By Tichaona Sibanda
8 December 2011
On Thursday human rights lawyers in Harare marched to the offices of Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and handed over petitions
calling on the authorities to respect the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
Dozens of lawyers set off from the High Court buildings in central Harare
and marched to the Munhumutapa building, which houses Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s
offices. They also visited the Attorney General and Supreme Court offices,
where they also left petitions as part of commemorations for the
International Human Rights day. The human rights lawyers also raised
concerns about persistent reports of harassment and arrests of civil society
activists and journalists in the last couple of months.
Our Harare correspondent, Simon Muchemwa, told us the police escorted the
lawyers during the peaceful protest through the streets of the capital.
The march comes as Western diplomats in Harare and civil organizations are
also publicly raising concerns about the resurgence of violence and abuse
across the country, mostly perpetrated by ZANU PF militias.
They contend that Zimbabwe is still a country where people are still being
harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and silenced, merely for holding
different views from Mugabe and his party.
According to human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and
Human Rights Watch, the ZANU PF part of the government still violates the
rights to shelter, food, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly.
Assaults on the media have also continued and at least eight journalists
from the independent media have been arrested and charged with criminal
defamation this year alone.
In Bulawayo police blocked a march in the city by members of the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights there. The authorities declined to sanction the
march on the grounds it coincided with the official opening of the ZANU PF
conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds.
By Staff Writer
Thursday, 08 December 2011 15:13
HARARE - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) say police have banned an
annual march to commemorate International Human Rights Day due to a Zanu PF
annual conference being held in Bulawayo starting today.
Police argued that they had “manpower constraints as a result of a major
event taking place on this date 08/12/2011”.
Lawyers are now fighting the ban at the Bulawayo High Court.
Zanu PF is holding its annual congress in Bulawayo from today until
ZLHR usually joins the world in commemorating Human Rights Day, which is
normally held annually on December 10.
Lizwe Jamela, a senior projects lawyer at ZLHR on Tuesday filed an urgent
chamber application before Bulawayo High Court judge Nicholas Ndou.
Jamela said the application should be treated as urgent because the
organisation “fears that its members may be exposed to police brutality as
has previously happened in both Harare and Bulawayo during commemorations of
this said event.”
By Tichaona Sibanda
8 December 2011
ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe on Thursday officially opened his party’s ‘12th
annual people’s conference’ with a rallying call to his supporters to
prepare for elections next year.
In his opening address Mugabe told delegates in Bulawayo that the conference
is taking place ahead of a crucial election year.
ZANU PF has already endorsed the 87-year-old as its candidate and analysts
had long expected the ageing leader would use the congress as a platform to
push for elections next year. The MDC-T insist elections can only be held
after constitutional and political reforms are implemented.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government three years ago,
after the disputed 2008 elections. Though the unity government has brought a
measure of stability to the country there are fears an early election
without critical reforms would trigger fresh political violence.
Civic groups insist that elections must not be held just for the sake of
holding an election. They said an unfair election will be disputed just like
the 2008 elections and Zimbabwe will remain stuck in no mans land.
Many of the delegates were seen dozing off on national television as Mugabe
spent most of his opening address talking about deposed Libyan leader
Journalists and other social network users were tweeting that Mugabe lost
his train of thought twice during the long, rambling speech.
Bulawayo, December 08, 2011- South Africa's ruling African National Congress
(ANC) has pledged to continue supporting Zanu-PF saying , it is also
important that the former liberation war movement win elections scheduled
for next year.
In a statement likely to worry the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
formations since South Africa is the mediator in the Zimbabwe political
crisis, Gwede Mantashe, the ANC’s secretary general, said Zanu-PF should
regain lost ground, adding that the relationship between the two parties
should also be cemented.
Mantashe said this in his address at the ongoing Zanu-PF’s conference at the
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
The conference kicked off today and ends on Saturday.
“The president of South Africa and the ANC directed us to come here and
affirm her commitment to be a good and trustworthy member to Zimbabwe and
Zanu-PF in particular all the time, particularly that Zanu-PF is a sister
liberation movement. That makes our relationship special.
“We should continue engaging to take our relationship to a higher level. It
is important that Zanu-PF continue regaining lost grounds and represent the
interests and the aspirations of the vast majority of the people of
Zimbabwe,” Mantashe said in his solidarity message.
“This message of solidarity is an acknowledgement of the fact that we belong
together. Our relationship has been historically sealed by blood since we
fought the same white colonialists,” he added.
South Africa’s ANC is among other southern African liberation war movements
that include FRELIMO (Mozambique), Patriotic Front (Zambia), Botswana
Democratic Party, NPLA (Angola), SWAPO of Namibia and the December 12
movement of United States that pledged support and continued friendship to
Zanu-PF in their solidarity speeches.
But it is the open support for Zanu-PF by the ANC of South Africa that is
likely to worry the MDC’s over the latter’s neutrality when it comes to
solving the Zimbabwe political crisis since that country’s President, Jacob
Zuma is the mediator.
About 4000 delegates are attending attend Zanu-PF's conference, which is
being be held under the theme "Defend National Sovereignty, Consolidate
indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.''
The party's 10 provinces have endorsed President Robert Mugabe's candidature
for next year's general elections at the conference.
General elections were supposed to be held this year, but were postponed
after Copac failed to complete the crafting of the new constitution.
Parties in the inclusive Government agreed that new elections should be held
after the new constitution was in place.
Bulawayo, December 08, 2011- Zanu-PF’s conference which takes off in
Bulawayo will come up with an election manifesto, party spokesperson, Rugare
Gumbo said, adding that this shows the former liberation war movement is
ready for polls likely to be held next year.
Gumbo said coming up with an election manifesto to be used as a rallying
point for President Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid also tops the agenda of
the conference taking place at the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair (ZITF).
“The discussions of the conference will mainly be centered on coming up with
an election manifesto for the party since this is the last conference before
we go for elections. Our dear leader, Mugabe is the
party’s candidate,” Gumbo said in an interview with Radio VOP at the ZITF.
“Zanu-PF is an experience and tested party and we are ready and confident
that our election manifesto will see our President being re-elected again by
Zimbabweans because Zanu-PF has proved to be the
only party with an agenda of improving people’s lives.
“We are in the process of giving wealth to our people; we will want to see
the fair distribution of wealth so that majority of our people are
President Mugabe who turns 88 next year will be the oldest presidential
candidate in the world as he has already been endorsed by Zanu-PF’s
provincial structures as the party’s candidate for upcoming
Mugabe has called for the speedy conclusion of the writing of a new
constitution to ensure that elections are held next year to undo the
The former guerilla leader officially opens the Zanu-PF’s conference today
and as in past conferences, he normally delivers the main address where most
policies which his government would promulgate in
the future are announced.
The conference is also used as a platform where the party attacks its
opponents, mainly the West and America, and with calls for the lifting of
what the party describes as illegal sanctions, taking centre stage
at most of these conferences.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Thursday, 08 December 2011 10:27
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been issued with summons to
appear before a traditional court this weekend after he performed “marriage”
rites in November, a month when such practices are culturally forbidden in
As the controversy surrounding Tsvangirai’s “marriage” to Locadia
Karimatsenga Tembo refuses to die, Chief Lucious Chitsinde Negomo of
Chiweshe in Mashonaland Central Province has asked the former trade unionist
to appear before his court to answer charges related to what he described as
The case will be heard this Saturday.
It is taboo in most parts of Zimbabwe to perform traditional marriage rites
during the month of November.
