Blessing Zulu, Ntungamili Nkomo
A leading U.S rights advocacy group has called upon Co-Home Affairs
Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone to investigate allegations that
Bulawayo police recently harassed Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) activists
and used tribal invectives against them.
In a statement, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
condemned the incident, urging Harare to protect the rights of all citizens.
WOZA claims that during one of its recent protests, police rounded up its
members and ordered them to stop speaking in Ndebele saying all Ndebeles had
been killed during the infamous Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s.
The Kennedy Center said: “These increasing reports of both the police and
politicians in Zimbabwe using tribal and ethnic rhetoric to justify violence
against law-abiding, peaceful citizens are of serious concern.”
It said the government must ensure that the rights of every individual,
including the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, are respected in
an environment free of violence.
It urged Zimbabwe's inclusive government to act immediately and responsibly
to halt the unacceptable behavior that has been routinely displayed by the
“We respectfully remind the government of its explicit obligations under the
Global Political Agreement (GPA), notably Article VII on the Promotion of
Equality, National Healing, Cohesion and Unity, where it states (that) the
government will ‘ensure equal treatment of all, regardless of gender, race,
ethnicity, and place of origin and will strive to create an environment of
tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and that all citizens are treated
with dignity and decency’."
On Thursday, about 300 WOZA protestors peacefully marched to the Southampton
House Police Station to register an official complaint, detailing the
unabated mistreatment of its members that included a brutal mass arrest on
During the November 13 altercation, on-duty ZRP officers directly referenced
the Gukurahundi massacres and ordered WOZA members not to speak in their
native Ndebele language.
The complaint called upon the ZRP to promptly investigate the matter and
discipline responsible officers accordingly.
Upon delivering the complaint Thursday, WOZA National Coordinator Jenni
Williams and Program Coordinator Magodonga Mahlangu, were arrested and later
released without being charged.
It is also reported that police unduly harassed and inflicted violence on
WOZA members as they knelt in prayer directly outside the police station
The women’s lobby group staged another demonstration Thursday in Bulawayo
demanding that the police should investigate the matter and take action
against the officers who made those remarks, which have been condemned by
many organizations and people as irresponsible and insensitive.
Williams told VOA Studio 7 that the verbal abuse used by police is
More than 20,000 people in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces were
reportedly killed by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade after the
national army crack unit, linked to Zanu PF, was deplored in the 1980s to
flush out so-called dissidents in the then PF Zapu stronghold.
PF Zapu, then led by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, was seen by
President Robert Mugabe’s party as a stumbling block for the creation of a
one-party state in Zimbabwe, a political philosophy which was modeled along
the lines of moribund concepts of Marxism and Leninism.
by Staff Reporter
LAWYERS for a murder suspect held in remand prison for 11 YEARS will ask the
Supreme Court to halt his prosecution, arguing his right to a fair trial
within a reasonable time has been violated.
Last Friday, Justice Nicholas Ndou of the Bulawayo High Court granted John
Muchenje’s application to have his case referred to the Supreme Court.
Muchenje, who was arrested in 2001 and charged with murder, was originally
given an August 2003 trial date, but it only got underway on September 25
the same year before Justice George Chiweshe, who is now on the Supreme
Four witnesses testified and the matter was postponed because one witness
The case was postponed on several subsequent dates until Justice Chiweshe
left the Bulawayo High Court in 2005.
The two assessors, who were sitting with Justice Chiweshe, have since both
The judge came back in 2006 to finalise the case, but the trial could not
proceed because the final State witness was still unavailable.
The matter was postponed indefinitely several times until 2010 when prison
authorities formally complained.
Last year, the State made attempts to start the trial afresh before Justice
Ndou, but that failed and now Muchenje is not within the remand system and
only appears in court on request by the State.
Muchenje’s lawyers Lizwe Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa said “continuing with
the trial or starting the trial afresh, whichever way the State proceeds,
will put the justice system into disrepute and cause credibility of the
entire system to be lost.”
“The delay has been too long, regardless that Muchenje has been available at
all times. The State delayed the matter by failing to avail its witness,”
the defence team said.
Prosecutor Timothy Simbarashe Makoni had opposed the application for the
Supreme Court referral arguing that the delay was largely due to the
unavailability of Justice Chiweshe.
In an affidavit, the Senior Public Prosecutor for the Western Division,
Martha Cheda, who was prosecuting the matter, said the State has always made
frantic efforts to have the case brought to finality.
She argued that Muchenje’s rights had not been infringed except that his
lawyers had not asserted his right to liberty since he was legally
Muchenje, of Kuwadzana 6 in Harare, was released from Harare Prison on
August 15, 2001, under a Presidential Amnesty after serving time for an
On August 22, he visited his cousin who was a tenant at a house in Bulawayo’s
Gwabalanda suburb, which belonged to the victim Dadley Chiromo.
