By Lance Guma
02 July 2012
Robert Mugabe left for Singapore on Monday sparking renewed speculation that
the 88 year old ZANU PF leader is once again seeking treatment for prostate
cancer. The Reuters news agency quoted a senior aide saying Mugabe had gone
for a routine medical check-up.
“The president is going on a private visit for a routine medical checkup –
not because he is sick or anything like that, but one consistent with his
strong belief in getting regular medical examinations in order to stay
healthy,” the official said.
When asked by Reuters “why the president was going abroad if it was a
routine issue” the official said: “I am not going to be dragged into that
kind of malicious debate.” The agency quoted another source saying Mugabe
would be back next week but he refused to discuss any further details.
An MDC minister who attended the rescheduled cabinet meeting on Monday told
Reuters that Mugabe did not look sick. “The old man looked his normal old
and energetic self, attentive and in control. If he is sick, it was not
obvious,” the minister said.
Over the weekend the Daily News newspaper, who first broke the story, sought
comment from Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba who said:
“I can’t be of help to you, because I do not discuss the President’s travel
arrangements before it takes place. I cannot talk about Cabinet issues but
talk to my minister (Information Minister Webster Shamu).”
A government source who spoke to the paper however said Mugabe was going to
travel to Singapore “after the rescheduled Cabinet meeting. Since it’s not
an official visit, people are bound to speculate about his health,” the
In April this year Mugabe snuck out of the country for Singapore where he
spent 12 days. The official line was that he was going there to make study
arrangements for his daughter Bona.
When he failed to return on time, missing two consecutive Tuesday cabinet
meetings and an important ZANU PF politburo meeting, speculation turned to
his health. The story sparked frenetic speculation with even some websites
incorrectly reporting that he was on his ‘deathbed’.
Sources who spoke to SW Radio Africa at the time confirmed that Mugabe had
an ‘episode’ that was not life threatening. The suggestion was that he was
rushed to Singapore after suffering some sort of collapse, and of course he
has been on numerous trips to the Far East in the past 12 months.
According to a leaked 2008 US diplomatic cable, central bank chief Gideon
Gono told then-US ambassador James McGee that Mugabe had prostate cancer and
had been advised by doctors he had less than five years to live (up to
By Alex Bell
02 July 2012
The regionally appointed Zim mediation team is believed to be losing
patience with the lack of progress in the country, to the point that it
could hand the problem over to the African Union (AU).
This is according to political analyst Professor John Makumbe, who told SW
Radio Africa on Monday that the lack of change and the snails-pace of reform
in Zimbabwe could spell the end of regional mediation efforts.
The South African team is headed by President Jacob Zuma, as part of SADC’s
commitment to solving the ongoing political crisis in Zim, which remains
unresolved despite the formation of the unity government.
Zuma’s mediation efforts have been centred on trying to force the
implementation of key reforms, listed in the Global Political Agreement
(GPA). But more than three years later there is still a list of outstanding
issues that have stalled any progress in the government.
The most recent SADC summit in Angola once again called for key reforms
before an election is called in Zimbabwe. But there has still been no
movement towards any change.
Professor Makumbe said Monday that Zuma and his mediation team are reaching
the end of the road in their mediation efforts, and a harder line is now
“SADC is getting agitated about the lack of progress and it is putting a lot
of pressure, through South Africa, on Zimbabwe. But if Zuma does not see
reforms and see change, then it is likely he will report back to SADC and
recommend that the issue be handed over to the African Union,” Makumbe said.
Zuma’s mediation team is expected in Zimbabwe soon, with some reports
suggesting that Zuma himself will be coming to the country next week.
Professor Welshman Ncube, the leader of the smaller MDC faction in the unity
government, was quoted as saying over the weekend that Zuma would be coming
on July 11th.
But Makumbe said it was unlikely that Zuma would be coming, because “there
is nothing that can be reported to him yet.”
“His mediation team will come first and try and resolve the outstanding
issues, and they will report back to Zuma first. But we are reaching a point
where serious action, like AU mediation, is a real possibility,” Makumbe
By Alex Bell
02 July 2012
Zimbabwe’s banking sector is said to be in a state of serious confusion,
because of the mixed messages emanating from key figures in the industry
National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board chairman, David
Chapfika, was quoted last week as saying foreign banks had a July deadline
to submit proposals on how they would comply with the Indigenisation Act.
Chapfika was quoted by the ZBC as saying that that any attempts to resist
the ZANU PF programme would be futile, because no sector was exempt from the
“There are no sacred cows, there is no special sector. At this point saying
the banking sector is special would be foolhardy,” Chapfika said.
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono on Saturday then attempted to try and calm
the situation by insisting that there won’t be any immediate changes and the
banking sector would not yet be forced into meeting the indigenisation laws.
The laws require foreign owned firms in the country to hand over 51% of
their shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans, and so far the campaign has
hit the mines industry the hardest. International mining houses like Impala
Platinum have already submitted to the so-called empowerment campaign,
signing over a 51% share handover deal.
The banking sector appears to be the next main target, with international
firms like Barclays and Standard Bank still heavily invested in Zimbabwe’s
But economist Tony Hawkins told SW Radio Africa on Monday that the state of
the banking sector is far from healthy, making the indigenisation deadline
“My own feeling is that as far as the banks are concerned the state of the
industry is not as healthy is what is being said. So it is unlikely that
anyone is going to risk what Chapfika is expecting,” Hawkins said.
Meanwhile he explained that indigenising the banks is not clear cut,
“because you are dealing with money that already belongs to indigenous
people.” He said that, along with contradictory statements from government
and other officials, there is little understanding about what will happen
“So you have to ask: What is being indigenised? Is it money? Is it brand
names? And the truth of the matter is that the majority of Zimbabwe’s banks
are already indigenised,” Hawkins explained.
Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:18
HARARE - Zanu PF youths are forcing teachers and civil servants to
contribute towards a fund for this year’s Heroes Day celebrations to be held
on August 13.
A circular has been sent to schools and government offices in Uzumba-Maramba
Pfungwe constituency in Mashonaland East Province, addressed by the District
Administrator M. Kadaira, chairperson State Occasions asking them to make
School headmasters are required to pay $3, and the rest of the civil
servants NGOs and Parastatal’s $2.
A copy in possession of the Daily News on Sunday indicates the demands to
“The District State Occasions Committee sat on June 18, 2012 and unanimously
agreed minimum contributions required for the successful holding of the 2012
Heroes Commemoration Day to be held on August 13, 2012. Contribution should
be made on or before July 31, 2012."
“The head should facilitate the collection of the contributions,” read part
of the letter.
Several school teachers have taken the matter to Parliament’s portfolio
committee on Education Sport Arts and Culture to have it debated in
Jeffryson Chitando, MDC legislator for Masvingo Central and member of the
portfolio committee confirmed that they had been approached by several
teachers who complained of the forced contribution.
He said the committee held public hearing meetings in Mutasa District
offices in Manicaland, Nemanwa District Offices in Masvingo and at the
Parliament of Zimbabwe where many people turned out to give evidence and the
issue of forced contribution was raised up.
Amongst the teachers who raised the complains were the Zimbabwe Teachers
Association (Zimta), Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) National
Association of Primary Heads, and National Association of Secondary Heads
giving evidence on the challenges they were facing in the education sector.
“The participants alleged that teachers and students were being forced to
contribute towards national events such as heroes and independence days
celebrations from the little they are being paid by government."
“Participants highlighted that government should ensure that they are well
funded. At Mutasa District, participants highlighted that teachers were
being forced to contribute towards the Governor’s Trophy which is an
individual initiative,” said Chitando.
“The committee also noted some teachers complained about being forced to
contribute funds for national events and recommends the need to stop such
practices and allow people to contribute willingly and provide adequate
funding,” said Chitando.
PTUZ said they were going to engage lawyers to help their members who are
facing the similar problem as it has received several reports from their
By Our Special Projects Reporter 20 hours 48 minutes ago
HARARE - Zimbabwe`s dreaded spy agency, the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) is reportedly rocked by a wave of purges in its rank and
file operatives suspected of doubling up for the Mossad, Israel`s
intelligence arm, throwing Robert Mugabe’s led coalition government into
quandary, The Zimbabwe Mail can exclusively reveal.
According to briefings from intelligence sources, Mugabe is furious with
divisions and foreign infiltrations in the key national security branch amid
fears the Mossad has numerous moles that have been secretly fomenting
destabilisation of the octogenarian leader’s power, by supplying sensitive
information to Israel and a sheaf of Western governments including Britain.
The top echelons of the CIO have ordered what is believed to be a covert
operation, code named “Operation Muchombi Ndiani?”, which is the native
Shona language for “Who is the traitor and sell-out among us?”.
The development has resulted in a major shake-up of the organisation,
including an embargo on the supply of “real” intelligence to Prime minister,
Morgan Tsvangirai whom the CIO has ratcheted up surveillance efforts
following a discreet meeting he held in May in Austria with General Wesley
Clark, a former commander of the US Supreme Allied Nato forces in Europe.
Tsvangirai’s meeting with Clark has sent shivers running down the spine of
Harare, who fear for a possible Nato intervention should the anticipated
presidential elections result in blood violence and rigging.
Israel is one of the biggest diamond dealers after China in the country’s
controversial Marange diamonds believed to be worth some US$800 billion. Tel
Aviv has also in the past sold state of the art heavy anti-riot control
equipment to Zimbabwe. The Jet Pulse Water Cannon system has been used to
crush opposition demonstrations, and is also used by police as a show of
force during electioneering.
It is widely believed that the Mossad managed to infiltrate Mugabe’s CIO
sometime around the year 2000 through Ari Ben Menashe, an alleged Israeli
agent presently residing in Canada where he works as a political consultant.
Menashe was at the centre of an alleged assassination plot conspiracy, which
almost cost Morgan Tsvangirai his political career in 2003 after dubious
treason charges were preferred against him for wanting to eliminate Mugabe.
Tsvangirai now claims Menashe set him up, and that he had been doing
business with the CIO, while at the same time offering political consultancy
to the MDC only to turn against them in favour of Mugabe.
So serious are the purges that some agents have fled the country into
neighbouring South Africa , with some having managed to secure political
asylum in the United Kingdom recently.
The Zimbabwe Mail has it on good authority that four of the children
belonging to, the late deputy director general of the agency, Menrad
Muzariri are now in the save havens of Britain where they have been granted
The four siblings declined State sponsored air tickets, to fly back home
following the death of their father last year after he succumbed to a “short
illness” thus raising eye-brows.
Another top operative of the CIO Philip Machemedze was also granted asylum
in London last year, despite confessing to murder and the maiming of
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters.
“The reprisals are terrifying,” said an intelligence officer operating at
the CIO’s Chaminuka building in Harare . “Many comrades including the late
deputy director general are facing serious allegations of having been
compromised by the Mossad thus facing imminent expulsion and punishment from
Operation Muchombi ndiani is a fierce campaign to uproot double agents, and
this is why you see a new military and intelligence academy being
established so as to make new natianal security recruits loyal, under the
auspieces of The Robert Mugabe Intelligence Academy being overseen by
defence minister Emmerson Mnagagwa."
Mnangagwa himself accused in the past of of having British MI5 Intelligence
links, which he denies was the head of Zimbabwe's intelligence apparatus at
Independence in 1980.
The agent supplying this information who preferred to be called Andrew, also
made the startling revelation that Mugabe is seething with anger that the
CIO failed to stop his former finance minister and Zanu PF politburo member,
Simba Makoni from challenging him for the presidency in 2008, because some
them were on the payroll of Israel and Britain.
It is also believed that an outspoken senior Zanu (PF) Politburo member is
also working with foreign intelligence agencies and in recent weeks he was
invited for a Western embassy event in Harare and he went with some CIO
agents he introduced to foreign intelligence agencies operatives.
WAITING in the car park of mall in Tembisa, South Africa, Robert Matenga
asks if we can sit down. He sits on a concrete block where cars rest their
front tyres, facing a row of shacks. In a bone-coloured jacket, button up
shirt, jeans and worn trainers, he explains the Common Interests Platform.
Matenga is the international relations head of Zimbabwe’s MDC-99 party. It
is one of four minor parties pushing for a greater role in the country’s
The government of national unity comprises Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC-M.
Matenga, chairman of the Common Interests Platform, says smaller parties
must be included if Zimbabwe is to avoid a repeat of the violent 2008
Those smaller parties are Zapu, the MDC-99, the Democratic Party and
Zanu-Ndonga. They announced the joint initiative last month to lobby South
Africa, the SADC’s chief facilitator in the Zimbabwean crisis.
After its inaugural meeting, “The Platform” indicated its concern that the
government wouldn’t be able to curtail the intimidation tactics that had
marred past elections.
The Platform made three demands: to be included in the roadmap towards
elections, an audience with President Zuma, and inclusion in the Joint
Implementation and Monitoring Committee (Jomic).
Matenga explained that if a member of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC was abused or
politically intimidated, they had the option of going to Jomic for some sort
of intervention. But when members of smaller parties were abused, they had
The minor parties appear to be banking on an audience with Zuma. “We are not
going to accept a roadmap shoved down our throats without our inclusiveness,
and we have put in place mechanisms to gain audience with Zuma,” said MDC-99
leader Job Sikhala.
In January, Sikhala declared that he would take the fight to President
Mugabe through mass demonstrations. But he’s been in and out of jail,
explains Matenga, once for announcing he’s prepared to take up arms.
The various charges have been dropped and the MDC-99 leader is back in the
difficult position of trying to influence politics from the sidelines.
“We consulted the GNU principals, and with their misguided ‘big brother’
mentality, they refused to engage us in open discussion to address our
grievances. So we have formed a common platform against them,” said Sikhala.
“We want to be allowed to put across our views. Failure to do so will result
in us taking appropriate measures to gain audience with Zuma… We are going
to storm the meeting where Jacob Zuma would be meeting the three principals
in the inclusive government,” he added.
“We are going to have our own convoy of cars and demand an audience with the
facilitator to the Zimbabwean crisis.”
Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma’s international relations adviser, said SA had decided to
expand its relations with Zimbabwe’s three principal parties, but also the
smaller groups, in order to gain a broader understanding of the interests of
But she wasn’t confident The Platform’s demands could be met. She pointed
out that only Zanu PF and two of the MDC parties were signatories to the
global political agreement.
“It will be very difficult to start involving others (in the election
roadmap and Jomic) because you must change the framework,” said Zulu. She
welcomed the voice of the smaller parties, but said they should put their
faith in the African Union and SADC.
She was doubtful the parties would get an audience with Zuma. “I’m not sure
if they can at the moment. The president is open to discussions with
whomever, but he really would like to focus on the three political parties.
He has to focus on implementing the Global Political Agreement... The ones
who have a mandate.”
Back in Tembisa, Matenga says only three political parties cannot design
free and fair elections and a new constitution. He points out that the
Convention for a Democratic South Africa included a broad range of
But the parties outside government face a difficult time having their voices
heard. They don’t receive funding under the Political Parties Financing Act
and, to add insult to injury, the MDC-99’s car was stolen in Johannesburg
during their January visit.
Matenga is in South Africa to raise money for his party. He hopes SA’s
equivalents will offer their support. But with SADC having recommended
elections be held by June 2013 and Zuma unlikely to push for wider inclusion
of political parties in the transformation process, Matenga’s group is
likely to remain on the sidelines.
So far, the two MDC parties in government haven’t seemed to push for wider
inclusion. But their reluctance might be fatal ahead of their incoming clash
02 July 2012
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is expected to launch a Community Share
Ownership Trust in the Manicaland province, home to the Marange diamond
fields, as part of a countrywide government initiative that spurs
development and empowerment in rural communities by giving them a 10 percent
stake in all businesses that exploit natural resources in their areas.
The Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust, aimed to be launched
this month, will potentially see villagers in Marange and Zimunya, two
communities in Chiadzwa and surrounding areas, directly benefiting from the
province's diamond mining, reports the state-run Herald.
Manicaland Governor and Resident Minister Chris Mushohwe confirmed the
development in an interview with the news source last week, though no
specific launch dates were mentioned. According to the governor, this trust
has the potential to be the largest one in the country, depending upon if
the four companies currently operating in Marange (Mbada Diamonds, Marange
Resources, Anjin and the Diamond Mining Company) will give a monetary
advance to the trust.
The governor also noted that the trust "comes at a good time" given that the
communities of Marange and Zimunya have reportedly been neglected, surviving
on food handouts due to the area's aridity.
The Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust would be the fifth such
scheme launched under President Mugabe. To date, community trusts exist in
various other parts of the country where the Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki
platinum mines and the Gwanda gold mine operate, reports the Herald.
By Tichaona Sibanda
02 July 2012
ZANU PF’s District Coordinating Committees (DCC’s), have reached the end of
the road after the politburo resolved to disband them for persistent
infighting that was threatening the existence of the party.
Last week the politburo took the unprecedented step of abolishing the DCC’s
in a last-ditch effort to save the former ruling party from disintegrating.
Political analyst Munjonzi Mutandiri said ZANU PF were forced to disband its
district structures after realizing that figures like Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa were using their resources to manipulate the DCC’s.
ZANU PF has openly admitted that some members were sowing divisions within
the party. But Mutandiri said the decision by the politburo may have sounded
the death knell on ZANU PF.
‘The disbandment is a clear message to those that are observing, and to
those in ZANU PF, that all is not well and that there is chaos in the party.
It is also an acknowledgement by the highest decision making body of the
party that there is chaos.
‘The next question obviously was, how do we stop this chaos and desperate
situations call for desperate measures, and one of those desperate measures
was to disband the DCC’s on the basis that they’re fueling divisions,’
A Harare based political commentator told us that the decision to disband
the DCC’s was aimed at curtailing Mnangagwa’s ascendency following the
‘I think they want to equalise and remove the gains that he (Mnangagwa) had
made. Mugabe wants to keep the succession race open because once there is a
clear deputy, the deputy will want to remove him,’ the commentator said.
An MDC-T MP in Manicaland, the province worst affected by the infighting,
spoke to SW Radio Africa and said: ‘ZANU PF will never recover from this’
(disbandment of DCC’s).
‘The decision to disband the DCC’s has left the party disjointed. There are
those who won fairly who have been left bewildered and this will fuel more
fissures in the party and the dissolution of the structures has only sped up
the process of natural decay in the party,’ the MP added.
MDC-T Senator and Deputy Minister of Justice Obert Gutu said he has always
argued that ZANU PF is yesterday’s party.
‘The chickens are now coming home to roost…ZANU PF has dismally failed to
transform itself into a conventional political party; it has always remained
a liberation movement with a top-down management style.
‘The party is basically an institution where free and robust debate is not
tolerated. It is bogged down in the so-called big man syndrome. Essentially,
because of these fatal defects, the demise of ZANU PF as a vibrant player in
Zimbabwean politics is imminent and in fact inevitable,’ Gutu said.
BY TONDERAI MATONHO
THE livelihood of thousands of people residing along the Save valley
continues to be threatened by the worsening siltation of the river, the
Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (Zela) has warned.
Zela Head of Research and Development, Shamiso Mtisi, told a Copac
Environmental Thematic review meeting in Harare last week that measures had
to be put in place to address the situation before further damage was done
to both the ecosystem and local livelihoods.
“Soil, water, air and the genetic potential of plants are almost largely
exhausted, putting livelihoods at risk,” said Mtisi, at the meeting convened
to discuss the current Copac draft constitution on how it incorporated
“Environmental and ecological issues have not been adequately addressed, if
not ignored, in the Lancaster House Constitution, the legal and
heavily-patched document that Zimbabwe has largely adopted since
Independence,” said Mtisi.
Projects Manager for the Chiredzi-based Earth Healing Association, Gladman
Chibhememe, said ethanol production in Chisumbanje and diamond mining
activities in Marange were some of the major contributors of pollution for
the Save river.
He said the new constitution must address community perspectives on natural
The Save valley conservancies have also been badly affected by poachers who
were targeting the wildlife, especially the rhino population which continues
to be decimated by bio-piracy activities in the South East Lowveld.
Written by Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:12
HARARE - Zanu PF leaders and their supporters are “like pigs”, Industry
minister Welshman Ncube said yesterday.
Ncube, who leads the smaller MDC faction, was addressing journalists on the
sidelines of a party community outreach programme in Mahusekwa, Marondera
The programme included the painting of classrooms at Mutero Primary School.
“If you wash a pig, it will always return to the mud and they are a party
which is naturally violent. They have piggish behaviour and it is in their
DNA,” said Ncube.
“We cannot stop living because sometimes there is really nothing we can do
except continuing to persuade their leadership to rein- in their
supporters,” Ncube said.
Ncube added Zimbabwe’s political leaders will continue to work around the
issues of violence but there has been a misconception around the issues of
the “so-called joint rallies”.
“I think there has been a misrepresentation. There was never an agreement to
hold joint rallies but we agreed that the leadership, which includes Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and me will address party structures."
“This is like what happened with the meeting that included the national
executive committees of the two MDC formations and Zanu PF’s central
“The feedback we are getting is that Mugabe’s diary is holding the programme
because he is busy,” Ncube said.
He added the three coalition parties’ negotiators are working to get a date
when the three leaders will go to Bulawayo to meet structures in that
province and implore on them to desist from violence.
Violence has followed Zimbabwean elections like a plague culminating in the
bloody 2008 poll in which Tsvangirai’s MDC claims over 200 of its activists
by Nomsa Nkala I Sunday Mail
Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti has spoken on his
admiration for President Robert Mugabe, describing him as "a fountain of
experience, fountain of knowledge and, most importantly, a fountain of
stability". In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Biti also said relations
between parties in the coalition government had improved significantly and
also addressed various other issues including his own political ambitions.
Below are excerpts on the interview:
The GNU (Government of National Unity) has been a very difficult place to
be. Sometimes we have crossed, fought unnecessarily. But I think at the end
of the day if you have to have a balance sheet of the pros and cons, the
advantages and disadvantages, the pain we have suffered is far outweighed by
the value and dividend that the GNU has brought to our people. We brought a
modicum of peace and stability to our country and that is very important . .
. We are not yet there economically, but we have given our people a modicum
of time out. Most importantly, I think we have restored the social contract.
There is now predictability and certainty in Zimbabwe. There is also the
restoration of functional institutions.
The two political parties (Zanu-PF and MDC-T) have gotten together much more
closely. The greatest lesson of the last three years is that we can work
together; we are all Zimbabweans. While we can choose our friends we cannot
choose our country . . . We are stuck together. Every Monday at 3pm the
President and the Prime Minister have meetings. They have pancakes, tea in
expensive chinaware and one should never underestimate those meetings.
Possibly more than anything else, those teas have been the glue that has
kept this nation together in the last three years.
I was in Luanda (Angolan capital) recently, for the extraordinary meeting of
heads of state and government of Sadc and we were in the Troika Organ. Each
of us was (sitting) behind our (respective) leaders. President Mugabe in the
case of Zanu-PF, president Tsvangirai in the case of MDC-T, Professor
Welshman Ncube in the case of his party and, of course, there is no house
without its own stories, Professor Arthur Mutambara miraculously always
finds himself on the table.
I have been in these negotiations since 2007, but now you can see that
people can differ, but they are not enemies; they are just opponents. So
they can differ, they have different opinions. It is no longer the
life-and-death winner-take-all mentality: I kill you, you kill me.
There has been a movement of the nation towards the search of what I call
the decisive element; What does it mean to be a Zimbabwean? We may have
different beliefs, but there is a tag which we have never unpacked, the tag
of “what it means to be a Zimbabwean” . . . One of the fault lines of our
country is that we have never unpacked that national question. The inclusive
Government has given us a starting point of beginning to unpack some of
these hard questions of nationhood that the Americans — the Thomas
Jeffersons, the George Washingtons, the Hamiltons of this world, answered in
America in 1774 to 1777. We need to unpack that question.
I think in the long term, the sacrosanctity of the identity of
Zimbabweanhood must not be compromised under any circumstances because it is
almost like your birthright; you cannot change it. So the sooner we accept
that the better. The second thing is respect and tolerance . . . let us
accept that we are all the same. There is also the question of the rule of
law. We should all be below the law. The law must treat us equally . . . We
are all ordinary people so we should not be afraid of power and the State.
The next issue is on how we solve our disputes.
To me it is so important that we should not use violence as an instrument of
political arbitration. This is critical. Let us have our differences and you
must persuade me to see things your way. But do not use violence. We must
never be a society run by coercion.
(In addition) there are a number of things that compromise your country. For
instance, this country will never be a colony of anyone again. It is not
possible. Even those you might want to sell the country to, do not want it.
The British do not want the burden of another colony again and certainly not
the Americans. So we are now talking of smart imperialism, more subtle
imperialism. If you negotiate a contract, a bad deal for the country . . .
you are selling your country.
So, this is the post-colonial stage we are living in. There are many ways in
which we are compromising our country. My experience in Government is that
incompetence, lack of advice and technology; the bad deals that we are
negotiating are part of compromising our country. Also not recognising what
is in the best interest of our country also constitutes the bundle of what I
call selling the country.
I think the relationship which all of us admire is the relationship between
the Prime Minister and the President. I think they have found their own
zone, their own space, which is above their parties. You see it in their
body language that these people have now found dialogue and the space within
which they communicate, which is above both MDC-T and Zanu-PF. At individual
ministerial level, I think there are a lot of cross-party relations. There
is a lot of cross-party understanding.
One of the things about government is that you cannot do it alone. If you
adopt a silo-approach to government you will fail. So the Minister of
Finance must work with the Minister of Mines, the Minister of Transport,
etc. I have just spent two hours with (Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment) Minister (Saviour) Kasukuwere trying to persuade each
other on the balance between foreign direct investment and empowerment. It
was a very good meeting.
So you need those synergies . . . Of course, there are still tensions, but I
think people are mature enough . . . The synergies are there, understandings
are there, which is important because we are serving the same people.
I think they complement each other. Arthur Mutambara is younger than all of
them. He has energy and is robust. I think Prime Minister Tsvangirai
naturally respects President Mugabe, and that is very important, and he also
understands that there are certain decisions which have to be made by the
I think they understand each other. President Mugabe is the founding
President of this country, so I do not think anyone in Government denies the
invaluability of his wisdom and experience. If you sit in Cabinet, the one
thing about the President is that he is unflappable. He will give you time.
I must confess that.
Working with Mugabe
We have had to take difficult and unpopular decisions at the Ministry of
Finance. There is no finance ministry, if it is doing its work correctly,
that will be popular. It is about the best interests of the economy. I want
to tell you that I have basically been allowed to do what I believe is in
the best interest of the country. When I do my budget I take it to President
There has not been a single discussion where he has said, “No, no.” He will
say, “Why don’t you have a relook at this, but he will not use the word “no”
. . . I speak my mind in the private meetings. I have had meetings with the
President that have lasted for three hours . . . I respect that and I also
respect his counsel. What I have come to realise is that if I have a
difficult issue, he will unlock it. What I want to also appreciate about the
man is his capacity to listen, counsel, most importantly, his
unflappability. It is very important for a leader to listen to both sides
(of a story) and not to (easily) get angry.
(The President) is unflappable. I will never be like him. I am a bulldozer,
a black rhinoceros. That is why I used to support Black Rhinos (Football
Club); force, force. He is the opposite. We have learnt a lot from him. I
sit with him and talk for hours. You will be surprised what we talk about.
We talk about everything: girls, politics, everything (giggles)!
We find counsel and wisdom in him. His importance in this country will be
seen once he’s gone. When he’s gone that is when you will see that this man
was Zimbabwe. Some of us who came from different parties have had to learn a
lot from the man. He is a fountain of experience, fountain of knowledge and,
most importantly, a fountain of stability.
There are a lot of horrible things that would have happened in this country
if he had not said “No.” History will prove the correctness of this
statement. He has been the number one symbol of stability. There are people
who would have wanted to destroy this country internally, but his value has
been to say “No.” Even this GNU; there are people who wanted to destroy it
within two months, and it would have died. Where would we have been with a
hyperinflation of 500 billion percent?
So, I think us younger generations are lucky to have gone through his hands.
He is a very seductive man . . . If you have a private discussion with him,
you will be shocked by the calmness. I have been saying to my British
friends that he is the most British of all British people I have come across
. . . He is very calm and seductive: I am sure every woman is in love with
He has defended his country. I think he has fought his generational fight,
which was the liberation and democratisation of the country. He fought and
fought very well. This generation, you and me, must take this country to
another level, which is economic liberation. So, Robert Mugabe as the
nationalist, as the liberator, he has fought a good fight.
But what has our generation done? Each generation must fight its own fight.
I am very clear about what we have to do in this generation. In my small
way, I would like to think that I am fighting the battles of my own
generation. Unfortunately, I do not think my own generation has a common and
united understanding of the generational obligations of our time.
US of IMF funds
We have withdrawn the money. The SDR was a mere US$500 million. The only
money that is left is US$100 million, which we cannot use because we do not
know what will happen if the political leaders say they want an election. So
there has to be a contingent plan, and Government understands that. The
requirements of this country exceed US$18 billion. Just on infrastructure
alone within the next five years, the country needs US$12 billion. On energy
generation alone we require
US$4 billion. Then water, roads and information communication technology. So
the infrastructure deficit alone is US$12 billion. This is why I said we
have to be much smarter, we have to be reintegrated into the world economy,
we have to sort our arrears question, which is putting an impediment on our
capacity to borrow from the World Bank and the African Development Bank. We
have to lower our country risk profile so that we are able to go on to
normal capital markets to borrow money at cheap markets at 2 percent; 1
percent concessionary lending, which we are not able to do.
There is no way we are going to grow this economy without foreign direct
investment, without overseas development assistance. We have to normalise
our relations with the Americans, the British, the West, the Chinese, the
Malaysians. It is not about looking East or West; it is about looking
forward in the best interest of this country.
There are four fundamental things we are doing. The first is the bilateral
and multilateral engagements with the West. This is why you have seen the
committee of ministers (Energy and Power Development), Elton Mangoma,
(Regional Integration and International Co-operation), Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga and (Justice and Legal Affairs), Patrick Chinamasa
working hard to ensure that we complete our re-engagement.
Number two is re-engagement with international financial institutions. We
are working very hard to normalise relations. That is why we published the
Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Development Strategy. Number three is to put
our house in political order. We had an urgent Cabinet meeting on finances
alone on Thursday July 5 2012. We came up with a vast array of measures,
which are decisive. Nobody told us to do that.
The IMF was very pleased . . . In my mid-term statement I am going to make
major announcements to refocus this economy on the growth trajectory. What
we are simply doing is to say that we are Zimbabweans, we understand our
errors: omissions and commissions of the past, but we will be able, using
our own common sense, to refocus and redirect our economy so that it is in
the best interest of our people. If our economy is serving the majority of
our people, I can tell you it will be able to integrate with that of South
Africa. The whole idea of sovereign governments is to serve your people.
That is what some of us have been trying to do tirelessly in the last three
Impact of sanctions
Zimbabwe has to be integrated, so we have to be a full member of the
international community. That is unpardonable, unforgivable. We are such a
tiny little country. Right now, our gross domestic product (GDP) is US$11
billion, which is slightly higher than that of Lesotho and Swaziland. In
1990, we were the second highest GDP in Southern Africa after South Africa.
So whatever restrictions are there are not serving the best interests of
Zimbabwe. Equally, as Zimbabweans, let us address those issues that gave
rise to those sanctions or measures, whatever you want to call them. Some of
us have been very clear. I have spent hours and hours with (US Assistant
Secretary of State for African Affairs) Johnny Carson and people at the
European Union . . . It’s not about Robert Mugabe or Zanu-PF, it’s about
The resource envelope is narrow. I think most of the criticism is made out
of ignorance. Until 2000, 79 percent of all bank lending in Zimbabwe went to
agriculture. What this means is that agriculture has always primarily been
financed by the banking system. This is the story in Canada, South Africa
and Kenya. There is no government in the world that can adequately finance
agriculture. It is not possible. We have done the best that we can under a
very restrictive budget.
The requirements of agriculture are US$2 billion per year. That is our
entire budget. Between February 2009 and now, the Government has pumped in
at least US$700 million into agriculture. The rest of the financial sector
has put in about US$1,3 billion to create a total of US$2 billion finance
since 2009 to now. We have seen that producing results. In 2008, maize
production was 200 000 metric tonnes. Tobacco was a mere 32 000kg.
In 2010, we had 1,5 million kilogrammes of maize; 135 million kg of tobacco.
We had over 300 000 tonnes of cotton. So if you want to see what we have
done on agriculture, compare the outputs of 2008 and now. What everyone
needs to understand — whether it is farmers, doctors, nurses — is that the
cake is small. We have been struggling to pay wages in the last six months.
If you speak to the Salary Services Bureau, the pay dates of civil servants
in 2012 have changed three times because we have not been able to pay on
The economy is not performing . . . But I am not the one who is going to cry
and sit and feel pity for myself. I am a doer. I will look the beast in the
eye; I will not blink and I will look forward and implement the policies
that are in the best interest of the country. That is what I am going to do
in the budget announcement in the next two weeks. You will see boldness, you
will see leadership.
The economy is small; we can cry, but that’s that. We are very transparent
at the Ministry of Finance and we are going to slash the national budget
significantly next month. That is a recognition that we cannot meet our
targets. We do not have money. So, the issue is: whether you are a civil
servant, farmer, doctor, lawyer and you say you want more money under
circumstances where the original budget is actually being cut, where will it
come from? If you can show us where the money is going to come from, then
It is a State of austerity. All of us must understand that. If this
Government were irresponsible, then it would be building stadiums and buying
helicopters and guns, but we are not doing that. In 2009, I came up with the
philosophy that we must eat what we kill. If all Zimbabweans, including
civil servants, are killing a rat, then you cannot expect to eat an elephant
when you are killing a rat. It is common sense. The best economists in
Zimbabwe are ordinary housewives.
They know that if my husband earns US$200, I am going to shop at
Mupedzanhamo (Mbare Flea Market in Harare). You cannot go into Barbours
(Department Store) when your husband is earning US$100. A lot of us are
getting into Barbours, if not Harrods (British luxury store) when we are
earning US$100. It is basic economics. You don’t need (American economists)
Paul Volcker or (Alan) Greenspan to tell you this. The Ministry of Finance
does not have a secret machine where we print US dollars.
I respect the law: I am a lawyer. The regulator is the Central Bank. The
banking sector in Zimbabwe is sound. We have 23 banks. Of these, we have
shut down one and another is under curatorship. During the global economic
crisis of 2008, hundreds of banks fell.
All regulatory authorities in the past few years were caught with their
pants down because of regulatory arbitrage and the over-creativity of the
banking sector. This is the reason why I am going to come up with major
amendments to the Banking Act to deal with this issue of regulatory
arbitrage. The problem with the banks has really been an issue of corporate
governance, insider arm-length lending to oneself and so forth.
That explains why NMB is sound, functional, yet it is an indigenous bank
while others are crumbling. The corporate culture there is different. FBC is
arguably the best-run bank in Zimbabwe; it is also an indigenous bank . . .
But things will be different. We also want to encourage our black brothers
to merge their small banks and create strong ones. This idea of merely
boasting about owning a bank is primitive. We are going to encourage mergers
to create strong indigenous banks that are able to stand on their feet.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai is one of the most wonderful, but, like President
Mugabe, also very much misunderstood, very much understated people. You need
to know him to understand the qualities of that man: the sense of love,
forgiveness and fairness. I would not be in the MDC. Our party split and I
could have gone anywhere, but I chose to stay with him under extremely
difficult circumstances because of his qualities as a man.
People should never have ambitions, in my view. God will put you where he
wants you (to be). If you look at the history of Zanu-PF, Robert Mugabe
would never have been the President of Zanu-PF. If you look at the history
of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai would never have been there. God places you. I
find it very difficult (to understand) when people who are ambitious say, “I
want to be president and so forth.” God is there.
People are quarrelling over who will succeed Mugabe, but God has already
predetermined. Our people are also not fools. They will judge you on your
commissions and omissions. I personally do not worry about those things. I
do not think about those things. I will never phone anyone to conspire,
telling them I want to be this or that. If you said to me, during those days
when I was a young lawyer, “you are going to be the Minister of Finance”, I
would have said you are crazy.
MDC-T a Western puppet
That is cheap propaganda. We are a Zimbabwean party as anyone else. The good
thing is that the last three years have proved it and we have been in
Government. There is never a budget I have presented that you can say is an
MDC budget. It is a Zimbabwean budget . . . That is patronising . . . It is
assuming that black people do not think, therefore they can be influenced by
a foreigner. It is false. No one thinks on behalf of someone else. (And) we
do not (get funding from the West). It is unlawful. We received funding
under the Political Parties Act and that is fact.
On the land reform programme, as MDC, we differ with the manner in which it
was done. However, it is now water under the bridge. What is important is
that we rationalise and democratise it, which is why you have heard me
saying that anyone who has been given land must now be secure.
Give the beneficiaries long leases or titles to allow them to sell their
properties, transfer them to their children in their wills, hypothecate them
to banks and borrow money. The revolution must have a conclusion. If the
programme was about taking land from white people, the next Chimurenga on
land should be to restore the property (land) market.
Monday, 02 July 2012
Gutu - The MDC provincial leadership has castigated some members of the
security for being used by Zanu PF to suppress the will of the people.
MDC national representative for Masvingo Province, Hon. Jeffryson Chitando
told party supporters at Mupandawana Growth Point, Ward 34 Gutu Central
Constituency on Saturday some State security agents were being used by Zanu
PF to thwart democratic change.
“Let me be clear on the issue of some State security agents who have been
turned into Zanu PF activists. These people do not read the times and they
should wake up from their deep slumber. They will sink together with Mugabe.
In Manicaland, the province’s national representative, Hon Mathias Mlambo
has said contrary to Zanu PF assertions that we wish the death of their
leader President Mugabe, the MDC wants Mugabe to live to see the performance
of an MDC government.
He said this while addressing multitudes of people at Musani business centre
in Chipinge West on Sunday.
“We do not wish Mugabe to die. We however, know because of his age we can
not expect miracles, he cannot go against nature, death is a natural thing
but we wish he survives to see the day we win elections and serve the people
in all earnest, honesty and truth.
“We want Mugabe and his Zanu PF supporters to see real leadership bringing
in real change to the people of Zimbabwe, real change that brings food on
our tables, that makes everyone self reliant,” he said.
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
|30th June 2012|
|BUSH - BASH 2012|
My daughter, Brigitte, who is the CEO of ZCTF European Operations, and her partner, David Scobie, recently organized a fantastic fundraiser for us which they called "Bush-Bash". They really pulled out all the stops for this one. They organized it single-handedly and it was a very professional and successful event.
|It took place in Surrey, England and various Zimbabwean musicians provided the entertainment. A very big thank you to the following musicians; Brigitte Rodrigues and David Scobie, Fraser Mackay, Bud Cockroft, Guy Halls, Graham Hall and Kenny Duarte.|
|Over 500 people, mostly ex-Zimbabweans and ex-South Africans, attended the event and they were treated to a day of music, and the chance to reunite with their compatriots.|
|Thank you so much to David Scobie who produced an excellent documentary on the ZCTF called "Vanishing Footprints". This production is now available on DVD and can be purchased from our website's charity shop via the following link http://www.zctfofficialsite.org/store - A word of warning though, this DVD is not for sensitive viewers, because some of the photos are extremely graphic.|
|After the event we received a donation of £5203.22 from Bush-Bash, which were the funds raised from this event. We are truly grateful to everyone who attended Bush-Bash and, in turn, supported the ZCTF. Most people had travelled long distances to be there, and one lady even flew over from Portugal to show her support.|
|We are also delighted to announce that we now have prints of various wildlife artwork available for sale from our charity shop so please take a moment to visit us online at http://www.zctfofficialsite.org/store|
July 2nd, 2012
by Mandivamba Rukuni, a discussion paper in the Zimbabwe Land Series
The issue of compensation has been controversial and still represents an area of major disagreement between the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) and the dispossessed farmers, mostly as represented by the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU). In this article I will discuss the nature of the impasse, and I will review the status, legislation, and prospects for resolving the issue and accelerating rehabilitation, investment and productivity. As a general framework for accelerating the rehabilitation of the land sector in Zimbabwe, a number of important activities need to be initiated and completed by government and these include: compensation for land acquired; issuance of legal multi-form tenure instruments for new land occupiers; and reforming the land administration system to allow for better land use planning, management and production. This includes strengthening the dispute resolution systems and requisite capacity for adjudication.
As for the impasse, I will argue for pragmatic solutions. Both government and dispossessed farmers are still experiencing hard times. The government is still under-funded and many former white farmers have become destitute. It is highly unlikely that a perfect solution exists for both government and dispossessed farmers. The time has come for serious proactive engagement in search of lasting solutions.
Compensation experience to date
The Fast Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP) was introduced in 2000 and the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) amended the legislation to enable compensation for “improvements only”. In all, 125 farmers accepted the offer before the scheme collapsed because of hyperinflation. The disagreement between the CFU and GoZ has been largely on valuation. The CFU maintains that compensation value should include: land; improvements; interest; and consequential damage. The legal battles between government and farmers on this issue are well covered elsewhere.
Valuations based on existing legislation are estimated at between $1.5 and $2 billion. Valuations along CFU lines are estimated at between $6 and $10 Billion. The difference is huge and a pragmatic way forward in needed. After the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009 the scheme was re-introduced and since then Budget Vote 31 has had a small but growing allocation.
In the “Blue Book”, Budget Vote 31 is for the Purchase of Land User Rights (compensation), and allocations are as follows: 2011 (unaudited expenditure to September) = $2,496,873; 2012 = $6,000,000; 2013 = $9,000,000; 2014 = $12,000,000. According to the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement (MLRR), a total of 6,422 farms were acquired, of these 1,250 were valued and 4,962 farms are still to be valued. To date 210 farmers have been compensated since the FTLRF. Individual compensation values vary from about $200,000 to $1.2 million. During this period priority has been given to elderly former farmers over the age of 70.
The procedure: Compensation is guided mainly by two acts, the Land Acquisition Act Chapter 20:10 and Acquisition of Equipment and Materials Act Chapter 18:23. A valuation report is produced by the MLRR’s Valuations Section and submitted to the Compensation Committee, which is made up of members appointed by the Minister of Lands and comprises Permanent Secretaries for Lands, Finance, Local Government, Agriculture and Labour/Social Services. The committee, according to the Act, determines the amount of compensation payable to the farmer based on the MLRR’s Valuation Section report.
The Valuation Section then invites the farmer to conclude the offer. The farmer may accept or refuse the compensation value offered and has the option to go to the Administrative Court for resolution on the valuation. Farmers also have the option of bringing their own valuers to Court. If an agreement is reached on the compensation value, a contract is signed and the compensation processed. There are two options for paying out the compensation:
The Minister of Lands has made several revisions to the regulations to make these more acceptable to the beneficiary ex-farmers. This includes provision for a lump sum payment; and provision for the farmer to submit a schedule of the actual improvements on the date of eviction, and that schedule can include photography. The outgoing farmer is also required to fulfill the Farm Workers Gratuity Regulations (S16). The Minister also amended these for better interpretation.
The need for a land acquisition compensation fund
The number of compensations can grow rapidly if 2 things happen: a) establish a viable Land Acquisition Compensation Fund; and b) MLRR accelerates the valuation process. I prefer completing the valuations as soon as possible because that provides more meaningful targets for the Fund; and allows for as many agreeable farmers as possible to sign-off on a compensation plan, thereby providing quittance for allotting a legal and viable lease to new occupiers. The other urgency is to provide immediate financial relief to as many former-farmers as possible. I believe that this is the best we will get in the foreseeable future for a ‘willing-seller-willing-buyer’ arrangement on the matter. There may well be as many who will take up the offer as those who will not. Ideally it is important for enough prior (‘without prejudice’ to both side) consultation and analysis to take place between the CFU, the Valuation Consortium (which represents the majority of disposed farmers) and the MLRR’s Valuation Section. It is important to minimize the number of disputes that go to court otherwise that will slow down the process and defeat the whole purpose.
The significance of resolving the issue urgently is imbedded in the legislation that requires “quittance” on the acquired land before a legal lease can be issued to the new land occupier. Quittance is contingent upon compensation, or at least a signed agreement between government and farmer on the terms. This legal requirement makes it urgent that a compensation fund is established by the government soonest to compensate as many farmers as possible on the basis on existing legislation.
Another challenge according to CFU is that farmers in the drier parts of the country are prejudiced by ‘improvements only’ valuations. One solution is to provide for ‘supplementary payments’ in the Fund for special cases such as some properties in Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo.
The need for flexibility in paying out compensation: Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are several permutations out there in terms of the circumstances that the former white farmers face. For my own argument, however, I have grouped them into 3:
The fund I am proposing would therefore cater for categories 1 and 2 for now and those in 3 would come in later as constitutional and political processes resolve the issue more definitively. My heart goes out mostly to those in category 1 because that is the category most other Zimbabweans are in. A considerable number lost property, assets, and retirement funds and there is nowhere to turn to for compensation. Estimates of a global figure representing those losses are just as colossal as losses by white farmers. It is also politically difficult for government and donors to invest several billion dollars into a few thousand white farmers in a country and continent with millions of poor people. I know that my views here are quite contrary and unpopular with the CFU and others. But quite frankly the country needs a more proactive leadership from both government and organized farmers on this matter. It is better for government and farmers to face donors with a negotiated position than the current huge gulf in positions. Without that negotiated position, then we are left with those in category 3 who should exercise their democratic right of course; ipso facto, those in categories 1 and 2 should have the guts to self-organize and proactively work towards a solution.
My take is that the nation is quite divided on the issue of compensation for land; on land acquired through the FTLRP this divide cuts across political party lines, as well as other class lines. Compensation for land will be accommodated in future constitutions, I believe. It is just that we are still at a point where compensation for land acquired through FTLRP is still highly contested politically, with the exceptions already provided for, including BIPPA land.
Options for capitalising the fund
In order to capitalize the Fund, we need as many contributors as possible. No one group that can take the whole burden – and there is need to share the burden. I have had opportunity in the last year to discuss the prospects of a compensation fund with various people and various groups including government officials, parliamentarians, donors, and some of the farmers who have explored compensation and/or been compensated. I have learnt a lot from these discussions and what I am presenting here is largely from all these rich contributions.
The following is just an example of how such a fund can be crafted. There are altogether 5 potential contributors to the fund:
The order of commitments to the funds will probably be government first, donors next, then lease holders, and finally development and commercial banks. The worst case start -up scenario is that the fund only has $9 million committed by government in 2013. In this case I would then suggest that negotiations on the thousand or so valuations completed to date be concluded as soon as possible. If say 500 (50%) are agreed and signed, then the $13 million is shared among the 500 farmers. The Minister could introduce an Option 3 payment plan that commits payment of interest on capital for those signed up. Some farmers are proposing an alternative plan that each farmer receives a nominal monthly payment of say $1,000 deducted from his/her capital account and accrued interest. The best-case scenario start-up is seed funds from government and donors, totalling say $100 million in 2013, in which case all 3 options for payout can be available from the start. The fund will grow fast from there.
The issue of compensation is urgent because it is the trigger point for rehabilitation, investment and productivity. This has to be accompanied by issuance of appropriate land rights instruments, with a tradable and fundable 99-year lease. A Land Acquisition Compensation Fund could well be the precursor for re-building the land registry and land administration system and subsequently a Land Bank that becomes a premier investment bank for land development for all sectors as the economy builds up and as the nation attains food security.