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Mujuru fights to save late brother’s faction

Monday, 11 June 2012 11:50


FRESH divisions have rocked Zanu PF with information emerging that battle
lines have been drawn in Mashonaland East where the restructuring of
district coordinating committees (DCCs) has been marred by chaos.

In Mashonaland West, party bigwigs want the provincial chairman, John Mafa’s
head, while in Mashonaland Central the two warring factions have declared a
temporary ceasefire.

Sources told The Standard yesterday that the party was still battling to
come up with structures in different parts of the country during the resumed
DCC elections amid allegations of candidate imposition and factionalism.

On Friday, the sources said there was chaos during the Mudzi DCC elections
in a province which has traditionally been a stronghold of the faction led
by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, but is now seeing the emergence of the
faction led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Already the party’s politburo has come down hard on its political commissar,
Webster Shamu to ensure DCC elections are run smoothly, while where there is
contention, polls are being rerun. But if the chaotic scenes in Mudzi South
are an indicator, the party has a long way to go.

A source who was in Mudzi South on Friday said most of the district was
tense, as party members sang, toyi-toyed and  at times threatened to assault
party leaders whom they thought were responsible for imposing candidates.

Joel Mujuru, brother to the late Solomon Mujuru, was at the receiving end of
some of the harshest criticism and was allegedly almost assaulted at Gozi.
“Mujuru came with a list of people, whom he said were supposed to win the
elections,” the source said. “Zanu PF members started singing that they did
not want disorder and that is when they started charging at Mujuru.”

The source said Mujuru, a Zanu PF National Consultative Assembly member who
was responsible for running the elections, had to be saved by Harare lawyer
Jonathan Samukange, a crowd favourite, whom he ironically wanted to
disqualify from the DCC elections.

As if that was not enough, Mujuru, travelling with Peter Nyakuba, had to
make a hasty retreat at Chikwizo, as the people there pelted his car with
missiles, also accusing him of imposing candidates.

“Again he went with a list saying these were the people that had been chosen
and there was no need for elections, earning the wrath of the people there,”
the source continued.

It is believed that the Mujuru faction was trying to ensure that Samukange
loses alleging that he had not been in the party structures for five years.
“Two other candidates, Tafirenyika Nyume and Zvai Kaukonde, were told to
withdraw their candidature to make way for Chanhasi,” the source said.

Samukange, believed to be loyal to Mnangagwa, is allegedly being frustrated
after making it public he wanted to challenge provincial chairman, Ray
Kaukonde’s post, a key member of the Mujuru grouping.

Samukange said he was going to appeal to Shamu and party national chairman,
Simon Khaya Moyo.
“This five-year thing is not true, I was a commissar in 1996 and as
candidate in primary elections in 2000, how can it be said I have not been
in the structures for five years,” Samukange charged in an interview

Samukange said the district had made it clear that they would not accept
anyone imposed on them.
“Mujuru said there was no need for an election as there was only one
candidate and the people said they will not have that. That is why there was
chaos,” he said.
But Mujuru shot back, saying Samukange was ineligible to stand in the
elections as he did not meet the criteria.

“I am the one who put Samukange in the branch structures, but in this
election only people from district level and those in the DCC could
 contest,” he said. “The people may want him, but he does not meet the

Mujuru said as far as he was concerned, Chanhasi had won the seat

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‘Police officers harrass Nyanga community for ZBC licences’

Monday, 11 June 2012 16:58

NYANGA — The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) workers here have
engaged the services of police officers to force residents to pay their
radio and television licence fees although they do not receive a reliable
signal in the area.

Residents in the area interviewed by The Standard last week said they were
being harassed by junior police officers from Ruda Police Station who were
forcing them to pay the licence fees even though they could not receive ZBC
transmission signals.

“They are coming in our homes demanding licences. We do not listen to any
ZBC radio stations because there is no signal at all,” said David Furanera,
a local villager. Furanera said most people in the area listened to Radio
Manica from Mozambique through the shortwave radio band.

“For television, some rich people here only watch programmes through the
satellite decoders,” said Hebert Tuwani from the same area. “Many people
watch television at the local shops and bars where there are decoders.
People do not watch ZBC.”

He said most of the villagers were more familiar with SABC programmes and
other international stations than the local TV stations. “Not many of us are
familiar with ZTV,” he said.

“ZBC and police officers force us to pay radio and television licences,
which are very exorbitant to say the least. We are struggling to get cash
but we are being threatened with jail if we do not pay,” Tuwani said.

A radio licence costs US$10 while a television licence costs US$50. “We are
an isolated community and sometimes we wonder if we truly live in Zimbabwe
when we do not have access to such an important service,” said Patrick
Kwashara, a local resident.

Manicaland police spokesperson, Sergeant Muzondiwa Clean said he was not
aware of the harassment of the villagers. “We have not yet received reports
of police officers forcing and harassing residents to pay licences,” he

Clean said he would inquire from the officer-in-charge of Ruda Police

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Zambezi villagers continue resisting relocation to safety

Monday, 11 June 2012 15:01

THE Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) is seeking new ways to convince people
settled along the banks of the Zambezi River to relocate as they continue to
risk flooding when floodgates are opened in Kariba.

Villagers in Muzarabani and other areas in Zambezi Valley have over the
years resisted resettlement, citing the need to remain on their ancestral
land. Their continued presence has been a source of concern for the river
authority and the Zimbabwe Civil Protection Unit (ZCPU).

“We have to win them over and convince them that it is in their best
interests to move,” Elizabeth Karonga, the ZRA public relations manager said
on the sidelines of a regional meeting on river-based organisations.

ZRA manages the Kariba Dam and monitors water levels. It is responsible for
opening the floodgates once the levels are high, so that it can protect the
dam wall.
Completed in 1959, the dam was built to generate  power for Zimbabwe and
Zambia. For optimum use, water levels should not reach a certain height as
that would put the dam at risk.

“Some of the people settled during a time when there was a drought and we
were not opening the floodgates, but now the rains have increased and they
are at increased risk,” Karonga continued.

She said the authority sought new innovative ways and media channels to
convince settlers on the Zambezi valley to move. “We have taken it for
granted that radio is the best way to reach these people, but we have
realised that we need new ways of mass communication, to effectively
communicate with these communities,” Karonga said.

She said while the settlers were being given information in time, on the
levels of water in Kariba, some people in Muzarabani had remained obstinate.
Karonga said they were also working with the ZCPU and the Zambian Disaster
Management Unit in convincing the settlers on the need to be resettled.
On several occasions, villagers in Muzarabani have had their houses,
household goods, livestock and crops swept away by floods especially during
the rainy season.
Southern African officials were meeting in Harare to discuss how they could
share cross-border water sources equitably.

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Kubatana school receives US$3 000 donation

Monday, 11 June 2012 14:58

KUBATANA Primary School in Epworth last week received US$3 000 worth of
stationery and other accessories from the Defence for Children
International-Zimbabwe (DCIZ), in the organisation’s  endeavour to support
less privileged children in the society.

The stationery was sourced with the help of the Chinese Embassy in Harare.
DCIZ national director, Alfas Shangwa, said the school had an enrolment of
up to 2 500 pupils, mostly from the surrounding communities. Shangwa said
the donations were aimed at raising awareness of the existence of the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and creating a
friendly environment for children to exercise their rights.


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Tempers flare as parents threaten to beat SDC

Monday, 11 June 2012 14:56

POLICE were last week called in at Queensdale Primary School in Harare to
monitor the situation after parents threatened to beat up members of the
previous School Development Committee (SDC) over allegations of financial

This took place when parents were electing a new SDC executive that would
best represent their interests.  Police details could be seen sitting in the
school hall, monitoring the developments. The frustrated parents wanted to
vent their anger on the former SDC, whom they accused of diverting money
meant for teachers’ incentives towards other uses that had not been agreed

“As the parents association, we had agreed to pay US$150 for teacher’s
incentives and US$100 for non-teaching staff,” said one furious parent at
the meeting. “We were surprised when we learnt that teachers were receiving
a hefty US$300 incentive, contrary to what we had agreed.”

Some parents felt that the headmistress, Maud Makore, should be dismissed.
“By regulation, the school account must not be opened by any one member of
the committee, where he or she banks,” said one parent.

Members of the previous SDC were  not in a position to comment, referring
questions to the new committee.  A district education officer, who only
identified himself as Muguwe, told the meeting that a newsletter would be
helpful to inform parents, as stakeholders, about developments occurring at
the school.

“With regard to teacher incentives, there are policy guidelines as
stipulated in circular number 5 of 2009. Of the total levy, 10% goes to
teacher’s incentives while 5% is for non-teaching staff,” said Muguwe.

“These allegations (about the previous committee’s fraudulent activities)
need to be proved. So in that regard, issues about the school are solved
right here at the school.
“Government saw that it did not have the money to maintain standards at the
dilapidating schools, so parents were called in as stakeholders. It’s all a
matter of collective responsibility.”

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Zesa employees cash in on defaulting residents

Monday, 11 June 2012 14:54

HARARE — Some Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) employees are
cashing in on desperate Glen Norah residents, charging them an average of
US$30 per household to avoid power disconnection, a residents’ rights
organisation has said.

The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) last week said some Zesa employees were
demanding payment to stop disconnecting defaulting residents’ power.
“Residents in the area have resorted to bribing Zesa employees around US$30
to avoid disconnection of electricity. Several residents have done this in
the community and continue to fall prey to the Zesa employees,” said the

The residents, said HRT, also complained that most of their electricity
bills were not a true reflection of consumption at household levels, as they
were based on estimates. They also complained about faulty billing and
excessive load-shedding in the suburb.

The residents also said Zesa officials were very uncooperative and hostile
whenever they attempted to seek detailed explanations on their accounts.
Zesa spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, professed ignorance that some Zesa
employees were getting paid by defaulting residents to avoid disconnections.
He urged residents to pay the bills at banking halls and not to individuals.

“Whoever is paying that US$30 is being cheated and they are doing themselves
a disservice because their bills remain the same and even increase the
following month,” said Gwasira.

“One is better off paying that US$30 to Zesa and having their bill lowered
by the same amount and not giving it to someone for temporary relief, but
still risk disconnection.”  He urged the public to report such people to

ZESA to continue with disconnections: Gwasira

Gwasira however said the disconnections to defaulting residents in Glen View
and other areas would continue.  “It is not like we have a special operation
against residents in that area,” he said.

“This is just a routine operation,” said Gwasira. “We read meters, send
bills and expect payment, but some residents do not pay, prompting us to
send reminders in the form of a second bill. We are open to those who want
to negotiate payment plans but some ignore us, leaving us with no option but
to disconnect, which is the last resort.”

Gwasira said Zesa reads 80% of meters every month and starts with the other
20 the following month. He said rate payers should know that there is a
direct relationship between payments and the quality of service delivered.

“The better payment we receive, the better the service we deliver because we
use the money to improve our services,” he said.

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Transport ministry dragging feet on NRZ

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:43

In March this year, a parliamentary committee on transport and
infrastructural development recommended a probe into NRZ’s operations
following allegations of corruption, looting of assets and mismanagement,
resulting in the parastatal suffering a US$3 million monthly shortfall.

It also recommended the appointment of a new board after it found out that
NRZ officials were operating without supervision or being accountable to
anyone. A new board, headed by Khotso Dube, was only put in place recently.

But analysts said it would be a tall order for Dube to turn around the
loss-making entity. “For the past 30 years no investment has been put into
railways,” noted Mudzuri.
“You will notice that all the wagons we are using were bought by Ian Smith.
The money is not being put where it is supposed to go.”

Chitambara urged government to partner with the private sector to ensure
speedy and efficient infrastructural development in the country.
“However, the problem is the high political risk,” said Chitambara.

“Most investors are wary of the indigenisation and empowerment law. They are
very hesitant.”

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Vehicle registration exposes Goche

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:36

THE scrapping of the vehicle registration extension deadline, barely a week
after the reprieve, has exposed the confusion, indecisiveness and general
inefficiency that has rocked the Ministry of Transport, Communication and
Infrastructural Development, for the past few years.

Analysts said it was little wonder Nicholas Goche, who heads the ministry,
was widely regarded as one of the ministers in the inclusive government who
have dismally failed to deliver.

A fortnight ago, his ministry, through the Zimbabwe National Roads
Administration (Zinara), extended the vehicle registration by one month,
only to reverse the decision a few days later, plunging the transport sector
into chaos.

This was despite the fact that long and snaking queues, moving literally at
a snail’s pace, were still evident at post offices as motorists jostled to
register their vehicles.
Angry motorists last week castigated Goche for being indecisive and failing
to professionally run parastatals under his ministry, most of which have
been reduced to empty shells.

“This sudden u-turn by Zinara clearly shows confusion and indecisiveness
bordering on wanting to extort money from motorists,” said one motorist,
Richard Chingore.
From June 30, motorists would be required to fork out US$45, up from US$20
for vehicle registration.

“There is definitely something wrong with the Ministry of Transport. first
it was change of number plates, which we hear would soon be changed again,
then came the looting of tollgate fees and now there is chaos in vehicle
registration,” said Chingore.

The MDC-T has also expressed concern over the scrapping of the deadline
considering that the country’s biggest post offices were only able to issue
less than 100 discs per day.

“Zinara should be organised and efficient and not punish the people of
Zimbabwe for its inefficiencies,” said the MDC-T in a statement. It said the
registration forms must be available online to enable motorists to register
on the internet to save time.

The party urged Goche to ensure that the revenue collected from the
motorists was properly accounted for to facilitate national development.
Analysts said the indecisiveness shown by Zinara mirrored the general policy
inconsistence, mismanagement, corruption and incompetence of entities under
the Ministry of Transport.

The analysts said almost three years after the erection of tollgates, which
bring in millions of dollars every month, the country’s roads still have
nothing to show for it.
From August 2009 to April this year, Zinara collected a whopping US$57
million from tollgates, of which about US$47 million was disbursed for road
network maintenance.

In spite of this, the dualisation and rehabilitation of the Harare-Masvingo
road, Harare-Gweru road and other roads has not moved an inch. Built as
temporary structures, the tollgate structures have remained the same.

Engineers have already condemned the structures as a health hazard to
motorists, workers and a mockery to engineering. There is no facility to
record the number of cars passing through; the structures are too narrow for
some vehicles while the roofs are too high, exposing workers to rain.

As if that was not enough, the workers still collect fees while standing.
“It’s not only about these tollgates,” said Engineer Elias Mudzuri.
“Look at the current chaos in vehicle registration, Air Zimbabwe, National
Railways of Zimbabwe and other parastatals under the Ministry of Transport.
They have collapsed.”