Yesterday, Chief Negomo and two assessors of his court served the summons at
Tsvangirai’s Charter House offices in Harare.
He told the Daily News that Tsvangirai is the first person to break the
taboo in the area “as far as I can remember”.
Tsvangirai denies that he married Locadia, insinuating that he only paid
compensation for making her pregnant.
Tsvangirai’s relatives that included his young brother Manasa and uncle
Innocent Zvaipa performed the marriage rites on behalf of Tsvangirai at the
Traditionally, even the payment of compensation for a pregnancy in November
is outlawed, Chief Negomo told the Daily News yesterday as he served the
summons on Tsvangirai’s office. The Daily News is in possession of the
The Karimatsenga family was also served with summons to appear at Chief
Negomo’s court on Saturday for participating in the “marriage” ceremony at
their family home in Mazowe’s Christon Bank area. Chief Negomo said the area
falls under his jurisdiction.
Biata Nyamupinga, Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi and elder sister to Locadia,
confirmed the development but refused to give more details.
Tsvangirai yesterday was defiant.
His spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said: “The Prime Minister has made his
position known on this matter. The drama can continue but the fact remains
that the PM has articulated his position on this matter. For him it is water
under the bridge.”
The summons read: “Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, huya uzondiudza kuti sei
wakaroora mwedzi weMbudzi mudunhu mangu kwaKanyemba mumhuri yekwa
Karimatsenga masabhuku Chipoyera. Huyai nemari yedare ye $35. Ukarega kuuya
unosungwa. Wakaita chipini kana kuti mashura mudunhu mangu — makuna-kuna.
(Morgan Richard Tsvangirai. Come and answer charges that you paid lobola in
my area of jurisdiction to the Karimatsenga family under village head
Chipoyera in November which is sacrilegious in our custom. Bring along $35
court fees. Failure to do so will result in your arrest).”
He said he also expects Locadia to appear at the court for the hearing.
Locadia is reportedly at Tsvangirai’s rural home in Buhera where she is
staying after the Prime Minister refused to marry her.
She is reportedly carrying Tsvangirai’s twins.
“The Karimatsenga family has assured me that Locadia will attend the court.
They have told me that she is with her in-laws in Buhera but she will come,”
the chief said.
“I came this morning from Chiweshe area to serve the summons to the PM at
his home and his office and I have managed to leave the court papers at his
office with some of his officials.
“They have refused to sign for them but I can confirm that I have delivered
them together with my two assessors,” said Negomo. The Daily News was
present when the chief delivered the papers at Tsvangirai’s offices.
“I issued the summons to Isaac Karimatsenga who is the father of the
Karimatsenga family at their homestead. The family admitted they were wrong.
They are ready to answer their charges together with their son-in-law Morgan
Tsvangirai. The timing of his marriage is against our traditions and we are
facing problems in our area. There are no rains because of his deeds. He
must be answerable,” said the chief.
Negomo said he will pass a default judgment if Tsvangirai failed to turn up
at the court before issuing a warrant of arrest for contempt of court.
Asked why he had chosen to interfere in Tsvangirai’s private life, the chief
said: “I am a traditional leader and the custodian of traditional law and
the offence was committed in my area of jurisdiction. The Tsvangirai and
Karimatsenga families are African people who follow our culture and they are
expected to listen and abide by the rules and follow what their chief tells
them to do.”
By Lance Guma
08 December 2011
The MDC-T on Thursday accused ZANU PF of abusing a traditional chief, in
their attempts to drag Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai through the mud over
his aborted marriage to Harare businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo.
The state owned Herald newspaper reported that on Wednesday Chief Negomo
(Luscious Chitsinde) ‘summoned’ the PM to appear before his traditional
court in Chiweshe on Saturday to answer charges that he violated a customary
rule by allegedly paying ‘lobola’ during the sacred month of November.
But in a strongly worded statement the MDC-T condemned what it called: “The
awkward and legally foolish behaviour of Chief Negomo in trying to summon
President Tsvangirai. What is clear is that ZANU PF and State security
agents are abusing this chief as part of their propaganda war against the
Arousing suspicion is the fact that Chief Negomo delivered the summons
himself at the PM’s Charter House offices in Harare and was accompanied by
his aides, identified by the Herald newspaper as Watson Baziwell and Cairo
Mhandu (it was not clear if this Cairo Mhandu was the same person as the
ZANU PF MP for Mazowe North, Retired Major Cairo Mhandu).
The MDC-T said: “Having been booked at a five star hotel in Harare, Chief
Negomo with the help of other ZANU PF activists sought to serve the summons
himself on the Prime Minster. Perhaps the incompetent people behind this
sting operation forgot to advise the chief that the judge does not serve
summons himself but that summons are served by a messenger of court.”
The MDC-T said the behaviour of the chief showed that he was failing to
appreciate, “the difference between his role as a traditional leader from
his role as a ZANU PF activist.”
At the end of last month Tsvangirai said his relationship with Locadia had
been irretrievably damaged and that marriage was inconceivable. He cited a
hidden political hand that he said was ‘driving the process’ and that
everything was well choreographed, including Locadia going to his rural home
in Buhera without his knowledge, while accompanied by state media
On Wednesday the same thing happened when Chief Negomo invited the state
media to capture, in pictures, the serving of the summons on Tsvangirai. The
MDC-T reminded the chief that he had no jurisdiction over the PM since
Tsvangirai does not come from Chiweshe, the home area of the Karimatsenga
Instead they asked why the chief had not acted on political violence in his
area.“Chief Negomo must be aware of the murders and rapes and other barbaric
acts committed by ZANU PF in 2008 in his jurisdiction. He is no doubt aware
of acts of arson committed by ZANU PF activists against MDC people. Why has
he not summoned any of them to his court if he is a man of justice? The only
conclusion is that he approves of the murderous activities by the ZANU PF
militia and junta.”
Commenting on the ‘marriage’ the state media keeps writing about, Tsvangirai’s
spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said: “The Prime Minister has made clear his
position on this matter. As far as we are concerned, this is now a closed
chapter. The drama may continue, but his position will never change.”
By Lance Guma
08 December 2011
The saga surrounding the aborted ‘marriage’ of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to a Harare businesswoman has now opened up a debate, in what
many perceive to be a chauvinistic society that demeans women and views them
as nothing more than sex objects.
Just 6 days ago Mugabe gave a speech offering ‘tongue in cheek’ support to
Tsvangirai, saying he was free to have as many wives as he wanted. He gave
the example of his grandfather, Karigamombe Matibiri, who had many wives and
said there was no ‘one-man-one-wife’ policy, therefore men were free to
Opinions on Tsvangirai’s relationship with Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo are
also divided. The Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group on Wednesday
expressed, “Concern that Locadia, a victim of abuse, is being used by
politicians and the media as an object, further abusing her and reducing her
In an opinion piece published in the Daily News by journalist Conrad
Nyamutata, a different take was offered on the matter:
“This is not about women’s groups that some are trying to instigate, the man
has not been throwing Berlusconian bunga-bunga parties or taking advantage
of his office juniors. And we have women of very sound judgement. Does a
rich businesswoman fall in the category of the vulnerable? This is about
broader society yearning for a role model of a family man,” he said.
Bunga bunga refers to the sex parties that were hosted by former Italian
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which created a major political scandal
Blogger Benjamin Chitate took another angle and chose to draw comparisons
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s relationships:
“There is nothing Prime Minister Tsvangirai should be ashamed of. He is
single and looking for love, but found the wrong love, unlike a married
Mugabe who had children with his secretary while his wife was living – that
was corruption at its best, total abuse of power on the part of Mugabe.”
