By Alex Bell
07 January 2010
A controversial planned auction of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds was reportedly
cancelled Thursday, after it emerged that the international diamond
regulatory body, the Kimberly Process, and other key government departments
had not been informed of the sale.
An estimated 60kgs (over 300 000 carats) of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds were
set to go on sale on Thursday, in a move that has shocked rights groups
campaigning for a boycott of the country’s controversial gems. But according
to online news service ZimOnline, the Ministry of Mines permanent secretary,
Thankful Musukutwa, and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation director
Onesimo Moyo rushed to the auction site to stop the sale from going ahead.
This was reportedly because of the absence of Kimberley Process regulators
at the sale, and the lack of proper notification of the government.
The diamonds, mined from the Chiadzwa fields, were set to be auctioned at a
new diamond processing plant, conveniently located at Harare International
Airport. The state authorised mining company heading the diamond auction,
Mbada Diamonds, said the sale would be the first of more to come, with the
profits going directly to the government. This was announced by Mbada’s
chairman Robert Mhlanga, a former air vice-marshal who has a known close
relationship with the Mugabe’s as a former courier for the first family.
Mhlanga was also in the diamond trade in the DRC when Mugabe commited
Zimbabwean troops to the war there. He was also a key witness in the 2003
attempt to frame Tsvangirai, then the opposition leader, for treason.
Mhlanga testified that he had contact with a former Israeli spy who claimed
Tsvangirai hired him to kill Mugabe.
According to South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, Mhlanga operates from
expensive offices in Johannesburg and his links to Mugabe “are so strong
that he flies his helicopter in and out of Zimbabwe without passing the
usual customs controls,” the newspaper recently reported. Mhlanga was also a
key figure in the plan to convert the old Harare domestic air terminal into
the new diamond processing plant, which the Sunday Times has said is a way
of “getting round any future diamond export ban.”
Mhlanga told journalists on Wednesday that the auction was in compliance
with standards set by the Kimberley Process, the international diamond trade
regulatory body. The body last year spared Zimbabwe a potential ban from
international trade, over human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa fields. Its
weak excuse was a technicality in its mandate that defines blood diamonds as
those mined by abusive rebel groups, rather than abusive governments.
The planned auctions are a slap in the face for international human rights
groups, diamond retailers and other advocacy groups who have called for a
boycott of Zimbabwe’s diamonds, citing ongoing rights abuses at the Chiadzwa
diamond fields. Last year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) made a written appeal
directly to top retailers, urging them to shun Zimbabwe’s gems. The group
warned that diamonds from Zimbabwe were being produced through “the use of
forced labour of adults and children, killings, and severe beatings.”
“By any reasonable assessment, diamonds from Marange are ‘blood diamonds’
and we are publicly calling upon retailers and interested consumers to
boycott Zimbabwe diamonds unless and until the abuses that we uncovered come
to an end,” HRW said.
At the same time, international diamond traders, the Rapaport Group, has
also called for a ban on the diamonds, stating that blood diamonds from
Zimbabwe may have been illegally exported and may even be reaching
retailers. The boycott appeal has also since been picked up by Ingle &
Rhode, the UK’s principal retailer of ethical jewellery and engagement rings
produced using ‘conflict-free’ diamonds.
“Continuing to allow exports of Zimbabwean diamonds would make a mockery of
the Kimberley Process that is meant to avoid just such practices from
occurring,” the company said in a press statement.
Gabriel Shumba, the co-coordinator of the Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds Campaign,
told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the auction is a glaring indication
that the Kimberley Process has failed Zimbabwe, and its own mandate. He
echoed calls for the Kimberley Process to drastically reform, arguing “what
more proof of blood do they need to intervene when hundreds of people are
dead, women are being raped, and many are being tortured.” Shumba also
argued that the country is being ‘bled dry’ by people wielding power, adding
that the government is being funded by murder and abuse.
Meanwhile HRW, in an online campaign, is appealing to the public to send a
letter to member states of the Kimberley Process, urging them to take action
to stop the abuses in Chiadzwa. The letter, which can be sent straight from
the HRW website, is addressed to five representatives of the Kimberley
Process, the World Diamond Council and other major players in the diamond
trade industry. It asks them to change the rules of the Kimberley Process to
include human rights, as a mandatory minimum standard in the diamond
industries of all participating countries, and to end the abuse in Chiadzwa.
Diamond buyers from across the world have flown into Harare International
Airport to partake in the three day auction that was supposed to go ahead
Thursday. It is not yet clear who the potential buyers are what countries
they are from, or even if the auction will go ahead at a later stage. The
convenient location of the diamond processing plant at the airport has
already raised some concern, because of the direct access for other
countries noted for their plunder of natural resources.
In 1998 the ZANU PF government established direct air links, under the
control of the air force, between Harare and the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa to
‘facilitate trade’ between the two countries. This came not long after
Zimbabwe was given a number of mineral and mining concessions by the DRC,
allowing the plunder of its natural resources, in return for Robert Mugabe’s
support in the five year conflict that erupted in the DRC in 1998, a
conflict that was fuelled by the DRC’s enormous mineral wealth.
The relationship of plunder that still exists between the two countries is
well known, and recently SW Radio Africa revealed that the daughter of Vice
President Joice Mujuru, Nyasha del Campo, tried to set up a deal involving
illegal gold from the DRC. She and her husband Pedro live in Madrid in Spain
where they set up two companies, allegedly with the help and financial
support of her mother.
By Tichaona Sibanda
7 January 2010-01-07
SADC member states on Thursday concurred with South Africa's position that
they were not happy with the pace of talks in Zimbabwe to resolve all
Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloyi told journalists at the end of a
two-day SADC ministers' meeting in Maputo that they shared South Africa's
concern that the Global Political Agreement talks in Harare were taking too
long to be concluded.
Fred Katerere, a Maputo based journalist, told SW Radio Africa that Baloyo
made it clear the region was not happy with pace of the talks in Zimbabwe.
'Baloyi said indications are that there may be problems in Harare because
the talks have gone on for too long without a conclusive deal. The ministers
resolved to press the Zimbabwe negotiators to speedily work out the
remaining issues,' Katerere said.
South Africa's International Relations Minister, Mait Nkoana-Mashabane,
briefed the regional foreign ministers on the progress of talks to resolve
the power-sharing dispute threatening the inclusive government.
The ministers were meeting in Maputo to coordinate the region's support for
Malawi's bid for the chair of the African Union. Katerere said there were
indications that regional leaders will discuss the Zimbabwe crisis
informally when they gather in Maputo next week for the inauguration of
President Armando Guebuza. The Mozambican president was re-elected last
month to serve his second term.
'There was talk in Maputo that the issue of Zimbabwe might be thrashed out
during the gathering next week,' Katerere said.
Negotiators to the GPA will resume talks next week Saturday, following a
month long break. Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube told us on
Monday that the talks, which broke off three days before Christmas last
year, would resume on the 16th January.
The negotiations have become bogged down over arguments that include the
appointments of central bank Governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes
Tomana, provincial governors and the swearing-in of Roy Bennett as Deputy
Minister of Agriculture.
Scott Stearns | Johannesburg 07 January 2010
Southern African ministers are meeting in Mozambique to prepare for next
month's summit of the African Union. Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Democratic
Republic of Congo are major topics of discussion.
Foreign ministers of the Southern African Development Community met in
Maputo to prepare a report on the region's political crises. It is to be
presented to African leaders at their upcoming summit in Ethiopia.
SADC's Political and Diplomatic Committee has been mediating three major
crises in the region.
SADC officials said the ministers are pleased the various parties to the
unity government in Zimbabwe resumed negotiations on implementing their
power-sharing agreement. They said they believed Zimbabwe was on the right
The officials said the ministers also believe that progress is being made
toward easing the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and that
reconciliation efforts between the government and various rebel groups were
on the right track.
Andry Rajoelina (file photo)
Andry Rajoelina (file photo)
But the officials said they were less optimistic about the political crisis
in Madagascar. It erupted in March after Andry Rajoelina, backed by the
military, seized power following the ouster of then-President Marc
SADC and the African Union do not recognize the Rajoelina government and
have suspended Madagascar from their organizations.
Negotiations mediated by SADC brought a power-sharing agreement last year
between Rajoelina, Mr. Ravalomanana and two other former presidents. But
Rajoelina boycotted a meeting in December to distribute cabinet posts and
withdrew from the accord.
He subsequently appointed a retired military officer as prime minister and
said he would organize elections in March.
The opposition rejected the move and resumed its demonstrations in the
capital. The government says it will arrest anyone who provokes what it
called, "further unrest."
Western nations have suspended most non-humanitarian aid to Madagascar, and
the United States has canceled tax exemptions on Malagasy imports under the
African Growth and Opportunity Act known as AGOA.
Madagascar Minister of Economy and Industry Richard Fienena has reacted to
the cancellation saying it had caused the loss of many jobs.
He says the government will have to find a solution, in particular, for
workers who will suffer the consequences of the break with AGOA.
The African Union says AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping is to visit
Madagascar in two weeks to try to break the deadlock. It made the
announcement after a meeting Wednesday in Addis Ababa of the International
Contact Group on Madagascar.
The group includes the African Union, the United Nations, the European
Union, France, the Indian Ocean Commission, the International Francophone
Organization, and the United States.
Political scientist John Makumbe says talks between the government and
opposition should include reforming the military and security services
William Eagle | Washington, DC 07 January 2010
In Zimbabwe, talks between the two parties in the Government of National
Unity are set to resume in about two weeks. The parties are ZANU-PF, led by
President Robert Mugabe, and two formations of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), the largest is led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The talks are being mediated by South Africa. The goal is to settle a
number of issues not resolved by last year’s Global Political Agreement,
which was reached after disputed national elections that led to the current
power-sharing agreement. Among the issues to be settled are the number of
governors the government will appoint from the MDC and who should fill the
positions of central bank governor and attorney general.
But one important element has been left out of the talks, says political
science professor John Mukumbe of the University of Zimbabwe: the control
of the military and security services. The military has been accused of
orchestating much of the political violence which marred the 2008
presidential election in a bid to intimidate voters to support President
Mugabe in a second round. The National Security Council, made up of high
level security officials, remains a potent political factor, observers say.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Army troops were recently deployed around the country to enforce the
takeover of the few hundred remaining white commercial farms after a decade
of land reform.
“Last week, the army was deployed in [the region of] Manicaland to force
remaining white commercial farmers off the land. They have only relented
somewhat in terms of perpetrating violence, but they are still a very
serious force to be reckoned with,” says Makumbe.
The ruling party has filled state-owned enterprises and institutions with
retired military supporters loyal to President Mugabe, he says.
A question of allegiance
On the other hand, Makumbe and other observers say there may splits between
different factions in the military, but he says none of them would be strong
enough to weaken its influence.
“There is dissention in the army – it is not homogenous and not uniform in
its thinking in terms of allegiance. It is the middle and lower ranks that
say, 'We have to put the nation first and the ruling party and Mugabe
second,’” according to Makumbe.
Civil society is weak, says the political scientist, and one-party rule has
undermined the independence of state institutions. He says the military –
and ruling party – could be influenced by outside pressure from the African
Union and the Southern African Development Community. But so far, he says,
they have been slow to condemn the government.
By Tungamirai Mubande
Published: January 7, 2010
Rusape : A Zimbabwean farmer’s son lay hostage last night as Zimbabwe’s
police kept a distance from the crime after a mob of violent men threatened
a Rusape farmer, Dolf DuToit telling him to vacate his farm.
As at the time of writing, the farmer’s son was still in the hands of the
abductors and Zimbabwe’s government was silent on the matter, a witness said
Wednesday, “they have taken Dolf DuToit s son hostage and up to 2100 hrs
local time the police have refused to react, we are trying to get some
At the time of writing the police had not issued a media response.
The CFU has said that it is concerned following recent statements by Robert
Mugabe and controversial Attorney General Johannes Tomana, that the military
should be deployed to help evict the last of the white commercial farmers, a
move that would further scare investors. However, the evictions are being
carried out with neither government procedure nor court order which two are
required by the law.
In addition to this compensation is supposed to be paid before a person is
evicted from his farm. US president Barack Obama has hinted that President
Mugabe’s chaotic land reform is the cause of Zimbabwe’s problems.
Masvingo, January 07, 2009 - Vice President John Nkomo has ordered soldiers
and police to evict over 10 000 settlers in Nuanetsi ranch to pave way for
president Mugabe's friend, controversial Billy Rutenbech's project while in
Beitbridge over 300 000 orange trees have been destroyed by farmers who
invaded citrus farms in the area in 2 000.
Speaking at a Zanu PF meeting here, Nkomo said:"We are not going to sit back
and watch enemies of development in the country.Those who are refusing to be
resettled elsewhere are against development so we will deal with them, any
way that is why we have soldiers and police we will order them to go and
He said Rutenbech's venture is set to assemble a $5 billion ethanol plant
and venture into massive sugar cane plantations. Presently he is into
crocodile farming with over 70 000 crocodiles and 40 000 eggs set to hatch.
The crocodile project when it reaches its full potential will have 600 000
crocodiles and will become the biggest in the world.
The settlers, most of them war veterans, invaded the spacious ranch during
the height of the chaotic land reform programme and had been refusing to
vacate the land afterRutenbech clinched a deal with Zanu PF and Zimbabwe
Development Trust(ZDT), a trust that was formed by the late vice president
Joshua Nkomo and his Zapu party in the 80s.
The war veterans have been blaming Zanu PF for bringing back the white man
in the farms at a time when they are evicting other white commercial
farmers. Nkomo is the chairman of ZDT.
Nkomo's orders to evict the war vets clash with his party here who have been
influencing the settlers to decline to move out.
Meanwhile orange trees in citrus estates which used to produce the bulk of
the country's orange juice concentrate in Beitbridge have been uprooted by
new black farmers who occupied the estates during the land invasions in
Since the beginning of the land invasions, 300 000 orange trees were
uprooted at Totter Citrus Estates, eight years earlier than the lapse of
their life span. In most cases the orange plantations have been replaced by
crops such as maize and sorghum.
"My Estate used to produce orange juice concentrate for both local and
foreign markets. When the estate was taken over from me in July 2003 it
hadover 500 000 trees of newly planted orange trees but right now the trees
have either been burnt or uprooted, said Morris Hebert , the former owner of
the range who since relocated to Bulawayo.
More than 200 000 orange trees were also destroyed at Manyula Estates,
which used to be also one of the leading orange juice concentrate producers
in the country before the chaotic land reform. The newly resettled farmers
are failing to maintain the few remaining trees, adevelopment which has
resulted in the trees drying up.
" It takes more than five years for a farmer to reap the fruits of citrus
farming. Citrus farming is also an expensive venture which needs huge
capital for irrigation and chemicals .The quality of oranges which is now
coming from the newly resettled farmers is poor and is not good for making
cordial drinks and orange squashes . Irrigation facilities have
beenvandalized and there is no water to irrigate the crop," said Lameck
Smith , the former owner of Manyula Citrus Estate who now runs a Orange
Juice Concentrate company in Beitbridge.
He is now importing the concentrate from South Africa. The former
information Deputy Minister Bright Matonga 's citrus farm which he grabbed
from a Chegutu citrus farmer has also dried up. Matonga 's workers are now
selling the oranges to motorists along the Bulawayo/ Harare road.
"And more" by Tsitsi at Thursday, 07 January 2010 17:47
It doesn't stop there. All the oranges on the farm that Edna Madzongwe
grabbed illegally, also in Chegutu have fallen off the trees through total
neglect and ignorance. The kumquat orchard is virtually destroyed.
There are no other crops for export or the local market on that farm - it is
purely a citrus farm. Madzongwe moved onto the farm as the 6000 ton orange
crop was ready to reap. She reaped them for her own personal gain and since
then has done absolutely nothing to ensure a crop for this season.
This is sabotage to the nation, depriving the nation of food.
By Violet Gonda
07 January 2010
Villagers in parts of Mashonaland East are still being forced to attend ZANU
PF rallies, in spite of the new political dispensation that was supposed to
usher in freedoms. SW Radio Africa received a report on Thursday from a
concerned citizen who witnessed villagers being harassed when he recently
visited his family in the Munamba area in Murehwa. Our contact, who prefers
to remain anonymous, said war veterans and youth militia were still forcing
people to denounce the MDC.
He said at times the militia 'trick' the villagers to attend these meetings
by saying there will be food handouts but on arrival they find out it's a
political rally, where they are forced to participate.
Our contact said it is clear to people in urban areas that there is now a
power sharing government that includes ZANU PF and the MDC formations, but
this development is not so clear in many remote areas - a situation that
continues to be exploited by the former ruling ZANU PF party.
While there has been a significant decrease in the reports of political
violence as a result of the formation of the new government, the youth
militia are still running amok in many rural areas.
Three weeks ago 30 villagers were left injured after violent youths, led by
war veterans, brutalized them in Ruwangwe in Manicaland province. The
ZimDiaspora website said several people had to be hospitalised after they
were beaten for refusing to donate their personal belongings, including
cash, for the Unity Day Celebrations.
Written by Taurai Bande
Thursday, 07 January 2010 08:44
HARARE - Construction of a multi-million dollar dairy produce processing
plant is underway at Gushungo estates, owned by Grace Mugabe in Mazoe, to
counter targeted measures imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his
Personnel and equipment from the government-owned District Development Fund
(DDF), are clearing a piece of ground on a hill at the estate, in
preparation for construction of the plant. Construction will then be
fast-tracked and the plant is expected to manufacture products such as
cheese, yoghurt, sterilised milk and other dairy products. "A ban on sales
of Gushungo milk at Nestlé Zimbabwe prompted the first lady to construct the
plant, which will process milk from the estate into various products. The
products will be sold on the domestic market. When measures are eventually
lifted as expected, other manufactured products will find their way onto
lucrative European markets," a senior Zanu (PF) government minister
He said a Chinese-owned company was hired to speedily put up the structure.
"Gushungo estates, which boasts a more than 2,000 head of dairy cattle, no
longer has a viable market for its milk. The cattle were forcibly seized
from white farmers who owned the estates," said a top government official.
"Nestlé stopped buying milk from the estates in October last year." Grace
Mugabe grabbed the formerly white-owned estates, through the controversial
government sanctioned land reform programme. "An average five calves are
born daily at the estates, while at least three cattle die weekly due to
poor feeding. Clients buying milk direct at the estates are complaining of
poor quality fresh milk because of excessive water mixture," said the
official. To dispose of the marketless milk, workers at the estates are
given a daily two litre ration of milk.
Harare, January 07, 2010 - Controversial Harare businessman, Phillip
Chiyangwa, says an investigation that has been instituted by the Harare City
Council to determine how he acquired his many housing and business stands in
Harare is motivated by malice.
Speaking to Radio VOP in an exclusive telephone interview, Chiyangwa, said
he had acquired his stands in a transparent manner.
"That investigation is motivated by malice, it is aimed at tarnishing my
image, there are people who do not want to see people prosper in life," said
He claimed that it is the Harare City Council which owes him land.
"I gave the Harare City Council my land and all I was doing in the past is
to get back my land," said Chiyangwa.
"I am wondering why this so called investigation is concentrating on me as
if I am the only one who has bought land in the last few years. I would have
understood it if this investigation was investigating everyone who bought
land in Harare."
The Harare City Council has set up a committee to investigate how Chiyangwa
acquired vast tracts of land around the city without council approval.
The investigating team launched the investigation on Wednesday.
Council has already instructed the flamboyant businessman to stop developing
a public open space meant for a recreational multipurpose park in
But Chiyangwa, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe, has stuck his guns out.
"I cannot be stopped by people who have nothing, people who have no vision,
no property, all they wait for is to look at how they can destroy Chiyangwa
just because everything that he touches turns gold," he said.
He went on to accuse the Mayor of Harare of being jealous.
"My problem is that all things that I do succeed so there are some people
who are not happy about that. We meet with Masunda somewhere but let me tell
you in business I am strong," said Chiyangwa without elaborating.
Asked about yet another land wrangle that he is involved in with the
Chinhoyi Municipality, Chiyangwa said, "Let me finish with Harare City
Council then I can deal with Chinhoyi."
Chiyangwa is allegedly refusing to vacate a farm owned by the Chinhoyi
By Lance Guma
07 January 2010
The mother of the 18 year old girl who underwent surgery in the UK to remove
two tumours in her mouth has said the negative publicity surrounding the
administration of her appeal fund is traumatizing her daughter. Newsreel
spoke to Thandiwe Mapungwana, the mother of Taremeredzwa Nomatter
Mapungwana, who said the squabbling and accusations of looting of funds were
jeopardizing her daughter's chances of securing donations to fund a second,
necessary operation that doctors say she requires.
Zimbabweans worldwide rallied together to support an appeal by the Girl
Child Network, run by girl child rights activist Betty Makoni. Over £10,000
was raised, mainly in the United Kingdom, while close to US$20,000 was
raised in Zimbabwe. The money was to cover the costs of her operation and
hospital stay. National airline Air Zimbabwe donated two return tickets for
the family. But accusations that some of the money may have been misused
have generated heated arguments between those involved in helping the girl.
Tare's mother said her daughter was daily reading the negative stories on
the internet and this was 'distressing' her. She said every time she reads
negative things on her computer she goes straight to bed. Mrs. Mapungwana
also said she did not want to take sides in the squabbling but told our
Behind the Headlines programme that it was not proper for people to make
accusations without any evidence. She said if people had queries about how
the money was used they could always ask for explanations.
Even Tare's brother in Zimbabwe, Talent Mapungwana, was accused of stealing
money from his sister's fund by some of the publications. Tare's mother told
us that she spoke to Talent on Wednesday and he said he was also distressed
by the whole case. She said the money raised in Zimbabwe was paid directly
to the UK hospital that operated on Tare. This money was required as a
deposit before they could facilitate her admission. The family are still
waiting for doctors to tell them how much the second operation will cost.
According to Tare's mother the Girl Child Network is still running their
appeal and taking care of everything, including liaising with the hospital.
'All this negative talk and squabbling is going to affect progress in
helping Tare,' she said. On Thursday Tare told us doctors needed to remove
an over reactive gland in her throat which is causing the tumours. They also
want to align her gums, replace lost teeth and clean up part of her front
gums which are swollen.
Written by Stanley Chikomba
Thursday, 07 January 2010 08:23
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) (Pictured) last week desperately moved to
passive its restive rank and file when it distributed largesse in the form
of hampers to its members.
The army is said to have taken the move in a desperate bid to retain loyalty
which seems to have taken a largely fragmented since the formation of the
inclusive government last February. Many soldiers could be seen in central
Harare carrying green plastic dishes containing a variety of goodies meant
to provide a little festive cheer to a group which has otherwise been used
to special treatment.
Before the establishment of the inclusive government soldiers were regarded
as a special breed among the country's civil servants. They earned more than
other civil servants and in most cases they salaries is not known since they
are not part of the Public Service Commission (PSC). During last year's cash
shortages they had money delivered at their barracks by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) officers. But the inclusive government has been singing a
different tune, imposing a uniform basic salary for all civil servants. But
last week, many of them relived the good old days when a 75-seater bus came
full of hampers at the Army Headquarters in central Harare.
Immediately the soldiers formed a queue outside to receive their share.
"They are just hampers which force members are being given as Christmas
presents," said one soldier who had just received his hamper. "We used to
get these hampers long back but they had disappeared two years ago. Here at
the headquarters we are getting hampers, others at other stations are
getting meat and different other things." Inside the dish hamper was a 2 kg
bag of Ilovo sugar, 2 kg Pro Brands Rice packet, Stella tea bags, 1 litre
sterilised milk, two bars of soap, 2 litre cooking oil and a 2 litre Mazoe
While soldiers were getting hampers, nurses, teachers and other civil
servants got bonuses from PSC. Teachers took home US$ 300 while state
registered nurses went home with $390 with the extra US$ 90 coming from an
undisclosed donor. Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)
Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, who blocked government auditors from access
police records last month is said to be busy issuing out rogue policemen and
women with force numbers in a desperate bid to cover up the existence of
Any person who has ever owned or managed a business, albeit a rural bottle
store, tuck-shop or manufacturing industrial unit, will attest to the need
and benefits of a methodical annual audit. Zimbabwe must conduct a
comprehensive national land audit before the premature declaration that the
looting exercise in progress now-masked as land reform-is irreversible.
An urgent national land audit is a political imperative that will occur
notwithstanding the machinations of individuals with landholdings and other
people's stolen property they do not wish society and the landless masses to
know about. The landless have a God-given patriotic right to know who now
owns the land in Zimbabwe. Landless Zimbabweans are demanding an audit of
Rudimentary accounting requires the verification of any entity's balance
sheet, which lists the assets and liabilities of the said business. This
then forms the basis for future business strategies. Audits are essential
and invaluable management tools that also expose areas of poor asset
utilisation, fraudulent activities and inefficiency.
Auditing is an African tradition, an integral part of the pastoral practices
and a good animal husbandry philosophy for successful farmers. Any person
who has ever herded cattle in rural Zimbabwe remembers the gut wrenching
fear that grips one's psyche upon losing a single animal. Spending the night
looking for that one beast is an occurrence many herd boys will echo.
(kurasa mombe muchitamba chihwandehwande)
As livestock is released for the day's grazing, the counting of cattle that
normally occurs every early misty morning (kumusha) at the cattle kraal is
essentially an audit, which verifies that cattle rustlers did not steal any
beasts under the cover of darkness.
Unfortunately, persons who are advocating for the stoppage of the land audit
belong to a group that never owned or herded cattle in their youth and now
sit on land that is meant for real farmers who understand the value of an
For the purposes of clarity, if all the citizens, the stake holders are
treated as shareholders and Zimbabwe is the company, with immovable assets
such as land and natural resources, the citizens therefore call upon the
management(in this case the GNU) to conduct an audit of the company's
How then does another shareholder, a member of an interested party which
looted the companies assets, call for the obstruction of the audit?
With a national asset such as land having been taken from one group of
people and given to another, it is an economic, social and political
imperative that we know who the beneficiaries of the land redistribution
Who got which farms? Are they being utilised? Who are the multiple farm
owners? Were the landless peasants resettled? What land is left unutilised?
These questions are genuine patriotic concerns and the law requires that all
State assets be audited. Why does a junior politician from a political
party, which looted State assets, advocate violence against auditors? What
do the beneficiaries of the fast track land acquisition exercise have to
fear about a transparent audit? Why does the mere suggestion of a land audit
warrant so much rancour and name-calling?
An international firm of chartered accountants hired by the citizens of
Zimbabwe who believe in fairness, must conduct a comprehensive land audit
for Zimbabweans. Ownership of the report, which must be made public in all
official languages, belongs to the people of Zimbabwe who must decide in a
referendum on the course of action.
Zimbabwe is now in the midst of its fourth land reform programme. The first
three-all funded n the 80's by the international community-failed due to the
politicisation of the allocation of farms to "chefs" who were non-farmers.
These farms are still derelict and were stripped bare of their entire
infrastructure before our very own eyes. Tobacco barns were dismantled, the
bricks, roofing sold, aluminium irrigation pipes were sold for scrap metal
and the land reverted to savannah scrub.
Country clubs and private schools have been seized by the well-connected as
part of the land reform, who owns these now? What is the ethnic, gender and
cultural composition of all land beneficiaries? What is the political
affiliation of all those allocated land? Did any foreigners get land over
Zimbabwe is the only country in modern history that evicts her
citizens-productive farmers-and replaces them with foreigners who then get
protection under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
(BIPPA), which gives the Zimbabwean government immunity from prosecution for
post-2000 land seizures.
Is there any prime land for Zimbabweans who wish to return from the Diaspora
and invest in agriculture, build homes or businesses? Who allocated land to
whom? Who is selling land that was acquired via the land reform programme
meant for the landless? What has become of the farm workers and their
families displaced by land grabbers and their cronies? Why does a prejudiced
ZANU (PF) lands committee member, a mere political party functionary,
determine who looses land and who gets land?
6 517 farms with a total area of 10 463 954.5171 hectares have been gazetted
for resettlement purposes since 2000, who owns these farms now?
Muchida musigade -the land audit will occur - that is that sadza
Phil Matibe- www.madhingabucketboy.com
If you were to study Zimbabwean history from independence, you will see the
name Mnangagwa pop up often. And, invariably, whenever it does, it has
something to do with divisiveness, violence or threats.
He wants to be considered seriously as a contender for Mugabe's throne - and
is prepared to do just about anything to beat off rival bids.
"Simmering tensions and power struggles in ZANU PF have resurfaced amid
reports that members of the Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa's faction
met in Gweru during the Christmas holiday to carry out plans to launch a new
political party, a source said.
As ZANU PF factions jostle for power, there is growing fear that Mugabe's
departure will be worse than his presidency.
Mnangagwa was outflanked by a rival faction in the battle to succeed veteran
Robert Mugabe in ZANU PF.
The, 63 year old, is a sly politician who has long been touted by the media
and his political allies as frontrunner to replace Mugabe as first secretary
of ZANU PF, but his star has dimmed since 2004 when he was accused of
plotting against his boss."
Mnangagwa's activities are very similar to Mugabe's, in as much as he is not
afraid to use muscle, weapons and devious tactics to achieve his goals.
Mnangagwa is also cited as one of the most wealthy men in Zimbabwe - thanks
to his connections during the war in the Congo which the Zimbabwean army
participated - and during which Mnangagwa was 'paid' handsomely with
"Zimbabwean troops intervened in the DR Congo conflict on the side of the
government and, like other countries, it was accused of using the conflict
to loot some of its rich natural resources, such as diamonds, gold and other
But despite his money-raising role, Mr Mnangagwa, a lawyer who grew up in
Zambia, is not well-loved by the rank and file of his own party.
One veteran of Zimbabwe's war of independence, who worked with him for many
years, puts it simply: "He's a very cruel man, very cruel."
Another ZANU PF official poses an interesting question when asked about Mr
Mnangagwa's prospects: "You think Mugabe is bad but have you thought that
whoever comes after him could be even worse?"
ZANU PF have the ability to make a little money and a lot of intimidation go
a very long way.
And when it comes to Mnanagagwa, he has had a very good teacher - in the
person of Robert Mugabe.
"On Christmas day, a well attended secret steering committee meeting at a
farm just outside the city of Gweru was organised by former Information
Minister, Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho Professor Jonathan Moyo and
the meeting was chaired by former Midlands ZANU PF Chairman July Moyo,
Also in attendance, was former ZANU PF chairman for Manicaland, Mike Madiro,
and Member of Parliament for Mutare South, Fred Kanzama both representing
Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu came late after attending to a family
bereavement in Bulawayo."
I also find it interesting that the meeting should be chaired by Jonathan
Moyo, a ZANU PF member who has only just come back to the fold, having been
thrown out by Mugabe following the Tsholotsho debacle.
("Much philanthropy, including scholarship programs and support for sport
over many years, has earned Moyo a place in Tsholotsho, his family area.
This philanthropy increased during the days leading up to the March 2005
parliamentary election, a fact that critics feel made his win for the
parliamentary seat in the area inevitable.
In the lead up to the 2004 party meeting, he held an unofficial meeting in
Tsholotsho, of ZANU PF political heavyweights including six provincial party
chairmen, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, and a militant war veterans'
leader, Joseph Chinotimba. It was aimed at contesting one of the two
vice-presidential seats after the recent death of Simon Muzenda on September
20, 2003, seen as a stepping stone to the presidency in light of Mugabe's
presumed retirement in 2008.
He was heavily censured at the later ZANU PF meeting, with other attendees.
Joyce Mujuru won the vice-presidency at the party meeting.
The subsequent decision to set aside the Tsholotsho seat in the 2005
parliamentary election for female candidates was widely interpreted as
punishing those who organised the unauthorised meeting, and in particular
In February 2005 Moyo registered to run as an independent for the seat.
Doing so earned the wrath of Mugabe, who expelled him from the party and the
cabinet. He won the seat in the elections, held on March 31.")
Whatever the intentions of aspiring hopefuls, Mugabe has got his hands full
with not only knocking down any arrogance by senior members and their
eagerness to prove themselves loyal and capable, but he also has to somehow
keep the party together.
"We are also told that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa is also involved
but only playing a low profile for fear of Robert Mugabe's reprisal.
The meeting took 6 hours of intense deliberations with Jonathan Moyo taking
the opportunity to appraise his colleagues about the detailed plans based on
his scientific research and on reflections of what had taken place at the
congress and the new game plan.
The Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa himself did not attend, amid
reports that he is now under 24 hour survillance by members of the CIO's
Perhaps there is some wisdom in the saying, "Keep your friends close and
your enemies even closer."
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man