As the national Zimbabwean elections creep closer,
incidents of election irregularity cause dissent within communities on a
In this clip, a
local district council election turns tense as the voting official announce that
there are not enough ballot forms for the election but insist on proceeding with
the process regardless thus excluding many of the voters in attendance. The
crowd gets angry as they are robbed of their choice to choose their district
councillor and argue with the official from the ruling party who insist on them
voting anyway as their “duty” to the party.
A level of
internal dissent in the community shows itself in this incident and raises
questions of how effectively, and fairly, the national election will be run when
even a small community struggle to cast their votes due alleged bad planning on
the part of government officials.
remains a mirage in Zimbabwe and simmering wounds from the 2008 presidential
run-off will easily open-up and lead to more political violence in the next
election cycle, Reconciliation Minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu has
Mzila says lack of common ground in the uneasy unity government
on the handling of the sensitive subject, makes it difficult for his
ministry to forge a unified approach.
The National Healing and
Reconciliation ministry was founded three years ago at the inception of the
inclusive government to start a healing process for a nation torn apart by
the 2008 violence blamed primarily on President Robert Mugabe's Zanu
The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai was also responsible, though to a lesser extent, often to defend
itself against marauding Zanu PF activists.
Mzila's warning came
ahead of a National Day of Prayer by church groups May 25 to call for
political tolerance, peace and national prosperity among other
"There has been very little, if anything we've accomplished as
the organ of national healing," Mzila told VOA. "We must therefore, gear
ourselves for hell breaking loose if elections are called without
reconciling political opponents."
The minister, a member of the MDC
wing led by Welshman Ncube sharing responsibility with two other
co-ministers from the Tsvangirai MDC and Zanu PF, has himself been arrested
while conducting national healing meetings.
He was charged with
undermining the office of the president, and his fate will be decided on
Tuesday by a Hwange magistrate following a two-week trial.
healing ministry has proposed a code of conduct for political parties and a
peace commission to deal with violence.
Civil society groups and
observers agree with Mzila, adding reconciliation should also address the
killing of civilians in Midlands and Matabeleland regions by Mr. Mugabe’s
fifth brigade in the 1980s. Zanu PF is, however, opposed to the
Independent political analyst George Mkhwanazi commented that given
the dysfunctional nature of the unity government, national healing will not
be easy to achieve.
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)
says it is implementing power cuts of at least nine hours a day as the
winter season begins.
ZESA says the outages, known as load shedding, will
affect homes, businesses and industries across the nation. Only major
hospitals and strategic facilities will be excluded.
In a statement
Sunday, the company said during colder months it can only supply half the
national demand for power. Demand peaks in winter. It blamed breakdowns,
aging equipment and financial problems that prevent the company from
importing power from the region.
In years of economic meltdown, Zimbabwe
suffered regular poorly managed power outages of up to 20 hours a day while
some areas escaped cuts because of inefficiency. The state weather office
has forecast near freezing lows in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, a court has
ruled that workers cannot expect to be paid for hours during which there was
no productivity owing to power outages.
Labour Court president Loice
Matanda-Moyo said paying workers for mere availability for work without
production was not sustainable.
Her ruling followed an application by
Maxwell Nyakudarikwa, an employee of Harare company, Adhesive Tapes, who was
contesting the deduction on his salary for the hours he had not worked due
to power cuts.
Matanda-Moyo said: “This court takes judicial notice of
the hard times that the industry is facing currently. It is true that
load-shedding by ZESA has been crippling the industry.
situations, the courts should not fold their hands and issue orders which
have the effect of closing down a company. Courts should look at all
prevailing circumstances and come up with a judgment which ensures that
whilst the employee is compensated, the firm or company should also continue
so that lives of many other employees are not prejudiced.”
Harare, May 14, 2012 - The United States
President Barack Obama has nominated David Bruce Wharton as the next
ambassador to Zimbabwe, to replace Charles Ray whose tour of duty ends at
the end of 2012.
President Obama nomination is contained in a US cabled
dated 11 May, 2012.
Wharton is a career diplomat whose has served in
Harare. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service and Class of
Minister-Counsellor, Wharton is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of
He joined the Bureau of African Affairs in 2009 as Director of the
Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, after a two-year assignment
as Deputy Coordinator of the Department of State’s Bureau of International
From 2006 to 2007, he served in the
Department’s Bureau of Human Resources and from 2003 to 2006; he was Deputy
Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. A member of the Foreign
Service since 1985, Mr. Wharton’s additional overseas assignments include
posts in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
received a B.A. from the University of Texas in Austin.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will on 20 May
begin the first ever mission by a UN Human Rights chief to Zimbabwe, at the
invitation of the Government.
During the five-day mission, Pillay is
due to meet President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the
Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Legal Affairs and other ministers,
as well as the Chief Justice, the President and Speaker of Parliament, and
the Thematic Committee on Human Rights. Pillay will also meet with the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and members of civil society in the
Pillay is considering a number of field visits within and
outside Harare, where she will meet local communities and civil society
members in the areas to listen to their experiences and views.
very much looking forward to engaging with the Government, civil society and
other stakeholders in Zimbabwe to better understand the human rights
situation on the ground and to work with all relevant actors towards full
enjoyment of human rights for all,” Pillay said.
