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Zimbabwe gives banks 1 year to cede stakes to locals

By Reagan Mashavave (AFP) – 9 hours ago

HARARE — Zimbabwe has given foreign-owned banks and other firms a year to
cede a 51 percent stake to local black people, in compliance with equity and
empowerment laws, a government notice said.

A notice in the government gazette, dating from Friday but made public on
Tuesday, gave one year as a "maximum period a business may continue to
operate before it attains the minimum indigenisation and empowerment quota."

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai however issued a statement describing the
ultimatum as illegal and a threat to the ailing economy's recovery

Zimbabwe enacted in 2007 a law that forces all foreign-owned companies to
hand over a majority stake of 51 percent to local blacks.

The law has led mining firms including the country's biggest platinum mine
Zimplats, which is a subsidiary of South Africa's Impala, to turn in their
schedules to cede majority shares to locals.

The latest notice originating from the office of Indigenous Minister Saviour
Kasukuwere, has widened the targeted sectors to include banks, hotels,
education institutions and telecommunications firms.

Britain's Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank are among the major
foreign banks with operations in this former British colony.

Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe's uneasy coalition government partner,
dismissed the notice as "unlawful".

"Government has not sanctioned the minister's actions that are a threat to
investment in the country," Tsvangirai said in a statement.

The indigenisation drive is at the heart of a dispute between the two

Mugabe who spearheaded the violent seizures of white-owned land in 2000, a
policy that severely hurt the once vibrant agricultural sector, has
threatened to take over foreign firms if they fail to meet the regulations.

"The Prime Minister wishes to inform foreign-owned banks, foreign-owned
companies ... and private educational institutions including creches,
primary and secondary schools as well as institutions of higher learning
that should anyone grab their assets, they would be doing so unlawfully."

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe should focus on job creation.

"The people of Zimbabwe want massive investment in the country and not
self-serving political statements that have nothing to do with the
collective position of government," he said.

He said the law does not give Minister Kasukuwere powers "to act and to
project an image of a voracious government keen to compulsorily grab almost
all institutions and companies."

Last year, Kasukuwere, a minister from Mugabe's ZANU PF party said foreign
banks had shown "disrespect" of the laws by failing to comply.

But Finance Minister Tendai Biti and central bank governor Gideon Gono are
opposed to the laws affecting banks, saying the move would hurt the economy.

The regulations also aim at the tourism sector, targeting safari and cruise
yatch operators.

Social clubs and sports associations are also listed alongside private
schools and universities that will have to hand over their majority stakes
to black Zimbabweans.

The law will see surrounding communities getting 10 percent, employees 31
percent, while a government agency, the National Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Board (NIEB) will walk away with 10 percent stake.

The government has not come out clear on how the shares will be transferred
and if the new owners will buy the shares at market value.

The central bank chief has already warned that the laws should be applied to
benefit the country's poor and not just the rich elite.

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Zimbabwe targets foreign banks

July 3, 2012 5:27 pm

By Andrew England in Johannesburg and Tony Hawkins in Harare

Zimbabwe has given international banks operating in the country a year to
comply with a controversial indigenisation programme under which foreign
companies are supposed to transfer 51 per cent stakes to black Zimbabweans.

A government notice has said all foreign-owned banks with a minimum net
value of $1 will have to reduce their shareholding to 49 per cent by next
July in a move that could affect banks including Barclays, Standard
Chartered and South Africa’s Standard Bank.

The indigenisation law was passed by parliament in 2007, but the government’s
focus has mainly been on mining houses, with groups such as Impala Platinum,
at the centre of the storm.

The policy is being pushed by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and
observers say it is partly motivated by political factors with elections
expected to be held the next year.

In March, Implats said it had reached an “agreement in principle” to sell 31
per cent of its shares to the government, setting aside another 20 per cent
for employees and a community trust. But details of the terms of any deal,
how it would be financed and how it would be valued have not been clarified.

An official at a foreign-owned bank with operations in Zimbabwe said that
while the rhetoric on banks was increasing, it would be hard for the
government to attempt to force indigenisation on the sector.

“It’s not like any government could just take over a bank – the bank would
just shut down, but they [the government] don’t want that and we don’t want
that, so it’s probably not going to happen,” the official said. “There’s a
lack of clarity about what they can do.”

Both Tendai Biti, finance minister, and Gideon Gono, the central bank
governor, have also clashed with Saviour Kasukuwere, the Zanu-PF minister
pushing indigenisation, over the proposal, warning that with only 15 of the
26 banks making profits in the first quarter, it is not the right time for
such an initiative.

Mr Kasukuwere insists that he has the power to ignore their advice, but it
is unclear how he could implement his threats.

“It is pure intimidation,” said a Harare-based banker.

The indigenisation policy has been blamed for exacerbating investor
uncertainty in the country as it has sought to recover from the economic
crisis triggered by Mr Mugabe’s land reform programme of the 2000s when
white-owned farms were seized without compensation.

Since a unity government was formed between Zanu-PF and the opposition
Movement for Democratic after violent and disputed elections growth has
picked up, largely because of the dollarisation of the economy.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts the economy will expand by 5 per
cent this year. But the recovery remains fragile, while the volatile
political environment and indigenisation programme are fuelling uncertainty.

“There is the appetite to do more business, but it’s very hard in this
environment,” a bank official said.

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Govt cracks widen as PM dismisses indigenisation plans

By Alex Bell
03 July 2012

The already gaping cracks in Zimbabwe’s unity government have been further
widened this week, after the Prime Minister publicly dismissed the ZANU PF
led indiginisation plans for banks and other key sectors.

The Indigenisation Ministry, led by ZANU PF’s Saviour Kasukuwere, last
Friday announced that foreign owned firms across different sectors in the
country must submit to the controversial empowerment plans within the next
year. This includes banks, tourism groups and private educational
institutions like crèches, primary and secondary schools and institutions of
higher learning.

But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday dismissed this notice,
saying in a statement that “there is no such government position because no
such issue has been discussed and agreed upon by Cabinet.”

“Government has not sanctioned the Minister’s actions that are a threat to
investment in the country. The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act
does not empower the Minister to act and to project an image of a voracious
government keen to compulsorily grab almost all institutions and companies
in the country,” the statement from Tsvangirai’s office said.

The statement continued: “We reiterate the position that the Prime Minister
of Zimbabwe has executive powers and the Constitution of Zimbabwe bestows
him with the authority to oversee and supervise ‘policy formulation and
implementation’. The government forum that deals with implementation of
government policy is the Council of Ministers, which has not discussed or
approved the purported government position captured in the public notice.”

The statement warned that anyone who ‘grabbed’ the assets of the foreign
owned groups listed in the Indigenisation Ministry’s notice, “would be doing
so unlawfully and without the mandate of the Inclusive Government.”

The indigenisation 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 laws have strained relations in the fragile unity government, with the
MDC-T warning that the campaign will damage Zimbabwe’s investment future and
only benefit those in ZANU PF.

Critics have agreed that the campaign has little to do with real empowerment
and all to do with securing ZANU PF’s hold on the country, especially with a
crucial election expected in the coming months.

Economist Masimba Kuchera told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the
indigenisation drive is an election “trump card” for ZANU PF.

“The country is in full electioneering mode and the best for some people in
ZANU PF is to say they will deliver indigenisation. So this has serious
political under tones,” Kuchera explained.

He also said that there are other options, in terms of indigenisation
policies, which would be more beneficial for ordinary Zimbabweans, saying
that the current plans have little to do with real empowerment. He
criticised the current indigenisation drive for assuming that people will
have the money and know-how to become a majority owner of foreign owned
companies, when for many Zimbabweans this is not the case.

“There needs to be real education and realistic empowerment plans…I agree
that it should be a non partisan and depoliticised process for it to be
successful,” Kuchera said.

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Parties deadlocked over voters' roll

03/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZANU PF and the MDC-T have failed to agree on whether the voter’s roll
should be polling-station specific or ward-based in a development that will
likely stymie key amendments to the country’s Electoral Act.

Changes to the Electoral Act are among a raft of reforms parties to the
coalition government are negotiating ahead of new elections now expected
sometime next year.

While Zanu PF wants the voters roll to be based on polling stations, the
MDC-T insists the present arrangement where the roll is based on Wards
should remain in place.

Said Zanu PF negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa: “There is now a tug-of-war on an
issue that we had already agreed as parties.

“We had agreed that we will have polling station specific voters’ roll, but
our friends in the MDC-T are now singing a different tune.”

Chinamasa claimed that a polling station-based roll would help address the
problem of ghost voters and prevent people from voting more than once.

“The MDC-T says they want the ward-based voters’ roll, but we are saying the
polling station specific voters’ roll will help us to discover deceased
voters so that we can fish them out, he said.

“It also helps to eliminate double voting because in a ward we can have five
polling stations, where one can vote at one station and go to another.”

But MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, said basing the roll on polling
stations would expose voters to possible victimisation.

“The MDC-T wants an election that produces a true reflection of the will of
the people of Zimbabwe, so the election system must guarantee the secrecy of
the vote, the security of the vote and that of the voter,” he said.

“The problem with a polling station based voter’s roll is that it becomes
easy for those who want to mete violence against voters or voting
communities to do so with ease.”

A recent meeting of the regional SADC grouping urged the GPA parties to
speed up implementation of the reforms which include the writing of a

Once completed the constitution, which has also been delayed by bickering
between the parties, would be put to a referendum leading to the new

President Robert Mugabe had pressed for the elections to be held this year
arguing the coalition government was no longer workable.

But his rivals insisted the reforms must be completed first to ensure a
credible ballot.

SADC urged the parties to complete the reforms and hold new elections within
12 months.

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Stone-Broke Zimbabwe Earmarks $100 Million for Elections

02 July 2012

Chris Gande | Washington

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the unity government has
earmarked $100 million for the next general election that observers say
looks set to be held next year.

Biti told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the money came under
Harare's special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund to
mitigate the effects of the 2009 global financial crisis.

“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,” he said.

President Mugabe and hardliners in his Zanu PF party have been pushing for
elections this year, but he has since climbed down, preferring not to talk
about the issue since the Southern Africa Development Community, one of the
guarantors of the unity government, said fresh elections should only be
called after democratic reforms have been implemented.

Political analyst Effie Dlela Ncube, also director of the Matabeleland
Constitutional Reform Agenda, told VOA the money is not enough, considering
there a constitutional referendum has to be called before the elections.

"We need about $400 million to have a fair and credible election," he said.

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Judge Puts Brakes On Chombo's Purge

By Professor Matodzi Harare, July 03, 2012 - A Zimbabwean judge has put the
brakes on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister, Ignatius
Chombo’s spirited efforts to decimate Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC)-run councils after he upheld an urgent chamber application filed by
suspended Chinhoyi Mayor Claudius Nyamhondoro and councilor Owen Charuza.

Nyamhondoro’s lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Tawanda Zhuwarara lodged an
urgent chamber application last seeking to interdict Chombo and his three
member board of enquiry, chaired by one Mutevedzi from convening hearings
and make findings before the finalisation of another High Court case in
which Nyamhondoro is challenging his suspension from executing duties as
Mayor of Chinhoyi by the Local Government Minister.

High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou recently granted the final order
sought by Nyamhondoro’s lawyers suspending the disciplinary hearing or
inquiry into allegations of misconduct levelled against the Movement for
Democratic Change Mayor. Nyamhondoro and Charuza are each being charged with
three counts of misconduct, which they deny.

“The respondents shall forthwith suspend the enquiry which was commenced
against the applicants on 20 June 2012,” reads part of the order granted by
Justice Zhou.

The suspension of the disciplinary by the High Court is the second major
setback that Chombo has encountered inside one month after Justice Andrew
Mutema interdicted him from proceeding with an enquiry against Mutare Mayor
Brian James who was charged with 16 counts of misconduct. Chombo suspended
James in January 2012 citing allegations of misconduct.

Critics accuse Chombo of undermining the will of the people and waging an
onslaught on local government democracy through politically motivated
suspensions of democratically elected councillors and mayors as well as
partisan appointments.

Several Mayors and councillors from Chinhoyi, Bindura, Harare, Mutare,
Rusape and Gwanda in control of MDC-T or MDC-run councils have been fired or
suspended by Chombo on flimsy allegations of misconduct and

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Mutare Mayor tells workers they’re ‘undesirables’

By Tichaona Sibanda
03 July 2012

Several workers from the Mutare City Council have had their contracts
controversially terminated after the acting Mayor said they were

Lucia Mangoma, one of the workers who was laid off on Tuesday, told SW Radio
Africa that the Mayor simply told them they were no longer of use to the
council. The acting Mayor also accused the workers of insubordination.

‘When we tried to query his decision he told us he was exercising his powers
as boss and that there was nothing we could do about it. Also he’s being
insincere when he accuse us of insubordination because we’ve rarely seen him
since he took over.

‘The Mayor knows we were employed during the reign of the suspended Mayor
Brian James and so he believes we are his moles, working against him,’
Mangoma said. In all 35 employees were served with termination letters on

Acting Mayor George Jeryson was elected a councillor on an MDC-T ticket, but
is now suspected of working closely with ZANU PF Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo.

He’s one of five councilors who clandestinely met Chombo at his Mutare hotel
in February this year. That meeting culminated in Chombo suspending James as
the Mayor and replacing him with Jeryson.

Councillor Silas Rumhungwe, the Vice-Chairman of the general purpose
committee, told us the workers were being treated unfairly and has raised
the issue with the Town Clerk.

‘Unfortunately when the Mayor heard that I had approached the Town Clerk he
tried to intimidate me but I told him I was trying to protect the council as
the decision could easily backfire against them,’ Rumhungwe said.

MDC-T provincial spokesman Pishai Muchauraya told us that the workers, most
of them belonging to their party, were unfairly dismissed. He claimed that
Esau Mupfumi, a special interest councillor appointed by Chombo, was seen
Tuesday recruiting ZANU PF militia to replace these workers.

‘Jeryson was elected on an MDC-T ticket, so I don’t really know what has got
to his head. He is dismissing these workers for selfish reasons and going
against party principals of championing workers’ rights.

‘This is cause for concern for us and as a party we do not tolerate such
behavior from officials elected to those positions on an MDC-T ticket,’
Muchauraya said. The Makoni South MP said if the council did not reinstate
the workers ‘unconditionally’ they would be taken to court.

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9 WOZA activists arrested in Bulawayo

By Lance Guma
03 July 2012

Nine activists from the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) group were arrested
in Bulawayo on Monday evening while conducting their “occupy and demand the
draft constitution” campaign.

The women went around the suburbs painting messages on the roads like, “Fire
Chihuri (the partisan police commissioner); devolution for development; we
want separation of powers and we want education.”

Coordinator Magodonga Mahlangu told SW Radio Africa that the women were
arrested in two separate locations on the night and held at three different
police stations in the city, including Western Commonage.

On Tuesday all 9 women were transferred to Bulawayo Central Police Station.
Mahlangu said the lawyers were working on securing their first meal of the
day after police in the morning denied them access to breakfast.

Those arrested were: Vigilant Lunga, Violet Dube, Theresa Phiri, Catherine
Dhliwayo, Eunice Moyo, Mpikelelo Moyo, Sibongile Lumbile, Miriam Ngcebetsha
and Ottilia Dube.

Mahlangu told us the police took the women to the locations where the
protest messages had been painted on the roads and took pictures.

Last week over 100 WOZA members, including three minor children and three
breastfeeding mothers, were arrested and detained in Bulawayo. The group had
organized a series of protests to push for the release of the draft

The group said they are now using this “occupation style of protest to
demand their full right to peaceful protest, freedom of assembly and

A draft constitution for Zimbabwe is still to be finalized because the
political parties are squabbling over the details. This is despite an
outreach program where people were given the chance to air their views.

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Arrests but 2 women cannot be located at any police station, 7 denied breakfast

NINE Bulawayo members were arrested on the night of 2nd July 2012 and are
being held in custody at 3 different police stations. They were arrested in
2 separate incidents. This is part of the occupy and demand the draft
constitution campaign that WOZA have been conducting since May 2012.

The seven who are women arrested at 10pm spent the night at Western
Commonage police station but this morning they were loaded up into a police
van at 9am.

It seems the police officers have taken them to where the messages have been
painted in the road and are taking photographs. They are Vigilant Lunga,
Violet Dube, Theresa Phiri, Catherine Dhliwayo, Eunice Moy, Mpikelelo Moyo
and Sibongile Lumbile.

They were denied food this morning so have not eaten since last Night.

The two members arrested in Matshobana at 7pm are Miriam Ngcebetsha and
Ottilia Dube. Their whereabouts are not known and the support team is going
door to door at every police station looking for them.

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Mnangagwa ‘alarmed’ by decision to disband DCC’s

By Tichaona Sibanda
03 July 2012

Defence Minister and ZANU PF strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa was reportedly
left stunned by the politburo’s unprecedented decision to disband the party’s
District Coordination Committees.

The decision to ditch the grassroots structures was made in Mnangagwa’s
absence, as he was reportedly on a working visit to China.

A highly placed source told SW Radio Africa that Mnangagwa’s rivals in the
highest decision making body of the party took advantage of his absence. It
is believed the Defence Minister was not consulted and had no input in the
decision to dissolve the DCC’s, a situation his close aides say is

The politburo also had evidence that Mnangagwa used his influence and money
to impose candidates on the electorate. His supporters argue that he’s not
the only one to breach these rules as most senior members in the party were
also guilty of using cash and influence to sway voters.

The party has in the last two months been divided into two distinct factions
following the controversial DCC elections in May. It is understood that ZANU
PF is clearly split between the Joice Mujuru brigade and the Mnangagwa

Since the elections Mnangagwa and Mujuru have intensified their fierce
battle to succeed Robert Mugabe as the party leader and possibly president.
The source told us Mnangagwa plans to table discussion on the DCC’s in the
next politburo meeting.

Mnangagwa’s right hand man Owen Ncube, popularly known as ‘Mudha’, has told
close friends the defence minister was left shocked by the decision and saw
it as vendetta being waged against him by his rivals.

Mudha, who refers to Mnangagwa as ‘ED’ (short for Emmerson Dambudzo, his
first names) has also told pals the 66 year-old politician is considering
appealing the decision.

‘Mnangagwa’s camp is bitter; the guys are not taking it lightly; they think
the decision will be reversed since it was passed when ED was away in China.
But in the absence of a reversal ZANU PF must kiss any activism on the
ground good bye,’ our source said.

The politburo decision came as a major blow to Mnangagwa because the camp
supporting his bid to succeed Mugabe seized control of all the provinces
after it won most of the DCC elections. Webster Shamu, the ZANU PF secretary
for the commissariat, later nullified the results.

Shamu alleged the electoral process was marred by irregularities. But
analysts believe the real reason behind the nullification of results and
dissolution of the structures was to weaken Mnangagwa in the on-going tussle
to succession that is tearing apart the former ruling party.

Although Mnangagwa is vying for the top party post ZANU PF does not believe
that he appeals to the people. He was twice trounced by the MDC-T’s Blessing
Chebundo in the KweKwe parliamentary elections. Most people in ZANU PF
believe that close rival Vice-President Mujuru stands a better chance in a
national election than Mnangagwa.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the party’s decision to disband the
DCC’s has given a new lease of life to Mujuru’s faction which had suffered
setbacks in most provinces during the recent restructuring exercise.

‘I think ZANU PF has realised that Mnangagwa stands no chance at all against
Morgan Tsvangirai in a presidential poll. If Mnangagwa lost in two
successive parliamentary elections against the MDC-T’s Chebundo, then God
knows what will happen against a formidable Tsvangirai, who has beaten
Mugabe in a poll before,’ our source added.

Political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba said the move by the politburo to take
such a bold decision in Mnangagwa’s absence shows his influence in the party
is on the decline.

‘Mnangagwa is no longer a key man in ZANU PF and the fact that his rivals
were able to gang up against him in the meeting to push for the disbandment
of the DCCs shows his relevance is fast waning within the party. I don’t
think that in the past such a decision would have been possible in his
absence,’ Shumba said.

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Zanu PF to explain on its DCC woes

By Staff Reporter 1 hour ago

HARARE - The beleaguered former ruling party Zanu PF says it has set up a
team that will soon be dispatched to all provinces to explain the disbanding
of District Coordinating Committees (DCC) and the way forward.

Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo said his party
has selected Didymus " Diesel" Mutasa to lead the team that is expected to
visit all provinces to explain the decision taken by the party to disband

He said Mutasa and his team are expected to clear the air on why the Zanu PF
Central Committee made the decision which he said is meant to weed out
factionalism which had become the major threat to the party ahead of

“No one emerged a winner or is a winner but the party is the winner. Power
struggles for succession had become a problem and DCCs were being
manipulated to fuel that, hence the President dissolved them, and Mutasa
will carry the message to the people about the way forward,” said Gumbo.

On Friday last week, the Zanu PF Central Committee made a decision to
disband DCCs after identifying them as contributing to fueling factionalism
within the party.

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,’
Mutandiri said.

A Harare based political commentator told us that the decision to disband
the DCC’s was aimed at curtailing Mnangagwa’s ascendency following the
disputed polls.

‘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
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.

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Ministers accused of US$15k allowance swindle

02/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

SEVERAL ministers illegally helped themselves to the US$15,000 payments in
back-dated Parliamentary sitting allowances while scores of MPs were also
paid for sessions they never attended, it has emerged.

The allowances covered the three-year period from 2008 to 2011 and were paid
at the rate of US$75 per day. But Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma
confirmed that cabinet ministers were not supposed to have taken the money.

“Ministers are not entitled to Parliamentary sitting allowances because
their salaries and allowances are catered for in their ministries even for
their Parliamentary business,” he said.

According to The Herald, Ministers who took the payments include Walter
Mzembi (Tourism and Hospitality Industry), Douglas Mombeshora (Health and
Child Welfare Deputy Minister), Walter Chidhakwa (State Enterprises and
Parastatals deputy minister), David Coltart (Education, Sport, Arts and
Culture) as well as Higher and Tertiary Education Deputy Minister Lutho

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti also benefitted from the funds along with
Elton Mangoma (Energy and Power Development), Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (Water
Resources Development and Management), Lucia Matibenga (Public Service),
Tapiwa Mashakada (Economic Planning and Investment Promotion), Theresa
Makone (Home Affairs) and Giles Mutsekwa (National Housing and Social

Others include Eric Matinenga (Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs),
Heneri Dzinotyiwei (Science and Technology), Jameson Timba (Prime Minister’s
Office), Paurina Mpariwa (Labour and Social Welfare) and the late Public
Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

The scandal may have cost government up to US$1 million after Treasury
officials also failed to make sure that the MPs were only paid for the
sessions they actually attended.

“To start with, any payments should have been premised on the number of
sittings each legislator had, for a lump sum to be paid without regard to
the number of sittings boggles the mind because that should never have been
done,”Zvoma said.

“Any payments for Parliamentary business should have been done through
Parliament. This was a violation of the rules, which resulted in
mismanagement of public funds.

“However, it will be difficult to recover the money from ministers because
they don’t claim anything from Parliament, while for the deceased and those
who were expelled . . . the onus should be on those who gave them the money
to recover it.”

Matinga said his Ministry had nothing to do with the payments.

“My ministry had nothing to do with those allowances except to disburse the
money,” he said.

“As for the ministers who benefited from the allowances, I can’t comment
because that was handled by the Office of the President and Cabinet.”

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Chinese firm lays off 200 workers

Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 10:59

HARARE - A Chinese firm that built a $98million Defence College in Mazowe
has laid off more than 200 employees without any severance or notice.

Chinese firm Afecc, which built the college — dubbed the Robert Mugabe
School of Intelligence — advised its more than 200 employees around 5pm on
April 15, it was their last day.

There was no apology for the short notice, and workers were too stunned to
pack up their belongings, with some picketing the college.

They were ejected from the site by soldiers, and took refuge at an adjacent
farm owned by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Kombo Moyana. They
are still camped there, demanding their cash.

The workers have been fighting the Chinese firm through the National
Employment Council (Nec). The Nec has been paralysed with fear to tackle the
Chinese firm, and told the workers last week their only recourse was to
approach the ministry of Defence.

The sacked workers want to sue Afecc, demanding severance package, holiday
pay, leave pay and other benefits but have no money to pay lawyers.

The workers say they were underpaid by the Chinese firm, earning a paltry $4
a day against a stipulated minimum of $1,27 per hour.

“We have not received our final pay cheque, that’s all we want,” said one
laid off worker who declined to be named fearing victimisation.

The workers are struggling to deal with the trauma of the mass layoff.

The jettisoned employees are now destitute and have no money to fund the

One of the laid-off workers told the Daily News yesterday he has moved in
with his in-laws and is picking up freelance jobs while chasing down his
severance pay.

A spokesperson for Afecc, only identified as Bruce, declined to comment on
the severance packages, referring the Daily News to the Zimbabwe Defence
Forces, which requested for written questions.

While alleged breaches of the Labour Relations Act and related laws by the
Chinese firms are not tracked on a national level, employment lawyers across
the country say they have seen a marked jump in complaints.

Even if a company files for bankruptcy, it still needs to give notice in the
event of mass layoffs.

Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa told Parliament last year that the
Chinese firm channelled $98 million towards construction of the so-called
Robert Mugabe School of Intelligence — which will act as a think tank for
providing research on military, defence and national security for the
National Security Council, ministry of Defence and other government

Construction of the College underlines China’s growing foothold on Zimbabwe,
where it is also exploiting diamonds and chrome.

The Robert Mugabe School of Intelligence is touted as the largest such
institution in Sadc.

Despite the attendant labour issues, there have been questions whether the
country needs to reinforce security when it is not under threat of war and
at a time when there are more pressing and competing interests such as
HIV/Aids treatment, food, education and health crises.

The imposing intelligence facility is conspicuous from the Mazowe Road and
is adjacent to a massive farming operation run by Moyana.

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Diplomats want transparency in Marange

Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 11:39

HARARE - Western diplomats have urged government to clarify issues related
to ownership, taxes and revenue from the Marange diamond miners.

A contingent of foreign diplomats were last week given a guided tour of the
Chinese-owned Anjin operations, Marange Resources; and Arda Transau, a
settlement where villagers ejected from the diamond fields were resettled
about 330 kilometres southeast of Harare.

The tour was the latest public relations offensive by a government grappling
to head off allegations by rights groups that there were violations of human
rights by security forces who allegedly use deadly force to push out illegal

It was the first visit by the foreign diplomats to the heavily-protected
Marange diamond fields, and the delegation included ambassadors from
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain
and the Netherlands. The delegation was led by EU ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia.

Describing the operations as “professional”, the diplomats said it was
important that the diamond industry benefits the development of Zimbabwe as
a whole.

“Visiting certain parts of Marange Resources and Anjin has been
interesting,” the Dutch embassy said in a statement after the tour.

“Based on what we have seen, these organisations run professional
operations. However, given all the speculation about the industry, these
companies should prioritise clarification on issues related to ownership,
taxes and revenue.”

Dell’Ariccia said: “We note that there is a problem of transparency in the
diamond mining sector’s revenues, which is reflected in the positions that
the Zimbabwe minister of Finance has expressed publicly.”

Munyaradzi Machacha, a director at Anjin reportedly disputed Finance
minister Tendai Biti’s claims that Treasury has not received any revenue
from Anjin.

“We have contributed $30 million to the fiscus through royalties because an
average price of a single carat is $60 and not $1 500 as projected by the
minister of Finance Tendai Biti,” Machacha told the envoys.

“Biti should be man enough to tell the world that he made a mistake in his
budget presentation on revenue coming from diamond sales as figures he
projected an amount way off the mark.”

International rights group Global Witness said in a damning report this week
that it has received copies of receipts from Anjin for payments to other
government bodies but not the tax collector Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

“We conclude that the Finance minister’s claim (that money from Anjin is not
being remitted to Treasury) is plausible,” Global Witness said.

“This leaves two possibilities: That Anjin has used revenues earned so far
to recoup significant capital expenditure, or that revenues have been
diverted to the company’s part owners in the military and police.”

Anjin is a large diamond mining company which claims to have pumped $400
million into the Marange operations, which it says its yet to recoup. It
claims to be the world’s largest, and industry observers say in terms of
size, Anjin could be “the next De Beers”.

The other operation toured by the foreign diplomats was Marange Resources,
whose concession was taken over from Canadile soon after its collapse.

Marange Resources (Pvt) Ltd is wholly-owned by the parastatal Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

Its chairperson is retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, head of Zimbabwe Defence

More recent concessions include Sino Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd; Diamond
Mining Corporation, a joint venture between the ZMDC and Pure Diam, a
company registered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Anjin Investments
(Pvt) Ltd.

All the diamond mining operations use up-to-date technology, with modern
security protocols.

But there are fears significant sums of money are flowing to the Zimbabwean
security forces, according to Global Witness.

The Dutch embassy said it was encouraging that Zimbabwe signed and ratified
the African Union Convention against Corruption which can go a long way in
improving transparency, accountability and integrity in the extractive

“The challenge is to domesticate the provisions so that they become law in
Zimbabwe,” the Dutch embassy said.

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Concern for Zim activist facing second UK deportation attempt

By Alex Bell
03 July 2012

Concern has once again been raised for the safety of a UK based Zimbabwean
activist, facing a second deportation threat by the British authorities this

Nottingham based Trevor Chanetsa is set to be forcibly removed Wednesday
night on a Kenya Airways flight from London’s Heathrow Airport. He insists
that as an activist who openly opposes ZANU PF he faces serious danger if he
is returned to Zimbabwe.

