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Zimbabwe’s PM says his party will end years of police and military abuse

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, May 20, 2:56 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Sunday his
party will end years of bias and abuse by the police, military and
intelligence services and will make sure the services uphold the country’s
new constitution which demands impartiality in their duties.

Tsvangirai said if his party comes to power it will manage the police and
military so that Zimbabweans “will not fear their soldiers and policemen”
any longer.

Launching his party’s election platform, Tsvangirai said security services
must be professional and non-partisan in their operations and respect
civilian politicians.

President Robert Mugabe’s loyalist police and military are widely blamed by
human rights organizations for state-orchestrated violence in previous

New polls are expected around September to end a shaky coalition government
formed after violent, disputed elections in 2008.

Speaking mainly in the local Shona language to some 15,000 supporters at a
rally concluding his Movement for Democratic Change party’s conference to
map out an election manifesto, Tsvangirai said thousands of political
activists have been victims of police brutality since 1999 when he formed
the trade union-based party, the first real challenge to Mugabe’s ZANU-PF
party since independence from colonial-era rule in 1980.

“We will need justice in this country as well as national healing,” he said.

Tsvangirai, 60, produced a 247-page document outlining his party’s plans for
governing Zimbabwe if it wins the upcoming polls against Mugabe, 89.

The report calls for cuts in spending on the armed forces, saying that
current payments are excessive considering Zimbabwe is at peace and faces no
military threats.

“The goal of security under ZANU-PF was to perpetuate their rule against
domestic resistance ... and seek to undermine the freedom of political
choice,” the report states.

It proposes the formation of a new Defense Service Commission to monitor the
promotion of senior officers and stress what it calls “the primacy of
civilian rule.”

The report makes no mention of firing military and intelligence commanders
who have repeatedly vowed allegiance to Mugabe and have refused to salute
Tsvangirai since he became prime minister in the coalition agreement
brokered by regional leaders in 2009.

Tsvangirai said that if his party wins the elections “there will be no
retribution, those who committed crimes must tell the truth and the truth
will set them free.”

The nation’s new, reformed constitution, which was approved by 95 percent of
voters in a March referendum, sets up an independent commission on truth and
reconciliation as well as a constitutional court, with greater powers than
the existing Supreme Court, to rule on outstanding grievances over a decade
of human rights violations. Tsvangirai said that with the new constitution
and new policies, his party “will restore dignity to the people.”

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Tsvangirai vows to reverse indigenisation

19/05/2013 00:00:00
     by Agencies

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wrapped up his party's post-election plan
meeting Sunday vowing to overturn President Robert Mugabe's indigenisation
drive if he wins upcoming general elections.

He wound up the meeting with a rally attended by thousands of supporters of
his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) at a sports ground in Harare's
Highfield suburb.

"We will reverse indigenisation laws and create empowerment laws for the
majority of the people of Zimbabwe," said Tsvangirai.

"We cannot all share a small cake. We can't share the existing wealth so we
will have to create a bigger cake."
Mugabe introduced the indigenisation law in 2010 which forces foreign-owned
companies - including mines, banks and retailers - to cede 51 percent
ownership to black Zimbabwean investors.

The Zanu PF leader has threatened to take over firms that fail to comply.
Tsvangirai is uneasy with the law which he says has driven away desperately
needed foreign investment just as the country is recovering from a
decade-long economic collapse.

He bemoaned "lack of transparency in the distribution of wealth in

"Every Zimbabwean must be able to point out that they benefitted under this
or that programme," he said.
The MDC-T leader also said his party will end years of bias and abuse by the
police, military and intelligence services and will make sure the services
uphold the country’s new constitution which demands impartiality in their

An MDC-T government would also manage the police and military so that
Zimbabweans “will not fear their soldiers and policemen” any longer.

Tsvangirai said thousands of political activists have been victims of police
brutality since 1999 when he formed the trade union-based party, the first
real challenge to Mugabe’s Zanu PF party since independence from
colonial-era rule in 1980.

“We will need justice in this country as well as national healing,” he said.
Tsvangirai showed supporters a 247-page document outlining his party’s plans
for governing the country if it wins the upcoming polls.

The report calls for cuts in spending on the armed forces, saying that
current payments are excessive considering Zimbabwe is at peace and faces no
military threats.

“The goal of security under Zanu PF was to perpetuate their rule against
domestic resistance ... and seek to undermine the freedom of political
choice,” the report states.

It proposes the formation of a new Defense Service Commission to monitor the
promotion of senior officers and stress what it calls “the primacy of
civilian rule.”

The report makes no mention of firing military and intelligence commanders
who have repeatedly vowed allegiance to Mugabe and have refused to salute
Tsvangirai since he became prime minister in the coalition agreement
brokered by regional leaders in 2009.

Tsvangirai said that if his party wins the elections “there will be no
retribution, those who committed crimes must tell the truth and the truth
will set them free.”

The rally marked the end of a conference by MDC officials which unveiled an
outline of its programme and projects if it wins elections.

Zimbabwe will hold elections later this year to choose a successor to the
shaky power-sharing government formed four years ago by Tsvangirai and

No election date has been set yet, but Mugabe, who is 89, is pressing for
them to go ahead as soon as possible.

Tsvangirai, who is confident of winning the vote, said elections would be
held before October 30.

"There are things that need to be done...reforms we need to have before
elections," he said.

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US dollar to remain for 5 years: MDC-T

18/05/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party has said it would maintain
the current US dollar-dominated currency regime during its first five years
in power if it forms the country's next government

This was revealed Saturday by party secretary general and Finance Minister
Tendai Biti during the MDC-T's three-day policy conference underway in

“We need to be definitive with the issue of currencies and the
macro-economic indices. And we are making it very clear that for the time
period of 2013 to 2018, and MDC government will retain the use of the US
dollar as its currency,” Biti told hundreds of party delegates.

“So the output period 2013 and 2018, the MDC government will use the US
dollar as the anchor currency and its currency of reference. So to put it
very clearly, unambiguously, unequivocally, the MDC government will not
return the Zimbabwean dollar between 2013 and 2018.”

The Zimbabwe dollar was ditched in 2009 after being rendered virtually
worthless by hyperinflation which peaked at 79,600,000% per month in
mid-November 2008. The country has used foreign currencies since, mainly the
US dollar as well as the Botswana Pula and the South African Rand.

The MDC-T said it would maintain the land reform programme but vowed to
“democratise” the process by slashing farm sizes owned as well as ending
multiple farm ownership.

“Conference is very clear that there must be one farm per one household,”
Biti said.
“Conference is very clear that there must be one maximum size of farm per
region. I think people were very clear that this business of owning farms
that are 600 hectares huge is archaic and outdated.”

