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Mugabe challenged to order arrests in Mudzi murder

By Tererai Karimakwenda
31 May 2011

A legislator and JOMIC team member has joined many Zimbabweans in expressing
anger over the murder of an MDC-T ward official in the Mudzi district of
Mashonaland East, and is challenging Robert Mugabe to order the arrest of
all the perpetrators.

Tabitha Khumalo, the MDC-T Deputy National Spokesperson and MP for Bulawayo
East, told SW Radio Africa that she had no words to express her anger over
the death of Sekuru Cephas Magura, who died after known ZANU PF thugs
attacked MDC-T activists at Chimukoko Business Centre last Saturday.

Mai Khumalo said: “The time has come for the President of this country,
Robert Gabriel Mugabe, to please tell your ZANU PF followers to stop killing
people and we are demanding that you tell the police to arrest the
perpetrators of this violence.”

An emotional Khumalo referred to recent pronouncements by Mugabe that
political violence must end, saying it is time for him to “walk the talk”
and order the arrests of those who supported the killing and those who
provided transport to the rally, which had been cleared by the police.

Khumalo’s plea to Mugabe came as the results of a post mortem done on the
late Sekuru Magura revealed that he was indeed stoned to death. The results
are contrary to earlier denials by Mudzi West MP, Aquilinah Katsande, who
had insisted Magura died after falling from a truck.

Meanwhile two victims of the Mudzi violence have blasted police for
abandoning their responsibilities, accusing them of running away instead of
intervening when a ZANU PF mob attacked them at Chimukoko Business Centre.

Fungai Mahachi and Robert Dombo were discharged Wednesday night and had
plenty to say about police behavior on that fateful day. They said the
police allowed ZANU PF to gather near the MDC-T rally and ignored pleas for
help from MDC-T officials.

“I was attacked by David Chimukoko, Graciano Kazingizi, Clemence Katsinde
and George Katsande. When I ran to the police officers seeking protection
they locked their doors and drove off at high speed leaving us at the mercy
of Zanu PF thugs,” Dombo told the MDC-T after he was discharged from

David Chimukoko is the councillor for Ward 1, Mudzi North and George
Katsande is the son of Aquilinah Katsande, the ZANU PF MP. Both have been
implicated in the attack, with Chimukoko being fingered as the ringleader.

Two ZANU PF legislators, MPs Katsande and Newten Kachepa have been accused
of sponsoring the violence. According to a statement by the MDC-T, they
bussed ZANU PF youths to Chimukoko from nearby farms.

Meanwhile, MDC-T supporters in the Mudzi are said to be living in fear, with
ZANU PF members following them as they try to make arrangements to bury
Sekuru Magura.

According to the MDC-T spokesperson for Mashonaland East, Graham Nyahada, MP
Katsande and her son George have been following vehicles driven by MDC-T
supporters, in an effort to intimidate them.

“As I speak to you right now George is trying to block the car we are
driving in and his mother Aquilinah has been following our vehicles. Even I
as spokesman fear for my life here in Mudzi,” Nyahada told SW Radio Africa
on Thursday.

Supporters of the MDC-T in Mudzi have said the incident only made them
stronger, and they are already planning to organise another rally at
Chimukoko. Sekuru Magura will be buried at his rural home in Botso village,
Mudzi North, on Sunday. Senior party officials and thousands of members are
expected to attend.

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Statement by the United States Embassy on the political violence in Mudzi

Statement by the United States Embassy on the political violence in Mudzi May 26 and the death of MDC-T Ward 1 Chairperson Cephas Magura


Harare, May 31, 2012:  The United States condemns the murder of Cephas Magura by ZANU-PF supporters in Mudzi during a May 26 MDC-T rally.  We are deeply concerned by reports that the Zimbabwe Republic Police on the scene refused to uphold the law or to protect the public by failing to stop ZANU-PF supporters from violently attacking lawfully-assembled MDC-T supporters.


We understand that the MDC-T rally had prior police approval but was disrupted from its beginning by ZANU-PF supporters led by MP Newton Kachepa and Ward 3 Councilor David Chimukoko.  Rally participants report that the police, including officers from the Internal Security and Intelligence Unit, refused to stop the ZANU-PF supporters from holding a disruptive, unsanctioned parallel rally and from attacking MDC-T supporters, including the elderly.  By the end of the conflict, local MDC-T Ward 1 chairperson Cephas Magura had been killed and several other MDC-T supporters had been severely beaten in one of the worst eruptions of political violence this year.


The United States condemns the ZANU-PF thugs responsible for committing these attacks and the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who failed to fulfill their official duty to serve and protect their fellow Zimbabweans.  At the same time, the United States applauds those patriots within the Zimbabwe Republic Police who later arrested several individuals implicated in this violence.  We call on the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the ZANU-PF Disciplinary Committee to conduct a thorough investigation of these events on May 26 and to hold all responsible for this atrocity to account.

# # #


Comments and queries should be addressed to Sharon Hudson-Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs. E-mail:  Tel. +263 4 758800-1, Fax: 758802.

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The MDC Today – Issue 366

Thursday, 31 May 2012
A post mortem done on the last Cephas Magura reveals that the deceased was
stoned to death by Zanu PF youths at Chimukoko Business Centre in Mutoko
North, Mashonaland East last Saturday.

Magura, 67, was the MDC Ward 1 chairperson, died after Zanu PF hooligans
disrupted an MDC rally and started assaulting MDC members in full view of
armed police officers.

The post mortem results are contrary to a earlier report by Zanu PF’s Mudzi
West MP, Aqualinah Katsande who claimed that Magura died after he fell off
from a truck.

“It is not true that he was killed by our supporters but he fell out of
their moving vehicle,” an untruthful Katsande was quoted saying in the

Katsande’s son, George, was one of the Zanu PF bandits who were involved in
the violence which saw seven other MDC members being hospitalised.

Katsande and Newten Kachepa who are both Zanu PF MPs have been implicated in
the violence that rocked the area last weekend.

The MDC youths yesterday told a visiting Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (Jomic) team on a fact-finding mission that the two Zanu PF MPs
incited their party supporters to attack MDC members.

Taurai Kakore, MDC Youth Assembly district information and publicity
secretary, said Kachepa bought beer for the Zanu PF supporters on Friday
night prior to the violent clashes.

Meanwhile, Magura will be buried at Botso Village in Mudzi North on Sunday.
The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!

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Mugabe To Push For Fresh Elections At SADC Summit

Harare, May 31, 2012 - Zanu (PF) will push the issue of Zimbabwe's fresh
elections at the extra-ordinary Southern African Development Community
(SADC) to be held in Angola, sources said on Thursday.

The three principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) are expected to
attend the summit.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara, were summoned by SADC to attend a meeting of the
Organ on Politics, Defence and Security that will discuss regional troubled
spots, particularly Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the Democratic Republic of the

Mugabe is accompanied by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice and
Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche while PM
Tsvangirai’s delegation includes Finance minister Tendai Biti, Energy
Minister Elton Mangoma as well as Jameson Timba, the minister of state in
the PM Office. The two leaders travelled separately and arrived in Angola on

Welshman Ncube, the leader of the other faction of the Movement for
Democratic Change, is also expected at the meeting, which sources said would
have a bearing on when Zimbabwe would have its next polls. Ncube’s team
included party secretary general Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga.

The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, known as the Troika, would be
held on the sidelines of the regional grouping's summit to discuss Regional
Indicative Strategic Development Plan which seeks to enhance cooperation
between member states.

But in briefings as the three principals made their way to the Angolan
capital, SADC and African Union (AU) diplomats accredited in Harare, said
fireworks were expected at the SADC summit.

They said the Troika meeting was likely to eclipse the meeting of heads of
state and government who will largely be engrossed with the Regional
Indicative Strategic Development Plan put on the table.

“That’s where the meat is (in the Troika). SADC leaders want a full
appraisal of what has been occurring since conflicting reports are emerging
from envoys dispatched from Harare to SADC capitals,” said an African
diplomat, speaking strictly on condition of confidentiality."

Both President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai have sent various envoys
to a number of countries, targeting specifically members of the Troika,
which is chaired by South African President Jacob Zuma, the SADC-appointed
mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis.

Apart from South Africa, other members of the Troika are Mozambique, Angola
and Namibia.

President Mugabe is understood to have dispatched his envoys to these
countries with specific briefs to push for polls this year while those sent
by Prime Minister Tsvangirai had orders to debunk calls for fresh polls this
year while there were still outstanding issues under the GPA.

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S.Africa's Zuma to Caution Mugabe Against Holding Elections This Year

30 May 2012

Blessing Zulu | Washington

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to caution Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe against calling elections this year before the full
implementation of reforms contained in the Global Political Agreement, the
bedrock of Harare's inclusive government.

The two leaders will meet at the Sadc Troika and heads of state summit
meetings in Luanda, Angola. The troika meeting, which will discuss the issue
of elections in particular, will meet Thursday ahead of the Friday summit.

But Zanu PF sources say Mr. Mugabe will make a pitch to his fellow Sadc
leaders to ignore Zuma, the Sadc-appointed mediator in Harare, and support
his push for elections this year without a new constitution or other key
democratic reforms in place.

Mr. Mugabe dispatched his envoys to the region ahead of the summit to push
for elections this year, arguing the MDC formations are sabotaging the
constitution-making process to delay fresh polls.

Sadc sources told VOA that Mr. Zuma will table a report on Zimbabwe before
the troika on the state of affairs in Harare then present the same report to
fellow heads of state in summit.

Mr. Zuma is expected to note progress made so far and insist on the
completion of the election roadmap.

Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao told VOA that Zimbabwe and other
regional hot spots are up for discussion at the summit.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said there is no going back on elections this

Secretary general Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga of the MDC formation led
by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said party negotiators have already
agreed on what will be contained in Mr. Zuma’s report.

Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said they want Sadc to dissuade Mr. Mugabe from holding elections
without key reforms.

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Moyo calls for polls, Mugabe plots Zuma replacement with Sata

By Staff Reporter 4 hours 6 minutes ago

HARARE - Robert Mugabe's loyalists led by Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo
have escalated calls for the holding of elections this year using the
current Constitution so that "next year the image of the country is not
battered by the effects of the acrimonious process", state media reported.

Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara, were summoned by SADC to attend a meeting of the Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security that will discuss regional troubled spots,
particularly Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mugabe is accompanied by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice and
Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche while PM
Tsvangirai’s delegation includes Finance minister Tendai Biti, Energy
Minister Elton Mangoma as well as Jameson Timba, the minister of state in
the PM Office. The two leaders travelled separately and arrived in Angola on

Zanu-PF loyalists including Moyo says there is need to support Robert Mugabe’s
stance on the holding of elections this year with or without the new
constitution as COPAC continues to employ what they called delaying tactics.

The discredited former Political science, Professor Jonathan Moyo says every
Zimbabwean should fully support the holding of elections this year as
conducting them next year will negatively affect the country’s image.

“All progressive Zimbabweans should support the call for elections so that
when the UNWTO begins in Zimbabwe we will be focussing more on the
mega-tourism event.

“We all know that elections are a democratic process and are normally
associated with acrimony that is why it has to be done now,” said Professor

Another Mugabe loyalist, former Primary school teacher Alexander Kanengoni
says it is only logical for the political parties in the country to agree on
the holding of elections this year so that resources and time are dedicated
to the hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly which is coming to Southern
Africa for  the first time.

Mr Kanengoni said: “The onus is now on the political parties to agree on
holding elections this year so that  all the resources should now be
dedicated towards this mega-event which should be used as a strategic
marketing tool.”

The signing of the trilateral hosting agreement between Zimbabwe, Zambia and
the UNWTO marks the official countdown to the hosting of the mega-event next

Both Moyo and Kanengoni said since the event is a major diplomatic
breakthrough, it is important to ensure that no other processes taint the
good image and perception that is currently prevailing.

Meanwhile, the SADC Extra-Ordinary Troika Summit that was scheduled to start
this Thursday to discuss political developments in Zimbabwe, Madagascar,
Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo has been re-scheduled for
Friday morning.

Although most leaders are already in the Angolan capital, Luanda, the
Chairperson to the Troika, South African President Jacob Zuma has not yet
arrived in Angola amid reports that he was compiling a hard-hitting
final-push report on the Zimbabwean elections roadmap

Zuma is expected arrive Thursday.

This means that the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit will be held soon after the

“That’s where the meat is (in the Troika). SADC leaders want a full
appraisal of what has been occurring since conflicting reports are emerging
from envoys dispatched from Harare to SADC capitals,” said an African
diplomat, speaking strictly on condition of confidentiality."

On Thursday, the motor-mouthed Zambian President, Michael Sata met with
Robert Mugabe his ally in Luanda.

The pair rehearsed their plans for covert resistence to Zuma's election road
map. Sources said Mugabe will push for the removal of President Jacob Zuma
and he will ask for Sata to take his place failure of which Mugabe would
walk-out and go home to call for elections without the SADC roadmap.

Mugabe and his attack-dog Sata refused speak to journalists on their

Leaders of the MDC formations, Professors Author Mutambara and Welshman
Ncube are expected to attend the Troika and will arrive this Thursday
evening, while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is already in Luanda.

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SADC Troika meeting on Zimbabwe delayed

31/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE SADC Troika meeting on Zimbabwe and other regional hot-spots has been
moved to Friday with President Robert Mugabe’s push for new elections before
year-end expected to dominate deliberations.

SADC leaders have gathered in the Angolan capital Luanda for an
Extra-Ordinary Summit which was to be preceded, Thursday, by a meeting of
the organisation’s Troika, an organ which deals with defence and security

But state radio reported that the Troika meeting had been delayed because of
the late arrival of South African President Jacob Zuma due to commitments
back home.

Zuma leads the SADC initiative on Zimbabwe and is trying to help parties to
the coalition government implement political reforms and agree a so-called
road-map to new elections.

The MDC formation led by Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube said
the Troika meeting had been called to give other coalition parties a chance
to respond to Mugabe’s push for new elections.

“The heads of State meeting is now going to be preceded by a meeting of the
SADC Organ for Politics and Security or the Troika,” party spokesman
Nhlanhla Dube said in a statement Thursday.

“This was not the initial plan but it has been necessitated by the fact that
after our colleagues in Zanu PF surreptitiously lobbied SADC head of States
to call for Zimbabwe to hold elections this year with or without
implementing that which has been agreed.”

Over the last two weeks, Mugabe dispatched top aides, Vice President John
Nkomo as well as Ministers Emmerson Mngangagwa and Sydney Sekeramayi to
lobby several regional leaders ahead of the Angola meeting.

Dube claimed the Zanu PF leader urged regional counterparts to allow new
elections “with or without a new national constitution, with or without
agreeing on implementation of the agreed Road Map to elections which seeks
to bring about a credible election free of intimidation and violence, an
election which would not lead to yet another dispute and negotiated
settlement or GPA/GNU in another name.”

He added: “Our party protested to SADC who have called for the meeting of
the Troika in order to hear what the MDC and MDC-T have to say about the
Zanu PF call for elections.”

Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want new elections held before year-end to
replace the coalition government, arguing the arrangement was no longer

But rivals insist political reforms must be completed to ensure the election
result is beyond dispute.

Said Dube: "We are firm in our resolve that elections must only be held
under a new constitution which amongst other provisions will confine
generals to the barracks and keep them away from meddling in politics.

“Elections must be held under an environment of peace and security in order
for Zimbabweans to make a fair, true and undiluted selection of a leader or

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Mugabe says EU might lift sanctions

By Staff Reporter 11 hours 1 minute ago

Luanda – The European Union (EU) might lift its sanction against Zimbabwe,
the African country’s president, Robert Mugabe, announced Wednesday in

Robert Mugabe was speaking to the press on arrival in Luanda for the
extraordinary summit of heads of State and Government of the Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC) between May 31 and June 1 in the Angolan

He said a delegation of all political parties of Zimbabwe travelled to the
European Union to discuss with its representatives how the sanctions could
be lifted.

According to Robert Mugabe, the EU has promised to review the matter and
eventually lift the sanctions that, he said, were unfairly imposed on his

The sanctions in respect were imposed for the first time in 2002, in
response to the Zimbabwean Government’s land reforms.  As a result, 142
Zimbabwean officials close to president Mugabe, including companies, have
been banned from the European Union and their assets overseas frozen.

In the process, Robert Mugabe was forced to share power with his rival,
Morgan Tsvangirai, appointed prime minister after the 2008 troubled

Mugabe is in Luanda to attend Sadc meetings to discuss the political and
security situations in Zimbabwe and Madagascar and the bloc's Regional
Indicative Strategic Development Plan.

He was met by Angolan Foreign Minister George Chikoti and his Zimbabwean
counterpart Simbarashe Mu-mbengegwi.

The President is being accompanied by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Transport Minister
Nicholas Goche.

Principals to the Global Political Agreement have been invited by Sadc after
the grouping made last-minute changes to have a Troika meeting ahead of
tomorrow's extraordinary summit. Initially, the meeting was supposed to be
an extraordinary summit for heads of state and government only.

The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, which is commonly
known as the Troika, will today review the political and security situation
in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

The Troika, which is chaired by South African president Jacob Zuma,
comprises the leaders of Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, and reports to
full the summit.

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Calls to respect advice of UN Human Rights Commissioner

Dear Friends,

Statements and reports issued in recent days by our member organisations
include the following items:

Today, 30.5.12, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) issued the attached Press
Statement reporting on the further court appearance of 10 WOZA members
dubbed the ‘Shosholoza for Love 10’ who were arrested on 7.2.12 Click here

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has issued the following items

* A Press Statement issued on 29.5.12, by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR) provides an update on the High Court case between MDC
(T) Mayor of Mutare, Brian James and Local Government, Rural and
Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo. It reports that the High
Court has upheld an application by James to stop the disciplinary
proceedings brought on him by the Minister.The Statement can be
accessed via the following link:

* A further Press Statement also of 29.5.12 reports on legal efforts
to compel the Immigration authorities to release the passport of
BBCclassical music presenter, Petroc Trelawny. This can be accessed

In the attached Communiqué of 28.5.12, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
(ZimRights) calls on all parties to the coalition government in Zimbabweto
respect the advice of Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights, whose maiden visit to Zimbabweended on

News of threats to attack vendors selling privately owned newspapers is
contained in the attached Zimbabwe Alert issued on 28.5.12 by the Media
Institute for Southern Africa(MISA Zimbabwe). MISA reports that the threats
were made by Zimbabwe Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees’
Association. This can be accessed via:

Today, 30.5.12, a joint side meeting on Zimbabwehosted by the Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum and the Zimbabwe Europe Network will take place at the
on-going 23^rd Session of the African Caribbean Pacific – European Union
Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA) in Denmark.
More information about the side meeting, entitled ‘Zimbabweat the Crossroads’
can be found at the following link:

The agenda and other documentation of the on-going 23^rd Session of the
ACP-EU JPA can be found via:

Reports and statements issued by other civil society organisations and
international bodies include the following items:

The address made at the Universityof Zimbabweon 24.5.12 by the visiting UN
Human Rights Commissioner can be read in full via the following link:

For anyone who might have missed our previous mailing, the opening
statement made by the UN High Commissioner on the occasion of her visit
to Zimbabwecan be accessed

The Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) issued the attached Statement following
the murder of Cephas Magura, Chairperson for Ward 1 Mudzi North. The
deceased was severely assaulted and by ZANU PF youth who disrupted an
MDC rally. HZT notes that this political murder occurred barely 24 hours
after the departure of the UN Human Rights Commissioner.HZT applauds the
police for arresting six perpetrators but question why the police failed
to calm the situation at the rally that was sanctioned.

Today, 30.5.12, Sokwanele released Issue 38 and 39 of the Zimbabwe
Inclusive Government Watch (ZIGWatch). It tracks media articles and
reports regarding violations of the inclusive government to the Global
Political Agreement. These can be accessed via the following link:

International Liaison Office
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

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Zimbabwe Activists Applaud Charles Taylor Sentence

30 May 2012

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison
Wednesday for war crimes and crimes against humanity over his involvement in
the Sierra Leone civil war that killed more than 50, 000 people in the

Taylor was convicted by the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone last
month on 11 counts of aiding and abetting the Revolutionary United Front
rebels by providing them with arms in exchange of so-called "blood

The former warlord listened somberly as presiding judge Richard Lussick read
out the sentence.

"Mr. Taylor, for the forgoing reasons, the trial chamber unanimously
sentences you to a single term of imprisonment of 50 years for all the
counts on which you have been found guilty," judge Lussick said.

Prosecutors in The Hague were seeking 80 years, but Lussick said the
sentence would be too excessive. The prosecution quickly said it would
appeal the reduced sentence, as did the defense arguing it is too much.

Sierra Leone's government applauded the sentence saying justice had been

Taylor’s conviction is the first by an international tribunal against a head
of state since the World War II trial at Nuremberg. It is also the first
against a former African leader.

He is expected to serve jail time in a British prison.

African leaders, led by long-ruling Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe have
criticized such international tribunals and the International Criminal Court
for allegedly targeting politicians from third world nations, especially in

Mr. Mugabe has himself been accused of committing crimes against humanity
during a military campaign in Matabeleland during the 1980s, code-named
Gukurahundi, meaning the early rains that wash away the chaff.

Zimbabwean activists, including London-based commentator Nkululeko Sibanda,
said Taylor's sentencing should serve as a warning to other leaders who
abuse their authority.

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Charles Taylor conviction a ‘strong warning’ for ZANU PF

By Alex Bell
31 May 2012

The 50 year jail sentence handed down in the international case against
former Liberian president Charles Taylor, is being applauded as a ‘strong
warning’ for other human rights abusers in Africa.

This includes ZANU PF members, who have long since enjoyed the freedom of
impunity for their actions under years of Robert Mugabe’s leadership.

Taylor was convicted last month of all 11 counts of war crimes and
crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary
United Front during the country’s brutal 1991-2001 civil war.

The court ruled that, in return, Taylor was paid in diamonds mined by slave
labour in areas under control of the rebels, who murdered, raped and kept
sex slaves, hacked off limbs and forced children under 15 to fight.

“The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting some of the
most heinous crimes in human history,” said Special Court for Sierra Leone
judge Richard Lussick on Wednesday.

“The trial chamber unanimously sentences you to a single term of
imprisonment for 50 years on all counts,” the judge said as he announced the
ruling of the court based just outside The Hague.

“The trial chamber noticed that the effects of these crimes on the families
and society as a whole in Sierra Leone was devastating,” Lussick said in
handing down the ruling,

Wednesday’s sentencing is the first against a former head of state
in an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in 1946. It is
also the first time an African leader has been brought before the
International Criminal Court (ICC), in what is being described as a vital
legal precedent against African dictatorships.

Political analyst and Zimbabwean human rights activist Phillip Pasirayi told
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the sentence is “commendable and an
important step for international justice.

“This case shows that even if justice is delayed, justice can and will one
day be served. It also shows that even if a country is not party to the
international statutes like the Rome Statute, a conviction can still be
achieved,” Pasirayi said.

Pasirayi also said the sentence “sends a strong warning to ZANU PF and
Robert Mugabe,” because it is a clear message that the human rights abuses
under the regime will not got unpunished.

“This was the right sentence and it sends a clear, strong message that
justice will be meted out,” Pasirayi said.

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Fresh charges against BBC man dropped

By Alex Bell
31 May 2012

Fresh charges against a presenter with the UK’s BBC broadcaster, who was
arrested in Zimbabwe a week ago, have been dropped.

Petroc Trelawny was on Wednesday evening charged for a second time in the
space of a week, allegedly for contravening Zimbabwe’s immigration laws. He
was originally charged over the weekend for ‘working without a permit’.

These charges were dropped on Monday after the Attorney General’s office
refused to prosecute the classical music presenter. But a fresh case was
launched by the State on Wednesday, accusing him of  violating the
conditions under which his visitor’s entry certificate had been issued.

The new case was however dropped and the charges dismissed after it was
brought before a Magistrate in Bulawayo on Thursday. Trelawny, who was
finally released from police custody Wednesday and allowed to stay with
friends, was still waiting for his passport to be returned on Thursday

“Mr. Trelawny is once again a free man, and I say again because this is the
third time effectively that courts have ordered he be freed. But we don’t
know yet how the State will react given their actions this week,” Kumbirai
Mafunda from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) told SW Radio

Trelawny meanwhile took to the social networking site Twitter on Wednesday
after his release to praise the medical staff in a Bulawayo hospital, where
had was admitted on Sunday with an arm injury.

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BBC's Petroc Trelawny free to leave Zimbabwe

Petroc Trelawny, the BBC music presenter arrested in Zimbabwe last week over
a work permit row, was finally free to fly home to the UK on Thursday night
after being cleared by a court of any wrongdoing.

By Aislinn Laing, and Peta Thornycroft in Johannesburg

6:54PM BST 31 May 2012

Mr Trelawny said he was "delighted" with the judgement of a magistrate
sitting in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo, who said he had broken no
laws by working for free at a children's music festival.

He told The Daily Telegraph he would return to Britain with his "head held
high" following a week-long ordeal that at one stage looked as though it
could leave him facing a sentence in a Zimbabwean jail cell.

"I'm particularly pleased that I leave with my head held high and been
assured by immigration that there will be absolutely no problem with my
returning to Zimbabwe in the future to carry on with my work here," he said.

His release on Thursday night came exactly a week after he was escorted from
the stage of the Bulawayo City Hall, where he was narrating a production of
Song of the Carnivores involving 500 local schoolchildren.

He was arrested for failing to obtain a Temporary Employment Permit and held
in a police cell where, over the weekend, he slipped on a patch of water and
dislocated his shoulder. He spent the next five days – including his 41st
birthday on Sunday - in hospital under police guard.

Early this week, Zimbabwe's Attorney General, then a High Court judge,
ordered his release but Bulawayo's Immigration Department filed a new charge
that he had lied on his tourist visa application, which saw him brought
before the court on Thursday.

There, a magistrate decided that there was no law which prohibited tourists
from taking part in public music events, and told him he was free to leave
Zimbabwe at his leisure.

Mr Trelawny, from Primrose Hill in London, said his time in Zimbabwe's
criminal justice system had been "an interesting experience" but would not
deter him from returning to continue his work with underprivileged children.

"I'm just elated that it's over but above all it's been an experience in the
humanity of people," he.

"I was touched by the way I was looked after in the hospital by doctors and
nurses, how respectful police were, even the night I spent in prison -
although it was not something I would ever care to repeat, it was certainly
something I will not forget.

"It was an interesting experience and something we can all learn from. It
hasn't in any way changed my opinion of the wonderful people of this
country." He admitted that the legal wranglings that saw him book and rebook
his flight out of Zimbabwe as officials argued over whether he had a case to
answer or not had been "a bit bewildering and frustrating at times".

He praised the "wonderful defence" mounted by his lawyer, a member of the
respected Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group which has in the past come
to the defence of many tourists in trouble with the Zimbabwean authorities.

"I was terrified when I was first arrested, but then it all took place in
daylight and in public, and the music academy staff were there, so it was
not so terrifying," he said.

He was generous about the brutal conditions of Bulawayo Central Police
Station, where previous occupants have described torture by members of
Robert Mugabe's feared Central Intelligence Organisation and beatings by
other inmates.

"I think I was a source of fascination for the 18 prisoners sharing my
police cell. I don't know what they were in for, all sorts of things I
think, but everyone is equal in a cell like that," he said.

"They made sure I had space to lie on the floor and when I managed to slip
over, they were fantastic at getting me attention, making sure police knew I
needed to get into hospital.

"When I arrived on Thursday, it was late and everyone had their positions on
the floor staked out. It was quite cold and there were a limited number of

"There was a complicated herringbone sleeping pattern to get everyone in,
but I got my space and managed to get some sleep, although I did a lot of
thinking as well." He said that after the sparse conditions, he was eagerly
anticipating some luxury before his departure from Bulawayo this morning.

"I'm now looking forward to a nice dinner and hopefully some good Zimbabwean
beef and South African wine," he said.

"People who were good friends here before have now become very close friends
and I'm looking forward to celebrating with them before heading back to
London to continue celebrations.

"I'm meant to be going to Zambia a week on Friday. All being well, I'm
looking forward to a couple of weeks on safari, perhaps a slightly more
relaxing African experience." Asked what he would be playing on Radio Three
when he returned, he said: "I will have to find something that speaks of

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PM Courts Chinese Investors Despite Growing Resentment

30 May 2012

Chris Gande | Washington

Wrapping up his Beijing visit this week, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai called on Chinese investors to continue setting up businesses in
Harare despite growing resentment by locals who accuse them of ill-treating

Mr. Tsvangirai told the Sino-African Trade in Services and Investment forum
in Beijing late Tuesday that Chinese investors were welcome in Zimbabwe on a
“win-win basis.”

“China’s trade with Africa has undoubtedly been growing at an exponential
rate in the last decade and is poised to grow even more," he said on his
first official Chinese visit.

"For those of you who have yet to invest in our country, you are welcome
especially as we seek to deepen our economic relations on a win-win basis
that serves the interest of our peoples.”

Despite the prime minister's positive sentiments, some members of his MDC
party are on record as saying Chinese employers are ill-treating locals.

Last week Labor Minister, Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa called for a boycott of
Chinese products as retaliation for their alleged brutality against local

Tsvangirai enjoys a cordial relationship with Western countries which
slapped targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle.

Commentator Alois Dzvairo, who is also the youth chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly told VOA the prime minister was likely to come back
home empty handed.

“Tsvangirai is just trying to appease his partners in the coalition
government,” he added.

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Remove sanctions now, Tsvangirai ready to rule - US Senator

By Staff Reporter 9 hours 51 minutes ago

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and leading advocate for the
continent of Africa in the U.S. Senate, strongly supported recent comments
made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that economic
sanctions against Zimbabwe be lifted.

Since 2001, economic sanctions against Zimbabwe have resulted in the denial
of extension of loans, credits, or guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe
from the United States or any international financial institution.

Citing the improvement of leadership stemming from the 2008 power-sharing
agreement engineered by both the Southern African Development Community and
the United States, that kept Robert Mugabe as President, but named reformer
Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister, Inhofe introduced a bill in the 111th
Congress to repeal these sanctions against Zimbabwe.

This year, Inhofe reintroduced his repeal bill as S. 1646. Under this
legislation, economic sanctions would be lifted in order to restore the
Zimbabwe economy and be the crucial assist reformers need to transition to

“Repealing economic sanctions against Zimbabwe is the only solution to
bringing full economic recovery and democratic transition to this African
nation,” said Inhofe.

“Today, I fully support UN Commissioner Navi Phillay’s belief that economic
sanctions are only hurting – not helping – the Zimbabwean people. Over the
last four years, Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government has improved the
economy and the general wellbeing of its people. This is evident by both the
sharp decline of their inflation rate and the improvement of their gross
domestic product (GDP).

However, with the continuing inability to receive international loans or
credits, Zimbabwe’s economy is held back from achieving total fiscal

Repealing these U.S. sanctions will provide Prime Minister Tsvangirai and
his reformers the tools they need to return Zimbabwe to being called the
‘Breadbasket of Africa’ and engineer the transition to democracy that we all

Early this month the United States government vowed that it would not lift
sanctions imposed on Robert Mugabe and dozens of top officials before there
are signs of permanent political reforms.

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, told a telephone
conference that Washington will maintain its targeted sanctions until it
sees "sufficient progress in the area of democratisation".

"The US continues to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe and will do so until we
believe that substantial and irreversible progress has been made in the
implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement," Carson said.

The United States slapped sanctions against more than 50 government,
military and ruling party officials in protest over controversial elections
and alleged human rights abuses by Mugabe's government.

"We will continue to review our sanctions and we have taken a few people off
the list, [but] not as many as the European Union," he added.

On Wednesday Mugabe said European Union (EU) might lift its sanction on him.

Robert Mugabe was speaking to the press on arrival in Luanda for the
extraordinary summit of heads of State and Government of the Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC) between May 31 and June 1 in the Angolan

He said a delegation of all political parties of Zimbabwe travelled to the
European Union to discuss with its representatives how the sanctions could
be lifted.

According to Robert Mugabe, the EU has promised to review the matter and
eventually lift the sanctions that, he said, were unfairly imposed on his

The sanctions in respect were imposed for the first time in 2002, in
response to the Zimbabwean Government’s land reforms.  As a result, 142
Zimbabwean officials close to president Mugabe, including companies, have
been banned from the European Union and their assets overseas frozen.

In the process, Robert Mugabe was forced to share power with his rival,
Morgan Tsvangirai, appointed prime minister after the 2008 troubled

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Fear of reprisals stops many ZANU PF officials from defecting

By Lance Guma
31 May 2012

Many officials in ZANU PF have considered jumping ship and joining other
political parties, but a fear of reprisals has stopped them from doing so, a
former MP and Deputy Minister has told SW Radio Africa.

Tracy Mutinhiri was the ZANU PF Women’s League Political Commissar and
Marondera East MP  before she was expelled in August last year for allegedly
de-campaigning the party. On Wednesday she was a guest on SW Radio Africa’s
Question Time and answered questions from listeners.

“I know people who want to switch over, but people are afraid. ZANU PF will
not really forgive somebody who will make a drastic step like I did but I
didn’t want my political career to finish with ZANU PF,” Mutinhiri said. She
blamed heavy infighting for frustrating a lot of people in Mugabe’s party.

Mutinhiri confirmed reports that members of the notorious Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) abducted and killed MDC-T supporters before
dumping their bodies in the Wenimbe Dam in Marondera. She claimed she was
the target of a similar plot when ZANU PF accused her of working with the

“If a survey was going to be carried out in Marondera town, every other
homestead will tell you about their loved one who was dumped in the Wenimbe
Dam. It’s not a created story. I talked about it when it was clear to me
that on a certain day if when I had gone to my constituency, if I had used
the same road I come with, I would have ended up in the Wenimbe Dam,”
Mutinhiri said.

In the interview broadcast Wednesday evening Mutinhiri claimed State
Security Minister Sidney Sekeramayi was behind most of her problems because
she had turned down his sexual advances. She also blamed the breakdown of
her marriage to Brigadier-General Mutinhiri on Sekeramayi and his

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A Fourth Estate gone down the sewer

A Gallup International perception survey done for Transparency International
Zimbabwe gives the local media a saddening grading of six out of the ten
most corrupt institutions in the country, sharing Mammon’s high table with
the police, political parties, parliament, the civil service and the
by Tawanda Majoni

My experience as a journalist over the years gives me no reason to doubt
this; indeed, the cash-for-coverage scourge is so far-flung it is now
dishonest to describe the media as the Fourth Estate.

By saying this, though, I do not intend to place myself in a controversial
hyperbole, because I am convinced we still have a notable number of
untainted journalists out there.

There are those that simply flinch at the idea of selling a little media
love; there are those that just do not have the chance to do so; and there
are those that do not see it necessary.

Yet we have so many who would scramble at the drop of a coin, and these are
the lot about whom we should have all reason to grieve.

Bribery, shockingly, afflicts all tiers of the newsroom profile, right from
the intern. It is easy for beneficiaries of bribery, chief among them
politicians, musicians and artists, CEOs and industry captains as well as
celebrities and underground mafia to overawe interns with thin envelopes
because they are largely susceptible to that given their greenness. But it
becomes more disturbing when more senior journalists and newsroom managers
are the culprits, as is the case.

Newsroom bribery adorns two general forms, the direct and indirect. Direct
bribery happens when journalists take bribes as gain for writing or spiking
stories for the advantage of those that pay.

Where stories are written, they are designed to portray an institution, body
or personality in positive light or to dilute a crisis. In all cases,
journalists overtly or subtly demand the bribes or the beneficiaries make
the offer, again directly or subtly.

Indirect cash (or gifts) for coverage is tricky and scrambled, to the extent
that, on the surface, it may not appear as though journalists or stables
receive favours for positive coverage.

There is indirect pressure on newsrooms, as when a corporate body, aware
that a media outlet is pursuing a negative story around it, offers to give
the stable advertisements.

Here, it becomes difficult for the stable to run the damaging story because
it needs the money to pay its workers. I know of many journalists who have,
preposterously, been fired from their jobs for writing and running stories
that attack the stable’s advertiser.

The indirect genre also assumes more complex nuances, such as the unusually
regular lunch or sundowner or selective promotions of, pay rises or
lucrative assignments for journalists on a particular desks.

When you talk to journalists who dabble in bribery, you often get the
impression that they are convinced the world owes them a salutary requiem
for their despicable disposition. They moan about poor or delayed salaries
and tell you that, after all, there is no harm in stashing some small
envelope away.

But nothing could be farther from the truth, for bribe taking in the media,
like anywhere else, is absolutely an ethical abomination, to the extent that
it can NEVER be justified.

It undermines fundamental ethical values-truth, balance, objectivity,
fairness-and leaves the news consumer the poorer. It gives journalism a bad
name and takes away the watchdog brand from the profession.

Given the complexity that comes with bribery in the media, particularly as
gatekeepers are involved and evidence is mostly hard to extract, is it
possible to effectively deal with the malignancy?

Yes, it is possible to stem it. Identifying and stunting bribery in the
newsroom, though, requires elaborate and cautious approaches and calls on
concerted efforts from news people, institutions and members of the public.

An essential step is to gain an appreciation of the signs and symptoms of
media love merchandising, for that forms the basis for taking action against
the culprits.

It might not look easy to combat newsroom bribery, but it is possible. What
is important is the will power.

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Zimbabweans report bribes on whistleblower website

31/05/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

IF YOU have been to Zimbabwe over the last decade, then you more than likely have paid a bribe for anything from getting your phone line fixed, obtain a driver’s licence, get a job, avoid a speeding ticket or simply to get a child enrolled at a school.

But now campaigners fed up with paying bribes so that people can do their jobs are fighting back on the internet, with the launch of a whistleblower website called

“Report your encounter with corruption,” the website invites Zimbabweans on its home page.

Users can share their experiences with bribery, where it took place, how much they paid and in instances where they have documentary, video or photographic proof, this can also be uploaded on the website.

People reporting the corruption can do so anonymously, but the website’s founder says the anonymous contributions have the potential to shine a spotlight on a practice which pervades everyday life.

Tawanda Kembo, the founder of, says he was driven up the wall after an encounter with police officers at a roadblock.

His car didn’t have a fire extinguisher, a new requirement under the law for certain types of vehicles. But 90 percent of cars don’t have fire extinguishers.

He told New “The police officers were clearly looking for an offence. They told me the spot fine was US$20, but I didn’t have that much money on me. They just left me there to wait, while they waived other cars through.

“I knew I wasn’t going anywhere soon, so I paid the bribe and they let me go.”

Kembo says the experience left him with a feeling that he was “treated unfairly”, and he went on the internet to see if others had had similar experiences.

“I found a similar concept in Kenya which made it easier to report corruption online, and I got an idea to start a website specifically targeting Zimbabwe,” he said from Harare.

He maintains that he is not afraid of retribution from corrupt individuals whose practices may soon be read online by thousands of people around the world.

“I’m not afraid, it’s a good initiative. I think I will have more support than threats,” he said.

The website lists six major categories of frontline services where corruption is most rife: the police, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, the passport office, the Vehicle Inspection Department and municipal services.

Over time as more information is collected, Kembo said, statistical analysis will show the most corrupt city, government department and expose some specific individuals.

“The statistics collected from these reports will be used to argue for improving governance systems and procedures, tightening law enforcement and regulation thereby reducing the scope for corruption in obtaining services from the government and institutions such as ZESA, ZIMRA and others,” he said.

“This website is not just for reporting bribes. It can be used by people to let others know that you don’t always have to pay a bribe. We have to get out of the mentality that you have to pay a bribe to get out of a situation.

“We hope that people will not only use the website to report when they paid bribes, but also when they refused to pay bribes or when they didn't have to pay bribes. This will teach others that it's not always necessary to pay bribes.”

People can share their stories by physically entering them on the website, by e-mail or using the Twitter hash tag #IPaidABribeInZimbabwe.

Kembo said they were in talks with a major mobile phone company to come up with a solution that will allow people with no access to the internet to make instant reports from their mobile phones using SMS.

Zimbabwe ranks joint 154th out of 182 countries in the 2011 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index – putting it in the same zone with countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Laos and Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

CLICK HERE to post your own bribery experience



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Cathy Buckle Column # 56. 27th May 2012. Exclusive for the Daily News

The visit last week by the UN’s Navi Pillay was keenly watched by
Zimbabweans  who are still traumatized after events of the last twelve
years. A time in which four million people fled to the diaspora; there were
repeated, violent, disputed elections which left hundreds dead and thousands
brutalized. Twelve years of violent land invasions which left 700,000 farm
workers homeless and unemployed and the country importing 80% of its food ;
a time in which high density clearances known as Operation Murambatsvina
left another 700,000 people homeless.
All eyes were on the UN’s Human Rights Commissioner, just as they had been
on the UN’s Special Envoy on Human Settlement, Anna Tibaijuka in 2005. Ms
Tibaijuka came to see the impact of the government’s Operation Murambatsvina
and issued a report which called “for those responsible to be held
accountable.” A call which has not been heeded seven years later.
The tone of the propaganda around Ms Pillay’s visit was set early by the
country’s sole television broadcaster. ZBC  reporter Judith Makwanya said
300,000 families had been resettled in Zimbabwe’s land reform programme.
This was a dramatic increase on the  167,000 resettled families that Home
Affairs Minister Chombo boasted of  last month in his Independence Day
address in front of President Mugabe. Makwanya inflated the resettlement
figure by 133,000 families and no one corrected her. Did the UN’s Ms Pillay
know the correct figure we wondered?
We saw Ms Pillay being shown around the tobacco sales floors by Mrs Monica
Chinamasa who is one of the individuals removed from the EU’s targeted
sanctions list three months ago. A quick Internet search shows Mrs Chinamasa
on SW Radio Africa’s Wall of Shame, along with corresponding articles in the
Zimbabwean, Standard and UK Telegraph newspapers with reports of her and her
husband’s seizure of Tsukumai Farm in Headlands in 2003. The owner of the
farm is quoted as saying the Chinamasa’s: virtually evicted me at gunpoint.”
Did Ms Pillay know this, we thought?
Next ZBC followed Ms Pillay on a tour around a redistributed farm. We heard
Ms Pillay express her pleasure that so many poor people and farm workers had
benefitted from land reform. Farm workers benefitting from land reform is
not something we’ve not heard about before, quite the opposite in fact. Ms
Pillay made no mention of how many wealthy and powerful people in the
country had also benefitted from free farms seized without compensation,
including politicians, security personnel, MP’s and even senior, serving
members of the judiciary. Perhaps Ms Pillay already knew this?
With a sympathetic face Ms Pillay listened to the new farmer describing his
inability to farm well because he said he couldn’t get spares for his
tractor because of ‘sanctions.’ If Ms Pillay had visited any of the scores
of hardware or agricultural stockists she would have discovered that anyone,
regardless of race, age or political persuasion can buy whatever spare part
they want for their tractor. From nuts, bolts and bearings to filters,
plough discs, tyres and more.  If it isn’t in stock they will order it for
you and every day orders are being  made to countries all over the world.
Not just to South Africa and Asia but regularly to countries who have
imposed targeted sanctions on 112 individuals in Zimbabwe. Only 112
individuals in a population of  11 million people are targeted by sanctions.
Any one of those 112 individuals can go into any shop which will order any
spare part from any country in the world for them. The only restriction, one
hardware stockist told me, is how much money you have.
Cathy Buckle.  27th May 2012

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Bill Watch 23/2012 of 31st May [Election Road Map on SADC Agenda]

BILL WATCH 23/2012

[31st May 2012]

The House of Assembly has adjourned until Tuesday 5th June

The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday 12th June

Election Roadmap and Timeframe Outlined in Parliament’s Last Sitting

Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara, was asked about the Election Roadmap during Questions Without Notice in the House of Assembly on 16th May.  In reply he listed seven reform processes that must be completed before elections:

“What we want to do next time around is to make sure that when we go into elections, those elections will be respected by the winners and losers. The winners will be able to form a legitimate democratic Government and the losers are able to congratulate the winners. For us to do that, we must go through these reforms very carefully:

constitution media reforms political reforms electoral reforms national healing security sector alignment economic reforms.  These reforms require time and that time will determine when our elections will take place.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want us, across the political divide, to understand the importance of the creation of conditions for fairness and freeness of our elections and the need to achieve this.” 

He then added we cannot go beyond March 2013. In March 2013 this Parliament expires, in March 2013 Mugabe’s presidency expires. Consequently, this current Cabinet expires in March 2013.  So, if you ask me about the ultimate deadline, the ultimate deadline is March 2013 ... we cannot possibly go beyond March 2013. March 2013 is the end of the road.”

Comment: March 2013 is not the use-by-date of this Government – the correct position under the present constitutional provisions is that unless earlier dissolved by the President, Parliament will expire on 28th June 2013, at midnight, – which means that any reform legislation would have to be passed by the 28th June. We can only be 4 months without a Parliament, so elections would have to be by 28th October 2013 at the latest.  President Mugabe’s current term could continue until election results come in, early November 2013.  [See end of bulletin for constitutional provisions.]   

Question: Was Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara talking for the inclusive government?  Presumably he was, as Questions Without Notice in the House is reserved for Ministers to explain Government policy to MPs. 

SADC Perspective

The Zimbabwe situation is on the agenda for the Troika Summit of the Organ on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation [Organ Troika] in Luanda, Angola, today 31st May, and it is likely that the Organ Troika will report on Zimbabwe either formally or informally to the SADC Heads of State Summit on Friday 1st June.  The Organ Troika will consider:

·        the report from SADC Facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma – whose Facilitation Team was in Harare at the beginning of this week to discuss the Roadmap to Elections and any further progress made in implementing the GPA.

·        the views of the three parties to the GPA, particularly about elections.  [The parties have been doing the rounds in the region, lobbying for their varying positions.]

SADC Endorsed Zimbabwe Elections Roadmap

The SADC Organ Troika in March 2011 decided that SADC should assist Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines to assist in holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair, in accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections [Zimbabwe is a party to these Principles and Guidelines] and that the Troika would appoint a team of officials to join the Facilitation Team and work with JOMIC to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA.  The Roadmap was drawn up by the negotiators and endorsed by SADC Summit:

“At the Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held at Sandton, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa on 11th and 12th July, 2011, the SADC Facilitator on Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Jacob G. Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, tabled a report on the progress made in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe.  Attached to the SADC Facilitator’s Report was the document titled Roadmap to Zimbabwe’s Elections concluded and signed by the negotiators at Harare on the 22nd April, 2011.  The Roadmap to Zimbabwe’s Elections identified and defined milestones and signposts that must be executed and implemented before the next Harmonised Elections.” [Roadmap available from]

Election Road Map Agreed with SADC Not Nearly Fulfilled

It is eleven months since the party negotiators agreed on the Roadmap to Elections stipulating both the new constitution and reforms as a prerequisite to the elections.  As pointed out by the DPM in Parliament last week there has been no serious progress tackling reforms.  The constitution-making process is incomplete; there has been no reform of media laws.  ZANU-PF has maintained its control of state media.  The airwaves have not been opened up to long established stations now having to broadcast from outside Zimbabwe, nor to community broadcasting.  Little political reform has taken place – de facto power and control of national resources is still with the former ruling party, which together with their control of the security forces, gives it an edge when it comes to elections.  The far reaching electoral reforms needed to level the playing field for the election contest are still awaited. There has been limited economic progress.

Common Agreement on Need for Reforms before Elections?

Most stakeholders in the Zimbabwe situation have not changed their long-held stance that there must be implementation of reforms and a new constitution before the next elections – this is clear from the GPA and is still the view of:

·        the negotiators of all three parties [they all signed the Roadmap to Elections]

·        the SADC Facilitator and his team

·        the Organ Troika of March 2011 and SADC Summit of July 2011

·        the inclusive government as reported by the DPM in Parliament [but see recent ZANU-PF stance below]

·        MDC-T and MDC.

But recently ZANU-PF has been taking a diametrically opposed standpoint [in the President’s speeches, reports of politburo and central committee meetings and statements by ZANU-PF Ministers, though not in Parliament], insisting on elections in 2012, with or without a new constitution and reforms. 

Need for these Reforms Accentuated by UN Human Rights Commissioner

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, ending her five-day visit arranged by the Government of Zimbabwe, stressed the need for reforms before the next elections: “Concern is rising both inside and outside the country that, unless the parties agree quickly on some key major reforms ...the next election which is due some time in the coming year could turn into a repeat of the 2008 elections which resulted in rampant politically motivated human rights abuses, including killings, torture, rapes, beatings, arbitrary detention, displacements and other violations.”… I believe that it is essential that a satisfactory new Constitution with an entrenched Bill of Rights is in place soon, so that the referendum to confirm it and all the electoral reforms necessary for a peaceful, free and fair election can be carried out before people go to the polls. Realistically this will take time, but it will be more important to get it right than to rush the process.”  

Last Possible Dates for Elections

When does the present Parliament expire?

The 5-year Parliamentary life-span is calculated from the date President Mugabe was sworn in [29th June 2008], not from the date of the last Parliamentary election, which was in March 2008.  The relevant constitutional provisions are:

·        section 63(4) – which states that, unless earlier dissolved by Presidential proclamation, Parliament shall last for five years, which period shall be deemed to commence on the day the person elected as President enters office”

·        section 28(5) – which states that the President enters office on the date he is sworn in

Ultimate deadline for the next elections: November 2013  

Under the present Constitution, Presidential, Parliamentary and local authority elections must be held within four months after the dissolution of Parliament.  If Parliament only expires on 28th June, the ultimate deadline for polling in the next harmonised elections – Presidential, Parliamentary and local government – will therefore be 28th October 2013 [Constitution, sections 58(1) and section 28(3)].

When will the President go out of office?

Section 29(1) states that the President’s term of office is a period of five years concurrent with the life of Parliament referred to in section 63(4) subject to the proviso that the President will continue in office until the swearing-in of whoever is elected President in the next Presidential election.  So in theory President Mugabe’s present term could extend until the winner of an October 2013 Presidential election is declared and sworn in.


Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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