Mon Dec 7, 2009 11:12am GMT
By Nelson Banya
HARARE (Reuters) - Aid agencies, led by the United Nations, on Monday
launched an appeal for $378 million to meet Zimbabwe's humanitarian needs,
amid signs that the crisis facing the country is easing under its unity
Zimbabwe's power-sharing government, formed by President Robert Mugabe and
his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February, has presided over
improving social conditions in the country, but aid agencies say more needs
to be done.
More than 70 aid organisations, including U.N. agencies, are requesting the
money to for food security and to improve health, water and sanitation.
U.N. assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Catherine Bragg,
who presided over the launch ceremony in Harare, noted an improvement in
Zimbabwe's social conditions under the unity government.
"Zimbabwe is experiencing a gradual shift from humanitarian crisis to
recovery following political changes that positively affected socio-economic
conditions," she said.
"Despite improvements in food security, the country still faces a
substantial national cereal deficit and an estimated 1.9 million will need
food assistance at the peak of the hunger season, between January and
Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis peaked last year when a cholera outbreak,
blamed on collapsing health, water and sanitations systems, killed over
4,000 people in nearly 100,000 cases. About 7 million people needed food aid
Bragg said the easing crisis meant the 2010 aid request would be the lowest
since agencies and the U.N. began the appeals process in 2006.
Donors managed to provide 64 percent of the 2009 appeal of
Western donors, seen as key in Zimbabwe's recovery efforts, have been
providing mostly humanitarian aid while holding out on direct assistance to
the government until it implements broad political reforms.
December 07 2009 ,
John Nyashanu, Harare, Zimbabwe
The South African mediating team has returned to Zimbabwe hoping to get
further input into the country's political crisis, which could culminate in
an elusive deal.
After presenting a report to President Jacob Zuma on their last visit, the
team says they will meet principals and negotiators from all political
parties. This, as the Zimbabwean negotiators failed to beat a 30-day
deadline set by the South African Development Community troika on politics,
to resolve outstanding issues of the truce agreement.
It is however believed the feuding parties have found common ground on media
reforms and the appointment of provincial governments. But there are still
some outstanding issues. The SA head of delegation, Charles Nqakula says:
“We believe that there will obviously be a story that we will hear. That is
our main purpose so that we can better report back. We have given a report
and of cause there were still some details that we still wanted to have.”
Analysts say individuals like the central bank governor Gideon Gono and
attorney general Johannes Tomana should not be the focus of negotiations.
Political Analyst Barnabas Thondlana says: “What we are looking for and what
we are looking at is strengthening of institutions not the issue of
individuals. So you can remove Gono today but if you have not strengthened
that institution you may have problems tomorrow.”
Mxolisi Ncube | 07 Dec 2009
World Politics Review
JOHANNESBURG -- President Jacob Zuma's recent appointment of a team of
envoys to monitor the unity government in neighboring Zimbabwe could mark a
departure from the quiet diplomacy employed by South Africa under former
President Thabo Mbeki.
Zuma took over the mediation role in the Zimbabwean crisis last month, and
appointed a three-person team two weeks ago to oversee the functioning of
Zimbabwe's national unity government. Established on Feb. 15, the coalition
government in Harare has been threatened by sharp differences between the
country's two main political rivals, President Robert Mugabe's ZANU (PF)
party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's principal MDC formation.
The South African team is headed by Charles Nqakula, a former defense
minister who is also Zuma's political adviser. The other two members are Mac
Maharaj, a former transport minister who is currently South Africa's special
envoy to Zimbabwe, and Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma's foreign policy adviser.
Analysts say that Zuma's team, which they described as "tough as nails," is
likely to come up with recommendations that will put an end of Mugabe's
obstructionism. Mugabe has previously taken advantage of South Africa's
reluctance take a more muscular role in negotiations in order to maintain
his grip on power, to the detriment of his coalition partners.
"This brings to an end the business-as-usual approach that has been employed
by South Africa in the past," said Emmanuel Hlabangana, a human rights
lawyer and director for Diaspora Dialogue. "The fact that President Zuma
has appointed a team of proven negotiators, a team with integrity who can
break the deadlock, shows his will to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis
immediately and concentrate on [South Africa]."
Another analyst, who requested anonymity, said that Zuma, now under immense
pressure from his coalition partners within the African National Congress
(ANC) party -- especially the Congress of South African Trade Unions
(COSATU) -- needs to get Mugabe into line to ease domestic pressure back
COSATU Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi last week told the media in
Johannesburg that South Africa would only prosper economically if it worked
overtime to resolve the crises in neighboring countries -- especially
Zimbabwe, which has an estimated 4 million of its nationals living as
economic and political refugees in South Africa.
"Zuma is under a lot of pressure to deliver on his pre-election promises of
bettering the lives of poor South Africans and create more jobs," said the
analyst. "Close to 1 million South Africans lost their jobs this year, and
his only chance of managing to ease the pressure lies in a solution being
found to the situation up north."
The analyst said that Zuma, who began with an approach similar to Mbeki's,
was shocked by Mugabe's recalcitrant stance. Meanwhile, protests in South
Africa over government service delivery continue grow.
Zulu told World Politics Review that her team, which traveled to Harare last
Sunday, has already presented its findings to Zuma.
"We submitted our report to the president on Wednesday," she said. "He will
in turn hand it over to the [Southern African Development Community] so that
they can act on it."
Although she would not go into detail on what the report contains, it is
widely believed to detail issues affecting the unity government, most of
which have been blamed on Mugabe.
"Our task is to ensure that all parties adhere to what they agreed on when
signing the Global Political Agreement (GPA), and that all its contents are
implemented immediately," added Zulu.
That could be interpreted as a sharp attack on Mugabe, who has been fingered
by the two opposition MDC formations as the reason behind the slow-motion
implementation of the unity government.
"There is no other mechanism in place to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis other
than the GPA," Zulu added, "and all parties to the government must ensure
that it is followed and all its requirements implemented fully."
Among the issues derailing the Zimbabwean political accommodation to date
have been Mugabe's appointment of his close associates, Gideon Gono and
Johannes Tomana, to the positions of central bank governor and attorney
general, the president's alleged use of state security agents to harass MDC
officials, the government's continuation of violent land seizures, and the
octogenarian leader's refusal to swear in Roy Bennet for the position of
deputy agriculture minister.
Bennet is Tsvangirai's close ally and the MDC's treasurer general, and is
facing terrorism charges that his party says are trumped up and politically
Media freedom also remains a pipe dream, as repressive laws like the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (.pdf) and the Public Order and
Security Act still remain fully operational, used as instruments to harass
journalists that are deemed to threaten the status quo.
Zuma's new team has suddenly raised the hopes of most Zimbabweans who still
believe that the GPA, if followed to its letter and spirit, is the only
short-term measure capable of addressing their country's decade-long
economic and political crisis. The question remains whether the team will
live up to its promise.
Mxolisi Ncube is an exiled Zimbabwean freelance journalist based in
Johannesburg, covering politics and human rights. He used to report for the
Zimbabwean, a privately-owned weekly newspaper, and various political Web
sites both locally and abroad, until fleeing government persecution in
By Tichaona Sibanda
7 December 2009
Negotiators from ZANU PF and the MDC were expected to present a detailed
report on the current state of talks between the parties to their principals
There have been no leaks from the negotiating teams except vague suggestions
that the parties are close to reaching an agreement on some minor issues,
but none of the key ones. The negotiators worked all weekend until late on
The facilitation team, led by ANC stalwarts Charles Nqakula and Mac Maharaj
and President Jacob Zuma's international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu,
were scheduled to meet the negotiators on Monday.
When the team returns to Pretoria on Tuesday they are expected to present
President Zuma with a report, which he will forward to President Armando
Guebuza of Mozambique, the current chairman of Troika.
Harare based journalist Stanley Gama told us the media was finding it very
difficult to cover the story because of the secrecy surrounding the talks. A
SADC Troika summit gave the parties up to December 5 to meet and review the
implementation of the GPA and resolve all outstanding issues, under South
It's not clear if the facilitation team will meet Robert Mugabe, Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara. The three principals were due to meet on
Monday for their weekly indaba. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that
Mugabe, and possibly Tsvangirai, might leave Harare on Monday night to
attend a UN climate summit in Copenhagen in Denmark. Both leaders were
invited to the summit by the UN.
There was speculation in the media that Mugabe was going to make an
'important announcement' concerning the set up of the four constitutional
commissions that were established by government as stipulated in the GPA.
However, Mugabe has had the names of the commissioners for the last two
months, which highlights how slow any progess is and how Mugabe is
However our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said Mugabe might finally
announce the names of commissioners to sit on the Zimbabwe Media Commission,
the Independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Anti-Corruption
Commission and the Human Rights Commission.
'We are just waiting for news but at the moment nothing is being said by the
government. There is a feeling of frustration among journalists here because
the government or negotiators are not forthcoming with any information,'
It's now ten months since the formation of the inclusive government and the
political rivals are still haggling over the full implementation of the
SADC-brokered unity agreement.
Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of unilaterally appointing party loyalists to
executive positions in government in violation of the GPA. Top among the
contentious issues is the appointment by Mugabe of Attorney General Johannes
Tomana, central bank Governor Gideon Gono and 10 governors from ZANU PF.
The MDC is also demanding a stop to renewed state sponsored violence, the
prosecution of party activists on spurious charges, continued bias against
it by the state media, fresh farm invasions by ZANU PF supporters and the
clandestine deployment of military personnel to instill fear among villagers
in the countryside.
ZANU PF has cited the removal of the Western-imposed targeted sanctions, the
so-called 'pirate' radio stations and what they allege is the establishment
of parallel government structures by the Prime Minister's Office.
By Alex Bell
07 December 2009
The MDC's Transport Manager Pascal Gwezere, who is still being kept behind
bars on trumped-up charges, could find his prison stay drawn out even
longer, after the Attorney General's office filed an application challenging
Gwezere was granted bail more than 2 weeks ago after being charged with
weapons theft, but he has been forced to remain behind bars at Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison. The High Court had granted Gwezere US$500 bail with
strict conditions, but the State immediately invoked a draconian legal act
that forced him to remain in remand for another week. Chief law officer
Michael Mugabe has since lodged an appeal against Gwezere's bail in the
Supreme Cour, and until the Court makes a determination on the matter it is
likely Gwezere will remain locked up.
The MDC employee was abducted from his home in Harare last month, and was
'missing' for almost a week before finally being brought before the courts,
bearing signs of severe torture. He has since stated that his abductors
repeatedly interrogated him using torture methods, leaving him with serious
injuries to his head, feet, leg and back. Despite these injuries, Gwezere
has been denied access to private medical care, with prison officials openly
ignoring a ruling that he be allowed access to proper care. As a result,
Gwezere's overall health is seriously deteriorating and there are genuine
concerns about how he will manage being imprisoned much longer.
Gwezere has been charged with stealing firearms from Pomona Barracks and
receiving military training in Uganda a decade ago. The military training
charge has already been thrown out by the magistrates' court, while the MDC
has said the theft charges are trumped up.
By Lance Guma
07 December 2009
Attempts to mend a rift within the national students union took a major step
back when a former student was attacked and left for dead by a gang of
unknown assailants. Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) President
Clever Bere, locked in a bitter fight with a faction led by former Vice
President Brilliant Dube, says he was the target of Friday evening's attack
on Benson Matsveruka.
In an interview with Newsreel on Monday, Bere said Matsveruka was assaulted
by a gang of six as he approached the entrance of a house inhabited by
ZINASU leaders. 'The gang started assaulting him, indiscriminately using
clenched fists and booted feet, mistaking him for me,' he told us. It's only
when one of the assailants shouted 'it's not Bere' that they stopped the
attack and sped off in an unidentified twin cab vehicle.
'Matsveruka was left for dead and unconscious, his shirt and trousers were
heavily stained in blood as a result of the assault. He is receiving
treatment at Parirenyatwa Hospital,' a ZINASU statement read.
The national students union split into two factions this year following
disagreements over whether to support the government's constitution making
process or not. Bere's group was allegedly backed by the National
Constitutional Assembly and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions who
favoured a boycott, while Dube's group received support from the MDC who
wanted them to participate. Efforts were underway to bring the warring sides
together, but the latest attack is set to destroy any goodwill.
On Monday Bere said it was difficult to pinpoint who was behind the attack
on Matsveruka because it could have been state security operatives
exploiting the infighting or members of the other faction settling scores.
Bere listed several attacks against student leaders aligned to his group
which he said were instigated by people loyal to the other faction.
ZINASU say they have already reported Friday's attack to the police in Glen
View and investigations are already been launched. Whether this will lead to
any arrests is another matter, given it could have been the state after all
who was behind the attack.
By Moses Muchemwa
Published: December 5, 2009
Zanu-PF set for a new split over a Ndebele chairman thumbnail
Harare - Zanu-PF is set to fall into a new split, as the Matabeleland
allotment of the national chairmanship takes centre stage at the party's
Politburo meeting Monday.
Zanu-PF's secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa confirmed the
Politburo would debate over the 'contentious' chairmanship.
Nominations for the Zanu-PF chairman were concluded recently with Zimbabwe's
Ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo winning but Manicaland Province
accused some quarters of the party of having "misconception" that the
national chairman should come from Matabeleland region.
Zanu-PF Manicaland Provincial chairman Basil Nyabadza said there was no
legal provision in the Unity Accord, which notes that the Zanu-PF chairman
should be drawn from Matabeleland. However, this is to be source of major
disgruntlement to Ndebele speaking people who joined ZANU PF after the 1987
It is widely believed that Mutasa who comes from Manicaland is interested in
the national chairmanship.
Zanu-PF was reformed in 1987 following the signing of the Unity Accord on 22
December 1987 Unity Accord between PF-Zapu and Zanu-PF.
In the mean time, president Robert Mugabe revealed last week that Manicaland
party members interested in the national chairmanship were free to lobby for
support as 'the post was still open'.
He said Matabeleland region was tasked to lead the nomination of
Vice-President, which was won by incumbent Zanu-PF national chairman, John
Nkomo, and not the chairman's post.
Party members from Matabeleland are also set to be shocked this week after
".we, however, did not put up the chairmanship for discussion and we were
even surprised to read through the media of Khaya Moyo's nomination as
Party members say that Mutasa, who is close to Mugabe will most likely win
his plot of the post because of his close relations with president Mugabe.
December 7, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - SADC executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salomao says Zimbabweans should
be patient with current negotiations among the political parties in
government, just as a deadline set by the SADC troika in Mozambique expired
Salomao, who sneaked into the country Wednesday night on a low profile
diplomatic visit to add impetus to the sluggish talks, said there was
progress in the talks.
"We are satisfied with the progress," Salomao told ZBC TV on Friday, "just
give them a chance to finalise.
"I believe they are mature people. They are serious and they are committed
and they know what is good for Zimbabwe and what is good for them."
The visit by the SADC chief followed that of three emissaries from South
African President and new facilitator in the talks, Jacob Zuma, who is keen
to see a speedy resolution to Zimbabwe's political crisis.
Zuma's country is host to over a million Zimbabweans who have fled hunger
and joblessness in the past decade from a country that was once the region's
The team comprises Zuma's political adviser Charles Nqakula, anti-apartheid
struggle veteran Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu, International Affairs Adviser
to the South African leader.
Salomao said the facilitation team was going to come back to receive a full
report on the talks.
Although the progress of the talks remain an issue of speculation, the
negotiations, which started more than two weeks after a SADC troika in
Mozambique gave the parties 15 days and not later than 30 to deal with
outstanding issues to the Global Political Agreement (GPA). December 5 was
the last day.
Continued feuding by the parties has affected the smooth running of the
coalition government among President Robert Mugabe's former ruling Zanu-PF
party and the two MDC factions.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose party is making the most number of
demands from its partners in government, told a news conference in Cape Town
last Thursday the parties were making progress in the talks.
His ministers in government say the delays in the resolution of the crisis
have held back crucial constitutional and economic reforms which were
prescribed by the GPA.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Wednesday while presenting his budget
statement that political uncertainties brought by the continued failure by
the political parties to resolve their outstanding differences has slowed
down economic recovery in the country.
Similarly, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga was
quoted in the MDC official website as saying the crucial process was
"The people of Zimbabwe are dying for a new Constitution although they have
been facing various impediments," Matinenga said.
"However, it behoves us as government to produce a conducive environment for
the constitution-making process."
Key among the MDC's demands is the unilateral appointment by President
Mugabe, of party loyalists to executive government posts. The GPA stipulates
that parties must first agree before making any such appointments.
Tsvangirai's MDC wants Mugabe to reverse his unilateral appointment of top
allies to head Zimbabwe's central bank and the attorney general's office.
The MDC also wants Mugabe to swear in its nominees to five of the country's
provincial governorship posts to suit the voting patterns by Zimbabweans
Mugabe has also refused to swear in Tsvangirai ally Roy Bennett as deputy
The MDC is also unhappy by what it says is selective application of the law
to target its activists and officials.
On the other hand Zanu-PF, which insists that it has met all its obligations
under the GPA, accuses the MDC-T of not living up to a promise to lead a
campaign for lifting of Western sanctions against Mugabe and members of his
From Beliefnet (US), 3 December
Lying at the heart of south-central Africa, Zimbabwe sits between the
Zambezi River to the North and Limpopo River to the South. A country ravaged
by HIV Aids, political unrest, unemployment, poverty and food shortages,
Zimbabwe undoubtedly has a long and difficult road ahead if it is to reclaim
its former status as "the bread-basket of Africa". President Robert Mugabe's
policy of land redistribution, where white farmers were forcefully and
violently removed from their lands, the many charges of human rights abuses
as well as accusations of election tampering resulted in the country's
expulsion from the Commonwealth nations in 2002. The regime has seen much
bloodshed in Zimbabwe and has been met with widespread international
condemnation over the past ten years.
With the World Health Organization citing the life expectancy of Zimbabweans
as 34 for males and 37 for females, an inflation rate reaching a quarter of
a billion per cent at its peak in July of last year and the continued rule
of Robert Mugabe, it might be easy to dismiss Zimbabwe as a lost cause.
However, there are some some signs of change and improvement, providing hope
for the country's future. During his recent trip to Zimbabwe, Rabbi Shmuley
Boteach had the opportunity to speak with MDC-M leader and recently sworn in
deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara discussing with him the three-party
government solution, the role of the west in African politics and the steps
being taken to bring about a brighter, safer future for Zimbabwe.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach - Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, can you tell us about how
Zimbabwe is changing?
Arthur Mutambara: Right now we are presented with a unique opportunity for
Zimbabwe because Zimbabweans have decided to work together. For the past 10
years we have had acrimony and despair in our country so after the
inconclusive elections of '08 we decided the best way to move forward was to
go into government together. The first product of this new situation is
political stability as all three major political parties of Zimbabwe form a
working government, giving us an opportunity to build a shared vision.
Secondly, although we have experienced terrible economical circumstances in
the past, the inflation rate is now at just three per cent which shows
macro-economic stability is coming back into our country,that is a major
change. Thirdly, the quality of life is beginning to improve. Goods are now
available in the shops, capitalisation of in the industries is improving,
but there is still a challenge in terms of disposable incomes.
So now the focus is on trying to create jobs and build the economy, that is
the third layer of change: economic growth and development, but it is still
a work in progress. The major one is number four: our brand as a country, ie
what we are known for. We are known for censorship, for arresting our
journalists, but we are making moves to change that now. It is important
that Zimbabwe becomes known as a safe destination for investment, we also
want to be known as a safe destination for tourism. In other words we are
pushing what we call a hexagon of branding: tourism, trade/investment,
culture, people, governance in each of those six areas we are trying to
create a competitive identity for our country, we are trying to make
Zimbabwe a globally competitive economy.
RS: Would you say that some of the scepticism towards Zimbabwe on the part
of the international community, the worry that the young leaders are not
being heard or perhaps will be neutralised within a national unity
government, is misplaced?
AM: There are two major reasons why there is scepticism: one of them is
sheer ignorance and arrogance on the part of the west, I went to Oxford- I
taught at MIT, I'm a Rhodes Scholar. I think it's fair to say that I know
better than Obama what is good for Zimbabwe, that I know better than Hillary
Clinton what is good for Zimbabwe. So it is very arrogant and patronising
for Hillary or Obama to prescribe what is best for Zimbabwe without talking
to me first. In my opinion, the starting point is to remove ignorance and to
remove arrogance on the part of the west visa vi what's good for Africa. We
as Zimbabweans, are the best analysts, and the best scholars on the subject
called Zimbabwe. So when I say, in the short term there is no alternative to
working together, that there is no alternative to an inclusive arrangement I
believe that the West i.e. the Americans and the British, should respect
that. There is also a second reason which I will to in a moment, but in my
opinion the issue of respect is the really the major one. If they, the
political leaders of the west, were more reflective and decided to sit down
and talk to me in this manner: "you are a young leader, a Rhodes scholar,
you taught at MIT, you are smarter than me, tell me what's going on" because
I am- ya (laughs).
The second reason for scepticism is our own fault. We do have outstanding
issues on our agreement, we are still doing things in the country that
undermine confidence and credibility, so there are certainly some challenges
but they are not insurmountable. However those challenges do undermine our
credibility, those problems on our farms, the problems with the agreement,
the problems with our media damages our credibility and so people become
sceptical. So that can be consider positive scepticism because it is due to
our own misdemeanors and faults. That is reason number two, reason number
one is arrogance and ignorance but there are also good reasons why people
should be sceptical. The most important thing to remember now is that we
have no alternative, we have no plan B- all of us: Tsvangirai, Mugabe,
myself, are stuck with each other in the short run. This inclusive
government must work. And how will it work? By creating a new constitution,
creating national healing, recovering the economy, making political reforms
and media reforms, so that we can create conditions for a free and fair
election next time.
RS: So is it fair to say you are confident that this unity government, and
the input that you and Morgan Tsvangirai are bringing to it, is not only
giving your respective parties a voice but is also bringing about change?
AM: Absolutely, it is creating fundamental change, political stability,
economical stability, we are opening up the media, our people want us to
stay in this government. Our people are experiencing a new reality. Yes
there are problems, yes there are challenges but they are not
insurmountable. On the main, in general, we are making progress, and the
progress is towards a new Zimbabwe.
RS: The perception of Zimbabwe is one of a government which is inaccessible
and one where Zimbabwe has become synonymous with political intimidation. Do
you believe that also is changing?
AM: You see this is brings us back to the issue of our brand as a country;
it takes a long time to build a reputation and quite a second to destroy it.
What we have done in the past is destroy our own reputation, we used to be
the bread basket of Southern Africa, now we are the basket case. We used to
be the model of reconciliation in the country, now we are known for
intimidation, violence and so on. So we are now going back to our old brand
position, to our competitive identity. We are now recasting ourselves as a
nation of inclusiveness, as a nation of harmony, as a nation of
reconciliation, we need to recreate it because it has been destroyed over
the past ten years. We are moving there slowly but surely, but we have take
a bit of time to build that brand position.
RS: So back to your relationship to the west, you feel that the American
position is one of dictating to you whether or not you should work with
president Mugabe, and your feeling is that they really don't understand the
situation and that they need to sit with you and hear what you have to say.
Did you think that Obama in particular would be willing to talk to you?
AM: Well he's inexperienced so I think he's very careful. He doesn't want to
rock the boat too much, and yet what we want to see is leadership and
creativity. What we are saying in our environment, given our previous
election, there is no alternative to an arrangement of accommodation. When
we achieve the reforms we need to achieve we can prepare ourselves for a
free and fair election, with that election then producing a legitimate
RS: Do you have a timetable for the next election?
AM: Two years is the time frame in the agreement for a referendum, two years
starting from September last year. If we are not ready we can extend that
time period. What is important is to create conditions for freedom and
fairness. So if after two years we are not ready then we will say "let us do
more work". Remember that in Zimbabwe the question is not"when is next
election?" For the past ten years we have had elections which were not free
and fair and we have no clear answers as to why that was. The issue in
Zimbabwe is the calibre and the quality of the election. So the right
question is how and when can we make sure that Zimbabwe has a fair and free
election. The 2000 elections where problematic, 2002 there were issues,
2005, 2008 also issues- so elections are not the answer. Creating
circumstances for a free and fair election is the answer.
RS: So do you feel you, Tsvangirai and Mugabe have a good working
relationship? As a triumvirate?
AM: We have no choice, but we have a working relationship. We are doing this
for our people, we are doing this because it is in the national interest, we
are doing this because it is the African solution. We might not like each
other, because we are coming from three different directions, but
unfortunately for us, our individual fortunes are intertwined and
inseparable at this juncture. That is why it is foolish of the Americans to
say, pull out of the government and have the election, they are being
unwise, because if we did have the election it would be unfree and unfair
and another victory for Mugabe. Myself and Tsvangirai must hold on in there,
work on a new constitution, work on the separation of powers, work on
national healing work on political and media reforms. So that next time
around we can get the free and fair election in which Mugabe might loose. So
do we have a nice working relationship? Not necessarily- but we do have a
RS: And the Americans aren't prepared to hear this?
AM: Perhaps, perhaps not, but now the most important thing is the African
dimension, this is very important, to be influential in Africa you must be
with African opinion. What do I mean about African opinion? SADC (Southern
African Development Community) and AU (the African Union).These are the
African institutions, if you can't convince them to move then you have to
move with them because otherwise you'll be ineffective. America cannot have
a foreign policy position that is opposed to SADC or the AU and succeed. So
we for example in this inclusive government were guided by SADC member
countries, they said " do it it's in your country's national interest". Once
they advise us to do that we cannot succeed if we go up against them. So the
greatest influence over the future of Zimbabwean politics lies not with the
intervention of western governments but rather lies with Africa and the will
of the African people.
December 7, 2009
HARARE - Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa has lodged a
complaint with the Joint Monitoring and implementation Committee (JOMIC),
alleging that the Prime Minister's party, the MDC, is politicising
humanitarian and food assistance in the Makoni District of Manicaland.
Chinamasa suffered heavy defeat to the MDC's late John Nyamande in Makoni
North Constituency in the historic parliamentary polls in March last year
that handed President Mugabe and his party their first electoral defeat
since independence in 1980.
Nyamande died in a road accident two weeks ago.
Chinamasa chronicled two witness accounts of alleged politicisation of
humanitarian and food assistance by the Tsvangirai-led MDC-T in Wards 20 and
22 of Makoni Rural District Council. He further alleged that the MDC was
working in cahoots with Irish humanitarian agency, GOAL.
In his correspondence, which has since been probed by the JOMIC secretariat,
the Zanu PF Senator says the MDC distributed food along partisan lines on
October 26 at Nyahukwe Primary School and on October 28 at Sabhuku Foto's
"I am writing to bring this incident to the attention of JOMIC as such
incidents are in violation of Article XVI of the GPA (global political
agreement), in particular, Article 16.3 which reads as follows:-
"16.3 Non governmental organisations involved in giving humanitarian and
food assistance shall do so without discrimination on the grounds of race,
ethnicity, gender, political affiliation and religion and in doing so, shall
not promote or advance the interests of any political party or cause," said
Chinamasa's letter of complaint to JOMIC.
JOMIC is special multi-party taskforce mandated with supervising the
implementation of the GPA signed by Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties last
It handles all complaints, grievances, concerns and issues relating to
compliance with the GPA
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa rejected the accusations, and said the MDC was
not involved in any politicisation of food in conjunction with any NGO.
Efforts to reach GOAL were futile at the time going to press.
The practice of dishing out food handouts to villagers in exchange for
political support has been blamed on Zanu PF over the past decade, and was
mainly carried out in recent years through the central bank's farm
Chinamasa's letter says at Nyahukwe School Sport Fields, villagers were
ordered to gather under their respective headmen and registered to get
fertiliser from GOAL. An MDC councillor allegedly delivered a political
speech informing the villagers that fertiliser was coming from the MDC. Only
those with less than five cattle were eligible for the fertiliser.
"A Mr Tsungano of MDC-T claimed that he had been given MDC-T pamphlets with
the picture of Tsvangirai a day before," Chinamasa's letter says. "He was
busy distributing them to each member who was written down for inputs. We
wondered why GOAL was seeing this and kept quiet. GOAL is also involved in
this dirty game," said Chinamasa.
Sources in the JOMIC said the secretariat had been tasked to probe the
incident and a team including the political liaison officers from all the
three parties in the JOMIC, had visited Makoni and discovered that the said
pamphlets with Tsvangirai's picture were, in fact, the Prime Minister's
newsletter which is being distributed countrywide free of charge.
Chinamasa's letter also chronicles events of October 28 at Sabhuku Foto's
"People were awaiting fertiliser distribution from GOAL which is an NGO
operating in Makoni Administrative Council," says the letter. "GOAL members
were present. People were put in groups of their respective villages and
were waiting to be registered for fertiliser distribution. The MDC
Councillor in Ward 22, Clarah Radzokota gave a political speech in which she
claimed that the items being distributed were coming from MDC-T."
Again Chinamasa alleges pamphlets with the Prime Minister's picture were
"She distributed the pamphlets to each member who was written down for the
fertiliser inputs," the letter says. "GOAL officials said nothing and did
not stop what Councillor Clarah was doing. GOAL officials just stood and
watched as Councillor Clarah was making the speech. It was obvious that GOAL
was part of the scheme to promote the interests of MDC-T through food
Some four million people - a third of the population - rely on aid after
poor harvests and an economic crisis.
President Mugabe's party has accused some aid groups of campaigning for the
MDC and last year ordered that all of them re-apply for accreditation and
promise not to get involved in politics. MDC officials have, on the other
hand, accused Zanu-PF of delivering food only to the party's supporters,
while withholding supplies from areas which back the MDC.
Dec 7, 2009, 10:06 GMT
Harare - A London-registered mining company is demanding the eviction of
Zimbabwean state companies and their South African partners working the
controversial Chiadzwa diamond field in the east of the country, lawyers
Lawyer Jonathan Samkange said he had lodged an urgent eviction application
on behalf of African Consolidated Resources, whose claim was grabbed by
President Robert Mugabe's government in 2006 but which won a Zimbabwe high
court ruling in late September declaring it to be the lawful owner of the
ACR officials say that the two companies occupying the site, police and
state mining authorities have ignored the September ruling.
The Chiadzwa field earned notoriety last year when human rights agencies
reported that 200 people had been murdered and thousands tortured and
assaulted when police and the army launched a crackdown to drive off about
20,000 illegal diggers and panners at the site.
Industry experts fear that revenue from the lucrative diamond field are
being channeled to cronies of Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, instead of to the
country's cash-strapped unity government.
Minister of mines Obert Mpofu gave mining rights to South African companies
New Reclamation and Core Mining around the same time as the September court
The companies have formed joint ventures with the state-owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation.
'It is evident that the diamond mining (by the two companies) on the ACR
claims is unlawful and has been unlawful from the very beginning,' said ACR
chief executive Andrew Cranswick, who added that only his company was
entitled to exploit the claims.
ACR could suffer 'irreparable harm' if the case was not dealt with urgently,
as the alluvial diamond field had a limited lifespan.
No date for the hearing of ACR's eviction application has been set.
December 7, 2009
By Our Correspondent
BULAWAYO - Some journalists on Friday failed to attend the Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists (ZUJ) congress where elections of a new executive were held
while others boycotted the meeting held in Bulawayo.
Dumisani Sibanda, news editor of the government-controlled Sunday News was
elected as new president of the union.
Sibanda was elected after the venue of the congress had been abruptly
switched to a remote place, some 30 km outside the city of Bulawayo, for
A former political editor of The Chronicle, a newspaper also controlled by
the government, Sibanda takes from long-time president, Matthew Takaona.
Takaona, said to have played key role in organising the congress, assumed
the reins of power back in 1998.
Some journalists complained about apparent attempts to manipulate Friday's
Until Friday, the day of the elections, delegates, who included those who
had been vying for posts in the new executive, were kept guessing on the
venue of the congress.
Freelance journalist, Frank Chikowore, said the venue was abruptly switched
to How Mine at the last minute, a place which is not easily accessible to
Speaking to The Zimbabwe Times, Chikowore who was vying for the post of
secretary general, said he was forced to boycott the election in protest
over what he said was a flawed process.
"This was a farce," said Chikowore. "It was a shame election. I can equate
that to the June 27 (2008) presidential runoff election. The venue was
shifted now and again.
"To start with, it was never advertised in the newspaper despite a placement
in the Herald advertising of the holding of the congress itself. The former
executive led by Takaona merely stated that the venue was in Bulawayo
forgetting that Bulawayo was very big."
ZBC's Mercy Pote was elected first vice-president, Michael Padera (Herald)
second vice-president, with Vince Mugumbate as treasurer, while Foster
Dongozi retained his post as secretary general unopposed.
A Standard newspaper senior reporter Nqobani Ndlovu, who was vying for the
position of vice-president, also boycotted the congress in protest over the
confusion over the venue.
He said he was already preparing to challenge the ZUJ congress results in
the High Court.
"My lawyers are working on papers to challenge the ZUJ results in court ,"he
said. "I live in Bulawayo where the congress was held but I didn't know
about venue up to the last minute and that is unacceptable.
"How can they run away with the elections?"
Takaona on Thursday said the venue of the congress was kept secret because
there were groups of people who had been hired by politicians to come and
disrupt the process.
"There is absolutely no secrecy around the organisation of the conference,"
said Takaona. "According to the ZUJ constitution, all delegates going to the
congress are members of the national council who in this case involve branch
chairpersons and their secretaries.
"This is clearly laid down in the constitution."
7th Dec 2009 18:00 GMT
By a Correspondent
PERMANENT secretary for Media, Information and Publicity George Charamba,
has conceded that the state has always had a controlling monopoly of radio
He admited to this in an interview with the Herald newspaper where he
sharply criticized the continued operation of Voice of America's (VOA)
Studio 7 amid allegations by his office that there was a
government-to-government agreement between the United States and Botswana.
In a story that appeared in the Herald of 4 December 2009, titled Botswana,
US propaganda pact exposed, Charamba alleges that Botswana entered into a
bilateral agreement with the united states to beam anti-government
propaganda messages into Zimbabwe and that there was a recent upgrading of
the transmitting equipment to scale up the pirate broadcasts.
Responding to the question of whether the setting up of the radio station
would assist in opening up the airwaves, Charamba said the VOA "was trying
to cloud the issue by not dealing with the real matter at hand." "This
country has had a State broadcasting monopoly since day one of radio
services", he observed.
Speaking on the subject, the permanent secretary said that the government to
government agreement between Gaborone and Washington was in violation of the
ITU (International Telecommunications Union) protocols, Zimbabwe's
sovereignty and the Global Political Agreement (GPA), although no reasons
were given to substantiate the existence of the alleged pact or violation of
He went on question why such radio station never broadcasted during the days
of the colonial era and why they only started broadcasting with the advent
of the land reform. Charamba further remarked that the alleged transmitter
was done with the singular purpose of upping the scale of "media terrorism
Charamba's comments come after the inclusive government has undertaken to
open up the airwaves by issuing out licences to new broadcasters and media
players. Article 19 of the Global Political Agreement clearly states that
"government shall ensure the immediate processing by the appropriate
authorities of all applications for re-registration and registration in
terms of both Broadcasting Services Act as well as the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act". More than one year late after the signing of
the GPA, this undertaking remains a pipe dream.
7th Dec 2009 13:22 GMT
By a Correspondent
MANY journalists from privately-owned media organisations boycotted the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists' (ZUJ) congress held in Bulawayo last Friday
where Dumisani Sibanda, news editor of the state-run Sunday News, was
elected new president.
The former political editor of the Chronicle was elected amid controversy as
the congress was unexpectedly switched to a remote venue, some 30km out of
Sibanda takes over from Matthew Takaona, who retains control at the union
after successfully lobbying to stay on as a "consultant". His critics
claimed he imposed preferred candidates to take over from his old executive.
Until Friday, the day of the elections, delegates, who included those who
had been vying for posts in the new executive, were kept guessing about the
venue for the congress.
Finally, it emerged the congress would be held in How Mine, which was not
easily accessible to many journalists.
Freelance journalist Frank Chikowore was angling for the post of secretary
general, but says he was forced to boycott the election in protest over what
he alleged was a "flawed process".
"This was a farce. It was a sham election," said Chikowore. "The venue was
shifted now and again. To start with, it was never advertised in the
newspaper despite a placement in the Herald advertising the holding of the
"The former executive led by Takaona merely stated that the venue was in
Bulawayo forgetting that Bulawayo is very big."
In the ballot, Sibanda polled 28 votes to beat his rival, Isdore Guvamombe,
the Herald's news editor who had 12 votes.
The ZBC's Mercy Pote was elected first vice president, the Herald's Michael
Padera (Herald) second vice president while treasurer Vince Mugumbate and
secretary general Foster Dongozi were unopposed.
Nqobani Ndlovu, a senior reporter with the privately-owned Standard
newspaper who was vying for the post of vice president but failed to attend
as a result of the "venue fiasco" has threatened to go to court to challenge
"I am talking to my lawyers to challenge the ZUJ results in court," Ndlovu
said. "I live in Bulawayo where the congress was held but I didn't know
about venue until the last minute. It's unacceptable. How can they run away
with the elections?"
Takaona last Thursday said the venue of the congress was kept secret from
the rest of the ZUJ membership because there were groups of people who had
been hired by politicians to come and disrupt the process.
"There is absolutely no secrecy around the organisation of the conference.
According to the ZUJ constitution, all delegates going to the congress are
members of the national council who in this case are branch chairpersons and
their secretaries. This is clearly laid down in the constitution." - New
Click here to read IDASA's Attached is IDASA's GNU Watch for November.
MEETING HELD AT THE DIOCESAN OFFICES, 9 MONMOUTH ROAD, AVONDALE ON
SATURDAY 5 DECEMBER 2009 AT 1200 HOURS.
Over the last two weeks, and at intervals recently, Dr Kunonga has
again interfered with the parishes in this diocese in contravention of
the judgments that have been handed down over a period of time since
January 19 2008 and in an attempt to destabilize the diocese. The
following are some of the incidents that have occurred:
Saturday 28 November 2009: St Clare's Church Murewa: The police
entered the church as Bishop Chad was about to administer the elements
and drove everyone out of the church. When asked why the reply was
"political". The incident is being pursued with the Officer in Command
of DESPO in Marondera as the officer-in-charge at Murewa had no right
to interfere with the service.
On Sunday 29 November during the Confirmation Service at Kuwadzana the
congregation was ordered out of the church by the police and the
service was held in the open. The Police did not assist us in
preventing the parishioners being forced out of the church by Kunonga
thereby disobeying the court order and not upholding the judgment.
Tafara: The parishioners have been informed by a letter posted at the
church that Dr Kunonga will be holding one service all day on Sunday 6
December 2009. This is in contravention of the Makarau Judgement
permitting CPCA priests to hold services ninety minutes after those
held by Kunonga's priests.
Church of the Transfiguration Warren Park: The parishioners have been
informed the only one service will be held on Sunday 6 December by
Kunonga from 0800-1700 hours and members of CPCA may attend if they
wish. Again contravention of the Makarau judgement.
St Faith's Budariro: Three weddings were due to be held last week.
Some of the known supporters of Kunonga entered the church after the
first wedding and said that there is a new chapter beginning and
people can only attend their services and not those of CPCA.
Glenview: A competition was supposed to be held by a cell phone
service company today 5 December 2009. Permission was granted as
Kunonga people never use the church on a Saturday. When the PR lady
was supervising the erection of the marquee she was told that Kunonga
would be at the church all day and the event has been cancelled. The
priest and parishioners have been stopped from using the church.
St Elizabeth's Belvedere: Were due to have a fete today which has been
well publicized. The police were informed in advance but when the
person appointed to liaise with the police went to check yesterday he
was told that Kunonga would be having a fete today and that the church
was booked in advance of CPCA booking the church. In addition the
doors have been bolted from inside and the lock changed on the gate.
Hatfield: On Friday 4 December two or three visitors went to see Rev
Zhou and informed him that they wanted to use the church all day on 5
and 6 December. There however are two weddings booked and they were
informed that they could use the facilities after the weddings but on
Sunday the Salvation Army use the church after CPCA and therefore it
would not be available.
St Paul's Marlborough: On Sunday 29 November Munyani and six priests
went to St Paul's just before the start of the 0700 service and called
the priest out and told him to tell the parishioners to go home and
come back at 1230 hours in contravention of the court ruling. The
Kunonga priest was called as there is a written agreement with him. He
was told that he should not have agreed without permission from the
Head Office (Kunonga).
Bishop Gaul College: On Friday 4 December Kunonga and two others went
to the College with a bunch of keys. The ordinands were told that
Kunonga would "come like a whirlwind to the College".
The diocese is not taking these contraventions lightly and will be
pursue through the courts any attempt by Kunonga to prevent the
legitimate services being held.
The Bishop, Dean, priests, wardens and parishioners are determined to
continue with the services at the times that they have been holding
them in accordance with the Makarau Judgment and will not tolerate
thebreaching of the court orders by the Police.
Please continue to pray for the diocese for strength and wisdom to
overcome the evil that is being perpetrated.
This email has been sent from a network acting as a free conduit for
news and information related to Avondale Parish and the Anglican
Diocese of Harare (CPCA).
Information received by the network is sent privately and anonymously
worldwide by email to those who have a concern for the church in
Zimbabwe. Details of mailshot recipients always remain strictly
This and all previous messages are also available online at
Monday December 7, 2009
Visiting Zimbabwe can be a heart-wrenching experience. It is a beautiful
land of warm and soft-spoken people. But hovering over the landscape at all
times is the specter of extreme poverty and political oppression. The
poverty is merely tragic. But the political oppression is brutal, murderous,
and criminal. Most of the people I met went quiet with fear on the subject
of Robert Mugabe, afraid that a stranger may be a government agent and any
criticism can make you the next target of his thugs.
One innocent victim was Ben Freeth, a sunny Christian farmer who, after
publishing an article in the Western press about the illegal and murderous
farm seizures being carried out by Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party, was savagely
beaten and later watched as his farm was burnt to the ground. When I met
Freeth in Harare last week he described to me and my friends from the
Christian relief organization ROCK of Africa who were hosting us how, in the
midst of the assault that fractured his skull, he suddenly reached out and
touched the feet of his assailants and said, "Bless you, bless you." My
Christian counterparts were deeply moved by this quintessential story of
Christian love for one's enemy. I, however, was aghast.
Ben is a hero who, at the risk of his life continues to serve as a spokesman
for the thousands of white families who have been brutally dispossessed of
their land and many of whom have been killed. But I could not help but
challenge this aspect of the story. "Every ounce of blessing we have in our
hearts has to be reserved for the all the AIDS orphans that I saw dotting
this once-proud land. These wretched thugs deserve not our blessing but our
contempt, not our love but out hatred." A debate broke out in the room. I
alone maintained my position. My dear friend Glen Megill, a saint who
founded ROCK of Africa, said, "Shmuley, Jesus told us to love our enemies."
Yes, I said. But your enemy is the guy who steals your parking space. G-d's
enemies are those who murder His children. And Jesus never said to love
G-d's enemies. To the contrary, the book of Proverbs is clear, "The fear of
the Lord is to hate evil." Psalms reinforces the point. "Those who love G-d
This is something that has always puzzled me. My Christian colleagues at
ROCK of Africa are angels. In ten days we distributed corn seed to the
poorest villages, gave out mosquito nets, hugged and prayed with AIDS
victims, and put on large feasts for hundreds of hungry villagers and
children who dwell in mud huts. We colored pictures with orphans in Harare
and gave them toys and presents. The hearts of evangelical Christians are
enormous repositories of loving-kindness. But why must the heart be so wide
as to extend to Mugabe's killer henchmen? What place have murderers earned
in our hearts? The same is true of my many Christian brothers who have told
me that their faith commands them to love Osama bin Laden.
My fear is that such distortions of Christian teaching undermine our resolve
to confront evil regimes. When Jesus enjoined to 'Turn the other cheek,' he
meant to petty slights and humiliations. Does any sane person really imagine
that he meant to ignore and overlook mass murder?
Mugabe has brought a reign of terror to Zimbabwe, making its name synonymous
with wholesale slaughter, political intimidation, brutalization of
opposition elements, and illegal land grabs. The country is now the poorest
nation on earth, with an annual per capita GDP of just $200. Donor agencies
estimate that more than 5 million Zimbabweans, representing almost half the
population, currently rely on food handouts. The stores are half empty and
last year they were completely empty. The ATMs often have no cash. Many of
the gas stations have run out for the day. Even Victoria Falls is nearly
bereft of tourists.
The black population is noble, extremely welcoming, and exhibit the nobility
of spirit of those who have suffered much but complain little. A white
population of approximately 4000, down from about 250,000, still remains.
They seem to love Zimbabwe, consider it their home, and insist on staying.
They are, of course, hopeful signs, especially the new unity government
which has brought Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara into shared power
with Mugabe. I interviewed Mutambara, a 43-year-old former Rhodes scholar
whom I knew from Oxford and is now the country's deputy Prime Minister (the
full interview is available on my website). A compelling man of vision,
eloquence, and academic brilliance, he is convinced that within two years
Zimbabwe will be completely ready for free and fair elections. I hope he is
But farm confiscations continue and Mugabe's gangsters still terrorize
political opponents. And the only hope for Mugabe to be completely and
utterly marginalized is if the international community comes together to
push him off the scene. This will not come if the man does not chill our
bones. We must not bless but curse his rule.
I don't do well with tyranny. I have undisguised contempt for tyrants and
knowing that I was staying just a few miles from Mugabe's house spooked me
throughout my stay in Harare. As you drive by his home you are told that you
are not allowed to look for fear of attracting suspicion and being arrested.
Highly-educated locals told me there is a law that says that you cannot
stare at his motorcade either and that his guards have been known to fire on
those who do. Is this a man whom my Christian friends tell me I must love?
No, I refuse. I will go further. Anyone who loves the wicked is complicit in
their wickedness. Anyone who blesses the cruel is an accomplice to their
I choose to bless the courageous people of Zimbabwe rather than the tyrant
who has slaughtered and impoverished them. I choose to bless a country like
America which fights to liberate the weak in Iraq and the oppressed in
Afghanistan rather than the Saddams and the Taliban who have brutalized
them. Most of all, I choose to bless people like Ben Freeth that one day the
long arm of justice will catch up to his tormentors and they will discover
that while G-d is indeed a long-suffering G-d, for those who continue to
slaughter innocents He is also a G-d of justice.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of This World: The Values Network was on a
relief mission to Zimbabwe with Rock of Africa. To read his blogs and see
videos of the visit, go to http://www.shmuley.com.
Comment from The Los Angeles Times, 7 December
Consumers can send a powerful message by shunning diamonds from Zimbabwe,
where torture, forced labor and other human rights abuses are inflicted in
the diamond fields.
By Tiseke Kasambala
As Americans flock to stores for holiday shopping, some plan to buy diamonds
for loved ones. But that special gift could have a bloody past. If the
diamonds are from Zimbabwe, the stones could have been mined under the
control of Zimbabwe's army, which Human Rights Watch found has killed more
than 200 people, engaged in torture and used forced labor, including
children, in the nation's Marange diamond fields. The good news is that US
consumers can help expose and shut down the illegal trade in these diamonds.
All they need do is ask their retailers about the source of the diamonds and
request the seller to ensure that the gems are not from Zimbabwe. If the
retailer can't, then make it "no sale."
During several visits this year to the Marange fields for Human Rights
Watch, I spoke with more than 100 people who had witnessed killings and
beatings or suffered torture, forced labor, rape and the looting of their
property by military officials who control informal mining syndicates. The
army pilfers and smuggles out the area's rough gems, keeping the substantial
profits for itself and the political party of Zimbabwe's authoritarian
president, Robert Mugabe. If mined legally, these diamonds could materially
benefit a population that has been brutalized by oppressive rule and a
man-made humanitarian disaster. Instead, people near the diamond fields live
in abject poverty and constant fear. A woman who had been forced to dig for
diamonds told me: "The soldiers were armed and guarded us every day while we
worked in the fields. Each day we worked for 11 hours without a break. The
children worked the same hours." Those who resisted faced torture, beatings
or even death. At the diamond fields, the soldiers forced us into a cage and
beat us throughout the night," a boy from Mutare told me. "We were forced to
fill the holes and gullies made by local miners using bare hands. We were
given no food or water."
It was not supposed to be this way. Seven years ago, in the aftermath of
horrific abuses committed by West African rebel groups enriched by diamond
wealth, an international body backed by the United Nations -- the Kimberley
Process Certification Scheme -- was founded to ensure that traders and
consumers could identify these so-called blood diamonds and prevent their
trade. The group now represents 75 countries, including Zimbabwe and the
United States, and claims to cover 99% of the global rough-diamond industry.
But the Kimberley Process has proved to be ineffective in stamping out the
smuggling and sale of blood diamonds from Zimbabwe and other countries.
These gems continue to find their way into jewelry stores worldwide. In
Zimbabwe's case, blood diamonds often get smuggled onto world markets via
unregistered traders in neighboring countries such as Mozambique or South
Africa. These countries either don't or can't certify the origin and flow of
the stones, which then become intermingled with legitimate gems. Earlier
this year, a Kimberley Process review mission found that diamonds in eastern
Zimbabwe are mined under conditions of serious human rights abuses and in
breach of the organization's standards, which require members to ensure that
diamonds are lawfully mined, documented and exported. But the Kimberley
Process works by consensus. Its members include Namibia, Russia and South
Africa, which support Mugabe and which also export diamonds to the US.
As a result of their objections, the Kimberley Process decided in November
not to suspend Zimbabwe or ban the sale of its stones. Its weak excuse was a
technicality in its mandate that defines blood diamonds as those mined by
abusive rebel groups, not abusive governments. It shouldn't matter who does
the abusing. The Kimberley Process, by failing to do its job, leaves
Americans and others in the uncomfortable position of potentially buying
blood diamonds. Consumers can no longer be sure that diamonds with a
Kimberley Process certificate are clean. Our latest information is that the
situation in Marange remains largely unchanged. Despite claims that the army
was withdrawing, most of the diamond fields remain under military control,
with smuggling, human rights abuses and corruption unchecked. American
consumers can send a strong message to the diamond industry, the smugglers
and those running these abusive mining operations: It is not acceptable to
trade in stones mined by children whose labor was coerced, by women who've
been raped or by men who've been tortured. So, press your jeweler about the
origin of the gems you want to purchase. If they're from Zimbabwe, don't buy
them. Diamond mining in Zimbabwe has inflicted great harm. US consumers need
to ask themselves whether that's a moral price they're willing to pay for a
Tiseke Kasambala is a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch
December 7, 2009
By Takarinda Gomo
IN recent years, President Robert Mugabe's choice of provincial governors
for Masvingo Province has been nothing but a curse.
The incumbent governor and Resident Minister, one Titus Maluleke, and his
predecessor Willard Chiwewe have two things in common. First, they have been
past masters at using their "good offices" to emasculate officials from the
Grain Marketing Board, and help themselves to farm inputs meant for the
Secondly, both men are above the law and owe their rise to the revered
governorship to their ardent and staunch support for Zanu-PF with the
exception that Chiwewe was reported to have wept when he was ditched by
Mugabe last year.
In a report published in The Zimbabwe Times (November 30, 2009), some 180
tonnes of very scarce Ammonium Nitrate (AN) fertilizer were found by police
hoarded in a warehouse in Masvingo City belonging to governor Maluleke.
A police source confirmed that indeed the fertilizer was found in a
warehouse that belonged to governor Maluleke and the fertilizer was traced
to GMB Masvingo depot.
Asked to explain himself, Maluleke, a former primary school teacher, who
failed several promotion interviews to become headmaster, said he had
receipts to prove that he had purchased the fertilizer.
From the whole length and breadth of Masvingo Province or indeed the entire
country generally, President Mugabe found Maluleke most suitable for this
The governor is a simpleton, who cannot grasp that subsidized inputs are
intended for poor farmers from communal lands and resettlement areas who
cannot afford the market value of the inputs. The retail price for a 50kg
bag of AN fertilizer is US$30 if you can find it. With government subsidy,
the same bag costs US$7 at GMB.
If the poor farmers can access the subsidized inputs, then they increase
their yields. If that happens countrywide, then poverty is reduced and the
farmers can sell the surplus to the GMB. That is how economic planners
Maluleke did not agree with such 'warped' reasoning of bookish economists.
Remember he is not so intellectually endowed. An opportunity for arbitrage
had presented itself to him, a Christmas present from his ancestors.
In the Shona language there is a saying that goes: Chawawana batisisa,
mudzimu haupe kaviri (grab every opportunity that comes your way because
lady luck does not come twice).
So Governor Maluleke bought 180 tones of AN fertilizer at $7 per bag. One
tonne is equal to 20bags of 50kg each. This means Maluleke had 3 600 bags of
this scarce commodity stashed in the warehouse. At $7 per bag, he needed
only a sum of $25 200.
No problem! A telephone call to the local branch manager of a bank for an
overdraft of $25 200 was all he needed to apply for. The bank manager would
actually and physically, bring the forms for signing at the governor's
office. That is the sweetness of power.
AN fertilizer is not only in short supply all over the country, but farmers
whose maize crop will be knee-high by Christmas time are frantic and looking
everywhere for the fertilizer. Maluleke is rubbing his hands in glee.
Around December 18 he can release his contraband on the parallel market at
$50 a bag and raise a cool US$180 000 then pay off the bank manager US$25
200 leaving Maluleke with US$154 800 lining his pocket!
It pays to be a senior Zanu-PF official because there are opportunities one
can never dream of. Even a semi-literate person can make colossal sums of
money. That is why why some of these people will consider even killing
anyone who stands in their way, or attempts to take political power from
them by any means, fair or foul.
Before he fell from grace, Willard Chiwewe, the immediate former governor
and Resident Minister for Masvingo Province, was reported in the press in
2006, as being implicated in a similar scandal. He but admitted guilt but
escaped with a fine . Case closed!
Last year the media was awash with stories of legislators being prosecuted
for abusing the input distribution scheme. A few from Zanu-PF were hauled
before the courts but they were all acquitted. MDC legislator for Zaka North
Ernest Mudavanhu was found guilty. The cases of the Deputy Minister for
Women's Affairs, Evelyn Masaiti (MDC-T) and Tachiona Mharadze, the
legislator for Masvingo West (MDC-T) are still pending for trial.
If you occupy any position in Zanu-PF or you are just a loyal quisling, you
are not only immune from prosecution but you can spin money and become
extremely wealthy. Ask Titus Maluleke.
Anyone seeing the above headline would probably cringe at the accusations against one Robert Gabriel Mugabe. But rather than react to this statement, let’s have a look at just how I substantiate the claims…
1) DUPLICITOUS CHARACTER
“Duplicitous” is “marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another”.
Mugabe is at present crying about “illegal full economic sanctions” against Zimbabwe - when these are, in actual fact, targeted travel sanctions against Mugabe and his loyalist following. He has gone so far as to suggest that these “illegal full economic sanctions” are the real reason why the Zimbabwean economy finally collapsed… whereas in all truth and honesty, the collapse was engineered, orchestrated and choreographed by Mugabe’s ZANU PF party in an effort to maintain some hold over the Zimbabwean people.
Mugabe also has attempted to sell the “land grab” to the people of Zimbabwe and the free world as a returning of the land to the “landless blacks” - but, in reality, the land grab has been nothing more than “legalising” the forceful eviction of the white commercial farmers from their land.
In many cases, the farmlands had been purchased from the Mugabe regime - who had declared “no interest” in the land - and then they grabbed the land once the farmer had turned it into something worthwhile.
Mugabe also claims that any compensation is payable by the British government. If his government sold the land since 1980 to a willing buyer, why should the compensation payable to the farmer be paid by a foreign power - especially since his regime had been paid for that land since independence?
2) A LIAR
Mugabe has been caught out as a liar more times than we can shake a stick at. And he carries on regardless of what evidence is produced to counter his claims.
Despite being the subject of targeted travel sanctions, Mugabe is often invited to various United Nations conferences - and invariably he takes a huge entourage with him - and, inexplicably, he is given the floor at these events.
He then makes all manner of allegations - among them that the West is fomenting regime change, that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is a front for foreign powers and that the West will not rest until he is dethroned. (Mugabe has also stated that “only God” can remove him from power.
A prime example of his heavy-handed politics is the first round of the Presidential election early last year.
The ballots had closed, and suddenly ZANU PF - a party with a vested interest in the result of that election - spirited the ballot boxes away to an unknown place where they were re-engineered to a more palatable result, and released to the public some five weeks later!
In the interim, Mugabe had his various wings of ZANU PF - war veterans, youth militia, police, army, air force - visit a reign of terror upon the MDC supporters which resulted in the death of at least 130 people.
Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round and Mugabe was ‘elected’ in a one man sham election - and sworn in with some alacrity.
The truth of the matter is that Mugabe lost the election, and that Morgan Tsvangirai is the true leader of Zimbabwe.
Although ZANU PF lost the general election, they continue to hold all the power in parliament, and are in negotiation with the real winners of the election in an attempt to hang on to power.
3) A KILLER
The Gukurahundi in Matabeleland in the early to mid-1980s saw between twenty and thirty thousand people slaughtered by the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade.
Not one member of that force, nor their commanders, have ever faced criminal charges for those heinous acts. Indeed, Mugabe has even refused to apologise to the Matabele people for that genocide. The closest he has ever come to admitting his part in one if the bloodiest events in Southern Africa, is to say that the killings were “a moment of madness”.
I could probably list, which surprising detail, the deaths of MDC supporters at the hands of ZANU PF last year after the general elections - and could probably do the same for the workers and farmers slaughtered in the ‘land grab’.
Again, no one has been prosecuted for these acts.
If an officer tells a subordinate to murder someone, and the subordinate does so, then the officer is as guilty as the subordinate for that killing.
The same applies to Mugabe who had previous knowledge of the brewing storm – and the vast majority of killings were ordered by his office. The fact that he is reluctant to have any of his people prosecuted for the subsequent bloodshed is evidence enough that they committed the crimes with his prior knowledge.
Mugabe is a person of duplicitous character, is a liar and a killer - as sure as if he himself pulled the trigger, manufactured the ‘evidence’ against his protractors and lied to the free world.
And the free world should be dealing with it instead of turning a blind eye to his subsequent activities.
Zimbabweans all deserve a voice - and that voice needs to come from the free world, since Mugabe has such a hold over the media within Zimbabwe.
The facts speak for themselves.
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man
By Sanderson N Makombe.
Zimbabwe is currently in the process of writing a new constitution. One of the major challenges lies in recognising the rights of the Zimbabwean community living abroad. Currently Zimbabweans abroad are not allowed to vote in any election in Zimbabwe despite the fact that a great number are still on the voter’s roll. Only members of the armed forces are exempted, therefore eligible. The unfortunate outcome is that, of the 210 Parliamentarians and 93 Senators in Zimbabwe, none represents the interests of Zimbabweans abroad. Those Diasporas eager to make it have had to relocate back to Zimbabwe and stand in constituency elections to be elected. A case in point is the late Honourable John Nyamande of MDC-T who was settled in UK together with his family but had to stand in the constituency of Rusape Central.
It is settled fact that Zimbabwe has witnessed massive emigration in the past decade due to the economic and political instability characterising this aforesaid period and still prevailing. Most of those who have emigrated belong to the active working age group. As a result, massive brain drain has seen our highly skilled manpower seeking refuge and greener pastures in far lands. No doubt therefore, that Zimbabwe has lost a clique of some of our brightest citizens.
The majority of the Diaspora has maintained their intimate links with Zimbabwe. Most do confess that they will jump at the earliest opportunity to go back when the situation substantially improves both politically and economically. A good number have established business in various sectors of the economy, whereas the majority still send thousands of money to beloved ones every week.
There is compelling need for this constituency to be tapped in more and utilise their expertise in various fields. Most Diasporas advocate for their right to vote in elections in Zimbabwe. This is noble and the new constitution must recognise this. However just being allowed to vote is not good enough. What is required is a more advanced mechanism that allows the Diaspora to have an established voice at the highest level in Zimbabwe and in their host countries. Voting for an MP is Rusape will never advance interests of the Diasporas. In addition to being allowed to vote, the notion of expatriate MPs can be developed to give a permanace in terms of representation.
It is a fact that most Zimbabweans who have emigrated are settled in South Africa, Botswana, the UK, the USA, and Australia. The exact numbers are not known. However it is estimated that about 3 million Zimbabweans are living outside the country. These countries could be designated as constituencies for the purpose of elections. Political parties and individuals would be allowed to participate in elections and be voted as an MP .Of course these demographic regions are not uniform, which makes the first past the post and constituency based voting difficult. The best solution would be to elect using proportional representation. For example the UK could be allocated 5 parliamentary seats. Zimbabweans in the UK would vote for their party of choice and seats would be allocated to the parties according to the number of overall votes gained. Then the respective party would hold internal elections based on their own criteria to elect individuals who would seat then in parliament. The current system used by the EU for election of MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] could be a good starting point.
The expatriate MP would be just like a resident MP. Same rights, duties and responsibilities. The only difference is that they would be serving an overseas Zimbabwean constituency. It is highly improbable that they will be able to sit all sessions of parliament but concessions could be made on the number of session they would be required to seat in each parliamentary session. The main reason being the proximity of some of the regions to Zimbabwe and the cost associated with the travelling.
The idea of having expatriate MPs is not without foundation, though it is still evolving. France through the efforts of Presidency of Sakorzy has amended the constitution to provide for eleven expatriate MPs for the 2011 elections. It will be the first time that expatriate French would have the opportunity to choose their own MPs to represent them in the French Lower House. The regions designated as constituencies include Switzerland, UK, German, and Spain, Iberian Peninsula and Monaco, Eastern Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Middle East and two in Africa.
Portugal allows expatriates to vote by post for MPs in two "emigration constituencies" ("Europe" and "outside Europe") , electing a total of four of the 230 members of parliament. A government proposal in 1980 sought to increase the number of emigration constituencies to three (Portuguese-speaking countries, Europe, rest of the world), each with three MPs, but was not debated in parliament. It was revived recently and has substantial backing within the Council of Portuguese Communities.
In Croatia twelve parliamentary seats have been reserved since 1995 for expatriates' representatives, who are elected proportionally from specific lists for a four-year term. The number of representatives may increase in the near future.
In Ireland too, a constitutional amendment has been proposed, providing for the election of three members to the Senate (Seanad Eireann) by Irish emigrants. These would replace three of the eleven members currently nominated by the Prime Minister, leaving the present total of 60 members unchanged. However, this amendment has not yet been approved, a necessary first step before it goes to referendum.
However there are surmountable challenges if this idea is to become reality. Firstly, there is a very large number of the Zimbabwean expatriate community that is undocumented or have false documents. In the UK there are lots of Zimbabweans who have all types of passports, ranging from Malawian to Portuguese, some have none all, neither do they have national ID cards. These categories might not feel secure to be involved because of the fear of being found out mainly by the immigration authorities. In addition there are thousands who have sought asylum and haven’t their cases finalised. Their documents will be in the hands of the immigration authorities. This pauses the first great huddle, of confirming and verifying the exact number of Zimbabweans abroad in certain countries and determining their eligibility to vote or participate in the electoral process.
Secondly the issue of who would be tasked with the mandate to verify and register these citizens has to be addressed. This process is necessary to come up with a voter’s roll, which will also determine the number of seats to be allocated to individual geographic locations. If the reform process in Zimbabwe had moved with speed and we had an impartial embassy staff, they would have been the ideal persons and institution to deal with this problem. However the present institutions are still heavily skewed towards ZANU PF that most citizens would not trust them to come up with a credible document.
Then there is the issue of those who have acquired foreign citizenship. Currently Zimbabwean law forbids dual citizenship. This law was promulgated mainly to segment a certain electoral constituency which ZANU PF felt would have voted for the MDC.At its height, there were more than 750 000 farm workers in Zimbabwe and more than 20 000 white farmers. Trends in the 2000 referendum show they were more likely to vote for MDC than ZANU PF.A good number of these, and those who have attained new status in their current host countries have not gone through the process of renunciating one of the citizenship they hold which the law requires. It is hoped however that dual citizenship will be returned in the new constitution thereby allowing them to participate in future elections.
In addition, Zimbabwean communities abroad are not well known for being very organised themselves. Whereas there is a plethora of organisations that represent certain Zimbabwean interests, we lack unifying bodies that would make policy lobbying coherent and consistent. There are hundreds of Zimbabwean lawyers in UK, yet there is no organisation that represents them. The same with teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers etc.
Alternatively parliament could reserve a couple of seats for the Diaspora. Instead of holding election, an all-party parliamentary committee would be tasked with appointing Zimbabweans abroad as expatriate MPs. This would require that organised groups outside and individual Zimbabweans would forward names [or theirs] of their suggested individuals. The committee would select individuals whom it considers have specific skills that would be beneficial to the country and would possess requisite qualities to represent overseas population on wide range of issues. This probably was the essence behind non-constituency MPs [the difference being they were local], though Mugabe abused it by appointing his cronies.
The current parliament, to my opinion is relatively large for a country like Zimbabwe. I believe it would not be necessary to enlarge or increase the number of MPs.Rather certain constituencies could be amalgamated reducing the number of seats to around 190.The remaining seats will be set aside then for this very important body mass residing outside Zimbabwe.
The writer can be contacted at email@example.com
by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 07 December 2009
OPINION: In 2010, South Africa will become the first African country to host
the soccer world tournament.
Why has the wait taken so long? South Africa is the youngest African state
and yet boasts of the kind of infrastructure that convinced FIFA members to
vote for the country to become the pioneer host of such a prestigious and
national brand-building event.
With 53 countries, Africa has had to wait for the democratisation of South
Africa to join other continents that have hosted such events in the past.
What is so special about South Africa?
By UN classification, South Africa is a middle-income country well endowed
with human and natural resources, well developed financial, communications,
transport, legal, and energy sectors, a stock exchange that is world ranked
and respected, a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient and dynamic
supply chain and logistic industry.
It is the only country in Africa that was ranked 25th in the world in terms
of the Gross Domestic Product (PPP) in 2007.
Although the vast majority of the people in South Africa are poor, the
developed areas compete with some of the finest destinations in the world.
In order to better understand the foundations of modern day corporate South
Africa, one is compelled to look back in history to locate the men and women
who contributed to make South Africa the country it is today.
Only last week, the world watched with appreciation and satisfaction, the
hosting of the draw of the qualifying soccer teams in Cape Town and yet
without its complex heritage, there is no doubt that South Africa would have
fallen into the basket of countries that look at the past instead of seizing
With respect to the industrial heritage of South Africa, the foundations was
established during the pioneer phase from 1870s up to World War I when a
small group of no more than 30 European adventurers and financiers gained
control of the diamond industry at Kimberley, Northern Cape.
The individuals who pioneered the corporatisation of South Africa were later
described as Randlords for the role they played in setting up an
infrastructure of financing and industrial consolidation that was
instrumental in converting South Africa's hidden treasures into commodities
that could be traded in the world market.
In recognition of their role in bringing a new dimension colonial expansion,
many of the Randlords were recipients of awards from Queen Victoria.
This generation of entrepreneurs understood their calling so much so that
the political economy of South Africa is inextricably linked to their lives.
With the discoveries of gold from 1886 in Transvaal at Witwatersrand where
the term Rand is derived from, the journey that has led to South Africa
standing out as a country of promise commenced.
The role that the Randlords played in packaging the African story so that
capital could be mobilized for development is an important story that we
must include in our daily conversations.
Who were the men who made it happen? I have been able to identify 30
individuals that qualify to be called Randlords.
What occupied their minds?
As a first generation of black corporate players, I have tried to share my
philosophy on business but what is missing is that there appears to be no
cohesion among Africa's new generation of corporate builders of the kind
that characterized the industrial pioneers.
Such pioneers were men of great influence and the migration of people of
European heritage to Africa accelerated as a consequence of the
opportunities created by these men of vision.
They must have been acutely aware that there were no guarantees and nothing
was inevitable in a place where the majority indigenous people were
constructively carrying on their lives outside the corporate setting.
They knew that they were on their own notwithstanding the residual
protection they could get from the Imperial Administration and yet were men
of tremendous courage, selflessness and determination.
They had no choice but to transform their poor circumstances in foreign
territories, as they stood no chance in their mother countries to become
The wealth of the first generation of Randlords was seamlessly transferred
to successor generations who then concentrated on the process of
consolidation and corporatisation that saw mining companies being listed on
With a firm foundation, successor generations found it easier to build and
scale their heights.
Equally, in 1994, when South Africa became a democratic state, blacks that
moved into the corridors of state power were able to build on the legacy of
those who came before them.
Most of us who grew up in the black side of Africa, we really were never
part of the corporate history of the continent.
No one prepared us to appreciate the role of private citizens in building
the kind of civilization we see evident in some parts of Africa.
Rarely do we pause to think about our past. It is not unusual that when we
try to explain the poverty of today we have no option but to blame
colonialism forgetting that the people who came to Africa to settle did so
in their own interest and to better their standard of living.
History has shown that they accomplished the objective of empowerment with
no direct intervention of the mother country in form of either aid or
institutional and capacity building support.
Self-government was the clarion call and, therefore, the administrations
that were put in place had to be self-financing from the efforts of
entrepreneurs like the Randlords.
Colonial administrations had to respect their paymasters i.e. Randlords.
Many stand out as builders of corporate South Africa but no individual did
more for South Africa than Cecil John Rhodes whose worldview is something
that we need to interrogate with a view to better understanding of the
causal link between business and politics in the construction of an Africa
that works for its inhabitants.
What motivated Rhodes? We can only start to know the man through his
writings or words but more importantly from the consequences of his actions
Before Rhodes accumulated his incredible wealth, he wrote a revealing "will"
of 1877 in which he stated that he wanted to create a secret society that
would bring the whole world under British rule.
He believed that: "To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery
of life" and everything that he did in life was informed by this view.
He was passionate about his heritage and sought constructively to be part of
the change that he wanted to see in Africa.
An extract of his first known will provides a glimpse of the mind that
informed Rhodes' actions.
It states as follows: "To and for the establishment, promotion and
development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be
for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a
system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonization by British
subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by
energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British
settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the
Euphrates, the Island of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South Africa, the
Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole
of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate
recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British
Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the
Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members
of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render
wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity."
In our generation, it would be difficult to locate an individual at the age
of 24 as Rhodes was who could come up with a will that addresses issues
beyond the interests and rights of one's immediate family and friends.
Rhodes understood the importance of organization and more significantly that
a civilization that promotes individual creativity and freedom was a
superior one and investment needed to be made to bridge the knowledge,
capital and execution gaps that existed.
African industrial heritage would not be complete if it does not include the
contributions of the Randlords.
We have to invest in knowledge of our journey to 2010 so that we open the
debate on what kind of Africa we want to see.
We know what Rhodes stood for but we have yet to learn about what the new
Randlords stand for as black people continue to remove the corporate
barriers that were part of our colonial heritage.
Having located the Randlords a key part of our history, I will attempt to
identify each of the 30 names that stand out as builders of corporate South
Africa so that through their experiences, values, beliefs and principles we
can be challenged on what we must do to advance the interests of Africa so
that when we are long gone other people will know us through what we have
done to make African the kind of environment that can attract excellent
minds to its advantage. - ZimOnline
BILL WATCH 42/2009
[5th December 2009]
Highlights of the 2010 Budget: Wednesday 2nd December
No Early Reintroduction of
The budget is in US dollars, and the Minister made it clear that it was the unanimous Government position that a return to the local currency could not be seriously considered until there is evidence of a strong economy, with annual sustainable GDP growth rates of over 6%, high exports and high foreign exchange reserves, plus a balanced budget and institutional credibility. Government has, however, started consultations on an optimum currency regime, which will be followed by democratic debate and public discussions commencing next year.
Minister Biti said he had anchored the budget on the Three Year Macro-Economic Policy and Budget Framework: 2010-2012 [STERP II] which the inclusive government had come up with as the successor to the Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme [STERP].
Estimated Income and Expenditure
Income: The total budget for 2010 is estimated at $2.25 billion, made up of projected amounts from:
· Revenue [taxes, fees, rents etc.] of $1.44 billion [64%]
· International aid grants of $810 million [36%]
Line Ministries, departments and parastatals had submitted estimates for expenditure totalling $12 billion; but these have had to be cut down to fit the $2.25 billion that will be available to spend. [The Revised Estimates for 2009 authorised total expenditure of $1.39 billion.]
· Recurrent expenditure will account for $1.678 billion [117% of projected revenue and 75% of the total budget]. [Note: Employment costs will account for over 60% of projected revenue and 33% of the total budget.]
· Capital expenditure will account for $571.8 million [40% of projected revenue and 25% of the total budget]
How the International Aid Grants Will be Used
The $810 million in international aid grants will be accounted for in the Budget Vote of Credit controlled by the Ministry of Finance and will be used for specific programmes and projects prioritised by Government and allocated as follows: Health 26%; Social Protection 15%; Agriculture 12%; Water and Sanitation 11%; Transport and Communications 7%; Energy and Power 7%; Education 5%; Other 17%. [Note: Under “Other” the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs is allocated $43.7 million for the constitution-making process, and $28.7 million for “governance and human rights”.]
Allocations to Ministries and Departments
There are 36 Ministries in all – a few are listed below and each allocation is shown as a percentage of the total budget:
Health and Child Welfare: $358 081 186 [16%]
Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture: $312 720 700 [14%]
Higher and Tertiary Education: $70 264 000 [3%]
Labour and Social Services: $147 000 896 [6.5 %]
National Housing: 5 786 000 [0.25%]
Ministry of Defence [including Army and Air Force]: $98 293 00 [4.3 %]
Ministry of Home Affairs [including Police]: $103 613 000 [4.6 %]
Office of the President and Cabinet: $50 568 000 [2%]
Office of the Prime Minister: $6 078 000 [0.27%]
Note: allocations to Service Delivery Ministries [e.g. the first four in the above list] are made up of funds derived from revenue and from international aid grants [see above]. The revenue funds will be allocated directly to the Ministry, but the funds from international aid grants are controlled by Treasury through the Vote of Credit.
Other Noteworthy Allocations
· Procurement of seeds and fertilisers: $84.5 million
· Procurement of text books for primary schools: $28.15 million
· Constitution-making process: $43 million
· Human Rights and Governance: $28.7 million
· Procurement of drugs and medical supplies, medical equipment and health infrastructure rehabilitation: $285.4 million.
· Social protection programmes [including $25 million for the BEAM scheme for supporting school students, support for the elderly, chronically ill and other vulnerable groups]: $119 million
· Crop input packs for vulnerable rural households: $98 million
· Water and Sanitation Programme: $109 million
· Rehabilitation of roads, bridges, railways, airports: $58.5 million
· Energy and power development: $57.6 million
All these allocations will come from international aid grants administered through the Treasury Vote of Credit.
Innovative Constituency Development Fund
The Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs will administer a new Constituency Development Fund of $8 million, to be divided equally among the country’s 214 House of Assembly constituencies [approximately $38 000 per constituency]. The money will be used for construction of boreholes, repair of schools and clinics, purchase of generators, etc., in accordance with an annual development plan drawn up by a committee of elected councillors chaired by the local MP. There will be strict accountability, with the Ministry paying suppliers and service providers direct.
Upliftment of Women
The emphasis on education, health and social services and social safely nets will help the majority of women in the country who are the poorest of the poor. Help given to vulnerable rural households and communal land farmers will benefit women. Rural communities will be capacitated through training and provision of start-up capital for income-generating projects. $23 million will go to supporting micro, small and medium enterprises and co-operatives, youth projects, mining loans for small miners and rural electrification. Under each scheme 60% of funds for on-lending will be earmarked for women, as lobbied for by stakeholders.
[most changes to be effective 1st January 2010]
Corporate tax will be reduced from 30% to 25%.
For individuals the tax free threshold will be increased from $150 to $160 and the highest tax rate will be reduced from 37.5% to 35%.
Tax-free thresholds for annual bonuses and retrenchment packages will be increased to $400 [effective 1st November 2009] and $15 000, respectively.
Excise duty on spirits will be doubled, from 20% to 40%.
Customs duty on half-tonne trucks and motor vehicles of engine capacity below 1500 cc, will be reduced from 40% to 25%.
Presumptive tax [$300 per quarter] will be imposed on restaurants, bottle stores and cottage industries not already covered by informal sector presumptive taxes.
Presumptive tax on commuter omnibus operators will be reduced slightly.
Rates of interest on unpaid taxes will be aligned with rates being charged by banks to borrowers [this means an increase].
VAT will be rationalised, resulting in some presently exempt or zero-rated commodities becoming subject to VAT.
Mining Fees and Royalties
Implementing the use it or lose it principle, unworked claims will attract a fee to discourage the holding of claims for speculative purposes.
Royalties on precious metals will be increased from 3% to 3.5%
Diamond producers will have to reserve 10% of production for the local cutting and polishing industry.
Looking Ahead – in the Longer Term
New Income Tax Act being prepared
A committee of experts from the Ministry, ZIMRA and the private sector has been working on the preparation of a new Income Tax in simplified language easily comprehensible by tax-payers. This will replace the present Act, which is more than forty years old and has lagged behind modern trends in tax law and international best practices. Aspects being studied include: changing the basis for income tax from source of income to residence [meaning that all income accruing to a resident of a country is subject to tax in that country, regardless of income source]; a flatter tax regime; and provisions to incorporate standard transfer pricing guidelines based on international best practice.
Public Service Pension Reform
The current Defined Benefit Pension Scheme will be replaced by a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme which will entail the establishment of a Civil Service Pension Fund in 2011. Changes to present legislation will be needed.
Getting the Budget Package Through Parliament
Portfolio Committees have been conducting Post-Budget Analysis meetings since Thursday 3rd December. These meetings will continue on Monday 7th December.
Commencing on Tuesday 8th December the House of Assembly will:
· debate the Minister’s Budget presentation, and if it is approved, the Minister will table a 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 introduced the Appropriation (2009) Bill which will authorise expenditure in accordance with the approved Estimates.
Once passed, the Bills will be transmitted to the Senate for consideration. As both are “Money Bills”, the Senate cannot amend them, but may recommend amendments to be made by 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.
Electronic version of full text of Budget Statement available on request. Please note that this is a pdf document which includes graphs, pie charts, graphs etc., [size over 500 kb].
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
BILL WATCH 43/2009
[7th December 2009]
Both Houses will sit on Tuesday 8th December
Last Week in Parliament
House of Assembly
The House of Assembly sat on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.
On Tuesday the Prime Minister addressed the House and presented the Government’s Workplan for 2010 [see below].
On Wednesday afternoon the Finance Minister presented the Budget, predicting a growth rate in 2010 of 7% [the revised growth rate for 2009 was 4.7%, better than the predicted 3.7%] [See Bill Watch 42 of 5th November for more details on the Budget] [Budget speech available on request]
Bills: The Public Finance Management Bill and the Audit Office Bill were given their second readings. The Minister of Finance gave notice that he would ask for amendments to be made to the Bills during their Committee Stages.
Motions: No motions were debated due to pressure of other business [two Bills, the Prime Minister’s address and the Budget Statement].
Question Time: The usual Wednesday question time did not take place. By agreement of the House it was deferred to make way for the Budget Statement.
The Senate sat on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Bills: The Senate passed the Financial Adjustments Bill without amendment on Thursday. The Bill will be sent to the President for his assent as soon as it has been reprinted. Also on Thursday, the Minister of Finance made his Second Reading speech on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill; debate was then deferred to this week to allow Senators time to study the Bill.
Motions: On Tuesday there was brief debate on the President’s Speech opening Parliament and the condolence motion for the late Vice-President Msika. On Thursday Senator Muchiwa introduced her motion calling for a review of the Community and Home-Based Care Programme for those living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Sitting times: On each of Tuesday and Thursday the Senate sat for only a few minutes over one hour. On Wednesday the Senate adjourned immediately after prayers to listen to the Budget Statement, so no business was conducted
Highlights of Prime Minister’s Address to House of Assembly
The Prime Minister presented the Government’s Work Plan for the fiscal year 2010 [January to December]. This plan forms the basis of the 2010 Budget.
Government’s Five Priorities and Related Targets
In September the Government had adopted five priorities
· Promote Economic Growth and Ensure Food Security
· Guarantee Basic Services and Infrastructural Development
· Strengthen & Ensure the Rule of Law and Respect for Property Rights
· Advance and Safeguard Basic Freedoms
· Re-establish International Relations.
These reflect the Inclusive Government's priorities, including the commitments contained in the Global Political Agreement. Ministries have worked on setting “SMART” targets for these priorities – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. The Council of Ministers will track the performance of Ministries against these targets to identify problems as they arise and find solutions.
Oversight Role of the House
The House would also be expected to play its role by tracking and questioning Ministries on their performance. “Where Ministries under perform, they should be held to account. If State resources are misallocated, misspent or misappropriated, those responsible should be brought to book by this House. In this you will have my full support.” “Every public official - whether a Minister, a policeman or a civil servant - who has broken the law, acted corruptly or simply incompetently - must respect the supremacy of this House.”
Prime Minister’s Question Time in 2010
“I myself stand ready to be challenged or questioned by Parliament at any time. And I expect, and will direct, all of our Ministers to do the same. I welcome the opportunity to regularly attend Prime Minister's Question Time when this House reconvenes in the New Year.”
Legislative Agenda – Details to be Presented in Early 2010
This was dealt with in general terms only. “The Government Work Program, informed by the key five priorities, will form the basis for the Legislative Agenda, which, after it has been approved by Council of Ministers and Cabinet, I will present to this House, early in the New Year. In line with the legislation outlined by the President in his opening address, such as the Human Rights Commission and ICT Bills and amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, Labour Laws and Public Service Act, we shall be introducing legislation in keeping with Government's priorities and our commitments under the GPA.”
The Prime Minister also referred to Parliament’s role in the constitution-making process, commending the work done to date under difficult circumstances and expressing his satisfaction that the outreach programme “will begin soon”.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to all members of Parliament for work done over the past year under trying circumstances. He acknowledged the inadequacy of their remuneration, which he said would receive attention “within our constrained economic environment”. [Electronic version of full address available on request.]
This Week’s Parliamentary Agenda
House of Assembly
Budget: Tuesday 8th December – the House will debate the Minister of Finance’s motion for leave to bring in the Finance Bill – last Wednesday’s Budget Statement introduced this motion. The House will also commence consideration of the Estimates of Expenditure for 2010 [for this purpose it will sit as a committee of the whole House known as the Committee of Supply]. Approval of the Estimates will permit the Minister of Finance to present the Appropriation (2010) Bill authorising the expenditure proposed in the Estimates.
Bills: Also down for Tuesday 8th December are the Committee Stages of the Public Finance Management Bill and the Audit Office Bill. The Committee Stage is when the House considers a Bill in detail, clause by clause, and may make amendments. The Minister of Finance has given notice that he will be asking for a few amendments to be made to both Bills. Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Public Order and Security Act will not come up for consideration; Parliament has not yet sent it to be printed.
Motions: Time permitting, debate will continue on motions carried over from last week or the week before, including the motion calling for an audit of the voters roll, and the motion on the President’s Opening of Parliament speech.
Question Time [Wednesday]: The number of written questions awaiting Ministerial responses has now risen from 26 to 52, Recently added questions include one asking the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education for details of the Presidential Scholarship Programme over the years and probing the welfare and privileges of present scholarship holders; another asks the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs for detailed statistics of prisoners in the country’s prisons.
Bills: The Senate will continue the Second Reading debate on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill, as amended by the House of Assembly. It remains to be seen whether ZANU-PF Senators will, as reported, seek to have the Bill further amended. Any amendments made by the Senate would have to be approved by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and then go back to the House of Assembly for its endorsement. [Electronic version of amended Bill available on request.]
Motions: Any time not taken up with Bills will be devoted to the continuation of debate on adjourned motions, including Senator Muchiwa’s new motion on the Community and Home-Based Care Programme [see above]..
The ZANU-PF Congress is not expected to interfere with Parliamentary sittings as its first two days will be taken up with preliminary business.
ZANU-PF Congress Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th December
place every 5 years and this year will be in
Update on Inclusive Government
Inter-party Dialogue Continues: The three negotiating teams had more meetings last week, and again this weekend. Emerson Mnangagwa replaced Patrick Chinamasa on the ZANU-PF team while Chinamasa was out of the country on business. Press reports over the last few days [based on “sources”, not on official pronouncements] have claimed that the negotiators have made progress, that 15 items have been discussed and agreement reached on 12 [including provincial governors and turning ZBC into a truly public broadcaster, but not the Attorney-General, the Reserve Bank Governor or the swearing-in of Deputy Minister Bennett].
South African Mediation To Return: President Zuma’s new mediation/facilitation team [see Bill Watch
41 of 30th November] arrived in Harare on Sunday 29th
November, met the three principals, separately, and the negotiators, all
together, on Monday, and left on Tuesday 1st December to make a report to
President Zuma. The team is to return to
New Chiadzwa Court Case
African Consolidated Resources [ACR], confirmed by the High Court as the lawful owners of mining claims over part of the Chiadzwa diamond field, have launched a second court application to evict from those claims two companies the Minister of Mines signed an agreement with to exploit the fields in a joint venture with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation. In spite of the court order in ACR’s favour, operations on the contested claims were recently inspected by a ministerial delegation, and the joint venture was also referred to in Minister Biti’s Budget statement.
Bills in Parliament:
House of Assembly: Public Finance Management Bill [HB 9, 2009] and Audit Office Bill [HB 10, 2009]. [Electronic versions available on request.] Both Bills await Committee Stage.
Bills Awaiting Introduction: Appropriation (2010) Bill and Finance (2010) Bill [Minister of Finance]
Public Order and Security Amendment Bill [Private Member’s Bill]. Parliament have not yet sent this Bill to the Government Printer to be printed. It is unlikely to be introduced this year.
Bill Passed and Ready for Submission for President’s Assent: Financial Adjustments Bill [HB 8, 2009]
Statutory Instruments: For the third week running, no statutory instruments were gazetted last week.
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