26 July 2009
By ROHR Zimbabwe
15 people were arrested yesterday (26 July 2009) by the Zimbabwe Republic
Police for wearing black in protest against the Peace days gazetted by
President Robert Mugabe. They were detained at Mbare police station from
0800hrs and released without charge at 1800hrs the same day. The police
interrogated the detainees for the whole day.
Tichanzii Gandanga, the ROHR secretary general visited the 15 and assured
them that they will be released soon when it became obvious that the motive
was dubious and meant to just frustrate the protesters.
12 of the people were ROHR members who had boarded public transport from
Mbare to the City center when the bus was stopped and rerouted to Mbare
police station. The other 3 were just caught in the crossfire as they were
assumed to be part of the group. Alfonso Zvenyika, a former Zimbabwean
boxing champion who was part to the protest said he suspected that the
arrest was effected following a tip off from ZANU PF youths in Mbare suburb
who were aware of the 'peace days' protest.
ROHR is disturbed by this behavior, because it casts shadows on any hopes
that national healing can ever be achieved when people are unnecessarily
arrested for peacefully expressing their displeasure with Government
processes. The uniformed forces must remain impartial and resist executing
political directives targeted at innocent and peaceful civilians who have a
right to freedom of expression and association as enshrined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
On 22 July, ROHR made a public call for people to wear black attire on 24 -
26 July in protests against the peace days proclaimed by Mugabe and in
solidarity with the victims of politically motivated violence. Yesterday,
ROHR Zimbabwe carried out a protest march to parliament building where
people were dispersed by police. ROHR believes that there cannot be peace
without national healing and that cannot come before truth, justice and
compensation to victims of political violence. That should be approached
holistically and whole heartedly rather than calling for symbolic days and
monumental moments celebrating "new found peace and unity" while violence
against civilians still continues. Governance by misdirection will not
deliver the much need closure to this sensitive subject of national healing
and reconciliation. Restorative justice must prevail.
By KING SHANGO
Published on: 26th July, 2009
HARARE - Another MDC MP has been jailed for 12 months on alleged corruption
charges, adding the tally of MDC MPs that are losing parliamentary seats as
a result of prosecutions.
Zaka North MP, Ernest Mudavanhu, filed an urgent appeal at the High Court
Thursday challenging both his conviction and sentence on what the MDC says
are trumped-up corruption charges.
Mudavanhu was imprisoned for 12 months in jail on charges of abusing the
subsidised farming inputs dished by RBZ governor Gideon Gono at the height
of the farm mechanisation scheme.
Mudavanhu, represented by lawyer Douglas Mwonzora, challenged the conviction
on the grounds that magistrate, Olivia Mariga, had wrongly convicted him and
had imposed an excessively harsh sentence.
According to the lawyer, Mariga lost sight of the fact that imprisonment
would result in Mudavanhu losing his parliamentary seat as well as deprive
him of his freedom.
Meanwhile, the trial for Mutare Mayor, Brian James, failed to take off on
Thursday after the State discovered that evidence contained in the docket
could not sustain the trumped-up charges of assault and malicious damage to
property, officials in Mutare confirmed to zim NET radio.
State prosecutor, Walter Saunyama, dropped the charges. Mayor James was
facing false allegations of assaulting one Alois Manyati and smashing his
vehicle last month in Vumba.
Representing the mayor, David Tandira, said in light of these facts, there
was no evidence linking the mayor to the charges.
The MDC has said the persecution of James is part of a grand plot to
intimidate, harass and convict MDC MPs and members. Five MDC MPs have since
July 26 2009 at 09:03AM
By Peta Thornycroft
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is trying to regain the
parliamentary majority he lost in the March 2008 elections by convicting and
sentencing MPs of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) so they are thrown out of Parliament.
This is the view of MDC-T and many observers.
Two MDC-T MPs were expelled in the past week.
Another has been convicted and sentenced to more than six months in
jail, allowing the Zanu-PF-aligned Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma to expel
him when Parliament sits again next month.
And MDC-T's Kwekwe MP is facing rape charges and can expect to be
convicted and sentenced to more than six months in prison.
Other MPs of the party are also believed to be in the firing line.
All the sentenced MPs either have or will appeal to higher courts, but
the Zanu-PF justice department and almost most wigs on the Bench are party
apparatchiks, so that will probably not help, and appeals can take years
In the meantime, they will remain suspended from Parliament, unable to
After the March 2008 elections, MDC-T had 100 seats, Zanu-PF 99 and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara's MDC (MDC-M) 10.
Since then, deaths, movements through appointments to the unity
government and the suspending of MPs have brought MDC-T's total seats in the
National Assembly down to 98, Zanu-PF's to 95 and MDC-M's to eight.
If MDC-M votes with MDC-T, and the one independent MP, Jonathan Moyo,
votes with Zanu-PF, as expected, then the combined MDCs will have 106 seats,
a majority of 10 over Zanu-PF plus Moyo.
In August, the new provincial governors including, for the first time,
some from the MDC, are scheduled to be sworn in. One MDC-T MP has opted to
give up her seat and become a governor. And the Kwekwe MP is sure to lose
That will bring MDC-T's majority over Zanu-PF plus Moyo to one, and
the combined MDC's majority to eight.
So, in the next few weeks or months, MDC-T expects about nine of its
MPs to be arrested and charged: the number it will take for Zanu-PF to
regain the majority.
In the senate, Mugabe already has a clear majority, mostly through
seats appointed by him as president and the expected loyalty of most of the
18 appointed chiefs.
This senate majority could be decisive on certain issues, though the
National Assembly has most say.
The MDC-T MPs who will probably be arrested in the next few months
will likely be from rural constituencies.
That's where Mugabe's attorney-general, Johannes Tomana, an
enthusiastic Zanu-PF supporter and beneficiary of its largess, has been
pursuing a programme of the most selective prosecutions seen during Mugabe's
nearly 30 years of abusive prosecutions.