The irony of the whole saga is that the people leading the onslaught against
Tsvangirai in the state media don’t have clean hands themselves and numerous
senior ZANU PF officials have been in the news for worse situations.
Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, bashed his wife Rudo in February 2004
in what was described as an attempt to kill her. Rudo confronted Charamba,
accusing him of picking up prostitutes and infecting her with HIV. An out of
control Charamba, who has a black belt in karate, responded by battering her
until she was unconscious. Another report said he also assaulted her baby
Although the police responded by arresting Charamba for the savage assault,
Mugabe immediately intervened, ordering police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri to ensure the case was dropped. The case file at Borrowdale Police
station went missing and the official line put out was that Rudo had dropped
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has also been in the news for both
his messy divorce to wife Marian and his massive property portfolio
published as a result of the case. Chombo had an affair with former ZBC news
anchor Nanette Silukhuni before he was eventually caught. Marian not only
sought to divorce him but also filed a Z$2 billion dollar lawsuit against
In September 2009 ZANU PF Governor for Bulawayo, Cain Mathema, hit the
headlines after being extremely offensive to his wife about her private
parts, saying he wanted to marry a virgin to satisfy his ravenous sexual
appetite. The Governor at the time was reported to be having an affair with
ZBC reporter Jocelyn Muguya.
Mathema’s wife sought to divorce him, arguing in court that she had had
enough of the abuse. She said Mathema was an alcoholic and was very abusive
every time he arrived home drunk. She said the abuse also took place in
front of the children.
Commentators who spoke to SW Radio Africa said these few examples, among
many, show a bigger problem in Zimbabwean society and how women are
completely disrespected and viewed as nothing more than sex objects.
Men in this patriarchal society are also allowed to have as many women as
they want. The growth of the ‘small house’ concept was also cited as an
example of how society accepted this behaviour as normal. But in a society
where women have no voice, how would they argue against this?
By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 December, 2011
Seeds and fertilizer that are meant for all Zimbabweans under a presidential
scheme are being distributed to ZANU PF members only, by soldiers and
traditional chiefs campaigning for Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF in parts of
Reporting from Chimanimani, SW Radio Africa’s contact Peter explained that
ZANU PF may feel they are fooling some villagers, but they are not, because
the villagers are well informed. They know the inputs are supposed to be
distributed to everyone, regardless of what party they support.
Peter said some people do join ZANU PF to benefit from these small perks,
but others don’t bother because they feel a 5kg bag of seeds or fertilizer
is too small and not worth compromising their beliefs.
According to our contact, bags of maize seed arrived in Chimanimani last
month that have a picture of Robert Mugabe on the front and the words
“Rimayi ne simba tigute”, meaning “plough with strength so we can eat”.
Peter’s report confirms information provided to SW Radio Africa in a report
last month by MP Felix Mafa, who described bags with Mugabe’s picture being
distributed to ZANU PF members only in three other provinces. Mafa said he
would soon approach parliament to ask why government inputs were being
distributed to only one political party.
A report in the Zimbabwean newspaper this week said soldiers from Three
Brigade in Mutare and some chiefs in the province are campaigning for Robert
Mugabe and ZANU PF, using inputs funded by taxpayers.
The paper said the operation is code-named “Operation Zunde Ramambo” and it
has seen the Three Brigade soldiers “deployed to various parts of the
province to spearhead the ZANU PF election campaign strategy, under the
guise of an exercise to improve food security.
The use of food as a political weapon by ZANU PF is nothing new and our
contact said villagers are not fooled by this and the party has lost many
parliamentary seats to the MDC since the elections in 2002.
07 December 2011
Speaking from exile in London, Bennett said he will not be returning to
Zimbabwe to defend himself against Bhunu’s suit as he fears further
persecution and imprisonment by the authorities
Violet Gonda | Washington
Zimbabwe High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu is pressing ahead with a US$1
million suit against exiled politician Roy Bennett of the Movement for
Democratic Change wing led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and against
Britain's Guardian paper.
Bhunu says the MDC treasurer defamed him when he told the Guardian that he
expected the judge to find him guilty in a 2009 terrorism trial, arguing
that Bhunu was a ZANU-PF apologist and a recipient of a farm given through
Bhunu later acquitted Bennett on charges he plotted to assassinate President
Robert Mugabe in 2006 during a presidential visit to eastern Mutare city.
Bennett’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said she was served with the litigation
papers this week, which now cite the Guardian and British journalist David
“The Judge, through his new lawyer, Mr. Mtizwa of Chihambakwe and Mtizwa,
has applied to join as parties to the court action the Guardian newspaper
and Mr. David Smith - who they say is the journalist they claim Roy gave an
interview to in Zimbabwe,” Mtetwa said.
Speaking from exile in London, Bennett said he will not be returning to
Zimbabwe to defend himself against Bhunu’s suit as he fears further
He said: “There is selective application of the law. Look at Solomon Madzore
the MDC youth chairman. How many times has he come up for bail? He is
sitting in prison. Where is the power within the MDC and the MDC in
government to help him? He is rotting in prison. Who can help him?”
“I have already spent more than nine months of my life in prison. I have
lost everything I own in Zimbabwe. I have been persecuted in every single
manner. What guarantees are there that I will have any justice whatsoever in
view of us going into an election?"
Bennett, a former legislator, was sent to prison under a bill of attainder
passed by the Parliament after he shoved Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
in a 2003 debate.
By Alex Bell
08 December 2011
A ‘technical committee’ to help the drafters of Zimbabwe’s new constitution
has been appointed, according to the NewsDay newspaper.
The paper reported this week that MDC-T Chief Whip, Innocent Gonese, plus
former ZANU PF provincial chairman Jacob Mudenda and Angela Mahlamvana-Tofa
from the MDC-N have been appointed to chair the technical committee. They
have been appointed by the parliamentary team driving the constitutional
reform process, Copac.
According to a Copac document in NewsDay’s possession, other members of the
technical committee include Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chairman
Godwills Masimirembwa, MDC-T deputy national chairperson Morgan Komichi and
University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor John Makumbe.
The technical committee itself will reportedly also have its own team of
assistants in the form of rapporteurs. They include Cecilia Chimbiri, Isabel
Chioniso, Thandiwe Gosha, Virginia Makana, Theresa Muchovo, Peter
Mukuchamano, Matambo Ngoma, Paul Vurayai and Bishop Morris Brown Gwedegwe.
The three principal drafters of the new constitution were chosen earlier
this year, and Copac has said that they will work independently to prevent
anyone trying to influence their work. They are Justice Moses Chinhengo,
Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier.
Justice Chinhengo is a former judge of the High court now at the High court
in Botswana. Madzonga has 20 years experience in legal drafting, while
Crozier is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and once worked in the
Attorney-General’s office as a director of legal drafting.
The MDC-T’s Copac co-Chair Douglas Mwonzora said this week that the drafting
process has got underway, but he said the earliest the public can vote on
the constitution will be June 2012.
By Staff Reporter 19 hours 58 minutes ago
HARARE - The High Court has ordered director-general of the Central
Intelligence Organisation Major General Happyton Bonyongwe to justify the
US$10 million he is claiming from Africa Consolidated Resources director Mr
Andrew Cranswick as defamation damages.
Maj Gen Bonyongwe (Retired) is claiming US$10 million from Mr Cranswick for
allegedly supplying defamatory information to the United States embassy
accusing the CIO boss and other high-ranking officials of illegally
profiteering from Chiadzwa diamonds.
The information was later published by WikiLeaks on the Internet.
Yesterday, Justice Felistus Chatukuta deferred to December 21 an application
by Maj Gen Bonyongwe for a default judgment against Mr Cranswick for want of
justification of the amount being sought.
Justice Chatukuta ordered the CIO boss' lawyer, Mr Evans Moyo, to file heads
of argument justifying the figure saying the Zimbabwean courts were not used
to such substantial amounts. You should file heads of argument justifying
the figure being claimed. Yes the appellant holds a high office, but US$10
million is a lot of money in the absence of justification. As I went through
the papers, I had and still have difficulties with the US$10 million," said
According to the summons prepared by Mr Joseph Mafusire of Scanlen and
Holderness, on November 6 2008, Mr Cranswick reported to some US embassy
officials that there was a small group of high-ranking Zimbabwean officials
that was allegedly illicitly extracting tremendous personal diamond profits
from the Chiadzwa diamonds in Marange.
Among the officials Mr Cranswick alleged to have been benefiting were Maj
Gen Bonyongwe, Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono, the First Lady Amai
Grace Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru,
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga and his
estranged wife Jocelyn and Manicaland Governor Chris Mushowe.
Based on the report, it is alleged, the then US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr
James McGee created a diplomatic cable on November 12 2008 titled "Regime
Elites Looting Deadly Diamond Field".
Maj Gen Bonyongwe denies extracting or selling any diamonds as alleged
describing the information as false.
"The plaintiff has at no stage been involved either personally or through
other persons, in any trade in diamonds or any minerals whatsoever whether
at Chiadzwa or anywhere in the world.
The defendant's report was false, injurious and defamatory of the plaintiff
in that it imputed and was intended by the defendant to impute that the
plaintiff was part and parcel of a corrupt and diabolical cartel running and
controlling the Government of Zimbabwe and which was abusing its vantage
position to engage in vicious, murderous but lucrative trade in diamonds..."
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP
Keeping the pressure on Mugabe
Brussels, 8 December 2011 — Leading Zimbabwean activists Lovemore Madhuku
(Chairman, National Constitutional Assembly) and Munjodzi Mutandiri (SA
Co-ordinator, National Constitutional Assembly) addressed MEPs, NGOs and EU
diplomats in the European Parliament on 6 December.
The discussion focused on the ongoing Constitutional drafting process and
the need for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who spearheads the European Parliament’s campaign
for democratic change in Zimbabwe commented:
“The situation in Zimbabwe continues to be of concern, and we have seen a
recent upsurge in violence against those that oppose Mugabe. However,
Zimbabwe’s neighbours, and South Africa in particular, have at last begun to
demand concrete action.
“We have always advocated an African solution to the ongoing problems in
Zimbabwe, and are encouraged that the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) has been increasingly helpful.
“Elections are not a single event but a lengthy process. They have to take
place before April 2013. A road map to elections needs to be set out, and
vital to this is a new Constitution. SADC, the Commonwealth and the wider
international community should now do all that they can to support improved
electoral arrangements, including voter registration and electoral
education. There must also be complete freedom of the media and an end to
all politically-motivated violence.
“The EU’s “restrictive measures” which target Mugabe and his inner circle
must remain in place until there is real evidence of change. These measures
do not harm the Zimbabwean people, and are aimed exclusively at the clique
which keeps Mugabe in power.”
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP is Conservative Defence and Security Spokesman.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 December, 2011
The majority of Zimbabwe’s lucrative business contracts are being awarded to
foreign companies, particularly the Chinese, Parliament was told on Tuesday
during a report on the 2012 National Budget.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance
and Investment Promotion, Paddy Zhanda, told legislators that $553 million
worth of contracts had been awarded to foreign firms, most of them Chinese.
The ZANU PF legislator pointed to several large contracts, including the
construction of a new Parliament complex in the Kopje area, that is said to
be worth $134 million, plus construction of the Lupane State University at
Zhanda said this was “unfair” at a time when Zimbabwe has very high
unemployment, and called on Finance Minister Tendai Biti to “stop this
bleeding”. But economist John Robertson said Zhanda’s comments were “unfair”
and took a different view.
He agreed that in principle local firms should compete for tenders, but he
said that most of the skilled workforce has left the country and ZANU PF
policies have destroyed the country’s capacity to compete against foreign
firms, who have more resources.
“I think Zhanda is being critical for a political reason. ZANU PF members of
government are constantly trying to find ways of criticizing MDC members for
whatever they have done or failed to do” Robertson said.
Back in 2008 some observers predicted that Mugabe would assign the Finance
portfolio to the MDC, knowing it would be almost impossible to resuscitate
the country’s economy. One observer wrote at the time: “Permitting
ill-equipped opposition leaders to assume positions of responsibility is
also a way of ensuring they will stumble and fall, especially when assigned
Robertson said the MDC has been given the most difficult portfolio within
government and this gives ZANU PF ample opportunity to be critical. He also
found a contradiction in Zhanda’s call for a reduction in foreign business
contracts, because as the chairperson of the portfolio committee on
Investment Promotion, he should be calling for more foreign investment in
Nompumelelo Moyo, Bulawayo, December 08, 2011- President Robert Mugabe has
described the United States of America as a collapsing and heavily-indebted
country now looking to the East like Zimbabwe for economic survival.
The Zanu-PF leader who is in Bulawayo for the former ruling party’s ongoing
conference, made the remarks at Ascot during the commissioning of the NetOne
Broadband and the NetOne Ascot Mobile Switching Centre and Packet Switch
Call, where he was the guest of honour.
The mobile phone operator’s switching centre covering Matabeleland, Midlands
and Masvingo provinces is a result of a US $45 million loan facility
extended to Zimbabwe by the Chinese government.
“The United States is not able to pay; to repay the loans or debts that it
has acquired over time, so it is an indebted country and indebted to the
extent now that there is great unemployment in the United States that there
are bore-holes in the routes of several cities,” said Mugabe.
“I am not saying things out of my mind or in order to denigrate the United
States, but these are facts. They are realities that they themselves have
published. Some of their municipalities cannot repair their roads. That is
the fall of a great nation,” he said while drawing laughter from the crowd.
He hailed Zimbabwe’s Look East Policy saying the Southern African country
did well by cutting economic ties with the West which he said was also
looking to countries like China for economic survival.
“It (the Look East Policy) has indicated that we were right in turning our
back to the West in looking to the East. Indeed those in the West, the
so-called great powers are now, or have long ago turned to the East also,”
“They are now asking for economic sustenance and propping up of their
economies by the People’s Republic of China. China as you know has 1.3
trillion dollars invested in the United States by way of bonds and if they
were to withdraw, the United States would collapse in a day,” he added.
Mugabe said China would soon become more economically powerful than the
United arguing it does not have the same problems America has today.
He paid tribute to the Asian country, which he described as Zimbabwe’s “all
weather friends” for financially supporting a number of projects in the
Mugabe added that the “unjustified” economic sanctions on Zimbabwe had
affected the country’s advancement as an economy, adding the former British
colony had been struggling to access partnerships from the international
community to assist in its economic endeavors.
Nicholas Goche –Transport Telecommunications and Infrastructural Development
Minister – Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Xing Shunkang, representatives of
Huawei, a Chinese company that set up telecommunications structure, were
among the invited guests to the historic occasion.
by Staff Reporter
CLERK of Parliament, Austin Zvoma has dismissed moves by MDC-T MPs to remove
him from office and threatened to sue the party.
