Jun 8, 12:41 PM EDT
By GILLIAN GOTORA
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's president said Friday he wants South
Africa's ruling African National Congress to block an investigation in South
Africa into alleged violence and atrocities by loyalists of his party.
President Robert Mugabe, speaking at a convention of southern African
liberation movements in Harare, called the probe ordered by a South African
court a `'racist assault" by embittered Zimbabwean and South African whites.
In May, a South African judge ordered his country's prosecutors to
investigate alleged human rights abuses and torture in Zimbabwe in a case
filed by a human rights group and Zimbabwean exiles. Those who brought the
case, both whites and blacks, say they have documented abuses and envision a
trial in South Africa.
Mugabe urged South African leaders to `'apply every means at their disposal"
to prevent the case souring relations between the two countries that fought
a common struggle to end white rule.
He said whites in southern Africa, including white Judge Hans Fabricius who
made the probe ruling, are trying to makes excuses for their defeat by the
forces of African liberation. He called the judge `'a boer," a pejorative
term for whites, and said Fabricius has no jurisdiction in Zimbabwe and does
not understand the way international law works.
The ruling came at the instigation of those `'still in our midst yearning
for the old flags" of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known before independence in
1980, and apartheid-era South Africa, Mugabe insisted.
He told representatives of the liberation groups of the ANC, Angola,
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe that Africa has come under
renewed attack from former colonizers determined to replace revolutionary
parties with `'malleable stooges."
His party is not going to relinquish power without fighting to defend its
role in achieving independence, Mugabe said.
Mugabe, 88, has been in power since independence from Britain. He was forced
by regional leaders to form a coalition government with the former
opposition leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai , after violent and
disputed elections in 2008.
Mugabe has been nominated as the sole candidate for his party in elections
he has called for this year to end the troubled three-year coalition. He has
not groomed a successor to take over the fractious party.
He acknowledged Friday that his party lost votes in strongholds in the 2008
polls and said that some of his lawmakers are now afraid to contest a new
poll against Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change. But the party
could still rule permanently with its traditional support, he said.
`'Parties don't retire, its persons who retire. We cannot say we have stayed
too long in government so that we should give others a chance to rule," he
In South Africa, the judge's ruling is likely to be tied up in appeals for
some time before any probe starts.
June 8 2012 at 01:55pm
High Court Reporter
THE PRETORIA High Court yesterday turned down an application by the National
Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and the commissioner of police for
leave to appeal against a judgment delivered last month where the court
ruled that these authorities have a duty to investigate alleged crimes
committed against humanity outside the country’s borders.
Judge Hans Fabricius on May 8 delivered a 100-page judgment in which he
motivated at length why the SA authorities should investigate Zimbabwean
officials implicated in acts of torture in that country. He said the
authorities had a duty in this regard under international law and in terms
of the International Criminal Court Act (ICC Act).
The main application was brought by the Southern African Litigation Centre
(SALC) and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum against the NDPP, the police and the
head of the priority crimes unit. They asked for the court to set aside the
decision by the SA authorities not to investigate and possibly prosecute
Zimbabwean officials implicated in human rights abuses committed in 2007.
More than 100 people were detained and tortured when the Zimbabwean police
raided the offices of the Movement for Democratic Change in 2007.
SALC handed a dossier with all the information to the NPA, but the
authorities said they did not have the jurisdiction, nor the resources to
investigate crimes committed outside this country’s borders.
The court in its judgment, which was hailed as a landmark judgment for
victims of human rights abuses, emphasised that there was a clear obligation
on South Africa, in terms of the ICC Act, to investigate these human rights
abuses and prosecute those responsible.
But both the NDPP and the police yesterday argued that the judge erred in
his findings and based their grounds for leave to appeal mainly on technical
issues. They persisted that the authorities here did not have the
jurisdiction under the ICC Act to investigate and prosecute crimes committed
outside SA’s borders.
They said that once it was found that a crime was not committed in South
Africa, the victims had no legal standing to demand an investigation and a
subsequent prosecution. The NDPP and police said this was a point that the
Supreme Court of Appeal should pronounce on.
Counsel for SALC, however, said the ICC Act did place an obligation on the
authorities here to investigate these crimes, which were not mere
allegations of theft, but serious human rights abuses.
Judge Fabricius was told that the police and the NDPP were placing technical
aspects in the way of a proper investigation of the allegations of human
The judge, in turning down the application for leave to appeal, commented
that the core of his judgment was not attacked, only technical issues.
He said the Constitutional and the Appeal courts had dealt with these
issues. He did not think these courts would come to a different finding.
08 Jun 2012 00:01 - Mail & Guardian Reporter
The M&G's battle to gain access to a report on the conditions surrounding
the 2002 elections in Zimbabwe returns to the High Court on June 14.
This follows a decision by the Constitutional Court in November last year to
send the M&G‘s Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) application
back to the lower court to allow a “judicial peek” at the contents of the
report before deciding whether to release it to the newspaper.
The matter was brought to the Constitutional Court by the presidency, which
had previously been ordered - first by the high court and then by the
Supreme Court of Appeal - to release the report to the M&G.
The M&G lodged its initial application in 2007 following the government’s
decision not to release the 2002 report, commissioned by then-president
The government argued that the report, compiled by Constitutional Court
Justice Sisi Khampepe and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, was a
record of Cabinet, which is excluded from Paia’s ambit in terms of section
12 (a) of the Act.
Both justices recused themselves when the matter was heard in May last year.
In a majority decision written by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, the
court ruled that the high court, where the matter had originated, should
invoke its power to study the report’s contents.
Although it was a majority judgment, the Bench was split on the matter.
Justice Edwin Cameron led a dissenting judgment, stating that the presidency
had failed to justify its refusal to release the report and further arguing
for its immediate release.
June 8, 2012 1:03 pm
By Xolisani Ncube
HARARE – South African President Jacob Zuma says elections in Zimbabwe can
only be held when the security sector is de-politicised, in a move largely
viewed as a flexing of muscles amid growing reckless political statements by
Time running out for Mugabe: The Zanu PF dictator seen here with South
African President Jacob Zuma
Time running out for Mugabe: The Zanu PF dictator seen here with South
African President Jacob Zuma
The comments come barely a week after another military general said soldiers
will not allow any other leader outside Zanu PF to lead the country,
irrespective of the election outcome. The generals’ stance is a direct
affront to Zuma’s efforts to ensure credible elections and smooth transfer
of power in Zimbabwe.
Sadc mandated Zuma to be its point man on the Zimbabwe political stalemate
and asked him to ensure that free and fair elections are held following
disputed 2008 polls that were marred by military-led violence.
Zuma’s international relations advisor and spokesperson on the Zimbabwe
situation, Lindiwe Zulu, said Sadc, through the South African president,
will not allow an election to happen before the security sector is reformed.
“We should have security sector re-alignment, let me make it clear, this is
not a creation of externals. It is part of the (power sharing) Global
Political Agreement (GPA) and it must be implemented before elections are
held,” Zulu told South Africa’s E-news television channel Wednesday night.
Zulu said although her boss, Zuma, has no final say on when Zimbabwe could
hold elections, the regional body will not entertain Zanu PF’s push for
polls this year before the implementation of reforms.
