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

Robert Mugabe has surgery in Malaysia

President Robert Mugabe is in hospital in Malaysia after an operation on his

By Peta Thornycroft 7:27PM GMT 16 Jan 2011

Mr Mugabe, who will be 87 in February had medical examinations while on
holiday in Malaysia earlier this month. He returned home to Harare but his
prostate suddenly flared and he has returned to Kuala Lumpur for the

Diplomatic sources in both Harare and South Africa said this was a "serious"
operation and Mr Mugabe was ill, but within his Zanu PF party there is
confidence he will return home within a week and recover fully.

Mr Mugabe, now in a troubled inclusive government with the Movement for
Democratic Change has had remarkable health so far.

Last month at the annual Zanu PF conference he said he would lead his party
in fresh elections later this year.

Morgan Tsvangirai, now MDC prime minister in the coalition government says
elections should only be held when substantial political and legislative
reforms and a new constitution are in place.

Mr Tsvangirai easily beat Mr Mugabe in the first round of the last
presidential elections in 2008, but pulled out of the run off after Zanu PF
killed more than 160 of his supporters.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim Foreign Companies To Be Forced To Reveal Stance On Sanctions

17/01/2011 11:29:00

Gweru, January 17 2011 - Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned
chief executive companies of foreign- owned companies that they will be
forced to reveal their stance on sanctions on Zimbabwe live on radio and
risk losing 90 percent of their shares if they refuse.

The minister said the shares will be sold and used to fight sanctions on
Zimbabwe to go.

Mnangawa who was speaking at a victory celebration for Zanu (PF) Member of
Parliament in Chiwundura, Kizito Chivamba at the weekend, said his party was
investigating foreign owned companies in support of sanctions.

“We are in the process of rounding up CEOs of all foreign companies
operating here and we will ask them if they support sanctions or not," he
said. “Those who will indicate that they do not support the sanctions will
be asked
to go live on national radio and tell the country and the rest of the world
that their company does not support sanctions. Those who will indicate that
they support sanctions will leave us with no option but to put punitive
measures against them. One of the options available is to take over 90
percent of their shares and use them to generate money that will be used to
finance the fight against sanctions,” said Mnangagwa who is widely known as
crocodile “ngwena” in Zanu (PF) circles.

There are over 500 foreign companies operating in the country. The exercise
has already started in the lowveld and Bulawayo where Zanu (PF) officials
have visited some foreign owed companies.

“Zanu (PF) officials visited my company last week and left a questionnaire
which they said I should fill and submit to the Zanu (PF) provincial
headquarters before the 29th of January 2011,” said a CEO of a Bulawayo
based foreign company who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

Zanu (PF) has accused Britain, America and their allies of imposing economic
sanctions against Zimbabwe. However the two countries have denied the
charges insisting that only personal restrictions were imposed on
individuals in Zanu (PF) who were responsible for funning and aiding
violence against opposition supporters during the past elections.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zuma’s facilitation team due in Harare for consultations

By Tichaona Sibanda
17 January 2011

South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team is expected in Harare
this week, to reportedly engage parties in the Global Political Agreement
and nail down details of a road map towards free and fair elections.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the facilitation team is
expected in Harare either Monday or Tuesday. The team, comprising Charles
Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu, is to meet with Zimbabwe party
negotiators as two of the principals to the unity government, Robert Mugabe
and Morgan Tsvangirai are still on their annual leave.

Online news reports say Mugabe is in hospital in Malaysia after an operation
on his prostate and might be off work for a couple of weeks.

President Zuma has in the last few months pressed the three principals to
come up with and implement a roadmap ahead of elections likely to be held
late this year or early next year.

The South African leader has expressed concern at the speed of the
implementation of the GPA, impressing upon Mugabe, Tsvangirai and his deputy
Arthur Mutambara the need for them to agree on the roadmap to solve the
current political crisis.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that Zuma is likely to present leaders
in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a roadmap, during
a Troika summit which is likely to be held in February. The SADC troika is
expected to play a central role in creating conditions for free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe.

“There is going to be an African Union summit in Ethiopia next week and on
the sidelines of that, SADC leaders will most likely be briefed by Zuma on
his latest mediation efforts. I think this is the reason why Zuma wants his
team in Harare to gather as much information from the parties,” a source
told SW Radio Africa on Monday.

Zuma is however said to be pained at the slow pace of the implementation of
the outstanding issues in GPA, something which his international relations
advisor Lindiwe Zulu agreed with. Zulu told SW Radio Africa last year that
Zuma wanted the issues to be implemented as soon as possible.

Zulu confirmed that the principals had agreed that the roadmap was important
and that they would start consultations on the way forward as soon as
everybody was back from their holidays. There are reports that when the
principals meet for their first time this year, high on the agenda would be
the electoral roadmap.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Ncube’s MDC accused of hiring thugs to seize cars

By Lance Guma
17 January 2011

Jobert Mudzumwe, who was the National Chairman of the MDC-M before its
congress nine days ago, has accused the new executive led by Welshman Ncube
of sending over 20 party youths to forcibly take a party vehicle from his

Speaking to SW Radio Africa on Monday Mudzumwe said “there were about 20
youths who were sent to my place to collect a wrecked vehicle, which I have
actually parked at my place in Masvingo.” He said his 4 year old son Thierry
was home alone and was harassed into handing over the keys to the “broken
down car.”

“The head of the engine is down because the mechanic was trying to fix it.
It was placed in the bedroom of one of my eldest sons, Proud, who was not
there. So they threatened this young boy saying ‘give us the keys to this
car’ and the little boy said ‘no, you cannot take this car because my father
and mother are not around,” Mudzumwe said.

Mudzumwe, who is also the General Secretary of the Commercial Workers Union,
said he is based in Harare and his wife was at the Great Zimbabwe University
in Masvingo at the time. He said his 4 year old son eventually gave in to
the threats and took the keys from wardrobe to give to the menacing youths
milling outside.

“The proper channel to follow would have been to come to me and say ‘Mr.
Chairman we want the vehicle’. I would have done a proper handover. There
was no way I was going to refuse to give them that wreckage,” Mudzumwe said.

