Parliament on Thursday unanimously approved the new constitution,
ending four years of acrimonious drafting and debate.
Gonese, the MDC-T chief whip, said the constitutional Bill passed
parliament’s two thirds majority threshold when 156 MPs voted in favour and
Gonese told SW Radio Africa the Bill will now be
transmitted to the Senate where it is expected to sail through on Tuesday
next week. Then President Robert Mugabe will sign it into law. It is expected
the constitution will be in place before the end of May.
termed the event ‘one of the most historic events in the history of the
country’ saying it was a ‘truly amazing event for the future of this
‘We have gone through a very difficult time and I’m quite
sure this is the greatest step we have taken so far. This is a landmark
position for this country. It is the single most advanced framework of the
Constitution ever imagined. We have all issues that are so important for the
future of this country,’ Gonese said.
Analysts have said the new
document provides for greater checks on presidential powers. The current
constitution is criticized for concentrating too much power in the hands of
Gonese explained that once Mugabe signs it into law,
certain chapters of the constitution will automatically become
‘Once signed into law chapters on Citizenship, Bill of
Rights, and elections will become operational while the rest of the
constitution will come into force when a new President of the country is
elected this year,’ the MP said.
Political analyst Hopewell Gumbo
said he was happy the charter limits a president’s tenure to two five-year
terms, although he warned the document would not necessarily stop the rogue
elements in power from human rights abuses.
But the National
Constitutional Assembly representative in South Africa, Munjonzi Mutandiri,
said the new constitution was undemocratic and had been imposed on the
people by politicians.
‘There were serious compromises on the draft and
the nature it was drafted was not people driven or democratic. It is sad
that MPs had not made any changes to the draft and as such they have failed
Zimbabweans because they did not capture their aspirations and wishes. It is
a big shame,’ Mutandiri said.
The new constitution allows the
President to keep most of his powers. The President will be the head of
state, head of government, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and
chairperson of the National Security Council. But he is only allowed to
serve for two five-year terms.
By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, May 10, 3:18
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe lawmakers have voted unanimously in the
lower house to approve a new draft constitution that will enshrine
All 156 legislators present verbally voted “yes”
Thursday. A new constitution was accepted by 95 percent of the vote in a
referendum March 16 to replace the first constitution adopted after
independence in 1980.
The draft now goes to the 90-member Senate for
debate and a final vote Tuesday. President Robert Mugabe then needs to sign
it into law before elections scheduled around September.
house is also expected to pass the draft with unanimity, which is rare in
The new constitution limits the presidency to two
five-year terms but is not retroactive, allowing the 89-year-old Mugabe to
compete in the next polls.
Zimbabwean police raided the office of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's party in the southern district of Gwanda and seized motorcycles
meant to be used for election campaigns, a party spokesman
"Police have confiscated 10 motorbikes following a raid on our
Gwanda office," Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Douglas
Mwonzora told AFP.
"These are ordinary motorbikes which were
regularly procured and we wonder why the police are resorting to this
Mwonzora said the police did not explain the reason
for the seizure of the motorcycles, which were meant to be used by party
officials to travel long distances during campaigns ahead of elections
planned for later this year.
Police were not immediately available for
The seizure came days after police arrested journalists from a
popular weekly in the capital Harare.
They were charged with writing
false information in a story about meetings between security chiefs loyal to
veteran President Robert Mugabe and officials from Tsvangirai's
Early this year police raided the offices of rights groups in
Harare and took away radios and various documents, in what analysts said was
a ploy to intimidate rights groups ahead of a referendum on a new
constitution in March.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections this
year to vote for a successor to the shaky power-sharing government formed by
Mugabe and Tsvangirai four years ago.
Mugabe and his allies want the
elections as early as June but Tsvangirai says the elections should be
preceded by reforms concerning the media and electoral laws.
Police in Matebeleland South seized 10 motorbikes meant for
election campaigning, during a raid on the MDC-T party office in Gwanda
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that
police said the vehicles were smuggled or brought into Zimbabwe illegally,
an allegation the MDC-T deny. “They said that there was no paper work
accompanying these motorbikes yet these motorbikes were brought in regularly
and there is enough paperwork which shows that all things that need to be
paid to the State have been paid and that this is a genuine
“This is the second time that the police have confiscated
our motorbikes which are genuine tools to be used in the election campaign.
We know that this is part of a general panic that has gripped ZANU PF as we
are on a roll and on the offensive and ZANU PF is abusing the state
apparatus to simply cripple the MDC,” Mwonzora said.
spokesman claims that in recent weeks the police have confiscated campaign
material across the country, including shortwave radios and his personal
vehicle, which was being used to mobilise people for the voter registration
in his Nyanya constituency.
Mwonzora said the police are still holding
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangira’s campaign bus that was confiscated in the
last election, in 2008.
He said the problem is that his party does not
control the courts and does not control the police so “there is very little
room for lawful maneuver for the MDC.”
However the party said it has
compiled a report and will be giving this information to the Southern
African Development Community – the guarantors of the Global Political
We could not get a comment from Gwanda police but ZANU PF
deputy director of information, Psychology Maziwisa, said the MDC-T is
“making noise out of nothing,” accusing the former opposition party of
“Political matters will be dealt with at the right
forum (elections). The laws of this country must be followed and it’s
obviously a way of trying to tarnish the image of ZANU PF so that the
international community will have pre-determined perceptions about the
environment obtaining in this country. But we have a very peaceful
The raid and seizure of the MDC-T motorbikes comes
just days after police arrested journalists from the Zimbabwe Independent
newspaper, who wrote an article about the MDC-T engaging in discussion with
some of the country’s military chiefs. MDC-T Youth Assembly President
Solomon Madzore was also arrested last Thursday on allegations he referred
to President Robert Mugabe as “a limping donkey. Two weeks ago 19 MDC-T
activists were arrested and charged with allegedly impersonating government
officials during a voter registration campaign. Their bail hearing Wednesday
was cancelled as the state failed to provide a prosecutor.
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer Thursday, 09 May 2013
11:39 HARARE - Zimbabwe's forthcoming elections are on the ropes, with
revelations that cash shortages are threatening a key voter registration
exercise which has become the subject of fresh wrangling.
the cash woes announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)
yesterday, an MP from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on the same day
tabled a motion in Parliament to force a fresh start to mobile voter
The MP, Settlement Chikwinya, also wants Finance minister
Tendai Biti to be forced to release adequate money for voter registration.
He also wants President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
“not to proclaim any date for elections before they agree to a voters’ roll
that has to be compiled to the satisfaction of all citizens
Both the MDC and Mugabe’s Zanu PF view voter registration as
the most critical electoral process.
Zanu PF’s United Nations (UN)
election funding snub is now haunting Zec, as the broke Treasury has failed
to inject adequate funding to the mobile voter registration process that is
shrouded by controversy.
Out of an expected $8 million required to carry
out the three week long voter registration blitz — the government has only
injected $500 000 — a pittance that has left Zec with a serious
The UN assistance was expected to be about $132 million, but
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, who is Mugabe’s election point-man, said
the UN wanted to interfere in local politics by attaching conditions to poll
After slamming the door on the UN, Mugabe and his Zanu PF
have been saying the country would finance the cumbersome process from
internal sources, such as the Chiadzwa diamonds, but facts on the ground are
Addressing journalists yesterday, Zec chairperson Rita
Makarau admitted that the electoral body is cash-strapped and this could
affect the credibility of the electoral process.
A lack of publicity
and also some bottlenecks have resulted in a low turnout of people
registering as voters and Makarau yesterday said they will continue
monitoring the progress of the blitz with the possibility of an
“Zec admits that the deployment of two voter educators per
district is far from adequate and may not cover all eligible voters. This is
because the voter education exercise has, to date, only received $500 000
from Treasury, against a budget of $8 601,712.
background, the voter educators deployed will, unless more funds are
allocated to Zec in the next few days, have no efficient transport to move
throughout the districts allocated them.
“Most, if not all, (of the voter
educators) have to walk the entire length and breadth of their respective
wards, some of which are fairly large,” she said.
After Zanu PF’s UN
snub, Biti proposed to introduce a cocktail of measures that included
flouting bonds and an increase in excise duty on fuel to bankroll the
This comes as a local civil body that monitors elections, the
Election Resource Centre (ERC), says there are anomalies in the on-going
mobile voter registration process.
“Whilst the process is continuing
in some of the areas, the outreach is evidently yet to be witnessed in most
“In places which the mobile registration teams have
visited, a number of potential voters remain disenfranchised due to a myriad
of challenges ranging from lack of publicity, inadequate time allocation,
the cost of registration, limited civil registration services and
difficulties in acquiring necessary documents like proof of residence,”
reads part of ERC’s report released yesterday.
Makarau told reporters
that if a potential voter fails to produce required documents such as rental
cards, lease agreements, credit store statements, hospital bills, telephone
bills or a sworn statement from the employer, then the person should depose
a sworn affidavit.
“Where the citizen seeking registration as a voter in
unable to produce any of the above documents, they can and must depose to an
affidavit swearing that they are resident at a place located within the
“No one should, therefore, be turned away or be denied the right to
be registered as a voter on account of inadequate or lack of documents
proving residence,” said Makarau.
MUTARE — The livestock theft case which has divided
Zanu PF officials in Manicaland Province took a new twist today with
attorneys representing the party’s suspended provincial acting women’s
chairperson, Dorothy Mabika, alleging that she is being persecuted because
she spurned sexual advances from Presidential Affairs Minister and Zanu PF
secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa.
Tinofara Hove of TK
Hove and Associates made the startling allegations before Mutare magistrate
Sekesai Chiwundura that his client was being persecuted for having turned
down Mutasa’s sexual advances.
Mabika is facing one count of stock-theft
involving six dairy bull calves and another of obstructing the course of
justice. She has pleaded not guilty.
The state alleges that Mabika
received the six calves from Chipinge commercial dairy farmer, David
Hercules Jourbert, as a donation for Zanu PF in September
Prosecutor Christine Nyamaropa is alleging that Mabika converted
the calves to her own use and later claimed they had died of starvation due
to lack of milk and supplementary feeding.
On the second count of
obstruction of justice, the state alleges that in February this year when
the case was under police investigation, Mabika tampered with minutes at the
party’s offices to cover up the alleged crime.
Hove, while cross
examining Mutasa, often referred to by his “Nyati” totem, challenged the
Zanu PF secretary for administration’s threats to deal with Mabika if she
continued to spurn his alleged advances.
Hove read in Shona a remark said
to have been made by Mr. Mutasa to Mabika at a party meeting at Mutare
Mutasa is alleged to have said: “Mbizi nenyati
zvinofura pamwechete, kana mbizi ikaramba kufura nenyati inotungwa nenyati
(Zebra and buffalo graze together and if the zebra refuses then the buffalo
will gore it)”.
Hove told the court the words were inappropriate and of a
sexual nature, an assertion Mutasa disputed.
Hove said the accused
refused Mutasa’s sexual advances and to be in his political corner, hence
she was now being politically persecuted as power struggles mount in Zanu
Mutasa denied ever proposing love to Mabika insisting he said the
words to a friend as a joke and that if she took them as a proposition then
that was unfortunate. Hove also said Mabika was being used as a pawn in
Zanu PF’s power struggles in Manicaland.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Wednesday revealed
that a serious shortage of funding is hampering the voter education exercise
which is part of preparations for the forthcoming general
Briefing journalists in Harare, ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau
said that the electoral body had deployed only two voter educators per
district, raising fears that these will not be able to cover most areas by
the time the exercise ends. On average, a district has about 25
Makarau said out of a budget of $8 million submitted to treasury
for the voter education exercise, the commission had so far only received
She raised concern that if the balance was not released soon
the civic education programme, which started a week later than the
registration exercise, will be seriously hampered.
educators should have preceded voter registration teams to inform citizens
of the required documentation as well as the whole registration
Makarau said: “ZEC admits that the deployment of only two
educators per district is far from adequate, and may not cover all eligible
voters. Unless more funds are allocated to ZEC in the next few days, the
voter educators will have no efficient transport to move throughout the
districts allocated to them.
The voter registration exercise started
on May 2nd and is expected to run for 20 days, with concern raised that more
time is needed if the exercise is to be credible.
There have been
complaints throughout the country that registration points were too far
apart, with many people in rural areas forced to travel more than 20km to
Elections expert Jack Zaba on Thursday said that it was not
enough for ZEC to just complain about lack of funds. He said the commission
should be exploring other avenues of ensuring that the electorate is not
deprived of its democratic right to vote.
Zaba told SW Radio Africa:
“ZEC can easily approach the many NGOs and stakeholders that work in the
field of civic education to help raise awareness of the electoral process.
So far ZEC has not done this, we haven’t seen space being given to civic
society organisations to do their part.
“One of the principles of a voter
registration process is that citizens should be informed. But here we are
witnessing a situation whereby certain officials are not willing to inform
the public about the process.”
Zaba said it was worrying that some
political circles were pushing for elections to be held as early as next
month, when it was obvious that there are serious issues that need to be
rectified, not least the lack of resources.
He said ZEC should have
used the $500,000 for voter campaign material such as posters and radio
announcements, rather than pretending to be carrying out an exercise that
will leave out a lot of would-be voters.
Commissioner Makarau said ZEC
was monitoring the situation, and would consider extending the voter
registration exercise or putting more officers on the ground if it was
To date, almost 30,000 new voters have registered since
the mobile registration exercise was launched two weeks ago.
Fears have been expressed that planned mining
activities in the Hwange-Gwayi Conservancy will have far-reaching negative
implications for the country’s wildlife and environment.
In the past
two years the whole of the Gwayi Conservation area in Matebeleland North has
been parceled out as a coal mining venture, mainly to the
Speaking at the Bulawayo Press Club on Wednesday Langton
Masunda, the chairperson of the Hwange/Gwayi Tourism Association which has
been campaigning against the granting of mining rights in the area, said
there was evidence that there will be serious environmental degradation once
mining activities are in full swing. The Hwange-Gwayi Conservancy is
located on the periphery of Hwange National Park, the country’s flagship
game reserve which is home to an estimated 45,000 elephants and various
He said Zimbabwe also shares wildlife populations with
neighbouring Botswana and mining activities in the Gwayi valley would push
the wildlife into Botswana, which has drier conditions than
Zimbabwe. Masunda said mining activities so close to the national park — the
movement of machinery, the drilling and all the associated noise — will
scare the animals and severely decrease their population, with dire
consequences for future tourism. Masunda said other mining related
problems will affect water delivery to the Matebeleland region. He told SW
Radio: “In terms of relieving the region, including Bulawayo, it means the
much-talked about Matebeleland Zambezi Water Project, which would require
the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will remain a pipedream. Other
cities such as Gweru which is dependent on the Shangani River will also be
affected.” Coal mining involves the use of chemicals such as ammonia, tar,
benzine and cammonia, which Masunda said would be released into the ground,
leading to the contamination of underground water streams, while also
destroying marine life.
Although an environmental assessment was
carried out by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Masunda said it
was clear that the process was ‘rigged’, as it did not involve all the
relevant stakeholders, as had been agreed. So far Chinese firm China
Africa Sunlight Energy Zimbabwe, which was granted a licence through a
special presidential arrangement, has been mining coal in the Gwayi
Further downstream, communities which depend on the Gwayi and
Shangani rivers as water sources for personal consumption and for their
livestock also stand to be affected.
“Open cast mining or coal mining
brings pollution to the very water source that the people of Matabeleland
are dependent on,” Masunda said.
Hwange-Gwayi Conservancy is a grouping
of organization and individuals. Hwange Dete Conservancy includes membership
from Hwange National Park, Forestry Commission, Consumptive and
non-Consumptive tourism operators. Together, they control about 32 farms in
ALL is not well in the
inclusive government as a war of words has erupted over the election roadmap
especially security sector and media reforms which the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) formations want in place before elections. ZANU-PF
has upped the tempo with a sustained campaign to discredit Prime Minister
(PM) Morgan Tsvangirai after he led a diplomatic offensive that saw him
meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma, as the facilitator to the
Zimbabwean political impasse, and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete who is
the chairperson of the Southern African Development Comm-unity (SADC)’s
Troika on Politics, Defence and Security. In the past two weeks, the state
media has been rubbishing PM Tsvangirai’s regional lobby as a futile attempt
to ratchet up undue pressure for reforms that would never
come. Securocrats, who have been consistently labeled as partisan by the
MDCs, have also defended ZANU-PF’s stance saying security sector reforms
were not necessary in the country. But PM Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke
Tamborinyoka dismissed the attack on his boss as mere propaganda that would
not stop SADC and the African Union (AU) from carrying out their mandate as
guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that birthed the
inclusive government. “The propaganda and misleading information is senseless
and will not stop SADC and the AU from executing their mandate as the
guarantors,” said Tamborinyoka, responding to questions from The Financial
Gazette this week. He said PM Tsvangirai would continue to lobby regional
leaders within SADC and the AU, as guarantors of the GPA, since ZANU-PF had
stalled on reforms yet there is now very little time left before elections
are held this year. Tamborinyoka said; “The PM was clear in the last press
conference at Harvest House (the MDC-T’s headquarters). We are not asking
for anything new. We are asking for the implementation of those reforms that
were agreed to under the auspices of SADC. It’s not about ZANU-PF's position
as a party. It’s about implementing what the parties themselves said they
would do. If ZANU-PF doesn’t want to implement, it then means they were
never sincere with the GPA in the first place but wanted their defeat to be
soft-landed. Remember these guys were defeated in the only legitimate
election of 29 March 2008.” Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube
led MDC, said ZANU-PF does not want a transparent election that is free and
fair. “Well, ZANU-PF will not want an election where everyone can see and
hear what everyone else is doing. The myth of secrecy suits them best. The
verbiage of threats, tacit threats and intimidation maneuvers by some in the
leadership of the security sector suits ZANU-PF's use of present and
imagined violence, therefore fear. To this end, they can only be expected to
fight tooth and nail in resisting full implementation of reforms before
elections,” said Dube. He said his party would insist that soldiers
should be restricted to their barracks and allow citizen activity to proceed
without hindrance. “We will insist that those that have issued political
statements retract them and commit to respecting our national constitution
as an institution and individually. We will reiterate this to the
facilitator and guarantors of the GPA as we have consistently done. At the
very minimum, these reforms are a basic requirement before elections
otherwise all that has been gained in national tranquility can be reversed
with a single stroke,” added Dube. ZANU-PF’s spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo was
not immediately available for comment at the time of going to print while
George Charamba, President Mugabe’s spokesperson was unreachable on his
mobile phone. The two formations of the MDC have said they will not be pushed
into elections before the full implementation of comprehensive reforms that
would level the political playing field and ensure free and fair elections.
But ZANU-PF has come out guns blazing saying no other reforms would be
implemented as they push for elections by June 29.
By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer Thursday,
09 May 2013 11:01 HARARE - Cracks have emerged in new empowerment lobby group
Zimbabwe Economic Empowerment Council (ZEEC) over the group’s position on
government’s empowerment drive.
The affirmative action outfit
yesterday made a major somersault, denying reports that Indigenisation
minister Savior Kasukuwere’s drive had only benefited a small
ZEEC chairperson Temba Mliswa did not pitch up for the scheduled
press briefing. Instead his second-in-command Privilege Gwiba blamed private
companies that have entered into empowerment deals with government for
sabotaging the process.
“Companies such as Zimplats have been
declaring profits for the past 21 years only to turn around and declare a
loss just because they have signed a deal with communities,” Gwiba
“It is sabotage. We are behind minister Kasukuwere and the
programme he is leading. We have never said we are against him and we cannot
be against the minister.”
However, this was a major climb-down from
what his boss, Mliswa said last week.
“We have not benefitted from
the empowerment programme except for a few people,” Mliswa
“These policies and implementation schemes that Kasukuwere
(Indigenisation minister) has stitched and the community trusts with
companies are not true to the spirit of indigenisation.”
war veterans, war collaborators and Zanu PF supporters last week that his
party (Zanu PF) could be headed for an election loss if it fails to address
pressing issues such as empowering youths.
He said Zanu PF would be
“doomed” if it ignores call by youths to meaningfully empower
“It’s suicidal, first of all for the party to go for elections when
corruption is rife in the party,” Mliswa said.
“It’s pretty clear
some people have amassed wealth from the natural resources of this country,
not only that, the party is being divided because of these resources
especially here in Manicaland Province.” ZEEC secretary general Tendayi
Mautsi said Mliswa wears many hats and sometimes he speaks for the
“When he spoke in Mutare, he was addressing Zanu PF activists
and his message was to suit that particular audience when he talked about
corruption hampering the indigenisation policy,” Mautsi said.
has also demanded that Kasukuwere “clearly defines what he has done for
youths in the country instead of giving blanket statements”.
question, which is very clear, why does the party think that we will win
elections when we have not done much for youths?” queried
Zanu PF’s election manifesto for the upcoming make-or-break
elections slated for sometime this year are premised on the indigenisation
policy that has been blamed for investor flight.
While the party has
touted the policy as a monumental success and set to transform the lives of
Zimbabweans, Mliswa insists the policy had benefited only the
Mliswa also seemed to concur with MDC secretary-general Tendai
Biti who has warned that the tainted indigenisation deals should be reversed
saying it was the only way Zanu PF could win an election.
former fitness trainer was not available for comment yesterday.
Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:31 HARARE - A
scandal is brewing in Harare City Council after councillors and a top
official acquired commercial pieces of land for a song.
Girisoti Mandere, Thomas Muzuva and Masiye Kapare and director of Urban
Planning Services Psychology Chiwanga have been allowed to buy the land in
Msasa area for half the price paid by other members of the public.
heated council meeting recently gave the green light for the deal despite
official admissions that tender procedures were violated.
city’s finance and development committee recently resolved to lease 10
industrial stands situated in Msasa to the four council insiders and six
other firms at 30 cents per square metre per month.
The leases are
valid for a decade, a situation viewed in some corridors as cushioning
councillors whose terms are expiring in less than two months.
were raised because land with the same economic value was sold at 60 cents
per square metre to members of the public just recently.
This caused a
storm in a council meeting last week.
Council chief whip Victor Chifodya
protested to council about the committee’s unfair business
“We need to do business fairly. Last month some people
(public) were told to pay 60 cents but now it is 30 cents. Is it because
some officials are benefitting?” queried Chifodya during the council meeting
at Town House.
Another councillor Sasha Jogi demanded that the committee
should explain why the land is being parcelled to officials at such a low
“There should be a rationale why you (the committee) did that.
Whether it is because you are giving a discount to officials or it is
because of location, those justifications should be provided to council,”
Annual Trading, Parsof Investments, Elandriff, Rodrig Haulage,
Glasglow Investments and Jacana Investments are companies that also
The stands range from 3 266 to 11 887 square metres meaning
the smallest stand is almost 11 times the size of a standard high density
Though mayor Muchadeyi Masunda had initially decided to
defer the resolution until council demands were satisfied, the committee’s
chairperson councillor Friday Muleya pleaded for the deal to be
“The land valuers have done their job and recommended to us what
they saw. As for the reasons, we will provide later but let it pass for
now,” said Muleya.
And it was passed.
The stands, according to
council policy, are supposed to be leased through tender but this was not
After the stipulated 10 years of leasing, the beneficiaries will be
given an option to purchase the land on condition that “a principal building
is erected within the initial lease period”.
Costs of surveying, road
construction, sewer and reticulation will be paid by the beneficiaries. -
- The European Investment Bank has resolved to relaunch development
activities with the private sector in Zimbabwe, after years of shunning the
southern African country.
The relaunch comes at a time the European
Union (EU) and Zimbabwe are engaged in a process to normalise
Speaking at the eve of EU Day celebrations in Harare, the EU
delegation ambassador, Aldo Dell’Ariccia said the bank could not engage in
investment programmes with the government as it is owed 340 million
“Despite the crisis in Europe, the EU is still the first provider
of development aid. The crisis at home has not affected our international
solidarity,” Dell’Ariccia said, referring to the Eurozone crisis.
said the bank will invest according to the requests which they
The 27-member bloc has to date provided $1,3 billion in
development assistance to Zimbabwe since 2009.
Dell’Ariccia said he
will also today be signing $500 000 to the Zimbabwe Culture Fund to promote
local arts and culture.
“Arts and culture is critical for reinforcing
mutual understanding and further building solid partnership between the EU
and Zimbabwe,” he said.
The EU has also pledged their support to a
general election to be held sometime this year.
“The EU is ready to
financially and technically support Zimbabwe’s elections if requested, but
for the moment there has not been any request. We are also ready to work
with whoever gets into power,” Dell’Ariccia said.
withdrew a request for money from the United Nations to fund elections
expected this year after the international agency sought meetings with civil
The withdrawal came after Finance minister Tendai Biti said
Zimbabwe could not afford to fund the vote.
Zimbabwe needs about $132
million for the poll. - Bridget Mananavire
ZIMBABWE has experienced a four million litre monthly milk
deficit in the past few years following the depletion of its national dairy
herd, which has declined to 26 000, from 197 000 in the 1990s, Dairibord
Holdings Limited (DHL) chief executive officer (CEO), Anthony Mandiwanza,
said last week. In a trading update distributed to shareholders after the
group’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday last week, Mandiwanza said
national milk demand currently stood at eight million litres per month,
against the four million litres being produced. “We had a national herd
of 197 000 cows in the 1990s with 75 percent being dairy cows,” Mandiwanza
said. “But now the national heard is 26 000 which is producing four million
litres of milk every month from a national monthly demand of eight million,”
noted the DHL CEO. DHL has embarked on a programme to beef up its milk
output by importing heifers. “We hope that this initiative will
contribute nearly 10 percent to our milk supply in 2013,” he said. In
October last year, DHL imported 250 heifers, which were distributed to 10
farmers across all provinces. The cows were already in production and
expected to produce one million litres of milk per year. “We are
targeting at least 500 dairy cows this year to add more to the milk supply
side,” he said. Turning to overall group operations, the DHL CEO projected
that production would increase after completion of an ongoing
rationalisation programme. DHL has shut down its Bulawayo and Mutare plants
and moved production to Harare as part of its cost cutting measures. It
would maintain offices at the closed plants for distribution. “Another
challenge we have been experiencing was increased costs due to the
rationalisation process particularly on staff and equipment relocation,” he
said. “Erratic water supply and high cost of utilities have also been a
challenge except for areas where we have invested in boreholes,” said
Mandiwanza. DHL would save up to US$1 million annually after the completion
of the rationalisation programme. During the first quarter of the year,
Mandiwanza said there had been limited product supply due to the relocation
of equipment under the rationalisation programme. He also commented on
the liquidity crisis that has affected industries since 2009. “The issue
of liquidity…it’s becoming excruciating in the business. In this quarter,
the manufacturing sector in particular has been experiencing the serious
impact..,” Mandiwanza said. Mandiwanza said revenue during the first quarter
was flat at US$24 million compared to last year. Milk volumes decreased
by one percent from 16,250 million litres in the first quarter of last year
to 16,046 million litres in the first quarter of this year. Mandiwanza
projected revenue to increase in the second quarter after completion of the
rationalisation programme. — Staff Reporter.
Grain deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board dropped for the
2012/13 marketing season owing to the parastatal’s failure to pay farmers on
time. Since the liberalisation of the grain market in 2009, the GMB has been
competing with other private buyers
for maize and wheat. Despite
offering the best prices on the market of US$295 per tonne, GMB has been
failing to attract farmers because it takes too long to pay them for the
In a recent statement, GMB corporate communications manager
Mrs Muriel Zemura said the company only received a total of 81 190 tonnes of
maize from farmers during the 2012/13 marketing season.
This is a
decrease from the previous season’s intake of 205 657 tonnes of
The crop assessment report had indicated that nearly a million
tonnes of maize were expected during the 2012/13 season and out of this less
than 100 000 tonnes went to the GMB depots.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union
second vice president, Mr Berean Mukwende said the low deliveries to the GMB
had a negative impact on the strategic grain reserve. He said most farmers
were selling their maize to stockfeed manufacturers who were offering a
higher price and a better payment method.
“Farmers would rather dispose
their grain to buyers offering competitive prices. GMB should improve the
payment system and farmers will be willing to sell their grain to the
parastatal,” he said.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union’s weekly market guide shows
that many private buyers were offering farmers cash while others were
offering seven-day transfer.
Tinashe Madava, Senior
Reporter ZIMBABWE’s top police, intelligence and army bosses appear unmoved
by the recent regional diplomatic offensive by the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) to pressurise President Robert Mugabe to accede to security
sector and media reforms prior to holding the harmonised polls. While
Defence Minister Em-merson Mnangagwa, army commander Constantine Chiwenga
and police chief Augustine Chihuri, the main players in the security sector
establishment, could not be reached for comment yesterday, in the past two
weeks they have been adamant that there will be no security sector reforms
in the country, arguing these were not a priority and were
unnecessary. State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi has previously
said the security sector reforms were being pushed by external
forces. “It is not something originating internally but from external forces.
It is an attempt to destabilise the defence and security forces,” he told a
local State-owned daily. But as the MDC formations ratchet up pressure
for the full implementation of the electoral roadmap before the elections
later this year, the assault on civil liberties by the police has not
stopped. In the past, police have arrested leaders of civil society
organisations and human rights lawyers on what critics viewed as trumped up
charges. On Tuesday, the police arrested the editor of The Zimbabwe
Independent Dumisani Muleya and chief reporter Owen Gagare over a story
published two weeks ago alleging that the MDC-T had met army chiefs to
negotiate terms for a smooth transfer of power in the event that Prime
Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC-T, wins the presidential
elections which are expected to be tightly contested. This follows a
barrage of attacks on the MDC-T by Chihuri and Chiwenga in the past
week. Chihuri denied that army chiefs had talked to the MDC-T and issued a
terse warning to the media that the police would arrest journalists who
publish “falsehoods”. He said those political parties seeking to hold
political meetings with him and other security chiefs were
“day-dreaming”. At the weekend, Chiwenga moved the issue a gear up, calling
PM Tsvangirai a “psychiatric patient” in a furious rebuttal by the military
boss. “We have no time to meet a sellout. Clearly Tsvangirai is a psychiatric
patient who needs a competent psychiatrist,” he was quoted as saying. The
country’s top security chiefs have in the past vowed that they will not
salute any president elect without liberation war credentials, in an
apparent reference to PM Tsvangirai. This has often unnerved the MDCs who
see such pronouncements as threats to the peace and security of the country
in the event of a ZANU-PF presidential candidate’s defeat. Political
commentators have blasted the security chiefs’ statements and the recent
arrests of some journalists who have written on the issue saying it was
strange that even issues which ordinary Zimbabweans would “consider
infinitely positive a development as engagement between a party aspiring to
rule the country and partisan security forces refusing to pull their heads
out of the sand, is shamelessly criminalised by our unrepentant police
junta”. Rejoice Ngwenya, an analyst, said even if anyone from the MDC-T
met them, securocrats may not really know the full meaning of reforms as
long as they remain partisan. Lovemore Fuyane, another analyst, said:
“It’s clearly an attempt by Chihuri and others to distance themselves from
allegations about these meetings having taken place. I wonder though if
anyone in ZANU-PF buys such a ruse.” This week, the Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists condemned the arrest of Muleya and Gagare saying the safety and
protection of journalists before, during and after elections needed to be
safeguarded by the inclusive government, different arms of St-ate and
political parties. The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) also
condemned the arrests saying the development was deplorable and not in
keeping with the universally acknowledged principles of media freedom and
freedom of expression. “The occurrence of this arrest in the run up to
the 2013 harmonised elections shows a lack of commitment and sincerity to
uphold these same said principles by the government of Zimbabwe. The VMCZ
reiterates that it is undemocratic for the state to seek and continue to
criminalise the work of professional journalists. This is particularly so
where there is the utilisation of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform
Act) to arrest and charge journalists under criminal law with publishing
falsehoods. “It is important therefore to advise the State, individuals and
citizens that there are other avenues through which redress over stories
published in the media can be sought and achieved. In the case of The
Zimbabwe Independent, the state has a number of options to achieve this
redress. These options include seeking the right of reply, approaching the
Alpha Media Holdings Ombudsman and also approaching the VMCZ Media
Complaints Committee for amicable adjudication in terms of the Media Code of
Conduct,” said the VMCZ.
Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government could have done much better in
terms of economic development had it not been for the policy inconsistencies
as a result of power struggles, Democratic Republic of Congo Ambassador,
Mawampanga Mwana Nanga believes.
“A coalition government is not a
perfect government because there are two or three parties involved. The
objective of the parties involved will be to wrest power,” said Nanga. “The
only way to put an end to that is to go to the people and let them choose.
The GNU in Zimbabwe has brought some economic stability and a peaceful
environment but the truth of the matter is that they could have done a lot
better in terms of economic development were it not for the
Nanga said the forthcoming elections were critical for
Zimbabwe hence the need to ensure they are held in the most peaceful,
transparent and credible manner. He said political parties set to contest in
the next elections should be able to show respect for the people’s
“The people are going to make their choice and whatever choice they
make, the political parties should respect it. It’s likely that one party
will win and whoever loses should be able to congratulate the winner,” said
He said the DRC would be sending its observers to Zimbabwe for the
In terms of Zimbabwe’s preparedness for elections, Nanga
said: “No country, not even the USA or Britain is 100 percent prepared for
an election. In Zimbabwe, the situation is much better than it was in 2008
but the country can still do better.”
There is contention in
Zimbabwe’s GNU with the two MDC formations arguing that the country is not
yet prepared to hold a free and fair poll as important reforms are yet to be
He said that although some developments were threatening the
peaceful holding of the elections, parties in the GNU should devote their
energy to creating an environment that allows for “peaceful, free, fair,
transparent and credible elections”.
The run up to Zimbabwe’s
watershed elections has seen arrests of several civic society members as
well as staff from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office. The MDC-T
claims that its supporters are being harassed in rural areas in a
development that analysts say will likely stand in the way of a free and
Nanga said it was important for the government to ensure that
proceeds from the country’s mineral wealth benefited the ordinary
“This is the policy line followed by the DRC since time
immemorial that the natural resources of the country should first and
foremost benefit our people,” said Nanga.
He said that the lack of a
direct flight between the DRC and Zimbabwe was negatively affecting trade
between the two countries.
“Right now, we don’t have a direct flight
between Zimbabwe and DRC and that is not very good. We have free movement of
people between our countries but no direct link,” said Nanga.
said that Zimbabwe’s involvement in the DRC conflict would greatly aid
efforts to bring peace and stability to the war torn Central African
“The UN deployed a brigade made mostly of SADC forces and if
it was the DRC’s choice as to who should join the brigade, we would have
requested Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia,” said Nanga.
deployed troops to the DRC in 1998 to help the government of the late
Laurent-Desire Kabila which was under siege from Rwanda and Uganda backed
Zimbabwe this week started consultations on proposed
new mining policies aimed at increasing the state’s role in the industry in
everything from environmental management to marketing.
echoes the controversial indigenisation and empowerment law, requiring
companies to divest 51 percent of their shares to indigenous (black)
investors. The approach is different – with officials intending transparent
in contrast to the secretive methods of the political radicals who pushed
through indigenisation. But there is still much to worry the mining
The empowerment minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, from President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF wing of the national unity government has dismayed
not just the mining companies, but banks and foreign-owned manufacturing
groups, which are all on the minister’s radar screen.
indigenisation strategy is overtly party-political aimed at winning votes
for Zanu-PF in presidential and parliamentary elections due later this
The draft minerals policy is much broader in scope. Its impact
may be less drastic – but it could still increase the financial pressures on
mining companies operating in Zimbabwe.
The policy aims to update and
streamline existing legislation while adapting it to the government’s
ambitions in increasing state participation and raising additional
A recurrent them is increased state involvement in the industry
in marketing, in investment, in environmental management and ownership. It
says the existing “colonial minerals regime based on claims is
“inappropriate for using national mineral assets to underpin wider
development and industrialisation”.
Perhaps the frequently used words
in the draft are “equity” and “equitable” – terms unlikely to impress
hard-nosed mining investors with a focus on the bottom line.
policy reflects three realities which mining investors, local as well as
foreign, have to recognise.
First, many countries – not just the
emerging markets – are on a resource nationalism roll. Since the start of
the commodities supercycle a decade ago they have seen mining companies earn
handsome windfall profits that have not been reflected in mining revenues
accruing to state coffers.
Next, Zimbabwe is a cash-strapped economy in
which at least half economic activity is in the informal sector which does
not pay taxes. Accordingly, mining – the fastest-growing sector and
responsible for two-thirds of exports – was always going to be prime
Third, the indigenisation strategy is not going to go away, even
if the Kasukuwere radicals in Zanu-PF are defeated at the
Whichever party wins the election is bound to revise – almost
certainly dilute – the policy. The mining draft hints at this where it says
the government “Seeks to encourage equitable partnerships between foreign
and local investors … to progressively build local capital, skills and
Higher taxes on mining have been in the
pipeline for years. In 2010 a visiting IMF mining expert described
Zimbabwe’s fiscal regime for mining as “extremely generous”. Since then
royalties on gold, diamonds and platinum – the country’s three top mining
exports – have been increased along with higher licence fees.
policy draft says windfall “rents” (profits) must be shared equitably
between the owner of the mining assets (Zimbabwe) and the mining company. To
that end an equitable Resource Rents Tax will replaced the existing
Additional Profits Tax, while other taxes, such as fees and royalties that
add to mining costs will be reviewed. The implication is for a higher
resource tax, partly offset by reduced royalties and fees.
intent is heavily statist – hardly surprising in the light of the global
trend towards resource nationalism and the fact that a South African ANC
mining expert played a major role in drafting it.
There will be a new
Minerals Development Act covering exploitation of “strategic minerals”
including iron and steel, fertilizers, fossil fuels (where there is enormous
potential in coal and methane gas) and cement. It proposes an enhanced role
for the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which already
plays a dominant role in the alluvial diamond sector. The government will
also tighten controls on precious metals marketing by requiring that both
gold and platinum group metals be marketed through “an authorised dealer”
designated by the Minister of Finance.
Quite how the mining industry will
respond is unclear. The industry must have known that higher taxes were in
the pipeline. It will welcome the hint of reduced royalties and fees but the
net impact in terms of the tax take is certain to increase. The promise to
ensure that all mineral sales are officially controlled will also be
Mining houses are likely to suspend judgment knowing full well
from experience elsewhere that there is a huge gap between official policy
pronouncements and their subsequent implementation. As always the devil will
be in the detail. They won’t be happy that an expert from South Africa,
whose mining sector has underperformed and in 2013 is in serious disarray,
has played so prominent a role.
But perhaps he has learned from South
Africa’s mistakes and the new Zimbabwe minerals code when it is finally
agreed really will be state-of-the-art.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today
has vigorously condemned the arrest of two journalists in Zimbabwe.
According to Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Dumisani Muleya, editor of
the private Zimbabwe Independent and reporter Owen Gagare were arrested on
Tuesday 7 May 2013 and charged with publishing falsehoods. They were
released from police custody but rejected the charges against
“We call on authorities in Zimbabwe to drop the charges against the
two colleagues and improve the law so as to ensure full freedom of
expression in the country,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa
According to the Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper some Army
Generals loyal to President Robert Mugabe were reported to have engaged
negotiations with representatives of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) prior to the forthcoming elections this
year. The Newspaper stated that the talks were to prevent political
instability in the country if Tsvangirai wins the elections. The army has
publicly denied speaking to MDC’s officials.
The IFJ is concerned
about the safety of journalists in the run up to the upcoming elections and
the political situation in Zimbabwe, and warns authorities of their
responsibility to ensure the security of journalists.
MICHAEL POSNER The
Globe and Mail Published Thursday, May. 09 2013, 1:58 AM EDT
27, Zimbabwean lawyer and human-rights activist Beatrice Mtetwa will enter
magistrate’s court in Harare to be tried on charges of obstructing justice.
In March, she was arrested and held for eight days after trying to prevent
an illegal police search of offices of the Movement for Democratic Change –
the country’s principal opposition party. If convicted, she could go to jail
for two years. Ms. Mtetwa, 55, was in Canada last week to meet with Prime
Minister Stephen Harper and to receive an honorary doctorate of law from St.
Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.
How do you feel about the
prospect of going to trial?
I’m surprised it took them this long to trump
up charges against me, but I’m ready for whatever comes my way.
government recently added more than a dozen new charges to the
Every day the story changes, so I’m curious to know what
I’ll be facing when we get to trial. Of course, it’s a sign of [the charges]
being trumped up, because if I did something [wrong] one day, in a couple of
minutes, it’s amazing that every day there are new charges. It’s
distressing, but not unexpected. The original charges were so laughable that
they’re now trying to find something that will appear to have criminality in
Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold national elections this year. What are
your expectations on that front?
The 2008 power-sharing agreement
between President Robert Mugabe’s African National Union-Patriotic Front
(Zanu-PF) and the MDC was to level the playing field, to build a foundation
for free and fair elections. But almost five years later, a lot of issues
have yet to be dealt with: repressive legislation has yet to be repealed;
the political power still lies with Mugabe; civil society remains
marginalized and increasingly clamped down on. The rights of association,
movement, are not recognized. So I don’t believe the climate today is ripe
for a free and fair election. We haven’t even agreed on what international
observers to invite.
What degree of press freedom is there?
state media is completely beholden to one side – heavily skewed against
freedom, as you understand it in the West. The state media is a mouthpiece.
And independent journalists are arrested for the slightest infractions. So
press freedom in Zimbabwe remains in intensive care. TV is a monopoly, and
though the government did license two new radio stations, it gave ownership
to their cronies.
Robert Mugabe is 89 years old. What does the
post-Mugabe future look like?
It will depend on the security-sector
reforms envisaged in the 2008 agreement. Because the power behind him is
from that sector. In theory, the security sector will still have the power,
whether he is there or not.
Will Zimbabwe’s new constitution, approved in
March, change the dynamic?
I have a problem with it. On its own, the
constitution changes nothing. The current constitution has provisions for
basic rights. But its the implementation that’s important. If the new
constitution is interpreted by the same people who have used the old one to
deny human rights, we will be exactly where we were.
What more could
Canada and other western nations do to promote human rights in
There needs to be an insistence by the international community
to observe the provisions of the 2008 agreement to the letter, and that
insistence has to be communicated to regional leaders in Africa who
guaranteed the agreement.
Why hasn’t that happened?
a belief that there was goodwill on both sides, that everyone was on the
same page and that reforms would be implemented. But it’s increasingly clear
that isn’t so and that they have no intention of fully implementing its
Where is Washington in all of this?
In Zimbabwe, there’s a
belief that the U.S. is re-engaging, in the assumption that Mugabe will be
re-elected. They don’t want to be left off the boat, even if the provisions
of the agreement have not been complied with. Business interest trumps
political interest. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was there recently, hot on the
heels of Andrew Young, who was given an unprecedented two-hour audience with
the President. Young has always been against sanctions, backed by the
Congressional Black Caucus. So the feeling is that if sanctions are removed,
it won’t be because they have served the purpose of seeing repressive
legislation repealed and human rights abuses corrected, but because there
are business gains to be made. Jackson, for example, was there as a
representative of business interests eager to invest in the diamond mining
SW Radio Africa
journalist Violet Gonda’s guest on the Hot Seat program is lawyerDerek Matyszak, of the Harare-based
Research and Advocacy Unit. He gives his opinion on the key reforms that are
necessary, as a matter of law, before elections. Why does the legal expert say
security sector and media reforms are now not necessary before elections? How
will the proportional representation system work and why does Matyszak believe
there will be intense infighting in the political parties over these special
seats reserved for women?
Broadcast: 03 May
VIOLET GONDA:My guest on
the Hot Seat programme is lawyer Derek Matyszak of the Harare-based Research and
Advocacy Unit and today he’s going to give us his legal opinion on reforms
needed in Zimbabwe before elections. So let’s start with that
DEREK MATYSZAK:Well you
could basically divide the reforms into two types: those that are necessary as a
matter of law and those which are politically desirable in order to ensure a
free and fair election. So those in the first category include the Electoral Act
– it has to be amended to conform to the constitution; the Local Government Act
needs to be amended and the Provincial Councils Act require amendment to bring
them in line with the constitution. In the second category are probably first
and foremost, media reforms and there also needs to be reforms to the way that
the security sector operates and the way the criminal justice system
that some of the political parties are calling for an extension of parliament to
allow reforms to be implemented; so is there any need to delay the life of
parliament or even extend the date of elections so that these reforms can be
MATYSZAK:Well at the
very latest the political parties should have been aware that amendments to the
Electoral Act and the Provincial Councils Act etcetera were needed the moment
they agreed on the COPAC Constitution. So the drafts people should have been
working on those amendments right from that date that the COPAC draft was
agreed. So it’s simply a question of when parliament reconvenes on the
6thof May, for the proposed
Bill to be brought before parliament; the parliament is quite accustomed to
fast-tracking these kind of Bills and there’s absolutely no reason why the
necessary legislation – those three essential bits of legislation – couldn’t be
passed by parliament prior to June 29thwhen parliament will automatically dissolve.
So there’s no need to extend it on that basis.
if parliament is dissolved without these three amendments?
is dissolved without the amendments there still exists the possibility of the
president using the Presidential Powers Temporary Measures Act to push this
legislation through; however it’s obviously undesirable for the president to use
this legislation when he is in fact a player in the forthcoming election.
However those objections could be muted if the legislation that goes through is
drawn with the consent of the three main political parties.
changes are required to the Electoral Act?
change required to the Electoral Act arises from the fact that the new
constitution introduces or reintroduces the system of proportional
representation – so the Electoral Act will have to set out the form of the
proportional representation and the details of the proportional representation
that will be used in the forthcoming election.
GONDA:What are the
arguments for proportional representation and what are the arguments
MATYSZAK:Well with the
“first past the post” system we have the possibility of excluding parties from
parliament who might nonetheless enjoy the support of a substantial number of
the voters. With the “first past the post” system you just need the 50% plus one
or 51% in each constituency. So it’s quite possible, though unlikely but it’s
theoretically possible, in every constituency you could have a situation where
one party wins with 51% of the votes and another party loses with 49% of the
vote; the party that garners 51% of the vote in all constituencies will win
every single seat in the house of parliament – that would exclude the
constituents who gave 49% of the vote to the other party. So despite having a
substantial power base that party would be excluded entirely.
On a proportional representation
system, the seats will be allocated in accordance with the number of votes
garnered by each party. So on that system, one party would get 51% of the seats
in parliament and the other party would get 49% of the seats and would thereby
not be excluded from power entirely.
saying that with the problems that we have seen with the partners in this unity
government, the way they don’t trust each other, it’s not going to be easy to
work out who gets what after the vote. Do you agree with this?
certainly. First of all just bear in mind that not all of the House of National
Assembly seats will be by proportional representation; it’s only the 60 seats
reserved for women that will be on the basis of proportional representation and
60 of the seats in the 80 seat Senate will be on proportional representation. So
we have a mixed system of both “first past the post” and proportional
representation. What is then likely to happen is that you might get current MPs
at the moment who are feeling insecure about retaining their seats and they
might think a safer way to get back into the parliament is through the
proportional representation system,
So what will happen for example in the
case of the women’s seats, the seats reserved for women, there will be six seats
per province – so each party will be required to submit a list of at least six
people per province that they would like to see attaining those reserved seats
in the National Assembly. So if for example the MDC has a list of six women for
say Midlands province and they win two thirds of the vote – that means the first
four people on that list will attain those particular seats. So you can imagine
there will be some competition for people not only to get onto the list but the
actual place they will have on the list because the person who is at the top of
the list has a greater chance of getting into parliament on that basis. So
there’s likely to be some rather intense infighting within parties as the
jostling for places on the party list is determined.
GONDA:Is this a
fair system and are women a special interest group?
takes you into the whole debate about affirmative action etcetera which is
another path that would require a detailed discussion on some other occasion but
proportional representation is favoured in many jurisdictions that I’m talking
about – a pure proportional representation system is favoured in numerous
countries and it’s certainly better when a country is deeply divided society
like Zimbabwe because you avoid the winner takes all kind of
But there are quite a few different
systems of proportional representation, which can yield very different results.
You can, for example, have proportional representation system, which requires a
party to achieve a minimum number of votes before they can get a seat. So
suppose for example in one constituency, the smaller MDC only secures 10% of the
votes, should that be sufficient for a seat or should one have a threshold of
say 30%? So these different systems will yield very different results and the
biggest differences are what happens to the smaller parties and certainly the
MDC-N has the biggest interest in negotiating which particular system of
proportional representation is eventually included in the Electoral
proportional representation based on political will or is it legally binding? By
this I mean what chances are there that political leaders can make promises but
then change their mind on candidate selection for these special seats after the
it would be very unusual; it has happened before – I think it happened in Guyana
that the elections took place without the lists, the proportional representation
lists, being published before the election but that’s very anomalous and very
unusual. Normally the Electoral Commission requires the political parties to
submit the lists of the people who will attain seats by virtue of proportional
representation so that the electorate knows who they are actually voting for on
the basis of this proportional representation system. So once the parties have
submitted their lists to ZEC they will be bound by those
GONDA:But is the
electorate really voting for these people who will take these 60
that’s the thing about proportional representation = is that it’s not
constituency-based. So whereas on a constituency-based election you know this is
your candidate for the constituency, that is the person who represents your
interests in the constituency and you vote for her or him accordingly. With the
proportional representation system you’re voting for the political party and you
can only see indirectly; ‘well if this party gets this percentage of the vote
then these people on the list will attain seats in parliament’, so it’s a rather
more indirect way of going about it.
those other two amendments that you said are important – the Local Government
Act and the Provincial Councils Act – what exactly is needed to be
are some minor changes to the way in which Local Government is to be run in the
constitution, which I don’t recall offhand but the structure of the Provincial
Councils is very different under the new constitution and ten members of the
Provincial Council will also be appointed on the basis of proportional
representation. And the Provincial Council itself will be electing the
chairperson – so the present powers of the president to appoint the provincial
governors will be removed by virtue of the new constitution and that’s one of
the most significant changes as far as presidential powers is concerned in the
GONDA:Can we talk
about some of those politically desirable reforms that may not happen before
elections and let’s start with security sector reform.
problems with the security sector – there’s a lot of work to be done on security
sector reform and that’s not something that can take place in a matter of months
and in fact it requires several years to have effective security sector reform.
It would be more correct to be looking at security sector governance and the
reason why I say that’s not going to happen is because the opportunities that
have presented themselves to try and make sure that it does happen have passed
by without being seized.
So for example, in January of last
year, all the heads of the security sector came up for reappointment to their
offices and they were all reappointed with the acquiescence it seems of the MDC.
A lot of the problems with the security sector stem from the very top of those
sectors in the way that the security sectors are being governed – that was the
opportunity to say well it’s time to revisit these particular posts and the
people that occupy them. That opportunity was lost.
The second opportunity to engage in
security sector reform came with the changes to the constitution and earlier
drafts of the constitution did in fact attend to the issue of security sector
governance. Those proposed amendments were taken out in the final COPAC draft
and left the situation as it currently is, so there was an opportunity to do
security sector or reform the governance of the security sector when drafting
the new constitution – that opportunity was also lost no doubt due to Zanu PF
obduracy but that obduracy remains so that reform is not likely to take
security sector reform part of the GPA, part of the Global Political
GONDA:The reason I’m asking that is because Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa is quoted saying that is was never part of the
MATYSZAK:Well I think
to some extent Mr. Mnangagwa is correct; the MDC is correct in the fact that
security sector governance is in fact mentioned: there is a clause which
requires or which indicates the security sector should be impartial and does not
belong to any particular political party but there are no mechanisms by which it
said that must be implemented and those would be the reforming
to be a problem with the politicization of the army or the security sector where
you have on the one hand army generals have said they will not salute Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai but on the other hand the MDC Minister for Defence,
Giles Mutsekwa recently revealed that the MDC has been holding secret talks with
the service chiefs. What can you say about this?
MATYSZAK:Well I think
Mutsekwa is trying to depoliticize the security sector. Once you have the
security chiefs coming out and saying that they will not salute a president who
did not take part in the liberation struggle that can be interpreted as a threat
to engage in a coup. Of course the reason they phrased it like that is
deliberately to leave it ambiguous and that’s not the only interpretation you
could put on that. But certainly it is a political statement which essentially
is a threat to the electorate and should not be tolerated and SADC should make
some very clear statements around that.
GONDA:If indeed the
MDC are talking to the army generals, should they be making this
MATYSZAK:I don’t see
why not. I think too many of the talks take place in secret. I think the MDC
should make a clear demand that the security sector should undertake to abide by
the results of the election and SADC should also make that demand of the
security sector to get them to state clearly that they will abide by the results
of the election. That is a requirement of the SADC principles and guidelines on
elections, it’s the basic democratic norm and given that the security sector has
made or the security sector chiefs have made these ambiguous statements they
need to clear the air in this regard.
chiefs are appointed by the president, the army generals?
GONDA:So if the
appointment of these generals or service chiefs is the prerogative of the
president, is it not better to leave this problem for now and whoever takes over
government after elections can then implement the policies that they
first of all although the president appoints the security sector, the
appointments, reappointments etcetera, under the GNU those all have to be done
with the consent and agreement of the prime minister and that provision has been
ignored and the appointments have all been made unconstitutionally. The problem
with the new constitution is that a huge amount of power remains vested in the
president, including the appointment of the security sector people though there
are some very badly worded and ambiguous provisions, which suggest that the
people who are currently in those positions shall remain in their
There’s also a not ambiguously worded
provision which says that the current Attorney General shall continue in his job
and shall continue to be in charge of prosecutions – so if Morgan Tsvangirai
wins the elections, he wouldn’t be able to change that.
But the problem with the new
constitution, that because it vests so much power in the president you have a
situation that if you have an authoritarian undemocratic president elected into
office, you will have an undemocratic and authoritarian governance in the
country. If you have a president who is human rights orientated and subscribes
to liberal democratic values then you will have liberal democratic governance in
the country. But that is why it is a bad constitution –the governance of the
country should not depend on the whims of a particular individual. It should
depend on the machinery not the person who operates the
you are saying a new government will not necessarily have the powers to change
the people in the security sector even if they wanted to?
change the position of the Attorney General, that’s written into the
constitution; the provisions relating to the heads of the army etcetera, those
provisions are rather ambiguously worded and I wouldn’t say that it’s clear that
they can do so. I wouldn’t say that it’s clear that any of the new presidents
couldn’t do that. As I say it’s badly worded provisions, which might be ironed
out when the provisions come to be passed as an Act.
something that can be amended before the new constitution is passed into
MATYSZAK:Yes there are
certain glitches if you like in the new constitution, there are certain sections
which are badly worded and that needs to be sorted out before the provisions are
passed into law. There are also a few contradictory sections etcetera – these
kinds of errors are normal when one is drafting complicated legislation like a
constitution and hopefully they’ll be sorted out before the Bill is presented to
mentioned the issue of media reforms. The MDC formations are saying that media
reforms are needed before elections can be held but what can be realistically be
put in place before elections?
extent it’s not a legal necessity but the new constitution has good provisions
relating to the media which should try and, which should change this ridiculous
situation where the electronic media’s dominated by one voice in the country –
the voice of Zanu PF. I think we’re the only country in the region which has
this ridiculous situation. The new constitution requires that or removes
government interference to a large extent over the licencing of radio stations
but to try and get a new radio station licenced and a new Broadcasting Services
Act in place prior to the elections is a virtual
broadcaster, the ZBC is considered not to be impartial, why can’t there be
reforms at this institution before elections?
would need to get some agreement from Zanu PF to have a more balanced coverage
and of course as far as Zanu PF is concerned they already give balanced
coverage. They do not regard News Hour as being Zanu PF Hour, which it quite
clearly is – so one gets into subjective territory, which is quite difficult to
argue about – what is and what isn’t biased etcetera. There are already
provisions in place; there were provisions in place for the 2008 elections for
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to make sure that the political parties had
equal coverage on ZBC during the electoral period. Those provisions simply
weren’t enforced. Whether the new ZEC will be able to do that is a matter for
GONDA:And Zanu PF
says there is only one issue that remains and that is the removal of sanctions.
What are your thoughts on this?
MATYSZAK:Well I can
never understand this argument of Zanu PF. They keep on saying that Zimbabwe is
under sanctions and then we find that Tomana has issued proceedings against the
EU to remove sanctions against individuals so I don’t understand what Zanu PF is
saying. Is it individuals that are under a regime of sanctions or is it the
country? Because if it’s the country then that’s certainly not what the EU and
the US state. There’s also no requirement in the GPA for sanctions to be
removed. What the GPA says is that both parties shall work together to try and
lift what they call sanction and my interpretation of that is that Zanu PF is
then obliged to bring about the conditions which will cause sanctions to be
removed and Zanu PF has singularly failed to do so.
GONDA:But you know
the US government recently removed sanctions on two banks and one of them is
AgriBank and the US ambassador told us that the banks hold the greatest
opportunity to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans and that they play a
vital role in long term investments of the country. So doesn’t this contradict
what they have been saying – that the firms under sanctions don’t hurt
yet made any link between the measures introduced by the US and the UK and EU;
nobody’s made any link between those measures and Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.
Nobody has said these measures caused this financial problem, which caused these
industries to collapse. That link has never been made and I don’t believe it
exists. Certainly what the so-called sanctions regime has done is that it has
created or given the impression that Zimbabwe is a pariah state. Well Zimbabwe
is a pariah state and until it gets its governance and human rights act together
it deserves to be treated as such so that is where sanctions have had an impact
and the way to solve that problem is for Zimbabwe not to be a pariah
GONDA:Are there any
circumstances, which you see, which we might find ourselves having another
think it’s quite possible that both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai would
like a GNU II at this juncture. I think both candidates probably think that they
are unelectable at this point and they would quite like to remain in office
through a GNU II. I don’t see that either of them could sell a GNU to their
constituents at this point in time. However if we have a closely fought election
which happened in 2008 it would make sense that there’s some sort of power
sharing takes place but you would need an election for each party to determine
their bargaining strength in that power sharing negotiation. So if there’s a GNU
to emerge it needs to emerge probably after an election has taken
GONDA:But do they
really need to sell a GNU to the constituents if they didn’t do this when they
formed the coalition government in the first place?
managed to sell the GNU successfully in 2008, in September 2008. I think the
constituents now realize they were conned and they’re not likely to be conned so
easily a second time round.
GONDA:What will the
people really do about this?
MATYSZAK:As I said, I
don’t think they could sell the GNU II to their constituents now; after the
election the constituents might see the balance of power is such that we have no
choice other than to do a GNU II but they would like this GNU II to look very
different from GNU I.
very much Derek Matyszak for talking to us on the programme Hot
IN 2005, President Robert Mugabe’s niece Patrick Zhuwao rushed to
Manyame in a bid to stop people’s homes from being demolished in his then
constituency during operation Murambatsvina. His pleas fell on deaf ears and
in time he accepted the harsh fact that some people were going to be
homeless that winter. Within hours, people’s lives were in ruins as
nothing salvageable was left, thus worsening their poverty and
bankruptcy. This month, marks eight years since the start of an operation
which the common man on Zimbabwe’s streets ended up calling a tsunami after
that natural phenomenon caused by ominous walls of tidal waters whose
destructive power can be enormous. Even though a decade is fast
approaching since that man-made disaster unfolded, the passage of time has
not healed the scars brought about by an operation that government said was
meant to restore sanity in the country’s cities and towns. This week,
Kimberly Nyatsanga of Mabvuku told The Financial Gazette that when Operation
Murambatsvina struck, he was operating three tuck shops that all fell victim
to the exercise. Prior to the demolition, he had entertained the possibility
that by 2010 he would have graduated to a better business venture using his
meagre profits, but that dream is long gone. The blow from that operation
was some kind of double tragedy for him because it also affected his father
at whose house he now lives, as he cannot afford rentals. “You do a
10-year plan and it’s cut in two years. I had planned that by 2010 I would
be somewhere. Now I am unemployed, so ndinongokiya kiya mutown (I hustle),”
said Nyatsanza. “My father had retired and had invested his entire pension at
the home industry he was running. He had papers from council, but it was
also destroyed so his pension went for nothing.” The United Nations
estimates that operation Murambatsvina affected at least 700 000 people
directly through the loss of their homes or livelihoods and thus could have
indirectly affected around 2,4 million people across Zimbabwe. Because of
its devastating consequences, the exercise was widely condemned by a then
united opposition Movement for Democratic Change, church groups,
Non-Governmental Organisations and the international community who all
viewed it as a campaign to drive out and make homeless large sections of
urban people who were consistently voting against President Robert Mugabe’s
party. The following year, the State media published an article written
by the Ghanaian editor of the London-based New African magazine, Baffour
Ankoma, confirming that the demolition exercise was driven by a sinister
motive. Ankoma said the operation was the brainchild of the country’s
intelligence, which believed that it was a necessary pre-emptive strike
against the groundswell of public anger targeted at the then ZANU-PF
government. When the security services took over the civic matter, normal
civil service scrutiny was dispensed with, added Ankoma. “In normal
times, as happened during the land reform programme, the civil services
would have been tasked to write papers looking at the pros and cons of the
operation, the relevant local and international laws governing the area, the
provision of alternative accommodation and stalls, the financial cost, the
international repercussions, and so on, before the operation could get
Cabinet approval,” wrote Ankoma. “In this case, as the security services
drove the operation, all elaborately laid down procedures were
short-circuited, and in the process serious errors were made, leading to
international outcry and condemnation.” The houses the government built for
the victims under another programme named operation Hlalani Kuhle (live
well) were a drop in the ocean despite its promises that everyone affected
would be catered for. The pledge became a second unfulfilled housing promise
since independence in 1980 as in the 1990s when the authorities also came up
with the failed Housing for All programme by the year 2000. By around
1997, government had realised that its promise was unachievable and the
target date was moved to 2020, but now no one in government talks about the
looming self imposed deadline. Meanwhile, the housing crisis keeps
worsening. At Bulawayo’s Killarney squatter camp nearly all the people who
were uprooted eight years ago have tracked back. Pastor Albert Chatindo
of the Christian Fellowship Church has been working to help the squatters
since the days of the operation, in addition to ministering to them. This
week, the pastor told The Financial Gazette that during the demolition
exercise he presided over some funerals related to the operation and his
church has records to that effect. “During Murambatsvina people were not
moved to any specially designated area or place. Some were left by the
roadside, some by the mountain side. They were just left homeless,” said
pastor Chatindo. “Nearly all the 400 families came back, but the other 200
were moved to Mazwi village. There are 170 left now and we are still taking
care of them. We are feeding them, there is a clinic and we provide other
humanitarian benefits.” The Killarney informal settlement seats on the
edges of a Bulawayo affluent suburb and a visit to the two areas lays bare
the two different worlds Zimbabweans live in. On one side, residents have
access to possibly all the services they may want or desire while on the
other side, people are housed in shacks. Some dwellings are made of mud
while others are made of corrugated iron sheets. On windy days dust
envelopes the whole area and when the Heavens open up the shacks become
inhabitable as their floors are made up of bare earth. “Because of winter we
have asked council to put some canvas over their shacks,” added pastor
Chatindo. But it is not only in Bulawayo where people are finding their way
back to settlements they were banished from in 2005. At Tongogara, near
Kuwadzana Extension in Harare, Rungano Benza is among the old timers that
stayed away for only three years after operation Murambatsvina before coming
back. “2008 was bad, so bad, I decided to come back. They would have killed
me to move me from here,” said Benza. “I am cut off from my country. I am
not registered to vote so I will not be voting. I just live here in the
bush, I have no address.” In Mabvuku, Nyatsanza is bitter at the double
standards of people who spearheaded operation Murambatsvina. He came face
to face with their duplicity when he decided to lease a stall at an illegal
flea market run by the police in Harare’s Central Business District. “The
police are operating behind a political party. Someone takes money and there
is no receipt. I was never given a receipt. It’s stealing from the people,
it’s not benefitting the city, it’s not benefitting the country,” said
The story of street people has been told and
retold for many years yet the ordinary person in Zimbabwe’s cities continues
to turn a blind eye to the scourge. As the years go by, more and more street
children and adults continue to
pour on to the streets. There are
many classes of street people traversing our streets as the scourge
continues unabated. These are the people whom we see on the streets guarding
our cars, washing the cars and soliciting for a few coins or spare change.
However, there is a new scourge on the streets as we encounter, on numerous
occasions, children who solicit for money and food.
The children have
also turned nasty as they target hapless women grabbing food and other stuff
from the unsuspecting women. On numerous occasions some have been
apprehended for shoplifting in supermarkets. Some of them target women’s
handbags, phones, jewellery and other personal belongings. The police have
also been forced to come hard on the street people as they try to deal
decisively with the problem.
While the raids have brought temporary
relief to the problem, no lasting solution has been found as the street
people emerge shortly after their release. The issue, however, is to
understand the source of the problem. It has also become evident that the
people who end up living on the streets are not all delinquents as some are
forced to seek refuge on the streets by abusive parents or
Sixteen-year-old Tonderai (not his real name) is a rugged boy
with twisted hair, dirty torn clothes while his presence is accompanied by a
bad odour emanating from years without a bath. He opened up to The Herald
giving his riveting story leading to his life on the streets of Harare.
Smoking an obviously scavenged cigarette, Tonderai reveals the horrific
realities of living in the streets.
“I was forced to go live on the
streets as a result of unfortunate circumstances. After my father passed
away, my stepmother treated me with extreme hostility and prejudice while
she treated her own children with love and compassion.”
He has also
encountered unscrupulous people that take advantage of their current state
and sexually exploiting them.
“Some men with big nice cars approach us
and promise to give us money for sexual favours.”
Most of the
children on the streets tell tales of long lost happy childhood. Girls on
the streets are exposed to rape and prostitution and are susceptible to HIV
and Aids and other sexually transmitted infections. Statistics are not
readily available as some cases of sexual abuse go unreported because of the
conditions of living on the streets continue to be bad.
were taken by men driving a red Toyota Hilux who pretended to be generous
people offering us food and money when all they wanted was sex. There was a
time when I was forced to sleep with several boys living on the streets.
These people move in groups. It’s by God’s grace that I did not fall
pregnant from the abuse,” 17-year-old Emily said.
The abuse of children
is in direct contravention of the Child Protection Act. Some of the
children are recruited by their relatives to beg for money and food. The
children are denied the right to education while pursuing the monetary
interests of their handicapped parents especially the blind.
of Mbare in Harare called Zimbabweans to desist from giving financial aid to
children who are forced by parents to beg for money. He argues that this
promotes a begging culture that literally pushes the parents to use their
children to beg for money on the streets.
“Such unwarranted actions have
a long- term psychological effect that negatively impacts on the unfortunate
children who are exposed to the begging syndrome in adult life,” he
Childline Zimbabwe spokesperson Mrs Patience Chiyangwa called for
authorities to address the problem. She encouraged people to avoid giving
the street people money.
“It is important that members of the public
desist from giving cash as this encourages them to stay on the streets.
Preferably, if they can have more sustainable solutions to the problem that
would be welcome. The more there is a feeling of begging as a lucrative
exercise, the more we prolong this problem.
“There is need for
strategic reintegration and reasonable accommodation in society for the
affected people living with disabilities.”
Mrs Chiyangwa also called on
the need to have a strong family environment regardless of current economic
“Parents that beg should have enough love for themselves and
their children and try to live within their means. Families ought to cover
each other’s backs and look after their underprivileged family
“Traditionally, children belong to the community, but some
parents are even neglecting their own children.”
A handicapped woman
who identified herself as Mai Dube and has children, aged 12 and seven
respectively, begging in the streets, said the harsh economic conditions
forced her to be on the streets.
“My husband and have been unemployed for
a long time. Begging is the only solution to fend for our family, although I
am not proud of the current state my kids and I are in.”
Children Trust programmes director Mr Caleb Mutandwa said there was need to
take into cognisance the economic and social factors dictating the
situation. Mr Mutandwa said the children were missing out on education,
morals and the chance of a better future.
“It is unfortunate that
these children are exposed to sexual abuse and diseases on the streets when
our organisation only provides legal services. We only follow the lead from
He said the civil society had earlier this year met with
the police to curb child abuse on the streets and launched an operation to
apprehend people who abuse children’s rights. The initiative, however,
failed to kick off after Government and the police failed to effectively
co-ordinate and co-operate with each other.
The initiative also
targeted parents who abuse their children and no arrests were made as
authorities also consider circumstances forcing them to beg.
Ahead director Ms Duduzile Sithole said the organisation had launched
designated programmes for a holistic approach to issues affecting people on
“These activities include street visits to initiate contact,
develop friendships with and identify new children coming onto the streets.
The children are then referred to the drop-in centre operating from the
House of Smiles where they receive counselling, bathing and laundry
facilities, a hot meal, life skills training as well as recreational
activities. All these activities are geared to persuading the children to
leave the streets and find alternatives to street life.”
initiative has group discussions where they talk about topical issues on the
streets and possible solutions to them. The children are also referred for
medical attention, family tracing and reunification for those willing to go
back home while others are put in institutions.
Mrs Sithole was not
amused by parents who use their children for begging purposes adding that
Streets Ahead would engage the parents appraising them on children’s rights
and breaking the law.
While non-governmental organisations have played a
big role in trying to ease the problem, some of them have faced serious
financial constraints affecting their operations.
This has seen the
need for all including Government, NGOs, police, parents and the society as
a whole to find a lasting solution to the problems of people living on the
The future has arrived. Tomorrow is now here. This is a call for
action. The time for hate-mongering and mud-slinging is over. A New Zimbabwe
is beckoning and this is our generational challenge to rise and
The politics of confrontation should be discarded to the dustbin
of history where it now rightfully belongs. We are sick and tired of hurling
insults at each other. We would like to engage a new developmental
The past is gone. Gone forever. We are the NOW generation and
we refuse to be intoxicated by the gospel of hatred, malice and retribution.
We would like to move Zimbabwe forward.
With 80 percent of our
population living on less than US$2 per day, we are classified as a poor
nation by United Nations standards. But then, Zimbabwe is too rich to be
We are well-endowed with abundant natural resources, from the
alluvial diamonds of Chiadzwa to just about every mineral known to mankind;
from the mighty Zambezi and Limpopo rivers to the awesome and breathtaking
natural wonder called the Mosi-a-Tunya, we have it all here in
The time has now come for us to pull up our socks and to engage
a gear up. We should completely refuse to be poor, because we don’t deserve
to live in poverty.
That there will be a brand new government in
Zimbabwe before Christmas 2013 is as sure as the sun rising in the east and
setting in the west. That the new government will be led by Morgan
Tsvangirai is as certain as the fact that a day has 24 hours. We have a date
with history; an appointment with destiny. What God has ordained, no one
made of flesh and blood can change.
They may shout their voices hoarse
and claim that they will never salute Tsvangirai, but then we shouldn’t be
bothered one iota. This is a people’s project. The people will always emerge
Ian Smith had deadly sub-machine guns and a lethal air force
but he was still brought down to earth by a rag tag guerrilla force that had
the support of the majority of the people on its side; and a few thousand AK
47 assault rifles.
Thus, we shouldn’t be surprised simply because the
darkest hour is just before dawn. They have the guns but we have the people
on our side. That is what really matters at the end of the day. Victory is
guaranteed. Indeed, victory is certain.
The new government has a
formidable task before it. We have a battered economy with a staggering 85
percent unemployment rate. But then, we shouldn’t feel discouraged. This is
our generational challenge to rise and shine.
This is an opportunity for
us to build Brand Zimbabwe and to showcase our unique talents to the entire
world. We should not consider this a problem but a challenge because it is a
brilliant opportunity for us to mark a break with the past and to engage the
We should draw a line in the sand and tell ourselves that never
again are we going to permit a few greedy and corrupt men and women to hold
the whole nation to ransom and to drive the majority of the people into
endemic poverty whilst a few fat cats line their pockets with looted public
Put bluntly, going forward, we should refuse to be
Our new government should love the people. And of course,
the government has to be lean and efficient without a bloated cabinet. A
number of ministries will have to be combined and collapsed into single
For instance, the Ministry of Justice & Legal Affairs
and the Ministry of Constitutional & Parliamentary Affairs can
easily be combined into a single ministry. The Ministry of Agriculture and
the Ministry of Lands can be collapsed into one ministry.
Ministry of Regional Integration can be collapsed into the Ministry of
Economic Planning & Regional Integration etc.
immediately adopt a new socio-political and economic paradigm where the
concept of “jobs for the boys” is abolished forthwith. We want to build a
culture of meritocracy as opposed to obscurantism and clientelism. We should
not expect a cabinet of anything in excess of 20 ministers.
not Yours Truly is part of that cabinet is not an issue! What Zimbabwe
needs, and needs very urgently, is a lean and fully functional and efficient
Uhuru Kenyatta recently cut the size of the Kenyan cabinet from
44 ministers to only 18. We can learn from the Kenyan experience. It is not
quantity that matters. What really matters is quality. As it is often
stated, it is not the size of the dog that matters in a fight, but the fight
in the dog.
Zimbabwe is at the crossroads. Failure is not an option.
Surrendering is simply not on the agenda. Success is guaranteed. We know
that only 18 percent of the country’s 88,000 km road network is
We know that less than 25 percent of the country’s 14 million
inhabitants have access to safe and piped water as well as electricity. This
might sound formidable but then with the correct focus and determination, we
can achieve a remarkable turnaround in record time. It can be done. And it
should be done.
When some of our political leaders talk of achieving
a US$100 billion economy by 2040, we shouldn’t think that they have taken
leave of their senses. We have to dream; and to dream big.
It is a
complete embarrassment for a great nation like Zimbabwe to be run on a
shoe-string budget of a mere US$3 billion a year. We are too big to be run
like a tuck shop. We should refuse to be poor. We deserve better and as I
have already stated, the time for playing a blame game is over.
deserve to be the new emerging tiger of Africa. We are a sleeping giant
waiting to wake up from a deep slumber.
Countries with very limited
natural resources such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong have
managed to transform their economies into highly developed nation states in
record time. We can also do it; we have both the natural and human
Lake Kariba was commissioned by the Queen Mother in 1960 and
today, more than 50 years afterwards, we still have a limited electricity
generation capacity of 1200 megawatts at Kariba. We have failed to improve
upon what the colonialists had done for us.
We should wake up and
smell the coffee. And now we hear stories that the Kariba dam wall has to be
reinforced or else it may collapse with devastating consequences for the
entire sub-region. We should not wait to take action because a major
disaster might be happening soon.
We have to be pro-active, we have to
plan in advance.
I was in Kariba during the Easter holidays in March 2013
where I noticed a major environmental disaster that is slowly taking place.
The deadly water hyacinth weed is slowly covering the water surface in Lake
Kariba. If we are not careful, the whole of the lake will soon be covered
under this deadly weed. The time for action is now.
It is not
impossible to emerge victorious from trying times. Fifty years ago, South
Korea was a peasant economy whose gross domestic product (GDP) was less than
the GDP of Ghana. But where is South Korea now?
Who doesn’t know about
the global brand called Samsumg? Samsung has taken the world by storm in a
relatively short period of time. It has overtaken major brands such as Sony
and Panasonic. Today, everyone is talking about the Samsung smart
Zimbabwe can also design its own unique products that can capture
global appeal. That is the way to go. We have highly qualified personnel
both locally and in the Diaspora who should be able to take this great
nation to the next level.
Our agenda for action should take us away
from a life of deprivation, servitude and penury. We should unlock value
from all the opportunities that abound in this blessed country. It shouldn’t
be impossible to create one million new jobs within the next five
The idea is to build an industrialised modern nation state where
poverty is eliminated. We cannot continue to have a flea market economy when
our country is endowed with so much natural resources. Looking ahead,
exciting times are about to happen in Zimbabwe. Truly, a New Zimbabwe
Obert Gutu is the Senator for Chisipite in Harare. He is the MDC
Harare provincial spokesperson and also the Deputy Minister of Justice and
Legal Affairs in the coalition government.
How has Mugabe retained power for so long and what
are the chances of ZANU-PF peacefully giving it up in the event that they
lose the upcoming election? ARTICLE | 9 MAY 2013 - 3:21PM | BY SIMUKAI
The recent arbitrary arrests of prominent human rights lawyer,
Beatrice Mtetwa and senior officials of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), coupled with sporadic state attacks on civilians and the civil
society, have been interpreted by some - including the MDC leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai - as the last kicks of a dying horse.
who heads the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), an omnipotent civic
organisation when it comes to constitutional and democracy matters in
Zimbabwe, echoed the same sentiment, explaining that the moves were borne
out of ZANU-PF’s fear that they may lose the upcoming elections.
lost amongst all this ridiculing are two unmistakable facts. First,
ZANU-PF’s election preparation is already well underway, and intimidation of
civilians and violence, are simply part of its unconventional strategy.
Second, this is not the first time that predictions have been made
anticipating the stark decline of ZANU-PF. Indeed, in the run–up to the 2002
and 2008 elections, with mounting national debt, food shortages, disease
outbreaks, rampant unemployment, and high levels of inflation, many were
sceptical about their chances. But ZANU–PF has proved to be a survivor, and
is the dominant actor in a shaky coalition government with two MDC
Why has ZANU-PF stayed in power for so long? There is
no doubt that ZANU–PF has relied on its underhand approach to retain power.
Alongside the manipulation of votes, intimidation and violence have also
been at the heart of ZANU–PF tactics. Indeed, even a cursory look at
post-independence elections will reveal that they have been characterised by
In the run–up to the 1985 parliamentary elections, ZANU–PF
government unleashed the infamous Gukurahundi policy against the supporters
of Zimbabwe African People’s Union – Patriotic Front (ZAPU-PF), resulting in
thousands of deaths.
In 1990, Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM), a party
that provided a formidable challenge to ZANU–PF, was also met with violence;
and in the 1996 elections, the two main opposition parties, Abel Muzorewa’s
United Parties (UP) and Ndabaningi Sithole’s Zimbabwe African National Union
(ZANU-Ndonga), withdrew from the elections due to ‘irregularities’ and
intimidation of their supporters. When the MDC emerged in 1999, it seemed to
have a genuine chance of unseating ZANU-PF. But President Mugabe’s party
again resorted to physical force. And so today, it should not come as a
surprise if this year’s elections are similarly brutal.
forms of repression have been complemented by more subtle ones. The party
has created a vastly unequal political playing field, which has always given
it an upper hand in past electoral contests.
For example, the media in
Zimbabwe has always been muzzled. There are very few privately–owned
newspapers and radio stations. Public information remains under the firm
grip of ZANU–PF, which uses state–owned media to skew public opinion in its
favour and employs hate speech against opposition parties. Repressive laws
such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA), and the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act have been used to severely curtail basic rights through vague
defamation clauses and draconian penalties.
To date, ZANU-PF have showed
total disregard to calls by the opposition, civil society, regional bodies
such as the African Union (AU) and the international community to allow
other political players the room to manoeuvre.
ZANU–PF has had an
overwhelming share of Zimbabwe’s most talented politicians. Amongst others,
contemporaries include Patrick Chinamasa, Jonathan Moyo, and Herbert
Murerwa. This vanguard of elite politicians, who have masterminded ZANU–PF’s
stranglehold on Zimbabwean politics since the 1980s, are not only street
smart and academic, they are also ruthless.
This personnel has created an
ideology that appears to resonate with a staunchly anti-Western and
nationalistic section of Zimbabwean society. It could be argued that ZANU–PF
has a ‘permanent’ support base of mostly rural peasants that have more or
less consistently voted for them since independence. Though the MDC has
started to make some inroads into this, historically, it has been difficult
for the opposition to claim significant support from this
Another ZANU-PF tool has been propaganda. For example, it has
repeatedly played the fear card of a return of ‘white rule’ through the MDC,
portraying the opposition as conniving with foreigners to steal Zimbabwe’s
riches and do harm to the country.
President Mugabe’s party also
understands the application of history as propaganda, and as a social and
political organising force that can help shape national identity. The party
has manufactured and popularised many different versions of history in order
to justify both its policies - such as land reform, indigenisation and
repression. History has been used to reinforce the centrality of ZANU–PF in
Zimbabwean politics and the eternal nature of the ‘revolutionary party’
versus the ephemeral nature of other parties that have come and
Elite cohesion: enforced loyalty Despite all of these measures,
the cohesion amongst its elite has been ZANU – PF’s greatest source of
survival. There might be genuine grounds for the opposition’s optimism if
President Mugabe’s party were split down in the middle, or a significant
number of party stalwarts were to leave.
What explains this high level of
cohesion? First, one might look at what has been termed ‘corrupt law
practice’. This system is simple - in return for the loyalty of this elite,
the ZANU–PF government tolerates corrupt activities by its party officials.
At the same time, the government closely documents this corruption, building
evidence that can be used to control these elite officials, particularly
those that the party cannot afford to leave or join other parties. If any of
these members undermine party cohesion by, for example, threatening to form
a breakaway political party or join a rival party, compromising information
is passed to a partisan attorney general, who then pursues them. The
disobedient party member either faces prospect of jail or full–scale seizure
of their wealth, or both.
This strategy against a number of elite
members: James Makamba, Chris Kuruneri, Philip Chiyangwa to name a few.
These party stalwarts were jailed, or threatened with jail, and also faced
the possibility of being stripped of their wealth. Action against these men
has acted as a warning to others in the party: keep in line or face
devastating legal consequences.
The very nature of ZANU – PF’s corrupt
political culture has ensured its survival. The party is dominated by
wealthy individuals who have mines, vast tracts of land and control local
banks. Together, these individuals practise a distinctive form of patronage
politics that they have used to maintain the party’s unity. Public offices
are often used by ZANU–PF elites to gain access to state resources, which
are then shared amongst party elites in order to retain their loyalty to the
party. The resources are used to lure talented members of the intelligentsia
and powerful civil society leaders to the party.
The West has aided
ZANU–PF survival Western powers have publicly backed the opposition party,
the Movement for Democratic Change. However, their pronouncements may
undermine the very democratic ideals that they seek to uphold. They played
into the hands of President Mugabe as he rallies his core supporters’
against these perceived attempts of external interference in Zimbabwean
politics. Calls from Washington and Brussels have afforded ZANU–PF the
perfect opportunity to frame the MDC as a front for
ZANU–PF’s Succession Problems This may seem like an
unshakeable hold on the political landscape, however, once Mugabe leaves,
all bets on ZANU–PF’s political future are off. The 89 year old’s presence
has so far prevented any potential split in the party.
But even if he
does win the elections, the octogenarian leader’s health is poor: he may
soon pass away or will surely resign before the end of the next period of
tenure. This is evidenced by the fact that ZANU–PF fought so hard for an
inclusion of a provision in the sixth schedule of the new constitution,
which says that should a president retire or fail to continue in office for
any reason, there will be no new elections and the ruling political party
can select a successor. This is the clearest indication yet that President
Mugabe intends to hand over power to one of the party members. Rumours
suggest power wrangling has already started within the party. But who are
the contenders, and what are their chances?
The choice of successor, if
left to Mugabe, will certainly be someone who commands enough authority to
preserve party unity, and who is determined to carry forward his policies
(especially land reform and economic indigenisation). The man who appears to
fit the bill is Emerson Mnangagwa, who has long been regarded as the
President’s blue eyed boy. Having been minister of Justice and Security
amongst many, he is not only an experienced administrator, but he probably
more than anyone else, he has helped build and maintain Mugabe’s
post–independence political order.
However, Mnangagwa lacks the charisma
of his mentor and combines the worst instincts of patronage politics with a
ruthlessly authoritarian temperament. He is rumoured to be one of the
richest Zimbabweans, and has been accused as the man behind the Gukurahundi
atrocities committed against civilians in the Matabeleland region in the
early 1980s. Having been in the cabinet since 1980, Mnangagwa is of a
similar generation to Mugabe and exudes an atmosphere of elderly
The other contender is current Vice President, Joice Mujuru.
However, following the death of her husband, who was known as a “Kingmaker”
in ZANU–PF’s internal circles, Mujuru’s faction has been gravely weakened,
and support has since flowed away from her camp. She will need to attract
some party stalwarts to stem this flow. However, the choice of Vice
President Mujuru would be a disheartening one given after frequently being
implicated in corrupt deals.
A surprise entry in the succession
battle has been the emergence of the appropriately-name Saviour Kasukuwere -
the young and energetic minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment,
who has been a chief coordinator in President Mugabe’s drive to ‘indigenise’
foreign-owned companies. The burly, former intelligence officer is by far
the underdog. Kasukuwere’s faction, made mainly of young apparatchiks
languishes in the wilderness, and emerging on the national scene might prove
a step too far. This is mainly because his camp lacks the elaborate and
well–organised patronage networks that the traditional factions of Mnangagwa
and Mujuru enjoy. This has long been the primary difference in ZANU–PF’s
ruthless factional politics. However, the young contender is not necessarily
out of the game if he can muster some patrimonial linkages.
believe that if President Mugabe were to lose the election, the security
chiefs, who have a symbiotic relationship with ZANU–PF, will take over. This
is unlikely for two reasons. First, the army is very much aware that its
public image is extremely poor amongst ordinary Zimbabweans. Despite making
explicit threats, it is doubtful whether they would want to experiment with
actual governance. Second, the army will also struggle to project legitimacy
across Africa. Diplomatic pressure by international leaders - particularly
from SADC and South Africa, will certainly not be keen to see the first
military rule in this region of Africa - will be too much for them to
Will ZANU–PF handover power if they were to lose the
elections? Having been encouraged by a peaceful referendum vote, many are
beginning to see a scenario where ZANU–PF might voluntarily hand over power
in the event of being defeated. This may be a reckless assumption. Past
elections have shown that the party is so distinctly hostile to competitive
politics, that it would be naive to think that ZANU–PF is conducting
elections in good faith.
The Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, who
is considered one of the brains behind ZANU-PF, was recently asked if ZANU –
PF were prepared to surrender power peacefully if they lose the upcoming
elections. Chinamasa’s response was brazen and evasive: he claimed he would
campaign for ZANU–PF to win and did not see his party losing. This reflects
ZANU – PF’s resolve to not give up power and to retain it at all costs.
Summary:The history of the Save Valley in
south-eastern Manicaland, Zimbabwe, provides an intriguing account of peasant
encounters with the state apparatus dating back to the 1920s. However, the
process currently underway, where an obscure 20-year deal involving a
public-private partnership between the Agricultural and Rural Development
Authority (ARDA) and Macdom and Rating Investments for 50,000 hectares of land
represents what is perhaps the highest level of the state’s coercive apparatus
at work; as many as 250,000 communal farmers stand to lose or have already lost
their lands and livelihoods. The case shows many features demonstrated in the
wider literature on ‘land grabs’ and as with many cases of other ‘grabs’, this
case centres on state land which has been also used by local people. It
highlights the way the politics of relationships between the state, investors
and local communities are played out. This paper seeks to capture and
historicise the subjective subaltern voices in light of the current corporate
and state-centric landgrabbing being experienced in the Save Valley. It captures
the experiences arising out of the land deal which has curtailed the community’s
access to land and other livelihood alternatives. Contests over land, and
ambiguous claims over land rights, as well as arguments that the land is
underutilized, are central to this case. This paper in particular delves into
the historical origins of these competing claims of rights of use and ownership
of land at the centre of land disputes thrown up by new land deals, and points
to the importance of understanding the long-term claim-making process, and its
contested and ambiguous nature. Neat legal documents associated with investment
contracts always have to encounter this layered and disputed history, and need
to take more cognisance of such histories of land use and rights claims by
different actors, if the sort of disputes and conflicts that arise, as in this
case, are to be avoided.
Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes was among the performers at the
Harare International Festival of the Arts. Photograph: Annabel Staff/Getty
guitaristKunle Ayojumped down from the
stage and gyrated within touching distance of the audience, igniting a chain
reaction of gushing smiles. An American spectator leapt to her feet and danced
like a human rubber band, eliciting whoops and cheers. The tent was boisterous,
joyful and effortlessly multiracial.
An hour later, a short
walk away, thousands of people would gather on blankets and deck chairs for a
night of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner under the starry African sky. An aftershow
party in a pristine white marquee featured candelabra, chandeliers, "platinum
club" badges and a stack of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
These were two
among scores of shows staged last week in the heart of Harare, the capital
ofZimbabwe, a country that the
world has more frequently come to associate with social and cultural
The annualHarare International Festival of the
Arts(HIFA) was born in the comparative golden era of
1999 and weathered the nation's stormy decade of farm invasions, hyperinflation
and political bloodshed to gain repute as "the Glastonbury of southernAfrica". This year's version
took place in a steadier climate but amid awareness that more potentially
explosive elections are just around the corner.
"HIFA shows a Zimbabwe
that works," said Petina Gappah, an author who could be heard reading from her
work alongside Indonesian poets in a tent that doubled as poetry cafe and
fashion catwalk. "In the Harare Gardens [the main venue], you see a Zimbabwe
that's functional, except the toilets."
Every day queues could
be seen at the box office where a white board listed sold-out shows ranging from
Chinese acrobats to the stories of Charles Dickens. The generally scruffy Harare
Gardens were spruced up with fairy lights, sponsors' logos, food stalls, an arts
and crafts market, a children's zone and performance venues. The mood was buzzy,
cosmopolitan and genuinely festive.
Wendy Prosser, 39, the
woman who danced with such elasticity to Kunle Ayo, had travelled from the
Seattle to be here for the eighth time. "HIFA is the coolest thing you will see
in Africa," she insisted. "In 2008 the entire country was collapsing and HIFA
was still going on. It is hands down the best thing
Baaba Maal was among headline
acts at this year's Harare arts festival. Photograph: C
This year's festival
was the biggest to date, featuring about 130 local and 70 international
performances (the latter drawn from about 30 countries) at a dozen venues over
six days. Headline acts included Senegal'sBaaba Maaland
Britain'sNoisettes,whose singer Shingai Shoniwa, born in London
to Zimbabwean parents, was given a mid-performance piggyback ride through an
Last year 62,000
tickets were sold and a further 4,000 given away. HIFA employs about 1,500
people, a third of whom are jobless or homeless, and helps about 300 orphans or
vulnerable children. With no government funding, it relies on corporate
sponsors, donors, small companies and foreign embassies.
yearsago it faced the charge
of fiddling while Rome burned: Zimbabwe's hyperinflation reached an estimated
6.5 sextillion per cent, supermarket shelves were bare and cholera claimed
thousands of lives. Manuel Bagorro, 48, the festival's founder, recalled:
"People were starving a stone's throw from the gates of a glossy and sparkly
"But the money we'd
sourced was not going to be available for anything else. Either we do nothing or
we do something we can, which is putting on a wonderful arts festival and
developing a new audience. We felt we could provide something hopeful and aware
of the context of the time. When somebody stands on a stage, it's a statement
about human rights and the capacity of the arts to reach people in new
ButHIFA rarely goes in
for explicit political statements in a country where opposition members,
activists, artists, journalists and idle gossipers are routinely arrested for
insulting President Robert Mugabe. Bagorro, 48, explained: "It's about keeping a
balance and not damaging the festival and throwing the baby out with the bath
water in an attempt to be right on. I didn't want us to say: 'Look how brave we
HIFA sailed close to
the wind with a 2011 opening show that featured the song Diamonds are Forever,
Chinese aeroplanes and diamonds being stolen from children. Bagorro and
colleagues were taken to Harare central police station for questioning that
involved "a lot of shouting and accusations but also a realisation that there
was nothing to be done". As it has been for centuries under repressive regimes,
metaphor remains a potent weapon, but not always by design. "In plays now if an
old man with glasses walks on stage everyone assumes it's the president,"
Bagorro added. "Someone reads political meanings into something that wasn't the
Neither Mugabe nor the
prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has attended the festival, he added, but
various ministers slip in without fanfare.
Years of strife in
Zimbabwe and the attendant media coverage mean that HIFA is still a hard sell to
the outside world. This year's artistic director, Gavin Peter, admitted: "It's
almost impossible. Even in Johannesburg people don't believe it when I show them
pictures. I do think it would blow people's minds. It blows our
"Some artists are
nervous. In a lot of places it's a red-listed country still, especially in an
election year. The only way to combat it is a lot of positive communication. You
can't guarantee that something won't happen but we will do our best to make sure
it doesn't. A lot of people support it for that reason: positive reinforcement
Peter, 40, added: "Of
course there's plenty of fear. It is a scary place, a foreign country in the
middle of Africa. Perhaps that's the charm: you have to rough it a bit, but not
Constitution Watch 26/2013 of 8th May 2013 [Bringing the New Constitution into Operation]
Bringing the New Constitution into
The COPAC draft constitution was
approved in a Referendum in March, and is likely to be passed into law by
mid-May. Now it has to be brought into operation.How will this be done?In this Constitution Watch we shall
concentrate on the legal processes mandated by the new constitution itself,
rather than on the processes laid down in the “Electoral Road-map” agreed on by
the principals to the GPA and endorsed by SADC.[Those processes are vitally important, in that if implemented they
will ensure the forthcoming elections are peaceful and fair; but they arise out
of the GPA rather than directly from the new
the New Constitution
1.Enactment of the
The “yes” vote in the
referendum did not bring the new constitution into force.Zimbabwe will continue to be governed by the
current much-amended 1980 constitution until the Constitution of Zimbabwe
Amendment (No 20) Act [see Constitution Watch 25
/2013 of 4th April 2013]is
passed by Parliament and signed by the President.It is this enactment that will declare the
new constitution to be the Constitution of Zimbabwe and repeal the current
constitution.[Note: the repeal of the current constitution will be
subject to the Sixth Schedule of the new constitution which provides that the
current constitution will be replaced in stages]. The Act must be passed in accordance with
section 52 of the 1980 constitution,
for the Act had to be published in the Gazette for at least 30 days
before it is introduced into Parliament.The Bill was in fact published on the 29th March, and it was introduced
in Parliament when it resumed on the 7th May.
third reading in the Senate and the House of Assembly, the Bill must be passed
by at least two-thirds of the total membership of eachHouse as stipulated by the Constitution –
House of Assembly  and Senate , which means that vacancies are
disregarded when calculating the two-thirds majority.So the Bill will need at least 142 votes in
the House and 66 in the Senate.This
should be no problem as the parties have all been campaigning for a “yes”
Parliament does not have to pass an
identical Bill to the one that was approved at the referendum;the GPA does not require it, and members of
Parliament have a right to move amendments to any Bill.On the other hand, by approving the COPAC
draft at the referendum voters sent a clear political message that that was what
they wanted as the new constitution, and in any event Parliament cannot make
substantial changes to a constitutional Bill that was published in the
2.Parts of the new constitution that will come
into operation immediately
Even after Parliament has passed the
new constitution and the President has given his assent to it and had it
published, the Sixth Schedule to the new constitution provides that only certain
parts of it will come into operation immediately [as indicated above, the Constitution of
Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act bringing in the new constitution will provide
for the current constitution to be replaced in stages].The following are the parts of the new constitution which will come into
effect immediately and will override the equivalent provisions of the 1980
provisions relating to citizenship.
Declaration of Rights.
provisions relating to elections, in particular those dealing with the election
and assumption of office of a new President, the election and summoning of
Parliament, and the functions and powers of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
relating to public administration and leadership and the conduct of members of
the security services.
relating to provincial and local government.
3.Provisions that will come into operation
Once the first election has been held
and the first President elected under the new constitution is sworn in and
assumes office, the remainder of the new constitution will come into operation
and the present constitution will be wholly repealed.
4.Time-scale for implementation of the new
The five-year life of the current
Parliament comes to an end on midnight of the 28thJune.After that, there will be no Parliament and
all Bills which have not been passed will lapse.So the Bill enacting the new constitution
will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament and assented to by the
President before that date.In fact it
will have to be done well before then because a great deal of complex additional
legislation will be needed to bring in the provisions of the new constitution
that come into force immediately, and this is necessary before
elections can be held.
Before This Parliament Ends
There are two reasons why immediate
legislation will be needed.The first is
that the next general election will be held in accordance with the new
constitution, and the Electoral Act will have to be amended to enable that
election to be held.The second reason
is that the provisions of the new constitution which come into operation
immediately, will require changes to several other statutes if they are to be
fully effective.[Note When the
provisions which come in after the first election has been held and the first
President elected under the new constitution is sworn in and assumes office,
there will then be a great deal of other new legislation required, but that will
be the work of the next Parliament].
to the Electoral Act
The next election, which will elect
the first President and Parliament under the new constitution, will have to be
held in accordance with the new constitution.The Electoral Act will have to be amended to make provision for the
Representation:Under the new constitution, 60 Senators, 60
members of the National Assembly and 80 members of provincial councils will be
elected by a system of proportional representation based on the votes cast for
constituency members of the National Assembly.The Electoral Act makes no provision for proportional representation and
will have to be amended extensively to allow these elections to take place.We shall deal with these amendments in a
separate Constitution Watch.
·Election of Senators to represent
persons with disabilities:The new Senate will have two senators specially elected to represent
persons with disabilities.How they will
be elected, and even the definition of “persons with disabilities”, will have to
be set out in the Electoral Act.
time-limits:Clause 157(3) of the new constitution
requires nomination day in every election to be at least 14 days after the
election was called, and at least 30 days before polling day.These time-limits will have to be
incorporated into section 38 of the Electoral Act.
·Transfer of results between
centres:The Electoral Act is vague and inconsistent
about how and when election results must be transferred between electoral
centres from ward to constituency, provincial and national level.The vagueness must be clarified and the
·Transparency:Transparency as a component of good governance is one of the founding
principles on which the new constitution is based.It is vitally important in elections, to
avoid suspicion that the results have been manipulated.In particular, there should be complete
transparency in the process whereby votes are counted and tallied and the
results transferred from polling stations to ward centres and then to
constituency centres, to provincial centres and finally to the national
centre.There must be immediate
disclosure of all results received at every centre and of all results
transmitted from every centre.
These amendments will have to be
drafted and put into operation quickly so that political parties and candidates
who want to contest the forthcoming elections can familiarise themselves with
the changes to the law.In particular,
parties need to know well in advance of the election what system of proportional
representation will be put in place and what the rules will be for contesting
party-list seats.Ideally, the parties should be
involved in drafting the amendments.
to the Validity of the First Presidential
Whilst other electoral challenges
remain the province of the Electoral Court provided for by the Electoral Act,
under para 7 of the Sixth Schedule to the new constitution challenges to the
election of the first President will have to be decided by the new
Constitutional Court [see below].It will be a policy decision whether thechanges needed to specify the
procedure for bringing such challenges before the Constitutional Court are done
by legislation through Parliament, or by amending the Rules of the Supreme Court
which can be done by the Chief Justice in consultation with a committee
appointed by himself after which the new Rules will have to be approved by the
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs.
of Provincial and Metropolitan Councils
The provisions of the new
constitution relating to provincial and local government will come into
operation as soon as the new constitution is published, i.e. before the first
election.In order for the provincial
and metropolitan councils to be become operational, legislation will have to be
passed before then providing for the functions, powers and procedures of
provincial councils — in effect, establishing the councils.
of local government legislation
The Urban Councils Act and the
District Councils Act
must be amended before the election to remove the power of the Minister of Local
Government to appoint councillors [because under the new constitution all
councillors will have to be elected].For the same reason, the Ministerial notices laying down the number of
councillors in each council will also have to be amended.
of members of the security services
Clause 208 of the new constitution
prohibits members of the security services — the Defence Forces, the Police and
the Prison Service — from being active members of political parties.In fact it may not be necessary to enact
legislation to enforce this clause, because police officers are already
prohibited from participating in politics [section 9 as read with para 48(2) of
the Schedule to the Police Act] and if members of the Defence Forces and Prison
Service involve themselves in politics after the new constitution is published
it will presumably amount to a breach of their conditions of
needed to give effect to the new Declaration of
A great many statutes will have to be
amended to give effect to the Declaration of Rights contained in the new
constitution.For example, under clause 48 of the
new constitution the death penalty can be imposed only on men convicted of
aggravated murder, so the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act will need to reflect this.Such amendments, however, can be left until
after the first election has been held, because decisions in cases involving
many of these changes must be made by the courts under the new
however, some changes that must be made immediately.These amendments are:
·Amendments to the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act:Clauses 50 and 70 of the new constitution confer rights on persons who
have been arrested or are up for trial, and many of these rights are not yet
recognised under our law.For instance,
arrested persons will have a right not to answer questions, and will have to be
informed of their right not to do so, and will have to be brought before a court
within 48 hours or else released; and accused persons in criminal trials will
have to be informed of their right to legal representation and, like arrested
persons, will be entitled to remain silent.These rights will become effective as soon as the Declaration of Rights
becomes operative, and trials held under our current law, which ignores or
severely limits these rights, may be rendered
·Establishment of a Constitutional
Court: As soon as the new Declaration of Rights comes
into operation, the rights conferred by it will become enforceable.Any appeals involving violations of the new
Declaration of Rights will then go the Constitutional Court [rather than the
Supreme Court as at present].The
Rules of the Supreme Court will therefore need to be amended in terms of para
18(4) of the Sixth Schedule to the new constitution so that constitutional cases
can be brought before the Constitutional Court, which, by virtue of para 18(2),
will consist of the current judges of the Supreme Court.[Note: after seven years there will be the
appointment of special constitutional court judges to the Constitutional Court.]
of the National Prosecuting Authority
new President is sworn in and the new constitution comes fully into operation,
prosecuting criminal cases on behalf of the State will be transferred from the
Attorney-General to a National Prosecuting Authority under the control of a
Prosecutor-General [the present Attorney-General, incidentally, will become
Prosecutor-General].In order for the transition to proceed without disrupting the whole
criminal justice system, the
necessary legislative changes will need to be in place before the current
Parliament ends.The Attorney-General’s Office Act
must therefore be replaced by a new National Prosecuting Authority Act
conferring the necessary powers on the Authority and its officers, and extensive
amendments will also have to be made to the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act changing responsibility for prosecution, etc.
Preparing all this legislation which is
necessary before the elections, and getting it through Parliament before
Parliament ends on 28th June, will be a major undertaking to complete in under
two months.Regrettably, the politicians
concerned seem to have embarked on election campaigning and are showing few
signs of urgency about the necessary legislative agenda.
The new constitution’s provisions on
citizenship [Chapter 3] could be implemented without any amendments being made
to the Citizenship Act.So a Citizenship
Amendment Bill is not essential at this stage, but in view of the confusion that
reigns about our citizenship law, which has been altered so frequently over the
years, it would be desirable to amend the Act to clarify it and, most
importantly, to ensure that administrative instructions about citizenship and
consequential voter registration are standardised and made widely known to the
every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal
responsibility for information supplied