“Sadc was very clear that all reforms and processes should be fulfilled
before Zimbabwe goes for elections. We cannot have a repeat of the 2008
election. It is very important that we have elections that are acceptable to
all the parties as well as acceptable by Sadc and AU,” said Zulu.
She said this as sources told the Daily News that Zuma himself made a
similar call during last week’s Sadc Troika on Defence, Politics and
Security summit held in Angola’s capital.
Sources said Zuma warned Zimbabwe’s bickering coalition government partners
that reckless statements and behaviour by military generals could result in
instability in the country.
Mugabe, Zanu PF leaders and military commanders have, however, repeatedly
rebuffed moves to depoliticise the security sector and have vowed never to
agree to such reforms.
Trust Mugoba, a major-general in the army, took the war further this week
when he suggested that the army will not allow Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai or any other politician with no liberation war credentials to
become the country’s leader.
“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,” said Mugoba.
Tsvangirai has in the past raised concerns over the “unruly” behaviour
exhibited by some senior security personnel and their appetite to interfere
in civilian political processes.
In his presentation to the Troika summit in Angola, Tsvangirai said senior
army officials and security personnel had “belittled” themselves to assume
Zanu PF commissariat roles. According to the Article 13 of the GPA, state
institutions are expected to be impartial and not support any political
“State organs and institutions do not belong to any political party. All
state organs and institutions strictly observe the principle of the rule of
law and remain non-partisan and impartial,” reads the GPA signed by Mugabe,
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. Daily News
By Lance Guma
08 June 2012
Two separate road accidents on the same day involving Robert Mugabe’s
motorcade have now claimed the lives of two people. A homeless man died on
the spot after being run over by a bike while a tyre burst moments later
claiming the life of a Presidential Guard sharp-shooter who was on board a
Toyota Land Cruiser.
Mugabe was said to be travelling to the funeral of a headman when the
speeding bike that leads his motorcade ran over the homeless man along the
Harare-Bulawayo highway near Pamuzinda Hide-Out. The rest of the motorcade
reportedly zoomed past the accident scene without stopping to assist the
Speaking to the UK Guardian newspaper on Friday, Mugabe’s spokesman George
Charamba denied reports the motorcade had failed to stop for the injured
man. “That’s not correct. The man died on the spot. He was ripped apart in
an instant. He did not breathe a moment longer.”
This would appear to corroborate a witness who had earlier told the
privately owned Daily News paper that, “If that guy is still alive, it is a
miracle. The bike ripped through the man’s legs while the bike rider was
thrown off. The scene was so ghastly and bloody that one would not take a
Charamba said: “Because he’s homeless, he will now probably have a pauper’s
burial. I know he’s been taken to a mortuary.”
The drama for Mugabe on Wednesday did not end there. Near Kutama Mission a
land cruiser in his motorcade burst a tyre, injuring eight members of the
Presidential Guard. One of them, Private Jeoffrey Mukotekwa, later died of
his injuries at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.
On Thursday Mugabe sent a message of condolence to the Mukotekwa family. “On
behalf of Government and my own behalf, I want to convey my deepest
condolences to the Mukotekwa family,” he said. The ZANU PF leader also
wished the other presidential guards in hospital, a speedy recovery.
A former member of the police escort team who travel with Mugabe has
meanwhile told SW Radio Africa that during his period with the unit he lost,“5
good friends on duty through accidents while escorting Mugabe.” He estimated
some 10 motorbike outriders have died since independence.
It’s also not the first time Mugabe’s motorcade has run over a homeless
person. SW Radio Africa understands that in 2005 the ZANU PF leader was
travelling to Banket to campaign for the impending elections and his
motorcade ran over another homeless man who died on the spot.
We also understand the president’s security team immediately searched for
the relatives of the deceased man and forced them to bury the body within 24
Mugabe’s motorcade has been involved in many other accidents. In 2009, one
of his outriders collided with a Mazda 323 in Harare and in January this
year a police BMW bike which was part of his entourage collided with a
Toyota Hilux at the intersection of Borrowdale and Whitewell Road in Harare.
Many commentators have criticised the excessive speed at which the motorcade
travels and say it is the primary cause of accidents.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 June, 2012
A serving soldier who is also the son of a traditional leader in ward 15
Chimanimani in Manicaland Province, is alleged to have hijacked a shipment
of maize meant for all villagers and distributed it to ZANU PF supporters
Villagers said they were shocked when soldier Roddy Mukono forced ward 15
councillor David Munengu to leave Ngangu Hall, where the councillor was
about to distribute maize seed that he worked hard to secure from the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB).
As reported on SW Radio Africa last month, Councillor Munengu was denied
maize at the GMB because he is an MDC-T official. Since that report local
traditional leader Sabhuku Mukono cooperated with the councillor and they
secured 280 bags of maize from the GMB.
According to activist Peter Chogura the maize arrived on Monday this week
and was to be distributed by the councillor at Ngangu Hall. Sabhuku Mukono
sent his son Roddy to represent him at the distribution, saying he was tied
up with other affairs.
“Roddy used the fact he is a soldier and the son of a headman to get rid of
councillor Munengu. It really hurt all the people who knew how hard the
councillor worked to get the maize,” Chogura told SW Radio Africa.
He explained that the villagers had paid $1 each towards transportation
costs to have the maize delivered to ward 15 from the GMB. But many who are
not known ZANU PF supporters were denied their share of the maize.
ZANU PF’s use of food as a political weapon has always intensified as the
country draws closer to elections. The MDC-T has criticized this abuse of
state resources for years, but have been unable to do anything but document
The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) has been
monitoring reports of partisan food distribution. But they also have no
power to make arrests or change the situation. Meanwhile the abuses
By Tichaona Sibanda
8 June 2012
Security Sector realignment should be the number one priority in Zimbabwe
and SADC should insist that this reform is implemented and that soldiers
stay in their barracks before and after elections, a political analyst said
Dr Maxwell Shumba said the regional bloc and parties to the GPA must
urgently agree upon a deal to reform the security services in Zimbabwe.
The United States based analyst said the lack of political will to reform
the security sector in the country risks not only having a flawed electoral
process but also the very stability of the country.
Shumba argued that institutions like the army, airforce, police and the CIO
not only fail to provide security but actively prey upon the population. He
labelled the institutions as being the major perpetrators of human rights
violations in the country.
‘The Security Sector Reform is the key to free and fair elections because
these institutions are involved in all phases of the electoral process from
pre-election to post election.
‘In the pre-election phase they use intimidation, violence and threats
against the voting public and pre emptive pronouncements of coups against
anyone but Robert Mugabe. In the post- election phase, they are heavily
involved in rigging because they manipulate figures via their command
centre,’ Shumba said.
He continued: ‘Mugabe might not have the will and desire to reform his junta
but its one reform Zimbabweans should continue to focus on until he gives
Several retired members of the Zimbabwe Defence forces, who are now based in
the UK, told SW Radio Africa that the main reason there has been no reform
is a lack of political will from parts of the government, notably those
elements which have benefited from endemic corruption.
A former pilot in the airforce of Zimbabwe told us many of the senior people
in government and the military, who are responsible for effecting reform,
continue to profit from the current status quo where the army is involved in
The military elite in Zimbabwe have never shied away from making
pronouncements supporting Mugabe and issuing threats of staging a coup
should their commander-in-chief lose the next elections.
This week, Major-General Trust Mugoba said they would not allow anyone who
does not share the ideals of ZANU PF to lead Zimbabwe.
‘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,’
Last month the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Major-General Martin
Chedondo, caused a stir when he declared open allegiance to ZANU PF and
urged the military to accept no other political party.
In an address to 3,000 infantry troops from 2 Brigade in Mutoko for a
training exercise, the Major General said soldiers should be involved in
politics and made it clear they should support ZANU PF. His statement and
that of Mugoba have attracted condemnation both inside and outside the
The MDC-T has been quick to shoot back. It’s exiled treasurer-general Roy
Bennett, who referred to Mugoba and Chedondo as ‘ZANU PF political
commissars’, said the two will be court marshalled under the Defence Act
when a democratic government comes to power.
‘They have violated their oaths to uphold the constitution and will be
charged with treason. They will be replaced by officers who have remained
apolitical and true to their obligations as professional Zimbabwean soldiers
and servants of the people,’ Bennett said.
Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s foreign policy advisor and a member of
South Africa’s facilitation team, also waded into this debate when she said
SADC will not allow an election to happen before the security sector is
Speaking on South Africa’s e-news television channel on Wednesday, Zulu
emphasised that Zimbabwe should have security sector re-alignment.
‘Let me make it clear, this is not a creation of externals. It is part of
the GPA and it must be implemented before elections are held. SADC was very
clear that all reforms and processes should be fulfilled before Zimbabwe
goes for elections.
‘We cannot have a repeat of the 2008 election. It is very important that we
have elections that are acceptable to all the parties as well as acceptable
by SADC and AU,’ Zulu said.
by Staff Reporter
MALAWI has pulled out of hosting an African Union summit on July 9 after the
continental body insisted on the attendance of Sudan's wanted president Omar
Hassan al-Bashir, the country’s Vice President said on Friday.
Malawi last month asked the African Union to prevent Bashir from taking part
in the event, saying his visit would have "implications" for its
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges he
masterminded genocide and other atrocities during his country's Darfur
As an ICC member state, Malawi is supposed to arrest him if he enters its
territory - and the global court's chief prosecutor on Monday said countries
that failed to detain him should have their aid cut.
"After considering the interests of Malawians, I want to inform Malawians
that the cabinet met today and decided it was not interested to accept the
conditions by the African Union, therefore Malawi is not hosting the
summit," Vice President Khumbo Kachali said.
"Much as we have obligations to the AU, we also have obligations to other
The conference, which was focused on boosting trade between African
countries was originally scheduled for July 9-16 in Lilongwe.
Malawi angered international donors, who have supplied about 40 percent of
its budget funding, when it hosted Bashir last year when Bingu we Mutharika,
who died in April of a heart attack, ruled the country.
African Union heads of state voted in 2009 not to cooperate with the ICC
indictments, saying they would hamper efforts to end Sudan's multiple
conflicts and criticising the court for unfairly targeting African
Bashir has since visited Kenya and Chad, both of them ICC members, as well
as other countries including Zimbabwe – an embarrassment for the global
The July summit would be particularly important for Sudan because the agenda
included talks over its relations with South Sudan, which seceded last year
under a 2005 peace deal, Sudan's foreign ministry has said.
The two countries are at odds over a long list of issues, including the
position of the border, oil payments, debt and the status of citizens in one
By Staff Reporter 07/06/2012 18:20:00
LUSAKA - In a stunning revelation, Zambia's Movement for Multi Party
Democracy (MMD) President Nevers Mumba has revealed an alleged plot by
President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front Government to assassinate
Dr. Mumba has further revealed that Mr. Sata and his government has “hired a
Zimbabwean marksman marshalled by the dreaded Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) officers to lead the Zambian team in carrying out the
plot of killing him”.
Featuring on The Journalist programme on Zambezi FM Radio this morning, Dr.
Mumba stated that he has evidence and names of all the people involved in
the scam and would release the list to the public soon.
Dr. Mumba challenged the PF government to tell the nation whether they
consider him a threat as he said all government machinery had been channeled
towards him an act he described as unfortunate.
Last month Mugabe's State Security Minister in charge of the notorious spy
agency, the CIO met the Zambian leader at his compound.
The meeting was held behind closed doors and no information about the
meeting has been released except that he delivered a special message. There
is a widespread rumour in Zambia that President Mugabe financed Sata during
the elections that toppled former President Rupia Banda.
Ahead of the Zambian elections, Zimbabwean State daily The Herald reported
that Zimbabwean police had gone into Zambia to assist in the elections. On
August 15 2011, The Herald quoted Zambian Police Services Inspector General
Francis Kabonde welcoming Zimbabwean Republic Police officers headed by
Depot Commandant Senior Assistant Commissioner Grace Ndebele.
A the time, Zambian Police Service Inspector General Francis Kabonde said
they were geared up to ensure that peace and tranquility prevailed in Zambia
during the elections.
"What we do as police officers in Africa is the same. We need officers here
in Zambia even if they are to work here since we need peace and tranquility
to prevail. On September 20 this year we will be holding elections and we
will ensure that we hold them peacefully," he said.
Intelligence sources in Zimbabwe said Zimbabwean police officers assisted by
intelligence officers, infiltrated the Zambian police force and helped the
country's electoral body in rigging Zambian elections in favour of Sata.
Sata also received cash funding and diamonds to help finance his campaign.
Since his inauguration, Sata has not missed any opportunity to praise
He has publicly said he would not block Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s
push for new elections even without political reforms and dismissed Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a “stooge” of the West.
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want new elections to end the coalition
government insisting the compromise, negotiated by the regional SADC
grouping after inconclusive elections in 2008, was no longer workable.
But MDC-T leader Tsvangirai, with the backing of SADC mediator and South
African President Jacob Zuma, want work on a new constitution completed
first along with a raft of other political reforms.
But Sata said the reforms demanded by the MDC-T leader were unnecessary,
adding he would not block Mugabe’s call for new elections.
"You people, the Western countries, you taught us that democracy is
elections. Now somebody wants elections and you say no," Sata said in an
interview with the UK-based Telegraph newspaper.
"There will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over,
but not someone imposed by the Western countries."
Sata also dismissed Tsvangirai – who is generally well regarded by the
West -- as a stooge.
"We don't know the policies of Morgan – he has other people speaking for him
rather than speaking for himself," he said.
This has however this has irked many Zimbabweans and they have since
declared "a war" against the outspoken Zambian leade
Michael Sata was born and brought up in Mpika, Northern Province. He worked
as a police officer, railway man and trade unionist during colonial rule. He
spent time in London working on the railway sweeping the platforms. Among
other things, he was a porter at Victoria railway station.
Sata began actively participating in the politics of Northern Rhodesia in
1963. Following independence, he worked his way up through the
rough-and-tumble rank-and-file of the ruling United National Independence
Party (UNIP) to the governorship of Lusaka in 1985.
As Governor, he made his mark as a man of action with a hands on approach.
He cleaned up the streets, patched roadways and built bridges in the city.
Afterward he became a Member of Parliament for Kabwata constituency in
Though once close with President Kenneth Kaunda, he became disillusioned by
Kaunda's dictatorial style and he left the UNIP to join the Movement for
Multiparty Democracy (MMD) during the campaign for multi-party politics in
After Frederick Chiluba defeated Kaunda in 1991, Sata became one of Zambia's
most instantly recognizable faces. Under the MMD, he served as minister for
local government, labor and, briefly, health where, he boasts, his "reforms
brought sanity to the health system".
In 1995, he was appointed as minister without portfolio, the party's
national organizing secretary during which his political style was described
as "increasingly abrasive". He was the Zambian President.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
08 June, 2012
A grouping of four political parties outside the coalition government have
announced a joint initiative to meet the chief facilitator on the Zimbabwean
crisis, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, and demand their involvement in
any roadmap towards the next election.
The parties said they will be working together under the Common Issues
Platform (CIP), simply known as “The Platform” and had their inaugural
meeting last week Wednesday.
The initiative includes the principles Dr. Dumiso Dabengwa, President of
ZAPU, MDC99 President Job Sikhala, Democratic Party President Wurayayi Zembe
and Chairman of ZANU NDONGA, Reketayi Semwayo.
SW Radio Africa spoke to Job Sikhala, who said the aim of this initiative is
to meet and debate issues of common interest regarding the national politics
of Zimbabwe. Sikhala explained that The Platform want to meet with President
Zuma to make three specific demands regarding the next election.
“No roadmap for the next election is to be authored without the contribution
and input of all interested political players and parties in this country,”
Sikhala said, adding that the exclusion of any party presupposes that only
the coalition partners will be taking part in the next election.
Sikhala said their second demand is to air their views to President Zuma
regarding ZANU PF’s continued call for elections without any key reforms
being implemented first.
The third demand of The Platform is for their participation in the Joint
Implementation and Monitoring Committee (JOMIC). “We want full participation
in the running of JOMIC, that organ that deals with issues of peace,
violence and law and order, because all parties are under threat from
merchants of political violence,” Sikhala explained.
Asked why the political parties in The Platform waited so long to voice
their concerns, Sikhla said there was the constitution drafting exercise
taking place first and “the issue of an election roadmap is a new
“Everything has its own time and we felt this is the right time demand a
voice and a stake in the political arena,” Sikhala said.
Written by Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Friday, 08 June 2012 08:27
HARARE - Zanu PF is taking firm steps to ensure failure of the on-going
constitution making process so it can force an election under the
discredited Lancaster House constitution which has been amended 19 times in
Coalition partners involved in the crafting of the new constitution which
is supposed to lay foundations for credible elections were this week left
guessing on the process’ future after Zanu PF members ‘‘walked out’’ of a
key meeting meant to wrap up a draft that has been held up due to political
Paul Mangwana, the Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) co-chair told the
Daily News yesterday that the forthcoming elections will be held under the
old charter should the party’s hard-line demands be ignored.
Copac is in charge of crafting the new constitution.
Mangwana and his colleagues walked out of the Copac meeting on Wednesday
after the MDC forations in Copac refused to accept a Zanu PF document
containing fresh demands.
Mangwana yesterday said the MDC formations should accept the former ruling
party’s demands or brace for an election under the current constitution.
“If Mwonzora (Douglas) and his friends think by declaring that they are not
moving on their stance, then we are going to budge, they are mistaken,”
Mwonzora is Copac co-chair for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC while
Edward Mkhosi is co-chair for the breakaway MDC formation led by Industry
minister Welshman Ncube.
“If the two MDCs continue with their delaying tactics then elections are
going to take place under the current constitution. We are not going to be
held to ransom,” said Mangwana.
The two MDC parties united against Zanu PF’s “walk out” on Wednesday, which
they said was calculated to slow the crafting of the country’s new
In a joint press statement, Mwonzora and Mkhosi said it was unfortunate that
Zanu PF had resorted to such
actions. They said adopting the issues put forward by President Robert
Mugabe’s party would be “a deviation from the views of the people”.
Mangwana, however, dismissed Mwonzora and Mkhosi’s assertions and said Zanu
PF did not walk out of the select committee meeting.
The management committee will tackle the contentious issues, which include
devolution and presidential powers, at a meeting slated for June 17 in
Mangwana further dismissed claims that Zanu PF’s demands are meant to derail
the programme and delay the holding of elections.
“That is nonsense. Mwonzora came with his bhabharasi (hangover) into the
meeting and started making unreasonable demands. We flatly refused to
entertain his nonsense,” he said.
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE RESURGENCE OF VIOLENCE AND THE ZIMBABWE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR POLITICAL PARTIES
The Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) would like to express its strong concern over the resurgence of violence that is taking place in parts of the country.
The Political Parties in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) are once again being reminded of their obligation as provided under Article X: Free Political Activity as quoted below;
10. Free Political Activity
Recognizing that the right to canvass and freely mobilize for political support is the cornerstone of any multi-party democratic system, the parties have agreed that they should be free political activity throughout Zimbabwe within the ambit of the law in which all political parties are able to propagate their views and canvass for support, free of harassment and intimidation.
Notably, political parties under the GPA framework have already agreed that they should be free political activity throughout Zimbabwe within the ambit of the law in which all political parties are able to propagate their views and canvass for support, free of harassment and intimidation.
Further to the foregoing and Anti – Violence Indaba held in November 2011, it is anticipated that the signing of the Code of Conduct will enable political parties to effectively use provisions of this instrument in advocating for inter and intra political party engagements in order to curb political violence.
Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) Principals
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET
Friday, 08 June 2012
The High Court trial in which 29 MDC members are facing false charges of
murdering a police officer and public violence in Glen View, Harare in May
last year entered its fourth day on Thursday with the State’s fourth witness
giving more conflicting evidence.
The trial kicked off on Monday and all the four State witnesses have been
giving conflicting evidence on what led to the death of the police officer,
Petros Mutedza at Glen View 3 shopping centre.
The State is expected to call in 20 witnesses.
The matter is being held before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.
Yesterday’s witness Solomon Mushaninga, a police officer based at Mabvuku
Police Station said Mutedza was the first person to come out of Munyararari
Night Club running.
However, this version is contrary to that of Joshua Daka another police
officer who claimed yesterday that before Mutedza came out of the bar, 10
people were in front of him also running.
The trial was briefly adjourned this morning after the defence lawyers
objected to the dock identification that the State prosecutor was requesting
Mushaninga to carry out.
Before the adjournment in the morning, Mushaninga had pointed to Last
Maengahama, the MDC National Executive member as being part of the group
that was responsible for the murder of Mutedza. Mushaninga had claimed that
he had managed to identify Maengahama as being one of the MDC youths who
were inside the bar when they were attacked.
However, Justice Bhunu dismissed the defence’s objections.
The trial continued with the State prosecutor putting it across to
Mushaninga that his dock identification was opposite to the defence outline
of Maengahama which says that when the Glen View incident took place, he was
at Pastor Makandiwa’s church at Glamis Stadium.
The trial was adjourned to next Monday at 10am.
The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish it!!!
By Professor Matodzi Harare, June 08, 2012-The Supreme Court is now ready to
determine an application filed by four Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
leaders seeking to condemn as uninhabitable the detention cells at Harare
Central Police Station.
Early this year, WOZA, the aggressive women pressure group, petitioned the
Supreme Court seeking an order compelling the government to ensure that
holding cells at Harare Central Police Station meet basic hygienic
The Supreme Court says the inhuman conditions that characterises police
cells at Harare Central Police Station, where several political and human
rights activists have been detained over the years, will be under the
spotlight when it begins hearing a constitutional application by the
pressure group next Thursday.
“Take notice that the application will be heard and determined by the
Supreme Court of Zimbabwe at Harare on Thursday the 14th day of June 2012 at
9:30 or soon thereafter as counsel may be heard,” reads part of a letter
written to WOZA lawyers by the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
The hearing follows an application filed by Bellinda Chinowawa of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) on behalf of WOZA leaders Jenni Williams,
Magodonga Mahlangu, Celina Madukani and Clara Manjengwa after their arrest
and detention under conditions that constituted inhuman and degrading
treatment in violation of S 15 (1) of the constitution.
They were arrested for demonstrating against government’s failure to adhere
to human rights last year.
WOZA, whose members are regularly, detained in grubby police cells for
staging anti-government protests want the detention cells at Harare Central
Police Station to be cleaned and resourced with toilet paper and washing
bowls and not the current case where the conditions are unhygienic.
The WOZA leaders want the police to provide a clean mattress and adequate
blankets, as well as adequate bathing or shower installations for each
person detained in police custody overnight.
The activists also want detainees to have access to sufficient drinking
water suitable for consumption and for detainees to enjoy daily exposure to
natural light and appropriate ventilation and heating.
In 2005, the Supreme Court condemned police cells at Matapi and Highlands
police stations as degrading and inhuman and unfit for holding criminal
The Supreme Court’s ruling followed an application filed by ZLHR on behalf
of former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union secretary-general Wellington
Chibebe and Nancy Kachingwe after they had been detained at the two filthy
|Burial societies should no longer be about death only, but must help us live a good life as well|
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe MD George Guvamatanga and Mr Kasukuwere met earlier
this week and agreed on the implementation of the bank’s compliance plan
Published: 2012/06/08 08:56:22 AM
THE Zimbabwe division of international banking group Barclays has bowed to
increased pressure from Zimbabwean Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere,
agreeing to start implementation of the contentious indigenisation policy.
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe MD George Guvamatanga and Mr Kasukuwere met earlier
this week and agreed on the implementation of the bank’s compliance plan,
starting with the transfer of a significant portion of shares to employees.
The contentious policy, which is being spearheaded by Zanu (PF) ahead of
polls likely this year or early next year, seeks to compel foreign firms to
cede majority stakes to black Zimbabwean groups.
Mr Guvamatanga could not divulge details of the agreement reached under
pressure to comply with the empowerment policy. Sources, however, confirmed
to Business Day that Barclays had agreed to "empower its employees" as part
of the process to comply with the legislation. "Barclays can confirm that
the meeting took place but the contents remain private and confidential as
there are still further discussions," said Mr Guvamatanga.
He said that the meeting was only one of a series of engagements between
Barclays Zimbabwe and the empowerment ministry "regarding the
implementation" of the law.
A corporate executive with knowledge of developments around Barclays
Zimbabwe’s proposed indigenisation compliance plan said Mr Kasukuwere
insisted during the meeting that Mr Guvamatanga commit to empowering the
bank’s employees before other aspects of the compliance plan were finalised.
"There are still some areas of disagreement but this week the two (Mr
Kasukuwere and Mr Guvamatanga) agreed that Barclays should roll out its
employee empowerment scheme faster and move onto the other areas that are
yet to be agreed on.
"What is emerging from Mr Kasukuwere’s approach with the banks, however, is
different from the approach he used with the mines; he seems to be a bit
cautious and careful," said the bank executive.
Mr Kasukuwere said the meeting with Mr Guvamatanga on Tuesday "had been
fruitful" from the government’s perspective. "In general we agreed to
reorganise the ownership structure of the bank…. Employees will benefit
This comes against the backdrop of differences between Mr Kasukuwere and
central bank governor Gideon Gono over indigenisation of the banking sector.
Mr Gono this week warned Mr Kasukuwere "not to come near my banks".
Both are from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party, and political
observers said that the war of words that erupted between them highlighted
the sharp policy inconsistencies and divisions in the party, despite its
efforts to show unanimity on the matter.
Mr Gono favours a "gradual approach" to indigenisation, and insisted this
week that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s stance would remain so, to avoid
Johannes Kwangwari, an economic analyst, said yesterday that the move by the
government to target banks for indigenisation "spells disaster for the
By Lance Guma
08 June 2012
Tributes continued to flow for the late prominent business mogul Sam Levy,
who died on Tuesday night at his Avondale home. Levy, known for his
multi-million dollar Sam Levy’s Village in Borrowdale, died after a long
battle with cancer.
On Thursday Vice President Joice Mujuru visited Levy’s Harare home to
console his widow Gloria and their children Julia, Isaacs, Maurice and
Raymond. Mujuru revealed that her late husband, retired army General Solomon
Mujuru, and Sam Levy were ‘best friends’.
“Sam is the one who assisted the General when he was involved in a
helicopter crash and broke his vertebrae when he was still in the army. He
introduced him to the best surgeons in South Africa and he assisted in
paying some of the medical bills. So, the friendship between the two
families grew stronger and stronger.”
On Wednesday Levy’s son Isaacs said his father, “had the head and neck type
of cancer for the past three years and had been undergoing treatment, but it
got to a stage where he died last night from the tumor. He was a legend. A
people’s man and will be sadly missed,” he said.
His widow Gloria described him as a loving man who loved Zimbabwe. “He loved
his country through and through and this was his place,” she said.
Controversial businessman Philip Chiyangwa chipped in saying Levy was a
business pioneer and a visionary who was his mentor.
Levy was also never far from controversy. In the 1990’s many will remember
how he built Sam Levy’s village without council approval. The multi-million
dollar structure faced demolition by the local council and was only saved by
the intervention of the late Joseph Msika who was then Minister of Local
Levy again hit the headlines in October 2000 when he imported 50 motorcycles
inscribed “Police” without authority from anyone. He escaped with a $200
This is a call to Christians worldwide to pray for God’s justice to
prevail in Zimbabwe.
The beleaguered people of Zimbabwe are still struggling for freedom
and justice. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have been murdered by
ZANU PF government of President Robert Mugabe.
Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have been tortured for opposing
massive corruption and atrocities of ZANU PF.
In Zimbabwe citizens are beaten, tortured and murdered for holding
different political views. The unity government in Zimbabwe is a smoke
screen which covers up current suffering of masses and atrocities of
The Bible is the book of Justice. Forgiveness is not for the benefit
of the villain and does not mean the perpetrators should not be
punished. Forgiveness is meant to bring the wronged part to mental and
Murdered victims of ZANU PF government from Matebeleland to
Mashonaland are crying before God for justice.
“How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our
blood on them that dwell on the earth? “ (Revelation 6:10, quote from
King James Version Bible)
There is no country or world leaders calling for prosecution of
President Mugabe (ZANU PF government) for crimes against humanity.
Zimbabwe seems to be a forgotten cause with the UN playing double
games with ZANU PF.
While Zimbabweans are suffering under ZANU PF misrule the UN is
recognising Mugabe and appointing him to be heard of international
tourism. Many tourists have been harassed and beaten in Zimbabwe. The
racist, selective and secular UN rewards Mugabe for harassing tourist
and massacring tens of thousands of black Zimbabweans. The UN has
become anathema in eyes of Zimbabweans. UN dignity has sunk to that of
Is there hope for peace, freedom and justice in Zimbabwe? Justice
means comfort to the victims and punishment to perpetrators. Please
remember to pray for justice to take place in Zimbabwe.
Foundation of Reason & Justice
“We suspect that there are some people who want to cause problems for us”Jonathan Mashingaidze Zimbabwe FA
Lance Guma speaks to Douglas Cartwright, the son of the late Guy Cartwright whose family was violently evicted from their farm by former ZANU PF MP for Marondera East Tracy Mutinhiri and her ex-husband Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri. Last week Mutinhiri told SW Radio Africa how they took the farm, and this week the Cartwright family responds to what they felt was a misrepresentation of facts.
Interview broadcast 04 June 2012
Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining me Behind the Headlines. Last week on Question Time we had the former Zanu PF MP for Marondera East Tracy Mutinhiri on the programme. We asked her about the manner in which she and her ex-husband, Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, took over the farm formerly owned by the Cartwright family. This is how the interview went:
Guma: Your farm in Marondera was invaded by war vets and Zanu PF youths allegedly sponsored by the State Security Minister Sidney Sekeramayi; what’s the status of that farm – are you still there or have they moved you out?
Mutinhiri: No I’m still there; maybe I should just consider myself lucky because then the police came to protect me. I want to applaud the police for having protected me at that juncture. The police did not allow the militias to come into my farm and that was one incident that has not re-occurred. I’m carrying on with my farming activities at the farm and so far I haven’t experienced any disturbances.
Guma: You of course will be aware that you and your former husband Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri have in the past been criticised for the manner in which you got the farm in Marondera. Having joined the MDC-T do you think that puts you in a very difficult situation to explain how you got the farm? What’s your reaction?
Mutinhiri: No, it won’t put me in a difficult situation because all we did was, we were given that farm after it had been acquired by government, by the state and when it was acquired by the state we were given an offer letter and we took it, our offer letter we saw Douglas, Guy’s son and we showed him the offer letter and we said that we have been offered this piece of land, can we sit down and negotiate how best we can exchange hands.
That’s how it happened but certainly the Cartwrights resisted like any other person who was resisting and then in the end we then sat down with Guy Cartwright who was then the owner of the farm not Douglas, we sat down, we discussed about the issues, we agreed, we even bought some of his implements.
Guma: The version of events obviously is that a mob led by your husband is the one that seized the property.
Mutinhiri: Well people might talk in that manner but what exactly happened is we had an offer letter and we went and discussed it with the Cartwrights but like any revolution it is resisted and when it was resisted and knowing my ex-husband’s background, he is a soldier and he had to do it the, I don’t know maybe the military way, I don’t know whether it was right or if it was not right but he had to do it through the military but the lucky part is that no life was destroyed.
Guma: That was the former Zanu PF member of parliament for Marondera East Tracey Mutinhiri on the programme with us, that was Question Time. Today on Behind the Headlines we have Douglas Cartwright, the son of the late Guy Cartwright. You heard Tracy Mutinhiri’s account of what happened, Douglas, is that true?
Douglas Cartwright: Good evening, thanks very much first of all, on behalf of the Cartwright family for allowing us to give the correct version of events which gave us obviously some huge emotional trauma and obviously financial stress in our lives, no the event is not true.
The correct sequence of events physically as it happened was that on the evening of the 6th of April 2002, my parents were driving in one of the fields and they got a call from the security guard stating that there was a mob of youths, led by the Brigadier Mutinhiri had marched onto the property and had gone straight into our homes.
They were particularly rowdy and seemed to be under the influence, obviously this is all some time ago but since that moment we were denied access to our homes, we were not allowed back into our homes and of course obviously to our livelihoods as born Zimbabweans, that sort of thing.
So just to be very clear about this, there was no such offer letter that we saw, we were not designated at that current time under the state of the ruling of the courts and that under the Land Acquisition Act; we never received a Section Five or Section Eight.
I don’t know what it is now but that was what it was in those days and this is when we kind of realized they were operating under their personal greed. So we don’t think it was a state sanctioned so we applied to the High Court to have an order to remove these illegal occupants which was granted but they ignored it and I need to repeat that they are still there without our family’s permission and they remain there with impunity and it’s scary that they are disregarding the rule of law.
I’ve never been back to my home, we were out at the time, I’ve never been back into my house at all so perhaps she can explain why my son couldn’t sleep in his bed that night, I don’t know, so yah, that’s the sequence of events Lance.
Guma: Now she says she showed you an offer letter – was there any such offer letter?
Cartwright: No, they marched on and said they had been given the property, when were we leaving? And that was him and his wife, of which we knew nothing, obviously we had never received any notification from our lawyers that we were under any Land Acquisition Act and all the rest, so we ignored their statements because they didn’t have the proof, they didn’t have any documentation.
Guma: What about the issue of the farm equipment? She is claiming that she sat down with you guys and you reached an amicable decision and sold them the equipment.
Cartwright: Yah that’s a very sweet little statement by her but what actually happened was, because we were denied access to the home, we received a few phone calls in the evenings and all that sort of stuff and messages from people with death threats.
We feared very much for our lives, we all went into hiding over that period and what happened was they eventually came up, my family came to an agreement that it was best that maybe we could remove the crop that we obviously had paid for and harvested and try and get it off so the only negotiations were, were to try and get off as much as we could rescue from a situation that had completely lost our control.
We had no assistance from the police at all, nobody, so the only negotiations were was to get some of our tobacco crop off to sell and the rest of it was sort of ended up by the wayside, it was very traumatic.
Guma: Tracey Mutinhiri is obviously the ex-wife of Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, what was her role, I’m talking here in particular Tracy, what was her role? Was the husband the one leading this or they were equally involved in this? How would you describe that?
Cartwright: They were equally involved. I in fact went back once to the property as I was denied access with a certain threat, I went back once to get my computer from the farm office so I could actually pay my staff because now my staff were saying they needed to be paid and all the records were on the computer and she was the one in my office, actually using my computer at the time and reluctantly gave it to me and I managed to negotiate my way out from her youths that were sitting around her. She was 100% side-by-side with him.
Guma: She says in the interview with us: “luckily no life was lost” – is that true?
Cartwright: Certainly none of the Cartwrights were ever hurt, killed, anything like that but as you can imagine Lance, this is a very emotional trauma of being ripped from your home that had been in there for 68 years. I don’t know, maybe she doesn’t count that, that’s minor damage, but she really does need to explain why her husband stood over my father with a sjambok, with a whip while he packed his house and I don’t think that’s very good.
Guma: Last year Zanu PF youths and war vets invaded the Mutinhiri farm and a lot of people said it was ironic considering that Brigadier Mutinhiri with the help of war vets and Zanu PF youths had illegally invaded and seized the property. You heard her talk there saying thankfully the police came and assisted her. How do you feel knowing you didn’t get the same protection from the police?
Cartwright: That’s a good question Lance and it’s something that has haunted us since we left the farm that day. I’m a born Zimbabwean, I have an agricultural degree, I don’t know anything else and the fact that my civil rights were not upheld by the state is tragic.
Whether she managed to get a bit more luck with that, well that’s her. I pity her, I think shame, I think she’s a very unlucky woman, I think a lot of bad luck follows her, I think it’s going to keep on following her but in terms of what she scored by that I really have no comment on that.
Guma: Talk us through what you guys did on the farm I terms of what did you grow. If you could give us the value of what you did on the farm in terms of produce.
Cartwright: Yah overall we had a workforce of, a stable workforce of about 250 people, employing up to a seasonal of about 400. We grew tobacco, maize; we had seed maize, we had a beef herd, we had a dairy herd, and we had some timber, a cheese-making process that came off one of our dairies and all that sort of thing.
So overall it was a couple of million pounds a year that was produce that was being produced. We had a farm school, we had over 400 children that the Cartwright family financed which had a library, it even had computers – and that’s back in the early 2000s – which is quite a good thing for my father.
And I need to reiterate at this point Lance, my parents and the Cartwright family included all, never been a card-carrying member of any political party of any such persuasion whatsoever. My father was a very big Rotarian and believed in giving to communities and we feel that some of the repercussions that happened to us were political which I don’t think should happen to anybody in a civil society.
But yah, it was a very big farm and it was very productive as far as we were concerned. I don’t know what is happening now; I know that they chopped all the forestry down and sold it and I don’t know what is happening there right now.
Guma: In terms of the legal route, where did this case end? What stage has the case gone to?
Cartwright: Well the High Court ruled a few times in our favour and that’s where it’s gone to Lance, there’s been no further progress from that and I don’t know what’s happened since then, we’ve been away from it for a while, I needed to pick up the pieces of my life after having farmed for 68 years and then to start with the shoes on your feet. There’s been other pressing priorities at the moment like food on the table.
Guma: There’s talk that several members of the MDC-T, under Prime Minister Tsvangirai, in Marondera want to compile affidavits which they will use to oppose Mutinhiri’s membership in the party. Are you aware of this and what are your thoughts on her joining the MDC?
Cartwright: Well like I said earlier Lance I don’t have any opinion on whether she’s allowed to join a party or not, that’s her right, my main concern of it is that I fear for the leadership of our country in the fact that she is the sort of quality of leadership that they are looking for on a personal basis I must add.
I don’t think she’s the right person but obviously you’re talking to me who experienced first hand some of her greed and brutality so in terms of the affidavits, the guys are welcome to talk to my lawyer on this issue but yah, I don’t know, I think maybe the MDC should, any party that she’s been part of, I think they should really question who they actually have leading because the people, we look after the country for the future, for the future generations, it’s not for us right now and I hope that they make the right decisions in the MDC and Zanu PF do as well.
Guma: My final question for you Douglas, supposing Mai Mutinhiri is listening to this interview – final word – what would you like to say to her?
Cartwright: Ah Lance, I hope she’s listening to it and I hope she understands the trauma that she put my family through. My father passed away because of her.
Guma: Well Zimbabwe, that’s Douglas Cartwright, the son of the late Guy Cartwright joining us today on Behind the Headlines. We’ve given the family a platform to respond to the Question Time interview we had with Tracey Mutinhiri, the former member of parliament for Marondera East in Zanu PF before she was expelled from that party and joined the MDC-T. Douglas, thank you so much for your time and talking to us Behind the Headlines.
Cartwright: Thank you Lance and I appreciate it.
To listen to the programme:
For an ordinary looking man, Zimbabwe’s Senator David Coltart cuts an imposing figure. As one of the few Anglo-African politicians currently serving in the government (as Minister of Education, Sport, Arts, and Culture), Sen. Coltart has gained widespread acclaim for his social achievements within Zimbabwe’s often contentious policy environment. A lawyer by training, Coltart became Sectary of Legal Affairs for the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and has even survived assassination plots for his representation of victims of the Robert Mugabe regime. Now Coltart along with the rest of the MDC find themselves in a power-sharing agreement with Mugabe that is nearing the end of its five-year term, bringing to head another confrontation between hardliners and reformers for the future of the country. Has the coalition been worth the price? What will happen next? During a recent visit to Washington DC, Nigeria Intel had the opportunity to sit down with Sen. Coltart to examine these questions.
Q: Robert Mugabe is often seen as the definition of an authoritarian African leader. How much autonomy do you have in your Ministerial post, being from the opposition MDC party?
It’s a very important question, as the problem that we have is that although we serve as Ministers, we have a lot of civil servants within the ministries belonging to the ruling ZANU-PF party who can frustrate programs, and in some cases, block them entirely. So we certainly do not have unfettered power. To be quite frank, ZANU-PF Ministers have far more power, so when they decide on a new policy direction, they are able to execute it more quickly.
Over the years I have learned to go the extra mile to get things done. The power-sharing situation has forced me to look at policies that were demonstrably non-partisan – policies that were clearly going to help people and children without being ideological, and then persuading and building up the support for that policy direction.
Q: What are some of the achievements you can point to during your time at the ministry?
We actually just recently passed a sweeping, comprehenisve change to Zimbabwe’s education policy, which is going to have an enormous impact on the daily lives of our country’s children. We have established greater autonomy for teachers, decentralization of decision-making to schools, and passed through agreements new curriculum. We have also implemented mechanisms for more schools to raise funds from student fees, while considerably increasing the number of school days with the help of cooperation with international NGOs and volunteers.
Q: What’s the purpose of your trip to the United States?
Primarily I am here as Minister of Education to raise awareness and support of the education sector, not just with the U.S. government but also with World Bank and UNICEF. The secondary purpose of my trip is to talk about the current U.S. policy toward Zimbabwe.
The current policy of the State Department has pretty much been to disengage with Zimbabwe, or at best, to restrict their involvement with certain key areas of the country. The attitude has been until ‘Mugabe goes, there will be no change.’ This has negatively impacted many social services in the country, including the education sector, as minimal resources have been available to our country’s children. So what I am trying to do is put the argument that America’s policy toward Zimbabwe, though understandable in some respects, is not working.
By disengaging with Zimbabwe, they actually play into the hands of hardliners who want to derail the process of liberalization and reform. The sanctions serve no useful purpose now, and they would be far better advised to start engaging, especially with moderates, and to support social ministries like health, education, water – because by doing so not only do they help the humanitarian situation, but actually bolsters the transition to democracy as it builds confidence among the public that there are tangible benefits to having closer relations with the United States.
Q: What do you see as the critical areas that need reform in Zimbabwe?
Well, fundamentally we have to address the economy and increase the state’ revenues. We need to encourage investment, as we have insufficient investment capital to re-invigorate existing businesses while we need fresh capital to come for new companies. Our red tape and indigenization policies have been problematic – our focus has been too much on cutting up the existing cake, when we should be focusing on growing the cake and achieving empowerment for Zimbabweans through a growth of our economy.
Secondly, we have to liberalize within the country many of our domestic laws which inhibit existing Zimbabwean companies. We have a problematic tariff structures, endemic internal corruption, and all kinds of rules and regulations that prevent people from forming businesses and contributing to the economy.
Thirdly, in the course of the last 10-12 years, we have lost literally hundreds of thousands of our most talented people. Even if we get the economic policies right, if we don’t have policies that encourage the return of our best and brightest, economic development will be frustrated, or even worse, stillborn.
And lastly, once we have investment rights and revenue flows going, the next critical thing is to get our budgetary priorities sorted out. We need to cut down on the size of government. We need to ensure that social ministries are adequately funded. We have a tax environment and general business environment that encourages growth.
Q: How do you think human rights issues will be handled in a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe?
It’s a very complicated issue, and the danger of focusing exclusively on the past is that it may prevent any positive future from emerging. We are on a knife’s edge in some respects. If we focus in the short term on retribution for past evils, we may well drive those responsible for crimes against humanity into having coup and seizing power to protect themselves.
Q: So you would favor an amnesty of sorts?
No. And, I’m not speaking as government now, but rather as Secretary of Legal Affairs of our party, we believe that the most important elements to address this would be through truth telling process. Specifically through a Truth Commission, not a truth, justice, and reconciliation commission. We believe that victims should be given the opportunity to say what happened to them and their loved ones, and secondly, they should be able to tell us what should happen regarding justice and reconciliation. It shouldn’t be up to lawyers and politicians to determine what measures are needed to achieve justice. Once victims have actually said what they want – and you may be surprised – then we can begin to formulate policies that in the medium to long term to address these issues.
Q: What are the possible scenarios for the near future of Zimbabwe?
I think it is wrong to work any plan of action around the prospect of Mugabe going soon. He is 88 years old, but he is an incredibly fit 88, and generally I think it is wrong to plan around such an outcome.
In terms of scenarios, I think the most likely prospect is that we muddle through as we are at present, and eventually get through the process of constitutional reform and electoral reforms, and have elections some time next year. These elections are not likely to be perfect but they will be better than the last elections. Those elections may not yield a clear cut winner, and we could well have a coalition arrangement between parties.
The other scenario is that the hardliners throw caution to the wind and are so concerned about the future that they decide to abandon this course of action and have an election based on the existing constitution. If that happens, the country is likely to be plunged back into disorder. However I do not think that elections without reform will enjoy the support of the international community or even SADC, and the loss of this support will cause a steep decline in the economy and a loss of confidence among allies. Ultimately those responsible for taking that course of action would be forced to negotiate again, and through these negotiations we may well arrive at yet another arrangement similar to the current one, which will not be good, but at least will keep the country going.
Q: What’s your response to the criticism that the power-sharing agreement of the MDC has only empowered Mugabe and prolonged a dictatorship?
I think it’s difficult to counter that criticism because there is an element of truth to it. There is no doubt that by agreeing to go into this government, we have played a role in the rehabilitation of Mugabe’s reputation by extending him a political lifeline, so that criticism is valid. My response to that is that ‘this may be so,’ but what were the alternatives? And no one has been able to identify a viable alternative.
What is clear is that had we not entered into the coalition, the country would have collapsed totally, degenerating into a Somalia or Liberia-like situation. The military would have still had access to diamond money as they always have, a flow of money to retain their core. Education would have collapsed, thousands of people would have died from the collapse of the health system and the spread of cholera epidemic, and would have caused the destruction of numerous institutions both private and public. And so the question to us became: was that a price worth paying?
Consider how bad things had gotten. When I took over as Minister of Education in 2008, there were only 26 school days. The public examinations of the previous year had not even been marked yet, four months into the new year. We lost 20,000 teachers out of the system in 2007-2008, and that would have continued exponentially. When a system breaks down totally like that, it takes a vast amount of money to repair it, so it was our goal to prevent a total breakdown of every public institution because this is the only path to a more prosperous future.
So to conclude – I recognize the criticism, but in the absence of any rational alternative, what was to be done? Yes, we have rehabilitated Mugabe – but at the same time we have saved lives, we have saved institutions, and we have made the costs of rescuing Zimbabwe much cheaper.
June 8th, 2012
It is noon on Saturday and I have just left OK Supermarket in Masvingo, a
small town in southern Zimbabwe, where I had gone to buy some necessities.
The supermarket shelves were jam-packed, and there was a wide assortment of
commodities, in stark contrast to the situation at early 2009, when there
was virtually nothing on most supermarket shelves across the country.
The introduction of the multicurrency regime, which allows shoppers to use
international currencies, chiefly the US Dollar, South African Rand and the
Botswana Pula, stock levels in shops have manifestly improved, and the
biting shortages of three years ago have become a thing of the past.
There was a hive of activity throughout the supermarket as shoppers filled
trolleys with various commodities. There was no doubt in my mind that they
enjoyed the shopping. I observed that the majority of shoppers were happy,
and most looked generally healthy too. They chatted away, small kids cried
for toys and chocolates, and most parents did not hesitate to give in.
This is testimony that life in Zimbabwe has appreciably improved. People
have relatively higher disposable incomes than three years ago. They eat
better, and they have enhanced access to health care. They now lead lives
that are substantially less traumatic.
I enjoyed the shopping too. But heading to the till was less exciting. The
glee that had been apparent on the shoppers’ faces vanished as they
painfully crawled towards the tills, leaning forward and resting their
elbows on the trolleys. Babies strapped on their mothers’ backs began to
cry; obviously from the humid condition in the supermarket…the generator was
evidently struggling to run the air-conditioning system.
I counted ten people in front of me in the queue and, using the clock on my
mobile phone, I calculated the average time taken by the till operator to
serve one shopper…it was a disappointing 4 minutes! Only two of the ten
shoppers had trolleys. The rest had small shopping baskets, and most of
those baskets were not full.
I sighed with desperation and remarked to the guy behind me about my
observation, and he actually thought our queue was one of the fastest. But
why 40 minutes to serve only ten customers and how many customers would a
single till operator serve in 8 hours?
The problem lies in the multicurrency system. The system has no doubt
brought about the much needed relief, as it helped to stabilize the monetary
system and helped to impede the galloping inflation of 2008. But the
authorities have done nothing to ensure the availability of small
denominations. As a consequence, retailers struggle to find change. The
unavailability of change is the principal reason for the queues forming at
The customer immediately in front of me purchased groceries worth US$40. 33
and he tendered a US$50 note. His change was US$9. 67. But the till operator
did not have the 67 cents, so she had to engage in some lengthy negotiation
with the customer, beseeching him to buy more things worth 67 cents.
Initially the customer strongly objected to the proposal, arguing raucously
that he did not want to be coerced to buy things he did not need. As the
till operator tried to explain to him that she had no way of helping, he
threw tantrums and shouted unprintable profanities at the innocent lady, who
visibly showed signs of tiredness, having dealt with irate customers since
Eventually, realizing that his protests would yield nothing, the disgruntled
customer cooled off and agreed to buy the things he didn’t need. But there
were not many things whose prices easily added up to 67 cents. So he took
some bubble gums, a biro and an extra plastic carrier bag, which all added
up to 65 cents. The till operator then printed the receipt, and she hastily
shifted her focus to me. Although he knew he had lost 2 cents to OK
Supermarket, he didn’t believe that any further protestations would be a
worthwhile investment, and so he left.
My turn came, and as sure as sunrise I also left with a couple of items I
definitely did not need, and left 3 cents at the till.
So, if the said store is open 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, serving 15
shoppers an hour, making an average of 3c per customer in unpaid change,
with 5 tills in the shop – it comes to a monthly revenue of US$432, the
average wage of two teachers! It would be impossible to estimate the
monthly added revenue to the business of the goods bought under duress.
This is what happens to shoppers across Zimbabwe, day in and day out. It is
a double tragedy…valuable time spent in queues and the loss of hard-earned
money to retailers. But while these are real grievances, they are rarely
discussed in public. Zimbabweans seem to be more concerned about other
issues, such as how to make more money, corruptly or otherwise.
This entry was posted by MadZimbabwe on Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 9:38 am