Robert Mugabe’s henchmen are preparing to arrest Morgan Tsvangirai, his
coalition partner, for contempt of court after he accused the country’s
senior judges of doing the bidding of Mr Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.
By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg and Peta Thornycroft in Harare 4:53PM GMT 17
The arrest of Prime Minister Tsvangirai was discussed in Tuesday’s cabinet
meeting, government insiders told The Daily Telegraph.
On Wednesday, Augustine Chihuri, the Zimbabwean chief of police, is
understood to have visited the offices of the state-controlled Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation to collect a recording of Mr Tsvangirai’s allegedly
Mr Chihuri is a member of the feared Joint Operational Command, the military
junta which remained under Mr Mugabe’s command when the coalition deal was
struck in 2009. He is believed to be increasingly taking power as the
87-year-old dictator’s health declines.
In the past month, more than 100 activists and politicians of Mr Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change have been arrested, including Elton Mangoma,
the Energy Minister.
Mr Mangoma was detained over an allegedly fraudulent fuel deal struck with a
South African firm last January, when Zimbabwe was facing a fuel shortage.
The same day as Mr Mangoma’s arrest, the Supreme Court annulled the 2008
election as Speaker of Parliament of Lovemore Moyo, the MDC’s Chairman, over
what it said were voting irregularities.
After the verdict, a visibly angry Mr Tsvangirai was quoted as saying: “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.”
Jonathan Moyo, an ally of Mr Mugabe, said that Mr Tsvangirai had opened
himself up to “a clear and unambiguous risk of prosecution”.
Commentators say that the plan to arrest Mr Tsvangirai is part of a
concerted effort to force him to quit the coalition, allowing Zanu PF party
to call early elections and force Mr Mugabe back into office using the voter
intimidation and violence seen in previous polls.
Harare, March 17, 2011 - Zimbabwe police on Thursday banned the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) star rally that was set to be held on Saturday here
by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
A letter written to the Secretary General of the party, Tendai Biti, by the
Chief Superintendent G Gandana advised that the Saturday rally had been
cancelled because of another Zanu (PF) rally to be held 500 metres from the
"Please note that the roads that lead to your intended venue are the same as
that lead to the Zanu (PF) rally venue and there is a likelihood of clashes
between supporters which would then lead to violence," noted Gandana in his
However the MDC organising Secretary, Elias Mudzuri dismissed the move and
said the party will go ahead with the peace rally on Saturday.
He said: “With or without the police clearance our position is that we are
going to go on as planned and our secretary general, Tendai Biti had even
said so. Zanu (PF) can have its own rally and this can be possible and our
rally is a peace campaign.”
His sentiments were also echoed by his deputy, Morgan Komichi, who said:“Zanu
(PF) and Mugabe represent evil forces that want to deny the children of
Zimbabwe their right to freedom. We must remain strong in the struggle and I
am not scared of death. As democratic forces let’s resist this ploy by the
ZRP and our rally will go one without the police clearance.”
“We are now embarking on a new version of resistance. It is rather naïve for
us to think that we are still together with Zanu (PF),” he added.
Meanwhile in Mutare war veterans descended on schools demanding that schools
sign President Robert Mugabe's anti-sanctions campaign launched over a week
ago in Harare.
This follows reports in Masvingo that police and soldiers as well as state
journalists in Harare were being pressurised to sign the petition.
The war vets also gave talks to High School students on the history and the
war of liberation of Zimbabwe as well as Zanu (PF) slogans and chimurenga
“They said to us if our parents support the MDC we should tell them to stop
and support the party that liberated this country,” said one student
Masvingo, March 17, 2011 - In a desperate bid to meet the three million
signatures, the former ruling party, Zanu (PF) has allegedly taken the
anti-sanctions petition to the army barracks and police stations here where
it is forcing all officers to sign it.
In Harare state journalists have been forced to do the same.
Junior officers here have expressed disgruntlement after they were allegedly
forced by their chefs to sign the petition under their supervision as the
former liberation movement party continues to abuse members of the security
Police officers from the province’s seven districts have been ferried to the
provincial headquarters, Masvingo central police station, since Monday and
forced to put their signatures on the petition that was launched by
President Robert Mugabe a fortnight ago.
Investigations by Radio VOP after observing winding queues of junior
officers outside the police headquarters since Monday revealed that Zanu
(PF) had ordered the Police top brass to force all their subordinates to
sign the petition to increase the number of signatures on the petition.
The same operation is also said to be going on in all army barracks in the
country as junior soldiers are being forced to sign the petition under the
watchful eyes of the generals who are loyal to President Mugabe’s party.
A Police officer who preferred anonymity said they received an order from
their bosses and were also threatened with unspecified action if they
refused to sign the petition.
“We had no choice but to sign because the order came from the bosses and
they made it clear that those who refuse would be dealt with effectively
although they did not specify the kind of action they will take. All police
officers commanding the seven districts of Masvingo have been summoned to
bring their juniors since Monday as you can see them in queues waiting for
their chance to put their signatures,” he said.
He added that the exercise will be ending on Saturday as every district has
its on day to report at the police headquarters.
A soldier at four brigade said they were told by their generals that any
military men who refuse to sign would be confirming his sympathy for the
Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change and will be punished
for that. He, however, said the situation was similar to that of elections
were they are forced to vote for Zanu (PF) in front of their bosses in the
“We are always being abused by this party. They are forcing us to sign the
petition just like they do during elections when they make us vote for Zanu
(PF) in front of our generals who shower us with all kinds of threats
including death and dismissal from work. Right now all soldiers from the
army barracks in the province are reporting the headquarters where they are
putting their signatures,” said a junior soldier who declined to be named.
Journalists and employees from state owned media houses were also this week
forced to sign anti-sanctions campaign forms which are meant to push the
United State and the European Union member countries to remove targetted
sanctions on Mugabe and his close associates.
Mugabe was slapped with sanctions by the US and the EU after the violent
2002 presidential elections which was condenmed world wide. Mugabe then said
sanctions or NO sanctions he will continue to rule over the country. But
this year he made a u-turn with his party and embarked on the anti-sanctions
campaign to push for the removal of the embargo.
The anti-sanctions campaign was snubbed by Tsvangirai and his senior
government ministers and officials as well as the smaller formation of the
A reporter with the state-controlled Herald newspaper told Radio Vop that
senior editors and managers in different departments announced on Monday
that everyone under the Zimpapers stable, the parent company which owns
state newspaper must append their signatures for sanctions on Mugabe and his
cronies to be removed.
"Our editors told us on Monday that we must sign anti-sanctions campaign
forms for the sanctions to be removed. The announcement was done in a soft
way, they were saying it is voluntary but we know it is mandatory," said the
The Herald reporter said journalists and staff at the state owned and sole
country broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) were also
forced to sign the forms. ZBH is the parent owner of the state-contolled
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) which has two television stations
and four radio stations under its management.
The state media has been accused of supporting Mugabe Zanu (PF) party and
reporting propaganda and lies.
Herald assistant editor, Ceasar Zvayi, ZBC chief correpondent Reuben Barwe,
diplomatic correspondent, Judith Makwanya and former ZBC reoporter
Musorowegomo Mukosi are on the US sanctions list. The three are accused of
fanning violence, hatred and churning lies in support of Zanu PF and Mugabe
who are accused of human rights abuses.
The EU and US renewed sanctions on Mugabe and his top Zanu (PF) officials
with another year saying they are yet to implement key reforms in the
country for free and fair polls to be held.
Mugabe last year said he will not compromise in implementing key reforms in
the inclusive government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He said he
will only accept to implement reforms once the sanctions are removed on him.
The EU said its policy on Mugabe and Zanu (PF) is planned by Brussels and
the 27 member block will not be moved by the Zanu PF petition.
By Lance Guma
17 March 2011
Irene Petras, the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR), has denied press reports that their organisation refused to
represent three officials from the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) who have
been charged with treason.
Reports initially said five Bulawayo based lawyers, including ZimRights
chairman Kucaca Phulu, withdrew their membership from the ZLHR in protest at
a decision not to represent Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas, all
from the MLF which advocates a separate Ndebele state.
On the 3rd March police arrested the trio and charged them with treason, for
allegedly distributing pamphlets that urged members of the Zimbabwe National
Army to defect and take up arms under a Republic of Mthwakazi state. Reports
suggested the ZLHR said the three are “advocating for violence and hate
speech and for that reason do not fall within the definition of human rights
Bulawayo lawyers Lucas Nkomo, Robert Ndlovu, Sindiso Mazibisa, Matshobana
Ncube and Phulu objected to the reasons cited. Phulu drew comparisons with
the treason case involving International Socialist Organisation (ISO) leader
Munyaradzi Gwisai and 5 others saying;
“We know it is a lie by the state, so they get representation by ZLHR. But
there is no indaba to say that ISO has once circulated articles advocating
for jambanja so they are not human rights defenders.”
He also cited the examples of Peter Hitchmann and Roy Bennett who faced
similar charges, including having arms, but “the ZLHR was quite ready to say
the arms were planted and it was not true that they advocated violent means
to overthrow the government. We said that they were innocent until proven
Phulu said even though he disagreed with the views of the Mthwakazi
Liberation Front “this should not influence me as a human rights lawyer when
their case, which is on all fours with all other cases, is presented to me
to defend.” Phulu and his colleagues have since formed the Abammeli Human
Rights Lawyers’ Network.
But on Thursday Petras told SW Radio Africa that they were never approached
to represent Siwela, Gazi and Thomas and denied all the allegations being
Asked if they would have represented the trio, Petras said that was a ‘moot
point’ as they were never approached and Siwela and his colleagues had
already engaged their own lawyers. “Our work over the years speaks for
itself,” she said.
Responding to allegations that they are not detailing the Siwela case in
their email legal updates, Petras said this was because they were not given
any information from the lawyers representing the trio.
SW Radio Africa was not able to get Kucaca Phulu or any of the Bulawayo
lawyers, to get their response to the denial from Petras.
Written by Gift Phiri
Thursday, 17 March 2011 08:44
HARARE - Lawyers trying to free Munyaradzi Gwisai and five others from a
Harare jail said Wednesday they are still raising US$12,000 bail money in
Alec Muchadehama, the accused six’s solicitor, said yesterday that he had
raised about half of the bail set at the Harare High Court Wednesday
afternoon, where the six, Gwisai, Antonetar Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara,
Edison Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto who have been charged with
bizzare treason charges after they were caught watching footage of the
protests that led to the ouster of Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"We have to come up with US$12,000 and that is difficult to come by,"
Muchadehama said. "We are still running around."
