Jan 20, 11:15 AM EST
By GILLIAN GOTORA
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's top lawyer may seek treason charges
against former opposition politicians named in diplomatic cables released by
WikiLeaks, a move that drew criticism Thursday from a prominent legal rights
Attorney-general Johannes Tomana said he has formed an unnamed five-member
expert panel to assess some 3,000 Zimbabwe-related U.S. cables for breaches
of security laws.
But Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights chief Irene Petras said Thursday the
constitution and terms of Tomana's official powers don't allow him to call
in outside advisers. She called the investigation "an abuse of power."
Tomana says the panel cannot be identified for ethical reasons. He said he
asked panel members to submit their legal opinions by March on contacts
between U.S. diplomats and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party that
allegedly conspired to oust longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe.
Petras said Tomana's actions contradicted basic principles of openness and
transparency in the judicial system.
"The attorney general is misconstruing his powers and mandate under the
constitution," she said. "Can't he trust lawyers in his own office?"
Treason carries a possible death sentence in Zimbabwe. In 2007, Tsvangirai
was acquitted on charges that he plotted the assassination of Mugabe, after
a lengthy trial seen as a political ploy against the then opposition leader.
The WikiLeaks cables have included derogatory remarks about Zimbabwean
political leaders on both sides of the coalition formed in 2009 after
violence-marred and disputed elections in 2008.
The cables also referred to Western funding and diplomatic support for
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party and the need to undermine
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party as well as to increase pressure on Mugabe's ruling
elite through Western sanctions.
Mugabe has repeatedly branded as traitors former opposition leaders who
backed the economic restrictions.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West have been strained over a decade of
political and economic turmoil that have fueled political violence and human
Tsvangirai's supporters accuse Tomana, a staunch Mugabe loyalist, of using
parts of the WikiLeaks cables to discredit former opposition members ahead
of fresh elections scheduled this year.
Petras on Thursday said the nation's police force and the attorney general's
office "remain compromised and partisan in the discharge of their duties" in
favor of Mugabe's party.
The two arms of the state did not act against perpetrators of violence in
the 2008 elections, she said.
"Their failure to prosecute known perpetrators, their malicious persecution
and prosecution of the innocent and their disregard for the rule of law bear
primary responsibility with continued impunity and human rights violation in
the country," she said.
Harare, January 20, 2011 – Radio VOP has exclusively obtained the names of
the secretive panel set up by controversial Attorney General Johannes Tomana
to probe possible violations of the country’s laws by Zimbabweans fingered
The panel is composed of Zanu (PF) functionaries namely Terence Hussein,
Simplicious Chihambakwe, Farai Mutamangira, Gerald Mlotshwa and Nyaradzo
Tomana announced in the state media recently that he had set up the probe
team but refused to reveal the identities of the five-member panel
Zimbabweans fear is targeted at charging Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
with treason after he was widely quoted in the WikiLeaks dispatches.
Hussein is President Robert Mugabe’s lawyer and has represented several
government and Zanu (PF) officials, among them former spin-doctor Jonathan
Moyo. Mutamangira, who is a senior partner in Munangati and Associates is
the lawyer representing Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, and the government in
the fight against the international crusade over Zimbabwe’s Marange
diamonds. Chihambakwe headed the probe into the 1980s political disturbances
in Matabeleland and Midlands disturbances while Mlotshwa is well-known as
the lawyer Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu (PF) secretary for administration and
the Minister of State in the President’s Office.
Observers said on Thursday it was not surprising that they were no
independent lawyers on the probe team whose set-up was part of the
resolution of the Zanu (PF) congress held in Mutare in December, 2010.
By KITSEPILE NYATHI, NATION CorrespondentPosted Thursday, January 20 2011 at
South African President Jacob Zuma’s negotiators say they have told Zimbabwe’s
governing parties to fully implement their power sharing agreement before
organising fresh elections.
President Zuma’s negotiators have been in Harare since Monday holding
private meetings with the three governing parties to outline the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) appointed mediator’s proposed solution
to Zimbabwe’s long running political crisis.
The Global Political Agreement (GPA) that led to the formation of a unity
government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the two years ago
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions two years ago
commits the parties to draft a new constitution for the country.
A number of media, security and electoral reforms are also proposed in the
agreement whose implementation has been stalled by President Mugabe’s
insistence that he would not compromise until sanctions imposed on his inner
circle by Western countries are removed. Ms Lindiwe Zulu, an international
advisor to President Zuma who is part of the mediation team said the roadmap
for fresh elections, which they had presented to the parties, was anchored
on the GPA that was signed in 2008.
“The issues around the implementation of the GPA have to be taken seriously
because they are critical in creating a conducive environment for
elections,” Ms Zulu told journalists.
“In fact the roadmap for Zimbabwe’s elections will be based on the SADC
principles and guidelines governing democratic elections, the GPA and other
Last year, President Mugabe was threatening to hold early elections with or
without the new constitution saying he was no longer happy in the inclusive
Zimbabwe expects to hold a referendum on the new constitution in September.