Chanetsa arrived in the UK in 2002 and has been trying to secure asylum ever
since. In May this year he was arrested during his routine reporting as an
asylum seeker to the UK Border Agency and detained for two weeks. He only
escaped deportation following the last minute intervention by his

Chanetsa told SW Radio Africa last month that he believed he was being
deliberately targeted because his Zimbabwean passport was about to expire.
He accused the UK authorities of fast tracking his case deliberately, to
ensure his deportation before his passport expired.

One of Trevor’s supporters is Regis Manyanya, from the Nottingham Zimbabwean
Community Network. Manyanya told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that this
“victimisation” is now continuing.

“This is victimisation because it is not safe to return to Zimbabwe
especially towards forth coming elections. The British government talks
about human rights and equal rights and condemnation of violence so why do
they want to deport this young man who will obviously be targeted on his
return to Zimbabwe as he is an activist and strong member of the MDC party,”
Manyanya said.

He added that the authorities are fast tracking Chanetsa’s case because of a
key legal development late last month, which saw the latest country guidance
case laws on Zimbabwe overturned. The laws, set down in a judgement last
year, significantly narrowed the definitions under which Zimbabweans could
apply for asylum in the UK.

That case was quashed last month in what was described as a ‘victory’ for
Zim asylum seekers. But it is understood the decision is being appealed, and
Manyanya said Tuesday that Chanetsa is being targeted because of this.

“The case has an impact on Trevor’s asylum case so it appears that they (the
UK authorities) are trying to deport him as soon as possible while the
country guidance issue is being appealed,” Manyanya said.

The public is now being urged to try and delay Chanetsa’s Kenya Airways
flight, by urging the airline not to take part in the unwilling, forced
removal of a human rights activist.

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The MDC Today - Issue 387

Tuesday, 03 July 2012

Gokwe - 5 MDC activists who were facing charges of political violence were
acquitted by Gokwe magistrates’ court yesterday.

Chirisa Chibharo,Stania Nzamba, Shadreck Kana, Vavarirai Moyo and Sallas
Mangwiro were accused of torching the house Chief Madzivazvido of
Gokwe-Kabuyuni during the 2008 election.

The court freed the accused after the witnesses said they did not see any of
the accused at the scene of the crime during the cross examination.

The witnesses Farai Kurova and Chamunorwa who are Zanu PF supporters said
the accused were arrested on false charges since they are well known MDC
party activists from Kabuyuni.

In another development, the MDC Harare East district deputy Organising
Secretary, Collin Chanza Chavengwa lost stock and electrical gadgets at his
shop in Msasa to Zanu PF thugs recently.

Zanu PF’s Sylvester Nguni and his manager, Lloyd Mukewa have been pointed as
the chief culprits who instigated the attacks. “Nguni and his administration
wanted me out of the shop where I run a small take-away and a hardware shop.
The matter spilled into the courts and I won the case. They have even
threatened to evict residents of Mukandabhutsu in Msasa saying they are MDC
activists. Prior to the attack, the manager had brought what they called an
eviction order but the court reversed that. They then salvaged my shop and
looted goods and cash,” said Chavengwa.

The matter was reported at Rhodesville Police Camp, RRB number 1309177-12
but no arrests have been made yet.

The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!

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Bill Watch - Parliamentary Committees Series - 2nd July 2012 [Meetings Open to the Public: 2-5 July]



[2nd July 2012]

Committee Meetings Open to the Public 2nd to 5th July

NB: Members of the public who cannot attend meetings, including Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, can at any time send written submissions to committees by email addressed to to

Thematic Committee and Portfolio Committees will meet this week, in both open and closed session. The meetings listed below will be open to the public as observers only, not as participants, i.e. members of the public can listen but not speak. The meetings will be held at Parliament in Harare. If attending, please use the entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets and note that IDs must be produced.

This bulletin is based on the latest information from Parliament. But, as there are sometimes last-minute changes to the schedule, persons wishing to attend a meeting should avoid disappointment by checking with the committee clerk [see below] that the meeting is still on and open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252936.

Monday 2nd July at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Mines and Energy

Oral evidence from the Chamber of Mines on operations, challenges and production figures in the gold sector

Senate Chamber

Chairperson: Hon Chindori-Chininga Clerk: Mrs Mataruka

Thursday 5th July at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Media, Information and Communication Technology

Oral evidence from Econet on its operations

Committee Room No. 413

Chairperson: Hon Chikwinya Clerk: Mr Mutyambizi

Note: Other Portfolio Committees and Thematic Committees will also be meeting during the week, but in closed session to attend to such matters as deliberating on oral evidence received at previous meetings; considering draft reports; reviewing work plans; and preparing for forthcoming fact-finding visits.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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Bill Watch 29/2012 of 2nd July [Indigenisation Rules for Finance and Education Sectors and 7 Other Sectors]

BILL WATCH 29/2012

[2nd July 2012]

Indigenisation Rules for Finance and Education Sectors and 7 Other Sectors

General Notice 280/2012

[available from]

In General Notice [GN] 280/2, gazetted on Friday 29th June, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment,

citing sections 5(4) and 5A(4) of the Indigenisation and Empowerment (General) Regulations as amended as its enabling legal framework [Note: the legality of sections of these regulations has been questioned], lays down rules for the implementation of indigenisation in the nine sectors outlined below:

1. Finance, covering “all financial institutions”

2. Tourism

3. Education and Sport

4. Arts, Entertainment and Culture

5. Engineering and Construction

6. Energy

7. Services

8. Telecommunications

9. Transport and Motor Industry.

The Schedule to the GN has nine numbered Parts, one for each of the affected sectors. All but the Finance sector are broken down into sub-sectors. Each Part lays down in tabular form the following requirements for the sector or sub-sectors concerned:

· the minimum net asset value above which a business is required to comply with the principal regulations [in some cases only $1,00]

· for a few sub-sectors, a quota for indigenous Zimbabwean shareholding that is less than 51%

· the maximum period a business may continue to operate before it attains the relevant indigenisation and empowerment quota [in all cases this is set at only 1 year]

There are no definitions for any of the terms used to describe the sectors or sub-sectors.


Like last year’s GN 114/2011 referring to mining sector indigenisation, this GN is likely to be criticised as ultra vires and invalid, void for vagueness, and perhaps unconstitutional by legal practitioners. It is also likely to attract an adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

It remains to be seen whether affected businesses will institute court cases test to the legality of the GN.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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Zimbabwe’s debt problem - a ticking time bomb

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 3rd July 2012.

Zimbabwe’s ever growing debt problem, if left unresolved soon, is arguably a
ticking time bomb that could trigger civil strife and instability in the not
so distant future.

While RBZ Governor Gideon Gono commented in May that Zimbabwe’s external
debt overhang estimated at over US$8 billion “has become a serious
developmental constraint for the economy since the turn of the century,”
there is no agreement on solutions.

How much debt Zimbabwe owes is unclear because no reconciliation of owed
amounts has yet been made with creditors. According to the Jubilee Debt
Campaign, the IMF and the World Bank estimate the country’s external debt to
be around 120 percent of national income.

That tallies with a comment by deputy premier Arthur Mutambara in July last
year that Zimbabwe “is practically broke” with the national debt now
outstripping the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“If you owe someone US$7 billion and your GDP is US$7 billion then you do
not have any money,” said the robotics professor before adding, “We are
heavily borrowed and we do not have a GDP to talk about.”

Anyone who has been following events in both developing and developed
countries including the Eurozone would be concerned about the implications
of Zimbabwe’s debt problem.

One surest thing about loans is that the creditors including Mugabe’s “all
weather friend” China will demand settlement one way or another especially
for that US$200 million on which Zimbabwe has reportedly defaulted.

Another matter of concern is the government’s resort to utilising IMF’s
US$100 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for elections which Zanu-pf
hardliners want soon as if the country is in a state of emergency.

One of the criticisms of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights is their very low
rate of interest, just 1.5 per cent.

It is feared this might induce deficit countries (like Zimbabwe) to use
their SDRs in preference to other reserve assets to finance their deficits,
according to S. Nirav in “Critical Appraisal of Special Drawing Rights
Policy of IMF” ( accessed 02/07/12).

In any case, should we be using emergency reserves for elections when the
country’s debt burden is ticking like a time bomb? Although Mugabe
expressed his wish to live to 100, he might not be in office then to
experience the social and political upheavals.

What is odd about this whole issue is that in April 2011, Zanu-pf turned
down an offer by the United Nations to fund and supervise elections,
accusing the UN of taking the wrong side in the Ivory Coast conflict.

According to media reports, the UNDP approached Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa with the offer, but Zanu-pf hardliners rejected it, while party
Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo said Zanu-pf would not allow funding of elections
by the European Union.

It could be argued that if there was no secret financing of a parallel
regime by a foreign tycoon to the tune of US$100 million plus 200 pick up
trucks to the CIO in exchange for diamonds, Zimbabwe would be able to fund
elections and any major programmes.

However, hopes of financial discipline were dashed when the Zanu-pf leader
Robert Mugabe reportedly left on Monday for another ‘private’ visit to
Singapore, estimated to cost US$3 million, a big dent on the peppercorn
budget as this is possibly his 13th such trip since he started in December

Before considering options for settling Zimbabwe’s debt problem, it is
important to deconstruct what the debts were secured for and why the present
and future generations should pay for what are believed to be toxic loans
which allegedly funded political oppression and impoverishment.

It is therefore this paper’s position that a debt audit be carried out first
if the creditors insist on it being repaid. The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt
and Development deserves support in its advocacy for an audit to expose
those dodgy deals involving arms exports and projects which caused human
rights abuses and environmental destruction.

Ecuador’s debt audit in 2008 found that a large proportion of the country’s
external debt had been contracted illegally or illegitimately. As a result,
Ecuador renegotiated its debt, with 65-70 % effectively written off (see, accessed 03/07/12).

For the sake of transparency, no creditor and indeed debtor should be averse
to an audit. It’s worth noting that not all western countries resist debt
audits. In 2009 Norway pledged to become the first lender to commit to an
official audit of the debts it is owed.

Zimbabwe’s coalition government has a choice to make – between complacency
and going for a debt audit, without which the country could be sleep-walking
into an uncertain and very unstable future.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,

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