CONSTITUTION WATCH 2/2013
[3rd February 2013]
COPAC’s New “Final” Draft of the New Constitution
Veritas has had permission to distribute it
COPAC both stated and intended that the “final” draft dated 25th January which they sent to Veritas to distribute on the 27th of January would not be further altered; and it would be the draft presented to the entire Parliamentary Select Committee and then to Parliament for their information and then go unaltered to the Referendum.
The COPAC Co-chairs have, however, since then, had to ask the lead drafters to incorporate minor changes and also took on board a change arising from the presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee. This second “final” draft incorporates these changes, which do not radically alter the substance of the final points of agreement reached by the Principals.
Again Veritas has been asked to distribute it and we have again been told it is the final draft, but obviously cannot guarantee this as a certainty.
This new COPAC draft and the COPAC report on the whole constitution-making process will be presented to Parliament this coming week. COPAC have said that Parliament can debate the report on the process, but that the draft is presented for information only and that amendments will not be made [in fact, nothing is specified on this in the GPA]. There is, however, always the possibility that there may be more minor alterations coming up after the Parliamentary presentation, although, as the Principals have reached agreement on all hitherto disputed issues, SADC has been told the constitution is ready for Referendum, and there is a time urgency, the Parliamentary Party Caucuses and Whips are unlikely to let substantive issues be opened up again. But remember COPAC referred to their 17th July 2012 draft as the Final Draft.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied
on February 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm
Report by Bradley Mushonga
HARARE – MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore has described Zimbabwe’s voters
roll as the worst on the African continent. The voters roll he said
consisted of dead people such as the late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian
Speaking at the Media Centre public debate held last week at the Harare
press club, Madzore said Zimbabwe needs a new, fresh and clean voters roll
if the country wishes to conduct free and fair elections.
“We have the worst voters roll in the continent, l was shocked to hear that
Ian Smith’s name is still in the voters roll” he said.
Zimbabwe came under a lot of critiscm after holding the June 2008 one man
election run off when in the run up a lot of blood was shed under the brutal
Zanu PF led ‘Operation Mavhotera Papi’ (where did you vote).
Madzore added that the inclusion of dead people on the voters roll is a
clear reflection of the incompetence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) which is appointed by the President who is also the leader of ZANU-PF.
He also attacked ZEC as lacking transparency and fairness saying it pointed
to the probability of rigging and incorrect announcements of results. “We
cannot be competing with a ghost, we want a fresh and clean voters roll” he
The debate centered on whether the Zimbabwean environment was conducive for
the holding of free and fair elections which the President has on various
occasions pronounced are going to be held this year in March.
The youth leader also added that since the attainment of independence in
1980, the country has been having ritual elections. “Zimbabwe has been going
through ritual elections, elections for the sake of elections are
unacceptable” he said.
“Zimbabwean elections have never been fair, never, since 11 September 1999
when we first contested they were not free and fair but just sham elections”,
The MDC-T has been clamouring for security sector and media reforms before
the holding of any election which the party says is a measure which will
avoid the reoccurrence of the 2008 bloodbath that saw the death of hundreds
and left an unprecedented number disabled and on wheelchairs.
He also took a swipe at security sector generals who evade their
constitutional mandates of protecting the people opting to act as
“How can elections be free and fair when security sector generals stand up
acting as politicians. It would be great to hear our generals speaking about
protecting people, which is their constitutional mandate” he added.
The youth leader also called for the repealing of draconian laws such as
POSA and AIPPA if free and fair elections are to be conducted. “It is our
hope and trust that all laws found wanting such as POSA and AIPPA be
Sunday, 03 February 2013 14:54
HARARE - Zimbabwe’s warring political protagonists are heading for another
clash over outstanding Global Political Agreement (GPA) reforms following
the historic pact on a new draft constitution.
While the two MDC formations in the fragile coalition government contend
that negotiations on security sector, media and the repeal of draconian
pieces of legislation should resume before the referendum, Zanu PF says the
door is shut for such reforms.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told
the Daily News on Sunday that the “outstanding issues are still alive”.
“Now that the constitution is in place we are turning to the outstanding
issues. They are still on the table and subject to more discussions,” said
“Although we have not been talking about things like security sector reform,
media and the repeal of other legislation such as the Public Order and
Security Act that have a bearing on elections, all parties are aware that
these have to be negotiated,” Mwonzora said.
He said the negotiations on these issues will have to be done before the
“The draft constitution is just but one of the reforms that are supposed to
be implemented under the GPA. We are sure our partners in the coalition
government agree that before we can talk of a legitimate and free and fair
election, we need to make sure the ground is as level as possible,” said
The issue of security sector re-alignment is likely to be another long drawn
session of heckling and negotiations with President Robert Mugabe previously
having indicated his hatred of tempering with Zimbabwe’s belligerent
Tsvangirai’s demands for soldiers to return to the barracks stem from
allegations that the army was the power behind the bloody 2008 run-off
elections in which the MDC leader pulled out at the last minute citing
systematic violence and murder of 300 of his supporters.
However, Zanu PF chief negotiator to the GPA, Patrick Chinamasa said his
party will not allow any more negotiations.
“How can we be worried about issues we have not agreed on? Yes, they were on
the table, but we are not going to keep on negotiating or allowing the MDCs
to renege on agreements they have made.
“The issue of Posa you are talking about is dead. That law is a result of
negotiations, every bit of it. We are not going to allow unending
negotiations,” Chinamasa told the Daily News on Sunday.
Industry minister Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation’s party deputy secretary
general and National Healing co-minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu revealed that it
had been agreed on Tuesday the conclusion of the draft was just one of the
items in the roadmap to free, fair and credible elections.
“Our understanding is Zanu PF is aware that we do not have much time and
will not drag the process any further than necessary. The issues like
security sector and repeal of legal instruments such as Posa that give undue
advantage to others need to be completed with haste.
“These are grey areas on the GPA roadmap and need attention, including the
staffing with security personnel of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“We need to deal with these issues before the expiry of the term of the
current Parliament on June 30 and hope by then, we would have expunged
Posa,” Mzila Ndlovu said.
Analysts say with Mugabe and Zanu PF seemingly not willing to let go of
their hold on the military, it remains to be seen whether the former
guerrilla movement will agree to any law or change of law that will take
away their advantage.
Sunday, 03 February 2013 13:58
BULAWAYO - Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa says some Zanu PF stalwarts are
begging him to return to the party to fill the post of vice president
following the death of Vice President John Nkomo.
Nkomo died last month, resulting in a dog fight between Zanu PF stalwarts
eyeing the now vacant position.
Dabengwa would have been the top contender for the vacant seat due to his
seniority, but he, along with his former Zipra colleagues, left the
“marriage of convenience” with Zanu PF to revive the old Zapu.
Dabengwa says his “friends” in Zanu PF begged him to return to his old party
as they believe the former Zipra intelligence supremo is fit for the post.
“During the funeral of the late Vice President in Harare, I had quite a
number of friends and colleagues from Zanu PF who immediately after they saw
me said ‘come back, that position should be yours — you made a mistake come
back’,” Dabengwa said.
But the liberation war intelligence guru and former Home Affairs minister
ruled out any possibility of a return to Zanu PF as his party would not
allow him to do so.
“I said to them go and ask Zapu. I don’t make political decisions. I am
merely a servant of Zapu.
“I cannot make a decision to go back to Zanu PF, I don’t think Zapu would
allow that,” the soft spoken former Zanu politburo member said.
Dabengwa said those still masquerading as former Zapu members in the so
called “Unity Accord should not fool themselves as the real Zapu broke away
from the December 22, 1987 Unity Accord.
“Zapu is out of the unity accord and we don’t have any Zapu remaining in
there, we did not think it served its purpose anymore and that’s why we
walked out of that unity accord. Those former members of Zapu who remained
there represent themselves not Zapu anymore,” Dabengwa said.
The race for the vacant vice president’s seat is at its hottest, with Zanu
PF chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo and minister of Mines, Obert Mpofu seen as
favourites for the post. - Nyasha Chingono
by Staff Reporter
SOME 69 babies are currently detained with their mothers in prisons across
the country, prison services chief retired major general Paradzai Zimondi
Zimondi appealed for help over the plight of the infants as he addressed
journalists over the situation in the country’s prisons last Friday.
“There are 69 babes in our prisons who are with their mothers who are either
serving or awaiting trial, and this is not a good thing. Prisons are never a
good place for babies and they do not deserve to be in prison,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) chief said denied reports the country’s
prisons were overcrowded and insisted the food and clothing situation was
also improving although some facilities needed upgrading.
“We are not experiencing overcrowding since all our prisons have a combined
holding capacity of 17 000 prisoners,” he said.
“As of January (this year) the prison population stood at 16,902 comprising
of 16,315 males, 587 females and 124 juveniles.”
He however, expressed concern over delays in bringing prisoners to trial
saying this was not helping conditions at the remand prisons.
“We are experiencing overcrowding in Remand prisons as people are continuing
to commit crimes while those waiting for trial and sentencing are taking
long to be convicted,” he said.
Sunday, 03 February 2013 13:46
HARARE - At 50, Jonathan Mutzinze entered this dungeon, and 15 years later,
he sees no light at the end of the tunnel.
The self-proclaimed bishop of Jerusalem Apostolic Church says he might just
rot in there with no one blinking an eyelid.
Mutzinze of Wedza, was arrested in 1998 after he purchased a stolen vehicle
and was consequently taken to Harare Remand Prison which has been his home
for the past 15 years.
The 65-year-old narrated his ordeal to journalists during a media tour at
Harare Remand Prison.
He has not been afforded the chance to prove his innocence because of the
delays in the judiciary process.
“In 2001 my trial came before Justice Charles Hungwe and the public
prosecutor was Florence Ziyambe but was further remanded to April 6, 2003.
“Since then I have not been allowed to go to court. I have applied for bail
numerous times but my efforts were fruitless. I even wrote a letter to see a
judge but nothing is happening,” Mutzinze said.
“When Justice Chiweshe came here on March 7, 2011 I appealed to him but
nothing happened. They are now asking me for bail numbers and I just do not
As if that was not enough trauma, none of Mutzinze’s relatives have ever
visited him ever since his incarceration.
“The only relatives I have are the prison guards,” he said with his head
tilted to the side.
He said that he had four wives and 10 children but two of his wives were
Mutzinze is among several other persons in remand prison awaiting trial.
Other prisoners include MDC councillor Tungamirai Madzokere, who is part of
the 29 Glen View residents accused of murdering a cop in the high density
suburb in May 2011.
He has spent 21 months in remand prison.
While Mutzinze mulls his fate, Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) Commissioner
General Paradzai Zimondi says they are overwhelmed by overcrowding in the
country’s remand prisons.
“We are experiencing overcrowding mainly in remand prison as people are
continuing to commit crimes while those waiting for trial and sentencing are
taking long to be convicted,” Zimondi said.
Some of the overcrowding may also be due to about 148 foreigners who are yet
to be sentenced.
The Daily News caught up with three prisoners from Pakistan and seven
Malawians who await deportation to their respective countries.
One of the Pakistan inmates Ghulam Mustafa Janjua pleaded with this reporter
to call his brother Altaf and beg him to purchase a ticket so he could
The Malawians said they had been kept in remand prison for over nine months.
A South African inmate complained saying the living conditions were
Zimondi said ZPS could not satisfactorily provide safe, secure and human
control in accordance with the United Nations minimum standards because of
In his 2013 budget presentation, Finance Minister Tendai Biti allocated ZPS
$68 million for its operations.
However, $52 million is gobbled up in salaries leaving them with only $16
million to provide food, clothing, medicine and other necessities. - Thelma
Chikwanha, Features Editor
Sunday, 03 February 2013 14:07
HARARE - Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa has blamed the British government
and apartheid ruled South Africa for rigging the first ever elections under
universal suffrage in 1980 to favour President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
Dabengwa said the British Conservative party connived with other Western
countries and the South Africans to award poll victory to Zanu PF as a
strategy to reward a party they viewed as able to safeguard their interests.
Zapu won 20 seats against Zanu PF’s 57 in the maiden polls supervised by the
“Those elections were rigged in Zanu PF’s favour and were not free or fair.
They were marred by violence and threats because Zanu PF created no-go areas
where no other party could campaign.
“The British taught Zanu PF that if the party was to win any elections they
have to resort to violence. That has now become the party’s culture since
then,” Dabengwa told journalists at a press meeting in Bulawayo on Friday.
Dabengwa said Zapu could have created its own no-go area in a vast swathe of
land it dominated during the war for independence but the late Joshua Nkomo’s
magnanimity in persuading his Zapu colleagues to accept the poll results
saved Zimbabwe from plunging into civil war on the basis of rigged
He said two decades of intransigence by Mugabe and his ruling elite
compelled him to quit the party and respond to his former Zapu colleagues’
pleas to revive Zapu as its leader. - Nyasha Chingono
ZIMBABWE sold almost $685 million worth of diamonds in 2012 and wants to
more than double output from the Marange diamond deposits in the east of the
country this year, a top mining official has said.
"We got US$684.5 million from diamond exports in 2012," Goodwills
Masimirembwa, chairman of the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation (ZMDC) says in comments to the AFP news agency.
Masimirembwa said Zimbabwe hopes to increase exports this year to 16.7
million carats from the eight million carats sold in 2012.
He said the United States was blocking Zimbabwe's diamond sales globally by
threatening potential buyers.
"Last year sanctions [against Zimbabwe trading companies] were biting. The
U.S. threatened purchasers of Zimbabwe diamonds which resulted in low
diamond sales in countries like India that normally buy from us,"
by Staff Reporter
A PROVINCIAL governor last week told President Robert Mugabe he made a “wise
choice” when marrying wife, Grace, as Zanu PF officials sought to out-do
each other lavishing effusive praise of the 88-year-old leader.
Mugabe was handed a welcome present of ten cattle by Mashonaland Central
governor Martin Dinha as he opened a state-of-the-art school built in Mazoe
by the Chinese for his wife’s foundation.
Chief Negomo (Lucius Chitsinde), who embarrassed MDC-T leader and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai by trying to arrest him for defying tradition by
allegedly marrying in November, also handed the Mugabes two beasts, five
goats along with a $1000 contribution towards the purchase of a luxury bus
for the school.
Other chiefs from the province also weighed in with more cattle, goats, and
But Dinha and Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo, stole the day as
they apparently sought to out-do each other with outlandish praises of the
Zanu PF leader and his spouse.
Dinha praised Mugabe for his choice of wife saying: “His Excellency, we
thank you for making the right choice. You married a good wife and we thank
you for that. Her Excellency, you have made us proud.
“Our elders say, behind every successful man, there is a woman, but allow me
to correct it and say, behind every successful wife, there is a man. Amai
Mugabe, you achieved all this because you have a caring, loving and
supportive husband in the form of President Mugabe.”
Chombo also sang praises for Mugabe, describing him as a virtual demi-god
for about 10 minutes after which he also mourned that he had not been given
enough to time.
“The master of ceremonies here has given me limited time and I can no longer
say all the superlatives to describe this man,” Chombo told a gathering of
Zanu PF ministers and other bigwigs.
Dinha also promised the First Lady more land for her projects despite recent
reports that she had seized part of Mazoe Citrus Estate for the project.
“The sky is the limit, keep on with the projects and I assure you, we will
give you more land when you want it,” Dinha assured Mugabe.
1. Outside Chatham House
2. Dr Hanlon addresses the Forum
The Vigil has been fully occupied this week rebutting the controversial new book ‘Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land’, which argues that agricultural production is recovering after the farm seizures and that we should let bygones be bygones and just move on.
One of the authors, Dr Joseph Hanlon of the Open University, came to a meeting of our Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil to defend the book. He had a rough ride.
We invited him to come because we could not get into the meeting at the London think tank Chatham House on Thursday at which he and the other two authors of the book outlined their argument. Having read the book we were disappointed not to be allowed to confront the authors so we staged a demonstration outside Chatham House as the audience arrived, displaying our banner ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’. We had consulted leading economists in Zimbabwe for their opinions on the assertions made in the book so we were able to make available the facts the authors had ignored.
The material that we handed out was:
· Open letter to Chatham House from the Vigil
· Article from SW Radio Africa: ‘Concern as land grab chaos ‘swept under the carpet’
· Statistics from Eddie Cross, MP, MDC Policy Co-ordinator General
· Letter to the UK Guardian from Ben Freeth, author of ‘Mugabe and the White African’, in response to their piece on the book
· Comments by Ben Freeth and Glyn Hunter (co-author of ‘Voices of Zimbabwe: the Pain, the Courage, the Hope’) on assertions made by Hanlon in an email to the Vigil
· Article from the MDC calling for an urgent land audit
Access the above information via http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/471-chatham-house-information on our campaigns page.
Although we couldn’t get in, we noticed that several Zimbabwean diplomats attended the Chatham House meeting as well as the notorious Zanu PF apologist George Shiri who, despite his devotion to Mugabe, has made his home in the UK. After people stopped going in we asked the front desk if there was space for us and were turned away again. But our spies inside told us there was room. One of them noted in an email: ‘Irony of whites on the platform largely justifying what happened after the land invasions and blacks outside protesting’.
The Vigil is disgusted by Chatham House, which is largely sponsored by the British government, now apparently keen to lift sanctions and join in the diamond rush. When weeks ago we asked for tickets why did Chatham House never get back to us as promised? More important, why were they giving floor space to Mugabe propaganda? Perhaps Chatham House remembers the last time we wrote about them, when we were nauseated by the pandering to Zanu PF by the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe (see: Vigil diary of 13/10/2010 – http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/271-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-13th-november-2010).
The President of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union, Charles Taffs, believes there are dark motives. Mr Taffs, who came to London for the launch of the book ,said: ‘There’s been a number of books on this issue and primarily they’ve been written by academics; and these academics are being asked to write these books favourably for certain influences and that’s what we’re seeing here. We’re seeing this whole issue of the agricultural scene being swept under the carpet and multi agencies and countries encouraging that to happen. I think Zimbabwe’s coming into the limelight now in terms of its mineral wealth; its strategic placement within Africa, both in terms of mineral supply and in terms of access to central Africa, and countries want to get involved and they see the land issue as holding it back. So they’re trying desperately to sweep this under the carpet.’
Mr Taffs, who was speaking in an interview with SW Radio Africa, added that the research for the book was based on only three farms out of 5,300 taken over – and the farms were in Mashonaland Central, hardly an average agricultural area (see: Charles Taffs talks to Alex Bell on Diaspora Diaries – http://www.swradioafrica.com/2013/02/01/charles-taffs-talks-to-alex-bell-on-diaspora-diaries/).
We were glad that Dr Hanlon came to our meeting to discuss the book. We must report that nobody accepted his arguments. Daizy Fabian said: ‘My father was a farmer but we were taken over and lost everything and we’re not white we’re black’. Wellington Muringai, who was a Zimbabwean civil servant at the time of land seizures, dismissed the assertion in the book that the war veterans were not working for Mugabe. He said the land seizures were a direct result of the no vote in the referendum of 2000 asking for an increase of Mugabe’s powers. Another supporter said he had recently returned to Zimbabwe and trying to get trustworthy information was impossible and yet Dr Hanlon’s team claimed they had managed to get reliable information from all sorts of sources.
There was laughter when Dr Hanlon said ‘I believe the war veterans we talked to who occupied the land’. He went on to say that the book had relied heavily on research already done in Zimbabwe. This was met by cries of ‘you are working for Mugabe’. People at the Forum said that even the title of the book was racist: it was not Zimbabweans who had taken back their land but Zanu PF who had seized it.
People were worried that this book would be used by the British government as an excuse to say that everything is ok in Zimbabwe and asylum seekers could be sent back home. Vigil supporters think that, on the contrary, we are being sold down the river by the British government which appears to be desperate to re-engage with Zimbabwe irrespective of the welfare of the people. We expect sanctions to be lifted soon to celebrate the bogus re-election of Mugabe.
· It was encouraging to have with us a group of international students from the London School of Economics to help us set up the Vigil. They were Chinese, Japanese and Armenian. They were very interested in the Vigil and stayed most of the afternoon and said they would come again.
· We are pleased to see that Nehanda Radio is promoting the new CD of the Zimbabwe Vigil Band (Dumi Tutani and Farai Narema) – see: http://nehandaradio.com/2013/02/01/zimbabwe-vigil-band-release-new-songs/.
· We have a new postal address: BM Zimbabwe Vigil, London WC1N 3XX. It was necessary to move from Royal Mail which was becoming too expensive.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 39 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR Leicester Branch meeting. Saturday 9th February from 12.30 – 3.30 pm. Venue: The Brite Centre, Braunstone Ave, Braunstone, Leicester LE3 1LE. Contact: Christopher Kamuzonde 07449150041, Enniah Dube 07403439707
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 9th February from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd March from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The meeting will take place straight after the Vigil. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.