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High Court orders Mzembi to leave gold mine

11/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporters

THE High Court has ordered Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi and two other Zanu
PF officials to leave Renco gold mine in Masvingo with immediate effect
warning the police would enforce the order should they refuse to budge.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed RioZim Limited, which owns the mine,
approached the High Court for relief accusing Mzembi, Chivi legislator
Irvine Dzingirai and Masvingo district administrator Obediah Mazombe of
trying to take over the mine under the country’s indigenisation programme.

But in a judgement handed down Monday, Justice Hlekani Mwayera ordered the
officials to leave the property, accusing them of disrupting operations and
trying to use their political clout to illegally take over the mine.

"In the guise of resolving labour disputes at the mine the three used their
political influence and pretended to be urging the workers to go back to
work," the judge said.

"It is however quite clear that their intentions were to take over the mine.
The chaotic take-over displayed a high level of lawlessness. The respondents
acted as if there are no labour laws in the country.

"You are (therefore) ordered to vacate the mine within 24hours, the deputy
sheriff is on standby and if necessary and under authorization the ZRP will

Commenting on the ruling, Renco Mine lawyer, Thabani Mpofu said: “The judge
delivered her ruling today (Monday) and in terms of that ruling she found
the respondents to have unlawfully taken over operations at the mine, they
had invited themselves at the mine unlawfully and so she has ordered that
they immediately stop the interference and also that the Dzingirai move out
of the company guest house.”

But Everson Samkange who represented the trio said he would appeal the
decision at the Supreme Court.
“Look our clients are not in possession of the mine. The order does not
solve the dispute in any way. It leaves the matter at the hands of the
parties,” he said.

“The findings by her Lordship are therefore factually and legally
unsustainable and liable to be set aside by the highest court of the land
which is the Supreme Court. So we have appealed against the ruling.”

Mpofu however, hit back saying: “It’s their prerogative to appeal, if they
want to do so, I do not see any basis for that appeal because what they did
was unlawful , brazenly unlawful, and one would expect that they take the
ruling with the respect it deserves, it is a solid ruling and they knew what
they did was wrong.”

Mzembi has claimed that his involvement in the mine, which is in his
constituency, was aimed at helping workers who are involved in a labour
dispute with management.

Operations at the mine ground to a halt last month when spouses of the
workers besieged the company offices demanding their husbands’ annual
bonuses and better working conditions.

RioZim officials claimed Mzembi had wadded into the dispute in a bid to take
over the company and had already appointed Dzingai as the new general

The minister however denied the allegations and sensationally claimed the
company had offered him a US$100,000 bribe in a bid to buy his silence over
the labour dispute.

"That's political slander. I'm surprised by their statement, which seeks to
politicise what is a dispute between them and their workers,” Mzembi said.

"I have no interest in the mine's shareholders except to say they must
comply with the laws of this country. I have never taken an ounce of gold
from Renco, nor do I intend to, but my people are crying for justice.

“They tried to buy me out of this case, with a US$100 000 brown envelope
which I turned down, preferring to advance community and worker issues which
they have blatantly violated over the past 40 years.”

But the company’s lawyers said the bribery allegations were baseless adding
Mzembi should have reported the matter to the police.

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Zim to seize mining company’s land

February 12 2013 at 08:13pm

Harare - The Zimbabwean government will seize nearly 28 hectares of land
leased by platinum miner Zimplats, in a fresh drive to re-allocate assets to
local business, the mining minister said Tuesday.

“My ministry is taking a forward step to repossess from Zimplats land
measuring 27,948 hectares,” Obert Mpofu told journalists.

“The ministry will exercise its prerogative to ensure that all idle ground
is repossessed and reallocated to other investors.”

Mpofu said the repossession would “invigorate the mining industry.”

Zimbabwe, which is recovering from a decade of economic malaise, has passed
strict regulations for international firms operating in the country.

One of them is a controversial indigenisation law, which forces
foreign-owned companies to cede 51 percent of their assets to black

Last month Impala Platinum (Implats) sealed a deal to sell a 51-percent
stake in its company Zimplats, under the 2010 law signed by President Robert

The deal will see Impala get $971 million (731 million euro) making it one
of the largest empowerment transactions in Zimbabwe to date. - Sapa-AFP

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Zimbabwe gives producers two years to refine platinum locally

Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:09am EST

* Government says value lost through semi-processed exports

* Reclaims some ground from companies to 'curb speculation'

* Industry says current output does not justify refinery

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government told platinum producers on
Tuesday to start refining the metal locally within two years, placing a
further requirement on an industry already forced to surrender majority
shares to locals.

Producers would probably struggle to meet the new goal as refineries are
very costly and can take several years to build, especially as Zimbabwe is
suffering from a skills shortage.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu told reporters Zimbabwe wanted to derive more
benefit from the resource by having a refinery in the country rather than
having metal refined in South Africa.

"For some time the country has not realised significant value from the
platinum sector beyond the traditional statutory payments," Mpofu said.

"Consequently, the ministry has decided that beyond two years, it will stop
processing exports for semi-processed platinum products. This is expected to
give way for companies to begin channelling resources towards value addition
through establishing a PGM (platinum group metals) refinery in the country."

Zimbabwe has the world's second-largest known platinum reserves behind
neighbouring South Africa, which sits on about 80 percent of the white metal
used for make emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.

Zimbabwe has long pressed the platinum industry to build a refinery. The
sector has said it has long-term plans to so but the current output of below
300,000 ounces annually does not justify the expense, estimated at $2

The world's top two producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum,
both have operations in Zimbabwe.

Both Amplats and Impala recently signed off 51 percent stakes in their
Zimbabwean operations to local black investors under a controversial
empowerment law championed by long-ruling President Robert Mugabe.

Mpofu also announced the government would reclaim some ground from mining
companies, to be given to new investors in the sector.

He said this move was meant to curb the holding of mining rights for
speculative purposes and would start with the repossession of nearly 28,000
hectares of land from Implats' subsidiary Zimplats.

"Following protracted discussions on the release of excess ground, my
ministry is taking a step forward to repossess excess ground from Zimplats,
measuring 27,948 hectares," Mpofu said.

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Police attempt to raid Peace Project offices at night

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 February 2013

On Monday night police in Harare tried to search the offices of the Zimbabwe
Peace Project, six hours after they had earlier stormed the same offices.

During the lunchtime raid police, armed with a warrant and in the presence
of lawyers, took away phone handsets, wind up radios, files with donor
information, political violence reports and DVD’s.

ZPP director Jestina Mukoko told SW Radio Africa the police were back at
their Hillside base at night, but referred all questions to Zacharia Godi,
the board’s vice-chairman.

Godi said eight officers tried to ‘break’ into their offices around 9pm but
set off an alarm. While the security team that provides rapid response
services to the ZPP offices was still on the site checking what had
triggered the alarm, eight officers appeared from nowhere and demanded entry
into Mukoko’s office. Since the office was locked the police officers could
not go in and search it.

The Monday raids on ZPP’s headquarters in Harare have been roundly condemned
by the country’s civil society organisations. ZPP’s work mainly involves
monitoring political violence in different communities in Zimbabwe.

Macdonald Lewanika, a director with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, told
us ZPP’s work is unpalatable to the government who want them shut down.

He said the actions of the police reek of intimidation and can be
interpreted as a clear attempt to stop human rights defenders doing their

‘The police are creating fictitious charges in order to invade the space of
NGO’s and intimidate them to ensure they stop the work they’re doing.

‘The raids of CSO’s and NGO’s are a continuous trend to criminalise their
work and tarnish their image and ensure they’re not operational, especially
as we move towards elections,’ Lewanika said.

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UNDP approves Zimbabwe request for election money

By Violet Gonda
12 February 2013

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) has approved a request by the cash strapped Zimbabwean
government to fund the forthcoming polls, although he said the Zimbabwe
Election Commission and the police had submitted ‘extremely high and
unreasonable’ budgets.

Biti and Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa had written to
the UNDP asking for an estimated $250 million for the purposes of
administering the constitutional referendum and general election, scheduled
for this year.

The Finance Minister told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the government had
received ‘a very favorable response and we are now acting on the things that
they have requested.’

