Wednesday, December 23, 2009
By Farirai Machivenyika
NESTLE Zimbabwe has temporarily ceased operations in the country.
The move by the Switzerland-headquartered food company comes after it bowed
to pressure from activists that are against Zimbabwe's land reform programme
to stop buying milk from Gushungo Dairy Estate, which is owned by the First
Family, and seven other farms in October.
That decision was strongly criticised by local indigenous pressure groups,
especially the Affirmative Action Group, which said the move was tantamount
to the company imposing sanctions on the country.
Yesterday a spokesperson for the company in Kenya confirmed the closure of
the company without giving reasons.
"Nestle Zimbabwe has temporarily decided to shut down its factory," said
Brinda Chiniah, in a terse response to inquiries from this newspaper on the
On Monday, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere told The Herald that there was a new strategy of using
local companies with foreign shareholders to impose sanctions on the
He gave Nestle as an example of such companies.
Minister Kasukuwere warned companies that are pursuing that agenda that the
Government would not hesitate to bring them under local control to ease
their burden of having to report to foreign shareholders.
"We will bring under indigenous control all companies that continue to
pursue the policy of sanctions," he war- ned.
He said these companies were importing raw materials that were available
locally and in doing so thwarting efforts to create jobs in Zimbabwe.
Nestle was importing its raw materials from countries such as Thailand and
was simply doing toll manufacturing in Zimbabwe.
"They are ignoring local producers. If they don't want to support local
producers, tough luck to them," said Minister Kasukuwere.
The company initially resisted pressure from the West to stop its dealings
with the First Family, but later gave in.
It had also argued that its decision to remain in the country was solely
based on the need to preserve jobs for its workers and ensure the
availability of its products to the Zimbabwe market.
Harare, December 22, 2009 - Two cabinet ministers accompanied by senior
police officers last weekend forced Swiss multinational firm Nestle to take
in milk supplies from a farm owned by the wife of President Robert Mugabe,
Radio VOP can reveal.
Empowerment and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made, all senior
members of President Mugabe's ZANU PF party, descended on Nestle's factory
in the capital Harare last Saturday and demanded that the food manufacturer
takes in a tanker of milk from Mugabe's farm.
Kasukuwere and Made, who also serve as President Robert Mugabe's farm
manager were accompanied by two senior police officers namely Chief
Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge and Detective Inspector Henry Sostein
Makedenge, the officer commanding the Law and Order section of the Harare
Police Station and Dowa have been associated over the years with the arrest
of opposition politicians, journalists and human rights activists.
Also in tow was Farai Mutamangira, the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) Vice
President and Harare lawyer. The AAG has in the past threatened to take over
Nestle if it continues to refuse to take milk from Grace Mugabe's Gushungo
The delegation which had a heated exchange with some Nestle officials at the
factory accused the Swiss owned company of supporting "economic sanctions"
imposed by Western governments on President Mugabe and his lieutenants by
stopping the purchase of the milk from Gushungo Dairy Farm which is owned by
The Nestle officials reportedly told Kasukuwere and Made that they were
taking the milk supplies under duress and not out of their own volition.
No Nestle officials were available to comment on the latest turn of events.
It is reliably understood that officials from Gushungo Dairy Farm delivered
a second tanker to the Swiss multinational firm last Sunday.
Reports that an official from Nestle had been arrested on Monday could not
be confirmed late Monday.
The multinational company stopped buying milk from Grace Mugabe's Gushungo
Dairy Estate in October. At the time of the termination of milk purchases,
the food manufacturer stated that it had bought the milk supplies to help
the country as its dairy industry neared collapse. Nestle also stated that
it had been buying milk directly from Gushungo after local processors could
no longer do so.
Nestle's purchases of milk from Mugabe's farm provoked outrage in Britain
and South Africa with a rights group in Zimbabwe's southern neighbour
starting a campaign for a consumer boycott of the firm.
Grace Mugabe is subject to European Union and American sanctions barring the
transfer of funds to her.
Nestle has been operating in the troubled southern African country for the
past 50 years, working with the population of Zimbabwe and striving to
maintain a long-term viable operation in often challenging conditions.
Harare, December 22, 2009 -President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai who were believed to have met on Monday as part of on-going talks
to discuss the outstanding issues stalling progress of the unity government,
are expected to meet again on Wednesday.
The six negotiators from the three political parties attending the talks
were called in Monday night to prepare a report to be used as the basis of
the Wednesday meeting. Those called wereMDC's Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma,
ZANU PF'sNicholas Goche and Patrick Chinamasa and Mutambara's Priscila
Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Welshman Ncube.
Impeccable sources told RadioVOP that negotiators from ZANU PF and Mutambara's
MDC agreed to push the preparation of the report to the principals for
discussion on Wednesday.
"The negotiators from ZANU PF and the smaller MDC faction refused to
consider the matters only saying lets postpone to January 15. It looked as
if it had been planned," sources told Radio VOP.
Earlier on, Mugabe and Tsvangirai had agreed on the names of the people to
sit on the three constitutional commissions.
"The principals (Mugabe and Tsvangirai) met this afternoon and agreed on the
names of the people who would serve as media commissioners, human rights
commissioners and electoral commissioners,"Tsvangirai's spokesperson James
Issues to do with the appointment of provincial governors, reserve bank
governor and attorney general have remained sticky since the formation of
the transitional government, ten months ago.
On Sunday the MDC led by Tsvangirai had resolved at its meeting that all
outstanding issues yet to be resolved by the unity government must be
completed by January 15.
The MDC national council said if the outstanding issues were not solved then
there must be referred to Southern African Development Community (SADC) who
are the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
"The post Maputo dialogue must be completed as soon as possible and in any
event by no later than January 15 2009.In the event of a deadlock after this
date, the matter will be referred toSADC for arbitration and
adjudication,"the MDC said in a statement.
The MDC said the country must hold national elections after the making of
new constitution in 2010.
The constitutional making process consultation process which has been
delayed this year due to lack of funds and disagreements by the three main
political parties is set to begin on January 12 across the country.
The MDC national council also endorsed the dissolution of the Chitungwiza
provincial executive and the suspension of United Kingdom external assembly.
"The party condemns all forms of corruption within and outside its
structures and council hereby endorses the dissolution of theChitungwiza
provincial executive and the suspension of the UK external assembly,"the MDC
TREASURY and Central Bank officials, who have been fighting an acrimonious
turf war over control of the country's finances, are yet again trading
accusations as cash shortages emerged around the country ahead of the
Over the last week long queues could be witnessed around the capital Harare
as most financial institutions were overwhelmed by the huge numbers of
people trying to withdraw money ahead of the festive season.
Commercial Banks such as Kingdom and Stanbic as well as Beverly and CABS
building societies were affected with clients said to be even sleeping
outside city branches.
In a statement, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gideon Gono said the
central bank was not responsible for the shortages and directed the blame at
the Ministry of Finance.
Dr Gono said most banks did not have enough cash to cover the high seasonal
He added that the central bank could no longer perform its core functions
since it "was acutely under funded by treasury, leaving the institution with
no capacity to independently perform the lender of last resort function, let
alone to import currency for banks"
However, Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the cash shortages are a result
of 'an unexpected surge in demand' and not 'liquidity problems'.
Minister Biti blames the Central Bank's 'quasi-fiscal' activities for the
hyper-inflationary environment the country experienced before the formation
of the inclusive government and subsequent introduction of multiple
The RBZ dismisses the charges saying its activities were sanctioned by
cabinet and helped prevent the complete collapse of the country's economy.
by Lindie Whiz
THOUSANDS of Zimbabweans returning home for the holidays from South Africa
were stuck in long queues at the Beitbridge border this week.
Border authorities are failing to cope with the numbers - the first major
test of a South African move earlier this year to lift visa restrictions on
Thousands of Zimbabweans who previously risked their lives wading across the
crocodile-infested Zambezi River to travel between the two countries have
this Christmas presented themselves at the border.
Some travellers have been stranded for up to two days at the border post.
Fungwa Mawarire, a UK-based music promoter told New Zimbabwe.com by
telephone from the chockerblock border post on Tuesday morning: "I've been
here for two days after attending a wedding in South Africa.
"I've another wedding that I'm supposed to attend in Harare later today but
it's not promising.
"The queue is about 5km. They are failing to cope with the numbers, it's a
Just last week, officials of Zimbabwe's Inland Revenue Authority (ZIMRA)
told ministers visiting the border post that they were NOT READY to deal
with the busy December holiday period due to understaffing.
ZIMRA officers at the border are under directions to conduct a "100 percent
search" on all travellers - which involves physical checks on all luggages
being carried across.
ZIMRA currently has a staff complement of 120 officers, but officials said
they need an extra 45 to operate at a full capacity, while the immigration
department needs 10 more officers.
Minister of State Gorden Moyo said during the visit: "The government is
aware of the significance and importance of the border post to the movement
of people and the country's economic activities.
"We are working on mid and long term strategies to do away with issues of
unnecessary delays and congestion."
That's little consolation to thousands of Zimbabweans now caught-up at the
border which is open around the clock over Christmas and New Year.
South Africa receives the highest number of Zimbabwean visitors than any
other country - most of them economic migrants searching for jobs and a
A prolonged economic crisis in Zimbabwe increased migration, finally forcing
the South African government to come up with a new strategy to handle the
tidal wave of migrants from its northern neighbour.
House Speaker Lovemore Moyo and Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma are said to
have clashed over a number of issues ranging from Moyo's official portrait
to the constitutional revision process, but both downplayed the conflict
Gibbs Dube & Sandra Nyaira | Washington 21 December 2009
Zimbabwe House Speaker Lovemore Moyo and Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma
were reported have clashed over issues including the production of portraits
of the speaker to be displayed in Parliament and in some 200 constituency
and information centers around the country.
Parliamentary sources and news reports said Moyo contracted a photographer
to produce his official portrait, but he rejected the work saying it was
substandard and asked Zvoma to allocate funds for a new batch of photos.
Zvoma is reported to have rejected Moyo's request, saying the expense was
not budgeted for the 2009 financial year and that he had to seek advice in
the matter from ZANU-PF Senate President Edna Madzongwe.
Moyo, chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is said to have been angered by the response.
The two men have repeatedly clashed over the appointment of parliamentary
sub-committees to revise the Zimbabwean constitution.
Zvoma told VOA that he and Moyo are working well together. He acknowledged
some problems with the speaker, but said he preferred to call them
professional challenges. He added that he is responsible for monitoring
Speaker Moyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that Zvoma is an
employee of the Parliament and if he believed the clerk was a hindrance he
would take the necessary action through the appropriate channels.
Political analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga told reporter Gibbs Dube that
Parliament must rein in Zvoma and Moyo, who seem to be taking decisions
along partisan political lines thereby running the risk of derailing the
There is concern meanwhile about the mounting cost of hotel accommodations
for the 240 members of Parliament whose residences are outside the capital.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Treasury sources as saying the
hotel bill is running at US$17,000 a day when Parliament is in session, not
to mention other allowances paid to House and Senate members.
The Herald said consideration is being given to building special
accommodations for the several days members must stay in town each session
House member Moses Mzila Ndlovu, parliamentarian for Bulilima, Matabeleland
North, and also deputy minister of foreign affairs, explained why he has
been obliged to take a hotel room when Parliament is in session.
By Alex Bell
22 December 2009
There has been an outburst of anger by some Zimbabweans living in the
Diaspora in response to a new proposal that Zimbabwean expatriates pay a tax
in exchange for voting rights.
The proposal to tax the expatriate community was outlined in a new economic
blueprint, unveiled by Finance Minister Tendai Biti last week. The document,
titled 'Moving Forward in Zimbabwe - Reducing Poverty and Promoting Growth'
recommended various other strategies to try to hasten the country's economic
recovery. The report was produced by 13 Zimbabwean academics and published
by the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester in the
Biti gave a keynote address at the launch last week, where he urged
expatriates to support the economic recovery process by investing in the
economy. Biti agreed that tapping into the savings of expatriates through
taxation, in exchange for voting and citizenship rights, was one way the
flailing unity government could source much-needed funds for economic
But the idea has sparked an angry outburst from some Zimbabweans in the
Diaspora, many of whom were forced to leave the country for fear of their
lives. Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba, who fled the country
after being viciously tortured by state agents in 2003, expressed his
outrage to SW Radio Africa on Tuesday. Shumba fled to South Africa where he
started the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, which fights for the rights and
protection of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. He explained that taxation of the
expatriate community would amount to "nothing more than complete extortion,"
calling the bid an attempt by the government "to force people to buy back
"Our rights to vote and our rights to citizenship are non negotiable,"
Shumba said. "This tax suggestion makes the presumption that to be
Zimbabwean, you have to pay for those rights and that is unacceptable."
The report, which has not yet been made official, urged the unity government
to accord dual citizenship and voting rights to the millions of Zimbabweans
scattered across the world, but at a price.
"Confidence-boosting measures would include allowing dual nationality,
restoring voting rights for migrants who hold Zimbabwean citizenship, and
creating mechanisms for them to be heard. In exchange, migrants should be
prepared to pay an annual tax for retaining Zimbabwean nationality," the
Shumba argued that the community in the Diaspora is being further isolated
by such a report, which was made without any consultation with leading
Diaspora rights groups, such as the Exiles Forum. He said the suggestion
being made is that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are no longer real citizens
of the country, and are only welcome back at a price.
"Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will refuse to be held to ransom by a report
that they weren't even consulted about," Shumba said, adding "it is very
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 December 2009
There has been a mixed reaction to the appointment of Godfrey Majonga as the
chairman of the newly constituted Zimbabwe Media Commission, (ZMC).
Commissioners to the ZMC, together with those who will sit on the Human
Rights Commission and Election Commission were announced by the chief
secretary to Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, on Monday.
The announcement followed a meeting held by the principals - Robert Mugabe,
Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara - also on Monday.
While many of the journalists interviewed by SW Radio Africa said they had
little doubt about Majonga's integrity, they bemoaned his lack of print
media experience for such a high profile job. Origionally Henry Muradzikwa
had been earmarked to become the chairperson of the ZMC.
Majonga was a popular radio and television personality who fronted the main
ZBC news bulletin in the 1980's. But following a fall from an Avondale flat
in Harare, which was home to ZBC colleague and journalist Chris Somo, he was
paralysed from the neck down and his media career came to an end. Somo was
not in the flat at the time of Majonga's.
The exact details of what happened have never been explained but rumours
have persisted that he was forced to jump from the second floor flat for
allegedly getting involved with a girl who belonged to a top ZANU PF 'chef'.
He has been in a wheelchair for over 20 years now.
Majonga is currently a deputy director at Danhiko project in Msasa, where
Grace Mugabe is reportedly a trustee of the board. Danhiko is a training
school for the disabled.
'Majonga has a strong personality I have no doubt, but I would have
preferred Muradzikwa as chairman because of his vast experience in
newspaper, news agency and electronic media,' said Guthrie Munyuki, a former
Daily News staffer.
But reports say Mugabe was not comfortable with Muradzikwa after his
spokesman, George Charamba, led a campaign that got him fired from the ZBC
where he was the chief executive officer.
In May last year Charamba accused Muradzikwa of being sympathetic to the MDC
and also blamed him for ZANU PF and Mugabe's loss in the 29th March
Speaking about the media commission Munyuki said; 'I have no doubt that as a
group they will try to reform and register new players in the industry but
the appointments have been long, long overdue. The stabilising factor in the
ZMC is the appointment of Chris Mhike, a journalist cum lawyer, whose
experience in legal matters will come in handy'. He added; 'Now that the
commissions have been appointed, the real work must begin. The commissioners
will now face a formidable range of tasks and duties.'
Names for the commissioners were submitted to Mugabe in August and it has
taken four months for the principals to agree on the names for the
Sam Mawokomatanda, the former chairman of the national Quill Club (the
journalists club) and former Sunday Mail sports editor told us the deputy
chairperson, Nqobile Nyathi, was a strong addition to the new commission.
'She's from the independent media where she was once an editor, so at least
she can stand her ground. People like Chris Mutsvangwa pretend to be nice
people but they are ZANU PF. I know Miriam Madziwa from her days at the
Chronicle, I worked with Mathew Takaona for many at the Sunday Mail, they
are decent characters,' Mawokomatanda said.
Freelance journalist Stanley Gama said while some members on the ZMC had
strong links to ZANU PF, he believes the final list came about as a result
of a compromise between the principals.
'I'm delighted we now have the new commissions and I will be the first to
admit that some members are highly competent and experienced individuals but
success will depend on being able to work in close cooperation with
stakeholders, and not the government,' Gama said.
Gama added; 'The choice is not very exciting but it will bring finality,
stability and clarity to the new roles envisaged under the Global Political
Sitting on the electoral commission will be Joyce Laetitia Kazembe, who was
deputy chairperson of the previous electoral commission, and Harare lawyer
Other members are Petty Makoni, Sibongile Ndlovu, academic Bessie Nhandara,
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair general manager Daniel Chigaru, UZ
Professor of Public Law Professor Geoff Feltoe and Mukhuli Nyathi.
UZ law lecturer Dr Ellen Sithole sits on the human rights commission with Dr
Kwanele Jirira, Neseni Nomathemba and Elasto Mugwadi, a former chief
immigration officer and a lawyer.
Others are Dr Joseph Kurebwa, a UZ lecturer; Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube former
Bulawayo mayor and civic leader, Jacob Mudenda, former ZANU Midlands
chairman, who is also a lawyer and businessman, and Professor Carol Khombe,
a lecturer at NUST.
Consultations are still underway on the appointment of chairpersons to the
electoral and human rights commissions.
The official list of commissioners that have been announced are:
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission:
Joyce Kazembe, Dr Petty Makoni, Sibongile Ndlovu, Bessie Nhandara, Daniel
Chigaru, Theophilus Gambe, Geoff Feltoe, Mukhuli Nyathi,
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission:
Dr Ellen Sithole, Dr Kwanele Jirira, Neseni Nomathemba, Elasto Mugwadi, Dr
Joseph Kurebgwa, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube, Jacob Mudenda, Prof Carol Khombe
Zimbabwe Media Commission:
Godfrey Majonga (chairperson), Nqobile Nyathi (deputy), Miriam Madziwa,
Lawton Hikwa, Henry Muradzikwa, Chris Mutsvangwa, Mathew Takaona, Chris
Mhike and Dr Millicent Mombeshora.
Masvingo, December 22, 2009 - Long queues at most filling stations have
been the order of the day as motorists travelling to different parts of the
province struggled to refill as they prepare to travel over the festive
The province has been dry since Friday last week and motorists have been
sleeping in fuel queues.
Most service stations owners said they were waiting for deliveries from
suppliers. "We are experiencing fuel shortages as our suppliers mainly from
South Africa are withholding on to the product, citing high transportation
costs. They want to take advantages of the holidays and I think normal
supplies would resume after the festive season," said one service station
But suppliers are also accusing most service station owners of creating
artificial shortages so as to raise the price of fuel. "Masvingo should be
the least to complain about fuel shortages, given that they are nearer South
Africa. Most supplies come from down south, and they should be the least to
complain, unless they are service station owners from Harare," said a
By midday Monday, most motorists were stranded at most service stations as
they were told to wait for deliveries.
The long queues reminded many of the fuel shortages that gripped Zimbabwe
for the past five years at the height of the country's economic meltdown.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 16:48
Nyanga - The notorious Zanu-PF youth militias ran amok yesterday, beating
and injuring more than 30 villagers at Ruwangwe in Manicaland province.
The youths commandeered by war veterans; Titus Marandura (60) and Taurai
Kamhapa (57) brutalised villagers for refusing to donate their personal
belongings including cash for the Unity Day Celebrations.
Clad in Youth Service uniforms the militias descended on all villages under
Chief Chifodya Katerere demanding contributions for the Unity Day
Celebrations which were to be held at Nyakomba Township today. The militias
demanded the villagers to contribute cash, live chickens, goats, sheep and
cattle. Those who refused were assaulted as punishment.
However, what created more violence is that the militia's demands were met
with strong resistance from the largely MDC-T supporters who queried the
essence of the Unity Day Celebrations.
In the end many villagers had to surrender their belongings to save
themselves from the wrath of the marauding militias. All the same, over 30
villagers were injured some of them seriously.
Some of the injured are Simon Katere (71), Takura Saineti (49) ,Mercy Sapote
(79), Nyarai Beretu (45), Givemore Sanyatwe (27) and Getrude Makape (41) who
are admitted at Regina Coeli Mission Hospital where they are now nursing
The villagers made a report at Ruwangwe police post but no arrests were made
as police just ignored the victims.
The Officer in Charge at the post, Segearnt Mairos Mugava declined comment
when approached by The ZimDiaspora. Sgt Mugabe accused The Zim Diaspora for
sensationalising stories and destabilizing the country.
However, some of the victims threatened to gang up and confront the militias
who are known to be sponsored from President Mugabe's office.
"These youths are brainwashed and stupid, surely how can they force us to
contribute to Zanu pf nonsense? What Unity, Where? We can never be
hamstrung to be part of Mugabe's political hallucinations. For this, we are
going to retaliate" said Martin Chifodya of Ruwangwe area.
Mrs. Chirombo Jazi whose mother in law was nursing a deep cut on the
forehead wept uncontrollable at the manner they have been brutalised by the
"Seventeen youths came here demanding a bag of maize and a chicken. When we
said we can not afford since we are struggling to feed ourselves, they
accused us of being against Zanu pf. They started assaulting us. When we
fled, they broke into the granary and took away all the remaining grain we
had. Now we have nothing to eat and we are not going to attend the
celebrations" she said.
The MDC-T member of the House of Assembly for Nyanga North Mr Douglas
Mwonzora said he was not amused by the developments.
He urged Zanu PF leaders to restrain their supporters from harrasing members
of other political parties.
"Zanu pf must know that they were white washed in Nyanga North and have only
a handful of political maggots who still enjoy feeding from their rot.
Forcing villagers to contribute to their cause is going a bit far and its
mischief. I want to warn them that naturally mischievous elements of the
society face canning. I want to take this opportunity again to urge our
masses not to fold their hands but face their assailants in future" he said.
Zimbabweans used to celebrate Unity Day in commemoration of the coming
together of Zimbabwe's liberation, movements in 1987 that brought to an end
to systematic execution of peoples from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
The shotgun marriage was only meant to plug a Mugabe orchestrated genocide
and Zapu has since pulled out. However, President Mugabe and his party
still talk and 'celebrate' the day. The country's most supported politica
party the MDC-T has since rubbished the celebrations.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
PARISHIONERS of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa
conducted services outside the St Mary's Anglican Cathedral on Sunday after
being locked out by the independent Anglican Province of Zimbabwe.
The situation was the same at other churches in Harare as the congregations
of the Central African Province, which is the one in full communion with the
worldwide Anglican communion, were locked out by the breakaway Zimbabwe
province despite a court order for the two to share premises.
A fight ensued on Sunday as youths led by a Rev Makove of the Zimbabwe
province allegedly threw stones and empty bottles at members of the
congregation from the Central African province who were singing just outside
the church's entrance along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
Rev Makove who was shouting insults, threatened to beat up The Herald
photographer accusing him of being a member of the Gandiya-led faction.
"We will not allow you into the premises. We will not allow homosexuals into
our church and you can go anywhere. You have been given money so that you
can come here and disturb our worshipping," he said.
A member of the Central African Province, Reverend Phineas Fundira, said
they were only trying to gain entry into the church premises in accordance
with a High Court ruling by Judge President Rita Makarau that they share the
According to the ruling, the two groups were told to share the premises with
the Zimba-bwean province taking the morning slot, while the Central African
province would take the afternoon session.
"This is the second time running that we have been barred from using the
premises in direct violation of the High Court ruling.
"We are here waiting to get our chance to get into the church, but the other
group has locked the doors from inside.
"We have been trying to enter the premises, but they are refusing to share
the property hence we have decided to use this open space. As you can see,
they are forcing us from the greens and are throwing missiles at us," he
Another parishioner from St Peter's Mabelreign Anglican Church, Mr Obvious
Sherewa, said they had to conduct their service by the roadside after police
denied them entry into the premises.
He said despite producing the High Court order compelling the police not to
interfere with the parishioners, policemen manning the church said they were
still to get communication to that effect.
December 22, 2009
By Ray Matikinye
BULAWAYO - Almost all black farmers who benefited from large tracts of
commercial farmland under President Mugabe's controversial land reform
program are not paying any tax to the State because "a majority of the
farmers are still struggling" a senior manager with the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority (ZIMRA), Brighton Rombe has said. "A few successful black farmers
are paying income taxes but the rest have not been doing so over the past
ten years because they are struggling," Rombe told a business meeting of the
Rotary Club of Matopos last week.
He said government has not collected a single cent from most of the
beneficiaries of land because ZIMRA and the Ministry of Finance had not yet
come up with a formula on how to tax them.
Government could be losing millions of dollars annually in much needed
revenue to prop up a tottering economy and accelerate its economic recovery
In his budget proposals Finance Minister Tendai Biti spread his tax net to
include backyard operators, commuter bus operators, hair salons, bottle
stores, and a raft of other cottage industries that are now required to pay
presumptive tax each quarter with effect from next year as government widens
its revenue base.
Over the past decade, President Mugabe's government has been pampering
farmers with heavily subsidized inputs in vain attempts to prove to the
world that its land grab policy is working. Some farmers have abused cheap
fuel, seed, and fertilizers provided by diverting the inputs to the black
market. Some farmers prefer to make a quick buck by selling their subsidised
diesel on the black market than to fill the tractor tank in order to till
the land, wait to harvest and then sell their crop in a market of uncertain
The controversial land reform program that benefited the Zanu-PF elite has
led to a dramatic collapse of the agricultural sector, spawning serious food
shortages and job losses among farm workers and in downstream industries.
Recently, black farmer representatives and their agricultural unions have
criticized Biti and accused him of withholding funds from the International
Monetary Fund to finance agricultural activity. Biti has advised farmers to
negotiate for loans with commercial banks.
Commercial banks have, however, been reluctant to extend loans to new
farmers without the security of title deeds or a proven track record as
farmers. Banks have refused to accept government-issued 99-year leases as
Despite the outcry from farmer's representatives, the banks have received
support for their stance from the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) - a black
empowerment lobby group.
"Banks are entrusted with depositors' funds and they have to be diligent in
choosing who they lend to. They are also in business to make money," AAG
secretary for black empowerment, businessman Temba Mliswa said.
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 22 December 2009
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai agreed
on Monday on appointments to three commissions that will oversee the media,
human rights and elections but remain divided on the real causes of a
power-sharing dispute threatening their unity government.
The two rivals met on Monday together with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara, the third signatory to the global political agreement that gave
birth to the coalition government and agreed on the names of people to serve
on the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
They also agreed on candidates to serve on the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission. But Tsvangirai's spokesman James Maridadi said the three leaders
were unable to reach agreement on appointment of the central bank governor,
attorney general and swearing in of Roy Bennett - treasurer general of the
Tsvangirai-led MDC party - as deputy agriculture minister.
"The principals will meet again on Wednesday morning to complete all the
outstanding issues," Maridadi said.
In a statement announcing the commissions Mugabe's secretary, Misheck
Sibanda, said consultations were still underway on the appointment of people
to chair the human rights and electoral commissions.
"Consultations are still underway on the appointment of the chairpersons to
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission," he
The media commission will be chaired by former state broadcaster Godfrey
Majonga with journalism lecturer and former newspaper editor Nqobile Nyathi
The media, human rights and electoral commissions are part of reforms that
Zimbabwe's power-sharing government must implement to re-shape and
democratise the country's politics that has been characterised by violence
and gross human rights violations almost from independence from Britain in
Once the commissions and a new constitution are in place the government will
call fresh elections with the whole process that began last February
expected to last between 18 to 24 months.
But it is the question of who controls the central bank, the influential
attorney general's office and Bennett's case that sparked the latest
squabble in the troubled Harare administration and at one time led
Tsvangirai and his MDC party to temporarily boycott Cabinet for several
weeks last October.
Mugabe has refused to rescind his unilateral appointment of two of his top
allies to head Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the attorney general's office.
The veteran leader has also refused to swear in Bennett as deputy
In addition several new issues have emerged during inter-party negotiations
that have been taking place since November with the MDC said to be demanding
that the joint operations command (JOC), the supreme organ that coordinates
state security, be dismantled since a new National Security Council (NSC)
formed as part of the GPA provisions should perform the JOC's duties.
The MDC is also said to have demanded that it be given control of the
ministries of foreign affairs and home affairs, at the moment home affairs
is jointly controlled by Mugabe's ZANU PF and the MDC while foreign affairs
is solely run by the former.
ZANU PF is said to have refused any suggestion to dismantle or reform the
JOC which it says should remain in existence to oversee operational matters
while the new NSC handles matters of policy. Mugabe party is also opposed to
the MDC's demand for control of the home and foreign affairs ministries.
ZANU PF accuses the MDC of not living up to a promise to lead a campaign for
lifting of Western sanctions against the veteran Zimbabwean leader and
members of his inner circle. Mugabe's party resolved at its congress a week
ago that it would not make any more concessions on outstanding issues until
the sanctions issue has been resolved.
The list of commissioners as announced by Sibanda are:
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission: Joyce Kazembe, Dr Petty Makoni, Sibongile
Ndlovu, Bessie Nhandara, Daniel Chigaru, Theophilus Gambe, Geoff Feltoe,
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission: Dr Ellen Sithole, Dr Kwanele Jirira,
Neseni Nomathemba, Elasto Mugwadi, Dr Joseph Kurebgwa, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube,
Jacob Mudenda, Prof Carol Khombe
Zimbabwe Media Commission: Godfrey Majonga (chairperson), Nqobile Nyathi
(deputy), Miriam Madziwa, Lawton Hikwa, Henry Muradzikwa, Chris Mutsvangwa,
Mathew Takaona, Chris Mhike and Dr Millicent Mombeshora. - ZimOnline
By Moses Muchemwa
Published: December 20, 2009
Bulawayo - Students who failed to pay the stipulated fees for the November
'O' and 'A' level examinations will have their results withheld until they
settle their debts with the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) in
Permanent Secretary for Education Sport, Arts and Culture, Stephen Mahere,
students' results would be withheld until a full payment of the exam fees
"On that one, we will not reverse our decision neither are we going to mince
our words. It has to be made bold and clear that those who have not made
their examination fee payments in full will have their results withheld
until the payments are made in full. We understand and share the concerns of
the parents, which explains why we allowed the students to sit for their
"The concerns were genuine and they emanate from the fact that we have
adopted a multi-currency system and we have no mandate to print the money
willy-nilly as we used to do with our own currency.
"The parents of those students who were allowed to sit for their examination
should not therefore sit back and relax but should be running around looking
for money so that they will have no problems accessing the results of their
children come next year," said Mahere.
He said although the local examinations were far much cheaper compared to
those of the country's regional counterparts, the economic situation that
the country was coming from and the amount of income that most employees
were getting could not be compared to those in the region hence the decision
to give people time to look for the fees.
Mahere blamed the failure by some parents to pay the fees to the late
announcement of the fees by ZIMSEC saying despite the extension of the
deadline some parents still failed to pay the exam fees.
Last week, Minister of Public Service, Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro
called on all the teachers who left the country in the past two years
because of the pressing economic environment to apply for re-engagement
saying next year there would be a new grading system for the teachers that
would see them getting a salary that is not uniform as is the case.
By Ecumenical News International
22 Dec 2009
A Catholic human rights activist who denounced the atrocities of white
minority rule in the country then called Rhodesia, has charted what he
describes as the "descent to tyranny" of Zimbabwe's post-independence ruler
Robert Mugabe - writes Trevor Grundy.
For more than 20 years until 1999, Mike Auret worked for Zimbabwe's Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace, set up by the country's Catholic bishops.
In his new book, "From Liberator to Dictator: An Insider's Account of Robert
Mugabe's Descent into Tyranny", Auret records how he met Mugabe several
times and was captivated by the man's intelligence and apparent sincerity.
"My admiration for him grew with each contact and in the months ahead I
found myself putting him on a pedestal - a position from which I found it
most difficult to displace him in the years that followed, despite
everything that happened," said Auret.
But Auret was shattered when he discovered what happened in the Matabeleland
and Midlands regions of Zimbabwe between 1983 and 1987. More than 20,000
men, women and children accused of being "dissidents" were killed to wipe
out the power base of Mugabe's main rival in the liberation struggle, Joshua
Nkomo. Almost all of those killed were Ndebeles, members of Nkomo's ethnic
They were killed by a North Korean trained branch of the military called the
Fifth Brigade. Its members were Shona, who belonged to Mugabe's ethnic
Zimbabwe's 11.4 million population is divided roughly into two main tribal
groups, the Shonas (80 per cent) and the Ndebeles (nearly 18 per cent).
"Part of the reason for writing this book was for me to try to gain some
understanding of how so many of us so gravely misconstrued the situation in
Zimbabwe once independence had been achieved," writes Auret. "How was it
possible that so serious an error of judgement could have been made by so
many people, in the world, not only in Zimbabwe?"
The son of white settlers, Auret had a career in Africa that spanned the
heyday of white rule in the 1950s to Zimbabwe's political and economic chaos
at the beginning of the 21st century. He joined the army in 1956 but
resigned after Ian Smith declared Southern Rhodesia's illegal Unilateral
Declaration of Independence from Britain in November 1965.
Auret joined the CCJP in the 1970s and was active in investigating
atrocities committed by the Rhodesian army, an offshoot of the force in
which he was once an officer. He left the country in 1979 to avoid being
conscripted, and went to Britain with his wife Diana only to return home
after independence in 1980, when Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe.
In his book, Auret recalls how he was among those who were moved by Mugabe's
statements of the need for "reconciliation" after seven years of war from
1972 to 1979 which had led to 30,000 deaths.
"Everything he said impressed me tremendously. As he spoke I experienced a
growing respect for him, for his intellect and his humanity . I was
impressed by his sincerity and by what he seemed to be an obvious respect
for the Church," Auret writes.
However, "In the second decade, disillusionment began and the drive for
development became a drive for democracy and the protection of human
rights . I remembered the reasonable man and wondered if he had changed or
if indeed he had always been so evil, but simply more adept at hiding it."
Auret resigned as the justice group's director in 1999, when the Catholic
Church refused to publish a report drawn up by the commission and the Legal
Resources Foundation, a human rights group, into the atrocities committed by
the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland.
He was then elected as a member of parliament from Harare for the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party, but left Zimbabwe after he resigned
his seat in 2003.
Auret presently lives in Ireland but maintains close contact with Zimbabwean
See: Michael Auret: From Liberator to Dictator: An Insider's Account of
Robert Mugabe's Descent into Tyranny, David Philip, Publishers, ISBN-13:
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly
sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation,
the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European
December 21, 2009
By Owen Chikari
MASVINGO - This year's National Unity Day should be a commemoration of the
general unity among all Zimbabweans and not a celebration of the Unity
Accord signed in 1987 between PF-Zapu and Zanu-PF, the acting chairman of
the revived ZAPU has said.
Speaking in Masvingo Dumiso Dabengwa said in fact the Unity Accord no longer
existed since ZAPU pulled out of the deal early this year and therefore
Unity Day should not be commemorated in respect of that accord.
Dabengwa said the decision to pull out of the accord was endorsed by the
party's congress held in May this year and therefore Zanu-PF should not
continue to use ZAPU's name.
Zimbabweans commemorate National Unity Day on December 22 every year in
commemoration of the historic signing of the unity accord between Zanu-PF's
Robert Mugabe and PF-Zapu's late founding father Joshua Nkomo.
"This year's Unity Day should be commemorated by all Zimbabweans because
there is unity in the country ", said Dabengwa. "It should not, in anyway,
be held in respect of the Unity Accord because we have pulled out of that
"We are happy with the unity in the country but our marriage with Zanu-PF
has ended and no one should continue to use the party's name.
"After pulling out of the accord there are some people who chose to remain
behind and we have no power whatsoever to recall them but it should be clear
that ZAPU has been revived and it's no longer party of Zanu-PF ."
Last week vice President John Nkomo was sworn in in terms of the agreement
between PF-Zapu and Zanu-PF. President Mugabe said John Nkomo's appointment
was made in respect of the Unity Accord of 1987.
The agreement was signed following years of political turmoil mainly in
Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces in the 1980s. An estimated 20 000
mostly Ndebele supporters of ZAPU were killed by North Korean-trained troops
in a ruthless campaign code-named Gukurahundi.
The accord ended a bitter civil war pitting former Zipra combatants and the
Five Brigade troops who became notorious for the brutality of their
Photo: Pierre Holtz/IRIN
"It is difficult for me to raise the money that the miller charges ... I have nowhere to get it from," said the widow who looks after four children of her own as well as two nephews. "He charges a chicken to grind for me twice."
Barter trade has been common practice in Zimbabwe since crippling hyperinflation rendered the local Zimbabwe dollar all but worthless. Economists stopped measuring inflation after it hit 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent - 65 followed by 107 zeros - and in February 2009 the economy was officially "dollarised".
Phasing out the local currency and introducing the United States dollar, South African rand and Botswana pula as legal tender has helped rein in inflation, but those currencies are seldom available in remote areas like Mutoko district, some 70km from the capital, Harare, where Musakwa lives.
A chicken can go a long way
The owners of small businesses in rural areas feel they have no choice but to accept goods in lieu of cash, and a chicken can exchange hands several times. Simplicius Gomo, the miller in Musakwa's village, said he gladly accepted payment in kind because it kept him in business.
"I use the chickens that the villagers bring to me to buy the diesel that powers my grinding mill. If I have a surplus of the chickens, I ask the dealer who brings the fuel to give me some cash that I use to buy spare parts, keep for my children's school fees and uniforms, or buy small items with," Gomo told IRIN.
"Imagine, after my fuel supplier gets the chickens from me, he uses them to buy goats, sheep or any other form of livestock, that he in turn either sells for cash or passes on to the next dealer, who decides what to do with them," he said.
Gomo also sells second hand clothes at the village flea market. He trades the chickens for clothes, which he gets from truck drivers going to and from neighbouring Zambia along the nearby highway, as well as other goods like grain and seed, while some villagers offer to work on his fields.
What is your chicken worth today?
Chickens are also used as bus fare. "Almost every day we hear stories of a passenger being thrown out because they have quarrelled with the driver and bus conductor over the value of the item they have offered," he said.
Barter trade has become "a day-to-day way of coping with the scarcity of cash", but this "inevitably" leads to unfairness and disadvantage to some of the people exchanging the goods, said John Robertson, an economic consultant based in the capital, Harare.
"This is because the value and exchange rate of items being exchanged is highly subjective, and also depends on the level of desperation among those involved in the barter," he told IRIN. The desperation of people in rural areas sometimes made it easy to take advantage of them.
Musakwa said she was down to her last hen. "I am afraid that the children will be disappointed on Christmas day, since my fowl run is now almost empty."
By Boris Bachorz (AFP) - 11 hours ago
NAIROBI - Three months from a major international conference on endangered
species, African countries are divided over whether a fresh round of ivory
sales should be allowed.
With black market sales on the rise again, some nations that consider their
elephant populations to be out of danger are arguing stocks of the precious
ivory should be sold legally.
Tanzania and Zambia, for example, have asked the CITES (Convention on
International Trade in International Species) conference to be held from
March 13 to 25 in Doha to authorise them to sell 90 and 22 tonnes of ivory
This request for an exemption to the 1989 ban on ivory sales, a measure
destined to protect the African elephant and rhino, has rekindled a war
between countries with varying animal population levels.
If elephants used to roam the African continent in their millions, today
they number somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000.
More than half are found in southern Africa with just a few thousand, or
sometimes a few hundred, in most western, central and eastern African
In some cases the animals have disappeared all together, for example in
Burundi, Gambia, Mauritania or Sierra Leone.
"We don't want to see elephants survive just in one corner of Africa, just
in southern Africa," said Patrick Omondi who will head the Kenyan delegation
to the Doha talks.
The last CITES conference in the Hague in June 2007 led to confrontations
between African countries but they eventually reached a compromise
prolonging the moratorium on ivory saes by nine years but allowing Zimbabwe,
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana to make a one-off sale of 108 tonnes to
buyers in China and Japan.
Elephant protection groups argue that this legal sale increased demand for
ivory, much sought after throughout Asia for its decorative qualities,
boosting the black market.
In Kenya, the number of elephants killed by poachers rose from 47 in 2007 to
214 in 2009.
"If the trend continues this way, we can expect to see the extinction of the
elephant in our lifetime," said Patricia Awori of the Pan African Wildlife
"Our position is that the international community should sustain the ban of
selling ivory and rhino horns. By perpetuation of poaching, we will
eliminate these animals," Kenyan Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa told AFP.
Tanzania has a different argument. The authorities estimate that their
elephant population rose from 55,000 in 1989 to 137,000 in 2006.
"Elephants are increasingly becoming a nuisance to poor farmers who are
progressively becoming opponents to their conservation. The sale of ivory
seized or collected from animals that have died a natural death is the best
way of making the population aware of the value of the animal," the
Tanzanian government said in the file it submitted to CITES.
Tanzania's proposal caused seven African countries, among them Kenya and
DRC, to submit a counter amendment asking for the moratorium to be extended
to 20 years from nine and calling for a ban on any sales outside southern
"The illicit trade in ivory, which has been increasing in volume since 2004,
moved sharply upward in 2009", according to Traffic, the wildlife trade
"The remarkable surge in 2009 reflects a series of large-scale ivory seizure
events that suggest an increased involvement of organized crime syndicates
in the trade, connecting African source countries with Asian end-use
markets," Traffic says.
The quantity of ivory seized has doubled in a year to reach 15 tonnes this
year. Its market value is around 750 dollars per kilogramme.
"It is really getting out of control, it has become like the drug trade,"
by Mutumwa Mawere Tuesday 22 December 2009
OPINION: In response to my article entitled: "Pushing the envelope of
knowledge - Cecil Rhodes"
Jojo commented that the choice of the title is rather a patronising way to
put the point across as in his opinion my contribution does not expand the
body of knowledge rather it is merely a different perspective or my opinion
on various issues.
What is knowledge? It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as (i)
expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education;
the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) what is known
in a particular field or in total' facts and information or (iii) awareness
or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation."
When I was growing up, my worldview was informed by the body of knowledge
that was exposed formally and informally to me.
There is nothing that prepared me for a role in the corporate world. Being
black, the system had a zero tolerance to our active participation in the
Accordingly, my role models were people in the academia or professional
service providers like lawyers, accountants, doctors etc.
What I knew or was made to understand is that blacks were poor because white
people had conspired to make it that way.
All I was informed was that settlers had constructively deprived blacks of
their heritage and, therefore, independence was meant to restore the
heritage of native Africans where it should have always been vested.
I did not know much about the Rand Lords and their contribution to African
heritage and civilisation.
One cannot deny that a race-based political and economic system is bad and
toxic to human development and progress.
However, the reality in Africa is that our past did little to prepare us for
the kind of challenges that need to be addressed for the continent to reduce
the frontiers of poverty.
Colonialism brought with it a new way of doing business and exposed the real
potential of Africa.
We have no choice but to learn from our past and by pushing the envelope of
knowledge on our business heritage, the hope is that we can learn that
capitalism has no colour and, if anything, we need to expand the body of
knowledge on what kind of people we generally classify as capitalists are
and what informs their actions.
It is only when we know the experiences of those that came before us that we
can be guided in terms of appreciating how national progress can be best
promoted and secured through financial and business literacy.
We just have to know our past for us to move forward. Our political heritage
is well known and understood but our business heritage is less understood
given the historical complex interplay between business and politics.
The knowledge about the life and struggles of the men and women who shaped
Africa's corporate civilisation is not generally available in the minds of
the people who also want to do business in Africa and yet such knowledge is
critical in determining business success.
What is different about the Rand Lords and the new class of post-colonial
The Rand Lords understood that the colonial model had to be self sustaining
and could not be underpinned by any aid from the mother countries.
Most of the Rand Lords unlike the majority of people who are in the diaspora
had no intention of going back to their countries of birth but were
determined to make it in the new territories.
The Rand Lords were men of conviction who knew what they needed to do to
construct a new civilisation that had to be underpinned by an institutional
and human capital arrangement similar to the one they were familiar with.
In trying to appreciate what is wrong with Africa, I had no choice but to
improve my own limited understanding of our business heritage.
Having looked at the story of Rhodes, it is all important to look at how his
friends fared in business and their role in our heritage.
One of the most significant associates of Rhodes is Charles Dunell Rudd,
born on 22 October 1844 in Hanworth, Norfolk and died on 15 November 1916.
Rudd studied at Harrow School and then entered Trinity College, Cambridge in
1863 but did not complete his studies opting to immigrate to South Africa,
Cape Colony in 1865.
In 1872, Rudd and Rhodes became friends and partners in the diamond
business. Rudd played a key role in Rhodes' business exploits.
Between 1873 and 1881, Rudd managed their business interests while Rhodes
attended college at Oxford.
They formed the De Beers Mining Company together. Rudd was one of the
directors of the company and also held large interests in the main machinery
supplier for the mining fields.
In early 1887, Rhodes, Rudd and Rudd's brother, Thomas, registered Gold
Fields of South Africa to focus on gold mining.
Although the company had other shareholders and directors in England, it was
structured to favour Rudd and Rhodes who benefitted enormously as
individuals from the activities in Southern Africa.
It was Rudd on 13 October 1888 that secured an agreement known as the Rudd
Concession with respect to the mineral rights of Matabeleland and
Mashonaland from Lobengula, the King of Matabeleland.
History records that Rhodes and Rudd had duped the British government and
the investing public into believing that the Concession was vested in the
public company when in truth and fact it was vested in a private entity.
The Concession was sold at a profit of millions of pounds to the public
company, the British South Africa Company.
Although Rhodes and Rudd were extremely close, in 1895 they had major
fallout leading to Rudd proclaiming that he would no longer work with
It is believed Rudd was unaware of the Gold Fields' conspiracy that
motivated the disastrous Jameson Raid.
Notwithstanding, Rudd remained friends with Rhodes and a director of Gold
Fields until 1902 after which he retired to Scotland where he bought the
Ardnamurchan estate in Argyll, where be bought two houses, one of which,
Glenborrodale Castle for his guests.
Rudd came to Africa with no money but returned to Europe a rich man. His
friendship with Rhodes paid off and exposed how Africa can be good to be
people who believe in it.
The role Rudd played in converting the mineral rights acquired in Zimbabwe
into cash with the support and active participation of Rhodes is no
different from the role that is being played by many fortune hunters in
As justification for the exclusion of black people in the value chain was
that corporate civilisation was foreign to Africa and in any event, even if
colonialism had not visited the continent, the minerals would have remained
in situ with no alternative indigenous plan to identify and exploit them.
With the investment in exploration which is risk capital, it has been argued
that the minerals would have remained hidden and the credit ought to go to
the Rand Lords who were smart enough to convince Anglo American financiers
that Africa was indeed well endowed with mineral resources.
Men like Rudd and Rhodes rejected the notion that the loot from minerals had
to be shared with the natives.
They first cut a deal with Lobengula and then registered a public company
with a promise of high returns from mineral rights to be secured in Zimbabwe
fully knowing that such rights were already vested in the Rudd Concession in
which Rhodes and Rudd had personal interests.
What lessons do we learn from Rudd? Rudd was loyal to Rhodes until the end.
Rhodes was a master at what he did.
He understood the need for an institutional approach to development. He was
responsible for setting up a number of companies that were then used as
instruments to raise capital and develop the mineral and agricultural
resources of Southern Africa.
He also knew that he needed Europe to understand the colonial project.
Capital markets did respond to the call for investment.
Rhodes was acutely conscious that he needed to accumulate capital to do the
kind of things that he is credited for.
Such wealth was not inherited as a consequence of his business acumen. Rudd
by association became wealthy as well. The role of friendship and nepotism
in business cannot be overstated. People do business with people they are
comfortable with. - ZimOnline
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 December 2009, 1:70 GMT
That Robert Mugabe should lead an entourage of sixty Zimbabwean technocrats
on an expensive frolic to participate in discussions on global warming in
Copenhagen is a grave travesty of justice. How a man under 'EU sanctions'
can evade arrest for crimes against 'nature and humanity' is only
explainable by the mysterious world of United Nations protocol. Moreover,
though the general position is that African and G77 countries are the least
offenders in carbon dioxide emission, there is critical evidence to prove
that Mugabe's violent ten-year land grab has been responsible for
desertification of previously arable commercial farmland.
When his cronies, sympathisers and ZANU-PF fanatics invaded white commercial
farms under the guise of 'indigenisation', they had nothing but axes and
machetes for 'working capital'. The more lucky ones, like former information
minister Bright Matonga, dispossessed legitimate owners of their land,
houses, implements and crops. Villagers who had taken over vast forests had
no resources to develop the land so they simply resorted to felling trees
and setting up roadside fuel wood-marketing stalls. In Harare where I
reside, woodlots owned by the local city council fifteen kilometres along
the highway to Mozambique were plundered by wood poachers trying to cope
with electricity shortages. A decade of ZANU-PF induced high-level
incompetence, patronage, subsidies and corruption completely disabled ZESA
the electricity Parastatal, to a stage where even urban dwellers like me
resorted to gas, jelly and wood charcoal for cooking.
Mugabe's land 'reform' set off a chain of disasters. Apart from the
possibility of soil erosion, desertification and siltation, loss of trees
reduces the capacity of nature to 'process' carbon dioxide. Alex McBratney,
soil and carbon researcher of Sydney University in Australia explains that
photosynthesis soaks up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and draws it into
the ground. So when desperate ZANU-PF activists are confronted with soils
that are difficult to till, they plunder the trees for a living before
burning the grass. During dry winter months, highway travellers are treated
to numerous fiery horizons ignited by idle peasant farmers in occupied
lands. Zimbabwe has an active environmental management policy, but it
functions well in areas controlled by the National Parks. However, where
farms were invaded, the environmental watchdog has no power over political
influence. State propaganda glorifies December as a tree-planting month, but
given Mugabe's environmental plunder, this is hollow hypocrisy.
Traditional historians have oral and written evidence that apart from
colonial laws that prevented over-grazing and tree-felling, chiefs and
headmen enforced a tradition of masango anoyera [sacred forests]. No one was
allowed to cut trees in these havens of spiritual symbolism. Mugabe's
culture of lawlessness and patronage then pushed traditional leaders to a
point where they completely abandoned their roles as guardians of the
forest. Prospective ZANU-PF Members of Parliament in areas where precious
stones are close to the surface like Kwekwe, Shurugwi and Chiyadzwa bought
votes by allowing makorokoza [informal miners] to carve numerous trenches in
search of wealth. The resultant gullies have left scars on the earth that
may take decades to fill up.
Mugabe's primitive land reform program has also had telling effects on wild
life, thus upsetting the country's delicate ecological balance. Peasant
farmers who invaded wildlife sanctuaries massacred animals or simply drove
them to more hostile habitat to die. High-yielding hunting safaris have
either been 'colonised' by ZANU-PF big-wigs or dissipated altogether. So it
comes as a surprise that the man who has contributed so much to the
destruction of nature is masquerading as a campaigner against global
warming. On the contrary, ZANU-PF is an integral part of the family of
global political, ideological and ecological pollutants.
My critics will argue that Copenhagen 2009 is as much a destination for the
notorious climate offenders like the United States as it is for victims of
global warming like Zimbabwe. I agree, but Mugabe has no business in a
community where serious people are discussing preservation of human dignity
and life. The very DNA of ZANU-PF politics is destruction. When Barack Obama's
country pollutes the atmosphere, it is in the name of creating jobs and
enhancing the wealth of citizens. When his armies are in Afghanistan, Obama
is attempting to stem the tide of deadly fundamentalism at its source.
Mugabe will argue eternally that the land reform is a noble scheme to
improve lives of 'victims of colonialism', but I argue that violating
property rights, murdering citizens, displacing half-a-million farm workers
and destroying the environment in one policy instrument has no place in
Mind you, ZANU-PF's entry into Zimbabwe's polity completely poisoned the
democratic climate. Zimbabweans have really never known true peace since
1980. Citizens are fearful, impoverished and abused by vindictive state
machinery that rewards praise singers and thrives on restricting civil
liberties. Five million Zimbabweans have taken refuge in Botswana, South
Africa, United Kingdom, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Whenever Mugabe
goes, journalists confront him with questions on bad governance, torture and
violations of civil liberties. In short, the ZANU-PF president carries with
him an aura of poisoned perceptions. Even his own people in his party, are
beginning to ask relevant questions about his ability to represent their
interests in the next electoral context.
At a time when the government of nationality unity [GNU] is fragile and
requiring careful nurturing, Mugabe hurls broadsides at coalition partner
Movement for Democratic Change, further poisoning the negotiating climate.
What kind of ideological bankruptcy drives this man? MDC was formed by
Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans, not the British, as he claims. Can we say that
since ZANLA [the liberation military wing of ZANU] was supported by the
Chinese and Nordic countries, it was 'formed' by those countries? When two
million people voted for MDC in March 2008 - and Mugabe has now conceded
defeat - they sought representation by their own, local leaders, not Tony
Blair. It was Morgan Tsvangirayi on the ballot paper, not Gordon Brown.
Mugabe is in government by the generosity of Thabo Mbeki and SADC. Outside
the GNU, the man has no legitimacy whatsoever. My humble submission is that
Copenhagen is not for him, until he accepts a more democratic climate in
Zimbabwe. Listening to Mugabe speak at Copenhagen, my assertion is that the
international community now should lift sanctions on ZANU-PF and impose a
Rejoice Ngwenya is founder of Zimbabwean think tank COMALISO and an
associate of www.AfricanLiberty.org
BILL WATCH 45/2009
[21st December 2009]
The House of Assembly has adjourned until 2nd February 2010
The Senate has adjourned until 9th February
Update on Inclusive Government
The three GPA principals met this afternoon to discuss the outstanding issues of disagreement between the two main parties. Nothing was concluded. After their meeting last Monday they had directed the negotiators to produce a comprehensive report detailing the issues agreed on with deadlines for implementation. The negotiators did not however meet over the weekend as was planned – once again some of them were not available. They are meeting this evening to finalise their report which they will now present to each of the principals separately tomorrow, Tuesday. The principals will then meet together to discuss the report on Wednesday at 10 am. After that meeting it is likely that any outstanding issues which are still in dispute will be referred to SADC for arbitration. According to the Prime Minister’s office last week, “the majority of issues have been resolved, either between the negotiators or via recommendations by the facilitators themselves”, but the appointments of the Reserve Bank Governor and Attorney General were still unresolved.
At the meeting of the GPA principals this afternoon, the composition of three of the four constitutional commissions was almost finalised except that the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of ZEC and ZHRC have not yet been named. The names released are as follows:
Zimbabwe Electoral Commisssion [ZEC] 8 Members: Daniel Chigaru,
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC] 8 Members: Kwanele Jirira, Carol Khombe, Joseph Kurebwa, Jacob Mudenda, Elasto Mugwadi, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, Neseni Nomathemba, Ellen Sithole. [One of these members will be named as Deputy Chairperson. There is speculation that former UZ Law Professor Reginald Austin will be named as chairperson.]
Zimbabwe Media Commission [ZMC] Chairperson Godfrey Majonga, Deputy Chairperson Nqubile Nyathi and 7 other members: Lawton Hikwa, Miriam Madziwa, Chris Mhike, Millicent Mombeshora, Henry Muradzikwa, Chris Mutsvangwa, Matthew Takaona.
Last Week in Parliament
House of Assembly did not sit last week. It adjourned on Wednesday 9th December until Tuesday 2nd February.
Senate sat on Tuesday and Wednesday, then adjourned until 9th February. Wednesday’s sitting lasted until after 7 pm to enable fast-tracking of the two Budget Bills and two other Bills.
Budget Bills: The Appropriation (2010) Bill and Finance (No. 3) Bill were passed without amendment on Wednesday. [Electronic versions of both Bills available.]
Other Bills: The Public Finance Management Bill and Audit Office Bill were also passed without amendment on Wednesday.
The Second Reading debate on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill was completed on Tuesday. ZANU-PF Chief Whip Monica Mutsvangwa tabled major amendments to the Bill for consideration during the Committee Stage. Senator Obert Gutu of MDC-T tabled an amendment to delete the provision granting indemnity [backdated to 1999] to the Bank and the Governor [added during the Bill’s passage through the House of Assembly at the insistence of ZANU-PF MPs]. On Wednesday the Minister of Finance told the Senate he had been informed by the Leader of the House that the three principals are holding consultations on the Bill. So the Bill was carried over to be dealt with when the Senate resumes on 9th February.
Parliamentary Business carried forward to next year
House of Assembly
Bills: The Public Order and Security Amendment Bill [Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill] awaits its introduction. [Electronic version available]
Legislative Agenda: Unless the Prime Minister chooses to make an earlier announcement outside Parliament, his promised statement on the Government’s legislative agenda will have to wait until the House resumes in February.
Uncompleted motions on the agenda include one calling for a comprehensive audit
of the voters roll and another to take note of the report of the SADC
Parliamentary Forum Observer Mission on the recent
Questions: Because the last two Question Times were deferred to allow Budget business to take precedence, 53 questions have accumulated for reply by Ministers. The Prime Minister has undertaken to ensure that Ministers attend the House to deal with unanswered questions. A recently tabled question asks Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Mr Shamu [ZANU-PF] to explain ZBC’s negative reporting on the Prime Minister.
Bills: The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill awaits its Committee Stage. A number of amendments have been tabled.
Motions: the uncompleted debate on Senator Muchihwa’s motion on Community and Home-Based Care Programmes will continue.
Questions: Several questions await Ministerial reply – one posed by Senator Mumvuri of ZANU-PF, asks the co-Ministers of Home Affairs to explain what measures the Ministry has put in place to “curtail the rampant thefts of property, illegal panning of gold and indiscriminate cutting of trees perpetuated by the unemployed former farm workers who are still living on legally acquired and resettled farms”.
Swearing in of Second Vice-President
Senator John Landa Nkomo was sworn in as a Vice-President on Monday 14th December, filling the vacancy created by the death of Vice-President Joseph Msika on 4th August. Mrs Joice Mujuru remains in her position as a Vice-President of the country. The President can appoint either Vice-President as acting President in his absence. Mrs Mujuru acted as President while he was at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Mr Nkomo’s appointment will not alter the number of vacancies in the Senate, but his appointment will necessitate his replacement as Minister of State in the President’s office and Chairman of the Organ for National Healing. He has said that until this happens he will continue to chair the Organ.
Parliamentary Committee Meetings
House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees wound up their business for 2009 last week. Committee meetings will resume on Monday 25th January 2010.
Portfolio Committee Report on Ministry of Mines and Energy
The House of Assembly portfolio committee on Mines and Energy reported on the 2010 Post-Budget Analysis of Votes for the Ministry Mines and Mining Development and the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. The report criticised the Secretary for Mines and Mining Development for various breaches of the Mines and Minerals Act, including suspending the operations of the Mining Affairs Board from April 2009 onwards. [Electronic version of full report available.]
of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with
Bills in Parliament:
House of Assembly: None. All Bills have been dealt with.
Bill Awaiting Introduction: The Public Order and Security Amendment Bill [Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill] was gazetted on 11th December. The Bill now awaits introduction in the House of Assembly. [Electronic version available.]
Bill Awaiting President’s Assent: Financial Adjustments Bill, Public Finance Management Bill, Audit Office Bill, Appropriation (2010) Bill and Finance (No. 3) Bill. [Electronic versions of Appropriation (2010) and Finance (No. 3) Bills available.]
Statutory Instruments: On 18th December only one statutory instrument was gazetted – a suspension of customs duty.
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