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'Mugabe powerless'

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Sunday, 18 December 2011 12:02

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF are powerless to call for
elections and the former ruling party is now behaving like a real opposition
party by walking out of key debates in Parliament, the MDC said yesterday.

This comes after Zanu PF — a partner in the coalition government — resolved
at its Bulawayo congress last week that it wanted elections next year since
the unity government was stalling several of its developmental goals drawn
up in Mutare last year.

But this was dismissed by the MDC whose secretary-general Tendai Biti read
the party’s resolutions at the end of the party’s national council meeting

The statement by the MDC further dimmed prospects of an election early in
2012 and rubbished Mugabe’s claims that elections will be held next year.

“…the implementation of outstanding issues in the GPA, which among other
issues include electoral, media and security sector reforms, create a
conducive environment for free and fair elections,” he said in Harare
yesterday, adding the MDC would also only participate in Zimbabwean
elections once a new constitution was in place.

The Zimbabwe Finance minister’s call also comes as Sadc facilitator to the
Zimbabwe crisis, President Jacob Zuma has reiterated that there would be no
polls without fulfilment of key preconditions for any elections in the

Biti further stressed that an election date would only be determined after
the completion of an election roadmap, compliance to Sadc electoral
guidelines, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) staffing and adherence
to a violence-free plebiscite.

“The MDC notes that any election, which does not meet the above conditions
will be a sham election and the party will not have anything to do with

“As the MDC, we want an election yesterday, not a bloodbath, and that is why
we say there must be reforms before any election can be held in Zimbabwe,”
he said.

Biti said there was need for a new voters’ roll after the
constitution-making process and the drawing up of new constituency
boundaries, known as the delimitation process in Zimbabwe.

“Zanu PF is behaving with an opposition mentality, which is why they marched
out of Parliament like what we used to do in 2000 when we were still the
opposition party.

“Zanu PF has realised that it cannot push us to be part and parcel of its
agenda,” the MDC secretary-general said.

The MDC resolutions will certainly put Tsvangirai’s party on a collision
course with Mugabe’s ex-majority party, which is desperate for early
elections to restore the status quo.

The feisty lawyer also said Mugabe’s call for elections without the consent
of other global political agreement (GPA) partners was mere political

The GPA is a Sadc-initiated political settlement, which gave birth to the
unity government between Zanu PF, Tsvangirai’s mainstream MDC and the other
faction led by Welshman Ncube.

“According to the election roadmap, Mugabe does not have the power to
determine the election date without consulting the Prime Minister,” Biti

He also castigated the police and judiciary for their selective application,
and handling of the law against his party officials.

“The party notes that between January and now over 402 people have either
been arrested, assaulted and severely harassed by Zanu PF and its complicity
criminal justice system,” Biti said.

“The party calls upon police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and the
Attorney General to take immediate action, and apply the law evenly and
equally,” he said.

Biti also criticised the Zanu PF-led indigenisation programme as a political
gimmick, mechanism for looting and expansion of the ex-majority party’s
patronage system as well as self-aggrandisement programmes.

“In any event, the indigenisation programme is based on a narrow model of
transferring shares to a few blacks, who can afford the assets and that does
not amount to genuine wealth creation, and distribution,” he said.

“We are also aware of Zanu PF’s intentions of raping and destroying the
economy through the return of the Zimbabwe dollar. The MDC restates that
Zanu PF’s programme does not comply with its own laws and is based on
patronage and clientelism.”

Biti also made fresh demands that income from the Chiadzwa diamond fields be
accounted for transparently to enable government to meet its capital and
recurrent expenditure needs, in particular civil sector pay and

His call comes amid heightening calls from civil sector organisations that
revenue from the Marange gems was benefiting Zanu PF functionaries only.

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MDC-T pushes dual citizenship, Diaspora vote

17/12/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T has insisted that the country’s new constitution must make
provision for dual or multiple citizenships as well as guarantee the right
of non-resident Zimbabweans to participate in the country’s political

Zimbabwe is currently drafting a new charter as part of a raft of reforms
expected to lead to new elections, possibly early next year.

At a meeting of its national council in Harare on Saturday, the MDC-T
demanded provisions in the constitution “guaranteeing the right of every
Zimbabwean to participate in politics and the right of all Zimbabweans in
the Diaspora to vote.”

The estimated millions of Zimbabweans living abroad cannot vote from their
countries of residence after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition by a
group called the Diaspora Vote Action Group in 2009.

Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa argued then that the government was not
deliberately refusing Diasporans the right to vote.

"There is a travel ban against the Zanu-PF leadership from the president
down to the lowest Zanu-PF cadre to travel to the European Union, the United
States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand," he said.

"How would Zanu-PF be able to canvass support from Zimbabweans in the
Diaspora when its political leadership suffers from a travel ban in those

Meanwhile, the MDC-T also said new elections which President Robert Mugabe
said must be held early next year cannot be conducted until all the reforms
under the process mediated by the regional SADC grouping have been

“Elections in Zimbabwe cannot and will not be called for unilaterally by one
person or one party and that the election in Zimbabwe will not be date
driven but process driven,” the party said.

“The date of the next election will only be determined after the fulfilment
of all the conditions precedence defined in the roadmap including.”

Among other things, the party said it wants media and legislative reforms
completed adding a new voter’s role should also be drafted.

“Any election which does not meet (these) conditions will be a sham election
and the party will not have anything to do with a sham election,” the party’s
national council said in its resolutions.

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Zim set to benefit from EU trade agreement: Report

Saturday, 17 December 2011 15:28


ZIMBABWE is set to benefit highly by signing a trade agreement with the
European Union, according to a new report by a Geneva-based organisation,
South Centre. The EU and African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) are
negotiating for reciprocal trade agreements, Economic Partnership Agreements
(EPAs) in line with the rules of the world’s body governing trade.

ACP countries used to enjoy unilateral trade preferences under the Lome
Convention. These preferences are in violation of the World Trade
Organisation rules which advocates reciprocal trade agreements.

In its latest report, South Centre said that Zimbabwe would lose US$15,4
million in tariff revenue but gains US$39,2 million in duties under the EU
General Systems and Preferences (GSPs).

Under GSP, exporters from developing countries pay lower duties on some or
all of what they sell to the EU.
This gives them vital access to EU markets contributing to the growth of
their economies.

According to the South Centre, only six countries — Zimbabwe, Botswana,
Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles and Swaziland — are the only non-Least
Developed Countries that would benefit from signing EPAs.