Biti said he could not publicly divulge what has been requested or how much
money Zimbabwe will receive. However he revealed that the Zimbabwe Election
Commission had put forward budgets that were unrealistic, with the original
budget in excess of US$500 million and the second one over $300million.

He said experts from the two ministries were now in the process of
reconciling the correct figures with ZEC, “to come up with a credible and
legitimate budget that is sellable to everyone, to the Ministry of Finance,
to parliament and to the international community.”

Biti said various people who will work in the election process were asking
huge per diem rates. Some were asking to be paid as much as $70 per day.

“Another cause for concern was the request from the Zimbabwe Republic
Police. In the original budget it was so clear that the police were now
intending to capitalize on…the elections – which is not proper,” Biti added.

“So what Minister Chinamasa and I have chosen to do is to micro-analyse and
micro-audit the budgets that are coming from the Zimbabwe Election
Commission with a view of coming up with a reasonable and legitimate

The police alone were asking for $180 million. Some media reports say that
ZEC requests included $1 million for indelible ink and at least $11 million
for voter education, adding to suspicions that the figures were highly

We could not reach ZEC officials for comment.

Meanwhile, cabinet ministers who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
UNDP does not actually have the money but will coordinate the donor
community to pledge money to sponsor the Zimbabwe polls. The donors, who
include the United States and the European Union, have made certain
conditions for funding the elections, such as allowing EU observers.

The sources said if the donors put money it will be for the referendum first
and then they will consider funding the general elections, if Zimbabwe
implements the election roadmap and there is an end to human rights abuses.

Ordinarily ZANU PF would not agree to any conditions, but it is believed
that President Robert Mugabe and his party will probably agree to some
demands as some observers say they are ‘desperate’ to have the elections
before the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference in August.

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Air Zimbabwe planes grounded, debt soars to US$188m

11/02/2013 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo

AIR Zimbabwe’s debt has soared to over US$$188 million at a time the airline’s
ageing fleet has also been grounded over safety concerns, a company official
has revealed.

Acting chief executive, Innocent Mavhunga, told the Parliamentary portfolio
committee for transport Monday that the airline’s debt had increased from
about $140 million to US$188 million as the company defaults on payments and
also picks up new bills from service providers.

Mavhunga also revealed the airline’s planes had been grounded by the Civil
Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe following concerns the fleet was now too old
to fly.

The airline currently operates two Boeing aircraft, a B737-200 ER and a
B737-200 Adv, servicing domestic and one regional route while the three
MA-60 turbo props acquired from China in 2005 are understood to have long
been taken out of service.

Mavhunga said the increasing debts represent an acceleration of liabilities
for the State-owned entity, whose predicament was worsened by government
price controls during the decade-long economic crisis period which ended
with the formation of the inclusive government as well as dollarisation in

He said Air Zimbabwe needed urgent capital injection adding some of the
options available to the airline included going into partnerships under a
commercial code-sharing arrangement.

Air Zimbabwe was forced to withdraw from international routes, mainly the
lucrative Harare-London haul, in December 2011 after its aircraft was seized
in Johannesburg and London over unpaid debts.

Interim board chairman, Munesu Munodawafa who is also the permanent
secretary for the Transport Ministry, told the Parliamentary committee that
the airline would need to pay US$158 million before it can resume the
international flights.

Meanwhile, Mavhinga said the two airbus plane the government had helped the
airline lease would be put to service in April in time for the August United
Nations world tourism congress adding the company was paying US$140,000 for
the deal.

“It costs US$410,000 a month to lease the two planes (but they) are not yet
flying as we have not fully registered them with the Civil Aviation
Authority of Zimbabwe,” he said.

He added that the changeover to Airbus from Boeing would cost the airline
about US$1 million which covers training pilots and engineers in Spain as
well as re-equipping the airline’s hangers.

Air Zimbabwe’s top creditors include ENNA, the Agency for Air Navigation
Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), China’s National Aero-Technology
Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), Aero Industrial Sales and American
General Supplies.

CATIC supplied Air Zimbabwe with the unpopular MA60 aircraft in 2005. The
airline bought three MA60 planes but one developed technical faults before
it could operate and is currently grounded.

ASECNA had already secured a court ruling in France over which it could
impound Air Zimbabwe's airplanes due to an overdue debt, while British
Airport Transport and American General Supplies, a major supplier of
aircraft spares to Air Zimbabwe, had warned that they could suspend services
due to accumulating arrears.

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State witness absolves MDC-T activists in Glen View trial

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 February 2013

A state witness, who gave evidence in-camera at the ongoing murder trial of
31 MDC-T activists, has absolved them of committing the crime.

Edinah Chihota told the court on Tuesday she could not positively identify
any of them as the culprits who stoned the police officer to death.

The trial of the MDC-T activists accused of murdering police officer Petros
Mutedza in May 2011 began again on Monday and was moved from the high court
to the magistrate’s court, to allow Chihota to give her evidence. The
magistrate’s courts have facilities to host what is known as a Victim
Friendly Court.

The witness had applied to the High court to give evidence in-camera saying
she felt uncomfortable testifying in an open court after receiving threats
from unknown people.

In her testimony the visibly unsettled Chihota contradicted statements by
the state that she saw the activists attack Mutedza. She categorically
denied seeing any of the accused throw stones at the police officer, saying
she had very little recollection of the events of that day.

Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba said Chihota gave evidence in camera for the
second day running at the magistrate court. ‘I cannot go into detail with
what was said in court but I can confirm as the defence team, we are done
with the witness and the court will return tomorrow (Wednesday) at the High

‘It was within her rights to apply to the courts to testify in camera as she
felt unsafe to do so in public. We still have a doctor and a pathologist to
testify in this case,’ Kwaramba said.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is presiding over the trial. Five of the activists;
Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madzokere, Rebecca Mafukeni, Yvonne Musarurwa
and Simon Mapanzure, are still in custody after the judge denied them bail.
Some of the activists have spent almost 21 months in remand prison.

Journalists have been barred from covering the proceedings, however SW Radio
Africa can reveal that the extent of Chihota’s contradictions have left the
case hanging by a thread.

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Journalists barred from covering Glenview trial

MISA Zimbabwe Alert
12 February 2013

Journalists barred from covering Glenview murder trial

Journalists were on 11 February 2013 barred from covering the trial of 31
MDC-t activists accused of murdering a police officer, Petros Mutedza, in
May 2011 which resumed yesterday at the Harare Magistrate courts.

Chief Superintendent Charles Ngirishi is reported to have ordered out the
journalists that were in attendance, alleging that he was acting on
instructions from the Attorney General’s Office, and that the proceedings
were to be held in camera.

Asked by journalists if there was a court order barring the covering of the
story, Ngirishi said, “I have an instruction from the AG’s office and this
case is not being covered by any journalist. That’s an order.”

The Attorney General’s representative, Edmore Nyazamba, also confirmed the
arrangement. “The proceedings are in camera and you cannot be allowed to
cover the story,” he said.

The trial was held in November last year with Justice Chinembiri Bhunu
granting bail to 21 activists while denying Last Maengahama, Tungamirai
Madzokere, Rebecca Mafukeni, Yvonne Musarurwa and Simon Mapanzure bail,
considering them as unsuitable candidates.

Justice Bhunu also granted an application by the State to allow a
‘vulnerable witness’, Ednah Chihota, to give evidence “in camera”.

Journalists had turned out in large numbers yesterday for the trial at the
Magistrates’ Court since the High Court does not have Victim Friendly Court
The trial continues on 12 February 2013.

End //

For any questions, queries or comments, please contact:
Nyasha Nyakunu
Research and Information Officer

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Zimbabwe Farmers to Stop Selling Maize to GMB

Gibbs Dube

WASHINGTON DC — Some communal farmers, who have not yet been paid by the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) for maize delivered last agricultural season,
say they will not sell any grain to the GMB this year unless the state-owned
entity settles all outstanding payments.

Disgruntled farmers in Mashonaland West, Midlands and Masvingo provinces
told VOA Studio 7 that they are owed between $13,000 and $18,000 each for
maize and small grain delivered between May and July last year.

Councillor Maqhawe Moyo of Silobela said the unpaid communal farmers in his
area have asked local authorities to take up the matter with Finance
Minister Tendai Biti.

Moyo said at least 20 farmers in Silobela have failed to get their dues from
the GMB.

“We hope to hold a meeting with the finance minister as soon as possible
because chances are high that most farmers won’t deliver maize to the GMB
this year,” he said.

Mike Shumba of Gutu, Masvingo Province, said they will this year sell maize
to private buyers as the GMB has failed to honour its financial obligations.

Patrick Dube, a member of the paliamentary agriculture committee, said the
GMB officials lied that they have settled all outstanding payments when they
appeared before the committee last year following complaints by farmers that
they had not been paid for grain deliveries.

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Zimbabwe Faces Crayfish Crisis In Water Ecosystem

Feb 12, 9:12 AM EST


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Scientists in Zimbabwe say a fresh water crayfish
brought from Australia is breeding out of control in the northern Lake
Kariba, devouring the food sources of other fish and putting the nation's
entire aquatic ecosystem at risk.

Officials at the Zimbabwe University lakeshore research station say the red
claw crayfish, introduced a decade ago for a fish farming project, has no
natural predators in the wild - crocodiles don't like them - and they
produce clusters of eggs up to half the size of a tennis ball that hatch

Baby crocodiles still feeding on insects have been observed eating the
crayfish, as have Lake Kariba's piranha-like tiger fish, but they generally
thrive in deeper water than the crayfish.

Chief ecologist Crispen Phiri said the exploding, migrant crayfish
population is infesting rivers, dams, ponds and tanks much farther afield
where `'the scavenger eats everything -rotting vegetation, anything organic
and micro-organisms" that other aquatic life and fish need.

The red claw crayfish, scientifically Cherax Quadricarinatus and known
colloquially in Australia as the yabby, is robust and hardy and cannot be
poisoned without killing other natural species, Phiri said.

It survives and multiplies in virtually any fresh water supply and though
its flesh is high in protein it is not popular in the diet of ordinary
Zimbabweans, even those facing food shortages in the troubled economy.

Phiri said it is not clear whether the sister crayfish, or Cherax
Destructor, is infesting Lake Kariba, too. As its scientific name suggests,
it is a burrower which can cause structural damage to drainage and
hydroelectric installations in Kariba, one of the world's largest manmade
lakes stretching about 300 kilometers (200 miles) on the Zambezi River along
the northern border with neighboring Zambia.

Like professionals in most Zimbabwean institutions, the scientists are
suffering acute shortages of funding. The station's only research vessel has
been docked for more than five years awaiting cash for repairs. What the
ecologists do know is that the red claw migrates deep into river systems.

"We have to do a lot more work on the crayfish invasion," Phiri told The
Associated Press.

`'We don't know yet what will happen to the ecosystem. It is an omnivore and
eats detritus, rotting vegetation, dead fish, the eggs of bream and other
aquatic life as well as all the organisms that are crucial in the whole
ecological chain," he said.

Nor is it known exactly how many crayfish are in Kariba lake. Phiri says
they are most visible breeding unchecked close to human settlements, harbors
and slipways for boats. Kariba's "kapenta" fish, a tiny tropical whitebait
or sardine that has become a staple food, was also introduced into the lake
but does not migrate because it only lives in deep water lake conditions.

The red claw from Australia was first "farmed" in neighboring Zambia but has
already found its way deep into that country's lake tributaries where its
worrying impact is also being urgently tracked.

The solution to the crayfish crisis, said Phiri, seems to lie in commercial
exploitation in traps similar to those used to catch marine lobster.

In stores in Harare, it sells for $9 a kilogram (2.2 pounds), $12 still
alive in fish shop aquariums, and far more in upmarket restaurants
patronized by the wealthy well-traveled elite and Zimbabwe's growing Chinese

Phiri said impoverished villagers capture the red claw and relocate to water
closer to urban markets in central Zimbabwe.

Neighboring South Africa has banned commercial operations and breeding of
the still water crustacean in Argentina, Mexico and Australia is strictly
controlled for environmental reasons.

`'We don't have the resources on the ground to license or police
exploitation on the right scale at Kariba," said Phiri. "The important thing
is we don't want people to introduce it elsewhere."

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Kenya PM pushes for MDCs pact

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 12:06

HARARE - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is reportedly pushing fractious
MDC formations to form a united front against President Robert Mugabe in
elections scheduled for June this year, the Daily News can reveal.

Highly-placed insiders from the two formations yesterday told the Daily News
that representatives from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and those
from Industry minister Welshman Ncube’s formation recently met in Kenya
where preliminary discussions to form a grand coalition were mooted.

A coalition between Tsvangirai and Ncube, once united under the MDC, would
create a realistic chance for the two formations to end Mugabe’s 33-year-old

Divisions between the MDC formations have been a blessing for Zanu PF and in
2008, Tsvangirai trounced Mugabe in presidential elections but the former
trade union leader failed to garner enough votes to boot out the
octogenarian leader.

Tsvangirai polled 1 195 562 votes (47,87percent), Mugabe got 1 079 730
(43,34 percent) while Ncube’s MDC sided with former Zanu PF politburo member
Simba Makoni, who got 207 470 (8,31 percent) of the vote.

Analysts say a united MDC would have ended Zanu PF rule but talks of an
alliance before the March 2008 polls fell through the cracks.

The party split in 2005.

Although on the outside, Ncube accuses Tsvangirai of siding with Mugabe and
blocking his ascendancy to be a deputy prime minister, insiders say talks
are in the offing.

Tsvangirai has in the past called Ncube, who enjoys regional support in
Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, a village politician while Ncube has
hit back describing his former comrade as a bedroom politician.

Officials in Ncube’s MDC said talks of a unity pact between the two parties
are on course as a result of the nudging by Odinga, a close ally of

Ncube, sources say, is well aware of his parochial influence and favours a
coalition albeit where he dictates terms “and not begs for power.”

Sources say the former MDC secretary-general “feels he has nothing to lose
but everything to give” because of the sway he claims to hold in
Matabeleland region.

Moses Mzila Ndlovu from the Ncube faction reportedly led a delegation to the
Nairobi talks last week.

Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson of the Ncube faction could neither confirm nor
deny that talks were underway.

“Our leaders always travel together when we are invited by our African
brothers. We engage with them on several issues including government
matters,” said Dube, was all he could say.

Sources close to the talks say that Ncube was also under pressure from his
party’s heavyweights like Education minister David Coltart, who is an ardent
advocate for a united front against Mugabe.

Top officials in Ncube’s MDC from Mashonaland regions also favour a
coalition with Tsvangirai as they have a better chance of getting leadership

Tsvangirai enjoys support in Mashonaland provinces especially in Harare,
home to over two million potential voters.

Tendai Biti has also been one of Tsvangirai’s top officials who are said to
favour a coalition with Ncube who publicly “does not want to be seen
vacillating like Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara” who wavers between
Zanu PF and the MDC.

In the past, Ncube has ruled out a coalition to unseat Mugabe with his
former president saying Tsvangirai could turn into a dictator if he ever
gets into power.

“Ncube wants to be seen as a decisive leader who does not change his
principles, that is why he was against the coalition. But for the good of
the nation, he knows it is the best move,” said the source.

Tsvangirai and Ncube split in 2005, ostensibly over the party’s
participation in the senatorial elections.
However, Tsvangirai in his autobiography, “At the Deep End” claims the split
was engineered by Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president.

According to Tsvangirai, Mbeki wanted the MDC to self-destruct and leave
Zanu PF to rule without strong opposition.

Tsvangirai’s MDC could not comment. - Fungi Kwaramba and Mugove Tafirenyika

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Typhoid cases continue to rise

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 12:01
HARARE - Zimbabwe continues to pay a heavy price for poor health services as
typhoid firms its grip nationwide.

Suspected cases have risen to almost 7 000 with 141 of them having been

Fatalities stand at six, according to latest statistics from a ministry of
Health report.

According to the report, Harare still leads in typhoid cases followed by
Chitungwiza and Chegutu. Sanyati, which previously had not recorded cases,
has joined the list of areas affected by the waterborne disease.

“Two hundred and fifty new typhoid cases were reported during the week
(ending January 27, 2013). The cases were reported from Chitungwiza Central
Hospital (eight), Sanyati District (two), Chegutu District (one) and Harare
City (239).

“The cumulative figure for typhoid since October 2011 is 6 805 suspected
cases, 141 confirmed cases and six deaths,” reads the report.

Health experts have since warned of a potentially devastating typhoid
epidemic if measures are not taken to address the causes of the disease.

The disease is mostly spread through contaminated water and, like its
bacterial cousin cholera which claimed about 4 000 people since 2008, has
proved to be deadly.

Typhoid cases have been reported in different parts of Zimbabwe since 2011.

The worst affected areas have been the densely-populated suburbs of Harare
including Glen View, Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Kadoma and the dormitory town of

With rains falling hard and public hospitals incapacitated, there are
serious warnings that the disease will continue to spread.

The ministry said total diarrhoea cases reported for the same period are 9
889 cases and four deaths.

Of the reported cases, 4 783 (48,4 percent) and the resulting deaths were
from the under-five age group.

The highest number of diarrhoea cases was recorded in Mashonaland Central
and Mashonaland West provinces with 1 543 and 1 283 people affected

The cumulative figure for diarrhoea is 37 123 and 26 deaths.

Last December, Health and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera warned the
water-borne disease could soon overwhelm the cash-strapped inclusive
government if councils fails to address the issue of garbage and supply of
safe water. - Wendy Muperi

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Zanu PF gets tetchy over Gukurahundi

12/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporters

ZANU PF has warned rival against using the emotive Gukurahundi issue to win
votes in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions as parties step up
campaigning for general elections expected later this year.

Zimbabwe is currently is expected to hold polls to replace the coalition
government which came into office in 2009 and is credited with helping ease
political tensions and ending the country’s decade-long economic crisis.

Parties have already started campaigning for the key ballot although the
election date has yet to be named with President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai giving conflicting signals over the issue.

Zanu PF chairman for Bulawayo told local journalists last Friday that it was
irresponsible for rival parties to use the Gukurahundi disturbances of the
1980s to win try and votes in the region.

“Talking about it (Gukurahundi) risks disturbing peace and in any case we
know that other people only want to talk about it in order to gain mileage
and nothing else,” said Sibanda.

The leaders of the MDC formations have called for a resolution of the issue
with Tsvangirai saying it was unacceptable that perpetrators of the
atrocities were still walking free while their victims continued to cry out
for justice.

In July last year, Welshman Ncube urged openness over the issue, telling the
State-run Sunday Mail newspaper: “(What) should be done is a basic minimum;
otherwise it will not go away.

“We must admit frankly and openly that Gukurahundi happened in the manner in
which it happened. That there were people who were killed, people who were
maimed; people who lost their homes, people were driven into exile.

“There are people today who can’t still get documents arising out of
Gukurahundi: there is no father, there is no mother, and there is just a
child who can’t get a birth certificate.

Rights groups claim that at least 20,000 were killed in the early 1980s when
the government deployed a specially trained army unit to put down what was
described as a dissident menace in Matabeleland and the Midlands regions.

The violence ended when Mugabe and PF Zanu leader Joshua Nkomo agreed a
unity deal in 1987 which saw their parties merging with the Zanu PF leader
becoming State president and his Nkomo his deputy.

Mugabe has not apologised for the killings, only describing them as a moment
of madness and his Zanu PF party remains divided over calls for prosecution
of the alleged perpetrators and compensation of victims.

A suggestion by the party’s legal secretary and defence minister Emmerson
Mangagwa that the issue is a “closed chapter” was derided by former
information minister and politburo member Jonathan Moyo who described the
remarks as “irresponsible and unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, Sibanda warned that exploiting the emotive issue risked stoking
political tensions in the country.
“Journalists have a responsibility to promote peace because if the issue is
not handled properly it risks disturbing peace.”
Sibanda said the people making the most noise about Gukurahundi today never
said a word when the atrocities were allegedly being committed.

He also slammed the breakaway PF Zapu faction led by Dumiso Dabengwa of
trying to use Nkomo’s name to win votes in the new elections.

“Dr Nkomo’s commemorations should be a national event that should be
organised by Government officials not by mere Zapu members. If that happens
the reality is that it will be a political meeting than anything else,” he

“Zapu is losing support and the only way they can lure people into their
party is to use Dr Nkomo’s legacy, but that will never work.”

Zanu PF has since vowed to end the MDC formations’ dominance in the region
with local government minister Ignatius Chombo telling supporters last
month: “When you vote, choose Zanu PF - the people who have your concerns at

“We know that MDC is everywhere but we are geared for the elections. During
the last elections in 2008 we did not do well because of MDC but that will
not happen again.

“MDC councillors are awarding themselves tenders and spending rate-payers’
money. My hair has grown grey because of fighting with MDC on a daily

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NCA: Justice Minister Chinamasa Must Stop Insulting NGOs

Jonga Kandemiiri

WASHINGTON DC — The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) says comments by
Zanu-PF deputy legal secretary and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa over
Non-Governmental Organizations and their role in voter education in the
country are dangerous and could see independent groups being targeted by
overzealous party supporters.

Addressing a Zanu-PF rally in Harare Sunday, Chinamasa urged party
supporters not to allow so-called “outsiders” to conduct voter education
saying they will be politically misled.

Chinamasa said: “Most non-governmental organizations have got hidden agendas
hence the need to exercise caution.”

But NCA chairman and University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Lovemore Madhuku, said
Chinamasa’s statements are inflammatory, adding politicians should watch
what they say as the country heads towards a constitutional referendum and
crucial general polls.

The NCA is campaigning against the adoption of the current draft
constitution claiming that it was a negotiated process instead of a
people-driven exercise.

President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party and the MDC formations of Prime
Minister Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube have already
started urging their supporters to vote in favour of the draft constitution
in the forthcoming constitutional referendum.

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Plea from Mudzi youths

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:11
HARARE - Youths in Mudzi have demanded that the coalition government
institute measures to ensure that young people are protected from violence
that has haunted successive elections in Zimbabwe.

They say areas such as Uzumba, Maramba and Pfungwe are particularly
volatile, leaving youths vulnerable.

Speaking at an electoral rights indaba that was held at Zhuwawo village Ward
11 in Mudzi, the youths pledged to play a leading role in the
democratisation process in Zimbabwe by fully participating in the electoral

They have begun an active campaign to urge their peers to register as

About 120 youths braved the intimidating political atmosphere in Mudzi and
vowed to make the voter registration exercise a success and said they will
not leave any stone unturned in the build-up to the forthcoming elections.

The youths said politicians who want to use unscrupulous tactics to divide
young people in the constituency will not be tolerated.

They called on traditional leaders to refuse being used by politicians by
denying youths proof of residence to register as voters.

In the course of the rights indabas that have so far been held by Youth
Agenda, it has been discovered that traditional leaders usually take
advantage of their socio-cultural influence to make it difficult for youths
to register as voters as they hold the key to the important proof of
residence documents.

Mudzi is one of the areas that were engulfed by political, violence
including the infamous “Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve” amputation frenzy that
left hundreds handicapped and many others dead.

The Mudzi electoral rights indaba is part of a series of training programmes
that are meant to equip the youths with knowledge on their right to
participate in the electoral process. - Staff Writer

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Diaspora protests to ‘intensify’ ahead of Zim poll

By Alex Bell
12 February 2013

The heads of a global protest movement that has been campaigning for real
reforms in Zimbabwe for over a year has vowed to ‘intensify’ their protest
action, before elections expected this year.

The comments have been made as Zimbabwe marks the four year anniversary of
the formation of the unity government, which officially came into being when
Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn into office in February 2009.

But four years later, there has been little change with the only progress
being the recent adoption by the country’s politicians of a draft
constitution. This constitution will be put before a public referendum,
paving the way for elections this year.

Tonderai Samanyanga, an MDC-T UK official who heads the UK wing of the Free
Zimbabwe Global Protest Movement, said that the reforms they have been
campaigning for as a protest group have not been implemented.

He told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the monthly protests, which began
last January, will now intensify to ensure real changes are seen before an

“We need to ensure this happens. Media reform, security sector reform. These
are key to our protest. We also want to ensure there are international
monitors on the ground,” Samanyanga said.

The protests, also called the 21st Movement, have been taking place outside
Zimbabwean and South African embassies every month around the world for over
a year. The protests have targeted South Africa has the mediator in Zimbabwe’s
political crisis, trying to pressure President Jacob Zuma to ensure there
are real reforms before elections.

Samanyanga also said the four year old unity government should have engaged
more with the Diaspora, because “we are an important constituency.” He said
the failure to include the Diaspora’s voting rights in the new constitution
is a key indicator that the Diaspora has not “had the full engagement we
would have expected after four years.”

Meanwhile the Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism (CISOMM), a non-partisan
collective of NGOs that has been monitoring and evaluating the unity
government’s progress over the past four years, will be giving a report on
the situation on Wednesday. A press conference will be taking place at the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights head office at 11am on Wednesday morning.

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Zanu PF plan to torpedo Knight, Sibanda run for MP

11/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZANU PF strategists are poring over the Electoral Act in a bid to scuttle
Ezra Tshisa Sibanda and Eric Knight’s political ambitions, New
has learnt.

The two former Radio 2 DJs plan to run for MP in general elections set to be
held this year.
Zanu PF strategist Professor Jonathan Moyo, in an informal briefing with
journalists, suggested the two UK-based parliamentary aspirants faced major
legal hurdles.

Sibanda wants to run on an MDC-T ticket in the Zanu PF-held Midlands
constituency of Vungu, while Knight is throwing his hat in Mbare – also for
the same party.

The two men must first win tightly-contested primary elections before they
get the party ticket.
Moyo said: “It's not a surprise that to qualify for their primaries they
must show British residence. But to qualify to contest elections in
Zimbabwe, they must demonstrate that they were resident in the country for
12 continuous months preceding the elections.

“It’s not only their names which have a common E, their intentions to
contest elections in Zimbabwe also have a common problem. They cannot
rectify it in time for elections.”

Moyo’s argument is based on a reading of Section 23 (3) of the Electoral Act
dealing with “residence qualifications of voters”. It provides for the
removal by the constituency registrar of individuals from the voters roll on
the disqualification or death of such persons, or their absence from their
constituencies for more than 12 months or the redomiciliation of such
persons in another country.

We asked five lawyers for their opinion on Moyo’s reading of the Electoral
Act – and all five said any attempts to bar Sibanda and Knight would likely
come to grief.

MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube, a constitutional lawyer, said: “If they
are registered as voters, and as long as they are back in Zimbabwe by the
sitting of the nomination court, I can’t see anything to stop them from
participating in elections.”

Alex Magaisa, a former law lecturer who is now Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s Chief of Staff, said Moyo’s interpretation was “selective and

He explained: “A close reading of Subsection 3 of Section 23, shows that a
person who is registered in terms of the proviso to subsection 1 is exempt
from the residence requirement. The proviso to subsection 1 states that ‘if
a claimant satisfies the Registrar-General of voters that he or she is or
intends to be a candidate for election as a member of Parliament for a
particular constituency in which he or she is not resident, the claimant may
be registered as a voter in that constituency’.

“Eric Knight and Ezra Sibanda and indeed many other aspiring candidates that
are not resident in the prospective constituencies fall into that category.
When you read the subsection 3 on the residence requirement which applies to
all other voters, it specifically makes an exception in regards to the
special category of persons who are registered under the proviso to
subsection 1, i.e. non-resident persons who are or intend to be candidates
for election as MPs.

“There are probably many aspiring candidates who do not reside or have not
resided for a continuous period of 12 months in the constituencies which
they aspire to represent.”

Taffy Nyawanza, a UK-based Zimbabwean lawyer, added: “Section 23 of the
Electoral Act is what is known as a ‘durational residence requirement’. The
overriding part of section 23 is the part which says ‘subject to the
Constitution’. The provision in question must therefore be interpreted to
comply with the Constitution and in particular, not to offend against the
provisions relating to the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and

“There are therefore three main ways to argue this; first, that such a
requirement of minimum residency for a parliamentary candidate offends
against the fundamental freedoms protected by the Constitution on the basis
that it is not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society; or second;
that it offends because it is unreasonably long and is therefore arbitrary
or; three; that in any event the petitioners have always had their domicile
in Zimbabwe; domicile being a nuanced way of arguing residency.

“Ezra and Eric will likely be met with the argument that the Constitution
itself lists in its Schedule 3 the same 'durational residence requirements'.
However, in the famous Munhumeso case of 1994, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe
ruled that in a situation where there is inconsistency between separate
provisions of the Constitution, the Constitution must always be interpreted
in favour of the liberty of the petitioner.”

Brighton Mutebuka, who runs a Leeds law firm in England, said that
particular section of the Electoral Act was “poorly drafted” – but insisted
that it was unlikely it could be interpreted to thwart Sibanda and Knight’s
political ambitions.

He told New “The key issue is the interpretation of the
following provision: ‘a claimant shall be deemed to be residing in a
constituency while he or she is absent therefrom for a temporary purpose’.

“Who determines or interprets what is a temporary purpose? I have looked at
Section 4 of the Act which deals with interpretation to see whether the term
is defined in the Act but it clearly isn't.

“Given this state of affairs, and given how poorly drafted the provision
is – it is open to being interpreted widely – it follows that there is
nothing that can stop Ezra and Eric to argue that they were in the UK for a
‘temporary purpose’. This can include being in the UK for the purposes of
education and employment.

“Further, continued ownership of immovable property, remittances of money
for the payment of rent or rates or similarly related expenses in the
relevant constituencies would seem to suffice with regard to the issue of
intention to return.

“Judges often refuse to interpret poorly drafted legal provisions narrowly,
particularly in situations that involve the interpretation of fundamental
human rights such as the right to vote.”

Lance Mambondiani, a New columnist and legal expert, appeared
to agree with Moyo only in so far as ordinary voters were concerned, but
suggested Moyo had “misread the provisions in the Electoral Act regarding
the eligibility of aspiring MPs.”

“In my view, the Act would prohibit voters who have not been resident in a
constituency from 12 months from voter registration, but exempt prospective
MPs from the 12 months residency rule. If the Act were to be applied
strictly, the restriction would not apply to the prospective Diaspora MPs,”
he said.

“Section 23 (1) generally outlines that for anyone to be eligible for
registration as a voter, you need to be a resident of that constituency at
the time. However, an exemption is made for prospective MPs. For example, if
an MDC-T or Zanu PF candidate wants to be an MP in a constituency in which
they are not resident, they can be registered as a voter in that
constituency provided they satisfy the Registrar General that they are
indeed a prospective MP.

“Subsection 2, then clarifies the term ‘resident’ and the circumstances
under which a person can be disqualified for registration. Firstly, a person
is still deemed to be residing in a constituency if you have been absent for
a temporary purpose.

“The contentious provision which have been interpreted to exclude MDC-T
candidates from the Diaspora from eligibility is subsection 3, which
disqualified voter registration for people who have not been residing in a
constituency for a continuous period of twelve months. However, that
disqualification specifically excludes 'a voter who has been registered in
that constituency in terms of the proviso to subsection (1)’.

“The exclusion from the 12 month residency requirement refers specifically
to those people who are registered in a constituency in terms of section 23
(1) by virtue of be [ends here]

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Survivors of political violence gather in Zaka

The 2013 National Elections in Zimbabwe should be monitored by the International and Regional community just like what happened in the 1980 elections when Zimbabwe gained its Independence…. Mr Zanga airing his contribution during a public interface meeting organised by HZT in Zaka.

Survivors of all forms of political violence during the public interface meeting in Zaka

Hundreds of survivors of political violence gathered in ward 13, Zaka on the 10th of February where they took time to reflect on the psychological, physical and social injuries they have suffered in the past years. They also took the opportunity through HZT facilitation to deliberate on their minimum demands and expectations for elections which are scheduled to take place this year. HZT is running a campaign dubbed, Mathew 5vs 9 : “Blessed are the Peacemakers” aimed at promoting a culture of peace and tolerance as the country heads for watershed elections. The campaign targets communities in some of the hot spots districts in Zimbabwe which recorded highest cases of political violence during the 2008 political violence namely Zaka, Gokwe, Buhera and Muzarabani.