The six have been granted stringent bail conditions by High Court judge
Justice Samuel Kudya that includes depositing US$2,000 bail each, to
continue residing at their given addresses, report at CID Law and Order
three times every week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and not to interfere
with state witnesses.
As the money is being raised, the six spent another night in Harare Central
Remand Prison after yesterday's High Court hearing.
“I find from the averments and contentions made for the respondent that its
case is so far not a strong one,” Justice Kudya ruled at the bail hearing.
The judge said from the evidence presented before the courts, there was
little to suggest that the six plotted to topple the President through Egypt
or Tunisia style uprising.
“The suggestion of endangering peace and security is again bald and
unsubstantiated. In my view, all the applicants are suitable candidates for
admission to bail,” Justice Kudya said in his ruling.
The State case is that on 19 February at 43 Julius Nyerere Way in Harare,
the accused held a meeting for the purposes of organizing, strategizing and
implementing the removal of a constitutional government of Zimbabwe by
unconstitutional means, the Tunisian-Egyptian way. Thirty nine have had
charges against them dropped.
But at least 12 of the activists were brutalised with broomsticks on their
buttocks and the soles of their feet, according to their defense attorney
Muchadehama. The remaining six are charged with treason, a charge that
carries a death sentence in Zimbabwe.
Written by The Zimbabwean
Thursday, 17 March 2011 10:39
The “Rituals” team appeared before the Mutare Magistrate’s Court this
morning charged under Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act for allegedly “intentionally and unlawfully making noise or
disturbance and beating drums…” represented by Cosmos Chibaya instructed by
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights pleading not guilty. The state opened its
case and defense did its outline and applied for exception on the basis that
the section the accused are being charged with only criminalizes people who
act wantonly or mischievously but the accused are professionals who did not
act wantonly or mischievously and the state outline is not clear in what way
the accused persons wantonly or mischievously made noise or disturbed peace.
In his argument, Cosmos Chibaya said the state outline is heavily loaded
with opinions and conclusions of the police but does not in any way support
the allegations that accused made noise by beating drums. He argued that the
accused pleaded not guilty and prayed for acquittal since the section
penalizes a conduct done wantonly or mischievously and if that cannot be
granted they have a right to demand verdict under the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act. He submitted the censorship certificate for “Rituals” and
emphasized that it has a stamp from the Ministry of Home Affairs who employ
the police which arrested the team.
In opposing the application for exception, the Public Prosecutor Fletcher
Karombe said the state believes there is a prima facie case to conduct this
trial. He went on to say that the state is not in dispute that the accused
persons were permitted to perform this play as approved by the Censorship
Board but is of the view that what was portrayed was not in line with what
was expected.The court will make a ruling on the application for exception
on the 22nd of March 2011. If the application is granted then the accused
persons will be acquitted without wasting the court’s case but if it is not
granted then the case will go for trial.
Speaking after the court case the producer of Rooftop Promotions said, “It
is funny that the state says what was portrayed was not in line with what
was expected and the million dollar question is: expected by who? We are
artists who reflect the challenges and triumphs of our society and it is an
indisputable fact that there was political violence in June 2008 and that
needs to be addressed as article VII of the GPA stipulates.”
Solidarity messages continued to pour from different circles and below are
“As this nuisance continues, always remember that we are together as this is
much more than artistic expression, but the moulding of the future of our
nation.” - Chirikure Chirikure.
Artistic expression helps define who we are as a people, but then we have
never been allowed to express ourselves, ironically by a government that is
always harping on about so-called sovereignty. Thank you Rooftop for being
the voice of the ordinary Zimbabwean. Do not give up Daves - Andrew
“To Daves Guzha and your team from “Rituals”, I send you support for your
hearing at the Mutare Magistrate’s Court on 17th March. My thoughts are with
you all and I thank you for the work you do to improve all our lives in
Zimbabwe” - Cathy Buckle, Marondera
“Accept my commitment to freedom of artistic expression and convey my
unflinching support for the "Rituals Ten" crew. To some misguided and
ignorant idiots they may be villains of the peace, but to us they are heroes
of the cultural revolution. Weep not, therefore” - Musaemura B Zimunya
“We are shocked to hear about this extraordinary action by the authorities.
The Republic of Zimbabwe has I take it signed up to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of which reads: “Everyone has the
right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to
hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
Neville and Jane Grant
“Rituals has operated completely within the law. The charges being brought
are oppressive, if not malicious. Theatre must be free” - John Earl
“I'm writing to express support and solidarity for the members of Rooftop
Theatre who will be appearing in court on 17th. I'm sure there are many
people around the world who are thinking of them, and who salute their
courage. Let's hope that justice and sanity will prevail, and that the group
can continue to perform their story of healing and reconciliation to
audiences in every corner of Zimbabwe” - Fiona Lloyd
“For your courage and integrity. May justice - and sanity - prevail!” - A.H.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 March, 2011
Supporters of the MDC in the Midlands district of Mberengwa have been
threatened with serious violence by so-called war vets and ZANU PF youths,
who said they want to “weed them out” of the area.
The chilling warning came at a ZANU PF meeting held at Vutsanana Business
Centre in Mataruse on Saturday. Edius Moyo, the MDC-T chairperson for
Mberengwa, confirmed the meeting to SW Radio Africa on Thursday.
Moyo said villagers were forced to attend the meeting and MDC supporters
were called out by name and taken to a separate venue. They were addressed
by a war vet named Sainayi Madhaka, who said they should leave Mberengwa in
the next few weeks or face the war vets who will be coming.
Unfortunately the phone lines were not clear and we lost connection to Moyo.
However the Daily News had spoken to Moyo earlier and he is quoted as
saying: “Madhaka and his team said what is happening now is just a tip of an
iceberg and the MDC leadership should start erecting a refugee camp for
their supporters because they won’t allow them to stay in Mberengwa.”
Moyo said the meeting was chaired by a village head named Peter Hove, who is
also the ZANU PF chairperson for Mataruse Ward B One. “We have Chief
Mataruse a known ZANU PF activist who gives these war veterans the green
light to harass our members,” Moyo added. Chief John Bhera-Mataruse has also
been accused of working with the war vets and ZANU PF supporters.
ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, who is a former MP for Mberengwa East,
painted a different picture when contacted by the Daily News. He claimed
that he had personally “engaged” their supporters “not to get involved in
any form of violence” and accused the MDC of “tarnishing” the image of his
But the situation on the ground shows otherwise. Several MDC supporters are
reported to have fled from Mberengwa’s Murongwe area last month, after war
vets led by a Retired Major Shava raided their homes because they had
boycotted a ZANU PF rally.
ZANU PF has been engaging in a countrywide campaign, intimidating and
harassing MDC supporters ahead of elections expected later this year. No
date has yet been set and the MDC has said they will not participate in
elections if the violence does not stop.
It remains to be seen whether Robert Mugabe will conduct a poll without
them, as he did when MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the
runoff back in 2008, due to the extreme violence.
Senior ZANU-PF Member threatens ZAPU members with death.
ZAPU wishes to put to the public attention the continued human rights
violations on its members by ZANU-PF officials. Recent events, particularly
in our stronghold of Mashonaland West province, are a replica of the events
preceding the atrocities committed on our members in the 1980s. Our members,
particularly in Hurungwe district, have been subjected to well calculated,
rehearsed and systematic threats of violence, displacement and death. In a
recent recurrence of these human rights violations, one Foni Madiro, a
senior member of ZANU-PF, threatened our provincial secretary for Security,
Mr. Alex Chiwara with violence and eviction from his Mambizi Farm. He is
also alleged to have threatened him with death if he failed to leave the
farm. Mr. Chiwara’s only crime is belonging to ZAPU, a political party of
We advised Mr. Chiwara to report this matter at the nearest police station,
which he did in Karoi, under RRB 1083402, CR 146/2/11. We are very grateful
to the police for their co-operation in this matter, but we would like to
warn all those with an insatiable appetite for human blood whose thirst was
not quenched by the more than 20,000 people who were slaughtered for
supporting ZAPU. Mr. Chiwara is an ex-ZIPRA liberation fighter with every
right, just like ordinary Zimbabweans, to own a piece of land. In the
meantime, a person who never fired a gun, even in his wildest dreams, armed
only with a phoney name and a thoroughly discredited party card, goes around
threatening those who liberated him, all in a desperate effort to be noticed
by his Mafia bosses in Harare. Madiro and his ilk must be reminded that land
ownership is a right; a hard won right, not a privilege. Land, if properly
distributed and managed, is perfect source of black economic empowerment.
However, it boggles the mind that the same self appointed disciples of black
economic empowerment are harassing the beneficiaries of the controversial
land reform programme while at the same time passing slogans disguised as
empowerment policies aimed at stripping and pillaging privately owned
properties. This only exposes the hypocrisy of this breed of corrupt and
selfish opportunists masquerading as politicians advancing the interests of
the ordinary citizens, when in fact they are celebrated capitalists
interested only in the wealth of them and close family members. If they are
genuine about empowering people they should support, not victimise
beneficiaries of the land reform irrespective of the political parties they
choose to support, instead of resorting to bribery and blackmail in order to
win sympathy and votes. In that regard, ZAPU calls on the inclusive
government, particularly those claiming to be agents of change and
excellence as part of their DNA, to focus less on issues like Gono, Tomana
and Bennett at the expense of enacting laws or policies that protect and
give security to land owners against any party bent on abusing access to
this God-given resource.
While we are encouraging our former liberation fighters, the disciplined and
well trained ex-ZIPRA forces, to engage communities in seeking forgiveness
and reconciliation, we are appalled by the fact that members of a liberation
movement are threatening the same traumatised communities. Zimbabweans
deserve peace. They deserve prosperity. Above all, they deserve a caring
government that does not discriminate its citizens according to political
affiliation, tribe and race. ZAPU is ready to offer such leadership, as a
servant of the people not as master and the citizens as its supreme
authority. In the meantime, we are encouraged by the recognition and
acknowledgement of ZAPU by SADC and some EU countries as evidenced by
several high-level engagements the parties are continuing to have regarding
various issues affecting Zimbabwe. We would like to assure all peace loving
Zimbabweans, irrespective of party affiliation, that ZAPU will use this
window of opportunity effectively. One way we are engaging these bodies is
through our recently established weekly SADC update platform were we submit
names and activities of individuals fingered in any human rights violations
anywhere in the country. All victims of politically motivated violence must
not hesitate to contact our offices throughout the country’s ten provinces.
ZAPU has a big surprise for all these blood sucking vampires.
Mso Ndlovu. Director of information, Publicity and Marketing (ZAPU)
Hubert Nyanhongo Unleashes a Reign of Terror in Nyanga North Constituency
The deteriorating security situation in Nyanga North Constituency is now a
cause of concern. A combined forces operations team descended on the poverty
ravished villagers in Mid February, scenes resembling a battle zone are the
order of the day. A dusk to dawn curfew has been declared in the area.
Hubert Nyanhongo has put together a menacing and lethal gang comprising
senior members of CIO, Army, Police, Zanu PF DCC, War veterans and Local
Zanu PF youths (See List below).
The MP of the area Hon Douglas Mwonzora (Who is the co-chairman of the
Constitution Parliamentary Committee) is languishing in remand prison facing
grey political violence charges and with him are 24 other people from his
constituency, amongst them is an 82 year old granny accused of assaulting
Zanu PF youths. The courts are playing hide and seek with justice, no sooner
as this group is granted bail than the prosecution files for an appeal
opposing release on bail.
Zanu PF torture bases have been set up in the constituency in ward 4 at
Murungwe Business Centre, Ward 10 ( Nyadomo) at Hubert Nyanhongo’s homestead
and ward 11 (Nyakomba) at Taziwa’s homestead. Hubert Nyanhongo a retired
army Major is running a militia training camp at his homestead, more than 70
youths are observed everyday in the morning engaged in military drills and
road runs. During the exercises they carry sticks and other wooden objects
Teachers have been special targets some have been abducted and assaulted at
the bases . Chatindo School bears testimony to the onslaught as teachers
have fled the area and as a result pupils have stopped going to school. On 6
March 2011 an MDC-T supporter’s homestead was burnt down to ashes, he has
since fled from the area as the militia is hunting for him. The gang that is
terrorizing villagers in the constituency are traveling in a blue mini bus
courtesy of Hubert Nyanhongo.
Ordinary members of the community have sought refuge in mountains in the
area and across the border in Mozambique. Several homesteads have been
abandoned , whole communities have trekked down to Nyanga South constituency
escaping war in the north .These refugees have been taken in by other
households, there are 25 people staying at one household in Nyanga South.
Reports note that the CIO is attempting to bring these people down from the
mountains, whether this is meant to create peace or to ensure that their
colleagues have easy access to the intended victims is not clear.
The prominent perpetrators leading the campaign of violence in Nyanga North
have recorded cases of political violence perpetrated in 2002 and 2008. The
army officers in particular were deployed in the same areas they are in now,
this is a terrifying signal of the ground work that is being carried out by
Zanu PF in preparation for any election. The police has been rendered
powerless their constitutional obligation weighed down by directives of the
powers that be,that have invaded the district. The caliber of personnel that
has been deployed to Nyanga north betrays the depth of determination with
which Zanu PF is approaching the Nyanga North issue.
The leaders in the Nyanga North military campaign are;
Hubert Nyanhongo - Aspiring Zanu PF candidate for Nyanga
Moses Gutu – DCC Chairman
Kupenya – former GMB boss
Lovemore Chiburura – DCC youth chair
Francis Mutonhodza – Zanu PF Central committee member
Tapiwa Murumowenyoka – Clr. Ward 20
Chikazhe – ZNA Tsanga Lodge
Chief Saunyama – Tradtional chief
Joseph Nyakatawa – CIO boss
Mhara – deputy CIO boss
Colonel Dzirutwe – All Arms Battle School (AABS)
Colonel Lancelot Sanyatwa – Commander PG Brigade
Colonel Kuhuni - Army
Retd Brig Kasu- ZIFA board member
Chiocha – Zanu PF
Paul Kadzima – Zanu PF losing candidate
Taona Mupiwa – Zanu PF youth coordinator
Trust Hotera - ZRP
Courage Nyakutombwa – Zanu PF Chairman
Gift Tombo – Zanu PF
Manyuchi – War veteran
By Alex Bell
17 March 2011
Zimbabweans in London are set to demonstrate outside their country’s embassy
on Monday, over the deteriorating situation back home.
The protest has been prompted by the UK’s decision to resume deportations
back to some parts of Zimbabwe, after a newly revised country guidance case
found it was safe to send people back. Justice Blake from the Immigration
and Asylum Chamber (IAC) on Monday announced a revised formal guideline for
sending people back to Zimbabwe, paving the way for deportations from the UK
to resume. Last October the UK’s Immigration Minister Damian Green said that
the 2006 suspension on Zimbabwean deportations would be lifted, dependent on
the guidelines announced this week.
The MDC UK and Ireland External Assembly is now calling for a demonstration
to protest against the decision to start deporting failed asylum seekers
back to Zimbabwe, despite the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. Robert
Mugabe’s ZANU PF has launched an intensified campaign of violence and
harassment against human rights activists and MDC members and supporters in
recent weeks. The MDC UK said in a statement that Mugabe “realises that he
cannot win any free and fair election in Zimbabwe, so he has resorted to the
same repressive tactics (he used in 2008) by arresting MDC officials,
Ministers and MPs, detaining them, denying them bail, and making them rot in
his filthy cells.”
“ZANU PF is now relying on violence, a biased police force, biased soldiers
and a biased judiciary to win what it failed to win in elections.
Zimbabweans have been so cowed by ZANU PF intimidation at markets, on buses,
and even in their homes and villages that they no longer speak out,” the MDC
The UK branch of the party accused Britain’s Conservative/Liberal Democratic
government’s of being ‘obsessed’ in returning Zimbabweans “back to a country
that is gripped with political violence and in meltdown.”
“How can the Immigration and Asylum Upper Chamber say its safe to return
Zimbabweans when the world media is clearly highlighting the violence in
Zimbabwe and unrepentant Mugabe?” the MDC UK questioned.
The group has called for a demonstration outside the Zimbabwean Embassy on
Monday at noon.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 March, 2011
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai continued his tour of SADC countries this
week, meeting with the Swazi King Mswati 3rd on Wednesday. Under pressure to
respond to a ZANU PF crackdown against his party, Tsvangirai is on a
diplomatic mission in the region and is hoping to establish ground rules for
a roadmap to elections in Zimbabwe that SADC leaders will support.
Having last week admitted that the coalition government is not working, the
MDC-T president is also briefing SADC leaders on the ongoing arrests and
torture of party officials and political activists.
Tsvangirai’s meeting with King Mswati comes after he met Zambian President
Rupiah Banda and Mozambique’s leader Armando Guebuza on Tuesday. He told
reporters that he wanted them to be “fully briefed” on the situation in
This diplomatic offensive by Tsvangirai comes ahead of a meeting of the SADC
Troika on politics, defense and security, that is due next week. The MDC
leader wants Troika members to be clear on the MDC position regarding the
GPA and elections.
The MDC-T is opposed to elections this year, that Mugabe has said he wants.
They also want the GPA to be fully implemented before any polls can take
place. Zambia’s President Banda chairs the Troika. The other members are
South African President Jacob Zuma and Armando Guebuza of Mozambique.
Some observers have said the trip is a waste of time, given SADC’s two year
failure to influence Robert Mugabe and oversee the full implementation of
the GPA that was brokered by the regional grouping.
South African based journalist Thabo Kunene, is someone who believes the
trip is a waste of time and money. Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Crisis
Analysis programme, Kunene said: “SADC has failed Zimbabweans. There has
been no political will to pressure Mugabe. And it is up to us to free
ourselves from this dictator.”
But Kunene warned that there is a price to pay for freedom. “Are we ready to
die for freedom. We cannot expect to get it for free. Look at what is
happening in North Africa where people have died trying to remove the
governments,” said the journalist.
Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said the elections would go on despite
Tsvangirai's efforts; “Let him go anywhere where he thinks he can get help,
but I can assure you that the momentum in Zimbabwe is unstoppable. The
president has no respect for a political leader who conscripts a regional
leader to douse a fire in his own home. The essence of politics is to be
able to handle pressure.”
London, March 17, 2011 - A UK Labour MP, Kate Hoey said President Robert
Mugabe cannot be removed from power through force such as what has happened
in countries like Egypt.
Hoey who has been described by Mugabe's men as the woman who sneaks in and
out" of Zimbabwe was at one point threatened with arrest but she has not
She was in Zimbabwe in 2005 when the devastating Operation Murambatsvina
(drive out filth) was unleashed on urban dwellers leaving thousands of them
without shelter. In 2006 she witnessed the brutal assault of trade union
leaders some of whom are now crippled by the injuries they suffered and also
watched the 2008 electoral violence.
"Mugabe can't be broken by any Iraq, Egypt or Libya. It's not a workable
solution in that beautiful country which is full of peace loving people,"
said Hoey. "All we can do is to continue doing things that give hope to the
people of Zimbabwe and things that will get Zimbabwe back to a situation
where it takes its place among great nations."
"We must keep the international interest on Zimbabwe. SADC, African Union,
South Africa and the European Union must offer Zimbabwe the support it needs
to have a free and fair election. They should make sure that the agreed
benchmarks are put in place particularly the media which is quite crucial in
Hoey dispelled the argument that is usually put on the table by some African
leaders that Zimbabwe is an African problem that needs an African solution.
"I have said many times it would be great if there was an African solution
but we have waited long enough for quiet diplomacy to work.
"Africans must hang their heads in shame for having allowed such a desperate
situation to continue almost without anybody doing anything to try and stop
it," said Hoey.
In the past she has pushed for the expulsion of children of Zanu (PF)
ministers studying at schools and universities in the UK and other western
countries as part of a campaign to pressure for the restoration human rights
and democracy in Zimbabwe.
She is still of the opinion that Zimbabwe should be excluded from all
international sporting events until democracy is restored in Zimbabwe.
"I will continue to call for a sporting boycott of Zimbabwe something which
was so successful in fighting apartheid in South Africa," she said.
Human Rights Watch in a recent report said a lack of accountability for
politically motivated violence and the Harare government's failure to
prosecute offenders will ensure more violence in the next elections
Tatenda Gumbo | Washington 16 March 2011
Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged the Southern African Development
Community to follow the lead of other African regional bodies and take a
more critical stance where President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF are
The watchdog group pointed to action by the Economic Community of West
African States, or ECOWAS, which has pressured incumbent Ivorian President
Laurent Gbagbo to cede his post to president-elect Alassane Ouattara based
on November elections.
Noting a growing trend of violence and breaches of human rights in Zimbabwe,
Human Rights Watch argued that SADC must openly list incidents of violence
and name the responsible parties, in particular ZANU-PF militants and
Human Rights Watch recently issued a report on violence in Zimbabwe and
found evidence of violent actions for which it held ZANU-PF backers mainly
Human Rights Watch said a lack of accountability for politically motivated
violence in Zimbabwe and the Harare government's failure to prosecute
offenders in connection with previous incidents will ensure more violence in
the next elections.
The organization urged the unity government to launch investigations and
prosecute those responsible for past and present human rights violations
Human Rights Watch African Division Senior Researcher Tiseke Kasambala told
VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that it should be clear to SADC that one
side of the so-called unity government is operating in bad faith.
Kasambala said that ECOWAS in condemning Gbagbo acted on its basic
principles of democracy, good governance and human rights. She added that if
SADC followed suit, it would receive strong support from the African Union
as ECOWAS has done.
The Zimbabwe National Statistical agency said the 12-month inflation rate
slowed to 3 percent in February from 3.3 percent in January, with monthly
inflation last month subsiding 0.9 percent in January
Gibbs Dube | Washington 16 March 2011
A delegation from the International Monetary Fund arrived in Harare on
Wednesday to begin routine economic consultations with the government and
financial institutions amid threats from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
to seize foreign-owned firms.
Economists said the IMF team, conducting a so-called Article IV
consultation, is expected to meet senior economic and Treasury officials,
Reserve Bank representatives and financial institution executives for an
update on the economy.
Talks were likely to focus on the nation's US$7 billion debt, sources said.
The delegation will meet with business leaders amid concerns ZANU-PF wants
to seize companies whose parents are based in countries that are maintaining
so-called targeted sanctions on President Mugabe and other ZANU-PF officials
IMF officials are unlikely to be pleased by news that ZANU-PF has targeted
Coca-Cola Bottlers, Nestlé Zimbabwe and banks with British parent companies.
Economist Daniel Ndlela said the IMF team will also discuss issues of
governance with key stakeholders. “While focusing on fiscal issues, the
delegation will obviously look into issues of governance and moves by one of
the ruling parties to take over foreign-owned firms linked to Western
nations,” the economist said.
Elsewhere, the Zimbabwe National Statistical agency said the 12-month
inflation rate slowed to 3 percent in February from 3.3 percent in January.
It said monthly inflation in February was 0.5 percent compared with 0.9
percent in January.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has forecast 2011 inflation of 4.5 percent with
economic growth accelerating to a 9.3 percent expansion of gross domestic
The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe are counting
votes in Parliament while lawyers examine legal issues
Brendan Murphy | Washington 16 March 2011
The two main parties in Zimbabwe's fractious government of national unity
are facing off over the position of speaker of the House of Assembly,
vacated last week by a Supreme Court decision setting aside the 2008
election of incumbent Lovemore Moyo.
The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, of which Moyo is a senior official, and the Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front of President Robert Mugabe, are counting
votes while lawyers examine legal issues.
Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma said Tuesday that deposed speaker Moyo had
no vote to cast in the House as he had resigned his seat as member for
Matopo, Matabeleland North, when he was elected speaker in an election
eventually challenged successfully by Tsholotsho member Jonathan Moyo, a
former minister of information.
But legal experts said Zvoma was off base and taking a political slant on
the question. Since then Zvoma has written to Attorney General Johannes
Tomana asking for his opinion in the matter. Tomana told VOA that he would
respond on Thursday.
Sources in the attorney general’s office said Tomana will advise Zvoma that
Moyo should revert to his Matopo seat - still unfilled - and cast votes as a
Currently the Tsvangirai MDC holds 97 seats, ZANU-PF 95, and the smaller MDC
led by Welshman Ncube controls 7 seats. Some 14 members have died since the
2008 general elections and the Ncube MDC unseated three members for
Party sources said ZANU-PF is fielding its chairman, former ambassador to
South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo, while the Tsvangirai will again back Moyo.
The smaller formation of the former opposition party will put forward Paul
National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told VOA Studio 7
reporter Blessing Zulu that in his opinion Moyo should have the right to
By Lance Guma
17 March 2011
Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo, on Tuesday tried to whip up public
sentiment against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, claiming the MDC leader
should be arrested for criticizing judges in the Supreme Court.
Following a controversial decision by the Supreme Court to nullify the
election of Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament Tsvangirai said; “This
decision is a clear reflection of the state of affairs on the Bench. A
judiciary, which in the post-Dumbutshena and post-Gubbay era, has largely
discredited itself by becoming a willing appendage of Zanu PF.”
Jonathan Moyo immediately went on the attack claiming; “Tsvangirai has done
what nobody else in the executive has ever done. He has undermined not only
the rule of law, but his own claims to be a champion of democracy and rule
of law and proven that he has no respect or understanding of the rule of
But a rebuke of Moyo’s rant was to come from respected law lecturer Dr Alex
Magaisa, who chronicled the long list of ZANU PF officials, who have
criticized judges over the years. Dr Magaisa said concern had to be raised
if the law was to be applied selectively, arguing few politicians could
claim to have clean hands, not least Moyo himself, who cropped up in most of
the examples given.
“In October 2000 the then Information Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo
issued vicious criticism of High Court judge, Justice Chatikobo, whom he
accused of being a “night judge dispensing night justice” having granted an
urgently sought interdict after hours,” Magaisa wrote in his blog.
The case involved Capital Radio who sought urgent protection from the courts
against Moyo, who wanted to seize its broadcasting equipment. Justice
Chatikobo granted an order against the government and Moyo ridiculed it on
the grounds it had been issued by a “night judge, in a night court” and that
the result had merely been “night justice”. There were no charges of
contempt of court against Moyo.
But as Magaisa observed the matter did not end there, as Moyo wrote to the
then Judge President Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, registering government’s
disquiet over the ruling in the Capital Radio saga. This resulted in the
High Court instituting investigations into the conduct of Justice Chatikobo.
Tired of the victimization, Justice Chatikobo later resigned and went to
Not to be outdone was the clownish leader of the war vets Joseph Chinotimba,
who invaded the Supreme Court in November 2000 “to start what was to become
the effective purge of the judiciary, removing judges who were regarded as
being unfavourable towards the Fast Track Land Reform Programme,” Magaisa
In one incident Chinotimba is quoted as having declared: “Devittee is a
judge for opposition political parties. The way Gubbay went, is the same way
he is to go”. Needless to say he was not charged with contempt of court.
In 2002 Mugabe was quoted as having remarked at a reception for MP’s that
the government would not obey judgments which it regarded as “subjective.”
He is quoted as having stated, “We will respect judges where the judgments
are true judgments.”
Solidarity Peace Trust
SPT-Zimbabwe Update No.1. March 2011: The
effects of the events in North Africa on Zimbabwean Politics
Mugabe's Zanu PF have responded with a combination of renewed coercion of opposition and civic leaders, and combined this with the launch of their campaign for the next election which could take place in either 2011 or 2012. Soon after the events in Tunisia and Egypt, Zanu PF organized a form of pre-emptive demonstrations and violence demanding a greater indigenization of the economy. This action and its accompanying demand need to be understood within the context of the Mugabe regime's attempt to construct the 'sanctions' or 'targeted measures' imposed by the EU and US on key figures of Zanu PF for human rights abuses since 2000, as a regime change strategy that amounted to broader economic sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe. The sanctions campaign has thus become the central focus of the ruling party's strategy both as a central election strategy and as an attempt to mobilize popular opinion to give the impression that the real heirs of the events in North Africa are not the opposition forces but the ruling party itself. In this scenario the popular risings in North Africa have been interpreted as struggles against authoritarian regimes propped up by Western imperialism and thus sharing a common vision with Zanu PF's anti-imperialist message. In the words of one of its key media messengers, Tafataona Mahoso:
Furthermore as one of Zanu PF's chief ideologues, Jonathan Moyo writes, this battle against the 'regime change sanctions' strategy is the latest in a long-line of anti-colonial struggles to 'reclaim' the rights of the 'indigenous people' to the resources of the country. Thus the battles against the colonial regime were continued in the land struggles of the post 2000 period and in the current conjuncture find their embodiment in the fight to impose majority indigenous control over the entire economy. Key to this final struggle, cast in an 'End of History' worldview, is the intent to mobilise the youth as the key beneficiary of this process.
In both these constructions the battle for democratization and human rights in North Africa is either ignored or denigrated as a foreign, Western agenda. Moreover there has been a selective coverage of the events in North Africa with limited coverage in the state media of the events in Libya compared to the much wider reportage of the events in Egypt and Tunisia. Because of the Mugabe regime's close relationship with Gaddafi, the state media has largely parroted Gaddafi's interpretation of the popular demonstrations in Libya as a Western-sponsored ploy to effect 'illegal regime change'.
Armed with such interpretations of events in North Africa the Zanu PF state arrested 45 activists in early March 2011 who had gathered to view a video on the North African protests. 36 of these activists have since been released but the rest have been charged with treason. Aside from this incident there have been two bogus campaigns calling for mass protests through the social networking websites that predictably have come to naught. This is because whatever the similarities in the authoritarian regimes confronting the peoples of North Africa and Zimbabwe, there are crucial differences. The 'Egypt moment' in Zimbabwe occurred in the late 1990's when a strong alliance of trade union and civic forces confronted the Mugabe regime in a series of strikes, stay-aways, demonstrations, the creation of a vibrant constitutional movement and the formation of a strong, national, and multi class opposition party that effectively challenged the ruling party at the polls throughout the 2000's, and in 2008, against great odds and a long history of state violence, defeated the party of liberation in the elections of that year. The decisive difference between the current events in North Africa and the situation in Zimbabwe was the role of the military, which in Zimbabwe effectively blocked the popular vote from being translated into a change of state power.
In the current moment it is highly unlikely that such an uprising will occur again, the least important reason being the lower levels of internet penetration in Zimbabwe. More fundamentally the livelihood structure of the Zimbabwean economy has been completely deconstructed in the period of the crisis, with the formal working class effectively decimated, thus undercutting a key constituency of the opposition movement. Moreover there has been a movement of some 2 million Zimbabweans into the dispora that has in some ways displaced the crisis at national levels onto a broader regional and international plane. The land occupations of the post 2000 period have also, not only caused displacement and economic disruption; they have also created a constituency for Zanu PF through the substantive numbers of Zimbabweans who have received land. Thus the Mugabe regime has countered the challenge to its sovereignty in elections, by calling on the legitimacy and sovereignty it claims from the legacy of the liberation struggle and the taking of land from the former settler community. This conflict of sovereignties, underwritten by persistent state violence and coercion, has complicated the democratic struggles in Zimbabwe and made any easy comparison with events in North Africa, which have their own enormous complexities, untenable.
For further information, please contact Selvan Chetty - Deputy Director, Solidarity Peace Trust
Tel: +27 (39) 682 5869