By Tichaona Sibanda
22 May 2013
President Robert Mugabe has signed into law a new constitution, which was
approved by a large majority in a referendum in March this year.
The adoption of the new charter, which was published in the Government
Gazette hours after Mugabe assented to it, is seen as key to ending a
protracted period of political turmoil and economic uncertainty in the
The signing ceremony at State House in Harare was attended by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who both
praised the document as ‘home grown’, unlike the Lancaster House
Some parts of the new constitution came into operation immediately after it
was gazetted on Wednesday, and these articles will override the
corresponding parts in the old constitution.
The rest of the new constitution will come into effect the day a new
President is sworn into office after the forthcoming harmonized elections.
Parts of the new constitution that are in effect from Wednesday onwards are
contained in the Sixth Schedule of the charter.
These are chapters relating to citizenship, the Declaration of Rights,
elections and assumption of office of the President, and the election of
Members of Parliament.
The new set of laws aim to curb the vast powers of the President and the
security services that have enabled decades of impunity for the ruling elite
and encouraged a ruinous system of political patronage. The new constitution
also provides for devolved power to often-marginalised provinces, and
improves civil rights and women’s representation.
Despite an energetic campaign by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
to reject the laws, Zimbabweans overwhelmingly approved the constitution in
a national referendum two months ago.
The March vote was peaceful, a marked contrast to the 2008 presidential
elections that plunged the country into chaos. Passing a new constitution
was a key element of the power-sharing deal to end the post-election chaos.
22 May 2013
March's referendum on the new constitution resulted in an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote
© Amnesty International
constitution presents a golden opportunity for the country to break away from a
culture of impunity for human rights violations, Amnesty International said
President Robert Mugabe today signed into law a new constitution, following a three-year constitution-making process to replace the Lancaster House constitution adopted at independence in 1980.
“The new constitution is a positive development with the potential to increase ordinary people’s enjoyment of their basic rights,” said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International's Africa deputy director.
“Not only is the world watching whether the country has truly turned the corner on this historic day, but millions of people in Zimbabwe hope that this new constitution will usher in a new political order where human rights are respected and protected.”
The constitution-making process suffered ongoing delays and controversy, but March's referendum on the new constitution passed off relatively peacefully and resulted in an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote.
Repressive laws that have been used to stifle government critics are expected to be repealed, or at least amended, under the new constitution.
"Zimbabwe’s lawmakers are now expected to realign laws such as the Public Order and Security Act, which have been used in the past to deny people their civil and political rights,” said Noel Kututwa.
There has been an increase in human rights violations in Zimbabwe since the political crisis that started in 2000 and led to millions fleeing the country to escape political persecution and economic hardship.
In 2008, more than 200 people were killed in state-sponsored violence during the second round of the presidential elections, while thousands were tortured and injured.
The adoption of a new constitution is expected to lead to an election of a new government, following more than four years of a coalition government established under a political deal brokered by the Southern Africa Development Community.
“The next election in Zimbabwe presents a real test for the authorities to prove their commitment to the declaration of rights in the new constitution," said Noel Kututwa.
"The real test is whether all political parties and civil society organizations will enjoy their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”
In recent months, a number of high profile civil society organizations in Zimbabwe have had their offices raided by police, while human rights defenders have been arbitrarily arrested.
“More attacks on human rights defenders will cast doubt on the government’s commitment to uphold the declaration of rights in the new constitution,” said Noel Kututwa.
“The police authorities must speed up human rights education, starting with officers in the Law and Order Section of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who have been at the forefront of restricting fundamental freedoms.”
Amnesty International also called on the government to provide adequate funding to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, as well as urging the next parliament to seriously consider total abolition of the death penalty.
“The death penalty is one of the colonial legacies haunting a free Zimbabwe today,” said Noel Kututwa.
By Alex Bell
22 May 2013
Three police officers, who have been detained over their alleged attendance
at an MDC-T rally last month, have denied they are guilty of this ‘crime’.
Courage Manyengavana, Marshal Zindoga and Lovemore Mupedzapasi were tried
and convicted for contravening the Police Act, after being accused of acting
in a manner which brought ‘disrespect’ to the police force. The police
claimed that the three officers attended an MDC-T rally held at Mushumbi
Business Centre in Mashonaland Central Province on 27th April.
This was the same rally where MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore was accused
of comparing Robert Mugabe to a ‘lame donkey’. Madzore was arrested over the
comments and released on bail last week.
The three police officers were reportedly spotted at the rally while in
civilian clothing by members of the police’s Internal Security and
Zindonga and Mupedzapasi were tried by a “trial officer” early this month,
while Manyengavana’s trial was conducted in Harare. They were all sentenced
to serve 14 days in detention at Chikurubi Support Unit Camp, and their
sentence is set to come to an end by the end of this week.
According to the group’s lawyer Tarisai Mutangi, the three maintain their
innocence and insist they were not participating in the MDC-T rally.
“The three say they were at the Mushumbi Business Centre where the rally was
happening, but they say they were not part of the rally. But they were
identified by other offices as being present and participating,” Mutangi
He explained that the three might appeal their conviction once their
sentence is completed, but he could not confirm is this was the case.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) meanwhile said in a statement
that it has noted a “dramatic increase in the arbitrary application of
Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.” This act has
led to a growing number of people being charged with allegedly “insulting or
undermining the authority of the President”.
“ZLHR has attended to 65 cases (since 2010) where clients have fallen foul
of this law. Due to continued delays in the justice delivery system, most of
the cases are pending although two have since been finalised, with the
beneficiaries being acquitted. In other instances, clients have been removed
from remand due to failure by the State to prosecute timeously. The
constitutionality of this provision has been challenged on several
occasions, on the basis that it infringes on freedom of expression,
particularly of a public figure, and one who must be subject to scrutiny as
a political candidate. The Supreme Court, sitting as a Constitutional Court,
is however yet to make a determination on these cases,” the ZLHR said.
Last week, a university lecturer in Masvingo sentenced to three months in
jail, after allegedly calling Mugabe a “rotten old donkey.” Chenjerai
Pamhiri, who lectures at the Great Zimbabwe State University in Masvingo,
was convicted for insulting the President and is being held in remand
prison. A bail hearing for Pamhiri is set to be heard sometime this week.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:34
HARARE - Members of Parliament yesterday adopted a motion to start a fresh
and new mobile voter registration exercise countrywide to ensure that every
citizen is allowed to register as a voter.
Legislators across the political divide supported a motion moved by MDC MP
for Mbizo Settlement Chikwinya who asked government to restart the mobile
Government embarked on a mobile voter registration exercise which began on
April 29 to May 19, 2013.
Chikwinya said the registration had not been adequately advertised and that
not enough centres were provided for.
Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo said the programme was meant to benefit
voters in the rural constituencies who had missed out on the exercise when
“It is not correct that the programme was organised to exclude MDC
supporters, it also affected Zanu PF supporters as in my constituency in
Mberengwa the message was left with Chiefs who did not convey it to our
supporters. As parliamentarians we support Hon Chikwinya’s motion,” said
MDC legislators led by Warren Park MP Ellias Mudzuri claimed that they
witnessed many of their supporters being turned away during mobile voters’
registration. Mudzuri said he ended up seeking audience with Tobaiwa Mudede,
the Registrar General and Lovemore Sekeramayi, Zimbabwe Election Commission
Chief election officer.
He said the registration exercise is of paramount importance in the
preparation of a voters’ roll which is a key determinate factor of the
The MPs encouraged minister of Finance, Tendai Biti to provide adequate
funding of the programme.
The new Zimbabwe constitution which was passed by Parliament last week
provides for a 30 day voter registration.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:09
HARARE - Civil society groups have demanded close supervision of the
Registrar General’s office by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) during
the 30-day voter registration exercise provided for in the new constitution.
Addressing reporters in Harare yesterday, Zimbabwe Election Support Network
board member Solomon Zwana, said civil society groups (CSOs) had observed
that there was inadequate education and information, lack of professionalism
as well as inconsistencies in procedures and requirements during the
just-ended mobile voter registration exercise.
Zwana said there was need for the process to be re-started under the
supervision of Zec, making sure that the legal instruments guiding the issue
of aliens are well-publicised.
“Disheartened by the observations by various stakeholders such as
Parliament, the Churches, Cabinet and Zec that the process was chaotic, slow
and did not capture all people interested in registering as voters, the CSOs
recommend an effective supervision of the Registrar General’s office by the
Zec to safeguard the integrity of the process for which Zec is accountable
to stakeholders,” said Zwana, speaking on behalf of other CSOs.
“As a precondition to the exercise, the public must be adequately informed
of the process, the requirements and the modalities prior to the
commencement of the process which must be decentralised to ward level,” said
The 50 CSOs who endorsed the press statement observed the just-ended mobile
voter registration exercise was characterised by lack of genuine
decentralisation with registration centres not proportional to the number of
Some centres failed to adhere to the stipulated opening and closing times,
resulting in thousands of potential voters being disenfranchised.
The demands by the CSOs come in the wake of Zec admitting the chaotic nature
of the just-ended process as well as growing consensus in government that
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede did a shoddy job and should be fired. -
by Edgar Gweshe
Disgruntled aspiring voters caused chaos at Crest Breeders Farm Primary
School, Harare South, during mobile voter registration on Saturday.
Fed up with the slow pace of the process, they broke windows and forced riot
police to step in.
The Zimbabwean visited the area on Sunday and witnessed long queues.
Frustration was evident among those awaiting their turn.
“People had become frustrated as it was taking long for them to register.
Some of them had come in the early morning but the pace was very slow and
this resulted in pushing and shoving, and eventually chaos broke out. Some
classroom windows were broken,” said a police officer who had been at the
A Waterfalls police reaction group was deployed to calm the situation.
Police spokesperson for Harare Province, Tedius Chibande, said he was yet to
get a report on the incident.
People at the registration centre told The Zimbabwean they were concerned
that officers from the Registrar General’s Department were working at a
“I think some people will be left out because there is no sense of urgency
among the officers,” said a Southlea Park resident who declined to be named
for fear of victimisation.
In another development that could result in the exclusion of several MDC-T
activists from the registration process, Zanu (PF) officials were denying
proof of residence letters to the former.
Suspicions are high that the RG’s Department is working in cahoots with Zanu
(PF) officials after farm settlers were told that they had to bring a proof
of residence letter signed by a Zanu (PF) official in their respective
At Crest Breeders Farm Primary School, The Zimbabwean discovered that names
of people who would have been issued with the proof of residence letters
were being forwarded by Zanu (PF) Chairpersons to the RG’s officers.
A proof of residence letter seen by this reporter had the signature of one
Ezekiel Karimanzira, who signed in his capacity as the Chairperson of the
Ushewokunze Housing Cooperative.
When asked about the process of obtaining proof of residence if one is a
farm dweller, an official said: “What you can do is to locate your Chairman
here and he will give you a letter that you will use when you get inside.”
MDC-T District Youth Secretary for Harare South, Tatenda Chigwada said
several activists from his party were left out after Zanu (PF) officials
refused to give them proof of residence letters. “The situation was worse at
St John’s Retreat Farm where Zanu (PF) youths were manning the entrance gate
and vetting out people whom they suspected to be from the MDC-T,” said
At Southerton Primary School, proof of residence proved to be the major
obstacle, with many aspiring voters turned away.
People blamed the officers for being too stringent.
“Imagine I came here with a ZESA bill bearing my surname but I was told that
my father should write a letter for me to confirm that I reside at the
address on the electricity bill,” said one resident.
By Nomalanga Moyo
22 May 2013
Efforts by Dr Simba Makoni’s political party to hold discussions with the
Norton community a fortnight ago were thwarted, after police went back on
their word and withdrew clearance.
Under Zimbabwe’s security laws, all political gatherings have to be first
cleared by the police, and the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) party had received
permission to hold its ‘Conversations with Simba Makoni’ in Norton on
Saturday, May 11th.
However, a few hours before party president Makoni was due to meet the town’s
business community, police withdrew clearance citing missing documentation
in the MKD application.
MKD official Liberty Mukwakwami told SW Radio Africa Wednesday that when he
telephoned Norton police for clarification, a Sergeant Demha could only say
the party had not attached an authorisation letter from the owners of the
“We asked why the police had not informed us in advance but the officer
refused to discuss the issue further, and asked us to visit the station
Mukwakwami said this was the first time the authorisation letter had been
used to block his party’s meetings, as previous applications had been
granted without one.
“The police could not even tell us what section of the Public Order and
Security Act they used to withdraw clearance for our meeting. But this was
not the first time this has happened in Mashonaland West.
“At one time our rally in Makoni was cancelled on spurious reasons that ZANU
PF also planned to hold a meeting at the same venue.
“It could be that they feel threatened by Dr Simba Makoni, but we will not
give up our fight for a democratic and properly-run Zimbabwe,” Mukwakwami
A visit to a local orphanage that had been planned for the same day could
not go ahead, with police threatening to arrest the officials if the meeting
“President Makoni was supposed to visit an orphanage in Norton, meet the
children and donate foodstuffs, but we had to cancel this as advised by
Norton police,” Mukwakwami said.
Since POSA came into force in 2002 it has given police, a traditional ally
of ZANU PF, enormous powers to suppress opposition to President Mugabe’s
autocratic grip on power.
With crucial elections and the campaign season looming, there are concerns
that more bans and arrests will follow as Zimbabwe’s partisan police force
steps up its campaign against suspected Mugabe opponents.
By Alex Bell
22 May 2013
China has continued to strengthen its ties with Zimbabwe with a visit this
week by that country’s Vice Premier, Wang Yang.
The Chinese official arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday on an official visit to
boost business and bilateral relations between Harare and Beijing.
He was welcomed at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Joice
Mujuru, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Minister of State in the
Vice President’s Office Sylvester Nguni.
Speaking to journalists soon after arrival, the Chinese VP said his visit
intended to implement business agreements between the two countries.
“I am here to implement the agreements reached by the Government of Beijing
and Zimbabwe to enhance our cooperation and trade relations,” he said.
China already has the strongest international business relationship with
Zimbabwe compared to other nations, with the country largely turning a blind
eye to ZANU PF’s destructive policies over more than a decade.
These policies have left Zimbabwe alienated, with few international nations
wanting to do business in a country where property and other rights are
China however continues to enhance its influence, and the visit this week is
seen as a sign that the Asian superpower wants to keep strengthening its
hold in the country.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:05
HARARE - Zambian president Michael Sata, who has offered grain to Zimbabwe
for next to free, faces a revolt at home for adopting measures which could
An admirer of President Robert Mugabe’s often violent and chaotic land
reforms, Sata has agreed to give grain to starving Zimbabwe on easy terms
which could see Harare taking delivery without paying a cent upfront.
Zimbabwe is facing grave food shortages with over a million people in urgent
need of aid.
But back home, a decision by Sata to slash a key food subsidy threatens to
hit the poor, stoke inflation and spark a popular revolt against his
Reports from Zambia indicate that Sata has torn up his own populist
political playbook by announcing weighty maize subsidies will be scrapped.
He introduced the subsidies when he came to power in 2011 but now argues
scrapping them would lead to “real economic and well distributed growth” as
well as save the government much-needed cash.
Yet, this could also come with dire costs for the populist and at times
brash Sata, reports say.
Famously, a 1977 decision to scale back bread subsidies in Egypt prompted
riots that killed nearly 80 people.
The army was deployed to restore order and the policy was quickly rolled
Zambia itself saw serious food riots in 1990, which helped push the
government from power.
The backlash this time round has been prompt, but, for the moment,
In Zimbabwe, food riots in the late 90s caused massive headaches for
Some Zambians are already plotting against Sata after the decision to scrap
subsidies. Thirty-four-year-old Mooya Chilala, an unemployed father of two,
is reported to be lobbying for the removal of Sata from office.
“I have many dependents and with this increase all I can ask my fellow
Zambians is to remove this government from power,” Chilala is reported as
saying. - Staff Writer
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:05
HARARE - Renegade Anglican bishop and prominent supporter of President
Robert Mugabe, the ex-communicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, is in trouble
following legal moves to force him to return cash and shares seized during
his five-year illegal control of the church.
Lawyers for the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA)
have written to Kunonga demanding the return of cash and share certificates
worth $641 000 held by Imara Asset Management Zimbabwe (Private) Limited
that were seized by ex-communicated Kunonga.
Imara Asset Management is one of the largest institutional funds managers in
Zimbabwe, with clients including blue-chip retirement funds, high net-worth
individuals and corporates.
Raymond Moyo of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans told the Daily News yesterday
that the financial institution held “certain accounts and investments on
behalf of the CPCA.”
The Bishop Chad Gandhiya-led CPCA, through lawyers Gill, Godlonton &
Gerrans legal practitioners, has written to Kunonga demanding payment of
$641 560 for investments seized by the disgraced clergyman.
“Our instructions are that sometime in the period of August 2011 to
September 2011 and without our client’s consent and knowledge you accessed
and realised its investments valued in the amount of US$641 560.00 held with
Imara Asset management Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd,” said the letter to Kunonga seen
by the Daily News.
“It is common cause that the said investments were our client’s property.
The Supreme Court confirmed this in its judgement in the matter SC180/90.”
In the landmark November 19, 2012 Supreme Court judgment, Deputy Chief
Justice Luke Malaba ordered Kunonga to hand back all church assets because
they withdrew their membership from the CPCA and resigned as bishop and
trustees, thereby relinquishing the right to control CPCA property in the
“They left it, putting themselves beyond its ecclesiastical jurisdiction,”
Malaba said in his judgment.
That ruling quashed a High Court decision that gave Kunonga control of all
church hospitals, orphanages and schools and allowed more than two million
evicted Anglicans to return to their parishes to celebrate Mass after they
were banished to worshiping in parks, private schools and halls.
After the Supreme Court judgement, Kunonga went to the High Court in an
attempt to avoid the consequences of the Supreme Court decision, seeking a
court order stopping the evictions and another court order that Anglican
Church property is owned by Kunonga’s new Church of the Province of Zimbabwe
and that the church was not part of the Supreme Court challenge which was
lodged by the Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare - meaning Kunonga
and his fellow former trustees, not his church.
After hearing arguments in the High Court chambers, the judge president on
December 10 dismissed the application to stop the evictions with costs,
leading to a dramatic eviction of the recalcitrant bishop.
In the latest demand, CPCA demands payment of $641 560 by May 24, 2013, and
warns that it will file in the High Court a claim for the full return of the
cash and certificates.
“In the circumstances we have been instructed to demand from you (Kunonga)
and your colleagues namely Mr Majokwere, Tome, Gatawa, Gundu, Nyazika and
Shamuyarira jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved
payment of the value of the said investments in the amount of $641 560,”
said the letter.
“Each and one of you is personally liable for this amount. We demand that
this amount be paid in full at our offices before end of day on Friday the
24th of May 2013.”
The letter from the lawyer is focused on returning the cash and share
certificates to the mission and ministry of the Anglican Church.
“You can return the relevant share certificates in reduction of this
liability,” the letter says.
“In the event that we do not receive such payment and or receive the share
certificates and you do not male acceptable arrangements for the settlement
of the same we will issue court process without further notice top you.”
Kunonga is yet to respond to the legal action, according to CPCA lawyer
The CPCA alleges that Kunonga looted the church properties during his
controversial reign and a cursory inventory revealed that the renegade
bishop was not even settling utility bills. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:42
HARARE - The die is cast for a potentially explosive general election with
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC set to hold its primary elections
this week, while Zanu PF finalises its primary elections guidelines today —
setting the stage for a bruising battle among party heavyweights.
Today, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF holds a politburo meeting that will
see the party finalise guidelines that could further divide the ex-majority
party ahead of watershed elections due later this year.
This comes amid dogfights with reports indicating that wars to succeed
89-year-old Mugabe are at a crescendo and will viciously play out during
Dates for elections, likely to be the hardest fought since independence in
1980, are still a subject of haggling between coalition partners in
Fresh from a two-day policy conference, the MDC will on Saturday plunge into
its first set of primary elections where sitting MPs will either be
confirmed or rejected by their constituencies.
Party chairman Lovemore Moyo, said primary elections are the final lap
Moyo, who is also Speaker of Parliament, said the primary elections signal
the beginning of a massive campaign period before elections.
“It is an internal process that the party has to undertake in order to
prepare for the next elections. This is the beginning of the electoral
process in earnest given that we cannot alone decide dates for elections,”
Moyo added that primary elections are being held to give “winners sufficient
time to campaign”.
“We are not worried that some people may choose to pursue personal interests
if they lose and we will go with the primaries as part of our preparations
for the general election,” he said.
Across town, Zanu PF is seeking to finalise the issue of election guidelines
which have been a persistent headache and could widen rifts in the
liberation war movement.
Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, said if the party clears the hurdles on
guidelines, then primary elections would be the next port of call in order
to rush towards polls which the party insists will be held end of June,
notwithstanding infeasibility of the timetable in the context of required
“We are meeting tomorrow (today) to discuss the remaining issues about our
guidelines and it is possible to complete the process tomorrow. After that,
the stage would be set for primary elections and then elections,” said
In preparation for elections, Mugabe and his Zanu PF, who insist that
elections would be held on June 29, have dispatched restructuring teams that
have been touring provinces in an exercise that has so far claimed several
In Manicaland, the Mike Madiro led executive was disbanded while in Bulawayo
the former guerrilla movement imposed Callistus Ndlovu as the chairperson
much to the disgruntlement of the previous chairperson Killian Sibanda, who
is now the vice chairperson.
Sensing that his bid for another five year term could be jeopardised by
infighting, Mugabe has repeatedly called on his party members to unite.
But insiders say this is unlikely given the sharp differences and say Mugabe
could go into the election with a campaign limping from internal dissent.
Mugabe has repeated pleas to party officials not to jump the gun, officials
who include so-called young Turks, women and the old guard hoping to be
repaid for years of loyalty have not stopped their campaigns.
by Thabani Dube
Harare councillors and Zanu (PF) housing cooperatives have accused Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo of abusing his powers to rescind council
resolutions in favour of bogus individuals.
Councillors and residents who spoke to The Zimbabwean on condition of
anonymity said Chombo was using his muscle to rescind council resolutions
and causing divisions within Zanu (PF). “It is clear that Chombo is against
this MDC dominated council and would do anything to discredit it. Last year
council resolved to venture into a business partnership with Stream Walk
Arcade to build a hotel using its stand 19713 STL.
“But Chombo wrote to the Mayor directing him to forego the joint venture and
sell direct to Stream Walk Arcade,” explained the councillor.
The councillor alleged that Chombo was using a former soccer manager as a
front to get the land. “Chombo thinks we are not aware that he has interests
in the deal,” he said. Research conducted by this newspaper at the
Department of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property revealed that stand
19713 STL belongs solely to the City of Harare.
According to latest Council Business Committee’s minutes, councillors came
down hard on Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda to contest partisan directives imposed
by Chombo. Another councillor who spoke off record revealed that last year
council resolved to grant a consortium of five housing cooperatives 292
residential stands after satisfying the local authority’s requirements. The
consortium is composed of Teachers’ Comfort, Varombo, Mutasa, Legus and
Farai Housing Cooperatives. Mushamukuru Housing Cooperative had applied for
100 stands, Formula 1 applied for 19 and New Castle never applied, said the
“To our surprise Chombo on 8 May wrote a directive reversing the resolution
of granting the five housing cooperatives despite them having gone through
normal procedures saying we should find them another piece of land,”
revealed the councillor.
“Mushamukuru, New Castle and Formula 1 Housing Cooperatives are just
applicants who failed to meet council requirements and have since forcefully
invaded the stands and built their houses without proper papers or authority
from council,” he added. One of the leaders of the consortium of housing
cooperative which got council’s approval said Chombo is dividing Zanu (PF).
“Chombo is actually destroying the party in Tabudirira District of Budiriro
ahead of elections. All these housing cooperatives are led by Zanu (PF).
Instead of supporting those who have followed the channel, Chombo is
supporting invaders of land and labelling the rest MDC affiliates,” said the
When contacted for comment Chombo switched off his mobile in the middle of
the conversation when he was asked about the Budiriro land scam.
BULAWAYO — Bulawayo residents have condemned the auctioning of property
belonging to residents who owe the local authority thousands of dollars in
unpaid water and supplementary charges.
Although the Bulawayo City Council suspended such moves last year after
complaints from residents, it has since started the auctions with property
from 16 households having already gone under the hammer and more expected to
be auctioned this Friday.
The Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association says this indicates that the
city fathers do not care about residents who are living from hand to mouth
due to the current harsh economic environment.
The association claims that the city council's billing system is not being
properly done, forcing residents to pay bloated bills.
Staff Reporter 5 hours 32 minutes ago
HARARE - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appointed two Supreme Court
judges one of whom is his well known loyalist.
The two judges appointed by President Mugabe to the Supreme Court are
Justice Bharat Patel and Justice Ben Hlatshwayo.
The swearing-in ceremony of the two new Supreme Court judges took place at
State House and was graced by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
Patrick Chinamasa, Attorney General Johannes Tomana, Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku and other top government officials.
The two judges pledged to serve the country without fear or favour.
The appointment of two more Supreme Court judges is in line with the new
constitution which extended the Supreme Court bench from seven to nine
By Violet Gonda
22 May 2013
A well known Zimbabwean businessman with South African citizenship was last
week told by the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede that he had to renounce
his foreign citizenship first, before he could apply for a Zimbabwe
Under the new constitution, signed into law by President Robert Mugabe on
Wednesday, an individual cannot be denied dual citizenship if the person was
born in Zimbabwe and has foreign citizenship. There are thousands of
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, who were born in the country but have taken
citizenship in foreign countries where they now live and work, whose rights
have also been affected.
Mutumwa Mawere told SW Radio Africa that he had gone to the
Registrar-General’s office late last week to establish his citizenship and
applied for the ID, but became “a guest of the most senior person in that
office,” – Mudede himself.
“How did I acquire that status and how did the Registrar General know of my
application status? What I was told is that in the computer system my name
was already flagged. The fact that I had a South African passport was
already in the system which means for anyone else who goes to apply they
will get their ID documents but they would not even know you are a holder of
a foreign citizenship. But in my case that is not the way I am being
treated,” Mawere said.
He added: “It would appear that my relationship with the South African
government is of such importance to Zimbabwe that the Registrar General
feels that I am not entitled to the rights that are enshrined to the
It is hoped there will be an easing of citizenship restrictions with the
passing of the new constitution. Constitutional watchdog, Veritas, says the
Registrar-General’s office is now obliged to apply the new provisions when
dealing with applications for IDs, voter registration and passports.
“There should be a marked reduction in difficulties with officialdom,”
Veritas said in a statement.
According to Mawere, Mudede says dual citizenship is still not permissible
under the new charter.
“He (Mudede) said even under the new constitution one still has the
obligation to renounce foreign citizenship… before you can acquire
Zimbabwean citizenship. That’s the version of the Registrar General,” Mawere
The businessman said he has written to Mudede to clarify his position before
he takes legal action. He hopes that if his matter is resolved it will clear
the way for other Zimbabweans who face the same predicament.
Mawere also denied forming a political party in Zimbabwe saying he has only
heard about it in the media. “I have not called anyone to follow me because
there is nothing to follow.”
By Gugulethu Nyazema, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:37
HARARE - Researchers and scientists are far from getting a vaccine that
could prevent new HIV infections.
Speaking at an HIV vaccine meeting held in Harare recently, Nyaradzo Mgodi,
a local researcher, said although vaccines are the most effective preventive
measures against diseases, the world is still grappling with solutions to
the HIV scourge which has killed millions.
There is debate on whether to focus on the cure or to just concentrate on a
vaccine to end the Aids epidemic.
Mgodi said an HIV vaccine would either protect individuals who are HIV
negative from contracting the virus, or may have a therapeutic effect on
people already living with HIV/Aids.
Activists believe that the development of such a vaccine and other
prevention options can help fight and eradicate the disease.
“Effective vaccines against polio, measles, mumps, rubella and other
diseases have significantly reduced rates of these illnesses in many parts
of the world. Today, many scientists, clinical trial teams and communities
are working together on the search for an Aids vaccine,” Mgodi said.
Mgodi said it is difficult to develop the HIV vaccine because the virus is
transmitted in many ways and a vaccine is still a long way off.
Chimurenga music guru Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo Wednesday backed the country’s
new constitution but urged authorities to use it to improve the lives of
He said the country’s supreme law should not be used selectively.
Speaking from Oregon, here in America shortly before leaving for London
where he is expected to perform, Mapfumo says the government’s number one
priority should be to root out corruption, which he says is rife in the
country, affecting efforts to revive the economy.
Mukanya, who promises fans in Zimbabwe that he will soon be back for a
number of shows, bemoans piracy saying many artists have been reduced to
being destitutes as they fail to make money from their music.
“I don’t know really know what we should do to eradicate this problem
because it’s like a disease now. Because musicians are being reaped off and
there is no protection. This is something the world has to look at,
especially governments. They have to protect musicians” he says.
Mapfumo says because of piracy, he is delaying the release of his latest CD,
titled “Danger Zone,” until there is evidence that something has been done
to curb piracy.
A representative of Afrostars Family, who are organising the London shows,
Tomson Chauke, told Studio 7 from his London base that preparations for
Mukanya’s tour are at an advanced stage.
Chauke promised Mapfumo’s fans the best from the Chimurenga maestro.
“Mukanya will kick-start his tour with a show on Friday at The Coronet in
Leicester followed by another show at Starlite De Venue in Chester on
“On Sunday there will be a family day-out show at Chester Rugby Club in
Slough before another family day out on Monday, where Nox Guni will be
performing while Mukoma Thomas will be meeting and greeting his fans”, said
Mapfumo will this time be performing alone, unlike in March when he teamed
up with another Zimbabwean superstar Oliver Mtukudzi when they invaded
by Special Correspondent
Zimbabwe has long lost any hint of ‘distressed destination’ stigma, as the
country, people and world class products were definitely at the centre of
attention at Indaba 2013 here last week. Ross Kennedy, Chief Executive of
Africa Albida, said the excitement about Zimbabwe as a tourism destination
at the trade event was “incredible”.
The Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African
calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the
global calendar. More than 12,000 delegates attended, including exhibitors,
buyers, sellers and media. “Zimbabwe tourism will be hugely boosted by the
UNWTO tourism congress in August this year. We still have a long way to go,
but the industry is most certainly headed in the right direction,” said
“Zimbabwe tourism is on the way up – obviously it’s been a rough time
between 2000 and 2011 but we have turned a significant corner,” he said.
“The interest from international buyers was doubled if not tripled from the
past few years, showing immense interest for properties and products
A key selling point and highlight that was discussed at Indaba was the
construction of the new airport at Victoria Falls. “The upgrade of this
facility will make a tremendous impact on access and arrivals to Victoria
Falls, with the overflow benefiting the rest of the country,” said Kennedy.
(AFP) – 2 hours ago
HARARE — Zimbabwe vowed on Wednesday it would not roll back on plans to
seize 28,000 hectares of land leased to a local subsidiary of the
platinum-mining giant Impala Platinum.
"If there is anyone who thinks they own land, please prepare yourselves for
the shocks that will actually befall you," said mines and mineral
development minister Obert Mpofu.
"No one owns land especially mining land. It is owned by the state," he told
a meeting in the capital to discuss the government's mining policy.
The government has said it wants the mining land back from Zimplats because
it is underutilised.
According to the mines ministry, Zimplats would not exhaust the ore within
the tenure of its 25-year lease which was granted in 1994.
In January, Impala Platinum, the world's number two producer agreed to sell
off 51-percent of Zimplats to the government.
But participation in the state-imposed black empowerment scheme did not fend
off government advances.
Mugabe, who a decade ago launched a campaign to seize white-owned farmland,
has threatened to take over firms which do not comply.
Wallace Mawire and Karanja Kinyanjui
22 May 2013
Similar projects are underway in many other countries
A project being implemented under a Global Fund grant will improve
Zimbabwe's health information systems by providing Internet connection
infrastructure for 82 urban and rural sites. The Zimbabwe project is just
one of many similar projects around the world where modern communications
technology is being used to enhance data collection.
The project is part of a Round 8 health systems strengthening grant to
Zimbabwe for which the principal recipient (PR) is the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP). The project is designed to improve the
availability of timely quality health data, which is critical for planning,
implementation and monitoring of health programmes in Zimbabwe.
The project is a response to weaknesses in Zimbabwe’s data collection
systems. An example of these weaknesses is the fact that medical reports
have not been transmitted on time from the district and provincial levels to
the national level because of a poor fixed telephone line network and the
unavailability of an Internet connection. A 2010 study reportedly revealed
that only one-third of the districts in Zimbabwe have access to email.
In 2011, with support from UNDP and the Global Fund, the Ministry of Health
commissioned a study to assess the specific Internet connectivity needs of
82 sites comprising district and provincial offices. The assessment
identified broadband technology options that are available and can be
installed at each of the 82 sites. The CCM endorsed the findings and built
the recommendations of the assessment into its proposal for Round 8. The
proposal was approved for funding.
Marcela Rojo, a spokesperson for the Global Fund, told GFO that the Fund
encourages recipient countries to use part of the funds for health systems
strengthening to improve information systems.
“Across Africa, health information systems require strengthening to enhance
monitoring of disease trends, Ms Rojo said. “To maximize the quality of data
and the reliability of results, the Global Fund and partners are addressing
common weaknesses in in-country data management and health information
In Swaziland, the recipients of Global Fund malaria grants use an immediate
disease notification system which allows health workers to report confirmed
malaria cases by calling a toll-free number. The system has significantly
improved reporting by health facilities. In addition, centralised data
collection has reduced the administrative burden on health care workers and
has strengthened information systems.
In Colombia, financing from the Global Fund has supported the piloting of a
system which reads malaria rapid tests and sends results to the central
disease surveillance system – thus minimising human error and reporting
delays. The data is transmitted through the Internet.
In Nigeria, the Global Fund and its partners supported the government’s
roll-out of a Logistics and Health Program Management Information Platform.
This system transmits routine HIV data from 215 service delivery points to
the national level by using mobile phone technology, while also sending key
programme and logistics information back to the field.
WITH several low-key, but unmistakable gestures, the United States, the
European Union block and other western countries have signaled that it is
moving toward normalising relations with Zimbabwe after years of frosty
In March, former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young was dispatched by
the Obama administration to meet with President Robert Mugabe.
After the 2-hour meeting, Young told reporters that the State Department had
sent him to Zimbabwe to let Mugabe know the U.S. was interested in repairing
its strained relations with the mineral-rich country.
Last month, another civil rights veteran, Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., also held a
2-hour unofficial meeting with Mugabe in which the Chicago-based leader
called for open and free elections and pledged to work for the removal of
U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe.
In the meeting, Jackson told Mugabe, who at 89 is Africa’s oldest sitting
president: “When there’s growth and investment, everybody wins. And we want
to be a part of helping remove…barriers that stand between our two
After controversial land reform and what the U.S. called flawed elections,
the United States applied limited sanctions in 2003 against about 120 key
individuals and 70 industries. The restrictions, including a travel ban to
the U.S. except for UN business, are narrowly targeted.
But earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it was
lifting sanctions against the Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe
(Agribank) and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, provided no
transactions are conducted with any person who remains on the sanctions
The U.S. move came on the heels of a decision in March by the 27-member
European Union to remove sanctions against 81 officials and eight firms. The
sanctions will however, remain in place against President Mugabe and 10
members of his inner circle as well as two firms.
The EU’s decision was announced after 95 percent of Zimbabwean voters
approved a new constitution that limits a president to two, 5-year terms,
includes a bill of rights, prohibits the president from vetoing laws passed
by the legislature and establishes an independent electoral commission.
The election changes are not retroactive and will not prohibit Mugabe, the
only leader the country has had since gaining independence from Britain in
1980, from running again in the next election, which is expected to take
place in August or September.
The international community began withdrawing resources from Zimbabwe after
the democratically-elected government decided to reclaim land from White
commercial farmers, land that they said rightfully belonged to them.
The western media trumpeted stories about how unfair the White farmers were
being treated under the new Black government.
However, Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Minister,
Joseph Made, said the black farmers were the ones aggrieved.
“What is very critical is that 6,000 White commercial farmers controlled
prime agricultural land – about 15 million hectors [36 million acres] –
denying a majority of Blacks an opportunity to also be involved in
agriculture in prime areas where there’s better rainfall and better soil,”
In an interview, Made explained, “Our independence was the result of an
armed struggle, primarily for two things: the right to vote and secondly,
the land issue. We were a conquered people in terms of colonial legacy.
“We were defeated by the British. So, we took up arms to fight for that
right to vote, which was denied to us, and the right to reclaim our land. It
was a fight to reclaim what was rightfully ours. It’s not denying anything
to anybody on racial grounds.”
David Bruce Wharton, U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, called the land reform
effort a failure.
“They have a sovereign right to do that, but there are consequences,” he
“If you do it in a way that looks to the outside world like it’s chaotic,
like the rule of law has been suspended, like there’s no real plan about
making sure poor people get land as well as the wealthy people, there are
consequences. Investors will walk away, tourists will stay away and that’s
sort of the reality.”
Made said critics are ignoring Zimbabwe’s reality.
“We were a conquered people and our land was taken,” he stated. “Naturally,
we had to fight and we won an armed struggle to the right to reoccupy our
Initially, Britain and the U.S. had agreed to compensate displaced white
farmers as part of the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement that brought
independence to what would later become Zimbabwe.
Once the farmers were not paid, the blame was shifted to the Mugabe
government, not the countries that reneged on their pledges.
“We will not compensate for land that was never paid for,” Made said. “That
land was taken by virtue of conquest – our forefathers were not given money.
That [compensation] is the responsibility of the British.”
Made said most of the world minimizes the suffering Blacks experiences under
White minority rule.
He said:“There’s all the talk about democracy, but we are the people who
were denied the right to vote. We are the people who were told, ‘You don’t
come through the front door, you go through that rear door.’ That was the
system that operated here.
“We could not sit on the same bench with a White person in a park. The Black
workers could not go on the same lift [elevator] as White people. It was in
this city where you could not walk on the pavement – you had to walk where
the cars were driving – as a Black person.
“We fought and on the day of independence, the Black people walked on the
pavement en masse. That’s how the law was repealed.”
Skyscrapers that dot downtown Harare are rusty reminders of a gleaming city
of a bygone era. An car trip from the airport to the center city is a bumpy
one because of deep potholes. Even the sidewalks, now that Blacks can walk
on them, are in desperate need of repair.
President Mugabe said international sanctions have taken a toll on the
But Ambassador Wharton said some of the wounds were self-inflicted.
“One of the things I hear Zimbabweans say is Zimbabwe never did anything
wrong,” he recounted.
“In fact, I think there were some mistakes. Wharton said one was the
decision to in 1997 to make large payments to veterans of the liberation
struggle. “I’m not saying that was right or wrong, but when they did that,
the currency blew up,” he said.
“I think they made a mistake in 1999 when they walked away from their debts
to the IMF [International Monetary Fund] – they just stopped servicing those
debts. That cut them off from new credit and debt relief.”
In addition, Zimbabwe can’t borrow from the World Bank or the African
Development Bank because it stopped servicing those debts as well.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe printed extra money to satisfy growing
government debts, causing the inflation rate to soar from 32 percent in 1998
to an astonishing 11,200,000 percent by 2007. Following a decade of economic
contraction, the economy grew by 6 percent in 2011 and slipped to 5 percent
After a hotly contested presidential election in 2008, Mugabe entered into a
power-sharing agreement with his chief political opponent, Morgan
Tsvangirai, who became prime minister. Pressure is mounting on both to make
sure the next election is a fair one.
Some businessmen, such as Elzie L. Higginbottom, president and CEO of
Eastlake Management Group, Inc. in Chicago, see enormous investment
opportunities in the country.
“When Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia, it was the breadbasket of southern
Africa. I like the size of the country – about 12 million people. I like the
fact that it is an English-speaking country,” said Higginbottom, who has
been traveling to Zimbabwe for the past four years.
“The education level is very high – a 93 or 94 percent literacy rate. The
other thing I like is that they have a basket of currency, but the
predominant currency is the U.S. dollar.”
He added, “Zimbabwe is a mineral-rich country. It has platinum, gold,
diamonds, chrome – it has all sorts of valuable minerals. It’s a peaceful
country, it is predominantly one tribe and it’s set for redevelopment and
Despite the sanctions, the U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with
Zimbabwe. Trade between the two countries has grown from approximately $100
million to $160 million annually over the past three years.
Ambassador Wharton, who says his goal is to see all sanctions on Zimbabwe
lifted, predicts that investors will eventually flood the country.
“The country has extraordinary intellectual capital,” he said.
“Robert Mugabe invested very well in education and health from the very
beginning, from 1980 forward and the result is that you got an
extraordinarily well-educated population – the highest literacy rate in
sub-Saharan Africa. Culturally, Zimbabweans work hard, they’re honest, they’re
ethical – they are extraordinary people.
“On top of that you got great mineral wealth – gold, platinum, chrome,
diamonds, coal – and you got fantastic agricultural potential, which is
currently underutilized. This country used to feed the entire region. You
harness that intellectual capital with those natural resources and it’s in
an extraordinarily attractive position for economic growth.”
Harare, 21 May, 2013: The European Union has today announced a €13 million (US$17 million) grant to the second phase of the Education Transition Fund and an additional €500,000 (USD 640,000) from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) to nutrition activities in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare today, the EU’s Head of Delegation in Zimbabwe Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia said the contribution was an acknowledgement of the strong partnership that existed between the Government of Zimbabwe and development partners to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans, especially the children.
“This contribution reaffirms our support for the Government’s priority to revitalise the education sector and ensure that every Zimbabwean child has access to quality education”, he said. “It is also in line with Millennium Development Goal number 2 to ensure that, by 2015, all Zimbabwean boys and girls will be able to complete a full programme of primary education.”
Development partners in the Education Transition Fund have pledged US$123 million to improve the education sector over the next four years through, among several interventions, improving sector planning, providing grants to financially constrained schools to meet their non-salary resource needs, strengthening school monitoring and supervision, improving the quality of teaching and learning, and reviewing the curriculum. Other interventions include providing teaching and learning materials, assessing student learning outcomes, and providing second chance learning opportunities to out-of-school children.
Senator David Coltart, the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, commended the EU for the contribution.
"The Government of Zimbabwe is extremely grateful for this further generous contribution by the EU towards the Education sector,” he said. “Since the establishment of the ETF in 2009 the education sector has been stabilised and is now poised to start improving steadily. Without the generous assistance of the EU to the ETF since 2009 we would not have been able to achieve what we have done. As I have said often before the stabilisation of the education sector goes way beyond simply improving education; happy children in school lead to happy parents and guardians which in turn promotes peace throughout an entire nation. Accordingly, in making this investment the EU is playing a profound and remarkable role in ensuring that the peaceful transition of Zimbabwe to a more democratic and accountable era is supported."
Acting UNICEF Representative to Zimbabwe Gianfranco Rotigliano commended the EU for the contribution, saying it marked yet another milestone in Zimbabwe’s efforts to restore the education sector to its former status as the leading educational system on the African continent.
Furthermore, the ECHO contribution to nutrition focuses on 10 high risk districts and will be used to provide high impact nutrition services, support sector coordination, and activate sub-national structures to monitor food and nutrition security issues.
“We would like to express our gratitude for the support received from ECHO,” said Director of the Food and Nutrition Council Mr. George Kembo. “This support will go a long way towards complementing government effort to resuscitate the food and nutrition security committees at provincial and district level. Thus we find such support a good step towards implementing the recently launched food and nutrition security policy, specifically the commitment to enhance national capacity for food and nutrition security.”
The contribution brings to USD 34 million the total EU contribution to the education sector since the launch of the Education Transition Fund in September 2009.
For more information, contact:
Ellen Shiri, Ministry of Education, Arts, Sports, and Culture; Tel: 0772 937 881; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Victor Chinyama, UNICEF Zimbabwe; Tel: 0772 124 268, Email: email@example.com
Buhlebenkosi MOYO, Delegation of the European Union; Tel: 0772 568 980; E-mail: Buhlebenkosi.MOYO@eeas.europa.eu
Chamber of Mines AGM
Where to From Here?
Developing and Managing the Mineral Wealth of Zimbabwe for Tomorrow
Prof. Arthur G.O. Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
17th May 2013, Nyanga, Zimbabwe
The mining sector in Africa constitutes one of the largest industries in the
world. Africa is the second biggest continent, with 30 million km˛ of land,
which implies large quantities of resources. For many African countries,
mineral exploration and production constitute significant parts of their
economies and remain keys to economic growth. The continent is richly
endowed with mineral reserves and ranks first or second in quantity of world
reserves of bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamond, phosphate rock,
platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, and zirconium. Gold extraction is
the key driver of Africa’s mining activities. However, in spite of this rich
mineralization, African countries are still walloping in poverty. The
primary problem has been the racist and colonial natural resource laws in
Africa which empower the investor at the expense of the citizenry who are
the bona fide owners of the resource. Based on this flawed framework, most
of the mining deals and activities on the continent have been opaque and
detrimental to Africans. Corruption by both public sector and private sector
players has compounded the malaise. Secondly, mining in Africa has been
largely extractive without beneficiation or value addition. This has led to
African countries exporting cheaply priced raw commodities, while importing
expensive refined products. The lack of meaningful benefits to African
people from their natural resources is a key part of what is currently being
described as leakage of resources from the continent. African leaders and
industrialists need to make a lot more noise about the leakage of money from
the continent. Plugging the leaks is one of the major ways of keeping Africa’s
growth steady. If this is addressed we will have enough resources on the
continent. We will have sufficient investable capital from the continent.
This will smash the current unsustainable overdependence on foreign aid and
foreign direct investment. Intra Africa investment and investment outflows
from the continent into the rest of the world will become practical
African governments and societies must harness the opportunities created by
natural resources effectively. They must ensure the huge opportunities for
economic development and prosperity provided by resource discoveries and
commodity booms will never again be missed. Some of the poorest countries in
Arica have large amounts of natural resources and these can provide a
pathway out of poverty. Yet in the past, these opportunities have often been
missed, and resource abundant countries have consequently remained poor.
Natural resources have the potential to be transformative if they are
properly harnessed for development. However, the decision and value chain
from the discovery of natural assets through to their conversion into a
productive economy is long and complex with many state and non-state actors
involved. This is why the process has so often been unsuccessful on the
African Continent. Africa is too rich to be poor.
It is within this continental context that we assess Zimbabwe’s mineral
strength and how it can be leveraged to improve the quality of our people’s
lives. The recent work of Paul Jordan and ZEPARU has been instructive in
identifying the key policy issues with respect to the mining sector in
Zimbabwe, in particular around geological and mineralization issues. Their
research findings must inform and lay foundation to discussions in the
Chamber of Mines. Zimbabwe has a rich and diverse mineral resource base that
should be an important contributor to sustainable growth and development.
The sector has rebounded dramatically from the hyperinflation economic
crisis and, with dollarization, the value of mineral production has
increased six-fold to about $3 billion in 2011. However, if this increased
mining activity is to ultimately result in more than just
holes-in-the-ground, the crucial mineral linkages need to be realized whilst
the resources are still extant.
Zimbabwe has an extensive mineral value proposition. These mineral assets
are mainly found in the following geological formations and bodies: The
Greenstone Belts: Gold and silver, as well as considerable resources of iron
ore, nickel, copper, cobalt and podiform chromite, also chrysotile asbestos
(Mashaba Igneous Complex), limestone, pyrite and antimony; The Great Dyke:
PGMs5 & Au with associated copper, nickel and cobalt. Also, chromium
(chromite seams), as well as minor asbestos and magnesite; The Magondi
Supergroup: Copper and silver (Dewera Group); The Karoo Basins: Considerable
bituminous coal, coking coal, anthracite and coal-bed methane (CBM)
resources; The Carbonatite Igneous Complexes:, phosphate (Dorowa, Showa);
Kimberlite pipes: diamonds (Morowa, River Ranch); Pegmatites: Lithium
minerals, columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, et al; Recent alluvial & placer
deposits: Gold and diamonds (from Umkondo conglomerates).
Paul Jordan and his colleagues have emphasized that in order to optimize the
economic linkages the current “colonial” minerals governance regime of “free
mining” needs to be fundamentally overhauled to both encourage the discovery
of new mineral deposits and maximise the developmental impact of known
mineral assets through public tender against developmental outcomes. In this
regard, a Mineral Cadastre Information Management System (MCIMS) being
developed by the Ministry needs to be operationalized quickly. The current
historically high mineral prices fueled by strong Asian appetite are likely
to continue for the next couple of decades, so long as the major Chinese and
Indian economies continue to display robust growth. Zimbabwe needs to take
advantage of this window of opportunity to use its finite mineral resources
endowment to catalyze wider national economic growth and development through
the maximization of the key economic linkages.
Zimbabwe’s mining sector has continued to be the lead in economic
performance, contributing an estimated 16% to GDP in 2012, up from 13% in
2011. The sector also continued to lead in export earnings, rising to USD2
billion in 2012, from USD1.8 billion in 2011. The major drivers of this
growth in export earnings were diamonds, platinum and gold. Overall, mineral
production maintained its upward trend, meeting most Medium Term Plan (MTP)
projections for 2012. This year, 2013, looks no different, assuming the
current momentum is maintained. Militating against higher growth rates,
however, is the unavailability of medium to long term credit facilities for
working capital and recapitalization requirements, as well as perennial
power shortages. These enablers, if they remain unresolved, will continue to
be major impediments to potential growth targets. Being number six in the
world in terms of diamond deposits (potential control of about 25% of world
diamonds), having 90% of world platinum between us and SA, and having
extensive Gold deposits, Zimbabwe has massive natural resource potential. In
fact, in terms of what is called natural resource per capita, we are number
one in the world. So, why are we poor? Why are we hungry?
This 74th AGM of the Chamber is fortuitous as it occurs while we are
currently fashioning a new mining policy framework leading to new Mines and
Minerals Act. This policy seeks to ensure the sustainable development of the
mining industry and its contribution to the economy. The current Mines and
Minerals Act is clearly now an archaic piece of legislation which is in dire
need of upgrading to bring it up to date with modern trends in the global
mining industry and the country’s current and future aspirations. More
specifically and accurately, the current Act is a colonial law that empowers
the investor at the expense of national interest. The Government is working
on having this Act repealed in its entirety and have it replaced by a
totally new Mines and Minerals Act that caters for the dynamic modern day
needs of the sector, while resolving historical institutional injustices.
Extractive mining in itself is clearly not sustainable, as it depletes
finite national assets. However, mineral extraction can indirectly become
sustainable in so far as it catalyses sustainable economic activity in other
sustainable sectors, through maximising the economic linkages whilst the
resource is still in existence. Strategies to develop these complex and
diverse linkages are therefore key elements of the new mining policy. Mining
proceeds must be used to develop secondary industries linked to the
minerals, and other industries not linked to mining at all. Schools,
hospitals, roads and community housing must also be spear-headed by mining
activities. This way, when the mineral resource is exhausted the Zimbabwean
economy and its communities can continue to flourish.
In redesigning the mining policy and laws in Zimbabwe we seek to achieve
sustainable exploration, extraction, utilization, management, marketing and
beneficiation of minerals. The objective is to understand the status quo,
and then fashion a framework for developing and managing the mineral wealth
of Zimbabwe for posterity. The foundational objective is to ensure
sustainable, shared and inclusive economic development of the country. A key
reform of the mining laws is that the right to mine should be linked to
payment for the value of the un-mined asset. As the State, we must know the
value of each mineral claim. This requires comprehensive knowledge of our
geology and mineralization. Quantification and valuation of the unmined
asset should be done before engaging investors. New technologies such as
aero-magnetics, big data, and cloud computing must be deployed. The state
must invest massive resources in exploration
The difference between working capital and equity capital must be understood
and factored in all mining deals. The value of the unmined asset is the
country’s contribution to equity and the investor must acknowledge and match
this. The investor’s contribution to equity must not be confused with the
working capital they deploy. Working capital must be separate and in
addition to contribution to equity capital. The situation where the value of
the unmined asset is not reflected on the balance sheets of corporates is
not acceptable. Unmined assets have value and can be leveraged. How can
mining claims have no value, and yet corporates list them on foreign stock
exchanges and raise billions? In some cases, the investor goes on to sell
the claims (they got for free) to other investors for tonnes of cash.
Moreover, when claims (green fields) are handed back to government, serious
cash is demanded. How is this possible if claims have no value or their
value is said to be difficult to determine? Discovery of a mineral resource
should not mean ownership. In fact, once a country has established its
geology and mineralization, the mining claims can be auctioned to determine
the correct market value of the unmined asset.
The management of natural assets can be improved within a given political
system by both domestic and international actions. In setting the tax and
royalty rates, the government faces an internal agency problem. The
government must delegate the negotiation to a small group of its members and
resource extraction companies have a strong incentive to bribe these
individuals. To protect itself, the government needs to adopt a process that
is transparent. Secret negotiations are ideally suited to corruption. The
agency problem is compounded by an information problem. The government has
considerably less knowledge as to the true value of its natural assets than
does the company. This is called information asymmetry. A solution to both
the agency and the information problem is to auction the extraction rights,
inviting bids on the royalty rate that companies would be willing to pay.
The rate could be conditioned on any observable features such as the basic
geology, world price, and accumulated past volume of extraction. An auction
is a way of forcing companies to reveal the true value of a right to extract
by placing them in competition. Thus, once a country has established its
geology and mineralization, the auctioning of claims is a way to go. There
are two distinct commitment problems; one concerned with extraction
companies and the other with future governments. If governments cannot make
credible commitments with resource extraction companies, one solution is to
establish national extraction companies.
Listing on stock exchanges of unmined assets is global best practice as done
in Australia, Canada, and Norway. However, companies getting assets for free
in Africa and listing them for value has been a problem. Listing of unmined
assets to raise money on stock exchanges without consent of the real owners
of the asset has led to the doctrine and crime of undue benefit as recently
demonstrated in the Court system in India. Zimbabwe together with other
African countries must address this matter head on.
In Zimbabwe’s 51% indigenization program, shares must be ceded for value. In
the mining sector, payment for the shares by the State should be from the
value of the unmined asset. There should be no model or agreement where GOZ
will pay for its shares from dividends. Payment should be made from the
value of the unmined asset. Dividends are neither guaranteed nor
contractual. In any case, given the vast nature of the value of the unmined
resource, the dividend model is absolutely unnecessary. Green fields, that
is, unexploited and unimproved claims, obtained without payment for value
will be given back to GOZ for FREE. We should not pay for what we gave away
for free. The government will not engage consultants to implement simple
indigenization GOZ regulations and policies. Internal capacity must be built
within government technical teams. Where it is absolutely necessary to hire
consultants, there must be total transparency, an open tender process,
independence, clear mandate letters, corporate governance, and reasonable
fees. In this scenario, the Corporates being indigenized must NEVER pay
consultants hired by GOZ as this will result in conflict of interest,
leading to sweetheart deals detrimental to the national interest.
On indigenization and empowerment, we must avoid baseless and unintelligent
binaries: Equity vs. Supply side empowerment; we need both, the two
complement each other. Dividends vs. royalties/taxes; we need both classes
of benefits. Indigenization vs. FDI; they are not necessarily mutually
exclusive as evidenced in India, Norway, Australia, SA, Botswana, and
Canada. The 51% indigenization requirement vs. No One size fits all; we can
stick to the 51% regulation, while creatively applying it in and between
different sectors. Empowerment vs. jobs; this is just plain foolish, the two
are mutually reinforcing. Policy formulation and implementation requires
innovation and creativity. We must reject all these false and unimaginative
choices arising from meaningless and misconceived binaries.
The effective harnessing of natural assets for development raises complex
economic issues. Societies in resource rich countries can only get these
decisions right to the extent that they understand them. Just as there has
been a role for the international community to address the problem of
weakened governance, so there is scope for international action to improve
understanding of difficult but crucial social choices. There is need to
leverage global best practice. Further reforms of the mining sector we
should pursue must include the following: All mining companies in Zimbabwe
must have their primary listing on the local stock exchange. Banks must keep
their deposits from mining companies in the country. Mining companies must
bank locally. Banks must lend to agriculture, indigenized mining entities,
and in particular small scale miners and MSMEs broadly. By way of
illustrating the magnitude of the opportunity, a 2012 McKinsey report showed
that in Africa, banks stand to reap over US350bn from lending to MSMEs,
including small miners. The banks just need to know how to service these
sectors that are at the bottom of the pyramid. This requires volume-driven
strategies rooted in different business models, products, distribution
networks, and cost structures; from conventional ones used at the top of the
pyramid. In the new mining policy framework, special attention must also be
given to the empowerment of women miners and their institutions, not as
charity but as smart economics. Men and women bring different but
complementary skills and competences to the mining sector. Furthermore,
there is need to embrace and capacitate artisanal miners and de-criminalize
the so-called Makorokoza. Empowerment in the mining sector must be broad
based. This means enabling ordinary Zimbabweans to be participants, not just
as workers and managers, but as owners of small mining operations.
The financial resources accrued by the State in the dispensation of the new
Mining Law must be channeled into setting up a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
A Sovereign wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund of financial assets
such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals or other financial
instruments. It is a means of empowering citizens. Sovereign wealth funds
invest globally. As we reform our natural resource laws, there is no need to
reinvent the wheel. What we want is that in a resource rich country, there
must be evidence of the impact of the resource. Let us learn from countries
that have carried out this empirical demonstration, such as Saudi Arabia,
Botswana, Angola, and Dubai. In terms of SWFs the following countries are
good case studies: UAE oil based (US$627bn), Norway oil based (US$557bn),
Saudi Arabia oil based (US$439bn), China two non-commodity based US$347bn
and US$332bn), Algeria oil based (US$57bn) Malaysia non-commodity based
(US$38bn), Chile copper based (US$22bn), and Botswana diamonds based
(US$7bn). Surely, we should be able to build a sovereign wealth fund based
on just three minerals; gold, diamonds and platinum. How can we have a
sovereign poverty fund of US$9.1bn debt?
There are a lot of unallocated claims in Zimbabwe. These present a unique
opportunity to apply the new mining philosophy we are developing in the
country. Of the 200 000ha of potential diamond area, only 70 000ha are
allocated. Hwedza iron ore deposits are still free. In the Great Dyke, of
the US$52 billion worth of Platinum, only US$5 billion has been allocated.
In the other Great Dyke (550km) there are plenty minerals. Throughout the
country there are many other unencumbered mineral resources (Gold, Copper,
Coal, Coal-Bed Methane (largest known reserves in Southern Africa), Lithium,
Tantalite, and Uranium. In allocating mining rights to all the minerals let
us start applying the ideas propagated in this paper. In particular, the
right to mine must be linked to payment for the value of the unmined mineral
Putting value to the unmined natural resource asset is global best practice
as practiced in Norway Canada and Australia. What’s Good for the Goose is
Good for the Gander. Further lessons from Norway include; on how to
effectively use SWF revenues, good policy and the absence of corruption,
Mining vs. oil differences, handling different risk levels, marriage between
private and public sectors , enthusiasm, creativity, aggression, state as
guarantor of social welfare, and joint decision making. In fact, the
successful resource management models of Canada, Australia and Norway
illustrate that you can get the best of both worlds, that is, fairness and
profit can and should co-exist. They also show that it is possible to
balance between resource nationalism and economic globalization.
In terms of ensuring shared and inclusive prosperity, we must establish
national mineral driven industrial clusters, such as the Mutare-Marange
Diamond cluster, Chegutu-Ngezi Platinum cluster, Kadoma Gold cluster. We
must take into account both competitive advantage (what is done best by an
entity) and comparative advantage (location of resource, skills and
markets). While the overall national interest must drive our mining policy,
it is imperative that communities contiguous with mining operations and
other local areas MUST benefit.
While we appreciate the role of FDI in driving the mining sector, the
obsession with FDI as the ONLY source of capital is completely without
merit. We can have investment models that are independent of foreign
Investors. Why can’t we put together a State Company or Consortium of
Zimbabweans, say Entrepreneurs, Financiers, Geologists, Miners, Engineers,
Accountants, and Lawyers. We then give them, for example a Platinum claim
worth US$2bn. They can list on the local or foreign stock exchange and raise
capital, both working and equity types. Alternatively, such a consortium can
also go to the banks and borrow on the strength of the value of the claim.
They can also hire contract miners and equipment. We can then repeat the
process for the different minerals. Surely this can be done. The extent,
quality and breadth of our Zimbabwean Human Capital is amazing. Who is
running all these global and regional mining houses such as Anglo America,
Mimosa, Zimplats, Lonmin, ImPlats, and DeBeers? Zimbabwean names such as Ben
Magara, July Ndlovu, Winston Chitando, Alex Mhembere, and Godfrey Gomwe crop
up. If we can run these giant businesses, why can’t we own them? It is
important to acknowledge the potential psychological barriers Africans have
when it comes to job creation, and ownership of enterprises. Ownership is
alien and unthinkable to a slave or enslaved person or a colonized person.
In fact, such oppressed people are supposed to be owned. The most powerful
weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed and decolonizing the
mind is the hardest of tasks. Our people must graduate from being workers
and managers of other people’s money and assets. They must become owners of
companies, entrepreneurs and innovators, builders of businesses, and job
creaters. In fact, the most important part of our indigenization and
empowerment program should be the creation of new businesses and companies,
not just acquiring 51% of existing entities. We must grow the Zimbabwean
economy from a GDP of US$ 10 billion to a GDP of US$ 100 billion by 2040;
where we completely indigenize the growth of US$ 90 billion. That will be
sustainable economic empowerment and indigenization
To ensure that the country maximises the benefits from its mineral resources
in terms of value, employment creation, skills and technology transfer and
sustainable economic development, the mining industry needs to promote local
beneficiation and value addition. Currently, there is very limited local
beneficiation and value addition of minerals in Zimbabwe, resulting in about
90% of the minerals being exported raw or semi-processed, and this is cause
for concern. As a measure to promote the growth of the local diamond
industry, the Government introduced a quota system where 10% of all locally
produced rough diamonds are reserved for the local cutting and polishing
industry. This quota will be reviewed from time to time as the industry
grows. In the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) sub-sector, the Government is
pursuing measures and policies that encourage investment in a refinery plant
in the country. Our target is that in the next two years, tangible
deliverables in local PGM refining should be achieved.
Beneficiation in mining cannot be achieved by a business as usual industrial
mindset. It requires the development of backward and forward industrial
linkages to the commodity sector, which linkages, in turn, allow movement up
the regional and global value chains (GVC). Provided their
resource-processing industries are internationally competitive and well
integrated in GVCs, exporting countries can move into higher-rent
value-chain links and extract the benefits of moving up value chains.
Forward integration confers other benefits. It can reduce the exposure of
countries producing primary commodities to price fluctuations and thus yield
dynamic skills-migration and cluster benefits of linkage development. By
developing backward linkage supply firms to the commodity sectors and
resource-processing industries, Zimbabwe can help to diversify its
technological capabilities and skills base, deepening their industrial
structure. Moreover, the natural resource sector’s need for infrastructure,
to extract and transport the commodities, enhances the potential for
linkages. Linkage development creates an opportunity to maximize positive
externalities derived from clusters. Supplier and resource-processing
industries’ closeness to the extraction location generates agglomeration
effects. Efficiency gains for firms in clusters include gaining access to a
pool of specialist labour and networks of suppliers.
The Government should continue to formulate and implement policies that
direct local and foreign investment into the mining sector. The Government
will also continue to promote joint venture projects in mining between ZMDC
and foreign investors. The objective of Government participation is to
ensure that the nation realizes meaningful benefits from mining operations
as evidenced by a number of benefits including dividends that are accruing
to the State from the joint ventures in Marange. The Government of Zimbabwe,
in consultation with its valued stakeholders, will continue to come up with
policy initiatives and reforms that provide win-win solutions for both the
investor and the people of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Government has a duty and
obligation to create a conducive and enabling economic environment and
business climate. In particular, there is need for certainty,
predictability, respect for the rule of law, and provision of an enabling
policy framework that encourages and facilitates sustainable mining
activities including beneficiation.
In addition to the specific recommendations above, Zimbabwe must embrace the
global initiative around the concept of a Natural Resource Charter, a brain
child of independent academics and practitioners championed by Professor
Paul Collier of Oxford University. Their analysis and proposition involves
precepts to inform and improve natural resource management. This will help
to ensure that the opportunities provided by new discoveries and commodity
booms benefit the generality of the people. Among other principles, the
Natural Resource Charter framework advances the following ideas: The
development of a country’s natural resources should be designed to secure
the greatest social and economic benefit for its people. This requires a
comprehensive approach in which every stage of the decision chain is
understood and addressed. Successful natural resource management requires
government accountability to an informed public. Fiscal policies and
contractual terms should ensure that the country gets full benefit from the
resource, subject to attracting the investment necessary to realize that
benefit. The long-term nature of resource extraction requires policies and
contracts that are robust to changing and uncertain circumstances.
Competition in the award of contracts and development rights can be an
effective mechanism to secure value and integrity.
Resource projects can have significant positive or negative local economic,
environmental and social effects which should be identified, explored,
accounted for, mitigated or compensated for at all stages of the project
cycle. The decision to extract should be considered carefully. Nationally
owned resource companies should operate transparently with the objective of
being commercially viable in a competitive environment. Resource revenues
should be used primarily to promote sustained, inclusive economic
development through enabling and maintaining high levels of investment in
the country. Effective utilization of resource revenues requires that
domestic expenditure and investment be built up gradually and be smoothed to
take account of revenue volatility.
Government should use resource wealth as an opportunity to increase the
efficiency and equity of public spending and enable the private sector to
respond to structural changes in the economy. Government should facilitate
private sector investments at the national and local level for the purposes
of diversification, as well as for exploiting the opportunities for domestic
value addition. The home governments of extractive companies and
international capital centers should require and enforce best practice. All
extraction companies should follow best practice in contracting, operations
and payments. These Natural Resource Charter ideas are global best practice,
and must form the foundation of our new mining policy and Mines and Minerals
Beyond Zimbabwe, the ideas presented in this treatise must be extrapolated
to the rest of the Continent. This will dramatically advance the development
of the continent. Currently the African narrative has not been all gloom.
Seven out of ten of the fastest growing economies in the World for the
period 2011-15 are African. These are Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo,
Ghana, Zambia, and Nigeria. In the period 2001-10 there were six African
countries in the top ten; Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique, and
Rwanda. These countries are experiencing what has been called China or Asia
type growth rates of around 10%. Africa is the second fastest growth region
after Asia, and it is projected to overtake Asia within a year’s time.
Africa’s middle class is poised to be greater than that of China in ten
years’ time. All these new statistics about the continent point to new
economic growth and improved country competitiveness leading to new business
opportunities. It also presents scope to uplift African communities out of
What Africa has an opportunity to do is not just keep the GDP numbers going
between four and ten percent. It’s about the quality of that GDP growth.
African countries are growing at good rates, but growth alone would not lead
to prosperity. While foreign direct investment (FDI) numbers look good,
diversification is needed to increase trade numbers. If we want to increase
intra-African trade country to produce something that is trade-able, which
other countries want. This speaks to the importance of value addition. Where
are our comparative advantages? Are we able to produce the right type of
quality and quantity at the right price? One of the major problems is
producing a new growth model that is more inclusive, especially of the
jobless and poor. While Europe remained a big trading partner, countries in
Africa needed to create export opportunities between themselves. The
economic growth Africa is experiencing needed to reach more people on the
continent. How do we make sure people are not left out? How do we arrest the
growing inequality? Effectively leveraging Africa’s vast natural resource
base will play a significant role in the sustainable development of Africa
where there is strong, shared and inclusive economic growth. As Zimbabweans,
we must be part of this great narrative.
Developing and managing the mineral wealth of Zimbabwe for tomorrow requires
Leadership. Now that brings us to the age old leadership debate. Are leaders
born or are they made? Leadership philosophers, academics and practitioners
have grappled with this subject. Those trying to be clever and half have
posited that “It is all of the above!” Well, the answer is simply “NONE OF
THE ABOVE!” Leadership is a decision. It is a choice. Anyone can lead. I
therefore urge both individual and institutional members of the Chamber of
Mines, together with the rest of the mining sector ecosystem, to decide to
lead, and champion the issues I have raised. It will take leadership. We had
animated debates throughout the country when we were crafting the new
National Constitution. Why are we not having the same excitement and
vigorous discussions as we develop a new Mines & Minerals Act? In fact,
given the immensity and critical nature of mineral resources in our economic
development, it is imperative for the entire citizenry, government, private
sector, and civic society to be actively engaged in the development of a new
mining dispensation in the country which will guarantee shared national
I thank you
Arthur G.O. Mutambara
Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Zimbabwe
MDC has zero tolerance to corruption
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Good afternoon members of the press.
I hope you were all part of our policy conference last week and the
successful rally we held over the weekend and you saw for yourself that the
MDC remains alive and stronger than ever before.
Today, I just want to stress that as a party and as reinforced by delegates
to our policy conference last week, we have zero tolerance to corruption.
Our record speaks for itself in that we fired a whole council in Chitungwiza
for corruption and they were protected by the Minister of Local Government.
We remain the only party that has ever fired anyone for corruption.
Last year, the MDC instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate service
delivery in local authorities and the probe team was led by our deputy
secretary-general, Hon. Tapiwa Mashakada.
That commission uncovered that our local authorities had greatly improved
service delivery but some of our councilors had become compromised.
As a responsible leadership, we have taken a position that any councilor or
anyone else who was named, implicated, involved or linked to any act of
misconduct or corruption will not stand on the party ticket in the
As a party of excellence, we are allergic to corruption. It would be a
betrayal of the party’s values and of the people of Zimbabwe for any
credible political party to field anyone who has been implicated or linked
to shady dealings while purporting to serve the people.
We are taking a stand that anyone implicated or named in that report will
not stand in our party’s name, even for primary elections.
The MDC will not tolerate corruption from anyone in the party, even the
party President. We will continue to showcase our qualitative difference by
taking stern action against offenders and corrupt officials.
We will stick to our history, which shows that we take the responsibility of
serving people seriously and will not brook any nonsense.
Protecting corrupt officials can happen elsewhere where they can stop the
Anti-Corruption Commission from investigating Ministers, but certainly not
in the MDC.
There are no sacred cows in our party and we urge the Anti-Corruption
Commission to continue executing its constitutional mandate by investigating
anyone without fear or favour.
We are a party of excellence. We will not compromise service delivery to
ratepayers because of corruption. We have been known to take action against
corruption and we will continue to do so.
Delegates to the policy conference were clear that corruption is a national
scourge that must be tenaciously fought wherever it rears its ugly head.
We cannot afford as a party to field the same candidates who betrayed
residents’ trust and the party and its values. In all instances where the
councilors soiled the good name of the party and the good standing of other
hard working councilors, we will ensure that they do not run.
Corruption has become a national affliction but as a party we say No to what
has become a national disease. We are party that is set to usher in real
transformation in the country when we win the next election in the coming
months and we are setting the tone of zero tolerance to corruption by the
As Morgan Tsvangirai and as the MDC, we will continue to act against
True leadership demands that we take a stand and we are drawing a line in
No to corruption in the MDC!!!
I Thank You
CONSTITUTION WATCH 29/2013
[22nd May 2013]
The New Constitution of Zimbabwe was Gazetted Today, Wednesday 22nd May 2013
Signing Ceremony at State House 22nd May 2013
President Mugabe signed the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act at State House this morning.
New Constitution Act Gazetted House 22nd May 2013
The Act was gazetted – published in the Government Gazette – this afternoon.
The Act enacts the new Constitution of Zimbabwe as law. The text of the new Constitution is set out in the Schedule to the Act.
This gazetting makes 22nd May 2013, “publication day” for the purposes of the new Constitution. [The term “publication day” is defined in the new Constitution’s Sixth Schedule as the day on which the Act is published in the Government Gazette]. For the significance of “publication day”, see the following paragraph.
Parts of the New Constitution that are Operative from Today
The two-stage transitional process from the old Constitution to the new Constitution was described in Constitution Watch 26/2013 of 8th May. The parts of the new Constitution listed below come into operation immediately on “publication day”, today – and they override the corresponding parts in the old Constitution. The “effective date” for the rest of the new Constitution is the day that whoever is elected President in the next harmonised elections is sworn in and assumes office. Pending the effective date, those parts of the old Constitution not overridden by the new Constitution continue in operation.
The parts of the new Constitution that are in effect from today onwards are listed in its Sixth Schedule:
(a) Chapter 3, relating to citizenship
(b) Chapter 4, being the Declaration of Rights
(c) Chapter 5, relating to the election and assumption of office of the President
(d) Chapter 6, relating to the election of Members of Parliament, the summoning of Parliament after a general election and to the assent to Acts of Parliament by the President
(e) Chapter 7, relating to elections, except sections 158, 160 and 161
(f) Chapter 8, relating to the jurisdiction and powers of the Constitutional Court
(g) Chapter 9, relating to principles of public administration and leadership
(h) section 208, relating to the conduct of members of the security services
(i) Chapter 12, in so far as it relates to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(j) Chapter 14, relating to provincial and local government.
Immediate Practical Effects of New Constitution
A full discussion is beyond the scope of this bulletin, but areas in which the new Constitution should have an immediate impact from today onwards include:
The Registrar-General and his officials will be obliged to apply the new provisions when dealing with applications for IDs, voter registration and passports. There should be a marked reduction in difficulties with officialdom.
The President will not be able to issue a proclamation calling the next elections immediately. He will have to wait for the Electoral Amendment Bill to be passed and gazetted as law. This is because the new Constitution’s provisions for elections – e.g. for some members of the National Assembly and Senators to be elected under a party-list system of proportional representation – cannot be implemented under the current Electoral Act. [Note: Parliament must do so before the 29th June when it expires.]
New rights for arrested and detained persons
The new Declaration of Rights is in force from today. It confers important new rights on arrested and detained persons. For example, anyone arrested for an alleged offence “must be brought before a court as soon as possible and in any event not later than 48 hours after the arrest took place or the detention began, as the case may be, whether or not the period ends on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday ... [and any] person who is not brought to court within the 48-hour period must be released immediately unless their detention has earlier been extended by a competent court” [section 50(2)]. This overrides current provisions in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act allowing detention for more than 48 hours before first court appearance, and allowing senior police officers to issue warrants for further detention in their capacity as “justices of the peace”. The overridden provisions are no longer operative.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied