By Tichaona Sibanda
14 May 2013
Zimbabwe is set to have a new constitution in place soon, after Senators
unanimously voted for the new charter on Tuesday. The 75 Senators in
attendance in the upper House voted in favour of the new constitution and no
one voted against it.
Deputy Justice Minister, Senator Obert Gutu, told SW Radio Africa that the
Bill will now be referred back to the House of Assembly where minor
grammatical amendments will be effected and thereafter it goes to President
Robert Mugabe for assent.
MPs last week unanimously endorsed the constitution, after 156 legislators
approved the Bill. The draft needed approval from 140 MPs to get the
required two-thirds majority.
A new constitution is one of the reforms agreed to by Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai under the 2008 power-sharing pact. After Mugabe
signs the Bill into law, the leaders to parties in the GPA are expected to
sit down and decide on the date for election.
But the regional SADC Troika group called on Mugabe and Tsvangirai to fully
implement the GPA before the country goes to a watershed election. The
resolution by Troika, on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum gathering
in Cape Town last week, could effectively rule out Mugabe’s envisaged June
The summit of the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security was convened
after Tsvangirai went on a regional and continental diplomatic offensive to
nudge regional leaders to press Mugabe to ensure that the GPA, which is the
foundation of the unity government, is implemented in full before elections.
Leaders who attended the Troika included South African President Jacob Zuma,
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete , Namibian Foreign Minister Netumbo Nandi
Ndaitwah and SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salomao.
A communiqué issued at the end of the weekend meeting chaired by Kikwete
urged the parties to finalize the outstanding issues in the implementation
of the GPA and preparations for holding free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai described the SADC communiqué as a diplomatic coup after the
state media had described his diplomatic foray as a none event.
ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo is quoted in media reports trying to
undermine the Troika resolutions.
‘We have implemented the GPA what else do they want? We have passed the
constitution. Parliament has passed it and so what else should we implement.
“Let us not spend a lot of time discussing issues that are not important.
Our security sector is the best in Africa. Have you ever talked about
reforming the security sector in South Africa or Tanzania? Asked Gumbo.
by Staff Reporter
A NEW political party is set to be launched in Harare Tuesday as it emerged
that some 28 parties are currently active in the country, all of them vying
to contest general elections expected this year.
Cosmas Mponda’s Freedom Front will join a list of more than two dozen groups
including the African National Party (ANP) led by Egypt Dzinemunenzva who
has regularly contested most presidential, parliamentary and local elections
in the country.
Most of the groups have been attending Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
meetings to discuss preparations for the forthcoming vote, joining the more
mainstream Zanu PF, Mavambo Kusile Dawn, the MDC formations, Zanu Ndonga and
the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).
Zimbabwe will, this year, hold fresh polls to choose a substantive
government, replacing the fractious coalition between Zanu PF and the MDC
formations which came into office following the disputed 2008 vote.
The precise timing of the new polls remains unclear with President Robert
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party insisting the vote will immediately follow the
end of the current Parliament on June 29 while MDC-T leader and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is pressing for a delay, demanding further
Some of the smaller parties backed an early poll saying the fractious
coalition had outlived its welcome and usefulness.
Zanu Ndonga leader Gondai Vutuza told the Herald newspaper: “We want to get
out of the Government of National Unity. Time is running out. As a party we
have always supported the idea of getting rid of the GPA which we believe
has served its intended purpose.
“If elections can help us get out of this GNU creature, then let’s have them
as a matter of urgency. We want a party that is answerable to the people of
Zimbabwe. As a party we are more than ready for elections.”
Multi-Racial Open Party Christian Democracy spokesperson Mathias Guchutu
added: “It was supposed to have ended after 18 months. Let’s not continue
procrastinating elections. Let’s have them at the earliest possible time.”
Zanu Ndonga’s national chairman, Reketayi Semwayo, also said they were open
to forming a coalition with other parties ahead of the polls.
“I will stand in Chipinge Central and we intend to field candidates in a
number of constituencies. We are currently holding discussions with some
political parties with a view of a coalition,” he said.
“If we agree, we can back their presidential candidate in return that they
will not field candidates where we would have fielded ours in both
parliamentary and council elections.”
Some of the parties however, expressed concern over restrictions on State
support for political parties saying the current arrangement made the
“electoral playing field uneven”.
The Political Parties Finance Act restricts government funding to parties
with at least five percent representation in Parliament meaning only Zanu PF
and the MDC formations are entitled to the funding.
ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau told the parties at a meeting last
Friday that an amendment of the law would be required to enable more parties
to access the funding.
“As ZEC, we have noted that these are issues that required amendment of the
law,” she said.
“The extension of political parties’ funding to parties outside the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) have been noted and we have forwarded them to the
Finance Minister Tendai Biti set aside US$5 million for political parties in
his 2013 national budget by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said last
month that only US$500,000 had been released to date.
“We have received only US$500 000 from treasury, so we are putting pressure
on the treasury to release the outstanding amount so that political parties
can go ahead and carry out various political activities,” Chinamasa told
By Violet Gonda
14 May 2013
Coca Cola Zimbabwe has become the latest international company to be accused of being a regime change agent, after the state controlled Herald newspaper claimed Tuesday that “questions have been raised” after the beverages giant launched a Zimbabwe’s “Crazy for Good’’ campaign featuring open palm symbols on its red Coca-Cola cans.
The open palm is the symbol of the MDC-T.
The Herald said: “What raised eyebrows is the fact that palms are on the red cans only and not on flavours that bear other colours like the blue Sprite or yellow Fanta cans. Red is MDC-T’s preferred colour.
“The timing of the campaign, coming as it does, just a few weeks before harmonised elections constitutionally scheduled for June 29 has raised suspicion,” The state controlled newspaper comments have forced Coca Cola Zimbabwe to deny links with the former opposition party.
SW Radio Africa moderated a panel discussion between Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka and ZANU PF’s deputy director of information, Psychology Maziwisa.
Tamborinyoka said that the allegations are not surprising and show the extent of ZANU PF’s paranoia. “Even chickens are working with the MDC-T because they have open feet which show the MDC-T symbol. Everyone according to the Herald is working with the MDC-T,” Tamborinyoka said.
Maziwisa responded by saying: “It is obvious the MDC-T will try to refute that but I think the evidence is quite clear. Coca Cola have only used the red can. They have shunned the Fanta Orange which has a yellow can. They have shunned Sprite and they have resorted to the use of the red colour which everybody knows is an MDC-T colour and they have used an open palm which everybody knows to be an MDC-T symbol.”
The ZANU PF deputy director of information said his party is taking this “very seriously” and “we hope that ZEC will intervene in the matter” and it is a case that is “likely to cause diplomatic problems between Zimbabwe and I presume South Africa”.
Maziwisa added: “We do not wish to explore that route but there is potential for friction there. We want our sovereignty and independence as a country to be respected. We want commercial entities to operate with us purely on commercial and business terms and not to delve into politics by supporting one political party.”
Observers say ZANU PF is inadvertently giving the MDC-T free publicity over what appears to be an innocent Coca Cola promotion.
Tamborinyoka said it is ‘ridiculous’ to make an issue of the red colour especially when the Herald newspaper masthead is red. “So can we say the Herald is the MDC-T because red is the MDC-T colour? If somebody beats up a woman here using a clenched fist, then we should take offense not because of a case of domestic violence but to say that he used a fist which is a ZANU PF symbol? It’s absurd,” said Tamborinyoka.
The marketing company denied involvement in politics and is quoted in the state newspaper saying the Coca Cola cans were meant for the South African market but ended up on store shelves in Zimbabwe because they had anticipated shortages of the brand in the country.
“We are in the business of refreshing consumers and we are not associated with politics at all. I am not sure how politicians are interpreting the message. The colour red has been our corporate colour for the past 125 years plus.
“So nothing should be misconstrued with what is on our advertisement. We are just a marketing company,” said Coca-Cola senior franchise brand manager Mona Karingi.
In November 2011, the Zimbabwean franchise of the chicken restaurant chain, Nando’s, had to distance itself from an advert released by its South African counterparts, which depicted President Robert Mugabe as ‘The last dictator standing’. ZANU PF said the advert denigrated Mugabe.
By Violet Gonda
14 May 2013
Zimbabwe’s southern neighbor said Tuesday it is prepared to provide some
financial assistance for the country’s crucial elections, although the
political parties in the inclusive government are still squabbling over the
date of the polls.
South Africa’s International Relations Deputy Minister, Ebrahim Ebrahim,
told reporters: “There is the question of Zimbabwe having enough funding to
hold a successful election. If South Africa is requested to assist in
whatever way, we will definitely assist.
“(We will assist) either through funding part of the election or through
some logistical assistance. It is in our interest and [that of] the region
to see a free and fair election taking place.”
The official is quoted by the South African Press Association (SAPA) saying
it is the responsibility of the regional body to ensure free elections were
held in Zimbabwe and not just his country.
Meanwhile a showdown is looming between President Robert Mugabe and the
Southern Africa Development Community, as the 89 year old leader is
threatening to call for elections without implementing key reforms, in
violation of the Global Political Agreement.
SADC, guarantors of the GPA, insist reforms should be implemented before any
elections can be held. “There have to be certain reforms that need to be
speeded up. If ZANU PF says they should be held in June or July, that is
probably playing politics. All parties should agree that the time is ripe
for an election.” Ebrahim is quoted saying.
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 11:51
HARARE - A group of Southern African leaders on Friday called on Zimbabwean
leaders to fully implement the power-sharing Global Political Agreement
(GPA) before the country goes to a watershed election that is threatened by
a chaotic mobile voter registration exercise.
The resolution could effectively rule out President Robert Mugabe’s
envisaged June poll timetable.
The summit of Sadc’s Troika on Politics, Defence and Security was convened
after Prime Minister Morgan TsvangiraiFROM P1
unfurled a diplomatic offensive to nudge regional leaders to press Mugabe’s
Zanu PF to ensure that the GPA, which is the foundation of the unity
government, is implemented in full before elections.
The Sadc troika comprising South African President Jacob Zuma, Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete and Namibian Foreign minister Netumbo Nandi
Ndaitwah and Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao, met at the weekend in
Cape Town to consider the security situation in the region, in particular
developments in hotspots of Zimbabwe, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic
Chaired by Kikwete, the Troika reaffirmed support for the Zuma-led mediation
on the Zimbabwean crisis.
“(The) summit urged the parties (in Zimbabwe) to finalise the outstanding
issues in the implementation of the GPA and preparations for holding free
and fair elections in Zimbabwe,” read a communiqué issued after the mini
Tsvangirai described the Sadc communiqué as a diplomatic coup.
“Sadc has set conditions for polls that they will not be an election without
the full implementation of the GPA,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke
Tamborinyoka told the Daily News. “When the PM went on a regional tour, the
mission was to urge the region and Africa to ensure that forthcoming
elections are credible and legitimate.
“The holding of a Troika meeting is a culmination of the regional tour by
the prime minister and we are happy that Sadc is seized with issues
regarding preparations for elections.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “We have implemented the GPA what
else do they want? We have passed the constitution. Parliament has passed it
and Senate will do the same tomorrow so what else should we implement?
“Let us not spend a lot of time discussing issues that are not important.
Our security sector is the best in Africa. Have you ever talked about
reforming the security sector in South Africa or Tanzania?”
Sadc are the curators of the inclusive government having facilitated its
formation after an inconclusive poll in 2008.
The regional body has been helping GPA parties negotiate an electoral
roadmap that includes a new constitution and security sector reforms.
However, other agreed and envisaged reforms are still outstanding even as a
crucial election looms large.
Although both Tsvangirai and Mugabe agree that their unity arrangement is no
longer workable they remain miles apart over the actual timing of new
Mugabe is pressing for the elections to be held soon after the end of the
current Parliament on June 29, but the MDC leader says legal and political
frameworks are not yet in place for a credible vote that Sadc is craving to
The MDC accuses Zanu PF of stalling the implementation of media, security
sector reforms and a raft of other reforms agreed as part of the GPA deal.
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 11:37
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday came face-to-face with
the hassles Zimbabweans are facing in the ongoing chaotic voter registration
exercise as he took his 18-year-old twins to register as first time voters.
It took about 30 minutes for the MDC leader to complete a process in which
his children were initially denied registration as voters ostensibly because
they did not have proof of residence.
This is despite Cabinet agreeing to broaden the documents required for proof
of residence to include personal affidavits, any bill with an address or
letter from employer, bank statements, or registration certificate for
mobile phones, or medical bills.
The MDC leader wanted to register his twins at Mount Pleasant District
Office in Harare, where officials from the Registrar General’s office
demanded more documents in addition to identity cards.
Frustrated, the MDC leader had to write two letters confirming that his
children, who turned 18 this year, live under his roof in Highlands, but
that did not convince officials.
The PM’s twins were told to bring utility bills to the office of the RG
before collecting their registration slips.
Despite the fact that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has relaxed
the stringent voter registration requirements, officials from the RG’s
office are having none of it and have turned away hundreds of people who
fail to provide proof of residence.
The on-going mobile voter registration phase has been moving in fits and
starts leaving many Zimbabweans hopeful to partake in the forthcoming
After seeing his two children try to register and being told to bring proof
of residence before they are confirmed as voters, Tsvangirai said a
one-month compulsory voter registration exercise will make things right.
“I took my twin children to encourage first time voters to register,”
Tsvangirai told reporters. “We want to make sure that no one is
disenfranchised. I am aware of the challenges that voters are facing in the
ongoing mobile voter registration exercise.
“After the signing of the constitution, there will be a mandatory one-month
voter registration exercise and everyone should ensure they are registered
during that period.”
The bottlenecks faced by Tsvangirai and his children are a familiar tale in
the ongoing mobile voter registration, an important process ahead of crunch
polls — as thousands of people who include aliens have been turned away by
officials while scores of civil society actors have been arrested for
encouraging eligible Zimbabweans to register as voters.
Despite the fact that government has agreed that an affidavit is enough to
qualify first time voters to register, the situation experienced by
Tsvangirai yesterday proves that the process is far from smooth.
The homeless, fatherless and those who cannot write could be left from the
critical process, Tsvangirai noted.
“What about other people who cannot write and those who do not own houses
what will happen to them?” Tsvangirai asked.
Cabinet has already agreed on a fresh mobile voter registration exercise
that Tsvangirai says would take a month, a timeframe that would leave Mugabe’s
preferred June 29 election dream hanging by the thread.
Cape Town - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has taken a swipe at
security service chiefs, warning they should stop posing as a threat to the
will of the people and respect the country’s constitutional process.
Speaking on the sidelines of the just ended World Economic Forum in Cape
Town, Tsvangirai told News24 that the behaviour of Zimbabwe’s security
chiefs was disturbing in light of the upcoming harmonised elections.
“I believe all our soldiers, all our policemen are sworn in to uphold the
constitutional provisions.... It’s unfortunate that they are sending a
message that they will not respect the outcome of the elections and that
they will subvert the will of the people,” said Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai’s remarks came in the wake of tensions that are simmering over
the issue of reforms, among them, security reforms which the country’s
security institutions are opposed to.
Tsvangirai accuses the security units of being biased towards President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.
He recently asked his aides to open dialogue with the police and military to
urge them to discharge their duties in an unbiased way and meet obligations
in the constitution to be non-partisan.
But the generals and police commanders have remained adamant that they will
not meet Tsvangirai and vowed that there won’t be any security reforms.
"We are too busy to engage with confused malcontents who do not know their
identity and have a propensity to destroy what others, dead and alive fought
for. They must stop abusing the freedom and democracy that so many
Zimbabweans died for," police chief Augustine Chihuri was quoted as saying
in the State owned Herald newspaper.
This was the strongest criticism by a service commander of Tsvangirai and
his party's leaders since several generals refused to salute the former
opposition leader after he became prime minister in 2009 in a shaky
coalition with Mugabe forged by regional mediators after the last violent
and disputed elections the year before.
The Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga
also weighed in, saying the defence forces would never respect or entertain
people who do not value the ideals of the liberation struggle.
He told the Sunday Mail: “It’s just not possible for me to entertain the MDC
leader, we are different. Just like oil and water, we cannot mix. As the
defence forces we will not respect or entertain people who do not value the
ideals of the liberation struggle.
“Meeting such people will be a mockery to the thousands of people who
sacrificed their lives fighting for the country’s independence. Who the hell
does Tsvangirai think he is? No one can make us turn our back on the ideals
of the liberation struggle.”
Tsvangirai, 60, a former labour leader, did not join guerrilla forces
fighting to end white ruled Rhodesia.
by Edgar Gweshe
Bickering over election dates has taken precedence in Zimbabwe’s coalition
government with little being done to lay the ground for peaceful elections,
Heal Zimbabwe Trust has said. In a statement, HZT said that the trend has
raised fears of a recurrence of the violence that rocked the 2008 polls as
programmes such as national healing are getting little attention ahead when
elections should be held.
The MDC-T claims it lost around 200 of its supporters due to political
violence during the 2008 polls.
“The issue of the election date has become topical to the extent that it has
become an outstanding issue to the Inclusive Government which is nearing its
extinction in 47 days to come. For HZT, the political leaders should first
make efforts towards guaranteeing peaceful elections before any call for
elections,” read the statement.
HZT said that as Zimbabwe heads for elections, there is no guarantee among
the electorate that the 2008 election violence will repeat itself.
“To HZT, the call for elections by political parties without destabilising
the machinery of political violence is like putting the cart before the
“The political leaders should be reminded that it was the outbreak of
incidents of political violence in 2008 that caused a stir at national,
regional and international levels forcing the African Union to intervene
through SADC ultimately leading to the formation of the GNU,” read the
The organisation said that the need to create a peaceful environment ahead
of elections is more urgent than the election date itself, adding that
failure to deal with perpetrators of past human rights violations was
creating anxiety among voters.
“Cases of past human rights violations have not been dealt with,
perpetrators of political violence are still roaming free yet political
leaders are preparing for another round of elections without addressing past
“To date, less than 8 percent of the recorded cases of the 2008 political
violence have been dealt with by the courts of law,” read the statement.
HZT said that security sector re-alignment was critical in instilling
confidence of a peaceful election among the electorate.
Zanu (PF) is on record saying that the security sector must not be subjected
to reform. “In line with the resolutions made by victims of political
violence at the National Survivors Summit held in Harare in 2010, there is
need for security sector re-alignment in order to give confidence to the
electorate that the violence of yesteryear especially the 2008 violence will
not recur,” said the HZT.
HZT said that government’s efforts towards creating a peaceful election
environment “should be clearly guided by the seven pillars of transitional
justice namely, prosecution, truth telling, vetting, institutional reform,
rehabilitation, compensation and restoration”.
By Alex Bell
14 May 2013
The Zimbabwe government is facing criticism for ‘copping out’ of its
promises to undertake a comprehensive land audit across the country, and
instead opting for a ‘land use audit’.
This decision was revealed by the Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister,
Herbert Murerwa, last week when he told the Senate that a comprehensive land
audit (promised in section five of the Global Political Agreement) was not
possible “because of the economic situation we found ourselves in.”
“But in spite of this we have now agreed with the Finance Minister (Tendai
Biti) to make funds available so that we do what we call a ‘land use audit’,”
He explained that the plan was to go ward by ward to determine the size of
land being used, who was on that land and how best his ministry could help
But according to the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), this form of
audit will not be good enough to move the country forward in terms of
agricultural security and development. CFU President Charles Taffs told SW
Radio Africa that the decision is “unfortunate,” and a “cop out.”
“I see this now as a shifting of the goal posts. We need a land audit not
for any other reason than to find out the actual status of the land… to come
up with a comprehensive agricultural policy moving forward,” Taffs said.
He added that the date gathered from a ‘land use audit’ will not be good
enough to move the country forward, because such an audit is “open to
“We already hear of cattle and maize stocks being moved from one property to
another. So it’s not going to be an accurate assessment and for that reason
we are totally against it,” Taffs said.
He also refuted the Lands Minister’s claim that a lack of resources was the
reason for abandoning the promises of a comprehensive audit.
“We have extensive data as an organisation with our partners and we could
assist the government immensely in determining such an audit. We have it all
already. The problem is there is reluctance to do it for fear of uncovering
inconsistencies with government policy,” Taffs said.
He added: “I also see this as a softening of the implementors of the
agreement, who are bowing down to wishes to move the process forward, and I
think it’s a cop out to be honest.”
Posted by Tichaona Sibanda on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 in Judiciary, Zimbabwe
politics | 0 comments
By Tichaona Sibanda
14 May 2013
A Chipinge magistrate on Tuesday granted bail to the MDC-T MP for
Musikavanhu, but his freedom was short-lived as the state invoked the
notorious section 121.
Prosper Mutseyami, who is also the MDC-T organising secretary for Manicaland
province, was arrested last week Friday following disturbances that rocked a
political meeting that he addressed. Police charged him with public
violence, but he denies the charge.
Lawyer Langton Mhungu told SW Radio Africa that Mutseyami and six other
MDC-T supporters were granted $100 bail by a magistrate after he ruled that
they were rightful candidates for bail.
But Mhungu explained that the bail was immediately suspended following the
invocation of Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act by a
‘This means the state will retain Mutseyami and his co-accused in custody
for a further seven days to allow the state to file an appeal against the
bail granted,’ Mhungu said.
In Bindura, a magistrate remanded the MDC-T youth assembly president Solomon
Madzore in custody to 28th May, though his High Court bail hearing was
postponed to Wednesday.
Madzore appeared in court in Bindura for his remand hearing while some of
his lawyers were dealing with the High Court bail hearing in Harare.
Promise Mkwananzi, the youth assembly secretary-general said the highway
leading to Bindura, the capital of Mashonaland Central province, contained
several police roadblocks.
Mkwananzi wrote on his Facebook page that there was a huge presence of
police details to keep a close watch on the high turn out of MDC-T youths
who thronged the town for the hearing.
By Maxwell Sibanda, Assistant Editor
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:36
HARARE - Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu, who is
also the Zanu PF political commissar, has been roundly condemned for his
recent utterances in which he allegedly said the country would “not be taken
through a pen.”
Addressing hundreds of bishops drawn from the Apostolic Church at the party’s
headquarters on Friday, Shamu said: “I want to repeat that this country came
through the barrel of the gun. It cannot be taken by a pen, never, you can
Former journalist and SA university lecturer Wallace Chuma said Shamu’s
comments are part of the senseless rhetoric that political parties deploy
ahead of crucial elections, such as the forthcoming one in Zimbabwe.
“In the case of Shamu, I do not think this is Zanu PF’s official position.
You should read this rather thoughtless statement in the context of what
Shamu has been saying in the recent past, for example, that President is
akin to ‘cremora’ or that if he had a choice he would’ve volunteered to be
Mugabe’s biological child. It is arse-licking at its most grotesque,” said
Playwright Daves Guzha said Shamu is fermenting instability.
“Shamu should be charged for causing alarm and despondency. Bullets have
never been known to bring peace.”
Guzha said the nation will react to Shamu’s utterances as coming from Zanu
“He is the political commissar of Zanu PF and as such what he says cannot be
divorced from party position unless he is discussing issues to do with his
Theatre director Raisedon Baya said Shamu’s comments sounds more like a
threat than anything else.
“Who wants to go to war again? I think it is just a few people refusing to
see that times have changed.”
Baya said Internet is here and there is so much happening on the cyberspace.
“The media too has become very powerful. The reality is that anyone wishing
to win an election should make sure the two, Internet and the media are used
to their fullest. War would be a last resort and at the moment no one is
willing to go and die when it is possible to solve through dialogue.”
Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu said Shamu’s comments were the voice of
a tired politician who has nothing to offer.
“Zimbabwe is not the only country that waged a liberation struggle and that
struggle was waged so that the pen could be used, in a non-discriminatory
manner, to elect a leadership of the people’s choice.
“The likes of Shamu are probably realising that their party has nothing to
offer hence the threats. As a senior member of Zanu PF, more so the Party
Commissar he should tell the people of Zimbabwe why they should vote for
Zanu PF - not why they should be afraid of Zanu PF. This is the 21st century
and the guns are going silent everywhere,” said Mukundu.
The MDC dismissed Shamu’s utterances as sheer nonsense and utter rubbish.
“Shamu’s ‘bullet mightier than the ballot’ mantra is absolute hogwash and
symptomatic of alcoholism manifest in a man who is out to intimidate an
otherwise very alert Zimbabwean populace.
“The reckless statement by the disgraceful Zanu PF minister of
misinformation to a group of so-called church leaders smacks of cowardly
behaviour by a man already sensing defeat in the coming elections,” said the
MDC in a statement.
The MDC said it takes great exception at such wanton provocation bordering
on primitive political grandstanding by the Zanu PF malcontent masquerading
as a spokesperson of the respectable men and women in the military.
“It is clear that the continued careless statements by the Zanu PF protégé
are nothing but a misguided diatribe of a coward who certainly is reading
the signs of a crushing defeat in the next plebiscite.
“The MDC is aware of the sinister attempt by the poor Zanu PF minister to
paralyse the nation with fear so as to protect his ill-gotten fortunes
amassed over three decades of misrule and corruption.
“It goes without saying that in a normal progressive society as envisaged by
the next MDC government, Shamu’s irresponsible utterances constitute treason
which is highly criminal and punishable by a jail sentence.”
The MDC said it viewed Shamu as a misguided missile who should be reminded
that modern dictates of politics does not conform to such primitive and
“The party of excellence impresses upon every responsible Zimbabwean to
treat Shamu’s ill-conceived statement with the contempt it deserves and not
be distracted from the broader agenda of ushering real transformation to the
lives buttered by years of bad governance.
“The MDC reminds the impish Zanu PF minister together with all those forces
acting against the full realisation of democracy in Zimbabwe that like a
roller coaster the will of the people of Zimbabwe is unstoppable. Zimbabwe
will never be a Zanu PF protectorate again,” said MDC.
Staff Reporter 12 hours 6 minutes ago
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has admitted that he has lost grip of urban centres,
accusing people in towns of easily being swayed by food handouts.
Speaking at a memorial service for the late Vice-President John Nkomo on
Sunday, Mugabe singled out Bulawayo and Harare residents, accusing them of
“turning their backs” on Nkomo and Zanu PF.
“(Bulawayo governor Cain) Mathema, people in Bulawayo are now saying to John
Nkomo and us, down with you. We (Zanu PF) brought independence, we suffered
in the struggle,” he told about 1 000 people who attended the service. “I do
not know if people were thinking of their food when they decided to vote
against us. They voted against John Landa Nkomo. They have forgotten that we
brought them to Canaan.”
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have performed badly in urban centres, with the
President suffering a backlash for the food shortages and an economic
downturn that peaked in 2008.
The veteran ruler, continuously evoking the memories of Nkomo, said he hoped
the next elections would bring good tidings for his party, which has
continuously performed dismally in Bulawayo in past elections.
“You begin to think of food and turn your back against John Nkomo and us,”
he bemoaned. “People here in Bulawayo have dumped us and Harare it is the
same. The urban people are tricked with food.”
Mugabe claimed that in the 2008 election, urban people had been “tricked
with food”, advising that they be vigilant in the next poll.
“You must demonstrate that you are a true follower of John (Nkomo) when you
vote soon, vote correctly,” he said.
Mugabe described his late deputy as a unifier, a man of peace and someone
who was people-oriented. Nkomo died in January from cancer.
The country is due to hold elections this year and Mugabe said he would make
the dates for the polls known this week.
Ironically, as he bemoaned that voters were being easily swayed by food
handouts, Mugabe revealed that 150 000 tonnes of maize from Zambia would be
“We have this year been afflicted by hunger which should not become famine,
the government is doing all it can to import grain,” he said.
Mugabe, however, said the country did not have the money to pay for the food
imports and luckily Zambian President Michael Sata was not concerned with
“Three days ago, I was speaking with Sata, he is willing to sell us grain,
and 150 000 tonnes of maize has been agreed on,” he said. “I wanted to
discuss the price of the maize, but he (Sata) said, ‘no, no, no’, the price
would be discussed afterwards, people should first have something in their
stomachs.” - NewsDay
By Nomalanga Moyo
14 May 2013
A serious shortage of funds is threatening the daily operations at the
country’s institutions of higher learning, officials from the ministry told
a parliamentary portfolio committee on Monday.
The meeting followed a request by officials from the Higher and Tertiary
Education Ministry, who told the committee that institutions were facing a
funding deficit, which had stalled infrastructural projects at the
Education director Martha Muguti, who was accompanied by finance director
Milton Chabururuka, told parliamentarians that by the end of last year
Treasury owed the country’s universities and polytechnics more than $62
million in tuition fees.
Muguti said since the beginning of the year, no money had been released to
institutions, adding that although they remained open, they were in serious
Chabururuka said that efforts by Tendai Biti’s finance ministry to secure
about $30 million from local banks for student loans and grants, and also
for the cadetship scheme (a system where students are funded and then bonded
by government for a certain number years), had failed leading to the massive
The officials revealed that the ministry requires $13 million to cater for
the needs of the country’s 9 state universities, 8 polytechnics, 13 primary
teacher training and 4 secondary teacher training colleges.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa Tuesday, the chairman of the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Siyabonga Ncube, said his committee
was facilitating engagements on the issue between the education and finance
ministries as well as with the students.
However he said this was not easy, adding that if the finance ministry had
no money, there was nothing that parliament could do to force it to release
Ncube explained: “There was a lot of expectation in Zimbabwe regarding
diamond revenue but Treasury is not getting any remittances from the
“The ministry is broke, and since the beginning of the year we have been
engaging the ministries and the students to find a financial solution to the
plight of the universities and that of the students.”
The legislator revealed that since the engagements started a committee had
been set up to fundraise for the University of Zimbabwe and the ministry of
finance had released funds for infrastructure development at some
However, Ncube said getting banks to provide funding for student loans and
grants was proving to be difficult, particularly due to the uncertainty
created by the ‘elections talk’.
“The banks are reluctant to give the finance ministry that money because as
government we are not being consistent and clear about when elections will
be held, and this is not helping,” Ncube said.
Student leader Tryvine Musokeri said various student associations in the
country have tried to approach all the relevant ministries to highlight
their plight, but “we feel that the unity government is not serious about
addressing the plight of students.
“As the Zimbabwe National Students Association, we feel that everyone is now
more concerned about the upcoming elections and our plight is being pushed
“It is all good to say no student should be turned away from college for not
paying fees, but institutions are withholding transcripts for those who
Musokeri also expressed fears that some tertiary institutions have resorted
to offering places to privately-funded students, ahead of those who rely on
state funding. He said this was “akin to privatising education and this will
push poor students out of tertiary institutions.”
Tuition fees for a university student on an arts degree stand at $400 per
semester while those doing medicine have to pay $500.
Musokeri said students are struggling to raise money for day-to-day expenses
including accommodation, books, food and travel, and this was exposing them
By Alex Bell
14 May 2013
Plans by South Africa’s military to donate a fleet of helicopters to the
Zimbabwe Defence Force will remain on hold, despite the approval of the
donation by the head of South Africa’s arms control committee.
Jeff Radebe, who heads the committee and is also South Africa’s Justice
Minister, stated in a written reply to a member of the main opposition
party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), that the donation was above board.
DA Shadow Minister David Maynier had asked Radebe and the arms control
committee to launch an investigation into the details of the planned
donation of an entire fleet of French built Alouette III helicopters. News
of the donation surfaced in January this year and immediately saw a legal
battle being launched to stop this ‘gift’ on human rights grounds.
Maynier has since said that Radebe has now “washed his hands” of the
donation, despite the concerns that had been raised. In his response to
Maynier, Radebe said his committee was only mandated to consider
applications relating to “controlled items”, and the helicopters did not fit
“The items to be donated are unserviceable, have no hard points or weapons
mounted to it and the spare parts and components have no features and
characteristics that would transfer it from a civil aircraft to a military
aircraft,” Radebe wrote, effectively giving his approval to the donation.
Maynier said in a statement said he was not satisfied with the response and
would write to SA Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to stop the
“In the end, the fact is that the end user for the helicopter airframes and
spare parts is the Zimbabwe Defence Force. And it is well know that the
Zimbabwe Defence Force is effectively the armed wing of ZANU PF in Zimbabwe.
There is therefore every reason to believe that the helicopter airframes and
spare parts could be used for repressive purposes in Zimbabwe,” Maynier
Willie Spies, the legal representative for the civil rights group AfriForum
which has led the challenge barring the donation from taking place, said
Tuesday that Radebe’s comments are “a disappointment.”
“It is not a surprise because what has been stated by the Minister matches
what has been said by the Secretary of Defence in court papers. So it’s is
not a surprise, but it is a disappointment given the fact that we would have
expected the Minister of Justice to be more aware of the human rights
situation in Zimbabwe and more sensitive to these issues,” Spies told SW
He added that the Minister’s comments do not impact the current status of
their court challenge, with an interdict barring the donation still in
“In South Africa we still respect the separation of powers and the minister
has made his view clear. The fact that that is his view is fine. We take
note of that. But the fact is that an interdict was already granted and the
final decision will still have to be made by the court,” Spies said.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 10:50
HARARE - Zimbabwe’s conservation and tourism sector has entered a “New Dark
Age,” and its crown jewel, the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC), could shut
down any moment from now, a leading conservationist and investor has said.
Fingers are pointing at Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, whom
stakeholders and even fellow Cabinet members accuse of dragging his feet.
Problems in Save started when Zanu PF officials and military personnel
invaded some conservancies owned by foreign nationals, resulting in
confusion regarding hunting licences at a critical time of the hunting
Wilfried Pabst, a German national with extensive interests in the SVC, told
the Daily News the wildlife sanctuary, known in conservation circles
globally as the Gold Standard, is on the verge of collapse.
“Each day no permit is issued, tourist visits and hunting safaris are
cancelled, deposits have to be repaid and the country’s tourism reputation
has entered a new dark age,” Pabst said.
He accused Mutambara of using the country’s precious wildlife to ingratiate
himself with Zanu PF hardliners. Mutambara heads a Cabinet committee
appointed by President Robert Mugabe to ressolve the conservation debacle.
“Mutambara is looking for a political home and can do anything to make
hardliners in Zanu PF now known as the “Masvingo 37” happy by agreeing to
the issuing of hunting permits to party activists and military personnel who
have been forced on us.
“He is looking for acceptance and as chairperson of a Cabinet committee
mandated with finding a lasting solution to the problems in the SVC, he is
now very much part of the problem,” said Pabst.
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, a member of the Cabinet committee headed by
Mutambara seemed clueless as to why there has not been a solution.
“I cannot understand why the chairperson (Mutambara) has not brought the
report with recommendations from the committee to Cabinet five months later.
“He had promised to bring the report within a fortnight,” said Mzembi.
“The irony is that, we all seemed to have agreed on a solution and the
agreement we thought at the time had been accepted by the supposed two
protagonists myself and Environment and Natural Resources minister Francis
Nhema,” Mzembi told the Daily News yesterday, adding that he was attending a
tourism indaba in Durban, South Africa where the issue of SVC was cropping
“I am here at Africa’s Best Tourism Expo defending the issue of Save which
seems even more contentious than the timing of our elections. It is bleeding
“It is dangerous for leaders to take inter-ministerial resolutions back to
contesting stakeholders before cabinet deliberates on them, which seem to
have been the case in this matter. This is what is stalling progress,” said
Mutambara refused to give a detailed response, saying he would release a
full statement at the end of the week.
“We will talk to you at the end of the week,” he said before hanging up.
The committee includes Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Nhema,
Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere and co-Home Affairs ministers
Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone.
Pabst’s sentiments were echoed by German ambassador to Zimbabwe Hans Gunter
Gnodkte, who had no kind words for Mutambara.
“We have talked to everyone in the Zimbabwean government but received no
satisfactory reply. I tried to talk to DPM Mutambara and he was just yelling
at me. He is a pretty sick personality,” Gnodkte told the Daily News.
“We still hope though that people with a sense of responsibility will
prevail and save the country’s wildlife. A lot of people in Zimbabwe want to
destroy the wildlife but I think the State president is not one of them.
“I have spoken to Didymus Mutasa and he has given me the impression that
Mugabe is sympathetic,” Gnodkte said.
Early this year, Mutambara threw Gnodkte out of his office after the German
envoy had sought audience with him.
Pabst said apart from Gnodkte’s efforts, he had also sought to engage Vice
President Joice Mujuru with no success.
“Instead of assisting, she dragged Nhema into a meeting we were having with
her. The minister berated me in front of a senior German minister and Mujuru
just sat there watching,” Pabst claimed.
Pabst claimed that in previous years, the SVC was issued with permits each
year in November ahead of the following year’s hunting season.
“Tourism Hunting Safaris are often pre-sold to influential and
high-net-worth individuals overseas.
“Deposits are lodged in advance and the National Parks not issuing permits
for 2012 is like defrauding these prospective tourists, hunters and guests
“The closure of the venture will render 1 000 people jobless and bring
starvation to over 10 000 others. It will also deny the traditional chiefs
any cash generation for their subjects from the SVC. SVC will shortly seize
to exist,” Pabst said.
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Caroline
Washaya-Moyo refused to say much.
“It is an issue that is now within the confines of the ministry of Natural
resources and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara’s office. We are not
commenting on this matter because it is out of our hands,” Washaya-Moyo
Washaya-Moyo referred further questions to an official identified as
Samuriwo from the ministry of Environment and Natural Resources who also
refused to comment.
“It is a Cabinet issue and I am not allowed to talk about it,” Samuriwo
But Pabst described Mutambara’s actions as economic sabotage because they
were a threat to the successful hosting of the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia
“Why then is the malicious and intentional destruction of the wildlife and
tourism asset by Mutambara and his group not considered economic sabotage?
“How can international investors and foreign governments support a
government some of whose members are destroying the very tourism destination
that the UNWTO is supposed to promote and foster?” he queried.
“As an investor I can clearly state that investing in good faith after being
encouraged by the highest office in the country in 1992 was a grave
mistake,” said Pabst.
Staff Reporter 21 hours 22 minutes ago
THREE House of Assembly members and two from the Senate who recently
defected from the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC have filed a High Court
application seeking to bar Parliament from expelling them and declaring
their constituencies vacant.
The five base their contestation on the two pending Supreme Court appeals to
determine the legitimate MDC leader between Prof Ncube and Prof Arthur
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Nomalanga Khumalo, who represents
Umzingwane, Thandeko Mnkandhla of Gwanda North, Maxwell Dube of Tsholotsho
South, together with senators Kembo Dube (Umzingwane) and Dalumuzi Khumalo
(Lupane) claim they got into office on the ticket of the MDC led by Prof
Mutambara. They argue that the Prof Ncube-led MDC has no power to call for
their removal from Parliament.
The five reportedly crossed the floor from the party to join MDC-T, a
development that resulted in Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga writing to
the Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr Lovemore Moyo and the Senate
president Cde Edna Madzongwe.
She advised the two that the five legislators were no longer their members
and that they should cease operating as MPs for their respective areas.
Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga wants the responsible Parliament authorities to
declare the five constituencies vacant. Mr Moyo and Ms Madzongwe have not
yet acted on the letters and the legislators seek to bar them from doing so
on the basis that they belonged to the MDC led by Prof Mutambara.
The legislators, who are being represented by Mr Obey Shava of Mbidzo
Muchadehama and Makoni, argue that no one has a legal right to end their
terms of office before the Supreme Court pronounces the legitimate MDC
leader in the two pending cases before it.
The case deals with contestations on the legitimacy of the MDC congress that
resulted in the election of Prof Ncube as party president. If Prof Ncube’s
election is confirmed by the Supreme Court, then the five could be expelled
from Parliament, but if the Supreme Court rules otherwise, they would remain
Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Mr Moyo and Cde Madzongwe were cited as
respondents in the court application and they were still to respond.
Cape Town - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he is ready for the
upcoming harmonised elections set to take place in Zimbabwe later this year,
adding his MDC party has a "more robust future than the archaic Zanu-PF".
Tsvangirai said this on the sidelines of the just ended World Economic Forum
in Cape Town.
"I can't evaluate myself. I can only say the MDC represents the most
positive stage for the country... we have a jobs plan, we’ve got all the
plans in place and we represent a more robust future rather than the archaic
Zanu-PF past... there is a very distinctive narrative between the two
parties," he told News24.
Tsvangirai remains a serious challenge to the tight grip of veteran leader
President Robert Mugabe who has ruled the country for more than three
He said MDC won the last election and there was no reason why people would
not vote his party into power.
"If we won the last election, I don't see why people would change that
position. I see a more positive expression... People want change and that
change is represented by the MDC," he said.
Tsvangirai became prime minister in 2009 in a shaky coalition with Mugabe
forged by regional mediators after the last violent and disputed elections
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 00:00
Fanuel Kangondo in Durban, South Africa
Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is on a rebound and nothing will stop the
country from regaining its status as one of the leading destinations in
Africa, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke has
Speaking to guests at the Zimbabwe stand at Indaba 2013 in Durban yesterday,
Mr Kaseke said the return of several airlines and the refurbishment of
tourism facilities countrywide was an indication that tourism was on the up.
“Zimbabwe is unstoppable, we are on a rebound and you can tell from the
unfolding events. If you look at the aviation industry, for instance, a lot
of airlines have renewed interest with us and our own Air Zimbabwe is on a
rebound as well.
“I am sure that at the Indaba next year, we will be launching a rebranded
Air Zimbabwe. Aviation reflects what is happening on the tourism side and
these are the signs.”
Mr Kaseke applauded one of the exhibitors at the Zimbabwe stand, Bumi Hills
Safari Lodge as well as Rainbow Tourism Group for upgrading their facilities
in line with the drive to improve the industry in Zimbabwe.
Also present at the function was Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter
Mzembi and Zimbabwean-born sensational Super Rugby player Tendai “The Beast”
Mtawarira who plays for the Sharks.
His presence generated a lot of interest among the guests who were
scrambling for a photo opportunity with “The Beast”.
There has been a notable interest with the Zimbabwe stand, which included
foreign media teams such as the BBC, CNN and SABC requesting for interviews
with Minister Mzembi.
The foreign media which erstwhile had a negative attitude towards Zimbabwe
seem to be on a re-engagement drive and striving to present the true
One of the exhibitors who asked not to be named said more and more people
were opening up to Zimbabwe and they were happy to re-engage them.
The exhibitors said they had seen an improvement in the quality of buyers
that were visiting the stand and were looking for meaningful engagement with
the tour operators.
The interest on the Zimbabwe stand has been heightened with the focus on the
hosting of the 20th UNWTO General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and
Zambia in August.
Mr Kaseke observed that there has never been so much focus on Zimbabwe as a
destination and the ZTA would continue to facilitate the re-engagement
initiative to enhance the tourism industry.
Among the 38 exhibitors at the Zimbabwe are hoteliers, tour operators,
travel agencies, the national carrier Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation
Authority of Zimbabwe.
Minister Mzembi on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his
counterpart from the Seychelles Mr Alain St-Ange to strengthen relations
between the two countries.
The minister continues to meet dignitaries from various countries who are
attending the four-day
international travel showcase that ends
Mourners attending a funeral in central Zimbabwe were shocked when the man
they had come to bury "returned from the dead."
By Peta Thornycroft, Johannesburg4:54PM BST 14 May 2013
Family and friends were filing past a coffin with the remains of Brighton
Dama Zanthe, 34, when one of them noticed the dead man's legs twitching.
One of the mourners, Lot Gaka, who employs Mr Zanthe at his transport
company, said: "I was the first to notice Zanthe's moving legs as I was in
the queue to view his body. This shocked me. We called an ambulance
immediately. It's a miracle and people are still in disbelief."
Mr Zanthe had been unwell for some time and was laid to rest inside a coffin
last Monday after "dying" at home the day before.
Mr Zanthe told The Chronicle newspaper, that he has no recollection of how
he "died" nor how he was "resurrected," as his memory only returned when he
woke up in a hospital in Gweru 140 miles southwest ofZimbabwe's capital
"Everything is history to me. What I can only confirm is that people
gathered at my house to mourn but I was given another chance and I am alive.
I feel OK now."
May 14 2013 at 09:51am
By Max du Preez
Lies, damn lies and statistics. Or should I rather say, so much heart, so
My recent column regarding possible lessons South Africa could learn from
Zimbabwe’s violent land redistribution provoked an awful lot of emotion.
Literally thousands of people reacted to it on Facebook, Twitter and the
websites of newspapers.
I was truly astonished at the blind anger and irrationality of many of the
reactions, even from otherwise well-informed and balanced people.
It was as if I wrote that Jacob Zuma was a neo-liberal feminist – it is so
far removed from people’s perceptions that they couldn’t get their minds to
actually engage with the topic.
It was pretty obvious that few of those who reacted in anger actually read
the whole column.
It appears that people couldn’t read beyond the first few paragraphs where
it was stated that perhaps the land grabs in Zimbabwe had “worked” because
almost a quarter of a million households were now on the land, producing
almost as much as the 6 000 white farmers before them had 13 years ago.
People couldn’t get their heads around that. The belief is clearly deeply
entrenched that redistributing land on such a scale where black farmers
replaced white ones would inevitably lead to disaster.
Some of the reactions showed that many believe that few black people
actually have it in them to farm commercially.
I got the strong impression that failing black farms, and there are indeed
many in Zimbabwe and South Africa, have become many white people’s main
argument against land reform. If there’s evidence that it need not be a
failure, these people resort to anger and insults.
My column was triggered by a new book, Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land by
Joseph Hanlon, Jeanette Manjengwa and Teresa Smart. They say that Zimbabwe’s
radical land redistribution had worked and agricultural production was on
levels comparable to the time before the process started.
This was the work of 245 000 new black farmers working the land previously
farmed by only 6 000 white farmers, the authors say.
I haven’t come across Manjengwa and Smart before, but I have read several of
Hanlon’s other books on southern Africa and found him balanced and very well
The information in the book surprised me, but after more research I saw that
another British academic, Professor Ian Scoones of Sussex University, had
come to similar conclusions after his research in Zimbabwe.
Most of those who reacted with much anger to my column preferred not to read
my remarks about the price Zimbabwe had paid for the violent land grabs –
the human rights violations, the instability, the severe damage to the
economy, the massive brain drain.
An MDC politician said angrily that even if the information in the Hanlon
book were correct, it would still not justify the violent way white farmers
had been evicted from the land. I agree.
The majority of people who reacted to my column declared that the Zimbabwe
model could never be applied in South Africa.
In fact, the whole second half of my column was saying just that, warning
that such an event could ruin our economy and stability, even trigger a
low-intensity civil war. How did they miss that?
I was bombarded with tons of statistics from many different sources, some
dubious in the extreme, that appear to contradict the information given by
the authors. The one set of statistics that seems to be incontrovertible
states that there is still considerable food insecurity in Zimbabwe. The
production of tobacco and cotton and the recent drought could have
contributed to this.
I did not do a scientific study of agriculture in Zimbabwe. I have no way of
telling what the real figures are. But I would be very, very surprised if
respected, experienced academics and researchers like Hanlon and Scoones
would put their credibility at risk, simply thumb-suck production figures
and perpetrate blatant lies.
I think we should accept that, at the very least, the impression we in South
Africa had that agriculture in Zimbabwe was still in a state of utter
collapse after the land redistribution is wrong.
We should accept that a substantial number of new Zimbabwean farmers, big
and small, are actually commercially successful.
That is significant, especially if one considers that a great historic wrong
has been addressed and that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are now
settled on the land of their ancestors.
It still doesn’t make the way the redistribution happened right. It still
doesn’t make it a model for South Africa to copy.
It does mean we should make a mind shift around land reform. We should stop
seeing it as a threat and start seeing it as a priority to redress past
wrongs and further stability.
Land reform is about people, not merely about hectares and statistics.
Amid all the bloodshed of Zimbabwe’s 2008 election, it was the murder of the
30-year-old Tenderai Ndira that caught the international media’s attention.
He became a symbol for the country's political struggles. Five years on,
Zimbabwe is transformed, but the freedoms he fought for remain far off.
BY MARK OLDEN PUBLISHED 14 MAY 2013 15:38
The shadows were lengthening when Tonderai Ndira and his two friends huddled
around a table in a suburban Harare garden, and started singing in their
native Shona. The words were lost on me, but their intensity wasn’t. When
they’d finished, Tonderai translated: “That one is all about I'm dedicated
to liberate Zimbabwe, so you should not cry when I get killed.” That was
At dawn on 14 May, 2008 - not long after Robert Mugabe had lost a
first-round Presidential election to his bitter foe Morgan Tsvangirai -
Tonderai slept while his wife Plaxedes made porridge for their two children
at their home in the impoverished township of Mabvuku, east of Harare.
Around eight armed men wearing masks and dressed in plain-clothes barged in
and pulled him from his bed. “They’re going to kill me,” Tonderai shouted to
his wife, as they dragged him outside, still in his underwear. His children
watched from the doorstep as he was shoved into a truck and driven off.
A week later, in a Harare mortuary with bodies on the floor and failing
electricity, Cosmas Ndira recognised his brother’s decomposing remains only
by his height and his distinctive wrist bangle. According to the
post-mortem, he’d been asphyxiated.
Amid all the bloodshed of Zimbabwe’s 2008 election, it was the murder of the
30-year-old Ndira that caught the international media’s attention. In death,
the tall, charismatic youth leader for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party, who had been arrested 35 times - more often
it’s said, than anyone in the country’s political history - became known as
‘Zimbabwe’s Steve Biko’. Like South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon, he had
made the ultimate sacrifice for his country’s freedom.
I first met Tonderai in 2004 and on my regular trips to Zimbabwe he would
take me to places which were otherwise off-limits, and introduce me to
people on the front-line of the country’s political struggle.
His laid-back manner and languid, reggae man, dread-locked style masked an
unshakeable resolve, and an antenna highly tuned to danger. To Zimbabwean
activists his deeds became legendary: once when the police were hunting for
him he joined the search party without them realising who he was, and twice
he escaped custody by jumping out of a truck. But during the febrile days in
2008 when Mugabe’s long reign appeared to be drawing to an end, the regime’s
desire to eliminate its enemies took on a new urgency.
Today [14 May], on the fifth anniversary of Tonderai’s abduction and murder
and with another election looming, much has changed in Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai
and Mugabe are in an uneasy power-sharing agreement, the devastated economy
has been revived, a new - albeit flawed - constitution has been agreed, some
Western sanctions have been lifted, and Zimbabwe and the UK recently held
their first bilateral talks in more than a decade.
Deep political fault-lines remain, but for all its messy, difficult
compromises, the accommodation between Tsvangirai’s MDC and Mugabe’s Zanu-PF
has improved the lives of many ordinary Zimbabweans. This year’s election
could as easily see this relative stability continue, or herald more
violence and repression. Yet at some point, past crimes must be reckoned
with, and the country’s culture of impunity stretching back more than 30
years finally broken.
When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 after a seven-year civil war
between Ian Smith’s white minority regime and the guerrilla forces of Mugabe
and Joshua Nkomo, an amnesty was granted and no-one was held accountable for
the many atrocities committed. Some Rhodesian intelligence and army officers
even moved seamlessly to work under the new government - led by the very
people they had recently tortured or tried to kill. In 1988 another amnesty
was granted, this time for those guilty of the Gukurahundi massacres, in
which around 20,000 civilians were murdered by government forces in
Matabeleland, western Zimbabwe.
The course of this history isn’t about to change. Last October the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) was set up to investigate human rights
abuses. But its remit was limited to crimes committed after 2009, and in
January its chairperson resigned because of its lack of credibility and
Speaking at Tonderai’s funeral, Morgan Tsvangirai demanded justice for the
victims of state-sponsored violence: “We can forgive all other things, but I
think we would have stretched our humility too far if we forgave this.
Mugabe and his cronies are always preaching about sovereignty. They should
know that no sovereignty is greater than giving people the right to live,”
Five years on, as Tonderai’s friends and family gather in Mabvuku to
remember him, his status among many Zimbabweans as a national hero is
secure. But as long as his killers – and the many other perpetrators of
political violence in Zimbabwe – evade justice, the “sovereignty” Tsvangirai
spoke of remains an illusion.
MWENEZI – His first name means ‘the will of God’ but Kudakwashe Basikiti, the ZANU PF MP for Mwenezi East, led and participated in vicious acts of political violence in Zimbabwe that left dozens dead and hundreds displaced in his constituency.
According to a detailed dossier Basikiti moved around with a gang of ZANU PF militia who beat up and killed several MDC-T activists in the period April to June 2008.
Even with a coalition government in place, in March 2010 the MP was still setting up more torture bases to use to torment people.
When Morgan Tsvangirai and his party won the March 2008 parliamentary and presidential election, Basikiti and his gang were incensed.
With a presidential run-off engineered by ZANU PF, he went on a rampage that left homes destroyed, livestock killed and many perceived MDC-T activists maimed, killed and displaced.
Several MDC-T activists lost their lives at the hands of this MP. Most of the reported acts of aggression and brutal attacks in which Basikiti was directly involved, resulted in fatalities. Basikiti was rewarded for his brutality with a coveted seat on the ZANU PF supreme decision making, Politburo.
On the 14th June MDC-T activist Kennedy Dube was abducted from his home during the night and taken to a base in Maranda village. Those who witnessed the abduction said “ZANU PF youths tied his hands behind his back and beat him up whilst his family watched.” He was quizzed on why he supported the MDC-T.
Dube was detained for the whole night, forcing his family to file a report with the police. Also in detention with him was his friend Kennedy Mapuranga. When the police went to the base they “just asked some questions and were told that the two men were Basikiti’s prisoners and were to be released that day.”
Aware that this was a state sanctioned abduction and torture session the police left and never reported back to the family. It was also noted by witnesses that Basikiti visited the base the following morning and his two prisoners were subjected to intensive questioning, followed by severe beatings.
Dube and Mapuranga eventually succumbed to the torture and died at the base on the morning of June 14, 2008. The base was hastily abandoned and the corpses were collected by the police. No arrests were made.
The murderous rampage continued a few days later on the 17th June when ZANU PF youths, dressed in green youth militia uniforms, beat up a teacher known as Muguni at the Neshuro Business centre. They pounded him with booted feet, fists and baton sticks while asking him why he had campaigned for the MDC-T.
The assault continued for some time and only stopped when Muguni ceased screaming and was motionless. People who had seen it happening rushed to assist Muguni, but he was dead. Basikiti picked up the gang members using his party truck and drove off at high speed from the centre.
On the 23rd June Basikiti and his mob were travelling in a convoy of cars while celebrating the decision by Tsvangirai to withdraw from the presidential run-off due to the violence.
They attacked MDC-T activist Stanley Mapuranga, viciously assaulting him at Maranda Village “using every type of weapon they could lay their hands on”.
Within a few moments Mapuranga was lying in a pool of blood. With the gang having left, his relatives tried to help him but he was already dead.
“Those present when he was buried noted that his body was so badly damaged that it was difficult to handle. Reportedly all the bones in his body had been broken,” a witness states in the dossier.
On the same day Basikiti and his gang attacked known MDC-T activist John Dube, because he was wearing his party t-shirt. They grabbed Dube and bundled him into one of the trucks. “They never drove away from the shops but stood in a circle around the truck and it appeared Basikiti was issuing some instructions.”
Without warning the gang threw Dube out of the truck and started pelting him with stones, iron bars and an assortment of other weapons. He died during the assault which was directed by the MP. Basikiti and his gang drove off leaving Dube lying under a pile of stones, sticks and bricks.
Basikiti’s violence and intimidation didn’t stop there.
In March 2011, he moved around his constituency telling villagers to toe the ZANU PF line on the new constitution or be killed. In preparation for the constitutional outreach exercise he set up bases in the Maranda, Dinhe and Neshuro areas. He also declared Mwenezi a no-go area for the MDC-T.
Basikiti secured a landslide margin to win the Mwenezi East parliamentary seat, but only because he threatened to deny GMB and NGO food to anyone who didn’t vote for him. Because Mwenezi lies in ecological zone four, crop production is very poor.
With villagers surviving on handouts, Basikiti simply took advantage of their poverty.
BILL WATCH 13/2013
[14th May 2013]
Both Houses of Parliament Are Sitting this Week
On 9th May the House of Assembly Passed the New Constitution Bill
The House of Assembly spent most of last week on the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill, 2013. The Bill was passed, with amendments, by the necessary two thirds majority and transmitted to the Senate, which will deal with it on Tuesday 14th May. Constitution Watch 27/2012 traces the Bill’s passage through the House in detail, from its First Reading on 7th May, through Second Reading on 8th May, to Committee Stage and Third Reading on 9th May.
Other Parliamentary Business Conducted: 7th to 9th May
House of Assembly
Bills [all available from email@example.com]
After the First Reading of the New Constitution Bill on 7th May, Finance Minister Tendai Biti delivered his Second Reading speeches for three major Bills from his Ministry, in the following order:
· Microfinance Bill
· Securities Amendment Bill
· Income Tax Bill.
Debate on all three Bills was adjourned, until 14th May for the Microfinance Bill and Securities Amendment Bill, and until 5th June for the Income Tax Bill. The sitting ended early, with no attempt to tackle the sixteen other items on the agenda.
No other business conducted
Apart from passing a resolution allowing the fast-tracking of the New Constitution Bill, passing the Bill and hearing the Minister of Finance’s three Second Reading speeches, the House conducted no other business at all. Question Time and other Private Members’ Business on Wednesday were trumped by the Second Reading proceedings on the New Constitution Bill, which lasted until the end of the afternoon’s sitting. The House rose at 4 pm on Monday, 6.20 pm on Wednesday and 4.55 pm on Thursday.
There were no Bills for the Senate to deal with. Those who had hoped the New Constitution Bill would reach the Senate, and be passed by it before the end of the week, were disappointed.
The Senate used its time to conclude debate on, and approve, both motions on its agenda: the Vice-President Nkomo condolence motion; and the vote of thanks to the President for his speech opening the current Parliamentary session.
Question Time [Thursday]
The only question on the Order Paper was carried forward to 16th May [see below].
On the Agenda for Parliament this Coming Week
House of Assembly
Ministry of Finance Bills
Items 5 and 6 on the Order Paper for Tuesday 14th May are the adjourned Second Reading debates on the Microfinance Bill and the Securities Amendment Bill. [The House’s Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion is due to hear evidence on both these Bills on Monday morning – see Bill Watch – Parliamentary Committee Series 9/2013 of 11th May. The Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises will be considering the Microfinance Bill on Tuesday morning.]
Private Member’s Bill Item 18 on the Order Paper is Hon Gonese’s motion for leave to be granted to him to bring in a Bill to repeal section 121(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
International Agreements for Approval
Ministers will seek approval of four international agreements in terms of section 111B of the current Constitution:
· Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks [Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs]
· Statute of the International Renewal Energy Agency [IRENA] [Minister of Energy and Power Development]
· United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention [Minister of Labour and Social Services]
· African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa [“the Kampala Convention”] [Minister of Labour and Social Services].
New motion on voter registration Item 8 on the Order Paper is a motion proposed by Settlement Chikwinya of MDC-T that calls on the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs to restart the current much-criticised mobile voter registration exercise for a period of not less than 30 days in each ward countrywide; on the Minister of Finance to fund the programme; and on Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders to constitute a Parliamentary committee to investigate the adequacy of the current exercise and report back to Parliament.
Adjourned debates on a large number of motions await completion, including:
· condolence motions for the late Vice-President Landa John Nkomo and the late Deputy Minister Seiso Moyo
· motion of thanks to the President for his speech opening the present Parliamentary Session
· motions on Portfolio Committee reports on subjects ranging from remuneration of Government workers to the state of residential care institutions
· other member’s motions, including one on the need for official recognition of the historical significance of prisons where nationalist leaders were detained before Independence; and a suggestion to dissolve the Sports and Recreation Commission in order to permit the improvement of Zimbabwean athletes in all sporting disciplines.
Question Time on Wednesday 26 written questions with notice await responses from Ministers.
New Constitution Bill This is the only item listed for Tuesday 14th May. It is expected to be fast-tracked.
No motions are listed.
Question Time [Thursday]
The only question listed so far calls for a response from the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to concerns expressed about haphazard mining activities at Benson Mine in Mudzi district.
Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]
The Senate’s Votes and Proceedings for 7th and 8th May recorded that the PLC has submitted non-adverse reports on all statutory instruments published during the months of November and December 2012, and February and April, 2013. Reports for January and March statutory instruments have not yet been submitted.
MDC Bid to Unseat Five Parliamentarians
Early in April the Secretary-General of the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube gave written notice to the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the President of Senate, in terms of section 41(1)(e) of the Constitution, that five former members of the party, elected to constituency seats under its banner in 2008, have ceased to represent its interests in Parliament, having been expelled from the party. Section 41(1)(e) provides that when such notice is given, the Parliamentary seats concerned automatically become vacant. So far Parliament has not acted on the letters – all five Parliamentarians [three House of Assembly members and two Senators] were in their respective Houses when Parliament resumed on 7th May. The Speaker said last week that he was still waiting for feedback from consultations.
Supreme Court Hearing on Matabeleland By-Elections Case Still Awaited
On 16th April the Chief Justice granted urgent status to an appeal by the three former MDC MPs Bhebhe, Mpofu and Mguni against Judge-President Chiweshe’s decision in the High Court releasing President Mugabe from having to comply with the Supreme Court’s 2012 order to hold by-elections in three Matabeleland House of Assembly constituencies formerly held by the appellants. But the appeal has not yet been set down for hearing even though the record of the High Court proceedings was received at the Supreme Court two weeks ago.
Government Gazettes of 26th April and 3rd and 10th May
[not available from veritas]
NSSA pension increases and contributions/deductions
SI 61/2013 increases pensions and insurable earnings, effective 1st June 2013.
SI 62/2013 increases workers’ compensation payments, effective 1st August 2013.
Collective bargaining agreement
SI 51/2013 deals with motor industry wages for the period January to June 2013.
SI 55/2013 deals with agricultural industry [timber sector] wages.
SI 57/2013 to 59/2013 deal with wages and allowances for workers of welfare and educational institutions from 1st May 2009 to 31st December 2012.
SI 60/2013 deals with wages and allowances for workers of welfare and educational institutions for 2013.
SI 50/2013 re-enacts the existing rebates of duty for the National Railways of Zimbabwe and Air Zimbabwe.
SI 54/2013 lists long-term suspensions of customs duties for three mines – Aco Mining Ventures, Hongji Mineral Development and Yaron Goldenstone .
Local authority by-laws
SI 52/2013 enacts new rents and service and supplementary charges for Gokwe Town Council’s incorporated area.
SI 53/2013 sets out new licence fees for shop and business licences issued by the Gokwe Town Council.
Preliminary notice of acquisition under Mines and Minerals Act
GN 222/2013 notifies the Government’s intention to acquire for urban development 1057 hectares making up Remaining Extent of Saturday Retreat Estate near Harare. Objections and compensation claims must be lodged on or before 20th May.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied
CONSTITUTION WATCH 27/2013
[13th May 2013]
The New Constitution Bill has been passed by the House of Assembly and Sent to the Senate
The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill was gazetted on 29th March. The Bill consists of three short clauses and the new draft constitution in the form of a lengthy Schedule to the Bill. [See Constitution Watch 25/2013 of 4th April for the text of the three clauses.] The new draft constitution in the Schedule to the Bill differs in a few minor respects from the draft that was put to the Referendum. [See Constitution Watch 25/2013 of 4th April for a list of the differences and for COPAC’s explanation.] When the House of Assembly and the Senate returned on Tuesday 7th May from their ten-week recess, more than the mandatory 30-day period between the gazetting of a constitutional Bill and its presentation to Parliament [stipulated in the current Constitution] had passed.
Final Preparations at Monday 6th May COPAC Management Committee Meeting
The COPAC Management Committee met on Monday 6th May and discussed issues about the passage of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill through Parliament. All GPA parties were represented, with Minister Chinamasa one of those present representing ZANU-PF. Consensus was reached on the following points:
· certain minor amendments to the Bill were needed and would be made during the Bill’s Committee Stage in the House of Assembly, when the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs would move the amendments and all three GPA parties would support them
· the Bill would be introduced by the Minister and have its First Reading on Tuesday 7th May
· the Minister would deliver his Second Reading speech the following day, Wednesday 8th May, and debate would follow immediately afterwards.
ZANU-PF representatives nevertheless complained throughout the week that MDC-T was deliberately and unnecessarily slowing down the Bill’s progress in order to prevent the holding of the harmonised elections before the present Parliament automatically comes to an end at midnight on 28th June.
The Bill’s Passage Through the House of Assembly
The Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, whose responsibility it is to steer the Bill through Parliament, announced it would be introduced first into the House of Assembly and then, when passed in the lower house, taken to the Senate. [Note: For the passage of a constitutional Bill section 52(3) of the current Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in favour of the Bill in each House.]
Tuesday 7th May – Introduction and First Reading
Motion to fast-track Bill
On Tuesday proceedings opened with the House passing the following motion to suspend certain Standing Orders to allow the Constitution Bill to be “fast-tracked”:
“That the provisions of Standing Orders Nos. 22, 33 (2), 34 (5) and 205 (5) regarding the automatic adjournment of the House at five minutes to seven o’clock pm and at a twenty five minutes past one o’clock on a Friday, Private Members motions taking precedence on Wednesdays after question time and that question time shall be on Wednesdays and stages of bills, respectively, be suspended in respect of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill.”
The motion was proposed by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, on behalf of the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga, who was not yet in the chamber. It was approved without discussion.
Having arrived in the chamber, Mr Matinenga then presented the Bill and it was read for the first time. [Note: A Bill’s First Reading is a formality. The Clerk reads out the Bill’s title; no debate is allowed. Ordinary Bills next go to the Parliamentary Legal Committee to be scrutinised for consistency with the Constitution – but this does not apply to a Constitutional Bill. So, a Constitutional Bill that has had its First Reading is ready for the Second Reading stage on a date nominated by the Minister presenting it.]
Protest over timing of Minister’s Second Reading speech
When Mr Matinenga then said he would be ready to deliver his Second Reading speech on Wednesday, ZANU-PF MPs protested vigorously, pointing to the urgency of the Bill and the fact that the House had just passed a motion allowing for late debates, etc., and the suspension of those same standing orders could allow all stages of a Bill to be dealt with on the same day. The Minister stuck to his guns, reminding the House of the consensus reached at the Management Committee meeting on Monday, at which ZANU-PF had been well represented. Proceedings on the Bill were then adjourned until Wednesday.
Wednesday 8th May – Second Reading Stage
Minister’s speech and other contributions
Minister Matinenga opened proceedings with his speech outlining the principles and objectives of the new Constitution, and highlighting improvements over the current constitutional provisions: expansion of Bill of Rights, introduction of social, economic and environmental rights, expansion of citizenship rights. At the end of his speech, ZANU-PF MPs claimed there was no need for further debate but MDC-T MPs insisted on speaking; Finance Minister Tendai Biti addressed the House for 35 minutes, describing it as miraculous that the often “arduous and acrimonious” negotiating process, behind-the-scenes aspects of which he described, had culminated in agreement. He said the new Constitution would usher in a new social order in Zimbabwe. Several other MDC-T MPs expressed similar sentiments. There were two brief contributions from ZANU-PF; Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa emphasised his party’s satisfaction with the new Constitution’s confirmation of the land reform programme. From the MDC there were also two speakers, with Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga applauding the introduction of term-limits for Presidents and other office-holders. All spoke in support of the new Constitution.
After these contributions Minister Matinenga wound up the debate with the unanimous support of members, completing the Second Reading stage of the Bill. The House rose at 6.20 pm, with the next stage, the Committee Stage, set for Thursday.
Thursday 10th May – Committee Stage
Committee Stage Amendments
This stage is when the House goes into “committee of the whole House”. The Speaker leaves the chair and either the Deputy Speaker or the Chairperson of Committees presides over the proceedings. The presiding officer takes MPs through the Bill clause by clause, and they have the opportunity to raise questions of detail, and approve amendments.
The Minister had already given notice on Wednesday that he would propose amendments to nine provisions of the Bill which had been agreed upon as being necessary at Monday’s COPAC Management Committee meeting. All of them are editorial changes, correcting minor inconsistencies or mistakes in cross-references. They were set out in advance in the Order Paper for Thursday as follows: [Note that the page numbers are those of the printed version of the Bill, which is what MPs have in front of them in the chamber – and that there were some minor errors in these amendments – see Veritas comments below.]
NOTICE OF AMENDMENTS
BY: THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS
Pages 25-26 of the Bill, section 43. Substitute “effective date” with “publication day” wherever it appears in the section.
Page 49 of the Bill, section 110(6). Delete paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d), lines 5-13.
Page 54 of the Bill, section 124(1)(b). Delete the words “through a system of” and substitute “under a party- system of”, line 24.
Page 105 of Bill, section 268(2), line 39. Delete “subsection (1)(f)” and substitute “subsection (1)(g)”.
Page 107 of the Bill, section 271. Delete “section 268(1)(f)” and substitute “section 268(1)(g)”, line 17.
Page 107 of Bill, section 272, line 19. Delete “Chairpersons of Provincial and Metropolitan Councils” and substitute “Chairpersons of Provincial Councils”.
Page 108 of the Bill, lines 10-11. Delete subsection (9).
Page 147 of the Bill, section 3(1)(d), lines 8-9. Delete paragraph (d) and substitute the following-
“(d) Chapter 6 relating to the election of Members of Parliament, the summoning of Parliament after a general election and to the assent to Acts of Parliament by the President.”.
Page 147 of the Bill, section 3(3), line 23. Delete “subparagraphs (a) to (I)” and substitute “subparagraphs (a) to (i)”.
Page 151 of the Bill, section 18(7), lines 19-20. Delete “effective date” and substitute “publication date”.
The were a few errors in the amendments as printed in the Order Paper:
· The amendment to section 124 used the term “party-system” of proportional representation when it should have said “party-list system”. Fortunately this was noticed in time and the correct term was read out and adopted when the amendment came up during the Committee Stage on Thursday.
· The amendments to clauses 268 and 271 should have substituted “subsection (1)(h)” rather than “subsection (1)(g)”. This very minor error can be put right by the Clerk of Parliament in terms of Standing Order 117(1) which allows “corrections of a verbal or formal nature (i.e. spelling or obvious grammatical mistakes, typographical errors or the renumbering of clauses or paragraphs and minor amendments in consequence)” to be made by the Clerk under direction of the Speaker.
· The amendment to the Sixth Schedule, section 18(7), should have substituted “effective date” with “publication day” instead of “publication date”, which is the term used and defined in the new Constitution. This, too, can be can be put right by the Clerk of Parliament in terms of Standing Order 117(1).
The following points need to be noted:
· The amendment to section 43 of the new constitution deals with continuation of citizenship for existing citizens and restoration of citizenship to those born in Zimbabwe to a parent or parents with citizenship of another SADC country but resident in Zimbabwe. It makes it clear that this section, like the rest of the Chapter on Citizenship, comes into operation on “publication day” – thereby removing an inconsistency. The whole Chapter will, including section 43, will therefore apply from publication day to issue of IDs and registration of voters for the next elections.
· The amendment, to section 110(6) on the President’s executive functions, deleting paragraphs (a) to (d) removes an obvious inconsistency with other provisions in the constitution about when the President exercises his powers as President personally, e.g. assenting to and signing Bills, and when his executive powers must be exercised on Cabinet advice.
· The reasons for the three amendments to the Sixth Schedule are not obvious [the Minister was not asked for an explanation when the amendments came up during the Committee Stage]:
1. Amendment to paragraph 31)(d) The effect is that the President’s power to assent to Bills is to be governed by the new constitution after the publication day. This seems pointless, as there would be no time before this Parliament ends to follow the slightly different but long drawn-out procedure if the President does not assent to a Bill. [Unless the government is making provision for extending the life of this Parliament.]
2. Correction of paragraph 3(3) seems unnecessary, as the present Constitution has no provisions on provincial and local government that clash with the new Constitution.
3. Amendment of paragraph 18(7) - Why do the existing courts have to be specially continued in existence from the publication day rather than the effective date? There is nothing to suggest they would not continue in existence until the effective date anyway.
It is hoped that there can be a consensus that all errors – including any that may come to light during the Bill’s passage through the Senate – can properly be corrected by the Clerk in terms of Standing Order 117(1) – or, as the House has now finished with the Bill, the equivalent Senate Standing Order. It would cause further delay if it was decided to follow the route laid down by Standing Order 117(2) instead: ”(2) Other corrections shall be made by way of motion and dealt with as any other amendment.” [“Other corrections” are corrections that cannot be made by the Clerk in terms of Standing Order 117(1)]. Any amendments made by the Senate during the Committee Stage would mean the Bill having to go back to the House for consideration of the Senate’s amendments. And adoption of the amendments by the House would require another two-thirds majority vote.
Third Reading Vote and Transmission to Senate
156 MPs voted in favour, well over the two-thirds majority required. There were no dissenting votes. The Speaker then made the following declaration: “I, therefore, declare the final vote in the House of Assembly on the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Bill [H.B. 2A, 2013] to have been in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3) of section 52 of the Constitution.”
Transmission to Senate
The Bill, as approved by the House [i.e. with the Minister’s amendments], was then transmitted to the Senate for its consideration, and at 4.55 pm the House adjourned. As the Senate had already adjourned until Tuesday 14th May, the Minister will have to wait until then to guide the Bill through the Senate.
Bill for the Senate on Tuesday 14th May
The Bill will come up in the Senate on Tuesday 14th May. It is likely that it will be fast-tracked through all stages in the course of the afternoon – introduction/First Reading, Second Reading [Minister’s speech followed by contributions from Senators wishing to speak], Committee Stage, Third Reading. To allow this, a resolution to suspend the relevant Standing Orders is expected before proceedings on the Bill commence.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied