By Cris Chinaka Cris Chinaka – 11 mins ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) – Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Saturday
threatened to act against companies from Western countries that have imposed
sanctions on his party over suspected election fraud and rights abuses.
The 86-year-old leader repeated threats to nationalize foreign firms,
threatening to retaliate against firms such as Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX)
and Anglo American (AAL.L) (AGLJ.J), which operate in Zimbabwe.
"We ask them, think again, think now. Is it sanctions or no sanctions. We
will be very, very strict to the extent of refusing investment from those
countries (that have imposed sanctions)," Mugabe told ZANU-PF supporters at
the end of the party's annual conference.
"If you have companies here, organizations here, we will work against them
He told reporters after the conference that the companies "have to get their
mother countries to remove sanctions or there will be sanctions against
Anglo American and Rio Tinto together with financial services firms Barclays
Plc (BARC.L) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and food group Nestle (NESN.VX)
are some of the large foreign-owned companies with investments in Zimbabwe.
The government early this year published rules forcing foreign-owned
companies worth over $500,000 to sell at least 51 percent of their shares to
"Why should Anglo American continue to take our gold out? Why should Rio
Tinto continue to take our gold out? If the sanctions remain and continue,
those processes will have to stop," Mugabe said.
"Don't expect your banks here will remain what they are. We are not fools."
Anglo American has in the past ten years sold its mines and sugar estates in
Zimbabwe but Anglo Platinum (AMSJ.J) is developing a platinum mine in
central Zimbabwe while Rio Tinto owns a diamond mine in the south-west of
Analysts say the empowerment rules have created uncertainty and deterred the
billions of dollars of foreign investment required to rebuild the economy
after a decade of mismanagement under Mugabe's ZANU-PF administration.
The veteran leader says the country has suffered from sanctions imposed by
the European Union, United States and Australia and says this is punishment
for seizing white-owned farms for landless blacks.
Mugabe said his party was well prepared for elections next year, adding his
opponents would not win as happened in 2008 when ZANU-PF lost its majority
Mugabe also lost the presidential vote to Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai but retained power after a disputed run-off vote,
which forced the two rivals to form a power-sharing government last year.
"What happened in 2008 is gone. The year 2008 is not coming back, never
ever, never ever. ZANU-PF operates as an entity with a mission and we are on
a mission to re-establish ourselves, our dominance," he told his supporters.
When asked by reporters whether he was confident of victory, he said: "Sure,
ZANU-PF, which officially endorsed Mugabe as presidential candidate, also
resolved to expel envoys and relief agencies who meddle in local politics,
tasked the government to draft a treason law for people or organizations
that call for sanctions and to hold elections next year.
December 18 2010 ,
Thulasizwe Simelane: Mutare
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe wants a law that will make it a
treasonous offence to call for sanctions to be imposed on the country. His
Zanu-PF party has consistently accused Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change of marshalling its Western backers to impose economic
restrictions on that country.
Mugabe's proposal forms part of what he calls an anti-sanctions strategy,
tabled at his party's annual conference. The mooted strategy includes the
threat to take over United States (US) and British companies, if those
countries maintain their sanctions on the president and his leadership.
Mugabe was as combatitive as ever, with Western imposed sanctions his pet
hate. Gentle persuasion has failed to bring about a lifting of the embargo,
and now his administration says it is time for drastic action. Mugabe also
sounded a subtle warning to Prime Minister Tsvangirai's MDC, accused of
campaigning for the restrictions.
Mugabe has his sights on US and British companies operating in Zimbabwe,
saying in some cases his government needs to read the riot act to the
British and other companies to say that 50% ownership will be taken away
from them. He warned that at some stage they will have a go at the companies’
100% and eventually take them over.
The Zimbabwe president says his coalition arrangement with Tsvangirai cannot
be allowed to continue. It could be derived from deliberations on the first
day of Zanu’s conference that elections for the coming year are a foregone
conclusion if Mugabe and his party have anything to do with it.
(AP) – 2 hours ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's president said Saturday his party is
ready to regain its political dominance, likening it to a fast-moving train
that would crush those who stood in its way.
Winding up the annual convention of his ZANU-PF party, President Robert
Mugabe said the party was "rejuvenated" after losing its parliamentary
majority in the last elections. He described it as a "fired, fueled,
Mugabe has called for national elections next year to bring an end to the
shaky two-year coalition with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a former
longtime opposition leader.
But in his closing address to 4,500 party loyalists, Mugabe stopped short of
declaring a timetable for future elections. He has been in power in Zimbabwe
for 30 years.
Tsvangirai's party argues the nation is not ready for elections next year,
citing economic woes and long delays in rewriting the nation's outdated
The coalition was formed after violence-marred elections in 2008 that lost
Mugabe his three-decade parliamentary majority. Tsvangirai and his Movement
for Democratic Change party boycotted a presidential runoff poll, citing
torture, intimidation and illegal arrests of his supporters.
Mugabe described the convention in the eastern city of Mutare as two
historical days that would chart the party's work in future months.
"We are back on the revolutionary rails," Mugabe said.
He said delegates gave momentum to black empowerment programs. Tsvangirai's
party insists that business takeovers are scaring away much needed investors
in the embattled economy.
Mugabe said foreign banks and financial institutions will be scrutinized
under the empowerment drive.
"Don't expect your banks here to remain the same as they have been," he
Foreign mining interests were removing gold and minerals from the country
and making money from them. "This must now stop," Mugabe said.
Foreign companies whose nations imposed targeted sanctions involving travel
and banking bans on Mugabe and his party leaders also faced measures against
"We will be very, very strict to the extent of even refusing investment from
their countries", said Mugabe.
On Friday, Mugabe warned that unless sanctions are removed his party will
take 100 percent of Western firms. Under the current empowerment laws, black
Zimbabweans can acquire a 51 percent stake in main businesses.
Britain, the former colonial power, the U.S. and the European Union enforced
restrictions on Mugabe and his party elite to protest democratic and human
rights violations in a decade of political and economic turmoil.
FANUEL JONGWE | MUTARE, ZIMBABWE - Dec 18 2010 16:45
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's party was on Saturday set to back his
push for elections in the country early next year as supporters pledged to
"bury forever" his "Western" backed political rivals.
Delegates from Mugabe's Zanu-PF movement were meeting behind closed doors on
the last day of its annual conference in the eastern city of Mutare where
the veteran president is due to address delegates at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT).
"Zanu-PF is on an unstoppable roll," said Simon Moyo, the party's national
chairperson, ahead of the speech where Mugabe is expected to be re-endorsed
as its candidate for national polls in 2011.
"I would like to urge this conference to build on that momentum as we go
towards the next general election scheduled for next year."
Moyo also hit out at the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who for almost two years has shared power with
long-time foe Mugabe after an inconclusive presidential election in 2008.
"We want to bury, once and for all, this Western project called the MDC,"
Moyo said. "We must bury forever this combined British and American
non-governmental organisation. For that is what the MDC is," he added.
The coalition has been on the brink of collapse for months with Mugabe and
Tsvangirai at loggerheads over how to handle the country's massive debt and
food shortages, and internal haggling over who gets key jobs.
Power sharing must end
On Friday, Mugabe told more than 4 000 delegates attending the conference
that the power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and the MDC was not working
and it must end.
He also threatened to nationalise British and American companies operating
in Zimbabwe if the international community failed to drop restrictions
placed on him and his inner circle.
The Zimbabwe leader wants presidential and Parliamentary polls on the same
day next year, but the MDC has said key reforms must be put in place first
to ensure a free and fair vote.
Rights groups say hundreds of political activists were killed during the
last presidential election in 2008. The MDC has said fair elections are not
possible until 2012 at the earliest and possibly as late as 2013.
However, Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of pro-democracy group the National
Constitutional Assembly of Zimbabwe, told Agence France-Presse that the
MDC's concerns would be ignored. "Zanu-PF will push for those elections no
matter what," he said.
In March 2008, Tsvangirai won the presidential election defeating Mugabe,
but he fell short of the required majority resulting in a run-off ballot
months later which the MDC leader refused to take part in and Mugabe won
Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed the compromise administration in February the
following year. -- Sapa-AFP
HARARE, December 17 , 2010-The leader of the smaller formation of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Arthur Mutambara says he will not be
standing for re-election at the party,s next congress set for January next
year to allow his secretary-general Welshman Ncube to take over the
Mutambara’s decision comes in the wake of a decision by the party,s Bulawayo
province which chose to field Ncube for the post of president at the
“I am not running for re-election at the next congress. I have done my part
and I would like to give an opportunity to others to assume leadership
positions. My time was productive and it’s time for another leader,”
Mutambara told a local, privately-owned daily newspaper.
Mutambara admitted that the congress had caused divisions in his party but
hoped his withdrawal from the race would unite the party.Ncube is believed
to have masterminded the split of the MDC in 2005 following bitter behind
the scenes war with Morgan Tsvangirai.
“By not participating, I hope there will be unity in the party. I’m not
standing for any nomination in the provincial councils or leadership
positions but I will remain a member of the party. I don’t have to be a
leader to be politically involved,” Mutambara said.
MDC-M Harare province has joined others which have openly decided to back
Ncube for the leadership of the party which only enjoys popular support in
Matabeleland South province..Ncube angered his supporters in Matabeleland
when he invited Mutambara to lead the party soon after the split.
He however, did not contest the 2008 presidential elections after the party
decided to back Mavambo Kusile leader, Simba Makoni who came third behind
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe.
After the formation of the coalition government in 2008, Mutambara was
appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
NYAZVIDZI, December 18, 2010 – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T)
activists from Nyazvidzi area in Gutu North constituency are fleeing to
neigbouring urban settlements after armed soldiers, police, Zanu (PF) youths
and war veterans started victimizing them as campaign for next year,s
anticipated elections begin.
Activists who spoke to Radio Vop on Friday said they were afraid to stay in
their villages after fellow villagers were severely beaten during previous
elections.Legislator for the area Admore Maramwidze Hamandishe confirmed the
development saying at least two people are dying in his constituency every
month due to injuries sustained from politically motivated assaults.
“There are no more MDC-T youths here.All of them are fleeing after Zanu PF
youth, war veterans and armed soldiers who patrol the area openly announced
that they are prepared to ‘slaughter our supporters like goats before
pouring acid on them’ as soon as we start campaigning.
“The threats are not taken lightly since we bury our comrades every two
weeks,” said Hamandishe.
The latest victims of violence in Gutu North are Crispen Gurajena and his
wife Raina who died in Gutu Mission Hospital last week. The two left young
children who are afraid to stay at home alone.
“Since the death of our parents, we are afraid to stay at home alone. We
meet the people who killed our parents everyday and we are not sure of what
they might do to us. The same people who killed our parents came here and
took all things including the plough, maize seed and other property, leaving
us with nothing,” said Tafadzwa Gurajena, 16, their son who wept bitterly
during the interview.
The deceased were ordered to eat their faeces on the day they fell victim
for their support for the MDC-T.Ward three chairman Phillip Mahachi said his
wife Mavis, 38 , is admitted in a hospital in Harare as she failed to
recover since the day she was beaten.
“All our children are no longer staying with us. They fled and they are now
living in safer areas. My wife is critically ill and I am afraid that she
might be the next victim of this violence ,” said Mahachi.War veterans led
by retired colonel identified as Masanganise are moving around Gutu
threatening to crush the MDC-T supporters like flies if they did not support
Hamandishe said the government must make sure that the issue of national
healing was addressed as a matter of urgent.
18 December, 2010 10:22:00 Staff Reporter
Robert Mugabe's Secret Service head retired Major General Happyton Bonyongwe
is demanding US$10 million from Africa Consolidated Resources boss Mr Andrew
Cranswick as damages for defamation over the information he reportedly
supplied to WikiLeaks, a whistle-blowing website.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono is also claiming US$12,5
million from The Standard News-paper over alleged defamation from the same
The two claims were made barely two days after the First Lady Amai Grace
Mugabe filed a US$15 million lawsuit against the same paper over the
information sourced from WikiLeaks.
The three say reports published on the whistle-blowing website listing them
among high-ranking and well-connected people benefiting from illegal diamond
sales were false and damaging to their reputations.
Through his lawyer, Mr Joseph Mafusire of Scanlen and Holderness, Rtd Maj
Gen Bonyongwe yesterday wrote to Mr Cranswick demanding the money while Dr
Gono filed a US$12,5 million suit against the paper at the High Court.
Dr Gono’s lawyer Mr George Chikumbirike of Chikumbi-rike and Associates
argues that the story published by The Standard on December 12 headlined
“First Lady, Gono in diamond scandal — WikiLeaks” was false and highly
defamatory of the Governor.
According to a letter from Rtd Maj Gen Bonyogwe’s lawyers, if the ACR boss
failed to pay the money in five days, summons will be issued out at the High
The report the CIO boss complained about was headlined “REGIME ELITES
LOOTING DEADLY DIAMOND FIELD” and it was dispatched on December 8, 2009.
The letter of demand reads: “It is reported in that dispatch that according
to you (Mr Cranswick) certain high-ranking Zimbabwean Government officials
and well-connected elite were generating millions of dollars in personal
income by engaging in illicit trade in diamonds from Chiadzwa mine in
“Among other officials or personnel or officers in the Zimbabwean Government
named by you was our client.”
The letter quoted a portion of the WikiLeaks report that reads: “Cranswick
said that RBZ Governor Gideon Gono, Grace Mugabe, wife of President Robert
Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru, (the then) Mines and Mining Development
Minister Amos Midzi, General Constantine Chiwenga and wife Jocelyn, CIO
director Happyton Bonyongwe, Manicaland Governor Chris Mushohwe and several
white Zimbabweans including Ken Sharpe, Greg Scott and Hendrick O’Neill, are
involved in the Marange diamond trade”.
It is Rtd Maj Gen Bonyongwe’s contention that the report was false and he
was never involved in any illegal trade of diamonds from Chiadzwa.
He feels the report that reached millions worldwide seriously defamed him
and that he should be paid damages.
“Our client was never involved in any trade in diamonds from Chiadzwa or
anywhere else. He has not been involved in any mineral of whatever kind in
Zimbabwe or elsewhere,”
Mr Mafusire said.
Mr Cranswick’s conduct, the lawyer argues, has severely damaged Rtd Maj Gen
Bonyongwe’s fame and reputation.
It has impugned his dignity and character, the lawyer said.
“As a result of your conduct, our client has suffered damages. He intends to
clear his name. That is done by claiming damages for defamation. In the
premises, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, payment of the sum
of $10 million as damages for defamation.
“We regret to advise that unless we receive a tender of payment within five
working days of the date of this letter, we shall issue summons without any
further reference to you,” said Mr Mafusire.
Harare lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange who usually represents ACR and Mr
Cranswick said he had not seen the letter neither had he been instructed to
handle the case.
“I have not received the said letter and if Mr Cranswick was surely served
with that letter, I will simply wait for instructions from him,” said Mr
Written by Irene Moyo
Saturday, 18 December 2010 10:31
HARARE – Chinese poachers have been accused of killing six rhinos at a game
sanctuary near Harare as incidents linking the spreading Chinese footprint
in Africa to both rhino and elephant killings escalated.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said at least six rhinos were poached
at the Nyamaneche Game Sanctuary this month, forcing the owners to move the
three remaining rhinos to a safer location. ZCTF chairman Johnny Rodrigues
suspects that a Chinese firm mining chrome in the area was behind the
"There were nine rhinos at the sanctuary, six have been poached and they
can't find the other three," Rodrigues told The Zimbabwean On Sunday. “We
believe it is the Chinese ...they have some concessions here to build hotels
and for hunting,” he said. The Zimbabwean on Sunday was unable to get
comment on the matter from either the Chinese embassy in Harare of the firm
accused of poaching rhinos.
Zimbabwe’s population of black and white rhinos was put at 3 000 in the
1980s but it has since been revised to about 700.
Decades of rhino conservation are at serious risk of being undermined by
crime syndicates funded by the demand for illegal rhino horn, which is still
used in traditional Chinese medicines. Last year the wildlife trade
monitoring network TRAFFIC found that Zimbabwe lost over 25 percent of its
rhino population between 2006 and 2009 to illegal killing. This troubling
figure includes 89 percent of all black rhinos killed on the continent.
Incidents linking the spreading Chinese footprint in Africa to both rhino
and elephant killings have been escalating in recent years. Last week, a
critically endangered black rhino was killed in the world-famous Serengeti
National Park amid growing concerns that Tanzania’s warm relationship with
China could lead to further problems with its precious pachyderms. In
Southern Africa, there are increased reports of rhino killings in areas
where Chinese newcomers are working and settling.
The rhino killings appear to be concentrated along the Mozambique-South
Africa border, the eastern border of South Africa’s Kruger National Park,
down to KwaZulu-Natal, and into Zimbabwe.
Illegal rhino horn is in highly sought after for use in traditional
medicines in China and Vietnam, despite the fact rhino horn has been
extensively analyzed and contains no medicinal properties.
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) The price of fuel has risen by about 10 percent since
the beginning of December amid reports of rampant colluding among suppliers
that has led to acute shortages of the commodity in some towns, APA learns
The price of petrol has risen from US$1.20 a litre at the beginning of the
month to an average US$1.31 per litre at most fuel stations in the capital
Diesel prices are now pegged at US$1.20 a litre, from about US$1 a litre at
the end of November.
Suppliers have blamed the sharp hike in fuel prices to logistical problems
at Mozambique’s Beira port from where Zimbabwe gets most of its supplies.
They said rising water levels at the Mozambican port are making it difficult
for ships to dock, resulting in delays in fuel delivery.
Residents of Masvingo, about 300km south of the capital Harare, are however
blaming the shortages on collusion by suppliers who want to create a crisis
ahead of the Christmas break in order to justify further price increases.
Long queues have resurfaced in the town which has been without fuel for the
past two days.
Masvingo, December 18, 2010 - Most fuel filling stations in Masvingo had ran
out of both petrol and diesel by Friday amid fears that this is a deliberate
move by fuel suppliers who want price hikes.
Motorists who spoke to Radio VOP said there were very few supplies, forcing
them to resort to the diminishing black market where the commodity is more
"I have searched for fuel the whole town. I have been referred to informal
traders at the black market. Initially, I did not want to go there as the
prices are high and there is the risk of the fuel being mixed with water,
but it looks like I have no option," said Edwin Kamanda.
Only BP garage had fuel but the queue was long.
A worker at the garage said the shortage may be artificial as suppliers
wanted a price hike in line with the global market.
"Our bosses temporarily halted the importation of the precious liquid as
they want to adjust to increased prices. Fuel has reached a record high at
the international market, so we expect the next supplies to have higher
prices, said a petrol attendant.
The rise in fuel will cause a subsequent increase in the prices of almost
all goods and services ahead of the Xmas and New Year holidays, making
travelling expensive at a time when many people want to travel to their
rural areas to see their families.
Written by Irene Moyo
Friday, 17 December 2010 17:43
HARARE – The MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (Pictured) has
upped the stakes in its power-sharing wrangle with President Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu (PF), this time demanding the reconvening of an aborted Southern
African Development Community (SADC) emergency summit to break Harare’s
Speaking after a meeting of the MDC-T national executive and national
council in Harare last Thursday, Tsvangirai said SADC should urgently
reconvene the meeting of its security troika which failed to take place in
Botswana last month. “Pursuant to the aborted extra-ordinary meeting of the
SADC Organ Troika of the 20th of November 2010, council calls on SADC to
immediately reconvene the aborted meeting,” Tsvangirai told reporters in
The former opposition leader, who is one-third of a shaky coalition
government with Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara of a smaller MDC faction, said
the SADC summit should discuss an election roadmap to elections as well as
“toxic issues including the issue of violence, deployment, of security
agents in the countryside and a corrosive media”. The initial meeting was
cancelled after two key members of the SADC security troika – Zambia’s
President Rupiah Banda and President
Armando Guebuza – mysteriously failed to turn up for the summit.
Tsvangirai said the MDC-T council was concerned about the failure by the
coalition government to implement the 24 outstanding issues agreed by the
global political agreement (GPA) principals. “Council...now calls on the
principals of the parties to take measures to implement and execute the
agreed positions as reflected in the negotiators report dated the 3rd of
April 2010 and more importantly, to enforce and uphold the implementation
matrix as agreed by the principals on the 8th of June 2010,” he said.
On elections, the Prime Minister said his party’s position was that
Zimbabweans should only go for elections to choose a new president next year
while parliamentary polls should be held in 2013. “For the avoidance of
doubt, council resolves 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 in the Constitution,” he said.
