By Tichaona Sibanda
22 June 2012
Party negotiators to the GPA are still to draw up a draft agenda for
President Jacob Zuma’s planned visit to Zimbabwe, casting doubt the trip
will be undertaken anytime soon.
Following last month’s SADC summit in Luanda, Angola, it was anticipated
that Zuma would travel to Harare within two weeks in an effort to ease
tensions within the fragile three year-old unity government.
But before this can happen an agenda for talks needs to be drawn up for this
But negotiators work on completing a draft constitution adjourned their
Nyanga talks on Wednesday, without resolving the contentious issues, so
these talks cannot take place yet.
Zuma has spent his time as the SADC appointed mediator in Zimbabwe trying to
nudge warring parties toward a compromise that could end the highly charged
political tension in the country following the disputed 2008 elections.
President Zuma insists on the adoption of an election roadmap before the
parties can agree to go for fresh polls. Before the Luanda summit Robert
Mugabe and ZANU PF were demanding that fresh polls be staged this year, with
or without a new constitution.
This proposal was shot down by SADC, who asked Zuma to reengage the GPA
partners to work out modalities to ensure a free and fair election.
What is of concern to the general public is that all along there have been
complaints all from all parties about the slow pace of the Zuma-led talks in
Political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba said the slow pace of negotiations has
badly tarnished those in the MDC formations, who have been accused by many
of enjoying the gravy train while the majority of people are struggling to
make ends meet.
‘A lot of people interpret this as fear of going to an election. Three years
drawing up a constitution and negotiating a roadmap is ridiculous so to
‘Now that Zuma is eager and ready to visit Harare and deal with the issues,
the same people who have been complaining are now dragging their feet. I don’t
think these people know how frustrated most Zimbabweans are because of the
slow pace of their negotiations,’ Shumba said.
21 Jun 2012 15:03 - Ray Ndlovu
In the light of Zanu-PF's succession battle, political observers see Obert
Mpofu, themining development minister as an emerging, wily politician.
Obert Mpofu, the Zimbabwean mines and mining development minister, is well
known internationally for his resistance to the Western ban on Marange
diamonds. Back home, he is better known as a wealthy businessperson,
property baron, safari operator, diamond magnate and, now, political banker.
In the light of Zanu-PF’s succession battle, political observers see Mpofu
as an emerging, wily politician who is likely to use his wealth to influence
the outcome of the race that has pitted Deputy President Joyce Mujuru
against Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa for more than a decade.
In the past, financiers have generally played a covert role in strengthening
their grip on the party, such as the late army general Solomon Mujuru, who
used his wealth to put his wife in a strong position.
Mpofu secretly lobbied to become the country’s second vice-president after
the death of Joseph Msika in 2009, but his efforts were blocked by party
bigwigs who whipped him into line and warned him to respect his seniors.
Information leaked by WikiLeaks revealed in 2010 that Mpofu had begun to
address Mugabe as “father” and signed letters to him as “your ever-obedient
How to take care of the people
Enos Nkala, a Zanu-PF founding father, said this week that Mpofu’s wealth
would see him win resoundingly in the upcoming elections in the Umguza and
Nyamandlovu constituencies in Matabeleland North, despite deep-rooted anger
with the party in the province.
“He [Mpofu] will be the only one from Zanu-PF that will win from here
[Matabeleland], because he has the money and knows how to take care of the
people,” Nkala said.
A lavish weekend-long party held in January to celebrate his 66th birthday
was estimated to have cost more than R750000. There was free food, meat and
beer and some of Zimbabwe’s top entertainers attended.
But Mpofu’s very public show of wealth has unsettled members of the Movement
for Democratic Change in the three-year-old unity government. Among them is
Tendai Biti, the MDC-linked finance minister, who believes government
ministers’ open display of wealth undermines his efforts to cut back on
government expenditure and ignores his repeated appeals for tightening belts
in response to Zimbabwe’s slumping economic growth.
At a diamond stakeholder meeting last month, Biti said: “There is no doubt
that a small coterie of individuals is benefiting from Zimbabwe diamonds.
Some of us who are benefiting are not afraid to flaunt our monies; we are
buying all kinds of assets.
A mining licence
“I am a government minister and I am earning $800. How do I buy some of the
assets that we are buying? People are now buying private jets because of our
There has been widespread speculation that Mpofu is lining his pockets with
the proceeds from Marange, although he has denied any wrongdoing. He says he
has been involved in the diamond business since independence in 1980.
Lovemore Kurotwi, an official from Canadile Miners, has alleged that Mpofu
solicited a $10-million bribe for a mining licence. It has landed Mpofu in a
$2-billion court case involving the former diamond mining company, which had
operations in Marange.
Obert Gutu, the deputy minister of justice and legal affairs, has also
questioned the source of Mpofu’s wealth and asked how he could buy the
struggling Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group for $22-million. “How a government
minister in a struggling economy like Zimbabwe can raise $22-million and buy
a whole bank surely boggles the mind ... Am I missing something here?
Whither the diamonds of Marange?”
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said: “Mpofu is one the few Zanu-PF
politicians who, over the years, have kept their seats through winning
elections outright and for that he can’t be brushed aside. He has steadily
been positioning himself, improving his academic credentials, and in a
significant way has outmanoeuvred his political rivals in the process.”
Mpofu recently graduated with a PhD in policy studies from the Zimbabwe Open
University. He refused to give comment for this article.
21 Jun 2012 14:54 - Jason Moyo
Zimbabwean State spending is being targeted in an unpopular move to tighten
the country's purse strings, writes Jason Moyo.
Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a member of the Movement for
Democratic Change, has always cast himself as a no-nonsense bureaucrat who
never gives in to pressure.
He now needs to summon all his grit as he tries to push through a series of
“austerity measures” after a sharp dip in tax revenues, mineral earnings and
a poor harvest.
The measures he wants to introduce face opposition from Zanu-PF, but they
also set him on a collision course with his party’s union allies and the
foreign investors present in Zimbabwe.
His proposals include a freeze on government salaries and new recruitment, a
sell-off of state enterprises, a tax on underused land and renegotiating the
terms of investment deals with existing foreign investors.
Over the past week the government has held a series of meetings, including
an emergency Cabinet meeting, to find solutions to a cash crunch that
threatens to grind government to a halt and push the economy, which has
experienced some recovery since the coalition came to power, back into
Tax revenues have fallen well behind projections over the past quarter, crop
yields are lower than expected and foreign money in aid and investment
“There will be austerity. We have to live within our means. We will have to
sell the silverware and reform our mining sector,” Biti told Parliament.
His appointment as finance minister in 2009 brought hopes of a flood of
foreign aid and investment. But although Zimbabwe has managed to stem the
decline of past years, recording the highest rate of growth in the region –
9.3% – last year, no foreign support has come.
Now Biti says the government is running out of money. Between January and
May, Biti said, treasury had raised $1.274-billion in taxes, lower than the
Biti plans deep cuts in state spending but faces opposition from all sides.
He says 4600 new soldiers and another 5400 workers had been hired without
his knowledge. As a result, the army faced ration shortages, he told
Parliament last week.
The bulk of Zimbabwe’s $4-billion 2012 budget is spent on wages and Biti
will have to review the budget within weeks. “The main reason we are going
to revise it downwards is because of the underperformance of our diamond
revenue. We have collected $30-million when we expected $240-million,” he
The poor farming season has added to the pressure on Biti. Tobacco output,
which had experienced strong growth over the past three years, will come in
lower than the forecast 150-million kilogrammes. Maize output is also
expected to be 900000 tonnes, down from 1.4-million tonnes.
Some of the cuts Biti wants to see include budgets for foreign travel.
According to Education Minister David Coltart, the government has been
spending more on foreign travel than on education over the past year.
Biti also wants to introduce a “land tax” on idle farmland, but it has been
rejected by Zanu-PF, whose supporters form the majority of the beneficiaries
of Mugabe’s land reforms.
He is also considering higher duty on “luxury items”, including vehicles, a
measure that would be hugely unpopular.
Biti has also proposed a freeze on all new government appointments and a cap
on salary increases, drawing criticism from traditionally pro-MDC labour
The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe’s general secretary, Raymond
Majongwe, said freezing salaries would lead to strikes.
Prodding nions to strike
“If it is his decision to freeze salaries then he will be in for it next
Zanu-PF is already prodding the unions to strike, hoping to increase the
pressure on Biti and his party ahead of elections expected to be held next
Zanu-PF is also opposing Biti’s plan to sell off state telecoms assets in
which there is foreign interest. Mugabe’s party says telecoms is a
“sensitive” sector and cannot be sold to foreigners.
Controversially the government now wants to renegotiate agreements with
foreign investors, which it believes are benefiting more from the country
than the economy.
This includes the biggest investment in Zimbabwe since the unity government
was formed – Essar Africa’s takeover of Ziscosteel, the biggest steel
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MOHCW) is partnering with
CDC/Zimbabwe through its cooperative agreement partner Biomedical Research
&amp; Training Institute (BRTI) to strengthen Infection Prevention and
Control (IPC) in Health Facilities in Zimbabwe. BRTI is conducting the
second in a series of Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops for 25 of health
workers in Harare June 25-29, 2012, at the Cresta Lodge Harare.
by Staff Reporter
The Zimbabwe Infection Prevention and Control Project (ZIPCOP) project will
improve infection control practices in health care facilities nationwide to
prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, including TB, among
patients and staff. ZIPCOP is supported by the President’s Emergency Plan
for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); it has an anticipated $4 million of funding over
five years and will be implemented by the Ministry in collaboration with
BRTI, Management Science for Health (MSH) and the Infection Control
Association of Zimbabwe (ICAZ).
“CDC/Zimbabwe is very pleased to support infection prevention and control in
Zimbabwe. Training of health care workers is a critical component of
protecting both health care workers and patients from the scourge of
hospital-acquired infections.” said Dr Peter Kilmarx, CDC/Zimbabwe Country
Training is one of the key components of a comprehensive and effective in
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programme. Basic training in IPC aims
to educate and inform health care workers at all levels of service provision
about current infection prevention and control practices.
“BRTI, on behalf of the consortium, is indebted to CDC for the financial and
technical support to strengthen IPC through training within the MOHCW
institutions. This training will cascade to all levels of health care in
Zimbabwe,” said Professor Exnevia Gomo, ZIPCOP Principal Investigator at
The basic TOT program provides participants with skills to advocate and
mobilize support for IPC, and skills to train others. This course applies a
multidisciplinary approach to IPC – it aims to encourage all health staff to
be involved in infection prevention and control activities in their day to
day work. The course equips healthcare workers with a basic understanding
and appreciation of infection prevention and control in resource-limited
Twenty-two health workers from 5 provincial hospitals, 5 Central Hospitals
and 2 City Health departments participated in Part 1 of the course in April
2012. Six were nurse tutors, 13 IPC officers and 3 ZIPCOP staff. All 22
participants successfully completed the examination at the end of the one
week training. Nineteen of the original participants will now enter Part 2
of the TOT training starting on the June 25.
ZIPCOP intends to create a well-informed health sector that is aware of the
role and extent of infections as a cause of morbidity and mortality
in-country; to strengthen the Ministry of Health’s capacity to take lead in
infection control policy formulation, strategic planning and implementation
of programs, and enforcement of regulations to control infections in all
settings; to equip health workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to
prevent and control infections at all levels of the health delivery system;
to strengthen a well-run local network of ICAZ branches able to inform
national policy; to educate communities about infection prevention related
issues; and to mobilize local and international financial resource for
infection control in Zimbabwe.
The United States Government, through PEPFAR and CDC, will support ZIPCOP
over five years through cooperative agreements. Currently, the programme is
in the first year of a five-year cooperative agreement with CDC valued at
$800,000 per year. Through ZIPCOP and other major partnerships with the
government and health community in Zimbabwe, the United States continues to
work with Zimbabwe in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
by Staff Reporter
UNITED States colleges and universities have collectively offered US$4.7
million worth of scholarships to 22 Zimbabwean students who participated in
the United States Student Achievers Programme (USAP) in the past year.
USAP assists highly-talented, economically-disadvantaged students to access
admission and full scholarships at top colleges and universities in the
The programme’s coordinator, Rebecca Zeigler Mano, began USAP “to level the
educational playing field in Zimbabwe, providing access for bright students
from all regions and ethnic groups in the country to realise their
educational dreams, no matter what their economic and family background.”
The 22 scholarship recipients were honoured by the US ambassador Charles Ray
and Zimbabwe’s Education Minister David Coltart at Prince Edward in Harare
Musical icon Oliver Mtukudzi was the guest of honour at the event also
attended by families of the departing students, who hail from all over
“These young people are about to begin a series of adventures that will
shape their individual futures and, undoubtedly, their communities and their
country, Zimbabwe, when they return from the U.S,” Ambassador Ray said.
“Reflecting on my nearly three years in Zimbabwe, I enjoy celebrating
well-deserved achievement with bright and energetic youths filled with
dreams of furthering their education."
Coltart urged the lucky 22 to return home at the end of their four-year
degree programmes to apply their acquired skills to the advancement of
“So many Zimbabweans get a good secondary education. They then get a
scholarship at Harvard or Oxford and then remain there,” Coltart said. “The
value to their community or nation is ultimately lost.”
Mtukudzi told the students they should not go to university “for the wrong
“Believe it or not, I was there at school,” the singer said to laughter from
the audience. “You may laugh, but I was there. But unfortunately, I am not
as educated because I went to school for my parents. I understood that if I
pass the exams, my parents would be happy. It wasn’t for me.”
Mtukudzi also called on the students to be proud of who they were, and never
to think their culture was inferior.
He told them: “Never lose sight of who you are. You go to school to enhance
what you already have. Don’t be attracted by different cultures because your
culture is not inferior at all; it is unique to you.
“You will always be Zimbabwean, and there will never be a better Zimbabwean
than a Zimbabwean.”
Coltart said parents, teachers and school children had a passion for
education, but said the government had failed to match this by committing
“The passion by parents, teachers and children has been an incredible source
of encouragement for me as I seek to stabilise the (education) sector and
take it forward,” Coltart said.
“The challenge is that (the Zimbabwean) government itself needs to value
education more. There is no doubt that in the past, education was valued by
the government, but I believe the last two decades of successive
governments, including the inclusive government, have not valued education
with the same passion as parents, teachers and children.”
The minister said foreign travel expenditure by the Zimbabwe government “is
almost three times the amount spent on non-salary components of education.”
USAP is an initiative of the EducationUSA Advising Programme, which has
centres in Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare and Mutare. EducationUSA started in 1999
in Zimbabwe. USAP is now in 14 countries on four continents. Further details
are available on www.usapglobal.org
USAP Scholarship Beneficiaries:
1. Bhekinkosi Sibanda – Harvard University
2. Brian Zingwe – Providence College
3. Charlene Chabata – Brown University
4. Clive Mudanda – Duke Univesity
5. Farai Musariri – Hendrix College
6. Fortunate Chifamba – Smith College
7. Getrude Makurumidze – Bryn Mawr College
8. Iris Chipendo – Wesleyan University
9. Julia Jenjezwa – Yale University
10. Kudakwashe Muchandibaya – Jacobs University, Bremen
11. Kudzai Abslom Katema – Concordia College
12. Leslie Mateveke – Berea College
13. Mengezi Ngwenya – Connecticut College
14. Nigel Mevana – Amherst College
15. Paul Takunda Chazovachii – College of St Scholastica
16. PraiseGod Nyamundanda – Univ of Pennsylvania
17. Primrose Evelyn Nyahwai – Keuka College
18. Promise Kondo – Jacobs University, Bremen
19. Tinashe Matate – Jacobs University, Bremen
20. Veronica Mupazviriwo – College of St Elizabeth
21. Will Desiree Dokotela Moyo – Harvard University
22. Bulelani Jili – Wesleyan University (from Durban, South Africa)
By Alex Bell
22 June 2012
Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK have been granted a reprieve against
being sent back home, after an appeals court quashed a test case that
dictated Zim asylum applications.
Last year the UK’s most senior immigration judge ruled it was safe to start
deporting people back to some parts of Zimbabwe, prompting serious concern
for the safety of many Zimbabweans in the UK.
Justice Blake from the Immigration and Asylum Chamber (IAC) announced a
revised formal guideline for sending people back to Zimbabwe in a case
dubbed the ‘EM case’ last March. The guidelines were based on a legal review
of the IAC’s findings from a country guidance case done in Zimbabwe in 2008,
dubbed the ‘RN case’.
The original findings in 2008 showed that it was still not safe for the
thousands of Zimbabweans in the UK who opposed Robert Mugabe’s regime, to be
sent back home. Those findings outlined a number of risk categories that
Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK could fall under.
But the ‘EM case’ made it much harder for Zimbabweans to be granted asylum
on the basis on perceived political persecution, with the risk categories
being “significantly narrowed.” This included the Matabeleland province
being declared “safe”, while anyone without a high profile MDC presence was
also considered “not at risk.”
But the British appeals court this Monday sent the ‘EM case’ back to a lower
Tribunal for a full review, after finding technical faults with the
Taffi Nyawanza, an immigration solicitor in the UK, told SW Radio Africa
that this grants Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK a reprieve and it is a
success in those terms.
“This means we are now back under ‘RN case’ standards, and that simply
states that if you can prove you are not pro-ZANU PF then your (asylum)
application should be successful,” Nyawanza said.
He warned that the ‘EM case’ was only dismissed on a technicality and not on
the real merits of the situation in Zimbabwe, and the UK Home Office was
likely to continue to argue that there have been enough significant changes
in Zimbabwe to warrant returns.
“My prediction is that the case will be back in court in August or September
and by then we will be closer to an election in Zimbabwe. I suspect that the
nearer we get to the election, the easier it will be to show there is a real
risk for returnees,” Nyawanza said.
By Alex Bell
22 June 2012
Zimbabwe’s government has admitted that it is not receiving any money from
an army controlled diamond firm in Chiadzwa, which was meant to be a joint
venture cash-cow for the state.
The Anjin mining company was formed in 2009 on a joint agreement between
Zimbabwe and China, after the original claim owners in Chiadzwa were booted
off the site. The agreement was theoretically meant to ensure that a
sizeable portion of profits from the lucrative alluvial mine went to the
Finance Ministry, through the state owned Zimbabwe Mining Development
The ZMDC also entered into other joint ventures in Chiadzwa, and the
possibility of billions of dollars saw Finance Minister Tendai Biti peg the
national budget on potential remittances. Biti said in his 2012 budget that
he had been promised US$600 million from diamond sales by the Mines
Ministry, with most of the money already allocated to various infrastructure
But half-way through the financial year, the Prime Minister has said that
only US$25 million of diamond money has been remitted to treasury. In
Cabinet Morgan Tsvangirai told legislators on Thursday that funds received
to date had been very disappointing and far short of budgetary estimates.
Biti has now also admitted that Anjin is not remitting anything to treasury
despite making a serious profit. In an interview with The Independent
newspaper this week, Biti said nothing was coming from the company, “not
even a single cent.”
Biti last month raised these same concerns in Parliament, while also
expressing concern that the ZMDC was not a shareholder, as the government
originally thought it was.
“We, in the Ministry of Finance, now fear that there may be a parallel
government where these monies may be going and not coming to us,” Biti told
parliament last month.
These concerns have also since been justified, after the Country’s Deputy
Mines Minister confirmed that the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) owns 40%
of the Anjin mining firm. Although the ZDI is, on paper, a private company,
all the shares in the company are held by the ZANU PF controlled Ministry of
Chimanikire insisted that the government still had a stake in that mine,
saying that 10% of the Anjin shareholding was still held by the ZMDC. But
Biti told The Independent that the ZMDC is not involved, suggesting the 10%
shareholding is held by another suspect military group, called Matt Bronze.
Dewa Mavhinga from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told SW Radio Africa on
Friday that the army’s strong involvement in the mining sector was
“unacceptable, wrong and not good for Zimbabwe’s security.” He said that the
military’s strong allegiance to ZANU PF was particularly worrying, amid
growing concern of a return to violence when a fresh election is called.
“Zimbabwe’s military appears to be entrenching itself firmly in political
circles and with elections nearing, we are worried. If the diamond revenue
is not going to the Treasury and it’s not going to the public, then where is
it going and who is benefiting? These are questions that need urgent
answers,” Mavhinga said.
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party has rejected austerity measures
aimed at reining in the economy that has shown strong signs of stagnation
Published: 2012/06/22 08:57:14 AM
FEARFUL of widespread revolt and strikes in Zimbabwe ahead of crucial
elections it wants to be held this year, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF)
party has rejected austerity measures aimed at reining in the economy that
has shown strong signs of stagnation.
The steps were proposed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a senior Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) member. He is expected to scale back growth
targets of 9,4% for this year, to under 9%, and review the $4bn budget in a
fiscal review, due next month.
Mr Mugabe last week surprised members of the unity government by convening
an emergency cabinet meeting on economic performance.
Zanu (PF) political insiders say the 88-year-old leader convened the meeting
under pressure from army generals, to deal with the unfolding economic
crisis. It is understood that the army generals warned Mr Mugabe in the
"strongest terms" of the threat of mutiny — as military personnel were
disgruntled over food shortages at army barracks and low salaries. Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to send army generals to camp out
at Mr Biti’s offices until he releases more funding to his ministry.
Without the support of the military, the election campaign of its key
backer, Zanu (PF) is weakened. The recruitment of 5000 new army personnel,
who had stringent educational qualifications waived, is seen as early
preparation by Zanu (PF) to arm its election machinery.
But Mr Biti has said there is "no choice" but to keep the new recruits and
add them to the wage bill — which consumes 70% of government revenue
monthly. Mr Biti’s far-reaching austerity proposals include a salary freeze
on public servants; cuts in the foreign travel bill which by last month had
shot up to $46 m; disposal of parastatals; and control of the Marange
diamonds handed to the treasury. Public servant unions have already warned
Mr Biti not to be "careless" with the wage freeze.
Public servants earn $250 against a poverty datum line of $530. Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai seemed to back-pedal yesterday on the proposal
from his MDC secretary-general and told parliament: "I do not know whether
the government has adopted such a policy of wage freeze. There is no such
policy. The government is committed to upgrade salaries of civil servants."
Prof Tony Hawkins, an economics professor at the University of Zimbabwe,
said the MDC had found itself in a fix and had the difficult task of pulling
the economy together, on the eve of canvassing for support in the next
"Mr Tsvangirai doesn’t want to appear to be backing a salary freeze ahead of
elections. In effect, his concerns over the looming elections has made him
and Mr Biti sing from different hymn sheets," he said.
by Staff Reporter
THE MDC-T has moved to contain factional fighting in Manicaland Province by
incorporating dissidents in the provincial leadership structure, a senior
official confirmed on Friday.
Organising secretary Nelson Chamisa led a fire-fighting mission to the
provincial capital Mutare after violent clashes between officials led to the
suspension of two MPs in February.
Chamisa said the clashes were a “left-over” from the party’s Bulawayo
congress held last year, with those who contested and lost trying to unseat
the elected executive.
He told New Zimbabwe.com the suspensions of MPs David Chimhini (Mutasa
North) and Trevor Saruwaka (Mutasa Central) had been lifted after both men
were co-opted into the provincial leadership structure.
“After congress, we had challenges of people that were drifting apart on
account of having competed amongst themselves,” Chamisa said.
“We had to deal with the rifts, some of the disagreements and points of
difference within the province. I’m glad to say the province is now one,
united and focused to walk the last mile to a new Zimbabwe and to deliver
Chamisa said Manicaland was the MDC-T’s “star province” after the party won
all 20 parliamentary seats in 2008.
“I went to Manicaland and found the protagonists poles apart. I said ‘look,
you are the wise men and women from the east, at the very least we need to
retain those 20 seats and we can only do so with a united party’.”
The trip by senior MDC-T figures including Theresa Makone and Abednico
Bhebhe had re-affirmed support for the leadership of Julius Magarangoma, the
provincial chairman, Chamisa said.
His executive includes secretary Misheck Kagurabadza, treasurer Brian James,
spokesman Pishai Muchauraya and organising secretary Prosper Mutseyami.
Saruwaka, local senator George Chitaka and Chimhini – who contested for
chairman at the congress – were also co-opted into the provincial leadership
in a pacifist move.
Chamisa said: “It’s all systems go now, we have all our ducks in a row.”
By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 June 2012
The governor of Bulawayo, Cain Mathema, has been accused of by-passing the
City Council, when he handed out applications for housing stands to party
supporters at a private meeting last Saturday.
According to SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, Mathema and
former politburo member Sikanyiso Ndhlovu addressed ZANU PF members at a
private function at the home of a party member, a woman named Mahlangane who
lives in Njube area.
“It is no secret that ZANU PF has been on a door-to-door campaign in the
high-density areas of Bulawayo trying to gain support,” Saungweme explained,
adding that these meetings are usually conducted by ZANU PF’s District
Coordinating Committee members.
He said the Njube meeting was attended by party members only, meaning the
housing forms were not given to supporters of the MDC formations. “What is
disturbing is that those who got the forms are now entitled to a housing
stand in Bulawayo, by-passing the proper procedures,” our correspondent
According to Saungweme, this is not the first time that Sikanyiso Ndhlovu
has been involved with housing schemes. “He had a similar scheme when he was
MP for Mpopoma, where people paid lots of money but the stands never
materialised. Looks like he has changed base to Njube,” Saungweme said.
He explained that Bulawayo has been a stronghold of the MDC formations for
years and ZANU PF is attempting to gain more support there, ahead of the
elections that are due next year.
Around the country, ZANU PF has been accused of distributing maize seeds
from a government scheme to their supporters only, after putting a picture
of Robert Mugabe on the bags. Many incidents have been documented and
reported to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), which
has no power to change the situation.
Harare, June 22, 2012 - Zanu (PF) official Temba Mliswa on Thursday launched
an astonishing attack on Zimbabwe’s indeginisation programme in the first
indication that President Robert Mugabe’s party is not singing from the same
hymn book on economic empowerment.
Mliswa is believed to be a close associate of Zanu (PF) secretary for
administration Didymus Mutasa.
The former Affirmative Action Group (AAG) also announced the formation of
the Zimbabwe Economic Empowerment Council (ZEEC) that is set to rival the
Zanu (PF) linked empowerment group.
Mutasa had been scheduled to address the launch ceremony of the new
organsiation in Harare but backtracked at the last minute and instead
summoned Mliswa and his group to the Zanu (PF) headquarters for a meeting.
Speaking at the ZEEC launch Mliswa said the indigenisation programme,
spearheaded by a Zanu (PF) politburo member and Youth, Indigenisation
minister Saviour Kasukuwere, had only benefited a few elites in the party.
“We have a problem with the way government is going with the indeginisation
programme,” he said.
“We are concerned that government is not entering into partnerships with
local companies like in the building of toll gates, construction industry,
construction of roads, the energy industry and in the mining sector where
the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation enter into partnership with
Chinese companies,” he said.
“If we want to work with whites, let us come out open and not dine with them
in the dark and scold them during daytime.”
Kasukuwere has been aggressive in forcing foreign owned mining companies to
cede 51 percent of their shares to locals.
But he has not done the same to Chinese firms including Anjin, which
controls a diamond mine in the Marange area.
Mliswa added: “We are left with one big question- are diamonds a blessing or
a curse? Where is the money going?”
He also attacked the land reform programme saying it had left Zimbabweans
“We are empowering other African countries by importing food from them- from
the white farmers we chased here- because we are not funding our own
agricultural programmes,” he said.
“The question now is- were we empowered by the land reform or disempowered?”
Mliswa was dragged before the courts for allegedly seizing property owned by
white farmers during the violent land grab led by Zanu PF but was acquitted
of all charges.
Friday, 22 June 2012
A Harare magistrate on Thursday denied an application for a discharge filed
by eight MDC members who are facing false charges of public violence.
The eight are part of 11 MDC activists who were arrested early this year
after the police stormed Harvest House, the MDC headquarters in central
Through their lawyer, the eight activists had applied for a discharge after
the State witnesses completed giving their evidence. The magistrate ruled
that they should stand trial.
During the illegal raid, the heavily armed police officers also looted Party
regalia, DVDs and CDs from the MDC’s Shop of Excellence.
Those arrested were heavily assaulted while in police custody at Harare
Central Police Station resulting in Barnabas Mwanaka, one of the accused
being hospitalised after the police broke his right leg.
However, Patson Murimoga, Jefias Moyo and Leonard Dendera were acquitted
Those who will stand trial on 11 July are; Mwanaka, Taurai Nherera,
Simbarashe Makaha, Muchineripi Muzengeza, Samson Nerwande , Murambiwa
Dzwenge, Kudakwashe Usai and Paul Majarira.
Meanwhile, villagers in Ward 23, Mt Darwin South, Mashonaland Central
province have accused Zanu PF of politicising the government grain loan
Those politicising the food aid include in the area are, the District
Administrator, only identifies as Wadzwanya, an Arex officer identified as
Mugonda, the local councillor, Nyamupfukudza and Chimutombo village head,
At a meeting held recently, villagers were surprised to find out that a list
which used to have 133 households had been reduced 93 after Kufakwemunhu had
identified the MDC supporters and deleted their names.
According to the MDC Women’s Assembly district chairperson for Mt Darwin
South, Mrs Dumburashe, the party members are being denied the grain on the
pretext that they will not be able to repay the loan.
However, the reason given by the authorities is ridiculous because only MDC
supporters were identified as those who potentially unable to repay the
“Some of our members were not given their share for the month of May under
unclear circumstances. People are about to receive the June allocation yet
others are starving. Our fear is that they will be permanently excluded from
the programme simply because of their political affiliation.
“This comes as a surprise to us because Jomic officials came here in May and
addressed a meeting attended by members of all political parties. During the
meeting, Jomic stressed that no one should be victimised along political
lines and made it clear that party members should wear their regalia
freely,” Mrs Dumburashe said.
Reports of the continued use of the government grain loan and agricultural
inputs schemes by people aligned to Zanu PF for campaigning ahead of the
referendum and elections that are likely to be held in June next year.
The MDC is concerned by this sad development and urges relevant authorities
to urgently address this problem if Zimbabwe is to have a free and fair
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
Human rights activist Farai Maguwu has put his life on the line researching and documenting some of the horrific abuses taking place in the Marange diamond fields. Maguwu is the guest on Question Time and answers questions from SW Radio Africa listeners on the controversy surrounding Zimbabwe’s diamond fields.
Interview broadcast 13 June 2012
Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining me on Question Time. Human rights activist Farai Maguwu has put his life on the line researching and documenting some of the horrific abuses taking place in the Marange diamond fields.
We are happy to announce that Mr Maguwu is the guest on Question Time and we’ll be taking questions from SW Radio Africa listeners on the controversy surrounding Zimbabwe’s diamond fields. Mr Maguwu, thank you so much for joining us.
Farai Maguwu: Thank you Lance, it’s a pleasure.
Guma: Okay let’s start off with the Kimberley Process intercessional meeting that was held in Washington in the United States. A lot of discussion there with people urging the diamond monitor to tackle continuing human rights violations in Zimbabwe’s Marange fields. Just give us an update how that meeting went and what were some of the resolutions.
Maguwu: The meeting touched on a number of issues; one of them was of course was the Marange issue, where three reports were presented. One from the Zimbabwean KP civil society representative, another one from the government of Zimbabwe and another report from the KP monitoring team of Mr Abby Chikane and Mark Van Bockstael.
And in our report we noted that violence in Marange has significantly gone down, though we did not say it has ended. We still have isolated sporadic incidences of human rights violations and we still want government to deal with the problem and also to ensure that the army is completely removed from Marange.
And then apart from Zimbabwe there was also the most dominant issue that was of the Kimberley Process reform where participants were laying down their positions with regard to the reform of the Kimberley Process which is under review at the moment.
So I can’t say there were resolutions because this was kind of an agenda-setting conference in preparation for the November plenary which is mandated to come up with the administrative decisions.
Guma: Okay, we have several accusations directed at you here, the state media for example is running the line that your Centre for Research and Development is aligned to the West and is fighting a proxy war to have Zimbabwe’s diamonds blacklisted. What is your response?
Maguwu: I can’t really substantiate these allegations sometimes by responding to them because sometimes they are quite ridiculous. For instance if I am saying government should not brutalise its own people even if these people have been caught on the wrong side of the law, we have the due process of the law in Zimbabwe, where criminals are arrested, tried and sentenced.
And we are saying setting dogs on these people, beating them up and killing them, it is a very primitive way of dealing with offenders and it is not really helping in terms of marketing our diamonds because when consumers read that a single miner, artisanal miner was beaten by a dog or killed or whatever happened to him, already we have tarnished the image of our diamonds.
And I don’t see this as anything to do with working with the west. Otherwise what we are simply calling for is for Government to ensure that diamonds are mined in a peaceful environment and that will actually add value to our diamonds in that the international community, the consumers, the jewelers themselves will buy our diamonds with a clean conscience.
Guma: Kevin in Gweru wants to ask you about the redefining of conflict diamonds, saying why is this made or is this being made with Zimbabwe in mind? That’s his question.
Maguwu: Okay, to Kevin I say the issue of the review of the Kimberley Process is found right in the KP core document which was written in 2003. Section Six, Paragraph 20 of the KP core document states that participants intend that the certification scheme should be subject to periodic review to allow participants to conduct a thorough analysis of all elements contained in the scheme.
And then in 2006 the first review of the KPCS was conducted and then this was followed up by the Kinshasa Plenary of 2011 where an ad hoc committee was set up to work on the review of the Kimberley Process. And the issue of widening the definition of the term conflict diamonds, I think it’s in line with ensuring that the Kimberley Process maintains its relevance.
When the KP was formed in 2003, the biggest problem associated with diamonds was the fact of rebel groups which were trying to unseat legitimate governments using revenue from diamonds. But we no longer have rebel groups but we still have problems associated with diamonds and that is human rights violations sometime committed by legitimate governments.
And this is affecting the diamond industry because when consumers hear of human rights violations in a diamond producing community, they become skeptical.
They feel that the diamond could be associated with internal conflict and they don’t want to express love to their loved ones through something that was sourced from a conflict zone or something that led to the death of someone or the killing, I mean the beating of another person.
This is why people are saying let’s try to revisit the definition of conflict diamonds so that any form of conflict associated with diamonds is dealt with in the same manner that we have dealt successfully with conflicts involving rebel groups.
Guma: I have another question from by Emmanuel sent via direct message on Twitter – he says “in November last year the KP lifted a ban on Zimbabwe’s diamonds and one of its founders, Global Witness withdrew from the initiative in protest.
“One gets the impression that even though this ban was lifted, there’s still a cloud surrounding Zimbabwe’s diamonds and a lot of people in the industry will continue to shun those diamonds.” Is that true?
Maguwu: Yes that is very true. Our behaviour as Zimbabwe in the Kimberley Process is not even helping matters because Zimbabwe was the most vocal country opposing the reform of the Kimberley Process, opposing the widening of the definition of the term conflict diamonds and now all this leaves a lot of people feeling that perhaps the allegations of continuation of human rights violations are true, that Zimbabwe’s diamonds are not yet clean.
Therefore there is still a lot of work that needs to be done at home. Apart from violence, when you get the Minister of Finance who holds the national purse saying he is not receiving the revenues and then you hear the reports that the military’s also involved in mining, it’s in partnership with Anjin these create the suspicions that possibly there are still some grey areas with regard to Marange diamonds.
I think this is the reason why organizations like Global Witness felt that it was premature to lift the ban on Zimbabwe’s diamonds and we all acknowledge that progress is being made in terms of meeting the KP minimum standards but the biggest problem at the moment is to ensure that all the diamond revenues goes to Treasury for the benefit of the Zimbabwean people.
Guma: Is the fact that diamond proceeds are not going to Treasury enough to warrant calling for a ban of the diamonds all together?
Maguwu: Oh yes, that is a very serious problem in that it has all the connotations of a conflict especially in Zimbabwe where you have got three political parties which are in a coalition government and if one arm of the coalition government is in control of the diamonds and the other arm of the coalition government is saying they don’t have a clue as to where the money is going, then that becomes a very dangerous situation where diamond revenues could be seeping into the internal political conflict of the country.
Guma: Some have suggested that the presence of targeted sanctions on certain members of the Mugabe regime have actually helped Zimbabwe make its case against a banning of its diamonds because it’s allowed them to play the victim. Do you agree with that?
Maguwu: Yah I strongly agree. I think right now the sanctions actually have become a blessing and not a curse to the few privileged political elites who now use sanctions as an excuse for not being transparent, for not being accountable, for engaging in opaque diamond deals because they are saying some of the banks that we deal with are on sanctions.
ZMDC and MMCZ which are responsible for, the ZMDC is responsible for the production of the diamonds, MMCZ is responsible for the marketing of the diamonds, are on EU and the US sanctions list and they are saying EU and US are the biggest markets of diamonds so how do you expect us to sell our diamonds even if the KP lifted the ban, when we remain on sanctions?
So it’s actually giving a very good excuse to those who are benefitting and also it’s a big disservice to Zimbabwe because the diamonds which are being smuggled are being undervalued. They are not sold at the competitive value because the system is not open like if we go for an auction.
I remember there was this incident where only one person came to buy more than 400, more than four million carats of diamonds on an auction. It was just an auction for one person and this is justified because they say we are on sanctions so we can’t trade on the biggest markets, we just have to find our own people who will come and buy our diamonds.
Guma: If you were asked to lay out a road map for resolving this whole crisis, it’s been rumbling on for quite some time – what are the yardsticks that need to be met in order to deal with this matter once and for all?
Maguwu: I think already government is in the process of coming up with the Diamond Bill. We need a Diamond Bill that is very inclusive which brings information from all the parties in government and civil society and the business community and one that borrows from the best practices.
This Diamond Bill must address the issue of investor identification because if a house is wrongly built at its foundation, whatever you are going to build on top of that foundation will come to nothing.
Therefore if the manner in which the companies that are mining in Marange, the manner in which they were identified is not clean, is fraudulent, that Diamond Bill ought to address that and ensure that we have got an open bidding process where we identify the best players in the industry and we give them contracts.
And then we must address the issue of revenue flow – where does the money go after the auction? Does it go to ZMDC? Does it go to MMCZ or it goes to the Treasury? And so if we consult with all the governing parties in Zimbabwe and consult even beyond, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
We can also learn from countries like Botswana, like South Africa, like Namibia where diamonds have contributed to enormous economic growth, I think we can get there, but as long as we have other elements of government signaling that they don’t know what is happening with our diamonds, our diamonds remain, continue to have the conflict tag.
Guma: Would you be in favour of nationalization as a final solution as it were? Some have suggested it’s the best way around this.
Maguwu: Well I haven’t seen it happening elsewhere but the challenge that I have with nationalization is that we are giving government the sole responsibility to mine and to market the diamonds and unfortunately our history of enterprises that have been owned by government, is so, it makes sad reading.
We are talking about the NRZ, we are talking about Air Zimbabwe, we are talking about the Grain Marketing Board, we are talking about ZUPCO, the University of Zimbabwe, I mean the cemetery of these companies which have died in the hands of government is ever-growing.
So I don’t think government has got the capacity to do it alone and after all we are a capitalist society where the role of government should be to create an environment where investors can come in and do business. So what I rather suggest is a 50%-50% joint venture between government and the investors like what we see in Botswana.
We’ve got Debswana which is the Botswana government and De Beers and I think that has done wonders for Botswana so I think a joint venture is far much better because the investor wants to protect their interests and the government want to be seen to be doing something by the population. So either way we have got both parties trying to promote their personal interests which will lead into greater transparency and accountability.
Guma: Final question for you Mr Maguwu – some say the hidden problem – the people displaced by the mining in Marange. What’s their fate like right now? We were talking about compensation in years gone by, what has been done and how would you describe their welfare right now?
Maguwu: I think there are some developments, some positive developments at the moment like those people whose businesses were disrupted, I think they’ve been compensated; if not all of them, some have been given as much as 60 thousand, 70 thousand to compensate them for relocation and loss of business.
And I understand the second phase now is to compensate the families and the some may have been compensated by now. However the challenges still remain, for instance if you go to ARDA Transau at the last time that we visited, they had not yet received land for cultivation and these are subsistence farmers, they survive on tilling the land and the land they were given for living , I think it is too small.
It’s smaller than a football pitch and it’s not enough for people to grow crops to feed themselves so I think that’s one of the outstanding issues. Then the other one is they need livelihoods, they need to get into income generating projects and I think the companies need to look into that so that these people can start their life somewhere.
And they need to pay school fees, I remember going there, I met a lot of children who were not going to school, I talked to the parents and they said we can’t raise the $50 that we need for school fees. So there’s need to give these people a source of livelihood whereby they can also earn some income.
Guma: Are they not being offered jobs by these companies?
Maguwu: Some of the companies, like the biggest construction company there, it’s Anjin and you know Anjin is very notorious for giving very poor wages to its employees so I don’t think they are getting much and after all these jobs are very short term jobs, they are not long term jobs. We are looking into the future, after the construction of the homes, what’s next, where do they go, how do they make a living in that particular area?
Guma: Well Zimbabwe, that’s human rights activist Farai Maguwu. Like I said in the introduction he has put his life on the line researching and documenting some of the horrific abuses taking place in the Marange diamond fields. Mr Maguwu thank you so much for joining us on Question Time.
FM: Thank you Lance, I really appreciate it.
To listen to the programme:
The just ended Earth Summit 2012 in Rio de Janeiro which is a follow up to
the world Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg 2005 and yet again
a reflection of the first crucial summit in Rio in 20 in 1992, exactly 20
years ago, has ended without once again SMART targets. The absence of Barack
Obama and David Cameron, 2 of the strongest men in the world gives a mockery
to the UN endeavour to come up with a coherent plan of action to combat
climate change,191 UN members, including 86 presidents and heads of
government, another lost chance another global disaster.
20 years after the famous Rio de Janeiro earth summit, the world sit at a
cliff edge of an ecosystem disaster, the impact of agriculture to social,
economic and environmental sector tend to be immediately felt and this is
because food availability entirely depend on it. The magnitude of the
problem we face is summed up in the address by the teenage at the Rio Summit
2012, Brittany Trilford from New Zealand, "You have 72 hours to decide the
fate of your children - my children - my children's children - and I start
the clock now."
There is need for coordinated efforts by both regional and international
agencies to mitigate the effects of climate change and policy formulation to
effect a sustainable ecosystem. The UN must play a leading role as Karlsson
M. (2005) noted, “The World Summit on Sustainable Development requested in
its Johannesburg Plan of Implementation that a new collaborative mechanism
between United Nations agencies, programmes and institutions be formed” The
collaboration among agencies is important as agriculture is driven by many
factors many of which give rise to transboundary
Ecosystem effect. Thus energy, climate change, environmental degradation,
atmospheric changes and water source availability are all a key to a
While agriculture is a vast industry spanning many sub-sectors such as
Livestock, cereal, fisheries, bio fuel and grain production, the drivers are
same, land, water and optimum temperatures. Sustainable agricultural
production requires deployment of technology to maximize outputs with
minimum damage to the environment; such is the challenge to the policy
makers. As the World’s population reaches approximately 8.1 billion by 2025
UN (2006), so the demand for food grows. We call upon the International and
agencies to implement policies that use clean technologies to meet the
linear demographic change without unsustainable deforestation. The later is
sensitive issue given the fact that, developing countries, which produce the
bulk of the food consumed globally still live in abject poverty. They still
fossil fuel thereby contributing to GHG emissions and global warming. The
deforestation in turn affect weather pattern and rainfall harvest. The poor
nations are unable to afford high tech equipment to improve yields at the
of population growth, as such; much of the agricultural production is
small scale holder enterprise. Unless the richer nations under the auspices
UN make provisions to fund the developing countries, the campaign efforts
BBC (2005), “Make poverty history” will translate into empty slogans. The
efforts by FAO, World Bank, IFAD and GATT in providing funding for
agricultural planning and implementation to government institutions must be
accelerated, Agenda 21 (2004). Food security must be viewed as a global
collective responsibility. Policy makers must ensure that, small scale
are accessible to credit to finance machinery, hybrid seeds and fertilizers
maximize agriculture production. Only when these farmers realize equity will
they be able to play their part in sustainable development.
Given the above, the UN and indeed the G20 must come up with not only
statement of intent but a budgetary framework to deal with CDS thematic
areas that mitigates the global ecosystem challenges.
Elliot Pfebve (Unemployed Zimbabwean Climate Change Expert)
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 22 June 2012
Zimbabweans will have no-one to blame if they allow a clique to benefit from
the country’s Marange diamonds by not taking urgent preventive action.
In the wake of shocking reports that China’s Anjin has allegedly creamed-off
more than US$200 million worth of diamonds since 2010 through a flawed
agreement, it is justified to call on the Kimberley Process to ban the sale
of Marange gems urgently.
There are many other reasons why the Kimberley Process should impose an
immediate ban on the sale of Marange diamonds, until sanity is restored.
Firstly, the lack of transparency is just frightening, starting with the
flawed award of a compliance certificate by the KP itself to two military
outfits (China’s Anjin and ZDI’s Matt Bronze). Now, the joint venture has
Secondly, Anjin’s failure to remit to Zimbabwe’s Treasury, proceeds from the
sale of stockpiles of Marange diamonds is another strong reason for getting
it banned until it independently accounts for its diamond mining business
since it started.
Thirdly, given that midway through the financial year, only US$25 million
has been received by Treasury from Marange diamonds, after it had been
promised US$600million, it would be fatally optimistic to expect the target
to be reached soon.
Fourthly, because there has never been an audit of Marange diamond sale,
therefore the country could be potentially losing billions since some of the
firms are awash with money. That mystery can only be cleared by an
independent diamonds cash audit which will also determine the extent of
looting that has taken place to date.
There were reports of revenue officials from the Finance Ministry being
chased from a Marange diamonds mining firm, but nothing has happened
suggesting that some people are above the law
Finally, delays in passing a new Diamond Act are arguably benefiting the
looters more than the government therefore a ban on all sales would
hopefully help expedite the passing of relevant legislation and the closing
of all loopholes.
It looks like it was not only Treasury which was led down the garden path
about diamond mining at Chiadzwa. So was the Kimberley Process.
C C Mashiri, London, firstname.lastname@example.org