According to statistics, the share of trade in Sub-Saharan Africa’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) is 34,5% as compared to only 13,5 % for the US and
Japan and 14,3 % for Europe.

According to the African Union Commission and regional economic communities
position paper on EPAs, despite the continent’s integration into the global
economy, this has not been accompanied by any significant inflow of
investments into manufacturing to enhance competitiveness and allow the
continent to move up the value chain.

“The challenge of sustainable economic growth and development in Africa
requires the diversification and fundamental restructuring of the economy,”
the paper said.

The paper said that the lessons to be learnt from the global financial and
economic crisis highlight the need for increased regulation of the market,
rather than policy reforms that put more emphasis on the removal of

“Africa needs policy space to diversify its economy, achieve competitiveness
and attain sustainable economic growth and development,” said the paper.

South Centre said the benefit of signing EPAs is additional market access
compared with the trading arrangement that could be applied in the absence
of  EPAs.

Over the past two to three decades, African countries have undertaken
far-reaching autonomous economic trade, financial and investment
liberalisation programmes within both the multilateral and regional context.

This has led to the continent becoming more dependent on the global economy
than the developed countries.

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Zim dollar return plan slammed

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 18 December 2011 14:19

HARARE - Political parties and ordinary Zimbabweans have roundly slammed a
Zanu PF plan to revive the Zimbabwe dollar saying the move was economically
retrogressive and threatens the nascent economic recovery.

The Zanu PF national people’s conference, which ended in Bulawayo last
Saturday made a key resolution to return the worthless currency into

“To instruct government to work out modalities for the reintroduction of
domestic currency alongside the multi-currency system in order to address
the current liquidity crisis and to enable our people to carry out their
transactions,” one of the resolutions says.

Government ditched the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 after its value was wiped out
by record-beating hyperinflation, adopting a basket of multiple foreign
currencies with the US dollar, the South African Rand and the Botswana Pula
as the widely used legal tender.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party said Zanu PF’s plan, which has won
the backing of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono was retrogressive and

The Central Bank boss has also said he backs plans to revive the dead
currency and linking it to gold reserves held in the country.

“The form and manner as well as the resumption of the proposed new Zimbabwe
dollar or whatever it will be called will obviously take into account our
national reserves in terms of strategic and precious metals such as gold
reserves for back up,” Gono said.

The RBZ governor has differed with Finance Minister Tendai Biti on the
matter, with the latter ruling out the return of the Zimbabwe dollar
yesterday, saying the economy must first achieve growth rates of at least 60
percent capacity utilisation.

Nhlanhla Dube, the spokesman of Welshman Ncube’s smaller MDC, said: “We all
know what took the Zimbabwean dollar to its knees and finally to extinction.

“We do not think at all that a national currency should be used as a means
of politicking and party political patronage.

“We understand firmly that an economy needs to be able to support its

“Our economy as it stands is unable to sustain a revitalisation or
reintroduction of the Zimbabwean dollar.

“We warn those that caused this demise of the Zimbabwean dollar to stop
playing around with the people, driving them to further poverty.

“No Zimbabwean wants to go back to the era of the Zimbabwean dollar.”Methuseli
Moyo, the ZAPU spokesperson, it was premature to return the Zimbabwe dollar
now saying the economy was still fragile.

“We don’t want to create an exchange rate challenge so early,” he said.

“We want the economy to recover fully. Let’s go for an election so that we
have political stability, a new government, we stabilise our politics then
we go get the Zim dollar.

“We suspect Zanu PF wants the Zim dollar so they can have money in abundance
for campaigning and for bribing political opponents.

“It’s difficult for them now with the US dollar because they can’t
manufacture it. With the Zim dollar we all know what they can do.” On the
other hand, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) party chairman Phillip Chipfunga said.

“The return of the Zim dollar will be great news because then you would have
ownership of our own currency but at the moment it’s a dream because so many
things have to be put in place first.”

“We are too premature to go along those lines otherwise we will relapse into
the previous economic situation. It’s not advisable at the moment,” he said.

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Gay rights at center of Zimbabwe's constitutional debate

Robert Mugabe condemned gays in 1995, but many have stood up for their
Zimbabwe GlobalPost CorrespondentDecember 18, 2011 09:01

HARARE, Zimbabwe — “Pigs and dogs” he called them, and that was just the
beginning of President Robert Mugabe’s campaign of abuse of gays.

This year, 16 years after his searing attack, his sentiments about gay
people are back in the news.

As Zimbabweans draw up a new constitution, Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has
decided to play its leader’s vitriolic views center stage.

Mugabe last held forth on the topic of homosexuality at the Zimbabwe
International Book Fair in 1995. The event was an important diary item in
the country’s intellectual life and luminaries such as Nadine Gordimer and
Wole Soyinka were in attendance. The theme for the book fair in 1995 was
"Freedom of Expression."

When a little-known activist group, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz),
sought the right to attend the function there was strong opposition from the
government. As a result Gordimer and others crafted a statement asserting
the right of Galz to attend.

Mugabe delivered the opening speech of the book fair and chose the occasion
to denounce gay rights in blistering terms. He made the now notorious
remarks about gay people being “worse than pigs and dogs” and, without even
a nod in the direction of Oscar Wilde’s trial, claimed that next they “would
be doing it in the street.”

Mugabe’s remarks represented a watershed for democracy and human rights in
Zimbabwe. While rights groups denounced his stance, churches and
traditionalists rallied around the president. Mugabe was able to put
together a handy coalition ahead of elections in 2000.

But Mugabe's standing abroad plummeted. While he posed as the authentic
voice of African nationalism at home, new voices had emerged in the region
to challenge his narrow exclusivist discourse. Nelson Mandela, released from
prison in 1990, provided an example of constitutional governance in his
Rainbow Nation at variance with Mugabe’s state. Gay rights were given
specific recognition in South Africa’s new constitution.

When Mugabe visited South Africa shortly after his "pigs and dogs" speech he
was denounced by demonstrators who temporarily prevented him leaving the
Johannesburg airport terminal. The South African media was unforgiving with
cartoons of Mugabe as Marie Antoinette telling the hungry masses, faces
pressed against her palace glass windows, to “go and bash gays.”

The sub-text was lost in the hubbub. Mugabe was asserting his authority in
southern Africa, by slapping down the new boy. In 1998 Zimbabwe forces
entered the Congo in direct contravention of Mandela’s wishes.

One of the issues at play in the Book Fair speech, missed by many observers,
was Mugabe’s disgust at the idea of an independent woman, freed from what
Camille Paglia described as the slavery of the reproductive cycle.

