JAMA MAJOLA | 29 January, 2012 00:01
President Robert Mugabe is reliably understood to be planning to retire
after the next elections to pave way for his hand-picked successor, who will
protect his interests and shield him from punishment for human rights
Officials close to Mugabe said the veteran leader, in power for 32 years,
was scheming to win the next elections by all means necessary and hand over
power to a younger leader as part of a strategy to resolve the crisis around
his succession and keep Zanu-PF in power. Mugabe wants elections this year.
Senior Zanu-PF officials told the Sunday Times that Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa, 66, was earmarked to take over from Mugabe, 88, if he
wins the next polls. Mnangagwa, despite his battered reputation due to his
involvement in human rights abuses - mainly the Gukurahundi massacres -
remains a powerful figure in the faction-ridden Zanu-PF.
He is currently battling to succeed Mugabe with State Security Minister
Sydney Sekeramayi and Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, who is now weakened by
the death of her husband General Solomon Mujuru.
Although Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga is
reportedly interested in the top job, he is a close Mnangagwa ally and could
throw his weight behind him if he emerges as the front-runner in the
Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are key members of the Joint Operation Command (Joc),
which brings together the army, police and intelligence chiefs. Joc is the
power behind Mugabe's throne. Insiders say Mugabe's plan has been discussed
with a few specially selected individuals who are expected to drive his
He is said to have requested Zambian President Michael Sata to sell the
proposal to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders who
are increasingly becoming impatient with him.
Last month Mugabe met with Sata for private talks in Livingstone, Zambia.
Insiders say they discussed the SADC political and security situation,
focusing on Zimbabwe. While Mugabe wanted Sata's support, he also hinted his
future plans to secure his backing.
On Wednesday, Mugabe met a few senior officials at the Zanu-PF headquarters
and told them he wanted to quit after the polls. He is said to have hinted
that he wanted to go because he had "had his time" and would like to "make
way for a younger successor".
"The plan is that after the elections the president will retire and hand
over power to a senior party official, who will complete his term while
consolidating himself or herself," a senior official said. "Depending on
what constitution would be in place, how the successor comes in would be
determined by the constitutional and political circumstances, particularly
the outcome of the elections insofar as it concerns the distribution of
seats in parliament and the executive arrangement."
Another official said Mugabe was afraid of retiring without security
guarantees, hence his current manoeuvres. "The president is now making plans
to retire and resolve the succession issue, but only after he gets security
Efforts to get comment from Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo were
unsuccessful. But Sata hinted at Mugabe's plans this week, saying: "There
will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over, but
not someone imposed by the Western countries."
Mnangagwa now seems well placed to take over from Mugabe. As ex-minister of
state security from 1982 to 1988 and justice minister until 2000, it was on
his watch that the Gukurahundi massacres took place .
He was defeated in the 2000 election by the MDC's Blessing Chebundo and lost
his ministerial position. He then became speaker of parliament until 2005.
Following general elections that year, he bounced back as minister of rural
housing, a position he held until 2009 when he was appointed defence
Despite his influence, Mnangagwa's main weaknesses are his bad reputation
and lack of charisma, which have seen him lose several elections for top
positions within Zanu-PF in the past.
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Jan 29 2012 12:21
Fears over Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's advanced age and health are
driving calls from his backers for polls this year to end the country's
unity government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said in an interview.
The 87-year-old veteran, Africa's oldest leader, wants a vote this year
after three tense years of power-sharing forced by bloody elections in 2008,
but is once again at loggerheads with Tsvangirai who demands greater
political reforms first.
"One can see they are running out of time on their candidate. President
Mugabe's health is definitely a serious worry to Zanu-PF," said Tsvangirai
about the ruling party's urgency to get to the ballot box.
"They are worried about the level of divisions that are in the party, that
there's no cohesion in that party. They are too much concerned about
retention of power and not about what they would do for the people of
The unity government, set up after the chaotic 2008 vote crippled the
country, has yanked Zimbabwe from meltdown despite both rivals bluntly
pointing to their arrangement as an unhappy compromise.
Mounting election jockeying has again pushed competitive party interests to
the fore after two years of working to steer Zimbabwe into stable waters.
Tsvangirai wants long-delayed reforms before Zimbabweans cast ballots in the
shadow of a decade of flawed polls, but Zanu-PF is angling for Mugabe, whose
health has been debated in the media, to run again for the top spot this
year, 32 years after taking power.
"He is an old man, he is not getting any younger and I think age is
beginning to tell. But certainly not his ability to think, I think his brain
is very much intact. But his health is telling, his body is frail,"
"If I were any of the key advisors I think he should have packed up and left
The former trade unionist who has faced arrest and beatings, offers biting
observations on his ruling partner in a new autobiography, describing Mugabe
as a "pathological coward" running a "dictatorship".
"This is a relationship that has evolved from acrimony to very serious
polarised positions to a situation where we can work together," he told
Agence France-Presse at his home in a quiet Harare suburb.
"President Mugabe may have seen this as a way of protecting his power, but I
see it more as a response to the plight of the people ... So perhaps we are
entering this coalition from two different perspectives but I'm quite
certain as far as I'm concerned that our objective is noble. That's why we
entered into this coalition government."
Tsvangirai describes a coalition as the worst form of government but says it
was the "best soft-landing arrangement" for Zimbabwe and believes it is not
in danger of collapse.
"We have an irreversible process towards resolving the crisis once and for
all. Why would anyone want to collapse it? To achieve what?" he said.
"I do not foresee anyone recklessly trying to stand up there and collapsing
the government but you never know, you have to provide for it."
Despite holding executive office, a painting of Tsvangirai does not hang
alongside Mugabe's presidential portrait in public offices.
The prime minister has been repeatedly snubbed by Mugabe's refusal to reform
key areas agreed to in their regionally brokered pact.
The security forces continue to be accused of brutality and the state-owned
media remains a Zanu-PF mouthpiece which Tsvangirai says still vilifies him.
"I could easily collapse this GNU [government of national unity] based on
emotional attacks that have taken place, based on frustrations, but are we
solving the long term problems the country is facing?" he asked.
"If this government collapses, what do you replace it with? You replace it
with chaos and uncertainty and all that we have striven to achieve,
stability over the last three years, will go through the window ... So I
think I'm motivated more by the greater objective than these short term
things and they won't bother me. I'll keep my eye on the ball." -- AFP
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Some 40 Heads of State and Government are
participating in the 18th African Union (AU) summit which opened Sunday in
Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, with the President of the National
Conference of the Chinese People's Consultative Political Conference
(CPPCC), Jia Qinglin, attending as special guest.
The summit, whose theme is strengthening intra-African trade, is also
attended by Presidents of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, Sudan's Omar al-Bashir,
the South African Jacob Zuma, the Nigerian Goodluck Jonathan, Gambia’s Yahya
Jammeh, South Sudanese Salva Kir, the Tunisian Marzouki and Libyan Prime
Minister, Abdul Rahim Al-Kaeb.
Also present at the summit are the Ivorian leader, Alassane Ouattara, Idriss
Deby of Chad, Central African Republic’s Francois Bozize, Congo’s Denis
Sassou Nguesso, Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Kenyan President Mwai
Kibaki, Guinea’s Alpha Conde, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Gabon’s Ali Bongo,
Ghana's John Atta Mills, Somali Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Togo’s Faure
Cape Verdean Jorge Carlos Fonseca and Zambia’s Michael Sata are
participating for the first time.
The summit, which is being held in the brand new premises offered by China
to the AU, is marked by absence of Algerian Abdel Aziz Boteflika, Niger’s
Mahamadou Issoufou, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Mauritanian Mohamed Abdel Aziz and
Congo’s Joseph Kabila.
Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure and Senegalese Abdoulaye Wade, facing internal
crisis in their countries, are also not present at the summit which will
focus special attention to infrastructural development in Africa.
The summit, continuing behind closed doors, will also have as key issue the
appointment of a new Chairman of the AU Commission for the next four years.
Two candidates -- incumbent Jean Ping and the former South African Minister
of Foreign Affairs, NKosozana Dlamini-Zuma -- are vying for the position.
The summit is also expected to discuss the report of the Congolese
president, Denis Nguesso Sasssou, on the participation of Africa at the UN
Conference on Sustainable Development, called (Rio 20).
Rwandan President Paul Kagame is expected to present a report on the fourth
High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held from 29 November to 1 December in
Talks will then focus on the report of the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest
Bai Koroma, also president of the 'Committee of Ten' on UN reform, the Habré
case and the transformation of the African Union Commission into an AU
The Heads of State will adopt on Monday, at the end of their deliberation,
decisions and recommendations prepared by the AU Executive Council held
26-28 January in the Ethiopian capital.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Sunday, 29 January 2012 11:40
HARARE - Teachers are the only workers among civil servants who heeded the
call for an industrial strike that was eventually called off on Friday.
While most civil servants working in government reported for duty, teachers
stayed away from schools on Thursday and Friday. The action by the civil
servants marked sharp divisions within their union.
The civil servants workforce stands at 236 000 and teachers comprise half of
them numbering 120 000, creating a deep gap in the strike pushing for salary
Civil servants are demanding $500 which is above the Poverty Datum Line and
have rejected the $240 million which was tabled by government. If shared
among the 236 000 workers the result would be an $84 salary increment.
Government representatives are set to meet with Apex Council leaders on
Tuesday to continue their salary negotiations which started on Wednesday.
On the days of the intended strike, it was business as usual at most
government institutions like the Registrar General’s office, New Government
Complex, Mukwati and Kaguvi buildings with workers attending to their
But teachers heeded the call for a strike and downed tools leaving children
without tutors for their lessons.
Raymond Majongwe, Apex negotiator and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
secretary-general said: “We are disappointed with some government officials,
especially the office workers."
“We are facing challenges as teachers as we are the group in the strike
whole-heartedly. We know that other government workers are benefiting from
corruption and a day lost for them participating in the strike by not coming
to work is a few dollars lost. It is their survival mechanism and we blame
it on government," said Majongwe.
Sifiso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) chief executive
officer and Apex negotiator confirmed that teachers were heeding their call
to strike but it was not being complemented by other civil servants.
“It was a superb response from teachers but it was not the same from other
civil servants, but however, the five-day strike was successful. We know
that other government workers are afraid of victimisation. I cannot speak
on behalf of government workers as this will need their leaders to explain,"
Kudzai Mashininga29 January 2012 Issue No:206
Lecturers at 28 public tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe have gone on strike
demanding salary increases. And the new student grant system, which was
supposed to be funded from diamond sales, is on shaky ground after America
slapped sanctions on local prospecting companies.
On Monday non-university lecturers joined nationwide industrial action by
state employees. On Wednesday the cash-strapped government met with public
sector unions in a bid to end the strike, but the talks collapsed after the
authorities announced that they were prepared to award only a US$7 a month
salary hike. This is way below what workers are demanding.
University lecturers are not on strike as they are far better remunerated.
But those at all 28 polytechnics, teacher colleges and vocational training
centres downed tools, demanding a salary increase consistent with the
poverty line, which is currently pegged at about US$538 as opposed to the
slightly over US$200 a month the lowest-paid lecturers receive.
The strike has been heavily politicised in a nation run by a unity
government led by bitter rivals, ZANU-PF’s Robert Mugabe as president and
Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as prime
When the coalition was set up, Mugabe demanded mostly security portfolios
while Tsvangirai was handed economic portfolios such as the ministries of
finance and of economic development.
Last week, Tsvangirai’s party issued a statement saying that Mugabe was
fuelling the labour unrest in a bid to discredit the MDC, which is also in
charge of the ministries of labour and the public service, ahead of general
elections due to be held this year or in 2013.
“Our grievances are genuine but it’s unfortunate that the issue has been
politicised,” David Dzatsunga, president of the College Lecturers
Association of Zimbabwe (Colaz), told University World News.
“There has been a lot of mudslinging and its now creating the misconception
that we have two governments. There are some who think that the MDC is the
one that is refusing to pay us and others are saying ZANU-PF sponsored the
“All the parties in the government of national unity are insensitive to our
plight. For the past two years nothing has come out.”
Meanwhile, student grants that were announced in the country’s 2012 budget
on the premise that they would be funded from the proceeds of diamond sales,
hang in the balance after the Unites States imposed sanctions on diamond
mining companies in Zimbabwe.
Since 2003 the US, United Kingdom, European Union and other Western
countries have blacklisted Mugabe and his inner circle on the grounds of an
appalling human rights record. They have also targeted state entities deemed
pivotal to prolonging the life of Mugabe’s regime.
However, Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC has since written to
Charles Collyns, the US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, complaining of
the decision in December to target diamond mining companies.
“I want to place it on record that we as the Ministry of Finance, writing on
behalf of the government of Zimbabwe, find your measures contrary to the
spirit of engagement and harmful to the generality of Zimbabweans,” said
Biti in the letter dated 19 December. The letter is in possession of
University World News.
Harare, January 29, 2012 - Feared army boss, Lieutenant General Constantine
Chiwenga has summoned Zanu PF Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac)
co-chair Paul Mangwana to brief the military on developments within the
crisis prone constitution making process.
This has infuriated the MDC component within Copac, which sees conspiracy
behind the clandestine arrangement.
MDC-T Copac co-chair Douglas Mwonzora told Radio VOP weekend the
controversial army chief last week called Mangwana and Walter Chidhakwa,
another Zanu PF loyalist within Copac, to a briefing whose details remain
“We have been advised that the commander of the army has been inviting
members of Copac from Zanu PF to update him on the constitution making
process,” said Mwonzora.
“We think this is a very, very serious thing when the commander of the army
wants to know about what is happening in the constitution. This is clear
interfering with the process by the military. That is of worry to us."
Mwonzora was up in arms saying the meddlesome army boss was abusing his
authority as the most powerful soldier in the country.
“Chiwenga is not the Prime Minister of this country. He is not the
President either. If he wants to know anything about the constitution making
process, he must get things officially from the tripartite management
Zimbabwe’s envisaged new constitution, which has been steeped in controversy
from the start, is a key determinant to both the time and how the country’s
next polls would be conducted.
Irene Petras, director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, a member of
civic society also involved with the constitution making process, says the
behaviour by the military signals insecurity.
"I can’t see how a national process which involves Zimbabweans who are
having diverse opinions and arguing robustly about what should go into a
constitution should involve the army," she said.
Chiwenga and the army top brass have voiced support for President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu PF, which is accused of repeated attempts to collapse the
process after realising some of its views were not captured in the draft
Mwonzora, who is also MDC-T national spokesperson, said the behavior of the
army justifies his party’s continued calls for an overhaul of the country's
“The army and Zanu PF are one,” said Mwonzora, “That is why we have always
insisted on security sector reform. The involvement of the army directly or
indirectly is of concern to us.”
It is not the first time that the army has been found meddling in the
constitution making process.
Copac last year booted out Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba who was
participating as a Zanu (PF) technical advisor to the thematic committee on
Nyikayaramba- has publicly declared his allegiance to Zanu PF.
Bulawayo, January 29, 2012—Police in Lupane, Matabeleland North province
yesterday (Saturday) defied a High Court order by arresting two employees of
the civic organization, Bulawayo Agenda.
The two Bulawayo Agenda employees Busani Ncube and Zansi Mabunda were
arrested and detained at Lupane police station for holding a public meeting
without police permission. Police had initially banned the public meeting
last week but Bulawayo Agenda secured a High Court order giving a green
light to the meeting.
However on Saturday heavily armed police stormed the venue of Bulawayo
Agenda’s public meeting at Lupane Business Centre before arresting Ncube and
Mabunda who is pregnant.
“There were arrested during a public meeting in Lupane despite a court order
which gave them a green light to hold the public meeting,” said Anele Dube,
Bulawayo Agenda’s Information Officer.
When Radio VOP contacted Ncube through his mobile phone and he confirmed the
arrest saying police were still interrogating them. “We have been arrested;
we are still inside the police station and being questioned,” said Ncube.
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Matabeleland North
province is now the most hostile province in the country as police have so
far arrested or harassed more than 40 politicians and human rights activists
since January last year.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in October last year said Matabeleland
North province police are now politicised and applying the law selectively
by harassing and arresting political activists week in week out.
Matabeleland North police have been also preventing Tsvangirai from
campaigning in the province since the run up to the June 27 2008
presidential run-off poll.
Co-Home Affairs Minister, Theresa Makone, who is also an MDC member,
recently said she will approach President Robert Mugabe and Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri over the partisan conduct of the police
especially those in Matabeleland North province.
By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Sunday, 29 January 2012 11:34
HARARE - Revelations by the family of the late retired army general Solomon
Tapfumaneyi Mujuru that it buried his body without confirming his identity,
as well as sharply conflicting witness statements in the ongoing inquest,
have raised fresh questions about whether he was in fact murdered.
Yesterday relatives and close friends of the late general said the inquest
had created a crisis which was threatening to spiral out of control because
of the shocking and contradictory revelations that were emerging.
Mujuru’s widow, Vice President Joice Mujuru, is expected to testify at the
inquest this week, amid allegations by close relatives that they are
convinced that there may be a deliberate attempt to cover up for his death.
“There are many doubts and these have been fuelled by conflicting statements
from witnesses. But the biggest shock has been that the results of the DNA
were not revealed to the family which proceeded to bury what could have been
or might not have been the body of the late retired general.
“This is a sore point which gives all of us the belief that foreign
investigators could unlock the puzzle. It is not the right time for the
family to be speaking about its future steps,” said a family friend of the
On Friday, the ninth day of the inquest, Mujuru’s daughter — Kumbirai
Rungano Mujuru — cast doubts on the exact identity of her father’s body,
whose remains were interred at the National Heroes Acre without conclusive
DNA results of the body.
“The DNA tests results have not been disclosed to the family,” she said.
“On August 24 last year, my blood samples were taken by Dr Fusire and were
referred to Police General Headquarters."
“They said they wanted to match them with my father’s DNA, but I was never
told the results. I didn’t know the body was my father’s. Maybe the police
knew who it was and as family we just accepted it was my father’s remains
and we buried him,” she told the hushed court on Friday.
She had also told the court that at the farm she had seen a “black frame of
the body, skull and shoulders that looked like a human being”.
Dr Fusire admitted to taking blood samples but said he did not know or hear
about the results. He also confirmed handing over blood samples to the
Mujuru’s brother, Joel has also questioned how authorities determined that
the charred remains were the general’s when no test had been conducted
before burial of the body.
Joel also said the family was still not sure whether the person they buried
was that of Retired General Mujuru.
The doubts by the Mujuru family adds more questions about what could have
happened to the decorated former freedom fighter While officially, police at
the time of the announcement of his death said Mujuru was killed by a fire
which might have been started by a candle, his maid Rosemary Short has
drilled holes in that sentiment.
She ruled out the candle conspiracy by telling the court that she did not
leave a matchbox in Mujuru’s bedroom when she left for her quarters and
claimed that there was no way the late general could have carried a matchbox
since he was not a smoker.
An electricity expert who conducted investigations at Mujuru’s farm ruled
out an electrical fault while a fire specialist suggested that the fire
might have been an act of arson.
Some witnesses, including Short and a neighbour, have said they heard
gunshots the night the general is said to have died.
A security guard from a private firm said Mujuru was accompanied to his
house by a male passenger, although a police officer said he entered the
Political analysts say while Mujuru’s death is suspicious, this does not
have much bearing on how Zanu PF will perform in future elections.
Professor Lovemore Madhuku said Mujuru’s death would not be of any
significance to Zanu PF.
“It will not be anything in Zanu PF. You can see that Vice President Joice
Mujuru is not even on leave. You will also remember that the other time she
said she was called by the president while at the inquest. They are not
taking it seriously."
“Zanu PF can only be affected if Mugabe is involved. It is an internal thing
and normally does not affect the party. When Zanu PF loses in the
forthcoming elections, it won’t be about squabbles but that the party can no
longer sell itself to the electorate,” Madhuku told the Daily News on Sunday
Charles Mangongera said that Zanu PF would only be affected by Mujuru’s
death depending on the outcome of the inquest.
“The inquest comes with an outcome that exposes any kind of foul play and it
depends who is fingered. It’s not new in Zanu PF. You remember when
Tongogara died there was suspicion that it was a politically-motivated death
but after that the party soldiered on,” said Mangongera.
He, however, said things could change if another faction within the party
was to be fingered in Mujuru’s death.
“There are obviously factions. We know he (Mujuru) was the power broker in
the Mujuru faction, putting forward his wife."
For instance, if another faction is fingered, I can’t imagine what will
“What we already have is a seeming case of cover-up. They are simply
scratching the surface. I doubt if there is going to be conclusive
evidence,” said Mangongera.
By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Sunday, 29 January 2012 11:47
HARARE - The Harare Magistrates’ Courts which is currently holding the
inquest into the death of the late first black army commander, Retired
General Solomon Mujuru, has suddenly been spruced to receive his widow, Vice
President Joice Mujuru.
The situation at the courts is far from being “usual” for those that
frequent the buildings on a daily basis.
Since the court case began, police are now present in numbers, security is
tighter and proper scrutiny is done on every person that enters the court
On the walls are small posters giving directions to court number eight,
where the inquest is being held.
Inside the court building, police barricade court number eight, passers-by
are not allowed to pass through without proper verification of who they are
and where they are going.
Cleaners are seen mopping floors; while toilets are cleaned regularly to
maintain good hygiene.
This is unlike every other day before the inquest began when cleaning of the
toilets was not done so frequently on a single day.
Some toilet facilities which were not functional before the inquest were
repaired and thoroughly cleaned.
Outside the court building the view looks marvellous too.
Plants surrounding the court buildings are neatly trimmed to ensure clear
visibility of the area by security personnel, while the grass is nicely cut.
Police are always seen milling around the courts to ensure maximum security
in case of possible chaos.
A car park which now has neatly marked parking bays that magistrates
normally park their vehicles is empty, giving way for Vice President Joice
Upon arrival, she enters the court building flanked by bodyguards, as nicely
dressed police officers line up on both sides of the way to court number
Upon her appearance in court, before court business resumes, all the people
present will stand up in honour of the humble vice president.
If she arrives when the court is already in session, notwithstanding her
political standing, she bows her head in respect of the court before finding
This is one of the unusual things that have happened at the Harare
Magistrates’ Courts after a very long period.
In the court room, there are sections for close relatives and friends while
members of the public have their own section.
Media personnel are also allocated their own place to sit.
There are also other family members who have sacrificed their everyday
duties to be part of the proceedings for the past two weeks.
The presence of splendid-looking police officers manning the perimeter of
the court, confirm that a high-profile case is underway.
Only a few people can be accommodated in the court room, which is always
fully-packed at any given time.
The court, where the inquest is being held, is always thoroughly cleaned,
with cobwebs that usually hang on the roof conspicuously absent.
The floors are polished with red polish and the furniture changed to
accommodate the VIP dignitaries that include Mujuru and her close family and
Bottled water is served on all court officials and the Mujuru family
members, while on good days they also get refreshments.
This is a court session with a difference.
As the vice president makes her way out of the court building, hordes of
people parade on the sides of the guarded entrance to catch a glimpse of one
of Zimbabwe’s leaders.
Journalists jostle to get a word or two from the VP, while photo-journalists
stampede to take pictures, with security personnel fighting hard to ensure
War veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba and Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo
made guest appearances during some of the court sessions.
Thirty-one witnesses have so far testified in the inquest, while forensic
scientists are still expected to testify.
The inquest is being conducted in terms of Section 6 of the Inquest Act
which reads: “The proceedings and evidence at an inquest shall be directed
solely to ascertaining (a) who the deceased was, (b) how, when and where the
deceased came to death.”
The presiding magistrate sitting as a coroner will then confirm the death
was sudden or order further investigations or cause the opening of a
criminal case depending on his findings.
Family members are accorded the opportunity to ask questions if they need
any clarifications on certain aspects of the witnesses’ account that they
did not understand.
Bulawayo, January 29, 2012 - The co-minister in the organ of National
Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI), Moses Mzila Ndlovu has said
not all Gukurahundi perpetrators will escape prosecution as the operation is
now classified as genocide by the international community.
Addressing over 50 people who attended the Gukurahundi Commemorations at a
Baptist Church in Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon, Ndlovu said all efforts to
bring the world’s attention to the massacres that the Catholic Commission
for Justice and Peace (CCJP) estimates killed over 20 000 people have
succeeded as the world is now paying attention.
“At an international level, we have recorded success as we have managed to
get it (Gukurahundi) recognised as a genocide. It’s an achievement. I know
that amongst the people who planned and executed it, they think they will
die before they are arrested for it.
“But I want to assure you that one of the perpetrators of Gukurahundi will
face trial someday. That some people will be arrested make no doubt about
it. With or without us who are here today, it (arrest) will happen,” he
The internationally recognised group, Genocide Watch in September 2010
announced that the Gukurahundi massacres were now classified as genocide.
At the time, Genocide Watch’s chairperson, Professor Gregory Stanton, said
the classification meant that the perpetrators can be prosecuted no matter
how much time has passed.
On Saturday, Mzila Ndlovu said, the people of Matabeleland should continue
speaking about the injustice of Gukurahundi, “Even if they threaten us with
death, we should continue speaking about it. We know what they are capable
of. Beyond death, there is nothing else they can scare us with”.
The commemorations were organised by the pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu
for the fourth year running.
The commemorations that were supposed to have been held last week at Stanley
Hall in Makokoba, Bulawayo, were postponed to this Saturday after police in
Bulawayo refused to grant permission that the pressure group go ahead with
MARK SCOFIELD | 29 January, 2012 00:01
As Zimbabwe's main political parties prepare to square off in an election,
the country's top political figures are stepping up efforts to woo young
Voters aged between 18 and 30 years old will make up nearly 60% of the
voters in the next poll, according to the Zimbabwe Election Commission.
This statistic seems not to have troubled President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party, which in December endorsed Mugabe, who turns 88 years old next month,
as its presidential candidate - despite indications that the election will
either be won or lost among youth voters.
Indications from Zanu-PF insiders are that the party's national commissar,
Webster Shamu, who is responsible for organising party structures, now has
his eyes firmly set on targeting the youth voters.
Observers say the move will be a "tough sell" for a Zanu-PF led by an ageing
Already, infighting within Zanu-PF's youth wing has flared up, with
provincial youth leaders opposed to being led by the 60-year-old Absalom
"We can't go for elections with a youth leader who is old enough to be our
grandfather. How will he mobilise the youth? Zanu-PF needs to create a
vibrant youth wing like the African National Congress in South Africa," said
a Zanu-PF national youth leader.
He added: "It needs a youth league which is powerful, and to have a powerful
youth wing, we need a young leader who speaks our language; someone we can
identify with and someone who is one of us".
In contrast to Sikhosana, the youth leaders of the Morgan Tsvangirai and
Welshman Ncube-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties, Solomon
Madzore and Gideon Mandaza, are aged 35 and 29 years old respectively.
With little prospect of leadership renewal taking place in Zanu-PF, the
party has instead opted to go on a charm offensive to attract youth support,
while maintaining its cabal of old leaders.
The push to re-invent Mugabe and Zanu-PF has been most visible in the past
two years and has included courting local celebrity youth stars, such as
Munyaradzi Chidzonga, the runner-up in the 2010 Big Brother Africa (BBA)
contest, as "youth ambassadors" for Mugabe.
In addition, Mugabe has been featured rapping in music videos, and recently
gave the green light to the launch of a clothing label, "House of Gushungo"
that bears his signature - a ploy to cast Mugabe as being in touch with
Meanwhile, as Zanu-PF busies itself with an image makeover, the MDC hopes to
make inroads to the youths and deliver "bread and butter" promises of jobs,
education and food, top concerns for the majority of the country's youth.
Lawrence Mashungu, the Zimbabwe Youth Agenda Trust Programme Officer, said
this week: "The Youth must resist being used as a tool for violence by an
elderly leadership which cares little for their long-term benefits".
Gwanda, January 29, 2012 – Hundreds of people mainly from the rural areas
besieged Gwanda Hospital Saturday to receive free treatment from the
National Healthcare Trust of Zimbabwe (NHTZ) and its partners with many
patients urging government to scrap medical fees at its health institutions.
“The large number of people who have come here is evident that many in
Zimbabwe cannot access basic healthcare because of fees charged at
hospitals, in a country like ours were the majority are jobless government
should consider offering free healthcare to such people,” said Milos Dube
after consulting a doctor.
The majority of people who spoke to Radio VOP said they had been unwell for
some time now but could not go to hospital due to prohibitive costs.
“They (NHTZ) should come here more often maybe we might get well,” said a 78
year old Thenjiwe Ncube who travelled from rural Gwanda to have her eyes
The National Healthcare Trust of Zimbabwe is a strategic partnership amongst
various non-state actors including Econet who came together in direct
response to the need to strengthen the capacity of the country’s ailing
health delivery system.
Since 2008 it mobilised resources in response to the devastating cholera
outbreak which claimed several lives.
By Staff Writer
Sunday, 29 January 2012 11:56
HARARE - In A bizarre rant, controversial Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe advisor
Munyaradzi Kereke has threatened the fast-growing weekly newspaper, the
Weekend Post, and one of its senior writers, Gift Phiri.
The recently launched upmarket weekly, published on Fridays, angered the
maverick RBZ aide after it carried excerpts of a WikiLeaks cable filed in
September 2007 in its latest edition, in which Kereke allegedly alerted US
embassy officials to instability within the security sector then.
In an odd and ominous letter of complaint to Phiri and the paper on Friday,
Kereke inexplicably sought to draw into the matter President Robert Mugabe,
defence minister Emerson Mnangagwa and the country’s notoriously belligerent
and partisan security chiefs, by copying them his missive.
He also sent his letter to the commander of the armed forces Constantine
Chiwenga, police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri, the
director-general of the Central Intelligence Organisation Happyton
Bonyongwe, and attorney general Johannes Tomana.
Curiously, Kereke did not copy his letter to Governor Gideon Gono, despite
being the RBZ boss’s aide, and using an official central bank letterhead.
“I have read your above-mentioned story which alleges that you have a unique
Wikileak specifically on me, which was downloaded by a single individual,
with special powers and codes, etc, suggesting that the world over, this
particular Wikileak was designed only for Kereke and is a unique cable
different from all the others in the world and can only be accessed by your
alleged one person only for your newspaper.
“May you please take note that your very potentially damaging story is based
on nothing but lies, a fact that you yourself know, meant to deliberately
soil my good name and possibly set me up for even worse things to happen to
me and my family."
“Having used the shoddily manufactured purported Wikileak, you deliberately
had no decency to call me or write me a questionnaire or even sms me as is
expected in your profession to get my side on your cooked-up story before
you went to print,” Kereke ranted.
“Fortunately, I had been tipped of your sting project that you are busy
working on, under guidance from people very close to me here at the RBZ and
in the ministry of Finance 4 days ago before you dropped your ‘bomb’ today.
Knowing that cheap lies are meant to cause needless panic and confusion, I
chose to ignore this, waiting to see what you were going to come up with.
“By way of professional advice, please avoid being used to put innocent
lives in danger or to seek to deliberately create misunderstandings among
cordial institutions and people.
“Please inform your sources of this unique ‘WikiLeak’ downloaded by a
special single intelligence official for your eyes only to try another
trick,” Kereke added in his cryptic letter."
The Weekend Post said yesterday it stood by its story, adding that Kereke’s
“incomprehensible” letter was clearly meant to “instil the fear of God” in
both Phiri and the paper."
“If that is Kereke’s intention then it obviously will not work. Why
President Mugabe, the military and CIO, as well as Tomana should be drawn
into such a trivial private matter escapes us, if it’s not to instil the
fear of God in us."
“The ghosts and wildly bizarre conspiracies that Kereke conjures up about
our intentions, as well as our alleged manufacturing of the very public
cable that seemingly caused him to lose his marbles gob smacks us. We tried
to get a comment from him, to no avail, on more than three occasions, a fact
we clearly stated in the report,” the paper said.
Gono could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba’s mobile was unavailable amid reports
he was accompanying the President at the African Union summit currently
underway in Addis Ababa.
Director of Army Public Relations Lt. Col. Alphious Makotore declined to
comment on Kereke’s letter, referring questions to army spokesperson Col
Everson Mugwisi, whose phone remained unavailable yesterday.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena was asked whether Chihuri had received
the letter and what the police’s interest in the matter was, but the
connection was bad.
Subsequent calls to his mobile were futile as his mobile remained
Tomana, who was also copied the letter, was also unreachable for comment
The Daily News on Sunday reproduces below the full cable that the Weekend
Post quoted in its story.
... P 101622Z SEP 07
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 000822
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2016
TAGS: ECON PGOV ASEC ZI
SUBJECT: CABINET PANEL CONCEDES PRICE BLITZ DISASTER, GONO
APPEALS TO MUGABE TO REVERSE POLICY
REF: HARARE 0795
Classified By: Deputy Pol/Econ Chief Frances Chisholm under Section 1.4
b/d ------- Summary -------
1. (C) A Cabinet panel reviewing the operation of the Taskforce on Price
Monitoring and Stabilization learned on September 5 that the crackdown had
had a disastrous effect on the supply of food and goods and was also
fomenting unrest across the country, according to Munyaradzi Kereke, Senior
Advisor to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gono.
As economic woes worsened and foreign exchange inflows dried up, “friendly”
states were demanding strict credit terms on loan facilities, and the GOZ
could no longer maintain the cycle of forward selling of commodities.
Meanwhile, the supplementary budget, announced by the Finance ministry on
September 6, had gross omissions and unrealistic estimates on both the
revenue and expenditure sides.
Kereke also criticised the prohibition ) an effective wage freeze —
announced on August 31 against indexing wages and other fees to the consumer
price index; it breached the terms of wage negotiations among government,
labor and business, and further fomented social unrest.
2. (C) Gono,s senior advisor said the RBZ Governor had reported to President
Mugabe on September 7 the “explosive situation” within the defence force
resulting from dire shortages of food and goods that Gono and Kereke had
observed in a countrywide tour of military installations on September.
3. Gono intended to advise President Mugabe during a September 10 meeting to
suspend the price control blitz, “dehorn” the Taskforce, and re-engage with
labor and the business community.
End Summary Cabinet Review Panel Finds Taskforce Operation a Disaster
4. (C) Kereke told econoff on September 11 that Christian Katsande,
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and International Trade, and
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri reported on September 5 to a Cabinet
Review Panel on the operation of the Taskforce on Price Monitoring and
Stabilisation that: — Shortages of goods and services continued to worsen; —
Rural people were most adversely affected; — Most companies had
significantly scaled down production; Beef shortages were still critical;
The price crackdown had caused economic contraction; Some Taskforce members
were pursuing “personal agendas”
outside the mandate of the Taskforce; and -- Foreign exchange was
Kereke said Chihuri told the Review Panel that the defence forces were at a
“tipping point” of discontent.
HARARE 00000822 002 OF 004 Less and Less to Sell Forward
4. (C) At the same time, foreign exchange inflows to the RBZ have dwindled
to US$3 million/week against an “absolute minimum” requirement of US$700
million from now until year end, or an average of over $40 million/week.
With the “write off” of this year’s winter wheat crop, for example, Zimbabwe
needed to import 350 000 - 400 000 tons of wheat at a time of sky-high world
The RBZ’s “hand-to-mouth” practice since 2005 of selling commodities forward
had “caught up” with the Bank, Kereke said, as prices rose and domestic
production of commodities dwindled.
He admitted, for example, that the RBZ was still about $20 million in
arrears to Zimbabwe’s gold producers and production had consequently fallen
Nevertheless, the RBZ was about to seal the second round of a $50 million
fuel deal with Equatorial Guinea.
Kereke lamented the extremely tight financing terms, involving payment in
gold, that Equatorial Guinea and other “friendly” states were demanding.
Supplemental Budget - Rife with Errors and Omissions
5. (C) Kereke showed econoff a letter Gono had sent Finance Minister Samuel
Mumbengegwi one day after the announcement of a supplemental budget on
September 6 (septel).
In the letter, Gono pointed out to the Finance Minister significant
omissions and miscalculations in the budget request.
Gono noted, for example, that Zimbabwe needed an additional Z$5 trillion for
food imports this year, not Z$800 million as requested; he also suggested
there was a 30-35 percent “underperformance risk” in planned tax revenue
collection until year end.
Kereke said the RBZ had calculated that, if not reined in, the heavy hand of
the Pricing Taskforce would cost Zimbabwe Z$15-20 trillion in tax revenue in
Q3 and Q4 2007, which Mumbengegwi had failed to take into account. Nor had
Mumbengegwi adequately factored in the immense cost of servicing new
Kereke said that the Finance Minister had only consulted with Gono on one
issue — the announced devaluation from Z$250:USD to Z$30,000:USD ) as he
prepared the supplementary budget. (Note: The parallel market rate is
Z$260,000:USD. End note.
Prohibition on Indexing Wages/Fees Breeds More Discontent
6. (C) Kereke added that the prohibition, announced on August 31, against
indexing wages and other fees to the consumer price index or to any foreign
exchange rate (an effective wage freeze at a time of widespread suffering)
breached the terms of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) and the “social
contract” agreed earlier this year among government, labor and business.
It also increased the threat of social unrest.
He did not believe that the nominal tax relief in the supplemental budget in
the form of a higher tax-free threshold and wider income tax brackets
adequately relieved the tax burden on the poor.
He warned, “if you try to suffocate discontent, it will explode.”
HARARE 00000822 003 OF 004
Tour of Military Barracks Reveals “Explosive Situation”
7. (C) Kereke also said that he and Gono, accompanied by Army Commander
General Constantine Chiwenga, had toured military installations around the
country on September 4.
They observed, and Gono subsequently reported to Mugabe, an “explosive
situation”among defense forces resulting from dire shortages of food an
goods. He said senior military officials had asked Gono — “because the
Governor has the President’s ear” — to inform Mugabe of the crisis and to
tell him that his security was in jeopardy.
Kereke said Mugabe was “jolted” by the news and the photographs of
deprivation in the report that Gono presented to him and which Kereke showed
econoff. He reportedly asked Gono, “Why do my ministers lie to me?”
Gono Advises Mugabe to Suspend Taskforce
8. (C) Gono planned to meet Mugabe, at the President’s request, on September
10 and make the following recommendations: Immediately suspend the Price
Taskforce’s aggressive campaign; Clip Taskforce Chairman Obert Mpofu’s wings
(but without firing him because it would upset the ethnic balance ahead of
an election — Mpofu belongs to the minority Ndebele tribe); “Dehorn” the
Taskforce by scaling it back to regulate prices only for the three
previously controlled and 16 previously monitored products; Re-engage labor
and the business community on the social contract; and Index wages to the
Poverty Datum Line.
Kereke was upbeat that his boss had the necessary influence to sway Mugabe,
and maintained that National Security Minister Didymus Mutsa, a Mugabe
intimate and member of the policy-maing Joint Operations Command, shared
Gono’s take the disaster at hand.
Kereke admitted, however that Gono had not been able to override Mumbenggwi’s
vociferous objection with Mugabe to the introduction of a “U.N. foreign
exchange rate” (reftel).
He judged that the damage to the economy since June was so deep that it
would take a year to recover.
9. (C) The erratic policy shifts of the last weeks all indicate a ship out
of control; the GOZ has lurched from gradual back pedaling on price controls
in mid-August, to a veritable wage freeze a week ago, then a 20 percent
across-the-board price hike, followed by a risible supplementary budget days
later in the face of empty state coffers and collapsing production.
The next days will tell whether Gono has the clout to sway Mugabe to start
to put the brakes on Zimbabwe’s most recent plunge into economic madness.
As confident as Kereke may be about a policy shift, clearly not all the
policy influencers are on his side; he pleaded as we bade farewell, “please,
please do not e-mail me; I am being hacked.” DHANANI
By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Sunday, 29 January 2012 11:44
HARARE - Environmental Management Agency (Ema) is engaged in talks with a
Chinese investor over the controversial multimillion dollar construction at
an area preserved under the Environmental Management Act.
A Chinese investor invited by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is
constructing a 300-roomed five-star hotel on a wetland between Belvedere and
National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Ema spokesperson Steady Kangata who earlier told the Daily News on Sunday
that they were willing to take legal action against the investing firm if it
fails to adhere to their order to stop construction on the restricted land
now, says the outcome of the talks can go either way depending on what is
“The result can be negative or positive to them, it is 50/50 really,” said
Asked why the construction is still going on even after Ema sued City of
Harare over the same issue Kangata said they could not impose a decision on
“We are doing everything according to law. It is a process. We finished with
City of Harare and they pleaded guilty, now we are engaging with the
proponent” he said.
However, Kangata had earlier told the Daily News on Sunday that: “Section 3
of the Environmental Management Act supersedes all, so no matter how they
acquired the land, it will not matter.
“Wetlands are ecological areas protected by law. The constructions going on
at the area are illegal, if they do not stop, the structures will face
demolition because we are going to take action against it,” he said then.
Wetlands are preserved as they control the micro-environmental system; they
purify dirty water, and are a crucial element in flood control.
This comes at a time when Zimbabwe is expecting major floods this rainy
Comments about Morgan Tsvangirai by the new Zambian President Michael
Sata show how far the MDC has to go to secure the understanding – let alone
support – of our neighbours in SADC. Far from being a new broom, Sata – a former
platform sweeper at London’s Victoria Station – made it clear in an interview
with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that he was not interested in sorting out the
rubbish in Zimbabwe (see: 'Humiliating' work as Victoria station porter helped Michael Sata become
Zambia's president – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zambia/
‘Tsvangirai is a stooge of the West’ he said, going on to suggest that everything was ok in Zimbabwe and no reforms were necessary to ensure free and fair elections. His attitude perhaps explains why SADC has still not sent the three representatives it promised last June to sort out JOMIC. One of the three was to have been from Zambia. Perhaps he is being delayed for a cram course in sweeping things under the carpet.
We at the Vigil have come to the conclusion that nothing can be hoped for from SADC – but we are nevertheless puzzled why the MDC has not managed to explain things to Sata. He persuades us that the time has come to present our petition: ‘A Petition to European Union Governments: We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial. We urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend government to government aid to all SADC countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the starving in Zimbabwe.’
It has been signed by many thousands of people who have passed by the Vigil and support our view that tax payers in the UK should not be expected to give hundreds of millions to governments that are not interested in human rights in Zimbabwe. We also demand that Sata returns his broom to Victoria Station.
· Vigil supporters were reminded that a ROHR general meeting is to be held next week (see ‘Events and Notices’). A couple of responses to our mailshot about the meeting show that some of our supporters do not know about the Vigil’s relationship with ROHR. The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) was started by the Vigil in 2007 growing out of the need to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR has been seriously decampaigned in recent months and the Vigil has to ensure that correct information is circulated to its supporters so they know what’s going on. As you know, Zanu PF and the CIO are prepared to throw a lot of resources into undermining human rights activists including paying people to decampaign human rights organisations.
· Supporters were also reminded about the forum after next week’s Vigil. The Vigil management team is hoping that many people will attend our first joint gathering with ROHR and Zimbabwe We Can. We hope this will become a platform to discuss activism that will produce real change for a free Zimbabwe. We plan future forums on the first Saturday of every month. For details see ‘Events and Notices’ section.
· Talking about activism, Gene Sharp author of ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’ is speaking in London at the Frontline Club on Monday – unfortunately the event is fully booked. However you can download his book from this link: http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf. According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12522848), Dr Sharp is credited with the strategy behind the toppling of the Egyptian government. One of his points of particular resonance for Zimbabweans is that negotiation with dictators is of limited value because it legitimises brutal regimes. Zimbabweans should consider adopting a strategy of political defiance on the lines suggested by Gene Sharp.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 56 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011-. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
· ROHR general meeting. Saturday 4th February from 1 – 4 pm. The meeting is being called to elect a new UK Executive. All ROHR members and those interested in joining ROHR are welcome to attend. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· First Joint ZimVigil, ROHR and Zimbabwe We Can Forum. Saturday 4th February from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel, 143 Strand, WC2R 1JA. For directions see above entry. Future joint forums to be held after the Vigil on the first Saturday of each month.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.