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Mnangagwa officially declares his ambition to lead ZANU PF

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 May 2012

ZANU PF strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally confirmed what the nation
has long expected, he’s officially declared his bid to take over from Robert
Mugabe as leader of ZANU PF.

The 65 year-old told the weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper that he was
ready to govern if given an opportunity.

‘I am ready to rule if selected to do. ZANU PF is about observing the will
of the people and I will respect the people’s wishes if they choose me,’
said Mnangagwa, who in the past said he had no ambitions to lead the

The defence minister is the country’s most feared politician who joined the
war of liberation in the mid-1960s. He was arrested for bombing a train in
Masvingo and was sentenced to death but survived the hangman’s noose,
although he served 10 years in jail. At independence in 1980 he became the
country’s first State Security Minister in charge of the dreaded Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), where he earned the nickname ‘crocodile’
because of his ruthlessness.

In ZANU PF circles he’s known as ‘the son of god’ because of the general
supposition he is Robert Mugabe’s anointed successor.

Many people will be concerned to hear news of his presidential ambitions. He
is widely viewed to have orchestrated much of the Gukurahundi genocide of
the 1980s, in which those deemed to be ZIPRA cadres or ‘dissidents’ were
systematically murdered by a specially trained North Korean army unit, the
Fifth Brigade. An estimated 20,000, largely Ndebele speaking people, were
brutally killed and often thrown down mine shafts.

Mnanagagwa was also widely blamed for the extreme violence and brutality
following the 2008 presidential election, after Morgan Tsvangirai won the
first round poll.

As the battle to succeed Mugabe fires up two distinct factions have emerged
in ZANU PF, one led by the late General Solomon Mujuru’s widow
Vice-President Joice Mujuru and the other by Mnangagwa.

Political analyst Mutsa Murenje told SW Radio Africa on Friday that
Mnangagwa has always harboured presidential ambitions and was waiting for an
opportune time.

‘ZANU PF is at its weakest now with calls for leadership renewal growing by
the day. With elections due between now and April next year, Mnangagwa could
have been privately considering his options, publicly mulling the bid since
the death of Mujuru. What he’s done now is to test the waters by declaring
his bid,’ Murenje said.

‘You can rest assured his leadership bid will cause havoc in ZANU PF. He’s
not well liked except by those who believe in violence. He’s not a unifier
and look at the state of the party now since word went around that he was
planning to succeed Mugabe.

‘He might be a good tactician at destroying ZANU PF and Mugabe’s political
opponents but he does not have leadership qualities. He will also be a bad
choice for ZANU PF because he doesn’t command grassroots support from
Zimbabweans,’ Murenje added.

As it becomes increasingly inevitable that Mugabe’s time as president of
Zimbabwe is coming to an end, it’s also becoming clear that a leadership
race to succeed him will be a bitter battle between Mnangagwa and Mujuru.

Mnangagwa reportedly has the support of Mugabe and the military junta while
Mujuru, is seen by many in ZANU PF as their best hope.

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Kasukuwere speaks on succession

Ray Ndlovu 4 hours 59 minutes ago

SAVIOUR Kasukuwere, the firebrand Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment Minister, whose political star is on a meteoric rise, has spoken
for the first time on speculation linking him to the covert race to succeed
President Robert Mugabe, which race has caused serious divisions in ZANU-PF.

Nicknamed (Barack) Obama, the United States President, or Tyson, due to his
physique and aggressive style, Kasukuwere has been touted as one of the
party bigwigs scheming to fill President Mugabe’s shoes in the event that
the veteran nationalist quits active politics.

Other ZANU-PF heavyweights said to be in the running to succeed President
Mugabe include Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Vice-President
Joice Mujuru, both of whom recently said they have no intentions whatsoever
to take over from the ZANU-PF first secretary as long as the incumbency
still rested with him.

Kasukuwere’s admirers cite his relatively young age, the strong backing he
enjoys from party youths and the fact that he has consistently retained his
Mount Darwin South seat in Mashonaland Central since 2000 as a plus on his
side. He has also been at the forefront of ZANU-PF’s black economic
empowerment crusade, a central theme in President Mugabe’s re-election bid.

Through the ongoing indigenisation programme, Kasukuwere has been seen
emerging as the de facto right-hand man to the veteran ZANU-PF politician
who will be seeking re-election for a seventh Presidential term at the next

But his rising political stock is said to have ruffled the feathers of
rivals in ZANU-PF who are not happy with the limelight on him at a critical
juncture of the party’s political trajectory ahead of elections that
President Mugabe wants held this year without fail.

This week, Kasukuwere joined Mujuru and Mnangagwa in outlining exactly where
they stand with regards to the succession issue, an indication that daggers
could have been drawn out against him by those who might have felt
threatened by speculation linking him to the high-pressure job.

The ZANU-PF politburo member said he harbours no ambitions to succeed the
President as ZANU-PF’s dicey succession matrix, which in recent weeks has
been fuelled by factionalism at provincial levels, shows no signs of easing.

In an exclusive interview with The Financial Gazette, Kasukuwere also blew
the lid off on the long-standing perception that he is at the helm of a
group of young leaders in ZANU-PF, named in WikiLeaks disclosures last year
as the "Young Turks" and the "Generation 40".

Kasukuwere said: "I don’t lead any faction in ZANU-PF. My mandate is from
President Mugabe and that is to empower the people. To be caught up in this
entire succession talk means that one thinks they are much better than the
person already in charge. What makes one think they are more special than
the other? We just need to work for the good and empowerment of our people."

Kasukuwere’s denial comes hard on the heels of several denials from
Vice-President Mujuru and Mnangagwa. The latter set the ball rolling by
using the occasion of a lecture at the Midlands State University last month
to deny that he had entered into a "gentleman’s agreement" with President
Mugabe to take over from him after elections, as reported in the United
Kingdom’s Telegraph newspaper.

A week later, Vice-President Mujuru also denied any ambitions to take over
from President Mugabe as long as the 88-year-old veteran ruler was "still

Political observers have seen the public utterances by the three ZANU-PF
bigwigs as an expected response meant to portray unity and loyalty to
President Mugabe, in the face of a fractured ZANU-PF, which is beleaguered
by the provincial fights and imposition of candidates currently taking place
at district levels.

ZANU-PF’s politburo — the party’s supreme decision-making body — is set to
hold an emergency meeting next week to contain the factionalism and
infighting at provincial levels that threaten to tear apart the
revolutionary party.

Kasukuwere maintained that he was "quite happy" to serve as the
Indigenisation Minister and had "no interest to go beyond his call of duty"
and throw in the gauntlet to challenge the incumbent, President Mugabe.

This is what the former Central Intelligence Organisation operative also
told a Reuters Africa Investment Conference held in Johannesburg last month,
where he also dispelled the flood of growing rumours that he was positioning
himself for the big-time in ZANU-PF.

Instead, Kasukuwere has chosen to concern himself with the indigenisation
programme through which he has vowed to ratchet up pressure and take over
more 51 percent majority shares from foreign-owned companies and give them
to impoverished Zimbabweans.

He said: "We will change the face of the country forever and we will do it
in our lifetime."

Leaked United States diplomatic cables quoted American ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, saying Kasuk-uwere was "untrustworthy and a thug".
Ray said while Kasukuwere had in the past been allied to the Mujuru faction,
an advisor to Vice-President Mujuru had told him that Kasukuwere was
"untrustworthy and a ‘thug’", but adds: "Kasukuwere is young, smooth and

Kasukuwere comes from Mt Darwin, the home area of Vice-President Mujuru. He
is the youngest ZANU-PF minister in President Mugabe’s Cabinet. - Figaz

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EU: Won’t Lift Sanctions on Mugabe Until Free & Fair Elections in Zimbabwe

May 11, 2012

Sebastian Mhofu | Harare

The European Union says it will only consider lifting sanctions on President
Robert Mugabe and his political allies if Zimbabwe holds free and fair
elections. The EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, made the
announcement on Friday after EU Foreign Secretary Catherine Ashton met with
Zimbabwe officials in Brussels.

This week President Robert Mugabe dispatched three ministers to meet EU
Foreign Secretary Ashton in Brussels to push the 27-nation bloc to remove
targeted sanctions imposed on the 88-year-old leader in 2002 and some other

On Friday, the EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, told
journalists that the sanctions - which include an asset freeze and travel
ban - will remain in place despite the Thursday meeting in Brussels. But he
says that could change with meaningful elections.

“The measures were decided further to the electoral situation and very
serious human rights in 2002," said Dell’Ariccia. "The elimination of the
causes that have led the European Union to impose these measures will entail
the elimination of the measures. The European Union has been very clear that
to have credible elections where people can express freely their wishes.
These results is respected by stakeholders. If these happen there is no need
to have the measures.”

The EU diplomat says Europe notes the progress in Zimbabwe since Mugabe
formed a coalition government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2009.
But he says more needs to happen.

The uneasy and divisive coalition government was formed in the aftermath of
flawed elections. Mugabe had claimed victory but regional leaders did not
recognize it because of violence and intimidation of the opposition. About
200 supporters of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change were killed,
while thousands were displaced by suspected militia tied to Mugabe’s Zanu

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In Bilateral Talks, Zimbabwe Presses EU to Lift Sanctions on Mugabe

10 May 2012

Studio 7 Staff | Washington

A Zimbabwe ministerial delegation pressed the European Union Thursday to
remove all sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his
Zanu PF party, as Harare and Brussels restarted talks to normalize
long-frozen bilateral relations.

The EU slapped Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle with travel and financial
restrictions in 2002 over allegations of human rights violations and voter

The Zimbabwe delegation, comprising ministers Patrick Chinamasa, Elton
Mangoma and Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga met with the EU officials led
by foreign chief, Catherine Ashton in Brussels, Belgium.

Ashton's office said in a statement the meeting “was an opportunity to
deepen dialogue with Zimbabwe, enhance our common understanding and help
build trust and confidence on both sides.”

"The Zimbabwe re-engagement team pressed the case for a full removal of
sanctions to increase the level playing field and enhance the prospects for
full implementation of the Global Political Agreement," the statement added.

The 27-nation bloc has since removed measures on 51 Zanu PF officials and
entities out of about 200, to encourage further political reform. But the
party is insisting on the removal of all restrictions before committing to
fundamental political changes.

Though the pace of reform in Harare has been painfully slow, it hasn't gone
without the EU's appreciation.

"The EU recognized progress to date and encouraged the reform process to
continue in the same positive direction, allowing progress towards
normalization of relations."

As a follow-up to the one-day meeting, Zimbabwe will send the European bloc
a letter setting out its case "which the EU side would consider before the
end of July."

The Harare mission was later in the evening expected to release its own
communique on the proceedings.

But back in Harare, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo playing down the talks
saying his party was not expecting much as the Europeans keep refusing to
remove the so-called targeted measures.

Responding, Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the MDC formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai urged Zanu PF to reform before calling for the
wholesome removal of restrictions.

For perspective, VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke with director Sydney Chisi
of the Youth Initiative for Democracy and Employers Confederation of
Zimbabwe Executive Director John Mufukare.

Chisi commended the EU for opening dialogue with Harare, but said the two
parties remain separated on key political issues.

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MDC-T raises EU sanctions buffer in diplomat briefing

11/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T briefed diplomats accredited to Harare Friday, highlighting the
need for full implementation of a power sharing pact with Zanu PF as well as
concerns over what the party says is growing incidence of violence across
the country.

The briefing follows Thursday’s meeting between Zimbabwe and the European
Union where the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, commended
progress made in implementing political reforms.
Ashton also indicated the 27-nation body would review sanctions on Zimbabwe
at a meeting in July.

MDC-T secretary for international relations and Minister of State Jameson
Timba and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told diplomats Friday that the
Brussels meeting “represents an opportunity for those on targeted measures,
to change their behaviour on their role in trampling human rights before the
next EU meeting is held in July.”

The EU imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2002, citing allegations of
human rights abuses and electoral fraud. The sanctions were partially
reviewed in February, with the EU removing a visa ban and asset freeze on 51
of the targeted 150 people and 20 of 30 companies on the sanctions list.

At Thursday’s meeting in Brussels, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said
the Zimbabwe delegation, which also included MDC representatives and cabinet
ministers, Elton Mangoma and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, spoke with one
voice on the need for the complete removal of the sanctions.

“We spoke with one voice on the issue of sanctions,” he said. "We pointed
out that the sanctions had no justification and should not remain.”
But the MDC-T appeared to be singing from a different hymn sheet on Friday.

“The diplomats were informed on the need for the full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the roadmap to free and fair
 elections,” the party said in a statement.

“The party reiterated that a credible election is one in which the security
of the person and the security of the vote is guaranteed and respected.”

Mwonzora, who is also the co-chair of the Parliamentary constitutional
select committee (COPAC), told the diplomats the constitutional reforms were
on course but expressed concern over “a concerted effort by the state media
to denigrate the constitution-making process through Jonathan Moyo and a few
securocrats in Zanu PF.”

The MDC-T officials also claimed political violence was on the increase in
the country and expressed concern over “treasonous statements attributed to
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff Major General Martin Chedondo that
the military should interfere in politics and support Zanu PF”.

“The diplomats were briefed on the disturbing increase in violence and the
closing of the democratic space in the country especially the banning and
disruption of MDC rallies across the country,” the party said.
“Concern was raised on the continued lack of consultation between the
President and Prime Minister on key senior appointments.

“A test case on the illegal appointments of governors will be heard by the
High Court this month when Justice George Chiweshe will make a determination
as to whether Mugabe acted lawfully by appointing the governors without
consulting the Prime Minister.

