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Zimbabwe politicians welcome suspended sanctions plans

Zimbabwean politicians and analysts have welcomed news that Europe is
planning to suspend targeted measures on President Mugabe and his allies.

By Aislinn Laing, Peta Thornycroft in Johannesburg

6:00AM BST 12 Jul 2012

On both sides of the political divide, most agree that the sanctions,
imposed in 2002 after the seizure of white-owned farms and violent
presidential elections, had failed to hit their mark.

Most recently, Morgan Tsvangiri, the Movement for Democratic Change leader
and prime minister in Zimbabwe's fragile coalition, and Navi Pillay, the UN
human rights commissioner, have called for their lifting. Ms Pillay said the
stigma of sanctions was inflicting damage on the Zimbabwean economy.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Welshman Ncube, president of the smaller faction
of the MDC, said their suspension would promote a more open democracy.

"If this is true, then then this is the best news I have had in a very long
time and is a very serious contribution by the EU to help create a climate
where Zimbabweans can go to elections and freely express themselves," he

John Robertson, a Zimbabwean economist, said Zanu PF had made much
"political mileage" out of the sanctions.

"Sanctions were the West's best gift to Zanu PF," he said. "However we
should remember why the sanctions were imposed in the first place and that
some of those crimes continue."

Zanu PF politicians also welcomed the move, saying it would give succour to
"ordinary Zimbabweans".

Jonathan Moyo, Mr Mugabe's former Information Minister and a member of the
Zanu PF Politburo, said the "evil and illegal" sanctions "should never have
been imposed in the first place".

But he said that the threat to reinstate them was "patronising".

"It's very destabilising to say 'We are holding a big axe over your head if
you don't run elections in a way that's acceptable to us' because it will be
used by some political parties to get what they want," he said. "It will
create a situation where it's heads, MDC wins and tails, MDC wins.

"If the Europeans want to help us, they must leave us to run our own
affairs - we don't need to be treated like naughty children rewarded with
sweets. It's a very patronising attitude."

Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF's Secretary General and Minister of State for
Presidential Affairs, said the suspension of sanctions would make little
difference to the ruling class.

"It makes no difference to me whatsoever," he told The Telegraph. "I won't
be going to London, it's very cold and the people are very unfriendly - I
would rather stay here.

"We have been telling the British for years that the people they targeted
are not being adversely affected by sanctions at all. We are still receiving
our salaries and the situation for us is exactly the same.

"The people who are being affected are those who benefited from the
industries that could not function under sanctions. We are happy only that
our people will be happier."

Ian Makone, Morgan Tsvangirai's chief of staff, said they would wait to see
the evidence of the suspension.

"We have so far been unable to find out from the EU anything about this,
(sanctions) and until we are able to do so, we cannot comment," he said.

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Zimbabwe in talks with Chinese firm on power plant

Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:09pm GMT

Print | Single Page
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By Nelson Banya

HARARE, July 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government is in talks with China
Railway International over plans to build a 1,000 megawatt coal-fired power
plant to ease the southern African country's electricity shortages, its
energy minister said on Thursday.

Zimbabwe's ageing plants produce around 1,000 MW, half of its peak demand, a
power supply deficit which has paralysed mines and industry.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma said Zimbabwe was considering several options
to expand output at existing facilities, while pursuing new projects,
including the Western Areas coal project in Hwange where a 1,000 MW thermal
plant is planned.

In a statement to parliament, Mangoma said state-owned Zimbabwe Power Co
(ZPC) was in talks with China Railway International, a subsidiary of China
Railway Group, to jointly run a coal mine that would supply the proposed

"Promising negotiations are underway with China Railway International,"
Mangoma said. He did not say how much the project would cost, but said the
plant would take between three and four years to finish.

Zimbabwe has short-listed bids for the expansion of its Hwange thermal
station and the Kariba hydro-plant to boost their combined output by 900 MW.

Independent power producers with projects that have the potential to
generate a total of 5,000 MW have been licensed but are yet to start work.

However, analysts say Zimbabwe is unlikely to attract significant foreign
investment due to President Robert Mugabe's drive to force foreign firms,
including mines and banks, to turn over 51 percent shareholdings to locals
under an empowerment law.

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Bulawayo MDC-T infighting claims first big casualty

Staff writer
12 July 2012

The outspoken MDC-T MP for Bulawayo East, Tabitha Khumalo, has been demoted
from her role as deputy spokesperson for the party, amid reports she will be
reassigned to another less influential position.

Khumalo confirmed to SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that she had received a
letter, signed by party President Morgan Tsvangirai, relieving her of her
duties to speak on behalf of the party. She was appointed to the post in
April last year following the party congress in Bulawayo.

Analysts described her removal as a cracking of the whip to halt the
factionalism that was tearing apart structures in the Bulawayo province.

Khumalo is believed to belong to a faction led by Matson Hlalo, a Senator
representing Mzilikazi, which is involved in a bloody battle to wrestle
control of the province from Gorden Moyo, the chairman.

Moyo, with the support of the deputy President of the party Thokozani Khupe,
beat Hlalo to the post of provincial chairman. But the fall-out between the
two has torn the province into factions since the party held elections for
its structures last year.

The simmering tensions in the province have led to several defections, with
most of the party cadres crossing the floor to the MDC formation led by
Welshman Ncube.

Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme said: ‘The party (MDC-T) faces a
challenge to remain relevant in Bulawayo as they face a major hurdle from
the other MDC. I understand there are two others in the firing line and the
party has set their sights with a view to reassigning them to others

The deputy organiser for Bulawayo, Thepiso Mpofu has been described as a
kingmaker in the Hlalo faction and they are believed to be the officials
facing reassignment.

Asked to comment why the party had specifically targeted Khumalo, a Harare
based senior official told us this was long overdue considering the number
of times she had been warned about her conduct as a senior public figure.

‘There had been a lot of issues concerning the way she conducted herself in
the divisions that were rocking Bulawayo.

‘There was also fury at her reluctance to tow the party line following her
decision to align herself with a faction of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions led by Lovemore Matombo. Remember the party has since the split of
the Labour body last year aligned itself with the George Nkiwane group,’ our
source said.

Khumalo’s relations with the party leadership also became strained after she
mobilized prostitutes in Bulawayo with a view to making them join a
representative union under which their activities would be legalized.

‘I think the party leadership got to a point where they were caught up in
two minds about whether Khumalo is an asset or a troublemaker and a threat
to the MDC,’ the source added.

There was also the issue of her lack of respect towards Tsvangirai on
occasion. Colleagues had to ‘talk to her quietly’ about her abrasive,
confrontational way in which she addressed the party leader in meetings.

‘At one time people just held their heads in disbelief with the way she
spoke to Tsvangirai. Waitofunga kuti President vanechikwereti chake (You
would think Tsvangirai owed her money), the source said.

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Zim editor slams attempts to gag ‘critical’ media

By Alex Bell
12 July 2012

The editor of an independent daily newspaper in Zimbabwe has slammed
attempts by the government to gag the media for being too critical of
politicians and business ventures.

Information Minister Webster Shamu on Wednesday summoned news editors to his
offices for a telling off about their articles, apparently in the wake of a
reportedly ‘embarrassing’ dressing down by Robert Mugabe in Parliament about
some media reports.

The meeting Wednesday was meant to instruct the editors not to publish
‘unsubstantiated’ articles about the country’s politicians, apparently after
the Herald newspaper wrote false reports about the travel plans of the Prime
Minister’s new wife.

But Shamu instead turned the focus of the meeting on the Daily News
newspaper, with the backing of a businessman who the newspaper has been

Daily News editor Stanley Gama told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he was
“shocked and surprised” by the appearance of businessman Ken Sharpe, the man
behind the controversial building of a new shopping mall in a wetlands area
in Borrowdale.

Gama explained that his paper has been investigating Sharpe and his new
venture, and has reported on some of the controversies there. This includes
the fact that the building plans have not yet been approved by the
Environmental Management Authority (Ema) or the Harare City Council, with
mounting concern about the environmental havoc that will be created if the
wetlands are destroyed to make way for a giant mall. At the same time
residents around the Borrowdale West area, and many residents associations,
have fiercely objected to the project, objections that have been ignored.

“In the meeting with Shamu, Sharpe demanded that the Daily News stop writing
negative articles about him and his mall. So the meeting turned into a
showdown between Shamu, Sharpe and myself,” Gama said.

He continued: “To me, this was just a way of bullying us and trying to
intimidate us. And I told Shamu and Sharpe that we will not be arm twisted
in this way.”

