The ZIMBABWE Situation
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farmer lucky to be alive after ‘assassination attempt’
18 December 2012
A farmer in Mashonaland West insists he escaped
a deliberate ‘hit’ on his
life, after he was shot in the face on his
property on Monday night.
Piet Zwanikken, a Dutch national who has been
farming on his Riverhead farm
for 15 years, is now recovering in hospital
with a serious face wound. The
bullet, shot at close range, went through his
nose and grazed his cheek. On
Tuesday morning he was in surgery where
doctors worked on rebuilding his
He spoke to SW Radio Africa
from his hospital bed on Tuesday and said he is
lucky to be alive.
believe this was an assassination attempt. A deliberate hit. It is all an
attempt to force me off my farm,” Zwanikken said.
Zwanikken has faced
worsening intimidation and threats in recent months,
after the Lands
Ministry handed a suspected CIO agent an offer letter for
Riverhead farm in
January. This is despite the fact that the property is
meant to be protected
by a bilateral investment protection agreement
(BIPPA), between Zimbabwe and
On several occasions the suspected CIO agent, Charles
attempted to take over the farm and land invaders working for
for a few days in August. During that time Zwanikken lost
dollars worth of farming equipment and eventually had to get a
to force the invaders off his property.
He explained that
on Monday night three land invaders who work for
Mupanduki, called him to
his gate and said his tobacco stocks were being
stolen. He told SW Radio
Africa that he did not believe them, so he thanked
them and turned back to
“Little did I know that one of them, named Peter Macheka, had
a gun behind
his back. As I was turning to go I just saw out the corner of
my eye this
bright flash. This guy had shot at close range and next thing I
knew I was
shot. I was with my son and we both ran back to the house. I am
lucky that bullet didn’t kill me,” Zwanikken said.
shooting comes as information had been received of a detailed ‘hit list’
supplied to the CIO, which contains the names of people who could ‘make an
impact.’ John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture said such a
‘hit-list’ has likely been made ahead of elections, to silence anyone that
could ‘rock the boat’ ahead of the poll.
“Fortunately this shooting
on Monday has not resulted in another murder.
This is politically motivated
though and driven by chefs, so we are very sad
and alarmed, but not terribly
surprised. Farmers are always targeted ahead
of elections,” Worsley-Worswick
It is suspected that Zwanikken might have been deliberately
he is a Dutch national, and relations between Zimbabwe and
have soured significantly in recent months. A group of Dutch
off their Zimbabwean farms ten years ago, have been stepping
campaign to ensure they are compensated. According to an
arbitration court, the Zimbabwe government owes the farmers
“The Dutch embassy has also been
increasingly vociferous and critical of the
Zim government, so it seems
linked,” Worsley-Worswick said.
SA farmer waits
to be evicted from Zim farm
December 18 2012 at
Johannesburg - An elderly South African farmer who has farmed
for nearly 50 years will know on Friday whether he is to be
evicted from his
land, Beeld reported on Tuesday.
Piet Henning, who
has owned land in the Chiredzi district, in the south-east
of the country
since 1965, has to appear in court on Friday “for the 27th or
28th time” on
charges of illegally occupying government land.
The “government land” is
the stable and original farm of 81 hectares that he
retained after he had
more than 200ha of sugarcane fields confiscated in
Henning, who farms with his son, Greig, had three farms at one
the other two had been completely destroyed by 2009.
the past three years, Henning has had to appear in court every six
President Robert Mugabe's government has been trying for 12
years to drive
white commercial farmers off their land, and there are
currently only 221
farmers left, from the original 5 000.
to be found guilty,” Henning said on Monday.
attorney-general and the secretary of justice have told the
courts that no
white commercial farmer may be acquitted for land issues. -
breakthrough expected from COPAC talks
18 December 2012
The committee negotiating the conclusion of
the constitution making process
was expected to meet in Harare late Tuesday,
in an attempt to rescue talks
that have stalled.
A meeting to resolve
the outstanding issues was postponed on Monday, after
some of the members of
the committee failed to pitch up because of
Talks between ZANU PF and the MDC formations ended
inconclusively last week,
amid reports all sides failed to make any headway
to bridge the gap on some
of the issues contained in the
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-chair, said
deadlock all sides have said they want to seek an amicable
solution to the
long drawn out process.
The Nyanga North MP did not
hold out any hope for a result from Tuesday’s
talks, as no side was willing
to back down on its demands. Analysts told SW
Radio Africa a breakthrough
was unlikely this year with all parties wary of
making concessions that
would portray them as weak and giving in.
Our Harare correspondent Simon
Muchemwa said despite several ‘intense and
tough’ talks between the parties
to the GPA, there was no clear progress
towards ending the deadlock and that
will mean a delay in holding elections.
‘The main stumbling block is that
the sides’ positions are rather difficult
and tough to reconcile. Last week
they had an intense and tough exchange of
views, but remained worlds apart.
So they agreed to reflect on each other’s
positions but it remains doubtful
if each of the parties is ready to
concede,’ Muchemwa said.
country’s constitution-making process has spanned over three years and
exercise has been a battleground in the endless war between ZANU PF and
Taken to Court Again Over Draft Constitution
Zanu PF-aligned Danny Musukuma has for the
second time filed an urgent
application at the High Court, this time seeking
to stop the Constitution
Parliamentary Committee (COPAC), from sending the
draft constitution to
Musukuma is also demanding that the
Second All Stakeholders’ Conference has
to be redone, arguing that the
people at the conference answered questions
but did not know what they were
In his papers to the High Court filed Monday, Musukuma, who claims
represent millions of Zimbabweans, cited all three COPAC co-chairs and
who are in the management committee as the respondents, but left out
Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Eric Matinenga.
October, Musukuma took the constitution-making committee to court seeking
stop the holding of the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference, but he lost
He later tried to register to attend the conference as a Zanu PF
but was snubbed by COPAC.
VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri reached Zanu PF COPAC co-chairman,
Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, who
declined to comment saying the matter is
already before the
But co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic
formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that Musukuma
being used by some in Zanu PF to oppose the new constitution process.
billion looted from mining companies through indigenisation
18 December 2012
A total of $4 billion has so far
been raised by government from shares that
big mining firms were forced to
give up under the National Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment
According to the state run Sunday Mail newspaper, Indigenisation and
Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week said the Sovereign Wealth
Fund had reached $4 billion after two more mining companies gave up 51% of
their shares in compliance.
Kasukuwere said Unki Platinum and Mimosa
had finally complied with the
indigenization laws after submitting revised
compliance proposals. Mimosa’s
deal raised $550 million dollars and was the
most lucrative so far. A deal
with one more company, Zimplats, is expected
to be cleared sometime this
According to reports, mining sector
officials in the country this week said
government had given them no choice
but to “vendor finance” their proposals
or risk losing their operations
Increased pressure on the mining firms came after ZANU PF
at their conference earlier this month, calling for
intensified pressure on
According to Kasukuwere $1.8
billion of the acquired shares went through the
National Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Fund (Nieef) and the rest
is supposed to go to
community trusts and employee share ownerships schemes.
Luke Zunga from
the Global Zim Forum dismissed the indigenisation policies
as nothing more
than massive looting. He said the communities and so-called
people, who are supposed to benefit, do not have direct access to
any of the
money made through indigenisation.
“These shares are either going to be
held in the Sovereign Fund or whatever,
so that they are in the control of
those departments of government. It is
these organizations that decide how
much to give to the communities,” Zunga
He added: “This is
asking for scandal, money disappearing and people killing
each other going
after the money. This is not an economic development
policy. It is not. It
is simply taking over shares from people who have been
building up their
Economists have criticized ZANU PF’s indigenisation plan as
and electioneering, saying it drives away foreign investors
and has a
negative impact on the economy.
The MDC formations have
also received strong criticism for not being more
vocal in opposing the
Zim information minister calls for regulation of the
internet, social media
A report in today’s
Herald newspaper says Zimbabwe’ Media, Information
and Publicity Minister, Webster Shamu, has called for the “appropriate
regulation of the internet and new media platforms”. The Minister, according to
the report, is calling for this because the potential of the internet to cause
strife in society.
comes just a week after governments world over met in Dubai for
a UN International Telecoms Union (ITU) meeting to discuss a framework to usher
in regulation of the internet by governments through the ITU. The proposals were
successfully blocked by the US and UK.More on that
According to the
state owned daily paper, Shamu made the call at a meeting with a Chinese
Here are some of
the quotes from the article:
important to instill in citizens and the journalism fraternity progressive
values anchored on clear appreciation of national history and cultural heritage
so that they appropriately exercise citizen journalism.
citizen journalism facet of the new media means everyone has the potential to
disseminate information that is…sometimes inaccurate or undesirable, information
which may indeed be in total disregard of the national interest and lead to
uncalled for internal strife in a country,
for the regulation so far is social media and citizen journalism. Social media
platforms include websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others like
them. Citizen journalism on the internet is basically in the form of blogging on
platforms like WordPress,BlogSpot, Posterous and Tumblr as well as independently hosted
While details of
such regulation are not clear from what the minister said, such calls are
worrying. The internet, social media, and citizen journalism as it is in
Zimbabwe, is far from broken. If anything there’s need for more access,
inclusion of more Zimbabweans, and more local content put on the internet by
Zimbabweans so it can be relevant to everyday Zimbabweans.
We should not be
thinking about regulating we should be thinking of opening it to more creators
official still detained a week after arrest
By Alex Bell
An official from the Zimbabwe Association of Human Rights
was arrested almost a week ago after a police raid on the
is still being detained in Harare.
The offices were
ransacked by police officials last Wednesday and ZimRights
Leo Chamahwinya was arrested, on allegations of conducting
He was held without charge until last Friday, when he was
of ‘conspiracy to commit fraud’. He is now still being
detained in Harare
and his legal team are set to file a bail application in
the coming days.
Meanwhile, the ZimRights offices in Bulawayo were raided
on Monday, in what
is being slammed as a deliberate crackdown on civic
groups in Zimbabwe.
Staff was questioned during the raid, but no one was
Dzimbabwe Chimbga, from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR), told SW
Radio Africa that the police spent more than hour “turning
the place upside
down,” but eventually left empty handed.
off the back of the arrest of a ZimRights official in Harare and
this raid is linked. Police claimed they were looking for
material linked to so-called illegal registration of voters. But
find anything,” Chimbga said.
The lawyer agreed that civic groups and
other NGOs appear to be targeted as
part of a deliberate and “ruthless”
campaign of intimidation and harassment.
Last week, two officials from the
Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN)
were detained for organising an
“unsanctioned public meeting” on
International Human Rights Day. Their
detention came just days before
ZimRights’ Chamawhinya was
Last month several employees from the Counselling Services Unit
NGO that provides support to victims of torture and political
arrested and illegally detained because CSU was allegedly in
“offensive and subversive material.”
And in August the
headquarters of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Zimbabwe
ransacked on multiple occasions, during which visibly drunk riot
assaulted GALZ employees and seized office materials. Authorities
attempted to shut down the GALZ operations altogether, charging a
co-chairperson with running an “unregistered” organisation.
in charge of elections for unity government
18 December 2012
It has been reported that Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai is taking control
of the country’s preparations for
elections due next year, in his capacity
as the principal in charge of
policy implementation in the unity government.
Newsday newspaper said
this was the purpose of a meeting last Friday between
Tsvangirai and the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
But Tsvangirai’s spokesperson,
William Bango, told SW Radio Africa that this
is not news, as the PM has
been in charge of policy implementation for the
government all along, as
part of his “job description” and mandate.
“Look at the Constitution and
how it defines Mr. Tsvangirai’s expected
duties. It is very clear this is
part of his daily diary. Lots of work has
been done in the past four years
to prepare. It is clear we are having
elections next year and preparatory
work must begin now,” Bango said.
The PM met with officials from ZEC last
week and plans to meet with all the
other commissions, including the
Constitutional select committee (COPAC) and
Asked why Tsvangirai is not pursuing the implementation of
the key reforms
that were stipulated in the Global Political Agreement,
which are meant to
lead to free and fair elections, Bango said those reforms
had nothing to do
with the daily duties of the Prime Minister.
is a deadlock and the GPA is very clear as to what happens in that
where there is no agreement. In cases like that it clearly says the
must be referred to the facilitator for assistance,” Bango said.
facilitator, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and his team, have
to break the deadlock in the Constitutional reform exercise. Without
agreement on a new charter by the political parties, there can be no
referendum and elections will be delayed even longer.
have also pointed to the fact that Tsvangirai’s party, the
to be harassed and prosecuted by a partisan police force
Their rallies are disrupted and supporters assaulted by
Ironically Tsvangirai is organising an election, in a country
party cannot freely campaign.
June 28 Deadline to Dissolve Zimbabwe Parliament
Violet Gonda, Taurai
The current Parliament of Zimbabwe and the government
will expire in June
next year and elections must be held before then, with
or without a new
constitution, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
revealed in Washington
DC at the weekend.
Mutambara, attending the
launch of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Home-Front
Interface Initiative, said the
current Lancaster House Constitution sets the
duration of the parliament as
a function of the presidency and the current
president who was sworn in on
June 28, 2008.
Currently the political parties in the inclusive
government are haggling
over the final draft of a new constitution, with
President Robert Mugabe
threatening to ditch the stalled new constitution
and hold elections under
the current constitution.
Mutambara told the
VOA that if the political parties fail to agree on a new
elections will have to be held without reforms no later
than June 28, which
he warns may lead to a disputed outcome.
“If we don’t make progress by
June 28, 2013, we will be forced to go into an
election without a new
“SADC (Southern African Development Community) can
encourage us to work
together but the African Union and SADC cannot force us
to violate the
constitution. There is no way that SADC and the AU can extend
government and the Zimbabwean parliament beyond June 28,
The deputy prime minister said he would prefer
constitutional and electoral
reforms to be in place before the next
elections, adding that “if we don’t
do that we are going towards acrimony
and I don’t desire to have elections
on the Lancaster House
But the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly,
told the VOA that while it is correct to say that
parliament will be
dissolved by June 28, the government has four additional
that elections would be needed by October 20.
with Lovemore Madhuku
The constitutional expert said there will be no
parliament after June 28 but
just the executive arm of the
“The president is allowed to remain in office until a new
office and that must be done within four months of that
“So by about October 28 there must be elections but those
elections are what
is allowed for purposes of allowing the processes for an
parliament will not be able to do anything after 28
Madhuku said this situation must be avoided as it is not good to
executive run government affairs when there is no legal parliament
A senior researcher at the Research and Advocacy Unit in
Matyszak, also agreed that the requirement for elections is
after the dissolution of parliament, but says the only time that
the life of
parliament can be extended is if there is a national security
Interview with Derek Matyszak
He said: “Mutambara seems to be
unaware that elections don’t have to take
place for another four months
after the dissolution of parliament.
“The only way that it can be
extended is if there is a declaration of war or
if there is a declaration of
a state of emergency, or if there is a
constitutional amendment to extend
the life of parliament.”
Both Madhuku and Matyszak said there is no legal
requirement for a new
constitution to be in place before
Meanwhile, Movement for Democratic Change leader Welshman
Ncube said his
party is prepared to go for general elections, even if
Zimbabwe fails to
adopt a new constitution.
Speaking to journalists
after a party rally at Maboleni Township in Lower
Gweru on Sunday, Ncube,
who had earlier told his supporters that it is
difficult to craft a new
constitution under what he labeled a
“dictatorship,” said if the country
fails to have a new constitution soon,
Zimbabweans can always work on having
one in future.
Ncube blasted Zanu PF for wanting to impose its will on
others, adding that
his party would rather go for polls under the current
constitution than an
Skeptical of Military's Impartiality in 2013 Polls
WASHINGTON DC — The two Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) formations have
received with cautious optimism statements by
State Security Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi that security forces will not
tolerate violence in the
forthcoming general elections.
told state-controlled media that security forces will be on high
the run-up to the 2013 polls to prevent clashes between political
and attempts to intimidate voters.
The army and the police have been
accused of openly supporting Zanu PF and
harassing MDC supporters in
“The public is assured that the army, police and
intelligence services will
be extremely vigilant and coordinating their
activities before and during
the elections to detect any trouble makers,”
Sekeramayi told the Herald.
But spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the Welshman
Ncube MDC said he was skeptical
of the minister's statement but will give
him the benefit of the doubt.
"If Sekeramayi has indeed made such a
commitment, we welcome it," said Dube.
"What we need in Zimbabwe is a
professional security force that does not
involve itself in partisan
Dube's sentiments were echoed by Abednico Bhebhe, deputy
secretary of the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai. But
Bhebhe had more
"Many people have been beaten up by the
military for supporting the MDC or
being against Zanu PF, and nothing has
been done to the perpetrators. What
will change now?” asked Bhebhe.
population peaks at 13 million: census report
Sapa-AFP | 18 December, 2012
Zimbabwe's population steadily increased to 13 million, up by 1.1%
last count a decade ago, a report released by the National
on Tuesday shows.
"Detailed results will be
published in a series of subsequent reports after
completion of data
processing and further analysis," Mutasa Dzinotizei,
Agency (ZimStats) director general said.
Females make the largest group
of the population, with 6.738,77 counted.
Long-ruling President Robert
Mugabe blamed the scourge of HIV and AIDS
related deaths for the declining
growth after the 2002 census.
Though about 13% of the population is HIV
positive, Zimbabwe has emerged as
something of an AIDS success, with new HIV
infections down 50 percent
between 1997 and 2007, a study last year
Officials are encouraging male circumcision because some research
the procedure can reduce HIV transmission rates.
has also seen an exodus of people fleeing political and economic
over the last decade, with some estimates suggesting three million
The 2012 census figures do not include Zimbabweans outside the
Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:56 AM
inflation rate dipped to 2.99 percent in November, down
from 3.38 percent
the previous month, due to lower clothing and wine costs,
statistics agency said Monday.
Prices rose by 0.13 percent in November,
shedding down from the 0.26 percent
gain in October, the Zimbabwe National
Statistics Agency (ZimStats) said.
Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate has
remained below five percent since the
country abandoned its hyper-inflation
ravaged dollar for the US dollar and
other regional currencies.
power-sharing government formed in 2009 between long-time political rivals
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dumped the
worthless local dollar.
Goods that were in short supply or
unavailable have returned to the shelves,
but prices have continued to
fluctuate according to import costs.
Zimbabwe relies on imports mainly
from neighbouring economic giant South
Africa after the economic meltdown
forced factories to downsize, close or
relocate to neighbouring countries.
stockpiling diamond - World Bank
Staff Reporter 6 hours 49
The World Bank believes that the Government of
Zimbabwe is hoarding massive
quantities of diamonds, Rough and Polished
In an internal document of the World Bank which was viewed by Fin24,
authors claimed that the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development
has amassed troves of rough diamonds that might amount to up to
These rough diamonds stored by the ZMDC are said to be of low
quality and of
lesser dollar value per carat, according to Rough and
Polished. They are
also supposed to have been collected before the Kimberley
Certification Scheme voted to permit the Zimbabwean diamond industry
on the global market with KP approval.
The World Bank report also
noted that without intervention, Zimbabwe's
diamond production will peak at
an annual rate of 12 million carats in the
years to come, but that this rate
can be increased by over 25% in the next
six years if the country invests
whips SA miners into line
BY TAWANDA KAROMBO, DECEMBER 18 2012,
ZIMBABWE has ratcheted up the pressure on South African
companies to vendor finance their empowerment
On Friday, Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum announced
Zimbabwean joint venture Mimosa had signed an agreement to
transfer 51% to
black Zimbabwean groups.
Mimosa and Zimplats, which
had to submit a revised compliance plan, now want
to provide funding for the
acquisition of shares by local groups in their
Zimbabwean Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the
submitted by Zimplats is likely to be given the nod this week. "We
pleased that the Zimplats deal is almost sealed. We are hopeful that it
be a done deal (this week) ."
Mining sector officials in
Zimbabwe said on Monday that the government had
apparently told the two
mining companies that they had to vendor finance
their proposals or risk
their operations being taken over.
"There had been so much pressure on
the platinum mining companies and
following resolutions passed at the Zanu
(PF) conference earlier this month
to intensify pressure on the companies,
Zimplats and Mimosa just had to
comply," said a mining executive who did not
want to be named.
"Remember, elections are around the corner and this law
is being used to
lure votes. Just about all the big guns have now complied
and it will be
easy for Kasukuwere and the government to nudge the others to
Analyst Johannes Kwangwari said the indigenisation scheme was
bound to face
challenges from the word go. " Zimplats was the first to
there were always going to be problems regarding payment
for the shares. But
now all the major mining companies have moved in to
fully comply and there
is substance in their agreements ."
it has emerged that the deal signed between Mimosa and the
see the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Board (Nieeb) pay
up a debt owed to Mimosa by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
"The reserve bank
has a $57m debt with Mimosa, but we have managed to clear
this debt through
this deal," Mr Kasukuwere said.
"Nieeb will take over the debt as part of
their shareholding in Mimosa and
the reserve bank will not have to repay
Mimosa, but strike an arrangement
through Nieeb," he said.
Platinum CEO Jean Nel said on Friday that compliance with the
law would "offer Mimosa security of tenure".
Under the agreement, Mimosa
will cede 51% ownership to indigenous Zimbabwean
groups for $550m. This has
been calculated at an "agreed" market value of
$1.078bn for the Mimosa
Mimosa said future funding for the mine’s operations and
where necessary, would be provided by all shareholders,
indigenous Zimbabwean groups empowered under the
"To the extent that shareholders cannot or do not comply
with their funding
obligations, Mimosa Investments may fund any shortfall,
which may lead to
dilution," the miner said.
Mimosa will cede 10%
shareholding to the Zvishavane Community Share
Ownership Trust, which is
held by communities in the area around the mine.
Another 10% will be ceded
to the Mimosa employee share ownership trust. The
company will give up a
further 31% of its shareholding to Nieeb.
accountant up for fraud
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 10:54
HARARE - The Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) has lost over $40 000 after its
officer allegedly pocketed money meant for employees.
Lovemore Ncube, 29,
allegedly converted to his personal use $40 800 which
was meant for
employees to buy stands.
Ncube appeared before magistrate Anita Tshuma on
65 counts of theft of trust
According to state papers, GMB
offered a housing loan facility to its
employees to buy stands.
would hold title deeds of the stands until full payment was made.
duties include processing loans for employees and ensuring the money
transferred from the GMB account into beneficiaries’ accounts.
heard between January and June this year, Ncube lied to his
he had relatives from the Diaspora who wanted to send him
He allegedly asked for their bank accounts which he was
It is alleged Ncube transferred $39 300 into his workmates
purporting that they were beneficiaries of GMB housing
He allegedly asked the account holders to withdraw the money and
give it to
him, thereby prejudicing the company.
According to state
papers, Ncube was also involved in ensuring the GMB
provincial representatives were given $100 worth of airtime
Ncube, the court heard, also received $1 500 for monthly
employees and converted it to his own use.
As a result of
Ncube’s alleged fraudulent actions, GMB suffered a prejudice
of $40 800 and
nothing was recovered.
Magistrate Tshuma remanded Ncube out of custody on
a $200 bail.
He will be back in court on December 28. - Ivine Zhakata
erupts over Mat gold mines
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 10:58
HARARE - Three
Gwanda residents are in custody in a case of suspected ethnic
involving gold mines in Matabeleland South Province.
Police say the three
suspects are now in custody after they allegedly
unleashed violence claiming
politics of exclusion in the running of gold
claims in the province rich in
Police spokesperson Andrew Phiri said officers nabbed the trio
weekend following a public scuffle outside Gum West gold mine. The
were ignited after a motorist ran over a local vendor’s
“The people started to fight this man saying that ‘you Shonas here
exploiting our resources’ while we are suffering’,” Phiri said. “They
to Joy Tree Mine and then went to Zebia Gold Mine where they did the
“It is alleged they were beating up people at these mines telling
leave mineral resources in Matabeleland for Ndebeles.
accused the Shonas of having many mining claims in the area than
Ndebele-speaking people,” the police spokesperson said.
vast gold deposits with Canadian mine, Blanket, being the largest
Zanu-PF boasts about a
shared history with the ANC
18 DEC 2012 15:02 - VERASHNI PILLAY
took a turn at the ANC Mangaung conference as liberation movements
Zanu-PF began comparing themselves to the ANC.
The ANC conference
in Mangaung took a turn after the winners were announced
and tributes from
other parties and organisations were brought to the stage.
representative from Robert Mugabe's party Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe used the
opportunity to defend the party's controversial policies, likening their
situation to the ANC's.
Zanu-PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo
was invited on to stage to
congratulate the ANC.
The reception was
initially warm as Moyo recounted the two parties'
relationship, speaking fondly of a visit from Jeff Radebe
and boasting of
his friendship with Gwede Mantashe.
But applause from the 4 000-plus
audience became increasingly muted as he
delved into the party's
controversial history and land grabs in the country.
"A situation where 1%
of the population owned 70% of commercially viable
land was not tenable," he
Moyo emphasised the right of the two countries'
territorial independence and
said the "restriction free" sale of Zimbabwe's
diamonds was necessary. He
concluded by saying his party and the ANC shared
a common history, values
Frelimo from Mozambique simply
wished the party success, albeit after
mistakenly calling Cyril Ramaphosa
deputy president of the ANC and the
republic of South Africa. This was
Tributes from Chile and the Socialist International
Ndlovu burial set for Saturday
THE BURIAL of Warriors and Highlanders legend Adam
Ndlovu has been slated
for Bulawayo on Saturday.
Madinda said Tuesday that they are yet to decide on the
place of burial –
but there were indications the soccer icon might be laid
to rest at the Lady
The cemetery is preserve for prominent members of the
and Adam, viewed by many as a national football hero,
might be honoured with
a burial there.
It also emerged that Peter,
who was seriously injured in the car crash that
killed his brother, has
finally been told of Adam’s passing.
Members of the public will be
allowed to visit him from Wednesday at Mater
Dei hospital where he is
Madinda also highlighted that the Ndlovu family is
yet to meet with Nomqhele
Tshili's family, the 24-year-old lady who died
Meanwhile, condolences continue to pour in.
manager Sharif Mussa said: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of
is a very big shock not only to me, but Zimbabwe as a whole and the
“He used to make Zimbabweans smile because of his play. Adam
will be greatly
missed. He imparted a legacy to our football. May God be
with the family in
the trying times. Best wishes to Peter. I hope he
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) also paid its
Adam had “distinguished himself as a great football player
and an astute
“The SRC would like to express its heartfelt
condolences to the Ndlovu
family and the football fraternity and shares with
them the loss of one of
the greatest footballers ever to be produced in this
We pray that guardian angels watch over Peter and wish him a
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter
Schmeichel tweeted: "Sending my
best wishes to Peter Ndlovu. I hope he
Gukurahundi Massacres: The 5 Brigade and CIO (Part 12)
on December 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm
C.THE 5 BRIGADE AND CIO
In Matabeleland South in 1984, the pattern of 5 Brigade behaviour
differed notably from their behaviour in 1983. Killings were less likely to
occur in the village setting. However, mass beatings remained very widespread,
with many variations on a theme.
The key men behind the Gukurahundi
Massacres: Robert Mugabe (President), Emmerson Mnangagwa (then State Security
Minister) and Perrence Shiri (then commander of the 5th
the most common pattern still involved making people lie face down in rows,
after which they were beaten with thick sticks, there are a large number of
interviews referring to sadistic refinements in mass physical
were on occasion made to lie on thorny branches first, after which 5 Brigade ran
along their backs to embed the thorns before the beatings. People were made to
roll in and out of water while being beaten, sometimes naked. They were made to
push government vehicles with their heads only, and were then beaten for
bleeding on government property. Women were made to climb up trees and open
their legs, so 5 Brigade could insult their genitals, while simultaneously
beating them. Men and women were made to run round in circles with their index
fingers on the ground, and were beaten for falling over.
mass beatings invariably ended with at least some victims so badly injured that
they were unable to move, so that they had to be carried away by others the
following day. As in Matabeleland North, people were threatened with death if
they reported to hospitals or clinics, and the majority of injuries remained
untreated. Victims mention fractured limbs which set themselves crookedly,
perforated ear drums which became infected, and other injuries which might have
been simply treated, resulting in long-term health problems.
Genital mutilation is more commonly reported in Matobo than in
Matabeleland North. The practice of forcing sharp sticks into women’s vaginas is
independently reported by several witnesses. This phenomenon was apparently
common at Bhalagwe, and witnesses refer to women at Bhalagwe adopting a
characteristic, painful, wide-legged gait after receiving such torture. In
addition, men were also subjected to beatings which focussed on their genitalia.
The testicles would be bound in rubber strips and then beaten with a
men complain of permanent problems with erections and urinating as a result of
such beatings. At least one man is reported as dying after his scrotum was burst
during a beating. Several witnesses also report being told to have sex with
donkeys while at Bhalagwe, and being beaten when they failed to do so. The
practice of wide spread rape, of young women being “given as wives” to 5 Brigade
at Bhalagwe is also referred to by several independent
CIO seemed to work very closely with the 5 Brigade in Matabeleland South, and
gained a reputation for being even more lethal in their methods of torture than
5 Brigade. The CIO conducted most of the “interrogation” at Bhalagwe and Sun Yet
Sen: they would ask questions, while 5 Brigade, who could not speak or
understand Ndebele, beat the victim regardless of what he/she responded. CIO
used electric shocks to torture people. They attached wires to the backs, ears
and mouths of witnesses before shocking them.
Witnesses frequently refer to being tortured by 5 Brigade and then
CIO consecutively, or being passed from the custody of one to the other and back
again. In Bhalagwe, there is repeated reference to a particularly cruel woman
CIO officer who used to sexually torment her male victims.
torture was also apparently wide-spread under both CIO and 5 Brigade. This
commonly involved either holding a person’s head under water, or forcing a shirt
into somebody’s mouth, then pouring water onto the shirt until the victim choked
and lost consciousness. The perpetrator would then jump on the victim’s stomach
until s/he vomited up the water. This practice commonly stopped once the victim
was vomiting blood.
killing by 5 Brigade was less widespread than in Matabeleland North in 1983,
there are still many horrific atrocities on record, including the following, all
perpetrated by 5 Brigade. A four month-old infant was axed three times, and the
mother forced to eat the flesh of her dead child. An eighteen year-old girl was
raped by six soldiers and then killed. An eleven year-old child had her vagina
burnt with plastic and was later shot. Twin infants were buried
D. MASS DETENTION
beatings and rallies invariably ended in mass detentions in 1984. Those detained
included all ex-ZIPRAs, all ZAPU officials, and other men and women selected on
a seemingly random basis. Those detained could include the elderly, and also
schoolchildren. Trucks seemed to patrol, picking up anyone they met and taking
them to detention camps.
usual for detainees to be taken first to the nearest 5 Brigade base, for 1 or
more days, before being transferred to Bhalagwe. Interviewees report being held
in small 5 Brigade camps, until there were enough of them to fill an army
vehicle to Bhalagwe. A truck-load seems to have been around 100 people. In
southern Matobo, the main `holding camp’ was at Sun Yet Sen, where both the CIO
and the 5 Brigade were based.This camp reportedly held up to 800 detainees at
one time, and people were sometimes held here for a week or longer. There were
smaller bases in the west and north.
Detainees in southern Matobo were commonly beaten before their
detention, tortured at Sun Yet Sen, and then transferred to Bhalagwe for further
torture and detention. In addition to detentions after rallies or mass beatings,
5 Brigade also went through some areas on foot, hauling out villagers from the
homesteads they passed, and then herding them ahead on foot, while beating them.
Some interviewees report covering extensive distances in this way, as 5 Brigade
made a sweep through many villages in an area, gathering a growing number of
detainees as they went.
most notorious detention centre of all was Bhalagwe Camp, situated just west of
Antelope Mine. From interviews, Bhalagwe operated at full capacity throughout
the early months of 1984, from the beginning of February until the end of May, a
period of 4 months. It continued to operate after this, but the phenomenon of
mass detentions had dissipated by then, and there were fewer new inmates after
May 1982 aerial photographs of the Bhalagwe area were taken for the purposes of
updating maps of the area. An enlarged section of one such photograph (see page
) shows that at this date, Bhalagwe was an operational military camp: military
vehicles are visible, as are soldiers on parade. It would appear that 1:7
Battalion was based here in 1982, consisting mainly of ex ZIPRAs incorporated
into the Zimbabwe National Army.
some point in 1982, the ZIPRAs here were allegedly accused of being dissidents,
and Bhalagwe Camp was surrounded by elite Paratroop and Commando units and was
shut down. However, a military presence was maintained here, as there are
references to Bhalagwe being used as a detention centre for ex ZIPRAs and others
from mid 1982 onwards, when the anti-ZIPRA sweep in the wake of the tourist
kidnapping gained momentum.
Visible at Bhalagwe in May 1982, are 180 large, round roofed
asbestos “holding sheds”, each measuring approximately 12 metres by 6 metres,
and 36 half-sized ones, measuring 6 metres by 6 metres. According to testimonies
on record since March 1984, which have been confirmed in interviews in 1996,
these asbestos structures were where detainees were kept.
also clear from the aerial photography, that these structures were arranged,
apparently within fences, in groups of a dozen – eleven 12 x 6 metre structures
and 1 smaller one. What is not clear is how many of these groupings were used in
1984 to house detainees, and how many were used to house military personnel, or
served storage or interrogation purposes. Perhaps many were out of use. There is
also reference by some detainees to some of the asbestos sheds having suffered
wind and storm damage, so by February 1984 the camp may have been less intact
than it appears in the May 1982 photograph.
Detainees confirm that 136 people were routinely kept in each 12 x
6 metre shed. There were no beds, and the floor space was so limited people had
to sleep squeezed together on their sides, in 3 rows. There were no blankets or
assumption, based on affidavits, of 136 per shed would allow for the detention
of at least 1500 people within each fenced enclosure of a dozen sheds. Bhalagwe
camp has been variously estimated by ex-detainees to have had 1800, 2000, 3000
up to 5000 people detained at one time. On 7 February 1984, the number of
detainees was 1 856, consisting of 1000 men and 856 women.
figure was given to CCJP in 1984 by a detainee who was ordered by 5 Brigade to
help others count the number of detainees. As the curfew had only been in effect
a few days at this stage, and the phase of mass detentions was just beginning,
it is very likely the number rose over the following weeks.
quite clear from the aerial photograph that Bhalagwe’s holding capacity was
vast, and easily capable of absorbing at one time the highest figure currently
claimed, that of 5 000. However, the exact number detained at Bhalagwe’s peak
first records of detentions in the Bhalagwe area date from the middle of 1982,
coinciding with the detention exercises going on in Matabeleland North at that
time. Reported detentions in 1982 and 1983 are few, however: it is in February
1984 that Bhalagwe becomes the centre of detentions throughout Matabeleland. The
remains of Bhalagwe Camp were still visible in November 1996 (see photos page
camp is ideally situated in terms of combining maximum space, with maximum
privacy. There are natural barriers on three sides: Bhalagwe hill lies to the
south, and Zamanyone hill demarcates its western edge. The eastern perimeter
lies in the direction of Antelope Dam, and there are no villages between the
camp and the dam. Water was piped in from Antelope Dam nearby, into water
storage tanks. Although the camp is scarcely a kilometre from the main road
running south of Bhalagwe hill, it is invisible to passers’
were trucked in from all over Matabeleland South to Bhalagwe, not just from
Matobo. Women and men were separated. Different zones within the camp were
designated to detainees who had been brought in from the different bases at
Bulilimamangwe, Plumtree, Gwanda, Mberengwa, Sun Yet Sen and northern Matobo.
There is even reference to detainees from Chipinge – these could have been
potential MNR dissidents, although who they were exactly is not
well as being sorted by district, Bhalagwe survivors refer to new arrivals being
sorted and designated holding rooms on the basis of their usual line of work and
their employers, such as whether they worked in town or were communal farmers.
At times school children were also sorted and kept separately. Detainees also
refer to identity documents and letters related to employment being taken by 5
Brigade, and the latter destroyed.
Interviewees also refer to the fact that ex-ZIPRAs and ZAPU
officials were kept separately from the ordinary civilians.
detainees at any one time at Bhalagwe had been selected from a wide area, people
in detention together seldom knew more than a handful of the other detainees. As
most travel in the rural areas is on foot, people then (and now) did not know
those who lived even a few villages away from their usual footpaths. One of the
consequences was that when a person died in detention, possibly only one or two
other inmates from the same village, and possibly nobody at all, would know that
Inmates of Bhalagwe speak of daily deaths in the camp, but they
are seldom able to name victims. They will merely comment how they witnessed
people being beaten or shot, or how on certain mornings there would be people in
their barracks who had died in the course of the night, as a result of the
previous day’s beatings. The digging of graves is mentioned as a daily chore by
some in early February.
However according to witnesses, at a certain point, although the
date is not clear, these graves were dug up, and the bodies taken away on the
trucks. The empty grave sites were still clearly visible in November 1996. Other
accounts refer to the nightly departure of army trucks, carrying away the dead
and dying to an unknown destination. It is now believed that these people were
disposed of in local mine shafts, and in 1992, human remains were found in
Antelope Mine, adjacent to Bhalagwe. Other people speak of their belief that
Legion Mine, near Sun Yet Sen, also contains human remains from the
ex-ZIPRAs and ZAPU officials were singled out and kept in a separate area, in
small buildings with low rooves and no windows, although there were ventilation
slats. They were also kept shackled throughout their detentions, unlike the
other detainees, and were subjected to the most brutal
Turn-over at Bhalagwe was high. The length of detentions varied
greatly. Most people recount having spent a few days or weeks in Bhalagwe.
Approximately one to two weeks seemed a common detention period. Some
interviewees claim to have spent as long as six to nine months in detention
here, but these tend to be the ex-ZIPRAs and ZAPU officials.
were commonly held a few days, unless selected as “wives” for the soldiers, in
which case their detention might stretch to a few weeks.
weeks was assumed as an average stay, and a conservative turnover of 1000 every
two weeks was assumed, it could be estimated that around 8000 people passed
through Bhalagwe in the four months it operated at its peak. The turnover could
have been nearer double this figure.
Whatever the length of detention, those detained were subjected to
at least one brutal interrogation experience. The majority were beaten on more
than one occasion. There is reference to electric shocks being administered by
witnesses report making false confessions under torture, naming invented people
as dissidents, only to be caught out the next day when they failed to remember
their previous day’s testimony. Interrogations always involved accusing people
of being dissidents or feeding dissidents or of failing to report dissidents.
This was routine, with no evidence being cited. The sexual focus of much of the
torture has already been mentioned, with widespread rape, genital mutilation and
forced sex with animals.
Bhalagwe survivors have referred to a wide variety of physical
tortures. One pastime for the 5 Brigade was to force large numbers of detained
men and women, to climb on to branches of trees, until the weight of human
bodies snapped the branch, sending everyone crashing to earth. People broke
limbs as a result of this. Several interviewees comment on the way 5 Brigade
laughed to see them suffer.
Another form of torture was to force three men to climb into a 2
metre asbestos drainage pipe. The ones on each end would be told to come out,
and as they started to leave the pipe, the 5 Brigade would begin to beat them
fiercely, causing the men to spontaneously pull back in to the pipe, crushing
the third man who would be crowded in the middle. On occasion, this resulted in
the man in the middle being crushed and kicked to death by his two panicking
Detainees were fed only once every second day, when mealie meal
would be dished up on dustbin lids, with between 10 and 20 people per lid.
Sometimes people would be forced to eat without using hands, for the amusement
of 5 Brigade.
were given half a cup of water a day each. Detainees had to dig toilets, wash
army clothes and pots, and chop firewood in between their interrogation
sessions. Interrogations used to begin at 5.30 a.m. every day.
Taken from a report on the 1980’s disturbances in Matabeleland and
the Midlands. Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in
Zimbabwe, March 1997.