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Mangoma blames Mugabe for arrest

Thursday, 17 March 2011 21:10

Dumisani Muleya

ENERGY and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma Friday blamed President
Robert Mugabe  (pictured) for his arrest on corruption allegations involving
a fuel supply tender, saying he was shocked that after clearing the air with
the president two weeks ago he was still arraigned.

This came as state security agencies were plotting fresh charges against
Mangoma to re-arrest him. Dossiers, leaked to state media, have already been
prepared and the minister could soon find himself in trouble again.

In his first interview since he was released by High Court judge Samuel
Kudya on US$5 000 bail on Tuesday, Mangoma told the Zimbabwe Independent his
arrest was malicious because he had explained the issue in cabinet on March
1 and to Mugabe on March 3 to everyone’s satisfaction.

Mangoma insisted he had acted in the “national interest” in an emergency
situation, only to be rewarded with arrest and detention for five days.

“I don’t know who exactly was behind it (his arrest) but what I do know is
that it’s Zanu PF officials responsible. He (Mugabe) is involved in it. This
issue was discussed in cabinet recently and the matter was cleared before
him,” Mangoma said.

“Further to the cabinet meeting, I met him (Mugabe) the Thursday before I
was arrested (March 3) and we discussed the issue extensively. I briefed him
on the factual position and gave him the details. As far as I was concerned
the issue was resolved and the case closed because he was now fully aware of
the facts.”

Mangoma said the US$6 million fuel deal between South African fuel
suppliers, Mohwelere and NOOA, was necessitated by a national emergency as
there was a shortage of supplies in the country.

Justice Kudya on Tuesday said the case against Mangoma was based on “scant
facts” and had very little prospect of success. He said Mangoma might have
done the wrong thing while genuinely pursuing a noble cause as there was a
national crisis.

Mangoma will, however, stand trial at the High Court on March 28. The state
claims Mangoma violated tender procedures in awarding a five-million litres
fuel supply contract to Mohwelere and NOOA. Six witnesses, including his
permanent secretary Justin Mupamhanga, have been lined up to testify against

Mangoma’s arrest has further divided the already fractured inclusive
government as Zanu PF officials and ministers blame each other for the
indictment whose basis virtually collapsed in court this week.

Mangoma’s arraignment shed light on behind-the-scenes infighting within Zanu
PF which is mainly influenced by the festering power struggle in the party
over Mugabe’s succession.

The Zanu PF succession battle is also now reflecting itself even in the
fight of who the next Speaker of parliament would be after the ousting of
Lovemore Moyo last week.

Informed sources said Mangoma’s arrest was discussed during acting President
John Nkomo’s meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday last
week and on Monday during Mugabe’s encounter with the premier. Prior to the
Monday meeting, Tsvangirai had raised the issue with diplomats during his
briefing on Friday last week.

The matter was also hotly debated in cabinet on Tuesday, further piling
pressure on Mugabe. Sources said divisions over Mangoma’s arrest surfaced
when Nkomo met with Tsvangirai last Thursday.

“Tsvangirai went to see Nkomo fuming last week on Thursday over Mangoma’s
arrest. Nkomo distanced himself from the arrest. It emerged in that meeting
that the Mnangagwa faction was behind the move,” a source said.

“Mugabe apparently thinks the arrest was wrongly executed. The president
openly distanced himself from the issue on Monday and even told the premier
Mangoma should be out the following day (Tuesday).”

Mangoma was released by the High Court on bail on Tuesday. Kudya virtually
dismantled the case ahead of trial on March 28, leaving those behind his
arrest with an uphill task to secure a conviction.

However, the source said Mugabe’s dissociation from the issue appeared to
have been “damage limitation” because before a cabinet minister is arrested
his approval has to be sought.

Zanu PF hardliners aligned to Defence minister Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF camp and
their allies within state security structures, the ministry, and government’s
legal department, working with MDC-T disgruntled collaborators, were behind
the Mangoma arrest, it was said.

Mnangagwa yesterday declined to comment on the allegations. Mangoma said he
did not know if  Mnangagwa was involved but indicated he knew the minister
for a long time.

Mangoma, however, dismissed claims by some senior Zanu PF officials linked
to Mnangagwa that he was related to the defence boss. “I’m not related to
him although I know him for a long time, in fact since 1982,” Mangoma said.
“We worked together in the past.”

Tsvangirai has been raising the Mangoma saga in the region where he is
currently updating the regional leaders on the crisis in the inclusive
government, according to his close aides.

The unity government’s top six leaders comprising Mugabe, co-vice-presidents
Nkomo and Joice Mujuru, as well as Tsvangirai and his two deputies,
Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, were expected to meet this week to
deal with problems in the coalition arrangement, including Mangoma’s arrest.

An extraordinary cabinet meeting is also expected soon to discuss problems
in the inclusive government.
South African President Jacob Zuma, Sadc facilitator in Zimbabwe, this week
dispatched his special envoy Mac Maharaj in a bid to contain and manage the
inclusive government crisis.

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Zanu PF factions battle for Speaker’s post

Thursday, 17 March 2011 21:06

Faith Zaba/Paidamoyo Muzulu

ZANU PF is deeply divided along factional lines over the parliamentary
Speaker’s job, with at least seven names being thrown into the hat to
contend with the MDC-T’s Lovemore Moyo and Paul Themba Nyathi of the smaller
MDC faction.
Top Zanu PF sources yesterday told the Zimbabwe Independent that at least
two lists had emerged, as groups aligned to long-time rivals and politburo
heavyweights Emmerson Mnangagwa and General Solomon Mujuru, intensify their
power struggle to secure the powerful Speaker’s post.

The battle between the two factions mirrors the ongoing struggle to succeed
President Robert Mugabe.

The MDC-T wants to retain Moyo for the post he lost following a Supreme
Court ruling nullifying his election over electoral irregularities, while
the faction led by Welshman Ncube, which holds the balance of power in the
hung parliament, is hoping to convince Zanu PF to buy Nyathi once again.

The smaller MDC is likely to use the impending election as a bargaining chip
to push either Mugabe or MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to recognise Ncube
as one of the three principals.

Moyo, who is the MDC-T’s national chairman, narrowly beat Nyathi by 110
votes to 98 to assume the Speaker’s post in 2008. Zanu PF did not contest
the job.

These elections are crucial to Moyo as he is also facing stiff competition
for his party position in the upcoming MDC-T congress.

Zanu PF sources said Vice President Joice Mujuru met the party’s chairman
Simon Khaya Moyo this week to discuss his possible candidacy.

In addition to Moyo, the Mujuru faction is also said to be pushing for
Goromonzi MP Biata Nyamupinga and Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti as
its second and third choices.

Other names being tossed around the Mujuru camp are Guruve North MP Edward
Chindori-Chininga and Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda.

Sources from the Mujuru camp feel that Moyo, who was Zimbabwe’s Ambassador
to South Africa for 10 years, might not garner enough support to win the

“The general feeling among MPs is that anyone outside parliament might not
be able to convince other legislators from the other MDCs to vote for them.
So we believe that even though SK Moyo is the most senior member, he might
not be able to win that election,” said the source.

On the other hand, the Mnangagwa group has proposed that Mugabe appoints SK
Moyo a non-constituent MP in order for him to replace Vice President John
Nkomo as minister of national healing.

The group wants the Speaker job to be reserved for a female candidate and
has suggested that Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri contests on a Zanu
PF ticket.

Zanu PF chief whip and Mberengwa West MP Joram Gumbo is their second choice.

“We want to use the gender ticket so we are proposing Muchinguri,” said
another source. “She has the right standing for that post. Gumbo has been
the chief whip for about 18 years and we feel that he could easily win the
election because he gets along with everyone across the political divide. We
feel more names should be put forward to choose from.”

The election of a new Speaker comes against the backdrop of vicious
wrangling between the two bitter factions characterised by behind-the-scenes
lobbying and alliance formations.

The sources said discussions were under way between Zanu PF and Ncube’s MDC
to support their candidate.

“We are talking to the other MDC and we have told them that since we
supported their candidate in the last election, they should now support
ours. They would be returning the favour. We understand that they are
consulting each other over that issue,” said the source.

However, MDC deputy president Edwin Mushoriwa said his party would use its
unique position to win the seat or use its numbers as a bargaining chip to
have Ncube declared one of the principals.

“We consider fielding our 2008 candidate Paul Themba Nyathi again. This
position is informed by recent Zanu PF and MDC-T ganging up to block Ncube’s
ascendancy to deputy premier after our congress in January,” said Mushoriwa.

MDC-N accuses Mugabe of deliberately protecting Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara as one of the principals of the GPA despite Ncube’s assuming the
party’s presidency.

Tsvangirai refused to take sides saying the matter was an internal

MDC-T is steadfast that it will win the Speaker’s post on the strength of
its numbers in the House and support from dissident MPs belonging to the
other two parties.

MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese said: “The party has not changed its
position. We will field Moyo and hope that we will get support from across
the political divide just like in 2008.”

However, Ncube’s MDC still remains the power broker with its eight votes
being crucial in who wins the post.  MDC-T has 97 MPs, including Moyo while
Zanu PF has 96.

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‘Telecel board continues to consult Makamba’

Thursday, 17 March 2011 21:04

Paidamoyo Muzulu

TELECEL Zimbabwe acting chairman Jane Mutasa has accused her company’s
majority shareholder Telecel International of breaching the country’s laws
by continuing to consult exiled businessman James Makamba on its local
operations despite boardroom changes.
Mutasa complained to the Media and Communication Portfolio Committee of
parliament yesterday that the Telecel board merely used her to rubber-stamp
decisions they would have made in consultation with Makamba in South Africa.

Mutasa leads local consortium Empowerment Corporation, which owns 40% of
Telecel Zimbabwe, which is the country’s second largest mobile phone

“Egyptians and Kestrel Corporation (Makamba’s investment vehicle) hold
meetings in South Africa. My bone of contention is that they want me to
endorse decisions made in my absence,” said Mutasa.

She said her opposition to foreigners being hired as senior managers ahead
of locals was central to Telecel International sidelining her in making
critical decisions.

“The board has hired foreigners to fill all executive positions against
indigenisation policy and these guys are not answerable to me,” Mutasa

The managing director, finance director, technical director and commercial
roll-out manager of Telecel Zimbabwe are all foreigners.

She further alleged that Telecel’s audited results were being kept away from
her by the managing director and financial director.

The government withdrew Telecel’s operating licence last year until it
regularised its shareholding structure in accordance with Zimbabwe’s
indigenisation policy.

This requires that locals own  51% or more of any business valued above
US$500 000.

Telecel International owns 60% of Telecel Zimbabwe.  Asked to reveal her
company’s shareholding, Mutasa said Empowerment Corporation comprised
Cellphone Investments (21,7%), Indigenous Women Business Organisation
(0,0023%), Small Scale Miners (8%) and Kestrel Corporation (Makamba’s
investment vehicle) (70%).

Other founding shareholders, such as the Affirmative Action Group, War
Veterans Association, Integrated Engineering Group and Zimbabwe Farmers
Union, all disposed of their stakes.
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Police ban weekend MDC-T peace rallies

Thursday, 17 March 2011 21:01

Bernard Mpofu

POLICE in Harare have banned MDC-T rallies scheduled for this weekend,
saying Zanu PF had either booked the venues or was holding its own rallies
in close proximity to where the MDC-T wanted to assemble.
Officer commanding Harare Central District, Chief Superintendent Garikai
Gwangwava, advised MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti that his party’s
“Peace Rally” set for Glamis Arena at the Harare Show Grounds could not be
sanctioned because it coincided with a Zanu PF rally at the open space
between the Rainbow Towers and Interpol offices less than 500m from the
Glamis Arena.

“My office regrets to advise you that your intended place of rally’s
proximity and timings coincide with that of Zanu PF which is also holding a
rally on the same date at the open space between the Rainbow Towers and
Interpol Offices, which is less than 500 metres from your intended venue.
Please also take note that the roads that lead to your intended venue are
the same that lead to Zanu PF’s venue and there is a likelihood of clashes
between supporters which might lead to violence,” Gwangwava wrote to Biti.

The other rally banned by the police for the same reason was to be held at
the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield.

However, Biti dismissed the police stance, vowing that his party would go
ahead with the weekend rallies. He said they would challenge the bans in the

“Pursuant to my letter dated the 14th of March 2011, I wish to confirm that
we are proceeding with our Peace Rally on Saturday the 19th of March 2011,”
Biti wrote in response to Gwangwava.

Letters in the possession of the Zimbabwe Independent show that the latest
ban is the third this month.

Last Saturday, the officer commanding Harare South District, Chief
Superintendent TA Chagwedera, banned a planned MDC rally set for Zimbabwe
Grounds in Highfield saying the venue had been booked by “some other players
for the 19th and 20th of March 2011”.

Another planned rally at the open space between Harare’s Exhibition Park and
Rotten Row Magistrates Courts was again banned after police said an unnamed
organisation would be using the venue.

“My office regrets to advise you that your intended place of rally and
timings coincide with that of another organisation, which my office has
since sanctioned,” wrote Gwangwava in another letter to Biti, dated March
14.The MDC-T said recent bans on the party’s gatherings were meant to deny
the party the right to associate with its constituencies.

The party said police had no power to outlaw political gatherings.

The Public Order and Security Act, a controversial piece of legislation
regulating gatherings, merely stipulates that organisations should inform
police before holding an event.

“We refer to our letter dated 9th of March 2011, in respect of which we gave
notice to hold a rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield on the 13th of March
2011, a notification which you unlawfully turned down on the basis that Zanu
PF had booked the venue for the year,” Biti wrote.

“We, by copy of this letter, wish to place it on record that we have serious
reservations on your actions which are clearly meant to deny us our right to
associate and also to indicate that as a party, we reserve our right to
freedom of association in Zimbabwe within the confines of the law.”

Morgan Tsvangirai told business leaders in Harare last week that police bans
ahead of an elective congress in May were part of Zanu PF’s ploy to weaken
his party ahead of its congress. He described the confusion on who had
imposed the ban as a “circus” in the coalition after President Robert Mugabe
professed ignorance on the action.

He said the co-Home Affairs ministers had limited control over the police.

 “Your co-ministers of Home Affairs have no power and control over the
Commissioner-General. If they want to give an instruction to the
Commissioner-General, they have to do it in writing, but the
Commissioner-General reports directly to the president and the president can
give instructions to the Commissioner-General verbally,” said Tsvangirai. 

“Even if you give your written instructions, they may be overturned by a
verbal instruction. That is the complexity of the arrangement.”

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Corruption investigator faces disciplinary action

Thursday, 17 March 2011 18:33

Bernard Mpofu

AN Anti-Corruption Commission investigator is facing disciplinary action
for instituting a probe against former ZBC finance director Oniyas Gumbo
without the commission’s approval.
Courage Nyamajiwa is scheduled to appear before the commission’s
disciplinary committee next Wednesday facing five counts of allegedly
executing his duties without the commission’s consent.

Gumbo is alleged to have forged documents of real estate firm Assetfin and
an investigation into him was instituted after Assetfin director Anthony
Parehwa reported Gumbo to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Gumbo is accused of forging the documents to assume 100% ownership of the

Gumbo is making counter-allegations over these accusations.

“Firstly you are being charged with contravening Section 4(a) of the Labour
(National Employment Code of Conduct) Regulations, 2006 in that you acted
inconsistently with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of
your contract of employment in that you investigated a fraud case involving
Anthony Parehwa as the complainant (representing Assetfin) and Oniyas Gumbo
as the accused person without authority from the General Manager
Investigations,” reads part of the charges preferred against Nyamajiwa by
the commission.

“Secondly, you are facing allegations of contravening Section 4(a) of the
Labour (National Employment Code of Conduct) Regulations, 2006 in that you
acted inconsistently with the fulfillment of the express or implied
conditions of your contract of employment by releasing a witness statement
to Anthony Parehwa dated 30 March 2010 without authority from the General
Manager, Investigations Division.”

As a result of these allegations, Nyamajiwa has been removed from the
investigators‘ pool and reassigned to the administration division with no
particular duty.

Nyamajiwa’s lawyers, Chadyiwa & Associates, have challenged the decision to
transfer their client to an administrative role saying it constituted
wrongful infringements of his rights, was illegal and amounted to unfair
labour practice.

The lawyers also took issue with the alleged harassment, intimidation,
victimisation and confrontation of Nyamajiwa by his superiors. Assetfin’s
Parehwa accuses Nyamajiwa’s superiors of siding with Gumbo.

“This is to thus demand that unless the acts of intimidation, demotion and
or irregular transfer, harassment, confrontation, and other unfair labour
practices highlighted above are stopped forthwith, then our client shall be
left with no option but to institute actions aimed at bringing to an end the
unlawful infringement aforesaid,” reads Nyamajiwa’s lawyers’ letter to the
Anti-Corruption Commission.

Assetfin claimed in the High Court last month that some anti-graft officers
were offered residential stands to block a criminal probe against Gumbo.
Assetfin wants the court to compel the Anti-Corruption Commission to
investigate Gumbo.

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Chinamasa’s hand in SMMH saga confirmed

Thursday, 17 March 2011 18:32

Paidamoyo Muzulu

RESERVE Bank Governor Gideon Gono has confirmed the long-held suspicion that
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa selectively used the State Indebted and
Reconstruction Act to legally expropriate Mutumwa Mawere’s assets owned
through Shabanie & Mashaba Mines Holdings (SMMH).
Gono made the startling revelation when he appeared before the Mines and
Energy Portfolio Committee on Monday to give evidence on the status of
Shabanie and Mashaba Mines.

The mines have since collapsed under State-appointed administrator Arafas

SMMH was put under reconstruction in 2004 when Mawere was specified on
charges ranging from externalisation of funds to maladministration.

The central bank governor made the remarks in response to a question by
committee chairman Edward Chindori-Chininga on whether SMMH was selectively
targeted by the minister for reconstruction since it was not the only
company which owed money to the Reserve Bank under the Public Sector Fund.

Gono responded: “I don’t know whether I should make a comment after a stated

The RBZ chief said he hoped the SMMH saga could have been handled
differently had people taken a national economic picture into perspective
before placing the company under reconstruction.

“I was of the view that some matters should be handled administratively and
not criminally. If the nation is looking for angels and saints in the last
12 years, it would be hard pressed to find one. We should come up with an
amnesty that deals with economic crimes. One cannot find a St John or St
Luke in terms of commission or omission in this country,” Gono said.

Gono advised the committee that parliament should use its powers to review
laws which caused anxiety to investors and retarded the rebuilding of the

“Parliament has a role to play since it can create and uncreate laws. Let
everyone say I am not an angel. Whatever I did, I did with good intentions,
whether it be Chinamasa or Gwaradzimba.”

He told the committee that the SMMH saga could still be resolved amicably if
Chinamasa and Mawere stopped washing their dirty linen in the courts and
sought advice to bring an end to the matter.

“We will be happy to assist when called to assist. There should be no
counter claims, counter accusations and no circus in the papers. We are a
technical institution, reservoir of knowledge and advice.

Let’s come together and work out a solution and have the mines operational
under an agreed ownership structure,” said Gono.

He cited the central bank’s intervention in resuscitating collapsed banks,
such as Royal, Trust and Time, after they had wound down due to alleged
criminal charges against their senior managers and directors.

The SMMH saga has dragged on in the courts for years and has a record 25
applications and counter applications to resolve the company’s ownership.

The legal battles have been fought primarily in Zimbabwe, the United
Kingdom, South Africa and Zambia.

Ownership of shares in SMMH remains unresolved and Gono told the committee
that despite the payment of US$2 million to a UK firm, Turner & Newell, the
RBZ had still not seen the share certificates.

The committee has so far heard evidence from all the central players in the
SMMH saga, including Mawere, Gwaradzimba, Chinamasa and Ministry of Home
Affairs officials who handled Mawere’s specification and despecification.

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Health sector still ailing despite GNU

Thursday, 17 March 2011 18:26

Wongai Zhangazha

NEWS that cabinet ministers quietly awarded themselves a salary increment of
200% will obviously anger struggling civil servants who have to contend with
measly salaries of about US$200 per month.

Government health workers, especially doctors, will be even more peeved by
the government’s insincerity.

Just a month ago junior doctors at Harare Hospital went on strike demanding
a salary increase, but their calls were ignored by the government arguing
that it did not have the money to pay them.

The doctors were demanding an increase of their hourly rate from a meagre
33cents to at least US$10.

One wonders how parties in the inclusive government, particularly the MDC,
which claims to have been founded by workers, would ignore the plight of
such a critical component of its workforce and decide to give priority to
raising the salaries of ministers, their deputies and members of parliament
and the senate.

While there have been modest improvements in the health delivery system
since the consummation of the GNU, the brain drain in the health sector has
not stopped and those that have remained have had to cope with heavy

On average one or two doctors at Parirenyatwa, the country’s major referral
hospital, can see up to 300 patients daily at the casualty section.

The 2010 Government Work Programme (GWP) review acknowledges that the major
challenges for the Ministry of Health is a serious shortage of human

“The shortage of human resources remains a major challenge with the vacancy
levels standing at 67% for specialist’s doctors, 57% environmental health
technicians, 77% midwives, 44% nursing tutors, 59% pharmacy personnel and
59% radiography and laboratory personnel,” reads the GWP report.

The staff retention scheme for health personnel introduced in 2009 resulted
in some modicum of improvement in staffing but only for lower levels.

The 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) status report on Zimbabwe
launched last week also cited the shortage of human resources as a major
challenge and that this would affect the attainment of the MDGs in three
areas by 2015.

These are combating HIV and Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases,
and improvement in maternal health and reduction of child mortality rate.

“The major challenge is the unstable human resource base, arising from high
staff attrition,” reads the MDG report.

While the country has battled to combat the prevalence of HIV/Aids, Zimbabwe
is also ranked 17th out of the world’s 22 high-burden TB countries,
according to government statistics.

TB rates stood at 782 per 100 000 people in 2007, up from 411 per 100 000
people in 2004.The report said it was likely that the country would not meet
the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) that stood at 725 per 100 000 live births
in 2007 “because the capacity of the healthcare system has deteriorated
significantly and the MMR has increased”.

Unfortunately, such alarming figures have not been taken seriously by the
government since it has failed to come up with a comprehensive health policy
to deal with the attrition of key personnel.

Government has argued that there is no money and workers have had to grapple
with poor working conditions, which include low salaries, heavy workloads,
shortage of drugs and equipment, among other perennial problems.

What this development has indicated is that the coalition government has not
seriously considered what the priorities for the country are.

The parties in the inclusive government have spent much of their time
fighting over distribution of power and trading accusations of who has
perpetrated more violence than the other.

The political gladiators have acknowledged this problem but do not seem to
have a practical solution to it.

At the launch of the 2011 GWP, Zanu PF senator Guy Georgias said the problem
in achieving targets set by government ministries was caused by political
parties in the inclusive government, who spent more time fighting each

“People spend time strategising on how to pull each other down. If there is
no respect for each other in the GNU, then we will get nowhere,” Georgias

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai added his voice saying in order to
implement the set targets, there was need for a discussion of the various
fault lines in the GPA.

“We need a special focus on how to minimise competition and maximise
collaboration so that we have one policy. Sometimes we mix what our
political parties are doing and then when it comes to government we take
different positions,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara put the blame on politics which he
said took precedence over implementation.

“Our challenges are around our politics. GPA issues, constitutional matters,
the elections, the seven matters of reform - constitution, national healing,
media, electoral, political, economic and security reforms,” Mutambara said.

He criticised the percentage achievements saying some of the numbers were
not encouraging.
He suggested that ministers who failed to achieve their targets and fulfill
their promises should be “punished vigorously”.

Unfortunately such political talk will not stem the tide of healthcare

Shortage of essential medicine and equipment for high level quality care
continues to be a big challenge in attaining the MDGs.

In the 2010 GWP achievements, the Ministry of Health said it managed to
reduce the overall unavailability of medicines from 52% to 43% in June last
year while shortfalls in vital drugs have been reduced from 57% to 52%, and
essential drugs were reduced from 36% to 28%.

Chairman of the social cluster Ignatius Chombo said the aim for 2011 was to
increase vital medicines availability from 40% in 2010 to 60% by end of the
year, as far as health was concerned.

The other target is to ensure that servicing and procurement of equipment
should be undertaken so that at least 20 hospitals in the country meet
minimum standards of bio-medical equipment.

Government should also find a way of addressing the concerns of the health
sector. Until that is solved the health sector will deteriorate at alarming

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The highs and lows of Moyo’s Speakership

Thursday, 17 March 2011 18:24

Paidamoyo Muzulu

LOVEMORE Moyo made history by becoming independent Zimbabwe’s first
opposition lawmaker to be elected Speaker of the House of Assembly in August
2008. He also made history when he became the first Speaker of the House not
to complete his term.
Moyo, who is the MDC-T’s national chairman, narrowly beat Paul Themba Nyathi
of the smaller MDC faction by 110 votes to 98 to assume the fourth most
powerful post in Zimbabwe.

Moyo also became the first House of Assembly Speaker in a parliament with no
official opposition since the three main political parties had agreed to
form an inclusive government to end months of bloodletting and intimidation.

His victory was made sweeter by defeating Zanu PF and the smaller MDC
twice — first for the Matobo North parliamentary seat in Matabeleland South
and then for the Speaker’s post in the legislature. Zanu PF did not field a
candidate for the post but instead backed Nyathi.

Boosted by this historic feat, Moyo savoured his elevation by confidently
declaring that for the first time since Independence the Zimbabwean
parliament would cease to be a “rubber-stamping house” and ensure that
progressive laws were passed.

After all, rubber-stamping had become the hallmark of Zimbabwe’s parliament.
All legislation was drafted  and endorsed by the Zanu PF politburo before
being forwarded to parliament for routine approval.

Moyo’s term, however, began on the wrong footing as he struggled to control
his MDC-T colleagues from booing and heckling President Robert Mugabe when
he officially opened the Seventh Parliament.

But unbeknown to him, Zanu PF’s hatchet men started plotting his ouster from
the day he was sworn in, and last week the Supreme Court dealt him the final
blow when it ruled that Moyo’s election was fraught with irregularities and
set aside his election, leaving the august House without a Speaker.

The Supreme Court ruled that Moyo’s historic election was irregular in terms
of the constitution and parliamentary standing rules and orders.

Under his stewardship, parliament only handled six Bills in its first
session. Among those agreed in the first year of Moyo’s tenure were the
Constitution Amendment No 19, which created an office of the prime minister
and two deputy prime ministers in the coalition government under the Global
Political Agreement.

Under that piece of legislation, Morgan Tsvangirai became the prime minister
while Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe were made deputy prime ministers.

Debates were rather guarded during Moyo’s tenure with certain motions being
clearly avoided to prevent unnecessary tensions within the loose coalition.

Motions such as that on the 2008 election violence were quickly thwarted.

One of the major highlights of Moyo’s tenure as Speaker was the sailing
through of the Public Order and Security Act Amendment Bill, despite fierce
bickering between the warring political parties.

Parliamentary portfolio committees have been given sharper teeth as chairmen
of these committees jostle to score political points for their respective

Ministers, senior civil servants and other relevant public office holders
have been vigorously grilled by the committees to the delight of political
parties, depending on who the chairperson is.

Moyo said: “Our portfolio committee system is now working and sometimes we
have had cabinet ministers screaming when the committees demand

His party believes that his professional conduct was beyond reproach and
brought respectability to the august House, and will forward his candidature
when parliament elects a new Speaker next week.

This sentiment was echoed by one Zanu PF MP who asked for anonymity who
added that Moyo: “had the guts to overrule legislators if he had to” and
that he was “fair in the conduct of his office”.

However,what some say was Moyo's  outsize ego probably led to his downfall.
At one point, Moyo ordered that every parliamentary office carry his
portrait alongside that of President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe’s portraits hang in every public building in Zimbabwe. Clerk of
Parliament Austin Zvoma intervened to stop the hanging of portraits that had
already been framed for all parliamentary offices.

Moyo is a man with expensive taste. His first six months as Speaker were
spent at the five-star Meikles Hotel while “suitable” accommodation was
being sought for him. He eventually moved to parliament-rented accommodation
in the plush Gunhill suburb where he has lived since being given up to the
end of this month to vacate.

His expensive tastes are not limited to homes but extends to being well
groomed and wearing designer suits. He wears a customised beard  and
trimmed moustache.

The MDC-T does not seem to have problems with Moyo’s lavish tastes which is
an error it needs to correct because it has nominated him to resume the same

Moyo was once fined for operating a liquor outlet without a licence. He
promised to return and only time will tell the radius of his candle’s light.

In a few days time the country will know whether Moyo’s ego trip will
continue at Parliament House and if he returns to the Gunhill mansion he is
now accustomed to calling home.

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MDC-T boycott threats a strategic blunder

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:29

Paidamoyo Muzulu

SINCE the formation of the MDC in 1999 by a loose coalition of civic, trade
union, NGO and student organisations, the party has issued repeated threats
to boycott or pull out of an agreement or ongoing process whenever a storm
brews in Zimbabwe’s volatile political landscape.

Over the years, the MDC-T has besieged us with threats of pulling out of
elections or negotiations whenever Zanu PF ambushes them with its many
provocations including flagrant disregard of the law.

However, at the last minute, the MDC-T almost always walks back from the
brink and decides to participate. One would have hoped that the about-turn
signals a growing understanding that election boycotts rarely succeed when
you don’t have a Plan B, especially when Zanu PF are your opponents.

The MDC-T should know this better, having been forced into a power sharing
compromise with Zanu PF despite winning the 2008 elections. The MDC-T’s
continued issuance of threats should now be viewed as one of the great
strategic blunders since it always emerges weakened.

Just last week Prime Minister and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai threatened
to collapse the inclusive government by walking out because of what he
termed arbitrary arrests of his legislators, police partisanship,
unfavourable court decisions and the flouting of the Global Political
Agreement by Mugabe and his Zanu PF.

Tsvangirai said: “We have reached a moment where we are saying let us agree
that this coalition is not working. It’s dysfunctional.”

The prime-minister’s threat was loaded in a scathing attack against the
judiciary and police after Speaker Lovemore Moyo lost his position when the
Supreme Court ruled that his election flouted the country’s electoral laws.
On the same day police arrested Power and Energy minister Elton Mangoma on
charges of public abuse of office.

Douglas Mwonzora, Rodgers Tazviona, Shepherd Mushonga and Costin Muguti are
some of the MDC-T legislators that have been arrested over the past six
weeks on charges mainly related to political violence.
Whereas Tsvangirai’s threats were bold, he was silent on the way forward
leaving analysts to dismiss them as just one more in a series of threats by
the MDC-T signifying nothing.

National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku said Tsvangirai
did not have the moral courage to walk out of the inclusive government.

“MDC-T cannot walk away from Zanu PF after the brief union they had. The
party lacks the strategic leadership to carry out its programme of action
and most of the utterances are knee-jerk reaction,” said Madhuku.

Madhuku’s comments reinforce former US ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher
Dell’s alleged WikiLeaks comment that the MDC-T lacked leadership and that
Tsvangirai needed a lot of hand holding by America if he was to be

This is not the first threat the party has issued in two years of the
inclusive government. Twice the party boycotted cabinet sessions but did not
completely pull out. It termed its actions “disengagement”.

However, it should be noted that the disengagement did not produce the
results needed. Roy Bennett was not sworn in as deputy Agriculture minister,
the appointments of the Reserve Bank Governor, Attorney-General and
provincial governors was not revisited.

MDC-T re-engaged with the partners in government and was soon singing
praises of the good working relations between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Oxford researcher and historian Blessing Miles Tendi termed the MDC-T’s
action as “protest and capitulation”.

He argues that because of a variety of weaknesses, the MDC-T can only
protest to show its unhappiness in the goings on of the inclusive government
but could not walk away.

MDC-T has failed in its international lobbying for its cause and on more
than one occasion failed to get the support of the Sadc or the African
Union. These bodies collectively view Zanu PF as a revolutionary party that
resonates with the people’s wishes.

Tendi said walking out of government was not likely to receive sympathy from
South Africa, Sadc and the AU.

“But the MDC is aware too that breaking the government would turn its
relations with Sadc sour,” Tendi argued.

MDC-T’s ineffectiveness is worsened by the little authority they wield in
the government, particularly in the security cluster. The situation makes
them junior partners in a government where they should have been equals or
leaders because they actually won elections.

University of Zimbabwe Constitutional Law lecturer Creg Linnington argues
that the MDC-T had no real power in the inclusive government but token

“Does MDC-T have power in the government? No. They don’t,” said Linnington.

The inclusive government in Zimbabwe can be seen as a continuation of
politics of the past. Nothing has really changed.

Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe programmes manager Pedzisai Ruhanya said fresh
elections were the solution to political squabbles within the inclusive
government but reforms contained in the GPA should precede them.

Ruhanya said: “Zanu PF should no longer hold back reforms in the security
sector, electoral reforms and complete the constitutional review programme

Political strife in Ivory Coast and most of North Africa has shifted
attention away from the Zimbabwean issue that has been dragging on for over
a decade now.

MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa expressed frustration at South Africa and
Sadc’s slow pace of resolving the Zimbabwe crisis.

“Guarantors have done a lot. We, however, feel there is capacity to do more.
They have the leverage to help the matters solved and they can also flex
their muscles a little bit to make the issues move forward,” Chamisa said.

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‘Proposed RBZ law bad for business’

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:09

Paidamoyo Muzulu

LAWYERS have slated the General Laws Amendment (GLA) Bill that seeks to give
immunity to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe property from execution for the $1,2
billion debt the bank largely accrued during its quasi-fiscal activities
between 2003 and 2008.
Clause 13 of the Bill seeks to give protection to the central bank’s movable
assets, which could be attached to offset the mammoth debt. This is the same
privilege enjoyed by state property under the State Liabilities Act.

Scanlen and Holderness senior partner, Sternford Moyo, said the proposed law
would be an affront to the rights of individuals and companies seeking legal
redress for unpaid debts owed them by the central bank.

Moyo said: “Immunity from execution is contrary to fundamental values which
are enshrined in our Constitution, namely: equality before the law and the
right to access to justice.”

The Bill proposes that the State Liabilities Act [Chapter 22:13] applies,
with necessary changes to address legal proceedings against the bank,
including the substitution of references therein to a minister by references
to the (Reserve Bank) Governor.

Dube, Manikai and Hwacha Legal Practitioners senior partner, Selby Hwacha,
concurred with Moyo that the legislation was bad for business. He said the
proposed law would make the business operating environment unfriendly and
people will fear entering into commercial transactions with the central bank
in future.

Already, minerals auditing firm, Alex Stewart International (ASI), is suing
the central bank for US$34,99 million over unpaid fees for services rendered
between 2007 and 2009.

If the Bill goes through in its current form, this may mean the company may
never be paid, a precedent that will prevent such well respected
international firms from doing business with Zimbabwe, or to demand upfront
payments or high deposits, something that the country can ill afford.

The Bill is currently before the Parliamentary Legal Committee for scrutiny
to check if it conforms to the Constitution before its second reading that
could be anytime, once the committee gives it the green light.

The lawyers argue that State Liabilities Act was a remnant of the time when
kings ruled their realms with iron fists and were considered infallible and
hence could not be sued. The notion is inherently inconsistent with the
modern principle of equality before the law, which requires that every
person, including the State, is equally subject to the law.

“Access to justice is rendered nugatory if the court order obtained cannot
be enforced against the State or central bank,” Moyo pointed out.

The Bill was introduced to stop execution of court judgments against the
bank. Among the creditors who had taken the bank to the courts was Farmtech,
owed US$2,1 million for providing tractors for the state’s land reform

The central bank owes creditors a combined sum of nearly $1,2 billion, with
the majority of debts incurred during the era the bank was involved in
quasi-fiscal activities. Most of the money was used for farm mechanisation,
irrigation infrastructure and vehicle procurement for the state.

In a similar case, the South African Constitutional Court in 2007, in
Dingaan Hendriek Nyathi vs Member of the Executive Council for the
Department of Health, Gauteng and Minister of Justice and Constitutional
Development and Others, case CCT 19/07, found State immunity from execution
to be unconstitutional.
Finance minister Tendai Biti last month told Parliament the government had
started the process of restructuring the Reserve Bank, including its

“We are looking at creating a special purpose vehicle to house the bank’s
debts. This will entail disposal of all businesses linked to the bank’s
quasi-fiscal operations and creditors will be paid a dividend per dollar
owed,” Biti said.
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Mobile networks moot infrastructure sharing

Thursday, 17 March 2011 14:25

Tatenda Macheka

ZIMBABWE’s mobile phone networks are mooting sharing infrastructure,
particularly in rural areas so as to expand mobile telephony in those areas.
This will be the first time the companies will have gone into co-opetition
with each other in a market that has been characterised by rivalry in which
Econet Wireless has been the dominant force.

“If the services providers came together they might exploit the rural
markets more easily,” Econet CEO Douglas Mboweni told the Zimbabwe
Independent. The proposal is to share infrastructure such as towers,
shelters and even generators.

While Econet, the largest network s, accounting for three quarters of the
mobile phone subscribers in Zimbabwe, appears keen to share resources, its
traditional rival, Net One seems lukewarm, perhaps in the light of its own
possible merger with an international network envisaged by year end.

“We can only share passive infrastructure which are towers and shelters but
it is impossible to share active infrastructure such as switches because
they are from different suppliers and we use different bands,” Net One CEO
Reward Kangai said at the recently concluded Euromoney conference. Although
he poured cold water on it, speculation is that his company is to conclude a
merger with South African network, MTN.

However, Telecel, which has the second largest number of mobile phone
subscribers in Zimbabwe, has congruent ideas with Econet on co-opetition.
Telecel feels the company that’s not keen to play ball is Net One.“The
spirit of co-operation is not there and sharing has proved to be difficult
because others feels that it takes away their competitive advantage,” said
Telecel CEO Aimable Mpore in  apparent reference to Net One.

He mentions that the government owned Net One once dismantled his company’s
equipment from shared towers. This was in spite of approval by the Postal
and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) on the
sharing of towers.

If the plan goes ahead, Telecel may be the biggest beneficiary in terms of
accessing the rural areas. The company admits to having a low capital base
that is limiting it from penetrating the rural market.

On the other hand, Econet Wireless, while capable of going it alone, is keen
on rationalising costs on infrastructure.  One of the biggest savings would
be on the use of generators, which are critical to keep the mobile networks
going, in light of persistent power cuts by Zesa. Econet CEO Mboweni said
having several generators might put energy to waste.However, sharing is
emphasised when it comes to reaching the rural areas.

“The rural folk are now critical and must not be looked down upon since most
of the population in Zimbabwe lives in the rural areas,” said Econet’s
Mboweni, estimating that up to three quarters of Zimbabweans live in the
rural areas. He describes the rural market as untapped and a force to reckon

Yet it is not calls that are initiated by the rural folk that Econet is

On the contrary, the company expects to reap from calls that are made by the
urban dwellers to their relatives in the rural areas. Many Zimbabweans still
have strong ties with their rural folk, many being their own parents.

The growth in demand for mobile phones in the rural areas was being aided by
the increasing availability of affordable handsets.

Mboweni sees the incursion of mobile telephony into the rural areas as a
major step towards bring that section of population up to speed in terms of
Information and Telecommunication Technologies.

It will also improve service delivery by schools, clinics and hospitals.

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Beeg lobbies for wealth redistribution

Thursday, 17 March 2011 14:14

THE Indigenisation and empowerment regulations compelling foreign-owned
companies to dispose 51% interest to black Zimbabweans have generated
immense debate both within and outside government. This controversial
national policy has resulted in the proliferation of lobby groups that
include Upfumi Kuvadiki, an organisation believed to be linked to the Zanu
PF youth league. This week Zimbabwe Independent Senior Business Reporter,
Bernard Mpofu spoke to Norest Marara, the executive chairman of the newly
formed Broad-based Economic Empowerment Group (Beeg), a trust registered
last November with a view to push equitable redistribution of wealth.
Marara is also the national secretary of the  Indigenous, Freight and
Shipping Agencies Association of Zimbabwe.

Below are excerpts of the interview.

Mpofu: What inspired you to come up with this concept?

Marara: What we realised is that after the government came up with the Act
and the subsequent indigenisation and empowerment regulations, a lot of
debate was generated. So this being a law, we felt that there was need to
support the law. Secondly, there were quite a lot of things that were
happening, which motivated us into joining the debate. For example, the
issue of shareholding thresholds that were  in the regulations generated a
lot of interest. We also looked at the history of this country to see how
the blacks were treated by the white minority government, how they were
participating in the economy and what our government did after independence.
The most important thing was the history of lobby or fundamental pressure
groups that were advocating for economic empowerment. Most, if not all of
them, were looking at the narrow picture. They were making noise without
advocating for the empowerment of everyone who was interested or who should
benefit economically. In our view, broad-based economic empowerment should
benefit people in all sectors of the economy. It seems only leaders of these
organisations have  benefited from the advocacy activities.

Mpofu: Debate on indigenisation and empowerment in Zimbabwe seems to be
evolving around political positions. As Beeg, where do you stand in this
whole debate?

Marara: Ours is a purely business perspective. We do not stand anywhere when
it comes to politics. Our organisation should cover all Zimbabweans
regardless of their political affiliations. We also think that the
government of the day should treat indigenisation and empowerment as a
national policy and not as a political exercise.

Mpofu: If you were to meet the  Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Economic Empowerment minister, what’s one message relating to this policy
you would  relay to him?

Marara: For starters, we would commend him for pushing this policy. We think
he has done a good job in bringing this subject to the fore. We would want
to seek clarification from the minister on the misunderstanding and
confusion surrounding the implementation of the empowerment regulations.
This, in our view, has left some youths and would-be business people feeling
that indigenisation is about taking over what already exists.

Mpofu: In your view, what section of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act
do you feel should be revisited or amended?

Marara: We feel that there is nothing very bad about the law but the problem
is on implementation. Again it is our view that the 51% threshold across all
sectors is very high. I would want to believe that not all information
gathered from sectoral committees set up by government to advise on these
regulations agreed on the same threshold. We are not sure how far they have
gone but as far as we know most of them have completed that task but we are
yet to get the findings from these committees. We feel that what is
important is to have a good working environment for business to thrive in.
We also believe that a blanket approach to all sectors is not sustainable.

Mpofu: How does one subscribe to your group?

Marara: What we have agreed as a trust is that for one to be our member,
they have to pay a nominal fee and regular subscriptions. The fees are yet
to be agreed upon but whatever fee is going to be charged, it has to be
nominal because we are talking about upcoming businesspersons, people with
the desire to run their own companies. If it’s a business we expect that
business to pay some form of subscription that will not be punitive
considering that our economy has been struggling for a very long time.

Mpofu: Do you see yourself meeting your outreach targets with such nominal
fees that you have alluded to? Who else is funding you?

Marara: We will need to approach the relevant ministries — the Ministry of
Finance and the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment ministry.
We know there is an empowerment fund that was set up by government and it is
our hope that part of this fund would be set aside to organisations such as

Mpofu: How many people or organisations have subscribed to your group?

Marara: We registered this trust on  November 12 2010, so we are still
setting up our systems. We are in the process of setting up our structures
and approaching various groups that we intend to be working with. It is work
in progress and we will be advising in due course.

Mpofu: One of the biggest criticisms of indigenisation in Zimbabwe is
funding. So would you see government funding an exercise that would lobby
against its policy?

Marara: To correctly answer your question, the Broad-based Economic
Empowerment Group is there to complement and support government in its
endeavor to empower citizens. So we don’t think government will dent our
efforts because we are going to be speaking maybe  quite unfavourably
towards their policies. We understand that US$5 million was set aside for
indigenisation in the last budget. We also hope to get support from business
because they may immensely benefit from our activities.

Mpofu: What are your top priorities over  the next six months?

Marara: Firstly, we need to have our secretariat up and running because we
have come a long way in trying to register this trust. We also need to
approach government, business and all the other groups that we feel we need
to work with to ensure success of our cause.
Mpofu: Are there any laws or structures in place that you feel inhibit
locally-owned freight and shipping companies from growing?

Marara: Most barriers have been broken as seen by an increase in our
membership. We have, over the years, engaged the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
because we had problems. They did not know who we were at first.  They
understood us and they said we need competition in this industry. We also
want to push for the participation of local shipping companies in doing
bigger government jobs. We also want to push government to put in place laws
which grant a quota of all government tenders to indigenous shipping

Mpofu: Who is Norest Marara?

Marara: I was born and bred in the rural areas. The late Peter Pamire, who
is one of the pioneers of indigenisation in this country, is my role model
because as I grew up he would visit our rural home because we hail from the
same village. I always had this feeling that one day I would be like him.
After completing my secondary education I was employed in the shipping and
customs clearance industry where I worked for a couple of years. We then
found out that  we could start up our own companies after realising
opportunities in this sector.
We registered our company in 2000 when the economy began to show signs of
contraction and things were not  rosy.
Things were bad, really bad but I did not lose hope. We started again and
since then business has been on an upward trend. The formation of the
inclusive government has also seen our business maintaining this upward

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Sanctions: An empty propaganda line

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:36

By Jonathan Moyo

WILL the nation leave Gideon Gono, the governor of the Reserve Bank, alone?
When President Robert Mugabe last week (May 2006) publicly made a call for
people to “leave Gono alone” many besides those who know themselves to be
the guilty were left wondering what he meant.

But after Gono’s wide-ranging and far-reaching mid-term monetary policy
statement this week, one need not guess he meant that the Zanu PF
government, including Mugabe himself, should “leave everything to Gono”.

That is why Gono’s monetary statement dealt with everything and everyone in
concrete ways.

The national breadth, depth and consequences of Gono’s monetary statement
stand in sharp contrast to the dire poverty of Mugabe’s speech at the
opening of the second session of the sixth parliament last week.

The speech was full of propaganda platitudes and bereft of policy responses
to the economic meltdown that is ravaging the country. In fact, so empty was
Mugabe’s address that nobody remembers what he said.

The same goes for Finance minister Herbert Murerwa’s fiscal policy statement
that ended up being a boring presentation of a scandalous $327, 2 trillion
(now $327, 2 billion) supplementary budget whose catastrophic impact in the
present hyperinflationary environment is self-evident.

Where Mugabe failed to outline the necessary vision and political direction
for the nation in his speech, Murerwa failed to proffer the necessary policy
blueprint to deal with the economic meltdown. The two statements did not
have a common thread.

In effect the policy poverty of the parliamentary addresses by Mugabe and
Murerwa last week demonstrated that the Zanu PF leadership is now brain
dead, hence its policy delinquency.

For example, Mugabe claimed, as part of his new propaganda line, that the
economic suffering in the country is being caused by so-called illegal
economic sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and some
white members of the Commonwealth.

But to show that this claim is just propaganda, Murerwa’s fiscal policy
statement did not address the so-called illegal sanctions at all.

This is odd. When, as the head of state, Mugabe identifies a particular
issue as the cause of the country’s economic woes, it stands to reason that
his Finance minister should prioritise and systematically address that

Given that Murerwa did not tackle the so-called illegal sanctions as a
priority of economic policy in his fiscal statement last week, this means
one of two possibilities applies.

Either Mugabe’s claim that the economic meltdown has been caused by those
sanctions is false and therefore mere propaganda or Murerwa is incompetent
and thus not up to the task at hand.

Yet on this one Murerwa at least has appreciated that the so-called illegal
sanctions are not the real reason behind inflation and corruption which have
been cited by the government as the country’s top two enemies.

Also, Murerwa seems to appreciate that the economic sanctions in question,
however unpalatable or unacceptable they may be, cannot be said to be

This is because he should know that sovereign countries have a right to take
policy measures and enact laws such as those contained in the sanctions
targeted at some individuals in this country including this writer, as long
as those measures are lawful in the countries imposing them.

The same would apply to the provisions of the objectionable so-called
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act in the United States that
require US representatives to multilateral financial institutions such as
the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and even the African
Development Bank, to oppose any assistance to Zimbabwe.

Those provisions are objectionable indeed but they cannot be said to be
illegal either in terms of United States law or international law.

If there was any illegality in terms of international law, the government of
Zimbabwe would have by now taken the matter up with the appropriate
international bodies with the relevant jurisdiction.

The fact that no such thing has happened or will happen shows that the mumbo
jumbo from the Zanu PF government about the so-called illegal sanctions is
cheap propaganda.

Ironically, when Mugabe and his propagandists claim that the economic
meltdown and the resultant suffering are caused by illegal economic
sanctions, they unwittingly remind many of the fact that the strong
Rhodesian economy inherited in 1980 and now destroyed was built on the back
of international sanctions backed by the United Nations and virtually all
other key financial multilateral organisations.

Yes, those sanctions were breached by some countries such as apartheid South
Africa and even Britain but they were there and very effective indeed.

The Rhodesian lesson is that an economy under sanctions can develop through
a range of policy initiatives including viable import substitution. In
Zimbabwe’s case, the targeted sanctions should be less effective given that,
unlike in Rhodesian days, the same sanctions are not supported by any of the
neighbouring countries and in view of the “Look East” policy which is
focused on some of the world’s leading emerging economies such as China and

Otherwise, despite spirited attempts to attribute the present economic
turmoil to the so-called illegal sanctions, all available indications
suggest that the sanctions issue is indeed nothing but propaganda. That is
why there is no response to it either in the fiscal or monetary policy.

Since Mugabe has called on truthfulness in government policy, this matter
needs to be corrected and put in its proper perspective.

Parenthetically, propaganda is also to be found in the countries that have
imposed the so-called targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe for purposes of
appeasing some voting and media constituencies.

This point was not lost to the Zimbabwean government which initially reacted
to these sanctions by dismissing them as irrelevant and ineffectual Western
propaganda in so far as they were aimed at individuals and in so far as they
involved actions of imperialist financial institutions such as the IMF whose
support is not wanted.

The propaganda tune has now changed from dismissing the sanctions to
claiming that they are causing the suffering of ordinary people.

That is why observers have been wondering how sanctions which were initially
described as useless and irrelevant can now be said to be responsible for
causing the suffering of ordinary people.

Yet Mugabe and Murerwa understand that the sanctions talk is pure Zanu PF
propaganda for mobilising political support from the masses by seeking to
make them believe that their suffering is due to economic sanctions imposed
by imperialist foreigners and not a result of the failure of their

But because neither Mugabe nor Murerwa has any practical policy to deal with
the economic meltdown, and because they do not want to pay any political
price for this, they have very conveniently but scandalously decided to
literally leave everything to Gono.

During his fiscal policy statement in parliament Murerwa, who apparently
seemed to have forgotten his widely publicised complaints earlier this year
that the Reserve Bank had improperly taken on quasi-fiscal responsibilities
from his ministry, specifically deferred to Gono a raft of policy measures
on many occasions during his presentation.

Meanwhile Gono has taken on the challenge like a possessed man determined to
perform miracles in an assignment in which he risks being damned by some
Zanu PF politicians if he succeeds and damned by the same politicians if he

The RBZ governor is now facing this fate, in which he is now between a rock
and a hard place, because the political leadership through Mugabe and
policymakers through Murerwa have abdicated their responsibility and they
have left everything to Gono whom Mugabe says must be left alone.

But surely, while the would-be Zanu PF assassins should indeed leave Gono
alone, it is utter political nonsense to expect that the nation should or
will leave alone the one person who is visibly doing everything affecting
everyone everywhere in the country when those who should take primary
responsibility are playing truant through cheap propaganda such as the
sanctions talk.

The notion that Gono alone should make heroes from zeros through bearer
cheques, and that this will constitute a new sunrise, is a hard sell and in
fact a non-starter. Gono desperately needs real help from Mugabe and Murerwa
in the political and policy arenas because the fundamental problem facing
Zimbabwe is not just economic stupid but also fundamentally leadership

    * Moyo is former Information minister and MP for Tsholotsho North. This
article was published in the May 9 2006 edition of the Zimbabwe Independent.

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Muckraker: Zanu PF foisting a delinquent leadership

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:36

IT WAS good to see veteran South African journalist Thami Mazwai raising his
voice in BusinessDay in criticism of the African Union’s vapid posture on
the various conflicts currently taking place on the continent.
“African solutions for African problems, just what does it mean?” he asks.
Referring to events in the Ivory Coast and Libya, Mazwai says “the phrase is
being repeated all too often as Africa drags its feet in dealing with crises
on the continent.
“We are back in the days of the OAU when African leaders would ignore the
slaughter of people by Idi Amin, Jean Bedel Bokassa, Daniel arap Moi, or
Mobutu Sese Seko.
“When will human life be sacrosanct in Africa?”he asks.
“We know that one of the problems in the AU is that its chairman, Equatorial
Guinea President Teodoro Obiang wrested power in 1979 in a bloody coup and
has been in power ever since. He will not see anything wrong with Gaddafi
clinging to power or murdering civilians.”
Mazwai praises President Jacob Zuma for his “firm and moral stand” against
the Gaddafi tyranny. “Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, by contrast, stands solidly
behind Gaddafi who has been a staunch supporter of the despot north of our

More outspoken in his criticism of the Zuma administration is Archbishop
Desmond Tutu who, in his ecumenical lecture at the University of the Western
Cape recently, described Zuma as “affable and warm”. But, he said, “I do
believe it would have been better for him to have been pronounced innocent
by a court of law weighing the evidence rather than through a dubious
administrative act”.
He described Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family as “worrisome”. And
referring to the president’s advisor, Shabir Shaik, who was released on
parole not long after his conviction, said “it must raise eyebrows when
someone who was said to be at death’s door is shown to be playing golf.”
Tutu warned that corruption was dragging South Africa “backwards and
downwards, and in some cases is quite blatant”.
Which opens a door for Muckraker to comment that corruption in South Africa
far exceeds in depth and scope anything our post-liberation aristocrats were
able to “achieve” in their first 17 years of incumbency.
Tutu makes the familiar point that advancement under the ANC government is
not on merit, again something we know about here.
“We have many very competent people in this country,” he said, “people of
all races people who today are being sidelined because the first
qualification is not ability, nor calibre but political affiliation.”

Talking of the beneficiaries of power, have you noticed the squawking going
on by the new landowners who claim they cannot fulfil their historic mandate
because of “sanctions”.
We can see a pattern here. Any sort of failure by the land-grabbers will be
put down to sanctions ahead of elections. It’s an all-purpose, all-weather
excuse that will be trundled out to do service whenever Zanu PF needs it.
Emilia Zindi, who invariably forgets to declare an interest, was showing us
how it’s done in the Sunday Mail last weekend.
She quoted Alexander Kanengoni as saying that “as long as the sanctions
continue there is no way we can expect farmers to perform miracles. In fact
it is unfair to assess the productivity of farmers under the illegal
So there you have it. The excuse precedes the deed. The banks are acting on
the instructions of their masters, Kanengoni bleats. No mention here of
non-performers failing to farm because they haven’t got a clue what to do
and combine farming with other activities such as journalism! Many farmers
were “failing to utilise the land”, Kanengoni, who is billed as a “political
analyst”, declared, “because the conditions under which the sector is
operating are not favourable.”
Like seizure of land and equipment!
What happened to all that Kondozi property we wonder? Where did that go?
Wasn’t one of the key requirements of the GPA an audit of the land
Why are its advocates, who speak glowingly of the “Third Chimurenga”, so
scared of assessing its impact? What do they have to hide?

It is intriguing to see how anybody who contributes to the state media is
obliged to say that all the country’s woes are caused by sanctions. Then
civic activists and MPs are arrested and locked up on spurious charges but
the anti-sanctions crowd can’t see the connection!
Or if they can they don’t care. So they will go on locking up their
opponents, thus inviting retaliation by “Zimbabwe’s detractors” who can see
democracy is still a long way off and the economy will continue to sink.
Everybody can see why except the anti-sanctions lobby who think that if they
add “illegal” to their campaign label the international community will
excuse them! They won’t.
Meanwhile, those who declared, at the time of the GPA’s negotiation, that
permanent secretaries should be regarded as professional and non-partisan,
will have got a rude shock from Indigenisation and Empowerment permanent
secretary Prince Mupazviriho who said the government would read the riot act
to those companies that had not complied with the empowerment regulations.
His language was that of Zanu PF, redolent with threats and fist-waving.
“We have now reached the process,” he said, “of deregistering defiant
companies and anytime from now some companies will be closed for defying
indigenisation law.”
It is inevitable that many companies will want to test the legality of the
regulations and understandably see no reason why they should be dictated to
by a government ministry.
But the point we would make in all this is that Zanu PF ministers seem not
to give a damn how many people are thrown on to the streets because their
employers are being targeted by ministers. What this whole indigenisation
debacle has done is to discourage investment, accelerate unemployment and
discredit the country.
Ask any South African businessman where they are inclined to put their money
and they will say anywhere except Zimbabwe. Saviour Kasukuwere and his
friends are either unaware of the damage they are doing to the economy or
simply don’t care.
But that is generally the case of Zanu PF. They have sabotaged commercial
agriculture and will now do the same to commerce and industry. Zimbabwe used
to be a country of some weight in the region. Now it has been overtaken by
its ally Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and soon Zambia. Sad isn’t it? Even
Tanzania is performing better.

Luke Tamborinyoka needs to be a little less emphatic in his statements
denying stories about his boss Morgan Tsvangirai –– at least until he has
checked them out.
Tamborinyoka has recently issued a couple of statements flatly denying
reports carried in the Standard and elsewhere that Tsvangirai has been
having an affair with a Bulawayo woman, Loreta Nyathi (23), resulting in her
falling pregnant.
The Bulawayo woman’s dad at first shot down the report threatening to sue
any paper that carried it. But then the woman told her dad to pipe down ––
it was true and she wants her maintenance money. That’s all.
Tamborinyoka however was defiant. “We are sick and tired of these stories,”
he declared. “The PM is worried about pressing national issues like
violence, the issue of civil servants’ salaries and the roadmap to
Our question is, can the PM walk and chew gum? It appears not. He is working
on important national issues but can’t find the time to mobilise funds for
somebody he was obviously close to. Their child is now three months old.
If he has been caught with his pants down then he needs to make a clean
breast of it. But he has not been helped by Luke’s denials which show a
marked disregard for the feelings of the young lady at the centre of the
story. How can he get away with such an uncaring attitude? Perhaps the PM is
in need of a more accomplished spokesman. At least one who puts the record

Meanwhile, if the MDC-T is to have any hope of winning an election this year
they need to register their supporters as voters. That is not happening
right now. Zimbabweans in their multitudes are looking for a way to express
their disgust with Zanu PF’s tyranny but don’t seem to realise they can do
so by voting. Is the MDC spelling this out to the “Born Frees” who have not
bought Mugabe’s mantras and will never freely vote for those who have
wrecked their prospects of employment and growth. A whole generation wants a
chance to secure something better, not the unscrupulous gang that is
desperately clinging to power.
In Zanu PF’s propaganda material there is the preposterous claim that
sanctions are designed to make Zimbabweans suffer and “turn against their
leadership, become unpatriotic and cause instability in the country”.
This is self-deception at its worst. Zanu PF may have its own leadership but
that is certainly not the leadership the country wants as the 2008 election
proved. So they must stop foisting their delinquent leadership on the
country and pretending it is some sort of national project.
It isn’t. As we say above, given a free choice the people of Zimbabwe would
choose another leadership. One that responds to their needs and gets the
country working again. If the ruling elite wants sanctions lifted they
should stop doing the things that got them imposed in the first place ––
like political coercion. Isn’t that obvious?

Finally, it is interesting how Zanu PF-controlled media have gone to town in
accusing Energy minister Elton Mangoma of abusing his office in the
procurement of fuel when the same media did not call for the arrest of
government officials when they were sent on a wild goose chase by “diesel n’anga”,
Rotina Mavhunga.
Mavhunga convinced the officials in 2007 that she had been possessed by
ancestral spirits who were keen to aid the nation’s battle with the fuel
shortages. The taskforce included among others State Security minister
Didymus Mutasa, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, and Home Affairs
minister Kembo Mohadi. The team was duped into believing that there was
indeed diesel in the rocks at Maningwa Hills near Chinhoyi when in reality
Mavhunga bought diesel from neighbouring Zambia and piped it into the rocks.
Mavhunga reportedly took large sums of money (Z$5 billion), a car and a
piece of land from the officials, promising in return to use spells to
produce diesel from Maningwa Hills.
At the time Mugabe claimed that Mavhunga’s beauty had blinded his ministers.
Just like Mangoma these officials should also have been arrested for
“criminal abuse of duty” as public officers and “contravening procurement
On both accounts we concur with High Court judge Justice Samuel Kudya who on
Tuesday said: “As minister responsible for energy, all Zimbabweans looked up
to him to provide a quick solution to the problem. His well-meaning response
to a national emergency may prove highly mitigatory. Courts do accept that
at times paths to hell are often paved by good intentions. Those good
intentions may prove highly mitigatory.”

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Eric Bloch: Mourning the demise of the economy

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:31

By Eric Bloch

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe may soon have to declare a national day of mourning,
in memory of the economy which he, abetted by Ministers Saviour Kasukuwere,
Obert Mpofu and others, have massacred. The economy has been gravely
afflicted for more than a decade, allegedly (although without any
significant foundation and substance), by so-called “illegal” sanctions
imposed by various Western countries, by other uncontrollable factors such
as climatic conditions, and other factors claimed to be beyond the
governmental purview.

In the last two years “Nhanga” Biti and colleagues progressively achieved
much reversal of the diverse economic ills, and slowly,  indications became
increasingly pronounced that the Zimbabwean economy was set for considerable
recovery.  That recovery would, over time, eradicate the horrendous poverty,
suffering and distress sustained by more than eight million of the shrunk

An absolutely fundamental key element for  economic recovery is that there
be major investment in the economy.  Investment is a prerequisite for
employment generation, for foreign exchange earnings sufficient to fund the
country’s import needs, for downstream economic development, for fiscal
inflows, and for a progressive reduction of the country’s immense national

The opportunities for investment were and continue to be vast, to such an
extent that Zimbabwe could, over a period of time, be the fifth largest
economy on the continent of Africa, ahead of 48 other countries.

However, with very rare exceptions, Zimbabweans are devoid of the resources
needed to fund the investment which would trigger economic recovery, growth
and wellbeing.If extensive investments were to be forthcoming, it would have
to emanate primarily from international investors.

And there was a bountiful number of well-endowed potential international
investors interested in the opportunities offered by Zimbabwe.  Recognition
of Zimbabwe’s enormous and very diversified investment opportunities was
great.  Those opportunities include, amongst many others:

    * Mining, for Zimbabwe has a gargantuan wealth of very varied resources
of minerals and precious stones, ranging from gold to platinum, diamonds,
chrome, nickel, lithium, tantalite, coal, methane gas, and much more;

    * Manufacturing, with special emphasis on value-addition to the myriad
of primary agricultural and mineral products, and on a combination of
import-substitution goods and exports to the many neighbouring countries,
comprising more than four hundred and twenty million consumers, and  further

    * Tourism, exploiting the wealth of very varied tourist attractions,
inclusive of the spectacular  Victoria Falls, the finest assortment of
wildlife resources on the continent, the mystique of Great Zimbabwe, the
grandeur of the Matopos, the beauty of the eastern highlands (Nyanga, Bvumba
and Chimanimani), the splendour of Lake Kariba, and much, much else;

    * Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the provision of
numerous other services;

    * Regeneration of the viability and effective service of Zimbabwe’s
innumerable debilitated parastatals which, if partially privatised under
Public/Private Sector Partnerships (PPPs), could be restored to viability,
and could belatedly once again effectively service the needs of the
Zimbabwean economy and of  its people;

    * Agriculture is also another area of investment. Zimbabwe has fertile
and productive land  if properly and constructively used.

Despite the magnitude of Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities, potential
foreign investors have long been hesitant to exploit those opportunities due
to security concerns.

Zimbabwe’s government have long provoked great fears as to such security.

The arbitrary expropriation of farms since 2000, in contemptuous disregard
for property rights, and much of that expropriation being associated with
intense violence and misappropriation of farm equipment, livestock, crops,
and other possessions, inevitably fuelled great investor concerns and
reticence.  Their investment fears have intensified as Zimbabwe has, for
over 10 years, ignored its obligations under Bilateral Investment Promotion
and ProtectionAgreements (Bippas).

With the first steps towards economic turnaround and investor motivation
over the last few years, following the establishment of the Government of
National Unity (GNU), investor interest began to resurrect and increase,
albeit with hesitation and reservation.

This has evidenced itself emphatically by the flow of investors into the
country to assess the investment opportunities, and the numbers attending
recent investment promotion conferences, such as last week’s Euromoney
Investor Conference.

Tragically, the resumed investor interest has been shortlived.  Several
times in the last few weeks, and in particular on the day before the
Euromoney conference, President Mugabe saw fit to rile the 500 or more
foreign-owned companies which have their roots in Britain, the USA or other
countries which placed targetted sanctions on the country’s leadership,
stating emphatically that all those companies would be “taken over”.

Embittered, he attacked Nestlé, on the grounds that that company
discontinued purchasing milk from Mugabe-family-owned farms. He also lashed
out against Rio Tinto and other UK based mining, manufacturing, and
financial services companies.

Concomitantly, Minister Kasukuwere, reinforced by Minister Mpofu, stated
that forthwith regulations would be gazetted for the state’s “theft” of
controlling interests in all mining enterprises.

To add insult to injury, it is intended to establish a so-called Sovereign
Wealth Fund to finance the acquisition of foreign interests.  That Fund is
to be capitalised by imposition of levies upon businesses.  In other words,
the private sector is to provide the funding for its own demise!

As a result of the presidential and  ministerial statements, the regenerated
investor-interest has been pronouncedly decimated, with almost all that were
considering Zimbabwean investment placing the considerations, once again, on

The consequence is unavoidable, being the further, potentially absolute
demise of the economy; hence the need for a presidential decree of a day (or
even months) of National Mourning.  The death of the economy will inevitably
herald the death of numerous Zimbabweans.

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Former Speaker Moyo should revert to MP

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:25

Alex Magaisa

A NUMBER of issues have been raised in the wake of the Supreme Court of
Zimbabwe’s judgment last week declaring the election of the Speaker of the
House of Assmbly in 2008 irregular and invalid. The immediate effect of the
judgement is to make the position of Speaker vacant.

First, it is important that a new election be held as soon as possible
otherwise the business of parliament will be derailed. Section 39 of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe which requires the election of a Speaker of the
House of Assembly makes it clear that this legislative chamber “shall not
transact any other business until a person to fill that office has been

Parliament is a critical arm of government and it is important to ensure
that it continues to conduct its business.

The constitutional reform process is taking place within the structures of
parliament. Constitution-making, therefore, is parliament’s business and it
would be unfortunate and wrong if this were to be derailed on this account.

Second, an issue that has been raised concerns the seat (Matobo South) held
by the erstwhile Speaker, Lovemore Moyo, before he was elected to the
position that he has now lost.

What is the legal position in respect of this seat? Can Moyo reclaim his
seat in these circumstances? The apparent simplicity of the matter is quite

In accordance with Section 41(1) (g) of the Constitution, a person ceases to
be an MP once he is elected to the position of Speaker. Under normal
circumstances, once a person who is an MP has been elected Speaker, a
by-election should be held in accordance with the electoral laws. As
presiding officer, the Speaker is required to perform his role free of

To ensure that the constituency that had elected him retains proper
representation, it is entitled to elect a new MP. The problem is that
Zimbabwe’s circumstances are not quite normal — or at least they haven’t
been for a number of years.

Hence, there has been no by-election since the 2008 parliamentary election,
although I understand this is currently being challenged by some former MPs
in the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube. They lost their seats after they
were expelled by their party.

The key point for present purposes is that there was no by-election in
Matobo South constituency to replace Moyo after his election to the Speaker’s
seat, which the court has now declared to have been null and void.

Now that Moyo’s election has been declared invalid, the critical question is
whether at this point he would be entitled to revert back to his position as
MP — which would entitle him to also vote for the Speaker in a new election?

We will get back to this question but first let us clarify whether it is
possible, as MP or not, that Moyo would still be eligible to contest for the
Speaker’s post again.

In terms of the Constitution, Moyo can still stand as a candidate for the
Speaker’s post even if he is not regarded as an MP. Section 39(2) provides
for the election of a Speaker according to Parliamentary Standing Orders of
persons “who are or have been members of the House of Assembly and who are
not members of the cabinet, ministers or deputy ministers”. Where he is not
an MP,  he must be “qualified according to Schedule 3 for election to the
House of Assembly”.

Moyo has been a member of the House before and there is nothing to indicate
that he is not qualified for election according to Schedule 3 of the
Constitution. Therefore, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC (MDC-T) is perfectly
entitled to make him their candidate again.

But assuming that he does not run for the Speaker’s post, we revert to the
critical question, academic though it might appear, given that the MDC-T has
already indicated that Moyo will remain their candidate for the Speaker’s
post: Would, having been deposed by virtue of a judgment declaring the
Speaker’s election invalid, a person who was an MP be able to reclaim his

In other words, did he lose his seat when he became Speaker by virtue of an
invalid election or does he revert to his position as an MP now that the
Supreme Court says he was never properly elected in the first place?

It would be odd if a person in Moyo’s position were to suffer what would in
effect be double-jeopardy on account of a flawed election that was not his
fault. If a court of law finds that the election was irregular and invalid,
it is tantamount to saying there was never an election in the first place.

To my mind, the loss of an MP’s seat that is provided for under Section 41
(1) (g) is predicated on the validity of his election to the position of
Speaker. If it is invalid he cannot be lawfully regarded as having been duly

The effect of the Supreme Court’s decision is not only that he is no longer
Speaker, but that he never was on account of a flawed election. It would be
unfair and ridiculous in my opinion if a person who obeyed the command of
his fellow MPs were to lose out (on both the Speakership and his
parliamentary seat) simply because the election, which he had no control
over, is later found to have been flawed.

I should point out, of course, that the matter would be more complicated if
a by-election had been held in Matobo South and an MP had been elected to
replace Moyo upon his election as Speaker.

The complications would be greater if in a parliament where numbers are
finely balanced that by-election had produced a winner from a different
political party. But that matter does not arise and so it is not necessary
to address it in the present circumstances.

The fact of the matter is that Matobo South constituency has had no
substantive MP since Moyo’s elevation to the position of Speaker and now
that his election has been found to have been no election at all, then
surely it follows that he reverts to the position that he occupied prior to
the flawed election. It was never an election at all and therefore
requirements under Section 41 (1 (g) which would necessitate the loss of his
seat were not fulfilled.

Overall, this is not a matter that the Constitution deals with in a manner
that is clear and satisfactory. But as the current events demonstrate, it is
one that requires clarification.

These are matters that even last year’s constitutional outreach process
might not have uncovered at all and will therefore need close attention at
the drafting stage of the new constitution. One hopes it’s a matter that
will not escape the attention of the draftspersons.

    * Magaisa is based at Kent Law School, University of Kent at Canterbury,
UK. Email:

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The case for Zim human rights trials

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:17

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

FROM the Nuremburg and Tokyo trials after World War II, the International
Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia, the Truth Commission Hearings in
South Africa to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, human rights
trials have been the major policy innovation for more than half a century
designed to halt immense human rights violations by dictators.
In the case of Zimbabwe, particularly in this transitional period, the main
justification for such trials is that punishment is necessary to deter human
rights violations as the country grapples with a violent past and the urgent
need to transit to a democratic society by organising a violence-free
electoral process and outcome.

Given the history of successful human rights trials in post-war Germany,
Europe and elsewhere, human rights trials during and after the transition in
Zimbabwe will lead to improvements in the observance and protection of human

Human rights trials are rarely merely retributive, as some have argued. The
purpose is not only to punish perpetrators but to use this punishment to
deter future violations.

Human rights trials are required in Zimbabwe because war veterans and
members of their militias are encouraged to believe they are immune from
legal responsibility for their actions.

They are fortified in this belief by amnesties granted to them by the
government, in particular an amnesty granted in October 2000 which pardoned
all politically-motivated crimes committed in the run-up to that year’s
elections, except crimes of murder, rape and fraud.

This was a retrogressive policy by the Zanu PF government because it
encouraged impunity and denied justice to the victims of human rights

Impunity is the failure in law and practice of holding perpetrators of
violations accountable mainly through the justice system. Zimbabweans,
especially those belonging to  opposition parties, have been victims of both
de facto and de jure impunity, which has led to egregious human rights
violations beginning with the Matabeleland and Midlands massacres in the
1980s, to the 1985, 1990 elections, 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2005 polls, and the
repression associated with the land reform programme.

The failure to prosecute Zanu PF activists and members of the securocracy
for these gross violations  encourages these elements to commit crimes in
future. Resultantly, this has led citizens to lose faith in the security
forces and the criminal justice system, especially after the purging of the
bench by the Zanu PF government.

The perpetrators in the eras mentioned enjoyed de facto immunity from
prosecution since more often than not the police turned a blind eye to their
activities. This has happened each time Zimbabwe goes for national elections
or when the opposition and civic society protest against perceived bad

This is precisely what happened after the violent June 2008 presidential
election run-off where more than 200 opposition supporters were allegedly
murdered while hundreds were abducted and tortured, or abused in various

The situation in Zimbabwe is worsened by de jure impunity, where laws or
regulations providing impunity strengthen the impact of de facto impunity by
making it difficult or impossible to bring to the justice system
perpetrators of human rights violations.

Articles 7 and 18 of the Global Political Agreement, which deal with
restorative and retributive transitional justice respectively, have proved
to be impotent.

To compound matters, the police and the Attorney General (AG)’s Office
continue to be accused of selectively applying the law against members of
Zanu PF’s oppositionand civic society.

This follows the arrest of MPs from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s-led

Energy minister and MP for Makoni Central Elton Mangoma, Copac
co-chairperson and MP for Nyanga North Douglas Mwonzora, Mazowe MP Shepherd
Mushonga and Roger Tazviona (Zhombe MP), have been arrested on suspiciously
trumped-up charges.

As a result, law enforcement agents are seen as increasingly partisan to the
extent that Zanu PF’s opponents expect almost no protection from the law. A
case in point is the disruption of the All Stakeholders Constitutional
Conference by Zanu PF supporters and war veterans in Harare in the presence
of the police in July 2009, and the violent beatings of opposition
supporters and disruptions of Copac meetings in Harare in August 2010.

Prior to the formation of the GNU, police officers who tried to carry out
their duties professionally were forced to resign or were transferred.

The perpetrators of violent activities were encouraged by leading members of
the then ruling Zanu PF party, who repeatedly claimed that the MDC would
never be allowed to come to power in Zimbabwe and that a war would be waged
against it.

Thus in December 2000 President Robert Mugabe told a Zanu PF congress that
commercial farmers had “declared war” on the people of Zimbabwe, that the
white man was “not indigenous” to Africa and was part of an “evil alliances”.

“We must continue to strike fear into the heart of the white man, our real
enemy,” he said.

These sentiments were echoed by other prominent members of the ruling party.
This is the legacy of impunity that the GNU must address in order to foster
justice in the country.

The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights places the obligation on
states to ensure protection of the rights enunciated in the charter and for
individuals to have human rights violations against them presided over by
competent national institutions such as the courts.

Equally, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),
to which Zimbabwe is signatory, requires that states adopt measures,
including the legal route, to protect the fundamental rights of citizens.

The UN Human Rights Committee, an independent body made up of experts whose
role is to monitor compliance with the ICCPR, has observed that a state’s
failure to investigate and bring perpetrators to justice, especially with
respect to crimes such as killings, torture and ill-treatment, is a
violation of the ICCPR.

Zimbabwe has violated its state obligations under international human rights
laws and it is the role of civic society organisations that have an observer
status in Geneva to report on  Zimbabwe’s  violations.

The other way of combating impunity in Zimbabwe is to have criminal
prosecutions of human rights violators to deter them from committing those
crimes again.

The United Nations Security Council could be lobbied to refer the Zimbabwean
case to the International Criminal Court for criminal prosecution.

This requires the identification of the perpetrators of human rights
violations and submission of their names to The Hague.

This is how Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his cronies are being
investigated. It is a method worth pursuing in order to halt egregious human
rights violations as the country prepares for elections.

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Candid Comment: Investment: Let’s not sign away future to the Chinese

Thursday, 17 March 2011 18:22

By Itai Masuku

SO we understand our friends from the east will be paying us a visit next
week to, among other things, strengthen bilateral co-operation. The keyword
here is bilateral, which means two-way. Let’s hope this is the case because
so far we’ve only seen movement in one direction, in favour of China.

Let’s hope our government is not giving our so-called friends a carte
blanche to acquire all our resources, minerals and land included.

We want a partnership with them that will also benefit us in terms of real
access to their markets, real investment in this country, not tied loans,
and transfer of knowledge and technology.

One is worried that these orientals are touted as our friends. Mmmm ... I
think that needs caution. Let’s not hurry to sign away our future under the
guise of friendship.

If we look east, and by that I mean all the way east until we get to the
United States, we’ll realise from those wise men of the east that there are
no permanent friends in this world, just permanent interests.

And they’ll quote one elderly  by the name of Bil Clinton, whose sagacious
saying when asked what the key issue was in his election campaign replied:
“It’s the economy, stupid.”

The Chinese know this. It’s not about friendship, it’s the economy, stupid,
and the Chinese economy at that.

As the saying goes, one of the most important things in life is not only to
know who your friends are or who your enemies are, but more importantly who
your frienemies are.

In short frienemies are friend-like enemies. They smile at you when they’re
stabbing you in the back. We urge caution on the liberal use of the word
friend when referring to anyone with whom we’re merely getting into a
commercial relationship.

Granted, China provided military training to our freedom fighters during our
liberation struggle, sold us arms etc. Without wanting to look a gift horse
in the mouth, we must recall that AK 47s were being produced at less than 50
US cents at the time.

But above all, we must consider the context under which the Chinese
supported us. It was during the struggle between communism and capitalism
and alignment took place according to who was the perceived enemy.

At that time it was Western capitalism. Let’s not kid ourselves; there were
also very heavy overtones of the enemy being white. So, agreed, our common
enemy was the white man and his capitalism.

We grew up chanting, more or less like the Animal Farm characters; “White
man bad, capitalism bad.”

However, our Chinese friends had changed that chant even before we got our
Independence for which they were still supporting us.  By 1979, Deng
Xiaoping had gotten the inner circles of the Chinese Communist Party to sing
“White man bad, (but note) capitalism good.”

While we were still singing anti- imperialist chants and we still do up to
today, our so-called friends had jumped ship without telling us.

They then watched us run the road to ruin with our communist experiments
which they knew very well had not worked for them. In the meantime they had
accelerated their capitalist mode of production to which they owe their
economic success today.  Having done that, they now began their own
rendition of the Scramble for Africa.

We need not remind you how our friends have offered to help us out of our
economic quagmire by availing a US$3 billion loan, in exchange for
concessions to our platinum deposits estimated at US$40 billion.

We need not remind you either of how they have taken over chrome production
in this country, preferring to export it raw without adding value to it,
unlike the British and Americans who at least set up factories here, added
value and created employment.

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Editor's Memo: Attack on judiciary deplorable

Thursday, 17 March 2011 18:20

By Constantine Chimakure

THE independence of the judiciary is a fundamental hallmark in any democracy
and that is why we condemn Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s acerbic attack
on Supreme Court judges last week after nullifying the election of MDC-T
chairman Lovemore Moyo to the House of Assembly speakership in August 2008.
Neither can we also condone Moyo’s reaction to the judgment.

Obviously angered by these developments, Tsvangirai said: “Dubious and
pro-executive decisions have been made in this era. 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.”

Moyo weighed in claiming that: “We are aware that the majority of our
people, learned men and women on the bench, owe it to the (Robert) Mugabe
regime, and obviously it is a given that when it comes to a call when they
have to make decisions, crucial decisions for that matter, they have to pay
back the master. In this case, do things in favour of Zanu PF.

“So I was not shocked because I knew that 99% they would certainly favour
their master.”

The needless attack on the judiciary makes the MDC-T no different from Zanu
PF, a party they have countless times accused of interfering with the
judiciary and with no respect for the rule of law. What makes it worse is
that on that same day, last Thursday, the same Supreme Court upheld the
acquittal of MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett by the High Court — striking
Tsvangirai and Moyo’s claims.

They selected, by their comments, to ignore several rulings made by the same
judges in favour of the MDC-T to score cheap political points.

It is the same Justice Paddington Garwe who acquitted Tsvangirai in 2004
during his infamous treason trial and who last week agreed with Chief
Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku and Justice Vernanda Ziyambi to nullify Moyo’s

Why Tsvangirai and Moyo can now label Garwe a Zanu PF functionary is anyone’s

The MDC-T should avoid brinkmanship and reckless statements that flout the
very tenets of democracy they claim to be fighting for.

Conversely, calls for their arrest by Zanu PF zealots are mischievous and
reek of hypocrisy. What is laughable is that those at the forefront of
making such calls include former Information minister Jonathan Moyo.

Moyo, who was in the habit of castigating judges when he was minister, this
week said: “The rule of law he (Tsvangirai) preaches also means accepting
that judges have a responsibility to interpret the law, no-one else can
claim to have authority in interpreting the law except the courts.”

Then Information minister, Moyo, in October 2000 criticised Justice Esmael
Chatikobo after he granted an urgently sought interdict to Capital Radio
against government’s intention to seize the station’s equipment. The
interdict was granted after hours and was made at a time when the case was
pending in court. Moyo castigated Chatikobo calling him a “night judge,
dispensing night justice”.

Moyo was at it again in 2002 attacking Justice Fergus Blackie’s contempt
charges against Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa. Moyo said in his rebuke
that the judge “who has a history of kangaroo courts” had taken the matter
into “a personal crusade and has done that in a manner that will erode
public confidence in the justice system”, and further that “there is no
doubt that fair- minded and law abiding citizens will see this judgment for
what it is: outrageous, sinister, highly personalised crusade made by
someone who should be packing his bags”.

Moyo is not the only one in Zanu PF guilty of contempt against judges
without being prosecuted.

Chinamasa not only criticised Justice Nicholas McNally, but ordered him to
leave office saying that they could not guarantee his safety if he continued
to carry out his duties.

Then there were the war veterans’ threats against Chief Justice Antony
Gubbay when they invaded his chambers.

With the above precedents, to call for the arrest of Tsvangirai and Moyo is
hypocritical and deceitful. Let’s have no more of this from either side.

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Comment: No alternative to unity govt

Thursday, 17 March 2011 17:47

THE Global Political Agreement (GPA) and Government of National Unity (GNU)
were once again shaken to their foundations after last week’s dramatic
events which appeared choreographed by Zanu PF’s forces of darkness pursuing
a sinister political agenda. First, we had the arrest of Energy and Power
Development Minister Elton Mangoma for allegedly violating tender procedures
in awarding a US$6 million fuel supply to two South African companies,
Mohwelere and NOOA.

Justice Samuel Kudya practically quashed the threadbare allegations at the
bail hearing on Tuesday.

Then on the same day when Mangoma was arrested the Supreme Court nullified
Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo’s election.

Concurrently, as if to mitigate the political fallout from the ousting of
Moyo, exiled MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett won his case against
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana in the Supreme Court.

Now the question is, is President Robert Mugabe going to swear him in as
deputy Agriculture minister?

As this was happening Mugabe was on his way to the African Union meeting in
Ethiopia. It was as if the timing was designed to dissociate Mugabe from
these events.

In a quick succession of episodes, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who had
earlier the same day (last Thursday) indicated he was frustrated by the
power struggles in the GNU but would nevertheless stick in there, called a
press conference to react to the Mangoma and the Moyo incidents. After
attacking Zanu PF and judges, Tsvangirai threatened to quit the GNU.

At that point the GPA and GNU appeared on the brink. Tsvangirai seemed on
the verge of falling into Zanu PF’s trap. MDC-T secretary-general Tendai
Biti heightened political temperatures by saying — again on the same day —
his party was ready for “divorce” in the GPA and GNU political union.

That path, being paved by Zanu PF hawks who are laying lethal political
landmines for Tsvangirai, can only lead the country to destination hell.

The plot is clear. An evil cabal of Zanu PF fascists (those pursuing a
radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology) around Mugabe are planning to
collapse the GPA and GNU and stampede the country into early elections with
a predetermined outcome.

Violence and intimidation, mixed with electoral manipulation and fraud,
would be the decisive factors.

This is the sort of election that Mugabe and his diehards want.

But then the question is: If Mugabe and his bloc succeed in driving the
country in that direction, what next? Where does the country go after that?

Put differently, what can Mugabe and his cronies do which they failed to do
in 30 years?

Mugabe and his hangers-on have no alternative plan except taking the country
back to an era of political repression and command economics. If they
crumble the GNU, what do they propose to do afterwards?

The same question can be proposed to Tsvangirai. If he walks out of GNU then
what? We are not saying the GPA or GNU is the ultimate political model for
Zimbabwe, but as things stand the agreement — flawed as it is — offers the
best chance of a rebound for the country. Until somebody comes up with
something more viable, we don’t see any alternative.

The GPA and GNU, products of negotiations following disputed elections, are
meant to provide a transitional mechanism to ensure the country prepares
itself for genuinely free and fair elections where violence and
intimidation, as well as electoral theft, have no place.

If Mugabe and his party win free and fair elections, then that’s fine, they
can rule.

After all people get a leader and government they deserve. But why are they
afraid of genuine and credible elections? Since 1980 Mugabe and his party
have always won through violence and intimidation even when they were still

Zimbabweans, including Tsvangirai and MDC-T officials, must learn to
properly explain the Zimbabwean story. It has many narratives but one thing
is clear: Mugabe and Zanu PF have never been interested in free and fair

They resent democracy, good governance and human rights. They fear
accountability and transparency.

Let’s not forget these are the same people who firmly believed in a
one-party state and a president for life, hence the cult of personality
around Mugabe.

They believed in command economics.

They wanted to turn Zimbabwe into an Orwellian Animal Farm — where leaders
assume the role of masters, complete with all of the oppressive posturing
that goes with an authoritarian regime. That’s Mugabe and Zanu PF. And it
spells doom for Zimbabwe.

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