The High Court found Joseph Chani, 51, a former police chief superintendent, guilty of murdering the illegal diamond panner in Zimbabwe's Marange fields and the assault of three others.
Prosecutors said Chani, who retired from the police force during his trial, beat Tsorotsai Kusena, 37, with clubs, leading to his death in September 2011.
Judge Hlekani Mwayera said the police officer would also serve three years concurrently for the assault of the three other panners.
Junior police officers and soldiers who guard the fields gave evidence during the trial about how Chani had assaulted the small-scale miners.
The Marange fields have been at the centre of a years-long controversy over alleged abuses by President Robert Mugabe's army, and the Kimberley Process once suspended exports from there.
But last year the international watchdog cleared Zimbabwe to export from Marange, the site of one of Africa's biggest diamond finds in recent years.
Rights groups have alleged gross human rights violations in the Marange fields, when the Zimbabwean army cleared small-scale miners from the area in late 2008.
Human Rights Watch says more than 200 people were killed in the operation.
By Tichaona Sibanda
06 July 2012
There were scenes of jubilation in Mutare on Thursday when a senior police
officer was sentenced to 21 years in jail for murdering a diamond panner in
As soon as word went around that Joseph Chani, the 51 year-old former Chief
Superintendent, had been convicted and sent to jail, a lot of residents in
the eastern border City could not contain their joy and elation.
The former ZANLA war vet was not only despised by the residents for his
brutality, but by his own colleagues in the police force and soldiers based
Although he was the officer-commanding Mutare district, Chani had no respect
for authority, especially towards his commanding officer in Manicaland
province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Munorwei Shava Mathuthu.
Transferred to Mutare on a special assignment to stop the smuggling of
diamonds from the Marange diamond fields, Chani thereafter assumed so much
power that he became untouchable.
A Mutare based journalist told SW Radio Africa that Chani became such a
powerful figure that even the Governor Christopher Mushowe, and both ZANU PF
and MDC-T legislators, were scared to cross his path.
‘He used to physically assault police officers and soldiers who held junior
positions to his if he suspected them of dealing in diamonds. He harassed
vendors he thought were smugglers and residents were scared of him. No one
dared cross his path and he didn’t see eye to eye with his commanding
officer,’ the journalist said.
There are allegations that in one week Chani was involved in the killing of
15 suspected diamond smugglers along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. These
allegations have never been investigated although the police are aware of
‘It’s believed the evidence is there because he used his service pistol to
shoot most of the victims and if forensics were to be carried out, he would
be fingered as the culprit. The reason why the police didn’t block his
murder case was that there was so much overwhelming evidence lodged against
him by members of the public.’
His troubles started in September last year when he brutally assaulted four
family members in police holding cells after they were arrested on
allegations of illegal diamond panning.
The brutal beatings led to the death of Tsorosai Kusena and the other three
complainants, Pikirai Kusena, Onesai Kusena and John Gwite, testified that
they still felt pain due to the torture.
‘Usually when police officers commit such crimes they go to great lengths to
cover their deeds, including covering up for each other. But in this case,
almost every police officer wanted to testify against him and all were
unwilling to sweep the incident under the carpet,’ the journalist, who asked
not to be identified, said.
When passing sentence on Thursday Justice Hlekani Mwayera said Chani had
abused his office and tainted the image of the police force.
‘The accused became a menace and a law unto himself at the diamond base.
This has tarnished the image of the police force and society loses
confidence in police with such conduct.
‘He also abused his position of authority considering how he uncontrollably
assaulted the complainants,’ the judge said.
July 6 2012 at 05:00am
Zimbabwe’s central bank governor, Gideon Gono, warned the government
yesterday against its planned seizure of majority stakes in foreign-owned
banks, saying the move breached the country’s own banking laws.
“There is no law that provides for arbitrariness on the part of anyone
and/or expropriation of banking assets in Zimbabwe yesterday, today or
tomorrow,” Gono said.
In a government notice made public this week, Indigenisation Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere gave foreign banks and other companies a year to cede a
51 percent stake to locals, as required under current laws.
“I will soon be consulting with and obtaining further guidance from…
President Robert Mugabe on the latest moves by the minister in relation to
the sector that I superintend, the banking sector,” Gono said.
Mugabe’s “instructions will be final in the manner in which we will proceed”,
In 2007 Zimbabwe enacted a law that forces all foreign-owned companies to
hand over a majority stake of at least 51 percent to local people.
The law has forced mining firms, including Impala Platinum subsidiary
Zimplats, to submit schedules on how they will surrender majority shares.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a partner with Mugabe in the power-sharing
government, has dismissed the ultimatum on the banks as illegal and a threat
to the ailing economy’s recovery prospects.
Gono said Zimbabweans wishing to set up banks should apply “and we will give
them a licence to join the sector at 100 percent ownership (rather) than
waste money in taking over other people’s banks”.
The latest notice, aside from banks, also covers schools, universities,
hotels and telecommunications firms.