This according to Biti, would be accompanied by the guarantees around
security of tenure and the issuing of title deeds to all land owners
irrespective of size.

The MDC-T further promised to build four million housing units during its
first five years in office as well as address the perennial water supply
problems in the Matabeleland regions

“The issue of the Bulawayo water crisis, the Matabeleland water crisis
should be resolved now; that is to say within the first 100 days of the
Morgan Tsvangirai government and one project which must be initiated within
that period is the withdrawal of the water from Zambezi in accordance with
the Zambezi River Water Project,” Biti said.

The MDC-T also promised free education for every child up to Ordinary Level,
which according to Biti’s presentation shall become “basic education”. This
shall be accompanied by free adult education.

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I dont hate generals - Tsvangirai

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Sunday, 19 May 2013 14:29

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he does not hold a personal
grudge against security service chiefs but wants them to respect civilian

Addressing his party members at an MDC policy conference at the Jubilee
Christian Centre in Milton Park in Harare yesterday, Tsvangirai said he had
no personal issues with the service chiefs but wanted them to discharge
their duties professionally in a non-partisan manner.

“Some of them think that I hate them but it is not correct,” Tsvangirai

“I sit with them in the National Security Council meetings and we discuss. I
want them to respect and be answerable to the civilian authority and I will
not move from that fact.

“This is what the new constitution is saying about the security service and
it is not being personal.”

Zimbabwe overwhelmingly passed a new constitution in a largely peaceful
March 16 referendum that among other things reiterates the need for a
non-partisan security sector.

Tsvangirai said the service chiefs wanted to personalise issues with him and
his party.

Security sector realignment has remained one of the outstanding issues in
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in 2008, and guaranteed by Sadc

Speaking earlier to the conference, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, who
is  also Finance minister,  said the MDC was going to resize and rebrand
the security service  if they romp to victory in the  coming elections.

He said it was one of their agenda in the five-year policy running from 2013
to 2018.

“There will be rebranding of security forces and they will be an Act of
Parliament to regularise the operations of the Central Intelligence Officers
CIO’s, police and army,” Biti said.

“They must stay in barracks and not to be involved in the business of
diamonds like what we are experiencing now. We shall rationalise the army so
that it can fit into the economy as there is no need to have a huge army as
if we are going to have war with South Africa.”

Some in the Joint Operations Command (Joc), a security think-tank comprising
heads of the army, police, prisons, airforce and the intelligence arm, the
CIO, has publicly warned that they would do anything to stop Tsvangirai from
taking power if elected.

Tsvangirai, who has pushed for regular monthly meetings with a military
crucial to Mugabe’s hold on power, has been snubbed by the generals who have
maintained their vow not to work with him.

In the meantime, Zanu PF has staunchly rebuffed calls to dismantle or reform
the Joc which the 89-year-old leader’s party insists should remain in
existence to oversee operational matters while the NSC handles matters of

Critics claim the Joc, which Mugabe has refused to dismantle, is running a
parallel government.

The command is now making policy without Tsvangirai and smaller MDC
president Welshman Ncube’s knowledge, and highly- placed sources claim it is
also overseeing Mugabe’s re-election strategy.

With Zimbabwe emerging from almost three decades of iron-fisted rule,
reformers in the inclusive government are seeking to break with the past by
restructuring the country’s security forces and subjecting them to elected
civilian control.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri has publicly described calls by the MDC for
the security sector reforms as a “non-issue” that sought to create confusion
within the country’s defence forces.

“This is a hollow political gimmick in a futile attempt to try and bring on
board the so-called security sector reform, a non-issue in terms of the
current Constitutional Amendment number 19 that legalised the Global
Political Agreement,” Chihuri said.

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MDC-T pledges to compensate Gukurahundi victims

Staff Reporter 18 hours 27 minutes ago

MDC-T government would compensate victims of the 1980s Gurukurahundi
campaign as well as people affected by election violence and the
Murambatsvina slum clearance programme, a top official said Saturday.

“On national healing, conference is very clear that the state should
apologise, should compensate, should pay reparations to all victims of
violence that we have seen in this country including and in particular
Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, and the violence we saw in 2008,” said MDC-T
secretary general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

He was addressing delegates to a three-day policy conference for the MDC-T
which started Friday and is expected to finalise the party's preparations
for elections due this year and its programme in government should it win
the vote.

Rights groups claim some 20,000 civilians were killed when the then Prime
Minister Robert Mugabe deployed a North Korean-trained army taskforce to
deal with what officials described as a dissident menace in the two regions.

Mugabe established two inquiries into the disturbances – one led by then
chief justice Enoch Dumbutshena and another by lawyer Simplicius
Chihambakwe – but their findings were never made public.

Biti also said his party would trim the army and restrict its operations to
matters related to the defence of the nation.
The army has in the past been deployed to diamond fields in the eastern
Marange district where rights groups reported widespread violations
including torture of illegal diamond miners and dealers.

"The size of the army must be rationalised taking into account the fact that
we are in peace and chances of us going to war are nil,” said Biti.

“For the first time in the history of this country there would be an Act of
Parliament to regularise the activities of the central intelligence

“The army and the security forces must be de-commodified. In other words it
is not the business of the army to be in business. The army must keep into
the barracks. Zvekuti army irikumadiamonds, iriku platinum, bodo!”

Meanwhile, party leader Morgan Tsvangirai vowed to end tribalism in the
country which he attributed to the centralisation of power by Zanu PF.

“The biggest national question is the Zezurunisation of this country,”
Tsvangirai said.
“Isu hatidi zvema Zezuru, hatidi zveMakaranga, hatidi zvemaNdevere. We are
one nation with one national objective. So devolution is our instrument of
ensuring that no region, no people would be left behind but or policies.

“After all tribalism is as archaic as unbridled nationalism. Ukaona
uchirikufunga in terms of tribe, go back to the mountains, go back to the
bush. We are a modern, prosperous, industrialised society. We should
demonstrate that. No tribal enclaves.”

The MDC-T leader promised to overhaul the governing regime created by
President Mugabe and ensure a free society if it wins upcoming general

“The governance culture must change from a centralised one man rule impunity
violence discriminatory, unequal, that society is gone and it’s gone for
ever,” he said.

He added: “The state in Zimbabwe has behaved in an aggressive and predatory
manner towards its citizens. That has to stop. People must not be afraid of
their leaders.

“I think a good leader must be loved, not loathed. The greatest security you
can provide for yourself are your own people. This business of going with
entourages and entourages of people who are witnesses and not security in
itself…the greatest security is when a leader is confident that he is loved
by his own people.”

And in remarks aimed at placating workers unions which have accused his
party of ditching their members, Tsvangirai said he will personally oversee
the grievances of the country’s workforce insisting “we are not anti-labour”.

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Mnangagwa's British coup claims; complete fabrication and distortion of history

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    The President Robert Mugabe the Prince of Wales Prince Charles pause for picturesThe President Robert Mugabe the Prince of Wales Prince Charles pause for pictures  

    HARARE - An interview in the State media by the Minister of Defence Emmerson Mnangagwa giving out what he says is an account linking the British government to a coup in 1980 has been described as desperate distortion of history as calls for security sector reforms mount.

    In an interview with the State media, the Minister of Defence Emmerson Mnangagwa put the calls by the MDC-T for security sector reforms into what he said: "a perspective by revealing for the first time that the British government almost engineered a coup in Zimbabwe just before the results for the 1980 elections were announced."

    However, last night Mnangagwa's outburst were dismissed by some senior Zanu PF officials who accused the Minister of complete distortation of history and said the British government actually assisted Zimbabwe gain independence and to get rid of pockets of resistance from renments of Ian Smith's government from the security forces.

    The source said: "the British government took swift control of the army through the United Nations monitoring forces and helped Zanu PF and ZANLA forces have access into security compounds across the country with Lord Soames as Governor."

    A senior Zanu PF official also last night said Mnangagwa was never anywhere near military issues in ZNLA as he was President Mugabe's administrative man and he was never involved in the transitional process apart from when he took over the intelligence services.

    The source also accused Mnagagwa of trying to make himself a super-hero in his Presidential ambitions bid by taking advantage of the death of General Solomon Mujuru who was the key man in the transitional process together with Dr Dumiso Dabengwa.

    Mnangagwa's latest poorly patched-up propaganda flies in the face of a recent statement issued by ZANU-PF National chairman Simon Khaya Moyo who described the British Prime Minister at the time when Zimbabwe got independence, the late Baroness Thatcher on her death as mature leader.

    “She did better during her time in terms of concluding the Lancaster House Agreement and making efforts to its implementation in terms of the land issue by establishing a fund to see that white farmers were compensated for land acquired for resettlement.

    “When John Major took over (1990) he also tried to proceed with what was agreed but when Tony Blair took over his government totally disowned the agreement (to fund land reforms in  Zimbabwe.

    But out of the blue, conered and harangued by calls for security sector reforms, Defence Minister Mnangagwa now says: "Since this failed coup, the British government has never been comfortable with a strong defence system in Zimbabwe and has been using Zimbabwean professionals, academics, civic organizations and sponsoring the MDC-T to call for the security sector reforms."

    For decades since independence, the British Military Advisory Team (BMATT) has been stationed in the country training Zimbabwean army and helped set up the Zimbabwe Staff College which is now offering degrees in War studies. BMATT only left Zimbabwe at the height of the fall-out between Robert Mugabe and the British government led by Tony Blair.

    "How Zimbabwe could keep the British military in its national security functions on the background of the allegations now being raised by Mnangagwa; doesn't add up," our source said.

    Dr Dumiso Dabengwa and the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru; being assisted by British military officers to negotiate military transition process.

    The State media said: "the revelations by Minister Mnangagwa were confirmed in a letter that until recently was classified as Top Secret that was written to the then British Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher by the head of the defence forces under the Ian Smith regime, General Peter Walls asking for permission to stage a coup in the country when it became clear that President Mugabe was heading for a resounding victory."

    Minister Mnangagwa said that the coup failed to take place after President Mugabe who was the then Prime Minister-designate offered Peter Walls and his lieutenants jobs in the new government.

    “We were aware of the plans to stage a coup by Walls because we had infiltrated their system through blacks who were serving them tea. These blacks would pretend that they were serving them tea while listening to the coup plans.

    They would then give me the information as I was the head of security at that time,” said the Minister. He revealed that at one point matters came to a head after the Rhodesians dispatched their armored vehicles into the grounds of the University of Rhodesia where Cde Mugabe and other ZANU leaders were staying.

    President Mugabe had to be secretly evacuated. “Rex (Cde Solomon Mujuru) was ready for a pre-emptive strike but we discouraged him because this would create the impression that we were the aggressors.

    He went on to say: "ZANU had sneaked in enough cadres to engage the Rhodesians in the city and besides, there was a standby force of about 5 000 fighters under the leadership of Cde Zvinavashe that was waiting in Mozambique,” said Minister Mnangagwa adding that he then informed Cde Mugabe about the planned coup.

    He said a plan was hatched not to neutralize the coup militarily but through the temptation of office.

    "The decision to offer Walls and his lieutenants jobs was kept a secret and even the late Vice President Muzenda was not informed. The PM-designate then asked Cde Mnangagwa to reach out to the Rhodesian command element and call for a secret meeting at a safe house in Quorn Avenue in Mt Pleasant."

    “I contacted Ian Smith’s son, Alec who was with the moral rearmament unit. Alec referred me to Stannard a senior operative with the then central intelligence who gave me numbers of the Rhodesian command. I rang Peter Walls to convey Cde Mugabe’s wish for a meeting at 9pm of March 2 1980.

    “But i also insisted that Cde Mugabe was expecting only the top four lieutenants that is Peter Walls, Peter Alum (police), Air Marshal Wessels (air force) and Ken Flower (intelligence). All of them had to come in one car. In the meantime, I planted fully armed Zanla combatants in the hedge. “As an afterthought, Cde Mugabe indicated that he wanted to meet Ian Smith before meeting the commanders. I reached Ian Smith via his son and I told him that the PM-designate wanted to meet him. I told him that the PM-designate had said he should come with one person.

    Smith then said ‘what about my security?’ to which I said ‘I have never known Smith to be afraid.” Smith then indicated that he would come with David Smith,” said Minister Mnangagwa. He said the meeting was slotted for 9pm and so the meeting with the commanders was moved to 10pm.

    During his meeting with Ian Smith, Cde Mugabe announced that his party had won, upon which Smith quipped “I helped you win.” President Mugabe asked how, to which Smith said “As Ian Smith I stand for the defence of white interests and I did that consistently. I, however, worked with Chirau who deserted his people, wooed with Muzorewa, worked with Ndiweni, worked with Sithole and you Mugabe you are the only one whose hands I didn’t soil. So it was easy for your people to know who really represented their interests. That’s how I helped you.”

    Minister Mnangagwa said the PM-designate then told Smith that he intended to make his address and announce a policy of reconciliation.

    “Cde Mugabe said it would be desirable if Smith as leader of the whites would issue a statement to calm the nerves of whites. Smith agreed and later he issued the statement.

    “After the departure of Smith, the commanders came and Cde Mugabe did not wast time. He addressed Walls first indicating that on the Patriotic Front there was Rex Nhongo, Dumiso Dabengwa and Cde Lookout Masuku who, whilst accomplished guerillas, had no experience leading a conventional force. He asked Walls if he would accept an offer of overall command of the national army of the new order.

    “In utter surprise, Walls looked at his fellow commanders. Without saying a word, he stood up, donned his military cap, stood at attention and saluted the PM-designate accompanied by the words ‘I accept.” After this, the PM-designate turned to Wessels and offered him the command of the Air Force and, just like Walls, he agreed and did exactly what Walls had done. Next was Alum, who also agreed.

    Lastly, the PM-designate turned to Ken Flower and said ‘Ken, this is Emmerson Mnangagwa, your counterpart. As my security chief, he tells me you have been sending me many bombs, some of which are still to explode in order to kill me. This is the man who frustrated your efforts and the man you will work with if you accept to serve under me. Ken accepted the offer and we drank tea and the commanders left. The strategy worked.

    “A war had been avoided, thanks to Cde Mugabe’s preference for a non-military formula,” explained Minister Mnangagwa. In his letter dated March 1 1980 to Margaret Thatcher, Walls confirmed that indeed he wanted to engineer a coup by asking the British government to declare the 1980 elections null and void if Cde Mugabe won.

    He further asked for permission to “provide, if necessary, the military conditions for an orderly and safe withdrawal of those people of all races who wish to take refuge in South Africa.”

    In military terms, creating military conditions means creating conditions for a coup. Since the failure of this coup, the British government has over the years tried to destabilise the country’s defence forces and in recent years efforts to weaken the forces have been doubled. A few years ago, the British government even mooted efforts to invade Zimbabwe as the land reform exercise gathered momentum.

    “The MDC-T is trying to finish what Peter Walls started and failed to do in 1980. Unlike the commanders from the Smith regime era, our defence forces are disciplined, they are professionals and they are patriotic. The puppets won’t succeed where the master has failed since 1980,” said a military expert from the University of Zimbabwe.

    Last night a senior Zanu PF official and retired senior Zimbabwean intelligence officials narrated an account to refute the Defece Minister's latest distortation of history: 

    He said: "Mnangagwa and long time business partner Billy Rautenbach are well known longtime partners.

    "The Zimbabwean businessman, and Zanu PF financier Rautenbach is on EU and US blacklists for his alleged links with Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe."

    Billy Rautenbach was introduced to Emmerson Mnangagwa by Ken Flower (picture), the then Rhodesian Director-General of the  Central Intelligency Organisation, the notorious State spy agent, CIO 30 years ago."

    Billy Rautenbach was a member of the spy agency with special responsibilities for bursting sanctions proping up Ian Smith's regime during the war in Rhodesia in the 70s.

    The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is the national intelligence agency or "secret police" of Zimbabwe. The CIO was formed in Rhodesia on the instructions of Prime Minister Winston Field in 1963 at the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and took over from the Federal Intelligence and Security Bureau, which was a co-ordinating bureau analysing intelligence gathered by the British South Africa Police (BSAP) and the police forces of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

    The first head of the CIO was Deputy Commissioner Ken Flower; during his tenure the BSAP Special Branch Headquarters were incorporated within the CIO, while the Special Branch retained its internal security function within the BSAP. The deputy head of the CIO, and eventual successor to Flower, was Danny Stannard.

    His brother Richard Stannard, a former captain in the British Army Military Police, became the Director Military Intelligence (DMI) under Robert Mugabe.

    Richard, sometimes also known as "Slick," was, like Emmerson Mnangagwa, known to have been recruited by another foreign intelligence service, initially, but not solely, in order to penetrate his former colleagues in BMATT, the British Army Training Team sent to assist in the formation of the new Zimbabwe National Army.

    Prime Minister Mugabe kept Flower in the role of head of the CIO after majority rule in 1980, when the country's name changed to Zimbabwe. Flower had no more than a professional relationship with MI6 despite rumours that he had covertly and intermittently plotted with the British intelligence services to undermine Ian Smith's government. He had, however, an especially good professional relationship with Sir Dick Franks, the professional head of MI6 at the time, as he had with all the other main intelligence agencies.

    In March 1975 Flower ordered the assasination of Herbert Chitepo, then-leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union and some even suggest he was responsible for the fatal car-crash that killed legendary ZANLA Commander Enerst Tongogara by infiltrating Zanla forces in Mozambique.

    There are allegations that after Ian Smith unilaterally declared Rhodesia independence, Ken Flower maintained his allegiance to the British government, or at least the Queen, spying on the Smith administration for MI6.

    The fact that Sir Humphrey Gibbs, the Governor of Rhodesia at the time of UDI, and treated shabbily by the illegal Ian Smith's government, wrote the forward to Serving Secretly and referred to him there as 'my friend Ken Flower' lends credence to this view.

    Under his leadership the intelligence service was brutal and it organised operations, including the hiding of arms caches on Zapu farms and tipped the then unsuspecting and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who was in charge national security at the time and Mnangagwa advised Robert Mugabe, who eventually reacted with brutal attack on Joshua Nkomo and ZIPRA members leading to the massacre of thousands of innocent civilian in Matebeleland.

    Emmerson Mnangagwa became the first Minister of National Security from 1980 to 1988, and after General Peter Walls left the country under unceremonious circumstances related to plans for a coup backed by renmants of defeated Rhodesian security forces, he took over as Chairman of the Joint High Command, which still exist today as the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which has ochestrated a brutal campaign against opposition supporters in March 2008 aborted Presidential run-off, and is Chaired by Mnangagwa himself.

    It is believed that General Peter Walls was pushed out into exile by Ken Flower under the influence of the British because he belonged to the "old school" hardliners of Ian Smith's inner circle and the pair had long running rivalry in the Rhodesian security apparatus, Joint High Command.

    Ken Flower and South African intelligence agents aided by Western powers worked carhoots to stop Joshua Nkomo from gaining political influence in the region because of his closeness to the Cold War Russian KGB agents who supplied ZIPRA with long range anti air missiles which they used in the shooting down of two civilians aircrafts bound for Kariba in the late 70s.

    Aparthied South African government intelligence agency also feared Joshua Nkomo and ZIPRA could influence Umkonto we Sizwe, ANC's armed wing and supply them with long range anti-air missiles from Russia.

    When Joshua Nkomo went into exile fleeing Robert Mugabe, he was denied political asylum in the United Kingdom, because of the attrocities in 1978 and 1979 when ZIPRA, ZAPU's armed wing shot down those two civilian passenger planes of Air Rhodesia, killing a total of 102 passengers and crew and survivors were executed on the ground.

    Without a choice Joshua Nkomo was then forced to return to Zimbabwe and joined Robert Mugabe in a Unity Accord signed in 1987. From that onset, a defacto one party State ensued.

    There are some suggestions that one of the aircrafts was shot down by the Rhodesian CIO operatives linked to Ken Flower who wanted to assasinate General Peter Walls and General Walls (picture) made last minute flight changes and survived.

    Also in the intelligence circles, it is suggested that Ken Flower engineered the bombing of Harare fuel deport in the late 70s, with the help of the British M16 as part of the plan to oust Ian Smith from power.

    Robert Mugabe's Zanla forces have tried on many accassions to claim credit for that incident that sent huge flames blowing in the skies of Harare for weeks and pictures of Ian Smith at the scene clutching his heard in dispair.

    General Peter Walls and Ken Flower's relations had severely broken down in the Joint High Command, chaired by the General. They had fallen out on the direction of war against black rebellion, and Ken was working with the British government to help bring an end to the conflict and give independence to guerrila fighters and meanwhile General Peter Walls and all the Rhodesian hardliners backed Ian Smith.

    At independence, Robert Mugabe appointed Ken Flower the head of CIO and Ken assisted him to deal with rogue Rhodesian elements and this culminated in the induction of Emmerson "Ngwena" Mnangagwa into the World of dark arts.

    That is when Mnangagwa got to know Ian Smith's sanctions busters like John Bredenkamp who has been very close to Robert Mugabe's government for many years.

    One of the lesser known facts about Rhodesian CIO operations was their formation, control and running of what was originally the MNR - the Mozambique National resistance. Later known as RENAMO.

    In his fascinating interview, recorded in 1988, record Flower revealed how the Rhodesians formed the MNR as an intelligence unit to counter ZANU/ZANLA as well as FRELIMO.

    In March 1980 control was passed to the South African Intelligence. In addition to providing details about the operation, he gives rare insights from his personal experiences in dealings with the Portuguese, President Machel and the South Africans.

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    Zimbabwe's top lawyer won't relent despite arrest

    Sapa-AFP | 19 May, 2013 09:43

    Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa speaks to journalists outside the Harare
    High Court after being released on bail yesterday. She spent a week in jail,
    raising fears of a crackdown on activists ahead of elections later this

    As Zimbabwe approaches watershed elections, a renowned lawyer at the
    forefront of defending human rights activists, vowed never to give up --even
    after her own arrest earlier this year.

    Beatrice Mtetwa spoke to journalists in Johannesburg at the screening there
    of a film about her fight for the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

    Mtetwa was arrested in March when she went to represent clients during a
    raid of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office. But she has refused to
    buckle under in the face of intimidation.

    She remains optimistic of change in Zimbabwe, a southern African country
    that has shifted from being a jewel of the continent to an international
    pariah during President Robert Mugabe's 33-year rule.

    Mtetwa's arrest for obstructing justice, a day after the country held a
    constitutional referendum in March, sparked international condemnation.

    She is hopeful that one day she will work under normal conditions in

    "Things will change in Zimbabwe, whether for the better or worse, we don't
    know, " said the 55-year-old internationally recognised lawyer.

    She holds out hope in the new constitution, which is expected to be signed
    into law by Mugabe soon.

    "We are hoping that maybe the new constitution gives everyone a wake-up
    call. It has good clauses. If interpreted properly, it should bring change."

    Her arrest came after Zimbabweans voted overwhelmingly for the new
    constitution that is to enshrine civil rights and pave the way for a new

    "I want to be able to just practise normal law like other lawyers. I do
    believe that historically things like these do come to an end," she said.

    While her arrest came as a "surprise", she insists it did not dampen her
    spirits. Instead her eight days behind bars offered valuable first-hand
    insight into the conditions inside Zimbabwe's prisons.

    "It gave me a personal experience. I actually think every so-called human
    rights lawyer should go into prison and experience things," Mtetwa told AFP.

    She is planning to launch a constitutional case challenging the "inhuman"
    conditions in prisons.

    Inmates were locked in a cell with no access to toilets for 15 hours between
    3:30pm (1:30pm GMT) and 6:30 the following morning, she said.

    "It's completely degrading," said Mtetwa, who said she spent her time in the
    cells offering free legal advice to female inmates awaiting trial.

    The hour-long documentary - "Beatrice Mtetwa & the rule of law" compiled by
    Harvard University's former Nieman fellows, captures the life of the
    Swaziland-born attorney and some of the cases she has defended in her
    two-decade career.

    "Unlike a lot of other dictators, Robert Mugabe doesn't just go out and do
    what he wants," Mtetwa says in the film. "He first goes to parliament and
    passes a law and says it's now legal to punch somebody in the nose."

    Zimbabwe's former information minister Johathan Moyo says in the film, "All
    countries are ruled by men and women, and the law becomes what they say it

    Film producer and director Boston-based Lorie Conway said Mtetwa had lived
    under a "mutilated rule of law and she is the consequence of what happens
    when rights are abridged".

    Mtetwa, a mother of two and the oldest daughter of more than 50 children by
    her polygamous father, said her school teacher back in Swaziland had
    encouraged her to press on in life as she had potential to do great things.

    Asked about the rule of law in Zimbabwe, Mtetwa cited the case of high court
    judge Charles Hungwe who angered authorities by ordering her release after
    she was arrested.

    "The harassment of justice Hungwe says everything there is to say about the
    rule of law in Zimbabwe. He gives two orders that are unpopular with certain
    powerful persons... and now he is ...being hounded out of the bench."

    Her problems with the authorities did not start recently, she says. In 2003,
    she was beaten up by police during an arrest.

    She recounts how she has lost corporate clients who feared being associated
    with an outspoken lawyer.

    Her personal safety is a source of concern, but she says she will not be
    paranoid about it.

    "I know there are dangers involved. I will not deliberately put myself in
    the line of fire, but I am not going to stop living a life."

    She returns to court on May 27 for her latest case.

    Asked to comment on the timing of the release of the film just months before
    the crucial general elections, Zimbabwean journalist and co-producer
    Hopewell Chin'ono said a documentary on Mtetwa had been on the cards for
    several years.

    "We are just story-telling and it's part of what we do everyday."

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    Ultimatum for foreign shops

    Saturday, 18 May 2013 01:05

    Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter

    GOVERNMENT has given all businesses operating in reserved sectors of the
    economy under the Indigenisation and

    Economic Empowerment Act a six-month ultimatum to apply for indigenisation
    compliance certificates.

    According to the Act, reserved sectors are agriculture (primary production
    of food and cash crops), transportation, retail and wholesale trade,
    barbershops, hairdressing and beauty salons, employment and estate agencies
    and grain milling.

    Other sectors are bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging, tobacco
    processing, advertising agencies, milk processing and provision of local
    arts and crafts, marketing and distribution.

    The ultimatum follows yesterday’s gazetting of regulations that make it
    mandatory for all locally and foreign-owned firms in reserved sectors to
    apply for indigenisation compliance certificates .

    No foreign-owned company would be given the licence.

    This means clothing shops owned by non-indigenous Zimbabweans would be

    Pressure groups want the Government to act swiftly because citizens were
    being elbowed out of the clothing industry where Nigerians, the Congolese,
    and the Chinese own most of the shops.

    Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour
    Kasukuwere announced the regulations in yesterday’s Government Gazette
    following consultations between his ministry and the National Indigenisation
    and Economic Empowerment Board.

    “Every business that commenced operating in any sector of the economy
    reserved for indigenous Zimbabweans under the Third Schedule on or after the
    fixed date shall apply for an indigenisation compliance certificate
    commencing from the gazetting of these regulations.

    “Any person who operates a business referred to in subsection (1) without an
    indigenisation compliance certificate with effect from January 01, 2014
    shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level four
    or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such
    fine and such imprisonment.”

    The regulations further state that the minister may direct any licensing
    authority to revoke, suspend or cancel the operating licence of a business
    operating in contravention of the regulations.

    Any official of NIEEB, the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and
    Empowerment, law enforcement agents or any other person mandated by the
    minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment in writing may
    access any premises of any business reserved and demand any relevant
    documents for purposes of verifying compliance.

    The regulations say any person who may interfere with this exercise would be
    guilty of an offence and liable to a fine, imprisonment for a period not
    exceeding two years or both fine and imprisonment.

    NIEEB general manager for compliance Mr Zweli Lunga told The Herald that the
    regulations were meant to fish out foreigners who are operating in these
    reserved sectors.

    “All businesses operating in the reserved sectors must apply for an
    indigenisation certificate. Those who won’t produce that certificate by
    January next year won’t be allowed to operate.

    “We are giving ourselves six months to process those applications. We will
    only give indigenous Zimbabweans because these are sectors we feel do not
    require huge capital investments.

    “Foreigners who apply will be turned down and we will ask them to close
    shop,” said Mr Lunga.

    This means that most of the clothing shops owned by non indigenous
    Zimbabweans would be closed.

    Several pressure groups have already called on the Government to implement
    the Act in reserved sectors of the economy saying they were being squeezed
    out of the clothing industry as several Nigerians and Chinese own most of
    the shops across the country.

    He said foreign-owned restaurants that do not cook local food would continue
    to operate while transport companies whose headquarters are outside the
    country would also be considered for exemption.

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    ZANU-PF Primaries: Another Dogfight Imminent

    THE forthcoming ZANU-PF primary elections are likely to be fiercer than most
    would imagine as hawks in the party would want to go to the December 2014
    national people’s congress while in a position of strength.

    With one-and-half years away to the party’s sixth elective congress,
    Senators, Members of Parliament and councillors who will have won in the
    forthcoming elections stand a good chance of not only being appointed into
    Cabinet but also of becoming part of ZANU-PF’s decision-making organs,
    namely the Presidium, the Politburo and the Central Committee.
    After every five years, ZANU-PF elects the President and First Secretary,
    the two Vice Presidents and Second Secretaries as well as members of the
    party’s political gunpowder kegs of the Politburo and Central Committee.
    To those in ZANU-PF, the forthcoming primaries offer a foothold into these
    organs. Instead of counting on President Robert Mugabe’s benevolence, party
    hawks would want to secure positions in the bicameral Parliament and in
    councils to enable them to gun for other senior appointments from there.
    While President Mugabe singularly appoints members of the Politburo and
    Central Committee, he is known to draw the bulk of the appointees from
    sitting legislators.
    Therefore numerous political careers now hinge on these primaries so much
    that tensions are reaching breaking point.
    As far as party faithful are concerned, those who shall be elected to
    represent the revolutionary party during the next general elections might
    become the party’s aspiring next generation of bigwigs.
    In other words, these primary elections could be the waterloo for many
    because the results will roughly indicate the ‘Who is Who’ in the party’
    next generation of political power brokers.
    Party insiders say some of the schemers are already trying to outwit
    competition by securing key positions such as provincial chairmanships as
    they strategically set up political bunkers ahead of next year’s watershed
    congress at which the younger generation of politicians would most likely,
    for the first time, openly challenge the old guard.
    Although past congresses have largely been damp squibs, party sources point
    to the current ructions in Manicaland, Matabeleland and Masvingo as some of
    the clearest indicators of what the future might hold.
    In Manicaland and Matabeleland pro-vinces, the provincial leaderships have
    been suspended and attempts have been made to restructure the provincial
    executive committees after endless power squabbles, but with very little
    In Masvingo, tempers are boiling over as politicians engage in nasty
    dogfights to be in the provincial executive.
    In the other provinces, all seems well on the surface but underneath
    tensions are high.
    For example in Mashonaland East, battle lines have been drawn between
    provincial chairperson, Ray Kaukonde, and an aspirant for Mudzi South,
    prominent Harare lawyer, Jonathan Samkange.
    The return of Samkange to challenge incumbent, Eric Navhaya, has unsettled
    Kaukonde who in 2000 out-maneuvered Samkange, landing the Mudzi
    parliamentary seat and eventually landing the provincial chairmanship.
    Samkange, whose influence has already overflowed from Mudzi South to other
    districts of Mashonaland East, poses the greatest threat to bigwigs in the
    province as represented by Kaukonde.
    Samkange has upped the ante, admitting in an interview with The Financial
    Gazette last week that he has ambitions to rise up the party ranks.
    “If the electorate elects me to lead them at provincial level after I win
    the Mudzi South seat why would I refuse? Whether some like it or not I am
    going to contest in Mudzi South and win, and those who don’t like it are
    going to be disappointed,” said Samkange.
    Recently, during President Mugabe’s birthday celebrations in Bindura,
    Mashonaland Central chairperson, Dickson Mafios bemoaned the rampant
    political machinations that were dividing the party in the province in
    another clear sign that nastier fights could be around the corner.
    More recently, the Mashonaland Central Province Governor Martin Dinha,
    buttressed the same point when he warned that ZANU-PF would never win the
    coming elections as long as factionalism remains rife.
    In Mashonaland West, plots are unfolding in President Mugabe’s own backyard
    where the chairmanship of John Mafa and his executive continues to be under
    constant threat from past challengers, backed by some of the political
    heavyweights in the region.
    What has worsened the already tense situation is the chaos that was left
    behind after the party’s district coordinating committees (DCCs) were
    disbanded last year following accusations by the party’s Politburo and
    Central Committee that the committees were the root cause of ZANU-PF’s
    internal fissures.
    In the absence of the DCCs, which used to act as a bridge between the masses
    and the party’s executive, it is now a dog eat dog affair out there.
    What has since emerged is the fact that disbanding the DCCs actually
    increased tensions in the party. Feelings of having been alienated and
    betrayed are still very strong and abound among members of the former DCCs
    who are still very much active.
    This situation largely explains why sanity has failed to prevail in the
    provinces where the grassroots are now like a flock of sheep without a
    The provincial coordinating committees (PCCs) are finding it near impossible
    to effectively penetrate and mobilise communities to rally for a common
    purpose as the DCCs, despite being disbanded, are strategically aligning
    themselves with whomever they feel like supporting.
    ZANU-PF chairperson, Simon Khaya-Moyo, confirmed that all the district
    chairpersons, who were part of the dissolved DCCs are still operating and
    reporting to the PCCs, a state of affairs that has left many wondering why
    the DCCs were dissolved in the first place.
    Denying that the former DCC members were part of the party’s problems in the
    provinces Khaya-Moyo said: “If there is anyone causing problems the district
    chairpersons should report them to the provincial chairpersons.”
    The ZANU-PF chairperson is currently on a spirited fact finding mission in
    Masvingo Province in order to compile a report to present to President
    Robert Mugabe.
    Khaya-Moyo and the party’s Political Commissar, Webster Shamu, have been to
    Bulawayo and Manicaland to try and cool tempers and avoid upsets during the
    forthcoming general elections similar to those of 2008 when ZANU-PF lost its
    ruling party status.

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    Zanu PF Charm Offensive – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th May 2013

    South Africa must ‘go to hell with their treachery and leave us alone’ fulminates Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo. His tirade was part of an orchestrated Zanu PF attempt to derail President Zuma’s determination to uphold the Global Political Agreement by which SADC brought Zimbabwe back from the brink after the violent elections five years ago.


    The Vigil has always been doubtful about the ill-drafted GPA – a suspicion justified as the years passed without the promised reforms to enable free and fair elections. With the elections now due within a few months, it is the Vigil’s belief that only South Africa can save Zimbabwe.


    Given legitimacy by the GPA and new confidence from four years of riding roughshod over the MDC, Zanu PF now denies it ever agreed to reforms. Hence its phony horror at ‘outrageous’ remarks by South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim who remarked that the MDC parties had ‘a legitimate argument’ in demanding further reforms before the elections.  ‘There have to be certain reforms that need to be speeded up’, he said. ‘If Zanu PF says (the elections) should be held in June or July that is probably playing politics. All parties should agree that the time is ripe for an election.’


    Jonathan Moyo, on cue, protested hysterically: ‘It is clear that Ebrahim's premeditated recklessness is calculated to incite a crisis through the media and that kind of megaphone behaviour is totally unacceptable. What is worse is that Ebrahim's despicable comments have a sickening semblance of representing the position of the South African government given that they are coming from the loud mouth of that country's deputy minister of foreign affairs’ (see: Moyo blasts ‘reckless’ South African minister


    For his part, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo insisted that calls for ‘so-called’ reforms were undermining Zimbabwe’s sovereignty. Furthermore they were ‘irrelevant’ (see: – Zanu (PF) defies SADC). 


    We at the Vigil are embarrassed by these churlish remarks, deliberately offensive to our South African friends, when so many of our people have found shelter there because of misgovernment in Zimbabwe. As the Vigil’s contribution to Round 17 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign, we are sending the following letter to President Zuma:


    Dear President Zuma


    The Zimbabwe Vigil wishes to express our gratitude for the firmness of purpose shown by the South African government in the face of Zanu PF’s refusal to honour its commitment to allow free and fair elections.


    On behalf of oppressed Zimbabweans we apologise for the insolent remarks by Zanu PF functionaries about the comments by Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim suggesting that Zanu PF should implement the GPA.


    We trust that South Africa will spell out to Zanu PF the consequences of a rigged election. We need not remind you of the burden that a new failed government in Zimbabwe will impose on the region.


    We are sure you are aware that Zanu PF is already preparing to steal the elections by preventing MDC supporters from registering to vote.


    The Zimbabwe Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past 11 years in support of free and fair elections.


    Other points

    ˇ         After the Vigil – free at last from rain! – we held our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum. Ephraim Tapa, a founder member of the Vigil, said Zanu PF did not want any interference from SADC and the international community because it was already engaged in stealing the elections which were likely to result in another GNU. This would mean another dead end. The Zimbabwe Action Forum was, in Ephraim’s words, ‘brewing the people’s way’. He went on to speak of Mugabe’s own admission that one out of every three children was chronically malnourished ( – Zambia has not charged for maize: Mugabe).  Thanks to Michelle Dube who went through her useful notes of the ZAF meeting on 4th May to remind the meeting of what had already been discussed.

    ˇ         The ZAF Facebook page is now active, check: Also the ROHR Facebook page has now been reactivated, check: We encourage all our supporters to actively participate on these Facebook pages.

    ˇ         The Vigil did not know whether to laugh or cry reading the latest letter from Cathy Buckle (see: Give me something – People interested in reading more of the voters’ roll skullduggery should look at the messages to Nehanda Radio via Whatsapp posted on Facebook by Lance Guma.

    ˇ         Thanks to Jonathan Kariwoh, Janemary Mapfumo, Kelvin Kamupira, Francesca Toft, Nkosikona Tshabangu and David Mukaro who came at the start of the Vigil to help set up.

    ˇ         Thanks  also to Grace Nyaumwe and Patricia Masamba of the ROHR Slough branch for bringing delicious sadza and stew to sell to fundraise for ROHR.


    For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.


    FOR THE RECORD: 56 signed the register.



             ROHR Reading Re-launch. Saturday 25th May from 1 to 5 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading, RG1 3PA. The meeting will be addressed by ROHR President Ephraim Tapa, Reading community leaders and members of other human rights bodies. Food and drink for all. For more information please contact: Tawanda Dzimba 07880524278, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386789, Debra Harry 07578894896.

             Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 1st June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm.  Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

             Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link:  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.

             The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

             Facebook pages:

    -         Vigil:

    -         ZAF:

    -         ROHR:

             Vigil Myspace page:

             Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.


    Vigil co-ordinators

    The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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    Engaging generals is not treasonous

    “I will instruct the army and the police to go and pick up little Nyarota from his offices”. These were the echoes of Enos Nkala in 1988, then Minister of Defence. He had become a victim of what became known as the Willogate scandal which culminated into Zimbabwe’s highest profile and independent commission, headed by arguably the most eminent retired judge, Wilson Sandura.

    The most vivid and desperate defence of the time probably came from Dr. Dzingai Mtumbuka, then Education Minister. “Mr. President, I’m not a learned man, I don’t know what is legal or illegal”. Imagine this in his typical lisp! I won’t break your ribs by quoting Morris Nyagumbo, Justin Nyoka, Ernest Kadungure or Frederick Shava. Later, Geoffrey Nyarota, then editor of the Bulawayo-based state daily, The Chronicle, through elimination by promotion, was transferred to Harare. The rest is history.

    But I digress. Giles Mutsekwa’s recent interview with Violet Gonda brought out some interesting insights. The Housing Minister (don’t ask me how many houses he has built) as well as MDC’s Secretary for Defence, exercised the patience of a pregnant mother when he was subjected to a barrage of questions and criticisms by the journalist who appeared to be itching for a specific response. Unfortunately for her, the articulate and unwavering minister had his eyes on the ball.

    I must hasten to say that I’m a great admirer of Violet Gonda as well as the late Caroline Gombakomba with whom I had constructive discussions weeks before she passed on. Rest in Peace Carol!

    Nevertheless, premeditated journalism, if I may call it that, is something I will never support whether it comes from independent or state media. In spite of the attempt to have words put into his mouth, the minister’s response remained consistent and explicit. He explained unequivocally what he meant by security sector re-alignment as opposed to the misconstrued notion of reform which he said only applied to the media and other sectors.

    In a true democracy, soldiers, police officers and civil servants don’t belong to any political party. Rather, they belong to the people and serve those people through the government of the day. It is purely appropriate for the leader of the opposition to summon the army or police commander to explain issues of policy as and when required. This is what Zimbabweans are yearning for and hope the new constitution will deliver. Ian Smith abused the army and the police through private ownership, ZANU Pf did the same. So if the truth be told, our security services have never operated in a pure democracy. The new dispensation must address this anomaly once and for all.

    Members of the police force or army should be quite proud to be associated with serving the nation and state rather than serving a political party or an individual. This is the kind of re-alignment that Giles Mutsekwa alluded to in the interview.

    Spending millions or billions on defence artillery when schools have no books, hospitals are without basic drugs, taps ooze out contaminated water and roads are degenerating into death traps, is totally irresponsible and unacceptable. We are not North Korea. Building a lean, efficient and motivated army and police is the way to go. Can The Herald please tell us what’s wrong with this aspiration?

    To join the army or the police, unless you are coming in as a qualified specialist in fields like medicine, law, trades etc, you have to be aged between 18 and 22. At 45, you will have done 23 to 27 years of service. Should you happen to be at a rank below that of sergeant by then, then it means you are either terribly incompetent or seriously victimised. Therefore, the proposal that you leave the force by that age is not misplaced. Of course, cases of victimisation will be treated on their merit.

    Responding to Nkala’s threat, the late astute lawyer and firebrand parliamentarian, Byron Hove, did not mince his words “I beg no favours from anyone, this country belongs to me as much as to anyone else. Let no one think that they own the army, it is the people’s army, nobody owns the police, it is the people’s police”. Therefore, engaging generals is not at all treasonous since they belong to the people. Those who struggle to understand this are free to leave the forces. We won’t miss them.

    Moses Chamboko writes in his personal capacity –

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    A new beginning for Zimbabwe

    Eddie Cross
    19 May 2013

    Eddie Cross says the voters won't easily forget what Zanu-PF did to the

    A New Beginning

    MDC has just completed its annual Policy Conference. At the Conference
    delegates from all 12 Provinces came together to debate the policy platform
    of the Party for the forthcoming elections. It was in many respects a
    celebration of the fact that the Party has survived 14 years of intense
    attacks by the Zanu PF elite supported by the national administration and
    the securocrats. In addition the Conference received a policy document that
    had taken three years to develop and draft.

    It was a colourful and cheerful event and I think that the policy document
    is the best that we have developed so far. It was helped by the advice and
    guidance of many external experts and the work of Party Secretaries and
    Committees. Its development was enhanced by the fact that many of the
    leaders of the MDC have now been in government for the past four years. I
    think the other Parties in this election are going to be hard pressed to
    equal this comprehensive statement.

    Of course not all will agree with its contents but at least they will know
    where we stand on most of the key issues. This is especially important this
    year as I am sure that the MDC (T) will be elected into power in the
    elections and therefore these policies are likely to be studied very closely
    in many parts of the world where companies and individuals with interests in
    Zimbabwe want to know what they can expect.

    But the main impact was on the attendees, most of whom came from poor
    communities in both urban and rural areas. These people thought that the men
    and women that they elected into power in 1980 would deliver a better
    quality of life to them and their families. Since then they have watched
    their hopes fade and their faith turned to despair. Despair has now turned
    to anger as Zanu PF not only destroyed much of the economy, took over much
    of what was left and pushed Zimbabweans into a state of poverty that they
    can hardly understand.

    When I hear people express the view that Zanu PF is busy rebuilding their
    support and reputation with the electorate I find that amusing. Nothing is
    going to wipe out the memory of what Zanu PF has done to the population of
    Zimbabwe in the past three decades.

    Now that the Conference is behind us and we are pressing on with all that we
    have to do to ensure that the people can vote in peace and in secret,
    without fear of retribution; that they will be able to vote in the knowledge
    that the election will not be rigged and the result will be based on the
    genuine views of the people. They must be able to vote in the sure knowledge
    that their vote will be respected and that the people they give a clear
    majority are able to assume power and the control of the State and all its
    resources without any interference, local or foreign.

    With hard power almost entirely in the hands of rogue elements in Zimbabwe
    and the capacity of democratic forces limited to soft power, we are
    dependent on regional governments in seeking to enforce the necessary
    reforms that are required to deliver a free and fair election. Many are
    skeptical of their willingness to play this role and their capacity to
    exercise the required power and influence.

    I have no doubt about the last but am concerned about the will to use the
    power and influence that they have in this sphere. A good start was made
    last week when the SADC leadership reiterated their support for the GPA and
    the consequential reform process. There is much to do, the voters roll is
    heavily manipulated and distorted, voter education and registration is a
    shambles and politically skewed. Campaign conditions are far from open and
    free, the security forces are still engaged in the process of trying to
    manipulate the outcome of the vote.

    I have no doubt where the people are, they are going to vote for the MDC in
    overwhelming numbers, their faith in democracy is still intact but we cannot
    rely on their patience and understanding for very much longer. They have had
    their voting rights and the results falsified for so long that only the
    continued faith in the MDC keeps them committed to democracy as the way
    forward and as the only means by which they can change the government.

    As was stated at the Conference, when we assume power later this year it
    will be after a protracted struggle by the poor majority in Zimbabwe to free
    themselves of a tyrannical regime that has all but destroyed their country.
    They have done this without resort to violence in any form, seeking only to
    protect their rights, their freedoms and their future. I am profoundly moved
    by their courage and determination and so should be the rest of the world.

    Eddie Cross is MDC MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his

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