by Staff Reporter
Casualties ... Death toll on the rise
THE festive season death toll on Zimbabwean roads has surged to 134 in the
past 11 days compared to just 72 during the same period last year.
The number of crashes has also reached 795 against last year's average of
799, according to police spokesperson Paul Nyathi.
“The major cause of these deadly accidents has been over-speeding by
drivers, inattention and misjudgment on the part of drivers, following too
close behind the vehicle in front, overtaking as well as reversing and
turning errors,” Nyathi said.
He said 10 056 motorists have since been ticketed for various traffic
offences while 762 defective vehicles have been seized.
Manicaland Province incurred the highest number of casualties with 28 deaths
from 74 accidents. During the same period last year, only five people died
from 53 crashes.
Mashonaland East is second with 24 deaths from 41 smashes compared to 18
loses last year.
The death toll in Masvingo stands at 21 from 50 accidents. In Matabeleland
North 18 deaths were noted from 25 accidents. By this time last year, only
two deaths from 21 accidents had occured.
In Matabeleland South 13 people have been killed while Midlands has
registered 10 deaths.
Harare has the highest number of accidents with 311 where 10 people have
died compared to 285 during the same period last year with seven deaths.
Bulawayo has seen 104 crashes that killed three people while Mashonaland
West has recorded seven deaths
On the national average, 736 people have been injured compared to 555 last
The single deadliest crash yet occurred near Mutare on Sunday when a haulage
truck crammed with 63 people flipped over, killing 18 passengers.
On Monday another accident involving a commuter omnibus killed eight people,
six of them family members.
A total of 147 people were killed during the entire festive period last
year - which runs from December 15 through January 15 - while 1, 304 others
Police say given the mounting statistics, they anticipate this year's
holiday to be the deadliest in recent history.
by Staff Reporter
NINE traffic police officers have been arrested in Masvingo in the past few
days for demanding or accepting bribes from motorists, authorities announced
Corruption by law enforcement agents staffing roadblocks is cited as one of
the primary factors contributing to the high incidence of accidents which
have killed 134 people since the beginning of the festive season 11 days
In particular, the haulage truck crash that claimed 18 lives near Mutare on
Sunday has caught public attention with many people questioning how the
lorry, overloaded with 63 people, was allowed to pass several police
checkpoints all the way from Harare.
Officers are accused of compromising road safety by taking kickbacks and
allowing through overloaded or defective vehicles, as well as drunk
drivers - all recipes for disaster.
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri announced a few weeks ago that since
January, some 123 police officers had been apprehended for engaging in
various forms of graft.
“We utterly condemn any form of corruption, and shall continue to invoke the
wrath of the law to completely destroy this cancerous social scourge,”
Chihuri told a recent pass-out parade in Harare.
“Let me remind officers and members of the force that we have zero tolerance
to corruption. All police officers should bear in mind that the general
public deserve a full measure of police service from them.”
Zimbabwean police are rated among the most corrupt in the Southern African
President Robert Mugabe has also criticised corrupt officers saying they
were giving government a bad image.
“Mapurisa, mapurisa, mapurisa! We want you to be straightforward people. You
are representatives not only of Government, but of the people as a whole,”
Mugabe said at a Zanu PF conference.
“If you want to be paid to do your job, then you are practicing corruption
and you cannot boast of having a well-disciplined police.
“Kumisa vanhu mumigwagwa. Mota yako haina mabreaks haungaende mberi kana
uchida, bhadhara US$200 woenda, [You always stop motorists on the road and
say your car has faulty brakes, you can’t proceed. If you want to go pay us
US$200],” Mugabe added.
A report by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACTSA) last month
said corruption in the police force was on the increase.
The Bishop Chad Gandiya-led Harare diocese of the Anglican Church of the
Province of Central Africa on Tuesday rejoiced as they conducted their first
Christmas mass in their church buildings after five years in the ‘wilderness’.
The Cathedral of St. Mary and All Saints in the capital was packed to
capacity as parishioners joyfully sang various hymns during the first
Christmas mass to be held by the Harare diocese after losing and
repossessing their property.
Bishop Chad Gandiya could not hide his joy as he led a Christmas sermon.
Gandiya said all glory should be given to the Almighty as they never
envisaged going back to their church buildings let alone joining the rest of
the world in celebrating Christmas.
Gandiya said that life was not easy out there as they braved tough weather
conditions while worshipping under trees and rented places.
Jubilant worshipper, Grace Dzvairo, said no one ever thought that the
Anglican Church dispute would come to an end.
The Gandiya-led parishioners last held such a mass at the church buildings
in 2006 after Bishop Nolbert Kunonga grabbed all properties claiming that he
was against homosexuality being allegedly promoted by the Church.
Bishop Kunonga and his colleagues formed a rival faction of the church which
drove out those led by Gandiya from the church properties.
The Supreme Court this year ruled that Bishop Kunonga should hand over the
Gandiya-led parishioners. He has since been driven out of most church
November 19 has since been declared by Bishop Gandiya as a day of
thanksgiving for the Harare diocese.
The Christmas service was held under the theme “growth in service-growing as
Meanwhile, Christmas celebrations in Harare were generally low key as rains
fell on the capital affecting many functions at homes and outdoor centers
around the city.
In some parts of the city, rains started as early as 10 am and by lunchtime
most of the city was affected forcing residents to stay indoors or put their
planned outdoor festivities on hold.
It is also that time of the year again when Zimbabwe’s sons and daughters
who live and work outside the country flock home to spend time with family
and friends, after at least a year of living hundreds or even thousands of
It is a common site during the festive season to see an influx of foreign
registered cars, most sporting the GP tag of South Africa’s Gauteng Province
while others come from Botswana, Namibia or Zambia.
Public buses and airplanes are also full, an indication that Zimbabweans are
scattered all over the world in pursuit of greener pastures.
At the same time, police say the number of people who have died in road
accidents in the past ten days has gone up to 127.
The statistics come after a commuter omnibus crash that killed 8 people near
Chivhu late yesterday. Six victims were members of the same family, police
The Chivhu crash came on the heels of the deadliest accident yet this
festive season that killed 18 people near Mutare on Sunday.
The crash has since been declared a national disaster. Names of the victims
were released Tuesday.
The Chivhu crash came on the heels of the deadliest accident yet this
festive season that killed 18 people near Mutare on Sunday.
The crash has since been declared a national disaster. Names of the victims
were released Tuesday.
Staff Reporter 1 hour ago
HARARE - The ageing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has left Harare for
the Far East on alleged traditional annual vacation but sources says he has
gone for "routine medical" check-up.
In a statement Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and
Publicity, George Charamba said Vice President Joice Mujuru will be Acting
Zimbabwean officials have always dismissed reports President Robert Mugabe's
ill health and that he usually gets treatment in Singapore, saying he goes
there on holiday there with his family.
The 88-year-old president has been the subject of several health scares in
recent years, with some reports saying he has prostate cancer, but in
interviews with state media he laughed off suggestions that he was seriously
Mugabe is one of Africa's longest serving leaders and has ruled the former
British colony in southern Africa since 1980. He is sharing power with
political rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a fragile coalition
formed three years ago.
"Some sick and malicious people are spreading false stories about him being
seriously ill while others are saying he is dead or dying out there," one
ZANU-PF official said.
Mugabe has made frequent visits to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, where
medical care is far better than in his impoverished state.
Mugabe and ZANU-PF are blamed for turning his resource rich state into an
economic basket case due to massive fiscal blunders, with international
donors and foreign firms waiting for a more responsible government to be in
place before sending billions of dollars in the country.
Today Zimbabwe's capital Harare was quiet, with government offices and
businesses only -re-opening after the Festive holiday.
Mugabe, who celebrated his 88th birthday on February 21, was endorsed by his
party as its presidential candidate for a general election he wants to be
held before the end of this year despite opposition from his major political
Analysts say Mugabe will face a tough challenge convincing voters to extend
his 32-year rule after a devastating economic crisis many blame on ZANU-PF.
There are fears that if Mugabe dies in office without settling a bitter
succession battle in his ZANU-PF, the party could erupt in internal conflict
and destabilise the country.
Although ZANU-PF officials rally behind Mugabe in public, in private many
want him to retire and pass the baton to a younger heir due to fears his
advanced age may cost the party victory in the upcoming election.
While some ZANU-PF members now see Mugabe as a political liability, many
also recognise him as the only one able to control a highly partisan
Zimbabwean army led by veterans of the 1970s independence war.
Many are also unsure whether his potential successors in the party can
defeat Tsvangirai in a free election. Elections must be held by next year
under their power-sharing deal.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 00:00
Mashonaland Central Jomic provincial liaison committee has dismissed reports
by some sections of the media that there are torture camps in the province.
The article was published in October this year
purporting that Zanu-PF has torture base camps and was causing havoc ahead
of of next year’s harmonised elections in Muzarabani, Fox Farm and Rushinga.
Speaking at a joint meeting held in Bindura recently, representatives of
Mashonaland Central Jomic Committee which comprises Zanu-PF and the two MDC
formations urged the media to shun disseminating falsehoods.
“We really need the media to consult us before they publish stories,” Mbire
legislator Paul Mazikana, who is the information and publicity secretary of
Jomic in Mashonaland Central said.
“There are no torture bases here in Mashonaland Central.”
Mr Mazikana said some media houses created platforms for violence to erupt
with the information they published.
MDC provincial chairman Godfree Chimombe said:
“We cannot confirm that the person who supplied such information is in our
“Maybe he is trying to gain some favours to gain entry into the committee.”
The meeting hit a deadlock when MDC-T failed to deliver concrete information
as to why they were silent for the past two months since the publication of
The story alleged that Zanu-PF youths were using beerhalls as camps to
terrorise MDC supporters in Muzarabani.
ZESN was quoted as confirming that the party had such bases.
Thursday, 27 December 2012 00:00
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
FRIENDS and colleagues of the late Zanla Chief of Defence, Cde Josiah Magama
Tongogara want KGVI Barracks and Boxing Day renamed after the veteran
liberation fighter. Chairperson for Josiah Magama
Tongogara Legacy Foundation, Dr Simbi Mubako wants the commemoration of
Boxing Day to be replaced with naming the day in honour of the liberation
war icon who died on December 26 1979.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga wants KGVI,
an army barrack named after King George to be named after Cde Tongogara.
The duo said this yesterday while addressing friends, relatives and
colleagues attending the commemoration of Cde Tongogara at KGVI.
Dr Mubako said Boxing Day was a name inherited from the colonial period.
“I want to propose that you work through various channels, including and
especially Cabinet, to have this day renamed in honour of the late Zanla
Commander, who gave so much to us,” he said.
“Next year when we meet on this occasion, we don’t want to talk about Boxing
Day. We want to talk about Josiah Magama Tongogara Day.”
The proposal drew applause from the floor.
When it was the turn of Gen Chiwenga to be on the floor, he departed from a
prepared speech where he was reading Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s
speech to make his request.
“The history of Cde Tongogara is very clear. I want to give my plea, that
this name, KGVI must be buried. I am pushing forward that this barrack be
named after Josiah Magama Tongogara,” he said.
Gen Chiwenga, who was winding up his speech, was received with thunderous
applause from the floor.
During the event, Minister Mnangagwa took the audience down memory lane
where he narrated how they used to relate with Cde Tongogara.
He said after finishing time in prison, he went to stay at Cde Tongogara’s
residence in Zambia where he would be left at home with a sister to
It was during this time that he fell in love with the sister and eventually
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti
Harare, December 27, 2012 - The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe say
government’s proposed fiscal reforms, which will see huge reductions in
banking service charges and interest, will wear down industry profitability
and compromise recapitalisation.
Finance minister Tendai Biti said banks should, starting January 2013, not
levy fees on deposits of less than $800 and give 4% interest on deposits of
at least $1 000 held over 30 days interest of 4% per annum, but the Bankers
Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) argues its members, whose income ratio is 40%,
will incur huge financial loses.
The association said 70 % of individual banking customers earn less than
$800 per month which would imply free banking for a majority of Zimbabwean
and that banks currently generate 60% of their income from loans and
advances and 40% from non-interest income.
“As at 30 September 2012 banks overall profits were in the region of $90mln
and therefore a reduction of $72m revenue annually will create severe
viability and sustainability challenges for the banking sector,” said BAZ in
a position paper seen by Fin24.
“Banks are currently saddled with non-performing loans due to the short term
credit and high cost of funding at a time when the productive sectors
require cheap, long term credit. BAZ cannot therefore rely solely on the
interest margin on loans because of the high level of non-performing loans
of at least 12.3% against the Basel II level of 5%,” read part of the
BAZ said indigenous banks operating at the lower end of the market with a
wide branch network and in the remote areas of the country will face serious
viability challenges and may be forced to close some of their rural
operations as they are subsidised in part by these charges.
Some banks may fail to pay their employees.
“Banks such as POSB,BAZ, Agribank, CBZ, Bank ABC will be the most
affected….banks will also be less inclined to open accounts for low income
earners and the net effect of these measures will be serious setbacks to the
financial inclusion,” added BAZ.
Meanwhile The Herald reports that Finance minister Tendai Biti has set new
rules on bank ownership, triggered by instances of malpractice in the
financial sector in the past few years.
In the new rules to be included in the amendments to the banking laws,
individuals and companies would be allowed to hold shareholding of up to 5%
and 25% respectively, down from 25% and 40%.
The rules also extend to applications for bank loans by individuals in which
they are shareholders or directors. Biti said cabinet had also agreed that
individuals holding shares, as well as directors of the banks, would not be
allowed to apply for loans from the same institutions they own or work for.
Biti said the changes would also see the establishment of the Office of the
Ombudsman who would be responsible for monitoring interest rates.News24
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 12:42
HARARE - A top research institute has said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(Zec) secretariat remains wholly unreformed and full of intelligence agents
and cannot deliver free and fair elections.
The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), a public think tank said in a report
titled, “Zimbabwe Election Commission: Can it Deliver FreePolls?” without
fetters on Zimbabwe from Sadc — guarantors of the fragile coalition
government — then the country is headed towards yet another sham election.
“The problematic, partisan, and militarised Zec secretariat that presided
over the 2008 sham election remains intact, now serving under
newly-appointed commissioners,” notes the think tank.
An attempt to break away from Zec’s past electoral shenanigans were made in
2009 through the appointment of independent commissioners seconded by Zanu
PF and the two MDC formations but the secretariat remains largely unreformed
says the report.
Headed by Lovemore Sekeramayi, the unreformed Zec falls in Zanu PF’s scheme
of things to hoodwink the region and pretend that there are free and fair
elections, when the “electoral context, environment and administration are
crafted to deliver a pre-determined outcome of regime retention and
“ZDI contends that the unreformed Zec secretariat, as currently composed,
cannot deliver free and fair elections,” the damning report says. “Zec, as
currently composed, provides an opportunity to undermine the way through
which powerful political forces can manipulate popular influence through
institutionalized mechanisms and political strategies.”
A human factor decadence in Zec and the offices of the Registrar General
Tobaiwa Mudede, impinge on the country’s hopes to have credible polls as the
CIO and the army —whose top brass has already declared allegiance to
Mugabe — will be in charge of the process and not the commissioners who
cannot announce election dates, notes the report.
“The increased militarisation of the state has led to the military taking
control of an expanding range of decisions and actions, from electoral and
political strategies to the formulation and implementation of agrarian and
Since independence a creeping militarisation of the state by Mugabe’s
government has been effected and today most of state institutions,
parastatals and other bodies are led by retired or serving security
According to ZDI, both Zec personnel and commissioners largely represent the
Zanu PF regime’s interests.
It says Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, the head of the commission, was a
former high-ranking member of the Zanu PF military wing Zanla.
In as much as Mutambanengwe is sober, ZDI says he is erratic as he spends
most of the time engrossed in Namibia’s legal affairs where he was seconded
by Mugabe to be judge.
In the vacuum, Joyce Kazembe steps in and her links to Zanu PF are glaring,
according to ZDI.
“Their continued involvement in the management of elections casts aspersions
on Zec’s ability to preside over free and fair elections,” the ZDI report
says. “They failed in the past and there is no reason to believe they will
succeed in the future.
“With the exception of Feltoe and Nyathi, the other commissioners have a
long history of working under the Zanu PF government and ZDI is of the view
that they are compromised.”
Also a mystery that confounds researchers on Zec is the manner through which
Zec workers are recruited.
Zec claims it has 10 provincial election officers and 60 district election
Zanu PF has fiercely resisted an audit of the commission.
ZDI says the amended Electoral Act falls short of guaranteeing that
elections will be free and fair.
“In the run-up to the June 2008 presidential run-off election a number of
Zec employees were arrested and charged with a number of offences including
‘abuse of office’ widely viewed as a form of persecution and intimidation
that could undermine the independence of the commissioners and Zec staff as
provided in the Act — that every commissioner and member of staff of the
commission shall perform their functions independently,” says ZDI.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 12:37
HARARE - Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general Tendai Biti
says Zimbabweans must vote for his party next year so that they can revive
the economy, which he says had been destroyed by Zanu PF.
The lawyer-cum-politician chronicled the country’s history claiming that
under Mugabe’s rule, education and health delivery ceased to be important as
corruption and crushing of opponents became the hallmark of the Zanu PF
“In 1982 to 1987 we had Gukurahundi, in 1990 we had Esap (Economic
Structural Adjustment Programme) that led to thousands of jobs being lost,
and then in 2000 they embarked on the land reform programme which resulted
in 4 000 farmers being declared non-Zimbabwean,” Biti said.
“Five years later, we had Operation Murambatsvina which resulted in one
million people being homeless, and then came the 2008 violence that led to
over 200 people being killed.”
Biti said next year’s elections are as significant as the watershed 1980
elections that ushered in black majority rule.
“The 2013 election is fundamental just like the 1980 one that brought 75
years of colonialism to an end. This one is not about fighting someone
called (Ian) Smith who is gone, but 32 years of dictatorship by a cruel and
“We cannot take this country back again. When I was young, I thought a
million was the last number, but this Mugabe taught us that we can have
trillions, zillions and quintillions,” Biti said.
Organised as a Christmas party for MDC supporters in Harare East, the rally
was graced by the party’s youth chairperson, Solomon Madzore, Jameson Timba,
a minister of State in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office, among
other senior party officials.
Biti, who is also Finance minister in the fragile inclusive government
formed four years ago, boasted of having disciplined Zanu PF ministers by
not fully supporting their programmes.
“They say that Biti is refusing to support farmers. I used to stress myself
whenever they talked about money, but now I have taken a diplomatic
approach, I keep quiet. I tell them get the money if you have the keys,” he
Speaking at the same rally, Madzore urged youths to register as voters
telling them that those who are not registered are useless to the party.
“If you are not a registered voter, you are of no use to us, you are worse
than a Zanu PF supporter,” he said.
Madzore said Mugabe and his cronies should not intimidate voters.
“Everyone will die even Mugabe, or (General Constantine) Chiwenga will die,
so do not intimidate us with your guns,” he said. - Xolisani Ncube and Wendy
The business community says it is engaging the three political partners in
the national unity government to work for calm ahead of next year’s landmark
constitutional referendum and general election.
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) blames what it calls the
government’s “policy inconsistencies” for making 2012 a very disappointing
year for business and the economy overall.
In 2012, industrial capacity utilization dropped from last year’s figure of
57 percent to 44 percent.
ZNCC president, Oswell Binha, told the VOA that political instability is a
cause for concern.
Government missed all its economic targets this year.
In January, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Zimbabwe would see 9.4 percent
growth, later revised down to 4.4 percent.
What the final figure will be when tallied next year remains to be seen, but
what is clear is that Zimbabwe faces several major economic hurdles.
One is a massive trade deficit of $3 billion and an external debt of $11
billion. Industrial capacity utilization continues to decline, now at only
Unemployment in the formal sector is around 90 percent, which means few
Zimbabweans have steady income to be spent on goods and services that drive
Several of Zimbabwe’s elections since independence have been marred by
violence and allegations of human rights abuses.
Such incidents prompted Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the
2008 presidential election run-off, which led to the creation of the
national unity government.
Many businesses have also faced upheaval, particularly under the
controversial black empowerment programme.
by Everson Mushava 7 hours 26 minutes ago
A Cabinet committee set up to break the deadlock in the constitution-making
process will meet today after it missed President Robert Mugabe’s Christmas
Day deadline to conclude the exercise.
Mugabe had threatened to unilaterally dissolve Parliament and call for fresh
elections if the deadline was not met.
He made the threats at the recent Zanu PF annual conference in Gweru.
The 88-year-old leader risks isolation from the Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) if he calls for polls without the minimum reforms demanded
by regional leaders.
Under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) brokered by Sadc in 2009, a
referendum on the new constitution must be held before elections can be
called as a way of avoiding bloodshed that characterised the last polls.
The Cabinet committee had been scheduled to meet on Christmas eve to thrash
out the more than 30 issues the three governing parties have differed on.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T Copac co-chairperson yesterday confirmed that
the committee would meet today, but described Mugabe’s deadline as
“The December 25 deadline is impractical. We are meeting tomorrow (today) to
try to find common ground,” he said.
MDC-T and Zanu PF have been accusing each other of delaying the constitution
The committee set by Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is made up
of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF), Finance minister Tendai
Biti and Regional Integration minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
The three Copac co-chairpersons — Mwonzora, Edward Mkhosi (MDC) and Paul
Mangwana also sit on the committee.
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga chairs the
The parties have failed to reach an agreement on issues such as devolution
of power, appointment of governors, executive powers for the President, the
National Prosecuting Authority and dual citizenship, among other issues.
Mangwana insisted in a recent interview with a United States news agency
Bloomberg that Mugabe would call for elections if there was no agreement on
the constitution this month.
“There are about 30 outstanding issues that haven’t been resolved so Zanu PF
has resolved that an election will be called by President Robert Mugabe if
no progress is made this month,” he said.
Mugabe usually goes on holiday in January for the whole month.
A Sadc meeting in Tanzania early this month reiterated the regional body’s
stance that fresh elections in Zimbabwe were not possible without reforms.
Tsvangirai also told Bloomberg that Mugabe could not unilaterally call for
elections because of the GPA.
“It isn’t up to Mugabe, it is up to the people of Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai
“It’s their constitution and they own it.The election has to be agreed by
all parties and Sadc.”
Mugabe has been threatening to call for elections with or without reforms in
the past two years saying the inclusive government had become dysfunctional.
The threats have brought uncertainty in the economy sparking a reversal of
gains made under the inclusive government. - NewsDay
Staff Reporter 1 hour ago
REQUESTS for fiscal support by State enterprises and parastatals will from
next year be considered by Treasury only if they comply with statutory
obligations, provisions of the corporate governance framework and the Public
Finance Management Act.
In an update report prepared for the Office of the Prime Minister recently,
Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals Mr Gorden Moyo said that this
was a “major decision” by the Cabinet reached after serious lobbying by his
“The start of a new financial year presents an opportunity to have a fresh
start so as to ensure that performance contracts are in place at all SEPs,”
said Minister Moyo.
“Hopefully, the State Enterprises Management Bill will be tabled before
Parliament in the first half of the year. Once adopted, this Bill will
empower the ministry to ensure that SEPs comply with standards of good
corporate governance.” SEPs have over the years been heavily reliant on
fiscal support from Treasury.
Minister Moyo also said Government was in the process of establishing a
State Enterprises Advisory Council, which will provide advice and ideas on
the SEPs management and reforms.
He said the council will act as the SEPs “think tank”.
The council will be composed of chief executives and board chairpersons of
“The terms of reference for this Advisory Council will include making
recommendations on restructuring and also solving inter — institutional
problems such as inter-parastatal debt,” said Minister Moyo. He did not,
however, indicate the timeframe of when the Advisory Council would be in
In 2010, Government identified SEPs that required urgent restructuring but
the progress has been slower than anticipated. There has been, however,
notable restructuring progress at Agribank, Grain Marketing Board, Air
Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, ZPC, Arda Chisumbanje Project, Zimbabwe Grain
Bag, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (now NewZim Steel) and the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe.
Minister Moyo said Agribank would be privatised in the first half of next
year as the financial and legal advisors for this transaction have already
Minister Moyo expressed concern over “the speed of restructuring process
(that) has been hindered by resistance to change and the fear of losing
power by those who perhaps benefited from lack of transparency.” He also
said there were clear turf wars where some parastatals and ministries choose
not to co-operate.
On inter-parastatal debt strategy, which is now over US$1 billion where
Government departments and local authorities are included, the Government
has started engaging SEPs to implement some of the mechanisms for clearing
the arrears. He said, Government would pay an estimated US$124,4 million to
SEPs who, in turn will pay their statutory obligations to the Zimbabwe
The “flagship” programme of corporate governance would be stepped up. He
said it was the responsibility of the line ministries to ensure that the
boards are in place at SEPs and the Ministry of State Enterprises and
Parastatals would seek the support of the Office of the Prime Minister to
ensure that boards are appointed at all SEPs.
Thursday, 27 December 2012 00:00
Victoria Falls Bureau
LIQUIDITY challenges have forced local tourists on holiday in Victoria Falls
to cut back on activities amid revelations that while hotels and lodges were
performing very well, the activities side was rather sluggish, as locals cut
down on extra expenses.
As a result, the majority of locals in Victoria Falls for the festive season
have been spending time walking around town or swimming in the swimming
pools at the lodges and hotels they are booked in because of the
unavailability of cash to spend.
Some tourists have also spent fewer nights in the resort town compared to
last year, attributing this to negative financial circumstances.
Zimbabwe’s economy is now increasingly reeling from a liquidity crunch,
which is deepening even though the multi-currency system has brought
exchange stabilisation and macro-economic stability thereby forcing the
local tourists to cut back on holiday expenditure such as food and drink and
visiting activities and attractions.
In an interview yesterday, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president, Mr
Tich Hwingwiri said while the hotels were 100 percent full in term of room
occupancy, the numbers were not corresponding to figures participating at
activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting and game drives among
other attractions offered in the resort town.
“While hotels are full, figures participating at activities are going down.
People are mainly focused on accommodation. Some are spending time swimming
at the hotels while others are taking walks around town. We also noticed a
new trend whereby people have their breakfast at around 10am and they then
skip lunch in order to cut on costs,” said Mr Hwingwiri.
“Even the night spots are dead because very few people are going out and we
understand that the liquidity crunch is affecting them thereby negatively
affecting returns in the tourism sector,” he said.
Mr Hwingwiri however, said some hotels like Elephant Hills Resort in
partnership with some cruise companies were offering lunch cruise between 12
noon and 2pm in a bid to maximise on room occupancy.
“Elephant Hills Resort has been running lunch cruises for its guests. It is
one of the innovations that some players in the industry are putting in
place to encourage spending from the tourists,” he said.
Other players said only sunset boat cruises and tours of the Victoria Falls
Rainforest were the two major crowd pullers this festive season.
“We were running full boats from December 23 to today (yesterday). Locals
love sun set boat cruises a lot but they have cut back on other activities.
On accommodation, our new Deluxe Suite lodge was a hit, even senior
Government officials are staying with us,” said Mr Ben Tessa, general
manager of Khanondo Safaris.
According to white water rafting statistics from Rafting Association of
Zimbabwe between December1 and 25, about 1 600 tourists went for the
activity last year compared to 961 people this year. Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Dr Gideon Gono last month said the major problem with the
country in terms of the liquidity crunch was that the major sources of
liquidity and broad money supply in the economy, which comprise export
earnings, Diaspora remittances, offshore lines of credit, foreign direct
investment and portfolio investments, were not performing well.
26 December 2012
SOUTH AFRICAN -based Zimbabwean businessman and academic, Mutumwa Mawere,
has raised the tempo of his Presidential campaign bid as leader of the newly
formed United Movement for Democracy Party (UMDP) with his direct pop shots
at his opponents.
On his Facebook wall Mawere blasts Zanu PF saying they have failed Zimbabwe
and says; "If they are given a new term whats new"?
“Enough is enough Zimbabweans its time for a united movement”!
“Zimbabweans how do you feel about your constitution being managed by
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara?
“In my view the three have nothing to do with the constitution because it
belongs to the people.”
“why should the executive reject or edit what people want”?
He goes on to say: “Minister of finance is MDC-T and the Reserve Bank
Governor is Zanu-PF they are both in agreement that the local banks should
raise $100 million? I am looking to empowerment instead saw oppression.”
Mawere goes on to appeal to the youths: “Youths of Zimbabwe you are invited
to be part of the only way going forward for Zimbabwe.”
“Mutumwa Mawere is a Zimbabwean businessman who has beyond doubt build the
most successful and powerful business empire in the history of Zimbabwe and
Africa at large. The quality of a man he is in business is a inspiration to
“The GREAT QUALITIES of a leader have been proven. Being AFRICA HERITAGE
SOCIETY PRESIDENT, He has shown the world how to lead people, create jobs
and run successful business.”
“Beyond doubt Mawere is going to be "His Excellency the president of the
republic of Zimbabwe" in this lifetime.”
Responding to attacks on his Facebook wall, Mr Mawere said: “It is sad that
fellow Zimbabweans see things negatively starting with Mawere's citizenship
by birth he qualifies to benefit as a Zimbabwean.
“Its a matter of giving up his citizenship to never think that Mawere who
build a powerful empire in the history of Zimbabwe can not rise to be
president in fact you too can be president so what more Mawere never put a
ceiling for anyone in life you will be shocked. Gareth Garikai Mutyambizi
Dewa let’s start the debate if you say Zanu PF hasn’t failed the country
tell us what it has done in good faith.”
Mawere’s UMDP is predominantly made up of breakaway MDC99 structures.
Influential and brave former MDC99 Spokesperson, Aaron Muzungu, and Vice
President, Biviana Musimi, are among its members.
“After falling out with the MDC99 leader, Job Sikhala, on matters of
strategy, we realized that to achieve our objective of democratically
changing the political dispensation in the country, we had to break away and
form a new political party under the leadership of Mutumwa Mawere,” said
UMDP National Spokesperson, Aaron Muzungu.
Muzungu described Mawere as a practical and able leader with a vision.
“Mawere is the man and most suitable candidate to head Zimbabwe. His
business successes speak volumes about his leadership capabilities. He has
what it takes to restore Zimbabwe’s lost economic, social and political
He said since political events were moving fast, UMDP would announce its
interim structures at the September launch and embark on vigorous campaigns
in preparation for coming elections. If elections were to be held in the
distant future, Muzungu said the party would go to congress at a date to be
announced before making inroads into the electorate for membership
“The congress would endorse the presidency of Mawere and Biviana Musinami as
his vice. Party structures suggested that I, (Muzungu), should hold the
secretary general portfolio. Other national and provincial executive members
are expected to retain positions they held at MDC99, though with some minor
changes. As a party, we would maintain the objectives we valued dearly at
MDC99. We would throw everything into the fight towards democratically
removing President Robert Mugabe from power,” said the firebrand Muzungu.
MDC99 fight on
He added that he would miss Job Sikhala’s strength and bravery as a fighter
for democracy. MDC99 vice Secretary General, Danuel Dhimbo, said his party
would continue to grow “from strength to strength”.
“We dismissed some of these people from MDC99 because of their dishonesty
and wayward behaviour.” Sikhala could not be reached for comment as he was
reported to be out of the country.