Written by Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Friday, 06 July 2012 15:04
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe is likely to side with Indeginisation
minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s decision to grab shareholding in foreign-owned
banks, presidential spokesperson George Charamba has said.
Charamba’s comments come after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono
launched a scathing attack on Kasukuwere saying the bank takeovers were
But Charamba told the Daily News yesterday that Gono and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai should explain why they had become spokespersons of
foreign shareholders regarding the ceding of a mandatory 51 percent under
the country’s indigenisation law.
Tsvangirai and Gono lambasted Kasukuwere’s drive to expropriate shareholding
in banks such as Barclays and Standard Chartered.
Charamba said: “The media has not asked these two (Gono and Tsvangirai) why
they are speaking on behalf of foreigners. I can almost predict the
President’s response to this. He will dismiss this false conflict with the
contempt it deserves,” Charamba said.
Kasukuwere says Gono and Tsvangirai are offside because he is targeting
shareholders, declaring: “The banking sector must not be treated as a sacred
Charamba said Mugabe shared Kasukuwere’s stance.
“The indeginisation issue is a matter between the government and foreign
shareholders,” Charamba said.
“The technocrat (Gono) should speak to Finance minister Tendai Biti, who
will then discuss this issue with the President. If dialogue does not fix
this, then it goes to Cabinet,” he said.
Charamba said Tsvangirai should be better informed.
“If the PM has a problem with a particular policy he should use the right
channels not the media or speak through a spokesperson,” Charamba said.
Gono this week hit Kasukuwere hard saying the minister was least qualified
to talk about banks since he was part of the shareholders who presided over
the collapse of Genesis Bank.
By Alex Bell
06 July 2012
Robert Mugabe may still be pushing for a general election in Zimbabwe to
happen as soon as possible, but the ageing ZANU PF leader has insisted there
is no money for the country to hold critical by-elections.
This was revealed in the Supreme Court this week, where judgement was
reserved on an appeal of a ruling ordering Mugabe to call for by-elections
in three constituencies.
The case was launched by MPs Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman
Mpofu after they were fired as MPs for Nkayi South, Lupane East and Bulilima
East by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC. This followed accusations that they were
siding with the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MPs then petitioned the High Court to direct the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC), its chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi and Mugabe
to facilitate the by-elections. The matter was presided over by Justice
Nicholas Ndou last year who ordered the by-election process to begin without
delay. Ndou dismissed the case against ZEC and Sekeremayi, but upheld the
case against Mugabe, ruling that according to the Constitution Mugabe had
the power to call for the constituency elections.
The decision was appealed with the Mugabe legal team insisting there isn’t
money to have by-elections in all the constituencies where there is a
vacancy, with 38 seats across the country still empty. ZANU PF Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said the government is too broke to afford
the estimated US$38 million needed for the by-elections for the 38
Representing the President at the Supreme Court this Thursday, Advocate Ray
Goba said Justice Ndou ‘misdirected’ himself when he failed to consider
“In his affidavit, he (Mugabe) said everyone was fully aware of the economic
situation prevailing in Zimbabwe since 2008 and that because of the illegal
sanctions imposed on the country, the government did not have any money,”
Goba said on behalf of Mugabe.
He added: “For this reason, it is not possible to hold by-elections and as
soon as funds permit they shall be held.”
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF’s
reluctance to hold by-elections is a sign of their insecurity, because of
how the balance of power will shift in Parliament if the constituency vote
is allowed now.
“If a by-election is called, even just in these three constituencies, then
the MDC-T will likely gain three more seats and ZANU PF is not willing to
allow that,” Makumbe said.
He added: “Support for ZANU PF has declined notably, to the extent that they
have had to dissolve their District Coordinating Committees because of
factionalism and declining support at grassroots levels. So they are
petrified about any by-election anywhere in the country.”
WOZA women spent 48 hours in the hell hole that is Bulawayo central police
station cells. During that time the police hid two of them away in an office
denying access to them. Police officers lied that they had rushed Sibongile
Lumbile to hospital, instead they ignored her breathing problems and made
her sit hidden away in an office thereby denying her access to food for the
night. Food has to be brought in by the support team as the police arrest
people whom they cannot feed.
The activists had an extra day in custody due to the police homicide
department refusing to accept the case and process the activists for court.
The excuse - WOZA can only be dealt with by the notorious Law and Order
department! Police in this unit are plain clothed intelligence officers who
target opposition voices in Zimbabwe.
Officers in this department have pursued WOZA and its leaders on political
orders as if WOZA is a public enemy rather than a women's movement
peacefully fighting for social justice.
These are just some of the reasons one of the messages painted on the roads
reads 'Fire Chihuri' - he is the police commissioner appointed by the
President and leads a partisan police force.
Judge for yourself but send us your views or questions regarding this! To
help you here are the messages reflected in the police docket put in court
papers. The police are accusing the ladies of writing the following messages
on the main roads:
Sibongile Lumbile accused of writing 'DEVOLUTION'. Catherine, Violet and
Vigilant accused of writing 'DEVOLUTION OF POWER' Mpikelelo, Eunice and
Teresia accused of writing 'NO TO DEATH PENALTY' Miriam and Ottilia accused
of writing 'No to snap elections and Go and register to vote'
WOZA would like to also acknowledge the hundreds of members who participated
in the Monday write-in of messages all over the western suburbs of Bulawayo
and Harare. These are some of their messages they wrote: Free + safe
streets/ Freedom of peaceful protest/ We want Separation of powers/ Gender
equality /Free primary school education/ Devolution for development /No to
death penalty /Women demand equal pay/ Women demand Protection from
violence/ Informal trade + licenses/ Young President 2 terms/ Fire Chihuri/
Fire AG Tomana /Fire Mudede /Referendum first /Boycott snap election/
Resources for development /Remove militia /Refugees in our own country
Written by Tonderai Kwenda, Investigations Editor
Friday, 06 July 2012 15:02
HARARE - Troubled national airline Air Zimbabwe was on Wednesday grounded
yet again, this time not because of an industrial action by workers but
Its two Boeing 737 aircrafts and one Boeing 767 plane currently plying
domestic routes and servicing President Robert Mugabe’s overseas trips are
left with very few flying hours, informed sources at the airline have told
the Daily News.
One of the two Boeing 737’s flying hours lapsed on June 28 and has been put
in the hangar for the required extensive technical checks known as
Corrosion-Check or C-Check.
The other two’s flying hours will lapse in the next few weeks, sources say.
Old problems such as prolonged labour disputes are coming back to haunt Air
“The problem is this C-Check cannot be done without workers because it
requires a good number of people to work on it,” a source told the Daily
At the time of writing, sources said one of the Boeing 737 planes was left
with just under 10 hours of flying time while the Being 767 aircraft is left
with just under 30 hours of flying time.
The mandatory C-Check routines are periodic inspections that have to be done
on all commercial/civil aircraft after approximately every 15–21 months or a
specific amount of actual flight hours (FH) as defined by the manufacturer
of the aircraft.
This maintenance check is much more extensive as pretty much the whole
aircraft is inspected.
This check puts the aircraft out of service and unless it is completed, the
aircraft must not leave the maintenance site. It is also usually done in a
hangar at a maintenance base.
The time needed to complete such a check is generally one to two weeks and
the work involved can require up to 6 000 man-hours.
The Boeing 737 aircraft, which last went through a C-Check last July, needs
three weeks of work to complete the procedure which involves the dismantling
of the whole aircraft.
Air Zimbabwe will have to recall some of its legion of restive workers to do
the C-Check as it requires a huge number of technicians and engineers to
carry out the task.
The workers, who have been on strike for several months, particularly the
engineers, have been reluctant to return to work before receiving their
As a result, Air Zimbabwe management was last week forced to pay half of the
salaries owed to engineers to lure them back to work.
Furthermore, the procedure will set back the struggling national airline
$400 000 in costs on each aircraft.
Permanent secretary in the ministry of Transport Patson Mbiriri was
dispatched to the airline’s headquarters on Tuesday to have a first-hand
appreciation of the latest crisis.
The C-Check could have been done earlier but was abandoned when engineers
went on strike last year.
The latest turn of events comes as Air Zimbabwe has just been handed a
90-day ultimatum by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) to
comply with global safety standards or face a ban from using international
airports and air spaces of other countries.
The warning was issued after the troubled national carrier failed to carry
out a mandatory audit.
Air Zimbabwe also risks being struck off the register if it fails to comply
with international safety standards in three months which means it will be
unable to take up to world skies as its continued operations would endanger
Iata is a global aviation body that works with airline members and the air
transport industry to promote safe, reliable, secure and economic air travel
for the benefit of world travellers.
Although the airline recently took delivery of a new generation Airbus and
is in the process of receiving a second one, it cannot fly the aircraft
because of registration issues.
The plane has been in the hangar at the Harare International Airport since
its arrival from France.
Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga refused to speak on
“I cannot comment on that matter,” he said.
Shingai Taruvinga, Air Zimbabwe’s public relations manager had also not
responded to questions sent to her by last night.
An official at Air Zimbabwe said one of the Boeing 737 planes which has been
on C-Check will be out of the hangar today ready to fly.
Nompumelelo Moyo Bulawayo, July 06, 2012- Zimbabwe Diamond mining companies
have so far not yet expressed interest in exhibiting at the annual Mine
Entra 2012 scheduled to run from July 25 to 27 at Zimbabwe International
Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in Bulawayo.
In an interview with Radio Voice of the People, ZITF general manager, Daniel
Chigaru, said: “We have no diamond mining company that has enquired or is
exhibiting to date, may be in the next three weeks that we are left with,
they will come and we are still working with THE Ministry of Mines and
Mining Development in partnership with Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe on who is
going to officially open Mine Entra on the 26th of this month.”
The show is set to provide a platform for networking, exchange of ideas and
deal making and to date the exhibition looks likely to surpass the 1997
edition, where the company recorded the highest ever number of exhibitors
and amount of space taken.
Diamond revenues in Zimbabwe remain unclear with Finance Minister Tendai
Biti, claiming that the four mines were not declaring everything.
Controversy in the mining of diamond in the country was heightened with the
recent announcement that mining licenses will be issued to uniformed forces,
raising fears that revenues may be used to enrich top officials in the Zanu
This year’s Mine Entra is kicking off under the theme entitled “Real Local
Treasure, Strike Global Returns”.
To date over 6, 500 square metres of exhibition space, a 33 percent increase
from last year at the same time, has so far been taken up. A total of 5,798
square metres was sold at Mine Entra in 2011.
“In total, 200 direct exhibitors have confirmed their participation so far
against last year’s closing total of 2009. Of this, 10 are foreign
exhibitors, mainly from South Africa, occupying 100 square metres,” said
He said that a healthy mix of mining, engineering and transport products and
services will be on show including heavy engineering, conveyors, rubber
products, electrics and electronics as well as pumps and other equipment.
“The Mine Entra 2012 will also showcase services such as banking, security,
insurance, customs clearing, medical and chemical supplies. Building and
construction equipment will also be prominent as well as protective clothing
and other safety products,” said Chigaru.
He added that Mine Entra 2012 conference and Joint Suppliers and Purchasers
Conference were some of the highlights of the exhibition that have been
organised in conjunction with Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe.
“Both conferences will add value to Mine Entra participants and give an
opportunity to up-date all stakeholders on the state of the mining industry
in Zimbabwe. We look forward to a fruitful and successful Mine Entra 2012.
Advertisers and sponsors are invited to take advantage of this opportunity
to increase their visibility,” said Chigaru.
Harare, July 06, 2012 - They traded where the angels feared and they seem to
be reaping the rewards.
While many investors voted against Zimbabwe with their feet in 2008 leaving
the country when its economy was on its knees, for them it was the right
time to invest.
Now they dream of building the biggest shopping mall in Africa, outside
South Africa, in Harare’s up market Borrowdale suburb.
West property, Augur Investments and McCormick Property Development, are
dreaming of building a $ 100 million Shopping Mall in Zimbabwe.
Although the controversial project is facing resistance from Borrowdale
residents and environmentalists, Jason McCormick, Managing Director of
McCormick Property Development, told Radio VOP that, “it's a juggernaut that
cannot be stopped.”
The project is set for a ground breaking ceremony later this year.
Ken Sharpe of Augur Investments said the, “project is the largest commercial
development ever in Zimbabwe.”
When complete the project will see the creation of a $100 million shopping
centre made up of over 150 retail outlets occupying 68 000 square metres of
space and catering for thousands of shoppers every day.
The mall will be situated along Borrowdale Road, opposite the famous
Borrowdale Race Course. Before it has even taken off the ground the Mall of
Zimbabwe has already attracted significant tenants and some of them are the
big South African retailers.
“The Mall of Zimbabwe will be modeled along Cape Town’s V and A Waterfront.
It will have up market restaurants and has already attracted tenants such as
ShopRite, Pick and Pay, Spar, Woolworths, Edgars, Truworths, Game and Mr
Price,” said McCormick.
The Mall of Zimbabwe will only open its doors in October 2014. It will
consist of a closed air-conditioned regional mall made up of shops,
restaurants, banks, fast food outlets, and other recreational facilities. It
is estimated that 4000 jobs will be created by the project.
The Mall of Zimbabwe is being developed on a site acquired by Augur
Investments in terms of a controversial barter trade deal between the
Government of Zimbabwe and Augur Investments which augur is financing the
design and construction of the Harare Main airport highway.
The tri-partite investment partners say they used their gut feelings to
decide to sink their money into Zimbabwe.
“While everyone was running away from Zimbabwe, we used our gut feelings to
invest, we sought the local knowledge and we felt it was time to put money
into the country,” said McCormick.
He said they were impressed by what they saw and never looked back on
investing in a country still considered by some investors as a no go area.
They have big plans too.
“We want to spread our property development to other parts of the country.
In fact we also want to bring the town to the rural areas,” said McCormick.
Although they have faced resistance and accusations of cutting corners with
their investment, the tri-partite investors remain unfazed by that talk.
“We have the backing of the President, Prime Minister and cabinet ministers
because they understand what we are trying to do for Zimbabwe and we obey
the laws of the country,” said McCormick.
In the meantime they are concentrating on putting up more construction
cranes on the skylines of Harare and help keep the resurgent economy
Clemence Manyukwe, 13 hours 27 minutes ago
SEVERAL Ministers from the two formations of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) have been placed under investigations over alleged wealth
accumulation in what is perceived to be part of efforts by hardliners in
ZANU-PF to boost President Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid in the
Highly-placed sources revealed this week that ZANU-PF was desperate to
expose real or imagined corrupt dealings by its governing partners to
discredit them in the eyes of the voters in elections President Mugabe’s
party wants held this year.
ZANU-PF spin-doctors would soon be revealing the names of targeted MDC
ministers in the media as part of a wider smear campaign. The State media
recently claimed that Finance Minister Tendai Biti was under probe, with
police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena, denying such an investigation of the
MDC-T secretary general.
Biti is being accused of transferring US$20 million from the International
Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights into an FBC Bank account and then to
Interfin Bank, in violation of the law.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance ran an advertisement admitting Treasury
had been prejudiced of about US$17,4 million by Interfin which failed to
release the money before its placement under a six-month curatorship last
month. Treasury said the development has undermined the performance of the
Zimbabwe Economic Trade Revival Facility jointly funded by the government
and the African Export Import Bank.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as well as the leader of the rival MDC
formation, Welshman Ncube are also among those targeted by ZANU-PF.
There are attempts to make a case against Ncube, who is the Minister of
Industry and Commerce on grounds that he may have personally benefitted from
the Essar deal. Those in ZANU-PF are alleged to suspect him after he shot
down two Chinese firms they preferred to partner the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel
Company and settled for the Indian firm without the involvement of the Mines
and Mining Development Ministry headed by Obert Mpofu of ZANU-PF.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai was a victim of another probe that centred on
allegations that he had “double dipped” into State funds that were meant for
the construction of his residence at a cost of more than US$1,5 million.
While the premier denied the allegations, the case has since been referred
to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Energy and Power Development Minister, Elton Mangoma is also said to be
among those targeted following previous court appearances on graft which
While MDC insiders have been quick to dismiss allegations against their
ministers as trumped up charges meant to discredit them ahead of polls,
there has been public concern over the perceived “sudden” opulence displayed
by some of the MDC-T’s young ministers even though sources say it pales in
comparison to the accumulation of their ZANU-PF counterparts.
So far, MDC-T councillors countrywide have been implicated in corrupt
dealings especially in the allocation of land in their respective
municipalities as well as stripping councils of their assets.
Giving credence to speculation the MDC ministers are targeted, writing in
the State media on Saturday, Nathaniel Manheru, who iS thought to be privy
to the goings-on in ZANU-PF, appeared to make reference to the probe.
He said a list of offending MDC figures would be released in due course
adding that the “noise” being made about diamond revenues was meant to
camouflage looting by ZANU-PF’s rivals.
He indicated that the revelations were linked to the coming polls.
“Today the MDC has failed both the competence test and the integrity test.
It wallows in countless scandals, its officials now numbering among the
richest, especially by way of real estate. I shall have occasion to trace
for the reader this property labyrinth traceable to MDC ministers who are
hardly four years in their portfolios, on a paltry salary,” wrote Manheru.
“Only then will it become plain that all the carping about Chiadzwa is but
diversionary talk. The list is about ready. That is the beauty about an
election season, is it not? No holds are barred.”
But police spokesman, Bvudzijena said in a brief telephone interview that he
was not aware of any probe targeting MDC ministers in the coalition
“I am not aware of such a probe,” he said.
Biti recently blamed the precarious state of government finances on lack of
transparency in accounting for revenues from Chiadzwa diamond fields.
The minister said only a trickle had been realised, forcing Treasury to
revise downwards its US$4 billion budget.
MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said his party was well aware of a
plot by ZANU-PF to manufacture allegations against its leaders as a ploy to
discredit and weaken them ahead of polls.
“We know that ZANU-PF is trying to manufacture stories against our leaders
and it’s nothing new. The fact of the matter is that our deployees in
government — our ministers, our deputy ministers, our Prime Minister, our
Deputy Prime Minister — have done very well to improve the lot of the
people of Zimbabwe,” said Mwonzora.
MDC vice president, Edwin Mushoriwa, said the integrity of people his party
had seconded to government was unquestionable, but claimed there are some
ZANU-PF ministers who were corrupt, without naming anyone.
Mushoriwa said the origins of some of the wealth the ZANU-PF ministers have
is untraceable, adding that the MDC subscribed to the tenet of public
officials declaring their assets in order to establish a paper trail where
there are signs of obscene accumulation of wealth.
“Some ZANU-PF ministers are the ones who have been mentioned now and then in
relation to corruption. The integrity of our people in government is
unquestionable. Our councillors have never been found on the wrong side when
it comes to corruption. All our Members of Parliament were never mentioned
in the looting of the Constituency Development Fund,” said
Fingaz 13 hours 37 minutes ago
ZANU-PF members are no longer allowed to entertain any succession talk for
as long as their current leader, President Robert Mugabe is still in office,
the party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa revealed this week.
In an interview, Mutasa said the party’s central committee, which is ZANU-PF’s
policy-making organ, disbanded the party’s District Coordinating Committees
(DCC) because they were being used by those seeking to succeed President
Mugabe to position themselves thereby destabilising the party.
This came amid intense infighting in the districts as ZANU-PF heavyweights
sought to thrust their loyalists at the helm of grassroots organs in
preparation of a take over of control of the party upon the incumbent’s
Mutasa said in light of the scrapping of the DCCs any party member who would
attempt to use other avenues to advance his or her ambitions for the top
office would be punished.
“The position is: as Africans we cannot succeed a chief who is still
there.There should be no talk of succession, it causes some of us in the
leadership to be embarrassed,” said Mutasa.
“The people in the DCC’s knew that they were being influenced. They should
have realised that that was wrong. If any other persons follow similar
processes, we will take similar actions.”
The party’s secretary for administration said it was not a crime to have
ambitions but members should keep them in control.
“Even in Britain, Prince William does not go around saying I will succeed
the queen,” added Mutasa.
Announcing the decision to disband the party’s DCC‘s last Friday, President
Mugabe said the organ had become a weapon used to divide the party.
But observers say the move may weaken the party as it alienates it from the
grassroots. They also pointed out that the decision was taken with no
consultation with the affected parties, which may fuel disenchantment.
President Mugabe has previously said if he were to relinquish the leadership
of the party at this juncture, ZANU-PF stands the risk of collapse due to
President Mugabe has also said handing the torch on the eve of an election
would result in the party’s new candidate being defeated by Movement for
Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who became the country’s Prime
Minister following the formation of the inclusive government in 2009.
Tsvangirai had outpolled the ZANU-PF leader in the first round of voting
during the March 2008 elections, but withdrew from participating in the
presidential run-off three months later, citing politically motivated
violence that claimed the lives of some of his party’s members and
supporters. - FinGaz
By Tichaona Sibanda
06 July 2012
ZimPride, a new election awareness and advocacy group targeting the youth,
is urging young people to have their voice heard and register to vote in the
next harmonized election.
John Vincent Chikwari, director of the group, told SW Radio Africa’s
Election Watch program that a study they conducted recently found that a
high percentage of 18-25 year-olds were not registered to vote.
‘Not being on the voter’s roll is a key reason why young people are unable
to vote, with many not even aware they have to register.
‘We sampled voters’ rolls in Chitungwiza, Chiredzi and Masvingo and there is
some worrying information which shows young people and those from
politically charged areas are least likely to be registered to vote,’
He also urged a number of young people who have moved away from where they
are registered to vote, to change their voting registration to their current
It is estimated that out of a population of about 12 million people in
Zimbabwe, five million of them are between the ages 18 and 35.
‘Our study showed us that there were impressive figures of people in that
range not registered at all. In the past a lack of faith in the political
system has marginalized the youth vote and frustrated youth have often been
manipulated to participate in electoral violence.
‘As ZimPride, we want to change that. We strongly encourage young people to
register and to go out and vote in the next poll. It is their democratic
right and a great opportunity to have their say in how they shape the future
of this country,’ Chikwari added.
He continued: ‘It’s high time we do away with the perception that young
people are often complacent and apathetic to issues of governance. Bad
leaders are elected by those who never vote.’
Chikwari pointed to numerous times in the past 18 months when the courage of
young people has changed the balance of power in some countries, adding that
ZimPride aims to push Zimbabwean youth to get their ID cards, and educate
them on the importance of registering and voting.
‘Through media, social websites and our own website we want to encourage the
youth and inform them what their votes can do for them, because throughout
history we have witnessed cases where one vote has indeed changed the course
of history,’ he said.
The period May to June witnessed a number of political developments with a
bearing on Zimbabwe election plans. The extraordinary summit for SADC the
Heads of State and Government was held in Luanda Angola on the 1st of June
2012. COPAC made an official announcement that the draft constitution was
ready and had been submitted to the principals.
In another incident, police brutality reared its ugly head again as a
civilian lost life at the hands of the police. The period also saw the
launch of the Zimpapers Star FM radio station. ZESN observers have reported
on a tense political environment in most constituencies and the stifling of
people’s fundamental freedoms.
There are reported cases of political violence in Chikandiwa village, Headman Nyamombe under Chief Makoni in Makoni South. Suspected ZANU PF supporters attacked and destroyed Wonder Karupoto’s house on Friday, 29 June 2012. The house was destroyed to ground level.
Securico, the company that Zimbabwe's Divine Ndhlukula started in her cottage in the late 1990s with four employees and very little capital, has become one of her country's largest security firms.
According to her, perhaps the biggest barrier she had to face when she set it up was her gender.
"Obviously, as a woman, people would not believe that I could run a security company - particularly with no security background," she told the BBC's series African Dream.
However, she held firmly to her purpose and Securico now employs more than 3,500 people, including nearly 900 women.
"We provide cutting-edge services. We move cash and valuables for companies and banks; we also provide electronic security systems - that's the CCTVs, the access control systems, the alarms, the rapid responses, remote site monitoring and so on," she said.
"Our business has grown to be well capitalised in terms of assets; in terms of balance sheet, our balance sheet is close to $8m (£5.1m). This year we expect to turn over just over $16m," she added.
If things keep on going according to her plans, she hopes that within five years Securico will have branches in neighbouring countries and reach an annual turnover of more than $50m.
The company has not only grown physically. It has also been recognised as one of the continent's leaders in business excellence and in 2011 it beat 3,300 other firms and won the coveted $100,000 Grand Prize at the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship in Nairobi, Kenya.
The organisers said that Securico "exemplifies the vital role played by entrepreneurs in creating economic growth, prosperity, and realising opportunity in Africa" and pointed out that it is the largest employer of women in the private sector in Zimbabwe.
Subsequently, Ms Ndhlukula was chosen as one of Africa's most successful women by US business magazine Forbes.Enterprising initiatives
Ms Ndhlukula says that even as a student she dreamed of being an entrepreneur.
"When I was in school I used to tell my friends that I was not going to work for more than two years but obviously I had to work for more than two years," she told the BBC's Steve Vickers in Harare.
She trained as an accountant and worked in the 1980s for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the Old Mutual investment group and Intermarket Insurance (now ZB Insurance).
"During the time that I was working for these employers I was obviously involved in various enterprising initiatives. Typically, I'd buy clothes from factories here in Harare and sell them to my colleagues at work, and also give [them] to my colleagues in other places, to sell on my behalf on commission," Ms Ndhlukula explained.
With the money she saved she bought a truck which she hired out to a construction company. Later she had to sell it to prevent her late father's farm from being auctioned.
As she saved the farm, its title was changed into her name and she ventured into the farming business.
She then took out a loan against her house in order to grow maize but things did not go as well as she had expected due to a severe drought and she almost lost her house. So in 1995 she had to go back into employment.
"I did a marketing diploma and I switched my career to marketing because that gave me time to be able to run around into other things as I knew that I definitively wanted to break out on my own at some stage."
Her dream finally came true in 1998 when she realised that there was a gap in the security services sector, an area that was dominated by male entrepreneurs.
According to her, she noticed that the quality of the services many of the existing companies provided was not up to the standards of the big corporations and multinationals operating in Zimbabwe. That is how Securicor was born.'Passion'
Ms Ndhlukula remembers that she started with three security operatives and two managers, including herself.
"Of course, I just had to insure that I had enough money to be able to run and be able to pay people on time because that is very critical in our type of business. So, I did not really need a lot of capital," she said.
"This is, I think, the biggest folly of people who aspire to be in business. They think that you have to have lots and lots and lots of money to be able to start a business. No, it's not that. It's really the passion."
So she started approaching people who she knew and trusted - former schoolmates, ex-colleagues, friends and relatives - and asking them to support her new project.
"Slowly people began to gain confidence as they saw how serious I was, they saw how ambitious and how passionate and determined I was. I was so involved in the business.
"They began to notice that 'look, this business seems to be serious and their service seems to be even much better than those established companies', so they started referring us," she said.
She believes that, once a gap in the market has been identified, persistence is the key to success.
"I always tell people: 'If you've got a product or a service that is required by the market, you can sell it'. It's not about the sciences. It's about the passion for the idea".'No bribes'
Probably because of her experience of nearly losing her home when she ventured into farming, Ms Ndhlukula is not keen to borrow money.
"We are very careful when we get money from banks. We get it when it's really necessary, when we know we are going to swear to the assets that we've gotten with the loans so that we can easily repay without having to stifle the business."
Also, in a country where many business people complain about the levels of bureaucracy and corruption, she is against the idea of paying bribes.
"Unfortunately, we've not been getting any work from government but I'm glad that the kind of customers that we targeted in the first place - the high-end, the multinationals, the blue-chip companies - they also do their procurement by the book.
"We never give a bribe because the moment you start giving somebody a bribe today, they expect you to give them a bribe every other time. And, you know, you cannot do business that way."
So what advice does she have for budding entrepreneurs around Africa?
"I always say there is no easy road to anywhere worth going. One's got to apply themselves. One's got to put in that extra effort. One's got to have the discipline to be able to say: Look, I've made a bit of money, invest back the money into the business so that it grows," Ms Ndhlukula said.
"I think that is the folly of many of our people. You make a bit of money and you think you've arrived. You start spending the money and the business does not grow".
She also pointed out that when one is starting a business, one should not delegate too much.
"You delegate but you obviously have got to have that hands-on approach for a while, and then you develop people that will eventually take over from you.
"I literally used to work about 16 hours a day. I still do it occasionally, though we've got about 22 managers - we've got MBAs and so on - but they still require your input. I'm still the MD [managing director], I still give that strategic direction. If you're there, you're visible, you're exemplary, you show that you're also working - then people will buy into your vision."
African Dream is broadcast on the BBC Network Africa programme every Monday morning, and on BBC World News throughout the day on Fridays
Written by Pindai Dube
Friday, 06 July 2012 10:55
BULAWAYO - Zimbabweans are so divided that they need President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s coalition government to stay intact
for political stability, says outgoing United States ambassador to Zimbabwe
Addressing journalists during a farewell speech in Bulawayo, Ray said the
three-year-old coalition government will continue to be the solution for the
country to move forward.
He also said Gukurahundi victims should be allowed to talk about the issue
freely while army generals should keep to the barracks instead of dabbling
“These divisions keep people apart and have built as a form of intolerance
that makes it difficult for people to reach out to people they do not know
and trust. I think because of the divisions a coalition government is the
solution as it accommodates people with different views together and will
make Zimbabwe move forward,” said Ray, who is leaving Zimbabwe at the end of
a three-year tenure during which he constantly clashed with Mugabe.
He tore into one of the subjects that makes Mugabe uncomfortable-the
military killing of over 20 000 civilians in the 1980s as the 88-year-old
sought to crush dissent in the opposition hotbed of Matabeleland and
“I also think Gukurahundi victims should be given a platform to talk about
this issue openly and compensation can come after that,” he said.
Several people, including artists and politicians have been arrested for
speaking about Gukurahundi over the years.
The US envoy said as a former professional army officer he thought it was
dangerous for army generals to get involved in politics.
Zimbabwe’s top army generals have been coming out in public supporting Zanu
PF and urging other soldiers to support President Robert Mugabe and the
former ruling party.
Recently, Martin Chedondo, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff,
issued brazen remarks that the army had a right to interfere in politics and
to support Mugabe and Zanu PF.
He labelled other political parties as agents of imperialism.
Tsvangirai on the other hand said generals such as Chedondo did not enjoy
support from their rank and file.
He said he would fire such generals if he assumed the presidency.
July 6th, 2012
Growing up as white and privileged in Zimbabwe I have only ever known an
easy and comfortable life. I’ve holidayed on every continent, attended the
“finest” schools and have two loving, supportive parents. Yet I constantly
feel uncertain and unhappy about the place I live in. I may sound like the
typical spoilt, melodramatic teenager, but it goes deeper than that.
I’m one of the few white teenagers in this country who has been exposed to
and who has taken notice of real pain, real injustice and real suffering.
My parents, through their work and friends, have enabled me to go beneath
the surface of the easy life. So, I have gone beyond the tiny bubble that
most white teenagers exist in here in Zimbabwe.
I’ve witnessed the monstrosities that my government has committed. I see
starving children begging for food on the street and know that they, like
thousands of others, have lost everything to the tyrannical hatred of a
power grabbing group of people, cheating their way through elections and
burning down whatever stood in their way, including the homes and lives of
What I hate most about my home is the hatred and disunity between people,
particularly the segregation between whites, blacks, coloureds, Indians and
the rest. I find the fact that people hate one another just because of the
colour of the other’s skin absolutely disgusting and incredibly tragic. When
it comes down to it, we’ve all suffered in one way or another under Mugabe’s
regime. Whether you’re a white farmer, an Indian company owner, a black
shopkeeper or a coloured teacher, we’ve all been affected to a lesser or
Zanu PF’s tactic to divide and conquer has succeeded. Racism is everywhere,
it’s not just the older generation of black Zimbabweans who still feel
bitter about British colonisation, nor is it just the white farmers who
have lost their land and not only the company owners whose once thriving
businesses are now collapsed, or have been taken over by the current
“leaders”; racism resides in the youth too.
I attend a girls only school and if you were to come to my school at break
time you wouldn’t see groups of every ethnicity enjoying the sunshine
together. No, you’d see carefully crafted circles of white girls alone,
black girls alone, coloured girls alone and Indian girls alone, colour
coordinated with their friends perfectly.
When I got there I didn’t understand at all, my best friends in junior
school were Indian, black, white, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, and the
colour of their skin didn’t mean a thing to me. It didn’t occur to me that
high school would be any different. But I soon learned it was. In my first
year I asked a friend in Form 2 why Thembelihle couldn’t sit with us and she
explained that white girls sit with white girls, and black girls sit with
black girls, that’s just the way things are. And no matter how hard we tried
to stay friends, we were forced into conforming. .
Even today, when I refuse to laugh at the racist “I’m just kidding” jokes I
hear, and openly disapprove of them, I’m the one who’s labelled ridiculous.
It’s ridiculous that they don’t really understand the evil they are
spreading, they echo their parents’ hatred with no thought to the pain that
comes from their words. They say the things they do because they hear it
from others, true sheep following the crowd. The utter ignorance of people
and the blind hatred they promote infuriates me more and more each day.
So, to everyone out there: before you judge a person because of the colour
of their skin or what their ancestors did, think about the absurdity of
these prejudices and realise how crazy it is to dislike someone due to their
DNA. Rather get to know others first and educate yourself and the people
around you on the need for unity in a nation, especially one like our own,
which has continually struggled under a divisive dictatorship.
A Zimbabwean teenager who feels privileged to know the truth.
This entry was posted by Teenzim on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 9:29 am