Thursday 21 June 2007
By Regerai Marwezu
MASVINGO - Vice-President Joseph Msika has openly clashed with Masvingo
provincial governor Willard Chiwewe over plans to designate Nuanetsi ranch
in the southern Masvingo province that is owned by the Development Trust of
DTZ is a company formed in the early 1980s by the late former PF ZAPU leader
and veteran nationalist Joshua Nkomo to spearhead development projects in
Msika was a high ranking PF ZAPU official before the opposition party merged
with President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF in an uneasy Unity Accord
signed between the two parties in 1987.
Plans by the government to annex the property have in the past triggered
bitter emotions among former PF ZAPU members who accuse ZANU PF members of
violating the spirit of the Unity Accord.
According to documents shown to ZimOnline yesterday, Chiwewe last November
wrote a letter to Land Reform Minister Didymus Mutasa demanding that the
government acquire Nuanetsi ranch to resettle thousands of villagers in the
"We have realised that the Nuanetsi ranch is lying idle and the Masvingo
political leadership would want it to be designated for resettlement. It
would be unfair to leave such land idle when thousands of Zimbabweans need
land," says Chiwewe in the letter then.
ZimOnline understands that Mutasa has since advised Chiwewe not to proceed
with plans to resettle villagers at Nuanetsi saying the issue was "a hot
potato" which could threaten the Unity Accord.
Sources within the government said Msika was not prepared to move an inch to
surrender the property.
"Nuanetsi ranch is owned by DTZ, a black-owned company and if we designate
that land, who are we empowering? We cannot take land from a black man and
give it to another black man.
"If there is anyone trying to do something there tell him he is wasting his
time because that land was bought and cannot just be given to people without
any justification," said Msika.
Contacted for comment, Chiwewe confirmed the impasse between himself and
Msika but was quick to say the matter was being resolved at a "higher
"It is true that we wanted to designate the Nuanetsi ranch to resettle
people there for the government to grow crops under the Masvingo food
"When we applied to have the Nuanetsi ranch designated it was not based on
tribal lines. It was a genuine request that I still feel should be
considered. But as it stands, the issue is being resolved at a higher
level," said Chiwewe.
Nuanetsi ranch is among the biggest properties in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's land reform programme has been dogged by problems since it began
some seven years ago. Zimbabwe has battled severe food shortages over the
past seven years because the new black farmers allocated land have failed to
maintain production on the former white farms.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has accused
Mugabe of parceling out land to his cronies in government and the military
at the expense of landless villagers. Mugabe denies the charge. - ZimOnline
June 21, 2007
Charles Bremner and Sebastien Duval
Police have opened an unprecedented investigation into claims that two
African heads of state with close ties to Paris have used millions of pounds
of embezzled public funds to acquire lavish properties for themselves and
their families in France.
The inquiry into the affairs of presidents Omar Bongo, of Gabon, and Denis
Sassou N'Guesso, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, marks a break with the
protection that was accorded to France's African "clients" by President
Chirac and other former leaders.
President Nicolas Sarkozy promised in his spring election campaign to put an
end to the complicity between Paris and "la FranceAfrique", the network that
has linked French presidents with their friends in Africa since the 1960s.
Mr Bongo and Mr Sassou N'Guesso, whose countries are leading oil producers,
have featured high on corruption tables issued by international watchdogs.
Both were cited in recent years during French criminal inquiries into
hundreds of millions of pounds of illicit payments by Elf, the former French
state-owned oil group.
The prosecutors have acted on complaints from four French rights
organisations over the alleged large-scale theft of international aid and
national wealth by African leaders. The initial inquiry focuses on mansions
and apartments that are owned by the leaders of Gabon and the Congo in
"France can no longer remain a safe haven for the money stolen from
Africans. The immunity that has been guaranteed for the past 40 years can
last no longer," said William Bourdon, the head of Sherpa, an association of
"This marks a first. France and other countries cannot make international
commitments to fight financial crime without starting proceedings when they
have real evidence of embezzlement and the siphoning of public money by the
Bongo and Sassou N'Gues-so families."
The investigation is based on a recent French high court ruling that failure
to justify the funding of possessions and a wealthy way of life constituted
possible evidence of crime.
France has granted haven to many former Third World rulers. It has also
taken part in international moves to seize the assets of some, including
those of the Duvalier family, the former dictators of Haiti, and the late
President Mobutu of Zaire.
France has also observed European decisions to freeze the assets of
President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. However, Mr Chirac angered Britain by inviting
Mr Mugabe to a France-Africa summit in 2003.
An investigating judge is likely to be appointed soon to pursue the French
criminal inquiries. The judge may examine the cases of other leaders.
Odile Biyidi, president of Survival, another of the plaintiff organisations,
told The Times that they had evidence of illicit acquisitions of property by
other African leaders, including apartments on the exclusive Place Vendôme
"France has too long been an accomplice in the pillaging of some of the
poorest countries in the world," she said. "The politicians closed their
eyes to this. The only thing that mattered were French interests . . . They
washed their hands of the rest."
International estimates of embezzlement by Africa's ruling families vary. In
2002 the Tax Justice Network set the figure at $30 billion (£15 billion) a
year from sub-Saharan Africa.
New Zimbabwe (London)
20 June 2007
Posted to the web 20 June 2007
THE Zimbabwe government has gazetted new allowances for traditional leaders
that will see the highest paid getting $150 000 a month back dated to
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) immediately accused
President Robert Mugabe's government of "vote buying" ahead of general
elections next year.
In new regulations, statutory instrument 109 of 2007, the Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo said the allowances would be paid to headmen,
acting headmen, village heads and messengers.
Under the new guidelines, Chombo said, headmen will get $150 000, acting
headmen $100 000 and a chief's messenger $95 000.
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa described the latest move as vote buying.
He added: "Zanu PF always remembers that people have feelings and stomachs
are election time."
The MDC accuses some of the country's traditional leaders of openly aiding
the ruling Zanu PF party by often abusing the food distribution facility in
favour of Zanu PF members.
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 06/21/2007 08:07:46
A ZIMBABWEAN High Court judge presiding over the trial of former finance
minister Christopher Kuruneri, who is charged with financial crimes, is
under pressure to convict the former Zanu PF Mazowe legislator, it was
Judiciary sources told New Zimbabwe.com the judge, Susan Mavangira, was
being held to ransom, with Kuruneri's political foes threatening to revive a
2002 murder case involving her husband, Jephias Mavangira.
The state "noted but has not pursued" the 2002 case.
Court papers obtained by New Zimbabwe.com show that the judge's husband was
arrested and released on $500 bail in 2002, but was never tried for the
offence, which sources say is being used to pressurise the judge into
finding against Kuruneri in a case in which he is accused of "externalising
Kuruneri is being represented by prominent lawyer Jonathan Samkange, who
represented the judge's husband in the 2002 murder case.
Samkange refused to comment saying any comment would be prejudicial to one
of his two clients. He did not state the person who will be on the receiving
He said: "Both of them are my clients so I cannot comment because what I may
say would not be in favour of the other client."
The director of Public Prosecutions Florence Ziyambi refused to comment. The
Attorney general Sobusa Gula-Ndebele was said to be on leave.
Court papers show that Jephias was arrested and granted bail for the murder
of Clifford Mukwasi in Manicaland, and the matter was never pursued.
Court papers say the judge's husband "unlawfully and with intent to kill
murdered Clifford Mukwasi by shooting him. in the stomach."
Mukwasi is alleged to have trespassed with a group of other men on Jephia's
mining claim located in Manicaland.
The papers reveal that before the trial was mysteriously halted, prosecutors
had intended to call among others Sternard Madamombe and Julius Mavisa as
The papers further state that Mavangira fired a single shot "and deceased
fell to the ground crying. Accused fired another shot into the air asking
everyone to disperse. He went to the deceased and deceased had already
Mavangira has always denied murder, and insists that he had acted in
self-defence after a group of 30 people he found buying minerals at his
claim started menacingly advancing at him.
A source who has been following the Kuruneri trial revealed: "Once in a
while, the Mavangira's are reminded about the case. They have never been
told why Jephias was never tried after being granted bail, but it has been
made clear that it might be revisited after the Kuruneri case. They
(Mavangiras) mention that to close friends."
The source added that the judge and her husband "think that the State wants
her to convict Kuruneri."
Kuruneri is currently out on bail. His failing health has delayed his trial.
New Zimbabwe (London)
20 June 2007
Posted to the web 20 June 2007
A ZIMBABWEAN journalist charged with "writing falsehoods" has been freed by
a Harare court after it emerged he was being charged under a nonexistent
section of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
Gift Phiri, 30, a reporter with The Zimbabwean newspaper which publishes
from England, was being charged for contravening section 80(1)(b).
But in a dramatic development on Wednesday, magistrate Gloria Takundwa said
the charge was withdrawn and that he should be removed from remand.
Takundwa said prosecutors had charged the journalist under a law that had
been repealed. Controversy over the law's constitutionality led to
amendments in June 2003.
Calls for the repeal of Section 80, which prohibited "publishing falsehoods"
led to the passage of an amendment that reads: "Any published statement,
which is intentionally, unreasonably, recklessly, maliciously or
fraudulently false and either (1) Threatens the interest of defence, public
safety, public order, the economic interests of the state, public morality
or public heath or, (2) Is injurious to the reputation, rights and freedoms
of other persons will be punished."
The magistrate said: "Remand is therefore refused on the basis that the
State has charged the accused person with a repealed law. Accused was
supposed to have been charged wit section 80 of AIPPA's amendment."
It was the state case that between November 16 and 22 last year, Phiri wrote
a false story that was published in The Zimbabwean headlined "Go now -
Generals tell Mugabe as Zanu PF loses support".
Prosecutors said Phiri claimed in the report that police commissioner
Augustine Chihuri, General Constantine Chiwenga, Genral Phillip Valerio
Sibanda, Air Mashal Perence Shiri, and CIO boss Happyton Bonyongwe had told
Mugabe that they "wanted to preserve his legacy and they were amenable to
the idea of any serving or retired army generals coming in as his
The second count was claimed to have been committed in December in a story
entitled "ZRP denies torture charge". In the story, police were accused of
torturing ZCTU leader Wellington Chibebe and other ZCTU activists and MDC
members who had been arrested during a demonstration.
He was charged for writing false information without seeking official
comment from the force.
Phiri is still facing another charge under the same Act and is due for trial
By Sithandekile Mhlanga
20 June 2007
Zimbabwean student leaders said Wednesday they have been targeted by a
police crackdown that has sent one to the hospital and another into hiding.
Sources said Witlaw Mugwiji, president of the Masvingo State University
Student Representative Council, was in police custody in the intensive care
unit of Masvingo Central Hospital after officers battered him and fellow
student council officer Eddison Hlatshwayo as they sat for exams.
University of Zimbabwe students Kudakwashe Mapundu and Caesar Sitiya,
allegedly detained and beaten in the Avondale, Harare, police station on
Friday, were released on Tuesday after human rights lawyers intervened in
Relatives of Zimbabwe National Student Union President Promise Mkwananzi
said Harare police of assaulted them during a search for the activist.
Mkwananzi, from hiding, told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga of VOA's Studio 7
for Zimbabwe that he believes police mounted the blitz to keep him from
traveling to Europe with a delegation of other civic and opposition leaders.
Informal Zimbabwean traders are operating at the mercy of Johannesburg
Metropolitan Police Department (JPMD) officials who solicit bribes in order
to enable them to stay in business.
CAJ News at the weekend witnessed scenes whereby the metro cops arrested
traders and confiscated their goods only to return them after money had
changed hands several metres from the scene of arrest.
"Since it takes long for the city official to process licenses, we got a
reprieve from the city to continue trading while our licenses are being
processed. However we operate at the mercy of the metropolice who confiscate
our goods and solicit for bribes. This is killing our businesses and we
appeal to them to stop," said a trader who sells leather sandals at the
corner Jeppe and Smal Street in central Johannesburg.
The City of Johannesburg licenses traders but faces a huge backlog of
licences, while space has run out in existing markets.
The JPMD actions are a double blow to Zimbabweans living in the country, as
they have to dodge arrest and possible deportation by members of the South
African Police Services.
"We have become used to this setback. The cops are here almost on a daily
basis and we have learnt to buy or freedom, but at the expense of making
profits," concurred Miriam Dhliwayo at a flourishing market in the outskirts
The City of Johannesburg has admitted that there are some corrupt elements
within the force and have threatened to bring them to book - but no progress
has yet been made. - CAJ News
The shrinking British business community in Zimbabwe has been rattled by
advanced plans by President Mugabe to seize all 400 remaining British
companies in the country by forcing them to cede majority shareholding to
Economists say Mugabe's sudden decision to extend his campaign to redress
Zimbabwe's "colonial legacy" from white-owned commercial farms to
British-owned mining and manufacturing interests could have disastrous
consequences for the economic wellbeing of the whole sub region.
The seizure would be legally carried out through two statutory instruments,
the Indigenization and Empowerment Bill and the Mines and Minerals bills,
Industry leaders said that the move could push the country's ailing economy,
now technically bankrupt because of government mismanagement and the
collapse in export earnings from tobacco sales, into economic freefall.
Some of the world's great mining houses, including Anglo-American, Rio Tinto
and Lonmin, are among the foreign multinational corporations with extensive
mining interests in Zimbabwe.
However, they represent only a handful of the 400 British-owned or
affiliated companies facing the threat of nationalisation, involving
household names such as BP, British American Tobacco, Barclays Bank, Dunlop,
Costain and Taylor Woodrow, with a market value estimated in excess of
several hundred million pounds.
Mugabe told a recent COMESA meeting that British and other foreign-owned
companies were repatriating their profits to their parent countries.
Zimbabwe's mining industry, which accounts for eight percent of gross
domestic product and 40 per cent of annual export earnings, is also
responsible for nearly 50,000 jobs in a country where unemployment has risen
to 80 per cent. Many of these jobs, along with the tens of thousands of jobs
in the manufacturing sector, would be put at risk if the Government went
ahead with its threats to take over the businesses.
Eddie Cross, MDC (Tsvangirai) economics spokesman, said: "It consolidates
the hostile rhetoric towards the international investment community and
further undermines Zimbabwe's prospects of economic recovery and any further
direct foreign investment. It is an act of gross irresponsibility."
HARARE - Health and Child Welfare minister David Parirenyatwa has said
government is stepping up its anti-retroviral therapy to thousands of people
living with HIV and AIDS after a US$18 million cash injection by the US
Outgoing US ambassador to Zimbabwe Chris Dell last week availed US$18
million over the next three years for fighting HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.
Parirenyatwa told The Zimbabwean that the cash would benefit 40,000 more
people on top of the 80,000 he said were already on the government ARV
The donation flies in face of government mantras that sanctions imposed on
Zimbabwe by the US government were hurting ordinary people. Human rights
organisations have long criticised the government for its slow response to
the growing threat posed by the disease.
Parirenyatwa urged more donors to avail resources to fight the pandemic
adding Zimbabwe was winning the battle as prevalence rates were dropping.
The Health minister said 260,000 more people in urgent need of ARVs were
still to access the life-prolonging drugs. In addition to the US$18 million
for RVs, the US government will also supply US$1 million worth of rapid test
kits every year to support the national testing programme throughout the
However, political observers say it is highly unlikely that ordinary
Zimbabweans will benefit from the donation. "The way things are done in
Zimbabwe today is well known to everyone. Only those high up in the Zanu
(PF) food-chain ever receive such benefits. Those at the bottom, and of
course all those who support the opposition, will never receive anything
from this donation. I would have thought the Americans would also know
that," said the observer.
Surprising many critics of the government, a Harare Magistrates Court has
acquitted six more leading opposition activists accused of petrol bombing a
Zanu (PF) office in Mbare following a 60-day trial that has left the
prosecution's case in shambles.
Scores of MDC (Tsvangirai) supporters cheered and danced outside the
colonial-style courthouse in the capital, Harare, after Magistrate Gloria
Takundwa announced the verdict.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the string of acquittals shows the MDC has
been vindicated and hopefully this would set the stage for "national
reconciliation" of Zimbabwe's political crisis.
But Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, who had barred the release of the
MDC supporters through ministerial certificates, said the activists had been
wrongly acquitted and that the government might seek recourse to other legal
measures. He gave no specifics.
The acquittal of the six brings to 18 out of 32, the number of MDC activists
vindicated on trumped up terror charges.
The State case was that the six gathered at Stodart Hall in Mbare armed with
four petrol bombs, a hand grenade and an anti-riot tear gas canister on
March 27 this year.
The State further alleged that the group proceeded to bomb the Joshua Nkomo
Zanu (PF) district office in Mbare with the ammunition, injuring seven
occupants and destroying property worth Z$4,5 million.
In her verdict, Magistrate Takundwa said the state had shamelessly failed to
prosecute and successively failed to provide the six with a trial date.
Six other activists - including journalist and MDC press officer Luke
Tamborinyoka - were released a week earlier. They were facing charges of
receiving military training in South Africa. The State withdrew the case
after it crumbled in court like a deck of cards.
That same week, Glen View MP Paul Madzore, his sibling Solomon, and 10 other
activists were acquitted on allegations of firebombing police stations. The
case was withdrawn before plea.
Many here, including opposition supporters, had been braced for a guilty
Zanu (PF)-aligned church leaders immediately said they hoped the acquittal
presaged a more democratic path for Zimbabwe.
But political analysts in Harare said they foresaw no change in Mugabe's
systematic efforts to silence political opponents and the press, citing the
confiscation of opposition leader Arthur Mutambara's passport weekend.
Some said they believed that the verdict was politically motivated and
showed only that Mugabe had decided that the cost of convicting his biggest
challengers without evidence, and in the glare of an international
spotlight, was too great.
President Robert Mugabe's unwillingness to deal with his corrupt officials,
and his suppression of official reports detailing their corrupt activities,
The latest Zanu (PF) bootlicker to escape unscathed with his loot is
Industry and International Trade minister, Obert Mpofu.
He was implicated in the corruption scandal that rocked the Zimbabwe Iron
and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) as Mugabe once again sat on the report by the
Mpofu was fined Z$100 000 by parliament after being found guilty of
prevarication, a euphemism for lying, but otherwise cleared of corruption
The Zimbabwean has heard from a source in the Anti-Corruption Commission
that the Zisco scandal was investigated and a report implicating Mpofu as
well as other senior government officials was submitted to the president's
office "a long time ago".
Vice president Joice Mujuru and minister for rural housing Emmerson
Mnangagwa were also reported were also reported at the time to have been
implicated in the report.
A government minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that
such a the report was submitted to Mugabe a long time ago, but nothing had
been done about it. Mugabe has been vowing to fight corruption as one of the
major ills out of his regime's mismanagement, but without taking effective
action against top officials implicated in corrupt activities.
The corruption at the steel company prejudiced it of huge amounts of money
in both local and foreign currency with allegations that government
officials, including some without any link to it, were going on trips trips
at the expense of the company. - Itai Dzamara
BY DIANA MITCHELL
It was said several years ago that about 6000 Zimbabwean families were
direct beneficiaries of Mugabe's patronage. The figures may vary now but the
fact remains that the leader has clung to power in the face of every threat
from whatever quarter. Chief among his talents for keeping his Zanu (PF)
party followers loyal is the easy one, possibly the oldest in the book:
"Give them bread and circuses" said the Roman emperor, Nero.
This is food for thought (no pun intended). It is true that the gift of
farms has been the tyrant's most successful means of buying enthusiastic
support but it is also true that there has to be a limit to the benevolence
of this clever Zimbabwean dictator.
My friend, Thomas (the one who doubts, remember?) disagrees: "He has just
given all his cronies new, top flight Mercedes vehicles, notwithstanding the
critical state of the economy," he argues. "Ah yes, but what about the
grass roots?" I wonder. Thomas snorts dismissively. "He can keep them down
with starvation, threats, frame them, make the protesters 'disappear' ".
I am not convinced and my thoughts veer towards a business model, the one
drawn by management gurus, a triangular diagram known as Maslow's hierarchy
of needs. Maslow's model shows that you are at the pinnacle of success when
you have vaulted over a progression of qualifying achievements. "What of the
majority, huge numbers of Zimbabweans in this case, resting along the base
of Mugabe's pyramid of power?" I want to know. "He sits like a veritable
pharaoh atop the rest of Zimbabwe's great triangular heap of humanity, the
human hierarchy of needs."
Now comes the monologue:
Imagine: Mr and Mrs First Family have all the forex, fuel and
diesel-generated electricity they need. The next level of the family, say
for example, the Chikombas, have needs and they get a big slice of the FF's
benevolence. "But what about us?" say the cousins and the in-laws. Naturally
there are timely deliveries of fuel (using more fuel of course) for more
cars, more generators, whatever.
But the in-laws, the . lets cut it short, and say (for example) the Zezuru
in-laws, "What about us?" They have supporters, not only in-laws but people
beyond the boundaries of Mashonaland. Unfortunately these resourceful people
have cut down all the trees on their stolen farms. There is no fuel for
cooking (I am still keeping it short). "What about us?" They are asking.
This is getting tricky. Not enough forex, fuel or even FOOD to go around
And the conclusion:
I hope Thomas can see the direction I am taking. His eyes are closed. I am
on my way out of the door to see a former comrade, now a chef. His uncle has
got him a good job but he is among the lower ranks of the military. He has
friends and relatives too, most are unemployed. My question for my friend
(he could be relative) will be "What about us?"
Bleak prospect for successful talks
. Mugabe's game plan unveiled
BY STANFORD MUKASA
Notwithstanding the current spate of talks about talks, a very clear picture
is emerging about Robert Mugabe's game plan in the Zimbabwean crisis. It
paints a bleak prospect for any hopes for the successful outcome of the
However, Mugabe's game plan should not surprise anyone because we have known
all along that Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are now practicing the politics of
survival. They had hoped there might be a general amnesty for them once an
agreement among the stakeholders had been reached. But they know that their
crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe have reached a level where they cannot
realistically expect a blanket amnesty as happened in the 1979 talks that
led to free elections in Zimbabwe.
According to insiders Mugabe's plans are a result of the economic, not
political, pressure on him. His supporters, most of whom have benefited from
the politics of patronage in the looting of the state assets, now find
themselves in a situation where their newly-acquired farms and businesses
are reeling unprofitably under the deteriorating economic conditions.
The country's economic performance was ranked dead last in Africa while the
rest of the continent recorded modest economic growth. Even in Somalia, a
country that has been without an effective government for over 15 years, the
Somali Shilling is a lot stronger than the ZimDollar.
Whether it is farms or businesses they seized, Mugabe's cronies find that
their loot is not turning into a profitable investment, but an expensive and
The attempted coup, whose real motives are shrouded in mystery, could have
been a wakeup call for Mugabe that there is a growing dissatisfaction with
the way things are going among his own supporters. The military, the police
and thugs who have done most of the dirty work sustaining Mugabe in power
have been handed the short end of the stick. They find themselves suffering
more while a few very privileged officials in continue to reap the rewards
of Mugabe's patronage.
The argument that the problems in Zimbabwe are a result of sanctions from
the west is no longer sustainable, if ever it was. Mugabe now recognizes
that the minor reforms in his game plan must of necessity include his
stepping down from office. He needs someone who will not only protect him
from prosecution for his crimes against humanity but who will maintain the
party's rule indefinitely.
His strategy, therefore, involves, first and foremost, creating conditions
that will favour a Zanu (PF) victory in any elections. This includes the
usual ballot rigging; creation of new constituencies to increase the size of
parliament and the ongoing exclusion of Zimbabweans in Diaspora, estimated
to number more than four million; ongoing intimidation and threats against
The recent fuel price hike has pushed up the cost of transporting corpses
from South Africa to Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries.
The pump price of petrol and diesel went up from more than R6.00 to about
R7.50 a litre.
It now costs between R20 000 and sometimes R40 000 to transport a corpse
across the border to Zimbabwe. At least R15 000 is paid as duty at the
Players in the mortuary and corpse transporting industry said their
increases would enable their business to remain profitable.
Members of the public argue that the move would make such a service
unaffordable and further bite their already stretched salaries.
"Fuel is central to the services that we offer our clients. We should
consider that this is the third increase this year, yet our costs have
remained the same over that period. We have increased in order to remain
profitable," said an official at a Hillbrow-based leading company that
offers mortuary services.
It has emerged that the ever-rising cost of such a service is forcing
locally based Zimbabweans and other nationals to send their terminally ill
relatives back to their countries to avoid the exorbitant costs in the event
that death strikes.
Others have pooled together their resources and formed burial clubs so that
such an event would not catch them flatfooted.
"This is a huge setback. It seems the cost of dying is fast catching up with
the cost of living. We Zimbabweans have received the harshest blow since
burial space is running out fast back home. The recent costs are highly
unaffordable,' said Ray Nkomo, a Zimbabwean national living in Berea, east
of Johannesburg. - CAJ News
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe called an emergency caucus of both Houses
of Parliament yesterday to ratify amendments to the constitutive Act of the
African Union (AU) that is set to unite Africa under one government amid
reports the veteran 83-year-old leader was eager to be Africa President or
Parliament, which had adjourned last week to the end of July, was recalled
by Mugabe for a special meeting specifically to deal with "urgent business."
The decree was issued a day after Mugabe returned from an official visit to
Libya where he discussed with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi a plan to be tabled at
the forthcoming AU meeting in Ghana to establish a United States of Africa.
The two presidents, both among the world's longest serving leaders, agreed
in talks in Tripoli last week that the 53-nation AU should be turned into an
embryonic federal government at an AU heads of state summit in Ghana on July
Gaddafi is eyeing the presidency of Africa while Mugabe wants to be the
deputy Africa president.
Parliament was yesterday expected to approve the protocol on the Amendments
to the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) so that Zimbabwe can
Key amendments include the right of the AU to intervene in a member State to
restore peace. The amendment says the intervention has to be decided by the
Assembly of Heads of State and Government, on the recommendation of the
Peace and Security Council, in the case of war crimes, genocide and crimes
against humanity as well as other serious threat to legitimate order.
Gaddafi has long favoured the establishment of a United States of Africa as
a means of ridding the 800 million strong continent of what he calls
The project attracts emotional support from some in Africa since the idea of
a federal United States of Africa was first promoted by Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's
first president and pioneer of Pan-Africanism, but many doubt its
BY ITAI DZAMARA
The Zanu (PF) regime is frantically trying to establish the extent of the
alleged coup plotting, which has seen several senior officers in the armed
forces arrested and suspended. Rumours of mass executions persist.
In a chaotic and panic-stricken investigation, the authorities have even
turned on Zimbabwe's most trusted neighbour, South Africa, suspecting a
secret hand behind the plot to depose President Robert Mugabe.
But political observers have raised doubts about the authenticity of the
whole coup episode. "Coming as it does on the eve of the Mbeki settlement
initiative, and also at a time when there is mounting pressure from within
Zanu (PF) on Mugabe to step down, it is a master stroke for him to use a
coup as an excuse to get rid of any opponents," said a senior security
"It would a simple matter for the CIO to manufacture 'evidence' of South
African involvement, MDC involvement, Mujuru involvement, Mnanagawa, etc.
This would enable Mugabe to destroy any opponents he feels might be
threatening him. It is a clever, but actually quite simplistic, strategy."
Deception and dirty tricks have played a major role in Mugabe's battle to
cling to power during the past decade.
The regime's efforts to get to the bottom of the coup, fabricated or real,
include the dispatch this week of intelligence operatives to South Africa to
investigate a hitherto unknown group called the "Remove Mugabe Movement".
State security minister, Didymus Mutasa - who has previously denied the coup
story -this week confirmed to The Zimbabwean that "investigations are
ongoing and will establish all those involved both here and outside the
country". He declined to give further details.
Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi is reported to have flown hurriedly to
China in an effort to enlist their help in regard in regard to the unfolding
Meanwhile, a group of junior army officials arrested on May 29 are scheduled
to appear in court this week. They have denied the charge and said when
they were arrested they were in a meeting held to discuss the formation of a
new political party. Rumours of arrests of senior army officials have
continued to dominate the political scene.
The MDC's South Africa district is seriously engaged in fundraising
activities for the party as part of its preparations for 2008 polls.
"We have seen an influx of young activists in South Africa so through these
fundraising activities we would want to help our youths going back to
Zimbabwe to register, especially those who are not at high risk of Mugabe's
atrocities," said Information and Publicity secretary for Johannesburg
district, Giyani Dube.
Sam Shumba an MDC stalwart has welcomed this initiative as part of the
process in liberating Zimbabwe once and for all.
"This is a positive move by the Joburg district and I encourage everyone who
wants Mugabe to go in the next elections to participate in this fundraising
exercise," he said.
A competition has been set for the end of June as part of the fundraising
process. Tickets cost R20 and the more one buys the more chances there are
to win either a car, generator and TV and radio sets.
With an estimated three million Zimbabweans in South Africa the party has
chances of mobilizing over R20 million.
"The idea is to support every political initiative of the MDC both in
Zimbabwe and South Africa and we urge fellow branches throughout South
Africa and the entire world to follow suit," said Dube
The MDC has also a scheduled the rally for mid July which will be addressed
by the President, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is expected to report on the
outcome of Mbeki-led negotiations and whether the party will participate in
the 2008 polls. - Trust Matsilele
A grouping of Zimbabwean asylum seekers on Saturday called on the United
Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to intervene by granting them
temporary permits or forcing SA Home Affairs to open its refugee reception
The action came just after arrest of a large number of asylum seekers at
Marabastad reception centre in Pretoria on Friday night.
"We are now left without any option since there is no sign that the strike
by SA civil servants will end soon," Vincent Luphahla, 38, said.
It is reported that hundreds of Zimbabweans who failed to renew their asylum
documents due to the ongoing strike were arrested countrywide during the
first week of June.
Reception centres in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban were closed due to
the strike while Rosettenville Refugee Reception in Johannesburg suspended
issuing asylum papers to Zimbabwean nationals for reasons not clear to the
public since February this year.
UNHCR Senior regional information officer Jack Redden said his office was
looking into the matter.
Investigations carried out by journalists last week proved that hundreds of
Zimbabweans had opted to shelter at Refugee reception centres in fear of
being arrested and deported.
Department of Home Affairs Refugees director Busisiwe Mkhwebane-Tshehla
expressed concern over the matter but blamed everything on the strike and
said the situation was beyond her control.
Zimbabweans accused their ambassador to SA, Simon Khaya Moyo, for failing to
assist and neglecting them.
"Khaya Moyo is not at all concerned with Zimbabweans here. He is just quite
like serious gold dealer who has come here to administer his illegal
businesses. He passes here every day but is not even concerned to come and
talk to us. We as Zimbabweans not only asylum seekers we expect to see him
addressing issues affecting us here," said disgruntled Ronne Makumborofa. -
A Harare Court has acquitted two militant leaders of an association of
ex-combatants opposed to President Robert Mugabe who were charged with
fleecing the union of cash and assets.
Harare Magistrate George Godzi last week dismissed the case against director
of the left-wing Zimbabwe Liberators Platform Wilfred Mhanda, whose nom de
guerre was Dzinashe Machingura, and programmes co-ordinator Wilson Nharingo
who were jointly charged with theft by conversion after allegedly fleecing
the ZLP of US$15,500 - which was cash meant for the purchase of vehicles.
Magistrate Godzi dismissed the case before the accused were put on their
defense for lack of evidence to support the "preposterous allegations."
Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha law firm, successfully argued that
the allegations against the pair were "frivolous and vexatious" and were
concocted by a clique of Central Intelligence Organisation operatives who
had infiltrated the association with the aim of destablising it.
Mhanda and Nharingo were forced out of the ZLP in mid-2004.
ZLP spokesman Marcus Makora told The Zimbabwean that the acquittal of the
leaders came as a great relief because the case had dragged on in the
Provincial Magistrates' Court for the past two years in what he alleged was
open collusion between the state prosecution and the complainants. Makora
said after the CIO takeover of the organization, the association had lost
"Thereafter, the unaccountable state agents assumed total control of the
organisation and proceeded to strip it of its assets comprising subscription
funds; motor vehicles; office equipment such as computers, photocopiers
office desks and chairs and kitchen equipment such as stoves and
refrigerators," said Makora. "All this was done without authority from the
board, the ZLP National Council. The employees were laid off with all
regional and provincial offices closed down."
LONDON - The Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is to speak at
a rally of Zimbabwean exiles in Luton on Saturday June 23. His visit comes
as crucial discussions are underway about the future of Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai arrived in the UK earlier this week for a visit as part of a
senior delegation from the Save Zimbabwe Campaign. Others in the delegation
include Arthur Mutambara, leader of a breakaway faction of the MDC, the Rev
Levee Kadenge, convener of the Zimbabwean Christian Alliance, Lovemore
Madhuku, Chair of the National Constitutional Assembly, and student leader
The Save Zimbabwe Campaign is the umbrella organisation under which
opposition forces in Zimbabwe are campaigning for change.
The rally will be held at Lewsey Community Centre, Landrace Road, Luton LU4
0SW on Saturday, 23rd June 2007 from 1- 4 pm
Prepared by: Zimbabwe Youth Movement & Free-Zim Youth Movement
GUIDED by the Constitution of Zimbabwe,
DIRECTED by the vision, hopes and aspirations of the People of Zimbabwe,
ENCOURAGED by the basis of the resolution of the Heads of State and
government during the 1999 Algiers Summit for the development of the
UPHOLDING the values and ideals of the Zimbabwean tradition and history as
the foundation of a truly Zimbabwean identity,
FULLY AWARE of the diversity of Zimbabwean cultures and their bearing to our
unity as a people,
CONVINCED that because of perpetuity, the youths of Zimbabwe are the only
sustainable resource in the fight for national development,
REAFFIRMING the need to take appropriate measures to promote and protect the
rights and welfare of children as outlined in the Convention of the Rights
of the Child (1989) and through the African Charter on the Rights and
Welfare of the Child (1999),
NOTING with concern the situation of Zimbabwean youths, many of whom are
marginalized from mainstream society through inequalities in income, wealth
and power, unemployment and underemployment, infected and affected by the
HIV/AIDS pandemic, living in situations of poverty and hunger, experiencing
illiteracy and poor quality educational systems, restricted access to health
services and to information, exposure to violence including gender and
political violence and experiencing various forms of discrimination.
RECALLING the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year
2000 and beyond and the ten priority areas identified for youth (education,
employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, drug abuse, juvenile
delinquency, leisure-time activities, girls and young women and youth
participating in decision-making), and the five additional areas (HIV/AIDS,
ICT, Inter-generational dialogue,..) adopted at the 2005 UN General
VALUING the role played by youths in the struggle for independence
REITERATING that youths are the vanguard of independence and democracy in
SALUTING the continual efforts by the youths in protecting the integrity of
Zimbabwe as a democracy and as a sovereign state,
ENCOURAGED by the endeavours by African states to come up with a
comprehensive African Youth Charter and noting the enshrinements in the
African Youth Charter
ACKNOWLEDGING the increasing calls and the enthusiasm of youth to actively
participate at local, national, regional and international levels to
determine their own development and the advancement of society at large,
ACKNOWLEDGING ALSO the call in Bamako (2005) by the youth organisations
across Africa to empower youth by building their capacity, leadership,
responsibilities and provide access to information such that they can take
up their rightful place as active agents in decision-making and governance,
CONSIDERING that the promotion and protection of the rights of youth also
implies the performance of duties by youth as by all other actors in
PART 1: RIGHTS AND DUTIES
Article 1: Obligation of The Government of Zimbabwe
1.The Government of Zimbabwe shall recognize the rights, freedoms and duties
enshrined in this Charter.
2. The Government of Zimbabwe shall undertake the necessary steps, in
accordance with Constitution to adopt such legislative or other measures
that may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the Charter.
Article 2: Non-discrimination
1. Every young person shall be entitled to the enjoyments of the rights and
freedoms recognized and guaranteed in this Charter irrespective of their
race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, fortune, birth or other status.
2.The Government of Zimbabwe shall take appropriate measures to ensure that
youth are protected against all forms of discrimination on the basis of
status, activities, expressed opinions or beliefs.
3. The Government of Zimbabwe recognize the rights of Young people from
ethnic, religious and linguistic marginalized groups to enjoy their own
culture, freely practice their own religion or to use their own language in
community with other members of their group.
Basis and background
It is enshrined in our history that we fought for majority rule. We fought
against The White Settler Factor-There was a time when European liberalism
was regarded as only hope for this country, but history have shown that
European liberals was only sugar-coated white supremacy. European liberals
minority did not subscribe to the doctrine of One man One vote. They then
believed that minority must rule the African, but they must do so justly!.
They might as well say the African must be oppressed justly! The settlers
were determined, as we have already stated ,to hold on to political power
indefinitely. They did not have the solution to then the problem since they
champion the cause of minority rule.
Article 3: Freedom of Movement
Every young person has the right to leave the country and to return to
safely into country.
Basis and background
African nationalist leaders were not allowed by the white minority laws to
enter any of the Reserves. Many of the leaders who entered the Reserves were
then fined, tortured or sentenced to imprisonment. They where not to remain
in the Reserves and they were not to remain in European areas as this was in
contravention of the Land Apportionment Act.
Article 4: Freedom of Expression
1. Every young person shall be guaranteed the right to express his or her
ideas and opinions freely in all matters and to disseminate his or her ideas
and opinions subject to the restrictions as are prescribed by laws.
2.Every young person shall have the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate
information and ideas of all kinds, either orally, in writing, in print, in
the form of art or through any media of the young person's choice subject to
the restrictions as are prescribed by laws.
Basis and background
The Rhodesian government banned the circulation of the Daily News in jail
and in detention so that the African prisoners and detainees would be
completely cut off from the outside world. They enacted repressive laws like
Law and Order Maintenance Act and the Broadcasting Act so restrict the voice
of the people. This was virtually a ban on all political gathering sin then
Salisbury, Bulawayo and other towns, the whole idea was to weaken and
destroy the African nationalist movement.
Article 5: Freedom of Association
1. Every young person shall have the right to free association and freedom
of peaceful assembly in conformity with the law.
2.Young people shall not be compelled to belong to an association.
Basis and background
There were 4,000,000 Africans in Southern Rhodesia . 42% of those people
lived in the Reserves and no political meetings were to be held in these
Reserves. This was to say 1,680,000(almost 2,000,000) Africans were denied
the simple right of political assembly and therefore political expression in
areas which were legally theirs. It should be remembered that those Africans
were refused political gatherings in their own areas purely to entrench
Article 6: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
Every young person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience
Article 7: Protection of Private Life
No young person shall be subject to the arbitrary or unlawful interference
with his/her privacy, residence or correspondence, or to attacks upon
his/her honour or reputation.
Article 8: Protection of the Family
1.The family, as the most basic social institution, shall enjoy the full
protection and support of The Government of Zimbabwe for its establishment
2.Young men and women of full age who enter into marriage shall do so based
on their free consent and shall enjoy equal rights and responsibilities.
Article 9: Property
1.Every young person shall have the right to own and to inherit property.
2. Young men and young women shall enjoy equal rights to own property.
3. The Government of Zimbabwe shall ensure that youths are not arbitrarily
deprived of their property including inherited property.
Article 10: Development
1.Every young person shall have the right to social, economic, political and
cultural development with due regard to their freedom and identity and in
equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind.
2.The Government of Zimbabwe shall ensure that the economic development of
the country is equally reflected by the growth of the youths, in this regard
the government shall undertake to assist in the empowerment of youths
through provisions of grants, loans and other facilities aimed at improving
the lives of the youths.
3.The Government of Zimbabwe shall provide access to information and
education and training for young people to learn their rights and
responsibilities, to be schooled in democratic processes, citizenship,
decision-making, governance and leadership such that they develop the
technical skills and confidence to participate in these processes
4.The Government of Zimbabwe shall not adopt extremist economic policies
that compromise the development of youths
5.Nationalisation of natural resources shall have a fair share for the