By Lance Guma
06 December 2011
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office has issued a statement claiming
they are aware of a plot to plant incriminating documents at his government
and party offices, as a prelude to pressing criminal charges against him.
The plot is said to involve the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and
two ZANU PF cabinet ministers and is also targeting other MDC-T officials.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the raid scheduled to take
place in two weeks time would target the PM’s Charter House and Harvest
House offices in Harare.
Tamborinyoka said the discovered documents will be, “used not only to
prosecute the Prime Minister and some members of his leadership, but also as
an excuse to pull out of the inclusive government without implementing the
necessary reforms needed for a free and fair election.”
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed the two ZANU PF Ministers involved are
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and State Security Minister Sydney
Sekeremayi. Chinamasa is allegedly co-ordinating the legal side of the plot,
with Sekeramayi handling the security side, including the raids, initially
set for 12th December.
“They are trying to find the quickest way to an election without the
necessary reforms,” a source told SW Radio Africa. “If one party pulls out,
it collapses the coalition and causes elections and this is what ZANU PF
wants desperately. An election free of violence and rigging is not in Mugabe’s
interest,” the source added.
Political commentator Dewa Mavhinga told SW Radio Africa the latest plot of
‘persecution by prosecution’ was consistent with the partisan nature of the
security forces in the country and “it was inevitable they would be roped in
to cause the collapse of the coalition government.” Mavhinga however said:
‘No election outside the SADC framework will bring legitimacy to ZANU PF.”
Meanwhile Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai will institute the necessary security
measures to stop the plot.
Although he did not give details of what sort of documents were to be
planted, the matter gives rise to speculation Mugabe’s regime might be
planning something to undermine Tsvangirai before the next election.
In 2002 a similar plot was hatched after Tsvangirai, then an opposition
leader, was accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe and arranging a
military coup ahead of the March 2002 presidential election. A grainy
videotape of a meeting between Tsvangirai and Canadian political consultant,
Ari Ben Menashe, was used.
In his defence Tsvangirai said he had hired Ben Menashe’s firm to help with
international lobbying and fundraising for his party. Not known to him was
the fact that Menashe was already working for Mugabe and ZANU PF.
The case was eventually thrown out and Tsvangirai was acquitted.
By Alex Bell
06 December 2011
Anger was growing on Tuesday after a fourth member of the Media Monitoring
Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) was picked up by police and detained, amid worsening
harassment of the media.
MMPZ Project Coordinator Andy Moyse was picked up on Tuesday morning by a
team of five police officers from Harare’s Law and Order Section, led by
Detective Assistant Inspector Phiri. According to the MMPZ, the officers,
armed with a warrant, went on to search their offices for “material which
comprises of compact discs containing Gukurahundi information.” The police
allege that MMPZ members may have acted in breach of section 31 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, that is, “publishing or
communicating false statements prejudicial to the state.”
“Whilst the police officers indicated that (Andy) was not formally under
arrest, MMPZ is concerned that the police may detain him to investigate a
matter whose circumstances and gravity do not at all warrant pre-trial
detention. MMPZ urges the police to grant Moyse all his pre-trial rights and
not to harm his physical and psychological person for the entire period he
is in their custody,” MMPZ said.
Moyse’s detention comes as MMPZ advocacy officers Fadzai December and Molly
Chimhanda, and the Gwanda chairperson of MMPZ’S Public Information Rights
Forum Committee Gilbert Mabusa, remain in custody at Gwanda police station.
They are all being charged under POSA, in connection with a civic education
meeting held in Gwanda last month. The three are also being charged under
the terms of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for
“participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence,
breaches of the peace or bigotry.”
By Tuesday afternoon, key legal and civil society groups had expressed their
outrage over the arrests, including Article 19 in Kenya, the International
Commission of Jurists, Freedom House, the Youth Forum, the Voluntary Media
Council, Veritas, the Pamberi Trust and others. The MDC-T also condemned the
arrests saying: “The MDC expresses revulsion over the continued arrests,
detention and persecution of journalists at a time when the country is
supposed to be working hard to open up space for freedom of expression,
assembly and communication.”
The detention of the MMPZ members follows the recent arrests and
intimidation of local journalists. The Daily News editor, Stanley Gama and
reporter Xolisani Ncube were arrested last week on the instructions of ZANU
PF’s Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo. They were charged with
criminal defamation after exposing Chombo’s alleged ill-gotten wealth. Last
month Nevanji Madanhire, the editor of The Standard plus reporter Nqaba
Matshazi, were also arrested after reporting on the business of another ZANU
Dewa Mavhinga from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition condemned the arrests,
saying it “points to a growing pattern of unwarranted harassment against the
media and civil society by a very partisan police force.”
“We do not have a democratic, independent police force. We have an
institution that has been taken over by subversive, partisan elements.
Clearly Zimbabwe is not ready to hold election,” Mavhinga told SW Radio
Njabulo Ncube, the Chairman of the media rights group MISA Zimbabwe, agreed
that the country is not ready for another poll.
“These arrests give credence to our assertion that as we draw closer to an
election, we will see more attempts to stifle media freedom and access to
information,” Ncube warned.
In 2008, Zanu PF unleashed their militia on unsuspecting populations in the rural areas of Zimbabwe where they terrorised thousands of people. Now in preparation for the yet to be announced elections, Zanu PF has begun preparing a new crop of youth militia to carry out their violent campaign.
Despite making pronouncements about peace in November 2011, it has emerged that Zanu PF has been training youth militia as far back as August 2011. The Zimbabwean has obtained footage showing recruits undergoing drills at Sherenje School in Mashonaland Central.
Dec 6, 2011, 17:31 GMT
Harare - The first auction of gems from a Zimbabwean diamond field where the
military stands accused of carrying out abuses was underway Tuesday, a month
after an international ban on sourcing precious stones from the area was
The diamonds were being offered for sale in Harare by Anjin Investments, a
joint venture between a Chinese state-owned mining company and the Zimbabwe
army, a top government official was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald
According to the paper, the sale began on Monday. Last month the Kimberley
Process (KP), an international regulatory system, removed Marange fields
from its list of illegal sources, though rights groups say abuses still
Some 200 people were killed during a bloody crackdown by security forces
against illegal diggers four years ago.
On Monday, Global Witness Foundation, the international pressure group
lobbying against the use of diamonds allegedly used to fuel wars in Africa,
declared it was withdrawing from the KP.
'The KP has failed to deal with the trade in conflict diamonds from Ivory
Coast, breaches of the rules by Venezuela and diamonds fueling corruption
and state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe,' said GWF director Charmian Gooch.
The approval of sales from Marange 'has turned an international conflict
prevention mechanism into a cynical corporate accreditation scheme,' Gooch
The government shrugged off the group's charges, with the Minister of Mines
Obert Mpofu saying Global Witness 'survived on opposing the trading of
Zimbabwe diamonds on the international market. Now that Zimbabwe has been
fully admitted, they have no work to do.'
Harare has adopted a 'Look East' economic policy and favours Chinese
companies with good terms for business deals.
By Taurai Mangudhla, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 14:00
HARARE - Mines Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire has scoffed at advocacy
group Global Witness Foundation (GWF)’s decision to pull out of the Kimberly
Process (KP) in protest to the licensing of Marange diamonds, saying the
human rights group’s move has no bearing on Zimbabwe’s diamond trade.
GWF withdrew its membership from KP on Monday on grounds that body was now
governing “blood diamonds”.
Chimanikire described the move as a deliberate attempt to reverse the KP’s
early November certification of two Zimbabwean operations — Marange
Resources and Mbada Diamonds — to trade their diamonds.KP is an industry,
government and civil society body formed in 2003 to stem the flow of
diamonds mined in conflict situations or used to fund conflict.
Chimanikire yesterday told the Daily News that GWF’s manoeuvres were “too
late” to stop Zimbabwe from exporting stones from Marange.
In a budget statement presented to Parliament late last month, Finance
Minister Tendai Biti said
diamond sales could rake in $600 million for government every year.
“If you are an interested party, why should you pull out? They (GWF) should
not cry foul because KP decisions are made by consensus,” he said.
“We are going to sell our diamonds no matter what. After all, our job is to
sell diamonds and not to convince anyone to remain a KP member,” Chimanikire
GWF director Charmian Gooch yesterday announced that the KP has failed to
curb violence tied to illicit diamond mining and trade in major supplier
countries such as Ivory Coast, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
“The KP has failed to deal with the trade in conflict diamonds from Côte d’Ivoire,
breaches of the rules by Venezuela and diamonds fuelling corruption and
state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe,” said the GWF founding director.
“Most recently, the decision to endorse unlimited diamond exports from named
companies in the Marange region of Zimbabwe — the scene of mass killings by
the national army — has turned an international conflict prevention
mechanism into a cynical corporate accreditation scheme,” added Gooch.
Gooch said KP refusal to address the “clear links” between diamonds,
violence and tyranny has rendered it increasingly outdated, hence the need
for the diamond sector to start complying with international standards on
minerals supply chain controls, including independent third party audits and
regular public disclosure.
Recently, diamond trade watchdog, The Rapaport Group (Rapaport), also
condemned KP decision to allow Zimbabwe to export its diamonds from the
controversial Marange fields.
By Tichaona Sibanda
6 December 2011
The earliest Zimbabweans will be able to vote to approve or reject the
proposed new Constitution is June 2012, Copac co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora
According to new timetables announced by Copac the drafting, which
reportedly finally began on Monday, is expected to last 35 days and so could
be completed in early January.
Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that they then hope to have a second ‘all
stakeholders’ conference’ in February. The three principal drafters chosen
earlier this year are Justice Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian
Justice Chinhengo is a former judge of the High court now at the High court
in Botswana. Madzonga has 20 years experience in legal drafting, while
Crozier is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and once worked in the
Attorney-General’s office as a director of legal drafting.
Mwonzora said it has been agreed the drafters will work independently so
that no one will be able to influence what they include in the constitution.
He said if they need help they will consult with the Select Committee and 17
Under the original agreement signed in September 2008, which formed the
basis for the formation of a coalition government, the country was supposed
to have a new constitution by July 2010. The new charter meant to clear the
way for fresh polls, following the country’s bloody 2008 elections.
The drafting process is running 18 months behind after public outreach
meetings were repeatedly postponed over outbreaks of violence.
By Associated Press, Wednesday, December 7, 12:53 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Loyalists of the Zimbabwe president’s party are gathering
in the nation’s west to chart the path toward elections to end the nation’s
fragile 30-month coalition.
Rugare Gumbo, spokesman for President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party, said
the five-day convention which launches Wednesday will be a time for
“introspection” and preparation for polling next year.
Mugabe, traveling to the second city of Bulawayo for the gathering of some
3,000 delegates has described the coalition brokered by regional leaders as
“unconstitutional and illegal,” having surpassed its original two-year
The coalition followed disputed and violent elections in 2008. Rights groups
accuse Mugabe’s party, facing its own internal splits, of already starting a
campaign of violence and intimidation to sway polling.
By Tichaona Sibanda
6 December 2011
Kombi drivers, commuters and vendors at the Basch street terminus in
Bulawayo had to flee for dear life on Monday night, after anti-riot police
went on a rampage beating up people indiscriminately.
The unprovoked attacks, on the eve of the ZANU PF conference that started in
the city on Tuesday, took place between 5 and 6pm when the terminus,
popularly known as Egodini, was it its busiest.
Our Bulawayo correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, told us the area around
Egodini resembled a ghost town, as it was deserted following the brutal
rampage by the police.
‘It was as if a curfew had been imposed in Bulawayo because the streets
around the Egodini terminus, which is opposite Ross camp police station,
were virtually empty. The attacks were also unprovoked so people are just
speculating that the security services are intimidating people not to do
anything while Robert Mugabe is in the city for the conference,’ Saungweme
As late as 11pm, soldiers had joined up with the police to patrol the
streets of Bulawayo. The situation was however calm on Tuesday but there
were dozens of ZANU PF vehicles roaming around the city.
By Ngonidzashe Mushimbo, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 11:44
HARARE - Zimbabwe’s central bank has come under the spotlight after Aids
activists took the debt-ridden institution to court demanding they return
money raided from their accounts before the disputed 2008 elections.
Rights groups accuse the RBZ of taking money belonging to the Zimbabwe Aids
Network (ZAN) in March 2008 to fund President Robert Mugabe’s election
ZAN claims it lost over half a million dollars, money meant for Aids
patients, in March 2008 when the central bank raided their account.
According to ZAN, the RBZ could not spare a thought for those suffering from
the deadly HIV/Aids disease and allegedly channeled the money towards Mugabe’s
Ironically, Mugabe’s Zanu PF party went on to lose to MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, but failed to garner enough votes to claim presidency.
Mugabe went on to claim victory in a one-man election run-off which was
boycotted by Tsvangirai following extreme violence against his supporters.
The MDC says at least 200 of its supporters died during the violence.
The 2008 run-off was marred by state-sponsored violence, forcing Tsvangirai
to pull off the race citing persecution of his supporters.
But the international community, the African Union (AU) and Sadc all roundly
condemned the elections and AU, through Sadc, forced Tsvangirai and Mugabe
to enter into an inclusive government.
During this period, the RBZ took money from private accounts to fund
quasi-fiscal activities including sponsoring Zanu PF and this was widely
blamed for precipitating the fall of the economy.
ZAN said reports showed that the RBZ used some of the money to buy vehicles
used in Mugabe’s presidential election run-off campaign.
The government comptroller-general’s office has since produced a report
saying most of the vehicles remain unaccounted for including the CAM version
“As a result of poor record keeping, I was not able to trace the movement of
19 vehicles transferred from Head Office to Harare province. The 19 vehicles
were also not recorded at the provincial office,” said the Comptroller and
Auditor-General (CAG) in his report on the management of government
According to the 2008 CAG report, 15 of the 68 Mahindra vehicles were
The Mahindra trucks became popular in Zimbabwe towards the June 2008
presidential run-off as they were the one mainly used by Zanu PF to carry
its militia in a spate of violence that characterised the presidential
According to ZAN, the organisation’s account had a balance of $1 105 071
when the RBZ directed Standard Chartered to transfer the funds to the RBZ.
ZAN is not the only organisation that lost money to the RBZ during this
Several organisations, mainly, civic organisations had their accounts raided
as the country tried to raise foreign currency.
RBZ governor Gideon Gono was not available for comment with personnel at his
office saying he was out of the country.
Gono, a close Mugabe confidant said in a US leaked cable that the RBZ
printed money to fund Mugabe’s election campaign. - Additional reporting
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 13:57
HARARE - A labour federation that has for years vigorously defended Zanu PF
has turned against some of President Robert Mugabe’s staunchest friends, the
Known for its unwavering support for Mugabe’s Zanu PF, the Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) yesterday took the unusual step of asking
giant diamond miner, Anjin-Zimbabwe, to pack their bags and return to
Beijing “even if they came here on a Zanu PF ticket”.
ZFTU was reacting to a strike action by Anjin-Zimbabwe workers who are being
forced to work for poor pay and without protective clothing.
Anjin-Zimbabwe is a joint venture between the Chinese and Zimbabwean
The Chinese have agreed to construct a $100 million defence college which
Zimbabwe will pay for using proceeds from Anjin-Zimbabwe diamond sales.
But ZFTU said the Chinese should not use such relations to trample on
Kennias Shamuyarira, ZFTU secretary-general, said Chinese investors, who
have a history of poor labour relations, should conform to the laws of the
country or pack their bags and go.
“We have endured a lot of abuse from Chinese investors, and now is the time
that we are telling them either to respect our labour laws, or go back to
their country. They have been good friends to Zimbabwe, but if they continue
not to respect our laws, they must go,” said Shamuyarira.
“Even if they came here on a Zanu PF ticket, they should respect our labour
regulations. No one is above the law on this side of Africa,” said
Over 600 workers at the company have gone on strike demanding improved
working conditions and a review of their salaries.
The company says it has stockpiled up to 2 million carats of diamonds
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu last week said Anjin-Zimbabwe had won KP
Shamuyarira told journalists at a press briefing that the Chinese investors
must increase salaries being paid to workers from the current $180 for the
lowest paid employee to $225 by January next year.
“We are giving them until next year to review the salaries for the workers
or else we will make sure that all the workers go on a massive strike,” said
“We are not against the Look East policy, but we are against people who come
here on the pretext that they are investors and then start to victimise our
people because they have the financial muscle.
“Imagine if other companies operating in the same field are able to pay
their workers salaries averaged at $500, and Anjin is paying less than half
of that, it is not acceptable and we must tell them to start doing things
properly,” said National Union of Mines, Quarrying, Iron and Steel Workers
of Zimbabwe president Enock Sithole.
Efforts to a get a comment from Anjin representatives failed but the company’s
human resources manager Lindiwe Ngwenya told state media at the weekend that
the company was seized with the matter.
The trial of Platform for Youth Development Director, Claris Madhuku has for
the umpteenth time been postponed to the 19th of December 2011 despite an
October ruling that the case be tried on his next court appearance (5
The prosecutors continued to behave awkwardly as they could not appear in
the first and second seating only to appear in the third requesting for the
postponement of the trial to 19 December 2011. The court had to break thrice
as the prosecutors dealing with the case could not be located anywhere near
the court building. This raised eyebrows as to the forces working behind the
scenes to deny Madhuku his freedom.
Madhuku’s appearance at the Chipinge Magistrate court was his seventh time
since his arrest on April 4 2011 on frivolous charges of organizing and
addressing a public gathering without notifying the regulating authority
under the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Police officers in Chipinge have grown a tendency of frequently and
suspiciously calling Madhuku even in the middle of the night requesting
meetings with him. Despite repeated ploys to deny him his freedom, Madhuku
remains adamant that justice will see the day. “I see these tricks as
baseless plans to silence me and my organisation. We will continue to demand
justice for the people of Chisumbanje,” he said.
Information and Communications Dept
Youth for the Youth
December 5, 2011 7:57 pm
By Andrew England in Johannesburg and William MacNamara in London and Tony
Hawkins in Harare
London-listed mining companies and politicians in Zimbabwe, home to vast
deposits of platinum and gold, have for months been struggling to settle
terms of an empowerment scheme that could threaten the country’s recovery.
Critics fear Zimbabwe’s indigenisation law, which requires all foreign
businesses with net assets of more than $500,000 to place 51 per cent of
local operations in Zimbabwean hands, could trigger another downward spiral
for a mining sector that has the potential to restore Zimbabwe’s export
Like the land seizures that began in 2000, today’s crackdown on foreign
companies is happening ahead of elections – possibly in 2012.
The elections are critical to Robert Mugabe, the president, and his Zanu-PF
party that has been pushing for indigenisation.
Impala Platinum, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Aquarius Platinum are among
the mining companies invested in Zimbabwe, whose indigenisation minister has
warned that licences will be cancelled unless companies meet requirements.
But after months of companies proposing schemes and government officials
rejecting them, an acceptable formula remains uncertain.
“This is about brinkmanship. The government does not want nationalisation,”
says a top executive of one London-listed miner invested in Zimbabwe. But he
adds that indigenisation has “split the opinions of the so-called
intelligentsia in Zimbabwe.
“You would be surprised in what quarters this idea draws support; it is not
just from the labour unions. It appears impossible for a black mining
developer to build a project, so there is this idea that the way to get
mining assets is through legislation,” he adds.
A test case has been Zimplats, the Impala Platinum subsidiary that is one of
Zimbabwe’s largest foreign-owned enterprises.
The government rejected a proposal Zimplats put forward to meet an August
deadline, which caused Saviour Kasukuwere, the indigenisation minister, to
urge the mining ministry to cancel Zimplats’ operating licence.
Since then government language has shifted to a more conciliatory tone and
Zimplats submitted a new proposal last month. Mr Kasukuwere was quoted as
saying the negotiations with Zimplats were making “very good progress”.
In October, President Mugabe told David Brown, Impala’s chief executive: “Go
and tell your shareholders that we don’t intend to take over [Zimplats]. We
don’t want to steal or rob that which does not belong to us, but we don’t
want to be robbed as well.”
His comments came as Impala announced it is to establish a community trust
to which 10 per cent of Zimplats’ share capital will be sold at a “fair,
independently determined value”.
The details have yet to be worked out but Zimplats will also fund the trust
with $10m over three years. Mr Brown told the Financial Times recently there
was still “some way to go,” but added that the community trust “was a very
important first step.
“We certainly look forward to welcoming indigenous shareholders into the
shareholder base. We just need to make sure whatever is the end result
allows investment to continue and the company to grow.”
Anglo Platinum has agreed to a similar deal under which it will transfer a
10 per cent stake of its Unki project to the local community, Zimbabwe’s
state radio has reported.
Still, others have been sceptical of the government’s changing tone.
“There have been no cool heads,” says another international mine executive.
On the same day as the indigenisation minister made a conciliatory speech,
he adds, local management was threatened that licences would be taken away
“unless we commit to 51 per cent equity transfer”.
Zimbabwe boasts the world’s second-largest platinum reserves after South
Africa, and accounts for about 16 per cent of platinum production at Impala.
Mining investment is critical to Zimbabwe’s recovery as the sector accounts
for 65 per cent of exports and more than half its foreign exchange earnings.
But significant investment is needed. Over the next five years $6bn is
required, says Victor Gapare, former head of the Chamber of Mines and chief
executive of Bilboes, which is involved in gold mining.
Zimbabwe’s gold production fell from about 27 tons in 1999 to just 3.5 tons
in 2008. It is forecast to reach at least 13 tons this year, he says.
Uncertainty has caused some miners to look elsewhere, Mr Gapare adds. “We
spoke to one of the major gold producers in the world and they were very
keen, but as soon as that [indigenisation] announcement was made they
decided Zimbabwe wasn’t for them.”
In Zimbabwe the battle over what constitutes a fair share of mineral wealth
may be resolved in time for another cyclical downturn.
By Lance Guma
02 December 2011
One of the three Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) leaders, arrested in March
and charged with treason, is still locked up inside Khami Prison.
John Gazi, Paul Siwela and Charles Thomas were arrested on allegations that
they distributed flyers calling for the overthrow of the government and the
separation of the Matabeleland province from the rest of Zimbabwe.
Although Siwela and Thomas were released in June after several bail
applications, SW Radio Africa understands Gazi is still behind bars, since
he faced other charges, including fraud. Although he was briefly released on
bail he was later convicted of fraud in a separate case and sent back to
We understand Gazi was sentenced to 4-5 years in jail but parts of the
sentence were suspended on condition he paid US$5,000 in compensation to the
complainant in the case. Gazi was also meant to pay a fine in court. But
having only raised half the amount required he was sent to prison.
Nompumelelo Moyo, Bulawayo, December 06, 2011- Confusion continues to dog
the erection of the late Vice President of Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo’s statue
with a senior member of the project revealing that the Ministry of Home
Affairs is investigating the abandonment of the project by a Harare based
“I have been told by the Ministry of Home Affairs that they are
investigating the issue surrounding the delays in the completion of the
statue. They are investigating to find out why progress has been stalled and
to see the way forward,” said the Director of the National Museums and
Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ), Dr Godfrey Mahachi.
Dr Mahachi said the project that was abandoned two weeks ago.
“Progress on the site of the statue should not take time. If the ministry is
investigating the cause of the stoppage, it should not take more than two
weeks to resume,” he said.
The co-minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi said he would make a formal
announcement when work on site resumes.
He refused to be drawn to disclose the reasons behind the delays on the
completion of the re-erection of the statue.
Last week media reports said Zanu (PF) whose national people’s conference
kicks off in earnest on Thursday were trying to rush contractors to finish
the construction of the statue so that President Mugabe would unveil it
during the conference.
Early this year, Mohadi announced that the project was supposed to be
completed before Heroes Day commemorations in August but the contractors
failed to beat the deadline.
Nkomo's statue was pulled down last September with the family alleging it
had been by-passed and did not capture the exact attributes of the late
Father Zimbabwe who died in 1999.
CABINET OF ZIMBABWE PRESS STATEMENT
THE LAUNCH OF AMA AGROBILLS INITIATIVE, 5th December 2011
Summary of Recommendations
Following extensive consultations with financial institutions, seed houses,
fertilizer companies and millers, the Cabinet Inter-Ministerial Committee on
the Commercial Financing of Agriculture proposed commercial investment of
US$100 million of new money from Zimbabwean financial institutions into
Agriculture for grain production, particularly maize in respect of the
2011/2012 agricultural season. This scheme was adopted by Cabinet on the
22nd of November 2011, and will provide funds to cover:
• US$21 million that GMB owes farmers
• US$18.6 million that Government owes seed houses and fertilizer companies
• US$4.5 million kick-start deposit that seed and fertilizer companies
require in order to start delivering seed and fertilizer for 2011/2012
• US$56.2 million new commercial financing to all farmers (Communal, A1,
Commercial, and A2).
This funding framework is achievable through Government approved issuance of
270 to 360 days US$100 million Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA)
AGROBILLs through CBZ. In order to make the AGROBILLS attractive, Government
has accorded the following special features to the AGROBILLS; prescribed
asset status, liquid asset status, tax exemption, and 50% Government
guarantee. As a broader enabling arrangement, the Committee recommended the
establishment of an interbank market through the introduction of Treasury
Bills. In addition to its traditional role of ensuring a strategic grain
reserve, GMB must be transformed into a commercially viable entity that
continuously buys (paying promptly) and sells grain at competitive market
Recognizing the importance of food security, and that of agriculture as the
mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy, Government wants to ensure that the
2011/2012 agricultural season is a success by making inputs available to
farmers (involved in grain production) at reasonable prices and in a timely
manner. Furthermore, Government takes cognizance of the current liquidity
constraints affecting the entire economy, in particular the insufficiency of
both the state efforts (the US$30 million input/grain swap scheme, and the
US$45 million subsidy scheme) and the intervention of the NGOs.
Consequently, the Cabinet set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee with the
Develop a scheme that provides affordable commercial financial resources for
grain production in the 2011/12 Agricultural season, without further
burdening the fiscus.
THE 2011/2012 AGRICULTURAL SEASON
Government support for the current agricultural season is, so far, not
enough to meet the requisite supply of inputs to farmers, especially with
regard to inputs at subsidized prices. The Government’s pledge of $45
million is inadequate to achieve the desirable levels of grain production.
The US$30 million grain/input swap has had a slow uptake. There is need to
supplement the Government effort with funds from commercial sources. A
considerable percentage of farmers are unable to purchase inputs from
reputable companies at commercial rates without Government assistance in the
form of a subsidy.
If the current situation is not addressed, the result will be low
agricultural production as well as a glut of seeds and fertilizers. Seed
houses and fertilizer companies are at the same time heavily borrowed in
preparation of the 2011/2012 agricultural season. These input suppliers are
also still owed UD$18.6 million from the previous season’s programme.
Furthermore, the input suppliers have not been paid the 10% deposit they
would have needed in order to start implementing the Government’s planned
US$45 million programme for the 2011/2012 season. Further complicating the
issue is the fact that the fertilizer suppliers owe Sable Chemicals
significant amounts for the supply of Ammonium Nitrate (AN). Sable Chemicals
in turn owes ZESA for the supply of electricity, which has led ZESA to turn
off electricity supply to Sable, halting production of AN.
This agricultural finance grid lock needs to be solved urgently to avert a
potential disaster in agriculture production which might end up being very
costly as the country would be forced to resort to food imports. GMB has
been unable to pay for grain deliveries by farmers due to limited funding.
GMB owes farmers US$21 million, money which would have enabled some farmers
to finance their own input requirements and to effectively plan for the
DETAILS OF RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDRESS THE SITUATION
To avert the problems associated with underfunding of the 2011/2012
agricultural season, Government is implementing a Commercial Funding
Programme for the season consisting of the following elements:
Issuaing of 270 to 360 days US$100 million Agricultural Marketing Authority
(AMA) AGROBILLS through CBZ Bank. CBZ Bank is the current leading bank in
Utilizing the proceeds from the AGROBILLS as follows:
Purpose Beneficiaries Amount (US$)
Paying off farmers for grains delivered to GMB depots GMB 21 000 000
Providing funding for the 2011/12 farming season Fertilizer companies and
seed houses 56 200 000
Paying off outstanding amount from 2011/12 winter season Fertilizer
Companies 8 200 000
Paying for the 10% deposit to kick-start the US$45 million facility
Fertilizer & Seed Companies 4 500 000
Paying off debt outstanding from 2010/11 season Seed Houses 10 400 000
Total 100 000 000
ANALYISIS OF THE US$100 MILLION FACILITY
The different uses of the US$100 million sourced through the AGRI BILLs
complement each other.
The payment of the debt owed by GMB to farmers (US$21 million) will unlock
cash into the Agricultural sector as farmers are able to utilize some of
their cash in grain production related activities. The payment of farmers
for grain delivered to GMB will also improve the reputation of GMB as a
buyer of grain, thus attracting more grain, and enhancing GMB’s potential to
play a meaningful role in the commercial funding being proposed in this
Paying the fertilizer and seed companies what is owed to them by Government
(US$18.6 million) and providing them with the 10% kick-start deposit of
US$4.5 million, will provide them with the liquidity they need for their
operations, in particular the immediate movement of grain and fertilizers to
depots and farmers throughout the country. The Sable Chemicals ZESA bill
which has led to Sables being switched off is around US$6.5 million. The
fertilizer companies owe Sable, once they are paid what Government owes them
they will be able to pay Sable, and Sable will be able to settle its debt
with ZESA, and hence power will be restored. Sable will thus be operational.
Hence, the provision of commercial financing to cover the Government debt
(US$44.1 million) to both input suppliers and farmers, partly unlocks
liquidity for grain production for the 2011/2012 season. In fact, the
injection of any new commercial finance into the procurement of inputs by
farmers is inconceivable without addressing this debt.
The injection of US$56.2 million to finance the procurement of inputs by
farmers for the season 2011/2012 is the new money being added directly into
grain production by the Financial Institutions. This will then complement
the efforts of the Government (the US$45 million subsidy facility, and the
US$30 million swap scheme) and those of the NGOs.
PRICING OF THE AGROBILLS
In line with international pricing of Bonds in the region, the Bills are
expected to be raised at a coupon rate of around 10%. The pricing will be on
a tender basis. With an onward lending interest rate of 2%, the effective
interest rate to the farmer will be 12%.
Facility Repayment by Farmers
Farmers will settle their obligations at maturity from sales proceeds of the
financed produce. The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) and the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) have agreed to work out the modalities that would
ensure that all farmers who are funded under this programme will have a stop
order facility which will be utilized to collect the financed amount from
the proceeds from grains delivered to the GMB to settle loans with the
It is critical that this stop order facility works, and collection for
financing repayment is effective. In developing this instrument lessons must
be learnt from cotton and tobacco experiences including regional best
practice. The issue of side-marketing of grain must be addressed. Grain
production is a viable business, the farmers will produce enough grain to
pay their debt, and remain with extra grain for own use or trade. The
challenge will be on effective collection for repayment. The ability to
collect grain for repayment will define whether this commercial scheme
succeeds or fails.
GMB; Facility Repayment & Role in Stop Order Execution
GMB should settle their obligation from sales proceeds of grain that it is
currently holding. Government wiil be authorizing GMB to offload the grain
at current import parity prices of around US$240 per tonne, which ultimately
would imply a subsidy of US$45 per ton. At a price of US$240 per ton (which
the millers are agreeable to), GMB will realize US$48 million if it sells
200 000 tonnes. This revenue is adequate to (a) repay the US$21 million to
be made available under this scheme, (b) provide liquidity for the
transportation logistics of this proposed programme, and (c) the cash
required to promptly pay for new grain deliveries.
Once GMB has demonstrated capacity to pay and has a record of timeous
payments, more producers will willingly sell their grain to GMB. In fact,
GMB will be the preferred buyer of grain. In this way the SGR will be
maintained. As a general reform beyond the repayment, GMB must operate as a
commercially viable and efficient institution.
Major reforms are required at GMB. While the SGR must be retained, grain
must circulate. GMB must be able to continuously buy and sell grain. This
will ensure that the SGR is maintained with fresh grain. GMB must also
consider re-introducing maize grading. The GMB board must reflect all the
key agriculture stakeholders; fertilizer companies, seed houses, millers,
commercial banks, and other corporates.
The reformed GMB must be our millers’ preferred seller of grain and our
farmers’ preferred buyer of grain.
If GMB cannot be quickly reformed, another commercial institution must be
appointed or structured to develop and execute the farmer stop-order
AGROBILLS Special Features
In order to make the AGROBILLS attractive to potential investors Government
has accorded the Bills the following special features:
• Prescribed asset status
• Liquid asset status
• Tax exempt status
• 50% Government guarantee
The following documents have already been issued by Government and RBZ to
operationalize the issuance of the AGROBILLS:
Prescribed Asset Status Certificate issued by the Commissioner of Insurance
and Pension Funds
Liquid Asset Status Authority by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
Tax Exemption Certificate by the Ministry of Finance
50% Government Guarantee by the Ministry of Finance.
Through consultations, it was agreed that there is a 50% Government
guarantee over the entire $US100 million. This means for the purpose of the
guarantee the $US100 million will be considered indivisible. The 50%
guarantee is spread across the entire amount. This means the Government and
Financial Institutions are equally sharing the risk, and should work closely
together to ensure repayment of the finance. Thus, there will be no
defaulting and the guarantee will not have to be exercised. In the worst
case scenario, that none of the farmers pays back, the Government will have
a debt of $US50 million, and the Financial Institutions will lose $USD50
million. Of course this will not happen. As demonstrated in the Ministerial
report, grain production is a very viable and highly profitable business.
The key issue is for the Government and the Financial Institutions to work
together in developing an efficient and effective stop order system to
facilitate collection of repayments. If this is done the Government will not
accrue any debt and the Financial Institutions will not lose any money. In
fact they will make healthy profit, while as a country we achieve food
security and inclusive economic growth.
LONG TERM ISSUES
There is need for a long term funding strategy for Agriculture, in order for
us to avoid the fire-fighting and crisis management that led to the
establishment of this Inter-Ministerial Committee. A process for the
development of a long term and comprehensive agricultural policy, including
the funding thereof, must be structured, discussed and adopted. Some of the
ideas and concepts in this paper can form part of this long term strategic
framework for Agriculture.
The issue of improved yields per hectare has to be addressed. The most
important variable in grain production is productivity, i.e., yield per
hectare. It is not enough to provide inputs for agriculture. The matters of
yield management and innovation leading to higher productivity are critical.
Agritex initiatives, use of high yield seeds, special fertilizers, and
creative methods such as Farming God’s Way (FGW) are necessary but too late
to affect this year’s yields. Programmes must be started nationwide for the
remainder of the season and for all future seasons for all farmers in
particular small scale farmers. Commercial funding of these yield management
and innovation activities must be sought as part of the long term
Agriculture policy and strategy.
Hon. Professor Arthur G.O. Mutambara, MP
Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Zimbabawe
Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Commercial Financing of
John Nyashanu 7 hours 43 minutes ago
Defence minister Emmerson "Ngwena" Mnangagwa, one of the shrewdest
politicians in the country, was on Saturday night reportedly involved in a
car accident which killed a cyclist at the 76-kilometre peg along the
“The accident happened at around 10pm and the cyclist died on the spot. The
minister was on his way to Harare when tragedy struck,” said a senior police
officer who preferred anonymity.
However, National Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena, though confirming the accident, declined to shed light on
whether or not the powerful politician’s vehicle was involved in the fatal
“We are investigating an accident involving a driver by the name Termius
Shumba which occurred at the 76-kilometre peg in Selous. A cyclist
travelling in the opposite direction was hit and died on the spot,” he said.
Pressed to confirm reports that Mnangagwa was in indeed in the car,
Bvudzijena only said: “The issue is irrelevant at the moment.
What we are interested in is the accident and not identities of the
occupants,” adding the cyclist had tried to cross the road when he was hit.
Mnangagwa, who reportedly escaped unscathed, is believed to lead a Zanu PF
faction eyeing to take over the party and Zimbabwe’s presidency from
87-year-old incumbent, President Robert Mugabe.
Efforts to get hold of Mnangagwa proved fruitless yesterday.
A close confidant of President Mugabe since the liberation war, the Defence
minister has held various posts in Cabinet since independence in 1980.
However, he is unlikely to land the country’s top job on a silver platter as
yet another faction, reportedly led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, is
In 2004, Mnangagwa lost the battle for the Zanu PF vice-presidency to
Mujuru, who had the backing of her powerful and influential husband, the
late Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru.
Now as the party’s crucial annual conference roars into life in Bulawayo
today, the two bigwigs are once again expected to employ numerous tactics to
strengthen their respective factions in a bid to finally lead the
revolutionary party and Zimbabwe.
But President Mugabe is unlikely to step down any time soon, hence will not
be succeeded by any presidential hopefuls this year.
Already most provinces have endorsed his candidature for the next election,
be it in 2012 or 2013. -NewsDay
By Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 09:20
HARARE - Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has taken a swipe at diamond mining firm
De Beers for claiming that Zimbabwe’s diamonds are inferior, saying the
global diamond giant’s statements were meant to disrupt observers from the
company’s unlawful activities.
Recently, De Beers announced that it was pulling out of Zimbabwe’s diamond
industry after discovering the diamond deposits in Marange did not meet its
Stephen Lussier, the chief executive of De Beers Forevermark, remarked that
the Marange diamonds were generally too small and of low quality for the
brand to sell.
“That is the most idiotic statement that an organisation like De Beers would
make, I mean they were here for 15 years so when did they realise that our
diamonds are not of any quality,” Mpofu told Businessdaily on the sidelines
of a mining stakeholders’ conference in Harare last week.
“The statement is laughable; the world cannot be fooled any longer by
looters like De Beers. They have been here and they know what crimes they
committed not only in Zimbabwe, but in Angola, Namibia and in West Africa —
Côte d’Ivoire,” Mpofu added.
“They have done a lot of harm to the industry hence their retreat now, they
are retreating from the diamond industry and selling their assets to Anglo
for the reasons that they have been committing crimes against humanity and
the countries that they have been operating in.”
De Beers Zimbabwe, the local unit, carried out its operations between 1993
and 2006, and first prospected in the Marange area in the late 1990s.
De Beers media relations head Lynette Gould has been quoted as saying that
before the company left Zimbabwe, it sought an audience with the government
and handed over its findings as its operations were carried out above board.
“The prospecting in the region was concluded by early 2006, with the
conclusion that the primary source for such diamonds was not local, and De
Beers moved to relinquish its prospecting rights in the region,” Gould said.
“The presence of diamonds in the Marange area was first discovered in the
period 2001 to 2003 by De Beers during its exploration search for primary
deposits,” she said.
Gould added that another aspect that made De Beers consider its future in
Zimbabwe was that the government had created an environment of uncertainty.
“In addition, the government had created an environment of uncertainty
regarding the status and future of the concession,” the spokesperson said.
Mbada Diamonds, in partnership with the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corperation, were allocated the De Beers claims when its exploration licence
Early this month, Zimbabwe was given the green light by the Kimberly Process
to start selling diamonds from controversial Marange area.
Zimbabwe is estimated to be sitting on a stock-pile of 4,5 million carats of
the precious stones worth about $2 billion.
The government is optimistic that the proceeds from the diamond sales will
boost the economy, providing anything between $600 million and $1 billion
annually to the fiscus, after a decade-long stagnation.
De Beers had always been on a collision course with the Zimbabwean
government since 1991 when the Mines ministry cancelled its diamond claims
near Beitbridge following a two-year wrangle in which De Beers refused to
market its diamonds through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe.
The controlling shareholders of the company, the Oppenheimer family, have
put up for sale its 40 percent stake in the global diamond producer for $5,1
billion to diversified global miner Anglo American ending its almost 80-year
involvement with the company.
The deal will increase Anglo’s stake in De Beers from the current 45 percent
to 85 percent, although the Botswana government — which owns the remaining
15 percent — could decide to take part in the transaction and increase its
own stake in De Beers to 25 percent by way of pre-emptive rights.
Tuesday, 06 December 2011
The MDC calls for an immediate end to the continued persecution and arrests
of journalists and civic society members across the country by State
security agents. This follows today’s arrest of Media Monitoring Project of
Zimbabwe (MMPZ) Director Andrew Moyse at his Milton Park offices in Harare.
On Sunday, three officials from MMPZ – Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and
Gilbert Mabusa were arrested in Gwanda for facilitating a civic education
meeting in the town last month. They are still in police custody.
They are being charged under the repressive Public Order and Security Act
(POSA), an Act which should be repealed.
The MDC expresses revulsion over the continued arrests, detention and
persecution of journalists at a time when the country is supposed to be
working hard to open up space for freedom of expression, assembly and
The MDC once again urges the police to be professional and not to be abused
by any political party. It is sad to note that the arrests of the three MMPZ
officials follow that of four other journalists who have recently been
arrested on the instructions of Zanu PF officials.
The Daily News editor, Stanley Gama and reporter Xolisani Ncube were
arrested last week on the instructions of Zanu PF’s Minister of Local
Government, Rural and Urban Development, Ignatius Chombo. They were charged
with criminal defamation after exposing Chombo’s ill-gotten wealth.
Last month, Nevanji Madanhire, the editor of The Standard and reporter Nqaba
Matshazi were arrested after reporting that a medical aid owned by a Zanu PF
sympathiser was collapsing. As a party, the MDC is worried that any
opinions, analysis, news reports or meetings that are not pro Zanu PF
suddenly become matters of interest to the police and innocent people are
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
The Centre for Community Development In Zimbabwe (CCDZ) condemns in the
strongest terms the politically-motivated arrest of Mr Andy Moyse, the
director of the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ). The arrest of
Mr Moyse in Harare and three (3) MMPZ advocacy officers in Gwanda is a well
calculated move by the partisan and discredited Zimbabwe Republic Police
(ZRP) to silence the media and NGOs ahead of the planned elections.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has lost all credibility as an
institution that is supposed to conduct its duties in a non-partisan and
professional manner. We urge the immediate release of Mr Moyse and his
workmates. The MMPZ and CCDZ will continue to provide civic and voter
education to people so that they can make informed choices during elections.
The arrest of MMPZ employees is part of a wider strategy by the government
to clampdown on media and civic groups that are considered vocal during
election time. MMPZ is a target because of their voter education to
grassroots communities ahead of the constitutional referendum and the
planned elections. No amount of pressure from the ZRP and other state
agencies will deter us from working with communities and disseminate
information on the lack of progress in the implementation of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).
The partisan conduct of ZRP is a clear indication that Zimbabwe is not yet
ready to deliver a credible election. We reiterate our calls for a clear
elections roadmap, including the reform of abusive State institutions like
ZRP before the next elections. Without reforms of these abusive State
security apparatus, the planned elections will be another sham.
Issued by CCDZ