The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Secret document sparks outrage in Zimbabwe

Published on : 11 January 2011 - 4:19pm

Tensions between Zimbabwe’s two rival ethnic groups, the Shona and the
Ndebele have reached boiling point. This follows the discovery of a secret
document which calls for the continued marginalisation and oppression of
minority ethnic groups in Matabeleland province.

By Thabo Kunene, Harare

The subversive document called Grand Plan Enhancement - "Operation
Gukuradzviti" - a Shona word which means flush out the Ndebele, is being
circulated among Shona-speaking company executives, bankers, business people
and student organisations in Zimbabwe.

"As MDC, we would like to assure our sponsors that the real enemy is not the
Shonas in ZANU-PF but Ndebeles in both ZANU-PF and the MDC. We will continue
to strike fear in their hearts but we must do so underground. Ndebeles who
challenge Shona domination must be eliminated,” says the document.

Zanu-PF, not MDC
One of the MDC’s senior leaders and Minister for Water Resources, Samuel
Siphepha Nkomo who is from the Ndebele tribe, denied his party is behind the

“I am positive this document was authored by Zanu-PF or the secret service
to try tarnish the image of the MDC which enjoys the support of the Ndebele
communities of Matabeleland and Midlands provinces,” said Nkomo.

“We want every Ndebele to speak Shona and we will take their land and give
it to the Shonas. Already we have succeeded in getting 70 000 Shonas into
Matabeleland to take over Ndebele land,” adds the document. It is codenamed
Tripple X- Xenogany, Xenomania and Xenophobia.

“When you read this document it reminds you how Hutus planned the massacres
of Tutsis in Rwanda. It started with Hutus circulating such information to
youths and the gangs to attack Tutsis,” said political activist Xolani

Recently, war veterans from Bulawayo mobilised ZAPU youths and invaded some
farms in the Nyamandlovu area and drove out the Shona settlers. But some of
these settlers, who were allocated Ndebele land in the area, have started
building their houses there. They say they did not confiscate the Ndebele
land but it was given to them by the government.

“I come from Masvingo province. We were brought here by the government. So,
if Ndebeles have a problem, they should solve it with the government, said
one of the new settlers.

South Africa's influence
The document goes further to accuse former South African President Thabo
Mbeki of trying to give Ndebeles power in Zimbabwe when he negotiated for
the inclusion of Ndebele-dominated MDC faction into the coalition

It says current President Jacob Zuma is also proving dangerous to the Shona
plans because of his links to the Ndebele. Zuma’s daughter Gugulethu is
married to the son of Welshman Ncube, the powerful Ndebele politician. Ncube
is hated by the Shonas for masterminding the split inside the MDC in 2005.

No war
“We are going to stop the Shona migration into Matabeleland. That’s why we
have launched this movement to free our people from ZANU-PF oppression,”
David Magagula, secretary for the newly formed Mthwakazi Liberation Front
(MLF) told Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

But there are some Ndebeles who don’t want to associate themselves with the
militant movement saying they don’t want war.

"I am Ndebele and as much as we want to free ourselves from ZANU-PF
oppression, we don’t want war. We can put pressure on Mugabe without using
force and if we do he will use that as an excuse to crush our people again,"
said Mthuli Ndlovu. Magagula launched the movement two weeks ago in Bulawayo
and said their goal is to establish an autonomous state of Matabeleland.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Giant screen ‘suffocating’ Zimbabweans with propaganda

by Irene Madongo
11 January 2011

The presence of a giant TV screen in the centre of Harare, which broadcasts
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) programmes and ZANU PF jingles
throughout, is a strong indication that Zimbabweans have no escape from
one-sided views both at home and outside, a media expert has warned.

The screen is reportedly a donation from the Chinese government. According
to the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Chapter (MISA-Zimbabwe),
it was not a donation to ZBC, but to some elements in the Ministry of
Defence. The mainstream Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently warned foreign embassies against funding
ZANU PF, after the Libyan embassy in Harare donated tractors and other
farming inputs to the party.

Nhlanhla Ngwenya, MISA Zimbabwe director said: “It is clearly an attempt to
suffocate Zimbabweans with partisan one-sided coverage of the Zimbabwean
story. There is no escape basically. You can imagine if they have similar
projects, like they insinuated they would, in Gweru, Mutare, and all these
parts of Zimbabwe.”

Ngwenya said MISA was not completely against the establishment of giant TV
screens, but the problem is when there is a clear attempt not to balance the

Despite being a national broadcaster, the ZBC continues to air only pro-ZANU
PF jingles, a move which has been condemned by other the other parties in
the coalition government.

Last year, the Minister of Media, Webster Shamu, who is also a ZANU PF
political commissar, tried to defend the jingles, insisting they were simply
liberation songs. He warned they were not going to be removed.

“The country did not come on a silver platter. These songs were part of the
struggle, just like an AK (rifle) and bullets. No one will stop ZANU PF from
coming up with liberation songs,” he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Strong rand will ’push up Zim inflation’

Eyewitness News | 3 Hours Ago

It may have its benefits in South Africa, but the strong rand is in danger
of pushing up inflation in newly-stable Zimbabwe.

The country’s still struggling to shed its reputation for galloping
hyperinflation during the middle of the last decade.

Across Zimbabwe some prices are creeping up and bringing back bad memories.

It may only be a rise of four cents per tin of pilchards, or 10 dollars
extra for a month’s school bus pass that used to cost 50 dollars.

Those kinds of increases do not come close to matching the last decade’s
hyperinflation when prices doubled between morning and afternoon.

However, authorities are worried since Zimbabwe had been targeting an
end-of-year inflation rate of 4.5 percent.

Chamber of Mines officials have told state media part of the blame lies with
Zimbabwe’s high level of import dependency.

Goods bought in from South Africa are mostly resold in Zimbabwe for US
dollars, but with a strengthening rand those prices are going up.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe engages Indian experts to revive ageing power plant

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe’s power utility said Tuesday that it was
engaging Indian experts to assist in improving electricity production at one
of the country’s largest plants which has suffered constant outages.

The head of the Zimbabwe Power Company said a team of experts from Water and
Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) of India is coming to train and mentor
staff at Hwange Power Station in northern Zimbabwe.

“This team will be on-station early in February. We are optimistic that
there will be a consistency in supply out of Hwange Power Station by the end
of the first quarter 2011 followed by a gradual increase through the year,”
ZPC chairman Richard Maasdorp said.

The coal-fired Hwange Power Station has been dogged by ageing equipment and
lack of funding to buy spares to revamp its six units.

To guarantee adequate supply, Zimbabwe has long planned to add two more
units at Hwange, generating 300 megawatts (MW) each, and plans to expand its
Kariba hydro-power plant with two generators, adding 150MW each by 2012 at a
total cost of US$800 million.

Zimbabwe has over the years failed to attract independent power producers
despite having several power projects on the cards, which if implemented
would make the country a net exporter of electricity.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC mayors and council chairpersons declare ‘war’ on Chombo

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 January 2011

The MDC-T, which has for years been on a collision course with Local
Government Minister Ignatious Chombo, has vowed to hit back at his
‘ceaseless bullying’ and firing of its elected councillors and Mayors.

All MDC elected mayors and rural district council chairpersons are meeting
in Harare on Wednesday, to plot a way to stop Chombo’s legendary meddling in
council affairs.

The meeting is expected to look at ways of restraining the wayward Chombo
from inflicting damage to the smooth running of almost all towns and cities
in Zimbabwe.

The MDC accuses Chombo, a former University of Zimbabwe lecturer, of
corruption and of trying to cover up his vast accumulation of wealth by
unilaterally suspending or dismissing any councillors who speak out against
his actions.

His vast wealth straddles across every town and city in the country. His
grand plan, according to the MDC, is to go after elected mayors and
councillors, as he believes they are a threat to his political lifeline.

His modus operandi has been the same countrywide. Bindura, Kariba, Victoria
Falls, Bulawayo, Chegutu, Mutare and Chitungwiza have all felt Chombo’s
meddling, which the MDC has said is all designed to protect his vast
interests and a personal fortune.

The deputy Mayor of Harare, Emmanuel Chiroto confirmed the meeting during an
interview with SW Radio Africa on Tuesday. He said the meeting would also
look at other problems being faced by local authorities.

A statement issued by the MDC on Tuesday said Wednesday’s meeting was a
follow-up to another held last year under the banner of the Democratic
Mayors’ Forum. During that gathering council leaders recommended a
parliamentary inquiry into Chombo’s actions, arguing that any delays are
likely to see a total disruption of local authorities.

“Since ZANU PF lost the 29 March 2008 elections, Chombo has sought to
interfere with the running of local authorities, intimidating progressive
and hard-working councils and dismissing councillors he dislikes under the
selective cover of sections of the Urban Councils Act.”

“In Harare, for instance, Chombo has so far unsuccessfully tried to
frustrate a comprehensive probe into a string of land corruption scandals in
which ZANU PF officials and him are deeply involved. Attempts by the council
to file charges against Chombo with the police have attracted a
mealie-mouthed response and was officially ignored by the ZRP,” the MDC
statement added.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Electoral reforms – ploy to sidestep Zuma

by Own Correspondent     Tuesday 11 January 2011

HARARE – The proposed Electoral Act amendments are a ploy by ZANU PF to
preempt an election roadmap currently being developed by South African
President Jacob Zuma and that could include drastic changes unpalatable to
President Robert Mugabe’s party, analysts have warned.

ZANU PF legal brains Patrick Chinamasa – who is also Zimbabwe’s Justice
Minister – has proposed to ban civic participation in voter education as
well as punish anyone announcing election results before they are released
by an election officer.

The Electoral Amendment Bill of 2010 also proposes to give the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) more responsibilities on voter education.

It seeks to ban foreign organisations from providing any voter education
while local organisations would be required to have their material vetted by

Organisations such as the Zimbabwe Election Support Network would also be
required to disclose their sources of funding.

“Offensive” or “misleading” election education material would be banned.

Other proposals include the appointment of special police liaison officers
and special investigation committees in provincial centres to handle cases
of politically-motivated violence or intimidation in each province.

The special liaison officers would be senior police officers, to be
appointed by Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, who would work closely
with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and a multi-party liaison
committee during the election period.

Analysts however said the proposed amendments are meant to sidestep Zuma and
his team of Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediators who are
currently working on a roadmap for future polls in Zimbabwe.

“The amendments are meant to counter any proposals that Zuma may come up
with that ZANU fears may work against the party. They want to make sure they
don’t leave their fate in the hands of the SADC team,” political analyst
Donald Porusingazi told The Zimbabwean On Sunday.

The analysts said Chihuri was an interested party and would not be expected
to be impartial when dealing with cases of political violence or

“We surely would not expect someone who has openly stated his allegiance to
one of the parties to then be an impartial referee in the event there is a
repeat of the events of 2008 when hundreds of opposition supporters were
murdered by ZANU PF militias,” said an investment banker who spoke on
condition of anonymity.

Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party says more than 500 of its supporters were killed in
the violence that accompanied a disputed presidential election run-off
between the former opposition leader and Mugabe in June 2008.

Thousands other MDC-T supporters were displaced in the ensuing violence
allegedly perpetrated by ZANU PF youths, soldiers and so-called veterans of
the country’s 1970s war of independence.

Zuma is the SADC’s official mediator between President Robert Mugabe and
arch-rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who came together in a unity
government under immense pressure from the regional body keen to contain a
political crisis that followed Zimbabwe’s inconclusive elections in 2008.

The proposed SADC election roadmap includes adopting a new Constitution,
drawing up a fresh voters’ roll, ending political violence and passing of
new electoral rules by Parliament.

The SADC election roadmap for Zimbabwe will be modelled along the lines of
the regional bloc’s Principles and Guidelines Governing Elections which were
adopted in Mauritius in 2004.

The guidelines stipulate that SADC member states should uphold the full
participation of citizens in political processes as well as freedom of
association, political tolerance, equal access to state media for all
political parties, equal opportunity to vote and be voted for, and voter

Zuma is understood to be working on a document that will lay the basis for
establishing impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national
electoral bodies staffed by qualified personnel.

Talk of new elections next year by Mugabe and Tsvangirai to end their
marriage of convenience that insiders say is increasingly becoming a hostile
affair has further stoked up tensions in Zimbabwe in recent months.

Civil society groups say the country is not ready for new elections because
political violence is still taking place, while several electoral reforms
and a proposed new Constitution still need to be implemented and given time
to take root to ensure the next vote is free and fair.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

"I am not a dictator", Says Ncube

11/01/2011 11:55:00

Harare, January 11, 2011 – Professor Welshman Ncube, who has just been
elected new President of the smaller MDC party, has denied accusations from
some disgruntled party members he was a dictator.

Ncube led a group of MDC politicians to split from the main MDC wing in 2005
after accusing founding leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of being a

But in an exclusive interview with RadioVOP, Zimbabwe’s Industry and
commerce minister strongly denied the same accusations now being levelled
against him.

“I have not dictated anything to anybody unless someone thinks professor
Ncube has the capacity to dictate to 12 provinces as to what they should do.
I do not have that capacity. It is their prerogative,” said Ncube, who
further denies performing a coup of former party President Arthur Mutambara.

“What Morgan Tsvangirai did was to say I reject the democratic decision of
the party. As one individual, I am annulling a collective decision. That is
what dictatorship is, rejection of a majority decision.”

A group of rebels led by former party chairperson Joubert Mudzumwe wrote a
petition on the eve of last weekend of the party, accusing Ncube of
violating the party’s constitution and imposing himself on the throne.

The party hass in the past year also expelled three legislators who said
they were not satisfied with the way the party’s affairs were being handled
by both Ncube and the past president Arthur Mutambara.

Ncube denied personally inviting Mutambara to become its leader saying this
was a media creation.

Ncube, who has dismissed any possible merger by the two main MDC factions
ahead of Zimbabwe’s elections, said he will only work with Tsvangirai only
along the realm of a common objective of improving the livelihoods of

Ncube who said this week Mugabe should go said he did not regard him as a
hero, although he was grateful for his role in Zimbabwe’s liberation

After the 2005 split, the MDC party has suffered more break-ups. Former St
Mary’s MP and party secretary for defence Job Sikhala last year went
separate ways and went on to form his MDC-99 party.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tobacco bounces back

Written by Ngoni Chanakira
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:00

HARARE  - ONCE Zimbabwe's best performing export crop, tobacco is slowly
bouncing back and reaping huge rewards for the poor country - earning
millions once again.
Figures given to The Zimbabwean by the Ministry of Agriculture show that
tobacco in 2010 stood at a 125 000 tonnes the best since 2005 when a mere 74
000 toness were produced by the nation.
Zimbabwe in 2000 embarked on a controversial land grab programme where the
government of President Robert Mugabe grabbed land belonging to white
commercial farmers dishing it out to "landless  blacks".
However the black commercial farmers, mainly war veterans, are now dismally
failing to produce tobacco citing high input costs and refusal by commercial
banks to give them loans.
The tobacco crop production had since nose dived and the country, once among
the top three producers in the world, became a lauging stock even among its
poor neighbours, Zambia and Malawi.
Malawi to-date producees more tobacco than Zimbabwe.
In fact, the commercial farmers who are doing well in Malawi were from
Zimbabwe and left after their lucrative farms were grabbed from them by
President Mugabe's government in 2000.
Figures given to The Zimbabwean show that in 2005 Zimbabwe produced 74 000
tonnes of the tobacco crop which, however, fell to a mere 55 000 in 2006.
The Ministry of Agriculture revealed that in 2007 Zimbabwe produced 80 000
tonnes of the tobacco crop but that and this nose-dived to a mere 56 000
tonnes in 2008.
However, in 2009 the tobacco crop production improved to 59 000 tonnes and
then shot up to miraculously 125 000 tonnes last year.
The agriculture sector is the mainstay of Zimbabwe's struggling economy.
It contributes about 16 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu (PF) Frustrating Council's Bid To Stop Illegal Cultivation

11/01/2011 11:53:00

Harare, January 11, 2011 - Znau (PF) has accused the Bulawayo and Harare led
city councils of undermining President Robert Mugabe’s efforts by slashing
maize crops planted by residents in undesignated areas.

Sanu (PF) Harare province chair Amos Midzi defended the practise, which
causes soil erosion saying: “This is a political move aimed at sabotaging
the efforts of our President Robert Mugabe who is giving away agriculture
inputs to urban population in order to boost food security. They are doing
so because they have realised that their Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s
agriculture budget for this farming season has been surpassed by that of the

Both Harare and Bulawayo City Councils are led by MDC-T.

The City authorities are on a massive maize crop slashing, saying the
practise was not only an environmental disaster but the crop fields were a
haven for criminals.

Zanu (PF) has been accusing MDC of sabotaging the land reform which it
embarked on, in 2000, and only benefited its senior party members.

MDC said there should be a land audit to establish genuine land users.

President Robert Mugabe in December last year launched a parallel farm input
distribution programme which his party is using for political campaign
throughout the country.

The party is distributing the farming inputs to churches such as Johane
Marange, urban and rural communities while demonising MDC, particularly Biti
whom they accuse of failing to allocate enough funds to support the
agriculture sector.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Harare City Council Uses Tractors To Roundup Vendors

11/01/2011 10:38:00

Harare, January 11, 2011 - The cash-strapped City of Harare is now using
tractors pulling trailers to help round up vendors who have invaded the
capital city centre.

"We have no transport to take the vendors to the Police," said a senior
official who was driving the tractor. "The Council does not have money to
hire better vehicles either and so we have to use this tractor and trailer

He said the council did not have cash for fuel and this was hampering the
rounding up of the vendors in the city centre.

"We are poor and need to survive," said a vendor in an interview. "They
(City Fathers) must arrest thieves who are causing havoc in town and not us
who are poor and only simply trying to earn a decent living."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Still no decision on Zimbabwe diamond trade future

By Alex Bell
11 January 2011

The international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP) is
still to make a decision on Zimbabwe’s trade future, after the deadline to
discuss a proposed agreement was extended until next week.

KP members were set to meet on Monday to discuss amendments made to an
agreement on Zimbabwe, which was rejected by the Zim authorities when it was
drafted last year. But it’s understood that the deadline has been moved to
January 17th, allowing members more time to review the amended agreement.

Last week Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire insisted that the KP had
given the government the green light to resume sales. But a KP
representative has refuted the claims, insisting that “no decision has been
made yet.” The comment was made by a spokesperson for the new KP Chairman in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC took over the
Chairmanship of the KP from Israel on January 1, 2011 with Yamba Mathieu
Lapfa Lambang assuming the Chairman’s position.

Chimanikire has dismissed these comments, and has repeatedly said that the
green light has been given to resume sales, stating he received a letter
from the KP. But Alan Martin from the civil society group, Partnership
Africa Canada, which is one of the KP participants, told SW Radio Africa on
Tuesday that no letter has been produced.

“He (Chimanikire) had a week to show that letter to the world and he hasn’t,”
Martin said, adding: “According to my sources no such letter has been

The state-owned mineral marketing agency in Zimbabwe is reportedly making
preparations for two diamond auctions, despite there being no official
decision from the KP. Martin explained that the government is actually free
to have an auction, and that the only issue would be exporting the stones
after they are sold. He said that exports have been suspended until the KP
makes an official decision.

“Right now no diamonds from (Chiadzwa) can be exported,” Martin said,
calling the issue a “grey-zonal area for the KP.”

Zimbabwe was suspended from trade in 2009 over human rights abuses at the
Chiadzwa alluvial diamond fields, where the military has been accused of
violence, forced labour, smuggling and murder. The KP, which was started to
end the trade in blood diamonds, resisted pressure to ban the country
completely. Instead, mining authorities were given a six month deadline to
fall in line with international trade standards. That deadline was
accompanied by a ‘Join Work Plan’ which included the demilitarisation of the
Chiadzwa area.

This has not happened and there have been ongoing reports of smuggling and
harassment by military officers. Despite this, the KP has continued its
lenient treatment of the Zimbabwe situation, allowing two auctions of
stockpiled diamonds last year. The sales were meant to pave the way for full
exports to resume, but KP members have not reached the necessary consensus
to allow this to happen.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

PM seeks stronger ties with Italy

11 January, 2011 02:55:00    APA

Harare - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is on a two-day
official visit to Italy aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between the
southern African country and the European nation, APA learns here Tuesday.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met Italian Foreign Minister Franco
Frattini on Monday to discuss progress made since the formation of Zimbabwe’s
coalition government in February 2009 and how the two countries could boost
their ties.

Frattini said that Italy was closely following current political
developments in Zimbabwe, particularly progress towards peace and national
healing pacification.

“The future general and presidential elections will be, not least in the
eyes of the international community, an important opportunity to consolidate
the process,” Frattini said in a statement after the meeting with

He said Italy was looking forward to seeing Zimbabwe holding credible,
well-prepared elections “with an appropriate and adequate framework of
guarantees of legality and transparency”.

Tsvangirai highlighted the progress made by Zimbabwe to revive its economy,
saying growth prospects are expected to reach about eight percent this year.

Frattini expressed an interest in improving the Italian business community’s
knowledge of Zimbabwe.

This would pave the way not just for the creation of a favourable climate
for inward investment but also for closer bilateral economic relations.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim Immigration Department Tightens Regulations For Foreigners

11/01/2011 17:00:00

Harare, January 11, 2011 - Foreigners seeking to invest in Zimbabwe and to
be considered for permanent residency need to have US$1 million to become

In addition, all new foreign investment in Zimbabwe now requires an
Investment License issued by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) upon
successful approval of a business project proposal.

Zimbabwe's Department of Immigration said a processing fee of US$500
non-refundable amount shall now be paid on submission of the application and
US$2 500 would be paid when the licence is issued.

"Any foreigner wishing to take up employment in Zimbabwe must first be in
possession of a valid work permit," the document said. "Immigration
regulations permit local companies to employ foreigners under temporary work
permits. Such permits are only issued by the Department of Immigration upon
application by the company, which should provide proof that the requisite
skill cannot be sourced locally.

"The foreigner will only be permitted to work within the capacity for which
that specific permit was issued. Spouses and minors, on the other hand, may
reside in Zimbabwe provided that they do not take up employment."

The document said visas were not required for nationals of certain listed
countries and in "other cases" visas could be obtained at the port of entry
or could be applied for in advance on arrival from the Zimbabwe Embassies
depending on the category of that country.

Zimbabweans are currently up in arms over the increasing number of nationals
from China and Nigeria who are grabbing virtually all office and apartment
space in the CBDs of the country. They have been given "favoured nation
status" much to the dismay of locals.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZPF feared to be behind beating of Zim man in SA

By Alex Bell
11 January 2011

ZANU PF is feared to be behind the severe beating of a Zimbabwean man in
Cape Town last week, which left the victim with serious head, neck and back

Robert Nzara has laid assault charges against the Zimbabwean consulate’s
head of security, James Ketelo after the attack last week. Nzara was trying
to pick up his new passport at the temporary consulate offices based at the
Bellville Home Affairs office. After standing in a queue for most of the
day, Nzara asked the security official for assistance. But instead of
assistance, Ketelo handcuffed Nzara and started beating him.

Nzara told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that Ketelo accused him of “causing
trouble.” He explained that he was forced to write a letter of apology to
the Zimbabwean government, with Ketelo threatening to ‘deal with’ his family
back home. Nzara said that Ketelo claimed to be working for ZANU PF and the
notorious CIO.

After beating Nzara across the head, Ketelo then took him to the Bellville
police station and forced him to admit that he had caused trouble in the
queue. After police released him, Nzara went back to the consulate office to
collect his passport, only to have Ketelo detain him again. Nzara was
handcuffed to a chair in a side room and beaten with a baton on the chest,
head and neck. He eventually fainted and when he regained consciousness, a
security guard named Guy Kamiki released him and told him to flee the
building. Kamiki has since been fired by Ketelo.
“He (Ketelo) was going to get a gun so I think I am very lucky to be alive.
I still can’t believe that I am alive,” Nzara said.

Anthony Muteti, a Project Coordinator for the Western Cape based refugee
rights group PASSOP, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that they believe
Ketelo is linked to ZANU PF. He said that Ketelo, while he was beating
Nzara, was overheard saying: “We are going to show these MDC supporters that
we are in charge here, and in charge at home.” Muteti added that Ketelo has
also been harassing other Zimbabweans at the consulate.

“We are very angry. Incidents like this are reminders of what is happening
at home and it is worrying when it happens here too,” Muteti said.

Meanwhile Muteti also insisted that the deadline for Zimbabweans to apply
for work or study permits to remain legally in South Africa had not been
extended, despite media reports suggesting otherwise. Muteti explained that
the government is adjudicating all applications that were received before
the December 31st deadline, and has only extended a moratorium on
deportations. Home Affairs officials have announced that there will be no
deportations of undocumented Zimbabweans until the end of March.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Army General Abducts MDC-T Official In Masvingo

11/01/2011 11:55:00

Masvingo, January 11, 2011 - A senior official from the Morgan Tsvangirai
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) here has accused a Zimbabwe National
Army (ZNA) General of abducting and torturing him for over 10 hours last
Saturday for allegedly frustrating efforts by Zanu (PF) to win the support
of people in the constituency.

MDCT Masvingo south secretary, Ellson Mutonhori told Radio VOP that he
endured severe assault and torture after he was picked up by Major General
Engelbert Rugeje who was accompanied by Operation Maguta provincial chef,
Colonel Philip Toperesu early morning.

“They picked me around eight in the morning while I was walking around my
homestead and bundled me in an open truck vehicle and sped off. I was
frightened by the speed at which all this happened and the next thing was we
stopped at a lodge where they took me to a room and started questioning me
while they assaulted and torture me,” he said.

Mutonhori said he was accused of frustrating Zanu (PF) efforts to boost its
support base in the only constituency won by the party, Walter Mzembi. The
party lost the other four seats to MDC-T in the 2008 harmonised elections
for the first time since independence in 1980.

He said they took him to a hidden booking house in the jungle of the
district called Rock lodges where they locked him in a room and started
interrogating him on his party activities ahead of the projected polls this
year. He was also quizzed on why he was disturbing efforts by Zanu (PF) to
get support from the people by continuously campaigning for MDC in the

He added that they demanded that he told them his party strategies to win in
the province if elections where to be held.

"They would torture me and go for breaks drinking beer until they got drunk
and come back again to torture me. I went through over ten hours of pain and
agony until they released me at around 9pm” said Mutonhori.

Mutonhori said he was also accused of wearing an MDC-T T shirt during a
Unity Gala organised by the Tourism Minister Mzembi at Renco mine in the
Constituency last December.

MDCT provincial Information officer, Honest Makanyire confirmed the incident
and said his party was assisting their official to get medical treatment
from private doctors as he was feared to have sustained serious internal
injuries during the fateful day.

“ He made a report to the office and we are making arrangements that he get
medical attention from private doctors here as his family says he is in
great pain and we are extremely disturbed by continued violence against our
members by members of the Army,” he said.

He said MDC-T in Masvingo was concerned with the continued increased cases
of army induced violence particularly in the rural areas and demanded that
the principals of the three parties in the inclusive government stop rogue
soldiers from violating human rights on civilians living in the countryside.

Efforts to get a comment from ZNA provincial spokesperson, Kingstone Chivave
or Rugeje were fruitless.

Sources say Rugeje is helping his junior, Toperesu to get support in the
constituency as they intend to topple Mzembi in their party’s primary
elections ahead of the said general plebiscite that seeks to end the tenure
of the shaky inclusive government.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Churches Refuse To Endorse Constitutional Process

11/01/2011 17:02:00

Harare, January 11, 2011 - The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has
received a major boost in its campaign to reject the proposed new
constitution after a coalition of churches said they were unhappy with the
chaotic constitution making process that took place last year.

“The church noted with concern that prior to the official launch of the
outreach programme, the process was characterised by inordinate delays. The
operating environment remains largely repressive and made a negative impact
on the participation by the public in the reform process, this proved by the
lack of transparency on the sequence and dates of the meetings that
continued to change,” read part of the pastoral letter released Tuesday.

“The constitution making process needed to be more transparent so that the
outcome will be a people driven constitution. All stakeholders should have
been well represented in the constitution making process so that the outcome
is not politically driven,” the church leaders said in the letter.

The NCA, a coalition of civic organisations including, labour unions,
student and youth groups, women groups, churches, business groups and human
rights organisations advocating for the crafting of a people driven
constitution is currently leading a “No Vote” campaign to reject the
proposed new constitution during the referendum set for this year.

The Lovemore Madhuku-led constitutional reform body is opposed to the
present political parties driven constitution-making exercise.

Meanwhile reports in Harare said the constitution making process is set to
be further delayed after workers hired to upload information collected from
the outreach programme threatened to boycott the process demanding more pay.

They signed the petition which they forwarded to the Parliamentary
Constitutional committee that has been spearheading the constitutional

Efforts by Radio VOP to get an official comment from all the three COPAC
co-chairpersons, namely Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T), Edward Mukosi (MDC) and
Paul Mangwana (ZANU-PF) were fruitless as they were said to be in an urgent
meeting to resolve the impasse.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mawere responds to Chinamasa on SMM ownership claims

By Lance Guma
11 January 2011

Businessman Mutumwa Mawere has rubbished claims by Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa that the government now owns 100 percent of the Shabanie Mashaba
Mines (SMM). Chinamasa made the claims while giving evidence to the
parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy.

The government led by Chinamasa took over Mawere’s empire in 2004 claiming
he was heavily indebted to the state and had externalised huge sums of
foreign currency in the process. A controversial law allowing the government
to take over the business empire was crafted and Mawere was declared a
‘specified’ person.

Although Mawere was de-specified last year, a move he hoped would pave the
way for a return of his companies, reports suggest Chinamasa and Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are vigorously blocking this. Chinamasa told the
committee he was not consulted by the Home Affairs Ministry on the decision
to de-specify Mawere, claiming: “I am aware that he externalised a lot of
Speaking to SW Radio Africa on Tuesday, Mawere said Chinamasa had lied under
oath when he said the government owned 100 percent of SMM. He argued the
government through AMG Global nominees Private Limited had sought to
“negotiate and acquire certain rights given to T&N plc,” the previous owner
of SMM Holdings Limited.

Mawere said the government through AMG then approached the courts in the UK
in an attempt to change the shareholding structure of the UK Company, but
the application was dismissed with costs.

“Having gone through a court process I am baffled by this statement from the
Minister. They were party to the litigation. They were represented by UK
lawyers and the court made a determination,” he said.

How does Mawere respond to claims that he was heavily indebted to the state
and this was the reason government took over his companies?
“If you are indebted to a creditor, why pass a new law?” he asked. He was
referring to the State- Indebted Insolvency Companies Act, the
Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act and the Prevention
of Corruption Act used to ‘fraudulently’ wrest his companies from him.
“Without this law what does the Minister have?” he asked.

Meanwhile Chinamasa has revealed that the struggling Shabanie and Mashaba
Mines will only be sold to Chinese investors. A baffled Mawere questioned
why someone from a party that professes to stand for the ‘total empowerment’
of black people would want the Chinese to “have exclusivity to wrestle
control of an asset belonging to a black person. The same cannot happen in
China,” he said.

What about talk that Mnangagwa and Chinamasa are the two main stumbling
blocks to him getting his empire back? The businessman told us “can you
imagine, as you are alleging, a minister of Defence, instead of defending
the country, reducing himself to a small corner with the Minister of
Justice, using the law to achieve improper ends against a defenceless

Back to the Top
Back to Index