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Zimbabwe coalition in crisis as MDC threatens 'disengagement'

Zimbabwe has been plunged into political crisis after Morgan Tsvangirai's
former opposition party boycotted a cabinet meeting and said it was
considering 'disengagement' from President Robert Mugabe's power-sharing

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare and Sebastien Berger
Published: 2:56PM BST 29 Jun 2009

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accused Mr Mugabe of unilaterally
bringing the cabinet meeting a day forward from its usual time on Tuesday to
prevent Mr Tsvangirai from chairing it while Mr Mugabe was in Libya for an
African Union summit.

For the first time since the unity government was finally formed in February
after months of negotiations following a violence-wracked election last
year, the MDC effectively threatened to withdraw from the deal.

"It is our constitutional right to consider disengagement," said Thokozani
Khupe, the party's deputy leader.
Although she added that the MDC remained "fundamentally committed" to the
global political agreement (GPA), she said: "For a long time we have
remained the polite and subservient upholders of the GPA against clear
evidence of the absence of a reliable and honest partner."

Mr Mugabe's decision to move the cabinet meeting forward, she said,
"underpins everything wrong about the agreement", citing a continuation of
"the old order mentality", "persistent abuse of the rule of law", and a new
wave of invasions of white-owned farms.

"Zanu-PF has not woken up to the reality of the MDC as an equal partner in
the agreement," she said.

It is a stark contrast to the optimism of Mr Tsvangirai during his recent
fund-raising tour of Europe and America, when he told The Daily Telegraph
that Mr Mugabe was "an indispensable, irreplaceable part of the transition"
and that the two men had a "workable relationship".

But with Western governments still cautious, he was promised only a tiny
fraction of the billions that the reconstruction of Zimbabwe will cost, and
even then much of that going through aid agencies rather than to the

Mr Mugabe's attempt to prevent his prime minister from chairing even a
single cabinet meeting is a clear vindication of sceptics of the coalition
agreement who have long professed doubts over the ageing leader's
willingness to genuinely share power.

If the coalition collapses it will be a humiliation for Zimbabwe's
neighbours in the Southern African Development Community and particularly
South Africa, which has always declined to confront publicly Mr Mugabe and
insisted that "quiet diplomacy" and talks were the only way to secure
Zimbabwe's future.

Mr Tsvangirai has made no public comment on the situation, but told aides
that he supported Miss Khupe's statement.

One source who spoke to the MDC leader said: "The veneer of the inclusive
goverment is peeling away. Ridiculously, Mugabe doesn't want to set a
precedent where Tsvangirai chairs cabinet tomorrow.

"The MDC has been trying for four months to implement the political
agreement, and Zanu-PF is not is not changing its ways."

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Tsvangirai ministers boycott Zimbabwe cabinet in row with Mugabe

Africa News
Jun 29, 2009, 12:25 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's cabinet ministers
launched a boycott of cabinet meetings Monday and said they were
'disengaging' from the coalition government with President Robert Mugabe
created earlier this year.

Deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe announced the move after Mugabe,
apparently due to leave the country on Tuesday for a trip abroad,
rescheduled Tuesday's regular cabinet meeting to Monday - apparently in
order to avoid Tsvangirai chairing it.

Khupe said Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party were 'dishonest and unreliable'

Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a power-sharing government in February,
following a disputed presidential election and widespread violence.

Tsvangirai returned to Harare from a tour of donor countries shortly after

Tsvangirai's return meant, said Khupe, that Tsvangirai would have chaired
the meeting of the country's most powerful body on Tuesday for the first
time since he and Mugabe established a power-sharing transitional government
in February.

Khupe said they had boycotted the meeting because Mugabe was 'seeking to
deny recognition of the prime minister' as an equal partner. 'It reflects
disrespect and contempt,' she said.

She would not say how long the 'disengagement' would continue for, but said
the MDC, which won parliamentary and the first round of presidential
elections last year, was expressing its 'constitutional right' to disengage,
although the party remained committed to the coalition agreement they signed
in September.

'It's time insanity and toxicity were removed' from the coalition
government, she said. 'For a long time we have remained the polite and
subservient upholders of the ... agreement, against clear evidence of the
absence of a reliable and honest partner.'

Khupe cited the lack of progress on issues like Mugabe's unilateral
appointments of his colleagues to top posts and renewed arrests and violence
against MDC parliamentarians and white farm invasions.

Zanu-PF also continued to frustrate the agreement's commitment to
establishing democracy, and 'aborted' attempts to end the country's
repressive media controls. 'There is no movement on the fundamental issues
of the promotion of freedom of assembly of speech and expression.'

Observers say the ministers' action is an expression of their suppressed
anger over what is widely seen as the determination of Mugabe, who has been
in power for 29 years, to block attempts at democratic reforms that might
weaken his grip on power.

At the weekend, the MDC held meetings to mark the anniversary of the bloody
second-round presidential election campaign that ended with Mugabe's win of
a one-person race after Tsvangirai withdrew over the murder of about 200 MDC

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Khuphe's Statement on Cabinet Meeting Boycott

By MDC Deputy President Thokozani Khuphe

For a long time the MDC has made issue of the unequivocal lack of
paradigm shift on the part of ZANU PF as an actor in the Transitional

Deputy PM Thokozani KhupheFor a long time we have remained the polite
and subservient upholders of the GPA against clear evidence of the absence
of a reliable and honest partner.

At the epicenter of our disappointment has been the unwillingness of
ZANU PF to timeously resolve the unfinished issues of the inclusive
government under the GPA.

In particular, despite five months of endless meetings amongst the
Principals, the central issues of the Reserve Bank Governor, The Attorney
General, the Provincial Governors, the swearing in of Roy Bennett and the
appointment of ambassadors remain unresolved as such the inclusive
government is yet to be fully constituted.

These issues continue to affect the health of the GPA. They are
structural issues that are at the root of the GPA. Any breach of the same
and any failure to resolve the same is fundamental.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that ZANU PF has not woken up to
the reality of the MDC as an equal partner in the agreement following the
March 29 result. More importantly they have not accepted that in the
constitution, the GPA, Mr Mugabe and President Tsvangirai are placed on par
,and that the former cannot do anything without the latter.

Further evidence of the lack of a paradigm shift, is the deliberate
refusal to convene the National Security council. The National Security
Council became law in February 2009 and demands that the Security council
meets once every month. Four months later, it has not met simply because a
few elite securocrats do not recognise the authority of the new order.

The lack of recognition of the fundamental principle of equality has
given rise to a persistent and corrosive culture of unilateralism. That
unilateralism includes unlawful redefinition of the mandate of ministries,
executive appointments and a pervasive reproduction of a business- of- the
old order mentality.

The same unilateralism is being reflected in the nascent constitution
making process where suddenly and contrary to the provisions of the GPA, the
Kariba draft constitution is now being sought to be imposed lock stoke and
barrel on the people of Zimbabwe.

Over and above this we have protested at the persistent abuse of the
rule of law, the cynical disrespect of the countrys' laws and flagrant
insensitivity to the multiplier effect of all acts of lawlessness.

We remain concerned about the persistent victimization, arrest and
violence against our MPs, activists, civil society members, and members of
staff. We have remained abhorred by the continuous incidents of farm
invasions and virile prosecution of farmers. We have remained abhorred at
the selective application of the rule of law. Equally of concern is our
disenchantment at the continued frustration of the democratisation agenda by

Media reforms remain aborted whilst state media, in particular the
Herald and ZBC continue to churn out vitriol and propaganda. Equally, there
is no movement on key legislation on fundamental issues such as the
promotion of freedom of speech, assembly and expression.

This morning, we were advised that Cabinet had been shifted from its
mandated day of Tuesday to Monday at 10am. Innocent and innocuous as this
decision may be, the fact of the matter is that it underpins everything
wrong about the present agreement.

The decision seeks to deny the recognition of the Prime Minister as
chair of Cabinet when the President is away. Mr Mugabe has indicated that he
will not be present on Tuesday and hence the unilateral decision to move
Cabinet forward to today. This reflects unilateralism, disrespect, contempt
and refusal to recognise reality and the letter and spirit of the GPA, the
reality of 29 March 2009 and the reality of now to the extent that Cabinet
is held on Tuesday, we will not attend an informal unilateral meeting.

However whilst we remain fundamentally committed to the GPA in the
interests of our people, it is our constitutional right to consider
disengagement. It is time that for Christ's sake toxicity and insanity are
removed from the GPA. It is time that the irreversibility of our change
became a living reality not just to ZANU-PF but to the people of Zimbabwe at

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Mangwana rejects 'Kariba Draft'

29/06/2009 00:00:00
     by Lindie Whiz

THE parliamentary select committee spearheading the drafting of a new
constitution has poured cold water on President Mugabe's declaration that
the Kariba Draft would be the basis for a new constitution.

The committee's co-chairperson, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) told more
than 5,000 people gathered at Bulawayo's Large City Hall last Saturday that
his committee was drafting a "fresh, people-driven constitution" and would
not entertain any "fixed positions".

He was speaking during a consultative meeting held simultaneously with
similar meetings in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands
provinces. Meetings in other provinces were held last week.

Mugabe declared that the Kariba Draft, drawn up by lawyers from his Zanu PF
party and the two MDC formations in 2007, would be the basis for the new
constitution, adding that there was no need to waste time and money going to
villages to seek people's views on the new constitution.

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Download the Kariba Draft Constitution pdf

Download it here...

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Zimbabwe denies diamond field violations

Mon Jun 29, 9:31 am ET
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe on Monday denied it was violating international
regulations on conflict diamonds, as a Kimberley Process team started a
probe of the country's eastern Marange diamond fields.

Mining secretary Thankful Musukutwa told journalists in the capital that
complaints against Zimbabwe for trading in rough diamonds and violating
human rights were not true.

"Under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), conflict diamonds
are rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance
conflict armies at undermining legitimate governments," he said about the
scheme against "blood diamonds".

"There is no armed conflict or any involvement of a rebel army or movement
in Zimbabwe; therefore Marange diamonds do not fall within KPCS definition
of conflict diamonds."

A Human Rights Watch report out Friday accused Zimbabwe's armed forces of
using torture and forced labour to control the Marange fields, saying more
than 200 people had been killed last year.

Zimbabwe last week denied any killings by security forces.

"What we have in Marange are illegal panners who from time to time evade
security forces and engage themselves in illegal digging and trading of
diamonds," said Musukutwa on Monday.

The Kimberley team's visit was announced on Friday after a three day
conference in Namibia where chairman Bernard Esau said the group had no
proof of rights violations in Marange but had noted the HRW report.

Musukutwa said Monday's visit is the third by the scheme. "During the last
two visits, they found Zimbabwe fully compliant with KPCS rules and
regulations," he said.

"In March this year, the chair of the KPCS visited Zimbabwe and toured the
Marange and Murowa diamond fields. He again reported that the country was
compliant to the KPCS regulations."

Human Rights Watch wants the Kimberley Process to review and broaden the
definition of "conflict diamonds" to include diamonds mined amid rights

The group believes some income from the fields has been funnelled to
high-ranking ZANU-PF officials, the party of President Robert Mugabe who
joined Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a unity government in February.

The Kimberley team is led by Liberian deputy mines minister Kpandel Fiya and
includes members from the European Commission, World Diamond Council, US
State Department, and the South African Diamond and Precious Metals

Under Kimberley, rough diamonds are sealed in tamper-resistant containers
and required to have forgery-resistant, "conflict-free" certificates with
unique serial numbers each time they cross an international border.

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Tsvangirai back home after three-week visit to Europe & USA

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 June 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrived home on Monday after a three week
visit to Europe and the United States to 're-engage' with the international

Tsvangirai's spokesman James Maridadi told us that during the tour, the
Prime Minister managed to raise over $US200 million, which will go towards
the provision of basic services such as health and education. An amount far
short of the estimated US$8,3 billion needed to rebuild the country.

On his way back to Harare, the Prime Minister stopped over in Johannesburg,
South Africa, where he defended his move in entering the power-sharing deal
with Robert Mugabe, saying they would succeed or fail together.

Reports quote Tsvangirai sayin; 'Those who accept me have to accept Robert
Mugabe. If there is a problem, we go and fail together.'

He added; 'I don't have to defend Mugabe's past and position towards the
west or other countries. We are in this transition and this transition is

The Prime Minister has reiterated that his tour to drum-up support for the
inclusive government was a success, despite criticism from Western leaders
of continued human rights abuses and complaints at the slow pace to
implement the Global Political Agreement fully.
During a media briefing at the Southwark Cathedral in London last week, the
Prime Minister argued that what the inclusive government needed from the
outside world now was not isolation, but support.
Analysts said while it is true there has been an improvement in the
condition of Zimbabwe in recent months, there is also plenty of evidence
that Mugabe's grip on the country has not loosened.
Amnesty International reported last week that the human rights situation
remains 'precarious.' Issues of human rights have long tainted Mugabe's
image in the international community but now even ministers from the MDC
have joined the ZANU PF bandwagon of denying reports of human righs abuses
in the country.

Last week the MDC deputy Minister of Mines, Murisi Zwizwai, denied there
were any killings in the eastern Marange diamond fields last year. He told a
meeting of the Kimberley Process in Namibia last week that the claims were a
result of 'unsubstantiated reports.'

But the militant chairman of the MDC veterans activists association, Solomon
Chikohwero, said Zwizwai's statement was very disturbing because there is a
lot of evidence that many people lost their lives at the diamond fields
because of a military campaign to clear the area of illegal diamond hunters.

'We urge the deputy minister to retract that statement. If he refuses, we
are mobilizing people to march to his office with names and pictures of
people who perished at Chiadzwa. I know the deputy minister on a personal
level and I don't have any problems with him but on this occasion he made a
monumental blunder that needs to be corrected,' Chikohwero said.

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International lawyers group to visit Zimbabwe

By Lance Guma
29 June 2009

The Deputy Secretary-General of the International Commission of
Jurists (ICJ), Wilder Tayler, arrived in Zimbabwe Monday afternoon on a
three-day mission to assess the human rights situation. According to a
report by the weekly Zimbabwe Standard newspaper, Tayler will meet various
stakeholders in and outside the coalition government, with a view to
addressing some of the issues associated with human rights abuses.

The Africa Programme of the ICJ released a statement last week saying Tayler
'will have the opportunity to interact and consult with the legal
fraternity, policy community, diplomatic community and human rights
organizations on the challenges facing the realization of human rights and
respect for the rule of law in Zimbabwe.' The group wants to help end the
'endemic' cycle of impunity for perpetrators of rights abuses.
The coalition partners in government however have already shown a reluctance
to accept criticism from human rights groups. Two weeks ago Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara lashed out at Amnesty International saying their
findings on Zimbabwe were a result of 'hallucinations.' After a six day
visit the group had concluded that there were still persistent and serious
human rights violations and that these were worsened by a failure to reform
the army and police. It was no surprise that Mugabe avoided meeting the
Amnesty International delegation.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR), who are affiliated
to the ICJ, will be coordinating some of Tayler's meetings in Zimbabwe. In
an interview with the Zimbabwe Standard newspaper Otto Saki from ZLHR
confirmed their involvement and said they will focus specifically on Tayler's
meetings with NGO's in the country.

The ICJ membership is composed of over 60 eminent jurists who are
representatives of the different legal systems of the world. Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights and the Legal Resources Foundation, for example,
are organizations affiliated to the ICJ. The group says it is 'dedicated to
the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and
principles that advance human rights.'

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Chinese, Zimbabwean ruling parties' senior officials vow to boost ties

[Hmm - ZANU-PF enters an agreement with China - and is called "the ruling
party"........ surely it should be the Zimbabwe Govt that signs agreements
with another country.]  2009-06-29 19:13:34

    BEIJING, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials of the Communist
Party of China (CPC) and the Zimbabwe Africa National Union-Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF) pledged on Monday to boost mutual beneficial and pragmatic
cooperation in various fields.

     China will work together with Zimbabwe to expand cooperation in
such fields as mining, agriculture and infrastructure construction, said
Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central
Committee in his meeting with a ZANU-PF delegation in Beijing.

    It's in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples
for CPC and ZANU-PF to enhance exchange and cooperation, Wang told Defense
Minister Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa who is heading the Zimbabwe ruling
party's delegation.

    Wang proposed to step up high-level visits, exchange on parties'
capacity building and cooperation between the two countries' youth and women

    Mnangagwa agreed with Wang's remarks, saying Zimbabwe will insist
on the one-China policy, enhance cooperation with China in various fields
while confronting with the severe economic difficulties in a bid to boost
bilateral ties.

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University of Zimbabwe will not produce graduates this year

June 29 2009 , 6:39:00

Thulasizwe Simelane, Harare

Zimbabwe`s main university is not going to produce graduates this
year, due to its protracted closure. The University of Zimbabwe opened
briefly in February this year, but has been shut since then. The closure is
blamed on a combination of a lack of water on the main campus, students
striking over fees charged in foreign currency and lecturer's downing tools
over pay.

University authorities have pledged to reopen the main campus in July,
after aid agency Unicef installed bore-holes to restore water supplies.
However, students are skeptical about the undertaking.

Vice Chancellor, Levy Nyagura says, "The undergraduate programmes are
close to being restarted, we're finalising the provision of water, which had
been a major constraint, and once that is done, I expect to see these
students back here."

But, even when that happens, there's no guarantee all those enrolled
will complete their programmes. Student leader Lovemore Chinoputsa says,
"The fees that are being charged are high, considering that our parents are
earning a hundred dollars as an allowance, so they cannot afford to put
aside the four hundred that is demanded."

However, the university says it's exactly these kinds of complaints
that brought the institution to its knees in the first place. "The students,
parents, sponsors and guardians have let the university down, because there
should be cost sharing in the provision of education, not government
shouldering all the responsibility," said Nyagura.

Analysts warn that the closure, coupled with protracted disruptions of
the past few years, will have long-term ripple effects in the economy's
human resource base.

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Marondera farmers' case takes new twist

Monday, June 29, 2009

Herald Reporter

The trial of white commercial farmers accused of refusing to vacate Golden
Acres Estate in Marondera, took a new twist last Friday when the defence
made an emergency application that the case be referred to the Supreme Court
to settle several constitutional issues.

The defence wants the Supreme Court to rule if land acquired well after
independence can be gazetted for resettlement, if there is racial bias in
gazetting land for resettlement and how far the Global Political Agreement
changes constitutional disputes.

Golden Acres Estate measures 964,426 hectares and is registered in the name
of Nyamwera Holdings under deed of transfer 42/93.

The farmers - represented by Ms Hellen Newmarch - were given notice to
vacate the estate after it was gazetted for resettlement on March 21, 2003
in terms of section 16 (B)(2)(a)(iii) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The estate was subsequently acquired through Constitutional Amendment (No.
17) Act and appears in schedule 7 of the Act.

Chief law officer Mr Tawanda Zvekare of the Attorney General's Office said
the accused were supposed to have vacated the estate by February 5, 2007,
but they defied the law by refusing to leave.

The defence, led by Advocate Lewis Uriri who was assisted by Advocate
Thabani Mpofu, argued that the land in question was acquired by his clients
in 1993, long after independence, and its acquisition fell outside the
parameters of section 16 and 17 of the Constitution.

"The constitutional structure of Zimbabwe today rests on the Global
Political Agreement, which has appropriate sections relating to argument
about constitutional issues," said Adv Uriri.

He said section 16 (b) of the Constitution was applied in a racially
discriminatory manner to the extent that all land acquired was in respect of
non-black people.

"It would be prudent for the Supreme Court to determine the
constitutionality of acquiring land that was bought well after
independence," said Adv Uriri.

However, Mr Zvekare urged the court to throw away the application, arguing
that the defenCe submissions were frivolous and vexatious, with the land in
question having been properly acquired in terms of the law.

"Of course, the GPA takes precedence over constitutional matters, but it is
incorrect to say this prosecution is racially motivated.

"The accused are free to apply for land as everyone else and it is on record
that some white farmers have been given offer letters."

Magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi is expected to deliver his ruling on the
application this Friday.

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Chihuri rewards alleged killer policeman

June 29, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri has promoted Inspector
Mawone, the alleged killer of a female police recruit during training in
November last year, to the position of Chief Inspector.It was not possible
over the weekend to ascertain the first name of Mawone, an instructor at
Harare's Morris Depot police training school. Sources in the police force
say, however, that he has also since been drafted into a team of police
officers due for deployment on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in
Kosovo in August.

Mawone was accused last year of viciously assaulting police recruit Pamela
Mudzingwa resulting in her death. Mudzingwa was 26 years old.

Those who witnessed the assault said the attack was so savage that the
recruit soiled her pants before she lapsed into unconsciousness.

Mudzingwa was rushed to the Morris Depot clinic from where she was referred
to Parirenyatwa Hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the

Mawone, who was not formally charged with murder or assault, was later
"exonerated" on the basis of a postmortem report which claimed the death was
caused by a low sugar level in the blood of the deceased.

Mudzingwa's relatives insisted the postmortem was falsified to protect the
police instructor.

There were claims that Deputy Commissioner Barbara Mandizha ordered police
details from Harare's Homicide section not to prefer any charges against
Mawone, who is said to be related to her. Mandizha is said a powerful force
in the police force.

Vicious assaults on police recruits by their trainers were captured in a
recent video ( which was
clandestinely short and leaked to the press by sources close to the

"Mawone's promotion and deployment for peacekeeping duties is a reward for
the 'good job' he is doing," one of the police sources said.

"It is highly unlikely that one can be deployed for UN duties when the
police command is not satisfied with one's performance."

It is the ambition of all police officers in Zimbabwe's police force to take
part in the lucrative UN missions.

Those successfully deployed for such duties are paid US$130 per day for the
entire one year duration of their mission. Civil servants in Zimbabwe
currently earn $100 per month across the board.

Zimbabwe's police force has conveniently used UN deployments to reward
"loyal" officers.

Over the past years, loyalty within the police force has been measured in
terms of open support for President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

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ZANU PF Distances Itself From Militia Lootings

BIKITA, June 29 2009 - Hordes of ZANU PF youth militia who were
ordered by the courts to pay back property and livestock which they grabbed
from rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters, were last week
left stranded after their bid to get help from senior party officials hit a

 RadioVOP is reliably informed that more than 20 ZANU PF supporters
from Bikita's Nyahunda area, approached the provincial chairperson Lovemore
Matuke seeking either financial or material help so that they could be able
to return the property which they looted towards last year's June 27
presidential runoff election.

However, Matuke openly told them that the party has nothing to do with
their problems. He reportedly told the supporters to look for other means to
return the property because "the party did not use anything from the MDC".

Contacted for comment, Matuke said ZANU PF does not promote violence
or lawlessness. He added that those who were overzealous during the
elections, in the name of the party, should now face the consequences.

"We can not pay for individuals who were looting using the name of the
party. If anyone committed a crime, then the law shall catch up with him. If
someone sent them, then let that person be answerable and pay for them, not
the party.

"For your own information, I lost the elections but I never sent
anyone to go and loot things from my rivals but I am the chairperson.
Criminals must not hide behind our name," he said.

Matuke is however, reported to have secretly met with MDC-T's
provincial spokesperson and Member of Parliament for Masvingo Urban Tongai
Matutu and pleaded with him to stop representing MDC supporters in Bikita.

Speaking to RadioVOP, Matutu of the Matutu and Kwirira legal
practitioners, confirmed that Matuke approached him last week.

"Matuke pleaded with me to withdraw legal help to our supporters in
Bikita. He told me that his supporters are very poor to the extent that they
cannot afford to buy themselves even undergarments, but I responded by
saying those people who looted knew that they were not able to buy even

"We are still working on our papers to make sure that those who
committed crimes are arrested and pay for the damage," said Matutu.

Some chiefs like Budzi and Mabika, who sought out of court
settlements, have since returned the property, which they looted, from MDC-T

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Zim threatened with blackout

Monday, June 29, 2009

Business Editor

THE country risks being switched off by regional powerhouses if the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority fails to settle in part or in full the more
than US$57 million debt it owes by Tuesday, it has been leant.

ZESA imports power from the regional powerhouses mainly from Mozambique's
Hidroelectrica De Cahora Bassa, which is owed more than US$40 million.
It also imports power from SNEL in the Democratic Republic of Congo and
sometimes Eskom from South Africa.
Apart from the US$57 million debt, the local power utility is accumulating
between US$6 and US$7 million in monthly bills from the regional powerhouses
that have continued to supply power to the country despite the debts.
ZESA chief executive officer Engineer Ben Rafemoyo, however, said the power
utility would try to meet its monthly obligations while a workable paying
arrangement is being negotiated to pay from the little trickling in from
consumers who have been paying after the company indicated that it would
disconnect those who are in arrears.
"By Tuesday, which is the deadline we must have paid something or we will be
switched off. It will give us the leeway to negotiate for more supplies
while we look for the money,'' he said.
Although Eng Rafemoyo could not say how much the utility had raised over the
few weeks when consumers have been flocking to the company's offices to
clear their debts, he said the amount was still not enough as big companies
had not been forthcoming.
"We have had a positive response from mainly domestic consumers but big
companies have not been paying. From the amount we have been getting I think
we can now pay our monthly bills while we negotiate how we can pay the debt,''
he said.
Eng Rafemoyo said once the utility is able to meet the monthly bills
obligations, it would allow the company to re-negotiate for more supplies.
"Our aim is to make sure that the debt does not accumulate and we at least
pay these monthly bills. If we can do this then we can se how we can pay the
debt. The suppliers have been understanding but like any supplier they are
also expecting us to pay up.''
He said the debt situation was now so bad that some of the suppliers had
been inquiring about the payments almost every morning.
"Over the past days some of the companies have been making daily inquiries
on the payments.''
If the suppliers switch off Zimbabwe, the power situation is likely to get
The country is already facing massive power shortages as local generation
units at Hwange Power Station and Kariba have been operating below capacity.
This has resulted in massive load shedding that has curtailed the revival of
industry and inconvenienced domestic consumers.
Coal supplies at Hwange have been limited while the generators at Kariba are
constantly down.
Even if the stations are operating at full capacity, they are unable to meet
national needs.
To raise the money, the power utility company issued ultimatums to customers
to pay up their debts or risk being switched off.
The company gave customers who have not paid their bills from February to
settle them by Friday last week or risk being switched off.

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Starving Zim prisoners to be released

Moses Mudzwiti Published:Jun 29, 2009

ZIMBABWE'S cash-strapped government is considering freeing starving
prisoners in an effort to reduce the prison mortality rate that has already
topped 1000 in the past six months.

"The amnesty is going to mainly focus on the state of the prisoners'
 health," said an unnamed prison official who was quoted in the state-owned
Sunday Mail.

But, like most things in Zimbabwe, the planned amnesty will not take place
until president Robert Mugabe, 85, allows it.

For months, overcrowded prisons have not been able to feed inmates,
resulting in numerous deaths. Most of the dead were known to have succumbed
to malnutrition-related illnesses.

Government appeals for financial assistance to run its prisons have not
yielded anything, forcing the authorities to consider releasing as many
prisoners as possible. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said: "We are
going to grant prisoners in different categories amnesty."

Chinamasa said that his ministry was waiting for Mugabe "to give us
authority to carry out the exercise".

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Zimbabweans call for unity government term extension

Monday, 29 Jun 2009 00:01

Around 30 per cent of Zimbabweans want the country's transitional unity
government to be extended beyond its two years, a new survey has revealed.

Research by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MSPI), a local research body,
claims a large section of the population fears violence will return in two
years' time once the government term expires.

Zimbabwe's transitional unity government, according to the power-sharing
deal, must hand over power to a new government in the next 18 to 24 months.
Fresh elections held under a new constitution currently being drafted should
decide its makeup.

"Twenty nine per cent of the population favours a longer term for the
inclusive government because they needed to rest from previous trauma from
violent electoral processes," Anyway Nyapwadza, the principal researcher of
MSPI said during her presentation of the research report.

But 23 per cent of the 12 million-strong population have demanded that the
unity government cease exercising power in two years' time during elections
when a new constitution is in place, according to the survey.

The research report by MSPI is titled: The Zimbabwe Economy and People's
Survival Strategies.

MSPI is a local research body established in 1999 and has conducted many
researches on topical issues mainly those linked to politics.

Last year, Zimbabweans witnessed wide-scale election violence blamed on
president Robert Mugabe's loyalists who chased away thousands of opposition
supporters from their homes and reportedly killed over 100 others.

Mr Mugabe was forced to the negotiating table after the violent presidential
run-off poll which he won in a one-man ballot. Opposition leader and now
premier, Morgan Tsvangirai, had pulled out in protest over the ongoing

The protracted power sharing talks over the political crisis gave birth to a
unity government between long time ruler Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai in

The research report by the MSPI says, however, the unity government had
brought hopes to sections of the population that Zimbabwe could once again
regain its status as a model African economy with a vibrant health and
education sector among others.

"The survey revealed that there is optimism which people have about the
inclusive government, Ms Nyapwadza added

"The survey showed that Zimbabweans felt that they were better off than they
were a year ago."

Around $10 billion is still required by the unity government to reverse a
ten-year economic decline seen in the near collapse of almost all sectors
and shortages of almost all commodities when the crisis reached alarming
proportions last year.

A tour of Europe and the US by Mr Tsvangirai to raise funds for the
government last week yielded only a tenth of the amount. Promises of more
aid are dependent on drastic political and economic reforms.

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Govt Waives School Fees

29 June 2009

Harare - Tuition fees at State schools for the second term have been waived
and pupils have to pay only admission fee of US$5 for primary schools and
US$10 for secondary schools plus levies agreed to by a majority of parents.

In an interview last week, Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David
Coltart said the Government agreed that the admission fees already
stipulated were enough for tuition, and no more payments would be made other
than levies.

In May this year, Government pegged admission fees for State primary and
secondary schools while Cabinet was considering the amounts pupils should
pay as tuition fees.

Minister Coltart had hinted then that the new school fees would be less than
the US$20 for primary schools and US$50 for secondary schools set for the
first term.

Cabinet had now sat to discuss school fees and ruled that the admission fees
that it set were adequate for this term.

"Cabinet did consider what parents should pay as tuition fees, but came to
the conclusion that it was not necessary to burden them with another demand
for money," said Minister Coltart.

"The admission fees we announced were deemed as enough for this term. What
school authorities then need to do is to determine levies that should be
collectively agreed to by parents in a meeting," he said.

The minister emphasised that it was critical that school authorities
consulted parents in coming up with amounts that should be paid as levies.

"This is in terms of the law, no one is above the law, it should be complied
with," he said.

Asked when the Government would determine examination fees for November, he
said his ministry was still working on figures.

"That is still being worked on. We are through with the June examinations,
what now remains is examination fees for November," Minister Coltart said.

Government set an examination fee of US$10 per subject for Ordinary Level,
an amount some parents and guardians struggled to find, resulting in many
pupils either registering fewer subjects or not registering altogether.

Two weeks ago, Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Lazarus
Dokora told Parliament that it was critical to peg fees that would enable
the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council to conduct the examinations
He was responding to questions raised by Members of the House of Assembly on
the examination fees which they said were too high.

The legislators had asked if it was not possible to stagger payments since
marking usually begins in December and January, while fees are required to
be paid during registration, mostly around March to May.

But Deputy Minister Dokora said marking was not the only cost related to
preparing examinations, as there were other expenses such as transport and
preparing of question papers.

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Police Seal Off Gutu Goldfields

GUTU, June 29 2009 - Heavily armed police have been deployed to seal
off the Zoma area, 35 kilometers north of the expansive growth point, where
gold deposits were discovered a fortnight ago, to bar illegal miners from
prospecting, provincial spokesperson, Inspector Phibion Nyambo told RadioVOP

Inspector Nyambo said 'he had received orders from above' to deploy
heavily armed police Monday to scare away the illegal miners, most of whom
participated in mining diamonds in Marange district in Manicaland last year,
who had flooded the area.

"I was told that gold panners had become a menace in the area, with
school children deserting classes, and teachers and other civil servants
failing to turn up for work as they tried their luck.

"This morning, I got orders from above to deploy officers into the
area, and as I am speaking right now, police in Gutu have sealed off the
area, while awaiting reinforcements from nearby stations. We have also
mounted numerous roadblocks along the way to curb the illegal trafficking of
the mineral," said Insp Nyambo.

While Inspector Nyambo refused to divulge names of his superiors who
had given the instructions, indications are that the story of the gold rush
carried in today's state controlled Herald newspaper, could have led to the

Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu, could not be
reached for a comment at the time of publishing.

But an Environmental Management Agency (EMA) officer in Gutu said riot
police, armed to the teeth, descended on the illegal miners Monday
mid-morning. But the fortune seekers were reportedly vowing not to give up
easily, and are playing cat-and mouse with the state security agents.

"They have not gone anywhere far; they are just hiding in the hills,
waiting for darkness to come. They are playing hide and seek with the
police. I foresee reinforcements being called in to control the crowds,"
said the EMA officer, who declined to be named.

He decried the environmental challenge that they had posed, indicating
growing fears that Cholera might resurface.

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Zimbabwean banks still struggling: Barclays

Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:06pm GMT

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean banks are still struggling to re-establish
themselves after the economic crisis that forced people to operate on a cash
basis and left most money outside the banking system, Barclays said.

Barclays Zimbabwe managing director George Guvamatanga told an investment
conference on Monday businesses were still worried about politics despite
the formation of a unity government between arch rivals President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"We are all arguing over what premium to put on the Zimbabwe risk factor,
and what that risk is," he said. "We are still trying to find our feet."

Guvamatanga said banks in Zimbabwe held $475 million in deposits at the end
of May while an estimated $600-$1,000 million cash was circulating outside
the banking system.

Zimbabweans lost confidence in the financial sector years of hyperinflation
that triggered bank note shortages and left many people having to carry
bundles of cash for simple transactions.

"We still have an issue of trust because people lost their money during
several currency changes, and so they are not going to the banks," he said.

Guvamatanga said while the adoption of multiple foreign currencies had eased
inflation of 230 million percent a year ago, banks were struggling to
attract savings and offer loans.

But he said Barclays Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of British bank Barclays Plc and
one of four foreign banks in the country, would be able to expand in a
market with 28 banks.

"Despite the challenges, Barclays is maintaining a consistent strategy and
direction. We believe that we can cautiously and confidently grow the
business," he said.

He declined to give earnings or revenue forecasts, citing stock exchange
disclosure restrictions.

Guvamatanga said Barclays had managed to maintain all 40 branches and 987
workers despite an economic decline described by the World Bank as the
fastest outside a war zone.

"Although other banks have been forced to retrench and to introduce
short-working hours, we have maintained our position because we are looking
ahead," he said.

There had been "some positive change in both the political and economic
environment" since February's launch of a power-sharing government, he said.

In January, Harare lifted a ban on the use of foreign currency to stem
hyperinflation that had rendered the Zimbabwe dollar almost worthless.

The move left Zimbabwe without an interbank market and reduced the central
bank to a simple supervisory role as it lacks foreign currency reserves to
be banker of last resort.

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Trade union boss bemoans loss of jobs

June 29, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Visiting Netherlands Trade Union Confederation President, Agnes
Jongerius, says government should initiate moves to compensate thousands of
farm workers who lost their jobs during the height of Zimbabwe's land reform
programme a few years ago.

Jongerius said although Zimbabwe's land reform programme was intended to
benefit ordinary Zimbabweans, her delegation has noted that the programme
also left farm workers who had survived for years working in the farms now
struggling to survive.

"The land reform programme which took place in the name of addressing the
historical injustices, has made hundreds of thousands farm workers
unemployed and homeless," she said.

She was speaking to journalists at the end of her five day tour of Zimbabwe
where she had come to assess the situation in the country in as far as the
respect of trade union rights and workers rights was concerned.

Her visit was also meant to assess the political and socio economic
conditions of workers and see if they were consistent with internationally
recognized standards.

During her visit, she met workers from both the formal and informal sectors,
Non Governmental Organisations and some workers who lost their jobs for
various reasons.

She failed however to meet any government official.

She added, "Farm invasions have intensified since the inclusive government
was formed and thousands of workers lost their income and have no roofs
above their heads.

"The workers who have worked on these farms for many years, with some living
for generations, have no say in the future of those farms.

"We have seen horrible cases of people camping by the roadside, and in
needless suffering. The land audit, which is mentioned in the GPA, has not
yet started. The compensations, which should be paid to former workers of
expropriated farms, have not been paid."

Jongerius also bemoaned the absence of what she said was a national policy
to guarantee a minimum wage for all workers saying those working on the
farms and within households were being paid wages of below $50.

She also said there were still laws that inhibited the enjoyment of basic
rights among Zimbabwean workers and called on government to start paying
workers living wages as opposed to the $100 day allowances each government
worker is currently getting across the board.

She concurred with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)'s demands of
a minimum $454 salary per month for all Zimbabwean workers.

Jongerius further lamented what she found to be lack of will on the part of
local authorities to build suitable structures that would accommodate
millions of workers who lost their jobs and were now engaged in self help

"The workers surviving in the informal economy are extremely vulnerable,"
she said.

"They have no social protection, no safe places to work, and although those
who are organized in the ZCIEA sometimes experience support from the side of
the local authorities, there are no proper policies in place on the national
level to protect their livelihood and social well-being."

She also called on government to allow its workers to participate in trade
union activities as this allowed them to assert their rights as workers.

Zimbabwe's civil servants face political victimization if they go on strike
or take part in other activities which government finds as tantamount to
making a political statement against the establishment.

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Refugees a target of police corruption in South Africa

This blog was sent to us by a Zimbabwean refugee trying to survive in South
Africa. It details the experiences that some foreigners have at the hands of
the more corrupt members of the South African police force.

The Police in Johannesburg have introduced the stop and search operation
which only sees it targeting foreigners. This is suppose to be a good move
because it was introduced to offer safety for the Confederations Cup
(soccer) that is underway and 2010 World Cup that is to be held next year
but the police are abusing the move for their personal gains.

Everyday I move around because I am not working. It is difficult for some
South Africans to get a job in their country, but more for us as foreigners.
The law here in South Africa allows companies to give first preference to
locals and later it may be given to foreigners. So to get employment is just
like trying to match lotto numbers, very difficult.

One day when I was going to watch a match in Joubert Park where there is a
big television screen for everybody to watch for free, it was Bafana Bafana
playing against Iraq. Bafana Bafana is the name given to the South African
football squad.

I met three guys, so they showed me their police cards and demanded to
search me. Since they were police I accepted and they did their work very
fast. When they finished, I think they wanted unlicensed guns because here
in Johannesburg robbers carry guns. They asked me questions like where am I
going, what is your name only to identify which language to speak. They know
that most of those who speak Zulu here in Johannesburg chances are high to
be Zimbabwean. I am very fluent in Zulu because Zulu and Ndebele are almost
the same and I have spent seven years here in South Africa of which the two
years I was in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

I was then asked to produce identification; I did not have it because if you
always carry the asylum it will be torn very fast because of the paper is
not very strong. One of them asked me what am I saying and I knew he wanted
money for bribe because I didn't have my document at hand. I asked them to
take me to the flat where I stay which was less than a kilometre away and
they said cannot do that. They will rather arrest me and deport me in

I'm used to them and I know their tricks and know my rights. Those who do
not know their rights became frightened, pay bribes and if they don't they
sometimes spend the whole day in the police car, others get beaten and cell
phones taken by police. When they find out you really do not have the money
they take you to the charge office and you will be charged with loitering.

I was taken inside the car and for four hours we were moving around and the
car was full. Those with relatives who call and claim they have the money,
the police will drive there to take the money. Those who bring the money
they are not asked for identification I think because they are good
'clients. They went around with us up until the match was finished at eight
o'clock and now we were just two in the car and the police looked very
happy, I think because they had money. People who pay bribes they pay
amounts ranging from R200 to R300 for not having documentation and other
criminal cases are higher depending on the case and how you talk to them.

We were about twenty and I believe the three policeman received R1 500 to R2
000 from us. They asked us separately where we stay and they just delivered
us to our places. There my daughter was surprised about me. Before I went to
watch the match I left her with her friends who stays with their Mum and it
was time to sleep and they had to wait for me not knowing when I will come.
They did not call me because they are also having no money at all.

Everyone who is not South African and having no proper documents and are
scared to be deported back to their home country pay bribes and those with
proper documents like asylum and permits are arrested and charged with
loitering and released the next day. I understand some police know where the
foreigners stay so every month end they come to collect the bribe. They say
the bribe is called inhlalakahle a Zulu or Ndebele name meaning stay well.
Those who pay inhlalakahle even if they are arrested in anywhere by other
police they phone their own police to come to talk to the other police and
they are released.

This entry was posted by SA Refugee on Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

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Cross-border diamond deals sidestep Kimberley Process

Photo: IRIN
In many African countries the illicit diamond trade has been used to finance wars
JOHANNESBURG, 29 June 2009 (IRIN) - Signatories to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) - an international initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds - restated their commitment to the scheme at the close of a three-day meeting in Namibia on 26 June, but campaigners warned that more action, not talk, was needed now.

"There were some useful discussions ... [but] it is not possible to be more positive unless governments take concrete action," said Amy Barry, spokesperson for Global Witness (GW), a UK-based NGO that seeks to prevent the use of natural resources to fuel conflict, and a prime mover in setting up the KPCS.

The cooperative effort by government, industry and civil society imposes extensive requirements on its members before allowing them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as "conflict-free".

But discontent in civil society organizations has grown steadily since the scheme was launched in January 2003, that not enough was being done to stampout the illicit stones, also called 'blood diamonds'. 

"In theory there are structures in place; it is now a question of political will in implementing them," commented Elly Harrowell, assistant campaigner at GW.


The Kimberly Process

In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution supporting an international certification scheme for rough diamonds. 

The Kimberley Process (KP) began when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, in May 2000, to discuss ways to stop the trade in "conflict diamonds", to ensure that the sale of rough diamonds did not fund violence. 

Rebel movements in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone were using rough diamonds to finance conflict in their own or sometimes neighbouring countries.

By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organizations led to the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). 

The KPCS document sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade, and came into force in 2003, when participating countries started implementing its rules. 

Participating states must put in place national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; and commit to transparency and the exchange of statistical data. 

The KP has 49 members, representing 75 countries, and accounts for some 99.8 percent of the global production of rough diamonds.

Participating countries and industry and civil society observers gather twice a year at intersessional and plenary meetings, as well as getting together regularly in working groups and committees.

Implementation is monitored by means of "review visits" and annual reports, as well as the regular exchange and analysis of statistical data.

Source: Kimberley Process -
A statement by a coalition of civil society organizations, including GW, Partnership Africa Canada, and Green Advocates, called on governments to "translate the positive discussions ... into strong commitments and concrete actions to close the loopholes that continue to compromise the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process."

In particular, they emphasized the need for KPCS signatory governments and working groups to investigate statistical anomalies and illicit cross-border trade between participants more promptly.

"We urge participant governments to strengthen internal controls and improve monitoring systems in producing countries, but also in trading and cutting and polishing centres," said Susanne Emond of Partnership Africa Canada.

According to GW's Harrowell, information on the flow of stones into and out of major cutting and polishing centres, like Surat in India and Antwerp in Belgium, was still very limited, creating a possible entry point for conflict diamonds into the legitimate multimillion-dollar market. "Once just one side of a diamond is polished it is no longer covered by the KPCS," she pointed out.

First test

A significant concern ahead of the meeting was the need for KPCS participant governments "to address cases of serious non-compliance by some members; in particular, campaigners sounded the alarm about the human rights abuses, militarization of mining and diamond smuggling taking place in Zimbabwe's diamond sector."

Human Rights Watch, an international watchdog, published a report on 26 June that claimed massive human rights violations were taking place in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields.

The report documented how the police and army used force "to control access to the diamond fields, and to take over unlicensed diamond mining and trading". President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party was accused of profiting from the alleged abuses. A KPCS team is visiting the country to probe the alleged illegal diamond trade.

GW's Annie Dunnebacke said, "We sincerely hope that the upcoming Kimberley Process review mission to Zimbabwe is given unfettered access to the sites and people it needs to see. We urge the government ... to fulfil its pledge to guarantee the safety of all individuals and groups." 


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Without SADC intervention GNU will fail

June 29, 2009

By Tendai Dumbutshena

IF THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) does not want the
inclusive government in Zimbabwe to fail, it must actively intervene to
ensure full compliance with the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Failure to do so will see the inclusive government flounder.

The reality is that the two main parties - Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's
MDC - are working against each other. They are not pulling in one direction.
Public pronouncements from both sides about their commitment to the
agreement are only meant to deceive. Behind the scenes private agendas are
being driven to gain decisive advantage at the end of the inclusive
government's life - whenever that will be.

The two parties left to their own devices will not deliver on what are
supposed to be key objectives of the government. All indications point to a
messy and conflict-ridden constitution making process that will end with the
Kariba Draft being forced down the throats of Zimbabweans.

The process will deepen divisions within the government and produce a
document not acceptable to the majority of Zimbabweans. No steps are being
taken to ensure that elections to be held after the adoption of a new
constitution will be free and fair. Take that together with a bankrupt
government unable to pay salaries and deliver services and you have a strong
recipe for failure. No amount of sworn commitment and sweet words can alter
the reality of a process that will collapse under the weight of the
conflicting agendas of the MDC-T and Zanu-PF.

It is SADC that fought hard to instal this inclusive government. The
regional body is also the GPA's guarantor. If it is serious about finding a
lasting solution in Zimbabwe it must be proactive. It must shift from its
position of protecting and mollycoddling Robert Mugabe. This was a position
championed for years by Thabo Mbeki who abused his role as mediator to
advance the interests of Zanu-PF as a sister liberation movement to the ANC.

This is an opportune moment for the region to do what is right for the
people of Zimbabwe. SADC must be a neutral arbiter only seeking adherence by
all parties to the GPA. All the people of Zimbabwe want from SADC is for it
to live up to its responsibilities and act in a fair manner. Fairness
demands that Mugabe is forced to abide by what he agreed to in the GPA.
Fairness demands that everything be done to produce a free and fair election
after the adoption of a new constitution. Fairness demands that Zanu-PF is
not allowed to run these elections. There must be active participation by
the international community under SADC or the UN to ensure that violence and
rigging play no part in the elections. Sending observers three weeks before
polls will simply not work.

But there are many things to be done before Zimbabwe gets to new elections.
All repressive legislation must be repealed. A free media environment must
be created. The criminal justice system should be allowed to function
independently. No one must be denied due legal process. Politically
motivated violence must stop as well as arbitrary arrests and prosecutions.
Farm invasions must cease.

There should be an end to violations of court orders. The rule of law in all
its manifestations must be upheld. There must be full restoration of civil
liberties. A genuine participatory constitution making process must take
place. It should result in a constitution with entrenched checks and
balances to prevent abuses of power by an imperial presidency. This list is
by no means exhaustive. This will not be done if SADC does not step in.
Zanu-PF is not interested in creating a free society in Zimbabwe. The MDC is
powerless to do anything about Mugabe's violations of the GPA.

Sadly signs are that SADC will yet again fold its arms in the face of Mugabe's
intransigence. After the recent SADC summit on Madagascar, King Mswati of
Swaziland was asked about the MDC's letter seeking mediation on the dispute
over the unilateral appointments of Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana as
Reserve Bank Governor and Attorney-General respectively. He said the dispute
should be handled by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC) which has representatives of the three parties that signed the GPA.
As the MDC's Nelson Chamisa pointed out last week, JOMIC is a useless body.
If this is the stock answer SADC will give to all calls for its mediation as
guarantor then Zimbabweans must brace themselves for failure.

During his trip to the United States and Western Europe Prime Minister
Tsvangirai met with widespread skepticism. This was understandable because
the record of the inclusive government does not inspire confidence. Many
countries would support a process that fully complies with an agreement that
gave rise to it. They want to be convinced that the journey Zimbabwe should
be embarked on is irreversible and will yield the desired results. There is
no such evidence in Harare. The GPA is more honoured in its breach than
observance. There is absolutely nothing to inspire confidence that this
process will culminate in a good constitution and free and fair elections.

The two major parties are not acting in tandem. They are at each other's
throats. Zanu-PF believes the MDC is still clandestinely engaged in a
conspiracy with Western powers to effect regime change. These allegations
were made by Mugabe himself at Zanu-PF's Central Committee meeting last
week. It was also alleged at the same gathering that money pledged by these
countries was meant to boost the MDC in the run-up to the elections.
International agencies and NGOs will disburse the funds to "social
ministries" controlled by the MDC such as health and education. Some of it
presumably would end up in MDC coffers.

To counter this Zanu-PF dispatched Emmerson Mnangagwa and Oppah Muchinguri
to China, Malaysia and Russia to seek funds. Mugabe angered by what he sees
as a wicked Western plot to shift him from power called on Zimbabwe to turn
its back on imperialists and colonizers.

"The only good imperialist is a dead one," he said.

Mugabe's strategy in dealing with the MDC is twofold. First, he realizes
that Tsvangirai's credibility is being eroded by his inability to effect
change within the inclusive government. He will continue to frustrate and
humiliate Tsvangirai not only to further discredit him in the eyes of his
supporters but to exacerbate tensions within the MDC. Unfortunately
Tsvangirai is aiding this strategy by coming across as Mugabe's naïve
lackey. If his party does not wake up to this and get its leader back on
rails all could be lost.

If this strategy fails Mugabe has violence to fall back to. It is a tried
and tested method that has served him extremely well in the past. It remains
the biggest weapon in his armoury. There is absolutely no doubt that Zanu-PF
will not go into an election like a lamb to the slaughter. If defeat stares
it in the face like it did in previous elections, the party will resort to
violence and electoral manipulation.

This is precisely why it is unwilling to effect reforms that would make it
difficult to subvert the electoral process. The security forces remain
partial to Zanu-PF. Its commanders have openly stated that the presidency is
the preserve of those who took part in the liberation struggle. They
maintain a hostile distance from Tsvangirai to have no problems crushing him
when the time comes. The newly created National Security Council to replace
the Joint Operations Command (JOC) has not even met once. It was meant to
place the CIO, police and defence forces under the control of the three
parties to the agreement. You can bet your bottom dollar that the old JOC
still meets to plot Zanu-PF's real agenda.

The youth militia is still in place being paid from the fiscus. They are
ready for deployment. Frightened and suborned traditional leaders in rural
areas will continue to be Zanu-PF's political commissars. The
state-controlled print and electronic media finds it difficult to hide its
contempt for Tsvangirai. There will be no change there. In short nothing of
substance will change. The old machinery is still in place ready to swing
into action when Mugabe decides it is time to put an end to this charade

Another big advantage Mugabe has is that only he will decide when elections
are held. The GPA hints at the possibility of elections after the adoption
of a new constitution but this is not binding. According to a time frame
announced by Parliament a new constitution should be done and dusted by July
2010. There is no guarantee that this deadline will be met.

Already Zanu-PF has warned that unless the Kariba Draft is adopted wholesale
they will sabotage the whole constitution-making process.

The much-maligned Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) has at this early stage already been vindicated. The MDC_T is in a
weak position on this issue because it agreed to the Kariba Draft. They will
not be allowed to wiggle out of this one. It is safe to state that it is the
Kariba Draft that will be presented to the electorate for ratification next
year. Mugabe wants that because the powers of an executive president are not
tampered with. It will be yet another humiliating defeat for Tsvangirai.

The only thing that can prevent this depressing scenario from becoming
reality is intervention by SADC. The inclusive government is supposed to be

By their very nature transitional governments should have a limited mandate
and lifespan. They invariably fail when they try to be too ambitious. What
SADC should do is the following. It must insist on full implementation of
the GPA. The constitution-making process must not be reduced to what the
three parties agreed to in Kariba. A much broader constituency must have a
meaningful input. It must spearhead involvement in elections to ensure their
fair conduct. The regional body must insist that the constitution be adopted
within the stipulated time frame to be followed by elections.

Mugabe must not be allowed to needlessly prolong the life of the inclusive
government to suit his designs. There is also a temptation for the other
parties to play along so that their snouts remain in the trough for as long
as possible.

If SADC fails to do this and allows Mugabe to ride roughshod over
Zimbabweans it must not cry foul when more powerful forces outside the
region prescribe their own solutions.

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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Catching a falling Knife

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's world tour that sought to financially
reintegrate Zimbabwe into the international community finally came to a
close last week. Whether the mission was successful or not depends on your
political persuasion per se. While the Prime Minister carefully nuanced
positions on the status of the Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe and what the
future might (positively) hold, the facts on the ground indicate a
disturbing pattern. To the informed, there is no disagreement that the
perfidious game of political correctness which is now threatening to
diminish the PM's political capital has just begun. For the new PM, this is
not the most enviable of times 'to be king'.
Contrary to many critics, it must be noted that it was indeed a successful
trip. It could have been more successful if Zanu PF had stopped undercutting
the PM's mission by inciting more farm invasions, wanton arrest of lawyers
and journalists as well as engaging in all sorts of vituperation of the
West. Those who celebrate the booing of PM Tsvangirai also forgot to tell us
that the "Mugabe Must Go" sloganeering was even more rapturous and enduring
at that venue.

Inside Zanu PF there is an embittered lunatic fringe that is eternally
opposed to the inclusive government and all forms of progressiveness. These
die-hards are hard-wired to think that whatever US or UK says is tantamount
to imperial hubris. They will never learn that it is not 'cool' to spit into
the wind  or to lie to your doctor.

More conspicuously, Zanu PF's handyman, Jonathan Moyo again opened a new
chapter speaking contemptuously of the Prime Minister branding him a 'slave'
because President Obama had graciously welcomed him at the White House. To
this present day, no other man is as skilled as Jonathan Moyo at doing Zanu
PF's odd jobs. Remember his first odd job as the architect and director of
the "Yes Campaign" of a fraudulently re-written Constitution of 2000,
resoundingly defeated by the people of Zimbabwe. For some reason that got
him promoted to the Ministry of Information.

It was the same Jonathan Moyo, who told a pack of lies profusely and
shamelessly when he was Mugabe's Minister of (mis)information. He publicly
told the nation that he considered the  Daily News to be a national security
threat that needed to be dealt with "once and for all" a day before the
newspaper's printing press was savagely bombed  on January 28, 2001.

On one hand Mugabe is begging while on the other he is brazenly promoting
violence and lawlessness as his lieutenants wantonly locked up innocents,
mainly from the opposition MDC and harassing journalists. While the PM is
working hard to rebuild burnt bridges and alliances, Mugabe is busy wining
and dining with dictators such as Omar al Bashir who massacred hundreds of
thousands of black Africans in Sudan. There is a disconnect between begging
and arrogance. Then they complain that PM Tsvangirai's mission was a
disaster. It is an uphill task for PM Tsvangirai especially given Mugabe's
double standards.

What is there to contest when the PM says ""We have a real chance to turn
Zimbabwe into a success story in partnership with the international
community"? The tribal thinking purveyed by Mugabe and his ideologues that
Zimbabwe was somehow going to survive as a pariah state, was primitive,
destructive and became the quickest road to economic hell. Jonathan Moyo
underscored that mentality when he recently said "We are entitled to elect
nincompoops and suffer them for the duration of their tenure." Zanu PF
nincompoops were never elected, they imposed themselves on us!

In addition, the so-called war veterans are still on the rampage, roving and
raiding in search of plunder mostly sponsored by Mugabe and his men. Most of
those "war veterans," are nothing more than a bunch of rented thugs,
unemployed (unemployable, to be precise!) and too young to have fought in
the liberation war that ended nearly 30 years ago, most of them were not
even born! In any case who cares about useless war credentials, even though
most of them are concocted.  We are for democracy and economic prosperity.

What we are seeing in Zimbabwe at the moment is the epitome of chaos theory
of politics. We hear Gono must go by MDC vs Gono ain't going nowhere by
Mugabe, Mugabe for Kariba Draft  Constitution vs Tsvangirai rejects Kariba
Draft Constitution, no more farm invasions vs more farm invasions, US dollar
here to stay by Tsvangirai vs Mugabe urges return of Zimbabwe dollar, rule
of law restored vs journalists and activists arrested , Attorney General to
formally charge Biti with treason (again), MDC Director General still locked
up, Tsvangirai is Mugabe's puppet vs I am not Mugabe's puppet, by
Tsvangirai,  the litany of dichotomies goes on and on. The rhetoric has also
been ratcheting up week after week.

At the same time, buyer's remorse for the Inclusive Government has already
kicked in. Ordinary Zimbabweans are worried about Zanu PF's wanton
violations of Global Political Agreement (GPA) terms while MDC appears to be
unperturbed. The base is becoming increasingly anxious about the fate of the
Inclusive Government. The dream for hope and change seems to be slipping
away by the day.

The same is happening here in the US with the Obama administration.
President Obama has capitulated on a number of campaign promises: whether it
relates to prosecuting war crimes allegedly committed by Bush and company,
habeas corpus with regard to Obama's restoration of Bush's military
tribunals for Guantanamo prisoners indefinitely held there, cosmetic Wall
Street reforms, disenchantment with the way the wars are going particularly
in Afghanistan as well as frustrations with a fast dwindling economy are
some of the pertinent issues.

The major source of my personal misgivings and current buyer's remorse has
been the bloated size of the bankrupt Zimbabwe government which is chockfull
of redundant ministries.  For instance, it is retarded to have a Minister of
Education, Minister of AND Higher Education; Minister of Agriculture,
Minister of AND Lands, Minister of AND Water; Minister of Home Affairs and
Minister of AND Home Affairs (two of them) and of course there are several
ministers of State in the Ministers of state's offices (sic).

In Zimbabwean politics Zanu PF feeds and burgeons on organized chaos while
the MDC continues to play 'the nice guy'. To gain a perspective, Mugabe
thrives when things are fractious with a prevailing war-like situation that
breeds animosity and paranoia. To this present day Mugabe has created for
himself extremely messy situations that even saw hundreds of people dying
yet for him it served a sinister purpose as he is always the progenitor of
such chaos. Some of the situations seemed to indicate that the dictator was
cornered and finally going but only to see him emerging more viciously
entrenched than before. There is no better definition of a dictator than
someone who has been in power by hook and crook for 29 years and still

Mugabe and his Zanu PF party know fully well that they will never win any
free and fair election in Zimbabwe. For that reason, their political
machinations are light years ahead of the MDC, no wonder they are already
talking about the Kariba Draft which they are gearing to exploit in order to
circumvent the constitutional reform process. Mugabe believes that Zimbabwe's
politics is in his possession and under his dominion. MDC politicians have
to be strong enough to stand up to Zanu PF's cunning schemes.

When Prime Minister Tsvangirai says Mugabe is part of the and solution, he
'ain't kiddin'. For the faint-hearted, like me, I pray for the Prime
Minister's safety occasionally as he is surrounded by brigands. The problem
is that the Inclusive Government has ensured safety for thugs, murderers and
rapists whose atrocious human rights records are a 'public secret'. As a
result they have been given tacit approval to continue with those crimes
against humanity with impunity.

If more MDC-affiliated ministers were as fearless and tenacious as Tendai
Biti, half the GNU's problems would have been solved by now. Their docility
has huge political consequences for the people of Zimbabwe and for the PM
himself. Take the Home Affairs Minister, Giles Mutsekwa for instance,
wherever he has been hibernating all these months is quite a mystery. What a
waste of an appointment!

In what seemed like a brewing class warfare, we also learnt that the
Zimbabwean Diaspora community in the UK was extremely hostile to the Prime
Minister because he had appealed to them about the need to return home
arguing that Zimbabwe has become more stable than before the inclusive
government was instituted.

The notion that the Prime Minister was deliberately attempting to mislead
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora is political naiveté at its worst. We met him in
Washington DC and he said exactly the same words that he repeated in the UK.
We found no offense in his remarks, instead we saw a patriot whose sole
objective ( at least for now) is to ensure that the Diaspora urgently
re-engages with the homeland. If the people in the Diaspora want to hear a
false diagnosis of what Zimbabwe needs in order for it to move forward, then
the PM was certainly not the harbinger of such falsehoods. He was forthright
on that issue. What the brothers and sisters in the UK might have missed is
that the economic realities of the Zimbabwe situation require a massive
brain gain to reverse the brain drain that occurred.

On the other hand, it would be unfair to entirely blame the Diaspora for not
cordially welcoming the Prime Minister. Relations between Zimbabwean
politicians and those in the Diaspora have always been rocky.  Mugabe
himself started the animosity with his regular diatribes that ridiculed and
demeaned the people in the Diaspora.

I can understand the Zimbabwean Diaspora's frustrations. As reported in the
Herald of September 4, 2004 Mugabe's chronic bellicose rhetoric took him to
another level when he castigated the Diaspora saying: "Vanoenda kunaBlair
(Tony, British Prime Minister) vosvika ikoko basa ravanopiwa nderekuchengeta
tuchembere vachitukwenya misana. Aiwaka regai kutinyadzisa kudaro,"
(scoffing at the trashy jobs that the Diasporans sometimes settle for, such
as working in nursing homes)

Ironically, Mugabe's money-printing economy was literally sustained by
Diaspora remittances.  According to his own admission, the Minister of
Economic Planning Elton Mangoma, admitted recently that the Diaspora remits
up to US$1 billion a year to Zimbabwe. Surprisingly, there is no deliberate
strategy to harness this tremendous financial resource.

The mere fact that PM Tsvangirai teamed up with Mugabe and his ilk, the very
embodiments of violence, cruelty and moral ugliness is a source of
convulsions to many in the Diaspora. However there was no other way out of
this political quagmire except through the inclusive government. In any case
the Diaspora takes portion of the blame for deserting the struggle and
leaving it to MDC alone. Whoever mentioned that the people of Zimbabwe were
experiencing 'struggle fatigue' was right. It was not the first time Mugabe
had stolen an election yet nothing was done about that.

The general populace that the Diaspora left in Zimbabwe after the mass
exodus was incapable of waging a formidable civil disobedience (the
magnitude of recent Iranian uprising or Ukraine's Orange Revolution) that
was needed to topple Mugabe. The international community had given up on
Zimbabwe only to resurface last year with an inclusive government-type deal.
Probably if Zimbabwe and Sudan had weapons of mass destruction, that would
have been a different story as more and appropriate international attention
would have been invested in both countries.

In that regard, the Diaspora has not been included in the leadership of the
inclusive government regardless of the role it played (and continues to
play) in the Zimbabwean economy. Understandably so, previously the Diaspora
was not allowed to vote hence it was politically insignificant. Politicians
want power and votes. There is no doubt that the impending new constitution
will include the Diaspora vote hence resurrecting its role. Going forward,
who does not want part of the 'four million people' cake which is almost
half the entire electorate?

The Diaspora is suddenly becoming a strong force to reckon with even though
its true role continues to be bastardized by paranoid politicians. As a way
of illustration, let's do some fuzzy math here: There is no disagreement
that the four million people who left Zimbabwe are economically active.
Assuming that the inclusive government embarks on a 'US$100 per Diasporan'
fund raising campaign in exchange of stock ownership in a stable publicly
traded company, total revenue will be $400 million easily. Compare that with
the current pathetic monthly national revenues of US$6 million.

This donor/aid syndrome has blinded the Biti's and the Mangoma's of our time
who are responsible for economic recovery strategy. Home-grown solutions
work, but it starts by proactively engaging and appreciating the role that
the Diaspora can play. Things have to be done differently this time around.
It is sad to note that the Diaspora has been taken for granted yet it has
the potential to kick-start the economy in an enormous way.

Let us also remember that the battle to clean up Zimbabwe requires all of
us, each one playing his or her part and not just the MDC. Who said it is
safe out there (in Zimbabwe) for the PM and the MDC?  Dr. Martin L. King
once said: "Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the
question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But
conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one
must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular - but
one must take it simply because it is right."

In the contemporary context, for the PM, it was also a question of a flawed
communication strategy. The Diaspora in various parts of the world has
developed its own cultures, norms and sensitivities over the past decade.
There has to be a deliberate effort to politically and economically engage
the Diaspora. In all his speeches and interviews, the PM has at least five
competing audiences that have to be addressed, unfortunately simultaneously
most of the time: the international/donor community, the Diaspora, Zanu PF
machinery, MDC followers and the general Zimbabwean populace.

At this point the PM needs wordsmiths. His communications department should
be more than a mere spinning apparatus but a robust team that engages these
audiences on a regular basis churning out intelligent stuff. When we hear
that the PM has embarked on a newsletter it comes as no surprise. The
question still remains as to how far the MDC has taken issue with the
Herald. The MDC must demand its fair share of airtime as well as a complete
reform of the Herald to include firing partisan journalists. There has to be
a revolt because Zanu PF is getting away with too many crimes.

However that is not to say the PM must be allowed to manipulate people into
a tacit acceptance of many of the policies that he campaigned against and
that the MDC stands for. For instance it was inappropriate for him to say
that there is no violence in Zimbabwe (if reports are authenticated). For
those of us in MDC, we know fully well that there has to be strong loyal
opposition and self-criticism for our leadership, lack of which will be
self-destructive.  Zanu PF regime successfully produced the Mugabe monster.
By now Mugabe should have been comfortably and fully retired as an elderly
patriarch like Nelson Mandela.

In the world of stock market investments, it is a taboo to attempt to catch
a falling knife. It is considered suicidal to try and invest in a
freefalling stock like Zimbabwe, not until it bottoms out. For the PM,
trying to rescue Zimbabwe is like attempting to catch a falling knife. It is
lethal. It is this heroic dedication that should see men and women rallying
around the cause for reform and change in Zimbabwe. The journey is full of
several obstacles and treacheries.

 In carrying out his duties of helping to rebuild Zimbabwe, we have to
remember that Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has also morphed from being a mere leader
of an opposition party to a leader of a country.  It is also very easy to
judge the Prime Minister against a resume of five months yet we have a
failed Mugabe with a useless resume of nearly 30 years.

PM has a difficult task of trying to plug holes that were created by the
Mugabe's regime for so long. At the same time no one quite knows what
exactly the future holds. PM is in a battle to win for "hearts and minds" of
the international community. The Jonathan Moyo notion that somehow USA and
UK will just pour money into Zimbabwe is delusional. They are frustrated and
envious of the fact that the PM is proving to be a nimble politician,
surprisingly to them, contrary to many warped and preconceived notions such
as the one which Mugabe desperately  promoted when he occasionally branded
Tsvangirai as an 'ignoramus' that will 'never ever rule Zimbabwe!'

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Constitution Watch 4 of 27th June 2009 [PresidentialPowers in the Kariba Draft Constitution]


[27th June 2009]

Presidential Powers in the “Kariba Draft Constitution”

[Electronic version of Kariba Draft Constitution available on request]


On 30 September 2007 at Kariba, the Minister of Justice and the Secretaries-General of the two MDC formations agreed upon a draft Constitution to replace the present Constitution of Zimbabwe.  The draft, which is known as the Kariba Draft, was the culmination of secret negotiations between the parties sponsored by the then President of South Africa, Mr Mbeki.  The draft was never implemented but in Article 6 of the Inter-party Political Agreement [IPA], which deals with the constitution-making process, the parties “acknowledged” it and it was an annexure to the IPA.

MDC-T Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Mr Matinenga has said that the Kariba Draft is one of several draft constitutions that will be made available for reference, but he also said “Nobody owns the Kariba Draft and it is where it belongs – Kariba".  At its extraordinary National Executive meeting on Tuesday, the MDC resolved "to reject any attempts to have the Kariba draft, one of many drafts available, adopted as the Alpha and Omega of the constitution-making process".

Mr Mugabe has insisted that the Kariba Draft  should form the basis on which the new constitution is drafted and it was reported this week in the Independent that “the Zanu PF politburo recently tasked Minister of Women’s Affairs Olivia Muchena to go to the Parliamentary Select Committee to enforce the Kariba draft as the reference document”.

MDC-M are sticking to the principle that the parties to the IPA agreed that the Kariba Draft would be the working document that would be put to the people. 

Basis of Kariba Draft

Although the Kariba Draft is to some extent based on the Government Constitutional Commission Draft Constitution, which was rejected in a Referendum held in 2000, it gives the President more powers than this rejected Government Draft did.  It was very largely because of the excessive Presidential powers in the present Constitution that there was a popular drive for a new constitution culminating in the National Constitutional Assembly [NCA]’s proposed Constitution in 1999.  The NCA process stimulated the Government into setting up its own parallel constitution-making process.  The Government Commission’s Draft was rejected in the 2000 Referendum, largely because (a) it was mistrusted as emerging from a government driven process and (b) it did not reduce the President’s powers sufficiently.  It is going backwards to base the present constitution-making process on the Kariba Draft, which embodies fewer democratic principles than the rejected Government Draft Constitution. 

The Presidency

There is to be an executive President, as at present, elected in a country-wide election.  A President will be limited to two five-year terms, but tenure as President before the draft constitution comes into effect will not be counted, so Mr Mugabe will be eligible to continue in office for another 10 years.

There will be up to two Vice-Presidents appointed by the President, as under the present Constitution and they will hold office at the pleasure of the President.  They will act for the President in his absence and in the event of his death or incapacity one of them will act as President for up to 90 days, whereupon both Houses of Parliament acting together will elect someone to be President until the end of the former President’s unexpired term of office.

The President will have extensive executive powers.  Acting in his own discretion [i.e. without having to seek advice from anyone] he will be able to:

·   prorogue [adjourn] and dissolve Parliament;

·   appoint and dismiss Vice-Presidents, Ministers and Deputy Ministers and assign functions to them;

·   appoint “other public officers”;

·   appoint and receive diplomats, and conclude and execute treaties;

·   call referendums;  and

·   deploy the armed forces outside Zimbabwe.

Everything else he will have to do on the advice of the Cabinet.  [His powers under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission draft were more limited:  acting in his own discretion under that draft he could only prorogue and dissolve Parliament and appoint a Prime Minister.]

The President’s power to declare a state of emergency is much the same as under the present Constitution, but it will last for only three months, as opposed to six months at present, before having to be renewed; and the President will have to get Parliament’s approval within 14 days.  [Under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission draft the President had only 7 days to get approval.]

President Appoints Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Cabinet

As under the present Constitution, there will be Ministers and Deputy Ministers appointed by the President in his absolute discretion from members of Parliament.  It may be noted that under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission draft Ministers were to be appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister and there were to be no Deputy Ministers.  Again as at present, there will be no limit to the number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers that the President may appoint [though under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission Draft there were to be only 20 Ministers unless Parliament, by a two-thirds majority, agreed to more.]  The office of Prime Minister [which would have been provided for under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission Draft] has no place in the Kariba draft.  The Cabinet, as under the present Constitution, will be presided over by the President or a Vice-President [in the rejected Government Constitutional Commission Draft the Prime Minister would have presided.]  [Note under the IPA and the present Constitution there is provision for a Prime Minister and for certain presidential decisions to be taken in agreement with the Prime Minister.  This would obviously fall away if the Kariba Draft Constitution is adopted, as there would not be a Prime Minister.]

Presidential Powers vis a vis Parliament

The President will have to summon Parliament within 21 days after a general election, but apart from that, the position will be the same as under the present Constitution:  the President will have power to summon, dissolve or prorogue Parliament.

Presidential Powers vis a vis Judges

The Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice will be appointed by the President after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission;  the President will appoint other judges from lists of nominees drawn up by the Commission.  [Under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission Draft, the appointment of all judges would have been subject to approval by the Senate.]  It should be noted, moreover, that in the Kariba Draft  the Judicial Service Commission will consist almost entirely of presidential appointees:  the Chief Justice, the Judge President, the Minister of Justice, the Attorney-General, a nominee of the Public Service Commission and six other members appointed by the President in his own discretion.  [Under the rejected Government Constitutional Commission draft, the other members would have been appointed by the President on the advice of Cabinet and with the approval of the Senate.]

Presidential Powers vis a vis Attorney-General

The Attorney-General and Deputy Attorney-General are to be appointed by the President after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, as under the present Constitution, and the Attorney-General will continue to be a non-voting member of the Cabinet and Parliament.  [In the rejected Government Constitutional Commission draft, the Attorney-General would have been appointed on the advice of Cabinet and with the approval of the Senate.]

Presidential Powers vis a vis Service Commissions

The Public Service Commission will consist of a chairperson appointed by the President in his own discretion, and up to seven other members appointed by him with the approval of the Senate.  [In the rejected Government Constitutional Commission draft, the appointment of all the members would have been on the advice of the Cabinet and would have required approval from the Senate.]  The other service commissions — the Defence Forces, Police and Prison Service Commissions — will all consist of the chairperson of the Public Service Commission and other members appointed by the President in his discretion.

Presidential Powers vis a vis Security Forces

The officers commanding the Defence Forces, the Police Service and the Prison Service will all be appointed by the President in his own discretion, though in the case of the Commander of the Defence Forces he will have to consult the Defence Forces Service Commission and the Minister of Defence.  The President will be able to deploy the Defence Forces outside Zimbabwe in his absolute discretion [at the moment he has to consult with Cabinet]  but the deployment will be subject to later ratification by both Houses of Parliament.

Presidential Powers vis a vis Independent Commissions

The composition and functions of these Commissions — the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and Media Commission – will be the same as under the present Constitution, as amended by Constitution Amendment No. 19.  It should be noted, though, that under the Kariba draft the chairpersons of the Electoral and Human Rights Commissions will be appointed by the President in his own discretion, after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  [In the rejected Government Constitutional Commission Draft, by contrast, all the members of the Commissions would have been appointed by the President on the advice of Cabinet and with the approval of the Senate, and the Media Commission would have been established under an Act of Parliament.]

[Rejected Government Constitution Commission Draft Constitution put to the Referendum in 2000 available on request]

The Kariba Draft and Dual Citizenship

Not related to Presidential powers, but of great interest – to those in the Diaspora in particular – is the question of dual citizenship.  Again, the provisions relating to citizenship are essentially the same as those in the present ConstitutionThere is no provision permitting dual citizenship.  As in the present constitution the question of dual citizenship is left to be regulated by the Citizenship Act, which at the moment forbids it.  

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

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