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Zimbabwe Divisions Pose a Quandary for
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe with Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department on Thursday.
JOHANNESBURG — President
Obama has offered to extend a hand to repressive rulers who unclench their
fists. On Friday, he will meet the Zimbabwean politician, Morgan
Tsvangirai, who is trying to loosen the grip of an autocrat whose party’s
very symbol is the clenched fist: Robert
Mugabe, 85, in power now for 29 years and counting.
Mr. Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s
prime minister, defeated President Mugabe in an election last year, but was
pressured by regional leaders into an unsatisfactory power-sharing deal four
months ago. It left Mr. Mugabe in control of the police, the spy service, the
media and the criminal justice system — powers he has repeatedly used to
countermand Mr. Tsvangirai’s recent efforts to reestablish the rule of law and
freedom of the press.
Therein lies the puzzle for Mr. Obama and leaders of other wealthy western
democracies whom Mr. Tsvangirai is meeting during a three-week tour of the
United States and Europe: How do they help Mr. Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe without
bolstering Mr. Mugabe?
Mr. Tsvangirai has insisted he’s not walking around with a begging bowl, but
clearly he and his party hope that the United States and other western
democracies will provide greater aid to help them rebuild the country’s
devastated health, education and sanitation systems — accomplishments that would
strengthen them for the next election.
Most acutely, Mr. Tsvangirai needs to find a way to pay teachers and other
civil servants more than the $100 monthly allowance that is all the government
can now afford. The teachers have been threatening to quit work and public
employees to go on strike.
“There’s more need to move from humanitarian to recovery support for the
government,” Mr. Tsvangirai said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “The
government needs resources to fulfill its obligations.”
Diplomats from the rich Western democracies have said recently that they want
to help, but remain reluctant to directly aid a government in which Mr. Mugabe
still retains so much power.
For his part, Mr. Mugabe, who has for decades won plaudits in Africa for
poking a finger in the eye of the West, seems determined to belittle Mr.
Tsvangirai and sabotage his international tour.
The Herald, the state-owned newspaper Mr. Mugabe still controls, reported
this week that the president had “tasked” Mr. Tsvangirai with getting the United
States and Europe to lift travel and financial sanctions on Mr. Mugabe and his
inner circle — a report that Mr. Tsvangirai said misrepresented the facts.
“The removal of restrictions depends on what we do back home,” Mr. Tsvangirai
said. “We have to earn the confidence of the international community.”
Since Mr. Tsvangirai left the country, Mr. Mugabe has flaunted his affinity
for autocrats. The Herald published a two-part defense of North Korea’s nuclear
tests. And Mr. Mugabe welcomed Sudan’s president, Omar Hussan al-Bashir, charged
with war crimes by the International
Criminal Court, to an summit attended by African heads of state.
The government then blocked Zimbabwean journalists from covering the same
summit, though they were armed with a High Court order that they be allowed to
attend — and despite Mr. Tsvangirai’s own insistence that journalists no longer
need government accreditation.
In recent months, journalists have continued to be arrested after writing
stories Mr. Mugabe did not like. And despite an order by a tribunal established
by the 15 nations of the region that the government halt evictions of white
commercial farmers — a ruling Mr. Mugabe dismissed as nonsense — the government
has proceeded with prosecutions of the farmers, some of whom have been subjected
to violent land invasions. On Friday, the same tribunal held Zimbabwe’s
government in contempt of court.
Some months ago, shortly before he joined Mr. Mugabe in government, Mr.
Tsvangirai mused in an interview on the confounding question of how to deal with
Mr. Mugabe and what Mr. Obama could do to help. He essentially acknowledged that
he had not found the answer — and expressed a hope that Mr. Obama might have
“The choice is do you reengage Robert Mugabe, or do you continue to alienate
him?” he said. Neither had worked, he conceded.
Mr. Tsvangirai himself has been beaten, jailed, subjected to assassination
attempts and tried on treason charges during the long years of Mr. Mugabe’s
rule. He’s now trying to get along with Mr. Mugabe. But that comes with risks to
Mr. Tsvangirai’s credibility.
Civic leaders, journalists and some diplomats are increasingly critical of
Mr. Tsvangirai for trying to be nice to Mr. Mugabe instead of speaking out
boldly and consistently when the repressive state security forces Mr. Mugabe
controls abuse their power.
They also say his Movement for Democratic Change, which has a majority in
Parliament, needs to use that power more aggressively to attempt to repeal laws
that suppress freedom of the press and assembly.
“There are energetic measures he could be taking and instead he seems to be
propitiating Mugabe,” said Iden Wetherell, a senior editor at two of Zimbabwe’s
few independent newspapers, The Standard and The Independent.
But analysts here also say that despite Mr. Tsvangirai’s tactical missteps as
he tries to outmaneuver Mr. Mugabe, one of Africa’s most cunning political
survivors, he benefits from a reservoir of support and even devotion from
That sympathy has only deepened since his wife of 30 years was killed in car
crash not long after he became prime minister, followed by the drowning of his
2-year-old grandson, who had come to Zimbabwe with his parents to attend his
“He’s clearly seen as a savior,” said Eldred Masunungure, a political
scientist at the University of Zimbabwe. “And the deaths of his wife and
grandson have raised his profile as someone who can endure suffering and still
try to assist those he serves.”
holds meetings with IMF and World Bank in Washington
11 June 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has held high
level meetings with the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in
the build-up to his
Friday meeting with US President Barack
James Maridadi, Tsvangirai's spokesman, said the Prime Minister is
establish ways and means of institutional re-engagement with
and bilateral partners, as well as the members of the
'As a build-up to the White House meeting,
Prime Minister Tsvangirai will
meet separately the Chairman of the Senate
Sub-Committee on Africa,
Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie
Carson, Republican Senator
John McCain and Secretary of State Mrs Hilary
Rodham Clinton,' Maridadi
Economist Luke Zunga said
Tsvangirai's meetings with the Breton Woods
Institutions would most likely
have centred on how the country was going to
pay back the US$1 billion debt
it owes to them.
'Tsvangirai cannot ask for the debts to be cancelled
because that requires a
number of specific programmes to be in place in the
country before that
happens. There should be tangible evidence of the
restoration of human
rights and the rule of law for the IMF or World Bank to
listening to his pleas for debt canceling,' Zunga
'In fact people should be told the truth that no aid money is going
Zimbabwe anytime soon, as long as there are no reforms. The best
can do now is to plead for aid to speed up constitutional reforms
the country to have free and fair elections after the exercise,'
The Prime Minister has said he is not walking around
with a begging bowl in
his hands, but is trying to re-establish ways and
means of re-engaging the
The United States, not impressed so
far with the speed of reforms in
Zimbabwe, has resolved to maintain targeted
travel and financial
restrictions on Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF inner
In a resolution passed unanimously on Tuesday, the US senate
sanctions and an arms embargo will remain in place until there
is proof that
the inclusive government was moving towards the restoration of
the rule of
law and upholding human rights.
The senate said
suspension of non-humanitarian government-to-government
assistance will also
remain in place.
Western nations, led by the US and Britain are
withholding direct financial
support to the Harare administration,
unconvinced that Mugabe is genuinely
committed to democratic change or to
sharing power with Tsvangirai.
A clear sign of this was a statement by a
ZANU PF cabinet minister, who said
'they' don't take directives from
Tsvangirai. Information Minister Webster
Shamu said his ministry only
accepts directives on important issues from
Shamu said this
when opposing an application by a group of journalists, who
won a court
order to force his ministry to allow them to cover the just
summit, without accreditation from the defunct media
commission. Shamu said
in an affidavit that Tsvangirai was only head of
government business in
parliament, according to a power-sharing agreement
signed by the three main
political parties last year.
Shamu added that the Prime Minister did not
have powers to appoint ministers
to Cabinet and therefore had no authority
to issue directives to them.
This is exactly what the international
community is worried about, that
Tsvangirai is only be a figurehead in
government, without any authority to
US looks for ways
to 'appropriately' support Zim
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES Jun 11 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Tsvangirai on Thursday that the United States is looking for ways to
"appropriately" back his tense unity government.
welcomed Tsvangirai, who shares power with an internationally
President Robert Mugabe, as a "longtime advocate for his country and
people of Zimbabwe on behalf of human rights and economic
"He is now in a unified government that is attempting to
forward into a better future," the chief US diplomat said as
before the cameras with the former opposition leader.
I'm anxious to hear about the plans and the work that your government
undertaking, and to look for ways that we appropriately can be
Tsvangirai is on an international tour looking for
assistance as his country
seeks to emerge from years of economic chaos,
which has seen rampant
inflation and forced many Zimbabweans to flee the
In a television interview last month, Clinton said Mugabe's
be in "the best interests of everyone" and that the United
States would not
resume aid to the Zimbabwean government as long as it could
not be sure it
would reach the people concerned.
abroad contrasts with the international chill towards
the European Union and the United States maintain a travel ban and
freeze on Mugabe, his wife and inner circle in protest at
elections and alleged human rights abuses by his government.
Tsvangirai on February 11 formed a power-sharing government
steering Zimbabwe back to stability after disputed elections
plunged the country into crisis.
Relations within the government remain
Under the fledgling government's watch, more than $800-million in
lines have been secured to rebuild the shattered economy, and the
International Monetary Fund has said it will resume technical aid to
But that is still a fraction of the $8,5-billion the government
needs, and private firms say they want more guarantees that the rule
will be respected before they invest.
In the May interview
with the South African Broadcasting Corporation,
Clinton recognised Mugabe's
"historic contribution" to ending colonialism
and oppression by helping the
former Rhodesia gain independence from Britain
whatever reason, the last years of his rule have hurt so many of
people," she said.
Clinton's talks with Tsvangirai precede those at the
White House on Friday
with President Barack Obama. - AFP
States policy during the political transition in Zimbabwe
SRES 176 ATS
S. RES. 176
Expressing the sense of the Senate on
United States policy during the political transition in Zimbabwe, and for other
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 9, 2009
Mr. FEINGOLD (for himself, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. KERRY, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. BURRIS,
Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. NELSON of Nebraska, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. CARDIN, and Mr.
BROWNBACK) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed
Expressing the sense of the Senate on United States policy during the
political transition in Zimbabwe, and for other purposes.
Whereas, over the course of the last decade, the Zimbabwean African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), led by Robert Mugabe, increasingly turned to
violence and intimidation to maintain power amidst government-directed economic
collapse and a growing humanitarian crisis;
Whereas the Department of State’s 2008 Country Report on Human Rights
Practices states that the Government of Zimbabwe ‘continued to engage in the
pervasive and systematic abuse of human rights, which increased during the
year,’ including unlawful killings, politically-motivated abductions,
state-sanctioned use of excessive force and torture by security forces against
opposition, student leaders, and civil society activists;
Whereas Zimbabwe held presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29,
2008, with official results showing that Mr. Mugabe won 43.2 percent of the
vote, while Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition party Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), won 47.9 percent of the vote;
Whereas, in the wake of those elections, Mr. Mugabe and his allies launched a
brutal campaign of violence against members and supporters of the MDC, voters
and journalists, and other citizens of Zimbabwe, leading Mr. Tsvangirai to
withdraw from the June 27, 2008, runoff presidential election, which Mr. Mugabe,
the only remaining candidate, then won with 85 percent of the vote;
Whereas, on September 15, 2008, ZANU-PF and the MDC signed a ‘Global
Political Agreement’ (GPA) to form a transitional government under which Mr.
Mugabe would remain President, Mr. Tsvangirai would become Prime Minister, and
the parties would divide control of the ministries;
Whereas the Global Political Agreement, as written, included provisions to
restore the rule of law and economic stability and growth, establish a new
constitution, end violence by state and non-state actors, and promote freedom of
assembly, association, expression, and communication;
Whereas the installation of the transitional government stalled for five
months as Mr. Mugabe and his allies refused to compromise on control of key
ministries and security agencies and continued to use the state security
apparatus to intimidate and commit violence against political opponents;
Whereas, according to the United Nations, the humanitarian situation during
that time deteriorated to unprecedented levels, with an estimated 5,000,000
people in Zimbabwe susceptible to food insecurity, and collapsing water and
sewerage services giving rise to a cholera epidemic that has resulted in the
deaths of more than 4,000 people;
Whereas, on February 11, 2009, the parties finally formed the transitional
Whereas there has since been some progress toward the implementation of the
Global Political Agreement, including positive steps by the Ministry of Finance,
such as the issuance of a Short Term Economic Recovery Program (STERP) and the
abandonment of the Zimbabwe dollar in favor of foreign currencies;
Whereas many of the reform-minded individuals within the new transitional
government are limited by a severe lack of qualified personnel and material
Whereas the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement continues
to be obstructed by hardliners in the government, and important issues regarding
senior government appointments remain unresolved, notably the status of the
current Reserve Bank Governor and the Attorney General;
Whereas ZANU-PF officials have made efforts to obstruct implementation of the
Global Political Agreement as they continue to arrest legitimate journalists and
human rights activists and delay the swearing into office of properly designated
officials nominated by MDC; and
Whereas the security forces continue to operate outside the rule of law,
condoning land invasions, restrictions on media access and freedoms, and
harassment, arbitrary arrests, and detention of civil society activists in
Zimbabwe: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the
Senate that the United States Government, in coordination with other democratic
governments and international institutions desiring to help the people of
(1) continue to provide humanitarian assistance to
meet the urgent needs of the people of Zimbabwe;
(2) make available increased resources for
nongovernmental entities to provide assistance and to pay salaries or fees to
appropriately qualified people in Zimbabwe to enable progress to be made in the
critical areas of education, health, water, and sanitation;
(3) welcome and encourage responsible efforts by
the international community to support, strengthen, and extend reforms made by
ministries within the Government of Zimbabwe, especially the Ministry of
(4) provide concrete financial and technical
assistance in response to requests from the people of Zimbabwe and civil society
organizations in their efforts to draft and enact a new constitution based on
democratic values and principles that would enable the country to hold fair and
free elections at an early date;
(5) work with and encourage regional governments
and leaders to promote human rights, the restoration of the rule of law, and
economic growth in Zimbabwe;
(6) maintain the existing ban on the transfer of
defense items and services and the suspension of most non-humanitarian
government-to-government assistance until there is demonstrable progress toward
restoring the rule of law, civilian control over security forces, and respect
for human rights in Zimbabwe; and
(7) support the continuation and updating of
financial sanctions and travel bans targeted against those individuals
responsible for the deliberate breakdown of the rule of law, politically
motivated violence, and other ongoing illegal activities in Zimbabwe.
This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Thursday, June
speaks at Council on Foreign Relations
June 11, 2009
if the full text of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's address
Council of Foreign Relations in Washington DC on Wednesday, June 11:
here today to say thank you to America from the people of Zimbabwe. And
want to thank the Council on Foreign Relations for the great opportunities
that you provide speakers like me to address these kinds of
Thank you for your humanitarian aid, which as we speak, has saved
of a million Zimbabweans. Thank you for your support for our
democracy, a struggle that continues today.
very founding, you stand upon the idea that all men all men
created equal. That revolutionary ideal echoed through your
Abraham Lincoln who looked for the day that the weight would
be lifted off
the shoulders of all men, and all would have a chance.
Barack Obama just last week, telling an audience in Cairo that
the hope of
America is the hope of all humanity.
So as you provide emergency food and
medical assistance to the people of
Zimbabwe, you also shine the light of
hope to us and indeed to all the dark
places of the globe.
came to America 20 years ago as a young union leader. I had the good
fortunate to be selected for an international visitors program.
spent 4 weeks, here, visiting all across the country from New York to
Wyoming to California -I saw your nation from sea to shining
This was an eye opening experience, as you can imagine, for a young
had gone down into the mines in 1974. But one thing struck me that
I was struck by how much the people of America
reminded me of the people of
Mining, even in the best of
circumstances is hard and dangerous work; and
most who do it learn to be
good judges of the character of those around us.
And what I saw in the
American people is also what I saw, and see, in the
people of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans, like Americans, are a hard working people;
people who persevere
in hard times and people with I'm told the American
The independent Zimbabwe I knew as a union leader was the
best country in
Africa. We were a nation of different tribes, but without
differences. We were a place where people of different backgrounds
together working our farms and mines and making them the envy of our
continent. Our school system became the best in Africa we had good health
care, and our life expectancy rivaled that of nations in the global
In the last ten years, all that has been destroyed. Ten years ago
the 2nd largest economy in our region, behind only South Africa. Now
the smallest, behind the tiny nations of Swaziland and
The often unhappy 20th century saw too many countries devastated
by war, and
too many governments which intentionally persecuted portions of
people. Despite the dawn of this new hopeful century, Zimbabwe
stands as a
remarkable testimony of the power of a corrupt government, in
selfish policies, to impoverish an entire nation.
problem was evident to most Zimbabweans by the mid-1990s.
In 1999, from my
post as Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions, I called
a National Working People's Convention, which led to the
organization of the
Movement for Democratic Change as a direct response to
dissatisfaction with the current political dispensation.
In the year the
2000, President Mugabe, in an attempt to circumvent a new
constitution, orchestrated one of his own which would have
increased his own
powers, while diminishing those of the people.
To prevent this travesty,
I joined other church, civil society, human rights
and labor leaders in the
National Constitutional Assembly, to campaign
against the imposition of this
sham constitution. In a national referendum
it was rejected by the majority
of Zimbabweans, the last election in
Zimbabwe that outside observers have
labeled free and fair. Sadly, rejection
of the government at the polls did
not lead to the democratic change that
the people wanted.
series of elections since then, marred by violence and voting
irregularities, the results announced by the ruling party in each case left
the democratic opposition just short of the votes needed to take
At the end of 2008, African leaders, many genuinely concerned
democracy and others who could no longer ignore the Zimbabweans dying
their streets, brought about a negotiated settlement which resulted in my
becoming Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
The leaders of our party, the
Movement for Democratic Change, agreed to that
negotiated settlement very
reluctantly. Many of us had been tortured by the
regime with which we were
to form this new government; all of us had seen
friends and supporters
In the weeks leading up to this negotiated settlement, President
began a campaign to force out the humanitarian agencies which were
source of sustenance and medical support for the majority of
walk away from the negotiating table would have been to
watch as many as
four million people starve and generations lose their right
to education and
Thus, we decided that we
had to take the struggle for democracy into a new
arena but this does not
compromise our ideal to fight for democracy. Like
Nelson Mandela, I agreed
to work with a non-democratic regime as a
transition to full
June 11, marks four months since my swearing in as prime
Zimbabwe is changing. Already Zimbabwe is a different place, a
better place. As a society, we were near death, and we have
come back to
In our first hundred days we provided first aid in
a desperate situation;
and we did four big things - real change that brought
First, we stopped the printing presses. The Zimbabwe
dollar, the most
inflated currency in the history of the world, is gone. The
US dollar and
South African rand are effectively our national currencies. As
a result, our
record-setting inflation is gone.
Second, we stopped
forcing the print media to be licensed. If I may
Jefferson, a people with newspapers and no government are
safer than people
who have a government but no newspapers.
Third, we have launched
constitutional reform, which will lead to a people
driven constitution and
free elections. This was the promise of the National
Assembly; and it will come to pass.
Fourth, we took the riot police off
the streets. Our capital city, Harare is
no longer a city under armed
With those four steps, we have kept hope alive.
schools, which had almost all closed, are now mostly open.
backlog on marking exam papers has been cleared, so children can
Some of our hospitals have some medication to treat some of
Garbage is being removed from the streets in our cities and towns.
is mostly available for the five million people who need it. The
necessities of ordinary life are present on our store shelves. All
the results of our specific policies but also of the people's
people have gone back to work because they trust that the
democracy in the new arena will be successful and that
government will be on their side.
As the people gain
hope and change gains momentum, bigger challenges lie
1, the Movement for Democratic Change at its 10th annual convention
appealed to SADC-the South African Development Community-to resolve
government deadlock over Reserve Bank Governor and the Attorney
Under the Global Political Agreement, both of those positions
were to be
filled by consensus of all parties; and both incumbents were
re-appointed by President Mugabe.
It is time that the
Africa leaders, those who said the Global Political
Agreement was an African
solution to an Africa problem, it is time for them
to step up.
people of southern Africa, led by their labor unions, churches and
liberation heroes have proved to be friends of the people of Zimbabwe in
their time of need; their government leaders need to follow suit.
welcome the involvement in Africa of President Barack Obama. And his
emphasis on rebuilding what you call America's "soft power."
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is the architect of the worst inflation in the
history of the world. Our reserve bank has managed the economic policies
that pushed at least three million refugees (out of a population of twelve
million) to swim crocodile infested rivers to escape our once happy
We need to rectify the un-procedural appointment of the Reserve
Governor and the Attorney General. The office of the Attorney General
been so compromised that instead of dispensing justice to all fairly, we
have witnessed selective application of the law.
The Africa leaders
who are guardians of the inclusive government need to
step forward now and
tell President Robert Mugabe that Gideon Gono and
Johannes Tomana must
The global political agreement, of which those leaders are the
must be enforced.
As I am here in Washington DC, I also
need to address the application of the
GPA on the question of the
restrictive measures against officials of the
GPA calls for all parties in Zimbabwe to work for an end to these
restrictions. I am committed to the implementation of the GPA and the
restoration of the rule of law. Those in our government who are personally
listed, should join me in that stand. When they do, world support for the
removal of all restrictions will be unstoppable.
Now, let's look
ahead. Zimbabwe over the last decade, can serve for many
years as a bad
example. A government that refuses to be accountable to the
implement policies that bankrupt a nation.
I look forward to Zimbabwe
serving as a good example.
Under our Short Term Emergency Recovery
Programme, farmers are no longer
required to sell their crops to the
government's grain marketing control
The government's prior
monopoly policies meant low prices for the farmer,
high costs to the
consumer, and overseas bank accounts for a few. No wonder
we were producing
only 20 percent of the food we needed.
Our STERP also allows our mines to
sell minerals at world prices which
should reverse the collapse of our
mining sector. The plans of the previous
government to nationalize the mines
have been shelved.
We will also change the policies that brought our
manufacturing sector to
operate at only 10 percent of capacity.
addition, we will again welcome the world at our airports. Tourism is 10
percent of our economy yet we scared away our tourists while preventing
airlines from bringing them to our beautiful country.
Finally, one of
our greatest needs is the return of talent. Sadly, many of
those who first
fled from the previous government were those whose language
educational attainment made them most marketable in other
brightest graduates of what was once the best school system in
need those people to come back home. They have an indispensable
place in the
Let me reiterate, once again, that democratisation is the
first plank of our
economic recovery programme. We will build Zimbabwe
around democracy, free
elections, freedom of speech and assembly, respect
for property rights, and
the rule of law. The growth of prosperity that
follows these policies will
be slower than the collapse brought about by
their absence. But just as
Each time I am amazed and
challenged by America. Amazed by what free people,
blessed by rich
resources, can do. And challenged by the knowledge that
blessed by rich resources and burning with the desire to be
free, can do
what you have done here.
As America has been a beacon of hope for the
world, Zimbabwe can be the
engine of progress and democracy that transforms
the African continent.
Thank you, America for having kept hope alive.
Join me, America, as our
peoples move forward together.
Minister Biti to address World Economic Forum
By Lance Guma
Finance Minister Tendai Biti will address the World Economic Forum
Africa on Friday. He is expected to use his speech to make an
financial aid to fund the coalition governments 'Short Term
Recovery Programme'. Biti will be part of a panel that includes
African President Kgalema Motlanthe and Kingdom Meikles Africa
executive officer, Nigel Chanakira. Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
will also address the same forum.
Speaking to Newsreel on
Thursday Biti said he took part in a fund raising
dinner Wednesday evening
in which he met South Africa's new Finance
Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and
Trade Minister Rob Davis. Key investors in
both the public and private
sector were also present. Asked if he was
battling skepticism towards the
coalition government Biti said 'I don't see
where the skepticism is coming
from when you see the progress we have made?
A year ago Zimbabwe was a war
zone, now it is not.'
Pressed further on the MDC's own admission that
there were outstanding
issues Biti said; 'The MDC is a party in government
but not the government.'
He said the mixed messages were being generated by
journalists who did not
appreciate the distinction. But with Prime Minister
demands for more reforms before any aid, during his trip
to Europe and
America, Newsreel asked Biti if this was not a clear sign that
outstanding issues were hampering progress.
unscientific appreciation of why the Prime Minister is out. The
Minister has not gone there with a black briefcase to receive cheques.
has gone there to engage and re-intergrate (the country). That never used
happen. It's not about the cheque book. It's about nation building,' Biti
BBC created assassination story -
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Sekai Holland, Zimbabwe’s Minister for
National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, has dismissed a BBC report
which featured her this week as she painted a grim picture of the prospects of
violence in Zimbabwe.She said in the interview, which
was broadcast on BBC TV and radio as well as posted online, that a list was
being compiled by Zanu-PF hardliners of mainstream MDC officials who were
earmarked for assassination.
Holland who sustained severe injuries and was
admitted to hospital as a result of Zanu-PF violence in 2007, told BBC reporter
Mike Thomson that the recent spate of arrests and abductions showed that even
ministers of state like her were not safe.
“No one feels safe in Zimbabwe,” Holland said.
“Nobody feels safe; and I mean no one. We are always everyday getting telephone
calls, different members of MDC-T. We are getting calls of different names of
people who are going to be assassinated.”
Holland said she believed the worst violence ever was
being planned to coincide with elections, which she said were due in 18
Holland has now categorically denied she ever granted
an interview to any BBC reporter, this despite the existence of the video in
which she speaks spiritedly. The link to the video is:
Answering a question after he spoke at the Council on
Foreign Relations in Washington Wednesday Prime Minister Tsvangirai expressed
doubt over reports that allies of Mugabe had drawn up an assassination list of
their MDC opponents.
“If there is anyone who would be afraid of being
assassinated, it would be me,” Tsvangirai, said. “I am sure that there is no
Contacted in Harare Holland promptly changed her
story. Not only did she dismiss the BBC report as a fabrication, she attacked
the BBC in scathing terms.
“I’m really quite surprised by this story,” Holland
said. “These people came here three months ago and said they are with an NGO in
the UK and they were looking at the situation to fundraise for children so we
were talking as if we were talking with the NGO for children.
“Then we explained the things which were going well
and the things which we have achieved so they said what are the things you think
need to be improved on - so we had just started talking about the rumours that
were current at that time. So the story as far as I can see is about the
negative things which we said and nothing about the good things which we said,
But far from speaking about the needs of children on
the video, Holland tells the BBC that she and other members of the MDC,
including fellow ministers, were receiving threatening phone calls every
They had been told that hard-line members of
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party were adding their names to a lengthening
In the story posted on the Internet by the BBC the
same day Holland also claimed that 39 000 militiamen “working inside the civil
service and outside” were being paid a wage of $100 a day to beat up MDC
supporters, in the event of an election.
This, she said, meant that violence in the next
elections could be even worse than in 2008, when some 200 people were killed and
Yesterday she ferociously denied she ever made these
“Once the media decide to be irresponsible what are
we supposed to do,” she asked. “I think that people who wish Zimbabwe well are
going to pick up the story of what is going on well and there are these residual
elements that our president talks about - those are the people doing this, the
residual elements are always going to be there.”
Holland claimed she had not given an interview to any
“I hear that I was on the BBC. If they did this
interview several months ago, which they did, they should have come back to me
for an update because the situation in Zimbabwe is changing all the
The Holland-Thompson spat becomes the latest episode
in the love-hate relationship between the BBC and the MDC. In this relationship
the politicians are only too happy to grant exclusive interviews only to BBC
correspondents, only to rush back to local journalists once the exclusives have
backfired, often through no fault of the journalists.
Said Holland: “Whoever did that story at the BBC to
me that shows very bad journalism in bad faith and a total lack of respect for
me and the people they lied to here. They should have been honest because I’m
from the MDC and there is nothing to hide in Zimbabwe anymore, absolutely
Denied Tsvangirai Media Crew For His Foreign Tour
HARARE, June 11 2009
- The Ministry of Information and Publicity
failed to give Prime Minister
Tsvangirai a media crew to travel with him on
his tour to European Union
States and the USA.
Sources in the ministry said Tsvangirai's
office wrote a letter to the
Ministry of Information and Publicity
requesting that they make available a
media crew to travel with the Prime
"The letter was written by Prime Minister Tsvangirai's
Ian Makone to Minister Webster Shamu and Permanent Secretary
but the two never responded," said the
Prime minister Tsvangirai's office is said to have
offered to meet the
costs for the media crew.
of Tourism Walter Mzembi was even left fuming last
weekend when a ZBC
reporter arrived at the airport to cover his departure
Mzembi was part of Tsvangirai's
But ZBC Chief Executive Officer, Happisson
Muchechetere, told RadioVOP
Thursday that only the President is entitled to
travel with a news crew.
"You can't compare the President and
Prime Minister. It is only the
President who gets coverage when he is out of
the country," said
"This is because of
protocol and resource constraints. The resources
that we have are only for
the President but i think in future if we get a
request we can ask the
Ministry of Finance to foot the bill."
The state media has been
over the past days covering Tsvangirai's trip
in a very negative manner. The
Herald is leading the onslaught. It first
carried a reports suggesting that
Tsvangirai had been sent to Europe and the
United States by President Mugabe
with a special brief of having sanctions
papers has been consistently building up the negative coverage
misleading headlines such as "Dutch Snub Tsvangirai" and
"Tsvangirai to face
over $2 bln for construction, jobs
Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:40am GMT
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Zimbabwe needs over $2 billion to
job creation and construction in its shattered economy,
the country's public
works minister said on Thursday.
"I think (we
initially need) upwards of $2 billion, because we are looking
construction of roads, dams and those kind of things, which take up a lot
money," Minister Theresa Makone told Reuters on the sidelines of the
Economic Forum's Africa meeting in Cape Town.
A new unity government of
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has said the
country needs around $10 billion overall to
stabilise an economy marked by
chronic unemployment, disinvestment, acute
poverty and political
Tsvangirai is currently on a tour of Europe and the United States
to drum up cash from donors, but the trip has so far yielded few
pledges of new support.
Using the United States as an
example of how countries were building
themselves out of a recession, Makone
said new schools, hospitals and
government offices was a key focus in
Zimbabwe's economic recovery.
"If we create 4 million jobs within the
next 12 to 18 months, we would have
done stupendously well," she
The United Nations has estimated Zimbabwe's unemployment at 94
the country of about 12 million people.
forecasts its economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2009,
although analysts said
foreign currency shortages could curb economic
Old Mutual Properties and Group 5 construction company were
expressing interest in taking part in Zimbabwean reconstruction.
deals a blow to new constitution
MDC shocked by their
Zimbabwe's plans to craft a new home grown constitution have
Zanu PF resolved not to participate due to lack of
allowancies for their
members of parliament.
Thursday 11 June 2009,
by Alice Chimora
All Zanu PF members of parliament, at their caucus
meeting on Wednesday,
reached a decision to stay away from the exercise
after they learnt that
they would not be paid.
Meetings to gather
views from the public were due to commence Saturday, in a
process that would
lead to a new constitution by September next year.
Currently the southern
African country is under a 1979 constitution agreed
at the Lancaster House
talks in London and has been amended 19 times.
About US$36 million is
needed to finance the process but government it is
too broke to pursue the
A crisis meeting held late Thursday to resolve the issue
failed to persuade
the boycotting MPs to change their minds. The MDC has
said that it is
shocked by their decision.
According to them, this
shows that Zanu PF is not committed to the Global
Political Agreement that
calls for the crafting of a new constitution.
The first major attempt to
introduce a new constitution between 1999 and
2000 failed after the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and other civil
society groupings successfully
campaigned against a government sponsored
Judge and human rights defender Sansole dies in car crash
11 June 2009
Former Judge and human rights defender Washington
Sansole died in a car
crash in South Africa on Monday. Journalist Peta
Thornycroft, who spoke with
family members of the 66 year old former judge,
said he was travelling
through South Africa with his Lesotho wife Bapsi, on
their way to a funeral
in Lesotho. The couple were driving in different cars
when the judge's
vehicle was involved in an accident near Bloemfontein. Two
of his wife's
relatives from Lesotho were believed to have died in the same
Sansole, who was a passenger, was not killed immediately but
died later in
hospital. Thornycroft said: "It is a terrible shame to lose
such a long term
struggler for democracy from before independence and
"As a journalist, he was one of the very few people I actually
he gave me information it was true. He was one of those people
extraordinary integrity and maturity and of course that is why he quit
High Court, long before even the MDC came around."
regarded former judge once said about Mugabe: "An accomplished
fraud. I was
never disappointed by him because I never expected very much."
was one of the founders of the Forum Party, led by the late Chief
Enock Dumbutshena. Thornycroft said Sansole believed the judiciary
wiped out more or less with the departure of Justice Dumbutshena.
was a Tonga from Hwange district and was educated at Roma University
Lesotho and later Kings College in London. He returned to Zimbabwe soon
after independence and joined the bench, but this didn't last long.
Thornycroft said he was affected by the atrocities going on in Matabeleland
in the mid 80s and soon left the bench and went into private
He represented writer and political activist Judith Todd's
retain her citizenship after the Mugabe regime changed
ahead of the 2002 presidential elections. She is the
daughter of the late
Rhodesian Prime Minister Sir Garfield
Sansole was also arrested at one point when he was a director of
which owned The Daily News, which was effectively silenced by
Thornycroft said: "He had the earliest insights into the rot
of ZANU PF that
many people think only started in 2000. Of course it didn't,
almost as they took office. But as the late Willie Musarurwa used
'We all did sunshine journalism in those days'. But Washington
it very early on."
She said he would have been a prime
candidate to sit on a human rights
commission in a new Zimbabwe, if the
process was going to be based on merit
Death of Tsvangirai's wife no accident, says advisor
Morgan Tsvangirai visited the Netherlands on Monday, June 8.
Published: 11 June 2009 14:19 | Changed: 11 June 2009 14:59
By Paddy Maguire for RNW
The car crash in March this year which caused
the death of the Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wife Susan was
not an accident, says Dutchman Peter Hermes, an independent advisor to
“I think that the judiciary in Zimbabwe is very busy covering up what
happened. Also the police didn’t investigate what happened. They were destroying
forensic evidence immediately after the accident. They left the car for a couple
of days upside down by the side of the road so it was very hard for independent
investigators to find evidence,” says Hermes who has worked closely with
Tsvangirai ever since he was a union leader.
Hermes’ comments come just days after a magistrate in the town of Chivhu
postponed judgement in the case of the driver accused of causing Susan
Tsvangirai’s death as a result of her being thrown out of the car following the
collision. Chinowona Mwanda maintained that he had hit a concrete lump in the
road, lost control of his vehicle and hit the prime minister’s Land Cruiser as
it travelled in convoy along the Harare-Masvingo highway.
While Tsvangirai himself has always maintained it was an accident, rumours
surrounding the crash have persisted. It has been widely publicised that Deon
Theron, the vice-president of Zimbabwe’s commercial farmers union, happened to
be at the scene of the accident and took photographs that the police could have
used as evidence. Instead, according to media reports, the police arrested him
and destroyed the evidence.
“There has been an investigation by the MDC [Tsvangirai's party Movement for
Democratic Change] people itself. The report has not been released and I haven’t
seen the report, but information leaked out," Hermes explains. He says the
circumstantial evidence indicates that there is more to the story than came out
during the trial of Chinowona Mwanda.
"Firstly of all, he [the truck driver] was not an employee of the company
that hired the car to US Aid, which had hired the car for food transport. The
person who normally drove it was not driving that day. It has also been shown
that he was a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation – like the two
people in the cars in front and behind Tsvangirai. They were appointed by Robert
Mugabe to protect the prime minister – but at the moment of the accident both
those cars were far away from car of Tsvangirai. Which is also very suspicious,
you could say.”
So how can Hermes speak with such conviction, when the evidence is only
circumstantial? While he has no concrete proof that there was an actual
conspiracy, he remains certain he is right.
“I am convinced [it was not an accident] but I can’t prove it. There have
been many accidents in the past for political reasons in Zimbabwe in which many
people have died. There has never been any proof that the government was
involved. However everyone believes it has been the case. Another surcomstantial
piece of evidence is that arrangements for Mugabe to visit the hospital after
the accident had been made before it actually took place. Like I say, I have no
proof, but this is my opinion.”
Prime minister Tsvangirai himself has always denied it was anything more than
an accident. “He also can’t prove it. If he were to begin to stress the opinion
that it was not an accident it would put pressure on the inclusive government -
and possibly cause that inclusive government to fall apart. In the interests of
the people of Zimbabwe he thinks it is better to express the opinion that it was
Declaration of the civic society leaders conference on
By The Zimbabwean
We, the heads of Civic Society
Organizations, representing over 80
organizations, having met in Harare, on
the 3rd of June 2009, to discuss
issues associated with meaningful civil
society engagement with the
constitutional reform process, and
heard and engaged with 2 of the 3 Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary
Committee on Constitutional reform, and Having discussed amongst
and understood the different dominant approaches that are
currently there in
terms of engagement with the Constitutional reform
Therefore declare as
1. That we acknowledge that an opportunity for
exists in Zimbabwe during this transitional
2. That the process of constitutional reform, as envisaged in
does not satisfy our long held conceptions of what a
process ought to be like,
3. That laws such
as POSA and AIPPA need to be repealed urgently, as they
liberties that are necessary for meaningful participation by
citizens in the
constitution making process. The operating environment for
CSOs and the
political environment in general, still need reforming.
4. That we
still remain guided by principles adopted severally over time
to constitutional reform and constitution making.
5. That there are 3
dominant approaches from civic society in terms of
engaging with the
constitutional reform process
i. Those that are willing to engage, in the
sense of being part of the
sub committees envisaged under Article
ii. Those who will not be part of the Article 6 subcommittees but are
intent on doing civic education work on the constitutional reform process,
mobilize citizens to be aware of the process and watch over the process as
it unfolds and
iii. Those that believe the Article six process cannot
yield a meaningful
and legitimate outcome hence will not participate in
WITH REGARDS TO ENGAGEMENT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM PROCESS
1. DO NOT AGREE in a unitary approach in terms of engaging the
constitutional reform process. To that end, we commit to doing a proper
mapping exercise on who is doing what and using which approach in the
constitutional reform process, in a bid to get likeminded organizations
sharing capacities and harnessing resources and energies.
Acknowledge that the 3 approaches are not mutually exclusive of each
as they all seek the betterment of our country - and attainment of a
democratic constitution, and should be allowed to co-exist in a manner
allows for coordination, accommodation, and information sharing - and
to that end, all be publicized.
3. Have the responsibility to empower
the people through civic education
and information dissemination and should
do so to enable people to make
their own decisions, regardless of the
approach being taken by each
individual member of civic
4. Rally behind the position that the Kariba Draft should not
starting point of the constitutional reform process, or be the
for Zimbabwe - the process should start on a clean
We therefore commit ourselves to the following as
we move forward:
i. That through our different sectors and
collectively, we will develop
and publicize sets of principles on both the
process and the content issues
related to the constitutional reform process,
which will bench mark the
ii. We will get on with the
business of engaging with communities on the
iii. We will stay informed about what the select committee is
that we can operate on the basis of knowledge, regardless of the
that is being taken.
iv. We will raise key issues on the
operating environment that are
inimical to a proper process on the
constitutional reform process.
v. We will ensure that the process
currently underway under article 6 has
checks and balances, by encouraging
the 3 approaches mentioned above, and
will not allow our diversity to lead
to paralysis or fragmentation
vi. We will allow the existing
coalitions to act as the areas of
convergence - for the divergent views and
vii. We will encourage tolerance and respect of divergent
approaches, knowing that our primary constituencies are the
We will to that end proceed with plans to hold a 2009 Peoples
Convention on the 26th and 27th of June 2009, where at least
will be in attendance from a broad church of civic society
The coordinating committee that convened the conference will
convention, and thematic clusters will henceforth begin
the convention, which will have the following as its
1. To prepare civil society in its different hues for
engagement with the different processes associated with the
2. To define or adopt civil society
principles on constitutionalism
(both process and content)
encourage a strategic, mutually reinforcing co-relationship between
approaches mentioned above.
4. To begin the process of having well
coordinated and organised broader
civic society strategic engagement with
the constitutional reform process,
in a bid to aim for a strategy to achieve
a people driven and democratic
constitution in Zimbabwe.
5. To develop
a consensus position on self-executing clauses on when the
comes to life and transitional arrangements around the next
Convention will be open to all willing proponents of the 3 approaches
discussed at this conference.
Declared in Harare on the 3rd Day of
says Madhuku double-faced
June 11, 2009
BULAWAYO - Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Minister, Eric Matinenga
has accused National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
Madhuku, of being double faced in his quest to be part
of the drafting
process of a new constitution.
In a thinly veiled
attack on the constitutional law lecturer, Matinenga,
also a lawyer, said
Zimbabwe was now awash with people who would leave no
stone unturned in
seeking to implement their self-aggrandizement schemes.
He said most of
those bent on self-aggrandizement had made it a point they
would not be part
of Zimbabwe's progressive forces but will work to ensure
causes fail as a result of their energies being thrust towards
Matinenga's attack on Madhuku was made months after the
branded both leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change
unionist, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robotics professor Arthur
Mutambara has however admitted that he
became deputy-prime minister-ship
through taking advantage of opportunities
that presented themselves to him.
Mutambara lost a parliamentary election in
March 2008 but wormed his way,
opportunistically, his critics say, into the
office of deputy Prime
Minister11 months later. Tsvangirai has never
responded to Madhuku's charge.
Addressing delegates attending a two-day
Christian Alliance consultative
workshop on the constitution which was held
in Bulawayo from Tuesday to
yesterday, Matinenga said there was need for all
Zimbabweans to work towards
the success of the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) as well as the success
of the constitution-making
Regrettably, Matinenga said, Zimbabwe was now full of people who
glory-seekers, saying such antics derailed the efforts of all other
Zimbabweans to restore the country to its rightful place on the African
continent and the world picture at large.
He said Zimbabwe now boasts
of people with PhD's, not educational PhD's but
qualifications on how they
could pull other progressive forces down.
"We have people who are highly
qualified," said Matinenga, "highly qualified
not because of their
educational qualifications, but who hold PhD's as in
Pull Him Down. Zimbabwe
is at the moment at a critical stage where we do not
need such types of
"We need people who will combine their energies with other
forces so as to attain national goals of national prosperity,"
Matinenga said it was a surprise that Madhuku was now
turning against the
parliamentary-led constitutional consultation process
while he and the NCA
had assented to it in the first
"According to Section 6: sub-section (1) of the People's Charter,"
Matinenga, "it was agreed at the National People's Convention that all
stakeholders would join forces towards the making of the constitution of
"That section talks about the convening of an
which the NCA affixed its signature to as
agreeing that it would be part and
parcel of the exercise leading to the
stakeholders' convention in July."
He said by affixing his signature on
the February 8, 2008 People's Charter,
Madhuku and the NCA were also in
agreement they would be part and parcel of
a process that would also involve
politicians, Parliament, the government of
Zimbabwe as well as civic
He said, "It is surprising now that someone makes a U-turn and
reneges on an
agreement that he signed in 2008 and calls for a parallel
process. It simply
fits into the PhD syndrome I referred to," Matinenga
said, seeking to pull
He also questioned Madhuku's
capacity to rally the people of Zimbabwe to
partake in his own parallel
process, saying government was able to
capacitate people into participating
in the constitutional process led by
"When we talk about
people-centred constitution making process, we mean we
have the capacity to
capacitate the people of Zimbabwe to effectively
participate in the making
of a new constitution. It is our hope that we all
have that capacity as we
move towards rolling the process to a start," said
however urged the church to take a leading role in educating the people
under its belt on the constitution-making process saying there was need for
the church to know, respect, and capture the views of the people as they
would have been put across.
Matinenga said there was no need for
people to reject the new constitution
on the basis that their views were not
included in the new document being
sought, saying the 2000 referendum
situation should not repeat itself in
claims farmer called sister "kaffir"
June 11, 2009
Dr ARIKANA Chihombori, the American doctor who became
controversy this week after a picture of her walking with Prime
Morgan Tsvangirai, did a round on Internet publications and set
wagging, amid reports she was in the process of expropriating land
Chegutu commercial farmer, has finally spoken.
granted Violet Gonda of SW Radio Africa an interview in which she
that the Cremers, the owners of De Rus Farm, the Chegutu property
wants to turn into her own home, had abused her unnamed sister as
well as a
Chegutu lands officer when the two visited the farm to present her
in the farm to them.
"At one point Mr (M.L.) Cremer let his dog at them,"
she said. "He started
yelling at my sister, calling her a cold stupid kaffir
and that he was not
going to listen to any instructions from a
Chihombori again said that she had been issued with an offer
authorising her to take over part of De Rus Farm. She is apparently
interested in occupying the part of the farm where the farmhouse is
Chihombori said she was a Zimbabwean and had a right to
land. She said she
had been given the offer letter because she had proved
she had the resources
to engage in farming. Asked if it was right in her
opinion for one person to
invade the property of another, Chihombori said
redistribution programme was designed to correct
Chihombori was born in colonial Rhodesia in 1957.
She was educated in the US
and has lived and practiced as a doctor in the
State of Tennessee for the
past 30 years. She is said to be married to a
Ghanaian, who is also a
She is the chief executive officer
of the Bell Family Medical Centre which
she founded in Tennessee in 1992.
She is also co-owner of the Mid-Tennessee
Medical Associates, a
multi-specialty clinic with 16 physicians.
In 1999 her company received
US$750 000 from the World Bank to fund its
involvement with the Torwood
Hospital and Redcliff Medical Center in the
town of Redcliff, in the
Midlands Province near Kwekwe. Redcliff is the once
thriving home of Zisco,
the troubled steel producer.
One of Redcliff's better known entrepreneurs
is none other than Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who is now the
proprietor of the town's only
hotel, Redcliff Hotel. It is a popular venue
for conferences and workshops
organised by the Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists, with the minister hovering
in the background and granting the
occasional interview on the sidelines.
Sources say Prime Minister
Tsvangirai has a wealthy brother who lives in
Redcliff and mines for gold in
Back in Chegutu, the Cremer family says Chihombori's sister
sent a group of
unemployed youths to take over the farm in January. They say
lasted only three days, after which the youths left. They
they were paid too little. In April Chihombori applied to
the courts for an
application to evict the Cremer family. She produced an
offer letter dated
Chihombori revealed to SW Radio
Africa that she was withdrawing the case for
the eviction of the Cremers
from the magistrate's court - at least for the
time being. She says her
withdrawal was the result of the way the Cremers
had abused her sister and
the Chegutu lands officer.
Chihombori says it was because of this alleged
abuse by Cremer and not
because of any pressure from Prime Minister
Tsvangirai to leave the farm
that she was stepping back.
Newzimbabwe website reported on Tuesday that Tsvangirai was going to
instruct Chihombori to "walk away from that farm".
As she finally
broke her silence Chihombori said on Wednesday that she was,
to Tsvangirai. The Prime Minister has reportedly denied any
with the woman in whose company he was photographed in
circumstances at the inauguration of South Africa's President
Jacob Zuma in
Pretoria on Saturday, May 9.
A well placed source in the MDC said on
Tuesday that Tsvangirai and
Chihombori were, in fact, not related. It has
also been reported that the
Prime Minister has denied any relationship with
the doctor and that he did
so after he was challenged by US ambassador,
James McGee, after it
transpired that his companion at the inauguration in
Pretoria was in the
process of invading a commercial farm in Chegutu. McGee
became involved in
the saga because Chihombiro is an American
Zimbabwean law does not permit dual-citizenship. It is a mystery
this case, an American citizen was issued with an offer letter to
her appropriation of a commercial farm in
Despite Tsvangirai's reported denial of any relationship with
his spokesman, James Maridadi, insisted on Wednesday that the
"Dr. Chihombori is the Prime Minister's
niece and that is not in dispute.
She is 52 years old and an uncle cannot be
held responsible for the
commissions or omissions on the part of a 52-year
old niece." Maridadi said.
Tsvangirai is a 57-year old widower. His wife
died in a tragic car accident
in March, hardly a month after he was sworn in
as Prime Minister. The storm
that he is currently riding while on a tour of
the United States and
European states has its roots in the picture taken in
revelation that the Prime Minister was escorting a
presumably forfeited her Zimbabwean citizenship ages ago
Maridadi has explained before that Tsvangirai
and Chihombori were invited to
the inauguration separately and only met at
the function, presumably just
before they entered the venue. It is not clear
yet in what capacity the
Tennessee doctor was invited to the
"Now that there is a lot of interest coming out in the
press," Maridadi said
Wednesday, "I think there may be need for the Prime
Minister to maybe look
at the case more closely and then determine what kind
of action to take from
"But as of now the Prime Minister is on
a very busy schedule of his tour of
the US and Europe. He doesn't have a lot
of time to engage in the issue of
the Cremers' Farm and he doesn't have the
Maridadi said the Prime Minister had not engaged anyone in any
pertaining to the issue of the farm. This statement suggests that
allegation made by the Commercial Farmers' Union and published this week
that Tsvangirai had discussed the Chihombori affair with the US ambassador
was, in fact false.
Kong government defends assault let-off for Mugabe bodyguards
Jun 11, 2009, 3:10 GMT
Hong Kong - Hong Kong's head
prosecutor on Thursday defended the decision
not to try bodyguards for
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's daughter over
an alleged assault on two
Director of Public Prosecutions Grenville Cross said
the Department of
Justice decided not to take the case to court because the
'genuinely apprehensive for the safety of Miss (Bona)
Mugabe' at the time of
'It is recognized throughout the
common law world that before a prosecution
can be started any defences which
are plainly open to a suspect must be
considered ... and the decision not to
prosecute was taken without fear or
favour,' he said in a letter to
Thursday's South China Morning Post.
The Hong Kong government has come
under fire for deciding not to prosecute
the two bodyguards after they
allegedly assaulted newspaper photographers
outside the house where Bona
Mugabe is living while she studies at
university in the former British
Photographers Colin Galloway and Tim O'Rourke, working for
Sunday Times newspaper investigating the Mugabe family's links to
were confronted by the male and female bodyguards outside the
5-million-US-dollar house on February 13.
Galloway said he was was
gripped by the throat and lifted off his feet by
a male bodyguard while
American O'Rourke was assaulted by the female
were called and classified the case as assault before referring
the case in
March to the Department of Justice, which announced earlier this
there should be no prosecution.
Anger at the case was intensified by
the fact that weeks before the
incident, Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace,
allegedly assaulted another
photographer, Richard Jones, for taking
photographs of her shopping in Hong
After receiving a police
report indicating there was sufficient evidence
to prosecute, the Department
of Justice concluded that Grace Mugabe was
entitled to diplomatic immunity
as the president's wife.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association and a
leading legislator described
the decision on the bodyguards as damaging for
press freedom while the
lawyer acting for the two photographers said he is
considering seeking a
judicial review in the city's High Court.
The lawyer said vital evidence, including a tape recording in which one
the bodyguards appears to admit assaulting the photographers 'because you
were taking photographs,' was overlooked by the Department of
Defending the decision, however, Cross described the case as
and said it was not justified or in the public interest to
allow it to go to
'The bodyguards were genuinely
apprehensive for the safety of Miss Mugabe
when the two persons, whom they
considered to be trespassers, suddenly
appeared as she was about to go to
university,' he said.
He said if cases were not vetted, 'the courts
would be flooded with
unmeritorious prosecutions of people who should never
have been placed on
trial. This would undermine the system of criminal
The bodyguards, Mapfumo Marks and Manyaira Reliance Pepukai,
to return to Zimbabwe soon with 20-year-old Bona Mugabe when
universities begin their summer vacations.
Sanctions, Sanctions and more Sanctions Please
So much has been said about
sanctions by the West on Zimbabwe and I am also reading that the Prime Minister,
Morgan Tsvangirai , is on a mission to persuade the US, Britain and Europe to
remove the sanctions against Zimbabwe. As a concerned Zimbabwean citizen I
wanted to know two things about these sanctions:
1. What these sanctions are
2. What the demands are by those who imposed the
On point “1” my research
revealed that the sanctions are:
· An arms embargo on
· A travel ban on individuals
in ZANU PF who are believed to be behind the violence against Zimbabwean
citizens, those who act above the laws of the country and those who violet
conventional human rights such as freedom from torture which is an absolute
· A freeze on financial
accounts (held in the western banks and financial institutions) of all the
On point “2”, what I found
was that those imposing the sanctions are saying is
· Stop killing Zimbabweans
for voting the way they want. In other words the demand is, “stop beating and
killing Zimbabweans for choosing the president of their
· Stop picking up citizens
from their homes in the dead of the night for it is against the laws of your
country to do so.
· Stop torturing Zimbabweans
that you “arrest” or kidnap whether in the dead of the night or in broad
daylight. People deserve respect.
· Don’t starve people of
Zimbabwe especially when we (the West) give you food to feed the nation and you
should stop evicting/killing the farmers who produce the food that feeds the
I trust my research is in
line with the general perception and given that this is the true scenario,
surely Zimbabwe does not need more arms as it is surrounded by friendly nations
that are all part of a friendly bloc, SADC. So any embargo on arms is
ineffectual. Zimbabwe is now twenty nine years into self rule and under the same
leader. So we cannot say or that leader spoiled it for us. It is just the same
I fail to fathom the impact
of a travel ban on an individual would have on the socio -political economy of a
country. I need help on this.
Similarly, what economic
impact is created by freezing a ZANU PF politburo member’s USA $6m account?
Absolutely nothing if I was to answer that.
I have heard some
ill-considered arguments that the MFI and the World Bank have sanctions on
Zimbabwe. Rubbish! I would say. These
two institutions represent the first order of capitalism in its true sense. They
are there to make money. If Zimbabwe can pay its debts, these institutions would
continue to lend to Zimbabwe irrespective of who is in power in that
As a Zimbabwean I am
wondering why it should take sanctions by foreigners against the powers that be
in Zimbabwe to ensure that Zimbabweans realise their sovereignty and are treated
with dignity by their own fellow citizens. If the sanctions are an attempt to
ensure that Zimbabweans are given back their dignity, respect, autonomy and
freedoms then I can hear clamours of Sanctions, Sanctions and more Sanctions! – from all corners of
On reflection – if indeed
the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai is touring America and Europe advocating
for the dropping of sanctions, whose corner is fighting in? The truth is: Morgan
Tsvangirai did not impose the smart sanctions and as such he hasn’t got the
power to have them lifted. Only those in Nkayi, Gwanda, Masvingo, Chimanimani,
Mudzi, Zvimba, Mtoko, Silobela, Chipinga, Chirundu and the rest of Zimbabwe have
the power to say Free at last! Free at
last! Only then will the world will listen. The future of Zimbabwe is not
going to be determined by those who are dying off but by those who are
My message to those in
power is that you should never take people for
Is there someone out there
who can tell the people of Zimbabwe the truth about the sanctions? My own
perspective is as given above.
John Huruva firstname.lastname@example.org
Harare, Jun 10, 2009 (The Herald/All Africa Global Media
via COMTEX) -- FIVE
armed robbers raided a truck and stole various
electrical gadgets and goods
worth thousands of dollars along the
Harare-Bulawayo Road near Selous, in
the early hours of last
The gang laid spikes on the road to deflate the
tyres of the truck, which
was heading towards Harare at around
Although details were still sketchy yesterday, it is believed that
had several shoppers who were coming from
Sources said the spikes are normally used by police
manning roadblocks along
the road and are usually left at the scene at
The gang then laid the spikes on the road to deflate the tyres of
It stopped after about 50 metres from the scene.
pounced on the passengers and the driver, threatening them not to
A few minutes later another truck, which was heading in the
direction, arrived at the scene and it was ordered to stop by the
then loaded their loot into the truck before stripping all the
Police said the gang burnt all the clothes of the
victims before speeding
off. The victims were later assisted with clothing
and a report was made to
Dismantles Cholera Treatment Centres
11 June 2009
Harare - Harare
City Council has started dismantling cholera treatment
centres in Budiriro
and at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital as the
spread of the disease
has declined, a council medical officer said
centres were set up at the height of the outbreak, the director of
services, Dr Prosper Chonzi, said, adding there were being restored
to their original uses. The scaling down in cholera-related
follows a long period achieved without recording any cholera
cases. At the
moment the city has no cholera admissions.
At the height of the epidemic,
Dr Chonzi said the city had suspended all
other services as it directed
resources ,including personnel, towards
Dr Chonzi said
on Tuesday the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital that had
admitting non-cholera patients was now receiving TB, HIV and Aids
as well as other patients with infectious diseases. He made the
during a ceremony to receive protective clothing, detergents and
disinfectants donated to council by the Zimbabwe Healthcare Trust. He said
while council clinics were well-stocked with medicines and vaccines, the
city did not have protective clothing and disinfectants.
took journalists on a tour of the Beatrice Infectious Diseases
showing them the dismantling of the cholera treatment centre,
which has now
reverted to its original use of admitting TB and HIV and Aids
He also showed the journalists huge consignments of
medicines and vaccines
in the hospital's pharmacy and storerooms.
Chonzi said clinics had enough stocks as some donors, such as the Red
and Help from Germany were distributing the drugs and equipment
the clinics. He said the city was now battling to address
include the shortage of transport and the dilapidated health
"We have challenges of protective clothing, disinfectants,
routine maintenance of buildings," he said. Dr Chonzi said the
department was losing staff to non-governmental organisations, the
and through natural attrition.
"We need to retain the staff we have and to
recruit more," he said.
Ms Rose Jena, the executive director of Zimbabwe
Healthcare Trust, said her
organisation felt indebted to assist the
community. She paid tribute to the
city's health personnel who have stuck
with council during difficult times.
Acting mayor Councillor Emmanuel
Chiroto received the consignment on behalf
Daily cholera update and alerts, 09 Jun 2009
* Please note that
daily information collection is a challenge due to communication and staff
constraints. On-going data cleaning may result in an increase or decrease in the
numbers. Any change will then be explained.
** Daily information on new deaths should not imply that these deaths
occurred in cases reported that day. Therefore daily CFRs >100% may
A. Highlights of the day:
- 0 Cases and 0 deaths added today (in comparison with 16 cases and 0 deaths
- Cumulative cases 98 522
- Cumulative deaths 4 282 of which 2 630 are community deaths
- 83.3 % of the reporting centres affected have reported today 50 out of 60
affected reporting centres)
- Cumulative Institutional Case Fatality Rate = 1.7%
- Daily Institutional CFR = 0.0 %.
- No reports received from Mashonaland West Province.
Police Investigating Man Spying on MDC
HARARE, - Zimbabwean police says it is investigating a man who was
caught posing as a Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) security
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office at Munhumutapa Building
Harare's central business district.
spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri told our source on Thursday
the MDC security had not reported the case to the police when it
"We have always told people to report to the police if they
unusual behavour like in this case. We are going to probe the
issue since we
were given the ID documents which were taken away from the
The MDC believes the man was on a mission to
spy on Tsvangirai.
The party's director of security, Kisimusi Dhlamini told
sources this week
that the man had three identification details - one from
National Army bearing the name Alex Masisimani, Regiment number
national ID number 07-1004561-07 and a Zimbabwe Republic Police CID
card bearing the name Goshomi C, force number 042208C rank of
The man entered the Prime Minister's offices and
lied to PM's Personal
Assistant that he was from the MDC's security
department and had been
assigned to carry out some security duties in South
Africa by the party and
that he was back. He claimed he wanted to brief the
party President on the
outcome of the assignment.
"Acting on a tip
off from my alert security, I quickly got into the office
where the guy was
trying to convince the Prime Minister's PA to arrange a
meeting with the
Prime Minister. Upon seeing me the guy ...ran away. We made
a follow up and
caught him before he left the Munhumutapa building where we
searched him and
discovered the three identity cards," said Dhlamini.
Dhlamini said they
released the man after taking away the three IDs he was
carrying. He said
they did not report the matter to the police because they
were convinced the
police would not take any action.
The MDC Minister for Healing Sekai
Holland told the BBC recently that MDC
members lived in fear of their lives
as they constantly got threats to
Efforts to get an
official comment from ZNA were fruitless.
Why Sanitation Is the Forgotten Sister
Busani Bafana interviews NOMA NESENI, WSSCC water, sanitation and
BULAWAYO, Jun 11 (IPS) - As part of the International Year
of Sanitation in 2008, Zimbabwe developed a national strategy for sanitation,
launched in February 2008. Just five months later, a cholera outbreak that was
to claim over 4,000 lives began.
One of the strategy's key proposals
was to call for expanded resources for sanitation including public-private
partnerships to expand access to proper toilets across the country.
task force included representation from key ministries such as health, water
development, and finance, as well as civic organisations like Plan
International, World Vision and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative
Council (WSSCC), for which Noma Neseni is the water, sanitation and health
coordinator in Zimbabwe.
Neseni told IPS why she viewed the task force's
work as less than a disaster. Excerpts of the interview follow.
With Zimbabwe's health delivery services in paralysis, what has your council
done to improve sanitation in the country?
Noma Neseni: A national
sanitation taskforce team developed a strategy that looked at priority areas.
These included an increase in sanitation coverage using demand-led approaches,
capacity development at all levels and research into low-cost appropriate
The strategy also agreed on the opening up of technologies
instead of just using the expensive type of VIP [Ventilated Improved Pit]
latrine. It was recognised that so long as the latrines took into account the
specific scientific aspects of the VIP, the superstructure could be made
This strategy was later presented to larger stakeholders who
endorsed it. We also had a national sanitation seminar that was attended by
different permanent secretaries who endorsed a communiqué that called on private
public partnership scaling up of sanitation coverage and more resources for
IPS: More often than not, when governments invest in
water development, sanitation is its forgotten sister, why so?
Water often gets visibility because without water there is no life. Thus in
terms of demand, communities often demand for water over sanitation.
Water is also relatively easy to develop or provide whereas sanitation -
especially for large communities - is complicated to implement and manage.
Furthermore, sanitation does not yield the same profits as water so
utilities, private sector do not want to invest in sanitation.
also easy to show quick returns with water as compared to sanitation. At
household level, people have alternatives they can use the bush but if there is
no water there is no other alternative.
Even at national level,
government has been putting more resources for water as compared to sanitation.
Sometimes there is also lack of awareness and understanding on the value of
sanitation for the different sectors such as education, environment, tourism,
IPS: Why is sanitation an important issue today
more than ever before?
NN: Access to sanitation is an indicator for
human development. It is important for girls' education, for women's safety and
dignity, for improved health, for control of vectors and diseases and for
And yet there are so many people that still do not
have access, in Zimbabwe we are backsliding from around 60 percent coverage to
as low as 25 percent.
In urban areas where as once we had almost 100
percent coverage, access is now limited due to lack of water, urban population
without houses, informal settlements.
In other words sanitation is
important for control of diseases, for sustaining our environment and for
achieving the many development goals such as maternal health, education, control
IPS: Would you say women than men are more affected by
the lack of toilets?
NN: Women and girls are more affected by lack
of sanitation as they face defecating in the open which means loss of dignity.
Women face sexual abuse and even rape as they walk alone at night using a
predictable route to a predictable defecation site and there is the issue of
embarrassment in the disposal of sanitary pads.
Men can easily urinate
in the open and women often do not have that privilege especially when newly
married as a daughter in law. Women also have to look after the sick i.e.
[those] infected with HIV or suffering from diarrhoea: without latrines this
task is even more difficult.
IPS: In your opinion would you say there
is adequate attention to sanitation issues in this country if not, why not?
NN: There has been inadequate attention to sanitation particularly
from the perspective of resource allocation. Sanitation is largely seen as a
donor activity and even among NGOs; more money is allocated to water.
recent years there have been challenges such as access to inputs like cement.
There are also challenges with management of systems, Institutional problems
moving the management in urban areas between ZINWA and local authorities.
Firstly, we need to just finalise the water and sanitation policy in
Zimbabwe and then we need to rationalise these different policies that impact on
sanitation e.g., water act, environmental bill, education act, urban councils
act, rural councils act. The harmonization should lead to clear institutional
roles and responsibilities.
A regulatory framework is also necessary as
we see that the polluter pays principles are affected. At the moment the
polluter fee is so cheap institutions would rather pollute and pay. We also need
incentives so that policies are implemented without having to resort to punitive
Civil Society, CHRA speak on Minister Chombo’s directive on Harare water and sewer.
The Combined Harare Residents Association
(CHRA) convened a Civil Society meeting on water on the 10th of June
2009 at the CHRA boardroom in the city centre. The meeting was prompted by the
Minister of Local Government’s directive to Council to constitute a water
utility to manage water supply and sewer reticulation for Harare. The meeting that
was attended by seven representatives of civil society organizations sought to
collect opinions from civic society and adopt a common position with respect to
the best water supply and sewer reticulation management model for the city of
Civic society representatives and leaders in attendance were guided by the
following in finding a common position;
- Residents have a
right to access clean and adequate water as and when they need it.
- The residents have
been denied this right for a long time as evidenced by the chronic water
shortage that has hit the city for the past 5 years.
- The Water crisis is
a result of mismanagement by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority
- The current water
crisis is being compounded by the reluctance by the Ministry of Local Government
to let the City of Harare independently run water supply and sewer
- The current water
problems are also a result of the intense and extensive damage on the water and
sewer reticulation infrastructure by ZINWA.
- Hundreds of innocent
lives were lost as a result of cholera; which was a direct result of this water
- The decision by
Government to return water and sewer reticulation management to City of
supreme and was a clear realization of the water crisis that had been created by
- The City of
Harare under the leadership of Mayor Muchadei
Masunda has made tremendous strides under the current circumstances (of reckless
and constant interference by the Ministry of Local Government; and extensive
damage done by ZINWA) to raise revenue for the resuscitation of regular water
supply and efficient sewer reticulation.
- In this time of
crisis, the Mayor and his team of councilors deserve constructive criticism and
the support of the residents.
Given this background, civic society
adopted a common position on the best water supply and sewer reticulation model
for the city of Harare; and this model entails
the following critical points;
- The management of
water supply and sewer reticulation must be carried out by a Department in the
City Council. The Director of that Department (which can be called Water and
Sewer) must be responsible to the Town Clerk and the Council.
- A committee of
councilors (Committee can be called the Water and Sewer Committee) be set up to
monitor and make recommendations over the water supply and sewer reticulation
management. This committee may comprise of the Mayor, Councilors with civil
engineering background and the Town Clerk must be an ex officio member. The
committee must however include elected councilors; as the majority in that
We prefer this kind of a model
- Councilors are the
legitimate and elected community leaders; ultimately responsible and accountable
for municipal service delivery. Water supply and sewer reticulation are at the
core of municipal service delivery. In that regard councilors must be in control
of the water supply and sewer reticulation services; for they cannot be
accountable for a service they are not in control of. Further; to loose control
over water supply and sewer reticulation is to loose control over municipal
service delivery but at the same time remaining responsible to the residents.
This will be an untenable position for both councilors and
- Previously, under
the ZINWA regime, the residents were completely stuck with their water and sewer
issues, as ZINWA officials refused to account to the residents and there was no
any other practical way of holding ZINWA accountable. For instance ZINWA
officials refused to meet the residents whenever they were called to account for
water and sewer challenges being faced in the local communities. Thus keeping
the water and sewer reticulation within the City Council ensures transparency
- Water supply and
sewer reticulation is a key/strategic source of revenue for the city council.
Previously, we noted that water supply and sewer reticulation management
contributed 40% towards the total annual revenue for the council. Therefore
keeping the water supply and sewer reticulation management within the City
Council ensures protection of revenue for the council and residents.
We are particularly opposed to the
suggestion of creating a Water Utility that manages the water supply and sewer
reticulation on the following critical basis;
It does not ensure transparency and
accountability as espoused above. Rather it encourages mismanagement, corruption
and general deterioration of municipal service delivery. A calamity like the
Cholera crisis the city is currently battling with will be the most likely
To create another so called water utility
after the Government agreed to return the water management to the City Council
is practically to create another “ZINWA scenario” which is associated with
cholera, water shortages, corruption, mismanagement and lack of accountability.
The disadvantages of a water utility have
been well experienced and witnessed in the past 5 years.
Residents of Harare hope that Minister Chombo will let the City of
Harare make its own decision with respect to this
issue. The Minister and the City Council must always remember the thousands of
precious and innocent lives compromised and lost as a result of the ZINWA
mediocrity which led to the water crisis and ultimately the cholera crisis in
Harare. Minister Chombo and the City Council must
abstain from cheap politics and pursuing selfish goals at the expense of the
lives of the people, for it is not only criminal but a sin of which we all know
the wages of sin!
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4-
Residents reject Government’s decision on ZESA disconnections
The Combined Harare Residents Association
(CHRA) and the National Residents Associations Consultative Forum (NRACF) reject
and will contest the decision by Government to authorize the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Company (ZESA) to disconnect electricity over outstanding
payments. This response by the Residents Associations is based on the fact that
the electricity tariffs charged by ZESA are exorbitant while the bills that are
being discharged to households by ZESA are unjustified; in the sense that they
are either based on estimates or way above the consumption
CHRA and other Residents Associations have
been inundated with calls from residents who cannot afford to pay ZESA bills
because they are too high. Some of the bill statements that have been forwarded
to CHRA by residents amount to as much US$265 (for low density areas) and others
are within the range of US$40 to US$105 (in high density areas). It should be
noted that more than 80% of the Harare populace is not employed and those who
are employed have an average income of US$100 a month. How does the Government
expect these people to survive if they have to part with more than half their
salaries for electricity bills alone? We should also remember that residents
have other priorities like sending their children to school, feeding them and
pay bills for other services like water and municipal services. It defies logic
to think that the Government, which is also paying its employees an allowance of
US$100 a month, is encouraging ZESA holdings to coerce residents to pay
unrealistic bills by effecting electricity disconnections.
The electricity bills that are being
delivered to residents are all based on estimates because meter readings have
not been carried out. We understand that this is the reason the Minister of
Energy and Power Development had set up uniform charges of US$30 and US$40 for
high-density and low density areas respectively. How then does ZESA come up with
different estimates of electricity consumptions for each household? Not all
residents in high-density areas have bill statements that indicate US$30 as the
monthly electricity bill. Some residents in high density areas like Kuwadzana
and Glen Norah are being charged as much as US$50 a month! This is in direct
conflict with the figures that were pegged by the Minister and clear evidence
that ZESA’s billing system is warped to say the least. CHRA is not against bill
payments by residents. We understand that residents have the responsibility to
pay their bills so that they can also get quality social services but the bills
are simply beyond their affordability and unjustified.
CHRA and the National Residents
Associations Consultative Forum are doing the following as a direct response to
- Meeting the Minister
of Energy and the ZESA management over the issue.
- Arrange and mobilize
countrywide demonstrations to express the anger of the residents over this
- Petitioning the
Government and ZESA over this matter.
litigation against the disconnections which are illegal.
- Educating the
residents on how to use electricity sparingly as well as how to read and
interpret their electricity bills.
- Encourage residents
whose electricity has been disconnected to report to CHRA immediately.
Meanwhile CHRA and the National Residents
Associations Consultative Forum would like to remind the Government it is
leading an impoverished population and its decisions on service delivery must be
pro-people and pro-poor. CHRA and the National Residents Associations
Consultative Forum reaffirm their commitment in lobbying for democratic local
governance as well as advocating for the provision of quality and affordable
social services on a non partisan basis.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4-
PEACE WATCH of 10th June [Political Abcuctees,Violence on Farms and Rule of Law]
Revives Prosecution of Alec Muchadehama
Tuesday Alec Muchadehama, the defence
lawyer in the political abductee case now before the High Court, was served with
a summons requiring him to stand trial at the magistrates court on Thursday 17th
June on a charge of obstructing or defeating the course of justice. This came
only a week after a magistrate refused to remand Mr Muchadehama on the identical allegations, saying that
the State had failed to establish a reasonable suspicion that Mr Muchadehama had committed the alleged offence.
Lawyers for Human Rights have criticised the State for blatantly seeking to
intimidate and harass him and prevent him from executing his professional duties
charges against him while he is acting in an important case. [They served
papers on him at the court instead of his offices where they were addressed.]
“The office of the Attorney General could be better utilizing resources and
energies clearing up the backlog of cases which have unnecessarily filled up our
prisons and prosecuting real, rather than imaginary
of Political Abductees: Defence Seeks Referral to Supreme Court
The High Court trial
did not start on Monday. It was postponed for a day to allow the presiding
judge, Justice Uchena to consider the defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama’s request for a referral to the Supreme
Court to determine:
· whether the abductees’
abduction/ kidnapping constituted unlawful deprivation of liberty in violation
of section 13(1) of the Constitution
· whether the torture of
the abductees constituted inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of
section 15(1) of the Constitution
· whether the applicants,
as victims of enforced disappearances, can lawfully be prosecuted and whether
the abductees can be compelled to go on trial in circumstances where their
appearance at court was facilitated by a criminal act of kidnapping/ abduction
authorized or sanctioned by the State or officials of the
· the defence application
also requested the Supreme Court to direct the Attorney General to order the
Commissioner-General of the Police to institute a comprehensive and diligent
investigation of the offences alleged to have been committed against each
abductee with a view to prosecuting all perpetrators of the alleged offences
before the abductees’ possible prosecution.
Argument on this
request was heard on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mr Muchadehama argued that to proceed with the criminal
trial would be an infringement of the defendants’ constitutional right to
protection of the law and that under section 24(2) of the Constitution, the
referral must be granted unless the judge considers the questions raised
“merely frivolous or vexatious”. The prosecutor argued against this on
technicalities that were later proved to be based on incorrect facts and then
fell back on the submission that the application was frivolous and vexatious
without elaborating. Mr Muchadehama
countered this by pointing out the gravity of the human rights violations which
had occurred. The trial is adjourned until Monday 22nd June when judgment will
Protection of the Law Essential to Peace
application of the law is essential to establishing a just and peaceful
society. This is emphasised in the preamble to the Inter-party Political
Agreement. But there have been too many cases where the law has turned a blind
eye instead of protecting citizens. In many cases of violence, especially
dating from the pre- and post-election time last year, the perpetrators have
never been arrested or brought to trial, and the victims have never received
justice or restitution.
recently released Human Rights NGO Forum Report lists 872 incidents of state
organised or state condoned violence during the first four months of this year,
including 198 cases of unlawful detention, 198 cases of unlawful arrest, 4 cases
of torture and 210 cases of political discrimination, intimidation and
victimisation. The Forum states that the report is based on reports that are
meticulously documented but by no means exhaustive. It also calls on the
government “to bring to an end
impunity for perpetrators of all human rights abuses and to ensure the rule of
law is upheld” and on the police “to exercise restraint when dealing with
unarmed protestors, as well as to treat all citizens fairly and within the
confines of the law in the discharge of their duties.” [Full report available from email@example.com] The HR
Forum cases include cases of assault, kidnapping, etc. of farmers and farm
Excuse for Violation of Citizens' Rights to Protection of the
Neither in Zimbabwean
law nor in international law does the fact that a matter is “political” or
“politically sensitive” justify departures from the State’s duty protect its
citizens. In carrying out a political policy or even in the exercise of
enforcing a court order, the law must be followed: “Every public officer has a
duty towards every person in Zimbabwe to exercise his or her
functions as a public officer in accordance with the law and to observe and
uphold the rule of law.” [Constitution,
section 18(1a).] Public officers include all members of the Public
Service, the Police Force and the Defence Forces. A public officer failing in
this duty can be taken to court in his personal capacity and sued for damages
caused by his failure.
This is highly relevant
to the current wave of farm invasions because the use of violence or threats of
violence in the course of such invasions is unlawful. To force a sitting
occupier off a farm is unlawful, even if the invader claims a right to the land
as the holder of an offer letter or some other authority issued by the
Government. The only lawful method of removing a sitting occupier from the
land is by following due process of law – i.e., by getting an eviction order
from the courts and for that order to be enforced by proper authority – the
deputy sheriff or messenger of court, with the assistance of the police if
necessary. Nothing in the legislation underpinning the land reform programme
A sitting occupier has
a constitutional right, under section 18(1a) of the Constitution, to the
protection of the State and its officials against unlawful violence and threats
of violence. This is so, whether or not the occupier holds an offer letter or a
High Court order in his favour and regardless of the merits of any dispute over
the right to the land. Example: if a beleaguered victim of a farm invasion
seeks assistance from the local police member in charge against unlawful
violence and that protection is refused, the victim has a constitutional right
to take civil action claiming damages from the member in charge in his personal
It is time the issue of
violence being experienced by people on farms is separated out from the issue of
land reform. Discussion of “farm invasions” frequently focuses exclusively on
the rights and wrongs of the land reform programme and its disastrous effects on
agricultural production, ignoring or dismissing the subversion of the rule of
law, typically involving illegal self-help measures – violence, threatened
violence, theft etc – taken by or on behalf of the new claimants to the land,
all designed to drive out the sitting occupier.
on Farms since the IPA
Political Agreement acknowledged that while there was no going back on land
reform, there should be a “comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan land
audit” and that the parties would ensure “security of tenure to all land
holders” [IPA, Article 5]. But
this must also be set in the context of the Preamble to the IPA which, when
referring to land, emphasises “the centrality of issues relating to the rule of
law, respect for human rights, democracy and governance”. Since the IPA was
signed there has been a whole series of violent incidents on farms – against
farmers and their workers:- shot/wounded/murdered, 5; assault cases, 36 (mainly
farm employees); threats, 32; theft of property, 52 (crops/property/livestock);
barricaded in house 7.
Typical reports on the
situation on farms speak of the new claimants and their supporters taking the
law into their own hands, frequently in direct defiance of High Court orders,
and the police doing nothing – or nothing effective – about it. Recent
X had just obtained a High Court order allowing him to continue on his farm, but
his tractor was vandalised and he was punched and smashed in the face with the
butt of a shotgun. A complaint to police elicited an acknowledgement from an
Assistant Commissioner that no-one is above the law, but nothing was done and
no-one was arrested.
is the second consecutive day this week that I have been assaulted, and at least
the eighth time since the 13th May 2009 by mainly the same
saw all my colleagues running for their lives as the situation became extremely
violent. Everyone was being threatened and stone throwing began again. I was
once struck on the back by a stone."
morning the invaders had been to the house of one of the workers … He is in
hiding because of the high levels of intimidation being employed by the
invaders. They told his family that they wanted to cut his lips off. Last
night about midnight they came to the house of one of the main foremen and
started beating him before abducting him. He is still missing. At time of
writing his family do not know of his whereabouts."
threatened to eat the children”.
Irrespective of the
merits of each land dispute and who is the rightful occupier, any form of
violence is in total contravention of human decency and dignity, against the
Constitution and law of Zimbabwe, and against all international
agreements which Zimbabwe has voluntarily entered
into. We should also be looking at the serious humanitarian problems this
violence is causing to thousands of poor farm workers – loss of livelihood and
homes for large numbers of farm employees and their families, displacement from
their homes where they have lived generations and where their ancestors are
buried, loss of access to schooling and health clinics, etc
Tribunal’s Holds Government in Contempt of
Referred to SADC Summit
On 5th June two Chegutu
farmers asked the Tribunal to refer the Government’s failure to comply with the
Tribunal’s judgment of 28th November 2008 to the SADC Summit. [The judgment had
invalidated the seizure of their farms under the land reform programme and
ordered the Government to protect their continued occupation of the farms.] The
Tribunal granted the application, noting particularly the continued harassment
of the applicants and also the repudiation of the judgment by the President and
the Deputy Chief Justice and the launching fresh of prosecutions. It ruled that
the harassment and failure to protect the two farmers and the repudiation of the
judgement were in contempt of court. The question of enforcement of the
judgment now stands referred to the SADC Summit, which is the only body with the
power to decide on enforcement measures. The SADC Treaty allows the Summit to impose sanctions
– or suspension from SADC membership – on a State that fails to abide by a
decision of the Tribunal. [Note:
This is the second such referral to the Summit. The Summit has yet to take any action on the Government’s
failure to honour the Tribunal’s interim judgment in the same case, which was
referred to the Summit in mid-2008.]
The history of this
case supports a strong argument for our new Constitution to provide for the
immediate domestication of treaties which the country has entered into.
Otherwise a mockery is made of our solemn treaty obligations.
In another case before
the Tribunal Luke Tembani, a commercial farmer since 1983, challenged the
validity of a provision of the Agricultural Finance Corporation Act under which,
without recourse to the courts, his farm was sold off at far below its value to
pay off a debt owed to the AFC. The government opposed his application. The
tribunal reserved judgment, but ordered the government to allow Mr Tembani to
stay on his land until its decision is handed down.
every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal
responsibility for information
Would you like fries with your asylum papers?
June 11 2009 at 06:44AM
Zimbabwe entrepreneurs were arrested in Pretoria after
their own "home affairs" department from a fast food
The arrests, which were made on Wednesday by a
policeman who was on
leave, occurred in Marabastad.
policeman, Inspector Matjila, was driving through the area when he
queue of people winding its way out of American Foods.
stopped and went to investigate.
Questioning several of those in
the queue, Matjila discovered that the
orders were not of the hot food
Instead, the kitchen staff were allegedly extending asylum
papers by stamping the documents with stamps which had apparently
stolen from the Home Affairs Department.
spokesprson Captain Tessa Jansen confirmed the arrests and said
addition to the two Zimbabwe nationals who were caught, an asylum
whose papers had expired, was also nabbed as he had his documents
"During a search of the shop the policeman discovered
the stamps which
we believe were stolen."
Jansen said the
Zimbabweans would appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's
Court on Friday on
charges of fraud, while the asylum seeker would be
charged with being an
This article was originally
published on page 1 of Pretoria News on
June 11, 2009
rights abuse in Kenya, Zimbabwe
June 10, 2009
THE African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR)
communiqué on January 28, 2008 in which it sought to remind the
Government and the opposition ODM of their obligation to respect the
and dignity of the Kenyan people.
It also called for 'an
investigation and punishment for those responsible
for the election
irregularities and the post-election violence'. I hereby
take note that the
statement by the ACHPR was issued 37 days after the
violent death of the
first 428 Kenyans at the hands of their fellow
countrymen and the state
police. However, the violence against innocents
continued and no less than
1500 Kenyans were killed and thousands abandoned
their homes in fear
creating an unprecedented number of internally displaced
Indiscriminate detentions and police brutality reminiscent of the
administration had been going on in Kenya long before the December 2007
presidential elections. People were executed in broad day
According to The Nation, Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu
publicly shot in Nairobi by 'unknown men'. Oscar was head of the Oscar
Foundation, an NGO which was investigating the alleged extra-judicial
killings of Kenyan citizens by state police. Just before the fatal shooting,
Kingara had given a press interview in which he called for the restoration
of the rule of law and the respect of the rights of the Mungiki pressure
The Mungiki is a Kenyan group of people believed to number 10
membership. It is hard to assemble 10 000 faithful followers to a
without a genuine concern. The Kenyan Government's response to the
concerns has been to demonise and package the Mungiki as a violent
anti-social group of criminals which needed to be eliminated.
kind of propaganda repeated in the national press helped to influence
perception of the Mungiki. Police shoot on sight anyone associated
Mungiki. Political scores are settled violently without legal
as long as one can accuse the dead victim of being a Mungiki
state of affairs in Kenya has forced citizens to join Mungiki
State does not guarantee citizens' security and safety.
That feeling and
reality breeds violence as people take responsibility for
existence and physical survival. The International
Community(IC) has no
interest in these defenceless Kenyan people apart from
endlessly collecting statistics of the dead and
occasionally issuing a
statement of condemnation.
The African Commission on Human Rights is
neither blind nor deaf but would
not speak for fear of upsetting a comrade.
Statements of condemnation and
statistics would not make a difference to the
dead. They can amuse or
horrify the living but unfortunately have no value
to the dead. They cannot
stop the dead from dying.
In Zimbabwe, the
government stands accused today of brutalising PF-Zapu in
eighties. The State propaganda machinery often branded PF-Zapu as
terrorist organisation. The party's leadership were locked up in maximum
security prisons without trial for long periods of time. The International
Community said nothing.
In fact, the President was actually referred
to as a world statesman by the
mainstream media. It is hard to tell whether
PF-Zapu and Zipra really
engaged in terrorism or whether they attempted to
overthrow the newly
elected government of Zanu-PF by force. What is clear
and well documented is
the wanton destruction of ordinary people's
livelihoods and the arbitrary
arrests without trial.
farmers were armed by the state under the pretext that they were
by the insurgents. Allegations have been made by witnesses in the
that commercial farmers in lower Gweru killed a substantial number of
civilians. Villagers were forced to work for commercial farmers without
payment. Those who resisted abuse were shot or reported to the state army
and accused of terrorism. Women were raped for protection. The police heard
nothing, knew nothing and did nothing to protect the invalid, as well as the
women and children.
This state of affairs strengthened PF-Zapu in
Matabeleland as it assembled
people who faced the same fate and
Now, whether PF-Zapu and Zipra had a genuine cause or not is
nor there. The key is the State's behaviour in trying to
destroy PF- Zapu
and its aspirations. Instead of talking politics and
persuading the masses
by promising hope the state destroyed that hope and
instilled fear in not
only PF-Zapu but the total population of Matabeleland
and Lower Gweru.
There is strong belief that the quest for a one-party
state by Zanu-PF in
the early eighties prompted the conflict with PF-Zapu
and Zipra. Thousands
are said to have died during that conflict even though
the actual figure is
not known. Both individuals and interested
organisations have thrown figures
ranging from 100 to 20 000
The truth is that we will never know the truth.
good is ever done in the dark. Murder is always committed in the
statistics. No head count. No report. My concern is not with the
am concerned about the poor women and children who suffered for
leaders from both sides of the conflict obviously stood to
benefit from the
conflict but not the children who died or were maimed.
An idea cannot be
destroyed by killing the owner. Brutality against a people
results in an
otherwise silly idea taking a much more robust place in the
hearts of the
survivors. History is replete with examples. The tribulations
and fate of
Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria is a case in point. His
murder in 1995
did not solve the problems in the Niger Delta. The Niger
Delta is still
seeking justice fourteen years on and the conflict has long
violent with hundreds of people killed and thousands displaced.
Nigerian authorities have approached the Niger Delta issue
Indeed, could the Zimbabwean government have approached
issue differently? Could the rule of law have helped to
restore order? Has
the Kenyan government exhausted all options for dialogue
with the Mungiki?
Is the Mungiki refusing to talk to the legitimate
government of Kenya? Why
are the police using the same violent tactics which
the Mungiki group are
Somebody must swallow pride and
immediately open constructive dialogue with
the Mungiki leadership. Anyone
with a following numbering more than 10 000
people needs to be listened to.
Beating up the leaders and their followers
is definitely not a solution. The
British National Party leadership in the
UK is derided, hated and sometimes
misrepresented in the mainstream media.
Yet violence is not part of the UK
politics. The British police and the army
have a duty to provide and
guarantee security to all including the British
National Party leadership
and their followers. They recently participated in
European elections and
had equal chance of winning or loosing.
The rule of law demands that
anyone who commits a crime pays for his actions
regardless of position or
status in society. Even a government of people by
the people should be
subjected to the same laws governing all institutions.
This is a safeguard
against arbitrary governance which can happen when power
is in the hands of
Oscar Kamau Kingara and his friend John Paul Oulu should have been
and brought before a judge if they breached a law of the land. Ken
was murdered without due process of the law. Lower Gweru and
villagers did not have their day in court. There is a universal
that frowns upon any form of punishment unless a court decides.
court alone decides is understood by all civilised
(Arnold Mutaviri is a humanitarian aid worker.)
In harmony while Zuma addresses nation
From left, Thobeka Mabhija, Nompumelelo Ntuli and Sizakele
Khumalo. (Photo by Gallo Images)
By Geoffrey Nyarota
THIS priceless photograph of the three spouses of South Africa’s President,
Jacob Zuma, in a state of collective slumber was captured last week in Cape
The occasion was a joint sitting of the National
Assembly and National Council of Provinces at Parliament.
Zuma’s wives, Thobeka Mabhija, Nompumelelo Ntuli and Sizakele Khumalo drifted
into concurrent siesta as their husband presented his State of the Nation
Address on June 3.
Zuma, who served time in prison along with former President Nelson Mandela,
is the fourth president of South Africa since the end of apartheid.
Polygamy is legally recognized in South Africa. The President appears to be a
master at managing polygamous matrimony. All three Mrs Zumas attended the
official inauguration of their husband as President in Pretoria on Saturday, May
9, 2009. On June 3 they all flew to Cape Town to listen as their husband
delivered his first ever address to the nation.
While the speech was described as groundbreaking and the President was hailed
as “a man of his word”, a significant portion of the rhetoric of a man who is
more renowned for his “song and dance” appears to have been lost to the most
important members of his audience.
Zuma has been married a total of five times. One of his former wives,
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is even a minister in his cabinet. A medical doctor by
profession she was South Africa’s Minister of Health from 1994 to 1999, under
President Mandela, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from June 1999 to May 10,
2009, under Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.
She was moved to the position of Minister of Home Affairs in the cabinet of
her ex-husband on 10 May 2009.
Zuma-related holy matrimony strengthened the cordial relations existing
between South Africa and neighbouring Zimbabwe in a meaningful way last
Gugulethu Zuma, daughter of Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, married Wesley
Ncube, the first son of Prof Welshman Ncube, in December 2008. Ncube, a lawyer
by profession, is the Minister of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe’s government
of national unity. He is also the secretary general of the Arthur Mutambara-led
breakaway faction of the Movement for Democratic Change.
He is by all accounts the favourite Zimbabwean politician of former South
African president Thabo Mbeki, who steered Zimbabwe’s process of political
negotiation, culminating in the establishment of the government of national
unity in February, 2009.
Mbeki is generally credited with elevating Ncube from political ignominy
after he lost a parliamentary election dismally to the position of cabinet