He recently told the media, that he dismissed Muzungu and others from MDC99
as he could no longer trust them.
Political observers have welcomed Mawere onto the political scene,
describing his move as healthy for democracy.
On his Facebook Wall, there has been mixed reactions by members of the
public with some backing him and some aggressive attacks from members of
both Zanu PF and the MDC.
Searchmore Muringani- “Why at ths time Mawere do u thnk u bring change 2 the
pple of Zim wasvorei MDC-T yanga yava mulast mile yekuchinja saka iwe
urikuda change ipi. Just exercise ur democratic right bt let me remind u
wants again tht u cnt fool Zimbabweans l knw every 1 above 35yrs ws Zanu pf
bt iwe wave Zanu pf Agend. U ar dreamng if u thnk u remove Mugabe hope
yevanhu iri pana Morgan T chete nt u poor Mawere u ar ill advised.U wr in
thr 2gthr wth thm.It took Tsvangirai 2 shw u tht zizi harina nyanga.Nw evry
Jack and Gill wnts 2 b president bt we knw tht u only wnt 2 confuse th
Oswell Jeranyama- “What wrong with the MDC-T candidate who did it in 2008
and is still popular with the electorate? Is it wise to bring a new
candidate into the race at the eleventh hour?Is this about attempting to
bring the right leadership to Zimbabwean political landscape or disturbing
it? I like Mr Mawere and respects his knowledge and experience BUT I do not
think the timing is right.”
Brighton Musonza, responsing to Mollin Munyaradzi Ziwira, “any politician
can make all promises of goodies in nicely written glossy pamphlets as party
manifestos or superb deliverance on press conferences or rallies. Its easy
doing that and it is their primordial right of birth of doing so. I've
already criticised (not challenged) the process in which Mr Mawere has
lunged-in. He has not publicly convened an interim meeting that elects him
as party leader but he is already calling himself the Presidential candidate
which to me sounds a bit awkward, unless he wants to tell us he is running a
one man-show. There is always a common conventional processes in which
parties are formed and leaders are elected.
It starts by interim leadership, then a party convention which elects
leaders and then leaders declare their ambitions to challenge for national
leadership. I do very much respect Mr Mawere and his past track record as a
businessman and I have followed his writings in recent years.
I have also been sympathetic to the way he lost his business empire, but we
have to abide by the unwritten rule book or otherwise we continue piling-up
a bunch of warring egotistic elitists in our politics who can't agree on
anything and they look at this nation and its subjects as one giant class
room and we're their students. If you have a careful look at the current
political scene; University lecture rooms have emptied the lecturers into
politics and with them they bring-in their petty academic rivalry and the
result is a prolonged political conflict as a result of their unbridled
Nehanda Kaguvi Mugabe, - “Zimbabwe doesnt allow dual citizenship,i remember
him wanting the south african gvm to help him fight smm coz he is their
citizen. Mawere is south african by adoption thats his first hurdle.
Phillip Madzimure Mawere is the spokesman of disposited Madagacan leader.
Mollin Munyaradzi Ziwira - Brighton Musonza .. "As Zimbabweans we have
complained a lot abt everything. We ought to blame ourselves for everything
we not happy for in our country ..i wonder if we are given the chance to
serve our nation what will you do? I am sure we do worse than what we have
on our table. We need to change the way we think as Zimbabweans ..we need to
go back to our first love for our country."
"We all forgot why we fought for freedom. Why are we not all involved in the
matters of our country the same way we all got involved during Chimurenga
war? We won our freedom because we were in one accord. We lost focus and its
all abt me and my gold mine and my farms. We all need to enjoy the land of
Zimbabwe. No matter who comes to power if he not strong enough to bring us
together we will fall ( united we stand and divided we fall )At times PHD
will not do much to serve a nation but wisdom does..and wisdom comes from
God if we ask for it."
"I cant wait to hear Zimbabweans speaking with one voice. All we good at is
criticizing each other a spirit to break progress.. Most of us have children
and i wonder what are we to tell them abt our Zimbabwe or what will they
inherit from us??? 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my
name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their
wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and
will heal their land.. I am a daughter of Zimbabwe and i am proud of men and
women who have given their life so we can have freedom and just. We have a
lot of heroes in our country and i pray we continue to pursue the will of
God for our country..Zimbabwe. ONE LOVE!"
Justice Chembwa mjtumwa - mawere for presidency in Zimbabwe thats idealism
but realism is that zanu pf will rule until chickens come home to roost.
Jackson Muzivi - Zvatanga manje how can a South African become a Zimbabwean
President. Kana mashaya madii kungonyurura ini from nowhere. we wait to see
when he registers to contest and only then will we take him seriously.
Aggrey Gumisai - Mawere contributed to the rot in this country through his
corrupt acts whilst he was enjoying power through unholy alliances. What
would make anyone suddenly believe he is a saint. This is a guy who is
bitter because he lost an empire he had corruptly built using peoples'
resources. Now how can this sour grapes case become a credible president,
the weakness of crooks is that they think they can fool all the people al
the time. This guy pushed a fake indigenisation program which infact was a
disguised self enriching scam with his cronies against whom he now wants
everybody to join in condemning. Chawakadya chinomuka!
Thursday, 27 December 2012 00:00
FORMER Midlands provincial Governor and farmer Cde Cephas Msipa has called
on the corporate world to venture into contract agriculture with land reform
beneficiaries for the programme to be a success.
Cde Msipa said contract farming was one of the best ways of creating
synergies between farmers and corporates.
“We have challenges of financing our operations because financial
institutions don’t have enough cash to give to farmers as loans,” he said.
“I urge companies to close that gap by introducing schemes like contract
farming to cement relations between farmers and these corporates who need
“All these corporates should introduce these schemes so that they can be
guaranteed of the produce because farmers will take their produce there.
Most of the new farmers don’t have capital except land and labour, so it
would be good if corporates provided inputs.”
Cde Msipa, who benefited from Dairiboard Zimbabwe loan scheme that saw him
importing 25 bull heifers from South Africa, said farmers were willing to
venture into contract farming.
He urged corporates to buy from contracted farmers at competitive prices.
Cde Msipa also called for benefication of agricultural products in areas
where they are produced.
He said there was need for the Government to bring in investors who can
beneficiate agricultural products like cotton in Gokwe so that communities
in those areas can also benefit.
“I would want to see cotton being beneficiated in Gokwe from the see up to
the final product.
“At the moment cotton farmers in Gokwe are not happy that ginners are not
paying them competitive prices.
“It is possible to beneficiate cotton in areas like Gokwe. We can have one
of the world’s biggest textile companies in Gokwe if we bring in the right
investors who want to beneficiate these products,” said Cde Msipa.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 00:00
Wenceslaus Murape Senior Reporter
HARARE City Council’s medical aid society faces collapse after council
failed to remit over US$4 million in deductions from workers’ salaries for
nearly a year. This has left thousands of council
workers stranded as they fail to access medical facilities because they are
Council has an obligation to remit workers’ deductions to Harare
Municipality Medical Aid Society (HMMAS) every month.
But the local authority failed to remit US$2 289 797 from general council
workers, US$2 129 830 from Harare Water workers and US$520 000 from Rufaro
The Harare Municipality Workers Union (HMWU) and the Zimbabwe Urban Councils
Workers Union have since written to Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda demanding the
money owed to the medical aid.
The letter was copied to Local Government, Rural and Urban Development
Minister Ignatius Chombo and his Labour and Social Services counterpart
HMWU executive chairman Mr Cosmas Bungu said some workers died after failing
to access medical services.
Others were now consulting traditional healers and faith healers because
they did not have an alternative.
Mr Bungu said they could not rule out going on strike if council continued
to withhold the funds.
The medical aid society wrote to council demanding the remittances since
January 17, but got no response.
“May we point out that deducting funds from our members and not remitting
same for the intended use is tantamount to fraud and is illegal,” reads part
of the letter.
“In the mean time, we have instructions from our members to demand payment
of the money with immediate effect.”
The medical aid society said the demand was without prejudice to any course
of law that may expedite recovery of sums due and owing to enable HMMAS to
renew its license for 2013.
Mayor Masunda confirmed that the local authority was in arrears to HMMAS.
“The issue was raised during our last full council meeting and we are making
arrangements to clear the arrears,” he said.
The mayor said it did not make sense to deduct contributions from workers
and fail to remit them.
“We have an anomalous situation where council is owed more than US$200
million by ratepayers and the Government.
“Recently, we engaged the Ministry of Finance and they made a commitment of
paying US$50 million of the Government debt.”
The mayor reiterated that they had an obligation of serving the workers and
would not prejudice them in future.
The Government recently said it would ban medical aid societies that fail to
clear arrears to service providers by the end of this month.
Late payment for services has resulted in specialists like anaesthetists,
orthopedics, neurologists and physicians demanding cash upfront from
patients with valid medical aid cards.
by Staff Reporter
THE female rapists who have been terrorizing men and eluding police arrest
have resurfaced in Gweru where they staged a daring abduction of a uniformed
soldier on Sunday and took turns to rape him in broad daylight.
Midlands Police spokesman Leonard Chabata says the unnamed military man, 32,
hitch-hiked a BMW in downtown Gweru Sunday morning intending to travel to
Harare where he is employed.
The car had three female passengers and a male driver who instead of heading
to Harare, detoured into the bushes where the females allegedly gang-raped
Chabata says on arrival at the Ridgemont turn-off, one of the female
occupants, stout and light in complexion, took out a container from her
handbag and sprayed the soldier with an unknown substance which weakened
The suspects then forced him to drink yet another unknown substance which
made him to pass out and presumably to crank up his erection at the same
“At around 11:30AM, the complainant gained consciousness and discovered that
he had been dumped in a bushy area about 100m away from the highway,”
“He also discovered that his trousers and undergarments had been removed.
All his belongings were at the scene where he was dumped.”
He picked himself up and filed a complaint at the Gweru Central Police
Chabata urged members of the public to cooperate with police in the search
for the suspects.
He also counseled: “We are also appealing to members of the public to always
use public transport when travelling.”
In October a Harare man was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a four-member
gang that had offered a lift from the city centre.
Last year three Gweru women, Rosemary Chakwizira and sisters Sophie and
Netsai Nhokwara were arrested at a road block after police discovered used
condoms with semen in the boot of their vehicle.
The three were suspected of being part of a female gang targeting men to
collect their semen for alleged ritual purposes, but were acquitted due to
lack of evidence.
Staff Reporter 2 hours 14 minutes ago
NEW DELHI, India - A Zimbabwean woman was on Thursday arrested for allegedly
smuggling narcotics worth Rs 1.5 crore at Indira Gandhi International (IGI)
Acting on intelligence, 40-year-old Zimbabwe national Lydia Ndari Murwira
was intercepted near the immigration counter of departure hall and was
interrogated, which resulted in recovery of Ephedrine, a controlled
substance under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
"The recovered substance in the form of powder weighed 9.90 kgs (gross
weight including packing/wrappers) and its value in the international market
is Rs 1.50 crore," an official release said.
The passenger has been arrested, it said.
According to customs official, Murwira was to board a flight for Harare
(Zimbabwe) from here.
On December 25, a Zambian woman was arrested for allegedly smuggling
narcotics worth over Rs six crore at the IGI airport.
The accused was identified as 32-year-old Emely Chilonga Chibuye.
The passenger, who had come from Adis Ababa, was carrying 41.5 kgs of
Ephedrine Pseudoephedrine valued about Rs 6.22 crore.
Ephedrine is an anti-depressant but commonly abused as party drug.
Security officials identified the woman as Chibuye Emmlychilonga, 32, from
Zambia and her travel documents revealed that she was travelling to Adis
Ababa on an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
"Her appearance appeared to be suspicious when she came to the airport and
based on this profiling she was selected for thorough checking. On screening
and physical checking of her baggages, 35 kgs of Methylenadroxhlyle,
Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine drugs were recovered in a powder form, which
was concealed in clothes," a CISF officer said.
The woman was later handed over to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sleuths
who arrested her for further interrogation, they said.
The woman was on a tourist visa to India, they added. Anti-narcotics sleuths
estimate the value of the seized contraband, also a popular party drug, to
be about Rs 2.8 crore.
Early this month, three foreign national women, including two from Zimbabwe,
were apprehended at the Indira Gandhi International IGI airport for
smuggling narcotic drugs.
CISF officials said that initially, a Zimbabwe national reported to gate no
3 of terminal 3. The passenger, identified as 35-year-old Karimazondo Mike,
was booked to travel to Johannesburg via Abu Dhabi.
It appears the person with the name Mike was using someone's passport.
"On profiling him, CISF staff found his appearance suspicious and
shortlisted him for screening and physical checking of baggage before he was
permitted entry into the terminal. When his bag was checked, personnel found
25.7 kg of methaqulane, a recreational drug," saidHemendra Singh, PRO, CISF.
Mike was accompanied by two women, Zimbabwe national Ncube Ellah (45) and
South African national Khumalo Shila (41). Both had completed check-in
formalities but were called back and their bags were checked again. CISF
found 65 kg of pseudo-ephedrine drug in their bags.
Security agencies informed the Narcotics Control Bureau which confirmed the
recovered drugs are methaqulane and pseudo-ephedrine.The passengers were
arrested and handed over to the NCB.
"The two female passengers had come to India on December 3 on a multiple
entry business visa valid till November 2013. Mike had also come to India on
December 3 but on a double entry tourist visa.
The value of the methaqulane is about Rs 20.56 lakh in the Indian market and
about Rs 1.23 crores in the international market. The pseudo-ephedrine is
worth Rs 39 lakh in the Indian market and Rs 2.34 crore in the international
market," said Singh.
As of this year, sixteen Zimbabwean women have been stuck in Asian jails -
14 convicted of drug smuggling and two others awaiting the conclusion of
their trial facing the death penalty if convicted.
Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Deputy Director legal and consular Mr Chris
Mavodza warned people against the temptation to be used as mules by
international smuggling syndicates.
Zimbabweans are tempted to be drug mules because of lucrative payments.
Mr Mavodza said in most some Asian countries, drug trafficking carries a
mandatory death sentence or life imprisonment and there is little that any
government in the world can do for its citizens who are convicted in that
The warning comes barely a week after China executed a South African woman,
Janice Linden, for drug smuggling after rejecting appeals by the South
African government to spare her life.
Linden was convicted in 2009 of attempting to smuggle 3kg of crystal
methamphetamine in luggage through an airport in the southern city of
She claimed innocence saying the drugs had been planted in her suitcase.
The trial court and two appeals courts rejected her plea.
Mr Mavodza described drug trafficking as a scourge afflicting most countries
in the world saying combating it involves more than the Foreign Affairs
ministry alone, but roping in law enforcement agents in other countries as
well as Interpol.
According to Mr Mavodza, of the 16 women now in Asian jails, 14 are jailed
in China where they have been convicted of offences ranging from drug
trafficking to illegal ivory trade.
Eight are serving their sentences at the Beijing Women Prison, Beijing
Second Prison and Tianjin Prison while six others are detained at the
Two Zimbabwean women are facing the death penalty in Malaysia after they
were arrested for trafficking 7kg of cocaine worth US$900 000.
Faith Rusere and Joyce Tafadzwa Munhenga have denied the charges and claim
the drugs were planted in their luggage without their knowledge.
"It has been observed that almost all of those convicted of drug related
offences are female single parents aged between 27 and 37 years.
"Six of the convicts were sentenced to death while one lady sentenced to
life imprisonment succumbed to illness and died on April 14, 2010," he said.
Once someone is convicted, there is little that the embassy can do except
wait for the execution to take place or for the prison term to expire, but
Mr Mavodza said the prisoners receive regular consular visits from Embassy
"The Embassy also facilitates communication between prisoners and members of
their families in Zimbabwe," he said.