“Look what happens when people act outside the guidance of the ruling
 party,” appeared to be his message.

Now, once again, this almost surreal debate has occupied the attention of
Zimbabweans who mostly would prefer a square meal.

Surprisingly what has sparked the latest round was a statement by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change,
that gays should have the same rights as other minorities in the new
Zimbabwean constitution currently being framed by representatives of the
three main parties.

“The right to freedom from discrimination,” Tsvangirai said, “given our
history of discrimination and intolerance, must be broad to include the
protection of personal preferences, that is gays and lesbians should be
protected by the constitution.”

This was of course a gift to Mugabe and his spokesmen.

“You can keep your gay England,” they pronounced. “We will keep our

Related: Air Zimbabwe suspends flights to South Africa

Bishop Trevor Manhanga, a disciple of the president, declared “the practice
of homosexuality is neither human nor right. To equate deviant sexual
behaviour with the rights of women and children, minorities and other
sectors of humanity who have struggled to be afforded certain inalienable
basic human rights is nothing short of diabolical.”

Compounding this heated exchange has been British premier David Cameron’s
statement that Britain will not provide aid to states that criminalize gays.
This has enabled Tsvangirai’s political opponents to suggest he is doing
Britain’s bidding, a recurrent theme in Mugabe’s propaganda. Now US
president Barack Obama has also stated that gay rights will be an important
factor in determining US foreign aid.

Needless to say the debate is getting messy. MDC members have threatened to
name names of closeted gays in Mugabe's party.

Member of parliament Amos Chibaya, referring to the late general and
national hero, Solomon Mujuru, pointed out that: “There was no single day
Mujuru got lost and started talking about gays, yet in Zanu-PF we have
people who continuously preach anti-gay gospels yet they are champions in
practicing it.”

No bets are being taken whether gay rights will find their way into
Zimbabwe's new constitution.

In the meantime Zimbabweans have 80 percent unemployment to think about and
putting food on the table.

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Makone escapes censure

By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Sunday, 18 December 2011 14:07

HARARE - MDC Women’s Assembly chairwoman Theresa Makone has survived censure
and a potential suspension from the party after Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai shielded her by saying the issues for which she was accused of
taking a role in were purely his personal business.

While expectations were high that the party’s national council would discuss
her role in Tsvangirai’s controversial marriage, which has led to brand
erosion, party bigwigs skirted the issue or debate yesterday, among other
hot topics.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC’s spokesperson, said: “The party’s position is
that these are personal issues or affairs and, therefore, it is the
president himself… who will resolve them.”

“Our president made it clear in the executive meeting that he preferred to
deal with his private issues himself,” he added.

Some party officials had expected Saturday’s meeting to tackle Makone’s role
and conduct, if not fate, ever since Tsvangirai’s botched “marriage” to
Harare businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo surfaced.

The women’s league boss was also accused of denigrating the MDC leader in an
SW Radio Africa interview for impregnating a woman out of wedlock, but
Mwonzora also warned party members to be wary of Zanu PF machinations and
that no party members would be held responsible for Tsvangirai’s private

“We know how Zanu PF is trying to destabilise the MDC by targeting its
leadership (in) a smear campaign.

“It is trying to sow seeds of division (and) there is clear evidence of them
interfering with the relationship and trying to convert what had otherwise
looked like an ordinary courtship into a sting operation.

“It is Zanu PF, which is trying to wage a propaganda war,” he said.

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They Want To Rule By Spilling Blood: Dabengwa

Bulawayo, December 18, 2011---Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa last Saturday
said his party pulled out of the 1987 unity accord with Zanu-PF because of
the former ruling partner’s (Zanu) tendencies of harassing and killing
innocent people in order to stay in power.

Addressing more than 10 000 Zapu supporters during the party’s 50th
anniversary celebrations at Babourfields in Bulawayo, Dabengwa said his
party does not have blood in its hands and will never associate with those
who want to rule the country by spilling blood.

“There are killers who want to rule this country by spilling blood. In 2008
during the presidential elections they embarked on an operation “Long and
Short sleeve” in some parts of the country, where people we having their
hands cut off. They were killing people in order to stay in power like what
they did during Gukurahundi”.

“That is when we decided to pull out of the Unity Accord because we don’t
want to be associated with shedding blood,” said Dabengwa who is a former
Home Affairs Minister.

Dabengwa said those former Zapu cadres who remained in Zanu-PF should stop
lying to Zimbabweans that late Vice President and Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo
told them to remain there.

“There are some people who are still in Zanu-PF who are going around lying
using Nkomo’s name. They are lying that Nkomo told them to stay united with
Zanu even when people are being killed and Zapu members being neglected,” he

The former senior Zapu members who are still in Zanu-PF include Vice
President John Nkomo, Simon Khaya-Moyo, and Cain Mathema, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu,
Deputy Senate President Naison Ndlovu and others.

The former Home Affairs minister also said in true Zapu spirit, the 50th
jubilee celebrations demonstrate the freedom espoused in the Zapu blood
where all Zimbabweans and all people of the world are cherishing and share
the vision of freedom for all have come together as one.

Delegates from former liberation movements in the SADC region among them,
the Africa National Congress (ANC), SWAPO, MPLA and FRELIMO were present at
the celebrations.

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Sikhala Sets In Motion 2012 Election Campaign

Chivi, December 18, 2011- An early campaign for next year’s proposed
presidential election has seen MDC 99 president and controversial politician
Job ‘Wiwa’ Sikhala addressing five people at a rally at Chibi Growth Point
on Friday.

However, Sikhala could not be disheartened by the number of people and went
ahead with his rally telling villagers that he was ready to unseat both
Mugabe and Tsvangirai in the next election. He accused Mugabe of having
killed nearly 5 000 political activists since 2000.

From the rally at the Growth Point, Sikhala spent the whole day in Chivi
district visiting public places such as Beer Halls and Bus Stations pleading
with the people to support him in the next election.

Sikhala said Zimbabwe must join the whole world in voting for ‘young,
energetic and visionary leadership’.

“Tsvangirai has also shown that he is not educated by going to bed with
Mugabe. I try to phone him and some people who are now ministers in his
party but they no longer answer our calls now. They just behave like
Zanu-PF. We are supposed to rise and unseat this evil coalition between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai,” Sikhala said.

From Chivi, Sikhala addressed about 30 people at Mucheke Hall in Masvingo on
Saturday afternoon where he also reiterated that he was planning to look for
any means possible to remove Mugabe from power.

He however, bemoaned that a few people who wanted to support him in Harare
were all cowards. He told that he was betrayed by his supporters last week
after trying to make anti-Mugabe demonstration.

“I am shocked with the level of deceit within those that try to support me.
We were many when we started the anti-Mugabe demonstration in Harare last
week but while I was busy singing leading the march, I later turned around
and discovered that everyone had run away. I only remained with two people –
even the national chairman who is here upfront today betrayed the party last
week and ran away,” Sikhala said amid laughter from the floor.

After addressing the people in Mucheke Hall, Sikhala set up his interim
provincial executive committee which comprises of six men.

He promised to launch a star rally in Mucheke Stadium in January 2012.

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Campaigners call Kimberley Process an 'utter failure'


Conflict diamonds are to be used to fund a new campaign of violence by
President Robert Mugabe's regime against his political opponents in Zimbabwe
as elections loom.

Environmental experts are blaming the "utter failure" of the Kimberley
Process, set up in 2003 to monitor conflict diamonds and stop them reaching
mainstream outlets, for allowing Mugabe and his allies to siphon off
millions of dollars in profits from Zimbabwean diamonds, which have now gone
on sale.

There has been consistent criticism of the Kimberley Process since the
decision to lift a ban on the sale of the gems from the newly discovered
Marange fields in Zimbabwe, despite evidence of human rights abuses and
killings by Mugabe's soldiers. Human Rights Watch claimed the decision
"betrayed the trust" of miners, consumers and retailers.

This weekend, Anjin Investment, a Chinese-led venture in Zimbabwe in
partnership with Mugabe's government, announced it was now the world's
biggest diamond producer, with a stockpile of three-million carats to sell.
The company, which thanked the Kimberley Process (KP) for its backing, is
funding a new military college in the country.

Reports from Zimbabwe suggest the feared Central Information Organisation
(CIO), Mugabe's secret police, is flush with cash, and has bought hundreds
of vehicles and weapons from China in recent months. Salaries have been
increased and thousands of new officers are being trained, raising concerns
that they will be used to intimidate voters in next year's elections.

'It's now a myth'
That is despite the official reduction in the CIO's budgets after the
finance minister, a member of the Movement for Democratic Change, blocked
extra funding in protest at its political bias towards Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party. Campaigners also suspect many tens of millions of dollars from
diamond production are bypassing official channels into the pockets of
corrupt politicians.

Mike Davis, of the campaign group Global Witness, which walked out of the KP
over its decision on Zimbabwe, said no safeguards remain over the jewellery
we buy. The "blood diamond" has been allowed to flood back on to the world
markets, he said, and in the case of Zimbabwe, would undermine all economic
sanctions against Mugabe.

"It takes money to pay for violence and human rights abuses and the tap had
been turned off for Mugabe and his allies," he said. "Now the Kimberley
Process has turned it back ... by allowing them to sell their diamonds
despite clear evidence of human rights abuses and killings. The benefits
from diamond sales in Zimbabwe are going directly to Mugabe and his allies.
The KP is now a fig leaf for the diamond industry."

In the strongest attack yet, Global Witness is calling for a new
international body to fill the void: "They have dithered around wringing
their hands, and now effectively have aided and abetted the return of the
blood diamond. They flunked it, dropped the ball and ordinary Zimbabweans
will pay the price. It's now a myth that there are any controls over

The issue of the profits from diamond mining being used to finance bloody
conflicts in the developing world came to prominence in 2000 with the
UN-commissioned Fowler Report. It showed that UN sanctions had failed to
stop the Angolan civil war being financed by a trade in diamonds that saw
the company De Beers openly buy $500-million worth of Angolan diamonds,
legal and illegal, in 1992 alone.

Obstructive behaviour
Davis, who took part in a recent Kimberley Process inspection team to
Zimbabwe's new diamond fields, says those days have returned, as diamonds
from Côte d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe and Venezuela all escape sanctions despite
evidence of corrupt and abusive practices involved in their production. The
trip to Zimbabwe was marred by constant interference and obstruction, yet
the official report made no mention of the obstructive behaviour of the
Zimbabweans, he said.

Davis called on the Kimberley Process to "admit once and for all" that it is
simply an organisation by which governments and the industry exchange
information and has no practical connection with the battle for the ethical
production or sale of diamonds.

"It is effectively a forum in which governments get together and swap ideas
about how to better control export and import of diamonds and how to collect
tax most efficiently. That's what the Kimberley Process does -- no more, no
less," he said.

Diamonds remain an enormously profitable business for a select few, and the
trade is frequently linked to money-laundering and criminal gangs as well as
the wholesale resource-stripping of countries such as the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Angola. There are deep vested interests in keeping the
trade as murky as possible, says Davis.

For the ordinary consumer anxious not to fund a blood-stained trade, it
remains all but impossible to properly source the origins of diamonds.

While one or two large firms operate "closed supply lines" -- buying direct
from a mine in Canada or other more easily ethically monitored countries and
tracing their production all the way into their display cabinets -- this is
not financially viable for most jewellers.

Jeremy Hoye runs a chain of designer jewellery stores. At its flagship store
in Brighton, he says around one in 20 customers will ask about the origin of
the diamond.

"I'd be happier not using diamonds at all, it's so hard to know where they
are coming from," he said. "You can tell by the shape where they were cut,
but nothing more, and without a credible body to certify them it's a
lottery. Jewellery should be about design. The issues about what is ethical
in jewellery are muddied -- people talk about ethical gold but as most gold
around now is recycled, it becomes a bit of ... nonsense." -- © Guardian
News and Media 2011

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Exporting rough diamonds, a major setback

Saturday, 17 December 2011 15:27


GOVERNMENT’S plans to continue exporting rough diamonds without processing
them locally is depriving thousands of Zimbabweans employment opportunities,
a local diamond education college has said. Zimbabwe Diamond Education
College (ZDEC) director, Steven Muchenje, said the country is losing out in
substantial revenue inflows and employment creation opportunities by not
investing in beneficiation of diamonds mined in the country.

Currently, Zimbabwe is exporting rough diamonds and Muchenje said this was
prejudicing the country of 80% of the actual value of its diamonds.
Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate stands at well over 80%.

“Failure to invest in diamond research and manpower development is the
country’s major setback. Government needs to take the initiative to invest
in diamond education institutions as this will ultimately benefit the
country,” said Muchenje.

“For instance, 30 000 Belgians are employed in the diamond industry yet that
country doesn’t have a single diamond mine. That country earns up to US$39
billion turnover per annum from this industry while Zimbabwe is said to have
potential to earn only US$2 billion from the same.”

The world’s main diamond processing and dealing centres are located in
Antwerp (Belgium), Mumbai (India), Tel Aviv (Israel), New York (US), and
lately Dubai for distribution in the Middle East.

Muchenje said that 50% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through Antwerp
(Belgium) while eight in 10 of the world diamonds are also destined there.

Muchenje’s call for beneficiation of diamonds comes at a time government
said it would open satellite offices in Belgium and UAE to facilitate the
sale of diamonds from Marange. Belgium and the UAE are among the world’s
biggest diamond buyers.

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme defines rough diamonds as diamonds
that are unworked or simply sawn, cleaved or bruted.
Zimbabwe has seven diamond mines operating, namely Diamond Mining
Corporation, Anjin, Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, Rio Tinto, Sino Zim
and Murowa, but Muchenje questioned how much the mines are collectively
contributing to the fiscus.

ZDEC shareholder Lovemore Kurotwi also questioned why the country should
push for the sale of rough diamonds rather than processed gemstones adding
that enhancing education and knowledge about diamonds would be critical to
the nation’s development.

“We simply need to create favourable policies for trade in diamonds within
Zimbabwe rather than establishing offices elsewhere,” said Kurotwi, adding
that Zimbabwe is contributing substantially to the growth of those

African countries reportedly produce 53% of diamonds for the world market
while a few countries in Europe produce the remainder.
University of Zimbabwe lecturer Dr Dennis Shoko said that there is an urgent
need for government to open up the diamond fields for exploration and
research purposes in order to determine available reserves.

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Chiadzwa diamond fields transformed

Saturday, 17 December 2011 15:24


FROM illegal panning to current set up, where four companies are mining, the
Chiadzwa diamond fields have undergone a metamorphosis.

The vast expanse of land, covering 120 hectares was invaded by illegal
panners during the diamond rush of 2006 in search of the gems. Over 40 000
local and foreign panners invaded Chiadzwa to mine diamonds illegally.

Government responded by dispatching security forces, who human rights
organisations accuse of killing civilians during the clean-up campaign to
drive out the panners.

Today, there is serious work at the fields, with companies having invested
heavily in technology to mine diamonds.
All the companies are upbeat.

Anjin said it had invested US$310 million so far; Marange said it had the
best in terms of human capital; Mbada is on an expansion programme while
Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC) is confident of getting certification from
the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

Five companies — Marange Resources, Mbada, Anjin Investments, DMC and
Sino-Zim — hold concessions in the rich Chiadzwa fields.
Marange is wholly-owned by Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC);
Mbada is a joint venture between ZMDC and South African’s Grandwell

Anjin is a 50-50 joint venture between ZMDC and a Chinese firm, Anhui
Foreign Economic Construction Company.

DMC is a 50-50 joint venture between ZMDC and Dubai’s Pure Diam. Sino-Zim
has been taken over by ZMDC after the Chinese moved out saying its
concessions had little diamond deposits and it was untenable to continue
mining the resource.

Other than mining diamonds, producers are also working on land
rehabilitation and recycling water used in mining.

Such has been the thrust on security that more than a third of the staff
compliment at the mines ensures that the diamonds are secure, a requirement
under the KPCS.

Marange Resources mines manager Munashe Shava said the company “prides
itself in human capital and has one of the best brains in the industry”.
Such is the high security at the fields that visitors were not allowed to
pick up anything including something they would have dropped during the
“If your pen falls down ask one of the host security guys to pick it up for
you. If you see people bending, they do it in a specific way,” Shava said.

During the tour of the Diamond Mining Corporation, one journalist dropped
his pen and alerted the security. The security detail bent down in a
particular fashion picked up the pen and showed it towards one of the
cameras on the mines.

Some of the surveillance cameras are visible and planted on the walls and
baobab trees. Others are invisible.
There are electric and alarmed security fences, flood lights and
close-circuit television, searches, routine and random — all designed to
stop the leakages of the diamonds and ward off illegal miners.

Yet despite prevalence of the high-tech security, “daring” panners are

Anjin director Munyaradzi Machacha told journalists that they apprehend an
average of five illegal panners per week.
“This was an area which was a total disaster. It was donga watonga (it was
free for all),” he said.

The output at the four operating mines ranges between 75 and 200 tonnes per
hour through the dense medium separation, a technology used to recover
diamond indicator minerals from prospecting samples.

The producers are working on expanding its capacities.

Diamonds have been identified as the new saviour for the country’s economy
in the absence of lines of credit needed to kick-start the economy.
This year, ZMDC remitted a dividend of US$140 million to the Ministry of
Mines and Mining Development, more than double last year’s contribution.
In the 2012 budget, revenue from diamonds is set to contribute US$600
million to the fiscus.

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Audio #3: Marange victim tells his story

December 18th, 2011


[the sound quality on this audio is poor. You may need to increse your volume control]

We met this man on a trip to the Eastern Highlands in October. He told us he came from Chiadzwa and as we talked to him we realised he was deeply angry and depressed and fearful. I asked him if he would be prepared to talk about his story. He was very excited to talk and wrote down carefully what he wanted to say.

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Austria closes Zim mission

By Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Sunday, 18 December 2011 10:32

HARARE - The Austrian embassy has closed its mission in Zimbabwe citing
economic reasons.

This emerged at a meeting between European ambassadors and local journalists
in Harare yesterday.

The European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell Ariccia confirmed the

“The embassy is closing not because of politics. It is due to financial
constraints faced by the country and when the situation returns to normal it
will reopen,” he said.

Zimbabweans seeking Austrian information will have to visit or contact the
Austrian embassy in Pretoria.

Meanwhile, the Danish embassy has officially reopened its mission to
Zimbabwe after it terminated the duty nine years ago.

Danish Ambassador Ketil Karlsen said his country has resumed a more critical
role in its engagement with Zimbabwe and is one of the five bilateral donors
this year.

He said the country needs to take pragmatic steps in order to pull itself
out of the woods and said his country is in Zimbabwe to assist.

“Zimbabwe has a huge potential waiting to be released. The country must take
decisive steps to ensure democratic and economic reform and take a careful
look at the current policies in order to attract private sector investment.

“We are here to assist,” said Karlsen.

The embassy is currently implementing development assistance amounting to
$43 million.

Karlsen further said his country is actively assisting the transition
process in the country and the implementation of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA).

He added that his country remains a committed partner in supporting good
governance, democracy and human rights.

The embassy closed its mission in 2002 at the height of confrontations with
the Zimbabwean government.

