January 12, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Peter Michael Hitschmann, the Attorney General's star witness
seriously undermined on Tuesday the State's case against MDC
treasurer-general, Senator Roy Bennett.
Bennett, who has not been sworn in as deputy Minister of Agriculture since
February 2009 because of his court case, stands accused of illegal
possession of weapons of war with the intention of committing insurgency,
sabotage, terrorism and banditry.
The prosecution completely self-destructed in the High Court as Hitschmann,
its star witness, turned out to be a witness who didn't see anything.
Hitschmann, a Mutare based arms dealer, lined up by the AG as one of the key
witnesses in the high profile trial of Bennett, completely shredded the AG's
case to pieces, professing ignorance of the State's alleged plot mounted by
Bennett and him to create a military cell with a view to toppling President
Robert Mugabe, working in cahoots with Bennett.
Bennett, who was named deputy Agriculture Minister last February but who was
arrested shortly before the new Zimbabwe Cabinet was sworn in, faces charges
of being found in possession of military weapons with the intention of
committing insurgency, sabotage, terrorism and banditry. The charges are
punishable by a death sentence or life in prison.
Hitschmann, who prior to the trial of Bennett indicated he was not willing
to be a State witness on account of evidence being extracted from him
through torture back in 2006, was therefore a reluctant witness when put on
the stand by Attorney General Johannes Tomana. The AG is personally leading
the State case against Bennett.
But Hitschmann turned the tables on Tomana on Tuesday, seriously
embarrassing the top government law officer.
Asked by Tomana during cross examination how he knew Bennett, Hitschmann
said: "Yes, I know him. I first saw him on television and later when he was
at a public gathering addressing party supporters."
Bennett, looking immaculate in a dark blue suit, struggled to stifle giggles
as Hitschmann testified in the High Court.
Tomana then asked Hitschmann about emails which the State claims were
gleaned from his laptop; e-mails which the State claims reveal the plot by
Hitschmann and Bennett to commit terrorism.
Hitschmann completely disowned the e-mails.
"None of the contents were retrieved from my laptop in my presence or in the
presence of my legal counsel," Hitschmann said. "I don't know where they
Hitschmann, a German-born Zimbabwean, has already served a two-year prison
sentence in connection with the alleged plot, having been accused of trying
to create a military cell to topple President Mugabe.
A member of the army testified against him and around a dozen weapons,
mostly automatic firearms, and piles of ammunition were submitted as
evidence in court in Mutare. The same weapons were presented in court before
the Bennett trial adjourned last month. Hitschmann testified that the six
weapons that the State brought as evidence in the trial were not his. He
said he was miffed by the AG's assertions that the weapons belonged to him.
Hitschmann swore Bennett never discussed with him any plot to purchase
weapons. Hitschmann swore under oath that the charges against Bennett were
false. Hitschmann completely contradicted the State case during
And for a prosecution witness, this was unprecedented. Why would the AG make
up a story that contradicts his witness? Bennett's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa
had an answer.
"That is an army-procured statement. What legal basis is there to change it
to a witness's statement? The statement was made when he was an accused
facing conspiracy charges. During that time the prosecution did not indicate
that he had acted in common purpose with the accused."
Then there another twist in the trial - the prosecution applied to impeach
their own witness on the grounds that his testimony in court contradicted
his original statement which he gave to the police under duress back in
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, will make a determination Wednesday whether
impeachment procedure requested by the AG against Hitschmann can proceed.
by Own correspondents Wednesday 13 January 2010
HARARE - Zimbabwe's High Court will decide today whether to allow the
prosecution to impeach its star witness in the treason trial of a top aide
to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a bizarre twist in a case that has
stoked up tensions in the country's fragile unity government.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu will make a ruling whether the state followed court
rules and procedure when it moved Tuesday to impeach Peter Hitschmann, the
chief witness in the trial of Roy Bennett, a top official of Tsvangirai's
The state accuses Bennett of plotting to overthrow Mugabe and that he
supplied Hitschmann, a registered arms dealer, with cash to buy weapons to
be used to assassinate the veteran leader.
But when Attorney General (AG) Johannes Tomana yesterday called in
Hitschmann to testify the arms dealer distanced himself from a statement
that the state says he made upon his arrest in 2006 and which implicates
Bennett in the alleged plot to murder Mugabe.
Hitschmann, who last year publicly declared he was not going to testify
against Bennett claiming the police tortured him into signing the statement
implicating the MDC politician, also disowned some of the weapons police say
were found at his Mutare home and were part of the arsenal to be used in the
assassination of Mugabe.
Tomana, who took over prosecution of Bennett from his juniors saying the
matter was highly sensitive, immediately sought court permission to impeach
Hitschmann for non-cooperation.
"Impeachment procedures are meant to deal with an accused witness clearly
showing he is unfavourably indisposed to the state case in favour of the
defence," Tomana told the court.
The AG said he had presented to court the statement by Hitschmann - which
the gun dealer disowned - only as proof that the witness had changed sides
in favour of the accused.
He said: "We are not presenting these statements as evidence but we want to
prove to this honourable court that Hitschmann is proving to be a favourable
witness to the accused (Bennett). What we want to prove is the existence of
the statements and whether the witness was aware of them."
However prominent Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, acting for Bennett in the
matter, accused Tomana of flouting impeachment rules and of relying on
statements and evidence obtained "under traumatic and unfriendly"
circumstances - a reference to claims by Hitschmann that he was tortured by
The state's case against Bennett hinges on proving that guns and other
weapons found at the home of Hitschmann were intended for use to assassinate
Mugabe and that they were bought with money supplied by the MDC man.
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.
Bennett faces a possible death sentence if found guilty, a scenario that
could trigger collapse of Mugabe and Tsvangirai's shaky coalition
government. - ZimOnline
Harare, January 13, 2010 - Some civic society members and Movement for
Democratic Change supporters on Tuesday took the bull by its horns and faced
rowdy war vets who had attempted to disrupt a constitutional thematic
meeting, telling them that Zimbabwe belonged to everyone including those who
did not participate in the liberation war that brought about Zimbabwe's
independence in 1980.
War veterans on Tuesday had attempted to disrupted a constitutional thematic
meeting and threatened to beat up civic society members attending the
meeting at Rainbow Towers Hotel.
Major Cairo Mhandu, a war veteran chairing the meeting, started chanting
Zanu PF slogans while raising a clinched fist, protesting to the idea that
the meeting start with a prayer. This situation did not go well with the
other thematic members who fiercely complained leading to the clash.The war
vets began chanting slogans and singing revolutionary songs.
The war veterans argued that they fought for Zimbabwe and had the right to
dictate what they wanted at the thematic meeting. "We do not want
civilians to contribute to our affairs..." shouted the war veterans.
The civic society and MDC supporters advanced to the top table to face the
chair Mhandu and other three war veterans and told them that Zimbabwe was
not theirs alone.
"You are crazy, this country belongs to us all and this time we are not
going to tolerate you. We are in a new Zimbabwe different from what you used
to do in the previous years," said a youthful guy from the MDC.
The havoc was calmed by ZANU-PF chairman for the Parliamentary constitution
select committee, Paul Mangwana who was quickly summoned to intervene.
"Cdes the liberation of Zimbabwe is not about the political parties, because
there were many people who died during the war for this country who were not
Zanu PF only," said Mangwana. "Zimbabwe is not for Zanu PF but a country for
Zimbabweans. Let us desist from party sloganeering during this process and
debate meaningfully for we are crafting a constitution for the generations
to come. I don't want to hear any noise and let's stick to business. I am
ordering that the meeting should start without either a prayer or anything
else," said Mangwana before ordering self styled war veteran Joseph
Chinotimba to "shut up" and obey to his directive.
Chinotimba was not part of the war veterans' thematic committee but had
jumped in after hearing that his colleagues were engaged in a dispute.
The parliament select committee on the Constitution formed 17 thematic
committees comprising members from different organizations and back grounds.
The members who are being trained will be responsible for gathering people's
views on the new constitution of Zimbabwe, which will see fresh elections in
the country, which has battled with political and economic stability for the
Addressing delegates from the civic society who were gathered for the
training programme that will go for consultations on the constitution on
Monday, Justice Ben Sathlayo said there shall be no political party
sloganeering or wearing of political party regalia during the whole
constitution making process by out reach members.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
By Felex Share
Schools opened for the first term yesterday with most teachers reporting for
duty, but insisting they will only conduct lessons after getting formal
communication on how much they will be earning from their unions.
Civil servants, including teachers, last week demanded a US$600 monthly
A survey by The Herald in and around Harare showed that teachers reported
for duty but were awaiting the outcome of yesterday's meeting between
Government and civil servants' representatives over salaries.
"As you can see, we are here but we are not going to teach until we are told
what to do by our leaders from our unions.
"What we want is an increment and it is high time Government does something
for us before it's too late," said a teacher at Zimbiru Secondary School in
At most schools in Goromonzi and Seke, teachers reported for duty, but said
they would conduct lessons only after Government increased their salaries
Most teachers in Harare said they were considering staying at home until the
Government awarded them adequate salaries.
At Kuwadzana and Mufakose high schools, teachers reported for duty but said
they would be in a position to teach after Government announced a salary
"We will just come and sit in here until Government pays us decent salaries.
I am earning US$150 a month and I have to pay bills amounting to about
US$500; how does Government expect us to survive?" said a teacher at
Kuwadzana High School.
At Mabelreign Girls' High School, lessons began in earnest with teachers
saying they would teach as long as parents paid them incentives.
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Mr Raymond
Majongwe yesterday confirmed his members had reported for duty, but were not
conducting lessons and urged them to continue reporting for duty while their
representative bodies mapped the way forward.
However, Mr Majongwe said although it was too late to engage the Government
in negotiations since the 2010 National Budget had already been presented,
they wanted Government to address their plight for the benefit of the
"Government must realise the importance and urgency of solving our problem
now . . . We have gone for more than a decade without meaningful salaries
and we cannot continue like this," said Mr Majongwe.
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe president Mr Lovemore Mufamba said they had been
patient for a long time and only a salary increment agreeable to them would
motivate them to conduct lessons.
"To our members, we are saying we have waited for the whole year and we want
nothing short of an increment this month," said Mr Mufamba.
Parents and teachers in rural areas have called on the Government to scrap
incentives by paying the educators adequately.
Teachers in rural areas argued that the incentives had created inequalities
in the education sector as it benefited only those in urban areas.
"We are failing to raise school fees so where does one think extra money to
pay teachers would come from? It is Government's sole responsibility to pay
teachers not communal farmers like us," said Mrs Memory Makusha of
by Simplicious Chirinda Wednesday 13 January 2010
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday reported a fresh
outbreak of anthrax in some parts of the country.
Veterinary Services director Stewart Hargreaves told ZimOnline that his
department has recorded fresh reports of an outbreak of the deadly livestock
"There has been an outbreak over the past two weeks. The outbreak has been
recorded in Chegutu, Karoi, Kadoma and Chinhoyi," said Hargreaves. "The
situation is under control, there is no need to panic because anthrax is a
common disease. It's in the soil."
While Zimbabwe experiences periodic outbreaks of anthrax especially during
the rainy season veterinary experts say the high incidence of outbreaks in
recent years is partly fuelled by lawlessness and chaos in the farming
sector where hardliner supporters of President Robert Mugabe have continued
"The disease is made worse by the constant movement of livestock on farms
because of continuing invasions," the Commercial Farmers Union said in a
statement last week. The union represents the country's few remaining white
Anthrax is a soil-borne disease that infects livestock and can easily spread
to people if they eat meat from infected livestock.
The disease is normally recorded during the rainy season when sprouting
grass brings out the bacteria from soil.
The anthrax outbreak comes at a time Zimbabwe's government is battling to
rebuild the national herd that was severely depleted by droughts and a
chaotic land reform exercise that began a decade ago. - ZimOnline
A Harare training session for outreach workers was disrupted by war veterans
singing revolutionary songs and demonstrating despite instructions from
organizers not to engage in partisan displays
Irwin Chifera, Brenda Moyo & Gibbs Dube | Washington 12 January 2010
Zimbabwe's constitutional revision process hit another small bump Tuesday as
a training session in Harare for outreach workers was disrupted by
liberation war veterans singing revolutionary songs and demonstrating
despite instructions from organizers not to engage in such displays of
VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Harare that the 1970s
war veterans also changed slogans of the former ruling ZANU-PF party of
President Robert Mugabe, injecting an overtly political note.
But constitutional outreach worker Melissa Ndlovu of Bulawayo told VOA
Studio 7 reporter Brenda Moyo that the process is going well.
Elsewhere, the Zimbabwe National Students Union or ZINASU has split into two
factions, one backing the constitutional process led by a select
parliamentary committee, the other opposing it.
The newly-elected ZINASU leadership headed by Joshua Chinyere said it will
mobilize 300,000 students to take part in the process, with hundreds already
recruited to urge students to contribute their views on the constitution.
ZINASU Spokesman Mfundo Mlilo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the
organization resolved last month in an annual congress to fully involve
itself in in the constitution-making process to protect the right of
Zimbabwean students to education, among other fundamental issues.
But a rival ZINASU formation led by former president Clever Bere said it
does not support the current constitutional revision process.
The grouping's spokesman, Blessing Vava, contended that this position was
adopted last year in cooperation with the National Constitution Assembly,
which leads the opposition to the constitutional redrafting process, and the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the main trade union confederation.
ADB Southern Region Operations Director Abdirahman Beileh urged the
so-called inclusive government in Harare to adhere to the unity pact and
embrace sound macro-economic policies
Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 12 January 2010
A senior official of the African Development Bank said Tuesday that Zimbabwe
is on the right track to economic recovery, but to achieve continued
progress the the Global Political Agreement for power sharing must be
implemented in full.
In an exclusive interview with VOA, ADB Southern Region Operations Director
Abdirahman Beileh urged the so-called inclusive government in Harare to
adhere to the unity pact and embrace sound macro-economic policies.
Due in Harare this week for meetings with government officials, Beileh said
the bank has begun to make market-interest-rate loans to Harare under its
Fragile States Facility. But he said full lending can only resume once
Zimbabwe has cleared arrears of US$400 million. The country owes hundreds of
millions more to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
"Zimbabwe indicators point that there is a fragility element and therefore,
they have been getting funds that are put aside for fragile states," Beilah
told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo. "The country has a lot of
arrears and we have to discuss with them how they can be funded."
He said while Zimbabwe has further to go, the future is bright if the
government respects the unity agreement and pursues sound macro-economic
Since its inception in February 2009, the unity government has been troubled
on a regular basis by disagreements between President Robert Mugabe's
ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai over alleged breaches of the power-sharing agreement.
The ADB sent a team of experts to Harare in May to work with government on
macro-economic stabilization, public finance, policy development and the
rehabilitation of infrastructure, among other tasks.
Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch said Harare is doing many of the right
things, but non-fulfillment of the GPA remains a major concern.
PM Tsvangirai's party said the divisive issue of continuing takeovers of
white-owned commercial farms under the guise of land reform might be added
to the other outstanding issues under discussion in Harare
Blessing Zulu | Washington 12 January 2010
The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai said Tuesday that it may ask the Southern African
Development Community to intervene to halt farm invasions in the country.
The party said the divisive issue of the continuing takeovers of white-owned
commercial farms under the guise of land reform might be added to the other
outstanding issues under discussion between the Tsvangirai MDC and the
former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.
The smaller MDC formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is also
involved in the talks, but Mr. Tsvangirai's former opposition party and
ZANU-PF are the main protagonists in the long-running dispute.
The outstanding issues include Mr. Mugabe's unilateral appointments of the
attorney general and the central bank chief in late 2008, following the
signature of a Global Political Agreement for power sharing but before the
unity government was put in place in February 2009.
The latest wave of takeovers of about 150 remaining white-owned commercial
farms is said to be directed by ZANU-PF ministers, ZANU-PF aligned militia,
the Defense Forces and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Before Mr. Mugabe
launched land reform in 2000 there were more than 4,000 white-owned farms
which formed the backbone of the key agricultural sector.
Attorney General Johannes Tomana says the farmers being targeted are those
who have resisted eviction. Tomana and the ZANU-PF side of the "inclusive"
government have disregarded a decision in favor of scores of the farmers
issued by the Southern African Development Community tribunal in late 2008.
Tomana denied that the latest farm takeovers are fresh invasions.
A report by the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union says more
than 66,000 farm workers have lost their homes since the government was
formed 11 months ago and are struggling for survival.
Mr. Tsvangirai and Mutambara have tried to end the takeovers through an
inter-ministerial committee and the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee established to oversee GPA compliance, but to little avail.
Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation told VOA Studio 7
reporter Blessing Zulu that the latest invasions are of serious concern and
have the effect of discouraging much-needed foreign direct investment.
Minister of State Didymus Mutasa in Mr. Mugabe's office said an MDC appeal
to SADC will make no difference as land reform will continue.
by Lizwe Sebatha Wednesday 13 January 2010
BULAWAYO - A serious shortage of fertilizer has hit Zimbabwe's farming
sector sparking fears of another poor harvest in a country that has
experienced acute food shortages for most of the past decade, a farmers'
organisation said on Monday.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) vice president Berean Mukwende told ZimOnline
that Ammonium Nitrate (AN) fertilizer - a key requirement in maize
production - is scarce in the country and urged the government to urgently
import some to avert disaster.
"Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer is in short supply in the country and if no
measures are put, farmers risk producing poor yields," Mukwende said,
adding; "The crops are at wilting stage and the challenge that farmers are
faced with to protect their crops is the shortage of the Ammonium Nitrate
Agriculture Minister Herbert Murerwa was unavailable for comment on the
Another poor farming season would have devastating effects on the country
which has been hoping for better fortunes after years of poor harvests
blamed on poor policies by President Robert Mugabe's previous administration
which dragged the country into endless food shortages since the turn of the
millennium following the veteran leader's controversial farm seizure
The chaotic and often violent land reforms which started in 2000 displaced
established white commercial farmers and replaced them with either
incompetent or inadequately funded black farmers resulting in dramatic fall
in food production.
Mugabe, who says the land reform exercise was necessary to correct a
colonial land ownership system that reserved the best land for whites and
banished blacks to poor soils in arid regions, denies his land reforms are
to blame for hunger in Zimbabwe that was once a regional breadbasket.
The veteran leader instead blames poor weather and Western sanctions he says
have hampered importation of fertilizers, seed, and other farming inputs. -
Published: 2010/01/13 06:29:06 AM
CIVIL rights group AfriForum launched an urgent application in the North
Gauteng High Court yesterday to protect the property rights of South African
farmers facing land seizures in Zimbabwe.
The application is the first step in trying to get a key Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) tribunal ruling on property rights registered
A successful outcome this week could pave the way for farmers whose
properties were seized without compensation to attach assets in SA belonging
to the Zimbabwean government, AfriForum's legal representative, Willie
Spies, said yesterday.
The Sadc tribunal in Windhoek has ruled that Zimbabwe's 2005 constitutional
amendment allowing the seizure of white-owned farms without compensation
violated international law. Last June, Zimbabwe was ordered to pay evicted
farmers and protect the property rights of those still on their farms, but
Harare does not recognise the decision.
AfriForum wants the Sadc ruling enforced in SA. But to cite Zimbabwe as a
respondent it must first get permission from the North Gauteng High Court,
which could then direct a summons to be served via diplomatic channels.
Acting Judge Neil Tuchten questioned his jurisdiction in the matter
yesterday, prompting AfriForum to request a postponement to present more
detailed heads of argument, Spies said. The case was set down for today.
Continuing farm invasions undermine the credibility of Zimbabwe's 2008
power-sharing agreement , hampering efforts to raise reconstruction funds.
South African farmers in Zimbabwe had hoped a North Gauteng High Court
settlement in November and a bilateral investment protection treaty signed
soon after would halt evictions.
The treaty only protects tenure rights of existing and future investments,
but the court settlement between the Department of Trade and Industry and
farmer Louis Fick bound the South African government to honour the Sadc
Fick, a South African citizen farming in eastern Zimbabwe, who was a
co-applicant in the Sadc tribunal case, faces up to two years in jail for
defying an order to vacate his farm. He is also a co- applicant in the
The bilateral treaty appears to offer little protection to existing South
African investments in Zimbabwe. Yesterday, Zimbabwe's commercial farmers'
union said three farmers forced to abandon their properties in December and
January were covered by the treaty.
AfriForum said Zimbabwe had stepped up it s "land-grabbing programme" since
the treaty was signed, prompting a request to the South African government
to use its provisions to protect their property rights. "But the South
African government has indicated (the treaty) first has to be ratified by
the Zimbabwean Parliament before this can happen."
Farmers' union AgriSA estimates 500 South Africans have lost properties in
Zimbabwe since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe launched his controversial
Farm seizures have been blamed for Zimbabwe's meltdown, the destruction of
investor confidence in property rights and the disruption of its
agriculture- based economy.
But a recent study by a SA- based think-tank shows there have been gains,
including improved livelihoods for thousands of smallholders resettled from
crowded communal areas, and good yields reported by some commercial farmers
on redistributed estates.
THE inclusive government faces the prospect of a debilitating civil service
strike after negotiations over salary increments ended in a deadlock on
Tuesday with unions rejecting as an insult the Harare administration's offer
The government indicated it could afford US$236 per month for the highest
paid workers who would include Permanent secretaries but the offer was given
short shrift by unions representing civil servants.
Most civil servants are currently paid between US$155 and US$180 and unions
are demanding a minimum of between US$500 and US$600 with effect from
Public Service Association President, Cecilia Alexander and Zimbabwe
Teachers' Association (ZIMTA) head, Tendayi Chikowore confirmed the
stand-off describing the government offer as inadequate.
"The talks didn't go well because of what Government offered. It was a
paltry increment which we felt is an insult to civil servants.
"Government offered us far below what we expected even for an ordinary
citizen. It is a mockery to the civil servants who have endured poverty for
a long time," Alexander told the state-owned Herald newspaper.
Teachers, who want a minimum monthly salary of US$600, have already
threatened to go on strike if their wage demands are not met while the rest
of the civil service is also considering a job action if conditions of
services are not reviewed in line with the country's poverty datum line.
Figures released by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe show that a family of
six now needs about US$500 to survive each month.
Zimta President, Tendayi Chikowore said the association is now consulting
its members before deciding on the next course of action.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Monday civil servants salaries have
already been approved by Parliament through the 2010 National Budget.
"Changing the approved budget would translate into breaking the law, which
we will try by all means to avoid," he said.
Minister Biti allocated US$600 million of the US$1.4 billion National Budget
to cover the civil service salary bill for the whole year.
13 January 2010
Harare - NEGOTIATIONS between Government and civil servants' representatives
on salaries under the National Joint Negotiating Council ended in a
stalemate yesterday after the Government offered US$236 for the highest paid
worker, which the unions have rejected.
Permanent secretaries are the highest paid civil servants followed by
In separate interviews after the meeting which lasted about two hours,
Public Service Association president Mrs Cecilia Alexander and Zimbabwe
Teachers' Association president Mrs Tendayi Chikowore confirmed the deadlock
and called for a joint Press conference today on the way forward.
They described the increment offered by the Govern-ment as paltry and an
insult to the civil servants.
Teachers and the majority of civil servants are currently earning between
US$155 and US$180 a month depending on grade.
Unions representing civil servants went into yesterday's meeting demanding a
minimum salary of between US$500 and US$600 with effect from this month.
Recently, civil servants threatened to down tools if their salaries were not
reviewed upwards in line with the Poverty Datum Line.
The PDL is estimated at around US$500.
"The talks didn't go well because of what Government offered. It was a
paltry increment which we felt is an insult to civil servants," Mrs
Alexander said last night.
"Government offered us far below what we expected even for an ordinary
citizen. It is a mockery to the civil servants who have endured poverty for
a long time."
She wondered how the Government expected their members to survive on such
figures, which were a far cry from those in the private sector.
"Government continues to widen the gap between civil servants and the
private sector. Civil servants deserve to send their children to school but
Government has continued to devalue our service. How can Government offer
US$236 to its highest paid employee?" queried Mrs Alexander.
Mrs Chikowore said the Government offer was most likely to be rejected by
the workers they represent.
She said it was now up to the workers themselves to come up with a way
"Government has rejected our proposals that we sent to them and their
increment is insignificant.
"We are spreading the word on what Government has offered to our unions
before we address a Press conference tomorrow (today).
"We represent workers and we feel it's high time Government rewards them for
their patience and endurance," Mrs Chikowore said.
Efforts to get a comment from Government's representative in the
negotiations, Mr Prince Mupazviriho, were fruitless as his mobile phone was
not reachable last night.
Mr Mupazviriho, who is the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth
Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, is the team leader on the
Government side while Mrs Chikowore represented workers in the Apex Council.
On Monday Finance Minister Tendai Biti said salaries had already been
approved by Parliament through the 2010 National Budget.
Minister Biti allocated US$600 million of the US$1,4 billion National Budget
to cover the civil service salary bill for the whole year.
The bill will gobble up 63 percent of the Budget for about 236 000
"Parliament has already approved the civil servants' salaries through the
National Budget in terms of the law," said Minister Biti.
"Parliament is mandated by the law to approve the Budget as part of their
oversight role over public finances and they determine what we spend.
"Changing the approved budget would translate to breaking the law, which we
will try by all means to avoid."
At the moment, Minister Biti said, there was no little room for manoeuvre
unless there "is sponsorship of some sort otherwise if the salaries are to
continue coming from Treasury alone then we will not be able to change
By: JO-MARÉ DUDDY
ZIMBABWE will honour its US$40 million power deal with Namibia as long as
its Hwange power station has enough capacity, but will no longer import
electricity from other sources to supply NamPower with 150 megawatts every
day, the country's Energy Minister, Elias Mudzuri, said yesterday.
Speaking to The Namibian from Harare, Mudzuri confirmed a report by the
independent news agency ZimOnline that he had ordered the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) to stop exporting energy to Namibia from
any other source but Hwange.
That does not mean that Zimbabwe will cut Namibia off completely, he
stressed. When Hwange has power, Namibia will get it, he said. "Like today.
Hwange has enough power, 370 megawatts. So Namibia gets its share," Mudzuri
Since 2007, when NamPower and Zesa entered into a nearly N$300 million
agreement to refurbish Hwange in exchange for 150 megawatts for Namibia
daily, there have been times when the power station was completely "shut
down" though, he told the newspaper.
Zimbabwe then had to import the necessary power from the Cahora Bassa
hydroelectric plant in Mozambique, only to export it to Namibia again.
"I was importing it at six cents (a unit) and exporting it at 2,7 cents. I
ran up arrears of hundreds of millions," Mudzuri said.
In future, all power exported to Namibia must therefore come from Hwange,
and only from Hwange.
"The deal was for Hwange only," he said.
The ZimOnline report, posted by newswires including the Namibia Press Agency
(Nampa), sent shock waves through the local energy sector yesterday morning.
Mines and Energy Permanent Secretary Joseph Iita told The Namibian he was
totally unaware of the report, but that he would be "extremely surprised" if
Zimbabwe cut power to Namibia. NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba
was equally in the dark when approached by The Namibian.
Shilamba later spoke to the paper again, saying that no-one he had contacted
in Government or at Zesa had any knowledge of such an arrangement. Neither
did the Zimbabwean High Commissioner to Namibia, Chipo Zindoga."We are still
receiving power from Zesa, 150 megawatts, 24/7," Shilamba said, slamming the
ZimOnline report as damaging and alarming.
Zesa last year agreed with the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to invest
US$8 million in the rundown Bulawayo thermal power station, also in exchange
for power. Mudzuri told The Namibian the same arrangement that applied to
Namibia would also apply to Botswana. As NamPower will now only receive
power from Hwange, the BPC will only receive electricity from Bulawayo.
NamPower's Chief Operations Officer, Bertholdt Mbuere ua Mbuere, told Nampa
the agreement between the local power utility and Zesa is a commercial one,
and that the cancellation of such an agreement would carry penalties.
Addressing the media last month, Shilamba said the first half of 2010 "will
be critical for Namibia as Eskom will be hosting the 2010 World Cup. "We
have pledged our support to Eskom and will honour that commitment in all
respects, including the expectation to optimise local resources and ease the
burden on Eskom," he said.
Gutu, January 13, 2010- A chief here has declared a two weeks of mourning
for his dead father during which villagers will not be allowed to attend
their fields and has also demanded a payment of R 20 per household as
donations towards the funeral, threatening those who fail with eviction from
Chief Phineas Makore is a staunch Zanu PF supporter.
Some villagers have since taken the matter to their legislator Professor
Mkonoweshuro who assured them that they will not be prosecuted.
“I told them last week that they will not be prosecuted for not donating. I
assured them that we will not just watch while their rights are being
violated,” said the lawyer.
“We were forced to go with groceries at the funeral and each household was
ordered to bring at least 20 kgs of maize and R20 or US$ 2," said a
villager. He said those who failed had been threatened with eviction from
“Known Zanu PF youths who were terrorizing us during election time were sent
to collect the money from every member of the society. They were taking
villagers' chickens if they failed to give cash. We just did that because we
were afraid but we do not have money and we did not expect to be forced to
contribute for the burial. It is even shocking that we shall not be working
in our fields as the next two weeks were declared weeks of mourning,” said
“I am mourning my late father, I have nothing to tell the press, I am sorry
I am just out of the mood to comment,” said Chief Makore to Radio VOP.
By Moses Muchemwa
Published: January 13, 2010
Bulawayo (ZimEye) – Over 100 families aligned to Zanu-PF have been evicted
from Tshabalala Sanctuary – a Bulawayo City Council farm following a court
order to remove the illegal settlers.
The families were allocated pieces of land by Zanu-PF official in Bulawayo,
Lilian Kandemiri under a haphazard land reform programme.
Council rangers and police descended on the settlers Monday and Tuesday,
torching their houses and destroyed crops.
The illegal settlers were ferried to various destinations where they were
dumped by council authorities.
The farm was not acquired by President Robert Mugabe’s regime for
resettlement and remained council property.
Council was granted an order to evict the squatters by the High Court
towards the end of last year.
During the eviction, council officials were seen loading the illegal
settlers and their belongings in council trucks. They were reportedly dumped
along Solusi Road.
“Gogo (Lilian Kandemiri) was taken by the police in the morning after she
was given a court order of eviction. She is in police custody now,” said a
settler who preferred anonymity.
“We don’t understand why our homes are being destroyed. She told us that
this was her land which she was given by Government but we are shocked to
hear that the land is within council jurisdiction.”
“Our livestock and crops would be left unattended here as the owners are
forcibly removed from the land. It was going to be better if the council
could bear with us until we harvest the crop, then we would vacate this
area,” she said.
Some of the illegal settlers came as far as Chinhoyi while others were said
to be from Gwanda.
“We thought the land was hers and she sold me a stand here about a year ago.
I have been living here ever since but now I have nowhere to go,” she said.
Another illegal settler said: “That lady should compensate us because she is
the reason our homes are being destroyed today. I want my money with which I
bought land from her.”
Local authority officials also erazed the home of Kandemiri, which the
settlers regarded as the “headquarters”.
Zanu-PF embarked on the chaotic land reform programme in 2000 and grabbed
farms from white commercial farmers, destroying the country’s backbone of
the economy – agriculture.
by Mutumwa Mawere Wednesday 13 January 2010
OPINION: Michael Jackson (MJ) is gone and yet his memory lives on. We all
observed the global response to MJ's death and if he were to rise from the
dead he would be pleasantly surprised by the surge in his popularity.
Although we all know that death is inevitable, we all would like to be
remembered for something. Some would like to be remembered through their
natural creations i.e. children while others stake their claim on heritage
through their actions.
I was born in country called Rhodesia and I was taught that colonialism
diverted, distorted and undermined an orderly native African civilization
History records that by the end of 1894, the territories over which the
British South Africa Company (BSAC), a company incorporated under the laws
of England in which Rhodes was the principal promoter, had concessions or
treaties that were privately negotiated at his instigation comprising an
area of 1 143 000 km² between the Limpopo River and Lake Tanganyika which
collectively was called Zambesia after the Zambezi River flowing through the
In May 1895, the name of the territory was officially changed to Rhodesia
reflecting Rhodes' popularity among the white settlers who had been using
the name unofficially since 1891.
In 1898, the southern part of the Zambezi was designated Southern Rhodesia
and the designation North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia were used from
1895 for the territory which later became Northern Rhodesia, then Zambia.
It's common cause that Rhodes and his associate Alfred Beit played a
critical role in the affairs of BSAC and Rhodesia. Rhodes died on 26 March
1902 and Alfred Beit on 16 July 1906.
Alfred Beit was the eldest son and second of six children of an affluent
Jewish trading family. He was born and brought up in Hamburg, Germany.
Rhodes was born in 1853 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. He was
the fifth some of Reverend Francis W Rhodes who was a Church of England
At 16 he left for South Africa to join his brother because his family and
not the imperial office thought the hot climate would improve his asthmatic
Beit made his first fortune in property speculation in Amsterdam before
being dispatched by his employer, Jules Porgès & Cie, the Amsterdam diamond
firm where he developed a talent for examining stones.
Beit and Rhodes never married and did not have any children but left
Many of us believe that the true purpose of life is to reproduce and to
leave successor generations with an inheritance. We all want to live forever
if not in flesh but through our successors.
In 49 years of his existence on earth, Rhodes managed to leave traces that
he once lived and some of his artificial children (companies) are still in
existence, albeit, under the control of people not related to him.
We all want to own things and be permanently attached to material things but
human life does not give us the permanency that would permit ownership of
When we talk of African heritage, there are many who believe that it should
be exclusively reserved for capturing the experiences of native black
Some would say, for example, that land and minerals should and must belong
to indigenous people while others would see in the contribution of Rhodes
and Beit an extension and fulfillment of God's promise to Africa.
The two gentlemen were not born in Africa but managed to expose African
minerals to the world and in so doing attracted the kind of human capital
that was necessary to find and exploit God's creation, minerals, for the
promotion of human development.
Inheritance plays a critical part in human development and in encouraging
accumulation of wealth. We work hard in life fully knowing that that there
is nothing we will take with us when we die.
The only comfort is that the law provides a framework for inheritance so
that our preferences in life can be respected in terms of passing on
property, titles, debts and obligations.
The rules of inheritance differ between societies and have changed over
When Rhodes died in 1902, it was Beit who assumed control of his enormous
Beit had to step in to help control the estate and it is not so obvious that
had the estate been placed under the control of Rhodes' own natural family
it would have been secure and enduring.
After his death, it was Rhodes' trusted associates and friends who invested
in keeping the flame of his legacy glowing.
Beit also never married and had no children. He died at Tewin Water in
Tewin, Hertfordshire after seeing a rapid deterioration in his health.
Like Rhodes, Beit used his wealth to pursue as a private initiative Rhodes'
dream of creating a British empire in new territories to the north of South
Africa by obtaining mineral concessions using a carrot and stick approach.
Beit needed Rhodes who used his connections with the British government's
local representatives, the British Commissioners, to cut deals that would
then provide the required moral security and ideological justification for
franchising resources to enterprising individuals like Beit.
Without people like Beit, with financial engineering expertise, imperial
expansion would not have extended beyond the Limpopo River.
Rhodes held a view that the Colonial Office should not interfere with his
project. He wanted to benefit from the protection of the Colonial Office
without any financial obligations to the Imperial Administration.
He had a model that was cash liquid and through him the project was
Rhodes' companies and agents cemented these advantages by obtaining many
mining concessions, as exemplified by the Rudd and Lochner Concessions.
No one can doubt that Rhodes' model ensured that he would even in death
decide how his wealth was to be administered and deployed.
Both Rhodes and Beit's wills were instructive. They were more philanthropic
in death than what they were perceived to be in life.
Would Africa been better off without people like Rhodes and Beit? This is a
question that we need to answer honestly and frankly.
As we continue the debate in 2010, hopefully we will be able to negotiate a
model that should work to secure Africa's future.
Rhodes' model was premised on private initiative that ensured private wealth
accumulation fully knowing that in life even rich people cannot fully
exhaust the wealth they generated through enterprise.
Rhodes left a legacy that has seen more than 4 500 people being educated
through the Rhodes scholarship initiative.
We need to begin documenting the impact of Randlords on Africa so that we
can better appreciate the kind of mind that informed their actions.
To the extent that the efforts of Rhodes and Beit produced wealth that
remains unimaginable in most native minds, we have a lot to learn from their
experiences and the choices they made.
How many of us would write a will that seeks to benefit people we despise in
life or are not related to us? - ZimOnline