On August 29 the same year, Muchenje and Chiromo were left together in the
house and they allegedly had a misunderstanding over a cassette.
Prosecutors say Muchenje beat Chiromo to death with an iron rod and
allegedly robbed him of Z$50,000 cash and clothing items valued at
He allegedly locked the body in one of the rooms and left.
He was later arrested on October 22, 2001, and appeared in court for initial
remand on October 25.
by Deutsche Presse-Agentur
GERMANY'S Development Minister Dirk Niebel arrived in Zimbabwe on Saturday,
making him the first cabinet minister from the European country to visit
Harare in 15 years.
Niebel will however not meet with President Robert Mugabe, whom Germany
accuses of human rights abuses and stealing elections.
"I consciously did not schedule a meeting with Mugabe, because such a
meeting could be exploited," said Niebel.
Niebel is the first member of the German cabinet to visit Zimbabwe since
then-Defence Minister Volker Rühe did so in 1997.
Instead, Niebel said he planned to use his four-day visit to encourage what
he described as "democratic forces" in the country.
Niebel also planned to meet with members of Zimbabwe's civil society, with a
view to the next elections, scheduled for 2013, which the minister said must
be "free, fair and peaceful," and represent a full "restoration of
democracy" and the rule of law.
The German government cancelled all development projects with Harare in 2002
amid allegations of election rigging and human rights abuses. Since 2009,
however, Berlin has supported humanitarian projects in Zimbabwe with more
than US$130 million in aid.
This followed a power-sharing agreement, which saw long-time opposition
figure Morgan Tsvangirai become prime minister, following the disputed 2008
elections in which he was one of two candidates to challenge Mugabe for the
Staff Reporter 20 hours 7 minutes ago
Gwanda town was a hive of activity as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
engaged the Matabeleland South, MDC Provincial leadership and discussed a
number of issues relating to governance.
PM Tsvangirai who was accompanied by Vice President Thokozani Khupe and
Secretary General Tendai Biti told the Matabeleland South Provincial council
members that the party has to win the forthcoming elections.
“We have to win the next elections at all costs. Therefore, let us work hard
together to ensure that we finish the race for the good of our nation,” said
He added that the country could not afford to witness yet another inclusive
government since it was not good for the people.
“We do not want another inclusive government; it’s not good for the people
Let us hunt like a pride of lions to ensure outright victory,” he said.
Soon after concluding the Gwanda meeting, PM Tsvangirai proceeded to
Bulawayo where he is expected to engage the Bulawayo Provincial Council and
then heads to Matabeleland North to meet the province’s executive council.
Tsvangirai said the MDC, the majority party in parliament has a detailed
plan to resurrect Zimbabwe from the current economic doldrums.
The party, which has shaken ZANU PF strongholds, has a detailed job plan
that will transform the lives of millions of unemployed Zimbabweans.
Speaking in Bulawayo on Saturday, party President Morgan Tsvangirai who is
also the country's Prime Minister (PM) said that the job plan was modeled
within the Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment (JUICE),
which is the party's economic blueprint for elections launched on Friday.
According to the MDC, JUICE aims to create a million jobs for Zimbabweans
between 2013 and 2017.
President Tsvangirai said that the key to jobs for Zimbabweans was to win
He said: "We don't want to go into the morning after without a plan. The
first thing will be to transform the governance system brought by ZANU PF of
a one man rule."
President Tsvangirai told the Bulawayo Provincial Council that the party was
on its way to win the next elections and was ready to govern.
"The other priority will be to turn the balance of distribution of natural
resources. We are spending lots on consumption and that is not healthy for
the economy .We want to create jobs. There is no empowerment, which is
better than a job. We are ready to govern, we are ready to lead ", President
On Sunday, he will travel to Lupane, Matabeleland North were he is expected
to address members of the Provincial Council.
Harare, December 02, 2012- The MDC in government’s top priority is job
creation, since there cannot be any real empowerment in the country if
people have no jobs, MDC-T President Tsvangirai has said.
Tsvangirai made the call before thousands of people at a colourful event to
launch the much awaited Jobs, Upliftment, Investment Capital and Environment
(JUICE) economic blueprint at High Glen Shopping Centre in Harare on
He said the MDC’s economic blueprint is meant to bring about a holistic
transformation of society since it is aimed at growing the national cake for
the benefit of all the people. “Having a job is the best form of individual
empowerment” said Tsvangirai. He castigated the then Zanu PF government of
plunging the country into
a permanent state of economic instability.
“(Robert) Mugabe’s record of failure is legendary and as such the JUICE
policy was modelled along creating economic stability through rehabilitation
of infrastructure and the resuscitation of the agricultural sector,” said
He further pointed out that the JUICE policy was meant to restore respect
for human and property rights as well as inculcating a culture of
entrepreneurship in the people of Zimbabwe saying the Zanu PF indigenisation
policy was skewed and was benefiting only a few cronies in Zanu PF.
Tsvangirai criticised what he said was Zanu PF’s unorthodox economic system
which he said had pushed genuine indigenous entrepreneurs “into
exile.” “We want to create a conducive business environment which will
attract our genuine indigenous business people like Strive Masiiwa back into
the country” he said.
He said Zanu PF’s indigenous policies were vindictive against those who do
not fund the party and as such this had frustrated many potential Zimbabwean
business people. He added that the 51 percent indigenisation threshold
demanded by Zanu PF was unreasonable as it was scaring away potential
investors. “Who will come to invest his money knowing very well that he has
to forfeit a big chunk of it?” asked President Tsvangirai.
The MDC-T says the JUICE plan is inclusive as it is meant to promote growth,
remove trade barriers and restore investor confidence.
“It is not about political change but real transformation of people’s
lives,” added Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai’s deputy, Deputy Prime Minister
Thokozani Khupe said a peaceful environment is necessary for the promotion
of development adding that it is incumbent upon leadership to denounce
violence and promote peaceful coexistence.
Tendai Biti, the MDC-T secretary-general who doubles-up as the Minister of
Finance in the coalition government, unpacked the key components of JUICE
and laid out the 10 key issues of what the programme aims to achieve. Biti
said Zanu PF had created a model which does not celebrate growth
and as such JUICE is set to deal with the moribund economic situation that
Zanu PF perpetuated.
He said Zanu PF had created a system of patronage and a crisis of
misalignment of policy and action.
“This situation has brought about poverty, joblessness and corruption” said
The MDC Secretary General said JUICE’s thrust is set to increase growth rate
exponentially, further reduce inflation rate, deliver a US$100 billion
economy, improve electricity generation and build a social contract.
Biti laid out the critical drivers of JUICE as democracy, inclusive
participation, a stable micro economic system, public service reform,
industrial transformation; broad-based economic empowerment agenda, the
creation of a balanced economy, FDI and the greening of the environment.
He said JUICE provides for a totally integrated economy. Tapiwa Mashakada
the Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion who is also the
Deputy Secretary General outlined the importance of Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) as a vehicle for growth, saying Zanu PF’s inconsistent
policies had blocked economic development thuggery by a few Zanu PF cronies.
“The MDC government will create a million jobs in the first five years in
office,” said Hon. Mashakada adding that money could only be created through
investment promotion not indigenisation. Mashakada gave examples of
successful indigenisation programmes in countries such as Malaysia, China,
Singapore, saying Zanu PF’s
strategy was meant to share existing wealth among a few connected Zanu PF
members without creating any new wealth.
The MDC Secretary for Economic Affairs, Elias Mudzuri said the programme is
a blueprint to unlocking the unemployment crisis adding that it has the
genuine intention of delivering economic prosperity to Zimbabwe. The event
was attended by diplomats, the business community; civic society members,
senior party and government officials, residents, and thousands of party
December 2, 2012 in Local
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has asked journalists and other
workers at the stable to go door-to-door collecting licence fees. The move
is seen as a desperate measure by the state broadcaster to raise revenue.
BY OUR STAFF
The predicament of ZBC worsened recently after inspectors ditched it over
poor remuneration. Journalists in Harare and Bulawayo confirmed receiving
the directive on Wednesday, although it was said they declined to act as
The inspectors reportedly ditched the state broadcaster after their salaries
were reduced by about 66%.
They have since approached the courts to have their salaries reinstated, a
journalist from ZBC said on condition of anonymity.
“They went to court after their salaries were reduced from US$440 to US$270
and then to US$150,” the informer said.
“We were told that it is now mandatory for every employee of the company to
collect licence fees door-to-door and at roadblocks. That is the directive
from Harare to Bulawayo.”
Another journalist said since there was a shortage of inspectors and the
company was facing cash flow problems, management decided that everyone
should start collecting the levy.
However, most employees reportedly declined to collect levies as this was
outside the terms of their contracts.
In response, ZBC management at Montrose Studios in Bulawayo, hurriedly drew
up contracts for six licence fee collectors, who were not part of the court
The contracts for the six expired on November 30 this year and have now been
given new contracts expiring at the end of this month.
ZBC spokesman, Sivukile Simnago, declined to comment, saying he was on a
month-long leave and would only be back at work on Monday.
The state broadcaster’s chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, said
he could not comment on such matters over the phone.
“I do not know about that, I am hearing it from you,” he said. “I cannot
comment on the phone, come and see me and I will give you a story.”
Asked where he was Muchechetere said he was at his farm outside Harare.
ZBC has been struggling with salary payments, with workers often going for
weeks after their designated payday without receiving their salaries.
Sources said the company was facing serious cash flow problems and had
approached several banks in an effort to negotiate for favourable loans.