MDC-T’s Hwange Central MP, Brian Tshuma has since given notice to move a
motion for Zvoma’s dismissal accusing him of incompetence and unprofessional
The motion is set for debate when Parliament resumes sitting next Tuesday.
Tshuma claims Zvoma failed to properly conduct the Speaker’s elections in
August 2008 adding he also deferred, illegally, the sitting of Parliament on
March 27 this year.
But Zvoma said Parliament did not have the power to fire him.
"These parliamentarians have no power to fire me or even pass a vote of no
confidence since my post is a constitutional appointment," he told the ZBC.
Zvoma said it is unfortunate that some MDC-T legislators did not understand
the operations of Parliament and threatened to sue them for bringing his
name into disrepute.
His lawyer, Edwin Manikai confirmed he had received instructions to
institute legal action.
By Alex Bell
08 December 2011
Zimbabwe’s male dominated government is being urged to stop sidelining women’s
issues, including access to sanitary products, which has left the country’s
women and girls facing serious health risks.
A group of young women last month presented a petition to Parliament urging
the government to consider subsidising sanitary wear, while demanding that
such products be distributed free in poor communities and in schools. The
petition was presented ahead of the 2012 Budget presentation, and the Budget
executive committee was asked to consider the demands as part of the country’s
The petition detailed how a critical lack of access to sanitary wear is
having serious consequences for Zimbabwe’s young girls and women, who
“continue to succumb to cervical cancer due the alternatives they use such
as rags, newspapers, cow dung and tissues.”
“Reproductive tract infections have increased in young women and their
reproductive health is being compromised,” the petition read.
The MDC-T’s Tabitha Khumalo, who has for years actively campaigned against
this lack of access to sanitary wear in Zimbabwe, applauded the petition,
but said: “It’s long overdue.”
“The reality is that the girl child is denied the use of hygienic products
because their families can’t afford the costs and it’s not available to them
in school. They are taught the old fashioned methods which is shameful in
this day and age,” Khumalo said.
She added: “It’s such a simple thing, but its gives girls confidence to go
to school, to stand up and participate, it gives them a sense of dignity. It
needs to be taken more seriously.”
Khumalo compared the situation to a recent campaign to provide free condoms
in an effort to combat the spread of HIV. She said that campaign was
strongly supported: “People were running around and going out of their way
to sort this out. Why? Its something that affected men and they are the
decision makers,” Khumalo said.
She explained that the situation is made worse by the lack of women in
decision making positions, adding that currently, issues affecting women end
up being discussed by men.
“Men are the chief decision makers, but men don’t understand. They think
when a woman is menstruating, it’s dirty,” Khumalo said.
Khumalo in 2006 spearheaded the ‘Dignity. Period!’ campaign, after fighting
for years for the shortages of sanitary wear to be addressed by the then
ZANU PF led government. The campaign resulted in sanitary products from well
wishers outside Zimbabwe being sent to the country for distribution. But the
government insisted that some R700 000 in duty be paid on the products when
the first consignment arrived in the country.
The campaign has continued, but Khumalo said on Thursday that it is “slowly
fading away.” She emphasised that now, more than ever, is the time for the
government to step up and make a difference. But she warned this is not
likely to happen yet.
“The 2012 Budget should have made room for towels and tampons to be made
available in schools, and it should have included a plan to subsidise the
products. But there is no room. None whatsoever,” Khumalo said.
By Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Thursday, 08 December 2011 15:05
HARARE - The infamous and internationally condemned Operation Murambatsvina
has contributed immensely to the pollution of urban areas, the Institute of
Environmental Studies (IES) said.
Speaking at the Waste Management Strategy workshop in Harare yesterday, IES
Director Sara Feresu said the government-sponsored home demolition and slum
clearance exercise and other activities have contributed to the increase in
solid waste in urban areas.
“Operation Murambatsvina contributed much to the increase of solid waste
because the shortage of housing facilities coupled with the increase in
urban population have resulted in rampant subletting in existing houses and
the construction of illegal structures” said Feresu.
“The illegal structures which are not on the city council radar end up
polluting the land because the inhabitants tend to dump waste at
undesignated points,” she said.
Operation Murambatsvina, an exercise executed in 2005 is estimated by the
United Nations to have affected at least 2.4 million people.
The government campaign forcibly cleared houses and structures that were
said to be illegal and creating hubs of illegal criminal activities.
Feresu said the local government set up, whereby the city council had to
fund their own budget is another contributory factor in the increase of the
garbage in cities as the council is generating little revenue not
commensurate with work that needs to be done.
“Local government policies and legislation have contributed much to the
pollution of cities. The city fathers are expected to come up with their own
budget and this has proven to be detrimental because the city fathers have
little in their coffers. The net effect is that the standard of service
delivery is poor,” she said.
She also called for the implementation of the waste-separation-at-
source-policy, as a means of managing the increasing waste in urban areas.
Under the waste-separation-at-source policy, different waste will be placed
in different bins. This according to her will make recycling of waste
The two-day workshop is aimed at finding solutions to waste management in
It is held under the theme: “Fostering Partnerships for Improved Solid Waste
By ANGUS SHAW
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The felling of Zimbabwe's famed colonial-era
"Hanging Tree" is reviving legends and superstitions and has many believing
it signals a new era for this troubled southern African nation, whose
hardline 87-year-old president is in the winter of his long rule.
Witnesses said the 200-year-old Msasa tree, declared a historic site and
national monument, fell Wednesday after it was hit by a workers' truck and
collapsed onto one of its strong branches in the middle of the street. Some
of those workers then fled, believing it a sacred omen of "bad things to
Icons of the first uprising against white settlers, including the ancestral
grandmother of the nation Mbuya Nehanda, were said to have been hanged from
the tree in 1898.
A n'anga, known in the West as a witchdoctor, performed rites over the split
trunk and gnarled branches on Thursday demanding homage be paid and
forgiveness sought at Nehanda's grave site north of Harare for the
destruction of the tree. Crowds gathered at the felled tree to take pieces
of its billowing green leaves, splinters and bark.
The fall of the tree came on the same day that President Robert Mugabe,
suffering from ill health, marked the country's national tree planting and
reforestation campaign by planting a tree in the second city of Bulawayo.
It also coincided with the annual congress of Mugabe's party, its last major
gathering before crucial elections next year. The vote is meant to end a
fragile coalition government with the former opposition of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai formed after disputed elections in 2008 that were plagued
by violence and allegations of vote rigging.
"It's got to be a sign something big is going to happen," street vendor
Mathias Vinyu told The Associated Press of the tree fall.
The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association on Thursday said the
tree represented "powerful forces" in the nation's social and political
life. Its toppling over is believed to signal the dawn of a new era of truth
on past injustices, including Nehanda's execution, the group said.
After a decade of political turmoil and economic meltdown, Zimbabwe's
political leaders are gearing up for elections next year amid new
allegations of violence and intimidation by Mugabe militants.
Mugabe has traveled to Asia eight times in the past year for medical
treatment, reportedly for prostate cancer. His party has been split by calls
for him to leave office and claims he is not fit enough to lead a rigorous
The indigenous African tree, or brachystegia speciformis, was commemorated
on a Zimbabwe postage stamp in 1996 and political rallies have often been
Historians, however, have cast doubt it was ever used for hangings.
Nehanda was a tribal spirit medium believed to have had immense powers. She
is upheld by highly superstitious Zimbabweans as the country's greatest
symbol of black resistance to colonial rule.
Since independence from British rule in 1980, Nehanda has been revered with
statues erected in the parliament house and main government buildings, and
streets have been named after her in all of Zimbabwe's cities and towns.
Colonial records show she was executed for the 1897 killing of administrator
Henry Pollard, known for his brutality toward blacks.
Zimbabwe historian Rob Burrett told The Associated Press Thursday that
records indicated she was actually hanged on gallows at a prison where the
main Harare Central Police Station stands today. But a myth built up before
independence and persisted that the colonial court presided over by "Hanging
Judge" John Watermeyer sent Nehanda and those he condemned to death to the
distinctive tree, Burrett said.
At that time the tree was on the outskirts of the small colonial settlement
known as Salisbury in the British territory of Rhodesia that later became
Harare, Zimbabwe's sprawling capital of two million inhabitants.
"It is a great urban myth that has grown over time. The Zimbabwean
nationalist version has been superimposed on earlier white stories," he
Successive city authorities resisted calls for the tree - seen as a traffic
hazard - to be removed from a central island in the boulevard leading past
the colonial style Harare Sports Club and the State House used as offices by
The tree came down as workers were repaving the boulevard and a vehicle
bumped into the base on Wednesday.
Burrett said the tree was scarred at the base by traffic accidents and
became diseased and rotten.
"But it is really sad it has now gone," he said.
by Staff Reporter
VICE President Joyce Mujuru broke down as she received a donation of fire
trucks for Harare City Council from a well-wisher touched by the mysterious
death of her husband in August this year.
Ex-army commander and liberation war hero, General Solomon Mujuru was killed
when an as yet unexplained fire razed his Beatrice farm house.
Harare City Council fire fighters arrived late at the farm, about 80
kilometres away from the capital and struggled to put out the inferno
because of the poor state of their equipment.
United States-based Peter Lobel, son of the family which founded the Lobels
Bakery, said General Mujuru was a family friend and decided to buy the two
vehicles following the tragedy.
"It is hard. But it's a pleasure," a tearful Mujuru told him.
"You have shown love to my husband and to City of Harare. On behalf of the
family and children, we have no better words to thank you."
The Lobels – who run a safari agency, African Portfolio -- were visiting the
country at the time of the tragedy.
In an interview last month, Lobels’ wife Diane Ebzery said they had visited
the Harare City Council fire department following Mujuru's death and decided
to act after being shocked by the state of the equipment.
“This is crazy,” she said when she saw the state of disrepair of the
department’s fire trucks.
“We have a commitment to uplifting the people of Zimbabwe and one of the
ways is through providing better services.”
Mujuru’s death remains unexplained with the family saying they are still
waiting for answers.
"I am still in the dark about how exactly my husband died and the Mujuru
family and me are still waiting for an explanation on how he died,” the Vice
President Said in a recent interview.
"I am still in the dark just like all of you who also want to know what
exactly happened to him."
07 December 2011
Reports said Nestle will buy and distribute 2,000 cows in the next seven
years to farmers contracted to supply it, boosting contracted production
from an annual 3.5 million to 25 million liters of milk
Gibbs Dube | Washington
Nestlé Zimbabwe says it has bought 200 dairy cows from South Africa in a
US$14 million investment program aimed at reviving the country’s battered
Reports said the company’s commercial dairy development program will buy and
distribute 2,000 cows in the next seven years to contracted farmers. This is
expected to boost its contracted production from 3.5 million to a 25 million
liters of milk.
The Daily News paper quotes Nestlé Zimbabwe Chief Executive Kumbirai
Katsande as saying that 40,000 dairy cows in Zimbabwe are currently
producing 50 million liters of milk a year while at least 100 million liters
are needed to meet demand.
“In addition to the commercial dairy development program Nestlé will soon
launch an ambitious nationwide dairy scheme targeted at small-scale
farmers,” Katsande said.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo said Nestlé Zimbabwe should be
commended for committing funds to the dairy sector. “We hope that other
corporations will engage in such programs in order to boost milk production
in the country,” Moyo said.
Legislator Moses Jiri, chairman of Parliament's committee on agriculture,
said private firms contracting with small-scale farmers in such programs
should ensure that the farmers are fully trained to properly care for dairy
Thursday, 08 December 2011 10:40
HARARE - Nestle Zimbabwe Private Limited (Nestle) is yet to submit a revised
indigenisation compliance proposal, chief executive Kumbirai Katsande has
Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere rejected Nestle’s initial
proposal last month saying it was insufficient and fell far short of the
minimum 51 percent indigenous shareholding as required by the Indigenisation
Nestle had proposed to dispose of 25 percent equity to the Nestlé Zimbabwe
Pension Fund, while the remaining equity would go to the firm’s employees
under an employee ownership and empowerment scheme.
The Swiss-backed food processor has been under spotlight after a spat with
President Robert Mugabe over the rejection of milk from his Gushungo Dairy
Farm citing that it was substandard and contaminated, prompting Mugabe to
publicly assign Kasukuwere to nationalise the company.
Speaking at the company’s commercial dairy revival project in Kwekwe on
Tuesday this week, Katsande said the company was yet to resubmit their
proposal pending housekeeping issues at the food giant.
“We are yet to submit our proposal. The direction we have is that we will
soon submit,” he said, adding he had no capacity to answer questions
relating to the compliance plan since he was answerable to the company’s
According to government’s indigenisation requirements for the manufacturing
sector, foreign-owned firms must cede only 26 percentage shareholding to
locals, and work to increase the share holding to 51 percent over four
Details of the resolution indicate that the foreign manufacturing firms may
maintain the 26 percent threshold for locals, but must increase the
threshold to 46 percent in the third year before finally meeting 51 percent
in the fourth year.
Nestle is set to spend over $14 million over a period of seven years towards
resuscitating the country’s dairy herd, through contracting small scale
Katsande said capacity utilisation among dairy processors remains below 30
percent due to reduced milk production and so the company said it was
committed to improve it by working with local dairy farmers.
The programme will establish milk production and collection centres
throughout all the provinces of the country.
“Working with local dairy farmers can revive the country’s dairy industry to
the great heights of yester years when national milk production was 260
million litres per year and the country had over 200 000 dairy cows,” he
Currently Zimbabwe’s national milk production is a measly 50 million litres
while the country’s national herd of dairy cows is less than 40 000.
Nestle plans to face lift its Harare plant at a total cost of $27 million
are steaming ahead despite calls by government for the firm to fully
indigenise, in a move that indicates confidence in its local operations.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
His Grace has received a further letter about the situation in Zimbabwe.
Yes, he knows that many of his readers and communicants don't really care
about the matter, and he is fully aware that when he turns from matters gay
and Eurogeddon his hit-rate decreases significantly. But he really doesn't
care about such temporal trivia. This is important. It concerns our brothers
and sisters in Christ who are suffering, and we are commanded to remember
them in our prayers, for their suffering is our suffering: we are one.
This letter from Bishop Julius gives some background on the Archbishop of
Canterbury's recent visit to Zimbabwe and the spirit of hope which seems to
prevail in the face of evil. As they are persecuted, their numbers grow.
Bishop Julius is shown above knocking at the western door at St John’s
Cathedral, to which he was denied access.
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF MANICALAND CPCA
Pastoral Letter November 2011
To our Brothers and Sisters in the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland and to our
friends further afield.
I write to you with great concern over the prevailing challenges and
suffering the church is still going through in our diocese. I also write
with great joy and hope when I consider the success stories in the diocese
despite the challenges we continue to face daily.
We still do not have access to about 50% of our diocesan schools, clinics
and hospitals and churches. This has hindered progress and development as
opportunities have been lost and many lives badly affected. Despite the
challenges we face, including our inability to pay stipends, legal bills and
rentals, our congregations continue to grow in numbers outstripping the
challenges. Yes we are concerned, “but we are not anxious but continue to
present our plight before the Lord in prayers.” (Philippians 4:4-8).
In August, the diocese hosted a Zimbabwe Anglican Youth Association (ZAYA)
annual conference. Youths from all the five Anglican dioceses in Zimbabwe
converged at Hartzell High School, a Methodist institution, from the 5th to
the 8th of August 2011 for a vibrant and powerful conference. Regrettably,
this conference could have been held at St Augustine’s Mission where the
Anglican Church started in Zimbabwe but the youth were denied access to this
conducive and historical venue. They were however, not deterred by the high
costs of hiring the Hartzell High School facilities. About five hundred
youths from all over Zimbabwe attended. This was a great success and they
were highly inspired and strengthened. We value youth ministry in the
diocese and should keep on supporting them in our churches.
From the 11th to the 14th of August 2011 the diocese registered another big
success by successfully hosting the Anglican Mothers’ Union of Zimbabwe
(AMUZ) annual conference at Mutare Teachers’ College. This was a well
organized, spirit -filled and well attended conference. About five thousand
ladies from all corners of Zimbabwe enjoyed the joyous and powerful
fellowship. All the five Anglican Bishops in Zimbabwe attended the main mass
on the 13th of August 2011. The bishops gave powerful messages of solidarity
with Anglicans in Zimbabwe. Indeed this event was a clear demonstration of
the strength of the true Anglican Church. It was an eye-opener too for those
who have decided to follow Mr. Jakazi and Mr. Kunonga. Some of the misguided
members attended the conference under cover of darkness to see whether it
would be a success. They must have been shocked to realize that they are
very much in the minority since almost ninety percent or more of Anglicans
in Zimbabwe have remained faithful to the true CPCA. It is pleasing to note
that despite the financial challenges in the diocese and the perpetual
harassment by Mr. Jakazi and Mr. Kunonga’s supporters, sometimes with help
from the police, true Anglicans have not despaired.
The diocese was highly privileged to receive the Archbishop of Canterbury,
Dr Rowan Williams, on the 10th of October 2011. He was accompanied by the
Archbishops of Central Africa, Tanzania and Southern Africa, and bishops of
Botswana, Harare, Manicaland, and Southwark. The Archbishop and his party
visited the displaced congregation of St Matthew’s Parish, Rusape, where he
worshiped with and encouraged the gathered faithful. It was touching to
witness His Grace and other bishops join in worship with the displaced
congregation in a town hall with poor ventilation. Their church stood locked
and remained dark, only a few hundred yards away.
The next stop was St Paul’s, Christmas Pass, where displaced worshippers
were gathered and are thinking of building a large church and conference
centre. His Grace blessed the site. Next stop was the Mutare Showgrounds,
where I was consecrated two years ago- how time flies! A gathering of about
three thousand worshippers gave the Archbishop and the accompanying
Archbishops and bishops a rousing welcome. Dr Williams gave a moving homily
and encouraged all gathered to remain steadfast in the faith. He assured us
of his and the support and prayers of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
From the Showgrounds, the visiting party made a brief stop at St John’s
Cathedral. We were denied access but I managed to knock at the Western door
with my Crosier and was joined in prayer by all the bishops present.
We had a welcome break at our rented diocesan office. There was much singing
and dancing and photo opportunities – when the Archbishops were not swaying
to the Manicaland Gospel rhythms!
St Augustine’s Penhalonga was our final stop in Manicaland. Rather than
argue at the locked gates, we took a side entrance and walked up the hill to
the church, then the CZR Convent where we spent time in prayer and
reflection led by the Archbishop. This was indeed a poignant and memorable
From Manicaland we sped back to Harare where we met with President Mugabe.
The meeting was cordial. The Archbishops and all the bishops were received
well. The Archbishop presented the President with a dossier of abuses
against Anglicans in Zimbabwe. The President professed ignorant of these
abuses and promised to look into the matter. Throughout, the Archbishop was
polite but firm and focused. We had a brief meeting with the Prime Minister
in the evening.
Full marks for the Archbishop who dare enter the lion’s den to speak, firmly
and without fear especially after his powerful sermon at a service attended
by an estimated twenty thousand people in Harare the day before. Apart from
highlighting our plight, the Archbishop’s visit showed unequivocally that
Messrs Kunonga and Jakazi are not Anglicans, despite their claims to the
contrary. A lot of their followers have since seen the light and left them.
Secondly our plight is now out in the open and the authorities cannot
profess ignorant anymore. The rest we leave to our law courts. The
Archbishop played his part fully.
It is my encouragement to all of you to seek wisdom, knowledge and
understanding as well as God’s guidance in all that we do in life. Choose to
be an instrument of righteousness and not an instrument of wickedness.
Soon after the Archbishop’s visit the diocese hosted two visitors from,
Southwark Diocese, Woolwich Episcopal Area. Fr Steve Cook and Fr Anthony
Buckley were in the diocese from the 15th to the 21st of October 2011. There
is a mutual link relationship between our diocese and the Woolwich Episcopal
Area. Steve and Anthony were impressed by what they saw. They said that they
learnt a lot from their visits to schools, churches and even families in
Manicaland. “Our interaction with Anglicans in Manicaland at different
levels or in different circumstances be it at a school, in church, or over a
meal had a lot say about your faith, determination and hope in doing the
work of the Lord.” said Anthony. We thank the Woolwich Episcopal Area for
their prayers and support.
The diocese sent six ordinands to Bishop Gaul College in Harare and one
Ordinand to Westcott House, Cambridge. We thank the Community of the
Resurrection (CR Fathers) who helped the diocese to raise US$8400 for the
college fees and Canon Martin Seeley who helped to fund the Westcott House
Ordinand. This is a big step in an effort to increase the number of trained
priests in the diocese. It is only the beginning. More ordinands should be
sent for theological training because we are still very far from meeting the
required number of priests in the diocese. This critical need calls for
greater commitment and sacrificial giving to support the training of
Whilst many churches have been unlawfully taken over by Mr. Jakazi we have
had moments of great joy and celebration after lawfully taking back some of
our churches. Tears of grief soaked the elderly ladies from All Saints
Zimunya church when their church was unlawfully taken over by Jakazi’s
priests with the help of the police. When the matter was taken to the High
Court, justice prevailed unlike in many other cases where we have been
denied justice. We got back All Saints Zimunya church on the 11th of October
2011 and this time tears of joy streamed down on the same faces where tears
of grief had flowed. All our assets that had been unlawfully grabbed are
being recovered lawfully. The process is slow. I know you have suffered, you
have cried but our faith and hope is that soon we shall be rejoicing. Let us
not forget that first and foremost, we are the church and that the risen
Lord will break all the locked doors and open doors no one can shut. It is
not the buildings, but us who make a true church anchored on the spiritual
foundation on which our lives are built. God will restore all our property
back as well as the peace and joy that we have lost.
St Peters Nyamandwe Church in Pafiwa area has suffered a series of violent
attacks from Mr. Jakazi’s supporters. Like All Saints Zimunya, this church
was unlawfully grabbed and CPCA members have been tormented. The worst
incident happened on the 23rd of October 2011 when five of our members were
viciously attacked by thugs who had been hired by Jakazi’s supporters. Some
sustained serious injuries. Even when you go through such suffering, never
give up. Just remember 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 and be strengthened. As we move
closer to Christmastide let us be motivated by the fact that just as God
gave His only son Jesus Christ as the savior of the world He will in the
same way come to our rescue. A perfect solution is in His hands.
+ Julius Manicaland
7 November 2011
The problem with telling porkies is that to maintain the dishonesty, even bigger more fanciful lies have to be conjured and spun to support the original lie.... if one is determined to hang one's hat (or political shirt) doggedly on the original lie.
That is precisely the problem surrounding the HIV-AIDS debate in Southern Africa for well over 25 years now. And that is why an effective policy in fighting HIV-AIDS in Southern Africa remains elusive. Maintaining the original lies effectively lock out the helpful facts of truth from the professionals who need them.
The HIV-AIDS dishonesty in Southern Africa began in newly independent Zimbabwe around 1986 certainly (but likely earlier). The deliberate cover-up and lying was purely political, and has its origins with ZANU's interest in its own power maintenance (and that of the ANC and PAC - both hosted in Harare at the time). I and my colleague Neil Harper came to know of, and be witness to this, by the accident of our wrongful detention without trial in Chikurubi Maximum Secirity Prison, Harare, 1986 to 1988.
The Story Begins
Around 1986 Zimbabwe was critically short of teachers and accepted bursaries for teacher training from the Cuban government. Much was made of the solidarity between the comrades of Cuba and Zimbabwe, the struggle, etcetera. To this end, the ZANU government made clear that the bursaries would be awarded not only just to black liberation cadres, but only to former Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (ZANLA, that is ZANU) cadres: the crème de la crème. I cannot now remember how many places were available, and some reports I have since read suggest 60 minimum, or as many as 75. It was definitely more than the 36 returned comrades we came across being processed secretly via our section of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Then the LYING
The ZANU lies and misguided cover-up started when Henry Muradzikwa (then editor of the Sunday Mail, Harare) wrote a piece about the waste of sending these cadres to Cuba, only to have most of them returned for medical HIV-AIDS reasons. The story seemed to upset the Cuban ambassador, and ultimately it cost Henry Muradzikwa his job when he not only refused to retract the article & apologise as instructed by ZANU, but actually reaffirmed it in a follow-up article).
President Robert Mugabe told the Cuban Foreign Minister that he was going to deal with the newspaper personally, stating that it had been "infiltrated by the enemy and is reactionary", and that he would would "get" whoever held the pen that produced the report. (Natal Mercury, 22 April 1987)
As reported from Harare in the Sunday Star (19 July 1987), under the heading "Puzzle over students deepens", a ZAPU MP, Edward Ndlovu, claimed in Parliament earlier that month that the authorities were holding the students in a place of detention,....
Ndlovu said that 75 students had been deported from Cuba because of a "mysterious desease" and on arrival had been taken to Chikurubi Prison, then moved to a camp in Bindura. He came under fire from Dr Eddison Zvobgo, the Minister of Justice in the ZANU government, who said that Cuba had contributed to the liberation and that it was unprecedented for a member of ZAPU (a Liberation Movement) to criticise Cuba (an ally).
What I learned in "F" Hall, Chikurubi Maximum, was that the story must have been true. We lived for a month segregated, with two batches of the male students recalled from Cuba while they sat out the last stages of their lengthy detentions in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
We were told that the female students were being held in the women's section of the Chikurubi Prison Farm complex. From my perspective, I was shocked at this cruel cover-up and the quite unlawful ‘medical' detentions. I realised that if this was how ZANU treated their own, there was little hope for the rest of the populace (me included!).
We detainees were to learn from the students themselves that while Muradzikwa was being career-assassinated for his "false" story, they (the students) were simultaneously being held against their will in a detention style of quarantine: first on an isolated island off Cuba receiving food worse than dog rations; then transported by military flight to resume military detention on an airbase in Angola; then many months later they were discreetly repatriated - but still detained - to various police stations around Zimbabwe; whereafter they were finally moved to "F" Hall, Chikurubi, under "formal" 30-day Ministerial detention orders.
At Chikurubi they were all required to give blood samples, we learned. In a letter published in the Zimbabwe Independent (7 January 2000), I challenged the minister, Eddison Zvobgo, to settle the matter of Muradzikwa's "falsehoods" once and for all by telling the nation why it was lied to on this matter, what became of these students subsequent to their release from Chikurubi Maximum, and what the party and government intended to do about their mistreatment.
Some supporting facts
My Chikurubi prison diary which I managed to bring out of Zimbabwe with me records, inter alia -
Sat 16 May 1987 - All detainees in "F" Hall to old European section "F-A", to make room for new "medical" AIDS detainees ex Cuba, who are to be segregated in "F-B". 26x males seen plus 4x females not seen.
Mon 18 May 1987 - 10x more male students ex Cuba seen arrive, plus 1x female not seen.
During May 1987 - All 36x Cuban Teacher comrades are taken to Chikurubi Maximum Hospital to give blood samples. We later learn from medical fraternity grapevine (via Blood Transfusion Service in Harare) that 41x blood samples were received from Chikurubi for AIDS testing. We later learn that all blood samples have tested positive.
Also during May 1987 - the "segregation" of "us" detainees and "them" in "F" Hall remains in force only superficially (for meals, sleeping cells, ablutions). Socially, the segregation is soon abandoned, and so we learn the AIDS detainees' account of their adventures from them directly - and they are all both afraid and angry at their treatment (these are the ZANLA elite, remember).
Tue 09 Jun 1987 - 35x Cuban teacher comrades released to military transport @ Chikurubi; and 1x comrade transported to Parirenyatwa Hospital. We learn the 5x females have been similarly released to transport.
And some general recollections
Now these were very early days of the HIV-AIDS phenomenon..... it had only recently become hot news in western media with the transmission route seeming to favour homosexuals, drug addicts, & haemophiliacs (with early indications of central African heterosexual transmission for not fully understood reasons).
Neil Harper and I were very much involved with the HIV-AIDS debates amongst us detainees in Chikurubi. My friend in "F" Hall, Listone Mabuto, later died of AIDS - his wife Lettie had been infected from an AIDS-contaminated blood transfusion received during childbirth from the Harare Blood Bank (which traditionally got their bulk blood stocks from the military and police). Lettie predeceased Listone, but not before infecting him.
My agenda here is to lay bare the deliberate, collective and co-operative cover-up and lying that has been going on in Liberation Movement High Commands and their Politburos on this issue for so long - organisations that are now ruling Southern Africa in sympathetic collaborative dishonesty on this particular and life-threatening pandemic. The maintenance of this first big lie has more than exacerbated an already serious problem that was obvious over 25 years ago, viz:-
Interestingly, a few years after I arrived in the UK, one of church missionaries returned from her life's work at Lukolwe Mission Hospital in a very remote region of western Zambia. The mission hospital was the nearest facility for the Zambian Army based in the area. I was to learn that the Zambian Brigade Commander understood the HIV+ status of his troops was likely running at around 90%.
It seemed sexual health in the Zambian army was unlikely to be any different in liberation movement guerrillas; and therein regionally lay vital clues to the path of the heterosexual AIDS transmission in the SADC region. Obviously, the military are unlikely to be readily available or willing to subject themselves to the scrutiny of medical researchers. The medical fraternity can only be misled though if the truth is still deliberately and systematically denied - for over 25 years now in SADC.
The debate belongs in the open, along with the truth and facts - all of them, warts and all.
John V Austin, London
Former head: Harare Customs & Excise.
Entries in John Austin's prison diary May 17 and 18 1987: