By Staff ⋅ zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 14, 2008 ⋅
South Africa’s foreign minister was on Friday forced to issue a public call
for ZANU PF to stop its violent crack down.
In a statement the South African Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz
Pahad,said “A civil war will not be in the interests of the region.
“And so we will do everything possible, first to deal with all the reports
of the escalating violence and second to make sure that we never reach the
possibility of a civil war because that would be a disaster not only for
Zimbabwe but for all of us.”
This peace call was echoed by a coalition of about 40 prominent Africans -
from the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan to the Senegalese musician
Youssou N’Dour - who took out full-page
advertisements in newspapers around the world calling for “an end to the
violence and intimidation”. “It is crucial for the interests of both
Zimbabwe and Africa that the upcoming elections are free and fair,” they
In a speech to his Zanu-PF supporters Mugabe said that the war veterans had
told him that they would launch a new bush war if his 28-year presidency
came to an end when voters returned to the polls later this month.”They said
if this country goes back into white hands just because we have used a pen,
we will return to the bush to fight,” Mugabe who is 82 added,”I’m even
prepared to join the fight, “We can’t allow the British to dominate us
through their puppets.”
In Matabeleland a local MDC official, who did not want to be named, said
they had decided that, for every home burnt down by Zanu-PF militias, the
MDC supporters would raze 10 to the ground.
In Plumtree Norman Mpofu,MDC-Bulilima East, said the war veterans had called
him to their base in the
constituency. “They asked me to tell people that it was not their intention
to fight them but they were only doing a job,” said Mpofu. “The situation is
degenerating into dangerous levels. The government has to do something about
this circle of violence because our people are now
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 15, 2008
SYDNEY, Australia: Australia's prime minister said Sunday he fears Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe will "steal" the upcoming election, and called on
African nations to promote democracy.
"I've seen how Robert Mugabe can manipulate elections," Rudd told reporters.
"Our concern and the concern of most countries around the world is that Mr.
Mugabe will steal this election."
Rudd said the African Union and South African Development Council should
"speak with one voice about the importance of democracy and the will of the
people prevailing in Zimbabwe."
His remarks came after Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia would
consider taking further action against Zimbabwe if Mugabe continues to
threaten the outcome of a forthcoming presidential poll.
"If Mugabe continues along these lines, I'm quite happy for Australia to be
looking at what further measures we can take," he said, without elaborating.
Mugabe recently vowed to go to war if necessary to keep his rival from
taking power if he wins the June 27 ballot. The campaign has featured
widespread violence against Mugabe's opponents.
June 15, 2008
THE AGONIES being inflicted on Zimbabwe by its corrupt and brutal president
are worsening. Last week, the government of Robert Mugabe ordered
international aid agencies to put a halt to the operations that have been
keeping hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwe's people alive. With most of the
country's population out of work and in dire poverty, the food and other
humanitarian assistance provided by groups like CARE and Save the Children
are more desperately needed than ever. By shutting them down, Mugabe and his
henchmen were knowingly condemning countless vulnerable Zimbabweans to
more stories like this
Mugabe claimed, preposterously, that the humanitarian agencies were trying
"to cripple Zimbabwe's economy" and bring about "illegal regime change."
Actually, it his own demented and dictatorial misrule that has destroyed the
country, turning what was once a prosperous land into the world's most
rapidly collapsing economy. And it is his determination to cling to power by
any means - including starving and terrorizing voters who support a change
in government - that has filled Zimbabwe not just with hunger and sickness
but with savagery and bloodshed as well.
Less than two weeks remain until the presidential election runoff between
Mugabe, Zimbabwe's autocratic president for the last 28 years, and the
popular opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for
Democratic Change. Tsvangirai and the MDC won the first round of elections
in March, and supporters of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF ruling party have been
waging a vicious campaign of intimidation and violence against them ever
Opposition rallies have been obstructed by police, and Tsvangirai has
repeatedly been detained for hours at a time. On Thursday, the MDC's
secretary general, Tendai Biti, was arrested and charged with treason.
Thousands of opposition supporters have been attacked, arrested, or forced
to flee for their lives. Homes have been torched; scores of people have been
International aid workers say they were shut down to keep them from
witnessing the government's increasingly lethal crackdown.
The depravity of those attacks is suggested by UNICEF, which said last week
that 10,000 children had been driven from their homes by the violence, and
that schools taken over by progovernment forces were being used as torture
centers. Peter Osborne, in a dispatch from Zimbabwe for The Mail on Sunday,
a British newspaper, itemizes the methods of abuse favored by Mugabe's men:
pouring boiling plastic on victims' backs, burning their extremities, and
administering whippings violent enough to transform an adult's buttocks into
a horrifying "mess of raw flesh."
The latest description of Zimbabwe's reign of terror comes from Human Rights
Watch, which in a new report documents numerous cases of brutal repression
by Mugabe supporters.
"ZANU-PF and its allies have . . . established torture camps and organized
abusive 're-education' meetings around the country to compel MDC supporters
into voting for Mugabe," the report says. Hundreds of voters have been
flogged with sticks, whips, bicycle chains, and metal bars. In one
"re-education" meeting May 5, "ZANU-PF officials and 'war veterans' beat six
men to death and tortured another 70 men and women, including a 76-year-old
woman publicly thrashed in front of assembled villagers."
In other meetings, military officers have threatened to kill anyone who
votes for the opposition. "Each villager would be given a bullet to hold in
their hands. Then a soldier would say, 'If you vote for MDC in the
presidential runoff election, you have seen the bullets, we have enough for
each one of you, so beware.' "
Mugabe's savage onslaught is likely to achieve its goal. Faced with
starvation, dispossession, and threats of revenge, how many Zimbabweans will
muster the courage to stand against him?
But why do the rest of us do nothing? Why is the free world so indifferent
to the enormities committed by Mugabe and his bullies? Where are the
demonstrations outside Zimbabwe's embassies? Where are the international
boycotts, the UN resolutions, the presidential and papal condemnations?
Where is the International Criminal Court indictment of Mugabe for his long
career of murder, torture, and other crimes against humanity?
Let us be honest: If the people of Zimbabwe were being terrorized by a white
despot - if it were a white ruling party whose goons were beating them and
burning their homes - the whole world would be aroused on their behalf.
Surely they deserve no less just because their oppressor is black.
Jeff Jacoby can be reached at email@example.com.
[Analysis] No end to the people's misery appears in sight
Isaac Hlekisani Dziya
Published 2008-06-09 08:03 (KST)
On a cool June afternoon Zimbabweans seek solace in their homes, at least
those whose homes are still intact do.
President Robert Mugabe unashamedly continues to rob the people of their
political rights. He also seems intent on making them starve.
Mugabe's performance this week at the United Nations Food and Agriculture
conference in Rome, where he blamed Western sanctions for the hunger of his
people, was obscene. Zimbabweans are hungry because Mugabe has mismanaged
the agricultural sector of a nation that was once known as Africa's
And Mugabe unleashed a fresh hell in this area this week: a ban on the
distribution of food and water by international aid agencies. One-third of
the population relies on such aid and about 5 percent are suffering from
severe malnutrition. The UN says this ruling will severely restrict its
Mugabe is using food and politics in an inextricably linked way. The
authorities want to control the distribution of food aid so they can
withhold it from opposition strongholds. It is also a way to ensure that
international aid workers will not witness the violence being used to
intimidate voters in rural areas.
Every Zimbabwean is aware of the militia that the government is using to
target the Movement for Democratic Change's campaign for Tvsangrai's
presidential bid. This week that government targeted foreign diplomatic
Commenting on the arrest of American and British diplomatic staff in
Zimbabwe, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said, "I think that it
gives us a window into the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans, because this sort
of intimidation is something that is suffered daily, especially by those who
are working with opposition groups."
The diplomats were investigating political violence in and around Bindura.
The government has ignored pleas to allow in election observers from outside
Zimbabwe to arrest further suffering. The military rulers obviously fear
that their steely grip on the nation will be loosened and that their
attempts to intimidate voters into submission will be scuttled.
The military regime should be held to account for its atrocities. The
arrests of the diplomats while Mugabe was in Rome only go to show that he is
no longer in control of issues in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is now a mere front whose
"sale by" date has since come and gone.
But, in another tragic twist for Zimbabwe, it seems his rule as a
military-backed "strongman" may have begun. Zimbabwe military junta
government be warned: Refusal to allow food aid to be delivered to those who
need it leads to a true crime against humanity.
Millions of concerned "neighbors" around the world, watching in frustrated
horror as the tragedy deepens, believe that major crimes against humanity
have already been committed. The Mugabe regime has already done enough to
merit trial by an international court.
Every time one imagines that Zimbabwe has hit rock bottom, Mugabe's regime
manages to push the country into even greater misery. The past week has
witnessed the unleashing of a campaign of violent intimidation against the
political opposition. Thugs working for the ruling regime have forced
thousands to flee their homes and left scores dead, including prominent MDC
activist Tonderai Ndira.
Yet, there is an unusual recklessness about all this, even by Zimbabwean
standards. Mugabe does not mind the condemnation of the West, of course.
Indeed, it would not be surprising if he had traveled to Rome to provoke it.
But his allies in Africa are finding his behavior increasingly difficult to
We should remember that it was South African mediation in the March
elections that made it more difficult for the Mugabe regime to rig the
results than in previous contests. South Africa's African National Congress
president, Jacob Zuma, has taken a much more critical line toward Mugabe
than has President Thabo Mbeki.
However, the aura of invincibility that once shrouded Mugabe has been lifted
following his personal defeat in the first round of the March 29 election.
No amount of beatings and killings can restore it; a case in point is
Matebeleland, where he used the Fifth Brigade to do exactly that, making
himself forever persona non grata in that region.
As McGee argues, "We are dealing with a desperate regime here that will do
anything to stay in power."
Sadly, that does not mean the end is in sight. As we have seen in Burma,
desperate regimes can be formidable at clinging to power. And there are
reports that the leaders of the Zimbabwean military would not countenance
regime change, even if Mugabe would.
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:54
FORTY prominent Africans have asked President Robert Mugabe for
assurances the 27 June Presidential election run-off will be free and fair,
as Botswana called in Zimbabwe's envoy in Gaborone to protest the arrests of
Pressure continues to mount on Zimbabwe ahead of the arrival tomorrow
of the United Nations envoy, Haile Menkerios.
Meanwhile, the University of Massachusetts' Board of Trustees on
Thursday voted unanimously to strip Mugabe of an honorary degree bestowed on
him in 1986 calling his politics "egregious" and his leadership an "assault
on human rights".
The group of African leaders, including former UN chief Kofi Annan and
Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, urged an end to violence and
intimidation ahead of the run-off.
Former leaders Ghana's Jerry Rawlings, Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano
and Nigeria's Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar added their names to the letter.
Botswana's Foreign Minister Phandu Sekeleman told the BBC the arrests
of opposition leaders amounted to harassment.
"These repeated arrests do not augur well for a free, fair and
democratic election - people must be free to campaign," Sekeleman told the
BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
But Mugabe yesterday reiterated the MDC would never rule Zimbabwe even
if it won this month's presidential election run-off.
Addressing mourners at Heroes' Acre in Harare, Mugabe said Zimbabwe
would "never be ruled by a white man again, directly or indirectly". He was
speaking at the burial of Retired Lieutenant General Amoth Norbert
Chingombe, who died last Monday aged 58.
Mugabe lost to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round on 29
Yesterday, he said: "Let the MDC get this very, very clearly: if they
wish to play (any part) in the politics of this country, let them drop the
white man, drop the British, drop the Americans".
He said anyone who sought to undermine the land reform programme
"seeks and gets war".
The burial was attended mostly by officers from the security forces.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, Mugabe's challenger, was arrested
on two occasions last week while on his campaign trail, buttressing the
decision by the University of Massachusetts to withdraw Mugabe's degree.
MDC secretary general Tendai Biti is likely to appear at the Harare
Magistrates' Court tomorrow for initial remand, his lawyer, Lewis Uriri,
Biti was arrested when he returned to the country from South Africa on
Thursday. He is facing a treason charge which carries the death penalty or
life imprisonment if convicted.
He is also being accused of "communicating malicious falsehoods
prejudicial to the State".
The police yesterday produced Biti before High Court Judge Ben
Hlatshwayo, who had earlier issued an order to that effect following the
defence's complaints they were being denied access to their client.
"The police explained they never denied us access to him," Uriri said.
"They said we spoke to the wrong people - that is, junior officers - instead
of talking to seniors."
He said Biti would be held at Matapi Police Station in Mbare.
Tsvangirai says more than 60 of his supporters have been murdered
while hundreds have been admitted to hospital with various injuries,
including broken limbs and serious burns.
The University of Massachusetts' decision to withdraw Mugabe's degree
is the first in its history. It follows years of campaigning by the
students, concerned about Mugabe's atrocious human rights record.
"In the two decades that have passed since the honorary degree was
awarded, Robert Mugabe has pursued policies and taken actions that are
anti-ethical to the values and beliefs of the University of Massachusetts,"
university President Jack Wilson said in a statement last month.
"I must recommend that we sever the connection that was formed when
Robert Mugabe appeared to be a force for positive change in Africa. Today,
that promise no longer exists."
Mugabe told supporters on Thursday he would immediately take Zimbabwe
back to war if Tsvangirai beat him on 27 June.
Senior officials from both Zanu PF and the MDC said they were unaware
of Menkerios' visit.
But the UN last week confirmed Menkerios would be in Zimbabwe from
tomorrow until Friday. The UN said his visit would be a follow-up to
discussions between Mugabe and the UN Secretary General in Rome two weeks
"Haile Menkerios, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs,
is expected to visit Zimbabwe from next Monday (tomorrow) until 20 June .
Mr. Menkerios will discuss the political situation and the upcoming
presidential election - which is scheduled to take place on 27 June - while
in the Southern African country," the UN said.
UN officials and diplomats reportedly met in Harare on Thursday to
plan for the visit by the former Eritrean diplomat. Details of the meeting
were not immediately available.
A UN official in Harare confirmed they were "expecting the Assistant
Secretary General and his team on Monday (tomorrow)"
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:49
FOR the past two weeks Gloria and Samuel Mwedziwendira's home has been
an open area outside the Tobacco Sales Floor along Willowvale Road in the
industrial suburb of Southerton.
They say they are first-time tobacco growers, having occupied a farm
in the Bindura area in 2004. They arrived at the tobacco auction floors from
Bindura on 3 June and spent another four days waiting for their tobacco to
Now, the couple says they have been waiting ever since their tobacco
went under the hammer to get their pay cheques and return home.
Gloria (39), says she had no idea that selling their tobacco would
take that long, and was anxious about the safety of her four children back
"I don't think I will be growing tobacco again," says Gloria
dejectedly, wincing from the pain of the smoke stinging her eyes.
"I had no idea it would be such a hassle. I am worried about my
children back home. They are all alone. The oldest is just in Form 3. Can
you believe that we came here with just two pairs of clothes?"
As first-time tobacco growers, the couples say they had come
unprepared for a long stay in Harare and admit their stay has been a
At as early as 5am Gloria wakes up to boil water for her husband and
make breakfast for him in aluminium tins she picked up in a bin in the
For his bath, Samuel, 46, says he is content with just two or three
handfuls of water on his face, under the circumstances.
His breakfast is roast sweet potatoes cooked overnight using the fire
with which they warmed themselves during the night to save firewood, which
"Yesterday (Tuesday) the names for the cheques that were ready were
read out. My name was not there," Samuel said.
"Nobody has told us what is going on. They are very rude. They snap at
us and tell us 'go back home, you money is coming'. Some are lucky. They got
As soon as Samuel and many other men leave for the auction floor to
wait for their payments and sell their tobacco, Gloria says she and other
women take turns to stay on guard and take a quick bath behind the tobacco
"If you are on guard you have to make sure when you see a man
approaching you whistle so that the other women bathing cover themselves
up," Gloria says, with a shy smile.
"At first I was ashamed to take a bath in the open but now I am used
to it because I realise there is no other way."
After bathing, Gloria takes a "stroll" into the high-density suburbs
nearby to look for firewood. By the time she returns, it's time to prepare
lunch for her husband, and hours later, supper. This is the routine Gloria's
life has fallen into since her arrival at the tobacco floors.
The Mwedziwendiras are among the hundreds of rural tobacco farmers
living under the most appalling conditions along Willowvale Road as they
wait to sell their tobacco and receive payment.
Last week, The Standard visited the area and was shocked at the extent
to which these poor rural farmers struggle to sell their produce that
ironically is one of the country's highest foreign currency earners.
Behind the Tobacco Sales Floor along Eltham Road where most of the
farmers have set up temporary shelter, there are no lavatories and farmers
and their families resort to the bush after hours. With no water supply in
the area, there are fears that a disease outbreak is imminent, especially in
the absence of the proper toilet facilities.
To add to the growing population at the Tobacco Sales Floor during the
day are the many cross-border traders and informal food vendors who have set
up mini-markets there to take advantage of the huge captive market.
In the winter cold children, many of them still breastfeeding, sleep
in the open. Women The Standard talked to said sometimes when it is very
cold they sneak into the tobacco floors to sleep, exposing their children
and themselves to tobacco-related diseases.
"What choice do we have really?" said Miriam Kamba from Karoi when
asked if she knew the dangers of raw tobacco inhalation.
"If I sleep in the open, the child could develop a cold. The best
thing is for me and my husband to go back home, but what will we survive on
if we leave our cheques here?"
Contacted for comment on the possible disease outbreak at the tobacco
floors, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa
said: "It is a very depressing situation which we have urged the relevant
authorities to look into as a matter of urgency."
Parirenyatwa said his ministry had communicated with the City Council's
Health Department over the issue which was brought to their attention by
many concerned parties.
He said: "We are aware of the possible outbreak of communicable
diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera and we are working with the City
Health Department to provide temporary sanitary facilities at most of the
tobacco floors, not just the ones along Willowvale Road.
Political analyst John Makumbe believes that the delay by the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to pay farmers is a sign of the failure of the land
reform programme in Zimbabwe.
"How can we entrust such people to take care of bringing food to the
nation's table?" Makumbe said.
"This is the problem of taking care over farms and systems that you
cannot run. Before the land grab exercise we never saw farmers spending days
queuing at the Tobacco floors and sleeping in the open with their wives and
children. This is most degrading."
By Bertha Shoko
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:46
Former Home Affairs Minister, Dumiso Dabengwa has thrown his weight
behind the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai ahead of the 27 June presidential
In the 29 March poll, he backed Simba Makoni, who came third.
Dabengwa declared his position last Friday as three provinces of
Makoni's Kusile/Mavambo project -Matabeleland North and South and Bulawayo -
met to strategise ahead of the run-off, which pits Tsvangirai against
President Robert Mugabe.
The former Zipra commander's stance, which differs sharply with Makoni's
proposal of a negotiated settlement, is likely to be adopted by the
provinces at the workshop that ends today.
This is likely to boost Tsvangirai's campaign as the bulk of Makoni's
eight percent of the vote came from Matabeleland after Dabengwa ended up as
the only Zanu PF heavyweight to openly support the former finance minister.
Dabengwa said although they felt that Makoni's campaign was let down
by the failure of his high-profile backers in Zanu PF to come out in the
open ahead of the election, there was no chance he would return to Zanu PF.
"We have tried to push for the cancellation of the run-off because
Zimbabweans spoke loudly that no candidate could go it alone and there was a
need for a government of national unity," Dabengwa said.
"The MDC was agreeable to the talks and the Zanu PF people that we
spoke to agreed but none of them had the guts to approach Mugabe with the
The former Zanu PF politburo member said talks on a government of
national unity were doomed.
"This is why, personally, I am saying it is better to prepare for the
run-off by going back to our pledge to the people not to support Mugabe, no
On the nature of the campaign he said there were concerns from the
Kusile co-ordinators in the provinces that if they campaigned openly they
would become targets of political violence engulfing the country.
The MDC says at least 65 of its supporters have been murdered and tens
of thousands others displaced by Zanu PF militias campaigning for Mugabe.
"A decision will be made at this workshop on how we will conduct the
campaign but strong views have come out that we must not be reckless in the
way we do things as we might also become targets," he said.
He said as a former ZIPRA commander he had tried to reason with war
veterans in Matabeleland not to join the terror campaign against villagers
who were backing the MDC.
Levels of violence similar to those in most Mashonaland provinces
would be unfortunate for people of Matabeleland who are still recovering
from the Gukurahundi massacres that claimed the lives of more than 20 000
civilians, he added.
Meanwhile, the Kusile c-ordinators who presented reports at the
workshop so far were unanimous that the project should throw its weight
"Some of our people are saying they didn't vote for Makoni but chose
Tsvangirai because he looked hungrier for change," said a representative
from Matabeleland North.
A senior official in the project said Makoni would be forced to go
with the "wishes of the people" and back Tsvangirai.
Some felt that Makoni was positioning himself for a role in the unity
government to an extent that he did not want to lose the trust of Zanu PF by
openly backing Tsvangirai.
Makoni could not be reached for comment.
By Nqolwani Nyathi
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:44
THE National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO)
says the ban on field operations by its members is illegal and has asked the
government to let the NGOs resume their humanitarian assistance.
NANGO immediately received support from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR), which declared the ban a legal nullity.
The umbrella body of non-governmental organisations met 10 days ago to
consider the ban. It said the instruction from the Minister of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Nicholas Goche, banning their field
operations is not provided for in the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs)
"According to the PVO Act, certificates of registration may be
cancelled or amended if an organisation has failed to comply with any
condition of its registration," NANGO said. "What needs to be done is for
the organisation to be informed about the intention of cancellation or
amendment of the registration certificate.
"Additionally, the organisation must be afforded reasonable
opportunity of showing cause why the certificate should not be cancelled or
amended. These two have not been done."
Unsettled about the implications of the ban, NANGO said apparently no
consideration had been made as to the millions of Zimbabweans desperate for
humanitarian assistance, ranging from food and water support, medical aid,
legal assistance and many other services the NGOs have been providing.
"Zimbabweans face an acute shortage of basic commodities like food,
water and medicine. This instruction (ban) will have an immediate, critical
and negative impact especially on children, people living with HIV/AIDS, the
elderly, pregnant mothers and the disabled," NANGO said.
"One cruel direct impact of the ban will be that people living with
HIV/AIDS will increasingly die since many NGOs provide assistance in the
form of home-based care and anti-retroviral medication to them."
NANGO said the crisis would deepen daily due to soaring food prices on
the back of a poor harvest. "By stopping assistance delivered by NGOs in the
agrarian sector, an aggravation of the food crisis can be expected," NANGO
warned. "The 29 March nation wide post-election violence has aggravated the
situation - leaving thousands of Zimbabweans internally displaced,
struggling to survive and in need of assistance."
Despite the ban being declared illegal, on Monday the government began
raiding offices of NGOs, threatening arrests if they continued operating. By
Thursday almost 20 of the NGOs had been visited by the police and threatened
with closure if they did not cease operations.
Saying that NGOs had always conducted their work in a non-partisan
manner, NANGO did not miss the irony of the ban being issued as President
Robert Mugabe was in Rome attending the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organisation summit, which discussed food security and the fight against
NANGO dared Goche to name organisations he claims breached the PVO Act
and to specify the allegations.
The ZLHR said it had scrutinized the Notice issued by Goche which,
although vague, appears to be directed towards humanitarian PVOs/NGOs,
ostensibly those registered under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act.
"There is no provision in the Private Voluntary Organisations Act
("the Act") which empowers the Minister to suspend PVOs or NGOs," ZLHR said.
"The only provision in the Act which empowers the Minister to suspend was
section 21, which provided for the suspension of the Executive Committees of
PVOs registered under the Act in the event that the Minister had it on good
authority that the said PVO was acting ultra vires.
"Section 21 was struck down by the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe in
the case of Holland & Ors vs Min of Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare
1997 (1) ZLR 186 (S) as being at odds with section 18 (9) of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe (which stipulates that everyone is entitled to
protection of the law). To date nothing has been done to reverse the
findings of the Constitutional Court and as such Section 21 in its entirety
remains void for that reason.
"Section 21 aside, the Section 10(1)(c) which he then purports to
threaten to invoke is of no assistance to him, as the power to cancel or
amend certificates of registration envisaged therein is the sole preserve of
the PVO Board established in terms of Section 3 of the PVO Act. It follows
therefore that the Minister, though he appoints the board in terms of the
Act, has no power (directly or inferred) to act in such a manner or take
There was also further dispute as regards the powers that Goche has to
take as the purported Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
because the pre-29 March 2008 Cabinet (and Ministers) was dissolved and they
have not been properly and lawfully re-constituted.
"This argument is currently before the Constitutional Court in the
matter of Jonathan Nathaniel Moyo vs The President of Zimbabwe and Minister
of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,
where the MP-elect is challenging the purported powers of the Minister of
Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs, and a similar argument can
potentially be raised in respect of the case at hand," ZLHR said. "It is
therefore submitted with respect that this Notice is a legal nullity."
By Davison Maruziva
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:42
EFFECTS of the government's drive to restrict sales of foreign
newspapers will be felt this weekend after The Mail & Guardian and The
Sunday Times, were blocked at the Beitbridge border post, with the State
demanding R20 000 duty for one of the publications.
Ten days ago the government, irked by a growing coverage of State's
abuses against its citizens especially by South African newspapers,
following Zanu PF's historic loss to the MDC, hastily brought into effect
amendments to the Custom and Excise tariffs, which raised duty on foreign
newspapers from 5% per kg to 40%, payable in foreign currency.
The government said the move was being implemented in order to
"protect the Zimbabwean media space". The move follows recent threats by the
government that State-run media organisation were not doing enough to
promote the interests of Zanu PF.
Interest in foreign newspapers stems directly from the absence of
independent daily newspapers that can challenge the propaganda from
State-controlled news organisations. The government's response has therefore
been to suffocate the flow of information through a punitive duty on
newspapers being brought into the country, ahead of the 27 June Presidential
Raphael Khumalo, Group CEO of The Standard and the Zimbabwe
Independent, said the move was a deliberate strategy designed to stop weekly
newspapers from South African being brought into the country.
The Standard understands that officials at The Zimbabwean and The
Zimbabwean on Sunday were "reconsidering the entire business".
Implementation of the punitive duty follows hard on the heels of a
plan to disrupt the distribution of private newspapers by the government in
its bid to curtail the flow of public information ahead of the 27 June
Sources close to the Joint Operations Command two weeks ago said among
other targeted papers were ZimInd titles including The Standard and its
sister paper the Zimbabwe Independent.
The sources warned the papers should not be distributed publicly. Last
week there were several incidents in Harare in which attempts were made to
try and prevent sales of private newspapers.
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:37
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority last week moved to formally seize an
armoured vehicle used by MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The police impounded the South African-registered BMW X5, used by
Tsvangirai when he was arrested while campaigning in Lupane, Matabeleland
His lawyer, Job Sibanda of Job Sibanda and Associates confirmed ZIMRA
had started a process for the vehicle to be forfeited to the state.
"I am just from a meeting with ZIMRA and I can confirm that the BMW
has been forfeited and a notice of seizure has sent to the driver Clifford
Sanyika (Tsvangirai's driver)," Sibanda said on Friday.
"The importer of the vehicle will have to seek representation and
plead his case to the Commissioner on why the car should not be forfeited to
Sibanda said ZIMRA were alleging that, under the Customs Act, it is
against the law for a Zimbabwean citizen to be in possession of a foreign
registered vehicle brought into the country by a foreign national.
It is understood the car was brought into the country by a businessman
who left it in Sanyika's care.
Sibanda said Section 17.6 of the Customs Act, which could be used in
the case, states that the commissioner can release the goods from seizure,
declare them to be forfeited or, in case of dangerous or perishable goods,
dispose of them out of hand.
"Anything can happen to the car under section 17.6 of the Customs Act
and this depends on the commissioner and the strength of the reasons. given
according to the Act," said the lawyer.
Both Sibanda and the South African businessman, who imported the
vehicle, have lodged a challenge against the seizure of the vehicle.
But efforts to get an official comment from ZIMRA on the recent
developments proved futile as their phones went unanswered.
Tsvangirai was using the vehicle, a few days after he returned to
Zimbabwe after spending six weeks in exile in Botswana and South Africa.
He will square up with Mugabe on 27 June amid escalating violence
throughout the country, blamed largely on Zanu PF militias.
By Leslie Nunu
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:39
SIX suspended Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) journalists filed
papers at the Labour Court last week challenging their suspension.
Patrice Makova, Sibonginkosi Mlilo, Brian Paradza, Robert Tapfumaneyi,
Garikai Chaunza and Monica Gavela want the court to force ZBH to allow them
to return to work on full salaries and benefits.
They allege they were forced to go on "paid vacation leave" shortly
after the appointment of war veteran Happison Muchechetere as acting chief
Muchechetere was appointed after complaints by the government ZBH had
failed to campaign for Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe for the 29 March
elections in which Mugabe lost to the MDC'S Morgan Tsvangirai.
Days after Muchechetere's appointment, the ZBH imposed a ban on the
coverage of MDC campaigns and announced the suspension of Makova, the news
editor and other journalists.
The suspension letters show the journalists are forbidden from
entering the Pockets Hill studios from 1 June to 31 July. They are barred
from "discussing any matter relating to Corporation business activities" and
were ordered to surrender ZBH property.
But in papers lodged with the court, the journalists said it was clear
their suspension was not only "dubious" but was "illegal".
"It is unheard of in terms of our law a concept of forced leave, which
envisages a suspension," read their urgent chamber application. "Clearly if
the vacation leave is a legitimate one, it should be by consent."
The journalists want, as an interim relief, an order compelling ZBH to
recall them and reinstate them in their jobs as a matter of urgency.
They also want the broadcaster to stop tampering with their leave
By Walter Marwizi
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:34
Bulawayo Agenda has challenged the Minister of Home Affairs in the
High Court over the police closure of their Gwanda offices last Wednesday.
The civic organisation's Matabeleland South branch had its Gwanda
offices shut down on allegations it was operating illegally, after the
government's ban on aid agencies last week.
Lawyers representing the civic group cited Mohadi in his official
capacity in an urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court
on Thursday, seeking an interdict directing the minister to order the police
not to interfere with its activities at the Gwanda office.
Last Wednesday the police descended on Bulawayo Agenda's Gwanda
office, ordering it closed on allegations it was operating illegally
They said it was affected by the government's ban on humanitarian aid
agencies, such as Christian Care and others.
The government ordered all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to
suspend food distribution, accusing them of using food aid to campaign for
the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
In court papers filed at the Bulawayo High Court, Bulawayo Agenda's
lawyer, Job Sibanda of Job Sibanda and Associates, said the closure of the
Gwanda office was illegal as its activities do not fall under humanitarian
"The applicant is not a non-governmental organisation (NGO) but a
registered trust," he said in court papers filed with the court. "The
circular (to ban NGO's) applies to humanitarian organisations registered
as Private Voluntary Organisations.
"The closure of the offices is illegal and prejudices the applicant in
pursuit of its constitutionally guaranteed freedom to associate with people
of like mind and also to trade.
"Apart from being illegal and legally unsustainable, the closure is
causing hardships on those gainfully and lawfully employed by the applicant
to earn a living from the activities of the applicant and it also prejudices
those who have come to expect a service from the applicant."
The police officer commanding Gwanda District is cited as the first
respondent. His name is not listed in court papers.
Meanwhile, an organisation of all humanitarian aid agencies operating
in Zimbabwe has resolved to challenge the government ban.
Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Nicholas Goche, in a circular to
NGOs the previous Thursday said aid agencies should re-apply to be granted
licenses to operate.
But Fambai Ngirande, the spokesperson for the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organizations (NANGO), said they were seeking a High Court
order barring the police from interfering with their operations as the ban
According to Ngirande, there is no provision in the law for the
government to suspend the operations of the NGOs.
He said under the law, only the Private Voluntary Organizations Board
could suspend such operations.
"Police are now using an illegal circular to interfere with the
operations of NGOs and civic organizations," he said.
"The circular has no legal basis. NANGO lawyers are challenging the
ban at the courts, seeking an order against the police not to interfere with
our operations as the ban is illegal.
"The crackdown against aid agencies is intensifying countrywide and is
now targeted at the civic society organizations."
Last Tuesday, 65 NGOs meeting in Harare resolved to defy the
government ban on their work.
No comment could be obtained from Goche.
By Nqobani Ndlovu
|Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:17|
THREE survivors of the Jerera arson attack in Zaka, Masvingo province, have vowed to continue the "struggle" against President Robert Mugabe if they survive their life-threatening injuries.
With faces horribly disfigured and fluids oozing from their wounds, the survivors recovering in private clinics in Harare and Chitungwiza said Mugabe was an "insidious" dictator.
They predicted "victory was not very far", just two weeks before the Presidential run-off pitting President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Two of their colleagues, Krison Mbano from Munjanja village in Ward 18 and Washington Nyangwa from Mbuyamaswa village in Ward 9 both of Zaka district, died after being shot in the attack.
Narrating their ordeal, 34-year-old Isaac Mbanje, said on 3 June, he and six colleagues retired after taking routine precautions against the "enemy" launching a surprise attack.
He said they did this by surveying the centre for any suspicious people and were satisfied there were none. So, they retired to their Jerera office, turned into a "bedroom" during the night.
Mbanje is one of the four MDC activists who survived when the room they were sleeping in was sprayed with petrol and set ablaze.
Mbanje, the MDC administrative secretary for the Zaka office, said three men, one armed with an AK47 rifle, forced open the door, ordering them to lie on the floor.
"Two of my colleagues tried to resist and they were shot at point blank range. I did not to see the parts of the body they were shot but they were groaning badly."
Mbanje said: "Due to fear, we all complied and they sprinkled petrol on us before setting us alight."
Mbanje, whose face and hands were badly burnt in the inferno, said the assailants had parked their car about 400 metres from the office.
Mbanje is married to Ngonidzashe Mago. They have two of children.
He said he managed to run out of the office, at the same time struggling to put off flames engulfing him.
When he had put out the fire, he was taken to St Anthony’s Musiso Hospital and later transferred to Chitungwiza.
A communal farmer in Zaka, Mbanje said he now feared for the lives of his wife and children.
Mbanje said: "If I manage to come out of this clinic alive, the struggle will definitely continue. I have nothing to fear now because they almost killed me. I am disfigured. My children might not recognize me when I go back."
Two other survivors of the bomb attack, Kudakwashe Tshumele (22) and Edison Gwenhure (28) were badly burnt.
On the hospital bed they could hardly see or talk and had very little hair left on their heads as a result of severe burns.
Married to Molen Takaendesa, Gwenhure is self-employed and has one child, Letwin, in first grade. "I hope relatives will take care of my family because I might be here for some time," he said.
Gwenhure, the MDC organizing secretary for Ward 18 in Jerera, said he knew that one day Zanu PF militia would come after them because they had threatened them.
"We know them. One of them is a soldier and they would threaten us with death but I did not think that it would happen to me. Sadly, I am one of the victims. I have to live with it," said Gwenhure, who comes from Munjanja Village in Zaka, a few kilometres from Jerera.
Tshumele was in agony but he said: "God is not for Mugabe alone. He has ruined my life but we will finish the job we started. That man is an insidious dictator."
The young man, still unmarried, was having difficulty in breathing and was on a drip.
Both Gwenhure and Tshumele do not know that their two colleagues died. They constantly asked if they had survived the attack.
By Caiphas Chimhete
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:14
PEOPLE claiming to be Zanu PF supporters have set up bases in Harare's
high- density suburbs, raising fears that the reign of terror so far limited
to villages has spread to cities.
Harare residents reported the terror campaigns in Dzivarasekwa, Mbare,
Sunningdale, Epworth, Mabvuku-Tafara and Chitungwiza.
The MDC last week alleged there were at least two bases in every
constituency in Harare and Chitungwiza. Zanu PF has denied the allegation.
The party said it had set up what it called "information centres". But
The Standard was told by independent sources in some cases, the "base
commanders" had usurped the powers of the police and local authorities.
On Thursday, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman, Amos Midzi claimed
they had set up "information centres, not bases".
"Anybody is free to visit those information centres," said Midzi, who
nevertheless failed to clarify what takes place at the so-called information
Although some of the reports could not be immediately confirmed, the
MDC and civil society organisations said in some cases "there appears to be
some camaraderie between the police and the militia at the bases".
Over a week ago, a group of students from the University of Zimbabwe
(UZ) came across one such base while conducting an assignment in Mbare.
"We were interrogated and when we told them that we were students,"
said one of the students, who asked not to be named, "and that we had
permission from the police and the council, they told us they were more
powerful than the police and the council.
"Some of them wanted to beat us up and confiscate all our research
material, but we pleaded with them and in the end, they sympathised with
After their plea for mercy, and having convinced "the commander" they
were on a genuine study mission, the students were given another letter,
allowing them to proceed with the assignment.
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the existence of the bases was
"not politics but war".
Chamisa said: "Every constituency has at least two bases. We are not
in a war but they are setting up military bases. This is out of the
ordinary. What shocks us is that the police are not doing anything about
them. It now appears there is some form of camaraderie between the police
and the militia at the bases."
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment.
Zanu PF Political Commissar Elliot Manyika refused to talk to The Standard.
The existence of the bases emerged at a time when Zanu PF militias
have embarked on a door-to-door campaign in some Harare suburbs,
intimidating people and instructing them to vote for President Robert Mugabe
on 27 June in the presidential election run-off.
On a number of occasions, militias have been seen leading Zanu PF
supporters on a door-to-door campaign, mostly in high-density suburbs.
In Mbare on Thursday, they moved from door-to-door at houses near
Tsiga grounds, carrying sticks and ordering people to attend Zanu PF
Similar groups of people were seen in other suburbs.
"I was at home last week when some people claiming to be war veterans
came to my house and asked for my name and that of my husband. They said we
should vote for Mugabe only," said a woman from Glen View, who requested
In the upmarket Chisipite suburb, the militias are said to be going
from house to house calling all housemaids and gardeners to their meetings.
This has also been the pattern in Chitungwiza.
"My housemaid went to these so-called meetings when I was at work,"
said Dorcas Munyoro, whose maid was summoned last week. "On top of being
told to vote for Mugabe they were also told to demand a minimum monthly
salary of $100 billion and if they got fired to report back to these war
Munyoro said after attending the meeting, her maid had become
"How can I pay her a salary more than mine?" she said.
Mugabe has threatened to go to war if Tsvangirai wins the run-off,
saying he would not let the MDC take over power, which he said would be
"tantamount to giving back the country to the former colonial master and
insulting the virtues of the liberation struggle".
An Epworth resident, who spoke to The Standard on condition he was not
identified, said Zanu PF supporters had not eased up on their terror
campaign since Sunday. He estimated as many as 100 houses belonging to
suspected MDC supporters had been destroyed.
While previously the destruction had been at night, this was now
taking place during the day.
Road blocks had been set up on roads into Epworth, where residents
were asked to chant a Zanu PF slogan - "100% empowerment", "Pamberi nehondo,
izvozvi, Pasi naMorgan" - failure of which got one into real trouble.
By Vusumuzi Sifile and Sandra Mandizvidza
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:04
THE United Nations Country Team in Zimbabwe has sharply criticised the
government for suspending the operations of Non-Governmental Organisations
The Country Team (all UN agencies operating in the country) said the
move, which affects thousands of villagers facing starvation, was "most
regrettable and goes against fundamental humanitarian principles".
It said the suspension undermined efforts by humanitarian agencies to
deliver relief to those in greatest need.
In a circular letter dated 4 June 2008, Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche announced the government was
suspending the licences of all humanitarian NGOs from operating in the
He claimed the NGOs were breaching the terms and conditions of their
registration and ordered them to suspend all field operations until further
The move ensured that only Zanu PF can provide food to hungry
villagers in the countryside ahead of the 27 June election. The party has
accused NGOs of campaigning for the MDC while distributing food to the
Among the organisations affected is Care International, one of the
largest NGOs which distribute food to the most vulnerable.
Care International feeds an estimated 110 000 people who include
orphans, the sick and the elderly.
Commenting on the ban, the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe said: "This
decision is most regrettable, as it goes against fundamental humanitarian
principles, and significantly undermines efforts by humanitarian agencies to
deliver relief aid to those in greatest need."
The Team said more than two million people urgently required food,
water, sanitation, health and other basic services. It cast doubt on the
ability by the government to cater for these needs alone and warned that the
ban created avoidable life threatening conditions for many.
"Over the years, this vulnerability has been addressed by strong and
constructive partnerships between government, civil society, the donor
community and the United Nations, as no one agency or institution has been
able to ameliorate such vulnerability without assistance from others," the
"In this regard we urge the government to immediately rescind the
decision to suspend operations in order to expand access of basic
humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations throughout the country."
The US State Department also criticised the ban. Its spokesman Sean
McCormack called the banning of NGO activities "a tragedy".
He accused the Zimbabwe government of showing "a hardened
indifference . to the plight of its people".
"The practical effect . of banning CARE and not allowing them to do
their work is that 110 000 people or so will not get fed," he said.
International observers estimate that four million people, or
one-third of the country's population, need food aid.
By Walter Marwizi
Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:58
ZIMBABWE'S battered currency continued its plunge on the interbank
market, raising fears that the authorities might tamper with market forces
ahead of the 27 June presidential election run-off.
Since 30 April, when the central bank floated the exchange rate, it
was hoped this would stabilise within a month.
But the rate of depreciation of the Zimdollar has been alarming.
From Z$160 million to the US$ at the advent of the exchange rate
liberalisation, the same US$ unit was being sold for $3 billion on Thursday,
signalling that without a comprehensive policy, the plunge would continue
"The acceleration is staggering," said independent economist John
Robertson, "and I am sure the government will try and stop it."
Robertson fears a repeat of 2005 when the central bank tampered with
the forex auction system. Such a move would leave the parallel market in
charge, Robertson said.
He said the rate of exchange "is disturbing politically and they will
try and stop it, leaving the parallel market to take over again".
The depreciation of the Zimdollar has led to a surge in prices well
beyond the reach of many consumers as retailers adjust prices almost daily,
tracking the movement of the exchange rate.
But the political leadership believes price increases are part of what
they call "the regime change agenda" ahead of the 27 June presidential
A loaf of bread, sold for $500 million at the beginning of the month,
cost $3 billion on the illegal but thriving black market.
A 500 ml packet of fresh milk has more than doubled to $900 million
from under $300 million last month.
A 10kg bag of maize-meal has risen two-fold to $5 billion from $2.5
billion last month.
Analysts say the free-fall of the Zimdollar will continue until the
scarcity is overcome.
Robertson said the country has to borrow from multilateral financial
institutions as well as boost production in industries and agriculture.
Since 1999, Zimbabwe has not received balance of payments support from
the International Monetary Fund or any help from the World Bank for failing
to settle its arrears.
In 2005, Zimbabwe nearly faced expulsion from the IMF but the central
bank did some financial gymnastics and paid US$120 million a week before the
crucial board meeting to decide the country's fate.
Production in industries and farms has been at an all-time low due to
undercapitalisation. Despite the introduction of cheap loans to boost
agriculture, the new breed of farmers have used the funds for speculative
purposes. In industries, funds availed under the Basic Commodities Supply
Side Intervention (Bacossi) have not spread across the sector.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), one of the largest
industries' grouping advocates the selling of tobacco and cotton proceeds on
the inter-bank market to stabilise the exchange rate.
CZI says if the central bank sold a portion of the proceeds, for
instance, US$20 million a week, this would help stabilise prices on the
The government expects to rake in US$250 million and US$300 million
from tobacco and cotton sales respectively.
"For the next few weeks we recommend that a portion of these inflows
be sold on the inter-bank market. Even a relatively small volume of sales,
for example, US$20 million a week would have a massive impact on the
inter-bank market and bring instant stability," the CZI said.
"The benefits of injecting funds from tobacco and cotton onto the
interbank market would be huge in terms of confidence and price stability."
But Robertson believes the injection of tobacco sales in the interbank
market would be insignificant, unless the scarcity of foreign currency was
While Gono liberalised the exchange rate, he kept a special rate of
$30 000 for
US$1 for the government.
CZI says the removal of the $30 000 for US$1 rate would help eliminate
the printing of money printing, associated with the purchase of foreign
currency at market rates and subsequent resale to the government.
While the depreciation of the currency is good news to exporters, the
case of Zimbabwe is different as the country's top foreign currency
earners - agriculture, mining and tourism - have not performed well in the
past five years.
Agriculture was decimated by the haphazard land reform programme while
mining is undercapitalised and has failed to capitalise on the booming metal
prices on world markets.
The imports list, once confined to fuel, drugs and electricity eight
years ago, has been extended to maize after the "Mother of all Agricultural
Seasons" ended in disaster.
With the firming of oil prices on the world market, the depreciation
of the Zimdollar means daily adjustments in prices, pushing up production
costs which are inevitably passed on to consumers.
By Ndamu Sandu
Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:57
The African Development Bank (AfDB) will spend $1 billion to help
African nations boost food production and agricultural research in response
to rising global food prices, a senior bank official said.
AfDB said it will focus on accelerating food output by facilitating
the purchase of fertilizers and farming inputs and developing infrastructure
to help counter a food crisis.
"We will be committing another $1 billion in support of agriculture,
rural infrastructure and in support of research and extension services,"
AfDB vice-president Arunma Oteh said on Zambia's state-run ZNBC TV.
Oteh, who was in Lusaka to attend a Euromoney investment conference,
said the bank has yet to make plans on disbursing the money, and gave no
timeline for the financing. It was also unclear if the funds would be
disbursed as loans or grants, which the bank has traditionally provided to
Oteh said the global food crisis was threatening to worsen the plight
of the continent's poor, amid already crippling challenges including AIDS
and civil wars.
Many developing countries, especially net importers in Africa, have
been hit by a surge in commodity prices, with foodstuffs rising to record
highs. - Reuters.
The world's poorest continent has been unable to feed itself for
decades, leaving many people dependent on food aid.
But in recent years, several countries, including Zambia, have managed
to boost output, some using money freed from debt repayments after receiving
relief from Western and international creditors.
The AfDB, in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD), has supported agricultural development in Africa with
investments of around $3.8 billion. (Additional reporting by Chris Mfula,
Editing by Serena Chaudhry and Peter Blackburn)
Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:52
BOUYED by a United Kingdom court ruling against expropriation of his
assets, Zimbabwean-born businessman Mutumwa Mawere is consulting his lawyers
amid revelations he intends to fight to reclaim control in seven listed
After the expropriation of his assets in 2004 over foreign currency
externalisation, the listed companies were specified and placed under the
control of AMG's Arafas Gwaradzimba.
"The UK ruling has a clear bearing on the legality and
constitutionality of the manner in which the control and management of SMM
and related companies were expropriated without any compensation," Mawere
"The issues will be tackled as soon as possible. We are still
consulting with ARL's (Africa Resources Limited) lawyers to determine which
course of action to take."
Last month, a UK court ruled that AMG had no right to buy SMM Holding
share warrants following the seizure of Mawere's assets through a
presidential decree in 2004.
AMG had paid US$2 million for SMM shares from Kroll who were in charge
of SMM's former owners Turner and Newell (T&N).
The Zimbabwe government then took AMG to a British court to try and
force Mawere to divest share control of SMM Holdings, registered in the UK.
Standardbusiness heard last week that when ARL purchased SMM Holdings
from T&N in 1996 for US$60 million, the agreement was that SMM (Zimbabwe)
would pay from its export proceeds.
The payment amounted to US$37 million leaving a balance of US$23
The contemplated time frame for the payment of the acquisition price
was five years, it was disclosed last week.
But because of foreign currency shortages that began in 1997, as well
as the fixed exchange rate adopted by the government, it becomes difficult
for exporters to grow and this affected the agreement, insiders said last
As such, the payment mechanism did not provide for ARL making any
payment outside the agreed framework.
When Mawere lost his assets, AMG then paid for the shares, which
Mawere said is improper.
"T&N has not asked for any payment. No payment demand has been made.
It was opportunistic for AMG to argue after benefiting from the illegal
seizure of ARL assets that there was a payment default," he said.
"T&N is not in court and the court found that the purported sale of
the bearer share warrants to AMG was illegal and, therefore, it should be
T&N's case that they want payment."
Mawere said it was improper for Gwaradzimba to plead for foreign
currency to pay T&N.
"How can a Zimbabwean like Gwaradzimba be the one pleading for foreign
currency to be paid to T&N? If T&N has any rights then surely it is up to
the company to assert such rights without the assistance of AMG. Where did
AMG get the funds?"
Gwaradzimba told Standardbusiness AMG had gone into negotiations to
buy SMM shares. He said Mawere had not actually paid for the shares but had
used money from SMM (Zimbabwe) to buy shares, which he said was illegal.
"The money he used is not his in the first place. Our law does not
allow you to use a company's assets in order to buy the same company. It's
illegal," Gwaradzimba said.
Told that it was part of the deal between ARL and T&N that exports
from SMM would pay for the shareholding, the AMG chief said, curtly: "It's
an illegal agreement."
Quizzed by Standardbusiness as to why AMG had paid for SMM
shareholding from its former owners aware that ARL had paid for the same
shares, Gwaradzimba said AMG went into an agreement with T&N since it held
the share warrants as security until payment was done.
"It's my negotiation. It becomes a problem between the seller and the
first buyer," he said. "Did he sue T&N?"
Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:49
Raphael Shirto and Joseph Ndlovu are livestock farmers in the Zimbabwe's
Matabeleland province. They are occupied with dairy and beef production.
The province's dry conditions and low annual rainfall, which at best
is 650mm, has forced the two farmers to be innovative in managing their
rain-fed pastures to ensure productivity of their animals.
Shortage and change in the quality of the natural pastures meant for
both farmers, buying increasingly expensive livestock feed. The farmers have
learned fast how to marry scientific research with traditional knowledge -
passed down by their forefathers to remain viable even when the weather is
becoming increasingly unpredictable.
Climate change, described as long-term changes in average weather
conditions is a global phenomenon. Scientists and researchers have warned
that climate change is affecting plants, animals, people and agriculture. In
places like Matabeleland signs of climate change may be there but not so
obvious even to farmers like Shirto, who has 130 Holstein cows at his
105-hectare Dairy Nondweni Farm.
Standing in the middle of one of several cow pens, Shirto points to a
dry field where the maize and sorghum have been harvested. Sorghum and
millet are grown on the farm to provide roughage for the cows. The livestock
is fed dairy meal in addition to grazing. This type of feed is expensive and
constitutes one of Shirto's biggest overheads.
"Our boreholes for watering the cows are getting weaker and weaker and
the grazing is getting weaker and weaker," said Shirto adding that "We
notice a lot of thorn scrub coming up where we should be having a lot of
grass. So we are conserving water as much as we can. We do not do irrigation
on the fields but had started drip irrigation."
Water scarcity is obvious; browning pastures with dusty patches in
places. Shirto cuts green grass from a neighbouring farm which has no
livestock on it.
A fluctuation in producer price for milk owing to Zimbabwe's
hyperinflation was as challenging as the changing weather conditions so that
Shirto was planning to shift to zero grazing in future. Zero grazing means
he will no longer rely on natural pastures but will feed his cows with
processed feeds. This, he said, will improve his production without having
to worry about the land capacity and natural pastures.
His counterpart, Joseph Ndlovu has not seen much difference in the
manner he has run his small holder farm. In addition to keeping indigenous
cattle breeds, Ndlovu grows maize, indigenous peas and small grains like
sorghum and millet.
Matabeleland region, in western Zimbabwe, is suited to livestock
production and drought-tolerant cropping.
Dr Abraham Nyoni, a textile researcher at the National University of
Science and Technology, says weather changes in Matabeleland have impacted
on the availability of wild silk worms. Mopane worms are a main cash source
for some subsistence farmers in the region.
Some households which traditionally depend on harvesting and selling
Mopane worms, known locally as amacimbi, are now doing without because a
prolonged wet season reduced the harvest and in some cases the humidity
prevented drying the worms.
However, Ndlovu has a promising harvest of sorghum and finger millet.
Recent floods waterlogged his one-hectare maize field and a dry spell that
followed reduced the crop to a write off. He is thinking of switching from
maize to sorghum and finger millet which unlike maize are more resilient in
unpredictable weather conditions. Small grains are increasingly a good cash
crop especially during bad years when maize fails. In addition, small grains
such as sorghum are nutritious even though some people like Ndlovu preferred
maize over sorghum as food.
"The rainy seasons are not the same as before, some times we have had
long, long periods without rain and then we have floods, it affects how I
manage my cattle and the fields," Ndlovu said adding that, "More often now I
have to move cattle over longer distances to better grazing areas. When I
can afford it, I buy feed. In the fields, I either have to grow
drought-tolerant crops or buy short season maturing maize varieties to keep
up with any changes in the weather."
Ndlovu said he has been advised by agricultural extension officers in
his area to consider crossing his indigenous breeds with exotic ones to
improve quality in terms of ability to cope in arid areas and better growth.
Climate change is a complex phenomenon which was in progress already
at earlier times without farmers noticing its impact says Professor
Ntombizakhe Mpofu, a livestock specialist and researcher.
"Matabeleland has always been dry and even when there are no drastic
changes farmers may see it as normal. The rainfalls are becoming more and
more unpredictable," explains Mpofu, adding that, "This year has been a
classic case with the floods. Livestock farmers have to adapt their
management of animals in line with occurring climatic changes."
Mpofu recommends that livestock farmers like Shirto and Ndlovu can
adapt to these changes by preserving more stock feed (bailing, silage) and
growing drought resistant varieties of crops for roughage. They can also
improve their pastures through rotation of paddocks.
According to Joe Sikosana, head of the Matopo Research Station, just
outside the regional capital of Bulawayo, there was a noted decline in the
quality of the rainfall season with a lot of rain within a short space of
time, but poorly distributed.
Sikosana refers to an increase of animal diseases. He links the
increased outbreak of lumpy skin among cattle and of foot rot among sheep
and goats to the wet conditions. He proposed the formation of early warning
systems at grassroots level to cope with climate change by promote
interaction between farmers and scientists.
"There is need to revisit some farming technologies and modify them in
line with climate change by lobbying for action by decision and policy
makers," said Sikosana. "Climate change has resulted in low to zero maize
yields and the consequences for rural livelihoods are serious food shortages
and reduced incomes."
Matabeleland is vulnerable to droughts but the last few years have
seen flash floods occurring nearly in the same time. Farmers keep a close
watch on the weather so as to know when to select the best pastures or the
best seeds that will do well that season.
Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:51
TEN years ago, Professor Masipula Sithole, a great son of Zimbabwe,
wrote in his famous 'Public Eye' column of a national weekly newspaper,
about the spectre of military rule in the country.
The good man of letters is not with us anymore but his work lives
after him. And so it is that today, we re-visit his thoughts on this subject
which has become ever more pertinent.
At the time, Sithole argued that military rule in Zimbabwe was
unlikely. He viewed the uniformed men and women as professionals who would
not be used in the "circumstances of a political impasse" to bolster the
"personal ambitions" of the politician.
Sithole felt that the overriding "corporate interest" of the military
would be to protect its (then) internationally recognised reputation, which
would be diminished by direct involvement in politics. He argued that the
"uniting factor in the army itself is in defence of the legal order, the
Sadly, we will never know what the good Professor would make of the
current situation. I cannot help but think that he would have felt
profoundly appalled and let down by the military. Not only has it entered
the realm of politics, it has, in fact, become the centrepiece; the single
most important determinant of politics in the country.
But it is not hard to understand Sithole's thoughts at the time. The
man had profound love for his country. You get the sense, when reading the
two articles, of a man trying hard to dissuade the military from ever
considering the spectre of military rule. He may have been a little kinder
to the military, not because he totally believed they harboured no thoughts
of taking power, but simply by way of cajoling them not to go down that
He did admit, towards the end of his second article, that his was an
"optimistic prediction", which he hoped Mugabe would not "mess up" by
failing to listen to wise counsel. Sithole thought Mugabe would eventually
listen to his "power base" in the military so that there would be no need
for it to take over the State.
Ten years later, Mugabe has, of course, listened to this power-base.
But not in the way Sithole imagined. Sithole thought Mugabe would listen to
the military's call for him to leave office and give way to others. Today,
however, that power base seems to be telling him the exact opposite, that
is, to remain in office.
Military intervention has occurred not because the military seeks to
fill a "political vacuum" in the sense that political institutions have
decayed. That may have been the fear in 1998 when the economy began to sink
rapidly and Zanu PF was reaching advanced stages of decay. The Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) did not exist. Today, however, Zimbabwe has a viable
political alternative. The military is not needed; certainly not for
purposes of filling a "political vacuum".
Neither is it needed to sort out the mess before handing over to
civilians, as military regimes often claim. They have neither the training
nor the facility to undertake the task of governance. Why, then, has it
Here we return to Sithole and pick one of the schools of thought that
he helpfully summarised. He referred to Samuel Decalo, who argued that the
military intervenes to safeguard specific "personal" and "corporate"
interests "on the part of individual generals or a clique of army officers".
For most observers, this would seem to be the classic case in today's
Zimbabwe. The intervention of the military, albeit couched in nationalistic
terms, is really a function of personal interests. There is concern about
personal security against prosecution. In material terms, most have become
so closely wedded to the state that they could not possibly make a living
outside its structures.
When recently discussing with my friend, Farai, about the possibility
of a military takeover, he wrote, "waMagaisa would you recognise a Coup when
you saw one? Yakatorohwa Kupu kudhara! (the Coup has already happened!)", he
said, matter-of-factly. In his view, there is no point speculating whether
or not the military might take over if Tsvangirai wins the 27 June election
because they are already in control. When I asked if the military would
withdraw if Mugabe wins, he had a simple answer, "Ngoma ndiyo-ndiyo".
Nothing changes, he said, that's the way it's been and that's the way it
If Farai is correct, this, of course, raises very significant
questions for President Mbeki and his SADC colleagues.
Are they, in fact, confronted with a veiled military regime in
Zimbabwe? There may not have been the drama that precedes a classic military
takeover; there may not be the physical and visible presence of men in
uniform declaring rule by decree. Some will argue that this makes little
difference. There could be, if we might coin it, a "Latent Coup" - an
invisible, veiled military takeover of the state.
Whatever form it takes, the intervention of the military is neither
necessary nor helpful. The uniformed forces have a specific constitutional
mandate and it does not extend to governing. They do not have the equipment
to govern. As the say, however long it stays in the river a log will never
become a crocodile.
There was a time, decades ago, when military regimes were common-place
in Africa. This is no longer the case and most people frown upon such
regimes which do nothing to further democracy. Southern Africa has been
particularly averse to military rule. South Africa itself clamped down when
Lesotho was threatened with military takeover in 1998. Yet, as things stand,
SADC may be harbouring a member state that is about to, if it has not
already crossed the proverbial Rubicon.
Professor Sithole is probably watching, alongside many illustrious
sons and daughters of the soil who gave their all for a free Zimbabwe. There
probably is, to hazard a guess, a profound sense of disappointment at the
way events have turned in Zimbabwe.
Ten years later, Professor, the military appears to have intervened.
Continue to RIP, Professor.
* Dr Magaisa is based at, Kent Law School, the University of Kent and
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.comThis
to view it .
Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:42
RIGHT now, when he is presiding over a country facing imminent
apocalypse, precious little.
His former admirers, some fascinated by his precise pronunciation of
English words and the aplomb with which he spoke, now find grammatical
errors in his speech.
In a small way, I admire how he has aged with some dignity - at least
in public. We don't have the foggiest idea what happens when he is all
alone, or dining with Grace. Perhaps he lets it all hang out?
Like most people younger than he is, I am embarrassed for him when he
appears to lose his cool in public. Am I going to be like that? I wonder.
To ram home his point, he seems to prefer strong or foul language. I
find that pathetic.
He is not a doddering old fool, unable to see beyond his nose, looking
at someone and asking: "Who are you? Not THE Ndabaningi Sithole? Oh, I'm
sorry. I aways forget he's been dead for years now."
Seriously, there are only a few personal achievements for which an
average journalist, one who has observed him for more than 40 years, can
Looking at his record as president, you can't help but wonder how he
seems content to have done his utmost for his country, but complains, like
the captain of a national team, he didn't have enough to have "luck" on his
There can't be any other valid reason for him not to have struggled
more valiantly to give independence real meaning during the last 28 years.
Could luck have persuaded him to be more conciliatory before sending
the 5 Brigade to account for 20 000 deaths, among them women and children?
And what about Sally? Doesn't he feel a tinge of guilt he didn't show
more emotion, as she lay dying?
There are a few who feel he has a heart of stone. Most people sold on
Marxism-Leninism are alleged to have sold their soul, if not to The Devil -
like Faustus -then to someone equally obnoxious.
I have always wondered why he continues his fascination with that
ideology, even after Mikhail Gorbachev's eloquent denunciation of it. My
suspicion is that he loves it for the absolute power it reposes in one
Even China is now hardly recognisable from the country which Mao
Zedong presided over. No more do you detect a personality cult.
Mugabe seems unwilling or unable to accept that, in general, people -
Chinese, Russians, Zimbabweans - are happiest when they have enough food,
well-paying jobs, schools with well-paid teachers, health services with
well-paid doctors and nurses, good housing, good roads.
Slogans and endless tales of the liberation struggle are cheap, and
like cheap wine or propaganda, neither of them can be a substitute for the
You can't admire Mugabe for the violence ripping the country apart
before the 27 June run-off. Who boasted that he had many degrees in
violence? Not Morgan Tsvangirai.
But then you begin to wonder what Thabo Mbeki and other leaders in
Sadc find admirable in Mugabe's character. The tenacity to hold on to power
against all odds, against the will of the people, against the will of most
of the civilised world, against. . .even God's will?
Mbeki probably knows more about Mugabe than most of us do - or so it
would appear. While most Zimbabweans are convinced Mugabe won't change
because he feels very personally about his country - that the two are
inseparable - Mbeki must know something else we don't.
Is it possible the two have worked out a deal? It cannot involve other
Sadc leaders, for Zambia's Levy Mwanawasa certainly has run out of patience
with Mugabe. And Harare's response to what they might view as his
fulminations against them can only help inflame passions between the two
Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the supermarket shelves get emptier
and emptier, at the same time that the currency goes crazier and crazier -
how can there be one currency note amounting to Z$25 billion?
There is, according to the soothsayers, light at the end of the
tunnel. There is such desperation among the people charged with steering
this ship from the inevitable plunge down to Armageddon they are not
Apparently, they know the end is nigh. The exchanges between Gideon
Gono and Goodwills Masimirembwa of the NIPC are likely to become more
heated. Both men know a return to basics is vital on the road to recovery.
The basics are anchored on a return to the conventional formula of
wealth-creation: produce and sell to earn foreign exchange, without which
all you can look forward to are maputi.
Who will blink first? Both men better pray it's Mugabe.
Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:39
THE seeds of another year of hunger are being sown right now. Instead
of villagers and the farming community and their workers planting the winter
wheat crop and preparing for the next farming season, they are spending
their time at Zanu PF's rallies and all-night vigils (pungwes) at
re-education camps/torture bases.
At the same time, villagers who have worked so hard after naively
following exhortations to make use of the land are spending weeks at tobacco
auction floors because they are not paid expeditiously. Others spend days by
the roadside waiting for transport to take their produce to the markets.
There can be no greater disincentive for the small-scale producers than what
they are being subjected to.
Zanu PF has no capacity to connect its actions and the unintended
consequences. First, the hectarage planted to winter wheat is going to be
affected compared to previous seasons. This means the country will have to
use scarce foreign currency to buy wheat on the international market.
Secondly because people are spending days and nights at the re-education
camps, crops that should be harvested will be damaged by livestock and
Zimbabwe will have to import food to meet the shortfall in production. All
this is taking place against a background of the government suspending all
the activities of non-governmental organisations, endangering the lives of
millions of people.
Since 2000 Zimbabwe has witnessed an unprecedented decline in
production - all the result of poor planning and preparation. What is
happening in the countryside is sufficient evidence of how the government is
determined to repeat past mistakes. And then it will attribute the food
shortages to sanctions or a Western sponsored regime change agenda!
On Thursday the Registrar-General's office claimed it had embarked on
an exercise "to assist registered voters to replace lost, defaced and torn"
identity documents and more outrageously - that non-governmental
organisations were confiscating identity documents of people to whom they
had extended humanitarian assistance! This is exactly what Zanu PF has been
doing all along in order to prevent MDC supporters from voting on 27 June
The change of heart is brought about by the realisation that if
Zimbabweans returning from South Africa are registered voters, they will
certainly swell support for the MDC widening the margin by which Zanu PF is
going to be defeated, rendering any attempts to dispute the outcome
The international and regional observers will troop in towards polling
day when the deed has already been done. They need to be here now and in
greater numbers to witness how Zanu PF's attempting to manipulate the
outcome of the 27 June poll.
The United Nations and other organisations need to sound the MDC on
this move, while reminding the government that it can't get away with such
blatant acts of manipulation. Alternatively the UN and other organisations
must demand that they be present when the exercise is being conducted
because Zanu PF's record suggests those being registered will only be people
recommended by the party, while those without will be turned away.
It is imperative that foreign observers to the 27 June presidential
election arrive as soon as possible and help thwart Zanu PF's plans to
conduct its re-education sessions with no consideration given to the impact
of these actions on agricultural production.
The presence of international observers is also critical because for
once Zimbabweans can begin to experience peace while Zanu PF will not be
able to behave as outrageously and roguish in its determination to ride
roughshod over the will of the majority as it has done since the 29 March
Calling Off Run-off No Longer An Option
Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:03
CALLING off the blood and thunder Presidential run-off in favour of a
Government of National Unity (GNU) now appears to be very late in the day
and probably against the mindset of Zimbabweans. It is now 12 days to go to
27 June 2008.
While there are serious concerns over reports about political violence
in Zimbabwe at the moment and the expense involved in the run-off,
Zimbabweans know that violence is a double edged sword and democracy is
expensive. Friends of Zimbabwe could assist with the money to run the
election if they have it.
It is difficult to expect the candidates who have already committed
their resources to the campaign to simply go back home and wait for
uncertain dialogue when they are convinced that they can win the election.
President Robert Mugabe and his campaign team feel strongly that some
of their members did not vote on 29 March and they would like to do so on 27
June. Morgan Tsvangirai and his campaign team feel that they have to finish
the job they started on 29 March.
Both candidates in the run-off seem to believe that they need to
derive their mandate to rule Zimbabwe from the people of Zimbabwe, and each
candidate's team is using tactics and strategies that they believe will work
for them. Simba Makoni, the losing Mavambo presidential candidate might have
a point about calling off the run-off, but it appears that the earlier he
chooses the candidate to support the better because the presidential run-off
has been agreed between the candidates and it is going ahead.
I am one of those who felt that it was best not have a run-off but
once the date was set and campaigning started, it made no sense to call off
an election with only weeks to go. In any case we do not wish to break the
record of calling off an election because of pre-election violence because
we will not be able to call ourselves a democracy. This will set a very bad
precedent in the world; the Kenyan example should be the last curse of
Africa. Makoni is best advised to work towards ensuring that the elections
will be free and fair since he recognises the fact that the hope for a free
and fair is now next to zero.
While it is accepted that the run-off will not solve the problems that
Zimbabwe is facing at the moment, an election and negotiations are not
mutually exclusive. We will therefore have the election first on 27 June and
negotiations later. In any case some negotiations have already started but
violence has not stopped. Reports from South Africa indicate that Ministers
Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche of Zanu PF met Tendai Biti the MDC
Secretary General in Pretoria. In any case previous negotiations between
Zanu PF and the MDC have taken too long and did not solve the Zimbabwean
The presidential run-off is therefore meant to decide the leadership
issue and not necessarily to solve all our problems. The negotiations will
facilitate power transfer or distribution which ever is required.
To quote Admiral Lord Nelson on the evening before the battle of
Trafalgar 20 October 1805, ".now that we have decided why it cannot be done,
let us determine how it will be done".
Zanu PF's Behaviour Intolerable
Saturday, 14 June 2008 17:01
ZIMBABWE witnessed the first harmonised elections on 29 March
2008. Obviously, it was going to be a great challenge, considering the
demands on logistics and the culture of intolerance among some of our
Tracking comparisons with previous elections since 1980, the 29
March 2008 harmonised elections were much improved in relation to violence
committed. Zimbabweans showed greater maturity and tolerance. Dirty pages
were to be found in the government-controlled electronic and print media.
The Zimbabwe Liberators' Initiative urges the government to afford equal
time to the candidates involved in the presidential campaign.
After 29 March, the delay in the release of the presidential
results was orchestrated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, commandeered
by Zanu PF. This created a lot of confusion. This type of behaviour cannot
be tolerated. It exhibits characteristics of a regime suffering from past
Zanu PF is a party that is not ashamed of appearing naked in
broad daylight. A party that has no democratic space within its structures
cannot form a democratic government.
When the results of the presidential election were announced and
showed MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai leading, calculated violence was
unleashed on poor villagers. Why was that necessary when people want change?
The people should be allowed to determine their fate freely. Yet, people are
being brutalised by a savage regime that claims to have degrees in violence.
President - Zimbabwe Liberators' Initiative
How Many Must Die First?
Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:59
WITH all the factual reports of torture and murder as well as
burning down of people's homes being carried out by Zanu PF thugs and
terrorists, nothing has been done to these evil people by the police.
This is because these evil men are acting on behalf of the
losing Zanu PF party. So the evil men are totally immune to arrest.
So far the reported cases of murder of MDC supporters by the
Zanu PF terrorists are more than 65. Can the African Union, SADC and the
United Nations please inform the people of Zimbabwe the minimum number of
Zimbabweans that need to die before the condition warrants intervention?
Taking into account what has been done and what is being done to
the innocent peace-loving Zimbabweans by the losing Zanu PF party, people
are looking forward to speedy intervention by the AU, SADC or the UN in
order to rescue them from further unnecessary deaths.
D R Mutungagore
We Know The Real Culprit
Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:57
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe blames industry for soaring inflation
but says nothing of the effects of his campaign blitz which has included
unrealistic pay hikes for civil servants and soldiers and wholesale printing
of money by the RBZ.
Who is fooling who here?
As Mugabe's armageddon approaches, there is new panic among opportunists who
shudder at the prospect of real power going to the people - what Nelson
Chamisa has called change the people can trust.
What is the role of Isaac Maposa, who was last seen on CNN News carrying
Tendai Biti's bags at Oliver Tambo International Airport, just before the
MDC leader left for his incarceration in Zimbabwe?
Many a time questions have been posed whether or not the MDC or in
particular Morgan Tsvangirai has what it takes to run a government in
Zimbabwe? I have been asked this question many times by Zimabweans and
Non-Zimbabweans. My answer has always been that whoever has the grass roots
support has the capacity and moral authority to rule Zimbabwe. It is very
difficult to run the country without the support of the people in all
spheres of life. However to add scope to this topid, I have decided to
briefly look and some of the leader in MDC, focusing on the recently elected
Members of Parliament.
Morgan Tsvangirai started from the union background and had the vision
and capacity to steer the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions from the bossom
of Zanu PF to an independent organisation that truly articulated the
aspirations of the workers. In the process he obtained very high level
qualifiacations of the International Labour Organisation. He has been able
to take part in the creation and maintenance of a strong opposition party,
which has recently become a ruling party. All this was done over more than
two decades apprenticed in grassroots issues, movemement and politics. He
has led a political party under the attack of the most vicious laws,
security agents, military and police operatives, hostile media laws, public
information blackout and against most vicious electoral laws, structures and
institutions.. In spite of all these hindrances, the party that he led has
won the Parliamentary elections and has beaten Mugabe in the Presidential
elections. What can use that to answes, whether or not he is an effective
Tendai Biti is a well known student activist, human rights and
constitutional lawyer. He has taken up many chllenging court cases and won
them and has earned the respect of lawyers, judges and opponents. As
Secretary General of MDC he has no wavered in direction and latitude of
Zimbabwean politics and challenges. He outwitted Zanu PF in ensuring that
elections are more transparent and that appointing members of parliament
should be stopped. He has had negotiating access to many SADC Presidents and
world leaders all over. In order to size him as a leader one can safely say
that he is better than minisers that served in Mugabe´s last Cabinet.
Thokhozani Khupe has had an illustrious career and has been able to
create a heavy presence in national politics. She soundly defeated Welshman
Ncube and the Zanu PF candidate in Makokoba Constituency. She has such power
and charisma and has been able to carry the MDC, while Tsvangirai was on the
diplomatic offensive in SADC countries. She rounded off that period with a
big Bulawayo Rally that scared the Mugabe Regime, demonstrating that MDC has
many capable leaders.
The formerly youthful and young Nelson Chamisa is a political talent
and revelation. A self-made man who juggled the calling of politics with
studies successfully, he performed well when he led the youths and was
promoted to head information. Here is one of the few people that I saw
outdebating the genious, the late Eddison Zvobgo. He has conducted himself
well and survived harassment and torture to remain an intact solid person.
The most successful Harare Executive Mayor Mudzuri´s credentials are
well known. So good was the job that he did that Ignatius Chombo spares no
effort to ensure that he was removed. Harare had undergone rapid
transformation in a way that scared the Zanu PF regime. In case you have
forgotten already a lady called Makwavarara aided in that lowest ebb
distabilisation tactics of the regime.
Professor Dzinityiwei is a full professor. The other politician
professors that are known to Zimbabweans are mostly associate professors. A
real War Veteran who never strayed, Dzinotyiwei is a politician and
mathematician, who has a talent for using logic. He is administratively
astute and served as Dean of Science at the University of Zimbabwe till he
decided to hand over, a good sign! The Vice Chancellor that the University
of Zimbabwe was denied, here is a man who has served as a Board member for
many organisations. Can he fail to be an effective leader in Zimbabwe?
Going by the eleactions results in Bulawayo Provicne there are many
capable leader and one of them that stand out is Eddie Cross. He was the few
whites at independence who ran a successful parastatal and was passionate to
make the Beira Corridor work in order to reduce dependency on Apartheid
South Africa. His track record in commerce and industry is very clear and
his articles in the media reflect a strong vision for a future successful
Harare Province carries a lot of business and academic heavy weights.
Notable among them are Fidelis Mhashu, Shoko, Madzore, Makone, Matibenga,
Chamisa, Timba and Chimanikire.
Harare Province as mentioned if full of household names and continuing
on them would not do justice to other provinces. In Manicaland Provices,
there is among many other Mutseyekwa, Mangoma, Gonese, Chimhini and
Mwonzora. These are solid individuals with a variety of skills ranging from
military, finance, human rights and constitutionalism. Mangoma is a very
successful businessman, who has built a business presence without patronage
and in a hostile environment. Mwonzora has performed well in the National
Constitutional Assembly and is destined for greater heights.
Mashonaland Central, a heavily intimidated province has very brave
people including those that lost the elections by a close margin. Nyaude and
Mushonga managed to capture the seats in the province. These are people of
character that can be entrusted with national leadership.
In Mashonaland East, there are people like Jiri, Dongo, Kay and Nezi.
Jock Kay is an established commercial farmer, who worked well with the
Zimbabwean government in a positive manner. He can be one of the people that
can assist with a vision for agricultural reform with a view to improve
production and productivity.
To be continued