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Zimbabwe police fire tear gas at protesters

By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press – 6 hours ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Police fired tear gas to disperse supporters of the
Zimbabwe prime minister's party outside a courthouse on Monday, witnesses

About 200 demonstrators gathered outside the High Court in downtown Harare
to protest charges being brought against 29 activists of the former
opposition appearing there for a bail hearing. The activists are seeking
bail on charges of murdering a police officer a year ago.

Protesters also scuffled with police, witnesses said. There were no
immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

The detained suspects are accused of killing a policeman outside a bar in
western Harare in May 2011. Repeated demands for bail have been refused.

The activists have denied the murder charges and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's party insists police inspector Petros Mutedza, 45, died in a
turf war between street vendors in Harare's Glen View township.

In March, seven policemen were granted $50 bail each just one month after
their arrest over the murder of a mine worker north of Harare.

The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused the court that
freed the policeman of bias.

Several people were injured when the police raided a settlement at a mine
near Shamva, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Harare, during an investigation
into the alleged theft of $1 and a cell phone from the wife of one officer.

Theresa Makone, Tsvangirai's co-police minister, has vowed to "weed out
murderous elements" in the force.

Tsvangirai's party routinely accuses police commanders of acting as
loyalists of President Robert Mugabe party in a troubled coalition
government formed in 2009.

Also on Monday, a group monitoring violence and disputes affecting the
coalition described the May 27 killing of a senior Tsvangirai party official
at Mudzi in eastern Zimbabwe as a "dark deed" of political violence.

Witnesses to that incident said the official who had been addressing a rally
of his supporters was stoned to death by a mob of Mugabe loyalists holding a
rival party meeting nearby.

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee called on political
parties to expel violent members and brand them as criminals.

"Zimbabwe cannot afford to have its image continually soiled through the
acts of misguided elements who believe they have the right to kill in order
for their views to prevail," the group said.

Independent human rights groups have reported a surge in political violence
and intimidation amid calls for elections within the next few months.

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Police teargas protestors calling for release of MDC-T activists

By Lance Guma
04 June 2012

All hell broke loose at the High Court in Harare on Monday when police fired
teargas at MDC-T youths who had gathered to protest the continued detention
of 29 activists, some of whom have been locked up for over a year without

MDC-T Youth Assembly Chairman Solomon Madzore and 28 fellow activists are
facing what his party believe are ‘trumped up’ charges of killing a
policeman. The group has had countless applications for bail turned down and
Monday marked the first time the case went to trial since the arrests in May
last year.

The Secretary General of the MDC-T Youth Assembly Promise Mkwananzi told SW
Radio Africa that the youths gathered at the court “to show solidarity with
the accused and show frustration with the inefficiency of the justice
delivery system in this country.

“Once our youths gathered, the police descended upon them,” he said.

Asked what prompted the scuffles, Mkwananzi said: “It was because the police
are intolerant and do not conduct themselves in a professional manner. They
just came from the police station armed and just descended on defenceless
youths.” He said there were a ‘couple’ of injuries and some people were
‘ferried to hospital’.

The case has drawn comparisons to a recent one in Shamva, where seven
policemen accused of murdering a mine worker were granted $50 bail after one
month detention. The MDC-T has also accused the police of arresting victims
of ZANU PF violence who report the incidents to the police.

Senior officials in the army and the police have publicly declared their
loyalty to ZANU PF and Robert Mugabe and the Glen View case to many
highlights what commentators have referred to as ‘persecution by prosecution’.
In addition to demobilising MDC-T structures the party also has to use money
to fight the case.

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US allows Zimbabwe officials in for diamond meet

Jun 3, 5:52 PM EDT

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration has granted visas to two senior
officials from Zimbabwe to attend a meeting of an international body charged
with monitoring and preventing the sale of blood diamonds, despite human
rights concerns and financial sanctions against the pair.

The State Department said Sunday that Zimbabwe's Attorney General Johannes
Tomana and Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu would be part of the country's
delegation to the U.S.-hosted meeting of the Kimberley Process that begins
on Monday.

The department would not confirm that the two men had been given visas,
citing privacy concerns, but officials acknowledged that they would not be
able to participate if they did not have proper travel documents.

Both men are subject to U.S. financial sanctions under an executive order
because of their positions in Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's government,
which is accused of numerous human rights abuses. They are not covered by a
travel ban.

.In addition, the department noted that as the current chair of the
Kimberley Process, the United States is "obligated to facilitate the entry"
of participants.

Hillary Renner Fuller, a spokeswoman for the State Department's Bureau of
African Affairs, said the participation of the officials "is in no way
indicative of an easing of U.S. concerns about the human rights situation in
Zimbabwe, nor a change in our sanctions policy."

However, other officials said the decision to allow Tomana and Mpofu to
attend was the subject of debate within the administration with some arguing
against because of the human rights concerns. Those officials spoke on
condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The U.S took the helm of the Kimberley Process earlier this year amid
controversy after a major human rights watchdog quit, accusing the body of
refusing to address links between gems, violence and tyranny, notably in

Rights group Global Witness left the body in December, alleging it had
failed in Ivory Coast, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, after the Kimberley Process a
month earlier agreed to let Zimbabwe trade some $2 billion in diamonds from
fields where critics say miners have been tortured. Zimbabwe denies
allegations of human rights abuses in the fields.

The departure of Global Witness raised questions about the credibility of
the process. At the time, the Obama administration said it understood and
appreciated the group's concerns but that the U.S. would stay in the body to
address the challenges and press it to reform to restore its credibility.

Human Rights Watch has accused Zimbabwean troops of killing more than 200
people, raping women and forcing children to search for the gems in Marange

In February, Global Witness cited fears that Mugabe loyalists were using
diamond revenue as an "off-budget cash cow" instead of rebuilding the
shattered economy. It also said unspecified amounts of Zimbabwe's diamond
earnings were being stashed away in tax-free havens and could be used to
finance violence and intimidation in upcoming elections.

Mugabe's party has denied hoarding any diamond revenue.

The Kimberley Process, founded in 2003, groups the diamond industry, rights
groups and 75 countries to certify rough diamonds as "conflict-free" to
assure purchasers they are not funding violence. It was born after wars in
Sierra Leone and Liberia that were fueled by "blood diamonds."

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KP urged to pressure Zim over ongoing diamond abuses

By Alex Bell

04 June 2012

The international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP) is this
week being urged to put pressure on Zimbabwe to address ongoing human rights
abuses at the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

The call from a leading human rights organisation comes as the KP’s annual
meeting got underway in the US, which now holds the group’s rotating
chairmanship position. That meeting is set to discuss mining and trading of
conflict diamonds across the globe, and it is hoped KP members will push for
critical reform of the monitoring body.

The KP has faced serious criticism in recent years for appearing to let
Zimbabwe off the hook over human rights abuses at Chiadzwa, where forced
labour, assaults, murder and smuggling led to the country being suspended
from trade in 2009. The KP was, back then, urged to ban Zimbabwe completely
over these concerns.

Zimbabwe was instead allowed time to try and fall in line with international
trade standards, in what was slammed as too ‘lenient’ a move to force any
real change at Chiadzwa. The KP then faced more condemnation after last year
giving the ZANU PF run Mines Ministry the green light to resume diamond
sales, with no sign of significant changes at the alluvial fields.

According to Human Rights Watch, which has conducted ongoing research into
the situation there, abuses still persist, perpetrated mainly by the ZANU PF
loyal security services. The group found evidence late last year of serious
abuses by police and private security guards patrolling the area, including
setting dogs on local miners and using excessive force to clear the diamond
fields of ‘illegal’ miners. Human Rights Watch said that, to date, no steps
have been taken to address these problems.

“Human Rights Watch also remains concerned by the continued presence of the
Zimbabwean army, which was responsible for the killing of 200 local miners
in 2008, in

parts of the (Chiadzwa) fields. One of the agreements between the Kimberley
Process and the government of Zimbabwe was that the fields would be
demilitarised,” the group said in a statement Monday.

It said that there are “significant concerns about the conduct of police and
private security forces employed by companies operating in the area, and the
failure of the authorit
ies to hold to account members of the military, police and private security
companies responsible for serious abuses.”

“In addition, more transparency is needed on diamond production, revenue and
the allocation of mining rights,” Human Rights Watch said.

It added that these abuses “have exposed the KP’s inability effectively to
address human rights violations by government security forces related to
diamond mining.”

“The Kimberly Process needs to address the ongoing human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe’s (Chiadzwza) fields, and the lack of transparency by mining
companies operating there,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human
Rights Watch. “The KP meeting should demand more tangible progress from
Zimbabwe and focus on reforming its certification scheme so that it can
tackle the human rights problems that taint diamond production.”

The group called on the Mines Ministry, other relevant Zimbabwe authorities,
and the mining industry in Marange to take immediate measures “to stop these
abuses and ensure accountability for abuses by the police and private
security guards.”

“Zimbabwe’s government has failed to meet its obligations to stop abuses in
Marange and ensure that crimes committed there are prosecuted,” Bekele said.
“The mining companies also need to be part of the solution, not part of the

Human Rights Watch also called on KP members to commit to essential reforms
to the Kimberley Process so that it “explicitly incorporates human rights to
prevent ‘blood diamonds’ and other stones tainted by human rights abuse from
reaching consumers.” The group said that the current ‘narrow definition’ of
a conflict diamond has left a “major loophole” since it does not prevent a
government like Zimbabwe’s from committing abuses when it mines or sells

“This loophole needs to be closed to protect the viability of the Kimberley
Process,” Human Rights Watch said.

The call for the KP to redefine the ‘blood diamonds’ term has also been
voiced by other civil society groups, observers and analysts. Zimbabwe
analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Monday that the KP’s
credibility is at stake.

“We need to give the KP the opportunity and chance to redeem itself, and
reforming in this way is an important step,” Mashiri said.

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SADC commends coalition despite lack of progress and continued violence

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 May 2011

Despite the lack of progress in fully implementing the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) facilitated by SADC, and the recent increase in political
violence by ZANU PF, the regional leaders meeting in Angola have commended
Zimbabwe’s coalition leaders for “their commitment, cooperation and efforts”.

In a communiqué issued on Friday, the regional leaders at the Extraordinary
Summit of SADC Heads of State in Luanda, urged the three main parties to
finalise the constitution-making process and hold a referendum before
conducting free and fair elections.

The chief facilitator on Zimbabwe, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, was
also praised by the regional leaders for “his efforts towards the
realisation of full implementation of GPA”.

The GPA was signed nearly four years ago and contentious issues still
remain, with ZANU PF continuing a campaign of arrests and violence against
the MDC formations. In addition, a SADC team that was supposed to be sent to
Zimbabwe to assist JOMIC make progress on the GPA has still not been

Okay Machisa from the Crisis Coalition said those two paragraphs in the
communiqué said a lot about the regional leaders’ commitment to a free and
fair election in Zimbabwe, because they insisted on reforms ahead of
elections. This is the same position they expressed at other summits in
Livingstone, Sandton and Windhoek.

“They are sending a clear message to Robert Mugabe, to Tsvangirai and to
Ncube that they want free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and for them to be
held under the standards that the African Union and SADC expect,” Machisa

Machisa told SW Radio Africa that the lack of a time frame for
implementation of the reforms is the key factor that has been missing in
Zimbabwe so far.

“Civil society has been saying there is need for a time frame that should
adhered to. Otherwise we are getting nowhere,” Machisa said.

SADC’s call for full implementation of the GPA effectively makes Robert
Mugabe’s wish for elections this year, with or without key reforms, a
non-starter. Mugabe and senior officials within his party had been pushing
for early elections, amidst reports of Mugabe’s failing health and serious
infighting within the party.

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Tsvangirai says SADC shocked by Mudzi death

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 June 2012

The death of an official from the MDC-T last week at the hands of known ZANU
PF thugs has shocked regional leaders gathered in Angola, according to Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The MDC-T leader addressed thousands of supporters who attended the burial
of Sekuru Cephas Magura, who died after being assaulted by a ZANU PF mob
that disrupted a rally at Chimukoko Business Centre in Mudzi North,
Mashonaland East. Magura was the MDC-T Ward 1 chairperson for Mudzi North.

“The issue of Magura’s death came up for discussion (at last week’s SADC
summit) and most SADC leaders were shocked that this was still happening in
Zimbabwe at a time when some political leaders are screaming for elections,”
Tsvangirai told mourners at Botso Village.

He said the issue of continuing violence was discussed by the Troika on
Politics, Defense and Security that met in Luanda last week, who also
compelled the leaders of Zimbabwe’s coalition government to urgently
implement all the outstanding issues in the GPA before holding free and fair

The MDC-T leader announced that he would initiate the formation of a fund
that would look after the relatives of party members who have died, in what
he called “the struggle for a new Zimbabwe”.
“The fund will enable Magura’s children to continue going to school. If I
ignore them, I will be irresponsible ,” he added.

The United States embassy last week condemned the ZANU PF thugs who
assaulted MDC-T activists with logs, sticks and stones at the Chimukoko
Business Centre. In a statement last Thursday, the United States also
condemned the police, who reportedly ignored pleas to call for

Tabitha Khumalo, the MDC-T Deputy National Spokesperson and MP for Bulawayo
East, also joined many Zimbabweans in expressing anger at Magura’s death.
Khumalo challenged Robert Mugabe to order the arrest of all the perpetrators
who joined in the attack, including those who provided transport to the ZANU
PF gang.

Six ZANU PF activists have been arrested so far by the police, but there is
concern that the arrests were just a strategic move to save face, ahead of
the SADC summit in Angola. The move appears to have back-fired.

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Seven Year Old Boy Narrated Horror Of MDC Activist Murder: Denga

Harare, June 04, 2012 - A seven year old boy braved to narrate the death of
Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) activist Cephas Magura in Mudzi after
older people could not provide details of how the activist was murdered
fearing for their lives, the Joint Monitioring and Implementaion Committee
(Jomic) heard.

Jomic had visited Mudzi to investigate the murder of Nyagura.

Piniel Denga, an MDC MP and member of the Jomic proivincial committee in
Mashonaland East, said:"They (people) could not be open to tell us what
really happened because of the fear of the unknown. We went to the place
where the body was dumped because we were told that he was hit by stones and
he fell down and more people came with more stones hitting him in the head,
so he passed on closer to someone's homestead and they lifted the body and
dumped him on the road."

"It was being narrated by a young boy who is 7 years that we saw him
(Nyagura) being ferried and they put him in the road and the police officers
came with some branches to safeguard the body from other passersby’s."

"We went there as Jomic with my other colleagues the other two
co-chairpersons and people at the venue couldn't ...narrate the stories
maybe because of fear of the unknown. You can go into the shop and ask them
did you see what happened and they would say no, I wasn’t here or I had
closed my shop I was inside," he added.

Denga said Nyagura was murdered "just like what happens in these other
Muslim countries where if someone has committed a serious crime against
their religion could be stoned to death, so that's how it happened".

He said the situation in Mudzi was tense and that police had given the green
light for the MDC to hold its rally as well as Zanu (PF) to carry on with
their small meeting in a hall at Chimukoko shopping centre, the place where
violence broke out.

"The Zanu (PF) youths started throwing stones, taking away the flags from
the MDC, burning posters and fliers that the structures had come to
distribute. People were beaten, that’s when Mr Nyagura's life was claimed.
As it was said by the post mortem he was stoned to death," he said.

But a Zanu (PF) Jomic official, gave a different version of what transpired,
saying their findings had shown that Nyagura had fell from a moving truck
after he tried to flee from violence at the shopping centre.

"I have a report which doesn't quite go along with what the MDC-T people are
saying. We wouldn't want to go much into that because it is still under
investigation but according to the information given to us we are told that
Cephas Magura actually fell from the truck when he was trying to get on to a
truck which was fleeing and the truck was full and that's when he fell to
the ground. This is story that we have," a Zanu (PF) official said.

"From what he (Denga) had said you can actually see that there is world of
difference, miles apart. So what is important now is to let investigations
be carried out and the truth be established."

Jomic co-chair, Thabitha Khumalo, said her organisation condemned the murder
of Nyagura and said perpetrators should be brought to book.

"Jomic would like to convey its deepest condolences to the Magura family
following the death of Mr Cephas Magura, an MDC-T party official, in a case
of suspected political violence in Mudzi, Mashonaland East last week. May
his soul rest in peace," Khumalo said.

"The killing was a most deplorable act, especially as the nation prepares
for next elections. As Jomic we have made it clear that political violence
is a serious crime and those involved should be punished accordingly."

"The blood of any Zimbabwean that is spilt in this country is not worth the
elections that will take place. Everybody in terms of the Global Political
Agreement has the right to affiliate to a political party of their choice
and death should not be the way of deterring any Zimbabwean to participate
in the political arena,” she said.

Nyagura was buried in Mudzi on Sunday.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party has said over 300 of their
supporters and officials were murdered in the last violent presidential
run-off elections in June 2008.

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PM blasts police as activist buried

03/06/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister and MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has accused police of
standing by and failing to take action as a party activist was stoned to
death after political violence broke out in Mudzi district last week.

Speaking at the burial Sunday of Cephas Magura, 60, Tsvangirai said police
should have acted to prevent the clashes when it became clear that trouble
was imminent.

"There are some people who masquerade as army and police officers. Real
people want to develop this country. You see someone being stoned while you
are in uniform and you run away. Remove that uniform and we will deal with
you. That is the legitimate way,” Tsvangirai charged.

“Magura is a hero who died a heinous death at the hands of Zanu PF thugs. We
demand that all those fingered in his death must face the full wrath of the
law. It is very painful for us as a party to accept that we have lost many
such party carders since the formation of the MDC in 1999."

The clashes took place at a Mudzi business centre where MDC-T and Zanu PF
supporters held rival gatherings.

Magura died as a result of severe head injuries and seven Zanu-PF supporters
have since appeared in court in connection with his murder.

The MDC-T claims the clashes took place in full view of police officers.

“It is not good for people to kill each other no matter their political
differences. As political leaders, we are preaching the gospel of peace and
unity in Zimbabwe for political violence is a national curse,” Tsvangirai

“As leaders, we have the powers to bring peace to our land and to confine
violence to the dustbins — we should teach our supporters to shun violence,
to pursue peace and to engage in civilised political campaigns.

“The issue of political violence was topical at the recent Sadc Troika
meeting and we should clear violence before elections because Sadc said it
is part of the road map before the next elections.
“The MDC-T will work hard to make sure free and fair elections are held in

MDC-T’s  Women’s Assembly chairwoman, Theresa Makone, accused Zanu PF MPs
Milton Kachepa (Mudzi North) and Acquilina Katsande (Mudzi West) of fanning
the violence.
She said the pair should have been arrested as accomplices.

The MDC-T says Magura was stoned to death by suspected Zanu PF supporters
who disrupted a police-sanctioned rally at Chimukoko business centre.

But police spokesman Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena denied
officers had been negligent.

“If indeed the police were negligent, that will come up in our
investigations. We sent our team and arrests have been made and we will
continue investigating the matter,” he said.

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The MDC Today - Issue 368

Monday, 04 June 2012

Costa Machingauta, the MDC Deputy National Youth Assembly chairperson was
this morning arrested at the High Court and is currently detained at Harare
Central police station.

He was arrested after he was denied access into Court A at the High Court
where the trial of 29 MDC members who are facing fabricated charges of
murdering started today.

It could not be established what charges are being preffered on him.

Earlier in the morning, riot police fired teargas outside the High Court in
a bid to bar hundreds of MDC supporters and relatives of the accused who
wanted to enter the court.

The trial continues at the High Court tomorrow morning.

The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!

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Watchdog onto Zim 'rendition'

GRAEME HOSKEN | 04 June, 2012 00:01

An investigation into the alleged rendition, torture and murder of Zimbabwe
dissidents has been launched by South Africa's police watchdog.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating the
CIA-style operations at the same time as the Civilian Police Secretariat,
which is also probing the matter, said it had received more information
about the allegations.

The secretariat is to wrap up its probe soon.

At least six Zimbabwe nationals were allegedly smuggled out of the country
in October by members of the Gauteng Hawks assisted by their Zimbabwean

Eight members of the Hawks tactical operational management services in
Pretoria and Johannesburg are believed to be behind the renditions [sending
suspected criminals from one country to another to be interrogated or

The renditions are alleged to have been carried out under the pretext that
the Zimbabwean authorities were looking for criminals involved in armed
robberies and the shooting of police officers.

Gift Nhadzi, a former Movement for Democratic Change organiser, is one of
the alleged victims.

Not only dissidents but also their families have allegedly been taken back
to Zimbabwe and tortured.

Nhadzi's wife was allegedly tortured by Zimbabwe police seeking information
about her husband.

Also sent back to Zimbabwe against his will was Witness Ndeya, who was
alleged to have killed police officers in Zimbabwe. He was returned to
Zimbabwe along with two others and killed.

Sources have told The Times that the directorate's investigation is being
pursued amid concerns about the secretariat's investigation. Although the
Police Ministry ordered the secretariat to investigate, the secretariat, as
a civilian oversight body, has no investigative capacity.

It can only make recommendations to the ministry.

The secretariat is responsible for monitoring police performance, assessing
police policies, recommending corrective measures and monitoring the
police's ability to deal with complaints against its officers.

The police watchdog's investigation comes as National Prosecuting Authority
spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said on Friday they would be challenging a recent
order by Pretoria High Court judge Hans Fabricius.

The order requires Zimbabwean officials accused of torture in their country
to be arrested and prosecuted if they come to South Africa.

Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini confirmed it was investigating the

He said the investigation would be separate from the secretariat's one.

Despite the new investigation, sources say the renditions are continuing.

Secretariat head Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane said because they had received
additional information their investigation had not been completed.

She declined to elaborate on the additional information.

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Political violence rocks Epworth

Written by Bridget Mananavire and Lloyd Mbiba
Monday, 04 June 2012 12:22

HARARE - Ugly scenes of political violence in the poor peri-urban settlement
of Epworth reflect how Zimbabwe is precariously on the edge, as President
Robert Mugabe pushes hard for elections this year.

Reports of violence flaring in some parts of the country have increased in
recent weeks. But mass displacements in Epworth, which is on the outskirts
of Harare, are a clear sign of how deep levels of political intolerance are
affecting communities.

Zanu PF youths this week wreaked havoc in the volatile settlement, forcibly
displacing residents suspected of being MDC supporters.

Menacing youths were taking over residential stands and properties belonging
to the suspected MDC supporters when the Daily News crew visited the area
last week.

Women and children could be seen sitting out in the cold as the youths took
over their shelter and farm land.

More than 100 residents affected by the evictions had grouped at an open
ground fearing for their lives.
A tense atmosphere pervaded the area as a number of menacing youths milled

According to residents who spoke to the Daily News, the “rowdy” youths
intensified the evictions before the intervention of Epworth police after a
local joint MDC- Zanu PF peace committee reported the matter.

One of the victims, who alleged that her husband was killed by Zanu PF
activists in 2001, said residents abandoned their homes last week in fear of
being killed by the youths.

“We are not in our homes because we are afraid. They are coming into our
homes and taking our land,” said Hlengiwe Ngubane.

The land in question belongs to the Methodist Church, according to
residents, who said the Zanu PF youths were claiming that “Methodists did
not come with land from Britain”.

“We have been paying rates to the church. The church said we could
temporarily stay while they negotiate with the local board for us to be
given proper stands. But Zanu PF people are taking our stands and selling
them to outsiders. They are criminals,” said a resident.

“These guys are from Zanu PF and we know them. Everyone in this area knows
that they are Zanu PF members,” the resident said, speaking on condition of
anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Police spokesperson James Sabau said he was not aware of the incident.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo refused to comment on the issue.

Harare has been a political hotbed with the resurgence of
politically-motivated violence and intimidation in recent months
orchestrated by shadowy Zanu PF group Chipangano.

Violence has been recorded in Budiriro, Chitungwiza and Mbare amongst other
suburbs, while rural areas such as Mudzi have also been affected.

An MDC official Cephas Magura died after clashes between Zanu PF and MDC
supporters in Mudzi last week. Magura was buried yesterday.

Six Zanu PF supporters have so far been arrested in connection with the

The violence comes hard on heels of a visit by United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the end of last month.

At the end of her week-long fact-finding mission to Harare, Pillay called on
leaders to take steps to prevent a repeat of 2008 political violence in the
next elections.

Regional Sadc leaders also discussed the situation in Zimbabwe at a meeting
in Angola last week and called on political parties to ensure a peaceful
environment for elections.

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CIO man arrested over ivory possession

03/06/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

A CENTRAL Intelligence Organisation operative was last week arrested in
Harare’s Eastlea suburb for illegal possession of two elephant tasks.

Detectives said the CIO man had been arrested together with three
accomplices adding the suspects are all in custody as investigations

“On May 24, detectives who were on Women Network Operation received
information that some people were looking for a buyer for their two elephant
tusks,” said police Border Control and Minerals Unit spokesperson, Detective
Inspector Shelter Rufu.

Rufu said, acting on the tip off, detectives disguised as potential buyers
went to the house along Daventry Road.
“Once the tusks were produced, the detectives identified themselves and
arrested the illegal ivory dealers,” she said.

The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority recently
recovered 50 elephant tusks worth more than US$1 million after shooting dead
a poacher and injuring another in Binga and Victoria Falls.
The gazetted replacement value for each slain elephant is US$50 000 while
ivory sells for US$250 per kg.

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Kasukuwere targets Barclays

04/06/2012 00:00:00
    by Business Reporter

EMPOWERMENT Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has summoned Barclays Bank officials
to explain the ownership structure of the bank as the government empowerment
drive targets the financial services sector.

Kasukuwere said he would meet Barclays’ managing director George Guvamatanga
Monday to discuss the bank’s compliance with Zimbabwe’s empowerment
“I will be meeting Guvamatanga on Monday to discuss the status at Barclays,”
Kasukuwere told The Herald.

“(Guvamatanga) has often said that Barclays is already indigenised (and) I
will be very keen to understand what he means by that.

“There is also the issue about the other foreign-owned banks, and as the BAZ
president, I am sure he can give us some insight into the status of his

Barclays, Standard Chartered and the South Africa-controlled Stanbic
dominate the country’s banking sector and Kusukuwere said he was now
focusing on ensuring they comply with the country’s empowerment legislation.

“My ministry is now focusing on the financial services sector and we are
going to be closely evaluating the proposals that they have tabled in
compliance with the indigenisation regulations,” he said.
“Our expectations are that this should be done in line with the aspirations
of the workers and other indigenous investors.”

Under the country’s economic empowerment programme, foreign companies are
now required by law to transfer control of at least 51 percent of their
Zimbabwe operations to locals.

But central bank chief, Gideon Gono has warned against applying the
legislation to the country’s banking sector. Gono repeated the warning at an
empowerment conference in Harare last Friday.

"The money that is in the banks does not belong to Gono, or (George)
Guvamatanga (Managing Director) of Barclays Bank here," he said.
"It belongs to depositors. It would be a great act of irresponsibility not
to respect depositors' money."

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14-year-old Zim girl to start university

June 4 2012 at 12:31pm

Johannesburg - A 14-year-old Zimbabwean girl will start university in
August, according to a report.

Maud Chifamba will attend the University of Zimbabwe in Harare and study
accounting, The Times reported.

“I have always wanted to be one of those professionals and this is a chance
I will grasp with both hands and cherish,” Chifamba was quoted as saying.

“It's not everyone who is fortunate enough to have this opportunity.”

According to the report, in 2003 Chifamba enrolled at a primary school which
had only three teachers.

Her teachers, who had noticed her aptitude, moved her from Grade 3 to Grade

In 2006 she was not able to write her Grade 7 exams because her school was
not registered.

However, Chifamba wrote her Grade 7 exams in 2007 at the age of nine. She
passed her O levels in two years.

In 2010, Platinum mining company Zimplats agreed to pay her fees at
Sandringham High School in Mhondoro for her A-level studies.

Last year, Chifamba attained 12 points, which was enough to enrol in

The Revenue Authority would pay Chifamba's fees until she graduates four
years from now. - Sapa

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Govt to restructure energy sector

Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:40

HARARE - Zimbabwe plans to restructure its energy sector and make way for
independent power distribution firms, Zesa Holdings (Zesa) chief executive
Josh Chifamba said.

He told a Thursday Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Annual General
Meeting, the move was in line with government’s plans to improve utility
services while establishing an independent power regulator.

“There is a lot of progress on that and I wouldn’t want to pre-empt it (but)
there is a whole white paper on that and the minister is supposed to present
it to cabinet,” Chifamba said without giving specifics of the proposed new

The energy sector is currently regulated by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory

The Zesa chief’s remarks came after Francis Masawi, an engineer and regional
independent energy consultant, argued there was an  imminent need to
restructure the country’s power sector.

He said the current single buyer model-only by Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)-was an impediment to
investment in the energy sector.

“Imagine you have a private production company and you want to sell to a
sole buyer that is owed $500 million by their                 consumers, how
are they likely to pay,” Masawi said.

“That thing (the single buyer model) must be done away with; it doesn’t
exist in the Act. It was only transitional.”

Masawi said Zesa should assume a role of shareholder only.

He said competition should be introduced in the supply side of electricity
just as it is required in the petroleum sector.

“Whatever the reason, the current structure has failed to resuscitate the
energy sector.”

Zimbabwe currently has         capacity to generate about 1 200 MW of
electricity, mainly from Kariba Hydro Power Station and Hwange Power Station
(HPS) compared to a rising national demand of around 2 200MW.

The country’s generation capacity is now half of what it used to be in 1980
when the economy and population was smaller.

New projects that are meant to improve the current deficit position could
take longer to commence   after potential takers for the  country’s HPS
rehabilitation project asked for a one month extension on the June 5,
tendering deadline.

Chifamba said this would delay adjudication of tender to restore HPS unit
seven and eight to end of July.

“If we get to a financial close by the end of the year then by early 2016
there should be something coming out of the two projects,” he said, adding
his organisation was aware of the anxiety among Zimbabweans for an immediate
power solution. Zesa, Chifamba said, was not spared by the country’s
decade-long economic stagnation and needs a lot of investment.

“The state of the equipment at all levels is appalling and dangerous.

That explains the number of accidents we are having now.”

In February government announced plans to unbundle the Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) into two separate entities to
improve operating efficiency.

ZETDC is responsible generating, transmitting and distributing power and was
formed in 2002 after government unbundled ZETDC into different companies
under Zesa.

The Electricity Act ushered in the formation of five successor companies,
the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Company
(Zetco), Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZEDC), Zesa Enterprises
and Powertel Communications.

ZEDC’s business is the distribution and retail of electricity to the final
end user.

In line with the approved structure, all power generation assets and
operations are under ZPC.

Zesa Enterprises, another subsidiary of Zesa Holdings comprises of four
business units namely Zesa Technology Centre, Production and Services,
Transport Logistics and Projects.

It is a flexible investment arm for Zesa Holdings that has a diversified
business portfolio.

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Zim-torture website goes live

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

HARARE, Zimbabwe – A website detailing the horrors of political violence
which rocked Zimbabwe in the 2008 general elections has gone live.

The webisite, is showing graphic pictures of injuries
sustained by people suspected to have been supporters of the then opposition
party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan

The victims were tortured by alleged ZANU PF functionaries who had set up
torture camps in various parts of the country to cow opposition supporters
in the run up to the June 2008 election run off.

A welcome statement on the homepage of the website reads, “This website is
dedicated to the victims of Zanu PF crime committed in the name of Zanu PF
on the people of Zimbabwe. To date, the perpetrators of genocide,
mutilation, sexual abuse and murder continue to live amongst the surviving

They continue their abuses with impunity. Whilst there has been a temporary
reprieve since the formation of the so called Government of national unity
was put in place, all the mechanisms of state terror remain in place. What
you are currently viewing on this web site is just small beginnings. There
are massive amounts of data in the form of victims' testimony, video and
pictures to come forth.

For those who care about Zimbabwe, we would be grateful if you would pass
the message on.”

The website also lists alleged perpetrators and violators as well as
multiple farm owners.

The 2008 elections which resulted in the formation of a coalition government
between President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the smaller
formation of the MDC claimed hundreds of lives and thousands sustained
permanent injuries.

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Full text of communiqué from SADC Summit in Angola
June 4, 2012 1:25 pm

Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government

Luanda, Angola, June 01, 2012

1. An Extraordinary Session of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was held in Luanda, Republic of Angola on 1st June 2012.

2. The Summit was officially opened by H.E. Eng. José Eduardo dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola and the Chairperson of SADC.

3. Summit observed a minute of silence in memory of the late President of Malawi, H.E. Bingu wa Mutharika and extended condolences to the family, people and Government of Malawi.

4. The Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government and their representatives:

Angola H.E. President José Eduardo dos Santos

Botswana H.E. President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Namibia H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba

South Africa H.E. President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma

Swaziland His Majesty King Mswati III

Zambia H.E. President Michael Chilufya Sata

Zimbabwe H.E. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe

United Republic Rt. Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda, Prime Minister

of Tanzania

DRC Hon. Raymond Tshibanda N’Tungamulongo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Franchophonie

Malawi Hon. Ephraim Mganda Chiume, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Mauritius Dr the Hon. Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade

Mozambique Hon. Aldemiro Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Seychelles Hon. Jean Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Lesotho H.E. ´Matlotilso Ntoane, High Commissioner to South Africa

5. H.E. President dos Santos welcomed the Heads of State and Government and other delegates to the Republic of Angola. In his speech, the Chairperson of SADC underscored the importance of regional infrastructure development as one of the key pillars for the SADC integration and development agenda and for poverty eradication.

6. Summit considered and adopted the Report of the Troika of the Organ Summit that met on 1st June 2012 in Luanda, Angola, which reviewed the political and security situation in the Region. In particular:

6.1 Summit noted that the Region continues to consolidate democracy and the rule of law as reflected in the holding of successful elections in a number of Member States. In this regard, Summit congratulated:

(i) H.E. President James Alix Michel for winning Presidential Elections in the Seychelles in September 2011.

(ii) H.E. President Michael Chilufya Sata for winning the Presidential Elections in Zambia, in September 2011, and

(iii) H.E. President Joseph Kabila Kabange for winning the Presidential Elections held in the DRC in November 2011.

6.2 Summit commended the people of Lesotho for holding peaceful, free and fair National Assembly Elections on May 26, 2012.

6.3 Summit received an update on the positive political and security situation in DRC and encouraged the Government of DRC to continue consolidating peace and democracy.

6.4 On Madagascar, Summit noted that efforts by the SADC Mediation team, led by former President of Mozambique, H.E. Joaquim Alberto Chissano and the SADC Organ Troika resulted in the signing, in September 2011 by ten of the eleven Malagasy stakeholders, of the Roadmap that seeks to return the country to constitutional normalcy. Summit reiterated the importance of the full implementation of the Roadmap for ending the crisis in the country.

6.5 Summit mandated the SADC Mediator and the Troika of the Organ to facilitate dialogue and convene a meeting between H.E. Andry Rajoelina, President of the High Transition Authority and H.E Marc Ravalomanana, former President as a matter of urgency in order to ensure full implementation of the Roadmap and create an enabling environment for holding credible, free and fair elections.

6.6 Summit also noted that the SADC Liaison Office that was established in November 2011 to support the implementation process is fully operational with officers from the Troika of the Organ Member States and office of the Chairperson of SADC on the ground since January 2012.

6.7 On Malawi, Summit commended the people of this country for adhering to the country’s constitutional provisions regarding succession following the demise of H.E President Bingu wa Mutharika on the 5th April 2012.

6.8 Summit congratulated Her Excellency President Mrs. Joyce Mtila-Banda for ascending to the position of President of Malawi on the 7th of April 2012.

6.9 On Zimbabwe, Summit commended stakeholders for their commitment, cooperation and efforts towards the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and urged the parties to the GPA to finalise the constitution-making process and subject it to a referendum thereafter.

6.10 Summit also urged the parties to the GPA, assisted by His Excellency Jacob G Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and SADC Facilitator of the Zimbabwe Political Dialogue, to develop an implementation mechanism and to set out time frames for the full implementation of the Roadmap to Elections.

6.11 Summit further commended the Facilitator for his efforts towards the realisation of full implementation of GPA.

7. Summit noted a proposal from the Chairperson of SADC, based on a Concept Paper on the need to develop a SADC Vision 2050 and referred the matter to Member States for further consultations and contributions. Inputs from this process will be consolidated and submitted to Council and Summit at the next meeting in August 2012.

8. Summit reiterated its support for the candidature of Honourable Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa for the position of the Chairperson of African Union Commission.

9. Summit noted that the Government of Malawi reaffirmed its commitment to host the AU Summit in July 2012. In reaffirming its support for Malawi as a host for the next AU Summit in July 2012, Summit underscored the need to finalise the election of Members of the AU Commission during the session.

10. Summit noted that the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) is being finalised to form the basis for implementing infrastructure networks in the key sectors such as energy, transport, including maritime corridors Information and Communications Technology, tourism and water, taking into account the specificities of island Member States.

11. Summit directed the Council of Ministers and in particular, the SADC Ministers responsible for Finance and Investment to expedite the process for the establishment of the SADC Development Fund in order to, among other things, ensure the availability of adequate levels of resources to fund regional infrastructure programmes.

12. Summit expressed its unequivocal support to the candidature of Namibia to host the Green Climate Fund Secretariat under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCC) and also requested that the candidature be submitted to the AU Summit in Lilongwe for endorsement.

13. Summit commended the Government and people of the Republic of Angola for the successful hosting of the Extraordinary Summit and expressed gratitude for the generous hospitality.


1ST JUNE 2012

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Zimbabwe is poised for a great future

Vince Musewe
04 June 2012

Vince Musewe says once the political situation is sorted out, the country
will rebound in a big way

ZANU (PF) has made some significant mistakes in the past but I must say its
policies during the first decade of independence have created some positive
factors that can hardly be reversed

You are probably wondering which planet I am from or what I have been
smoking lately but let me share with you some of my contrarian thoughts.
After reading Roy Bennett speech made in Oxford recently, I can't help but
agree with much he has to say with regard to the political culture in
Zimbabwe (see here).

However as analysts, sometimes we fall in the trap of analyzing macro issues
rather too much and reaching conclusions that minimize our perception of
future opportunity while enlarging current and seemingly insurmountable
problems. I am of the opinion that despite the current problems my country
faces, the future holds significant opportunity that we are likely to miss
unless we begin to change our attitudes.

My recent visit to Zimbabwe confirms that there is some disconnect between
what we read and what is actually happening on the ground. There is no doubt
in my mind that Zimbabwe deserves a better leadership and that to large
extent the quality of life could be better but that should not blind us to
the opportunities that exist. I am also a firm believer that I thoughts
become things and by changing our thoughts about circumstances ,we can
change them for the better.

My interpretations have exposed that through hardship, Zimbabweans in
general have become more entrepreneurial in their approach. They no longer
look to government as the sole provider of economic opportunity as in the
case in countries such as South Africa. Zimbabweans have become more
resilient and somehow empowered particularly in their attitude and demeanor
and one can sense a quiet self-confidence despite the present macroeconomic

Significant opportunities exist in rebuilding the country and reviving the
economy and all Zimbabwe needs is money. I have no doubt that the country is
likely t rebound within a very short space of time once the politics have
been resolved. Infrastructure, telecoms, agriculture, media, manufacturing
and mining present some very stimulating opportunities for the future and I
would advise those Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to seriously consider
investing at home before the opportunity space moderates.

It is disturbing however to note that the media sector is still rather
constrained and there does not seem to be the free flow of information and
robust public debate on pressing socio economic and political issues. It is
also evident that selfish ambition by most, particularly those in public
office, is reducing or arresting the country's intrinsic potential.

On the economic front I would argue that the macro economics we are so
competent at analyzing are not reflected in the micro economics. True there
is a dire shortage of cash and the economy is being constrained by lack a
capital. The existence of sanctions, although targeted at individuals, has
however, created a rather unfair negative perceived country risk that
ultimately has a negative impact on ordinary and innocent Zimbabweans.
Because of sanctions, ordinary Zimbabweans cannot get employment as most
companies have closed or are operating at minimal capacity because of lack
of access to credit. The removal of sanctions is therefore critical to
increase the opportunity space for Zimbabweans in general and their
continued existence cannot be supported.

An attractive development or unintended consequence is that, a large number
of middle class Zimbabweans no longer look to be employed and you now have a
vibrant and hungry sector of middle class entrepreneurs who are producing or
supplying goods to the economy. This in my view is an irreversible positive
development that can only stand the economy in good stead in the future.

Added to this is the indigenization philosophy which is inadvertently
shifting economic aspirations in general and creating new hope. Although its
implementation is under question, I however think that there is nothing
inherently evil or disadvantageous in this policy and those who are prepared
to embrace it, be they black or white can only benefit in the future.

Zimbabwe's natural resources base, its skilled labor force, peaceful
communities and excellent climate present advantageous opportunities for the
future. The new entrepreneurial spirit evident within the black middle class
adds a positive spin. These factors, in my view, have tended to be immune to
the politics of the country and for me create misunderstood opportunities
that must be taken advantage of.

ZANU(PF) has made some significant mistakes in the past but I must say its
policies during the first decade of independence have created something that
can hardly be reversed- an educated middle class that has a strong work
ethic. The ownership of land and the drive to localize ownership of other
assets are creating a strong platform for future growth. My anticipation is
that this process must be depoliticized so that it becomes a non partisan
wholesale empowerment drive geared to reposition the economy as a whole.

If you add a participative democracy, respect for human rights, an open
media and access to capital to all this, you are likely to get a formidable
Zimbabwe that can once more become a significant economy within the region.

It is my view therefore that, despite its current political problems,
Zimbabwe is poised for an incredible recovery and an awesome future.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare and you may
contact him on

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Not 'Satasfied' - Zimbabweans in UK protest at Zambian President's visit

Media Notice from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 4th June 2012


Not ‘Satasfied’ – Zimbabweans in UK protest at Zambian President’s visit


The Zimbabwe Vigil is to stage a protest on Wednesday 6th June against the visit to London by President Michael Sata of Zambia who is a guest at Jubilee celebrations for the Queen.


Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani said ‘Sata is an unashamed apologist for Mugabe. His parroting “Pamberi ne Zanu PF (Forward with Zanu PF)” at last week’s SADC meeting even embarrassed Zanu PF (see: - Fireworks at Angola summit).


He was referring to a meeting of the Southern African Development Community in the Angolan capital Luanda which rejected Mugabe’s demand for early elections before reforms were made in accordance with the political agreement with the former opposition MDC in 2008.


The Zimbabwe Vigil has asked permission from the police hold a protest from 1 – 2 pm outside the Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, where President Sata is to attend a lunch hosted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General.


The lunch is to be attended by the Queen so if the demonstration is not allowed for security reasons there will be a protest at the Zambian High Commission, 2 Palace Gate, London W8 5NG (same time).


Southern Africans will deliver a new broom as a gift to Mr Sata. He was previously a platform sweeper at Victoria Station but we now think he needs to clean up his own act.


He is in London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We thought any word of diamonds would set his heart pounding so we will give him a bag of gems to wean him from Mugabe’s largesse.


Protest details

Time and Date: 1 – 2pm on Wednesday 6th June 2012

Venue: outside Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX

If not allowed

Venue: outside Zambian High Commission, 2 Palace Gate, London W8 5NG at 1 pm


Contacts:        Rose Benton 07970 996 003, 07932 193 467

                        Dumi Tutani 07960 039 775


Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Constitution Watch of 1st June 2012 [Select Committee Preparing for Second Draft]


[1st June 2012]

Select Committee Preparing for Second Draft

  Compliance “Audit” of the first draft completed    Lead drafters vindicated  ●  Consideration of political party comments underway

● SADC urges completion of Constitution

Late on Thursday 31st May, the full 25-member Select Committee plus technical advisors completed what they called an “audit”  of the first draft of the new constitution.  The audit showed that the lead drafters had followed their instructions and not imported their own or other “alien” views.  But, the other task the Select Committee were working on – namely, to see what could be included from the feedback from the GPA political parties – was not finished, because they could not reach agreement on what to include, and the buck has once again has been passed to the Management Committee.

Political Parties Feedback Under Consideration

When the revised first draft came back from the three GPA political parties to whom it had been sent for comment the two MDC parties basically endorsed it with a few suggestions and reservations that the remaining unsolved issues must be resolved and put in the draft before they could finally endorse it. [See Constitution Watch 19th May]  ZANU-PF however came up with a 29-page commentary which the other parties claimed contained newly introduced demands or reopened demands on which some compromise had already been agreed.  Their significant demands largely centred round taking away powers given to Parliament in the draft, increasing the powers of the President, the accountability of security forces and objections to any form of devolution.

MDC-T co-chair Mwonzora said that We completely rejected that 29-page document and said that we should work on the draft the way we’ve always done” – that anything done by way of revision would be confined to documents all parties had agreed to and signed.  He insisted it had not been agreed that ZANU-PF was free to bring up new issues that would drastically change previously agreed positions.  But ZANU-PF are still manoeuvring to get their demands met.

Recent Sequence of Events

On Monday 14th May the decision was made by the Select Committee to delegate to the Co-chairs’ Forum the work of going through the first draft in detail, correcting errors and considering what feedback from the political parties to accommodate and then formulating instructions to the lead drafters for the preparation of a second draft. 

On Wednesday 16th May the Co-chairs Forum, consisting of the Select Committee co-chairs plus six experts advisors, two nominated by each of the three parties, started meeting to do this work.

On 17th May an impasse was reached in the Co-chairs Forum.  Hardliners within ZANU-PF had already raised objections to the Select Committee’s 14th May decision to leave to the Co-chairs’ Forum the decision on whether or not to include their demands.  When agreement could not be reached a work stoppage was called.  The matter was referred to the Management Committee and the full Select Committee.

On 21st May the Management Committee met to discuss the impasse

On 23rd May at a Select Committee meeting, a way forward was arrived at to end the deadlock – that instead of the Co-chairs Forum going through the revised draft and the party comments, the whole Select Committee plus technical advisers would go through the revised draft following a two-tier methodology, before fresh instructions were drawn up for the lead drafters. 

On Monday 28th May the Select Committee started their work.  [The impasse over ZANU-PF’s new demands resulted in nearly two wasted weeks even before work resumed.]

Way Forward - Two-Tier Methodology

1.   There would be an audit of the revised first draft,  going through it clause by clause through each of the 18 chapters of the draft, to assess the lead drafters’ compliance with the instructions given to them before they began work on that draft in late March.  This was considered important in view of much publicised accusations that the lead drafters had included their own ideas in the revised first draft in defiance of the instructions they had been given by COPAC.  This audit would be carried out by the full Select Committee, starting on Monday 28th May.

While doing the audit, but keeping the two tasks separate, the full Select Committee would also undertake a:

2.   Consideration of the comments submitted by the three GPA political parties  Editorial and other minor changes agreed on would be adopted.  If there was disagreement on changes asked for by a particular party – for instance, on substantial changes which would involve reversing positions previously agreed between the parties – those disagreement/s would have to be referred to the Management Committee for resolution. 


The audit This part of the process appears to have gone relatively smoothly and has overwhelmingly established that the lead drafters did comply with their instructions – thus debunking the accusations that these three highly respected professionals had imported their own un-Zimbabwean ideas into the draft and departed from the instructions given them by COPAC. 

Consideration of political party comments  Minor editorial changes and corrections of mistakes suggested were agreed on.  But ZANU-PF’s demands for substantial changes to be made to the draft  were not accepted.  The Select Committee decided they had done as much as they could and the disagreements have been referred to the Management Committee. 

Management Committee Meetings Schedule

The Management Committee has planned to meet on Tuesday 5th, Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th May.  It is to be hoped they can resolve matters promptly – but there will be competing claims on the time of members who are Ministers – Cabinet on Tuesday, Parliament [with important Bills] on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Note: In Constitution Watch of 26th April 2012 we incorrectly said that the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs chairs the COPAC Management Committee.  In fact it is usually chaired by the party negotiators in rotation, although occasionally the Minister has chaired. 

When will Lead Drafters Start the Second Draft?

The three lead drafters were summoned on Wednesday 30th May to start a second draft.  It was a puzzling summons, as reports indicated that there were still difficulties reaching agreement between the three parties.  In fact the drafters, having reached the drafting venue, were sent home again and told to come back possibly on Monday 4th June or soon thereafter.  As the Select Committee has referred disagreements to the Management Committee, they will probably not be called this week nor for some time.  There would seem to be little point in merely producing an interim second draft pending decisions on the areas of disagreement.  There remains the obvious ever-present risk that the Management Committee will not be able to solve the issue of ZANU-PF demands which are totally unacceptable to the other parties and that there may be another deadlock.  If the issue is referred to party principals and their advisors it may result in a whole new raft of demands.

SADC Summit Calls for Finalisation of Constitution

The final SADC Summit Communiqué on 1st June urged the parties to the GPA to finalise the constitution and confirmed that together with agreed reforms it was part of the Election Roadmap to be fulfilled before elections.  Hopefully, with SADC endorsement the constitution will not be abandoned in favour of elections this year.

Last Words from COPAC Spokesperson

 “This constitutional process is nothing but politics” COPAC member Hon Jesse Majome said at a civil society meeting organised by the Action for Conflict Transformation.  “The politics of the constitutional process is acrimonious, there is deep polarisation in Zimbabwe.”


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


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