Last year AirZim, which had been failing to pay workers, was suspended by
the International Air Travel Association (Iata) for reneging on paying
subscription fees to the organisation. One of its planes was briefly
impounded after it failed to settle debts to an UK-based firm.

Goche, a former Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, could
not be reached for comment last week, as he was said to be out of the
His secretary said Goche would call back, but had not done so by the time of
going to print.

Goche, also a former Minister of State Security, also presides over Civil
Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz), NetOne and Telone.
But a senior official with the Ministry of Transport said it was not fair to
blame Goche for the collapse of the parastatals because he inherited the

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Elections talk stirs political violence, says Zimbabwe Peace Project

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:33

CALLS for early elections have been blamed for increased political violence,
with Manicaland being cited as the most volatile province in the country,
according to a local civic group.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), which monitors politically motivated
rights violations, recorded 524 incidents of political violence in April
compared to 475 cases the previous month.

ZPP blamed calls for early elections on increased cases of political
violence as parties gear themselves for polls. President Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu PF has been calling for early polls but Sadc over a week ago insisted
that various reforms should be implemented first within the next 12 months.

“Politically-motivated human rights violations continued on the upward trend
as the talk of holding elections this year gathered momentum. Since the
beginning of the year ZPP has been witnessing a steady increase in
politically-motivated human rights violations across the country,” ZPP said
in its latest report.

“The elections mantra was also laced up with controversies around the
constitution-making process with Zanu PF officials trashing the first draft
produced by Copac.”
The civic group said Manicaland was the most politically volatile province
followed by Midlands and Masvingo while the three Matabeleland regions
recorded the least incidences of violence.

Zanu PF supporters were blamed for almost all the political violence. Two
weeks ago, an MDC-T activist Cephas Magura, was allegedly stoned to death by
several Zanu PF supporters at a business centre in Mudzi.

Analysts last week said Zanu-PF supporters had realised that intimidating
and beating opposition supporters in Matabeleland South, North and Bulawayo
did not necessarily result in poll victory, as shown by the poor performance
of the party since the 1980’s Gukurahundi massacres.

Last week, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) called
on party leaders to back their calls against political violence with
concrete action and “immediately” hold joint rallies to help end clashes
between their supporters across the country.

Both Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have called for an end to
political violence but they are yet to hold the joint rallies promised by
their parties as part of efforts to calm tension.

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‘Peace rallies lack political will’

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:31

ANALYSTS say the proposed holding of joint peace rallies by the three main
political parties in the country will not curb rampant political violence in
the country because of the selective application of the law by the police
and lack of political will.

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) last week renewed
calls for the political parties to hold joint rallies in the wake of the
recent disturbances in Mudzi where an MDC-T activist was killed during
violent clashes with Zanu PF supporters.

Jomic said political leaders must back their calls for an end to political
violence with concrete action and immediately hold joint rallies to help end
clashes between their supporters across the country.

Both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have in
the past called for an end to political violence but are yet to hold joint
rallies promised by their parties as part of efforts to calm divisions.

But analysts said no amount of joint rallies would eradicate the culture of
impunity as long as known perpetrators of violence, among them Chipangano
members, are left roaming the streets. Chipangano is a Mbare-based shadowy
group which is accused of committing acts of violence against Zanu PF
opponents, but the former ruling party has of late denied links to the

Political analyst and social rights activist, Hopewell Gumbo said Zanu PF
hardliners were not prepared to lose their hold over power, hence they could
not restrain their supporters.

“The MDC is serious about addressing the violence because it knows well how
a peaceful environment will deliver change of regime while Zanu PF holds
violence as the tool for remaining in power,” Gumbo said.

“There are a lot of genuine Zanu PF people who would want to go for joint
rallies as a step towards repentance and accepting reality but the
hardliners see such rallies as a suicide rope and unfortunately these are
more than the born again.”

Bulawayo spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Edwin Ndlovu, said
although the idea of joint rallies was noble, political parties were not
sincere as they “preach peace during the day but eat and sleep violence.”

Jomic member and deputy spokesperson of the MDC-T, Tabitha Khumalo said the
GPA principals must “walk the talk” to help end political violence.  “It’s
now a trend that whenever the word election is mentioned, violence erupts.
Elections do not mean war. It is about campaigning and selling your party’s
ideology and there is no reason to fight,” she said.

“Principals might denounce violence at public gatherings but remember people
are in all parts of the country and the exercise will be fruitful if they
visit all the 10 provinces.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment, but last
week, the party’s women league boss, Oppah Muchinguri also condemned
violence and supported the idea of holding joint peace campaigns.

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Chieftainship wrangle sucks in Mugabe

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:26

A chieftainship wrangle in Mbe-rengwa has sucked in President Robert Mugabe
and Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister, Ignatious
Chombo. In a High Court application filed recently, Efanosi Shoko contested
the Mudavanhu chieftainship that was conferred on Amen Mudavanhu, contrary
to recommendations.

Amen is the first respondent while the Mberengwa Administrator is cited as
the second respondent, with Chombo and Mugabe cited as the third and fourth
respondents respectively.

Shoko states that he was nominated to be the substantive Chief Mudavanhu in
2010 following the death of Komboni Wushe who had been the chief. He however
said he was surprised that while awaiting his official appointment, Amen was
announced as the new substantive chief.

He said, on March 10 2010 a meeting was held at Zibanga business centre in
Mudavanhu area, Mberengwa, and was chaired by the acting District
Administrator, identified only as Chivanga. He was then nominated for
appointment as substantive Chief Mudavanhu.

“Immediately thereafter, I was asked to submit finger prints and was vetted
by the CID, police and had my criminal record checked and advised that my
papers would be processed and submitted to the President,” Efanosi states in
the court papers.

“Whilst still waiting my appointment, I was surprised on the 25th of January
2012 when the Mberengwa District Administrator convened a meeting at Zibanga
business centre whereupon I then learnt that the chieftainship was now to be
given to Amen Mudavanhu.”

Efanosi stated that he believed himself to be the legitimate nominee for the
chieftainship and wants the court to help him restore his legitimate
appointment. Adonia Shoko, son to Komboni Ushe, who has been acting-Chief
Mudavanhu since the death of his father, also confirmed that Efanosi Shoko
had been nominated as substantive chief in 2006.

“I confirm that in accordance to custom, the applicant was nominated and is
eligible to be the next substantive chief as agreed by the family members,”
he said in a supporting affidavit.

“I also confirm that the meeting held on the 25th January 2012, was contrary
to our custom, as there is no provision in our custom to allow the removal
of a duly nominated chief without a just cause. I also confirm that the
appointment of Amen Mudavanhu was not in accordance with custom, as he was
not nominated by the clansman, but was only imposed by officers from the
District Administrator’s Office.”

Sources in Mberengwa said the removal of Efanosi Shoko as Chief Mudavanhu
could be politically-motivated as Efanosi is suspected to be a supporter of
the MDC party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Appointment out of step with tradition, says Lawyer

Efanosi Shoko’s lawyer, Brian Dube of Gundu and Dube Legal Practitioners
told The Standard that it was out of tradition that a  chief  can be
replaced while still alive, hence his client had decided to challenge the
appointment in the courts.

“In our tradition, a chief can only be replaced after his death and we find
it amazing why Efanos will be appointed Chief and later on someone else is
reappointed,” Dube said.

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Police accused of siding with transporter of rare breed dogs

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:24

THE Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ) has accused the police
of failing to block a South African man from transporting a dog and an
expensive breed of 15 puppies to the DRC under poor conditions.

With the help of the police, VAWZ intercepted Alvaro Machado’s  van in
Beatrice two weeks ago as he made his way to the Democratic Republic of the
“We got calls from people who heard the puppies barking incessantly in the
panel van,” VAWZ chief inspector Meryl Harrison said.

She said this was cruelty to animals at its worst as Machado wanted to cross
three borders from South Africa to the DRC with the puppies in a vehicle
that was unsuitable with no ventilation .

Harrison said her organisation was disappointed that the police, who were
usually very cooperative, joined for-ces with Machado in fighting against
them such that they even questioned her in relation to a trumped-up theft
charge Machado pressed against her.

“We had a lot of interference in this case,” Harrison said. “I had police
arresting me in connection with a theft case he opened against me at
Borrowdale Police Station. I got calls from people from Zimra and had one
man called Steve, who only identified himself as an interested party coming
to our office to make all sorts of threats.”
Machado told The Standard crew that he had dual South African and Zimbabwean
citizenship but had not been in the country for many years. Dual citizenship
is illegal in Zimbabwe.

He accused Harrison of wanting to steal his dogs. “I have inside information
that she had already found buyers for my dogs,” claimed Machado. “Someone
from her organisation told me how this nasty woman abuses her position to
sell other people’s animals and chickens.”

He said he had all documents from the South African side and from DRC and
had been allowed through Beitbridge and past many police roadblocks.
Machado said the puppies, including a German Shepherd pure pedigree and a
Great Dane, cost around US$3 000 each. But Harrison disputed this saying the
puppies were poorly bred and would cost between US$100 and US$400 each.

The police later allowed Machado to proceed with the dogs in the same
vehicle, much to the disappointment of Harrison and her team.
Efforts to get a comment from police spo-kesperson Superinte-ndent Andrew
Phiri were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.

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Police invoke Posa to stop Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:23

By Jan Raath
Among the throngs around the world celebrating the Diamond Jubilee last week
were to have been a few dozen Englishmen and women, raising their glasses to
the Queen on a balmy winter’s day in the rolling countryside just outside

It was not to be. President Robert Mugabe’s police on Friday told the
Zimbabwe branch of the Royal Society of St George that their celebratory
picnic on a farm was banned under the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).
The law is routinely used to quash political rallies and demonstrations.

The society was founded in 1894 “with the noble object of promoting
Englishness and the English way of life”. It describes itself as “the
standard bearer of traditional English values at home and abroad.”

The Zimbabwe chapter consists of about 60 souls, with an average age of
about 70, according to members. They meet annually also to commemorate
Armistice Day, Battle of Britain Day and Waterloo Day, the men wearing their
military medals.

“I have to say that I really don’t want to comment,” said Brian Heathcote,
the president of the society. “It’s a sad day.” However, society members
said police told Heathcote that a crowd of whites waving the Union Jack on a
white-owned farm would provoke trouble among local militants of Mugabe’s
Zanu PF party.

The society’s committee emailed its members on Friday to tell them that “we
will not be allowed to hold our picnic to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond
Zimbabwe’s law does not require police permission for a private gathering on
private property, it said, “but we, as a committee, feel that it is prudent
under the present situation in the country not to be perceived to be
creating political mischief with the authorities (sic)”.

Unbowed, the email said that the barring of the picnic “does not mean that
you as individuals cannot privately toast Zimbabwe and the Queen”. Members
of the committee would be at the Harare Club from noon and “would be pleased
if any of you could join us there for a short time there to remember this
“We are British and have risen above situations before with dignity, and
this will no exception.”

A British embassy official said the incident was “regrettable”. Deborah
Bronnert, the British ambassador, was due to have attended. However, the
official pointed out that the Jubilee would be celebrated “on a large scale”,
with the Queen’s birthday, at the embassy next week.

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Chinhoyi considers cremation

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:20

Chinhoyi municipality, which records an average of 20 deaths per week, is
fast running out of space to bury its dead and is now exploring new ways,
previously viewed as taboo to deal with the crisis.

Amenities manager Charles Mandimutsa said council was now regarding
cremation as the only available solution to shortage of burial space.
“There is no space to bury the dead at the cemetery behind the hospital,
that is why we opened another one near Golden Kopje turn off,” said
— Own Correspondent

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Zanu PF campaign incenses church

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:19

MUTARE — The Africa Apostolic Faith Mission has criticised Zanu PF leaders
who bulldoze their way at religious gatherings in order to preach party
politics. Leader of the church, Isaiah Murove  said  partisan traditional
leaders and apostolic sects who were openly and “blindly” glorifying Zanu PF
were working against God’s word.

“We worship God and not politicians,” he said. “Our church has no room for
politicians as we are apostles of God and not apostles of Zanu PF. He said
time would come when political leaders would face their “judgement day”

“God has a way of doing things,” said Murove. “He hears our prayers for a
better Zimbabwe. He will wipe out our tears when the time comes. The chosen
one will lead this country.”

Zanu PF political leaders in Manicaland have been openly campaigning at
apostolic sects gatherings as competition for voters ahead of elections
later this year or in 2013 hots up.

Party heavy weights  such as Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri, secretary
for administration Didymus Mutasa, provincial governor Chris Mushohwe and
provincial chairman Mike Madiro, among others, have been attending various
church services being held by the apostolic sects that include Johanne
Marange, Masowe weChishanu and Africa Apostolic Faith Mission among others
where they have been selling their political manifestos.

One of the faction leader of Johanne Marange, Noah Taguta last year invited
President Robert Mugabe to  the church’s Passover. Top Zanu PF leadership in
other parts of the country, notably national political commissar Webster
Shamu, regularly addresses  apostolic sects’ gatherings while bare-footed
and clad in church gowns as they try to win support for the party.

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Politicians ride on Anglican Church saga

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:17

PRESIDENT Mugabe has been sucked in the fight for the control of the
Anglican Church’s Harare diocese, with some politicians promising members of
the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) that they will
facilitate access to him.

The feud between the Chad Gandiya-led diocese of the CPCA and another
faction headed by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga  has been raging since the latter’s
excommunication in 2007 after he unilaterally pulled Harare from the
province accusing his rivals of supporting homosexuality.

The feud, largely centred on ownership of properties and characterised by
violent clashes especially targeted at CPCA members, has resulted in
numerous court cases and political interventions to no avail.

In a pastoral letter last week, Gandiya urged members of his church to be
vigilant amid reports that some politicians had offered some unsolicited
assistance while  some members have received threats.

“Two things have been brought to our attention,” Gandiya said. “First, that
there  are some aspiring politicians who are telling some of our people that
they can help us because they have access to the State President.

“We would like you all to know that our case is pending in the Supreme Court
and that if we need to have an audience with His Excellency the President of
the Republic of Zimbabwe, we know the acceptable channels to follow. Don’t
fall prey to those who want to gain political mileage out of our suffering.”

Gandiya’s letter also said there were threats to harm some of his church’s
rural clergy and local rural church leadership, urging parishioners not to
take the threats lightly.
“Please report such threats to life to the police and keep us informed,”
part of the letter read.“The police are obligated to protect all people
without favour. We ask all our parishes to be vigilant and to be your
brothers and sisters keepers.”