Shamu’s decision to include Sharpe in the editors’ meeting is being
described by some observers as a clear sign that the businessman has the
ZANU PF minister in his pocket. The Daily News’ Gama said that it raises
serious questions when a private businessman is brought in by a government
minister to make demands of the independent media.

“We are still trying to find out exactly why this happened and what is
behind it. We are also going to write a letter to Robert Mugabe to explain
what Sharpe’s involvement in government is,” Gama said.

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Coltart and Kasukuwere clarify school indigenisation

Staff Reporter
12 July 2012

Recently Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere caused a major panic
when he said schools were to be indigenised, meaning they had to hand over
51% of their shares.

The new regulations to take over private schools were published in a notice
in the Government Gazette last week.

But now Minister of Education David Coltart has said he has reached an
agreement with Kasukuwere: Writing on his Facebook page he said: “I am
pleased to report that I had a very constructive discussion with
(Empowerment) Minister Saviour Kasukuwere this (Wednesday) evening regarding
the Indigenisation notice recently issued.”

“We are agreed that the rights contained in section 20(3) of the
Constitution, namely the right of religious and other groups to set up and
run schools, will be fully respected by Government.

“Accordingly all mission, church, religious, community and trust schools run
not for profit will not be subject to any indigenisation policy.”

Coltart also posted on Facebook a statement by Kasukuwere saying: “Sen David
Coltart and I had a discussion around the General Notice, specifically on
the education sector. In our engagement with him we advised that the
instrument had at no point talked about Trust schools,Religious/Christian
schools and Community. The Notice was specific to companies engaged in
education as a profit making venture.I am happy that the law is clear and
was always clear. I appeal to fellow citizens to read the notice and satisfy
ourselves so that distortions are minimized.”

So Kawukuwere appears to be blaming people for not reading the notice
correctly, by pointing out that the indigenisation regulations only affect
anyone who is trying to make a profit out of an entity.

In most nations, forcing someone to hand over half of a profitable company
is called theft.

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MDC-T to fight Chinamasa over Diaspora vote

By Tichaona Sibanda
12 July 2012

The MDC-T has said they are prepared to take Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa head-on if he tries to push through the Electoral Bill that
precludes the Diaspora vote.

Chinamasa has been quoted as saying : “With respect to people living in the
diaspora, let me say this right from the outset, there are other 101 reasons
why we are not ready for diaspora voting and I will just enumerate the few.
The capacity to have polling stations in every country where Zimbabweans are
is just beyond the capacity of this country.

He added: “The other consideration and it is very important, given where we
are geo-politically, where we are, we have sanctions imposed against one of
the three political parties in the inclusive government.”

Chinamasa tabled the Electoral Amendment Bill for its first reading in
Parliament on Wednesday, and the debate continued into Thursday.

MDC-T legislators told SW Radio Africa that Chinamasa should not try and
impose his own laws on the people of Zimbabwe.

‘This is why we have Parliament to ensure that we debate such issues. As it
is we are going to tackle the issue of the Disapora vote but the honest
truth is the Bill is unlikely to sail through in this format,’ an MDC-T MP

At the time of writing debate was still going on in parliament and MDC-T
legislators were strongly objecting to the section that said people who have
poor vision or are blind, have to vote in the presence of a presiding
officer, even though they can have a person of their own choice to assist

The MP’s argued that while this enabled these electors to participate in the
poll, it meant that their votes were neither secret nor independent.

Fireworks erupted when Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa tried to push
through the Bill with the controversial clause on blind voters not settled
by the MP’s.

‘A presiding officer from our experience can be anybody from the CIO working
under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. It can be anybody
from ZANU PF working under the same body, so we are saying anyone of choice
is good enough.

‘Experience tells us a blind voter is usually accompanied to the polling
station by a relative. If the blind voter asks the relative to cast their
vote for ZANU PF or MDC, without any intrusion from a presiding officer fair
enough,’ an MDC MP said.

The voting system in Zimbabwe has long being condemned for not guaranteeing
that the blind can cast their votes freely and democratically, because it
does not provide for Braille ballot papers. Even during campaign periods it
has been noted that there is no literature in Braille.

As a result of the absence of Braille ballot papers, the current electoral
law stipulates that blind voters are assisted to vote by officers presiding
over polling stations, in the presence of a police officer and agents of
contesting political parties.

The presiding officer asks the blind voter who he or she wants to vote for,
and then marks the ballot for the preferred candidate. Some civil society
organizations have described this practice as degrading and violating the
concept of a secret ballot.

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Mugabe Loses, Given Ultimatum

Harare, 12 July 2012 - The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal
filed by President Robert Mugabe challenging a High Court decision directing
him to gazette a date for by-elections in three parliamentary constituencies
in Matabeleland Provinces and ordered him to issue a notice announcing the
vacancies in the constituencies by the end of August.

President Mugabe had appealed against part of Justice Nicholas Ndou’s ruling
granted in October 2011 ordering the ZANU PF leader to ensure by-elections
for Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East were conducted as they were
constitutionally long overdue.

But on Thursday Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku issued an operative part
of the Supreme Court judgment (the order) dismissing President Mugabe’s
appeal and ordering him to publish in the Government Gazette “a notice
ordering new elections to fill the vacancies as soon as possible but by no
later than 30 August 2012.”

The appeal was heard last Thursday by Chief Justice Chidyausiku, Judge of
Appeal (JA) Justice Vernanda Ziyambi, JA Paddington Garwe, JA Anne-Mary
Gowora and Acting Judge of Appeal Justice Yunus Omerjee.

President Mugabe was taken to court by three former MDC-M Members of
Parliament Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu in 2010 after
their parliamentary membership was terminated following their suspension and
subsequent expulsion from the MDC M party.

Bhebhe, Mguni and Mpofu were represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights member Ndabezinhle Mazibuko of Calderwood Bryce Hendrie&Partners
Legal Practitioners, while President Mugabe was represented by Advocate Ray

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Mugabe defends PM

Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer
Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:35

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has come to Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's defence, directing Information minister Webster Shamu to ensure
the premier and his wife Elizabeth are shielded from adverse state media

Ministers were shocked by the President’s stance at a Cabinet meeting on
Tuesday, when he warned Shamu against using the media to vilify Tsvangirai
and his wife.

Until the Tuesday talks, there was a perception that the State media had
been given a nod by the President’s administration to pour scorn and insults
on the Prime Minister and his wife.

On that basis, the State media crusade had hit high gear with a media
hatchet job insinuating that Elizabeth had left Harare for a shopping spree
in South Africa and India using taxpayers’ funds.

The report, filled with distortion of facts, claimed the PM’s wife had left
the country to buy jewellery and other ancilliary accessories for their
upcoming wedding.

But it turned out to be a false report when Elizabeth pitched up at a
government function with her husband in Harare, the day the state-run press
had claimed she had flown out to India.

The Daily News heard that Tsvangirai officially protested against the state
media over biased reporting and selective coverage in his Monday principals’
meeting with Mugabe.

Sources said Tsvangirai told Mugabe that the state media, even during its
days under the Rhodesian Printing and Publishing, has always supported the
government of the day.

The following day an incensed Mugabe surprisingly made remarks calling for a
stop to the press reports forthwith, largely because he was aware of the
issue and did not want his name involved in what could end up a messy

Sources said Shamu got a tongue-lashing by Mugabe for over an hour, before
the President expressed his exasperation at the undue negative publicity on
his coalition partner and his spouse in the high-level Tuesday government

Yesterday Shamu summoned all editors to Munhumutapa Building to convey the
president's message.

"During yesterday's Cabinet meeting, the head of State and government and
commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency, the
President, Cde R.G. Mugabe expressed concern over the press reports on the
travel arrangements of the wife of the Prime Minister, honourable Morgan
Tsvangirai," Shamu told editors yesterday.

"His Excellency expressed concern on the level of negative and intrusion
into the private life of the Prime Minister and his wife, emphasising that
the couple's right to lead their private lives should be respected. He noted
that it is unAfrican to show such levels of disrespect to the wife of the
national leader."

Mugabe said local media should not import the "negative portrayal of
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa in that country's media." Zuma, a
polygamist who has been married six times and reported to have over 20
children, has courted widespread adverse publicity in his country.

The president's decision to throw his weight behind Tsvangirai after months
of mixed signals appears designed to reassure his coalition partner.

Article19 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that gave birth to the
inclusive government says steps should be taken to ensure that the public
media provides balanced and fair coverage to all political parties for their
legitimate political activities.

It states in part "that the public and private media shall refrain from
using abusive language that may incite hostility, political intolerance and
ethnic hatred or that unfairly undermines political parties and other

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Zim set to amend Securities Act: Biti

Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:13

HARARE - Finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday said government will this
week gazette major amendments to the Securities Act aimed at improving the
country’s capital markets regulatory and supervisory functions.

Speaking at TN Bank’s listing ceremony on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE),
Biti said the move would also end current irregularities at the bourse, that
have seen chief executive Emanuel Munyukwi being suspended.

“We have had a major challenge with the ZSE, its management and the
committee that has been running it. We feel for lack of a better word it’s a
mafia corporation,” he said, adding

“Cabinet has approved major amendments to the Securities Act which I think
will be gazetted tomorrow.”

The amendment, Biti said, will force the demutualisation of any capital
market in Zimbabwe to ensure accountability.

He said the changes will allow existing markets to be accountable to a
board and some known shareholders.

“We feel that we have tried to protect these institutions without
democratising and modernising them,” Biti added.

The minister said currently, the status quo of the ZSE was that nobody
really knows who owns it and as a result the stock brokers, who are the
players, assume a self-regulatory role with disclosure being put to

He said the new regulations will also set up the Central Securties
Depository (CSD) — an electronic securities settlement system in order to
make sure the ZSE complies with international best practices.

“The second thing is a CSD, a lot of things are happening, you buy a share
the next thing is a stock broker tells you don’t remember.

“Part of the reason why foreign investment has shrunk to this market
compared to say 2000 when we were the second- biggest bourse on the African
continent are issues associated with CSD and the absence of modernisation of
this market.”

Commending Lifestyle Holdings Limited (formerly TN Holdings Limited) founder
and group chief executive Tawanda Nyambirai’s success in business, Biti said
the de-merger was an ideal indigenisation model where local blacks build
assets from their capital and creativity.

“The role of the state is not to facilitate the grabbing of some people’s
assets because they are white.”
He said the ideal role of indigenisation is to create an enabling
environment such that talent and entrepreneurship irrespective of race can

Biti welcomed Nyambirai’s initiative at a time other badly run local banks
have failed.

“In recent times we have seen in our banking system a small click of
predatory bankers. A small clique of mafia bankers. I saw an article that
said it’s almost like common practice that if you want to rob the public,
start a bank and that is totally unacceptable,” the minister said.

“To the extent that TN Bank has remained professional, professionally well
done and that Nyambirai has refused to be seduced away from the path of
virtue into the path of wilderness where people hit their chests and say I
own a bank, but you don’t own a bank you are just stealing people’s money.”

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Zimbabwe says power debt down to under $20 mn

Sapa-AFP | 12 July, 2012 20:30

Energy-starved Zimbabwe has cut its debt to power providers to under US$20
million from around $100 million in a bid to resume imports after major
regional suppliers cut it off, the energy minister said Thursday.

"We have currently made strides to pay the debt we owed and our total debt
has now been reduced to below $20 million from nearly a $100 million,"
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told parliament.

He said talks have begun with neighbours Mozambique and Zambia to get "a
little bit more" electricity after reducing the debt.

In recent months, Zimbabwe could only afford to import 25 megawatts from
neighbouring countries after major electricity suppliers in the region cut
off supplies for non-payment.

Zimbabwe needs about 2,200 MW of electricity at peak consumption but
generates just below 1,300 MW.

"Zimbabwe used to import as much as 500 MW from SNEL in DR Congo, EDM and
HCB in Mozambique and ZESCO in Zambia," he said adding the average quantity
had came down to 100 MW.

"Because we were not paying, even that 100MW has been reduced to 25MW."

Mangoma said the country is working on refurbishing its northern Kariba
hydro-power station and the Hwange thermal power station in the west of the
country to boost generation capacity.

The minister said earlier this year that the power utility Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is owed $400 million in unpaid
electricity bills by consumers.

Authorities also increased energy charges last year by 31 percent to 9.83
cents per kilowatt hour.

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Parliament Blocks Electoral Bill, Demands Changes

11 July 2012

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC

After passing a controversial human rights law, the Zimbabwe parliament on
Wednesday rejected the Electoral Bill that precludes the diaspora vote and
is fraught with loopholes seen as favoring President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF

The House of Assembly blocked the proposed law and ordered Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa to factor in a few changes before bringing it back for
more debate.

Among other things, MDC legislators objected to a provision which says voter
registration should be based on a particular polling station. Instead, they
prefer a system allowing people to vote in any station where they are

Chinamasa told parliament that the Electoral Bill does not allow expatriates
to vote because politicians in his Zanu PF party can not travel to Western
countries to campaign due to sanctions.

If allowed, Chinamsa said, the diaspora vote would give the MDC an unfair
advantage. But the proposed law is not all doom. It has its own strenghts,
one of which is a provision requiring authorities to release election
results within five days of voting.

This seeks to prevent a repeat of the 2008 situation where it took the
electoral body a whole month to release results amid deepening public
anxiety and heightening political tensions.

The law also mandates the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to summon and
censure parties and candidates over violence, as well as establishing
special courts to try political violence cases.

On Tuesday, parliament passed the controversial Human Rights Bill which bars
the newly-introduced Human Rights Commission from probing rights violations
that occurred before February, 2009.

That means the 2008 election violence and the Gukurahundi killings of the
1980s that claimed more than 20,000 lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands
will not be investigated.

Only two legislators, Siyabonga Malandu Ncube of Insiza South and Magwegwe's
Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda - both from Matabaleland, opposed the law.

Malandu Ncube told VOA he was shocked his MDC colleagues backed the law.
"It's a big shame," Ncube said. "Victims of human rights abuses were looking
up to the MDC to make laws that will give them justice. The dream is now

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association director Okay Machisa also criticized the
law calling it "unacceptable and shameful."

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Mutambara Tells U.S. Conference Sanctions Impeding Growth

11 July 2012

Sithandekile Mhlanga | Washington

With the country's next elections expected sometime next year following a
constitutional referendum, the international community is beginning to look
at possible opportunities in a new Zimbabwe.

In Washington this week the National Endowment for Democracy, working with
the World Movement for Democracy and the Solidarity Center hosted a
conference to discuss new political dynamics obtaining in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara called on the United States to lift
the so-called targeted sanctions on Harare saying they were scaring away

Mutambara said the measures, imposed by Washington and the European Union on
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF inner circle were also tarnishing
the country’s image.

In a strongly-worded message to the U.S., Mutambara said it was evident the
sanctions, though targeted, served Washington's interests and not those of
ordinary Zimbabweans.

He added leaders from all three governing parties in Harare wanted the
sanctions lifted, adding that economic reforms, and not just democratic
changes, are necessary to revive the country to its former glory.

Mutambara's stance was not isolated. Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Washington,
Machivenyika Mapuranga added his voice, saying it was baffling that many
countries in the world backed by the U.S. do not respect human rights but
are not under sanctions.

But U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African
Affairs Reuben Brigety refused to back down, saying the sanctions will not
be removed until Harare’s human rights record improved.

Panelist Rukudzo Murapa, chairman of Great Zimbabwe Scenarios and Chief
Editor of Africa Democratic Leadership Academy, commended the government of
national unity for bringing about positive changes in the country.

Another panelist, Ibbo Mandaza, director of the Southern African Political
Economy Series Trust Group and editor of the Southern African Political
Economic monthly, dismissed the unity government as ineffective.

Mandaza said lawmakers should not be appointed ministers as most do not have
a clue how to perform their duties. He dismissed the Movement for Democratic
Change as incompetent and unsuitable for running the country.

Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labor, Economic Development Research
Institute of Zimbabwe, said corruption is rampant in the country depriving
ordinary people of basic resources.

Earlier, other panelists revealed mixed feelings about the successful
completion of the country’s constitution-writing process, with some doubting
it would lead to free and fair elections.

What was clear from the "Re-Thinking Zimbabwe" conference was how divided
Zimbabweans themselves are about processes in their country.

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State ordered to compensate assaulted MDC activist

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mavis Dandira, a Harare-based MDC activist who was assaulted by soldiers and
police officers while participating in an MDC-sanctioned march in 2003 has
won a lawsuit against the State and awarded US$1 500 in damages.

High Judge, Justice Alfas Chitakunye ordered the State to pay Mavis Dandira
US$1 000 for pain and US$500 for contumelia (scornful or insulting
treatment) after he was convinced that she had been assaulted by State
security agents.

“In the absence of contrary evidence, I find that the plaintiff was
assaulted by members of the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army) and police officers
in the manner described,” said Justice Chitakunye in his ruling.

“Further in the absence of any evidence that the ZNA and police officers
were not acting in the course of their employment, I find that they were in
fact acting in the course of their employment,” he said.

Justice Chitakunye said the State security agents had no right to assault
the woman and that their actions were unlawful. Dandira had initially
applied for US$3 200 as damages for pain and suffering but the judge reduced
it to US$1 000 while contumelia damages were reduced from US$1 000 to

The assault took place on 2 June 2003 when Dandira took part in a
demonstration in which she joined hundreds of MDC and human rights activists
marching from Highfield into the city centre. Along the way, some soldiers
confronted the group and commotion ensued, resulting in Dandira falling down
as she attempted to run away.

The soldiers caught up with her and assaulted her with rifle butts all over
the body. She was bundled into the back of a truck before the soldiers drove
to Machipisa Police Station. At the police station, the police officers took
over in assaulting her using batons. After the assault, Dandira was forced
to pay an admission of guilt fine of Z$3 000 for breach of the Miscellaneous
Offences Act.

State security agents have on several occasions been accused of using
unnecessary force to break up sanctioned MDC meetings and rallies across the

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Government should carry out the land audit - PM

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Prime Minister notes with concern that some Ministers in Government will
be embarking on a partisan land audit outside the Government processes.

A report in the State media today indicates that the Zanu PF Land reform
department led by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Lands
Minister Hebert Murerwa wants to undertake a countrywide land audit,
notwithstanding the fact that Minister Murerwa is required to do the same
process for Government.

The GPA, which is now part of the Constitution, obligates Government to
audit land.

Since 2009, the Ministry of Lands has done nothing in this regard and has
not even come up with a framework for the land audit.

While it is acknowledged that Ministers have assignments for their political
parties in this instance the Government and people of Zimbabwe are expecting
a proper land audit that is expected to reveal multiple farm owners and
those that are not producing on the land allocated to them.

As a Principal of Government responsible for supervision and implementation
of Government policy, the Prime Minister expects the Minister of Lands to
embark on a proper land audit as stipulated by the law and as identified by
his Ministry as a key priority.

Luke Tamborinyoka

Spokesperson - Office of the Prime Minister

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Indigenization Policy a Euphemism for National Asset-Stripping

Indigenization of at least 51% of ownership of businesses has, through General Notice 280 of 2012 been extended to cover all important sectors beyond mining to include finance, tourism, entertainment, energy services, transport, communications and education.

Mike Campbell (Left), BenFreeth (right) and their homeless workers on their farm in Chegutu, Zimbabwe after their farm was forcibly and violently taken.
Mike Campbell (Left), BenFreeth (right) and their homeless workers on their farm in Chegutu, Zimbabwe after their farm was forcibly and violently taken.

This euphemism for national asset-grabbing driven by Zanu PF minister Saviour Kasukuwere is designed to enrich a few in a way that will trigger the collapse of the economy. This policy has been fiercely resisted not only by the pro-democracy movement, but, interestingly enough, by staunch Zanu PF allies including Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

Referring to the banking sector, Gono recently accused Kasukuwere of seeking to interfere with the sector when he had presided over bank that collapsed due to mismanagement. There is a sense, perhaps justified, among certain elements within Zanu PF engaged in sunset politics that a change of government is imminent, and as such, there should be a looting spree now, before change comes. The next government will inherit a shell of a country.

A similar approach was used regarding to so-called land reform program the led to a collapse of the agriculture industry when the political elite grabbed for themselves multiple farms which were not properly utilized. Despite the SADC-brokered Global Political Agreement directing that there be a comprehensive land audit to expose these multiple farm owners, such moves have been fiercely resisted. It a scorched earth policy – where those in power now want to loot everything and leave nothing behind. For the sake of posterity this must be resisted in this transitional period.

As a colleague recently explained, it is not that Zanu PF is so strong that it is able to get away with such damaging policies, but the pro-democracy movement is weak. And, as another colleague pointed out, this transition will be as strong as the pro-democracy movement. There is need now to raise the stakes to challenge the loot and plunder approach that is taking place in the name of the people of Zimbabwe. A number of individuals in Zanu PF are opposed to loot and plunder approach, just as the bulk of the army is opposed to a partisan and politicized military leadership. It is crucial that this observation be publicized, so that the world knows that it is not a formidable, united force that we are fighting, but a disjointed, fractured force driven largely by greed and kleptomania.

To illustrate the depth of fault lines among Zanu PF allies, a representative of the Affirmative Action Group, Keith Guzha, recently condemned the indigenization policy and pointed out that in was not benefiting ordinary Zimbabweans. It would be interesting to establish the identity of those individuals benefiting from the indigenization policy. A quick look at the diamond industry reveals that diamonds are for those closely connected to the military and to Zanu PF, and not ordinary citizens. Repeatedly, finance minister Tendai Biti has complained that there is absolutely no accountability for diamond revenue which is not getting to treasury.

Perhaps it is high time the pro-democracy movement gets its act together and rallies around a common call for accountability in the interests of current and future generations. A national, peaceful march in protest against the loot and plunder of national resources would be a good starting point to pressure the political elite to act in the genuine interest of all Zimbabweans.

Dewa Mavhinga, Regional Coordinator, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

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To say that I am shocked is an understatement

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 12th July 2012.

I could not believe the news that despite heated debate, Zimbabwe’s
Parliament voted for the Human Rights Commission Bill in its defective form.

This means that The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will not have power to
investigate any of the political violence in 2008 let alone Operations
Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, Hakudzokwi, Makavhotera Papi and so on.

It means that survivors of state-sponsored and political violence including
abduction, rape, torture, farm seizures, beatings and arson will have no-one
to ask for compensation. It’s just ridiculous.

I still cannot figure out how the scores of MDC MPs from both formations
could be whipped into supporting a document agreed to by only 6 people (the

It is worth noting that the Attorney General Johannes Tomana suspended
corruption prosecutions over the alleged abuse of Constituency Development
Fund (CDFs) by a number of MPs. It remains to be seen if any MPs will be
prosecuted for CDF frauds.

One would have thought that lessons were learnt since the MPs voted for the
Chinese loan for a Spy Centre amid reports of a parallel government being
funded by proceeds from Chiadzwa diamonds, while civil servants are going
without pay increase.

As a result, Treasury has been forced to go back to the drawing boards on
the much talked about $600 million that was expected from diamonds, despite
warnings against that fatal optimism.

As if that was not bad enough The Telegraph says “Robert Mugabe could be
brought in from the cold” (before free and fair elections). It’s just

A Foreign Office spokesman is quoted by The Telegraph as saying that
circumstances in Zimbabwe have changed since sanctions were put under review
earlier this year. What has changed?

The roadmap to free and fair elections is booby-trapped and full of
potholes. For instance, the new constitution has not yet been concluded.
Devolution is still being rejected by Zanu-pf. Dual citizenship while
promised is being shot down.

The regime spokesman Patrick Chinamasa says he has 101 reasons why exiled
Zimbabweans who are estimated at 3-4 million should not be allowed to vote.
The voters roll is far from perfect.

In fact, the voters roll is now very suspect as nothing has been heard of it
since those disclosures of about two million phantom voters including the
dead and babies.

The Westphalians (EU) are sending a wrong signal to Mugabe and other
dictators by being inconsistent on human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe.

I disagree with the argument that in order to try to induce reforms in
Zimbabwe, the EU needs to suspend restrictive measures before free and fair
elections are held.
It does not make sense.

What will the EU and the UN get as guarantees of peaceful, free and fair
democratic elections in Zimbabwe when 3 million have been disenfranchised by

The same West also tells us it believes in the rule of law. If so, then why
would they temper with the travel ban and asset freeze which are being
contested in court?

It is also incredible that, before a referendum on the new constitution and
presidential elections, some Zimbabwean elites have acquiesced to Mugabe’s

Sadly, Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders have not learnt a lesson from the past.
They have forgotten how Mugabe has outsmarted his opponents for forty
decades through dodgy accords to give him a breathing space.

Meanwhile, indigenisation is wreaking havoc on the economy as investors said
to be staying away while legalised looting goes into overdrive, this time
targeting Western banks.

Despite the firm seizures, unemployment remains at over 80 percent according
to some estimates. To say that I am shocked is an understatement.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,

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