At the end of her visit,
on Friday, 25 May at 10:30am, the High Commissioner will hold a press
conference at the conference room of the UN premises in Arundel Office Park
Source: United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights (OHCHR) - Press Release – 12 May 2012
Harare - The Deputy Minister of
Justice and Legal Affairs Obert Gutu is suing the state owned Sunday Mail
newspaper of $ 1 250 000 for reporting that he was being paid $200 by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to write newspaper articles
casting the constitution making process in a positive light.
article entitled “UNDP in new Copac Scandal” appeared in the 6-12 May 2012
edition of the paper.
“In this article you published false, defamatory
and slanderous statements aimed at our client,” a letter dated 9 May 2012,
written to the Sunday Mail by Gutu’s lawyers stated.
insinuated that Gutu was commissioned by the UNDP, to write an article or
articles in defence of the COPAC draft constitution at a US$ 200 fee for
every article that he writes in defence of the said COPAC draft
“Our client is of the firm and considered view that the
article you published was false, defamatory and slanderous,” the letter
“At no point was our client commissioned by UNDP to write any
article for any publication, nor has our client received any sort of
remuneration and/or consideration for any articles or opinion pieces that he
has written about the current constitution-making process.”
letter further stated that “the contents of the article are not only false,
wrongful, malicious and defamatory but have severely tarnished our client’s
reputation as a senior and respected lawyer and politician.”
the $ 1,250,000 damages Gutu is also demanding a retraction and a front page
A cabinet minister says Green
Fuel (Pvt) Limited, stuck with 10 million liters of ethanol, should consider
exporting its product as Zimbabwe is not yet ready to pass a law compelling
motorists to use fuel blended with the locally produced
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told VOA Monday that Green Fuel
has not responded to some issues like pricing raised by an inter-ministerial
task force charged with finding a solution to the disposal of the ethanol
which fetches $1.10 in Zimbabwe compared to international prices ranging
from 72 cents to 75 cents.
Mangoma said the government was worried
that Green Fuel has not made any commitments in terms of converting vehicles
to be compatible with the E-10 blended fuel introduced in the local market
He said the local ethanol producer which recently sent home
more than 4,500 workers should start selling its ethanol to international
“Green Fuel still needs to respond to a lot of issues before we
think about introducing any regulations dealing with the blending of fuel
with ethanol,” Mangoma said.
Green Fuel general manager Graeme Smith
said they were co-operating with the inter-ministerial tasks, adding his
company will soon start exporting the ethanol if government does not pass a
law making it compulsory for motorists to use blended fuel.
not pursued the export option because when the project was approved by
government we were given the assurance that the mandatory blending will be
put in place to ensure that it will succeed,” said Smith.
FARMERS have accused Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and
his finance counterpart Tendai Biti of making false promises to save their
jobs, claiming they have yet to receive a cent of the US$20 million funding
the ministers promised.
The farmers spoke as the May 15 deadline for
planting wheat approached with most large scale growers still to plant since
the government is yet to release the funds under an inputs scheme announced
by Made and Biti last month.
“We used to get support on time but even
our long-serving Agriculture Minister is now letting the country down.
Minister Made and Biti have let down the country. It’s high time President
Robert Mugabe takes action before it is too late,” Beatrice farmer’s
representative, Edson Makina, told state radio Monday.
farmers’ representative and war veteran Andy Mhlanga added: “Made and Biti
should come out clear to the farmers as we now feel that they are lying to
the President, pretending to be supporting agriculture to save their
jobs. “Farmers have lost faith in the two ministers, and it is high time
action be taken to save the nation.”
Speaking at a media briefing
last month, Biti and Made said the input support scheme would help double
the country’s wheat production to 75,000 tonnes this year.
proposing that we target 26,280 hectares for winter wheat. This targeted
hectarage should give us 75,000 tonnes," Made said then. "This might sound
little, but considering the 41,000 tonnes we got last year, this will be
Zimbabwe requires 400,000 tonnes of wheat annually and
will have to meet the shortfall with costly imports from countries such as
South Africa and Zambia.
The leader of the
breakaway MDC-99 political party, Job Sikhala, has dismissed as ‘preposterous’
charges that he raped Sharon Theresa Bester, a South African national who was
working as his personal assistant.
It’s claimed the
former St Mary’s MP not only got the woman pregnant (although she miscarried)
but that he also stole a suitcase from her containing clothes worth about
R22,000. Sikhala was brought to court on Friday, granted US$100 bail and told to
report every Monday at the Harare Central Police station.
Speaking on SW
Radio Africa’s Behind the Headlines programme Sikhala blamed his former party
spokesman Aaron Muzungu, and police Detective Inspector Henry Sostain Dhowa,
saying the two men were working with the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
to ‘vilify and defile’ his name.
Only a few weeks
ago Sikhala was acquitted over charges that he helped Bester evade immigration
officials and come into the country illegally. Bester was however convicted over
the matter in January. In the three court appearances that she made, Sikhala
said Bester never once mentioned that he had raped her.
The rape is
alleged to have taken place in July last year and Sikhala questioned why it
would take the woman so many months to file the charges.
“When this woman
was convicted in January she served her sentence up to the 14th
February of which the following week she was supposed to have been deported back
to South Africa. They took her into a safe house in a mansion in Avondale,”
where Sikhala believes the CIO coached her into framing the rape
The case gets even
murkier with Sikhala alleging that Bester is in fact a girlfriend to his long
time friend and South Africa based fundraiser, Okkie Volschenk. He alleged that
Volschenk, who is married, wanted Bester to be stationed in Zimbabwe so that
when he visits (once a month) he gets to have ‘a good time.’
that once Bester got to Zimbabwe she starting having an affair with MDC-99
spokesman Aaron Muzungu. He blamed Muzungu for collaborating with Detective
Inspector Henry Sostain Dhowa, to frame him. Dhowa was one of the policemen who
tortured Sikhala when he was arrested in January 2003 for his work in the
Dhowa has been
implicated in several incidents of torture in the past and his deployment as
part of a UN peace-keeping force in Kosovo several years ago sparked outrage and
a petition to the International Criminal Court by human rights activists, who
Sikhala, Dhowa was forced to withdraw early from the mission and is now
retaliating, using the rape case to embarrass Sikhala.
Sikhala said they
had advance information on the rape charges and this is why his party were able
to issue a statement on the plot even before he had been arrested. “I have been
arrested over 60 times in my political career, but this is one of the craziest
cases I have ever been involved in, “Sikhala told SW Radio
listen to the full interview with Job Sikhala: Click here
A total of 31 students graduated from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe
School of Intelligence in Harare on Friday.
The college, launched by
Mugabe in October 2007, is primarily meant to churn out graduates who will
work for the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), an agency
behind most abductions and many murders.
Speaking at the ceremony, State
Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi claimed the security and intelligence
services were ready to defend the country from external
Friday’s ceremony saw the first three intakes of students at
the institute walking away with diplomas in Intelligence and Security
Studies. The school is an associate of Bindura University of Science
Education and reportedly targets “practitioners in the defence, security and
A report in the ZANU PF controlled Herald newspaper
also claimed it “has attracted a lot of interest in the region, with
students from various countries applying.”
But far from the ZANU PF
propaganda of defending the country from ‘western aggression’ the CIO has
primarily been turned into an appendage of Mugabe’s party. Most abductions,
torture and murders of opposition supporters and officials have been and are
conducted with impunity by members of the CIO.
Last year in June SW Radio
Africa published a leaked 2001 list of over 480 CIO operatives working in
and outside the country. Serialised over 6 weeks the list blew open the
identities of many of the agents who had been involved in some of the worst
human rights abuses in the country.
The series also showed how those
involved in brutal crimes against opposition supporters were promoted within
the organisation. Instead of focusing on national security the CIO, along
with the military and the police, have been used by Mugabe and ZANU PF to
hold on to power, using brute force and intimidation.
Zimbabwe has the capacity to licence 68 national radio stations,
amid reports the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is unwilling to do
so, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media,
Information and Communication Technology said on Monday.
Chikwinya, the MDC-T MP for Mbizvo in Kwekwe, said the decision by BAZ not
to increase the number of organisations operating radio stations was
The legislator told SW Radio Africa that the country’s signal
carrier, Transmedia, had the capacity to run 68 national radio and 51
television stations. The MP said he wonders why BAZ decided to issue only
two commercial radio licenses, and both of those to groups aligned with the
ZANU PF party of Robert Mugabe.
BAZ last year awarded broadcasting
licences to Zimpapers’ Talk Radio and Supa Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications
ahead of other contenders, including Kiss FM and Vox Media
‘I’m not saying BAZ should cancel Talk Radio or AB
Communications licences. All I’m saying is groups like Kiss FM and Vox Media
productions should be allowed to operate radio stations as there is space
for them and many others who want to join the fray.
‘It’s a fact that
while we still broadcast on analogue, Transmedia has the capacity to add as
many players and even more when we migrate to digital, which will improve
the quality of radio and television services,’ Chikwinya said.
are fears Zimbabwe will likely miss SADC’s 2013 deadline to digitise its
radio and television services because of lack of government funding for the
project. At least US$15 million is required for the full switch over from
analogue to digital services.
‘If BAZ had licenced more players, this
shouldn’t have been a problem. I can tell you from papers I’ve seen that
some of the groups denied licences were actually in a position to fund part
of that project.
‘By getting more players onboard means cash will be
generated from transmission fees to pay for the digitalization project. As a
parliamentary committee, we are very soon going to meet BAZ and the Minister
Webster Shamu and put across our concerns that their refusal to issue more
licences has stifled media plurality in Zimbabwe,’ explained
Meanwhile, Vox Media Productions, who operate the independent
staion Radio VOP, are still waiting for a response from the administrative
court after it lodged an application in December for BAZ to reveal how they
arrived at a decision to grant two FM licences to Talk Radio and AB
John Masuku, head of RadioVOP, told us they haven’t heard
anything after their application for an urgent hearing was turned down.
Masuku dismissed a report in a daily newspaper on Monday which said they had
launched a High Court application to force BAZ chairman Tafataona Mahoso to
submit transcripts of interviews the board had had with all the
‘It’s not correct that we’ve approached the High court
because the matter hasn’t been dealt with by the administrative court.
Legally, we cannot approach the High court for such matters, as the
Broadcasting Act stipulates that any disputes arising from cases under BAZ’s
jurisdiction will be dealt with by an administrative court
‘This is the route we’ve taken and we are still waiting for the
case to be heard,’ Masuku said.
Fiery MDC-T Youth Assembly secretary-general,
Promise Mkwananzi, has disclosed that people who killed Tonderai Ndira are
known and bragging about the heinous crime.
Speaking on Sunday at the
memorial service of the former MDC-T Youth Assembly secretary for security,
Mkwananzi said some members in his party are quite aware of the identities
of the perpetrators who killed Ndira.
Ndira was abducted from his home in
Mabvuku by ten armed men early in the morning of 13th May 2008. His body was
found a month later with reports saying he had been shot in the heart, had
multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged out, his tongue cut off and his neck,
skull, jaw and knuckles broken.
‘Tonderai Ndira symbolizes all the
victims maimed or murdered for political reason by ZANU PF. What pains us is
that his killers are moving around threatening some of our members that they
can still do the same to them.
‘We have among us people who know his
killers, murderers who are actually bragging about what they did. But as the
MDC youth assembly, we have resolved not to rest until his killers are
brought to book ,’ Mkwananzi said.
The outspoken youth leader said
they want a Truth and Justice Commission to be created in Zimbabwe to deal
with such matters. He added they don’t want to see a scenario like what
happened in South Africa where perpetrators of violence during the apartheid
era were able to walk free from justice.
‘We need to heal wounds and that
can only happen if people who caused mayhem are brought to justice. ZANU PF
has done a lot of damage to Zimbabwe and we want to see those behind the
evil deeds pay the price,’ Mkwananzi said.
Before his death Tonderai had
been arrested and brought to court more than 35 times. However, he was
acquitted in all these cases. After his abduction MDC officials and the
Ndira family moved around many police stations in search of
Following a tip-off, his heavily mutilated and decomposing body was
found at Parirenyatwa Hospital’s mortuary in Harare. He was 32. He was
buried at the Warren Hills cemetery in Harare.
The MDC said Ndira is
one of at least 500 MDC members who were murdered by ZANU PF supporters,
aided by State security agents and bankrolled by the Reserve Bank of
Tens of thousands of other MDC members were maimed and tortured
as ZANU PF and the state militia unleashed a campaign of violence after
Robert Mugabe was defeated by MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai in the first
diamond traders have been arrested in Zimbabwe on suspicion of engaging in
illegal diamond trade. The four are accused of trading diamonds that are not
certified by the Kimberly Process. The value of the diamonds, 272 in total,
was said to be tens of thousands of dollars, the Times of India
Zimbabwe government forces captured the four diamond
traders on May 5 and charged them with possessing diamonds without proper
permits. Three of the men hail from the Gujarat region of India and the
fourth man is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The four men should be
released today on $1,000 bail.
The arrests have created a great stir
in diamond dealers circles in India, as one of the three Indian men is
rumored to be a member of a family that operates a sightholder diamond
trading company in Surat, according to the Times of India. In order to
become a DTC sightholder, one must pass a year-long acceptance process.
EU's first Economic
Partnership Agreement with an African region goes live
Brussels, 14 May 2012 –The
trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and four Eastern and
Southern African states Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe will take
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: "Today, our
first interim Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region is applied.
This is excellent news and I salute the hard work of negotiators and colleagues
on all sides. With this trade deal we hope to accompany the development of our
partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and open up better and lasting business
The interim Economic Partnership Agreement provides duty
and quota free access to the EU market for exports from Mauritius, Madagascar,
Seychelles and Zimbabwe. These countries will gradually open their markets to
European exports over the course of 15 years, with exceptions for certain
products the countries consider sensitive. Furthermore, the Agreement covers
provisions on rules of origin, development cooperation, fisheries, trade defence
instruments and dispute settlement. It is therefore an improvement for
Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe on the unilateral duty and quota
free regime they enjoyed so far because it encourages regional integration and
strengthens a partnership approach with the EU. Regional integration brings
economic and political benefits that individual countries cannot achieve alone.
At the end of 2007, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe concluded an interim Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) with the EU. Four countries (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles
and Zimbabwe) went ahead and signed it in August 2009 in Mauritius. These four
countries have now taken and completed steps towards ratification or notified
application, so that the agreement can be applied as of today. Once all parties
ratify, including all EU Member States, the Agreement will officially enter into
In 2000, under the Cotonou Agreement, African, Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU opted for a more ambitious trade and
development relationship covering not just trade in goods, but also services,
trade-related rules and development co-operation. Strengthening regional
integration and creating more efficient regional markets with predictable and
stable rules are cornerstones of this approach. These new agreements would be
underpinned by EU development co-operation to reinforce ACP institutional and
productive capacities and support necessary adjustment
Negotiations for such comprehensive trade and
development agreements as set out in the Cotonou Agreement started in 2002;
however, it became clear towards the end of 2007 that it would not be possible
in all ACP regions to finalise negotiations before the end of Cotonou trade
regime on 31 December 2007.
A series of Interim Agreements were therefore concluded
to minimise any possible trade disruption for ACP partners arising from the
expiry of the Cotonou trade regime while maintaining progress towards
comprehensive regional EPAs. While the interim Agreement went through the
domestic approval process, the countries retained duty and quota free access to
Hence, the interim Economic Partnership Agreement Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe has to be seen
as a stepping stone to a wider and more comprehensive deal currently under
negotiation between the EU and the whole Eastern and Southern African region.
Negotiations for a comprehensive EPA resumed at the beginning of 2008 with all
countries of Eastern and Southern Africa, including those which did not join the
interim EPA (Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Sudan and Zambia).
The shared objective in these negotiations is to conclude an agreement at
regional level, which supports sustainable development and fosters regional
integration. The areas potentially covered by the full EPA go beyond trade in
goods to include services and investment, and trade-related areas such as
sustainable development, competition and trade facilitation.
In 2011, total EU imports from the four Eastern and
Southern African (ESA) countries amounted to about €2
billion. The main imports were processed tuna, coffee, cane sugar, textiles,
tobacco, cut flowers and metals. In the same year, EU exports to the four ESA
countries amounted to €1.7 billion and comprised mainly
machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products and chemicals.
EPA negotiations with other ACP
EPA negotiations with other African regions have
intensified over the last year. Recently, progress has been made at technical
level with the East African Community and West Africa. If sufficient political
will and commitment can be mustered, there are real prospects for concluding the
deals during 2012 in many African regions. In the Caribbean and the Pacific
regions, the EU and its partners in the Cariforum and Papua New Guinea are
focusing on the implementation of their existing agreements that are
provisionally applied since 29 December 2008 and 20 December 2009
Article | May
14, 2012 - 4:33pm Money in Zimbabwe does not worth much
continued with its policy of awarding dictatorships with trade benefits and
development deals. The trade and development agreement between the EU and
Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, which is by all merits a
dictatorship, took effect on 14 May.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht
welcomed the agreement as the first interim Economic Partnership Agreement
with an African region. “With this trade deal we hope to accompany the
development of our partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and open up
better and lasting business opportunities," he said.
provides duty and quota free access to the EU market for exports from the
four countries, which will in turn gradually open their markets to European
exports over the course of 15 years, with exceptions for certain products
the countries consider sensitive. It would further encourage Mauritius,
Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe to exploit potentials for regional
integration, fostering economic and political development the countries
cannot achieve alone.
In 2007, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe concluded an interim Economic Partnership
Agreement with the EU. Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe signed
it in August 2009 and have now completed ratification, so that the agreement
can be applied. The Agreement will officially enter into force only when all
the parties, including EU member states, ratify it.
MARONDERA - Robert Mugabe's State
Security Minister, Politburo Member Sydney Sekeramayi says his party’s
representatives in COPAC will defend the country’s sovereignty and
territorial integrity in the on-going constitution making
Addressing party supporters in Marondera, Sekeramayi said
the representatives will preserve the revolutionary aspirations of the
living and fallen heroes of the liberation struggle.
"Our party has
come a long way and those of us in COPAC are intelligent people who are able
scrutinise what is included in the supreme law to make sure that the views
in the constitution are indeed people centred and in line with the party's
principles," said Sekeramayi.
Another Politburo Member, who is also a
member of COPAC, Dr Olivia Muchena briefed the gathering on the progress
made so far in the constitution making process.
"Please do not listen
to all the speculations about what is in the draft constitution until we as
COPAC finalise the draft," she said.
The meeting was attended by senior
party officials who include the ailing Herbert Murerwa, the provincial party
leadership, members of the national consultative assembly as well as
senators and members of parliament from Mashonaland East
MDC-T Bulawayo Spokesperson, Mandla Sibanda, accused smaller
faction of MDC, ZAPU, Zanu-PF and Mavambo of splitting the votes in Bulawayo
in the coming elections.
In an interview with Radio VOP after the
rally, Sibanda urged their supporters across the country to unite for a
purpose in order to vote wisely and boot out Zanu-PF that is already
behaving like an opposition party in the Inclusive
“Basically there are these three parties based in Bulawayo,
they are solely based in Bulawayo, they assist Zanu-PF in dividing votes in
Bulawayo, they claim to exist to deal with Matabeleland issues.
need unity of purpose ahead of elections. It’s not proper to term what
happened during and after congress as violence in my opinion it was an issue
of difference in term s of opinions and it is the reason why we chose
leadership that will represent the party in the next five years,” said
Prior to 2011 MDC-T national congress in Bulawayo, during
and after the congress, cases of violence in MDC-T were noted around the
country and Sibanda denied that there was violence but said that it was an
issue of different views by the party members.
“Such incidences do
happen when there is change of power and what happened during our congress
is normal in a democratic country. We are now concentrating on elections and
mobilising our members to go and vote for us so that we remove Mugabe from
“This is time to unite against Zanu-PF and other political parties
in the country for it do not help the party to have a number of councilors,
Members of Parliament and senators when our president is not in control. He
must win the next election with a big margin,” said Sibanda.
the split within Zanu-PF will assist his party to garner more votes and
having President Robert Mugabe as a Zanu-PF candidate was a bonus for his
party because he cannot outwit Tsvangirai in the next election if it is a
free and fair election.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khuphe was
scheduled to address the rally in her constituency but she boycotted and
went to campaign in Siganda were it is alleged that she wants to stand and
contest as an MP against Clifford Sibanda of Zanu-PF.
A Zimbabwean human rights group has threatened
South Africa’s chief crime fighting unit with international legal action,
over on ongoing probe into the illegal renditions of Zimbabwean citizens
from South Africa.
Several senior officials in the Hawks criminal unit
and the South African police were last year accused of conducting the
renditions, in partnership with Zimbabwean police. This has reportedly led
to a number of Zimbabwean ‘suspects’ being arrested in South Africa and then
sent across the border illegally, and killed.
These allegations were
made by South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, which reported that South
Africa’s Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, is sitting on explosive reports
listing at least three deaths of Zimbabwean nationals. The deaths were
allegedly as a result of a ‘renditions’ operation led by police and Hawks
A Hawks source has recently been quoted by South African media
as saying that the practice is still ongoing with at least eight of the
unit’s members being accused.
“They are above the law. Completely
untouchable. For their work several have been promoted to senior ranks. They
have links right to the top, including politicians and senior officers,” the
source was quoted as telling the Times newspaper.
“Several, who are
from the Hawks Tactical Operational Management Services, are known to be
linked to the murders of at least six Zimbabweans abducted from across
Gauteng, and others have been linked to the murders of South Africans,
including fellow police officers,” the source said.
Mthethwa has now said
a preliminary investigation into the allegations is almost completed. But
according to the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) this is the first time any form
of a probe has been mentioned. ZEF Director Gabriel Shumba said he fears the
allegations will be covered up.
“These renditions are crimes against
humanity that include brutal assaults on people. Yet nothing has been done
to prevent this from continuing,” Shumba said.
The ZEF head also
threatened to refer the Hawks members involved to the International Criminal
Court (ICC) if they are not brought to justice, explaining that a thorough,
credible investigation needs to done.
Shumba meanwhile explained that
there has been a noticeable increase in reports of intimidation of
Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa, allegedly by Zim police agents
operating there. He said this has led to many Zim nationals trying to flee
South Africa for other countries.
The Sunday Times reported that it has
evidence that Zimbabwean, Witness Ndeya, who was suspected of shooting a
policeman in his country, was “renditioned” by the Hawks and then murdered,
apparently by Zimbabwean police. Ndeya was arrested, along with his nephew
and two friends, for being “illegal immigrants” in 2010. In a sworn
statement by one of the four, Shepard Tshuma, they were all taken to the
Beitbridge border by South African police and handed over to Zimbabwean
officials who “told us that we are under arrest for the murder of police
Tshuma and Ndeya were detained at a Bulawayo police station
before the former was released a week later. Tshuma said that a few days
later the Zimbabwean police told the family “that Witness Ndeya was killed
by other police officers.” Ndeya’s death certificate reportedly confirmed he
died at Hippo Valley Farm in Bulawayo, with the cause of death listed as
“multiple gunshot wounds.”
Tshuma, along with the other two surviving
“renditioned” suspects, are now hiding in South Africa, after allegedly
being threatened. The Sunday Times said that it had met the three at a
secret location and they all feared being “deported and murdered.”
Hon. Eliah Jembere, the MP
for Epworth was last week removed from remand on false charges of insulting
and undermining the authority of Robert Mugabe at the Bindura Magistrates’
The MP has been under prosecution since his arrest in June 2010
and charged with contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act.
The State was alleging that Hon. Jembere insulted
Mugabe when he addressed hundreds of MDC supporters at a Constitution
–making awareness programme in Shamva in 2010 by saying; “Mugabe mudenga,
Zanu PF mudenga, vabatanidzei, roverai pasi”.
However, the case
crumbled when the trial was postponed several times after State witnesses
failed to show up.
Hon. Jembere was arrested with Gilbert Kagodora, the
MDC Mashonaland Central provincial member. Kagodora was later removed from
remand after his lawyers successfully filed an application for refusal of
further remand in 2010.
The Bindura Magistrates’ Court has the highest
number of accused people in the country who are facing charges of insulting
and undermining the authority of Mugabe.
The people’s struggle for
real change – Let’s finish!!!
I once described to the Canadian Ambassador the situation
in Zimbabwean politics as being like a battle scene 1000 AD in Europe. The
two adversaries gather on opposing hillsides and the struggle is joined. For
the first few hours all that is visible from the heights is dust and smoke
and the clash of steel. Then gradually a pattern emerges and eventually
victory for one side or the other and finally both sides, victor and
vanquished, pick through the debris of the battle to recover bodies and the
wounded. The struggle in Zimbabwe is somewhere in the middle – tending
towards the end, clearly the democratic forces here are slowly forcing their
opponents back and gaining ascendency. The non-democrats are fighting
amongst themselves and forcing rearguard actions in a desperate attempt to
rescue something from the fight. The context for this battle goes back to
December 2006. Zanu PF was holding their annual conference. Mugabe made a
statement that they were going to harmonize elections and postpone them from
March 2008 to June 2010. This brought South Africa into the situation; Mbeki
met Mugabe urgently and said that this was unacceptable. The result was the
GPA process. Talks started with the MDC culminating in the Kariba Agreement
in September 2007. This led to electoral reforms and the March 2008
elections when Zanu PF was defeated. Tsvangirai won that election hands down
– he got 54 per cent of the vote, Mugabe 27 and Makone 18. Mbeki then made a
serious error of judgment – he allowed the Zimbabweans to falsify the
results and forced a run off. Mugabe managed the run off so violently and
with such blatant rigging on a massive scale, that no one – not even the AU
and the SADC would accept his election – Zanu PF was forced back into
negotiations. These led to the GPA in September 2008 and finally the GNU in
February 2009. During this final phase, Mbeki was removed from office and
eventually replaced by Zuma. In the Zuma phase of the struggle, he first had
to settle in, during this period he realised how serious the conflicts were
in Zimbabwe and took the decision to treat the Zimbabwean crisis as a
domestic issue for South Africa, rather than a foreign policy issue. Under
this mantle he stripped the GPA of its non electoral aspects and constructed
a regional and continental consensus around the revised package. In 2011
this emerged in a series of summits – Livingstone in May, Mid Rand in July
and finally in the Luanda SADC summit and the AU summit in February 2012. In
all these diplomatic arenas he was able to hold the 54 countries of Africa
together in support of the GPA process and the need for reforms in Zimbabwe
before any further elections. While this was going on Zanu PF was
fighting back. Mbeki had conducted the 2007 and 2008 round of negotiations
in conditions of complete secrecy – the first time anyone outside the
process saw the GPA was when it was signed in Harare in September 2008. Zanu
immediately appreciated that if this agreement was fully implemented, they
were finished, metaphorically and politically. The result was form of
guerilla war. They procrastinated, forced delays and fought back against
Zuma in the region and the continent. Diplomats were instructed to try and
negate Zuma’s efforts. Zuma quietly constructed an intelligence network
inside and outside Zimbabwe that fed him timely and accurate information of
what was happening. In a sense these were the preliminary skirmishes prior
to the battle that is now raging in Harare. Knowing full well that if the
battle was joined on the ground that was available and no help was
forthcoming from allies on the heights above the battle ground, they faced
defeat, Zanu has used every ploy in the book. They funded the opposition in
Zambia leading to the victory for Sarte; they funded the opposition in
Botswana in an effort to unseat their opponents there with less success.
They funded their allies in Malawi only to have their gains pulled out from
under their feet by the death of the President. They funded Zuma opponents
in South Africa. Well funded in the battle in Harare by diamond money, they
simply had no defense against the numbers of their opponents; they were out
manned and isolated. Their friends and allies in the region stood aloof,
dismayed by the behavior of the Zanu leadership and no longer convinced that
entry to the battle on the side of the losers was in their interest. More
serious was the fact that on the battle field they were no longer a united
force. Moderates called for a resumption of talks to ensure that they could
leave the battlefield with their dignity and forces intact and prepare to
fight again at a later stage. Hardliners called for a suicidal frontal
attack that would involve the use of unacceptable means to ensure victory –
accepting that this would give them a chance to stay in power and protect
their privilege but at the cost of recognition and acceptance by the region
and the global community. In the mean time the forces on the heights
above the battle, led by South Africa who is watching closely at events in
the valley below, are adamant that they will not allow any changes to the
rules for the struggle from those agreed and signed in the GPA. Today, the
Zanu forces in the battle appreciate that this is a struggle they cannot win
like this. They will have to appeal to those on the heights above the battle
to call a halt and reopen the negotiations. Zuma, having spent three
years getting the ingredients together has put them all in a pot and turned
on the heat. He is now waiting for the mix to cook and when it’s done will
take it out of the pot and serve up to the players. Like the Kariba
Agreement in 2007 and the GPA in 2008, the players and observers will have
little choice but to eat what it is that South Africa finally dishes
up. Almost certainly it will be another GNU – but this time led by Tsvangirai
as State President and the leader of a defeated Zanu PF as first Vice
President. Tsvangirai will inherit the powers of President Mugabe, modified
by the new Constitution and will appoint and control the Executive. The
remnants of Zanu PF will sit in the House of Assembly and the Senate and try
to rebuild what is left of their Party to try and face an election in five
years time. The observers on the hills overlooking the battle will
approve and return home, glad to see sanity and common sense prevail in what
was otherwise a totally unacceptable situation. Eddie Cross Harare,
12th May 2012
Bill Watch 19/2012 of 14th May [Both Houses to Sit this Week]
BILL WATCH 19/2012
Both the House of Assembly and the Senate will resume on Tuesday 15th
This resumption of
sittings by both Houses of Parliament comes after a lengthy break that began at
the end of March when the Houses adjourned for the Easter school holiday
According to the
House of Assembly and Senate sitting calendars the only sittings this month will
be those scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, after which
there will be adjournments until 5th June for the House of Assembly and 12th
June for the Senate.For June the
sitting calendars envisage 9 sitting days for the House and 6 for the Senate,
which are scheduled to be the last sittings of the current Parliamentary
session.The opening of the next
session, the fifth and last of the present Parliament, is scheduled for 17th
for the rest of 2012 see Bill Watch 18/2012 of 12th May.]
It will be
interesting to see how much of their workload – some of it long outstanding –
the Houses complete.They can of course
opt to sit more days than those scheduled on the sitting calendars.
of Assembly Order Paper
start of Committee Stage
Human Rights Commission BillThis Bill had its Second Reading on 27th
March after full debate.The Minister of
Justice and Legal Affairs, as the responsible Minister, has tabled amendments he
intends to propose for adoption during the Committee Stage; these include
changes to meet objections from the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]
details see Bill Watch 14/2012 of 28th March].
Second Reading debate
Councils Amendment BillThis is a Private Member’s Bill introduced by
Hon Matimba of MDC-T.It seeks to make
major cuts in the powers given to the Minister of Local Government, Rural and
Urban Developmentby the Urban Councils
Act.Hon Matimba has made his Second
Reading speech and further debate is awaited, but progress may be delayed while
Parliament takes stock of the impact of a court application lodged by Minister
of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ignatius Chombo for an
interdict prohibiting Parliament from considering the Bill
start of Second Reading stage after non-adverse report from PLC
Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment BillThis is waiting for the introductory speech
from the Minister of Industry and Commerce Welshman Ncube.The Bill was introduced during the last
Parliamentary session, which ended in September 2011.This Billhas
been on the Order Paper for many months without any move from the
consideration of Adverse Report from PLC
Amendment BillThe PLC’s adverse report on this Bill,
announced by the Speaker on 27th March, means that the House cannot proceed to
the next stage [Second Reading] of the Bill until it has considered the adverse
report and decided whether or not to adopt it.If the House adopts the adverse report, any clause found to be
inconsistent with the Constitution will have to be dropped from the Bill or
amended so as to remove the inconsistency.[Note:
Official text of the PLC report not available until PLC chairman has presented
it to the House.]
Persons BillThis Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare
Bill was read the first time on 20th March and referred to the PLC for its
report, which is expected to be announced this week.
Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of Criminal Procedure and
House is part of the way through its debate on Mr Gonese’s motion requesting its
permission to introduce this Bill.Mr
Gonese has spoken, and several MPs have had their say, both for and against the
motion.A contribution from the
responsible Minister – the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs – is expected.
a discussion of State misuse of section 121(3) see Court Watch 8/2012 of 25th
April]Minister Chombo’s court application to stop
the Urban Councils Amendment Bill could impact on this Bill’s
the Government fails to press on with the urgent Government Bills on the Order
Paper [Human Rights Commission and Electoral Amendment Bill], there are motions
to keep MPs busy, including: the long-running motion of thanks for the
President’s speech opening the current Session; several take note motions on
Portfolio Committee reports; and Hon Musundire’s motion for the withdrawal of
the Indigenisation Regulations.
Amendment BillThe Senate still has to complete debate on Mr
Gonese’s motion for his Private Member’s Bill to be restored to the Senate Order
Paper [it lapsed at the end of the previous Parliamentary Session in September
2011].The Senate awaits a contribution
to the debate from the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Senator
may need the Senate’s attention this week – but only if the House of Assembly
gets round to passing one or more of the Bills on its own Order
are motions for continuation of debates previously commenced: take note motions
on Thematic Committee reports on prisons, on education MDGs; on the ARV therapy
roll-out programme; and Senator Mohadi’s motion for assistance to farmers in
agricultural region 5.
Government Gazette from 28th April to 11th
Acts and Bills None
Statutory Instruments [electronic copies NOT available from Veritas]
Collective bargaining agreementsWages and allowances for the printing, packaging and newspaper
industry [SI 81/2012] and the textile industry [33/2012]; General conditions of
service for the security industry, including wages and allowances [SI 76/2012]
Environment – plastic packaging and bottlesSI 84/2012 of 11th May
contains amendments to “the principal regulations” unfortunately without
specifying their year and SI number [presumably SI 98/2010].The amendments re-state the obligations of
importers and manufacturers of plastic packaging and bottles, the recycling
obligations of users of polystyrene, and specify registration and quarterly fees
Local authority rents and charges by-lawsGokwe Town Council
[SI 74/2012]; Karoi Town Council [SI 75/2012]; Mutare [SI 82/2012]; Plumtree Town Council [SI
Other local authority by-lawsPlumtree [cemeteries charges – SI 80/2012]; Rusape [clamping and tow away – 78/2012]
Road tolls – Kariba Dam WallSI 72/2012 lists new fees
for four classes of vehicles
Road trafficAxle-loading permit fees [SI
Shop licence feesGokwe Town Council [SI
73/2012]; Mutare City Council [SI 83/2012]
Income taxThe Minister of Finance has
exempted the Securities Commission from income tax [GN 163/2012].
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot
take legal responsibility for information