The then Danish ambassador Ole Moesby said during the closure the claims
that Denmark was working with the MDC to oust Zanu PF was unfounded as their
operations were transparent and democratic.

President Robert Mugabe had accused Denmark and other European countries of
funding the MDC to cause discontent and revolt in the country.

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Another top intelligence official dies

By Staff Reporter 17 hours 33 minutes ago

HARARE - Robert Mugabe, has consoled the Muzavazi family, following the
death of former freedom fighter and principal security aid in the President’s
Department, Shadreck Muzavazi.

According to Wikileaks, the US cable leaks, Muzavazi was the top man behind
Mugabe's State spy agency and he travelled with him on every trip abroad.

Last night a security analyst whose name cannot be revealed identified
Muzavazi as the main man in the Zimbabwe State Intelligence and admited that
the organisation will never be the same without.

Mugabe has lost many of his close aides in cabinet, government departments,
army, airforce, police this year.

In April this year, Deputy Director General in the feared State intelligence
organisation, the CIO, Menard Livingstone Muzariri died and in September,
DeputyDirector (External) Nothando Thuthani, also died aged 57. She was the
highest ranking woman officer in the CIO.

Another senior security operative close to the Mugabe family, Deputy
Commissioner General in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Barbara Mandizha also
died this year.

Muzavazi, whose Chimurenga name was Rukato Tunhu Twacho, died on Friday
morning at Parirenyatwa Hospital at the age of 53 after a long battle with
kidney ailment.

Mugabe described the late Muzavazi as a hardworking and courageous member of
the President’s Department.

"The kidney ailment is also the disease that took my first wife, the late
Sally Mugabe, who came from Ghana. Muzavazi was a man who stood for the
truth all the time. He was dedicated to his duties and showed great loyalty
to the party," said President Mugabe.

President Mugabe also paid tribute to the dedication by the country’s
security forces in protecting the country’s territorial integrity and said
there is need to emulate the patriotism by individuals such as Muzavazi.

The Director General in the President's Department, Happyton Bonyongwe said
Muzavazi was a dedicated cadre who imparted knowledge to junior members of
the department.

"When I joined the department in 1998, I found him already there. He would
advice me on how to undertake some of the duties of the department. He was
one of the veterans and pioneers of the President's Department," Bonyongwe

Muzavazi joined the liberation struggle in 1976.

After finishing his military training, Muzavazi was deployed to Gaza
province where he rose through the ranks to become a Detachment Commissar up
to the time of independence.

After independence, Muzavazi joined the army before being deployed to the
President’s Department where he worked up to the time of his untimely death.

He is survived by five children and wife, Cecilia.

He will be buried this Sunday at his Ndezvevambire Farm in Goromonzi.

The Central intelligence Organization (CIO) has admited that its top
priority for the past decade had been to prop-up President Robert Mugabe in
his political duel against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The revelation came days after Mugabe himself let the cat out of the bag,
when he told mourners gathered for the burial of CIO deputy director general
Menard Muzariri that he had used the country’s intelligence services to spy
on his political opponents.

An opinion article published in the State media the Sunday Mail, attributed
to State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, CIO  Director-General,
Happiton Bonyongwe, as well as officers and employees of the Department,
said Muzariri’s assessment of the capabilities and vulnerabilities of
adversaries was always spot-on.

“This is what the very best intelligence does. Over the last 10 years, our
focus was on deflecting multi-faceted regime change efforts aimed at the
nation,” the CIO said in the op-ed.

“It was a task that Cde Muzariri excelled in, given that his brain was wired
for detecting, processing and countering such threats. Intelligence is often
compared to putting together a jigsaw puzzle without a picture to go by, and
a lot of pieces missing. Cde Muzariri did not just give us a piece or two —
he gave us the picture itself.”
Mugabe said the intelligence provided information on members of his Zanu PF
party who were selling out, but it was all proved wrong as most senior
members of Zanu PF including Vice-President Joyce Mujuru met with the US
ambassadors without being noticed by the vastly over rated spy agency; only
to be revealed in the wikileaks cable leaks.

The president’s remarks came after two Zanu PF Members of Parliament voted
against their preferred party’s candidate, Simon Khaya Moyo, for the Speaker
of Parliament’s post, handing victory to the MDC-T’s Lovemore Moyo.

“Are all the members who are in Zanu PF really party members?” Mugabe asked.
“What do you do in the dark? Some run to our enemies and divulge our
secrets. Muzariri and company would tell us who was selling out. The party’s
intelligence does not come from books but intelligence officers who talk to
people and drink with them.”

And former State Security Minister Nicholas Goche also revealed how the CIO
engineered an operation to thwart MDC street protests against President
Robert Mugabe’s government dubbed the “Final Push”.

Said Goche: "I worked with Cde Muzariri under difficult conditions when I
was still Minister of State Security, especially after the year 2000 when
there were machinations from the British and their stooges to reverse the
gains of our independence.

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What will Zuma do? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th December 2011



The Vigil staged a demonstration outside the South African High Commission in London to urge President Zuma to force Mugabe to honour the Global Political Agreement. Vigil activists and MDC members made their way to South Africa House from the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy and stood in silence with banners reading: ‘Zuma save Zimbabwe’.


The demonstration reflected the Vigil’s disgust at the ANC’s offer to help Zanu PF in the next elections. ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe told the Zanu PF Conference in Bulawayo: ‘We are willing to assist in coming up with election messages and strategies that would deliver victory’.


Mr Mantashe didn’t say what the messages would be but we doubt that they will include: ‘No violence’, ‘No ballot rigging’ and ‘No arbitrary arrests’.


Mr Mantashe went on to underline the ANC’s contempt for democracy: ‘The ANC wishes to affirm her commitment to being a good and trustworthy neighbour to a fellow liberation movement’ (whether the people want it or not!).


We were equally puzzled by comments by Lindiwe Zulu during a visit to Harare. Ms Zulu, spokesperson of the South African mediation team, made it clear that, as far as South Africa was concerned, there could be no elections in Zimbabwe until the outstanding issues between the parties have been resolved. We are puzzled because after three years of unity government the GPA project is two years behind schedule. At this rate of progress there will not be elections for decades . . .


The Vigil does not believe that the South Africans want this paralysis. What we want is tough action by President Zuma to stop Zanu PF blocking progress. 


Today’s demonstration was originally proposed by the MDC UK as part of an international MDC protest outside South African diplomatic missions. They told us that, unfortunately, this plan had to be postponed. We were nevertheless happy to welcome MDC members who had not been told of the postponement.


