Bulawayo, December 06,2010 - Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the
smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-M) faction led by Arthur
Mutambara said his party will not join hands with anyone in the 2011
Ncube said rallying behind Simba Makoni during 2008 presidential elections
was a "big mistake".
In the past recent months there have been reports of MDC-M and Dumiso
Dabengwa’s revived ZAPU forming a united coalition to enter elections.
However speaking to journalists in Bulawayo during the weekend, Ncube who is
reportedly eyeing MDC-M’s presidency said his party is not going to enter
into a coalition with any party.
“We are not going to support anyone other than ourselves. Supporting Simba
Makoni in presidential elections was a big mistake. Come elections next year
we are fielding our own candidate, will not support anyone,” said Ncube.
Ncube also said his party leadership held a post term after 2008 elections
and resolved not to support any external candidate.
Ncube’s sentiments came at a time when the MDC- M has experienced group
resignations by disgruntled members exasperated by the leadership wrangles
between him and party President Mutambara. Most of those who are resigning
are joining the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
In the month of November alone more than 20 MDC- M Ward councillors from
Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and North provinces dumped Ncube’s party and
joined the mainstream MDC.
By Thelma Chikwanha
Monday, 06 December 2010 17:45
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) says the country should
hold the Presidential election next year because it is the only plebiscite
that did not produce an outright winner in 2008.
“The country is ill-prepared to host another harmonised election. An
election of such magnitude requires heavy financial resources and all the
other necessary ground work such as having a credible voters roll,” ZCTU
President, Lovemore Matombo, told journalists at the Quill Club on Friday.
“Members of parliament from across the political divide are making
representations and rightly so. They will have to be paid off for the cut in
terms of their term of office.
“SADC as a guarantor to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) should
supervise the elections and the African Union (AU) and civil society should
monitor the elections,” said Matombo.
The labour movement boss said it was critical that the civic society and
other pro-democracy groups demand a free and fair election that would
produce an undisputed outcome.
He said the ZCTU would not recognise a party that wins the elections through
use of violence and coercion of voters.
Matombo’s call for a conducive electoral environment resonates with the
civic society organisations that have embarked on a regional offensive to
pressure SADC leaders to monitor and supervise the elections.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a grouping of civic society organisations
wants the regional body to lean on the local leadership to come up with a
clear roadmap for elections which must include a new constitution, a clean
voters roll, delimitation and electoral reforms.
Last week, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office and
co-chairperson on National Healing and Reconciliation Sekai Holland said
that it is every Zimbabwean’s right to demand the postponement of elections
if they feel that conditions are not conducive for holding free and fair
The country’s last elections in 2008 failed to produce an outright winner
and forced a presidential run off from which Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai pulled out citing violence against his supporters.
Mugabe went ahead with runoff and declared himself a winner in an election
widely condemned as a sham. This forced the SADC to push for a power
sharing deal which brought the inclusive government.
December 06, 2010 - Several think tank analysts have recommended that the
international community take a “tough and quiet” approach against President
Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF), according to a latest report by Wikileaks.
According to a document called Africa:US Versus UK Priorities, London Think
Tanks Comment published on a new Wikileaks website, Zimbabwe should and will
remain a top priority for the UK.
The original Wikileaks website was closed after the controversial leaks of
the classified documents and its founder, Julian Assange, has been described
as a "high tech terrorist" and is now being hunted by police on sex crime
However, it noted that President Mugabe's history of bombastic statements
had only served to solidify his status as a colonial liberation leader.
"From a strategic perspective, these analysts termed the United State's
focus on Zimbabwe as “surprising” because Zimbabwe was not a threat, but
largely a contained crisis. They said that Zimbabwe’s crisis should be
treated as a regional issue, not an international one, and that the US
government should not sacrifice it’s relations with South Africa, the more
strategic partner, over Zimbabwe, even if the political events in Zimbabwe
run contrary to the US government's democracy agenda."
They asserted that the international community’s concern about Zimbabwe
being a regional destabiliser was largely unfounded, as most of the Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC) - especially South Africa - “can take
care of themselves.”
Wikileaks has been releasing classified United States diplomatic cables sent
to and from US embassies in countries throughout the world. These cables
include orders sent out from the Department of State, embassy reporting
about the local governments and details of US government activities in each
It has published 251,287 cables, originating from 274 embassies and dating
from 28th December 1966 to 28th February 2010. Of this total, 15, 652 of the
cables were marked Secret, 101,748 Confidential and 133,887 Unclassified,
although even the 'unclassified' documents contain sensitive information.
It said in its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that the motives for
releasing these documents were based on the US founding father James Madison
who famously said: "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a people who
mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which
"This basic philosophy of the American revolution inspires all our work," it
The cables appear to be the single most significant historical archive ever
released and affect basic and heartfelt issues all over the world;
geopolitics and democracy; human rights and the rule of law; national
resources and global trade.
US authorities have said the release may put people at risk.
Wikileaks said it had a four-year publishing history during which it had
released documents pertaining to over 100 countries. There was no report,
including from the US Government, of any of their releases ever having
caused harm to any individual.
It said as part of its review process, it requested the US State Department,
which had claimed to have conducted an extensive review of the material of
its own over the last few months, to provide the titles of the cables which
they should look at with extra care.
It said the State Department refused to provide that information, or
negotiate any other arrangement, suggesting that its desire to cover up at
all costs eclipses its bona fide desire to minimise potential harm.
The State Department gave its side of the correspondence to the New York
Times and elsewhere at the same time.
Instead of publishing the documents all at once, the organisation will be
releasing the embassy files in stages over the next few months.
"The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the
geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this
"We owe it to the people who entrusted us with the documents to ensure that
there is time for them to be written about, commented on and discussed
widely in public, something that is impossible if hundreds of thousands of
documents are released at once. We will therefore be releasing the documents
gradually over the coming weeks and months."
Wikileaks is staging the release of the embassy cables in order to maximise
the impact of their release and do justice to the source material. A later
phase of this release will involve working with partners in a far wider
selection of countries to ensure each country gets to see the real workings
of its government's relations with the USA.
It said it protected its sources. "We will not publicly comment on the
source of any of our releases, how the information was obtained, or on the
security measures used to protect sources identities. Our submission systems
are secure and anonymised."
The US embassy cables cover serious issues for every country in the world
with a US diplomatic presence.
"As far as knowledge about what is truly going on in the world can influence
our decisions, this material must result in political change and reform," it
"One newspaper has alleged the cables might destabilise the Middle East.
These cables, by giving the players an unvarnished description of how they
are seen, there will be a common ground on which to effectively negotiate
peace and stability. We do not see this as a risk of destabilisation, but an
opportunity for stabilisation and reform in the Middle East.
Masvingo, December 06, 2010 - Zanu (PF) party wings at the weekend
threatened violence ahead of elections which may be held in 2011.
"We are ready for a repeat of 2008...This country came by blood, and it has
to go by blood, not by the ballot," said Shylet Uyoyo, the provincial
women's league chair, amid applause from the audience who were attending the
party's provincial conference here.
This comes after President Robert Mugabe told a state-owned weekly paper on
Sunday that he was not happy to share power with the leader of the
mainstream Movement for Democratic Change and Prime Minister in the
inclusive government, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The party's youth league, whose provincial chairman only identified as
Mubayiwa came to the front singing, "Zvikaramba tinoita zva June" meaning if
we fail to win the people's minds we will unleash the violence similar to
the one in June 2008.
"As youths, we are determined, we are prepared to make people understand
that this country was liberated by Zanu (PF) and it is only Zanu (PF) that
has the right to continue ruling it.
Opposition parties should just kiss goodbye to the throne," he warned.
War veterans, used as cannon fodder by Mugabe in every election, also
repeated the same sentiments, before breaking into a song, "Ndiani anenharo
timuone isu maTalibani" meaning we are Talibans, we want to see those who
Khaya Moyo, who was in the presence of Information minister Webster Shamu
and Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge who are all politburo members,
Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, and senators from Masvingo, did not
respond to the violence plea from the bloody-thirsty party members.
"As a party, we have never sat down to discuss how to lose an election. We
know we are going to win, and we will cross the bridge when we come to it,"
He however admitted that Tsvangirai, who gave Mugabe's first official defeat
in March 2008, had shocked the party.
"There was near disaster in the last elections. Next year, we need to avoid
that, everyone must go and vote. We know why it was like that, but we are
now saying, there will not be any imposition of candidates," he said.
A News Day journalist, Tatenda Chitagu, in Masvingo was severely assaulted
when he went to cover the conference on Sunday.
Masvingo, December 06, 2010 - News Day correspondent for Masvingo province
Tatenda Chitagu was on Sunday severely assaulted by Zanu (PF) thugs here
when he was covering the party's provincial conference.
Chitagu, was beaten at a conference of the party attended by national
chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo and Information Minister Webster Shamu.
The journalist had wanted to cover the conference held at the Masvingo Poly
College and also attended by journalists from state-owned media. However, he
was surprised to see party youth approaching him and he was later asked to
leave the venue. Before he walked out of the gate, youth who were in a
Toyota Hilux followed him and assaulted him before confiscating his
notebooks, pens and camera.
They accused Chitagu of trespassing saying the meeting was only supposed to
be covered by journalists from state media.
“I did not know that it was a crime to cover their conference. I saw them
following me and I tried to run away but I could not outpace them, they were
using a car,” said Chitagu. "I am worried and scared. I do not know what
these people might do to me later. They might come later and beat me up
again,” he told Radio VOP.
RadioVOP was later informed by impeccable sources within Zanu PF Chitagu's
attack was directed by a party's politburo member in the province.
The politburo member did not want anyone from NewsDay or private media to
attend. "He is not happy with the articles written about him grabbing Bikita
Minerals and the power struggles in the province,” said the source.
Moyo, who was the guest of honour at the conference told party supporters
from all over the province that independent media was a major stumbling
block to the party.
“People like Zanu (PF) but our major challenge is the independent media. Our
people are made to believe negative reports they read about us in the
private media and if we are to enter in any election as we want, then we
should come up with a solution to this problem,” Moyo said.
By Alex Bell
06 December 2010
A Harare court has been approached to prevent the government’s mining
corporation from selling Chiadzwa diamonds, mined controversially by the
Canadile mining group.
Canadile has been at the centre of corruption allegations that are believed
to be just the tip of the iceberg of illegalities in Zimbabwe’s diamond
industry. The company was a joint venture between the state owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and the South African Core Mining
group. But the ZMDC now has 100% control, after Core Mining was blacklisted
over claims that it acquired its Chiadzwa mining concession under fraudulent
But Core Mining is now fighting back and has made an urgent court bid in an
attempt to stop the sale of all diamonds mined by Canadile. Core Mining said
in an open letter that the ZMDC, “made a series of unilateral moves by
taking over the effective running of the Canadile mining operations,
excluding Canadile management from daily operations and control, blocking
access of Core Mining shareholders to the country and by appropriating the
entire diamond stock of Canadile Miners.”
The Johannesburg-based company said that it received repeated evidence that
prospective diamond buyers have been approached with specific offers for
Canadile diamonds. This is despite no clear agreement on Zimbabwe’s trade
future, with the trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), still
discussing whether or not to allow full Zimbabwean diamond exports. Zimbabwe
was barred from international trade because of human rights abuses at
The Mines Ministry insists that these abuses have stopped and have been
demanding that the KP gives it the green light to sell the stones. But there
are ongoing reports of forced labour and widespread smuggling at Chiadzwa,
and the KP has expressed doubt about allowing the stones back into legal
trade. The Mines Ministry in return has threatened to sell the stones
without KP approval, and last month an auction was held, in direct
contravention of the KP.
Core Mining has now issued “a formal warning to all relevant parties in the
diamond sector to exercise maximum caution on the provenance of (Chiadzwa)
diamonds, as Core Mining will exercise its full rights by any means possible
on any Canadile Miners’ diamonds commercialized or misappropriated at this
Six ZMDC and Canadile executives were arrested in November for allegedly
making false investment claims to obtain their diamond mining license. It is
understood that the attack on Canadile is aimed at letting the government
take full control on the diamonds, with top ZANU PF officials being
implicated as the leaders of the plunder of Chiadzwa.
By Chengetai Zvauya
Monday, 06 December 2010 17:00
HARARE - Zanu PF has laughed off claims by business executives that the
party has demanded money from companies that wish to interact with Vice
President Joice Mujuru during an economic indaba to be held in Harare this
The party is holding a business meeting with executives at the plush
Celebration Centre where it intends to discuss ‘business’ with interested
Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo brushed aside claims that his party had
demanded US$200 each from companies that were sent invitations to
participate at the meeting.
“We are not forcing them to make the payment, it is out of their own liking
for those who have accepted to come and meet the Vice-President at the
business conference being hosted by our party,” said Gumbo.
He said a registration fee of US$200 is meant for lunch and snacks and does
not in any way translate to extortion.
But business executives maintained that Zanu PF had sent invitation letters
accompanied by instructions of donations to the conference.
“Each corporate is being asked to bring in three executives with the payment
of the money. Failure to pay the money could have different connotations. As
business we are not comfortable with this but if you object, you will be
branded an enemy,” said one business executive who received an invitation
Zanu PF took the idea from its liberation counterparts – the Africa
National Congress Party (ANC) of South Africa who held business meetings
with business executives.
ANC demanded that they pay a token fee to participate in the dialogue with
the country's leadership.
Last week, Mujuru met up with another group of executives under a forum
organised by Ernst & Young where she was told that the business community
did not want the country to conduct national elections next year.
The executives said that elections would negate the economic gains that have
been made under the inclusive government. Critics, however, view the timing
and subsequent invitations to business by Zanu PF as a divisive and
In the past, President Robert Mugabe has accused some business executives of
funding the opposition to unseat his government.
By Reagan Mashavave
Monday, 06 December 2010 17:40
HARARE - Alpha Media Holdings Group Editor -in -Chief, Vincent Kahiya and
Zimbabwe Independent editor, Constantine Chimakure, who are facing charges
of publishing statements prejudicial to the state have been further remanded
out of custody to March 14 next year.
Kahiya and Chimakure appeared at the magistrate’s court Monday to answer
charges stemming from a story the Zimbabwe Independent carried which named
state security agents and police in the abduction of uman rights activist,
Jestina Mukoko and MDC activists last year.
The two senior journalists have appealed to the Supreme court against the
charges and are challenging the infringements of their rights. Chris Mhike,
who is representing the two, said he will apply for refusal of further
remand when his clients appear in court in March.
Mhike complained to the magistrate about delays that his clients have faced
each time they appear in court.
It took three hours for Kahiya and Chimakure to appear in court on Monday
leaving Mhike with no option but to suggest that his clients are being
persecuted for being journalists.
"I made it clear to the magistrate that we are particularly concerned with
the sort of delays that we face each time that we come to the court. We
believe that they are being subjected to this treatment because they are
members of the media," Mhike said.
"As you know in recent months members of the of the media have been
subjected to untold harassment, unprecedented levels of arrest and other
forms of harassment by the arms of the state agencies, the police and other
members of the state machinery."
Several journalists have been arrested in the country in the last two years
on various charges.
Last week police arrested and detained Standard newspaper editor, Nevanji
Madanhire over a story published in the weekly which alleged that police
were recruiting war veterans to take senior positions in the force in next
Madanhire was arrested days after the release of his reporter, Nqobani
Ndlovu, who wrote the police story. Ndlovu spent nine days in detention
before the High court ordered his release.
He has appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the infringements of his
rights under the charges which are similar to Kahiya and Chimakure.
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg 06 December 2010
Nearly two years into Zimbabwe's government of national unity, the country's
economy is plagued by a declining industrial sector and continuing job
losses. There is little foreign investment and little hope for financial
The International Monetary Fund said last week that while it continued
technical assistance to Zimbabwe, the political situation remains too
unstable for the international body to grant the country financial
assistance. Without such assistance, however, the future for Zimbabwe's
economy appears bleak.
When President Robert Mugabe came to power 30 years ago, Zimbabwe
manufactured more of its own products than any other country in Africa,
including South Africa. Now, more than 50 percent of the country's factories
are closed and most of those that remain are manufacturing at 30 percent of
Zimbabwe began to slip into economic decline in 2000 when Mr. Mugabe
launched a chaotic, violent land-reform program. This became a major crisis
when the former ZANU-PF government imposed price controls in 2007, forcing
companies to sell goods below cost of production, while the central bank
printed tons of worthless Zimbabwe dollars and inflation broke world
When the government of national unity came to power in February 2009, the
Zimbabwe dollar was abandoned and the country adopted hard currencies,
primarily the U.S. dollar and the South African rand.
This brought stability to the economy, but Zimbabwe economist Rob Davies
said the manufacturing sector has little chance of recovery. "So the
manufacturing sector, particularly after that little post-dollarization
boom, post price control, are dealing with old, outdated capital equipment
and it is very difficult for them to recapitalize, it is difficult for them
to get long term loans for that."
Davies said there are even greater challenges now facing Zimbabwe and
Movement for Democratic Change finance minister Tendai Biti. "They just do
not have the scale to compete with South African or Chinese producers. So
what [finance minister] Biti inherited was a de-industrialized economy, and
it is not clear what you would do to turn this around."
Another economist, John Robertson, also is gloomy about the economy. While
he said Biti had improved tax collection since the inclusive government came
to power, there was little left over from public sector salaries to
reconstruct broken infrastructure.
Robertson said there has been some increased agricultural production in the
past year. The United Nations says Zimbabwe still needs emergency feeding,
though, for about 1.7 million people before the next harvest, which beings
in April. Robertson also said the mining and industrial sectors need
"We have not been able to raise any international loans, because we are
still so deeply in debt, and outstanding arrears are $7 billion," said
Robertson. "That is close to nearly twice our GDP, so our credit rating is
as bad as it can get, I think it is the worst in the world."
Robertson said most economic activity in Zimbabwe is the sale of imported
goods in the retail trade. "Really, the economy has not got back on its
feet. We are better than we were for reasons that are not related to
production in the country, the shops are full of goods, the goods are mostly
made in South Africa or South African suppliers, they are not made by local
factories. We are not generating jobs in the country."
The MDC controls the social ministries and the finance ministry in the unity
government and most economists say Finance Minister Biti has done the best
he can with resources limited to tax collection.
But Davies said international donors and investors want to see political
transformation and stability, and the MDC cannot achieve that without the
full cooperation of Mr. Mugabe and his ZANU-PF. "One thing you can be sure
about, you would not have that policy designed by a GNU where people are
fighting for the politics of the GNV."
Davies said, as an example, that although the MDC is in charge of the public
service within the unity government, the party would not be able reduce the
number of public servants if that was necessary to revive the economy.
"MDC is not going to do that, they would not allow him [Biti] to do that and
[ZANU-PF] is not going to do that," said Davies. "Biti inherited problems
without power. The political economy is such that he can not do a lot."
Mr. Mugabe said he is uncomfortable sharing power with the MDC, which
narrowly won the last elections in 2008. He said he wants fresh elections
early next year.
Many people fear new elections will bring a resurgence of the violence that
affected the elections in 2008, when about 180 MDC supporters were killed
and tens of thousands were injured and forced out of their homes.
Industrialists told ZANU-PF vice president Joyce Mujuru last week the
economy is too fragile for another violent election.
Posted on Monday 6 December 2010 - 13:50
Misheck Rusere, AfricaNews reporter in Harare, Zimbabwe
A Chinese firm has frozen the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)'s
locomotive order over a US$27 million debt derailing plans by the country's
sole railway operator to rejuvenate the struggling parastatal.
The grounded NRZ is currently on recovery path after close to ten
years of nose diving presumptively due to mal-administration and vandalism.
China North Railway Company (CNRC) had initially received a US$3
million deposit fee from the NRZ in the purchase of locomotives in a deal
valued at US$30 million. The CNRC then indicated that it would only make
delivery to the NRZ upon the full payment of the money.
NRZ has since appealed to the government for more than US$25 million
to go towards the payment of the outstanding amount that is frustrating
efforts to procure the desperately needed locomotives.
The NRZ currently has one functional electric locomotive out of 10 and
nearly US$274 million is required to recapitalise the parastatal, which is
also battling a massive debt overhang.
The current depleted fleet has outlived its lifespan of 25 years by
about 35 more years as it is now more than 40 years old and early this year
the World Bank advised the NRZ to shut off 80 percent of its railway track
which it deemed unserviceable.
By Irene Madongo
06 December 2010
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) are finalising plans to sue the Zimbabwe
Republic Police, after a recent Supreme Court ruling declared that they were
wrongfully imprisoned over a demonstration in 2008.
While the amount of compensation they will demand from the police cannot be
disclosed as this stage, WOZA says the amount they are asking for will be
On Monday WOZA’s Jenni Williams told SW Radio Africa that: “The thing we can
do now that we have received this ruling is to sue the police for wrongful
arrest and to sue for damages, and that in itself will act as an important
deterrent factor. We are just waiting for an opinion now on how this
challenge will look and what damages we will be claiming.”
In October 2008, WOZA leaders Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were arrested
at the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex in Bulawayo, after a peaceful
protest demanding that all Zimbabweans be provided with access to
humanitarian aid. At that time there was widespread starvation and no food
on the shelves and government had banned humanitarian aid.
The two were charged under Section 37 of the Criminal Law Codification and
Reform Act for disturbing the peace, and sent to Mlondolozi Prison where
they were held for three weeks. A successful High Court appeal granted them
their freedom and WOZA then challenged their arrest and detention.
Finally, on 26th November 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the two women’s
arrest and detention was wrong and that they had had their rights and
freedoms violated. The Court also ruled that the state had failed to protect
the activists from this abuse.
“The Supreme Court ruling did not capture the fact that we were detained in
prison, denied bail and detained for over three weeks, so it’s important to
set the record straight and take this challenge. We suffered extreme mental
anguish and trauma in the three weeks at Mlondolozi Prison, so I think it
will be a considerable case on behalf of myself and Mahlangu,” Williams
Written by Lionel Saungweme
Monday, 06 December 2010 18:39
I publish here a whole speech by Jenni Williams (pictured) of Women of
Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). Her comments made on November 25, at a Small City
Hall meeting convened by Bulawayo Agenda. The theme for discussion was, “GNU
at Crossroads,” an exciting topic which lined up three other speakers. These
were lawyer, Kucaca Phulu, academic, Dr. Lawton Hikwa and activist, Effie
Thank you very much, good evening everybody. I am glad to be with you this
evening and to share with you some of the perspectives that we have in WOZA,
as regards the GNU. Is it at the cross roads? Or is it dead? Should we be
talking about which burial society we should be using? Should we be talking
about bringing relatives and supporters? I am not sure whether we should be
starting to look at that. But I think for me to conceptualise my
perspective, I would want to first ask, is there any member of Zanu-PF here?
Please can they identify themselves to me? Is there any one here from
Zanu-PF? Sorry maybe I can’t see. Ok, there’s nobody here from Zanu-PF. I
won’t ask any other political party because it seems you are already not
interested in identifying yourselves to me.
Ok! First of all I would like us to just look at this political party that
is called Zanu-PF. What are the strategies of this political party? How does
it work? How can you find way to work with it to maneuver around it? First
of all hear we hear many times, and I hear some of my colleagues saying
Zanu-PF is dead and buried. They have no support. But if one takes their
time, liye emakhoneni, liyedhobha dhobha, ukuthi kuthwani emakhoneni (to
listen to the grapevine), what is Zanu-PF doing? How is it doing? You will
find there is a very sophisticated mobilisation strategy that has already
started some months ago. You will find that already there is a process of
telling people that when you vote we have serial numbers. We know who will
vote, how you will vote. You will find that they already have structures in
their communities. They know who is doing what, how they are doing it. They
are already extremely advanced. Even if an election were to be called within
sixty days or ninety days they would be very relaxed at how they would now
approach that. If you also look at the performance of Zanu-PF in the
Government and I know some of these tricks, Mugabe never wanted to admit it
but, they learnt these tricks from Ian Smith. And recently I had a friend
who was advising me on some research that she was doing. In the early
eighties a lot of the NGOs that were there, were being infiltrated by these
new comrades, these new ministers, these new political commissars. And this
strategy of infiltrating these NGOs, where you have a head, and in those
instances quite often that head or that person was still a very light
skinned person. What they would do is they would come and make sure they
infiltrate. They would be a Permanent Secretary who would be from the party.
They would connect this one. They would connect that one, and very soon that
person will be a mere figurehead there just to make sure they fundraise, and
get funding and programmes for their organisation. But that person would be
totally hemmed in by ZANU people, who would technically make the decisions,
before the head even has an opportunity. Or if the head thinks they have
made a decision, that decision would be completely undermined. And this is
the strategy that Zanu-PF began when they took power in the early eighties.
And it’s a strategy that they have used to completely emasculate the MDCs
who are in Government with it. It’s called HEMMING IN. People are hemmed in.
Dear beloved Gordon Moyo, how is he going to make decisions, when he is not
an implementer? He is a policy maker. Dear Morgan Tsvangirai, how is he
going to be an implementer unless he has a whole team of implementers who
will go and implement with him, which means he will not be hemmed in. And I
can go on and list. And there are many examples, which if you want to take a
very candid look you will see. So for me we will try to debate on whether he
is at crossroads or whether we should be calling it a burial society. But
for me the major issue is … can anyone ever work ever with Zanu-PF? And who
would that person be? Number one, you would only be able to work if you are
capable of understanding sophisticated mobilisation strategy. …We don’t seem
to have those skills and we don’t want to learn those skills in civic
society and even unfortunately in the MDC itself. The structures are a mess
and honestly the embarrassment that we could have suffered this week,
looking at some of the very senior people in the MDC what they have been
doing and where they are spending their energy, is something unfortunate
(Apparent reference to the recent MDC Director General, Toendepi Shonhe’s
alleged sex scandal). But I will also make the other point that in that
location, in that highly sophisticated politics of Zanu-PF and the
unfortunate challenges and lack of policing of the opportunities of the MDC,
where do we fit as the people of this country? And I am in very polite
company but those of you in the privacy of your home, when you go home
tonight take a piece of paper and write down the word election. And instead
of the L, just get the R and put it there. And then you will see the
unfortunate thing that we have been having in Zimbabwe. And because we are
having that thing, it does not result in any meaningful change for us as
ordinary citizens, because it is not something about you and me. It’s
something about someone’s by himself and their body part and perhaps someone
would be observing the processes of that body part. So what is very
important for us is to decide, do we want to be spectators in those
processes? Or do we want to take that R and make it an L where we can be
relevant and not feel someone is being rude in front of us? How are we to do
that is by trying to push and the MDC and the other opposition forces can
not do this alone. If we continue to legitimise the processes, we are
legitimising Zanu-PF, and we are making them remain in power. The other
thing that I want to mention is quite often as we are debating this issue,
we really should be debating and I would challenge Bulawayo Agenda. Let us
have a frank talk about Zanu-PF succession processes, because actually the
reason for this election that is coming is not necessarily about you and …
me. It is about someone who is now becoming very old. And because he is
becoming very old, he is becoming a problem to see how to market him. And he
is also becoming a very grave difficulty that God himself may find that we
are not able to decide our own future and will want him to intervene and
just put us out of our misery, and recruit Robert Mugabe to where ever in
the skies that he should go. And so that is the current problem that we are
facing is how do we make the opportunity of the age of Our Dear Leader an
opportunity for you and me, not an opportunity for the people who will want
to be the next Robert Mugabes in Zimbabwe. The way that we can do that, is
first and foremost by demanding that we have a referendum. We are very
concerned that you might find at the Zanu-PF Congress in early December,
Mugabe from that platform as Secretary, is it First Secretary of the Party,
I never forget because there (are) too many titles, I end up losing track of
which is which. But anyway when he is on that podium at the Zanu-PF
Congress, you might find him firing the GNU from that platform. And if he
does that, we already know that within ninety days we will now have an
election process. And if I am proven correct and I hope please, if you see
me in the street and he didn’t do that please come and tell me, “You were
wrong.” I will be very happy to hear that I was wrong. But if that happens,
(those) are the signals for you to realise that I was telling you that this
is an issue about the Dear Old Leader and not about you and me. But even so
remember the Chinese or is it the Japanese word for crisis is also the same
word for opportunity. And I think the challenge that we have as Zimbabweans
is to take back this power, to take back the processes, make sure we have a
referendum once you have the referendum, legitimise the elections, in large
numbers so that the opportunity for them to rig is much less. But if we can
get to that stage we need to be able to make incremental improvements to the
democracy of this country. And what must remain our purpose as people is how
we can make those small baby steps towards democratising our country and
moving out from the worst and making an election the thing that we have in
society. I think those are the major issues that I wanted to mention.
I think it’s unfortunate that we should be talking about healing because
most of us are beginning to be very fearful. I know I spent the run-off
period drinking the water at Chikurubi Prison and then shortly after I
tasted the water at Khami Mlondolozi. I don’t want to be tasting any more
prison water in this next period. But there is a definite way (that they
will ensure fear will work). And I want us to realise this sophisticated
party called Zanu-PF will also want to use your own brains against you. And
there are many times that you will imagine the absolute worst. You will kill
yourself many times long before someone else has killed you, because you
will be thinking the worst. And in this sophisticated machinery that Zanu-PF
with their Chinese advisors, we have to realise that we can not make our
minds, our imaginations, party to Zanu-PF’s terror campaign. And I am
pleased to have used this platform to just plead with you, see how you will
manage. Don’t spread rumours, let us face this next 2011 with determination
and confidence because we must take back the power. Someone is getting very
old and may God intervene. Thank you!
By Alex Bell
06 December 2010
Zimbabwe’s Consular General has insisted that South Africa will not resume
deportations of Zimbabweans in the New Year, in a bid to dispel growing
fears that mass deportations are on the cards.
Fear of deportation is rife among South Africa’s community of undocumented
Zimbabweans, as the deadline to get legal permits to remain in the country
comes to an end in just a few weeks. Authorities have insisted that the
December 31st deadline will not be extended, despite only 40 000
applications having been successfully completed. It’s understood up to two
million Zimbabweans are without proper documents, and it is clear that
hundreds of thousands of people will not get permits in time.
The South African government announced earlier this year that it was ending
its moratorium on Zimbabwean deportations, and set the December deadline for
people to regularise their stay in the country. But the process has been
hampered by corruption and confusion, and rights groups have urged the
authorities to extend the deadline into next year.
However, Zimbabwe’s Consular-General in South Africa, Chris Mapanga, has now
said that the deadline does not mean people would be “forced out.”
“Every Zimbabwean should be registered with our embassy here and should
acquire proper documents such as passports, work and study permits by
December 31, but the South Africans have not mentioned any deportation of
people,” said Mapanga.
“No Zimbabwean will be immediately deported after December 31st as the
regularisation of documentation is an on-going process,” he added.
South Africa’s Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa declined an
interview with SW Radio Africa on Monday, saying “we are not speaking about
what will happen until the deadline is past.” He said the department is
encouraging people to get their documents in order “and we don’t want to
discourage anyone from applying for permits.” Mamoepa is however quoted by
other media has saying that Zimbabweans who do not make the deadline “will
face immigration laws – this means we will arrest.”
South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has insisted
that the deadline will not be extended, but said that anybody who had not
attempted to get their documents when the deadline passed would still be
helped. She said that anyone “in the system” would be assisted but no new
applications would be accepted after the deadline.
But Gabriel Shumba from the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum told SW Radio Africa on
Monday that he believes deportations will happen, saying there is a
“sinister political motive” in play. He said there was no system in place to
show that thousands of people are trying to get their paperwork in order,
explaining that people are still queuing for days at a time, with no
“This deadline is going to have a backlash from the South African
communities and it’s already happening. Already the police are arresting
Zimbabweans saying they will be deported,” Shumba said.
Shumba also expressed frustration that there has been no effective
communication from the authorities, to the Zimbabwean community about what
is going to happen when the deadline runs out. He said that civil society
groups have been left with the mammoth task of informing the hundreds of
thousands of people trying to sort out their papers.
“So it’s chaos. People aren’t being told anything. No one knows what is
going to happen after the deadline,” Shumba said.
By Ray Mungoshi*
CAPE TOWN, Dec 6, 2010 (IPS) - Since arriving in Cape Town five years ago,
Erina Manyene (not her real name) has eked out a meagre living picking up
shifts doing laundry and cleaning other people’s homes in the city’s leafy
Manyene (28) left her young son, then only seven months old, in the care of
her common law husband in her native Zimbabwe, crossed the
crocodile-infested Limpopo River and crawled under thick layers of barbed
wire to enter South Africa at an unauthorised crossing point.
"There has been a reversal of roles since the Zimbabwean crisis started.
Because the type of work available in foreign countries is more suited to
women, husbands are remaining behind to take care of the children while we
venture out," said Erina, a former school teacher in Harare.
International aid agencies estimate that between one and three million
Zimbabweans have fled the country in the last decade to escape political
repression and spreading poverty.
Many of the reluctant migrants are highly trained professionals – teachers,
lawyers, journalists, engineers, doctors and nurses –forced to downsize
their trades in their adopted countries to cobble together a frugal life on
the fringes of South Africa’s main economy.
An escape from poverty?
Traditionally, domestic work provides an entry point into the South African
job market for new arrivals and is a crucial employment area for both
in-country and transnational female migrant workers. The Zimbabwean women
beef up an expanding legion of domestic workers from Lesotho, Swaziland,
Malawi and Mozambique, spread across South Africa.
Statistics South Africa indicate that 42 per cent of black women from the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) who lived in the Johannesburg
area in 2001 worked in private households, although they represented only
4.9 per cent of women working in this atypical sector in the precinct.
Their remittances contribute to shoring up ailing economies in their home
countries. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says globally,
migrant worker remittances rose from US$60 billion worldwide in 1990 to
US$328 billion in 2008, contributing over 10 per cent of gross domestic
product (GDP) in 22 countries in 2006.
World Bank figures show that $1, 2 billion was sent out of South Africa last
year, the bulk of it to surrounding countries.
On average, migrant domestic workers earn between R1200 and R2 000 (about
US$170 to US$300) a month, which they use to pay rent, buy food and send to
their families at home. Beatrice, a retired Zimbabwean police officer and
single mother of three, says she sends at least R2 000 home quarterly to pay
for her children’s education and meet their daily needs.
Many migrants in low paying jobs rely on informal channels, dubbed
omalayitsha, to send money and household goods home. "If I had not left
Zimbabwe, my children would be out of school by now because the pay I got as
an inspector was not enough to meet all our needs," said Beatrice.
Isolated and without fundamental rights
However, findings of an ongoing study being conducted by the Domestic
Workers Research Project (DWRP) at the University of the Western Cape
confirm that migrant domestic workers suffer arduous working conditions for
low wages and are often sequestered behind their employers’ high walls, cut
off from family and friends for long periods.
"The regulations that they lay down for you is not to bring anyone on the
premises. I felt sometimes like I was in a prison cell," said Hester
Stephens, president of the South African Domestic Workers and Allied Workers
While some of their South African counterparts have made notable headway
towards claiming labour rights such as minimum conditions of employment,
minimum wages and leave pay, most migrant domestic workers are denied access
to trade unions and are resigned to their situation.
"You see here in South Africa, most of the people they under rate us… In our
workplace most of the people they want to pay us low money. Maybe they will
say R50 a day, because they know us Zimbabweans we are stranded and
desperate people, and we do not have money," said a migrant domestic worker
in Cape Town.
The immigration laws relating to workers from other parts of Africa present
make it very difficult to implement policies that would ensure their
fundamental rights and dignity.
"Foreigners" may only be issued with a quota work permit if they fall within
a specific professional category; a general work permit and exceptional
skills permit if their skills are deemed beneficial to South African
Evidently, domestic workers are not eligible for the various categories of
work permits and would struggle to obtain permanent residence status, which
is earned after more than five years of continuous legal residency in South
In practice, the only basis on which non-South Africans who do not possess
the requisite "qualifications or skills and experience" can obtain the right
to work is if they qualify for refugee status, a daunting task for most
Threat of violence, deportation
Migrants also face xenophobic resistance both at work and in society at
large. They suffer silently for fear of approaching law enforcement agencies
because anti-migrant tendencies run deep within the police force and in
The world was shocked by the violence that swept the country in 2008 when
locals attacked mainly black people from other African countries. The
"makwerekwere" (foreigners), the attackers alleged, were "stealing" locals’
jobs, women, houses and were a drain on scarce resources.
Analysts attributed the violence to a number of factors but the main factor
appeared to be local leadership, either encouraging xenophobia or failing to
Following a fresh episode of xenophobic violence that flared up in October
2009 when an estimated 2,000 Zimbabwean migrant farm workers were forced out
of their shacks at De Doorns, some 140 km northeast of Cape Town by bands of
locals, an African National Congress councilor for the area was fingered for
fanning the attacks.
Isolated incidents of violence against black Africans have been reported
countrywide since the end of the football World Cup in July. The government
has vehemently refused to acknowledge that the violence was inspired by
xenophobia, arguing instead that it was the handiwork of common criminals.
This is cold comfort though to migrants like Grace Matenhese who was chased
out of her corrugated iron and board shack along with her infant child in
the dead of night at De Doorns. "Being a single mother in a foreign country
is not easy at the best of times, but it is even harder now that we have
been deprived of our livelihood."
Like the majority of aspiring African migrants seeking low-skilled work,
Matenhese failed at the first hurdle in her attempts to acquire a work
permit. Consequently, she lives under the perpetual threat of deportation,
violence and exploitation because of her status as an "illegal foreigner".
Yet these hurdles have failed to dissuade women migrants from streaming into
the country to seek work.
*Ray Mungoshi is a Research Assistant with the Domestic Workers Research
Project, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape
By Tichaona Sibanda
6 December 2010
MDC-T senators will resume normal business in the Upper House, following a
directive from the party to end their protest against the presence of ZANU
PF governors in the senate.
The senators have been protesting against the presence of provincial
governors in the House, arguing that their unilateral re-appointment by
Robert Mugabe violated provisions of the coalition pact he signed with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
The protests had forced the senate President to adjourn the house until
February 8th next year, after it had become difficult to conduct any
business. The MDC-T senators had sang and danced to disrupt proceedings, in
protest at the presence of ‘the strangers in the house.’
But Morgan Komichi, the MDC-T deputy organizing secretary, confirmed to SW
Radio Africa on Monday that Tsvangirai had instructed them to go back to
‘We received instructions from our party leader and we will abide with them.
We had taken a position as instructed by the party and our actions forced
the three principals to sit down with the SADC mediator and discuss the
‘Basically we have achieved our goal because our position has been noted by
SADC, the guarantors of the GPA,’ Komich said.
Asked if this was not a climb down by the MDC Komichi said there was no need
to disrupt senate business when the case of the governors was now before the
‘First of all we have achieved our mission, so we do not want to hold the
people of Zimbabwe to ransom like what the other party (ZANU PF) is fond of
‘Look, we are in a battle, like any good military commander, after each
battle a leader must review the situation and re-strategize. This is what
our party leader has done and we will support his decision,’ the Senator
The presence of the MDC senators will enable the Bills on the 2011 National
Budget to be passed without any hitches. As a priority, the senate will
consider the Finance and Appropriation Bills, after which they will look at
less important Bills.
They will then break for the festive season.
06 December, 2010 07:42:00
FOR Western journalists visiting Zimbabwe in the middle of the last decade,
a background chat with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell was an opportunity
not to be missed.
A veteran Foreign Service Officer with a refreshingly informal, outspoken
style, Dell could be counted on to deliver candid assessments of Robert
Mugabe’s latest skullduggery, and of the hapless efforts by Zimbabwe’s
opposition to get rid of him.
When I met him at his sprawling residence in the verdant northern suburbs of
Harare in May 2006, while reporting a New Yorker story about Mugabe, Dell
laughed as he told me of his arrest by the dictator’s thugs for trespassing
near the presidential palace in downtown Harare. He was clearly enjoying
rattling the regime. “I cannot even spell the word Dell with a ‘D’ but an ‘H’
and that is where Dell should go," Mugabe declared that year, to Dell’s
Dell was one of those rare U.S. diplomats who was nearly as frank with
reporters and in his public pronouncements as he was with his State
Department colleagues. So many of the observations in his dispatches to
Washington, released by WikiLeaks last week, have a certain degree of
familiarity to them: his grudging respect for Mugabe’s survival skills
(“give the devil his due,” he wrote, “he is more clever and more ruthless
than any other politician in Zimbabwe”), his disgust at the dictator’s
ignorance of basic economics and appetite for violence, his low opinions of
many members of the Movement for Democratic Change—the democratic
opposition—and his conviction that, with U.S. help and encouragement of the
forces arrayed against Mugabe, “the end is not far off”.
Still, it’s fascinating to read the former Ambassador’s unvarnished views
about Zimbabwe’s politics and personalities, and his predictions about the
country’s future. Much of what Dell writes here is on the money: he
appreciates MDC leader Morgan Tsvangarai’s “courage” and “star quality”
while noting his “questionable judgment in selecting those around him.”
This nuanced assessment took place just after a bitter and debilitating
split along ethnic lines of the MDC, prompted in part by the beatings of
some of Tsvangarai’s critics by his fiercely loyal youth wing. (Tensions
within the opposition party continue to undermine its effectiveness.) He
astutely dismisses the slick and superficial Arthur Mutambara, a Rhodes
Scholar, leader of the breakaway faction and Tsvangarai’s main opposition
challenger, as a “lightweight who spends too much time reading U.S. campaign
Dell saw that pressure was building on Mugabe both from the streets and from
his own ruling ZANU-PF circle, who were beginning to suffer from the effects
of Mugabe’s ruinous economic policies. He saw a range of possible
denouements looming—from a free and fair election, to a
South-African-brokered power sharing deal that would “perpetuate the status
quo,” to “a popular uprising” that, he cautioned, would likely result in “a
There are also some observations that seem off the mark. Dell was far too
trusting of South African leader Thabo Mbeki. “Mbeki appears committed to a
successful mediation and is reportedly increasingly irritated by Mugabe’s
efforts to manipulate him or blow him off altogether,” Dell wrote back in
2007. In fact, the South African president turned into Mugabe’s chief
enabler, standing by him, propping him up with money and electricity, and
turning his back on the opposition as the country spiraled into crisis.
Dell seems to have underestimated the obscene lengths to which Mugabe, or
those around him, would go to perpetuate his hold on power. The Fear, a
forthcoming book by Peter Godwin—the Rhodesia-born correspondent who has
become the most intrepid chronicler of Zimbabwe’s last decade—describes in
chilling detail the beatings, tortures, and murders that ZANU-PF mobs
inflicted on MDC supporters in the spring and summer of 2008, after
Tsvangarai defeated Mugabe in the presidential election and was subsequently
forced to compete in a run off.
Hundreds of people were murdered, thousands were assaulted, and tens of
thousands were driven from their homes in a campaign of terror so widespread
and relentless that Tsvangarai was forced to surrender his challenge (while
Mbeki blandly looked on, saying nothing). Dell may also have overlooked the
determination of Mugabe’s generals—terrified at the prospect of being hauled
to the Hague or the International Criminal Court of Justice—to subvert the
transition to an MDC government.
Four years later, Zimbabwe has, in fact, tasted all three of the scenarios
that Dell envisioned in his memos. It had a surprisingly transparent
election in March 2008—albeit one that was subsequently stolen by Mugabe. It
had a bloodbath.
And now it has the “power sharing deal” brokered by South Africa, with
Mugabe in the driver’s seat. The eighty-five-year-old dictator is arguably
as strong as ever—ZANU-PF controls the security forces, the judiciary, and
most levers of power—and the diplomatic pressure on him has eased. Dell’s
take on the Mugabe dictatorship proved to be uncannily accurate. The only
thing he really failed to see was the utter inability of his own government
to make a difference.
Joshua Hammer is a Berlin-based foreign correspondent and the author of,
most recently, A Season in Bethlehem: Unholy War in a Sacred Place (Free
Press). - The new Republic
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Dec 06 2010 08:04
Zimbabwe will host its first ever diaspora conference in the resort town of
Victoria Falls later this month, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on
The conference, expected to bring together business leaders, civic society,
politicians and Zimbabweans from around the world, will run under the theme
Engaging the Diaspora toward Zimbabwe's Economic Reconstruction and will
take place between December 16 and December 18.
This will be the first in a series of high profile meetings which will
consider ways in which the diaspora and key players within Zimbabwe can work
together to promote development.
Executive director of the Development Foundation for Zimbabwe (DFZ) Nokwazi
Moyo said the conference will explore ways in which the skills of the
diasporans can be harnessed.
"We hope to be able to strengthen Zimbabwe diaspora networks and increase
their ability to contribute towards comprehensive national recovery and
development," said Moyo.
An estimated 4,5-million Zimbabweans live outside the country, the majority
of them in South Africa.
Delegates to the conference are expected to come from Australia, Botswana,
Ethiopia, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United
They also include representatives of the country's labour movement, opinion
leaders from the key political formations of the country, religious leaders
and Zimbabwean professionals -- some of whom are considering investing in
Zimbabwe or returning home. -- Sapa
by Pamela Machakanja Monday 06 December 2010
Historical memory traces the process of reconciliation in Zimbabwe to 1980
when the then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe extended a hand of
reconciliation to the main rival political party, the Rhodesia Front, that
was involved in the war of liberation.
As such, it can be argued that the notion of reconciliation is not new to
most Zimbabweans, as the process began in 1979 with the Lancaster dialogue
between all conflicting parties writes Pamela Machakanja:
Having won the elections in April 1980, Robert Mugabe extended a hand of
reconciliation to the white settlers in exchange for positive peace and the
promise of external foreign aid to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
Since then, the process has gone forward through a number of contested
political ‘nationalist encounters’ at critical turning points, most notably
the signing of the historic Unity Agreement between the old Zanu (PF) and
PF-ZAPU into (today’s united) Zanu (PF) in December 1987, and now the Global
Power-Sharing Agreement between the Zanu (PF), the MDC-T and MDC-M.
These negotiated peace processes were couched in reconciliatory amnesty
measures. One is reminded of the Clemency Order of 1988 following the Unity
Accord of 1987, which pardoned all human rights violations committed by
political parties between 1982 and 1987.
This was followed by the 1995 presidential amnesty, which pardoned all
politically- motivated violence perpetrated during the 1995 general
elections. This set further precedent for the Clemency Order of 2000, which
pardoned politically-motivated violence and human rights violations
committed during and after the parliamentary elections of June 2000.
Those opposed to these amnesty policies argue that they are political acts
which negate the achievement of durable peace through justice. However, one
key question that arises from these peace and reconciliatory efforts is the
extent to which these amnesty policies and reconciliation processes
constitute a cumulative movement toward national cohesion, national healing
In the context of Zimbabwe, reconciliation would need to be broadly
conceptualised as a dynamic, inclusive, multi-dimensional adaptive process
aimed at rebuilding and healing society; a process of change and
redefinition of social and political relationships.
However, because reconciliation in Zimbabwe resonates with the dissolution
of conflicting identities, rule of law and the guarantee of human rights
grounded in racial divisions and political polarisation, some people are of
the view that insisting on repentance and amnesty alone would encounter
Opponents claim that amnesties encourage a culture of impunity and revenge
that undermines the rule of law.
The first question that needs to be asked is what and who needs
reconciliation and healing?
Whilst wrongdoers and victims or survivors will have different answers to
this question, this paper argues that reconciliation should aim at
addressing the most obvious human rights abuses and the root causes of the
conflict, focusing on land rights, property rights and civil and political
Arguments are that the success of any reconciliation and national healing
model would depend on the extent to which it is inclusive and consultative
of all key stakeholders at all levels of society.
Related to this question is whether reconciliation and healing are the best
ways to address the human rights abuses, or whether other means such as
legal action should rather be adopted.
One possible answer is that the choice between pursuing justice and opting
for reconciliation is not an easy one, as this depends heavily on
For example, the Zimbabwean situation where some of the people perceived to
be perpetrators of human rights violations continue to hold power or are in
strategic positions that obstruct the advancement of the envisioned
reconciliation and national healing process.
Given this situation, though deeply regrettable from a moral point of view,
restorative reconciliation may be the only realistic option. Those who
support this view argue that in such contested situations, reconciliation
processes can help society to turn the page and bring people closer together
as the justice system might not be able to deal impartially with the gross
human rights violations.
The third question is why reconciliation and healing are needed. This
requires an understanding of the underlying causes of the conflict and the
violence that manifest from it, the means used to resolve the conflict and
whether the process was viewed as political or judicial. How did people
react to these means? Were there feelings of suspicion that something was
One fundamental aspect required under this rubric is an assessment of the
conditions under which a fractured society like Zimbabwe can opt for trials
and prosecutions by a truth commission.
To answer these questions in the context of political polarisation, one is
cautiously tempted to argue for restorative justice over retributive
justice, on the basis that prosecutions of the gross human rights violations
could seriously jeopardise the fragile GPA and, most importantly, the
reconciliation and healing at individual, community and national levels.
The bipolar nature of trials that distinguishes the innocent from the guilty
makes them not only inappropriate for redressing the systemic human rights
abuses, but also controversial.
In this regard, what is of importance is ensuring the existence of an
inclusive and consultative approach which allows all segments of society to
take part in the process. Such a process should also be seen as a way of
helping people come to terms with the traumatic past.
In Zimbabwe one critical factor which comes into play when considering
issues of sovereignty and non-interference is the role of the international
community in facilitating transitional justice.
In the absence of a broad-based international involvement, the parties to
the conflict may be limited to the option of trading justice for
reconciliation and peace as a way of avoiding continued violence.
Those who support the discourse of non-interference argue that in most
cases, international actors do not speak with one voice as they have their
own interests and agenda regarding transitional justice processes.
In the case of Zimbabwe, those who oppose the involvement of the
international community in the transitional justice process argue that their
agenda is limited to regime change by undemocratic means.
There is also the view that long-lasting reconciliation and peace needs to
be home-grown in the sense that every stage of the reconciliation process
should reflect the will of those who are directly concerned with regards to
participation, decision making and the implementation of the reconciliation
and national healing project.
Whilst such questions are open to debate, past cases have shown that the
involvement of the UN or SADC has been successful in cases where social and
political spaces are constrained and world concern over the situation of
human rights violations and human security were high and persistent.
Conditions for successful reconciliation
For national healing and reconciliation to achieve the desired objective of
uniting the fractured social and political groups, certain factors must be
(1) Legislative Reform: This would ensure that the concerns of all
Zimbabweans are assuaged. The process of recommending specific services to
deal with the particular and extensive effects of trauma and grief requires
secured legislative backing through the setting up of the National Healing
and Reconciliation Commission.
The National Healing and Reconciliation Commission would have to be secured
by a bill passed through Parliament and enacted into an act of law.
Such an act would allow the commission the discretion to: establish the time
periods to be covered by the Commission’s investigations; determine the
nature of human rights abuses to be investigated; determine the social and
economic effects of the abuses including recommending preventive and health
promoting approaches, assessment, counselling, healing programmes and
(2) Political will: Raking past atrocities and human rights abuses is an
excruciating exercise. If badly managed, the exercise could backfire, and
further widen the chasm in an already politically-fractured nation.
Indeed, this fear often deters the introduction of ‘just’ reconciliation
processes where victims feel a genuine sense of satisfaction over the
claimed entitlements. Hence, the political will to promote genuine
reconciliation is paramount.
(3) Transformative and restorative justice: This is based on a theory that
emphasises healing and the transformation of harm to the wholeness of people’s
lives. Emphasis is on repairing harm caused or revealed by criminal
behaviour and is best achieved through cooperative processes that include
The fundamental principles are that justice requires that different
categories of people work to restore those who have been injured and that
those most directly involved and affected should have the opportunity to
participate fully in the response programme.
The role of government would be to preserve a just public order as well as
secure and safe social and political spaces, while the role of the community
would be to build, nurture and maintain a just peace.
Such collaborative encounters would create opportunities for
victims/survivors, offenders and community members to discuss their personal
experiences of atrocities and their impact and opportunities for meaningful
contribution in their own lives and society.
(4) Civil society engagement: A successful national healing and
reconciliation process requires meaningful engagement of civil society and
the public at large. This is because a process aimed at responding to people’s
needs must necessarily involve the people affected by the conflict,
especially at grassroots level.
In this context, civil society organisations can play a vital role in
monitoring the implementation of the reconciliation and healing processes.
In this way, their work can give greater legitimacy to the healing process,
thereby reinforcing the principle of bottom-up approaches which guarantee
sustainable and transformative peace.
(5) Consensus building: It is essential to achieve widespread agreement on
all aspects of national reconciliation. The process must be devoid of
partisanship with those favouring and opposing a formal reconciliation
process exhibiting political tolerance.
Consensus and legitimacy of the outcome of the national reconciliation
exercise will be enhanced where the government, human rights organisations
and other interest groups work together to develop the framework and other
key aspects of the national healing and reconciliation project.
(6) Truth-telling: True reconciliation cannot occur when the truths about
past wrongs are not told. Truth-telling encourages the verification of past
repressive actions and incidents by individuals and government. The process
may also challenge stories widely, but inaccurately, circulated in the
public domain as rumour.
Knowledge of the truth helps to set the record straight and creates an
environment where forgiveness may occur. As the South African Truth and
Reconciliation Commission revealed, the value of telling one’s traumatic
story to a supportive audience provided a significant sense of healing to
the survivors of apartheid.
In this sense, the right to be heard and acknowledged with respect and
empathy can contribute to a process of healing.
(7) Education for national healing and reconciliation: There is a need to
educate the general Zimbabwean community about the experiences of trauma and
grief as well as their extent and effect on women, men, children, the
elderly and the disabled.
There is also a need for re-education on how communities that have
experienced violent conflicts can coexist in peace and harmony. Educational
programmes should be linked to processes of trauma-healing and
reconciliation and should be acknowledged by the wider community, as
affirmation of a public commitment to the broader healing process agenda.
(8) Counselling for trauma and grief: The availability of counselling
services to help Zimbabwean people deal with their experiences of trauma and
grief as well as specific counselling to do with particular situations is
Examples of such situations include those that are consequent upon abduction
and disappearances, deaths in custody as well as forced separation of
children from parents and guardians. Counselling formats would need to be
specifically developed in holistic and culturally appropriate ways to deal
with longstanding, past or profound traumatic experiences.
(9) Special healing places and community intervention programmes: It is
suggested that there could be value in the development of special places of
healing such as trauma healing centres and special nature parks where people
can visit as part of the relaxation and therapeutic process.
It is proposed that people could visit and stay at such recreational places
as part of the healing process. These recreational healing places could be
developed with supportive programmes where people undertake community-based,
skills-orientated training programmes relevant to the development of their
Such promotional projects would strengthen sustainable peace by furthering
social investment and the unification of the social fabric of society. Thus,
peace through community reconciliation, engagement and empowerment can yield
(10) Memorialisation and ritualisation: Taking cognisance of the cultural
context of the Zimbabwean setting, memorialisation of the past is important.
This would require physical reminders in the form of monuments, ceremonies,
memorials or other ritual occasions aimed at contributing to the
acknowledgement as well as the setting of a general ethos of healing.
(11) Funding: One factor that often hinders the progress and success of
reconciliation and national healing projects is funding. Reconciliation
exercises are not only expensive, but time-consuming, emotional ventures
that demand patience and resilience.
Furthermore, apart from the operational budget, reconciliation must also
have a human face. Words must be accompanied by actions such as restitution
and compensation, but failure in most national healing and reconciliation
projects has been attributed to lack of resources.
Pamela Machakanja is with the Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance
at Africa University. The article above is an abridged version of a paper by
Machakanja on prospects for national reconciliation and healing in Zimbabwe
titled: “National healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe: challenges and
Twenty-six months on, the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement (GPA) seems no closer to full implementation as parties continue to conflict over several outstanding issues. With the constitutional outreach process having been completed, already rising levels of violence are sure to increase in the run up to the likely 2011 elections. Fears abound that the terror of the 2008 elections will be repeated as Zanu PF gears itself up for a win at any cost.
This can be clearly seen through analysis of articles and media. During November, one hundred and six articles from the internet media were recorded and catalogued, an increase of about 10% from October. Each article is a unique record of a breach of the terms of the GPA. By categorising these articles according to the nature of breach, we have generated the following statistics. This list of violations is neither comprehensive or exhaustive but rather illustrative of the broad political situation.
Cases of violence, intimidation, hate speech and abductions increased significantly, accounting for the largest block of violations at 30.2% out of 32 articles. Corruption, or efforts to entrench corrupt practices, remained in second place with 25.5% of the total from, 27 articles. Denial of freedom of speech came in third with 13.2% from 14 articles. These three breaches account for 68.9% of the total, highlighting the current Zanu PF strategy as they are accountable for 98.6% of the violations.
Overall, Zanu-PF were either responsible for, or involved in, 99.1% of all breaches recorded for the GPA for the month of November. Of note this month is the fact that, of all breaches recorded, 40.6% of those breaches involved preparations by Zanu-PF for control and manipulation of the electoral process and electorate should it be held next year with 48.8% of their violations being in the form of violence and intimidation against all sects of society.
Violence, Intimidation and Hate
In a move that shows the lengths that Zanu PF will go to in order to secure a win, they have launched operation ‘Headless Chicken‘ to intimidate ‘opposition’ supporters in Mount Darwin. This campaign will see people being beheaded if they sympathise with the MDC. “What is going to happen is supporters of the puppet MDC party will be beheaded and their families will be handed back the body – without the head – for burial,” said a senior Zanu-PF official. ”
Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa openly threatened that Zanu-PF would not hand over power to the MDC in an election saying it would be tantamount to “failing departed comrades” of the 1970s war of independence”. Mnangagwa further accused the MDC of “doing the bidding of hostile Western countries,” calling it a “puppet political party”. He then told people in Kwekwe “In the last elections, you voted for the wrong party but today I am happy to see all of you here and I assume that you are here because you support the revolutionary party and what [it] stands for.” “If you disagree with what is being said here, then there is nothing I can do about it and if you don’t vote for us in the next election, we will rule even if you don’t want,”
Zanu-PF have often not co-operated with their GPA partners, but until now, have not been as brazen as Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa when he told hundreds of people in Kwekwe that Zanu-PF will continue to rule Zimbabwe even if Zimbabweans rejected it.
In a show of force, up to 500 soldiers paraded in the Mucheke suburb of Masvingo where they chanted pro Zanu PF and Mugabe slogans demanding that he rule forever. This is one example of many where Zanu PF are intimidating citizens to pledge their allegiance to the party or face the consequences as they did in 2008.
With the Ministry of Finance being run by MDC-T’s hands, Zanu-PF have had to find new sources of income in order to keep its lines of patronage alive through massive corruption. . Private auditors hired by government have identified several parastatals unable to account for millions of dollars, just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ say financial commentators. Irregular accounting may in part be due to the fact that no audits have taken place since 2005 and the collapse of the Zimbabwe Dollar, and subsequent introduction of a duel currency economy.
Diamonds have become the latest battle ground for corruption, involving thousands of people from illegal miners to high ranking government officials. In a major breach that has thrown the industry into turmoil, Zimbabwean diamonds worth US$160million have been exported to India. This was done following a Kimberley Process certification by South African businessman, Abbey Chikane, although Zimbabwe diamonds are barred from such certification. Mr Chikane’s actions took place “without the authorisation or sanction of the Kimberley Process,” according to Partnership Africa Canada (PAC). It remains unclear how this money will be spent, or accounted for by government.
Freedom of Speech
Zanu-PF continue to hamper the ability of
journalists to work freely in a bid to control what information is published as
part of their ongoing pre-election strategy as was recently seen in Manicaland
Freelance journalists in Mutare said that they were being targeted and were
being accused of writing bad things about Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF. One such
journalist said he was manhandled and punched by Zanu-PFers without being given
the chance to respond.
Government is planning to block public access to state information like court judgments, legislation, official notices and public registers to further prevent access to information. Proposed legislation drafted by Zanu-PF, will worsen an already heavily restricted media environment, the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) warned. Clauses in the General Laws Amendment Bill blatantly attempt to gag the media from reporting on important government actions that are currently free from restriction, as the bill would enforce copyright on all government documents.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) treasurer-general Roy Bennett has petitioned the Supreme Court, demanding to be furnished with the outcome of an appeal filed by Attorney General Johannes Tomana challenging the acquittal of the former Chimanimani legislator. Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has written to the Registrar of the Supreme Court requesting an update on the status of Tomana’s appeal in which Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku reserved judgment indefinitely in July, when he presided over the appeal.
And, we end on a controversial note on what is arguably the most contentious matter in Zimbabwe – the Land issue. An article by ZimOnline has stated that Zanu PF heavyweights now control about 5 million hectares of arable land. The article was written was issued after a three month investigation into the land grab, which Mugabe has always insisted was for the nation’s benefit. Contrary to Mugabe’s claims, a “new well-connected black elite of about 2, 200 people now control close to half the most profitable land seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.” Mugabe and his top allies control nearly 40 percent of the 14 million hectares of land seized from white-owned farms since 2000.
Soldiers demonstrate in support of
Mugabe in Masvingo
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 09/11/2010
Zanu-PF’s desperate election strategy once again came to the fore when between 300 to 500 soldiers marched in support of Robert Mugabe in the Mucheke suburb of Masvingo on Sunday. With the party admitting is structures have crumbled it was left to the soldiers to chant slogans demanding that Mugabe rule forever. Local MP, Tongai Mathuthu, said the soldiers from the town’s 4 Brigade were holding placards declaring their allegiance to Mugabe and “went around the locations and proceeded to Rujeko. It appears they were under strict instructions to intimidate the people of Masvingo.” Mathuthu said; ‘Zanu-PF structures are actually in a shambles and their support has dwindled to almost nothing.’
Beheading Operation Launched To Terrify
Mount Darwin – Zanu-PF has launched operation ‘headless chicken’ which will see people being beheaded if they sympathise with the MDC in the elections planned for next year. A senior Zanu-PF official, wanting to remain anonymous, said Zanu-PF party was identifying brave youths and party leaders to be trained in beheading people who are anti- Zanu-PF. “What is going to happen is supporters of the puppet MDC party will be beheaded and their families will be handed over the body – without the head – for burial,” he said. We are at the moment identifying youths who will from next month go to Harare to receive military training about this. …,” said the official.
Auditors Hired to Probe Zimbabwe State
Enterprises Find Massive Corruption
VOANews (USA): 16/11/2010
Private auditors hired by the Zimbabwean government to probe state enterprises are said to have uncovered massive corruption in a number of the parastatals. Sources said millions of dollars cannot be accounted for in some of the state companies, most of which have been operating without proper audits since 2005. The sources said some top state enterprise managers have refused to provide financial information to auditors hired by the nation’s comptroller and auditor-general. Masimba Kuchera of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development said what auditors have uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg. “These …. irregularities …. are not surprising since they have been run over the years by government appointees,” Kuchera said.
Zimbabwe diamond certification scandal
Zimbabwe Mail, The (ZW): 17/11/2010
Zimbabwean diamonds worth US$ 160 million have been exported to India following a Kimberley Process certification by a South African businessman, although Zimbabwe diamonds are barred from such certification This week, …. the same [person] Mr Abbey Chikane, still attached to the Kimberley Process, has acted on his own behalf, issuing Kimberley certificates for a large number of Zimbabwean diamonds. Mr Chikane’s actions took place “without the authorisation or sanction of the Kimberley Process,” according to Partnership Africa Canada (PAC). Industry sources had confirmed that the diamonds have already been sold to four Indian buyers. The controversial gems probably already have arrived the Indian state of Gujarat.
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 10/11/2010
Mutare – Some members from the CIO and Zanu-PF supporters, have started harassing freelance journalists and other reporters from the private media as electioneering begins in Manicaland. Freelance journalists in Mutare last said that they were being targeted and were being accused of writing bad things about Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF. Emmanuel Mlambo, a freelance journalist, said: “I was manhandled by overzealous Zanu-PF supporters who accused me of writing negative articles about Zanu-PF and Mugabe. I was not even given the chance to respond as they attacked me with fists.”
Mugabe bill to stifle access to official
Monsters and Critics: 15/11/2010
The Zimbabwean government is planning to block public access to state information like court judgments, legislation, official notices and public registers, a press freedom watchdog warned. Proposed legislation drafted by Zanu-PF, would worsen an already heavily restricted media environment, the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) warned. Clauses in the General Laws Amendment Bill blatantly attempt to gag the media from reporting on important government actions that are currently free from restriction, as the bill would enforce copyright on all government documents, which could be published only with government approval. For example, to publish a court ruling that affected the rights of citizens, human rights organizations would have to get permission from the justice minister.
Bennett Demands Justice
Tormented Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) treasurer-general Roy Bennett has petitioned the Supreme Court demanding to be furnished with the outcome of an appeal filed by Attorney General (AG) Johannes Tomana challenging the acquittal of the former Chimanimani legislator. Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa recently wrote to the Registrar of the Supreme Court requesting an update on the status of Tomana’s appeal in which Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku reserved judgment. Chidyausiku indefinitely reserved judgment in July when he presided over an appeal lodged by Tomana in May challenging the acquittal of Bennett.
‘Zanu-PF will rule even if you don’t
want’ – Mnangagwa
Zimbabwe Mail, The (ZW): 21/11/2010
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa told hundreds of people in Kwekwe on Saturday that Zanu-PF will continue to rule Zimbabwe even if Zimbabweans rejected it. Speaking at a party hosted by Owen Mudha Ncube, Mnangagwa said “In the last elections, you voted for the wrong party but today I am happy to see all of you here and I assume that you are here because you support the revolutionary party and what [it] stands for.” “If you disagree with what is being said here, then there is nothing I can do about it and if you don’t vote for us in the next election, …. we will rule even if you don’t want,” Mnangagwa said.
Mugabe elite control 5 million hectares
of Zim land
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 30/11/2010
A select group of Mugabe’s ruling elite and party loyalists control about 5 million hectares of Zimbabwe’s most profitable land, totalling the size of a small country. Details are contained in a report by ZimOnline (http://www.zimonline.co.za/Article.aspx?ArticleId=6474), after a three month investigation into the land grab, which Mugabe has always insisted was for the nation’s benefit. Contrary to Mugabe’s claims, a “new well-connected black elite of about 2, 200 people now control close to half the most profitable land seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.” Mugabe and his top allies control nearly 40 percent of the 14 million hectares of land seized from white-owned farms since 2000, which “if put together are the size of Slovakia.”
Monday, 06 December 2010 08:52 Editor
By Manfred Jaeger, former Rhodesian Intelligence officer
I was recruited by Dieter Kranz, a STASI high ranking officer, in October 1977. At that time I was almost 20 and had already completed my initial training and a 21mth deployment with the Rhodesia Light Infantry. Kranz was a highly experienced intelligence operative and unlike most of his colleagues, abhorred torture and hated the Russians! I was reeling from the news that my best friend Staff Sergeant Nyanguwo, Rhodesian African Rifles (3 years my senior) had been killed in mysterious circumstances that aroused my suspicions that Rhodesian Intelligence agents had been responsible. Considering that only a couple of months earlier, he and I had been discussing our mutual serious misgivings with regard to the Rhodesian war-specifically considering the death and trauma being meted out upon innocent black villagers by both us and the ZANLA/Zipra combattants.
I had, upon learning of Nyanguwo's death, made strenuous attempts to find out the details of the so called "contact" that led to his death, particularly since his devastated parents and siblings had described to me his mutilated corpse (he died while I was in the bush so I heard about it some 3 weeks after he was buried). Shortly after I started asking questions, I was paid a visit, while on R&R by two Special Branch goons who wanted to know what my interest in Nyanguwo's death was. Suffice it to say that the "interview" did not go well and they left after having uttered threats of unspeakable action against "kaffir lovers" who stuck their noses where they didn't belong.
By the time I met Kranz, I was more than ready for, basically, revenge. He knew that and could read me like a book and by January 1978 I was in the then West Germany undergoing intensive Intelligence and Counter Intelligence training. West Germany was chosen for several reasons; firstly I was pro American and therefore not prepared to join the STASI proper. Secondly, Rhodesian Intelligence was keeping a careful eye on the typical patterns of other operatives/trainees and entering East Germany would have likely as not compromised my cover. Thirdly, as I was good with languages, Kranz had already organised cover employment with West German companies who sanctions busted and did business with the Rhodesians (Mercedes Benz, Mannesman, Deutz etc). As a result from July 1978 until July 1980 I travelled to and fro to Rhodesia, translating for the German businessmen and, as a white, seen as "sympathetic" to the Rhodesian cause I was able to get invited to various functions, obtained access to Officers' Messes, individual homes for “braais”, and as a result succeeded in obtaining information that would then be relayed to ZANLA and ZIPRA Commands, via Kranz. I have no idea how many other whites were operating against the Rhodesians as I never met any of them.
Of interest though is that early on in my training, Kranz warned me never to trust even those ZANLA and ZIPRA commanders who interacted with the STASI and strongly advised me to avoid any contact with them. He continuously reminded me that to trust any of them would ultimately lead to my capture and death and not necessarily at the hand of the Rhodesians. When I expressed my curiosity at his insistence he gave me what he termed a "text book example" of what to beware of.
According to Kranz, Morrison Nyathi, a ZANLA cadre, had been a double agent feeding information to the Rhodesians as far back as May 1975. Apparently, the Rhodesians were careful to cover Nyathi by not immediately acting on certain information he passed on- ie. if he advised them of the imminent deployment of a unit of guerrillas, led by cadres, the Rhodesians would allow the unit to penetrate Rhodesia and even allow some attacks to take place before springing the trap to try to capture the cadres and force them to reveal even more sensitive information. ZANLA Command would simply assume that the unit in question had, as was commonly the case, been sold out or exposed itself. At that time, Ndabaningi Sithole was the overall head of ZANLA and had such able commanders as Tekere and Nhongo with him. According to Kranz, Mugabe, with an eye to getting Sithole out of the way, saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
The Liberation Struggle wasn't going so well, and as with all struggles, the International Community's interest was waning, as was it's willingness to fork out more money. It therefore occurred to Mugabe to strike a deal with Nyathi (Kranz claimed that Mugabe knew that Nyathi worked for the Rhodesians). He approached Nyathi and firstly disclosed that he was aware of Nyathi's activities. Nyathi, obviously denied all implications vehemently but nevertheless knew that he was in a very dangerous situation if rumours that he was a traitor were to leak. As a result, he listened to Mugabe’s proposal, which, in effect suggested that they should work together to pull off an intelligence coup that would solve both of Mugabe’s problems, in return for which Mugabe would look after Nyathi.
Thus it was that Nyathi briefed the Rhodesian intelligence liaison operatives, in great detail, about the danger that Nyadzonya base would present to Rhodesian security and the exact lay out of the base. Furthermore, the base commanders were misinformed to expect a combined Frelimo/Cuban delegation at any time on an inspection of the base.
The results of the Rhodesian attack, in August 1976, are undisputed with an estimated death toll of over 1300 combined guerrillas, support staff and civilians, including women and children.
The results for Mugabe were however even more spectacular, in that he had timed the operation to coincide with Sithole’s absence from the ZANLA Command in Mozambique. As a result he was among the first to ‘commiserate’ with the survivors, vociferously denouncing the cowardly raid of the Rhodesians, all the while asking the ZANLA foot soldiers and Commanders whether they would not be better served by an overall Commander like him rather than an absentee one. International outrage was re-kindled and once again the coffers of the ZANLA and to a certain extent ZIPRA forces could look forward to replenishment.
Kranz explained that Nyathi, rather than being rewarded by either the Rhodesians or Mugabe, “disappeared” but follow up reports from other agents revealed to Kranz that the Rhodesians hadn’t realised that they had been set up to attack Nyadzonya and truly missed Nyathi. Kranz’s theory remained that Mugabe didn’t like loose ends.
Having served until after Independence however, I saw no reason to continue and resigned to work in the private sector and finally return to my home country, Zimbabwe.
I have always followed the developments in Zimbabwe with great interest, while believing that as a member of a minority ethnic group I would leave politics to the majority. The emergence of the Movement for Democratic Change under Tsvangirai was something of a reminder to me of the real objectives of the Liberation Struggle which, thanks to the character of the man who has been ”leading” the country for the past 30 years, have been forgotten.
What truly riled me is to hear self proclaimed “war veterans” spouting off about never accepting a leader who wasn’t from the Liberation Struggle. I’ve known all along that Mugabe was no Commander. People like Tekere were the real men in command of the armed struggle and did an admirable job under trying circumstances. Mugabe has always looked out for himself, ruthlessly and selfishly.
With the fall of the East Bloc and the reunification of Germany the shroud of total secrecy surrounding the STASI and similar organisations gradually lifted. I was recently able (Dieter Kranz died before the Berlin wall came down) to access Kranz’s files and was amazed and delighted to find that my mentor not only kept meticulous records of operations we worked on together but also had transcripts and tape recordings of meetings between Morrison Nyathi and other STASI operatives working on the Africa desk. One of these operatives is still alive today and was a wealth of information on the Mugabe/Nyathi coup that continued to have repercussions even in 1977 when in May-June of that year the Rhodesians repeated their Operation Maradon (An attack in October 1976 on Jorge do Limpopo) calling the operation Aztec and once again targeting Jorge do Limpopo.
I continue to research this in the hope that more evidence will come to light to a) show Zimbabweans and the International Community that Mugabe is no hero and b) bring him to book in the Hague.
However, whether the evidence comes to light or not, it is clear that we cannot make any progress whatsoever in Zimbabwe while Mugabe is allowed free reign. One way or the other, like Machel, he’s got to go. We’ve played by “democratic” rules too long, it’s time to get real and get tough.
I trust his colleagues will reflect on this at their next (imminent) Party congress.
Intelligence & Counter Intelligence Officer (Ret Col)
January 1978 – July 1980
While I agree with most of Blessing - Miles Tendi's article, I feel the
heading is misleading. A more befitting heading should have been, "ZANU PF
thrives on violence and corruption." I find it hard to believe that
President Banda and President Zuma think that by removing targeted sanctions
ZANU PF will play ball. Surely they are not that naive. Targeted sanctions
were never part or a condition of GPA implementation. In the past SADC set a
number of milestones that were simply thrashed by ZANU PF. Why then would
they think that all at sudden ZANU PF will be compliant if targeted
sanctions were removed? A more plausible hypothesis is that the two
presidents, plus some other, are willing accomplices lured by Zimbabwe's
minerals wealth that is controlled by ZANU PF to the exclusion of the
Zimbabwe Government. So the two are merely fulfilling their contractual
obligations rather than trying to help Zimbabwe resolve its problems. There
aren't many leaders who are incorruptible especially African leaders. This
explains the corruption aspect of this jigsaw.
It is true that the opposition MDC has lacked consistency in its approach.
More importantly MDC has inconsistently been responding to ZANU PF agenda
rather than setting the agenda themselves. The 2008 election results
presented MDC with the opportunity to grab the mantle and stand firm on the
podium. Given the majority party in Parliament and the PM garnering the
majority vote for the presidency the MDC had the mandate to utilise their
popularity. What we have seen instead is that the MDC has dismally failed to
utilise the mantle of leadership conferred to it by the electorate. In this
respect I concur with Blessing-Miles Tendi's "intellectually ill-equipped"
conclusion on the part of the MDC. Perhaps more poignantly is the lack of
application rather than the absence of intellectual capacity.
Having said all that, it is important to bear in mind that ZANU PF does not
only rely on intellectually and strategically out manoeuvring MDC; its main
weapons are violence and corruption through the abuse of office and state
power. Without these weapons ZANU PF would have been history as far back as
2000. Remove corruption and blood letting and MDC would clean sweep an
election. What we have to realise is that MDC is not only up against a very
dangerous and corrupt sanguinary party in ZANU PF but has also got the
carefree and corrupt SADC leadership mountain to overcome. However the MDC
and the civil society have one last trump card to play - the support of the
electorate. ZANU PF can never be repackaged and win an election. Look at
those who have broken away from ZANU PF and tried their luck in a different
party. They never succeeded mainly because the electorate could see beyond
the dressing. It does not matter whether what they see is real or
perceptual. The impact is the same. Citizens are putting their hopes in MDC
because they see it as based placed to hand back sovereign power to the
people. But the warning light is already flashing for MDC. This support is
The sanctions cry is merely a deflectionary excuse while buying time to
prepare for yet more violence and plundering the national wealth. What they
have had and what they are looting is a matter of public knowledge.
Thanks for sharing your opinion.
The fight for freedom and justice in Zimbabwe is not going to end with
BILL WATCH SPECIAL
[4th December 2010]
House of Assembly Portfolio Committees: 6th to 9th December
The following meetings are open to members of the public, as observers only, not as participants. [See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance and participation at different types of committee meetings] As there are sometimes last-minute changes to the schedule, it is recommended that you avoid possible disappointment by checking with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting is still on and still open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 or 252936-55. [Names of committee clerks are given below]. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced.
Monday 6th December at 10 am
Portfolio Committee: Transport and Infrastructural Development
Oral evidence from Zimbabwe National Roads Authority [ZINARA]
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon Chebundo Clerk: Ms Macheza
Monday 6th December at 2 pm
Portfolio Committee: Budget, Finance and Economic Development
Oral evidence from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe board of directors on the operations of the Reserve Bank
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Zhanda Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika
Tuesday 7th December at 10 am
Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade
Oral evidence from Zimbabwe Revenue Authority [ZIMRA] on the operations of the Beitbridge Border Post
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon Mukanduri Clerk: Mr Chiremba
Wednesday 8th December – no meetings open to the public
Thursday 9th December at 10 am
Media, Information and Communication Technology
Presentation from Mr Gwatidzo on the operations of private ICT stakeholders
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon S. Moyo Clerk: Mr Mutyambizi
Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings
· Open to the public to attend as observers only: Portfolio and thematic committee meetings where oral evidence is being heard. Members of the public can listen but not speak. [As listed above.]
· Stakeholders by invitation: At some committee meetings stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders] are invited to make oral or written representations and ask questions. [These meetings will be highlighted in these bulletins.]
· Not open to the public: Portfolio and thematic committee meetings in which the committees are doing private business – e.g. setting work plans, deliberating on reports and findings, or drafting reports for Parliament, or when the committees make field visits. [Veritas does not list these meetings in these bulletins.]
· Public Hearings: When committees call for public hearings, members of the public are free to submit oral or written representations, ask questions and generally participate. [Veritas sends out separate notices of these public hearings.]
Note: Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can send in written submissions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
BILL WATCH 50/2010
[4th December 2010]
Presentation of 2011 Budget: Thursday 25th November
At the start of his Budget presentation last Thursday, Finance Minister Tendai Biti cited Article 22 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and declared that the Budget’s foundation stone is “the obligation to pursue the right to development, within the context of all other broad social and democratic rights” defined in the Charter. And, referring to input from thousands of Zimbabweans during the countrywide consultations carried out by the Ministry of Finance in preparing for the Budget, the Minister asserted that the majority of Zimbabweans share the “Vision to build a Stable, Modern, Dynamic, Democratic and Developmental State”. So the theme of his 2011 Budget is “ Shared Economy, Shared Development, Shared Transformation –Creating the Fair Economy”.
Multiple-Currency Regime to Continue
Once again, the budget is in US dollars. The Minister assured stakeholders who had expressed anxiety about the future currency regime that Government will pursue the multi-currency regime, supported by cash budgeting in the short to medium term as indicated in STERP II. Debate on the future appropriate currency regime would be guided by the SADC/COMESA regional integration agenda and the respective framework for the planned Monetary Union.
Foreign Aid to go Direct to Projects, not through Budget Framework
Unlike the Estimates of Expenditure for 2010 the Estimates for 2011 do not include a Vote of Credit giving details of expenditure to be funded by foreign aid. The Minister explained that some $500 million expected from “co-operating partners” during 2011 would be channelled directly to projects, not through the Budget framework. [Note: The original Estimates for 2010 contained a Vote of Credit of $810 million representing expected foreign aid; this was scaled down to $500 million in the Revised Estimates in mid-2010. The Minister told the House of Assembly that as at October co-operating partners had provided about $360 million.]
Estimated Income and Expenditure: $2.7 billion
The 2011 Estimates of Expenditure tabled by the Minister envisage expenditures of $2.7 billion which is equal to the total projected domestic Budget revenues for the year. So this is another cash budget, with no provision for borrowing. Of this total $2.2 billion [80%] will go towards recurrent expenditure and $550 million [20%] towards capital expenditure.
What Ministries wanted: Ministries had put in bids totalling $11.3 billion [$3.8 billion for recurrent expenditure and $7.5 billion for capital expenditure] – so the Minister had to prune severely, mainly on capital expenditure proposals, to bring the total down to fit the available resources of $2.7 billion. For example, bids totalling $308 million for purchase of vehicles were scaled down to $17.5 million, and bids totalling $316 million for furniture were reduced to $27 million.
Results Based Budgeting – Ministry Profiles and Projected Outputs
A noteworthy new feature of this year’s Estimates of Expenditure is that every Ministry vote begins with a short statement headed Ministry Profile and Outputs. This is because section 28 of the Public Finance Management Act requires each vote to include “a statement of the classes of outputs expected to be provided from that vote during the year and the performance criteria to be met in providing those outputs”. The Minister said this would make it easier for the public and Parliamentary portfolio committees to call Ministers and accounting officers [Permanent Secretaries] to account for the use of public resources under their control and enhance transparency and accountability.
Allocations to Ministries and Departments
There are 38 separate “votes” – allocations to Ministries and institutions. Some are listed below, with each allocation shown as a percentage of the total budget:
Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture: $ 469 million [17.4%]
Higher and Tertiary Education: $156 million [5.8% ]
Health and Child Welfare: $256 million [9.8%]
Ministry of Defence [including Army and Air Force]: $194 million [7.2%] $98 293 00 [3.6 %]
Ministry of Home Affairs [including Police]: $189 million [7%] $103 613 000 [3.9%]
Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs [including Prison Service]: $80 million [3%]
Office of the President and Cabinet: $101 607 000 [3.7%]
Office of the Prime Minister: $14 065 000 [0.5%]
Other Noteworthy Allocations
· Overall employment costs: $1.4 billion [these include the Government wage bill, pension, medical aid and social security contributions].
· Government wage bill: $1.1 billion [which could translate into a 100% wage increase for most public servants in 2011. The Minister commented that, although public servants are not paid well, the public service wage bill is not sustainable relative to the national wealth – and must therefore be reduced to a smaller percentage of the total budget and GDP, the medium term target being 30% of total Budget and 10% of GDP.]
· Zimbabwe National Army wage bill: $110 million [4%]
· Air Force of Zimbabwe wage bill: $13 million [0.5%]
· Zimbabwe Republic Police wage bill: $121 million [4.5%]
· Zimbabwe Prison Service wage bill: $27 million [1%]
· Teachers wage bill: $404 million [15%]
· Construction of new University halls of residence : $30 [ 1.1%]
· Rehabilitation of University halls of residence: $48.6 million [1.8%]
· Political Parties finance: $6 million [0.2%] shared between the three GPA parties [up from $4 million for 2010]
· Constituency Development Funds: $8 million [0.3 %] [the same figure as for 2010]
· COPAC: $1 million [0.03%] under the vote for the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
· Presidential Scholarship Scheme: $3 million [0.1%]
Zero Allocation for Referendum and Elections
No allocations are made for the Referendum on the new Constitution and next election. The Minister has, however, said that $50 million in an unallocated reserve controlled by his Ministry could be used for these purposes.
[most changes to be effective 1st January 2010]
PAYE tax-free threshold to be increased from $175 to $225 per month and the highest tax rate will continue at 35%.
Annual Bonuses tax-free threshold to be increased from $400 to $500 [effective 1st November 2010].
Duty on basic commodities [rice, maize meal, flour coking oil and salt] – suspension to be extended to 30th June 2011.
Presumptive tax on small-scale gold producers to be reduced from 5% to 2%, to encourage them to sell through licensed gold buyers.
VAT remittance period to be extended from the 15th to the 20th of the month following taxable transactions.
Royalties on gold and platinum to be increased to 4.5% and 5% respectively.
New Income Tax Act: The Minister reported progress on the drafting of the new Income Tax Act and said it would be introduced into Parliament in the second half of 2011.
New Exchange Control Regulations: There will be new Exchange Control regulations to bring the law into line with the multiple currency system.
Getting the Budget Package Through Parliament
Portfolio Committees have been conducting Post-Budget Analysis meetings since Monday 29th November. These meetings will continue until Tuesday 7th December.
When it resumes on 7th December the House of Assembly will:
· debate the Minister’s Budget presentation, and if it is approved, the Minister will present the Finance Bill to give effect to his taxation proposals
· consider the Estimates of Expenditure. This is done in a special committee of the whole House called the Committee of Supply. If the Estimates are approved, the Minister will then introduce the Appropriation Bill which will authorise expenditure in accordance with the approved Estimates.
Fast-tracking: The House has already approved motions permitting the fast-tracking of all Budget business, and of the four other Bills already before the House. This means the suspension of the usual rules about taking different stages of Bills on different days, and also permits late-night and Friday sittings. There is a need to wrap up work not later than Friday 10th December, because sittings the following week are ruled out by the holding of the ZANU-PF congress from 15th to 18th December.
Possible Resistance from MPs? Immediately after the Budget Statement the House debated and passed a bi-partisan motion calling on the Minister of Finance to allocate more money to address the financial plight of Parliamentarians and civil servants. The motion was introduced by ZANU-PF MP Bhasikiti and seconded by MDC-T MP Lucia Matibenga. Contributors to the debate said MPs should not merely rubber-stamp Government proposals. As the Minister did not take part in the debate on this motion, it remains to be seen whether he will be able to mollify disgruntled MPs during next week’s proceedings. According to Standing Orders MPs cannot vote to increase allocations proposed by the Minister, but they are allowed to show their disapproval by reducing or omitting allocations for purposes not acceptable to them. Or they could refuse to approve the two Bills, thereby forcing a re-think of the Budget – but that would be an extremely drastic course.
Role of the Senate: If passed by the House, the Bills will be transmitted to the Senate, which has been recalled to sit from the 7th to the 17th December to deal with these Bills and any other Bills passed by the House of Assembly next week. According to the Constitution, as both the Budget Bills are “Money Bills”, the Senate cannot amend them, but may recommend amendments to the House of Assembly. If amendments are recommended, the House must consider them but is not obliged to accept them, and the Bill may be presented to the President for assent in the form passed by the House, with the amendments, if any, made by the House on the Senate’s recommendation.
What if there is further disruption in the Senate? It is not yet known whether MDC-T Senators will continue disrupting business over the reappointed provincial governors appearing in the Senate – but it may be that they will drop their protest now that the Prime Minister has passed the question to the courts by launching High Court proceedings challenging the reappointments. If the Senate fails to pass the two Budget Bills within 8 sitting days after they are transmitted from the House of Assembly, the House can then resolve that the Bills be sent to the President for assent and gazetting as law without Senate participation [Constitution, Schedule 4, paragraph 6].
Electronic version of full text of Budget Statement available on request. Please note that this is a large document which includes graphs, pie charts, graphs etc. [size over 1MB].
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