By Alex Bell
25 January 2013
A South African court on Friday granted an interim interdict to halt the
delivery of a fleet of helicopters to Zimbabwe, amid fears of another
violent election there this year.
The entire fleet of French built Alouette III helicopters and spare parts
have been set aside as a ‘donation’ by the South Africa National Defence
Force (SANDF) to the Zimbabwe Defence Force.
But South African civil rights group AfriForum applied for the interdict on
Friday, arguing that Zimbabwe’s human rights record, and the role that the
country’s military has played in previous elections, support fears of future
violence during the next poll.
“Indications are that the Zimbabwean Defence Force is increasing its
visibility, mobility and presence all over Zimbabwe ahead of the national
elections scheduled for later this year. The Zimbabwean Defence Force
stepped in to back President Robert Mugabe in the 2008 presidential run-off
and that military operation involved a systematic, brutal crackdown on MDC
supporters,” AfriForum said.
Last week, AfriForum’s legal representatives wrote to the South Africa
Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as well as Justice Minister
Jeff Radebe, (who chairs the National Conventional Arms Control Committee,
the NCACC) about speculation that the SANDF had decided to donate its
Alouette fleet to Zimbabwe.
The ministers were given seven days to respond to the letter, but AfriForum
did not receive any answer or explanation. Instead spokespeople for both
ministers confirmed to the Mail & Guardian newspaper that the donation was
finalised and that delivery of the helicopters was imminent.
According to AfriForum’s legal representative, Willie Spies, the group’s
reasons for seeking an interdict are primarily to do with Zimbabwe’s human
rights record. He explained that in terms of South African law, the NCACC
“must consider certain principles before a transaction for the disposal of
military equipment to another country is authorised.” He said these
principles include, amongst others, the human rights-record of the country
“We all know the human rights history of Zimbabwe and what happened in the
2008 elections. There are so many reports of military helicopters being used
to provide transport for militia groups, to intimidate people, to unleash
terror. It cannot be right for it to happen again and South Africa cannot be
an accomplice to this,” Spies said.
He explained that the donation is also considered by many to be a
“circumvention of a European Union arms embargo against Zimbabwe,” as a
result of the South African government’s disposal of French imported spare
parts to Zimbabwe.
The interim order granted Friday will remain until the main application is
finalised by 19 February 2013.
25 January 2013
An urgent interim court order was awarded to AfriForum late this afternoon by the North Gauteng High Court to prevent delivery of Alouette III Air Force helicopters by the South African National Defence Force to the Zimbabwean army. The interim order shall stand pending the finalisation of the main application by 19 February 2013.
AfriForum issued an urgent application to the court today after the news about the donation to the Zimbabwean government broke.
Legal representatives for AfriForum have presented letters last week to the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, as well as the Minister of Justice, Jeff Radebe, who is also Chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, after rumours surfaced that the SANDF had decided to donate its entire fleet of used Alouette helicopters to Zimbabwe.
The Ministers were given seven days to react to the letters, but no reaction had been received by close of business yesterday.
While the Ministers declined to react to the letters delivered to their respective offices on 17 January 2013, their spokespersons did confirm to Mail & Guardian that arrangements for the delivery of the helicopters had been finalised and that the delivery would take place shortly.
According to Willie Spies, Legal Representative for AfriForum, the organisation is overjoyed that the application was successful. He added that AfriForum will continue to use all legal avenues at its disposal to prevent delivery of the aircraft to Zimbabwe.
"We have also informed the acting French Ambassador to South Africa in writing of the potential risk for his country, in that France may be contravening the arms embargo against Zimbabwe, as imposed by the European Union, as the South African Government will now be donating imported French helicopter parts to Zimbabwe," Spies said.
In terms of the Act on the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, Act 41 of 2002, the NCACC must consider certain principles before a transaction regarding the sale or delivery of military equipment to another country can be authorised. These principles include, inter alia, the human rights record of the particular country.
The National Director of Public Prosecutions was recently ordered by the Pretoria High Court to investigate certain offences against humanity, committed by Zimbabwean military officers, in accordance with South Africa's duties in terms of the Statute of Rome.
During the 1970s to 1980s Alouette helicopters were used by, inter alia, the South African Defence Force during its war with Angola, to launch air-to-ground pursuits on insurgents. The helicopters were regarded by all as formidable weapons.
All indications are that the Zimbabwean army is enhancing its visibility, mobility and presence across Zimbabwe in anticipation of the national elections that are scheduled to take place later this year.
It is general knowledge that the Zimbabwean army determined the outcome of the so-called second round of the presidential elections in 2008, when President Robert Mugabe was re-elected as president, after the MDC beat Zanu-PF during parliamentary elections.
Operation waVhotera Papi ("for whom did you vote?"), as the military campaign was known, was a systematic, brutal suppression of MDC supporters by members of the Zimbabwean Army.
For Further Information:
Legal Representative: AfriForum
083 676 0639
Sapa | 25 January, 2013 11:50
The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has defended the disposal of military
helicopter airframes and spares to Zimbabwe amid threats of legal action to
stop the move.
The Mail&Guardian newspaper (M&G) reported on Friday that fears had surfaced
that retired military helicopters from the SANDF would be used to prop up
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.
However, SANDF corporate communication director Brig-Gen Xolani Mabanga said
the decision to donate and dispose of Alouette III helicopter airframes and
spares to the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF) was made by former defence
minister Joe Modise in 1997, when they were being phased out of service.
"How the donation of the spares to the ZDF relate to the forthcoming
elections in that country is difficult to understand," Mabanga said.
All processes for the disposal had been completed and the spares were ready
for dispatch to Zimbabwe as a donation.
"There is no truth in that the donation of this material has taken place.
Furthermore there is no truth of the SANDF donating helicopters as alleged
in the news reports [on Friday].
"The SANDF would like to place it on record that it has a bilateral
agreement with the ZDF, and a number of exchanges in various fields between
the two defence forces have taken place and will continue," he said.
The M&G reported that the SANDF was "about to send a gift of helicopters and
spares to its Zimbabwean counterparts, raising the spectre they will be used
in a military-backed campaign to put Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party back in
power in polls expected this year".
"The Mail&Guardian has seen the confidential minutes of a meeting in Cape
Town two months ago between defence chiefs of the two countries.
"Under the heading 'disposal of Alouette III helicopters and spares', the
minutes noted that 'the administrative processes in the SANDF have been
finalised and the equipment will soon be handed over to the ZDF'."
Zimbabwe was scheduled to hold elections by the end of March, but they were
widely expected to be delayed for some months, the newspaper reported.
"Apprehension is building in civil society and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that the military will
step in, as it did during the violent 2008 presidential run-off to save
The aged, but versatile Alouette III, which had been operated by the
military in both countries since the 1960s, would be a force multiplier for
the ZDF, providing fast access to rural areas.
According to the M&G, Zimbabwe was under European and United States weapons
sanctions, hampering its air force's efforts to keep its handful of Alouette
III and Agusta-Bell light utility helicopters in the air.
In a statement issued in response to the report, civil rights group
AfriForum said it would take urgent legal action to prevent the "imminent
delivery of Alouette III SANDF Air Force helicopters" to the ZDF.
AfriForum's legal representative Willie Spies said it would use all legal
avenues at its disposal to prevent the dispatch and delivery of the aircraft
"We are also writing to the French ambassador to South Africa, to inform him
about a potential risk of his country being in contravention of the European
Union arms embargo against Zimbabwe, as a result of the South African
government's disposal of French imported spare parts to Zimbabwe," he said.
In terms of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, the National
Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), chaired by Justice Minister
Jeff Radebe, had to consider certain principles before a transaction for the
disposal of military equipment to another country was authorised.
These principles included, among others, the human rights-record of the
country in question, Spies said.
The M&G reported that Radebe's spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said the Alouettes
and spares did not "fall within the NCACC's parameters of control" under its
The NCACC was apparently relying on the classification of the helicopters as
"civilian" after their guns were stripped out, though both the giver and the
recipient were military.
By Tichaona Sibanda
25 January 2013
Heavily armed police on Thursday raided the Zvishavane home of the MDC-T
chairperson for Midlands South province, Lilian Timveos looking for
Timveos confirmed to SW Radio Africa that police officers brandishing AK47
rifles swooped on her house armed with a search warrant while she was out of
the house. She said her husband and children were present when they searched
the house, room by room, a situation they described as ‘terrifying’.
While the search warrant indicated the police were looking for ‘smuggled
goods’ Timveos suspects the officers who conducted the raid used it as a
decoy to look for literature information related to her party activities.
Timveos explained that the police went away empty handed.
Her suspicions have been buttressed by the fact that after the police left
her home, another team of officers was dispatched to search the MDC-T
provincial offices in Gweru. This time, the police said they were looking
for laptops and radios.
Timveos, a respected businesswoman and the only female chairperson to lead a
political province in Zimbabwe, said Friday that she’s at a loss as to why
the police units searched her house and provincial offices.
“First of all, I don’t know what smuggled goods look like and I certainly
don’t know if owning a laptop or a radio has now become a criminal offence
in Zimbabwe,” Timveos said.
The senior MDC-T official said she and her family are still stunned by
Thursday’s massive flurry of police activity in her house and at the party’s
“What I faced yesterday (Thursday) has come as a total shock to me. It was
totally unexpected, and I can affirm to you that this is not a pleasant
situation. Regardless of the reasons for this police operation, they have
our full co-operation,” she said.
SW Radio Africa correspondent in Bulawayo Lionel Saungweme reported that if
the police were looking for smuggled goods, it wasn’t their duty to search
the house. Instead that would be a job for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
“The assumption in MDC-T circles here is that the police were looking for
laptops to forward them to the Central Intelligence Organisation where they
would be forensically interrogated to get vital information on the party as
elections loom,” Saungweme said.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
25 January 2013
Police investigations into the explosion that killed five people in the
Zengeza suburb of Chitungwiza on Monday took a dramatic turn on Wednesday,
as the Law and Order division picked up several suspects for questioning.
The blast happened at the home of local traditional healer Speakmore
Mandere, who died along with kombi operator Clever Kamudzeya and seven month
old Kelly Chimina, who was reportedly asleep in one of the rooms. Two others
have not been identified, but one was believed to be a businessman.
According to the Daily News newspaper, police sources had revealed that the
suspects picked up by police include the wife of a businessman who died in
the blast, an aide to the late traditional healer Mandere and a third person
yet to be identified. The three were reportedly taken in for questioning
A police spokesman told the paper that “senior level” officers would work
closely with the army’s bomb disposal units and forensic experts, as the
matter is now being treated as a serious security issue.
It is not yet clear just what happened at the premises at number 4, Ndororo
Street in Zengeza, but Job Sikhala, former MP for St Marys and MDC99
president, said forensic experts visited the scene and told the state run
media that the explosion was most likely caused by a bomb.
“The current explanation we are getting is from military experts like
Brigadier General Felix Muchemwa who recently said that there is no way this
could have been black magic lightning. He suspects from substances they
found that the blast was the result of a bomb,” Sikhala told SW Radio
Sikhala added that despite this information from experts, many people on the
street still believe that there may have been other forces at play,
including traditional practices that went wrong or unsatisfied clients using
black magic to get revenge.
The event has fuelled a rash of comments and discussion on social networking
sites, as well as jokes about witchcraft and black magic. Sikhala said
Zimbabwean humour has taken over and many jokes were making the rounds.
Meanwhile Liliyosa Nyawata, the 17-year old wife of the late healer
Speakmore Mandere, made headlines this week while speaking from the mortuary
at Chitungwiza General Hospital, where his remains and those of the other
deceased were still being kept.
The young Nyawata told a harrowing tale of how she had just arrived back
home after going to fetch water with the kombi driver’s wife and two other
women, when the explosion shook the neighbourhood.
She found herself “tucked into a refrigerator” where she got an electric
shock before managing to escape outside. Her husband was on the ground
motionless and bleeding from the nose and mouth. She said he was still
breathing in the ambulance and may have survived if they had attended to him
at that point.
Nyawata told the Daily News she had eloped with Mandere only three weeks ago
and they had started to build a home at that location a mere ten days before
ZANU PF has told police to investigate five provincial leaders accused of
swindling nearly a million dollars from diamond mining companies, an
apparent image clean-up ahead of elections expected this year.
State media said on Friday a ruling party politburo meeting chaired by
President Robert Mugabe this week had ordered the probe amid allegations two
diamond mining firms were forced to donate $750,000 for use by the party.
The cash was later diverted to personal projects, state media said.
Partnership Africa Canada, a member of the Kimberley Process initiative
against "blood diamonds", said in November at least $2 billion of revenues
from the eastern Marange diamond fields had been stolen by people linked to
The state mining firm said the gems were sold transparently and Zanu PF has
consistently denied accusations that its officials and top generals are
looting diamond revenues.
Two Chinese companies are mining diamonds in partnership with the government
in Marange, which was until recently under Kimberley Process sanctions due
to allegations of smuggling and rights abuses.
Political analysts see the push for a police investigation as part of
efforts to improve Zanu PF's image ahead of presidential and parliamentary
polls likely to be held by September.
Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980, was
forced into a unity government with arch rival Morgan Tsvangirai following
disputed polls in 2008.
Zanu PF has endorsed its 88-year-old leader as its candidate for the
presidential vote. It is expected to face a stiff challenge because of a
widespread belief the veteran rulers' policies have wrecked the economy.
Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00
Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
ZANU-PF’s Presidium has ordered police to takeover investigations
of the five senior party officials from Manicaland who are facing
allegations of fraud and corruption involving more than US$700 000 they
allegedly collected from diamond mining companies.
This latest development came about after the provincial disciplinary
committee that had been set up to investigate the case exonerated the five.
The Presidium is composed of President Mugabe, who is the party’s First
Secretary and President, Vice President Joice Mujuru, who is the Vice
President and Second Secretary and national chairperson Cde Simon Khaya
The Manicaland issue was supposed to be on the Politburo’s agenda on
Wednesday but was struck off after the party leadership felt there was need
for further investigations.
“The Presidium has decided that further investigations be carried out by the
police,” said party spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo.
“They felt further investigations were necessary. They want the police to
look into the matter so it will be referred to the police.”
The five are provincial chairman Cde Mike Madiro, ousted youth provincial
chairman Cde Tawanda Mukodza, youth provincial secretary for administration
Cde Mubuso Chinguno, youth provincial secretary for security Cde Admire
Mahachi and former Mutare Urban DCC chairman Cde Clever Mparutsa
Cde Gumbo declined to divulge findings of the provincial disciplinary
committee that was chaired by deputy provincial chairperson Cde Dorothy
“As I said, the issue was not discussed in the Politburo so I cannot comment
on the findings of the provincial disciplinary committee. The report was not
discussed but the Presidium recommended that there was need for further
investigations,” he said.
Secretary for Administration Cde Didymus Mutasa added: “I am sure the report
was given to the National Chairman (Cde Simon Khaya Moyo who is the
chairperson of the party’s National Disciplinary Committee) who met his
colleagues in the disciplinary committee and agreed that the issue was
supposed to be referred to the Presidium.
“The Presidium then ordered that police should further investigate the
Insiders said further investigations were ordered amid indications that some
people in the provincial disciplinary committee were compromised as they had
relations with some of the suspects.
“People were concerned when the provincial disciplinary committee claimed
there was no issue when it’s well documented that something of that sort had
“The provincial disciplinary committee’s findings were considered strange
because they exonerated those people of any wrongdoing. As a party we want
to demonstrate that we don’t condone such behaviour and that is the reason
why the issue is being referred to the police,” said a source
Another insider added: “What we got (provincial disciplinary committee
findings) is the kind of feedback you get kana ukatuma shumba kunotonga imwe
shumba. It was obvious they were going to exonerate them because pane nyaya
dzekudanana pavanhu ivava. So obviously they were not going to convict them
because some of them benefited from the money.”
There are allegations that the five officials went to diamond mining
companies last year where they misrepresented to them that they wanted money
for various party activities, but the money never reached its intended
One of the companies is alleged to have released US$300 000 while an unnamed
company is alleged to have given US$450 000.
Zanu-PF National Youth Affairs department recently endorsed the ousting of
Cde Mukodza over the issue after the provincial youth leadership passed a
vote of no confidence in him.
By Violet Gonda
25 January 2013
The possession of diamonds in Zimbabwe appears to be tightly controlled for
some but acceptable for others.
Activists have accused ZANU PF of being ‘two faced’ in regard to possessing
diamonds. There are several high profile cases where people have been
arrested for possessing diamonds, such as in the case of businessman Newman
The issue came to the fore when controversial prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa
“miraculously” manifested diamonds and gold during a church service last
Zimbabwean law, as it stands, prohibits unlicensed people from possessing
these valuable objects. But Mines Minister Obert Mpofu reportedly said the
United Family International Church founder has a “God given talent and
should be supported.”
The NewsDay newspaper quotes the minister saying: “If it is true that he
does those things, then he should be supported. He has his gift from God and
no one can dispute or criticise that. If he can perform miracles let us
Kimberley Process Local Focal Point person Shamiso Mutisi, who is also a
lawyer with the Zimbabwe Environmental Association, said Mpofu’s response is
especially shocking as there is a law administered by the Ministry of Mines
that tightly controls the dealing or possession of precious stones.
Mutisi told SW Radio Africa: “Those provisions should have been stated by
the minister because he is the one who administers that piece of
Makandiwa, who is drawing thousands of people to his church in Harare,
reportedly stunned worshippers last Sunday when some found themselves in
possession of pieces diamonds and gold during the service while others
experienced equally extraordinary miracles like growing teeth, hair being
extended and one woman claims to have lost weight.
Mutisi said, while he does not believe that the precious stones fell from
heaven, the authorities should investigate how these diamonds were acquired.
He added: “If you picked the stone from somewhere, be it through religious
purposes, you are still required to report to the police, if you do not have
When contacted for comment, Minister Mpofu said he was on leave. But critics
say it is not a surprising response from senior ZANU PF officials who have a
history of supporting miracle manifestations.
The best known case was that of Rotina Mavhunga, the ‘diesel n’anga’ who
conned government ministers into believing that she could miraculously
manifest diesel which came oozing from a rock in the Chinhoyi outback.
Meanwhile, doubters of Makandiwa’s ‘spiritual powers’ say the controversial
prophet is using the promise of miracles and financial abundance to
manipulate people. Believers are adamant he is an anointed servant of God
who is demonstrating that God can do miracles.
By Violet Gonda
25 January 2013
ZimRights head Okay Machisa broke down in court on Friday due to “inordinate
delays” in determining his bail application, according to the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Machisa cried in court after High Court Judge Felistas Chatukuta postponed
the bail application again to Monday, saying she had still not been
furnished with the full record of the case by the Criminal Registrar.
This is the fourth time that the human rights campaigner has been denied
bail since his arrest last week, on charges of voter registration fraud and
ZLHR chairperson Andrew Makoni told SW Radio Africa that bail applications
are urgent matters and therefore it is “disturbing” that the High Court
judge has still not been furnished with the full transcript of the records
of proceeding from the lower court.
The ZLHR said in a statement that Machisa battled to come to terms with ‘his
persecution’ and shed some tears as Zimbabwe Prison Service officials
shackled him in leg irons.
“He later composed himself and demonstrated his fortitude by singing the
lyrics ‘ini musandicheme, zvichemei nevana venyu panguva inouya muchachema’
from prominent gospel musician Charles Charamba,” the statement read.
The judge denied requests by defense lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to stand the
matter down in order to bring the Criminal Registrar to explain in court why
he did not furnish the judge with the full record.
Makoni said the high court judge might not be at fault because he has to see
the transcripts before he can formulate an opinion “but when the magistrate’s
court is failing to furnish the High Court with a full record of the
proceeding is something at this stage we cannot tolerate.”
By Alex Bell
25 January 2013
Police in Marondera have been slammed for disrupting a peace building
exercise this week, with civic groups warning they are being deliberately
The meeting on Thursday, organised by the Centre for Community Development
in Zimbabwe (CCDZ), was held at Dhirihori in Marondera East constituency.
The police claimed that the CCDZ was holding a ‘political meeting’ and
ordered the gathering to end.
The police cited the presence of former ZANU PF official Tracy Mutinhiri who
crossed the floor and joined the MDC-T last year. She and other MDC-T
activists were at the meeting, which also featured officials from other
political parties including ZANU PF.
The CCDZ said on Friday that the police officers who disrupted the meeting
accused them of holding an ‘illegal’ gathering and told participants not to
associate with NGOs “because they are agents of the West.”
The CCDZ criticised the behaviour of the police, explaining that they are
being deliberately blocked from holding any meetings. In Masvingo East Chief
Superintendent Mubaiwa denied the group from holding a meeting at Nyika and
Mupandawana Growth Points, stating: “they would disturb people from
attending their fields since it’s a rainy season.”
CCDZ director Phillip Pasirayi told SW Radio Africa on Friday that he is
“surprised” and disappointed with the police’s actions.
“The political space is closing for civic groups and vocal critics. This is
part of a ZANU PF strategy to silence their critics and to ensure the only
information people receive is from partisan sources,” Pasirayi said,
He added: “The attack against civil society activists has intensified in the
past few weeks. This is a well-calculated move by government agencies to
muzzle vocal organisations.”
Thursday, 24 January 2013 13:23
An MDC supporter Polite Zambezi, 39, yesterday appeared before a Mwenezi
magistrate, Timeon Makunde facing spurious charges of undermining the
authority of Robert Mugabe in a song.
According to Martin Mureri of Matutu Kwirira and Associates, who is
representing Zambezi, the State is claiming that on 25 November, the accused
who is a known MDC supporter was travelling in a commuter omnibus from
Neshuro to Rutenga in Mwenezi when he sang a song which undermined Mugabe.
Zambezi denies the charges. The case number is CR 137/11/12.
“The State alleges that my client did not respect the office of the
President,” said Mureri.
“The State further alleges that the song contained derogatory statements
that are dangerous and likely to trigger disharmony but in my opinion the
State case lacks clear evidence since there is lack of consistency in the
facts of the State case.
There is no clear evidence to suggest that the accused actually expressed
derogatory words. The charges are politically motivated in order to silence
suspected MDC supporters in Mwenezi”, said Mureri.
The lawyer has since made an application for the matter to be referred to
the Supreme Court.
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
Jonga Kandemiiri, Gibbs Dube
Leaders of some civil servants associations met in Harare on Thursday with
Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga to get an update on their salaries
and working conditions.
While saying they were pleased that the minister agreed to meet them,
College Lecturers' Association of Zimbabwe (COLAZ) president and Apex
Council chairman David Dzatsunga said little came out of the meeting that
will please disgruntled government workers.
Dzatsunga said the minister insisted that the Apex Council must be legally
reconstituted in order for her to negotiate with them.
Earlier this week Minister Matibenga turned down a request by some of the
associations asking the government to recognise the old Apex Council led by
Tendai Chikowore to spearhead salary negotiations for three months.
Citing regulations, she ordered the workers to reconstitute the current Apex
Council or bring the old executive back for a two-year term.
Members of the Public Service Association (PSA) did not attend Thursday’s
meeting, with its secretary general Emmanuel Tichareva saying the group’s
schedule conflicted with the meeting time.
Dzatsunga said they will reach out to PSA and set up another meeting next
Monday in order for them to move forward together.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary Raymond Majongwe
agreed with Dzatsunga that nothing tangible came out of the meeting.
Sifiso Ndlovu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Teachers’
Association, said the Apex Council is expected to meet on Monday to address
issues currently affecting the council.
Ndlovu said conflicts within the council have resulted in stalled salary
negotiations between the government and civil servants who are demanding
that the lowest paid workers should make at least $600.00 a month.
Harare, January 25, 2013 - The Committee of the Peoples Charter (CPC) is
demanding that diamond revenues be channeled to education, health care,
refurbishment of railway lines and trains as well as provision of clean and
In a statement on Friday, the CPC, said this followed recent statements made
by the Minister of Mines, Obert Mpofu, that Zimbabwe will be able to make $
2b a year from diamond sales.
A recent Kimberly Process meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
gave Zimbabwe a go-ahead to sell diamonds from Marange to world markets at
"The Honourable Minister’s announcement that Zimbabwe will be able to make
an estimated gross amount of US$2 billion per annum from these diamond sales
is a matter that should be further explained with particular respect to the
national fiscus and the intended priorities as to how this revenue should be
utilized for the public good.
CPC warned that where the government failed to commit diamond revenue to
priority areas, it will be a travesty of social and economic justice.
The CPC also warned it will be tracking the usage of this revenue with the
intention of bringing the government to account and in order to curb
corruption as well as the misplacement of priorities by the government.
25 JAN 2013 10:03 - NKULULEKO SIBANDA
Activists and former inmates say conditions in Zimbabwe jails are shocking,
and basic conditions such as providing hygiene and food aren't being met.
Some of Zimbabwe's prisons are unable to feed inmates or cater for their
basic hygienic needs, the Mail & Guardian was told this week.
Edison Chihota, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Association for Crime
Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender, said that his association had
discussed the issue of food with the Zimbabwe Prison Services.
The authorities had responded that prisons face funding challenges because
they did not have a direct allocation from the fiscus.
At the height of the country's economic meltdown in 2008, prisoners were
badly affected and an outbreak of cholera and food shortages claimed the
lives of an undisclosed number of inmates.
A former inmate at Gweru's Hwahwa prison said conditions there are
appalling. "We mostly received one meal a day and, occasionally, two."
He said prisoners survive on meals that family members bring them, but the
food sometimes does not reach prisoners because warders steal it.
"There was rarely soap for washing uniforms, leading to outbreaks of lice
and skin disease," he said.
Chihota said prisoners have an unchanging diet of sadza (thick mealie meal
porridge) and sugar beans. The association has also noted deteriorating
standards of hygiene and prisoners don't have toothpaste and soap. There was
also a shortage of beds and blankets. "Only in prison hospitals is one
assured of a bed," he said.
Justice and legal affairs deputy minister Obert Gutu said the government
"is doing its level best" to deal with the situation.
The government is trying to comply with the provisions of statutory
instrument 149/2011, which stipulates what prisoners should eat, but is not
"on a sound financial footing to meet the obligations set out by the
instrument", Gutu said.
He said the situation had improved tremendously compared with the 2006-2008
period and denied that prisoners receive one or two meals a day. "Prisoners
now get three meals a day of porridge, sometimes bread and tea, cabbage,
beans and other things."
Gutu said the government also had to consider the plight of prison officers,
who struggle to find proper accommodation.
"We have more than 8 000 prison officers in Zimbabwe. They are faced with
challenges with regard to accommodation and there is a need for the
government to look at their plight as well."
Prison officials at Harare's remand prisons said delays in the prosecution
of cases also lead to prison overcrowding.
"We have so many postponements," said one official, who asked not to be
named. "There are cases where the state applies for an accused person to be
remanded in custody for months while it gathers evidence."
A report that the portfolio committee on prisons presented to Parliament
last year said that ablution facilities at some prisons were dysfunctional
and that bad sanitary conditions in prisons in Bulawayo were being
aggravated because the city council rationed water.
"The ablution facilities for Khami remand [prison] were said to be beyond
repair. The situation was worsened by the lack of water to flush the system.
All this was blamed on the unavailability of funds," the report said. -
Additional reporting by the Mail & Guardian's Harare correspondent.
24 JAN 2013 20:58 - INYASHA CHIVARA
Zimbabwe's government is unlikely to entertain a proposal by a farmers'
union, with Finance Minister Tendai Biti calling it an "elitist solution".
The proposal by the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) seeks the valuation of
their former farms, followed by the issuance of bonds underwritten by an
international financial institution.
The union's president, Charles Taffs, said that there had been broad
consultations about the issue for the past two years, which had included the
government, international finance institutions and the black farmers
occupying the land. “We are re-establishing the value of what has been lost
[and] we are monetising that value and placing it back into the economy,” he
But Taffs would not reveal the name of the institution that would underwrite
the bonds. “If it [the proposal] was going to be engaged as a policy of
government, we would be getting Bretton Woods institutions coming to the
table,” he said.
But Finance Minister Tendai Biti said that compensation was a national issue
and could not be restricted to a “clique of people”.
The issue of the white farmers, whether legitimate or not, Biti said, could
not override inclusive national programmes.
“These are neoliberal solutions that look at one race, one sector of the
economy. I have a problem with an elitist solution to things,” Biti said.
“What is required is a broad majority solution that creates a win solution.
“The whole country needs compensation. I know thousands of people whose
homes were burnt by Zanu-PF. I know of many homes that were destroyed. The
issue of compensation is a national issue which cannot be restricted to
white people only.”
Taffs said the major concern was “the fear that we want to turn back the
clock”. He said the CFU “knows that is not a reality and we don’t actually
“We want to go forward in a pragmatic manner … where every Zimbabwean has
to be treated equally,” he said.
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa said he had not
yet received the proposal.
Under the CFU’s proposal, bonds would be issued and managed by a recognised
A land bank would be created to handle the more than 5 000 title deeds held
by former farmers, which would be ceded to the bank. The bonds, which will
be assigned a value, would be offered for sale to the current beneficiaries
on the land.
The CFU believes its affected members would be able to reinvest in the
economy and mentor the new beneficiaries and help to guarantee food
The land bank, the proposal says, will receive initial financing from donors
and international finance institutions.
Commercial farmers have sued the Zimbabwean government in South Africa and
at the International Court for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
The Zimbabwean government’s international assets could go under the hammer
to settle compensation arrears for other white farmers.
The CFU argues that such litigation could be halted if their proposal were
to be adopted.
African Investment Markets’ Farayi Dyirakumunda said, for the CFU’s proposal
to succeed, the underwriter would have to be known to instil market
confidence in the initiative.
“The proposed bond will only work if there can be a reputable foreign
underwriter because the local market will not have the capacity or appetite
for such a transcation. On that basis, I do not see this materialising in
the foreseeable future,” he said.
“It also remains unclear who the underwriter will be or the specific
indentures and covenants that would make the bond attractive for both the
issuer and holder.”
25 JAN 2013 11:48 - INYASHA CHIVARA
A new code of conduct for Zimbabwe's political parties will bar perpetrators
of political violence from taking part in electoral processes.
The code will form part of the Electoral Act amendments.
As part of the penalties, offenders will be prohibited from campaigning
during the election period in question and may not attend political meetings
where more than three persons are present.
Sekai Holland, co-minister for national healing, reconciliation and
integration, said the aim is to remove all forms of political violence among
Zimbabweans. "We want human dignity to be respected. We now have
infrastructure for peace through a legal framework, as embodied in the draft
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has not yet seen the proposed code but
said it is necessary. "We shall use this to prevent all forms of political
violence in future," he said.
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) director Jestina Mukoko said the next elections
will be intensely contested as they will end the life of the unity
By last November the ZPP, which monitors breaches of peace at community
level, had already recorded more than 500 cases of political violence in the
Mukoko said a culture of impunity will make it difficult to implement the
"What remains to be seen this year is the transformation of words into
deeds," she said.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights executive director Irene Petras said the
political will of all parties will determine whether or not the code of
conduct deals adequately with political violence.
"There is a need for the police to arrest perpetrators of violence because,
if they are not arrested and prosecuted, impunity prevails and the code will
just be an academic exercise," she said.
Staff Reporter 22 hours 18 minutes ago
A dogfight has ensued in ZANU-PF over the influential position of national
chairperson as insiders predicted that incumbent, Simon Khaya-Moyo, was
already on an unstoppable trajectory to become the party’s vice president,
and consequently the country’s Vice President, following the death of John
Nkomo last week.
Moyo’s ascension means that his current position will become vacant.
Nkomo died on Thursday morning after a long battle with cancer to become the
country’s fourth Vice President to die in office in less than 15 years.
His demise has therefore opened a vacancy within the presidium, which
insiders claim has sparked internecine fights within the faction-riddled
party ahead of crucial national elections likely to be held in June.
It has emerged that Moyo’s PF ZAPU background, as well as the fact that he
is currently number four in terms of the party’s administrative organogram,
qualifies him to land the country’s second most powerful post.
A pact between PF ZAPU and ZANU-PF in 1987, which resulted in a Unity Accord
that culminated in the merger of the two parties, stipulates that one of the
two vice presidents must be a former PF ZAPU cadre.
The other slot is already occupied by Vice President Joice Mujuru.
History and precedence is also in Khaya-Moyo’s favour as those who have
become successors to the PF ZAPU’s vice presidential slot had previously
been national chairmen.
The late Joseph Msika was the party’s chairman before his elevation
following the death of Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo, in 1999, with the just
departed Nkomo’s national chairmanship position also acting as a springboard
to that position when Msika passed away in 2009.
Moyo’s imminent elevation has created an opening in the national chairman’s
position, resulting in a crowded race to replace him.
But the race to replace Moyo is likely to worry President Robert Mugabe who
is anxious to unite his charges ahead of make-or-break elections. Jostling
for the position is likely to widen divisions and distract members from a
formidable campaign against the Movement for Democratic Change party led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The party blames deep-seated divisions for its 2008 electoral defeat when
some disenchanted members de-campaigned their leader.
In 2009, fissures widened in ZANU-PF following Msika’s death, with the
Manicaland provincial chairman, Basil Nyabadza, resigning after Didymus
Mutasa, the provincial godfather, failed in his bid to land the position of
Mutasa, the party’s secretary for administration, is seen still having
ambitions to be elevated from his current position.
The party’s Mashonaland East province also wants to push Minister of State
Security, Sydney Sekeramayi, on grounds that this might be the province’s
time as it has never had one of its own within the presidium.
But the jostling for the chairman’s position is seen more pronounced within
the former ZAPU ranks, with members stampeding in a bid to get to the front.
Those seen having ambitions to land the chairman’s position include Home
Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert
Mpofu, former information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Deputy President of
the Senate Naison Ndlovu and retired bridagier general Ambrose Mutinhiri,
ZAPU’s former chief of staff in its armed wing, Zipra.
The name of Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku has also been
mentioned by gender activists within the party. But insiders claim it might
be awkward for party veterans to allow two females in the presidium. There
exists an unwritten rule in ZANU-PF reserving the chairmanship post to a
former PF ZAPU cadre. This unwritten rule has been challenged before,
starting in 2009 when non PF ZAPU cadres expressed interest in the position
following the death of Msika. It still remains to be seen if ZANU-PF would
depart from this tradition this time around.
Mutasa declined to state when the party would decide on the vacant positions
in the party.
“Am I the person who appoints people in the party? It is the President
(Mugabe) who appoints. Ask the President,” said Mutasa.
However, Sikhanyiso and Naison Ndlovu’s chances are insignificant given that
they are viewed as electoral liabilities in ZANU-PF as they have lost
successive elections to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in their
Some within the party claim the real fight for the chairmanship may be
between Mohadi and Mpofu. Mohadi has consistently delivered the Beitbridge
seat to ZANU-PF, with his wife Tambudzani, being the party’s senator for the
area. A former Zipra military intelligence supremo, Mohadi is a man of a few
words, but his contributions are said to be respected within the party’s
On the other hand, the wealthy Mpofu is seen as still having the energy to
rejuvenate the party. Mpofu is one of only three ZANU-PF legislators, the
others being Jonathan Moyo and Sithembiso Nyoni, both politburo members, who
won seats in Matabeleland North.
Mpofu is currently leading a campaign for the party to reclaim lost ground
in the Matabeleland provinces. His major undoing is however, that he left PF
ZAPU before the Unity Accord was inked in 1987, making him a rank outsider.
Mutinhiri qualifies for both the vice presidency and national chairmanship
due to his contributions in ZAPU during the liberation struggle, but has
been sidelined due to tribal issues.
Apparently, the Unity Accord has been turned into a tribal pact, not an
agreement between two political parties.
Mutinhiri is among the first group of six ex combatants to be trained in
Russia way back in 1964 and went on to train other leading figures such as
the late general Solomon Mujuru.
The ex ZAPU cadre has often been left in the cold when it comes to issues of
succession, both before and after independence in 1980.
In a recent interview with the state media, Mutinhiri confirmed being
sidelined at independence in 1980.
“Yeah, that’s where some of the things I even don’t want to remember today
happened. First, when it was time to come back home, I was left in the cold.
(Dumiso) Dabengwa became the head of the team that came although he is not a
military man. He was appointed to head the team and my friend, Lookout
Masuku, was to be under Dabengwa and then some of the people we were with
were not part of the high command. Let me not talk about others, let me talk
about myself, I was left in the cold,” said Mutinhiri.
“I personally approached Dabengwa and asked him why am I not in the high
command . . . I was left out and that’s when I approached Dabengwa to find
out what the situation was and all he could tell me was ahh, well sorry, we
are full. There is no place.”
There are suggestions that President Mugabe might call an extraordinary
party congress to fill the vacant position before polls or defer the
highly divisive issue until after the polls. - Fingaz
Friday, 25 January 2013
Issue - 506
One of the most remarkable achievements of the MDC in government has been
the recovery of the economy from the brink of total collapse in 2008.
Through introduction of the US dollar and tight fiscal measures, Hon Tendai
Biti’s Ministry of finance was able to steer the Zimbabwean economy from the
doldrums to a continuum of sustainable economic activities to date.
President Tsvangirai reflects on this and other phenomenal developments;
“With a narrow budget and very restricted fiscal space, the Ministry of
finance demonstrated that with the little means that we had, we managed to
sustain Government operations. I think the issue of restrictions on
technical assistance to Zimbabwe by the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
debt restructuring and the continued consolidation of the macro economic
situation were positive developments.
We implemented the ICT policy, which saw the whole country being wired up
with mobile access. In the Health sector we saw the setting up of cancer
centers in Harare and Bulawayo. In Education we had Grade 7 results
announced way before Christmas and it is an achievement.
On the roads under the Government Work Programme (GWP) there is the relaying
of the Plumtree-Mutare road. A lot of major activities are taking place. If
you go to other critical interventions, the ministry of Energy has made
efforts to find a solution to the Chisumbanje ethanol plant dispute.
Internationally the diamond issue seems to be near resolution and what is
required now is greater transparency in accounting for the proceeds to the
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
Harare, January 25, 2013 - Zimbabwe’s Indigenisation and Empowerment
Minister Saviour Kasukuwere on Thursday said foreign-owned banks like
Barclays, Stanbic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank are free to leave the
country if they are not prepared to support its industries.
Kasukuwere reportedly told African editors, who are in Zimbabwe at the
invitation of the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum, that the banks were not
supportive of the country’s economy.
The NewsDay quoted the minister as saying that the behaviour of banks like
Barclays, Stanbic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank is appalling “ and if
they want to pack and go they can do that, because they are not of benefit
“They came with Cecil John Rhodes and still carry his views, yet we are an
independent nation and the money they are holding is ours as it comes from
our pension funds and farming activities,” he said.
He said the banks must support the agricultural sector and emerging
businesses in Zimbabwe.
“We are not saying they should give us money for free, but the financial
sector must support the aspirations of Zimbabweans,” he was quoted saying.
Most banks have not been supporting Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector because
the new farmers do not have enough collateral.
The farmers also do not have security of tenure, something Minister of
Finance Tendai Biti has often said will prevent farmers from developing
beyond subsistence farming.
"As long as the farmers do not have securitised leases, then let us forget
about agriculture beyond subsistence farming, even if we talk about
financing agriculture until cows come home.
"Without security of tenure farmers cannot borrow money from banks to
finance their operations. The truth of the matter is that without title and
private finance, agriculture in Zimbabwe will continue limping and will
largely be subsistence,'' said Biti. News 24
By David Collins, Adam Aspinall
25 Jan 2013 01:00
A Mirror investigation has revealed the 36-year-old secret policeman is
believed to have worked closely with state torturers and even murderers
Evil: Mugabe's secret police are "thugs and murderers"
ONE of murderous dictator Robert Mugabe’s senior henchmen lives in the UK
and landed a top NHS job – but the government is powerless to deport him.
A Mirror investigation has revealed that the 36-year-old secret policeman is
believed to have worked closely with state torturers and even murderers.
He was enrolled in Mugabe’s sinister Central Intelligence Organisation for
eight years, rising to senior security aide and presidential bodyguard.
Human rights groups describe the CIO as “murderers” and “thugs”, and one
expert in the field we spoke to said that you don’t survive for that long in
the organisation without doing some very bad things to people.
But Britain is prevented from kicking him out of the country by the Human
Rights Act, despite a three-year legal battle by the Home Office.
In the run-up to the 2000 election in Zimbabwe, in which Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu PF beat the rival Movement for Democratic Change party by a slim
majority, an estimated 800 people were kidnapped or disappeared, 80 were
killed and 90 more tortured.
Since his arrival on a student visa in 2003, Mr X has studied at two
different universities in England.
He has also held down a job for a year as a manager at NHS Wales before
leaving to become a business consultant.
Former opposition MP Job Sikhala, who has been tortured by CIO officers,
said: “They are the most feared men in the whole country.
"They have no respect for human rights. This man is taking advantage of
The Daily Mirror knows the man’s identity, but cannot reveal it because a
court has granted him anonymity.
Mr X arrived in Britain via South Africa in September 2003 on a four-year
student visa, after originally claiming in his visa application he was a
junior marketing executive.
He only mentioned his murky past six years later when he applied for asylum
in 2009, claiming his life was in danger from Zimbabwe’s bloody regime.
The Home Office rejected his plea to stay, but a top judge granted him
asylum, agreeing with Mr X he would be in danger if he went back to
But Dewa Mavhinga, of Human Rights Watch, said: “I have not known a single
case where a former CIO member has returned to Zimababwe and been tortured
"This would never happen. The CIO are extremely shady.
“You don’t serve with them for eight years without having done some very bad
things. They are thugs and murderers.
“I am astonished he was able to hide behind the Human Rights Act when he
worked for an organisation with no respect whatsoever for human rights.”
During the case, heard by the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber,
Mr X proved he had acted as bodyguard to ministers, judges, and sometimes
the president. His father and brothers were also all in the CIO.
But he claimed that, before fleeing, he was arrested, accused of treason and
tortured by the CIO.
Mr X’s step-sister said yesterday: “You don’t mess with the CIO, they are
very serious people. He would be killed if he went back.”
After a three-year legal battle, Judge Peter Moulden ruled last year
deporting Mr X would breach Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention of
Human Rights – and place him at risk of torture and inhumane treatment.
The UK Border Agency said: “We are extremely disappointed. We did not
believe this individual needed or deserved refuge in the UK.”
I was given electric shocks and beaten by Mugabe’s secret police
A FORMER Zimbabwean opposition MP has claimed first-hand experience of
torture methods employed by Mugabe’s secret police.
Job Sikhala, 40, currently president of splinter political party Movement
for Democratic Change 99, said officers from the feared
Central Intelligence Organisation attached electrodes to his genitals, beat
him with planks of wood and made him drink urine for threatening
to question the dictatorship.
Speaking from Harare, he said: “The CIO are Mugabe’s thugs, the shadowy arm
of his political party who answer to nobody but him.
"They can do whatever they want and by whatever means.
“Their main job is to silence critics and make sure he remains in power
by extortion, torture, kidnap and murder.
“I was tortured very severely by those thugs in 2003, during a time when
there were many demonstrations on the streets.
“Armed police burst into my hotel room during the night and kidnapped me and
took me to a police station.
“The CIO started accusing me of organising the demonstrations and
spearheading the protest movement, which I was involved in. I was tortured
for eight hours.
“They gave me electric shocks. They beat me on the soles of my feet with
planks of wood and I was forced to drink toxins and urine.”
He said he was eventually released but had to go through therapy after what
Friday, 25 January 2013
The year 2012 was very tough indeed and this year already looks gloomy,
writes JOSH PETERS.
HARARE: It is now four years since the signing of the Global Political
Agreement in Zimbabwe. The agreement, which was signed on 15 September 2008,
brought together the three major political parties in the country to form a
unity government with ZANU-PF led by President Robert Mugabe.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and the smaller MDC splinter party of Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur
Mutambara agreed to form an inclusive government after the 2008 disputed
presidential and parliamentary elections that the MDC claimed to have won.
Civic groups, trade unions and other stakeholders were not represented at
the signing of the historic agreement.
The formation of the inclusive government subsequently brought an end to
political violence and adoption of a multiple currency system in the
financial sector. The Zimbabwe dollar, which had lost value and reached
inflation to a million percent levels, disappeared from the system and the
streets were awash with United States dollars, the South African rand, the
Botswana pula and the British pound. Inflation stabilised down to seven
percent, schools re-opened, hospitals had drugs, supermarket shelves were
full of food, fuel was available at service stations whilst some industries
that had closed due to foreign currency shortages re-opened and employed
Once more, most families could afford three decent meals a day. The country
had indeed moved from a period of despair and agony to hope in 2009 and
2010. However, from 2011 to 2012, many negative developments took place.The
new MDC legislators had to learn their ropes, with some of them getting
entangled in corruption whilst others were given posts that wielded little
The major concerns of both parties were not addressed. Sanctions targeted at
ZANU-PF members by the US and European countries remain in place and now
affect every Zimbabwean and ZANU-PF wants the MDC to influence the US and
the European Union (EU) to drop the sanctions. Although MDC says it has
nothing to do with the sanctions, they are the strongest weapon for the
opposition. The discovery of diamonds in Marange in 2011 was another
morale-booster for many Zimbabweans as the diamonds would contribute
immensely to the fiscus and kick-start the economy.
However, to complement the land reform programme, the government in 2012
introduced an indigenisation and empowerment law that compels foreign
investors to cede 51 percent shares to locals. MDC does not want the
indigenisation law but prefers foreign direct investment without any strings
attached. The two diamond mining companies in the country - Mbada Diamonds
and Anjil Diamond Mine - have complied with the indigenisation law but are
now under Western sanctions.
These and many other negative developments have affected the economic and
the livelihood of many Zimbabweans.For four years now the politicians
continue to play the blame game, accusing one another of underperformance
and failing to initiate development in the country. In a wide-ranging
interview, Japhet Moyo, the current Secretary General of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), said workers are now fed up with the
"We are stuck with a government which came after an agreement which did not
involve us and has become a time wasting forum which has brought more misery
to the people and hope to fade," said Moyo. "Yes, there have been positives
in the two previous years as schools reopened whilst some industries have
been re-opened and shops operating at full capacity, but these have turned
out to be false hopes. We have two governments in one and two voices from
the one government."
Meanwhile, workers have been sceptical about the indigenisation policy. "The
policy has not empowered ordinary workers at all. It has empowered those who
were already empowered, such as the powerful politicians, war veterans and
very few individuals who can jump the bureaucratic barriers to get to the
top for favours," Moyo said. He strongly believes the indigenisation policy
discourages prospective investors from coming to Zimbabwe. "The policy has
retarded investor appetite and thus the capacity production curve in 2012 is
going down from 50 percent to 40 percent levels because investor enthusiasm
is falling," he noted.
Unemployment remains very high and has reached beyond 80 percent and is
likely to go up in the election year.There is a significant upsurge in the
number of self-employed people on the streets of Zimbabwe cities due to
retrenchments after company closures.
"In 2011, there were around 4,000 job losses. This year we expect the number
to be much higher, considering the number of company shutdowns and the
disputes over non-payment of salaries coming to our offices every day," Moyo
revealed. And sadly, health and safety policies at the workplace are not
adhered to because managements do not budget for such items any more. "More
accidents are being reported more often than before, workers are not
provided with protective clothing, company vehicles are not serviced
regularly whilst some equipment is used without safety components fitted to
the machines," he said.
However, Moyo commended the HIV/AIDS programme, which he says is doing well.
"We are happy with our HIV/AIDS programme which is jointly funded by the
Canadian International Development Aid organisation (CIDA) and the Global
Fund Against HIV/AIDS. Our aim is to see zero new infections in the next 10
years," he said. On the tourism front, Zimbabwe is this year hosting the
United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference at Victoria
Falls Town in August. Therefore, there is naturally much excitement and
optimism amongst stakeholders as the New Year unfolds. The major aim of WTO
is to stimulate economic growth, job creation and to promote peace and
understanding among nations. It is anticipated that 3,000 delegates from 158
countries will attend. It is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to market itself
and portray a good image of itself.
Asked how the workers are reacting to this forthcoming event, Moyo said the
excitement may be short-lived because many things have not changed and
Zimbabwe remains a high-risk country to do business with or even visit.
"There have been very minimal changes in Zimbabwe in terms of freedom of
expression and corruption. There are roadblocks everywhere and then this
indigenisation law. The fundamentals have not changed," he pointed out.
He added that there could be business during the conference, with hotels
getting fully booked and people watching the Victoria Falls from the
Zimbabwean side for a better view. But after the conference, business is
likely to shift to our neighbours in Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.
Moyo also doubts the prospects of new jobs being created after the
conference. Relations between the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
and the Zimbabwe government have never been smooth since MDC's
formation.ZANU-PF views ZCTU as an enemy because it gave birth to the
The previous ZCTU executive, led by Lovemore Matombo, has been in trouble
with the police for violating the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Most
former workers have pending court cases for violating the law as individuals
or as members of ZCTU. "We have all been charged and are still on the hook.
We can be summoned any time for violating POSA. The inclusive government
promised to drop the charges last year but up to now nothing has happened.
The MDC is a powerless entity in this government and cannot put pressure on
our behalf," Moyo lamented.
Internal bickering within ZCTU over the past two years is also worrisome.
Issues surrounding elections, violation of congress protocols and leadership
were major headaches for the executive. Moyo conceded that ZCTU was not
exemplary in its conduct. "The executive met and finally agreed that in
future members who have grievances should not go and talk to the press as
ZCTU but should come forward to the executive where their grievances would
be heard and dealt with confidentially," he said.
Moyo also revealed that the mother body currently has a pending case before
the courts. "We have one court case pending and it may be heard early in the
New Year. This is the Ray Majongwe and Lovemore Matombo challenge that the
last congress was not conducted according to constitutional procedure," he
said. This is what he thinks of the forthcoming presidential and
parliamentary elections: "Our politicians are all power hungry, be they
ZANU-PF or MDC.
Rigging elections has been diffused by electoral reforms such as counting
votes at polling stations and more observers. So organised violence could be
the only option available to steal the vote," explained Moyo. He added that
the outcome of the elections could present three models. "The first scenario
could be an overwhelming win for the MDC but the party will fail to take
over power as happened in 2008. Thereafter we shall continue as a pariah
state or it could be a violent election which will be disputed once more and
we end up with another inclusive government but with new players in office.
Lastly, ZANU-PF and MDC will both fail to garner 50 percent of the votes due
to voter apathy and a re-run will be conducted to see ZANU-PF become
Finally, as economic hardships continue to bite and hope for prosperity
fades, the strength of ZCTU remains.Operations are in progress, although the
unions failed to organise any more strikes during the past year due to POSA
and the pending court cases. Affiliate membership has risen to 33 percent.
But some unions will inevitably collapse due to the nature of their
"The textile industry will soon disappear, the manufacturing industry shall
also disappear and the electronics industry has collapsed, the top six
workers' unions are the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the
Commercial Workers Union, the Hotel and Catering Workers Union, the General
Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union, the Food Industry Workers Union
and the Engineering Workers Union," said Moyo.
The year 2012 was very tough indeed and this year already looks gloomy. So
what next for the beloved country? (SPA)
January 25, 2013, 1:28 pm
While Zimbabweans in the UK diaspora were shivering in the snow, their
families and friends at home were being pelted with non-stop rain. At
Vice-President John Nkomo’s funeral at Heroes Acre in Harare, a huge thunder
storm caused a power outage which apparently blacked out Robert Mugabe’s
speech and caused the crowds to disperse hurriedly for shelter. In a pointed
reminder of his own rural roots, Mugabe remarked that if the crowd had ever
been herd boys they wouldn’t be afraid of getting wet. The current heavy
rains have resulted in rather more than just getting wet; at least 80 people
have died in the floods and Beitbridge border post has been closed with
villagers in the area being rescued by helicopter. The whole Southern Africa
region is experiencing widespread flooding and, as always, villagers are the
chief victims as they attempt to cross swollen rivers and are swept away in
Robert Mugabe, however, has other things on his mind than the floods at
home. He has his eyes on a much bigger prize than just ruling one country.
Mugabe aspires to be president of the whole of Africa. Hence, his advocacy
of a United States of Africa, once the dream of his old friend Muamar
Gaddafi; a United States of Africa involves a continent without borders,
with a single currency and above all a single government. That is the
proposition Mugabe will put to the AU Summit in Ethiopia this week and he
will speak in the colonial language as will the other African leaders. Most
African countries, and there are 54 of them, have adopted the former
colonial language as their official language but UNESCO estimates there are
over one thousand separate indigenous languages spoken on the continent.
Behind Mugabe’s argument in favour of a United States of Africa is his
desire to rid the continent of western ‘interference’ as he calls it. Since
that ‘interference’ consists mostly of aid, either financial or material,
from the former colonial masters it is difficult to see how the argument
will go down with the AU. Many of those African countries are so desperately
poor that they could not survive without western aid. The hostage crisis in
Mali illustrates the point. It was Mali itself who called in France, the
former colonial power, to assist in the fight against Al Queda and the sight
of foreign troops fighting on African soil has no doubt enraged
Pan-Africanists, such as Robert Mugabe claims to be. Interestingly, the call
on the AU to provide troops to put down the Al Qaeda insurgency met with a
very limited response. The fact is that in spite of the rhetoric coming from
Mugabe for a United States of Africa, the continent appears to have neither
the ability nor the resources to combat the Islamist threat. The combination
of religion and tribalism has a powerful appeal for vulnerable people who
see little chance of improving their lives under often corrupt and
inefficient governments. The Al Quada threat is very real, it is estimated
that they have bases in more than 40 countries world-wide. Al Quada was
behind several deadly attacks including the bombing of the World Trade
Centre in 1993 and the East Africa bombing in 2000. Would a United States of
Africa give African people any more protection or make any of these attacks
less likely in view of the fact that Al Queda chooses remote areas away from
prying eyes to train its forces? Mugabe’s call for a United Africa without
borders would make it impossible to curtail the activities of terrorist
groups. Has Mugabe given serious consideration to any of these issues or is
he just concerned with his own legacy and going down in history as the
President of the United States of Africa?
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 25th January 2013
Reports that the South African Defence Force is about to send a gift of
helicopters and spares to its Zimbabwean counterparts (M&G.co.za, 25/01/13),
come as no surprise after an ANC pledge to help Zanu-pf win election.
In December 2011, Gwede Mantashe, the ANC Secretary-General told delegates
to the Zanu-pf conference in Bulawayo that his party was willing to assist
in coming –up with election messages and strategies that would deliver
victory for the former ruling party (see Tichaona Sibanda, “ANC pledge to
help Zanu-pf win election”, SWRadio Africa, 12/12/11).
So part of the promise is arguably about to be realised through the donation
of the Alouette III helicopters , which will indeed be a “force multiplier”
for the ZDF, in helping Zanu-pf regain lost ground in rural areas in the
forthcoming militarised elections.
What makes the gift disgusting though, is that it’s being made by a
government of a supposedly neutral facilitator on the Zimbabwe crisis,
President Jacob Zuma who should know better that the choppers are likely to
be used for unleashing state-sponsored violence in the next elections.
By donating helicopters, the ANC-led Government is arguably aiding and
abetting state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe. If the gift goes ahead, it is
this paper’s view that there would be no need for further evidence for
declaring the forthcoming polls rigged and not free and fair, because the
playing field will not be level.
One would have thought that by now, South Africa’s ANC leaders would have
learnt a lesson from the mass influx of Zimbabwean refugees into their
country, who were fleeing state sponsored violence in 2008.
Regardless of who is in power in Pretoria, the ANC has consistently declared
support for Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF in recognition of the party’s assistance
during the anti-apartheid struggle.
But, support for the anti-apartheid struggle was not partisan nor was it on
racial lines, neither was the price paid on party lines. The whole world
knows that innocent Zimbabweans were killed and others maimed in Harare by
bombs planted by agents of the racist apartheid regime.
Sadly, after apartheid rule, a very damaging report that was compiled by six
former South African National Defence Force generals on the Zimbabwe
state-sponsored violence during the 2008 militarised elections failed to
convince the then President Thabo Mbeki to address the violence in Zimbabwe.
Now, President Jacob Zuma’s government is not only withholding the 2002
election violence report against a High Court order for its release to the
Mail & Guardian, but it recently sold defence weapons worth R2.25 million to
Zimbabwe’s ZDF who are controlled by Zanu-pf, despite a pledge in 2011 not
to permit such sales to the country .
Furthermore, despite a landmark ruling on May 8 2012 by the North Gauteng
High Court ordering South African authorities to investigate Zimbabwean
officials accused of human rights abuses, the Pretoria government developed
cold feet on the ruling, while Zimbabwe’s Attorney General Tomana promised
What is intriguing is the ANC’s definition of the right to self
determination or democracy seems not to apply to Zimbabwe where it believes
the people there should not have the right to choose their government or
leaders without South Africa’s interference.
I don’t think that if alerted, the revered and Nobel Prize Winner Archbishop
Desmond Tutu would allow ‘Jacob Zuma’s disgusting gift of helicopters for
Mugabe’ to go ahead.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst,