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Zimbabwe's Mugabe vows retaliation against West

Associated Press

Dec 17, 9:16 AM EST

Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's president vowed Friday to avenge Western
economic curbs imposed on his ruling party by threatening to seize
foreign-owned businesses and mining interests.

Under current empowerment laws, black Zimbabweans are slated to acquire a 51
percent stake in businesses. During a party convention Friday in the eastern
city of Mutare, broadcast live on state television, President Robert Mugabe
warned British and U.S firms "unless you remove sanctions we will take 100

Western countries imposed targeted restrictions on Mugabe and his party
elite to protest violations of democratic and human rights in a decade of
political and economic turmoil in the southern African nation.

"Why shouldn't we hit back? That includes companies that are mining gold and
other minerals, and some have been here since before I was born," said
Mugabe, 86.

Mugabe said about 400 British firms and an unspecified number of American
companies were operating in Zimbabwe.

He said sanctions had caused "immense difficulties" for the nation, but that
he believed the discovery of large diamond fields near Mutare would help
ease economic woes.

"We have the resources to improve the lives of our people," he said

Critics of Mugabe blame the economic meltdown on his party's ruinous
policies that began with the often violent seizures of thousands of
white-owned farms in 2000 in the former regional bread basket now dependent
on food aid.

Mugabe also told about 4,500 party delegates at a teacher's college near
Mutare, 260 kilometers (160 miles) east of Harare, that he wanted to see
laws introduced to punish Zimbabweans who supported sanctions with treason

His party has repeatedly accused the former opposition of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, now in a fragile coalition government, of supporting the
sanctions as part of a Western attempts for "regime change."

The coalition was formed after violence-marred elections in 2008 and
Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change party boycotted a
presidential runoff poll, citing torture, intimidation and illegal arrests
of his supporters.

Mugabe said he regretted joining the coalition.

"It has no policy, no philosophy ... all it wants is regime change that the
British and Americans have designed," he said.

Mugabe has called for elections next year to bring the coalition to an end.

Tsvangirai's party argues business takeovers are scaring away much-needed
investment in commerce, industry and the nation's failing infrastructure.

Mugabe on Friday dismissed demands by Tsvangirai that the next poll should
only be a presidential runoff between them.

Delegates cheered when Mugabe said his party's provincial representatives at
the convention would have the final decision on whether to hold elections
mid 2011.

He cautioned against violence surrounding future polling.

"Don't fight, but if someone is hitting you, don't just stand there and take
it," said Mugabe.

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Zim power-sharing can't continue, says Mugabe

MUTARE, ZIMBABWE Dec 17 2010 15:24

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe told his party conference on Friday that
the country's uneasy power-sharing government "can't be allowed to

"We agreed to work together ... as a compromise to enable us to sort things
out, establish peace, political stability, now some are dragging their
feet," Mugabe told members of his Zanu-PF party.

"The GPA can't be allowed to continue," he added, referring to the Global
Political Agreement with the ex-opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party of his Prime Minister and arch-foe Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing administration six months after
a chaotic presidential vote in 2008 but they are now in the throes of a
vicious battle over when the next national elections should take place.

Mugabe said the deal with the MDC had failed.

"What it has done is to reveal and expose to us what we did not know; now we
know this creature, the MDC, has no policy, no ideology, no philosophy
except change, change," he told delegates at the official opening of the

Disputed run-off poll
More than 4 000 Zanu-PF delegates assembled in the eastern city of Mutare,
where they are expected to rubber-stamp Mugabe's push for polls in the first
half of 2011.

"Every delegate is ready for the battle of elections next year," Mike
Madiro, a Zanu-PF provincial chairperson, earlier told Agence France-Presse.

In March 2008, Tsvangirai won the presidential election against Mugabe but
fell short of the required majority, resulting in a run-off ballot that the
MDC leader refused to take part in citing violence against MDC supporters,
allowing Mugabe to triumph unopposed.

On Thursday, Tsvangirai said only a presidential vote would address the
issue of "illegitimacy" following the disputed run-off poll, but he refused
to specify any date when elections should take place.

The MDC has previously said that credible polls are not possible until 2012
at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Mugabe told the conference that British and US companies in
Zimbabwe would be nationalised if sanctions against the country were not

"Why should we continue to have 400 British companies operating here
freely?" Mugabe said.

"Why should we continue having companies and organisations that are
supported by Britain and America without hitting back? Time has come for us
to revenge," he said, referring to laws that allow him to take the companies

"We can read the riot act and say this is 51% we are taking, and if the
sanctions persist we are taking over 100%." -- AFP

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Zimbabwe vote needed to resolve 'illegitimacy': PM


– Thu Dec 16, 2:31 pm ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) – Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on
Thursday said only a presidential vote would address the issue of
"illegitimacy" following 2008 polls won unopposed by President Robert

"An election in Zimbabwe should be held to deal with the question of
illegitimacy associated with the farcical presidential run-off election of
June 2008," Tsvangirai, who later formed a unity government with Mugabe,
told reporters after his party's council meeting.

Mugabe has hinted that elections could be held in the first quarter of 2011,
even though the referendum on a new constitution is still not finalised.

No formal announcement of elections has been made, but diplomats had already
warned that polls could plunge the country back into bloodshed and chaos.

Tsvangirai said the elections would require monitoring by the regional bloc,
the Southern African Development Community, six months before and after the

In March 2008, Tsvangirai won the presidential election after beating Mugabe
but fell short of the required majority, resulting in a run-off.

But the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) pulled out of the
run-off, citing violence against his supporters. Mugabe later won the race

A political crisis followed and the two leaders subsequently formed the
unity government.

The arrangement was strained from the start, with Tsvangirai struggling to
assert his authority within the power-sharing regime.

He told reporters that the unity government had made progress this year, but
was also characterised by frustrations, as a result of what he said were
Mugabe's continued unconstitutional acts.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF party is currently holding a conference which is expected
to endorse him as the candidate for the proposed 2011 elections.

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Defiant Mugabe says no to Tsvangirai

17 December, 2010 04:19:00    By Chengetai Zvauya

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has declared that Zimbabwe will hold
harmonised elections next year putting paid to any hopes that he would
accede to demands by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who is pushing for
presidential polls only in 2011.
The veteran leader told his supporters at the annual Zanu PF People’s
Conference in Mutare that calls by the MDC leader for the presidential
elections were nonsensical.

''We hear that MDC are dragging their feet on elections and are saying they
want presidential elections alone. We damn that, it's nonsense. Whatever
elections we are going to have must be done together and we must do it
harmoniously,” said Mugabe.

“We must have presidential, parliament and local government elections
together. It must be a matter which needs a resolution at this conference.''

Mugabe was responding to the MDC national council announcement on Thursday
which resolved to push for the Presidential elections in 2011 and defer the
general poll to 2013 in line with the constitution.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the council (NEC) resolved that the next
election should be solely for the disputed presidential election of 2008
with a harmonised election to be held in 2013 as prescribed by the

“Neither Zanu PF nor its President (Mugabe)  have the right of unilaterally
calling for the aforesaid Presidential election and that article 23.1.b of
the GPA and the 8th schedule of the constitution which requires agreement,
should be respected,” Tsvangirai told the media on Thursday.

But a defiant Mugabe said the GPA, which expires in February, was nearing
its end and could not therefore be used to determine the election time line.

''We agreed to have the GPA as a compromise it is not a permanent structure,
so we must go for elections and not keep dragging our feet,” he said.

Mugabe warned his supporters to desist from violence during the election
time, but told them to retaliate in attacked by opposition supporters, “but
we must fight back if attacked, we must not fold our hands if we are

His statements received wild cheers from his thousands of supporters who are
known for their violence which they often mete on opposition supporters.

Mugabe, for the first since 1980, lost an election in the March 29 voting
but held the results for five weeks before announcing that Tsvangirai had
won but fell short of an outright victory.

Zanu PF supporters went on a retributive campaign against perceived MDC
supporters in the volatile provinces of Mashonaland East and Central in the
run up to the Presidential run off.

From the resultant violence and intimidation, Tsvangirai withdrew from the
poll leaving Mugabe to hold a one man election which was slammed by the
international community.

SADC intervened by pushing a power sharing deal which brought the inclusive
government which Mugabe wants to terminate by ending the GPA. - Daily News

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Women’s Coalition to block Mugabe’s 2011 elections

By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 December, 2010

Women in Zimbabwe have come out strongly against the idea of holding
elections in 2011, saying that a full implementation of the Global Political
Agreement is necessary, before any polls. Speaking under the auspices of the
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, the women said they plan to block Robert
Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai from holding elections next year, if they do
not make the key changes that they agreed to.

The coalition’s National Coordinator, Netsai Mushonga, said they would
approach local political parties, African ambassadors in Zimbabwe, SADC
leaders and the GPA chief facilitator, Jacob Zuma, to present a roadmap for
elections that the women want to be followed.

Mushonga is quoted as saying: “This document is an appeal to the regional
blocs that women of Zimbabwe are not interested in the holding of elections
now. Why rush to hold elections when the GPA is not yet fulfilled? We need
to see reforms first before we talk of elections.”
Mushonga stressed that the violence of the June 2008 elections is still
fresh in the minds of Zimbabweans, particularly women who were badly
victimized through gang rapes. She said elections without national healing
would bring back these terrible memories.

At the ZANU PF conference that started on Friday, Robert Mugabe made it
clear that he wants elections next year. But there is a consensus among
civic groups and the MDC, that major reforms are necessary in order to hold
elections that are free and fair.

The pressure for change is growing but Zimbabwean writer and journalist,
Geoff Hill, said he does not think any of it will make a difference to
Mugabe. Hill explained that the ZANU PF leader will call for elections
whenever he wants and SADC and the AU will do nothing about it.
“As long as Mugabe has guns you cannot push him out. It was the same with
apartheid in South Africa, until De Klerk sat down in good spirit, but there
is no good spirit with Mugabe in Zimbabwe,” said Hill.

The writer added that Mugabe would be happy to hold a one-man election if
there is no opposition, as he did when Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the
2008 presidential runoff due to the extreme violence. Hill said the
discovery of diamonds has given Mugabe and ZANU PF even more strength and
they will use that wealth to hold on to power at all costs.

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ZANU plots how to regain lost ground

by Tobias Manyuchi     Friday 17 December 2010

MUTARE – President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party will use its annual
conference opening here today to re-energise rank and file members and set
the stage for a campaign to regain lost political ground, a top official
said on Thursday.

The former sole ruling party was defeated in parliamentary elections in
March 2008 while Mugabe lost a parallel presidential election to then
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister after a
power-sharing deal brokered by regional leaders.

"It's all systems go, the significance of this conference is that we are
going to review our situation,” said Mike Madiro, the chairman of ZANU PF’s
executive in Manicaland province under which Mutare falls.

"This conference is to re-invigorate the party, we will also discuss the
state of the economy and re-energise ourselves. The state of the political
situation in terms of our enemies external and internal enemies will also be
reviewed. Everything is now all systems go," Madiro said.

The conference that is widely expected to sound the death knell for the
coalition government with a resounding call for elections next year to
choose a new government will be opened by Mugabe today, while 5 000
delegates drawn from the country's 10 political provinces are expected to be
in attendance.

The conference which ends Saturday is being held under the theme "Total
Control of our Resources through Indigenisation and Empowerment,” a
reference to Mugabe’s controversial drive to force all foreign owned firms
to cede significant stake to local blacks by 2015.

The business community has warned that the empowerment plan will scare away
investors and plunge back into recession an economy that has shown
impressive signs of recovery since the unity government came into office in
February 2009.

But Mugabe, known for his love to swim against the tide, has brushed aside
such warnings, while also ignoring concerns -- including from within ZANU
PF -- that holding elections next year could undo the economic gains of the
last 22 months as the country has a history of political violence and

No date has been set for the polls but Mugabe, who wields the most power in
the Harare coalition government, has rallied his party and supporters to
brace themselves for elections by not later than next June.

Zimbabwe’s economy registered its first growth in a decade last year after
the power-sharing government implemented measures, including the adoption of
multiple currencies that doused hyperinflation.

The economy that grew by 5.7 percent in 2009 is this year expected to expand
by 8.1 percent and another 9.3 percent in 2011, according to Finance
Minister Tendai Biti.

However analysts say Zimbabwe’s long-term growth outlook remains in doubt
with investor fears over the indigenisation drive as well as uncertainty
about the country’s future political direction. -- ZimOnline

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MDC-T to hold congress in May

By Chengetai Zvauya
Friday, 17 December 2010 15:56

HARARE - The MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has announced  that his party's
elective congress will be held by the end of May next year.

Tsvangirai made the announcement at a media briefing in Harare on Wednesday
at his party headquarters Harvest house following his national executive
council meeting which  deliberated on many issues affecting his party and
its participation in the inclusive government.

''The national council met and among the issues  on the agenda, we debated
the state of the party and the council noted that the provisions of Article
5.2.2 of the party's Constitution with regards to the holding of a Congress
and therefore directs  that the Party Congress shall be held by 30 May
2011,'' said Tsvangirai.

The MDC national executive the decision making of the party also expressed
their frustrations in the working of the inclusive government blaming it  on
Zanu PF and its leader Robert Mugabe's political antics describing them as
''unilateral and unconstitutional acts.''

Tsvangirai's MDC is the bigger faction of the two factions. It has 9 MPs in
the House of Assembly and 25  in teh Senate compared to the smaller faction
led by Arthur Mutambara which has 10 legislators in the parliament chambers.

At the  planned congress next May, the MDC-T leadership willhold elections
to fill the national executive council posts and any positions in the party

The leaders also resolved to waive the limit the time provided in the party
constitution for its members to hold positions.

The Mutamba led MDC faction is also set to hold its party congress in
February where Mutambara will contest for the presidency of his party
against  Welshman Ncube the current secretary- general.

The holding of the Ccongresses by the two MDC parties is preparation for the
national elections expected to be held next year.

Zanu PF has already endorsed its first secretary Robert Mugabe as the sole
candidate for the presidential  elections.

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Expatriate Zimbabweans Gather to Promote Investment for Economic Development

Development Foundation for Zimbabwe Executive Director Nokwazi Moyo said the
gathering began on a high note on Thursday with government officials giving
a green light for the launch of programs

Gibbs Dube | Washington 16 December 2010

More than 120 expatriate Zimbabweans along with members of domestic civic
organizations and government officials were meeting this week in the
northwestern resort town of Victoria Falls to discuss investment to promote
economic development in the country.

Development Foundation for Zimbabwe Executive Director Nokwazi Moyo said the
gathering began on a high note on Thursday with government officials giving
members of the diaspora a green light to launch various programs in the

Over the next three days, delegates will draft proposals to strengthen
diaspora networks and boost their ability to contribute to economic recovery
and development in particular in social services, investment, governance,
human rights and rural development.

Moyo said diasporans intend to engage Zimbabweans in the country when
launching their various initiatives.

The Development Foundation's aim is to provide a platform for constructive
engagement between Zimbabweans in the so-called diaspora and those inside
the country working in the government, business and civil society as well as
the general public.

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Top international diamond official denies trade in Zim blood diamonds

By Alex Bell
17 December 2010

A top international diamond official has denied that he dealt in rough
diamonds from the controversial Chiadzwa alluvial fields, after the
allegations arose in incriminating diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has denied that its
vice-President, Ernest Blom, dealt in the diamonds, an allegation that
surfaced in cables from former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee. One
of the cables, which were sent in 2008, states that African Consolidated
Resources (ACR) chief executive Andrew Cranswick, named Blom, when
describing the way in which illicit Chiadzwa diamonds were exported.
Cranswick claimed that Blom, who was then President of South Africa’s
Diamond Merchants Association, was not only involved in the illegal trade,
he actually boasted about it.

ACR used to be the legal title holders of the Chiadzwa claim but the mining
group was forced off the site at gunpoint, in 2006. The group has been
involved in a protracted legal battle ever since to have their rights to the
area honoured. But the High Court in Zimbabwe earlier this year cancelled
their licence. In the meantime the government, through the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation (ZMDC), has continued mining the area and
threatening to sell the stones, without approval from the trade watchdog the
Kimberley Process. The group has still not reached a decision on Zimbabwe’s
trade future and, legally, the stones are not authorised for international

WFDB president Avi Paz has since reacted to the claims revealed by WikiLeaks
and said this week: “Naturally, upon receiving these very disturbing
allegations, I immediately contacted Mr Blom, and asked him to react. Mr
Blom completely denied the accusations, saying it was 'unsubstantiated

In a letter to Paz, Blom stated: “I categorically deny any illegal trading
or [that I] boasted about it, as Cranswick allegedly said in the dispatch. I
had never travelled to Harare before I went up there as part of the
Kimberley Process review mission in 2007. I have only ever met Cranswick
twice in my life. The last time [was] more than a year ago, when he tried to
elicit my assistance to get his mine back, which I declined.”

The cable exposes the high level corruption of Zimbabwe’s diamond trade,
implicating Robert Mugabe’s wife and money-man, Gideon Gono, as direct
beneficiaries of the illicit trade. Grace Mugabe has since threatened to sue
the Standard newspaper for publishing these claims, but the news of her
involvement did not come as a surprise to most people.

Rights groups who have been campaigning for Zimbabwe to be banned from
international trade over human rights abuses at Chiadzwa, have since last
year been reporting that Mugabe’s elite were benefiting from the illegal
diamond trade. Alan Martin, an official from one of these groups,
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the
cables “vindicate what we have been saying for a few years now.”

“This should be a wake up call to dissenters within the Kimberley Process
who want to push for Zimbabwean exports to resume,” Martin said. “This must
be taken very seriously as we look towards Zimbabwe’s future.”

Martin meanwhile said the claims made against Ernest Blom, whether true or
not, “prove that there are people who are interested in trading with
Zimbabwe’s diamonds.”

“This in itself is very worrying,” Martin said, adding: “There are serious
issues at stake if these people and some countries are seen to be dealing
with Zimbabwe, and not just reputation issues.”

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UZ petrol bomb attack forces policy u-turn

By Lance Guma
17 December 2010

A recent petrol bomb attack at the University of Zimbabwe set fire to an
Isuzu twin cab vehicle, belonging to pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Chipo
Dyanda. Now authorities have been forced into extending the registration
deadline for exams, in order to calm tensions on campus.
Disgruntled students are thought to have petrol bombed the car, protesting
against a decision to bar those who, owing to financial difficulties, had
failed to meet a 15th November deadline to register for exams. Even when
some of the students eventually got the money, the university had been
adamant they would have to register to sit for exams in the next semester.

On Monday the 6th December the army bomb disposal unit was called in to the
UZ administration block. A student, who asked to be called Mayibuye, told SW
Radio Africa they heard a blast emanating from the offices there and went
there to see the vehicle on fire. He and other students nearby were briefly
detained and made to sit on the floor because they had passed through a
police cordon.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa, Zimbabwe National Students Union President,
Obert Masaraure, said the petrol bomb seemed to have awoken authorities to
the reality that students were unhappy. He said after the blast the Vice
Chancellor issued a notice announcing he had ‘out of his grace’ extended the
registration deadline and allowed students to register between the 8th and
14th December.

Meanwhile Daniel Molokele, a founding member of ZINASU, has said the union
has lost its voice and simply become a pawn for the rival factions in civil
society vying to control it. He told our Behind the Headlines series that
when they set up the union it was meant to ‘ensure that the students had
their own national platform that would allow them, as equal partners, to
engage government, to engage the rest of civil society and so on.’

Molokele said ZINASU was meant to be an apolitical structure, but some of
the alliances it built up over the years have compromised it. He accused the
National Constitutional Assembly and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition of
weakening the union, by trying to influence some of its decisions. Only last
year ZINASU split into two factions, over a variety of reasons, including
whether to support the government backed constitution-making process or not.

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Grace Mugabe's lawsuit plot to blackmail Trevor Ncube - Sources

16 December, 2010 11:32:00    By staff Reporter

HARARE – President Mugabe is using his wife to launched a defamation lawsuit
against a private Sunday newspaper as plot to blackmail South African based
Zimbabwean publisher Trevor Ncube whose South African newspaper won the
right to publish highly incriminating 2002 election report marred by
violence and widespread vote rigging, The Zimbabwe Mail can reveal.

Robert Mugabe's wife is suing a newspaper for $15 million for publishing a
Wikileaks cable saying she benefited from illicit diamond trade.

Last week, The Standard newspaper quoting a cable sent by US ambassador
James McGee to Washington in 2008, reported that Grace Mugabe gained
millions of dollars from illegal diamonds mining, in the Marange district of
eastern Zimbabwe.

The standard is owned by Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean publisher based in South
Africa, who also owns South African newspaper The Mail & Guardian.

On Tuesday Ncube's publication The Mail & Guardian won its bid to obtain a
confidential report on the 2002 Zimbabwe presidential election at the South
African Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.

President Jacob Zuma's office had appealed against the June 2010 judgement
in the North Gauteng High Court which ordered the government to release the
report to the M&G.

Last night, a high ranking source in the Zimbabwe government Intelligence
services revealed to our reporter in Harare that there is growing fear in
Zanu PF ranks and Security agencies that the incriminating report could be
laid in the public and it could be used by the International Criminal Court
of justice to prosecute Zanu PF leaders, particularly those involved in the
farm invasions.

Apart from violence and vote-rigging, the report could also re-ignite
legitmacy issues on Robert Mugabe ahead of 2011 elections.

Meanwhile, our source said, on Monday there were a flurry of meetings and
briefings by high ranking Zanu PF officials led by Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa ahead of Tuesday's ruling by the South African Supreme Court of
Appeal, and a number of options were discussed, and an agreed position was
to launch a direct counter-challenge on Trevor Ncube's business interests in

The attorney general Johannes Tomana, and the Chief Prosecutor Chris
Mutangadura, Grace Mugabe's uncle Maxwell Ranga who is masquerading acting
permanent secretary in the Justice Ministry and doubling up as President
Mugabe's lawyer, even though it is well known that he has never been to a
law school, and together with a number of top Zanu PF linked High Court
Judges, met on Tuesday to draft a $15 million defamation case against The
Standard on behalf of the First Lady.

Lawyers for Zimbabwe’s First Family, the Mugabes, have, in recent weeks,
been busy repairing the damaged image of their clients shortly after
revelations from WikiLeaks, the controversial whistle-blower website, was
published by a local newspaper.

The Zimbabwe Mail can reveal that Grace Mugabe has stuffed her relatives in
key positions of every Ministry.

Meanwhile, our source also revealed to our reporter that President Mugabe
personally prepared his defence against Tsvangirai's High Court challenge
and asked Grace's uncle Mawxell Ranga to represent him amid reports that he
no longer trusts his Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

President Mugabe who is an accomplished constitutional lawyer himself stated
in the filed affidavit that in terms of Rule 18 of the High Court Rules,
RGN1047/1971, it was not possible to sue a sitting President.

The rule reads: “No summons or other civil process of the court may be sued
out against the President or against any of the judges of the High Court
without the leave of the court granted on court application being made for
that purpose.”

Mugabe said it was clear from the said Rule that leave to institute
proceedings against the President was required before an application could
be instituted against him.

But Tsvangirai maintains that as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe as defined in
the Global Political Agreement signed by the three principals, Mugabe should
have consulted him before re-appointing the governors.

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Mugabe's newspaper urges Zimbabwe vote


– Fri Dec 17, 7:03 am ET

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) – President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party gathered
for its annual conference on Friday with an official newspaper demanding new
elections as Zimbabwe's power-sharing government had "failed".

"The marriage of convenience between ZANU-PF and the MDC (Movement for
Democratic Change) formations has failed to work," said The People's Voice.

"The conference must therefore prepare ZANU-PF for next year's elections so
that the MDC is thrown into the dustbin of history were it belongs."

Zimbabwe is in the throes of a vicious battle between Mugabe and his Prime
Minister and arch-foe Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC, who formed a
power-sharing administration six months after a chaotic presidential vote in

Around 3,000 ZANU-PF delegates were assembling in the eastern city of Mutare
where it is expected they will rubber stamp Mugabe's push for polls in the
first half of 2011.

"Every delegate is ready for the battle of elections next year," Mike
Madiro, a ZANU-PF provincial chairman, told AFP.

Mugabe, who at 86 is Africa's oldest leader, will address delegates and
officially open the conference later in the afternoon.

In March 2008, Tsvangirai won the presidential election defeating Mugabe,
but he fell short of the required majority resulting in a run-off ballot
which the MDC leader refused to take part in, allowing Mugabe to triumph

On Thursday, Tsvangirai said only a presidential vote would address the
issue of "illegitimacy" following the disputed run-off poll, but he refused
to specify any date when elections should take place.

The MDC has previously said that credible polls are not possible until 2012
at the earliest.

Foreign diplomats in Harare have recently warned that fresh elections could
plunge the country back into bloodshed and chaos.

Tsvangirai agreed to join Mugabe in a unity government less than two years
ago, partly to end deadly violence that his party says killed more than 300
of its supporters around the time of the inconclusive presidential

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Army buys Presidential helicopter for Mnangagwa

By Jabulani Matabo

Published: December 17, 2010

Harare – Mugabe’s heir apparent, Defence Minister, Emerson Mnangagwa is now
travelling in a new multi-million dollar Russian made presidential
helicopter, as the chairman of the notorious Joint Operations Command (JOC)
prepares to takeover leadership from the ageing leader.

Sources at Defence House in Harare said Mugabe and JOC, which comprise top
generals and other security chiefs, directed that Mnangagwa be given
presidential treatment to go along with his status as the ‘President in
A senior defence official said a Russian made 20-seater MIA presidential
helicopter which was initially meant for Mugabe, was now being used by
Mnangagwa who is often seen flying to his base and stronghold in the
Midlands province.mnangagwaJPG1
He said the Russian chopper was bought by the Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ)
early this year with the view to replace the current French made Cougar
Presidential helicopter which was facing problems of spare parts and service
maintenance due to western imposed sanctions against Mugabe and his close
allies who stand accused of gross violations of human rights including
murder, rape and torture of opposition supporters and officials.
“Mnangagwa is now using the new Russian presidential chopper after Mugabe
refused to use it because of security concerns regarding Russian made
planes. The AFZ was then forced to bust sanctions by using a third country
from West Africa in order to acquire critical spare parts for the old
Presidential helicopter which is now up and running after being grounded for
several months,” said the defence official.
The current French made Presidential helicopter was bought in the late1990’s
under controversial circumstances as it was considered too expensive and
luxurious for a small economy like Zimbabwe’s.
Another official said Mnangagwa who is the Zanu PF Secretary for legal
affairs, was also now being given treatment accorded to Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai as he is often seen travelling in a motorcade of three
vehicles swamped with intelligence and other security agents.

PF and the military want to impose next year.Zanu faction, was leading the
campaign to have Mugabe re-elected through ‘hook or crook’ at polls which
Mujuru PF, which is bitterly opposed to the Solomon Zanu faction within
MnangagwaHe said the

“Once Mugabe is re-elected, he will have the liberty to anoint Mnangagwa his
successor as a reward for keeping him in power after Zanu PF lost the 2008
presidential and parliamentary elections to Tsvangirai’s MDC,” said the

The Zanu PF annual people’s conference which begins in Mutare this week, is
set to endorse Mugabe as the party’s Presidential candidate for elections
slated for next year before critical electoral and other democratic reforms
being demanded by the other parties of the Government of National Unity are

The elections are expected to be as violent as the June 2008 Presidential
run-off poll where Mugabe was the only candidate after his main rival and
winner of the first round, Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew due to widespread
violence and intimidation by the military and Zanu PF militias who were
accused of murdering, torturing and assaulting thousands of opposition

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Chinese and Zimbabwean Prisoners Laboring in mines in Diamond Rich Zimbabwe

December 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

US Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Told

Zimbabwe’s mining ministry is essentially an offshoot of the country’s
military, a Policy Analyst from the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity
at the Cato Institute has told the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health in a session called ‘Zimbabwe: From
Crisis to Renewal’.

According to Marian L. Tupy, over the last two years, the mining ministry
has been awarding mining concessions for exploration of Zimbabwe’s natural
resources, including platinum, diamonds, gold, chrome and nickel, to a
number of South African, Chinese and Russian state-owned or
government-linked corporations.
“Parts of the proceeds from those mining operations are channeled to the
Zimbabwean military and to the ZANU-PF,” explains Tupy.

Reports indicate that laborers in the Zimbabwean mines include Chinese and
Zimbabwean prisoners, continued Tupy.

According to Tupy, the sharing of the proceeds from the exploitation of
Zimbabwe’s natural resources with the military and the top echelons of
the police, while ignoring the rest of the population, can have only one
goal: Mugabe and the ZANU-PF are buying the loyalty of the armed forces and
police in order to crack down on the opposition in the future.

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Zimbabwe court acquits LGBT activist

© Amnesty International

17 December 2010

Amnesty International has welcomed a Zimbabwe court's decision to acquit a
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activist charged with
possession of pornographic materials.

Ellen Chademana, an administrative assistant at the prominent NGO Gays and
Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), was acquitted by a magistrate's court in Harare
on Thursday.

The charges followed an armed police raid on the GALZ offices in Milton Park
Harare in May. Ellen Chademana was arrested and detained for six days in
Harare Central Prison with a colleague, Ignatius Mhambi. Both were released
on bail while the police investigation continued. Ignatius Mhambi was
acquitted of his charges in July.

"Ellen Chademana and other staff members of GALZ have faced repeated
harassment for carrying out legitimate work to protect the rights of
Zimbabwe's LGBT community," said Michelle Kagari of Amnesty International

"Though delighted with her acquittal we continue to urge the unity
government and police to end the persistent harassment of human rights
defenders in Zimbabwe."

Ellen Chademana told Amnesty International that she was happy with the
judgement but that she was now worried about her security.

On Wednesday evening before the court judgement, police visited the GALZ
offices and demanded entry by threatening the security personnel with

"This was obviously an act of intimidation by the police and an abuse of
their authority," said Michelle Kagari.

“The police must acknowledge the role of all LGBT rights defenders by
putting an end to their harassment and ensuring their protection and

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Mutambara finally rejected by own party

By Jack Jiri

Published: December 17, 2010

Harare - MDC-M leader Arthur Mutambara has been dumped by Harare Province in
the next year’s congress top seven elections because of ‘hero worshipping’
ZANU-PF President Robert Mugabe.

The party’s Harare Province on Thursday night convened a meeting to nominate
candidates to fill the top seven leadership positions of the party at the
congress scheduled for 8-9 January 2011.

At the meeting Harare province nominated party secretary general Welshman
Ncube as the next President, deputised by Edwin Mushoriwa. Priscillar
Misihairambwi Mushonga was nominated Secretary General Candidate, while
Goodrich Chimbaira will be the National Chairman. Moses Mzila Ndlovu will
deputise Misihairambwi, Paul Themba Nyati is going to be the Party Treasurer
General candidate deputised by Theresa MarimaZhira-Muchovo.

mutambara_officialddesertedSpeaking to ZimEye after the meeting the Party’s
secretary for information and publicity Kurauone Chihwayi, said there has
been complaints within the party about Mutambara’s hero worshiping President

“What I can say is that at the moment we are wearing three jackets one being
MDC led by Tsvangirai, the other one ZANU-PF and our MDC, that’s what people
view us as. We are saying its high time we remove the other two jackets and
stand as MDC, the reason for the rejection of Mutambara by the people, “said

Mutambara drew wide controversy from many Zimbabweans who accused him of
speaking like a CIO operative.

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South Africa ups border security amid Christmas travel

South Africa says it is ramping up border security 'to ensure the safe and
smooth movement of travelers.' Rights activists worry the government is
targeting Zimbabwean migrants traveling home for Christmas.

By Savious Kwinika, Correspondent / December 17, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa

South Africa has deployed hundreds of soldiers, police, and intelligence
personnel to tighten security at the northern border with Zimbabwe, a senior
official announced on Friday.

The Beitbridge-Musina border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa is
one of the busiest international roadways in Africa. Many travelers to and
from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, and
Mozambique pass through.

Home Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa today told the Monitor that increased
security was aimed at ensuring security and speedy travel at Christmastime.
"As a department, we are confident that all the required measures are in
place to ensure the safe and smooth movement of travelers into and out of
the country," he says.

But some Zimbabweans and human rights activists see the deployment of
police, soldiers, and intelligence officers as an attempt to stop the
migration of Zimbabweans into South Africa.

It is estimated that more than 3 million Zimbabweans are living in South
Africa, some of them illegally, and the latest deployment of security
agencies comes as a Dec. 31 deadline for Zimbabweans to renew their asylum
status in South Africa approaches. Christmas is a peak season for many
foreigners living in South Africa to visit family in their home countries.

Mr. Mamoepa says the Department of Home Affairs has ensured optimal security
for South Africans by working closely with other government departments and
agencies such as the South Africa Police Service (SAPS), South Africa
National Defence Force (SANDF), Intelligence and the Border Control
Coordinating Committee (BCOCC), and the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS).

Mamoepa says top priority has been put on the Zimbabwe/South Africa
border-post at Musina-Beitbridge, where there is always a high volume of

He says borders where Home Affairs would provide tight security include the
Lebombo border post between South Africa and Mozambique, Ficksburg border
post between Lesotho and South Africa, the Oshoek border post between South
Africa and Swaziland, and the Kopfontein border post between Botswana and
South Africa

"As a consequence of 24-hour monitoring through its operations center, the
department will be in a position to rotate this capacity at short notice to
ports of entry with high volumes," says Mamoepa. Home Affairs has also added
198 officials at key land ports of entry.

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Mugabe election call spoils the party

by Edward Jones     Friday 17 December 2010

HARARE – The arrival of dusk illuminates the park in central Harare, glowing
with lights and decorations that mark the arrival of Christmas, radiating
the mood in this southern African country that had dimmed in the last decade
as its citizens grappled with an economic and political crisis.

For many Zimbabweans though, the festive mood is quickly soured by prospects
of a return to elections, most likely mid next year, once again pitting
longtime rivals President Robert Mugabe and his rival Prime Minister Morgan

Zimbabweans have seen their lives slowly return to normal since last year in
February when Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed an uneasy coalition after a
decade marked by hyper-inflation, shortages of food, fuel and cash and
political violence that uprooted thousands of families.

Many Zimbabweans are enjoying the fruits of the unity government and more so
in the capital Harare where the feel of Christmas is unmistakable, with
shops, which only a year ago were half empty, now fully stocked with goods.

“This will be a better Christmas somehow, I can feel it,” said Allen
Makumbe, a father of two while buying some new clothes for his two daughters
at a local clothing retail store.

“We are trying to manage with the little that we have but I know it will be
a Christmas unlike any other we have had in recent times,” he told

Wine and Cheese

Plastic fir trees that decorate shops, Santa Claus at street corners in the
central business district and banners advertising sales discounts all add to
the flair of Christmas.

Shops have had to extend trading hours to cope with shoppers after major
clothing retailers resumed selling goods on credit, giving much relief for a
majority of workers who only earn an average $250 a month.

One major retailer has even invited account holders for wine and cheese as
part of a Christmas promotion to encourage hesitant customers to buy clothes
on credit.

In recent years Christmas had passed by with little to cheer about, dampened
by shortages of cash, which forced many people to endure long queues for
worthless bank notes.

“We are going to travel to the countryside this year for Christmas. It has
been a long time since we spent the holidays there,” said Abigail Kumwenda,
43, and mother of four, while buying groceries at a Chinese shop in downtown

Here, queues form as shoppers seek bargains from popular Chinese and
Nigerian retailers flogging anything from food, clothes and children’s toys
on the cheap.

Downtown Harare is the hub of low-income earners and soiled U.S. dollar
notes are in vogue.

“This year (has been a) very busy for us. You can see the queue outside,”
said Chen Liu, who runs a clothing shop, in downtown Harare, where an odd
white couple could be seen purchasing a pair of sandals.

War Drums

While Zimbabweans stock up and prepare for Christmas, political clouds are
gathering on the horizon, with Mugabe and his ZANU-PF beating election war

The veteran leader, who at one time precariously hung onto power after being
defeated by Tsvangirai in general elections in 2008, but has increasingly
regained his confidence, wants elections held by next June to end the
fragile unity government.

Zimbabwe’s elections in the last ten years have been anything but peaceful,
always ending in dispute, with accusations of rigging and violence directed
against the 86-year-old Mugabe and his party, inviting Western sanctions.

The last run-off election was marked by violence perpetrated by Mugabe’s
shock troops, war veterans and youth militia and members of the military,
which shocked even the most neutral African leaders and forced the Southern
African Development Community to intervene.

No wonder Kumwenda is very afraid. “Elections only bring trouble in this
country. If only they could postpone them for a while,” said Kumwenda, a
former teacher in rural Murewa district, one of the areas hardest hit by
political violence in the June 2008 presidential run-off vote.

Many Zimbabweans, including business leaders, are united on the need to
delay elections until 2013 fearing the country would slide back to the days
when black market flourished in step with a sinking economy, which many
critics largely blame on mismanagement by Mugabe.

But it is one Christmas present ZANU PF is set to deny Zimbabweans with the
party’s annual conference that opens in the eastern Mutare city today
expected to endorse Mugabe’s call for fresh elections next year.

“I am really looking forward to Christmas this year but I feel like someone
sleeping with one eye open when I think that we may go to elections again
next year,” said 39-year-old Maxwell Katiyo, who runs a mobile phone repair
shop in Harare. -- ZimOnline

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Bill Watch 52/2010 - 16th December [Finance Act Debacle]

BILL WATCH 52/2010

[16th December 2010]

The Finance (No. 2) Bill : How Not to Pass Budget Legislation

The passage of the Finance Bill violated constitutional procedures  Paragraph 6 of Schedule 4 to the Constitution, dealing with money Bills, restricts the right of the House of Assembly to make changes to a money Bill that it has passed and then received back from the Senate with recommended amendments – all it can do is endorse or reject the Senate recommendations.  But the House contravened this provision on 14th December when it made substantial changes to the Finance (No. 2) Bill  that had not been recommended by the Senate.  In doing so the House’s Standing Order 153 was also contravened.  This should not have been permitted by the Speaker – it is his job to see that both the provisions in the Constitution on the passage of Bills, and the House’s standing orders, are adhered to. 

What are money Bills?  After a Budget has been presented to the House of Assembly, two “money Bills” have to be passed by Parliament:

·      an Appropriation Bill, which gives legal force to the Estimates of Expenditure

·      a Finance Bill, which makes legal provision for changes in collection of revenue such as taxes, custom duties, etc. for the following year

Bad precedent  The habit of fast-tracking Budget legislation seems to have become established.  Fast-tracking any important Bill is wrong, because it leaves Parliamentarians with insufficient time to think through the Bill’s implications, consult with the electorate and subject the Bill to proper scrutiny and debate.  This year it caused problems with the money Bills.  MP’s had to be more or less strong-armed by respective party heavyweights into passing the Appropriation Bill.  And the Finance Bill came off the rails.

Finance Bill Débâcle

Initial passage through both Houses relatively smooth: 

Through the House of Assembly  The Finance (No 2) Bill, was tabled on 25th November after Minister Biti’s Budget Statement in the House of Assembly.  On 8th December it was fast-tracked and passed with the support of ZANU-PF members; there was no debate and no amendments during its passage.  The Bill was then transmitted to the Senate. 

Through the Senate  On 10th December the Senate passed the Bill but recommended three amendments, all to do with the membership of certain statutory boards.  According to paragraph 6 of Schedule 4 to the Constitution, the Senate has no power to amend a money Bill but it can recommend amendments. If it does so, the Bill is returned to the House of Assembly, which considers the recommendations and can either reject or accept them.  The Senate then adjourned until 8 February next year. 

There was no discussion of clause 21 in either House  Clause 21, amending the Exchange Control Act, was approved without comment by both Houses.  

Ensuing storm of state media accusations  According to state media reports on 12th December, ZANU-PF members suddenly repented their earlier support and the Minister of Finance was accused of using a money bill to clandestinely try to usurp Presidential powers.  Their objections focused on clause 21 of the Bill, which would have amended the Exchange Control Act so as to transfer regulation-making powers from the President to the Minister of Finance.  [Comment: The clause was hardly “clandestine” – it was in the Bill tabled by the Minister on 25th November and its effect was clearly stated in the explanatory memorandum accompanying the Bill]

The Bill was then wrongfully altered by the House of Assembly  When the Bill was returned to the House of Assembly on 14th December for consideration of the Senate’s recommendations, the House accepted the three amendments recommended by the Senate.  But it went a step too far and also, on the motion of the Minister of Finance, altered the Bill as originally passed by the House of Assembly by deleting two clauses which both the House and the Senate had approved without qualification – clause 21, the Exchange Control Act provision castigated in the Sunday media reports, and also clause 24, which would have required parastatals to pay their surplus revenues into the State’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.  No explanation was offered to the House for the removal of these two clauses, and there was no debate.  The House simply rubber-stamped the changes [presumably bowing to pressure raised by one party and the state media].

The House had no power to remove clauses 21 and 24 from the Bill.  All it should have done was to consider the Senate’s recommended amendments and reject or endorse them.  The House, in other words, does not have a free hand to tinker with a money Bill that has been returned from the Senate.  In the case of the Finance (No. 2) Bill, therefore, the House could not legally delete clauses 21 and 24 because the Senate had not made any recommendations regarding those clauses.

The Senate has been recalled to consider the deletion of clause 21 and 24 from the Finance Bill at a special sitting this afternoon.  But, because the deletions by the House were unconstitutional, the Bill will not be properly passed by Parliament whatever the Senate agrees to.

If signed and gazetted as an Act it will be open to court challenges  A Bill that has not been properly passed is not a law and its provisions have no legal effect.  So if the Finance Bill in its present form is signed by the President and gazetted as an Act, that Act will not be a valid law and its provisions for such matters as collecting taxes could be struck down by the courts.  The Minister of Finance, of all people, should be aware of this, because the Supreme Court made the point in the case of Biti v Minister of Justice 2002 (1) ZLR 177, when Mr Biti got the General Laws Amendment Act of 2002, which had been passed unprocedurally, invalidated.

A Succession of Mis-steps

The passage of the Finance Bill has raised a great deal of unnecessary acrimony – some of the articles in the state media were vituperative – and it has required the Senate to be recalled, entailing needless expense and trouble.  What went wrong?  

1.  The offending clauses should not have been included in the Finance Bill  Most government legislation is vetted by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and the Cabinet before it is presented in Parliament.  Money Bills are an exception.  They are intended to give effect to the Budget and are presented to the House of Assembly without having been approved by the Cabinet or any Cabinet committee.  There is however a necessary corollary to this: money Bills should be restricted to implementing the budgetThey should not go further than that.  They should not, for example, deal with the composition and procedures of the Board of ZIMRA, the size of exclusive prospecting reservations under the Mines and Minerals Act, the qualifications for members of the State Procurement Board or other parastatal bodies, nor should they transfer responsibility for the making of regulations under the Exchange Control Act — all of which the current Bill Finance (No. 2) Bill did.

If the Minister of Finance is allowed to present such far-ranging provisions in a Finance Bill that has not gone through Cabinet, then Cabinet solidarity, one of the lynch-pins of Cabinet government, is threatened.  It should be noted that for many years past, Ministers of Finance have included far-reaching provisions in their Finance Bills which had little or nothing to do with the budgets they presented to Parliament.  ZANU-PF members of Parliament did not object then, presumably because the Ministers belonged to their own party.  Minister Biti is merely continuing a well-established, albeit undesirable, practice.

2.  The objection raised to clause 21 of the Bill was misdirected  According to the press reports, ZANU-PF objected to clause 21 of the Finance Bill on the ground that it would transfer to the Minister of Finance powers that should properly vest in the President.  This misses the most important point:  the regulation-making powers conferred by the Exchange Control Act, which the Bill would have transferred to the Minister, are far too broad to be given to any one member of the Executive, whether President or Minister.  Under the Exchange Control Act, in its present form, these regulations can be made for all or any of the following matters: gold, currency and securities; imports and exports; transfers of property of all kinds; payments; the compulsory acquisition of property, other than land; the search and entry of premises, thus, potentially ccontrolling virtually all commercial activity in Zimbabwe.  In a democratic State, such powers should be exercised, if at all, only by detailed Acts of Parliament and should never be delegated to a member of the Executive.  The amendment sought to be made by clause 21 of the Bill would not have affected this: indeed it would have made it worse because when the President makes regulations under section 2 of the Exchange Control Act he must, at least in theory, get the Cabinet to agree to them;  the Minister of Finance would not have been subject to this restriction.

Whatever the Minister’s motives for the amendment — and they were probably entirely honourable — the amendment should have been rejected on the ground that it was inimical to democracy.  What is needed is a complete replacement of the Exchange Control Act with a new statute setting out precisely and transparently the rules for transactions which affect Zimbabwe’s balance of payments.

3.  Why did it take so long to spot the offending clauses 21 and 24?  Both clauses were in the Bill tabled along with the Budget Statement on 25th November and made available to all Parliamentarians.  Both clauses should have been dealt with when first before either of the Houses, thereby avoiding both present and potential future complications. 

Some Lessons to be Drawn:

·      Ministers of Finance should ensure that their budget legislation deals only with budgetary matters — primarily the rates and incidence of taxation and the appropriation of funds between the Ministries and Departments of the State — and not with matters that have only an indirect effect on taxation and appropriation.  If they want to make other amendments to their legislation, they should follow normal Cabinet procedures like any other Minister.

·      Members of Parliament should study Bills before they vote for or against them.

·      For taxes to be valid, the legislation by which they are enacted must be properly passed by Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

A Question

If Members of Parliament, for whatever reason, ignore or override the provisions of the present Constitution, what hope have we that they be able to produce a sensible, democratic and durable draft to replace it? And what hope have we of establishing a culture of constitutionalism in Zimbabwe?


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