Mon Jul 20, 7:12 am ET
HARARE (AFP) - Prices in Zimbabwe rose in June, ending four months of
deflation that followed the scrapping of the local currency, the government
After a decade of hyperinflation that soared into multiples of billions,
Zimbabwe's government abandoned its currency in January.
The government now calculates inflation based on US dollar prices, which
have been falling all year.
In June, the monthly inflation rate registered at 0.6 percent, against -1.0
percent in May.
Food prices, however, remained deflationary, with food and non-alcoholic
beverages at -1.26 percent, against -0.84 percent in May, the Central
Statistics Office said.
Non-food inflation was at 1.45 percent, compared with -1.05 percent for May.
Since trading in foreign currency was allowed, Zimbabwe's once-deserted
shops are again fully stocked with food.
But even with food prices falling, few people can afford to buy food in a
country where the unemployment rate is estimated at 94 percent.
Once a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk more than 40
percent over the past three years.
The unity government formed in February between long-ruling President Robert
Mugabe and his one-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is trying to
convince donors to give 8.5 billion dollars to revive the economy and the
Last week Finance Minister Tendai Biti predicted that the country's economy
will grow by 3.7 percent this year and ruled out a return of the Zimbabwe
By Lance Guma
20 July 2009
High Court Judge Tedious Karwi has ordered state prosecutors to produce the
video evidence which they claim incriminates several activists abducted last
year over terrorism and banditry charges. The activists have been appearing
in court in different groups and on Monday it was the turn of Jestina
Mukoko, Manuel Chinanzvavana, Pieta Kaseke, Audrey Zimbudzana and Broderick
Takawira to go through the motions of what has been described as a nothing
more than a politically motivated case of harassment.
Mukoko and Zimbudzana have made a successful application to have their
matter heard in the Supreme Court, after arguing their fundamental rights
were violated by being abducted and tortured. Chinanzvavana and Kaseke also
made a similar application.
Newsreel spoke to Kumbirai Mafunda, the Communications Officer for the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and he told us the judge on Monday
insisted on the production of video evidence the state has based its entire
case on. The judge expressed concern at the failure of the state to produce
the videos since May, when the activists were finally indicted after several
months of unlawful detention.
The activists have said they were tortured into making confessions on video.
It is unlikely any fair court could accept such evidence.
Meanwhile 16 of the activists, including journalist Shadreck Andrison
Manyere, are suing the state for US$19,2 million in damages. The group filed
their application in the High Court last week Tuesday, seeking damages for
their abduction, unlawful detention and deprivation of liberty last year.
By Alex Bell
20 July 2009
Workers employed by the co-Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, are
facing attempted murder charges after severely assaulting 11 villagers this
year, further evidence that the rule of law is still being ignored in the
Mohadi and the 11 villagers from Chabetha and Shanyaugwe villages are said
to be fighting for the ownership of a herd of cattle, a fight that led to
the brutal attack of the villagers after they drove the beasts off Mohadi's
homestead, claiming they'd been stolen. Mohadi's workers, according to
reports quoting a magistrate's court papers, descended on the two villages
between April 25 and 30 and assaulted the 11 villagers with fan belts,
sticks, open hands and booted feet, accusing them of stealing the minister's
cattle. The accused also hammered a nail into the upper left arm of one of
But the attack was allegedly swept under the rug when Mohadi himself made a
police report accusing the villagers of stealing his cattle. When the matter
went to court, the prosecutors refused to handle the case saying the
villagers were badly beaten and ordered the police to further investigate
Meanwhile ZANU PF has allegedly launched a 'campaign' for the adoption of
the Kariba Draft, deploying youths and war veterans across the country to
drum up support for the controversial constitutional draft.
The constitution-making process has moved into the second phase, involving
the gathering of information from the general public after a constitutional
conference ended in Harare early last week. ZANU PF is strongly supportive
of the Kariba Draft, which keeps Robert Mugabe's powers as unilateral leader
intact, but the MDC is vehemently opposed to the move, saying the Kariba
draft should now be used only as a reference for a new constitution, along
with other constitutional proposals of the past.
ZANU PF has used war veterans and national youth service graduates in
previous election campaigns, as weapons to forcibly persuade voters against
voting against the MDC. The redeployment of the groups has now raised fears
that the violence that was unleashed last year on MDC supporters will be
repeated, as the push for support of the Kariba Draft gets underway.
Youth militia have already been deployed in schools across the country,
resulting in many teachers fleeing their posts out of fear. Teachers during
last's year's post election violence were severely targeted by youth militia
and war veterans, resulting in many deaths and even more incidents of
By Ntungamili Nkomo
20 July 2009
The formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change headed by Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara expelled three of its legislators on Monday
who had been accused of indiscipline and insubordination, pointing to
vacancies in the House of Assembly.
The MDC formation issued a statement saying that after "carefully analyzing
the evidence" against the lawmakers, the party's disciplinary committee
voted to expel Abednico Bhebhe of Nkayi South, Njabuliso Mguni of Lupane
East and Normal Mpofu of Bulilima East.
All three constituencies are in the Matabeleland region, which was a
stronghold for the MDC formation when it splintered off the main formation
of now-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2005 over the issue of whether to
contest elections for a new senate.
Also expelled was executive member Alex Goosein, a prominent white
commercial farmer in Matabeleland North province. Maxwell Dube of Tsholotsho
South constituency in Matabeleland North was found guilty of a lesser
charge, then cautioned and pardoned.
The move leaves the Mutambara formation with seven seats in the House of
Assembly and six Senate seats. The vacant seats must be filled in
by-elections, but parties to the power-sharing pact of September 2008 are
barred from contesting them.
However, independent politicians are not bound by that agreement, leading to
speculation that the expelled politicians might run to win back their own
seats as independents.
The dissidents were hauled before a disciplinary hearing on July 4 but
walked out alleging the proceeding was unfair and biased.
Disciplinary committee chairman Lyson Mlambo told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party will soon notify Parliament of
the vacancies. Bhebhe, responding, called the committee's action illegal
therefore without effect.
House Speaker Lovemore Moyo of the Tsvangirai MDC formation confirmed that
the expelled legislators can contest as independents in the coming
By KING SHANGO
Published on: 20th July, 2009
HARARE - The latest land audit carried out by Lands minister Didymus Mutasa
has revealed that several government ministers and senior military officers
accused of grabbing farms in violation of the government's "one man, one
farm" rule have still not handed the extra properties back to the state.
A five-member Presidential Land Resettlement Committee appointed by Mugabe
has completed its land allocation audit and has once again unearthed
widespread evidence of corrupt allocations and the use of violence by senior
politicians and military officers to evict landless smallholder farmers, the
very people Mugabe claimed the land reform policy sought to help.
zim NET radio understands that the confidential audit has also revealed that
the land policy has not only precipitated a catastrophic reduction in crop
production, but has financially benefited the elite of Mugabe's ruling Zanu
Reports of abuses uncovered by successive groups of auditors have
embarrassed Mugabe, who has staked his domestic reputation on the speedy
transfer of land to Zimbabweans.
Stung by the series of damaging revelations, Mugabe gave his lieutenants up
to June 30 to surrender their supplementary properties and remain with one
farm each. But up to now only one Zanu PF official, Mines minister Obert
Mpofu, is understood to have relinquished his extra properties.
The latest land audit team is expected to present its findings to the
Ministry of Special Affairs responsible for Land, Land Reform and
Resettlement, which is expected to subsequently present the report to
Mugabe. Officials on the committee confirmed the latest developments.
"The committee has finalised its audit process and a report has been
compiled," said a senior secretary in the President's Office who was part of
"We will hand over the report to the ministers in the land task force who
will consider what we have found out. After that, the report will be handed
over to President Mugabe."
One of the key recommendations of the audit was that ruling party officials
who had multiple farms should have the extra properties forfeited to the
The team was tasked to look into the chaotic handling of the land reform
programme and came up with recommendations that would see the creation of a
permanent office that deals with land reform.
Like the Chiwewe Committee before it, the team said that areas that were
protected under bilateral trade agreements, forestry estates or which had
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) licences be exempted from compulsory
Before the Chiwewe land audit, there was another audit by former secretary
to the cabinet, Charles Utete, to investigate matters relating to an earlier
land audit by Flora Bhuka, the then Minister of State in Vice-President
Joseph Msika's office.
Again it reveals that some of the violations of the land reform policy were
committed by Mugabe's closest political allies.
About 13 cabinet ministers and four provincial governors were named as
having violated the "one man, one farm policy".
The report says a number of EPZ farms have been invaded, which has resulted
in the destruction of property and looting of assets. National Parks and
conservancies also remain occupied.
The gnu says it will commission its own land audit, but its not clear why it
cannot use the existing audits, which all point to primitive accumulation of
land by Mugabe's cronies, with come ending up with six farms each.
July 20, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara says President Robert Mugabe
should take more blame for the commotion that almost derailed Zimbabwe's
constitution-making process last week.
Mutambara says the chaos would have been contained if Mugabe had not ignored
an invitation to grace the abortive opening ceremony of last Monday's All
Stakeholders Constitution-making Conference, alongside his fellow principals
in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Mutambara told journalists Saturday he, together with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe arrived at the Rainbow
Towers, venue for the conference, more than an hour before the chaos
started. They had, however, kept away from the auditorium while they waited
for Mugabe to arrive.
"We got to the venue earlier and discovered the mood was divided," Mutambara
said. "We decided not to go it alone but wait for Mugabe and go (in) as a
"Tsvangirai, Mai Khuphe and I were down there ready to address the people.
We waited for an hour and a half for Mugabe. He did not show up.
"If the three of us had gone in there at the same time, we would have been
able to provide leadership and make it happen."
Mutambara said they left for State House to confront Mugabe, whom the ZBC
quoted as claiming he had not been invited to officiate at the conference.
Meanwhile, they instructed Lovemore Moyo, speaker of the House of Assembly,
to proceed with the conference while they made attempts to bring Mugabe at
All hell broke loose when a horde of Zanu-PF supporters disrupted the
opening speech by Moyo, a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator.
Moyo and cabinet ministers from both Zanu-PF and the MDC left the podium in
a huff after the mob started chanting party slogans and throwing bottled
water at them.
Mutambara said when they arrived at State House they had told Mugabe he
should be careful not to return the country back to the June 2008 anarchy in
which Zanu-PF militants killed more than 200 MDC supporters for voting
against the Zimbabwean leader.
"We made it clear to our brother Mugabe that if you destroy this
constitution, you are back to being a rebel leader," Mutambara said.
"Mugabe lied when he said he did not attend because he had not been invited.
We were all invited on Thursday last week."
Mutambara said Mugabe's legitimacy as President was tied to the continued
existence of the all inclusive government and the success of the
constitution-making process was key to the GPA that also secured the
premiership for Tsvangirai and himself.
"The attack on the constitution making process was an attack on the GPA and
the government," Mutambara said.
"There would be no GPA-based government without a new constitution. We are
in this arrangement because the elections were fraudulent.
"June 27 was a nullity, a farce. Which means one of the things we have to do
is to create conditions for free and fair elections. If we don't do that, we
are back to June 27."
Later on Monday, a watered down Mugabe came out at a media briefing
condemning the chaos, something that allowed the conference to resume the
Although the three principals had agreed not to attribute the chaos to any
political party, Mutambara said he had been forced to talk about the matter
because he was "agitated" by the failure by Mugabe's spokespersons to
correct repeated claims by the ZBC the chaos was caused by MDC supporters
and youths from Zimbabwe's civic society groups.
He said Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties were also to blame for the chaos as
they allowed their supporters to sing party songs at the venue when the
event was, in fact, national.
By Stanley Kwenda
HARARE, Jul 20 (IPS) - It's a Thursday morning and the Mbare Musika Market
is a hive of activity. Trucks, weighed down with assorted fruits and
vegetables, negotiate their way through the congested market. You can get
anything here -- from vegetables, mealie-meal and cooking oil to television
sets and clothing.
This market, home to about 1,000 traders, is one the many dotted around the
old township of Mbare that the Harare City Council is planning to destroy.
The council argues that the markets were not properly set up as per council
The council claims if the markets are left to operate they will cultivate
criminality, create a health hazard and affect the council's cash inflows as
many of the traders do not pay tax. "We should not promote anarchy. Let us
remove all the illegal structures as soon as possible and bring back order,"
Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto announced at a recent council meeting.
If implemented, the move is likely to affect many traders whose businesses
and homes were violently destroyed during the infamous 2005 Operation
Murambatsvina ("Restore Order), launched by President Robert Mugabe's
government to, ostensibly, decongest urban areas.
It was, however, widely regarded as punishment for urban dwellers who had
overwhelmingly voted for the then-opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in the March 2005 general elections. According to the United Nations,
the campaign left over 700,000 people homeless and led to the demise of the
enterprises of traders around the country.
But this time round informal traders are sticking to their guns. "This will
do nothing except to kill us," Ruth Kasinauyo, a trader at Mupadzanhamo
market, who looks after a family of five, told IPS. "I have nowhere to get
an income. This is the only job I know.
"My husband went to the United Kingdom and never returned and I am the
father and mother of the house. The city council must bring a bulldozer to
move me from here."
The Mupedzanhamo market is a shanty market where second-hand clothes sourced
from neighbouring countries are sold. Mupedzanhamo means "problem-solver" in
the vernacular Shona language.
"I have since stopped looking for a job because this is now my life. I
manage to pay school fees for my kids, buy food and pay rent," trader
Tarisai Kasinauyo told IPS.
Just a stone's throw from Mupedzanhamo market is Siyaso market, a colloquial
Shona word for "leave it like that". This informal traders' market was razed
to the ground in 2005 during Operation Murambatsvina.
Meanwhile a thriving home industry has sprung up where furniture, building
materials and vehicle repair workshops are housed. It is a sprawling open
market of about 1,500 traders. The place can at best be described as a
jungle of commodities sold in a dusty and dirty environment.
Most of the traders operating from this market are at home with this fact
but argue that the city council should construct alternative markets before
destroying the existing ones. "No one wants to operate in this dirty area,
but what can we do if we have been forgotten?" commented one of the traders
who asked for anonymity because of fear of retaliation.
Another trader, who for similar reasons was only willing to identify himself
as Timothy, told IPS that he believes that the decision to destroy the
markets is politically motivated. "They should forget about politics and let
people concentrate on issues of survival. We are suffering.
"If they dare do it this time, we will fight back," he threatened.
Thandeka Mlilo is a food vendor. She supplies food to more than 100 traders
a day. She feels the council's move would be unfair to her survival. "We
have licenses issued by them (the council) and they collect rents every
month, so what is their problem? If they want to destroy the market, they
must give us jobs first," Mlilo told IPS.
