Russian Technologies may supply military helicopters to Zimbabwe in a swap
deal to buy the world’s second largest platinum deposit
© RIA Novosti. Andrey Greshnov
MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti)
State corporation Russian Technologies may supply military helicopters to
Zimbabwe in a swap deal to buy the world’s second largest platinum deposit,
Kommersant business daily reported on Wednesday.
Russia is holding negotiations with Zimbabwe on an inter-governmental
agreement on stimulating investment and defense, a source in the
presidential administration told the paper.
“Russian Technologies has already secured preliminary support from Zimbabwe’s
official representatives during its visit to the country in April,” another
source told the paper, adding the local authorities were interested in the
supply of Russian arms, in particular military helicopters.
“The issue being discussed is the transfer to Russian Technologies of the
rights to develop the deposit in exchange for the supply of helicopters,”
the source said.
A source close to Russian Technologies confirmed the state corporation’s
interest in the Darwendale project.
Darwendale has proven platinum reserves of 19 tons and total resources of
755 tons taking into account other metals, such as palladium, gold, nickel,
copper and others. Total capital investment in the deposit development from
2011-2055 is estimated at $2.8 billion.
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 June 2012
The final revision of the draft constitution has been completed and a new
charter for Zimbabwe will be officially launched on Wednesday next week, a
highly placed source told SW Radio Africa.
The latest version of the new charter, promising reform and transparency,
was finished in Harare on Wednesday by COPAC’s management committee. The
source told us the document is now in the proof reading stage and will be
unveiled to the public next week.
According to the source, the management committee that consists of the same
negotiators to the GPA has all but agreed on the contentious issues that had
been stalling progress, including devolution, executive structure and dual
Despite strong objections from ZANU PF, the parties agreed that members of
the armed forces will be forbidden from taking part in active politics,
including campaigning for any particular political party.
‘All the contentious issues have been dealt with after the parties came up
with suggestions that were acceptable to all. To show you how far things
have moved, the negotiators are now dealing with transitional mechanisms,
especially on how they will move from the current constitution to the next.
‘In this regard, the posts of President and Prime Minister will remain in
force until after the next elections when a new leader is inaugurated. This
is meant not to create a power vacuum,’ the source added.
The new charter will have an executive president answerable to Parliament
and checked by a strengthened Judiciary. After nearly two weeks of
negotiations over the contentious issues in a draft prepared by the
parliamentary select committee, the negotiators also unanimously agreed to
abolish the position of Prime Minister.
The new constitution is designed to redistribute political power away from
the capital, Harare, to eight provincial councils created under devolution.
Under the new system, the national government will provide a given
percentage of budgets to the provincial legislature, which will comprise
elected parliamentarians, senators and local council officials.
This Electoral College will recommend a governor whose appointment will be
done by the President.
In the current constitution power is concentrated in the executive branch of
government, which has seen Robert Mugabe unilaterally appoint high
officials, including judges and governor of the Reserve Bank. But in the new
system, parliamentarians will get involved in making appointments.
by Patience Nyangove
ZANU PF and the two MDC parties have finally reached an agreement which will
see devolution of power form part of the new constitution for Zimbabwe, New
Zimbabwe.com can reveal today.
Negotiating teams led by Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and the secretary
generals of the two MDC factions Tendai Biti and Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga have been locked in talks for over a week, trying to
save the draft constitution which has been in the works since 2009.
Under the deal agreed by the parties, the country’s 10 provinces will each
have a provincial assembly made up of Members of Parliament and Senators
from that area, representatives of local authorities and 10 individuals
elected by proportional representation as well as a provincial governor.
The provincial assembly will nominate two possible candidates for governor
which they will forward to the President who will choose from the two,
according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
Under the current constitution, the President appoints governors who are
invariably members of his party.
Zanu PF had vowed not to support any constitution with devolution of power,
with officials claiming it would encourage secession advocates in
Matabeleland to push for a withdrawal from Zimbabwe.
But the MDC parties – who have placed devolution at the heart of their
policies – said Zanu PF was rejecting people’s views after the issue
registered high during an outreach programme led by a parliamentary
committee to collect the people’s views.
Sources said the parties were also trying to reach agreement on the
abolition of the death penalty – which the MDC parties support, but Zanu PF
“There has been a lot of movement on all the issues, the areas of
disagreement have been narrowed considerably,” said the source.
Zanu PF negotiators have also been pushing for the inclusion in the draft
constitution of a clause that every Presidential candidate must contest with
a running mate, as is the case in the United States and Malawi.
Zanu PF officials hope this would deal with the troublesome succession issue
within their party. Whoever is named as Mugabe’s running mate would
immediately assume the status of his preferred heir as future leader of the
Zanu (PF) wants to control all diamond mining inZimbabwe, according to a
senior official. A member of the Politburo, who cannot be named for security
reasons, told The Zimbabwean last week that at a recent meeting the party’s
policy makers resolved to take control of all diamond mines.
by Tony Saxon
“I do not know how they are going to do it, but this is what the party is
planning,” said the source.
The Diamond Act, still being debated by the cabinetcommittee on legislation,
proposes giving management contractsto the private companies currently
“The politburo is saying there are some companies who have imposed sanctions
on Zimbabwe who are dominating the diamond sub-sector andall these mines
must be taken over,” he added.
He revealed that Zanu (PF) was specifically targeting Murowa and River
Ranch, both owned by De Beers, emphasizing that the South African mining
giant faced total expropriation.
“We have resolved that the party will continue to push for thee xploitation
of all the resources in the country and we are sayingempowerment cannot be
limited to diamonds, let alone specific deposit areas like Chiadzwa,”
explained the politburo member.
He said Zanu (PF) had resolved that 2012 should be aturning point in the
overall indigenization and empowerment drive. The Chiadzwa diamond fields
have already been nationalized and highly militarized. The companies allowed
to operate there have all been appointed by Zanu (PF). They include Mbada
Diamonds, which has very close links to top party officials and is run by
the military, and the Chinese-run Anjin Investments.
Human rights abuses in Chiadzwa, documented by Human Rights Watch and other
international organisations, continue unabated amid tight security.
Sapa-AFP | 27 June, 2012 09:46
Western diplomats have toured controversial diamond fields in eastern
Zimbabwe where rights groups have reported abuses by security forces pushing
out illegal panners.
The visit, the first by foreign diplomats to the high-security diamond
fields, saw ambassadors led by the European Union head of delegation to
Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, touring two mines, the Chinese-owned Anjin and
Marange Resources where officials led them through the extraction process.
The diplomats asked the Anjin management how much revenue they had remitted
to the government following a complaint by Finance Minister Tendai Biti that
the treasury is yet to receive money from the firm since the start of the
Munyaradzi Machacha, a director at Anjin disputed Biti's projection that
earnings from diamond mining would contribute $600 million to state coffers.
"We have contributed $30 million to the fiscus through royalties because an
average price of a single carat is $60 and not $1 500 as projected by the
Minister of Finance Tendai Biti," Machacha told the envoys.
He added "Biti should be man enough to tell the world that he made a mistake
in his budget presentation on revenue coming from diamond sales as figures
he projected an amount way off the mark."
Machacha said Anjin is yet to break even and recover around $400 million
invested by the Chinese into the operation.
Ambassadors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark,
France, Germany and Spain were set to continue the tour on Wednesday.
They are due to visit to a settlement where villagers who were removed from
the vast Marange diamond area, about 330 kilometres southeast of the capital
Harare, were relocated.
The Marange fields, one of Africa's biggest diamond finds in recent years,
have witnessed gross human rights violations, according to rights groups.
The Zimbabwean army cleared small-scale miners from the area in late 2008 in
an operation that Human Rights Watch says killed more than 200 people.
Rights groups accuse Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, which shares power with the MDC
in a tense coalition government, of funnelling profits from Marange diamonds
to senior military officials and party leaders.
Diamond watchdog, Kimberley Process has given the country the green light to
sell its gems despite opposition from rights groups and Western nations.
By Lance Guma
27 June 2012
Global Witness, a human rights group focused on the exploitation of natural
resources, has recommended an investigation into the activities of
mysterious Chinese business tycoon Sam Pa, diamond firm Anjin Investments
and Sino Zimbabwe to see if they “risk funding future human rights abuses.”
This week the group released an explosive report titled “Financing a
Parallel government” which exposed how the Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO), army and police chiefs were involved in the diamond, cotton and
The ownership structures of companies like Anjin and Sino Zimbabwe, which is
involved in the cotton industry, were exposed as being dominated by senior
members of the state security agencies. Half of Anjin’s shares are said to
be held by Brigadier-General Charles Tarumbwa, a Zimbabwean military lawyer.
Hong Kong based businessman Mr Pa, benefiting from his access to diamonds in
Zimbabwe, is reported to have ploughed US$100 million into the CIO to fund
covert operations against the opposition. He is also funding ZANU PF and
Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid in return for business opportunities in the
Global Witness believe the activities of Mr Pa, Anjin and Sino Zimbabwe
“meet the threshold for being placed on targeted sanctions lists.” Even
Finance Minister Tendai Biti fears “there might be a parallel government
somewhere in respect of where these revenues are going.”
The group believes SADC, which is playing an active role in mediating the
political crisis in the country, “should give the problem of off-budget
financing of security forces a high priority in forthcoming negotiations,
with the aim of securing democratic, civilian control over the budgets for
the security services.”
Global Witness also recommended that the coalition government “should pass
legislation banning serving and recently retired members of the military,
police, the CIO and other members of the security services from control
over, or beneficial ownership of, mining companies.”
Another way of putting pressure, the group say, is for consumers not to buy
diamonds originating from the Marange mines “until they can be certain they
will not fund the Zimbabwean secret police, military and police. Companies
should conduct due diligence investigations into the source of their rough
By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 June, 2011
The police in Bulawayo arrested over 100 members of the Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA) pressure group, as they conducted a sit-in protest on Wednesday
calling for the immediate release of a draft Constitution. According to
WOZA, many members in custody were handcuffed, which is a violation of women’s
The arrested group includes WOZA leader Magodonga Mahlangu, three mothers
who are breastfeeding and three children who are not even WOZA members.
Police have denied lawyers any access to them on three separate occasions.
WOZA coordinator Jenni Williams, who led a second group of protestors, was
The group had organised ten protests that were due to start at 11:00 am. But
riot police appear to have been tipped off and had arrested 40 people,
including by-standers, by 10:30am. WOZA said only 3 of the ten protests made
it to the location where a memorial statue of the late Joshua Nkomo is to be
erected, which had been designated as the venue for the sit-in protest.
Four other protests were conducted after 11:30 am with members marching from
the Statue site to the Bulawayo Central Police station tohand themselves in.
But riot police denied them entry into the building and threatened to
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, who witnessed the arrests in
Bulawayo, said the riot police appear to have known about the protests
because they were seen in large numbers near the location of the statue and
at other key sites nearby, before WOZA members arrived.
“After the arrests Jenni Williams arrived with another group of women
carrying placards and singing loudly. She knew her colleagues had been
arrested but she did not shy away from the police. She went straight to the
Central police Station to protest the arrest of WOZA members. That was very
brave,” Saungweme said.
It is not clear whether Williams was also arrested when she arrived but WOZA
members were denied access to the group that had been taken into custody.
“Right now as we speak there is a heavy police presence outside the station.
I think there is about 30 of them. Some have AK 47 rifles and a few are in
plain clothes,” our correspondent said.
Wednesday’s protests are a continuation of a campaign by the group to
pressure parliamentarians to release a draft constitution and go to a
referendum, instead of “bickering” over the issues and ignoring what the
people said during the outreach exercise. They want the country to move
The sit-in or occupation style protests started on Monday in Harare, where
WOZA members marched to the parliament building in two separate groups, just
as they were trying to do in Bulawayo on Wednesday. Police in Harare did not
disrupt the peaceful protest but Bulawayo was a different story.
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 June 2012
Police inspector Petros Mutedza may have died of injuries suffered when he
fell off a vehicle driven by a fellow policeman, a state witness testified
on Wednesday in the ongoing trial of 29 MDC-T members accused of murder.
Giving evidence a day after the High Court inspected the Glen View scene
where Mutedza was allegedly stoned by the MDC-T members, Joshua Daka
strongly asserted that the cop’s death was due to the fall. This was his
Daka, a police officer, responded to reports of a brawl at Nyararai bar in
the Glen View 3 shopping centre on the day Mutedza died. All the MDC
activists deny the charges and have pleaded not guilty. Their trial began
this month after some had already served nearly one year in custody.
During the morning court session, Daka told the trial Judge, Justice
Chinembiri Bhunu, that he saw Mutedza running to a parked vehicle at the
shops just as people that he could not identify started throwing stones at
As he reached the passenger door of the vehicle, with one leg almost inside,
the driver took off at a high speed resulting in Mutedza falling hard on the
tarmac. Daka said he was standing some 80 metres from where his colleague
hit the road.
During his initial court appearance in early June, Daka told the Court he
saw Mutedza fleeing from Munyarari bar, heading towards a residential area.
He said he could not identify those who were running after him throwing
The police officer claimed he ran to assist Mutedza when he realized he was
seriously injured and helped move him to a safe place at the shopping
centre. Several other police officers arrived at this point and helped to
take Mutedza to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Today is 27 June 2012, a very significant and memorable day for the people
of Zimbabwe as it brings sad memories of how Zanu PF, dripping with blood,
stole the people’s will and elections on 27 June 2008.
Exactly four years ago today, the people of Zimbabwe witnessed a very sad
event as Zanu PF and its president, Robert Mugabe claimed to have won an
election that was contested by one presidential candidate.
This was despite the fact that Zanu PF had been trounced heavily by the MDC
and President Tsvangirai in the harmonised elections held earlier in March.
Today, we sadly remember the hundreds of MDC members and their families who
were murdered, tortured and maimed at the hands of Zanu PF and State
security. Families were left broken, homeless and destitute as Zanu PF
hoodlums went on a rampage looting and raping innocent people.
The country was brought on its knees by a ruthless Zanu PF regime that
wanted to cling to power at all costs despite losing its popularity through
dictatorship, corruption and disregard of the people’s freedom.
However, we salute SADC, AU and the international community for not
recognising this sham election as it led to the formation of the inclusive
government with President Tsvangirai as the Prime Minister.
The inclusive government, despite attempts by Zanu PF to scuttle its
performance, has brought the country’s economy back on track. Schools and
hospitals have reopened and basic commodities are now available.
The MDC supports the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA),
SADC’s stance that the inclusive government puts in place measures to ensure
the next plebiscite will not be another sham election.
The MDC hails SADC’s position that Zimbabwe must proceed with the
implementation of all outstanding issues in the GPA and the roadmap to free
and fair elections.
In its communiqué at the end of the Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of
State and Government in Luanda, Angola on 1 June 2012, the regional bloc
urged the parties to the GPA, assisted by South African President and SADC
facilitator Jacob Zuma, to develop an implementation mechanism and set time
frames for the full implementation of the roadmap to elections.
The MDC is fully committed to the implementation of the election roadmap and
challenges other parties to the GPA to play their role to ensure a free and
fair poll that guarantees the secrecy of the ballot as well as the security
of the vote and voter.
