EVERSON MUSHAVA 10 hours 46 minutes ago
ZANU (PF) negotiator in the inclusive government Patrick Chinamasa has
predicted war in Zimbabwe ahead of elections, saying clashes reminiscent of
what happened in North Africa last year cannot be ruled out.
Chinamasa told a highly emotive public seminar organised by Sapes Trust in
Harare on Thursday that with the heightening of election talk in the country
after the Sadc summit in Angola, battle lines have been drawn between Zanu
PF and its rivals in the inclusive government, the two MDC parties.
The Justice minister said the MDC parties were afraid of facing an electoral
defeat at the hands of Zanu PF.
“I am not a prophet, but what I am going to say is prophetic. What I see as
we approach elections is a war-mongering scenario, parties singing
war-mongering songs - a tendency to provoke incidences, to overblow them and
exaggerate, to distort in order to allow a Syrian/Libyan-type Western
intervention,” said Chinamasa.
But MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti immediately fired back, saying his
party was still popular and would win the election if conducted on a level
playing field. He said Zanu PF would lose because people had not forgotten
the alleged atrocities committed by the former ruling party.
“My friend here Patrick (Chinamasa) said the MDC-T is afraid of losing an
election to Zanu PF. I want him to know that the MDC-T is not afraid of Zanu
PF. What are the changed circumstances that make you (Chinamasa) think that
the people have forgiven your (Zanu PF) sins?” asked Biti.
The MDC-T secretary-general said Zanu PF’s reluctance to implement some
agreed reforms was a way of trying to force another bloody election, but his
party - with the help of Sadc - would not allow it to happen this time
He further accused Zanu PF of misleading the nation on the outcome of the
The Zanu PF side of government, which maintains its call for elections this
year, says Sadc never insisted on an array of reforms before elections, but
only a new constitution. According to the Sadc communiqué, elections should
be held within 12 months.
Negotiator for the MDC party led by Welshman Ncube, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga also weighed in and told Chinamasa that if Zanu PF had
no faith in the facilitation of South African President Jacob Zuma, they had
the option of telling him right in his face or pull out of the unity
“I wonder if you (Chinamasa) represent another Zanu PF that is not led by
President Robert Mugabe. In Angola, he (Mugabe) thanked President Zuma for
his facilitation and said he would not ambush anyone on elections. He
promised to implement the agreed reforms, but when you come here, you
“I know it’s a form of men bravado when they argue that I have a big what
and what . . . but the truth is we all need Sadc and were very subservient
to Sadc at the summit. For Zanu PF, I want you to know that being
subservient to Sadc is not surrendering our sovereignty. We got ourselves
into that situation,” said Mushonga.
South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela said President Zuma is
due in Harare early next week to help with the implementation plan on agreed
reforms. - Newsday
Harare, June 09, 2012 – Four opposition political parties in Zimbabwe have
demanded inclusion into the country’s governing processes and further
petitioned SADC appointed mediator to the country’s political crisis,
President Jacob Zuma to facilitate their participation.
At a joint press conference in Harare Friday, the parties – Democratic
Party, MDC99, Zanu Ndonga and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) -
accused the three main parties in government of monopolising political space
and leading the nation astray.
“We, principals of the undersigned political parties outside the GNU and
working together on the common Issues Platform (CIP), hereby petition you as
SADC Mediator in the Zimbabwe political crisis with our demand to meet with
you during your next visit to Zimbabwe so that we can make our submission
and proposal on the way forward in our country,” read the petition, which
was read by Zapu president Dr Dumiso Dabengwa.
The parties demanded to have their representatives drafted into the current
constitution making process, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee and a say in the roadmap to free and fair elections.
The parties were also joined in their demands by a representative of Dr
Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.
President Zuma is expected in Zimbabwe next week on a mission to browbeat
the parties back on the roadmap towards free and fair elections.
MDC99 leader Job Sikhala threatened to gatecrash Zuma’s meeting with the
three GPA principals if they were denied audience with him.
“We are going to storm the meeting where Jacob Zuma would be meeting the
three principals in the inclusive government,” he said.
“We are going to have our own convoy of cars and demand audience with the
facilitator to the Zimbabwean crisis. We cannot allow the three principals
to continue dictating our politics,” he said.
The parties further threatened to hold peace rallies that would run parallel
to planned rallies by the three main parties in government.
Democratic Party leader Urayayi Zembe added his voice to the parties’
“Now it has become the right for us in the political industry to demand that
we will not allow a few of us to dictate the constitutional dispensation and
a government that has destroyed all fundamental human rights,” he said.
The opposition parties, which do not have any parliamentary representative
in the current legislature, did not rule out a possible merger ahead of
They said their current decision to come together under the so-called Common
Issues Platform demonstrated willingness to forge a common alliance against
the country’s governing elite.
The parties were later in the day expected to take their petition to the
South African embassy in Zimbabwe and the inclusive government.
Written by Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Saturday, 09 June 2012 11:10
HARARE - Political bickering in the Government of National Unity (GNU) and
the stalemate in the constitution-making process have delayed a planned
visit by Sadc facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela told a discussion
forum hosted by Sapes Trust in Harare on Thursday night that he was “sitting
on a letter from the facilitation team proposing a date, but the country’s
feuding parties are stalling the process”.
“Before we left Luanda (host of last Sadc summit) the facilitation team had
proposed to come here this Wednesday, but it was the political parties who
asked to be given time because there are issues they would like to agree on
before they meet the facilitator.
“I was talking to the facilitator’s convener Charles Nqakula and I sit here
with a letter from him that is proposing to meet next week Monday or Tuesday
in preparation for the coming of the facilitator,” Mavimbela said. The
facilitators were due to lay the ground for Zuma’s visit.
He said the urgency of the (Zimbabwean) matter “is very clear” to Zuma but
it is the political parties in Harare that are stalling the process.
“Nqakula was telling me that he has been talking to the political parties
but they cannot agree. The team wanted to be here yesterday (Wednesday) for
a meeting with the political parties to prepare for the coming of the
facilitator,” said Mavimbela.
Sadc appointed Zuma to be its point person on the Zimbabwean political
logjam and mandated him with ensuring a free and fair poll after the
disputed 2008 election marred by military-led violence.
The MDC claims the violence killed more than 200 of its supporters as
President Robert Mugabe battled to overturn a first round vote defeat to
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Sadc, through Zuma, is heavily involved in Zimbabwe’s political processes
after helping negotiate and guaranteeing the power sharing Global Political
Along the process, Zuma has earned the wrath of Mugabe and Zanu PF for
insisting on the implementation of democratic reforms contained in the GPA
before any elections are held.
Mugabe says elections should proceed this year, with or without reforms that
include a new constitution and re-alignment of a heavily politicised
Zuma appeared to turn on the heat this week when his spokesperson repeated
demands for reforms before an election is held in Zimbabwe.
His international relations advisor and spokesperson on the Zimbabwean
situation Lindiwe Zulu, this week told a South African television channel
that there will be no elections in Zimbabwe before security sector reforms.
08 June 2012
Gibbs Dube | Washington
A youth empowerment group linked to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party
has started a nationwide campaign in Zimbabwe to push Chinese and Nigerian
nationals out of the retail sector.
Some representatives of Upfumi Kuvadiki – Inotho Kwabatsha told Studio 7
Friday that they have been assessing retail businesses in Bulawayo this week
after conducting a similar exercise in Harare and found that most of the
enterprises are in the hands of foreigners.
The group is expected to visit Gweru, Mutare, Kwekwe and other cities within
the next two weeks to identify retail businesses it claims are in the wrong
The militant group argues that foreigners should venture into capital
intensive projects instead of engaging in the retail sector.
Many Nigerian, Indian and Chinese nationals operate a large number of retail
businesses in most cities.
Businessman and former Affirmative Action Group vice president Matson Hlalo
warns that Zimbabwe’s economy will be seriously affected if foreigners are
forced to abandon the retail sector.
Some of these youths have been occupying some abandoned buildings in
Bulawayo’s central business district and threatening to invade
foreign-owners retail shops.
Written by Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Saturday, 09 June 2012 09:29
HARARE - Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has raised a storm after ruling
out compensation for Gukurahundi victims.
Political commentators yesterday roundly criticised the Zanu PF stalwart
saying his statements, made in Parliament on Wednesday, showed how
irresponsible and unrepentant Mnangagwa is.
Mnangagwa, long accused of being one of the chief architects of Gukurahundi,
said there are no immediate plans to compensate thousands of victims of the
massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces by North Korean trained 5th
Brigade in the 1980s.
Paul Siwela, secretary-general of the secessionist movement Mthwakazi
Liberation Front, said Mnangagwa’s sentiments were “most unfortunate” and
revealed his lack of respect for people from Matabeleland and Midlands.
“That is reckless and dangerous by a man who physically partook in the
Gukurahundi. People were butchered, and women were raped and therefore for
someone to say they will not be compensated, is totally reckless,” Siwela
Outspoken minister of state and a member in the organ of National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, said people should not be
surprised because “the leopard will never change its spots”.
“Mnangagwa is a cruel man who likes to inflict pain, suffering and misery to
the people of Matabeleland and that statement does that,” Mzila-Ndlovu said.
Gukurahundi, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and
the Legal Resources Foundation, resulted in the massacre of at least 20 000
people between 1983 and 1987 in the predominantly Ndebele regions of
Zimbabwe by government troops.
Mnangagwa was the state security minister when government dispatched the
crack unit to Matabeleland and Midlands to put down an insurrection by
dozens of dissident supporters of the then Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo.
Mark Mbayiwa, Zapu’s southern region coordinator blasted Mnangagwa: “His
utterances are terrible, provocative, irresponsible and not fit to be
uttered by someone who knows for sure that 20 000 innocent people lost their
lives at the hands of the 5th Brigade.”
Obert Gutu, the deputy minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, said Mnangagwa
is offside as Gukurahundi could never be dealt with adequately without
compensating the victims.
“International criminal jurisprudence has gained tremendous momentum over
the past few decades. What I know for certain is that the victims of
Gukurahundi, both living and deceased, will be compensated,” said Gutu.
“That is for sure. In similar vein, perpetrators of gross human rights
abuses will be fooling themselves if they think that their past will never
catch up with them,” he said.
Mnangagwa is not new to controversy as last year he waded into a political
storm after telling a newspaper that the 1980s genocide was a “closed
The statement sparked the ire of people from Matabeleland and Midlands
Provinces who are still struggling with the aftermaths of the massacres.
President Robert Mugabe, 88, whose Zanu PF party has struggled to make
forays into the Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces, has refused to
apologise for the massacres.
He, however, described it as a “moment of madness” during a graveyard speech
at the burial of Joshua Nkomo in 1999.
by Staff Reporter
TWO Zimbabwean youth entrepreneurs – Simbarashe Mhungu and Limbikani
Makani – will travel to the United States as part of the U.S. President’s
Young African Leaders Initiative.
They will attend the 2012 Innovation Summit and undergo a two-week
professional development programme sponsored by the U.S. Department of State
in collaboration with the Meridian International Centre.
Mhungu, 32, is founder and managing director of Harvest Fresh, an indigenous
company specialising in agribusiness and food processing.
The former Victoria Falls Safari Lodge trainee received his undergraduate
business degree from Howard University, Washington, D.C., and worked in the
U.S. for Goldman Sachs and The Walt Disney Company.
Makani, 31, is founder and managing editor of the Technology Zimbabwe
website (www.techzim.co.zw ) and holds a national diploma in Information
Since its establishment, TechZim has become a leading voice on technology
issues in Zimbabwe and a main promoter of local technology creation and
venture capital investment.
Makani says he is counting on Zimbabwe’s youth to take IT innovations to a
“The achievements Zimbabwe has made in terms of human capital is immense.
We have a youth that is capable of delivering on a global scale, but we also
have a youth that has been disconnected from the world in terms of
communicating or exchange of ideas…. The sooner we tap into it, the sooner
we benefit,” says Makani.
He sees himself as a true ambassador of that human capital as he heads to
Washington D.C., where he will meet top U.S. government officials, IT
experts, company executives and representatives of civil society
Makani is a true internet devotee. He speaks passionately, with youthful
enthusiasm and an eager smile, about the infinite possibilities and
opportunities available to Zimbabweans online.
He also has an unbending faith in Zimbabwean online entrepreneurs and their
power to change Zimbabwe.
“The internet is so powerful,” he said. “And it is really pointless to try
to block it – there are always ways around to get to what you’re trying to
find. Because it’s the internet – the whole idea is we are all connected on
it and you can find anything.”
Makani studied information technology and, in 2009, started TechZim,
arguably Zimbabwe’s leading technology website featuring product reviews and
local IT news. With 3,000 page views per day, TechZim has set its sights on
building a culture of start-ups and innovation in Zimbabwe.
“A lot of Zimbabweans see the internet as a product, not a platform,” he
laments. “They think they are just an audience, but they need to see how
much they can do and put on the web.”
Limbikani had never seen the internet until the day his boss at the Gweru
shopping centre where he worked after finishing high school, bought a PC and
got a dial-up connection. It was 2001 and there were 500 million internet
users worldwide – many in the U.S. but few in Africa. The search is what
“When I did my first search, I couldn’t believe how much I could find on the
internet. I kept saying, ‘All this, I can get all this…,’ and I just kept
looking up more things.”
Exploring the internet took Makani’s life from black and white to colour in
an instant. “My first time on the internet was a religious moment,” he says,
smiling a deep, knowing smile and recalling intimately the experience.
“Today, internet uptake in Zimbabwe is still slow but that ‘moment’ is
happening now to a lot of people.”
About 60 youth leaders from throughout Africa are expected in the U.S. for
the Summit and Mentorship Partnership. The programme is part of the Obama
administration’s multi-year initiative targeted at young African leaders who
are actively promoting positive change in their communities.
It began with President Obama’s Forum for Young African Leaders in 2010, has
included more than 2,000 U.S government-sponsored programmes for young
leaders across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama sponsored a Young African Women Leaders
Forum in South Africa in which two Zimbabwean young women leaders
Harare-June, 09, 2012-Members of parliament are being chased out of Harare
hotels because of the government’s failure to pay for their accommodation
Out of Harare legislators who come on parliament business reside in
luxurious hotels while on duty.
The hotels charge at least US$80 per night.
“Since last week Legislators where moving from one hotel to the other as
they were being chased out because of non bill payment by the government.
This is one of the issues which were discussed in the emergency caucus
meeting that was held by the two MDCs and ZANU (PF),”ZANU (PF) chief whip
Jorum Gumbo told Radio VOP Friday in Harare.
In the joint meeting the smaller MDC faction was being represented by Edward
Mkhosi while Innocent Gonese -all chief whips stood in for the mainstream
Gumbo said the meeting also discussed the issue of allowance arrears which
government owes to Harare legislators dating back from 2008 when they were
Local MPs are supposed to get half of the amount paid to hotels for their
“We are talking if elections being held anytime soon and if they are held
next month what will then happen to the arrears. Some of the MPS have since
died and their relatives have not benefited. The MPS now feel that promises
made to them by the government are not being fulfilled, “he said.
Gumbo said they have resolved that Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders
Committee should be pushed to resolve all the outstanding issues.
In January Members of Parliament and Senators were paid $15 000 each in
The arrears were settled after legislators had exchanged harsh words with
their chiefs accusing the whips and (Parliament’s) Standing Rules and Orders
Committee of not representing them.
The term of the current seating MPs ends in 2013 and they are worried that
if they are not given their dues now they will never get them.
Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Saturday, 09 June 2012 09:27
HARARE - Members of Parliament are demanding that government pays them hotel
and accommodation bills back dated to 2008.
Zanu PF MPs on Wednesday agreed with MDC legislators to hold a joint caucus
“soon” to push for the payment of the outstanding money.
MPs fear that with elections looming, they could lose allowances due to
Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo confirmed that MPs had tasked him to follow
up the matter with Parliament’s administration.
“We have not been paid our accommodation allowances. MPs with houses in
Harare are entitled to $50 per day. The amount for those from outside Harare
is $100 and is supposed to be paid to MPs who will be staying in hotels as
they do not have houses in the capital. This issue is also acceptable to MDC
MPs who want their money too,” said Gumbo.
Gumbo said some MPs had been using their own resources to pay for
accommodation while on parliamentary business.
He said MPs are yet to calculate the whole amount owed to them by
MPs have been making several demands in the form of perks and cash since
their election in 2008.
The demands range from new cars, salary increments, residential stands and
most recently diplomatic passports.
The demand for payment of the allowances comes as several MPs are being
kicked out of the hotels they have been living in and are being forced to
seek alternative accommodation.
The Pubic Order Security Act has just helped Zanu (PF) stay in power and
failed to protect ordinary citizens as police continue to selectively apply
the law, a legislator has charged.
by Moses Chibaya
“The Public Order Security Act has not helped the people of Zimbabwe but a
group of individuals to survive. How is the police using it (POSA) to
promote peace in this country? Are they are (only) using it to make sure
that dissenting voices are crushed?’’ Kambuzuma MP, Willias Madzimure, said
during debate on the presidential speech this week.
POSA was introduced in 2002 by a Zanu (PF) dominated parliament and amended
in 2007 to remove some undemocratic provisions.
Many regard Posa, which basically guides public order, as an act that helped
President Robert Mugabe consolidate his power.
Since its promulgation, there has been a persistent outcry that the police,
whose Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri, is an avowed Zanu (PF)
supporter, have used it to ban or disrupt opposition parties’ political
gatherings and to arrest its leaders on spurious grounds.
Human rights activists and political parties say almost all the people
arrested and charged for violating Posa are Zanu (PF)’s political opponents.
by Phyllis Mbanje
MUNYARADZI Kereke – the erstwhile adviser to RBZ chief Gideon Gono –
suffered court humiliation on Friday after a magistrate accused him and his
driver of “falsifying and doctoring” a medical report in a bid to secure a
conviction against two RBZ security guards.
Magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini launched the withering attack as he acquitted
Phillip Dendere, 47, and George Nyahure, 36, of assaulting Kereke’s driver,
The magistrate also called on police to launch a full investigation into how
a forged doctor’s report – overstating Maturure’s alleged injuries from a
March 12 incident – had come to be used as a key piece of evidence by the
Jarabini said the evidence of state witnesses during the two-week trial was
inconsistent and unreliable.
"The witness statements were too varied and lacked consistency, casting
doubt on their credibility. It is the court's duty to rule according to
clear facts which flow in accordance with how events transpired,” Jarabini
The two RBZ security guards said through their lawyer earlier this week that
Kereke, who was not in court, had warned them that he would produce a “very
good medical affidavit” against them.
Kereke’s comments, the court heard, were made on March 12 after the two
security guards – who had been assigned to repossess an RBZ vehicle which
Gono’s ex-adviser had not surrendered on leaving the apex bank – were
involved in a confrontation with Maturure at the Rocfoundation Medical
Centre in Harare.
The magistrate said: "How does one produce a good medical report without
doctoring and falsifying? The said medical report turned out to be fake,
giving credibility to what the accused persons had testified under oath.
"There were too many disparities and I’m left with no choice but to grant
accused persons’ application for discharge.
“The accused should not be put on their defence to bolster a weak state
Jacob Chiweshe, a former nurse at Parirenyatwa, has already been convicted
of supplying a false medical report about injuries allegedly sustained by
Maturure. His lawyer said Kereke’s driver had approached him with a
ready-prepared report which he just had to sign, purporting to be Dr
Chiweshe, who was given a suspended seven month prison sentence and ordered
to do community service, said he had been promised US$400 for signing the
medical report and a further US$2,000 if a conviction was secured.
To bolster the prosecution case, Maturure had arrived in court on the first
day of the trial in a wheelchair – drawing derisive comments from defence
lawyer Advocate Linos Mazonde who said it was an act.
Maturure wilted under cross-examination. The magistrate made the point that
he had given “three conflicting versions of what transpired” – in his police
interview, under questioning by the defence and during re-examination by
prosecutor Liberty Gono.
A second state witness, Paulos Sibanda, admitted he had not seen the two
security guards assaulting Maturure “yet he was purportedly present
throughout the assault”.
The third witness, Cornelius Imbayarwo’s evidence contradicted statements by
Maturure, Sibanda and Constable Elias Mavhene, the arresting officer.
“The evidence of all the witnesses had glaring inconsistencies and
contradictions,” the magistrate said.
Kereke – who has gone to war with Gono since leaving the bank – had hoped to
use convictions to bolster his claims that Gono had sent “hitmen” to kill
him to shut him up from exposing corrupt activities.
In a media statement at the end of the case – his first since Kereke began
his attacks – Gono said the acquittals were proof that “lies have short
Gono said the acquittal of the two officers who were “going about their
lawful duties of trying to talk Kereke’s driver into returning a bank
vehicle, a public asset which he is not entitled to keep, is a very welcome
and appropriate verdict.”
The two security officers, Gono went on, had “like sheep, been accused of
hunting, haunting and disturbing hyenas in the forest”.
“I have learnt over the last 35 years I have been working that lies have
short legs and cannot sustain marathon runs. Even where liars try running
short distances like relays, they will end up giving their buttons to the
wrong running mates,” the RBZ chief said.
“I have chosen so far not to comment or deploy my energies on needless
battles, when my conscience is clear and believe that every battle in life
must be confronted and dealt with at an appropriate time and through
appropriate channels, otherwise we cease to be civilised citizens of the
world if we do otherwise.”
In comments aimed at Kereke, Gono said the “God of justice” had “shamed the
devils of deceitful thoughts and actions in broad daylight, and he would do
the same with all future battles where those accustomed to, and who choose
to live a life full of bitterness and fabrications shall soon find that a
finger is too small to hide behind as a shield of their treacherous actions”.
08 June 2012
Sandra Nyaira | Washington
The Kimberley Process intercessional meeting in Washington D.C. concluded
Thursday with chairwoman Gillian Milovanovic commending participants,
including member countries and non governmental groups, for working hard
towards developing an agenda for the watchdog's November plenary meeting.
The most contested subject debated was the issue of expanding the
organization's definition of "conflict diamonds" to include human rights.
The U.S. and other Western nations want the definition to also cover the
scope of rights abuses. The original definition only focuses on rebel groups
using diamond proceeds to fight sitting governments.
Zimbabwe is leading other African and Asian nations in resisting the
Milovanovic, representing the U.S., said the reform agenda was not solely
based on a Western agenda, but a part of a broader review of the Kimberley
Process that was agreed to last year.
"The Kimberley Process itself mandated the creation of a review committee
and gave it a list of things to examine and to report on, and to advance;
and listed amongst those are the core definitions of the Kimberley Process,"
"The issue of examining the matter, debating the matter, exploring different
avenues and possibilities--that is not subject to discussion as to whether
it can happen, as the whole organization has already made that decision.''
Milavanovic said the U.S. had laid out the groundwork for redefining
conflict diamonds from which future discussions could be built upon.
"I can say that it was a very positive meting where a lot of work was
accomplished," she said, adding "the intercessional, as you know, is not a
time for making decisions, for presenting proposals and having decision
made," said Milavanovic.
World Diamond Council president Eli Izhakoff applauded Milavanovic for
handling the meeting well, especially after previous contentious meetings
''I would like to applaud the chair for holding the meeting in such a spirit
that we did not have in the last couple of years because of the issue of
Zimbabwe," said Eli Izhakoff.
"There was a lot of mistrust and everyone was doing their own thing. Since
she took over with her very elegant style, she succeeded in bringing
everyone together, and while people have voiced different opinions, it was
done in a very cooperative spirit."
Nothing was finalized at the intersessional meeting with decisions expected
to be taken at the November plenary.
Tafadzwa Musarara is the chairperson of Resources Exploitation Watch. He
told VOA in Washington only the United Nations can change the definition of
blood diamonds and not the Kimberley Process.
Kimberley’s focal point person in Zimbabwe, Shamiso Mtisi, who was attending
an artisnal mining conference following the Kimberley meeting, said he was
happy discussions for the November plenary had gone well, adding he stands
with those calling for the expansion of the term blood diamond.
Zimbabwe's Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said he was also happy with the
outcome of the meeting.
by Tafadzwa Chaunzwa
HERE is a little known (or rather; little acknowledged) fact: Zimbabwe has
the 10th fastest growing economy in the world. According to IMF data, the
country’s real gross domestic product grew +9% in 2011, albeit from a very
Not to get ahead of ourselves and mistake recovery for growth (after all,
the country did witness economic contraction of biblical proportions in the
past decade), it is still worth noting that outside of all the political
bickering that we as Zimbabweans have become fond of bogging ourselves down
into, there are certain elements within our midst that have been doing their
jobs well. That is to say, there are some initiatives that several
leadership bodies in Zimbabwe have been executing well on, and of course, as
is always the case in any country, aspects of policy that are still wanting.
Since the inception of the Government of National Unity (GNU), we have seen
the finance ministry arrest run-away inflation that had become a
butt-of-jokes around the world. As part of its initial measures, the
Ministry introduced foreign currencies in place of the Zimbabwean dollar
which had become all but useful tender, and also did away with the
disastrous quasi-fiscal policies of prior years. Though it still has its
woes and remains at the bottom of the GDP barrels, the country has become
somewhat fiscally sound since some of these measures were first put in
Not to shower the Finance Ministry with undue praise, there are still some
aspects of its strategies that many may not agree with. For instance, the
Ministry has in the past few years emphasised the need for foreign direct
investment (FDI) in Zimbabwe. This is not to single out its policy on this,
since encouraging FDI has been a widely adopted strategy among developing
nations (with some countries such as Ireland and Brazil going as far as to
subsidise foreign firms in their countries), but there is no evidence to
suggest that FDI necessarily generates positive spill-over in the host
In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. For example, Apple Inc., a
well-known U.S. multinational has aggressively outsourced many of its
operations to developing countries such as China, where labour as well as
other manufacturing costs are low. Now, one would think China stands to
benefit from this but recent studies have shown that only about $10 or less
in direct labour wages that go into an iPad or iPhone is paid to Chinese
While Apple products are manufactured in China, the primary benefits go to
the U.S. economy. Further still, multinationals tend to crowd domestic firms
out of the market and empirical research has shown that the productivity
spill-over these bring does not offset the loss in profit margins that
result from a stunted local industry.
Predatory foreign firm dealings have been a thorn in Brazil’s side and we
should not naively follow suit to assume opening up our borders to foreign
investors is necessarily a good thing. Rather, we should focus on local
industry, and small local companies. Empower local business people and
support these programmes rather than hope to attract foreign investors.
Export rather than import. After all, a central measure of an economy’s
performance is its output and since there is no evidence to suggest Zimbabwe
has the capacity to move to a consumer economy any time soon, this should be
our primary focus at this stage.
Nevertheless, the focus on transparency many ministries have adopted since
the GNU is also commendable. Tourism accounts for a significant share of our
economy and the Tourism Ministry has been exceptional in putting Zimbabwe
out there. If I may add a personal anecdote, I recall getting off a plane at
Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson airport late last year (arguably the world’s
busiest airport and perhaps the largest as well) only to be greeted by
gigantic posters of the majestic Victoria Falls and Great Zimbabwe (at least
12 feet diagonally each).
In addition to these clever passive marketing strategies, the Ministry has
also assumed an active role in putting the country’s name on the global
ticker, with several trips to South America and Asia helping foster
bilateral relations with some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
We have also seen many success stories in the private sector. An example
that elicits the fondest response from some of my colleagues as a
quintessential example of free enterprise in Zimbabwe is Sakunda Energy,
which now controls upwards of 45% of the fuel market in the country. The
company has outperformed government-run Petrotrade and National Oil
Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (both of which spawned from the disbanded
NOCZIM last January) which have gone as far as to rely on primary competitor
Sakunda for supplies.
Then there is always the towering exploits of Econet Wireless, one of the
most dynamic companies to ever come out of Africa, with a broad and
diversified portfolio of global operations and investments.
Now, this is by no means a political piece nor is it intended as a
commentary on the previous or the current Zimbabwean Government, but rather
an aside to remind everyone that Zimbabweans inherently possess the ability
to succeed. Aside from the political differences that we allow to vehemently
detect our every interaction, I believe it is important that people take a
moment to reflect on things that have been going well in our country. These
glimmers of hope suggest that we are not and never will be a basket case
like many would like to believe.
The idea of a people living through a stratospheric inflation rate like the
one Zimbabwe reached is simply unimaginable to many. We are certainly not a
defeatist people and it is this resilience under difficult circumstances
that makes many of us especially proud to be Zimbabwean.
Patrick Antony Chinamasa’s delusion is not a surprise; this is the man who had never presided on a successful beneficial project since he joined the government and indeed his own party ZANU (PF). The 66 year old politician’s recent remark on SADCC’s communiqué therefore comes with no surprise, and here I quote,
“I am not a prophet, but what I am going to say is prophetic. What I see as we approach elections is a war-mongering scenario, parties singing war-mongering songs - a tendency to provoke incidences, to overblow them and exaggerate, to distort in order to allow a Syrian/Libyan-type Western intervention,” [ Chinamasa]
Chinamasa has been the Deputy Minister of agriculture, Attorney General, Acting Finance Minister and of late the Justice Minister of Zimbabwe. I will highlight his successes and failures in all the fore mentioned roles.
1. Deputy Minister of Agriculture: Chinamasa presided on one of the worst corrupt ministry in the living memory that included the GMB corruption tenders. Disappearing entire silos through corrupt tendencies. His conduct and leadership style was put to question but ZANU (PF) rewarded him by making him the Attorney general.
2. Attorney General: Chinamasa will be known in history as the first AG to bring the legal fraternity into disrepute. His political interference in Judgment forced many judges to leave the bench including the Chief Justice Antony Gubbay. He pronounced a racist coup d’état, asking the white judges to leave the bench “for their safety”. In 2002, he had High Court Judge Fergus Blackie arrested but then acquitted after he successfully brought charges against Chinamasa for attacking High Court ruling case. Chinamasa as AG even interfered with NGO operations bringing a ban on their operations signaling out Amani Trust as the number one enemy.
3. Acting Finance: Coffers were left to dry; I leave you to judge his effectiveness on this.
4. Justice Minister: He is one of the worst Justice Minister to emerge from Zimbabwe, in fact even his party ZANU (PF) fired him in 2004 as Secretary for Legal Affairs and subsequently fired him in 2005 as Justice Minister of Zimbabwe. Interfering with justice to punish opposition supporters. During his tenure, saw the highest number of MDC activists being detained and imprisoned for drummed up charges. It is ironic that once again ZANU (PF) in 2008 brought him back as the Minister of Justice, a post he still holds.
5. Electoral success: He currently holds no mandate from the Marondera Central constituency where he lost 4050 to 7060 to Nyamande of MDC-T. He was only brought in through back door as Senator by President Mugabe.
Chinamasa therefore must be reminded that the people of Zimbabwe this time around know what they want, a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe. He has presided on evil and destruction at tandem with the aspirations of a Zimbabwean people. The people of Zimbabwe are a peace loving people; this is why we demand the implementation of the GPA agreement to ensure a free and fair election. Cde chinamasa why would you fear a free and fair election if you have the support of the people? You have been in power for the past 32 years, during which the economy nose dived, human rights abuse became the order of the day, poverty and despair became the norm rather than the exception. What makes you think people of Zimbabwe have a short memory of your deeds?
Cde Chinamasa, you are not a prophet we know that, but do the right thing allow the will of the people of Zimbabwe to prevail and that is a free and fair election. Whatever the fire power no one will succeed in fighting the will of the people of Zimbabwe that indeed should be your fear!!
Dear Family and Friends,
They say that a picture speaks a thousand words and that was never
more true than in Zimbabwe this week.
The picture was of paws and noses. Toes and little black noses could
just be seen in a gap the height of a brick, at the bottom of a
trucks’ steel door. This picture came from Meryl Harrison, who
became internationally known and honoured for her courage and
passionate determination to save thousands of animals in Zimbabwe from
2000 – 2005. Meryl rescued cats and dogs, snakes and bunny rabbits,
cows, pigs, horses, sheep and goats that were stranded on commercial
farms which were being seized and violently taken over by war veterans
and Zanu PF supporters. Meryl went to places the rest of us were
running away from. She faced drugged, drunk, armed men and youths and
just would not give up until she had rescued the animals, her
‘innocent victims’ stuck in the middle of a political orgy. Meryl
left Zimbabwe for a couple of years when the worst of the farm
invasions were over but was asked to return by old friends in the
veterinary profession who told her "animal welfare has all but
collapsed since you left." Meryl came home in 2010 and her feet had
hardly touched the ground before she was immersed in animal welfare
problems. Controls had all but collapsed, regulations were being
ignored, there was no money and everyone was struggling. Animal
welfare was in a perilous state. A charitable organization led by vets
and called VAWZ was established with Meryl appointed to lead the
investigations in the field.
Meryl still goes where most people don’t or won’t and has just
exposed the story behind the picture of paws and noses under the truck
door. The first people knew about it was an email from Meryl looking
for homes for fifteen puppies and one adult Boerboel bitch that had
been confiscated. The puppies were a mixture of German Shepherds,
Boerboels and Great Danes cross Pointers. Meryl said they were all
very traumatized but would be fine with a bit of love and a lot of
TLC. A vehicle had been stopped by police at a road block in Beatrice
and the puppies were removed by VAWZ for being transported in what a
government vet described as ‘totally unsuitable” conditions.
Meryl’s words sent shivers down our spines as she described what she
had found: “Conditions in the back of the truck were horrendous when
we opened it up - the stench of stale urine and faeces hit us - the
pups were all scrabbling to get out at the same time, many of them
soaking wet with urine. There were several bags of dog food that had
been torn open, they were also covered in faeces and urine - several
patches of vomit were seen on the floor of the van. The three Great
Dane cross pups were squashed in wooden travel boxes that were too
small for them, they were unable to stand up or turn round - the
wooden boxes were soaked with urine and faeces. The adult Boerboel
bitch had been tied to a piece of metal inside the van - there were
also two small white pups loose in the back that were constantly being
bullied by the three Boerboel pups and we could hear their screams
before we even opened the back of the van.”
The puppies had started their journey in Johannesburg, South Africa
and were being taken by road, in a sealed van, on a 2,700 kilometre
road journey through Zimbabwe and Zambia to a pet shop in Lubumbashi
in the Congo. Meryl’s call for homes for the puppies received 200
responses and offers of help almost immediately. The animals had by
then been checked out by VAWZ vets and were being temporarily cared
for in an animal shelter.
Then things got nasty. A charge of theft of the dogs was made against
Meryl but dropped when police finally admitted there was no case to
answer. This had followed three days of harassment, intimidation and
threats of arrest to Meryl by the driver of the vehicle whose owner
had connections. When told that the owner could be charged under the
Cruelty Act, the retort came back: ‘never – he is untouchable.’
He obviously was ‘untouchable.’ An admission of guilt fine – for
cruelty - was paid by the truck owners, and then, unbelievably, the
police gave the go ahead for the journey to continue, in the same
vehicle and conditions as before. Meryl told the last of the story:
“VAWZ Inspectors watched with very heavy hearts as the pups were
loaded back into the same truck, the Boerboel bitch literally being
thrown in the back - at one stage the driver taunted them by waving
the puppies in their faces. The crying from the pups added to the
Walking past my own little dog, rescued from horrors by Meryl a couple
of years ago, I stop to stroke and give a gentle pat. Meryl cannot win
them all but we thank her for showing us what is right and being brave
enough to fight for it. Meryl is our moral compass and if you would
like to contact her or help VAWZ in their work, email
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 9th June 2012.
Copyright � Cathy Buckle. http://www.cathybuckle.com