Council collects varying amounts of between 30 to 450 dollars per month in
rentals. A Harare-based urban planner, Jerry Gotora, told the weekly
Financial Gazette newspaper last month that council should stick to
"This is how we end up destroying this country and then we blame
politicians. It's feasible for these so-called informal traders to build
proper structures as prescribed and they must pay taxes because they are
trading," Gotora insisted.
The council told IPS that the programme to destroy the markets will
continue. "We are going to look at it on a case by case basis but we are
removing everything that is not regularised as per council laws. We can't
have people doing what they want or buildings sprouting everywhere," Lesley
Gwindi, the council's public relations manager, told IPS.
Hopewell Gumbo, an economic and social justice activist, said the council
decision will affect women the most. "Women are the worst affected by the
economic problems this country is facing. This second Murambatsvina will be
another blow which will obliterate lives," Gumbo told IPS.
"The solution does not lie in destruction but in providing adequate services
to all in need."
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) statistics say 96 percent of
Zimbabweans are unemployed. Most of these people depend solely on the
informal sector for their livelihood. Many of them earn a living as flea
market and tuck shop operators, furniture makers, and vegetable, curio and
Particularly in developing countries, small informal enterprises absorb many
of the unemployed who can otherwise not find work. (END/2009)
Mon, 20 Jul 2009 14:40
After news of a R300 salary increase, Zimbabwean teachers have expressed
their intension to protest this week.
The poverty datum line is four and a half times their salary, which now
amounts to R750 a month.
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said the pay hike was insulting
Members of the union will march to the offices of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in protest to what they regard as the
government's lack of sincerity towards the education sector.
"We expected this. We are a poor country but we do have very rich leaders,"
one teacher told Eyewitness News.
Zimbabwe's government teachers say they have been patient. While private
school teachers are paid an estimated R3000 a month, state school teachers
receive around R750.
Some have already stopped giving lessons on Fridays and with news of the
lower than expected hike, the boycott could well spread.
July 20, 2009
Former Defence Minister, Moven Mahachi
By Our Correspondent
HARARE – Former finance minister, Enos Nkala on Saturday made startling allegations that former defence minister, Moven Mahachi, was assassinated, apparently at the behest of President Robert Mugabe.
Mahachi, a close ally of Mugabe, died in a car crash on May 26, 2001. He was 49 years old.
The Range Rover vehicle he was travelling in reportedly collided with another car as he travelled from Mutare to Nyanga after he attended a Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial meeting.
He was declared a hero and buried at the national heroes’ shrine.
But Nkala, who also served as defence minister in the then Prime Minister Mugabe’s cabinet soon after independence, claimed the death of one of his successors was not through a car accident as was widely reported.
“My dear young man,” Nkala said to Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara at a press conference Saturday, “you are young and do not know anything about this man. I know him better.”
Nkala was referring to President Mugabe.
The press conference, which was attended by politicians and representatives of civic organizations, was convened by Mutambara at the completion of a two-day convention to formulate Zimbabwe’s Vision 2040 blueprint.
Nkala then asked the president of the Council of Chiefs, Chief Fortune Charumbira, an ally of Mugabe to organize a meeting with the president, saying he would confront him for lying.
“If you want to know more about Robert Mugabe, seek for a day when you call Mugabe, (former Zanu PF secretary general, Edgar) Tekere and myself with some respectful people sitting there. He will chicken out. Why, because he knows we will dress him down and tell him who he is. I am not back-biting. Organize a meeting.
“I can even tell you how Mahachi was liquidated. I know all that nonsense.”
The former minister did not say why he has not made the threatened revelations over the past eight years. Nkala, who said he was not afraid of being killed for exposing Mugabe, was quickly stopped by Mutambara and Sekai Holland from revealing more details.
Mutambara and Holland, co-minister of Zimbabwe’s newly incepted national healing organ, said Saturday’s forum was not about this particular subject. This is not the first time Nkala has threatened to expose Mugabe.
Nkala has announced that he is writing a book in which he is going to make dramatic revelations about Mugabe. He said, however, that the book would be published after his death.
In November 2006 an online publication posted an article by Nkala in which the controversial former minister declared that he was not scared of Mugabe.
“President Mugabe talks, imagines and believes that he and he alone brought about the freedom of Zimbabwe. He believes that some of us were sleeping at home with our wives while he was fighting, this nonsense must come to an end.
“I am ready to spend the last days of my life in Mugabe’s prisons in defence of the legal, constitutional and civil rights of the precious people of Zimbabwe. I wish to end thus far until he responds to this statement. Mugabe must go now before the situation consumes him.”
Mugabe did not respond to Nkala’s article.
On Saturday Nkala claimed he had personally introduced Mugabe to politics at a time when he was a school teacher.
Nkala was a firebrand politician was Defence Minister at the height of the Gukurahundi campaign when thousands of innocent civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands were either killed or disappeared mysteriously in a campaign mounted by Mugabe’s Five Brigade troops in the early 1980s.
Victims estimated at up 20 000 supporters of former Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s PF-Zapu party were killed by the army in the holocaust, the darkest period in Zimbabwe’s post independence history.
Nkala a known political rival of Nkomo was widely accused of instigating the conflagration.
Nkala was ignominiously ejected from government in 2989 when he was forced to resign from his positions both in the cabinet and Zanu-PF politburo following his widely publicised involvement in the WiIlowgate Scandal.
Nkala was one of several top government officials who were exposed by The Chronicle newspaper for making unauthorized purchases of new motor-cars directly from the Willowvale Industries and reselling them at exorbitant mark-ups.
Nkala was forced to resign for committing perjury after he lied to the Sandura Commission appointed by Mugabe to investigate the allegations published by The Chronicle.
The fiery Nkala went underground after his political career was brought to a dramatic crash.
On Saturday he accused Mugabe of abusing the national Heroes Acre to reward those prepared to flatter him at the same time settling scores with foes and critics who might be deserving of recognition.
He said Mugabe had used the public media to distort history and monopolise credit for the liberation struggle.
“He talks as if he and himself alone fought the liberation war,” Nkala said.
“Where were we ourselves? Were we sleeping in our houses when he was prosecuting the war? He has muzzled the media. All they sing about is Robert Mugabe.”
Nkala said he would not want to be buried at the national shrine when he dies.
“I am not going to Heroes Acre,” he said. “It is Mugabe’s shrine.
“I don’t want any person to sit and declare me a hero. History written by objective people will decide who I am.
“If you can’t look after me when I am still alive, why do you want to look after my bones? I am not going to have anyone have my bones in that thing.”
He said he would want to be buried next to his late parents in Bulawayo.
Tekere has also declared that he will not be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.
Tekere, in fact, became the first of Mugabe’s cabinet minister to fall from grace. He was forced to resign his cabinet post following his conviction for murder following the brutal shooting of a commercial farmer.
The High Court was unanimous that Tekere was guilty of murder. He was, however, deemed to have acted in “good faith” and was, therefore entitled to indemnification under a law that former Prime Minster, Ian Smith, enacted to protect Rhodesian security forces during the war of liberation.
Tekere, who was Zanu-PF secretary-general, became a harsh critic of corruption in the Mugabe government. He was expelled from the party in 1989 and immediately launched his own organisation, the Zimbabwe Unity Movement. The party lost both the parliamentary and the presidential elections in 1990.
Monday 20 July 2009 / by Alice Chimora
Zimbabwe's leader, Robert Mugabe has been endorsed by his party Zanu PF as
the Supreme leader in a move that has dashed hope of him retiring soon. The
declaration puts him at par with Iranian's Ayatollah Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Zanu-PF Midlands Province Coordinating Committee made the shocking
resolution at the weekend.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs said as a province
they agreed that they are satisfied and committed to the leadership of
Mugabe who is also the Party's First Secretary. Mnangagwa has for long been
rumoured to be harboring presidential hopes.
In May Zanu PF politburo, the party's highest decision-making organ, set up
a committee to look into the emotive issue of choosing new leaders and that
was seen as the clearest sign yet that the party could finally open debate
on the election of a successor for the 85-year-old leader. But the weekend
statements seem to have closed the succession debate.
The issue of selecting Mugabe's successor has threatened to split Zimbabwe's
former ruling party amid behind-the-scenes jostling by party heavyweights
for the top post.
The infighting worsened following Zanu PF's dismal performance in last year's
elections where it lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since
independence to the Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe also lost the
first round of the presidential elections to his then rival Morgan
Tsvangirai, a setback that forced him into a coalition government.
The 85 year-old has said he would not step down until he is convinced that
his departure will not lead to the collapse of Zanu PF. The issue of
succession has been talked of in Zanu PF before without much progress being
made on the ground.
A political commentator Arnold Murowanani said, "Zanu PF faces the real
possibility of complete demise if it mishandles its succession issue (...)
At the centre of this succession is the need for a credible and visionary
leadership to rise within the party. A leadership that can lead with brains
and vision and not violence and patronage as we have seen in the past."
"There is nothing wrong with Zanu PF advancing its nationalist ideology, as
long as this is done persuasively and in the interest of the country".
July 20, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Tsholotsho North Member of Parliament, Professor Jonathan Moyo is
furious that the Finance Minister has lifted punitive duty on imported
The controversial Moyo, Zimbabwe's only independent legislator, argues that
the move puts national security at risk and that the country will be
bombarded with "duty-free propaganda".
Moyo - a sworn enemy of press freedom who during his tenure as Information
Minister presided over the closure of four newspapers, including the country's
largest circulating daily, The Daily News - claimed that the removal of duty
on imported newspapers was aimed by the Finance Minister Tendai Biti to
benefit the Prime Minister's controversial newsletter, which he claims is
printed in exile.
"Minister Biti's abuse of the national budget to open up floodgates for
hostile foreign information into Zimbabwe by eliminating all customs duty on
newspapers to specifically advantage the foreign printing and publication of
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's American-sponsored glossy and
controversial newsletter and the local distribution of a partisan newspaper
based in Britain called The Zimbabwean, again for patronage purposes with
everything to do with MDC-T internal power struggles," Moyo wrote in an
editorial in the State-run Sunday Mail newspaper.
Biti scrapped the duty in a mid-term fiscal policy review statement
presented to Parliament last Thursday, saying the 40 percent import duty on
foreign published newspapers was tantamount to an infringement on
Zimbabweans right to freely access information and also ran against
international best practice.
The Finance minister said the duty-free regime would come into effect on
Biti further noted that "access to information is essential to enhance
decision-making in the global village".
But Moyo claimed Biti had abused the national budget by lifting the punitive
import duty. Zimbabwe has seen the exponential increase in the number of
South African newspapers on the local market. Among leading South African
titles retailing in Zimbabwe's newspaper stalls are The Star, The Sowetan,
The Independent, The Sunday Times and others.
There are also periodicals, journals and magazines such as The Economist,
which were all subject to punitive import duty of 40 percent. The Zimbabwean
and its sister Sunday title said this week they had forked out R2,85 million
since June last year to get the newspapers into Zimbabwe.
The duty was imposed in June last year, in an apparent bid to cripple
operations of newspapers which were published from outside the country.
"If the minister had proposed reducing the duty from 40 percent to some
lower but reasonable figure between, say, 15 percent and 25 percent, that
would be understandable, but to eliminate it altogether is a deliberate and
irresponsible attack on our national security and a naked sabotage of our
economic interests in the so-called global village in which other
enlightened and democratic countries like India levy duties on newspapers,"
Despite Moyo's remonstrations, media and human rights groups say the
punitive taxation threatened the economic viability of imported newspapers
and constituted a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, which
is guaranteed by numerous international conventions, including the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, to which Zimbabwe is signatory.
Moyo's opinion piece, titled 'Biti's kiya kiya perfomance treacherous,'
said: "In the first place it is mind-boggling that a Minister of Finance who
has defended the use of Gestapo tax collection tactics against places like
Mupedzanhamo and against many other very ordinary people who are barely
surviving from trading in the informal sector in this very harsh
multi-currency environment has no shame in letting well-to-do foreigners,
including nefarious donors who are dealers in weapons of mass deception, to
flood our country with their propaganda duty-free.
"The matter would be different if the newspapers in question are from church
or charitable organisations and are distributed free of charge. But no,
these are newspapers that sell for not less than one United States dollar
published by businesspeople who want to make money."
But Moyo is mistaken in his accusation. Most of the imported South African
newspapers retail for US$1, including the voluminous Sunday Times. The
Zimbabwean sells for US$1 for two, while local State titles are selling for
US$1, including the official mouthpiece, The Herald.
Moyo, who appears to be on a frantic campaign to ingratiate himself with
Zanu-PF, said: "Why should Zimbabwe not make money from this trade through
customs duty? Which other countries allow the importation of newspapers duty
free in the false name of accessing information to enhance decision-making
in the global village."
Moyo further claimed the duty-free proposal was motivated by a partisan
interest to favour the Prime Minister's newsletter.
Efforts to obtain comment from Andy Chadwick, the Prime Minister Tsvangirai's
press secretary, were futile.
HOPEWELL RADEBE Published: 2009/07/20 06:17:18 AM
ZIMBABWE pleaded with international investors on Friday to fund a proposed
new transmission line linking SA with the hydro power stations of Zambia and
A Zimbabwean representative at the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) Power Sector Investors' roundtable discussion in Livingstone, Zambia,
said a new transmission line would help supply power to SA but would also
provide an outlet when Zimbabwe completed three new power stations it
These included the Gokwe North coal-fired station, with a 1400MW capacity,
the 600MW Hwange Expansion coal-fired station and the 300MW Kariba hydro
power plant, said Benjamin Rafemoyo, CEO of the country's Zesa power
Zimbabwe's unity government was holding and was bringing stability to the
country, Rafemoyo said.
The line connecting SA with power plants in Zambia, the Democratic Republic
of Congo and Mozambique was built with the capacity to transmit 320MW but
due to overloading and neglect in Zimbabwe can now carry less than 50MW to
However, Zimbabwe's neighbours came with motivations for funding of their
own projects. They said alternatives to the line through Zimbabwe would
allow Sadc to reduce the impact that the failure of a single line might
Mozambique plan s to build a direct transmission line from its Cahora Bassa
hydro power plant to SA . Zambia plan s to build a new transmission line
through Botswana to SA, with a junction to Zimbabwe and Namibia .
One analyst, who declined to be identified, said Zimbabwe's political
instability had been a wake-up call for the region, forcing it to dust off
proposals for alternative transmission lines that had been "talked about for
almost two decades".
Victor Utedzi, a consultant on the Zimbabwean government's preferred Central
Transmission Corridor Network, said the 100m line could be built faster than
the alternatives .
"It is economically viable to beef up the central transmission network via
Zimbabwe to enable Eskom to access the electricity from the two neighbours
rather than use billions of rands annually running diesel generators in a
bid to augment the electricity shortfall currently experienced in SA,"
The network would involve the construction of various new transmission lines
within Zimbabwe .
The three-day conference that ended on Friday was attended by
representatives of institutions including the International Monetary Fund,
World Bank, African Development Bank, Bank of China and the Development Bank
of Southern Africa.
Investors remained noncommittal during the conference. David White, of the
European Investment Bank, criticised delays in the completion of crucial
power generation projects due to bureaucratic and political indecisiveness,
saying these had hindered economic growth in most of Africa's economic
20 July 2009
Journalist sues state over illegal detention
Freelance photojournalist Andrisson Manyere and 15 Movement for Democratic
Change-T (MDC-T) on 14 July 2009 filed a lawsuit with the High Court
demanding compensation totaling US$19, 2 million from the co-Ministers of
Home Affairs and State security agents following their alleged abduction,
unlawful detention and deprivation of liberty.
In the lawsuit, each plaintiff is demanding US$1, 2 million for unlawful
abduction, enforced disappearance, unlawful detention, unlawful arrest and
unlawful deprivation of liberty. The state is also being sued for torture,
pain, shock, suffering and psychological trauma, contumelia (damages for
humiliating or degrading treatment) and loss of amenities of life and
The sixteen are demanding compensation from the co-Ministers of Home Affairs
Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa. The two are jointly cited along with Police
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Prisons Commissioner, Paradzai
Zimondi and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Director-General
Also being sued are Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Nyathi, Chief
Superintendent Crispen Makendenge, Detective Chief Inspector Mpofu, Chief
Superintendent Peter Magwenzi, Senior Assistant Commissioner Chiobvu of the
prisons services, Detective Chief Inspector Elliot Muchada, Superintendent
Josh Shasha Tenderere, Assistant Inspector Maria Phiri, Detective Inspector
Chibaya, Detective Muuya and Assistant Director of the External Branch of
the CIO, Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi.
Manyere who is on bail on charges of contravening Section 23 (1) (a) (i)
(ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9: 23 which
deals with insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, first appeared
before the Harare Magistrates Courts on 24 December 2008 together with
Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko.
Prior to that he had been reported missing after he had taken his vehicle to
a garage in Norton about 40km west of Harare on 13 December 2008 until his
appearance in court on 24 December 2008.
For any questions, queries or comments, please contact:
Senior Programmes Officer
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is disturbed by the position that has been taken by the city of Harare to issue letters of final demand to residents who have not paid their bills. The move has been met with massive opposition from residents who feel that the Council does not have any justification to demand money from residents when little efforts are being made to improve service delivery in Harare. Moreover, residents also feel that the City of Harare should have made consultations with residents first to find out why they were failing to honour their bills rather than threatening them with legal action.
Residents have voiced concern on the state of service delivery as opposed to the amounts of money which they are required to pay. It defies logic for Council to make threats to residents when the Council itself is failing to improve service delivery with the money that residents have been paying in rates so far. Some residents in the Northern Suburbs of the city pointed out that they have paid their bills faithfully to the Council in spite of the fact that they have not been getting any municipal services. City roads continue to be littered with deep potholes; most shopping centers (especially in high density areas) are surrounded with piles of uncollected refuse; recreational and sanitary facilities have not been maintained and they have become unusable. Shopping centers like Areno (Kuwadzana), Kamunhu and Makwavarara (Mabvuku), Makomva (Glen View) and Budiriro 2 have become an eyesore due to the piles of garbage that have been there for months.
Moreover, residents have also argued that the money that is being demanded by the City of Harare is beyond affordability. Most residents earn an average of US$100 a month and yet the City of Harare demands as much as US$88 for rates while some water bills are within the range of US$35-US$60. These bills outweigh the average monthly income that Harare residents get. Furthermore, there are also electricity, telephone and other bills that residents have to pay. Some residents who live in the Avenues area in the city centre have also complained about the exorbitant bills that they are getting from the City of Harare. Some of the bills for blocks of flats in the city centre have amounted to as much as US$10 000 (for water). These residents have complained that water supplies have been extremely erratic and they do not understand why the City of Harare is charging so much money for non-existent services. In law, when two parties enter into a contract, if one party does not deliver their end of the bargain then the contract is null and void. What case does the City of Harare has against residents to whom they have not kept their end of the bargain?
CHRA is cognizant of the fact that residents should pay for the services that they get but the City of Harare should step up efforts to make things happen in the suburbs of Harare. The current situation has created a lot of mistrust between residents and the City of Harare. Residents are withholding their money because they feel that Council is not being fair by demanding money for non-existent services. Furthermore, the fact that the Council is awarding its personnel hefty salaries at the expense of quality municipal service delivery also leaves a lot to be desired. There is a need for the City of Harare to engage in dialogue with residents and hear their side of the story so that good working relations between Council and residents can be created.
CHRA is solely supportive of the residents’ position. It is the right of residents to get quality and affordable municipal services. Residents have the right to demand value for their money. CHRA remains committed to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance and lobbying for quality municipal (and other) services on a non-partisan basis.
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
DIANNA GAMES Published: 2009/07/20 06:26:40 AM
ZIMBABWE is currently swamped by investor conferences. The perception of
rich pickings at rock-bottom prices and the search for new capital by the
public and private sectors have raised the business profile of a country no
one wanted to visit a year ago. And despite the flaws of the unity
government, the economy is starting to turn around.
The introduction of hard currency has been the biggest factor in restoring a
sense of normality and is allowing companies to gear up for a new era.
International companies that were forced to ring- fence their Zimbabwe
operations as a result of hyperinflation are now bringing them back into the
fold. Tongaat Hulett reports that it will include its Zimbabwe sugar
operations in its financial statements this year as many of the distortions
of macroeconomic fundamentals had been removed.
There is also new capital being injected into Zimbabwe business. SABMiller
injected working capital of 16m into beverages group, Delta Corporation, in
which it is a shareholder, earlier this year and more multinationals are
likely to shore up the capital base of firms in which they have an interest
as the market opens up.
Regional expansion, a necessary hedge for companies to survive in the past,
is continuing. Hotel group African Sun is expanding into Nigeria.
Diversified conglomerate TA Holdings is to ply its insurance business in
Uganda . Manufacturers are increasing production now they are able to source
inputs in foreign exchange and activity on the stock market is growing.
But the corporate sector, under severe pressure for most of the past "lost
decade" (as Zimbabweans refer to it) is not out of the woods yet.
The banking sector, which has had a rough ride in trying to survive the
economic meltdown, faces more hard times. With the government's September
deadline for financial companies to meet new capitalisation requirements, a
shake-out of the 28 companies operating in this overtraded sector is likely.
Local banks will be targets for hungry investors. SA's First National Bank
and Nedbank are interested in the market and Nigerian banks are also
sniffing out opportunities.
A period of local merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is possible in other
sectors as companies align themselves in a new economy. M&A activity was a
survival strategy for companies over the past few years, as they sought to
build critical mass as a way of countering difficult times. Not all of these
worked out well. The 2007 merger between Meikles Africa, Zimbabwe's oldest
company, with Kingdom Financial Holdings, has just been through a messy
"divorce" after months of ugly wrangling.
Corporate Zimbabwe has suffered scandals, business failures, corruption,
political patronage, extreme government interference and threats of
nationalisation. Transparency and the application of corporate governance
principles, once standard in the country, were affected in the quest for
survival in the country's corrupt political environment. The new foreign
interest in companies has forced these issues back on the table.
The lack of transparency in deals related to government contracts and the
large numbers of corrupt politicians in the business sector are other
factors that coloured the corporate landscape in the recent past. From murky
deals in the Congo up to mainstream companies hiding dubious activities
under the cloak of hyperinflation and black market deals, a lot of dodgy
things have been happening in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
A fund manager with Zimbabwe investments says the combination of a bull
market for cheap stocks and economic distortions meant investors had not
always policed their assets or the underlying governance of the companies
themselves in the past. In the relative euphoria of the new economy, it
would be easy to sweep away the past, but the many dubious deals done under
Zanu (PF) rule and the compromises in corporate governance are realities
that will be unearthed in an era of greater scrutiny.
Zimbabwe remains a risky investment destination and the public and private
sectors need to put their houses in order to build trust in the integrity of
the country - and with it, credibility.
Games is CE of Africa @ Work, a research and consulting company.
By Patience Rusere
20 July 2009
Zimbabwe's Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration has
written to the three leaders of the country's main political parties - who
are also the principals in the national unity government installed in
February - urging them to preach nonviolence to their supporters.
The call to President Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai of the main formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, head of the smaller MDC grouping,
followed a spate of violent incidents.
Healing Organ Chairman John Nkomo, chairman of ZANU-PF, was quoted by the
state-run Herald newspaper as saying the country can no longer tolerate
divisions and that the police are under strict orders to arrest anyone from
any political party engaging in violence.
This move followed a government declaration officially gazetted last week
dedicating Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week to national healing and
Mr. Mugabe in the declaration guaranteed the safety of all Zimbabweans in
the diaspora who return to the country and asked non-governmental
organizations not to promote violence.
Minister of State Gibson Sibanda, who is attached to the president's office
and is responsible for healing and reconciliation issues, told reporter
Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the call to the leaders
was necessary in light of recent incidents, adding that the unity
government's success depends on the maintenance of civil peace.
But Abel Chikomo, executive director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum,
voiced skepticism, saying it is mainly incumbent on ZANU-PF to renounce
Hatred and intolerance inevitably give rise to anger,bitterness and
resentment in both the victim and the perpetrator.Zimbabwe is a nation most
of whose inhabitants are boiling with anger,resentment and bitterness across
the political divide.This great country has had the singular misfortune of
remaining in denial and choosing to pretend that everything in the country
is going on just fine and that let us simply let bygones be bygones.Although
I am no expert in psychology,I can safely state that the majority of
Zimbabweans,both living in the country and in the Diaspora, are in need of
genuine and professional counselling to enable them to effectively heal from
the post-traumatic stress disorder that was largely caused by years of a
violent armed struggle that ultimately gave rise to our independence on
April 18, 1980.Things didnot get any better soon after independence because
the Matelebeland and Midlands massacres,which can accurately be described as
genocide,took place between 1983 and 1987.When the old ZANU(PF) and ZAPU
merged into one party after the signing of the Unity Accord on December
22,1987,no attempt whatsover was made by the government to formally heal the
nation by adopting policies that would have helped in genuinely pacifying
the nation and also in trying to ensure that the primitive culture of
violence and political intolerance that was the hallmark of the Gukurahundi
era was completely eradicated from our midst.After the signing of the Unity
Accord,we all remained in denial and pretended that the country was now
''united'' and also that bygones should be bygones.Put alternatively,as a
nation,we dismally failed to locate the real reasons behind the horror of
Gukurahundi and also failed to interrogate the simmering hatred between both
the victims and the perpetrators of the Gukurahundi genocidal massacres.That
was a fatal mistake on the part of the government as later events would
prove in the political history of Zimbabwe.
In this article,it is not my intention to open old wounds and thus seek to
incite hate and retribution.If anything,I am motivated by the desire to
escape from denialism and to confront,head-on,the problems that we are
facing as we desperately clamour to heal our nation and to forge a new
dispensation of peace and harmony in our great motherland.I am mindfull of
the fact that there is a new Ministry of National Healing in the inclusive
government.I am also acutely aware that this ministry is headed by three
full-time ministers of State whose core mandate is to drive the National
Healing Organ and also to ensure that the culture of political violence and
intolerance is wholly eradicated from our national politics.I am also aware
that July 24,25 and 26 have been gazetted as the three days dedicated to
national healing,reconciliation and integration.Infact,this was published in
the Government Gazette Extraordinary dated July 15, 2009,General Notice 92
of 2009.It is my respectfull submission that these three days dedicated to
national healing will not change much in terms of cultivating,nurturing and
sustaining a new culture of tolerance and mutual respect in our political
discourse.To me,the gazetting of these three days is a mere academic
exercise that will do very little,if anything at all,in healing our hurting
nation.We certainly need to do more than just gazetting days of national
healing.National healing is a very complex operation and I am afraid to say
that the Ministry of National Healing has hardly done anything in
spearheading the national healing process.A few workshops and conferences
have been held in some posh hotels and holiday resorts here and there.To my
knowledge,no concrete programme of action has been agreed upon and rolled
out for the nation to appreciate the relevance and usefullness of the
Ministry of National Healing.A lot needs to be done.
The people of Zimbabwe,as I have already alluded to above,are still hurting;
dating back from the days of the armed liberation struggle.I have talked to
a few liberation war veterans and I was shocked to find out that none of
them ever received professional counselling after the attainment of
independence in 1980.This despite the fact that these gallant sons and
daughters were routinely subjected to extreme incidents of violence and
rampant human rights abuses during the war.Some of them were severely
tortured by the racist colonial military machine.Most,if not all these
veterans of the struggle bear emotional,physical and psychological scars
that may never heal during their lifetime.The culture of
politically-motivated violence and intolerance has been allowed to thrive in
post-independent Zimbabwe.I still recall the violence and intolerance that
was exhibited before and immediately after the 1985 general elections.I was
a young lodger living somewhere in Chitungwiza and I vividly remember seeing
the household goods of perceived ZAPU supporters lining the streets of
Zengeza 2 after ZANU(PF) supporters had thrown out the items of household
property onto the streets.I still remember being forced to attend ZANU(PF)
meetings in Zengeza 3.My landlord would tell us to attend these meetings or
else he would be victimised and his house might be destroyed.Today,in the
21st century,this culture,unfortunately,still obtains in Zimbabwe.We all
remember what happened after ZANU(PF) was humiliated by the MDC during the
harmonised elections held on March 29, 2008.Between March 29, 2008 and June
27,2008,the whole of Zimbabwe was under siege.Men.women,the elderly and even
little children were force-marched to attend ZANU(PF) '' pungwes''
throughout the country.Even motorists were forced to display ZANU(PF)
campaign materials inside their motor vehicles.Little wonder,therefore,that
the ZANU(PF) candidate '' won'' the one-man Presidential election run-off by
85,5% on June 27,2008!
My argument is that to date,we have not sought to scientifically manage the
process of national healing.The mere creation of a government ministry of
national healing does not and will not help in genuinely and permanently
healing the nation.Until such a time that we escape from our denialist
approach to the issue of national healing, Zimbabwe will be gripped by
another wave of political violence and intolerance come election time.The
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace(CCJP) commissioned a study into
the Gukurahundi massacres.I have kept a copy of the CCJP report and it makes
chilling reading.Nothing was done by the government as a follow-up to the
CCJP report.The Chihambakwe Commission report into the Gukurahundi genocide
was never made public.We remain in denial.We cannot heal our nation by
sweeping dirt under the carpet.What Zimbabwe needs, and needs urgently,is a
truth and reconciliation commission that will enable the perpetrators of
genocide and political violence to come out in the open; confess and
repent.This will definately get a buy-in from the victims of genocide and
political violence.We should learn from the experience of our
neighbour,South Africa.There is no denying the fact that the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission in South Africa played a crucial role in moulding
that rainbow nation.As I have already stated,I am not advocating revenge and
retribution.No.I am simply stating that there can never be genuine national
healing in Zimbabwe as long as the perpetrators of genocide and political
violence are roaming the streets free to this day; with noone calling upon
them to formally come forward,repent and ask for forgiveness.Without the
establishment of a properly constituted Truth and Reconcilation
Commission,the Ministry of National Healing will remain a white elephant.
By Senator Obert Gutu
Harare July 2009
Nothing illustrated both the problems of the Transitional Government in
Zimbabwe and the dilemma facing Zanu PF at the present moment than the
events that occurred last Monday. We are six months into the life of this
new government, at best it is dysfunctional and sterile, but despite all the
resistance inside the machine, we are slowly pulling it down the road mapped
out in the GPA.
That road is clearly signposted in the GPA and the first real turning point
was Monday. The GPA called for the first stakeholder's conference to decide
how the consultation and drafting phases were to be conducted and who was to
drive the process. Several thousand delegates arrived and things got under
way after a shambolic start. Then just as the Speaker of the House of
Assembly was speaking a large group of political thugs went forward and
attempted to break up the event.
Several people were beaten, one seriously and water and other substances
were thrown at senior delegates who scrambled for the exit. The meeting was
abandoned and after several hours delegates collected for lunch and then
waited for the national leadership to decide what to do. The Police did
nothing to stop this hooliganism which was led by several prominent Zanu PF
leaders including a few Members of Parliament and at least two Cabinet
That night, after a long meeting, the three principals to the GPA came onto
television and radio and said the conference would continue and that serious
measures would be taken against those responsible for the attempt to disrupt
the process. The following day under intense supervision by the Police who
at last realised they had some responsibility, the conference resumed and by
the end of the day had concluded its business.
From all that I have heard and seen this was clearly a carefully planned
effort to disrupt and delay the meeting. First Zanu had said that only a
small number of people should attend, then that it could not go ahead as we
had no money, then they argued we were wasting money when we could not pay
The subsequent climb down and the part played by the President, showed just
how much of a bind these guys are in. Mr. Mugabe knows full well that he has
to be seen to be doing his best to make this thing work. In so doing he has
to half heartedly help push the poor mule down the very road he is trying to
To compound his discomfort, he went off to the Non Aligned Summit in Egypt
leaving Morgan Tsvangirai at home in the chicken run with a shotgun and no
sooner was he out of sight than the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti
delivered his mid term review of the budget. He was unable to announce an
increase in State revenues, but had a 40 per cent revenue grant from donors
to ease the pain.
The overall result was a carefully crafted and fully consulted package of
measures which will contribute significantly to the slow repair of our
reputation and the environment for economic stabilisation and growth. It was
a conservative and tough revision - he raised civil service salaries by 40
per cent and promised to slowly start recognising grades and seniority.
He still thinks recovery will be very slow - forecast growth of less than 5
per cent, but I think this is also conservative and would not be surprised
if GDP climbs by much more than this. For a start, my own figures now
suggest that grant aid to Zimbabwe - the most generous form of aid, could
reach our original target of US$1,5 billion. I am rather proud of that
number because that was my personal projection some two years ago when we
were crafting our strategies for turn around in 2007.
He overstated the possibility of recovery in agriculture - misled by the
usual false projections emanating from the Ministry of Agriculture, but
recognised that industry was recovering fast and that investment in mining
was rising. He spoke at length on the recovery in gold production and I am
sure we will get back to the position in 12 months where we are again the
5th or 6th largest gold producer in the world.
By my own reckoning we are more or less on track. In the past six months we
have halted inflation (Biti talked about zero inflation in the past six
months), brought markets back into operation and food into free supply at
prices that are regionally competitive. We have restored health services,
opened schools and colleges and begun to repair our infrastructure and
But we have failed to halt the destruction of our agricultural industry,
failed to restore basic freedoms and rights, failed to restore our legal
system and its independence from the political structures. The security
chiefs still implacably resist the new dispensation and supported by Mr.
Mugabe, are still running a parallel government to the Transitional
Government and the GPA. The National Security Council is yet to meet; the
JOC is gearing up to the political contest in 2010 by mobilising through the
But despite that we have got the process of media reform underway. The
Constitution Train has left the station and is on schedule and most
important of all, we are still in business. The sceptism about the survival
of the GPA is fading as we insist that no matter what the provocation, we
are in this deal to the end.
Zanu PF attempts to derail the train have failed so far, their leadership is
on the train and anxiously watching for the first opportunity to stop the
train or to get off. I understand the SADC summit is now set for September.
We met a group of senior political leaders from Europe this week and urged
them to put maximum pressure on regional leaders to support the GPA and to
keep this train on the tracks. They should do that because any other route
simply leads nowhere or to chaos.
One thing about hauling a mule to water is that when it gets close enough it
smells the water and then stops fighting and starts running itself. When
that happens the reluctant Mr. Mugabe will find himself unable to keep up
and will be left behind.
[17th July 2009]
Three Days Dedicated to National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration
24th, 25th and 26th July
The following declaration, issued by the President, was published in the Government Gazette Extraordinary dated 15th July, 2009,
General Notice 92 of 2009. [Note these days are not being declared public holidays.]
INTERPARTY POLITICAL AGREEMENT
Declaration Authorising the Organ on National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration to Embark on the National
EXCELLENCY THE HONOURABLE ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE, G.C.Z.M., President of
WHEREAS it is provided by section 31D of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that the President shall appoint Ministers and may assign functions to such Ministers, including the administration of any Act of Parliament or of any Ministry or Department:
WHEREAS in the exercise of powers conferred on him by the said section 31D of the Constitution, as read with Schedule 8 to the Constitution relating to the Framework for a New Government, His Excellency the President appointed three Ministers of State to establish and execute the work of the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, pursuant to Article VII of the Interparty Political Agreement enshrined in the said Schedule 8 to the Constitution of Zimbabwe;
WHEREAS the said Schedule 8 to the Constitution enshrines the principle of working together in an inclusive government, with great sensitivity, flexibility and willingness to compromise, in order to uphold respect for the deeply-felt and immediate aspirations of the millions of the people of Zimbabwe to carry out sustained work to create conditions for returning our country to stability and prosperity;
WHEREAS His Excellency The President, consistent with Article VII and Article XVIII of the Interparty Political Agreement referred to in Schedule 8 to the Constitution, charged the Organ to promote equality of treatment of all regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or origin; put in place practicable measures to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre-and post-Independence political conflicts; create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans from the Diaspora; as well as assure personal security of all persons and prevent the resort to violence for purposes of settling any disagreements or differences;
WHEREAS Article 7.1 (c) of the Interparty Political Agreement provides that the all-Inclusive Government shall: "Give due consideration to the setting up of a mechanism to properly advise on what measures might be necessary and practicable to achieve the National Healing, Cohesion and Unity in respect of victims of pre-and post-Independence conflict," the Organ being thereby, brought into being;
AND WHEREAS indigenous Zimbabweans living in the pre-Independence colonial era were systematically deprived of basic human rights, subjected to oppression, suppression, racial discrimination and inequitable access to the enjoyment of the resources of the land; including unfair exclusion from political processes within the country; thereby precluding fair representation of the indigenous population in the governance structures of the country; leading to an armed liberation war for national emancipation and self-determination in which thousands of combatants and non-combatants lost their lives, dignity and property; and
NOTING the tendency to easy resort to violence by political parties, State actors, Non-State actors and others in attempting to gain the upper hand in competition for power and position, or in order to settle political differences and achieve various political ends; and
CONCERNED by the displacement of scores of people due to politically motivated violence;
� violence in any form has the effect of dehumanising people and generating deep feelings of hatred and polarization within our country;
� violence abuses both the victim and the perpetrator, thus undermining our collective independence and our capability as a people to exercise our free will in making political choices;
� the practice of settling disputes by violence has its firm roots in pre- and post-Independence behaviour right up to present times, thereby spawning an unacceptable and amoral culture.
FURTHER NOTING that the perpetration of violence in any form is an affront to the Bill of Rights enshrined in Chapter III of the Constitution of Zimbabwe:
NOW, THEREFORE, in the spirit of the Interparty Political Agreement, I do hereby-
(a) declare, set out and dedicate the 24th, 25th and 26th July, 2009, as a period during which the Nation may dedicate the Inclusive Government, our newfound peace, our freedom, our new spirit of nation-building, National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration to inspire the nation going forward; and
(b) declare, set out and dedicate the 24th, 25th and 26th July 2009, as the appointed days upon which, consistent with the deeply-felt desire for freedom, peace, stability and prosperity by the millions of Zimbabweans at home and abroad, all the political parties, formations and factions within and without Zimbabwe, and espousing a Zimbabwean interest howsoever defined, publicly and honestly commit themselves, as indeed it is their constitutional and legal duty?
(i) to renounce violence in all its forms, and in particular violence designed to achieve political ends;
(ii) to move among the people, in particular their supporters internal and external, for purposes of promoting the values and practices of tolerance, respect, non-violence and dialogue as sustainable means of resolving political differences;
(iii) to reject all forms of political violence;
(iv) to report all forms of political violence;
(v) to renounce the promotion and use of violence, under whatever name called, as a means of attaining political ends;
(vi) to work together to ensure the security of all persons and property;
(vii) to refrain from inciting hostility, political intolerance and ethnic hatred; and
(viii) to take all measures necessary to ensure that the structures, agents and institutions that they control or liaise with within and without Zimbabwe, do not engage or support engagement in perpetration of violence or any other activities harmful to Zimbabwe.
AND ON THIS DAY, THE 10th DAY OF JULY, 2009, I IMPLORE AND ENJOIN
THE GOVERNMENT of the
(a) in total inclusiveness, to apply the laws of the country fully and impartially;
(b) to ensure the safe return of all Zimbabweans desirous of returning from the Diaspora;
(c) to ensure the safety of all and any internally displaced persons;
(d) to direct all State actors to operate within the framework of the Interparty Political Agreement and of the laws of the country in executing their duties.
ALL CIVIL SOCIETY organizations of whatever description, whether affiliated to a political party or not, not to promote or advocate or use violence or any other form of intimidation or coercion to canvass or mobilize for or oppose any political party to achieve any political end.
AND I FURTHER RESPECTFULLY REQUEST AND ENJOIN ALL TRADITIONAL LEADERS AND ALL FAITH-BASED INSTITUTIONS TO-
NOTE the existence of the culture of violence that has afflicted the country, its nationals, regions, religions, tribes, clans, families and individuals;
NOTE the compounding of the violent culture by foreign institutions and influences that seized the country and dominated it; spawning oppression, suppression, racial discrimination and dispossession of the property of the indigenous people;
RECOGNISE the conflict and bloodshedding that accompanied the liberation process in Zimbabwe over a period of a century as indigenous people fought to redeem the cradle and source of their identity, namely The Land;
CONCERN themselves with the shameful post-independence disturbances, conflicts, violence and losses of life and property visited upon the country by political parties, faith-based institutions and others; and
CALL UPON the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, political parties, traditional leaders, faith-based leaders, civic bodies and their leaders, patriarchs and matriarchs, mediums and all charged with providing guidance and sustenance to the population of Zimbabwe; to redeem the nation from the spell of conflict and bloodshed embedded in its history and practices; and in particular correct the failure to assuage psycho-social traumas visited upon individuals, families and communities by the conflict visited upon them in the pre- and post-Independence period;
AND I FURTHER ENJOIN ALL THE COUNTRY'S TRADITIONAL AND FAITH-BASED LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS-
TO ASSUME their age-old responsibility to make devotions to the Creator with solemn ceremonies;
TO SEEK the
cleansing of our land,
TO MAKE supplication for forgiveness and prosperity; and
TO SEEK EVERLASTING GUIDANCE for the Nation of Zimbabwe from generation to generation;
AND ALL THESE WITH STRICT ADHERENCE
TO THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SEASONS, PERIODS AND TIME-TABLES � AND APPROPRIATE
MEDIUMS � BY WHICH SUCH PROC
Given under my hand and the Public
Seal of Zimbabwe at
R. G. MUGABE, President
By Command of the President.
NOTE [this is part of the gazetted notice]
I remain keenly conscious that post-conflict peace-building is not an event, let alone a simple process. Drawing together opposing energies is a managed process, requiring rare expertise in various fields, as well as purposeful consultations within clearly-defined parameters; to achieve peace, prosperity, stability and healing for individual Zimbabweans of all ages, their families, organisations, communities and the country as a whole. The process has to be grassroots-driven, for it to be a truly Zimbabwean process.
To this end the Organ was established, to provide guidance and direction to all groups, as we all turn this epoch in our history into an Epoch of Rebuilding; with purposeful focus towards the rehabilitation of Zimbabwean politics.
Indeed, we must move from a culture of historically imposed violence, undertake an examination of the past and present traumatic stress disorders afflicting the greater part of our population, military and non-military and uniformed or civilian; to build a new culture of inclusiveness born of a healed national environment.
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Would you plan a holiday to Somalia…?
All I know of Somalia are the images I see on 24 hour news channels: gun-toting bandits shooting from the hip and spraying bullets down battered streets, looking as if their military training came via comic book villains.
Or pirates hijacking ships and holding sailors and cargo worth billions hostage.
The thought of a holiday there hardly fills me with anticipatory excitement … so no, I wouldn’t go there!
So imagine my shock when I saw the latest Failed States Index for 2009. The only state worse than Zimbabwe is Somalia. Our country is the second most failed state in the world. And it’s not even as if we’re trailing far behind Somalia either: we’re a mere 0.7 points below them.
Planning a holiday to Zimbabwe? Heaven help us; we live here! How easily we become used to unacceptable conditions.
Image via foreignpolicy.com
Foreign Policy magazine, who produce the annual failed states index in collaboration with The Fund for Peace, have an essay titled The Blame Game: Why do states fail, who’s helping out? on their site, which is worth reading in full. China has more than a few questions to answer! Do you remember the An Yue Jiang fiasco last year?
There is, however, something to the idea that foreign meddling contributes to state failure. A fresh influx of weapons, for instance, is one of the surest ways a conflict can reach new levels of violent intensity. As international negotiators flooded Kenya in early 2008, hoping to end post-election violence, 40,000 Kalashnikov rifles were reportedly entering the country via Ukraine in a legal transaction. Last year, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Yemen also purchased weapons from willing suppliers in China, Ukraine, Italy, and Belgium, despite strapped government budgets and pressing humanitarian concerns. China and Russia, which together represent 27 percent of the global conventional weapons market, made 40 percent of the major arms sales to the 60 worst-performing states in the index, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Weapons designed in the West and licensed to manufacturers in countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, and China are a proliferating source of small arms worldwide. The numbers are already staggering, but they might well be an underestimate, experts say, because they include only officially recorded transactions. And weapons dealers are, of course, just some of failed states’ many enablers. There’s much more blame to go around.
Visit the Foreign Policy website to explore their interactive map and read more about the world’s failed states.