“Justice Chiweshe was the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Election Commission in
March 2008 when the announcement of results of the Presidential election
where President Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe was withheld for more than five

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Private Radio Takes Broadcasting Authority to Court Over Licenses

11 May 2012

Thomas Chiripasi & Tatenda Gumbo | Harare/Washington

A Zimbabwean private radio station, denied a license to go on air, has taken
the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to the Supreme Court over it's
failure to furnish a lower court with papers detailing how it last year
chose two winners with links to President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

VOX Media revealed the court process seeks to force the BAZ to release
documents required in the company’s application challenging the authority's
decision giving licenses to former ZBC journalist Supa Mandiwanzira’s AB
Communications, which owns ZI FM, and Zimbabwe Newspapers, which is planning
to operate Zimpapers Talk Radio.

Addressing journalists in Harare Friday, VOX Media productions board member
Tafadzwa Mugabe said his company had snubbed a meeting called by a
parliamentary portfolio committee on media and information Thursday. He said
going before the committee would have jeopardized the company’s court case.

Vox media productions private limited is the parent company of Radio Voice
of the People, which broadcasts into Zimbabwe daily from the Netherlands.

Vox media challenged the awarding of the licenses in the administrative
court. Although the case was not treated as urgent by the court, the same
court is still seized with the matter.

However, Mugabe accused the Tafataona Mahoso-led BAZ of refusing to furnish
the court with a record of proceedings during public inquiries held by the
board which it used to determine which companies should get the licenses.

"Most people who have been involved in disciplinary proceedings or court
proceedings know that when a matter goes on appeal, the appeal court needs
to be seized with the complete proceedings from the inferior court," said

Mugabe said judging from presentations made by Vox media during the public
inquiries, it was clear that the awarding of licenses to AB communications
and Zimpapers was unjustified.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has expanded its digital satellite services with the
launch of a new satellite provider, My TV Zimbabwe. The satellite provider,
housed under My TV Africa which is based in Lebanon, is set challenge other
market competitors including satellite provider ‘DStv.’

My TV Zimbabwe was licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe early
April, launched to Harare subscribers and is moving to expand to Bulawayo in
the coming months.

The new player boasts to have cheaper market prices, going at $22 a month
for 18 channels, including Al Jazeera, BBC World News, Sentanta sports,
Movie Africa, FX Movie Network and Fox Entertainment.

Many Zimbabweans have in the past largely relied on free-to-air satellite
channels. But earlier this year a ruling by a South African High Court
ordering the stronger encryption of free-to-air satellite channels left many
Zimbabweans in the dark as they lost access to outside channels.

Chief executive Rodgers Chidamwoyo of My TV Zimababwe says their services
will provide competition to rivals and appeal to ordinary Zimbabweans,
mainly due to affordability, as the existing services are way too expensive.

"The content that we have is really worth more than the $22 that we are
charging," said Chidamwoyo. "We are actually riding on two A's which is
accessibility and affordability."

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New radio groups miss six month broadcast deadline

By Alex Bell
11 May 2012

A six month deadline for newly licensed radio stations to start broadcasting
will be missed, with the two groups stating they will only be on air in a
minimum of two months.

The two radio stations were last year controversially granted commercial
licences, with a stipulation that they start broadcasting within six months
of the November 2011 licensing date.

But, six months later, the representatives from the two stations have said
they won’t be ready for at least another two months.

Speaking before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Media, Information
and Communication Technology on Thursday, representatives from the Zimpapers
Talk Radio and the Supa Mandiwanzira led AB Communications groups, said they
still weren’t ready to go on air.

Talk Radio, which was represented by Justin Mutasa, Admire Taderera and
Pikirayi Deketeke, will start broadcasting within the next two months.
Mandiwanzira’s station meanwhile will still take another three months before
it is ready.

The licensing process has been widely condemned, with both radio stations
having close links to ZANU PF. Zimpapers publishes the state’s mouthpiece
Herald newspaper, while Mandiwanzira is a businessman with close ZANU PF
ties. He was also the head of the ZANU PF led Affirmative Action Group. The
groups were also licensed under an illegally constituted Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board, which the MDC formations in the
government have said must be reformed.

Earlier this year, the disunity in the coalition government was put on
display when the Prime Minister announced that an ‘agreement’ had been
reached for the BAZ board to be reconstituted, along with the boards of the
Mass Media Trust and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Speaking after a
meeting with his partners in the government in February, Morgan Tsvangirai
said it was ‘agreed’ that any action taken under the leadership of these
boards should be revoked, including the licensing of the two radio stations.

But this alleged ‘agreement’ was never honoured and plans have continued for
the two radio stations to begin broadcasting, despite concern that their
ZANU PF links will result in yet another partisan loudspeaker for Robert
Mugabe’s party.

The representatives of the two stations told the parliamentary committee on
Thursday that its content would not be influenced by political affiliation.
But Gift Mambipiri from the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations
(ZACRAS) told SW Radio Africa on Friday that it would be “naive to think
their broadcasts will be non partisan.”

“Nothing non-partisan will come from these two. The whole reason they were
licensed was to deflate the call for real media reform and to hoodwink
regional leaders that media reform was happening,” Mambipiri said.

He said the situation has underscored the “dysfunctionality” in the unity
government, saying: “This situation is part of a huge game by ZANU PF to
paralyse the government and make sure there is no progress.”

Meanwhile, representatives from one of the unsuccessful radio licence
applicants told this week’s parliamentary committee meeting that the
adjudication process in awarding the licenses was unfair.

Representatives from KISS FM, headed by Sharon Mugabe and popular musician
Oliver Mtukudzi, said Thursday that the process was not fairly carried out,
mainly because the other competing groups had an opportunity to sit in and
listen to the KISS FM presentation and go back to rework any aspects in
their proposals that had not been addressed.

The group also told the committee that, unlike Zimpapers and AB
Communications, they were better resourced and financed to successfully
start broadcasting.

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Kereke Comes Out Guns Blazing, Labels Gono "A Drowning Thief"

Harare, May 11, 2012 - Controversial businessman and former top advisor to
Gideon Gono, Dr Munyaradzi Kereke has branded the central bank chief "a
frowning thief" further insisting he was ready to expose those who have
plundered public funds.

Kereke was addressing journalists at his expensively built private hospital
on the northern outskirts of Harare Thursday where he also accused the MDC
of failing the inclusive government.

“Dr Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is a thief who
stole public funds and private funds for his own personal gain. Evidence is
there to prove this,” he said.

Kereke, also a farmer, accused Gono of invading a bank account belonging to
his private hospital and stealing US$100 000 to finance his own chicken

Kereke who left the RBZ under unclear circumstances early this year, said he
was a committed member of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and was prepared
to “take bullets” in the name of the veteran leader.

He accused Gono of sending unnamed government officials to go and sweet talk
him into abandoning his threats to expose the central bank governor's murky
deals fearing this would also unmask Mugabe’s corrupt loyalists.

“What I am talking about here are activities of Gideon Gono as an individual
wilfully and purposefully discharging himself to defraud the public for his
own singular, personal benefit,” said Kereke, who insisted the threats will
never make him retreat from exposing Gono.

“I know you (press) will one day be called somewhere by Gono who would start
suggesting that I want to implicate top government officials and members of
the security forces in corrupt activities,” he said.

“Those are acts of blatant blackmail by a drowning thief. I have chosen to
stand with the truth and no amount of threats to me, to my business interest
will make me retreat from the truth.”

Kereke, who spoke for more than an hour to the chagrin of journalists, flew
into a tangent and started accusing health minister Henry Madzorera of
sabotaging his private hospital.

He said Madzorera, an MDC-T ministerial appointee, was reluctant to grant
him the go ahead as was required by the law for him to start operating a new
hospital he has expensively constructed right next door to his other one.

He also accused anti corruption commission member and former police boss
Emmanuel Chimwanda, a top aide to Prime Minister Tsvangirai, of threatening
him against revealing how the MDC-T leader allegedly embezzled funds from
the RBZ to build his house.

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Dabengwa Urges Army To Be Professional

Bulawayo, May 10, 2012- Former ZIPRA military commander and ZAPU president,
Dumiso Dabengwa has called upon senior army officers interested in politics
to first resign from the force before joining mainstream politics.

Dabengwa’s call comes in the wake of recent statements this week made by
Major General Martin Chedondo that soldiers in the country are supporters of
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party.
“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu (PF) because
it is the only political party that has national interests.
“We cannot be seen supporting a political party that is going against the
ideas of a nation, which came by a result of a liberation struggle that saw
many of the country’s sons and daughters losing their lives,” Chedondo said
while addressing soldiers at a pass out parade in Mutoko.
Dabengwa, a veteran of the liberation struggle and also former ZIPRA
intelligence supremo said only an undisciplined and unprofessional army can
engage in partisan politics.
“The army generals should resign from their positions if they want to join
politics full time. There is nothing wrong in them joining politics but they
cannot be politicians and civil servants at the sometime .The world over
this are the norm” said Dabengwa in an interview with Radio VOP.
A National University of Science and Technology (NUST) lecturer, David Ncube
said the military by its very nature has to be non –partisan, disciplined
and through in its execution of duties, which is what the current state of
affairs in Zimbabwe requires.
He said it is clear that Zanu (PF) is using the army generals to intimidate
people ahead of a possible election this year.

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Government breaks promise to fund companies in Bulawayo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 May 2012

The campaign to secure development funds and assistance for struggling
businesses in distressed areas has reportedly suffered another setback, with
government failing to raise $10 million of its share towards the Distressed
Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf).

The Dimaf fund was set up by government and Old Mutual Bank to help areas
that have not been developed since independence ( especially Bulawayo and
Matabeleland province) by funding businesses in these areas. But the project
has been criticised for only helping businesses in Harare and making it
difficult for Bulawayo based companies to secure the funds.

Old Mutual contributed their full promised share of $20 million to the Dimaf
fund, but government has reportedly managed to contribute only half of its
$20 million. Most of the companies that have received Dimaf funding so far
have also been in Harare, defeating the original aim of the programme.

Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube, who chairs the Cabinet
taskforce on Bulawayo development, reportedly said he stays in touch with
Finance Minister Tendai Biti but has been told the government has no funds
to contribute.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said Minister Ncube visited
some clothing factories in Bulawayo when Dimaf was introduced and promised
to assist them. He said the news that government funds have not yet been
secured is bound to lead to more closures and job layoffs.

“The clothing industry is in dire straits, not only because they are located
in Bulawayo which is a marginalised area, but because of the cheap
importation of Chinese goods,” Saungweme explained.

He added: “The minister was supposed to get guarantors for the fund before
he even told the nation that there will be assistance for distessed areas.
And no-one is talking about other areas like Chipinge and Mutare and places
where villagers starve, while ministers get rich from their diamonds.”

The government’s lack of political will to develop areas outside of Harare
has fuelled the argument for devolution of powers, which calls for the
de-centralisation of the decision making process and more equal sharing of
natural resources. This is one of the outstanding issues blocking progress
towards a new charter for Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe Set to Restructure Loss-Making Enterprises

11 May 2012

Gibbs Dube | Washington

Zimbabwe's State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo says his ministry will
next week  launch a manual detailing the restructuring of all government
companies and parastatals that have become a drain on the national fiscus.

Moyo told VOA Friday the manual, approved recently by cabinet, clips the
powers of ministers who have been selecting investors and partners without
consulting relevant government entities like the state procurement board and
an inter-ministerial committee.

Moyo said members of the public would now be consulted when parastatals are
being commercialized, restructured or privatized.

“It has happened in the past that certain public entities were restructured
in ways that are not commensurate with the laws of transparency and
accountability,” said Moyo.

He said the process of restructuring “must be a public process and not
something done behind closed doors”.

The financially-crippled unity government spends millions of dollars a year
to keep loss-making parastatals afloat.

Only one parastatal, the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company – now the New
Zimbabwe Steel Limited, has been successfully commercialized though some
ministers are believed to be attempting to scuttle the deal allegedly for
their own benefit.

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Foreign miners ripping off Zimbabwe: Mpofu

11/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

MINES Minister Obert Mpofu has claimed that foreigners including countries
which imposed sanctions on the country continue to benefit from Zimbabwe’s
vast mineral wealth while the majority of locals struggle to put food on the

Speaking at the 73rd Chamber of Mines Annual General Meeting in Victoria
Falls on Friday, Mpofu said miners were resisting efforts to process
minerals locally thereby denying the country huge amounts of revenue from
by-products that come from processing minerals such as platinum.

"We are aware that our minerals are developing other countries. When they
are taken for processing outside the country, the government is prejudiced,"
Mpofu said.

Zimbabwe is said to have the world’s second biggest platinum reserves after
South Africa. The top two global producers, Anglo American Platinum and
Impala Platinum, have operations in the country but currently send platinum
concentrate to South African refineries for processing.

The government has been pressing the miners to process the minerals locally,
but the companies say current production is insufficient to sustain a viable

Mpofu also the mining sector’s overall contribution to government revenues
has been declining even with the discovery of diamonds in the eastern
Manicaland province.

"The mining sector used to contribute US$54 million into treasury from
diamonds but can no longer do so because we are not processing them locally.
We are now contributing about half of the amount. Those who imposed sanction
on us are benefitting more," he said.

The government has since increased by up to 5,000 percent a raft of mining
fees and levies with officials insisting the review was necessary to
increase state revenues.

In addition, authorities have also been pressing the mining industry to
comply with the country’s empowerment legislation which is aimed at giving
the previously marginalised black majority control of the economy.

Under the policy, foreign companies must transfer ownership of at least 51
percent of their Zimbabwe operations to locals and most of the major miners
have already submitted compliance proposals despite fears the legislation
could force companies to pull out of the country.

Meanwhile, Mpofu said Zimbabwe remains largely unexplored adding the
government was looking at establishing an exploration company to help build
an inventory of the country’s mineral wealth and establish what proportion
could be commercially exploited.

"We are putting in place modalities for the establishment of an exploration
company which will conduct exploration activities and build an inventory of
bankable mining projects that can be marketed to investors, both domestic
and foreign," he said.

"In line with this development, my ministry has also resumed the processing
of Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) which will lead to clearing the
backlog and opening up of ground for exploration."

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Zimbabwe farmers refuse to harvest cotton; seek more price

May 11, 2012
Most cotton cultivators in Zimbabwe have not yet begun picking up the crop,
though the bulk of the cotton crop is ready for harvesting.

The cotton growers are demanding an increase in price offered to them from
the current US$ 0.35 per kg to US$ 1 per kg.

Moreover, cotton-buying points have not been opened so far, which is
negatively impacting the cotton farmers in the country who rely on cash from
cotton for paying school fees of their children and buying essential items.

Analysts say this year’s cotton price has been affected by the market demand
and supply situation. The favourable prices offered last year, along with
the Presidential Well Wishers Scheme and contract farming, have attracted
more farmers to growing the crop this year.

As a result, the area under cotton cultivation this year has risen to
432,709 hectares from last season’s 379,689 hectares.

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MDC Threatens to call for a SADC Summit Over Devolution

Bulawayo, May11, 2012---The smaller faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube
says it will force for a SADC Extra Ordinary Summit if President Robert
Mugabe and Zanu PF block “devolution of power” in the new draft

The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) has already referred the
draft constitution to Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals namely
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara and also to smaller MDC leader Ncube for

However speaking to Radio VOP on Thursday smaller MDC Director for Policy
and Research Coordination, Qhubani Moyo said if Mugabe and his party block
devolution of power, as they promised before, a SADC Extra Ordinary Summit
will be held over the deadlock.

“During the outreach program for a new constitution majority of provinces in
Zimbabwe supported “devolution of power”, we know Mugabe and Zanu PF are
opposed to this. So if they  remove it from  draft constitution we will make
sure  a SADC Extra Ordinary Summit be  held  since there will  be  a
deadlock  between us  and  Zanu PF over devolution,” said Moyo.

Moyo also said Mugabe and Zanu PF should to respect the people’s will.

Early this year Mugabe rejected “devolution of power” saying Zimbabwe is too
small for that and it will also divide Zimbabweans.

Zanu PF spin doctor and politburo member Jonathan Moyo also castigated
devolution of power recently saying the debate on devolution, has been
falsely morphed into a constitutional issue carrying all the baggage of
federalism which has become a dirty word in the Zimbabwean constitutional
debate. The Zanu PF Tsholotsho MP also declared that Zanu PF will not
support or be part of any draft constitution that seeks devolution in

Zimbabwe Human rights organisations, civic society groups, pressure groups
and other opposition political parties have called for the urgent
implementation of devolution of power in Zimbabwe to stop the continued
marginalisation of some provinces.

They are saying devolution of power is the only way of uplifting some of the
country’s provinces that have remained marginalised since Independence in

Some civic groups accuse the central government of robbing resource rich
regions to develop preferred provinces, notably Matabeleland which lags
behind in terms of development.

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The MDC Today – Issue No. 353

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) today visited Ward
12 in Mutare North, Manicaland province to investigate claims that there was
partisan distribution of maize under the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain
loan scheme.

Although the details of the visit were still sketchy, the MDC understands
that the JOMIC team met the affected villagers who were denied the grain by
the local headmen and Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officials responsible for
distribution for not producing Zanu PF membership cards.

Earlier reports gathered indicate that in Mutare West, Ward 29, two
non-existing villages were created in addition to the known 15 villages, as
a way to accommodate as many Zanu PF supporters as possible.

The villagers were surprised when names were being called from a list said
to be of village Chikara B and Kusena B.  The two are non -existing

Those responsible for distributing the maize were; Eric Betera, a Zanu PF
activist, Jealous Makaza, a former Zanu PF councillor, Josphat Kusena, a
Zanu PF supporter and a GMB official who chanted Zanu PF slogans whenever
addressing the villagers.

Of the 15 villages that received maize, no MDC member benefited from the

Meanwhile, the MDC leadership across the country will this weekend hold
several rallies.

Issues to be covered include the Constitution-making process by Copac which
has since completed drafting the document, the referendum, the elections,
the Brussels’ meeting where the issue of restrictive measures was discussed
and the upsurge in political violence, harassment, intimidation and arrests
of MDC members across the country.

The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!

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Zimbabwe army enters political fray

10 May 2012 08:33 - Jason Moyo

Zimbabwean military officials want a more prominent role in and outside
Zanu-PF and openly back the party.

President Robert Mugabe’s military men, long the silent power behind his
throne, are now stepping out of the shadows to play a more open role in

They are trying to quell the factional fighting in the party that has torn
apart its grassroots structures and disrupted district elections.

This week a senior officer told his troops that the army could no longer be
expected to distance itself from politics and it would not apologise for
backing Zanu-PF.

The party’s commissariat, which runs its internal polls and election
campaigns, is now also led by ­senior security men, Air Vice-Marshall Henry
Muchena and former intelligence chief Sydney Nyanungo.

Army personnel are also demanding a more influential role in Zanu-PF’s
constitutional reform team, which is under increasing pressure from party
hardliners for agreeing to a draft constitution that would make far-reaching

Power struggles
The influence of the military chiefs over Zanu-PF has been increasing in
recent years, although they have largely remained in the background. But the
chaos in the party’s districts has been an opportunity for the military to
come out into the open.

While Zanu-PF provincial leaders were meeting in Mutare to try to end the
factional fights that led to the suspension of district elections, a group
of top army officers turned up at the venue and demanded that the
politicians sort out the crisis, which could lose Mugabe the election.

According to party officials, the army men felt let down by the power
struggles among the politicians and were stepping in to end the fighting.

Incumbent Zanu-PF MPs are also facing opposition from serving and retired
military and intelligence officers who want to stand in Zanu-PF primaries.

Army chief of staff Major General Martin Chedondo has told troops that the
army could no longer refrain from politics. “A national defence force the
world over is there to protect the national politics, national integrity,
the executive and other systems that form part of the government. By virtue
of this, defence forces automatically become a political animal,” he said.
“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu-PF, because it
is the only political party that has national interests at heart.”

Limit the president’s power
The military is opposed to attempts by the Movement for Democratic Change to
reform the security forces.  A draft constitution published recently
proposes to limit the president’s power to appoint security chiefs by
forcing him to share that responsibility with Parliament and a commission.
It has drawn strong opposition from Zanu-PF hawks and angered the military.

Under the power-sharing agreement, a new constitution is required before new
elections are held, but Mugabe’s lieutenants say the process has been
hijacked by their enemies in the West. The proposed constitution would make
it illegal for Mugabe to stand in new elections, because it bars anyone who
has been president for a total of 10 years from standing again. Zanu-PF is
also angry about a clause that could open the door to prosecute Mugabe. The
draft allows “civil proceedings” against a former leader for crimes
committed “before he or she became president [or] in his or her personal
capacity while he or she was president”.

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Land and Freedom
Monday, 30 April 2012

A traditional homestead in Matabeleland
When I arrived in Zimbabwe my understanding of the political situation there, mostly based on UK media reports, but also from talking to a number of Zimbabwean refugees, went like this:
Robert Mugabe had started out 'good' but was gradually corrupted by power, turning into a classic African tyrant.

The land seizures which forcibly removed land from White farmers have been an unmitigated disaster, as land was given to ZANU-PF supporters who were incapable of farming it productively, destroying the economy and pushing Zimbabwe into starvation.

The vast majority of Zimbabweans support the opposition MDC, and Mugabe is only holding onto power through vote-rigging and widespread violence.

The people of Zimbabwe are living in desperate poverty, while a few ZANU-PF cronies and military leaders get rich from massive corruption and looting of the country's diamond wealth.
Living at Hlekweni, I gradually came to think that the reality is considerably more complex and ambiguous than this, and increasingly started to question the way our media represents Zimbabwe and other non-Western nations (especially those that are usually represented as outside the 'international community' of US allies).
There is certainly plenty of evidence for the view of Zimbabwe as a tyranny and economic disaster. My overwhelming impression of the Zimbabweans I met in Matabeleland was a sense of hopelessness. One woman said to me just before we left, when we were discussing possible elections this year “I won't even bother voting. What's the point? We know who is going to win. And we can't fight them – just look what they did to us before.” For most people the only chance of improvement they can see for themselves is to leave the country, as millions have already done; although a good friend of ours had the chance of a job in South Africa, and eventually decided not to go, saying “It probably sounds stupid, but I just don't want him to have won.”
There is also a real sense of having to be cautious when speaking about politics in public. It is a criminal offence in Zimbabwe to 'insult the President', a charge which is regularly used to harass dissidents, including the artist Owen Maseko, who is still awaiting trial at the Supreme Court for his exhibition of paintings at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery. There is also a very active secret police, the 'CIO', which is rumoured to employ large numbers of informers to eavesdrop on conversations in public places. When we were out in town and wanted to refer to Mugabe, we resorted to the children's enthusiasm for Harry Potter, calling him 'He Who Must Not Be Named'. The CIO also take a lively interest in the activities of NGOs, especially overseas-funded ones, and they came to Hlekweni to interview me shortly after my arrival.
I have met very courageous Zimbabweans who are opposition activists, including one friend who is an openly gay man and also a MDC-M candidate, who maintains his outspoken political activity despite suffering repeated harassment and violence. But I have also met people of integrity whom I respect and admire who are ZANU-PF members and supporters. At first I was incredulous that anyone could support the current Zimbabwean regime in good faith. But I was exposed to a number of experiences that gave me reason for reflection.
Rob Sacco is the Director of the Nyahode Union Learning Centre in the Chimanimani district of the Eastern Highlands. When I visited him in August last year he explained his view of Zimbabwe as 'the most advanced country in the world', because it has taken the land away from the colonialist and capitalist class and redistributed it to the landless indigenous people. In the Nyahode Valley, Rob is helping local landless people to claim their allotted 2.5 hectares of land to support their families. Entitlement to the land is free, although it comes with certain conditions, including being resident and using it productively. I met many smallholder farmers in Nyahode who have acquired land in this way, and Rob claims that their intensive subsistence farming is enormously more productive than the previous pattern of land use by White farmers growing cash crops for export.
I also visited a community-based NGO in Masvingo Province called the Association of Zimbabwean Traditional Environmental Conservationists (AZTREC). AZTREC has a training centre on resettlement land (formerly owned by a foreign corporation) which is practising and promoting sustainable agriculture based on traditional African knowledge systems. Staff at AZTREC have also been involved with a University of Sussex research project to measure the impact of the land reform on local people's livelihoods in the region.
The results of the research so far are perhaps surprising, showing that much of the resettlement land which has been seized from White farmers in the province is being worked productively to provide livelihoods for smallholder farmers, who are also re-investing significant capital to develop their farming operations. There is an interesting series of video interviews with some of these small farmers (made by Pamela Ngwenya who also filmed our Hlekweni video) here:

The biggest problem identified by the research is the continual monocropping of maize by smallholder farmers, without crop rotation or other practices to conserve and rebuild soil fertility. This is where appropriate training in sustainable agriculture such as AZTREC and Hlekweni are doing with rural farmers is so vital for the future of Zimbabwe's people and land. (One young agriculture trainee at Hlekweni told me 'I had never heard of crop rotation before I came here'). Rob Sacco is very critical of the foreign donors (including the UK's Department for International Development) who have withdrawn funding from any organisations that are supporting communities in resettlement areas, even including schools.
There is of course also large-scale corruption in the allocation of farms to people with Zanu-PF and military connections, and a small elite within Zimbabwean society has grown extremely rich from diamond and mineral revenues. It is interesting though to travel on the Beitbridge road through Matabeleland South and to make the crossing into South Africa. While the landscape throughout Zimbabwe is studded with traditional homesteads, as soon as you cross the border into South Africa the roads are full of luxury cars but the countryside is largely empty of people. In South Africa, which is firmly integrated into the capitalist world, the land is owned by large companies and big farmers (just as in the UK) and is worked for profit using capital intensive methods. It is also striking to see the stark contrast between luxury mansions and sprawling shanty towns of makeshift shacks. In Zimbabwe it is rare to see a metal shack of the kind that provide a bare shelter for millions of the poorest South Africans. When one of the staff at Hlekweni built herself a chicken shed  Kate and I joked that if we were in South Africa there'd be a family living in it...
Of course South Africa is vastly richer overall than Zimbabwe, and probably given the choice most Zimbabweans would rather their country was more like South Africa (and millions of them have already voted with their feet by moving there). Still the downside of all that capitalist wealth accumulation is very visible in the townships and squatter camps of every South African city, and in the appalling level of violent crime that afflicts the country (again something that is very rare in Zimbabwe).
The forcible seizures of White-owned farms that started in 2000 (and are still continuing) are accompanied by threats and often physical violence, including against many of the Black farm workers. They are largely initiated by local War Veterans and other unofficial groups, rather than planned or orchestrated by the State, but the police do not intervene to protect landowners. This has inevitably led to a general atmosphere of lawlessness and insecurity, and encouraged the most aggressive or acquisitive people to target property that they will just take for themselves by force, confident that the authorities will do nothing to stop them. This can also include land belonging to Black Zimbabweans and local companies. The farm at Hlekweni was occupied in this way in 2008, by a group of residents from the nearby township, despite the fact that Hlekweni is a local Zimbabwean NGO. The police refused to intervene at the time (shortly before the elections), saying 'we can't touch politics', although after the elections they did eventually agree to move the squatters off the land.
Clearly this situation doesn't help to establish a climate of security and economic stability. From the perspective of a revolutionary Marxist like Rob Sacco of course, this is what revolution looks like, and the force involved in expropriating White farmers is certainly no greater than that originally used to seize the land from its indigenous inhabitants.
It is certainly instructive that the huge international condemnation of Mugabe, including trade sanctions and a credit freeze that helped to collapse the Zimbabwean economy, were prompted by the regime's support for the re-distribution of property. By contrast, the truly massive crimes of Mugabe's regime were carried out in the mid-1980s, when approximately 20,000 people in Matabeleland were massacred by the Zimbabwean military. This campaign of State terror, known as the 'Gukurahundi', was successfully aimed at the destruction of ZANU's political rivals after Liberation. It is still a source of unresolved trauma for the people of Matabeleland. My friend the MDC-M candidate told me that his father had been killed and his body thrown with hundreds of others down a mineshaft. Whole villages were destroyed and horrific abuses and tortures inflicted on the population. Robert Mugabe has publicly dismissed these events as 'a moment of madness', and no justice or reparations have ever been made. Despite this, throughout the 80s and 90s, Mugabe was portrayed by the Western media as a legitimate ruler, and people on the Left generally regarded him as a hero of the Liberation struggle. It was not until the property of White farmers and overseas companies was targeted that Mugabe suddenly became a dictator and Zimbabwe a pariah State, which is perhaps a revealing commentary on our own society's scale of values.

Personally, I cannot accept any justification for the continued rule of any leader who has been responsible for the wholesale murder of his country's citizens. The continuing intimidation and harassment of the Zimbabwean population certainly suggests a regime is determined to remain in power at almost any cost, whatever the wishes of the people. I can see good reasons, however, why some Zimbabweans might want to defend the outcomes of the
fast-track resettlement programme
, resisting the return to previous grossly unequal patterns of land ownership, and the incorporation of Zimbabwe's resources into the capitalist world.

Very few of the Zimbabweans I met in Matabeleland have expressed any hope of improvement for their country, even following Mugabe's eventual death. The legacy of violence and oppression has crushed people's sense of hope and possibility. As Quakers, I hope we will hold all Zimbabweans in the Light, and look for opportunities to work alongside them for healing and rebuilding.

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Dictators ruin the economy

Published on : 11 May 2012 - 5:54pm | By Gerhard Verduijn

Dictatorship is bad for the economy. Researchers say a country’s finances go
into freefall after 10 to 15 years of totalitarianism. The tell-tale
characteristics are decreasing growth and increasing inflation.

“The longer a dictator is in power, the worse the economic performance,”
concludes economic historian Jan Luiten van Zanden from Utrecht University.
He’s studied the economies of 55 dictatorships and there is no denying that,
if one person has all the power, the economy suffers.

It comes as no surprise that dictators tend to tell another story. Former
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi wasted no opportunity to stress that he had
brought his country nothing but prosperity. Some economists think this kind
of story makes sense. A strong man without an opposition needn’t make
concessions: he can push thorough whatever is best for – the economy of -
his country.

Driving seat
In practice, though, it’s different. That becomes glaringly obvious the
longer a dictator is in the driving seat. Van Zanden:

“With the passage of time, the balance shifts from the country’s interests
to private interests and that is disastrous for the economy. The quality of
governance declines, the clique surrounding the Great Leader is corrupt and
loots the treasury. What’s more, as everything goes downhill, they start to
print money with the result that inflation rockets.”

Of all the authoritarian regimes in Africa and the Middle East Van Zanden
has studied, he thinks the most striking examples, besides Libya, are
Zimbabwe, Congo and Ivory Coast. It’s no coincidence that these are
countries which have been ruled by one man for years. Van Zanden:

“On average, African presidents are in power for over a decade. So far,
Gaddafi wins the prize with 42 years at the top, but Zimbabwe’s Robert
Mugabe (32 years in power) and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (26 years) are not
doing too badly. Just compare that to the Western World, where presidents
and other government leaders average three to four years in power. There’s a
reason for this. Power corrupts.”

Just how much can a dictator be blamed though? Is poverty and economic
malaise also not often caused by economic sanctions? Van Zanden:

“They definitely influence things and contribute to the decline. Zimbabwe is
a good example of this. Economic sanctions, though, only come into play in a
few of the dictatorships researched. I think you first have to look at the
positive side to these punitive measures: imposing sanctions is one of the
few things the international community can do to try to change these kinds
of dictatorships.”

Van Zanden argues it’s a fact that regime change would benefit the
population of a dictatorship on economic grounds alone. The extent of the
benefit can even be worked out: his research details the costs to the
economy of these dictatorships.

“Every year under a dictator reduces growth in GDP by between 0,10 and 0.15
percent. That means, if a dictator is in power for 20 years, average growth
will be about 2.5 percent lower than in a comparable country without an
all-powerful leader. That is a really major effect. Africa and the Middle
East pay a high price for their dictators.”

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South Africa: War criminals' holiday destination no more?

11 May 2012, 22:12:58 (South Africa)

Almost overshadowed by the case involving NPA boss Menzi Simelane, a ruling
delivered on Tuesday by the North Gauteng High Court delivered diplomatic
shockwaves. It compelled authorities to investigate allegations of
state-sponsored torture and crimes against humanity in northern neighbour
Zimbabwe. The ruling also opens the door for other victims of war crimes to
seek relief through the SA criminal justice system. By OSIAME MOLEFE.

Those accused of war crimes might have to strike South Africa off their list
of vacation spots, thanks to a ruling on Tuesday in the North Gauteng High
Court. The ruling compelled the National Prosecuting Authority and the SA
Police Service, two of the four respondents, to investigate and consider
prosecuting allegations of torture and crimes against humanity committed by
members of Zimbabwe’s police force.

The applicants, the Zimbabwe Exiles’ Forum and the SA Litigation Centre,
brought the case after their request to the NPA for an investigation was
rejected, seemingly on spurious grounds.

Delivering a lengthy and firm ruling, judge Hans Fabricius said his order
was simply telling the NPA and the SAPS to do what was required of them by
law. In this instance, they were duty bound to ensure that the purposes and
objects of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court Act, the local law that gives effect to the Rome Statute,
were discharged. This duty was to be fulfilled in accordance with the
country’s obligation to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of
international crimes in light of the information placed before the two
bodies, he said.

The applicants had provided the NPA and SAPS with thorough and detailed
information, including harrowing victim testimony, doctors’ letters - the
legal precedent for an investigation and prosecution – and a list of the
names of alleged perpetrators.

“In order for the respondents’ decisions to be rational, their decision had
to be based on accurate findings of fact and the correct application of the
law,” Fabricius said, before finding that the decision by the NPA and SAPS
not to investigate was “unlawful, inconsistent with the Constitution and
therefore invalid”.

The police had said they lacked the means and jurisdiction to investigate,
and the NPA’s decision to accept that answer had divided the organisation.
In court papers, Anton Ackermann, head of the NPA’s priority crimes
litigation unit (PLCU), accused former NPA boss Menzi Simelane of acting
intentionally to prevent him from making his view of events public, even
though Ackermann was a named second respondent.

The unit is, by presidential proclamation, responsible for managing and
directing investigations and prosecutions of international crimes.

Ackermann’s view was that, at the very least, the SAPS should have been
directed to open a docket and take testimony from the complainants until
such a time that the practicalities of investigating a crime that occurred
in another country could be overcome.

The divisions within the NPA culminated in a frustrated Ackermann making the
unprecedented move of filing his answering affidavit with the applicants’
papers because his employer had already filed without involving him.

“This judgment will send a shiver down the spines of Zimbabwean officials
who believed that they would never be held to account for their crimes but
now face investigation by the South African authorities,” the litigation
centre’s executive director Nicole Fritz said in a statement. According to
her, the ruling sets a broader precedent for South Africa’s duty to
investigate international crimes wherever they take place.

The ruling theoretically means that, should another aggrieved group approach
South African authorities with complaints of torture and crimes against
humanity in their country, the authorities are duty bound to investigate
and - depending on the strength of the evidence gathered - prosecute.

This may result in some embarrassing situations because diplomatic immunity
falls away during investigations brought under the Rome Statute. Previously
untouchable figures could be hauled in for questioning or arrested, creating
a diplomatic nightmare for South Africa.

But on that issue judge Fabricius was pointed. “In my view it is clear that
when an investigation under the ICC Act is requested, and a reasonable basis
exists for doing an investigation, political considerations or diplomatic
initiatives are not relevant at that stage,” he said.

By agreeing with the argument put forward by the applicant’s lawyer, Wim
Trengove, the judge also pre-empted the argument that the NPA and the
litigation unit lack investigative capacity and rely on the SAPS. Trengove
argued that the litigation unit’s duty was to “manage and direct” under the
ICC Act. Instead, the NPA abdicated its duty and left it up to the SAPS, who
made the wrong decision, Trengove argued.

But holiday-making war criminals shouldn’t despair yet. The decision is
still subject to appeal. NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said the authority
would study the judgment, “scrutinise it and then determine what legal
avenue to explore.”

SAPS spokesman Lindela Mashigo was more direct. He said, “We have observed
the ruling and we are now studying the judgment with a view of appealing

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Our relations with Zim cannot stand in the way of the law

The Times Editorial | 11 May, 2012 00:58

The Times Editorial: Even though President Jacob Zuma has adopted a far
tougher approach to the recalcitrant Robert Mugabe than Thabo Mbeki ever
did, our police service has had no qualms in cosying up to their Zimbabwean

So much so that members of the SA Police Service's elite Hawks unit stand
accused of being involved in the illegal, CIA-style rendition of several
Zimbabwean suspects who were taken over the border and murdered or tortured
by Zimbabwean authorities.

Among the victims was former Movement for Democratic Change organiser Gift
Nhadzi, who was allegedly tortured, along with his wife, after he was
spirited over the border.

When the Sunday Times lifted a lid off this shameful state of affairs in
October last year, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa initially denied the
allegations. But an investigation was launched and Mthethwa told parliament
on Wednesday that the probe was nearing completion.

Yesterday, activists from the Zimbabwean Exiles Forum threatened to take
several members of the Hawks to The Hague over crimes against humanity if
they are not brought to justice in South Africa.

The exiles forum was also one of the applicants in a landmark case in the
Pretoria High Court, which ruled that police and the National Prosecuting
Authority were obliged - under the Rome statute of the International
Criminal Court Act - to investigate and charge senior Zimbabwe officials
suspected of crimes against humanity should they enter South Africa.

Judge Hans Fabricius was not persuaded by the NPA's argument than such an
undertaking could hamper cooperation with the Zimbabwean police in criminal
investigations or undermine relations with Zimbabwe, saying "political
considerations or diplomatic initiatives are not relevant . having regard to
the purpose of the ICC Act".

They might not want to upset the powers-that-be in Zimbabwe but our police
and prosecuting authority will have to obey the law.

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Religion and politics

May 11, 2012, 1:47 pm

Religion and politics make for a toxic mix; in both cases, followers have
deeply entrenched views and when those views collide, the result is likely
to be explosive. Religion and church membership of one kind or another is
almost universal in Zimbabwe; admitting to atheism or even agnosticism is
likely to gain you some very curious glances. As for politics, Zanu PF makes
sure that’s behind everything – even church membership.

    For reasons best known to himself, Prime Minister Tsvangirai has
apparently issued an invitation to a Nigerian ‘prophet’ named TB Joshua to
attend a National Day of Prayer scheduled for May 25th which is also Africa
Day and a national holiday throughout Africa. As a non-Zimbabwean, TB Joshua
requires a visa to enter the country and it is that which has turned what
seemed to be a simple invitation into a political matter. The issuing of
visas is in the hands of the Ministry of Immigration and that Ministry is
under the control of Zanu PF in this so-called Unity Government. Enter the
propagandist media; the Herald newspaper has featured various pro-Zanu PF
religious leaders declaring that TB Joshua was not welcome in the country
and that his teachings were ‘judgemental and partisan and unorthodox’. At
first glance it all seems like much ado about nothing until we remember that
it was TB Joshua who prophesied the imminent demise of an elderly African
leader. For Zanu PF fanatics, that was tantamount to a prediction that their
saviour – as they regard Robert Mugabe – was not long for this world. At 88
years of age, that would seem like a pretty safe prediction but, in the
event, it was not Mugabe but the 77 year old Binga Wa Mutharika of Malawi
who died of a heart attack.

TB Joshua’s prophesies have got the pro-Mugabe religious leaders all riled
up but as ever it is ‘Bishop’Abel Kunonga’s pronouncements that are the most
racist and un-Christian.

Is it divine revelation that enables Kunonga to prophesy that those who
seize farms and mines and other properties in the hands of ‘aliens’ will
definitely enter the kingdom of God? He boasted that he had personally taken
3.800 farms which were in the hands of ‘aliens’ and according to Kunonga’s
crazy logic, one must assume he will be up there in front of the queue at
the pearly gates!  “As Christians,” he said, “we must gear ourselves for a
bloody war against white interests.” Hearing those words, any sane person,
Christian or not, is entitled to ask why Kunonga is allowed to get away with
such open incitement to violence. And it is not the first time he has made
such inflammatory remarks and escaped the legal consequences. The conclusion
must be that Kunonga has the approval of Robert Mugabe and his partisan
Police Chief when he makes these outrageous statements.

    On Thursday this week a senior army officer, one Major General Martin
Chedondo, told the media that all his soldiers are supporters of Robert
Mugabe. Quite how the Major General can make this claim is not certain
unless all army recruits have now to declare Zanu PF allegiance before they
are allowed to join the military. That is possible I suppose, knowing how
little regard Zanu PF have for the democratic process. The fact that it is
Zanu PF who are doing their level best to delay and derail the draft
constitution tells us just how far the party will go to keep Robert Mugabe
in power. It is the draft constitution that is the clearest threat to Mugabe’s
continued stay in power; the draft limits a president’s term of office and
states that he can be prosecuted even after he leaves office. No wonder Zanu
PF have rejected the draft constitution. If one falls they all fall and when
that one is the man at the top, then all the other Zanu PF high-ranking
officials must be terrified that they will be the next to fall. We hear now
that the factions inside the party have increased to five in number as the
top dogs fight over who will succeed Mugabe.

    The combination of  Bishop Kunongo’s threats and Major General Chedondo’s
claim that all soldiers support Zanu PF suggests a frightening and uncertain
future for non-aligned Zimbabweans – in this world and the next!

Yours in the (continuing) struggle Pauline Henson

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