Workers at the state broadcaster have since written to the Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission accusing their bosses of corruption.
Workers seek ZUJ intervention
The workers have reportedly approached the Zimbabwean Union of Journalists
(ZUJ) to help them so they can receive their salaries on time.
“They have not written to us, but we are aware that some of our members have
not been getting their salaries on time,” ZUJ secretary general, Foster
“Naturally, this alarms us as a union and we are concerned with establishing
what is going on.”
Dongozi said some ZBC journalists complained that they were no longer able
to fulfil family obligations and were failing to service loans from banks
due to uncertainty as to when they would receive their salaries.
December 2, 2012 in Local
THE Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) yesterday said
it had taken over most of the properties from defrocked Bishop, Nolbert
Kunonga, following a recent Supreme Court ruling.
BY JENNIFER DUBE
The court, a fortnight ago ruled that Bishop Chad Gandiya’s faction was the
rightful owner of the properties which Kunonga had grabbed.
Gandiya’s press officer, Precious Shumba, said although the CPCA had faced
resistance in some of the parishes, most of the buildings had been taken by
“We have about 72 parishes across the diocese of Harare which covers
Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Harare
provinces,” Shumba said.
“I can say we have made significant progress in repossessing our buildings,
including the churches and rectories [priests’ residencies] and most
parishioners will tomorrow have their services in their churches.”
The Supreme Court recently ended a five-year Anglican wrangle, stripping
Kunonga of powers to control the church’s buildings which he had been
granted by High Court judge Ben Hlatshwayo in 2009.
The CPCA obtained a writ of execution and started evicting occupants of
their buildings, including those who used the buildings to run crèches and
Last week, buildings were repossessed in Mabelreign, Marlborough, Highfield,
Glen Norah, Waterfalls, Mbare, Glen View, Tafara, Mabvuku, Kuwadzana, Ruwa,
Borrowdale, Highlands, Chitungwiza, Goromonzi and Chinhoyi.
Shumba said the police initially failed to co-operate, citing lack of
This however, improved towards the end of the week as they assisted the
deputy Sherriff in ensuring Kunonga’s supporters moved out.
There were however some skirmishes at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare’s
city centre, with Kunonga and his faithfuls resisting eviction, citing an
application they had lodged with the High Court seeking to stop their
Reverend Naboth Manzongo of the Gandiya faction, was hit with a brick in one
of the skirmishes.
At least six Kunonga supporters were arrested in the confrontations.
Attempts to get comment from the Kunonga camp were futile, as its
spokesperson, Admire Chisango said he was in a meeting every time he
answered his mobile phone.
Kunonga’s cellphone went unanswered.
Not all evictions turned violent: Sifelani
in some churches, the evictions were carried out smoothly.
“Reverend Biggy Kamukombe was occupying our buildings in Marlborough and he
did not wait for the deputy Sherriff to move him,” said Reverend Samuel
“We had a peaceful handover on Friday. The church which was renting our
building has since moved,” said Sifelani.
December 2, 2012 in Politics
ZANU PF is struggling to raise US$2 million required to host the party’s
annual national people’s conference.
BY OUR STAFF
The conference is scheduled to start in Gweru on Tuesday at the US$6,5
million conference facility that is being built by the Chinese.
The facility, dubbed the Hall of Shame, was toured by President Robert
Mugabe yesterday, after he had presided over the graduation ceremony at the
Midlands State University.
Sources in the party confided to The Standard, that Zanu PF and President
Robert Mugabe were finding it difficult to raise the funds needed to host a
The party, two weeks ago, reconstituted its fundraising committee after it
became apparent that it would not raise enough funds.
Out of desperation, The Standard was told, Zanu PF was asking senior party
officials to contribute. The sources disclosed that Zanu PF politburo
members were reluctant to make contributions towards the hosting of the
Last week, Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman, Mike Madiro, told members
attending a coordination committee (PCC) meeting to contribute US$1 000 each
towards the hosting of the conference.
But some politburo members at the meeting felt the figure was too high.
Politburo member, Victoria Chitepo said she could not afford to fulfil the
“Where can an old woman like me get that amount from?” she asked.
“People are starving in the streets and I do not see the logic of forcing
them to dig deeper into their pockets to pay that amount.”
Other politburo members said they had already been forced to fork out
varying amounts according to seniority.
“We were forced to pay between US$1 000 and $2 000 — depending on one’s
position in the party,” said a politburo member, who requested anonymity.
Some businesses also complained that they were being forced to contribute in
cash or kind towards the hosting of the conference.
A senior official of a firm in Mutare said his company was approached for
“donations”, but indicated to Zanu PF officials that contributions should
not be compulsory.
“They said they have blacklisted the company threatening that it will soon
be earmarked for indigenisation,” he said.
A farmer said the party demanded US$1 000 and some of his farm produce.
“I had no option but to give them. If I refused it was going to backfire for
me as I would be labelled an enemy of Zanu PF and this would jeopardise my
business,” he said.
Another businessman, Tryon Mhisva, said Zanu PF officials accompanied by
youths visited shops demanding cash and goodies.
In Mashonaland West province, white commercial farmers last week said they
were ordered to donate towards the hosting of the Gweru conference.
At a meeting held behind closed doors at the Chinhoyi Training Centre
recently, a senior Zanu PF official read the riot act to the farmers,
directing them to donate cash, cattle and maize towards the conference.
Sources who attended the meeting said the official told farmers that it was
payback time for being spared during the land reform programme.
“The farmers were assured that there would be no further disturbances on
their land,” said the source.
“They were asked to continue producing and to report anyone trying to
intimidate them off their properties.”
Sources said the Zanu PF’s begging bowl was being extended to Mashonaland
East, Central, Midlands and Masvingo provinces with little success.
Each of the 10 administrative provinces were given a target of US$150 000.
The former ruling party has since independence been forcing villagers to
fund its conferences or congress.
Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo were
fruitless yesterday as he continually said he was in a meeting in Gweru.
Zanu PF Chairman for the fundraising committee, Didymus Mutasa, last night
declined to shed light on their fundraising activities.
“It has nothing to do with The Standard. What is your interest in this
matter?” asked Mutasa.
‘Party could be looting proceeds from diamonds’
Sources in Zanu PF however said it was possible the party could be funded
through proceeds from the sale of diamonds.
Mugabe may have a secret source of funding, judging by recent developments.
It is still unclear where Zanu PF got the funds to build the Gweru facility,
but it is widely suspected that it was funded from the proceeds of gems from
Mugabe recently unveiled a US$20 million seed aid programme for communal
farmers, which is being seen as a vote-buying gimmick.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has questioned Mugabe’s source of funding.
Young Turks eye politburo posts
YOUNG Turks in Zanu PF are planning to lobby the conference to adopt a
motion compelling 88-year-old Mugabe to fill vacant politburo posts with
younger members of the party as part of a leadership renewal.
But the proposal, which was initiated by the young turks themselves, said
the source, was being resisted by the old guard who see the initiative as an
attempt to end their political careers.
The proposal has set the stage for confrontation as the ambitious young
politicians are determined to push their agenda.
But other sources said no surprises were expected as the young turks would
easily be subdued by the party bigwigs who are working to frustrate fresh
“While the young turks are backing Mugabe and his presidium, they want to
take up strategic positions ahead of elections,” said the source.
“They feel the old guard is no longer energetic in the face of stiff
competition from the MDC-T.”
There is a widespread feeling among the young turks that most of the
politburo members, who wanted to contest next years’ election were too old
and had run out of steam to compete robust MDC-T activists.
Most MDC-T candidates are still young, energetic, articulate and militant,
traits of modern politicians.
But another Zanu PF official said some of the young turks had the
disadvantage that they were still not fully trusted, having joined the party
not a long time ago.
He said the conference was already a foregone conclusion with delegates
expected to endorse Mugabe as the party’s candidate in next year’s
The vacant posts include that of secretary for finance, which fell vacant
following the death of Harare governor, David Karimanzira and that of
secretary for external affairs, which was occupied by the late Higher and
Tertiary education minister Stan Mudenge.
The politburo post held by the late veteran politician, Kantibhai Gordanbhai
Patel,is also yet to be filled.
Several central committee positions are also vacant following the deaths of
December 2, 2012 in Community News
OVER 2 000 villagers in Insiza North in Matabeleland South province are
facing starvation due to critical shortage of food, a local councillor has
BY SILAS NKALA
Ward 17 councillor, Abdele Nkomo, last week said the food crisis was most
pronounced in wards 17 and 19.
Two non-governmental organisations — World Vision and Zimbabwe Project
Trust — last week started registering people that would receive food
“I think the situation will improve as the World Vision and the Zimbabwe
Project Trust started registering villagers under the food relief programmes
this week [ast week],” he said.
He blamed the crisis on the erratic maize supplies by the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB), which avails food to vulnerable communities under the grain
“GMB’s grain loan scheme is too little for the whole of Insiza and we have
approached the authorities asking for an increase of supplies,” said Nkomo.
“We hope something will be done. I also think the situation will improve in
my ward as the two donors have already engaged us.”
The villagers are expected to work in community development projects for
them to get food
December 2, 2012 in Opinion
The Committee of the People’s Charter (CPC), having read the 2013 budget
presentation, notes that it is a budget that is intended at continuity in
relation to the inclusive government’s work programme at least six months
prior to elections to be held in March next year. It is this intended
continuity with its attendant business as usual approach that points to the
fact that the inclusive government might not be taking elections scheduled
for 2013 as seriously as would be expected. This is with regards to both the
inadequate budgetary allocation for elections and the referendum, as well as
in the assumption that the inclusive government’s work programme will be
undertaken by the next government of Zimbabwe.