The program was attended by traditional leaders, church leaders, political leaders in the area, and 210 victims of political violence. The survivors of political violence took turns to air their views on minimum conditions for the holding of violent free, fair and transparent elections. All the demands from the four targeted areas will be collated and submitted to three principals of the Inclusive Governement in a niche to continue pressuring them to guarantee that the heinous activities associated with elections in Zimbabwe will never again be repeated. The minimum conditions are expectations of victims they want implemented first for them to freely participate in the scheduled elections.

During the meeting, Elder Jaricha of the Apostolic Faith Mission preached on the need for survivors of violence to take it in their hearts to forgive those who perpetrated violence against them. He also urged the participants to remain steadfast as they soldier on for the realisation of their goals which made them victims in the first place.

Heal Zimbabwe staff then took the participants through the political developments in the country, the endorsement of the draft constitution by Parliament and what it means to the survivors of political violence. The HZT team also gave those present insight into the provisions in the new constitution of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and its significance on peace building efforts in the country. He also urged survivors of violence and torture to actively participate in the forthcoming referendum and harmonised elections as it is their right to participate in democratic processes. Delegates were encouraged to exercise tolerance during the forthcoming elections in order to achieve free, fair and peaceful elections.

The delegates then gave testimonies of the different forms of political violence they have encountered over the years. By speaking publicly and openly about the human rights violations they have encountered over the years, it enabled them to go through a therapeutic transformation by sharing their past encounters with others who have faced more or less victimisation. They then took turns to air their minimum conditions for free, fair and peaceful elections. The survivors of political violence vowed non participation in the upcoming elections if their demands are not met.

Summary of minimum conditions for free and fair elections from the view of survivors of political violence:

The cry for Peace will be a cry in the wilderness, so long as the spirit of nonviolence does not dominate millions of men and women” Mahatma Gandhi.

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EU warned on blood diamond love triangle
12th February 2013

For immediate release

Global Witness today called on EU foreign ministers to strengthen measures which restrict sales of diamonds from Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange region to Europe. The warning comes as Belgium pushes for sanctions against Zimbabwean diamond mining interests to be dropped. EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday to conclude negotiations.

“Global Witness’ investigations point to a serious risk that diamond revenues could be used to fund violence in this year’s election. The Belgian government is claiming concern for the Zimbabwean people; however its true interests are closer to home in the diamond markets of Antwerp,” said Global Witness diamonds campaigner, Emily Armistead. “EU members seeking to promote democracy and stability in Zimbabwe should avoid a ménage-à-trois with Belgium and its diamond dealers this Valentine’s day.”

Global Witness published detailed evidence last year indicating that diamond revenues are providing off-budget financing to ZANU-PF controlled security forces with a history of committing electoral violence. Investigations have revealed links between joint-venture diamond mining companies in eastern Zimbabwe and military, police and intelligence organisations loyal to Mugabe. When elections last took place in 2008, these same groups were involved in attacks against the opposition, reportedly killing over 200 people and torturing thousands.

The sanctions, designed to encourage Zimbabwe’s transition to democracy, are increasingly dividing opinions across Europe’s foreign ministries. Whilst some members believe that restrictive measures should remain in place until Zimbabwe’s elections later this year, the Belgian government is pressing for sanctions against the state-owned diamond company, Zimbabwean Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), to be dropped immediately.

Global Witness is calling for:

  • ZMDC to remain on the list of entities affected by restrictive measures and;
  • A joint-venture mining company with links to senior Zimbabwean military officials, Anjin, and Hong Kong-based businessman Sam Pa to be added to the list.

“Relaxing measures against Zimbabwe’s diamond sector now could mean a serious cash injection for security forces with a track record of voter intimidation and violence, just months before the 2013 election,” continued Armistead. “The EU should hold a steady course, and restrict trade with diamond mining operations in Marange until free and fair elections have taken place.”


Contact: Emily Armistead on +44 207 492 5888; +44 7885 969 480; or Annie Dunnebacke on +44 207 492 5897; +44 7912 517 127;

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The MDC Today

Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Issue - 513

The trial of the 29 MDC members who are facing false charges of murdering a
police officer in Glen View, Harare in May 2011 continued at the Victim
Friendly Court at the Harare Magistrates’ Court today.

Ednah Chihota continued to give evidence before High Court judge, Justice
Chinembiri Bhunu. The proceedings again were again closed to the media and
members of the public after Chihota said she could not give evidence in an
open court as she had received threats from unknown people.

The trial moves to the High Court tomorrow after the State lawyers finished
cross examining Chihota today. All the 29 members were back in court despite
repeated attempts by the State to deny them bail for months claiming they
were a flight risk.

Meanwhile, the trial of Hon. Lynette Karenyi Kore, the MP for Chimanimani
West who is jointly charged with Freddy Dziwande, the MDC Chimanimani West
district chairperson for holding a rally without police clearance in
November last year, kicked off yesterday with the officer-in-charge of
Nyanyadzi Police Station testifying.

MP Kore and Dziwande are denying the charge and say they were arrested at a
ward meeting to repair a damaged roof at Shinja Primary School and the
meeting was not political and did not require police clearance or

Hon. Kore is also the MDC Women’s Assembly organising secretary. The trial
will resume on Thursday before Mutare magistrate Sekesai Chiundura when more
state witnesses will testify.

The MDC’s position is that the arrests of its members is nothing but an
attempt by a desperate and panicking Zanu PF that is using State agents and
institutions to arrest, harass and intimidate MDC members.

The MDC urges its members to remain resolute and focused as we enter the
last mile towards real Change.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights analysis of Draft Constitution

See it here -

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The culmination of ZANU PF oppression of the people

Politics is clean; it is men who are dirty.
By Zanda Shumba
Independent Observer

After the Zimbabweans rejected the referendum of 2001 ZANU PF was shaken and
angry. We then saw self styled war veterans invade farms of predominantly
white owned farms and drive off violently the white owners… some were killed
and assets were looted. For ZANU PF it was a way of trying to garner waning
support of the masses. But we the people were not going to be fooled. We
still loathed the violent and blood thirsty ZANU PF and could not vote for
it in 2002. However ZANU PF still managed to manipulate the elections since
it was a candidate and also running the elections. ZANU PF tilted the
playing field in its favor. In urban areas where MDC had more supports,
voting was restricted through two ways i.e few polling stations and a slow
processing of voters. So by the closing of polls many people had not voted
largely in urban areas where MDC had a lot of support.
So through rigging and manipulation of the playing field ZANU PF won. Still,
the Zimbabwean illegitimate government embarked on a disastrous land reform
programme in which land was violently confiscated from the white farmers who
were doing the farming successfully. Much of the land was claimed through
corrupt means by officials from ZANU-PF, army officers, high ranking police
officers, etc. Several thousand farm workers were excluded from the
redistribution. It seemed the higher someone’s rank in government or army,
the better the farm he or she acquired. However the results of the land
reform were and are disappointing. These new farmers don’t have capital, the
training and or even the inclination to farm efficiently. They now have
returned to primitive subsistence farming, where they only grow enough for
their needs with a little or nothing for sale. The land now produces a
fraction of its potential output. Some less literate farmers have either
sold some of the farming equipment remaining on the farms, or butchered and
ate or sold herds of livestock that have taken many years to build.
Now when ZANU PF embarked on this land reform, in my opinion and some
others`, it was to afford Mugabe an opportunity to boost his political
legitimacy and waning support, but the result was that the whole economy
collapsed. Zimbabwean economy is agro based. Most firms produced goods and
services that were linked directly or indirectly to agriculture. The
industry that produced inputs for agriculture scaled down their operations
due to slow business: so was the industry that used to process agricultural
output from the farms as there was no longer output from the farms. The
railroad whose major business was to ferry inputs and output to and from the
farms was also badly affected. The financial sector was not spared too. The
majority of their clients were the original white farmers who used to get
loans to support their farming activities. The country GDP went down by
about 80% as a result. Many people lost their jobs because agriculture was
the backbone of our economy. The marginally poor were the worst affected.
Education which was heavily subsidized suffered a heavy blow. We witnessed a
series of strikes by the teachers from 2003 onwards, but this was largely
ignored by the repressive Herald and Sunday mail. ZANU PF did not foresee
this collapse because of its lack of foresight.

When this collapse was apparent and manifesting as untold suffering to the
people, then the aged president Robert Mugabe began using sanctions as a
scapegoat for his mistakes and lack of foresight. The President still use
whatever platform and opportunity he gets to tell the world and Zimbabweans
in particular, that the EU and the West hate our country because we carried
out the land reform. It is apparent to all that the ill planned land
acquisition and redistribution coupled with mismanagement and corruption is
what hurt the economy. The only real sanctions we know are travel bans
imposed on Mugabe and his cronies. ZANU PF is still lying to the people.
So we maintain this, and don’t want to continue to be misled, that the
suffering we are enduring is as a result of ZANU PF`s failed land
redistribution programme which did not have the mandate of the people. Now
that people have been intimidated by the ruling party`s repressive machine,
ZANU PF still mocks the same people by saying they are resilient. People are
not resilient; they are scared to take to the streets because of heavy
intimidation by ZANU PF through the army, police and the CIO.
In the 2008 elections which were heavily marred by violence ZANU PF managed
to rape the people`s will again, first by delaying the announcing of the
election results and by Mugabe contesting and winning a solo election in the
bloody runoff after Tsvangirayi stood down citing violence.
Mugabe though his propaganda machines forced Tsvangirayi to cower into the
dysfunctional inclusive government which we mistrusted from its onset as to
its effectiveness. The inclusive government does not have the mandate of the
It also seems like South Africa, the mediator, is not so keen to solve the
Zimbabwean issue. The collapse of the Zimbabwean economy leads to the growth
of the South African economy. We now buy most of our goods from SA and most
of our people have gone to seek political or economic refuge there. Recently
South Africa deported some 43 000 Zimbabweans. We think SA should bear the
consequences of its reluctance to resolve the Zimbabwean issue
expeditiously, once and for all. SA can stand up to task but clearly its
leadership is not quick to resolve the issue for reasons better known to
them. So we will remember the current leadership of South Africa as ones who
were in a position to offer help to the people of Zimbabwe at a time when
help was needed most…but didn`t. Zimbabwean people still wait for their
genuine gesture of friendship.
And now back at home ZANU PF is pushing for the elections while MDC is
pushing for a constitution first. The general population is not allowed to
speak and make its views about the constitution known. Making a constitution
in a repressive environment like this produces a flawed document, a
constitution which people do not want. If ZANU PF can learn from the past it
has to realize that once, in 2000 it tried to force a constitution down the
people`s throat, but still the we the people rejected it in the referendum.
Now ZANU PF and MDC are trying to clandestinely make another constitution on
their own. They still disagree on many issues which we the people are not
informed on. Whose constitution are they making? If ZANU PF and MDC are
genuine in this endeavor and if they are on the side of the people then they
should leave the making of the constitution to neutral parties. And people
should be free to make their views known. We need a constitution that
outlives ZANU PF and MDC. It is clear to many that constitution making has
failed. When ZANU PF was defeated by the MDC in 2008, it clearly disregarded
the constitution and held on to power. What guarantee do we have now that
ZANU PF can uphold a constitution, old or new?

We have a lot of wealth beneath our feet and ZANU PF misuses all this wealth
and then oppress us on top this. Most alarming is the wealth accumulation
that has gone on among ZANU PF elites over the years, in direct
contradiction to the scavenging lifestyles being led by the majority of the
electorate. All of us have a sister or a brother or father or grand ma/pa
who fought or died in the struggle for independence. This is not what they
fought and died for. They fought for our freedom. But now we the people don’t
have this freedom. We want freedom and a better life. But only ZANU PF elite
are enjoying the wealth, whilst we the people suffer oppression and poverty.
Ours is the filthy water from Lake Chivero, grieving for the dead relatives
and friends who died of cholera, damaged roads and poor nutrition for our
children and being milked day a day by the police at the so many road
blocks. I wonder why the police fussy about vehicle licenses…there is hardly
any roads to talk about.. only pot holes.
Zimbabwe has a lot of potential for economic growth and to achieve a higher
standard of living. Only ZANU PF and Mugabe stand in the way for people to
achieve full prosperity. ZANU PF has no one to blame for the chaos in the
country except itself. So ZANU PF should never lift its mouth to say and
talk about democracy. Democracy is an ideology ZANU PF only has a faint idea
about. ZANU PF knows that a well informed people are the strongest guardian
of its liberties. Charamba knows how to misinform the people through the
Herald and the Sunday Mail. He is a perfect tool for achieving ZANU PF
agenda of misinforming and disuniting people.
ZANU PF should give power back to the people and at the same time we the
people should demand this power because it already belongs to us. But as of
now it is, the cart before the horses. It’s a government of ZANU PF, by ZANU
PF, and for ZANU PF. The inclusive government is just a screen saver. ZANU
PF should not hold us hostage because of the liberation struggle. WE the
people have power to go on, to work and develop our nation to world
standards. We can do it. ZANU PF has an agenda to paralyze and destroy this
nation and it has the West to blame as a scapegoat. ZANU PF is the only
enemy this nation has. WE the people have never accepted the ZANU PF agenda
that the West is our enemy. We know who our real enemy is. Our real enemy is
that organization which restricts and punishes freedom of speech and of the
press. Our enemy is they that took away our right to assemble in public
places, to protest government actions, and to demand change.
We have gold and diamonds and a host of other minerals but we still drink
sewage water from Lake Chivero. We have manpower and resources but the
entire infrastructure is in a state of collapse. Roads are in a bad shape
whilst ZANU PF collects all the tollgate fees. We have doctors and hospitals
and clinics but the health delivery system has decayed beyond recognition.
We have teachers and schools but our children are not learning. In most
schools there is no running water. This is not acceptable.
Zimbabweans ourselves should have some minimum standards we should accept.
ZANU PF has disunited us through terror and propaganda, but now we should
reunite, re-emerge strong and demand accountable leaders and systems that
are functional. Toda kuzomuka riniko. Seyi kumirira vhunze, kuti ritange
rava rimi, kuti zvinzi moto. If we are to be a nation, we must work together
to make sure that at least we:
1. have water to drink and it is clean,
2. provide credible education for our children,
3. should be able to get health care at the hospitals when we need it
4. have good roads and takes care of garbage
5. have a viable economy that provides full employment
6. Have freedom of expression as stipulated in the GPA
Society should work together to ensure that these services are forthcoming
and that other citizens are in abject poverty. But here in Zimbabwe we
people have begun to view the absence of these services as normal. Mvura
nemagetsi zvinoenda kusvika zvadzoka pazvinodira vanhu tiri ziiii. The
better to do people go ahead and buy generators in South Africa and drill
boreholes. The rest who can’t afford dig shallow wells in the vleis for
drinking water and use firewood and candles cooking and lighting. This is no
longer resilience; we have gone well beyond the elastic limit. Muroad kungo
nzvengawo mapot holes and buy more shocks and tyres and rims for the cars.
We also just throw garbage and litter everywhere. This is ZANU PF’s legacy.
ZANU PF has become a liability to the Zimbabwean people. ZANU PF chatova
chikwambo, a goblin.
This is the level of disunity that has evolved within the country at the
hands of ZANU PF. This level of disunity is highly shocking and not expected
of the Zimbabweans. This is dangerous too because we are heading towards a
complete state failure or we have already attained it. It’s only but a fool
who sees danger in front of him but continues to walk straight into it. Also
cowardice is a vice. Are Zimbabwean peoples not capable of anger??
Now that the MDC, as usual, has been coerced to accept the constitution, it
seems the so weak MDC will persuade its supporters to vote yes. But
Zimbabwean people are still oppressed and cannot voice their concern about
the constitution publicly. Give power to the people first, let them make
their own constitution, then hold the referendum. We Zimbabweans should
never accept the constitution whilst we still reel under oppression.
Obviously this constitution has been made by MDC and ZANU PF and largely
carters for their wishes. This is not a constitution about the people, it is
a constitution about largely ZANU PF wishes and some MDC wishes. The people
have been left out of the constitution, but MDC and ZANU PF want the same
people to vote yes for the constitution. No the real Zimbabweans should vote
a resounding NO to this criminal constitution.
People of Zimbabwe unite and demand change. Ingawo tine Africa Unity Square

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Zimbabwe human rights update: 11 Feb

on February 12, 2013 at 11:49 am


This issue draws research evidence from our members, partners and
international stakeholders. It covers on-going concerns on the partisan
nature of Zimbabwe’s security sector, progress on constitution making,
deteriorating educational standards, tentative judicial victories by human
right defenders and international interventions on the worrying human rights
environment for human rights defenders.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) raises concerns about the
comments made by the Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who dismisses the
civil society demands for security sector reform as unpatriotic and a quest
to satisfy western agenda for regime change and exploitation of Zimbabwe’s
natural resources.

Whilst calling for the army to be non-partisan, ZimRights castigates the
Minister’s speech which echoes previous utterances of a similar nature by
senior army personnel (ZimRights, 06.06.2013).

In a related story, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman
Godwills Masimirembwa has defended the army’s involvement in diamond mining
activities in Chiadzwa, saying security forces were entitled to be involved
in all the country’s economic activities.

Constitution: 06.02.2013:

The House of Assembly passed the motion adopting the COPAC Report on the
constitution-making process and noting the draft constitution. This came at
the end of a sitting lasting more than four hours during which the motion
was supported by speakers from all parties and there were no dissenting

The Senate adjourned before completing its separate debate on an identical
motion and approved the motion later that afternoon. The passage cleared the
way for COPAC to embark on its planned publicity drive to acquaint the
country with the contents of the draft constitution ahead of the Referendum
(Veritas, 07.02.2013).

Education: 07.02.2013:

The Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) shared its deep concern over
the poor performance of 2012′s ‘O’ level candidates.

Among a raft of demands, Zinasu urged the government to allocate more funds
to the education sector, an end to political violence which in the view of
the Union is one of the reasons many qualified and experienced teachers
flocked out of the country for greener pastures much to the detriment of the
education sector. Lastly the Union demands peaceful elections to avoid
disturbance of the learning of pupils.

International concerns: 07.02.2013:

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) condemned the arrests of Human
Rights Association workers Okay Machisa, Dorcas Shereni and Leo Chamahwinya
in their Zimbabwe offices in December 2012, shortly after they denounced the
growing police brutality across Zimbabwe and called for action by the
competent authorities.

MEPs call on the Zimbabwean authorities to release anyone detained for
defending human rights and to end their judicial harassment. MEPs also
deplored the lack of a human rights clause in the EU’s recently-concluded
interim Economic Partnership agreement with four African States, including
Zimbabwe, and ask the EU to include such clauses in future economic
partnership negotiations with the country.

The statement can be accessed on the European parliament website. This
follows a similar statement by the United Nations’ Office of the High
Commissioner on Human Rights. These international perspectives resonate with
Zimbabwe civil society’s statement urging democratic governments to speak
out against repression of civil society in Zimbabwe.

Human Rights Defenders: 08.02.2013:

High Court Judge, Justice Mwayera finally granted ZIMRIGHTS’ Highfields
Local Chapter chairperson Dorcas Shereni bail. In a judgment delivered on
Friday, February 8, in Harare, the Judge stated that Shereni is to maintain
her current residence and report to the police Law and Order Section once
every week as part of the bail conditions.

Meanwhile two other cases involving ZIMRIGHTS were postponed. Also on
08.02.2013, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) leaders, President
Pride Mkono and Secretary General Tryvine Musokeri, who both spent weeks at
Hwahwa prison over a student demonstration at the Midlands State University
(MSU) in 2011, were acquitted by Gweru Magistrate Msipa on Friday, February
8, 2013. Magistrate Msipa dismissed the case on merit.

Enforced dissapearance: 11.02.2013:

The Solidarity Peace Trust issued a statement marking exactly one year since
the disappearance of Mr Paul Chizuze, fellow human rights activist and
stalwart campaigner for peace and justice in Zimbabwe.

In part, the statement read, ‘We remember with gratitude the values you
stood for, the decades you committed to the pursuit of democracy, peace and
justice in your country. We are still looking for you, alive or dead. We
continue to search for the truth about the events that led to your

Media: 11.02.2013:

The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) provides an Election Watch
covering different media perspectives on the current presenting issues
during the month of January 2013, as the country prepares for elections. The
Report which covers agreement on the constitution, disagreements on voters’
registration, intra-party divisions and politically motivated violence will
soon be posted on MMPZ’s website or can be sent upon request.


Our analysis will follow in the next issue suffice it that all stakeholders
need to keep a watching brief on the undulating terrain regarding human
rights defenders and the utterances by security chiefs.

Issued by Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

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Zimbabwe: Constitution and Electoral laws are not cast in stone

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 12th February 2013.
The reported ‘plan’ by Zanu-pf to ‘torpedo’ Eric Knight and Eric Sibanda’s
intentions to run for parliament (, 11/02/13) deserves
News that Zanu-pf activist Jonathan Moyo suggested in an informal briefing
with journalists that the two UK-based parliamentary aspirants faced major
legal hurdles expose the hypocrisy of the coalition government by begging
for money from the UN to run polls which exclude Diaspora candidates.
It was very refreshing to see Moyo’s argument that Eric Knight and Ezra
Sibanda cannot rectify the legal hurdles based on a reading of Section 23
(3) of the Electoral Act have being shredded into pieces by legal experts
in the online story.
Among other flaws, it was pointed out that the residence requirement applies
to voters not electoral candidates and that the provision must be
interpreted to comply with the Constitution, especially not to offend the
provisions relating to the fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and
Now, what is the way out of this Zanu-pf mischievous booby-trap?
Fighting the matter through the courts will take time and inadvertently lend
credibility to Jonathan Moyo’s twisted logic of democracy which suggests
having to fight legal battles (booby-traps) before contesting for political
But the Constitution and electoral laws are not cast in stone. First, since
Parliament has not yet been dissolved, the Electoral Act can still be
amended to enable Diaspora election candidates and voters to participate as
long as the MDC formations are genuinely interested and not using excuses of
limited resources and suspected Zanu-pf fiddling with postal votes.
Also arguable is getting a constitutional amendment by way of a bill through
Parliament clarifying the same i.e. allowing for non-resident Zimbabweans
dual citizenship and the right to vote.
The third option is for civil society to lobby among others, the United
Nations and the European Union who are being asked by the GNU to fund the
referendum and elections NOT to release any money until those democratic
amendments are effected.
Zanu-pf should not be allowed to go on cherry-picking reforms and when to
seek foreign aid.
Similarly, the MDC formations should not be allowed to always play victim by
pretending to be helpless when have hundreds of MPs and senators as well as
cabinet ministers who can all collectively make a difference if the
principals do not interfere with their whips in Parliament.
The truth is that, Zimbabwe is at its weakest now without money for UNWTO,
referendum, elections, water purification, education and health except for
Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Accordingly, this could not be a better opportunity for the international
community especially Western countries to demand democratic reforms as a
pre-condition for further funding starting with the Diaspora Vote to
facilitate voluntary return as opposed to forced removal of exiles.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is a UK-based political analyst and author of
Planning from Below? An assessment of Provincial Planning in Zimbabwe,
1986-1990 published by the University of Zimbabwe, 1990 and available on

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Another look at the indigenisation legislation - an analysis by N.M.Willsmer

John Robertson, a Zimbabwe based econonomist, has circulated an analysis of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act by Mr Willsmer, a Harare lawyer:

Frequent suggestions have been made that the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is so poorly drafted that any company challenging its validity in Court would be certain of success. This claim has been countered by arguments that the politically influenced Courts in Zimbabwe could not be relied upon to hand down a decision that would be based entirely on issues of legality or constitutionality.

Mr N M Willsmer, a Harare lawyer, has offered a number of analyses of this Act and has given me permission to forward his latest to you. Many definitional problems seem to have tripped up the legal draftsmen and women, and one is particularly interesting:

The target of the indigenisation regulations is to achieve a transfer of ownership of 51% of all non-indigenous businesses to indigenous Zimbabweans.

But, restated in its most basic terms, a business is defined as a person or a collection of people.

This means that the wording throughout the Act implies that its intention is to gain, for indigenous Zimbabweans, 51% ownership of the people who own the undertakings that generate the products and incomes.

Mr Willsmer identifies a number of other shortcomings that, in more normal circumstances, would cause the judiciary to reject the Act as unenforceable. I have attached his observations in the hopes that they will be of value, or at least of interest to you.

The document (in MS Word format) can be downloaded from our document library here.

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