By Alex Bell
08 June 2009
Four journalists, who last week won a landmark case against the government
over the legality of the Media and Information Commission (MIC), were this
weekend barred from attending the Comesa summit for not being accredited.
The Information Ministry two weeks ago instructed all journalists wishing to
cover the event to register for accreditation with the MIC. The freelance
journalists took the state to court over the issue and on Friday, High Court
Judge Bharat Patel ruled that the MIC was now a defunct body and as such no
journalist in the country was legally required to register with it. The
court granted the journalists an interim order barring Information Minister
Webster Shamu, his permanent secretary George Charamba, MIC chairman Dr
Tafataona Mahoso and others, from interfering with the operations of the
four journalists in their work.
But the journalists, Stanley Gama, Valentine Maponga, Stanley Kwenda and
Jealous Mawarire, were on Sunday turned away from the summit venue in
Victoria Falls by security details. The security officials insisted that the
journalists, despite the production of the High Court order, could not cover
the event as they were not on the Information Ministry's list of journalists
accredited to cover the summit. Lawyers for the MIC have also announced that
they will appeal against the High Court's ruling, in a clear sign that media
reform in Zimbabwe is still a long way from being achieved.
Meanwhile, during the opening of the Comesa summit that alarmingly resembled
a gathering of dictators and criminals, Robert Mugabe called for African
countries to increase self-reliance and boost development. Mugabe, who now
takes over as leader of Africa's main trading bloc, also said the continent
must raise its international capacity by 'exploiting' its mineral resources,
rich soil and human skills.
The ageing dictators hypocritical comments have been greeted with shock by
observers, as Mugabe has single-handedly destroyed development in Zimbabwe,
turning the once productive country into an aid-reliant state. While Mugabe
was lecturing his fellow African leaders on the importance of self-reliance,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai embarked on a cross-continental aid-begging
tour, to rescue financial relationships that Mugabe's years of dictatorial
abuse destroyed. Meanwhile, outrage still abounds over the involvement of
Vice President Joice Mujuru's daughter, in a trade deal involving illegal
gold from the DRC. Could this be the kind of exploitation of natural
resources Mugabe stringently called for during his speech?
At the same time, while Mugabe called for an end to conflicts across the
continent, Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir, who faces international arrest
for war crimes, was welcomed with open arms at the summit this weekend. The
International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in March for
Beshir to face five counts of crimes against humanity and two of war crimes
over the conflict in Darfur. But the Zimbabwe government defended their
welcome of the Sudanese leader, with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
telling media that Zimbabwe has no duty to arrest Beshir as it is not party
to the treaty that set up the ICC.
"We are aware that the President of Sudan is under an ICC warrant of arrest
which he disputes. We are not a state party under the Rome Statute. We have
no obligation under the Statute of Rome to execute that obligation," he
By Violet Gonda
8 June 2009
A High Court Judge, Justice Tendai Uchena, deferred the hearing of the first
group of abductees on Monday, following a petition by the defence team to
refer their clients case to the Constitutional Court because their rights
were violated. Justice Uchena will hear the matter on Tuesday. The matter
was deferred after the Attorney General's office requested more time to go
through the application by the defence team. The four abductees are
Concillia Chinanzvavana, Fidelis Chiramba, Violet Mupfuranhewe and Collen
A statement by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said: "The
abductees' lawyers filed an application for the matter to be referred to the
Constitutional Court so that it can determine whether or not the abductees'
abduction/ kidnapping constituted unlawful deprivation of liberty in
violation of Section 13 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."
"The lawyers also want the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the
torture of the abductees constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment in
violation of section 15 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."
They also want the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the abductees
can be compelled to go on trial in circumstances where their appearance at
court was facilitated by a criminal act of kidnapping or abduction
sanctioned by the State.
The ZLHR said the filing of the application for a referral to the
Constitutional Court could effectively delay the commencement of the trial
of the four abductees. They are accused of plotting to overthrow the Mugabe
Two other groups of abductees are expected to appear in court in the near
From ZWNEWS, 8 June
The world's leading organisation on the study and prevention of genocide has
for the first time elected an African to its governing board. At a vote in
Washington on Sunday 7 June, Zimbabwe journalist and author, Geoff Hill,
secured one of six places on the advisory council of the International
Association of Genocide Scholars or IAGS. A total of 18 candidates competed
for the board. The decision was taken by secret ballot. The grouping - whose
pronouncements on mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide are followed
closely by both the United Nations and the International Criminal Court at
the Hague - was formed in 1994 and has been dominated by academics and
political analysts from the USA and Europe. The IAGS led the push to send
former Yugoslav strongman Slobidan Milosovic and Liberian dictator Charles
Taylor to The Hague. Hill, who has repeatedly called for the Gukurahundi
massacres to be officially classified as genocide, said he would demand that
African crimes against humanity gained the same status as those of the Nazi
Holocaust and Cambodia. "People now accept the 1994 slaughter in Rwanda as
genocide, but the previous attacks on Tutsis in that country, plus the
Nigerian atrocities in Biafara in the 1960s and Gukurahundi have been
ignored," he said. Hill said that he had already started lobbying within the
IAGS for a pronouncement to be made on Gukurahundi. "Once it is officially
recognised as genocide, it will be easier to gain support for prosecution of
those who carried out the killings," he said.
Parliament passed no controversial bill
June 8, 2009
ON Sunday, June 7, 2009, we published an article under the headline
"Parliament passes controversial Bill".
The article stated that Zimbabwe's Parliament had last Tuesday approved a
widely condemned Bill that seeks to stop white farmers from challenging land
seizures in court and to curtail the travel and voting rights of those
without full citizenship. The report also quoted Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa at length.
This article was published in error. For reasons that we have not been able
to establish this article was submitted to us on Sunday with the day's date
. The article was subsequently expunged from this website as soon as the
error became apparent.
We extend our sincere apologies to all our readers and others who may have
been inconvenienced by our genuine error. - EDITOR
June 8, 2009
By Ntando Ncube
JOHANNESBURG - A Zimbabwean cross-border bus, operated by Big Sparrow and
traveling from Harare to Johannesburg killed 10 passengers and left 30
seriously injured on Monday morning when it was involved in an accident
close to the city of Polokwane in South Africa.
Limpopo police and Zimbabwe consulate officials as well as officials of the
bus company in Johannesburg all confirmed the accident and said the dead had
been taken to Polokwane mortuary with the injured admitted to various
hospitals in the province.
Spokesman Captain Mohlaka Mashiane said seven women and three men died when
the bus overturned on the N1 North.
"We can confirm that the driver lost control of the bus and it overturned
and killed 10 people instantly. All the deceased were Zimbabweans. We found
people scattered all over. Thirty were taken to hospital," said Mashiane.
Big Sparrow Johannesburg station manager Washington Nyandoro said the
accident happened around 4 am and the cause was not yet known.
"I am communicating with the owner of the bus who is in Harare, at the
moment what I can tell you is that he is talking with the police in
Polokwane then from there we will see the way forward." Nyandoro said
The driver was left with a broken leg while his co-diver only identified as
Kangira suffered a broken arm. Both are in hospital.
Police said a case of culpable homicide has been opened.
Zimbabwe consul general Christopher Mapanga said: "We are still working to
find more information about this accident so far we have communicated with
relevant authorities in Polokwane then after gathering all the required
information we will see how we can get involved in terms of assisting"
Zimbabwe and the South Africa government signed an agreement last month
dispensing with visa requirements for Zimbabwean passport holders traveling
into South Africa. The agreement allows Zimbabweans entry into South Africa
on a 90 day pass and permits them to seek employment.
South African border authorities say the number of Zimbabweans entering
South Africa has since then more than doubled from 3 000 to 7 000 a day.
From ZWNEWS, 8 June
A niece of prime minister Tsvangirai is involved in an attempt to grab a
farm in the Chegutu district. Dr. Arikana Chihombori, who lives in the
United States and practices family medicine in Antioch, Tennessee, has been
actively trying to seize De Rus Farm from Mr L J Cremer since late last
year. Mr Cremer was first contacted in November 2008 by the local Lands
Officer, who produced an offer letter dated August 2007 showing that De Rus
farm had been allocated to Dr Chihombori. In January this year, Dr
Chihombori sister sent a group of unemployed youths to take the farm, but
the occupation only lasted three days, after which the youths left,
complaining of not being paid enough. In April, Dr Chihombori applied to the
courts for an application to evict the Cremer family, producing the same
offer letter as evidence, this time dated December 2008. Dr Chihombori
visited De Rus Farm in May to see her 'new' property
Mr Cremer was born on the farm, which was originally 716 ha in extent. In
2002, 650 ha were taken away and given to new farmers. The De Rus family
were left with 60 ha, on which are the homestead and outbuildings. Mr Cremer
lives on the farm with his wife - a third generation Zimbabwean - their two
daughters, their husbands and five grandchildren. De Rus Farm employs 300
staff, some of whom also live on the property. The state has paid no
compensation for the seized land. The Cremers used to run cattle, and
produce food and cotton on the seized portion of the farm. Since 2002,
production on that land has been minimal, with no more than 20 ha under
crops, and many parts now covered in thorn trees five metres tall. In 2003,
that part of De Rus Farm still in the Cremers' hands was granted Export
Processing Zone status, later turned into an Investment License. The status
of Investment Licence gives legal protection against seizure by the state.
The Cremers also have letters from the local land committee and the
provincial governor recommending that they be allowed to continue farming.
They grow cutflowers for export, as well as vegetables for the local market.
There are also plans to produce vegetable seedlings for the outgrowers of a
processing company. The Cremers' neighbour, who used to produce the
seedlings, has been evicted.
"It is very obvious that this acquisition is not about land reform," said Mr
Cremer in a statement. "How can this government ask for food aid while they
are busy removing food producers from their farms? How can they justify the
unemployment rate while they are removing 300 people from employment under
the guise of Land Reform? A small productive farm is being taken from
Zimbabweans and given to someone who resides in America. It is about greed,
people stealing our homes, land, jobs and livelihood and hiding behind
politics. The only reason for evicting us must be race." Dr Chihombori came
to prominence in May when she was seen accompanying Tsvangirai at the
inauguration of Jacob Zuma as South African president. She was born in
Zimbabwe, but was educated in the US and has practiced there for the past 30
years. She is married to a Ghanaian, also a doctor in the US. In 1992, she
founded the Bell Family Medical Centre in Tennessee, of which she is the
CEO. She is also co-owner of the Mid-Tennessee Medical Associates, which is
a multi-speciality clinic with 16 physicians. In 1999 her company received
US$750 000 from the World Bank to fund its involvement with the Torwood
Hospital and Redcliff Medical Center in Kwekwe, which her company had taken
over from Zisco, the troubled steel producer in the town.
8 June 2009
By The Zimbabwean
HAGUE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has expressed confidence that his
initiative to re-engage the international community would certainly have a
positive impact on the country. The Netherlands had not indicated how they
will go about broadening their support from just humanitarian to financial
for the transition.(Pictured: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai)
Tsvangirai was speaking at a press conference at the La Fontaine-zaal here
on June 7 after meeting Bert Koenders, the Minister of Development
Cooperation of the Netherlands.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai said his interaction with the minister had proved
that the international community had shifted from scepticism to realism in
their dealing with Zimbabwe.
"The Minister's message was not whether or not Zimbabwe should be supported
as was the case previously, but it was about how the support should be
structured," said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said since he had not brought with him a begging bowl, it
did not disturb him much that he had not been given a figure or the time
lines on financial support for his country by Koenders. He added that while
there was no mention of dollars and cents, the sudden change of heart and
attitude from scepticism of wait and see to openness and exploration of
viable options for transitional support was quite heartening nonetheless.
Koenders said the bloc wanted to see clear progress on human rights, the
reining in of security services and reform of the country's central bank
before resuming aid.
"It is the agreement of the parties in Zimbabwe itself regarding human
rights, security, regarding economic policy, regarding land survey that
forms the basis for our future support," Koenders told reporters after
meeting Tsvangirai in The Hague.
The slow pace implementation of some crucial aspects of the Global Political
Agreement by the inclusive government keeps coming up where ever the Prime
According to Pascal Richard of Zimbabwe Watch, full implementation of the
GPA as agreed upon by the three parties to the agreement will be an
indication to the world that all are willing to be bound by its letter and
spirit. He said wanton violations of some provisions of the agreement by any
of the parties as is visible in some cases would only militate against the
cause of international re-engagement and transitional support.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Tsvangirai met his opposite number Dr. Jan Peter
Balkenende, Netherlands Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Maxime Verhagen .
From Neatherlands. the Prime Minister departed for Washington DC. He is
accompanied by the Minister of Regional integration and International
Cooperation, Priscilla Misihairambwi-Musonga, Walter Muzembi of Tourism and
Elton Mangoma of Economic Development and Investment Planning.
June 8, 2009
By Mxolisi Ncube
JOHANNESBURG - South African President Jacob Zuma says that Southern African
countries should canvass international support for Zimbabwe. Zuma, chairman
the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said during a television
interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Sunday that
Zimbabwe's problems were affecting the whole region.
"Ordinary Zimbabweans who have been affected by the crisis in their country
have been going to Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Malawi to
seek a better life," said Zuma.
"Therefore, this is no longer a Zimbabwean issue, but a bi-lateral one
involving Zimbabwe and any of the other countries in the region.
"There is an estimated four million Zimbabweans here in South Africa and
that is not a small number in any terms.
"That is why I call upon all countries in the region to support Zimbabwe get
its economy back on track because these problems are also having a negative
bearing on us - they strain our resources."
SADC brokered a power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-
PF and two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties.
While calling on southern African countries to take the lead, Zuma said the
international community as a whole should come to the aid of Zimbabwe.
"Countries in Southern Africa should all assist in mobilising aid for
Zimbabwe, while all those other countries with the ability to help should do
so now," he said.
"SADC spent a lot of time in making the unity government come through, and
so did the people of Zimbabwe. I think that Zimbabweans are doing their best
in making the government work, and we must support them.
"There are some problems here and there, but we always knew that there would
be problems and we need to support them overcome those problems.
"Any positive developments in Zimbabwe will ease pressure on us and that is
what we must all work towards in the region."
By Violet Gonda
8 June 2009
The Zimbabwe Union of Journalist reports that two of its members were
arrested and assaulted by police for covering a demonstration last Friday.
Chris Mahove, a senior reporter with The Worker- a newspaper run by the
Zimbabwe Congress Trade Unions - was arrested while covering a demonstration
by the Harare City Council Workers' Union.
ZUJ President Matthew Takaona said the journalist was immediately surrounded
by police officers when he was caught taking pictures of the demonstration
and taken to Harare Central Police Station. Mahove managed to call his
editor, Ben Madzimure, who was also arrested at the police station while
enquiring about his colleague. The two were allegedly assaulted while in
detention and had their footage of the demonstration destroyed by the
The ZUJ president said: "When he (editor) went to the police station to try
and find out why his reporter was arrested he was also taken in and
detained. And according to Madzimure they were kicked around - in fact they
were assaulted by some police officers and thereafter their camera had
everything inside rubbed".
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights intervened and the two were released
without charge after spending several hours in police custody. ZUJ condemned
the detention of the journalists, who are fully accredited. Takaona said
both the reporter and the editor had their press cards and actually showed
them to the police officers, but they were still manhandled. He said these
kinds of actions show the authorities are still trying to block any coverage
of dissatisfaction among the people, despite the new unity government.
The arrests also come in the background of a new ruling Friday, that allows
media practitioners to do their work without accreditation, until such a
time a legitimate media council is set up to do the accreditation process.
Despite winning this landmark case against the government last Friday the
four unaccredited journalists who had taken the government to court over
this issue were barred from covering the Comesa Heads of State and
Government Summit in Victoria Falls.
The harassment of journalists continues despite assurances by Prime Minister
Tsvangirai that the situation has normalized in Zimbabwe. The leader, who is
touring overseas countries, told Dutch TV that his main aim for the trip was
for the international community to accept Zimbabwe, which has been in
isolation for a decade now, as "a normal democratic country" and that he
wanted the Western countries to review their position with regards to
An observer said: "All I hope is that, for the right reasons, Morgan
Tsvangirai is sent back to Zimbabwe with a clear message: Restore human
rights, restore law and order, remove charges against political hostages and
establish a free press. As soon as that is done, and it can all be done
immediately, then the free world will rally to assist financially. Until
then, all assistance will be directed at feeding and health care for poor
In the Netherlands Mr. Tsvangirai was told that Zimbabwe must first adopt
economic, political and social reforms before getting any additional aid
Mon Jun 8, 9:28 am ET
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (AFP) - Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir on Monday
denounced moves to prosecute him for war crimes as an "infringement" on his
country's sovereignty, at a trade summit in Zimbabwe.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for
Beshir on war crimes and crimes against humanity in his country's Darfur
"Such a move ushers a new era of domination and infringement upon the
independence and sovereignty of Sudan," he told a summit of the Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in the Zimbabwean resort
town of Victoria Falls.
He called the charges a "falsity" aimed at breaking apart his country.
"Powers hostile to Sudan, sparing no effort to undermine the security and
stability of the country, have now come up with a new falsity -- the move by
the ICC against the president of the Sudan," he said.
"It is an action aiming at isolating Sudan from its regional sphere as a
prelude to fragmenting the country," he added.
Despite the warrant against him, Zimbabwe says it has no duty to arrest
Beshir as it is not party to the treaty that set up the International
Criminal Court (ICC).
Beshir has travelled to other countries without treaty obligations to the
court and tried to rally support around the continent for a suspension of
In its final communique, the COMESA summit backed the proposal of suspending
the warrant, which critics say threatens peace efforts within Sudan.
The summit leaders "expressed concern on the International Criminal Court
indictment against his excellency Omar al-Bechir, president of the republic
of Sudan, and endorsed the position of the African Union Peace and Security
Council for the United Nations to urge the ICC to suspend the indictment,"
VICTORIA FALLS, Monday
Nineteen regional leaders today called for the suspension of the warrant of arrest against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
President Bashir is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.
In a communique read at the end of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) heads of state and government summit, the leaders also called for Sudan and Chad to exercise restraint in their border dispute.
President Bashir was in Zimbabwe in defiance of the ICC warrant issued in March.
A futile plot
He had earlier told the summit that the warrant was part of a futile plot to isolate and fragment his country.
“It (the ICC warrant) is an action aimed at isolating Sudan and eventually fragmenting and dividing our country,” he said.
The visit was his first to southern Africa after he travelled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Libya.
Comesa leaders called on the UN to press for the cancellation of the indictment and encourage a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Sudan.
The regional leaders also called for a robust approach to the problems of piracy in the coast of Somalia.
Comesa secretary-general Mr Sindiso Ngwenya said the problem of piracy was one of the main peace and security issues of concern that the leaders deliberated on during the two day long summit that also witnessed the launch of a new customs union.
Was not invited
Madagascar’s President Mr Andry Rajoelina was not invited to the summit.
Zimbabwe took over the chairmanship of Comesa from Kenya on Sunday.
By Peter Heinlein
08 June 2009
African member states of the International Criminal Court are considering a
mass withdrawal to protest the war crimes indictment against Sudan's
President Omar al-Bashir. A pullout is unlikely, but many are demanding a
one-year suspension of the indictment.
There was an air of frustration at African Union headquarters as 30 African
ICC member states met to consider a response to the arrest warrants filed
against one of the continent's most prominent leaders.
African heads of state condemned the indictment at their last summit and
called for a one-year suspension as provided in Article 16 of the Rome
Statute that created the court. The summit also ordered member states to
consider a mass withdrawal unless African views are taken into account.
But the U.N. Security Council has shown little interest in invoking Article
16. And while many African leaders complain the court is being used to
target their own statesmen, there is little support for the drastic step of
a mass pullout.
In his opening speech to the gathering of member states, A.U. Peace and
Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said the world body's inaction has
damaged prospects for peace in Darfur.
"Article 16 of the Rome Statute is meant to give the U.N. Security Council
the opportunity to give peace a chance," Lamamra said. "While the search for
justice would not be affected by a 12-month deferral of judicial
proceedings, the pursuit of peace can be deadly...if players, including a
head of state, are denied even the fundamental presumption of innocence."
Lamamra blasted the ICC and its chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, saying
they are ignoring 'legitimate concerns' raised by Africans about a double
standard in pursuing cases against some leaders while ignoring others.
"Some member states have raised profound apprehension on the...conduct of
the prosecutor and unreservedly attributed the indictment of the Sudanese
president to a glaring practice of selective justice," he said.
Lamamra said security in Darfur remains 'extremely fragile', with millions
of civilians living in 'precarious conditions'. But, he said, statistics
compiled by the joint A.U./U.N. peacekeeping force (UNAMID) indicate a
'low-grade conflict' in the Sudanese region, not the mass killings suggested
"It is estimated that, on a month-to-month basis, 130 to 150 people die from
violence in Darfur. Approximately one-third of the fatalities are
civilians," Lamamra said. "The picture of the situation as presented by the
authority responsible for UNAMID is obviously much different from what the
ICC prosecutor described last Friday before the U.N. Security Council as
'ongoing extermination of civilians.'"
Commissioner Lamamra suggested the African ICC member states take a moderate
approach, again urging the U.N. Security Council to defer the indictments,
while at the same time calling for Sudan to redouble efforts to end the
ongoing human-rights violations in Darfur.
African diplomats say the group is likely to follow Lamamra's advice,
rejecting calls by Libya as well as by ICC members Senegal, Djibouti and
Comoros for a mass pullout from the court.
The issue is expected to come up again in early July, when Africa's heads of
state hold their next summit in the Libyan town of Sirte, under the
leadership of current A.U. Chairman Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Mon Jun 8, 2009 11:06am GMT
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe, June 8 (Reuters) - African economic bloc COMESA
called for a return to democracy in Madagascar on Monday and said military
intervention could be an option to restore democracy to the Indian Ocean
In a resolution at the end of a two-day summit of the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa, the 19-member organisation condemned a
military-backed opposition revolt which ousted former Madagascan President
Marc Ravalomanana in March.
"We welcome and agreed, as pronounced by the AU (African Union), to support
SADC (Southern African Development Community) as they take a lead in efforts
to restore constitutional order in Madagascar by examining all options,
including the possibility of military intervention," COMESA said.
8 June 2009
The following Statement is released by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) on behalf of its clients Stanley Gama, Valentine Maponga, Stanley
Kwenda & Jealousy Mawarire
STATEMENT ON ONGOING CONTEMPT OF COURT BY THE MINISTER AND PERMANENT
SECRETARY OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY
On 5 June 2009 we secured a crucial order from the High Court in Harare.
This Order barred the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity (Webster
Shamu), and his permanent secretary (George Charamba), as well as any others
purporting to act on their behalf and with their authority, from involving
themselves in issues relating to our attendance in Victoria Falls to cover
the Comesa Heads of State and Government Summit. The two, and others
purporting to act on their behalf and with their authority, were also barred
by the High Court from interfering in any way with our practice of
The Order was made in open court by the Honourable Mr. Justice Patel in the
presence of, amongst others, the Minister and permanent secretary's legal
counsel of record, Mrs. Virginia Mabhiza from the office of the Attorney
General. Further, the Order was formally served on them later in the evening
of 5 June 2009 by our lawyer of record, Mr. Selby Hwacha.
Neither the Minister, nor his permanent secretary can therefore pretend to
be unaware of the existence of this Order and its contents.
In accordance with this Order, we travelled to Victoria Falls to cover the
Comesa Heads of State and Government Summit. The Order clearly stated that
we should register with the Comesa Secretariat and would then be free to
cover the Summit proceedings. However, since we arrived here we have faced
one hurdle after another. We have been denied entry into the hotel hosting
the Summit. We have been cast aside by the Comesa Secretariat, which says it
is acting on instructions to only "accredit" those journalists whose names
appear on a list provided by the Minister and the permanent secretary. This
is inspite of them having been made aware of the Order, whose contents are
We will make attempts once again today to register to cover the proceedings.
If we are unsuccessful, we will take action against all and any individuals
and organisations who have defied and are still defying an Order of the High
Court of Zimbabwe and thus setting back the agenda for media freedom and
freedom of expression in this country.
Defiance of court orders with impunity has blighted our country for many
years now, and as soon as we return to Harare, we shall be instructing our
lawyers to initiate and vigorously pursue contempt of court proceedings
against Webster Shamu and George Charamba.
For more information please contact;
From The Observer (UK), 7 June
Britain is edging towards substantively closer political engagement with
Zimbabwe's new unity government despite continuing concerns in London
about appearing to legitimise President Robert Mugabe. Mark Malloch-Brown,
Britain's minister for Africa, is expected to discuss Zimbabwe during a tour
of southern African countries this week, when he will make what is billed as
a "major address" in Mozambique. Zimbabwe is not on his itinerary. But
officials say a ministerial visit is seen as more possible now than at any
time since 2001, when Lady Amos met Mugabe in Harare. Malloch-Brown's
regional visit follows a meeting with Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's prime
minister, and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, its foreign minister, during last
month's inauguration of Jacob Zuma as South Africa's president. While
listing British concerns, Malloch-Brown recognised "areas of progress made
by the inclusive government" and stressed Britain's willingness to help
rebuild the country. London's more positive tone follows initial scepticism
that the power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai's Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), struck in February after months of bitter
post-election wrangling, would endure. Tendai Biti, the country's finance
minister and close Tsvangirai ally, is said to have made a good impression
in London in April, and a senior Foreign Office official recently travelled
Officials said they were now more hopeful the unity government would succeed
but warned that problems remained, notably Mugabe's unilateral reappointment
of Gideon Gono, the discredited central bank governor, in defiance of the
MDC. Continuing illegal detentions and farm invasions by Mugabe's allies are
other concerns."They [British officials] have plenty of reservations. But
they don't want to be seen as spoilers," a source said. "They don't want to
be thought to be undermining Tsvangirai." Britain is considering moving
beyond humanitarian aid to offer direct political support in, say,
constitutional reform and strengthening the rule of law. Such assistance
could be channelled through the British embassy in Harare to Tsvangirai's
office, bypassing ministries controlled by Mugabe loyalists. But the pace of
re-engagement is hotly debated in Whitehall, with some officials said to be
anxious that Mugabe could try to hijack the process and embarrass Downing
Street by triumphantly declaring a British climbdown. Those who take a more
robust view claim that Dfid, Britain's international development ministry,
is dragging its feet on taking "the next step" towards capacity building.
Britain's shifting stance is driven to some degree by fear of being
outflanked by France and other European countries that are showing renewed
interest in political and business links with Harare.
Some in London who recall former president Jacques Chirac's feting of Mugabe
in Paris in 2003 say France has a record of exploiting British difficulties
over Zimbabwe. Anne-Marie Idrac, the French state secretary for foreign
trade, made a surprise visit to Harare last month. In meetings with top
ministers she reportedly opened talks on French investment in Zimbabwe's
power sector and other private sector areas. A delegation from the French
development agency was also due in Harare. Tsvangirai, whose tour includes
high-level meetings in Britain, admitted last month the MDC was struggling
to deliver quick reforms due to opposition from elements allied to Mugabe
but said that was to be expected in a "marriage of convenience" and that the
process of democratisation was irreversible. The attitude of western donors
such as Britain was warming up, he said. "There has been some positive
engagement with them. They have moved from total disregard of what has
happened to scepticism, and now they are saying there is progress, though
not sufficient," Tsvangirai told South Africa's Star newspaper. "So they all
accept there is change taking place and that change must be consolidated.
They will eventually open their purses." Despite such optimism, real change
may be desperately slow in coming. As the MDC's Tendai Biti noted recently,
power struggles within Zanu PF over the Mugabe succession may fatally
undermine Zimbabwe's rehabilitation. If the discord continues unchecked,
observers say Zanu PF's December congress may provide not change but a
strong dose of deja vu â€“ by re-electing Mugabe as party leader for yet
another five years.
OPINION: Our country has gone through an unprecedented economic downturn over the past decade. The related challenges affecting our industries, public institutions and citizens include the following; high country risk, unavailable and unaffordable infrastructure (water, power, roads/railways, telecoms), low capacity utilisation, low production, under-capitalisation, economic stagnation, skills drain and rampant unemployment.
As the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe embarks on a mission to address these problems, the starting point should be reducing country risk through rebranding the country, while embarking on a comprehensible infrastructural development and rehabilitation plan.
The availability and cost of water, power, telecoms, and logistics affect both private and public institutions. Infrastructure is an input to every citizen and every institution.
Beyond resolving the infrastructural challenges and attracting both domestic and foreign investment, the agenda should be driving shared economic growth and job creation through increased production and productivity in agriculture, mining and manufacturing, while instituting reform and capacitation of public sector institutions.
This will then result in dramatic increase in both industrial capacity utilization and disposable incomes, while our education, health, social and local government sectors will then flourish.
This is the democratic, prosperous and globally competitive Zimbabwe we seek to establish. In pursuit of this vision the role of the State must be clearly redefined as that of an enabler and facilitator.
The Private Sector and Civic Society are the doers. More significantly, we must recast and rethink our understanding of sovereignty, away from the traditional emphasis on ownership of non-performing assets to the ability to effectively and efficiently deliver high quality and affordable services to both citizens and institutions.
Delivery and not ownership should be the operative word in both the Private and Public Sectors.
It is in this context that the workshop on Public Private Partnership for Economic Development was held on the 7th and 8th of May. It is within this framework that the workshop report should be embraced and its recommendations implemented.
Noting that PPPs were urgently required in order to refurbish and develop Zimbabwe’s infrastructure and for long-term economic development, the workshop recommended that an enabling environment for PPP implementation should be developed without further delay.
Participants made the following specific recommendations:
· The PPP Guidelines of 2004 should be reviewed and revised.
· Existing legislation that impedes PPP implementation should be reviewed and repealed including the outstanding issues of the GPA. Essential basic elements are long term security of tenure, rule of law and independence of the judiciary.
· There should be transparency of the partnership process. This includes proper tender procedures and evaluations.
· Legislation should be enacted to create a framework for PPP implementation, there is need for an act which legalizes the operation of PPPs and protects the interests of both the people of Zimbabwe, the Government and investors.
· There should be transparent tender procedures and offers of partnership possibilities allowing application and pre-qualification by any interested parties. Making public the opportunities from un-solicited bids to allow competitive bids.
· Bid evaluations must weigh benefits to the public for the service offered, the cost to the public (or foreigners), the likely uptake of the service, the cost of the concessions made by government, the likely revenue of the private partner, the extra-service benefits or by-products (e.g., power generation from waste treatment) and their value.
· Additional weighting for projects that include local infrastructure development (i.e. housing, roads, clinic and school on the mine). Additional weighting for onshore profit retention or in country re-investment
· There should be clear measurement metrics for projects
· There should be clear recourse methods for both private and public sector partners for all stages from tendering to project handover.
· The legislation should provide for the formation of a national PPP unit in the PM’s office that will be responsible for driving and registering all the PPP projects.
· A standardized PPP manual should be developed that will provide day-to-day guidance on the operations of PPPs.
· There should be capacity building and training for all Public Sector technocrats and managers, whose work impact PPP implementation, in order to ensure capacity to efficiently and effectively execute PPPs.
· SMEs are a key driver of economic development as well as an instrument of economic empowerment, and should be targeted in the forging of PPP contracts.
· The adoption of the PPP economic development strategy must ensure the holistic and sustainable involvement of all classes of Zimbabwe nationals and corporations in terms of procurement, shareholding and management. Specifically PPPs must be used as a tool for indigenization, gender equity, and profit-driven economic development at the bottom of the pyramid.
· The triple bottom line; profitability, social responsibility and environmental sensitivity should guide the PPP uptake and implementation.
· There should be an overall Cabinet level PPP champion to spearhead, energize and motivate the uptake and effective implementation of PPPs in the country.
· There should be a PPP champion for each project.
· There should be transaction advisors for each PPP to ensure that the process is done most effectively and in ways that add value for the country.
· Particular focus should be placed on ZBC, ZTV, Air Zimbabwe, NRZ, ZESA, NetOne, TelOne, Hwange, and ZISCO, as the leading institutions for the implementation of PPPs.
The opportunities identified in the workshop discussions will underpin the success of almost all areas of the economy. Allowing private funding and efficient management coupled with on-shore profit retention will ensure quick implementation leading to economic resuscitation.
Without adequate water, food, health, electricity, transport and communication the most basic needs of our people and industries will not be met. We will struggle unnecessarily to progress as a nation towards a higher quality of life.
In pursuit of a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe we must redefine the essence of sovereignty, from the traditional emphasis on ownership of assets. The ability to deliver high quality and affordable services to the citizens should be the core of dignity and sovereignty as a nation.
Hence the capacity to sweat the asset optimally in pursuit of the aspirations of the citizenry should be the central organising philosophy.
The State (both national and local institutions) does not have enough money, technology and human capital to deliver all the required infrastructure and services on its own.
More significantly, in non-infrastructure business ventures such as mining, manufacturing, and agriculture, the government is ill-equipped to go it alone. The participation of private money is critical in both infrastructure and non-infrastructure State ventures.
The government owning a bankrupt airline, a dysfunctional power utility, an inefficient railway company, a non-performing mine, an idle steel plant, or all the dams in the country; is not sovereignty.
The ability to deliver clean and adequate water; the ability to supply sufficient, reliable and affordable power; the ability to extract minerals efficiently and profitably, having a viable airline and an efficient road & railway system; is what should define sovereignty.
This can only be achieved through Public Private Partnerships. Ownership of the means and factors of production is not as important as allowing the same means and factors to deliver services and outcomes that will lead to shared economic growth and job creation.
We need a national paradigm shift from the ownership mantra to the delivery doctrine. This PPPs Workshop was an attempt to ignite that transformation of our mindsets, while energizing existing PPP efforts, and emphasising the need to implement the freshly identified PPP projects speedily.
In developing the PPP driven infrastructure strategy it is imperative to acknowledge and leverage the interdependences between different sectors.
Hence a holistic and integrated approach that unlocks synergies should be adopted between related industries.
For example, the challenges facing ZISCO, Hwange, NRZ, and ZESA cannot be resolved separately for each business enterprise. A comprehensive and all-embracing strategic solution that involves all four institutions together with the Ministry of Water is core and critical.
Another interdependence factor is the importance of regional and global considerations. Given the advent of regional integration, it is important that the deployment of PPPs is embraced within the context of regional water, power, and transportation strategies.
For example the PPP intervention in the Zimbabwe Energy Sector cannot be sound and effective without taking into account the energy needs and capacity of the rest of SADC.
Under globalisation, characterised by regional economic blocks, the region and the globe have become the only units of sustainable analysis. PPPs must be alive to this reality.
There is need to quickly create an enabling environment for PPP projects in Zimbabwe, energize and consolidate existing efforts, and quickly implement the new quick wins or low hanging fruit.
The specific sector proposals are not meant to be imposed on Line Ministries, but rather to generate interest and possibilities. These suggestions should be evaluated, improved or rejected. In the event of rejections better alternatives must be proffered.
Not doing anything is not an option. We must all close ranks in this grand endeavour to resolve our infrastructural challenges, boost capacity utilisation, drive industrial production, improve public sector performance, and thus achieve shared economic growth and job creation. Aid and humanitarian assistance should not be embraced as way of life.
They should only be tolerated as a temporary means to extricate ourselves from the current challenges. In particular we must only accept developmental aid that stimulates economic growth and facilitate investment promotion.
Rehabilitating our infrastructure and efficiently sweating our national assets through diversified sources of both domestic and foreign capital should be at the centre of our economic strategy.
We shall overcome. Yes we can build a globally competitive Zimbabwe.
Prefessor Arthur. G. O. Mutambara is Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe – ZimOnline
Things are getting a little better, Tsvangirai tells US and Europe. At home
they're not so sure
David Smith in Harare
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 June 2009 23.34 BST
Three months ago Davison Makhado took his first job, as a teacher, to play
his part in reopening Zimbabwe's schools. The 35 boys in Makhado's class at
Ellis Robins school in Harare are eager to learn about African history, but
only have a single textbook between them, so before each lesson Makhado
makes extensive notes that he then painstakingly dictates.
"It's very difficult to teach," the 25-year-old said. "The children complain
about it a lot."
The stuttering revival of the education sector is a litmus test of
Zimbabwe's faltering and fragile progress since President Robert Mugabe and
prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's inclusive government was formed in
Teaching used to be a well-paid profession, when Zimbabwe's schools were
the envy of Africa. Not any more. Like all civil servants, teachers are now
earning an "allowance" of US$100 (£63) per month. Some are still waiting for
their first payment to come through. "$100 is very, very little," Makhado
said. "If I was in my own home, paying $60 rent and electricity and water
bills, I couldn't afford it, so I'm having to stay with my brother."
Zimbabweans seem willing to give the government of compromise a chance, but
patience is running thin. "The unity government at the moment seems to be an
80% failure," Makhado said. "The things we want to be addressed are not yet
addressed. The salaries of civil servants are pathetic and not enough for
people with families and extended families. Morgan Tsvangirai still has a
lot to do to prove he can deliver something to us."
The price of failure will be the loss of people like Makhado from the
country's schools. "If the salary remains like this I'll be sorry and I will
see to it that I resign and change professions to do something better than
this. I'll give them 18 months at most."
Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, set off yesterday
on a tour of the US and Europe, seeking to persuade Barack Obama, Gordon
Brown and other heads of state that this tormented nation is now on an
upward trajectory. Yesterday, in the Netherlands, he said he was not touring
with a "begging bowl".
But from a base of rock bottom, it could hardly be getting worse. Last year
Zimbabwe - once the region's biggest economy after South Africa - stared
total collapse in the face: hyperinflation at a world record 500bn per cent,
unemployment at more than 97%, shops and supermarkets empty, 5 million
people in need of international food aid and nearly 5,000 dead from Africa's
biggest cholera outbreak in 15 years. A superficial normality has since
returned to the streets of the capital, Harare, with traffic flowing, people
shopping and children walking to school in smart uniforms. The city hosted
a jazz festival at the weekend and is striving to rebrand itself as a
tourist destination during next year's football World Cup in neighbouring
Mugabe's Zimbabwe, however, is a place where appearances can be deceptive.
"If you're not confused about Zimbabwe, you haven't been here long enough,"
said Eddie Cross, policy co-ordinator general for the MDC. "On the surface
it looks pretty civilised, but look beneath the surface and the human
situation is still very grim."
Hospitals have reopened and up to 90% of doctors and nurses are back at
work, many receiving top-up wages from British government aid. But half of
basic drugs are unavailable. Pregnant women in need of caesarean sections in
rural Bulilima must walk 12 miles to the nearest hospital, according to the
development agency Cafod.
Inflation has been neutralised after the dollar and South African rand were
adopted as national currencies, and food is back on the supermarket shelves.
But the economy is broke, agriculture is in crisis and many people still
cannot afford a loaf. Incidents of cholera have been curtailed after a huge
effort by aid agencies but access to clean water is limited, sewage pipes
continue to burst and Oxfam warns of an "eight in 10 chance" of a fresh
cholera outbreak later this year. Aids claims 400-500 lives per day.
Rumours abound of dissent in the army and police amid signs that Mugabe's
grip on the state apparatus might finally be weakening, but invasions and
beatings on white-owned farms have accelerated and there is no respite from
the arbitrary arrests of journalists and human rights activists.
Schools, of which only 10% were open last year, are back to 100% with 12,000
teachers having returned to their posts. But one textbook is shared on
average by 30 children in rural classrooms, which are often in disrepair.
Universities are in even worse condition and effectively closed. "Teachers
are in school but the truth is they are not teaching," said one head, who
did not wish to be named. "They maintain a presence because they don't want
their allowance to be cut off, but real teaching is not taking place. "
Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe, said: "The teachers are there but there is nothing in terms of
teaching and learning materials." But he also struck an upbeat note: "The
unity government has brought back food and smiles for many Zimbabweans. In
the past six months we have smelled democracy. As a union we have been able
to go to places without being arrested where we have never been before. But
we can be optimistic only if the correct people ultimately take the reins."
The chief concern for most Zimbabweans is money. Just 6% of the workforce
has a job. The introduction of the US dollar and rand have stabilised the
economy but excluded many citizens, especially in rural areas. Oxfam
believes that the currencies have caused poverty to increase, possibly even
double, and forced companies and banks to close.
Stephen Maengamhuru, 60, a pastor in the city of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe,
said: "Scratch the surface and people in rural areas simply have no chance
to get dollars. I had to give my grandmother one dollar to go to a grinding
mill because she couldn't get any money.
"Most people are relying on a son or daughter working in town to pitch up
with money. The unity government was our hope for survival, but we have a
lot of principals dragging their feet and throwing spanners in the works. "
Families cannot even afford to bury their dead. Hospital mortuaries intended
to store 20 corpses have become overcrowded with five times that number.
Some bodies have reportedly been nibbled by rats. Harare hospital was
recently forced to clear its mortuary of corpses unclaimed for up to six
months and give them paupers' burials.
Some women have turned to prostitution. Vanessa, 22, standing at a notorious
pick-up point in daytime, said: "We want to survive with our children, pay
rent and take care of our parents. Some days I earn $40-50. Other days I
earn nothing. I have a three-year-old daughter and I need the money for
Many people see the unity government as their last best hope. It remains
delicately balanced between Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC. A trial
of strength is under way between Mugabe's hard power - the army and police -
and Tsvangirai's soft power, with ministries such as education and health.
David Coltart, the MDC's education minister, said: "If we can deliver on
health and education, then in the minds of millions of parents the MDC will
be associated with delivering. The counter to that is that if we fail, we
will be seen as no different from Zanu-PF. There's no doubt in my mind that
there are elements trying to set us up to fail."
He added: "We're dealing with a partner that doesn't know what democracy
means and has been dragged into this process kicking and screaming. It could
take months or years but the process is almost irreversible."
Optimists hope the Zanu-PF hierarchy will accept an amnesty and pay-off from
Tsvangirai to step down. Pessimists fear that they will lash out when they
see power ebbing away. Cross said: "The people who've run this country as a
military junta, killing and maiming thousands and pillaging with impunity,
are facing defeat and marginalisation. They're going to fight back."
Zimbabwe has come back from a near-death experience. The patient is
recovering slowly but remains in a critical condition, and the danger of a
relapse is real.
By Sanderson N Makombe
Zimbabwe is currently embodied in controversy surrounding the proposed constitutional making process. Civil society led by the NCA and ZCTU have vehemently opposed the inclusive government’s proposed process mainly because they allege the process should be ‘people driven’ , not ‘parliament driven’ ,and that it should be inclusive and be led by an independent organisation[ according to Matombo ZCTU].
Zimbabwe is hardly breaking the ice on this subject. That the process needs to be inclusive is hardly in doubt. Contrary to Lovemore Madhuku’s assertion, there is no mandatory process to follow in constitutional making process .If there was, a breach of procedure would render the process unlawful and could duly be challenged in the courts of law. A democratic constitutional making process is critical though to the strength, acceptability and legitimacy of the final document. Constitutional writing in the 21st century is different from the previous era where expert writing was the norm. Probably one of the oldest constitutions, that of USA was written in 1789 by just a small group of people, whereas the Japanese constitution was written by a group of occupying American personnel. Both have stood the test of time.
The 21st century has seen a change in attitudes because of the principles of democracy. What matters now is not just the substance of the end product and its acceptance. The process is now just as important. Ownership and authorship of the process and by-product is critical. This demands a broad and inclusive approach, which is wholly participatory at every stage of the process. Realism will reflect that constitutional making is all about division and regulation of power. Political elites will not want to leave the task in the hands of interest groups. Therefore it is imperative that both the government and interest groups be flexible in their approach to the process. At the end of the day what is required is compromise from both sides to find a middle of the road process.
It has been argued that there is actually a legal right to public participation in constitutional making processes. Article 21 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and Article 25 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR] have been interpreted to confer such a right.The general meaning of ‘democratic participation’ has been interpreted by the UN Committee on Human Rights to also encompass constitutional making processes. Article 25 ICCPR on the other hand establishes the right to participate in public affairs. The same right is present in the African Charter on Human Rights, Article 13, which states ‘every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with provision of the law’. Whereas it is true that these rights initially were meant to protect the rights linked to electoral processes, gradual judicial interpretations have expanded the context to include participation in constitutional making. The first UNCHR ruling came in the case of Marshall v Canada 1991.The UNCHR ruled that the right to participate in constitutional making process was undoubtedly part of public affairs [basing on ICCPR]. The right though was deemed not unlimited as Article 25[a] was read to mean that ‘no group had unconditional right’ to choose the modalities of participation in public affairs. It aptly stated that ‘it is for the legal and constitutional system of the state party to provide for the modalities of such participation.’
In addition a General Comment from the UNCHR on article 25 of the ICCPR further strengthened the right to participation. They stated that citizens have the right to participate directly in the conduct of public affairs when they choose or change their constitution. This is a persuasive argument because a General Comment by its nature is not binding. In a related case, the South African Constitutional Court had occasion to adjudicate on the nature and scope of the duty to facilitate public involvement in the law making processes in Doctors for Life International v The Speaker of the National Assembly and Others. The court concluded:
‘the duty to facilitate public involvement must be construed in the context of our constitutional democracy, which embraces the principles of participation and consultation…undoubtedly; this obligation may be fulfilled in different ways and is open to innovation on the part of the legislatures. In the end, however, the duty to facilitate pubic involvement will often require parliament.. to provide citizens with a meaningful opportunity to be heard in the making of laws that will govern them’….Ultimately what parliament must determine in each case is what methods of facilitating public participation would be appropriate…’
In Kenyan jurisprudence following the Ringera Judgements, Justice Ringera in deliberating on the constituent power of the people in constitutional making observed: ‘the constituent power of the people could only be upheld in a constitution making process after the following steps are taken  views are collated from the people and processed into constitutional proposals, a constituent assembly is formed, where these views are debated and concretised into a draft constitution and  a referendum is conducted to confirm whether the draft constitution is acceptable to the people and envelops their constitutional expectations’
These cases illustrate that there are no hard rules or mandatory procedures in constitutional making process. However they also establish that public participation is a right and is mandatory for the process to be legitimate. Authorities of the day have discretions on how they will proceed in involving public participation. At best the process is a compromise between competing opinions. It is imperative that Zimbabwe looks at its neighbours to learn how it can refine its process. Four African countries, South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya could offer an insight into different modalities than can be utilised in constitutional making process.
The South African model has been hailed as a success process in constitutional making. Bearing in mind that the broker of the Zimbabwe GNU was one Thabo Mbeki,it is apparent that the route envisaged in the GPA is modelled along the South African Model. The South African legislature[ parliament and Senate] were constituted into the Constitutional Assembly. A Constitutional Committee was then established from the Constitutional Assembly .The CC was led by Ramaphosa and Meyer. The CC then established six thematic committees to receive and collate views from all parties. The process was led by parliament and senate and still it is regarded as ‘people driven’.
Public participation was by a very strong media and advertising campaign. Their elected representatives reached out to them and invited their views. The educational campaign used all sorts of techniques including websites, cartoons, radio, televison,billboards and public meetings. From 1994 to 1996 the CC is reported to have received more than 2 million submissions from individuals and interest groups. Then the committees of the Assembly drafted the new constitution, first by a working draft and which later was signed into law by Mandela in December 1996.It is very much surprising that Pedzisai Ruhanya concluded that the process was acceptable simply because Mandela was in power. Such a conclusion is very simplistic in nature for it does not address how legitimate the process was and why Zimbabwe cannot adopt the same process and come up with the same result.
Rwanda’s process was a result of the negotiations at the Arusha Peace Summit in Tanzania. The process involved a setting up of a Legal and Constitutional Commission. The elected legislative assembly elected a constitutional commission of twelve people.[again from its parliament].Thousands of people were trained, including government officials, members of parliament, judges at national provincial and prefecture levels. These then solicited public opinions on what issues they wanted in the new constitution.[public participation stage].
Kenya’s experience makes interesting reading because it just looks like a replica of Zimbabwe. After the 2002 elections a constitutional review process was recommenced after passing of the Review Act. The Act called for broad public participation at every stage of the drafting process. It outlined a three step constitutional review process of  public consultation by a small review commission, review of draft by a national convention and  ratification by parliament. The review commission comprised twenty seven commissioners [later reduced to fifteen] nominated by parliament and appointed by the President. The commission was mandated to visit every constituency in Kenya to collect citizen’s views and to disseminate the draft widely among the public.
The review commission was also to convene a national constitutional conference for discussion, debate, amendment and adoption of the commissions report. The national conference constituted of 629 members. More importantly all MPs were also included in the national conference as well as representatives from all political parties, from religious groups, and civil organisations.
The third requirement of ratification proved contentious because the High Court issued a ruling proclaiming that any new constitution needed ratification through a national referendum. I have omitted the politics of the process but the gist of the matter is that the constitution was defeated by a NO vote in the referendum, just like in Zimbabwe in 2000.
Zambia up to today is still mired in the politics of constitutional making. It has had three review commissions in 1973,1991 and 1996.Currently there is a fourth one led by Mungomba instituted in 2003 by Levy Mwanawasa.The major obstacle has been the requirements of the Inquires Act which gave government the power to reject or accept peoples recommendations on a new constitution. The constituent assembly known as the National Constitutional Conference is constituted by almost 498 members drawn from all political parties, civil society and other related groups. Levy Mwanawasa made concessions and allowed the NCC to elect its own chairperson rather than before when he was appointed by the president.
The above scenarios show different constitutional making processes. Each was insinuated in context of the countries laws, history and values, and all claim that the process is people driven .So what is actually a people driven process?
A people driven process is but just an opinioned process. The greater part of a country consists of the unorganised individuals, people who do not belong to the any of the groups making up civil society. These people can not drive a process themselves and at most their interests are represented by their Members of Parliament. An elected MP doesn’t just represent those who elected him. To conclude thus renders the concept of elected representation and democracy irrelevent.They represent all people in their constituency and all interest groups also therein. Parliament and Senate is elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage in free and fair elections and should embody the sovereign will of the people.
Dr Madhuku alleges that some of the parliamentarians are of dubious character. Indeed it is true but then there are no saints either in the civil society.Madhuku himself is a living testimony. He committed the most cardinal sin in constitutional manipulation by forcing an amendment so that he could go for a third term as chairperson of the NCA.The reason? According to him, he was afraid the organisation could be hijacked by other elements whose purpose is not to achieve the objectives of the NCA.How can we trust a parliament to enact laws for us, which includes constitutional amendments [by a two thirds majority] and use our taxes and yet fail to trust them to lead a constitutional making process?
It is for these reasons that WOZA must be applauded for their stance to participate though under protest. If Zimbabwe is to move forward all forces must join in the constitutional making process and strive to influence the process from within. Not only does this afford them the opportunity to criticise from an informed position, it gives them the edge to provide checks and balances. If NCA and ZCTU, ZINASU participate it does not invalidate them from campaigning for a NO vote later if they feel the process has been manipulated and the product is not representative of what would have come from the thematic committees. The most crucial issues are that the thematic committees be as broad and inclusive as is reasonably possible, that the drafting be done by a constituent assembly or an all stakeholder’s assembly, and that the draft is put forward to a referendum without any amendments.
There is no doubt that the composition of the all stakeholders conference will be subject to debate as well. The political polarisation that is in Zimbabwe has seen a mushrooming of organisations aligned to the major political parties. For ZCTU, there is ZFTU, for ZINASU there is ZICOSU, for NCA there is NDA etc. Does that imply delegates will come from each of the registered organisations in Zimbabwe? What about the unregistered? Critical to the issue is whether the parliamentary committee will nominate delegates from these interest groups or that the interest groups identified will forward their own representatives. Suppose they do, the question will then be whether the delegates have a specific mandate from their general membership to represent their views on the constitution?
An interesting legal challenge rose in Kenya on the legality of the Boumas Conference. The applicants had been left out of the constituent assembly for the drafting of the new constitution. They alleged the process was discriminatory. The court first noted that the constituent power of the people has juridical status, meaning that it could be subject to legal determination because it is a legal concept. Justice Ringera affirmed that the constituent power was primordial. In his determination on the legality of Boumas he stated that ‘members of a constituent assembly had at least in the majority to be elected to represent their respective people in the business of constitution making….it would be to turn logic on its head to describe a body largely composed of unelected membership as a representative one’. How many of the proposed delegates to Zimbabwe are all stakeholders conference could claim to have a specific mandate of the people for constitutional making? The MDC MPs and Senators can claim that one of the campaign issues of the MDC in the last elections was the need for a new constitution. Therefore they have the mandate from their electorate to participate. What then about Zanu Pf which never mentioned constitutional making in its campaigns?
To circumvent legal challenges arising from such scenarios Uganda and to some limited extend Kenya devised an election system for the purpose of electing delegates to the constituent assembly. Thus provinces could be declared electoral colleges and allocated specific seats on the constituent assembly. Whoever wants to be a delegate can campaign and seek the mandate of the people from the provinces.The desired outcome will be to have a constituent assembly that comprise more elected representation than unelected representation.
Lastly am convinced that there is room for flexibility on the issue of voting in the referendum. The 2000 referendum implied that there are only two possible thoughts, a Yes or a No. A Yes or No to the whole document does not capture the whole story. It is cumbersome and expensive but I think voting in parts will ensure that the constitution is scrutinised more and people will be more focused on narrow topics. It also has the advantage of singling out the controversial clauses without overshadowing the whole document. The rejected parts will then be retabled to the all stakeholders’ conference.
8 June 2009
His Worship the Mayor for the City of
A huge fall out ensued between CHRA and the
City Council after the latter proposed and approved the 2009 city budget without
adequately consulting the residents. The Mayor invited CHRA to make its
submissions with respect to the new water supply and sewer reticulation
management. This follows the Minister’s (Local Government) “directive” that the
City council must immediately constitute a water utility that manages the water
supply and sewer reticulation for the City of
At this meeting, the residents expressed their disappointment over the deterioration in municipal service delivery despite the fact that they are paying their rates and service charges. The residents also complained about the exorbitant nature of the rates, levies and the charges for different services. On the other hand, the Mayor underscored the need for vigorous civic education programmes for residents by CHRA around issues of environmental management and pollution. His Worship, Mayor Masunda admitted that the council has erred in conducting its business but his office remains open to CHRA to submit its input on various issues. Mr. Simbarashe Moyo, the CHRA Chairperson, welcomed the Mayor’s declaration of an open door policy and assured him that CHRA will always do its best to make its ideas/opinions known to the City Fathers as well as compliment the councilors in doing their work. Meanwhile CHRA maintains its call for the rates boycott while it engages with the City Council over the 2009 City Budget. CHRA remains focused on lobbying for democratic local governance and advocating for the provision of quality and affordable municipal service delivery on a non partisan basis.
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 08 June 2009
OPINION: What is Mandela's legacy? On July 18, former South African
President Nelson Mandela will turn 91 and when one looks back at his life
one will quickly discover that it has been a life of selflessness, service,
and adding value to human civilisation.
Mandela like many of his contemporaries made choices that in today's
circumstances may never capture their true significance and meaning. The
world has recognised Mandela's unique place in human history and his impact
is not country, race or class specific but universal.
It is easy to take for granted the remarkable changes that have taken place
in South Africa and, indeed, the impact of such changes in resolving other
seemingly intractable conflicts.
Mandela's destiny was chosen for him. He was born into a society that
attempted to classify human beings based on their skin colour and created a
civilisation in which one human being acquired rights that could not be
enjoyed at law by other citizens.
A nation state was created out of a foundation of race-based values and
Mandela belongs to a class of Africans who refused to accept a civilisation
that made black South Africans inferior citizens whose possibilities in life
were controlled by a state they were not a part of.
Mandela could easily have opted to cut a deal for himself with the apartheid
regime. He chose not to until civil rights were restored to all. During the
last 15 years of democracy, South African have enjoyed freedoms that would
not have been possible were it not for the sacrifice, determination and
courage of people like Mandela.
His place in South African history as the first black president of
post-apartheid South Africa is secure. He could easily have become a life
president of South Africa but he chose not to. He saw in every South African
the face of a president and was secure enough to appreciate that the highest
office in the land must be shared.
Mandela knows that there is no one indispensable and by South Africa
adopting a republican ideology, the face of a president need not be his only
but can be that of any person irrespective of their class, race, ethnicity,
and religion who is willing to serve other people.
Ultimately, in a republic the sovereignty is vested in the people who should
select one among them to represent their interests as state president.
By choosing to retire after one term, Mandela made it possible for friends
of Thabo (FOT) rather than friends of Mandela (FOM) to also access the state
and influence it.
The torch had to be passed on in the interests of nation building. Had
Mandela decided to remain in office it is common cause that access to the
state would inevitably have been restricted to his circle friends and
In building any nation state one has to recognize that human beings have no
power to change the number of hours in a day and they cannot extend life. We
are all human and Mandela is flesh like all of us. What then makes him an
icon, superstar, a fountain of inspiration?
In making the choices that he made in his 67 years of active political
engagement, I do not think that he had any idea that such choices would
inspire not just his fellow citizens to serve humanity and be less selfish.
In his inaugural State of the Nation Address last week on Wednesday,
President Jacob Zuma declared 18 July as a national day in recognition of
the contribution of President Mandela to nation building and humanity.
President Zuma said: "Madiba was politically active for 67 years, and on
Mandela Day people all over the world, the workplaces, at home and in
schools, will be called upon to spend at least 67 minutes of their time
doing something useful within their communities, especially among the less
Mandela chose to be the change that he wanted to see. He did impact on the
world through action and not inaction and silence. What lessons do we draw
from Mandela's legacy?
Through Mandela the world has come to learn that even people who are
deprived of personal freedom can have a profound influence on free people.
We also learn that the only power people who do not have power is the power
to organise. Without the African National Congress (ANC), Mandela's
influence on the change agenda would have been compromised.
By better appreciating the true meaning and significance of Mandela's
legacy, it becomes easier for our generation to advance the cause further.
We are indeed lucky to be alive at the same time as Mandela.
Is it not ironic that the value of Mandela's legacy has been recognized and
celebrated more than people he did not sacrifice his life to free? It took
15 years for South Africa to dedicate a day for Mandela to allow us to
reflect on what remains to be done to fulfill his dream of a just and fair
What are you going to be doing on July 18? Please ask your friend,
neighbour, and relative what they are doing on this special day.
I will certainly be part of the 18 July celebration that has been initiated
by a group of African persons concerned that the majority of initiatives and
programs like the 46664 have been promoted by non-resident persons with no
or little response from the natives of Africa.
We have chosen to celebrate the life on another remarkable African, former
President Kenneth Kaunda, who like Mandela made choices that had a far
reaching impact not only in Zambia but throughout the world.
It is never late to be part of the change that you want to see. Mandela's
birthday should give you an opportunity to reflect on your own purpose in
There is a point in Mandela's life like there is any human life. Each of us
makes a difference to our own circle of friends and it is incumbent upon
each and every one of us to appreciate the difference we make individually
and collectively to the human life experience. - ZimOnline
June 8, 2009
Not yet time to lift targeted sanctions against Mugabe
Prime Minister Tsvangirai is visiting European countries as well as the
United States to drum up support for the transitional administration in
From reports, it appears one of the major elements of his tour is to ask
the international community to drop what he calls sanctions against
This has been the only excuse Mugabe and ZANU have given for whatever has
gone wrong in Zimbabwe. In fact Mugabe never says anything without
condemning what he calls sanctions against Zimbabwe by the western
Both the United States and European Union countries have categorically
denied that they imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe. In fact, the United
States has done more trade with Zimbabwe that the majority of the SADC
countries in the past 10 years.
The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act or ZIDERA which was signed
into law by the then President George Bush in 2001 has been accused of
imposing sanctions against Zimbabwe. But the trade figures between the
United States and Zimbabwe before and after 2001 show that the two
countries have had consistent trade between them. If ZIDERA was a sanctions
law against Zimbabwe, this should have been reflected in the trade figures
According to the foreign trade statistics of the US census bureau. Zimbabwe's
exports to the United States between 2000 and 2008 amounted to nearly US$900
million. Zimbabwe's imports from the US were a little over US$500 million.
This gave Zimbabwe a favorable balance of trade of US$300 million.
In the previous 10 years, or, between 1990 and 1999, Zimbabwe's exports to
the United States amounted to US$950 million. Zimbabwe's imports from the
US were a little over US$766 million. This gave Zimbabwe a favorable
balance of trade of US$185 million.
ZIDERA was a carrot- and -stick policy which was aimed at encouraging
political dialogue and accommodation, as well as the return to the rule of
law and democracy in Zimbabwe. ZIDERA, in fact, set aside over $20 million
to assist the process towards democracy and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
ZIDERA specifically opposed granting aid and investments to Zimbabwe under
the harsh, cruel and repressive conditions that had been established by
ZIDERA therefore specifies that any opposition to investment and other aid
to Zimbabwe will be lifted once the president of the united states is
convinced that there is in place a measurable and irrevocable or
irreversible process toward democracy and the rule of law.
What Tsvangirai needs to show, according to the ZIDERA is that there is in
place right now in Zimbabwe an unimpeded process toward real democracy.
Tsvangirai should not simplistically call ZIDERA a
sanctions-against-Zimbabwe law and, therefore, campaign to have ZIDERA
lifted. All he needs to do is show that the transitional administration has
made significant progress towards major economic and political reforms that
have been clearly spelt out by the international community.
Tsvangirai must listen to the arguments and reasons why the
international community cannot lift targeted sanctions against Mugabe and
his 240 cronies who have enriched themselves by stealing from the state
and impoverishing the Zimbabweans masses.
Tsvangirai must appreciate that the international community is on his side
and that of the MDC. Despite the targeted sanctions against the Mugabe
regime, the international community has poured in millions of dollars in
humanitarian aid. The United States alone has since 2007 donated over
US$250 million in humanitarian relief. Outgoing Ambassador McGee said the
United States was in fact feeding the majority of Zimbabweans.
In addition Zimbabweans in Diaspora send home and estimated US$1 million
All of these are indications of the tremendous goodwill that exists in the
international community towards Zimbabwe.
Both the international community and the MDC are fully aware that that there
are some unresolved outstanding issues that are standing in the way of full
international aid and investment.
Tsvangirai's task is not to highlight the miniscule progress that
transitional administration may have been made in the four months that it
has been in office, but to work with the international community on
strategies to resolve the outstanding issues.
Based on Tsvangirai's speech to his MDC national council last week, everyone
is agreed that progress towards a full democracy and the rule of law in
Zimbabwe is being hindered by Mugabe and his ZANU for the very obvious
reason that they are afraid of their future in a democratic Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai must avoid being viewed as an apologist for Mugabe. There is
no basis for, as some MDC officials have done, calling Mugabe a fine
gentleman who is now part of the solution. If Mugabe were indeed part of the
solution 99.99 percent of the outstanding issues would have been resolved
Mugabe's remarks and outbursts, both in private and in public, show he is
unrepentant. There is nothing that Mugabe is doing or saying that shows that
he is part of the solution.
Contrary to some emerging views from the MDC leadership, Mugabe is still
very much at the center stage of maneuvers by ZANU hardliners to maintain
their status quo and frustrate the global political agreement.
When Mugabe threatens to pull out of the global political agreement if it
does not promote his and his party's interests, and when he says he does not
need the global political agreement, it logically follows that Mugabe must
be seen as the key contributor to the lack of any progress in resolving
the outstanding issues.
Mugabe must be seen for what he is and says, not how smartly he dresses or
how modest he looks and sounds in private and public meetings.
I have warned in the past that MDC must never let its guard down. MDC must
never popularize the view that because of the transitional administration
and the global political agreement, the struggle with Mugabe and ZANU is
Tsvangirai will undoubtedly receive a heroes' and warm welcome both in
Europe and in the United States. He may also receive some concessions in
form of aid.
But the international community cannot and should not accept the notion
that there has been a significant economic and political reform in Zimbabwe
to warrant the resumption of aid and investments.
Saturday morning market outside Bulawayo City Hall
Saturday morning market outside Bulawayo City Hall
Its nice and toasty sitting in the warm winter sun right now. Zimbabwe has glorious winter days generally, cold and icy first thing in the morning, but by midday the sun is shining down, its not too hot, not too cold, as the littlest one of the Three Bears said “It’s Just right” .
It was this month four years ago that Murambatsvina reared its ugly head in Zimbabwe, when hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes, their jobs, their livelihoods, to the vagaries and cruelty of a government hell-bent on self destruction.
So maybe its time now to reflect on where we are as a nation ?
Are things any better than they were four years ago ?
If the status quo remains the same, yes indeed things are better for some of us. But not for all Zimbabweans sadly, for the rural people things have not changed at all, they had nothing then, they still have nothing, but for the ‘middle-class’ man in the street, things are certainly a little better.
For one thing, we are not as afraid as we were a year ago. We activists have had an aching fear of arrest for some time now, since the dreaded AIPPA and POSA laws came into effect. But promises have been made and hopefully promises will be kept, and some sort of balance is creeping back into the system.
Another good thing is that the businesses too are losing their fear. For years and years businessmen have been breaking the law, since before UDI in fact, when we had sanctions busters: illegal forex dealers, bogus companies, people have been involved in a multitude of illegal and nefarious deals, just to keep our companies from going under.
Now that we have dollarised, that fear of being thrown in jail for ‘illegal forex dealings’, has hopefully all but gone from our lives. All of us were doing it without exception purely for survival, some on a larger scale than others, but now that we can legally trade in almost any currency, we are a lot more relaxed and happy about doing business in Zimbabwe.
I am curious to know what happened to all the people who were dealing in forex ? The Vapastori - the “Pavement Blockers” - where are they now, what are they doing now ? Have they resorted to another curiously African continent type employment? Selling hard boiled eggs again maybe? What has happened to all the lucky favoured people who were procuring forex at the bank rate and selling it at the street rate ? Pity those unhappy folk now, shame poor souls …..
OK need more positive things to think about…..
What about the shops ? They are literally bulging with goods, think of our shelves this time last year, this time two years ago, this time three years ago ?
How many furtive photos were taken of empty shelves ? How many desperate people did you see examining the empty bread baskets, the empty milk fridges, the basic essentials like roller meal and meat were just not there. Imagine the futility and hopelessness of a family man, a mother, not being able to find even a loaf of bread to take back to a hungry family?
Every single person for the past twenty years was smuggling money OUT of the country at great risk, and now you can take obscene amounts out of the country quite legally.
But now the silly thing is we are bringing that same money back into the country to be able to afford to live here again !!
I do know that another problem has arisen - the fact that you still need to be able to find the money to be able to buy this superfluity of goods.
Salaries are nowhere near high enough to be able to buy many of the essential items, utility bills are still ridiculously out of kilter with earnings, but at least the goods are back on the shelves and prices are coming down slowly.
Prices still have a long way to go though, I paid R10 for one kg of sugar in a Zimbabwe supermarket, whereas in a Joburg supermarket a two and a half kg pack of sugar is R14.50 !!
If only the rule of law could be restored, if only security of tenure could be established, if only Gono would go, if only Mugabe and the JOC would step down. Investors would start to pour in, the hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans living abroad would begin to come back, and we could start living again as the proud Zimbabwean nation that we were, once upon a time.
[6th June 2009]
Trial of Political Abductees on Monday 8th June at 10 am
The first of the political abductees trials is due to start in the High Court on Monday. This comes seven months after their abductions last October. Being brought to trial are Concillia Chinanzvavana, Fidelis Chiramba, Violet Mupfuranhewe and Collen Mutemagau. They are charged with recruiting Tapera Mupfuranhewe and other MDC-T party youths to undergo military training in Botswana for the purpose of committing acts of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism in Zimbabwe, alternatively, with persuading the same persons to undergo training.
Witnesses Called to Testify in Trial Allege Torture
Terry Musona, Lloyd Tarumbwa and Fani Tembo, who have been called to give evidence against Concilia et al, were abducted at the same time last October and were among those listed as “enforced disappearances”. In mid-January the police admitted holding them and said they were in “protective custody” as State witnesses against the other abductees. After lawyers got them out of police custody in early March they all signed affidavits saying they had been tortured and made to sign statements implicating the others.
On 2nd June they were
International Award for Doctor Working Against Torture in Zimbabwe
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo,
Chairperson of Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights [ZADHR], has
received the prestigious Jonathan Mann Award for Health and Human Rights from
the Global Health Council in recognition of his and ZADHR's work for health
rights and freedom from torture in
The 4th June was the
twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in
Tajudeen Abdul Raheem
Tajudeen Abdul Raheem,
pan-Africanist and worker for social justice and peace in
ICC Arrest Warrant will not be Enforced while Sudanese President is in Zimbabwe
Sudan's President Omar
al-Bashir , who faces arrest world-wide for crimes against humanity and war
crimes under an international arrest warrant issued by the International
Criminal Court [ICC], arrived in Zimbabwe on Saturday for the current COMESA
Summit. Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Chinamasa said he will not be
arrested while in
The International Criminal Court [ICC]
Criminal Court [ICC] in
The President of the
ICC, Sang-Hyun Song, is also attending the COMESA Summit. He has been to
To date, three States
Parties to the Rome Statute –
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.