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Cabinet to decide unity govt’s fate

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:18

Dumisani Muleya

CABINET ministers in the shaky inclusive government clashed in furious
scenes on Tuesday in front of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Ministers
Morgan Tsvangirai over a series of contentious political issues prompting
the holding soon of a special cabinet meeting to resolve the matters.

Informed official sources said GPA principals, including Mugabe, Tsvangirai
and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, watched in horror as ministers
slugged it out over unimplemented GPA issues as political tensions ran high
and partisan hostilities exploded at Munhumutapa Building.

The cabinet session had been called to clear Global Political Agreement
(GPA) issues and the future of the GNU. It however ended amid chaotic and
acrimonious clashes as ministers engaged in heated no-holds-barred exchanges
over disputed political issues.

This had necessitated a special cabinet sitting that would be decisive in
many ways for the political direction and future of the country, according
to a senior government minister.

“We are going to have a special cabinet meeting soon. The agenda of the
meeting would in brief be the GPA, GNU and the way forward,” the minister
said. “We are going to examine in detail the 24 GPA issues which have been
agreed upon but not implemented. We are also going to examine operations of
the GNU. In fact, this meeting will be a review of the inclusive

The extraordinary cabinet meeting would determine the fate of the government
of national unity (GNU) and the way forward following recent problems around
the lifespans of the coalition arrangement, constitution-making process,
referendum and elections.

Some of the contentious issues were on sanctions, the media, external radio
stations, hate speech, rule of law, state organs and institutions, review of
ministerial mandates, land audit and tenure system and electoral vacancies.

The gathering would also have a bearing on the country’s future economic
prospects, particularly in view of Mugabe’s renewed threats to grab
foreign-owned companies under the guise of indigenisation and empowerment.

Cabinet has now become a theatre of political battles, mainly between Mugabe
and Zanu PF ministers and Tsvangirai and MDC-T ministers. Mutambara now
reportedly cuts a lonely figure in cabinet after he was fired by his party
and left it under Minister of Trade and Industry Welshman Ncube’s control.
Mutambara and Ncube are fighting over the MDC leadership and the position of
co-deputy prime minister. This has intensified tensions within the divided
“As you would be aware,” the minister said, “the negotiators of the three
political parties in the GPA finished their negotiations last year after
having been engaged since 2009 on a lot of disputed issues. After that, the
principals took a long time to meet to resolve those issues which
negotiators agreed they could not deal with. The principals resolved some of
the issues but later there was a dispute about that as well. Principals met
on many occasions since June last year and the end result of that was a
commitment to implement the 24 items listed on the implementation matrix
document which was approved by Sadc (Southern African Development Community)
leaders in Windhoek last year in August.”

In early August last year the three parties in the GPA endorsed and
formalised the implementation matrix which was approved and presented as
part of the report to Sadc mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma.
After that Zuma took the report to the Sadc summit in Windhoek. The report
was approved by regional leaders who gave Zimbabwean parties timeframes and
deadlines on implementation of agreed issues.

The implementation matrix envisaged some issues being tackled immediately;
others within a month or two months; and a few continuously or on a periodic

The issues also included cabinet and council of ministers’ rules, guidelines
and procedures, transport arrangements of principals, security aides for the
prime minister and deputy prime ministers, parallel government, external
interference, national economic council, constitutional commissions,
national heroes, role and position of permanent secretary of media,
information and publicity, constitutional amendment No 19, interference with
the rights of freedom of association, assembly and speech, role and funding
of NGOs, multi-donor trust fund and selective funding of ministries by
donors and electoral reforms.

Zimbabwe’s cabinet approved the implementation matrix but nothing much was
done afterwards.

Another government minister said the next extraordinary cabinet meeting
would “seek to revisit all these issues and enforce our own decisions and
Sadc resolutions”.

“We must implement the GPA and that is what the meeting will be about,” the
minister said. “We signed the GPA and now Zimbabweans and Sadc expect us to
implement it in full. The GPA is the basis of this government and the
roadmap to free and fair elections, so we can’t deviate from it unless we
want to let the country slide back into a dark period of repression and
economic chaos.”

Zuma’s facilitators have been in and out of the country to ensure the
parties implement the GPA and define the roadmap to elections. Although the
parties have been cooperating, Mugabe and his party have been trying to
stampede the country into early elections at least by August. They have been
doing this through efforts to rush the constitution-making process and
referendum to pave for elections or threats to abandon the GPA trajectory
and go back to the old constitution where Mugabe has powers to unilaterally
dissolve parliament and call for elections. Under the GPA Mugabe does not
have these powers.

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Zanu PF coerces bank executives over sanctions

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:12

Chris Muronzi

TOP Zanu PF officials this week summoned bank  executives and coerced them
to support the party’s anti-sanctions crusade that was launched by President
Robert Mugabe in the capital on Wednesday.

Banking sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Vice President
John Nkomo pic, Presidential Affairs minister and Zanu PF secretary for
administration Didymus Mutasa, Media and Information minister Webster Shamu,
and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo  summoned bank executives to an urgent
meeting on Tuesday to rally all bank CEOs against sanctions.

All CEOs of Zimbabwe’s financial services firms attended the meeting, a
source said.

At the meeting, the executives are said to have been bullied into supporting
Zanu PF’s anti-sanctions drive.

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president John Mushayavanhu confirmed the
top Zanu PF and government officials — Nkomo, Shamu, Gumbo and Mutasa —
called an hour- long meeting on Tuesday at  FBC Holdings’ Nelson Mandela

Mushayavanhu said: “We had a meeting over sanctions where they were just
saying there was going to be a launch and wanted us to attend if we were
free.  We agreed with them that sanctions were not good for the country.
They requested a meeting and we agreed to meet.”

After the meeting, sources say banks were asked to contribute US$16 000 for
printing of anti-sanctions campaign T-Shirts, a charge Mushayavanhu refuted.

Mushayavanhu said: “We were not asked to pay any amount. They just mentioned
that the campaign would obviously cost money and they would appreciate any
kind of help.”

In the same meeting, the executives were also asked to extend the
anti-sanctions crusade to radio and television in the coming weeks as Zanu
PF attempts to rally business behind its anti-embargo crusade.

According to sources, the bankers were not given much choice and agreed to
Nkomo, Mutasa, Shamu and Gumbo’s orders.

This comes after Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa last month threatened
to seize a 90% stake in foreign businesses that did not demonise sanctions
on radio and television.

Some local business leaders have already begun singing from the same song
sheet as Zanu PF.

At the Zanu PF organised rally on Wednesday, Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries president Joseph Kanyekanye spoke against sanctions.
Kanyakanye said: “I have come voluntarily to say no to sanctions. It is part
of our 2010 resolutions where more than 300 businesspeople said sanctions
are not appropriate for Zimbabwe.

“We believe that sanctions have nothing to do with the human rights
situation obtaining in the country. We have a situation where we have ZDERA
(Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act), which we are having problems
with as the business community.

“This law empowers the US Secretary for the Treasury to direct any US
executive director sitting on international financial institutions to vote
against extension of loans to Zimbabwe and to vote against cancellation or
reduction of debt owed by Zimbabwe.

“As Zimbabweans, we must fight the sanctions and as CZI we had already taken
a position a year ago because they have caused unnecessary disunity in the

Efforts to reach the CZI president after the event to ascertain the business
group’s position on President Robert Mugabe’s takeover threats proved
fruitless as his mobile phone was switched off.

But Kanyekanye had on Wednesday said political leaders had to stop
politicking and attack the embargo. This, analysts say, was in reference to
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s no show at the sanctions ceremony
attended by mainly Zanu PF supporters.

TA boss Shingi Mutasa also called for the removal of sanctions at an
economic symposium in the capital recently.

Mugabe launched his anti-sanctions campaign on Wednesday and threatened to
seize foreign companies.

Mugabe, the Zanu PF leadership and a multitude of supporters who attended
the meeting appended their signatures to what the party said was an
anti-sanctions petition.

The United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Zanu PF officials
and froze their assets held abroad after the party launched a violent
campaign in the 2002 presidential polls observers said were not free and

But Zanu PF contends the US and EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and its
leaders to punish them for resettling landless blacks.

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‘Dearth of political will retarding reform’

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:11

Wongai Zhangazha

CONSTITUTIONAL and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga said the
inclusive government had missed targets it set for itself for the cluster of
Rights and Interests in the 2010 Government Work Programme (GWP) because of
a lack of political will.
Speaking at a special Council of Ministers workshop on the 2011 GWP in
Harare yesterday, Matinenga said the Rights and Interests cluster had
performed dismally in 2010.

The cluster includes Justice and Legal Affairs; Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs; Media, Information and Publicity; Organ on National
Healing and Reconciliation; and Foreign Affairs.

Among the highlights of the 2010 GWP were the setting up of the Judicial
Service Commission (JSC), Human Rights Commission (HRC), the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Media Commission.

The Media, Information and Publicity ministry reported that it had managed
to revamp the existing radio and television services transmission grid and
was in the process of establishing new transmitter sites in Beitbridge,
Plumtree and Mudzi.

However, the ministry failed to review media laws, which include the
Broadcasting Services Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act and the Media Practitioners’ Bill, which is still in progress.

Matinenga also criticized the slow pace in the amendment of the Public Order
and Security Act which has been described by human rights activists as an
insult to democracy. He blamed the lack of progress on lack of a culture of
change in the government.

“The Rights and Interests cluster is supposed to perform in accordance with
the Global Political Agreement. It is important to note that the various
articles in the GPA are dependent on political consensus of the political
parties who are signatories. For the targets to be achieved they must be
governed by a culture of change,” said Matinenga.

“To be honest, I think we have not performed according to expectations. We
have certain legislations and commissions but there has been an absence of

Although there was a media commission, HRC and ZEC, Matinenga said he was
disappointed that these bodies were dysfunctional because there was no
political will to support their existence.

“In the past week I had the fortune of being in Kenya and I enjoyed watching
nine television stations and innumerable radio stations. There is no reason
why we don’t enjoy the same in Zimbabwe. We should be able to listen to what
we want and watch what we want.”

The security cluster consisting of the President’s Office, Defence ministry
and the Home Affairs ministry was heavily criticised for failing to
institute security sector reforms in accordance with the GPA.

The Finance ministry was one of the few success stories achieving a positive
economic growth of 8,1% compared to the 2009 figure of 6,3%.

Agricultural output grew by 34% and a total of US$60 million was spent on
vulnerable households under the government’s input support scheme.

The Lands and Rural Settlement ministry said in an effort to eliminate
multiple farm ownership it had drafted A1 permit documents currently
awaiting cabinet approval. The National Land Audit was still to be
implemented by cabinet.

The Health ministry managed to reduce the overall unavailability of drugs
and medicines from 52% to 43%. Shortfalls in vital drugs were reduced from
57% to 52% and essential drugs from 36% to 28%. Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai said inadequate human, financial and material resources, slow
release of funds by Treasury and limited financial allocation hampered the
government’s service delivery targets.

Tsvangirai said he was disturbed by the ongoing saga involving the
whereabouts of Chiadzwa diamonds proceeds.

“Anyone clean on this matter should welcome an audit that unpacks the
mystery as citizens cannot continue to wait while the leaders are bickering
over process issues,” Tsvangirai said.

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Biti wants to meet Mpofu over diamond revenues

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:10

Dumisani Muleya

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti yesterday said he was vigorously pushing to
meet his Mines counterpart Obert Mpofu to “investigate and reconcile”
missing diamond revenues which have divided cabinet as questions increase
over where the money is and why it is being kept secret.
This came as information emerged that there are problems between the
President’s Office and Treasury over the use of the Chiadzwa diamond
revenues. While Biti wants all the money to be sent to Treasury before
disbursement to government departments for different operations, it is
understood the President’s Office wants its share for “national operations”
to clandestinely set aside in the name of “security”.

“The way the diamonds money is being collected and used is not transparent
at all,” a government source said. “The President’s Office wants its share
without necessarily being accountable to Treasury while Biti wants to have
control of the funds as responsible minister. The whole issue is now being
clouded by claims of national security matters and security operations and
how this should be funded. That is why there is need for an Act of
Parliament governing operations of security agencies and departments.”

However, another official said the problem was that Zanu PF was trying to
control the funds mainly for political survival purposes at the expense of
national issues. There are growing fears that the missing US$300 million
from diamond sales disclosed by the Zimbabwe Independent last week has
either been stolen or was being kept secretly somewhere by Zanu PF ministers
as a war chest for anticipated elections. Despite being broke, Zanu PF is
desperately pushing for early elections, raising suspicions it had diverted
diamond revenues to its own unlawful use.

The use of Chiadzwa diamond revenues have always been shady. Government
officials have admitted diamonds had been looted from Chiadzwa and sold on
the black market.  Cabinet last week ordered Biti and Mpofu to meet to deal
with the issue which highlighted the lack of transparency and accountability
in the current inclusive government.

There were clashes in government on Tuesday last week over the missing
US$174 million in diamond revenues (part of the overall $300 million), with
Biti reportedly breathing fire over the issue amid intensifying internal
squabbles over civil servants’ salaries.

There are also questions over U$125,8 million realised in January 2011which
has not been remitted to Treasury. In total US$300 million has not been
accounted for.
Biti said yesterday he was still waiting to meet Mpofu to deal with the
issue of missing public funds.

“I’m still yet to meet Mpofu because apparently he is not around. The issue
has to be sorted out and cleared so that we can deal with other urgent
government business,” Biti said. “While the audit is going on, we need to
meet and deal with the issue.”

Biti has instructed the Auditor-General and the Commissioner General for the
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to verify figures of the diamond proceeds
received so far. In addition, he has also ordered the Comptroller and
Auditor General to audit the books of the relevant parastatals involved in
the sale of the diamonds.

Biti told parliament recently that he had not received the US$174 million as
claimed by Zanu PF ministers and more specifically by Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Godwills Masimirembwa.

“Information on hand as supplied by ZMDC indicates that an amount of
US$174,2 million should have been remitted to Treasury, while an additional
U$125,8 million realised in January 2011 remains outstanding,” Biti told

“However, Treasury has only managed to reconcile US$62,1 million including
accruals to both Zimra (US$17,7 million) and the Exchequer account (US$42,9
million). Clearly, ZMDC and the (Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe)
MMCZ are not remitting in full the revenues which they have themselves
declared as due to the fiscus.”

Biti two weeks ago explained in detail the problems around the issue of
diamonds. “Diamonds proceeds have become an extraordinarily essential tool
with high potential of leveraging our development agenda. Diamonds revenue
inflows create enhanced capacity to fund most of our development programmes,
thereby freeing traditional tax revenues to other essential services such as
health and education, among others,” he said.

“It also gives scope for affording our civil servants and other state arms
decent incomes. However, diamonds sales and remittances have lacked
transparency creating misconceptions on management of public resources and
the 2011 budget. Our 2011 cash flows would have been manageable had we
received proceeds from the 3rd –5th diamond sales.”

Biti added: “Information on hand as supplied by ZMDC indicated that an
amount of US$174,2 million should have been remitted to Treasury, while an
additional U$125,8 million realised in January 2011 remains outstanding”.

Biti insisted in parliament –– as he did yesterday –– that Treasury had only
managed to reconcile US$62,1 million including accruals to both Zimra
(US$17,7 million) and the Exchequer account (US$42,9 million).

“Clearly, ZMDC and MMCZ are not remitting in full the revenues which they
have themselves declared as due to the fiscus. I hope officials are not
speculating with this money,” he said.

“From a cash management basis, it therefore becomes extremely difficult to
plan for such resources when one has no control over the timing of both the
sale and remittances. Immediate remittance of the proceeds from the last
diamond sales would most certainly assist in the operationalisation of the
2011 budget for budgeted priority requirements.

“Furthermore, it is also important that there be enforcement of transparency
in dealing with public resources such as Marange diamonds for the common
good of the country.”

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Principals agree to start GPA implementation

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:03

Faith Zaba

THE three political principals in the inclusive government have agreed to
start implementing the 24 agreed principles in the Global Political
Agreement in accordance with timelines set out in the implementation matrix
they adopted in August last year.
This comes as South Africa, the Sadc-appointed facilitator of the Zimbabwe
political crisis, said this week it will not allow President Robert Mugabe
to hold elections until outstanding issues of the power-sharing agreement
are resolved, including the enactment of a new constitution.

Marius Fransman, South African International Relations deputy minister, on
Tuesday said disputes over the appointment of provincial governors and
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, hiring of central bank governor Gideon
Gono, and the swearing in of MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett as deputy
agriculture minister should be resolved before polls are held.

“The South African position and that of Sadc is to ensure that the next
elections as envisaged in the GPA are held under a new constitution that
would have the product of the constitution-making process supported by the
Zimbabwean electorate through a referendum,” he said. “In this regard, any
calls for elections without the finalisation of the constitution-making
process are in breach of the GPA as well as the constitution… which gives
legitimacy to the inclusive government.”

Top government sources said Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his
deputy Arthur Mutambara agreed at their meeting last Friday to follow the
implementation matrix they agreed on in August during the Sadc Summit in

The inclusive government failed to meet the timelines they set out in the
implementation matrix after Zanu PF said it would not make any more
concessions until sanctions are removed.

Zanu PF said the implementation of the agreed principles should be done
concurrently and simultaneously with the removal of sanctions.

Mugabe has said he will never swear-in Bennett and neither will he fire
Tomana and Gono.

“The principals agreed to implement the 23 agreed issues as these form the
basis of the roadmap to elections. These will be done within the timeframes
they set out and some of these should be done within a month. Implementation
was supposed to start this week,” one of the sources said.

According to the implementation matrix contained in a document sent to Sadc
mediator South African President Jacob Zuma on August 5 2010, the three
principals agreed to implement most of the 23 issues either immediately or
within a month.

They agreed to implement the sanctions removal strategy on a continuous

All media issues, which include regularisation of the Broadcasting Authority
of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board, the appointment of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings (ZBH) board and the constitution of the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust
(ZMMT) are supposed to be done within a month.

Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu in September last year
appointed boards to various state-run media institutions without consulting
his deputy, who then was Jameson Timba.

MDC-T lambasted Shamu for what they described as the militarisation of BAZ
and ZBH.

In addition to the appointment of several retired military personnel to the
institutions, Shamu appointed former chairperson of the disbanded Media and
Information Commission, Tafataona Mahoso, to chair BAZ, which is responsible
for issuing broadcasting licences.

The principals agreed to end hate speech in the media and put a stop to
attacks on ministers implementing government programmes. This, they said,
should be done on a continuous basis.

According to the implementation matrix, security sector reforms should be
implemented on continuous basis. They agreed to ensure that the
commissioner-general of the police, state security organs and the
Attorney-General should comply with Articles 11 and 13.

Article 11 deals with the rule of law, respect for the constitution and
other laws and Article 13 states that state organs and institutions do not
belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of
their duties.

Some of the issues they agreed to implement within a month include the
appointment of a land audit commission, ministerial mandates ––assignment of
Acts –– and appointment of a national economic council.

The principles which are supposed to be implemented immediately include
endorsement of cabinet and council of ministers’ rules, guidelines and
procedures as agreed on by the negotiators and rectification of the Prime
minister’s transport arrangements.

They also supposed to immediately speed up the process of vetting, training
and engagement of security personnel for the Prime Minister and his
deputies, regularise the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and appoint the
Anti-Corruption Commission and ensure that the permanent secretary of
information is apolitical.

The Minister of Justice is supposed to immediately gazette the full text of
the Constitutional Amendment No.19 as approved by parliament, while the
commissioner-general of the police and co-Home Affairs minister are supposed
to reaffirm the right to freely organise political activities.

The amendments to the Electoral Act are supposed to be immediately

Government is supposed to implement within two months the following –– land
tenure systems, expedite adoption of non-partisan and inclusive principles
and framework for the selection of national heroes.

Meanwhile, sources in the negotiation teams told Zimbabwe Independent that
only MDC-T and MDC-N have presented their proposals to the roadmap on
elections, with Zanu PF saying they should follow the roadmap outlined in
the GPA.

According to the GPA, the processes leading to elections include drafting a
new constitution, a referendum followed by elections.

In statements issued by Zanu PF no mention has been made on the roadmap,
which Zuma is supposed to present to the Sadc troika meeting expected end of

Mugabe this week said: “Things must be done properly within the GPA.”

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MDC-T proposes electoral reforms

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:01

Faith Zaba

THE MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai has demanded that the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) recruit new staff and rid itself of alleged
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives inherited from the
previous commission led by Justice George Chiweshe.
MDC-T wrote to ZEC chairman Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe proposing a
wide-range of electoral reforms, including a new biometric voters’ roll that
should be implemented first before the country can hold elections.

The letter written by MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti stated that there
was a need for an impartial and transparent management of electoral

Biti wrote that there was “need for ZEC to be staffed by new civilian
employers recruited by the present commission.

“The obligation of ZEC is not to involve CIO in the management and execution
of any election,” read the letter.

In addition to a biometric voters’ roll, Biti urged the commission to ensure
that the delimitation of constituencies was conducted in a transparent and
impartial manner.

The MDC-T charged that the current voters roll contained names of deceased
people and people who had ceased to be citizens of Zimbabwe as well as
children born in 2008.

“Given this scenario, it is our humble request that a new voters roll be
compiled and that the same must be a biometric voters roll.”

Biometric voter registration uses software which captures citizens’ data,
including fingerprints and a digital photograph, directly in the field. The
system is known to prevent multiple registrations and voting as it easily
detects duplicity.

Biti impressed upon the ZEC to guarantee the right of every Zimbabwean over
the age of 18 to vote, including those outside the country.

MDC-T also wants a full audit of electoral processes at all key stages and a
legal framework allowing for timeous announcement of results to avoid what
happened in 2008 when there was a month’s delay.

He also called for a speedy and impartial resolution of electoral disputes
and complaints.

Since Margaret Dongo successfully challenged the outcome of the Harare South
parliamentary poll in 1995 citing fraud, 49 electoral cases were brought
before the courts between 2000 and 2005. None of the cases were ever
resolved. The petitions remained unresolved for a full term of office of an
MP denying prospective MPs justice.

MDC-T wants Sadc to monitor the elections six months before and six months
after the polls and full restoration of political parties’ rights to hold
peaceful meetings, rallies and demonstrations.

Observers should be granted free access to polling stations for extensive

Biti said the reform and realignment of the security sector to prevent abuse
by the military, intelligence agencies and youth militia was paramount for
free and fair elections.

He said there was a need to “prevent political abuse by traditional leaders”,
“prevent political abuse of food aid”, “ensure the full realisation of media
freedom” and “prevent Zanu PF abuse of state resources, particularly
diamonds in Chiadzwa”.

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Chihuri ducks 2008 poll violence questions

Thursday, 03 March 2011 20:00

Paidamoyo Muzulu

POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday told parliament that
the Organ on National Healing, and not the police, was responsible for
resolving violence related to the 2008 presidential election run-off.
Chihuri refused to answer questions on the 2008 election violence when he
appeared before the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, which was probing
organised violence rocking the country.

The police chief avoided answering questions on the presidential run-off
poll saying the committee did not forewarn him to prepare for that line of

“I was not told (to prepare) for the June 27 violence. That is being handled
by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) and the Organ
on National Healing (ONH),” said Chihuri.

He questioned the parliamentarians’ motive in asking him about that poll
when they knew that it was being handled at a political level.

Jomic and ONH are institutions created by the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) to help monitor the implementation of agreed reforms.

Chihuri admitted that organised political violence was the worst kind of
violence in any society as it needed the least or no provocation at all to
happen adding that the police required substantial funding from the state to
curb it.

“Policing is not a cheap exercise. Police should be provided with enough
funds and have proper toys of the trade to function effectively,” he said.

Police received US$200 000 dollars from treasury last month for their
operations and Chihuri described this allocation as inadequate to implement
policing activities.

He disputed claims of police not dealing decisively with torture camps set
up in certain communities and the unfair treatment of victims of violence by
the MDC-T.

These reports, Chihuri said, could not be substantiated and were generally
made for political expediency as statistics from his offices showed that
both Zanu PF and MDC-T were equally responsible for all forms of political
violence recorded from the beginning of 2011.

He revealed that the police had so far handled 36 cases of political
violence countrywide and arrested 121 suspects. Of these, Chihuri said 101
were MDC-T members and 20 from Zanu PF.

Among the MDC-T senior leaders arrested were Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani
Khupe, Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone, Speaker of Parliament Lovemore
Moyo, Youth deputy minister Tongai Matutu and MPs Douglas Mwonzora, Rodgers
Tazviona and Paul Madzore.

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Anglican bishops fear ‘Kunonga death threats’

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:58

Tendai Zhanje

BISHOPS from the Anglican Church’s five dioceses in Zimbabwe are now living
in fear after receiving death threats from a faction allegedly linked to
Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.
Chad Gandiya of Harare, Ishmael Mukuwanda of Central Zimbabwe, Cleopas Lunga
of Matabeleland, Godfrey Tawonezvi of Masvingo and Julius Makoni of
Manicaland claimed that the faction hired assassins to eliminate them for
blocking Kunonga from becoming Archbishop of the Province of Central

Tawonezvi said two men claiming to work for the faction visited him last
month and confessed that they had orders to assassinate him and the other
bishops because they were a threat to Kunonga’s ambition of being ordained

Tawonezvi said the men who declined to identify themselves approached him
under the pretext of discussing problems in the Anglican Church and when he
informed them that these were only prevalent in Harare, they warned him that
he would bear the consequences if he continued to resist Kunonga.

“They told me that all five bishops were targeted and warned that in future
some men will simply carry out their orders,” said Tawonezvi.

Gandiya said they were living in fear and they faced numerous threats and
intimidation every week. He added that he has been followed by some
strangers on a number of occasions and his congregation has also complained
about acts of intimidation by unknown people.

“It’s the reality we live with.  Our lives are threatened,” said Gandiya.

He charged that Kunonga had voluntarily broken away from the Anglican Church
which automatically disqualified him from holding any position in the

Kunonga dismissed the bishops’ allegations telling the Zimbabwe Independent
yesterday: “Be careful of doing useless things.  If someone wants to be
assassinated, they will just be assassinated. I don’t do such things. What
does he (Tawonezvi) have that makes him a target of assassination?”

The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been divided since Kunonga, a staunch
disciple of President Robert Mugabe, in 2007 said he was pulling out of the
Harare Diocese of the Church of the Province of Central Africa saying it
supported homosexuality.

He has regularly blocked Gandiya and his followers from using the churches
to worship.

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Ministry fines tollgate contractors

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:56

Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development has started fining
contractors who missed the December deadline for completing the construction
of 24 tollgates shelters across the country.
Ministry permanent secretary Partison Mbiriri revealed this when he appeared
before the Transport and Communication Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
this week to give oral evidence on the progress of tollgates construction in
the country.

More Wear Industries face a penalty of up to US$36 000 if they fail to
complete construction of nine tollgates in Matabeleland and Midlands by the
end of this month.

The company, a subsidiary of Gulliver Consolidated Group, won the tender to
construct nine tollgates in the southern provinces and should have completed
them by the end of December 2010.

Harare-based Tega Steel won the tender to construct 15 structures in the
northern provinces by the end of July this year. The combined tenders are
worth US$1, 9 million.

“The contract was due to be completed by December 31 2010 and we have since
invoked penalty clauses,” Mbiriri told the committee. “The penalty is US$400
a day until they complete the project. The penalty is deducted from the
company’s future payments from the ministry.”

Mbiriri hastened to add that More Wear Industries had since completed four
of the nine shelters it was contracted to erect.

Tega Steel seems on track to meet its deadline.

“Tega has since completed eight out of the 15 shelters they were contracted
to construct. Their contract is due to run until end of July this year and
we do not think that they will go beyond that period,” said Mbiriri.

Meanwhile, Mbiriri said the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) would
soon introduce an electronic tollgate system aimed at limiting revenue leaks
as well as being easier to audit. He said all cars would be fitted with an
electronic disc on the dashboard where it can be read by the tollgate

Mbiriri said the system was ordered from China and was at the port of Beira
in Mozambique en route to Zimbabwe. He, however, said the efficient
operations of the system would depend on uninterrupted power supply.

The system would initially be installed at tollgates surrounding Harare and

A similar system was installed on South Africa’s major highways, but was
suspended before it could take off after government conceded that it needed
to further consult motorists and freight companies because it was found to
be costly for road users.

Mbiriri revealed that Zinara has raked in US$33 million from toll gates
since their inception in 2009.

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Moyo after MDC-T Byo chairmanship

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:55

Brian Chitemba

STATE Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo has declared his
interest in the MDC-T Bulawayo chairmanship despite attempts to block him as
a Johnny-come-lately.
His declaration comes against the backdrop of calls by the MDC-T Bulawayo
province leadership asking Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to bar Moyo from
campaigning for the chairmanship saying he was “not eligible” to contest in
party polls.

The provincial leadership says Moyo is ineligible because he officially
joined the party two months ago. The MDC-T requires a member to have served
the party in good standing for two years to qualify for a senior post.

But Moyo told the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday that it was not him but
MDC members pushing for his candidacy.

“I have been asked by the people to stand for the chairmanship. It is not
about Gorden but the people of Bulawayo,” said Moyo.

Moyo was chairman of pro-democracy group Bulawayo Agenda before he was
handpicked by Tsvangirai to serve in his office at the inception of the
inclusive government two year ago.

If Moyo is allowed to stand, he will battle with Mzilikazi Senator Mattson
Hlalo, who has also declared his interest.

“It’s not part of our protocol to tip yourself for any post, but when
members express their desire to elect me chairman, I will not turn them
down,” said Hlalo.

As the MDC-T congress draws near, widespread reports of vote-buying and
factionalism have surfaced as members jostle for influential positions.

MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti recently wrote to provincial structures
instructing members of the party not to adopt unconstitutional moves to
secure posts.

One such move he castigated was the so called “Operation Gara Uripo or Mira
Uripo” whereby some members are working to maintain the status quo.

“The national executive committee has adopted a special code of conduct that
will deal with the congress. The party will (exercise) zero tolerance to any
omissions or commissions of misconduct,” wrote Biti.

“Vote-buying, sexism, factionalism and any acts of misconduct will not be

Youth Assembly chairperson Thamsanqa Mahlangu has said ministers invited by
Tsvangirai should not take advantage of their invitation to usurp party

In another development, MDC-T insiders said Tsvangirai was losing support in
Matabeleland North because of the long running internal battle pitting
incumbent chairman Sengezo Tshabangu and a faction led by provincial
information and publicity secretary Margs Valley.

They said MDC-T members in Matabeleland North were unhappy with leaders who
spent most their time in Bulawayo instead of building party structures in
the province.

“Our structures in Nkayi, Lupane and Binga are under stress because of the
leadership crisis in the province. Zapu has taken advantage of our absence
at grass root structures to garner support,” the party official said.

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Committee wants agreement revised

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:49

Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Resettlement
wants the ambitious US$600 million Chisumbanje ethanol project partnership
agreement revised to curtail businessman Billy Rautenbach’s free hand and
reflect the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda)’s

The committee said the 20-year partnership agreement should be aligned with
government’s new indigenisation policy, which requires locals to hold  a 51%
stake in any joint venture worth more than US$500 000.

Rautenbach’s company, Ratings, entered into an agreement with Arda under
which it was allocated more than 10 000 hectares of land to produce
sugarcane for its ethanol production plant. Ratings also had to repair
irrigation infrastructure, set up the blending plant and operate it for 20
years before handing it over to government.

Muzarabani MP Edward Raradza was unhappy that Arda was not represented at
management level in the joint project which has a potential annual  turnover
exceeding US$100 million.

“We did not see anyone from Arda in senior management when we visited
Chisumbanje,” said Raradza. “What kind of partnership is that where one
party is not represented in the day to day operations of the company? That
should not be allowed to happen. This agreement needs revision.”

His sentiments were echoed by Mhondoro MP Bright Matonga who said: “I think
for it to be an equal partnership, Arda should recommend employment of
senior employees from itself, such as an accountant or operations manager,
while Ratings can appoint the general manager and finance director.

That will also improve accountability and help government oversee its

Arda chairman Basil Nyabadza concurred saying the agreement was concluded at
a time when the agricultural authority lacked enough capital to have much

Nyabadza added that although the deal needed revision, Ratings had
resuscitated the defunct Chisumbanje and Sabi estates and is set to bring
government the much needed revenue once production starts.

“This is not a perfect agreement. We will get it corrected. We entered into
the deal when we did not have anything except land. Chisumbanje and Sabi had
collapsed,” Said Nyabadza.

The project is expected to produce 40 million litres of fuel by November
this year, reducing the country’s high fuel importation bill.

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GNU parties clash over election roadmap

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:43

Faith Zaba

THE three political parties in the inclusive government have clashed over
when fresh elections should be held and what measures need to be in place in
the run-up to credible, free and fair polls.

The two MDC formations want full implementation of the Global Political
Agreement to precede polls, while Zanu PF maintains that this can only be
done simultaneously with the removal of sanctions.

Political analysts believe that the three parties will continue to have
divergent views and not agree to implement necessary fundamental reforms
that will ensure that the elections are not disputed.

Zanu PF, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC party, and Welshman Ncube’s  smaller
MDC faction have agreed on 24 GPA principles but have failed to implement
most of them over the last two years.

The three parties agreed to implement a sanctions removal strategy, media
reforms which include regularising the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe,
appointing a new ZBC board, constituting the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust,
cessation of external radio broadcasts and security sector reforms.

They also agreed to review ministerial allocations, carry out a land audit,
come up with land tenure systems, transport arrangements for principals, put
an end to external interference, set up a national economic council,
selection of national heroes, constitutional commissions, the role and
position of presidential spokesperson George Charamba and amendments to
electoral reforms.

But according to Zanu PF, only three things need to be implemented before
fresh elections -- the speedy completion of the constitution-making process,
followed by a referendum and then the enactment of electoral reforms agreed
upon by negotiators from the three political parties.

MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa said: “The GPA must be implemented to the
full first before we can have elections in Zimbabwe. Non-fulfillment of the
GPA undermines the roadmap to elections. The GPA is a prescription for a
free and fair, and violence-free election.”

MDC-T has 21 minimum conditions for a free and fair election, which it has
presented to Sadc mediator South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation

These include drafting a new constitution, guaranteeing the security of
people, an end to violence, the introduction of a biometric voters’ roll, a
transparent and impartial delimitation process, full audit of electoral
processes, Sadc monitors six months before and six months after the
elections and security sector reforms and its realignment to prevent
political abuse by the military, intelligence agencies and youth militia.

MDC-T also wants media freedoms, prevention of Zanu PF abuse of state
resources, in particular diamonds in Chiadzwa, and an impartial and
professional Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

MDC-N secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga concurred with
Chamisa saying full implementation of the GPA was paramount to ensure a
credible, free and fair election.

“The outstanding 23 GPA agreed points should be implemented first before any
fresh elections,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

In response to the two MDC formations’ demands, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare
Gumbo said ideally, full implementation of the GPA was what everyone wanted,
but it should not be done selectively.

Gumbo said: “It’s a good idea. It’s exactly what we want but it has to be
done concurrently with the removal of sanctions. We can’t talk about full
implementation ignoring sanctions. They can’t have isolated implementation.”

He reiterated President Robert Mugabe’s assertion that elections would be
held with or without a new constitution later this year. Zanu PF has
declared that it is prepared to revert to the old constitution minus
Amendment No 19.

Amendment No 19 gave birth to the current inclusive government.

“MDC is just trying to delay elections, but they are not going to hold back
the process — the constitution-making process followed by a referendum and
then elections. Reforms have to be done by parliamentarians, it is their
responsibility — but it’s not going to keep the process back. We are
definitely having elections this year — the president reiterated this,”
Gumbo said.

Political analysts concurred saying the MDCs’ call for full implementation
of the GPA was a two-pronged strategy —  as a delay process and also because
they do not have a strategy to mobilise people to resist polls under
unfavourable conditions.

Analysts told the Zimbabwe Independent that the MDC formations’ strategy to
delay elections would not work because power in the inclusive government
rests with Mugabe.

National Constitutional Assembly chairman Professor Lovemore Madhuku said:
“They (MDC formations) know that they are not ready for elections. They know
that they will reach 2013 even if elections are delayed without achieving
anything. Their term is almost halfway (if we are to go by the five-year
parliamentary term) without anything.

I don’t think they have the mind set or the will to ensure fundamental

Another political analyst, Charles Mangongera, said MDC-T was definitely not
ready for elections, but currently had no plan B if Mugabe insisted on early

“It’s a two-pronged strategy — one to delay the process,” he said. “I have
no doubt that they are not ready for elections. Zanu PF has been preparing
for elections for a long time and now they (MDC) are realising that time is
up and anytime Mugabe can call for elections. They know that full
implementation will not happen.

“The best Zanu PF will try to do are reforms that are limited to electoral
reforms and not fundamental reforms like security reforms and media freedom
that will create space where people are free to vote,” said Mangongera.
Madhuku said there was apparent confusion in MDC-T and the party was just
making rhetorical pronouncements.

“They are not serious about reforms because the constitution-making process
can never be democratic. What will happen in the end is that Zanu PF will
push for an election and we will end up with an election with no conditions
that allow for free and fair elections.

Mangongera added that the other reason for the call was because MDC-T has no
strategy to mobilise people to resist elections.

“There are no strategists in MDC-T. They don’t know how to mobilise. The
problem with MDC-T is that they keep on saying they don’t want elections but
what is their plan B? Do they have sufficient skills to mobilise against
elections? ”

He said MDC-T did not have sufficient power in the inclusive government to
postpone elections that Mugabe wants.
Regional coordinator at Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Dewa Mavhinga, who is
based in South Africa, agreed with Mangongera saying it was up to Zuma to
demand minimum reforms before elections.

“Failure to implement any significant reforms over the last two years is a
clear indicator that this inclusive government on its own has neither the
capacity nor the necessary political will to implement critical reforms
unless President Zuma and Sadc make clear demands for minimum reforms ahead
of elections,” he said.

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‘Anti-sanctions crusade exercise in futility’

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:29

Brian Chitemba

POLITICAL analysts say President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF’s
anti-sanctions campaign will fail to achieve its intended outcome until his
regime prioritises the implementation of political and economic reforms.

The former liberation movement blames the sanctions imposed on Mugabe and
his inner circle by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) for
Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown, but critics have fingered his increasing

On Wednesday the 87-year-old leader launched the National Anti-Sanctions
Petition aimed at garnering two million signatures against the embargo to be
handed over to the US and the EU embassies in the capital.

The US and EU slapped the octogenarian leader and his cabal with travel bans
and an asset freeze over alleged gross human rights abuses, unbridled
disregard for the rule of law, political intolerance, electoral fraud and
endemic corruption. The US passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
Recovery Act (ZIDERA) which prevents Zimbabwe from accessing financial
assistance from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Political analyst and dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information
Science at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in
Bulawayo Lawton Hikwa said the anti-sanctions crusade can only have an
impact if it is driven by the inclusive government and not as part of Zanu
PF’s electioneering.

The lobby’s campaign advertisements inserted in local newspapers are
sponsored by Zanu PF, but carried the government emblem, indicating that the
lobby is a clear Zanu PF campaign strategy rather than a national cause.

Hikwa said the sanctions issue was contentious because political parties
viewed them differently.

“Some parties say the sanctions are targeted while Zanu PF believes they are
wholesale and not personalised,” he said. “The inclusive government is
supposed to be at the forefront of the fight against sanctions because they
represent the views of most Zimbabweans. Zanu PF only speaks for its
supporters, not everyone.”

Hikwa said the sanctions mantra should not overshadow the full
implementation of the Global Political Agreement and other reforms, such as
an end to political violence.

However, Zanu PF insists that the punitive measures are an attack on the
country’s economy, health, land reform and national sovereignty, and that
they are racist and also aimed at effecting regime change.

“Sanctions are an attack on our health, on the education of our children, on
our social services and our infrastructure. They are an attack on the entire
fabric of our society,” reads the campaign advertisements.

“Sanctions are illegal, undeserved and spiteful. They are unilaterally
imposed outside the United Nations mandate by a British-led Western
coalition defending minority rights in our country,” reads the message
penned by the Zanu PF information department.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the anti-sanctions campaign will achieve
its intended goals if Zimbabweans are united against them.

“We want the sanctions to go. This is the year the sanctions will go,” said

The EU recently renewed sanctions against Mugabe and some members of his
inner circle for another year saying there was a sluggish approach in the
implementation of the GPA, which gave birth to the inclusive government of
Zanu PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and the squabbling smaller
MDC formation of Welshman Ncube and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

The shaky coalition was formed two years ago in a bid to end political
strife and a biting economic meltdown. Zanu PF says sanctions are part of
the GPA’s outstanding issues which should be addressed while the MDC-T
points to the unilateral appointments of new provincial governors, the
Reserve Bank governor and Attorney-General, among others, as the major
stumbling block.

But Hikwa insists that Zanu PF must first attend to domestic issues, such as
addressing human rights abuses and violence to boost the image of Zimbabwe
before it can call for the lifting of the punitive measures.

“All political players have to encourage their supporters to shun violence
and heal the political environment before we reach out for an end to
sanctions,” Hikwa said.

He noted that the failure by the government to access financial assistance
from multilateral lending agencies had a negative effect on industrial
capacity utilisation causing most companies to scale down operations and
even shutting down, resulting in massive job losses.

Strangely, according to analysts, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI) and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) joined hands with
Zanu PF during the campaign.

Joseph Kanyekanye, the president of the CZI, was one of the key speakers at
the campaign launch despite the fact that Mugabe had last Saturday attacked
business and threatened to seize Nestle and Zimplats as part of the
empowerment drive his party is pursuing.  ZNCC president Trust Chikohoro was
quoted in the state media backing the anti-sanctions campaign.

The secretary-general of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations
(Nango), Godwin Phiri, dismissed the anti-sanctions lobby as a Zanu PF
tactic to measure its support base. Phiri said the campaign would be ignored
by foreign governments which imposed the sanctions given that the two-year
inclusive government has done little to implement tangible reforms.

“Zanu PF is responsible for the sanctions because its regime perpetrated
human rights abuses. They should first correct that before sanctions are
removed,” said Phiri.

Last year, Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Hifikepunye Pohamba of
Namibia and Rupiah Banda of Zambia were tasked by Sadc to engage Washington
and Brussels to lobby for the lifting of sanctions, but their pleas have not
yielded anything to date.

US President Barack Obama’s administration responded by saying it would only
review sanctions when the rule of law is restored and human rights
violations completely ceased.

Phiri said Zuma should push Zanu PF to restore the rule of law and end
political violence before engaging the west over sanctions.

The smaller MDC faction castigated Zanu PF for using the government emblem
in its anti-sanctions drive saying this displayed dishonesty and a lack of
respect for other signatories to the GPA.

“We have the GPA to deal with the sanctions and for Zanu PF to launch
another way to push for removal of the measures shows that the party is
insincere and doesn’t recognise some provisions of the agreement,” MDC
spokesman Nhlanhla Dube said.

Tsvangirai and his party boycotted the launch arguing that the sanctions
issue should be dealt with within the confines of the GPA.

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Banks must tap into informal sector

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:20

By Rutendo Victoria Ndoro

THE unbanked are described as those without an account at a bank or other
financial institution and are considered to be outside the mainstream
society for one reason or another.

This is largely due to the restrictive requirements for opening a bank
account as well as the fact that a large segment of the country’s population
reside in the rural areas where there is limited accessibilty.

With this in mind, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s said that the Know Your
Customer (KYC) requirements for opening a bank account are no longer
restricted to proof of residence in the form of a utility bills and lease
agreements, as a letter from a recognised organisation would suffice, in
addition to affidavits from landlords and third party home owner

Of late, there has been a lot of talk about whether Zimbabwe has too many
banks in relation to the size of its economy.

Royal and Trust banks have resumed  operations and are showing signs of
aggressive marketing strategies exhibited by their offering of  high
investment rates and lenient account opening requirements.

Currently, there are 18 commercial banks, four Merchant Banks, four Building
Societies, POSB and IDBZ. Numbers aside, there is a need to understand
whether banks old and new are targeting the so-called unbanked or informal
sector that is not taxed or included in the GDP.

Is it a titanic mission to capture this market, or there is really just a
need to develop unique technology-based financial products and services for
the unbanked whom established financial institutions have neglected in the

Of interest though is that most banks are of the general consensus that
there is an untapped money system in Zimbabwe. Royal Bank CEO Jeff Mzwimbi
is quoted as saying, “There is no such thing as Zimbabwe is over-banked”.

He goes further to say that Royal Bank is not worried that there are already
bigger market players in the sector.

The bank is targeting 10% of the US$3 billion said to be circulating in the
informal sector, funds held by the unbanked.

Individuals who make minimal or no use of banking services are more likely
to be low level income earners and have low levels of education.

Their expenditure therefore is likely to be in the informal sector where
goods and services are cheaper.

The unbanked sector gets satisfaction from knowing how much something will
cost as opposed to transacting via banks whom they perceive as demonstrating
a lack of transparency around what the transacting fees are going to be.
When such persons deposit money in a bank they tend to think of immediate

What has been of great concern to the public are the charges, which at some
point were said to be way above other banks in the region. Are Zimbabwean
banks using accounts as a means of raising capital?

The masses still have scars of the problems they faced trying to access
their funds during the hyper-inflationary period and when their balances
were reduced to nothing thereafter. The herculean task now lies with the
banks to try and restore confidence in their sector.

Wells Fargo, a US bank says the only way to lure the unbanked people of any
economy would be through transparency between the banks and  customers,
financial education in communities and a willingness to do small dollar
banking transactions.

Without a bank account to deposit money into, cash can easily be spent, lost
and or stolen.

Another complicating factor is the nature of the work undertaken by the
population making up the unbanked sector, which in Zimbabwe is characterised
by farm workers, day labourers, security guards, commuter omnibus drivers,
food and vegetable vendors.

They are paid in lump sums on irregular schedules, making it difficult and
expensive for them to maintain an account, let alone meet loan requirements
or keep enough money to avoid penalty fees resulting in their avoiding banks

In the past six months some banks have tried to introduce plastic money
which should definitely see transactions increasing between banks and the
unbanked informal sector.  Kingdom Bank has come up with the Cell Card, FBC
has its One Wallet card and Tetrad Investment Bank has launched the E-mali
transacting card.

There is however room for better understanding from the masses of the
efficiencies and benefits of using plastic money as opposed to direct cash

Volumes might level off and increase thereafter as banks consolidate and
move into new markets by utilising new and innovative channels to extend
their reach to capture the almost mythical unbanked segment of the economy.

The time has come for banks in Zimbabwe to introduce highly innovative
products to bring in the large volumes said to be untapped in the informal
sector but also recognising the harsh realities stated above.

With the growth of the economy, there is hope that the gap will be narrowed,
as salaries and living conditions improve, more and more people will have
access to information that will eventually pull them into the formal sector.

However, the question remains whether the economy is growing at the same
rate as the hunger banks have for recovery after the hyper-inflationary

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Muckraker: Sanctions ultimate Zanu PF scapegoat

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:35

ZIMBABWE is being rewarded for its fiscal management by the EU with the
lifting of certain categories of sanctions. EU head of delegation Aldo dell’Arrichia
is using the 2008 benchmark for when the GPA came into being. Which means it
is not interested in the period 2002-8 when its own observer group under the
leadership of Pierre Schiori was booted out of the country for noticing
uncomfortable things.
Now we have a repetition of that bad behaviour but this time the EU thinks
Zimbabwe warrants indulgence. Activists are being arrested and assaulted in
Harare; others have been held in Nyanga, allegedly for fomenting violence
when the real miscreants are still busy with their own agenda. Has dell’Arrichia
heard of Mbare?
The EU took stock of the progress in addressing the economic crisis and the
improvement in service delivery, we are told.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF has launched a massive exercise in dishonesty trying to
tell the country that sanctions are at the root of our problems. Under the
heading “10 strong reasons why you must sign against illegal sanctions”,
Zanu PF tells us sanctions are “an attack on all Zimbabweans and an attack
on our economy”.
In fact it is difficult to guess what measures constitute an “attack on all
Zimbabweans”. Trade restrictions have been eased in regard to a number of
companies. And trade between EU countries and Zimbabwe has been growing
without disturbance.
However, we note the planned retaliation against Nestlé because it declined
to buy milk from the Gushungo dairy owned by the first family. Here we have
a good example of an “attack upon the economy”. And Sadc should be alerted
to this unacceptable example of a reputable and widely known company being
harassed because it won’t, or rather can’t, do business in Zimbabwe under
these circumstances.
“Sanctions are illegal, undeserved and spiteful,” Zanu PF says.
Doesn’t that sound a bit like land reform? Zanu PF describes sanctions as
“racist”. Let’s not forget that it was the Sadc Tribunal, which commands a
good deal more respect than Zanu PF, that described land reform Zanu
PF-style as “racist”.

We note that a handful of misguided business people have signed up for this
coercive and hypocritical scheme. That includes people who should know
better like Shingi Mutasa.
Mutasa is widely respected in the business community. Does he really want to
be seen as part of Zanu PF’s damaging project? The same goes for Nigel
Chanakira who appears to think the EU is “bitter” about land reform. No
mention from his round table colleagues about electoral violence or
Come on Nigel, you can do better than this.
And we were surprised to see President Mugabe’s attack on Zimplats which he
said had contributed “nothing substantial to the development of the country”.
Not so long ago he was telling us that Zimplats with its roads, schools, and
power plants was emblematic of the investment the country needs. Now he has
targeted them for take-over.
”There is a lot of money that is not benefiting the country,” Mugabe said.
“There are huge deposits of platinum and gold. Let’s now deal with these
companies,” he said inviting Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere to work
on indigenising “soonest”.
That’s a bit like inviting the fox into the henhouse!
And hasn’t Obert Mpofu given us a helpful glimpse recently of what happens
when ministers get involved in mining? Now Mugabe is asking questions. Where
did all those millions go? That’s what everybody wants to know!

Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused NewsDay of “twisting his words” when
answering a question in parliament about whether Zimbabwean troops were
supporting Col Gadaffi in Libya.
It is rather difficult imagining how a veteran political operator like
Mnangagwa could get his words “twisted”.  Any perusal of the record will
show he was quoted accurately in response to a question from Innocent
Gonese. He may not have liked the headline but NewsDay got the story right.
As for his indignation that such a heading should appear to mislead people,
don’t we recall the active role the minister played in the DRC in the 1990s
and the headlines arising therefrom? Wasn’t there some mention of diamonds
and invitations to Zimbabwean business people to get involved in business
deals in the DRC?
Then we had Mozambique’s Defence minister last week condemning sanctions.
“Zimbabwe is not worthy of penalisation or punishment…” he said. “We believe
the issue of Zimbabwe must be solved internally.”
So what’s he doing commenting on Zimbabwe’s internal affairs?

Whenever Zimbabwe has some crazy scheme being implemented, it always drags
in any unsuspecting visitor who is required to repeat the latest party
During the land reform programme visitors were required to say how important
land reform was to correcting the imbalances in ownership. Do you remember
Zambia’s President Frederick Chiluba trotting out the official line and only
managing to attract the support of one slightly unhinged opposition MP?

Ignatius Chombo also got on the scapegoat bandwagon telling a visiting
delegation from the Namibian Local Government ministry that the country had
made significant progress in various development programmes, but all this
had been crippled by the “vicious sanctions regime” introduced in 2002 by
the West following the introduction of the land reform programme.
“We had a vibrant local government sector which was active in service
provision but all this was stalled by the sanctions imposed on the country
by the West.”
The Namibian delegation said it had a lot to learn from Zimbabwe especially
when it is under sanctions.
That’s true. First of all brand them “illegal sanctions” so it looks as if
you are on the side of the angels. Then blame every single fault –– and
there are many –– on the former colonial power. That dishonesty will be
swallowed by the solidarity mob who need to find somewhere to park their
ideological luggage.

Then along come the Namibians who don’t seem to understand that there exist
other people in Zimbabwe apart from Zanu PF supporters.
Have the Namibians not picked up the fact that, as in Tunisia, Egypt and
Libya, one day they will be on the receiving end of their people’s anger. It
happens about 30 years into independence when the post-liberation
aristocracies have plundered their homelands.
It is all very predictable and justifies the heading: “There’s a lot to
learn from Zim”.
Indeed there is, most notably from Ignatius Chombo who was on hand to
demonstrate the connection between acquisition of material things and
ministerial elevation. And thanks to the crowd who laughed uproariously as
the Namibian official stumbled through his “solidarity” speech.

We are glad to note that President Robert Mugabe has seen the futility of
unleashing violence on the electorate to win support. He recently called
upon his supporters to desist from violence.
 “Please no violence,” he said. “Violence will get us nowhere. I don’t want
anyone singing my name under duress having been forced to do so through
violence. People who sing must do so voluntarily.”
Mugabe was speaking at his 87th birthday celebrations at Rainbow Towers last
Saturday. Hopefully those statements were said in sincerity and his
supporters will take heed.
ZBC in its reportage of the speech shamelessly tried to link the violence to
the MDC-T when it was clear that the president was addressing his own
The president’s call, ZTV’s Tendai Munengwa claimed, “comes amid calls by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for Egyptian-style demonstrations to occur
in Zimbabwe”.

Zanu PF is now in overdrive in calling for the removal of the “debilitating”
and “illegal” sanctions imposed on their officials. Every other ill
bedevilling the nation is now being attributed to sanctions. At this rate we
might see the erratic rainfall, old age and global warming being attributed
to the sanctions.
Whither the sanctions “busting” measures and the Look East policy?
Scapegoating is the new Zanu PF campaign strategy and it is well and truly
reaching ridiculous proportions.
Vice-President John Nkomo claimed that sanctions have destroyed the country’s
economy while also trying to destroy Zimbabwean people psychologically.
“This because the destruction caused by the illegal sanctions has wreaked
havoc indiscriminately,”
Not to be outdone Zanu PF Harare District Coordinating Committee 4 members
described the “illegal” sanctions as a bad scheme that has dealt Zimbabweans
a very cruel blow and almost destroyed their livelihoods.
The Herald on Tuesday boldly claimed that Zimbabweans had pledged to rally
behind the National Anti-Sanctions Petition Campaign. The Zimbabweans he was
referring to only he knows. Muckraker would find it hard to believe that he
was to referring to hardworking Zimbabweans who have more useful things to
do than wasting a day calling for the removal of sanctions against their
“Ordinary people,” the Herald tells us, “yesterday expressed outrage at the
continued imposition of the embargo and the two MDC formations’ support of
the debilitating sanctions.”
Cross Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe president Killer Zivhu said the
association’s membership was behind the initiative.
“Sanctions are affecting everyone and we want to see millions of Zimbabweans
rallying behind the president,” he said.
Some malicious quarters claim the sanctions have stopped them from trading
“overseas”, in South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.
Will these EU scoundrels stop at nothing?

We are perfectly aware that ZBH’s radio stations need to raise revenue
through advertising. We also appreciate that many advertisers prefer to air
their ads during prime time when listenership figures are at their peak.
However, even after generously conceding that the state broadcaster has to
make money to survive, what is now happening during the peak listenership
slots –– especially about 6.30am-8am –– has reached ludicrous proportions ––
especially on Power FM.
It is no exaggeration that the slot has become something of a
flea-market-cum-circus. Instead of being treated to some get-up-and-go
music, at least occasionally, the DJs are busy advertising this product then
that, sometimes without even a convenient break between the products being
And what’s more, the same voices will, for instance, advertise one cellular
network for which they sing praises and a short while later sing equally
enthusiastic praises for a rival network.
We also have another DJ calling himself “The Riddle master” asking listeners
to phone in if they have the answer to riddles.
Goodness gracious! Who wants to be answering riddles when they have just
woken up?

Finally Muckraker’s attention has been drawn to the fact that the chairman
of the National War Veterans Association, Jabulani Sibanda, was born on
December 31 1970.
So how does that make him a war “veteran” when he was 10 years old at the
time the war finished?
Let’s bear this in mind when Zanu PF next claims to be the party of honesty
and vision.
What a joke!

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Eric Bloch: Lies, damned lies and statistics

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:33

Eric Bloch

IT was a British prime minister of the 19th century, Benjamin Disraeli, who
said that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics”, and that is the
impression gained by this columnist from a recently published book, Zimbabwe’s
Land Reform:  Myths and Realities, by Ian Scoones, Nelson Marongwe, Blasio
Mavedzenge, Jacob Mehenehene, Felix Murimbarimba and Chrispen Sukume.
With funding partially provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for
International Development (DFID), a group of British and South African
professors conducted a study of Zimbabwe’s programme of land reform as
pursued since 2000.

The researchers state that their aim was “not to deny what has happened,
including some appalling violations and abuses”.

However, they add that “there is an enormous amount of confusion,
misinformation and misunderstanding about what happened to whom, where, and
with what consequences over the last decade, and a more nuanced story
urgently needs to be told”.

To all intents and purposes, they conclude that there are five key myths on
the land reform programme, being:

    * Zimbabwe’s land reform has been a total failure;

    * The beneficiaries of Zimbabwean land reform have, to a major extent,
been politicians and those related or connected to the political hierarchy;

    * There has been no investment in the resettled lands;

    * Agriculture has been totally destroyed, and there is consequential
intense food insecurity;

    * Zimbabwe’s rural economy has been totally decimated and destroyed.

Scoones and his colleagues say that “by challenging these myths, and
suggesting alternative policy narratives, we do not want fall into the trap
of offering an unjustifiably positive picture.  We want instead to present
the story as we have observed it on the ground: warts and all”.

However, they have blatantly not achieved their declared objective for they
conclude that thousands of families who were recipients of land succeeded in
establishing a base for themselves as serious producers “with the capacity
to contribute significantly to Zimbabwe’s agricultural economy”.

They seek to reinforce this by stating that “today Zimbabwe has a radically
altered agrarian structure”.

In 1980, over 15 million hectares was devoted to large-scale commercial
farming by around 6 000 farmers.

This fell to around 12 million hectares by 1999, in part through a modest
but, in many ways, successful land reform and resettlement programme.  Today
there are still five million hectares under large-scale farming, some of it
in very large holdings”.

“There are perhaps only 200-300 white commercial farmers still operating,
with most having been displaced, along with a substantial number of farm

Most land today is under small-scale farming, either as communal areas or
resettlement.  Estimates vary, but around seven million hectares have been
taken over through the land reform programme since 2000.”

The study acknowledges that there have been some major changes in
agricultural production, with commodities such as tobacco, beef,
horticulture, tea and coffee having been severely reduced in volumes under
the implementation of the land reform.

It further notes that food production has diminished, with special reference
to maize.

But, notwithstanding the study noting these negative developments, it
nevertheless concludes that, overall, land reform has been a success.

Its authors appear to have had no, or very little, regard to the huge
economic prejudices attributable almost wholly to the land reform, and to
the magnitude of blatant and contemptuous disregard for human and property
rights, and law and order.

They note the significant numbers of Zimbabweans, and their families, who
have been resettled, whilst ignoring that over 300 000 agricultural workers
were rendered unemployed, rendering them and almost two million dependants

They similarly discount their own acknowledgements of the decline in
agricultural production, to an extent that between 2000 and 2009:

    * Tobacco production fell from 237 million kg to 45 million kg, (albeit
very markedly increased in 2010 and 2011), and the consequential negative
impacts upon essential foreign exchange generation.

    * The national livestock herd has shrunk to about 35% of its 2000 level.

    * Until 2 000, not only did Zimbabwe produce enough maize to feed the
nation (1,8 million

tonnes), but also to export to such an extent that Zimbabwe was regarded as
the regional breadbasket.

    * Foreign investment was grievously deterred by Zimbabwe’s arrogant
breaches of its Bilateral  Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements,
by it determinedly failing to compensate the displaced farmers, and by fears
that the State’s expropriation of the farms could well be a precursor to a
future expropriation of urban properties and of businesses (recently such
fears being reinforced by the enactment of Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment legislation).

    * Hundreds, if not more, of former white farmers and their families were
victims ofpronounced violence, wholly associated with the land reform
programme, sustaining severe injuries and sometimes loss of life.

In conducting their study, the researchers concentrated heavily on Masvingo
province.  They argue that “the Masvingo story  is more generally
representative of the geographical majority of the country beyond the
Highveld” (whilst admitting that it was in the Highveld that there was “the
greatest disruption of high-level, politically-driven land grabbing” and
“where the concentrations of election violence, particularly in 2008,

And yet, whilst not disputing that Masvingo was a significant agricultural
area, its overall contribution to Zimbabwean agricultural output prior to
the land reform programme was a relatively small one, as compared to that of
Mashonaland East, West, North and Central, Midlands, Matabeleland North and
South, and Manicaland.

Therefore, a study almost wholly focused on only Masvingo Province cannot
automatically yield results representative of Zimbabwe as whole.

No matter how fervently some, including the study’s researchers, may contend
that the land reform programme was not a disaster, the reality is that it
was two disasters, being on the one hand the horrendously economic and
humanitarian consequences and, on the other hand, that Zimbabwe did need a
land reform programme, but one that was constructive and nationally
beneficial, just and humane.

The programme pursued precluded such a  necessary and desirable programme.

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A global political disagreement

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:27

By Judith Smith-Hohn

WITH the second anniversary of Zimbabwe’s controversial Global Political
Agreement (GPA) having passed last month, there is increasing focus on the
likelihood of elections.
Despite the Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) setting September 30 2011
as the date for the constitutional referendum, thereby increasing the
likelihood that elections are deferred until 2012, there continues to be
uncertainty as to whether key political players will gear up for the event
this year, especially Zanu PF.

A key element is the advanced age of President Robert Mugabe, currently
considered to be the best candidate to lead Zanu PF into the polls.

Mugabe would most likely want to organise, and preferably win, elections at
the earliest possible date in order to reinforce his party’s hold on power.

Yet analysts highlight the lack of significant economic and political
progress as grounds for delaying elections until conditions have become more

There are three likely scenarios for Zimbabwe as we enter 2011: elections
could be held in the wake of a full implementation of the GPA; or in the
context of a continued stalemate and no agreement between the principals on
the outstanding issues; or, finally, elections could be postponed until the
full implementation of the GPA.

For the first scenario to occur, one needs to assume that the principals to
the transitional power-sharing arrangement have come to an agreement on the
most important of the still outstanding issues, including among others, all
parties confirming and approving key government appointments, the allocation
of vacant positions to the designated individuals, and the resolution of the
issue of sanctions in one way or another.

One must further assume that the process is taking place under a new
constitution. In this best-case scenario, the international donor community
would readily pledge technical and other support for an election.

Sadc, as guarantor of the GPA, and South Africa as its designated
facilitator, could not only provide additional support, but could also mark
the occasion as a victory for regional intervention in the spirit of
“African solutions to African problems”.

Electoral observers would be posted well before the event to ensure
preparations run smoothly and without violence and intimidation.

Many believe that such a scenario would bring about an election victory for
the MDC.

Since several Zanu PF hardliners are reluctant to accept an MDC win, there
is a real probability of a repeat of the violence and intimidation witnessed
in 2008 to prevent this from happening, particularly given the history of
violence in several previous elections. Should the MDC still emerge
victorious, it is doubtful that the security sector — most importantly the
members of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) and other hardliners within
Zanu PF — would accept the economic and political uncertainty that such an
outcome would pose for their futures.

The more likely scenario is that the elections are scheduled for 2011
without the full implementation of the GPA.
While it would certainly be more difficult for the international community
to pledge their support, such support might still be forthcoming. However,
this would prove a difficult process to manage.

Electoral observation would most likely be restricted to only allow the
presence of certain regional and continental bodies. Again, there is a high
probability of violence as those opposed to the transitional process apply
the same tactics of intimidation in support of Zanu PF as they did in 2008.

More importantly, regardless of whether the MDC emerges victorious or not,
and given the uncompromising attitude of Zanu PF ever since the
power-sharing agreement was signed, the latter would surely not accept an
electoral defeat.
One might therefore see a repeat of a negotiation process that would
ultimately lead to a new transitional arrangement between the major parties.

In both scenarios outlined above, in other words in the case of elections
being held this year, with or without the full implementation of the GPA,
much depends on the behaviour of the security sector and high-ranking
officers within that sector. This group must be presented with a viable,
alternative source of income and some guarantee that they will not be
prosecuted for wrongs committed against the population in support of Zanu

Without any such assurances, they will most likely remain resistant to a
transition that ultimately holds little room for them.

The Joint Operations Command (Joc) —  a national security think-tank made up
of army, police, prisons and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
chiefs — still appears to maintain an influence on decision-making processes
within Zanu PF. High-ranking military officers continue to occupy management
positions in state-owned companies, and retired or redeployed officers hold
positions as permanent secretaries in the civil service.

Also, Joc spearheaded the violent campaign to reduce support for the MDC
during the 2008 elections, and they would likely face prosecution for crimes
committed against the civilian population, particularly during this period.

It has been shown elsewhere that the transformation of security institutions
is critical for the success of any political transition. Only once security
institutions begin to put citizens’ interest at the centre instead of
protecting the interests of a select few, will there be movement towards
creating the stable and secure national environment in which development can
thrive and be sustained.

The third, more promising scenario is where elections are delayed due to the
continued lack of progress in fully implementing the GPA. This would reflect
recognition that the conditions for convening elections that could be
considered free and fair by all participating parties had not been met. It
is doubtful that the parties that constitute the transitional government
would utilise the additional time to resolve the perpetual dispute over
senior political appointments, since they had not managed to make any
headway on this issue nearly two years after inauguration.

However, the time could be used to complete and implement crucial processes,
such as drafting the constitution, conducting a land audit, and addressing
the need for security sector transformation, to name but a few.
In this third scenario, it matters less whether the GPA is fully
implemented, for all parties would have bought more time to complete and
implement processes instrumental to rebuilding the state, thereby cementing
the democratisation process.

The constitution-making process is but one example with proceedings
currently months behind schedule, having yet to process the data from the
public outreach exercise needed to draft the document. It would, therefore,
be difficult to schedule a referendum on time, much less hold a national
election by rnid-2011.

If it were possible to delay elections, focus could instead turn to the
mammoth tasks of facilitating sustainable economic recovery, addressing the
issue of ownership rights, conducting a land audit, ensuring that the wealth
created from the mining sector is directed to state coffers and not siphoned
off into the pockets of individuals, and addressing issues of reconciliation
and justice.

This would require the political will of all stakeholders to agree on and
implement the policy reforms required to facilitate the transitional process
and in so doing, effect lasting change in Zimbabwe.
Judy Smith-Hohn is a senior researcher at the Institute for Security
Studies in South Africa –

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Why we should not have elections this year

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:25

Dumisani Nkomo

AMENDMENT number 19 to the Zimbabwean constitution, Section 23, enshrines
the right of every Zimbabwean to political rights and more specifically the
right to free and fair elections and referendums.
The current conditions prevailing in the country make it impossible for a
free and fair election to be held in the next 24 months. Holding elections
under the current conditions would be an infringement on the rights of
Zimbabweans as envisaged and articulated by Section 23[a],[b] and [c] of the
country’s supreme law. Violence has found expression in both overt and
physical violence such as the recent outbreak of lawlessness in Harare as
well as structural violence embedded in prohibitive legislation.

This has been accentuated by Zanu PF’s flagrant disregard of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) and the imperatives of institutional, legislative
and constitutional reform. Furthermore Zimbabwe is miles away from meeting
the requirements of the Sadc Guidelines on the Conduct of Democratic
Elections which envisages amongst other things fair and balanced media
coverage and the existence of conditions permissive to freedom of
association and assembly, adequate voter education and an accessible, up to
date voters roll.

To this end I strongly believe that it is not only imprudent but also
scandalous to hold elections under conditions which are at variance with
minimum requirements envisaged under instruments and frameworks such as the
country’s constitution, the GPA and the Sadc guidelines.

I am aware that there is no shortage of insanity in the country and
prospects of such a plebiscite taking place are high considering Zanu PF‘s
propensity for actions which are suicidal to the country’s well being.After
all as Alexander Pope observed: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
There are no prizes for guessing who the fools are in this case.

    * Police force: The police have displayed an unwillingness or incapacity
to apply the law in a non-partisan manner as evidenced by the manner in
which they have arrested hordes of MDC supporters. Once again before there
is any talk of any election the conduct of the police should be

    * Voters roll: It is the duty of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
ensure that the voters roll is accessible and up to date. It is alarming to
note that according to independent investigations the voters roll is fraught
with the names of infants, toddlers and the dead. Before there is any talk
of elections the voters roll should be rehabilitated.

    * Voter registration: The process of voter registration should be made
voter friendly as the process has been made so cumbersome with people being
required to provide proof of residence, a situation that has disadvantaged
thousands of eligible youths. In other counties people can register using
cell phones or the internet.

    * Voter education: Sadc guidelines call for voter education before polls
and the process has hardly begun possibly because nobody — including
ZEC—-knows the official date for holding elections.

Balanced public media and availability of alternative media: The public
press is unashamedly campaigning for Zanu PF and even if the media is opened
up a month before the elections the damage would already have been done as
the former ruling party has been abusing the public media with endless party
jingles. There is still no independent electronic media in Zimbabwe.

    * Credible, well resourced electoral commission: Admittedly Amendment 19
creates a framework for a fairly independent electoral commission.

However ZEC is not well resourced as its chairperson intimated last year
thus compromising the “efficiency, efficacy and independence of the
commission”. The amount allocated by Finance minister Tendai Biti under the
current budget is barely enough to carry out an election with logistical
precision and adequate institutional capacity.

    * Timeous accreditation and deployment of observers: This is critical in
ensuring that there is confidence in the electoral system and subsequent
outcomes as  regional and international observers need to arrive in the
country at least three months before the elections. Already some African
countries have indicated that they cannot afford to be in Zimbabwe six
months before the elections so three months would be a compromise time frame
as most pre-election violence and other antics are carried out three to six
months before elections.

    * A new constitution: The GPA is abundantly clear in stating that the
agreement would be reviewed after conclusion of the constitution-making
process and only then can we infer that elections could be held. Already the
constitution-making process is a year behind schedule and chances of the
process being concluded this year are increasingly becoming slim due to
funding constraints Why we should not have elections this year

    * There should be a new constitution before elections are held.

Unless there are inbuilt mechanisms and processes birthed by Sadc and  the
African Union on how power will be transferred if the incumbent is beaten,
the elections will be a sheer waste of time and resources and we will have
another disputed election in our hands  with shameless losers singing the
familiar Handiende (I will not go) tune.

Nkomo is the chief executive officer of Habakkuk Trust and principal
spokesperson of the Matabeleland Civil Society Consortium. He writes here in
his personal capacity .He can be contacted on This
e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled
to view it

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Candid Comment: Africa’s silence on Gaddafi brutality deafening

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:40

Dingilizwe Ntuli

AS Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi slaughters hundreds of his countrymen in a
brutal crackdown on a popular uprising against his regime, the silence of
African governments in condemning this heinous crime against humanity is

Not a single murmur on the butchering of innocent people has come from any
African capital since the outbreak of this calamity a fortnight ago.

One would have thought that the mounting death toll, racing close to a
thousand, and the pouring of tens of thousands into neighbouring Egypt and
Tunisia as refugees would trigger even the mildest form of disapproval.

But alas no. This is Africa where most governments earn the “Dark Continent”
tag when gross acts of crimes against humanity are regularly unleashed
against citizens by our diabolic rulers.

And the monstrous Gaddafi knows that all too well. After all, he has been in
the game for four decades. That’s why he can still afford to go on national
television and threaten to purge Libya “house by house” and “inch by inch”
in his quest to forcibly stay in power.

We don’t expect much from our rulers, but they should at least show that
they still have a conscience.

Do we expect any censure of the Libyan catastrophe from Zimbabwe House? No,
we have more or less been suffering the brute force of our own home grown
authoritarian administration.

Does that then mean there is no other country our continent can look to as a
model of good governance?

Just over a decade ago, economic powerhouse South Africa was being hailed as
a model democracy following the peaceful handover of power from former
president Nelson Mandela to Thabo Mbeki.

We need not remind you of Mbeki’s central role in the Zimbabwe crisis.

When President Jacob Zuma came into office in 2009, a lot was expected from
his administration following all the right noises he had been making on the
world stage in the run-up to the 2009 elections.

We expected a bit too much from the scandal-prone Zuma as he has nothing to
show for all his mediation efforts.

It’s no wonder that when under pressure from the international community,
Pretoria’s official reference to the Libyan genocide came in the form of a
timid statement endorsing the UN Security Council’s vote to refer Gaddafi’s
regime to the International Criminal Court.

According to its international relations spokesman Clayson Monyela: “people
should be the authors of their own destiny”.

How can Monyela give insanity such appellation? Libyans want to author their
destiny which excludes Gaddafi.

And as a result, Gaddafi has turned Libya into a land of chaos and
desperation. The army has become his instrument of terror against
defenceless civilians. Gaddafi’s purpose is to hold on to power at all
costs. The Libyan ambassador to the United Nations has switched sides and
condemned Gaddafi’s state-sponsored atrocities.

What other destiny should the Libyans be authoring according to South
Africa? Could it be that South Africa’s lukewarm response is because the
ruling ANC and its leaders have been recipients of funding from the
murderous Gaddafi?

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Editor's Memo: Army must stop suppressing people’s rights

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:38

Constantine Chimakure

THE army in any country is important in ensuring the territorial integrity
and sovereignty of the nation.
The army is there to defend a country’s citizens, who should feel protected
by their presence. The army should also be apolitical in serving the
government of the day chosen by the people.

Clearly this has long ceased to be the case in Zimbabwe.

This was clearly illustrated this week when a group from the Diaspora and
civil society called for a million-man march on Tuesday to protest against
the government. The response by the army was to send tanks and heavily armed
soldiers to patrol  suburbs of Harare. This was a clear act of intimidation.

This makes us wonder why President Robert Mugabe, a man who has said time
and again that he has the mandate of the people, is afraid of people holding
a demonstration. After all it is a right enshrined in the country’s
constitution for citizens to assemble and demonstrate to express their
sentiments to those who govern them.

Zimbabwe’s citizens are justified in demonstrating over several issues which
include inadequate salaries for civil servants and inadequate delivery of
essential services such as water and electricity.

The army should never be used as attack-dogs against the people. In any case
such matters should be the preserve of the police in the event of

We are not calling for a repeat of the revolts that happened in Tunisia and
Egypt. But people do have a right to demonstrate without fearing the same
army which is supposed to protect them.

The army has in the last decade been subsumed in the nation’s body politic.
An illustration is when in 2002 the then army commander, the late Vitalis
Zvinavashe, openly declared that they would only salute a president with
liberation war credentials.

This was a clear violation of their mandate to serve the government chosen
by the people by trying to influence the outcome of an election.

Since then the army’s interference has only worsened. Who can forget the
bludgeoning of the electorate in the run up to the 2008 Presidential runoff
in June 2008 after Tsvangirai had outpolled Mugabe in the first round in
March that year?

Soon after Mugabe called for elections this year the army was allegedly at
it again deploying its troops countrywide to intimidate the electorate into
voting for Mugabe and Zanu PF. Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba declared that
Tsvangirai would never rule the country. Recently retired senior army
officials are now in the forefront of restructuring Zanu PF ahead of the
next elections.

This catalogue of actions by the army to try and prop up the ageing Mugabe
by hook or by crook, fully justifies the call by the MDC for substantive
reforms in the army before any election can be held. The easing out of
partisan elements within the defence forces should also be accompanied by
efforts to reorient the security sector to present realities. In particular
the Joint Operations Command needs to be reformed to reflect democratic

Without meaningful and tangible reforms, we are likely to witness another
bloodbath like the one we experienced in 2008.

Sadc, through its facilitator South African President Jacob Zuma, should
ensure that the security establishment does not interfere with the people’s
constitutional right to vote for a government of their choice without fear.

More importantly, the reforms should ensure that the army stays where it
belongs — the barracks.

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Comment: Business gulps from poisoned chalice

Thursday, 03 March 2011 19:36

BUSINESS executives this week set themselves up as President Mugabe’s
surrogates when they stepped up to append their signatures on the
anti-sanctions petition.

The business leaders led by Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)
president Joseph Kanyekanye perhaps meant well when they signed the petition
because, as they argue, sanctions are stifling business activity.

But they will find it difficult to reconcile their conscience as wealth
creators with President Mugabe’s speech at the anti-sanctions rally on
Wednesday afternoon that was unambiguously partisan.

Mugabe in continuing the mantras from his birthday party last weekend,
continued to wave his fist at industry threatening companies with

Mugabe said expropriating companies was part of the strategy to fight
sanctions imposed on him and his lieutenants by the West.

He wants to take over companies owned by businessmen from countries that
imposed sanctions on him. This is now highly personal.

One company he has singled out, Nestle´, is a prime target because it is
refusing to buy milk from his Gushungo Farm. How  petty can he  get!

His explanation for targeting Nestle´ is emblematic. It dispels some of the
myth that his party has been trying to give air to. There is nothing
national about this project of expropriation.

This is a narrow Zanu PF venture of dispossession which the party is
attempting to link to the national programme of indigenisation.

What does fighting sanctions have to do with grabbing a farm from a company
that is not buying presidential milk? This trade dispute is now an ugly
national fight.

Kanyekanye as leader of business in Zimbabwe should therefore be careful
about lending himself to a discredited party assignment which will not
benefit industry at all in the long run. In fact it will generate enormous

Kanyekanye is entitled to have a personal view on sanctions but as president
of the CZI he has a key role to protect industry from excesses of the state
and not appear to be fighting from the same corner as the gang of
expropriators that have been unleashed on industry.

Frankly speaking, Kanyekanye should have a view on the threat to take over

At President Mugabe’s rally on Wednesday we believe he saw posters
advertising the names of companies being targeted for takeovers.

The big irony about this whole saga is that in 2009 Nestle´ were awarded the
CZI exporter of the year award and last year they were the first runner up
in the same category. This is a company that has brought value to the
country and contributed to increased foreign currency receipts.

The CZI says during the days of hyper-inflation when farmers wanted to
access stock-feed but did not have the immediate resources to buy stock
feeds, Nestle´ stepped in and linked the farmers with the banks.

The farmers could access funding facilities from banks enabling them to
continue running their farm operations and have working capital. Nestle´
would purchase farm produce and repay the banks on behalf of the farmers,
with the remainder of the funds going to the farmers. This point has been
conveniently forgotten. Where is the CZI president to remind the president
of Nestle’s contribution to the economy?

We also want to know what he thinks about the president’s remarks on taking
over companies.

Mugabe’s template is definitely not the mode of indigenisation which CZI
believes in.The CZI believes there should be “consistency with
constitutional provisions such as property rights, the rule of law and the
avoidance of imposition of equity partners”.

Kanyekanye has been handed a poisoned chalice and unwisely gulped the
contents. Those business leaders and even service chiefs who have associated
themselves with this dubious campaign need to think carefully about
diminished public esteem. They have signed up to yet another Zanu PF project
which is likely to be as damaging as the rest and further the country’s

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