It has emerged that international drug syndicates were targeting Zimbabweans
to transport their consignments because it is thought that locals have
lesser chances of raising suspicion as China and Zimbabwe enjoy very cordial
relations and considerable trade.
According to the World Drug Report 2010, about one percent of people
involved in trafficking in Pakistan are Zimbabweans hired by dealers to
secure markets for the banned substances.
While South Asian countries hand down lengthy prison terms for traffickers,
South East Asian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern nations typically impose
Air Zimbabwe, like all other airlines, warns passengers flying to these
countries that they face the death penalty if caught carrying drugs and
advises passengers not to accept packages from anyone.
Last week, a Zimbabwean woman, Regina Makwembere, 40, was spared a death
sentence and instead sentenced to serve seven and half years by a Magistrate’s
court in Hong Kong after being convicted of smuggling hard drugs.
Makwembere, a dressmaker by profession, had amphetamine drugs in her luggage
as she passed through the Hong Kong International Airport en-route to
Thailand in March this year.
Per her account, she picked the drugs from a lady named Pearl in South
Africa who helped her smuggle them via the Oliver Tambo International
Amphetamine is a psycho-stimulant drug that produces increased wakefulness
and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.
Makwembere has been in jail since March this year and had travelled to South
Africa by bus around February 15 after which she stayed in a hotel in
Johannesburg before meeting the named, ‘Pearl’ and heading to Hong Kong.
The value of the contraband meant for Thailand was not disclosed.
Makwembere is not the only one. Fifteen other Zimbabwean women are
reportedly serving sentences in Asian jails for hard drug-related offences.
Regina may have found relief in the form of mere luck since in Asia
drug-linked crimes usually attract automatoc death sentences.
Zimbabwean citizens are used to transport their consignments because locals
had lesser chances of raising suspicion.
According to an inside source plans were at an advanced stage to implement
new visa regulations as a result of the rampant drug trafficking.
Several countries such as Zimbabwe that until now enjoyed visa-free travel
to some Asian countries will have visa requirements imposed upon them as a
way of curbing drug trafficking.
Blessing Zulu, Jonga Kandemiiri
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned Zimbabweans to brace themselves
for the year ahead which he says is replete with challenges such as
concluding a new constitution, holding a national referendum and a watershed
election, and hosting a premier world event, the United Nations World
In his Christmas and New Year message, Mr. Tsvangirai said people must
remain resilient in concluding the new constitution which he acknowledged
was “always going to be rough and tough, given our differences, our
diversity as political persuasions.”
Mr. Tsvangirai also urged Zimbabweans, particularly the youth, to register
and vote. He also called for a peaceful election campaign, urging the
Attorney-General and the police to act impartially and professionally.
He also said perpetrators of violence must be brought to book, calling upon
politicians and the media not to promote violence through hate speech.
Tsvangirai acting spokesman William Bango told Studio 7 that the year ahead
can only be overcome by unity.
Meanwhile, according to sources and the state-controlled Herald newspaper,
the committee appointed by the ruling party principals to break the impasse
from the Second All Stakeholders Conference, met on Sunday to discuss the
outstanding issues but failed to resolve the deadlock.
The committee of seven is said to have finally resolved to involve the
principals and Zanu PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic
Change in an effort to find the way forward.
Zanu PF is now claiming that there are 30 contentious constitutional issues
although Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga
disputes the figure.
Matinenga was not immediately available for comment. But National
Constitution Assembly spokesman Madock Chivasa told Studio 7 that
Zimbabweans are paying little attention to the constitution-making process
and politicians have taken advantage of that to settle some political
on December 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm
C.A DISCUSSION OF HOW TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF THE 1980S DISTURBANCES, IN
TERMS OF REAL NUMBERS OF VICTIMS.
The figures in the HR Data Base are clearly a base-line set of figures which
can only grow in the future. Only one district in Zimbabwe was fairly
comprehensively researched for this report – namely Tsholotsho. In addition,
a pilot study was conducted in Matobo.
Both of these studies resulted in a dramatic increase in existing knowledge
of how events unfolded in these two regions in the 1980s, and both extended
the named data base considerably, and allowed the incorporation of numbered
victims. Numbered victims are generally excluded from all other districts.
What was also noticeable in Tsholotsho was how the gap between numbered and
named victims closed as interviewing progressed, and a larger proportion of
named as opposed to numbered victims began to be reported.
The lower levels of offences evident in the other districts in Zimbabwe
reflect the fact that extensive research has not been done in these regions,
rather than reflecting that these districts were not severely affected by
While the compilers of this report do not claim to have any final answers in
terms of real numbers of victims in the various categories of offence, some
cautious suggestions can be made.
The basis of these suggestions will be discussed separately for each
category of offence, with a clear difference being maintained between what
may certainly be known at this stage, and what may further be supposed.
1.DEAD and MISSING
The HR Data Base has the following figures, for named victims: Dead:1437
Missing:354 Total:1791 To this can be added a minimum of 130 Tsholotsho dead
and missing and a minimum of 133 Matobo dead and missing which became
apparent when the `village by village’ summaries were collated.
This brings the definitely confirmed dead to 2052.
Deaths in Non-Case Study Areas in Matabeleland North: independent
researchers in Lupane and Nkayi who have done extensive interviews for a
different purpose in these regions in recent years, suggested that
approximately 1300 dead would be a fair estimate for these two regions
Their intention was not specifically to “count the dead” in these regions,
and they have not collected names. Their estimates are based on ward by ward
estimates given to them by councillors in the general course of their
interviews on other topics, but they feel these estimates are, if anything,
conservative, and exclude the missing.
As this estimate was put forward by researchers of proven integrity with a
known understanding of events in these districts, and no possible motive for
exaggeration or misrepresentation, it seems fair to consider including it in
an estimate: this would add another 1000 to the figure for the dead,
bringing it to around 3000+.
There is little known about deaths in other regions in Matabeleland North,
although indications are that they were considerably less affected by 5
Brigade than Tsholotsho, Lupane and Nkayi. No comment or estimate will
therefore be made about these regions.
Deaths in Matabeleland South: it has already been commented that the pilot
study in Matobo, which was far from comprehensive, resulted in a five-fold
increase in the numbers of dead and missing. Yet prior to the case study,
the named dead for Gwanda, Matobo and Bulilimamangwe were all in the range
Judging from the CCJP archives and paralegal information, which is the only
current source of data on Gwanda and Bulilimamangwe, these two districts
were as severely hit in 1984 as Matobo. There are on archival files evidence
of mass murders, mass graves, mass beatings and mass detentions in these two
districts. We can also assume that the figure of 220 dead in Matobo is
conservative, as interviewing here was limited.
In addition, there are the many eye witness accounts of Bhalagwe on file.
These include both archival accounts and those recorded in the last few
months. All are very consistent in referring to daily deaths at Bhalagwe.
From mid-February, villagers adjacent to Antelope Mine also refer to nightly
trips by trucks to the mine shaft, followed by the disposal of bodies and
the throwing of grenades in afterwards.
There was a change in strategy on the part of 5 Brigade in 1984. They had
apparently realised in 1983 that it was not possible to kill hundreds of
well known people in front of hundreds of witnesses in their home villages,
and expect the fact to remain hidden.
In 1984, the new strategy of translocating many thousands of civilians and
grouping them at Bhalagwe, where everyone effectively became strangers, has
made it much harder now to identify either exact numbers or names of the
Most detainees did not know the names of those they were detained with.
People can also not remember exact dates on which they witnessed a certain
number of people beaten to death or shot, so it is not possible to sort out
eye witness accounts in a way that prevents double counting of deaths.
One solution for those who wish to arrive at some idea of how many might
have died at Bhalagwe, is to estimate 5 deaths a day, multiplied by 100
days, (Feb to May) and to decide that approximately 500 died at Bhalagwe. 5
deaths a day might well be too conservative, however.
The real number could be anything between 300 and 1000…. The inability to
arrive at more accurate figures at this stage is a testimony to the
effectiveness of the 1984 strategy in keeping deaths anonymous.
For example, one person interviewed, who was 16 years old when incarcerated
at Bhalagwe, recounted how he personally helped dig the graves and helped
carry and bury the corpses of 9 men, 7 of whom had been beaten to death and
2 of whom had been shot.
He did not know the name of a single one of these 9 victims, nor could he
say exactly how many others had died during the 10 days he was there, except
to say that they were “very many”. These dead were from all over
Matabeleland South, and some were from Matabeleland North: only extensive
interviewing in all districts will help resolve the issue of how many died
Other evidence on the archives for Gwanda and Bulilimamangwe states that
there are mass graves in both districts, mainly from 1984, but in the case
of Bulilimamangwe, also from 1983, when parts of this district were adjacent
to the curfew zone and affected by 5 Brigade in Matabeleland North.
Judging by the pilot study in Matobo, it seems fair to estimate at least
several hundred deaths in each district. Only extensive further research
will come up with more accurate figures.
In the rest of Matabeleland South, including Beitbridge, deaths also
occurred, although in smaller numbers. No comment or estimate will be made
Those who are concerned about putting a precise figure on the dead in
Matabeleland South could choose a number between 500 and 1000, and be
certain that they are not exaggerating.
Deaths in the Midlands: named and numbered dead and missing for the
Midlands, suggest Gweru was worst hit with around 70-80 deaths, with deaths
and missing for the whole Province currently standing at a conservative 100.
Archival figures for unnamed victims suggest several hundred more deaths and
disappearances – no more accurate suggestion can be made than this, without
extensive further research.
Deaths According to The Chronicle: While it seems reasonable in the face of
conflicting reports to disregard the “General Report” claims in respect of
dissident offences, the “Specific Report” figures have been borne out in
Even this statement is not made without qualification: there were several
occasions where recent interview data convincingly attributed offences to
the army or CIO when The Chronicle attributed these offences to dissidents.
However, in Tsholotsho, while the route to the final number may have
differed, figures arrived at in interview data and in The Chronicle were
fairly close in terms of how many people were specifically killed by
In addition, there are some murders that can be uncontentiously attributed
to dissidents in the non-case-study districts, and which have not been taken
into estimate yet, including the deaths of commercial farmers.
The Chronicle may therefore be conservatively assumed to provide support for
the deaths of at least 100 to 150 people at the hands of dissidents, which
have not been factored in elsewhere.
FINAL ESTIMATE: The figure for the dead and missing is not less than 3000.
This statement is now beyond reasonable doubt. Adding up the conservative
suggestions made above, the figure is reasonably certainly 3750 dead. More
than that it is still not possible to say, except to allow that the real
figure for the dead could be possibly double 3000, or even higher. Only
further research will resolve the issue.
The number of dead is always the issue in which there is the most interest,
wherever in the world human rights offences are perpetrated. While such a
focus is understandable, it should not be considered the only category of
offence to give an indication of the scale of a period of disturbance.
From the point of view of this report, compilers are concerned with the
plight of those still alive. Of course, the loss of a breadwinner compounds
the plight for his/her survivors, and in this way the number of dead from
the 1980s indicates the number of families having to survive without
financial assistance from able-bodied husbands, wives and children.
But many other families who perhaps suffered no deaths were left with
permanent health or emotional problems which, a decade later, have
compounded seriously on their families in monetary and social terms.
The HR Data Base currently has on record 680 homesteads destroyed. A reading
of the “village by village” summary of Tsholotsho will confirm that this
figure is conservative. Researchers in Lupane and Nkayi have also referred
to hut burnings, and the burnings of entire villages, particularly in
Lupane. What this means in terms of final figures is hard to say: therefore
no estimate will be made.
Properties were also destroyed in Matabeleland South which are not yet
formally recorded, and the ZANU-PF Youth riots affecting the Midlands in
1985, and the property destruction resulting from this has been documented,
for example in LCFHR. Readers of the report should therefore bear in mind
that the figure of 680 homesteads destroyed is far from complete.
In addition, there was the damage caused by dissidents. The Chronicle
reports a multitude of bus burnings and the destruction of dam and road
building equipment. Cooperative ventures were also destroyed on occasion,
and commercial farmers had livestock shot and property destroyed.
Again, to try to assess this now in precise monetary terms would be a
complicated and somewhat arbitrary procedure. The section following (Part
Three, II) on legal damages attempts to make this sort of assessment on ten
specific cases only, to illustrate how such damage might be assessed.
Perhaps the most significant type of “property loss” to those in affected
regions, is the fact that throughout the 1980s, when the government was
investing in development projects in other parts of the country,
Matabeleland was losing out, on the true premise that the disturbances made
Possible numbers of detainees are also very difficult to assess at this
stage. Some attempt was made in the case study on Matobo to estimate a
figure for those detained at Bhalagwe.
Based on an average stay of two weeks, and an average holding capacity of
2000, it was assumed that any number of civilians between 8000 and double
this figure could have passed through Bhalagwe. As some reports put the
holding capacity at considerably higher than 2000 at its peak, this
assumption does not seem unreasonable, but it is an assumption nonetheless.
Apart from Bhalagwe, both documents on file and lists of named victims in
Chikurubi in 1985 suggest certainly hundreds and likely thousands of
detainees over the period from 1982 to 1987.
The detention centres at St Pauls in Lupane and in Tsholotsho operated from
mid 1982, and certainly hundreds were detained in 1982 alone. Africa
Confidential refers to 700 detained at Tsholotsho in 1982, and St Paul’s
detention centre was also large. There are also reference to 1000 detained
in Bulawayo in March 1983.
In 1985 and 1986 there were further detentions, both before and after the
general elections. Elected ZAPU officials were picked up in rural areas, and
hundreds were detained in urban centres too. LCFHR refers to 1300 detained
in Bulawayo in early 1985 and 400+ detained in Bulawayo in August 1985.
There are official documents signed by police confirming large numbers of
detainees. For example, CCJP wrote to Nkayi Police station inquiring about
the whereabouts of a certain man who had been detained. The police wrote
back saying they had detained 80 people that day in Nkayi, and most had been
subsequently released. They had no record of this particular man.
Again, there is no easy formula for arriving at a figure for detainees. It
seems reasonable to assume at least 10 000 were detained, some for a few
days and some for far longer, between 1982 and 1987. This is an assumption
based on what is known now of the general unfolding of events, and the
holding capacities of various detention centres.
4. TORTURED/ WOUNDED
Named torture victims, inclusive of those assaulted, stand at around 2000.
In addition to these named victims, the Tsholotsho case study identified 70
villages involved in mass beatings, and 4 mass beatings at railway sidings.
The Matobo case study identified another 25 mass beatings.
This is a total of 99 known mass beatings. A figure of 50 per mass beating
was decided on as reasonable (see Part One, II), which would mean 4950
further assault victims. This puts the total number of those fairly
definitely known to have been physically tortured at around 7000.
Mass beatings were also a definite phenomenon of 5 Brigade behaviour in
Lupane and Nkayi in Matabeleland North, and Silobela in the Midlands, as
well as in Bulilimamangwe and Gwanda in Matabeleland South, but no estimate
will be placed on how many people this may have affected.
In addition, reports of Bhalagwe make it clear that detention here was
synonymous with beatings, usually daily. Physical torture of one kind or
another was almost mandatory, not only at Bhalagwe but in all detention
centres and jails.
Several thousand more beating victims could therefore safely be assumed, but
precisely how many remains to be established.
The above estimates are offered merely as estimates. A careful reading of
the Historical Overview will make it clear that the evidence on record
supports the general claims being made here in terms of likely numbers of
victims, and will in fact suggest that these claims are conservative. But
only further comprehensive research will establish more accurate numbers for
all categories of offence.
Taken from a report on the 1980’s disturbances in Matabeleland and the
Midlands. Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in
Zimbabwe, March 1997.