The MPs' trials have so far taken place a six-hour drive or further
from Harare, and so were conveniently not covered by journalists because of
the staggering costs of reporting in Zimbabwe.
But it appears that Tomana has a crew of prosecutors working
industriously in these outlying areas to prosecute MDC-T MPs.
The prosecutors barely follow court procedures, but that doesn't
matter, because the cases are being heard by partisan magistrates in bush
courts who believe all Zanu-PF witnesses and discount anyone testifying for
the defence, according to sources.
One of the magistrates, middle-aged Samuel Zuze, his career recently
revived and now driving a new double-cab in the eastern town of Chipinge,
has already managed to convict and sentence three MPs.
MDC-T officials say it is now becoming clear why Mugabe insisted on
reappointing Tomana in 2008, in violation of the unity government agreement
which stipulated that this should have been a joint appointment.
And it's also clear why he would not surrender sole control of the
home affairs ministry - which supervises the police - to MDC-T.
Home affairs is being jointly run by Zanu-PF's Kembo Mohadi and
MDC-T's Giles Mutsekwa, but many critics, even in MDC-T, complain that
Mutsekwa has failed to prevent Zanu-PF abusing the police to pursue MDC-T
MPs and activists, who continue to be arrested.
Not a single Zanu-PF or senior official has been arrested, despite the
party's obvious leading role in political violence, particularly the
campaign that preceded the June 2008 presidential run-off election which
persuaded Tsvangirai to withdraw from the poll.
Tsvangirai's office says he will meet President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria
this week to complain about the arrest of opposition MPs and hundreds of
Zanu-PF breaches of the political agreement signed last September, which led
to the inclusive government. - Foreign Service
This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent
on July 26, 2009
By KITSEPILE NYATHI, NATION Correspondent
Posted Sunday, July 26 2009 at 22:30
Zimbabwe's influential generals are still refusing to salute Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai six months after he joined President Robert Mugabe in a
unity government, gesture analysts say shows an unwillingness to embrace
Almost two months before the first anniversary of the historic September 15
power sharing agreement, which gave Zimbabweans hope that the 85 year-old Mr
Mugabe was being eased out of power, an unpalatable reality is beginning to
Since independence in 1980, the former guerilla leader has ruled with the
support of a clique of army generals who have acquired enormous wealth such
that dismantling their patronage system will come at a cost.
As head of government, Mr Tsvangirai should be saluted by all the service
heads including the head of army, General Constantine Chiwenga and the
Commissioner General of police, Augustine Chihuri.
The hope that Mr Tsvangirai's ascendance to power will be smooth was mainly
premised on the fact that his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had
seized control of parliament from Zanu PF for the first time since
But Mr Brilliant Mhlanga, a Zimbabwean academic based at the University of
Westminister in the United Kingdom says the feat was a pyrrhic victory as
demonstrated by the evolving political developments in the country.
And so much as the opposition has been boasting that they almost control
parliament, it is useless, he said. Zanu PF has remained with the repressive
state apparatus, defence forces and the judiciary. They have remained in
control of all the levers of power to this day.
The army generals who repeatedly warned before the formation of the unity
government that they would not salute Mr Tsvangirai because they considered
him a sell out are hugely influential.
They are part of the feared Joint Operations Command (JOC), which plotted Mr
Mugabe's fight back last year following his embarrassing electoral defeat by
Mr Tsvangirai and are still rumoured to be in charge of policy formulation
Mr Mugabe has also stubbornly refused to constitute a National Security
Council that will replace JOC. The new body will include Mr Tsvangirai.
I would say their (generals) refusal to salute Tsvangirai is a clear case
that he is not in power, Mr Mhlanga said. If he had power surely there is no
way that those who breach that kind of protocol would go unpunished.
It means there is tacit approval also on the part of Mugabe otherwise
failure to accept that fact is assuming that Mugabe is helpless and the
generals are in control.
Although Mr Tsvangirai says it is not important for the generals to salute
him because his priority was to end to his peoples suffering, his party
continues to express unhappiness over the developments.
In the spirit of the inclusive government we expect that the service chiefs
would follow in line with Mugabe's working relationship, said MDC MP, Mr
John Nyamande who recently demanded an answer from Defence Minister Emerson
What has surprised many of us is that they have'nt extended the same kind of
respect and spirit of inclusiveness. That worries a lot of people. He is
still waiting for an answer.
However, Mr Mhlanga says after realising over the years that the MDC was
likely to dominate the legislature, Zanu PF politicised all other state
organs and made parliament redundant.
Zimbabwe's major state institutions and parastatals are run by former army
generals who were in the forefront of the 1970 independence war where Mr
Mugabe was one of the leading figures.
Mr Mhlanga adds: Mugabe is still very much in control and using these guys
to protest. It is both a warning and safety device for him to have the
generals doing whatever they are doing.
Dr Ibbo Mandaza, a former permanent secretary in Mr Mugabes previous
administration says one of the reasons Zimbabwe's transition has been slow
is because the securocrats are resisting change.
He said the Zanu PF machinery had few people but held strategic positions
within the pillars of the sate apparatus.
The agenda is driven essentially by self interest and self-preservation, as
a class buttressed by a "securocracy" that had become so powerful over the
last decade and now lacks the capacity to either unbundle itself or adjust
quickly to the demands of the new dispensation, Dr Mandaza wrote in the
Zimbabwe Independent newspaper.
Self-anointed as the usurpers of the history and ideology of liberation,
these strategists sustain a disproportionate influence within the state,
maintain the threat of violence as a major part of the arsenal the
securocrats had monipolised over the decade.
However, he said it would be difficult for the backlash to be sustained
indefinitely because the generals did not have an alternative to the GPA.
He said the situation was made difficult by the fact that the new
dispensation came against a background of a Zimbabwean population so weary
of a miserable past and yearning for a better future.
From The Sunday Tribune (SA), 26 July
Harare - As a leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai must be enduring
daily anguish. He has to carefully pitch each public statement he makes to
ensure it sticks closely not only to the letter but the spirit of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) he signed with Robert Mugabe last September,
whereby they entered a unity government. This means he has to hold his
tongue and at every provocation contain his outrage. Meanwhile, independent
monitors of the performances of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and Mugabe's Zanu PF, such as Sokwanele in Zimbabwe and Idasa in
Pretoria, agree that even as the MDC has stuck both in deed and spirit to
the GPA, Zanu PF violates it every day. And so Tsvangirai's strict
observance of the GPA, including refraining from criticising Zanu PF, is
driving some of his supporters wild. Among the leisured classes there is
talk in the coffee shops that he is a sell-out, interested only in the
trappings of power. These critics probably have satellite television and can
therefore avoid the primitive, poisonous and partisan reporting from the
state media, particularly the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which daily
trundles out the same veteran Cold War political analysts who have been
inflicted on Zimbabweans for decades. Zimbabwe has one television channel
and four radio stations, all controlled by Zanu PF political heavyweights.
The only daily newspapers in Harare and Bulawayo, the Herald and the
Chronicle, do report only partially and carefully edit Tsvangirai's
Despite Tsvangirai's restraint, the six-month-old inclusive government is
tottering dangerously. At the heart of its fragility are two key portfolios:
justice, controlled by Zanu PF, and home affairs shared between the MDC and
Zanu PF. Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, an enthusiastic Zanu- PF
supporter and beneficiary of its largesse, has a programme of making some of
the most selective prosecutions seen during Mugabe's nearly 30 years of very
selective prosecutions. The only people now being arrested and brought to
court, apart from the occasional housebreaker and bank robber, are MDC
members and, of course, white farmers. So far, five MDC MPs have been
convicted of and sentenced to more than six months in prison for a variety
of "crimes" - which is the minimum sentence that allows them to be thrown
out of parliament. All have appealed against their convictions but appeals
can take forever, so while they may have won freedom on bail, their
exclusion from the house of assembly reduces the MDC's tiny majority won in
last year's elections. Two MPs have already been expelled and when
parliament sits again, it is almost certain that the other three will also
be barred. And despite a legal challenge by Zimbabwe Lawyers' for Human
Rights, most legal opinion holds that the Zanu PF-aligned clerk of
parliament, Austin Zvoma, will be within his rights to deny them entry. Most
of these trials took place a six-hour drive or further from Harare and were
not covered by journalists because of the staggering costs of reporting in
Zimbabwe. Frustrating efforts to piece together the circumstances of these
"trials" via a fractured and expensive cellphone service suggest that Tomana
has a crew of prosecutors working industriously in outlying areas to
prosecute MDC MPs.
These prosecutors barely follow court procedures, but that doesn't matter
because the cases are being heard by partisan magistrates in bush courts who
believe all Zanu PF witnesses and discount anyone testifying for the
defence. One of the magistrates, middle-aged Samuel Zuze - his career
recently revived and now driving a new double-cab in the eastern town of
Chipinge - has managed to convict and sentence three MPs. When he is not
busy with them, he is shuffling papers to convict the few white farmers left
in the district. So the MDC's majority becomes ever more precarious by the
day. Another MDC MP is out on bail on serious charges and he will certainly
be convicted and sentenced to more than six months, so he too will lose his
seat. All either have appealed or will appeal to higher courts, but the Zanu
PF justice department and almost all the wigs on the Bench are party
apparatchiks so that will probably not help. One MDC MP has opted to give up
her parliamentary seat to become a provincial governor next month, and the
MDC already sacrificed a parliamentary seat a while ago to allow one of its
Bulawayo MPs, Lovemore Moyo, to become the Speaker of parliament. The party
would have done better to let that position go to Paul Themba Nyathi, the
candidate of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara's MDC faction, who is
widely respected and would surely have been impartial. But Tsvangirai's
unstrategic hot heads rejected that option.
When it comes down to hard votes, Tsvangirai can mostly count on another
seven votes from Mutambara's MDC. It used to have 10 MPs, but the party
expelled three of them for various alleged indiscretions which they deny.
Floor-crossing is not allowed in Zimbabwe's parliament. Mugabe and his party
plotters only have to arrest a handful more MDC-MPs, bang them through the
courts, and then Zanu PF will be the single biggest party in parliament.
Former Zanu PF information minister and now an independent MP, Jonathan
Moyo, judging by his present position in public discourse, looks set to vote
with Zanu PF, if push comes to shove. After the March elections last year,
the MDC had 100 seats, Zanu PF 99 and Mutambara's MDC 10. Since then
movements through GPA provisions and the sentencing of MPs so far have
brought MDC's total down to 98, GPA movements and deaths have reduced Zanu
PF's seats to 95 and GPA movements and the expulsion of the three MPs has
reduced Mutambara's MDC's seats to 8. Another MDC MP was sentenced to more
than six months last week and will appeal, but can be expected to be chucked
out of parliament like the others, reducing the MDC's seats to 97, to Zanu
PF's 95. If Moyo votes with Zanu PF on crunch issues, that will give the MDC
a majority of one. If Mutambara's MDC votes with the MDC then the combined
MDCs will have 104 seats, a majority of eight over Zanu PF and Moyo. The
MDC's MP in Kwekwe is on rape charges and can expect to be convicted and
sentenced to more than six months.
Next month, the new governors are to be be sworn in and one MDC MP has opted
to give up her seat and become a governor. So, in the next few weeks or
months, about seven MDC MPs, probably in rural constituencies, can expect to
be arrested and charged because that's what it will take for Zanu PF to
regain the majority it so much hated losing. The home affairs ministry,
jointly controlled by the MDC and Zanu PF, and under which the police
department falls, is another key weapon in Mugabe's arsenal to retake
control of parliament. It appears, on the surface at least, that most
middle-ranking policemen no longer support Mugabe, but he has enough
supporters with special privileges in the riot squad and in key law and
order departments to ensure political arrests are made. And so the talk is
that Giles Mutsekwa, Tsvangirai's home affairs minister in the shared
portfolio, is not particularly competent and appears to be caving in to his
Zanu PF counterpart, Kembo Mohadi, who should be investigated on allegations
of massive copper wire theft, according to some policemen from his home area
in southern Zimbabwe.
Mugabe is choosing not to call by-elections to fill the increasing number of
vacant seats in parliament. Should he decide to do so, those seats would go
uncontested, under the GPA, to whichever party won them in March last year.
However, the old Zapu is reviving itself, and if it put candidates up
against the three GPA parties in vacancies in its old stronghold of
Matabeleland, then a real by-election would have to take place. That
uncontested election arrangement ends on September 15 and the question is,
would Mugabe call any by-elections even then? Cynics say he wants to avoid
by-elections at all costs, at least for the moment. Arresting and convicting
MDC legislators and getting them kicked out of parliament is less expensive
and much less fraught than relying on the uncertain will of the people. And
if the past is anything to go by, especially in constituencies where Zanu PF
has lost considerable support, Mugabe and his generals would have to revive
its militia and restock its bases to win back or even retain seats, using
the violent methodology of electioneering it knows best.
by Lizwe Sebata Monday 27 July 2009
BULAWAYO - A special parliamentary committee leading Zimbabwe's
constitutional reforms wants top officials of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU
PF party prosecuted for disrupting a conference to discuss the reforms two
weeks ago, one of the committee's chairmen Douglas Mwonzora said at the
Mwonzora, from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, said video
evidence compiled by the committee and showing ZANU PF legislators
disrupting the conference would be handed over to Mugabe, Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and to the police.
"We have complied videos and disks which will be used as evidence during the
prosecution of the legislators and other people who disrupted the conference
. . . the days of lawlessness have to come to an end," said Mwonzora,
addressing a meeting to discuss constitutional reforms in the city of
It was not immediately clear whether ZANU PF was in agreement with Mwonzora
that its members should be prosecuted for disrupting the conference.
The representative of Mugabe's party on the three-man team chairing the
constitutional reform process, Paul Mangwana, was not available for comment
on the matter.
David Coltart, the other chairman from Mutambara's MDC party on the
committee was also not available for comment on the matter.
However Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara speaking soon after abandonment of
the conference indicated that no action would be taken against those who had
caused the conference to flop on its first day.
Some senior ZANU PF officials, war veterans and the party's militant youth
wing broke up the conference on July 13, insisting it could not go ahead
unless delegates sang the national anthem first.
The conference only resumed the next day after Mugabe, Tsvangirai and
Mutambara spoke strongly against the mobs that had disrupted the first day
of the meeting that had been called to map out the course of constitutional
Zimbabwe is on a programme to write a new constitution that should lead to
the holding of free and fair elections in about 24 months.
Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee human rights, strengthen
the role of Parliament and curtail the president's powers, as well as
guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms.
The new constitution will replace the current Lancaster House Constitution
written in 1979 before independence from Britain. The charter has been
amended 19 times since independence in 1980. Critics say the majority of the
amendments have been to further entrench Mugabe and ZANU PF's hold on
power. - ZimOnline
26 July 2009
By Never Kdungure
Anglican parishioners were horrified over the weekend when ousted Bishop
Nolbert Kunonga was given control of church property by High Court Judge Ben
The judge, a beneficiary of the land reform exercise, just like Kunonga also
blocked the consercration of Bishop Chad Gandiya as the new bishop of the
Province of Harare, a ceremony that was meant to take place at the City
Sports Centre on Sunday.
Justice Hlatshwayo ruled that the Anglican Church of the Province of Central
Africa could only replace Kunonga after charging and trying him.
"Kunonga has to be charged first, tried and removed from office if there is
anything against him before another bishop is ordained. Even divorcing a
wife has certain procedures that are taken," the judge ruled.
Kunonga fell out with the church after declaring his support for President
Robert Mugabe and the violent land reform exercise. His attempt to get the
Harare Province out of the mother church backfired as he was eventually
For the last few months the courts have asked Kunonga's faction to share
church premises with the majority followers led by Bishop Sebastian Bakare.
Dozens of Zanu PF youths and partisan police officers have protected Kunonga
and at times assaulted genuine parishioners aligned to Bishop Bakare.
Kunonga has always enjoyed the tacit support of the Zanu PF regime and the
judgment by Justice Hlatshwayo came as no surprise given the country's
compromised judiciary. Almost all the judges were given farms as bribes by
July 26, 2009
By Our Correspondent
BULAWAYO - Youth and Development Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick
Zhuwawo, a Zanu-PF legislator who is a nephew of President Robert Mugabe,
could soon be prosecuted.
Douglas Mwonzora, the co-chairperson of the parliamentary committee on
constitutional reform has openly said that the Zanu-PF legislators who stand
accused of leading party militants and war veterans to disrupt the opening
of a conference to draw Zimbabwe's first post-independence constitution will
Mwonzora said his committee had compiled videos showing the Zanu-PF
legislators in action while leading the disruptions and would hand it over
to the leaders of the political parties and the police for prosecution to
Addressing a public meeting on constitutional reform in Bulawayo on Friday,
Mwonzora said disrupting the stake-holders conference on constitution-making
was a punishable crime.
"We have complied videos and disks which will be used as evidence during the
prosecution of the legislators and other people who disrupted the
"The videos are going to be used during the prosecution of these people as
the days of lawlessness have to come to an end," Mwonzora at the meeting
attended by about 200 people.
Zanu-PF militants and war veterans two weeks ago disrupted the opening
ceremony of a national conference to draw up a new constitution for Zimbabwe
after complaining that the national flag was not on display and that singing
of the national anthem was not on the program.
The war veterans and other Zanu-PF militants sang liberation war songs,
shouting party slogans inside the conference, forcing the Speaker of
Parliament, Lovemore Moyo to leave the podium before he delivered his
Kasukuwere and Zhuwawo now stand accused of leading the war veterans and the
party militants to disrupt the conference. They have not denied the charge.
Mwonzora added: "What they did is a crime and they have and will be brought
to book. The parliamentary committee on constitution-making will send the
videos and the disks to the principals after which they will be sent to the
police for prosecution."
Under a unity deal reached between the Zanu-PF party and the two MDC parties
in September last year, a new constitution will be in place in the country
in 18 to 24 months.
A parliamentary committee is steering the process that will lead to new
elections as outlined in Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement.
However, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZINASU) among other civic groups are opposed to
the dominance of politicians, notably a parliament committee in leading the
They argue that the disruptions at the opening of the first Stakeholders
Conference underscores the need for a people-driven constitution-making
process as opposed to a process driven by Parliament.
By THULANI MLILO
Published on: 26th July, 2009
HARARE - TABLES are turning for the State as Zimbabwe Peace Project director
Jestina Mukoko - accused of recruiting people to undergo banditry training
in Botswana last year - is claiming US$222 000 compensation from government
for alleged mistreatment while in detention.
Mukoko's trial has been suspended pending her application at the Supreme
Court seeking a determination on several of her constitutional rights, which
she claims were violated as a result of alleged "abduction, torture and
In her claim filed at the High Court on Monday, Mukoko listed the then
Ministry of State Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement and its
Minister Didymus Mutasa in his individual capacity.
Co-Ministers of Home Affairs Ministers, Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa,
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Commissioner General of Police
Augustine Chihuri, Chief Superintendent Magwenzi, Attorney General Mr
Johannes Tomana and Brigadier General Asher Tapfumaneyi were also cited as
Through her lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, Mukoko is claiming damages in the sum
of US$222 000 with interest at the prescribed legal rate of interest from
the date of service of the summons to date of payment plus costs of suit.
In the claim, Mukoko also accused Mr Tomana of failing to discharge his
obligations in terms of the Constitution to order the arrest and prosecution
of her alleged kidnappers.
Last month the full bench of the Supreme Court heard Mukoko's constitutional
application and reserved judgment to a later date.
The decision of the superior court will have a strong bearing on all the
cases of MDCT activists facing similar charges.
July 26 2009 at 04:47PM
South African soldiers, now spread over the continent, may soon be
deployed on yet another "peacekeeping" mission - this time to guard their
country's leaky borders.
There they would keep the peace between angry South African farmers
and the stock thieves and illegal immigrants streaming across the virtually
unprotected borders with Lesotho and Swaziland in particular.
If all goes according to plan, the soldiers will co-ordinate border
protection with several relevant departments working within a border
management agency which President Jacob Zuma has promised to establish.
This week two DA MPs, David Maynier and James Lorimer, toured the
Lesotho and Zimbabwe borders and reported that large stretches of the border
fencing had been stolen, flattened or cut open.
They also found an almost complete absence of the police officers who
are now supposed to guard the borders.
"The South African Police Service (SAPS) appears to have given up
protecting the borders of South Africa," said Maynier and Lorimer, who are,
respectively, shadow and deputy shadow ministers of defence and military
"The South Africa-Lesotho border is wide open, making local residents
in the border areas vulnerable to transnational crime - especially stock
The two MPs said in the Golden Gate-Clarens-Fouriesburg area of the
Lesotho border that "the borderline fence does not - for all practical
purposes - exist, with large parts of the fence and many fence poles having
"The SAPS border security unit is ineffective because there are too
few borderline police - there are about 30 police officers to protect 130km
of land border. That is one policeman for every 4.3km.
"The SAPS Stock Theft Unit is also ineffective - the unit has three
police officers, with 13 posts vacant.
"Residents' associations are therefore forced to spend hundreds of
thousands of rands each year on borderline security, effectively privatising
borderline security on the South Africa-Lesotho border."
The two found border security and fencing in a similar state on the
"We also found a low police presence - the SAPS does not do foot
patrols and (officers) were deployed at 10km intervals at substations along
the South Africa-Zimbabwe border. The poor state of borderline security made
it possible for organised crime syndicates to smuggle cigarettes and
livestock. Poachers also came over the border, causing a major problem for
farmers in the area.
"With livestock moving easily over the border, there was a continuous
threat of foot-and-mouth disease breaking out in the area near the South
Africa- Zimbabwe border."
The MPs called for "a concrete plan to deploy the South African
National Defence Force (SANDF) to protect the borders - now."
They welcomed the fact that Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs
Lindiwe Sisulu had already "agreed in principle" in Parliament last month
that the SANDF should be deployed back to the borders as part of a wider
scheme to tackle crime by releasing policemen and women from border duty.
"The Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thabang
Makwetla, announced yesterday that the borders may 'soon be guarded by
soldiers again'," they added.
Maynier also welcomed the announcement by Zuma in his State of the
Nation speech last month that among other key initiatives to fight crime "we
will start the process of setting up a border management agency".
Maynier and Lorimer said the government was moving in the right
direction, but stressed the importance of it producing concrete plans, "not
Maynier said yesterday he had already tabled several questions in
Parliament to Zuma to ask him for details of the border management agency.
In his speech in the defence budget vote last month Maynier said, "We
have 3 024 soldiers deployed a day abroad, but only 575 deployed a day at
home. We appear to be more committed to keeping the peace abroad than at
"Perhaps most shockingly, the SAPS plans to spend more this financial
year on VIP protection services (R380 004 000) than on border security (R224
This article was originally published on page 4 of Tribune on July 26,
by Sunday Standard Reporter in Bulawayo
26.07.2009 11:42:18 P
Zimbabwe faces more severe power outages as regional suppliers have reduced
power supplies that the nation's power utility can import into the country
at any given time due to a failure to pay-off debts, an official said.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings' Business Planning
and Development manager, Engineer Patrick Chivaura, said supplies to the
country were reduced because of ZESA's failure to clear its arrears by June
Regional power utilities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Mozambique and Zambia had given ZESA up to June 30 to clear a US$57 million
debt for electricity supplies.
Zimbabwe owes $40.3 million to Hydroelectrica Cahora Bassa (HCB) of
Mozambique, US$9.8 million to Snel of the Democratic Republic of Congo and
$1.7 million to Zambia (Zambian Electricity Supply Commission) ZESCO.
A further $5.7 million is owed to Mozambican electricity distribution
company, EDM Power.
"There will be an intensification of electricity blackouts since the amount
of electricity that we can import at any given time has been reduced until
we clear our debts," Chivaura told delegates attending a conference held in
Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, that is running concurrently with the
country's annual mining and engineering exhibition, Mine Entra.
Western and Far East exhibitors snubbed the Mine Entra showcase that began
on Wednesday and ended on Friday.
"There is limited power we can access from Mozambique, Zambia and DRC, our
regional suppliers, at the present moment because of our failure to pay on
time," Chivaura added without mentioning when the regional suppliers cut
back electricity supplies to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe imports 35 percent of its electricity requirements - between 350
and 500 megawatts -from neighbouring countries.
The country requires about 1700 megawatts of electricity at any given time
but ZESA, which faces a myriad of challenges, is only producing 890
megawatts, resulting in a shortfall of 410 megawatts, thereby sparking power
Coal shortages have also crippled ZESA's ability to produce enough
electricity for the nation as seen by its failure to run its largest thermal
plant in Hwange and three small plants in Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati.
The country's major coal supplier, Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), reduced
coal supplies to ZESA due to a failure to clear debts for supplies.
Chivaura said that efforts to get coal from Botswana were not viable as the
coal was more expensive than that produced by Hwange colliery.
The power utility company was last month refused permission to mine coal by
the government, which said that ZESA should concentrate on power generation
ZESA had planned to venture into coal mining in the south-western part of
the country to reduce load shedding rate.
In March, ZESA Holdings struck a US$800 million deal with local company
Clidder Minerals to construct a coal mine and two power units in Hwange.
The deal came two years after ZESA was granted two mining concessions by the
previous ZANU-PF government as the company was seeking to extract more coal,
the major component used in power generation at its Hwange Power Station.
The project had been on the cards for years.
Monday 27 July 2009
PRESS STATEMENT: Democratic Party (DP) President: Wurayayi Zembe, April 14
REJECTION OF PARTISAN, ILLEGITIMATE AND DESPOTIC ZANU PF, MDC-T, AND MDC
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION-MAKING PROCESS
On April 13 2009 the Democratic Party (DP) resolved to reject the unilateral
appointment of a ZANU PF, MDC-T, and MDC-M parliamentary constitution-making
committee of 25 persons whose names were announced by Speaker Lovemore Moyo
on April 12 2009 .
The task of the committee is to write a constitution for the people, on
behalf of the illegitimate coalition regime in Zimbabwe. This is treachery
of the highest order and a big embarrassing constitutional scandal.
Zimbabwe needs a people-driven democratic constitution not a ZANU PF, MDC-T
and MDC-M dictated 2007 Kariba Draft constitution.
The DP condemns, unreservedly, the parliamentary select committee of 25 as a
partisan, illegitimate, and despotic constitution-making structure of a
failed bloated bankrupt presidential coalition regime inaugurated on June 29
2008 following the holding of bogus violent elections on March 29 to June 27
A parliament of an illegitimate constitution certainly does not have the
people's mandate to write a constitution for the nation. The current
Parliament is a creature of a very defective and illegitimate pocket
That Parliament is not a democratic structure of good governance because it
does not represent all Zimbabweans. In fact, that Parliament only represents
the interests of the leaders of the three political parties.
Their Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) Act of 2008, sections (14)
and (15), is boastful and even shameless about it.
A people's constitution can only be written democratically through an
all-inclusive participatory people-driven process. A process of direct
The ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M parliamentary route of constitution-making is
oppressive, clandestine, and anti-people.
We remind those of short memories that at the February 2000 constitutional
referendum the people of Zimbabwe rejected a draft constitution that was
imposed by the ZANU PF commission.
Is it not a blatant act of provocation against the citizens of Zimbabwe for
the coalition regime of ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M to defiantly repeat a
process of deception that was once rejected?
If a ZANU PF commission of 400 individuals was rejected and dismissed by the
people in 1999, it is baffling to see how a tiny committee of 25 can
Moyo's scandalous committee of 25 must be disbanded, now. The committee's
evil intentions are dangerous, conspiratory and treasonable (kusvinukira
The nation of Zimbabwe is in a precarious state. Industry, commerce, trade
and production of goods and services have collapsed; and people are dying in
frighteningly large numbers under the current dictatorial regime.
What is needed urgently to rescue the situation is a people's process of
writing a constitution.
On July 3 2008 the Democratic Party (DP) proposed, as we hereby repeat, the
convening of an All-Zimbabwe Constitutional Conference to be jointly chaired
by the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), and the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).
All citizens of Zimbabwe shall have the right to attend through organised
representation and to be heard at the people's constitutional conference.
The conference will serve as a vehicle for the delivery of a people's
The All-Zimbabwe Constitutional Conference will decide on a transitional
constitutional arrangement and on the process of making a people's
A referendum will be organised to adopt a new constitution which will be
followed by the holding of free and fair elections at which a legitimate
constitutional government can be elected to govern the country.
Wurayayi Zembe DP PRESIDENT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 0912342707 New
Empire House Harare, Zimbabwe - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Monday 27 July 2009
JOHANNESBURG - Canada on Friday announced that it would no longer offer
asylum to Zimbabweans and people from four other countries if they attempted
to enter the country having first landed in the United States (US).
Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement other
nationals affected by the new regulation were from the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC), Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.
People making refugee claims would be required to seek protection in
whichever of the two countries they enter first, be it Canada or the US.
The new regulation effectively suspends an exemption that had been allowed
under the bilateral Safe Third Country Agreement that bans people from
making asylum claims in both Canada and the US.
"The objective of the Safe Third Country Agreement is to allow both Canada
and the US to handle refugee claims in an orderly manner, reduce the
possibility of multiple claims and share the responsibility for providing
protection to those in need," Kenney said.
"This exception was undermining those objectives and therefore the integrity
of our asylum system," he added.
Zimbabwe, which was once a model African economy, has over the last decade
suffered an unprecedented economic recession that in addition to
hyperinflation was also seen in shortages of food, rising unemployment and
poverty that has forced millions to leave the country in search of greener
Western governments blame President Robert Mugabe - in power since 1980 -
for ruining the economy through repression and wrong policies.
Mugabe denies ruining the economy and instead says his country's problems
are because of sanctions and sabotage by Britain and its Western allies
opposed to his land reforms.
A unity government formed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe in
February is yet to convince rich Western nations that the southern African
country is firmly on the path to genuine reform for them give it much needed
financial support to resuscitate its shattered economy. - ZimOnline
The Vigil gathered in the middle of three days of National Hypocrisy. The so-called ‘healing’ exercise announced by Mugabe failed to convince our supporters that he has any intention of reining in his thugs or allowing the rule of law. Mugabe boasts he has degrees in violence – and obviously in hypocrisy too.
Our supporters wanted to know when there will be justice for the oppressed and an acknowledgement of the evil perpetrated by Zanu PF. As one supporter (Brian Sibanda) said ‘what happens on day 4 . . . . back to torture?’ He was questioning Ephraim Tapa, President of our partner organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), who told the Vigil that 15 ROHR members had been arrested in Harare today during a demonstration against Mugabe’s hypocrisy.
Ephraim joined us at our monthly forum after the Vigil and gave further details of the ROHR protest. He said over 100 ROHR activists had marched towards parliament, swelling to over 200 by the time they were stopped by police. ROHR members denounced the deception of the three day ‘healing process’ and the police summoned reinforcements and made arrests. Undeterred others, dressed in black, went on to the venue of a ‘peace gala’.
Here are some points which emerged from our open forum:
· There was a suggestion that Tsvangirai was covering up the extent of violence in Zimbabwe – ‘one day he is the President of the MDC and the next the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe’.
· Vigil supporters must approach their MPs in the UK and tell them what is going on in Zimbabwe. MPs in the UK had been misled by the propaganda that everything was ok.
· China is going to take over all Zimbabwe’s resources and we are going to be reduced to a Chinese colony.
· The new constitution must allow for an input from the diaspora and include provisions for dual citizenship and the vote for diasporan Zimbabweans.
· ‘Where is the peace?’ said one supporter, ‘where is the justice?’ ‘Where is the Zimbabwe we are talking about?’
· Another Vigil supporter expressed pessimism about real change. He called for a new party with a people’s militia.
· Several people stressed the need for the setting up of a peace and reconciliation commission such as in post-apartheid South Africa.
· The Vigil and ROHR are not asylum organisations – we are human rights organisations. For asylum matters supporters should consult our coalition member the Zimbabwe Association which has the necessary expertise. The question arose because people are being asked at Home Office interviews about the structures and personnel of these organisations. Supporters were encouraged to check our websites. We are quite transparent and have nothing to hide.
· Zimbabwe has just been ranked number 2 in the list of failed states (after Somalia). We have climbed up the rankings one place a year since 2006 when we were ranked number 5. The failed states index is published by Foreign Policy magazine, a division of the Washington Post. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/06/22/the_2009_failed_states_index.
· 10,000 days of Mugabe violence – are three days of peace enough?
· Patson Muzuwa ‘I was arrested nine times and have been tortured. You need the longest spoon to dine with the devil’.
· In response to a question about the Vigil’s representation in Zimbabwe, it was pointed out that our partner organisation ROHR fulfilled this function.
· The message of the ROHR protest against the peace days cover-up was truth and justice. Truth was needed to counteract the culture of impunity then justice. Only after that could peace and forgiveness follow.
· Talk of a new constitution was a red herring. People are too abused. Free and fair elections and stable government is needed before a constitution can be drawn up.
The Vigil understands that Bishop Chad Gandiya is to be enthroned on Sunday in Harare and we send him our best wishes. Our supporters sent his wife Faith some hyacinth bulbs and we trust they are coming out now.
We were pleased to hear that long-term supporter Priscillah Chakanyuka had got her papers and it was good to welcome back Vigil team member Bonny Adams from her travels. Thanks once again to Jonathan Kariwoh who stepped in to manage the back table.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/
FOR THE RECORD: 171 signed the register.
FOR YOUR DIARY:
· ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 1st August 2009 2 00 – 5 00 pm. Venue: Mandela Club Restaurant, 66-68 Piccadilly Street, Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent ST1 1HX. Contact: Pauline Mutema 07850462301, Joana Zhira 07845896347and Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397.
· ROHR Hayes and Northolt launch meeting. Saturday 8th August from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes UB4 0PL. ROHR President and a well known lawyer present. Contact Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Juliet Musandiriri 07551319522, Rodah Kuhlengisa 07958205544 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
· ROHR Milton Keynes general meeting. Saturday 15th August from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Old Bath House Community Centre, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL (near Tesco and 2 mins away from Wolverton train station). Contact Punish Mandere 07883071990, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Josephine S Phiri 07853572982, Diana Satumba 07737879653.
· Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
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.
July 26, 2009
LAST week, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai made startling statements at a
two-day workshop that was organised "to identify a Shared National Vision
that would be pursued by the country for the next 30 years".
Also in attendance were President Robert Mugabe's Vice President Joice
Mujuru, Simba Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Dumiso Dabengwa of ZAPU, former
Zanu-PF secretary general and leader of the now defunct Zimbabwe Unity
Movement, Edgar Tekere, and that political gatecrasher, Arthur Mutambara.
Also looking for a platform to spout his retrogressive bunk was Jonathan
What struck me first was that these people actually bothered to gather "to
identify a shared national vision to be pursued by the country for the next
30 years" while people continue to be abused around them as political
intolerance seemed to be slowly getting out of control.
Today, there is no rule of law.
No human rights.
No property rights.
We have serious disagreements over a new constitution.
Zimbabwe is literally burning and these guys gather to map a future for
Zimbabwe for the next 30 years while they are failing to put out the fire
To them, it was inconsequential that they are the same people who have
presided over the demise of the nation of Zimbabwe for, ironically, the past
30 years and they are inviting the MDC along.
These are the same people who fail to agree on the most basic of policies
and on the way forward for the country today.
These people have the audacity to try to map something for Zimbabwe for the
next 30 years when they fail to implement their self-imposed 100 day road
They overestimated themselves at the Victoria Falls retreat.
They believe they can agree on Zimbabwe's path for tomorrow when, today,
they cannot agree on anything about healing this nation and bringing it back
After weeks of globe-trotting, telling anyone who cared to listen that all
was well in the government of national unity, Prime Minister Tsvangirai
suddenly became aware of something that everyone has known since the birth
of the government of national unity.
"I envisage a Zimbabwe where political leaders are elected to serve the
people and not their own interests, where incumbents stand down gracefully
if they lose an election," Tsvangirai said.
This came from the same man who won an election but went on to accept a
lesser role under the very person he had defeated in the elections.
Tsvangirai set his own precedent against all advice.
Now things are not going well.
As MDC activist, 31-year-old Ebba Katiyo, lies battling for her life in a
private hospital in Harare after she was brutally attacked last week by
Zanu-PF youths in Uzumba. Suring the week Tsvangirai packed his bags to
travel to South Africa for a meeting with South African President Jacob
Zuma. He unpacked the bags the trip having been postponed at the last
Tsvangirai wants Zuma to push SADC to convene an urgent meeting and deal
with Mugabe's stubbornness.
Clearly, Tsvangirai is frustrated by the lack of progress in solving some
issues in the GPA.
Yet Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to put their disagreements aside for a
while and sit down to map Zimbabwe's path for the next thirty years!
Why any one of them really thinks they will still be important players on
the political scene in 30 years is beyond me.
Unless hell runs out of kerosene, I suspect I know exactly where Mugabe will
be in 30 years from now.
Does Tsvangirai, who will be well in his 80s then, really want to gag future
generations by "mapping" phony national visions for those yet to be born?
Look what Mugabe did to us in the last 30 years!
Life's dynamism laughs at their misguided priorities.
They should worry about today; they should start by visiting victims of
violence in hospitals and releasing political prisoners.
They should make Zimbabwe a safe place for all people. They should come up
with a new constitution. They should bring back the rule of law. They should
confess and seek forgiveness to show honesty in future dealings with the
They should start with today and not by proclaiming phony National Peace
days "for renouncing political violence and promoting national healing"
while, at the same time, Mugabe's militias are getting pay raises instead of
Also at the workshop was Vice President Joice Mujuru, who has never achieved
anything for the nation in spite of being in cabinet for the last 30 years.
No ministry looked or performed better after she joined it.
She and her husband have, however, amassed a lot of wealth. And now she
considers herself to be of enough consequence to advice the still-to-be-born
on how to run Zimbabwe 30 years from now.
Why do politicians take people for fools?
Jonathan Moyo, the man who single-handedly destroyed Zimbabwean media and
encouraged Zanu-PF to adopt a disastrous, murderous path, showed up too.
It must have taken a lot of courage for people to sit in on Moyo's obnoxious
ranting. That is what I call pushing democracy to the limit.
Moyo recently blasted Moyo for scrapping punitive duty on foreign
newspapers, arguing that the move puts national security at risk and that
the country would be bombarded with "duty-free propaganda".
This from a man who banned several Zimbabwean newspapers and gave us AIPPA
Arthur Mutambara who, for reasons known to him alone, referred to himself
rather childishly as "Yours Truly" at that dignified workshop, urged
Zimbabweans to "create a shared value system that would outlive individual
political parties and politicians".
"Zimbabwe is bigger than Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe is bigger than Morgan
Tsvangirai and, of course, bigger than yours truly," he said.
In his more serious moments Mutambara leads a party called MDC-Mutambara and
I wonder whether MDC-Mutambara, the party, will outlive Mutambara, the
leader of the party.
Simba Makoni and Edgar Tekere are both former Mugabe loyalists and are both
failed presidential candidates. They were there too.
In spite of being rejected by the people, they too believe they have a
prescription that Zimbabwe must take for the next 30 years.
Dumiso Dabengwa, a former ZIPRA intelligence officer and Mugabe's former
Home Affairs Minister who lost in parliamentary elections and was discarded,
now leads a revived ZAPU. He too was there and has plenty of political
medication he recommends for Zimbabwe.
Of course, Enos Nkala was there as well, still threatening to expose Mugabe
and apparently the process until the former Defence Minister is dead.
Our political leaders are now ignoring priorities and are playing around
with us at a time we are facing severe difficulties which they brought upon
We cannot honestly waste time plotting how this country will be run thirty
years down the line as if there won't be better leaders tomorrow.
We remain gagged as a nation and we know how it hurts; why are we eager to
gag even the unborn?
The MDC must reset their priorities and re-evaluate their significance and