Harare, January 10, 2010 - The Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner (ZRP)
General Augustine Chihuri blocked Prime Minister and Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai from touring police stations around
the country in December, Radio VOP has learnt.
Highly placed sources in the police, told Radio VOP, at the weekend that
Tsvangirai wanted to visit the country's police posts to meet officers and
assess their work conditions and hear their concerns but was blocked by the
During the scheduled visit Tsvangirai was to make a firsthand assessment of
police cells whose conditions have been roundly condemned by human rights
"The Prime Minister was supposed to Harare Central Police Station and
several other stations around the country in December but the visit was
blocked by Chihuri who is afraid that he was going to use the visit to
cement the already growing support that Tsvangirai has among members of the
force," highly placed sources at Harare
Central Police station told Radio VOP.
"A radio was sent in December instructing officers to prepare for the visit
of the Prime Minister. But while officers were busy preparing for his coming
another radio was sent to all stations instructing everyone not to entertain
the Prime Minister and anyone representing him. That was the last we heard
of his visit."
The sources said they would have wanted the Prime Minister to visit so that
he can see for himself the rot at many police stations in the country.
The cells at Harare Central Police Station are inhabitable with prisoners
crowded in the cells and diseases flourishing.
Chihuri is a hardline Zanu PF supporter whose term of office has been
continuously renewed by President Robert Mugabe. He vowed, together with
other security chiefs, before the March 2008 harmonised elections, that he
will not salute Tsvangirai if he was to become president of the country.
In 2007 on March 11, Chihuri sanctioned the assault of Tsvangirai and many
other civic leaders during the aborted prayer meeting at Zimbabwe grounds.
Tsvangirai was beaten all over his body until he passed out.
Just recently Chihuri refused to facilitate a civil servants audit programme
from accessing police files.
It is believed that the police force has on its pay roll thousands of war
veterans who are neither police officers nor police constabularies.
by Own Correspondent Monday 11 January 2010
HARARE - The new regime in Harare risks tracing the footsteps of the
previous ZANU PF-controlled administration, with a London-based think-tank
expressing misgivings about the credibility of and inconsistencies in some
of the economic programmes pursued by the coalition government.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) observed last week that Zimbabwe does
not lack medium-term economic policy documents - what was in short supply
however are detailed and credible projections as shown by last month's
release of two "rival documents" by two economic ministries.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti published a medium-term policy framework, some
11 months after the original Short-Term Economic Recovery Programme (STERP)
STERP II, which covers the period between 2010 and 12, is a much longer and
more detailed document but, according to EIU, the blueprint "has
disappointed many businesspeople and donors partly because of its generally
The EIU said further discrediting the government's turnaround programme was
the fact that the Ministry of Economic Planning had earlier in December
published a rival document, the Medium-Term Economic Programme (MTEP)
containing different figures and assumptions.
STERP II says it contains the macroeconomic policy instruments that will
"anchor the rolling budget for the years 2010-12" while the MTEP will deal
with "broad developmental and growth-oriented policies".
The STERP estimates are also striking in a number of respects.
"They are far more modest - and substantially more realistic - than the
Economic Planning ministry's draft economic plan, which assumes GDP (Gross
Domestic Product) growth of 12.5 percent in 2010 and averaging 15 percent
annually over the period to 2015," said EIU.
The GDP growth rates and implied investment growth rates are however
incompatible with sectoral figures.
For instance, it is difficult to see how mining output can grow by 40
percent in a year in which electricity production is predicted to rise by a
mere three percent.
More broadly, STERP II seeks to put a price tag on the "critical financial
investment" needed to restore the economy to 1997 levels, emerging with a
grand total of US$45 billion.
Of this amount, some US$20 to US$30 billion would be needed over the three
years to 2012.
Biti's blueprint assumes that between US$4 billion and US$6 billion would be
raised through the domestic financial sector while government revenues from
the national budget could contribute a further US$5 to US7 billion.
Public-private partnerships are expected to raise between US$1 and US$2
billion while the government would look abroad for international support for
another US$7.5 to US$10 billion.
STERP II concedes that international support would depend on the authorities
devising a strategy to deal with the country's US$3.8 billion of external
The Harare administration therefore hopes to raise US$25 billion to finance
its ambitious investment programme over the next three years.
"On any count, however, this looks very ambitious for a country with a GDP
of less than US$5 billion. The implication is that investment must average
140 percent of GDP over the three-year period," the think-tank said.
Militating against such a high investment rate are the fact that domestic
savings are currently negligible at present and the balance-of-payments
deficit averages more than one-quarter of GDP.
There is scepticism, therefore, about the projections contained in the
programme, not least because much will depend on a sustained improvement in
the political environment--of which there is little sign at present. -
by Nokuthula Sibanda Monday 11 January 2010
HARARE - Zimbabwe's rift-ridden Anglican Church has appealed to the police
to uphold the law and stop harassing worshipers by blocking them from
attending their weekly Sunday services.
The appeal follows bitter wrangling for the control of the church by two
factions - one led by excommunicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga - which has
police backing but has fewer worshipers while the other is controlled by
Reverend Chad Gandiya and has more people but does not have police
The rift within the church has become so serious that the police have been
allegedly barring worshipers from the Gandiya faction from attending church.
"Disruptions of weddings, funerals confirmations etc are now very common,"
the Anglican church said in a rare public statement on Sunday.
"There are reports that the police have beaten up, harassed and arrested
some of the faithful. The Anglican Council of Zimbabwe calls upon, the
Zimbabwe Republic Police to cease subjecting the faithful in the Diocese of
Harare to inhuman treatment, desist from disrupting church services."
