By Alex Bell
16 May 2011
The Zimbabwe crisis could once again be bumped off the agenda of upcoming
talks by leaders in the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
apparently because South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma might not attend.
The SADC Summit is set to get underway in Namibia on Friday, but there has
been no confirmation that Zimbabwe will be on the agenda of talks. Dewa
Mavhinga from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told SW Radio Africa that
President Zuma, the regional mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis, “might not be
available because of commitments regarding municipal elections in South
“If Zuma is not available then the matter of Zimbabwe might be postponed,”
Mavhinga said, explaining; “There is a proposal on the table that the matter
will be addressed in Johannesburg on the 10th or 11th June.”
It will not be the first time that SADC has deferred dealing with the
Zimbabwe issue and Robert Mugabe. But a delay now will come as a serious
blow for everyone who has been pushing for the region to take a stand.
SW Radio Africa understands that SADC is jumping at the chance to delay the
Zim meeting again, because it simply does not know what to do.
SADC has been cautiously praised recently after appearing to change its
usually complacent tune towards Zimbabwe. A SADC Troika meeting in Zambia
had harsh words for the ongoing political stalemate, caused by ZANU PF’s
refusal to honour the Global Political Agreement (GPA). That Troika meeting
ended with what analysts said was, for SADC, a strongly worded communiqué
that called for an immediate end to violence and intimidation and also
resolved to create an election road map to guarantee a fair and free vote.
Mugabe left that meeting visibly angry, and his party has been lashing out
at SADC ever since. A ZANU PF politburo meeting last week moved to stall all
progress in creating the draft election roadmap, insisting elections will be
held this year. Observers have said ZANU PF’s behaviour is only isolating
the party further within the region, but there are still concerns that long
time allies of Mugabe’s will continue to support him in the future.
Mugabe has since embarked on a regional offensive, deploying envoys to try
and drum up support for his intention to hold elections this year. Analysts
have said that, if successful, this could divide an already fragile SADC,
with the likes of Angola’s José Eduardo dos Santos, Malawi’s Bingu Wa
Mutharika, Joseph Kabila of the DRC, Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba and
Swaziland’s King Mswati III, likely to fight in Mugabe’s corner.
The Crisis Coalition’s Mavhinga said that there is still reason to hope that
SADC “will do the right thing,” insisting that the pressure on the region
must not wane.
“We are pushing SADC to put on public record its minimum conditions for
Zimbabwe, regarding the environment that must be created for a free and fair
election, regarding constitutional reform, regarding the serious issues of
security sector reform,” Mavhinga said.
He added: “Even if the matter is postponed, they must put this on record,
and indicate to the international community that they are in charge of the
Meanwhile, it’s understood that SADC will be happy to delay the meeting,
while it tries to decide how to progress with the sticky issue of the SADC
Tribunal. The summit is meant to study a review of the court, which was
effectively suspended last year over Zimbabwe’s refusal to honour it’s
ruling on the land grab campaign. The Tribunal ruled in 2008 that the brutal
land invasions were unlawful and ordered the then ZANU PF government to
protect farmers. But Robert Mugabe and his party have repeatedly snubbed the
court, despite being a signatory to the SADC Treaty.
Last year a SADC summit decided to review the role and functions of the
court, rather than be forced into taking action against the Zim government
for its contempt. That review has since been concluded, and has upheld the
But a recent SADC Council of Ministers meeting has come to a different
conclusion, insisting that the Court was not properly constituted and does
not have the jurisdiction to rule on events in Zimbabwe.
The SADC summit now needs to make a decision on the future of the court, one
way or another. Observers have said it is unlikely that the regional bloc
will take Mugabe to task over land seizures, and there is great concern
about what this will mean for the future of the rule of law in the entire
By Tonderai Kwenda, Chief Writer
Monday, 16 May 2011 11:30
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party are literally begging
Sadc for support, in a desperate bid to remain in power, ahead of a
make-or-break special regional summit on Zimbabwe scheduled for later this
week in Namibia.
As reported by the Daily News last week, Mugabe has sent emissaries to the
region, including Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, to try and mend his
deteriorating relations with regional leaders.
This is despite the fact that his party openly vilified the regional
grouping and its leaders on several occasions over the past two months.
However, a regional diplomat dismissed the ploy yesterday as “an exercise in
In addition to begging Sadc for support, the Zanu PF ploy also aims to
divide the region so that it does not come up with a concrete and
forward-leaning resolution on Zimbabwe. Mugabe and his party hope to
persuade a few regional leaders to fight in their corner to ensure that they
come out of the Namibia summit without being battered any further.
Sadc, led by Global Political Agreement (GPA) facilitator, President Jacob
Zuma of South Africa, is set to adopt a roadmap towards the country’s next
elections when it meets on Friday.
The problem for Zanu PF is that its senior officials, such as serial
political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo, have been at the forefront of crude
attacks against Zuma and Sadc, recklessly alleging that the SA facilitation
team was working with Western countries to remove Mugabe.
This has seen Mugabe becoming increasingly isolated within the region. The
87-year-old leader first got a taste of the changing realities within Sadc
at the Livingstone troika summit, where the octogenarian receieved a
stinging rebuke from his peers for his failure to implement the GPA in full
and for the continuing violence and arbitrary arrests in the country.
This is what has culminated in Mugabe dispatching emissaries to the region
to try and solicit the support of regional leaders, especially Zanu PF’s
perceived traditional backers such as Angola and Malawi.
Diplomatic sources told the Daily News at the weekend that Zanu PF recently
met with Sadc ambassadors in Harare as part of this agenda.“Zanu PF met with
Sadc ambassadors and tried to explain to them its own side of the story.
They were putting on the table arguments that political violence is
happening from both the MDC and Zanu PF side.“The Sadc ambassadors were
presented with a dossier prepared by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri detailing the reported incidences of
violence and frequencies according to political parties,” said the source.
The mainstream MDC party has accused the police of conducting itself in a
partisan manner, arresting its members on flimsy grounds while letting Zanu
PF perpetrators of violence go scot-free.
Diplomats also told the Daily News that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor
Gideon Gono had also met with Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika in
Malawi last month, with a message from Mugabe.
Gono, who is a trusted aide of Mugabe, is said to have taken advantage of a
meeting of Central Bank governors that was being held there to plead with wa
Mutharika on behalf Mugabe.
In Mnangagwa’s case, he met Angolan Vice President, Fernando da Piedade Dias
dos Santos in Luanda on Friday to deliver a special message from Mugabe and
In interviews with Angolan media, Mnangangwa sought to paint a rosy picture
of events in Zimbabwe, describing the working relationship between Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as “very good.”
“The country is stable, and everything is happening in a peaceful
environment,” Mnangangwa told the Angolan News Agency.
Meanwhile, civil society groups have also been meeting with regional leaders
to raise their concerns about the dire political situation in Zimbabwe –
with one of the organisations working in the field of human rights producing
a dossier on legally-related violations by the police.
“We are just appraising the Sadc ambassadors on the situation happening in
the country now, giving them detailed information on how Zanu PF is abusing
the law and also giving them our position on the issue of the Sadc
Tribunal,” said a member of the civic society group which is meeting Sadc
Sadc ambassadors are said to have taken trips to their home capitals to
brief their presidents ahead of the summit.
“It’s good that Zanu PF is talking, at least it shows that they now know
that some people are watching and they ought to do things the right way,”
said a diplomat from a neighbouring country.
However, other diplomats and some analysts believe the latest move by Zanu
PF is an exercise in futility.
“It’s a lost cause because they were beaten to it by Morgan Tsvangirai. It’s
a late awakening and I doubt their visit will change the outcome of the 20
May meeting which will no doubt send a very strong statement that elections
can only be held once the roadmap to free and fair elections has been
concluded,” said University of Zimbabwe political commentator, John Makumbe.
Makumbe said the events that happened in North Africa and the Arab world
would influence Sadc’s decisions at Friday’s meeting, as any implosion in
Zimbabwe would have a direct negative bearing on the wider region.
Charles Mangongera, a Harare-based political analyst said Zanu PF’s actions
were a clear sign of panic.
“They are worried about the kind of response Sadc will give in light of Zanu
PF’s insistence that elections will be held this year. They are trying to do
damage control before the situation turns more confrontational. It is a
pre-emptive measure to start dealing with a fall-out. These efforts are
already targeted at trying to minimise the damage.”
Friday’s meeting will, apart from dealing with the contentious roadmap and
reviewing the GPA, also discuss a Sadc Justice Minister and Attorney General’s
report on the operations of the Sadc Tribunal.
By Servaas van den Bosch
WINDHOEK, May 16, 2011 (IPS) - The Southern African Development Community
(SADC) faces several awkward problems at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads
of State scheduled for May 20-21.
Mediating between parties in Zimbabwe over a workable plan for elections and
power-sharing in Madagascar may be the headlines, but long-delayed action on
the decisions of the SADC Tribunal could also have long-lasting consequences
for human rights and the rule of law in the region.
Since 2008, the SADC Tribunal has handed down a series of decisions on cases
of expropriation of farmers in Zimbabwe; over 3,000 mostly white commercial
farmers were thrown off their land beginning in 2000, according to the
Zimbabwe government, in order to redistribute their land to landless people.
While the rulings all were in favour of the evicted farmers, Zimbawe flatly
refused to recognise the court's authority to order compensation for the
land seized. The Tribunal referred the matter to the SADC heads of state for
Unable to face the political consequences of ejecting or suspending Zimbabwe
from the regional bloc, SADC leaders instead suspended the Tribunal at their
August 2010 summit, pending a "review" of its functions.
Ten years of land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform is a powerfully emotive issue in Southern Africa, where a white
minority still holds much of the most valuable agricultural land. Zimbabwe's
rapid, often violent seizure of farm land was framed as fulfilling a promise
A 2010 review by the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions -
an umbrella body for commercial farmers across the region - found land
reform efforts in Zimbabwe and elsewhere had achieved poor results in terms
of agricultural productivity or improving the livelihoods of the poorest.
Poor planning, inadequate funding and a lack of technical support for new
farmers are highlighted as key reasons for the failure.
Members of the agricultural unions are, of course, have a powerful interest
in protecting their ownership of large tracts of land from redistribution to
hundreds of thousands of those dispossessed in colonial times, but the
collapse of farm productivity on land transferred in Zimbabwe and elsewhere
in the region is well-documented.
Farm owners have not been the only casualties; farm workers' lot in both
Zimbabwe and Southern Africa has also been affected.
This review - conducted by a team of University of Cambridge consultants and
completed on Feb. 14 - not unexpectedly confirmed the Tribunal had acted
properly and within its powers on the farmer’s affair. The list of 34
recommendations in the confidential report - of which IPS has a copy –
suggested a strengthening of the regional court to avoid the kind of
maneuvering that has delayed relief for the farmers.
Lawyer Norman Tjombe, who argued some of the cases in question said, "The
report was rather positive on the Tribunal, supporting its rulings on
Zimbabwe and recommending strengthening of its functions. It made Zimbabwe
The first indications that the recommendations were not exactly what SADC
was hoping for came as the SADC Council of Ministers met to consider the
review in Swakopmund, Namibia from Apr. 11-15. The Namibian chairing the
review, Minister of Justice Pendukeni Ivula-Ithana, opened the meeting
saying : "[It] is us, the people of SADC who can own our instruments as they
address our identified concerns and are compatible with our national legal
She went on: "This Tribunal is ours and we have received the advice
contained in the final report of the consultant. Ours is to take out of it
what we deem appropriate and suggest to the Presidents and Heads of States
for their decision."
The evicted Zimbabwean farmers are not the only ones waiting on SADC
leaders' next move. Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe face a R4 billion
(570 million dollar) claim from South African-based mining group Swissbourgh
for expropriation of its minerals rights to pave the way for the Lesotho
Water Highlands Project in 1991.
According to Josias van Zyl, Managing Director of Swissbourgh, the three
countries conspired to suspend the SADC Tribunal last August, just a week
before the case was supposed to be heard.
Swissbourgh filed an application with the Tribunal challenging SADC leaders'
legal authority to suspend its operations. Tjombe lodged a similar
application on Mar. 28, arguing the SADC Summit’s August decision "does not
in law have the effect of suspending [the tribunal’s] operations and
"So far we have heard nothing from the court , not a peep," said Tjombe.
The delays already mean one of the plaintiffs will never see the end of his
struggle to regain his land; Campbell died in early April.
Van Zyl told IPS that Swissbourgh has threatened to sue SADC in Gaborone,
Botswana (where it is headquartered) as well as individual states in their
own countries should "they strip SADC of its Tribunal, or continue to
interfere with our right to access to justice".
"The comments of the Namibian Justice Minister seem to indicate a move in
that direction," he said.
Swissbourgh asserts in a May 13 letter to the heads of state, that is aware
that the outcome of the Swakopmund deliberation was a proposal that the
Tribunal's scope of action be amended to allow only inter-state disputes,
ruling out access for individuals to the regional court.
Swissbourgh says that any weakening of the Tribunal would be "in bad faith"
and a "violation of international law generally and various international
human rights instruments".
But Norman Tjombe is sceptical of the pressure the litigants can exercise on
"They will just ignore the report and likely postpone a decision," he said.
"It’s a sad day for the rule of law.
"The widespread practice in member states of ignoring court rulings, or
replacing critical judges with ones favourable to the regime is now repeated
on a SADC level. The establishment of the SADC Tribunal as a liberal and
accessible court was a leap forward. Now the court is in danger of being
strangled and killed."
by Irene Madongo
16 May 2011
A break-away group of the smaller MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube, has
announced that their leader Arthur Mutambara has surrendered his position as
president of the party. His duties will now be taken over by former National
Chairman, Joubert Mudzumwe, who led the breakaway group with other
disgruntled senior members, according to SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon
Mudzumwe and other senior members of the party refuse to recognise Welshman
Ncube as the leader of the MDC, arguing that the January congress (where
Ncube was nominated President) was conducted in violation of the party’s
constitution. At the congress Arthur Mutambara announced he would be
stepping down as President, and this paved the way for Ncube to be elected
into this position.
However, Mutambara later made a u-turn, saying he would not step down and
the congress was illegitimate. He was backed by Mudzumwe’s group, which
filed an application in the High Court, seeking to nullify the congress.
In the meantime the group maintained they were the MDC and continued to
recognise Mutambara as their President, instead of Ncube. Other members of
Mudzumwe’s group include national council members Tsitsi Dangarembgwa and
On Monday Mudzumwe told a press conference that his group have completely
‘expelled’ Ncube from the MDC. They allege he has abused party funds and his
powers by appointing Moses Mzila Ndlovu as one of the negotiators to the
Global Political Agreement. Although Mutambara was not at the press
conference, Mudzumwe said they had held discussions with him earlier in the
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa said; “The resolution which
comes from that indicated that with immediate effect the council endorsed
the expulsion of Welshamn Ncube as a party member and leader of the party.”
“He (Mudzumwe) indicated there is another resolution which came out, that
Arthur Mutambara will not be acting as party President any more until the
High Court rules otherwise. So from now on Mudzumwe will be taking over and
carrying out all duties which were supposed to be carried out by Mutambara.”
“But they indicated he remains a principal and is supposed to be
representing the party in the [SADC Zimbabwe] negotiations,” Muchemwa said.
However Nhlanhla Dube, of the MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube, dismissed
Mudzumwe’s group’s allegations as lunacy. “It’s laughable, it’s nothing that
any serious minded Zimbabwean or certainly any serious minded person of this
world will take seriously,” Dube said.
16/05/2011 19:32:00 Staff Reporter
HARARE - Power struggles in the MDC formation between Professor Arthur
Mutambara and Professor Welshman Ncube are getting intense after an
announcement by the Joubert Mudzumwe faction that they have endorsed the
expulsion of Ncube from the party.
Members of the Joubert Mudzumwe faction told journalists in the capital this
Monday afternoon that their National Council which they regard as the
legitimate one has resolved to expel the organisers and all those who
attended the party’s National Council meeting on February 2011 at the party’s
Hillside offices in Harare.
Mudzumwe himself was tasked to take charge of presidential affairs as the
formation says it respects the pending court interdict which barred
Professor Mutambara from exercising any duties as party president until the
issue is finalised.
The endorsement of the expulsion of Ncube and organisers of the National
Council meeting comes in the backdrop of a congress held from January 8-9
which the Mudzumwe faction insists was illegitimate and violated the party’s
In response to the developments, Professor Ncube’s deputy spokesperson, Mr.
Kurauone Chihwayi said the Arthur Mutambara issue is now water under the
bridge and the formation will not waste its time discussing about a rejected
leader whom they will never treat with seriousness.
Harare, May 16, 2011 - Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, ousted leader
of the small Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has re-constituted a new
national executive as he intensifies the battles to keep his position in the
Mutambara also fired the current president Welshman Ncube and Priscilla
Misihairambwi from the executive of the party which split in January at the
congress. Mutambara was ousted as president of the party in January by
Ncube. He has since been barred by the courts not to purport to be the
leader of the MDC after the Ncube faction sought an interdict from the
Bulawayo High Court.
But on Monday Mutambara's new look national council held its first meeting
in Harare where it resolved to endorse Mutambara’s 9 February, 2011
purported expulsion of Ncube from the MDC.
As the circus around Mutambara continues, his national council, resolved to
also expel the organisers and all those who attended what they described as
the “illegitimate” national council meeting of 11 February 2011 held at
Ncube’s Hillside offices.
"The national council resolves to expel the organisers and all those who
attended the illegitimate national council meeting of 11 February 2011 held
at the Hillside offices. The organisers and all those who attended the said
meeting are expelled in terms of Article 4 subsection 4.10 of the party
constitution," Mudzumwe said.
The national council also noted that Mutambara has been inhibited from
performing his duties due to the temporary court interdict won by the Ncube
formation after his former secretary general ousted him.
“The interdict will be respected and will continue to be respected,” said
Jourbert Mudzumwe, the MDC national chairman at a press conference on
He however, said in order to maintain the smooth of the MDC, the national
council resolved that he (Mudzumwe) take charge and offer services whenever
the services of the president of the party are required.
He added that as chairman of the MDC he had been tasked by the national
council to pursue the outstanding issues of the expulsion of the party’s
officials from the constitution-making process at the alleged instigation of
the Ncube group, the issue of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
negotiators and the party finances.
"The national council has further resolved to immediately fill the positions
left the expelled office bearers. To that effect, a new national council has
been reconstituted and the names will be announced in due course. The MDC-M
notes with concern that the two negotiators of our party had appointed in
the SADC negotiating process, (Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga and Moses
Mzila Ndlovu) are now abusing both the GPA process and the other four
negotiators by seeking to settle internal party differences through the
Mudzumwe said members of the party still want Mutambara to be the party
Surprisingly the Mutambara led group has been silence over the time without
raising any concern about Ncube and his group's appointment of negotiators
to the GPA. The party has not attended any negotiators meeting, but
Mutambara who has said he will remain a principal and Deputy Prime Minister
has been attending the negotiations.
Mudzumwe and his other disgruntled members of the MDC have appealed in the
High Court to nullify the elevation of Ncube and his team. The High court is
yet to hear the matter.
Zimbabwe's Central Bank governor has gone on record as warning about the
fall in value of the U.S. dollar while suggesting that his country should
move towards a gold backing for its own currency.
Author: Lawrence Williams
Posted: Monday , 16 May 2011
The southern African state of Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe's
dogmatic pursuit of white controlled farms, and now the mining industry,
coupled perhaps with a serious degree of ineptitude and corruption, brought
the country's economy to its knees, is now doubting the future value of the
U.S. dollar - a currency which it has relied upon to end its disastrous
According to New Zimbabwe.com - a U.K.-based Zimbabwe news portal - the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Governor, Gideon Gono, is reported as saying:
"There is a need for us to begin thinking seriously and urgently about
introducing a gold-backed Zimbabwe currency that will not only be stable but
internationally acceptable," Gono said in an interview with state media. "We
need to rethink our gold-mining strategy, our gold-liberalisation and
marketing strategies as a country. The world needs to and will most
certainly move to a gold standard and Zimbabwe must lead the way."
Gono reportedly said the inflationary effects of United States' deficit
financing of its budget were likely to impact other countries, leading to
resistance of the greenback as a base currency.
"The events of the 2008 global financial crisis demand a new approach to
self-reliance and a stable mineral-backed currency, and to me gold has
proven over the years that it is a stable and most desired precious metal,"
Gono said. "Zimbabwe is sitting on trillions worth of gold reserves and it
is time we start thinking outside the box, for our survival and prosperity."
When a country like Zimbabwe, which has experienced one of the worst
hyperinflationary episodes ever with multi-billion Zimbabwe dollar notes
being virtually worthless (the country even printed a 100 trillion dollar
note at its inflationary peak), starts casting doubts on U.S. dollar
inflation, perhaps we should start to worry a little, although one has to
say Gono's financial credentials are shaky, to say the least. He presided
over an inflationary period when at one time Zimbabwean inflation was said
to be running at over a billion percent a month!
But he may have a point. Zimbabwe does have excellent gold reserves,
although the country has seen its annual production decimated due to its
financial policies and, at one time, withholding payment to its gold mines
which have to sell to the Central Bank. As a consequence Zimbabwe's gold
production dropped over a period of years to a low of 4 tonnes in 2008. At
peak the country's gold output neared 30 tonnes. Since 2008, a relaxation
on gold sales allowing mines to sell at global market prices has led to a
revival, but still remains at less than half peak production levels.
Gono and Mugabe's money printing policy in Zimbabwe is the prime cause of
the country's descent into the world's second worst ever hyperinflationary
episode, so he has a strong personal knowledge of what can happen to a
currency if the Central Bank keeps on churning out more and more paper
money. Maybe he recognises in Ben Bernanke a man after his own heart!
By Alex Bell
16 May 2011
The remaining families in the diamond rich Chiadzwa area have been forced to
leave their homes, after soldiers launched a brutal eviction process over
A distraught man called the MDC-T offices on Saturday saying the process was
being done hurriedly and “properties are being destroyed in the hasty
“We are being moved from Chiadzwa right now, and the soldiers are being
brutal. Our properties are being destroyed, and we are not even sure of
where we are being moved to,” the man said, before the phone went dead.
It was reported last week that one of the mining firms granted a licence by
the government to mine at Chiadzwa, had recruited soldiers to start removing
the remaining 40 families in the area. The families had previously refused
to move until fair compensation had been paid to them. But it was reported
that the mining firm, the Chinese company Anjin, recruited soldiers to start
moving the families on.
Meanwhile, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has said the families will not be
compensated, until Zimbabwe is allowed to sell its diamonds on the
Zimbabwe’s status as a legal diamond exporter remains unclear, with the
international diamond trade monitor, the Kimberley Process (KP), not
reaching any consensual agreement on the country’s trade future. The KP’s
new chairman, Mathieu Yamba from the DRC, earlier this year unilaterally
announced that Zimbabwe could resume exports. But other KP members have said
that no decision can be taken yet, because of ongoing concerns that Zimbabwe
is not compliant with international trade standards.
There are ongoing reports of abuse and smuggling out of Chiadzwa, despite
Mpofu’s insistence that the country’s mining sector is meeting the standards
set by the KP. The insistence by Mpofu that no local villagers will be
compensated for their forced moves, are now being viewed as a new threat.
Mpofu has previously threatened to sell Zim diamonds without KP approval, to
try and force the watchdog group to make a decision in the government’s
by Thulani Munda Monday 16 May 2011
HARARE – Negotiators from Zimbabwe’s three governing parties including
President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF have expressed fear that the unresolved
question of the veteran leader’s succession could endanger efforts to
resolve the country’s political crisis, according to South Africa’s ruling
In its official ANC Today newsletter, the party, whose leader and also South
African President Jacob Zuma is the regional SADC group’s mediator in the
Zimbabwe inter-party negotiations, said the ongoing talks have made serious
But the negotiators were concerned that should Mugabe, who is 87, retire or
die in office this could jeorpadise the adoption of a new and democratic
constitution that is still being drafted and is seen as prerequisite to
ensuring the next vote is free and fair.
"Negotiators are also concerned about the succession should Mugabe die or
retire before the adoption of a new constitution, which is still being
negotiated," the party said.
The South African party said ZANU PF and the two MDC parties led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube had agreed
in principle that Western sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle should be
The United States, European Union and other Western nations imposed
sanctions against Mugabe and his top lieutenants in 2002 as punishment for
failure to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Mugabe -- who says sanctions by the EU and its western allies were meant to
weaken him and eventually cause his ouster as punishment for seizing land
from white farmers -- has blocked reforms in the security sector saying
these and other key reforms could only take place after sanctions have been
But the ANC conceded that with Zimbabwe’s political reforms dragging on at a
snail’s pace it would be difficult to convince the West to lift the visa and
financial bans on Mugabe and his allies.
It said: “As a matter of principle, the three parties have agreed sanctions
must go, SADC has agreed the sanctions must go. But also… there must be
understanding that the slower the pace (of implementing the GPA) the more it
becomes difficult to sell this idea.”
Under the GPA or global political agreement that gave birth to Zimbabwe’s
power-sharing government, the Harare coalition must write a new constitution
and draft an elections roadmap before calling a new vote.
A multiparty parliamentary committee leading the writing of the new
constitution has said it expects to have a draft charter ready to be taken
to Zimbabweans in referendum by September while the three parties have
agreed an elections charter in principle.
But the parties remain deadlocked on issue of security reforms and on the
question of when exactly should new elections take place. -- ZimOnline
By Lance Guma
16 May 2011
Five days after Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa sought refugee
behind black wheelie bins, fleeing angry activists in South Africa, his boss
Robert Mugabe had a similar life threatening encounter after opposition
protesters stoned his convoy in Uganda.
As we reported last week, Mugabe was caught up in a violent backlash by
opposition supporters in Uganda. While traveling for the swearing in
ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni in the capital Kampala, his convoy was
stoned by protesters who were heard shouting: “Go to hell dictators!”
Reports also said the protesters threw stones at the convoy of Nigerian
President Goodluck Jonathan. It was reported by Ugandan and Nigerian media
that the Ugandan security forces fired at the protesters, killing one
person. Foreign journalists were also stripped of cameras and recording
The Ugandan government has denied that either Mugabe or Jonathan’s convoys
were attacked. We however spoke to a Ugandan journalist who told us; “As you
know the government of Uganda has come out to deny that, but the truth of
the matter is that these people were caught up in a traffic jam that
happened to be (near) supporters of the opposition leader Kizza Besigye who
was coming back from Nairobi, where he was undergoing medical treatment.”
The crowd was “mainly made up of jubilant supporters welcoming back the
opposition leader who had been a week ago, beaten and arrested by the
government forces. So he was rushed to Nairobi for further treatment and on
his way back, a day before that, on Wednesday he was denied re-entry into
the country. But they allowed him to come back on Thursday.”
“The guy (Besigye) arrived Thursday morning and on his way to Kampala it
took him about 11 hours to travel from Entebbe airport to Kampala city which
is about a distance of 21 miles. And in the process, these foreign
dignitaries who were coming from the swearing in ceremony of President
Yoweri Museveni, met face to face with some of these protesters, who were
really welcoming the opposition leader from Nairobi.”
The journalist told us that security forces unleashed terror on the
demonstrators and “that’s how the whole thing started. All day long there
were running street battles with police and military police trying to use
teargas and beating them up. So people were angry having spent the whole day
on the road waiting for the opposition leader to come.”
The furious protesters turned on Mugabe and Jonathan’s convoys which passed
through the area.
Museveni was announced the winner of the disputed February 18th elections.
Since then, opposition leaders have been leading “walk to work” protests
over the rising cost of food and fuel in the country.
So last week was a bad week for the President’s Office. A few days before
Mugabe’s surprise in Uganda, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs,
Didymus Mutasa, sought refuge behind black wheelie bins as angry refugees
and activists in South Africa disrupted a planned ZANU PF anti-sanctions
rally. The activists, mostly victims of the Gukurahundi Massacres, argued
that ZANU PF should not be seeking sympathy from their victims.
Although these incidents may seem quite minor, they are part of what is
happening in many countries around the world – people everywhere are
increasingly fed up with despotic rulers and are no longer prepared to keep
By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Monday, 16 May 2011 16:19
HARARE - Human rights lawyers have called for an urgent overhaul of the
country’s justice delivery system to stop the continuing abuse of the law by
the Attorney General’s (AG) office, through the inappropriate invocation of
the notorious Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The latest calls by the lawyers come amid mounting calls by political
parties for security sector reforms.
The lawyers believe the AG’s office and the police have largely been
partisan in the conduct of their duty by abusing the court process designed
to persecute perceived anti-Zanu PF elements.
These fresh calls by the lawyers have been reignited by the recent arbitrary
arrests of political activists and key MDC members since the beginning of
the year on flimsy charges.
In February, 46 activists were arrested and charged with treason and
subverting a constitutionally elected government after they were found
viewing footage of the North African revolts.
The bulk of the activists were later released after the charges were dropped
by the magistrate who said there was insufficient evidence to proceed to
The other five — Munyaradzi Gwisai, Antoinette Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara,
Edson Chakuma and Hopewell Gumbo were subsequently charged with treason and
are currently out on bail laced with stringent reporting conditions.
Their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama told the Daily News that his clients would be
facing lesser charges but he was not sure of the charges.
“The prosecutor said he was going to reduce the charges and then advise us
in time to prepare for the trial,” Muchadehama said.
Muchadehama, who is also challenging section 121 in the case between the
state and MDC official Toendepi Shonhe, said many accused persons went
through trial without sufficient evidence.
“There is total abuse of the court process. People may actually be taken
through the motions of a trial just to humiliate them,” Muchadehama said.
Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Irene Petras told
Daily News that the section is denying Zimbabweans their right to protection
by the law.
“Once section 121 has been invoked, the judge’s hands are tied. It is an
ouster of the court’s jurisdiction where the prosecution is taking over the
role of the judiciary. There is no separation of powers there,” Petras said.
“The appointment of an independent director of public prosecution appointed
through a public process who can execute the duty without fear will take off
the pressure on the judiciary which does not have tenure of security,”
On the 21st of February 2011, MDC Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora was arrested
together with party activists and was charged with public violence.
The Copac co-chairperson spent 27 days in police custody after the state
invoked the draconian section 121.
According to statistics released by ZLHR recently, over 89 Zimbabweans
citizens have fallen victim to the notorious law.
The draconian law which backdates to 1898 has been used several times this
year in cases involving Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, Mthwakazi Liberation
Front Leaders, John Gazi, Charles Thomas and Paul Siwela.
28 March 2011
The trial of Energy and Power Development Minister Hon. Elton Mangoma , who is charged with allegedly flouting tender procedures in the procurement of fuel commenced at the High Court on Monday 28 March 2011 before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.
Chris Mutangadura, the chief law officer in the Attorney General (AG)’s Office led evidence from Justin Mupamhanga, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.
Earlier on, High Court Judge Justice Yunus Omerjee ordered Tawanda Zvekare of the AG’s Office to file his response to a bail application, which was filed by Hon. Mangoma’s lawyers Selby Hwacha and Beatrice Mtetwa on Friday 25 March 2011 by 15:00 hours on Monday 28 March 2011, to allow for the hearing of the application on Tuesday 29 March 2011.
In his bail application, Hon. Mangoma denies cancelling and withdrawing the tender process.
Hon. Mangoma was arrested on Friday 25 March 2011 and charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer as defined in Section 174 (1) (a) as read with Section 174 (2) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
The State alleges that Hon. Mangoma unlawfully and intentionally abused his public office for the purpose of showing disfavor to some local and South African companies, which had participated in a tender for the supply and delivery of prepayment revenue management system meters and associated equipment.
Prosecutors said Hon. Mangoma unlawfully instructed ZESA Holdings board chairman Dr Noah Madziva, former ZESA Holdings chief executive officer Benjamin Rafemoyo and the State Procurement Board to stop processing the tender for the supply of prepaid electricity meters after adjudication thereby effectively cancelling a tender awaiting announcement of the winner. Hon. Mangoma was taken to Harare Remand Prison by prison guards.
Hon. Mangoma’s arrest is the second one this month after he was arrested by the police on 10 March 2011 and charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer and contravening the state procurement act.
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg May 16, 2011
Zimbabwe’s national airline has been suspended from the International Air
Transport Association for failing to pay its dues. Air Zimbabwe, one of
Africa’s oldest airlines, has other major financial and operational
Top executives at Air Zimbabwe say they are trying to find about $280,000
from the government to pay the International Air Transport Association so it
can resume foreign bookings.
The International Air Transport Association has ordered international travel
agents to refund foreign travelers with bookings placed with Air Zimbabwe.
The airline, founded 47 years ago, has suffered several strikes this year
when pilots refused to work until they were paid what they said were
Several privately owned Zimbabwean newspapers have recently reported Air
Zimbabwe is massively overstaffed for its small fleet of aircraft.
The airline says its most profitable flight is its twice-weekly Harare to
London run, as the airline is the only one in Zimbabwe flying directly to
Britain. Most other major airlines pulled out of Zimbabwe under the former
Air Zimbabwe chairman Jonathan Kadzura said recently the pilots’ strike had
hammered Air Zimbabwe’s liquidity.
Earlier this year, when President Robert Mugabe regularly travelled to Asia
for medical treatment, striking pilots were ordered to fly the 87-year-old
leader on a charter Air Zimbabwe flight to Johannesburg to catch a
connection to Singapore. Mugabe, unlike his colleagues in government, shuns
medical treatment in Zimbabwe or South Africa.
The Air Zimbabwe board said recently it needs to upgrade the small national
fleet, but did not have sufficient funds to do so. Many economic analysts
in Zimbabwe say that the airline is a financial drain on the economy and
should be privatized.
Air Zimbabwe officials in Harare and London say many travelers lost
confidence in the airline’s reliability after the pilots' strike.
But since Zimbabwe's unity government came to power 27 months ago, tourism
has revived and many foreign tourists travelled to and around the country
with Air Zimbabwe.
The airline continues to operate locally and with its Johannesburg to Harare
Zimbabwe struggles to raise foreign loans to repair infrastructure
devastated under Mugabe’s rule, before the unity government was formed.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said that Zimbabwe has a cash economy, and
that he has to run the country on tax revenues, which have slowed this year.
The Zimbabwean government is unable to access loans from the International
Monetary Fund because it is in arrears and because of U.S. and European
sanctions imposed in 2002 after violent elections.
Gwanda, 16 May 2011 – Thousands of cattle in Matabeleland South province
could succumb to the deadly Foot and Mouth disease amid revelations that the
region has run out of vaccines to fight the highly contagious disease.
A fresh outbreak has been reported in Stanmore, 30km outside Gwanda town
three months since the disease was detected and put under control.
Although officials at the Veterinary Department refused to speak to Radio
VOP, farmers who visited the centre to seek assistance for their ailing
cattle said they were disappointed not to get help.
“We are afraid we will have to watch our cattle die after we were told by
the vet officials that they were still awaiting supplies from Harare, we are
being turned away and being told to seek alternatives such as wound powder
and penicillin”, said Sikhumbuzo Sibanda a peasant farmer in Stanmore.
Vet officials have since mounted a roadblock at Esigodini in endeavour to
control the movement of cattle.
Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and
sometimes fatal viral disease affects cloven-hoofed animals. The virus
causes a high fever for two days followed by blisters inside the mouth and
on feet that rupture and cause lameness.
A shortage of beef is likely soon as containment of the disease demands
trade restrictions and quarantines and the elimination of infected cattle.
by Irene Madongo
16 May 2011
On Saturday the memorial service for the murdered civic and MDC activist
Tonderai Ndira revived memories of the many who have made the ultimate
sacrifice for the liberation of Zimbabwe from decades of political
Hundreds of young people from Harare and surrounding places gathered at
Ndira’s Mabvuko house in the morning, to mark the third anniversary of his
death. The youth chanted slogans and sang songs he used to sing.
MDC-T Youth Assembly Chairperson, Solomon Madzore, addressed the crowd,
praising Ndira’s bravery and selflessness.
Ndira was murdered in the run up to the 2008 presidential elections. He was
abducted from his home in Mabvuku and his body was discovered days later in
Goromonzi. He was abducted by plain clothes men, believed to be working with
the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation. His decomposing body was
taken to Parirenyatwa hospital where family members and friends identified
him by an armband.
At his memorial the MDC-T also highlighted the deaths of other key
activists, such as Better Chokururama, Godfrey Kauzani and Cain Nyevhe, who
were killed in the same period. The party says 500 other members were
murdered during this time. Another activist, former student leader and MDC
politician Learnmore Jongwe, was also remembered. He died while in remand
prison in 2002.
On Monday Clifford Hlatshwayo, the MDC Youth Assembly Secretary for
Information and Publicity, told SW Radio Africa that; “As the young people
of Zimbabwe, we respect those people who dedicate their lives to the
democratisation of our country, and we took that opportunity as youth
assembly of the MDC and family, friends, neighbours to commemorate and to
remember our heroes of our time.”
Hlatshwayo stressed that those who killed Ndira and the others are key
members of ZANU PF, at the helm of government. He called for justice for
their crimes; “Those people who committed those crimes must be brought to
book, and we cannot achieve that with his kind of arrangement, where we have
got a lot of perpetrators at the helm of government,” he said.
After the end of the Zimbabwe dollar era most youths were found jobless
since the money changing phase was long way gone. With hopes of finding jobs
absolutely bleak most youths resorted to becoming commuter omnibus
conductors. As much as I appreciate the fact that some energy was put to
good use by these youths now it has turned out that there is another breed
of youths who are now working as rank marshals, especially in Harare at the
designated pick up and drop off points for commuters.
Nobody knows were that title came from but I guess the job entitles one to
maintain order and direct buses at the pick and drop zones in town. Instead
of helping commuters and bus drivers, these rank marshals popularly known as
“MaHwindi” are now fleecing passengers. If you go to the Chitungwiza rank
station close to Harare Central Police station during peak hours, around
4:30pm, you find commuters stranded and there will be much jostling for the
few buses coming. After talking to one of the bus drivers asking, what is
causing this mayhem? He said “it’s all being caused by the rank marshals,
they are chasing away buses by charging exorbitant ranking fees”. The driver
went on to say he makes around 10 trips from Harare to Chitungwiza every day
and he has to part ways with $3 each trip. This money goes to the rank
marshals. If you don’t pay, your bus is not allowed to use the bus station.
This money is not accounted for since its going straight into someone’s
Police should intensify their operations by helping get rid of these touts
because nobody needs assistance to get onto a bus and mind you, commuter
omnibuses have placards with routes stuck on them.
As if this is not enough, during the same peak hour, commuters are now being
charged a minimum of $0.50 to $1 to have a seat reserved for you by the rank
marshals. That is if you are in hurry to go home. That’s just like killing
two birds with one stone, charging both the commuter and the bus driver. If
perhaps the City of Harare were collecting this kind of money everyday one
would hope that we would have better shelter at the stations.
This entry was posted on May 16th, 2011 at 10:01 am by Lenard Kamwendo
One really has to wonder about the Zimbabwe government’s airport highway
project. First, there’s hardly anyone using the airport. Second, on my
return to Zimbabwe last Thursday evening, there were no traffic lights
working and there was very little street lighting. The current road does its
job just fine. Pretty soon we’ll have a very big and expensive road and we’ll
still have no street lighting or working traffic lights because Zimbabwe’s
national power company can’t deliver.
Some fine minds at work in our government.
The non-working traffic lights on the night I returned were of course
causing mayhem. Lounging in the dark at these intersections were details of
two policemen and women clearly waiting for some political chef to make his
or her way home from the airport. They stood idly by gazing at the traffic
snarled up in front of their noses. But, imagine if they were caught
directing traffic and Mugabe or Tsvangirai came motorcading through!
On arriving home I was greeted at the back door with someone waving a torch
I was told that most days and nights there had been a powercut. Since
Thursday I’ve had one day of power. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA) estimates our bills every month. Amounts are not based on
actual useage. But do you think that they’ll take into account that as
winter bites and they’re providing a third of the power they used to, that
they will estimate their bills down. Ha. Fat chance. Instead our bills will
remain the same, or in many cases, increase.
Bright sparks at work in ZESA? I don’t think so.
This entry was posted on May 16th, 2011 at 2:38 pm by Bev Clark
May 16th, 2011
In March 2011, logging of media reports relating to violence seem to suggest that reports of violence are decreasing, but one must be cautious to assume this means that levels of intimidation and violence in areas not covered by the press . In the month of March, the number of media articles collected and catalogued for the Zimbabwe Inclusive Government (ZIG) Watch dropped from 132 to 123. Each recorded article signifies a unique breach of the terms set out in the GPA. By categorising these articles according to the nature of the breach, we have generated representative statistics.
This month, surprisingly, violations in the form of legal harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters, rose to our most prominent category of violations, with 46 recorded articles (37.4% of total). This change pushed cases of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality into second place with 33 articles (26.8% of total). Cases of corruption, or efforts to entrench corrupt practices, remained third with 13 instances (10.6%), whilst denial of freedom of speech remained at fourth place with 9 articles (7.3%). In total, these four categories of breaches accounted for 82.1% of the total analysed.
Within these four categories, Zanu-PF was accountable for 98.0% of the violations in March.
Below we list ten articles that are representative of this March’s media activity in relation to breaches of the GPA. We should note that whilst the latter are representative, they do not represent the enormity and volume of human rights violations being committed with impunity against the people of Zimbabwe. We therefore invite all our readers to review the summaries (or original articles) of all 123 articles (and if possible, previously captured articles) on the webpage http://www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch and ask you to share this information with your colleagues and other interested parties.
We begin our report with articles detailing violations in the form of legal harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters. One of the high-profile cases which remains unresolved from last month is that of Munyaradzi Gwisai and his colleagues who are accused of plotting an “Egyptian-style” uprising in Zimbabwe. State prosecutors seem to be deliberately delaying progress on the case. The group was arrested several weeks ago for attending a lecture on North African anti-government protests. Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said he needed more time to prepare before the March 7 hearing. Defence lawyers say the suspects are not guilty and should be released immediately. It is alleged that some detainees have been tortured in police custody.
In an obvious attempt to increase Zanu-PF influence in the House of Assembly, the Supreme Court overturned the election of the MDC’s Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament, on the premise that the vote electing the MDC-T Speaker was not secret, violating parliamentary rules. President Mugabe’s ailing health was given as the main reason for overturning the Speaker’s election. Zimbabwe’s current constitution states that in the event that the President dies in office, the Speaker of parliament assumes the presidency, and should call for an elections within a period of 180 days. Zanu-PF do not want that power to reside with the MDC.
Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma was arrested on charges of corruption. Mangoma blamed President Robert Mugabe for his arrest involving a fuel supply tender, saying he was shocked that after a friendly meeting with the president two weeks previously he was then arraigned. Mangoma said his arrest was malicious because he had explained the issue in Cabinet on March 1 and to Mugabe on March 3 satisfactorily. Mangoma insisted he had acted in the “national interest” in an emergency, only to be arrested and detained for five days.
Three MDC-T youths were remanded on bail for allegedly possessing a cartoon of President Mugabe and Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono. Gift Mlalazi, Mpumulelo Donga and Kevin Ncube are charged with “Causing hatred, contempt or ridicule of the President.” Bail was set at $50 each. One of the accused allegedly picked up the cartoon on the street and showed it to his friends. While they were laughing at it, police apprehended the accused. ZLHR lawyer, Lizwe Jamela, argues that picking up the caricature on the road does not constitute an offence.
Our first case of violence documents violence against women. Three women participating in a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) protest march were forced to strip off their clothes on the street in the centre of Bulawayo by police. One of the three was heavily pregnant. The women were part of a march to commemorate International Women’s Day, which saw members of the group being arrested despite a High Court order saying the march was legal. The police began dispersing the crowd, and three of their members were apprehended. Plain-clothes police officers ordered them to remove their ZCTU t-shirts, leaving them half-naked in their bras. They were then told to disperse when the three women were taken to the police station.
Zanu-PF is continuing its attempt to get three million signatures for its anti-sanctions petition. Members of the police and army are being forced to sign the petition. , In Harare state journalists have been forced to do the same. Police officers from the province’s seven districts have been ferried to the provincial headquarters, Masvingo, and forced to put their signatures on the lobbying document.
Our final case of violence shows soldiers setting up camps in rural Lupane, Matabeleland in order to campaign for Zanu PF. Many soldiers were deployed from Gwampa Ward and are intimidating villagers. The soldiers organised Zanu-PF meetings but when most villagers refused to attend, they were threatened with a repeat of the 1980’s massacre ‘Gukurahundi’. . The villagers attended the meetings and have been instructed to create new Zanu PF structures within their wards.
Moving on to the topic of corruption, (MDC) Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu has called for an inquiry into allegations that Attorney General Johannes Tomana used his powers to suppress criminal charges against four of his close friends. Transparency International Zimbabwe charged that Tomana advanced the acquittals of former Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, former Zimbabwe United Passenger Company Chairman Charles Nherera, mine owner Patrick Mavros and Bindura doctor Beauty Basile who were facing various criminal charges. Tomana has stated that if he has committed a criminal offense by abusing his office he should be prosecuted, but warned that Gutu risked committing a crime by questioning his integrity.
The MDC-T party convened a press conference at which they accused Zanu PF head of propaganda Jonathan Moyo of trying to bribe MDC-T MP’s to vote for the Zanu-PF candidate for Speaker of Parliament, Simon Khaya Moyo. MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese said five of their MPs received $5 000 each from a coordinator of the syndicate, Senator Gaule. The MP’s quickly handed over the money to Gonese and fellow MP Dorcas Sibanda. “We are in possession of $25 000 which our MPs have surrendered,” Gonese said, “the people coordinating the campaign are Jonathan Moyo, Senator Believe Gaule and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.”. The MDC-T said it was investigating 10 other MPs who were also believed to have been approached.
Finally, Zanu-PF continue to work against freedom of speech, privacy of communication, despite their work with SADC and the members of the government on the “Roadmap” to free and fair elections. Construction of the government’s electronic information and monitoring complex outside Harare is on track to be completed soon. The alleged intention is that the compound will, amongst other things, be used to monitor internet use and telephone calls in Zimbabwe. The Chinese, who are constructing it, are equipping the project with a programme which enables most security agencies to monitor emails, website visits, social networking and phone calls via Skype. The complex is also to be an intelligence academy, operated by the CIO and local military intelligence.
Zimbabwe court keeps alleged
plotters in jail
Times Live (SA): 01/03/2011
State prosecutors said Tuesday they were not ready to present their case against the group arrested last month for attending a lecture on North African anti-government protests. They are accused of plotting an Egyptian-style uprising in Zimbabwe. The group says it was an academic lecture and denies wrongdoing. Treason carries a possible death sentence. Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba says he needs more time to prepare before the March 7 hearing. Defense lawyers say the suspects are not guilty should be released immediately. Lawyers say some suspects have been tortured in police custody.
Court nullifies election of MDC parliament speaker
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 10/03/2011
On Thursday the Supreme Court overturned the election of the MDC’s Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of Parliament. Jonathan Moyo claimed the August 2008 vote that elected the MDC-T Speaker was not secret and violated parliamentary rules. A lawyer explained Zanu-PF was desperate to manage the succession problem, given Mugabe’s ailing health, and that was a main reason for overturning the election of an MDC-T speaker of parliament. “Zimbabwe’s current constitution says that in the event that the president dies in office, the speaker of parliament assumes office and calls for elections within a period of 180 days. Mugabe is very ill, that’s why they want to take away that power from the MDC,” the lawyer said.
blames Mugabe for arrest
Zimbabwe Independent, The (ZW): 17/03/2011
ENERGY and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma Friday blamed President Robert Mugabe for his arrest on corruption allegations involving a fuel supply tender, saying he was shocked that after clearing the air with the president two weeks ago he was still arraigned. Mangoma said his arrest was malicious because he had explained the issue in cabinet on March 1 and to Mugabe on March 3 to everyone’s satisfaction. Mangoma insisted he had acted in the “national interest” in an emergency situation, only to be arrested and detained for five days. “He (Mugabe) is involved in it. This issue was discussed in cabinet recently and the matter was cleared before him,” Mangoma said.
in court for laughing
Zimbabwean, The (ZW)Published: 02/03/2011
Three MDC-T youths were remanded on bail until March 10, for allegedly possessing a cartoon of President Robert Mugabe and Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono. Gift Mlalazi, Mpumulelo Donga and Kevin Ncube are charged with …. “Causing Hatred, Contempt or Ridicule of the President.” …. Bail was set at $50 …. each ….. …. on February 20 one of the accused allegedly picked up the cartoon on the street and showed it to his friends. While they were laughing at it, the accused were apprehended by police …. However, ZLHR lawyer, Lizwe Jamela, argues that, “Picking up the caricature on the tarred road does not constitute an offence.”
protestors ordered to strip by male police
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 08/03/2011
Three women participating in a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) protest march were forced to strip off their clothes in the centre of Bulawayo by police. One of the three is heavily pregnant. The women were part of a march to commemorate International Women’s Day, which saw a total of 34 members of the group arrested, despite a High Court order saying the march could go-ahead. The police appeared and began dispersing them, and three of their members were apprehended. Plain clothes policemen ordered them to remove their ZCTU t-shirts, leaving them half-naked in their bras. From there they were told to disperse, but the three women were taken to the police station.
Police, Journalists Forced To Sign Mugabe’s Anti-Sanctions Petition
Masvingo – In a desperate bid to get three million signatures Zanu (PF) has taken the anti-sanctions petition to the army barracks and police stations here where it is forcing all officers to sign it. In Harare state journalists have been forced to do the same. Junior officers here have expressed disgruntlement after they were allegedly forced by their chefs to sign the petition under their supervision. Police officers from the province’s seven districts have been ferried to the provincial headquarters, Masvingo central police station, since Monday and forced to put their signatures on the petition. The same operation is also said to be going on in all army barracks in the country.
Force Villagers To Set Up Zanu (PF) Structures
Soldiers who have been deployed in Lupane to campaign for Zanu (PF) have moved from Gwampa Ward to other areas where they are intimidating villagers, most of them MDC supporters. According to MDC-T councillor Kenny Mpofu of Gwampa Ward, the soldiers organised Zanu-PF meetings but most villagers refused to attend. The soldiers then told the villagers that if they did not attend their meetings they would be given a preview of what happened during the early 80s in Matabeleland. “ The villagers decided to attend after being threatened with the return of the Fifth Brigade, ” said Mpofu. He said the soldiers ordered the villagers to set up new Zanu-PF structures in their wards.
Deputy Justice Minister Calls for Investigation of Attorney General
VOANews (USA): 22/03/2011
Zimbabwean Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu has called for an inquiry into allegations by Transparency International that Attorney General Johannes Tomana used his powers to suppress criminal charges against four close friends. Transparency International Zimbabwe charged that Tomana advanced the acquittals of former Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, former Zimbabwe United Passenger Company Chairman Charles Nherera, mine owner Patrick Mavros and Bindura doctor Beauty Basile who were facing various criminal charges. Attorney General Tomana responded that if he has committed a criminal offense by abusing his office he should be prosecuted, but warned that the MDC deputy justice minister risked committing a crime by questioning how he discharges his duties.
Moyo accused of bribing MDC-T MP’s
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 29/03/2011
MDC-T convened a press conference at which they displayed thousands of US dollars. They accused ZANU PF apologist Jonathan Moyo trying to bribe MDC-T MP’s to vote for ZANU PF candidate for Speaker of Parliament, Simon Khaya Moyo. MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese said five of their MPs received $5 000 each from a coordinator of the syndicate, Senator Gaule. The MP’s quickly handed over the money to Gonese and fellow MP Dorcas Sibanda. “We are in possession of $25 000 which our MPs have surrendered…,” Gonese said. “…, the people coordinating are Jonathan Moyo, Senator Believe Gaule and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti…” Gonese said. The MDC-T said it was investigating 10 other MPs who were also.
helps build state intelligence complex for Mugabe
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 03/03/2011
Construction of the government’s secret electronic eavesdropping complex just outside Harare is moving at a ‘very fast pace’ …. It’s believed the complex will, amongst many other things, be used to monitor internet use and telephone calls in Zimbabwe. The ‘snooping’ project, according to a source, is to become the government agency that monitors communications around the whole country. …. the Chinese, who are constructing it, are … equipping the snooping project with a programme … which enables most security agencies to spy … on emails, website visits, social networking …, and phonecalls over the internet…. … the complex, …, is also an intelligence academy … operated by the CIO and local military intelligence.