Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:34
ZIMBABWE will have a new constitution by April next year despite delays in
launching the outreach programme to gather people's input into the supreme
law, a cabinet minister said last week.
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga who has
been answering questions from anxious Zimbabweans on Kubatana.net, an online
platform for civil society activists, said the outreach would finally start
later this month.
The Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) had said the
programme would start three weeks after the training of rapporteurs that
ended on April 9.
However, little has happened to show that the committee is ready for the
most important phase of the process of drafting the country's new supreme
The delays have been partly blamed on the acute shortage of funds but a
number of donors have chipped in with significant donations over the last
"I am glad that the indications up to now are that we are on our way to
fulfil this important requirement of the GPA, even though we are a bit
slow," said Matinenga.
"We have also trained the rapporteurs, who are the persons who are going to
be reporting what each and every person says during the outreach meetings.
"It may be towards the end of May, but I am confident that come mid-May we
will be able to roll it out."
He also allayed fears that the process would be manipulated by political
Civil society groups have reported that Zanu PF is re-training its militias
in rural areas to force villagers to push for provisions made in the
so-called Kariba draft.
The draft produced by negotiators from the three governing parties
guarantees President Robert Mugabe of the sustenance of his sweeping powers
and does not address concerns about the non-restriction of terms one can
serve as president of the country.
"People must not fear," Matinenga said. "They must not be taken in when
people say the Kariba Draft will determine the constitution of Zimbabwe.
"Let me assure people that there is no special place for the Kariba Draft in
the constitution-making process," said Matinenga.
"What we have agreed as the three political parties is that the outreach
teams should be gathering information on the basis of talking points. . .
nobody is going to be waving the Kariba Draft.
"So people should feel free, when they attend these outreach meetings, they
need to contribute to the making of the constitution for Zimbabwe."
When the draft is complete it would be taken to an all stakeholders
conference, followed by a referendum.
He said the constitution could be ready by April next year at the latest.
The GPA says a new constitution must lead to fresh elections and indications
are that this would happen next year.
BY BERTHA SHOKO
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:32
MASHONALAND West governor Faber Chidarikire has reportedly ordered
non-governmental organisations to stop supporting a clean-up campaign in
Chinhoyi because Zanu PF supporters were excluded from the exercise.
Save the Children and Medical Relief Lasting Healthy Care, known as Merlin
were accused of failing to employ Zanu PF members for the exercise in the
Chidarikire and a Mr Tizora, the Chinhoyi deputy district administrator last
week met with officials from the two NGOs, ward councillors and workers to
discuss the issue.
The clean-up exercise was put on hold soon after the meeting.
Hunyani Councillor Brighton Mhizha said he was told to stop the exercise in
his ward until further notice.
"At first we were asked to come for a meeting with the governor and the DA,
which we did," he said.
"People were asked how they were recruited and how they came to know about
"After the meeting I asked Save the Children officials if we could continue
with our clean-up exercise but they told me to wait until they advised me to
"Up to now they are yet to tell me to start working."
Mhizha, an MDC-T councillor said local Zanu PF politicians believe their
supporters were left out when workers for the clean-up campaign were hired.
Gadzema councillor Nicholas Mutsunge (MDC-T) said they were not happy with
He said a similar programme run by Zanu PF councillors in Zvimba was
progressing without any hitches.
His sentiments were echoed by Shackleton councillor Ben Rabbi who vowed that
his ward would defy the directive.
Save the Children provided funds to pay US$25 to residents who put in 10
days on the project.
Merlin provided cleaning equipment and materials along with safety clothing.
Merlin Zimbabwe director Clemens von Heimendahl refused to comment on the
suspension of the exercise but confirmed that his organisation had to
withdraw promotional T-shirts that had a picture of a clean pair of hands
after government raised objections.
The open palm is MDC-T's symbol.
Save the Children Mashonaland West co-ordinator a Mr. Mhaka declined to
comment saying he was not authorised to do so.
Save the Children is working in wards that were worst affected by last year's
cholera outbreak, including Alaska, Shackleton and Hunyani.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Chidarikire last week were fruitless.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:30
Zanu PF official seeks bail
THE bail application by a senior Zanu PF official who was arrested in
connection with the ZB Bank Nyanga armed robbery will be heard at the High
Court tomorrow. Nathaniel Mhiripiri (60) who is also a prominent businessman
in Rusape was arrested last month for allegedly providing the gun used in
the robbery of the bank's Juliasdale branch in March.
The robbers got away with US$110 378 and R14 332.
In his application, Mhiripiri says he holds an "important position" in Zanu
PF and would not abscond if given bail.
His lawyers said although he was facing a serious offence, chances of him
being given a long jail term were non-existent as the state's case was weak.
"The applicant has an adventurous history which will make his chances of
absconding minimum," the lawyers said in the application.
"Besides being a farmer and a businessman, he is a prominent political
figure in Manicaland.
"His political career dates back to the days of the armed struggle in which
he actively participated."
"Since 1980 he has served his political party Zanu PF and is currently a
member of the National Consultative Assembly," read the application
Mhiripiri also said he was a strong candidate for bail as he was a family
man and owned many properties.
Mhiripiri is believed to have been paid US$5 000 for his gun which, was used
by Tafadzwa Nindi and Bright Madanha who are in custody and John Teremayi
who is still on the run.
The court heard that on March 18, the suspects went to ZB Bank in Juliasdale
armed with three pistols.
They allegedly entered the bank and produced the pistols ordering everyone
to lie down before spraying their faces with pepper spray.
They then disarmed the guard before stealing five cellphones and cash.
The state would seek to prove that the robbers later gave Mhiripiri his
pistol back and US$5 000 as payment.
Mhiripiri is denying assisting the robbers.
He said he gave his gun to Teremayi in good faith because the former said he
wanted to protect himself as he was a well-known businessman in
Manicaland. - Sandra Mandizvidza
Land offer spills into the courts
A tussle between a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative and a
Harare woman for the control of a plot parcelled out during the land reform
programme has spilled to the courts.
Charles Dondo, who works in the President's Office and Elina Dzipangwe both
claim they were given offer letters for the plot at Maryville farm in
Marlborough by former Lands Minister Didymus Mutasa.
Mutasa is now the Minister for Presidential Affairs.
Dondo is accusing Dzipangwe of destroying state property at the plot worth
According to the state, sometime in April last year Dzipangwe destroyed a
farm shed at Plot 2 Maryville Farm.
But she is denying the charges saying she removed the shed from where it was
so that she could put it close to her house.
Dzipangwe said the only reason why Dondo reported the matter to the police
was because he was battling to occupy the plot where she legally stays.
The fight over the piece of land reportedly started when Mutasa withdrew the
offer letter he had given to Dzipangwe in August 2007.
Dzipangwe is refusing to leave the property arguing that she is still the
legal owner of the plot and that Mutasa had no right to withdraw her offer
The matter has been taken to the Attorney General's office for further
verification as the two have same offer letters for the same piece of
land. - Sandra Mandizvidza.
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:27
THE public disagreement between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance
Minister Tendai Biti over civil servants salaries has brought to the fore
the growing discord in both the inclusive government and MDC-T with analysts
warning that the crisis will escalate if not handled properly.
Biti, who is also MDC-T secretary-general announced that salaries for civil
servants had been frozen because the inclusive government was broke.
Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist used the May Day celebrations to thrash
Three days later the Finance Minister told journalists that he was sticking
to his position forcing Public Service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro to
take an unprecedented dig on Biti in defence of the PM.
Mukonoweshuro accused his MDC-T boss of behaving like a “super minister” and
causing unnecessary anxiety over the civil servants’ salaries.
Tsvangirai has tried to downplay the tension, which last month culminated in
violent incidents at the party’s headquarters but analysts say it's time he
showed leadership for the good of his party and the government.
“We have to realise that policy contradictions are not uncommon in any
government,” said University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred
“But the ramifications for both government and the public are dire. There is
considerable discord between the two most powerful people in government and
it does not bode well for the smooth implementation of policy.”
The unity government formed in February last year between Zanu PF and the
two MDC formations has not performed to expectations because of simmering
differences between the major parties.
The tension has been blamed on the fact that the parties are already in an
election mode with indications that an early poll could be organised next
Tsvangirai and Biti’s differences have also been attributed to a power
struggle raging in the MDC-T.
Masunungure said the tension in the MDC-T echoed the problems in 2005 when
the then biggest opposition party split into two.
He said Tsvangirai must “nip the cancer in the bud” if he is to save his
The split was blamed on differences between camps supporting the former
trade unionist and then secretary general Welshman Ncube.
“He is the leader of the party. He must exercise his authority to nip this
cancerous disease in the bud,” Masunungure said.
“Such bickering, especially if it is displayed in public can be very
The MDC-T has tried to draw attention away from the infighting saying the
reports of clashes were propaganda by Zanu PF, which is desperate to see its
most formidable opponent weakened before the next election.
Tsvangirai said: “The secretary general (Biti) and myself have been comrades
in this struggle for many years and have stood together throughout this
time, and we will not allow the enemies of real change to succeed in
derailing the people’s cause.
“The attempt to divide us has been expressed through violence and
disturbances, dubious teams sent to provinces, preaching gospels of
division, and baseless and defamatory documents being manufactured and
distributed to the press.”
But UK-based analyst, Brilliant Mhlanga believes the problem is that
Tsvangirai is failing to understand his role in the new dispensation.
“It is quite unfortunate that Biti is about to be crucified for telling what
appears to be a clear government position,” he said.
“In government everyone, it would appear, acknowledges that there is no
money and Biti as the holder of the purse is speaking with that in mind and
as an informed person.”
He said the statements Tsvangirai made on May 1 were not different from the
promises he gave to civil servants that they would be paid salaries in
foreign currency on the day he was sworn in.
It took the cash-strapped government almost five months to fulfill its
promises but the public servants were receiving $100 allownces since
Although Mhlanga and Masunungure said it was too early to speak of another
split in the MDC-T, the discord may have serious ramifications for the party
especially if there is an election next year.
The party launched an investigation into the assault of its national
director Toendepi Shone in disturbances that exposed the widening divisions
and the special committee is yet to submit its report to the leadership.
MDC-T remains the biggest threat to Zanu PF, which has also battled
factionalism since its formative years.
BY KHOLWANI NYATHI
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:21
A cotton price war has erupted in the Midlands amid reports that angry
farmers in Zhombe recently clashed with Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco)
buyers over prices.
Farmers said there were skirmishes at Doneni area near Kadoma recently after
they were "provoked" by the prices offered by the company for their crop.
Sources told The Standard they were angered by the 30 cents per kg offered
by the company for their cotton.
Sources said farmers even boycotted delivering their cotton to the
This prompted Cottco employees from Sidakeni to go around the area asking
farmers to sell their cotton.
"They resorted to go out to farmers because people were not bringing the
crop claiming that they had no transport to take their bales to the Sidakeni
collection point," said one of the affected farmers.
"The Cottco buyers met hostile farmers who attacked them with logs and
stones. The employees ran for dear life."
But Cottco spokesperson, Mariah Pangidzwa last week said the reports were
Pangidzwa confirmed that there were disputes over the pricing of cotton.
"What I can only tell you is that farmers are being concerned by the fact
that other farmers were making large sums of money when they sold tobacco,"
"What they forget is that as Cottco we give farmers loans in the form of
farming inputs to enable them to have good yields.
"But some divert inputs such as fertilisers to other crops like maize.
"This then reduces the amount of yield that a farmer is supposed to get from
"We expect a farmer to get something like 2 500 kg of cotton from one
hectare but after diverting other inputs, farmers end up getting something
like 400 kg and at the end of the day they say it's not profitable."
Cotton Ginners Association director-general Godfrey Buka said the prevailing
prices were a product of negotiations between his group and the Zimbabwe
Farmers' Union as well as the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union.
"This marketing season we agreed on a seasonal pool price of 30 cents per kg
of seed cotton.
"It is of interest to note that in Zambia cotton growers are getting between
25 to 30 cents per kg while in Mozambique they are receiving 22 to 25c per
kg," he said.
"The crop is largely for the export market with unstable prices which local
ginners have no control over.
"In 2009, global lint prices were very depressed and the average opening
price of seed cotton in Zimbabwe was 15c/kg.
"However, the season ended up at an average of 28 cents per kg."
Buka said the 30 cents per kg was only an interim seasonal pool price and
adjustments could still be made to payments made to farmers at the end of
"Price adjustments are not new in the cotton industry as this is what used
to happen some years back before market liberalisation," said Buka.