Column by CPC
It is therefore the CPC’s initial observation that the inclusive government,
through its budget, is not taking the nationally important issue of
elections as seriously as is necessary. This is even more tacit where
consideration is given to the fact that the inclusive government is a
compromise arrangement, and to seek a repeat of the same through inadequate
resourcing of elections is unfortunate.
The CPC notes that in the same framework of seeking continuity to its policy
ambiguities, the inclusive government has not allocated any resources for a
wholesale review of its performance either for each line ministry or as
cabinet. Because of this, there is the claim that for example, the
Distressed Industrial and Marginalised Area Fund (Dimaf) was not exhausted
in the current financial year (2012), yet it was a fund that was established
on the basis of urgency. It therefore becomes disheartening to assess that
the recurrence of the same urgent challenges facing the people of Zimbabwe
in all of the last four national budget presentations by the Minister of
Finance Tendai Biti is indicative of limited or poor performance by the
ministers in the inclusive government.
In relation to social welfare or what the budget has termed Social Services
and Social Safety Nets, there is no new approach to the challenges faced
therein. The template that the government seeks to use is that which has
continued to bedevil the social services, particularly health and education
since the first full budget of the inclusive government. It would have been
preferable had health and education at primary level been made free at all
government institutions with the intention of ensuring access for all young
children and primary school pupils. This would be a mitigatory measure
against commercialisation of these services where only the few get the best
The reference that the budget makes to youth is however of significance in
that indeed youth unemployment is a time-bomb in Zimbabwe.
In our view, the reasons for this are not because, contrary to the budgets
assertion of a fear of a youth uprising similar to the Arab spring. It is
more because the inclusive government has failed to address youth
unemployment holistically and has unfortunately sought to purchase support
of young Zimbabweans through unclear youth funds that have eventually mainly
benefited those with proximity to political power.
Where the 2013 budget emphasizes vocational training for youths it accords
them no particular role in the contemporary economy, particularly via public
The 2013 Budget however, is not a major departure from what has been
obtaining since 2009.
In conclusion, it is unfortunate that in contemporary times, the inclusive
government continues to inadequately address the contextual economic
problems that Zimbabwe faces through similarly arrived at templates.
December 2, 2012 in Editorial
Driving down highways and dirt roads in southern Zimbabwe, one cannot miss
the smell of death emanating from the parched veld. Scrawny animals —
donkeys and cattle — feebly try to hold on to dear life but their corrugated
torsos are testimony to the lost war against hunger. Carrion birds swivel in
the sky as they circle another rotting carcass.
EDITORIAL BY NEVANJI MADANHIRE
But the hunger — and the death — is not confined only to animals!
Southern Zimbabwe’s soils have become powdery as the Kalahari Desert creeps
in, supporting only cactus and little else in the form of vegetation. The
people of these areas have become resilient; their tragedy only etched in
their wizened faces.
The men smile when you greet them and laugh their raucous laughter when you
ask about their lot, but the women’s usually careless laughter as they play
at the village well is missing. It is they who bear the burden of food
shortages most. In such situations, men become migratory. They move from one
beer party to another and even spend their time at the growth points
extorting beer from visitors. But the women have to remain at home with the
children — and the empty pots.
The talk in the region revolves around the rain. Still a superstitious lot,
they attribute the persistent droughts to some abomination they committed
against their ancestors. Some still consult rainmakers but the rainmakers
seem to have forgotten their shrines and the tools of their trade.
But this sad story is not one for rainmakers. Climate patterns have long
been mapped which, in Zimbabwe, have indicated that in the past three
decades the country has experienced a drought every three or so years. Add
to this the international phenomenon of climate change, then we have a real
Zimbabwe’s response to the perpetual droughts has been, to say the least,
childish. When a child is crying, another child will give him/her a morsel
of his/her own food. The crying child may as well quieten for a while but
will soon enough cry again as the pangs of hunger bite. That’s what the
national response to the perennial hunger problem has been. Give them food
hand-outs, has been the response. Give them inputs too, even when it’s
patently clear the rains won’t come.
The basis of this thinking is not far to find. If they are kept poor and
hungry, they will continue to look up to you for food hand-outs; they will
see you as a god, they will vote for you!
The vote has become the raison d’état of our politics. Everything that our
politicians do is meant to secure the vote. This is the reason why food is
no longer viewed by them as means of the nourishment of the people but as a
means of political survival.
Food hand-outs, which should be a stopgap measure have become a permanent
feature of our culture. Everyone knows that giving people food hand-outs and
inputs, year in, year out, is not sustainable and is grossly humiliating to
the recipients. In recent years, it has become very clear that the source of
the hand-outs has not been transparent, just and honest. The food and the
inputs are distributed in a certain fashion to suit certain agendas
influenced by the need to secure the vote.
One thing that has become clear over the years is that the recipients of
these food and input hand-outs are fighting their humiliation although in a
manner that might be senseless. In the past few weeks we have read in the
papers about how the donated inputs are quickly sold to passers-by. This
means the recipients do not value donated stuff; they wish to use something
they have earned, something they have worked for. During the height of the
land reform programme, new farmers were handed out thousands of litres of
fuel to use for tillage. But what did they do? They sold the diesel fuel by
the roadside. In their subconscious minds, the fuel was never theirs and
besides, why wait for a whole season to make money while one can make it
immediately by selling the free-flowing fuel?
The result of the free hand-out system to the new farmers is clear. A new
class of farmers has been created which will forever look up to government
for farming inputs. The little they grow, harvest and sell is only for
consumption, not for investing back into the land. Why not, when government
will continue to give them more inputs? Why not when those in power will
continue with their open-handedness in return for the vote?
This symbiotic relationship between politics and laziness is at the heart of
Zimbabwe’s decline. Both the communal farmers who have remained in the
barren lands and the peasants who have occupied some of the country’s most
fertile land, look forward to election years because their rulers will be
even more open-handed and increase the price of produce on the market. Civil
servants too, look forward to the election year because they will get salary
increments and the annual bonus. But all this is unsustainable, and everyone
We should look at our situation in a more scientific manner and come up with
solutions that are long-term. The Tokwe-Mukosi Dam has not been completed 30
years after the first clod of dirt was shovelled! The reason: completing it
didn’t immediately translate into votes. There are many projects lying
uncompleted throughout the country for the same reason, yet the amount of
money that has been thrown in the form of inputs over the years could have
completed a dozen Tokwe-Mukosi dams.
The whole world is facing a serious food crisis with food prices rising more
than 60% in some parts of the world in the past year alone. In our
subcontinent 3,5 million people need food aid this year. In Africa as a
whole, the number is tenfold or bigger. The trend is likely to continue in
the foreseeable future.
Can Zimbabwe see this as an opportunity rather than a shackle? Can Zimbabwe
turn around its farming sector so that it can feed not only itself but the
region and even the continent? Do our farms have to lie fallow or be farmed
by half-hearted people simply in the fulfilment of an ideal? Do we realise
that food is going to be more valuable than even diamonds, platinum or gold
in the very near future?
The truth of the matter is: We create more jobs by correcting our farming
sector than through any politically-motivated indigenisation or any JUICEs!
We just have to wake up.
December 2, 2012 in Editorial
Excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga marked a new low in his fight
for church properties last week when he resisted their lawful takeover by
the victorious Bishop Chad Gandiya’s faction.
Kunonga, who for the past five years has straddled the Anglican turf like a
colossus, mocking Gandiya as a little man, was served with eviction notices
after losing a protracted legal battle that ended in the Supreme Court.
The highest court of the land ruled in favour of Gandiya, who is the head of
the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa.
Newspaper pictures of Kunonga, a once towering figure, forlornly sitting on
a nondescript chair pondering his next move last week, depicted how the once
mighty bishop had fallen.
But that was not the last of Kunonga, who claims to be fighting what is
clearly an imaginary war against homosexuality in the church.
On Friday, his supporters put up fierce resistance and struck one of Gandiya’s
priests, Reverend Naboth Manzongo with a brick, leaving him with a deep cut
on the head. This action was uncalled for and should be condemned in the
By being pig-headed in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that gives all
properties to the Gandiya faction, Kunonga is going beyond what is expected
of a peace-loving citizen: he is turning rogue.
Reports of Kunonga threatening to shoot journalists, and his priests being
dragged screaming from churches is the last thing expected to come out of
churches that should be places of worship.
After losing control of the church, Kunonga should have made peace with
Bishop Gandiya, who is the rightful head of the Anglican faithful. He should
allow all Anglicans to worship God, rather than to spend sleepless nights
plotting against each other.
Kunonga should also stop day-dreaming and accept that he can no longer
continue to derive material benefits from properties that do not belong to
That move could set the right tone for possible reconciliation of the two
factions that have been fighting for the past five years.
Christmas comes early to the Vigil
There are allegations that some Zimbabwean deportees from the UK are being drugged or threatened with sedation to ensure they do not kick up a fuss when put on a plane home.
A number of airline pilots have refused to take off when failed asylum seekers have created a scene on board to draw attention to their plight. Women have been known to strip naked. Some immigration lawyers have encouraged this ploy.
The Zimbabwe Vigil knows of incidents when security guards employed by the UK Border Agency have manhandled deportees to keep them quiet, causing injuries. One woman who succeeded in being taken off a flight came to the Vigil still limping several months after such an incident (see Vigil diary of 25th February 2012).
pressure grows on the UK Border Agency to curb immigration, and
mounting parliamentary criticism of their performance, more and more
Zimbabweans are being picked up for deportation despite clear evidence
of growing political violence as Mugabe prepares to bludgeon his way to
another election victory within the next few months (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co.
people in rural areas have already been warned that their arms will be
cut off if they fail to support Zanu PF – a reminder of the ‘short and
long-sleeve campaign’ during the stolen elections of 2008 (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.
The allegations of sedating deportees were reported at the Vigil today by the Zimbabwean diaspora campaigner Ephraim Tapa, a former trade union leader who fled Zimbabwe after he was tortured in 2002. Mr Tapa, a founder member of the Vigil, said he’d been informed by relatives or friends of four people who were said to have been injected with sedatives or threatened with sedation to facilitate their deportation.
Vigil supporter Chipo Hazel Tafirenyika, who was deported on Thursday night, asserts that UKBA security guards threatened her with sedation if she caused any trouble when she was put on the plane.
‘This is unbelievable,’ Mr Tapa said. ‘This heavy-handed approach is a flagrant breach of human rights.’ Mr Tapa, who is President of the Vigil’s sister organization Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), said the Home Office was being asked to send a representative to explain the position to ROHR’s conference in Birmingham next week. A petition protesting about this practice will be presented.
The increased reports of people being detained for deportation led us to talk to our partner organization, the Zimbabwe Association, about what people should do. They gave us the information you can see below.
· Vigil management team member Josephine Zhuga had happy news for us today. After a long battle – when she was told her papers had been lost – she has finally been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. She has been tireless in her human rights work, fronting the Vigil every week for years. She is very grateful for the support of her church.
· On 15th September we held a mock wedding to mark Tsvangirai’s nuptials with Elizabeth. Playing the bride in a wonderful wedding gown was Lindy Bare. Somewhat to his surprise, we co-opted Philip Maponga to play Tsvangirai. Lindy and Philip had never met before but the occasion was the start of a friendship which led them to tell friends at the Vigil today that they are now engaged to be married. The Vigil offers them our best wishes for their future.
· As you will see from our photos, Father Christmas is already active in London. They helped to cheer us on the coldest day of the winter so far. We were further cheered by the tshirt worn by Vigil supporter Kelvin Kamupira which carried the slogan ‘Keep calm and eat sadza’.
· Our condolences to Sihle Sibanda on the death of her sister. The Vigil took a collection for her.
Information for asylum seekers from the Zimbabwe Association (ZA)
If you get detained (and do not have a legal representative) put your name down for an appointment with a legal aid lawyer as soon as possible. There will be a booking system, probably in the detention centre library. Each detention centre has legal aid firms contracted to provide legal help. These are objective legal professionals. If you are already using a legal aid lawyer when you are detained you should be allowed to continue with them. Using a private lawyer can be a problem because if relatives are not able to raise the money required the private lawyer will not be able to act for you and may drop your case at the last minute. (Applying for a Judicial Review is a very expensive business.)
If you are given an appointment with a legal aid lawyer that is after the date of your flight then tell the Immigration Officer and ask for an earlier date. Get them to prioritise your case.
If a legal aid lawyer says your case has no merit ask them to put their reasons in writing.
If you are not in detention don’t just submit a fresh claim to try to protect yourself. You have to build up your case and prepare all possible documentation.
Scan all your evidence. Put Reasons for Refusal letter in one document. Put Immigration Judge Determination in another document. Put Application for Fresh claim in another document. Put all supporting letters together in another document. Put all press stories in another document.
Keep a version of your evidence electronically and make sure that a trusted friend or relative can access and produce these documents if / when you are detained.
For further information please check the ZA website; www.zimbabweassociation.org.uk
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
FOR THE RECORD: 63 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR UK 2012 National Conference and Election of Substantive ROHR UK Executive. Saturday 8th December starting at 11 am. Venue: St George’s Centre, 98 Bridge Street West, Newtown, Birmingham B19 2YX. For more information, contact: Thandiwe Gwarandu 07503 512 308, Chamu Chisuko 07832 927 606, Jonathan Kariwoh 07949 487 275 and Collin Chitekwe 07957 712 691.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 15th
December from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham
Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest
stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk
· Film ‘Robert Mugabe: Villain or Hero’. Saturday 15th
December at 2 pm. Venue: British Film Institute, BFI Southbank,
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. There will be a panel /
audience discussion. For full details: http://tinyurl.com/mugabe-
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR)
is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of
the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in
Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical
way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership
subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in
Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani). To download the band’s theme song Vigil Yedu visit: www.imusicafrica.com
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/
sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the
Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the
Foundation, go to www.justgiving.com/Mike-
· Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com
Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations
of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002
will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections
are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk