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Zim government divided over SA torture ruling

09 May 2012 02:02 - AFP

Zimbabwe's justice minister has denounced a South African court's ruling
ordering an investigation of those accused of torturing Zanu-PF opponents.

“The ruling brings the South African justice system into disrepute. No
specifics have been identified, because they should have laid a blow-by-blow
account of what crime has been committed,” Patrick Chinamasa told state
media on Wednesday.

In a landmark judgment, the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday ruled that
authorities in South Africa can probe and prosecute not only high-level
crimes committed in neighbouring Zimbabwe, but anywhere else in the world.

The case centres on Zimbabwean officials accused of state-sanctioned torture
against scores of activists following a raid on the headquarters of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 2007.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is now the prime minister in a power-sharing
government with Mugabe.

His party hailed the decision.

“Torture is a barbaric instrument of dealing with issues of politics,”
spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told Agence France-Presse.

“For that reason it remains our wish that all people of Zimbabwe with
injured hearts and troubled minds are brought to restorative and
rehabilitative, as opposed to retributive, justice ... The pains of the past
will always haunt the stability of the future. It is vitally important that
things are brought to the table instead of being swept under the carpet.”

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum filed
the case in Pretoria seeking to force prosecutors to open an investigation,
citing South Africa’s obligations to the International Criminal Court.

The two groups want South Africa to arrest and prosecute 17 Zimbabweans
accused of torture in 2007 if they enter the country for holiday, shopping
or seeking medical treatment. — AFP

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S.Africa's Prosecuting Authority Says May Appeal Zimbabwe Torture Ruling

09 May 2012

Blessing Zulu | Washington

The South African prosecuting authority says it is considering appealing
Tuesday's High Court ruling compelling Pretoria to investigate and prosecute
Zimbabweans, in particular senior Zanu PF officials, suspected of crimes
against humanity.

Spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga of the South African National Prosecuting Authority
told VOA Wednesday they have two weeks to appeal the ruling.

He said the authority is currently discussing with the police on how best to

Judge Hans Fabricius ordered the NPA to prosecute Zimbabweans concerned if
they ever set foot in South Africa.

The case was brought to the courts by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre
along with the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, which represents many Zimbabweans who
say they fled to South Africa after being tortured by security agents for
supporting the Movement for Democratic Change.

The High Court decision could prod South Africa into investigations into
high-ranking Harare officials, a move many say would strain already
difficult diplomatic relations with the power-sharing government in

But speaking to state television Tuesday, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
said the decision is “a wish by the South African judge pushing an agenda of
former Rhodesians” whom he said want to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

He said the decision will not be entertained by Zimbabwe.

“The ruling brings the South African justice system into disrepute,” said

“No specifics have been identified because they should have laid a blow to
blow account of what crime has been committed.

“That the court made a ruling based on a generalized opinion is a sad moment
for the justice system in South Africa.”

Legal expert Alex Magaisa says Chinamasa’s remarks are off the mark, adding
the ruling is significant.

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Zimbabwe rescuer dies as crocodile attacks friend

ANGUS SHAW, Sapa-AP | 09 May, 2012 20:22

A Zimbabwean man was killed while trying to rescue his friend from attacking
crocodiles in northwest Zimbabwe, a fishing club said Wednesday.

The National Anglers' Union said that Frank Trott, aged in his 70s, died
after trying to rescue a friend paddling along the shoreline at Charara
fishing camp. His friend survived but sustained wounds to his midsection and

Two crocodiles were shot dead by wildlife rangers after last week's attack.
Remnants of the victim - including intestines and clothing - were found
along the remote shores of Lake Kariba. No other remains were found.

The dead man was dragged away by a giant crocodile after going to assist his
friend, said Mike Brennan, head of the fishing group. The friend, aged in
his 40s and a fellow farmer with experience in the African wilderness, was
treated for his wounds.

Brennan said the two had returned from a day outing Thursday on the lake for
dinner and drinks at the fishing camp.

The survivor's wounds suggested he had been wading waist-deep in the lake
when the crocodile attacked late in the evening. Trott was seized by a
second large crocodile resting in long grass when he raced into the water to
answer his friend's cries for help.

The surroundings of Lake Kariba, a man-made hydroelectric dam about 300
kilometers (180 miles) long, are a major leisure resort for fishing, boating
and sightseeing for wildlife, the habitat of crocodiles and hippos.

Brennan said a memorial service for Trott is scheduled Friday.

He said it was the second dramatic crocodile attack within the past month.

"Please, everyone be warned to be to be vigilant near the water's edge at
all times," he said. "It is dangerous no matter where you are on the lake."

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Parliament to confirm appointments of judges and ambassadors

By Tichaona Sibanda

09 May 2012

A new institution to be known as the Parliamentary Public Appointment
Committee (PPAC) has been created as part of the new draft constitution,
which will be responsible for confirming presidential appointments of
judges, commissioners and ambassadors.

The PPAC, to be constituted by members of parliament elected by the people,
will have the power to conduct public interviews to add transparency to the
appointment process.

Section 4 of the draft charter says an interview must be held in public, but
no one other than members of the PPAC may put questions to the appointee or
otherwise take part in the interview.

“Where either House of Parliament or the Parliamentary Public Appointments
Committee is required to approve the appointment of any person in terms of
this Constitution, the appointee does not assume office until his or her
appointment has been so approved,” the draft says.

Since independence, Robert Mugabe has appointed senior public officers to
such positions on recommendations from bodies like the Judicial Services
Commission (JSC) and the Public Service Commission. Individuals who sit on
these bodies are appointed by the President himself.

Lawyer and academic Dr Alex Magaisa said the creation of this new
institution is very useful in that it takes away the complete discretion
enjoyed by the person in the office of the President, in terms of appointing
senior people in government.

Magaisa told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the new body gives a role to
parliament, where there would be a clear system of checks and balances
between the House of Assembly and the executive. The President will then be
bound by the decisions of the PPAC and in theory can only choose appointees
from a shortlist presented by the body.

“In the past the President had to consult members of different bodies like
the JSC and Defence Forces Commission, which are also appointed by the
President.  Therefore there was no effective check and balances on the power
of the President,” Magaisa said.

The PPAC, according to the law expert, is essentially going to do what is
already being done by the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Orders and
Rules, under a constitution that gave birth to the GPA. But it is hoped
there will be more transparency with the PPAC.

“I think we need this body to do its work properly as previous appointments
were simply based on party allegiance and not merit. It will also be useful
to have high quality of MP’s to sit on this body and not have an institution
compromised by mediocrity,” Magaisa added.

Former diplomat and academic Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa that the
system of appointing senior diplomats has always been shrouded in secrecy,
as it was not transparent.

“First and most important you had to be a ZANU PF card carrying member to be
appointed an ambassador. The appointments were not on merit but mainly
partisan or fanaticism to ZANU PF,” Mashiri said.

“You either had to be a loyalist or a praise singer to be considered for
foreign posting. The people that have benefitted most are former ZANU PF
ministers who lost party primaries or lost an election to an MDC candidate.
This is very simple, look at all our ambassadors until two years ago and
trace their history…they’ve all held senior positions in ZANU PF,” explained

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Top Army Officer Says Soldiers Support Zanu (PF)

Harare, May 09, 2012 - Major General Martin Chedondo told state media that
soldiers in the country are supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu
(PF) party.

“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu (PF) because
it is the only political party that has national interests at heart,”
Chedondo said.

“We cannot be seen supporting a political party that is going against the
ideals of a nation, which came by as a result of a liberation struggle,
which saw many of the country’s sons and daughters losing their lives. As
soldiers we must support ideologies that we subscribe to, I for one will not
be apologetic for supporting Zanu (PF) because I was part of the liberation

Chedondo's statements comes months after Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba
stirred a storm when he said he supported the former ruling party because
MDC were sell outs.

Nyikayaramba, who said the statements when he was a brigadier, has since
been promoted to the post of Major General.

Political statements by senior army officials are not new to Zimbabwe. The
late army General Vitalis Zvinavashe, Prisons chief retired Major General
Paradzai Zimondi and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri said they
will not salute a democratically elected leader who is not Mugabe.

The involvement of the army in politics has seen the MDC legislator for
Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, moving a motion in parliament asking
legislators to treat the statements made by the service chiefs as treason.

The MDC has said over 200 of its supporters were killed during the 2008
presidential run-off while others disappeared.

Meanwhile the MDC on Wednesday renewed its call for the sacking of Chihuri.

This follows the arrest of an MDC official, Ambitious Muzuva and two
activists on allegations of assaulting a Zanu (PF) member and a police
officer in Kambuzuma over the weekend.

“It continues to baffle the minds of Zimbabweans as they day in and day out
witness the arrest of innocent MDC activists yet known Zanu (PF) terror
gangs continue to walk scot free,” read part of the MDC-T statement to the

"The MDC calls upon the Inclusive Government to constitute the Police
Service Commission so that the acting commissioner, Augustine Chihuri is
retired and a competent Police Commissioner General appointed,” it said.

“Zimbabweans are tired of violence. The police should not provoke the nation
into action. The people have remained calm over the years ...The MDC calls
for professional policing,” it added.

The party said its supporter, Shepherd Mumba, was on Saturday assaulted by
known Zanu (PF) hoodlums, Jim Kunaka, Gochera, Pasco, Gomwe and Moffart in
Highfield but police took no action.

Twenty-nine MDC activists are in police custody, some for almost a year,
facing fabricated charges of murdering a Glen View policeman in May 2011.

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UK accused of ‘fast tracking’ Zim deportation cases

By Alex Bell

09 May 2012

The UK government has been accused of fast tracking the deportation cases of
Zimbabwean asylum seekers, in what is being described as active

Two Zim asylum seekers, including one man who remains in detention, told SW
Radio Africa this week that they were arrested and almost deported after
their cases were rushed through the courts.

Trevor Chanetsa, an asylum seeker who has been detained for about two weeks,
spoke to SW Radio Africa on Tuesday, and explained that he was arrested
because his case had been “exhausted.” He said that, despite the likelihood
that he would be in danger if he was returned home, he was threatened with
deportation last week. He said that he only escaped being forced back to
Zimbabwe at the last minute following a legal reprieve.

