Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:00
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
THE Cabinet committee on the new Constitution yesterday adopted the revised
draft following amendments proposed by the principals. The document will now
be presented to the full Copac committee for adoption on Tuesday.
Copac co-chairperson Cde Paul Mangwana yesterday confirmed the adoption of
the new draft.
“The committee met today and adopted the draft. It will now be presented to
the Constitutional Parliament Select Committee on Tuesday for adoption,”
said Cde Mangwana.
“The next major step afterwards will be its presentation to Parliament.”
His counterpart Mr Douglas Mwonzora concurred saying the draft constitution
would be presented to Parliament when it resumes sitting next month.
“We met today with the drafters and adopted the draft. The document will be
presented to Copac and then to Parliament when it resumes sitting.
“We are likely to move the motion for the adoption of the draft on February
8 and then debate will commence the following day,” Mr Mwonzora said.
The Copac co-chairpersons on Thursday said publicity campaigns to inform the
public on the provisions of the draft constitution would also start next
This is expected to ensure that Zimbabweans appreciate the provisions of the
proposed supreme law.
The Global Political Agreement principals last week brought to an end a
six-month deadlock between partners in the inclusive Government over some
provisions in the draft constitution.
The deadlock came after Zanu-PF rejected the draft constitution released by
Copac in July.
Zanu-PF said the draft did not correspond with views gathered from the
generality of Zimbabweans during the outreach programme.
The impasse led to the setting up of the Cabinet committee made up of the
Copac co-chairpersons and negotiators to the Global Political Agreement.
Zanu-PF Politburo has already endorsed the agreement reached by the
principals and pledged to campaign for the draft constitution’s adoption at
The referendum for the constitution’s adoption will follow the debate in
Blessing Zulu, Sithandekile Mhlanga
WASHINGTON — Zimbabwe's parliament is now set to discuss the constitutional
draft in the second week of February when the Lower House resumes sitting.
Last week, the country's rival political parties agreed on a final draft of
a constitution that will be put to a referendum ahead of crucial elections
expected this year.
On Friday, the three drafters of the long awaited constitution were given
the nod by Constitution Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) to produce the final
The three COPAC drafters are Moses Chinhengo, a former High Court judge,
Priscilla Madzonga, a senior legal practitioner and former drafter in the
Attorney-General’s office, and Brian Crozier, a former director of legal
drafting in the Attorney-General’s office.
The principals will then announce the date for the referendum after
receiving the final draft next week.
President Robert Mugabe is currently in Ethiopia where he is attending the
African Union summit. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is now back in Harare
after attending the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switerland.
COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T told VOA that they are ready
to table the draft before parliment.
Zanu-PF co-chairman, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of Zanu-PF concurred saying he
expects the nation to vote for the referendum.
Edward Mkhosi, select committee co-chairman of the MDC formation of Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube, said Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga
will release a statement on Saturday confirming the conclusion of the draft
Mkhosi said the draft reflects views collected from people nationwide during
the outreach phase.
President Robert Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai were forced into a power-sharing
government in 2009 after the deadly and disputed poll held the previous
year. The unity government though has been largely dysfunctional due to
Mr. Mugabe, who is 88 and has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, has
insisted on elections being held in March while Mr. Tsvangirai wanted
reforms first to allow for fair and violence-free polls.
Mr Tsvangirai, 60, pulled out of a presidential run-off election in 2008,
citing the killing of about 300 supporters. The Southern African Development
Community and the African Union are gurantors of the Global Political
Agreement that led to the formation of the coalition government.
Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:00
Michael Chideme Senior Reporter
AN anti-tank landmine is believed to have caused the Chitungwiza blast that
killed five people on Monday. Sources close to the investigations revealed
that the “the nature of the damage was consistent with a landmine”.
Burial papers for the victims indicated “suspected bomb” as the cause of the
However, police spokesperson Asst Comm Charity Charamba said investigations
“We are still investigating. We cannot confirm it was a landmine as of now.
We want to exhaust all leads,” she said.
She said no arrests had been made yet.
Landmines do not end with the personal, physical, or even mental trauma of
an individual. They inflict societal trauma, through infrastructure and
Sources close to investigations believe the other two dead were a soldier
and a police detective.
The two are believed to have brought the deadly weapon to Sekuru Shumba —
Speakmore Mandere — the traditional healer who also perished in the blast.
It is believed they wanted to extract red mercury, which has an attractive
market in Johannesburg.
According to online sources, red mercury is a 19th-century term for
protiodide or iodide of mercury.
It was commonly recommended for use as an anti-syphilitic as late as 1913.
Today, it is used in some countries for skin lightening, causing some cases
of nephritic syndrome. Red mercuric iodide is a poisonous, scarlet-red,
odourless, tasteless powder that is insoluble in water.
According to some world media reports red mercury sells for as high as
US$1,8 million per kilogramme.
Remains of the five victims of the explosion were collected for burial
First to collect the remains were the Mandere family from Centenary,
followed by the Chimina family whose daughter, seven-month-old Kelly, also
died. She was buried yesterday at the Unit L cemetery.
The remains of commuter omnibus operator Clever Kamudzeya were expected to
be collected late afternoon.
Burial is scheduled for today in Chihota.
Relatives of one of the victims, Aleck Shamu, were also making arrangements
to collect his body while the remains of the fifth victim were still to be
He would be buried in Masvingo.
A member of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association, Mr
Lovemore Muparadzi, said the blast was most likely the result of a failed
attempt to address problems associated with an enrichment medicine (muti)
processed using a rare animal called sandawana, which looks like a mouse.
“That explosion was not caused by lightning or goblins. It most likely
happened because of a sandawana,” he said.
He said the practice was very dangerous such that it was not recommended to
be done in a house.
He said the practice is usually discharged in the bush.
Zinatha spokesman George Kandiyero concurred with Muparadzi.
“Buying such muti can be dangerous because people tend not to get the full
manual on how it is used. And if you do not get full details, it can
backfire,” he said.
Friday, 25 January 2013 11:50
HARARE - The Office of the Commissioner on Human Rights (OCHR) in Geneva,
Switzerland has slammed escalating repression of human rights defenders in
Zimbabwe ahead of elections.
OCHR spokesperson, Rupert Colville, said the commission noted with concern
the increase in arbitrary arrests, intimidation and harassment of human
rights activists and innocent citizens.
“We condemn recent attacks against human rights defenders in Zimbabwe,
including arbitrary arrests, intimidation and harassment,” OCHR said.
It cited the arrest of Okay Machisa, the director of Zimbabwe Human Rights
Association (ZimRights) and chairperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on
January 14 for allegedly publishing false statements prejudicial to the
State, fraud and forgery after allegedly conducting illegal voter
Machisa handed himself to the police accompanied by his lawyer, and remains
“In a previous incident, ZimRights education programmes manager, Leo
Chamahwinya, and ZimRights local chapter chairperson, Dorcas Shereni, were
arrested by the police on December 13, 2012. They were both denied bail by
the High Court and remain in detention.
“We are concerned about the crackdown on non-governmental organisations and
dissenting voices seen as critical of Robert Mugabe’s rule and apparently
politically-motivated prosecutions, ahead of the elections which are
expected to take place later this year.”
The OCHR report was issued at a time when the Zanu PF Masvingo provincial
governor, Titus Maluleke on Thursday issued fresh threats, that he would ban
civic organisations he accuses of interfering with the electoral process
ahead of the next general elections expected this year.
Maluleke, who banned 29 NGO’s last year accusing them of refusing to comply
with government regulations to register, summoned 45 local civic
organisations operating in Masvingo province and threatened to ban them if
they interfered with the elections.
Maluleke was accompanied by State security agents.
However, the minister of Labour and Social Services, Paurina Mpariwa has
said Maluleke’s threats are illegal and the NGOs should ignore them.
The OCHR said it supports the work of the United Nations human rights
mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council and the core treaty bodies set
up for monitoring State parties’ compliance with international human rights
treaties and promote the right to development.
Navanethem Pillay, who is the UN high commissioner for human rights was in
Zimbabwe last year when Zanu PF’s desperate push for early elections that
year suffered a major dent when she warned that holding the polls before
reforms would be “suicidal”.
“Unless the parties agree quickly on some key major reforms and there is a
distinct shift in attitude, the next election which is due sometime in the
coming year could turn into a repeat of the 2008 elections which resulted in
rampant politically-motivated human rights abuses including killings,
torture, rape, beatings, arbitrary detention, displacements and other
violations,” she said last year during her visit.
“I believe it is essential that a satisfactory new constitution with an
entrenched Bill of Rights is put in place soon, so that the referendum to
confirm it and all the electoral reforms necessary for a peaceful, free and
fair election can be carried out before people go to the polls.”