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
Written by Gift Phiri, Chief Writer
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:30
HARARE - A UN food agency team is in Zimbabwe to assess crop supplies in the
southern African country after nearly half of its crops was written off due
to a mid season mini-drought.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) has dispatched its teams in
the field for a crucial crop and food supply assessment mission.
The eight-member delegation comprises Rome-based permanent representatives
from France, Iran, Morocco, Indonesia, the United States and the European
The assessment, due to be completed in about a week’s time, will establish
the potential food deficit and help the government and relief agencies
determine how much food aid is required.
Production of the staple maize plunged to 1,35 million tonnes in 2011.
Zimbabwe consumes about 1,8 million tonnes of maize annually.
Government says out of the 1 689 786 hectares of maize planted area, 45
percent was lost to a mid-season drought. The late rains saw crops in
several parts of the country wilting under severe moisture stress.
In a bid to tackle hunger in Zimbabwe, Fao has been giving small-holder
farmers a boost by distributing seeds and fertilisers.
“We want to understand the operations, activities being carried out by the
Fao,” Mohammed Lakhal, Fao’s Moroccan representative said.
The UN team will go around the country to assess the harvests. The
delegation of permanent representatives visited upper Guruve yesterday to
assess a project bankrolled by Fao to resuscitate dip tanks.
According to the latest Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac)
report, about a million people, representing 12 percent of the rural
population will require food assistance.
Rates of chronic and acute child malnutrition still stand at 34 percent and
2,4 percent respectively, while a third of rural Zimbabweans still drink
from unprotected water sources, which continues to expose them to waterborne
The United Nations has warned that around a million people, nearly a 10th of
Zimbabwe’s rural population, needed food aid.
Food production in Zimbabwe has fallen by more than 50 percent, measured
against a 10-year average, due mostly to the current social, economic and
political situation and the effects of drought.
The shortfall means Zimbabwe will need to import almost 500 000 tonnes of
food, either commercially or through food aid, to meet the minimum food
needs of its people.
Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made
told the Fao team, Western “sanctions-induced challenges and climate change”
had gutted commercial agriculture.
Made’s claims are at variance with economists who suggest the combined
effects of drought, economic collapse, and the government’s sullied land
reform programme has led to severe food shortages.
President Mugabe denies that his agrarian revolution has killed agriculture,
and says the land seizures were necessary to correct colonial imbalances
that left 70 percent of the country’s best farmland in the hands of the
minority white population.
The southern African country, once a regional bread basket, has failed to
feed itself since 2000 following the land reform.
The army is bulldozing itself into local authorities, seizing council land
and revenue- generating projects, several mayors told Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai here on Friday.
by Staff Reporter
Gathered for the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe five-year strategic
planning meeting, they told Tsvangirai that virtually every local authority
in the country was a victim of interference by the army, war veterans and
Zanu (PF)-sponsored Chipangano Youth Movement. Tsvangirai heard that in
Mutare, Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba forcibly established a squatter
camp on council land for political gain, without approval from the local
authority. Masvingo municipality is struggling to recover unpaid bills from
the local 4 Brigade military base. Efforts to secure settlement of
outstanding bills are met with stiff resistance sometimes accompanied by
The Harare City Council lost control over Hatcliff Flea Markets to
Chipangano, which collects revenue from vendors despite the project being
owned by the local authority. The council has been threatened with
unspecified action by Chipangano and some army personnel should it dare lay
claim over the informal markets.
In Marondera, war veterans supported by Zanu (PF) are positioning themselves
to take charge of the proposed 4,500 housing units at Hunyani residential
project. They have resolved that the project be put on ice until next
elections are held. They fear that since the project was a brain-child of
MDC-T City Fathers, an early launch of the scheme would give political
mileage to Tsvangirai and the MDC. The mayors also raised concerns over
‘partisan’ allocation of road development funds by the Zimbabwe National
“Allocation of the funds tended to favor Zanu (PF)-controlled rural councils
at the expense of urban local authorities run by MDC. Imagine a small local
authority like Chaminuka District Council with such little traffic receiving
an allocation of $3 million, while the capital city Harare with its high
traffic volume being allocated a mere $50,000. Marondera Municipality was
allocated $150,000 on paper, but nothing on the ground suggests the local
authority would benefit from the funds anytime soon,” said the mayors.
Tsvangirai said he would raise some of the issues in cabinet to help chart
the way forward.
Written by Godfrey Mtimba recently Brazil
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:29
RIO DE JANEIRO - Zimbabwe has been named as one of Africa’s “dangerous
conflict zones” where election-related disputes are stalling development.
Speaking during a labour and environmental meeting at the sidelines of the
United Nations World Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro
recently, global trade union leaders blamed African leaders, including those
from Zimbabwe, for hampering development.
The union leaders said this emanated mostly from political conflicts borne
out of sitting leaders’ refusal to hand over power after losing elections.
One of the trade unionists, International Trade Union Confederation
(ITUC) —Africa general secretary Kwasi Adu-Amankwah said the prevalence of
conflicts and political tensions in countries such as Zimbabwe had destroyed
This, he said, had resulted in a negative impact on development despite some
countries being rich in mineral resources.
“Political instability and conflicts in African countries like Zimbabwe,
DRC, Sudan, Chad, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast and Tunisia to
mention a few, have contributed to the stalling of development on the
continent as attention has focused on fighting instead of fostering
development,” he said.
Amankwah took a swipe at dictators in Africa, both deposed and serving,
saying they should be held accountable for the continent’s underdevelopment.
He said while other continents were now focusing on sustainable development
through the creation of green economies, Africa still has a challenge as
some countries were still struggling with election related conflicts.
“Most of these conflicts emanate from elections. Some leaders are always not
willing to hand over power after they lose elections. This will explode into
a serious crisis that will see the loss of life at a time the leaders should
be focusing their attention on developing our continent that is still
lagging behind when we compare it with other continents,” Amankwah said.
Zimbabwe has been in political turmoil since President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu
PF and long-time rival and now coalition government partner Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC have been embroiled in serious elections disputes
Amankwah said countries like Zimbabwe were lagging behind because of serious
problems such as gross human rights violations and bad governance, adding
that the countries were also facing a severe crisis of massive unemployment
“In these countries you see there are a lot of problems facing citizens as
the economies will not be performing well as foreign investment is lost due
to the political situations. Food insecurity, health problems and massive
job losses are the usual rampant scenarios in these countries and there is
no way we can foster democracy and development in these countries,” he said.
Zimbabwe has one of the highest unemployment rates in southern Africa, which
stands at over 80 percent despite being endowed with vast deposits of
minerals such as gold, diamonds and platinum.
by Roman Moyo
THE government is finalising work on the Mines and Minerals Bill which will
among, other things, discourage speculative activities in the mining sector
as well as facilitate the economic empowerment of the country’s previously
disadvantaged black majority.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu said the Bill would be
brought before Parliament in the third quarter of the year.
In a statement, Mpofu said government will adopted “a use it or lose it
policy which is aimed at pushing claim holders to utilize their claims or
risk having them repossessed”.
“An overhaul of the old system will include new issues that address the
release of ground held for speculative purposes, the holding of land by
people who do not mine and people who want to sell claims they do not own,”
“In addition to the Mines and Minerals Act there will be formulation of a
Diamond Policy, Diamond act and other polices that will guide the operations
of the mining activities through the country.
“The more you revolutionise statutes, the more relevant they become, the
more user friendly they become, the more popular they become with people and
people take advantage of them and operate in a sustainable manner.”
The mining industry has since called on the government to expedite the
proposed amendments to so prospective investors are clear about the
“As long as these amendments remain outstanding the investment environment
remains unsettled and adds to the higher country risk rating,” said
immediate past president of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines Victor Gapare
“The government and the mining industry have been consulting on the issue
since 2002 and it is high time the amendments are finalised to give
investors confidence in the legislative framework governing the mining
Gapare said potential investors had also lamented the lack of ground for new
investment in mineral exploration.
“As members may be aware the country has been locked down by Exclusive
Prospecting Order (EPO) applications going back to 2002 and the letter sent
out to applicants for the payments of additional fees was received with
mixed feelings,” he said.
“It would be important for the ministry to clarify this position for
transparency and to act within the confines of existing regulations and
notice circulation to industry. The industry looks forward to periodic
announcements on how much ground is available for mineral exploration.”
COPAC is mainly interested in spending donor funding, a spokesperson from
National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations said.
by Sofia Mapuranga
Speaking at a workshop organised by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association
workshop in Harare recently to review the outcomes of the draft
constitution, Machinda Marongwe said Civil Society Organisations were
failing to access funding from donors because all the focus was on the
constitution making process.
“CSOs cannot implement a number of activities in the country because donors
are currently giving huge sums of money to COPAC,” he said. “They have
invested so much money in the constitution making process and because the
process is now at a critical stage where they cannot abandon it, COPAC is
taking advantage of this and prolonging coming up with a conclusive draft
Marongwe accused COPAC of gobbling funds meant to finance information
gathering to ensure that they come up with a people-driven document.
“Where is the national report and why is COPAC taking forever to avail it to
the nation? It is critical that we analyse whether the raw data that they
gathered has been incorporated in the draft document so that we are able to
present our views before they come up with a conclusive constitutional
draft,” he said.
There have been repeated calls for COPAC to speed up the process to enable
the country to go for elections, a development that has been met with
criticism from the MDC formations.
The International Monetary Fund will not give Zimbabwe any more money until
it repays outstanding arrears amounting to more than $200million, business
sources have confirmed. The country owes $550 million in all.
by Ngoni Chanakira Harare
A high level IMF delegation was in Zimbabwe for the annual Article IV
Consultations. They held discussions with several individuals including
“Yes we met with the IMF in Harare,” said a senior official from the
Business Commission of Zimbabwe, which is led by David Govere and represents
all business organisations.
“They said Zimbabwe must clear all outstanding IMF arrears and get its
economy back on track.”
The news comes hardly a week after President Robert Mugabe castigated
Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, accusing him of sidelining the “City of
Kings” - Bulawayo.
“If Bulawayo dies then all of Zimbabwe dies,” Mugabe said in Bulawayo before
dashing off to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to attend the three-day Summit on
“I asked Biti what he had done with the $500,000 we had been given by the
IMF and he said he only had about $100,000 left. We should have used that
money to bring the businesses in Bulawayo up to standard because most of
them were closed.”
An economist said $500,000 would hardly be enough to re-equip one company.
Mugabe also took a swipe at the IMF, accusing it of sidelining developing
Numerous politicians and business executives have accused Mugabe’s
government of ignoring Bulawayo over the years.
The IMF has said several issues needed to be sorted out including structural
impediments, the acceleration of indigenisation in mining and other sectors,
property rights and political uncertainty.
It said it was worried about higher than anticipated increases in imported
food and fuel prices as well as the financial system where most commercial
banks were under-capitalised.
“Zimbabwe does not have the capacity to pay off the IMF’s arrears from its
own resources,” Biti said in Harare. “We will need to request cooperating
partners for a concessional bridging loan or grant to settle the arrears.”
Clearance of the arrears would unlock new financing arrangements from the
IMF, which would then be used to repay the bridging loan obtained from the
Zimbabwe owes multilateral institutions a grand total of $2,504 billion,
including $1,126 billion to the World Bank, $529 million to the African
Development Bank and $221 million to the European Investment Bank.
26 June 2012
Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC
Dubai-based airline, Emirates, announced Tuesday it was ramping up its
schedule to Zimbabwe, increasing the number of flights from five days a week
to a daily service starting October 1.
The airline, one of the fastest growing, took advantage of Air Zimbabwe’s
endless troubles and started servicing the Dubai-Lusaka-Harare route in
February this year.
In a statement, Emirates Vice President of Commercial Operations for Africa,
Jean Luc Grillet said the airline was expanding its service due to increased
“A daily service to Lusaka and Harare will mean greater choice for
customers," he said, "while an increased cargo capacity of 40 per cent will
facilitate more export business opportunities for both countries, forging
greater trade links and increasing access to key trading partners in Asia
and the Middle East.”
Independent economic commentator Walter Nsununguli Mbongolwane told VOA the
demand for flights to Harare is due to a rebound in tourism and mining.
Currently, Emirates operates 21 passenger and cargo destinations across
By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 June, 2012
Writer and veteran nationalist Mike Masotsha Hove died in Bulawayo Wednesday
afternoon, after battling with illness for many years.
Many Zimbabweans remember him as a journalist who kick-started the careers
of several top reporters in the country and as the father of Sekai Holland,
the co-Minister for National Healing and Reconciliation.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, who visited the family home
in Bulawayo soon after Wednesday afternoon, said no arrangements had yet
been made for the burial and a memorial.
Saungweme said Masotsha Hove was 97 years old and had been an influential
force during the liberation struggle, working with veteran nationalists such
as Joshua Nkomo, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and Herbert Chitepo.
ZESN held a public meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the 26th of June
2012 with the topic: An Analysis of the Working Draft Constitution/COPAC
process. They were four speakers representing the academia, civil society
and women namely Dr. Charity Manyeruke, Dr. Alex Magaisa, Ms. Emilia Muchawa
and Professor Lovemore Madhuku.
The major highlights were as follows:
• Dr. Charity Manyeruke highlighted that there is need to give up individual
rights as the current constitution making process is engulfed with self
interest of individuals, political parties and interest groups. She further
stated that Constitutions are not written by the people but by those who
wield power; the politicians. On devolution she commented that Devolution is
a policy issue and therefore cannot be enshrined in the Constitution. She
dismissed dual citizenship stating that economic benefits from those in the
Diaspora are paltry.
• Dr. Alex Magaisa said that Zimbabwe will rightly develop its new
constitution informed by the past, present and future aspirations of its
people. He highlighted four key improved areas in the Working Draft
Constitution such as the Bill of Rights, Citizenship, Separation of Powers
and Elections. He reiterated that it was premature to say the process is
flawed, as we the contents of the official draft are yet to be published,
“let it be judged when it comes out” said Dr. Magaisa. He also saw a great
need to deconstruct the contentious issue on Devolution which he regarded as
an issue that has been misinterpreted to mean cession. Unlike Dr. Manyeruke
he argued that devolution would be good for Zimbabwe.
• Ms. Emilia Muchawa highlighted that the Constitution of Zimbabwe which was
adopted as part of the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement was a document which
offers little opportunity for women. She applauded the working draft as she
said after carrying out a Gender Audit of the Working Draft Constitution it
can be safely said that 75% of women’s concerns had been included. However,
she said that women felt that more could be done as there is no mention of
gender parity in critical areas such as the security service and the
judiciary. The women of Zimbabwe are demanding a constitution that
guarantees more women in decision making positions through adoption of
mechanisms such as a constitutional quota.
• Professor Madhuku maintained the NCA position that they would mobilize
people for a NO vote to the new constitution as it believes that it is the
outcome of the three political parties and is not driven by the people. He
said that the political parties are in control of the process. He envisaged
a scenario whereby the GPA principals might adopt the constitution without
subjecting the draft to a Constitutional Referendum. He urged people to
judge the COPAC draft on both the process and the content.
• COPAC was urged to intensify their dissemination of information on the
process as the public is not aware of progress with the draft constitution.
Recent reports of the emergence of both corruption and political violence in
the MDC come as no surprise to some of us. We must understand that all of us
are victims of the political culture of violence and corruption under which
we have lived for the past 32 years. This is the political culture imposed
on the Zimbabwe body politick by none other than the former liberation
movement, Zanu (PF).
by John Makumbe
Being products of that culture, it is only natural that when push comes to
shove, as over-ambitious individuals seek to enter the corridors of power,
some individuals will resort to both political violence and corruption.
Further, our near comatose economy has the tendency of tempting those among
us who have accessed a little bit of power and authority to abuse these
instruments for self aggrandizement. The corrupt abuse of some council
resources is a case in point. The MDC also suffers from the problem of
knowing its members and supporters well enough to be able to distinguish
between the bad and the good apples. The party is just so large that there
is no capacity to vet every card-holder before they are issued with the
membership card. Indeed, some elements from Zanu (PF), including some
Central Intelligence spies, have easily obtained MDC membership cards which
enable them to attend virtually all party functions with ease.
They will then be able to carry out their damaging work against the party of
excellence without being found out. It is my considered view that over the
years, Zanu (PF) has found it quite easy to infiltrate, not just the MDC,
but virtually all other political parties operating in this country today.
The lack of unity among these political parties also makes it a lot easier
for the former ruling and now reeling party to get away with such
How can these problems be resolved by the leadership of the MDC? Given the
size of the MDC, there should be no hesitation on the part of the leadership
to thoroughly investigate all reported cases of corruption and political
violence among its members. Individuals found on the wrong side of the party’s
principles should be evicted without delay. They should also be subjected to
a properly constituted disciplinary committee hearing before being evicted.
No party member should be sacrosanct. Some of these measures are already
being effected, and some corrupt councillors have already been expelled from
The party should also tighten its vetting process to ensure that bad apples
find it difficult to join. Well-thought out guidelines need to be devised,
debated by the leadership and popularised among the people as soon as
possible. These guidelines will have to be followed whenever new members are
recruited, and whenever leaders at all levels are being elected.
Further, the party needs to embark on a strenuous programme of training all
its leaders as soon as they have been elected into office. It is naive to
expect that all those who are popularly elected into office know the party
principles, aims, objectives and values. On the contrary, the majority of
leaders at the various levels guess their way through the first few years of
their term of office. This is the very time they are most likely to fall
foul of what the party stands for. They need help and the party leadership
has to provide it. - firstname.lastname@example.org
When the British settlers colonised Zimbabwe, one of the key things they did
was to establish their religion here. They also built facilities to cater
for their needs provide British goods and services - not what Zimbabweans
needed. They sang praises of and hoodwinked chiefs and local leaders to get
mining concessions and land. They also made sure that they left a mark
wherever they went, flying the Union Jack and building hotels, churches and
so on. Today the Chinese are doing exactly the same.
by Maxwell Saungweme
It’s ironic today that those who claim to have fought the liberation
struggle and declaring that “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again” are
actually aiding the colonisation of the country by the Chinese.
It is no secret that the Chinese have taken over most of the lucrative
diamond and other mines and are benefitting more than the Zimbabweans who
are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the country’s mineral wealth. There
is no shred of doubt that Zimbabwe is being mortgaged to the Chinese by the
government of the day.
Meanwhile, the government is failing to provide health care facilities and
services to its people. HIV/AIDS patients struggle to get drugs, schools are
still under staffed and rural schools operate without basic leaning aids and
infrastructure.Our roads are still characterised by potholes and
dilapidation, many go hungry and street kids are a common
feature.Unemployment is still very high and the economy is still not robust
enough for the country to use its own currency. What benefit are these
Chinese deals bringing and what development has been spurred by their coming
As if grabbing of mines is not enough, the Chinese have also taken over
foodstuff, household goods and clothing shops in most of our towns, crowding
out of business struggling indigenous business people and informal
traders -predominantly women. The dumping of cheap Chinese clothing has
crippled our clothing industry, robbing thousands of employment.
To demonstrate that they are here to stay, just as the British settlers did
during colonialism, the Chinese are building Chinese hotels, supermarkets
and temples all over. These sell Chinese foods and products thereby reducing
the benefit Zimbabwe should get from selling its products to tourists.
They are given permission to build hotels in environmentally protected areas
where Zimbabweans are not allowed to build. The case of the giant Chinese
hotel in the wetlands adjacent to the National Sports Stadium in Harare is a
clear demonstrationthat our leaders have lost all logic and ignored the laws
of the land in seeking to appease the Chinese. Two weeks ago even President
Robert Mugabe had to officially open the Jin’an Buddha Temple in Chiadzwa- a
clear sign that Zimbabwe’s leadership accepts and indeed fosters
colonisation of the country by the Chinese.
The British settlers were notorious for praising chiefs and local leaders.
Mugabe was showered withpraise by the master of theJin’an Buddha Temple, Kai
Hui. According to The Herald of 16 June, Hui likened Mugabe to Chairman Mao
and wished him good health and victory in the next elections.
As one enters Zimbabwe through one of the most strategic ports of entry,
Harare International Airport,one is greeted by huge signboards in Chinese
and English. There is nothing so telling of colonialism than Zimbabweans
ignoring their own languages like Shona and Ndebele and writing signboards
at our airports in Chinese.
It’s high time we woke up and start advocating and acting against the
colonisation of our country by the Chinese in broad daylight. - Maxwell is a
development specialist and writes in his own capacity and can be contacted
Tell us about it
Do you agree that Zimbabwe is being colonized by the Chinese? Have you had
an experience, good or bad, with Chinese people in Zimbabwe? Please tell us
Sms: +27 79 570 9663, +263 736 999 005
by Amb. Charles Ray
REFLECTING on my nearly three years in Zimbabwe, I remain cautiously
optimistic; the long-term future for this country is bright, and that is due
in large part to the overwhelmingly energetic, dedicated, and intelligent
young people, people who make up the majority of Zimbabwe’s population.
How can young people build a better country, you might ask? After all, the
culture does not give the young such power. Well, I will concede that
culture is a limiting factor – but, only a limiting factor – it does not
have to be a complete barrier.
Young people can – and should – take a more active role in the development
of their country, but that must start with self. That’s right; the key to
having a better community or country begins with each individual making a
commitment to being the best that he or she can be.
So, what can you do, beginning in the here and now, to create a better
Zimbabwe, a country that you can be justly proud of?
You can start by defining what kind of society you want to live in, what
kind of country that you, when you’re old like me, you can leave to your
children and grandchildren. And, you need to decide what kind of person you
want or need to be in that society. This means that you need to clearly
Don’t wait for things to happen, or for others to do things for you.
Identify what needs to be done, and then do it. Start small – you should
aspire to reach for the stars, but take that journey one step at a time, one
challenge at a time.
Is there a problem in your community that has bugged you for some time? The
government is slow or non-performing about picking up trash? Well, quit
complaining about it; get a group of your friends together and start a
volunteer project to clean up your neighbourhood. Even better, organise a
small enterprise of your friends and offer your services for a modest fee to
homeowners in your community.
Never stop learning. Don’t restrict your learning to the classroom, text
books, or what teachers have told you. Read widely; question every
assumption, and put every theory to the test. Reach out to the broader world
and see what it has to offer. You might be surprised to learn that you might
even have something to offer that world.
Don’t fear failure. I read somewhere recently that ‘fear; is an acronym for
Forget Everything and Run’. Well, drop that habit, and stop running. My
definition of success is ‘a string of failures that you survive and learn
from.’ If you’ve never failed at anything, you’ve probably not learned
anything new. Remember, it’s not how many times you fall down that matters,
but how many times you get back up.
Develop tolerance. The world is a diverse place, and so are the countries in
it. A tolerant society, one that values every member and gives each member
the opportunity to contribute to its development, will prosper. Intolerant
societies might do well in the short term, and I have my doubts about that
actually, but in the end will fail and fail miserably.
Go beyond the surface. This is related somewhat to my injunction to keep
learning, but it’s important enough that I highlight it. Develop the habit
of educating yourself on the nuances of situations and people, and avoid the
dangerous habit of judging merely on surface appearances, incomplete
information, or sound bites. Look behind the curtain and see that all those
blinking lights are really being manipulated by a small person, as Dorothy
did in the Wizard of Oz.
Maintain a positive attitude. If you’re an optimist, sometimes you will be
wrong, but, if you’re a pessimist, you’ll always be right. Look for the
positive side of a situation, and take advantage of it. Sometimes, things
that we think are negative, if viewed properly, can work out to our
advantage. When life gives you lemons, don’t cry, just make lemonade.
Learn to visualise the outcomes you want in life, then get up off your
backside and work to make them happen. In most cases, you have a 50-50
chance of success, which is better than the 100% rate of failure if you
never try – right?
Put your focus on the things that really matter. I have noticed over the
past three years that politics dominates every conversation. It’s as if
nothing else matters. Well, ask yourself; in your daily life, how often does
politics really affect the things that matter most to you? You get up; brush
your teeth, have breakfast, spend some time with your family, and then off
to school or work.
Now, I know that political decisions can affect our lives – bad economic
decisions can raise prices, drive away investment, cost jobs – but, it’s
really the day-to-day personal decisions we all make that truly determine
Look at the business that survived the terrible hyperinflation; they did
that, not through political intervention, but hard-headed personal
decisions. I’m not saying you should ignore politics, but put it in its
proper place – somewhere out there, but use more of your energy in building
a better local environment. Help kids do their school work, clean up your
neighbourhood, start small local business to satisfy local needs, help fill
in the potholes, plant a tree. I could go on and on, but I think you get the
By working on the things that you can control, by striving to make your
little corner of the world better, you contribute to making the country, and
ultimately the world, better. If everyone does that, imagine the outcome. It’s
like building a brick wall. You have a picture in your mind of what the
whole wall looks like, but you erect it one brick at a time.
Ambassador Charles Ray is the outgoing US Ambassador to Zimbabwe. This was
his speech at the DefZee Presents held at theUS Embassy Public Affairs