Other points

·         Further evidence of the incompetence of the UK Border Agency came in a letter to a member of the Vigil Management Team who requested access to the file on her held by the UKBA. Here is part of the letter from the Agency’s Resource Management Group based in the appropriately named Lunar House in Croydon: ‘Thank you for your Subject Access Request concerning yourself. We have now completed the processing of that request, but, unfortunately, we have been unable to locate all of the UKBA records relating to yourself. We have searched across our IT databases, identified the records in question and requested these records from our file storage unit. We have further chased for these records on a number of occasions, but with no success. We are therefore satisfied that we have made all reasonable efforts within the statutory time limits of  the Data Protection Act to locate these records and that, regrettably, it is now simply not  possible to supply copies of records that we can’t locate.’ The letter goes on to say: ‘As we have said above, supplying copies of the above-mentioned records is not possible because the records are missing and should be shortly designated as lost by the Agency. To continue to try and locate the records for the purposes of our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 would, in our opinion, be unreasonable and involve disproportionate effort as per Section 8 (2) (a) of that Act.’ (For full text of the letter see:

·         Thanks to Jonathan Kariwoh who took on responsibility for the Vigil during the protest outside South Africa House.

·         The Vigil will be held as usual next week although it is Christmas Eve. We will also be outside the Embassy on New Year’s Eve. (Things might close down for a month at home but we don’t . . . despite the freezing weather.)


For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.


FOR THE RECORD: 72 signed the register.



·         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

·         The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and

·         ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 31st December from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353.

·         Vigil Facebook page:

·         Vigil Myspace page:

·         ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.


Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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The solution in Zimbabwe

Paul Trewhela

18 December 2011


Paul Trewhela on Gwede Mantashe's recent comments to Zanu-PF


On the eve of the ANC's centenary,

its secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe,

made a speech to the effect that

the ANC and the Butcher of Gukurahundi

"belonged together", that their relationship

was "steeped in blood", and affirmed its commitment

"to a trustworthy neighbour".

Given the massacre of the amaNdebele,

would it in that case not be simpler

if the secretary-general of the ANC

dissolved its founding principle

and invented another?


(With apologies to Bertolt Brecht, "Die Losung")




After the rising of the 17th June

The secretary of the Writer's Union

Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee,

In which it was stated that the people

Had forfeited the confidence of the government,

Which it could only regain

By redoubled efforts. Would it in that case

Not be simpler if the government

Dissolved the people

And elected another?


- Bertolt Brecht, 1953, German Democratic Republic (translated).

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An open letter to Gwede Mantashe

Vincent Musewe

18 December 2011

Vincent Musewe says the ANC SG has rubbished the suffering of Zimbabweans

Open letter to Comrade Gwede Mantashe

Dear Comrade Secretary General

When the ANC campaigned to be elected as the new government of South Africa,
it promised not only to uphold the constitution of South Africa but to
protect the rights of its people and put into place economic and social
transformation that would hopefully result in a better quality of life for
all it's the majority of its citizens.

The overwhelming majority of South Africans gave you the privilege to
implement your stated vision and to manage the affairs of the state of this
country, only on that promise. On that day, the ANC ceased to be a
liberation political party and became a government with a mandate to manage
this country and its institutions and promote and represent democracy and
freedom in all its dealings for all its peoples.

On that day the responsibility of the ANC ceased to be only to its party
members but became a responsibility to all including those Africans that may
be affected by its dispositions on issues and challenges not limited by its
borders but by its influence on the future of Africa.

It is with much embarrassment that I write to you to remonstrate at your
recent attempt to separate the ANC's foreign policy and the responsibilities
of the government of the Republic of South Africa towards Zimbabweans in

Comrade it inconceivable that as a representative of the leading party in
government you seek to separate your views, positions and objectives and
those of the government of the Republic of South Africa. In my opinion, it
would be similar to you dissociating your party's stated economic policy
with that of government and yet it is on that very ticket that you
enthusiastically and successfully campaigned on why you should govern.

When you overtly support ZANU(PF) and boldly state that it is the only
political formation that can represent the interests of Zimbabweans and even
dispatch your apparatus to strategize support and assist ZANU(PF) so that it
may stay in power, you rubbish the lives of 20,000 Zimbabweans slaughtered
for political gain in Matabeleland.

You rubbish the lives and livelihoods of an estimated 700,000 families who
lost their homes simply because ZANU(PF) decreed that it shall be so. My
comrade, you rubbish the opinions, aspirations and hopes of in excess of 3
million Zimbabweans who have chosen to leave the comfort of their motherland
and seek a livelihood elsewhere because of ZANU(PF) has failed to represent
their interests and hopes for a better future. Suffice it here to remind you
that these 3 million count more than the membership of your political party
that seeks to see ZANU(PF) retain its advantageous and injurious political

Comrade, in your statement, you have carelessly rubbished those that died
during our liberation struggle and our struggle heroes who fought and died
to liberate all Zimbabweans from tyranny regardless of which political party
they may support and who the tyrant may be.

Under the skirt of support for other liberation movements, a policy your
party chooses to continually dissociate from human rights issues the rights
of Africans in general, you hide and claim that the support of ZANU(PF) by
your party provides no conflict  or paradox between the South Africa
Presidency and its responsibilities towards ushering freedom in Zimbabwe. If
the truth be said, this is a highly irresponsible and insensitive
disposition that I encourage you to reexamine.

You see, my dear comrade, despite what you may wish, it is trite to attempt
to separate the South African government's policies from that of the ANC for
surely that would make you irrelevant as a party. It would mean to most of
us that, as soon as the ANC dissociates its policies and dispositions from
that of the responsibilities of the government it is by insinuation,
reneging on its responsibilities to those that voted it into power.

I would dare you, comrade, to try and campaign during the next elections on
the understanding that as the ANC your policies that you use to gain votes
with will not necessarily be those that you represent once you are in
government and that your views as the ANC must never be associated with
those of the government. That is what you are saying to us when it comes to
Zimbabwe and yet we should not think the same when it comes to other
pressing issues faced by this country.

Comrade you cannot and must not forget your responsibilities as a party in
the promotion of democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe and on that issue you can
only stand by that which is right for ordinary Zimbabweans and not
enthusiastically and without shame support a party that has demonstrated its
disregard for the hopes and aspirations of many Zimbabweans.

In my mind there is no difference between Julius Malema supporting Mugabe
and his minions while rubbishing the opposition party as your party
president (and the current president of the Republic of South Africa)
attempts to mediate and you stating that you will, as a political formation,
continue to support and do all you can to prop up a dictatorship whose
demise is inevitable as has been the case in North Africa. Surely my comrade
you could face a disciplinary hearing for that?

Comrade, I have no doubt at all that the ANC needs to look to the future of
this region and not its past relationships with those that have ceased to
represent the interest of those they govern. It is time comrade for you to
educate and empower yourselves to be relevant in that future and your
relevance will be based on what economic freedoms you achieve for your
people and not what you achieved through the armed struggle for that,
although necessary and laudable, is now a historical fact.

Africans are looking for a new leadership that sheds the hangover of past
victories and looks to building a new Africa based on respect of human
dignity and freedom for them to pursue their ambitions without hindrance
from those that may have liberated them. Our country has suffered because
the past is always used as justification for current injustices perpetrated
by our so called liberators. Our liberators have become our oppressors and I
doubt that this is a mentality you wish to propagate especially given the
current state of affairs within this country and your party in particular.

As an African I am dissatisfied at your disposition towards Zimbabwe and
your insinuation that we must separate that which you say from the
intentions of a government represented by those that comprise your party
membership and are therefore bound by the party's principles, values and
policy objectives. You cadres, whom you have deployed within state
institutions and strategic sectors of this economy, must surely be in
conflict as they attempt to represent and manage the interests of all South
Africans while getting direction from their party that denies congruence
between government and party policy?

My comrade, as we break for the holidays I propose that you afford yourself
an opportunity to reflect on your views and disposition towards ZANU(PF) and
Zimbabwe. I urge you to hasten the renewal of your mind if indeed; the ANC
is to remain relevant and true to its values that I respect.

With much respect I beg you my comrade, to let these truths force themselves
into your judicious mind and pray that those that have placed you in your
current position as the secretary general of the ANC and leading party in
the government of the Republic of South Africa exonerate and afford you the
opportunity to rethink and accelerate your edification on this matter

May peace be with you and let freedom ring.

Yours truly,

Comrade Vincent  Musewe

Vincent Musewe is a Zimbabwean economist based in South Africa and you may
contact him on

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Solidarity Peace Trust The Spell of Indecision in Zimbabwean Politics

Solidarity Peace Trust Logo

Solidarity Peace Trust

By Brian Raftopoulos

Viewing the broad spectrum of the political landscape in Zimbabwe at the end of 2011, one is left with the distinct impression that all the political forces are caught under a spell of indecision. The dilemmas of leadership renewal, electoral strategy and a broad vision for the future are all inducing a sense of hesitancy, that in the case of Zanu PF, manifests itself in renewed aggression and political hubris. Moreover if the Wikileaks reports have any validity this sense of uncertainty is not new, as all parties have, over the last decade,sought out the father confessor of the American Embassy to vent their fears and schizophrenic party psyches, none more so than the outwardly macho Zanu PF.

To start with Zanu PF, it is clear that the decision at the recent Bulawayo conference of the party to nominate Mugabe once again as the presidential candidate for the next election tells us a great deal about a party that is simply unable, at this stage, to visualise a regenerative strategy outside of its octogenarian leader. The lack of trust in an open discussion over the succession issue, is based on a party that fears its own internal contradictions and history as much as it does the judgement of an open and fair plebiscite. Zanu PF is also a party that assumes that the Zimbabwean state is its private property and therefore finds it difficult to understand any other means to secure its ill- gotten gains except through the continued stranglehold over the military- security apparatus. For all these reasons and more Mugabe and his party remain the major obstacle to political progress in Zimbabwe. Yet Mugabe and his party are not about to disappear and their future, even if it may not be a long one for the President, must be a part of any longer term settlement in the country.

Tsvangirai’s MDC have their own set of doubts. A popularly elected party that was denied the fruits of victory, the party has had to confront the challenges of learning statecraft in an inclusive government with a ruthless, violent and wily ‘partner’. This challenge has had to be undertaken with a party apparatus that requires a huge amount of organisational strengthening and capacity building, and which has had its fair share of problems with internal accountability and intra-party violence. The recent personal problems of Morgan Tsvangirai have added to the leadership struggles that have also emerged in the MDC-T.

The smaller MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube faces an even greater sense of uncertainty about its future, as a result of an ongoing legal battle over the leadership, continued defection of its membership, and the knowledge that its current survival depends on its capacity to manoeuvre between the two major parties. Added to this is the constant vilification that this formation and its leader have had to face from all sides in Zimbabwe.

For their part the regional and international players in Zimbabwean politics confront their own uncertainties. After the more critical position taken on the Mugabe regime in Livingstone in March this year, SADC followed this up with resolutions in Sandton and Luanda that endorsed this position, even if in less critical language. However there has been a lull in the SA mediation in the last quarter of 2011 with President Zuma, confronted with his own set of problems in the ANC, slow to take up some key outstanding issues in the GPA. Foremost amongst these challenges is the problem of the role of the security sector in the next election. This is an issue that the negotiators have been unable to resolve and have therefore determined that the matter can only be taken up by Zuma and the Principals in Zimbabwe. Zuma’s hesitation around this issue echoes Mbeki’s unwillingness to deal with it in the discussions leading to the GPA, but it remains the central problem in the political equation.

SADC’s work has been made more difficult by its differences with the EU and the US over the continued sanctions policy of these countries, and the often mixed messages that have been sent out on this issue by the MDCs and the civic movement. For their part it appears that the EU, in particular, are aware of the limited and even counter-productive effects of the sanctions policy, but are more concerned about saving face with their own domestic constituencies, than with the problematic effects of this policy on the politics of the Inclusive Government. Moreover the global politics of human rights has too often been associated with a politics of regime change, making it difficult for human rights defenders in Zimbabwe to articulate this discourse in the face of nationalist pronouncements.

It is clear therefore that if there is indecision in Zimbabwean politics it is based on the growing complexity of the problem and the increasing need for a more assertive mediation process. In the current politics of Southern Africa this mediation can only be led effectively by SADC, with all its weaknesses, with both the EU and the US finding ways to strengthen rather than undermine this process. The central objective of the SADC mediation leading to the GPA was to establish the conditions for a free and fair election. That objective remains to be fulfilled and it is the processes leading to the next election, more than the timing of it, that are the most important factors to keep in focus.

For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust


Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869
Fax: +27 (39) 682 5869


Suite 4
3rd Floor
MB Centre
49 Aiken Street
Port Shepstone 4240
Kwazulu-Natal South Coast


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