“Realistically, this will take time, but it will be more important to get it
right than to rush the process,” she said, adding that the government must
give the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) more time to update the voters’
roll and supervise the referendum on the new constitution before holding
elections. - Staff Writer
Friday, 25 January 2013 11:41
HARARE - The MDC led by Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube says
it will revisit the Constitution with a view to reinstating devolution of
power if it wins this year’s elections.
The party’s spokesperson Nhlahla Dube admitted in an interview with the
Daily News yesterday that they gave away a lot during negotiations with Zanu
PF particularly on devolution, hence the need to better the document.
He said the onus was now on the electorate to vote Zanu PF out so that
through Parliament, the constitution would be amended.
If recent opinion polls are anything to go by, the chance of Ncube’s MDC
winning Parliament are slim indeed, with research think-tank, Freedom House,
claiming the party will not garner more than one percent of the vote.
“The new Constitution represents an incremental growth in the
democratisation of Zimbabwe but because it is a product of negotiation we
lost something as it was give and take,” Dube said. “We will however,
certainly have to revisit the Constitution if we win the elections
especially on issues such as devolution where we have always demanded it.”
Dube however, pointed out that Zanu PF had also been forced to capitulate on
some of its demands including the role of the Attorney General on which they
had declared they would not move an inch.
“Zanu PF had been digging in on the issue of the Attorney General’s role but
they have given in and the office will be confined to its core business of
legal advisor to government. That is the essence of negotiation,” Dube said.
President Robert Mugabe met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Ncube and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara last week to thrash out a deal on the
country’s new Constitution after the parliamentary committee (Copac) which
had steered the process failed to bridge differences between the parties.
The leaders said they had come to an agreement over various sticking issues,
adding that the final draft would now be put together leading to a national
referendum and general elections to choose a new government.
Zanu PF has endorsed agreements made by the Principals on the sticky issues
that had stymied the constitution-making process following a politburo
meeting held at the party’s headquarters yesterday.
The amendments have since been incorporated into the draft constitution. -
Friday, 25 January 2013 11:36
BULAWAYO - Bulawayo, which used to be Zimbabwe’s industrial hub just a
decade ago, is now a “city of destitute,” the city’s mayor Thaba Moyo said.
“Currently there has been a rapid increase in the number of homeless people
and street children in Bulawayo and my council is very worried about this,”
he told the Daily News.
He did not give figures.
“This is mainly being caused by high unemployment rate since most companies
in the city have shutdown in recent years.
“There are also squatter camps sprouting in some suburbs and those which
have been in existence like the one in Killarney suburb are expanding.
People cannot afford to pay rentals or to build their own houses because
they are out of employment,” Moyo said.
Although Bulawayo City Council has been working with some non-governmental
organisations (NGO) to build cheaper houses for homeless people, the council
is failing to cope because the number is increasing daily.
An estimated 20 000 workers have lost their jobs as several companies in the
city have either closed shop, down-sized or relocated to Harare, leaving
thousands struggling to eke out a living.
As many as 87 firms have closed shop in the city since 2010.
Once known as “Kontuthu ziyathunqa” for the bellowing smoke over its
industrial districts, Bulawayo at one point accounted for 75 percent of the
country’s manufacturing output, but now it has been dubbed a “sadza economy”,
with restaurants and flea markets accounting for most of the city’s income
generating projects. -
Friday, 25 January 2013 11:27
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is haunted by a perception
crisis that it is embedded in President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, the
commission’s chief has said.
Zec, the body charged with conducting free and fair elections, is accused by
opposition parties and civil society organisations of tinkering with the
2008 presidential election results to favour Zanu PF and fit the matrix of a
Lovemore Sekeramayi, Zec’s chief executive officer, said they urgently need
cash to launch a nationwide blitz, “intensify voter registration and voter
“Remember these processes are continuous. We would also like to be more
visible and address the negative perceptions about Zec,” Sekeramayi said.
He said Zimbabwe needs about $190 million for the referendum and general
elections this year.
Research think-tank, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) recently
released a report that claimed Zec‘s secretariat remains wholly unreformed,
full of intelligence and military agents such that it cannot be trusted to
deliver free and fair elections.
Sekeramayi said Zec is still operating on a shoe-string budget and hopes
that treasury will release funding in order to kick-start a massive
awareness programme, meant to change negative perceptions.
Sources said UNDP, which has supported various programmes, is ready to
bankroll the election but Zanu PF hardliners are not comfortable with
“Zec has done a lot of ground work in terms of training and capacity
building of its staff and the establishment, the commission through the UNDP
and its partners (Danida, Denmark, SIDA Sweden) facilitation has conducted
multiple stakeholder workshops sensitising the various participants on the
electoral process,” Sekeramayi said.
“In addition, UNDP facilitation has enabled Zec to acquire vehicles,
computers, laptops, public address systems, dictaphones, TV sets, DStv
decoders, DVD players and furniture,” said Sekeramayi.
Earlier this month, Morgan Tsvangirai met with officials from Zec and the
Registrar of Voters’ office seeking to fast track the funding of elections
but thus far Zec is living on promises and donations as treasury dithers on
its earlier promises.
Fri, Jan 25th, 2013 By Robert Herriman
With the peak malaria season in the African nation starting in February,
Zimbabwe has already reported more than 10,000 cases of the mosquito borne
parasitic disease, malaria, according to a Bernama report today.
National malaria program manager, Dr. Joseph Mberikunashe said that
continuous rains in the country has led to excessive mosquito breeding. In
Zimbabwe, the peak malaria season is from February through April.
Public education, vector control and indoor residual spraying programs have
been stepped up, strategies that have led to lower malaria cases across the
Zimbabwe recorded at least 328,000 cases last year, which resulted in 214
HARARE — Winners of the Auxillia Chimusoro Alumni Awards were honored
Thursday night with American ambassador Bruce Wharton pledging the United
States government’s more than $95 million to support Zimbabwe’s national
Ambassador Wharton said the money will come from the U.S President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, to support critical health
interventions meant to prevent more HIV infections.
Since 2005, the U.S government has invested about $400 million in Zimbabwe
towards the country’s HIV/AIDS response.
This year’s Auxillia Chimusoro competition was won by AfricaAid, a local
non-government organization, which received a $5,000 grant.
The grant will support young people living with HIV or AIDS who will produce
a musical DVD aimed at raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.
AfricaAid director, Nicola Willis, said discussions are under way to involve
national icons to assist young people in producing the DVD.
Ambassador Wharton who was instrumental in launching the Auxilllia Chimusoro
Award when he was the embassy’s public affairs officer 12 years ago, said he
was happy that the award has become a part of Zimbabwe’s national AIDS
The U.S mission launched the Auxillia Chimusoro Award in 1989 to help
de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS and to commemorate the legacy of Auxillia Chimusoro,
the first Zimbabwean woman to publicly disclose her positive HIV/AIDS status
A representative of the Chimusoro family commended the U.S mission, the
government of Zimbabwe and partners for honoring Auxillia.
The HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country is now below 16 percent, the lowest
in sub-Saharan Africa.
Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:00
Farai Dzirutwe in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
President Mugabe last night attended the African Union’s Peace and Security
Council meeting here as African leaders met to find ways of dealing with
simmering tensions between Sudan and South Sudan as well as the armed
conflict in Mali where rebels recently intensified attacks against
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe
Defence Forces attended the meeting at the ongoing 20th Ordinary Summit
together with Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
Minister Mumbengegwi had earlier attended a ministerial meeting on the same
Details of the outcome of the meeting were not yet available at the time of
going to press.
In her opening remarks before the meeting went into a closed session,
African Union Commission chair, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said although
Africa had made significant strides in addressing the peace and security
challenges on the continent, there were still some regions which needed
She cited Somalia, the Central African Republic, Madagascar and
Guinea-Bissau as areas were significant progress had been made.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma said the AU was concerned about renewed insecurity in the
Democratic Republic of Congo but added that yesterday’s meeting was
specifically looking at the Sudan and South Sudan as well as Mali.
She said it was important to promote good neighbourliness between Sudan and
South Sudan who had occasionally fought over an un-dermacated border and oil
revenue from the disputed Abyei region.
She said it was important for the two states to follow the AU’s
internationally endorsed roadmap towards the reduction of tensions between
“In a very welcome move underscoring relations between the AU’s Peace and
Security Council and the United Nations’ Security Council, the UN Security
Council endorsed the roadmap in its entirety. This was an example of total
unity of purpose in the international community,” she said.
She thanked former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who is leading
mediation efforts on the Sudan crisis together with former Rwandan president
Pierre Buyoya and former Nigerian president Abdulsalami Abubakar, who are
also in the High Level Implementation Panel.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir thanked the AU for convening the forum to
discuss the situation between his country and Sudan adding that the vision
of the two states living in peace and mutual security was attainable.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma said AU member states were also strongly against the rebel
offensive on the Malian government adding that the issue was also high on
the agenda of last night’s meeting.
Meanwhile, the full summit would officially open tomorrow morning with Heads
of State and Government expected to tackle a number of burning issues
concerning the continental bloc.
Friday, 25 January 2013 11:48
HARARE - Deputy Higher Education minister Lutho Tapela says he is being
“systematically sidelined” by acting minister Ignatius Chombo and has
literally been rendered idle.
Tapela, a member of Welshman Ncube’s MDC, says Chombo has not even bothered
to talk to him since he was appointed acting minister following the death of
Dr Stan Gorerazvo Mudenge in October last year.
He says he now spends most of his time buried in newspapers.
While he continues to receive all the ministerial perks, Tapela says he
feels bad drawing a government salary while doing nothing.
“Literally I come here to read newspapers,” the deputy minister told the
“If I was still young like you, I would do my PhD studies here because I do
nothing on a daily basis.”
He heaped praise on his deceased boss Mudenge’s work ethic, who he said
engaged him on all ministerial business unlike Chombo.
Since Chombo took over, things have dramatically changed, with directors in
his ministry also snubbing him.
“I should be supervising the implementation of the ICT (Information
communication technology) programmes in training institutions,” Tapela said.
“There is a director responsible for that but he has stopped reporting to
Tapela said he is yet to be formally introduced to the acting minister.
“I hear that we have an acting minister through the media, he has no
courtesy even to say hello to his deputy,” Tapela complained.
“The permanent secretary has not bothered to inform me that there is an
acting minister, no communication to me, nothing and I mean nothing,” said
the soft-spoken Tapela, who is also senator for Bulilima-Mangwe.
This is not the first time that such allegations have been levelled against
His deputy in the Local Government portfolio, Sessel Zvidzai, also says he
is treated like a stranger in his own workplace and hardly talks with his
The Daily News could not get a comment from Chombo as his mobile phone was
As the inclusive government totters to the end of its tenure, government
officials like Tapela believe intolerance by some politicians and senior
civil servants has contributed to government’s failure to deliver.
“I think the fact that some civil servants have never worked in an
arrangement like this, they have grown to know Zanu PF ministers only; they
cannot accommodate other political players, I think they are too Zanu,”
“When I joined the ministry, I asked to tour all departments so that I could
know who is who and which is which in the ministry.
“We used to have meetings every Monday but today no one calls me for such
meetings. I am left to sit in this office with no one talking to me except
those who work in my office,” he complained.
“Why should government have deputy ministers when ministers and permanent
secretaries are able to do everything? Look, I am paid on monthly basis; I
get all my benefits for sitting and reading newspapers,” said Tapela. -
Staff Reporter 22 hours 9 minutes ago
HARARE - Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South Eddie Cross, has urged all
young Zimbabweans to stand up and exercise their right in the coming
elections by registering to vote and determine their future.
Addressing Christian youths at a Generation Next Summit in Harare this week,
Cross said the biggest challenge in Zimbabwe was the marginalisation of the
young. The summit was for the Christian youths to debate about their
involvement in sports, politics, media and business as ministry platforms.
“At least 62 percent of the people in the country are below the age of 30,”
Cross said. “If young people were to exercise their right to vote, then they
would have the power to determine what they want, how they want to be
treated and the kind of country they envisage,” he said.
The legislator who is also the Secretary for Policy and Research in the MDC
said that Christians should at all times hold politicians accountable for
their actions, more so if those politicians claimed to be Christians yet
every moment they behave in ways contrary to the Biblical principles of
leadership as shown by Jesus Christ.
He said people should not elevate a politician to the level of God as has
been witnessed in Zanu PF politics.
Turning to the draft Constitution, Cross said the draft gave the best remedy
to the current situation by increasing the mandates of both the Legislature
and the Judiciary. “It is important to have checks and balances in place,”
The youths said they were interested in participating in political processes
but raised concerns over the use of violence during elections. They said
many young Christians find it difficult to participate in an uncertain
environment more so when the vote is rigged.
The youths were concerned with the voter registration process, which they
said was cumbersome and left many eligible voters stranded due to lack of
relevant documents such as proof of residence.
One participant said he had tried to register as a voter but was denied the
chance on the basis that his aunt’s proof of residence was invalid.
“Zimbabwe is in the state it is in because someone somewhere chose to be
selfish. We need leadership with integrity, leadership that says everyone
should see the results and that God gets the glory.
“We want a leadership that inspires more people to partake in national
politics. Why can a young Christian not aspire to be a national leader? We
call on the politicians to act with integrity knowing that they are in
positions of influence.
“What they do and what they say has an implication on thousands of people
today and the generation to come,” said Munya, one of the participants.
by Sports Reporter
SPORTS Minister David Coltart has accused Zimbabwe Cricket of playing
politics after it rejected his directive on the appointment of national
Coltart originally wanted all national selectors to have played for the
national team in their respective sport, but after a dramatic public
showdown with black cricket administrators who claimed the policy was
racial, the minister this week amended the directive “in the national
Instead of all the selectors having to be ex-national team players, the new
directive will require that “not less than 50 percent of the selectors shall
have represented Zimbabwe as athletes or players at the senior level in the
particular sport discipline”.
Cricket and bowls are two of the sports that use a panel of selectors to
pick the team.
The amended directive says the chairman of the selectors should have played
for the national team – which would require that Givemore Makoni, the
convenor of selectors for the cricket national team, must give up that post
because he has not played for Zimbabwe. He could still sit on the panel as
part of the less than 50 percent who have not played at the highest level.
In an extraordinary show of defiance, Zimbabwe Cricket said the directive –
which takes effect from February 1 – would require it to change its
constitution and terminate contracts with the current selectors.
Wilfred Mukondiwa, the ZC managing director said: “In terms of the Sports
and Recreation Commission Act, it does not appear that the Commission can
require a national association to amend its constitution in such a manner as
to determine the persons who shall take particular positions. That would
appear to be micro- managing the national associations which is not
consistent with the manifest tenor of the Act.
“The Act empowers the Commission to provide a hands-off oversight role
except in case of a disciplinary nature. With respect therefore, it appears
that the Commission has no legal capacity to require ZC to do what the
Stung by ZC’s open defiance, Coltart – a member of the MDC led by Welshman
Ncube – accused cricket chiefs of playing politics to frustrate him.
“Can you ever imagine Zimbabwe Cricket adopting this attitude if it was a
Zanu PF minister involved? Politicians are not just those who have formal
political positions,” Coltart said.
Coltart and the Sports Commission appear ready to dig in, while the ZC is
readying itself for a season of defiance.
The ZC claims there are only 10 ex-Zimbabwe stars who qualify to sit on the
panel of selectors – and a countless number of white ex-stars. The
accusation is that Coltart’s directive is designed to benefit white former
players and crowd out blacks.
IN his “special report” from Zimbabwe, Jonathan Steele writes in the Guardian that the country is in good health under President Mugabe. He turns to race:
The evidence is contained in Zimbabwe Takes Back Its Land…The authors criticise Mugabe’s economic mismanagement, which led to hyperinflation between 2005 and 2008. It was not the land reform that caused hyperinflation, but bad economic decisions. They say the introduction of the US dollar by the unity government four years ago brought a quicker economic recovery and hence greater benefits for farm producers than anyone expected. They have the courage to criticise Amnesty International for exaggerating the plight of farm workers who were forced off formerly “white” land taken over by Africans, and say that by 2011 the number of people working on resettlement land had increased more th
So. Whites can’t be Africans?
There’s just one final point in this article that I noticed. Steele talks about how “white” farms were invaded by “Africans”. Zimbabwe didn’t permit dual nationality, meaning that the overwhelming majority of white farmers were Zimbabwean citizens. Many have family roots in Africa going back hundreds of years. At what point do they become African? And is Steele happy for the same test to be applied to African immigrants to Europe?
Mo Farah was Somali born and is now, in the eyes of the law, an Englishman in exactly the same manner that I am. And quite rightly so too. Citizenry is just citizenry and there’s an end to it.
I think we’d all agree that various at The Guardian would sign on to that concept too.
So why does this not apply to Zimbabweans? Why are those of pinkish hue not allowed to own land while those duskier may?
And I’m sorry but we can’t claim “original inhabitants” either. The Bantu are as much a novelty in that part of the world as the Normans are in the UK. Which gives us another comparator: we’re told, repeatedly, that it’s appalling that the descendants of the Norman invaders still own appreciable amounts of land in the UK. So why do we insist that Zimbabwean land must be given to Bantus instead of to Khoi San? After all, they got invaded, murdered and oppressed at about the same time the Anglo Saxons did.
One white farmer told the Telegraph:
“What stung more, though, were the “Go back to Britain” slogans they shouted – meaningless to a man who is in fact of French Huguenot stock, has only ever held a Zimbabwean passport, and has nowhere else to go even if he wanted to. Infuriatingly, the view that he has no longer a citizen of his own country is shared by the black prosecutor who will oversee his trespass case next week, who has described him in previous court appearances as merely a ‘visitor’. I have never viewed myself as anything other than Zimbabwean, and that is what hurts me most. We are not being looked at as citizens of this country, yet my father was born here before Robert Mugabe. What future do we have when you are fighting people of that mentality?”
Dear Family and Friends,
When we heard the news that fifteen thousand crocodiles had escaped
from a crocodile farm into the swirling waters of the flooded Limpopo
River, it seemed hardly surprising after a fortnight of the strangest
events occurring in Zimbabwe. Our internationally famous boundary
river, immortalized in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories,’ had
changed from the “great grey-green greasy Limpopo River” into a
swollen, raging flooded monster. No one could believe the pictures of
the flooded Limpopo, or the news that at one stage the border post
actually had to close for a while until the water subsided. Was this
the same river that thousands of Zimbabweans wade across chest deep,
when they’re jumping the border into South Africa? Was this the same
river that most of us can only ever remember as being a great wide
river bed which always looks more sand bank than water? The fifteen
thousand escaped crocodiles had come from a flooded farm on the South
African side of the Limpopo and while seven thousand had been
re-captured the rest were still at large. One croc had even been
sighted on the rugby field of a school in Musina.
A few days before the Limpopo River flood a strange report had
appeared in the government controlled Herald newspaper from their
Beitbridge Bureau. The report spoke of a woman who had found a number
of strange objects in a field. According to the Herald, and in their
own unique wording, these objects included: “red pieces of clothes
tied with a red string, a new razor blade, some padlocks, a pick stuck
on a tree trunk, a new pot with a lid and several matchsticks.”
Aaah, the joy of the Herald’s descriptive language we thought, and
read on to discover that a local Ward Councillor had called for an
urgent cleansing ceremony as people believed this was witchcraft.
The thought of crocs on the rugby field and razor blades and
matchsticks in a field were almost as weird as the story of the
talking bus that had been making news. An abandoned minibus in Mount
Hampden apparently drove itself to its current location, left no
tracks on the ground and ‘talks’ to anyone that tries to remove
parts from the vehicle. Locals say that when someone stole the wheels,
they were mysteriously returned a few days later; they suspected the
bus had spoken or maybe it was something to do with the large and
mysterious snake that wasn’t really a snake that someone said they
saw slithering out of the vehicle.
As if all of this wasn’t peculiar enough, then came the tragedy in
Chitungwiza. A massive explosion in a house in a high density area
killed five people, including a seven month old baby, and blew the
walls and roofs off at least four neighbouring homes. The explosion
had taken place in the house of a traditional healer and theories as
to the possible causes grew wilder by the day. A relation of the
deceased healer said the family believed the healer had supernatural
powers and a mermaid spirit. Reports told of people scattering salt on
the road around the area to ward off evil spirits that may have been
let loose in the blast. Then came the story that the healer had been
sending lightening to strike a target in a process people apparently
call ‘bluetooth.’ The theory was that the chosen target of the
lightning was protected by a more powerful force and the ‘bluetooth
had been returned to sender,’ hence the explosion. No story so
strange could be complete without the goblins, yes goblins, also being
blamed for the explosion although it wasn’t clear if this was a
disgruntled customer returning a goblin, or a angry goblin who
didn’t want to be returned. It took a few days before theories of
juju, black magic and witchcraft were squashed by experts who said
this was a bomb of some sort.
And while everyone was trying not to pay attention to stories about
talking buses, mermaids, goblins and home- made return-to-sender
lightning, something else very strange happened in Zimbabwe. Despite
four years of arguing, stalling and accusations, it was suddenly
announced that political leaders had agreed on the new draft
constitution and that we could expect a referendum in March. The irony
of two such dramatically different guiding life principles was not
lost on us and so we look to the future while our feet seem firmly
stuck in the past. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.
26th January 2013. Copyright � Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com