conditions in Zimbabwe have not reached the level of stability for it to
qualify for financial help from the International Monetary Fund's poverty
reduction and growth trust
“A number of steps have to take place before a
deeper engagement can take place with Zimbabwe,” the IMF’s senior resident
representative Alfredo Cuevas said in a briefing to the standing committee
“Our teams visit Zimbabwe regularly and provide advice. We
are also providing some technical assistance for the rebuilding of certain
macro economic management institutions.
“That is what our board has
authorised the staff of IMF to do. It is not until the board moves and takes
a different decision that the IMF’s staff can go deeper into relationship
with the country,” he said.
Zimbabwe still had to clear its arrears with
the poverty reduction and growth trust, which funds loans to the
organisation’s lowest-income member countries.
“What happens is that
eventually there is a political consensus at the level of the board which
facilitates a country to clear those arrears.
“It wouldn’t be expected
(for a) country to do it out of its own pocket. That will happen when the
political conditions in Zimbabwe have reached a level of stability that
gives comfort to the board.”
VUVU VENA | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Dec 03 2010
In a move to alleviate the panic among those who fear losing
everything if they submit their fraudulent South African identity documents,
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Wednesday that Zimbabweans
who have been living in the country for years on fake South African IDs --
and have bought property and started businesses -- would be legalised, if
they make the 31 December deadline.
She said Zimbabweans who have
fake South African IDs with the same name and photograph as their Zimbabwean
documents, and which also correspond with papers such as banking, business
or property documents, will be assisted by the police with an affidavit that
will allow their properties and businesses to be transferred to legal
She was accompanied by Zimbabwean Home Affairs Ministers
Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi, who were in South Africa to ask for help in
handling the volume of paperwork flooding their offices.
also said those who applied for passports in Zimbabwe but had not received
them in time for the deadline would be considered as being "inside the shop
or bank when the doors close", adding that the Zimbabwean authorities would
submit the database of passport applicants still being processed on deadline
day to the DHA. But the department isn't backing down on the recent
statement that there will be no extension for Zimbabweans who fail to meet
the December 31 deadline.
"Those who do not comply will face immigration
laws -- this means we arrest," Ronnie Mamoepa, the department of home
affairs spokesperson, said.
Those who work with migrants say the policy
will result in a return to mass arrests, detention and "fruitless mass
"You'll also see a return to tens of thousands of spurious
asylum claims as people try to get a hold of some kind of documentation,"
said Loren Landau, director of the African Centre for Migration and Society
The applications According to home affairs, between September
20 and December 1, 99 435 Zimbabweans applied; of these there are 64 980
applications in progress and 34 455 have been finalised.
estimates of the numbers of Zimbabweans living in SA ranging between 1,5 and
2 million there is a long way to go.
Landau said the deadline wasn't
realistic and he believed only 5% of that number would receive work and
The process is open only to those Zimbabweans who are
working, studying or doing business in South Africa says Mamoepa, and the
documents they will receive "must last at least four years".
emphasised that the deadline, set by the Cabinet decision for the deadline
would not be extended. "What is critical is to get people to get their
applications in long before the 31st."
Zweli Mnisi, the spokesperson for
the department of police, said they would work closely with home
"It is not our stance to criminalise law-abiding foreign
nationals in South Africa," Mnisi said, but added that during police
operations, and in daily policing, they will continue to search those who
were here illegally, whether they were from Zimbabwe or any other country.
But activists say recent raids, such as the one in Hillbrow during the
police's Operation Duty Calls campaign, had raised some concern.
presence of the home affairs officials at the raid clearly indicates that
there was an intention to arrest, detain and potentially deport
non-citizens," said Landau. "While this raid was part of a broader
crime-fighting initiative, it's evident that the police want to send a
message to the citizenry and to foreigners that they are seen as criminals
and that their presence is not going to be tolerated."
progress At the home affairs offices in Plein Street in Johannesburg late on
Tuesday afternoon there was a queue of more than 80 Zimbabweans, who had
already applied for permits but were back to check on progress.
the back of the line was a young man who has been living in the country for
two years. He had received an SMS on Friday to collect his documents, which
he submitted on October 18. He said he had applied because he had just
finished his studies and was now working.
"It was efficient but, here
and there, there were delays. But we can't really complain. We understand
there's a lot of congestions, there are a lot of people," he
Lack of procedure However, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, chairperson
of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (Cormsa), said
the process had been poorly managed and there were no uniform
"There are no clear guidelines on what is required and
different offices have different requirements. There is no certainty in the
Another problem, said Ramjathan-Keogh, was the more than 30 000
applications for passports sent to Zimbabwe.
One Zimbabwean woman,
who did not want to be identified, said she had been living in South Africa
for the past five years and was working as a domestic worker. She said she
was still waiting for her passport to enable her to apply for the special
"I do have a passport, but it expires on January 5," she said. "I
was told that I need a new one because this one expires very soon. I applied
for my new passport three weeks back and they said it will take six
She said a passport cost R800 and she had not had enough money to
apply for it earlier. She said she was very scared as she did not know what
will happen next year. Many of her friends who had applied for both
passports and permits had still not received them, even those who applied
six weeks ago.
"My older brother has applied for the permit and is still
waiting. I do not know anyone who has received the permit. I do not know
what's going on." She said if she had not been able to apply for a permit by
the time the deadline expired, she would have to go back home. "There's
nothing I can do, I'll go."
The situation leaves those who work with
migrants questioning the intention behind the September decision to grant
Zimbabweans the opportunity to apply for the special permits.
Amit, a senior researcher at ACMS, said: "The fact that they are so adamant
about not extending the deadline suggests that this was not really a way to
regularise the status of Zimbabweans. Instead, it seems to be a cosmetic
measure aimed at justifying the resumption of arrests and deportations."
Zimbabwean authorities have admitted that they are having serious
problems issuing new passports to tens of thousands of nationals in South
Africa, just a few weeks before a deadline to get proper documents in place
Co-Minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makone, said this week
that they may need to enlist the help of the South African government,
because Zimbabwe is unable to process enough passports on its own. Makone
said, after holding talks with her South African counterpart Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, that Zimbabwe could only process 500 passports a
“The numbers (of passport applications) that are coming now show us
that we will obviously be behind by the 31st (of December),” Makone said,
referring to the South African authorities looming December deadline for
Zimbabwean nationals to regularise their stay in the country.
added: “We are still having discussions to see if it is possible for South
Africa, even at a later stage, to come in and assist us doing the
She said Zimbabwe’s equipment for processing the
documentation could not cope with the demand. Reports have indicated that so
far only 7,000 passports have been issued.
Zimbabweans, who do not
have proper study, work and residency permits, have until the end of the
year to apply for the necessary documentation to obtain those permits. From
the New Year the South Africa authorities have said that it will resume
deportations to Zimbabwe, sparking fear among the many thousands of
Zimbabweans living in South Africa illegally.
Kaajal Ramjathan Keogh,
from the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants of South Africa (CoRMSA), said
that the South African authorities should take this issue on the Zimbabwe
side into account and immediately extend the application deadline into next
year. “If the deadline for applications is not extended then the process is
doomed to fail,” Ramjathan Keogh told SW Radio Africa. She added: “We are
concerned that Home Affairs is not taking into account the serious problems
people are facing getting their permits.”
Dlamini-Zuma meanwhile again
insisted this week that the deadline would not be extended. She said after
her meeting with Makone that while Zimbabweans may not have received their
documentation by December 31, as long as their applications for passports
had been received by Zimbabwe's home affairs department, before that date,
they would still be processed.
But observers have commented that this
directive will do little for undocumented Zimbabweans as of the New Year,
with the order already in place for deportations to begin in January. South
African police have already been harassing Zimbabweans, mainly in
Johannesburg, trying to get bribes out of them by threatening them with
deportation. There are also reports that local South Africans have already
warned they will attack Zimbabweans in the New Year, in a feared new wave of
attends to a child during Zimbabwe's 2009 cholera
December 2010 (IRIN) - At first glance Zimbabwe's public health system has
undergone a renaissance since the dire days two years ago when shortages of
drugs, staff and equipment were the norm.
A public referral hospital
in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, about 25 km north of the capital, Harare,
recently opened an eye clinic, jointly funded by the Chinese and Zimbabwe
governments, allowing it to provide services free of charge.
official opening, attended by representatives from both governments and graced
by the guest of honour, President Robert Mugabe, staff assisted waiting patients
with courtesy and efficiency, although some were turned away and asked to come
back once the ceremony was over.
But this was not the norm, said John
Mushangi, 42, an insurance broker who rushed his 15-year-old son to the facility
after he was hit by a car and suffered head injuries.
"We waited for
more than three hours before being attended and during that time my son was
bleeding heavily. There was no reason for the hospital staff to take so long
because there were few patients in front of us [in the queue]," he told IRIN.
The student nurse told Mushangi that his son required an intravenous
drip, but the room where the equipment was stored was locked and the staff
member responsible had left for the weekend with the keys.
obvious the health system has improved from what it was at the beginning of last
year , as hospitals have more equipment and drugs are more available, but
the main problem is now with the attitude of hospital staff to their work.
Juniors lack supervision and senior staff don't bother about the welfare of
patients," Mushangi said.
Low morale among
workers at public institutions was a contributing factor. "While drugs are more
available, and there are more nurses and doctors in hospitals than two years
ago, service delivery in the national public health sector is still crippled by
poor salaries,” said Japhet Moyo, deputy secretary general of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
"The government is paying health
staff peanuts and as a result workers dedicate their time to moonlighting, are
usually absent from their workstations, and tend to give flimsy excuses to be
away from work," Moyo told IRIN. The labour organization is demanding a minimum
salary of US$500 per month for health workers.
Although there were
frequent power outages, the emergency generator at Chitungwiza stood idle
because "The accounts department did not leave money to buy fuel," said a nurse
who declined to be identified.
Morale is very low due to the
poor salaries … We feel that the government is failing to recognise our
importance. The result is that most of us are paying lip service to our work,
and it is unfortunate that the sick suffer for the sins of our employer
A nurse at
a Harare hospital that caters to low-income communities said a nurse with four
years’ experience was paid less than a cleaner, and service delivery suffered
because of low pay.
"Morale is very low due to the poor salaries … We
feel that the government is failing to recognise our importance. The result is
that most of us are paying lip service to our work, and it is unfortunate that
the sick suffer for the sins of our employer," said the nurse, who declined to
A junior nurse's basic monthly salary is US$150, but
even modest accommodation in the low-income suburbs costs more than that for a
family of four.
In an attempt to stem the brain drain of skilled
medical personnel, humanitarian organizations such as the UN Children’s Fund
(UNICEF) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, introduced
a monthly supplementary allowance for public-sector health staff in 2009, which
ranges between US$150 and $US500.
But the Harare hospital nurse said
the supplementary allowance had become irregular, and "we have not received it
in the last four months".
Micaela Marques de Souza, spokesperson for
UNICEF Zimbabwe, told IRIN that UNICEF had started the funding process with US$5
million in January 2009, but "funding is scarce".
Selling free medicines
four months "It [the allowance disbursement] was then picked up by the UK
Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Fund, and it is still
running today. Health workers still receive their allowances but are sometimes
paid quarterly. The allowances should continue until early 2011," De Souza told
IRIN in a written reply.
The Global Fund was not available for comment.
The Harare nurse said low wages had sometimes led to staff accepting
bribes from patients for quicker treatment and hospital admission, and selling
ARVs that were available for free to HIV-positive people. Such conditions were
leading to growing disillusionment and a new wave of health staff searching for
work in other countries.
Innocent Makwiramiti, a Harare based
economist, said the economy was still performing poorly and the government did
not have the resources to improve salaries for health workers.
servants, on the other hand, feel that the government has its priorities wrong
and believe that they should get a bigger share of the cake," Makwiramiti told
IRIN. "They protest by giving shoddy service."
[This report does not necessarily reflect
the views of the United Nations]
The MDC has this week urgently called for a transparent and
non-partisan land audit, calling it “paramount to national
The calls come after ZANU PF’s greed was exposed in the media
this week in reports that detailed how a select group of Mugabe’s ruling
elite and other party loyalists is in control of about 5 million hectares of
Zimbabwe’s most profitable land. According to ZimOnline after a three month
investigation into the corrupt land grab scheme, a “new well-connected black
elite of about 2, 200 people now control close to half of the most
profitable land seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.”
report details how top ZANU PF ministers, governors, security officials, and
even court judges have all been rewarded for keeping Mugabe in power, by
claiming large pieces of land stolen from commercial farmers under the guise
of land ‘reform’. The report says that all of ZANU PF’s 56 politburo
members, 98 Members of Parliament and 35 elected and unelected Senators were
allocated former white owned farms, all 10 provincial governors have seized
farms, with four being multiple owners, while 65 percent of the country’s
more than 200 traditional chiefs have also benefited from the land grab.
Mugabe and his wife Grace, are the chief multiple farm owners, with 14 farms
in total that measure over 16,000 hectares.
The MDC said in a
statement this week that “the so-called invader-sponsored land leases bear
testimony to ZANU PF and Mugabe’s insincerity about land reform. They knew,
right from the beginning, that none of the senior officials who now control
a whooping five million hectares of choice plots of this finite resource
were ever interested in commercial agriculture – beyond fulfilling a
sucking, vacuum cleaner mindset of licking out and pillaging anything that
The Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed by both parties,
calls for a land audit, a move that has been resisted clearly because of the
corruption that has been labelled ‘reform’. The MDC is now calling for an
urgent audit so there can be “restoration of full productivity on all
agricultural land that would have been redistributed irrespective of race,
gender, religion, ethnicity or political affiliation.”
The MDC also
pointed out in its statement how Zimbabwe’s agricultural exports have fallen
drastically because of the land grab scheme. “Lack of activity on the farms
proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the ZANU PF elite was never
interested in agriculture,” the MDC said.
The destruction of agriculture
at the hands of ZANU PF means the country has been largely dependent on
international food aid for many years. This week, the United Nations (UN)
once again launched a humanitarian appeal for Zimbabwe, citing “unresolved
problems in the agriculture sector.”
Announcing the Consolidated Appeal
Process (CAP) for 2011, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday said Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation remained
precarious despite “two years of modest economic recovery”. It said problems
in agriculture would mean millions of Zimbabweans would continue to face
hunger next year. Food assistance makes up the largest part of the appeal,
accounting for nearly US$159 million.
The former ruling ZANU PF party has withdrawn its support
for changes to the Public Order and Security Amendments Act
POSA is a piece of legislation tightened up by a ZANU PF
dominated parliament in 2002. The draconian legislation gives untold powers
to the police, who apparently opposed changes to the Act. The Ministry of
Home Affairs and the police are responsible for the administration of the
MDC-T chief whip and Mutare Central MP, Innocent Gonese, introduced
a motion to amend POSA as a Private Member's Bill, in October last year.
There was much hope that this could be the beginning of some democratic
reforms in Zimbabwe.
POSA has its origins in the Rhodesian Law and
Order Maintenance Act; used by the colonial government under Ian Smith to
suppress political expression and organization by the black majority. Rather
than get rid of this much reviled law, the former ruling ZANU PF regime kept
it, revised it and strengthened it to become the POSA Bill.
serious challenge from the MDC, ZANU PF has in the last decade used POSA to
suppress basic freedoms, especially political gatherings by its opponents.
Police are in the habit of blocking MDC rallies, arguing that they need to
seek permission from them instead of simple notification.
that legislators from ZANU PF withdrew their support for amendments after
they received a tongue lashing from Vice-President Joice Mujuru at a party
caucus meeting on November 18th for supporting the proposed
Gonese’s Bill sought to ensure that public gatherings were
regulated in a manner that would allow Zimbabweans to exercise their
democratic right to engage and to express themselves through the medium of
peaceful assembly and association.
The Bill would also have reduced
police powers, transferred the power to prohibit meetings from police to
magistrates and repealed the provision penalizing failure to carry ID
Shepherd Mushonga, the MDC-T MP for Mazowe Central in
Mashonaland Central, told SW Radio Africa on Friday that it was clear ZANU
PF made a u-turn because they continue to benefit from the abuse of
‘Since the inception of POSA no one from that party (ZANU PF) has
been arrested for violating it. It’s only the other parties, not that
party,’ the MP said.
Mushonga, a lawyer by profession, warned ‘signs
are on the wall’ that Zimbabwe will go to another election with POSA still
on the statute books. He said even if his party were to push through the
Bill by a slight majority in Parliament they would not get the necessary
support in the senate. And there would be another hurdle even if it got
through the senate.
‘Even if it sails through the senate, the signature
of the President might not come. The u-turn is about ensuring they continue
denying other political players space and respect. It maintains their
unbridled power to harass, torture, kill and abuse innocent Zimbabweans
without the fear of arrest from the partisan police,’
said he was adamant the brutal treatment of anyone perceived to be anti-ZANU
PF will not help Mugabe win the next election.
‘Even if we go to the
election, with say the minimum SADC conditions, ZANU PF will not win.
Zimbabweans are very intelligent people. They now know how to around
‘If you look at our demographic graph; those who are below 30 years
make up the base of the triangle. They are educated, they are unemployed,
they are hungry and angry and longing for change,’ Mushonga
December - The High Court on Thursday overturned the conviction and sentence
of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of Parliament for Mutare West
Shuah Mudiwa and two of his associates who were granted a seven year prison
term for allegedly kidnapping a 12 year-old girl.
Mudiwa and his two
co-accused persons Patricia Chikide Mwashuma and Takudzwa Mudiwa were
convicted and sentenced to serve seven years in prison by Mutare Magistrate
Hlekani Mwayera in 2009 for allegedly kidnapping a 12 year-old girl and
isolating her in a room without food in 2007.
convicted Mudiwa, Mwashuma and Takudzwa on the strength of the girl’s claim
to have positively identified the MP and his co-accused as her alleged
The kidnap case arose prior to the 2008 March Parliamentary
elections in which Mudiwa was challenging ZANU PF’s Christopher Mushohwe in
Mutare West House of Assembly constituency.
But High Court Justice
Ben Hlatshwayo who sat with Judge President Justice George Chiweshe on
Thursday 2 November 2010 quashed Mudiwa and his associates’ conviction and
set aside their sentence after ruling that Magistrate Mwayera erred and
misdirected herself by placing the onus on Mudiwa, Takudzwa and Mwashuma to
prove their innocence.
The ruling by the High Court Judges followed an
appeal against both conviction and sentence which was filed by Mudiwa’s
lawyer Advocate Linos Mazonde.
Justice Hlatshwayo and Justice
Chiweshe ruled that the investigating officers in the case had failed to
interview some witnesses who were mentioned in court.
the second MDC legislator to be acquitted in recent weeks after High Court
Judges Justice Yunus Omerjee and Justice Chiweshe annulled the conviction
and sentence of Chipinge East legislator Mathias Mlambo who had imprisoned
for 12 months for allegedly obstructing the course of justice and inciting
violence at a funeral of an MDC member.
Mudiwa was suspended from
Parliament in July 2009 by the Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, despite
appealing against his conviction and sentence.
He is now expected to
resume attending parliamentary sessions and executing his duties as a Member
By Reagan Mashavave Friday, 03
December 2010 18:43
HARARE - Sekai Holland, Minister of State in the
Prime Minister’s Office, has said it is the right of every Zimbabwean to
demand the postponement of elections if they feel democratic reforms which
make voting free and fair have not been implemented.
time, we would be actually telling leaders that we are not ready for
elections because who is going to vote if people don't think there are ready
"I don't see any civil society action where people are
saying we are not ready to vote because we want this and this done, nobody
is saying that, so we are continuing the culture of that Zimbabweans are
there to obey and to be abused,” Holland, who is co-chair of National
Healing and Reconciliation told youths at a meeting to discuss the healing
and reconciliation programme in Harare,Thursday.
The abrasive MDC- T
official who is also the co-chairperson of the Organ on National Healing and
Reconcilliation, said youths and ordinary citizens must organize themselves
to fight setbacks they are facing to achieve freedom.
"I was in the
diaspora when Ian Smith was here as Prime Minister and I never thought our
efforts to remove him were going to yield independence of any kind because
it was very difficult but people really organized themselves and they got
independence," Holland said.
"Change does not come from us with all
the things that hold us back. We should really know that it is courage that
we need to make sure that what we are talking about does take
Holland said the concept of national healing must include
everyone and the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation becomes
effective only if people participate in the process.
"It is work
which needs people to understand national healing is everybody's business,"
Holland said. "Zimbabweans must all agree that peace is an option; it cannot
be done by one group."
Human rights and pro-democracy groups have
dismissed the inclusive government’s attempt at instituting national healing
and forgiveness as cheap talk.
Victims of the 2008 political violence
among them opposition supporters, contend that for forgiveness and healing
to be achieved, the state should bring to book the culprits who many say
have Zanu-PF links.
In the run up to the 2008 June Presidential run off,
Zanu PF supporters in the volatile provinces of Mashonaland East and
Central, ran a retribution exercise against perceived MDC supporters in a
campaign that killed hundreds and left others maimed.
background, sceptics of both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, say their call for early polls in 2011 is not out of
touch with reality.
Business leaders argue that early elections would
negate the gains made in the economy by the inclusive
Civic society organizations that have stepped up pressure on
SADC to act on the deteriorating political environment in the country want a
clear roadmap and far reaching reforms before elections are held.
HARARE - Deputy Minister of Education, Sports and Culture,
Lazarous Dokora has scoffed at suggestions that his ministry received the
biggest budget allocation from the 2011 National Budget recently announced
by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti.
Biti on 25 November unveiled a
US$2.7 billion budget and gave the education ministry US$400
Dokora said: “It is not true that we received the biggest budget
allocation because the money we were given is only for salaries. The money
we received is just to cover the employment cost.”
Dokora made these
remarks Thursday when he officially opened an arts exhibition, Vhura Meso –
Zimbabwean Roots in the 21st Century at the National Art Galley of
He said the allocation meant that there was no money allocated
to the building of schools, buying of new equipment and infrastructure
Dokora said: “While we expected 22 percent of the total
budget, we only received 4.6 percent.”
Dokora said he had been late
to the official opening of the exhibition because he was trying to explain
to some stakeholders that contrary to popular belief that his ministry
received the biggest chunk of the “I told them that we only received money
for salaries and down stream projects received nothing,” he
Dokora joins a band of other Zanu PF government officials who have
taken turns to dismiss Finance Minister Biti’s budget. The army has also
attacked Biti saying its allocation meant that they would not buy any new
Since the announcement of the budget by Biti last week, the
state media has been interviewing Zanu PF government officials who have been
dismissing the budget.
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe coalition
government’s Home Affairs Co-ministers, Kembo Mohandi and Theresa Makone,
walked out of a meeting, after angry Zimbabweans told them where to get off,
for glossing over their ministry’s incompetence in delivering documents to
South Africa based Zimbabweans
The duo, who never ceased to shower each
other with accolades and praises in their opening remarks, attracted the
wrath of their countrymen when they claimed that the documentation process
was running smoothly in South Africa.
Their presentations lacked
profundity. They exhibited clear ignorance of the documentation process.
They also did not seem to have any clue of the implications of the process.
Makone’s regurgitation of the outcomes of their meeting with SA Home Affairs
Minister, Nkosazana Zuma, turned out to be an old and tired story. Minister
Zuma made the same remarks to Zimbabwean NGOs last week during a
The cabinet ministers further stunned everyone
when they arrogantly refused to answer even a single question from
Zimbabweans who had paid R75 to hear their ministers shedding light over the
on-going documentation process which is riddled with serious
Instead they took turns to tongue lash at the attendants
accusing them of not respecting them, with Makone describing the questioning
as “gutter fighting”. “I am not going to engage in gutter fighting
because I am an intellectual,” said Makone, a Food Science Nottingham
University (UK) graduate. The visibly embarassed Therersa was later on
whispering to some members of the public saying she was a fighting type,
born and bred in Mbare.
Mahodi did not help the situation either, when he
demanded to be respected. “ I might be a bad person, but respect me,” said
the Zanu PF hardliner, much to the annoyance of attendants who expected a
fruitful engagement with the ministers.
In rare display of Shefu
mentality, the two characters, who are presiding over the collapsing
Policing ministry in Zimbabwe, fell short of telling attendants that they
should instead consider themselves as luck to be addressed by
Typical of Zanu PF circus, the new illegitimate Ambassador of
Zimbabwe to South Africa, who Bvanyangu never bothered to ask his name, was
sent off the podium by the attendants when he tried to shield the ministers
by responding on their behalf.
When the ministers were finally forced
back to the podium they surprisingly demanded that all questions be put in
writing before sending them to their Mukwati Building offices in Harare.
They tasked the new illegitimate Ambassador to take the questions and send
them to their 11th floor spacious offices.
They also took a swipe at
the organizers of the event for not sending them the agenda in
The sarcastic Mutumwa Mawere, who Mohadi initially described as
a former fugitive in his opening remarks, reminded the ministers to control
their temper and respond to questions. Mawere added that it was acceptable
in African culture to invite people for a meeting without necessarily
detailing items on the agenda.
Theirs were soliloquies of fools, full
of sound bites, but literally saying nothing new. The 60 year old Makone
further incensed everyone when she claimed that one Zimbabwe student got her
ID card within five minutes. Such claims are even too preposterous to merit
even as a passing sneer, because after paying the R150 charged for an ID,
applicants have to wait for a week for the Consulate to verify first that
money was deposited in Zimbabwe government’s account.
understands that Makone is MDC-T’s funny woman. She is not a new comer to
controversy and has always attracted stinging headlines for wrong reasons.
Surprisingly, the MDC Chairlady enjoys the confidence of her boss Morgan
Tsvangirai. The Harvest House woman is powerful. She has power and knows how
to flaunt it. Ask, the suspended MDC Director General Toendepi Shonhe. Check
this with Hon. Lucia Mativenga. Nee Chigariro doesn’t seem to have learnt
anything from her Diploma in Leadership Management which she acquired at
Waco University in Texas. There is nothing ministerial or managerial in all
her escapades, except clear arrogant displays of power, opulence and
When asked to right her wrongs, she has always defended
herself saying she can’t make everyone happy.
She nearly split MDC-T
for the second time after taking on the much fancied and respected former
National Chairlady, Lucia Mativenga from the left. She snatched the post
from her under opaque circumstances that dented the credibility of her
Master, who is a close ally of her equally powerful husband, Ian Makone. The
two occupy the epi-centre of Tsvangirai’s feared, powerful and hated kitchen
She threw the MDC moral compass into turmoil, when she
accompanied Zanu PF Pharisee, Dydimus Mutasa, to Mbare police station,
scavenging for his son Martin.
Her first priority was Mutasa, simply
because his wife, a nurse helped her to look after her baby, Taneta, who she
delivered in 1976 in UK. Out of the hundreds of activists such as Farai
Maguwu who faced what rights groups described as political persecution,
Makone elected to start her new job by muscling in to rescue the freedom of
Mutasa’s son, Martin, who was arrested together with Zanu PF member and
businessman Themba Mliswa on a fraud charge.
opinion about Theresa is that there is nothing spectacular about the Mukwati
Building bound mother of two except that Zimbabweans took her more serious
than what she deserves. end..
The President of the Zimbabwe National Students Union
(ZINASU), Obert Masaraure, has expressed his disappointment with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for pulling out of a planned tour of the
University of Zimbabwe.
The students are reeling from a myriad of
problems that include exorbitant tuition fees and an accommodation crisis
caused by the closure of halls of residence in 2006. Masaraure says they
were looking forward to the PM’s visit, because for the first time ever
someone high up in government was going to witness their challenges first
Tsvangirai was meant to visit the campus on Thursday but allegedly
pulled out because the ZANU PF Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, told
him there were exams on campus and the PM’s visit would be inappropriate. A
furious Masaraure however said they were no such exams and the PM was
showing a lack of fighting spirit in simply accepting such dishonest
‘We know ZANU PF is in election mode and these are
political games,’ Masaraure said. He said they were angry with the PM’s
office for choosing to listen to the minister instead of them. Tsvangirai’s
office has ‘simply told us that this is a government position and that the
PM cannot tour if the relevant minister has told him to
Meanwhile over 500 riot police were deployed at the UZ on Thursday,
according to Masaraure. Only students who have paid their tuition fees and
have ID cards are being allowed in. He said almost three quarters of the
students would fail to write exams set for the 13th December this year.
Authorities are anticipating student protests and deployed the police all
over campus as a deterrent.
We have been reliably informed that the
body of Moses Chokuda, a Gokwe villager who died over 2 years ago under
suspicious circumstances, has still not been buried and is lying at the
mortuary in Gokwe South.
Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme talked to
families from the ‘Senga’ area in Gokwe South about the case and discovered
that Chokuda was allegedly murdered by Farai Machaya, son of the Midlands
Governor Jason Machaya. Chokuda had been accused of being an MDC
The police never pursued the case by way of investigation and
the Chokuda family refused to bury their son until the Governor paid 50 head
of cattle as compensation.
Saungweme said Governor Machaya’s family
has refused to pay the ‘damages’, as they are known traditionally, claiming
that Farai is not guilty of the murder.
“It is amazing that the body
has not decomposed yet after 2 years, given that there has been lots of load
shedding and power cuts in this area,” said our
Saungweme said that the police had tried to use prisoners
to bury Moses Chokuda as a pauper. But for some unknown reason they failed
to lift the coffin into a vehicle. The case is also still unresolved because
the police officer who first attended the scene of the murder was declared
mentally unstable by a doctor.
Saungweme said Chokuda was killed in a
pub full of people during the day and it is largely believed that no other
witnesses have come forward due to political interference. The corpse
continues to lie at the mortuary in Gokwe South and there seems to be no
solution in sight.
Zimbabwe's prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai can
be forgiven for being an angry man. Not only has Robert Mugabe failed to
implement the agreement that created Zimbabwe's unity government between
Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC, the cables unleashed on WikiLeaks in
recent days have revealed just what one of his key allies thinks of the prime
minister. The country is abuzz with details of what America's former ambassador to Zimbabwe thinks of
Tsvangirai. It is of course the view of
one man, Christopher Dell, but to many, the US has spoken. As Thursday's
Guardian editorial put it: "The cables were written by Americans, to be
read by Americans and they form the undigested raw material of American
And what the US had to say about Tsvangirai is
so raw as to be downright unflattering. Tsvangirai, according to Dell, is "a
flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable
judgment". He is, Dell wrote, "an indispensable element for opposition success …
but possibly an albatross around their necks once in power. In short … Zimbabwe
needs him, but should not rely on his executive abilities to lead the country's
The Guardian pointed out that many of the
diplomats' cables are "are consistently well-informed, well-sourced and
well-judged". Tsvangirai's spokesman issued a bellicose response: Dell's
assessment of Tsvangirai, he said, was contrary to the views of the increasing number of
Zimbabweans who have been supporting him
since 1999. But this is beside the point. The reality is that Tsvangirai has
always been a protest choice, and not a real one. Given the choice between him
and Mugabe, most voters would choose, and have chosen him. But this is not to
say that he is by any means the best possible leader for Zimbabwe.
Dell's thinking chimes with what many in
Tsvangirai's MDC and outside it have been whispering. There is no question at
all that Tsvangirai is a brave man, a decent human being, and from all accounts,
a likable one. But his actions as MDC leader have also revealed him to be all
the things that Dell has said.
Tsvangirai encapsulates the dilemma of the
revolution donated from abroad: for the west, he raises the question of what to
do about a pro-democracy leader who is not all that he should be, but represents
the best alternative to the regimeit is fighting. Dell compared him to Lech
Walesa, but he is more like Hamid Karzai. Like the Afghan leader, he is a deeply
flawed man whose success is nonetheless essential to the interests of the US and
its allies, and who, flawed as he is, still offers a better alternative to the
regime he is fighting.
But the strategy of uncritically supporting the
lesser of two evils has been to the detriment of politics in Zimbabwe, and
indeed, to its democratic development. Tsvangirai may be a lesser evil, but
there is still much about him that causes discomfort. Supporting him has led to
multiple contradictions and hypocrisies, both for the people of Zimbabwe and the
MDC's western allies. So while Mugabe is castigated for hanging on to power, and
refusing to let democratic processes take place both within his party and the
country, Tsvangirai, who intends to stay on as MDC president beyond the
constitutional limits imposed by his party's constitution, is considered
essential to democracy. In effect, undemocratic means are used to advance
supposedly democratic outcomes. And in pushing and supporting a man who as
patently flawed as Tsvangirai, they may effectively be creating a
Dell also zoomed in on Tsvangirai's apparent
aversion to ideas outside his small narrow circle. Rumours abounded that he
wanted to sack Tendai Biti, the
finance minister who has proved to be one of the leading lights in cabinet, and
who, interestingly, was lauded by Dell as one of only two quality leaders in the
MDC. This, in the context of the elevation of the patently unqualified Theresa
Makone to the high profile home affairs portfolio was a shocking development. A
flamboyant businesswoman who started life as a beauty therapist, Makone and her
equally wealthy husband are said to control party appointments in a way that
many consider damaging to the party.
Dell's reflections are therefore an important
trigger for a discussion of Tsvangirai and his style of leadership. The MDC has
largely escaped scrutiny, as, for that matter, have other actors opposed to
Mugabe. The thinking behind this lack of scrutiny is that those opposed to
Mugabe must be in the right. But Mugabe himself is the best example of a
revolutionary motivated by idealism who soon found himself opposed to everything
that he had stood for. Dell's cables are thus important to an examination of the
MDC. But considering the bellicose response to Dell from Tsvangirai and his
party, this may ultimately prove to be a vain hope.