He said the same youths went to the home of Masvingo province chairman
Robson Mashiri and forcibly took a Madza B22 from his house. The Madza B22
is also said to have been a ‘broken down car’ which Mashiri is said to have
spent US$1200 of his personal money repairing at the Mazda Motor Spares
garage. Mudzumwe meanwhile said will not resort to violence in resolving the
matter and he has already started the process of taking the matter to court.

Nhlanhla Dube, the newly appointed national spokesman of the MDC led by
Welshman Ncube, was a guest on Behind the Headlines on Monday. He told the
programme that Mudzumwe was lying about the alleged hiring of thugs to
retrieve the party vehicles. He said both Mudzumwe and Mashiri had lost the
right to use the vehicles having lost their positions in the party after the

“The party simply sent a couple of drivers to go and retrieve the vehicles,”
Dube told the programme.
Asked if the retrieval of the vehicles was done peacefully and with the
consent of Mudzumwe and Mashiri, Dube said “absolutely, nobody was touched
violently, nobody was touched physically, they were handed over peacefully
and we took it as their understanding that those vehicles did not belong to
them individually.”

NB: To listen to the full interview with Nhlanhla Dube, the newly appointed
national spokesman of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, tune in to Behind the
Headlines with Lance Guma.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim diamond decision expected this week

By Alex Bell
17 January 2011

A decision on whether Zimbabwe will be allowed to resume full diamond
exports is expected this week, amid reports that the Mines Ministry is going
ahead with two auctions soon.

A meeting of the international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process
(KP), was set to get underway on Monday, to discuss amendments to a proposed
agreement on Zimbabwe. Last year, KP members failed to reach consensus on an
agreement that would see full exports resume with KP certification. That
original agreement was also rejected by Zimbabwean authorities who
threatened to sell the diamonds without approval.

Earlier this month, Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said that the KP
had given Zimbabwe the green light to go ahead with two diamond auctions. He
claimed that the KP had said this in a letter, but he has not produced the
letter so far. Meanwhile a KP spokesperson has been quoted as saying that no
decision has been made, and that the watchdog group was still waiting for
consensus from KP members of the proposed agreement.

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

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

Zimbabwe was suspended from trade in 2009 over human rights abuses at the
Chiadzwa alluvial diamond fields, where the military has been accused of
violence, forced labour, smuggling and murder. The KP, which was started to
end the trade in blood diamonds, has resisted pressure to ban the country
completely. Instead, the group continued its lenient treatment of the
Zimbabwe situation, which critics have warned is a serious threat to the
credibility of the global diamond trade.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Soldiers, CIO Distributing Farming Inputs

17/01/2011 17:31:00

Sanyati, January 17, 2011 - Members of the Zimbabwe National Army and the
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) were at the weekend spotted here
distributing free farm inputs where they were turning away suspected
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters.

Villagers at Sanyati growth point told Radio VOP that the Maguta team
comprising soldiers and CIOs led by a Colonel Dube and one Chimombe
(soldier) were in charge at farming inputs distribution centres in the area.

They said Colonel Dube addressed villagers at each of the distributing
points and insisted that the fertiliser and maize seed was only for Zanu
(PF) card carrying members.

“Colonel Dube is telling us that we should produce Zanu (PF) party cards
which are five years old for us to get the inputs “said the villagers who
declined to be named.

MDC has since appealed to regional and international blocs complaining about
the abuse of national farming inputs by the Zanu (PF) party.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim Soldiers Beat Up Plumtree Residents In Revenge

17/01/2011 11:21:00

Bulawayo, January 17, 2011 - A group of soldiers went on rampage in the
border town of Plumtree, Matebeleland Province early hours of Sunday beating
up residents in revenge after their colleague lost in a fist fight against a

This comes just a week after a group of soldiers also went berserk in Jerera
Growth point in Zaka in Masvingo Province beating up civilians.

Chaos erupted in Plumtree town centre after a junior army officer based at 3
Brigade barracks located just outside the border town and one resident got
involved in a fist fight over a woman at a night club.

“The junior army officer was beaten up thoroughly and started bleeding
profusely. After gaining conscious he rushed to the army barracks and
brought seven of his colleagues who started beating everyone on site
including those drinking beer in night clubs,” said one of town resident.
“There were shouting “musoja haarohwi” (soldiers don't get beaten).

Contacted for comment Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Matebeleland region
spokesperson Evance Mapanzure said “we are yet to receive a report on this,
but the culprits will be punished”.

Two years ago soldiers from the same Matebeleland Province went on rampage
beating up villagers after a similar incident happened.

The soldiers who were based at Bomb Range Training Camp in Esigodini caused
terror at Ntabende Shopping Centre in revenge breaking into shops, looting
goods worth thousands US dollars before severely assaulting villagers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Bussed Villagers Left To Soak In The Rain

17/01/2011 17:32:00

Masvingo, January 17, 2011 - Hundreds of villagers from Masvingo North
constituency were left to soak in the rain while waiting to be addressed by
Zanu (PF) secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa who had another
engagement at Mutimurefu prison in the area.

The people which had gathered for a tree plantation ceremony included
children from the Reformed Church of Zimbabwe-run Copota School for the
deaf, dumb and blind, as well as school children from nearby schools.

Zanu (PF) central committee member Clemence Makwarimba, who is the chief
executive officer of Masvingo Rural District Council, ordered the villagers
to stay put in the open despite the torrential downpour.

“The rains have come but let’s ignore them. We will go ahead. Border Gezi
youths should see to it that no-one moves from where they are seated,”
Makwarimba said.

And as the downpour became heavier and heavier, Mutasa went ahead with his
long speech, and ordered people not to move. “I am going to deliver my
speech despite the rains, just listen,” said Mutasa.

By this time the crowds who were now drenched from the rain could not take
it any longer and in a pandemonium took cover under trees and in a nearby
tent provided for the VIP guests, making so much noise that drowned Mutasa's

Mutasa however, went ahead with his speech and blasted the coalition of
nongovernmental organisations for campaigning for sanctions on Zimbabwe to

Zanu (PF) youths broke into dance singing: “Team Team ndikusetere team,
Chingotongai Makadaro", a popular Zanu (PF) jingle which is played every day
by the state owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as soon as Mutasa
finished reading his speech. The youths gyrated in front of Mutasa, Tertiary
Education Stan Mudenge, Governor Titus Maluleke and other party officials
who were sitting in a tent.

But some of the villagers interviewed afterwards said the politicians took
them for granted.

“Apart from forcing us to come here, they have taken us for a ride. They
could have temporarily halted the programme and resume after the rain had
stopped. This is abuse. The school children are very wet and without
jerseys. They are trembling from the cold,” said a villager.

Zanu (PF) chairman Lovemore Matuke defended the move to go ahead with the

“We have a very senior party official in the province, and you wanted us to
call off the function? What if the rains did not stop? After all, freedom
fighters in the liberation struggle endured this for you and me,’ Matuke

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe’s anti-colonialist agenda a ’bizarre arrangement’

Monday 17 January 2011 / by Alice Chimora

In Zimbabwe, children as young as 5 would, as of February, be subjected to
national service training as part of efforts by ZANU-PF to reorient the
young about Zimbabwe’s "revolution, pre-colonial political systems,
colonialism, wars and the post-colonial state."

A massive number of 30,000 patriotic youths are projected to be trained
annually in a country where the term "patriotism" means unwavering support
for the 87-year-old veteran leader, Robert Mugabe, and his political party,

Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment Minister and former secret
service agent from ZANU-PF, Saviour Kasukuwere, is spearheading the project
that has been heavily criticized. Critics argue that the project is a
desperate effort to foster ZANU-PF propaganda by the coercion of innocent

In the past decade, polls in the southern African country have been
characterised by violence and intimidation, spearheaded by aggressive youth
militias. And many suspect that the "patriotic" training of the youth is
being reinvented in preparation for possible elections before the end of the

The concept paper, entitled "National Youth Service Training Programme,"
targets people under the age of 35, and is scheduled to be forwarded to the
country’s cabinet next week. A first enrollment is planned for February

Reads part of the 48-page document: "All youths from pre-school, in school
and out of school, and under the age of 35 will participate in the
programme. Our target is to produce 300,000 youths annually. The ministry
will use its staff from head office, provincial, district and ward youth
officers under the department of youth development to reach out to schools,
churches, clubs and communities."

In preschool, teaching would focus on the national flag, anthem and cultural
dances, while primary schools would cover the “liberation struggle and
legacy,” physical fitness, the role of youth in peace and national

Further up the education sector at secondary schools, students are expected
to continue physical fitness training, conflict, provision of external
facilitation, case studies and role plays, and debates.

With the projected figure of 30,000 per year, simple deduction, according to
analysts, shows that should elections be held in 2013, tens of thousands of
people would be at the mercy of ZANU-PF’s propaganda machine, adding to
thousands of youths already trained by the former ruling party.

By end of the programme, the youths are expected to “explain the history of
Zimbabwe from pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era; identify with
national values of tolerance, discipline, respect and patriotism.”

“The evolution of the Zimbabwe political systems is better articulated by
people who are involved in the struggle for the establishment of the
Zimbabwean independence so as to articulate grievances, strategies and
linkages . . . ,” reads the paper.

Green Bombers

However, other political groupings have lashed out at the proposed programme
with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC saying the idea is  “ridiculous,
laughable and incredible.”

Said National party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, “You cannot introduce
ZANU-PF propaganda by coercion to innocent minds … We will not allow ZANU-PF
to have their way. All Zimbabweans must oppose this. We must not support
this bizarre arrangement.”

He said Zimbabweans would not stand by and watch “ZANU-PF do what Hitler did
to Germany and other countries.”

Political commentator Methuseli Moyo said the move was a “scheme by ZANU-PF
to force onto young Zimbabweans its mentality, which is undesirable anywhere
in the world.

“They will say they want to instill nationalism, but the fact that we were
born Zimbabweans, speak indigenous languages and eat our traditional food
means that we were born patriots. There is no need to take people to
patriotism lessons,” he said. "They want to capture the mentality and
brainwash people."

The first center, the Border Gezi training camp in Mount Darwin, about 90 km
north of Harare, was set up in 2001.

The youth brigade camps have churned out several thousand graduates, who
have come to be popularly known as "Green Bombers", because of the color of
their uniforms.

The youth training centers, dubbed “Border Gezi” institutes, are infamous
for producing a crop of youths who were accused of unleashing violence on
innocent civilians during the last elections.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's stolen farms stolen again

Published on : 17 January 2011 - 12:09pm |

“We were forced to leave our communal areas where we could sustain ourselves
and were dumped on large pieces of land which we cannot afford to utilise.
Now the government is threatening to take back the same land,” fumes Kundai,
a beneficiary of Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme.

By Nkosana Dlamini, Harare

Kundai is one of Zimbabwe’s black farmers given land seized from whites by
the government. They now run the risk of losing it back to the government
again because they're failing to make productive use of it. Like many
others, Kundai struggles every day to till hectares of land using an
ox-drawn plough.

Until now the threat of re-redistribution has been just that - a threat. But
recently it was revealed that Agriculture Minister  Herbert Murerwa had
given a farm back to a white farmer after it's new black beneficiary had
failed to utilise it.

“I want to warn all those who are not taking us seriously that we will
repossess their farms if they do not do anything on them, expecting
everything from the government,” Murerwa told a local online newspaper.

The white farmer cannot be named for fear of victimisation by liberation war
veterans, a militant section of President Robert Mugabe’s support base who
spearheaded Mugabe’s violent land grab at the turn of the century.

Farm machinery
The majority of poor land beneficiaries say the government has failed to
fulfill its promises to supply them with the machinery needed to till large
tracts of farmland.

“They will never improve if there is no capital injection or resources,”
said Kindness Paradza, a former legislator from Mugabe’s party, who is also
a farmer.

Large quantities of farm machinery sourced in 2008 through Zimbabwe’s
Reserve Bank were distributed mainly to Mugabe’s top allies within the
government, the judiciary and the military. They were given tractors,
harvesters and diesel power generators while the ordinary farmers without
powerful connections got ox driven carts and hoes.

Seeds, diesel, fertilisers and other chemicals  were also given freely to
some black farmers in an effort to boost agricultural produce. The problem
is that the top officials who benefited never took farming seriously. They
would resell the chemicals and diesel on the black market for a quick buck.

Zimbabwean banks have also refused to give loans to poor black farmers, most
of whom lack the expertise and capital to work the land on a commercial

Secret lease deals
Now, the government wants the black farmers who did receive support to
plough back their profits into farming.

Following threats by the government, some land beneficiaries have entered
into secret lease deals with the former land owners. But this has sparked
fury within Mugabe’s regime, which is at pains to convince the world the
land re-distribution programme has been successful. The "fast-track" land
seizure campaign that began in 2000 was marred by violence, murder, theft
and arson.

Out of more than 6000 white farmers in Zimbabwe in 2000, less than 400 still
occupy their land. Zimbabwe’s economy is said to have shrunk by 50 percent
following the destruction of agriculture, the mainstay of the Zimbabwean

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Jaggers becomes the latest causality of Zanu PF indigenisation machinations

16 January, 2011 10:27:00    VICTORIA MTOMBA - NewsDay

Jaggers Wholesalers and Jaggers & Trador’s furniture and other accessories
are set to go under the hammer on Thursday and Friday this week after Delta
Beverages successfully sued the two companies in a bid to recover a $443 795

Delta successfully sued Jaggers Wholesalers (1st respondent) and Jaggers
Trador (2nd respondent) in a case heard by Justice Lavender Makoni in
October last year.

Justice Makoni ordered that “1st and 2nd defendant pay to plaintiff the
amount of $443 795,79 plus interest at the rate of 16% per annum from
September 1 2010 to a date of payment in full.

“1st and 2nd defendant pay plaintiff cost of suit on a legal practitioner
and client scale.”

The deputy sheriff in Harare has since last week been advertising goods
belonging to the two companies that are set to be auctioned to members of
the public.

“Duly instructed by the deputy of Harare, we shall sell by public auction
the following (see list below) to the highest bidder at Jaggers Msasa on
January 21 and 22,” reads part of the advert flighted by the deputy sheriff
during the course of last week.

Some of the items to be sold include fridges, freezers, ironing boards,
television stands, rocking chairs, computer stands, beds, mattresses, coffee
table sets, forklifts and trolleys among other goods.

Recently the High Court ordered Jaggers Wholesaler to pay $1,4 million debt
it owes CBZ Bank Limited plus interest arising from a $3 million overdraft
facility the company received from the bank two years ago.

Jaggers Wholesalers began experiencing problems soon after Cecil Muderede, a
local businessman and farmer, acquired a controlling stake in the firm in
April last year.

Muderede gained a controlling stake in the wholesale after buying out a
major shareholder Metcash Africa, a South African company through his
investment vehicle Borlscade Investment Pvt Ltd.

Muderede, who also took over the whole Jaggers workforce, has been failing
to pay salaries on time since last year.

Last year in April the wholesale closed down 11 branches out of the 52
branches it had in the country as a cost-cutting measure.

Some of the affected branches include those in Chipinge Chitungwiza,
Graniteside, Mutoko, Filabusi and Bulawayo.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Patients Left Unattended As Hospital Staff Scramble For Free fertilizer

17/01/2011 11:20:00

Karoi, January 17, 2011 - There was chaos and drama at Karoi hospital at the
weekend when health officials dumped patients in a scramble to get free
fertilizer donated by President Robert Mugabe.

Even those without land went to queue for the free fertiliser while patients
were left unattended for nearly three hours.

However, junior nurses among them trainees were left out after the hospital
administrator Tapera Mukorera demanded that those with offer letters could
be assisted.

‘’Its unfortunate that there are conditions being imposed by these officials
although everyone must benefit from this free input scheme.‘’ said a
disgruntled junior nurse.

However, the fertiliser was not enough to go around the 200 staff members as
the hospital was only allocated 27 bags.

Meanwhile a Karoi prison officer-in charge Supt Christine Manhivi has come
under fire again from her subordinates on suspicion that she diverted free
fertilizer under Presidential inputs scheme here.

Sources at Karoi prison claim at the weekend that Manhivi who is a war
veteran abused her authority last week on Thursday when she diverted the
fertilizer that was meant for the Karoi prison.

Prison sources told Radio VOP reporter at the weekend that both Karoi and
Hurungwe prisons had two tonnes of the fertilizer allocation each.

‘’When we asked her why it was taking long to have the fertilizer delivered
to our station, she explained that our delivery had been delivered to
Hurungwe prison although it had its own allocation. We are suspecting that
she could have diverted our fertilizer for personal use,’’ said an officer.

Manhivi could not be reached on her mobile phone at the weekend as it went
on unanswered. She is still yet to face an internal probe after she diverted
four tonnes of fertilizer in October last year.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

New Law Society of Zimbabwe President

17/01/2011 11:23:00

Harare, January 17, 2011 - Prominent human rights lawyer and Zimbabwe
Election Support Network (ZESN) board chairperson Tinoziva Bere has been
elected the new Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) president.

Prior to his elevation Bere of Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners based in
Mutare was LSZ’s vice president since 2009 and a councillor and committee
chairperson since 2001.

Lloyd Mhishi a councillor representing Harare and a partner with Dube
Manikai and Hwacha (DMH) is the new Vice President. Mhishi is also law
lecturer at the faculties of law of both University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and the
Midlands State University (MSU).

Bere replaces Josephat Tshuma who led the Law Society in drafting a Model
Constitution for Zimbabwe.

Speaking to RadioVOP Bere said, “I stand on a platform built by many
remarkable leaders, it is a solid platform and with the help of the 10
leaders that are the Council and the full complement of the secretariat as
well as an independent legal profession, I cannot fail...I am both excited
and humbled.”

“In addition it would be good if besides the statutory and practical
independence we enjoy as a profession could extend to financial independence
during my term. I also believe it is possible to improve effectiveness and
efficiency at the Secretariat level and for Council oversight to be more
effective,” he said.

Bere is also a part time university lecturer in Business Law, Company Law
and Ethics and Professionalism as well as a recognised human rights
activist. He is a past winner of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyer Award
after organising interventions to offer legal assistance to victim of the
Chiadzwa Diamond Fields human rights violations and for his courageous and
successful defence of Farai Maguwu (a diamond activist persecuted by the
authorities between June and September 2010).

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Elections should be held this year - Moyo

By Chengetai Zvauya
Monday, 17 January 2011 14:44

HARARE - ZANU PF national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo insists that elections
are to be held this year, after the referendum, likely to be held in
September, even though the unity government is yet to come up with a
position on  the polls.

In a telephone interview this week Moyo said the Constitutional making
process must be speeded up to enable them to complete their work early
leading to the elections to resolve the power sharing agreement governing
the country.

''We made the resolutions at our Mutare Conference in December last year
that we are going for elections this year, and our commissariat team has
been deployed in the country's provinces mobilising for our support and we
know that we are ready for the elections and it is the MDC party which is
now chickening out of the elections because they have lost the support of
the people,'' said Moyo.

"They (MDC) want to continue to hide under the cover of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) to delay the elections. As a party we say lets finish the
constitutional making process expeditiously and have elections which we
shall win overwhelming.

The GPA  has time limits and it is very clear that we must  finish the
constitutional work and move to the referendum to be followed by elections
and we believe this can be done this year and the MDC knows it too but they
are afraid of elections because they will  be relegated to the political
dustbin,'' said Moyo.

Moyo's sentiments chime with President Robert Mugabe's views as he has
declared that he was fed up with working with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai  and  the smaller faction of the MDC in the inclusive government
and wants to end  the GPA by holding elections this year.

There is confusion surrounding the timetable for holding elections with  the
MDC saying  the elections should  be held after the outstanding issues
within the GPA are resolved and a road map leading to the elections  is
drawn in consultation with all the parties involved.

The business community last year added their voice and argued that early
elections will  likely disrupt the economic growth the country has been
experiencing for the past two years.

This view was also supported by the Vice- President Joyce Mujuru, who
encouraged the business community to forward their views to the political
leadership of the country.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe’s Justice System Again Under Scrutiny

Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg  17 January 2011

Zimbabwe Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last week warned the executive to
desist from trying to interfere with the judiciary. Judge Chidyausiku’s
remarks, at the opening of the 2011 legal calendar, has caused concern in
Zimbabwe’s legal fraternity as many say the public does not regard higher
court judges as impartial.

Lawyers say Judge Chidyausiku’s remarks about judicial independence are
controversial because in their view the independence of the judges has been
severely compromised in the past decade.  They cite a number of issues
including appointments of judges well-disposed to President Robert Mugabe
and his ZANU-PF party, and defiance of court orders.

But in particular they say judicial officers have been compromised by being
granted fully equipped, profitable, and tax-free farms since Mr. Mugabe
began awarding white-owned farms to ZANU-PF supporters in 2000.

Zimbabwe lawyer Arnold Tsunga is also director of the International
Commission of Jurists’ Africa program.  He says right from the start it was
clear the dispossession of the farms would be contested in the courts.

"When the Government of Zimbabwe expropriated these farms, it did so without
compensation and it took over farms without consent of owners, so you find
it is disputed land that must be subject to judicial arbitration," said

Tsunga says the free distribution of productive farms, including
improvements and equipment, damaged the independence and impartiality of the

"It is very consistent with the strategy of beginning to give them assets,
disputed assets, like expropriated land," he said. "So all this was a
consistent strategy to undermine the independence of bench."

Since 2002, when the previous chief justice and some of his colleagues
resigned after being threatened by Mr. Mugabe’s supporters, all but one
judge of the Supreme Court, which also sits as the country’s constitutional
court, have been given free white-owned farms.

Justice Wilson Sandura, who has been a judge for 27 years, was one of a full
bench of five Supreme Court justices who in 2001 ruled farm seizures were
illegal.  He refused to accept a farm.  In recent years he has not been
assigned to cases involving land or political issues.

High Court judges occupying farms regularly hear cases on disputed land.
Judge Chidyausiku said in his speech most constitutional matters brought to
court in 2010 were land cases, which he said all fell away last November
after the Commercial Farmers Union lost its appeal to the constitutional
court on evictions of white farmers.

The lawyers representing the union say they learned they would be charged
with contempt of court if they asked judges who were beneficiaries of land
to recuse themselves from the trial.

A former University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Derek Matyszak, says the assets on
the farms that provide extra income or perks for judges were never taxed.
He adds that granting the farms and accompanying assets to judges violated
the constitution.

"The manner in which judges are remunerated is set by the constitution, and
the remuneration of judges and the reason why it is in the constitution is
that remuneration of judges has to be done in a manner which does not affect
their impartiality," said Matyszak. "Obviously, if the judges are going to
be beholden to the executive for their income, then this is going to affect
their impartiality ... when judges are handed out farms, this is basically a
job perk, and it contravenes the constitution."

Matyszak says as the judges’ farms are now state-owned land, their continued
occupation is vulnerable to what he described as the "whims" of the

Lawyers say most orders arising from high-court cases involving political
rights and land have not been executed for the past 10 years.

Last month nine Zimbabweans won a case at the Southern African Development
Community Tribunal - the region’s court of last resort. They pleaded they
had won cases in the High Court in Harare for compensation from the
government, following assaults by the police and members of the army, but
compensation was never paid.

The Tribunal which sits in Namibia ruled the Zimbabwe government had
breached the SADC treaty by failing to ensure its High Court orders are

Tsunga says that after 2000, Mr. Mugabe sent out a message to the judiciary
that the politicians are in control of the judiciary.

"The defiance of court orders has really become an emblematic problem in
Zimbabwe," added Tsunga. "So the culture of defying court orders is a
culture that has become an entrenchment of impunity and is directly linked
to the political process of 2000 when Mugabe was trying to undermine the

Analyst Matyszak says until 2000 Zimbabwe’s judges enjoyed a well-earned
excellent reputation.  But he says this reputation became seriously
tarnished when judges failed to challenge what he says were severe
violations of the law perpetrated by Mr. Mugabe’s government.

"The ZANU-PF led government has actually blatantly violated various
provisions of the constitution and has completely ignored various provisions
of other legislation, and that is a definite shift in the manner in which
ZANU-PF is operating," he said.
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gives a press conference in
Harare to announce the reshuffling of ministers belonging to The Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party, 23 Jun 2010
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gives a press conference in
Harare to announce the reshuffling of ministers belonging to The Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party, 23 Jun 2010

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says the appointment of judges since the
September 2008 multi-party political agreement undermines the inclusive
government established in terms of that agreement.

The most controversial appointment came last year when Judge George
Chiweshe, former chairman of the election commission, was elevated to Judge
President of the High Court, with powers to decide the allocation of cases
before the court.

Judge Chiweshe delayed release of the result in the 2008 presidential
election for five weeks and failed to condemn the violence mostly against
supporters of then presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.

About 160 people were killed and thousands were injured and evicted from
their homes and villages in the worst electoral violence in Zimbabwe for
more than 20 years.  Independent humanitarian organizations say the violence
was overwhelmingly perpetrated by Mr. Mugabe’s supporters.

In opening the High Court year, Judge Chidyausiku also called for private
donations for the courts and suggested this money could be used to boost
salaries and repair court buildings.  He says in some instances, court
buildings have become a health hazard.

Attempts in the past week to reach ZANU-PF justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa and the office of the secretary for justice by mobile and landline
telephone were not successful.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim banks miss recapitalisation target

by Own Correspondent     Monday 17 January 2011

HARARE – A number of Zimbabwean financial institutions have missed a 31
December 2010 deadline to meet minimum capital thresholds set by the central
bank, ZimOnline has learnt.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) sources said only 20 of the country’s 24
financial institutions were in compliance with the prescribed minimum
paid-up capital requirements as of the end of last year.

“A number are still under-capitalised and may be forced to close or seek
strategic partners if they are to remain operational,” said a central bank
source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He refused to disclose which institutions were under stress.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono is expected to announce the outcome of the
financial sector recapitalisation programme when he presents his 2011
monetary policy statement later this month or in February.

The RBZ requires commercial banks to have a minimum capital threshold of
US$12.5 million.

The failure by the financial institutions to meet the new RBZ capitalisation
requirements rekindles debate as whether or not the country is over-banked.

Analysts say that with its small population, Zimbabwe only requires a
minimum of five and a maximum of 10 banks.

The country currently has more than 40 financial institutions that are
scrambling for a shrinking cake.

Consultant economist John Robertson said mergers would be the way to go for
the financial sector.

“The hopes are that several mergers will bring the total number to a figure
more in line with the size of the Zimbabwe economy, but growth rates for
this sector are expected to remain modest in the immediate future,” he

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZSE surges past US$4 billion mark

by Tobias Manyuchi     Monday 17 January 2011

HARARE -- The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) market capitalisation has hit
past the psychological 4 billion market capitalisation mark on the back of
purchases by foreign investors, latest statistics from the bourse show.

The bourse hit US$4.143 billion last Tuesday up from US$3.9 billion, later
surging to US$4.149 the following day.

The surge in trade is as a result of foreigners whom, for the better part of
last year had been deserting ZSE have returned to the market buying script
over the past quarter which, but which has continued during the first month
of the year.

During the first quarter of last year foreign investors deserted the ZSE the
after fears of the governments controversial empowerment law.

Under the empowerment regulations foreign-owned businesses operating in
Zimbabwe, including banks, mines and factories will be forced to sell
significant stake to locals by March 2015.

The encouraging improvement in foreign investor sentiment comes against the
backdrop of a recent report by Netherlands-based Amstel Securities which
labelled the ZSE the worst performing bourse in the sub-Saharan Africa.

Amstel said the Zimbabwean bourse declined by 7.5 percent between January
and July last year compared to robust performances by other African markets
such as Kenya and Uganda that grew by more than 40 percent over the same

Concerns over Zimbabwe’s fragile coalition government have also lurked over
the country’s economic horizon.

Constant bickering between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has undermined efforts to restore confidence in an economy
pummelled by a 10-year political crisis. -- ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

OPINION: Is it Multi-partyism or anti-Mugabeism?

by Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga     Monday 17 January 2011

THE cat is out of the bag. The MDC congress held last weekend has delivered
for the tribal supremacists and the anti-democrats the result they dreaded
most and as expected, they have come out guns blazing.

The attack on the MDC following its congress raises three fundamental
issues. It puts a spotlight on the unresolved ethnic issues, the one-party
state ideology and the adherence to peaceful and democratic transference of

The Ethnic Debate: debate on issues of tribe is shunned in Zimbabwe and yet
it dominates our local politics. The tribal sentiments expressed over the
election of Welshman Ncube attest to this. It is revealing that there is now
a growing consensus in the stables of Shona supremacist that the fact that a
Ndebele is president of a political party means that the party is regional.

Interestingly, the fact that the MDC-T and Zanu PF have Shona leaders makes
them national. Is the verdict, therefore, that a Ndebele cannot as a matter
of fact be considered for President in Zimbabwe? And that therefore those of
Ndebele descent have been disqualified from a national leadership contest?

One-Party State Ideology: the second issue that arises from the
post-congress debate is the role and relevance of ‘third parties’ and the
emerging reasoning that Zimbabwe is not a multi-party system but is, in
reality, a contest to replace Zanu PF with another party.

The Zimbabwe democratisation political script has been fundamentally flawed
in that it is a versus Mugabe script and not necessarily a creation of
multi-party free world. We are focused on the removal of Mugabe and not on a
creation of an alternative political system with alternative value systems.

We, as a nation, are bound in this romantic myth of a little girl who is
waiting  to be saved from a monster by a knight in shining armour and
unfortunately it can only be one ‘knight’ in shining armour and not
knight(s) in different shades. Anything that does not conform to that
romantic image we hate and despise.

For a long time we have continued to romanticise the year 2000, where a
united movement almost delivered the ultimate victory. We all secretly still
yearn for that period even though the current reality demonstrates that the
conditions and circumstances that prevailed in 2000 do not exist. We also,
unlike what we publicly profess, have not embraced the concept of
multi-partism, we sadly, in our actions, are in fact zealots of a one-party
state ideology which seeks to remove Zanu PF replacing it with another

The year 2000 was not only miraculous but an aberration, never to be
repeated. The coming together of all democratic forces to deliver a NO VOTE
response to the referendum was magical. This came exactly after two decades
of general disorientation and the trauma of the Gukurahundi.

In what we, in the born-again movement call a ‘vuselela’ (a revival/a
rebirth), the NO VOTE campaign inspired a confidence in the Zimbabwean
people that just perhaps, it was possible to dislodge Zanu PF. The nation
was therefore divided into two camps, those for Zanu PF and those against.
For some in the frontlines of that referendum, we know that the vote was
simply an anti-Mugabe vote and less about the constitution.

The violence that followed that referendum shifted the power dynamics, to
try and ignore the impact and the rupture that violence had on that unity is
to live in cuckoo land. It is that denial of that shift that perpetuates the
anger against parties that refuse to fit the 2000 mode.

Since the MDC split in 2005, an epitaph or obituary is written on the MDC.
Opinion polls are conducted all to justify the issuance of burial orders.
After the 2008 elections, we all were put into political dustbins, if not
political museums. Ironically, the very same party today continues to
dominate the Zimbabwean political discourse.

Is it not a paradox that a party so allegedly insignificant, a party so
unlikely to impact on the future politics of Zimbabwe can dominate political
debate? The only explanation for such behaviour is that the obsession is
driven by our inability to understand a different script, a script that does
not make Zimbabweans a choir with one song, but a script that says it is in
our difference that we find our strength – celebrating our diversity.

It is tragic that a public service career one once admired and is a part of,
is now dominated by a group of people who have no shame in giving blatantly
false figures of congress delegates to mislead a nation. How it is possible
for someone who attended that event to continue to perpetuate a falsehood of
1,000 delegates is not only sad but frightening.

Any journalist worth their salt only needs to check with the accommodation
venues where delegates from outside Harare and Chitungwiza were
accommodated. In fact, Harare Polytech alone had over 1,800 delegates, with
Belvedere, HIT, YWCA, ZWB and Adelaide accommodating the rest. As is the
norm in all political parties, delegates to congress are specified and
determined by political parties. The MDC National Council resolved that
congress would have a total of 5,200 delegates.

To seek to extrapolate the MDC’s nationwide support base to the number of
delegates at congress is pure madness. The lie that delegates were not fed
when we had three professional caterers is the limit of gutter journalism.
No single delegate slept outside, no-one went hungry and there were no
fights. In fact, all journalists were properly accredited and treated with
the utmost respect, unlike other congresses we have observed.

Transfer of power: the third and final myth dismissed at the MDC congress
was the notion that it is impossible in Africa, let alone in Zimbabwe, to
experience a civilised, dignified and descent transfer of power. It is
surprising that those who over the years have claimed to be true democrats
now describe the change of leadership as a humiliating experience.

Instead of applauding Arthur Mutambara, he is now being portrayed at most as
a victim, and at worst as a weakling. Is it our belief now that had there
been a change of leadership from Mugabe to Tsvangirai in 2008, that act
would have been humiliation for Mugabe? If so, why then are we against those
that sought to protect Mugabe’s honour through beatings and the maiming of

If the election of Welshman Ncube is now being described as a boardroom coup
or a demonstration of a power-hungry individual who has always harboured
presidential ambitions, why then should we have a problem with those in Zanu
PF who believe that any election that does not produce a leadership from
those that held the gun in the liberation struggle is illegitimate or

We should, therefore, now accept the notion that it is a crime to aspire or
to participate in a leadership contest unless the incumbent have voluntarily
relinquished power.

The political world is a moral terrain; you can’t demand from others what
you can’t do in your personal sphere.

Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is the Secretary-General of the Movement for
Democratic Change party led by Welshman Ncube.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Unlocking our potential

No one disputes the fact that we have huge potential. The only question is
how do we unlock that potential and exploit it for the benefit of all
Zimbabweans in the long term? Perhaps we should start by outlining our
potential as a country.

Our greatest asset is our people; Zimbabweans are, by nature, easy going,
pleasant people who are open and welcoming. They are also hard working and
innovative, that is why, despite decades of lousy government and bad
policies, we have survived and resilience has to be one of our main national
characteristics. We are also generally well educated and have a great deal
of experience and an established knowledge of what can be done.

Then we have our resources – we have perhaps half of the worlds readily
available platinum reserves, a quarter of the worlds reserves of chrome,
billions of tonnes of coal and iron ore. We are a major source of nickel and
asbestos and a number of other minerals. In the field of gold and diamonds
we are the 6th largest gold producer in the world and are rapidly becoming a
major diamond producer. We have the immediate potential to attract many
billions of dollars in foreign investment in the mining industry if the
conditions are right.

In agriculture we have the land and water plus ideal growing conditions for
many crops and livestock products. In the past we have been the third
largest producer and exporter of flue cured tobacco, one of the largest
producers of white maize in the world and a major producer of fruit, sugar,
tea and cotton. At one stage we were the largest exporter of beef in Africa
and were totally self sufficient in pig products, poultry and milk. Although
the agricultural industry has been almost destroyed in the past decade, its
potential remains intact.

In tourism we have the Victoria Falls and some 9 million hectares of
world-class game reserves. We are the hunting capital of the world and our
variety of climates and countryside make us a great tourist destination.
While tourism has been growing worldwide and southern Africa has enjoyed
rapid growth in recent years – reaching a million foreign tourists a month
in 2010, Zimbabwe attracts virtually none. But everyone recognises that if
conditions are right and our reputation as a safe and inexpensive
destination is re-established, then our potential in this field is huge.

Added to the above you have Zimbabwe at the heart of the SADC region – a
region that is now growing as fast as the Asian Tigers have been growing for
the past 20 years and you get a picture of just what this country could be
like if we can unlock our potential. In industry, we could become a major
player, supplying the region with a wide range of consumer goods and

We are already the regions largest source of road transport services and
could become a major rail and pipeline hub. Our schools and universities
could become an attraction for students and graduates from all over the
world and especially the central African States. Our engineers and
accountants and medical services could also become centers of excellence
that would serve the entire sub region. After South Africa we have the most
advanced banking system in the region and this could provide a base for the
country becoming a regional financial hub, especially now that we have
virtually no restrictions on the movement of funds.

So why are we stuck in this pothole and unable to get out and start to
realize this potential? It starts with politics. So long as we have this
dysfunctional government and no consensus on the way forward, the
uncertainty that prevails at present will remain. The uncertainty over who
will be in charge and hold power in the State is a very real issue. The
business community is afraid of a return of the days when we had
hyperinflation, price control and no rule of law to speak of. They are
afraid that radicals such as Kasukawere will be able to dictate policy and
events and that his threats against all foreign and white owned business
will materialize.

So long as government is locked in a struggle for ascendancy and nothing
else, we simply cannot make progress and that is why the Zuma road map to
the next election is so critical. This must be close to finality and we
should get sight of it soon if JZ is going to be able to report progress to
the AU summit at the end of the month.

Once this issue is dealt with, then we must face all the other constraints.
But that is not as difficult as it might seem at first. We are very
resilient and there is a huge reservoir of goodwill and human capital just
waiting for the right conditions. Like the dramatic changes in monetary
policy that were adopted in 2009, key policy shifts will unlock this
potential very rapidly. Adopting regional currencies and the US dollar as
the means of exchange and lifting price and exchange controls swiftly filled
supermarkets and restored value to work and incomes. Other policy shifts
would have a similar, if less dramatic response. What are they?

Firstly we have to restore the rule of law and the independence and
professionalism of our Court system. People have to know that their rights
and property will be protected and the laws of the country will be applied
and enforced. Would that be difficult – hardly, a dozen new appointments to
key positions would change the situation overnight.

Then we need to assure investors of all kinds that their rights to control
and manage their assets in Zimbabwe will be protected in perpetuity. This
means treating all who have permanent residence in Zimbabwe equally and
those who invest from outside the country with every protection that they
might expect in any other sane country. This might require revoking some
laws and regulations but not much more, it’s really a matter of commitment
by the State and then confidence that we mean business.

We must resist the temptation to play with the macro economic fundamentals
and stay the course of fiscal and monetary reform, discipline and stability.
This should not be difficult given the nasty experiences of the recent past.
We must deal with our debt overhang and bite the bullet on our parastatals
and corruption in high places.

We must repair our infrastructure and energy systems as well as our
educational and medical system. We must welcome home anyone who is tired of
struggling in foreign countries and wants to resume their lives in Zimbabwe.
We must make that possible with job growth and opportunities. We must
restore and respect the rights of all who are citizens by birth or adoption.

Is that too much to ask? It seems so simple really but that is all it would
take and we could then fly. Backed by a democratic system that was open and
accountable and saw regular changes in leadership, Zimbabweans could then
really plan for the future and instead of using their innate abilities to
simply survive; they could start to build again.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo 17th January 2011

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Statement on the proposed National Youth Service program

The Youth Forum is deeply depressed by recent media reports that the
Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment led by
Savior Kasukuwere has decided to introduce a new structure for the
National Youth Service that will see preschool and kindergarten kids
being roped into the already controversial program. While we welcome
the idea of national service in the proper context, it is the motive
behind this new structure and the manner in which it has been designed
that worries all concerned citizens. Worse still, the timing of his
initiative smacks of an ulterior motive.

The National Youth Service Training Centers, or “Border Gezi” training
institutes as they are popularly known, are infamous for producing a
crop of youths that have unleashed unwarranted violence on innocent
and unsuspecting civilians. It is this violent history and nature of
the service that raises questions on the current motive by the
notorious Minister’s motives on tapping our young brothers and sisters
into such atrocious systems before they even reach double-digit
pronounced years. Having someone indoctrinated with such violent
thoughts, as has been the norm, from a tender age will only lead into
more disastrous consequences for our beloved nation that is still
struggling to recover from past experiences of violence like
Gukurahundi and the post March 2008 election violence. How will the
community in general and parents of such children be able to control
and guide them judging on what has so far been produced by such

While the idea of teaching young children on national matters like the
national flag, national anthem, coat of arms and so on is not a
terrible idea, it is the manner in which Minister Kasukuwere intends
to do it that is puzzling. We are of the strong conviction that such
issues can be handled well by the current pre-school teachers as part
of the pres-school curricula as opposed to a national program aimed at
brainwashing the little ones. Instead of coming up with a costly and
brainwashing program, the ministry should be looking at ways of
incorporating such important education and knowledge into the current
primary and pre school curricula as well as inculcating such values
and education into the kids from their friendly environs and not some
dreadful institutions.

While it is important for the youths to be taught on the history of
the country especially the armed struggle that got us independence and
freedom from colonialism and racial discrimination, we should not be
overly obsessed with such issues to the extent of forgetting that the
nation also has a future. The designing of the National Youth Service
program should take into account the history of the nation as well as
the current state and future of the country. It is only after training
the young men and women of the country on the country’s current state
and the nature of global politics, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, economic
empowerment and other such issues that we can expect the country to
move forward.
It is also disturbing to note the clandestine and secrecy manner in
which such an idea can be crafted considering there are a lot of
institutions and organizations that deal with youth issues. In
crafting such an important national program, such organizations that
have the necessary experience in dealing with young people should be
given a voice as they have a stake in the implementation of such
programs. Organizations that quickly come to mind include Child Line,
Girl Child Network and a host of other youth-oriented organizations
like the Youth Forum. Such organizations have vast experience in
dealing with issues and will add value to the design of the youth
service program. Involving such organizations will also help in
ensuring that the program is not designed to serve some political
party interests but national interests. This is very vital for the
program to be accepted by the youths as it has been, from its
inception, been serving some party interests and his has turned he
program into being skeptically viewed by its intended beneficiaries.

The Youth Forum, as a platform for youth voices, the intended
beneficiaries of the program, would like to make the following
recommendations to the ministry:
 First and foremost, they must involve the youths themselves in
drafting the new program, this can be achieved by consulting
organizations that represents various youths interests as major
stakeholders in the program
 Come up with laws and regulations that will ensure that matters of
national value are taught to young children in classes both at primary
level and preschool level instead of taking this kindergarten kids to
some raining institutions.
 Contract non-partisan experts to come up with the curriculum for the
training institutions so as to make these institutions credible to all
 Ensure that participants at these institutions are taught in other
areas of life that are of serious importance to the nation like
HIV/AIDS, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship and other areas of

Youth Forum Information and Publicity

Back to the Top
Back to Index