The parliamentary committee leading the drafting of the constitution met
President Zuma’s team on Wednesday and asked for help to raise about US$20
million needed to complete the process.
Sources in Pretoria and Harare said South African President Jacob Zuma is
calling for broad reforms to be instituted in advance of elections expected
this year, including the adoption of a new constitution
Blessing Zulu | Washington 19 January 2011
The three parties in Zimbabwe's national unity government have presented
draft elections road maps to envoys of South African President Jacob Zuma,
since 2009 mediator in Harare on behalf of the Southern African Development
Sources in Pretoria and Harare said Mr. Zuma is calling for broad reforms to
be instituted in advance of elections expected this year, including the
adoption of a new constitution, electoral, media and security law reforms
and a clear road map to the ballot.
Mr. Zuma has also urged the fractious governing partners that issues related
to the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing be resolved.
ZANU-PF hardliners want an early election, potentially putting them on a
collision path with SADC and Pretoria.
Mr. Zuma’s team is expected to come up with its own elections road map,
which is likely to be presented to the SADC troika or committee on defense,
politics and security following an African Union summit coming up in Addis
Ababa at the end of this month.
Political analyst Trevor Maisiri said the establishment of a collectively
agreed elections road map would be a step in the right direction for
By Reagan Mashavave
Thursday, 20 January 2011 16:32
HARARE - Zimbabwe’s human rights lawyers have called on government to
implement key reforms to set a comprehensive and decisive roadmap to free
and fair elections.
Addressing a press conference in Harare Thursday, board members of the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights blamed the Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) as mediators in the current political talks for failing to
push the parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to fully implement
The lawyers said SADC should bear responsibility for the failure of the
unity agreement. SADC guaranteed the GPA which formed the unity government
of President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
Zimbabwe is still battling to implement key reforms in the security, media
and electoral sectors. Draconian laws like the Access to Information and
Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Public Order and Security Act remain in place, the
“We feel that Sadc has failed to rein in the interim government on the
various breaches and non-performance of the provisions of the GPA. It has
failed to focus on core issues around reforms and democratisation,” Sarudzai
Njerere, ZLHR vice chairperson said.
“In our view they (Sadc) will bear the ultimate responsibility for any
failure by the parties and the interim government to adhere to the
provisions and undertakings of the GPA.”
The ZLHR said the regional body, through its facilitator President Jacob
Zuma of South Africa, had failed in its mediation efforts to implement
countless resolutions and recommendations when time lines to implement
reforms were breached. They urged the regional block to act strongly on the
parties that breach the GPA.
“Now that Sadc is taking responsibility for producing a roadmap to
elections, there is need for stronger action and repercussions for
non-compliance with benchmarks set for an election, implementation of all
provisions of the GPA and resolution of other outstanding issues,” the ZLHR
The ZLHR said the current constitution making process failed the ‘test of
constitutionalism’ as the process was flawed and marred with violence and
intimidation while the national healing programme has failed to have ‘any
impact or effect.’
Reforms in state institutions are yet to be made as some government
departments have remained partisan in their discharge of duties, the lawyers
“The Zimbabwe National Army remains loyal to one political party, rather
than the state, in contravention of its mandate and obligations,” ZLHR said.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Office of the Attorney General, more
particularly the Director of the Public Prosecution remain compromised and
partisan in the discharge of their duties.”
ZLHR called on SADC to engage ‘senior military structures in SADC and the
African Union to establish a firm agreement on the military role (or non
role) in electoral processes.’
The lawyers said laws should be enacted to make the Human Rights Commission
functional. They said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must carry out a
stakeholder’s consultation to ensure necessary electoral reforms.
ZLHR director, Irene Petras said her organisation would lobby at the
upcoming African Union summit for the continental body to find a solution on
Zimbabwe to prevent problems engulfing countries such as Ivory Coast and
“If we look at regional and continental problems which have happened in the
course of the last four months, we can see that when problems are ignored,
they won’t go away, they will come back in a form which will require even
stronger intervention,” Petras said.
“We can’t allow our country to go to a stage where other countries have
by Staff Reporter
NEARLY a third of Zimbabwean registered voters on the voters’ roll that was
used in the 2008 elections were dead, an observation report that was
released in Harare today by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
ZESN, a civic organisation that seeks to promote democratic elections in
Zimbabwe, in 2010 embarked on a Voters’ Roll Audit (VRA) to assess the
quality of the voters’ roll.
In its report, it noted that the list-to-people test showed that 27 percent
of the voters in the voters’ roll were deceased, a figure which translate to
a third of the registered voters.
“The computer test revealed that 2,344 people born between 1901 and 1909,
therefore aged between 101 and 110 years were on the voters’ roll. Nine
people born between 1890 and 1900, aged between 111 and 120 years are
registered voters,” the report says.
The ZESN report notes that 41 percent of the registered voters are no longer
residing at the addresses in the voters’ roll.
“In related evidence, Masvingo Urban MP, Tongai Matutu, shocked Parliament
when he produced evidence that the voters’ roll used in the 2008 national
elections had names of hundreds of dead people and infants who had been
registered to vote,” the report says.
A total of 503 dead people appeared in the voters’ roll. Startlingly, all
the 503 dead people had a similar death of birth – 1 January 1901.
The same voters’ roll had 144,202 people aged 90 years and above and 115
voters below the age of 18 years -- the legal voting age. The youngest was
just a year old.
Matutu said the anomalies showed “the extent to which the voters’ roll
represents the graveyard”.
In its recommendations, ZESN said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
should draw up a new voters’ roll which will go a long way in improving the
currency, and completeness of the voters’ roll.
It says the process should be transparent and inclusive to ensure that all
eligible people are registered. ZESN said voter education should include
information on how relatives can help the Registrar with objections and
deletions of their deceased relatives from the voters’ roll.
|There have been failures and successes [by the unity government], but the fact that our people are able to eat, there are [functioning] hospitals, there is clean water, things that outsiders take for granted, is an achievement|
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Harare, January, 2011 - CIVIL servants are seething with anger after
government awarded university and tertiary lecturers a whopping 130 percent
The highest-paid university or college lecturer now earns a basic salary of
US$1 880, up from US$800 last year, a development which has incensed
representatives of civil servants who are threatening industrial action
unless the government awards them similar increments during Thursday
negotiations. The rest of civil servants earn an average of US$150 a month
against a poverty datum line currently estimated at US$503.
Negotiators from the government and the civil servants, known as the joint
national negotiating council, is due to meet on Thursday to discuss new
salaries for civil servants, the bulk of which this month got increments
ranging between US$6 and US$8, including unformed forces.
Raymond Majongwe, the secretary General of the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PUTZ), said the teachers' pressure grouped demanded that the
government pay civil servants salaries similar to those awarded to
“If that is what lecturers were awarded, it means they have the money so
that is what we will also get,” said Majongwe. “It is upsetting when the
government buys cars for Member of Parliament when they can’t do it for
civil servants. The government should not be selective,” he added.
Manuel Nyawo, the chief executive of the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said
the government should brace for a showdown and a possible crippling
industrial action if Thursday negotiations broke down.
“We are all service providers and therefore should be treated in the same
way, we do not expect anything different to that which has been given to
lecturers because we will react in a manner which they will not like,” Nyawo
Health Minister Henry Madzorera said funding woes are hampering efforts to
employ all the nurses coming out of the country's training institutions, so
he has proposed to meet international demand for qualified medical staff
Sandra Nyaira | Washington 19 January 2011
Zimbabwean Health Minister Henry Madzorera says government will encourage
qualified but unemployed nurses to seek opportunities abroad as Harare for
the time being cannot afford to employ them all in the nation's health care
The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Dr. Madzorera as saying tight
budgets are hampering efforts to employ all the nurses coming out of
“We might find ourselves with more nurses than we need, making some of those
who we train redundant, (which) makes it imperative to enter into a sort of
agreement with some of our neighbours who need their services,” he said. “We
are thinking about it.”
Madzorerera said nurses interested in working abroad would be given special
training to qualify for service in the markets where they are likely to find
He said countries including the Philippines have adopted this strategy,
targeting the US and UK marekts. Remittances sent by nurses abroad benefit
The health minister's proposal drew immediate fire. Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo,
chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, told VOA
that it is wrong for the government to export nurses when the health care
situation at home is still dire.
Madzorera could not be reached for comment on the plan.
Fly Kumba directors Patrick Chapwanya and Lloyd Muchaka could not be reached
for comment and staff in the airline's offices in Harare and Johannesburg
were not picking up the phone
Gibbs Dube | Washington 19 January 2011
Low-cost Zimbabwean airline Fly Kumba has been grounded due to what
observers say are serious financial problems and skewed marketing
strategies. But the airline’s management did not immediately state reasons
for the suspension of its operations.
Airline directors Patrick Chapwanya and Lloyd Muchaka could not be reached
for comment and Kumba offices in Harare and Johannesburg were not picking up
The airline rolled out last year with fares less than half those of Air
Zimbabwe on regional and domestic routes. More than 30 workers are said to
have lost their jobs.
Bulawayo resident Rebecca Spencer said her son had to switch flights to
Johannesburg this week after being informed Fly Kumba was grounded.
“I have been trying in vain to get a refund as the airline management has
not yet made indications on how they will do it,” Spencer said.
Economist Eric Bloch said it is not surprising that Fly Kumba has suspended
operations as many airlines currently are facing serious financial problems.
By Gugulethu Nyazema and Stanley Gama
Thursday, 20 January 2011 17:11
HARARE - Zimbabwe’s elected councillors have formed an association which
seeks to challenge the political meddling in local authorities by the Local
Government Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo.
The organisation named Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe (ECAZ)
will also push for the repeal of the Urban Councils Act and the Rural
Councils Act which the councillors say are being used by Chombo to fight
elected councillors throughout the country.
Since last year, Chombo has expelled 11 councillors and suspended two. The
councillors accuse Chombo of fighting to reduce the number of elected
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillors in local authorities and
also of frustrating corruption probes against him.
ECAZ president Warship Dumba, who himself was suspended by Chombo after
leading an investigation into the minister’s alleged improper acquisition of
land, said they had formed the association to fight for the rights of
“I am confident that by this courageous resolve to form our association –
cutting across urban and rural district councils on the one hand and on the
other across partisan affiliations – local government in Zimbabwe will never
be the same again," he said.
“A mandate given by the people directly through a vote cannot be taken
lightly. We would be failing our people and undermining the basis of
democracy. By this, we do not belittle the service of unelected councillors
but the burden of responsibility and accountability to the electorate cannot
“Many times in the past we have been abused on the justification of our
alleged misbehavior, therefore, it is important that we do not give
ammunition to those who want to trample on the rights of councillors,” said
Meanwhile, Chombo on Thursday attacked local authorities for the failure to
submit budgets on time, a development which he said was derailing service
Speaking at a press conference Chombo appeared to blame councillors for
concentrating on political fights instead of service delivery.
“It is evident that the leadership and management of councils no longer
plays its key role of setting targets and supervising employees,” he said.
“Despite several training programmes for councillors, the capacity to run
and manage councils is still a serious challenge and in a number of cases
the leadership is taken advantage of by employees of council,” said the
Chombo said in terms of Sections 288 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15
and Section 121 of the Rural District Council Act Chapter 29:13, local
authorities should have submitted budgets by 30 November 2010.
He said two out of a total of 32 had submitted.
“Only Chegutu municipality and Gokwe Town Council met the deadline. The
results of the exercise are quite disappointing as the bulk of local
authorities are still way behind with the budget process,” said Chombo.
Triangle Sugar Ltd. is owned by Tongaat Hulett of South Africa, which also
holds a controlling stake in the Hippo Valley Estate
Patience Rusere | Washington 19 January 2011
Leaders of Zimbabwe's long-ruling ZANU-PF party have started registering
local members for the allocation of sugar cane fields in the Triangle and
Hippo Valley estates.
Correspondent Irwin Chifera reported on the apparent preparations for a
takeover of the agricultural assets in the country's southeast under the
Triangle Sugar Ltd. is owned by Tongaat Hulett of South Africa, which also
holds a controlling stake in the Hippo Valley Estate.
Business Forum Secretary Roy Magosvongwe said the move to take over the
properties would be economically damaging given the importance of the sugar
Magosvongwe told reporter Patience Rusere he sees an emerging threat to
businesses and hoped the pattern would not repeat that of the farm invasions
that began in 2000.
By Alex Bell
20 January 2011
The diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP) is facing scrutiny
over a newly amended deal, which will allow exports from Zimbabwe’s
controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields.
KP members this week voted in favour of an amendment to an agreement that
was proposed last November in Jerusalem, an agreement that was turned down
by the Zimbabwean authorities. Zimbabwe was suspended from exporting its
diamonds in 2009 because of rights abuses at the Chiadzwa diamond fields,
including violence and smuggling. The country’s Mines Ministry insists that
such abuses have stopped, and have threatened to sell the diamonds without
This amended agreement is already being critically viewed as a last ditch
attempt by outgoing KP chairman Boaz Hirsch to reach a consensus on
certifying Chiadzwa stones. Chairmanship of the KP now hands over to the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a known ally of the Robert Mugabe
regime. Critics are concerned that this new agreement, to be enforced in the
future by the DRC, doesn’t make the issue of human rights a priority.
Of particular concern is the amendment to a ‘violence clause’ that will make
it harder for those who allege human rights abuses at Chiadzwa to seek a
formal investigation by the KP. Under the amendment, it will now take three,
rather than two member countries to endorse a call for monitoring by the KP.
At the same time, business critics say that this ‘loosening’ of the
agreement might be prompted by the declining health of the global diamond
industry, which has reportedly suffered a blow by the ban on Chiadzwa
diamonds. A large percentage of the world’s rough diamonds are mined in the
alluvial field and its understood that their absence in the market has had a
significant effect on business.
The KP is now waiting on Zimbabwe to approve this deal, which is likely as
the Mines Ministry has indicated that it is already in the process of
organising fresh diamond auctions.
Gwanda, January 20, 2011 – A South African national Bonnel Robert Alan (38)
who was arrested over the weekend for calling President Robert Mugabe an
idiot will languish in remand prison after he was remanded in custody to
The state argued it needed to seek consent from the Attorney General to
proceed with the trial.
Alan is being represented by Simelizwe Mguni of R. Ndlovu and Company.
Allegations against him are that last Saturday night at Gwanda District Club
in the presence of state security agents, he called President Robert Mugabe
an idiot who was responsible for the country’s woes.
Alan is being charged with undermining the authority or insulting the
President and for overstaying. He was supposed to have returned to South
Africa on Christmas Eve.
Under Zimbabwe’s draconian laws it is an offence to undermine or insult the
person of the President.
By Lance Guma
20 January 2011
The president of the revived Zimbabwe African People’s Party (ZAPU) Dumiso
Dabengwa has said the kidnapping and later disappearance of MDC polling
agent Patrick Nabanyama in June 2000 still worries him to this day.
In a wide ranging interview on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time, Dabengwa
said ‘much as I want to find a solution to the disappearance of Nabanyama,
it happened in actual fact when I was Minister of Home Affairs and I think I
did everything possible to find out what actually happened. I was not able;
the police were not able to come up with any solution.’
Nabanyama was an election agent for current Education Minister Senator David
Coltart and was abducted from his home. Stanley Ncube, Ephraim Moyo, Julius
Sibanda and Simon Rwodzi were initially charged with kidnapping. The four
allegedly took him to the home of war veteran Cain Nkala and he was never
seen again. Nkala was later murdered amid reports he wanted to come clean on
‘I think those that are responsible were smart enough to ensure that they
did not have leave any marks because they could not be traced,’ Dabengwa
said. Because Nabanyama’s body has still not been found, it was also not
possible to charge the four with murder. In their defence the four accused
said they only took Nabanyama to the home of Cain Nkala and what happened to
him after that they did not know.
Last year Senator Coltart told the Newsday newspaper that “the problem that
we face in this case is that the accused persons were never charged with
kidnapping as that offence was covered by the amnesty pronounced by
President Robert Mugabe in 2001. Despite the fact that the kidnapping case
was rock solid, they evaded prosecution because of the amnesty, which as far
as I know is still in place.”
On Thursday Dabengwa told us he met one of the people accused of murdering
Nabanyama and they repeated the same position that they didn’t know what
happened to him after they handed him to Nkala. Asked if the state had a
hand in the murders and this being the reason why no one has been pursued
seriously Dabengwa said “it’s possible and one would be led to conclude that
Because Nabanyama’s body has not been found for more than 7 years a Bulawayo
provincial magistrate last year in October declared him dead. His widow
Patricia is still fighting to have the abductors charged with murder.
Although the Attorney General Johannes Tomana has declined to prosecute he
is still refusing to issue a certificate that will allow lawyers to carry
out a private prosecution.
Don’t miss the full interview with Dumiso Dabengwa to be broadcast Wednesday
26/01/11 on Question Time. Lance questions him on working with Mugabe,
seized ZAPU properties, any possible alliances with Tsvangirai, targeted
sanctions, land redistribution, war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda and his
campaign of terror, his remarks in 2000 that the MDC would win an election
even if they fielded a donkey as a candidate and many other questions from
Harare, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Wednesday put its emergency services on alert to
evacuate people threatened by flooding in low-lying areas in the north of
the country that have been pounded by incessant rains in recent weeks. The
Meteorological Services Department said several areas in the north, on the
border with Zambia and Mozambique, faced flooding, prompting the country's
Civil Protection Unit to be put on high alert.
'There has been a lot of rainfall although it has not yet translated into an
emergency. However, the ground is already wet and any rainfall in excess
will simply flow into the rivers resulting in flooding,' Madzudzo Pawadyira,
director of the Civil Protection Unit, said.
He said the unit had already deployed staff and facilities such as tents for
possible evacuation in the north of the country facing the flooding threat.
The threat has been worsened by the opening of the gates to the huge Kariba
dam on the Zambezi river. The gates have been opened to release excess water
and protect the walls from collapsing.
Incessant rains have been pounding Zimbabwe since the beginning of the
month, with some areas receiving rains more than 100 percent above normal.
But there are so far no reports of people drowning or crops being damaged.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 January, 2011
Workers at the Mashaba Housing Project (MHP) in Gweru have reportedly been
warned that they will lose their jobs if they do not support ZANU PF.
According to the Bulawayo Agenda civic group, employees at MHP were told by
management that the company is for ZANU PF supporters only. And anyone with
alternative views will have to seek employment elsewhere.
A statement released on Thursday by Bulawayo Agenda said: “This situation
clearly shows that the ZANU PF empowerment policy will bring more harm than
good especially to people who do not support the revolutionary party. It has
been made clear that the policy is political.”
The group was referring to the Indigenisation Act that was initiated by ZANU
PF, which requires all foreign owned companies to give up 51% of their
shares to locals or risk a government takeover.
The policy was criticised by observers as ‘looting’ and a strategy by ZANU
PF to take over the business sector and enrich party chefs and their close
allies. “Many people have raised questions on the policy saying it is a
political gimmick meant to lure votes to the struggling former ruling party
which was knocked off the pedestal in 2008,” said Bulawayo Agenda.
Reports of political blackmail and intimidation by ZANU PF have intensified
around the country, especially regarding the distribution of farm inputs and
A report from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum this week said one of their
Board Members was denied access to a donation of fertilizer distributed on
behalf of Robert Mugabe in the Mvuma area. “She was apparently told that her
association with ZimRights meant that she was 'not patriotic' and thus
undeserving,” said the report.
Villagers made poor by ZANU PF’s chaotic farm seizures are now being forced
to buy the party’s membership cards and attend rallies, in order to receive
basic supplies that all Zimbabweans are entitled to.
Political commentator Lameck Mahachi said politics has no business in
private firms and ZANU PF wants to be involved in everything. “Everything is
being Zanu-nized. And foreign companies will be too concerned to invest in
Zimbabwe” said Mahachi.
By Alex Bell
20 January 2011
A pregnant Zimbabwean woman, who is one of more than 200 thousand Zim
nationals who have tried to regularise their stay in South Africa, was this
week threatened with deportation by local hospital staff in Cape Town.
The woman was seeking treatment at a hospital in Mitchell’s Plain, but was
told that she needed a letter from the Department of Home Affairs to prove
that she has applied for a work permit. She was told that without this
letter, the hospital authorities would call the police and she would be
deported. When she tried to show authorities the receipt she received to
prove she had applied for a permit, the hospital authorities told her the
receipt was worth nothing.
Such receipts are for the majority of applicants the only proof they have
that they applied for work or study permits, while South Africa adjudicates
the estimated 270 thousand applications. The authorities have since extended
its moratorium on deportations until this process is completed, setting June
2011 as its target.
But there are concerns that this message is being ignored, amid reports that
amid reports that some Zimbabweans have already been ‘fleeced’ for bribes.
The practice by corrupt police officers has been to arrest Zim nationals and
threaten them with deportation, and then ask for bribes.
Refugee rights group PASSOP has now asked the Health Department to inform
all staff at clinics and hospitals about the government’s plan to document
the Zim nationals.
PASSOP’s Braam Hanekom said the practice would place all foreign nationals
at risk. “People will not seek treatment of possibly infectious illnesses
because they could face deportation,” he said.
PASSOP has laid an official complaint with the Health Department last night,
asking that all clinics and hospitals be informed of the special
dispensation campaign to avoid any future misunderstandings.
20 January 2011
ZLHR’S POSITION ON KEY POLITICAL PROCESSES AND IMPERATIVES
At the start of a New Year, in light of the current visit of South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team to Zimbabwe, and imminent discussions on Zimbabwe at SADC and African Union (AU) level at the approaching AU Summit, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has felt it timely to comment on political processes and imperatives in our country.
Generally on the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the Inclusive Government (IG):
ZLHR reiterates that the GPA and the IG it created have contributed to the unacceptable continental trend of compromise and subversion of the will of the people. This route has de-legitimised elections in Zimbabwe by imposing political leaders on the electorate and denying them their right to freely choose their preferred representatives. The GPA has been used, not as a tool to facilitate an environment and institutions that will ensure a genuine, free and fair election in line with the SADC Principles and Guidelines for Democratic Elections and the AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections, but rather to stall the urgent imperative for an election in which the free will of the people is expressed and respected.
On the Article VI constitution-making process:
The architects of the constitution-making process have unduly politicised the exercise and have failed to ensure adequate representation of Zimbabweans in processes undertaken thus far. The IG has flouted its own timelines. It has politicised committees, outreach teams and the input of data. The operating environment during the outreach exercise was not conducive to free participation due to intimidation, violence, partisan state institutions, and the selective use and abuse of repressive laws inhibiting free expression, association and assembly. In terms of process, therefore, the Article VI constitution-making exercise has been fundamentally flawed and compromised, and has failed the test of constitutionalism.
On the process of national healing:
The process of national healing is elusive and the Organ has been neither victim-centred, nor victim-owned. It has failed to have any impact or effect and will not be able to deliver as long as there are two centres of power - one which wishes to bury the past’s excesses, and another which wishes to bring them into the open and address them in a meaningful manner.
On various state institutions and their reform
State institutions do not belong to any political party and must be impartial in discharging their duty as they have a critical role in ensuring a conducive environment for, and outcome of, any free and fair election. Their partiality played a defining role in the failed 2008 elections.
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) remains loyal to one political party, rather than the state, in contravention of its constitutional mandate and obligations. There is no question that the armed forces must maintain peace and security in a sovereign country. However they must not prey on the fears of civilians, and involve themselves in the activities and campaigns of one political party and dress it up as “national security”.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Office of the Attorney General (AG) – more particularly the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) - remain compromised and partisan in the discharge of their duties. Cases brought to their attention from the 2008 election period have not been taken up; neither have there been prosecutions of subsequent perpetrators of political violence. Both institutions, through their selective targeting and use of repressive laws against legitimate political activists and human rights defenders; their failure to prosecute known perpetrators; their malicious persecution and prosecution of the innocent; and their disregard for the rule of law, bear primary responsibility for the continued impunity and human rights violations in the country. The latest example of the DPP’s renegade action is the unconstitutional usurping by a clique of individuals in the AG’s office (whose loyalties are well known), of the powers of prosecutors and law officers to exercise their constitutionally-mandated prosecutorial discretion in matters of bail.
On the legislative reform agenda:
Despite GPA provisions which oblige political parties to prioritise legislative reform, progress in this area has been minimal. The legislative agenda for the last session of Parliament was almost entirely unattained. The executive - through the Cabinet Committee on Legislation - has continued to block all efforts at reform, effectively ensuring that Parliament remains a lame duck in efforts to improve its record on legislative reform. It is only through the introduction of a Private Member’s Bill that tentative steps have been taken to facilitate the amendment of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) in Parliament. However, this incremental and piecemeal approach is not likely to result in greater freedoms as long as POSA is not repealed and other security and media laws are not significantly amended. There has been no progress on reform of laws that directly or indirectly facilitate free and fair elections. Although the government has started to look into amending the Electoral Act, there has been no urgency on their part, and the process remains piecemeal and secretive.
On the state-controlled media:
The reform of the broadcasting sector has been entirely ignored by the IG. The public broadcaster remains entirely controlled by one political party. It has not been transformed into a public service broadcaster and has been utilised almost exclusively by ZANU PF to broadcast its propaganda and views, as well as to attack and discredit its political foes. Print media has likewise suffered under continued abuse of AIPPA. Without significant and immediate reforms, AIPPA and the broadcaster will remain a critical impediment to elections.
On the constitutional commissions:
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has gone for over a year without enabling legislation. It cannot monitor the occurrence of human rights violations or intervene to ensure respect for the rule of law through offering remedies to victims and sending a clear message to perpetrators that impunity will not be condoned. The silence of the commissioners in this regard is worrying. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has had limited visibility, has not interacted well with stakeholders, and has made no visible efforts to commence the implementation of necessary changes in relation to the management of elections.
On SADC and the AU and their role as guarantors:
Excluding the political party principals, SADC and the AU, as the guarantors of the GPA, bear the ultimate responsibility for any failure of the parties in the IG to adhere to the provisions and undertakings of the GPA. SADC has failed to rein in the IG on breaches and non-performance of provisions of the GPA. It has failed to focus on core issues around reforms and democratisation, overly concentrating on outstanding power-sharing issues, and even then it has not been effective. Countless resolutions and recommendations have been made and time-lines for action set at various meetings of both the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, and the SADC Heads of State and Government. However, the principals have failed to comply with, and/or implement, these resolutions and recommendations, as well as their undertakings.
By failing to take strong action to prevent or punish breaches, SADC has encouraged - whether actively or by its own inaction - impunity and continued non-compliance with its own deadlines and benchmarks. This calls into question SADC’s political will. The regional body has also allowed the IG to unacceptably stall in taking urgent and meaningful action to implement reforms critical for a fresh election, which is the main purpose of the GPA.
The AU has played almost no role although it is a co-guarantor, and must take more initiative and responsibility in ensuring adherence by the IG to the provisions of the GPA. In line with this view, ZLHR has sent a delegation to the imminent AU Summit and sideline meetings to engage various organs and stakeholders, deliver our contribution to the roadmap to elections, and highlight priority areas in which the AU must maintain greater oversight and action for the next 6 months.
Now that SADC is taking responsibility for producing a roadmap to elections there is need for stronger action and repercussions for non-compliance with benchmarks set for an election, implementation of all (not selective) provisions of the GPA, and resolution of other outstanding issues. It is necessary for SADC and the AU to have regard to the will of the people, rather than the politicians, in Zimbabwe if they are to play a critical role and be taken seriously. Failure to do so will be seen as culpability for another failed election in Zimbabwe and the ensuing regional instability, lack of peace and regional development and integration.
On the way forward:
In light of the failure of the GPA and the IG to deliver, ZLHR believes that there is now need to move towards the urgent finalisation and implementation of a comprehensive and decisive roadmap to fresh elections which are genuine, free and fair. ZLHR notes that the three political parties bear primary responsibility for the recommended action. They owe it to Zimbabwe to put the people of our beloved country first and to remember that they are servants of the people. The role and responsibility of SADC and the AU in ensuring a conducive environment for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in the shortest time possible cannot be underestimated. There must be political will manifested through clear time-lines, and repercussions for non-compliance.
Once the conducive environment is established, the election must take place - irrespective of whether or not a new constitution has been put in place. In any event, the process leading to the crafting of this elusive constitution is fundamentally compromised and flawed. Even if a new constitution emerges before an election, it can only be a transitional document, and the struggle for a people-owned constitution must continue under a new government with one centre of power.
Short-term benchmarks to test political will and readiness for elections:
ZLHR has outlined in its Position Paper comprehensive benchmarks and minimum requirements anchored in the SADC Principles and AU Declaration on Democratic Elections. Some must be implemented by the IG, whilst others will require regional commitment and cooperation. However, the following must be completed before the end of June 2011 as evidence of political will on the part of the IG, SADC and the AU:
Ø Enactment of amendments to the Attorney General’s Office Act to establish and resource an independent National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) which is separate from the AG, followed by a vigorous public selection process to appoint a Director of the NPA who is not compromised and will carry out their professional mandate without fear, favour or political allegiance against all perpetrators regardless of political affiliation.
Ø Investigation and fast-track prosecution of known perpetrators of electoral-related violence in the courts of Zimbabwe which are regularly publicised.
Ø Issuance of a directive to the ZRP structures down to local level by the Commissioner-General of Police (which is made public) to accept and investigate all complaints of criminal acts, regardless of political affiliation (real or perceived) of the complainant. This must be in addition to a system of reporting by the ZRP which will be published on a monthly basis in order to restore public confidence in the criminal justice system.
Ø Measures must be taken to urgently resource the courts – particularly the Magistrates’ Courts – and put in place a security plan for judicial officers and prosecutors to ensure their protection during elections and thus their independence and effectiveness.
Ø Enactment of legislation to operationalise the Human Rights Commission, together with immediate human and financial resourcing. The Commission must have a protective mandate empowering it to independently and effectively investigate violations and act to prevent, minimize or resolve conflict, particularly during elections. It must be entirely independent of the executive and must publicly and regularly report to Parliament.
Ø Immediate repeal of AIPPA and enactment of reforms to broadcasting legislation, followed by a public application process to a re-constituted Independent Broadcasting Authority which will result in the licensing of private and community radio stations. Such stations should be broadcasting before the end of April 2011 and should not be subject to persecution and interference.
Ø Immediate revival of an independent Mass Media Trust and publication of its operational plan to return the ZBC to its public service mandate and ensure against partisanship and hate speech. This plan should begin to be implemented before the end of March 2011.
Ø ZEC must produce and publish an audit of its structures, personnel and operations. It must undertake public consultations with stakeholders on necessary electoral reforms and also publish its plan on cleaning the voters’ roll to ensure its public acceptability.
Ø The legislative agenda for the next session of Parliament must be realistic, time-bound, and prioritise reforms of all laws impacting on elections. Urgent public consultations must be held with stakeholders. This, in addition to an audit of laws impacting on elections, must be used as the basis of this legislative agenda and the enactment of such laws and amendments must be completed within the time-frame.
Ø Immediate engagement of the security sector by senior military structures in SADC and AU to establish a firm agreement on military role (or non-role) in electoral processes.
As the SADC-mandated facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma, consults around the development of a comprehensive “roadmap” to elections, the views of the civil society and other stakeholders apart from the three main political parties must be heard and must be taken into account. After all, the impact and effects of a contested, illegitimate and violent election and its aftermath are felt by the generality of the Zimbabwean public, and they have a right to input in efforts to prevent or minimise such occurrences.
Kumbirai Mafunda Communications
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BILL WATCH 1/2011
[20th January 2011]
The Senate has adjourned until the 8th February
The House of Assembly has adjourned until the 15th February
List of Acts passed in 2010
There were only six Acts passed in 2010 – the smallest annual legislative output in Zimbabwe’s history. The six Acts were:
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Act, 2010 (No. 1 of 2010)
Gazetted and into force 31st March 2010
Appropriation (2010) Amendment Act, 2010 (No. 2 of 2010)
Gazetted and into force 17th August 2010
Finance Act, 2010 (No. 3 of 2010)
Gazetted and into force 17th August 2010
Appropriation (2011) Act, 2010 (No. 4 of 2010)
Gazetted and into force 31st December 2010
Finance (No. 2) Act, 2010 (No. 5 of 2010)
Gazetted and into force 31st December 2010
Appropriation (2010) Amendment (No. 2) Act, 2010 (No. 6 of 2010)
Gazetted and into force 31st December 2010
Pre-2010 Acts Brought into Force during 2010
Petroleum Act [Chapter 13:22] (No. 11 of 2006]
Into force 26th April 2010 [date fixed by SI 84/2010]
Judicial Service Act [Chapter 7:18] (No. 10 of 2006)
Into force 18th June 2010 [date fixed by SI 114/2010]
Intellectual Property Tribunal Act [Chapter 26:08] (No. 5 of 2001)
Into force 10th September 2010 [date fixed by SI 152/2010]
Trade Marks Amendment Act, 2001 (No. 10 of 2001)
Into force 10th September 2010 [date fixed by SI 153/2010]
Acts Not Yet in Force
National Biotechnology Authority Act [Chapter 14:31] (No. 3 of 2006)
Suppression of Foreign and International Terrorism Act [Chapter 11:21] (No. 5 of 2007)
Audit Office Act [Chapter 22:18] (No. 12 of 2009)
[Dates of commencement for these Acts have to be fixed by the President by statutory instrument.]
Update on Bills
Bills in Senate
[All introduced in and already passed by the House of Assembly last year, and now awaiting Second Reading in Senate]
Public Order and Security Amendment Bill
Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill
Attorney-General’s Office Bill
Energy Regulatory Authority Bill
Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill
Bills in House of Assembly
Awaiting Second Reading
Deposit Protection Corporation Bill
Awaiting Report by Parliamentary Legal Committee
Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill
Bills Gazetted and Awaiting Introduction
General Laws Amendment Bill [gazetted 22nd October 2010]
National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill [gazetted 5th November 2010]
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied