Staff Reporter 23 hours 38 minutes ago
The principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) have met in Harare
this Monday to review ways of addressing national needs of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) and to discuss progress made by the Special
Cabinet Committee on the constitution-making process.
In a statement, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Acting Spokesperson,
William Bango said the committee is expected to meet on Tuesday to complete
its work and submit a report to the political leaders in the GPA.
He said the Ministry of Finance has committed to disburse US$2 million to
ZEC as government intensifies efforts to mobilise additional resources.
The leaders want the process speeded up so that the 18 July 2012 draft
constitution can be taken to a referendum as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the GPA facilitation team says it is committed to the completion
of the constitution and awaits the final report from deliberations currently
South African facilitation team spokesperson, Lindiwe Zulu, who is also the
International Relations Adviser to South African President Jacob Zuma, told
the ZBC News that there has been constant feedback with the negotiators.
Zulu said her team awaits the final report from the committee tasked to deal
with the constitution after the 2nd All Stakeholders’ Conference held
between the 21st and 23rd of October last year.
“There has been some work that the committee is working on since the 2nd all
stakeholders. We are in constant contact with the negotiators,” she said.
The parties are reported to have been engaged over sticking issues in the
COPAC draft constitution while the nation awaits the completion of the
document which should be tabled for a referendum.
If the document is adopted, the country is expected to hold elections under
the new supreme law although the delays do not stop Zimbabwe from going to
the polls using the Lancaster House constitution.
There are chances that there could be a breakthrough soon following
indications that Copac co-chairpersons had found common ground on five of
the remaining six issues.
It is now up to the Cabinet committee to deliberate on the Copac
co-chairpersons’ recommendations. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was
asked by the other principals to issue a statement on the matter yesterday,
confirmed the development.
“On the constitution-making process, the leaders acknowledged the progress
made by the special Cabinet committee, including the Copac co-chairpersons,”
said PM Tsvangirai.
“In this regard, the political leaders will be meeting on Thursday to
receive a report from the committee. Meanwhile, the committee is expected to
meet tomorrow, Tuesday, and if necessary on Wednesday to complete their work
and submit a report to the political leaders.”
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara concurred: “We emphasised that
Wednesday is the Cabinet committee’s deadline and beyond Wednesday their
mandate is finished as the principals we will be taking over the process.
“We have made a decision as principals that the Cabinet committee should
complete its work by Wednesday and submit the report. We are not going to
extend the deadline,” he said.
A member of the committee and Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa confirmed the development yesterday.
“They (principals) met today (yesterday) and directed that the Cabinet
committee submits their report to them by Wednesday,” said Minister
Chinamasa. “The principals will then meet on Thursday to deliberate on that
report. So in the meantime, the Cabinet committee has been instructed to
finalise their deliberations by Wednesday.”
Copac co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora recently said as co-chairpersons
they reached consensus on devolution, national prosecuting authority,
executive authority, national peace and reconciliation commission but failed
to agree on the issue of running mates.
Minister Chinamasa said they were going to receive the Copac report today
when they meet so that they could deliberate on it.
Meanwhile, PM Tsvangirai said together with President Mugabe and DPM
Mutambara, discussed ways to solve the financial needs of the Zimbabwe
He said the Ministry of Finance had made a commitment to immediately
disburse US$2 million to ZEC as government intensifies efforts to mobilise
by Staff Reporter
THE MDC has threatened to take “appropriate action” after party leader,
Welshman Ncube, was excluded from Monday’s meeting of party leaders where
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai discussed the
stalled constitutional reform process.
In a statement Tuesday, the MDC said the exclusion of Ncube was a violation
of the “SADC resolution (at a recent meeting in Mozambique) which clearly
states that Ncube is one of the Principals”.
“We know that this is a deliberate ploy to shut Ncube out as he is the only
voice of legal reason and refuses to be arm twisted into ridiculous
compromises around critical areas which include the devolution clause,” the
“He is the only leader who has stood firm against Zanu PF’s endless attempts
to snatch control of the constitution making process and referendum, unlike
some and for that he is being muzzled.”
Mugabe and Tsvangirai were joined by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
to discuss the stalled constitutional reform process as well as funding for
the registration of voters ahead of elections this year.
Ncube and Mutambara are fighting for the leadership of the MDC with the
deputy premier challenging his ouster as party president at the Supreme
The regional SADC grouping decided at a meeting in Maputo last year that its
mediation team would deal with Ncube but Mutambara retains his post in
government and continues to attend meetings of the GPA leaders.
Said the MDC: “(Ncube has) been excluded from these meetings time and again
and we see this as a gross violation of the SADC resolution which clearly
states that Ncube is one of the Principals.
“We would like to state it on record that we will take appropriate action.”
The party said the side-lining of its leader as down to “those whose new
found comfort within the spaces created by the GPA, has compromised their
desire for real change that will deliver a fair and just Zimbabwe, built on
a constitution which gives real power to the people.”
Meanwhile, the GPA leaders warned after Monday’s meeting that they would
take over the constitutional reform process if a Cabinet committee appointed
to bridge differences between the parties failed to reach a deal.
Issues holding the process back include devolution, national prosecuting
authority, executive authority as well as running mates for Presidential
The committee was told to present its report Wednesday with the leaders set
to meet on Thursday to thrash the way forward.
“We emphasised that Wednesday is the Cabinet committee’s deadline and beyond
Wednesday their mandate is finished as the principals we will be taking over
the process,” Mutambara said.
“We have made a decision as principals that the Cabinet committee should
complete its work by Wednesday and submit the report. We are not going to
extend the deadline.”
By Tichaona Sibanda
15 January 2013
Despite a hopeful breakthrough in the COPAC talks to finalize the drafting
of a new constitution, negotiations by a cabinet committee on Tuesday ended
without a deal.
The cabinet committee was expected to ratify proposals recommended by the
three COPAC co-chairmen, who last week reported progress from their talks to
overcome differences holding up the finalization of the country’s new
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-chair, told SW Radio
Africa the latest talks to remove the one remaining obstacle to the process
proved elusive, after ZANU PF brought back issues already agreed to by the
It was assumed the meeting on Tuesday would tentatively ratify the four
issues the co-chairs thrashed out in the last two weeks. The co-chairs met
on four occasions during the festive season and provisionally managed to
iron out everything, with the exception of the issue of running mates.
During their meetings the co-chairs had bridged the differences on chapters
dealing with the devolution of power, national prosecuting authority, peace
and reconciliation commission and land committee.
‘We went into today’s (Tuesday) meeting specifically to deal with the one
remaining issue of running mates but for some strange reason Patrick
Chinamasa decided to re-open the other issues that we dealt with weeks ago,’
Mwonzora said. Chinamasa is the chief negotiator representing the former
ruling ZANU PF party.
‘Instead of trying to make progress, Chinamasa was only filibustering,
simply making empty arguments that wouldn’t stop. From his intransigency it
was clear ZANU PF do not want a new constitution,’ a furious Mwonzora
The Nyanga North MP explained that the cabinet committee will meet again on
Wednesday as suggested by the principals to try and resolve the contentious
issues. Following the principals’ meeting on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara said they gave the committee a Wednesday deadline and
beyond that, their mandate will be over, as the principals will be taking
over the process.
‘Yes we are meeting again tomorrow (Wednesday) but we don’t expect any
different attitude from Chinamasa. This committee is not serious…it’s not
producing results,’ he said.
Mwonzora confirmed the COPAC chairs will send their resolutions, adopted
from their meetings during the festive season, to the principals on
The cabinet committee is expected to send theirs. Chairman Eric Matinenga,
the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, will explain in
detail the issues still be resolved.
Mwonzora denied reports that the GPA parties were ready to abandon the
process and instead work to amend the Lancaster House constitution and come
up with Amendment 20, which incorporates all the agreed issues from the
‘That is absolute rubbish, we don’t accept amendment 20. The people of
Zimbabwe said they wanted a new constitution and that is what they will get,
despite delaying tactics by ZANU PF,’ he added.
Blessing Vava, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) spokesman, said
COPAC should admit that they’ve failed to produce a constitution.
‘They should admit their failure and instead of wasting time, government
should now make efforts to produce reforms that can endure a free and fair
‘It’s a shame they’re still trying to resuscitate a process long declared
dead. These parties have taken the people of Zimbabwe for granted, all they
want now are reforms that would allow the country to have violent free
election and deal with the constitution later,’ Vava said.
by Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S three main parties appear set to abandon their commitment to a
new constitution before elections following insurmountable disagreements,
New Zimbabwe.com can reveal.
Instead, Zanu PF and the two MDC factions are now seriously considering
amending the current Lancaster House Constitution – an admission the US$42
million exercise to draft a new constitution is doomed.
The plan to introduce Amendment 20, giving effect to areas of agreement
between the parties, was revealed by Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary
general Tendai Biti in London last Friday.
Biti told an investment conference the parties would then ask Zimbabweans to
weigh in on the contested issues at a referendum to run simultaneously with
general elections set to be held this year.
The development is a serious blow to Zimbabwe’s reform agenda agreed by the
parties in September 2008, which had a new constitution as the centrepiece.
New Zimbabwe.com understands a cabinet taskforce set up to try and break the
impasse will meet the coalition leaders on Thursday to make four
A source familiar with the negotiations said: “The first of those
recommendations will be that the principals should try and reach a
compromise on the contentious issues in order to save the draft constitution
of July 18. This will likely fail.
“The second recommendation is that SADC, as the guarantors of the power
sharing agreement, should step in and break the impasse. Zanu PF is likely
to resist this.
“The third suggestion will be that the parties should all agree to take the
July 18 draft to a referendum as is, but we know Zanu PF has already trashed
that document so that one is a dead end.
“The fourth option is to take the July draft constitution to a referendum
with the agreed positions and ask Zimbabweans to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The
people will also decide on the disputed areas by being offered two
alternatives. There is no appetite for that vexatious procedure.
“The final recommendation which seems to be gaining traction is the
Amendment 20 route. It was in fact introduced by Patrick Chinamasa of Zanu
PF and all three parties have since come up with their own positions.”
Zanu PF wants all the provisions it accepts to be introduced into the
Lancaster House Constitution as Amendment 20, while the disputed provisions
fall away retaining the status quo on issues such as presidential running
mates, devolution, presidential powers, constitutional court, land
commission, peace and reconciliation commission and the attorney general’s
The plan came under attack, particularly from the MDC led by Welshman Ncube,
which pointed out that Zanu PF was in fact trying to give effect to its
politburo’s amendments to the July 18 draft.
The Zanu PF politburo rejected changes such as devolution, the introduction
of presidential running mates, the establishment of a constitutional court
as well as a land commission. The MDC argued if the Zanu PF plan was
accepted, that would mean Zanu PF would have introduced its pro-status quo
draft through the back door.
The MDC-T’s position, according to sources, is that provisions already
agreed should be injected into the current constitution through an
amendment, with the disputed elements being put to a referendum to run at
the same time as elections.
But Zanu PF is poised to reject the MDC-T’s recommendations, fearing defeat
at a referendum which would be poisoned by the election mood with the
winning political party also carrying the constitutional argument.
The MDC’s recommendation, meanwhile, is that if the parties want
Constitutional Amendment 20, the amendments should be confined only to
issues which have a bearing on the forthcoming election. The winning party
from the general elections would then carry the mandate of writing a new
By Alex Bell
15 January 2013
There are mounting concerns that ZANU PF is funding its election campaign
using money secured through the indigenisation drive, with warnings that
there could be a repeat of the 2008 election scenario.
Last week platinum mining giant Implats finalised a ‘sale’ of 51% of its
Zimbabwe unit, following months of threats from the ZANU PF led empowerment
The deal, finalised last Friday, will see Implats ‘sell’ its shares for
US$971 million to Zimbabwe, with 10% of the shares going to a Community
Trust, 10% to an ‘employee share ownership trust’, and 31% to the State’s
National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund. The fund, which
officials say now has US$2 billion of assets, is headed by a former army
general and administered by Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora has since been quoted by the Standard
newspaper as saying that the deal is being used by ZANU PF to raise funds
for its party activities.
“That is asset-grabbing on the part of ZANU PF. It does not increase
national wealth. We must adopt policies that are designed to grow the
national cake instead of just sharing what is there,” he was quoted as
“We know that the proceeds (of the transaction) will be abused. All funds
must be held by treasury,” he added.
Mwonzora said the housing of the funds under the National Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment Fund, instead of the Ministry of Finance, was designed
to sponsor ZANU PF’s “terror machine.”
His concerns have been echoed by other observers and analysts, who have
warned that lessons should have been learned from the 2008 election period,
when ZANU PF’s bloody poll campaign was financed by an international ‘loan’.
This cash injection saw the Mugabe regime cling to power through a campaign
of violence and murder.
An investigation by the Mail & Guardian newspaper in South Africa last year
showed that an American institutional investor named Och Ziff financed that
The deal started in 2008 with ZANU PF pressuring Anglo American Platinum to
hand over about a quarter of its platinum concessions to the state, which
then awarded the concessions to a group called Todal Mining, a joint venture
between the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and a
private company called Lefever Finance. This company in turn was owned by a
shadowy group based in the British Virgin Islands called Meryweather
Investments, linked to controversial businessman and ZANU PF functionary
Lefever Finance was then bought out by the Central African Mining and
Exploration Company (Camec) for about five million dollars. It also threw in
the US$100 million loan which it said was to help Lefever comply with its
contractual obligations to Zimbabwe. The money went straight to Mugabe’s
government, in a deal that saw the regime get its hands on much needed cash.
Political analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa that here is “every
reason to suspect that Implats and others forced into indigenisation deals
are indirectly financing ZANU PF.”
“This is ZANU PF ransacking ahead of what will be another bloody election.
These deals have nothing to do with empowerment,” Mashiri warned.
By Violet Gonda
15 January 2013
ZimRights director Okay Machisa appeared in court on Tuesday, facing charges
of conspiracy to commit fraud.
State prosecutor Michael Reza asked the court to remand the human rights
boss in custody, saying he needed more time to change his case file and lay
out formal charges against Machisa as an individual.
But reports say the ZimRights’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, urged the court to
release her client saying there was no evidence or reason of suspicion
against Machisa as an individual.
The court hearing was still underway at the time of broadcast.
Machisa was arrested on Monday on allegations of involvement in ‘illegal
voter registration. He is accused of publishing false statements with the
intention of inciting public disorder and violence.
Four other people, including Machisa’s deputy Leo Chamahwinya, are in police
custody facing similar charges. The four, who were arrested last month, were
denied bail by a High Court judge on the grounds that their crime is so
serious that they may run away if released.
The state has alleged that the group forged voter registration certificates
“to tarnish the name of the Registrar General.”
Meanwhile, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said in a statement that the
move by the police is the, “latest attack on non-governmental organizations
by the coalition government, which in recent months has been harassing human
rights defenders and NGOs ahead of a constitutional referendum and planned
By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2:42 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe — The United Nations says it needs $131 million in
humanitarian assistance to meet food, water and emergency needs in Zimbabwe.
The U.N. humanitarian coordinator, Alain Noudehou, said Tuesday at least
$110 million of the money will be used to provide food for more than 1.6
million Zimbabweans facing starvation this year.
Noudehou said the appeal is less than the previous year’s $197 million
because of “a steady improvement” in the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe
brought about by an upturn in some sectors of the economy.
The U.N. said this year’s food shortages are “worse” compared to the past
three years due to drought, erratic rains and cash shortages to buy seed and
fertilizers for impoverished farmers in the countryside, many who took over
formerly white-owned farms.
By Alex Bell
15 January 2013
Two Zimbabwean farmers, who both had their farms seized under the land grab
campaign, will make history this week when a legal challenge against the
suspension of the regional human rights Tribunal is filed at the African
Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
A comprehensive submission contesting the crippling of the Tribunal’s work
will be filed with the African Commission by the farmers’ legal team this
week. This follows the Commission’s ruling last November that the complaint
lodged with it on behalf of farmers Luke Tembani and Ben Freeth, against
SADC leaders for suspending the human rights Tribunal, was ‘admissible’.
The complaint by Tembani and Freeth was filed as part of the ongoing battle
for the future of the Tribunal, which was suspended more than two years by
SADC leaders over its rulings against the Zimbabwe government. The court had
ruled that the land grab was unlawful, and then held Zimbabwe in contempt of
court for refusing to honour its original ruling.
The court also held the government of Zimbabwe in breach of the SADC Treaty
and other international legal obligations. But instead of taking action
against Zimbabwe, SADC leaders suspended the court in 2010 for a review of
its mandate. Two years later the court remains inactive. Regional justice
ministers have proposed that the court only be reinstated with a very
limited human rights mandate, which blocks individual access to the court.
14 SADC leaders have been cited as respondents in the landmark case launched
by Tembani and Freeth, which was originally made to the SADC Tribunal in
2011, but will now be heard by the African Commission. It is the first time
in legal history that a group of heads of state is being cited by an
individual as the respondent in an application to an international body.
The Tribunal meanwhile has been deliberately hamstrung by SADC governments,
who have agreed that the court will only be allowed to continue its work if
individual access to the court is stopped. This means that the court cannot
fulfil its chief mandate, which is to uphold the human rights of all SADC
Freeth told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the African Commission’s
interest in the case is “exciting,” because the fight for the Tribunal will
now be held on an international stage.
“We will now have this argued before the eyes of the world,” Freeth said.
He explained that the case is not just about farmers in Zimbabwe, but about
fundamental human rights of the entire SADC region, rights that are being
actively infringed on by the suspension of the court.
“This fight goes to the core of problems in Southern Africa. The region has
huge potential for growth and development, but we are not moving forward.
This case addresses the reasons for this,” Freeth said.
He added that the case will also shine a spotlight on the human rights
situation in Zimbabwe ahead of elections, which he warned are likely to be
“This is going to be an extremely difficult year. Nothing has happened to
stop what happened in previous elections from happening again,” he warned,
adding that the case will highlight the need for a strong, independent human
By Tererai Karimakwenda
15 January 2013
A branch chairman from the MDC-T’s Bulawayo structures, who was arrested and
detained by the military two weeks ago, was seen by residents in his
constituency last Friday walking around in handcuffs and leg irons as police
searched his house.
Happison Ncube, a former soldier and chairman of the MDC-T Cowdray Park
branch, has been in detention at Brady Barracks in Bulawayo since he handed
himself in to the police on Wednesday, January 2nd.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said residents in his
constituency saw Ncube outside his house on Friday, with soldiers searching
“They came and asked his mother a few questions then proceeded to thoroughly
search the house. They took party records and party cards and other
materials from Ncube’s time as MDC-T official in South Africa. Sources said
he was handcuffed and with leg irons outside the house,” Saungweme
He said the arrest centres on the way Ncube left the army, but the MDC-T
believe he is being treated like a criminal simply because he is branch
officicial in the MDC-T in Cowdray Park constituency.
Officers from the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) had left a
message ordering him to report to Luveve police station. When he presented
himself, they arrested him and handed him over to army officials.
The officers want Ncube to prove that he resigned from the military through
the normal procedures. He was based at the army’s 4 Brigade headquarters in
Saungweme said Ncube handed in a letter of resignation before he went on
leave in November last year, because he wanted to return to civilian life.
But it is not clear whether the army accepted his resignation or not. No
evidence has been produced to show he simply disappeared, especially since
he turned himself into the police.
Saungweme said MDC-T officials in Bulawayo accused the authorities of
abusing their powers and treating Ncube like a criminal. They believe he is
being prosecuted because of his position as an MDC-T official.
The MDC-T say that if the army had issues with the way Ncube resigned, they
could have simply checked their records before arresting and jailing him.
This is a continuation of what the MDC-T has called “persecution by
prosecution”, where the police arrest first, then investigate later.
Staff Reporter 21 hours 1 minute ago
HARARE - The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa says
the government has the right to continue re-possessing land under the land
In rant in Harare Chinamasa also said even farms under Bilateral Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), can be acquired on condition the
government can fully compensate the affected owners.
The recent eviction and arrest of 55 farmers, who were allocated A1 plots at
Tavydale Farm after a white farmer destroyed 70 hectares belonging to the
farmers in Mazoe has exposed a lot of issues with newly resettled farmers
questioning the logic of being given offer letters under the land reform
programme but later being evicted from the farms.
The feisty Justice Minister Chinamasa said the white farmer, Mr Mattison
destroyed the maize following a directive by the Minister of Lands and Rural
Resettlement, Dr Herbert Murerwa to stop resettling people on BIPPA farms.
Lands, Land Reforms and Resettlement Minister Hebert Murerwa said this month
the law conferred Government with powers to acquire any land, it had decided
to put on hold acquiring of farms under BIPPA.
Agreements under BIPPA require that Government pay fair compensation in
currency of the former owner’s choice for both land and improvements.
Minister Murerwa said the decision to stop acquiring BIPPA farms was in
respect of the agreement while managing State liability.
He said Government was saddled with a US$25 million debt owed to 40 Dutch
The farmers successfully sued at the International Court for Settlement of
“Although under Zimbabwean law, Government can legally acquire such farms,
in view of the ongoing litigation in the ISCID, Government has taken the
decision not to settle persons on farms covered by BIPPA for now,” said
“Government will abide by the provision of the agreement and at the same
time we do not want to increase our liability.”
Some of the countries covered by BIPPA include Denmark, Germany, Belgium,
Netherlands, Italy, Malaysia and Switzerland.
Minister Murerwa said Government would have to find alternative land for the
affected A1 farmers.
“At Tavydale farm, a decision has been made by myself and the Mashonaland
Central Governor and Resident Minister Martin Dinha that we will not settle
farmers on the property,” he said.
Minister Murerwa said the offer letters issued by Mazowe district
administrator Ms Shelter Nyakudya were done in error.
The issue has since spilled into courts and the High Court of Zimbabwe
Justice Francis Bere in November last year threw out an urgent application
by the white farmer to evict the A1 farmers.
He said the case represents a very sad state on the part of the Minister of
Lands and Rural Resettlement as an acquiring authority.
Justice Bere bemoaned land acquiring authority for sending conflicting
signals to occupiers of Tavydale Farm, saying the approach by Dr Murerwa
does not bring transparency to the whole land reform process in the country.
Meanwhile, officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in the Attorney
General’s offices said the white farmers can be charged with malicious
damage to property as the A1 farmers were legally resettled by government.
On the same note, the Attorney General, Mr Johannes Tomana says the Ministry
of Lands and Rural Resettlement’s failure to evict some white farmers who do
not have offer letters is causing delays in finalising the land reform
AG Tomana says several cases of white farmers refusing to move out of the
land allocated to newly resettled farmers which are now being heard in
courts, represent a worrying state of affairs on the relevant ministry which
is failing to fully implement the land reform programme.
He said laws of the country are clear that all farmers with offer letters
have the right to move onto farms allocated to them.
The latest statement by the AG comes at a time when several farmers who were
given offer letters are facing resistance from white farmers who are
refusing to vacate pieces of land allocated to the black majority under the
land reform programme.
While the Minister Murerwa agreed that all farmers with offer letters should
take up their land, his ministry has on many occasions come under fire from
offer letter holders for allegedly embarking on a replanning exercise aimed
at downsising the farms to accommodate some of the white farmers.
Sources said there are plans are at an advanced stage by the land acquiring
authority to come up with new maps at several farms.
The already rickety Zimbabwe government of national unity is facing yet
another divisive issue - how to react as international courts rule that the
government must pay millions of dollars to white farmers whose lands are
protected by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements
Cabinet sources say the Movement for Democratic Change wants the government
to stop seizing land or compensate the farmers. However, hardliners in Zanu
PF say there is no going back on the land reform program.
A German, Heinrich Von Pezold, and other farmers are suing the government
for US$600 miillion.Von Pezold bought a forestry and sawmilling firm, Border
Timbers, which operated 5 forest estates and 3 sawmills.
He also had several tea estates in Manicaland Province, which were forcibly
taken by the government under the land reform scheme.
As Pezold’s purchases were protected by a BIPPA between Germany and Zimbabwe
signed in 1995, the take-over of the Von Pezold properties caused a
diplomatic row between the two countries.
Pezold’s case is now up for arbitration at the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris.
Germany has accused Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF ruling party
of betrayal after its senior officials invaded a prime game reserve run by
Mr Hans-Gunter Gnodtke, Germany’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, told journalists
in Harare early this month that his country was now considering boycotting
the World Tourism Conference to be jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe in
August in protest.
Over 25 Zanu-PF officials invaded the 340,000-hectare Save Valley
Conservancy amid threats of additional sanctions by the European Union (EU)
on President Mugabe’s government.
Mr Gnodtke said the conservancy owners in the Save Valley were covered by a
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between
Zimbabwe and Germany signed by the Zanu-PF government.
“When we talk of German investors in Zimbabwe, we are talking of those
investors who came here at Zanu-PF’s invitation,” he said.
“We had Zimbabwe ministers coming to Germany inviting Germans to Zimbabwe.
Even President Mugabe came to Germany and invited Germans to come to
Zimbabwe,” he added.
Authorities have denied foreign operators hunting permits at the vast Save
Valley Conservancy in south-eastern Zimbabwe, but granted land and 25-year
permits to senior members of ZANU-PF under the government's black
The envoy said the invasions threatened the successful hosting of the United
Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) conference in Zimbabwe’s resort
town of Victoria Falls and Zambia’s adjoining Livingstone town.
“Let there also be no doubt we have not yet made our decision if and at what
level to participate at that conference,” Mr Gnodtke said.
“But if elements wishing to destroy wildlife and tourism infrastructure in
Zimbabwe protected by an international BIPPA should succeed, this will
seriously affect Zimbabwe’s qualification to host an international meeting
“This is what we have told both the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments. We
hope and pray that common sense and responsibility will prevail and that the
Victoria Falls meeting will be a success.”
The invasions have brought divisions in Zanu-PF with the Tourism minister
Walter Mzembi warning the move will seriously affect preparations for the
A fortnight ago the government announced that it had stopped the compulsory
acquisition of commercial farms protected by BIPPA after it lost a series of
cases at international courts lodged by dispossessed farmers.
Ranchers under the aegis of the Save Valley Conservancy include foreign
investors from South Africa, Germany, Italy and the United States who are
protected by investment agreements between Harare and their respective
According to Mr Gnodtke, two German investors have filed for compensation at
the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
He said that economic co-operation between Zimbabwe and Germany — which was
frozen in 2002 when the EU imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his allies —
would only be restored "once the rule of law and democracy have been
re-established in this country."
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 11:02
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is courting top army officials,
thus far the biggest threat to his potential rule.
Since the emergence of the MDC in 2000 as the foremost threat to Zanu PF and
President Robert Mugabe’s rule, the army has threatened to subvert the will
of the people even if Tsvangirai wins a free and fair election.
Tsvangirai’s efforts to win the trust of army generals come at a time when
MDC formations in the unity government are sweating over what they say is a
covert military operation that could scupper prospects of a peaceful
Soldiers, according to MDC formations, are carrying out an operation
code-named “nyika yaenda — nyika haiende” (the country is under threat)
across the country in order to ensure a Zanu PF victory come elections.
High-placed sources close to the PM yesterday said the MDC leader “has
changed tact” and will now use the regular, National Security Council (NSC)
meetings to allay fears of army generals who include defence chief
Constantine Chiwenga and police boss Augustine Chihuri.
One of the army commanders, Douglas Nyikayaramba, has previously described
Tsvangirai as a national security threat while the MDC leader has described
the major general’s statements as a pre-emptive coup and demanded security
sector reforms before elections.
Mugabe on his part has refused to reform the security sector arguing
tempering with the army would compromise the country’s security.
Army top-brass have vowed not to recognise anyone without liberation war
credentials amid fears someone from outside Zanu PF could see them
persecuted for various crimes against humanity as well as strip them of
Tsvangirai unlike Mugabe did not participate in the protracted liberation
war of the 1970s but has been able to attract the support of a disgruntled
electorate through his party’s bread and butter policies.
Chihuri, Chiwenga and a host of other military top-brass have openly
declared their allegiance to Mugabe, at times threatening to thwart the will
of the people.
For some time, MDC officials including, Tsvangirai, himself have played in
the hands of the military hardliners as they have attacked the security
But well-placed sources in the Premier’s office said the former trade
unionist is now trying a new method and managed to build bridges with
service chiefs at the last NSC meeting that was also attended by Mugabe and
top unity government ministers.
William Bango, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, could neither confirm nor deny
that the PM had changed approach.
“What I know is that the National Security Council has been meeting
previously in order to address national security issues,” said Bango.
However, a high-placed source in the Premier’s office said since December
last year, there has been a gradual change in the PM’s approach to the
The source said the MDC is moving from “confrontation to engagement”.
“The Prime Minister is shifting from confrontation to engagement. The aim is
to try and allay fears of those who are afraid of his rule. This is a major
policy shift in the MDC as previous attempts to confront the army have
failed to move hardliners,” said the source.
Apart from courting army generals, who will no doubt play a significant role
towards the country’s transition, Tsvangirai has been openly meeting
officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Registrar General’s
offices — two bodies that will play a major role in the forthcoming
Like the army, Zec the body mandated with running elections, is accused by
civil society of tempering with 2008 harmonised election results.
With Zimbabwe hurtling towards elections that could be held midyear, fears
are high that the impending poll could turn into a farce if security sector
and legislative reforms are not put in place.
A report released by Human Rights Watch last year listed the army as the
biggest threat to the country’s hopes of holding free and fair elections
Even though Mugabe has been reluctant to effect security sector reforms,
there are signs that the army might be ready to ensure that the forthcoming
elections will be held under peaceful conditions.
MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti who also attends the NSC meetings, in
December last year said army bosses are now committed to creating peaceful
conditions ideal for a free and fair election.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
15 January 2013
The late Professor Gordon Chavunduka, who died last Friday after a long
illness, was buried on his farm in Rusape Tuesday, at a funeral attended by
some of Zimbabwe’s top political and cultural figures.
MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai said they had lost a, “candid and frank
advisor in the party” and the nation had lost “a true liberator, who stood
by the ideals of a free Zimbabwe from the colonial era right into the
Professor Chavunduka had battled with cancer of the throat for about two
years, reportedly surprising doctors by fighting it much longer than
expected. But he finally succumbed to the disease at the Avenues Clinic last
week, aged 82.
Chavunduka was best known as a practitioner of traditional medicine, serving
for many years as President of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’
Association (ZINATHA). He published several books on traditional medicine.
But he had also entered the political realm prior to that, when he served as
a delegate on Abel Muzorewa’s United African National Council (ANC), during
the Lancaster House Conference in 1979.
Robert Mugabe appointed Chavunduka vice chancellor of the University of
Zimbabwe in 1992, a position he held for four years.
The Professor later joined the MDC-T and held several senior positions in
the party, including Secretary for National Healing and Chairperson of the
party’s Guardian Council.
This was apparently a problem for ZANU PF officials, who reportedly snubbed
a memorial church service for Chavunduka at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare
on Monday. According to the independent Newsday newspaper, ZANU PF officials
“were conspicuous by their absence”.
The paper quotes party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo as saying: “Some of us were
not here so we could not attend. We also understand he was now a
fully-fledged member of the MDC-T. It is very difficult if faced with such a
Professor John Makumbe, who worked with Chavunduka at the UZ, described him
as a humble man who was very professional. They often shared tea together
with students and lower graduates in the cafeteria.
Makumbe said it was very unfortunate that ZANU PF would snub the memorial
service, especially when there is a unity government that includes all
political parties. He said this shows how immature and unforgiving ZANU PF
Senior MDC-T leaders who attended the Harare service on Monday included the
MDC-T Vice President Thokozani Khupe, Secretary General Tendai Biti,
Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.
Addressing mourners at the memorial, party President Morgan Tsvangirai
described Professor Chavunduka as “a true giant of our times”.
He said: “When the social, cultural, intellectual and political history of
Zimbabwe is written, Professor Gordon Chavunduka’s name will certainly
feature among the titles of great sons and daughters who have made an
indelible mark on the nation’s pathway”.
The MDC Today
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Issue – 499
Thousands of MDC supporters, civic society, academics and villagers today
joined President Tsvangirai and the Chavunduka family for the burial of
Prof. Gordon Chavunduka at No. 14 farm in Dowa, Rusape.
President Tsvangirai bemoaned the loss of a candid and frank advisor in the
party adding that the nation had lost a true liberator, who stood by the
ideals of a free Zimbabwe from the colonial era right into the pro-democracy
In Masvingo, during the past month, a group of self proclaimed war veterans
and Zanu PF supporters invaded land designated for sporting facilities at
Mupandawana Growth Point. According to Senator for Gutu, Hon. Empire
Kufachikati Makamure, a group of about fifty Zanu PF supporters led by the
party`s losing council candidate for ward 34 Jephison Nemashakwe Muzorori
allegedly approached the local council offices and demanded land for
agriculture and proceeded to grab land designated for sports and
“I was surprised to see Zanu PF supporters cultivating land that has been
designated for sporting facilities. In actual fact they have invaded the
netball and volleyball pitches at Makombo ground. That is the place where
all School competitions for the entire district are held. We are deeply
disturbed by the primitive mentality reflected by Zanu PF. They have also
encroached onto my residential stand and that kind of barbaric behaviour is
reckless and uncouth”.
“We wonder where school pupils are going to conduct their activities after
the invasion of their sports facilities. As a former educationist I am well
aware that sport is part of the education curriculum and the Zanu PF
supporters have reflected blatant disregard for children`s rights to proper
physical and moral development .It is now very difficult for the pupils to
carry out their activities because the crops have literally clogged the
area, “said Senator Makamure.
He said frantic efforts were being made to reverse the controversial process
adding that he had engaged the local district administrator and local
council officials over the matter.
MDC Gutu Central Constituency Secretary for Information and Publicity Lloyd
Mupfudze described the incident as uncivilized and retrogressive. “Zanu PF
supporters have shown their desire to destroy all functional facilities in
the country. Apart from hosting district sports competitions, the area is
also used for various exhibitions, so we are not happy with the incident,”
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
on January 15, 2013 at 1:44 am
By Gift Phiri
HARARE – An international consortium of investors has said it was suspending
R10 billion (approximately $1,2 billion) investment in southern Zimbabwe,
apparently because of pervasive corruption and demands for bribes by Cabinet
Environment Minister Francis Nhema
The announcement came after a rare statement by the consortium, represented
by the Cape Town-based businessman Peter Kohler that he had decided not to
solve problems by slipping money under the table.
The international investment consortium had raised the cash to establish a
huge tourist facility in the arid Matabeleland South, one of the poorest
areas of the country boasting of a bird sanctuary and game reserve.
President Robert Mugabe has acknowledged that corruption is a national
problem, and curbing official corruption is one of the goals of his tenure
if he wins re-election.
At his party’s conclave in Gweru last month, Mugabe railed against his
officials often used to extort prospective investors, and said the problem
had been brought to his attention by former South Africa president Thabo
Beyond embarrassing Mugabe’s administration, the international consortium’s
stance could mark an economic turning point if it leads to more foreign
businesses speaking out against corruption here.
The decision is particularly damning for Zimbabwe as the consortium, which
declined to be named, runs businesses in dozens of countries around the
world and is hardly thin-skinned when it comes to dealing with
Simon Spooner, a spokesperson for the consortium, said they had decided to
keep the matter under wraps hoping to rescue the R10 billion deal that could
have immensely benefited Matabeleland South.
According to Spooner, the project would have created 10 000 jobs and
provided huge infrastructural development for the local people; electricity,
new villages, feedlots, irrigation, an international airport, power station
and a large number of exclusive lodges and a 400 unit condominium complex on
the Shashe River.
It was based on four memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with the local
people and communities of Matshatshuta, Hwali and Tuli Circle and the
National Parks, hence the consent of Environment and Natural Resources
minister Francis Nhema was required.
“Things stumbled along and it would seem that underhand dealings were
demanded,” Spooner said.
The talks were said to have involved Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and
Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, an ex-minister of Home Affairs, to persuade
Nhema to get the money invested ahead of the November 2012 deadline.
Mohadi was unreachable for comment.
But Dabengwa said he had advised the investor where to go and did not get
involved beyond that.
“I advised him how to go about it,” Dabengwa told the Daily News on Sunday.
“I don’t know how far he had gone. But it was certainly a huge project. It
was also going to open a short cut to Johannesburg on the Kezi road.”
Under the deal, the communities were going to be granted ownership of the
whole investment and benefit from about 10 000 jobs.
“From that point on (in 2010), much transpired until finally Nhema put a
stop to it by stating, ‘If you think that people will be given title, you
can forget it’,” Spooner said.
“Five MoUs needed to be signed and minister Nhema stood in the way,” he
“He vehemently objected to title of the infrastructure being given to the
four local communities.
“The discussion to unlock the process involved none other than Dabengwa and
me at one stage and Mohadi. It was scuppered.”
Nhema insisted he had nothing to do with the deal, which he said should have
been handled by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority.
“I don’t have anything to do with that. Did he go through the Zimbabwe
“They are approved there. We deal with policy issues,” he told the Daily
News on Sunday.
The consortium cited the unpredictability of administrative processes in
Zimbabwe as the basis of the decision to pull out the R10 billion
It is just the latest case of bribe-taking and shakedowns by Zimbabwean
officials that had become intolerable. The consortium’s announcement came
after exhausting all channels, but took a principled decision not to pay
bribes in Zimbabwe.
Foreign executives have complained privately for decades that bribery is an
integral part of Zimbabwean business culture, often tolerated or silently
In fact, foreign companies retain legions of lawyers so they can adhere
scrupulously to regulations in hopes of avoiding providing an opening for
Zimbabwe has fared badly on Transparency International’s corruption
perception index (CPI), ranked 163 in 176 countries polled worldwide,
according to the December 5, 2012 CPI. The corruption has become so endemic
that traffic police routinely take cash bribes.
However, it is the next level of official venality, so-called administrative
corruption that is most harmful to business and authorities with the power
to halt business activity are blatantly demanding bribes, a move that has
riled even Mugabe. -Daily News
An unconfirmed report has identified a diversified Zimbabwe firm as about to
embark upon diamond mining activities in the country's Marange region,
according to All Africa. Meikles Limited, which owns a hotel in Harare and a
series of department stores in Zimbabwe, employing more than 6,000 people,
has reportedly expressed interest in becoming a player in the country's
A report earlier late last week stated that Meikles had already solidified a
partnership with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation to
mine at the intersection of the Odzi and Save rivers, near Chiadzwa. But a
clarification issued early this week stressed that no formal agreement was
reached, but rather that Meikles was believed to have submitted an
application to partner with the ZMDC.
Meikles group chair John Moxon announced that the company was forming a wing
for carrying out mining operations back in November and anticipated that
revenues from the venture could exceed those it makes from all other
operations, All Africa reported. Meikles qualifies as an indigenous company
under the country's laws which mandate local ownership of the nation's
January 15 2013 at 08:41pm
Harare - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate eased to 2.91 percent in December,
down from 2.99 percent the previous month due to reduced food and clothing
costs, the national statistics agency said Tuesday.
The monthly inflation rate for December remained steady at 0.13 percent.
Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate has remained below 5.0 percent since the
country dumped its hyper-inflation ravaged dollar for the US dollar and the
South African rand in 2009.
Goods that had vanished from store shelves at the peak of a post-election
crisis, are now in abundance. Prices, however, fluctuate according to import
A one-time regional bread basket, Zimbabwe has in recent years battled to
feed itself after President Robert Mugabe embarked on a campaign to
expropriate white-owned farmland and the country slipped into a political
and economic crisis.
The country now relies on imports mainly from the neighbouring economic
giant South Africa.
While the humanitarian situation has recently improved, the United Nations
on Tuesday said the country will this year require $131 million in aid
mainly for food after crop failure due to erratic rains, shortage of inputs
and poor farming practices.
Part of the funds will also be channelled to the prevention of diseases
after a cholera outbreak four years ago killed more than 4,200 people and
infected nearly 100,000 people.
President Robert Mugabe and his long-time political foe Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai were in 2009 forced into a power-sharing government
following the 2008 violence-marred elections. - Sapa-AFP
Chris Gande, Thomas Chiripasi
The government of Zimbabwe will soon introduce free cancer treatment, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has revealed.
Mr. Tsvangirai said this when he addressed mourners at the funeral wake of
the late president of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association
and force Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, Gordon Chavhunduka,
who died of throat cancer last Friday.
Chavhunduka was a member of the council of elders in Tsvangirai’s Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) wing.
He said cabinet took the decision to offer free cancer treatment following
the rising number of people affected by the ailment, including his deputy,
The prime minister added that the government would soon establish two
centres in Harare and Bulawayo for early detection of the disease.
“Cancer is a disease that has been affecting many people. This is why there
has been a cabinet decision to have free treatment of the disease and have
two centres to have it detected early,” said Mr. Tsvangirai.
However, commentator, Rejoice Ngwenya of Liberal Market Solutions told VOA
Studio 7 that the resources for free cancer treatment are not availble and
therefore the prime minister may have been merely politiking.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people, including Mr. Tsvangirai, gathered in Harare
on Monday for a memorial service held in honour of the late academic,
politician and traditional leader, Professor Gordon Chavhunduka.
WASHINGTON — Efforts by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Youth
Assembly leader, Solomon Madzore, to resume his studies at the University of
Zimbabwe (UZ) have been rejected by authorities.
Madzore, who spent 12 months in remand prison on charges of allegedly
murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza in the Glen View in 2011, had
applied to defer his social work studies during his incarceration, but on
applying to resume his studies, the registrar gave him a one-line response
saying his application was unsuccessful.
Madzore's letter read in part: “I regret to inform you that your application
for resumption of studies was unsuccessful.”
VOA reached out to UZ Dean of Students Dr. Munyaradzi Madambi, who refused
to comment saying he was unaware of the matter.
University students expecting to spend a considerable time away from their
studies are allowed to apply for deferment but are required to apply to
Madzore told VOA the university is yet to give a reason for the denial.
"It was written all over their faces that there was some kind of instruction
there and all they could tell me was Mr. Madzore I think we have been told
that you can't proceed because your case is not yet over," said Madzore.
Agent Gumbo, president of the University of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe National
Students Union chapter, said it is hard for him not to believe the move was
political. He said though Madzore had been away, it was not based on his own
Madzore, who is left with a semester to complete his studies, has left the
matter to his lawyers to appeal the decision made by the universtiy.
BY RAY NDLOVU, JANUARY 15 2013, 10:04 | 0 COMMENT(S)
A MULTIMILLION-dollar deal between Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and
Chinese-owned SinoHydro for the expansion of Kariba South power station has
been delayed amid indications the deal document breached procurement
The delay will affect work on the expansion of the power station, which was
expected to increase power generation by 300MW. The state procurement board
was now likely to investigate, energy officials said on Monday.
At issue is the concern of SinoHydro about changes to the deal document,
including an increase from the initial $355m quote to $390m, for
"contingencies", seemingly added by ZPC without consultation. Power
regulations stipulate that ZPC must first seek authorisation from the state
procurement board for any price changes.
"The actual contract was for $355m, but the total price that we signed the
contract for was $390m, including contingencies," said Wu Yifeng, at
SinoHydro Zimbabwe. "It is the final price that was approved that concerns
us. We did not include the contingencies."
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma said his office was not yet privy to the
"irregularities", but advised that delays would increase the costs.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 11:02
HARARE - Human rights campaigners have urged the Zimbabwean government to
stop a police shoot-to-kill policy against criminals as the country sinks
into worsening crime.
Rights campaigners said the policy violates all laws and regulations, both
Zimbabwean and international, and has demanded that the police immediately
retract this faulty policy and replace it with reasonable and legal policies
for regulating police work.
Scores of officers have been killed in the line of duty in gunfire exchange
with daring criminals, mainly robbers and carjackers, and figures are likely
to rise as violent crime steadily rises as the economy flat lines.
The police has also been dragged to court by families of deceased criminals
who say they were shot by the police, allegedly deliberately.
There are fears that more violence will be sparked by the decree to use
lethal force against violent criminals.
At a memorial service of detective assistant inspector Thadius Chipanga, who
was killed last Wednesday, head of the Criminal Investigations Department
(CID), assistant commissioner Simon Nyathi told mourners at Morris Depot
over the weekend that the police force has been allowed to match criminals’
firepower with deadly force, and permitted to “shoot-to-kill” without
worrying about what happens next.
Rights activists called on the Zimbabwean government to issue an urgent
order to police to stop using “lethal force.”
Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law expert and University of Zimbabwe
lecturer, said while Zimbabwean security forces have a duty to rein in
criminal violence, shooting to kill was illegal.
“It’s illegal, it’s very illegal, they cannot shoot to kill,” Madhuku told
the Daily News. “Of course they can kill in self-defence.”
Human rights groups and others warned that such macho rhetoric would lead to
innocent people being killed by gung-ho policemen believing they had been
let off the leash by the police chief.
Irene Petras, executive director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said
in terms of the law, police should have reasonable suspicion that an offence
has been committed.
“Where a suspect is resisting arrest, they can use reasonable force,” Petras
said. “They are supposed to judge and use the force that is necessary if a
suspect is resisting.
“Shooting-to-kill, that should only be used in extreme circumstances where
they can’t use any other alternatives.
“It should be the last resort; it should never be the first option. It
should be used when there is no other way in terms of subduing the suspect.
There must be a reasonable cause.”
Nyathi told mourners at the funeral of Chipanga that violent crime was out
of control and okayed the new “shoot-to-kill” dispensation.
He spoke hours before suspected armed robber Takesure Dumba, an ex-cop,
alleged to have killed Chapinga, died in a shoot-out with the police.
Chapinga is the latest cop to be killed in the line of duty by criminals.
Earlier on January 5 this year, police exchanged gunfire with suspected
carjacker Richard Timba in Queensdale, critically injuring him.
In 2010 chief superintendent Lawrence Chatikobo was gunned down by robbers
in Bulawayo while sergeant Joseph Maximus was killed in Harare.
In 2011 inspector Petros Mutedza was killed in Glen View.
“They have started a war they will never win. As police, we now have orders
to shoot and kill such perpetrators,” said Nyathi.
“Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”
But Madhuku said the officer was effectively telling his officers: kill and
you will not be held accountable, kill and you will be rewarded.
“Even the issuing of that statement is a serious offence,” Madhuku said.
“It shows a society with no regard for the rule of law. They must place you
before to court. If they kill, they become a judicial body not a police
department. It’s illegal and contrary to the rule of law. It shows
He said police were allocating themselves extra-judicial powers to carry out
The constitutional law expert said police was an arresting authority not a
court of law.
“They should arrest, the judicial body will try the person and if they are
guilty they will be punished. These are separate roles,” Madhuku said. “It
is the role of the executive to execute the sentence or punishment. Even if
you are convicted for murder, it does not necessarily mean death sentence.
The president can serve a clemency of mercy. It’s completely wrong."
“They can’t give themselves that power. Its contrary to the rule of law. The
state must never do that through the police.”
He said the policy turns the police from an institution responsible for
preserving citizens’ safety, arresting suspects and bringing them to
justice, to one that immediately punishes suspects, without resorting to the
judiciary or the law, and in the worst possible way; intentional murder.
He emphasised that the law does not allow intentional killings for the sole
reason that “armed robbers or carjackers started shooting” — as the police
say — although the law does allow the use of firearms under specific
Zimbabwean law allows policemen to use firearms only when arresting a
suspect caught red-handed for a felony in which an arrest is permitted, if
this is the only way to achieve the arrest.
According to the law, the policeman must first give warning that he will use
firearms, and must use it in accordance to regulations.
Firearms can only be used to secure an arrest and prevent an escape; the
police law in no way permits the targeting of individuals with the intention
of killing them.
There are also legal conditions in cases of defence of self or others
against an imminent life-threatening danger, including that the person
defending himself must be facing an imminent and severe danger which they
cannot prevent by any other means.
Police officers also have powers that allow them to defend themselves and
others without resorting to firearms, such as arrests, searches, and
In all cases, any case of death requires a full judicial investigation, and
the burden of proof lies on the officer to prove he was in a situation of
Previously police, who have themselves often been gunned down by the “Wild
West-style” gangs that terrorise Zimbabwe’s cities once in a while, were
required to fire warning shots. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor
by Graham Nyakudjga
FATAL road accidents in Zimbabwe continue their shocking, upward surge. Road
accidents, whether fatal or non-fatal, have now reached such alarming levels
that the carnage now needs the same special attention accorded to the
According to Transport Minister Nicholas Goche, there are 28 deaths per
every 10,000 registered vehicles and there is a traffic collision every 15
minutes with an average of 45 people getting injured per day while on
average five people are killed daily.
If these statistics do not shock the government into action, then nothing
Fatal accidents have always been with us, but not at the current levels and
frequency. In past years, the vehicle population was in proportion to the
traffic infrastructure. In contrast, the prevailing situation has the
vehicle population exceeding by far the traffic infrastructure capacity
Compounding the problem is that the overwhelmed infrastructure is in an
advanced state of disrepair, which requires massive effort, will power and
financial investment to put right.
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, and an upturn in the local economy fuelled by
the discovery of diamonds and other minerals have seen the number of
vehicles on Zimbabwe’s roads double or even treble in the last three years
with cheap imports from neighbouring countries and overseas.
The increased traffic is one of the causes of accidents, but by no means the
only one. Combine non-licensed drivers, unroadworthy vehicles, poor road
infrastructure including pot holes, lack of road signs and road markings as
well as a poorly-resourced and corrupt police force then you have a disaster
The licensing office is also a contributor to traffic accidents. Alleged
corruption where non-deserving people are issued with licenses is a cause of
concern. An incompetent driver let loose behind the wheel obviously is
always a danger to himself and others. The government needs to act on
corrupt licensing officers to deter this sick practice motivated by greed
for monetary gains.
Police details manning roadblocks should shun selectivity when executing
their duties. Checks should be done on every vehicle using the road
irrespective of who owns it. I mean ZUPCO buses, army vehicles, and personal
cars driven by police officers or soldiers wearing uniforms should all go
through normal checks at roadblocks without favouritism. Little things like
this can lead to serious accidents which otherwise are preventable had
normal practices are adhered to.
Car manufacturers build cars according to geographical location where it’s
destined for use. Cars built for Africa are built with specifications to
withstand harsh African conditions. Importation of used cars with tyres not
built for our conditions can also be a factor in this upward accident trend.
Efforts to solicit informed data on how many accidents are caused by these
imports were fruitless, but definitely our conditions may cause serious
stress on certain components of the vehicles providing conditions conducive
for accidents to happen.
Driver fatigue and disregard of some basic road rules are two of the worst
causes of accidents. Taking periodic refresher courses helps very much to
minimise human error as an ingredient in the cause of accidents.
The Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Board and the ZRP must be commended for doing a
good job of random roadside safety awareness. In December 2012, I was one of
the drivers who received a brief roadside lecture on how to drive safely
during the rainy season and what checks I needed to do on my car to drive
safely. These minor safety awareness briefings are very useful and they go a
long way to make sure our roads are safe.
Driving is no longer enjoyable and safe in Zimbabwe. I will quickly point a
finger to the state of the roads as the main culprit. Too many cars on
small, damaged roads is not an ideal situation for safe motoring.
New methods of driver training should be explored. Traffic lights should be
backed up with solar power. The authorities should also invest in
technology. Cameras strategically positioned now play a major role in law
enforcement instead of countless roadblocks which are not producing any
change in driving habits. Funds generated by toll gates need to be used
specifically to repair and expand the road network.
The government is responding generally well to combat the traffic accidents.
Some few roads have been changed to one way only in Harare. Harare to Mutare
road is being dualised. Repairs on Harare to Bulawayo road are ongoing.
Repairs on other roads around the country are taking place. Although this is
not good enough, at least something is happening. The private sector should
also chip in and help in this mammoth task of roads building and repairs
with the government providing a bigger initiative.
Graham Nyakudjga can be contacted on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Heal Zimbabwe
15th Jan 2013
Heal Zimbabwe castigates the unwarranted arrest of the Chairperson for Heal
Zimbabwe and also Director for Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
(Zimrights), Mr Okay Machisa on Monday 14 January 2013 under false charges
of conspiracy to commit fraud, forgery and publishing falsehoods. His arrest
follows the subsequent arrest of the Zimrights Deputy National Programs
Coordinator, Mr Leo Chamahwinya in December 2012 on trumped up charges of
fraud and is currently detained at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. It is clear
that this a continued persecution of human rights defenders ahead of the
pending constitutional referendum and national elections. The police have a
tendency of arresting to investigate instead of first investigating the case
and arrest later. The clampdown is clearly meant to instil fear and daunt
civil society organisations from conscientising the masses on voter
registration and the voting process, a responsibility Zimrights has been
carrying out. HZT calls upon the Government of National Unity to end state
sponsored harassment and persecution of human rights activists and the
general populace at large.
The country has a precedence of increased human rights violations towards
elections regardless of calls for peace by the national leadership.
President Robert Mugabe was applauded in 2012 for calling for free, fair and
peaceful elections but actions on the ground are not reflecting the call.
There are continued reports of human rights related violations in most parts
of the country especially in Mashonaland Central and Masvingo and nothing is
being done by institutions responsible especially JOMIC in ensuring
communities are living in peace. It is quite disheartening that human rights
defenders are persecuted in the vicinity of the Principals to the Inclusive
Government, it then raises concerns on how safe the ordinary citizens in
Mwenezi, Mudzi, Gokwe Gumunyu and other remote areas of Zimbabwe are in the
face of upcoming elections. HZT buttresses the need for security sector
reforms before any calls for elections as the country risk to fall into the
same armpits of the 2008 election violence if these human rights violations
are left unabated.
NCA Press Release: COPAC MUST APOLOGISE TO ZIMBABWEANS
15 January 2013
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), having advised the parties in
the GNU about the provisions of Article 6 of the GPA , which fell short in
yielding a democratic constitution for the country hereby demand a national
apology from COPAC to the people of Zimbabwe for failing the nation.
From the start we contested that the process was not democratic, not
inclusive and it has now proved beyond doubt that the COPAC route was not
the way to go as it has dismally failed to provide a constitution for
The COPAC process was defective because it was not led by an Independent
Commission. It was dominated by the three political parties who constitute
the inclusive government. In short the COPAC process was a
“politician-driven process” and not “people-driven”.
We are also ashamed by the desperate attempts by the Principals to
resuscitate and bring life to a corpse (COPAC). Instead of laying wreaths
and admit that the COPAC process is dead they are busy misleading the nation
that something will come out of the failed money spinning project.
Apart from the process being not democratic, we also therefore note with
great concern the millions of dollars wasted in this failed project. As NCA
we are also alarmed that up until this day that money has not been properly
The COPAC process also wasted the time of Zimbabweans as those driving the
process failed to meet their set timelines, and failed to produce a final
draft despite empty promises on such. We have always wanted a referendum to
utilise that platform to reject the flawed process. Unfortunately COPAC
cannot bring even a bad document to referendum.
It is against this background that the NCA is calling for the inclusive
government to issue a public apology to the people of Zimbabwe for wasting
their precious time.
As NCA, we now call for a set of reforms to ensure a free and fair poll
thereafter we immediately start a fresh independent process to write a
charter for the country.
We remain firm, resolute in upholding the Peoples Charter which calls for;-
a Comprehensive consultation constitution making process with the people of
Zimbabwe wherein they are guaranteed freedom of expression and information,
association and assembly.
3) The collection of the views of the people and their compilation into a
draft constitution that shall be undertaken by an All-Stakeholders’
Commission composed of representatives of government, parliament, political
parties, civil society, labour, business and the church with a gender and
m) A transparent process of the appointment of the All-Stakeholders’
Commission members as well as their terms of reference.
n) The holding of a national referendum on any draft constitution.
In conclusion, the NCA remains engaged in ensuring that Zimbabwe eventually
gets a constitution it deserves. In this respect, the NCA is continuing with
its civic education activities across the country which involves the
production and distribution of materials on constitutional issues.
By Simukai Tinhu
January 14, 2013
Morgan Tsvangirai has done much to stand up to ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, but the
MDC must not prevent democracy from penetrating its own internal workings.
The tendency of international statesmen to praise ‘the man of the moment’
through an awards system or complementary rhetoric is amongst one of the
most endearing features of contemporary international politics. But
sometimes international leaders get it wrong. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was
the quintessential ‘man of the moment’ who, even when he was commanding his
cadres to carry out the 1983/84 atrocities in Matebeleland, was touted as a
statesman whose administration was a model for other nations. As it turned
out later, his formula for running the country – including the latter-day
assault on democracy – proved to be too unconventional even for the
International leaders now seem to be falling over each other to award
Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai (head of the Movement for
Democratic Change [MDC]) with accolades in admiration of his courage in the
battle for political hegemony in Zimbabwe. Though to some degree welcome
(they might help intensify the recruitment of sympathy and support for his
cause from the wretched local masses and the eager international community),
such awards can also unwittingly give us an unrealistic sense of political
certainty about what lies ahead.
The awarding of accolades would not be so contentious if they were
attentively balanced with a deliberately active encouragement by
international leaders of debate on Tsvangirai’s performance to date. Honest
discussion of the immediate and current performance of the MDC leader whilst
in opposition might help us develop a realistic imagination of a post–Mugabe
era with Tsvangirai in power.
Taking the opportunity of the elections scheduled this year, let us examine
Tsvangirai’s story as leader of the opposition, and try to understand the
politician who is likely to occupy state house, come free and fair elections
this June. The understanding that I humbly propose here, departs from the
view that Tsvangirai is Zimbabwe’s version of Nelson Mandela. The intention
of adopting such a view, hopefully, is to inject a refreshingly problematic
understanding of the MDC leader.
I will start by acknowledging the profundity of my admiration for
Tsvangirai. In particular, I revere his decision to sign on for what many
initially regarded as a suicidal political fight against Mugabe, and his
persistence in that mortal combat. This he has waged for most of the time
against all odds and in the face of adversity that threatened his immediate
family and even his physical existence. Indeed, I rank this decision as one
of the bravest ever made by a Zimbabwean.
It is such spirited courage, coupled with a sense of inadequacy in most of
us towards Tsvangirai’s relentless struggle against Mugabe, which
understandably make it hard to pen even the most restrained criticism of his
leadership. Not only does this entire business of being critical of the MDC
leader induce uneasiness in the critic’s conscience, but talk of such kind
often evokes, in some cases justifiably, biting remarks. The bearer of the
critical mind can easily be accused of wittingly or unwittingly undermining
the fight against democracy. Worse, he can be seen as a vulgar apologist for
the existing regime.
I am not, however, confident that the removal of the authoritarian Mugabe
regime necessarily means that democracy will have won. It may be a rejection
of arbitrary rule, but then what follows might in some way resemble the
existing political system.
I say so because to construct democracy requires genuine democratic efforts
that must start from within the MDC whilst it is still in opposition, which
judging from some of its current behaviour, appear not to be the case.
Tsvangirai and his party have been gravitating towards undemocratic
practices – this includes hostility towards criticism, the issue of
Tsvangirai’s succession, and the MDC’s own political violence.
The MDC and its leader has developed an attitude redolent of ZANU – PF in
its attitude towards criticism. In recent years, increasingly, we have seen
how they have become intolerably hostile to those who criticise them. For
example, the response of its officials to a ‘slightly’ negative 2012 Report
on MDC by Freedom House, a Washington based democracy research and advocacy
organisation, indicates how irascible and unaccommodating the opposition
party can be towards those whose views are contrary to what they want to
hear. This behaviour is also personified by the party’s leader who has been
known to become apoplectic when criticised particularly by his MDC–N rival,
Professor Welshman Ncube (leader of the smaller breakaway faction of the
MDC). Such an attitude is totally incongruent with democratic imperatives.
Most serious, the issue of Tsvangirai’s succession has been stonewalled each
time it is raised within the party or on the public forum, exposing the
limitations of democratic processes within the MDC. On this matter, the MDC
leader reminds me of Dickens’s Mrs Jellyby in Bleak House, worrying about
the democratic miseries of the nation, while ignoring the shrieks for change
from under his window. Indeed, on this matter, Tsvangirai could do with a
dose of humility before demanding of Mugabe at national level, what he is
resisting within his party.
When questioned on the matter, a case is made by those fiercely loyal to
Tsvangirai to justify his undemocratic continuation as the leader of the
party, which unfortunately, or significantly – or both – many of his
followers seem to have rushed to embrace. The argument by the loyalists, is
that no one within the party is popular enough to challenge Mugabe at
national level. The loyalists contend that the removal of Mugabe
subordinates any changes that might be needed within the party, in
particular, democratic elections of a new leader. In other words, the fate
of the party is seen as intertwined with that of its leader, and Tsvangirai
is seen as indispensable to the party.
One official told me that senior members within the party would rather
prefer Tsvangirai as its leader in comparison to Tendai Biti, the party’s
powerful Secretary General and potential challenger to the MDC leadership.
These senior officials, according to my source, see Tsvangirai as a saint,
who at times comes across as affable and devoid of intellectual abilities;
hence the assumption is that that he will be easy to manipulate in office.
However, this thinking, if at all true, seriously underestimates the man.
The truth is that the MDC leader is no small fry politician. He is a tough
leader who was head of the most powerful trade union in Zimbabwe for 10
years before he joined politics. We also easily forget that to lead a party
that fights Mugabe, and to stay as head of that party for 14 years, you have
to be ruthless. Tsvangirai’s personality, in particular his courage, leaves
no doubt in my mind that he is a man who understands the art of power, and
knows how to use it.
The past year was a season of political silliness in which the MDC leader
made a spectacle of himself. His antics in bed not only gave us a glimpse of
his character, but also showed how politically ruthless he is. With all the
scandals, one would have at least expected whispers of regicide, with
pretenders to Tsvangirai’s throne firing some warning shots in his
direction. But in the name of party unity, almost every official played down
these antics, and rehearsed the same litany that the sex scandals (which
left a string of heart broken women) were a private matter that has no
bearing on Mr Tsvangirai’s abilities as the leader of the party.
Such an unhelpful consensus not only indicates a lack of independent
thinking and constructive criticism, but more importantly, shows Tsvangirai’s
impressive ability to chill disquiet within the party. We shouldn’t forget
that in 2010 the MDC leader peremptorily dismissed party stalwarts Elias
Mudzuri and Fidelis Mhashu from the Cabinet, a move described as handiwork
strategically undertaken to act as an absolute warning to those within the
party that trouble was unwelcome. This purge must not have been far from the
minds of MDC officials, including adversaries within the party, when they
lined up in support of their leader.
The MDC claims that nonviolence is at the centre of its democratic ethos.
Though I would not go as far as the MDC–N leader, Welshman Ncube to say the
MDC is a violent party, but that on occasion, the party has exhibited some
violent tendencies (see here also). What is most disturbing is that claims
of violence apparently perpetrated by the MDC have mostly been dismissed as
heresy and fallacy by the party.
In cases where, faced with insurmountable evidence, with fine contempt, the
MDC has rationalised this violence by arguing that ZANU–PF started or
fomented, even intra – party violence. Such lowering of the democratic
threshold by a party that loudly talks about democracy is indeed worrying.
The disturbing images of a savagely beaten MDC–N’s senator Trudy Stevenson,
allegedly by MDC youths in 2006, shows how lacking in tenderness the MDC can
be towards its adversaries.
I will close by saying that I might turn out to be just another naysayer who
got it entirely wrong. But I also say it’s worth taking a moment to ask
ourselves the question; With all that ‘democratic bungling’ so far by a man
who wants to bequeath democracy to the masses, should we be counting on
Tsvangirai suddenly getting it right once in office? It is not too late;
The MDC leader and his party have to make that hard transition themselves
before they can attain that transition for Zimbabweans. But if they continue
on this trajectory, then no–one can guarantee democracy in the post–Mugabe
Simukai Tinhu recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with an
Mphil in African Studies.
15 January 2013
Vince Musewe on what the country has to do if it is to succeed
Zimbabwe can be a success but.....
We inherited an unaccountable government from Ian Smith and have sadly
continued the habits that we fought so much against
Despite the competing ideas about the future and the palpable tension now
evident as we move towards probable elections, I am still convinced that we
all can make our country even greater than we can imagine. It is rather sad
that some amongst us think only their vision and plan for a future Zimbabwe
is the only viable one and must be forced down our throats. Here, I am
specifically talking about ZANU (PF)'s vision of a new Zimbabwe. As far as I
am concerned, there is much more Zimbabwe can and must become.
Throughout the years, Zimbabweans have never really had a say in shaping the
future they desire simply because we have had a dictatorship. We have
unfortunately allowed a few men to determine what we can become but their
vision has been jaundiced by the past and limited in its imagination. Our
challenge now is to dismiss those who have presided over the economic and
social catastrophe that we face today and usher in a new forward thinking
In order for our country to move forwards, we must now debate on the
practicalities of what needs to be done. Zimbabweans are an academic lot,
very good at coming up with economic blue prints and academic arguments that
sound convincing on paper. I have argued before that a sound constitution
without vision, although critical, will definitely disappoint. Rather, the
engendering of a new value system, is the only way we can purge old thinking
and old habits that continue to hold us back.
Like the book "The seven habits of highly effective people", I have come up
with "The seven habits that hold Zimbabwe back". Of course there are much
more than that, but I will focus on a few.
I think that one of our major mental challenges that we have, is the habit
of fear. It is evident that our old politicians fear change while
progressive and intelligent Zimbabweans, who should be at the fore front of
change, fear to engage in politics. This has resulted in our country not
engaging in the high gear of accelerated socio economic renewal and much
energy being spent to address this imaginary fear factor.
Because of this, we have not been able to openly challenge and urgently
address the developmental needs of the country. A clear example of this for
me, is how our business sector is aware of the damage being done to
investments potential by our indigenization policy, yet I have not seen or
heard them loudly protest. We have all sort safety I silence and this has
unfortunately limited our potential while allowing loud politicians to
continue on what is clearly the wrong path.
The second habit we need to purge is that of greed. It is utterly amazing to
see how Zimbabweans in general, have become driven by the greed to acquire,
or to be seen to have. This has resulted in corruption, unfair business
practice and avoidable personal indebtedness. Corporate greed has become
normal while consumers in general are victims of the provision of sub
standard services at ridiculous pricing. This involves both public and
private goods and services. At a personal level, we seem to have forgotten
our fore fathers' values of delayed gratification, hard work and patience.
Because we live for today, we have hugely compromised the potential of our
future and as a result Zimbabwe is becoming underdeveloped by the day. We
are all active participants in that.
The third is that of the non accountability of our public officials. This
has led prescriptive attitude and arrogance of our ministers. Where else,
for example, do you get a minister firing elected councilors as happens in
local government often? We should utterly reject that. I have always found
this the most ridiculous practice where an unelected minister has the
audacity and authority to annul the public vote. Where else o you get
public officials clearly acting in the interest of a political party to
which they belong as opposed to Zimbabweans in general? This I think will
continue to be a challenge we face even in the event of a new dispensation.
We inherited an unaccountable government from Iain Smith and have continued
the habits that we fought so much against.
The fourth destructive habit is the lack of openness and the right to differ
in opinion but still co-operate. Lack of this is clearly demonstrated
through our media sector specifically television and local radio stations.
One thing I admire about South Africa is the energy they spend on openly
debating all the issues and challenges faced by the country. An open media
is critical to economic and social development and I anxiously await the day
where, for example, criticizing the President is not seen as "undermining
the authority of the President" as is the case now. I also anxiously await
the day where we can openly have multiple views and opinions on all issues
we face debated on every radio station and on multiple television channels.
The fifth habit that I think holds Zimbabwe back is that of patronage. You
will be amazed at how patronage and favor is ingrained into the Zimbabwean
psyche. For this of course I must blame ZANU (PF), but I am beginning to see
some signs of it even with the so called progressive political parties. You
see, in an environment where patronage is acceptable, you do not get the
best of breed nor does the country live up to its full potential.
Competition is stifled and mediocrity becomes the norm in all we do.
Sixth is the habit of entitlement and holding onto position regardless of
one's effectiveness in that position. This applies not only in public
office, but also in the private sector. For goodness sake how can one
individual be the CEO of any company for 20 years and still be effective!
Surely life not only becomes quite boring but one becomes resistant to any
change. Of course our politicians have been the main culprits, but our
private sector has taken its lessons well. The periodic renewal of
leadership is fundamental to growth and that is one reason why our country
has fallen behind despite having the talent.
The last habit is that of limited imagination about the potential of our
future and the "me too" mentality. We are a wounded nation which
inadvertently limits its options on the future through our limited
imagination of what is possible and the tendency to copy ideas. This of
course is a result of years of propaganda and political conditioning that
has served to entrench a ruling class that does not necessarily have the
best ideas about the future.
By now, Zimbabwe should be way ahead given what it inherited at
independence. Our dilapidating infrastructure says it all, and this is
exacerbated by the fear of how new technology and can change our economy.
We have been held back, if not driven backwards, for far too long and now is
the time for change. Our country has so much potential but we limit it
because we are arrested by the past.
I guess As Karl Max was right to say that: "Men make their own history, but
they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under
circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly
encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the
dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living."
The traditions of ZANU (PF), like a nightmare, continue to hang on the
brains of the living and it is up to you and me to change that.
Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You can contact him on
BILL WATCH 1/2013
[14th January 2013]
Both Houses of Parliament have Adjourned until Tuesday 5th February
2013 Budget Acts Gazetted
The Finance (No. 2) Act and the Appropriation (2013) Act were gazetted on 28th December and came into force immediately [both available from email@example.com]. All Bills passed by Parliament during 2012 have now been gazetted as Acts.
Acts of 2012
[These Acts are available from firstname.lastname@example.org]:
The complete list of Acts of 2012 is as follows:
Older Persons Act [1/2012]
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act [2/2012]
Electoral Amendment Act [3/2012]
Finance Act [4/2012]
Appropriation (2012) Amendment Act [5/2012]
Finance (No. 2) Act [6/2012]
Appropriation (2013) Act [7/2012]
Comment: Other than Acts 4, 5, 6 and 7 for the Ministry of Finance, which come up every year, only three Acts were the outcome of a whole year’s Parliamentary work. This is a record low.
New Vacancy in House of Assembly – Death of Deputy Minister Seiso Moyo
With the death on 21st December of Seiso Moyo, MDC-T MP for Bulawayo’s Nketa constituency and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, the number of vacant seats in the House of Assembly rose to 18 out of a possible full complement of 215.
All eighteen vacancies are in the 210 constituency seats.
The 196 current members of the House fall into the following groups:
Note: There has been prolonged litigation brought by dissatisfied would-be MPs for compelling the holding of by-elections. An appeal against Justice Chiweshe’s order allowing the Government until the end of March 2013 to call by-elections is now waiting a hearing in the Supreme Court. By the time a decision is reached it may be too late to be of any practical value.
Status of Bills
Government Bills already gazetted [all available from email@example.com]
Microfinance Bill – this Bill was introduced in the House of Assembly on 29th November and immediately referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]. Further proceedings must wait for the PLC’s report on the Bill’s consistency or otherwise with the Constitution. [For summary see Bill Watch 41/2012 of 4th September 2012]
Income Tax Bill – this massive Bill was gazetted on 30th November. It has not yet been introduced and referred to the PLC.
Securities Amendment Bill – this Bill was introduced in the House of Assembly on 9th October 2012 and referred to the PLC, but lapsed at the end of the last Session before the PLC had reported on it. As with any lapsed Bill, the responsible Minister, in this case the Minister of Finance, can ask the House to restore it to the Order Paper at the point reached when it lapsed.
National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – this Bill, long ago cleared by the PLC and awaiting the start of its Second Reading stage, also lapsed at the end of the last Session. The Minister of Industry and Commerce can request its restoration to the Order Paper.
Government Bill being printed [NOT yet available]
Attorney-General’s Office Amendment Bill – this Bill was received by Parliament from the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs late last week and has been sent to the Government Printer for printing and, in due course, gazetting.
Note: The Attorney General’s Office Act was gazetted in June 2011 but has never been brought into force. In his speech opening the present Parliamentary Session the President mentioned this Bill, saying it would amend provisions in the Attorney General’s Office Act that potentially infringe upon the independence of that office as enshrined in section 76 of the current Constitution. Section 76 concentrates on the Attorney General’s prosecuting functions.
Comment: The COPAC draft Constitution envisages the Attorney General’s present prosecuting functions being transferred to an independent National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] headed by a Prosecutor-General. This would mean the Attorney-General and his Office would be left with the function of legal advisors to the Government. ZANU-PF has objected to this part of the COPAC constitution and it remains one of the “unresolved issues” presently being discussed.
Question: Why is the Government persisting with this Bill before the issue of whether or not to have a National Prosecuting Authority has been agreed? The MDC would be able to block the Bill’s passage through Parliament.
Bills in the pipeline [copies NOT yet available]
Bills recently mentioned by Ministers but not yet ready include:
Banking Amendment Bill Both in his Budget Statement in November and since then the Minister of Finance has talked of his plans for a “plethora” of amendments to legislation governing the banking sector, to include provision for mandatory “stress tests” and a Banking Ombudsman to protect the interests of customers.
Procurement Amendment Bill Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has also made known his desire to have the Procurement Act amended to improve efficiency and reduce openings for corruption in the procurement process.
Diamonds Bill, to ensure transparency and accountability in the exploitation of the country’s diamond fields, and the receipt of Government revenue from diamond mining by the Ministry of Finance. This is another project of the Minister of Finance.
Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill The Minister of Mines and Mining Development said last week that Cabinet has approved this long-awaited Bill. He singled out a provision for landowners to have far greater rights vis-à-vis prospectors and miners than under the present law. Exactly what this means will only become clear once the fine print in the Bill can be examined, but major changes in basic mining law principles seem to lie ahead.
Government Gazette 21st December to 11th January
Acts of Parliament [gazetted 28th December]
Finance (No. 2) Act (No. 6/2012]
Appropriation (2013) Act [No. 7/2012]
[See note at the beginning of this bulletin.]
Extra public holiday
SI 187A/2012, gazetted on 20th December in a Gazette Extraordinary, made Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December, a special one-off public holiday, in addition to the regular public holidays on 22nd, 25th and 26th December. While there may have been good reason for the declaration, the business community complained about inconvenience caused by the last-minute nature of the declaration.
Immigration regulations SI 189/2012 provides for the use of a special identity document to facilitate movement across the Zimbabwe/Zambia border of Zambezi River Authority personnel. Note that passports will still be required.
Air service permit fees SI 190/2012 specifies new application fees for permits issued under the Air Services Act.
Local authority by-laws SIs 191/2012 and 192/2012 are Masvingo City Council by-laws dealing with bus-stops and pre-paid parking discs for use in the CBD. Thoroughfares designated by the Council for pre-paid parking bays are separately listed in a General Notice gazetted on the same day, 28th December [see General Notices below].
The first two SIs of 2013, gazetted on 11th January, are new Bindura Municipal Council by-laws covering public health [SI 1/2013] and food hygiene ]SI 2/2013].
Customs duty suspensions for mining companies SIs 194/2012 and 3/2013 add to the list of mining companies to be granted customs duty suspensions.
Customs and excise measures giving effect to Budget [all gazetted in a Gazette Extraordinary dated 31st December and effective from 1st January 2013]
SI 193/2012 adds over 20 commodities to the list of items on which a 25% customs surtax is payable [e.g., cooking oils, butter, margarine, fresh cheese, washing and cleaning preparations].
SI 198/2012 makes comprehensive changes to the customs tariff.
SI 199/2012 contains detailed provision for the suspension of customs duty on certain types of motor vehicles imported by approved safari operators.
SI 195/2012 allows for the suspension of excise duty on ethanol for use as fuel.
SI 196/2012 re-enacts a provision of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations for a customs duty rebate on goods imported for religious purposes.
VAT measure giving effect to Budget
SI 197/2012, also with effect from 1st January 2013, deals with VAT on live birds and soya meal.
Special mining grants
GNs 3/2013 to 12/2013, gazetted on 4th December, notify the issue of special mining grants in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Harare mining districts. The grants have been issued by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, on the authority of the President, in terms of section 301 of the Mines and Minerals Act. While the notices state the names of the grantee companies and the varying periods of the grants, they do not specify whether they are for prospecting or mining, or both, or what minerals are covered.
Masvingo pre-paid parking disc zones are specified in GN 609/2012 of 28th December [see also under Statutory Instruments above].
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied
Zimbabwe government continues harassment of NGOs. The new year hasn’t brought a new attitude to the Zimbabwe government about human rights and freedom of expression, if the recent harassment of ZimRights is anything to go by. Read this statement from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR):
Police charge Machisa with publishing falsehoods as government steps up onslaught against NGOs
Zimbabwean police on Monday 14 January 2013 charged Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Director, Okay Machisa with publishing falsehoods, fraud and forgery as authorities intensify the onslaught against non-governmental organisations.
Machisa will be a guest in the police cells of the coalition government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after detectives at the Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station detained him at Rhodesville Police Station following the recording of a warned and cautioned statement from him.
The police charged Machisa with contravening Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State. The ZimRights director was also charged with committing fraud and forgery in contravention of Section 136 and 137 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Faith Mamutse, who is employed as a secretary at ZimRights was released after the police interrogated and recorded a statement from her.
Machisa, who is also the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson handed himself to the police on Monday morning, accompanied by his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, who is a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). The police also raided and searched the ZimRights head office in Harare, where Mtetwa and Gift Mtisi, another ZLHR member lawyer were present during the search.
Meanwhile, ZimRights programme manager Leo Chamahwinya and three others, who were arrested in a raid on the ZimRights offices last year, remain in police custody, with their bail appeal having been denied last week.