
Zimbabwe, bypassing the nation’s treasury and raising fears that President
Robert Mugabe is amassing wealth to help extend his 31-year reign, according
to monitoring groups, diplomats, lawmakers and analysts.
Even if Mr. Mugabe’s allies in the mining ministry are telling the truth
about the number of diamonds produced, the treasury was still shortchanged
by at least $60 million last year, according to a budget report by the
finance minister, one of the president’s chief opponents.
But the amount of money being withheld from the nation’s coffers may be much
larger than that. Experts, and even some members of Mr. Mugabe’s own party,
say the president’s allies are lowballing the nation’s diamond figures by
millions of dollars, hoping to hide the fact that profits are being diverted
for personal and political ends.
“The benefits of the diamond sales go primarily to allies of the president,”
said Mike Davis, a specialist at Global Witness, a group that has
extensively researched the contested mines in eastern Zimbabwe, known as the
Marange fields. The strategy, Mr. Davis added, was “part of a wider attempt
by people around Mugabe to seize the diamond wealth for their own political
purposes, which in the short term means beating and cheating their way to
Now that Mr. Mugabe no longer controls the Finance Ministry — the result of
a tenuous power-sharing arrangement to end the rampant state-sponsored
violence during the 2008 presidential election — analysts say he needs
outside income to finance his political operations. Diamonds offer him a
rare opportunity to do that, especially now that international monitors have
agreed to let Zimbabwe sell vast quantities of them, despite repeated
warnings that it would enable Mr. Mugabe to tighten his grip on the nation.
Recent expenditures by Mr. Mugabe and his security forces have worried
observers that unaccounted money from Marange, estimated to be one of the
world’s richest troves because of its volume of diamonds, is financing his
party’s groundwork for the early elections he is seeking next year.
The country’s defense forces, which answer to Mr. Mugabe and helped secure
his victory in the last election by force, recently bought a large shipment
of weapons and equipment from China, local news media reported. The mining
ministry has paid millions of dollars in salary increases for civil servants
outside its ranks, a form of patronage intended to win votes, according to
some lawmakers and watchdog groups. And Anjin — a Chinese mining company in
Marange that local and Western officials say the Zimbabwean military has a
direct ownership stake in — is financing a new military academy.
“It’s quite clear that there’s much more money floating around than is
justified by the level of economic activity,” said Eddie Cross, a Mugabe
opponent in Parliament. He told the legislature in October that, based on
information from geologists and production records, one company alone mined
$1.4 billion in diamonds in Marange last year, far more than the $300
million the mining ministry had reported for all its operations there.
Questions about the diamonds have even caused some splintering within Mr.
Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, as some benefit personally while others get cut
“I personally don’t think the numbers tally at all,” said a former senior
ZANU-PF official, speaking anonymously to maintain relationships within the
party. “When you look at the fields they are mining and how rich they are
and what they later declare, you see that there must be a huge difference.”
“People are asking, ‘Where is the diamond money?’ ” the official added, “and
the answers don’t seem to be coming out.”
While Mugabe officials deny any sleight of hand, other members of his party
acknowledge that the nation’s mineral wealth does not always make it into
the public treasury.
Edward T. Chindori-Chininga, a ZANU-PF member who is chairman of the
Parliament’s committee on mines and energy, said that while 60 percent of
the country’s exports came from mining, the sector accounted for only 10 to
15 percent of the government’s revenue. All of Zimbabwean mining, including
platinum and gold, needs to make sure “that the money truly does come” to
the treasury, he says, though he argues that there is no evidence of his
party using any money improperly.
The diamonds have become a vivid symbol of Zimbabwe’s conflicts.
International monitors and human rights groups say the army seized the
Marange fields in 2008, using “horrific violence against civilians.” The
Kimberley Process, an international coalition trying to prevent the trade of
diamonds that fuel conflict, initially suspended trading from Marange. But
in 2010, under pressure from some of Zimbabwe’s neighbors, it authorized two
sales over objections from Western powers like the United States.
Zimbabwe sold an additional four million carats of diamonds in November
2010, and last month it was given official approval to export diamonds from
Marange, drawing harsh criticism from human rights groups and some Western
nations. Global Witness, which helped to establish the Kimberley Process,
quit the coalition in protest last week.
Officials within Mr. Mugabe’s party insist that they have accurately
reported all Marange revenue. “It is not possible in Zimbabwe to stash away
anything by anybody,” said the mining minister, Obert Mpofu. “The systems
are so tight. Everything that has been mined in this country, sold in this
country, is accounted for.”
Critics, monitors and diplomats strongly disagree. “We hear very detailed
reports of how sales are made through suitcases full of cash and
antisanctions units in local banks,” said a Western official. “By those
sales and revenue details not being conveyed in treasury figures, it leads
many to believe that real sales are higher, possibly much higher.”
The political consequences could be stark. A military operation known as
Operation Zhunde Ra Mambo, or “blessings of the chief,” financed by the
ZANU-PF member who oversees the state’s interests at Marange, has deployed
troops to rural areas to intimidate political opponents, according to one
former opposition intelligence operative.
Mr. Mugabe has said the power-sharing deal is not working and has called for
elections next year, a year ahead of schedule. Some analysts argue that Mr.
Mugabe is pushing for elections because of his poor health — ZANU-PF would
crumble or fracture without its leader — and to capitalize on the diamond
wealth while he has it.
How much of the profits the nation’s coffers deserve is a matter of fierce
debate. In his budget report, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the
government was entitled to at least 75 percent of gross proceeds, but
received only 56 percent of reported earnings last year. Mining officials
say the treasury got all it was owed.
But whether all the profits are being reported is another matter. One of the
mining companies, Mbada, is owned by the state’s Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation and The New Reclamation Group, a company based in the wealthy
Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. The chairman of Mbada is Robert Mhlanga, Mr.
Mugabe’s former pilot and a former member of the Zimbabwean defense forces.
A diamond production expert provided what he said were Mbada’s records for
November 2010. They indicate that it produced between $100 million and $121
million worth of diamonds in that month, or possibly more than $1 billion
that year. If accurate, that means a single company produced more than three
times the amount claimed by the mining ministry for all of Marange.
Mr. Mhlanga and David Kassal, an owner of the New Reclamation Group,
declined to comment. But skeptics abound.
“The people who are mining are ZANU-PF faithfuls,” said Moses Mare, another
Mugabe opponent in Parliament. “They are not mining for the government. They
are mining for their leaders.”
A Zimbabwean journalist contributed reporting.
16 December 2011
Tobias Mudede said he will rely on village heads and chiefs in rural areas
to weed out names that do not belong on the list - but objections have been
raised by the Movement for Democratic Change and others
Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington
Zimbabwean Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede says his office has started
scrubbing the national voters list to prepare for the presidential,
parliamentary and local elections which President Robert Mugabe says must be
held next year – despite wide agreement that the voters list at this point
is so corrupted that it must be replaced.
Mudede says he will rely on village heads and chiefs in rural areas to weed
out names that do not belong on the list - the deceased, for instance. But
objections have been raised by the former opposition Movement for Democratic
Change which says that traditional leaders for the most part have
long-standing loyalties to ZANU-PF.
Chiefs Council President Fortune Charumbira last week sparked controversy
after urging traditional leaders to support ZANU-PF even though the 2008
Global Political Agreement for power sharing says chiefs and other
traditional leaders should be impartial.
Mudede told state media taht traditional leaders will be helpful in
identifying deceased residents who should not remain on the registry of
Tsvangirai MDC spokeswoman Thabitha Khumalo called Mudede's move
But ZANU-PF Parliamentary Whip Joram Gumbo said chiefs and other such
traditional figures can help ensure a clean register of Zimbabwean voters.
Qhubani Moyo, organizing secretary for the MDC formation of Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube, told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that any list
cleanup should involve government stakeholders rather than traditional
leaders bound by patronage.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava told VOA
reporter Sandra Nyaira that the process should not be left to chiefs and the
registrar’s office as citizens should have the right to verify and correct
their status on the list.
by Staff Reporter
CIVIL servants have reacted angrily to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
insistence that salary increases would dependent on improved diamond
revenues and threatened to go on strike in the New Year if government does
not meet their demands.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti made not provision for a civil service salary
increase in his 2011 national budget statement presented last month but said
diamond revenues would boost the government’s coffers by an additional
However, Tsvangirai this week told legislators in his year-end address that
there was no provision for a civil service wage adjustment, even with the
extra US$600 million.
“While there is no provision for an increase in the current budget, the only
hope is that diamond revenues will exceed the budgeted $600m, with the
surplus being put to improving conditions of service for civil servants,” he
“We expect that with increased inflows from the diamond sales revenue, we
must be able to make a meaningful adjustment to civil servants’ salaries and
conditions of service.”
The remarks only angered the country’s restive government employees who are
demanding parity with the poverty datum line for the least paid workers.
"If there is no money, why are they giving Ministers and Members of
Parliament US$15 000 each?" said Tendai Chikowore, chairperson of the
umbrella body for civil service associations.
"Where is the money coming from? It does not make sense to say we are
waiting for money from diamond sales."
The unions were also disappointed that no progress was made on the issue
during a recent meeting with government representatives.
"We got very disappointed (with the meeting). Our expectations were not met
when we got into the meeting," Zimbabwe Teachers Association
secretary-general Richard Gundani told the state-run Herald newspaper.
"However, we impressed upon them that this process (negotiations) must be
concluded by end of this month, so that there is no anxiety as we get to
Most government employees earn around US$250 per month after an adjustment
awarded in July.
Unions want the least paid worker’s salary to match the Poverty Datum Line
which is now estimated at US$540.
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Saturday, 17 December 2011 11:00
HARARE - Attorney-general Johannes Tomana says Zimbabwe’s magistrates’ court
is yet to determine when an inquest into the death of retired army General
Solomon Mujuru can take place.
The announcement comes four months after the popular ex-guerrilla leader’s
charred remains were found at his Beatrice farmhouse and there is growing
anxiety about delays in the high-profile case.
The inquest is expected to determine whether Mujuru died before or during
“It’s awaiting a set down before a magistrate for an inquest. That is to be
done by the magistrate before the judicial inquiry,” he told the Daily News
Pressed further on the unconscionable sloth or delay, Tomana retorted: “I
wouldn’t know. Why? Because it’s now at the discretion of the judiciary that
should appoint the date and call for the hearing.”
On the other hand, police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena and chief magistrate
Mishrod Guvamombe yesterday declined to comment on the issue, with latter
referring questions to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
Rex Shana, the JSC’s deputy secretary, told the Daily News that the process
currently underway was just an inquiry and not an inquest.
“According to the Inquest Act, the police submit documents which are just
read through,” Shana told the Daily News.
“The magistrate just confirms. The first stage is called an inquiry when
nobody is involved. The magistrate reads the papers; he makes certain
comments to the police whether they should carry out further investigations
or something. It ends there, okay. So that is the position. If there will be
an inquest, everybody will know,” he said.
While Bvudzijena said the matter was now up to the courts, Shana said an
inquest could only take place after police submitted a sudden death docket.
An inquest is a judicial investigation conducted by a judge or government
official into sudden and unexplained deaths.
Mujuru, a key figure in Zanu PF’s in-house combat over President Robert
Mugabe’s succession, was 67 when he died in August and his wife
Vice-President Joice Mujuru says she is still in the dark about the inquest.
In October, commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and head of the
Zimbabwean police said an official probe had been completed and the findings
sent to the courts, but the courts are yet to confirm if they received the
The explosive report is a culmination of a forensic inquiry, including a
post-mortem and witness statements from at least 23 people, three officers
manning his Mashonaland East property and other police deductions.
The coroner confirmed the identity of the deceased as Mujuru, even though he
was burnt to a cinder and there were no known forensic tests done to
determine if the remains recovered from the inferno really belonged to
Police have since issued a statement confirming gags over the issue, saying
they cannot say anything on this subject ostensibly because it was still
before the courts.
There is widespread suspicion of foul play in the death of Mujuru, who
headed a powerful Zanu PF faction of doves which wanted his wife Joice to
take over from Mugabe as party and state president.
The faction is reportedly locked in a vicious battle with another headed by
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mujuru was popularly known by his nom de guerre Rex Nhongo and few believe
Zimbabwe’s most decorated general died in the fire accident, but was killed
in a political conspiracy.
“The old adage that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is nowhere more
appropriate than in the Magistrates’ Court which in this case represents the
Mujuru family’s last chance to achieve an outcome that offers closure to a
most painful episode in their lives,” said a senior Zanu PF member, who
declined to be named on grounds of party protocol and fear of reprisals.
“In the present case, I am not satisfied that everything possible was done
to secure a prompt outcome to the inquest proceedings. It is worrying that
two months have now elapsed since this inquest was first announced and no
substantive progress has yet been made in that inquest hearing,” he said.
Mujuru’s wife recently said at a donation of fire tenders to the Harare City
Council that she was still waiting for answers.
By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Saturday, 17 December 2011 11:03
HARARE - Ousted MDC leader Arthur Mutambara has appealed to the Supreme
Court against a High Court ruling ordering him to stop masquerading as
president of the smaller MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube.
The ruling by High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha on Thursday also meant the
robotics professor ceases to be a principal in Zimbabwe’s Sadc-initiated
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
But Mutambara has since launched an appeal against Justice Kamocha’s ruling.
Mutambara, in his papers filed by his lawyers Mbidzo, Muchadehama and
Makoni, said the Court had erred in assuming that the principal in the
coalition government should be the current president of the MDC.
Mutambara said the court erred in holding that he cannot attend any meeting
of the principals in the inclusive government or regional or international
bodies in the capacity of principal in the inclusive government.
“It is submitted that giving the historical context of the so-called
inclusive government and the various claims to the leadership of the MDC, a
principal in the inclusive government does not necessarily refer to the
current president of the MDC,” said Mutambara.
Mutambara said the Court erred in confirming the provincial orders as
amended by not declaring him the president of the MDC pending to the High
Court case 612/11 he filed challenging the election of Ncube to be the
president of the MDC.
Ncube was elected as president of the MDC in January this year at an MDC
congress held in Harare but Mutambara, who despite attending the congress,
said it was not done procedurally and made a court application against Ncube’s
Ncube had also made a High Court application to stop Mutambara from
masquerading as the president of the MDC.
Mutambara yesterday said the ruling on Ncube’s case in Bulawayo meant
nothing as his case was still pending at the High Court in Harare.
“In the light of the disputes in the matter, the High Court erred in
declaring that Appellant (Mutambara) was not the president of the MDC,”
wrote Mutambara in his appeal.
Mutambara said the court also failed to articulate what “irreparable harm”
he was causing to the MDC party.
“The Court held that Respondents had a clear right to leadership elected at
the congress. The applicants in the Court a quo were the MDC and Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga who are the respondents in the case. These have no
right to any leadership elected at any congress,” said Mutambara.
He said the court skirted “the issue of material disputes of fact” and
denied ever interfering with the party.
Gwanda, December 17, 2011 – Bulawayo High Court Judge Nicholas Mathonsi last
Friday upheld an earlier order by magistrate Douglas Zvenyika that three
Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) advocacy officers who have been
in custody for the past 12 days be released on bail of $50 bail each.
Magistrate Douglas Zvenyika last week Friday granted $50 bail each to the
three MMPZ advocacy officers namely Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and
Gilbert Mabusa, but the order was immediately suspended following the
invocation of Section 121 - a counter measure which prosecutors invoke to
defeat the bail order and retain accused persons in custody for a further 7
days to allow the state time to file an appeal against the bail ruling.
They are being charged under section 25 (1) b of the notorious Public Order
and Security Act (POSA) for “participating in a gathering without seeking
authority from the regulating authority”.
They are also facing another charge of contravening section 37(1) b of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for “distributing material that
is likely to provoke a breach of peace”.
Last week the state added an alternative charge of undermining the authority
of or insulting President Robert Mugabe.
In granting the trio bail last Friday the magistrate concurred with the
defense counsel led by Kossam Ncube that the three were not a flight risk
considering the fact that they had handed themselves to Gwanda police from
Harare, and that the charges they are facing were not serious as the
sentence has an option of a fine if convicted.
“We are in the process of facilitating the release of the three, and they
should be out of custody by the end of the day”, said their lawyer.
The case has been remanded to the 5th of January next year.
Buhera-, December 17, 2011- There was drama at Mashingaidze shopping center
in Buhera Central Constituency this week as war veterans with aid of Zanu-PF
youths in ward 17 tried to force hundreds of villagers to accept to accept
President Mugabe’s maize seed donations.
Villagers who had been trapped into gathering at Mashingaidze after being
told that there was a very important meeting were shocked to discover that
it was Zanu-PF which wanted to distribute seed donation to them.
However, the party leadership was left with an egg in the face as villagers
insisted that an era for being manipulated by the octogenarian leader who
has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 30 years has long gone.
An individual household was expected to go home with about two kilograms of
Villagers refused saying they were able to buy such amount of seeds from
their own pockets.
War veteran and Zanu-PF horse for the next parliamentary elections in the
constituency Custon Mukurunge ended up begging party youths to round up
villagers in ward 17 and plead with them to get the donation to avoid
The move did not work as only a handful loyal to Zanu-PF councilor for ward
17 returned and collected the seed.
“We are fed up with this kind of manipulation. How can they try to buy us
with only two kilograms of maize, we are politically mature now and we
therefore cannot be taken for granted,” said a man from Vhiriri area in ward
The inputs were part of Mugabe donation distributed across the whole
country. The containers have Mugabe’s photograph and Zanu-PF slogans.
Mukurunge who was the most senior party member when the incident occurred
refused to comment saying what happened had nothing to do with the media.
“Are you a farmer? I will not talk to you because what we are doing has
completely nothing to do with the media,” said Mukurunge.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) legislator for the area Tangwara
Matimba said the people in his area are exhausted by the people who only use
and dump them after election.
“The incident was a rude awakening to Zanu-PF. The people in my constituency
are politically mature that they can not be bribed by sweets and these petty
gifts, they need actual development, peace and
tranquility”, said Matimba.
This is probably the first time for the people to deny donations in a rural
“Zanu-PF has lost touch with the people and it will be very difficult to
make a comeback and win the people’s approval to rule,” added Matimba.
by 45 minutes ago
HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has demanded the immediate liquidation of Air Zimbabwe and
insisted that tax payers’ money should not be used to bail out the
Finance Minister Tendai Biti – who is also the party’s secretary general –
has been blamed by airline and Zanu PF officials for allegedly refusing to
release funds to recapitalise the airline which is struggling to fend-off
And in resolutions passed at the party’s national council meeting in Harare
Saturday, the MDC-T said public funds should not be used to support the
The party said Air Zimbabwe’s collapse was reflective of the general
condition of most of Zimbabwe’s state enterprises.
“The chaos, mismanagement and incompetence at Air Zimbabwe is reflective of
the general state of most parastatals,” the party said.
“The Party resolves that Air Zimbabwe Private Limited as it is defined right
now should be shut down and closed immediately.
“The tax payers’ money should not be used to fund any corrupt and
Air Zimbabwe – which is said to owe various suppliers some US$140 million –
has been battling to fend off creditors now moving to attach its assets over
A Boeing 767-200 impounded at London’s Gatwick airport last Monday by
American General Supplies over a US$1.5 million debt has still not been
released and passengers due to have flown out to Harare remain stranded at a
The seizure followed similar action in South Africa, where the company was
recently refused ground handling services and had its aircraft briefly held,
again over unpaid debts.
The MDC-T said the airline must be disbanded and a new, sufficiently
capitalized company established.
“A new Zimbabwe airline that partners with a foreign investor should be
formed that will take over the whole staff at Air Zimbabwe,” the party said.
Air Zimbabwe has since suspended South Africa flights for fear of losing its
"We are not flying into South Africa. We are trying to secure funding to pay
our debts in South Africa,” Acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga said
during the week.
"We are, however, still flying into Lusaka (Zambia) and Lubumbashi (DRC) as
Harare, December 17, 2011 -The Zimbabwe parliament is set to build its own
hotel to accommodate members of parliament when they are on parliamentary
business in Harare.
Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo told Radio VOP on Friday that parliament
has taken over what used to be Quality International Hotel in a deal worth
millions of dollars.
“We are taking over the hotel and want to convert it into a parliamentary
hotel. It shall accommodate our parliamentarians whenever they are attending
sessions,” said Moyo adding that the move would save government a lot of
money which is currently being paid to hotels in Harare for the
accommodation of the parliamentarians.
“It’s a step in the right direction for us and we are looking forward to the
project which is currently ongoing”, added Moyo.
The hotel has been closed for over a year now since the take-over by the
parliament of Zimbabwe.
A number of renovations are being put in place at the hotel which once
served as a meeting place for both political parties and civic society
Zimbabwean parliamentarians are used to staying in low star hotels as the
august house battles to cut costs.
Apart from the hotel project the Zimbabwean government also issued a million
dollar tender in 2007 to a Chinese construction company to build a new
parliament at the top of a hill in central Harare.
The Chinese firm, Nangtong International, has been on site in Harare’s Kopje
area where the new parliament will be built but work was halted following
the transition from the Zimbabwean dollar to the multi-currency regime.
The deal which in 2007 was worth ZW $ 206 trillion has not yet been
transited to the new financial reality.
Mugabe has cultivated relations with China as part of a new "Look-East"
policy adopted after a fall out with Western countries that have imposed
targeted sanctions on the Harare government as punishment for failing to
uphold human rights and democracy.
China - on a drive to expand economic links with Africa - has since 2000
paid particular attention to Zimbabwe, selling Mugabe's government fighter
aircraft and agreeing to a number of business deals in exchange for mining
and other concessions.
Zimbabwe’s present Parliament was built in 1895 as a hotel before being
converted to a parliament in 1898. The structure of the building remained
unchanged until 1937.
The chamber was enlarged between 1937 and 1938. In 1969, the building was
raised to six stories. In 1989, the House of Assembly chamber was renovated
to accommodate an additional fifty members. In 2000, the House of Parliament
was further expanded when adjacent Pax House building was leased to it.
Apart from the hotel and parliament project the Chinese are also
constructing a $90 million state of the art military college and hospital
CHARLES LAITON 7 hours 59 minutes ago
HARARE - Former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) deputy
director-general Lovemore Mukandi was on Thursday issued with a warrant of
arrest by Harare regional magistrate Estere Chivasa after he failed to turn
up for trial.
His name was called three times outside Court 15 and he did not respond,
prompting prosecutor Michael Reza to apply for a warrant of arrest, which
was immediately issued by Chivasa.
Mukandi was summoned to appear in court on Thursday for trial on charges of
defrauding the organisation of funds that were meant for construction of
It is the State’s case that Mukandi, who was tasked with the supervision of
the construction of “safe” houses for the CIO, flouted tender procedures and
contracted a company owned by his friends.
He is alleged to have misrepresented to the organisation about the amounts
required and was given over ZW$16 million, which he converted to his own
Mukandi, who fled Zimbabwe and sought refuge in Canada in 2001, was deported
back home last month and immediately arrested on arrival.
But when he appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei, the court
ruled there was no extradition law between Canada and Zimbabwe and that
Mukandi had appeared in court as a result of his deportation, not
Ndirowei then ruled it was clear Mukandi had not absconded trial or violated
his bail conditions and that there was no attempt by the State to summon him
for trial while he was in Canada.
The magistrate said the State could proceed by way of summons once it was
ready for trial now that Mukandi was in the jurisdiction of the local courts
Mukandi was charged together with Rick Mubvumbi, David Nyabando and Mohamed
Ahmed Meman in 1999 before skipping the country. - NewsDay
Friday, 16 December 2011 12:19
WAR veterans’ leader, Jabulani Sibanda, will descend on Manicaland at the
start of the New Year to canvass support for ZANU-PF in the wake of calls
for fresh elections next year.
Sibanda — a controversial figure within and without the revolutionary
party — spent the greater part of the year mobilising support for ZANU-PF in
the fractious Masvingo Province, in an operation dubbed Budai Pachena (come
He is now taking his campaign trail to the Eastern Highlands, which happens
to be Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s home province, before unwinding it
to the remaining provinces.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader hails from Buhera, a
district in Manicaland.
Yesterday, Sibanda was locked in meetings with members of his executive,
preparing for the onslaught on the province.
His campaign in Masvingo drew mixed feelings with the MDC formations
accusing him of using violence to intimidate voters. Sibanda dismissed these
allegations as baseless.
The ZANU-PF Masvingo provincial leadership was also divided over Sibanda’s
campaign methods. A section of the party accused him of fanning factionalism
and alienating the party from its supporters while his admirers lauded him
for helping ZANU-PF regain lost ground.
In Masvingo, ZANU-PF lost sizeable ground to the MDC-T in the 2008
harmonised elections that cost President Robert Mugabe an outright win,
leading to the Southern African Development Community-brokered powering
sharing truce with Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Out of the 26 contested House of Assembly seats, ZANU-PF won 12 against 14
of the MDC-T while out of the five Senate seats; ZANU-PF won two against
three won by the MDC-T.
A number of top ZANU-PF guns were also trounced by MDC-T upstarts in
Out of 26 contested seats in Manicaland, the MDC-T won 20.
Among the ZANU-PF heavyweights that were routed by the MDC-T are Patrick
Chinamasa (Makoni Central), Shadreck Chipanga (Makoni South), Oppah
Muchinguri (Mutasa Central), Kumbirai Kangai (Buhera Central), Enoch
Porusingazi (Chipinge South), Chris Mushohwe (Mutare West), Joseph
Chinotimba (Buhera South) and Joseph Made (Makoni West).
Yesterday, Sibanda said the former liberation war fighters would do whatever
they can to mobilise support for ZANU-PF countrywide.
“We are leaving no stone unturned to thwart the MDC sell-outs countrywide.
This is our country and we are free to campaign anywhere. I am in a meeting
right now to strategise,” he said.
At the ZANU-PF conference last week, Sibanda lashed out at what he described
as dishonest party members, saying it was disappointing that the party had
double-dealing politicians within its ranks.
Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T spokesperson for Manicaland, said Sibanda’s
sojourn in the province would yield little results.
“We heard he (Sibanda) is coming to Manicaland, but we are prepared for his
arrival so that we teach him a political lesson in this land of our
forefathers. He will not achieve whatever he has set out to gain because we
long mobilised and people here know what they want,” said Muchauraya.
“The question the people of Manicaland are asking themselves is: Why target
Manicaland instead of concentrating his energies on compiling a list of
people who perished during the early 1980s disturbances? Manicaland is a
liberated zone for the MDC.
“In fact, our plan is to sweep the entire province. We are happy to tell him
that we have found strong and credible candidates to dislodge the six
remaining ZANU-PF legislators here,” he added.
16 December 2011
Some see the program as a desperation move as agricultural experts warn that
many Zimbabwean farmers have found it more difficult than ever to purchase
the seed and fertilizer they need
Violet Gonda | Washington
Zimbabwe Bankers Association President John Mushayavanhu said: “The main
problem is that these bills are only 50% government guaranteed which mean
the other 50% is unsecured."
Finance has become a major hurdle to the recovery of Zimbabwe's agricultural
sector, but experts say Harare's latest proposed solution looks like a
Small Zimbabwean farmers chronically lack cash to purchase seed and
fertilizer, which was often supplied by the state Grain Marketing Board in
the past. The banking sector doesn’t consider a long-term lease on farmland
to be good collateral given the uncertainties of ownership following a
decade of disruptive land reform.
The government and a banking partner are now moving to float $100 million in
agro-bills guaranteed in part by the government. But financial experts doubt
investors will jump into such notes as they will have to count on farmers to
repay half of the debt.
The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe is the Harare government’s financial market
partner in the launch of the latest agricultural financing instrument to be
An inter-ministerial committee on commercial financing of agriculture led by
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara drew up the latest farm finance
scheme, which proposes to match up investors with farmers who need capital.
The basic instrument is a US$10,000 agro-bill bearing a 10 percent coupon -
though the envisioned tender operation could result in a higher yield or
market interest rate, to which a two percent processing fee will be added.
Harare hopes to raise $100 million through this mechanism – not only to
finance the 2012 cropping season but to pay down US$21 million the Grain
Marketing Board owes farmers and US$18.6 million the government itself owes
seed houses and fertilizer companies, plus another US$4.5 million to
“kick-start” seed and fertilizer makers.
So in fact only about $56 million will go to finance farmers, the rest
covering government debts and costs, but the government is offering only a
50 percent repayment guarantee. This is likely to discourage the kinds of
risk-averse investors the program proposes to attract, particularly
ultra-cautious pension funds and insurers.
Though the funds will go to meet official debts and costs, investors will
have to rely on farmers making good on their commitments to repay following
So investors must be willing to bet that the government will make good on
its guarantee, that the upcoming harvest will be a good one - some are not
optimistic given longer-term weather signals - and that farmers receiving
funds will do the right thing.
Nonetheless, Mutambara expressed confidence investors will step up to buy
agro-bills, helping cashless farmers pay for their inputs.
“Our banks have not been forthcoming in terms of grain production. They have
done good work in supporting cotton, they have done good work in supporting
tobacco. So what we have done is come up with a scheme that gives incentives
to the banks to put their money into agriculture for a profit," Mutambara
“We have given them the liquid asset status, tax exemption and a 50%
government guarantee. This will allow every farmer in the country, communal,
A2, A1 to have access to inputs without paying anything but with a stop
order where they will pay after they have harvested,” Mutambara said.
CBZ Chief Executive John Mangudya said the government has done all it can to
make the securities attractive to investors including insurance companies
Some see the program as a desperation move as agricultural experts warn that
farmers have found it more difficult than ever to access the seed and
fertilizer they need.
Zimbabwe Bankers Association President John Mushayavanhu said the planting
season started last month so it is somewhat late to be raising funds.
“But the main problem is that these bills are only 50% government guaranteed
which mean the other 50% is unsecured," Mushayavanhu said.
"Obviously the risk that investors and bankers are taking is higher than
would have been the case if they had been 100% government guaranteed.”
Economist John Robertson said the scheme will only work if financial
institutions are willing to guarantee the 50 percent not covered by the
government, but opined that the risk is too high for most players given
currently low expectations for 2012 harvest.
“A thing like this has to be done properly and on time for the people who
have borrowed the money to have a chance to get a good enough crop, to earn
enough money to pay back the loans," Robertson said.
But CBZ’s Mangudya said there is still time to make a difference,
particularly as this is not the only scheme put in place to bolster farmers.
“There are NGOs that are providing assistance. There are commercial
transactions that the banks are financing ... and the government has put in
place some other schemes – the $30 million facility, the $45 million
facility. This is only in addition to what is happening on the ground.”
Mangudya and Mutambara emphasized that funds from agro-bills would be
accessed by all farmers – be they small communal cultivators or larger
But Mushayavanhu of the Bankers Association said such a scheme is only
feasible with commercial farmers, as most small-scale bankers are unable to
meet lending requirements, which could impede their access in this case.
“Unless the government is going to disburse the money directly to those
farmers – in which case then the risk is with government,” Mushayavanhu
Less skeptical is analyst Masimba Kuchera, who says that although the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe went broke from 2004 to 2008 supporting similar
agricultural schemes, this initiative could help wean farmers from
Yet Kuchera doesn’t see banks other than CBZ jumping in as it is not clear
how they’ll get their funds back from defaulters without holding any
Mutambara insists the government will push on using what he calls “moral
persuasion” to convince bankers to seek profits where few have been
The government and its private sector partner have launched and promoted the
program, so it remains to be seen how many investors will convert capital to
Friday, 16 December 2011 12:20
Njabulo Ncube , Assistant Editor
A STORM is brewing in the dysfunctional coalition government; this time over
the skewed distribution of agricultural inputs along political lines under
the Presidential Special Inputs Scheme, The Financial Gazette can
Bureaucrats from the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) have once again crossed swords with their rivals from ZANU-PF over
free seed and fertiliser being distributed to nearly 710 000 households
countrywide under the aegis of the Presidential Special Input Scheme.
The coalition government, seen as the panacea to Zimbabwe’s political crisis
at its formation in February 2009, has turned into a theatre of political
dogfights between ZANU-PF and the MDC factions.
Coalition partners, whose ideologies are at tangent, have gained notoriety
for taking their political contests into the realms of government, thereby
frustrating its functionality.
As it is, the inclusive government is bogged down over a catalogue of
outstanding issues arising out of the half-hearted implementation of the
power-sharing agreement that underpins the operations of the coalition.
The disagreements revolve around the sharing of political power among the
three governing parties.
Now the intra-party fights have spilled over into the distribution of
farming inputs for the 2011/12 farming season.
Ministers from the two MDC formations were throwing tantrums this week,
accusing ZANU-PF of politicising the scheme, which is being funded by the
Central to their grievances is that the inputs were only being dished out to
small-scale farmers perceived to be ZANU-PF supporters, with those seen as
being sympathetic to the MDC factions walking away empty-handed.
They have since escalated their concerns to President Robert Mugabe who is
said to have assured them that he would look into the matter.
Earlier, MDC legislators had raised the issue in the Senate where they
slammed the partisan distribution of the inputs.
In Manicaland, the MDC-T leadership has since taken up the issue with Joseph
Made, the Agriculture Minister.
At the launch of the scheme last month, President Mugabe implored on whoever
would be distributing the inputs to be blind to issues of political
He said: “The inputs should be distributed in a transparent manner, without
political considerations. They must reach the intended beneficiaries — the
On the ground, President Mugabe’s plea has assumed a totally different
The scheme, as understood by ZANU-PF faithful, should only benefit
supporters of the revolutionary party. MDC supporters are therefore being
excluded on the basis that their respective parties were against the
correction of past historical imbalances through the land reform programme,
which kicked off in 2000.
Over 300 000 people, the bulk of them ZANU-PF supporters, benefited from the
land reforms that saw former white commercial farmers being dispossessed of
their properties. Critics of the land reforms have contended that they have
had a serious detrimental effect on the country’s economy.
ZANU-PF has particularly been critical of Finance Minister, Tendai Biti,
whom it singled out as the biggest impediment to unlocking value from the
land. Biti came under fire at the just-ended ZANU-PF conference for failing
to adequately fund the agricultural sector, which requires US$700 million
this farming season.
But MDC officials fear ZANU-PF is now using the input scheme to buy votes
ahead of the elections next year.
The two MDC parties are also not happy with the traditional leaders — chiefs
and headmen — whom they accuse of complicity in the partisan distribution
of the inputs.
Nhlanhla Dube, the spokesperson for the MDC, said the lopsided distribution
of the inputs was of serious concern to the party.
“We believe the distribution of the farming inputs should not be the
responsibility of a political party, but non-partisan government structures.
“The scheme has been turned into a tool of political patronage,” he said.
Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T spokesperson for Manicaland, said the scheme
was being abused by ZANU-PF to curry favour with the electorate.
“I spoke to Made at Parliament on Tuesday; he said he is going to make a
follow-up to see what is going on”, said Muchauraya.
Made was not available for comment yesterday.
But Rugare Gumbo, the ZANU-PF spokesperson, said it was only fair that
people who have supported the land reform should benefit from the scheme and
not those against it.
“Are the inputs not benefiting the people of Zimbabwe?” Gumbo asked.
“We should be fair. It is only natural that those who said they want land
should benefit from such a scheme and most of these are ZANU-PF people.
“Those complaining from the MDC should also check where the money came from:
State coffers or from the Presidential fund?”
The scheme, worth US$27 million, is meant to benefit 712 400 households.
Of these beneficiaries, 616 000 will receive food input packs while 96 400
will be given cotton inputs.
The scheme has been categorised into four sections. The first category has
10kg packs of maize seed totalling 6 000 tonnes and fertiliser.
The second is made up of 964 tonnes of cotton seed packs while the third has
small grains such as millet, sorghum, cowpeas, peanuts and sugar beans
amounting to 400 tonnes.
The fourth category constitutes of cattle dip to the tune of US$500 000 per
province in the livestock producing areas of Matabel-eland North and South.
16 December 2011
Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto said Harare has been struggling to make sure
residents have access to clean water, but it is having trouble keeping up
with trash collections in most of the capital’s townships
Sandra Nyaira | Washington
Municipal officials in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare are warning of
mounting risk of a new new cholera epidemic in the country as waterborne
diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and watery diarrhea surge toward
Harare Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto said most of the conditions are in
place for a cholera epidemic on the scale seen from late 2008 to mid-2009
when nearly 100,000 cases were reported and the disease claimed the lives of
more than 4,200 people.
Chiroto said Harare has been struggling to make sure residents have access
to clean water and is having difficulty keeping up with rubbish collections
in most townships.
Last week the United Nations launched its annual consolidated appeal process
for Zimbabwe with a target of US$268 million for humanitarian aid in 2012.
Officials cited long neglect of water and sanitation systems which has left
8 million Zimbabweans vulnerable to water contamination and disease.
Chiroto told VOA reporter Sandra Nyaira that many in the city are vulnerable
to water-borne diseases as they drink from unprotected water sources.
Dr. Portia Manangazira, the Ministry of Health's chief of epidemiology and
disease control, said residents should collect rain to improve supplies of
"We really have a problem, especially now when the rainy season has begun,"
said Dr. Manangazira. "What makes it worse is that most of the cities,
especially Harare, have told us that they cannot provide adequate and
quality water so we have a crisis."
Nompumelelo Moyo, December 17, 2011 - A war of words erupted between the
Bulawayo Metropolitan governor Cain Mathema and the Zimbabwe African People’s
Union (Zapu) over the later’s 50th Jubilee anniversary celebrations penciled
for Saturday at Barbourfields stadium.
Zapu spokesperson for the southern region, Methuseli Moyo, on Friday issued
a press statement telling the Bulawayo governor to zip it up.
This is after Mathema attacked Zapu’s celebrations in the state controlled
daily Chronicle describing it as a cheap move to gain votes in Matabeleland
and an insult to Joshua Nkomo, the late Vice President who led the party
from 1961 to 1987.
“It is very wrong for (Dumiso) Dabengwa to claim that they are the original
Zapu. For someone to claim this is a direct insult to (Dr Joshua) Nkomo,” he
Moyo retaliated saying Mathema should leave his party, “to do our thing in
“True Zapu is 50 years old. That our party and Zanu-PF joined each other in
1987 did not mean Zapu stopped existing. Zapu continued to exist in the
united Zanu-PF until December 2008 when we decided to pull out.
“In the same vein, Zanu continued to exist in the unity accord and will be
50 in 2013. Mathema in particular had long rebelled against Zapu during the
war and was Zanu, anyway, even before the unity accord.
“He is free to remain where he is and feed his family. His happiness in
Zanu-PF is his alone,” he said.
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
“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
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
Friday, 16 December 2011 12:17
Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is under pressure from ZANU-PF hawks to repudiate an
earlier undertaking to allow locals domiciled within the Sou-thern African
Development Commu-nity (SADC) to participate in the forthcoming polls
through postal voting.
As reported by The Financial Gazette in July, the principals in the
inclusive government agreed to work towards incorporating the Diaspora vote
in the electoral process as part of far reaching reforms ahead of the
President Mugabe had warmed up to the idea of allowing Zimbabweans living
within the SADC region to vote since the respective countries in the bloc
had not imposed targeted sanctions on ZANU-PF leaders, making it possible
for the party to campaign there freely.
Cabinet had also agreed in principle to the Diaspora vote plan.
But the ZANU-PF negotiating team and other party hardliners are fiercely
opposed to the idea, which they want shelved.
ZANU-PF generally regards locals living in foreign lands, who mostly left
because of a hostile political and economic environment, as unsympathetic to
While confirming that an understanding on the matter had been reached in
cabinet, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) chief negotiator, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, said the jury is not yet out on whether or not that
would translate into concrete voting by those outside the country. She said
there are a number of technical and legal issues that still need to be
considered such as the issue of dual citizenship.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangira-i’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said
the country’s political leaders had indeed reached a deal on postal voting
after the ZANU-PF leader had softened his stance.
“Yes I can confirm that the principals agreed on postal voting,”
But ZANU-PF’s chief negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa, said the principals had
only directed him to look into the matter and report back to them but is yet
to give them feedback.
“The principals took a decision, it was not an agreement, that we look into
the matter. We will look into the matter and report back to them.
“But remember, this was an issue that was tackled by the negotiators and
rejected,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, said the only agreement between
the principals that exists was that Zimbabweans living outside the country
should come back home and register within their constituencies to enable
them to vote.
In 2005, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe dismissed a constitutional
application by a group of Zimbabweans based in the United Kingdom, who had
sought an order granting them the right to vote.
The test case, which was led by banker and chief executive of online news
publication, Newzimbabwe.com, Jeff Madz-ingo, had challenged the
constitutionality of the current system that allows only those on national
duty outside the country to vote.
MDC-T chief negotiator, Elton Mangoma, said although the current electoral
system does not provide for postal voting, it equally does not outlaw it.
December 17 2011 at 09:00am
Freed British mercenary Simon Mann, poses with his wife Amanda, at an
undisclosed location in the English countryside following his pardon and
release by the Government of Equatorial Guinea.
British mercenary Simon Mann may be one of the luckiest foiled coup plotters
The soldier of fortune expected to spend the rest of his days rotting in a
tropical dungeon for his role in an attempted African putsch in 2004 that
went horribly awry.
Two years after he got an improbable pardon from Equatorial Guinean
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo for his attempt to overthrow him,
Mann has returned to the oil-rich west African nation three times as a free
Instead of the vast petro-dollars he expected, Mann wound up spending more
than five years in grim prisons in Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea.
But he is now profiting from the fiasco with a book about the affair, Cry
Havoc, in which he gives his side of a sordid tale that involved Mark
Thatcher, the son of the former British prime minister, 69 desperadoes and
an audacious plot.
“I don’t fancy myself as a freedom fighter at all,” Mann said in a phone
interview. “But I felt at the time that the government was a very repressive
one and that therefore it was legitimate to try to do something about it.
“The major factor for wanting to do the job was this very simple double
whammy. Here was this terrible tyrant, as he seemed at the time, and with
that the opportunity to make a lot of money. And that’s why I wanted to do
Mann claims to have enjoyed military success as a mercenary in the
battle-scarred African states of Angola and Sierra Leone by helping the
governments there quell rebel movements.
But Obiang, who is now Africa’s longest-serving leader, was a far bigger
fish and one who knew something about coups, having used one to take power
in the former Spanish colony in 1979.
The plot to replace Obiang with an exiled political activist was foiled when
Mann and his comrades-in-arms were arrested on a runway in Zimbabwe’s
capital, Harare, when they made a stopover en route to their target.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was thrilled with his catch: a former
soldier of the hated British colonial power trying to topple a fellow
Mann believes that US intelligence spilled the beans about the coup plan so
that Washington could cosy up to Africa’s third-largest oil producer – a
charge for which he has no evidence.
After Mugabe’s prisons, in 2008 he was extradited to Equatorial Guinea,
where he expected to be executed.
Instead he was pardoned.
“I honestly don’t know why I got pardoned… but I had worked very hard in
prison to help the Equatorial Guinean authorities,” Mann said.
He provided information at his trial and interrogations about his fellow
coup plotters, including Thatcher, who he says in the book abandoned him to
Mann says he tried to be useful in other ways.
“What happened was when I was in prison we had many conversations about
their security and so they did ask me to write a paper along the lines of
poacher turned gamekeeper,” he said.
He has since returned to Equatorial Guinea three times and met Obiang
himself to thank him for his pardon and release in late 2009.
He denies that he is working for Obiang, whose government gets low marks for
transparency and democracy. “I had a very nice meeting with him… but it was
very weird with the whole set-up as you can imagine.”
Mann has nothing but contempt for his fellow coup plotters, who escaped
serious punishment. Thatcher paid a fine in SA, where he was a resident at
the time, for violating the country’s foreign mercenary laws.
“Those guys didn’t do anything to help me at all. They didn’t even send me a
postcard. To me that was an act of betrayal,” Mann said.
He does have some advice for Thatcher, spoken from hard experience. “What
goes around comes around. If you behave like a complete a***hole, at some
point it will catch up with you.” – Reuters
Harvest House, 17 December 2011
AWARE that the entire Zimbabwean population and all other democratic forces look to the MDC as the central engine of Real Change in Zimbabwe, the National Council hereby makes the following resolutions.
1. THE ROADMAP AND ELECTIONS IN ZIMBABWE
1. COGNISANT of the insincerity of ZANU PF, the lack of paradigm shift and its insatiable appetite for power manifested by its decisive power retention agenda bordering on creating an atmosphere of pandemonium, panic and uncertainty in the body politik of our country,
2. RECALLING the humourless Zanu PF Congress resolution calling for elections in 2012 regardless of the enactment of a new Constitution and the actualisation of the Roadmap to a free, fair, credible and legitimate election,
3. The Party reaffirms its earlier resolutions that elections in Zimbabwe cannot and will not be called for unilaterally by one person or one party and that the election in Zimbabwe will not be date driven but process driven.
4. The Party restates that the date of the next election will only be determined after the fulfilment of all the conditions precedence defined in the roadmap including;
a. The completion of the constitution making process and the referendum
b. The completion of the drafting of a new voters roll.
c. The completion of media reform.
d. The completion of the legislative reform.
e. The conclusion of outstanding issues at the dialogue table on security sector realignment and staffing of ZEC.
f. The compliance by Zimbabwe of the SADC electoral guidelines on free and fair elections.
g. The putting in place of mechanisms to ensure that violence will not be a factor in the said election.
5. The Party notes that any election which does not meet the above conditions will be a sham election and the party will not have anything to do with a sham election.
2. VIOLENCE AND CLOSURE OF DEMOCRATIC SPACE
1. DISTURBED by the continued closure of democratic space in Zimbabwe characterised by the blocking and disruption of MDC meetings and rallies by police, the wanton attacks, prosecution and persecution of journalists, civil society organisations,
2. DEEPLY WORRIED by the continued unlawful and politically motivated incarceration of the MDC Youth Assembly Chairperson Solomon Madzore, Pheneas Nhatarikwa, Councillor Tungamirai Madzokera, Yvonne Musarurwa, Rebecca Mafukeni, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Maengahama and Stanford Mangwiro,
3. The Party notes with irony that while no stone has been left unturned with regards to the arrests and harassment of MDC activists including Solomon Madzore, the perpetrators of the June violence, never mind the perpetrators of Gukurahundi have not been prosecuted,
4. In addition, the Party notes that between January and now over 402 people have either been arrested, assaulted and severely harassed by Zanu PF and its complicity criminal justice system,
5. The Party condemns the above actions and unequivocally calls upon Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and the Attorney General to take immediate action and to apply the law evenly and equally,
6. The Party therefore demands the immediate release of arrested cadres and in any event demands the expeditious due process with regards to those that have been arrested.
3. ZANU PF ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY THE ECONOMY
1. AWARE of Zanu PF machinations of asset stripping, looting, patronage, clientelism, corruption and self aggrandizement euphemistically referred to as indigenisation
2. ALSO AWARE of Zanu PF’s intentions of raping and destroying the economy through the return of the Zimbabwe dollar,
3. The Party restates that Zanu PF’s programme does not comply with its own laws and is based on patronage and clientelism, is not demand driven and in any event is based on a narrow model of transferring shares to a few black elite that can afford them and does not amount to genuine wealth creation and distribution.
4. The Party therefore calls for the starting afresh of the whole programme and the development of a genuine broad based upliftment programme which balances the need to attract investment, grow the economy and create jobs.
5. Furthermore the Party calls on Government to maintain the multi-currency system, maintain the Medium Term Plan (MTP) and categorically states that there will be no return of the Zimbabwe dollar in the short to medium term.
6. The Party calls for all income from Chiadzwa to be accounted for transparently to the State to enable the same to attend to capital and recurrent expenditure and in particular the adequate remuneration of civil servants.
4. SADC AND DIALOGUE IN ZIMBABWE
1. APPRECIATING the role of all SADC leaders in finding sustainable solutions to the Zimbabwe crisis particularly President Zuma and his Facilitation Team for remaining engaged with the crisis in Zimbabwe.
2. TAKING NOTE of SADC important resolutions on Zimbabwe reached in Maputo, Livingstone, Sandton and Luanda.
3. However, the Party notes the slow pace of movement and urges Sadc to urgently appoint the three person committee from the SADC Organ Troika to work with Jomic and also to ensure that dialogue on the roadmap is concluded.
4. The Party expresses its disappointment with the slow and the non-implementation of the GPA, the post Maputo agreement and agreed portions of the roadmap and the Review Document and urges the urgent creation of an implementation and oversight mechanism, inside government and within SADC.
5. THE CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS
1. RECOGNIZING that the Constitution is the supreme document of the land and the foundation upon which democracy and good governance should be built on.
2. RECALLING Article 6 of the GPA which prescribes the constitution making process
3. AWARE that the constitution making process is at the drafting stage.
4. The Party calls on Copac to remain impartial and for the constitution making process to remain peaceful.
5. The Party restates its commitment to certain fundamental constitutional canons. These include;
i. The issue of multiple or dual citizenship.
ii. Guarantees and respect the fundamental principle of devolution within a unitary State.
iii. The issues of a strong and protected Bill of Rights that includes;
d. The protection of the right to life and no to capital punishment.
e. Gender equality and protection of women’s reproductive rights.
f. A strong provision that outlaws all forms of discrimination.
g. Provisions guaranteeing the right of every Zimbabwean to participate in politics to regular elections and the right of all Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote.
iv. Provision of defined limited terms of office for the country’s top leadership.
v. The establishment of an Independent Prosecuting Authority.
vi. The establishment of Parliamentary appointed oversight and Executive Commissions.
6. PEACE BUILDING AND NATIONAL HEALING
1. The MDC notes and appreciates the importance of peace building and nation building and in this regard appreciates the work of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
2. The MDC appreciates and applauds the peace meeting held on the 11th of November 2011 and adopts the 10 principles agreed at that meeting which are;
a. An unequivocal declaration against violence and the embracement of peace.
b. An acceptance that there should be tolerance amongst all political parties and groupings in Zimbabwe.
c. An undertaking that all parties in the GPA must be sincere and must walk the talk.
d. We are all Zimbabweans. A declaration that there is a superior groundnorm which unites us all in respect on which we ought to protect despite of an in spite of our differences.
e. An embracement of the notion that leadership, the ability to drive and to take bold decisions in important in state and nation building.
f. An acknowledgement that we need to have a common uniting vision that transcends all our political parties and differences.
g. Accepting and embracing the fundamental right of choice. That people have a right to make decisions of their choice including the choice to choose their own government without coercion or force.
h. An embracement of the fact that state institutions and state organs must be impartial and must serve the people. The police must be a people police. The army must be a people’s army. The CIO must be a people’s CIO.
i. An embracement that this nation is spiritual and believes in God despite the fact the we worship the same through different means, traditional, Christianity and Hindu.
j. Undertaking and embracing the fact that the peace programme must be cascaded to the lowest structures in the ground.
3. The MDC urges the expeditious cascading of the peace meetings to the Provinces.
4. In this regard and taking note of the resolution on spiritualities, the MDC resolves that a National Day of Prayer be held as soon as possible.
7. BROADCASTING LICENCES
1. The MDC notes the recent issuance of Broadcasting Licences by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.
2. The MDC resolves that forthwith the current Board of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe be dissolved and a new one be appointed consistent with the agreement of the Principals.
3. That all licences so far issued be cancelled forthwith.
8. LOCAL AUTHORITIES
1. The Party observes and acknowledges the existence of its presence in Local Authorities with 786 Councillors.
2. The Party observes with concern the corruption, lack of delivery and chaos resulting from Ministerial interference in some of these Councils and Local Authorities.
3. The Party resolves that;
a. It will set up Committees to investigate and audit each of the Councillors and Councils that will consider issues of good governance, accountability and policy consistence.
b. That the National Council proscribes and bar any guilty Councillor from holding any office in the Party.
9. AIR ZIMBABWE
1. The Party notes the chaos, mismanagement and incompetence at Air Zimbabwe.
2. The Party observes that the collapse and decay at Air Zimbabwe is reflective of the general state of most parastatals.
3. The Party resolves that Air Zimbabwe Private Limited as it is defined right now should be shut down and closed immediately.
4. That a new Zimbabwe airline that partners with a foreign investor should be formed that will take over the whole staff at Air Zimbabwe.
5. The tax payers’ money should not be used to fund any corrupt and unsustainable parastatals.
10. DISTRIBUTION OF FARMING INPUTS
1. The MDC recognises the existence of vulnerable farming groups in the country in particular communal farmers and therefore accepts that Government must support these vulnerable farmers.
2. CONCERNED by the skewed and politically biased distribution of farming inputs such as seed and fertilizer and the use of inputs and food as a campaign tool by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Grain Marketing Board which borders on vote buying.
3. The party calls on the Ministry of Agriculture and the Grain Marketing Board to distribute farming inputs in a transparent manner.
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
Dear Father Christmas,
I know that you only give gifts to children and I’m not a child but
I wonder if you would consider the items on my list for the benefit of
all Zimbabwe’s children, most of who don’t have a voice, and for
their parents who struggle so much every day.
First and most important: Is there any chance you could give us some
more water? Scooping water out of open wells in the bush because our
taps are dry 22 hours a day makes life very tough and we are so scared
of our children getting sick. We haven’t had a drop of water in my
home town for the last three days, it’s been much longer in many
other places and we would really appreciate your urgent help on this.
Secondly: Please can we have a little bit more electricity? These 16
hour a day power cuts are gruelling and we don’t understand why the
power company keep charging us more and more but give us less and
less. We have to keep throwing away the food in our fridges because it
goes bad and are cooking outside over smoky fires so a bit more power
would be a very welcome gift.
Next Father Christmas, please, oh please can you stop the latest batch
of farm invasions. Never have we seen anything so cruel as groups of
thugs evicting farmers and their workers from their homes just a week
before Christmas. Maize and tobacco crops are flourishing in the land,
cows are growing shiny and fat on the new green grass but no one can
stop it all being seized by a bunch of greedy criminals. They are
using their political connections to steal people’s homes and
livelihoods and reap crops they did not sow. It’s breaking our
hearts Father Christmas, where are all these people to go, they know
nothing but farming, they have no other homes or incomes.
If you had any spare cash it would be great if you could pay off Air
Zimbabwe’s debts that they seem to owe in a number of countries, not
to mention the money outstanding to their long suffering members of
staff. It seems every time they land somewhere their planes are being
grounded or impounded leaving passengers stranded. Families separated
by our political and economic crisis are in exile around the world and
are desperately trying to get together this Christmas, they need your
There are so many other things I’d like to ask for this Christmas
but the most important gift you can bring us is hope. Hope for real,
meaningful change for Zimbabwe. Hope for an end to fear, oppression,
greed, intolerance and political violence. Hope for real democracy,
prosperity and respect for human rights.
To all Zimbabweans and those who care about us, wherever you are in
the world, thank you for your support of my writing and books in 2011
and for not giving up on our country. I wish you all a peaceful, happy
Christmas, surrounded by friends and filled with laughter. I hope that
2012 is a better year for us all and for Zimbabwe. Until my next
letter in January, thanks for reading, love cathy. 17 December 2011
Copyright � Cathy Buckle.