By Servaas van den Bosch
WINDHOEK, May 22, 2011 (IPS) - Inaction marked the Extraordinary Summit of
Southern African Development Community heads of state in Windhoek this
weekend, despite an agenda covering Zimbabwe elections, political deadlock
in Madagascar, the suspension of the regional court and allegations of
corruption within SADC itself.
In the days leading up to the summit, there was the chance that it might not
take place at all, with the South African president, Jacob Zuma, pulling out
at the last moment, preferring to concentrate on local elections in his own
Local newspapers branded the meeting "a farce" over poor preparations and a
scathing editorial in the daily newspaper, The Namibian, criticised SADC
presidents for a failure to lead that is in sharp contrast to the high
ideals of regional integration. In the end, eleven heads of state and their
representatives met in Windhoek, but deliberations lasted only a few hours
before the summit was ended.
The summit opened with allegations of rampant corruption in the SADC
Secretariat based in Gaborone, Botswana. The Namibian weekly newspaper
Windhoek Observer revealed that SADC personnel have called on the present
SADC Chair, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, to conduct an audit of
The paper quoted an anonymous source within SADC as saying, "We want an
investigation because this has become an institution of money laundering.
They create illegal contracts, they are always traveling abroad, there is no
transparency and accountability and they lie to the Council [of Ministers]."
The allegations of widespread misuse of donor money and funds from member
states, with a top management that has grown "addicted to lavish spending",
will have been uncomfortable reading for both Southern African ministers and
representatives of the European Union, which provides important financial
support to SADC.
Pohamba confirmed he had been made aware of the accusations in April, said
the Council of Ministers "would look into the matter". The Observer claimed
that the Council had already been presented with a report detailing graft
within the Secretariat, but has yet to act.
The Summit was also expected to make a decision on the suspension of the
SADC Tribunal. Following the Tribunal's referral of a ruling against
Zimbabwe for the expropriation of land from farmers, SADC heads of state
declined to force Zimbabwe to act, instead suspending the regional court in
August 2010, pending a review of its functions.
In a brief communiqué issued late on Friday, the Summit said it "mandated
the Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General to initiate the process aimed at
amending the relevant SADC legal instruments and submit a progress report in
August 2011 and a final report to Summit in August 2012".
The amendments would be based on recommendations made by the bloc's justice
ministers, recommendations that are in turn based on the outcome of an
independent review of the Tribunal by experts from Cambridge University. The
consultants are known to have supported the Tribunal's competence to handle
the case against Zimbabwe, but ministers are thought to have recommended
amendments that will insulate the member states from cases brought against
them by their citizens, possibly by transforming the Tribunal into a court
arbitrating disputes among member states.
Asked whether the ministers’ recommendations would be made public, SADC’s
Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomão told journalists neither the media nor
SADC citizens really needed to know what was in the report.
Meanwhile other significant cases - in which diamond companies are claiming
compensation against the governments of Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa -
cannot move forward.
Zimbabwe's government of national unity
Before the meeting, Salomão had hinted it was unlikely that heads of states
would discuss the issue of Zimbabwe in the absence of Zuma, who the bloc
appointed as mediator between rival parties in a government of national
unity. Indeed the communiqué released after the meeting makes no mention of
Civil society groups, lawyers and journalists who had traveled to Windhoek
were barred from demonstrating outside the summit in an increasingly
repressive trend that is becoming a hallmark of the Namibian Chairmanship.
No decision was taken on Madagascar either. The Indian Ocean island was
suspended from SADC after a coup in December 2009; the regional body has
hosted a series of meetings to mediate between parties and return the
country to constitutional rule.
"Summit considered the report of the SADC mediator, His Excellency Joaquim
A. Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique, noting the
development of the roadmap for returning that country to constitutional
The heads of state restated that there is still a "need for an all-inclusive
political process towards finding a lasting solution of the challenges
facing the country", and scheduled another meeting to this end will be held
in Gaborone in the near future.
The outcome of the Extraordinary Summit raises questions over the
credibility of the regional bloc's ability to provide leadership, as
decisions on difficult political questions are stalled, progress on economic
integration is slow, and involvement in processes by civil society is
By Stanley Gama in Namibia
Sunday, 22 May 2011 14:26
WINDHOEK - Zanu PF’s bid to have the Livingstone Troika decisions reviewed
and the Zimbabwe crisis discussed at the Sadc heads of state summit here in
the absence of facilitator President Jacob Zuma failed after regional
leaders snubbed the former ruling party’s maneuvers yesterday.
The Zimbabwe issue was suddenly back on the agenda yesterday after earlier
reports had indicated otherwise with Sadc executive secretary, Tomaz Salomao
explaining that the heads of state had put the issue on the agenda with a
view of deferring it to the Johannesburg summit on the weekend of June 11.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF had hoped to force through the issue
in the absence of the other players in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, but the
Sadc leaders, who are increasingly becoming tough on the Zimbabwe President,
Zanu PF had even brought with it a position paper expecting to present it to
Sadc, a copy of which is in possession of the Daily News.
Said Salomao: “Zimbabwe was on the agenda but the Sadc leaders did not
consider it as the facilitator requested that the issue to be discussed in
Johannesburg,” Salomao told journalists after the summit.
Expectations were high among the Mugabe contingent that the Troika, which
they have heavily criticised since the March summit, would be reviewed in
“The Zanu PF position paper was never even considered. They do not dictate
to us what to do and how we do things. There is an ongoing process involving
facilitator, President Zuma. We are an orderly organisation and President
Zuma’s report will form the basis of the Zimbabwe discussion,” said the
Mugabe’s rivals in the inclusive government, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara and the leader of the smaller MDC
faction Welshman Ncube were not invited to the summit as it was a meeting of
heads of state.
In the position paper, Mugabe is reiterating his party’s position that
elections should be held this year arguing that the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) has since expired but the region has always maintained that
Zimbabwe’s polls are only realistic from next year after the completion of
the electoral road map.
“The only way forward is for the parties to the GPA to speedily conclude the
constitution making process and allow the people of Zimbabwe to proceed to a
referendum and harmonised elections.
“The current delaying tactics employed by the MDC formations is a recipe for
political and economic instability. Zimbabwe cannot afford such political
gimmick. There is no cohesion in the inclusive government and prolonging the
constitution making process can never be a solution,” reads part of the Zanu
PF position paper.
“The bottom line is that Mugabe is in a tight corner especially after his
Zanu PF party showed that it does not respect the region through the
unwarranted attacks on us and President Zuma, who is doing a wonderful job
on Zimbabwe,” said a top Sadc diplomat.
Another source told the Daily News that the Johannesburg summit will be make
or break situation for Mugabe, where he will for the first time come face to
face with Zuma since his party embarked on a vicious attack on the South
African president after his damming report nailed the veteran Zimbabwe
14 hours 46 minutes ago
BULAWAYO, May 22, 2011- Zanu (P) has formally lodged a complaint with the
South African ruling party, the ANC, over the behaviour of Ms Lindiwe Zulu,
who is part of President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team, following "reckless
and inflammatory" statements that she made regarding the succession law in
Zimbabwe, it has emerged.
It is understood that before the formal complaint, Vice-President John Nkomo
had last week also raised concerns about Ms Zulu's conduct to President
Zuma. Sources say Mr Zuma agreed that indeed "the girl's wings should be
The complaint against Ms Zulu, who is also President Zuma's international
relations advisor, followed the publication of inflammatory claims in the
ANC weekly newsletter, the ANC Today, on May 13 that the facilitation team
had told that country's ruling party that GPA negotiators "are concerned
about the succession law should (President) Mugabe die or retire before the
adoption of a new constitution".
The sensational claim that was attributed to Ms Zulu, who has served as the
spokesperson for the facilitation team, although Sadc does not recognise her
as she was appointed by President Zuma, has been described by observers as a
"tactless, inflammatory and irresponsible display of poor judgment by an
Prior to this engagement in the facilitation team, Ms Zulu was the SA
ambassador to Brussels.An outraged Zanu-PF official said Zulu is "playing a
very cheap and dangerous game which can be played by any fool. What she says
about our leaders we can say about her's with more credibility.
"She is forgetting that she is a mere assistant to the facilitator. She is
just an aide. We have more senior ANC members in the facilitation team like
Cde Marc Maharaj, who are not acting recklessly like her. She wants to speak
with a voice stronger than the President of Zimbabwe and stronger than the
President of South Africa, who is the facilitator. There is even a tinge of
personal advocacy in Zulu's activities and we are watching."
In recent weeks since Livingstone, Ms Zulu has had a number of media
outbursts which have included threats to broaden the GPA negotiations to
include all political parties allegedly to assist Dumiso Dabengwa's Zapu.
She is also reported to have described the decision by the Zanu (PF)
Politburo to support the holding of elections this year as "day dreaming".
Ms Zulu's latest outburst published by the ANC newsletter has not gone down
well within senior ranks of Zanu (PF) prompting the office of the party's
national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, to take up the matter with his ANC
counterpart, Baleka Mbete. What has infuriated the party's leadership is
that Ms Zulu's claims are patently unfounded because they are based on the
false presumption that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not have a
succession law when the opposite is the case.
A Sadc diplomat who spoke to this writer on the sidelines of the
Extraordinary Sadc Summit in Namibia last Friday familiar with Zulu's
misconduct said Zanu (PF) is entitled to conclude that the inflammatory and
false report in the ANC newsletter was mischievously planted to bolster Mr
Tsvangirai's dossier in a misguided effort to rescue his reputation.
Said the diplomat: "What raises eyebrows about the whole saga is that the
claims in the ANC newsletter last week came on the back of similarly
offensive remarks the previous week when hostile media reported Zulu as
having called the decision by the Zanu (PF) Politburo to stick to the
holding of elections in 2011 as 租ay dreaming'.
"Surely, even if she believes it, she has no right or authority to say that
in the media, given the fact that the holding of elections in Zimbabwe in
2011 is a GPA position and not a Zanu (PF) declaration. We expect officials
in the facilitation team such as Zulu to know this otherwise what are they
facilitating if they are ignorant of such a fundamental issue?"
Highly placed sources in the ANC told this paper that many complaints have
been raised in the party not only about Zulu's apparent abuse of her
position as an official in the facilitation team but also her compromised
objectivity following widespread whispers in the party about her very close
friendship and political links with Eleanor Sisulu. Sisulu is a Zimbabwean
who is married to Mark Sisulu, the SA Speaker of Parliament. She is a
well-known MDC-T activist and key fundraiser in SA.
The ANC sources said Zulu and Sisulu have had countless strategic meetings
with Mr Tsvangirai in SA, adding that these meetings have invariably been
ahead of key Sadc summits on Zimbabwe.
Observers say the way Zulu has behaved under the cover of the Sadc
facilitation process has complicated President Zuma's work as a neutral
facilitator and that, in turn, has raised concerns among Sadc leaders who do
not want the respected regional body to be dragged into the mud of regime
change politics by partisan and reckless SA officials who are not
accountable to Sadc.
SADC leaders are not convinced by poll argument
May 21, 2011 11:58 AM | By SUNDAY TIMES CORRESPONDENT
President Robert Mugabe and his party Zanu-PF continued to defy the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) this week, saying the inclusive
government has failed to work, and therefore Zimbabwe urgently needs to hold
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives for the 'Bob 87 Super Cup', a
soccer match between local teams Dynamos and Caps United, in Harare on
Sunday. The event is part of birthday celebrations for Mugabe who has just
turned 87. Mugabe donated $60000 in cash to the two teams Picture: PHILIMON
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrives for the 'Bob 87 Super Cup', a
soccer match between local teams Dynamos and Caps United, in Harare on
Sunday. The event is part of birthday celebrations for Mugabe who has just
turned 87. Mugabe donated $60000 in cash to the two teams Picture: PHILIMON
The Zanu-PF position is contained in a paper which party members tried to
present at the SADC summit in Windhoek, Namibia on Friday. The party also
said the process of coming up with an election road map was a waste of time,
arguing the Global Political Agreement was adequate.
A desperate Mugabe tried and failed to force the regional leaders to discuss
the Zimbabwean crisis and review the findings of the Troika in Livingstone,
in March, in the absence of facilitator President Jacob Zuma, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputy Arthur Mutambara and MDC-N leader Welshman
Sources in Windhoek told the Sunday Times that Mugabe was not happy with the
Livingstone findings, which blamed him for violence against opponents,
arbitrary arrests of foes and the breakdown in the rule of law. The regional
leaders warned him that if he did not stop harassing and intimidating people
he risked a North African-style revolt.
A combative Mugabe has been at loggerheads with Zuma's facilitation team and
the SADC, which insists that Zimbabwe is not capable of holding free and
fair elections until an election road map is in place. The SADC wants to
avoid bloody elections, as has happened in the past.
In the position paper seen by the Sunday Times, Zanu-PF disputes that it is
violent, instead accusing the MDC of causing most of the violence.
SADC insiders told the Sunday Times that Zanu-PF also came armed with a
dossier from the police, blaming most of the violence on MDC-T.
"It is a fact that the three political parties to the GPA have failed to
work together as a team for the development of the country. They have failed
to fight the illegal sanctions together, to support the agrarian reform, and
to speak with one voice on indigenisation.
"The party will religiously adhere to the tenets of the GPA and ensure its
full implementation. This is the reason why we are saying we need to go for
elections this year and not next year, as this is consistent with the
provisions of the GPA.
"The GPA clearly stipulates that elections should be held two years after
the formation of the inclusive government and this is the reason Zanu-PF
maintains that elections should be held after the completion of the
"The GPA envisaged the completion of the constitution-making process within
18 months. This has not been achieved because of the MDC-T's strategy to
delay the elections by boycotting sessions of COPAC on very flimsy excuses.
There is no reason Zimbabwe should not go for elections," reads the paper in
However, regional diplomats said they were surprised Mugabe came with such a
position paper when he was the biggest GPA violator. "The Zanu-PF position
surprised the heads of state, not only because Mugabe is the chief culprit,
but because he knew that the facilitator was not there, together with the
other political parties in the inclusive government.
"The SADC leaders would simply prefer the Zimbabwe issue to be discussed on
June 11 in Johannesburg. We are aware Mugabe wants to avoid the Joburg
summit. He knows he will be facing a lot of hostility there.
"What is clear is that Mugabe is in trouble with the region. They are no
longer taking his lies as they have very good and reliable briefings on the
situation," said an SADC insider.
Zimbabwe's electoral system is in a shambles, with an outdated voters' roll.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has no money to run the elections,
and the SADC and opposition parties in Zimbabwe do not want the military and
security institutions to be involved in the electoral process at all. But
Zanu-PF insists on elections being held this year amid reports that the
party is prepared to go it alone without the SADC.
14 hours 42 minutes ago
BULAWAYO, May 22, 2011- Liberation war veterans have petrol bombed a
homestead belonging an MDC-T supporter who is employed as an aide to a Zanu
(PF) aligned Chief in Mberengwa West Constituency in the central province of
MDC-T chairperson for Midlands South, Lilian Timveous said war veterans in
Chizungu area on Wednesday night petrol bombed the homestead of Alois
Ndiweni an MDC-T supporter in Tuna Village in Chizungu.
Ndiweni’s crime, said the MDC-T chairperson, is that he is employed as an
aide to a traditional chief allegedly aligned to Zanu (PF) yet he supports
“They went to Ndiweni’s homestead in the middle of the night on Wednesday
where they threw three petrol bombs, but lucky enough there was no one at
the time but the bombs destroyed the homestead.
“The war veterans were led by one known ex-combatant who calls himself
“ Hitler and his gang accused Ndiweni of being a sellout because he is a
member of our party whilst at the same time he is employed as an aide to
Chief Chizungu, ” Timveous told radio Vop.
Timveous said the war veterans vowed they would make sure that Ndiweni left
his job as Chief Chizungu’s aide.
Hitler and his other colleague a Mr Mbedzi were arrested over the incident
and detained for few hours at Mberengwa police station, before being
released without a charge.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo who is also a former legislator for
Mberengwa East constituency however accused MDC-T of tarnishing the image of
“These people just want to continue tarnishing the image of Zanu (PF).
Mberengwa is my home area and recently I personally engaged our supporters
there not to get involved in any form of violence,” said Gumbo.
Last month war veterans and Zanu (PF) youths led by Sayinai Madhaka declared
war against MDC-T supporters in Mberengwa district, saying their party
should start setting up a refugee camp as they will be all forced to flee.
Several MDC supporters have also fled their homes in Mbirashava area in the
same district after another team of war veterans led by one Retired Major
Shava raided their homes for boycotting a Zanu (PF) meeting.
19 hours 45 minutes ago
HARARE, May 22, 2011- On the eve of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) extraordinary summit of heads of state in Namibia this
weekend, a dispossessed black commercial farmer has been forced to sell
packets of sugar to feed his family.
Luke Tembani, 74, one of the first black commercial farmers after Zimbabwean
independence in 1980, lost the title to his farm in November 2000 when it
was unilaterally auctioned by the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe (ABZ) to
cover a loan.
Despite Tembani's proposal to sell off a section of the farm to cover the
debt, his entire property was sold to a third party at a fraction of its
Tembani took his case to the High Court of Zimbabwe, which ruled in his
favour, but the ABZ appealed to the Supreme Court - many of whose members
have been recipients of "redistributed" farms - and in November 2007 the
sale was upheld.
Tembani took his case to the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia, where it
was heard on June 5 2009.
He won the case and the Zimbabwe government was ordered not to evict him and
to stop interfering with his use and occupation of the farm.
But in October 2009 Tembani and his family were evicted and prevented from
taking any farm equipment. Now virtually destitute, they want justice.
Tembani's first job in 1954 was as a gardener. He later enrolled at Chibero
Agricultural College in Norton, becoming a farm manager on a dairy farm in
the Nyazura district, where he worked for 18 years.
After independence, Tembani acquired a five-year lease on Minverwag, a
1265-hectare property in Nyazura, with an option to buy. The farmer, Helgard
Muller, gave him a free lease to help him get established.
The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), subsequently renamed the
Agriculture Bank of Zimbabwe (ABF), provided a loan and in 1985 Tembani
became the registered owner.
He served on the Rural District Council and the Indigenous Commercial
Tembani built Minverwag up into a profitable enterprise, comprising 100ha of
tobacco, 80ha of maize, 10ha of paprika and 40ha of wheat/soya rotation. He
increased his beef herd to 600 animals and developed a pig unit and an
In 1986 Tembani decided to build a school and the following year opened
Chimwanda Primary School, with free schooling for 321 pupils.
He also improved staff housing and built a church hall.
During the 1990s, when interest rates escalated sharply and there were
serious national droughts, Tembani ran into financial difficulties. After
meeting with the AFC, he arranged to sell off a viable 418ha of the farm as
a subdivision in 1996.
The AFC agreed that this would cover his debt and buyers were found while
they waited for the title deeds to be issued.
But the renamed ABZ reneged on the arrangement, auctioning the property in
November 2000 for Z$6-million - even though an independent valuator valued
the farm at Z$15-million.
"Only two buyers were present and the farm was sold to Takawira Zembe, a
businessman who only paid 10% at the auction and who is believed to have as
many as 18 farming enterprises in the country, gained in this way," said
After the eviction, Zembe refused to let his twins attend the school unless
Tembani ceded total ownership of the farm to Zembe and withdrew his appeal
against the eviction.
"Zembe is not operating Minverwag as a commercial farming enterprise but has
cut it into plots for peasant farmers who are paying him for the use of the
land," Tembani said.
In April this year, Tembani joined commercial farmer Mike Campbell in
signing papers to take the SADC heads of state to the tribunal for the
But Tembani was denied access to the tribunal to claim damages against the
Zimbabwean government for refusing to comply with his SADC judgment.
The family now live in basic rented accommodation and are without an income.
"As I speak to you, at the age of 74, I'm sitting on an old stool with
nothing, despite all the years of hard work," said Tembani. "We live
hand-to-mouth selling little bags of sugar and other basics in a difficult
and competitive environment, instead of contributing to food security.
"My wife and I want our farm back but right now it's too political," he said
19 hours 48 minutes ago
JOHANNESBURG, May 22, 2011- The three principals of Zimbabwe's government of
national unity have agreed on a number of critical measures to be
implemented as part of ongoing preparations for free and fair elections.
These include allowing Zimbabweans in South Africa to vote. Minutes of a
meeting between President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, seen by Sunday Times, show the
principals agreed on several points of electoral and media reform.
They also agreed to keep Mutambara in his current post in the government,
despite growing complaints from Industry and Trade Minister Welshman Ncube,
who has replaced him as the leader of the smaller MDC faction.
The minutes, dated May 10, contained in a memo written by Dr Misheck
Sibanda, the chief secretary to the president and cabinet, say several key
issues were approved at the principals' meeting this week.
They say an agreement has been made to push the Electoral Amendment Bill to
introduce electoral reforms agreed by the global political agreement
The minutes also reveal that the principals have agreed to allow Zimbabweans
in Southern African Development Community countries, including South Africa,
to vote in the next elections for the first time.
There are millions of Zimbabweans in SADC countries, mainly South Africa.
Most of the Zimbabweans in the region fled political repression and economic
problems at home.
"Provision should be made enabling Zimbabweans domiciled in SADC countries
to vote. Pursuant to that principled decision a paper should be prepared
spelling out the mechanism for making this possible," the minutes say.
"The chief secretary (Sibanda) will advise the minister of justice and legal
affairs to incorporate this decision into the Electoral Amendment Bill and
arrange for the above paper."
The minutes further say that the GPA negotiators' recommendations on a
polling station-based voters' roll must be implemented.
"The recommendations of the negotiators on this issue should be implemented.
Pursuant to that decision measures should be taken to ensure that voters do
not feel intimidated by one side or the other in the run-up to the polls."
The minutes also indicate that media reforms agreed by negotiators must be
implemented. This includes the appointment of a mass media trust board to
ensure government does not directly interfere in the operations of
Zimpapers, a listed chain newspaper company.
The principals also agreed that a new board of the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe should be appointed soon to ensure that radio and television
licences are issued to new players before the elections.
19 hours 46 minutes ago
Karoi, 22 March - Police on Friday were left with an egg on their faces when
they raided a white gold miner without a search warrant only to emerge empty
According to police insiders here, six officers from the Criminal
Investigations Department (CID), Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) and Police
Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) raided an office used by miner Ben
Labbah in the low density surburb of the town claiming he had a money
“ The officers did not have a search warrant with them besides knowing it is
illegal to search anyone even if they had enough evidence.They said he had a
money printing machine ,” an insider told Radio Vop at the weekend.
Coincidently, another team of officers raided his gold mine at Kasimure area
about 35 kilometers out of Karoi town for yet another search that yielded
“ We were suprised that the officers linking us to planning meetings for
Movement for Democratic Change came here. The officers alleged we had
pamphlets denouncing Zanu (PF) that we were distributing to villagers but
had no samples with them. They had no search warrant and found nothing.”
said a worker who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.
Labbar could not comment about the police raid on his premises but other
sources admitted the raids were aimed at linking MDC-T with few remaining
whites around the farming town. The police Officer in Charge, Chief
Inspector Sithole refused to comment on the issue.
“ I can not comment about that, I am sorry ” was all he could say when
contacted for comment. The two MDC formations have insisted on reforms of
the security services that include the police, army and the intelligence
organ, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
By Tonderai Kwenda, Chief Writer
Sunday, 22 May 2011 13:41
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has demanded the removal of
security chiefs, notably police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri and
army commander Constantine Chiwenga, before the country’s next elections.
The Daily News is in possession of the MDC’s position paper, which is being
pushed through the Sadc-led negotiations – and highlights how Chihuri and
Chiwenga’s continued stay would undermine both the credibility of future
elections as well as the country’s stability.
The reform of the security sector is one of the key outstanding issues of
the Global Political Agreement (GPA). It has stalled further progress in
the bedding down of an election roadmap, with President Robert Mugabe
describing demands for changes within the security sector as “nonsensical”.
Tsvangirai and political analysts say securocrats are the real power behind
Mugabe and Zanu PF – hence the refusal by the Zanu PF leader to reform the
In the meantime, Sadc appointed mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma
is pressuring GPA negotiators to expedite and conclude their talks on an
election roadmap that would usher in the much anticipated elections.
“The current leadership in the security sector has in the past shown that
they are partisan. In our view, the best way to realign the security sector
is to retire at the very minimum the Commissioner-General of Police
Augustine Chihuri and the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)
General Constantine Chiwenga,” the MDC’s policy document states.
Alternatively, Tsvangirai’s party demands, the security chiefs should, at
the very minimum, issue a public statement unequivocally stating that they
would uphold the constitution and support the will of the people if they
were to remain in their positions.
Tsvangirai also wants to receive full security briefs, similar to those
given to Mugabe regularly by security chiefs – if confidence in the security
sector was to be engendered across political divides.
The MDC says its demand for security sector reforms, contained in its
10-page document, is in reaction to the security chiefs’ previous actions,
which allegedly include leading “an orgy of violence” against MDC
Security chiefs have in the past publicly stated that they are unwilling to
salute or take instruction anyone other than Mugabe and other Zanu PF
leaders. Chihuri has also publicly and controversially stated his allegiance
to Zanu PF on several occasions.
The MDC position paper also demands the retirement of other perceived Zanu
PF functionaries such as Attorney General (AG) Johannes Tomana and Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono.
In addition, the premier’s party wants ministers responsible for the
security portfolios, such as defence, home affairs, state security and
justice, to report to Tsvangirai’s office at policy implementation and
“Put simply, the story of Gbagbo and Ivory Coast must be avoided,” the
document states – a reference to the bloody civil war that eventually ousted
Ivory Coast dictator Laurent Gbabgo who, with the help of the army had
refused to accept electoral defeat.
The party is pushing for the enactment of a legal framework to regulate the
activities of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), which for
long has been accused of abducting, maiming and harassing Mugabe’s political
“The existence and operations of the CIO must be regulated by an Act of
Parliament which should be enacted before the next elections,” the document
Sources close to the country’s inter-party negotiations the Daily News
yesterday that Zanu PF had since thrown the ball back into the MDC court by
asking it to draft a Bill to regulate the operations of the CIO.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson, confirmed the development, saying:
“The security sector is a hot issue, but there were a few concessions. The
MDC was asked to table a Bill to govern the security sector particularly the
CIO. Zanu PF says it does not know how to regulate the activities of the
The MDC also proposes that the police service, defence and Mariyawanda
Nzuwa's Public Service Commission be accountable to parliament, and to the
president, Tsvangirai and Cabinet, particularly on policy issues such as
recruitment and purchase of arms.
The party also wants a comprehensive amendment of the Electoral Act.
Written by Chief Reporter
Sunday, 22 May 2011 00:00
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, has
apologised profusely to a CNN news crew that was harassed by police last
week - to avert a diplomatic disaster as the SADC summit opened in Windhoek
CNN journalist, Robyn Curnow and her cameraperson, Shevan Rayson were
stopped from filming and briefly detained by overzealous police officers
while filming along Harare's First Street. The CNN crew was accredited by
the Zimbabwe Media Commission and had permission to work from the Ministry
of Information. The experienced CNN cameraperson discreetly recorded the
whole episode, 17 minutes of footage.
Sensing the potential impact of the fall-out of the arrest, Charamba moved
fast to douse the fires by summoning the crew to Munhumutapa Building and
apologising. He reportedly pleaded with the journalists to can the story
until after the summit at least. Press freedom groups rounded on the
authorities for unnecessary high-handedness.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Foster Dongozi said: "We call the GNU
to increase its level of tolerance on journalists at work. The government's
acceptance of democracy will be measured on levels of tolerance on the
media. ZUJ strongly condemns what happened to the CNN crew," Dongozi said.
The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) said in a statement the
detention of the CNN crew was a serious matter and urged police to allow
journalists to do their job. “The constitution makes the right of the
Zimbabwean public and all media professionals to receive and impart
information a fundamental human right and not a privilege."
20 hours 6 minutes ago
HARARE, May 21, 2011- Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke
Tamborinyoka has defended his boss’s position in which he has been attacked
by public media journalists for doubting their professionalism in face of
the incessant propaganda being peddled by them.
He said that his boss has not abused journalists. Tamborinyoka said his boss
was rather a long time victim of the public media without protection from
the same stakeholders raising concern over his recent statement saying the
same media also had a responsibility to protect the citizens. PM Tsvangirai
attacked the public media for irresponsible journalism saying it was “hard
to believe that the journalists themselves believed in their own stories.”
“The Prime Minister, for long (time has been) a victim of hate speech and a
subservient public media, has largely remained quiet in the wake of vicious
and defamatory attacks. He respects the public media, but the same media
also have a responsibility to respect him and the public office that he
holds,” said Tamborinyoka.
He also indicated that the citizenry also need protection from the same
media organizations like ZUJ and Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) just as
they protect the journalists from other physical and verbal attacks.
“Prime Minister Tsvangirai has always been a victim and not a perpetrator of
hate speech. He has been a victim of a hostile public media that has
consistently and persistently attacked his person and it is regrettable that
the ZUJ has not sought to protect him or to censor the responsible
journalists and the media houses,” he said.
ZUJ recently issued a statement condemning the recent attacks at the media
including the statements by PM Tsvangirai made at the recent SAPES truts
seminar in the capital.
“We are concerned that some of the public officials implicated in the use of
intolerant language with potential to undermine or demean journalists are
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose statements implied that colleagues
working in the Public media are ‘shallow’. We acknowledge that journalists
need to improve on professional and ethical conduct after the profession was
for several years in the doldrums,” read the ZUJ statement.
While Zimbabwean journalists have been subjected to some very unfair
situations in the country, with politicians being part of the perpetrators
of violence against them, the public media has been accused of furthering
the Zanu (PF) propaganda portraying the MDC and other Zanu (PF) critics as
enemies of the state through its partisan reportage. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)
22/05/2011 09:56:00 By ZOLI MANGENA
Stung by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders' recognition
of his rival Welshman Ncube as the president of the smaller MDC faction,
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has written to South African
President Jacob Zuma on a series of disputed issues which he says are
affecting his position.
In his letter to Zuma, Mutambara says SADC leaders and South Africa's
facilitation team should not acknowledge Ncube as the leader of the now
renamed MDC-N, because his position was being challenged in the courts. He
further accuses Ncube and the MDC-N's Global Political Agreement (GPA)
negotiators, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila Ndlovu, of
abusing their posts to settle internal political problems within the warring
Mutambara tells Zuma, the SADC facilitator in Zimbabwe, that if
Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Mzila Ndlovu did not change their approach, he
would "withdraw" them as GPA negotiators.
Ncube and the MDC-N say they have expelled Mutambara and his supporters, who
they describe as President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF surrogates, from the
party in the aftermath of its controversial January congress, which
triggered the power struggle.
However, Mutambara, who withdrew from the race against Ncube, allowing him
to take over the leadership uncontested, and his group claim they have
expelled Ncube from the party. The issue has spilled into a court battle.
Mutambara has been barred by the High Court from claiming to be the party
leader, although his position as deputy prime minister has not been
"As you are aware, there have been some leadership differences in my party,
MDC, which have led to court proceedings. My approach to these challenges
has been to handle them in such a manner that there is minimal disruption to
the GPA dialogue and the implementation thereof," Mutambara says in the
"Unfortunately, the two negotiators our party has kept in the process, with
my blessing (Priscilla Misihairabwi-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 negotiations. This must not
Mutambara states the party has been renamed from the MDC-M to MDC-N and
should not participate in the GPA processes. He further says
Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Mzila Ndlovu have tried to define the term
"principal" in the GPA to mean a party political leader in the elections
road map, as a strategy to remove him as party leader and as deputy prime
"Specifically, in the GPA road map under discussion, they have sought to
rename our party MDC-Ncube and yet, in the GPA, the name is explicitly
indicated as MDC-Mutambara. This is violation of the GPA, as there is no
succession clause allowing them to do so. The negotiators have no mandate to
rewrite the GPA.
"Secondly, the two negotiators have sought to put a definition of a GPA
principal (as president of a party) in the road map," he says.
"Again, this is a total abuse of the GPA process as they are aware that so
far the courts of Zimbabwe have explicitly denied them this definition. They
went to court seeking to stop me acting as president of the party and also
to stop me acting as GPA principal, as two separate requests.
"This is acknowledgement that the two functions are different."
Mutambara says the court did not stop him being deputy prime minister - a
resolve endorsed by Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - and that
Zuma must respect this. - TimesLive
By Sydney Saize
Sunday, 22 May 2011 14:17
MUTARE - Church leaders in Manicaland province on Thursday grilled
Christopher Mushowe, the provincial governor, over increasing cases of
violence that have resulted in some villagers fleeing to Mozambique.
Over 60 church leaders who attended the meeting told Mushowe that the use of
hate language and failure by the police to arrest perpetrators were
contributing to the escalating violence.
The church leaders told Mushowe to take appropriate action to end the
violent attacks on innocent people especially in rural areas such as Nyanga,
Buhera, Chipinge and Chimanimani.
Some of the victims of political violence, mainly MDC-T members, have since
fled their homes in Nyanga and Chimanimani and were now refugees in
Mozambique while others were living in forests, according to the church
Churches in Manicaland, a coalition of provincial church leaders from
various denominations, organised the meeting.
“It is a worrying case that those people that cause violence are known to
the people but nothing has been done to them.
“Those that start violence must face the music,” said one of the church
Mushowe, in his address, accused church leaders of being selective in their
criticism because they were ignoring the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe
by Western countries.
He said he was against violence. “I always tell people that I am against
violence and if there is anyone who claims I would be for violence they
should come over to me and ask to take with them any of my children for such
acts and see if I agree,” said Mushowe.
Pastor Jonathan Memory Chindewere of Kingdom Faith Ministries quizzed
Mushowe on double speak. He accused politicians of preaching peace at one
gathering and ordering violence against opponents at rallies.
“If we are to take your words at this gathering we wonder why we still have
reports of violence to this day,” said Chindewere in response to Mushowe’s
Bishop Patrick Mutume of the Roman Catholic Church expressed hope that
Mushowe would act more vigorously to end violence after meeting the church
May 21, 2011 12:02 PM | By Sunday Times Zimbabwe
Munyaradzi Kereke, adviser to Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, has denied
that he met Vice-President Joyce Mujuru in attempt to save ReNaissance Bank
from being placed under curatorship, as we reported in "Mujuru called on to
save beleaguered bank" last week.
Kereke has also denied being sent by anyone to meet Mujuru on behalf of the
His lawyers have sent a letter of demand to the Sunday Times, saying our
story implies that Kereke is working against the objective of the bank,
whose mandate is to investigate ReNaissance Bank and to institute
appropriate remedial measures.
They say that the story implies that Kereke departed from the code of ethics
of the Reserve Bank, and that he was operating as an agent of people opposed
to the prescriptions of the Reserve Bank.
Kereke has demanded $6-million from the Sunday Times and its distributors.
14 hours 49 minutes ago
LUPANE, May 22, 2011- A row has erupted between the Gwayi Sub –Catchment
Council and the newly licensed coal –mining companies in Matabeleland North
province on how the companies got their licences from Ministry of Mines and
The Sub –Catchment council is accusing two of the five companies that were
controversially licensed by the Ministry of Mines and Development to carry
out coal mining activities in the Sinamatela area, which is located in the
wildlife rich Hwange National Park.
One of the Mining company , Makomo Investment has also been accused of
polluting Lukosi river while the mining activities of the other
company,Liberation Mining is said to be threatening the Gwayi-Shangani dam
which is being built within its vicinity.
The chairperson of the Gwayi Sub-Catchment Council and farmer Langton
Masunda said the extraction of coal in the catchment area should not be
allowed at it undermines national interests.
“ Liberation Mining should not be allowed to do any mining within the
catchment area because doing so will be tantamount to pursuing individual
interests against national interests .The dam is expected to play a pivotal
role in turning around the country’s economy through tourism, agriculture
and rural folks are expected to reap from it through activities such as
fishing. The operations of these companies should be halted before it is too
late, ” said
The catchment manager for the area, Fortune Musoni also echoed Masunda’s
“ It has been proven beyond any doubt that anywhere where there is a mine, a
water source is most likely to be polluted through sip page in the event of
rains. We recently recommended that the companies should cease the
operations in the area ” said Musoni.
Masunda accused the two companies of failing to possess an Environmental
Impact Assessment certificate as per statutory requirements. Efforts to get
a comment from the Mining companies involved were all in vein.
The Vigil is sorry that our brothers and sisters in Malawi will suffer for President Mutharika’s hubris. Britain this week froze aid to Malawi because of its expulsion of the British High Commissioner for (privately) describing Mutharika as ‘intolerant of criticism’. The Malawian government relies on foreign aid for 40% of its income, with Britain the largest donor. Finance Minister Ken Kandodo said there would have to be austerity measures but Malawi was ready to make tough decisions. We doubt that Mugabe’s friend Mutharika will make the tough decision to cut down the size of his Presidential palaces. What a dreadful prospect that would be (see: Malawi to cut spending after UK aid freeze – http://reuters-ukaidfreeze.notlong.com).
However the British government is only doing what we asked them to do. The Vigil has reluctantly joined a British domestic debate about foreign aid so that we can increase pressure on SADC to act honestly over Zimbabwe.
We understand President Zuma’s reasons for postponing discussions on elections in Zimbabwe and hope it will give SADC leaders time to weigh objectively the counter claims: Mugabe’s promise of more of the same or the MDC’s promise of democracy and respect for the law.
To help focus the minds of SADC leaders the Vigil has been pushing the British government to suspend aid to countries supporting Mugabe. This is a substantial amount. Britain is one of the very few countries – if not the only one – to honour the Gleneagles Agreement of 2005 under which the world’s richest countries committed themselves to giving 0.7% of their national income in foreign aid.
In Britain’s case this will amount this year to £8.1 billion (rising to £11.5 billion in 2014 /15). All this is at a time of stringent budget cuts at home – pressure on hospitals and schools, job losses in public services etc etc. For instance, the Foreign Office budget is due to fall from £2.3 billion to £1.3 billion.
Of course, private aid is not included. In this field, the British people are second only to the Americans in their generosity.
Here is a letter the Vigil has sent to the Defence Secretary, Dr Fox who wants a more nuanced approach to how British government aid is allocated.
The Zimbabwe Vigil notes with interest your recent comments and fully supports demands for a more flexible approach to the UK’s overseas aid.
We applaud the generous aspiration behind the government’s pledge to increase aid to 0.7% of GNP but we agree that the UK needs to be more discriminating on how this money is distributed.
We understand, of course, that you have different priorities. Of particular interest to us is budgetary aid given to member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), amounting to many hundreds of millions of pounds a year. SADC has betrayed the people of Zimbabwe by pandering to the odious Mugabe regime for the past decade.
Although there are signs that President Zuma of South Africa is now of a mind to take a more robust approach to Mugabe, there are many SADC leaders who are still in the anti-British and pro-Mugabe camp. Take, for instance, the notoriously corrupt regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will feature among the top 10 recipients of UK spending in direct aid for 2012 / 2013 at £165 million. Or take Malawi, which although this year is receiving £90 million of British budgetary aid, has recently expelled the British High Commissioner for criticising President Mutharika for being intolerant of criticism. Mutharika has made no secret of his admiration for Mugabe, naming a new highway after his idol, who in turn has given the Malawian leader a stolen farm.
The Zimbabwe Vigil believes that British budgetary support for SADC countries should be withheld if they act against British interests which, we have been assured, include free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
It is for this purpose that we have been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the last nine years.
PS We enclose a sample page of a petition for which we are currently gathering signatures. It reads: ‘A Petition to European Union Governments: We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial. We urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend government to government aid to all SADC countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the starving in Zimbabwe.’
cc Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development,
Rt Hon William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
Other points· Vigil supporters were interested to see a photograph of Mugabe falling asleep in his chair and we acted out the scene for the passing public pointing out the absurdity of such an old man standing for re-election (Speculation mounts as Mugabe collapses – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/may19_2011.html#Z7).
· Vigil supporters were disturbed that a former CIO torturer Phillip Machemedze has been given asylum in the UK. Machemedze, who admitted carrying out acts of torture ‘too gruesome to recount’, is now living with his wife on British Social Security benefits. Mr Justice David Archer said there was no doubt that Mr Machemedze was "deeply involved in savage acts of extreme violence. Some were killed slowly and their bodies disposed of. He witnessed people with their limbs cut off." But the judge said that under the European Human Rights Convention, Machemedze should be protected from torture and threats to his life if he returned to Zimbabwe. The Vigil believes that Britain is already infested by enough Zanu PF supporters without inviting the whole CIO to come over here to take advantage of free housing, medical attention, education and living expenses (see: http://uktelegraph-ciograntedasylum.notlong.com).
· Joke of the week: the Daily News says that nearly 700 officials involved in the Constitutional Outrage programme – many of them illiterate (including some MPs) have cost more than US $4 million in the last two weeks doing nothing except run up hotel bills (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/may21_2011.html#Z11 – Copac officials blow up US$4m).
· Zimbabwe Vigil dancers performed at a Community Event for Adult Learners’ Week at City and Islington College in North London. Thanks to Dumi Tutani, Farai Marema, Wendy Ziyambi, Edna Mdoka and Moses Kandiyawo for a lively and much appreciated performance that helped to spread the awareness of Zimbabwe’s human rights abuses.
· Our condolences to Vigil team member Patson Muzuwa whose mother died in Zimbabwe this week. A collection was made for Patson and Vigil supporters signed a sympathy card for him.
· Thanks to Mercy Muranganwa (who has been coming at our 2 pm start and staying till the end) for her help over the past few weeks with the register and setting up the Vigil. Thanks also to ROHR members (Paradzai Mapfumo, Lorraine Zakeyo, Emmaculate Mabaya, Christopher Bvumai Chimbumu, Shoriwa Mutandiro) who once again supplied soft drinks for thirsty Vigil supporters.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. 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 latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.
FOR THE RECORD: 96 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wish to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QukqctWc3XE.
· ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 28th May from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
· ROHR Nottingham general meeting. Saturday 28th May from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: St Saviours in the Meadows Church, Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. The church is just a few minutes’ walk from the train station. ROHR National Executive members will be attending to discuss the abuse of human rights and political situation in Zimbabwe. Contact: Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Mary Chabvamuperu 07412074928, Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
· ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 28th May from 12.30 – 4 pm. Venue St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, B70 0HF, West Bromwich. ROHR President, National Executive members and a well-known lawyer present. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07771708800, Paradzai Mapfumo 07915926323 or Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069.
· ROHR National Fundraising Event. Saturday 25th June from 12 noon till late. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Come and enjoy African dishes and music while donating to a good cause. Admission fee £8 includes a plate of food and a soft drink. Raffle tickets on sale @ £1. Contact: Peter Nkomo 07817096594, V J Mujeyi 07403446696, Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Solomon L Matshoba 07733741065, P Chibanguza 07908406069, R Chifungo 07795070609 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to email@example.com and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
· Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in taking part.
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: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk