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Zimbabwe land reforms target wildlife reserves


– Wed Mar 9, 5:55 am ET

HARARE (AFP) – Zimbabwean authorities will force the country's predominantly
white wildlife park owners to join with black partners in a new round of
controversial land reforms, state media said on Wednesday.

"Government is now implementing the wildlife-based land reform policy after
five years of resistance from conservancy owners," The Herald newspaper

"This will see 59 indigenous people getting leases from the government or
sharing conservancies with white former owners."

Parks and wildlife authority director-general Vitalis Chadenga said the
project was "one of the unfinished businesses of the country's land reform

Under land reforms launched by long-time President Robert Mugabe in 2000,
Zimbabwean authorities seized farms from thousands of white owners in what
Mugabe called a correction of historical imbalances in the former British

The often chaotic and violent land reforms, led by pro-Mugabe militants,
were blamed for a food crisis in the one-time regional breadbasket as the
majority of new owners lacked the means and skills to farm.

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Zimbabwe to nationalize mining sector, says official

Mar 9, 2011, 16:01 GMT

Harare - A senior official in Zimbabwe on Wednesday said the government has
resolved nationalize 51 per cent of the country's key mining sector to form
a sovereign wealth fund to finance development.

Minister of Youths, Empowerment and Indigenization, Saviour Kasukuwere, made
the comments to delegates attending an investment conference in the capital

'This Friday we are gazetting the minimum threshold for the mining sector.
We need the 51 per cent (equity) to come into our sovereign wealth fund,'
Kasakuwere said.

'We are all agreed as a government,' he added.

The formation of a power-sharing government some two years ago has brought
about some economic stability, but investors remain jittery over the
controversial 'indigenization' policy which Mugabe says is meant to empower
black Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe has minerals such as diamonds, uranium, chrome, platinum and gold.
Major companies such as Anglo American, Implats and Rio Tinto.

According to Kasukuwere, earnings from mineral exports in 2010 amounted to
1.7 billion US dollars, about 30 per cent of Zimbabwe's estimated gross
domestic product. Government revenue from the industry totalled only 4
million US dollars, he said.

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Tsvangirai denies Zimbabwe plans to nationalize mines

Mar 9, 2011, 17:54 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday denied
that the government planned to nationalize foreign- owned mines.

Earlier, a senior official aligned to Tsvangirai's coalition partner
President Robert Mugabe said the government has resolved to nationalize 51
per cent of the key sector to form a sovereign wealth fund to finance

Minister of Youths, Empowerment and Indigenization, Saviour Kasukuwere, made
the comments to delegates attending an investment conference in the capital
Harare on Wednesday. He and other members of Mugabe's camp have made the
suggestions previously too.

'This Friday we are gazetting the minimum threshold for the mining sector.
We need the 51 per cent (equity) to come into our sovereign wealth fund,'
Kasakuwere said.

'We are all agreed as a government,' he added.

But Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka, denied there had been
agreement in the cabinet.

'A major decision cannot be taken without the approval of the prime
minister,' he said.

The formation of a power-sharing government some two years ago has brought
about some economic stability, but investors remain jittery over the
controversial 'indigenization' policy which Mugabe says is meant to empower
black Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe has minerals such as diamonds, uranium, chrome, platinum and gold.
Major companies such as Anglo American, Impala Platinum and Rio Tinto.

According to Kasukuwere, earnings from mineral exports in 2010 amounted to
1.7 billion US dollars, about 30 per cent of Zimbabwe`s estimated gross
domestic product. Government revenue from the industry totalled only 4
million US dollars, he said.

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Wildlife land reform policy will have huge impact on tourism

By Tichaona Sibanda
9 March 2011

A leading wildlife expert in Zimbabwe has warned that government’s push to
implement the controversial wildlife based land reform will have ‘a huge’
impact on tourism.

Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force told SW
Radio Africa on Wednesday that wildlife is the hallmark of tourism in
Zimbabwe and any further disturbances to the industry will kill off the

‘It’s a pity people are being used as political tools. Elections are coming
and this is why you have people who support the regime going into these
conservancies. Genuine conservationists had the welfare of animals at heart.

But to suggest that bringing in new faces aligned to one political party and
hope they will turn around wildlife conservancy as part of this new policy
is just fantasy and pure greed,’ Rodrigues said.

Authorities announced on Tuesday that they will now start forcing the
predominantly white conservancy owners to join with black partners in a new
round of so-called land reforms.

Parks and Wildlife Authority Director-General, Vitalis Chadenga, described
the new policy as ‘one of the unfinished businesses of the land reform
program’. It has mainly targeted ranches and conservancies situated in the
southern half of Zimbabwe.

Chadenga told the state controlled Herald the wildlife-based land reform
policy will see at least 60 indigenous people getting leases from the
government or ‘sharing’ conservancies with white former owners. Sharing
means the owners will be forced to give up 51% of their shares.

Most of those eyeing the conservancies are ZANU PF heavyweights and senior
military personnel, who include cabinet Minister Stan Mudenge, Masvingo
Governor Titus Maluleke, former deputy Minister Shuvai Mahofa, Major-General
Engelbert Rugeje and retired Brigadier-General Gibson Mashingaidze.

Rodrigues said wildlife management is a specialized field and people who
were qualified to care for the wildlife have been driven off their
properties to make way for people who, in most cases, have no experience in
the field.

‘A decade ago, we had 640 game ranches in Zimbabwe but its now gone down to
five. Of 14 conservancies before 2000, the last one was grabbed only
recently, leaving none at all. Animals are being killed indiscriminately and
there’s a lot of commercial poaching as well,’ Rodrigues added.

Unscrupulous hunters and safari operators from South Africa and Botswana are
targeting Zimbabwe and have reportedly been responsible for hunting the very
few animals left. They are also reportedly buying hunts from the new
settlers, who have no idea what hunts are really worth so they are paid a
very small sum, allowing huge profits to be made by the unscrupulous

‘Tourism is being hugely affected by this. They are spending millions
marketing tourism and telling the world they want the tourists to come back.
The tourists aren’t going to come back because the basics and principals of
the industry have been thrown out the window,’ according to Rodrigues.

Two years ago the head of the United Nations programme to protect endangered
species said that Zimbabwean security forces were spearheading the poaching
of elephants and rhinos in the country.

Willem Wijnstekers, secretary-general of the UN Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species, said that between 2008 – 2010 security forces
had killed about 200 rhinos, putting that population on the verge of
extinction in Zimbabwe.

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Police Quizz Two As They Suppress Zlhr Meeting


HRD’s Alert

9 March 2011




Police in Chinhoyi on Wednesday 9 March 2011 detained and quizzed two employees of Youth Dialogue Action Network and suppressed a meeting organized by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) on human rights and constitutionalism.

Police detained Owen Dhliwayo, the board chairperson of Youth Dialogue Action Network and Catherine Mukwapati, the organisation’s coordinator, who had partnered ZLHR in organising a training on human rights and constitutionalism for human rights defenders in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province.

Dhliwayo and Mukwapati were taken by the police from a church building at United Church of Christ (UCCZ), where the training was underway and detained at Chemagamba police station for four hours.

About 60 human rights defenders from various organisations had attended the meeting which was disrupted by the police, two hours into the meeting.

The police, who detained Dhliwayo and Mukwapati from 10:00 am to 14:00 pm took note of their identity numbers and residential addresses and advised them that they were going to make a follow up with them for allegedly organizing the meeting in Chinhoyi.

The police were reportedly interested in “quizzing” Tineyi Mukweva, a programmes assistant of ZLHR.



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82 year old languishes in prison as judge postpones hearing of AGs appeal against Hon. Mwonzora and villagers’ bail order

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights - logoVia ZLHR Press Release: An 82 year-old villager is amongst 24 detainees who are languishing in remand prison after High Court Judge Justice Susan Mavangira on Wednesday 9 March 2011 postponed the hearing of an appeal filed by the Attorney General (AG)’s Office challenging a bail order granted to the Nyanga villagers.

Rwisai Nyakauro aged 82 years, who resides in Nyakauro Village is among 24 detainees who are detained at Mutare Remand Prison including Nyanga North Member of Parliament and Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Hon. Douglas Mwonzora pending the consideration of an appeal against their bail order, which was granted on Monday 21 February 2011 by Magistrate Ignatio Mhene.

Justice Mavangira presided over the appeal hearing on Wednesday 9 March 2011 after defence lawyers took the extraordinary task of collecting the record of proceedings from Nyanga Magistrates Court and transcribed it for the Judge after she had noted that the record of proceedings was incomplete as some pages were missing.

The Judge postponed the hearing of the appeal to Thursday 10 March 2011 to allow Edmore Nyazamba, a law officer from the AG’s Office to respond to some point in limine raised by Hon. Mwonzora and the villagers’ lawyers Trust Maanda, Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bamu.

The villagers’ lawyers pointed out that the State’s appeal was not properly before Justice Mavangira as Nyazamba had not served a copy on Magistrate Mhene in conformity with High Court bail rules to allow him to make a comment if he so wished.

In his submissions Nyazamba argued that the bail order should be withdrawn because Magistrate Mhene misdirected himself by granting bail to the villagers.

Defence lawyers insisted that Magistrate Mhene had not erred in granting bail to Hon. Mwonzora and the villagers and hence the State’s appeal should be dismissed


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SA resumes fight to keep Zim election report secret

By Alex Bell
09 March 2011

South Africa’s Presidency has resumed its fight to keep a report on Zimbabwe’s
2002 elections secret, filing an appeal against a Supreme Court order to
release the details.

The Mail & Guardian newspaper has been trying to have the report released
since 2008, saying the information gathered by South Africa about Zimbabwe’s
election was of enormous public interest. In 2002 the then President Thabo
Mbeki, commissioned Judge Sisi Khampepe and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang
Moseneke to visit Zimbabwe and report back on the state of the election. The
report was handed over to Mbeki but never made public, although the former
President insisted the electoral process in Zimbabwe was completely

The newspaper’s efforts to get the report were repeatedly denied and
eventually the High Court was brought in to rule on the matter. The Court
ruled in the newspaper’s favour in June last year, ordering the government
to hand over the report within 10 days. But the Presidency then announced
that it would appeal the ruling.

In December that appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court after a unanimous
decision by five judges, who said that there was no need to change the High
Court’s findings on the matter. But the government immediately stated its
intentions to appeal, and made submissions to the Constitutional Court last

The Presidency has argued that sufficient evidence was placed before the
courts in justifying their refusal of access to the report. The case is set
to be heard in May.

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Mthwakazi Leaders Treason Case Postponed

09/03/2011 17:33:00

Bulawayo, March 09,2011 - The refusal of remand hearing in Mthwakazi
Liberation Front (MLF) leaders’ treason case ended prematurely on Wednesday
at Bulawayo regional magistrate court after the defence team objected to the
state’s move to bring as witness a senior police officer who was present in
court when the hearing began.

The three MLF senior executive members Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles
Gumbo were arrested on Friday in different locations in Bulawayo and were
charged with treason after found distributing party flyers.

On Tuesday a refusal of remand hearing began after their defence team led by
Advocate Lucas Nkomo made an application for bail before regional magistrate
John Masimba.

On Wednesday the state brought three police officers from the Bulawayo
Central police station’s Law and Order Section to testify, but only two
managed to give evidence in court after the defence team objected against
the third police officer to testify which led to the adjournment of hearing.

“Your worship we are objecting to the state’s idea of bringing Detective
Sergeant George Ngwenya to testify in this court, as he was seated in this
court and listening when the proceedings in this hearing began yesterday,”
said Nkomo.

Magistrate Masimba then called both the defence team and state into chambers
before adjourning the case to Thursday.

Two other police officers who testified were Constable Patrice Nyanhete and
Constable Alois Chidhakwa who got the court into stitches when he said he
did not know the real reason why he arrested Gumbo.

The three MLF leaders were remanded in custody and sent back to Khami
Maximum Remand prison.

The militant and radical MLF was launched in January this year and is
advocating for the independence of the Matabeleland region located in the
southern part of Zimbabwe saying the Ndebele speaking people of have been
marginalized by the government for too long and also face discrimination
every day at work places and tertiary institutions.

The call for Matabeleland secession from Zimbabwe appeared to have been
encouraged by events in South Sudan where people there voted overwhelmingly
to break away from mainland Sudan in a referendum.

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Row between Mkoba Teachers' College and Former Students Deepens

09/03/2011 11:09:00

Gweru, March 09, 2011 - The row between Mkoba Teacher's College (MTC) here
and about 200 of its former students over refusal by the college to grant
them certificates, two years after graduation for non-payment, is continuing
with the students now living destitute lives.

"The college has withheld our results and certificates because we have not
been able to pay school fees. I owe the school US$1200," said one trained
teacher who cannot find unemployment because of lack of a certificate."What
surprises me is that the college has refused to negotiate on how we can
solve the problem."

The student who refused to give his name said him and over 200 others in the
same predicament had tried to negotiate with the college so that it could
facilitate employment with government and their salaries withheld until they
repay their debts but this was turned down.

"They are not getting anything from us as long as we are not working because
we do not have the money. They are not gaining anything by holding on to our
certificates except further impoverishing us,” said the bitter teacher

Wilbert Muringani of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) told
Radio VOP that it was sad that an agreement had not been reached at a time
when most schools had temporary teachers.

He also said the holding on to the results by the college without the
students being able to pay money did not help MTC in any way. He however,
said the teachers to be had not yet approached the union.

The students lost their case in the court last year which ruled in favour of
the college and ordered them to pay the money so that they could get hold of
their certificates. The students had sought the assistance of the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights.

One of the lawyers who represented the students, Brian Dube of
Gundu,Mawarire and partners who is also the Midlands Regional NANGO
(National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations) chairperson, added
that it was unfortunate that the college had refused this arrangement
which,"would help the college in recovering money owed by students, and in
return the students are able to clear their debt to the college," Dube

MTC principal Florence Dube insisted when approached by Radio VOP for a
comment that it was a requirement that students pay fees.

She said when the students enrolled into college, their admission forms
clearly stated that they should pay fees. She would not comment on why the
college refused to facilitate the students’ employment with government so
that they could re-pay their debt.

Dube said it was saddening that in Zimbabwe, children were still being
punished for being poor.

"The teachers were not taking the college to court so that they can be given
their results without paying fees. The students took the college to court so
that they could get an arrangement where the college could send confirmation
of results to the Ministry to confirm they are trained teachers so that they
can be employed. The students had agreed that they would want the college to
arrange with the Salary Service Bureau to have their salaries deposited into
the college's account to service the debt," Dube said.

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Stop meddling in education - Coltart

By Chengetai Zvauya, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 19:24

HARARE - The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, David Coltart has
warned political parties not to meddle in the education sector.

The Minister told Parliament on Wednesday that the government will not allow
war veterans to offer history lessons of the liberation struggle to students
in  schools.

He was responding to a question from Shepherd Mushonga, the Member of
Parliament for Mazowe in Mashonaland Central, who wanted to know if it was
now government policy to allow war veterans to teach history lessons of the
liberation struggle in schools.

The MP said he had a letter from the headmaster of Kakora Secondary School
in his constituency from war veterans  who had  informed him they would
visit the school this week to to teach history.

“I have a letter from Mazowe written by the headmaster of Kakora Secondary
School confirming that the war veterans and  Zanu PF youths wanted to take
over this school and I want to know whether it is government to allow those
acts to happen,’’ asked Mushonga.

Coltart said the government did not allow unqualified and untrained people
to associate themselves with the education sector.

“The political parties should not meddle in education. We should not expose
school children to politics as it is against the Education Act. Schools
should not be used for politics. I want the MP’s to support me in trying to
stop what is now happening,’’ said Coltart.

The Minister said he was concerned by the high number of teacher transfers
from schools after intimidation by political party youths, especially in
rural areas.

Recently, Coltart took issue of reports that some school children had been
forced to take part in a competition to draw the portrait of President
Mugabe as part of events to mark the 21st February Movement celebrations, a
Zanu PF  event that has been turned into a national one to mark Mugabe’s

During the 2008 elections scores of teachers fled rural schools after being
beaten up and accused of supporting the Movement For Democratic Change.

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Court in Mwonzora bail hearing

By Staff Writer
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 18:32

HARARE - High Court judge, Justice Susan Mavhangira, on Wednesday heard
submissions from both the defence and the state in the trial of Nyanga North
Member of Parliament, Douglas Mwonzora and 24 others who are facing
political violence charges.

“Submissions were heard from both parties today (Wednesday) and the bail
hearing continues tomorrow with the State opposing our submissions,”
Jeremiah Bamu the MP’s lawyer told the Daily News.

The State is opposing the granting  of bail to the accused, who are being
held at Mutare remand prison, saying they are facing a ‘serious’ charge. The
25 were arrested on political violence charges after disturbances in
Mwonzora’s consituency after the legislator had addressed a rally.

Nyanga magistrate, Ignatius Mhene had granted Mwonzora and his co-accused
bail but the State invoked the infamous Section 121 of the sub-section 3 of
the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which overrides the magistrate’s

Bamu said the State’s submissions on Wednesday were improperly done before
the courts as the prosecution failed to serve magistrate Mhene with their
arguments which oppose his ruling to grant Mwonzora and others bail. Bamu
said Mhene should have been notified about the State’s arguments or position
in the High Court.

Mwonzora was arrested outside Parliament more than two weeks ago on violence
charges while the other 24 were arrested in his Nyanga constituency.

Mwonzora’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai has complained that their officials and supporters are
being persecuted by the police whom they claim are partisan.

The MDC says the police are harassing their party and claim the police are
partisan to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

In a related case, the MDC said it’s Zhombe MP, Rodgers Tazviona and four
party members remain held in custody on charges of threatening a traditional

“The bail application by Zhombe MP, Hon. Rodgers Tazviona and four other MDC
members has been set for 23 March at the High Court after the lawyers made a
bail application yesterday (Tuesday). Hon. Tazviona was arrested last month
on trumped up charges of threatening a chief. He is still in custody,” the
MDC said.

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President Mugabe Skips International Investment Conference

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Finance Minister Tendai Biti
and Investment Minister Tapiwa Mashakada, among other officials, told
conference delegates that they should consider direct investment in the
country despite the climate of political uncertainty

Gibbs Dube | Washington  08 March 2011

An anticipated clash of economic and social philosophies failed to
materialize Tuesday at the Euromoney Investment Conference in Harare,
Zimbabwe, as President Robert Mugabe sent his apologies leaving Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to pitch the country's attractions to about 300
international investors.

Mr. Mugabe, who recently threatened to seize foreign-owned firms if Western
sanctions are not lifted, said he had an earlier engagement in Harare.

Mr. Tsvangirai, Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Investment Minister Tapiwa
Mashakada, among other officials, told conference delegates that they should
consider direct investment in the country despite considerable political

Mr. Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe needs free and fair elections to attract
foreign investment. “We cannot attract foreign investors without fully
implementing the Global Political Agreement [for power sharing] signed by
the three parties,” he said.

Taking a shot at ZANU-PF, Mr. Tsvangirai said that one party in the unity
government party has not abandoned its culture of violence, leaving
investors skeptical.

British Ambassador Mark Canning, who attended the opening ceremony, said the
conference will do much to highlight Zimbabwe’s economic potential.

Economist Eric Bloch said he believes President Mugabe stayed away to avoid
telling delegates his party wants to seize foreign-owned firms.

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Birth of indigenisation super minister

09 March, 2011 06:43:00    VINCENT KAHIYA

IN May last year Public Service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro took umbrage
at his MDC-T colleague Finance minister Tendai Biti’s announcement that
government had frozen civil servants’ salaries.

His gripe was that the Finance minister was encroaching into his purview as
Labour minister. He warned Biti that “government did not operate on the
basis of super ministers”.

“All issues pertaining to the Ministry of Public Service, i.e., remuneration
issues, conditions of service, human resources policy and management, etc,
are the responsibility and central mandate of the responsible minister and
no one else,” Mukonoweshuro said.

“This government does not operate on the basis of super ministers who may
frequently arrogate to themselves responsibilities that are neither in their
present province of competence nor designated mandate.”

There is perhaps no greater evidence of this arrogation of overarching
powers by a minister than the influence that Indigenisation and Youth
minister Saviour Kasukuwere is exerting across portfolios in the unity

Biti’s actions, like those of any Finance minister, are bound to encroach
into domains of other ministries. His colleagues, as was the case with
Mukonoweshuro, can however publicly censure him for trespassing. Kasukuwere
is however living a charmed life. Who in Zanu PF can publicly raise a finger
against him at the moment?

He has become a super minister who currently has the nation in a spin as he
throws his weight around, and in many an instance, literally.

This newfound power has been given impetus by President Robert Mugabe,
constantly urging him to target certain firms for expropriation.

He now carries the President’s brief on the indigenisation project and isn’t
he loving it; like a kid with a new toy.

His boisterous behaviour at a business dialogue organised by our sister
paper the Zimbabwe Independent last year, was no flash in the pan. He is
enjoying his place in the sun.

As the presidential wind blows under Kasukuwere’s wings, what is more than
apparent is the power that the minister now wields in other portfolios
including those that are held by his colleagues in Zanu PF.

He can decide investment policy and who invests in banking, mining,
industry, farming, tourism and infrastructure development.

All these sectors are manned by whole ministers who now have Kasukuwere as
an unseen guest at all meetings with potential investors.

His feverish behaviour however, we are told, is an agitation for equitable
distribution of wealth.

But cynics like myself are worried whether with his newfound political
power, Kasukuwere would achieve the desired goals of wealth distribution and
at the same time ensure that the economy continues on the recovery path.

Political ambition and sweeping legislative power are not always the right
ingredients to achieving prudent development in a country.

Kasukuwere’s political power is not just resident in the word of the
President but also in the indigenisation law, which is laced with clauses
that appear to have been crafted to transfer wealth to a specific group of

The minister, under the law, is empowered to come up with a register of
persons who are potential beneficiaries of controlling interests in
non-indigenous businesses.

The law is silent on the criteria set out for the purpose of determining who
ought to be entered on the database and who ought to be excluded.

Researcher Derek Matyszak, writing on the Idasa website, says: “The
legislation merely provides that if the minister is satisfied that the
application is made in good faith, the applicant shall be registered in the

Does this not leave the minister with fairly broad discretionary powers as
to who may be put forward as a participant in an indigenisation scheme?

That is not all. The law also gives the minister what Matyszak refers to as
“unfettered discretion to decide whether to approve or reject an
indigenisation plan or to attach conditions to such a plan”.

Matyszak adds: “This arrangement leaves the possibility of plans being
accepted or rejected on the basis of who — rather than what — is proposed in
the indigenisation plan. Rejection may be based upon the extent to which the
terms of indigenisation are beneficial to the person identified as a partner
rather than whether they meet the criteria set out in the Act.

Although the exercise of the discretion ought to depend upon compliance with
legislated indigenisation requirements, cronyism and corruption in this
regard will be extremely difficult to prove or prevent.

“By placing the procedure in the hands of the minister rather than the board
and by giving the minister such a broad discretion, the legislation thus
appears purposely designed to allow the minister the possibility of
compelling, against the threat of rejection of an indigenisation plan, the
inclusion of selected individuals identified by the minister in
indigenisation plans and the inclusion of such persons only on terms which
the minister deems sufficiently beneficial. Oddly, and significantly, no
appeal lies against a ministerial decision to reject an indigenisation plan
other than in limited specified circumstances.”

The rejection of indigenisation plans has already started.

The jury is still out on whether the rejections have anything to do with
political patronage.

What’s fundamental though is that Kasukuwere as a super minister needs to
tread with caution in the employment of the power in his grasp.

His peers cannot challenge him lest they are accused of rebelling against
the executive.

The MDC side of the unity government is usually dismissed as insidious
elements who have always opposed President Mugabe’s empowerment policies.

On two key moments lately, President Mugabe has openly urged Kasukuwere to
unleash the indigenisation project on select firms.

This is usually all one needs to be a super minister: Mugabe’s word.

As he exercises the presidential will, he should be mindful of history.

A number of his colleagues in government have travelled this road before.

Jonathan Moyo, Joseph Made, Didymus Mutasa and RBZ governor Gideon Gono have
at some point in their lives earned this uncanny distinction of supermen.

It lasted as long as their principal allowed them to bask in the glory.

There is a game President Mugabe plays very effectively. It is disempowering
one group to empower his man of the moment. - This article was first
published in the NewsDay

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Zanu (PF) Senator Seeks Class Action Against EU Over Sanctions

09/03/2011 11:11:00

Harare, March 09, 2011 – A Zanu (PF) Senator Guy Georgias has moved a motion
in Parliament for the inclusive government to institute a class action
against the European Union (EU) at the European Court of Justice (ECJ)
against the contentious targeted measures slammed on President Robert Mugabe
and his inner cabal.

In a motion before the senate, Georgias, demanded that the Western powers
withdraw the targeted measures. President Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party
insist the sanctions are full-blown and not targeted.

“Disturbed that the real victims of the sanctions are the ordinary and poor
people of Zimbabwe, aware that the sanctions on Zimbabwe are punitive,
generally political and a tool for the continued domination
of developing countries, I now therefore resolve to call on the inclusive
government to constitute a class action against the EU at the European Court
of Justice (ECJ) of First Instance against the illegal, unjustified, hostile
and racial sanctions,” reads part of Georgias motion.

He demanded that the West withdraw the measures as well as an end to what
the Zanu (PF) politician describe as the West’s propaganda against Zimbabwe.

“(The inclusive government should) mobilise international support for the
repeal of the sanctions and unlocking of bilateral aid and financial support
as well as international good will,” read the motion.

The EU, which imposed the sanctions in 2001 citing a flawed elections and
gross human rights abuses, has maintained that it will not remove the
measures due to on-going human rights violation although in
February it struck off 35 Zanu (PF) officials as a gesture of good will.

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Zanu abusing Govt - US ambassador

Written by Munyaradzi Dube
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 17:41

HARARE - Zanu (PF) is currently abusing the government with adverts in
newspapers and on the state radio attacking the so-called sanctions and
people in the country who do no ascribe to their views, the United States
Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray   said.

Since the launch of the so-called anti-sanctions campaign, Zanu (PF) has
been running full length adverts in the state media with a government

"It is very disappointing to see full page ads from the Zanu (PF)
Information Department under the heading 'Government of Zimbabwe' and
adorned with the great Zimbabwean coat of arms. Zanu (PF) is a political
party, which does not speak for the government of this great country.
Additionally, Zanu (PF), which is part of the government, has its own symbol
that is quite distinct from the Zimbabwean coat of arms," said Ray.

The former ruling party last week formed an anti-sanctions committee that is
chaired by Vice President John Nkomo. However, other members in the
Inclusive Government have distanced themselves from the sham describing it
as a Zanu (PF) project.

Acting President Nkomo said in a statement that thousands of people who were
forced to attend the anti-sanctions launch demonstrated that they were
against sanctions.

"This exceptional support was an emphatic statement to Britain, the European
Union, America and to all those interests which have slapped sanctions
against the people of Zimbabwe," said Nkomo.

In reality there are no sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe, but rather
targeted measures on a few individuals. USA, America and Britain in
particular have played a significant role in extending aid to the people of

Many people in both rural and urban communities have benefited significantly
from USAID and other western donors. Yet Zanu (PF) says that sanctions are
"an attack on all Zimbabweans."

The United States dispelled the anti-sanctions rhetoric as unfounded.

Said Ray, "the ZANU-PF Information Department is using misinformation and
completely unrelated facts to mislead the public. The facts are:

1. For more than ten years, Zimbabwe has been ineligible to receive any type
of international loan, regardless of U.S. and EU opinions, due to its
leaders' failure to make payments on its debt. Zimbabwe's unpaid debts to
the African Development Bank, IMF, and World Bank put a stop to lending long
before there were sanctions.

2. Zimbabwe's current political and economic environment, including fresh
threats from the President on his birthday to take over established
companies, has a chilling effect on new investment, both domestic and
international. Banks and other businesses are responsible to their share
holders, and find it increasingly difficult to justify investing in such a
high risk environment. Only economic stabilization
and political sanity will change this.

3. Fewer than 120 Zimbabweans are named on the legal U.S. sanctions list,
almost all of them Zanu (PF) leaders who had a hand in political violence
against their fellow citizens.  They may not travel to the U.S. or do
business with U.S. companies because Americans do not want them to enjoy the
fruits of their corruption on our soil.  This does not hurt other
Zimbabweans.  What hurts the rest of the country is the corruption,
mismanagement, and lack of social investment that has brought development to
a standstill.

The former ruling party has exclusive control of the state media and abuses
it to attack Mugabe's political rivals.

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U.S. Disagrees with Zimbabwe Foreign Minister's Comments on Iran Sanctions

Philip J. Crowley

Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC

March 8, 2011

Daily Press Briefing - March 8, 2011 (Excerpt)

MR. CROWLEY: Well, it’s really about the future and the autonomy and effectiveness of the bank.

Secretary Clinton this morning met with Australian Prime Minister Gillard. They talked about a number of issues, but in detail about the situation in Afghanistan and the fact that Australia continues to be an important partner in the NATO-led mission. They also talked about ongoing developments in the Middle East as well as Australia’s recovery from recent devastating floods.

Turning to Cote d’Ivoire, on Monday evening, the television controlled by former President Gbagbo announced that the purchase and sale of coffee and cocoa will be undertaken exclusively by the Gbagbo regime. His plan to nationalize the cocoa industry of Cote d’Ivoire, which is the world’s largest supplier of cocoa beans, amounts to theft. It is another desperate act on his campaign to cling to power. You’ll recall that President Ouattara imposed a ban on cocoa exports in January. He renewed that ban in February, and we continue to be gratified that leading U.S. importers continue to respect the ban as established by President Ouattara.

Staying in the region, we noticed yesterday that Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Mumbengegwi indicated that in his view, the existing sanctions regime against Iran is, as he called it, unfair and hypocritical. We disagree. Working with Iran on uranium extraction violates international nonproliferation obligations as well as the threat posed by – to the international – to national security by the assistance to Iran’s nuclear program. Such activity violates obligations contained in U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1929.

But this is all part of an ongoing effort by Iran to escape its growing isolation by offering to bolster trade and other economic ties with receptive governments, such as Zimbabwe. The foreign minister of Zimbabwe is entitled to his opinion, but the Government of Zimbabwe is still bound by its commitments to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

QUESTION: Is there anything you can do to stop that?

MR. CROWLEY: Well --

QUESTION: Does it stop it, or is there any penalty for Zimbabwe?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, there are potential international penalties, although obviously, Zimbabwe has its own issues with the international community, including the United States.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

MR. CROWLEY: Well, there are ramifications for countries that decline to observe their international obligations under UN Security Council resolutions. I mean, what we’re indicating here is that it’s incumbent upon Zimbabwe to heed its own obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) I’m trying to get a sense of what they might face if they go ahead with it.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I don’t have a catalog for you other than we are indicating our concern about the statements that suggest that Zimbabwe would be open to cooperating with Iran in ways that violate UN Security Council resolutions.

QUESTION: Does the U.S. have any evidence that they are doing this already?

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t know that we have any evidence that there are any operational uranium mines in Zimbabwe. But certainly, we have ongoing concerns about the behavior of Zimbabwe, its own human rights abuses. This is a – it would be quite a match for Iran and Zimbabwe to cooperate.

A complete transcript of the Daily Press Briefing is available at:


Issued by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section, Harare. Enquiries and comments should be directed to Sharon Hudson Dean, Public Affairs Officer, Url:





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Veld fires destroyed timber

Written by Zwanai Sithole
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 17:37

HARARE - Veld Fires emanating from newly resettled farmers last year
destroyed a total of 1 694.3 hectares of timber in Manicaland province, it
has been revealed.

The statistics released by the Timber Producers Federation (TPF) cited
Chimanimani and Nyanga districts as the most affected areas. The TPF
statistics show that between July and November last year , 257 forest fires
were reported and destroyed 9 586 hectares of timber which constitutes 12
per cent of Zimbabwe's pine population.

Pine is grown on a 25-year rotation and the area affected by the fires was
equivalent to what would normally be harvested in a three year period. Fires
emanating from neighbouring newly resettled areas destroyed a total of 1
694.3 hectares, with honey hunters and human negligence also contributing to
the veld fires.

TPF described last year as one of the most affected in the history of timber
plantations in Manicaland which is also the hub of the timber industry in
the country. Illegal settlers have set up pole and dagger huts in most
timber plantations in Chimanimani and Nyanga.

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Only 30 signed “sanctions” petition

Written by John Makumbe
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 09:37

The circus is back in town with the frog-marching of thousands of poor
people from several Harare suburbs and surrounding areas to witness the
launching of the Zanu (PF) anti-sanctions campaign.  What a load of utter
rubbish. The ridiculous and meaningless petition was signed by less than 30
people at the launch. The rest had been forced to simply come and “witness”
the event.
Needless to say most of these people were very angry at being forced to come
and watch something that was totally of no redeeming value to them and to
this country. They hated Mugabe and Zanu (PF) for this type of repression. I
bet some of these people vowed never again to vote for the former liberation
party and its first secretary. The whole event was a sweet vote for Morgan
Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party come next elections.
This futile exercise was undertaken in order to impress upon the ailing
Mugabe that he was very popular with the masses in Zimbabwe, and that his
collapsed party had suddenly become very popular once again. Well, nothing
can be further from the truth, and good old Mugabe knows the truth.
He knows that the so-called anti-sanctions petition will not result in the
targeted sanctions and restrictive measures being lifted. He knows that both
the Sadc and the AU will simply pay lip service to the petition while their
member state delegates will be laughing their lungs out in the corridors of
good governance in their countries. Indeed, on the presentation of the
signed petition, with more than two million (forced and fictitious)
signatures, some of the leaders of the member states of the SADC and the AU
will realize that the old man has finally gone completely senile.
The petitioned countries are likely to frame the document and hang it in
some of their halls as classic examples of how they have fought against evil
dictators in Africa and elsewhere in the world. They are not going to review
their anti-dictatorship policies as a result of this piece of BS from the
Zimbabwean dictator. Is it not ironic that the petition was signed while
almost 100 supporters and leaders of some political parties and civic
organizations were either incarcerated or had court cases pending against
them courtesy of the Zanu Repressive Police (ZRP)?
Several WOZA members were also locked up and MDC-T meetings had been banned
in Kadoma. It was signed when there was a noticeable increase in incidents
of Zanu (PF) sponsored violence in some parts of the country. It was also
signed when the army had been deployed to several high-density suburbs in
Harare. In other words, the very conditions that had caused civilized
countries to impose sanctions and restrictive measures on Mugabe and his
underlings had in fact intensified by the time the ridiculous petition was
But the futility and desperation of the whole circus was highlighted when
the Prime Minister and his two deputies were placed on the programme as some
of the dignitaries who were going to sing the rubbish. Thank God none of
them even bothered to show up at the venue rightly arguing that it was a
Zanu (PF) thing.
Both the state mouthpiece aka the Herald and the sick ZBC had informed the
nation that the PM and his deputies were going to sign the self-serving and
partisan document. The number of people that were at the venue was aimed at
impressing Mugabe that it was now opportune to call an election which he
would win. Fortunately the geriatric has other sources of information and he
knows that he cannot win a free and fair election now or ever against
Tsvangirai and his unstoppable MDC-T. Get well soon, sekuru.

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Harare parking marshals working under police protection

By Lance Guma
09 March 2011

Police in the capital, Harare, have had to be roped-in to protect parking
marshals, a day after a mob of ZANU PF youths seized Easipark, a South
African company contracted to manage parking and towing services.

On Monday the youths raided the company premises and chased the management
team away claiming they were taking over under ZANU PF’s so-called
empowerment drive. Speaking to SW Radio Africa the Mayor of Harare,
Muchadeyi Masunda, told us the ‘disturbances’ were over by 11am of the same

“This is not the first time we have had a brush with this organization
called ‘Upfumi Kuvadiki’. Sometime last month they presented a petition
making all sorts of demands. The message has been conveyed to them in the
clearest terms possible that there is simply no way that we are going to be
cajoled by anyone to breach an agreement that we entered into with
 Easipark,” Masunda said.

Responding to claims from the youths that their takeover was part of an
empowerment drive for locals, Masunda told us; “You can’t get an
organization that is more indigenous than the City of Harare.” Under the
joint venture with the South Africa company the City pockets 60 percent of
the proceeds from parking and towing fees and after 5 years will be able to
take full control of the project.

One of the Easipark managers confirmed that their marshals had resumed work
under police protection and they had been able to reopen their offices. With
the propaganda of the ‘empowerment drive’ having been achieved, police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed they protected Easipark on Tuesday and
warned the youths to desist from any violent takeover of the firm.

Behind the scenes however, the Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo
and Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, have been inciting the youths to
continue agitating for the takeover. One of the youths involved in Monday’s
violent takeover confirmed they had the blessings of Chombo and Kasukuwere
and would meet the Mayor on Thursday to ‘discuss’ their takeover plans.

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India's Essar to Spend $750 Million to Revamp Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Mill

By Nelson Gore Banya and Brian Latham - Mar 10, 2011 4:31 AM GMT+1000

India’s Essar Group took control of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Co. in a
deal that will see the Zisco mill refurbished, said Welshman Ncube, the
southern African nation’s Industry Minister.

“In broad terms, the agreement provides for Essar to take over and release
the Zimbabwean government from its debt obligations,” Ncube said in Harare,
the capital, today. “Essar will also complete all work relating to the
re-lining of the blast furnaces and coke oven batteries,” he said. Essar,
through its Essar Africa Holdings Ltd. unit, will invest $750 million in the
first phase of the project, Ncube added.

Zisco, which was state controled, hasn’t operated since 2004 when it closed
due to mounting debts and ageing equipment. Essar will have a 54 percent
stake in the company, Ncube said.

Essar Africa’s Vice Chairman Ravi Ruia said his company would have to first
put in place “coal, uninterrupted electricity supplies, transport and
logistics” in order to re- open the steel mill.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe blocked the sale of Zisco to ArcelorMittal
in June last year, saying the company was “too big” for the country.

Essar, which won a subsequent bid for Zisco, plans to produce steel within
12 to 15 months from now, Ruia said.

In a second phase, Essar will rehabilitate the rail link between
Redcliff-based Zisco and the Hwange Colliery Co. in western Zimbabwe. Hwange
is Zimbabwe’s biggest digger of coal, which is needed to fire furnaces at
Zisco’s plant.

Essar will be the steelmaker’s biggest shareholder, with government holding
a minority 35 percent and the balance held by other shareholders, Ncube

“Zisco is totally insolvent, with debts in excess of $340 million. It has no
value as a company and its debts exceed its assets,” Ncube said, adding that
most bidders valued the company at about $45 million during the due
diligence process.

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The Dilemma of farm labourers

      Posted on Wednesday 9 March 2011 - 10:04
          Misheck Rusere, AfricaNews reporter in Harare, Zimbabwe

      Martin Kalembo and his family migrated to Zimbabwe in 1986 from Malawi
when his country's economy was not doing well and hoped for a better life
there, they later found work on the farm of one white commercial farmer
where they became farm labourers.
      Most of Kalembo’s kinsmen later joined him after his communication
with them that he was now living a better life, as compared to their lives
back home. However, Kalembo was not the first from Malawi to migrate to
Zimbabwe but other foreign nationals from other neighbouring countries had
also settled in the Southern African country.

      “I came here in 1986 after realizing that life was now unbearable back
home where we had to rely on begging to feed the family. My fellow
countrymen latter followed when I told them that life here in Zimbabwe was
better than the one we where leading back in Malawi,” said Kalembo.

      While most of the foreign nationals felt at home on these farms as
farm labourers, most of them had no positive identification particulars like
the national identity documents as they were not registered through the
Registrar of Births and Deaths, where Zimbabweans obtain their identity
documents. This has resulted in them failing to acquire identity documents
which are essential when acquiring formal education and employment.

      Despite having been a happy farm community at Major Brown farm in
Glendale, about 70 km North of the capital Harare, some very sad faces could
easily be noticed on the residents’ faces when this writer visited the

      Asked to explain their ordeal, most former farm workers pointed out to
the land redistribution which was radically led by Zanu (PF) and war
veterans as the agents to their demise as the current new black farmers who
took over from the commercial white farmers do no pay them reasonably after
working for them.

      Little wage

      “We used to send our kids to school from money earned from these farms
but with the new black farmers, it is totally impossible to send them to
school because they pay as little a dollar for a day’s work,” said another
farm worker at Major Brown.

      One social analyst Dr Abel Kasi described the current scenario facing
farm labourers as a bid by the new farmers to breed cheap farm labour
through paying slave wages that will not allow them to send their children
to school.

      “In my own view these new farmers have realized that if the farm
labourers send their children to school they will eventually run out of
labour so they want keep the farm labourers and their children uneducated so
that there is a constant supply of labour,” said Kasi.

      However, Dr Kasi’s analysis was somewhat a reflection of the situation
on the ground as the farm labourers’ children of school going age are also
actively working on the farms owned by the new farmers in a bid to sustain
themselves as they cannot be sent to school. This is however a violation of
the children’s rights as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the
rights of the Child in which Zimbabwe is signatory.

      In an interview with, thirteen-year-old Maria Saini who
went only up to grade three said she had to help her parents provide for
their family given that the money they receive from the farmers is not

      “If I work for one month, I will get twenty five dollars while both my
parents will get $30 each on the grounds that they are adults. This is
however not enough to take care of our food, clothing, and school among
other essentials,” said Maria.

      Child labour

      Labor and social services Minister however indicated that the practice
of child labor was against the laws of Zimbabwe as well as some other
regional and international conventions to which the country is signatory.

      “It is against the laws of this country to have a child who is less
than 18 years of age going to work, it amounts to child labour and it is not
acceptable here in Zimbabwe,” she said.

      The spokesperson of the country’s General Agricultural Plantation
Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), Tapiwa Zivira said the practice of
allowing children to work is against their rights. He also distanced his
organization from the practice.

      “GAPWUZ observes the law and values children and their rights as such
it is very much against the practice of child labour and none of them form
part of our membership,” he said.

      “We are also part of the Coalition Against Child Labour in Zimbabwe
(CACLAZ) which seeks to end child labour by raising awareness and engaging
in projects aimed at bringing children back to school,” said Zivira.

      The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has set the minimum age
limit for anyone to be admitted into the employment industry at 18 years of
age which is also Zimbabwe’s legal age of majority.

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WOZA leader Jenni Williams on Question Time

Written by SW Radio Africa
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 07:58

SW Radio Africa journalist Lance Guma speaks to Jenni Williams who leads the
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group. Williams responds to
questions sent in by SW Radio Africa listeners using facebook, twitter,
skype, e-mail and texts. Will protests as seen in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya
ever take place in Zimbabwe? She also responds to accusations that WOZA are
not team players and won’t engage with other pressure groups.

Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and welcome to Question Time, the
programme where you the listener get to ask the questions. Our guest this
week is Jenni Williams who leads the Women of Zimbabwe Arise, WOZA pressure
group. Jenni thank you for joining us.

Jenni Williams: Thank you for having me on the programme even though you are
going to question me so harshly.

Guma: Now the last two weeks have been dominated by the arrest of close to a
hundred activists and WOZA members have also been locked up by the regime.
Let’s start the programme with an update on what has happened so far.

Williams: Yes, we are a little bit upset or depressed right now because we
believe that magistrates are to be on strike in Bulawayo and unfortunately
their timing is bad because my seven colleagues who were just on their way
to appear in court and we also believe that the police are being very nasty
and wanting to deny my colleagues bail even after torturing them and abusing
them and denying them so many rights in these last 48 hours.

Guma: What do you think is the motive for this crackdown? Because it started
in Nyanga, they arrested Douglas Mwonzora, they arrested Gwisai and the
other 45 activists, Job Sikhala, WOZA members. Why is this happening?

Williams: Well this is not something new. This is ZANU PF that everyone
should know, operates on violence, the campaigns are always motivated by
violence and propaganda issues and this is a regime that is sanctioning the
liberties of their own people and so they will target civil rights
activists, they will target human rights defenders because they know that
those people are the ones educating and empowering people with their
knowledge of their rights and getting them to begin to imagine a Zimbabwe
where there’s no fear, no violence, where they can actually leave home at 8
o’clock and go to a job and come back at 5 and know that they are planning
that on Friday they will do this or that, they will enjoy this or that with
their families and this is a regime that doesn’t want that. They don’t want
empowered people.

Guma: Lawton Bhila from Bulawayo wants to know from you whether protests
seen in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya will ever happen in Zimbabwe and if not,

Williams: Well I can’t say whether they will happen in Zimbabwe or not
because I would need a crystal ball for that but what I can say is that from
what I understand of what is happening in north Africa and what is happening
right now in other parts of Africa is a sign of ordinary citizens becoming
empowered, getting knowledge and understanding of a deeper kind of democracy
and then that deepening in that global village, people then begin to say we
want this and they begin to look at options of how they are going to get it.

And the world is becoming more and more conscious of the power, people
power, of the power of non-violence, of the power of numbers, human
resources, people committed to binding together in unity to deliver
something and people are also becoming aware that it’s not only an election
where you go and you give power or you remove power but it’s also through
voting with your feet in peaceful protest.

And I feel that people have to understand that the events that we see on the
television are not just things that started when we started seeing them on
the television. This is years of mobilisation, it’s years of work-shopping,
meetings, it’s educating people, it’s providing forums for people where they
can begin to discuss and understand issues.

And so its not a one time event, it’s years of mobilisation and we need, in
Zimbabwe I feel that civic society, social rights activists are not as
committed to that hard underground work that needs being done. They just
think that if they just send an email saying Million Citizen March that
people will suddenly just be millions in the streets. It doesn’t work like
that and it did not work like that in Tunisia, Egypt or any of these other
African countries.

Guma: Now you’ve just raised an issue that we obviously would like to ask –
the Million Citizen March that was organised on FaceBook. The regime of
course deployed soldiers, police, they made quite a presence to try and
pre-empt this – in your view, why do you think that failed? If at all
someone was behind that who was genuine, why did it fail?

Williams: Well I would really question whether the person behind it was
genuine. If they were genuine they would have started to do mobilisation on
the ground which there was no evidence of in any way, shape or form, so I
really wouldn’t want to say a Million Citizen March, if it was genuine
because we are questioning that, why it failed because I don’t think
anything was ever done.

You know a lot of people do not have access to internet, FaceBook, cell
phones and even if they are, Zimbabweans are extremely stressed and busy
committed to surviving on a day-to-day basis. You have to get by them on
these issues and so I would say it was failed mobilisation.

Guma: Martin Mabandla emailing from Hwange has issues with WOZA and accuses
you of not being team players. His question is why a prominent group like
WOZA doesn’t seek to work with other pressure groups like the NCA and

Williams: We do work with NCA. We have worked with NCA for many years. We
are very disappointed that when push came to shove and we started our
constitutional reform process, NCA dumped WOZA and said they were not going
to be involved and we tried to persuade them. We said at least, if you are
not going to be involved, help us with civic education because you are our
partners on constitutional reform, but they were not interested in doing
that so I think he is, number one, un-informed.

I think he also needs to understand that we are part of many different
networks but I would want him to question, maybe clarify his question more
because I can only respond as I’ve responded because we work with many other

Guma: NCA aside, in terms of your interaction with the other groups, are you
satisfied that you seek to engage the others?

Williams: Absolutely satisfied but maybe he would want to see us in the
streets with banners saying we are WOZA, we are this, we are that and if
that is what he wants, can we please engage those organisations and ask them
why they are not in the street with us and not ask us.

Guma: And the next question obviously is a follow-up from Norman Mudarikiri
and I suppose the point he is trying to make is that Zimbabwean groups in
general, not specifically WOZA, do not work together, so his question is, is
it a question of competition for resources? His text message says – all
these pressure groups are more interested in looking better than the others
so they can receive funding on their own. Do you see that being the case,

Williams: Well you know unfortunately I think he is, you know there is some
truth to that and I remain engaging and in meetings and speak to many
different civic leaders to say let’s put competition and personalities aside
and let’s try and get by in and come up with a group of issues that we can
all buy into equally and we can then come up with a combined plan of action
and implement those things but it’s not very easy, especially I think, the
international donor community sometimes make it difficult, they also play
divide and rule games so it’s very difficult, I can’t completely discount
that that is a problem.

Guma: You’re almost prophetic in your answer there because the follow-up
question is centred on donors. We have a question from the UK, comes from a
guy called Amos who says – don’t you think donors themselves are the
problem? He says they are guilty of funding duplicate projects which are
mostly non-confrontational and he says this is where the lack of focus comes

Williams: Yes, I mean it’s also unfortunate that even in this last week,
people just become excited, they see things like the Million Citizen March,
they see posters created and all sorts and they get excited, thinking oh
someone is finally doing something and they forget that they should go and
scratch beneath that pretty surface and see whether there’s any mobilisation
on the ground.

And I think sometimes maybe the donors are also frustrated by us Zimbabweans
and the blame should be mostly on us as Zimbabweans – we are not doing
enough but we constantly want others outside or international to do more for
us. We must do more and then somewhere along the way there will be a shift
in the way the donors engage us as Zimbabweans.

Guma: We have the ZCTU, ZINASU, Crisis Coalition, WOZA and the NCA who among
themselves represent a sizeable mobilisation front, it should surely be
obvious no one group can make an impact on their own, so why are there no
attempts at changing the dynamics and creating a united democratic front of

Williams: Well there are many attempts that are happening behind the scenes
to do that. I think the only problem that we have as WOZA is we remain 100%
apolitical and non-partisan and in the past for example, the Save Zimbabwe
campaign was a coalition of civics and the MDC and so we could not be a part
of that process because we would have been violating our mandate to remain a
watchdog and that becomes a challenge for us.

So I think we remain trying to engage other people as they try to talk about
forming these platforms and say to them that if we are going to form a
proper platform styled in the way the UDF was, we need to make sure that we
are solely membership-based and the membership of civic organisation-based
and believe me, MDC or the other political parties who call themselves
pro-democracy parties to fight on their platforms and leave us to fight on a
civic, people driven platform.

Guma: Do you think also maybe within some of these groups, there’s a lot of
in-fighting which has weakened the groups? Like ZINASU for example – you
have two factions there. So is the in-fighting, and we even see this within
the MDC where we have I think four MDC factions now, is this the problem –

Williams: Yah there is too much in-fighting but also people lose focus too
easily. They remain talking about positions and power and they forget that
the mandate of what they do and how they do it should be coming from
membership and I think that’s the problem – there’s a lack of balancing of
the scales between what the executives, the programmes they are driving and
how the memberships input into those programmes.

It’s very, very sad to see, very sad indeed. For example, civic society its
very sad that we allowed ourselves to split over who is taking part in the
constitution and who is taking charge. Some of those things I think are
unnecessary, those issues that divided us.

Guma: Now Priscilla in Mutare says there is a suggestion that pressure
groups in Zimbabwe do not want the crisis to end as this would mean an end
to their funding and her question to you is – do you buy into that argument?

Williams: Well I don’t know, I can’t answer for others but hey, I’m really
looking forward to my three children having grandchildren and I want to be
sitting in the sun watching my grandchildren playing so I can’t imagine why
I would want a crisis to continue.

Guma: Tinashe from Gweru has a question on the WOZA membership and wants to
know whether it’s meant for women only?

Williams: It initially started for women only because we feel that it is
women who are marginalised in Zimbabwe and we also felt it was women who
didn’t have space to speak out on bread and butter or bread and roses issues
as we call them and women still remain marginalised, still remain having an
unequal voice in all government and civic platforms and so they remain our
one priority of people to mobilise, to capacitate so that they take their
place equally in society alongside the men.

But we have a lot of male members who are long-term human rights defenders
with us; we sometimes even call them our sisters in a respectful way and so
yes, we have allowed space for men to be part of the movement because we
will not discriminate on them as we have been discriminated as women by a
long-term patriarchy.

Guma: Do you find that women are more willing to participate in street
actions than men because when we usually see pictures of your protests,
there are usually more women demonstrating? Where are the men in Zimbabwe?

Williams: Yah women unfortunately in my experience are more able to grasp
practical issues and to be able to have those issues be dominant in the
things that they do and so they will march and they will overcome fear, to
be brave because they will know that what is at stake is my family’s future.
And in some way the makeup of a woman, it seems that she is more capable of
overcoming fear, to balance and to be in the street on issues that she
thinks affect the family.

Sometimes our brothers and our fathers don’t have that capacity to balance
the scales of issues and overcome fear and sometimes also they end up being
too quick, because of their egos, the way God made them, to respond to
violence with violence whereas to a woman she immediately will look at a
non-violent method and so the style of non-violence, we feel, is more in
character with a woman but that’s not to say that there can be men who also
are trained, who also commit and who also can be 100% very active civil
disobedience and non-violent activists.

Guma: We have a bit of a sour email here from Jacob in Chegutu who says WOZA
is not made up of genuine activists but paid activists. He says at every
demonstration, activists are paid so this is the motivation, you are not a
grassroots movement. What’s your answer to him?

Williams: Please can Jacob send me a text message or send me an email. I
will invite him to join one of the next demonstrations and then he can be
face to face, shoulder to shoulder, hand to hand with the real genuine
activists who have the issues at heart who are not motivated or have money
in their mind. And that is a challenge I will give to him and only then will
he either re-phrase his question to me or else then I will be willing to ask
him what he saw himself.

Guma: Now final question Jenni comes from Masvingo, this is Tonderai.
Tonderai says you have been demonstrating for years now with the same
outcome which is beatings and arrests and nothing has changed, so is it not
time to change your strategy?

Williams: Yes we are currently looking at escalating the methods of
non-violence, the methods of civil disobedience we are doing. We will do
that but I think sure, one must not forget one major thing about WOZA and
the work we do, we are not fighting a revolution, we are fighting an
evolution. He is not looking at the change in the human rights defenders we
have capacitated and empowered in all our nine years of operation.

He’s not looking at the confidence and personal development and increasing
of knowledge and understanding of democracy that has happened in the hearts
and minds of our activists over the years and our growing membership because
people understand the need for personal empowerment, to be able to
understand how governments should work and that is what people don’t

We may be in the street and you may feel that we have just been beaten and
arrested and you don’t understand the opportunity we have given people to
exercise their rights and to taste for that moment that they are in the
street, for that moment they are arrested, that they have done something to
uplift themselves to be free, to feel free by doing something that equates
to freedom.

Guma: Now Jenni people who want to take part in the WOZA activities, how do
they do that?

Williams: They can email us giving us their full names, physical address,
phone numbers. They have to be brave enough to be upfront with us about who
they are, where they live, what their phone number is and what it is they
want, feel they can contribute to WOZA or what they require us to help them

If they don’t send an email and they are as clear as that, we’ll assume it’s
an intelligence employee or a CIO sending us an e-mail. If they send us that
email and we detect they are genuine, there will be someone who will visit
them and explain about the very important values that we have in our
organisation and explain about strategic non-violence.

Guma: Well Zimbabwe, that was Jenni Williams who leads the Women of Zimbabwe
Arise, WOZA pressure group taking your questions on Question Time. Jenni,
thank you so much for being our guest this week.

Williams: Thank you very much for having me and I appreciate the questions
and look forward to continued engagement.

Listen to programme here:

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FACTBOX-Foreign companies in Zimbabwe

Wed Mar 9, 2011 11:47am GMT

March 9 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will set up a sovereign wealth fund to own 51
percent stakes of mining companies, effectively nationalising half the
country's key resources sector, a government minister said. [ID:NLDE7280NL]

Last week, President Robert Mugabe threatened a takeover of foreign firms
and a boycott of products to retaliate against sanctions placed on him and
his ZANU-PF party. [ID:nLDE7210K4]

Following is a list of some major foreign-owned companies operating in
Zimbabwe, according to a company registry:


Anglo Platinum (AMSJ.J: Quote)

Metallon Gold

Mimosa Mining Company (Impala (IMPJ.J: Quote) and Aquarius platinum (AQP.L:
Quote) joint venture)

Mwana Africa (MWA.L: Quote) (gold and nickel miners)

Rio Tinto (RIO.AX: Quote) (RIO.L: Quote) (Murowa diamond mine)

River Ranch Diamond Mine

Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Sinosteel)

Zimplats (ZIM.AX: Quote) (majority-owned by Impala Platinum)


Barclays (BARC.ZI: Quote)

CABS Building Society

MBCA (Nedbank and Old Mutual)

Old Mutual (OML.ZI: Quote) (insurance and real estate)

Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Quote)

Standard Bank (SBKJ.J: Quote)


Lafarge Cement (LACZ.ZI: Quote)

Murray & Roberts (MAR.ZI: Quote)

Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC.ZI: Quote)


BP (BP.L: Quote)

Chevron (CVX.N: Quote)

Engen (majority-owned by Malaysia's national oil company Petronas)

Shell (RDSa.L: Quote)


Edgars Stores (EDGR.ZI: Quote)

Truworths (TRUW.ZI: Quote)


British American Tobacco (BAT.ZI: Quote)

Delta Corporation (DLTA.ZI: Quote) (owned by SABMiller (SAB.L: Quote))

Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote)

Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote) (UNc.AS: Quote)


Tongaat Hulett (TONJ.J: Quote)

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