The church also appealed to the police to keep order and to do justice and
to be impartial as law enforcing agents.
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been embroiled in controversy over the
control of the church's properties and finances, amid allegations that
Kunonga was illegally occupying the properties as well as having access to
the church's funds.
The church's supreme authority in the region - the regional synod which is
officially known as the Church of the Province of Central (CPCA) - last year
excommunicated former Bishop of Harare, Kunonga, who had tried to withdraw
his diocese from the church.
Kunonga - a staunch supporter of President Robert Mugabe who tried to use
the pulpit to defend the Zimbabwean leader's controversial policies - was
excommunicated together with several priests and other church leaders who
backed his revolt against the mother church.
The CPCA appointed retired Bishop Sebastian Bakare as caretaker head of the
Harare diocese before he was succeeded by Gandiya, a move Kunonga has
fiercely tried to resist. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Monday 11 January 2010
HARARE - Key state witness, Peter Hitschmann is expected to testify in the
treason trial of Roy Bennett, a key aide to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai which resumes in Harare tomorrow after a nearly two-month break,
the prosecution team said.
The case resumes Tuesday after Hitschmann failed to turn up at the High
Court on November 27 last year.
Prosecutor, Chris Mutangadura said Hitschmann who is the state's key witness
is set to testify.
"I am sure that he is going to testify on Tuesday," Mutangadura said. "He is
scheduled to testify and there is nothing which will stop him. The case
might be prolonged because as we are now approaching to cover the real
issues and this may result in the case taking longer than expected."
The state accuses Bennett - treasurer in Tsvangirai's MDC-T party - of
plotting to overthrow Mugabe and that he deposited money into the Mozambican
bank account of Hitschmann to buy weapons to be used to assassinate the
The state seeks to prove to court that guns and other weapons found at the
home of Hitschmann, a registered firearms dealer, were intended for use to
assassinate Mugabe and that they were bought with money supplied by Bennett.
But Hitschmann was found not guilty of treason in an earlier ruling by the
High Court which also found that some of the weapons seized from the
firearms-dealer were lawfully in his possession.
Hitschmann has also claimed that investigators tortured him in a bid to
obtain from him statements that could incriminate Bennett.
Bennett faces a possible death sentence if found guilty in a case that has
heightened tensions in Zimbabwe's fragile coalition government. - ZimOnline
January 10, 2010
By Our Correspondent
MUTARE - Zimbabwe's ambassador to Tanzania, Major General Edzai Chimonyo
(Retired), has invaded a large banana plantation owned by Malaysian
investors in Burma Valley, east of the city of Mutare in a development that
has potential to upset investment relations with the Asian nation.
Chimonyo accompanied by a contingent of armed soldiers is said to have moved
onto the banana plantation owned by Matanuska and immediately started to
harvest ripe bananas, whose value has not yet been ascertained.
Based in Mutare, Matanuska is a farming organization owned by Malaysian
investors and the business falls under the Bilateral Investment Protection
Agreement (BIPA). Bananas are the main crop cultivated by the company in
Zimbabwe and Matanuska has become a major banana exporter.
Chimonyo has reportedly refused to recognize the company's status. He says
he was legally allocated the plantation back in 2006 by then Lands Minister,
"Chimonyo is here and has taken over the plantation," said a Matanuska
employee. "Armed soldiers are all over the plantation."
There was no immediate comment from Chimonyo but Matanuska officials are
said to have filed an application in the High Court seeking his immediate
eviction from the plantation.
The Malaysian government is said to have approached the Zimbabwean
government to formally complain about the invasion of the plantation.
Sources said soldiers were already busy harvesting the bananas and selling
them to various outlets in Mutare.
Enlisted in the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 and long regarded as one of
the more enlightened of the senior officers of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,
Chimonyo was appointed ambassador and posted to Dar es Salaam in January
In April 2009 he locked horns with Nigeria's Nobel laureate for literature,
Wole Soyinka, during the 'Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival Week' in Dar
Named after independent Tanzania's founding President and leading
pan-Africanist Julius Nyerere, the festival is a series of lectures,
debates, meetings and other events exploring the unity and development of
the African continent.
Chimonyo saw red and dismissed Soyinka as a victim of Western media
propaganda against Zimbabwe after the renowned writer said: "We cannot
entertain solidarity with African leaders who undermine the rule of law and
good governance as it happened in Kenya and Zimbabwe; but rather, we should
tell Mugabe and Kibaki that they are not legitimate leaders."
Soyinka said it was in order for President Omar al Bashir to face the
International Criminal Court since Africa had failed to check the effects of
his regime's failure in Darfur.
January 10, 2010
By Ray Matikinye
BULAWAYO - Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T co-chairperson of the parliamentary
select committee on the constitutional reform process on Friday defended the
amount allocated to his committee for preliminary work towards the drafting
of a new constitution arguing that the money is a fitting investment in an
enduring constitution for Zimbabwe.
Addressing a media workshop organized to lobby participation by journalists
in disseminating information and educating the public about the
constitutional making process, Mwonzora said Zimbabweans should appreciate
that no price can be put on a process that seeks to establish stronger
institutions to guarantee personal freedoms and liberties.
"We are investing in democracy. What is $43 million in terms of the tasks
that we want to undertake in bringing enduring democracy to the country?"
Concern has been expressed over the $43 million to be spent over the next 65
days which the parliamentary select committee has set as its target to roll
out the constitution drafting process.
Mwonzora said the money was required to buy electronic equipment such as
recorders for recording people's contributions and inputs into the
constitution, computers and video equipment for outreach teams to capture
and store the electorate's views which will be sifted and assayed before
compilation of the draft document.
"We do not want to be accused of doctoring people's views to suit political
ends," he said, "hence the need to store these views in a safe and secure
manner in cases of contestations."
He hit back at critics, particularly civic organizations, who have been
canvassing against the constitution-making process being led by politicians.
He said the fairness of the process should not be judged on the basis of who
drives it forward.
"A process is not deemed fair because it is led by civic society," Mwonzora
said. "It is no guarantee such an arrangement makes a process democratic."
There has been growing public cynicism about the prospects of successful
completion of the constitution making process with civic society
organizations arguing that parliamentarians cannot lead the process.
Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister, Dr Olivia
Muchena, who is a member of the select committee, condemned polarization in
the media and expressed fears that this threatened to destroy the
constitution making process.
"The media is so polarized that it can destroy this process. We will seek an
audience with the Ministry of Information and Publicity officials to
facilitate the effectiveness of the media during this process," Muchena
Muchena was reacting to concerns by journalists that the state of the media
in Zimbabwe hindered their effectiveness in disseminating information about
the constitution to the public.
January 10 2010 at 12:57PM
Continued farm invasions as well as human and property rights abuses by
Zanu-PF officials are keeping international investors away, Zimbabwe's last
white farmers say.
Zimbabwe had 4 500 white commercial farmers and agriculture was the
cornerstone of the economy before the government's land seizures began 10
According to the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), 152 of the 300 commercial
farms still in operation are now being targeted for eviction. The situation
has worsened since last month, when President Robert Mugabe told Zanu-PF
that white people were not Zimbabweans.
"The new year has presented nothing but more troubles for farmers. Farmers
would have preferred to be in the fields. But they are constantly being
harassed," CFU president Deon Theron said yesterday.
"The police still fail to act on court orders protecting farmers, while the
law is being abused to dispossess people of their property on the basis of
"On one hand they use militia and violence to drive us out and on the other
they use the police and the courts. We are in a no win-situation.
"This is happening at a time when we need investors to revive the economy.
But investors now doubt to risk their investment in a country that has no
respect for property rights," he said.
"This is counterproductive in a country that was beginning to show positive
moves in its economy, and has a negative impact on the re-engagement with
the international community.
"What is really disturbing is that there is no prosecution of people who are
violating the law."
The CFU claims that senior Zanu-PF officials led by former land reform and
state security minister Didymus Mutasa threatened white commercial farmer
Gavin Woest with death last week, telling him that he had minutes to vacate
Responding to the claim, Mutasa said: "These white people create stories. I
have not gone to America or Britain to look for land. I get my land in
Zimbabwe, which is my country. What is wrong with that?" - Sapa-dpa
o This article was originally published on page 5 of Sunday
Independent on January 10, 2010
From The Sunday Mail, 10 January
By Emilia Zindi and Kuda Bwititi
The Government has warned resettled farmers involved in the "new wave" of
subletting farms to former white commercial farmers that they risked losing
their land. This comes in the wake of reports that scores of farmers who
benefited under the land reform programme were now making dubious
arrangements with former owners claiming that they themselves did not have
enough funding and equipment to fully utilise the farms. Most of the farmers
who were finding it difficult to utilise the farms allocated to them had
opted to sublet their farms, partly or wholly, to the former owners, which
is tantamount to reversing the land reform programme. In an interview last
week, the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Cde Herbert Murerwa,
said reports of farmers leasing their farms to former owners had reached his
office and Government was now in the process of identifying the culprits for
purposes of repossessing the properties. "It is totally wrong for a farmer
to sublet his or part of his farm without Government approval. This is in
violation of the offer letter as land remains State property,'' said Cde
Murerwa. He said it was sad to note that scores of farmers had opted to go
the way of subletting their farms instead of surrendering the land to the
ministry. Cde Murerwa said the scenario was worrying, as the invitation of
former white farmers back on the farms was a clear case of reversing the
land reform programme. Cde Murerwa said those involved in the practice would
soon lose the farms.
He said the situation was saddening in that it had spread to almost every
province where those finding it difficult to utilise their farms had opted
to invite the former owners back on the land, hereby defeating the purpose
of the land redistribution exercise. "What it means is that the land reform
programme was wrong when we now invite the same people we took land away
from on the grounds that we are redressing the colonial imbalances on land
ownership,'' he said. Investigations in Mashonaland Central have revealed
that scores of farmers had already entered into agreements with former
owners whereby the new farmers are getting as little as 10 percent of
profits. Some of the farmers were leasing their entire hectrage to the white
farmers, while others were only leasing part of their land. In most
instances, the former commercial farmers taken up residence at the farms
where they virtually command all operations. The former owners were mainly
targeting large-scale A2 farms, where they use up to 500 hactares of land.
Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha
said the lands authorities in the province had noted the situation and had
taken a stance to take action against the farmers. He said most of the
farmers that had been identified were from Mazowe and Muzarabani districts.
"At a lands meeting we held last week we made a resolution that a commission
of inquiry be set up in every district to identify the culprits and bring
them to book. So far we noted that the practice was mostly common in Mazowe
and Muzarabani," he said. Advocate Dinha said the lands committee had
resolved that it would repossess the farms from the farmers. "Our position
is that farmers should not be greedy with the land. For instance, if a
person has 500 hactares of land and he feels that he is not able to utilise
it all, they should surrender part of it because we have a huge waiting list
of capable farmers," he said. In Mashonaland West scores of farms had also
been identified where beneficiaries had also entered into such dubious
arrangements with former owners.
Zanu-PF secretary for lands in the province Cde Temba Mliswa said the
situation was so sad in the province considering that the party's
resolutions at the people's congress clearly stated that those involved in
subletting farms would automatically lose the land. Cde Mliswa said such a
practice was a true violation of what was stated in both offer letters and
the 99-year lease. Cde Mliswa said there were more than 30 farms that had
been identified carrying out the practice in the area. "At the moment in
Hurungwe West and East rural districts we have former white farmers back at
Born Valley, Buttervant, Shola Park, Pendennis, Kylami and Jacobs Ladder,
amongst others. In Chegutu district there is Pfopojena Farm and Rainbow's
End, among others," he said.
January 10, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - It's all systems go in South Africa as the countdown to the World
Cup, which kicks off on 12 June 2010 begins.
Across the Limpopo Zimbabwe is finally awakening from its slumber in a bid
to take advantage of the spillover of soccer fans expected to descend on the
sub region during and after the tournament, spending money with wild abandon
in the process.
The Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) has announced that it will spend US$3
million on training key personnel ahead of the 2010 World Cup to equip them
with skills in customer care.
Zimhost, a non-governmental organization, made a total of US$1.5 million
available for the programme through the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality
Industry. ZCT will raise the other half.
ZCT President Emmanuel Fundira told the press during the week that the
initiative would cover all critical customer services personnel, both in the
private and public sectors ahead of the football showpiece.
Fundira said the training programme would involve key service personnel from
the tourism sector, immigration, the police, army and the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority, among others.
Fundira says the aim is to change the culture of customer service in the
country for the better, so that Zimbabwe fully benefits from the World Cup.
"We initiated the idea to train people in customer service in various
facets, so that when we interface with visitors, there is a marked
difference in the national customer care delivery culture," he said
Zimhost was formed to foster the spirit of unconditional collective
hospitality in Zimbabwe by improving service standards nationally through
training and creating awareness of the importance of the individual's role
in their place of work, and as ambassadors of their community and their
Founding sponsors were the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Organization
Training and Development, African Sun Limited, Delta Corporation, Quantas,
the Australian national airline, Rainbow Tourism Group, United Touring
Company, Meikles Africa, Barclays Bank, Abercrombie & Kent, Europe Interrent
and Cresta Hospitality.
Fundira lamented the chaotic situation that engulfed Beit Bridge border post
during the festive season when immigration formalities on the Zimbabwean
side fell far short of expectations.
ZTA projected that Zimbabwe could earn more than US$500 million if adequate
preparations were made to promote the local tourism industry ahead of the
"Apart from following their teams, fans can fly in and out of Zimbabwe
before and after the month long World Cup," Fundira said. "Those who choose
to stay in Zimbabwe will not be disappointed and will live to tell how
amazing the country is, despite the political and economic challenges facing
"There are historic attractions ranging from the breadth-taking Victoria
Falls, the mysterious Great Zimbabwe and the scenic eastern highlands. For
the uninitiated, it must be emphasized here and now, that the Victoria Falls
are found on the Zambezi River forming the border between Zambia and
Zimbabwe and not in South Africa."
Zimbabwe boasts a range of five star hotels and lodges. Budget accommodation
is available to suit any visitor's pocket. For those who wish to savour
culinary delights, there is a whole range of excellent cuisine to choose
In South Africa, the media are awash with sizzling stories of companies
falling over each other in order to offer the best packages for the
Snow at the Vigil. It’s our eighth
winter protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy but the first time it has snowed.
The temperature was below zero centigrade – worsened by a piercing wind from the
During the week the Vigil sent the
following letter to the International Development Committee of the British
Parliament, which is to review the British government’s aid to
We believe, in particular, that to
give development aid to the coalition government is premature and will send the
wrong signals not only to Mugabe and his Zanu PF party but also to members of
the European Union and other countries which have adopted measures against
The Vigil wishes to advise the Committee that it is running the following petition dealing with aid to Zimbabwe: ‘A petition to the UK government: We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’
The petition has been signed so far
by some 9,000 people from all over the world who have passed by the Vigil in
recent months. They are not convinced that there has been real change in
The Vigil has been demonstrating
outside Zimbabwe House,
We would like to take the opportunity to draw your attention to a recent article by the Zimbabwean economist John Robertson, which criticises the economic recovery programme of the ‘inclusive’ government.”
We are still accepting signatures
for this petition and it will present it to the British government at an
appropriate time. There are big changes afoot. The EU is to discuss the renewal
of its measures against
We were pleased to welcome back David McAllister, who has been cruising the world on a luxury liner as an internet café manager. He set up our website and has now added a new feature on our home page – a slide show of the most recent Vigil photos. These will change as each Vigil set is added to our Flickr photo website.
Thanks also to Lungile Ncube and Collin Chitekwe for their athletic lamp post climbing to put a roof over our shivering supporters.
The documentary film about farm seizures ‘Mugabe and the White African’ was reviewed in the Times on 8th January – text below:
“Mugabe and the White
African (A powerful documentary that pits a white farmer and his son-in-law
against President Mugabe in a battle for their farm) – by http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/film_reviews/article6979465.ece)
In Mugabe and the White African, Michael Campbell, a gentle, dry, 75-year-old farmer from Zimbabwe, asks: “Is it possible to be white and African?” If you’re President Mugabe, the answer is a brutal “no”.
This powerful documentary pits Campbell and his son-in-law Ben Freeth against their country’s dictator in a battle for their farm, which is holding out – just – against the land seizure campaign that has already led to thousands of white Zimbabweans being forcibly evicted. Their plan? To take the Government of “a country without a rulebook” to an international tribunal that will force it to stop.
But it’s a race against time. Groups of men with knives and axes stalk their maize fields at night, while neighbours are filmed breaking their settler stoicism and weeping as their own farm is taken for Mugabe’s flunkies, and their friends and workers — black and white alike — are uprooted. The madness in Zimbabwe is not news, but here a human story crystallises it first by seeming curious, then quickly compelling and then horrifically shocking before the final courtroom drama. The hate, fear and greed on show all hit you in your gut — it’s impossible not to steam at the sight of the braggart government minister’s son waiting by his new 4x4 outside the farm, telling Campbell and Freeth how he will simply take their home. But your lasting emotions are of respect for the two farmers, mixed with a lingering, helpless sadness.”
This film is up for an Oscar and is going to be shown all over the world. It will not improve Zimbabwe’s image.
noted that we were quoted in an article
in the Zimbabwe Independent. We
applaud every effort by journalists in
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.
FOR THE RECORD: 136 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
'Mugabe and the white African'
is showing until
14th January at The Empire,
ROHR Hayes fundraising party.
27th February from till late. Venue: Coronation Hall,
Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s
Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue:
The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre,
· Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: email@example.com.
For Motherland ENT’s
videos of the Vigil
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429
January 10, 2010
By Addmore Zhou
THIRTY years have passed since the much-touted Lancaster House Conference
that ushered in a new political era in Zimbabwe. The Constitution that
emerged from that conference is still in use today. The government that
emerged from that process is still in power as well although now in some
More than 13 years ago, a broad alliance of civic and church organizations,
as well as trade unions was formed to highlight what they believed to be the
shortcomings of the Lancaster House Constitution. That's how the NCA was
born. Of major concern was the power given to one person, the President. The
position of Prime Minister was scrapped in 1987 to give way to an executive
President until it was reinstated recently through a constitutional
amendment. The upper chamber of Parliament, the Senate was abolished but was
Giving in to pressure from a cross section of Zimbabweans including NCA, the
government hurriedly set up a constitutional commission in early 1999. The
NCA refused to participate. Its concerns centered on the fact that all the
more than 400 commissioners were handpicked by President Mugabe and
therefore were impartial. During the public consultations which followed,
Zimbabweans were unanimous about some changes they wanted to see in the new
They wanted to see the presidential powers reduced, the term of office
limited to two terms and the size of cabinet which stood at 50 scaled down
among other amendments. The draft constitution of 2000 was a better document
than the current constitution although admittedly it was compromised when
the final draft was crafted. As the country prepares to undertake another
similar process, these issues still remain.
South of the Limpopo, South Africa has a constitution regarded as the most
progressive in the world. People's freedoms are guaranteed with a bill of
rights second to none. Presidential terms are limited to two terms together
with other fundamental guarantees. The question is, "How was it written?"
The South African constitution was written by a Constitutional Assembly. The
Assembly consisted of the Senate and the National Assembly sitting jointly.
The Senate had 90 members and the National Assembly had 400 members.
In addition, a handful of independent experts was selected to advise the
Assembly. The process was conducted over an 18-month period. The assembly
then embarked on public consultations which were conducted through political
party representatives. The process was a difficult one, considering the
acute injustices of the country's undemocratic past. Unlike in Zimbabwe
where the draft was brought before a referendum, the South African document
was brought before a constitutional court which ruled on whether or not the
draft was in line with agreed frameworks established before the process
The initial ruling was that the draft did not satisfy the conditions
thrashed out in multiparty talks. The Assembly had to reconvene to swiftly
fix the irregularities so that the court could certify it again. At last the
constitutional court ruled that the Constitutional Assembly had remedied the
What followed was an approved democratic Constitution of South Africa. As
the world applauded both the process and the end product, there were
objections from a coterie of political players such as the Democratic Party
(DP), the Inkhata Freedom Party (IFP) and the province of KwaZulu-Natal, as
well as the complaints of 18 people and interest groups.
Back to the Zimbabwean situation, whom can we trust to spearhead the process
of writing our Constitution? There has been much buzz about the process
being a "people-driven" process and "people-driven" constitution. The NCA
has been consistent about one thing and one thing only and that is
boycotting the process.
While it is always a noble idea to consider the ideas of interest groups, it
has the downside of slowing the process and in some cases bringing it to a
halt as different interest groups clash over ideas.
So what does "people-driven" really mean? According to Chapter 5 and article
52 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament has the right to amend the
constitution. There is nowhere in our Constitution where the process of
constitution making is assigned to civic organizations. NCA and its allies
such as the ZCTU and others can only come in during the consultative process
and present their views for inclusion in the draft.
They have a right to express their disappointment with the outcome if their
views are not included. In this case, it is not unreasonable to assume that
the NCA are boycotting the process because they view themselves as better
and more credible drivers of the process than Parliament.
The drivers of the constitution are important and so are the people. The
concerns of NCA are easily addressed by making sure the process will reach
as many people as possible using multiple fora, ensuring high quality
dialogue, and making sure people's views are included. In our case,
Parliament is better placed to lead the process because of the legal
implications of assigning the process to anyone else.
Parliament is a credible and legal representative of the people on the
ground. NCA's concerns may seem justified especially taking into account the
pandemonium witnessed during the aborted initial stages. However, the
presence of hooligans does not in itself invalidate the process. There is no
doubt that all Zimbabweans agree about the need to craft a new Constitution
and therefore such passionate crowds are not a surprise.
While boasting of an active constituency, civic society is not a bona fide
representative of everyone. But Parliament is. If Zimbabweans had voted
"Yes" to the draft constitution of 2000, the political landscape would be
significantly different today. We all know the Chidyausiku Commission
manipulated the final draft especially with regard to the executive but that
could have easily have been solved by a few amendments.
Such draconian laws as POSA and AIPPA would not have been introduced had we
voted yes. The notorious Law and Order Maintenance Act which has been used
to take away people's freedoms would be a thing of the past. Following NCA's
advice, Zimbabweans sunk deeper into the political abyss. Instead of
dwelling on the process, NCA is better off educating the public about the
provisions of the current constitution which require a revamp and any other
provisions for inclusion.
The people of Zimbabwe expect a working document from the NCA which
unfortunately is not available. They have failed to produce their own draft
in more than 13 years despite the fact they are supposed to be working on a
new constitution on daily basis. The South African constitution is testimony
to the fact that politicians can be trusted to come up with a good and
We may not trust our own politicians but they are what we have. I hope NCA
and its allies will come forward and work together with the commission to
produce a better document for our country.
(Addmore Zhou writes from Johannesburg, South Africa.)
January 10, 2010
ALREADY this year, the mythical economic sanctions monster has had its
mythical head pushed into the all too real faces of Zimbabwe's Movement for
Democratic Change. This accompanied a repeat of Zanu-PF's demand that MDC
must have those wretched sanctions lifted before it has any right to expect
Zanu-PF to help Zimbabwe's Government of National Unity to actually work.
Zanu-PF members are constantly being reminded that any Zimbabwean business
can trade with businesses in any country in the world and therefore the
sanctions that do exist are political, not economic, and apply to named
individuals, not the whole country.
But this seems only to annoy them, and they are now making efforts to claim
that Zimbabwe's exclusion from the United States' Africa Growth
Opportunities Act as a clear case of vicious, illegal economic sanctions.
But it is not. The Act rewards African countries that make measurable
efforts to improve their own standards of economic and political behaviour,
and the reward takes the form of duty-free access to United States' markets.
To qualify, countries have only to show that they are making progress
towards entirely acceptable objectives, most of which relate to the
observance of the rule of law, the protection of intellectual and other
property rights, the reduction of poverty and the efforts needed to increase
access to health care and educational opportunities.
All these have been found so readily acceptable that most African
governments have been happy prove their eligibility and to make the most of
their duty-free and quota-free access to the US markets. Nearly all the
others are working on the outstanding issues and hope to qualify soon.
But not Zimbabwe, simply because strengthening the rights of ordinary
citizens would weaken the powers of a government that has nothing to offer
but threats of violence. The clear intention of the US is to promote the
interests of people who deserve better standards of governance. However,
Zimbabwe's veteran politicians do not believe the citizens deserve any such
thing and instead prefer to accuse their critics of imposing "illegal
But even though Zimbabwe does not qualify for preferential treatment, the
country exports more to the US than 35 of the 39 countries that do qualify.
And if this fact is not enough to persuade Zanu-PF that economic sanctions
do not exist, perhaps one more will do it: about half of Zimbabwe's
population is currently dependent of food aid that is supplied by the very
countries that are accused of imposing economic sanctions.
Instead of conjuring up fictions to deflect attention from embarrassing
facts, would it not be easier for all concerned to simply meet the
requirements that so many others have met? Easier, yes, but clearly too
costly for the few hundred people who insist that their personal interests
far outweigh the interests of the twelve million or so that make up the rest
of Zimbabwe's population.
As twelve million Zimbabweans have not effectively taken exception to this
bizarre situation, the concerned international community has identified the
few hundred culprits on their travel ban and blocked bank account lists.
Zimbabwe has not been singled out on the AGOA list, as Zanu-PF claims, and
neither have these individuals. When the government chooses to make the
effort, the country will be admitted as a member of the club.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation, also based in the US, offers a similar
set of requirements, but countries that meet its evidence-of-progress
criteria are eligible for direct financial help. The MCC programme offers
support to countries that have made commitments to rule justly, to invest in
their own people and to provide a business climate that is based on economic
freedoms that are attractive to the private sector.
Broad categories covering 17 indicators are used to assess the eligibility
of each country. One of the tricky ones is to achieve a track record of
genuine efforts to control corruption. The MCC argues that development
assistance does not achieve very much unless corruption is brought under
Other indicators relate to civil liberties, the rule of law, property
rights, access to health and education services, government effectiveness
and accountability and the procedures for starting a business. The scores
achieved on all of them are fully disclosed so that governments keen to
qualify for assistance can see how they are doing and compare their
positions with those of other countries.
Zimbabwe's scorecard for 2009 shows that 15 of the 17 indicators were below
acceptable standards, and on 0 percent to 100 percent scales that rank the
measures from worst to best, six of these were so bad they had measures
below 0 percent, or negative numbers. The two acceptable figures were for
health expenditures and natural resource management, but two that were
considered acceptable in 2007, spending on primary education and girls
completing primary education, could not be assessed in 2009 and appear to
have been assumed to have slipped below acceptable standards.
By contrast, the scorecard for Mozambique showed four unacceptable scores
out of 17, and Tanzania showed two. Listings of MCC beneficiaries show
Mozambique and Tanzania, but do not show Zimbabwe. Nobody questions the
thought that Zimbabwe needs help, but it sees that nobody yet believes that
Zimbabwe is deserving of help. So the country's escape from its own
self-inflicted handicaps has to start with plausible efforts by its own
authorities, at home.
For those people who still wield authority to constantly bleat about being
disqualified from certain benefits because of the conduct of the self-same
people is to insult the intelligence of the hundreds of countries and
thousands of organisations that wish Zimbabwe well.
Diplomatic niceties and good manners stop them all from coming right out and
saying, "Why are you so stupid?" Zimbabweans are also too polite. But the
sentiment behind that question will be answered in the next election in the
form of a blank square. A bold X will appear in an alternative box on
millions of ballot papers.
by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 11 January 2010
OPINION: Year 2009 was a remarkable and defining year that began with the
inauguration of President Barack Obama as the first African American
President of the United States (US) only to be followed by the election of
President Jacob Zuma as the fourth President of democratic South Africa.
The election of these two men captured eloquently what Obama called the
"audacity of hope".
Obama represents the most powerful nation on earth at this troubling time in
the history of human civilisation and Zuma represents the most powerful
It is safe to say that God has used these two men as instruments to
demonstrate his glory and power that anything is possible and more
importantly that nothing is inevitable.
As a founding member of Africa Heritage Society
www.africaheritagerivonia.com, I was one of many concerned about what it
means to be African and how to best capture and celebrate our heritage. It
is true that there is nothing that prepared many of us to occupy the
positions that we now occupy.
Obama is not just another American president; he represents a departure from
the norm to the extent that the founding fathers of the US must surely be
cursing in their graves about the fact that he is a legitimate resident at
Equally, the founding fathers of corporate South Africa and the framers of
the apartheid state must also be cursing in their graves about the fact that
a man born on April 12 1942 in a remote place called Inkandla in
KwaZulu-Natal province whose father was a policeman and who only attended
school up to Standard 3 (the fifth grade at school) and did not receive any
formal schooling after primary is the President of the Republic of South
Africa and not just of the Zulus, his ethnic tribe.
To some extent the architects of the dualistic South African political
economy were inspired by the American experience to transform Africa into a
consolidated political and economic formation with South African playing a
critical and pivotal role.
Like the American founding fathers, people like Rhodes believed in the
superiority of English civilisation and had no respect of native values,
beliefs and principles.
To the extent that South Africa and America can boast of the progress made
in terms of physical and human development, the founding fathers would be
proud of their achievements.
A Eurocentric civilisation was deemed to be the most appropriate and
relevant for human development and everything that was native American and
African was naturally looked down upon.
Although the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence states: "We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, they
are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these
are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", it was clear to the framers
of these words that the equality doctrine could not have been intended for a
person like Obama.
The road to statehouse for both Zuma and Obama was filled with potholes of
pain, injustices, life loss, unhappiness and inequity. Restoration of civil
rights that has permitted us to celebrate these strange occurrences was a
consequence of struggles.
Without shedding blood, the presidencies of Obama and Zuma would be just a
mirage. Obama understood that he had to be the change that he wanted to see.
In the African heritage community, he stands out as a pioneer in converting
an idea that ordinary people when they stand together can produce
Whether Obama will be a good or bad leader is not as relevant as the fact
that just for him to be the Commander-in-Chief of the US represents change
from which we can build on.
The mere fact that he is the President of the US as a consequence of an
electoral process in a country where African Americans are not in the
majority is historic and path finding.
In selecting both Obama and Zuma as the AHS-Men of 2009, we were mindful
that the journeys to statehouses were different.
One did what he had to do in following the American dream. He went to the
top schools and not only excelled in school but acquired an understanding of
what it took to rally people behind a cause.
He understood that a people driven change agenda could succeed only when it
is properly communicated and grounded. His choice of words and slogans will
His writings will also remain as a useful guide to all who surrender to
hopelessness that the future is theirs only when they seize the moment.
Like faith, hope can make the impossible possible.
Some said it was not his time while others said that American would never be
ready for a person of African heritage to be its leader. Obama has
demonstrated that nothing is inevitable.
For the first time in American history, we can say that America through
Obama has lived up to its promise.
For 232 years, it was not self evident that all men are created equal but
now we can partially say that it must have been the intention of the framers
of the Declaration that a person like Obama would one day rise up the ladder
to prove that anything is possible.
Now it is possible for not only people of African heritage but also other
heritages to dream the impossible in America.
With respect to Zuma, his journey has been infested with roadblocks and
pain. If he thought that it would be only the framers of corporate South
Africa who would be cursing at his Presidency he was wrong.
Some of his colleagues who worked with him in the struggle to eradicate
prejudice became his most potent enemies.
It is self-evident that he represents what was not meant to happen in South
Africa. In him, the extremes of African heritage are embodied. For those who
believe that Africa must shun its pre-colonial values, beliefs and
principles to advance its cause, Zuma is not their man.
He was inaugurated on May 9 2009, and after seven months in office; we can
safely say that he has managed to demonstrate that one does not have to
compromise who he is in the quest for power, fame or glory.
He has successfully straddled between our past and present. Who could ever
imagine that a man of Zuma's profile would be at home at a G-8 Summit and
also at a traditional ceremony in Inkandla?
There are many who were afraid of what Obama and Zuma's leadership would
mean. As we begin the new year, we can say that both men have made Africans
proud. They have raised the Africa Heritage flag high and we all have a
cause to celebrate. Their experiences have added value to the heritage of
History will record this phase of human development and progress correctly
and will be kind to both men.
No doubt cynics would not wish them well. However, we have no choice but to
pause and reflect on the message that we all can draw from the ascendancy of
these two unusual custodians of the best that African heritage can offer.
They have both taught us that organised, disciplined, mature, and purposeful
people can overcome any odds and obstacles that history or men places upon
They have also taught us that an idea whose time has come cannot be stopped.
We never thought that in our lifetime, the world would look up to a person
of African heritage for leadership on complex and path finding issues like
climate change, just peace, and development.
There are many of us who believe that a college degree should be the minimum
that a leader should possess before they assume political office.
What Zuma has taught us is that knowledge can be acquired even more
efficiently and effectively through the many experiences that make life what
it is. Formal education can help but it is not sufficient to make one a good
Although our constitutions are as clear as the American declaration of
independence that all men are equal there are many of us who believe that
education and economic power makes one more human than another.
As we rapidly count down to the 2010 games, we should be inspired that the
African heritage flag will be flying high with two of the most powerful
people who share our heritage on the world stage to proclaim that Africa
does not have to compromise anything in its past but can enrich the world's
understanding of humanity from its diverse heritage.
Through Zuma and Obama's experiences my knowledge of what is possible in
life has greatly expanded and I do hope that we all can take time to reflect
on what we all need to secure and protect our heritage.
Obama is an American President and not an African President of America. He
represents even those who despise him and equally Zuma represents all the
people of South Africa.
They both have not been elected to represent the global African family but
there is no doubt that all the people who call themselves African will be
judged by the actions of these two men.
If this is the case, it makes all of us who believe in Africa and its
rainbow heritage to redouble our efforts in organising ourselves for real
and sustainable change.
Obama and Zuma have done their part what is left is for us to unite around
new inclusive values that best show case who we are as members of the
African heritage family.
If Obama can be President of America so can a white person be a President of
an independent African state. The question is are we prepared for this
outcome? - ZimOnline
CONSTITUTION WATCH 2/2010
[9th January 2010]
List of Delegates for Outreach Training Programme 10th to 12th January 2010
This is the list released by the Constitution Select Committee [released by the COPAC Secretariat late on 8th January]. This list supersedes the previous published list and is the only list which is valid. Any queries to be directed to the Project Coordinator, Mr. P.F. Kunjeku, on 0912 824 955 or 0912 814 902.
January: All delegates are expected to be at
Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th January: Training workshop for all listed persons.
Please note that although the official figures given for the total number of people in outreach teams is 560 [70 teams of eight persons], the number on this list is 628. The 68 extras are MPs and Senators who have been included to facilitate the meetings in their constituencies. All will participate in next week’s training – but the consultations on the ground will be conducted by the outreach teams.
The Independent Secretariat has still not been able to make available the lists of persons in each thematic committee. They have said this will be ready in time for the training sessions.
The list is as supplied:
1. Ailess Baloyi; 2. Beremauro Godfrey; 3.
Bhasikiti Kudakwashe; 4. Chaderopa Fungai; 5. Chanetsa Peter; 6. Chikava
Betty; 7. Chininga Edward Chindori; 8. Chimomona Marble; 9. Chihota Phineas:
10. Chirongwe Richard; 11. Chiwamba Kizito; 12. Dzingirai Irvine; 13. Goto
Rosemary; 14. Haritatos Peter; 15. Hlongwane Makosini; 16. Huruba Trainos;
17. Kachepa Newton; 18. Kanzama Fred; 19. Kapesa Risipa; 20. Katsande
Aquliah; 21. Madubeko Josphat; 22. Mafios Itai Dickson; 23. Mahoka Sarah;
24. Mandebvu Noel Tarirai; 25. Mangami Dorothy; 26. Mangena Jabulani; 27.
Maramba Phares; 28. Masukume Neddie; 29. Matonga Bright; 30. Matshalaga
Obert; 31. Mavhima Lawrence; 32. Mazikana Paul Hebert; 33. Mbwembwe Edgar;
34. Mhanda Cairo; 35. Mlilo Shakespear; 36. Moyo Jonathan; 37. Mpukuta
Lovemore; 38. Mudarikwa Simba; 39. Mukanduri Samson; 40. Mushore Luke; 41.
Musaire Washington; 42. Mutindiri Ambrose; 43. Mutomba William; 44. Muza
Isheunesu; 45. Navaya Eric; 46. Ndava Ronald; 47. Ndlovu Anastasia; 48.
Nyakudanga Ordo; 49. Nyamupinga Beata; 50. Parirenyatwa David; 51.
Pasiwomusha Matiza Biggie; 52. Paradza Edward; 53. Sai Shaddy; 54. Samukange
Nelson; 55. Shirechena Ellina; 56. Sibanda Clifford; 57. Sindi Cephas; 58.
Sithole Abraham; 59. Zhanda Tendai; 60. Zhuwawo Patrick; 61. Zinyemba
Margaret; 62. Ziteya Kingston; 63. Ziyambi Wurarayi; 64. Chibafu Gertrude;
65. Chimbudzi Alice; 66. Dete Agnes Angeline; 67. Dinha Martin; 68. Gava
Chiratidzo; 69. Hungwe Josiah; 70. Kabayanjiri Obert; 71. Katyamaenza
Virginia; 72. Mabhiza Gladyz; 73. Makunde Tendai; 74. Mandava Maina; 75.
Manyeruke Jenia; 76. Mambo
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied