By Alex Bell
26 January 2011
Civil service representatives were once again locked in wage discussions
with government on Wednesday, a week after unions warned they would down
A similar meeting last week collapsed with no agreement on increasing
salaries, with the government insisting it cannot meet demands for the
minimum monthly wage to be raised to at least US$500. Civil servants met
with Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro and Finance Minister
Tendai Biti last Thursday, to see if the threatened strike could be averted.
But the meeting was doomed to fail after Mukonoweshuro said the government
does not have the money to satisfy union demands. Biti then backed up this
position at the Thursday meeting, despite the warning of a ‘crippling strike’
A full blown strike has not yet been called for, although it has been
reported that some members of the civil service are on a ‘go-slow’ while the
wage discussions are under way. Wednesday’s meeting continued late into the
evening, with government and civil service representatives trying to come to
an agreement on salary increments. There is a new offer of up to US$25 more
per month, with the government agreeing to reevaluate the situation in June.
But the President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Takavafira
Zhou, told SW Radio Africa that this offer is “less than rosy.” “Our next
step is to inform all our members of this increment and the next course of
action will then be decided,” Zhou said.
Earlier this month the unions flatly rejected an 18 to 26 percent salary
hike as ‘paltry’ and gave the cash-strapped government one week to improve
the offer or face crippling strike action. Tendai Chikowore, who chairs the
Apex Council that represents civil servants, said they were concerned about
the lack of sincerity being showed by the government towards their
‘perennial’ salary demands.
Under that government offer, the lowest paid civil servant would have been
paid US$160, up from US$128, while the highest paid would have received
US$241 per month. Union leaders however want the lowest paid worker to
receive US$500, which is roughly on a par with the requirements of an
Japhet Moyo, the Acting Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), told SW Radio Africa last week that he doesn’t see the
government giving in to the demands if its workers, because “the government
is under pressure from the private sector not to.”
“A lot of private unions are preparing to engage in collective bargaining
for the ensuing year, and once the government gives into its workers, then
the private sector will have to pay the same,” Moyo explained.
By Chengetai Zvauya
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 17:53
HARARE - Zanu PF has set up campaign bases in various constituencies in the
capital as the political temperature hots up in the country.
The bases are confined to high density areas. According to some residents,
Zanu PF is turning residential homes of some party leaders at district level
and losing parliamentary candidates into campaign bases to organise meetings
where youths spend most of their time strategising for the next election.
The youths are moving in groups at night, chanting their party slogans and
this has unsettled residents in the neighbourhood who fear that they will be
harrassed for their political views.
The setting up of campaign bases resulted in several incidents of violence
last weekend in Mbare and Budiriro constituencies were scores of Zanu PF and
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) youths clashed, resulting in many of
them being injured.
More than 20 MDC youths were arrested by the police and arraigned before
the Harare magistrates' court for disorderly conduct.
Another group of Zanu PF supporters disrupted the Harare City Council
meeting on Friday where MDC councillors were meeting.
They were baying for the blood of Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, and
accused him of being behind the slashing of the residents' maize crop by
city council workers.
Kuraone Chihwayi, the deputy spokesperson for the smaller MDC faction
confirmed the setting up of the bases in Kuwadzana constituency resulting
in the upsurge of violence.
''A base has been set up in Kuwadzana, and we are wondering for what
purpose. There is increased Zanu PF youths actvity and they are terrorising
residents, in particular well known MDC supporters in various constituencies
in Harare. This is not confined to one constituency, but many of the urban
constituencies countrywide,'' said Chihwayi.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo denied that his party was
setting up bases in urban constituencies, saying it was normal party
activity and members were meeting for mini rallies at their leaders homes.
"There is nothing like that. It is only that youths are always engaged in
meetings with their various leaders campaigning. We are always mobilising
our members and educating them on various political issues concerning the
party. It is an on-going programme that we undertake frequently,'' said
The MDC factions are not allowed to hold rallies without police clearance.
Since its formation in 1999, the MDC has managed to wrestle most of the
urban constituencies from Zanu PF as the urban electorate sympathises with
The voting pattern was the same in council elections, with MDC securing more
seats in urban constituencies countrywide.
Zanu PF only managed to win the Harare South constituency under Herbert
Nyanhongo, on the outskirts of Harare, surrounded by farms.
Published on : 26 January 2011 - 4:12pm
A notorious church leader in Zimbabwe has been released from prison by
President Robert Mugabe. The leader of an apostolic sect, Godfrey Nzira, was
sentenced to 32 years in prison after he was found guilty of raping seven
By Nkosana Dlamini, Harare
The religious leader, and supporter of Mugabe's regime, was seven years into
his sentence when he was released.
Prison authorities say Godfrey Nzira was released on “compassionate” grounds
claiming he was suffering from an unrevealed illness.
But President Mugabe's opponents, joined by rights and feminist groups, say
the controversial release of the church leader was aimed at propping up
Mugabe’s political fortunes.
Nzira, who says Mugabe must rule for life, is a revered and seen as a
demi-god by his loyal followers.
He is said to have converted his church into a political movement through
his fanatical support for the president. He is known for marshalling
thousands of his followers to Mugabe's meetings.
Nzira followers usually gather on Harare airport to either welcome or wave
goobye when Mugabe flies off on one of his many foreign trips. The religious
leader has also been accused of marching his followers to polling stations
during elections and forcing them to vote for Mugabe.
During Zimbabwe’s disputed 2002 presidential election won by Mugabe, his
followers, dressed in his church’s white robes, went on the rampage, beating
up people in a township near his shrine.
Feared by police
The place is known for being a stronghold of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s rival MDC.
Nzira was feared by police officers some of whom he held captive when they
attempted to follow up crime cases at his shrine.
“This is scandalous! It is because he has political influence. He abused the
trust given to him by many women who sought his help,” said Ropafadzo
Mapimhidze, who chairs the Federation of African Media Women Zimbabwe.
Dying in prison
Okay Machisa, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association said Mugabe’s
decision to pick on a strong defender of his rule while thousands more faced
similar fate was a mockery.
This is after Mugabe had allowed close to 1000 prisoners to die of hunger
and disease in Zimbabwe’s jails between January and June 2009.
“This is a mockery to the people of Zimbabwe,” he said, “Why should he
pardon someone known for defending his rule. How many inmates are in a
similar situation but are being allowed to die in jail?"
Right to pardon
Attorney General Johannes Tomana and top Mugabe ally insisted that the
president enjoys the right to pardon any prisoner of his choice. “The law
permits the president to free a prisoner when he is satisfied that the
grounds are proper,” Tomana told state media.
Tvangirai's opponent party insist that Mugabe's decision is political and
that his ministers have frequented the cult leader's shrine to seek support.
“They are so desperate that they would even resurrect the dead to try and
prop up their fortunes. You must view the release in the context of an
election campaign,” party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa says.
Mugabe, who is in power since independence in 1980, needs all the support he
can get as he faces his serious threats to his rule during the coming
election this year.
By Lance Guma
26 January 2011
Seven days after being pardoned by Mugabe, convicted serial rapist,
Madzibaba Godfrey Nzira, has been deployed to the Muzarabani District, in
what is expected to mark the start of a national campaign to coerce members
of the Apostolic Sect to support Mugabe and ZANU PF ahead of possible
In 2003 Nzira, a self-proclaimed prophet, was jailed for 32 years, later
reduced to 20 years, on seven counts of rape and one count of indecent
assault. The day Nzira was convicted 2,000 members of his sect went
ballistic outside the court, beating up court officials and policemen on
duty. Even the magistrate is said to have narrowly escaped death when they
pounced on her.
A year before he had claimed Mugabe was a “divinely appointed king of
Zimbabwe and no man should dare challenge his office.” Last week Wednesday
his bootlicking paid off as he walked out of prison a free man, courtesy of
a presidential pardon.
The Justice Ministry attempted to justify the early release saying it was
made on compassionate grounds owing to Nzira’s ill health. This meant he
only served 7 of the 20 years slapped on him. A furious member of the Johane
Masowe WeChishanu Apostolic Church told SW Radio Africa they are surprised
Nzira is fit enough to go on tour drumming up support for Mugabe ahead of
“They are calling it a tour for prayer but really it’s a campaign for ZANU
PF and we already know from the sermons, they are telling all Mapostori to
support ZANU PF. He (Nzira) is trying to turn our church into a campaign
point for ZANU PF, especially in the rural areas where we have the majority
of our members,” the church member told us. He said Mugabe’s party had
bribed some of these leaders to support them, but then the same leaders were
relying on coercing their followers.
The growing influence of the Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe has seen ZANU PF
trying to harvest followers there. The three major Sects are reported to
command close to 5 million followers within Zimbabwe alone. Of the three,
the African Apostolic Church has an estimated 2.5 million members, Johanne
Marange 1.5 million and the Johane Masowe WeChishanu around 1 million
Last year Mugabe attended a service in Manicaland, organized by the Johanne
Marange church, and was seen dressed in their familiar white garments. A few
months before Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai attended a similar service,
but this was part of efforts to encourage church members to immunize their
Similar visits by the PM were blocked by state security agents under
instruction from Mugabe, who felt Tsvangirai was winning followers from this
By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 January, 2011
A group of 19 supporters of the MDC-T, who were arrested Saturday after ZANU
PF youths attacked the MDC office in Mbare, were granted free bail and
released on Wednesday. Their lawyer, Marufu Mandevere, told SW Radio Africa
that 5 other MDC youth who were seriously injured in the attack did not
appear in court, because they are still receiving treatment in hospital. The
case was remanded to February 8th.
Marufu, who is a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
explained that the ZANU PF thugs initially attacked the MDC-T Mbare office
on Thursday but they faced strong resistance. They returned on Saturday with
a police squad from Mbare station who allegedly took part in the attacks.
The MDC office was partially burned and the durawall, doors and windows
“The police do not deny it. It says in the court papers that the police
managed to break in and arrest the accused,” said Marufu. He added that some
of the police were ululating as the assaults by ZANU PF youth took place.
Despite the violence and destruction they caused, no ZANU PF youths were
arrested. The police claimed in court that this was because they did not
have enough manpower and were outnumbered by ZANU PF youths. “But in the
original court papers, the police claimed to have run into only 15 ZANU PF
youth. They lied to hide the fact that they failed to arrest just 15 guys,”
Writing in The Zimbabwean newspaper this week, political commentator Dr.
John Makumbe said: “The people of Mbare are experiencing serious levels of
harassment from these misguided ZANU PF militia on a daily basis. Flea
market vendors are being intimidated and robbed of their wares practically
every day. When the victims of these demonic acts report these incidences to
the Zanu Repressive Police (ZRP) they are told to bring to the police
station the people who will have harassed them.”
Makumbe said most of the ‘hoodlums’ causing havoc in the name of ZANU PF are
not from Harare, but they are ‘rural bumpkins’ being bussed in from Bindura,
Chinhoi, Banket and Karoi. He said ZANU PF no longer has significant numbers
of youth supporters in Harare.
Regarding ZANU PF’s violent campaigns, Makumbe said the ‘hooliganism’ that
they are displaying is only going to alienate more people.
The MDC released a strongly worded statement on Tuesday that said the party
is ‘extremely concerned’ by the lack of action by the police, as well as the
continued ‘victimisation of the victims’ when they report their cases.
BULAWAYO, January 26, 2011- Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has
allegedly ordered police to crack down on political activists in
Matabeleland who have launched a campaign to breakaway from the rest of the
Chihuri has ordered his commanders in the province to arrest the
pro-independence activists most of whom are operating from South Africa but
are also gaining popularity in some parts of Matabeleland.
Chihuri’s order follows the launch of the militant and radical Mthwakazi
Liberation Front (MLF) a movement which advocates for the independence of
the region claiming that its people- the Ngunis, Kalanga, Venda, Sothos,
Tonga and others have been marginalised for too long and face discrimination
everyday at work places and tertiary institutions.
The organisation says it is the legitimate voice of the people of
Matabeleland and advocates for the secession of the region from the rest of
Zimbabwe.They are claiming the government of President Robert Mugabe has
marginalised the people of the region for too long.
However in a radio signal sent on Monday from the Police General
Headquarters (PGHQ) in Harare to Matabeleland police stations, police
commanders were “ordered to be on high alert, monitor and arrest political
activists from the region who are calling for a breakaway state of
The Ndebele state under Mzilikazi was known as Mthwakazi-derived from the
name “ Umuthwakazi ” a San Queen.The Matabeleland pro-independence movement
is gaining momentum in South Africa where MLF holds well attended meetings
every weekend in Soweto and in greater Johannesburg.
“The actions of this group will cause alarm and despondency, Zimbabwe is
one and they will never be two states,” the message said.The Matabeleland
secessionists appear to have been encouraged by events in South Sudan where
its people voted overwhelmingly to breakaway from mainland Sudan.
The referendum was one of the consequences of the 2005 Naivasha Agreement
between the Khartoum central government and the Sudan People’s Liberation
Movement (SPLM).The results of the referendum will be announced next month
but all indications are that South Sudan will be a separate country with its
The United Nations will be assisting with drawing up borders to avoid
disputes.Meanwhile addressing a rally at Diepsloot on the outskirts of
Johannesburg at the weekend MLF Secretary for Information and Publicity,
David Magagula said that his party is preparing for a formal demand calling
on the Harare government to hold a referendum to decide the destiny of
Its activists have been distributing T-shirts and calendars with the map of
the group,s imagined state.The Republic of Mthwakazi as it is known will
have five provinces- Mpumalanga, Nkabazwe, Bulilima, Zambezi and Limpopo.
Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 17:00
CHIPINGE - Genuine war veterans here have declared that Zanu (PF) will never
win any future elections in Manicaland province, saying the party has failed
to fulfil its promises and has neglected them.
Information available to this paper has revealed that war veterans have
vowed not to take part in party meetings officiated by senior officials,
saying they were tired of being used without compensation. “The party has
used us for a long time and we cannot tolerate this abuse anymore. We are
genuine war veterans who were on the war front but we are living in abject
poverty. We have nothing to show that we liberated Zimbabwe,” said a war
veteran who identified himself as Leftback Matengambiri.
A bulk of war veterans from this area boycotted the just ended Zanu (PF)
conference held in Mutare, saying the party had pushed aside its founding
principles. “There is a lot of corruption and greediness in the party and
nothing is being done to stop this rot. They want to use us on the rallies
and to vote for them. We can’t attend their meetings while our children are
out of school with nothing to eat. Can we eat propaganda?” asked another war
Sources said a number of war veterans have threatened to defect to MDC-T
because it has proved to be a party with direction and principles. “We are
sick and tired of the empty promises every time they want our vote. The
truth is that we have seen the light that we were being used for nothing.
They are busy talking about elections but we want to see who will campaign
for them here. I tell you they will be beaten by Morgan Tsvangirai hands
down,” said Lenin Sithole, a local war veteran.
They said the party had been hijacked by thieves and crooks that are just
bent on looting and lining their pockets. Most war veterans who declined to
be named expressed their displeasure over the lack of sincerity by their
leader President Robert Mugabe whom they accused of empowering his few close
allies while neglecting them.
Brigade Commander Brigadier Nyikayaramba recently told traditional leaders
that those without war credentials would not be eligible to stand in the
Zanu (PF) primary elections. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said there was
need to establish a national trust fund to aid genuine war veterans who took
part in the war of liberation. “We must rebuild our nation as one family and
take special care of those who have special claims on us,” said the Prime
By Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 17:20
HARARE - The European Union (EU) has announced a Euro 2 million funding
package to Zimbabwe’s provincial and district hospitals for the supply of
safe blood and medical gases in a bid to reduce maternal deaths.
It said the medical gases and safe blood will be supplied directly to the
hospitals by a private firm and the National Blood Transfusion Service.
Announcing the funding, the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia,
said their aim is to alleviate poverty and reduce maternal deaths in
He said the two projects are part of their strategy in support of the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), in order to help the
inclusive government meet basic health needs of the Zimbabwean people and
reduce threats to public health.
''The regular supply of safe blood and medical gases is very critical at
this stage when Ministry of Health statistics show that maternal deaths in
Zimbabwe increased from 555 in every 100 000 pregnancies in 2005 to 725 in
100 000 pregnancies in 2009,'' Dell'Ariccia said in a release.
He added that the regular availability of safe blood and medical gases will
contribute significantly to the accelerated effort for the reduction of
“These projects complement the training aimed at improving the
qualifications of Primary Care Nurses to become Midwives, also financed by
the EU,” said Dell’Ariccia.
“The EU support has the overall objective to alleviate poverty and improve
living conditions of vulnerable Zimbabweans. The project will also
complement contributions by the EU humanitarian assistance and by other
donors, including EU member states, to the transitional process in the
Zimbabwe’s hospitals have been grappling with shortages of critical
equipment for laboratory tests and diagnostics.
Most of the equipment is old and malfunctioning as a result of years of
Despite maintaining targeted sanctions on Zimbabwean leadership both the EU
and the United States have rallied to fund major hospitals in areas of
Hiv/Aids and public health.
President Robert Mugabe and his colleagues who are blamed for the economic
collapse have blamed both the EU and the US for throttling the economy as
the means to oust them from government.
But the EU and the US maintain that Mugabe and his allies have continued to
violate human rights and the GPA, some of the benchmarks they have set for
the veteran leader before they consider lifting sanctions.
By Tichaona Sibanda
26 January 2011
Political commentators and Civil Society Organizations on Wednesday backed
the MDC-T’s call for Zimbabwe to adopt a new voters’ roll, as a prerequisite
for the forthcoming elections.
Views across the board said voters should be biometrically enrolled for the
country’s next elections, due late this year or early next year.
Biometric voter registration has software that captures citizens’ data,
including fingerprints and a digital photograph, directly in the field. In
Zimbabwe far placed villagers in remote areas usually travel long distances
just to register to vote. At times many people miss out on registering
because of the high costs involved in travelling.
‘Biometric registration doesn’t involve much labour. There are handy mobile
kits that are used and officials using these could travel the entire country
to do the job in less than four months,’ one commentator said.
The biometric system is also known for doing away with multiple
registrations and voting, because it can easily detect duplicates.
A systems analyst in Harare, who has monitored elections in several African
countries, confirmed that apart from taking photos a biometric system will
capture finger-prints in order to facilitate identification and weeding out
would be multiple registered voters.
‘Taking one’s finger prints guarantees that there is only one entry into the
register, since every individual has distinctive finger prints. A complete
and accurate voters list is the starting point of a credible election, and
an election that is credible must also prevent voters from voting more than
once and unregistered voters from voting,’ said the analyst, who asked not
to be named.
An MDC-T legislator told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the use of
biometrics is the best solution to ensure free, fair and transparent
MDC-T MP for Masvingo Urban and deputy Minister of Youth, Tongai Matutu,
last year introduced a motion in Parliament for the adoption of a biometric
system, which is now in use in many SADC countries. The motion was seconded
by Makoni South MP, Pishai Muchauraya.
MP Muchauraya told us they were now waiting for contributions from the
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa before they close debate on the motion.
‘The motion was extensively debated and if adopted it will help solve this
Mudede crisis. It has many advantages rather than disadvantages. Officials
use light portable electronic gadgets to capture data that it becomes
impossible for people to cheat when voting,’ the MP said.
Tobaiwa Mudede is the Registrar-General in the inclusive government and has
been in that position since the early 1980’s. He has been criticized by
international human rights organizations for falsifying and manipulating the
voters roll to ensure Robert Mugabe’s ‘electoral victories’ against the MDC.
It’s been reported that a South African based company has provided quotation
of $20 million for biometric voter registration for the whole of Zimbabwe.
The latest MDC demands come in the wake of revelations by independent
election watchdog, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, that the voters’
roll is full of dead people and includes names of children, some as young as
Student activist Kudakwashe Chakabva said that even with the release of
A-level results, many students exiting secondary school will not be able to
pursue university studies without financial assistance
Tatenda Gumbo | Washington 25 January 2011
Zimbabwe's Schools Examinations Council released A-level exam results this
week, but student activists said many students completing their secondary
education will not be able to afford to go to university without expanded
Student leaders say they continue to lobby officials to advance tuition
funding proposals saying many students have dropped out because they could
not afford fees.
Hopes were raised late last year when Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced
a US$15 million student loan and grant program, but the scheme remains on
the drawing board.
Student representatives say that without the new program, students must rely
on the government's so-called cadetship program entailing post-graduate
Zimbabwe National Students Union spokesman Kudakwashe Chakabva said that
while pre-university students now have A-level results, he fears that many
will not be able to pursue university studies and those from poor
backgrounds will suffer most.
Other activists agree the loan and grant scheme must be implemented without
Masimba Nyamanhindi, program coordinator with the Students Solidarity Trust,
said the influence of partisan politica in education hurts students the
By Alex Bell
26 January 2011
Hundreds of Zimbabwean students in South Africa have been granted permission
to enroll at local universities, despite their study permits still not being
issued by that country’s Home Affairs department.
Students have been turned away from registering at various tertiary
institutions, which have been insisting that the students produce valid
study permits. This is despite South African authorities still adjudicating
more than 270,000 applications for permits, made by Zimbabweans trying to
regularise their stay in the country. Thousands of Zim nationals are still
waiting to hear if their applications are successful, with the process set
to be completed in June.
South African authorities have extended their moratorium on deportations of
Zimbabweans until the process is completed later this year. But many Zim
nationals have reported unfair treatment because they don’t have their
proper documents yet, only receipts that they applied for permits. Last
week, a pregnant Zimbabwean woman was refused treatment at a Cape Town
hospital, because she couldn’t produce her work permit.
Refugee rights group PASSOP has been calling on the Department of Home
Affairs to communicate with hospitals and other state institutions and
explain the ongoing documentation process. The department has now agreed to
allow Zim students, who applied for study permits and still have not
received them, to register for their university courses.
PASSOP’s Braam Hanekom told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the news comes
as a relief for many. He said that many students faced losing their places
at university because the permits are taking so long to be issued.
“We sat down with the Director-General of Home Affairs, Mr. Mkuseli Apleni,
and he has confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) that Zimbabwean students with
pending study permit applications will be granted the chance to commence
their studies,” Hanekom said.
He added: “This decision is very welcome as it allows many hundreds of
students across the country to take up their offers of study. We are now
appealing to universities and other tertiary institutions to show the
necessary leniency in the registration of Zim students in this situation.”
Hanekom explained that a process has been put in place for university staff
to follow, to prevent people with fraudulent permit application receipts
from taking advantage of the situation. The universities have been asked to
directly email Director General Apleni, with the names of the students
trying to register for study, to confirm that they’ve been offered a place
at the institution. The Director General’s office has committed itself to
replying to each email within 48 hours to confirm that the students have
actually applied for permits.
Hanekom added that there is still difficulty in the situation because “each
institution has its own bureaucracy to deal with.”
“But at least now they can’t use the documentation issues as a reason to
turn Zim students away,” Hanekom said.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
About 1200 destitute people, mostly Zimbabweans, still live in the Central
Methodist Church in inner city Johannesburg.
The DA's Jack Bloom visited the church to see if conditions had improved
after the promises to assist made by government departments and NGOs last
year. "While the number is down from the worst days when 3000 people lived
there, it is still very crowded with only two inside toilets."
Bloom says: "About 90 unaccompanied children have been moved from the church
to the Soweto Youth Centre, and are bussed every day to the school in
Alberts street." There are about 200 women still at the church.
According to Reverend Paul Verryn, new refugees continue to arrive from
Zimbabwe, many of whom have been tortured. Bloom says most of the
Zimbabweans are registered as asylum seekers and did not apply for residence
or work permits.
He says they are afraid to return to Zimbabwe to get their birth
certificates and can't afford the R750 for a Zimbabwean passport. "People
complained about police harassment, including a crippled man who was
recently beaten by police in the street." It is not all despair as Verryn
told me that there are various church-run projects, including street
cleaning, sewing, carpentry and computers. "The church will remain a beacon
of hope for refugees for as long as there is oppression in their home
26 January, 2011 08:08:00 by Mxolisi Ncube
JOHANNESBURG – Exiled MDC activists this week called for Zimbabweans to come
together and form a United Democratic Front, describing the method as the
only the country could be saved from its current political and economic
Amid reports that President Robert Mugabe is set to deploy soldiers and
police on a terror campaign across the country ahead of elections, which the
octogenarian leader is seemingly pushing for this year, the MDC Veterans
Activists Association (MDC VAA), said this week that the elective process
would not have a way in the country.
“Reports that the army is ready to deploy into all districts shows that the
political solution in Zimbabwe is nowhere near ending,” said MDC VAA
chairman, Solomon Chikohwero early this week.
Chikohwero is a retired Airforce officer living in exile.
Reports from within the Zimbabwe national army are that over 77 senior army
generals and about 80 000 militia, war veterans and soldiers, led by one
General Muchena, are ready to deploy into all areas in the country, in what
seems to be Mugabe’s return to his traditional way of intimidating the
already traumatized voters, who have turned their backs on him for the MDC-T
and Chikohwero said his organization views this as a further attack on
democracy. “If we stand back to reflect, the Zimbabwe political situation
presents unnecessary division,” he said.
“MDCVAA urges the political parties in Zimbabwe and the entire population to
engage in fresh negotiations about everything in Zimbabwe. The current
processes in Zimbabwe are unworkable, for all political parties and the
“The matter is where is Zimbabwe going? If a direction is a good one, does
it need Jonathan Moyo or the army to force it in? Academics and civil
society are not putting the right effort. The organisation of Zanu (PF)
appears cleverer because nobody is organising seriously elsewhere.
Remember apartheid (in South Africa) was brought down by UDF, not just the
ANC or MK only. Zimbabweans are camped in donor groupings and are unable to
unshackle themselves to face the reality of their country and we urge the
formation of a United Democratic Front in Zimbabwe.”
Chikohwero said that the answer for Zimbabwe would not come from South
Africa, SADC or the political formations in the country, but a collective
movement of all concerned Zimbabweans. “Soldiers in Zimbabwe’s army, much as
they appear strong and bold, are hiding a huge amount of fear - fear for
their lives, fear for their children, fear for the wealth they looted from
the nation,” added the MDC VAA chairman.
“What is the alternative for them? Until this is defined, the answer does
not lie at the centre of politics. Even if any one of the contesting parties
claim victory at elections, even if Mugabe dies, the woes of Zimbabwe will
continue unabated, unemployment will remain too high, looting will continue.
The MDC VAA says further serious multidimensional negotiations and
mobilization under a UDF formation are required. If donors want to help
Zimbabwe this is the way.” -The Zimbabwean
26 January, 2011 12:23:00 Our Correspondent
JOHANNESBURG – In stunning revelations that directly implicates former South
African President Thabo Mbeki on the Zimbabwean political crisis, a South
Gauteng High Court judgment ruling has revealed "unlawfully manipulating" of
news items on Zimbabwe’s 2005 elections and blacklisting certain
commentators perceived to be anti-Robert Mugabe.
Yesterday, a High court judge in Johannesburg ruled that the SABC was guilty
of manipulating the news in 2005 and 2006, in a ruling that will boost
criticism of the way the South African public broadcaster covers politics
and cranked up the propaganda for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
Judge Neels Claassen ruled in the South Gauteng High Court that there had
been widespread manipulation of news under the SABC’s former head of news,
Snuki Zikalala, and that Mr Zikalala had "dishonestly tried to cover up this
With political interference and the hand of President Jacob Zuma clear in
the appointment of Phil Molefe as Mr Zikalala’s replacement, Judge Claassen’s
remarks are yet another reminder of how easily the SABC can be used as a
political weapon by the government of the day.
Court affidavits by former SABC head of radio news Pippa Green and John
Perlman, a former presenter on SAfm, documented interference by Mr Zikalala
in day-to-day operations at the SABC.
Mr Zikalala went to Zimbabwe for the 2005 elections to negotiate the terms
of SABC’s coverage, contrary to normal procedure. He warned reporters at a
meeting the day after the elections he would "take action" against Ms Green
and any reporter who expressed an "opinion" on Zimbabwe.
The judgment relates to Mr Zikalala’s 2006 blacklisting of analysts critical
of former president Thabo Mbeki, and the SABC’s coverage of elections in
Zimbabwe in 2005.
The ruling comes on the back of a recent finding by a London based African
think-tank Africa Confidential which implicated Thabo Mbeki in the Zimbabwe
vote rigging that kept Robert Mugabe in power after losing first round
presidential polls in 2008.
According to London-based think-tank Africa Confidential, former opposition
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai "clearly beat Mugabe" in the first round of
voting in March 2008 but was denied power after a plan to steal some of his
votes allegedly hatched by Zanu (PF) military junta in connivance with South
"Taken by surprise, Zanu (PF) delayed announcing the results for six weeks
while it concocted a strategy for clinging to power (possibly with South
African connivance)," the think-tank said last week. The official results
published by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in May 2008 showed that
Mugabe had lost the first round of elections to Tsvangirai but by a narrow
Zanu (PF) bullyboys were then unleashed for the second-round run-off held in
June of the same year and Mugabe claimed a dubious victory after Tsvangirai
was forced to quit the race. A brutal campaign of violence led by Zimbabwe’s
military out to
reverse Mugabe’s shock first round defeat left at least 200 MDC-T supporters
Mbeki, who was the official Southern African Development Community (SADC)
mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis between 2007 and 2009, never
questioned ZEC’s delay in announcing the first round poll results and the
subsequent violence that accompanied the run-off. In May 2008, South Africa
ganged up with Russia and China to block an American and British-backed
proposal to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe over deadly electoral
Pretoria – which as regional power broker has significant influence on
international opinion on Zimbabwe – insisted the electoral violence in
Zimbabwe was an internal matter that had no impact on regional peace even as
it struggled to handle the thousands of refugees that were flocking from its
Mugabe, who was forced to form a power sharing government with Tsvangirai
after the international community including some of his African allies
refused to accept his bloody re-election victory in 2008, has already
indicated that fresh elections should be held this year.
A referendum on the proposed new constitution that should pave way for
enactment of the new governance charter is only expected around June or four
months after expiry of the life of the unity government. The former
opposition and SADC say this year is too early for elections in a country
where the voters’ roll remains chaotic and inaccurate while an exercise to
write a new Constitution that should ensure a free and fair vote has been
delayed by several months and even then continues to progress at a snail’s
Mbeki’s successor President Jacob Zuma said SADC should help Zimbabwe to
craft a roadmap and favourable conditions to make sure outcome of the next
election would not be contested. The election roadmap includes adopting a
new Constitution, drawing up a fresh voters’ roll, an end to political
violence and passing of new electoral rules by Parliament.
The army is already deploying and harassment of MDC-T activists is warming
Africa Confidential however contends that keeping the enthusiasts on a leash
for at least a year will be hard, not least on Zanu (PF)’s strained
financial resources. "Targeting humanitarian aid and agricultural inputs
directly to the beneficiaries has eliminated the local party chiefs’
patronage and their ability to skim and profiteer. By getting the economy
going and education and health back on their feet, the MDC has made the
peasantry less beholden to Zanu (PF)," said the think-tank.
Donors have since the formation of the coalition bypassed official
government channels to provide aid directly to the beneficiaries.
by James Mombe Wednesday 26 January 2011
JOHANNESBURG – Administrative hiccups and poor communication have dogged the
process to document Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa with many of the
refugees likely to be omitted from the exercise, a new study has shown.
The study carried out by the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS)
last year and whose results were released on Tuesday also showed that the
short time given the immigrants to regularise their stay in South Africa
plus the "unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles" they encountered trying to do so
meant that many were unable to apply for the permits.
"We can assume that many Zimbabweans were simply unable to navigate the
documentation process because of its administrative challenges and the lack
of effective communication, as well as misinformation from the regional
offices," (ACMS) senior researcher Roni Amit said. "As a result, many were
excluded and will remain undocumented."
The ACMS monitored several home affairs offices between October and December
last year and interviewed nearly a thousand immigrants who were applying for
The center said that the applicants were "confused and uninformed" about the
documentation process, the requirements fro one to qualify for a permit and
the appeals process in the event one’s application was rejected.
There was also a lack of uniform standards within the home affairs
department with some officials merely rejecting applications without even
submitting them for adjudication, while in many cases asylum seekers were
forced to give up their status to apply for permits under the project.
The problems highlighted by the ACMS study are only part of a long list of
hiccups that have dogged the process, chief among them being the failure by
the Zimbabwean government to produce passports for all its citizens living
in South Africa.
Many of the Zimbabweans staying in South Africa not only do not have permits
to stay here but also often do not have passports or any other identity
documents to show they are Zimbabwean.
Pretoria gave Zimbabweans working, engaged in business or studying in South
Africa without relevant permits to do so up to last month to apply for the
permits with applicants required to produce valid documents to show they
were citizens of Zimbabwe.
South Africa, which imposed a moratorium on deportations of illegal
immigrants from its struggling northern neighbour, has said it will resume
expelling all Zimbabwean immigrants without permits once the documentation
process is completed in about six months’ time. -- ZimOnline
by Tobias Manyuchi Wednesday 26 January 2011
HARARE – Two firms, one of them partly owned by Chinese investors, are set
to begin mining platinum in Zimbabwe following completion of exploration
activities, a senior government official said.
Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said entry of Humboi and Amari
Resources into Zimbabwe’s platinum sector – boasting the world’s second
largest known deposits of the key mineral – was expected to jolt production
levels beyond the 230 000 tonnes realised last year.
Humboi is part owned by a Chinese firm and a consortium of local business
people while Amari Resources is partly owned by the Zimbabwe Mining and
Development Corporation (ZMDC).
“Humboi has completed exploration that it has been carrying out for the past
four years in the Chegutu area; they will soon be starting operations this
year,” Chimanikire said Tuesday. “Amari has also completed exploration in
the Ngezi area and will start operating this year.”
Platinum mining in the country is envisaged to continue climbing, stimulated
by the emergence of new players and expansionist projects currently being
pursued by key players in the sector.
Zimbabwe’s expected output growth is however in stark contrast with global
production which has been forecast to remain flat on the back of receding
production by Russia and South Africa, according to the Johnson Matthey’s
“Platinum 2010” report.
In the report, JM predicts that 2011 would be characterised by a global
deficit for the white metal owing to the quick recovery of the automobile
sector in Europe, Asia and the US and stagnant production levels by two of
the world’s leading producers-South Africa and Russia.
The global insatiable hunger for platinum and palladium may trigger prices
beyond the current benchmark of US$1 600 per ounce to US$2 000 per ounce
during the first half of this year.
With Zimplats poised to increase output to one million tonnes annually and
the resuscitation of platinum projects by Anglo Platinum and London Listed
ENRC well on course, Zimbabwe’s earnings from the mineral can only shoot up.
Zimbabwe is the third largest producer of platinum in the world after South
Africa and Russia.
Last year, global demand for platinum by the automobile sector stood at
2.985 million ounces, largely fuelled by China’s rising needs.
Platinum and its sister metal palladium are mostly used in motor vehicle
catalytic converters and jewellery manufacturing among other purposes. --
By Eric Chiriga, Business Reporter
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 12:16
HARARE - Zimbabwe’s platinum sector growth in 2011 hinges on a stable
political and operating environment, pollster Johnson Matthey says in its
latest platinum group metals (PGMs)-focused report.
The country has the world's second largest platinum reserves after South
Africa, numerous technical studies show.
While Zimbabwe’s platinum output grew in 2010 at the back of continued
expansion of Mimosa and Ngezi platinum mines, and Anglo Platinum-owned
Unki's commissioning, the report said further growth after this period “is
likely to be dependent on the local political situation and operating
“Zimplats had an exceptionally strong start to 2010, as the Phase 1
expansion project achieved steady-state levels… In the January to June
period, production of platinum in matte rose by 88 per cent to 92,000
ounce,” said the research house.
Ngezi forms part of Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats) - in turn 86 per cent
owned by South Africa’s Impala Group - while Mimosa is its 50-50 joint
venture with Aquarius Platinum.
With the southern African nation recovering from a decade long recession,
the economy is currently being driven by the mining sector, particularly the
PGMs sub-sector and diamonds.
Platinum accounts for 36 percent of Zimbabwe’s total mineral production,
with output to October 2010 standing at 5 077 kilograms.
However, the major obstacles to the country’s key mining sector include
frequent power cuts and government’s drastic indigenisation policy.
The policy, which requires all foreign-owned firms worth US$500 000 and
above to cede at least 51 percent of their shares to black locals, has
driven away foreign investors economy-wide, including the capital intensive
mining industry even, though, Harare talks of a sectoral approach.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"The cholera bacterium has undergone important mutations in recent years,
causing longer outbreaks of the disease with increased fatalities,
researchers reported on Wednesday," Reuters reports. "In a package of papers
published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, they said mass
vaccinations should be considered as a solution even after outbreaks have
begun," the news service writes (Lyn, 1/26).
"Although easily administered oral vaccines exist, public health officials
typically don’t vaccinate against cholera in the throes of an outbreak
because medical workers have their hands full rehydrating patients who have
come down with the diarrheal disease," Science News writes (Seppa, 1/25). In
recent months, the debate over how useful a cholera vaccine can be during an
outbreak has "reignited," as experts try to slow the spread of the disease
in Haiti, which to date has sickened some 105,000 and killed more than
2,000, Reuters writes.
"Caused by a water-borne bacteria called vibrio cholera, [cholera] is
transmitted when contaminated human fecal matter gets into water, food or
onto someone's hands" – a particular "challenge to countries without safe
drinking water and adequate sanitation," Reuters continues. While the
symptoms from the disease can kill some within hours, others "show no
symptoms but can pass the bacterium further" (1/26).
In an effort to assess how a cholera vaccine could have affected the outcome
of previous cholera outbreaks, "scientists collected information from three
regions where cholera has struck in the past 15 years — Zimbabwe, Zanzibar
and India," and used a computer model to predict outcomes of an early
vaccine effort, Science News writes of one of the studies published in the
In the case of cholera outbreak that took place in Zimbabwe between 2008 and
2009, during which 98,591 cholera cases had been reported with 4,288 deaths
attributed to cholera, "[i]f a rapid response had taken place and half of
the population had been vaccinated once the first 400 cases had occurred, as
many as 34,900 (40%) cholera cases and 1,695 deaths (40%) could have been
prevented," the authors of the study report. "In the sites with endemic
cholera, Kolkata and Zanzibar, a significant number of cases could have been
prevented but the impact would have been less dramatic," they add (Reyburn
et al., 1/25).
"The PLoS package also included a study from Vietnam, which showed how mass
vaccination helped control the disease in Hanoi even after an outbreak
occurred in 2007," Reuters adds. "Fifteen percent of patients given the oral
vaccine came down with cholera subsequently, compared to 30 percent of those
not vaccinated," the authors reported, according to the news service (1/25).
"The recent outbreaks of cholera in Haiti, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe suggest
that our current global action plans against cholera are failing," Edward
Ryan, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, who was not
involved in the two PLoS studies, writes in an editorial where he describes
how vibrio cholerae has evolved in a manner that allows it to linger,
allowing for longer outbreaks of the disease. "What role cholera vaccine
will play, if any, is still uncertain, and even if cholera vaccine is
incorporated into response plans, many logistic hurdles would remain (who
will pay, will vaccine be stockpiled, which vaccine would be used, who would
control its use, delivery, and deployment, how will a vaccine program
synergize with other response efforts and immunization efforts, etc.). But
one thing is very clear … we have a wily and adaptive foe that has changed
the rules of engagement repetitively, and it may be time for us to similarly
adapt our strategies," Ryan concludes (1/25).
According to Reuters, "There are only about 200,000 to 300,000 doses of
cholera vaccine available in the world, and only two companies produce it"
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 14:46
By John Makumbe
Reports of the Zanu (PF) militia running amok and disrupting normal council
business in various parts of Harare are a clear indication that the ruling
party, the MDC, is sleeping on the job. We all know that Zanu (PF) is
desperate to return from the political wilderness into Harare and win some
of its constituencies again.
We also know that most of the hoodlums causing havoc in the name of Zanu
(PF) are not Hararians, but rural bumpkins who are being bussed in from
Bindura, Chinhoi, Banket and Karoi. Zanu (PF) no longer has any significant
numbers of youths in Harare.
They all have defected to the ever-popular MDC-T. With the ailing Mugabe
calling for elections this year, the dwindling supporters of the dying
political party think that they can re-group, intimidate the Harare
residents and make them vote for the former liberation party once again.
Fortunately, this is not going to happen; indeed, the hooliganism that they
are displaying is only going to alienate more people from the beleaguered
But the point of this contribution is that being in the corridors of state
power seems to have made the MDC-T lose its focus as a dynamic political
party. Somehow the party thinks that it has arrived. The truth of the matter
is that, guys, you are not there yet. The struggle must continue on all
fronts until final victory and the realization of real change.
It is surprising that whereas Zanu (PF) youths are being organized to march
and demonstrate against Harare City Council and MDC-T Members of Parliament
(MPs), those of the Prime Minister’s party are conspicuous by their absence,
silence and inactivity. I personally believe that if MDC-T youths were
active in the streets and the suburbs and townships, Zanu (PF) hoodlums
would not have the courage to run amok disturbing normal business.
It is high time that these lawless hired hands were made to know that their
reeling party lost the political support of the people of all urban centres
years ago. Confrontation is an effective weapon against riotous puppies of
The people of Mbare are experiencing serious levels of harassment from these
misguided Zanu (PF) militia on a daily basis. Flea market vendors are being
intimidated and robbed of their wares practically every day. When the
victims of these demonic acts report these incidences to the Zanu Repressive
Police (ZRP) they are told to bring to the police station the people who
will have harassed them.
Senior officials of the MDC-T behave as if all is well, even though these
reports are being made to them regularly. Zanu (PF) must not be allowed to
have its way with the lives of innocent people without being made to pay the
price of such folly. I am not suggesting that MDC-T supporters and youths
adopt violence as a response to the wild actions of the Zanu (PF) hooligans.
Far from it.
All I am urging the progressive leaders of the ruling MDC-T party is to show
some political muscle by organizing well-controlled and managed street
demonstrations and other effective responses to the actions of the Zanu (PF)
hoodlums. Failure to do that in a timely fashion can easily be interpreted
One of the reasons why Mugabe is calling for elections in 2011 is that he
sees the actions of these hired rogues as evidence that Zanu (PF) now has
the upper hand in terms of political support in Zimbabwe’s urban areas. A
spate of MDC-T street demonstrations throughout the country will quickly
dispel these ill-advised notions and allow the country to go for elections
when the time and conditions are right.
Posted On : January 26, 2011 4:20 AM | Posted By : Admin ACO
Related Categories: Central Africa
PASTORAL LETTER - 21/01/11
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Diocese of Harare CPCA and friends,
Mukristu Usanete: Namata Urinde! Christian seek not yet repose: Watch and
May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of our
Lord Jesus Christ.
It is with deep concern that I write to you as Pastor of the faithful in the
Diocese of Harare CPCA about the unnecessary prolonged suffering of our
people at the hands of the police who continue to claim to be receiving
orders “from above” to prevent us from using our church buildings in
accordance with the Makarau judgement of January 2008 and reaffirmed by
Mavhangira judgment of June2010.
I have been deeply disturbed by three pieces of information which have come
to light. The first is in regard to a “new order from above” given to the
police that our congregations should not be found anywhere within a 200
meter radius of any of our church buildings. It is reported that those who
go against this order and those sympathising with us should be severely
On Sunday, 16/01/2011, our congregation at St Andrews Church, Chipadze in
Bindura which uses the grounds of the rectory where our priest lives for
their services was harassed by Dr. Kunonga’s priest and two chief police
inspectors buttressed by a truck load of fully armed riot police during
service. A number of our parishes that have their services in the rectory
grounds or near their church buildings have already been informed of this
new order by the police even though they have not produced documentary
evidence of the Order.
The second is very alarming indeed as it is regarding the partisan
involvement of other security branches in church matters. We are completely
baffled by this disturbing new development. It seems some security organs of
our republic are working in cahoots to “crash” the Anglican Church which is
part of the World wide Anglican Communion in Zimbabwe for “security” reasons
best known to them. While it may be possible to continue to harass the
Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, let it be known that this action will not
“crash” the faith of Anglicans who strongly believe in a loving and faithful
God. As we have indicated before, we keep wondering whatever happened to our
human and constitutional right to freedom of religion? It seems we have been
condemned without being heard. Our accusers are listened to and believed
while we do not get the chance to respond to the accusations. Do we not have
a right to be heard?
The third is the claim by Dr. Kunonga’s priests that they have court orders
to evict our priests from church rectories and any other church buildings
they may still have had some control over. We are not aware of any new court
orders to that effect. Several of our priests were harassed in the middle of
the night last week by people claiming to be acting on behalf of Dr.
Kunonga. The police seem to believe everything they are told by Dr. Kunonga’s
people without checking with the courts. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has
said that, “Court records are public documents. The Zimbabwe republic Police
are free to come and inspect the record”. As far as we are concerned THE
TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has not yet made a
determination on the matter of our Church properties.
It is with great pain and in light of our prolonged suffering, the
disturbing new developments and the false claims about the courts having
given everything to Dr. Kunonga that we write to urge the faithful in our
beloved diocese to stand firm in the faith and to remain faithful to our
loving and faithful God who never abandons us. In the words of St Paul to
the Corinthian Church about his experience, we also urge you to put no
obstacle in anyone’s way so that no fault will be found with your ministry.
Commend yourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions,
hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments ... by purity, knowledge,
patience, kindness of spirit, genuine love ... For we are treated as
imposters and yet are true, ... 2 Corinthians 6:1-10. The Old Testament Book
of Esther is very relevant to our situation and we encourage all the
faithful to read it. Pay particular attention to Haman’s evil plot to
annihilate the Jews simply because one man Mordecai would not “kneel down
and pay him honour” (Esther 3). Please take note of Mordecai’s challenge to
Esther in Esther 4:12-14; - “Who knows why you have come to royal position
for such a time as this?” vs.14. Equally important, do not miss Esther’s
role in the deliverance of the Jewish people. This is also our challenge to
every member of our diocese in your varied calling. Prayer and fasting are
crucial in our struggle for justice. Likewise, we are calling for a week of
prayer and fasting beginning on the 1st February 2011.
To the Christian Community in Zimbabwe:
We would like to sincerely thank various denominations like the Roman
Catholic Church, Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, United Methodist Church,
Lutheran Church, Reformed Church, Presbyterian Church, United Church of
Christ and Mugodhi Church and others who I may have missed out, who have
generously allowed some of our congregations to use their church buildings.
We know that some of you have been threatened but have continued to offer us
accommodation. Others have painfully told us to stop using their buildings
after being threatened. We do not hold it against you. We understand the
gravity of those threats and we would not want any denomination to go
through what we are currently going through. We would like to thank all
those churches and organisations who have publicly stood in solidarity with
us in our suffering especially the Zimbabwe Pastors Conference. Our appeal
to the Christian Community in Zimbabwe is not so much that you take sides
with us even though we would appreciate it, but rather that you stand for
justice, that you speak out against the unlawful arrests of our people; the
beatings and tear-gassing of our congregations, the disruptions of church
services, the flouting of Court Orders and partisan behaviour of the police
and now the disturbing developments beginning to unfold. The deafening
silence of the Christian Community has been interpreted and seen as siding
with Dr Kunonga and those who persecute us. While we know this to be untrue,
those who have not heard the voice of the Christian Community in Zimbabwe
speaking out publicly on these matters believe it to be true. May the voice
of the Body of Christ in Zimbabwe be heard!
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his
glorious presence without fault and with exceeding joy; to the only God our
Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our
Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen”.
Mukristu Usanete: Namata Urinde! Christian seek not yet repose: Watch and
Soli Deo Gloria! Glory to God alone!
In the Lord’s Service,
The Rt. Rev’d Dr. Chad N. Gandiya
Diocese of Harare CPCA
9 Monmouth Road
25 January 2011
“We Americans know and we observe the difference between world leadership
and imperialism,” former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower said in his 1953
inaugural address. It was a logical remark for the new leader of a nation
that had unilaterally declared its own independence in 1776 and which had
assumed in the 1940s the mantle of world leadership.
In defining a key distinction between the United States and its Western
European allies, as well as the communist world, Eisenhower was articulating
the way forward for American foreign policy.
In southern Africa today, pessimism about Zimbabwe's future is, to a
significant degree, marked by a failure to understand the importance of the
orientation of American policy in the region, particularly in the years
following the assassination of John Kennedy.
All that has flowed under the bridge in the past half century is best
understood by first analyzing and comparing the major currents of domestic
policy with those of foreign policy, civil rights and self-determination.
Late in 1955 residents of Birmingham, Alabama, of African descent began a
boycott of public transportation because of the city’s systematic racial
That December the New York Times reported for the first time the words of a
young Protestant minister from Africa critical of colonialism. Rev.
Ndabaningi Sithole was quoted as saying in an address at a university in
Ohio that “the church must never make the mistake of trying to reconcile the
Africans to foreign domination.”
Two months later the Times cited for the first time the name of Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr., the young minister leading the Montgomery bus boycott.
By 1963 Rev. Sithole had immersed himself in founding the Zimbabwe African
National Union (ZANU), a non-violent political movement with the aim of
bringing self-determination to what then was called Southern Rhodesia.
On the day before President John Kennedy left for Texas in November that
year, a memorandum informed staffers of his intention to convene a White
House meeting on Saturday, November 23, on future American policy toward
European colonialism, a question especially pertinent to American policy in
In 1960 Kennedy had selected former Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams to
direct the Africa bureau at the State Department weeks before he chose Dean
Rusk, a Georgia native, to be his secretary of state. Williams, known for
his interest in civil rights, had supported Kennedy in 1960 after concluding
his own brief bid for the presidency.
As Kennedy and his brother Robert, the attorney general, discussed how to
hold the “solid” south in 1964 they realized the need to combine support of
self-determination in Africa with their domestic civil rights agenda.
In 1963 the Kennedys began providing covert financial support to the nascent
non-violent political movement in Portuguese Mozambique headed by Dr.
Eduardo C. Mondlane, a sociologist educated in the United States. Mozambique
shared a long common border with landlocked Rhodesia.
Had President Kennedy completed the term for which he had been elected, it
is likely the British government would have remained under continuing
American pressure for democratic change in Southern Rhodesia.
In 1961 the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) in Southern Rhodesia
headed by Joshua Nkomo agreed to participate in a referendum on a new
constitution in which the black majority would have achieved enough power in
the Rhodesian Parliament to be able to block legislation not to its liking.
However, Nkomo failed to pursuade black Rhodesian voters to participate, and
they boycotted the referendum, a step that upset British Foreign Secretary
Alec Douglas-Home who had negotiated the arrangement with Nkomo.
In November 1963, Kennedy's foreign policy agenda also included his first
bilateral meeting with Britain's new prime minister, former foreign
secretary Douglas-Home. When Kennedy lived in London in the 1930s as the son
of the first American ambassador of Irish descent, Alec's brother William, a
budding playwright, reportedly was Kennedy's best friend.
Britain had been decolonizing in West Africa since 1957 and in East Africa
since 1961. In fact, the other major Western European colonial powers,
except for Portugal, had also begun decolonizing in Africa. Southern Africa,
therefore, would have been an appropriate agenda item for Kennedy and
On November 22, however, everything changed with John F. Kennedy’s
assassination. The accession of Lyndon Johnson, a southerner and former
Senate majority leader, to the presidency altered the trajectory of domestic
policy just enough to enable Congress to pass the long overdue civil rights
At the same time, however, the Kennedy assassination reversed the trajectory
of American foreign policy in many ways poorly understood to this day. In
addition to escalating American involvement in Southeast Asia Johnson
mindlessly muddled America's leadership in southern Africa.
Dean Rusk became a much more important influence on Johnson's foreign policy
than he had been on Kennedy’s. Three weeks after Kennedy's assassination
Rusk lunched with Prime Minister Douglas-Home in London. Rusk had been a
Rhodes scholar at Oxford in the early 1930s along with Hilgard Muller of
South Africa. Muller had become South Africa's foreign minister shortly
before Kennedy was murdered.
Rusk quietly worried that the State Department’s Mennen Williams and his
Africa bureau did not sufficiently understand South Africa's pigmentocracy.
Instead of America being a progressive influence on British policy in
southern Africa during the Johnson administration, Britain defined American
policy in southern Africa to the point that, for example, white
minority-ruled Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared itself independent of
Britain in 1965, which would not have been supported under Kennedy.
Rather than putting down this white minority rebellion the new British
government headed by Harold Wilson chose to involve the United Nations
mechanism. In 1966 the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Southern
Rhodesia as it posed a “threat to international peace,” thus invoking for
the first time the gravest provisions possible under the UN Charter.
Archibald “Archie” Roosevelt Jr., Theodore Roosevelt's grandson, the Central
Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) London station chief, returned to Washington as
the assistant director of the CIA for covert operations in Africa. That
meant he directly supervised the CIA station in Southern Rhodesia.
Archie clashed repeatedly with Joseph Palmer, his counterpart for Africa at
the State Department who had known and thought well of both Ndabaningi
Sithole and Eduardo Mondlane.
In 1968 voters for the first and thus far only time in American history
elected a president previously elected vice president who did not assume the
presidency immediately following his tenure as vice president. Richard
Nixon, therefore, had a far longer institutional recollection than the press
or his political opponents.
Nixon, for example, had represented the United States at Ghana's
independence ceremonies in 1957 where he first met Douglas-Home as well as
Martin Luther King Jr. Joseph Palmer had accompanied Nixon on his three-week
safari during which he visited all of the then-independent African states
except for Egypt and South Africa.
The destination of his 1967 Africa trip as a private citizen was Zambia,
which until 1964 had been the British colony of Northern Rhodesia. Zambia
was his window on southern Africa analogous to Hong Kong as his window on
Thirteen days after Nixon was sworn into office Eduardo Mondlane was
assassinated by an improvised explosive device allegedly sent through
international mail by Portuguese intelligence.
In 1970 the United States began violating the mandatory UN sanctions on
Southern Rhodesia by covertly allowing Southern Rhodesia to import American
aircraft. Archie Roosevelt became the de facto American ambassador to
Rhodesia, according to Ian Smith, leader of the white minority rebel
Rhodesian regime. Smith also said in an interview that Sithole had lost
control of ZANU in 1970 to Robert Mugabe.
This new American opposition to decolonization was sufficiently obvious to
Zhou Enlai, China's foreign minister, that he asked Nixon about it in 1972.
The coup that overthrew the Portuguese oligarchs in 1974 not only set
Portugal on the path of precipitate decolonization, it also effectively
started Rhodesia on the path to becoming Zimbabwe by virtue of its long
frontier with Mozambique. Following President Kennedy's assassination the
Mozambique nationalist movement founded by Eduardo Mondlane had concluded
that it had no choice but to launch guerrilla warfare to persuade the
Portuguese oligarchs to decolonize.
After a decade in which American public attention on foreign affairs had
been focused almost exclusively on Vietnam, the American press in 1975 had
lost whatever institutional memory it had about African affairs.
Thus, American public opinion concluded in 1976 that the Soviet Union had
out maneuvered the United States in southern Africa. This was in large
measure due to Henry Kissinger's ability to spin a plausible cover story
about the conduct of American policy in Africa after Richard Nixon resigned
the presidency in 1974.
In the final volume of his memoirs Kissinger says he had not begun to
appreciate the complexity of southern African politics until the visit of
Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda in 1975. That visit had been arranged by
Kissinger's hand-picked assistant secretary for African affairs, Donald
Easum, a career diplomat.
Kissinger does not mention Easum in his account. He could not easily have
done so without disclosing that he had fired Easum shortly after Easum,
while in Lusaka for the ceremonies marking the tenth anniversary of Zambian
independence, had invited Kaunda to visit Washington. Archie Roosevelt,
meanwhile, under authority granted first by Nixon had been destabilizing
Not long after Easum's firing and Kaunda's visit, Vladimir Gorovoy, the
Soviet embassy attaché following African affairs in Washington, was
reassigned to Moscow and the era of detente ended with resumption of the
After working in Africa for most of the 1960s as a U.S. foreign service
officer and then as a journalist, Bruce Oudes became the only
Washington-based American journalist focusing on Africa during the
administrations of former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He last
visited Zimbabwe at independence in 1980. This historical summary was
produced from interviews with most of the political figures cited.