Harare, December 21, 2010 - Ten people including a mother clutching a baby
died here on Tuesday in one of the worst road carnages which can be blamed
squarely on the Zimbabwe Republic Police as the commuter omnibus rammed on a
truck while running away from the police along Simon Mazorodze Road.
The Glen View commuter omnibus was bound for the city when it was chased by
the police resulting in the crash.
Among the deceased was a mother who was clutching her baby in her hands. The
baby survived the horror crash.
Commuter omnibus passengers blamed the police for the accident as most
police officers were demanding bribes leading to the cat and mouse game.
On Monday Radio VOP reported that traffic cops manning road blocks along the
country’s major roads were demanding bribes from motorists and officers were
accepting anything from groceries to cash.
Zimbabwe's civil servants earn US$150 which is below the poverty datum line
of about US$500 a month.
This is probably one of the worst accidents in the country in the run up to
this year's Christmas holidays.
Meanwhile the Gweru National Blood Services said the blood donor base had
dropped to less than a hundred clients out of the over 3 000 a month.
Midlands Region Customer relations Officer, Aggrey Ngazana told Radio VOP:
“We are so much worried by the rate at which the adult clients continue to
dwindle and we are in the process of organising social gatherings in a bid
to lure more blood donors.”
“I am urging our old clients and potential clients to consider donating
blood in order to curb the seasonal shortages. Blood stocks are dwindling
and it is scary," he said.
by Staff Reporters
FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has promised action after witnessing thousands
of holiday travellers between South Africa and Zimbabwe stuck at the
Beitbridge border post for hours – caught-up in the “depressing”
inefficiency and bureaucracy of immigration control.
Immigration authorities are battling to cope with an upsurge in the number
of travellers as Christmas and New Year’s holidays approach.
During a visit to the border on Monday, Biti said: “A border post should be
a place for happiness not depression – people should be happy that they are
going home or visiting a hospitable country.
"This border post is the preface to the country and whatever image we
portray here which is unfit for the 21st century is going to affect us as a
During most parts of the year, the border must cope with between 1,500 to
2,000 people per day.
However, during December and early January, the number of travellers trying
to pass through Beitbridge, surges to around 17,000 per day.
Zimbabwe’s understaffed port authorities, burdened by archaic technology and
byzantine regulations, traditionally struggle to cope with the surge in
human and vehicle traffic.
Biti, who travelled to the border with Transport Minister Nicholas Goche for
a first-hand account of the chaos, promised a transformation of the border
post to “world class standards” by next Christmas.
He said: "At the moment, people are taking between six and seven hours to
cross from Zimbabwe to South Africa. We are going to do everything within
our power to improve the situation.
"The state of affairs here is affecting the speedy movement of both cargo
and private traffic in what is the busiest port of entry in the country and
"Most of the infrastructure here is in a bad state and we have courted other
partners to help in the re-organisation and transformation of the border
post to world class standards.”
Biti said work on improving the border post would begin shortly and should
be complete by September next year.
The International Organisation is funding a project to computerise the
border post, after supporting a similar scheme at the Harare and Victoria
The system -- to be also used to fight crime -- will allow for eye scanning,
passport scanning and image recognition.
Frustrated travellers, mainly drivers, complain about the many forms they
have to fill and the various offices they have to visit before they are
allowed to enter Zimbabwe.
Biti says most of the paperwork is unnecessary and wants the various
immigration departments brought under one roof, with the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority taking the lead.
He added: “We are going to consolidate services here and make the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority the lead agent and do away with a lot of control measures
which are frustrating and delaying travellers.
"You will realise that at the moment we have a lot of agents duplicating
services yet that can be consolidated and carried out by one lead agent.
"We have also noted with concern that a lot of operations are being done
manually which is slowing down the movement of people and cargo.
"We are going to work out on a serious programme to computerise services
especially with the Revenue Authority where we are going to link all the
computers through the Asycuda Clearance System.
"Some of the clearance facilities, especially for commercial purposes,
should be done over the internet rather than truckers spending days for
their documents to be processed manually.
"In essence, we need a multi-faceted approach to address the challenges we
are facing here.”
Biti and Goche heard from the Assistant Regional Immigration
Officer-in-Charge (Southern Region), Charles Gwede, who complained that they
For instance, Gwede said, the Revenue Authority needed a staff compliment of
400, but currently had 227 officers at the border. The Immigration
Department had 55 officers, Gwede said, when ideally they needed no less
than 80 during the holiday period.
Between Friday and Sunday, Zimbabwe had cleared 55,190 visitors into the
country, with 21,738 moving in the opposite direction.
Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on
Budget and Finance, said last week that the country was losing millions in
revenue due to the poor management of the Beitbridge border post.
“Beitbridge is the biggest border post in Africa and has a huge national and
economic significance,” said Cross. “Millions of dollars are lost per month
in unnecessary costs due to corruption in particular.”
Cross said between January and December 2010, Beitbridge recorded movement
of people, private vehicles, buses and heavy trucks of 3,633,017 million –
suggesting those numbers showed "huge" revenue potential.
“Delays in commercial traffic is a hindrance to the growth of tourism. I
would say the situation in Beitbridge has reached crisis level. It is a huge
business and if we run it properly, it can make a significant profit for
Zimbabwe. It has actually cost us a lot of money.”
Karoi, December 21, 2010 - Some rural teachers were left stranded on Monday
after banks ran out of cash to give them.
The teachers were forced to sleep outside banking halls on Monday hoping to
get a chance to access their salaries early Tuesday.
'I came from Mjinga and arrived here during midday but failed to access my
salary. I will sleep outside the bank so that I can get money early to buy
grocery for Christmas,' said a disgruntled rural teacher.
A bank teller said the shortage has been caused by the fact that teachers
had been paid their salaries earlier than usual.
'Intially teachers were scheduled to get salaries on 23 (December) and the
sudden change of payout date has affected our clients,' said the teller.
Meanwhile, some temporary teachers in the area received a shock when they
only received US$30 in their bank accounts as salaries. The salary was
worked according to a pro-rata basis.
'What does Government think I will do with this $30?' asked one temporary
Zimbabwe's prices of commodities have been increased in the past few months.
The price of petrol and diesel has also gone up which may see another round
of price increases by shop owners.
STAFF REPORTER - Dec 21 2010 17:24
The Mail & Guardian won't be getting its hands on a hitherto secret report
into Zimbabwe's 2002 elections just yet, despite the fact that two courts
have ordered the Presidency to hand it over.
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) last week ruled that the report on the
constitutional and legal environment surrounding the controversial 2002
presidential poll, widely regarded as having been rigged in favour of Robert
Mugabe, must be made available to the M&G. This followed a series of
requests by the newspaper under the Promotion of Access to Information Act
dating back to 2008. In terms of the ruling, the hand-over was to have taken
place by the end of Friday December 24.
Instead, the Presidency will apply for leave to appeal the judgement to the
Constitutional Court, the state attorney on Tuesday informed the M&G's
attorneys, Webber Wentzel.
The report was compiled for former president Thabo Mbeki by judges Sisi
Khampepe and Dikgang Moseneke, and has never been made public.
The Presidency argued that doing so would reveal information given to the
judges in confidence by the Zimbabwean government, saying that the two had
been acting in a diplomatic or quasi-diplomatic role. Both the North Gauteng
High Court and the SCA found that the Presidency had failed to provide any
evidence for this contention, and hence had not provided the necessary level
of justification for keeping the document secret.
* Read the SCA judgement (PDF)
"We are extremely disappointed with President Jacob Zuma's decision to keep
on fighting this matter in the courts," said M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes.
"He has lost twice, and costs have twice been awarded to the M&G. That on
its own should be a signal of the weakness of his case. More importantly,
the appeal will further delay the release of information which we believe
the South African public has a right to access.
"Worse, it will do so at a time when Zimbabweans are once again being pushed
toward an election that many of them believe cannot be free and fair.
Instead of continuing to burn public money on a case that we believe he
cannot win, President Zuma should show his commitment to the open democracy
provisions of our Constitution by handing the report over now."
Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:17pm GMT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Tuesday it
was imposing sanctions against Zimbabwe's attorney general, Johannes Tomana,
saying his actions undermined the country's democratic institutions.
"(His) targeting of selected political opponents threatens the rule of law
in Zimbabwe, harms the integrity of the government ... and counters the will
of Zimbabwean people who have expressed their desire to build a democratic
society," said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets
COLUMBUS MAVHUNGA | HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Dec 21 2010 15:14
A leading business group on Tuesday urged President Robert Mugabe not to
seize Zimbabwe-based firms from Western countries in opposing the sanctions
imposed on him and his party.
Last week Mugabe had made such a threat while addressing the annual congress
of his Zanu-PF party.
Under existing economic empowerment and indigenisation laws, foreign-owned
businesses have to be 51% owned by black Zimbabweans. Mugabe has warned that
unless sanctions were removed he would aim to seize complete control over
"He (Mugabe) might have a point on sanctions, but a retaliatory approach
will not work," said Joseph Kanyekanye, head of the Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries, the country's largest business group.
Engagement with the West was "critical", as more foreign investment and
access to capital from abroad were needed to bolster any recovery in
Zimbabwe, Kanyekanye said.
"The economy must not suffer as a result of indigenisation," he told
In 2002, Western countries imposed so-called "smart sanctions" on Mugabe and
some top party officials, which Zanu-PF blames for Zimbabwe's deep economic
Minister of Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere has argued
that seizing Western-owned companies would not worsen the economy.
"Gone are the days when our resources are being exploited and nothing is
coming to us," Kasukuwere said. "If they [the West] continue with their
sanctions, we will also give sanctions."
The indigenisation laws have sparked fierce differences in the fragile
coalition government, with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the rival
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposing the laws. -- Sapa-DPA
Written by Gift Phiri
Sunday, 19 December 2010 12:11
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Peace Project has won the French Republic’s Human
Rights Prize, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” for 2010 for its continuous
defence and furtherance of human rights in the troubled southern African
The prize was presented last week by the French Minister for Justice to ZPP
director Jestina Mukoko at a ceremony described as " warm and friendly."
"The 15.000 € award granted to ZPP will allow the NGO to improve its human
rights monitoring capacity with an emphasis on the violence early warning
systems, using the latest information communication technologies (ICTs),"
the minister said.
"Through this Prize, the French Republic salutes the courage of hundreds of
thousands of human rights defenders in the world who endanger their lives
for the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental
The Human Rights Prize is given by the French Government and awarded
annually by the Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme
(National Consultative Commission of Human Rights).
Recipients are handed the prize in Paris, usually on December 10th of each
year, on the occasion of the Human Rights Day proclaimed by the United
The award consists of a medal and a total 75.000 € prize shared between the
various winners that has to be used to implement projects aimed at promoting
This year’s prize went to the ZPP, two Burmese and one Mauritanian
organisations, and one Chinese blogger.
Several organizations from Afghanistan, Argentina, Benin, Egypt, Moldavia,
and Thailand received special mentions.
Harare, December 21, 2010 - The Development Foundation for Zimbabwe (DFZ)
Executive Director, Nokwazi Moyo said Diasporans had resolved to engage
Zimbabweans in the country when launching their various initiatives.
The resolution was passed at the just ended Diaspora conference held in the
Victoria Falls. Delegates drafted proposals to strengthen Diaspora networks
and boost their ability to contribute to economic recovery and development
particularly in social services, investment, governance, human rights and
Moyo said DFZ aimed to tap into the rich Diaspora community to develop ways
through which those living outside the country could help rebuild their
“The DFZ believes that an economic recovery strategy that emphasises the
return of skills must have a clear agenda,” he said.
He added that the call for Zimbabweans to return home must be accompanied by
appropriate policies aimed at absorbing these skills through a range of
government programmes, alongside creative solutions developed by those in
Moyo said it was vital to underscore the point that in an age of
technological advancement, returning home can take various forms beyond the
physical movement of persons. He said returning home can be through the
Diaspora deploying their financial investments in the home market.
He said the Diaspora experience had given skills to many and had also
de-skilled as many. Teachers, nurses and other professionals had been forced
into menial jobs in order to survive, yet other citizens had furthered their
education whilst outside the country.
He said the DFZ hoped that these groups may wish to make voluntary or
temporary, virtual or permanent returns to help shore up the skills base in
the Zimbabwean public service or other sectors of the economy.
Moyo said this patriotic desire was not tied to partisan political interests
but to the love for Zimbabwe and the belief in the country's potential to be
a truly great African nation and global icon.
The conference brought together business leaders, civic society, politicians
and Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora, run under the theme “Engaging the
Diaspora toward Zimbabwe’s Economic Reconstruction “.
Among other issues, the conference facilitated the formation of an
institutional framework that will support effective contributions to and
participation in economic recovery by Zimbabweans living abroad, and
provided a platform for opinion leaders and implementers to discuss the role
of the Diaspora. The conference is the first in a series of high profile
meetings which will continue to consider ways in which the Diaspora and key
plays within Zimbabwe can work together to promote development. An estimated
4,5 million Zimbabweans live outside the country and the majority of them
are believed to be in South Africa.
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 December 2010
Senior priests in the Anglican church faction led by excommunicated
Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga, have come out and declared their support for
ZANU PF and its leader Robert Mugabe.
In an article carried by Newsday on Tuesday, the senior priests said the
church prayed only for Robert Mugabe and no other leader. Reverend Admire
Chisango, accused the media of supporting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
MDC-T party to get rid of Kunonga’s faction and to effect regime change in
Chisango told the journalist who interviewed him that he had been fed with
lies by the other faction that ‘brought you here’ for the interview.
‘We can only pray for President Mugabe not all the others. We realise him as
the leader given to us by God and we will continue to pray for him whether
you want it or not. You cannot separate the church and the ruling party and
that is why we will continue to support and pray for President Mugabe,’
Chisango is quoted as saying.
Some members of the Anglican church hit back at Chisango, saying he
represented no one because his master Kunonga was excommunicated and does
not have anything to do with the church.
Anglican Reverend Lameck Mutete told us he wanted to remind people that
Kunonga is an excommunicated Archbishop who was no longer part and parcel of
the Anglican church.
‘As a result of that he can say anything and it doesn’t hold any water. So
any comment that comes from his followers has nothing to do with the
Anglican church,’ Rev Mutete said.
During his tenure as Archbishop, Kunonga turned his Anglican diocese into a
religious branch of Mugabe’s then ruling ZANU PF party.
The church also accused him of abusing his position to terrorize christians
while systematically destroying the institution. He’s known to have invaded
farms and evicted families, and ordained all his cronies as priests.
When he was excommunicated, Kunonga unilaterally declared independence from
the Anglican Province of Central Africa, technically meaning that he fired
himself, but he is refusing to relinquish church assets.
‘Kunonga is more of a political figure than a man of the cloth. His
political rhetoric destroyed the fabric of the church and in the process
lost a whole generation of followers.
‘He is a discredited individual, rejected by the church and has no place
whatsoever within the Anglican church. When he does say anything, remember
he’s speaking for himself, because you must realise he’s not a Bishop and
certainly not an Archbishop. He’s simply Nolbert Kunonga, full stop,’ Rev
By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 December, 2010
The Zimbabwe Mail news site has reported that rowdy mobs belonging to rival
factions of the MDC-M fought running battles all day in Mutare on Sunday,
after Manicaland province rejected Welshman Ncube’s nomination as MDC-M
leader. The report said police responded to violent clashes between Ncube’s
supporters, and supporters of current President Arthur Mutambara, who is
Mutambara announced over the weekend that he would not seek re-election as
MDC-M president at the party’s congress due in January, 2011, in order to
avoid divisions within the party. It is known that he had lost the
endorsement of 11out of the party’s 12 provinces to Ncube.
MDC-M spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa on Tuesday denied the allegations that
rival factions had fought in Mutare. He described the Zimbabwe Mail report
as ‘malicious’ and ‘meant to tarnish the image of the party’.
Mushoriwa said it is also not true that Manicaland province had rejected
Ncube. “There is only Professor Ncube for president in all the provinces,
including Manicaland, and there were no objections,” said Mushoriwa.
The MDC-M spokesperson also denied the report that Mutambara was being
defiant and insisting that he will run for President in elections in 2011.
He said the party was united and the reports are coming from ‘people who
want to create divisions within the MDC’.
But there has been a huge outcry from MDC-M members over the fact that
Senator David Coltart was not nominated for any top positions within the
party. Some of them ‘attacked’ secretary-general Ncube on his Facebook page,
describing Coltart as ‘hardworking’ and crediting him with improving the
education sector, in his position as education minister.
Ncube reportedly responded by announcing that Coltart would be appointed
into a ‘National Executive Council’.
On Monday SW Radio Africa had reported that the MDC-M provincial chairperson
for Manicaland, Sondon Mugaradziko, had been arrested after heavily armed
police barged into a meeting he was about to chair in Mutare on Sunday.
MDC-M spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa said that Mugaradziko was still in police
custody Tuesday and was facing charges of ‘organising a political meeting
But Mushoriwa explained that according to the Public Order and Security Act
(POSA), a political party does not need to inform the police when they hold
a private meeting. He said their chairperson was taken by the police before
the meeting had even started.
“It works in ZANU PF’s favour when we cannot meet to organize,” said the
By Reagan Mashavave
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:09
HARARE - Elton Mangoma, the deputy treasurer general of the main formation
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has dismissed reports that he
approached the United States government to contribute to a "trust fund" to
buy out army commanders into retirement.
The reports, carried in Wikileaks, a whistle blower media organisation, said
Energy and Power Development minister Mangoma, asked the US government
through their Harare embassy to contribute to a "retirment fund" that would
cushion army chiefs who are loyal to President Robert Mugabe, "urging" them
to retire and pave way for free and fair elections.
Contacted for comment Mangoma denied ever having a meeting with "anyone" on
the need to create a trust fund to retire service chiefs.
“Certainly not true, I did not talk to the Americans on those matters. What
will be my basis of saying that? I have not met anyone and discussed that,”
He reportedly said he planned to approach the UK and Germany with the same
According to the reports, the money was to be used to pay exit packages for
the service chiefs.
“Mangoma said that a primary obstacle to political progress and reform was
the service chiefs. Unlike many ZANU-PF insiders who had stolen and invested
wisely, these individuals had not become wealthy.”
“They (service chiefs) feared economic pressures, as well as prosecution for
their misdeeds, should political change result in their being forced from
office,” Wikileaks said quoting a classified report by a US diplomat,
According to the report by Dhanani, Mangoma also said that the MDC will also
try to put pressure on the retirement of Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono.
Wikileaks said Mangoma made the suggestions when the MDC disengaged from the
unity government in October last year after the party complained about the
slow implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which formed the
The report says Mangoma was hopeful an agreement will be reached with Zanu
PF to end his party’s disengagement from government adding that if it fails
“the MDC will continue pursuing its long-term strategy of preparing for
Army chiefs who are former liberation war fighters have openly expressed
their support for Mugabe in all the elections in the last decade.
The service chiefs have said they will not salute a democratically elected
President who does not have liberation war credentials and that the country
will go to war if people vote out Mugabe. Civic society groups have
castigated the statements saying a free and fair election will not be
possible if army chiefs make such pronouncements.
Zimbabwe service chiefs include Defence Forces commander, General
Constantine Chiwenga, army commander, Lieutenant General Valerio Sibanda,
Air Marshal Perence Shiri and Zimbabwe Prisons General, Paradzai Zimondi.
Chiwenga, Shiri and Sibanda attended the just ended Zanu PF annual
conference which was held last week in Mutare.
Wikileaks continues to release classified documents by the US embassies
across the world. The media organisation has said it has over 250 000
classified US documents from US embassies across the world. Zimbabwe has
some of the highest cables totaling 3000 dating back to 1966.
On Monday when the three principals in the GPA, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met to give their end of year
statements, George Charamba the permanent secretary reportedly asked
reporters not to ask the three leaders about Wikileaks as they were ‘not
interested’ in taking questions on the controversial reports.
Mineral claims under threats in bold move from government
NELSON GORE BANYA and BRIAN LATHAM
Published: 2010/12/21 07:42:05 AM
ZIMBABWE would cancel all mineral claims held by African Consolidated
Resources, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said yesterday .
WikiLeaks this month released a classified diplomatic cable from US envoy
James McGee that contains a list of Zimbabwean officials allegedly involved
in the country’s illegal diamond trade. African Consolidated Resources CEO
Andrew Cranswick is named as one of several sources in the report.
The licences "will be revoked because there were irregularities when they
were issued", Mr Mpofu said in Harare. "All of them were acquired
He said the cancellation was not related to President Robert Mugabe’s
warning last week that UK and US companies may face sanctions if they failed
to lift targetted sanctions against the president and his inner circle.
African Consolidated Resources has been fighting a government takeover of
its rights to the lucrative Marange diamond field — one of the biggest in
the world — for years. The company has been active in Zimbabwe since 2004
and has interests in gold, nickel, platinum and other commodities.
Mr Cranswick yesterday said the company had done nothing wrong.
"None of our claims, including those in Marange, were improperly acquired,"
he said in a phone interview from the UK . "We will do everything we can to
protect our rights."
Mr Mugabe said last week it was "time to read the riot act to the British"
and other western states for refusing to lift targeted sanctions, which the
states say should stay until corruption is curbed and the power- sharing
agreement is properly implemented. Mr Mugabe effectively ended the deal on
Saturday, and called for elections early next year.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights urged the ruling parties yesterday to
allow free and fair elections or risk a new bout of Zanu (PF) -instigated
Many opposition groups and human rights organisations fear Mr Mugabe’s Zanu
(PF) might resort to violence to stay in power . Bloomberg, Sapa-DPA
By Lance Guma
21 December 2010
A few days after vowing his ZANU PF party would ‘crush’ the MDC at the next
election Robert Mugabe on Monday exchanged kind words with Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, at an end of year press conference at State House. The
function was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
Over the weekend Mugabe told his annual ZANU PF party conference that he was
not happy with the coalition government and wanted a fresh election. He also
said that the MDC would finally be ‘crushed.’ But on Monday the 86 year old
was singing a different tune, claiming the coalition is making progress and
had given people ‘a sense of togetherness’ despite the partners being ‘at
each other’s throats.’
Tsvangirai, Mugabe and Mutambara are reported to have held talks for about
an hour at State House emerging later, to give the press briefing. Speaking
with Tsvangirai by his side Mugabe said; “Just because we go at each other's
throats at party level, let people not think we are a dysfunctional
Tsvangirai returned the pleasantries by saying; "We have made gains in
economic reform and public services," before blaming a shortage of money and
resources for preventing them from achieving more. "This inclusive
government will not collapse. We will make sure that it does not collapse,"
he said. Strangely, Tsvangirai also said he had "camaraderie" with Mugabe, a
contradiction of his outburst in October when he accused Mugabe of betraying
The most jaw-dropping statement however was reserved for Mugabe who said
there should be no violence in the next election. "What we would want to get
to our people is our voice and our command that there should be no violence,
but that does not mean that everybody will listen to us," he said.
But the fact is his party has deployed soldiers around the country to help
rebuild collapsed ZANU PF structures and intimidate people into voting for
them. War vets, led by Jabulani Sibanda, have been terrorizing people,
especially in the Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. The defence Minister
and police chief have already said even if ZANU PF loses they will not allow
‘puppets’ to rule them.
If Mugabe was truly sincere about bringing an end to the violence, he could
do so overnight.
Harare, December 21, 2010 - A Harare based residents pressure group has
written to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner General asking
him to investigate allegations of corruption levelled against the Minister
of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development, Ignatius Chombo.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) wants Commissioner General
Augustine Chihuri to investigate the numerous cases of corruption.
Chombo’s corrupt affairs came to light after revelations of hundreds of
properties that he owns throughout the country came to light through a messy
divorce affair with his estranged wife Marian.
The pressure group accuses Chombo of unlawfully acquiring land belonging to
the council in a letter addressed to Chihuri and the Co- Ministers of Home
Affairs, Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi. The letter was dated 21 December
“The Combined Harare Residents Association is disturbed by the fact that it
would appear that no action has been taken by the police to investigate the
issue of Chombo’s unlawful acquisition of land,” said CHRA Chairperson,
Simbarashe Moyo in the letter.
“This creates the impression that the politically powerful can commit
serious crimes involving the public property with impunity. The precedent
that the inaction against Chombo sets is that, the powerful members of our
society can acquire public property illegally secure in the knowledge that
the long arm of the law will not reach them. As Combined Harare Residents
Association, we are aware of the fact that the police does not desire to set
The Harare City Council (HCC) resolved during last week’s full council
meeting that the police should act on a report that was lodged with the
Harare Central Police Station with complaints about Chombo’s unlawful
acquisition of property.
“On behalf of Harare residents, CHRA implores you to take action on the
report that the Harare City Council lodged against Dr I Chombo,” said Moyo.
The Harare City Council councillors early this year compiled a report in
which it detailed the unlawfully acquisition numerous properties in Harare
by businessman Phillip Chiyangwa in which Chombo was directly involved. The
report led to the arrest of the councillors and summoning of journalists who
picked up the story.
By Alex Bell
21 December 2010
An international tribunal has been appointed to consider the case of a
German farming family in Zimbabwe, whose three farms were illegally invaded
by ZANU PF members in June.
The von Pezold family, who are the largest German investors in Zimbabwe,
were forced to approach the Paris-based International Centre for Settlement
(ICSID) of Investment Disputes in July, after the farms were invaded. At the
time, Germany’s government threatened to cut off all aid to Zimbabwe unless
the reportedly armed and alcohol fuelled ZANU PF mob that invaded the
properties was ordered to leave. The land invaders are said to have looted
maize and other crops valued at more than a million dollars before they left
the farms after a three week long stand off with the von Pezolds.
The ICSID has now appointed a three-member arbitration tribunal to consider
the case filed by the von Pezold family, who are suing the Zimbabwe
government for loss of income and for failing to act against the land
invaders. The properties are meant to be covered by a bilateral investment
promotion and protection agreement between Zimbabwe and Germany, which was
formed in 1995, but which only came into force in 2000. The agreement is
meant to protect all investments by Germans in Zimbabwe, including
agricultural investments, and precludes any farms from ‘expropriation’ under
the land grab campaign.
This will be the second time the Zimbabwe government had been dragged before
the ICSID, after a group of Dutch nationals in April last year won its case
after their farms were invaded. The Dutch farmers argued that their
properties were protected by a BIPPA, under which Zimbabwe promised to pay
full compensation to Dutch nationals in disputes arising out of any
investments in the country. The Dutch group has still not been compensated
despite winning their case in the Paris court last year. They have now
approached an American court seeking an enforcement order, and the court is
reportedly ready to attach Zimbabwean owned properties in the compensation
There have been several attempts to try and force the Zimbabwe government to
compensate farmers who have lost land because of Robert Mugabe’s land grab
scheme, but all court orders, whether domestic or international, are being
Critically, the regional Tribunal which ruled in 2008 that Mugabe’s land
grab was unlawful has been suspended this year, in what critics say is an
attempt to appease Mugabe. The court had ordered the government to
compensate farmers for properties that had been illegally seized and protect
the remaining commercial farming community from new threats. But this order
has been completely ignored and farm invasions have continued unabated,
despite the formation of the unity government.
John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture (JAG) explained on
Tuesday that it is important for these rulings to be made, despite the
breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. He said that while there is a
“total abandonment of the judiciary,” it is just a temporary issue.
“At some stage in the future the judiciary will have to be revamped and
there will be a return to property rights,” Worsley-Worswick said.
The JAG official added that this latest case before the ICSID needs to be
dealt with more comprehensively than the previous Dutch case, saying:
“Compensation claims are now beyond just the value of the land that was
seized.” He explained that the question of what constitutes compensation has
changed in light of a recent ruling this year by a British asylum court. The
court dismissed an asylum application by a confessed land invader, and
stated that the land grab scheme was a crime against humanity.
“This level of illegality should underwrite compensation claims of farmers
and their workers,” Worsley-Worswick said, adding: “Other issues now enter
into this, and these are issues of damages and disturbances losses.”
Worsley-Worswick said that issues of lost income for both farmers and their
works, plus relocation costs, trauma costs and the length of time people
have been waiting for compensation, must be taken into account in future
cases. He added: “It is critical that these rulings are made in
international courts to set the necessary precedent.”
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings falls under the Ministry of State
Enterprises, but its operational arm, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation,
answers to the ZANU-PF controlled Information Ministry
Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 20 December 2010
State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo of the Movement for Democratic Change
formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday criticized state-run
media for its continued partisan coverage favoring President Robert Mugabe's
Moyo, speaking at the Development Foundation for Zimbabwe conference in
Victoria Falls on Sunday, accused state media of churning out political hate
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings falls under Moyo’s ministry, but its
operational arm, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, is controlled by the
Ministry of Information, headed by Information Minister Webster Shamu and
Mugabe spokesman George Charamba.
Sources said ZBH is not financially sound as revenue from advertising has
fallen by more than 60 percentin recent months, some say because ZANU-PF has
not paid for the commercial air time it commands to run pro-Mugabe,
pro-party jingles or songs.
Moyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that his ministry cannot do
anything to address issues of fairness because it only deals with management
21 December, 2010 08:00:00 BY NATASHA RUDRA - The Canberra Times
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Zimbabwean ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila is about to celebrate her first
Christmas in Australia with her family and grandchildren after a turbulent
Ms Zwambila became ambassador to Australia early this year but in recent
months has been caught up in a bizarre incident involving allegations from
three embassy staff that she stripped off her clothes during a heated
Speaking publicly for the first time since the incident yesterday, Ms
Zwambila said the allegations were false.
''I totally deny those allegations,'' she said.
Ms Zwambila returned abruptly to Harare to meet foreign affairs secretary
Joey Bimha late last month but said she had not been recalled as ambassador.
''I was never recalled. I went to Harare because this thing with the papers
was happening and as ambassador and head of mission I had to explain what's
going on,'' she said.
''I went back to report on an administrative matter, in which a letter was
submitted ... and any head of embassy would go back and explain what was
going on, which I did.''
Ms Zwambila spent 10 years as a political activist for the Movement for
Democratic Change, the opposition party led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
She is one of five Zimbabwean ambassadors appointed by the Movement for
Democratic Change under a power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe.
Ms Zwambila declined to comment on suggestions that she was the victim of a
smear campaign by supporters of Mr Mugabe and said she was unaware of
allegations that illegally mined ''blood diamonds'' were being smuggled into
Australia through the Zimbabwean diplomatic bag.
The three embassy staffers who sparked the incident are on recall to Harare,
including charge d'affaires Felix Nyamupinga, whose wife Biata is an MP from
Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
''All I do know is that in any new team which is formed, there is a process
of getting to understand each other, a process of forming as a team,'' she
''There are different management styles, I definitely have a different
management style. Getting people together as one team I think that takes
time and some people are able to and others are not.''
Ms Zwambila said the embassy had been working to re-establish a close
relationship with the Australian and New Zealand governments.
''That [work] is continuing. We have development aid from Australia, when I
first came it was quite negligible, but now Zimbabwe is getting, I believe,
25 per cent of the total Africa aid from the Australian Government,'' she
For more on this story, including Ms Zwambila's comments on the impact the
new inclusive government is having on society there, see the print edition
of today's Canberra Times.
By Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News
December 20, 2010
Zimbabwe’s politicians and central bankers have been talking a good story,
but when it comes to delivering local bankers and merchants wonder if
circulating domestic coinage will become a reality or if it just simply
sounds good politically.
There is no question Zimbabwe is going to revamp its currency system,
changing both the appearance and the denominations on its bank notes at the
same time. Central bank authorities have also indicated coins will return to
circulation despite their use having been discouraged by inflation, but so
far there is no evidence plans for a new domestic coinage is in motion.
Instead, the blame game appears to be popular. The Bankers’ Association of
Zimbabwe has been complaining of shortages and related problems due to a
lack of circulating coinage, while retailers are blaming BAZ for setting an
unreasonable exchange rate that has impacted the availability of coins in
Zimbabwe in theory has stainless steel composition 10-, 20-, and 50-cent and
$1 and $2 coins in addition to a steel center, brass ring $5 ringed bimetal
issue, all of which are supposed to circulate. Due to inflation and a lack
of production this simply hasn’t happened.
Instead local banks carry South African rand, Botswana pula, and US coinage,
but even this has failed to circulate due to a disparity between the
official and unofficial or parallel market exchange rates.
BAZ Chairman John Mushayavanhu summarized the problem in the Oct. 25 issue
of the Zimbabwe newspaper News Day, in which he said, “Banks have loads of
coins ranging from 1 cent to 5 rands—as much as nine million South African
rand, but the problem is that retailers want an exchange rate of one to 10.”
According to News Day, “He [Mushayavanhu] blamed retailers for not being
reasonable and said his organization was considering repatriating the coins
back to South Africa.” This would be the equivalent of either Ecuador or
Panama sending U.S. dollar coins back to the United States while refusing to
make a domestic replacement available.
Mushayavanhu continued, “If the retailers insist on their own rate, they
want the banks to make a loss. We do have coins lying idle in our banks and
it is all about retailers who are not willing to have them. Now we are
considering repatriating them because it is dead money.”
The newspaper reported that government and the business community have
arranged to meet and deliberate on the issue at a pre-budget consultative
meeting, however it appears the government may not be able to sit back idly
and allow BAZ and merchants to slug it out.
Rosemary Siyachitema is a rather vocal spokesman for the Consumer Council of
Zimbabwe. She places the blame on the government for not issuing any
Siyachitema recently said, “If you buy goods for $1 and you pay $2, you are
forced to take sweets or other unbudgeted [merchandise] for groceries and
that means retailers will be benefiting at the expense of consumers which is
She continued, “The relevant officials should be engaged to end all this as
a matter of urgency.” While this discussion and any associated blame becomes
more vocal Retailers’ Association of Zimbabwe Chairman Denford Mberi added
his comments, saying the problem isn’t with his association, but is a
national problem that requires a national solution. He added that the
bankers’ association needs to be more sensitive to the needs of retailers on
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti was in Washington during early
October seeking U.S. assistance in obtaining additional US coins and bank
notes for use in his country. The U.S. State Department has remained hostile
due to alleged human rights violations by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe
and his ZANU-PF political party.
The official U.S. dollar and South African rand rate to the Zimbabwe dollar
is one to seven.
By Richard Giedroyc, World Coin news
December 20, 2010
Yongle Tongbao coins of 15th century China are back in the news as Chinese
and Kenyan archaeologists continue to study the coins as artifacts as they
connect the dots regarding past trade between China and the East African
According to an article posted Oct. 20 on www.AfrikNews.com, “The story of a
small rusted coin with a square hole in the middle will certainly rewrite
the dynamics of China-Africa relations and give impetus to China-Africa
Professor Qin Dashu of the Department of Archaeology at Beijing University
is leading the Chinese team that is working closely with Kenyan
archaeologists. According to Qin, “These coins were carried only by envoys
of the emperor, Chengzu.” (Chengzu was from the Ming Dynasty.)
Qin suggested the coin his team has been studying may have been a gift from
the emperor. It was issued between 1403 and 1424, and was discovered
recently in the northern town of Malindi, Kenya.
The time frame of the minting of the coin and the location at which it was
discovered are both important. According to Chinese records, the Chinese
Muslim eunuch Zheng He was the admiral of Emperor Zhu Di’s (Yong Le) fleet
during this time. It is believed the admiral commandeered a fleet of more
than 200 ships across the Indian Ocean from China to Eastern Africa in two
expeditions, one between 1417 and 1419 and a second between 1431 and 1433.
During the trips the fleet is said to have traveled the coastline, trading
with people in what are today Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania.
Several years ago Kenyan fishermen from Lamu dredged up a 15th century
Chinese vase in their nets, a find that appears to correspond to reports of
shipwrecks within Zheng’s fleet during a storm. The yet to be substantiated
local story is that survivors from the wreck came to live with the local
natives, marrying some of the women.
According to the AfrikNews.com report, “Recent DNA tests have confirmed the
claims of certain [Lamu] fishermen to have Chinese ancestors.”
Perhaps coins will never replace DNA as archaeological evidence, however
coins are to archaeology what index fossils are to paleontology. Coins may
“talk” since they have inscriptions, can be dated, may reflect technological
abilities of the area from which they were issued, identify local rulers,
mark trade routes, and much more. In this instance the coins being found
recently in Kenya indicate there was trade between China and that African
region before the better known trade between Portugal and East Africa.
Malindi may be the epicenter of the likely trade between the region and
China. According to Chinese records, an emissary from Malindi visited the
Chinese court in 1414. Chinese records also indicate Emperor Zheng visited
the Sultan of Malindi, who at the time was the most powerful ruler in East
Coins and other artifacts also point to likely 15th century trade between
China and both Eastern and Southern Africa. Chinese coins and ceramics have
been found at archaeological sites in what had been Great Zimbabwe.
All of this trade appears to have ended in 1433, after which time China
abandoned its maritime ambitions. Trade between China and this region of
Africa would not be continued until the late 19th century.
By Mark John
DAKAR | Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:25pm EST
DAKAR (Reuters) - Rarely have world powers and neighbors piled so much
concerted pressure on an African leader to quit as Laurent Gbagbo faces
after an Ivory Coast poll he is almost universally judged to have lost.
But with Gbagbo determined to stay in power, the stand-off is becoming a
test of how far the world is prepared to go to resolve the type of election
dispute that has plagued African politics for decades.
"The level of consensus is unprecedented," Rolake Akinola of political risk
consultancy VoxFrontier said of the endorsement by the United Nations,
African leaders, Washington and Europe of Gbagbo's rival Alassane Ouattara
"It will make others elsewhere think hard about what they are going to do,"
With 17 national elections scheduled in Africa next year, it will be the
busiest year of voting for the continent since the independence era.
A November 28 poll intended to draw the line on Ivory Coast's 2002-2003
civil war now risks plunging the world's top cocoa grower into new conflict
after a pro-Gbagbo constitutional body overturned Ouattara's win on grounds
His subsequent swearing-in triggered a diplomatic backlash intended to show,
in the words of a senior U.S. State Department official, that "the era of
stealing elections is over."
Suspensions of Ivory Coast by the ECOWAS West African bloc and the African
Union suggest Gbagbo -- who already had few natural allies in his
neighborhood -- has been frozen out by peers more completely than even
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
NOT HOME FOR OBAMA
Defying his demand that the 10,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force leave, the
U.N. Security Council this week extended its mandate for another six months
and France is also keeping its 950-strong force in place.
The IMF has said it can only work with a UN-recognized government and donors
such as the African Development Bank and World Bank have put programs under
review, potentially depriving Gbagbo of debt relief and lending.
European Union countries have agreed travel bans on Gbagbo, his powerful
wife Simone and 17 officials. The United States is looking at a move that
could even mean the children of Ivorian officials are ejected from U.S.
But so far Gbagbo appears unmoved, at least officially. A personal telephone
call and letter from U.S. President Barack Obama have gone unanswered, while
Gbagbo's interior minister said simply of the EU sanctions: "They make us
"Ouattara may have the moral high ground, but Gbagbo has all the levers of
power," Stratfor analyst Mark Schroeder said.
He still controls the army, state broadcaster, the bulk of cocoa output and
the country's two main ports.
Views differ on how the coming weeks and months could play out -- assuming
all-out civil war does not happen first.
Starving Gbagbo's government of external funds could stir discontent in the
army and civil service if wages do not get paid. Ivorian diplomats and other
officials will consider the risk to their reputation of being allied to a
Which way the Senegal-based BCEAO regional bank -- the central bank of the
West African franc monetary zone -- swings could be vital. Ouattara has
asked it to recognize only his parallel administration as a signatory to
transactions. But so far, the Bank appears to be sitting on the fence.
"If the pressure is kept up, sooner or later the (Gbagbo) administration
will start to get squeezed," said Akinola, suggesting things could get
tougher for Gbagbo as time goes on.
Others are less convinced but acknowledge that a next possible step -- a
sanctions regime on the cocoa industry that supplies around 40 percent of
the world market -- is risky.
"Sanction of the cocoa sector could backfire, both on the global markets as
well as a prospective Ouattara government," said African security adviser J.
Peter Pham, noting the risk that it could turn cocoa farmers strongly
But if there is little international appetite for a cocoa embargo that would
deny a poor country of a major export earner -- and possibly entail major
humanitarian consequences -- there is even less support for armed
An African Union-led military intervention in the Indian Ocean islands of
the Comoros in 2008 to oust the presidential claimant after an illegal
election is not seen setting a viable precedent for similar action in
20-million-head Ivory Coast.
If the crisis drags on, the likelihood could grow of talks on possible
power-sharing deal, despite the reluctance of the AU and ECOWAS to accept a
route followed by Kenya and Zimbabwe after similar disputes.
With 2011 due to see elections in Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, Zambia, Uganda
and elsewhere, such a messy outcome is not the best encouragement to
Africans who long for the chance to choose their leaders through the ballot
New book by Donette Read Kruger will be available from email@example.com