By KITSEPILE NYATHI NATION CORRESPONDENT
Posted Wednesday, June 6 2012 at 20:17
Fears are mounting that Zimbabwe’s military will seize power in the event of
President Robert Mugabe’s death or electoral defeat.
A top army general on Wednesday said they would not allow anyone who does
not share the ideals of the veteran ruler’s Zanu PF party to lead the
“As the military, we do not only believe, but act in defence of these values
and we will not respect any leader who does not respect the revolution,”
Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) chief of staff Major General Trust Mugoba said.
“We will not even allow them to go into office because they do not represent
the ideology we fought for. “As the military establishment, we have an
ideology that is represented in the mission of Zanu PF.”
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai believes that such statements are aimed at
him and is worried about a repeat of the violence that marred the 2008
President Mugabe who turned 88 in February and is rumoured to be battling
ill health wants elections this year.
The army was blamed for the deadly violence that marred the previous
elections where over a hundred supporters of Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) were killed.
On Tuesday the former trade unionist told civil society that the army had
lowered its recruitment requirements to recruit Zanu PF aligned militias
ahead of the elections.
He threatened to pull out of the elections if the generals did not stop
interfering in politics. “We know why this is being done. It is being done
to undermine free and fair elections.
“It’s not an election, it’s a war and we will not be part of that war. They
will go it alone,” Mr Tsvangirai said.
“They (generals) are serving members and we would hope their fundamental
principle is to uphold the constitution and serve the people of Zimbabwe.’’
By Tererai Karimakwenda
06 June 2011
The issue of security sector institutions being partisan in favour of ZANU
PF has raised its ugly head again, as the main political parties struggle to
negotiate a roadmap towards a peaceful election.
Addressing mourners at the funeral of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Thabani
Khumalo, Major General Trust Mugoba reportedly said that military ideology
is best represented in ZANU PF’s mission.
The comments come just weeks after another senior army chef, Major General
Martin Chedondo, said that military officials should be allowed to
participate in the country’s political activities.
In a statement, the MDC-T said: “Mugoba’s statement raises serious doubts on
the professionalism of the army, more so, when it comes from a general who
is supposed to lead by example.
The party called for “immediate security sector reforms”, saying this would
guarantee the secrecy of the vote and ensure the security of the voter in
the next election.
The MDC-T parliamentary chief whip Innocent Gonese told SW Radio Africa that
the military chiefs belong in the barracks and the camps, and those who want
to participate in politics should take off their uniforms and join the
“Our greatest concern though is that we have a situation where we are not
sure whether there will be a transfer of power after the election or whether
the military will interfere and ignore the results. That is a serious
concern,” Gonese explained.
He added that the MDC-T will continue to push for key reforms agreed to in
the GPA ahead of the elections, but said it is unfortunate that there is no
mechanism to force implementation by the parties.
The acting Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, and other military chiefs
have in the past made similar public comments, declaring loyalty to ZANU PF
and at times insulting MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai.
The police force has also clearly shown through their actions that they have
unspoken instructions not to arrest ZANU PF thugs who perpetrate violence.
Victims of ZANU PF violence who report the incidents to the police almost
always end up being arrested instead.
Another example of the police’s partisan behaviour was seen following the
death of MDC-T chairman for ward 1 Mudzi North, Cephas Magura, who was
killed by a ZANU PF mob last week. Police officials had ignored pleas for
help from people at the rally raided by the ZANU PF gang, and also stood by
as the mob assaulted innocent rally goers.
Gonese said it is the top officials in the army, police and intelligence
units who are partisan, and not most of the junior officers who are given
“The decision whether to participate in the elections under these conditions
will have to be made by the appropriate body, and that is the MDC-T National
Council,” Gonese said.
05 June 2012
Blessing Zulu | Washington DC
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he will confront President
Robert Mugabe over continued threats by senior security officers that they
will not respect any election outcome that does not retain the 88-year-old
leader's Zanu PF party in power.
Civic group representatives who met Tsvangirai on Tuesday to discuss
electoral reforms, the state of the unity government and the
constitution-making process, also expressed serious concern at remarks by
Zimbabwe National Army Major General Trust Mugoba that the military
establishment backs Zanu PF.
Speaking at the funeral parade of Lieutenant-Colonel Thabani Khumalo at
Imbizo Barracks in Bulawayo Tuesday, Major Mugoba said the army will fight
with their blood any leader whose policies are different from Mugabe's
At the just-ended Southern Africa Development Community summit in Luanda,
Angola, Mr. Tsvangirai also told regional leaders that he is disturbed by
the “unconstitutional and treasonous” statements being made by service
chiefs that they will not respect the constitution and any election outcome
that does not favor his rival, Mugabe.
Organizing Secretary Nelson Chamisa of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation told
VOA that the meeting with civic groups discussed many issues concerning the
Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change Formation formation of Trade
Minister Welshman Ncube snubbed Tsvangirai's meeting.
National Constitution Assembly information officer Blessing Vava said civic
groups are concerned by the constitution-making process which he says is
ignoring the people's views.
Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya, a PHD candidate at Westminster
University in London, commented that regional leaders must rein in Zimbabwe’s
securocrats to ensure continued stability in the southern African region.
Wednesday, 06 June 2012
The MDC is seriously concerned by the partisan statement made by Major
General Trust Mugoba in support of Zanu PF and condemns such utterances in
the strongest terms.
In his remarks at a funeral parade for the late Lieutenant-Colonel Thabani
Khumalo at Imbizo Barracks he said the military establishment has an
ideology represented in the mission of Zanu PF.
The Party is concerned that senior army officials are taking every public
gathering as an opportunity to announce their allegiance to Zanu PF. Mugoba’s
statement raises serious doubts on the professionalism of the army, more so,
when it comes from a general who is supposed to lead by example.
What is worrying is that the State security agents seem to be undeterred by
UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navanethem Pillay and SADC’s call to stop
politically-motivated violence and restore the rule of law.
Only Last month, another senior army officer, Major General Martin Chedondo
called on army personnel to actively participate in national politics
contrary to the laws of the country.
Therefore, the MDC calls for the immediate security sector reforms so as to
guarantee the secrecy of the vote in the next election. Reforms will ensure
security of the vote and the voter.
The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!
Harare, June 06, 2012 - The European Union delegation in Zimbabwe on Tuesday
denounced violence that caused the death by stoning of a supporter of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's party within two weeks after the visit of the UN rights chief
Cephas Magura, an MDC supporter, was murdered in cold blood last week after
clashes between MDC and Zanu (PF) supporters at Chimukoko business centre in
Mudzi Mashonaland East province, in full view of police officers who were
deployed to monitor meetings carried out by the two main political parties.
"The European Union Delegation deplores that politically motivated violence
flared once again in Zimbabwe soon after the visit of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, and after repeated appeals from the Inclusive
Government Principals to put an end to such acts," the EU delegation in
"Reports indicate that the rally was properly authorised but was disrupted
violently by a parallel demonstration by Zanu (PF) militants, without the
Zimbabwe Republican Police being able or willing to stop them. It is
worrying to note reports indicating that Zanu (PF) local politicians and the
MP for the area were present at the events."
The EU delegation said it is encouraging to note the condemnation for these
criminal acts that came from across the political spectrum. Both Zanu (PF)
and MDC formations, in their Joint Monitoring Implementation Committee
meetings, condemned the killing of Magura.
"We welcome the mobilisation of the JOMIC Provincial committee and the
arrest of six accused perpetrators. The EU Delegation looks forward to
urgent action by the police authorities and the Attorney General's office to
bring the alleged perpetrators and their instigators to justice, in order to
give a clear and unequivocal message that political violence is totally
unacceptable in Zimbabwe," the EU said.
The EU also said it welcomed the recent SADC Summit Communiqué on Zimbabwe,
which urged the political parties in the government of national unity to
implement the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the roadmap to peaceful
and credible elections.
The EU delegation said their statement is also being supported or associated
by embassies of Norway, Canada and Australia.
Harare, June 6, 2012 – Zimbabwe’s civil society groups have asked the United
Nations to set up a permanent human rights office in Zimbabwe to monitor
At a joint press briefing in Harare Wednesday, the voluntary groups accused
the state of backtracking on its promises to observe human rights following
last week's murder of Cephas Magura, an MDC-T Ward chairperson for Mudzi
North, during clashes with Zanu (PF) supporters.
“We urge the UN to maintain a permanent presence ...watching over the
protection of human rights...," noted a statement that was delivered by
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Abel Chikomo.
National Constitutional Assembly chairman, Professor Lovemore Madhuku,
described Magura’s killing as "very shocking".
“That incident is an indication that the instruments of violence are still
in place and we have to work to ensure that they are dismantled.”
The civic society also said the security sector must be reformed.
By Alex Bell
06 June 2012
Concern has been raised this week over ongoing abuses documented during the deportation of foreigners in South Africa, with rights groups warning that the practice is doing more harm than good.
The Solidarity Peace Trust and the refugee rights group PASSOP on Tuesday released a new report, titled: “Perils and Pitfalls – Migrants and Deportation in South Africa.” The report details the discrepancies between the legal requirements around deportation of migrants and the anomalies in its practical application. An accompanying video has also been released, with testimonies from many Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South Africa about the treatment they face there.
The two groups said that it is clear from the findings of the report that South Africa is falling short of its “lofty legal standards in the manner that the various government agencies are dealing with this huge challenge.” The groups warned that “the overall picture of abuse, corruption, lack of capacity, and the neglect of the rule of law in this area is a cause of great concern.”
The report details how the deportation issue is a particular challenge regarding Zimbabwe, “with Zimbabweans making up the largest number of migrants in South Africa in the context of the crisis that has engulfed that country for over a decade.”
“The hope that the SADC mediated Global Political Agreement would provide the basis for a long-term stabilisation in the country is yet to be fulfilled, and South African leadership in this process remains critical,” the Solidarity Peace Trust and PASSOP said.
Their report states that this process has placed increasing pressure on South Africa, and as a result, deportation has become an instrument to deter migration, to the detriment of South Africa’s own international and domestic legal obligations.
Professor Brian Raftopolous, one of the key authors of the report, told SW Radio Africa on Monday that South Africa is not abiding by its own legal requirements, explaining how the report found “an array of inconsistencies, violations and abuses.”
This includes an “alarming trend of disregard for law,” in terms of the verification/screening process of so called illegal immigrants. The report warns that this process is not transparent and has a dangerous effect on the sentiment towards foreign nationals in South Africa.
The report also says that the corruption and harassment during the arrest of foreigners “also appear to be occurring on a national scale,” while the detention stage in the deportation process was “littered with abuse, neglect and failure to respect the rule of law.”
Professor Raftopolous explained that abuses, including child abuse, beatings and intimidation, are an ongoing problem in the deportation practice. He added that these findings show that deportations “are a short term solution that doesn’t work.”
He explained that because of South Africa’s commitments to helping solve the crisis in Zimbabwe, the deportation practise should be suspended immediately.
“We want South Africa to treat Zimbabweans and other foreigners not only as citizens of other countries, but as human beings,” Raftopolous said.
You can read the report here:
And watch the accompanying video here:
June 6 2012 at 12:32pm
By Peta Thornycroft
The massive migration out of Zimbabwe, the largest in the region’s history,
was more tragic even than the political violence during recent elections,
senior Zimbabwe scholar, Brian Raftopoulos believes.
Raftopoulos, Director of Research and Advocacy in the Solidarity Peace
Trust, addressed media and civil rights organisations in Johannesburg on
Tuesday on migrants and deportations of African asylum seekers. He praised
SADC for remaining constant in its mission to achieve a solution to the
never-ending, exhausting political crisis in Zimbabwe.
“The displacement of people as a result of the destruction of livelihoods
within Zimbabwe has seen this massive movement of Zimbabweans out of their
country into the region and elsewhere in the world.”
He said this migration of nearly 15 percent of Zimbabwe’s population had
placed “great pressure” on countries hosting Zimbabweans.
Last week SADC’s Zimbabwe mediation team, led by President Jacob Zuma,
resisted pressure from President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party at a
summit in Angola to allow elections this year without a new constitution.
Raftopoulos said the new constitution was the “heart” of the multi party
Global Political Agreement, or GPA, which ushered in an inclusive government
more than three years ago.
Despite many obstacles SADC has remained consistent in its demands that
Zimbabwe must have a new constitution ahead of its next elections,
"They (Zanu PF) were hoping they could … bully SADC ... They told a lot of
political lies about not needing a new constitution.”
Zanu PF has consistently delayed the tortuous process of drawing up a new
constitution and tried to abort the first draft of the new charter weeks
before the SADC summit.
“One of the advantages of the GPA (mediated by former president Thabo Mbeki
after violent elections won by the Movement for Democratic Change in 2008)
was that it forced Mugabe and Zanu PF into a broader accountability
structure which included SADC…and helped keep Zimbabwe from slipping into
“Zanu PF has had a monopoly of power for so long and that insertion into a
broader accountability was a huge step for Zimbabwe.”
Raftopoulos said one of the remaining sticking points still under
negotiation for a new constitution was devolution of power which Zanu PF was
resisting as the central government, via purchasing and tenders favourable
to Zanu PF leaders, helped keep the party powerful despite its loss of
“Its strength lies within the state… so keeping control of those patronage
networks at a central level is absolutely essential to Zanu PF’s future as a
South Africa has deported more than 1.4 million “illegals” at a cost of R1.8
billion between between 2003 and 2008 when xenophobic violence erupted
according to Braam Hanekom, South African refugee rights activist. “As of
April 2012, the refugee appeals board was backlogged by more than 166 000
asylum applications waiting to be reviewed.”
He said present trends were that more than 90 percent of applications for
refugee status had been turned down.
Solidarity Peace Trust and Hanekom’s People against Suffering, Oppression
and Poverty, PASSOP, released a joint report on Tuesday, “Perils and
pitfalls: Migrants and deportation in South Africa” .
Hanekom said at present many Zimbabwean and other undocumented African
asylum seekers were being hunted down by the police and that deportations
were not only unaffordable but could spark another round of xenophobic
Raftopoulos warned that the implementation of South Africa’s legal framework
for asylum seekers needed urgent reform. - Independent Foreign Service
Eric Matinenga, the Minister of Constitutional Affairs and a prominent MDC-T
member, is disillusioned with goings-on in his party and the Government of
National Unity. He said the power sharing deal agreed to was not working and
urged political parties to form a coalition to dislodge Zanu (PF) from
by Tapiwa Zivira
In an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean, he said the on-going power
struggles between Zanu (PF) and the MDC-T, and within the parties
themselves, were the largest impediment to economic and democratic reforms.
“As much as we would have liked to see the GNU moving the country forward in
terms of these reforms, the Zanu (PF) side has unfortunately dwelt on power
and control,” said Matinenga.
The distribution of power in the unity government is heavily inclined
towards Zanu (PF), which still controls the army and the police and national
intelligence, he said. Acute disagreements characterise the operations of
the various ministries, parastatals and other departments.
“Zanu (PF) are the movers and shakers in the GNU and they have been doing
whatever they want,’’ added Matinenga. He is angered by the recent decision
by the Attorney General, Johannes Tomana, to halt the prosecution of MPs
accused of swindling the Constituency Development Fund, saying it was a move
by the AG to protect members of Mugabe’s party.
Matinenga, who is also the Member of Parliament for Buhera West, expressed
disappointment with internal fights in the MDC-T and urged the party to put
its house in order.
“The MDC calls itself a party of excellence and I wish they could walk the
talk. I am not happy at what I have seen and I would like the party to give
itself a new beginning,” he said in reference to divisions within the party.
MDC-T has of late been rocked by infighting as members jostle for power. The
national leadership had to intervene when violence broke out in Mashonaland
East province recently. It was blamed on vote buying by some of its members.
Matinenga will leave politics at the next election and he has already
announced that he will go back to his legal profession where he is an
advocate. The candid politician acknowledged that party president, Morgan
Tsvangirai, wielded little power in the GNU, but expressed optimism that he
could make a good leader given the chance to rule.
Even though Tsvangarai wields executive powers in the current
administration, he has played second fiddle to President Robert Mugabe, who
“won” the one-horse 2008 rerun, which was internationally condemned.
Service chiefs have repeatedly refused to salute Tsvangirai and Mugabe has
made numerous key appointments without consulting him, flouting the Global
Political Agreement of 2008 that defines the roadmap to democratic
Asked about what he thought of the persistent criticism of Tsvangirai’s
leadership qualities, Matinenga said his boss had not been able to exercise
his authority fully.
“It will be unfair for me to judge him (Tsvangirai) because he has not been
given the full opportunity to affect decisions in the unity government,’’
said Matinenga, who remains upbeat that his boss is capable of winning a
free and fair election.
Tsvangirai has been heavily criticised for making costly decisions and
failing to turn around Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes after entering into the
coalition with Zanu (PF) and Welshman Ncube’s smaller MDC formation.
On President Robert Mugabe’s continued failure to address the burning
succession issue in Zanu (PF), Matinenga said it showed that the veteran
ruler did not care about the party – but only about his own selfish gains.
“With respect, if he (Mugabe) was a capable leader or if he cared about the
party, he would have put in place measures to ensure a smooth succession
debate. But it seems he just wants to die in office and he does not care
about what happens thereafter,” said Matinenga.
A South African civil rights leader this week blamed Zimbabwe’s stuttering push for full-fledged democracy on extreme polarisation.
06 June 2012
Exiled MDC-T Treasurer General Roy Bennett says he will go back to Zimbabwe and campaign for his party, but only if conditions for free and fair elections have been created. Bennett was a guest on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time programme and tackled several questions raised by listeners.
In May 2010 Bennett was acquitted by Justice Chinembiri Bhunu of trumped up terrorism, banditry and insurgency charges. The same judge however filed a law suit claiming Bennett defamed him in an online interview were he allegedly said the judge was biased.
With no confidence in the judiciary, Bennett left the country to embark on a global advocacy campaign for his party.
“I understand there are two arrest warrants. One is for contempt of court, the other is for perjury. It’s about the Generals running the country and repressing people they feel are a threat to them. Anybody who is effective is targeted. Politics is about grassroots support, constituencies and people’s votes,” he said.
Bennett said the persecution of MDC-T Youth Assembly chairman Solomon Madzore was an example of his point. Madzore has been in custody for over eight months facing what the party believe are discredited allegations he was part of a group that allegedly killed a policeman. The trial only began this week Monday.
Bennett believes Madzore and many like him are paying the price of being brave and effective in what they do, saying: “He is more damaging to them (ZANU PF) outside prison than sitting in a cell in Harare.”
In his own case Bennett believes ZANU PF will never forgive him because, as a former party member, he ‘delivered’ the entire ZANU PF structure in Chimanimani to the MDC when the party was formed in 1999. Bennett says he will stand as an MP in Chimanimani if people there still want him.
In the interview broadcast Wednesday evening Bennett also commented on the downgrading of MDC-T structures in the Diaspora, his reaction to former ZANU PF MP Tracy Mutinhiri joining the MDC-T and the way forward for the GNU among other issues.
The full interview with Roy Bennett: Click Here
By Staff Reporter 3 hours 25 minutes ago
HARARE – Robert Mugabe’s Spokesperson George Charamba says Zimbabweans
should move fast and prepare for elections as time is fast running out on
the election calendar.
In an interview with the State media in Harare today Charamba said the
expected visit by SADC appointed facilitator, President Jacob Zuma which was
ordered by the regional body as a matter of urgency, is aimed at helping
principals in the Global Political Agreement iron out sticking points so
that Zimbabweans can go for elections.
Charamba said at the just ended SADC Troika Summit in Luanda, all the three
principals in the GPA acknowledged that elections have to come soon as the
life of parliament expires in March next year while that of the President
expires three months later.
On the constitution making process, Charamba said SADC leaders expressed
impatience at the slow pace of the process and called on those involved to
quickly conclude it.
“The inclusive government itself has hit a phase of dysfunctionality where
development and other programmes such as funding for agricultural production
are not moving, thereby causing unnecessary shortages,” said Charamba.
Charamba explained that there are clear differences of opinion on certain
issues which some parties want included in the draft which might result in
the rejection of the proposed new constitution.
If the current parliament expires in March before elections are held,
Zimbabwe will face a constitutional crisis as even the Robert Mugabe does
not have the mandate to extend the legislature’s lifespan.
A recent report commissioned by MDC-T treasurer, Roy Bennett, emphasises the
need for the Zimbabwean security and defence apparatus to have
constitutionally-defined limits on power.
by Steve Eldon Kerr
The drafters hope the report will prompt Zimbabweans to debate the proper
role of the defence, police, and intelligence services coming out of three
decades of single party rule in which the security services were often used
as the ruling party’s militia.
Speaking to The Zimbabwean, Bennett said security sector reform was at the
centre of the struggle. “I’m trying to put something on the table that will
encourage discussion of what the security sector could look like in the
future. I want people to ask the question: What is the best way to
professionalise the armed forces?” Bennett said.
The report stresses that a new constitution must delineate a clear hierarchy
in each security service, and that the civilian executive must be supreme.
“In determining the respective functions of the civilian heads and military
commanders, a fundamental democratic principle is in view: elected civilians
formulate defence and security policy within the bounds of the constitution
and relevant legislation – and appointed civilian and military personnel
implement this policy,” the report says.
Significant powers should be granted to Parliament in order to assert
democratic control over the security services, including legislative powers,
the power to set the budget, and powers of recall and review. The specifics
will be decided by an official review that will take place once a new,
democratic government is elected. “I’m certainly not an expert in defence
finance or the technicalities of security sector reform, so the ‘new look’
Parliament in the future will be charged with putting together the official
review committee – and these experts will do a democratic review on behalf
of the people,” said Bennett.
The constitution will also provide for a Defence and Security Inspectorate,
headed by an Inspector-General, giving Parliament indirect powers of
prosecution. The head will be an independent official who is appointed, and
can be dismissed at any time, by a two-thirds majority of Parliament.
“As members and servants of society, security services personnel cannot
operate above the law; they are to be subject to it,” the report says. “Such
control is vital because the security services have a substantial history
of, and capacity for, organised violence.”
The Inspectorate can withhold information from the public if they deem it
“in the national security interest” subject to judicial appeal. The report
also outlines plans to inculcate an apolitical security ethic, based on
international standards of officership, among security service personnel.
It advises the Cabinet to seek advice from Zimbabwean and international
experts to oversee the design and implementation of an education programme
aimed at depoliticising the security services and teaching respect for human
Security services personnel will be allowed to vote, but cannot be
card-carrying members of political parties, join trade unions, or attend
political meetings in uniform unless on official duty.
The report recognises that the programme “will have no value if misconduct
is in any way sanctioned or tolerated by the military or civilian
authorities,” and personnel shall be entitled to refuse to execute any order
that constitutes an offence under law.
Bennett was clear that professional soldiers – those unaligned with
political parties – from the current services would be part of the reforms.
“We’re only going to include professional people and career soldiers who
haven’t taken on a political objective, or who haven’t used their position
in the military to protect themselves. If you’re doing that sort of thing
you’re not a professional soldier,” Bennett said.
Zimbabwe is urged to cooperate with the SADC and adhere to all international
treaties it is a signatory to.
Although the report focuses on the security services, the writers argue that
“a democratic government will recognise that the greatest threats to the
Zimbabwean people are not external but internal: socio-economic problems
like poverty, unemployment, poor education, the lack of housing and the
absence of adequate social services, as well as growing levels of crime and
The committee for the official review will be formed within 30 days of a new
government taking office, and will not be arbitrarily vindictive – past
political affiliations, tribe, or race will not disqualify members of the
security services from serving a new Zimbabwe.
As Bennett put it: “those who are using repression, force, and fear to
suppress the population will not take part in the reforms.”
When David Coltart took over as Zimbabwe's minister of education, only 2 percent of schools were open.
Last week, I sat down with David Coltart in the Cato Institute's new library in Washington, DC, to talk about Zimbabwe. I had not seen Coltart in three years and I was eager to find out what was the political and economic situation in his country since the 2008 power-sharing agreement that, among other things, made him into the only white member of Zimbabwe's cabinet.
Coltart was in town lobbying for the removal of targeted sanctions on Robert Mugabe and his inner circle. While Coltart, a human rights lawyer, is a vocal opponent of Mugabe -- and a member of the rival political party -- he says he believes that the sanctions cause the country more harm than good and provide the autocrat with a convenient scapegoat. Dressed in a suit that has clearly seen better days and sipping a real coke (no ice!), Coltart opened up about his love for his country and hopes for a better future.
What was the state of education in Zimbabwe when you became the minister of education in February 2009?
In 2008, we only had 28 full teaching days. When I took office in February 2009, 98 percent of all schools were shut and 90,000 teachers were on strike. Exams from the previous year were still unmarked. There was no money for education in the government's budget, and textbook-to-pupil ratio was 15-to-one. My department was not computerized and our data collection system had collapsed. Basically, the education system was in an extreme crisis.
What have you accomplished since taking over and what are the most pressing challenges remaining?
First, I established an open-door policy and a rapport with teachers' unions, which the previous minister ignored and treated with suspicion. I allowed parents to pay performance incentives to teachers whose salaries were a mere $100 per month back then. Those policies resulted in teachers returning to work and today the teacher attendance rate is excellent. I set up an education transition fund that allowed the USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand to bypass Zimbabwe's government and help to finance our education system directly. I also managed to break a domestic textbook publishing cartel -- three Zimbabwean companies that colluded to make windfall profits. I authorized UNICEF [the United Nations Children's Fund] to hold an international tender and the cost of books came down to 70 cents from five dollars. Textbook ratio fell to 1-to-1 and is now the best in Africa.
The review of the national curriculum remains a problem. Last reform of the curriculum was in 1986. It is clearly very outdated, but some in ZANU-PF [Zimbabwe African National Union -- Patriotic Front, the ruling party] are being obstructionist, because they fear the introduction of civic education and a more objective, non-partisan history syllabus. Another problem is that teachers are still paid only half [$400] of what their South African counterparts earn. We also worry about the physical security of the teachers. Teachers are held in high regard -- especially in the rural areas -- where the ZANU-PF has traditionally been relatively strong. Teachers are usually victimized during elections, because people vote in schools and teachers are viewed as sympathetic to the opposition. My worry is that in case of renewed violence, teachers will be targeted and leave again.
The Movement for Democratic Change, a Zimbabwean political party of which you are a member, has been in a power-sharing agreement with Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF since September 2008. How has the relationship between the two parties evolved over the last three years?
It started as very tense and distrustful. Later it has evolved into a more functional relationship, not quite cordial, but functional. There is some close cooperation between the MDC and more moderate elements within the ZANU-PF. There has even been the occasional support in the cabinet and parliament for policies proposed by the MDC.
Considering that the ZANU-PF has retained control over the police, military and the Ministry of Information, what has been done to increase political freedom -- including freedom of information, speech, and assembly -- in Zimbabwe?
The media laws have been relaxed. Two independent newspapers -- The Daily Newsand Newsday -- are operating freely and doing well. Unfortunately, there has been little liberalization when it comes to the broadcast media, such as the radio and TV, which remain under ZANU-PF control. Internet is uncensored and widely available, but it is relatively expensive. Freedom to protest is limited by the Public Order and Security Act.
How were the events of the Arab spring perceived in Zimbabwe? What do you think are the prospects for political awakening in Africa in general or Zimbabwe in particular?
The Arab Spring was met by a mixed set of emotions. The ZANU-PF was horrified and tried to clamp down on videos of protests in North Africa, and responded by arresting anyone who suggested that similar protests would be a good idea in the Zimbabwean context. The civil society proved remarkably unresponsive. A lot of people are tired of the struggle. Let us also not forget that much of the human capital -- our best and brightest -- have left Zimbabwe and live abroad.
Do you expect the next parliamentary and presidential elections, which are to be held next year, to be peaceful, free, and fair?
I don't expect them to be completely peaceful or totally fair, but I am hopeful that they will be much freer than last time. There is potential that they will be the best elections so far. The legal environment has improved. We will have better election laws this time around. Also, one of the key benefits of being in the same room with our opponents for three years is that they treat us with diminished hostility.
Some analysts predict that the power-sharing agreement will continue after the elections. Is that a likely scenario?
It is certainly a possibility. One scenario that I can envisage is collaboration between the moderate wing of the ZANU-PF and the MDC. The benefit of this arrangement would be to pacify the military and prevent a coup d'etat [by forces loyal to Mugabe] after an expected MDC win. That would benefit the MDC, while allow the moderates within ZANU-PF to have a stake in the future.
What can the international community do to help in a peaceful transfer of power from the ZANU-PF to the MDC?
I think that the West should be more proactive. Some countries have largely disengaged from Zimbabwe and that has played into the hands of the hardliners in the ZANU-PF. If the Western countries reengage, ordinary Zimbabweans will be more confident that the process of democratization will go on and succeed in the end. Ordinary Zimbabweans will see that there are tangible benefits to an alliance with the West and to democracy. Moderates in the ZANU-PF also need to be reengaged -- they have the power to keep the military in their barracks.
Having shrunk 40 percent following Robert Mugabe's expropriation of commercial farmers, Zimbabwe's economy is growing again. What are the main drivers of growth?
The main drivers of growth are primarily mining (platinum, gold, and diamonds), tourism, and aspects of agriculture (tobacco and cotton). Industry has also picked up, but industrial capacity utilization is still very low.
Some economists believe that growth is driven by extractive industries, while the rest of the economy -- such as manufacturing -- suffers due to the lack of the rule of law, indigenization policies, etc. Zimbabwe remains one of the least economically free countries in the world. What, if anything, is the government doing to improve the business environment?
This is a highly controversial area, because of a fundamental disagreement between the two parties. The ZANU-PF is pushing for indigenization -- or redistribution of 51 percent of shares in businesses to African hands. Ostensibly, this measure is to benefit ordinary Zimbabweans, but in reality it will only benefit senior ZANU-PF leaders. There is, consequently, a lot of hostile rhetoric that deters domestic and foreign investment. The MDC recognizes the need for empowerment of ordinary Zimbabweans, but also the need for a good business environment, including low tariffs and low taxes. We want to move beyond relying on extractive industries and "grow the cake." As the cake grows, more Zimbabweans will benefit. The ZANU-PF wants to redistribute the current cake, especially to its cronies. The ZANU-PF is not ignorant of the requirements of competing in a global economy, but they are self-interested and greedy. They see indigenization as electorally popular and they like a discretionary business environment that allows them to collect rents and bribes.
What is the role of the Chinese in the Zimbabwean economy and also in terms of propping up Robert Mugabe?
The Chinese role in the economy is increasing. China is a source of cheap imports: clothes and food. That is not a bad thing per se, but our business environment is so bad that it does not allow our domestic firms to compete with the Chinese. They have received huge infrastructure contracts -- like rebuilding the Victoria Falls Airport -- and contracts to build roads. Most of the work is performed by the Chinese, not Zimbabweans. The Chinese are also heavily involved in the mining sector, especially in the mining of diamonds. There is precious little transparency and we see almost no revenue from the diamond mines. Where is all that money going? Is it going to the military or to ZANU-PF? I fear that may be the case. The Chinese are also constructing a huge military intelligence training center worth some $70 million for the ZANU-PF- controlled Ministry of Defense. So, there is plenty to be concerned about.
Tens of thousands of highly educated people have left Zimbabwe, but many would like to return to their homeland one day. What would you say to them, regarding their current and future prospects for making a decent living?
At present, it is very difficult to attract Zimbabweans back to Zimbabwe. We have very few jobs for professional and skilled people. We need them, but we cannot promise much to them at present. They have to come home with their eyes wide open. Much will depend on the outcome of the next election. Zimbabweans abroad must perceive changes in Zimbabwe as fundamental and irreversible. But without the return of these skilled Zimbabweans, future economic growth will be stunted.
Zimbabweans like to say "We make a plan," which underlines their resolve in the face of crises. What is the general morale of the country these days, since hyperinflation has been tamed? Do people feel like the worst is behind them, or is there a widespread cynicism regarding people's ability to pursue their livelihoods?
It is a mix. People's lives have improved. We now have a currency (the U.S. dollar) that retains its value, and shops and pharmacies are full. Development indicators are improving. But many Zimbabweans fear that the hardliners in the military will take the country back to 2008. There is also a growing cynicism over politicians of all stripes, including some in the MDC. People see a huge difference in wealth between the political class and the rest, and they do not like it. The challenge for the MDC is to show people that it will fundamentally change politics in Zimbabwe. People do not want to see a change of faces at the top with no change in their lifestyles.
by Staff Reporter
THE United States, Canada and other western nations have failed in a bid to
redefine “conflict diamonds” which would have given them greater scope to
block Zimbabwe’s diamonds, reports said Thursday.
The Kimberley Process, which is currently chaired by the United States, is
meeting in Washington DC from June 4 to 7 for its annual meeting to discuss
the mining and trading of conflict diamonds.
On the table were plans by western countries and their NGOs to reform the KP
certification scheme to address human rights violations.
But the proposal “hit a brick wall as the idea was rejected by African and
Asian members during closed-door discussions by the Working Group on Reform”,
according to Sunday Mail editor, Brezhnev Malaba, who is with the Zimbabwe
delegation in Washington DC.
Malaba said KP member countries had been sent a questionnaire in advance of
the meeting exploring whether the definition of conflict diamonds must be
broadened to encompass “human rights” issues, and 75 percent of the
respondents had shot down the proposal.
With resolutions of the KP deliberations not set to be published until
Friday, the Zimbabwe delegation was confident the motion had been defeated.
One African delegate said: “During the Working Group on Reform, attempts by
the US to go into the merits or de-merits of changing the definition of
conflict diamonds was totally resisted.
“The whole motion was shot down on account of its defective methodology. If
the recent survey clearly showed that more than 75 percent of the members
were against redefinition, on what basis was the US trying to force the
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 fuelled by "blood diamonds."
The KP originally banned diamonds from Marange after the army moved in to
drive out thousands of diamond hunters amid claims of human rights abuses.
But subsequent monitoring missions by the KP have revealed no rights abuses.
But even then, the United States, Canada and their allies continue to ban
Zimbabwe diamonds and the flow of cash to the companies doing mining which
President Robert Mugabe says is a deliberate plot to scuttle Zimbabwe’s
In February, rights group Global Witness, which quit the KP, 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.
But this stance is not supported by Zimbabwe’s finance minister Tendai Biti
who wrote a letter to the United States treasury last December pleading for
the removal of a ban on Marange diamonds.
“Zimbabwe is a poor fragile economy and therefore it must be allowed to sell
and benefit from its resources,” Biti said. “In my budget, there are capital
projects of US$600 million which are totally dependent on diamond revenues.”
Wednesday, 06 June 2012
The High Court trial of the 29 MDC members who are facing fabricated charges
of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare in May last year entered
its third day today with the State’s first two witnesses taking the stand.
However, the two witnesses gave conflicting statements during cross
examination by both the State and defence lawyers on how the police officer,
Petros Mutedza died at Glen View 3 shopping centre.
The State has lined up 20 witnesses to give evidence. The matter is being
heard before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.
The first witness, Clever Chipiya, a Glen View 3 resident said Mutedza died
after being hit with a stone on the left side of his head. However, he did
not see who threw the stone. He said the stones were coming from different
directions on the day Mutedza died just outside Munyarari Bar.
Chipiya said when the incident took place, the shopping centre was teeming
with vendors, shoppers, beer drinkers and pool players as it was month-end.
He said he did not recognise any of the 29 MDC accused members of being
involved in the throwing of the stones.
“The police officer was struck by a stone which came from nowhere and he
fell down,” said Chipiya who was standing some 60 metres from where Mutedza
Chipiya said he assisted in rendering first aid to Mutedza before he was
ferried to Harare hospital where he was pronounced dead.
However, another State witness, Joshua Daka who is a Glen View resident and
a police officer had a different version. He said Mutedza collapsed along
11th Street, which is near the residential houses and not close to Munyarari
Daka said he was standing further from Chipiya but he saw Mutedza coming out
of Munyarari Bar running and stones were coming from different directions
but he claimed that he only managed to see people wearing white t-shirts as
among those who were throwing the stones.
He said the deceased ran to a truck parked along 11th Street and when he
attempted to open the vehicle’s passenger’s door; the vehicle sped off at
high speed and Mutedza fell down heavily on the tarmac.
Daka claims that he ran to assist Mutedza and he took him to a car washer’s
bay at the shopping centre before other police officers came and tried to
render first aid on the police officer before they took him to Harare
The trial continues at 2pm today.
The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish it!!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
By Tichaona Sibanda
06 June 2012
A state witness on Wednesday testified that he saw police inspector, Petros
Mutedza darting out of a pub in Glen View 3 followed by a mob hurling stones
at him moments before he was fatally injured.
Mutedza died on 29th May last year from injuries sustained when a mob at
Glen View 3 shopping centre attacked him and his colleagues. The police
officers had been sent to Glen View to investigate an alleged MDC-T meeting.
Wednesday’s testimony by Joshua Daka, in the trial of 29 MDC-T members
accused of murdering Mutedza corroborates a statement by the party that the
cop was fatally assaulted by patrons at Munyaradzi Bar who were discussing
Giving evidence during the third day of the trial, Daka, a Glen View
resident told the court that stones that struck Mutedza came from different
directions. But he could not positively identify the perpetrators.
He claimed what he saw were people wearing white t-shirts among those who
were throwing the stones. Daka is one of 20 witnesses who will give evidence
before High court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.
The first witness to take to the stand was Clever Chipiya, another Glen View
resident who said Mutedza died after being hit with a stone on the left side
of his head but did not see who threw it. He was standing about 60 metres
from him when he was hit by a stone that felled him to the ground.
Like Daka, Chipiya said the stones were coming from different directions on
the day Mutedza was injured outside Munyaradzi Bar. Chipiya testified that
during the melee, the Glen View 3 shopping centre was teeming with vendors,
shoppers, beer drinkers and pool players as it was end of the month.
He also said he did not recognise any of the 29 MDC-T members accused of
being involved in the throwing of the stones. A senior MDC-T official told
SW Radio Africa that what came out of the court on Wednesday vindicates
their party as they’ve always insisted they had no rally or meeting in Glen
View on the particular day.
“It is clear that what sparked the events on that fateful day happened
inside the Bar. It is also indisputable that Mutedza was seen running for
dear life from the bar, meaning there was an altercation between him and the
patrons,” the MDC-T official said.
The official added: “It is also highly unlikely a political party would hold
a meeting or rally in a pub, which is a highly politicised venue were you
have people who hold divergent views and some who are politically
By Staff Reporter 4 hours 33 minutes ago
HARARE – Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba has read the riot act to
Zanu-PF loyalists who were issued with licences to operate private radio and
television stations by urging them uphold and guard jealously the country’s
independence and to observe the country’s cultural and moral values.
Charamba was speaking soon after touring Zimpapers Talk Radio in Harare this
The privately-owned radio station which is situated in Harare, is set to
take-off on the 25th of this month.
A tour of the premises by the Permanent Secretary accompanied by Zimpapers
Chairman, Justin Mutasa; Herald Editor-in-Chief, Pikirayi Deketeke;
Zimpapers Board Chairman, Dr Paul Chimedza and some senior managers, showed
that state of the art equipment has been procured and set up in the studios
while several employees have been recruited to pioneer the project.
In his address, Charamba called on the broadcasters to observe the highest
ethics and to contribute positively to nation building.
He called on them to use their knowledge and skills to ensure that the
project is viable.
Zimpapers Talk Radio was awarded an operating licence last year, alongside
another party loyalist radio and TV personality, Supa Mandiwanzira’s AB
The party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai MDC-T insists they will
not enter into any election without the media reforms that were agreed to by
the Principals, as they are the key to a free and fair election.
The MDC-T says the Principals had not agreed to reconstitute the boards of
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), Mass Media Trust and the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
Mugabe’s spokesman Geroge Charamba is one of the hardliners within ZANU PF
who are resisting to change
The MDC-T insists, Media reform is one of the requirements for the
attainment of a free, fair and unquestionable election and in his address to
SADC leaders last Friday in Luanda, Prime Minister high-lighted the
intransigency by Zanu-PF, particulary Informatio and Publicity Minister
By Tichaona Sibanda
06 June 2012
Zimpapers’ Talk Radio station has started conducting a trial run by playing
pre-recorded music and promos on its FM band.
The station is one of two that was controversially issued licenses to
compete with the sole government-owned broadcaster loyal to Robert Mugabe
and his ZANU PF party.
Analysts said the new stations were not fairly chosen because the licensing
decisions were made by officials appointed by the information ministry
controlled by Mugabe’s party.
Zimpapers are the publishers of the main pro-Mugabe daily, The Herald. The
second channel, ZiFM, is controlled by Supa Mandiwanzira, a black
empowerment campaigner. Others accuse him of being a stalwart of ZANU PF.
SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa reported that the
trial-run started a few days ago, with anticipation that the station will be
officially launched on the 18th June.
“For now, it’s just pre-recorded music with promos calling on advertisers to
link up with the station. This is going to be their uphill struggle, looking
for advertisers because independent radio stations survive solely on revenue
from advertisements,” Muchemwa said.
A former journalist, Lenox Mhlanga went on Facebook to tell friends he was
listening to “Talk Radio’s test signal beaming non-stop music.”
“I wish it would remain that way because we all know that when they start
talking, that’s when the bull**** starts hitting the fan,” Mhlanga said.
While Talk Radio will begin broadcasting in the next two weeks, it is
believed AB Communications will open ZiFM Radio in the next few months. The
two stations will be the first private radio stations in Zimbabwe, which has
no independent radio television stations. Several radio stations such as SW
Radio Africa broadcast into Zimbabwe via shortwave, but do not operate from
By Staff Reporter 23 hours 28 minutes ago
THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration Authority (ZINARA) has with
immediate effect cancelled the vehicle licensing disc deadline which had
been extended to the 30th of June and says motorists who have not complied
risk having their vehicles impounded.
Motorists who failed to licence their vehicles before the deadline and have
up to now not yet acquired the discs will with immediate effect face arrest
following the announcement by ZINARA that the deadline extension which was
announced last week has been cancelled.
ZINARA Communications Manager, Mr Augustine Moyo said the decision was made
jointly with the ZRP Traffic Section after the realisation that motorists
had fallen into their comfort zones and had forgotten about licensing their
He said soon after the announcement of the deadline extension last week, the
number of motorists who were buying their vehicle licence discs dwindled.
“People are not organised and we are taking the issue of licensing
seriously. The deadline has been scrapped with immediate effect and anyone
found on the wrong side of the law will be arrested,” said Mr Moyo.
Mr Moyo has reiterated that the new vehicle licence discs are computerised,
adding that ZINARA is working with the police to acquire machines which will
be able to scan the barcodes and detect counterfeit discs.
Meanwhile, motorists had no kind words for ZINARA, which they described as
disorganised and confused.
“ZINARA is playing with us. Why want to cause confusion amongst motorists?
What we now believe is that they flip-flopped on licencing deadlines in
order to trap us and then rake more from fines than just settle for licence
fees,” said Cosmas Moyo, a commuter omnibus operator from Harare’s Glenview
“This is confusion of the worst kind. We are now wondering whether this
ZINARA is operating in our best interest. An professional organisation will
never do that as it will just stick to its proposed dates,” said Clive
Muzingi from Chitungwiza.
“They would rather shut up than to announce certain dates without making up
their minds. We are not happy with how this ZINARA is changing goal posts,”
said another commuter omnibus operator, Joseph Mufundisi from Chitungwiza.
The initial deadline for compliance was the 31st of May, but ZINARA last
week announced the extension of the deadline to the 30th of June, giving
motorists a lifeline.
However, with ZINARA making a last minute U-turn, motorists feel short
changed and tricked into relaxing so that they can be caught on the wrong
side of the law.
Residents of St Mary’s have resorted to relieving themselves innearby bushes
as the sewage system buckles under a rapidly growing population.
by Staff Reporter
“We have resorted to these inhumane methods of relieving ourselves since our
sewage system is not working. We have been living like this for the past
three years,” said a local woman.
With blocked sewers, residents are concerned that they their health and
hygiene is being compromised. Children play in the streets where raw sewage
from broken sewer pipes has spilled over.
“It is by God’s grace that our children have not contracted diseases since
they are always playing close to the sewage,” said another local.
A vendor at Huruyadzo Shopping Centre said that a supermarket which used to
operate at the business point was forced to shut down after raw sewage
flowed into the shop.
The residents accuse Chitungwiza municipality of doing nothing to rectify
the problem, despite repeated complaints.
“The municipality knows about our plight and every time we go to complain,
they make empty promises. In fact, they have told us to construct our own
Blair toilets,” said Chitindo.
The Zimbabwean could not get a comment from the local councillor, but an
official from Chitungwiza municipality said St Mary’s was one of the oldest
and poorest suburbs, whose sewer system was overwhelmed by a fast growing
“The sewer pipes were installed many decades ago and we are failing to
replace them because there is no money. Residents are not paying their bills
and we have since applied for financial assistance from our parent ministry,
the Ministry of Local Government (and Urban Development). However, we have
not heard from them,” he said.
Reseachers have completed a study into the effectiveness of using Moringa
Oleifera, commonly known as the drumstick or horseradish tree, to purify
by Wallace Mawire
MoringaOleifera can be used to reduce the fluoride levels in water.
MoringaOleifera can be used to reduce the fluoride levels in water.
The research is an initiative of Zimbabwe by Environment Africa, a leading
environment and sustainable development organisation which has been working
with scientists from the National University of Science and Technology based
According to Barney Mawire, EA Zimbabwe Country Manager, the Moringa Water
Purification Research Project was successfully completed and a report has
been presented to donors. It is also awaiting presentation to the Ministry
of Health and Child Welfare.
The research project was conducted in the Mudzi, Chivi and Binga districts.
In addition to Nust, EA is also collaborating with the National Institute of
“The results also revealed that Moringa seed powder is very effective in
reducing fluoride levels in water,” said Mawire.
However, he said the results were still preliminary and would be treated as
such until the government endorsed them.
Zimbabwe’s power supply is hoped to improve following a partnership the
country entered into with Zambia to develop the electricity generation
capacity of the Batoka gorge.
by Sofia Mapuranga
The project, already captured in the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) Infrastructure Investment prospectus, will see the country exploring
means to develop the Batoka gorge for the production of energy.
The project involves the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on
the Zambezi River.
The potential capacity of the site is 1 600 MW to be shared equally between
Zambia and Zimbabwe Addressing delegates on Tuesday at the official opening
of the fifth River Basins Organisations workshop being held in Harare under
the theme “Monitoring the implementation of the Sadc Protocol on shared
watercourses”, the Minister of Water Resources Management, Sam Sipepa Nkomo
said there was need for a systematic and consistent implementation of the
“It is in this light that in partnership with the Republic of Zambia, we are
exploring means to develop the Batoka gorge. Water plays a major role in
energy production in Zimbabwe,” said Nkomo.
“In SADC, we have the necessary instruments and institutions to foster
integrated water resources management at the river basin level,” he added.
Nkomo said the speedy implementation of the agreed action points was
critical because water remained a critical component of the development
agenda in the region.
“The onus is on water authorities to ensure that the water sector is managed
efficiently and in line with international best practices,” he said.
Zimbabwe has over the years suffered poor power supplies because of limited
local generation capacity, lack of funds to import adequate electricity and
a scaling down of provisions from the region.
He said the establishment of sufficient institutional development for
trans-boundary waters had the capacity to enhance cooperation between
countries and could boost regional socio-economic development and
“Trans-boundary waters can make a contribution towards regional peace if the
institutional capacity exists to manage them cooperatively for the benefit
of all basin states,” he said.
The Sadc Director of Infrastructure and Services, Remigious Makumbe, said
water was a key pillar of the economy, adding that there was need to scale
up its availability to ensure food security in the region.
“Water is the engine for economic growth and many of our member states
continue to face the challenge of access to water supply and sanitation,” he
He added: “It is important for SADC countries to build strategic water
infrastructure that will increase land under irrigation to ensure the
availability of water and guarantee food security in the region.”
The fifth RBOs workshop aims to build a consensus on Sadc strategies to
support the efforts of member states in the establishment of institutional
It is also seeking to strengthen and develop RBOs and other joint
trans-boundary water resources management mechanisms in the region.
Outside Marlborough House Outside Zambian High Commission
Zimbabweans exiled in the UK staged two demonstrations on Wednesday against the visit to London of President Michael Sata of Zambia who is a guest at Jubilee celebrations for the Queen.
Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani said ‘Sata is an unashamed supporter of Mugabe. His parroting “Pamberi ne Zanu PF (Forward with Zanu PF)” at last week’s SADC meeting was disgraceful.’
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 are made in accordance with the political agreement with the former opposition MDC in 2008.
The first demonstration took place at Marlborough House where the Queen attended a lunch for Commonwealth leaders. The demonstrators carried posters reading: ‘Zimbabweans protest at Zambian President’s support for Mugabe’, ‘Broom or bust’, ‘Sata loves Mugabe’, Sata – no interference in Zimbabwe’, ‘No to Mugabe, No to Sata’ and ‘No Satasfaction’.
The demonstrators then went on the Zambian High Commission to deliver the following letter for President Sata:
‘Dear President Sata
The Zimbabwe Vigil deplores your interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.
Your repeated expression of support for Zanu PF and your slanderous denigration of the MDC make us wonder whether you are in the pocket of Robert Mugabe.
We hear that your parroting of “Pamberi ne Zanu PF (Forward with Zanu PF)” at last week’s SADC meeting even embarrassed Zanu PF (see: Fireworks at Angola Summit – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun3a_2012.html).
We are confident that your opinions do not reflect those of the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in Zambia for whom we have great respect.
We are surprised that you have seen fit to come to London considering the negative comments you have made about this country which gave you sanctuary as a platform sweeper at Victoria Station. We have presented the High Commission with a new broom to hand on to you so that you can resume a profession for which you seem better equipped than your current one.
The Zimbabwe Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past 10 years in protest at human rights abuses at home which have forced us into exile (see: www.zimvigil.co.uk).’
Zambian diplomats refused to accept the letter which was attached to our gift of a broom and a bag of gems. So we posted the letter in a letterbox outside.
The Zambians asked why we were demonstrating outside their High Commission and they were asked in return why their President was supporting Mugabe.
Josephine Zhuga said ‘How many presidents have you had since 1980? We have only had Mugabe’.
Another demonstrator, Cephas Maswoswa, who performed an impromptu dance with the broom while sweeping the High Commission steps, said ‘Why are we in exile? Why are there no human rights in Zimbabwe?’
Others who engaged the Zambians, apart from Vigil co-ordinators Dumi and Rose Benton, included Louisa Musaerenge, Ellen Gonyora and Kelvin Kamupira.
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. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 6th June 2012.
When ECOWAS swiftly and effectively intervened in the Ivory Coast crisis,
analysts said SADC leaders should have turned green with envy, in view of
the ongoing problem in Zimbabwe.
In a brilliant editor’s memo titled, “SADC can’t hold a candle to ECOWAS’
Independent 30/12/10, Constantine Chimakure wrote:
“ECOWAS is doing what SADC should have done in Zimbabwe in 2008 when
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-pf stole elections in March and June
through a combination of manipulation and violence.”
“Our regional bloc has neither teeth nor bark. It has not only failed
Zimbabweans, but has also failed to act decisively in Madagascar and
Swaziland where authoritarian rule and dictatorship have been
institutionalised,” said Chimakure.
Two years later we still share Chimakure’s ‘frustration’ at SADC’s failure
to decisively and firmly deal with the Zimbabwe crisis which indeed remains
“a keg of gunpowder” if key democratic reforms are not implemented before
elections are held by June 2013.
A major cause for concern is the frequency with which the Zimbabwe military
is dabbling in politics, threatening a coup but getting away with “murder”
so to speak.
As recent as Monday, June 4, one was left wondering why SADC has not issued
a stern warning when ZNA Chief of Staff (Administration) Major General Trust
Mugoba reiterated what his colleagues have said before that the army will
not respect what the state-owned Herald called “puppets.”
“As the military, we do not only believe, but act in defence of these values
(gains of the liberation struggle) and we will not respect any leader who
does not respect the revolution. “We will not even allow them to go into
office because they do not represent the ideology we fought for. As the
military establishment, we have an ideology that is represented in the
mission of Zanu-PF,” Mugoba said.
What SADC should know is that even the 37-year old Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS) was once labelled ‘impotent’ for believing in a
policy of non-intervention until the 1990s when it formed the West African
Peace Keeping Force (ECOMOG) to halt the carnage that was ravaging Liberia.
Ever since then, ECOWAS has not only imposed sanctions on wayward member
states but also sent troops to restore order such as in Guinea Bissau.
In the case of the Mali crisis, an ECOWAS emergency summit on 2 April
demonstrated that ECOWAS was not babysitting coup leaders by imposing severe
financial and diplomatic sanctions on the country in an effort to restore
constitutional rule after soldiers seized power.
Although the decision to deploy troops has raised a huge debate, ECOWAS
froze Mali’s national assets, banned it from using its neighbour’s seaports
and cut-off currency flow to Mali which uses the regional CFA franc. It also
imposed travel bans on the Mali military junta and froze their personal
If only SADC emulated ECOWAS since the Ivory Coast crisis, Zimbabwe would
arguably be marking the 2nd anniversary of peaceful democratic elections
since 2008 by now.
To show leadership, ECOWAS slapped sanctions on Guinea Bissau junta end of
April aimed at restoring constitutional rule. It imposed targeted sanctions
on the military junta and diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions
against Guinea Bissau which took effect on 30 April 2012.
Nobody is suggesting that ECOWAS waved a magic wand and all problems got
resolved. Only a fool would say that.
It is worth noting that a UN Security Council delegation recently said the
"diplomatic solutions" initiated by ECOWAS to restore constitutional order
in Mali had "failed."
However, ECOWAS has shown decisive political will unmatched by SADC leaders
in dealing with the Zimbabwe crisis.
Nevertheless, it has not all been doom and gloom for SADC, as last week the
regional body put its foot down on Mugabe’s plans to rush the country into
elections without key reforms including a new constitution. That caught the
Zanu-pf regime by surprise.
Ideally, SADC should go beyond that ‘game changer’ in Angola, and draw-up
tough measures including diplomatic, financial and trade sanctions on
Zimbabwe if the election roadmap continues to gather dust by 1st December
In the event of Zimbabwe defaulting on the election roadmap, SADC should act
decisively like ECOWAS did by flexing its economic and diplomatic muscles.
Last week in Luanda, SADC proved that it can make a difference if it wants
to, despite Mugabe’s high powered delegations and propaganda machinery
claiming that Zimbabwe would not be on the summit’s agenda.
In the end, the regime was left nursing a wounded ego. As a face-saving
device, its spin doctors resorted to misrepresenting the summit resolutions
and even demanding the facilitator President Zuma to make an urgent visit to
Zimbabwe. To do what?
For the next twelve months, the Zimbabwean conundrum will be a critical test
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is reading for a higher degree in International
Relations and is due to commence a full time study for a PhD focusing on
Forced Migration at the London South Bank University in September.
BILL WATCH 23/2012
[5th June 2012]
The House of Assembly is meeting today, Tuesday 5th June
The Senate remains adjourned until Tuesday 12th June
Outcome of SADC Summit Luanda, 1st June: Work for Parliament
The 1st June Luanda SADC Summit communiqué said:
“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.” [Full communiqué and Roadmap available from firstname.lastname@example.org]
Parliament Running out of Time
Parliament has a vital role to play in relation to both constitution and Roadmap. The constitution must be discussed in Parliament before the Referendum, and after the Referendum it has to be gazetted as a Bill and passed by a two-thirds majority in both Houses. For the full implementation of the Roadmap to Elections, several key reform Bills must be passed. So far the current Parliament has passed very little necessary reform legislation – not even the Human Rights Commission Bill or the Electoral Amendment Bill, both of which took a long time to get through Cabinet because of inter-party arguments on content, and are now taking a long time in Parliament.
According to the 2012 Sitting Calendar, Parliamentary time for the rest of 2012 is limited – 30 sittings for the House of Assembly, 24 for the Senate. [Before the current session ends there are 9 sittings in June for the House, and 6 for the Senate. The next session – the fifth and final session of the Seventh Parliament – is due to open on 17th July, and, apart from opening day and Budget day, there are 21 House sittings and 18 Senate sittings planned before the end of November. There are no sittings planned in December.] Parliamentary attention will also have to be focused on the 2013 Budget in November.
The sitting calendar for next year is not yet out. But the present Parliament has to end by 28th June 2013, as explained in Bill Watch 23/2012 of 31st May. [Some sections of the press have perpetuated the wrong notion that Parliament ends in March 2013, but the correct date is 28th June. The President was reported as saying “March” in Luanda, but in a later TV interview said “March or June”.]
New Mining Fees and 5 Other SIs to be Repealed
Adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] were adopted by the Senate on 28th March on five statutory instruments the PLC considered to be inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore null and void. [Statutory instruments may be gazetted without prior PLC vetting but must be examined after gazetting and a report on their constitutionality made to the Senate.] The SIs in question were:
· 127/2011 Water Sub-catchment Councils Rates Regulations Amendment 5
· 153/2011 VAT (Fiscalised Recording) Amendment Regulations
· 11/2012 Mining fees increases [a majority report, Hon Mangwana dissenting]
· 10/2012 Water Sub-catchment Councils Rates Regulations Amendment 6
· 9/2012 Norton Trading By-laws
The reports were presented by PLC chairman Hon Shepherd Mushonga and adopted by the Senate without much debate. Interestingly, none of the responsible Ministers were present to defend any of the SIs or ask for time to argue against the reports.
Effect of adoption of adverse reports Neither the presentation of an adverse report, nor its adoption by the Senate, itself invalidates the statutory instrument concerned. But repeal or amendment may follow, because under the Constitution [section 40B(1)(c)], if the Senate adopts a PLC adverse report on a statutory instrument, the statutory instrument, or the offending provisions in it, must be repealed by the President by notice in the Gazette – unless within the next 21 “sitting days” either
· the House of Assembly resolves that it must not be repealed, or
· the authority responsible for the statutory instrument repeals or amends it in a way that, in the PLC’s opinion, removes the inconsistency with the Constitution.
Definition of “sitting day” The definition of “sitting day” is important: “any Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that is not a public holiday, whether or not the House concerned actually sits” [Constitution, section 113 as read with Standing Orders].
21 sitting days have expired The Senate adopted the adverse reports the day before the beginning of the six-week Parliamentary Easter recess. The House of Assembly adjourned the next day without considering the adverse reports. But the 21 sitting day countdown continued and duly expired in early May, well before the House of Assembly resumed sitting after the long recess. As a result it is now too late for the House of Assembly to pass resolutions preserving the statutory instruments from the repeal or partial repeal required by the Constitution.
President must now repeal/amend the SIs The Clerk of Parliament must now report the matter to the President, and on receipt of the report the President must promptly [“shall forthwith”] by notice in the Gazette, repeal the statutory instruments or offending provisions in them, as appropriate [Constitution, Schedule 4, paragraph 8].
Status of the SIs pending action by President Meanwhile the statutory instruments concerned continue in existence until the President gazettes the necessary notices – or until they are declared null and void by a court. [Note: The courts are not obliged to reach the same conclusions as the PLC on constitutional validity, ultra vires or other legal issues.]
Further Adverse Reports in the Pipeline on Six March SIs
The President of the Senate announced on 16th May that the PLC had given a non-adverse report on all but six of the statutory instruments gazetted during March. The six other statutory instruments, on which adverse reports are therefore expected to be announced when the Senate resumes on 12th May, are:
· 25/2012 Mberengwa (Traffic) By-laws
· 28/2012 Marondera (Incorporated Area) (Amendment) By-laws
· 30/2012 Chegutu (Incorporated Area) (Amendment) By-laws
· 40/2012 Kariba (Incorporated Areas) (Amendment) By-laws
· 41/2012 Norton Town Council (Food Hygiene) By-laws
· 44/2012 Bindura Municipality (Incorporated Areas) (Amendment) By-laws
The four sets of Incorporated Areas By-laws all fix new rents and charges for the incorporated areas [former townships] of the local authorities concerned.
Coming up in the House of Assembly
Two key reform Bills are on the Order Paper:
· Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill – for the Committee Stage [amendments to the Bill have been tabled by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs to take account of objections raised by the PLC in its conditional non-adverse report]
· Electoral Amendment Bill – for consideration of the PLC’s adverse report, which will be presented by the PLC chairman Hon Shepherd Mushonga. If the report is adopted, either wholly or partly, the Bill will have to be amended to remove the inconsistencies with the Constitution identified by the House.
Other Bills that may come up are:
· National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – for the Second Reading speech by the Minister of Industry and Commerce
· Older Persons Bill – for the Second Reading speech by the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, following the PLC’s non-adverse report.
· Proposed Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act – for continuation of debate on Hon Gonese’s motion requesting leave to introduce this Bill. [It remains to be seen whether there will be progress, given the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development’s application to the Supreme Court for a ruling on his argument that Private Member’s Bills cannot be brought up while the GPA continues in force.]
The only new motion is a condolence motion on the death of Hon Betty Chikava, the MP for Mount Darwin. Other items on the Order Paper are for continuation of debates already started.
Question Time – Wednesday
Questions without notice will take up the first hour on Wednesday afternoon. The next hour is set aside for written questions with notice; 40 await responses from Ministers, several of them dating back to October last year. More recent questions include two for the Minister of Finance, on the Reserve Bank’s apparent continued involvement in “quasi-fiscal” mining operations, and on delays in the appointment of a substantive Commissioner-General for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority; one for the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity on why the Broadcasting Authority Board has not been regularised; and one for the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment on whether small-scale Chinese- and Nigerian-owned industries are sub ject toindigenisation.
Government Gazette 25th May to 1st June
Acts or Bills gazetted: None
Suspension of NSSA SI 145/2011 re pension contributions and benefits SI 97/2012, gazetted on 28th May but backdated to 1st January, suspends until further notice the new contribution rates and pension benefits that were gazetted in SI 145/2011.
Collective bargaining agreements Leather and Shoe, Sports Equipment, Animal Skin Processing, Taxidermy, Leather Goods;, Travel Goods manufacturing undertaking [SI 92/2012]; Electronics, Communications and Allied industry [SI 94/2012]; Textile industry [SI 95/2012, correcting errors in SI 77/2012]
Local authority rents and charges by-laws Chipinge Town Council [SI 93/2012]
Other local authority by-laws New Mberengwa Rural District Council by-laws control land use and conservation [SI 99/2012] and fishing.
Prisoners’ diet schedule SI 96/2012 [replacing the schedule gazetted in SI 149/2011]
Civil aviation security SI 98/2012 amends numerous definitions in the principal regulations gazetted in SI 207/2006.
Resettlement areas placed under Chiefs GN 175/2012 declares an area of resettlement land in Insiza district to be under the authority of Chief Jahana in terms of section 29 of the Traditional Leaders Act. GN 176/2012 makes a similar declaration for resettlement land in the Hwedza district placed under the authority of Chief Nyahuye Wasvosve.
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