"Price adjustments are necessary because the processed seed cotton (lint)
will only be sold after ginning," he said.
"As prices are determined by the international market, we have to calculate
backwards to arrive at fair prices.
"It is also important to note that the seed cotton crop is not marketed as a
"It has to be processed before it can be sold either on the local or
Seed cotton on average yields about 41% lint, which is the higher value
The bigger proportion of 58% constitutes the ginned seed and the balance of
1% would be the processing waste.
In terms of producer prices, cotton is not a very high value crop and
farmers the world over face viability challenges.
"Most of the major producing countries outside Africa pay their growers a
subsidy to ameliorate the situation bedevilling cotton industry," Buka said.
"However in our case we could try and increase profit margins by improving
on yield and quality and streamlining operations to minimise the cost of
production in the whole value chain".
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during a recent tour of the Midlands urged
buyers of crops to consider farmers' plight in the face of the high cost of
inputs and labour when negotiating prices. He said cotton farmers were some
of the most affected by producer price distortions.
BY BRIAN NKIWANE
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:09
BULAWAYO — The MDC-T has reacted angrily to calls by South African National
Congress (ANC) chairperson Baleka Mbete for its leader Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to actively call for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Mbete who was speaking at newly-elected Zanu PF chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo’s
victory celebrations in Plumtree last Saturday said for the unity government
to survive, Tsvangirai had to be more vocal about the removal of sanctions
imposed by the West.
Her statements came as the ANC was moving in to take disciplinary action
against its youth leader Julius Malema for his open support of Zanu PF and
denigrating the MDC-T.
There were concerns that Malema’s outburst compromised South African
President Jacob Zuma’s position as a mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis.
But Mbete, in a move that may also expose the divisions in the ANC seemed to
be repeating Malema’s offending statements.
Her visit to Zimbabwe had been described as a damage control mission by
South African newspapers.
“President Zuma has been categorically clear on the issue of sanctions, as
has been the Sadc and the African Union,” she told an appreciative Zanu PF
crowd. “I want to echo the sentiment from South Africa that we believe
sanctions have had a telling effect on Zimbabwe’s economy.
“We believe also that our dear brother, Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean
PM, should now play a more visible role in the campaign for the removal of
“He needs to put maximum effort on this matter.”
But in an interview last week, Nelson Chamisa the MDC-T spokesperson said
Mbete’s calls were misplaced.
He said the South Africans should stay neutral if Zuma’s mediation was to be
“This is a case where one mistakes the trees for the bushes. The issue of
sanctions is being dealt with by the three parties.
“There is no need to laboriously place the issue of sanctions on the Prime
Minister. We have to share the walk,” he said.
He said there were a lot of issues that were still outstanding from the
Global Political Agreement (GPA), which must be addressed holistically.
“There are outstanding issues in the GPA. These are still to be tackled,”
“These are things that have caused the problems we have. And as leaders, the
MDC believes we have to be cautious on our statements because they can be
very disheartening at times.”
Zuma is expected in the country anytime soon to push Zanu PF and the MDC-T
to conclude talks on the outstanding issues from the GPA.
BY NKULULEKO SIBANDA
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:07
CONSENSUS is building that Zimbabwe will not be ready for fresh elections
next year because of the slow pace of the national healing programme and the
delays in the drafting of a new constitution.
This also follows revelations that despite their political posturing, the
three parties in the unity government agreed in their talks on the
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that early polls are
not a priority.
In their report that has been handed to South African President Jacob Zuma,
negotiators from the two MDC formations and Zanu PF are clear that the
lifespan of the unity government would be determined by the full
implementation of the pact.
However, two years after the parties signed the agreement little has been
done to ensure its full implementation.
The spectre of an early election had re-ignited fears of a repeat of the
violence of 2008 which resulted in the murder of at least 200 MDC-T
A growing band of politicians and civic groups are now saying early
elections would disturb the recovering economy, current political stability
and plunge the country into a crisis.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara last week dismissed the possibility
of an election.
“People and politicians should be talking about economic plans that will
revive our economy and increase levels of investment. We are not ready for
elections,” he said.
His critics were quick to say Mutambara, who might find it difficult to win
an election, is embarrassed by the prospect of a dismal performance in any
Peace advocacy group, the Zimbabwe Movement for Peace, Reconciliation and
Unity (Zimpru), which has embarked on a “no election before national
healing” campaign, has urged political parties to shelve the polls until
the political environment stabilises.
Zimpru chairman John Kanokanga said the current polarised environment did
not favour the holding of elections as political violence would erupt again.
“The ordinary Zimbabwean has been traumatised by the experience of recent
elections in the country and cannot be expected to face another election any
time soon, especially an early election that will produce the same pain at
the end of the day,” said Kanokanga.
He dismissed the ongoing national healing process by the inclusive
government as a “public stunt”.
“Currently, there is no healing, only a number of public stunts,” said
“You cannot talk of national healing when the two sides are technically at
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), an organisation that
co-ordinates activities pertaining to elections, concurs with Kanokanga.
Zesn national director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said democratic elections could
only be held after widespread electoral reforms and the writing of a new
constitution was complete.
“For us, elections are the only way forward but they have to be held after
electoral reforms to plug the hole for possible rigging and ensure free and
fair elections,” said Chipfunde-Vava. “We also need a new democratic
Zesn is lobbying for zero tolerance on political violence as well as an
overhaul of the voters’ roll.
Political commentator Moses Mazhande said no credible election could be held
before the restoration of civil liberties such as freedoms of the media,
expression, assembly and freedom from arbitrary arrest.
For the past decade, said Mazhande, elections had become an instrument of
instability, deepening polarisation and violence.
“To hold an election in such an environment will not help, we will have
disputed results,” said Mazhande.
Bickering by Zanu PF and MDC-T has delayed the constitution-making process.
It is expected that the outreach programme will commence shortly and the
constitution will be in place by February next year.
President Robert Mugabe has said the GPA has a two year life span, which
means that “if the constitution-making process succeeds there will be an
election and if it fails that, too, would lead to an election.”
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has called for fresh elections next
year but under a new constitution.
ZZZICOMP, a coalition of civic groups, says the recent proclamation by the
principals of the unity government that there would be elections in 2011 had
shifted focus from the constitution-making process and set the country in an
“Unfortunately, such statements have a negative impact on the sincerity of
the political parties in their commitment to the constitution-making
process,” said the coalition in a statement.
Critics of the “no election before national healing” campaign say those
pushing for the postponement of polls fear losing in any election soon.
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
Saturday, 08 May 2010 19:04
ZIMBABWE'S schools are using a curriculum that was last reviewed in the
1980s, a development that has contributed to the perennial "free fall" in
education standards and put the country out of sync with fast-changing
education trends globally.
Government, which is battling to bring normality to an education sector
weighed down by intermittent strikes by teachers and an acute shortage of
textbooks says it is now treating the review of the curriculum as a
However, the move could put the government on a warpath with teachers'
unions who believe the authorities want to "rush to change the engine of the
vehicle without solving the fundamental problem".
Education Minister David Coltart told a two-day conference to review the
first year under the inclusive government organised by the Mass Public
Opinion Institute that the outdated curriculum was frustrating attempts to
transform the sector.
Coltart said his ministry had since identified experts who would lead the
curriculum reform process.
"The last comprehensive curriculum review was done in the late 1980s," he
"Our hope is that by mid-2011 we would have come up with concrete areas for
The reforms would start right at the Curriculum Development Unit, which
Coltart said was in a shambles.
In September last year, the National Educational Advisory Board (NEAB)
recommended that the Ministry of Education's "structures need to be reviewed
to cope with recent changes and challenges, particularly in terms of
providing a more updated curriculum which caters for a globalised economy".
Teachers' unions are divided on the proposals.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) said it supported the review,
while the militant Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) argued it
was not a priority.
Zimta chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said the state of the current
curriculum amounted to "condemning children to poverty".
"Things have changed, life has changed, and education should be used to
prepare learners to face life," said Ndlovu.
"We support the revision of the curriculum. Under the current system, we are
condemning children to poverty.
"Time has come now for us to even adopt a different examination system."
Among other things, Ndlovu said they wanted the review to address the
practical needs of learners.
Raymond Majongwe, the PTUZ secretary-general warned that the proposed
reviews would not solve the main problems facing the education sector.
"While it is correct that we need to review the curriculum, it should not be
hurriedly done otherwise we would have another half-baked pudding," he said.
Majongwe said most of the problems around politicisation of schools, poor
remuneration for teachers, leaking of examination papers, among others, had
nothing to do with the curriculum.
"If we want a quick fix, we might be creating a problem for ourselves. The
problem is not the curriculum, but lack of investment in the education
"We cannot rush to say let us change the curriculum yet there are so many
fundamentals that need to be addressed," he said.
Coltart said the printing of 13 million textbooks was now at an advanced
stage, a development that would see all pupils having access to text books.
"The situation at schools is profoundly shocking, but we are working with
our partners and local communities to rehabilitate schools," said Coltart.
Coltart blamed the education crisis on years of neglect by successive Zanu
The NEAB report proposed that "the curriculum and examinations (should also)
be adjusted to the needs of children with different types of disabilities,
such as the blind and the deaf".
It also proposed that there should be "more vocational and technical
education, so that they have a chance to be gainfully employed after leaving
BY VUSUMUZI SIFILE
Saturday, 08 May 2010 18:59
BUHERA - Along a narrow dusty road from Muzokomba to Zangama village in
Buhera district are patches of lifeless and sun-burnt crops in the small
Even in the morning breeze, the dry maize leaves make a crackling sound
under the feet while some tear-off in the blowing wind.
The crops wilted in the scorching heat and never reached maturity.
In one of the fields, Sosana Mhongoyo of Murairwa Village is busy harvesting
a few roundnuts with other family members.
Like in other fields along this strip road, her millet and sorghum crops
also withered in the scorching heat.
"This is all that we have," she said while picking her roundnuts.
"This millet did not do quite well but we have to survive with what we
Mhongoyo's field epitomises the situation in the district where most
households are facing serious food shortages after their crops wilted
because of a prolonged dry spell that hit most parts of the country.
Although most of the families have not finished harvesting, some are already
appealing for food assistance from charitable organisations.
Davison Gwara (37) of Tapfaya Village in Buhera called on non-governmental
organisations to quickly move in to avert a disaster.
He warned that any delays in bringing food relief to the area would lead to
"There is severe hunger," he said. "GO Zimbabwe (an NGO) is the only
organisation that used to give aid to the old and the crippled here but the
problem is hunger does not discriminate as it affects everybody."
Most communal farmers in Buhera, which falls under geological region five,
grow drought-resistant crops such as round nuts (nyimo), groundnuts, rapoko
But these succumbed to the prolonged hot weather and poor rains.
Already some families are having one meal a day.
"A few families managed to harvest round nuts, groundnuts and sorghum but it
will not take them far," said Gwara.
"When these groundnuts are finished, people will starve, I tell you."
Councillor Simon Chigwidze of ward 24 in Buhera said hunger was now forcing
villagers to sell their livestock for a song so that they could buy food.
"People here now sell their goats, chickens and cattle in order to raise
money for food," said Chigwidze. "I fear that after two or so months, people
here will starve to death, starting with children and the elderly."
Some able-bodied people from Chigwidze's area now travel to Chivhu to work
as domestic workers for a few days to raise money to buy food for their
Others, he said, go to Chiadzwa in Marange district where they try their
luck in illegal diamond mining.
"As you see in that bar, there are several people magweja drinking beer.
"They are actually coming from Chiadzwa risking their lives in the process,"
Magweja is the term used to refer to illegal diamond panners.
Among the seriously affected areas in Buhera district are Muzokomba,
Zvekare, Matsakanure, Mabhoko, Nyadi and Mushongwi.
Charitable organisations which used to assist the vulnerable and
disadvantaged such as the sick, elderly and children have since stopped.
"We used to have organisations such as GO Zimbabwe, Batsiranayi and Rujeko
which used to assist the sick but we don't know why they stopped when the
crisis is actually worsening," Chigwidze said.
Equally hit by drought is Chimanimani district and villagers' lives now
largely revolve around the small pockets of irrigations schemes.
To them the schemes are "an oasis in the middle of a desert".
The hardest hit areas are Gudyanga, Changazi, Tonhorai and Hotsprings in
Chimanimani district, part of which also fall under climatic region five.
Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland provinces are also facing serious food
The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has said at least 2,17 million people
in the country need food aid and the figures are set to rise because of an
expected poor harvest this year.
The ZRCS and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies said people living with or affected by HIV were the worst affected
by the food crisis.
Both organisations extended their emergency food operation from December
2009 until October this year appealing to donors for US$33,2 million.
The World Food Programme (WFP) website says Zimbabwe still faces a cereal
shortfall of around 677 000 tonnes during the current consumption year.
It says liberalisation of the grain market means that commercial traders
have been able to fill some of this gap but a substantial international
humanitarian assistance programme is still necessary until the harvest.
In recent years, WFP has assisted millions of people across Zimbabwe,
including over five million in March 2009.
Agricultural experts expect the number of people requiring food assistance
to surpass that of last year because of poor harvests across the country.
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
Saturday, 08 May 2010 18:57
THE Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) is barring relatives of inmates at
Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison from bringing food from outside, sparking
fears of a repeat of the hunger-related mass deaths that occurred in the
country's prisons last year.
The directive by the ZPS, which came into force on May 1 has riled relatives
of prisoners who say there is still no adequate food at the giant complex.
ZPS spokesperson, Priscilla Mtembo said they were only enforcing the rules
which say convicted prisoners are not allowed to recieve food from outside.
"If one is convicted we do not allow food from outside. We only allow them
to be given outside food when they are sick and are in hospital," she said.
Mtembo said the rules were only relaxed at the height of the economic crisis
that saw the ZPS failing to provide basics to prisoners.
A documentary by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) last year
lifted the lid on the dire conditions in prisons which then forced the
government to beg for support from donors to feed the prisoners.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Food
Programme are some of the agencies that responded to the SOS.
But Mtembo claimed that the ZPS is now able to provide the food on its own.
"Now there is no food shortage, we are fairly okay and prisoners are being
given three meals a day," she said.
Over the years, hundreds of prisoners succumbed to nutrition-related
illnesses because of the deteriorating situation in prisons.
The ZPS is also failing to take prisoners to courts because it does not have
This has seen many cases being postponed at the Harare Magistrate Courts and
in other cases complainants are being requested to provide transport so that
the accused could be tried.
BY SANDRA MANDIZVIDZA
Saturday, 08 May 2010 16:29
WHEN the typhoid outbreak was first detected in February after killing four
people from one street in Harare's Mabvuku high-density suburb inside a
week, the superstitious were convinced it was witchcraft. Nyamuturi Street
residents spe-culated that may be one of them had acquired a bloodthirsty
This is how the news of the mysterious illness reached the council's health
department, according to Health Services director Stanley Mungofa.
But after the local authority dispatched a team of experts to investigate,
Mabvuku and Tafara residents were shocked to hear that they had a typhoid
outbreak in their midst.
"When we heard of the mysterious deaths, we began investigations and within
three to four days after receiving reports of the little understood illness
we were able to isolate salmonella typhi which is the causative organism for
typhoid," said Mungofa.
He said this during an address at the handover of information, education and
communication (IEC) material to help raise awareness on typhoid from the
National Healthcare Trust (NHT).
The trust is a brainchild of Econet.
At least eight people died of typhoid in Mabvuku and Tafara, while 439 cases
have also been reported.
The two suburbs have experienced serious water shortages for years.
Mungofa said dealing with the typhoid outbreak has been one of the biggest
challenges his department has faced because diagnosing the infection was a
"Let me tell you that isolating this causative organism, the bacteria is not
an easy task.
"So far we have done thousands of rectal swabs, sewer specimens, urine
specimens and the pick up from those specimens is very low.
"It is known that you should expect this," he said.
"Of course when you take blood and you do a blood culture in such people
your chances of detecting the salmonella are much higher."
But drawing blood specimens from very ill people is not advisable because
they would have already lost valuable fluids, Mungofa said.
"When you have the sort of presentations that we were having it's not the
common thing that you would do because these are people who would be very
ill," he said.
"Others had headaches, nosebleeds, abdominal pains, a few of them would have
either constipation or diarrhoea. . .some of them had dizziness so as you
can see these are symptoms that are very non-specific but somehow we managed
to think of those possibilities that could give us a diagnosis and we then
caught up with the disease."
Mungofa said although cases were on the decline, the department was still on
high alert because of the complex nature of typhoid.
As of April 24, council had recorded 439 cases, which he said were too many
because of the disease's long incubation period.
The infection can take up to four weeks before the patients falls ill.
He said consumption of water contaminated with human waste had caused the
"When we tested the water from the wells we found it contained human waste
so people were indeed consuming their own waste by drinking water from these
wells," Mungofa said.
"But interestingly two weeks before the outbreak local authorities had
restored water to the areas and so many people were wondering why the
outbreak at that time.
"This comes back to the issue of the long incubation period."
Residents were urged to practice good hygiene while those who are ill are
advised not handle water and food.
Rose Jena, NHT director said she hoped the donated material would help raise
awareness on typhoid.
Formed in January 2009, the NHT has been aiding efforts to restore Zimbabwe's
battered health delivery system.
BY BERTHA SHOKO
Saturday, 08 May 2010 15:51
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company plans to construct a
hotel on a three hectare piece of land in Bulawayo to accommodate exhibitors
at trade fairs. The site is located at Bulawayo Golf Club close to Bradfield
suburb and the local authority has approved the proposal.
According to a council report, an inter-department committee has been
established to "negotiate with the Bulawayo Golf Club who are currently
leasing the land".
"In the meetings with the president of the club it had been discovered that
the land that could be released by the Golf Club was situated along the
boundary with Bradfield suburb," reads part of the council report.
The club, according to the report did not have any objections "as long as it
did not affect the club's activities".
Council said the proposal to build the hotel could only be permitted through
a "Change of Reservations in Terms of section 49 (4) of the Regional Town
and Country Planning Act".
After the change of reservation process, the chamber secretary's evaluation
department would then "suggest the lease rental and the selling price
together with the minimum building clause."
It was not immediately clear by yesterday the reasons why ZITF wants to
build a hotel, and the costs involved as ZITF staff is currently on a break.
However it is believed that the company wants to get rid of perennial
accommodation problems experienced during the annual exhibition in the city.
Scores of exhibitors from outside Bulawayo struggle to secure accommodation
during the fair as hotels and accredited lodges run out of rooms.
During the just ended exhibition the ZITF officials had to beg individuals
to accommodate some of the exhibitors in their homes.
ZITF general manager Daniel Chigaru told journalists during the exhibition
that finding accommodation for exhibitors was one of the challenges that the
company was facing.
At one time 76 delegates, mostly from Iran and South Africa could not find
suitable accommodation because all the hotels and lodges in the city were
Chigaru said the ZITF had to approach people with executive houses so that
they could host some delegates.
BY OUR STAFF
Saturday, 08 May 2010 15:41
THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) says preparations
for the creation of a tripartite free trade area (FTA) are underway with
negotiations commencing in July as regional blocs move towards removing
restrictions on trade. The tripartite FTA agreement will be ready for
signatures in July next year.
Francis Mangeni, the director of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs for
Comesa told a stakeholders' workshop on Tuesday last week that the
tripartite FTA would address multiple membership issues aimed at creating a
larger market to attract investors and enhance continental integration.
"Members want a member-state-driven process so we are encouraging all
business people to come and comment on the rules they want clarification
on," Mangeni said
The tripartite FTA combines existing FTAs of Comesa, Southern African
Development Committee (Sadc) and East African Community (EAC).
The main thrust is to establish the FTA on a tariff-free, quota-free,
exemption-free basis by simply combining the existing FTAs of Comesa, EAC
Beatrice Mutetwa, the director of International Trade in the Ministry of
Industry and Commerce said that "preparations for the tripartite FTA
negotiations will correspond with tripartite decisions of the Heads of
States meeting of October 2008."
The new dispensation would provide for free trade among the 26 countries as
a way of promoting continental integration.
In 2008, Comesa agreed to an expanded free-trade zone including members of
two other African trade blocs, EAC and Sadc.
The FTA agreement promotes the relaxation of restrictions on movement of
business persons taking into account certain sensitivities, liberalisation
of certain priority service sectors on the basis of existing programmes of
the three organisations.
Mangeni said the main benefit of the FTA would be a much larger market, with
a single economic space than any one of the three regional economic
communities which will be more attractive to investment and large-scale
"Free trade area is an opening for a larger market for investors. FTA allows
people to earn money in any area they want," he said.
The importance of involving the private sector in the tripartite process was
highlighted at the workshop.
The Comesa region is readying itself for the implementation of a customs
union during a three year transition period as well as preparing to
undertake activities in the important area of Intellectual Property Rights.
Estimates show that exports among the 26 countries in the common market
increased from US$7 billion in 2000 to US$27 billion in 2008, and imports
grew from US$9 billion in 2000 to US$32 billion in 2008.
BY PERPETUA CHIKOLOLERE
Saturday, 08 May 2010 15:33
NETOne, the third largest mobile operator, has provided the country's 10
provinces with public viewing areas and fan parks for next month's soccer
World Cup. Reward Kangai, NetOne's managing director said the mobile
operator felt compelled to bring the showcase to the door steps of people
across the country.
"NetOne was compelled to bridge the gap for many Zimbabweans who enjoy the
world's most beautiful game to come to their respective communities and
enjoy with their friends," Kangai said.
The public viewing areas will be in 16 sites in both urban and rural areas.
The public viewing areas will be in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare,
Masvingo, Victoria Falls and Chitungwiza.
"In rural areas there will be in Mt Darwin, Murombedzi, Murehwa,
Murambinda, Lupane, Gwanda, Gokwe and Mpandawana.
"In all these areas we have made arrangements for managing crowds and
facilitating for food and beverage sales for refreshment," Kangai said.
NetOne is working closely with Events Africa who are managing the fan parks
on behalf of the network.
Saturday, 08 May 2010 18:43
It's never easy to say anything flattering about the dung beetle; its
dependence on other creatures' waste matter is nauseating to all decent
human beings. But in spite of that there are some fascinating facts about
In ancient Egypt the scarab or dung beetle was the most important religious
symbol. In some Indian tribes from South America a dung beetle named Aksak
is supposed to have modelled the first man and woman. This would explain a
lot of things about the human mind.
In 2004 the image of the dung beetle came to me whenever I thought of the
Media and Information Commission (MIC); always rolling away Zanu PF's manure
and hiding it in boroughs away from public view; this the MIC did by almost
completely shutting down media space.
Zanu PF was fighting for survival throughout the better part of the last
decade. The Zimbabwean voting public wanted it out of office like yesterday.
This was revealed as early as February 1999 when the public voted against it
in the constitutional referendum.
Senior Zanu PF officials said publicly afterwards the loss was a wake-up
call to the party which had degenerated into a slumbering slug. It had
members only on paper, who did not work together for the renewal of the
What followed the wake-up call was a trail of sorrow, tears and blood as the
party went marauding like a fire across the veld on an orgy of violence
beginning with the farm invasions in 2000 and ending with the bloodbath of
2008 in an attempt to cow a restive public into submission.
Highlights of this period include the farm invasions themselves, the
electoral violence of 2000, 2002 and 2005; Operation Murambatsvina and the
violence of the period leading to the June 2008 presidential runoff.
All these events were the dung that the MIC sought to bury in the ground and
make sure the glare of the free press was absent.
It was with apprehension therefore that I drove to the Media Centre at the
Harare International Conference Centre to renew my accreditation on Thursday
A letter addressed to the editor had just been dropped on my desk calling
for the renewal of registration and accreditation of all mass media
My anxiety was based on the fact that Tafataona Mahoso was still in charge.
The letter bore his signature. I had disturbing memories of him sitting
austere at the head of the MIC boardroom table in June 2004 when he wielded
the axe at the newspaper I worked for then, The Tribune.
A month earlier he had written to its publisher, Africa Tribune Newspapers
(ATN), threatening to shut down the publication for licence violations.
In it he claimed that ATN had violated Section 67 of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), which required all media
companies to notify the MIC of changes in ownership, name, form, and
frequency of publications.
Ownership of The Tribune had changed hands earlier in March, when the
newspaper's management bought out the former owners. Publication frequency
had also changed in January when ATN merged its two weekly publications into
Mahoso had given ATN seven days to show cause why the newspaper's licence
should not be suspended. That was how I and other members of ATN management
had found ourselves at the Media Centre that wintry June day.
Mahoso had also alleged that the newspaper had employed an unaccredited
journalist. Under Aippa, all journalists must be accredited by the MIC to
work. But the so-called unaccredited journalist was actually only a
consultant employed by The Tribune's previous owners.
The Tribune published its last issue on June 11 2004 after being told its
licence had been suspended for a year.
The MIC's decision was challenged in court; on the grounds that the MIC had
shown bias and that the year's suspension was disproportionate to the
newspaper's alleged breaches of the law. All very simple and straightforward
issues which could be rectfied easily.
But the High Court denied The Tribune's appeal saying the MIC had acted
"within its discretion".
On the day we had been summoned to face the MIC board I had ventured to ask
why they could not just give us even a week to rectify where they said we
had erred instead of shutting the paper down but Mahoso had sat there at the
top table like a grandsire cut in alabaster; unflinching, unfeeling.
So at the stroke of his pen 63 individuals who worked for the ATN were
deprived of their only source of livelihood; they became destitute or were
driven underground from where they worked for foreign media houses which was
dangerous and illegal.
Earlier he had superintended the closure of two other newspapers, The Daily
News and The Daily News on Sunday in a similar way. Another newspaper based
in Bulawayo faced the same fate.
So it was that on a sparkling Thursday last week I found myself at the Media
Centre; as I walked towards the reception I couldn't help but notice how
clean and serene the place was. I was disarmed; that is something very
flatterning to say about this place.
The two ladies seated at the desk were most friendly and did not take any
time to attend to me. On a wall diagonally opposite them was a wide screen
television tuned to SkyNews.
It was voting day in the UK. As I accompanied one of the ladies into the
studio where my photo would be taken and my press card processed, she said
in obvious disbelief: "Look, they're voting in the UK."
I knew they were voting in the UK but there was something in her voice which
was soliciting a comment. Much to her disappointment I didn't proffer one.
As I left, press card in hand, I thought I heard her say, "Is it possible to
have a national election and there is no fighting?"
Yes madam, that is what the press has been trying to impress upon the MIC
all these years; that it is the press's job inform the public, to help them
make choices on who should govern them so that on election day they know
exactly where they should place their X.
To deny them this as the MIC has been doing since it was incorporated is to
stoke the flames of violence.
But is it possible that the new Zimbabwe Media Commission will be a complete
break from the past; or is it going to be just another dung beetle? Let's
see when Mahoso eventually does the right thing; that is walk away from the
Media Centre for ever without ever looking back.
BY NEVANJI MADANHIRE
Saturday, 08 May 2010 18:40
According to the agreement entered into between Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC-M in
2008, the parties have emphasised the importance of their commitment to
"re-orient" their attitude towards respect for the Constitution and the rule
At an international conference on the Rule of Law and Peace, held recently,
it was confirmed that within the framework of the rule of law, governments
and their officials, including the police and agents, are accountable under
the law for official misconduct, including abuse of office for private gain,
acts that exceed their authority and violations of fundamental rights.
The international conference recorded, in addition, that judicial
proceedings and decisions should be free of bias or improper influence by
public officials or private interests, should be fair and protect
fundamental rights and the security of property.
Judges should be impartial and accountable. Judicial proceedings should be
efficient, accessible and effective so that judgements are enforced without
unreasonable delay and timely and effective remedies are given to prevent
and address lack of compliance with the law.
The people of Zimbabwe yearn to restore the tattered reputation of this
potentially great country so that with the intended change of attitude and
recognition of the Constitution and the rule of law, among other
commitments, Zimbabwe may become one of the finest, fairest, most
democratic and just, peaceful, humane and prosperous nations in the world.
These factors are relevant for purposes of understanding what is happening
in the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (Cpca).
The CPCA spans across four countries: Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and
Zimbabwe. There are currently 15 dioceses each with a bishop, one of whom is
the Archbishop of the CPCA.
In commercial parlance, the CPCA is the holding company and each diocese is
its wholly-owned subsidiary. The 15 bishops convene from time to time under
the chairmanship of the Archbishop at what is known as the Episcopal Synod.
Each bishop is the equivalent of a managing director of a subsidiary company
with the Archbishop as the chairman of all the subsidiary companies (or
dioceses). The decisions of the Episcopal Synod are binding on all 15
dioceses in the province.
On taking office, every bishop swears a solemn oath that he consents to be
bound by, and to govern his diocese in conformity with all the Laws and
Canons of the CPCA. In each Diocese a Diocesan Synod, comprising the bishop,
all clergy and lay representatives from parishes within the Diocese meets
periodically to attend to the affairs of that Diocese. It, like each bishop,
complies with the overriding laws of the CPCA.
On the subject of property, the CPCA through its Provincial Synod, frames
rules for the management of property situated in and held by the Dioceses in
all four countries.
The CPCA has full powers and authority over each diocese to determine in
what manner and upon what terms such property shall be used or occupied.
CPCA Trustees hold the property in trust. They obey and are under the
authority of the Provincial Synod.
In turn, Diocesan trustees exercise their powers on behalf of the Provincial
Synod and have to ensure the provisions of the CPCA constitution and canons
concerning property and funds are complied with, not only by the Diocesan
Trustees themselves, but by every person or body in their Diocese dealing
with property, including the bishop.
Finally, for any diocese to break away from the CPCA it is necessary to
obtain the approval of every diocese in the CPCA as well as a two-thirds
vote of approval by the Provincial Synod and also the endorsement of the
Archbishop of Canterbury.
With these laws in mind next week we will assess the legality or otherwise
of the events that took place in the Anglican Church regarding church
Albert Chama is the Dean and Acting Archbishop of The Anglican Church, The
Province of Central Africa.
Saturday, 08 May 2010 18:37
I listened to a programme recently whereby some Zimbabweans living abroad
who have failed or refused to buy into the idea of inclusivity as
represented by the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe, were
making uninformed suggestions on the subject of the lifting of sanctions on
the people of Zimbabwe as represented by the economic embargo on Zimbabwean
companies and government officials by the European Union and the Americans
through the Zimbabwe Democracy Economic Recovery Act.
All major political parties on the Zimbabwe political landscape have signed
up to have this imperialistic nonsense removed, yet some Zimbabweans who
have other agendas that do not include the reconstruction of Zimbabwe are
suggesting that the Americans and the European Union should lift the
economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and substitute them with international arrest
warrants targeted at Zanu PF officials as a way of arming twisting them to
concede to MDC-T demands.
The same characters who are calling for this impossible scenario have also
gone to the extent of sighting the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London
under the Universal Jurisdiction principle as the modus operandi to which
they base their unilateral dreams.
Every sane Zimbabwean should now be calling for the repeal of all sanctions
imposed on the country as the last 10 years have proved that their only
purpose has been to kill millions of Zimbabweans as the country struggles to
import basic necessities such as chemicals for water purification, HIV and
Aids medication and supplementary food for the rural folk.
It was mindboggling to listen to Zimbabwean nationals proposing that the
West issue international arrest warrants on elected government officials.
To demonstrate the shallowness of some of these foolish and desperate ideas,
those discussing them never bothered to try and understand, let alone even
consider the practicality or possibility of their ideas.
Zimbabwe is a sovereign country that stands guided by international norms
and laws like any other country. It is not possible for any country to
suddenly wake on any one day and issue international arrest warrants on
government officials of another country without following the jus cogens
(compelling law) under international rules.
International arrest warrants can only be issued by internationally
recognised legal institutions like the International Criminal Court (ICC)
for a defined international violation. And the ICC can only issue valid
warrants on individuals who belong to member countries.
Zimbabwe has not ratified the Rome Statute hence the ICC has no jurisdiction
over Zimbabwean public officials whatsoever, be they Zanu PF, MDC or
otherwise. The only other institution that has the power to issue such
warrants is the United Nations Security Council.
This we all know requires the consent of all the five permanent members.
That is a process on its own.
The purported arrest of Augusto Pinochet following his arrival in London was
fraught with discrepancies under international law as the basis is not a
developed norm. (That of universal jurisdiction).
It relies heavily on domestic norms vis-a-vis international legal
principals. It is an underdeveloped international principal hence
practically of no use. That explains why Jack Straw the then Justice
As Zimbabweans we need to be speaking positively about our country. We need
to be speaking out against international embargos that restrict trade and
the importation of basic commodities that make our country function.
The reality on the ground is that Zimbabwe as a result of the sanctions
cannot import medicine for our brothers and sisters.
Motor vehicle accidents are happening on a daily basis because the machinery
that was used to fix the roads is grounded, large numbers of people are
dying needlessly as a result.
There are no ambulances to ferry the injured to hospital. If by some fluke
one makes it to hospital there is no medicine to talk about. The police
cannot respond to crime because they have no vehicles as they are grounded;
they cannot import spares for the large number of Land Rover Defender
vehicles that are of British origin.
If our leaders on all sides of the political divide have realised that
Zimbabwe will not move forward if we are not united, it then boggles the
mind to think why Zimbabweans living abroad find it prudent to
intellectualise the issue of sanctions.
Our role in the diaspora is to educate those that manufactured these
sanctions as to what the real impact of the embargo has been.
n Lloyd Msipa is a Lawyer based in the United Kingdom and he can be
BY LLOYD MSIPA
Saturday, 08 May 2010 18:34
The concurrent gatherings of so-called former liberation movements and the
World Economic Forum on Africa in Dar es Salaam last week must have raised
eyebrows among Africa watchers.
The former liberation movements, Zanu PF of Zimbabwe, the ANC of South
Africa, Swapo of Namibia, Frelimo of Mozambique, MPLA of Angola and the CCM
of Tanzania, met ostensibly to preserve the heritage of the struggle for
independence because, they said, the legacy of the liberation struggles were
integral to Africa's future.
They said the liberation movements faced mounting challenges caused by
external forces adding that the majority of the liberation parties in
southern Africa were under attack from the West which wanted to replace them
with captive reactionary outfits.
Therefore they should seek to preserve and consolidate their parties as
authentic liberation movements.
On the other hand the World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based foundation that
brings together business, political, and academic leaders from around the
world, sought to discuss issues confronting the international community.
They discussed new strategies for Africa's growth in the aftermath of the
global financial crisis.
The theme of the Dar meeting was "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy".
It is clear the two summits contradicted each other in a big way; one looked
backwards while the other looked forwards.
At first glance it would appear the liberation movements had identified the
WEF forum as part of the "external forces" that sought to destroy the legacy
of their armed struggles. But as Tanzania, run by one of the former
liberation movements, CCM, hosted the WEF event, it must be assumed this was
not the case.
The language of the former liberation movements is coated in euphemisms.
They have been ruling their respective countries ever since they attained
independence; in the case of Angola since 1979 and Zimbabwe since 1980. So
when these movements say they wish "to preserve the heritage and legacy of
the struggle for independence", they in fact mean that they wish to rule
See how they have contracted democratic space in the countries they rule and
how they have preserved themselves as the ruling class over the past three
decades. They have, without exception, rigged elections and used violence to
keep themselves in power. The MPLA was genocidal in its suppression of Unita
while Zanu PF was equally ruthless in its suppression of Zapu in the 1980s.
For these liberation movements anyone or anything that stands in the way of
their self-ordained right to govern without end must be part of what they
call the "captive reactionary movements" sponsored by the West.
What they mean is that there should be no place for electoral democracy in
the countries they rule.
This is what they mean when they say "the legacy of the liberation struggles
are integral to Africa's future".
But these euphemisms sounded valedictory in Dar.
The liberation movements are dying a natural death; except for Tanzania's
CCM, they have not reinvented themselves, so they have been left behind by
the times. It happened to the dodo and the dinasaur! It will happen to any
movement that dwells in the past and wishes to entrap its people in
amorphous past glories. There are times when history becomes a hindrance to
innovation, a millstone around the neck of a nation.
The liberation movements' Jurassic thinking flew in the face of the spirit
of the meeting in Dar which was aptly encapsulated in the words of Donald
Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank.
Speaking during discussions on business, Kaberuka said: "We must attract
foreign investors to Africa," adding that it was also important for the
continent to create its own world-class businesses which would, one day,
compete with major multinational institutions.
This was the appropriate attitude at a summit that brought together the
continent's political leadership, businesspersons, investors and development
The Zimbabwean leadership should have gone to Dar es Salaam to endorse this
message rather than harp on tired mantras that have left our country in its
current morass. And what sort of message does it send when the president
attends a meeting of political dinosaurs in Dar while his prime minister, in
the same city, is discussing ways to rescue the continent from wounds
inflicted by misguided nationalism.