AFRICAN Union leaders meeting Sunday will tackle the continent's hotspots at
their biannual summit, even if elections for the bloc's top job are likely
to overshadow the agenda after a deadlocked vote in January.
South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will challenge the sitting chairman of
the commission, Jean Ping, after neither won the required two-thirds of the
vote at the last summit, leaving Ping in the job for a further six months.
They will face off again on Sunday for the top job, which Ping has held
Both candidates have issued strongly-worded public statements ahead of
Earlier this week, Ping dismissed reports from South African media that he
was pulling out of the race to allow Dlamini-Zuma to stand unopposed,
prompting the Southern African Development Community to accuse him of
abusing AU resources in his election race.
Analysts say unwritten tradition is that continental powerhouses do not run
for the post of AU Commission chairman -- leaving smaller nations to take
the job -- and that South Africa's decision to override this rule has
sparked bad feeling.
If no chair is selected this time around, Ping could legally be asked to
stay on as leader until the next summit in January 2013.
Security issues are also a top priority at the gathering, with leaders
focusing on instability in Mali, renewed violence in the Democratic Republic
of Congo and the ongoing crisis between Sudan and South Sudan.
Following a Peace and Security Council meeting Saturday, the AU demanded an
end to "unacceptable interference" by Mali's ex-junta following a
destabilizing coup in March and called for the former junta's dissolution.
The security arm of the pan-African bloc also called a meeting at heads of
state level for regional powers seeking a solution to escalating violence in
eastern DR Congo.
The council urged a speedy solution to outstanding conflicts between the
Sudans at the end of the security meeting, which was attended by Sudan's
President Omar al-Bashir and his southern countrpart Salva Kiir.
The conference is officially themed "boosting intra-Africa trade", the same
as for the bloc's January summit.
Officials said they had decided to limit themselves to one theme per year
rather than a new one each summit, as was previously the case.
The meeting is being held in the Ethiopian capital after Malawi's new
president Joyce Banda refused to host Bashir, wanted by the International
Criminal Court on war crimes and genocide charges.
Parliament will this week hear calls to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe as
Britain and the European Union are poised to suspend a variety of punitive
measures in a bid to encourage reform.
At Tuesday’s debate Mr Hain will claim that Mr Mugabe and his associates are
planning further election violence to keep the rival Movement for Democratic
Change from power, using money siphoned from the country’s “blood diamonds”
Aislinn Laing and Peta Thorneycroft
7:32PM BST 15 Jul 2012
Peter Hain will claim that Robert Mugabe and associates are planning further
election violence to keep the rival Movement for Democratic Change from
power, using money siphoned from the country’s “blood diamonds”.
The former cabinet minister will highlight a report by Global Witness which
claims that Sam Pa, a Chinese businessman, has provided funding and
equipment to Zimbabwe’s secret police in return for access to diamond
A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said “there was no
question” of lifting sanctions on Mr Mugabe, 88, or anyone involved in
continued human rights abuses. Western diplomats have said that conditions
could be lifted on the president if certain conditions are met.
He said that while the body was “reflecting” on its policy towards Zimbabwe,
following a call for sanctions to be lifted by the UN Human Rights Chief,
regional mediator President Jacob Zuma and Mr Tsvangirai, the president of
Zimbabwe would not be among those given a reprieve.
“There is no question of lifting sanctions (an asset freeze and travel ban)
against Mugabe or anyone involved in continued abuses of human rights,
incitement to violence, etc -- that is simply not up for discussion,” said
At Tuesday’s debate Mr Hain will claim that Mr Mugabe and his associates are
planning further election violence to keep the rival Movement for Democratic
Change from power, using money siphoned from the country’s “blood diamonds”.
Mr Hain will highlight a report by Global Witness which claims that Sam Pa,
a Chinese businessman, has provided funding and equipment to Zimbabwe’s
secret police in return for access to diamond deposits in eastern Marange.
Other firms with concessions in Marange are said to have on their boards
senior members of the armed forces, the group has claimed.
European officials told the Telegraph last week that Britain and the EU were
preparing to lift sanctions on 112 targeted individuals including Robert
Mugabe in an effort to persuade him to hold free and fair elections next
year, as long as certain conditions were met.
But Mr Hain, a former Minister for Africa, will push for the sanctions not
only to remain but to be extended to those allegedly involved in the country’s
secretive diamonds trade.
“More than enough damage has been done already to the wonderful people of
Zimbabwe, as a once-prosperous country has been reduced to penury,” Mr Hain
“Let us ensure we do not perpetuate that terrible damage by premature
suspensions of these highly targeted sanctions, especially on those
responsible for the Marange blood diamonds, when the imperative is to impose
more not less.”
In report last month entitled Funding a Parallel Government? Global Witness
alleged that a Chinese businessman named Sam Pa was awarded a diamond
concession after donating up to $100m and 200 military trucks to Zimbabwe’s
feared Central Intelligence Organisation.
Sino Zimbabwe Development, a joint venture between the state-owned Zimbabwe
Minerals Development Corporation and Mr Pa, was also said to have on its
board three officials from the CIO which, Global Witness claimed, may be
planning a military campaign aimed at stopping Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC
from taking power.
The same group also claims that Anjin Investments, another joint diamond
venture between Chinese and Zimbabwean companies, was being run by senior
Meanwhile, Tendai Biti, the MDC Finance Minister in the fractious coalition
government with Zanu PF, has repeated complained that diamond revenues which
it was hoped might help revive the shattered economy had not materialised.
Mr Hain is calling for EU sanctions to be extended to include those named in
Global Witness’ reports.
“There is a real risk that any money given by Sam Pa, Anjin and Sino
Zimbabwe Development to the security forces will fund human rights abuses in
the run-up to next year’s election,” he will say.
“By all means, if the intention is a to wave a carrot and not just a stick,
then suspend a symbolic sanction on the partner of a ZANU official or two –
but make sure that substantive sanctions such as asset freezes on Anjin and
Sam Pa are imposed so the security forces cannot build a war chest before
However, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief said that while the body
was “reflecting” on its policy towards Zimbabwe, following a call for
sanctions to be lifted by the UN Human Rights Chief, regional mediator
President Jacob Zuma and Mr Tsvangirai, the president of Zimbabwe would not
be among those given a reprieve.
“There is no question of lifting sanctions (an asset freeze and travel ban)
against Mugabe or anyone involved in continued abuses of human rights,
incitement to violence, etc -- that is simply not up for discussion,” said
Written by Fungi Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Sunday, 15 July 2012 15:03
HARARE - There was drama in Mashonaland West yesterday when dozens of
soldiers and hundreds of Zanu PF militia forced MDC secretary general Tendai
Biti to hold a rally in the bush instead of Darwendale Stadium as tensions
ahead of elections rise in Zimbabwe.
The soldiers ran amok yesterday morning, bringing down tents, tearing
posters and threatening MDC officials who were preparing for the rally.
According to Biti, hundreds of Zanu PF militia were brought in by buses to
intimidate MDC supporters.
As Biti was addressing the rally, the Zanu PF youths burnt grass around the
area the Finance minister was addressing to scare people away.
“They bused tonnes of people from all over and what I can say is that the
intimidation is just too high and our supporters might get killed. To
imagine this is Darwendale close to Harare, what about in remote areas?
“We still had to force the rally to go ahead, we had a police clearance.
Instead of cancelling the rally, we quickly cleared a bush where they still
attempted to burn us after putting the grass around us alight.
“But the message we put to people at the rally is that they must expect this
kind of intimidation but we will not fear, we will not blink and we will
continue pushing,” said Biti.
