12 March, 2011
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is
under siege as hardliners in President Robert Mugabe's party have increased
intimidation through arrests of senior party officials to force them to quit
the inclusive government.
MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told the Sunday Times his party was under
attack from Zanu-PF, which he accused of trying to destroy it through
arrests, violence and intimidation.
Zanu-PF functionaries in government have also been accused of using the
police to ban all MDC rallies and meetings across the country ahead of their
congress scheduled for May.
The latest drama in Zimbabwe's political landscape comes as insiders in
Zanu-PF confirmed that more arrests of top government officials belonging to
the MDC would follow in a bid to discredit the party before elections which
might be held this year.
The MDC has also been under attack from Zanu-PF supporters, soldiers and war
veterans who have gone on the rampage throughout the country intimidating
and beating people and forcing them to support Mugabe's party.
"We are under siege, these people (Zanu-PF) want to destroy our party, and
they want to push us out of the government. They are scared and will do
anything to make sure we are weakened, but that will not happen," said
Last week, police arrested a close Tsvangirai aide, Elton Mangoma, the
Minister of Energy and Power Development and charged him with criminal abuse
of office after he ordered the government to buy fuel from a new South
African-based fuel company to avert a looming shortage two months ago.
The company delayed delivering the fuel, but police claim Mangoma flouted
tender procedures and arrested him in what Tsvangirai described as a
politically motivated action.
Four other MDC MPs are languishing in remand prisons across the country,
accused of inciting violence.
On the same day Mangoma was arrested, the Supreme Court ruled that the
election of the speaker of parliament, Lovemore Moyo, two years ago had been
illegal, a decision Tsvangirai said had been made by "Zanu-PF politicians
masquerading as judges". Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare on Thursday
his party was under "barbaric" attack from Zanu-PF functionaries in the
security structures of the government and threatened to pull out of the
inclusive government if the harassment and intimidation continued. He said
the arrest of Mangoma showed there was paralysis in the government.
The fuel deal which resulted in his aide's arrest had been discussed in the
cabinet, where it was verified that everything had been done above board.
"If there is a breakdown in the relationship of the parties in the GPA, it
is important for them to agree on a clean divorce. As far as we are
concerned, the road map that South African President Jacob Zuma has
committed himself to draw up is the only solution to this madness.
"As Morgan Tsvangirai, and the people's party that I lead, we will remain
focused on the struggle for democratic change in the country. We will not be
swayed by desperate actions by a desperate political party. No amount of
lies, violence, persecution or wrongful prosecutions will deter us from the
struggle to deliver real, positive change to the people of Zimbabwe.
"We will not accept the decisions of some Zanu-PF politicians masquerading
as judges. Zanu-PF is trying to use the courts to subvert and regain what it
lost in an election. As far as the MDC is concerned, these blatant attacks
by a partisan police Commissioner-General, some sections of the judiciary
and the Attorney-General represent a clear and present danger to the
continued existence of this transitional government."
The MDC leader called on the Southern African Development Community and the
African Union to intervene and save the inclusive government from collapse.
Zanu-PF insiders said their strategy was to weaken the MDC through arrests
and hope the people would dismiss them as mere corrupt leaders.
"The plan is working. More and more MDC MPs and ministers will be arrested
because we want to show the world that they are corrupt."
12 March, 2011
Mugabe depends on the mysterious Sam Pa for electoral victory, writes JON
A Chinese businessman, Sam Pa, is casting a long and warped shadow over
Zimbabwe as it heads towards what many fear will be violent elections later
He has been identified as the financier of a covert operation whose purpose
is to sustain President Robert Mugabe's regime.
The details of the deal that this mysterious Hong Kong-based magnate has cut
with Mugabe's national intelligence chief, Happyton Bonyongwe, have not been
disclosed officially and officials loyal to Mugabe and Bonyongwe deny any
International researchers into his opaque business activities have noted a
similarity with his wheeler-dealing in other African countries, where
companies he represents are alleged to have manipulated networks within the
elites and used closed-door negotiations to secure a large stake in
strategic mineral resources.
Oil-rich Angola, a rising economic power in Africa and the main source of
China's oil, was a prime example. He has also invested heavily in
mineral-rich Guinea and Tanzania. Madagascar since the coup has been another
focus of attention. Now it looks as if Zimbabwe is falling under the spell
of this canny Chinese investor.
Pa conducts his business largely under the radar, keeps his name and face
out of the headlines and is said to use a variety of different identities
and nationalities which he changes with nonchalant ease depending on the
country and situation he is in.
In the case of Angola, the relationship was built up by key figures in the
presidency and intelligence services and is now controlled by General Helder
Vieira Dias. Dias, known as ''Kopelipa", is the most powerful man in the
country after president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The courtship clinched billions of dollars of oil and infrastructure
contracts for the Chinese and Angolan companies Pa's name is associated
with. Although he uses a profusion of aliases Pa's special standing has
enabled him to travel by private executive jet on an Angolan diplomatic
passport whenever he wants.
In Zimbabwe, elements of the Bonyongwe deal have now begun to emerge and it
fits his pattern of drawing members of a country's elite into lucrative
joint ventures so that, over time, he becomes indispensable to them.
Some disillusioned intelligence officers and party officials, unhappy at the
way the country's valuable mineral resources are being traded away for
personal and electoral gain, have released what they know is happening.
They allege that in return for diamonds and mineral resources to supply
China's booming economy Pa has provided funds and equipment to Bonyongwe's
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to enable it to deliver an electoral
victory for Mugabe and his party.
Opponents of Mugabe and the many Zimbabweans wanting free and fair elections
and democratic and accountable government will find it disturbing to learn
that a secretive Chinese businessman, who schemed his way into Mugabe's
inner circle, has allegedly been underwriting operations to influence the
outcome of polls in favour of Zanu-PF.
The ramifications of Pa's secret funding of the CIO are already beginning to
be felt, the sources said. The money is being used to train and deploy
militias who are harassing and intimidating people amid a sudden surge in
"We all know that Zanu--PF does not have even a ghost of a hope of winning a
free and fair election," said political analyst, John Makumbe, a longtime
Mugabe critic. Makumbe said it was therefore "obvious" that the former
liberation movement intends to resort to indiscriminate political violence
to cow people into voting for Mugabe and his party which could spell a
return to single-party dictatorship.
Pa has also ploughed money into vehicles for the CIO, providing the
intelligence service with more than 100 Nissan pickup trucks, so increasing
its operational capability against the regime's opponents, the sources said.
He was also involved in funding a CIO hearts and minds programme and
Mugabe's anti-sanctions campaign against Western governments headed by
Britain and the United States which have hit Mugabe and key regime figures
with a travel ban and asset freezes.
He has underwritten a seed and fertiliser inputs programme to win over the
large farming vote which is vital for a Zanu-PF victory. Most striking, the
sources alleged that in early 2010, he had offered to match the salaries of
the entire staff of the CIO, the police and the armed forces to ensure their
loyalty to the Zanu-PF cause.
There is no evidence that the money has been paid and the low salaries
continue to cause resentment in the services.
Subsequently, they said Bonyongwe, himself, had proposed that the CIO should
pay off all the party's debts.
The intelligence chief's suggestion caused concern in the upper echelons of
Zanu-PF as questions were asked about where and how the CIO had got its
hands on so much money.
The unease was not dispelled when it was revealed that Pa was behind the
funding and was in a commercial relationship with Bonyongwe, the sources
said. It was believed that the Chinese businessman was to be the beneficiary
of lucrative diamond concessions in the Marange diamond fields negotiated by
Bonyongwe. The intelligence chief used his position to intimidate local
companies to sell assets to Pa at knock-down prices.
Marange is home to one of the world's richest diamond deposits. Experts say
it could make anywhere in the region of $75-billion to $200-billion in the
next 50 years if exploited properly. But the industry is riddled with
corruption and mismanagement.
The finance minister Tendai Biti complained recently that his treasury has
received almost no diamond-based revenue at all. Millions of dollars' worth
of diamonds remain unaccounted for and have been smuggled abroad. Renegade
CIO sources said that Pa himself "is part of the grand plan to use Marange
diamonds to prop up the regime".
The sources alleged that, using different aliases, Pa had flown out of
Harare and military airbases last year with about 60000 carats of gem-grade
diamonds and 69kg of industrial diamonds.
Crucial to Pa's special relationship with Bonyongwe and the CIO, the sources
said, was the creation of the joint-venture Sino Zim Development. Backed by
Bonyongwe it was awarded its own diamond concession at Marange. Last year,
Sino Zim ranked top of five bids for concessions which Zanu-PF classified as
"special national interest projects". The joint venture came ahead of even a
Chinese government bid backed by General Constantine Chiwenga, the Defence
Force Chief and other bids which Zimbabwean ministers and vested interests
had supported. This issue continues to irritate Bonyongwe's rivals at the
top of the regime. But, the sources said, it was too late to undo. Pa has
made himself too important to Zanu-PF for anyone to act except Mugabe as the
party readies for elections. But shunned by the West, Mugabe applauds and
relies on China for political and economic support.
"No other foreign businessman in Zimbabwe has such enormous influence," said
one CIO officer familiar with the Pa dossier. "Pa has burrowed into the very
heart of the regime. ''
It was in 2008 that Pa was first introduced to Bonyongwe and realised that
he was a man he could do business with. The introduction was made by the
head of the Tanzanian intelligence service, CIO sources said.
Zimbabwe, for all its great economic potential, was in a mess. It had just
gone through flawed and violent elections. There were food shortages,
services were at a standstill and the economy was in ruins - the kind of
chaos a shrewd businessman could exploit.
Nearly three years later Zimbabwe is an important component of a vast,
controversial and opaque business empire.
At its core is the China International Fund (CIF) which heads a network of
more than 20 associated companies.
It occupies a building at 88 Queensway in the heart of the Hong Kong
business district. Also pivotal to the structure is China Sonangol, CIF's
joint venture with Sonangol, Angola's national oil company and main cash
cow. Although Pa has no official position in the companies and remains
anonymous, in that his name does not appear on any company documents, he has
been identified as the deal-maker time and again.
Typical was CIF's $7-billion deal with Guinea's former military dictatorship
which gave the fund the right to develop the country's mining, oil, gas and
infrastructure projects. It was there that this rare photograph of Pa was
taken (above). International human rights organisations criticised the deal,
saying it showed China was willing to deal with countries with poor human
rights records to secure their mineral wealth for itself.
China Sonangol has snapped up several prime Harare properties including
luxury lodges and Livingstone House.
The CIO occupies one floor. When in town Pa stays at a beautiful lodge
bought from a Dutch woman, where he has held parties for his CIO friends.
The staff has been provided with CIO cars.
The CIO sources said they always assumed that Pa had Chinese intelligence
In 2009, a US congressional commission published a scathing report about the
88 Queensway Group. It said its lack of transparency and public
accountability was a "major concern" for the United States as it acquired
assets globally by stealth. It implied strongly that CIF could be falsely
representing itself as a private business when it was actually an arm of the
intelligence and public security services out to increase China's influence
and guarantee the supply of oil and raw materials from Africa to fuel its
The researchers said they could find no paper trail for Pa. His name was not
on any company documents and he held no official positions, nor
shareholding. He was an enigma. They were not sure Sam Pa was his real name,
but whoever he really was they regarded him as "very important".
"The Sam Pa connection was the most elusive," one of the writers of the
report recalled. "All our research was based on finding concrete documents
and paper trails but he stayed essentially clean."
Chinese experts said it was not entirely uncommon for leaders of Chinese
businesses to operate behind the scenes, even nominating their wives to
front their companies. This was especially true when the People's Liberation
Army privatised its vast business empire in the 1990s.
On one of Pa's recent visits to Zimbabwe he was accompanied by a Chinese
woman called Veronica Fung, who is a director of at least 24 companies,
including CIF and China Sonangol. It is thought she is Pa's wife.
The Chinese experts speculated that there could be another explanation why
Pa was so hard to identify: perhaps he was a "princeling", the son of a
well-connected original Chinese communist revolutionary.
"It is almost impossible to research on them, not even Chinese dissidents
will touch it," said a researcher.
''But they are extremely well-connected and they are extremely organised. It
is also well recognised as a problem that exists. That is obviously a
possibility. How else would these companies obtain financing of billions of
dollars for projects?"
A Hong Kong magazine claimed that CIF was really controlled by a Chinese man
who went by various names, including Samo Xu.
Adding to the puzzle, the American congressional report said Sam Pa was
possibly the businessman controlling the multibillion-dollar Chinese oil and
infrastructure projects in Angola who had been identified as Xu Jinghua, but
who was known to have several aliases, including Sam King.
"Xu may also refer to himself as Sam Pa or Sampa," the report said. Hong
Kong sources said Pa had used the name Sam King in the 1990s when he traded
guns for diamonds during the Angolan civil war.
Whoever he really he is, with this confusion of identities, it is clear that
the influence of this elusive Chinese businessman in Africa is enormous.
The Chinese foreign ministry has put out several statements distancing
itself from some of Pa's business dealings.
In Zimbabwe, the Chinese ambassador Xin Shunkang has also warned the
government to be cautious, saying his government has no connection with
China Sonangol and, by implication, Pa.
Sources said Mugabe has started to harbour reservations as signs emerged
that Pa cannot deliver all that he undertook.
Pa's long-promised deal on delivery of two Airbus 340s for Air Zimbabwe from
Germany fell through at the beginning of the year. But with elections in the
air the regime still depends on him.
It may be that Bonyongwe will come to regret the association. For the
moment, though, the Mugabe regime depends too much on this arch-manipulator
with his multiple personalities and mysterious, unexplained, connections to
let him go.
Written by Ngoni Chanakira
Friday, 11 March 2011 17:26
HARARE – In a major twist of events, which has been strongly welcomed by the
business community, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation, and
Economic Empowerment, Savior Kasukuwere (pictured), said the government will
now pay for its stake in foreign-owned firms, instead of simply grabbing it.
Kasukuwere told more than 300 business tycoons gathered in Harare that the
government would now "pay for everything that we take, including commercial
He was debating the new Indigenisation Act recently passed by the Parliament
"We will pay for whatever we acquire. It will no longer be just grabbing
like we did."
Only last week, Kasukuwere said the Zanu (PF) government would take away
companies which still have a majority shareholding by foreigners. He was
supporting his boss, President Robert Mugabe, who told a rally that his
government would grab Old Mutual Limited (Old Mutual), the insurance giant
whose major shareholder is in South Africa, Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe
Limited (Stanchart), whose head office is in London in the United Kingdom,
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe Limited (Barclays) whose head office is also in
London, and Meikles Africa Limited (MAL), whose major shareholder is John
Moxon who has been specified by government for allegedly externalising
Kasukuwere told local and foreign investors that the new move was meant to
give government a "good name and image especially now that we are seeking
foreign investment from anyone who wants a stake in Zimbabwe".
Kasukuwere said he was convinced his government and any foreign firms
wanting to invest in Zimbabwe would work things out before using the new
Friday, 11 March 2011 12:57
Tabitha Mutenga, Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S power utility ZESA Holdings, which has previously been accused of
sabotaging the country’s wheat production, has pledged uninterrupted power
supplies to wheat farmers who are targeting an output of 67 500 tonnes this
year. The winter cropping season will require at least US$24 million dollars
to produce 67 500 tonnes from 30 000 hect-ares, up from 14 000 hectares
produced last year, but concerns linger over reliable power supplies which
have undermined previous efforts.
Wheat production in the last season amounted to 21 000 tonnes against
national requirements of 400 000 tonnes.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union vice-president, Berean Mukwende, said ZESA had not
been able to provide enough power to allow irrigation last winter.
“For a wheat crop to be successful, farmers need an 8-12 hour irrigation
cycle for which ZESA cannot provide enough electricity. As a result farmers
can only produce a maximum of 15 hect-ares with yields greatly affected by
inadequate irrigation,” he said.
Efforts have been made every year to eng-age ZESA into ring fencing wheat
farming areas to allow adequate supply of power but farmers have always been
left disappointed after failure by the power utility to supply uninterrupted
Mukwende blamed ZESA for the decline in production because of poor service
provision and efficiency from the parastatal.
ZESA spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, assured farmers that the organisation
would this season endeavor to ensure that the cropping season was not
adversely affected by power blackouts.
He, however, complained about the scattered nature of the farming community
which made it difficult for ZESA to provide wheat farmers with a dedicated
power supply line.
“To counter this, ZESA has grouped farmers into clusters which we provide
power at scheduled times,” said Gwasira.
“Traditionally, as we approach winter, we set aside three days per week for
12 hours to ensure that the winter cropping season is not adversely
affected. This figure is normally arrived at in consultations with the
Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the
Department of Extension Services (Agritex) and caters for the farming
clusters which would have been identified for that particular season,” he
To ensure efficient power supply, the power utility has struck a deal with
both tobacco and winter wheat farmers for a stop order payment system
whereby farmers would pay through stop orders.
“To meet this extra commitment of power to farmers, ZESA will (commit) to
regional utilities a payment date based on the stop order system, thereby
importing more power to be paid at a later date. Any attempts by farmers to
circumvent the system will result in power disconnection,” Gwasira said.
The farming community clusters require up to 162 megawatts of electricity
for successful agricultural activity. To support this massive effort, ZESA
has procured 165 trucks to ensure that activities on the farms are not
hampered by electrical faults.
A preparedness maintenance programme is already being implemented to ensure
that supplies are not adversely affected by unplanned outages.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority has set aside more than one billion
cubic metres of water for the winter cropping season which is enough to
irrigate more than 79 000 hectares during the season.
This follows the significant rains that the country received during the rain
Most of the country’s major dams are currently reported to be full.
Written by Fungi Kwaramba
Saturday, 12 March 2011 13:29
HARARE - Farmers who benefited from President Robert Mugabe’s chaotic and
corrupt land “reform” programme, which was ostensibly meant to empower
disadvantaged blacks, have confessed that they do not have the capacity to
feed the nation.
The farmers, under their umbrella body Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe
(CFUZ), said this during a meeting with seed producers in Harare last week,
and confirmed what has long been held as true - that Mugabe’s land reform
crippled the vital agriculture sector and led to food insecurity.
“We do have challenges. Because of the land reform many farmers are not
fully equipped. The private sector initiative cannot meet the national
requirements,” said CFUZ President Donald Khumalo. He said the “new” farmers
lacked the equipment to utilise fully the vast acres of land that currently
lie idle or are underutilised. This has led to food insecurity and a
situation where the country is forced to import maize from countries it used
to supply before the violent land invasions that began in 2000.
Grain Millers Association (GMA) Chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said Zimbabwe was
currently importing food from Zambia and Malawi – and had been doing so
since 2000. “This does not mean that we do not have enough maize. But there
are some NGOs that bought maize and are not willing to sell. People are free
to sell or keep the maize. We are importing because we want to supplement
what we have,” said Musarara.
The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has warned that
about 1.7 million Zimbabweans will need food aid during the next two months.
Written by Tony Saxon
Friday, 11 March 2011 18:37
HARARE - Zanu (PF) is allegedly paying allowances to members of the Zimbabwe
National Army and CIO operatives deployed in the country's rural areas to
terrorize perceived MDC supporters.
It is alleged that the money is coming from the underhand diamond dealings
in Chiadzwa, where Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu is
channelling money into Zanu (PF) coffers.
According to an impeccable source privy to the goings on in the national
army, selected members of the army received payments in the form of cash
deposits to their bank accounts. The operation is led by Brigadier Generals
in each province.
"The allowances are being paid on a monthly basis until the day of
elections. The allowances range from US$300 upwards depending on one's rank
and the nature of an
operation. But those that are operating in the rural areas where there is a
stronghold of MDC are being paid more."
The source said the soldiers are moving with state of art vehicles including
Prados and 4x4 twin cabs terrorizing MDC supporters in villages.
Our source from the CIO told this paper that operatives had been planted in
some rural areas where they are intimidating MDC supporters. The CIO
operatives are reportedly being paid handsome allowances from Zanu (PF) and
are also moving in state of art vehicles with tinted glass.
It has been confirmed that the Police Internal Security and Intelligence
(PISI) department, Zimbabwe Prison Service's Security department and
National Army's Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps (ZIC) have been infiltrated by
members of the Central Intelligence organization (CIO) who are sniffing out
suspected MDC supporters within the uniformed forces.
Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa recently told parliamentarians that the
army had the mandate to protect the country, hence the deployment of
soldiers across the country, but denied that the deployments were for
political intimidation to secure votes. –
Written by Tony Saxon
Friday, 11 March 2011 17:43
NYANGA NORTH - There are tense scenes of a war zone here as groups of Zanu
(PF) militia are moving around with weapons in an effort to instil fear in
the hearts of MDC supporters.
Zanu (PF's) Hubert Nyanhongo, who is leading the terror campaign, is
believed to be supplying arms to the overzealous militia.
The MDC-T Manicaland spokesperson and Makoni South Legislator, Pishai
Muchaura, confirmed that there are a number of army bases in the district
where most of the weapons were coming from.
Nyanhongo, an aspiring parliamentary candidate for the Nyanga North
constituency, is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the army. He is currently
the Harare South Member of Parliament. Villagers said Nyanhongo was using
his influence to instruct the army
from the nearby All Arms Battle School to supply weapons to his thugs.
"As MDC-T we are appealing to the authorities to disarm these civilians
because Zimbabwe is not at war with anyone. This is not a good sign of
democracy,” Muchauraya said.
The MDC-T in Manicaland has accused Nyanhongo of arming Zanu (PF) thugs to
create political volatility in the area.
BULAWAYO, March 12, 2011- Police on Friday arrested four more officials of
the militant Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) which is advocating for a
separate state of Matabeleland.
The four who included Zimbabwe MLF chairperson Nonsikelelo Ncube, Makhiwa
Ndebele, the organization,s spokesperson, Ntombizodwa Moyo and Makhosi
Khumalo were arrested inside the courtroom after magistrate John Masimba
ruled that the accused had a case to answer and should stand trial.
The three officials, Paul Siwela, Former army officer Charles Gumbo and
former Zipra cadre, John Gazi were remanded in custody to March 25
The leaders are facing treason charges.If convicted they could face death
sentence.They are accused of planning to topple Mugabe after they were
allegedly found in possession of fliers calling for a separate Ndebele
Following the ruling, police detectives from the Law and Order Section
pounced on the other four MLF members who had attended the court session and
arrested them, saying they were being taken for questioning.
Max Mnkandla, an executive member of MLF, confirmed the arrest of Ndebele,
Ncube, Moyo and Khumalo on Friday, adding that other MLF members are on the
run fearing arrest as police begin their crackdown against those suspected
to be working for the organization.MLF has gained ground in the rural areas
of Matabeleland South where youths have been distributing fliers, T-shirts
and other party regalia.
“ They have not been released. They are still at the Bulawayo Central Police
station and no charge has been laid against them, ” Mkandla told Radio Vop
in Bulawayo.Mkandla is a former Zapu cadre whose organization, Zimbabwe
Liberators Peace Initiative (ZLPI) has teamed up with villagers to fight off
farm invaders in Matabeleland..
Acting Bulawayo Police spokesperson, Inspector Precious Simango could not be
reached for comment.But sources in the police force confirmed that police
yesterday detained four MLF members at the Bulawayo Central Police station.
MLF says a separate Matabeleland state is necessary to put an end to the
marginalisation of the region which lags behind in development.
Harare, March 11, 2011 - Disciplinary Committees constituted by the Ministry
of Education Sport and Culture are denying teachers their right to legal
representation according to the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ) on its new website.
"This is a clear violation of the section. In a recent case, Wilbert
Muringani, a graduate of the PTUZ Paralegal Training Project was barred
access into an office where a PTUZ member Sister Catherine Munekani was
appearing to answer misconduct charges before a Disciplinary Committee in
Gweru, Midlands Province," noted a statement posted on the website.
This was despite the fact that the letter notifying Sister Munekani of the
convening of the disciplinary hearing advised her of her right to be
represented by a registered legal practitioner or a Union official. The
hearing was chaired by the Provincial Education Director, Agnes Gudo.
In a related development, Enock Paradzayi, another PTUZ paralegal was told
by Danny Moyo, the Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo Province and
Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee hearing the misconduct charges
preferred against PTUZ members, Kudzai Makumbe and that he could only be
present but was not supposed to say anything during the hearing. The letter
inviting the two Bulawayo teachers for the disciplinary hearing also spelt
out that the teachers could bring a lawyer or a trade union representative
who were not allowed to speak.
Written by Staff Reporter
Saturday, 12 March 2011 13:37
NYANGA NORTH - Villagers here have vowed that no matter how much violence
and intimidation Zanu (PF) thugs use in their constituency to back their
aspiring candidate, Gilbert Nyanhongo, he will never win any election
against the incumbent MDC-T legislator, Douglas Mwonzora.
Villagers demanded that the incarcerated legislator Mwonzora be released
from the remand prison soon and accused Nyanhongo of using dirty political
tactics to drum up support ahead of possible elections this year.
Nyanhongo, who is a retired army officer and deputy minister of Power and
Energy Development, is eyeing Mwonzora Nyanga North constituency. Mwonzora
and 15 other party supporters were arrested after skirmishes between MDC and
Zanu (PF) supporters on February 13 this year and have been denied bail in
what was described by political observers' as a well-calculated political
move by Zanu (PF).
Villagers told The Zimbabwean that police should instead arrest Nyanhongo
for unleashing an orgy of violence against innocent citizens. "We wonder why
the police are applying the law selectively. Those who are terrorising us
are walking free while responsible citizens like Mwonzora are being denied
bail by these thugs," said one villager who declined to be named for fear of
Villagers said after Mwonzora’s arrest, Zanu (PF) militia led by Nyanhongo
were terrorising and forcing them to attend their meetings. Most meeting are
reported to have flopped as villagers continue to snub them. "The truth is
Nyanhongo will not win here because he is not the people’s choice. Mwonzora
is our rightful candidate and we don't see the reason why people should be
beaten up for supporting their elected candidate. He is doing a lot for us
in terms of fighting to democratise political space in Zimbabwe. It’s not
all about splashing money but fighting for democracy," said Chris Kunguma.
Villagers said they would soon petition Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to
rein in junior ministers like Nyanhongo during their cabinet meetings. "We
want to petition Prime Minister as Head of Government to rein in some of the
ministers like Nyanhongo who are terrorising innocent citizens in rural
areas. We are sick and tired of these Zanu (PF) politicians who want to
force us to dance to their tune," said another villager.
Written by Zwanai Sithole
Saturday, 12 March 2011 13:17
BULAWAYO - A Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTART) contract worker
in Bulawayo has been banned by the Central Intelligence Organization from
entering Magnet House, the CIO’s provincial headquarters which is also where
ZIMSTART’s offices are located.
The name of the contract worker (name supplied) was recently banned from
entering her employer’s offices at Magnet house after the state security
agency accused her of being once an employee of Bulawayo Agenda, a
Bulawayo-based civic organization perceived to be anti-government by the
state security agency.
Highly placed sources at ZIMSTART offices in Bulawayo told The Zimbabwean
that the worker, one of a group of contract enumerators hired by the Agency
to conduct a demographic health survey in September last year, is now
conducting her business in the streets after she was barred from visiting
“The CIO recently summoned one Ngwenya, ZIMSTART provincial head for
Bulawayo and told him that the enumerator was a security threat at the
premises because she once worked for an organization hostile to the
government. After that ZIMSTART was in a quandary because the enumerator had
a running contract with the agency. The enumerator now spends most of her
time in park when she is not in the field,” said a ZIMSTART source, who
refused to be named for fear of victimization.
The Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey is carried out after every five
years to update Ministry of Health data on health issues such as HIV and
sexual reproduction health. Both ZIMSTART officials and CIO could not be
reached for comment.
by Esther Gomo March 12, 2011
A Supreme Court packed with Mugabe cronies might have taken the Speakership
of Parliament away from the MDC-T but Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
party has the numbers and the goodwill from some MP’s in the smaller MDC
faction to retain the position.
A new Speaker of Parliament has to be elected at the next sitting and the
MDC-T will count on the votes of 99 of its members including PM Tsvangirai,
Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe and former Speaker Lovemore Moyo.
Zanu PF on the other hand has 96 votes guaranteed which explains why they
have launched a massive police and state persecution of MDC-T MP’s,
arresting and detaining them on trumped up charges. Five MP’s have been
arrested so far with only 2 being released. More arrests are planned next
The smaller faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube might be called upon to
play king maker as they have 7 MP’s eligible to vote. But as history has
shown, Ncube can only count on the loyalty of 3 of those MP’s with the other
4 said to be unhappy at being sidelined for cabinet positions.
In August 2008 Ncube’s party struck a much condemned deal with Zanu PF to
try and secure the election of their candidate Paul Themba Nyathi. This
backfired as several of their MP’s voted for the MDC-T candidate. Out of its
original 10 elected MP’s the party sacked 3 of them for siding with the
Zanu PF is aware they might not win the re-election and one of its ministers
Didymus Mutasa was quoted saying “We might not field a candidate. Why can we
field a candidate if we are going to lose? But I am sure that there is going
to be a lot of horse-trading between parties trying to lure votes from the
Over the weekend Zanu PF officials were claiming former speaker Moyo will
not be able to vote claiming he forfeited this when he became speaker. MDC-T
Chief Whip Innocent Gonese however dismissed this claim saying;
“Our understanding of the law is that Mr. Lovemore Moyo has voting rights
since he is coming to Parliament representing a constituency (Matobo
Written by Staff Reporter
Saturday, 12 March 2011 13:20
Supreme Court upholds acquittal of terrorism
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the acquittal of MDC-T
minister of agriculture designate, Roy Bennett, of terrorism charges.
High Court judge Justice Muchineripi Bhunu in May acquitted Bennett, but the
decision was challenged in the Supreme Court by Attorney-General Johannes
Tomana. The AG made an application for leave to appeal, and if the judge had
granted that leave, then there was going to be an appeal hearing.
"In the result, I agree with the conclusion of the learned judge that this
was a proper case in which a discharge in terms of Section 198(3) of the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act was appropriate," Chief Justice Godfrey
Bennett, who is in self-imposed exile after numerous threats on his life,
did not attend the ruling but was represented by his legal counsel.
The charges against Bennett, who is also treasurer-general of theMDC-T, has
caused acrimony in the GNU, with President Robert Mugabe vowing that he
would never allow Bennett to serve in his government - ostensibly because he
served with the Selous Scouts. But, as with so many of Mugabe’s
pronouncements, this is false. Bennett was arrested in February two years
ago as the other ministers in the GNU took the oath of office. He was
charged with illegal possession of arms for purposes of committing
terrorism, banditry and sabotage.
The state's case was that Bennett plotted to destroy a major communications
link and assassinate key government officials. The case relied on emails it
claimed to have gleaned from its chief witness, 49-year-old former policeman
and arms dealer Peter Hitschmann. Hitschmann disowned the emails and flatly
rejected charges that he colluded with Bennett.
In his ruling, Judge Bhunu said there was no evidence that linked Bennett to
the charges and questioned testimony from some of the state witnesses,
including a supposed telecommunications expert, whom he said had "amazing
That ruling was also upheld by Chidyausiku, who said: "The learned judge in
the court a quo, in a meticulous and well reasoned judgment, concluded that
the accused had no case to answer and discharged him at the close of the
"I have carefully perused the voluminous record in this case and I am
satisfied that on the evidence led up to the close of the State case, the
learned judge could not have come to different conclusion than he did.
"After the learned judge ruled, quite correctly in my view, inadmissible the
confessions of Hitschmann and the e-mails, there was literally no evidence
linking the accused to the crimes he was charged with.” Bennett could have
faced the death penalty if found guilty.
Harare,March 12, 2011 - Threats by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF
party to seize foreign owned companies in retaliation for sanctions imposed
by the West on the 87 year leader has had negative impact on the share
prices on the Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats), Radio Vop has learnt.
In exclusive letters obtained by Radio Vop, Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)
in a letter dated March 8, 2011 addressed to Zimplats Investor Relations
manager, Katherine Brown demanded to know the reasons why the platinum giant’s
share price tumbled early this month from $15.99 to an 'intra-day low' of
ASX listings adviser, Styn Timmermans in a letter to Zimplats said : “We
have noted a change in the price of the Company’s securities from a close on
Thursday, 3 March 2011 of $ 15.99 to an intra-day low of $12.50. Is there
any other explanation that the Company may have for the price change in the
securities of the Company?”
Brown said Zimplats according to 'Listing rule 3.1 ' of ASX any company
listed is required to give information on the drastic changes of the share
price to the stock exchange body.
In a response Zimplats explained that they have no explanation that could
explain reasons why the share prices of the company tumbled early this month
but attributed the fall in prices to media coverage on the Indigenization
and Empowerment regulations that are threatening to seize 51 percent of
foreign owned companies.
Mugabe has threatened to take over foreign owned companies whose host
countries imposed targetted sanctions on himself and his top party and
government officials on human rights violations.
Zimplats assured ASX that negotiations with government on the call by the
government for the platinum company to cede 51 percent shares to locals are
“Shareholders have been regularly advised that discussions with Government
of Zimbabwe on Zimplats empowerment proposals are still on-going. There has
been no change to this position," Zimplats said.
“The company confirms that it is in compliance with the listing rules and in
particular listing rule 3.1. The company would like to emphasise that its
majority shareholder. Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, is a long-term
holder and not a seller of the securities that it holds.”
Mugabe blasted Zimplats at his 87th birthday last month saying the company
has not given the country 'any cent'. “Zimplats has never given us any
substantial money,” Mugabe said.
“They are taking all the money to South Africa that’s why I have told
(Indigenisation Minister Saviour) Kasukuwere to deal with those mines."
Zimplats is owned by Implats of South Africa which controls 87 percent
shares in the company while 13 percent is owned by private shareholders. The
company says it has developed the community around in schools, clinics and
houses for the community around the company's mine.
Relief agencies have started systematically assessing the crop situation in
Zimbabwe and will soon issue a comprehensive report on the resumption of
food assistance programs, sources said
Gibbs Dube | Washington 11 March 2011
Agricultural experts and food officials say maize crops in the Zimbabwean
provinces of Matabeleland South and North, Masvingo and portions of Midlands
must be written off due to insufficient rains in the past month or so with
the harvest period coming up fast.
Maize fields in particular have been reduced to dust bowls in such areas,
dashing hopes of generous harvests. The last significant rains there were
recorded early this year.
Relief agencies have started systematically assessing the crop situation and
will soon issue a comprehensive report on the resumption of food assistance
Gwanda North Member of Parliament Thandeko Zinti Mnkandla said relief
agencies should start food distribution to affected areas. “Most subsistence
farmers in these regions are facing hunger as their crops have failed due to
inadequate rains,” Mnkandla said.
Relief worker Faith Ncube said some non-governmental organizations are
assessing the food situation in drought-hit regions. “We hope that these
organizations will come up with a comprehensive food distribution program
which will cater for millions of people in Matabeleland, Masvingo and
Midlands provinces,” Ncube said.
Friday, 11 March 2011 12:44
Tabitha Mutenga, Staff Reporter
THE most valuable natural resource in the world is water. Yet people in
Zimbabwe’s urban areas seem to take this vital resource for granted although
those living in drought-prone rural areas are generally more aware of its
limited supply and importance.
However, as the country’s urban population maintain a steady rise, pressure
on the resource will limit its availability, forcing many of the urbanites
to start to conserve water and revisit the age old practice of rainwater
harvesting — an economical, safe and sustainable way of providing quality
water to households without the threat of diseases.
In an effort to enlighten the country’s urban populations, the International
Relief and Development (IRD) has been quietly spreading the water harvesting
gospel through its Peri-urban Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (PROOF) programme
since June 2009 — installing rainwater harvesting systems for 2 653
households and eight schools, benefitting 26 321 people.
The programme has changed lives in the high density suburbs of Budiriro,
Mabvuku, Tafara, Mbare, Glen View, Chitungwiza, Mutare Urban and rural
Manicaland, including schools in these areas.
IRD country director, Themos Ntasis, said rooftop rainwater harvesting was
one way of ensuring that people get safe drinking water.
“We are not saying this is the only way of getting water, but we are saying
this is one option. We are also not claiming to be the first to harvest
water from rooftops; this has been done in Zimbabwe before. But what we are
saying is that rooftop rainwater harvesting does provide people with clean
water to drink and that is important,” said Ntasis.
PROOF was designed soon after the 2008/2009 cholera epidemic as an interim
measure to stop the spread of the water-borne disease. Water harvested
through this method can be used for all household purposes such as drinking,
cooking and sanitary purposes.
Rainwater harvesting systems are simple, consisting of gutters attached to
the roof and a water storage tank storing 30 000 litres of water for schools
and 10 000 litres for households.
Even during the dry winter months, the stored water is enough for the
schools and households to last them until the next rain season.
On its part, IRD regularly tests the quality of the stored water to reduce
the risks of disease and contamination.
“Rainwater harvesting systems are simple, consisting of gutters attached to
the roof and a water storage tank. They provide abundant clean water during
the rainy season, when the highest incident of water-borne diseases such as
cholera and typhoid fever are observed. With regulated consumption and
sufficient water storage capacity, they can provide drinking water all year
round,” Ntasis added.
Frequent water infrastructure breakdowns have meant that the provision of
clean water to many households especially in Harare and Chitungwiza remains
a major challenge, exposing vulnerable households to contaminated water.
Household rainwater harvesting is an option that can be considered for
improved water supply in the affected areas and depending on the local needs
and conditions, rainwater harvesting provides an alternative water supply.
The United Nation’s 2006 (Human Development Report) estimates that 1,1
billion people do not have access to clean water and 2,6 billion suffer from
The World Health Organisation also estimates that 88 percent of diarrhoeal
diseases are attributed to un-safe water supply, inadequate sanitation and
Each day, nearly 5 000 children worldwide die from diarrhoea-related
Claude Matsekeza, a headmaster at Tasi-mukira Primary School in Chitungwiza,
said the school faced constant water shortages but the PROOF programme
installed seven 30 000-litre tanks, which are enough for either drinking or
sanitary purposes throughout the year.
“Imagine having 1 600 students in a school and not have water — not even a
single drop but this year we have had a good harvest of water, we have
enough drinking water to last us the whole year,” Matsekeza said.
Although the goal is to improve access to clean water in targeted areas, IRD
also uses PROOF as an opportunity to engage communities in water, sanitation
and health activities. The programme mainly benefitted disadvantaged
households in terms of acc-essibility.
The disadvantaged include child-headed families, the elderly and people with
Overcoming the crisis in water and sanitation is one of the greatest human
development challenges and for people like Violet Mashavave (66) of Budiriro
1, safe drinking water is of paramount importance to her and her family of
“The system helps me provide my family with clean water and I even share
with my neighbours, it reduces the risk of cholera outbreaks.
“We use the collected water in the tanks for drinking and cooking but it is
more than enough for one family,” Mashavave said.
She expressed her joy at the promotion of a system that has always been
there but was not being appropriately utilised.
For decades people would collect rainwater from the roofs of their dwellings
for household purposes but they lacked the adequate knowledge on how to
properly store the water for future use.
Written by The Editor
Saturday, 12 March 2011 12:35
Unable to get the MDC to agree to polls this year, Zanu (PF) and its thugs,
many of them in the uniforms of the state security services, have clearly
decided to cause the unity government to collapse and force elections.
(Pictured: Robert Mugabe)
We are not surprised! That is exactly what President Robert Mugabe meant
when he declared not so long ago that Zimbabwe would hold elections this
year - with or without a new constitution. But that Zanu (PF) would be so
desperate that they would sabotage the coalition government in broad
daylight and resort to terror tactics such as we have witnessed in recent
weeks is truly shocking - even if nobody really expected Mugabe and his
party to behave any differently.
Obviously the prize to be won – another Zanu (PF) victory in another sham
election - is just too big to be missed. Mugabe and his party are prepared
to literally sell their own mother to secure another ballot under the
present flawed Constitution.
From day one, Zanu (PF) never dreamt that the MDC, especially that of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, would agree to share power with them in a
They were caught flatfooted by the MDC’s decision to enter the unity
government. What is worse, the former opposition’s stubborn refusal to fall
for the bait and quit the coalition at the slightest of provocations, has
left them baffled. The unilateral appointments of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, ambassadors and
provincial governors were all meant to frustrate the MDC into quitting the
The human rights abuses, political violence, farm invasions and looting of
national resources, especially diamonds from Marange, that have continued
since the formation of the unity government, were all part of a strategy to
destablise the administration and cause it to collapse. Likewise, last week’s
arrest of Energy Minister Elton Mangoma has nothing to do with fighting
corruption - not when the people who looted commercial farms and are looting
the Marange diamond fields freely roam our towns and villages.
The court-facilitated coup against House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo
should be seen in the same light. It has nothing to do with ensuring a
tradition of clean and ethical elections, as Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku would have us believe. Chidyausiku should first tell us why he
saw no problem swearing in Mugabe as President after the sham election of
2008 before he can lecture us about clean polls.
Mangoma and Moyo were targeted simply because they are MDC. It is all part
of a grand strategy to kill the unity government and force-march the nation
into elections under the defective Lancaster House Constitution. And for
Zanu (PF) to choose the week when Zimbabwe was hosting top local and foreign
business executives, bankers, policy makers and investors to escalate their
bid to take us back to the political chaos and economic lunacy of 2008 is a
new low - even by that party’s deplorable standards. Shame on them!
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst,London 12/03/11
News that more than 300 members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police including
recruits are headed for a tour of former camps of ZANLA and ZIPRA guerillas
in Mozambique and Zambia made interesting reading. More fascinating is the
picture of a policeman with a raised fist ‘Zanu-pf style’ as he reportedly
sings liberation war songs (The Zimbabwe Mail, 11/03/11).
The political tour being conducted as part of the brainwashing of people
into believing that targeted sanctions on Robert Mugabe and his inner circle
for rights abuses are against the country as a whole, will take the recruits
to former camps of Zimbabwe’s ZANLA (Zanu-pf’s military wing) and ZIPRA
(Zapu’s military wing) forces in the two countries which were bombed during
the liberation war.
What if, one of the recruits asked, “Who killed Herbert Chitepo?” What would
Zimbabwe’s Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri tell him or her? While the
answer to that question will not be easy without causing a big controversy
in Zanu-pf, it lies somewhere in the culture of impunity that continues to
As the country will soon be marking the memorial of the mysterious murder of
Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, the first black barrister in Southern Africa, in
Zambia on March 18, 1975, it is only proper and right to cast our thoughts
to that tragic event which claimed the life of one of Zimbabwe’s finest
Herbert Chitepo was the National Chairman of the Zimbabwe African National
Union (ZANU). He died in Lusaka when a bomb that was placed in his car
detonated moments before leaving for a meeting with the former president of
Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda that morning according to Gift Mambipiri of Jesuit
In her book, The Assassination of Herbert Chitepo, Luise White, Professor of
History at the University of Florida, Gainsville says there have been four
confessions and at least as many accusations about who was responsible.
There are no clear indications of who killed Chitepo despite the appointment
of the Chitepo Commission of inquiry by the Zambian government on 31st March
1975. A report produced by the Chona Commission has never been made public
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Standard in July 2001, Mrs Victoria
Chitepo, widow of the late national hero acknowledged that her husband was
killed by his associates in the liberation war. Mrs Chitepo was commenting
on contents of The Story of my Life, a book written by the late vice
president, Dr Joshua Nkomo whose serialization in the state owned Herald was
abruptly brought to an end.
According to the Zimbabwe Standard (15/07/01) it is widely believed that
Chitepo was murdered in the course of a power struggle by close Zanu-pf
allies. Ever since Zanu-pf officials have consistently blamed Rhodesian
security agents for Chitepo’s death. In an interview with The Standard in
1999, when visiting Nkomo’s grave, Kaunda said the actions of the Zanla
(Zanu-pf’s military wing) leadership in the aftermath of Chitepo’s death had
caused suspicion. He expressed surprise that the Zanla leadership had not
bothered to investigate Chitepo’s death.
As a sign that Chitepo’s family is still in pain, his daughter Thokozile
last week challenged Zimbabwe women writers to document all political
violence activities that happened over the years and write peace and
reconciliation and articles which promote national healing and present them
to politicians (Zimeye, 09/03/11).
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
I have been denudated by calls and emails about what MDC is doing to take
advantage of the political climate sweeping the continent. First was
Tunisia, Egypt and then Libya. I am not going to analyse the Middle East
because we don’t share the same political space and values. The mundane
arbitrary arrests by the Mugabe regime are a test of our resolve.
I do understand the position of our leaders, being in the GNU means you are
under the nose of surveillance, for the past 2 years the CIO who guarded
them have been documenting their misdemeanour , reserving for the election
onslaught. Even for those who have been loyal to the cause had their charges
drummed up to discredit them. How much I wish we never joined the GNU, by
now ZANU (PF) would have been gone. The spat of arrests and detentions are
all premeditated by ZANU (PF).
True revolution to oust Mugabe/ZANU (PF) can only come from assemblies
outside Zimbabwe. They have the political space, resources and the will for
they were haunted out of the country by ZANU (PF), knowing very well that
their existence was a threat to national security by ZANU (PF) standards. In
a vision for my country I can confirm that I ma ready to be a vehicle for
change, I have a vision to complete the struggle. I will mould the party,
strengthen the MDC institutions at home and lead Zimbabweans globally to
claim what is rightful ours, a true and democratic Zimbabwe, where Mugabe
can be put to rest in the history books. Those who have worked with me in
Zimbabwe know that, I don’t only talk tough but I deliver tough solutions
under tough decisions. I survived the battle of the 2 Elliot’s and I will
survive the battle of Gushungo versus Nyandoro (my totem).
I invite USA and South Africa assemblies and all Zimbabweans world wide to
support me in leading a peaceful transition to a new Zimbabwe and so help me
Lord. It is a push through bilateral and overt interagency.
The mission: to rally behind me in marching to Harare for a new Zimbabwe and
a new beginning. This is our year, it’s now or never!!
Zimbabweans, the power is in our hands.
Elliot Pfebve, the survivor.
Friday March 11th. 2011
I must apologise for my long silence. The fact is I was moving house and not
just round the corner but from the Midlands down to the south coast. Moving
from one part of the UK to another was almost as traumatic as moving from
one country to another but I’m settled now on the south coast nearer to some
at least of my family. There was the usual complete mess-up of broadband and
email so I have been almost completely cut off from the news but - surprise,
surprise, after nearly four weeks, nothing much has changed in Zimbabwe,
except for the worse. The MDC continues to be harassed and intimidated at
every turn and their meetings banned by the police on the grounds that such
gatherings are illegal; civic activists are picked up and detained for weeks
at a time and Jonathan Moyo, that notorious political turncoat, has
succeeded in getting the partisan Supreme Court to nullify the election of
the MDC’s Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the House. What seemed at first
another classic example of Moyo’s vindictive spite becomes clear when the
political ramifications are considered. In terms of the current constitution
if the serving president dies in office, it is the Speaker of the House who
assumes office until elections are called. An MDC Speaker must ring all
sorts of alarm bells in Zanu PF ranks; whether this indicates that Mugabe’s
health really is fragile is not clear but surely it is all part of the power
struggle in the succession battle.
On Thursday as Mugabe flew off to Addis Ababa for a meeting of the AU, came
the shocking news of yet another arrest of an MDC top official. Minister
Mangoma, a cabinet minister in the GNU was picked up not by a high ranking
police officer but by a constable. Nothing could better illustrate the
contempt Zanu PF feel for their ‘partners’ in government. By my count there
are now at least 4 MDC MPs in custody, not to mention all the other detained
On a more optimistic note, there are indications that Mugabe’s attempts to
decimate the opposition have not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world
despite the massive coverage of his friend Gadaffi’s murderous regime to
quash democratic voices in Libya. The US has warned Zimbabwe that
co-operation with Iran’s nuclear programme is being closely monitored.
Certainly, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have some very unsavoury allies but
then dictators must stick together, I suppose. Zimbabweans in the diaspora
were all wondering at the start of the Libyan crisis whether Gadaffi would
be given refuge in Harare like at least two other infamous human rights
abusers. Now that would have focussed the world’s attention on Zimbabwe! But
the Libyan leader goes on killing his own people, refusing to stand down and
abide by the wishes of citizens he describes as ‘drug fuelled’ and
brain-washed. It remains to be seen how that particular crisis will resolve
itself or whether the west will intervene. One thing is certain, dictators
the world over must now be aware that they ignore the will of the people at
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of the Dube
books, the latest of which, Sami’s Story is available on Lulu.com.
BILL WATCH SPECIAL
[11th March 2011]
National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill
The Public are Invited to Attend and Make Oral or Written Submissions
The House of Assembly Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce will be holding a public hearing on the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill next week:
Date and time: Tuesday 15th March at 9.30 am
Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Building, Harare
Committee Chairperson: Hon Mutomba
Committee Clerk: Ms Masara.
About the Bill
The Bill was gazetted on 5th November 2010. It provides for far-reaching amendments to the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Act, which dates from May 2007. Under the Bill the National Incomes and Pricing Commission will become the National Incomes and Pricing Board. The new Board will be a statutory body with its own staff and property, but will have much reduced powers and functions. The Board will be a mainly advisory body tasked with research and monitoring functions – unlike the Commission it will not have powers to fix prices and pricing standards or to control rentals, incomes and service charges. The Bill provides for the repeal of the sections of the Act covering those subjects. Price control will be covered by regulations and orders under the Control of Goods Act, as it was before 2007.
The Bill has not been well drafted or properly checked – for example clause 8 has a heading but no content, and there is not even a provision to change the title of the Act to reflect that the Commission becomes a Board. This sort of error should be rectified before the Bill is passed or there will be future confusion.
A Serious Omission – Who Will Control School Fees Not Mentioned in Bill
The Bill contains nothing to amend section 21 of the Education Act, which confers on the Commission the function of controlling fees and levies charged by non-Government schools – all fees and levies require the prior approval of the Commission. At the very least, to avoid future confusion and argument, the Bill should amend section 21 to refer to the new Board instead of the Commission. But it is also essential to consider whether the Board should have this important function at all. Responsibility for school fees and levies was not part of the Commission’s original mandate, but was only given to it in 2008, by the National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Act (No. 2 of 2008). Prior to that it was a function of the Ministry of Education. As most of the other functions given to the Commission by that Amendment Act are being jettisoned by the present Bill for policy reasons, it does not make sense to leave the Board with the school fees function. It would be logical to give these powers back to the Minister of Education.
Documents available on Request
· the Bill
· the National incomes and Pricing Commission Act as it is at present
· Extract from Education Act setting out section 21
Requests for electronic copies should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the public, Interested groups, business persons, organisations and captains of industry and commerce are invited to attend the hearing, at which they will be given the opportunity to give evidence and make representations on the Bill. If you are making a written submission, it is advisable to take as many copies as possible for circulation at the meeting. If you are able to take a copy to Parliament before the meeting and give it to the Committee Clerk, she will duplicate copies for the members of the Committee.
If you attend the hearing and want to make an oral submission, signify this to the Committee Clerk so that she can notify the chairperson to call on you. An oral submission is more effective if it is followed up in writing.
Persons attending the hearing must use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament, between Second and Third Streets. IDs must be produced.
Telephone queries: Harare 700181-9 or 252936-55 [ask for Committee Clerk Ms Masara, extension 2056].
If you are unable to attend the hearing, written submissions and correspondence may be addressed to:
The Clerk of Parliament
Attention: Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce
P.O. Box CY298
or emailed to email@example.com
Hand deliveries go to the desk at the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament, between Second and Third Streets.
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