Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said the committee managing
the constitutional revision process has paused to attend to administrative
and budget issues, but said it is untrue the process has been suspended
Blessing Zulu | Washington 21 January 2010
Zimbabwean Minister of Constitutional Affairs on Thursday dismissed reports
that the constitutional revision outreach process intended to garner the
views of a broad cross section of the public on the document had been
suspended due to bickering among the governing parties and funding
The state-controlled Herald newspaper reported that feuding over the naming
of rapporteurs for the outreach process had led to its suspension.
The government has set October as the deadline for completing the process
before elections which some believe could be organized in 2011.
Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told VOA Studio 7 reporter
Blessing Zulu that the committee managing the process has paused to attend
to administrative and financial issues, but said it is not true that process
has been suspended. He said a meeting has been set for next Tuesday to
Co-Chairman Paul Mangwana of the Parliamentary Select Committee for the
Constitution, a lawmaker of the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President
Robert Mugabe, told VOA he was misquoted by the Herald.
Harare, January 22, 2010 – A Zanu PF activist has warned Finance Minister
Tendai Biti of “war” if he releases money for the land audit.
Interviewed by the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
on Wednesday night, Goodson Nguni said: “ The Minister of Finance is
forwarding MDC’s agenda in the inclusive government. He is representing the
whites and by allocating funds to the land audit he wants the whites to come
back…If he insists that the land audit should carry on he is declaring a
war. Land audit represents the MDC, which wants to sabotage the land
He also warned that the MDC wanted to use the constitution process as a
platform for regime change.
He said the US 31 million allocated to the land audit and the US 43 million
given to the constitution making process should have been given to new black
The ZBC also interviewed Agriculture Minister Joseph Made who said that
non-productivity on farms had been caused by the western sanctions.
Zanu PF has been pressurizing the MDC to campaign against the sanctions,
saying it is part of the new unity government deal.
Chimanimani - Chief Ringisai Chikukwa of Chikukwa communal lands in
Chimanimani is leading a group of traditional leaders in the area who are
pushing for the return of MDC Deputy Agriculture Minister -Designate Roy
Bennett at his Pachedu farm in the area.
The farm, which was seized from the former legislator in 2003 during the
chaotic land invasions orchestrated by war veterans and Zanu (PF)
supporters, falls under chief Chikukwa's area.
"We want Bennett, our son to come back at his farm and continue his farming
activities. He was doing a lot for our people and our area," said Chief
Chikukwa in an interview with Radio VOP.
The chief said last week he held a meeting with his headmen in the area and
resolved to engage government through the Ministry of Lands over Bennett's
reinstament at the former leading coffee producing farm in the area.
"During Bennett's time all headmen in my area used to get a beast every year
to carry out some traditional rituals such as rain making ceremonies. He
used to do a lot for our people," said the chief.
Chief Chikukwa said he has been following Bennett's court proceedings with
interest. Last week the chief traveled all the way from Chimanimani to
Harare to attend the on going trial of the MDC -T treasurer General who is
facing charges of illegal possession of weapons for purposes of terrorism,
banditry and insurgency.
Meanwhile Justice Chinembiri Bhunu was on Thursday expected to make a ruling
on the application by the state led by Attorney General, Johannes Tomana to
impeach key state witness, Michael Peter Hirschman, who the state is
claiming is distancing himself from the earlier statements he has made.
Bhunu was expected to make a ruling whether the state can impeach Hirschman
or not. When a witness is impeached it means his testimony will not be
reliable and the state can cross examine him to establish the truth if the
judge rules in favour of the impeachment.
Defence lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa told journalists outside the High court that
one of the two assessors in the treason case could not attend the court.
"We have just been told that the trial continues on Monday, they said its
something to do with the assessors," Mtetwa said.
Hirschman who had arrived in time for the court session told journalists
that he was told that one of the assessors had been involved in a car
"They said we cannot continue as one of the assessors was involved in a car
accident. So we will continue Monday,"Hitschmann said.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is said to be under pressure from creditors
including a number of non-governmental organizations and private companies
whose accounts were plundered in years past to fund state operations
Sandra Nyaira | Washington 21 January 2010
Pilloried by economists not so long ago as a wellspring of hyperinflation,
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is reported to be insolvent and close to
collapse, a situation experts blame on its practice of funding government
operations rather than managing the money supply and safeguarding price
The institution is said to be under pressure from creditors include a number
of non-governmental organizations and private companies whose hard currency
accounts were plundered in years past to fund state operations or those of
the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.
Economists say the bank's liabilities far outstrip its assets and that
urgent steps must be taken if the central bank is to survive. Others,
however, say shuttering the Reserve Bank would in fact be a step forward for
For perspective on the Reserve Bank crisis, VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra
Nyaira turned to economist Eric Bloch of Bulawayo and Prosper Chitambara of
the Labor and Economic Research Institute of Zimbabwe.
Bloch blamed the former ruling ZANU-PF government for forcing RBZ Governor
Gideon Gono to print Zimbabwean dollars with abandon, leading to the balance
sheet meltdown said to be in progress at the central bank.
But others blame Gono for the dire economic straits into which the country
fell over the past decade culminating with the second-highest inflation rate
on record and massive unemployment.
The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been demanding that Gono be replaced, but
President Robert Mugabe has adamantly refused to sack the man who kept his
government running for years with few visible means of support.
Published on: 22nd January, 2010
Harare - A SENIOR immigration officer has gone into hiding after he
allegedly issued 26 Bangladeshis with visas without authority.
Police have since launched a manhunt for Alter Upenyu Nhidza who was based
at Kanyemba Border Post.
It is believed that Nhidza is only one link in a syndicate that has seen
Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Somalis trickling into the country mostly
through illegal entry points en route to South Africa.
The 26 Bangladeshis with the fake visas were deported at the Harare
International Airport on Monday. They arrived separately in two groups via
Kenya. Eighteen aboard a Kenyan Airways flight and eight on Ethiopian
Immigration officials at the airport discovered the visas were not genuine
after screening the Bangladeshis. Preliminary investigations indicate that
Nhidza could have issued several fake visas to Bangladeshis and other
foreigners who are already in the country.
The Herald understands that a sizeable number of Pakistanis, Somalis, and
Bangladeshis entered Zimbabwe with the aid of rogue immigration officials.
Assistant regional immigration officer (investigations) Mr Evans Siziba
yesterday confirmed that police were looking for Nhidza. He said the
department had roped in the Criminal Investigations Department Serious
Frauds Squad to get to the bottom of the matter.
"We have launched a manhunt for Nhidza who was residing in Norton.
"Anyone with information leading to his arrest should contact their nearest
police station or our immigration officers," said Mr Siziba. He said Nhidza
allegedly took visas sticker boxes at the department's Harare headquarters
and "issued" these to the travelers.
The boxes were destined for Kanyemba Border Post. "They were to be used at
Kanyemba border post but surprisingly we saw them coming with the
Bangladeshis through the airport," said Mr Siziba.
Investigations revealed that Nhidza had charged about US$600 per "visa". Mr
Siziba said this was not the first time that they had deported Bangladeshis
at the airport. The Herald
THE ministry of Energy and Power Development has revealed that it is
currently negotiating with Botswana over the building of a fuel pipeline
linking Harare with Francistown.
The pipeline is aimed to be a continuation from the existing Harare-Beira
pipeline which Zimbabwe uses to import its fuel.
"Our Ministers of Energy met in Francistown last year and agreed to work
together within the regional thrust of co-operation. The Harare-Francistown
pipeline is one of the projects that are being looked at.
"An inter-governmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) is being finalised
and will give a framework on the implementation of the project," Energy and
Power Development Permanent Secretary Mr Justin Mupamhanga said.
He said the proposed pipeline had been necessitated by Botswana's
consideration to import its fuel through Beira rather than its traditional
route through South Africa.
"Botswana is considering transporting its fuel supplies through Beira as an
alternative to South Africa, necessitating the construction of the
pipeline." said Mupamhanga.
He said Botswana was also open to bringing the fuel by road pending the
finalisation of the project.
"There is also serious consideration on their part to bring in the fuel
through road and rail pending the finalisation of the pipeline project," he
Zimbabwe and Botswana recently signed a MoU for the refurbishment of the
Bulawayo Thermal Power Station.
Labor Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said it is time for Zimbabwe's unity
government to focus on the needs of its citizens instead of bickering over
appointments and other issues troubling power-sharing
Benedict Nhlapo & Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 21 January 2010
South Africa's minister of labor said he will meet with his Zimbabwean
counterpart to resolve the plight of hundreds of Zimbabweans still living in
the open in the Western Cape town of De Doorns following attacks on them and
their homes amid a dispute over local farm jobs late last year.
Announcing his intention Wednesday to take up the crisis with Harare, Labor
Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said it is time for Zimbabwe's unity
government to focus on the needs of its citizens instead of bickering over
appointments and other issues that have troubled the power-sharing
VOA Studio 7 correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported from Johannesburg that
hundreds of Zimbabweans are still living in tents on a sports field in De
Doorns, near Cape Town, two months after being displaced.
Elsewhere, the South African government has lodged a formal complaint with
Harare about seizures of farms owned by its nationals. Radio Voice of the
People reported that South African International Relations Minister Maite
Nkoane-Mashabane said Pretoria had taken Harare to task for violating the
bilateral investment protection agreement signed in November.
The South African move was endorsed by the Commercial Farmers Union of
Zimbabwe, which said the unity government in power since February 2009 has
not been able to stop farm invasions despite the agreement with Pretoria.
Some 150 white-owned farms out of the 300 remaining from more than 4,000
before land reform began in 2000 are said to be under threat from invaders.
General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe Secretary
Gertrude Hambira told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that her
organization is concerned with the plight of farm workers driven off
formerly white-owned farms, as well as the national food security situation.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said this week that the 2010 maize harvest
beginning around March could be disappointing due to poor rainfall and a
continuing lack of agricultural inputs, particularly fertilizer.
By: Oscar Nkala
22nd January 2010
Zimbabwe has in the past year witnessed a resurgence in exploration, which
had virtually come to a standstill when a government of national unity was
installed early last year.
The revival has so far been led by Mwana Africa, which has intensified
operations across most of its 1 300 claims in the Bindura-Shamva zone, north
of Harare; in parts of the Midlands; along the Great Dyke; in Mutoko; and in
Bubi, along the gold belt of Matabeleland North province.
Africa Consolidated Resources (ACR), another major player in the diamond and
gold mining industry in Zimbabwe, also reports an intensified search for
gold, diamonds and other kimberlite-indicative metals.
The company says: ""Gold exploration along the Gadzema Belt, a few
kilometres south of the Giant gold mine, in the Midlands province, has
discovered broad near-surface gold minerlaisation hosted by stock works.
This [type] of mineralisation has received little previous exploration
Mwana Africa's exploration arm, Zimbabwe Greenfields Exploration, has
reported "promising finds", but no details have been released.
In 2007, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines released the results of a study into
the mining industry, and one of the findings was that nearly all the
country's gold mines were very close to exhausting current there reserves.
Against this background, the chamber called for intensified exploration to
increase the country's mineral reserves.
Nearly all mining houses in the country ceased exploration activities
between 2003 and 2009 owing to a severe economic crisis spawned by political
squabbles between long-time President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, led by veteran trade unionist
Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now the Prime Minister in the inclusive
by Mutumwa Mawere Friday 22 January 2010
OPINION: Africa has and continues to offer promise to a few while the
majority eke a living in abject poverty.
The pyramidal shape and structure of African society characterised by a few
individuals at the pinnacle with the majority struggling at the bottom has
regrettably not been affected by independence.
South Africa is the most developed of all African states accounting for
about 45 percent of the continent's Gross Domestic Product.
What makes South African unique? Did it succeed where other African states
failed solely due to racism? What were the dynamics at play?
What we do know is that only a few men leave lasting impressions and their
actions and choices had a significant influence on the kind of South Africa
we see today.
It would be simplistic to suggest that the political economy of South Africa
destined these men to play the kind of role they played in constructing the
foundation of what is today credited as a dependable basis to prosecute a
national democratic revolution and in so doing give hope to all.
The institutional and legal framework in South Africa had to be aligned with
the kind of framework that could attract skills and resources.
The men who made it happen had to think outside the box and made decisions
whose implications went beyond their generations. They also had to think
We have seen that the mere transfer of political power to natives has not
produced the kind of economic outcomes that were expected suggesting that
the economic power structures created and sustained in post-colonial Africa
may have little to do with race than the personal drive of the actors
concerned, albeit supported by an unjust constitutional order.
We have seen black tyrants and also seen the results of bad governance.
Possessing state power alone is necessary but not sufficient to guarantee
What lessons do we draw from the colonial system?
I have chosen South Africa as a reference country primarily because its
interface with Europeans produced a new breed of Africans who have little or
no connection with Europe. This tribe of Africa needs to be understood in a
holistic manner if we are to deal effectively with the challenges on nation
We all know the ugly side of race-based policies but what we have not been
exposed to are the experiences of the men who contributed to making South
Africa a little Europe with the proviso that such a project could only
succeed if it was underpinned by the proletarisation of the African
peasantry and land allocation based on race.
We cannot change the past or relive it. We need to learn from it so that our
future is inclusive and secure.
This can best be done if we also journey into our past to locate the points
of light being the individuals whose lives had a lasting impact of the
Such individuals include Abe Bailey who was born in Cradock in the Cape on
November 2 1864. He was a second generation Randlord whose parents were
immigrants from Scotland and Yorkshire.
After his birth, the family moved to Queenstown where his father established
a wagon-making and wool merchanting business. His father expanded his
business interests to include a hotel.
His mother died when he was only seven years old. With no mother to mould
his character, his childhood was challenging and although, not of Afrikaner
heritage, he found himself enmeshed in a Dutch-speaking environment
explaining why in adult life he had sympathy for their cause and culture.
The rebellious Abe dropped out of school at 15 and found work with the firm,
Spreckley, White and Lewis, a London wool and cotton-trading firm.
The two years that he spent in London made him realise that South Africa
offered more promise to an aspiring entrepreneur because it did not have the
same rigid and hostile class system.
He reconciled with his father on his return and joined his father's business
in Queenstown and in 1886 he moved to Barberton attracted by the gold rush.
He started with no experience in mining and soon enjoyed success as a
stockbroker and financial agent.
Bailey has become the head by 1894 of what was called the Bailey Group of
He began to establish himself, not as a consequence of a colonial project,
as one of the chief mining magnates of the Witwatersrand.
Bailey was one of Rhodes' disciples and through networking with the master,
he acquired substantial mining and land properties in the former Rhodesia
and by the thirties had become one of the world's richest men.
Through Rhodes, Bailey entered politics and became part of the group that
formed the Reform Committee that was linked to the Jameson Raid.
Bailey was initially sentenced to imprisonment, then heavily fined instead
for his complicit involvement in the Jameson Raid, but went on to pursue an
active political life in government.
On Rhodes' death in 1902, he became Member of Parliament for his friend's
former seat of Barkly West, and then in 1908, represented Krugersdorp in the
first elections of the Transvaal Parliament.
In the First World War, he served as Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General
to the South African forces and was involved in recruiting men for the army.
He was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government and a baronetcy
by the British one in recognition of these services.
Like many of the Randlords, who without accessing South Africa's rich
resource base could not have made it in Britain, Bailey spent a good deal of
his life commuting between South Africa and Britain.
He had left London after a two-year stint with no cash at his disposal, but
after striking gold in Africa; he acquired a home in Bryanston Square,
London and in East Grinstead, Sussex.
His wealth and influence allowed him to play a part in British political
life as well. His second wife was after all the daughter of the fifth Lord
Rossmore of Monaghan.
He was awarded a baronetcy for services rendered during the First World War.
His London home was a venue for key and important political arbitrations.
In December 1916, he hosted at his Bryanston Square house a meeting that
resulted in Lloyd George replacing Asquith as British Prime Minister.
The discussions of 1926 that helped to bring to a close Britain's General
Strike were also held at his address.
His friends included Smuts and Churchill plus a number of other leading
British political figures who were frequent guests at his house.
He was a consummate diplomat and a networking genius who also helped
facilitate in South Africa negotiations between opposing political groups.
He was a common friend to Hertzog, Botha, Smuts, Duncan and Jameson which
made it easier to manage the egos of these powerful men.
He was the key sponsor of the union movement in the belief that white South
Africans ought to unite under a common umbrella.
He sponsored the Union Club movement and its journal, The State. He was
passionate about South Africa, the country that provided a platform for his
social mobility which would have been unthinkable in the England of the day.
In post-colonial Africa, the interplay between politics and business has not
been understood. Bailey would be called a "crony" if he was black.
There is a class of people who have not understood that without economic
prosperity, the state as a going concern becomes an academic instrument for
promoting and protecting sovereignty. Bailey knew the dangers of state power
in the wrong hands and hence his decision to inherit Rhodes' parliamentary
seat. It was important for people like Bailey to be seized with matters of
the state because the alternative would have been too ghastly to
This is what he had to say in 1930 about South Africa and its role in his
personal transformation: "I did not come out of the top drawer. I am the son
of emigrants. My parents went to South Africa and there I was born, and I
love South Africa with all my heart . . . for it was in that country . . .
that I was able to rise from the bottom of the ladder."
No other country and civilisation could have allowed Bailey to scale the
economic and financial heights with ease.
Some would argue that he succeeded like many white South Africans because of
the dispossession of native Africans and more importantly due to the
introduction of an unjust and undemocratic constitutional order. Yet some
would argue that it was the determination and hard work of people like
Bailey that positioned South Africa for greatness in Africa.
Although the individual actors were rewarded handsomely, the resources of
South Africa were exposed and exploited to the benefit not only of the
generation of the time but also to future generations.
It was clear that the absence of a legal and institutional framework to
support the exploitation of minerals required that one be put in place.
Equally, there was need to invest in physical infrastructure necessary to
convey inputs, outputs and more importantly house human capital of all
Bailey died at his Muizenburg on August 101940 and was buried at nearby
hillside. We all want to be remembered for something.
History will always be kind to those who chose to act than talk about
dreams. Building South Africa was an enterprise calling for progressive
minds not gamblers.
We are entitled to have different views on the men who made a difference to
the South African story and ultimately to the African story.
The South African story without the involvement of these men would no doubt
be different and to the extent that South Africa is and continues to play a
critical role in the African renaissance story, it is important that we
invest in knowing whence we came from.
Ultimately, Bailey was human after all and a life of good fortune could not
extend his life on earth. The wealth he accumulated could not be consumed by
him and his successors alone.
It was obvious to Bailey that his life accomplishments were nothing but an
investment in legacy. So he is aptly remembered as a South African diamond
tycoon, politician, financier and cricketer. - ZimOnline
Launch of the Swazi Vigil
Exiled Swazis and supporters are to
hold a weekly Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in
The first Vigil is to take place on
Saturday 30th January from . The
Vigils will continue until there democracy and respect for human rights in
We will be running the following petitions:
A petition to the British government
Swazis and supporters urge you to put pressure on the absolute monarch King
Mswati III to allow political freedom, freedom of speech, the rule of law,
respect for women and affordable AIDS drugs in
A petition to the Commonwealth
Swazis and supporters urge you to suspend
Programme for 30th January
Event: Protest for democracy and an end to
human rights abuses in
Date and time: Saturday 30th January from
Interview opportunities: Political activists, torture and rape survivors
Further information: Thobile 07746 552 597, Vincent 07743 662 046