CPCA spokesperson Precious Shumba said although he could not name the
politicians who have been trying to manipulate his church’s predicament, he
had been told that these were not from MDC.

Shumba said cases of threats had only been documented in-house and not
reported to the police.
He said most parishioners no longer see the value of making police reports
as previous cases were ignored, while some of the victims were allegedly
arrested instead of the assailants.

Parishioners beware, says Shumba

“We received reports that there are some politicians who claim to have
control over the President and are trying to lure our leaders advising them
to talk to them nicely so they can assist us,” Shumba said.

“We have since advised parishioners not to be misled by these criminals
because we know the correct channels to use if we want to have access to the

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Plans to expand Kariba power plant hit snag

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:15

PLANS by Zimbabwe to add two more generators to Kariba South have all but
hit a brick wall, with the authority responsible for Kariba Dam saying the
project was not feasible.

Zimbabwe, which shares the Kariba dam with Zambia, was hoping that the new
generators would help ease power shortages and load-shedding, which are
common in the country.

“We have looked at the feasibility of the project and there is not enough
water to run continuous power generation, unless they propose to do so
during the rainy season peak periods,” Wilson Sakala, the Zambezi River
Authority senior manager for Water Resources and Environmental Management

“We fear that if it is continuously run, there won’t be enough water in the
dam. However, when it’s not during the rainy season, the two units can run
but only for shorter periods and that means when the dam is full to
capacity, we no longer have to open the floodgates.”

But the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) insisted that it would go ahead with
the project, as it was looking to expanding Kariba South to increase
generational capacity.

“It has not been communicated to us that there are problems with our
expansion project. In fact we have been advised that the water levels are
always high in the Kariba Dam.

“Early this year, during a tour of the dam by Sadc, we were apprised on the
advantages of adding two more units,” Fadzai Chisveto, ZPC spokesperson
However, the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (Zamcom), which administers the
Zambezi River on behalf of the eight countries that are on the basin, says
Zimbabwe’s only chance of increasing power generation is based on its
ability to look for foreign investors.

“If Zimbabwe cannot buy enough power from the existing Sadc power pool, the
only solution is for the country to open doors to partners that can fund its
power projects,” Michael Mutale, Zamcom executive secretary said.

Countries on a cross-border water course like the Zambezi are supposed to
inform each other of any projects that they are working on the river, so
that it does not affect other nations who are either up or downstream.

There are eight countries on the Zambezi watercourse and these have to okay
Zimbabwe’s plans on power generation, which also have to be approved by the
ZRA, which administers the Kariba Dam on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Countries on the Zambezi watercourse are Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Malawi
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Sadc hopes for speedy resolution

Sadc hopes that the issue of adding more generators at Kariba power plant
may be resolved accordingly. Phera Ramoeli, Sadc senior programme officer
for water, said despite technical obstacles to Zimbabwe’s installing
additional generating capacity at Kariba South, he expected a solution would
be found.

“I am sure these are only technical issues but Zambia and Zimbabwe will iron
out these between themselves and find a win-win solution since ZRA is a body
that works in the best interests of the two,” he said.

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Scrap presidential scholarship, say MPs

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:06

MEMBERS of Parliament want government to scrap President Robert Mugabe’s
Presidential Scholarship Programme as it is drawing millions of dollars from
the fiscus and benefiting foreign institutions, yet prejuciding thousands of
local students.

Glen View North MP, Fani Munengami said up to US$40 million was being paid
to foreign universities to enable a few students to study under the
programme, at the expense of heavily under-funded local colleges and

“MPs are currently advocating for the removal of the Presidential
scholarship programme,” he said during a workshop to mark the end of the
Positive Living programme in tertiary institutions in Harare recently.

“It is our wish that the US$40 million which is paid to foreign universities
be channelled towards local universities and other tertiary institutions.”
The Presidential Scholarship headed by Manicaland Provincial governor, Chris
Mushohwe has largely benefitted children of Zanu PF supporters and officials
who go to study at South African universities notably Fort Hare where Mugabe
was once a student.

— By Sofia Mapuranga

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Mugabe anointed Moyo chief spin doctor

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:12

Another political analyst, George Makoni, believes Moyo is the de facto Zanu
PF “propaganda consultant,” whose job description permits him to utter any
“rubbish” at any platform.

“Mugabe might have realised that in some cases, his formal lieutenants,
formally tasked to be party mouthpieces, usually misfire. “The wily
professor’s task is to do that dirty job, then when there are questions
regarding that, the formal structures pick up the pieces,” he said, citing
Moyo’s undiplomatic attack on Zuma, which Zanu PF distanced itself from.

As The Standard revealed two years ago, Moyo is increasingly working with
the military in managing a likely transition and is involved in
behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, in managing the succession issue.

“Working with these people (security chiefs) is not a crime, they form the
nationalist critical core of our country and some of us deploy our talents
and services in defence of the national interests,” Moyo said at the time.

A source described Moyo as confused, saying his only motivation was being
close to the seat of power. “He is dying to be part of the future and has a
hangover of power. He tasted it once (as Minister of Information and
Publicity) and he does not want to lose out again,” the source explained.

The source said most of Moyo’s projects had failed, among them, the
Constitution Commission of 2000, an abortive attempt to form a party, the
United People’s Movement, and the Gukurahundi Bill, which he wanted put
before Parliament, as well as the bid to oust the Speaker of Parliament,
Lovemore Moyo.

Political analyst, Effie Ncube, said Moyo was too angry to be of any use to
Zimbabweans and was irrelevant to the future aspirations of the country.
“His inner anger comes from that he has failed in most of his endeavours,
including making Zimbabwe a one-party state and shutting down free press,
and this has made him angry,” Ncube said.

Moyo was not answering his phone yesterday.

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Moyo wants inclusive govt to collapse

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:11

Copac co-chairperson and MDC-T spokesperson, Douglous Mwonzora, accused Moyo
of being on a crusade to destablise the constitution-making process in the
hope that this would collapse the coalition government and force early

He alleged that Moyo was behind the recent document by Zanu PF, which has
thrown the drafting of the charter into disarray. “The document has demands
which are impossible to meet. The demands have no relationship to what the
people want or said during the outreach programmes,” said Mwonzora. “Moyo
and Zanu PF are not serious about elections, but they only want to destroy
the constitution-making process, so that the current uneven political
playing field remains.”

But Mwonzora’s Zanu PF counterpart in Copac, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana,
although admitting that the party had raised over 300 new issues it wants
incorporated into the new constitution, described Mwonzora’s allegations as

“Give credit where it is due,” he said, suggesting that he was behind Zanu
PF’s fresh demands.  “I am the leader of Zanu PF in the constitution-making
process and not Moyo.”

Mangwana said Moyo’s role in Zanu PF was strategic. “Moyo is given
assignments as the party feels. We are a party of guerrillas and do not
openly discuss our strategies, unlike the MDC which was formed by whites,”
he said.

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The war Moyo is fighting and losing

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:08

ONE of President Robert Mu-gabe’s loudest cheerleaders and Zanu PF politburo
member, Jonathan Moyo, has staked his political life with that of the
88-year-old leader and is doing everything in his power to ensure political
survival, analysts and party insiders have said.

They however warned Moyo would not succeed in his endeavours as he has made
enemies within and outside the former ruling party and aligned himself with
Mugabe who was in the twilight of his political career.

Moyo’s greatest stumbling block is Zanu PF itself, in which the sitting MPs
and senators are decidedly against elections this year — even if they don’t
say so openly — under any constitution despite loud calls for them by Moyo
and President Robert Mugabe.

They said Moyo’s role in Zanu PF was unclear. Some said he might have been
readmitted in the party to kill factionalism and manage the succession
issue, but he has created enemies with some of the most powerful people in
the party, particularly those fingered as faction leaders who he has said,
lack ideology.

Alleged faction leaders are Defence minister Emmerson Mnanga-gwa and
Vice-President Joice Mujuru. Moyo is said to be the front of the military
faction in Zanu PF, which is threatening to thwart the ascendency to power
of anyone who does not have a guerrilla-war background, even if he wins

Moyo is using the state media to spit all sorts of venom at those who cross
his path as he tries to defend Zanu PF and President Mugabe at all costs.
But some analysts say although he seems to be fighting in Mugabe’s corner,
he is actually fronting for the generals, whom he wishes to take over the
reins after Mugabe, and therefore also safeguard his own political future.

This, he wants to achieve by all means necessary, including wrecking the
constitution-making process, pulling Zanu PF out of the Global Political
Agreement and encouraging a military takeover.

Last year he nearly caused a diplomatic spat between Zimbabwe and South
Africa when he dismissed the Sadc-appointed facilitation team as an agent of
the West, while questioning the suitability of President Jacob Zuma to
resolve the crisis in the country.

Recently he described the constitution-making process as “mafia-led” and has
led calls to hold early elections using the current Lancaster House

Moyo wants to create chaos

Nhlanhla Dube, MDC spokesman, described Moyo as someone who was driven by
internal party dynamics and was looking for political accommodation.
“Everyone has a right to hold an opinion, but it is the people who define
the importance of that opinion,” Dube said.

Political analyst, Gift Mambipiri said Moyo fell out with Defence minister,
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction, which he recently described as devoid of
He said the former University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer was now
the civilian face of the securocrats, whose mission was to frustrate the GNU
and stall any progress under the GPA.

“This is shown by his move to rock the boat in the constitution-making
process by making fresh and unreasonable demands, as well as the call for
early elections without reforms,” he said.

“The securocrats have no grassroots support unlike the Mnangagwa and Mujuru
factions and that is why they want to create chaos so that they can justify

Political commentator, Blessing Vava, said the military’s grant plan was to
take over the leadership of Zanu PF and the country after Mugabe and ensure
that their business interests are protected.

“The group is not popular, but it thrives on violence and fear and the
recently held district coordinating Committee (DCC) polls can testify,” he
said. Political scientist, Shakespeare Hamauswa, said most Zanu PF
supporters and officials do not support Moyo because of his lack of respect
for elders, which undermined the party’s leadership and also his
inconsistency, which has seen him in and out of the former ruling party.

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Gono proposes different empowerment model for banks

Monday, 11 June 2012 17:05

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono, has proposed an
empowerment model for the banking sector based on a supply-chain approach,
in a bid to protect the fragile financial sector reeling from an acute
liquidity crunch.

Under the proposed supply-chain based approach, government would institute
policies that would ensure that indigenous people supply all the operational
requirements in the banking sector.

This empowerment strategy would then ensure that indigenous people realise
immediate benefits through receipts from guaranteed supply of goods and
services to international banks, as opposed to dividend payments, which are
contingent upon the profitability of the bank and the decision to issue
dividends to shareholders.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister, Saviour
Kasukuwere, recently summoned executives from four foreign-owned banks
operating in Zimbabwe to inform them of his indigenisation intentions.

The four foreign banks are MBCA, owned by South African-based Nedbank,
Stanbic, a unit of Standard Bank (South Africa), British-owned Standard
Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank.

Gono warned against indigenising banks in the current environment, where the
financial sector is highly illiquid, a development he said would worsen the
liquidity crisis in the economy, where the 51% is ceded on credit.

He said that under the equity approach, beneficiaries were generally people
seeking to satisfy their esteem and self-actualisation needs. “The high
number of locally-owned banks implies that the sector is already dominated
by indigenous banks. A coercive change in bank ownership structure, under
the guise of indigenisation, would lead to a weakened banking sector, thus
undermining the stability of the sector,” said Gono.

He noted that international banks in the country constituted 38,7% of total
deposits in the banking industry and 52% of banking sector profitability.
“As at 31 December 2011, total turnover for the banking sector amounted to
US$870 million, of which US$800 million was utilised to cover operational
costs, resulting in a net profit of US$70 million.

Of the US$800 million that was utilised, US$320 million was in the form of
non-interest expenses and Gono said this presented empowerment opportunities
through the supply-chain based approach.

Of the total profitability for the banking sector amounting to US$70
million, foreign banks accounted for 52% (US$37 million), while indigenous
banks had the balance of 48% (US$33 million).

“Based on the foreign banks’ share of profitability amounting to US $37
million, if indigenous participation were to be based on profitability
alone, the indigenous investors would be entitled to US$19 million, which is
commensurate with the 51% of US$37 million.

“Moreover, assuming a dividend of 10% is paid on the US$19 million;
indigenous investors would be entitled to a paltry dividend of US$1,9
million per year if the equity-based approach is adopted,” he said.

This, he said, would not be comparable to the implied benefit of US$320
million under the supply-side approach, which is available throughout the
year and has the added benefit of the multiplier effect of reinvested

“International banks accounted for 34% of the banking sector’s total
turnover of US$870 million, while indigenous banks accounted for the balance
of 66% as at 31 December 2011,” he said.

Gono said one way to ensure adequate financing to indigenous people under
the supply-based model was “to put in place procurement financing measures
that ensure that indigenous people have access to capital from the financial
sector for both operational and capital spending with little or no
traditional type of security for loans”.

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Great entrepreneurs never go it alone

Monday, 11 June 2012 17:17

“If necessity is the mother of invention, it’s the father of cooperation.” —
John Ashcroft

I wish to share with you responses received to last week’s quiz.
Here are the most important challenges facing entrepreneurial growth in
Zimbabwe today, according to the selected winners:

Stanley: Lack of focus; fear of the unknown and reluctance to embrace and
leverage new technological advances.

Chimuka: lack of support in terms of a real policy that enables recognition
of small businesses by financiers; lack of adequate planning; inability to
make synergies by combining forces, either as a joint venture or a
representative group that can lobby on their behalf while also allowing
sharing of experiences or mistrusting anyone that tries to do so because of
past experiences with groups.

Betina: stiff competition — that is from big firms and imports; lack of
capital; lack of skills on production and marketing.

Courage: poor or lack of laid down strategic planning; lack of capital to
finance expansion projects and when available, it’s expensive —
entrepreneurs tend to choke the business with their spending on flashy

Don’t miss next week’s quiz. One winner will, in addition to the CD e-books,
also get a copy of internationally recognised Zimbabwean business expert and
author Rabison Shumba’s latest book The Fountain of Inspiration.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey lists
the sixth habit as synergy.
The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia, which means working
together. The dictionary defines synergy as “the interaction of elements
that when combined, produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of
the individual elements”.

In the context of organisational behaviour, synergy is the ability of a
group to outperform even its best individual member. In all great
entrepreneurial achievements, although one person may hog the limelight,
there is always a team of two or more people who worked together: the late
Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak at Apple; Bill Gates and Paul Allen at
Microsoft; Julius Makoni, James Mushore and Francis Zimuto at NMB Bank;
Douglas Munatsi and Oliver Chidawo at ABC Holdings.

If you are seriously considering building a great business, you must
understand the simple fact that you can never achieve greatness on your own;
you need other people.

John Maxwell  in his book 25 Ways to Win with People, says  “Great leaders
tumble when they think people need them instead of them needing people.”

I’m sure you have asked for directions from strangers sometime. How did they
act? In most cases, I have found a person repeating directions a number of
times to make sure you really understood; people go out of their way to
ensure you get where you want to go.  By nature, people want to help others.
But many entrepreneurs trudge along on their own, reluctant to ask for
advice or assistance. As a result, they never achieve much in terms of
building a great business.

Below are some of the ways you can leverage on the synergy of other people
to build your business into a great enterprise:

Build a great entrepreneurial team at the top
whether you are starting up or want to grow your existing business, you must
understand that you cannot do everything on your own. Engage people with
skills that complement yours. Because of the scarcity mentality, some
business owners are reluctant to employ the services of others, thinking
they cannot afford it. Whether or not you can afford it, is in your mind. if
you have a mentality of abundance and want to give and share, you will find
the cake expanding faster than you imagined and all parties benefitting.

Give your staff the AAA treatment
that is, show attention, affirmation and appreciation to your employees. How
much do you know about your staff’s families, circumstances and problems?
Many business owners don’t really care about their staff’s personal issues.
As a result, they fail to get the maximum synergy they could. Make your
staff feel needed, that they can make a difference, and they will help you
achieve your goals.

Phillip Chichoni is a strategic business planning consultant who works with
SMEs and entrepreneurs. You may contact him by email to

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Zinara needs competent leaders

Monday, 11 June 2012 14:48

The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) last week hogged the
limelight for the wrong reasons. The body, which falls under the Ministry of
Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development, recently
introduced a new licensing system that compels all motorists to obtain new

Zinara announced the deadline for the discs as May 31 and then allowed a
grace period ending June 30, taking into consideration the chaotic scenes at
post offices where thousands failed to register in time.

Strangely, the body made a quick U-turn last week, scrapping the grace
period and instructing the police to arrest motorists who failed to display
the new discs.
Not surprisingly, there was little support for Zinara’s antics, both from
the motorists, who have to queue for long periods, and the police, who
should enforce the new system.

Zinara’s actions were without doubt unreasonable. To expect motorists to
acquire licences when post offices cannot cope with the demand was akin to
expecting the impossible to happen.

And for Zinara to arbitrarily scrap the June 30 extension deadline was the
height of lunacy for a public body that should be sensitive to people’s
What this debacle exposed was the glaring bankruptcy of leadership at
Zinara. Officials charged with administering Zinara affairs proved incapable
of making sound judgement even on matters that are clearly straightforward.

The computerised system of acquiring the disks also needed to be simplified
and efforts made to bring in more personnel to deal with thousands of
motorists who thronged post offices across the country on a daily basis.

The way Zinara management handled the matter mirrored the lack of planning,
confusion and leadership deficit that blights most parastatals.
Interestingly, Zinara is the same body that is responsible for revenue
collected from tollgates. Despite the millions of dollars the body has
collected since tolling was introduced, our roads still bear the same signs
of disrepair they have borne for years.

Quote of the week

"We should have security sector re-alignment, let me make it clear, this is
not a creation of externals. It is part of the Global Political Agreement
and it must be implemented before elections are held,” Lindiwe Zulu,
President Zuma’s international relations advisor on Zimbabwe elections.

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Mudzi murder spells doom for peaceful polls

Monday, 11 June 2012 14:42

The stoning to death of MDC-T Ward Chairperson Cephas Magura by a marauding
group of Zanu PF activists at a political rally sanctioned by the police at
Chimukoko Business Centre in Mudzi on May 26 2012 should not be treated as
an isolated event, but as part of well-documented behaviour emblematic of
the political culture practised by Zanu PF.

Magura’s gruesome murder, is one of many political killings seen recently,
joining those of Tonderai Ndira, Beta Chokururama and many others who were
murdered in cold blood. The stoning to death of Magura and other such
killings have become part and parcel of the political DNA of Zimbabwean
politics. It is a sure sign for doom as the country gears up for possibly
two competitive public political processes within the next 12 months — the
constitutional referendum and general election.

Death in any situation is a disturbing prospect, but murder for purposes of
political gain is disquieting, especially when nothing is then done about
it. What is even more disquieting is the tendency by Zimbabweans to sit idly
by and watch as situations spiral out of control. The guiltiest party in
this exercise of inaction is largely the police and prosecution services
which make them complicit in politically-motivated violence.

What is even more worrying in the case of Zimbabwe’s police and prosecuting
authorities is that the consent and sponsorship of politically-motivated
violence and extra-judicial killings is sometimes not even silent. On
numerous occasions, top officials from the police force and the Attorney
General’s office have openly spoken in support of it. This shocking
unprofessional conduct is not only well-documented in the public sphere but
is also drilled into police recruits and professionals serving in the AG’s
office. This explains why the police allegedly watched idly as Magura was
being brutally murdered.

The generality of Zimbabweans are also to blame for what happens. When signs
of things going bizarre start showing, the tendency among Zimbabweans to
retreat into their cocoons and wait for the situation to deteriorate before
they think about preventative action. Some escape to safer havens  created
by the proactive actions of citizens of those countries.

This attitude is in stark contrast to situations elsewhere. For instance,
the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia in January of 2011, which
was blamed on the Tunisian authorities because of the reasons he burnt
himself for, sparked a public response that eventually toppled a brutal
29-year-old regime. In stating the above, we are not calling for
self-immolation or even for the toppling of the Zimbabwean regime, in spite
of its transgression — all we are simply doing is drawing attention to the
fact that our dereliction of responsibility as citizens in terms of forcing
our authorities to act when action is demanded, may just be pushing us
towards a deeper hole of political violence, than we are already in.

The tell-tale signs of the country sliding back into a violent epoch have
never left us, and are already starting to indicate catastrophe as we head
for elections. This is especially so if the elections are held, as Zanu PF
would want, in the absence of meaningful democratic and electoral reforms.

The GNU still has the opportunity to save the country from doom by
holistically dealing with the issue of violence and starting to take
corrective action instead of paying lip-service to a scourge that continues
to affect Zimbabweans from all walks of life. Convening conferences where
leaders pledge peace with one lip while the other lip is preaching violence
will not address the issue of violence.

The key drivers of violence in Zimbabwe are impunity and selective
application of the law. Our society and the legal system have adequate
measures that can deter perpetrators of political violence. The challenge is
that Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri is presiding over a
police force that oftentimes ignores its duty or carries it out selectively.
The other challenge is Attorney General Johannes Tomana, who presides over a
prosecution service that applies the law in a typical Orwellian style, where
some animals are more equal than others and therefore immune to prosecution.

The failure to arrest and prosecute  is now putting the country to shame
through having other jurisdictions like South Africa being compelled by
their own justice systems to investigate the political violence that
occurred in Zimbabwe in 2008. That precedent of inaction on political
violence is certainly going to give impetus to more violence since it has
become apparent that one can get away with crime depending on one’s
political disposition.


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ZBC must make TV watchable before demanding fees

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:49

Last week I entertained the most unusual of visitors. A Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) licence inspector in the company of a
policeman stormed my house to deliver summons for me to appear in court for
failing to produce a valid television licence.

In an ensuing altercation with the two messengers, I was reminded tellingly
and in authoritarian police fashion that I was legally compelled to pay for
the licence. That was before I made it categorically clear that no one — not
even the police, could bully me into paying the licence fee. The
confrontation with the two State functionaries left me wondering why I
should pay for a service I do not utilise.

Despite a provision in the ZBC Commercialisation Act authorising the
broadcaster to collect licence fees from anyone deemed to own a television
licence, I thought to myself, the law was on this aspect totally
unreasonable — forcing me to pay for a product I do not utilise. For this
reason, I believe the coercion to pay the licence fee is not only a
violation of my right to choice as a consumer, but also of my freedom of
association, which by the way is also protected by the constitution.

I am probably one of the millions of citizens who have stopped watching ZBC
owing to the broadcaster’s incapability to deliver quality and tasteful
programming.  Satellite television which includes DStv and the free-to-air
channels offer alternative, topnotch viewing to ZBC’s poor programming.
And, because I like what DStv offers me, I dutifully and without any qualms,
pay for its subscription.

In most parts of the world, public service broadcasting is undergoing
fundamental changes in line with the internet and digitalisation evolution,
so should ZBC. But alas, ZBC has chosen to remain stuck in Stone Age
broadcasting yet demands first world prices. ZBC’s failure to deliver what
consumers want is a shining example of the service inertia of public
institutions in this country — heavy-handed on collecting payments for
services but short on delivery.

Apart from the unreasonableness of being asked to pay for a television
service which I am not watching, the US$50 ZBC is claiming from hapless
viewers is exorbitant and inconsistent with the low-standard programming,
partisanship and propaganda drivel the broadcaster spews. Public
broadcasting services are supposed to be universal, meaning they must be
available to all citizens in the country, at the lowest price possible. And
by charging US$50, ZBC is clearly not doing that.

Hitherto, ZBC shareholders are reluctant to transform the broadcaster into a
proper public service broadcasting system in keeping with broadcasting
trends elsewhere. ZBC ought to deliver and reform first if they want a claim
to my hard earned Obama dollar. The truism Dead BC is a general statement
that speaks volumes of ZBC service abilities.

It is also quite disturbing to observe that ZBC is available on the DStv
facility but continues to demand as much as US$50 dollars from the same
viewers. Does that not amount to penny pinching?

A lawyer friend of mine tells me there is a case before the courts in
Chinhoyi where an institutional viewer is challenging the legality of ZBC
demanding licence fees from viewers not watching their service, particularly
those who own DStv and are situated in areas not receptive to ZBC

One of the prerequisites for being part of the media is access; however,
access cannot subsist without technological connection. I am counting on the
positive verdict of the court case to liberate me from further harassment by
ZBC. Going forward, it is perhaps time ZBC considered subscription or
pay-per-view television.


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It’s the institutions, not the constitution, stupid

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:45

After the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit in Luanda,
Angola, that ended on the morning of Saturday June 2, many things became
patently obvious. One of these was that the regional grouping is keen on
having a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis and is averse to
half-baked methods that may be employed on the roadmap to achieving this.

Sadc was clear on one thing namely that all reforms spelt out in the Global
Political Agreement be implemented first before any national elections are
held. One part to the GPA, Zanu PF might wish to misinform Zimbabweans on
the outcome of that summit through dishonest and political spin-doctoring
but the truth has already been known.

But why is Zanu PF dishonest on an issue that is so straightforward? The
answer lies in an undoubted truth namely that if the next elections are held
after the GPA has been implemented according to its letter and spirit, the
former ruling party, in power for over three decades, will be swept off
Zimbabwe’s political landscape once for all.

Not only will this be extremely humiliating to the strongmen who have run
the country since the end of colonial rule in 1980 —and have benefited
almost exclusively from the fruits of our independence — but it may also
open the strongmen to litigation locally and/or at the hands of the
international justice system.

The sentences meted out to two former African strongmen, Charles Taylor and
Hosni Mubarak, have set precedents that must scare any African ruler who
may, for one reason or another, find himself out of power. Taylor of Liberia
was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity by the
International Criminal Court based at The Hague. He had supplied arms used
in the Sierra Leon civil war using dirty diamonds money. Mubarak of Egypt
had allowed the massacre of his own people during popular demonstrations
that eventually led to his ouster. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by
Egyptian courts.

Zimbabwean strongmen could also face the same fate considering what they
have done to their own people in the last 30 years or so. They don’t like
this to happen to them.

Many analysts have said the Luanda summit spells the endgame for Mugabe and
his party. This might well be so but this also means, before the final
whistle is blown, the strongman and his party will put up a fight to the

There is no incentive for Mugabe to accept what Sadc directed in Luanda. In
the recent past, Mugabe has declared that he would not retire for the simple
reason that his party would crumble without him. Former ally Enos Nkala last
month reiterated this after his brief meeting with Mugabe at an airport in
Bulawayo. If his party collapses in the aftermath of his retirement, a fate
for him such as that of Taylor or Mubarak cannot be entirely ruled out.

The fight to avert such an end has already started and has been accentuated
after the Luanda summit. It is two-pronged: it is political and military.
While the politicians are fighting to scupper the whole constitution-making
process, the military are threatening to take over in the event of a loss in
the elections.

By scuppering the constitution-making process the politicians are banking on
Mugabe’s constitutional right to dissolve parliament, after which he can
rule by decree. He can call for elections under the old constitution,
thereafter, which he will win by all means necessary such as the use of the
military which has already declared its unwavering support.

After Luanda, it is disheartening to see that the other two parties in the
GPA, have not realised how advanced this Zanu PF strategy is and how it will
most certainly pull the rug from under their feet. Reports in the media have
interestingly said Mugabe has been outfoxed by his main rival, MDC-T
president and Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, when the opposite
is almost certainly true.

While the MDCs are harping on the importance of the constitution-making
process in the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis, Zanu PF is doing the
opposite. It knows that a new constitution in itself is no guarantee to a
free and fair election. It knows that a new constitution is only as good as
the institutions that support it, and that is the strength of their
stratagem. Reverting to the old Lancaster House constitution will keep
intact the institutions that have kept Zanu PF in power all along. This is
what Zanu PF will force to happen hence they are fighting the Copac-driven

The MDCs, instead of continuing to harp on the importance of the new
constitution, should focus more on the reformation of the institutions that
have sustained Zanu PF hegemony. They should steal a leaf from US President
Barack Obama’s book. Addressing Ghanaians in the capital Accra on July 11
2009 Obama said:

“In the 21st Century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the
key to success — strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent
judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those
are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in
peoples’ lives.”
He said Africa is in the hands of the brave people prepared to stand up to
injustice. In Zimbabwe this can only be done if people fight for strong
institutions that will act as checks and balances to those in government.

“Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans and not
with those who use coups or change Constitutions to stay in power. Africa
doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions,” Obama said, adding,
“each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its
own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: governments that respect
the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable and more
successful than governments that do not.”

It is almost like the MDCs will accept to go for an election solely on the
basis of a new constitution when we all know that the Zimbabwean crisis was
not a result of a constitutional crisis but of a crisis of the constitution.
The constitution could not guarantee a transfer of power in March 2008; a
new constitution can also be exploited in a similar way. Therefore, any
election without institutional reforms will not bring any change. Be warned!


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