He said they apprehended one Zanu PF activist whom they handed over to the
The soldiers were reportedly shouting that no MDC meeting would ever be held
in the area and it took the intervention of co-Home Affairs minister Theresa
Makone and Defence minister Emerson Mnangagwa for the meeting to go ahead.
MDC officials who were at the venue said they found themselves surrounded by
menacing soldiers in full military gear who forced them to leave the
Makone, who is also the chairperson of the MDC women’s assembly, confirmed
the incident and the interventions done to rescue the rally.
“I was told that soldiers were destroying the set up of a rally in
Darwendale. I spoke to minister Mnangangwa and minister Sekeramayi and both
professed ignorance on the disruptions.
“But minister Mnangagwa managed to talk to the military bosses and the
soldiers withdrew. It seems there are elements within the ranks of the state
organs who take it upon themselves to cause mayhem in the country and we
have to root them out. What we want is a free and fair election without
violence,” said Makone.
MDC organising secretary for Mashonaland West, Wilson Makanyaire said the
soldiers left them terrified after forcing them into the bush.
“About 150 soldiers came to the stadium where we had pitched tents and told
us that we could not hold the rally. They said Morgan Tsvangirai was a
sell-out and chased us away.
We are now assembled in a bush and the youths are clearing the space so that
we can at least have a rally,” said Makanyaire in a telephone interview with
the Daily News on Sunday.
The activists reported the matter to the police but failed to get
“The soldiers claimed the area belongs to the army and when we went to the
police they said they could not help us as they were also scared,” said
Makanyaire said while the soldiers were chasing them away, hundreds of Zanu
PF supporters swarmed the township near the venue singing denigrating songs
of the MDC and creating further tension.
MDC spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora said the intimidation by the soldiers and
Zanu PF militia was a co-ordinated plan to dampen the MDC’s morale ahead of
elections which could be held next year.
The rally that was supposed to start at 10 am only kicked off after 2 pm in
Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena cut off the call
without responding to questions and later his phone rang unanswered.
Elsewhere in Mutoko East, Mwonzora claimed soldiers from 2.1 infantry
battalion tore MDC party posters yesterday morning.
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) which has monitors seeded around the country
says soldiers are already active in Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland
A report released by Crisis Coalition last year titled “The Military Factor
in Zimbabwe’s Political and Electoral Affairs” details the extent to which
soldiers are involved in political and social matters.
Written by Xolisani Ncube and Chengetai Zvauya
Sunday, 15 July 2012 12:55
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is reportedly splashing
about $14 million on as many as 550 vehicles as it prepares a massive
election campaign but the source of the funding for the vehicles remains a
The party’s spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed this to the Daily News on
Sunday. He said the purchase is nothing extraordinary because his party is
preparing for elections that Mugabe wants held this year.
“It is part of our programme to prepare for the elections, and there is
nothing wrong with that. This confirms we are a serious party, and we want
each province to have their own vehicles for campaigning,” said Gumbo.
The vehicles, 150 of which have already been purchased from a local car
dealer, range between $35 000 and $ 40 000 each.
In the past, Zanu PF has preferred the Nissan brand but with its mysterious
newly found financial power, it is now going for the much stronger and
expensive Toyota brand.
The vehicles are a mix of both double and single cabs.
According to sources the party’s national chairperson, Simon Khaya Moyo is
handling the vehicle transactions.
When asked about the issue, Khaya Moyo, refused to comment referring all
questions to Didymus Mutasa, the party’s secretary for administration.
For his part Mutasa was in a combative mood when asked about the issue.
“Before you write anything about us, can you publish where the MDC is
getting its funds from, why are you interested in our affairs while you
leave the MDC which is your party?
“Tell us where your party is getting its funding from and then we can
discuss about our party,” said Mutasa adding that “please mind about the
MDC, that is the party you work for, don’t bother us.”
The purchases come as the coalition government partners are fighting over
the lack of transparency in the manner in which finances from the Marange
diamond fields, the largest in the world, are being handled.
With this fleet, the former ruling party is looking at having at least two
vehicles for every constituency.
Zimbabwe has 210 contestable constituencies and with 550 vehicles, the party
believes two vehicles per constituency could do them a good job to reclaim
the lost political ground to the two MDCs.
The source of the funds, however, remains a mystery as financial reports
presented at the party’s December annual conference held in Bulawayo last
year showed that the party was in the red and was surviving on bank
The report stated that the party had spent about $6 million in the year
against a revenue stream of only $4 million, leaving a deficit of $ 2
But six months down the line, the party is ready to splash three times its
annual revenue on the expensive wheels.
Before the formation of the inclusive government three years ago, Zanu PF
would turn to state assets for use in its political activities as it
struggled for cash.
The development, which is likely to cause further tensions in the inclusive
government, comes as Finance minister Tendai Biti from the mainstream MDC
has raised fears of looting of diamond proceeds raising the possibility of
the existence of a parallel government.
Biti claims one of the companies mining diamonds in Marange, Anjin, has not
been remitting its mining returns to state coffers.
Anjin is a joint venture between Chinese government and a suspected coterie
of military figures.
“There is no doubt that a small coterie of individuals is benefitting from
Zimbabwe diamonds. Some of us (officials) who are benefiting are not afraid
to flaunt our monies. We are buying all kinds of assets,” said Biti.
“I am a government minister and earning US$800. How do I buy some of the
assets that we are buying? People are now buying private jets because of our
diamonds.” Biti said without explaining who in Zanu PF was buying the jets.
As of last December, Anjin claims to have contributed $30 million to
But figures presented in Parliament by deputy minister of Mines and Mining
Development, Gift Chimanikire, reveal that Anjin extracts an average of
234 749, 92 carats per month.
A reclusive Chinese businessman, Sam Pa, reportedly finances a covert
operation whose purpose is to sustain Mugabe’s regime.
The details of the deal that this mysterious Hong Kong-based magnate has cut
with Mugabe’s secret service has not been disclosed officially.
Officials close to Mugabe and the secret service, however, deny there is any
Pa conducts his business largely under the radar, keeps his name and face
out of the headlines and is said to use a variety of different identities
and nationalities which he changes with nonchalant ease depending on the
country and situation he is in.
In Zimbabwe, elements of the deal have now begun to emerge and it fits his
pattern of drawing members of a country’s elite into lucrative joint
ventures so that, over time, he becomes indispensable to them.
by Staff Reporter
THE Parliamentary committee on Justice has recommended the removal of
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede from any involvement with elections before
the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill which is currently before the
“A matter of concern is that responsibility for the voters roll continues to
be shared between the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) and the Registrar
General’s Office, which dilutes accountability,” said the committee.
“ZEC should be given sole and exclusive responsibility for registration of
voters and the maintenance of the voters roll.The compilation of the voters
roll must be done by one organ and in this case by ZEC.”
The committee also recommended that all exiled Zimbabweans should be allowed
to participate in elections through postal voting, whether or not they are
on government duty.
Chinamasa had insisted, when he presented the Bill to Parliament last week,
that enabling Zimbabweans living abroad to vote was a logistical nightmare
beyond the country’s means adding sanctions imposed by the West also meant
his Zanu PF party would be at a disadvantage.
“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,” Chinamasa said.
“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.”
The committee also insisted that presidential election results should be
released within 48 hours, instead of the five days proposed by Chinamasa.
The provision is aimed at preventing the crisis of 2008 when a month-long
delay stoked tensions amid claims officials were massaging the figures in
Changes to the country’s elections legislative framework are part of a raft
of political reforms negotiated as part of the Global Political Agreement
(GPA and are expected to culminate in new polls now expected next year.
The committee also said the invitation of election observers should be done
by the Zimbabwe Electoral commission (ZEC) instead of the Ministry of
Foreign affairs as proposed by Chinamasa.
Meanwhile, Parliament has passed a human rights bill that restricts
investigators from probing the 2008 electoral violence or the Gukurahundi
massacres of the 1980s.
The Human rights bill was gazetted in June last year, but was stalled after
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations insisted that commissioners
be empowered to investigate the Gukurahundi atrocities as well as the 2008
The MDC formations later climbed down from their demands meaning the
commission, which was appointed last year, would now probe issues from the
time the Bill becomes law.
The climb down followed advice from United Nations human rights commissioner
Navi Pillay during her visit to the country in May when she said,
universally, human rights commissions do not carry out their duties
“I welcome the fact that Zimbabwe has established a Human Rights
Commission – a type of national institution governed by a rigorous
international set of standards — and appointed its members in 2010, and I
deeply regret the fact that the bill that would enable it to function
properly is currently still stuck in Parliament,” said Pillay.
“The main obstruction to its progress is a dispute over its temporal
limitation, i.e. whether or not it should cover historical events prior to
2009. My strong advice to the political leaders and parliamentarians has
been that – like most other Human Rights Commissions around the world - it
should not become involved in historical investigations.”
By The Associated Press July 15, 2012 1:01 PM
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Police in Zimbabwe say a five day hunt for a prominent
businessman ended with his bloodied body being found in the trunk of his car
with a plastic bag wound around his head.
Police official James Sabau said the car was identified in Harare on Sunday
after a massive campaign of fliers pinned on trees and email and media
notices posted since Alan Banks, 52, went missing on Wednesday. A murder
investigation has been opened, he said.
Sabau said the style of killing was very rare in Zimbabwe. "We are not used
to such cases," he told reporters.
Zimbabwe has no Western-style organized crime.
Banks was seen as a popular figure in the nation's small white community.
Relatives told police they knew of no business or private grudges against
by Staff Reporter
MDC leader Welshaman Ncube has warned that tensions over the 1980s
Gukurahundi conflict will not go away until political leaders become more
open over the emotive issue and work towards some form of restorative
compensation for the victims.
Said Ncube in an interview with The Sunday Mail: “(What) should be done is a
basic minimum, otherwise it will not go away. We must admit frankly and
openly that Gukurahundi happened in the manner in which it happened.
“That there were people who were killed, people who were maimed, people who
lost their homes, people were driven into exile. There are people today who
can’t still get documents arising out of Gukurahundi: there is no father,
there is no mother, there is just a child who can’t get a birth certificate.
“So let’s start by at least acknowledging and saying, ‘We as Zimbabweans
went through this unfortunate phase of our history. It was wrong, it should
have not happened’.”
Rights groups claim some 20,000 innocent civilians were killed in the
Matebeleland and Midlands regions when the then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe
deployed a North Korean-trained army taskforce to deal with what officials
described as a dissident menace in the two regions.
The conflict continues to divide opinion within Mugabe’s own Zanu PF party
with some senior officials arguing the 1987 Unity Accord between Mugabe and
then PF Zapu leader Dr Joshua Nkomo should be last word on the issue.
Said Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa last July: “We don’t want to
undermine efforts by our national leaders to reunite the people. If we try
to open healed wounds by discussing such issues, we will be undermining and
failing to recognise the statesmanship exhibited by President Mugabe and Dr
Jushua Nkomo when they signed the unity accord in 1987.
"The people who very vocal on the Gukurahundi have selfish agendas that they
are pushing. They want to divide the nation by making unfounded
But former information minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo,
countered that “the Gukurahundi issue is not a closed chapter” adding that
Zanu PF must in fact take the lead in resolving the issue or risk having
“charlatans and vile opportunists” exploit the explosive subject for cheap
Mugabe has not directly apologised for the conflict, only describing it as a
moment of madness.
Ncube said the Zanu PF leader needs to do more insisting: “It’s not enough,
to just stand up one day and say this was a simple moment of madness and
then thereafter say everyone who mentions that is either a tribalist or
divisionist. You can’t do that. There must be an unconditional acceptance.
Unlawful, wrong killings, maiming, burnings of homes were done. That’s the
“The second thing is that those who suffered in one form or another and
those who are still suffering, you must at least have what we might call
restorative compensation. To say let’s look at all the children who are
affected, let’s make an exceptional law that says that anyone who comes
forward as a child and says, “I lost my parents” you give them a birth
certificate. You give them an ID.”
The MDC leader said the Organ on National Healing formed as part of the
Global Political Agreement could have taken lead in helping resolve the
“Let us first stop behaving as if Gukurahundi did not happen,” he said.
“Let’s accept it happened and let’s say come forward, for instance, the
Organ on National Healing. When we proposed it during the negotiations, we
thought that it would do some of these things without going back to open old
wounds … ‘You did this to me, you did that to me’ because we couldn’t agree
on that. But at least we were able to say let us correct the persisting
“So the Government, all it needs to do is say, “Register-General, go to the
affected areas, call on anyone who lost a document which can’t be replaced
because of our rigid rules, make sure they get their documents. It’s just as
simple as that.
“So the rest … giving money to people, trying people, we are saying forget
about it now let just deal with the continuing injustices for now as a basic
by Staff Reporter
HARARE City Council is releasing raw sewerage into rivers that feed the
capital’s water sources, a report recently presented to Parliament has
The report also painted a picture of lawlessness in the capital and
Chitungwiza where structures were being built on wetlands, marshlands, and
water-ways as well as below electricity pylons.
“Sewage pump stations in Chisipite, Avonlea, Borrowdale Brooke and Budiriro
are currently not working and are located adjacent to rivers. The raw sewage
is discharged into river channels instead of being transmitted to treatment
plants,” reads part of the Natural Resources and Environment on Waste
Disposal and Management in Harare and Chitungwiza.
The report said Harare was struggling to provide water to its residents as
its infrastructure was designed for 250,000 people only instead of over the
current estimates of 2.5 million which is ten times its carrying capacity. A
new design with a carrying capacity of 4 million was said to be in the
In addition, satellite towns such as Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton were not
contributing to Harare’s water treatment costs but the capital cannot
disconnect them because this could trigger outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.
The report further claimed that a Chinese firm mining diamonds in Marange,
Anjin, was building a the Anjin Multi-purpose Centre that includes a hotel
on wetlands in Harare, despite submissions by the Environmental Management
Authority that environmental laws were not being observed in that project.
MPs also expressed concern over Chitungwiza saying: “Chitungwiza residents
built their houses on improperly planned places like on water ways and marsh
“All of these uncontrolled housing developments that closed all open spaces
meant for schools, marshy lands and for aeration of the community space were
unfortunately authorized by the municipality.
“A report on houses built on improperly planned places was prepared and the
conditions to implement the recommendations are now in place. Rectification
would be done where houses are built along roads, over sewage pipes or
directly below electricity pylons.”
Written by Fungi Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Sunday, 15 July 2012 14:56
HARARE - Councilors and town officials creamed off millions of dollars from
the cash-strapped town of Chitungwiza, where four million plus residents are
enduring life-threatening water shortages and sanitation woes.
Sewers flow freely on the potholed streets of this once-promising town 30 km
from Harare, where water is scarce.
The amount of cash that has streamed into city fathers’ pockets from
underhand dealings is astonishing, an investigation has shown.
A litany of deals from illicit sales of council land to desperate home
seekers has ensured money continued to flood councillors and top
administrative officials at the expense of long-suffering residents who at
times are forced to endure strong-arm tactics from council for them to pay
A report on the allocation, change of use, subdivision and repossession of
stands by a team appointed by Local Government Rural and Urban Development
minister Ignatius Chombo exposes the massive corruption weighing down
Already, seven councillors Jacob Rukweza, Boniface Manyonganise, Brighton
Mazhindu, Lorraine Usaiwevhu, Rangarirai Mutingwende (deputy mayor), Obert
Muchawaya and Ernest Muridzi have been suspended on corruption charges.
The charges include altering land use as well as selling stands at inflated
“The numerous church, school, recreational and crèche sites and open spaces
that were illegally converted into residential stands gave birth to more
than 2 200 stands,” reads the report.
“Using agents, councillors and employees would sell “the more than 2 200
stands to people for a minimum price of $4 000 up to $6,500.
“Out of this shocking underhand deals council received a paltry $200 as a
“service fee” while the rest was pocketed by the councillors involved”.
Authorities at the council parcelled out land reserved for schools and beer
halls to those prepared to pay, resulting in houses sprouting up everywhere
the report noted.
Wetlands and road buffer zones were not spared.
The town is now clogged with numerous buildings built at several open spaces
that served as buffer areas.
The 31-page report recommends stern disciplinary measures against council
officials who used their clout to get land.
Notable beneficiaries of the land allocation scam include popular prophet
Emmanuel Makandiwa and former Zanu PF deputy mayor Fredrick Mabamba.
While Makandiwa’s giant United Families International (UFI) church appears
on the verge of being spared, Mabamba faces criminal charges.
“Mabamba’s “United We Stand Housing Cooperative” should be criminally
investigated,” the report stated.
Mabamba through his Housing Cooperative, accumulated more than 500 housing
The former primary school teacher is enjoying a fairy-tale rags-to-riches
story having grabbed most of the open spaces in the mostly working class
Incensed by rampant corruption in the populous town, the mainstream MDC
fired 24 councillors in the town in 2010.
Chombo chose to capitalise on the MDC action and took the councillors under
his arms, declaring they would keep their positions despite being fired from
It appears his new birds became a bit too embarrassing to control and the
usually boisterous Chombo has done a Damascus.
With a free for all situation characterising everyday business at
Chitungwiza council, Chombo decided to act.
He appointed a commission led by Fungai Mbetsa, the Manicaland provincial
administrator in February this year.
Town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, who appeared to be at the centre of things,
got the axe.
He faces criminal charges.
“Stands 10023-10046 were created allegedly after a lot of pressure from
councillors Muridzi, Manyonganise, and Mazhindu through the town clerk
No change of use was done as required by section 26 (3) of the Regional,
Town and Country Planning Act,” reads the report in part on Tanyanyiwa.
Apart from the land chaos, the investigations also revealed the town was in
a precarious financial situation as evidenced by its failure to meet
statutory obligations and to execute service delivery.
The town is in serious arrears, yet at one point management awarded a 132
percent salary increment across the board and recruited 204 employees
without approval from the ministry.
The council owes several banks $3,4 million after it was forced to borrow in
order to meet the bloated wage bill.
Just recovering from this mess means Chitungwiza residents, while getting
some satisfaction Tanyanyiwa and the councillors are in the line of fire,
have many more days before “life” comes back to this idolised town.
by Sunday Mail
MDC leader Welshman Ncube has dismissed claims he is a tribalist and denies
as “blatant, deliberate, malicious lies” claims by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai that he played a key role in the split of the MDC in 2005. Ncube,
currently industry and commerce minister in the coalition government spoke
to The Sunday Mail about these and various other issues including
Gukurahundi, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, sanctions and his
prospects at the next elections. Following are excerpts of the interview …
I think the Minister of Finance (has not has done enough to support the
revival of industry, and he) knows it. He might have his explanations of why
not. Clearly, not enough has been done. Let me just illustrate with two
examples. There is Zetref (Zimbabwe Economic Trade Revival Facility), which
was supposed to have a US$70 million facility almost from the beginning of
the inclusive Government. Two years down the line, only US$20 million of the
US$70 million had been disbursed and the remainder is still sitting in the
That is because it is the Minister of Finance who is responsible for
establishing relationships with those banks. It is the Minister of Finance
who is responsible for the methodology; the mechanisms that will allow that
money to move quickly from the banks . . .
Then two, let me give the example of Dimaf (Distressed Industries and
Marginalised Areas Fund). The decisions on Dimaf, we decided as Cabinet that
as of end of last year, there should have been a minimum of US$20 million
put by the Government into Dimaf for Bulawayo and then the other US$20
million was supposed to come from Old Mutual as of last year, and that was
for last year. We did not put even a cent, as Government, into that fund. Up
until 17 April this year, we put US$10 million into that fund. We decided in
January this year, that in addition to that original US$20 million we would
take from the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) Fund another US$30 million to be
put into the Dimaf Fund. The US$10 million will be added to the existing
US$40 million to make it US$50 million for Bulawayo.
The US$30 million would then go to outside Bulawayo. Up to today, not even
US$30 million is there. Indeed, as I have said, only US$20 million of the
original US$30 million is there. Why this is the case, is, of course, for
the Minister of Finance to explain. But clearly, if we have not implemented
the decisions we have made ourselves, clearly we have not done enough. I am
not sure whether the money is there or not. All I know is that he himself
made the proposal that we are going to get the money out of the SDR. He was
going to recall the SDR money. It was supposed to be US$120 million; US$30
million of it would go to Dimaf this year. It has not gone to Dimaf.
Whether he has recalled the money from the IMF, I do not know. All we keep
doing at Cabinet and outside Cabinet is: Please can we have this money and
he keeps saying, “Look, someone increased the salaries of civil servants,
now we cannot meet the budget every month. We are living from hand to mouth.
The money we could have put there, we have now had to cover the shortfall on
It was a few days before the sitting of the nomination court, just maybe
seven or so days. We then decided we were going to have our president
nominated as our candidate. While we were busy working, the president (Prof
Mutambara) calls me and says, “No! I have just had a meeting with Simba
Makoni. I am not running if Simba Makoni is running.”
He said reconvene the national council to decide. So, we reconvened the
national council. This was now three or so days before the nomination court.
We presented his case. (When we asked why) he said: “If Simba is running, I
will not, we must support him.”
So, that was the scenario, three days before the nomination court . . . When
we did the post-mortem of the election, everywhere we went our members were
very angry about that decision. Even today, if you go to any meeting where
our supporters are, one of the things they still question is: “Why on earth
did you do that.”
Gibson (Sibanda) would have probably been a more obvious choice (as leader
of the party). Remember, at the time of the split . . . The public discourse
became: These people are Zanu-PF and are on a Zanu-PF agenda. If you were in
Mashonaland you would say, mandeere apanduka! (The Ndebeles have rebelled!).
You, therefore, had a situation where the split of the party was being cast
as having been engineered by Zanu-PF, which had basically co-opted the
so-called Ndebeles in the party.
The general feeling among the leaders of the party under the pressure of the
moment was if we supported any leader from Matabeleland at that time, it
would put us in the stereotype of how our opponents had described us.
It became important, therefore, to negate that stereotype. So, the question
then arose: Who do we find, who is not Gibson Sibanda, who is not me, who is
not Paul Themba Nyathi? It was then that Arthur’s name was brought up and
specifically on the day suggested by Job Sikhala, (Gabriel) Chaibva and
Priscilla (Misihairabwi Mushonga). They are the ones who proposed that name.
The overwhelming judgment of our members is that we should never have done
that. We have not stopped paying the price, even today. If you go to any
community, people who were members of the party at that time say: “How could
you have done that to us? We were not able to explain to anyone else how we
could do that. What sort of party has leaders who run away from battle at a
time they should be in battle?”
All I can say is that it was felt that as a person from Mashonaland, as a
young person who was untainted by acrimonious split, he might just provide
that extra edge, which the rest of us who were being accused and
counter-accused would not provide. That was the feeling at that time. But
history has passed and we all know the outcome.
Like many other lies which have been told, one of the lies, for instance, is
that I drafted one of this puppet democracy Bill or Act in America. If you
look at that Act, just as an example, it is badly written, the grammar,
everything can never be drafted by anyone who studied in our legal system.
It is not possible, never did it, never participated in it, but the more
generous aspect of your question, did we call for sanctions? In the united
MDC, we did support, and it’s on record, targeted sanctions, that is to say
travel bans, account freeze for individuals whom we deemed were responsible
for perpetrating violence.
That history will record we did support that. We never at any time supported
economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. We never supported the placing of
business entities such as banks, Zisco and so forth on sanctions list, we
never did that.
We still don’t support it and we have never supported it. You then ask, do
we ever regret supporting the imposition of targeted sanctions? No. we don’t
regret saying that those people who were responsible for violence should be
banned from travelling freely. That we don’t regret, yes we regret that
those who imposed sanctions then went on and imposed sanctions which went
beyond those things that we thought were necessary.
Causing MDC split
Let me, in fact, make a broader comment. It’s unfortunate that so much ink
was committed to paper in respect of that book, which is just lies and more
damned lies. It’s not just that. Just about everything written in that book
about me is a lie. Brazen, blatant, deliberate, malicious lies. The authors
of those lies know that they are lies.
There is a litany of them including from the time of the congress - the
first congress of the MDC - Morgan lies that there was a draw in the vote
between me and Gift Chimanikire and that Gift was then persuaded to
withdraw, which is a lie.
I had more provinces voting for me than Gift. Gift had the second highest
number of votes. Tsvangirai now wanted to change the rules and say whoever
got the highest must first get a majority of the provinces voting, and
congress refused to accede to his request, and stuck with the rules that
whoever got the highest votes is the winner.
You come to the Mbeki thing which again is lies, lies, lies, lies. Mbeki
never interfered in any way in the affairs of the MDC. The incident he
describes in his book, for instance, where we went to see President Mbeki,
myself, Gibson and Gift and he lies that Paul Themba Nyathi and Dulini went
to that meeting, they didn’t. Those who went were myself, Gibson and
Chimanikire, the three of us.
We went again at the behest of the same people I told you about earlier on
and the neutrals who said “talk and try to be an electoral pact”. Those same
people, around the time of the split, in October, they said “look, you guys,
this thing is going to get worse, you need someone to facilitate, we believe
that President Mbeki, because he has been facilitating the dialogue between
you and Zanu-PF, he can facilitate the dialogue among yourself. Please go
and ask him to intervene. If he doesn’t intervene, you will split.”
We then said if that is your advice, we will go. So we went to see President
Mbeki and Gibson narrated what had happened. President Mbeki said, “If you
guys are telling me the truth, that this is what happened at the meeting, I
do not think your case is redeemable. But because you have come all the way
and you have asked me, I will do it.”
So he picks up his phone and puts a call to Morgan, he says, “I have your
people here and I think you are headed for a split and they think that they
need a facilitator and they have asked me to facilitate a dialogue between
you and them in the interest of your party, and I agree with them that going
by what has happened, you guys need to sit down and talk.” Morgan says, “Mr
President, you are not the president of the MDC. I am. We have no problem
tell them to come back. I will not come to you, I will not ask you to
Devolution and tribalism
One of the deliberate misconceptions to say a call for devolution is a call
by tribalists. Devolution, as we understand it, is a system of government
where central Government devolves power to communities and to regions to
manage their own affairs, and we believe that even if you go back to the
Bible, you will recall, I cant remember the characters, the fellow who was
doing everything in the Bible and his father-in-law came and said, look, you
are in meetings sunrise up to midnight. You have no time because everyone is
coming to you for decisions, the state is not functioning. Why don’t you
appoint your people there and let them do these things for you and you then
deal with the important and big cases? It’s written in the Bible to that
effect. And that is all we are saying about devolution. Devolve power to
entities at the local level so that people can manage their own affairs.
Why do we have to say, for instance, a person who wants a liquor licence in
Chiredzi must have the liquor licence processed in Harare by the national
liquor board? Who is best placed to determine whether the place they want to
open a bottle store is a hazard to children, someone sitting in Harare or
the local people there at council or whatever level it is?
The institutions which we are saying should devolve to already exist. You
have governors, you have provincial governors you are appointing them
centrally and imposing them on the people. We are saying allow those people
to elect their governors to say in this area we want so and so to be our
governor and lead us. Why does that divide anybody?
We are saying in a particular province, devolve power to the province and
say, “Ok, the issues of tourism in this province, let’s manage them, let’s
look at the road infrastructure, let’s decide the priorities. Which road
should take precedence over that road.
We have not (presented devolution as a Matabeleland thing) … Neither have
the people, it’s the opponents of devolution and our opponents. You see
Professor Ncube you see Matabeleland; you see Makoni you see Zimbabwe. It is
not my mind-set which is the problem, it is the mindset of those who
perceive that once Professor Ncube is leading a party the first thing you
see is Matabeleland. When Job Sikhala leads a party, you don’t see
Mashonaland; when Makoni leads a party you don’t see Mashonaland …
The minimum that should be done is a basic minimum, otherwise it will not go
away. We must admit frankly and openly that Gukurahundi happened in the
manner in which it happened. That there were people who were killed, people
who were maimed; people who lost their homes, people were driven into exile.
There are people today who can’t still get documents arising out of
Gukurahundi: there is no father, there is no mother, there is just a child
who can’t get a birth certificate. So let’s start by at least acknowledging
and saying, “We as Zimbabweans went through this unfortunate phase of our
history. It was wrong, it should have not happened.” Just as a national … to
say that everybody accepts that everybody accepts that it should have not
It’s not enough, to just stand up one day and say this was a simple moment
of madness and then thereafter say everyone who mentions that is either a
tribalist or divisionist. You can’t do that. There must be an unconditional
acceptance. Unlawful, wrong killings, maiming, burnings of homes were done.
That’s the first thing.
The second thing is that those who suffered in one form or another and those
who are still suffering, you must at least have what we might call
restorative compensation. To say let’s look at all the children who are
affected, let’s make an exceptional law that says that anyone who comes
forward as a child and says, “I lost my parents” you give them a birth
certificate. You give them an ID.
Let us first stop behaving as if Gukurahundi did not happen. Let’s accept it
happened and let’s say come forward, for instance, the Organ on National
Healing. When we proposed it during the negotiation, we thought that it
would do some of these things without going back to open old wounds. “You
did this to me, you did that to me” because we couldn’t agree on that.
But at least we were able to say let us correct the persisting injustices.
So the Government, all it needs to do is say, “Register-General, go to the
affected areas, call on anyone who lost a document which can’t be replaced
because of our rigid rules, make sure they get their documents.” It’s just
as simple as that. So the rest giving money to people, trying people, we are
saying forget about it now let just deal with the continuing injustices for
now as a basic minimum.
Yes, I think we have (an acceptable constitution) from what the negotiators
tell me. I was told in a meeting this morning that the drafters are not
ready with the final draft they are supposed to prepare. They have proofread
the document and they asked for certain amendments to be made and we are
waiting to see the draft.
So I am thinking maybe next week or the week after we will have a final
version. It is a version which will not make everyone happy. If you are a
purist, you will not be happy - either you say what the people said there
was not followed or this is not good enough - but we are in a polarised
The constitution is a political document ultimately and our political
contestations are reflected in our positions on the constitution … which
means, eventually, the constitution that we will have has to be a compromise
and, if the constitution is a compromise, it will not have all the things I
It’s a very difficult question, but working within Cabinet unless and when
you are debating contentious political issues around, for instance, election
road map, security sector reform, I think Cabinet has operated generally as
a cohesive institution made up of Zimbabweans. I think if you were to be a
fly and sit in Cabinet, you will not often be able to tell, if you did not
know in advance, that this is a Zanu PF minister and this is an MDC
Because the debates are objective and rational and people get persuaded by
the logic of the argument … Some of the things might even surprise you,
because Cabinet discussions are confidential, I can at least tell you this
that positions which some people think are Zanu PF positions, as we
understand outside Cabinet, you will find them enthusiastically and
sometimes shockingly being propagated by an MDC-T minister.
I think I said earlier on that I think we have been the fastest growing
party in the last one and half years. We have been the party which has
remained rooted and grounded in the communities. Every week we have an
outreach programme. Every day our lower structures have an outreach
I believe that we have done very good work. I believe that a lot of the
people have begun to understand the things we stand for, a lot of people
have begun to understand the principled positions we take on issues and for
that reason I believe that we have rebranded our party, we have rebuilt our
party into a party which is capable of winning the next elections. I believe
most sincerely we are going to win the next election. Not just potentially;
I believe we are going to win the next election.
It is all fiction, absolute brazen lies. We hardly ever talk about the
facilitation process except through the normal channels. More importantly,
understand that the facilitator is not a judge.The facilitator never makes a
determination. He literally facilitates. He sits parties down. The
facilitator will never determine what should happen. President Mbeki never
did it. President Zuma has not done it and, I believe, will never do it.
All this insinuation is based on a misunderstanding of what the role of the
facilitator is. So, you cannot influence the facilitator to do anything
because he is not required to make a decision. He is only required to
by Business Reporter
THE Chinese majority owner of chrome miner and smelter, ZIMASCO has
approached the government for an exemption from the country’s economic
empowerment laws, a deputy minister has confirmed.
Under the country’s economic empowerment programme, foreign companies are
now required by law to transfer control of 51 per cent of their Zimbabwe
operations to locals.
But government officials have previously indicated that investors from
friendly countries such as China could be exempted from the requirement.
Deputy indigenisation minister Tongai Matutu recently told Parliament that
Zimasco had submitted its plans for compliance with the law.
“The position is that ZIMASCO has submitted its provisional indigenisation
and economic empowerment proposal, that proposal has been under
consideration and there have been negotiations going on about compliance
issues,” he said.
“However, the management of ZIMASCO has been arguing that since they are
Chinese, they have been actually friends of Zimbabwe and therefore they
should be exempted. They have also argued that they have got a five-year
development plan which they believe should not be disturbed by bringing on
board a new investor.
“But nevertheless, I think the negotiations are going on and I would like to
believe that a solution will be agreed upon and they will comply.”
Sinosteel Corporation became the majority shareholder in Zimasco after
purchasing 92% of Zimasco Consolidated Enterprises (ZCE) in 2007. But
various share purchases since then have seen Sinosteel reduce its interest
Sinosteel recently injected US$35 million into the company for the
refurbishment of one of the smelters at the Kwekwe plant.
"The investment from Sino Steel, which owns 73 percent of the company, will
be used to rebuild furnace number two was received and work is currently
underway,” Zimasco’s Marketing and Administration General Manager, Clara
"The restoration of the furnace will help increase output of high carbon
ferrochrome from the current levels of 170 000 metric tonnes per annum to
230 000 metric tonnes per annum."
Zimasco operates smelters in Kwekwe and Chrome mines in the nearby town of
Written by Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Sunday, 15 July 2012 15:00
HARARE - People with HIV/Aids have been stigmatised in today’s society, and
deliberate transmission of the disease has been criminalised in a
development that has created more questions than answers.
Gone are the days when the disease used to be a death sentence.
In the early days, HIV/Aids was treated just like the Biblical leprosy, but
these days diseases such as cancer and cholera have become deadlier.
People who deliberately transmit the disease have been accused of
contravening Section (79) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
The law criminalises, “Any person who knowing that he or she is infected
with HIV or realising that there is real risk or possibility that he or she
is infected with HIV intentionally does anything or permits the doing of
anything which he or she knows will infect or does anything which he or she
realises involves a real risk of infecting another person with HIV.”
It is a crime punishable by up to a period of 20 years in jail.
But can this offence be proven given the legal complications?
Can the State successfully criminalise a disease?
Last week Harare regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa acquitted a Belvedere man
who was accused of deliberately infecting his wife with HIV, after ruling
that evidence in the matter “falls far short of proving as case against him”.
This case is a classic example which shows this offence is difficult to
prove under the current circumstances.
In his ruling magistrate Tsikwa said: “The problem with offences of this
nature is the fact that the medical history of an accused would constitute
the most important evidence for the state.
“Unfortunately how to gather such evidence for a successful prosecution of
such cases is yet another problem because there is no law in Zimbabwe which
compels testing institutions to reveal or make public a patient’s HIV
Magistrate Tsikwa further said: “The word deliberate used in the charge
denotes that the accused must have done or had sexual intercourse with the
complainant with full consciousness and intention to infect complainant with
The legislation of criminalising the transmission of HIV/Aids has been met
with mixed reactions.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), a rights lobby organisation last
week advocated for legislators to revisit the legislation, which they said
is discriminatory in nature and does not assist in behaviour change.
“Law makers created an impulsive law in trying to deal with the spread of
HIV; it was a new thing which they did not really know how to deal with,”
Tinashe Mundawarara, the ZLHR programme manager told journalists in Harare
A Harare prosecutor said the issue had become thorny and needed to be
revisited in order to come up with a clear cut position that will not end up
working against or stigmatising people living with HIV.
Once again the targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe are in the news, with a report in the London Daily Telegraph that the EU is planning to conditionally suspend them to encourage progress towards free and fair elections.
The EU’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, threw cold water over this report but did say that discussions were under way which could lead to greater ‘co-operation’ with Zimbabwe.
The EU measures are only due for review in February and any decision to lift them could hardly be made arbitrarily, as similar measures have been imposed by the US and other countries.
What is clear to the Vigil is that the MDC’s requests for the lifting of sanctions are having some effect (in Europe at least), amplifying Mugabe’s propaganda about the alleged damage they are doing to the Zimbabwean economy.
But if the EU – or the MDC for that matter – think lifting sanctions will make any difference in securing free and fair elections the Vigil believes they are in for disappointment. The MDC committed itself to calling for an end to sanctions when it signed up to the misbegotten GPA. Another crazy concession was the GPA’s call for an end to outside broadcasts to Zimbabwe – something over which the Zimbabwean authorities have no control whatsoever. Zanu PF can now argue that this impossible requirement is now the deal breaker.
Sanctions have only really been symbolic – of marginal consequence to the EU or Zimbabwe. How else is one to explain the report on Friday from the UK’s Parliamentary Committees on Arms Export Controls which note that ‘sensitive equipment’ had been sold to Zimbabwe among other countries regarded by the Foreign Office as having dubious human rights records. (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmquad/419/41925.htm)
As for lifting the travel ban, this would give the Vigil an opportunity to demonstrate against visits by Zimbabwean human rights abusers. We are already exploring what legal steps we could take against them should they come here.
Anyone who seriously believes that lifting sanctions will make an economic difference to Zimbabwe cannot have read a recent article in the Zimbabwe Independent by the Zimbabwean economist Erich Bloch, who makes the point that the fundamental economic problem in the country is corruption (see: Eric Bloch Column: Govt must act on corruption – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/jul7a_2012.html#Z21). They could also take a look at Eddie Cross’s article on indigenization which he says is part of a Zanu PF plan to collapse the economy so that they can devour the corpse (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/jul14a_2012.html#Z12 – The Kasukuwere circus).
What is making a real difference to Zimbabwe in fact is the UK’s aid. According to a report by the Voice of the People Radio, the representative in Zimbabwe of the UK’s Department for International Development, Dave Fish, said that Britain’s development aid to Zimbabwe since February has already amounted to more than $300 million (see: UK’s development Aid to exceed $300 million – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/jul2_2012.html#22). Until now we understood from official figures that British aid amounted to $100 million or so a year. It is curious that the UK has given Zimbabwe 10 times as much as Finance Minister Biti says he has received from the diamonds in the same period!
The Vigil believes that some of this aid should be given to support change rather than compensate for the looting of diamonds, along the lines proposed by the MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett in his recent speech in Oxford (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/may30_2012.html#Z13 - Roy Bennett Speech: Smoke and mirrors: another look at politics and ethnicity in Zimbabwe).
· Next Saturday the Vigil will again be supporting the MDC diaspora campaign aimed at increasing pressure for reforms before the expected elections next year. The UK’s contribution to the monthly 21st Global Protest will take the form of a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy in protest at reports that Russian military helicopters are being supplied to Zimbabwe in return for platinum concessions (for full details see Events and Notices below).
· Vigil supporters were shocked to hear of the sudden death on Monday of Khama Matambanadzo, Chairman for South East District of the MDC UK & Ireland. We had got to know Khama through his involvement with the 21st Movement protests this year. Our condolences go to his family and friends and his colleagues in the MDC.
· Founder Vigil member Bee Tapa was surprised to meet his former teacher Grace Nyaumwe at the Vigil. She taught him Shona at St Paul’s Mission School in Murewa in 2001.
· The Vigil notes that British tour operators are again featuring Zimbabwe in their travel brochures. Anyone planning to go to Zimbabwe might care to look at the experience of a couple who recently visited a Zimbabwean National Park (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/jul11_2012.html#Z21 - Our bitter sweet Matobo – returning to the playground of childhood).
· The Swaziland Vigil, on Friday 20th July, is to present a petition to the Commonwealth calling for the suspension of Swaziland because of human rights abuses and lack of democracy (for full details see Events and Notices below).
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· Swazi Vigil presentation of petition to the Commonwealth Secretariat. Friday 20th July. Meet at Charing Cross Station at 3 pm (Trafalgar Square exit) for immediate move to present the petition at 3.30 to the Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX.
· Sixth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. Saturday 21st July. Meet at the Vigil at 2 pm. Once the Vigil is set up a group will go by public transport to the Russian Embassy, 6-7 Kensington Park Gardens, London W8 4QP. We plan to be outside the Embassy from 3.30 – 4.30 pm. We are targeting the Russian Embassy because of reports of the sale of Russian military helicopters to Zimbabwe. Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th July from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.r
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). (NB: please note change of date). Saturday 28th July from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. Future special ZAF meetings: Saturday 13th October when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Vigil and Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth. These two meetings will take the place of the regular ZAF meetings in October and November. Both events at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see entry above.
· Relaunch of ROHR Nottingham Branch: Saturday 4th August starting at 2 pm. A fundraising do will follow till late. Zimbabwe traditional food, music and dance. Venue details to follow.
· ROHR North East Fundraising Event. Saturday 18th August from 2 – 7 pm. Venue: Longbenton Methodist Church Hall, Chesters Avenue, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8QP. Directions: from Four Lane Ends Metro Station, start out on Benton Road. At roundabout take the first exit onto West Farm Avenue. Turn left onto Chesters Avenue. For more information contact Tapiwa Merrymore Semwayo on 07412236229, Catherine Tshezi on 07428189705 and Susan Ndhlovu on 07767024586.
· The Rain that Washes showing at The Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/126523428/events or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets. ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and, most of all, personal’.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 15th July 2012.
It is an undeniable fact that by colluding with Zanu-pf in Parliament last
week in voting for two retrogressive Bills, MPs of Zimbabwe’s MDC formations
grossly betrayed trust, brought shame on themselves and sparked a backlash
at home and abroad.
Zanu-pf Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on 11 July 2012 exiled
Zimbabweans ‘can forget about taking part in new elections’ as he steered
the Electoral Act Amendment Bill through Parliament.
He claimed there were logistical problems and that only one political party
had access to those in the Diaspora.
But that is not true, because among other Zanu-pf loyalists, Chinamasa
freely travels all over the world since the last sanctions review.
The question of logistics is nonsense because all other countries in the
region and beyond use their embassies and consulate offices for their
Diaspora voting processes.
Similarly, Zimbabwe can use its missions in Angola, Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia,
France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Libya,
Malaysia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, South
Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, UK, UN New York, USA
It is on record that Patrick Chinamasa turned down election funding from the
United Nations and Simon Khaya Moyo Zanu-pf Chairman rejected EU funding for
polls. So that excuse is out.
Mugabe’s charm offensive
In an unprecedented since the formation of the MDC in 1999, Mugabe was last
week on a charm offensive praising MDC ministers, Deputy Prime Minister and
surprised Cabinet when he reportedly warned media Minister Shamu against
using the state media to vilify Tsvangirai and his wife, daughter of Zanu-pf
official, Macheka. The seductive remarks were understood as instrumental in
wooing the opposition to let the two the rogue Bills pass.
A dictionary definition of betrayal is being unfaithful in guarding,
maintaining, or fulfilling a cause.
Reports from Harare say supporters of both MDC formations countrywide are up
in arms with their parties. According to NewsDay columnist Conway Tutani,
“They are hurt and angry extremely and understandably so because the burning
human rights issues they thought were on the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission table...” (NewsDay 13/07/12).
Also hurt and angry are commercial farmers who survived the chaotic and
partisan farm seizures who had thought the human rights commission would
investigate their cases which occurred before 2009. They have arguably
suffered twice – after being denied compensation despite winning at the SADC
Tribunal before it was suspended.
Why did MDCs help Zanu-pf ?
The MDC’s support for Mugabe’s Zanu-pf in denying people right to have
pre-2009 rights probed and disenfranchising exiled Zimbabweans could
arguably be down to gravy train mentality or retaliation for the incident in
June 2009 in which Tsvangirai was booed after telling Zimbabwean exiles in
London to return home to help rebuild the nation.
Oddly, up to the present day, Zimbabwe has no shortage of labour with over
80 percent unemployment rate, most of who are surviving on vending
vegetables and cell phone ‘juicing’ cards on the streets of Harare.
It could also be argued that there is fear of political competition for
parliamentary seats from exiled candidates. In April the MDC-T’s
spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora was quoted as saying:
“We are sorry for some opportunists who think that things are now safer who
come back and want to be elected. There will be no positions for them and
the Election Directorate led by the party’s chairperson Lovemore Moyo is
setting a criteria to deal with opportunists. But there are genuine people
who are in the Diaspora” (ZimEye 28 April 2012). But, the Diaspora has
repatriated billions of US dollars to support Zimbabwe.
MDCs help for Zanu-pf has also been likened to the Stockholm Syndrome or
traumatic bonding whereby strong emotional ties develop between captives and
their captors even to the extent of defending their captors (see (NewsDay
MDC Negotiators less than candid, 13/07/12).
Shame is the ‘painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something
dishonourable, improper, ridiculous, done by oneself or another.’ Shame is
usually characterised by many reactions from rationalisations, to denials,
regrets, accusations, buck-passing, resignations in some cultures and even
suicide in extreme cases.
To date, only two Zimbabwean leaders I know committed suicide out of shame.
One was the late Morris Nyagumbo for his complicity in the Willowgate
Scandal and the other the late former Minister and ambassador Edmund Garwe.
This time, we are unlikely to see any show of shame, given the fact that
there is no culture of resigning in Zimbabwe.
Claims by some MDC officials that they will fight for the setting up of a
truth and reconciliation commission have not been bought by all people given
the fact they have failed to get any of the so-called outstanding issues in
the GPA addressed by Robert Mugabe.
Highly –respected and self-exiled MDC-T treasurer, Roy Bennett reportedly
said that cases of human rights abuses which happened during the 2008
Presidential election run-off and Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s should
not be swept under the carpet for political expediency.
When it became clear that the Electoral Amendment Bill had been passed
denying exiled Zimbabweans the right to participate in national elections,
the MDC SA said it was greatly disappointed “to say the least” with the
Perhaps not necessarily in response to the two Bills but one of the world
powers expected to help, the US ambassador designate Bruce Wharton said that
although his country’s policy is not about regime change, the US will not
standby if the rights of Zimbabweans are trampled on by their leaders.
Reports also say at a special debate to be held in the Commons on Tuesday,
former cabinet minister Peter Hain will urge the British government to keep
restrictive measures already in place and to add more names, including those
in a new Global Witness report, to the list of individuals and entities
subject to sanctions.
“Robert Mugabe has never to date shown any inclination to accept defeat at
the polls, and I do not think sanctions should be lifted or relaxed,” said
Hain (The Guardian, 14/07/12).-
Some authorities see a backlash as a sudden or violent backward whipping
motion; or an antagonistic reaction to a trend, development, or event. While
that is unlikely in Zimbabwe, the authorities in Zimbabwe should expect a
As a matter of principle, in view of the collusion of the MDC formations
with Zanu-pf in the dis-enfranchisement of millions of exiled Zimbabweans
and the restriction on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission’s terms of
reference to investigate only post-2009 alleged violations, it is only right
and proper for the leaders of developed countries to consider tough measures
to reverse the two offending Bills.
Western countries should summon Zimbabwean ambassadors in their countries
and hand them letters of disquiet and disapproval urging for a nullification
of the two proposed laws which violate human rights (blocking rights probes
and denying exiles the vote).
If that fails, they can expel Mugabe’s senior envoys and if ineffectual, add
the names of Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara and
their wives to those on the targeted sanctions list as soon as before the
London Olympics. If that fails, they can expand the list with the names of
all those who voted for the two Bills. That should work.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
COURT WATCH 12/2012
[12th July 2012]
Case Against Torture
[continued from Court Watch 11/2012 of 30th June]
Court Watch 11/2012 outlined two recent criminal prosecutions of police officers for conduct amounting to torture – welcome evidence of action by the relevant authorities to end an established culture of impunity for State agents:
· the case in Bulawayo in which the prosecution of three policewomen had resulted in convictions for assault
· the trial of police Chief Superintendent Joseph Chani in Mutare – this case has now been concluded.
Senior Police Officer Gaoled for Murder and Assault
Chief Superintendent Chani’s trial ended on 5th July when the High Court convicted him of one count of murder with constructive intent and three counts of assault. Referring to Chani as a “menace and a law unto himself” who had tarnished the image of the police force, and expressed no remorse for the “uncontrollable assaults” he had committed on his victims, the judge sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment on the murder charge, and 3 years on the assault counts, which were taken together for purposes of sentence. The two sentences will run concurrently, resulting in an effective sentence of 18 years imprisonment. [Note: Murder with “constructive intent” is when someone causes the death of another person “realising that there is a real risk or possibility that his or her conduct may cause death and continues to engage in that conduct despite the risk or possibility” – Criminal Law Code, section 47.]
In discussing these two cases it was pointed out that although the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution enshrines the right not to be subjected to torture, the Criminal Law Code does not incorporate torture as a criminal offence, and prosecutions [including the two cited above] have to be for other offences. This situation is not satisfactory, and there is a strong case for Zimbabwe to accede to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
[CAT] which lays a duty on States parties to strengthen the content and implementation of their law and legal and administrative machinery to act against torture. [Note: it is too late for Zimbabwe to sign and ratify the Convention so the process would be for Parliament to pass a motion approving accession to the Convention, an instrument of accession to be drawn up and signed by the President and then be lodged with the UN.]
Arguments Why Zimbabwe Should Accede to CAT
1. Zimbabwe has already affirmed in principle its acceptance of the universal norm that torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are unacceptable
· Zimbabwe was in the UN General Assembly when CAT was adopted by consensus on 10th December 1984. [The final text was arrived at after extensive previous discussions within the UN system over a period of more than ten years.]
· Zimbabwe is already party to the following human rights instruments which include prohibitions of torture:
o the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR] [article 5]
o the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR] [article 7]
o the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights [article 5] .
· Zimbabwe has affirmed in its own Constitution’s Declaration of Rights that its citizens are protected from torture and inhuman or degrading punishment.
2. Having agreed to the principle of outlawing torture, now it is time to move on to specifics. CAT ensures the principle is translated into specific laws and other measures to prevent and punish torture.
3. Zimbabwe is now out of step with the rest of Africa and the world. Since CAT came into force in June 1987 after 20 countries had ratified it or acceded to it, the number of States Parties to CAT has risen to 150 out of 193 UN members. In Africa, 44 of the 54 AU members, 12 of the 15 SADC members and all Zimbabwe’s neighbours are States Parties.
Advantages of Signing CAT
1. To the legal/judicial system
· States Parties must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent acts of torture
· All acts of torture, as defined in the Convention, must be made criminal offences under the name “torture” and be punishable as grave offences, with acknowledgment of the fact that torture can never be justified. [Note: South Africa as a States Party to CAT is preparing a Prevention and Combating of Torture Bill which provides for an criminal offence of torture]
· Statements extracted by torture must not be admissible in court proceedings
2. Prosecution of offenders ends culture of impunity
· States Parties must assume comprehensive jurisdiction, including extra-territorial jurisdiction, to prosecute offenders. Where a state does not prosecute a perpetrator, it must co-operate with other states asserting jurisdiction, e.g., assist in investigation and extradite the perpetrator
· Inter-State co-operation and assistance is mandatory in prosecuting perpetrators
3. For victims of torture
· Police, prisons and other security agents involved in questioning and detaining suspects more accountable
· Victims of torture entitled to redress, compensation and rehabilitation
· States Parties prohibited from extraditing persons to states where they may face torture
4. Obligation for educating and training of all stage agencies
· States Parties must ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition of torture are included in training law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel and public officials among others
· Interrogation rules and methods and custody arrangements for prisoners and detainees kept under systematic review
5. Part of the international system
· Support from the CAT Committee to States Parties
· Regular reporting to the CAT Committee against Torture, promoting accountability
· A system of regular visits by CAT sub-committee to places of detention [Note: this is in the Optional Protocol to CAT]
· Support of national institutions performing similar functions at the national level
· Opportunity to serve on and gain experience from UN committees and sub-committees.
Minister of Justice’s Commitment on CAT
In 2011 Zimbabwe was the subject of Universal Periodic Review proceedings by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, was responsible for presenting and defending Zimbabwe’s report on compliance with international human rights instruments. In March this year, responding to the Council’s recommendations for action by Zimbabwe, the Minister told the Council that Zimbabwe will be acceding to CAT.
Optional Protocol and Opt-in Articles
If we now join the majority of UN, African and SADC countries by acceding to CAT, as promised by the Minster of Justice, we should at the same time accede to the Optional Protocol to CAT, which enables the UN Committee Against Torture to set up regular visits to places of detention; and also adopt the two Opt-in CAT articles: – Article 21, which would allows the Committee to receive communications from other states claiming that another State Party is not fulfilling its CAT obligations, and Article 22, which allows the Committee to receive communications from or on behalf of individuals who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of its CAT obligations. [CAT and Optional Protocol available on UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website at www2.ohchr.org/English/law/cat.htm and www2.ohchr.org/English/law/cat-one.htm – or from firstname.lastname@example.org]
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