The MDC-T council also said neither Mugabe nor Zanu (PF) have the right to
unilaterally call for the presidential election, insisting that Article
23.1.b of the GPA and the 8th Schedule of the Constitution stipulated that
the President has to consult his coalition partners. The SADC elections
roadmap should deal with the creation of adequate conditions for a free and
fair election, guarantees against violence and security of people, proper
monitoring and policing of the election – including the question of SADC
presence six months before and six months after the election – and
guarantees with respect to the honouring of the people’s will.
Masvingo, December 16, 2010 -The massive army recruitment exercise being
carried countrywide has been rocked by allegations of corruption and abuse
of young girls and boys intending to join the military.
Some aspiring recruits who responded to press adverts from the Zimbabwe
National Army (ZNA) and went to the recruitment exercise held Wednesday at
army headquarters Four Brigade here told Radio VOP that some officers were
asking for bribes from boys, while soliciting for sex from girls as a
prerequisite to gain entry.
“We passed everything and completed the ten kilometre running distance well
in time. But some officers started asking for $5 bribes during the vetting
“But we had no money; we did not know that there could be a need for money.
The officers were demanding sex from the girls. It is so shocking,” one
He said relatives of war veterans were making it into the army even without
completing the ten-kilometre running distance within the recommended time.
Another girl said she went back home without getting the job after she
refused to have sex with a senior officer who had demanded sex.
“They demanded sex afterwards...but I refused. And I did not make it, but it
is better that way,” said the girl.
But Four Brigade public relations officer, Warrant Officer Class two,
Kingston Chivave, refuted the allegations.
“I am not aware of that. As far as we are concerned, there is transparency
in the manner in which we rope in soldiers. That is why there were so many
officers,” he said.
Chivave undertook to look into the matter.
JOHANNESBURG, December 18, 2010-The Senator for Tsholotsho Believe Gaule has
made a passionate appeal to young men in his constituency to stop smuggling
weapons from South Africa saying their actions could give police and army an
excuse to crackdown on the entire Matabeleland province.
Speaking to Radio Vop from Tsholotsho, the senator said the smuggling of
guns into the district has become a serious cause for concern and should be
stopped.Tsholotsho district has a history of violent crime dating back to
the colonial era.
“ Please stop bringing in weapons from South Africa because you will put the
lives of your parents and other villagers at risk.Zimbabwe is not like South
Africa.If you commit crimes here, you will get arrested and punished, ”
Gaule told Radio Vop.
The senator,s appeal comes in the wake of recent discovery of weapons in
some homesteads near the business centre.The weapons were found during
surprise raids by police and security agents in homesteads belonging to
Zimbabweans working in South Africa, affectionately known in Matabeleland as
Gaule also confirmed the deaths of three youths who were allegedly beaten
to death by suspected agents of the central government.The youths were
buried in their villages two weeks ago.
“ As a leader I don’t condone crime no matter who is committing it.If the
youths in the district commit crimes they must be arrested and tried in our
courts but unfortunately I am told there are some youths who were arrested
and never taken to court for trial, ” said Gaule who is also a senior
provincial leader of the MDC formation led by Arthur Mutambara.
He said the information he got later was that the suspects were
dead.According to villagers who spoke to Radio Vop by phone, the deceased
were abducted from their shack in Diepsloot township north of
Johannesburg.The kidnappers were suspected to be agents of the Zimbabwe
government.The abduction was carried out with the help of another youth from
Tsholotsho who was a friend of the deceased.
Radio Vop also spoke to neighbours in Diepsloot who confirmed the abduction
but the matter was not reported to the South African police.The deceased
lived together in their shack until the day they were abducted.The
abduction, according to friends was carried out just before midnight when
most of the residents in the township had gone to bed.
“ What I know is that the people who abducted the youths were driving two
Mercedes Benz vehicles.No one saw the number plates, said a neighbour in
Diepsloot who only gave his name as Hadebe.
The youths were active members of the South African based Matabeleland
Freedom Party (MFP).
“I can confirm that three of our youth league members were abducted here in
Johannesburg by suspected Zimbabwean agents and we have received information
from home that they are all dead, ” said David Magagula, a senior official
of the party.
The party is advocating for autonomy for Matabeleland but it is meeting
resistance from many people in the region who are in favour devolution of
power than autonomy.Radio Vop was not able to get a comment from the police
in Tsholotsho or Bulawayo about the three youth robbery suspects who were
abducted from Johannesburg, driven back to Zimbabwe and allegedly beaten to
death.A police officer who answered the phone in Tsholotsho refused to talk
referring all enquiries to Bulawayo police spokesman.
Written by Gift Phiri
Saturday, 18 December 2010 10:35
HARARE – Zimbabwean parliamentarians have arm-twisted Finance Minister
Tendai Biti (Pictured) to hike their salaries two-fold, making them the best
paid government workers.
After threatening to sink Biti’s 2011 national budget, the Members of
Parliament managed to squeeze up to US$1 200 in basic monthly pay each from
the cash-strapped Treasury. Under the new pay scales, which become effective
from January 2011, the legislators will take home between US$900 and US$1
200, in addition to getting new single-cab vehicles for their personal use.
The under-siege Biti also agreed to write off the MPs’ debts arising from a
vehicle loan scheme entered into last year.
Make you smile
It is estimated that Treasury would need an additional US$4 million to
purchase new cars for about 270 legislators depending on the make. "I want
to thank honourable members who have contributed and I want to say to
chairpersons of committees, we have discussed with your whips, they will
give you an update on what we have discussed, which I am
quite sure will make you smile," Biti told the House of Assembly last week.
Apparently what will make the legislators smile is the hefty salary increase
and the new vehicles. Last year legislators got new Mazda BT50 vehicles,
which cost government US$6 milllion. Despite the rumblings of discontent,
there was no backbench revolt after Biti sweetened the pay checks for the
The previously contested Estimates of Expenditure for 2011, the Finance Bill
and Appropriation (2011) Bill were passed without further debate, together
with the Revised Estimates for 2010 and the related Appropriation (2010)
Amendment (No. 2) Bill.
Analysts however questioned Biti’s wisdom for departing from his prudent
austerity approach by agreeing to meet the MPs’ salary demands at a time the
economy is not generating that much. Since his appointment last year, the
minister has always insisted that the cash-strapped Zimbabwean government
would operate on the basis of “we eat what we kill” philosophy.
In the 2011 budget statement presented last month, he even told the
parliamentarians that the government wage bill was chewing up as much as 60
percent of the US$1 billion-plus revenue collected annually and that there
was need to continue with the currently system of cash budgeting.
“The unfortunate part of it all is that by agreeing to pay the MPs so much,
the minister has effectively signalled civil servants to come in with
demands for more pay. How will he refuse to also pay market rates for civil
servants when he has already acceded to the demands of his peers in
parliament?” said an economist with a Harare-based financial institution.
Average monthly income in the Zimbabwe government is about US$200, while
most of the population earns less than US$1 a day. An MDC-T MP who spoke on
condition of anonymity said the increase would go a long way in restoring
the "dignity and honour" of legislators which he said had become the
Run for office
Zanu (PF) MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, who tabled the motion to increase MPs’
salaries, said while the figure remains low as compared to other legislative
jurisdictions around Southern African Development Community (SADC), the new
salary scale would "compensate" for the heavy responsibility they shoulder
in the economic, political and social development of the country.
Several legislators rubbished criticism of the increase, saying those
complaining should run for office and join the legislature. Fortunately,
most Zimbabweans are not convinced, and conveyed their outrage over the
increase in a vox pop with The Zimbabwean. Since most of the population
earns less than $1 per day, it is easy to understand the widespread anger
towards this decision, as Zimbabwean MPs will now make, but certainly not
earn, upwards of $16,000 per year.
A middle-aged woman, Mai Chido from Glen Norah said Zimbabweans might be
able to stomach the huge numbers involved if it meant the selfless delivery
of services and an end to corruption.
"If taxpayers are now paying them that much, then they must deliver and end
huori or corruption," she said. Political commentator Ronald Shumba said
what makes the decision even more appalling is the record of Zanu PF MPs,
some of them fingered in the 2008 post-election violence.
Many lamented the legislators' greed, and demanded that they must now
declare their assets, a move vigorously opposed by corrupt parliamentarians.
"Their order of business has not been to produce legislation that would
improve the lives of Zimbabwe's poor, but to quadruple their salaries, well
beyond the base inflation rate," Shumba said.
In defence of the increase, MPs decried the difficulties of travelling to
their constituencies, complaining specifically that the
deteriorating roads were damaging their luxury vehicles. So once again the
question was posed by many, how could MPs complain about having to replace
the tyres of their Mazda BT50 vehicles when thousands of people in their own
constituencies are starving?
"Are they saying their cars are more important than Zimbabweans' lives?"
Ruvimbo Mutero, a civil servant at Mukwati Building asked. Another civil
servant said: "They must fix the roads not buy cars, so that we all
Written by FUNGI KWARAMBA AND JEFFREY MOYO
Friday, 17 December 2010 10:22
2HARARE - Jeffrey Moyo completed a mass communication diploma at the once
revered Harare Polytechnic four years ago. His hope was to get a job and
become a respected journalist. With a shrunken media market his hopes dimmed
and he opted to be a freelance reporter. (Pictured: Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists Secretary General Foster Dongozi - "We would like to have our
own press card.”)
Recently Jeffrey and another freelance journalist, Melody Hamutyinei, were
arrested during the course of their duties.
“There are some crooks and a myriad of imposters capitalizing on the
oppression of independent journalists by some errant politicians and are
therefore intimidating them (reporters) at will, denying them access to
information as a cover-up for their bogus activities,” said Moyo.
On the 8th of December, in the company of a colleague, Melody Hamutyinei, a
fellow journalist, the two crossed over to Hatfield, tracking down a
self-styled bogus doctor and Chief Executive Officer for Community Health
Options, Dr Raymond Chamba, who had allegedly fleeced scores of desperate
job seekers of thousands of dollars in unjustified and therefore suspicious
“We found him comfortably hibernating at number 54 George Road, Hatfield
after he sneaked away from his former Karigamombe Centre offices following
reports that his victims continued to nag his bogus premises, demanding
their dues as they realized that they had been duped,” said Moyo.
“At the entrance, we were greeted by some three ladies who posed as
secretaries, apparently standing like bodyguards as there were no chairs,
not even an office phone to complement Chamba’s professionalism.” The two
journalists were allowed in the doctor’s office after one of the secretaries
dashed into the office to inform the boss about their arrival although they
did not have an appointment.
Initially, the two journalists had tried to call Chamba on his number to
place an appointment, but the voice mail informed us that the number was no
longer in use until one of his victims who declined to be named gave the two
directions to his new venue of scams in Hatfield. “There were three
professional looking guys who greeted us when we gained entry to the office,
but at first impression they were not at all comfortable with our presence.
“On introducing our aim of coming to the place, the guy who identified
himself as Dr Raymond Chamba threatened to hand us over to one of his
Central Intelligence operative friend, whom he claimed was nearby,” said
Moyo. “He said he was not comfortable to speak to us as he did not know us
and immediately jolted for the exit, banged the door shut after him and
apparently locked us inside.
“Two guys remained with us, questioned us, asked us about what we were doing
for the American Embassy, asked us about the whereabouts of The Zimbabwean
Editor, Wilf Mbanga. “They fired a barrage of questions whose answers we
could not give because we were completely petrified with fear. They demanded
our press cards, which unfortunately we did not have on us.
“We could have been wrong by forgetting to carry our press cards, but
detaining us was utterly not within the bounds of their prerogative. For
close to two hours, the guys whose names we could not get grilled us over
and over again.
“Later, I sought permission to make a call and it was surprisingly granted
and I made a call to Dumisani Mleya, Assistant Editor of The Zimbabwe
Independent, whose conversation I still think cooled the flaring tempers in
the office of detention as our interrogators became a bit friendly with us
probably after following my talk with Dumisani, which to them indicated
indeed we were journalists.
“Later on, Dr Chamba stormed the office with three fierce-looking guys, who
identified themselves as police officers although they did not produce their
identity cards. Their arrival aggravated our fears. “We were immediately
whisked away in an unmarked blue Peugeot 306 vehicle, which drove round and
round with us, driven by a very hostile woman who kept asking us why we came
without our press cards. “We were bundles of shivers as we did not know what
lied ahead of us. “The vehicle dumped us at Hatfield Police Station, where
we were further detained for over three hours in the Intelligence unity,
awaiting Chamba to come and launch an official police report.
The police kept calling Chamba on his phone, but he also kept terminating
their calls with the intentions best known to him. Police had to find no
other option except to release us and let us go after strongly warning us
against neglecting our press cards when carrying out our journalistic
duties. But still questions lingered in my head: Did the police know that
some imposters, crooks and scammers were using them to stop newsmen from
probing them (scammers)? Did the police bother to investigate people like
“This rot will perpetuate into catastrophic proportions if police will work
with blinkers and undermine operations of journalists in trying to bring
crooks to book. “I will never forget the incident. It may sound very minor
to the journalism giants around me for it was not handled as news then, but
it was such a nasty experience. “ For a young journalist to be detained and
interrogated for the first time in his or her carrier spells out serious
terror, especially in a country where journalists are deemed enemies of the
state and agents of neo-imperialism by forces that have perpetually sought
to maintain their unjustified tenacity to power,” said Moyo.
In light of the increasing harassment of media practitioners, the Zimbabwe
Union of Journalists said it intended to introduce a press card that would
be issued by the Union. "We would like to have our own press card that
identifies journalists in the country. We want to do that so as to weed out
people who masquerade as journalists, because it is easy for the state to
give its agents the ZMC (Zimbabwe Media Commission) accreditation card,"
said the union's Secretary General Foster Dongozi.
Since the mid 90s colleges that offer journalism have been sprouting up.
Today there are more than six institutions of higher learning that offer
journalism courses despite that the media market is not expanding. An
estimated 100 journalism graduates are released into the media market each
year and fail to get jobs. Although the ZMC gave licenses to five newspapers
midyear, only one paper has been able to start operating and it cannot
absorb all college graduates. Other papers that were issued with licences
are still to start due to the economic challenges.
"I have gone to all the papers in the country and I have not been any lucky.
All the papers want experienced writers. But I have never been in the field
long enough to gain experience. I hope that I would get a job one day.
Meanwhile I write for The Zimbabwean and I am happy that I am gaining
experience. However, my passion is to be a broadcaster," said Moyo.
The broadcasting sector if it was open would have perhaps created
opportunities for scores of journalists. However, the government has been
reluctant to grant licenses to new players despite that it is one of the
requirements of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by President
Robert Mugabe of Zanu (PF) and the two Movement for Democratic (MDC) faction
leaders Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy premier Arthur
After the detention the two journalists headed for the offices of ZMC
seeking to be registered. They were given forms in which they have to give
away their home addresses, phone numbers and ID numbers. The two were denied
accreditation because The Zimbabwean which is based in London, but is
distributed in Zimbabwe, is not registered. This means the two risk being
arrested again if they continue to report for The Zimbabwean.
Written by OTTILIA ANNA MAUNGANIDZE
Thursday, 16 December 2010 12:37
At Pretoria-based Tshwane Home of Hope, the jubilant young faces of the
girls who live there hide the truth of the horrors they have encountered. On
the premises is a trauma centre – aptly dubbed by one of the residents as
“the hope sanctuary” – here the girls meet with a resident social worker and
psychologist to share their stories, stories that will never leave the four
walls of the room.
The Home receives new girls often – most are walk-ins, while the police
bring others in from the street corners on which they would have been
working. The youngest girl is seven and the oldest is 21; they hail from
South Africa, as well as places further afield like Zimbabwe, Burundi, and
Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their reasons for coming to the centre are
as diverse as their backgrounds. However, they all have one thing in
common – they want to be safe. While not all these girls have been
trafficked or once worked in the sex industry, they are all at the Home
because they have run away from violence.
Tendai Joe, director of the centre and also a former street child, works
tirelessly to ensure the girls receive adequate protection, go to school and
live a life they deserve. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery continues
to gnaw at the moral fabric of our society. Globally, according to research
conducted by the United States State Department, more than one million
people are trafficked annually. How many of those are in Southern Africa is
Human trafficking by its very nature is a form of gender-based violence, not
least because the majority of those trafficked are female, but also because
physical and sexual violence are its bedfellows. While there are many forms
of human trafficking, the most common is sex trafficking of women and
children. Though some of the women trafficked willingly participate in sex
work to escape poverty, a 2005 International Organisation for Migration
(IOM) study found that most are led into sex work because they are lied to,
told they will be able to pursue an education, get married or get the job
that will help them out of poverty.
In the sub-region, South Africa is the main destination for trafficking
victims, with women and children coming from neighbouring countries and
conflict zones further afield. Poverty and desperation coupled with a
culture of patriarchy means that women are doubly vulnerable not only to
trafficking, but to the violence that comes with it.
Most disconcerting are the findings of a 2008/9 Wits University Law Clinic
study on access to gender-based violence services in South Africa by migrant
women. It found that two thirds of South African organisations that provide
services to gender-based violence survivors offer their services exclusively
to South African citizens. Therefore the plight of immigrants is compounded
by the institutionalised xenophobia they face. Yet, reports abound of rapes
and other forms of gender-based violence, especially at the country’s
The South African 1 in 9 campaign advocates for women to speak out if they
are raped, this is based on the fact that only 1 out of every 9 South
African women who has been raped reports the crime. When it comes to victims
of trafficking, it is difficult to collect data because of the underground
nature of sex trafficking and the fear on the part of most sex workers that
if they speak out they will be arrested, deported or abused or raped by
Organisations like the Sex Worker Education and Advisory Taskforce (SWEAT),
which advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work, contend that until sex
work is decriminalised it is unlikely that efforts to counter human
trafficking will yield results. The victimisation of sex workers stems
primarily from the fact that their profession is not afforded any
“Moral” arguments against sex work notwithstanding, if human trafficking is
to be curbed, the inherent contradictions that exist between attempting to
counter human trafficking and the continued criminalisation of sex work need
to be resolved.
In February this year, sex workers from ten African countries assembled in
Hillbrow, Johannesburg to share their experiences and discuss their needs.
This was the first ever meeting of this kind on the African continent. At
the conference a Ugandan sex worker voiced her concern over the way in which
sex workers are treated “like dogs” by the police.
Many indicated that the abuse did not only come from police, but also from
health service providers, clients and the pimps they work for. The irony of
the criminalisation of sex work in Africa is that it is the woman who offers
the service who is stigmatised and abused, while those who pay for her
illegal services go scot-free. It is one of society’s entrenched patriarchal
According to Cape Town based NGO Anex-CDW, which works closely with the IOM
in its human trafficking project, most of the cases are reported by third
parties and often the victims deny the allegation or refuse to talk about
it. The wall of silence is almost impenetrable.
While the girls of Tshwane Home of Hope did not share the horrors of their
lives, their presence at the Home speaks of an untold story of violence and
fear. The Home is one of several sanctuaries for girls scattered across
South Africa. In an ideal world homes such as this would not have to exist,
everyone would be free from fear and want; everyone would be safe. The
reality is we are not.
Ottilia Anna Maunganidze is a consultant for the International Crime in
Africa Programme at the Institute for Security Studies. This article is part
of a special series on the 16 Days of Activism for the Gender Links Opinion
and Commentary Service.
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London 18/12/10
Jonathan Moyo’s reaction to calls by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that
only presidential elections be held next year was shocking to say the least.
“Zimbabwe can have parliamentary elections or local authority elections only
in terms of the Constitution. The only people who do not know that are the
Americans and their puppets.” Moyo said on Thursday night (Zimeye,
17/12/10). He used the word puppets several times and how the Americans got
involved, is not clear.
I am not the only one noticing how hard Jonathan Moyo is fighting for a
Zanu-pf Politburo seat. The Africa Confidential (05/11/10 Vol.51 No.22) has
an interesting article entitled ‘Lying Big, often’ and controversially
“Zanu-pf approaches its annual congress ‘in better shape than a year ago and
owing much to Jonathan Moyo’s tactical thinking. He will probably be
rewarded with a coveted seat in the Politburo.”
Of course, I disagree with Africa Confidential’s statement that ‘Zanu-pf is
in a better shape’. I wonder how Africa Confidential arrived at that
conclusion when even diehard Zanu-pf veterans believe otherwise.
Although, Jonathan Moyo denies that he is a political turncoat, we have
concrete evidence in his own words and not from Wikileaks but an opinion
article he wrote himself entitled “There is a sinister agenda at work” and
was published by the Zimbabwe Independent on Friday 22 September 2006 at
02:00 hrs and reproduced in full below for everyone make up their own minds:
There is a sinister agenda at work,
Friday, 22 September 2006 02:00
By Jonathan Moyo
TWO things happened two weeks ago that initially seemed unrelated but later
proved to be connected in the broader scheme of things. Firstly, the ruling
Zanu PF officially opened its annual conference on December 9 at Esigodini,
the same day that my name was brought up in Trevor Ncube’s passport seizure
saga. The Zanu PF conference was later to pass a strange resolution to undo
changes effected at the government-controlled media when I was still the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the Office of President
and Cabinet. Linked to that issue, Zanu PF MP Leo Mugabe appeared in the
state media after his party’s conference making unprovoked attacks against
me on all
sorts of pretexts, including our work in the transport and communications
parliamentary portfolio committee.
Stories were run about me in the newspapers where Zanu PF mandarins
virtually declared war against journalists working in the state media who
stand falsely accused of being my underlings. The authors of those stories
did not seek comment from me about the Zanu PF allegations and others
fabricated claims which on face value appear isolated but are part of a
coordinated campaign of disinformation and scapegoating. The context of
these issues was President Robert Mugabe’s address at the conference where,
predictably, he pontificated about events that preceded the Zanu PF congress
last year, the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration.
Rather blandly, Mugabe repeated his claims about a Tsholotsho plot that
never existed except in the bankrupt imaginations of his hangers-on who went
on to grab positions in the party unconstitutionally, crudely using phony
allegations of a palace coup plot that was non-existent beyond a democratic
and healthy competition for power. On the same day of Mugabe’s address,
Ncube was told that his name was part of a list of 17 people which was
compiled by me. Of course, when the Zimbabwe Independent telephoned me
to enquire about this issue, I dismissed it as not only false but also
preposterous. There has been a chain of lies told about me when I was in and
out of government. These range from laws which were allegedly crafted or
engineered by me, such as Posa and the NGO Bill, the deportation of the
Ugandan fugitive Nyekorach Matsanga, bombing of the Daily News, and a
blatantly false story in December last year in the Financial Gazette about
my purported resignation from government.
It has now come to my realisation that working in Zanu PF and its government
invites such kind of scapegoating which on the surface appears coincidental
when in fact it is a systematic campaign to allow the real agents of
dictatorship off the hook at the expense of others who might err in the
process of trying to deal with genuine national issues as opposed to those
who are in the government for personal aggrandisement. When I looked at the
recent seemingly isolated — but clearly connected — events, I was able to
situate the scene and plot of this issue where it rightly belongs: in the
Zanu PF and state propaganda departments now hostage to securocrats.
If there’s one very dangerous development in Zimbabwe’s body politic today
it is that ill-advised policymaking in government and wicked Zanu PF
political decisions are being engineered by unaccountable state security
agents whose role and influence have now gone beyond their competence and
constitutional mandate. While the roots of this rot are to be found in the
notorious 1965 Rhodesian state of emergency which was extended by the Zanu
PF regime and continued in force between 1980 and 1990, these episodes
follow a new two-pronged strategy hatched by securocrats to deal with the
collapse of Zanu PF structures in the 1990s and the rise of the MDC in 2000
government’s policy failures that have led to the current economic meltdown
in the country.
The new strategy calls for:
* state security to purge and take over the running and control of Zanu PF
structures, especially in the wake of the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration;
* state security to infiltrate the opposition in order to destroy it from
within. The core purpose of this strategy is to enable state security to
determine Mugabe’s successor and the manner or process of his succession on
behalf of factional interests in Zanu PF.
What is terrifying about this development is that while these security
agents invariably act on behalf of factional interests in Zanu PF, neither
they nor their faction has been willing to take responsibility for the evil
they do. Consequently, Zimbabweans — including many in Zanu PF itself — are
now hostages whose human and constitutional rights are open to abuse. The
fact that the CIO told Ncube that they were impounding his passport on the
strength of a list that they alleged I prepared when I was minister clearly
demonstrates that those involved in this case knew only too well that it was
wrong and illegal for them to seize the passport. It shows the CIO lacks the
courage of its convictions. But still the CIO wants to become involved in
the whole spectrum of national life, both public and private.
As a result, Zimbabweans must brace up for all manner of illegalities to be
visited upon them by the CIO. But as citizens we must defend our rights to
the end. While having the CIO using an individual like myself as a scapegoat
might appear to be of no national significance, allowing them to get used to
such conduct can have disastrous consequences on the conduct of state
affairs as our recent history shows. In May the same security agents
conjured up a self-indulgent claim that some Ukrainian-style “Orange
Revolution” was under way in Zimbabwe and connived with Mugabe to justify
the reprehensible demolition blitz, Operation Murambatsvina, which destroyed
the homes and livelihoods of 18% of our population.
When I was in government it was routine for these CIO agents and their
factional counterparts in government and Zanu PF politicians to abuse me as
a scapegoat for anything they were unable to explain or defend. That’s why
for example, even though the fact is that John Nkomo steered Posa through
parliament, the propaganda to this day is that it was my brainchild.The same
goes for the NGO Bill drafted and steered through parliament by Paul
Mangwana. The talk is that I came up with that ill-fated Bill.
Also conveniently ignored is the fact that the version of Aippa that was
passed by parliament without any opposition from the MDC was drafted by
Patrick Chinamasa in consultation with Welshman Ncube after the
Parliamentary Legal Committee threw out the original version. The list is
very long and includes absurd claims, conveniently fuelled and peddled by
the same securocrats that I bombed the Daily News as if I was in any way in
charge of the CIO, ZRP or the army who should know better.
One particularly annoying case where I was abused as a convenient scapegoat
when Nicholas Goche, then Minister for State Security, played a major role
was the Matsanga deportation story. Apart from abusing me as a scapegoat to
justify their illegal actions, the CIO agents and Zanu PF politicians have
also invented ludicrous stories about me. In one case, they invented a son
for me from Kadoma and gave him money to regularly visit CIO offices over a
long period before finally giving him money to go and look for me in
Tsholotsho. Another invention was made last December in the aftermath of the
so-called Tsholotsho Declaration when I was on holiday with my family in
The CIO, working with George Charamba, planted a deliberately false story in
the Financial Gazette claiming that I had resigned from government after
tendering my resignation letter to Joice Mujuru who was acting president at
the time. But I confirmed earlier this year that Charamba had directly given
the false story of my alleged resignation to the Fingaz after the newspaper’s
editor, Sunsleey Chamunorwa, told a high-ranking public figure over his
speaker phone in my presence (without Chamunorwa’s knowledge) that indeed
Mugabe’s spokesman was the source of the story.
At the time, the Mujuru faction in Zanu PF was desperate to force me out of
cabinet and Charamba — eager to pander to the whims of that camp — was also
desperate to prove he had nothing to do with the Tsholotsho saga. Yet it is
common cause among those who know what happened that Charamba, Mugabe’s
press secretary, actually drafted Emmerson Mnangagwa’s speech that was
delivered by Chinamasa at Dinyane School on November 18, 2004. I still have
the original copy of Charamba’s draft speech with his handwritten cover note
Scapegoating and blaming everybody else but themselves is Zanu PF’s
stock-in-trade and no wonder they take no responsibility for their current
failures. After me, Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono is next in line!
* Professor Jonathan Moyo is MP for Tsholotsho.
It is quite amazing how Jonathan Moyo inadvertently created his own
‘Jomoleaks’ over the years, well before he knew there would be Wikileaks
which he is trying to use to bring down political opponents in an effort to
appease Zanu-pf. Time will tell.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
Dear Family and Friends,
As Zimbabwe arrives at Christmas 2010 it is opportune to record what
some of our leaders have been saying recently. Their words give
insight into their thoughts and warnings as to where we may be heading
in the 2011.
Speaking to delegates at the Zanu PF annual congress in Mutare, Mr
Mugabe said it was time for revenge:
"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. ..We can read the riot act and say this is 51
percent we are taking and if the sanctions persist we are taking over
Speaking to the Zanu PF central committee Mr Mugabe said:
“ It is grossly disturbing to learn of the extent to which some of
our people have gone towards literally giving back the land to white
farmers, all for a pittance of the farm profits at the end of the
Speaking on International Human Rights Day, MDC Prime Minister Morgan
“We all know that soldiers, members of the police and CIO are being
deployed in the rural areas to harass our parents. The army is not
there to beat up and abuse people. It is there to protect them. …
These are national security institutions which must not be abused.
This must stop. When we go to elections it is not a declaration of
Speaking about her powerlessness and frustration in tackling
corruption, the MDC’s Co Home Affairs Minister, Theresa Makone said:
“There is a sense of impunity that pervades the whole government,
because the people that ruled this country for the past three decades
have not been able to arrest public officials, or to try to address
the problem or bring justice to perpetrators of corruption”
And then came this little gem from the Zanu (PF)Bulawayo governor,
Cain Mathema, who is apparently pushing for the exhumation of Cecil
John Rhodes who was buried in the Matopos over a century ago in 1902.
Mr Mathema said:
“I wonder why years after independence of Zimbabwe his grave is
still found there. We are going exhume it and send it to Britain where
it belongs. Right now we are failing to get rains because of Rhodes’
bones buried at Matopo Hills”
The last pertinent quote, and a suitable place to end another year of
letters from Zimbabwe, comes from across the world. Released after 7
years of house arrest, the Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu
Kyi, may as well have been talking about Zimbabwe when she said: I
don’t believe in one person’s influence and authority to move a
country forward. One person alone cannot do something as important as
bringing democracy to a country.”
I am taking a short break from this letter and wish all Zimbabweans,
wherever you are in the world, a peaceful and happy Christmas filled
with love and laughter and hope for real change for our beleaguered
Zimbabwe in 2011. Until Mid January, I leave you with sincere thanks
for your support of my writing and with the sight of Flame Lilies, the
sound of Paradise Flycatchers, the smell of rain and the feel of a
million gossamer wings in your fingers as you catch flying ants
pouring from the depths of the Zimbabwean soil. Love Cathy 18 December
2010. Copyright � Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com
Friday December 17th 2010
“What sort of grip does the old man hold over his country…they just cannot
conceive of life without him.” My attention was immediately caught; how
often we have asked that question about our own Old Man but it was not
Robert Mugabe who was the subject of this article in the UK Independent but
Sylvio Berlusconi, the 74 year old Prime Minister of Italy. Despite the many
scandals surrounding him, Berlusconi had just narrowly won a vote of
confidence in the lower house of the Italian parliament.
The comparison between Robert Mugabe and the flamboyant Sylvio Berlusconi
seems on the face of it totally inappropriate. It is the comment that “they
just cannot conceive of life without him” that got me thinking. Having known
no other ruler for over thirty years, it could be argued that, despite all
the suffering he has imposed on Zimbabweans, Robert Mugabe is ‘the devil we
know’ and, as such, is preferable to ‘the devil we don’t know’. Zimbabweans
are by nature conservative; Mugabe knows that very well and he has cleverly
exploited it to his advantage. By constantly repeating the mantra that Zanu
PF won the Liberation struggle and as such are the only party fit to rule
the country and profit from its huge natural resources, he has enabled his
supporters, including the traditional chiefs, to acquire wealth beyond their
wildest dreams and now there are diamonds.
It was diamonds that were the subject of the latest WikiLeak as reported in
the Standard. WikiLeaks reported that Grace Mugabe and Gideon Gono had
‘reaped tremendous profits from Chiadzwa diamonds.’ Grace Mugabe is now
suing the Standard for $15 million for defamation. She is claiming that the
story has “lowered the respect in which she is held as the mother of the
nation” – a claim which might cause a few wry smiles in Zimbabwe! No doubt
her husband had more than a little to do with her decision to sue. He is, or
so he told the South African President, a lawyer, though he has never
practised law. Possession of a law degree does not make one a lawyer and it
will not be easy as any lawyer would know to fight a charge of defamation
based on an unsubstantiated ‘leak’ which was after all no more than the
cabled opinion of the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe back in 2008. Threats to
prosecute Morgan Tsvangirai for treason on the basis of a WikiLeak are on
similarly doubtful legal grounds, much as Jonathan Moyo may rant and rave.
Perhaps what the WikiLeaks issue has revealed above all is that whatever
opinions governments may express in public, their interactions with other
states are often in direct contrast. Vociferous condemnation of a country’s
human rights record, for example, is not necessarily accompanied by cutting
off trade relations with that country; commercial self-interest is the real
determinant of morality when it comes to international relations. One
example proves the point: on the very day Oslo was awarding the Nobel Prize
to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, leading the Chinese authorities to
describe the Nobel Committee as ‘clowns’, Norway was awarding the Chinese a
contract to drill for oil in the North Sea. The message here is very clear:
nothing should be taken at face value and that includes even the wild
utterances of Zanu PF ministers. While they take every opportunity to hurl
abuse at the British and the Americans, who knows what’s going on behind the
scenes and who is talking to who? The truth is that governments the world
over are unwilling to let the general public to know what’s really going on;
that’s why the British, possibly under pressure from the US, locked Julian
Assange up for nine days in solitary confinement. But the Leaks went on! The
likes of Grace Mugabe may sue for all she’s worth but the truth will out and
she won’t be a First Lady forever! Even if Robert Mugabe succeeds- as he
certainly will having ensured that only his supporters are allowed to attend
the Congress – and all the delegates back him to stand again as the party’s
candidate, he will still be 92 when his term expires in 2016. Who knows
where information technology will be by then!
This is my last Letter for 2010. I will be away for the next three weeks. If
you need something to read over the long break, may I recommend my latest
book, Sami’s Story available on www.lulu.com. It’s the story of one young
boy caught up in Murambatsvina, hardly a cheerful Christmas story but one
that all Zimbabweans will recognise.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.aka Pauline Henson.