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Zim to consult citizens on new charter

by Own Correspondent Monday 04 January 2010

HARARE - A special parliamentary committee leading Zimbabwe's constitutional
reform process is today expected to begin gathering citizens' views and
ideas they want included in the new governance charter.

All parliamentarians have been summoned to Harare for a meeting today to
determine their specific roles in the public outreach programme that should
be completed over the next 65 days according to one of the three chairmen of
the constitutional committee, Douglass Mwonzora.

Mwonzora said: "The public consultation will be completed within 65 days. We
should be able to complete the process in time although we are two months

"We got US$43 million from treasury for the whole exercise, but we will get
extra funding from (Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric) Matinenga's
ministry which has an extra slot for the financing requirements of the

The constitutional committee's work had since last year stalled due to a
lack of funds, while sharp differences between Zimbabwe's three governing
parties over the writing of the new constitution also helped slow down the

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party has said any new constitution should
be based on a draft constitution secretly authored by the three political
parties on Lake Kariba and known as the Kariba Draft.

However, civic organisations and the MDC party of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai are opposed to it, saying the document leaves largely untouched
the wide-sweeping powers that Mugabe continues to enjoy even after formation
of a power-sharing government with Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur

The proposed new constitution is part of the September 2008 power-sharing
deal between Zimbabwe's three main political parties that gave birth to the
country's coalition government last February.

According to the set time frames, the draft consultation should be ready by
mid June.

The draft constitution will be put before the electorate in a referendum
expected in July and if approved by Zimbabweans will then be brought before
Parliament for enactment.

Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is
expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government

Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee basic freedoms,
strengthen Parliament and limit the President's immense powers. - ZimOnline

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Zim weighs options to pay off debt

    January 03 2010 at 11:34AM

Zimbabwe is considering mortgaging its mineral wealth to offset the
country's $5.4 billion (R57bn) debt owed to multilateral donor agencies, a
government report says.

The Ministry of Finance report said various options were being considered
for paying off the external debt, an essential step to secure new financing
from lenders for 2010/2012.

"A key conditionality for unlocking new financing of $7.5bn to $10bn...
evolves around the development of a Debt Relief and Arrears Clearance
Strategy for the country's external debt overhang of $5.4bn, of which $3.8bn
is in arrears," the report said.

Also under consideration was using internal revenue resources, asking for
debt restructuring from the Paris Club of lender nations or "going through
the Highly Indebted Poor Country route for debt forgiveness", the report

The government, in co-operation with major creditors, will undertake
in-depth studies on the various options to come up with a "sustainable debt
management and clearance solution which balances the interests of the
country and its creditors", it added.

Zimbabwe has vast mineral resources, but the sector has been set back by a
near decade of political and economic instability worsened by hyperinflation
and power cuts.

According to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the country will need $45bn to
restore its economic performance to levels seen in 1996/7. Zimbabwe's
economy has contracted every year since then, but is expected to grow 4.7
percent this year after the local currency was abandoned in January and a
unity government took office the following month.

President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980, was
forced into the power-sharing arrangement with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai following disputed elections last year.

The deal, known as the Global Political Agreement, remains shaky due to a
raft of disputes over key jobs and claims that Tsvangirai's supporters
remain the target of official persecution, while Zanu-PF is insisting that
Tsvangirai abandon calls for sanctions. - Sapa-AFP

           This article was originally published on page 9 of Sunday
Independent on January 03, 2010

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Chaos erupts at Beitbridge Border Post

Carmen Reddy | 10 Hours Ago

Motorists and police have clashed at the Beitbridge Border Post in Limpopo
after officials apparently closed the post.

Motorists are also complaining about border officials demanding bribes.

Travellers trying to make their way from Zimbabwe into South Africa say Home
Affairs officials have stopped processing people.

They say the offices at the border have been closed since Saturday.

He said police began spraying people with hot water and pepper spray in an
effort to control the crowd.

"The office is closed because Home Affairs officials cannot deal with the
crowd at the moment, they need an orderly queue. That orderly queue was
there until the officials started accepting money from the visitors to have
their passports processed through the back door," he said.

Home Affairs is yet to comment.


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Beitbridge reopened

Carmen Reddy | 3 Hours Ago

People travelling to South Africa over the weekend reported that the
Beitbridge border post was reopened on Sunday afternoon.

The reports came after some travelers complained that they were denied
access to the country between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

That is when Eyewitness News received calls of chaos at the South
Africa/Zimbabwe border.

Some claimed the trouble began when officials demanded bribes.

A scuffle allegedly broke out when people became frustrated; it is
understood police had to be called in to restore calm.

The Department of Home Affairs was unavailable for comment.


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Betty Makoni reacts, unleashes a salvo

Sunday, 03 January 2010 17:14

Below we publish Girl Child boss Betty Makoni's statement on circumstances
surrounding the organisation.

Dear friends
I have picked up a number of on-line newspapers whose information is
inaccurate,speculative, rumuored and confusing to most of our supporters and
we will do everything possible to set record straight because our work for
Girl Child Network Worldwide must move on .We have a vision and mission more
compelling and we hold such closest to our hearts.

I have seen a number of women and men being quoted by the media on various
issues on operations of GCNW and wish to inform members of the public that
these are not anywhere in our structures .I have tried to follow up on their
stories on Tare the girl with a tumour I personally got to help with support
from many stakeholders and I have concluded that it is just an individual
like police here have said to me trying to manipulate the public and using
on-line newspapers for personal agenda .We have tracked the sources being
quoted and found out that nowhere do we have such individuals as official
representatives of GCNW as co Founder members.

I have checked all minutes of meetings recently held with trustees when I
was away and I have one on resolution on GCNW Leadership transition and
another on appointment of new GCNW trustees. As GCNW President I have a
specific role assigned to me by trustees and that's the role I am currently
playing .On 1 September trustees assigned Priscilla Nyathi role Volunteer
Director of programs who reports to the President and this was officially
confirmed by chair of trustees to her .I have found out that trustees are
through with GCNW Business plan for 2010 to 2015 as discussed at strategic
meeting of 1 to 3 September 2009 and this was done in the presence of 10
high professionals and an expert international facilitator who helped come
up with GCNW structure and can confirm new roles and responsibilities
assigned to us.

I have seen all communication sent to us by various stakeholders and none
suggest GCNW is at war with anyone and in fact many letters and cheque
donations we have follow the CNN hero award and there are thousands of
congratulatory messages especially from USA .I have seen minutes of meetings
to monitor Tare and nowhere has it been said she is a pauper. I have
thoroughly gone through all our bank statements and found all funds
professionally transferred to hospital. I have seen bank statements with
withdrawals and each program outline done is very clear how the funds were

I have received a report from Tare mum and I have studied how she spent 2073
pounds in the last three weeks I was away .I have been notified there is a
second operation and GCNW has finished with first operation and so we want
to make a formal press release to update the public but if one visits our
website this statement has already been made and its clear where Tare case
stands .I have been informed by the journalist working on Tare documentary
that soon it will be out just to show how her journey to treatment and
healing has been(there is possibility this will be shown on BBC ) .

So the information I have with me in our offices based at the Dove project
is not what is reported in the media at the moment .We have a media policy
and confidentiality and data protection policy since we deal with vulnerable
girls and I can see how seriously violated these have been something I
urgently need to work to correct as President of GCNW .I have already called
for six meetings with all our volunteers including the one giving out press
statements and whereas everyone in GCNW has attended the meetings ,one
volunteer has not turned up which has made it very hard to understand why
and so we are trying to see what information has been let loose and which
information has not been properly packaged for public consumption so that a
team of volunteers can help correct it and stop further damage .Some emails
being posted on the internet cannot be forwarded to a third party or sent
out as press releases because most of it is work in progress.

Girl Child Network Worldwide had a strategic plan meeting in Essex on 1 to 3
September and agreed that from 1 September 2009 the structure of the
organisation will have the following 5 Trustees -one coming from each
continent and so far we have 3 trustees who are highly respectable and
highly qualified women who have experience and knowledge of managing
charitable organisations-we have one American ,one British and one Canadian
and all appointments were done by chair of trustees as provided in our deed
of trust .There are still two vacancies for trustees .So at governance level
the chair and leader is Leanne Grossmann who is based in the USA and she has
made appointments of two trustees already . There are other trustees we have
heard about through the media but we have seen none of them in our
structures and so this needs to be corrected urgently .On 8 November 2009
,we had a special meeting as required by our deed of trust .As GCNW we have
started registering other chapters for GCNW in preparation for Million
Dollar Campaign ......

Many people have called me to ask how Priscilla is linked to GCNW and since
I cant respond to each and every email and phone call, let me give a quick
brief .When I came to the UK, my sister in law introduced me to Priscilla
Nyathi and told me she was very interested in joining GCNW .On 29 April 2009
I met with Priscilla and we had a very good meeting where I shared with her
what we want to do in England with GCNW and how we feel replication of GCNW
here could help girls worldwide .I explained to her that I had worked since
September 2007 with Leanne Grossmann to ensure GCNW is replicated throughout
the world because many girls and women inspired with my work wanted to form
girls clubs .Priscilla said she was interested in joining but I just want to
say by the time I met with Priscilla GCNW had been formed and I had pro bono
lawyers in London who had started helping with registration of GCNW as a
charity and I invited her to join as a trustee.

The team of pro bono lawyers who offered to help with registration of GCNW
and I signed an agreement on how they could render their support of which
they were very professional and insisted this matter was confidential
between them and GCNW and the name cannot be used or mentioned anywhere in
connection with this help l .I invited Priscilla and myself to sign as
trustees and so I became chair of trustees .As we got more advice we
realised that we were not acting like trustees but we found ourselves doing
day to day running of the organisation especially in trying to get an
institutional grant to set the organisation. I contacted one of our donors
in USA who gave us a grant for institutional capacity building for GCNW and
this donor has worked with me and GCN Zimbabwe for six years .GCNW explained
to our donor that GCNW was to be set up with the help of Leanne as a trustee
and that I would be unpaid President and CEO whilst Priscilla would be
volunteer Director of Programs since she was so keen to be involved .So I
have known Priscilla for only 4 months and to be frank I cant say since we
met there is a day we disagreed on anything and we have been seen at the
Dove project many times.

When I came back from the USA I learnt of so many comments on the internet
and like everyone else I am not sure what happened during the time I was
away and how GCNW got linked to all these other networks and how Priscilla
is linked to them and I am not so sure who pulled out receipts from our
offices and many filed documents to put on the internet and am I now know
what the motive behind all this is .Many people who called said I should say
something to defend my self and to counter the defamatory statements . Women
like Barbara and Priscilla have their own privacy and they must be protected
and I will never be naive to pass on defamatory statements on any leader
because I have no capacity to do so and that's not my focus .I cant even do
any action against any leader because that is not the mandate of GCNW -OUR

On 8 November 2009 myself and Priscilla stepped down as trustees and there
is a resolution that we passed to let Leanne and another trustee take over
whilst we focus on rolling out of our business plan and fund-raising for
GCNW as it has become apparent girls are in dire need of help especially in
Zimbabwe .We also agreed we could set up a Girls Empowerment and Education
Fund to help girls like Tare and many others in need of urgent help .The
fact that by then I had been nominated top ten CNN hero made everything to
do with fund-raising easier especially in linking me up with potential
donors and this is despite the fact that Zimbabwe newspapers and some
Zimbabweans whom I know personally had started a smear campaign against me
targeted to scuttle the CNN Vote .I had lots of good contacts who really
understood me and trusted the fact that I deliver to the girls and so they
followed me and made donations and helped in the CNN Vote as well as
strategic plan for GCNW .Of course the defamatory statements passed on the
internet affected me a lot but this did not stop me from going on on
mobilising resources for Tare and other girls because by then the girls
emailed me desperately to help.

On 29 August 2009 ,Dove project in South End on sea,Essex ,England which is
a project helping women in domestic violence agreed to host GCNW and share
office space with us but previously they had given me an office to operate
from whilst I wait to get the first grant from a trusted donor I have worked
with for over six years .I have worked very well with leaders from the Dove
project and they are the ones who have volunteered with communication and
setting up an office for me .They organised an open day where all
stakeholders in South End were invited to meet with me and I presented on my
work even at the Mayor`s residence .Of course to all stakeholders in Essex
and England I explained my reason for leaving Zimbabwe and the fact that
world over girls wanted to see GCNW work move on and so at the Dove project
I have great friends who work with me and they are the ones helping set up
GCNW .They are fully aware of everything going on and they have also
recieved envelopes and envelopes on defamatory information circulating on
the internet but since they have all facts on the whole smear campaign they
have been supportive to ensure one day it ends.

So GCNW structure as from 1 September 2009 is as follows ;3 Trustees and
Leanne Grosman is Chair of trustees .The trustees appointed me to be
President and CEO(Non paid because we dont have resources to pay staff at
the moment as 100% of our money goes to girls directly).Prisciallah has
always volunteered in GCNW as Director of programs from 1 September 2009
.Priscillah is also now full time Trainee Business Advisor with SAVS as she
serves on the Zimbabwe Network in South end on sea where GCNW is also a
member .This project she is currently working on will in future help women
from Black and Minority groups to set up businesses and as far as I know she
has given this a lot of time and has been on training since October 2009 .
Since we both volunteer we decide what time to spend on GCNW and on other
projects elsewhere but I am full time unpaid CEO for GCNW at the moment and
I have no other commitments and that's why I have been on Tare and other
girls appeals full time . We have a part time Office manager and this year
we will make a formal appointment that the Dove project staff help us with
office management due to their vast experience in the area and because they
are highly professional .Recently through the help of Dove project we
recruited a part time accountant and so far all our financial management is
in great hands .Building GCNW structure is still work in progress and so far
we rely on volunteers more than anything else.

Given the above structure above I am shocked to see press quoting from GCNW
co founders and Directors and I have seen many articles circulating with
other women from other networks commenting on GCNW work and this needs to be
corrected urgently .I have seen some comments and articles posted on the net
quoting from sources close to GCNW and I am not so sure in what capacity
these individuals have chosen to represent GCNW because GCNW has 3 trustees
and a team of volunteers who are helping to set up the organisation .Our
trustees are the sole custodians of GCNW and this according to a special
resolution of 8 November 2009.

Also I wish to make it clear that Girl Child Network was not formed in UK
but it is replicated in UK,Uganda,Canada ,Swaziland and many other countries
like Brazil and in all intents and purposes none of our country directors or
coordinators has been quoted in the press as Directors and co founders.
Volunteers join in because they want to be part of us and learn more .We are
pretty much at a stage where in 2009 we spent time learning who is who in
GCNW and just now when we have a business plan in place ,we hope our
trustees will give professional advice on way forward .Its unfortunate that
despite so many meetings and all that has been done by trustees we have such
media reports generated by certain individuals.

It is regrettable that so much inaccurate information has been circulated
around the media and it looks many journalists have been duped to believe so
called emails and other internal documents are evidence of whatever claims
the women are making. In fact I have gone through our accounts ,bank
statements and other internal information and I could not find anywhere
where such issues are and so we are with a team of legal experts to help us
correct what is currently circulating and we have identified the individual
women who were so irresponsible for such information and they have to help
put record right to the public very soon .An official report on the smear
campaign is with the police in Essex and they have moved in to investigate
the motive behind this .So we are at a stage where as an organisation we
feel individuals have been carried away to write about us without further
investigating ,we have realised that the general public has all along been
manipulated by three individual women who acted unprofessionally and since
we have legal experts and other stakeholders in UK who have moved in to help
we will keep updating everyone how this is moving but the individuals doing
all this have been identified and we are not the only victim of their
actions in as far as I have heard and it looks its a syndicate of some sort
that uses online media contacts and connections to do smear campaigns.

On all reports on my leadership in Zimbabwe and how GCN Zimbabwe finances
were managed I have seen general defamatory statements made as well since
May 2008 .First everyone should know that I started leading GCN Zimbabwe in
1998 and worked for the organisation from 1999 to 2000 as a volunteer .Since
then I worked with 18 big and small funders .Every year each one of them
required GCN Zimbabwe to submit reports ,audits and sometimes receipts
.During my leadership many donors rated my reports exceptional and I dont
owe any donor any report up until I left Zimbabwe .During the ten years of
my leadership I managed 12 million US dollars and there are audited reports
from 2001 to 2008 up until I left Zimbabwe which show how funds were
approved by donors and used .The 8 audited reports can give a very clear and
straight responses to all these allegations .Any donors who had queries
contacted GCN Zimbabwe to make comments and recommendations.

On Oxfam Novib issue I was really shocked to see a letter purportedly from
them because first I sit on the Round Table of Oxfam Novib and they consult
used to consult me on many issues and second I have been to Holland
countless times until April 2009 for many Oxfam Novib activities and
meetings and recently I was shocked they were looking for me when in June
2009 I met with their representative in London at my house .However ,I am so
happy that donors whose reports we submitted and who know us through and
through have many questions than answers to all the letters we saw
circulating on Oxfam Novib .Needless to say that this case is now being
handled by a team of legal and accounting experts and we are hoping we will
get to know more very soon as already contact has been made with Oxfam

GCN Zimbabwe reports on what I did are so well documented and one needs no
rumour to write about GCNW because the documentation of our work impressed
many many donors and for years we remained one their good practice
organisations.  Moreso when it comes to financial management ,I have worked
with men and women of integrity and I always trusted what they did .Its not
like I was the one managing finances at all and so all this will soon be
corrected so that many of the women doing smear campaign against me do not
use this as a weapon to destroy the good work I started .so far I have never
been contacted direct by any donor whose report I did not submit and if any
funds were embezzled how come there no one knows how much.

On the Tare issue there is a film company in UK who have been filming Tare
and her journey to treatment since she came over and they continue taking
her footage and we will use this documentary when its out to prove that
after all the women who started this campaign did not have Tare at heart but
wanted to manipulate the public for personal fame .We are yet to see where
she got to a stage where she is a pauper .Our accounts for Tare are with a
professional accountant and our bank statements and pay pal accounts are all
very clear and one will have to show the world which funds were embezzled.
Our audited statements from Zimbabwe are very clear and again we want all
these individuals to prove why they wrote all these defamatory statements
.We are past stage where such individuals were simply trying to manipulate
the public ,we are at a stage where they must prove what they said whilst I
show the accurate and authentic audited reports I have.

Its great we have a great team of legal and financial experts who have
joined us and soon record will be straight and this will help us clear our

The case of GCNW ,Tare has been unnecessarily complicated and for a reason
to confuse public and to target my person .There comes a time when we must
be persecuted but a time is ripe to set record straight and move on because
an individual cannot wake up to target Betty Makoni and then deprive
thousands of girls of their right to have GCNW and cause such damage and
just get away with it.

I will keep all of you informed on any latest developments and please note
that if GCNW has official updates and any issues our website will give it all to you .I am the official
spokerperson for GCNW and I dont send out statements on my own but I get
advice from one of our trustess who is a media expert . And so it is
strongly advised that any journalist writing about GCNW calls us to find out
if volunteer so and so on have accurate information because the danger of
misinforming the public about our organisation is that it steals our public
image and it can lead to serious legal defamation cases in court and so we
have strong grounds to win all these cases because we keep all our
documentation on our finances ,clients and just everything so well

Please email to me to get a copy of our business plan so that you know our
mission,vision,programs,structure etc as agreed at strategic meeting of 1 to
3 September 2009 and thats our focus right now .I can see we are being
closely connected to Tare case and yet it is but one of the thousands we
deal with daily.

Also if you have any queries email us at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript
enabled to view it or This e-mail address is
being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We have a team of professionals to give you more accurate information on
GCNW and other issues .I can see many women who have given out statements
are not in our structures and if they are our volunteers and they all report
to me .So far information they have irresponsibly given out has caused
unnecessary confusion and this is not fair because it took us the whole of
2009 as GCNW to come up with this organisation and a business plan.

Betty Makoni
President and Founder
Girl Child Network Worldwide

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Toll gates rake in US$350 000 a week

by Own Correspondent Monday 04 January 2010

HARARE - Toll gates installed along Zimbabwe's major roads are generating an
average US$350 000 per week most of which is used to repair the country's
dilapidated road network, according to Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

"Toll gate revenue collection developments so far indicate weekly inflows
averaging close to US$350.000, the bulk of which is immediately transferred
to the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (ZINARA) for distribution to
respective road authorities, including the department of state roads,
district developments fund and local authorities," Biti said in his
macro-economic policy and budget framework for 2010-2012.

Zimbabwe introduced toll gates in August last year as a way of mobilising
resources for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the country's road

Most of the country's roads are in a state of disrepair with many littered
with dangerous potholes as result of years of neglect and increased volume
of traffic beyond designed carrying capacity.

Hundreds of Zimbabweans including some senior government leaders have
perished in road accidents that experts have largely blamed on the poor
state of roads.

Biti said the attractive revenue generated from tollgates could help lure
private sector participation in road maintenance.

"A sustainable significant source of domestic revenue generation also
enhances scope for attracting access to additional alternative financial
resources from private players through Public Private Partnership
arrangements in support of broadening and expediting the trunk road network
rehabilitation as well as construction of new roads," he said.

Small vehicle road users pay US$1 to cross the tollgates, while buses and
lorries pay $5. Motorbike and cyclists do not pay anything.

According to the ministry of transport, 30 percent of the country's roads
require rehabilitation, while the remainder needs periodic maintenance. -- 

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Problems continue at Chiadzwa diamond fields

03/01/2010 00:00:00

UNENDING ownership disputes with the efforts international advocacy groups
against so-called "conflict diamonds" may yet undermine Finance Minister,
Tendai Biti's hopes of using revenues from the controversial Marange diamond
fields to boost the country's economic development.

When announcing the Government's new economic blue-print, Minister Biti said
the formalisation mining arrangements at the Chiadzwa diamond fields near
the Eastern Border city of Mutare, should benefit the country and send
positive signals to international investors over the credibility of the
government's mining policies.

The Zimbabwe government recently moved to end chaotic informal exploitation
of the diamond fields by facilitating joint ventures between the state-owned
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and two private companies.

However another company with prior claims to the fields, African
Consolidated Resources (ACR) immediately sought relief in the courts
precipitating a series of applications and counter applications between it
and the joint venture partners which remain unresolved.

And in a move whose effect could only be to add to the legal disputes, the
Government's mining commissioner recently indicated that he intended to
cancel the claims of ACR and other companies in the area with effect from
the 25th of this month because they "were improperly pegged and registered
on land that had been reserved against prospecting and pegging".

However ACR and other affected companies can appeal the decision to the
Minister of Mines and Mining Development and, failing that, take the matter
to the High Court.

Again, as if this were not enough legal trouble, local inhabitants targeted
for relocation by the Government to make way for the mining operations are
also in the court seeking an order to halt their removal until they are
properly and adequately compensated for their losses.

Meanwhile, diamond traders, human rights organisations and other advocacy
groups continue to campaign for a ban on Zimbabwe diamond exports over
allegations of rights abuses.

Ingle & Rhode, the UK's principal retailer of ethical jewellery and custom
engagement rings produced using "conflict-free" diamonds and "fair trade
gold", became the latest firm to call for a ban on Zimbabwean diamond

"Continuing to allow exports of Zimbabwean diamonds in such circumstances
would make a mockery of the Kimberley Process - which was established in
2003 to assure consumers that the diamonds they were purchasing were not
funding conflicts or human rights abuses - that is meant to avoid just such
practices from occurring," the company said in a press statement.

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Makoni slams MDC for corruption

January 3, 2010

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Opposition leader Dr Simba Makoni has slammed Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC party for sinking into the abyss of corruption hardly a
year after entering government through the unity pact with President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.Makoni, for years a senior member of Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party, says the optimism ushered in by the installation of the inclusive
government in February 2009 has quickly faded away, as "fat cats especially
in the MDC", have settle into comfortable positions, abandoning service to
voters by engaging themselves in fierce struggles for power, and a mad rush
for bigger shares of the meager national resources.

"Much to the dismay and disbelief of all of us, the new members of the
government from the MDC formations, did not take long to learn and adopt the
ways of their experienced Zanu-PF peers," Makoni said in a loaded New Year's
statement. "They seem to have quickly forgotten the suffering of the people,
and the promises they made upon entering the government; to work for
improvements in the lives of all citizens. Readily and willingly, they
joined the race to pillage the already empty fiscus; clamouring for motor
cars, allowances for foreign trips, etc. Fights for jobs for more of them
intensified, as the year wore on."

According to the Finance Minister Tendai Biti, foreign travel by officials
in the inclusive government amounted to US$28.6 million between February and

Makoni, a former Finance Minister and one of the losing presidential
candidates in last year's elections, contested the March 29 2008 elections
as an independent, and scrapped through with a paltry 8, 3 percent of the
national vote against his adversaries, Tsvangirai of MDC who won 47, 9
percent of the vote while President Robert Mugabe trailed him with nearly 43
percent of the vote.

Makoni's corruption accusations against the MDC come as the party's UK and
Ireland provincial executives have been suspended pending an investigation
into financial irregularities.

The corruption problems are apparently not limited to the overseas branches
as the MDC's national council recently dissolved its Chitungwiza Provincial
Executive over similar problems. The MDC leadership has watched in
consternation as rampant corruption took its toll in the sprawling town.

Councillors have allocated big housing stands to themselves amid a grinding
housing shortage in the dormitory town. The MDC has fired the Chitungwiza
ceremonial Mayor, Israel Marange, after he was convicted on corruption

There has been primitive accumulation by the 24 Chitungwiza councillors,
with almost all of them grabbing commercial and residential stands for

The perception of MDC officials feathering their nests is particularly
awkward for Prime Minister Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader who spent
years championing the lot of ordinary Zimbabweans during the economic
collapse presided over by Mugabe. Tsvangirai has personally had to contend
with outright defiance by 25 of his MPs who refused to return cars allocated
to them by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono.

Despite claims by Makoni that corruption is raging among the three parties
in the ruling coalition, his own Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party is emerging from
a fractious dispute, with the party's leadership accusing Makoni of abusing
the party's financial and material resources.

Makoni is accused by colleagues in his party of concealing huge amounts of
money ranging from US$1, 5 million and US$3 million sourced through
donations from well wishers and further refusing to open an audit on the use
of the funds.

He has allegedly allocated his personal and family use, two Jeep Cherokee
vehicles, five Mazda BT50 and two Nissan 1 tonne trucks from the party's
pool of vehicles. Makoni and two of his lieutenants allegedly abused more
than 250 000 litres of fuel donated to the movement. The party's entire
election campaign used less than 50 000 litres of fuel.

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NCA issues the 2010 New Year Statement

Published: January 3, 2010

As 2009 end, ushering in a new and promising year we are convinced that 2009
has been a year we managed to weather the gathering clouds and raging storms
that confronted us.  2009 has been that year that we will look at and
proudly say to ourselves as Zimbabweans we were right in defending the
guiding principles and values to a people driven democratic constitution
making process as expressed by the positions of the people of Zimbabwe since
Regardless of the enormous challenges we faced we remained true to the
founding principles of our broad democratic movement and the yearnings of
the Zimbabwean masses as expressed in the historical positions of the
people. The inception of an inclusive government in February of 2009 which
ushered in a "transition" presented a lot of complexities to the
pro-democracy forces. There were moments of fierce disagreements.  At these
moments, the NCA has carried on as we have remained faithful and true to the
ideals of our founding documents.
It has been so for the past years and so it must be with the coming year
2010. A year which promises to be full of activity, as the on slaughter to
mislead the masses intensifies.
The recently launched state media campaigns to misled and hoodwink the
masses into believing that they are part to the constitution making charade
currently underway bears testimony that the politicians are prepared to go
all the way to impose themselves and their views on the people o Zimbabwe.
We see these shenanigans as they are, deception, and we wish to remind
political elites that we have traveled this road before.

The donors faced with a complicated transition were hit with indecision.
More unfortunately donors became heavily involved in activities of civics.
This saw a lot of civics taking positions that would guarantee funding. The
divisions that then arose in civic society were not really about ideological
differences. Even after the frustrations of the all stakeholders'
conference, many civic continued supporting the constitution making process
they saw beyond any shadow of doubt, was for all intents and purposes

We stand here today as the curtain for 2009 closes convinced that we have
survived our darkest hour, convinced that 2010 will see a major people's
victory. We remain convinced that a great people have been awakened and no
amount of political posturing will deceive the masses.

The constitutional movement will in 2010 intensify campaigns for a genuine
people drive constitution making process. We remain guided by the historic
positions of the people of Zimbabwe over the years, reaffirmed at the 2nd
all people's convention at the Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza on Monday 27
July 2008. The Zimbabwe People's Charter remains our futurist repository.

For the avoidance of doubt and demystifying the propaganda peddled by
Douglas Mwonzora and company regarding the NCA position, we will take this
opportunity to re-state our position by reproducing the resolutions of the
2nd People's Constitutional Convention, which state:
We unreservedly recommit ourselves to the principles and resolutions
articulated 10 years ago by the National Working Peoples' Convention as well
as the first People's Constitutional Convention in 1999 and as outlined as
recently as 2008 in the Zimbabwe People's Charter. We hold that these
principles that outline what we know and believe to be a truly people driven
constitution making process hold true today and remain non-negotiable.

Because of the principles enunciated above, we therefore unreservedly reject
the government led process for constitutional reform as outlined in Article
6 of the Global Political Agreement and strongly recommend that the current
process as being led by parliament and the inclusive government be
immediately stopped and an independent, democratic constitutional reform
process be initiated.
We resolve that if the inclusive government and or parliament do not heed
our call to cease forthwith the constitutional reform process as outlined in
Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), we will actively seek a
rejection of any draft constitution produced by the same process through
campaigning for a NO vote should that draft be brought to a referendum.

We further resolve that the people of Zimbabwe have an inalienable right to
reject or accept any draft constitution brought before them and that if they
so decide to reject any document that comes out of the GPA's Article 6, it
remains their democratic right to do so.
That after such a possible rejection of a draft constitution that emerges
from the Article 6 process, we will continue to lead and assist the people
to continue in earnest with the campaign for a democratic constitution as
soon as possible after that No Vote.

We further resolve that we shall undertake and expand our civic education
programme to explain to the people of Zimbabwe the resolutions outlined
herein beginning in the month of August 2009 until such time there is a
people driven democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.
We also recommit ourselves to ensuring that there is gender equality and
recognition of the views and needs of the physically challenged in our TAKE
CHARGE campaign.

As we enter 2010 this will be the agenda and program of action for the
constitutional movement. We will, beginning this very January, together with
our traditional allies- the labour and students movements, intensify the
people's community meetings and grassroots mobilisation for a genuine people
driven constitution.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) and the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) for
remaining firm unwavering and resolute in demanding a genuine people driven
constitution. Your work in ensuring a people's centered agenda at the core
of national processes has over years provided the much needed vanguard role
to our broad movement and the people of Zimbabwe.

On this note allow us to take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous

Bumbiro Ngarinyorwe Nevanhu

Madock Chivasa
(NCA National Spokesperson)

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Film gives white Zimbabwean farmer hope in struggle against Mugabe
A white Zimbabwean farming family, who were forced out off their land, have had a first taste of revenge against Robert Mugabe's regime after a documentary on their plight emerged as an Oscar contender.

Mugabe and the White African opens in London this week after being named best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards in December.

The movie, directed by Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, is being likened to non-fiction films that achieved global success, such as Super Size Me, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Touching the Void.

It tells how Mike Campbell, his wife Angela, daughter Laura, son- in-law Ben Freeth and their black Zimbabwean workers battled to keep hold of Mount Carmel, the mango farm 70 miles south-west of Harare where his family had lived for 30 years, in the face of beatings by militia gangs loyal to Mr Mugabe.

The family lost a long battle to hold on to the farm last year despite winning an unprecedented court case against the Zimbabwean government.

The Campbells and Freeths were burned out of their homes in August and Mount Carmel Farm was occupied by Nathan Shamuyarira, an octogenarian former cabinet minister and President Mugabe's offical biographer.

Mr Freeth, his wife and their three children now live in a friend's house about 10 miles away in the town of Chegutu while Mr and Mrs Campbell live in the capital Harare.

Months earlier Mr Campbell, 76, was subjected to a horrenous beating after he petition a tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) rule against Mr Mugabe's efforts to seize white owned farms. After a nine-hour ordeal at a militia camp, Mr Campbell was so badly injured that he could not attend the hearing in Namibia; Mr Freeth, whose skull was fractured, managed to be present in a wheelchair with his head bandaged.

"We knew there would be consequences, taking on Mugabe," Mr Freeth said. "He's a dictator, he doesn't brook any opposition or anyone trying to bring him to book in any way. But we felt it was very, very important to ensure the world really knew what was going on in this country, so it had a chance to put an end to the suffering."

Mr Mugabe once declared: "The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans."

But the tribunal's ruling in Mr Campbell's favour was an unprecedented reverse for this doctrine - effectively determining that Mr Campbell and others like him had the same rights as Zimbabwe's majority black African population.

However in February last year, President Mugabe declared that he would ignore the SADC ruling and the forcible seizures would continue.

Mike Campbell, 76, hopes it will force the international spotlight back on the campaign of violent, state-sponsored farm evictions which has continued under Mr Mugabe even though he was forced to form a new power-sharing government.

See the trailer of the film here

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 2nd January 2010

Vigil supporters were interested to see that the British press has picked up a story about the suspension of the MDC UK executive: As we reported in our diary of 28th November, the MDC Secretary General, Tendai Biti, announcing the suspension, accused the executive of financial irregularities. Virtually everyone at the Vigil is MDC or former MDC and we know the depths to which the party in the United Kingdom has sunk to get money and we have a general picture of where it went.


We were interested to see that the Party’s Chairman, Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo (of the 200 portraits), has been nominated to lead a team to investigate the matter. He installed the rogue UK executive and must have an intimate knowledge of where the money went. Or he could ask Tsvangirai’s uncle, Hebson Makuvise, the Ambassador-designate to Germany. He was Tsvangirai’s representative in the UK so his knowledge of where the money went is even more intimate…..


Reports say that the MDC has 800 members in the UK. The Vigil has 6,500 names on our register. What is clear is that it is the Vigil rather than the MDC which represents the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK.


It was good to have old friends back after Boxing Day’s ‘bleak midwinter’ Vigil (2 videos shot then by Motherland ENT can be found on the following links: and More than 3 times as many people were present today. They were amused by reports of Welshman Ncube joining the Zanu PF sycophants grovelling on his knees to Mugabe. Welshman’s blaming of the international media for the fuss about the Nestle scandal shows how out of touch he is with the real world. 


During the week the Vigil sent the following email to Nestle’s Head Office in Zurich, Switzerland: ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil applauds Nestle's decision to stop buying milk from Mrs Mugabe's stolen farm in Zimbabwe. We urge you to stand firm in a country where the rule of law is disregarded.’ It now appears that Nestle has agreed to some dodgy deal and, if this proves to be true, we will be joining calls for a world-wide boycott of Nestle products.


We note that Biti has called another investment conference for next month in a new attempt to persuade the West that all is well in Zimbabwe. He must know that the Nestle incident will have been noted in boardrooms all over the world: no rule of law. He will have to revert to Plan A – the delicate balancing act of begging from Western governments while insulting them at the same time. (see article by Zimbabwean economist John Robertson: on Biti’s failure to acknowledge the realities of the causes behind Zimbabwe’s bankruptcy).


This article will form part of a submission by the Vigil to the International Development Committee of the British Parliament which is conducting an inquiry into Britain’s aid to Zimbabwe. The Vigil is arguing that targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies must be continued and that no aid money must fall into his claws. Submissions have to be in by 8th January and we will give more details of our submission next week.


Some other points:

1.       We were interested to see that a photo of the Father Cholera Vigil of 20th December 2008 is being used by Anglican Information as a 2009 Christmas message in which they highlight the excesses of Nolbert Kunonga (former Bishop of Harare). See: One of our supporters, David Kadzutu addressed the Vigil about the appalling treatment of the Anglican church in Zimbabwe by the Mugabe authorities.

2.       Biggest laugh of the day was prompted by Jenatry Muranganwa when he said ‘there is freedom of speech in Zimbabwe’. After a puzzled silence from the Vigil, he added: ‘the trouble is there is no freedom after speech’.

3.       We were joined by a young Iranian couple with a banner protesting at the oppression in their own country. They joined in our dancing. One of them said they were united with other nations suffering from dictatorship. They were very excited about the prospects of revolutionary change in their country – they certainly don’t support the word from Harare of closer links between Mugabe and  Iranian.000

4.       it was again absolutely freezing but, to be positive, it wasn’t raining or snowing or windy . . .


For latest Vigil pictures check:


FOR THE RECORD: 145 signed the register.



·           ROHR Woking Food Hamper Raffle Draw. Saturday 9th January from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Church House, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Tickets: £5. 3 prizes: 1st prize £50 Zimbabwean food hamper, 2nd prize £25 of Zimbabwean groceries, 3rd prize ROHR T-Shirt worth £10. Prizes to be presented by Rodah Kuhlengisa (ROHR Hayes & National Fundraiser). For info contact Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Thandiwe Mabodoko 07552402416 or P Mapfumo 07932216070 / 07915926323.

·           ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 23rd January from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact: Wonder M Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni (Chair Wakefield), 07748828913, Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Beauty Sikosana 07940181761 or David Munemo 07963708923.

·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF.  Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.

·           ROHR Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 30th January from 1 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG. ROHR Executive representative present. Contact Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Future meetings to be held on Saturdays 27th February and 27th March – same time and venue. 

·           Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

·           Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: or contact:

·           Motherland ENT’s videos of 26/12/2009 can be seen on: and


Vigil Co-ordinators


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.




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Mugabe keen to emulate Kamuzu Banda

04/01/2010 00:00:00
by Jacob Rukweza

IT must be disquieting even to the most fervent Zanu PF supporter that while
all party mandarins who spoke at the just-ended national congress emphasised
the urgent need to rejuvenate the disintegrating party, delegates went on to
endorse geriatrics to do a job that can only be done by the young and agile.

It is an open secret that President Robert Mugabe is now in the twilight of
both his life and political career and therefore cannot be part of any
future although, like Rhodesia's Ian Smith, he will be a veritable component
of our history as a country.

The question that is begging for an answer is why Zanu PF delegates endorsed
Mugabe to lead the party into the future when it is obvious that he will not
be part of that future.

At 85 Mugabe literally has one foot in the grave and it is foolhardy for
anyone to believe that the old man will be there to lead anyone into the

To answer the critical question it is instructive to recall that for some
time now Mugabe - whose ambition to become life president is a well known
secret - has tried unsuccessfully to peddle the preposterous propaganda that
pursuing regime change in Zimbabwe is a crime tantamount to treason.

It is now clear that from his rejected one-party-state policy in 1980
through the fraudulent Unity Accord in 1987 to the pyrrhic million man march
in 2007 and the latest endorsement that Mugabe has been consistently
pursuing his ambition to rule this country for life.
This warped mentality which has been the hallmark of Mugabe' political
activism since 1980 should explain why all those who have tried to belong to
opposition parties have been labelled enemies.

It should also explain why all opposition leaders since 1980 have been
pursued, harassed, arrested and charged with treason.
Even after the victory in 1980, opposition parties still became targets for
physical elimination by Mugabe who Edgar Tekere says does not take lightly
to any competition against him.

Referring to opposition parties after winning elections in 1980 Mugabe was
on record as having said to Zanu PF supporters: "Endai munogobora zvigutswa
zvese (go and uproot all the stumps)".

In Mugabe's thinking the opposition parties are inconvenient stumbling
blocks to his dream to rule forever - they have to be uprooted.

The targets of Mugabe's 1980 post-election venom included Ndabaningi Sithole's
Zanu, Abel Muzorewa's UANC, Chief Kasiya Ndiweni's UNFP, James Chikerema's
ZDP as well as Henry Chiota's NDU.

When Joshua Nkomo's PF Zapu became a threat to Mugabe's quest for absolute
power two years after Independence, the culmination was a genocide marked by
the senseless killing of approximately 20 000 innocent people in
Matabeleland suspected to be sympathetic to Zapu and its leadership.

PF Zapu president and founding father of nationalist politics in Zimbabwe,
Joshua Nkomo was for the same reason pursued by Mugabe, escaping death by a

An irate Mugabe had declared that "to deal with a cobra you have to crush
its head".

Apparently PF Zapu had become a dangerous snake and its head - Nkomo - had
to be crushed.

This remains the level of determination driving Mugabe in his pursuit of the
life presidency agenda even today.

The outcome of the just-ended congress vindicates a suspicion that has
endured within Zanu PF and outside, that Mugabe has always harboured the
selfish ambition of becoming life president in the mould of Malawi's Kamuzu

After leading Zanu PF for over 30 years since 1977 Mugabe shocked even the
most ardent party supporter by clamouring for the extension of his
leadership when he neither has the life, ideas nor energy to take the
present generation to the future.

In the 1990 general election, when Tekere and his Zimbabwe Unity Movement
attempted to challenge Mugabe's de facto one party state, they were
predictably met with violence.

Muzorewa and Sithole who entered the same election with the alleged
financial support of white farmers were warned in no uncertain terms by a
determined Mugabe who declared: "we will chop off their colonial redneck".

It was not surprising therefore that, a decade later, when Mugabe was
confronted by the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai during the 2000 elections he
declared: "we have degrees in violence".

The MDC like its predecessors represented, as it still does, a stumbling
block to Mugabe's self-serving political ambitions.
Mugabe's ridiculous criminalisation of the regime change agenda should be
located in the context of his outdated and primitive one-party-state
philosophy as well as his absurd ambition to be state president for life.

In pursuit of his life presidency agenda Mugabe has systematically rallied
unsophisticated bootlickers and overzealous henchmen in the party and
government to effect constitutional changes that have made his
power-mongering antics constitutional.

With the signing of the unity accord in December 1987 and a raft of
constitutional amendments that conferred executive presidency on the head of
state Mugabe became one of the most powerful leaders in the world with the
power to declare war without consulting parliament.

These are the same powers he invoked when he committed Zimbabwe's troops to
a dangerous and costly war in the DRC in 1998.

In the ruling party Mugabe succeeded in booting out his nemesis and powerful
Zanu PF secretary general, Edgar Tekere, who fiercely opposed the one party
state policy.

After rail-roading Tekere's expulsion from the party, Mugabe tactfully used
the 1989 united Zanu PF congress to amend the party constitution abolishing
the powerful post of secretary general and instead creating the inferior
post of secretary for administration with diminished powers in the party.

A new post of first secretary and president was created with the deliberate
intention of constitutionally allowing Mugabe to usurp the powers of both
the party president and secretary general in the face of a suspicious unity

Again Mugabe became not only the leader of the party but the sum total of
the party with the powers to appoint everyone in the two most powerful
organs of the party - the politburo and central committee.

Even today democratic elections in the party have been conveniently
relegated to the lower and less influential organs of the party in the
provincial and district structures.

However, it's not only Mugabe who got the oxymoronic endorsement at the
just-ended Zanu PF congress.

Two more political ramshackles, who belong to the past more than they will
be part of our future, where also elevated into the so called presidium of
the former ruling party.

Simon Khaya Moyo the newly elected Zanu PF chairman is 65. He will be 70
years old by the end of his term in five years.
John Nkomo, the country's new vice president who was elevated to post of
second secretary of the party, is 75 and he will be 80 by the end of his

Mugabe, 85, will be 90 by the end of his term in 2014. Even a deranged Zanu
PF supporter should find it difficult to see any future in these three old

It is shocking that the 10 000 delegates who attended the Zanu PF congress
tasked these three spent forces to rejuvenate and lead the party into the
future when even primary school kids know that at 70, 80 or 90 there is no
future to talk about for any man.

In fact, where we are today as a country is what Moyo, Nkomo and Mugabe
wanted the future to be for their generation when they were younger leaders
in the 70s and the 80s.

If these three musketeers don't like this future -- which today is a
cocktail of poverty, unemployment, disease, global isolation and violent
politics -- it simply means they have failed to deliver to the older
generation of Zimbabweans the future that they promised three decades ago.

It should follow therefore that these three old men cannot be trusted to do
any better now because their past record is enough evidence of their

Whether the actions of the Zanu PF congress delegates were deliberate or
coerced is another matter.

What is undisputable is that the delegates who attended the December 9-13
congress in Harare will go down in history as the 10 000 men and women who
attended the burial of Zanu PF when they thought they had come to revive its

All Zimbabweans who watched the tragic charade on national television will
agree that the congress easily resembled a funeral procession.

Never mind the standing ovation for Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe's most decorated
political chameleon and turncoat, who returned as a member of the party's
central committee.

Those who have attended traditional funerals will know that that was a comic
sideshow which is a regular aspect of our funeral procession.

If anything, Jonathan Moyo should be ashamed that he is trying to enhance
his height by standing on top of a corpse.

By choosing Mugabe as its preferred candidate for the next poll Zanu PF will
easily break international records for the oldest presidential election

But a telling lesson from the 2008 American presidential election is that
the electorate - the world over - has moved away from the customary
pampering of old heroes and war veterans by blindly voting them into high
offices in a post modern world were liberation wars have been replaced by
democratic elections.

War veteran and Republican candidate John McCain, then 72, lost the election
to Barack Obama, 48, for the simple reason that Americans refused to be
believe that they can be taken to the future by a man who may not be there
in future because of his age.

During his Kill the Messenger tour of four continents before the US
election, leading American stand-up comedian Chris Rock made it publicly
clear that he would not vote for John McCain - a president who may not be
there in the future.

The comedian claimed to be speaking on behalf of not just black Americans
but all Americans.

We all know that John McCain did not win the election -- and he was not even

As things stand, Zimbabwe's future can only depend on a leader who
represents a reliable bridge between the younger and the older generation of
Zimbabweans. Mugabe can only take our future with him to his grave.

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Zimbabwe should adopt developmental politics

The year 2010 marks the beginning of the second decade of the 21st
century.It is beyond debate that the first decade of the new millennium was
a real nightmare for the majority of Zimbabweans.Infact,one can safely
describe the years from 2000  to 2009 as the '' lost decade'' in
Zimbabwe.With the formation of a vibrant and robust political organisation
called the Movement for Democratic Change at the turn of the last
millennium,Zimbabwean politics have never been the same again.Since the MDC
was formed in 1999, the former ruling party, ZANU-PF, has been obsessed with
the desire for power retention at whatever cost.Because the MDC's formation
offered a viable alternative to Zimbabwean voters in matters of national
governance, from the year 2000, particularly after losing the constitutional
referendum in February 2000, the former ruling party resorted to
unconventional methods of power retention.Invariably, these methods
included, but were certainly not limited to, the use of physical, emotional
and psychological violence against real and perceived MDC supporters ; the
abuse and misuse of the State-controlled print and electronic media to
spread hateful propaganda against the leadership of the MDC as well as any
persons, natural and/or artificial, perceived to be sympathetic to the cause
of the MDC.In short, Zimbabwean politics degenerated into a violent and
intolerant mode of human interaction where the emergence of any views
contrary to those held by the former ruling party was crudely and
primitively crushed by the establishment.Therein lay the genesis of the
collapse of the Zimbabwean socio-economic and political infrastructure as
well as superstructure.

The politics of knobkerries, knives, guns and machetes should be relegated
to the dustbin of history as Zimbabwe enters the second decade of the new
millennium.The use of rape, torture and other forms of inhuman and degrading
treatment as instruments of political coersion and forced mass mobilisation
should now become a thing of the past.Political parties, across the divide,
should learn to accept and respect the verdict of the people after a free,
fair and legitimate election.No political party has a monopoly of popular
appeal and no citizen should be unlawfully barred from supporting and/or
voting for a political party of one's choice during elections.The creation
of no-go areas and the forced participation of people at all-night vigils
and '' pungwes'' should now be confined to the annals of Zimbabwe's rather
sad political history.After wasting a whole decade as other countries within
the SADC region and beyond pursued genuine and people-centred development
policies, we should now wake up and smell the coffee.We shall derive no
benefit whatsoever from seeking to perpetuate the relics of tyranny,
kleptocracy and thuggery.Those of us who are still in shock and denial
after being rejected by the people during the March 29, 2008  harmonised
elections should now bite the bullet and accept  that their time is
apparently  over.Nothing lasts forever. Here is hoping that the soon to be
sworn in Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will rise to the occasion and be
the people's last line of defence against the excesses of politicians and
other State actors.Zimbabwe is crying out for a robust, well- equiped and
capacitated human rights defender and in this context, the Human Rights
Commission is expected to play a crucial role in healing our hurting
nation.Perpetrators of heinous crimes such as murder, rape, torture etc
should not be allowed to go scot free.There can be no meaningful healing
without proper and genuine accountability, genuine repentance and of course,
reparations.Sloganeering and workshopping will not heal the nation.Political
hooliganism, the rampant pilfering of public resources, corruption and all
other shenanigans should not be swept under the carpet and/ or
trivialised.The soon to be appointed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission
should be a powerful body with powers to investigate, arrest and
prosecute.What we have presently is a low-key, useless, toothless and
powerless body that masquerades as an anti-corruption commission.In reality,
Zimbabwe doesnot have an effective anti-corruption body at this juncture.

A new development trajectory should now be designed.Those of us in
Parliament will no doubt push for the promulgation of people-centred and
development-oriented legislation.We realise that for far too long Zimbabwe
has been a sleeping giant.We cannot remain in our deep slumber forever.Those
Ministers and other public officials who have dismally failed to discharge
their duties should be given the sack.This should be no time for a '' jobs
for the boys'' approach to running this great country.Those public
officials,including legislators and ministers, who are lazy and incompetent
should shape up or else they have to ship out.There should be zero tolerance
to laziness, incompetence, corruption and dereliction of duty.We have to
reclaim our dignity, our humanity; indeed our very essence as human
beings.We should refuse to be objects of pity, ridicule and contempt.We
should refuse to be mere economic refugees in South Africa and other
countries within the region and abroad.We should not run away from our
problems.Being defeatist will not help our cause.

Zimbabwe, in this new decade, should deliberately embark upon a serious
paradigm shift.The resolution of the outstanding GPA issues should be
prioritised.The people are no longer interested in endless talks about
talks, about talks.Post Maputo 2009 and going forward, the negotiators from
the three political parties that are signatories to the GPA should realise
that the people's patience is wearing thin.Surely, we cannot negotiate
forever.There has to be a cut-off point.We now have to concentrate on
development issues that will enable our country to get to the next
level.People do not eat politics.Sanity should not only prevail; it should
be seen to be prevailing.In one way or the other, most black Zimbabweans,
and even some non-black people, participated in the liberation war of the
1970s.Noone has a monopoly of patriotism.We all love our country and we
should not be forced to eulogise cowards, pretenders. mafikizolos and other
latter day '' heroes''. Heroism is not demanded; it is earned.

With the constitution-making process about to begin in earnest, it is
sincerely hoped that Zimbabweans have learnt bitter lessons from the lost
decade of 2000 - 2009. We are our own liberators.Before clamouring for the
lifting of the so -called '' illegal'' sanctions imposed by Britain and her
allies, we should demand that those sanctions imposed against the people's
freedom such as POSA, AIPPA and some other nefarious pieces of legislation
are prompty dismantled.Zimpapers and the ZBH should immediately stop being
purveyors of hate and propaganda.Put simply; the people of Zimbabwe should
be allowed to genuinely enjoy the freedom that they sacrificed so much
for.Aluta continua!

Written by:

Senator Obert Gutu

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