“But I don’t understand how it happened. It happened so fast. I believe they
(the UK officials) aren’t even looking at individual cases and they are only
targeting people whose passports are about to expire,” Chanetsa said.

The concern about being targeted on the basis of having an almost-expired
passport was further backed up by another Zim asylum seeker, recently
released from detention after he too escaped deportation following last
legal intervention.

Frazer Muzondo, a known MDC supporter in the UK, was arrested, detained and
almost deported under similar circumstances to Chanetsa’s last month. He
told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that after his detention, his release was
refused “because my passport was about to expire.”

“I was told that they wanted to fast track the case while I was detained so
that if the ruling on my removal was in their favour, they can use a valid
passport to deport me,” Muzondo said, adding: “They are now targeting people
whose passports will soon expire.”

Muzondo was eventually able to secure his release on bail, explaining that
even the immigration judge who heard the case “queried the merits of them
fast tracking cases like this.”

Regis Manyanya from the Nottingham Zimbabwe Community Network said that this
treatment of Zim asylum seekers was “victimisation,” saying that each asylum
and deportation case is supposed to be viewed on an individual basis.

“They are now dealing with sending people back to a country where they could
be in danger and yet the cases are being fast tracked. This is
victimisation,” Manyanya said.

Chanetsa meanwhile said that the UK was “sending people into the lion’s den”
by deporting them back to Zimbabwe. He explained that the whole experience
has left him feeling traumatised, adding: “I am still in danger because they
might send me back and things are getting worse back home.”

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MDC-T demands release of detainees and Police Chief’s retirement

By Tererai Karimakwenda

09 May 2012

Following the disruption of several weekend rallies by the police, as wellas
ZANU PF sponsored violence against their supporters, the MDC-T has demanded
the release of all their detained members and the resignation of Police
Chief Augustine Chihuri.

The demands came as it was revealed that the violent ZANU PF Chipangano gang
was involved in some of the weekend assaults on MDC-T supporters. According
to the MDC-T, the gang was purposely bussed into Highfields suburb on
Saturday with the intention of disrupting planned rallies.

The gang’s known leader Jim Kunaka, who is a ZANU PF youth chairman, and
thugs named only as Gochera, Pasco, Gomwe and Moffart were identified as the
gang that assaulted Shepherd Mumba in Highfields.

The police made no arrests and instead went and disrupted a Sunday rally in
Kambuzuma, which was addressed by National Organising Secretary Nelson
Chamisa. The police claimed they were looking for party member who had
assaulted a policeman.

According to the MDC-T, the police arrested Pass­more Jaricha and Lovemore
Chimbangu, party cadres who had tried to stop a ZANU PF supporter from
infiltrating the rally. It is believed a plain clothes policeman got caught
up in the chaos.

Jaricha and Chimbangu appeared in court Wednesday and were charged with
“assaulting a peace officer on duty”. Their lawyer Gift Mutisi told SW Radio
Africa that he submitted a bail application asking for $50 bail each, which
they can afford. But the magistrate reserved judgement until Thursday.

Mutisi said there was no tangible evidence linking his clients to any
assault and the police have not even named the witnesses, whose account
forms the basis of the state case.

“The police were already looking for whoever assaulted this policeman when
the two arrived,” Mutisi said, defending  Jaricha and Chimbangu.

No ZANU PF supporters were arrested the entire weekend. The MDC-T said they
were infuriated by the partisan acts of the police and the impunity enjoyed
by the perpetrators. The party is demanding that the Police Chief resign.

“The MDC calls upon the Inclusive Government to constitute the Police
Service Commission so that the acting commissioner, Augustine Chihuri is
retired and a competent Police Commissioner General appointed,” the party
said in a statement.

The MDC-T also demanded the release of 29 of their members and supporters
who have been in jail for several months, facing trumped up charges of
killing Glen View policeman Petros Mutedza last year. Among them is the
National Youth Chairman Solomon Madzore, who has been in detention for
nearly a year.

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Zanu (PF) Stalls Constitution Making Process Again

Nompumelelo Moyo Bulawayo, 09 May 2012 - Zanu (PF) has asked to review the
draft constitution document on its own before it resumes further
participation of Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac)
meetings. This forced Copac co-chairpersons to cancel a scheduled meeting at
Harare’s Padare Lodge which had been organised to discuss revisions to the
draft constitution.

In an interview, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Copac
chairperson, Edward Mkhosi, condemned Zanu (PF)’s “self imposed boycott”,
describing it as a sad development.

“Zanu (PF) has said it wants to review the document on its own before it
resumes its participation. This is a three-party process. We will not agree
to any unilateral changes as the draft’s contents are a product of what came
out of outreach programmes. Zanu (PF) is not Zimbabwe and they don’t have a
veto power in anyway. It’s by consensus,” he said.

Sources said Zanu (PF) Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana sent a
message advising that his party would not be available for any Copac
business “until further notice”.

However, MDC-T’s Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said: “What we were
told is that they are still consulting on some of the issues in the document
that we have produced. We are yet to be advised on any pull-out.”

Mkhosi said “the silence would generate unhealthy speculation” in the

Mangwana said: “I am the only qualified representative to comment on behalf
of Zanu (PF), not other co-chairpersons. If they are the ones who told you
this matter concerning my party, they are just crazy. You can write whatever
you want, we are ruling this country.”

Addressing civil society leaders at the Bulawayo Agenda offices on Monday,
Mwonzora said:“Mangwana is locked in party caucus meetings. When I called
him before this meeting, he sounded distressed.  Some of the criticisms
levelled at Mangwana by his party are unfair.

“Zanu (PF) believes that when Mangwana is negotiating with us he is giving
in a lot of concessions but we are not easy people to negotiate with.”

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Copac guarantees 'jobs for the boys'

Written by Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:33

HARARE - Political parties in the coalition government are using the
constitution-making process to guarantee “jobs for the boys”, if the draft
constitution recently released by the Constitution Select Committee (Copac)
is anything to go by, observers and civil society activists say.
If adopted in its current form, the constitution would result in a bloated
government as Zanu PF and the two MDC formations driving the process, seek
to manage their own internal politics and ensure themselves ample jobs
should they win elections.

Copac is a cross-party parliamentary body made up of MPs from Zanu PF and
the MDC formations and is at the forefront of the crafting of the new

According to the draft constitution, the new government is likely to have
two vice presidents, 25 cabinet ministers and 15 deputies.

Okay Machisa, a human rights activist and director of grassroots human
rights organisation, Zimrights, said in as much as the proposed draft
constitution seemed good, the proposed composition of government was bloated
and unsustainable.

“If the idea of having two vice presidents is meant at solving tribal
differences then we need to look for other areas that are not costly to the
people. Currently we have a bloated government that is consuming a big chunk
of our money. We need to consider the economic side and weigh if our people
will be able to sustain such as bloated government,” said Machisa.

Under the current power-sharing set up, Zimbabwe has two vice presidents, 31
cabinet ministers and 16 deputy ministers. Although the number of ministers
is expected to drop by six, observers say the figure is still unattainable
for a country like Zimbabwe.

The previous Zanu PF government introduced the system providing for two vice

It has over the years been used as a means to appease people in Matabeleland
following five years of human rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe’s
government in 1983 to 1987 in an operation code named Gukurahundi.

International Socialist Organisation country director, Munyaradzi Gwisai,
said it was not surprising for government to have such a government
structure as it is being driven by politics.

“This is not anything surprising because these are politicians who would
want to enrich themselves at all costs, it is disappointing that when we
have  a huge recurrent expenditure, we have MPs proposing to have a
bi-camera parliament system,” said Gwisai.

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MDC formations endorse draft constitution

By Staff Reporter 13 hours 16 minutes ago

THE two MDC parties have endorsed the completed 18 chapters of the new draft
constitution, although Zanu PF representatives were yet to take a position.

In separate interviews, the MDCs’ Copac co-chairpersons Douglas Mwonzora and
Edward Mkhosi said yesterday their political parties were happy with the
draft document.

But the Welshman Ncube-led MDC said it still had reservations over
recognition of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as their party

“The MDC is happy with the draft and we are now waiting for other political
parties to come back to us as they are still consulting,” said Mwonzora.

“What we know is that the MDC is objecting to the word ‘principals’ on the
new draft and their argument is that they do not recognise one of the
principals, but their qualms have nothing to do with the content of the 18

Mwonzora said it was, however, appropriate that the new draft be availed to
Ncube for his scrutiny as leader of MDC

Mkhosi added: “We are only worried about the parked issues, including
devolution of power, but otherwise the 18 chapters that we passed represent
the position that we would like to see in the new charter. On the issue of
principals, we are worried that if there are issues that President Robert
Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara are going to discuss, we will be excluded as we will not be

Mkhosi said Mutambara no longer represented MDC interests, saying his party
would not be represented when the draft is submitted to the principals.

“We cannot wait at the gate while other people are discussing in the
boardroom. Whatever decision they make with Mutambara, those will not bind
our party because Mutambara is no longer with us,” Mkhosi said.

He said it was illogical for any political party to start challenging the
completed 18 chapters because they were fully endorsed by the three parties
in the inclusive government.

On Monday, Zanu PF’s Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana declined
to comment whether his party had taken a particular position or not, amid
reports the party had temporarily suspended participation in the draft
process “until further notice”.

“You can write whatever you want, we are ruling this country,” he said,
before hanging up.

Strenuous efforts to contact Mangwana yesterday were fruitless.

Meanwhile, Zanu (PF) has asked to review the draft constitution document on
its own before it resumes further participation of Constitutional
Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) meetings. This forced Copac
co-chairpersons to cancel a scheduled meeting at Harare’s Padare Lodge which
had been organised to discuss revisions to the draft constitution.

In an interview, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Copac
chairperson, Edward Mkhosi, condemned Zanu (PF)’s “self imposed boycott”,
describing it as a sad development.

“Zanu (PF) has said it wants to review the document on its own before it
resumes its participation. This is a three-party process. We will not agree
to any unilateral changes as the draft’s contents are a product of what came
out of outreach programmes. Zanu (PF) is not Zimbabwe and they don’t have a
veto power in anyway. It’s by consensus,” he said.

Sources said Zanu (PF) Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana sent a
message advising that his party would not be available for any Copac
business “until further notice”.

However, MDC-T’s Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said: “What we were
told is that they are still consulting on some of the issues in the document
that we have produced. We are yet to be advised on any pull-out.”

Mkhosi said “the silence would generate unhealthy speculation” in the

Mangwana said: “I am the only qualified representative to comment on behalf
of Zanu (PF), not other co-chairpersons. If they are the ones who told you
this matter concerning my party, they are just crazy. You can write whatever
you want, we are ruling this country.”

Addressing civil society leaders at the Bulawayo Agenda offices on Monday,
Mwonzora said:“Mangwana is locked in party caucus meetings. When I called
him before this meeting, he sounded distressed.  Some of the criticisms
levelled at Mangwana by his party are unfair.

“Zanu (PF) believes that when Mangwana is negotiating with us he is giving
in a lot of concessions but we are not easy people to negotiate with.” -
Plus Newsday

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Don’t delay, WOZA urges COPAC

Women of Zimbabwe Arise has applauded the constitutional drafting team for
the work they have done and encouraged them to deal swiftly with parked
issues and submit the draft to the second stakeholder’s conference without
further delay.

WOZA has continuously engaged its members to debate constitutional issues
and in December 2010 released a report capturing the responses of members to
the Constitutional Outreach questions to the 26 thematic areas. This
followed a 15 month consultative and civic education process that captured
the views of more than 10,000 urban and rural members aged 14-93, most of
them women.

The group welcomed the following positive inclusions in the draft:

• Justiciable rights, including socio-economic rights

• Prohibition of discrimination against women on the basis of customary law

• A single executive head of state, eliminating the prime minister position

• A limit of two terms on the President

• Provision for proportional representation in the National Assembly and the

• Independent Electoral Commission to take control of voter registration and
the voters’ roll

• Down-grading the Attorney- General to legal advisor of the government and
establishment of an independent prosecuting authority

• Appointments of key personnel and commissioners of independent commissions
on the recommendation of a Parliamentary Public Appointments Committee,
which will subject candidates to public interviews

• Requirements for all public officers to declare all their assets at
regular intervals

• De-politicisation of the public service, judiciary, and security sector

• Amendment only by means of a referendum

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Cabinet Approves $4.5 Billion Strategic Plan to Revive Education Sector

09 May 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Zimbabwe Education Minister David Coltart says cabinet has approved his $4.5
billion five-year medium term plan that will lead to the construction of 750
new secondary schools and the refurbishment of over 24,000 classrooms by

In a Twitter and Facebook message, Coltart said the education plan, which
should have been implemented from 2010, was unanimously approved by cabinet

According to education officials and teacher unions, the plan will also lead
to the construction of 1,500 new classrooms, restoration of the professional
status of teachers, promotion of electronic learning, revival of libraries
and boosting the capacity of school inspectors.

They said the program is also aimed at promoting marginalized languages,
education of disadvantaged children and revitalization of sports and

Zimbabwe's education sector has struggled over the past few years due to
economic hardships, putting a dent to the system once revered as among the
best in Africa.

The ambitious plan will be funded through the national fiscus and
international donors.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive, Sifiso Ndlovu cautioned that
the program - discussed with most labor unions and donor agencies - may be
crippled by lack of funds.

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Treason trial deferred over faulty recorders

09/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE treason trial of three political activists due to have resume Wednesday
at the Bulawayo High Court had to be postponed because the court does not
have functional recording machines.

Assurances by Assistant Registrar and Master of the High Court, Njabulo
Mabuya that a replacement recorder was on its way from Harare came to naught
resulting in the case being postponed to June 18.

Charles Thomas (44), John Gazi (54) and Paul Siwela (50) have pleaded not
guilty to the main charge of treason and the alternative charge of
subverting a constitutionally elected Government.

Their lawyers agreed with the prosecution to postpone the case after it
became clear that the recorder, said to have been ordered from Harare would
not arrive in time to continue with the case.

The Bulawayo court’s own machine broke down on Tuesday during the trial of a
Hillside man accused of axing his wife death following a misunderstanding
over a phone call.

Court sources said the problem has also affected four death row prisoners
who are entitled to an automatic Supreme Court appeal.

The cases could not be referred to the higher court because their trial
records could not be transcribed since the tapes are inaudible.

The sources said the machines were last serviced some 10 years ago.

Officials fear the court could find itself with a massive backlog unless the
problem is addressed.
Twenty-five cases have been set down for hearing in the criminal court this

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EU, Zimbabwe Meeting To Strengthen Relations

Harare, May 09, 2012 - Bilateral discussions between the European Union (EU)
and Zimbabwe on Thursday in the Belgian capital Brussels will not dwell on
sanctions but will be aimed at building trust and confidence, EU ambassador
to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell'Ariccia said.

The talks come after initial contact between the EU and the southern African
country in 2010 after years of poor relations.

Dell'Ariccia told journalists on the eve of the EU day which is commemorated
Wednesday across Europe member states that the EU hoped to begin serious
political dialogue with Zimbabwe to restore relations.

"The meeting should enhance our common understanding and help build the
trust and confidence needed on both sides to move forward," he said.

"The EU is keen to engage in a serious political dialogue with Zimbabwe. We
trust that the meeting between the Zimbabwean Ministerial Re-engagement team
and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, and
taking place on May 10 in Brussels will be constructive and pave the way for
a process towards normalised relations."

Cabinet members from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (P)F party have been
saying the meeting will center on sanctions slapped on Mugabe and his senior
party officials in 2002 after violent and disputed polls. Mugabe also kicked
out EU election observer leader team Pierre Schori from the country.

Justice Minister Patrcik Chinamasa from Zanu (PF), Ernegy Minister Elton
Mangoma from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC and Regional Integration
Minister Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga from the smaller MDC faction will
attend the meeting.

"The EU and its member states are the biggest providers of development
assistance in the world. In Zimbabwe, we have provided one billion USD in
development assistance since 2009," said Dell 'Ariccia.

Meanwhile the ambassador said trade between the EU and Zimbabwe has been
increasing since 2009 and is worth over $870 million.

"We are happy to announce that Zimbabwe is part of the first group of
African countries having subscribed to the interim Economic Partnership
Agreement with the EU coming into effect on 14 May," EU ambassador to
Zimbabwe," he said.

"The EU is already the second largest trading partner to Zimbabwe and trade
has doubled since 2009, with the large trade surplus to the benefit of
Zimbabwe. With this agreement (EPA), Zimbabwe will continue enjoying tariff
and quota free access to the European markets, while at the same time
benefitting from other advantages like the protection of infant industry."

Last year, Zimbabwe exported 444 million Euros ($580 million) products to
the EU and imported goods worth $200 million during the same year.

Some of the products imported by the EU from Zimbabwe include cereals,
tobacco, flowers, beverages, paper, plastics and rubber as well glass and
ceramics among other products.

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EU keeps Zim sanctions on

Sapa-AFP | 09 May, 2012 00:27

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is to meet three
ministers from Zimbabwe tomorrow to discuss political reforms but a further
easing of sanctions is unlikely, the organisation's official said yesterday.

After easing sanctions against Zimbabwe in February, the EU aims to express
"our encouragement of continuing political reforms", said Ashton's
spokesman, Michael Mann.

The three ministers are from the three main political parties in the
coalition government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai - Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC-N.

In Harare, state media last weekend quoted Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa, from Zanu-PF, as saying they hoped the talks would lead to the
unconditional removal of EU sanctions.

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China, Zimbabwe trade doubles, calls for relaxed visas for Asians

May 9, 2012

Andrew Moran

Harare - China continues to make its presence known in parts of Africa,
including Zimbabwe. Many Chinese companies and public officials are working
closely with their Zimbabwean counterparts as the Asian economic powerhouse
persists in its African investment.

Xin Shunkang, China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, spoke during a public lecture
where he introduced a report titled “Outlook of China’s Economy and
Sino-Zimbabwe Relation,” according to The Zimbabwean. It looks at the level
of trade between the two nations and how much money has been invested.

The Chinese Ambassador, who has served close to three years, said the report
found that trade between the two nations has doubled from $400 million to
$800 million in just two years, while also strengthening political and
social relations.

In the paper, it found that one of the most successful trade commodities is
tobacco. The Chinese government has also contributed more than $25 million
since 2009 to various Zimbabwean initiatives.

Before the end of his term as Ambassador, Shunkang urged Zimbabwe to take
lessons from China, which has transformed its economy in three decades. He
encouraged the leadership to establish processing and production facilities
in 10 provinces that would focus on key commodities, like beef, cotton and

Relaxed visas reports that Zimbabwe Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister
Walter Mzembi urged the government to review its visa classifications and
requirements that would be relaxed for Asian visitors.

The current system gives the European Union important preference over

“Visa conditions need to be looked at,” said Mzembi. “The Asian countries
are our new friends, business relations are growing from strength to
strength. We should reward the friendship more practically.”

Food shortage

The Zambian government confirmed that it has agreed to sell 300,000 tons of
corn to its southern neighbor, which is suffering from intense food
shortages, including corn.

Zambia’s state Food Reserve Agency said in a statement the deal would reduce
the nation’s food surplus by 50 percent, reports the Associated Press (via

More than a decade ago, Zimbabwe was the nation to export food to Zambia,
but since President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) made it policy for white-owned farm owners,
and other white-owned businesses, to give majority stake to the country’s
blacks, the nation has suffered from many, many shortages and violence.

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ZINASU Students Arrested

Masvingo, Harare, May 09, 2012 - Riot police here set dogs on Great Zimbabwe
University students arresting six for taking part in a demonstration against
authorities for blocking them to hold Student Representative Council (SRC)

The six are Amos Mutema, Brian Chimwai, Simbarashe Muparure, Maxwell
Hlongwani, Christopher Chuma and Terrence Moyo.

National treasurer of a national student body, Zinasu, Zivanai Muzorodzi,
told Radio VOP that the whereabouts of the arrested students were not known.

“I can confirm that six student leaders were arrested at the
university...Armed police with dogs quashed our protests but we will
continue to fight for our rights to have our voices heard,” he said.

Muzorodzi said the students demonstrated after they were angered by
university authorities who barred them from holding elections until
President Robert Mugabe appoints a new Vice-Chancellor to replace Professor
Obert Maravanyika whose contract is expiring.

“We were not satisfied with the reason for stopping our elections when our
constitution demands election this semester. This is a way to silence us so
that our voices are not heard while students’ rights are violated,” he said.

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Rights groups blast Zanu PF over violence

Written by Godfrey Mtimba
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:28

MASVINGO - Human rights groups here have lambasted Zanu PF over recent
reports of political violence that rocked its district coordinating
committee (DCC) elections.
One of the groups, Community Tolerance and Reconciliation Development
(Cotrad), which works with grassroots people to foster peace, said the
internal violence showed that Zimbabwe could be headed for a bloodbath as
Zanu PF will shift focus to fighting external rivals.

Cotrad director Gamuchirai Mukura said recent ugly events of intra-party
violence by the former ruling party showed Zanu PF had a penchant for
violence and blamed it for perpetrating violence against other parties when
it came to national elections.

“I think calls for polls this year should be opposed. What we saw in Zanu PF
DCC elections shows us that political violence has been a culture for this
party. So the situation is likely to get worse when it faces other political
parties in general elections. I can foresee a bloodbath if elections are
called this year,” he said.

President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF are demanding that national elections be
held this year to end the fragile “unity” government.

But other government partners from the two MDC formations say current
conditions do not allow for a credible poll.

Mukura said the violence showed tensions were still high.

“We thought tolerance by now should have been part and parcel of our society
but when people from the same party cannot tolerate each other what do we
expect when they face rivals from other political parties?” he added.

Masvingo Youths for Democracy president Arnold Batirai said the DCC exposed
Zanu PF as the chief perpetrator of violence.

“This is a clear sign to the people in the country that Zanu PF people have
been lying and pointing fingers at other political parties when violence
resides in that party. The recent violence exposed them. They are the ones
who perpetrate and start violence during national polls. As rights groups,
we feel the country does not need polls this year,” he said.

Batirai said massive civic education programmes starting with Zanu PF
supporters needed to be carried out before the polls.

“The country needs more time of civic education particularly the Zanu PF
people,” he said.

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Tracy Mutinhiri joins MDC-T

By Staff Reporter 1 hour ago

HARARE - Former Zanu PF Women’s League Political Commissar, Mrs Tracy
Mutinhiri has joined the MDC-T.

MDC-T National Organisation Secretary, Mr Nelson Chamisa confirmed that Mrs
Mutinhiri applied to the party’s leadership requesting admission into the

Mr Chamisa said the decision to accept her was made on Monday this week.

Mutinhiri, a former Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Services was
expelled from Zanu PF after she was found guilty of violating the
constitution and failing to be loyal to the party as well as failing to
conduct herself honestly and honourably in her dealings with the public,
thereby bringing her former party into disrepute.

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ZANU PF move to justify blocking TB Joshua visit

By Lance Guma
09 May 2012

A visit to Zimbabwe by popular Nigerian prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB
Joshua) appeared in doubt, after pro-ZANU PF church leaders were wheeled out
by the state media to make claims that he was not welcome in the country and
that his teachings were allegedly “judgmental, partisan and unorthodox.”

At the centre of the story is the fact that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
reportedly invited TB Joshua to be the guest speaker at the National Day of
Prayer set for May 25, on Africa Day. Many in ZANU PF believe Tsvangirai
will benefit politically from the visit and appear determined to block it at
all costs.

On Wednesday the ZANU PF controlled Herald newspaper published interviews
with church leaders who are well known party apologists. Bishop Trevor
Manhanga who leads the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe was quoted as
saying TB Joshua had no power to change the political landscape in Zimbabwe.

Manhanga claimed Tsvangirai’s political fortunes would not be shaped by TB
Joshua or any “artefacts” received from him.

“Nigeria is in turmoil and Christians are being bombed but he is doing
nothing. I personally do not think TB Joshua can influence the Zimbabwe
political landscape. Those who think so are indulging in wishful thinking.
The leadership of the nation of Zimbabwe will be determined by God Almighty
not TB Joshua,” Manhanga said.

The Bishop also said: “Those who visit him in Nigeria should know that the
water they are given has no significance here and will not serve as a lucky
charm to bring them power political or otherwise. I have questions about
some of his prophecies because I do not think that God is particularly
interested in the outcome of football games and this has no edification
value for the people.”

Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe president and spokesperson Dr Goodwill
Shana was also quoted saying God should not be used for partisan purposes.

“Of course we do not have the immigration powers to ban him, but we have
never invited him as churches. We think it is important to get people who
can help the country to move forward not people who are judgmental,” Dr
Shana said.

“People have a right to believe what they want, but it is difficult to
believe a Word of God that comes on a partisan basis. We don’t want
judgmental teachings, that is why we don’t subscribe to his teachings,” Dr
Shana added.

In February this year TB Joshua set tongues wagging in Zimbabwe after his
prophecy that an African leader would die within 60 days. Although he did
not specify the location, Zimbabwe was abuzz with speculation given Mugabe’s
ailing health and frequent trips to Singapore for treatment.

It eventually came to pass that Malawian president Bingu Wa Mutharika died
of a heart attack, not long after the prophecy.

But TB Joshua has since made another prophecy that another old African
president will fall critically ill and be hospitalised. These prophecies are
not going down well with ZANU PF given Mugabe’s health and surrounding

Last year, leaked US diplomatic cables quoted central bank Governor Gideon
Gono telling the American Ambassador that doctors had told Mugabe he had
prostrate cancer and could die in 2013. It’s easy to see why ZANU PF are
uncomfortable with a visit from TB Joshua, especially at Tsvangirai’s

Given complaints from church leaders aligned to ZANU PF that TB Joshua is
“judgmental, partisan and unorthodox”, it appears hypocritical that none of
them said a word last week when ex-communicated Anglican Bishop, Nolbert
Kunonga claimed that Tsvangirai was a sell-out who should not be voted into

A report by the Zimbabwean newspaper quotes Kunonga saying;

“MDC-T and its western puppet, Morgan Tsvangirai, are agents of doom
fighting to reverse the land reform programme and hand back land to the
former colonial white masters. Tsvangirai is also very much against the
indigenisation and black empowerment programme,” the report reads.

“He wants to deny Zimbabweans their birthright to the country’s natural
resources. Tsvangirai together with other people of his warped thinking
should be flushed down the sewerage system come next elections,” ranted
Kunonga. He urged people to go ahead and grab land still in the hands of
white commercial farmers.

“You are sons and daughters of the soil and should not hesitate to regain
land which rightfully belongs to you. Whites like other aliens should not be
allowed to own land and other properties in the country as they are
strangers,” Kunonga said.

He also said: “Tsvangirai is a white man masked in black skin. He is like
the Biblical Pharaoh who enjoyed the suffering and economic deprivation of
his own people. On the other hand, Mugabe is the Biblical Daniel, sent to
suffer for the cause of his people.”

Kunonga even boasted that he was the first to seize Anglican Church
buildings and other assets in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, starting in 2000.

“I took 3 800 church properties in the region since their title deeds were
in my name. There was no way the properties could remain under charge of the
church controlled by whites and their black puppets. Bishops such as Julius
Makoni, Chad Gandiwa and others are MDC-T and furthered western interests,”
he said.

“Churches should protect Mugabe’s indigenisation policies, no matter the
cost. This world is not for cowards and as Christians; we must gear
ourselves for a bloody war against white interests.

“Those who participate in the land grab and future seizure of mines and
other properties in the hands of aliens, will definitely enter the kingdom
of God. The Prime Minister is good for nothing and only helped to ensure
whites take back land and other natural resources from the black majority.

“Elections will give Zimbabweans the opportunity to choose between good
(Mugabe) and death (Tsvangirai). Vote wisely. I am a professor in my own
right and would rate Mugabe’s governance as ‘very good’,” Kunonga claimed.

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Thousands of Zimbabwean refugees face bleak future

Thousands of Zimbabwean refugees face a bleak future following a decision to
close down the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office that has been holding
them, The Zimbabwe has learnt.
by Mkhululi Chimoio

The Department of Home Affairs’s Maitland Refugee Reception office has met
with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and announced that it received a 30
day notice from an undisclosed landlord for the cessation of the Cape Town
reception centre lease by the end of May.

Scalabrini, Black Sash and Passop, the CSOs, are concerned that the imminent
closure of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office is going to disturb the
refugees and asylum seekers who would have to be relocated, and blamed the
Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for the development.

“We find it very worrying that the Department is systematically trying to
close down refugee reception offices without putting any infrastructure in
place to deal with new or existing applicants living in and dependent on the
support available in metropolitan areas,’’ said Nyembezi Nkosikhulule of
Black Sash..

In May 2010, the South African High Court ruled in favour of the eviction of
the Maitland Reception Office residents after local businesses complained
that the office constituted a public nuisance.

Miranda Madikane of Scalabrini Centre lashed out at DHA for failing to
commit to issues relating to refugees.

“It is a disgrace that already traumatised people should be treated with
such disregard. To close an office suddenly, and without proper notice or
consultation, shows a complete lack of compassion and respect for the basic
rights of our most vulnerable members of society,” said Madikane.

PASSOP’s Braam Hanekom urged DHA to engage their legal teams to instantly
stop the impending closure of the centre.

“We request the Department of Home Affairs to urgently explore all the
viable legal options in order to guarantee the continuation of the services
provided by the Maitland Refugee Office.

‘‘A sudden closure of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre would have
enormous and unpredictable repercussions on those refugees and asylum
seekers who access the office on a daily basis,” Hanekom said.

However, Legal Resource Centre, a non-profit organisation providing legal
services to vulnerable community members, has expressed their willingness to
provide help in negotiating with the landlord and opposing the eviction of
the Reception Office.

“An immediate solution needs to be found and we call upon the DHA to adhere
to their legal obligations to properly document refugees and asylum seekers.
The state has a moral and legal duty to uphold the Constitutional right of
everyone, including refugees, to administrative justice,” said the

South Africa holds around 1.5 million Zimbabweans who fled
political-economic crisis in the last decade, and a substantial number of
these refugees and asylum seekers are held in reception centres.

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