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Bob wants Zuma out

By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Monday, 23 May 2011 09:32

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has intensified his fight against an
emerging consensus among Sadc leaders for him to go, by among other tactics,
trying to sideline and remove no-nonsense facilitator President Jacob Zuma.

Well-placed Sadc sources told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe had now
identified Zuma as his biggest problem.

This was because the South African president was “unshakeable in his
impartiality and determination” to see an election roadmap in Zimbabwe that
would usher in a credible election next year or in 2013, that would be
devoid of violence and rigging as happened in the disputed 2008 presidential
election runoff.

The sources also said their own intelligence had established that Mugabe and
his Zanu PF party were pushing for Zuma’s isolation because they were aware
that they could not win a fair election.

To that extent, Mugabe and his Zanu PF viewed Zuma’s drive for a mutually
agreed roadmap within the Global Political Agreement (GPA) context as an
attack on Mugabe and the former ruling party.

Mugabe last week made two remarkable moves. Firstly, the 87-year-old – who
has been to the Far East for medical reasons five times since December –
effectively declared himself fit to rule for life.

He then unsuccessfully attempted to foist his agenda for an early election
at Friday’s Sadc summit in Namibia that Zuma did not attend.

Sadc firmly rebuffed the bid.

“We are totally against the idea of a new election roadmap as it means
re-negotiating the Global Political Agreement instead of implementing it,”
read Zanu PF’s position paper that was circulated in Windhoek.

Mugabe had, through the position paper, tried to take advantage of Zuma’s
absence to overturn resolutions of the Sadc troika on politics, defence and
security which called for an end to violence, the full implementation of the
GPA and elections only after the roadmap has been completed.

But one of the top Sadc officials who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said
Mugabe’s attempts to attack and weaken Zuma and his facilitation team was
“backfiring badly”.

Among other “ill-considered moves” by Zanu PF, the former ruling party had
written to Zuma demanding the removal of Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu from the
facilitation team, “alleging rather ridiculously” that she was biased
against Zanu PF.

The Sadc insider said this move was being interpreted by the region as a
very direct way by Mugabe and his party of asking Zuma to step aside from
his facilitation work.

“This is surprising because Mugabe is literally biting the hand that feeds
him. What future is there for Mugabe, Zanu PF and Zimbabwe without South
Africa’s immense sacrifice for its neighbour.  Without Zuma and the GPA that
he has kept together at great cost to him personally and his country, Mugabe
would not be president anyway.

“Nevertheless, Mugabe is wasting time because Sadc is sick and tired of his
machinations. He wants to trick us into believing that President Zuma is
biased but it’s far from it.

“We are aware that Zuma’s frankness has rattled Mugabe and that is why he
brought in his position paper which was ignored. Now they are spreading
propaganda that it is Mugabe who said Zimbabwe must be discussed in the
presence of President Zuma and other political players,” the official said.

Another official said part of the war against Zuma had resulted in Mugabe
and Zanu PF gunning for the South African president’s focal person,
Ambassador Zulu.

Zulu is not just a key member of Zuma’s facilitation team, she is also his
international relations adviser.

She is on record stating that it is impossible to hold elections this year
because of the slow progress in implementing GPA reforms such as a new

The State-controlled Sunday Mail, which rarely touches on sensitive
political issues without direct instruction from Mugabe’s press office
yesterday, reported that Zanu PF had formally lodged a complaint to South
Africa about Zulu.

The former ruling party is holding Zulu responsible for recent comments made
by Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC), raising fears that Mugabe’s
potential death could spark chaos because of unresolved succession issues in
the party.

“Negotiators are also concerned about the succession law should Mugabe die
or retire before the adoption of a new constitution, which is still being
negotiated,” read the ANC comment that Zanu PF now seeks to conveniently use
against Zulu and the whole facilitation team.

However, the ANC never attributed the comments to Zulu – raising the
question of why Zanu PF has sought to vilify her thus.

In the meantime, Mugabe insists he is staying put.  He recently sent envoys
to regional countries to drill this message through and to court support
from his regional peers.

In an interview with the Southern Times, Mugabe said there was no need to
prolong elections. He also said that demands for security sector reforms by
Sadc, other political players and civil society were without basis.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who leads Zanu PF’s GPA negotiating
team, confirmed that Mugabe wanted to stay in power despite his advanced age
and waning public support.

“And as far as Zanu PF is concerned, even at his age we know that he
commands majority support among Zimbabweans,” Chinamasa told The Windhoek
Times in a separate interview.

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SADC turns its back on human rights

By Alex Bell
23 May 2011

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has made the potentially devastating decision to dissolve the regional human rights court, for at least another year.

The Tribunal has already been suspended for more than six months, after SADC leaders last year decided to review the mandate and functions of the court. This was the result of Zimbabwe’s refusal to honour the Tribunal’s 2008 rulings on the land grab campaign, which the court said was unlawful. But in a clear sign of allegiance to Robert Mugabe, SADC leaders suspended the Tribunal, rather than force Zimbabwe to abide by the rulings.

The review, sanctioned by SADC, has been concluded, and an independent report on its role and functions was presented to SADC leaders at the Summit in Namibia last week. But despite this review upholding the court’s rulings on Zimbabwe, and also reasserting the court’s jurisdiction in the region, SADC leaders have still refused to fully reinstate it. Instead, they have given its Council of Justice Ministers and Attorney Generals at least another 12 months to review the court, again.

The Tribunal was set up as an impendent legal body that would provide SADC citizens with a platform to seek justice, when all other legal avenues in their own countries had been exhausted. Critically, the court is supposed to give SADC citizens the chance to hold their own governments to account, when their human rights are infringed upon.

The decision to dissolve the court is now being described as ‘devastating’, ‘regressive’, and a clear sign that SADC does not have the rights of its hundreds of millions of citizens at heart.

The Southern African Litigation Centre has called the decision an act of sabotage that could have a “devastating impact on human rights and peoples’ ability to access justice.” The group said that SADC leaders have now shown where their loyalties lie, because they would rather protect Robert Mugabe than protect human rights or the rule of law.

The group’s Lloyd Kuveya told SW Radio Africa on Monday that SADC leaders have “dealt a potentially fatal blow to the rule of law across the region.”

“This decision is a violation of the independence of the court, a violation of the rights of SADC citizens to access to legal recourse. SADC citizens will now not be able to seek relief if their rights are infringed in their countries,” Kuveya said.

He continued saying that the loyalty to Mugabe that is being put on display is a sign of the “shocking lack of leadership in the region.”

“Instead of sanctioning Zimbabwe, SADC leaders have imposed legal sanctions on all of its citizens, preventing them from seeking legitimate legal redress at a regional level,” Kuveya said.

Further proving where SADC’s loyalties lie were comments by the regional bloc’s Executive Secretary, Tomaz Salomão, who said that the media and the general public would have no access to the details of the Tribunal’s expected restructure. SADC’s Justice Ministers are thought to have recommended amendments that will protect member states from cases brought against them by their citizens.

But Salomão told journalists that neither the media nor SADC citizens needed to know what the ministers had said about the fate of the Tribunal.

Listen to interview with Lloyd Kuveya from Southern Africa Litigation Centre

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Zim civil society slams harassment of activists at SADC summit

By Alex Bell
23 May 2011

Zimbabwe civil society groups have slammed last week’s harassment and
intimidation of activists at the regional leaders Summit in Namibia, which
resulted in the prolonged detention and interrogation of key figures.

The civil society groups, including representatives from the Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition, traveled to Namibia to lobby SADC leaders and pressure
them to lay out a clear plan for democratic change in Zimbabwe. But their
efforts were quickly thwarted by Namibia security officers and members of
Zimbabwe’s CIO, who led a crackdown on the activists.

First to be targeted were about ten activists, including National
Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO) chairperson Dadirai
Chikwengo, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition officials MacDonald Lewanika,
Pedzisayi Ruhanya and Dewa Mavhinga, and other representatives from the
Zimbabwe Election Support.

The state security agents also briefly detained Jelousy Mawarire for taking
pictures and chased away Shastry Njeru of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO
Forum from the venue of the SADC Summit. Mawarire, who had his pictures
deleted from his camera, was later released after the intervention of
Namibian human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe.

Also targeted were Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) head, Irene
Petras, Joy Mabenge from the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for
Zimbabwe, Lloyd Kuveya of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, and
Makanatsa Makonese of the SADC Lawyers Association. The four were
force-marched into the hotel’s parking area by two armed Namibian police who
took them to the local Chief Inspector. They were then interrogated
separately by Zimbabwe’s state security agents.

The Crisis Coalition's Mavhinga told SW Radio Africa on Monday that the
activists were only allowed to leave well after the SADC summit had ended on
Friday night. He explained how Zimbabwe’s state security agents were
directing Namibian police to individually target activists who were calling
for real democratic change in Zimbabwe.

“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms the treatment of the activists
at the Summit. Clearly Namibia is not committed to human rights, and they
are putting their relationship with ZANU PF before the rights of SADC
citizens,” Mavhinga said.

Meanwhile the ZLHR said it “strongly condemns this despicable conduct.”

“The actions of the state security agents highlights the need to urgently
reform the security sector players as enunciated in the Global Political
Agreement as they continue to be a law unto themselves even beyond the
borders of Zimbabwe,” the group said in a statement.

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Police Arrest Zimrights Employees Over Torture As Magistrate Frees WOZA Members


HRD’s Alert

23 May 2011




Police on Monday 23 May 2011 arrested two Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) employees for allegedly convening a workshop to conscientise villagers about torture and its effects in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North province.

Police intercepted and arrested Florence Ndlovu, the ZimRights regional coordinator for Matabeleland province and Walter Dube, the organisation’s paralegal officer for Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo provinces who were coming from Tshino Business Centre in Tsholotsho District, where the police had earlier on disrupted a torture workshop which was scheduled to be held on Monday 23 May 2011.

The police detained the two ZimRights employees at Nyamandlovu Police Station and denied Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member lawyers Charles Moyo of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners and Jonathan Tsvangirai of Danziger and Partners Legal Practitioners access to their clients after mounting a rapid response to their arrest. The police denied detaining Ndlovu and Dube and claimed that the two ZimRights employees had been taken to Sipepa Business Centre despite evidence of their detention through the presence of their vehicle which was parked at the police station.

By Monday night, the lawyers were working on filing a habeas corpus petition to challenge the detention of the two ZimRights employees.

The police action in disrupting the ZimRights workshop is in defiance of a court order which was issued on Friday 20 May by Bulawayo Magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu who interdicted some law enforcement agents from prohibiting the organisation from conducting the torture workshop in Matabeleland North province.

ZimRights was forced to engage the services of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) after the Officer Commanding Tsholotsho District in Matabeleland North banned the grassroots human rights organisation from holding the workshop after claiming that “the subject of torture is not in line with Zimbabwean culture”.

Magistrate Mazhandu interdicted the police from disturbing or interfering in any way with the ZimRights workshop and ordered the rights organisation to proceed with the workshop as scheduled and promote its right to freedom of association and assembly as set out in Section 21 of the constitution and the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Section 20 of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Magistrate Gideon Ruwetsa on Monday 23 May 2011 granted bail to six members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who were arrested last week and charged with malicious damage to property.

The six WOZA members namely Teresia Phiri, Janet Dube, Juliet Nyathi, Thobekile  Ncube, Sibekezele Nkomo, and Loyce Ndlovu were charged with contravening Section 140 of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) Chapter 9:23, for malicious damage to property.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member lawyers Kossan Ncube of Kossam Ncube and Partners and Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners represented the WOZA members.

The six WOZA members were ordered to pay $100 bail and to report once a fortnight to the police. They were also ordered to surrender their travel documents and to continue residing at their given residential addresses and not to interfere with State witnesses.

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Zuma aide disputes ZANU PF accusations

By Lance Guma
23 May 2011

Lindiwe Zulu, international relations adviser to President Jacob Zuma, has
shot down allegations from ZANU PF that she expressed concern over how
Mugabe’s failing health and potential death could compromise efforts to
resolve the political crisis.

Zulu is leading a team of facilitators from South Africa, including veteran
African National Congress leaders Mac Maharaj and Charles Nqakula. The trio
were appointed by Zuma to get Zimbabwe’s three political parties to agree on
an election roadmap, while fully implementing a 2008 power sharing deal.

A recent comment published by the ANC said; ‘Negotiators are also concerned
about the succession law, should Mugabe die or retire before the adoption of
a new constitution, which is still being negotiated.”

Even though the ANC never attributed the remarks to Zulu ZANU PF, through
the state run Sunday Mail newspaper, launched a scathing attack blaming her
for the remarks. It quoted a party official saying the remarks were
“tactless, inflammatory and an irresponsible display of poor judgment by an
overzealous individual.”

On Monday SW Radio Africa spoke to Lindiwe Zulu and she challenged ZANU PF
to produce evidence of her having made the remarks. “Let them produce those
remarks,” she said.
Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya told us; “These are the usual tactics
by ZANU PF and its intelligence department, the CIO, to disrupt the good
work that Zuma and his adviser Lindiwe Zulu are doing in trying to resolve
the Zimbabwe crisis impartially.” He said they wanted to drag Zulu’s name
into the mud and “create some kind of crisis.”

Ruhanya said it was clear ZANU PF are not happy with the more “robust”
approach to the negotiations and they were now aiming to have Zuma removed
as the chief mediator and be replaced by someone they feel will play to
their tune.

There is a growing belief Jacob Zuma has toughened his attitude towards
Mugabe in recent months and the ZANU PF leader is reported to have privately
told aides the South African leader was now a threat that needed to be dealt
with. The ZANU PF strategy allegedly includes isolating Zuma within the SADC
region by calling into question his mediation effort. The attack on Zulu is
seen as the first step towards this.

It’s being reported that ZANU PF have already asked Zuma to remove Zulu from
the facilitation team.

At the end of March the SADC Troika summit in Zambia called for an end to
violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe, much to the annoyance of ZANU PF and
Mugabe. Again the state owned media was used to launch attacks on Zuma’s
presidency and Mugabe accused the SADC grouping of trying to interfere in
Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.

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Mutambara threatens to dismiss Ncube’s MDC negotiators

by Irene Madongo
23 May 2011

A political analyst has said that it’s high time Zimbabwe’s troubled Deputy
Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara, steps down to save Zimbabwe from becoming
a laughing stock in the region. This comes after claims that he is
threatening to dismiss two negotiators to the Global Political Agreement

In the run-up to the congress for the smaller faction of the MDC, in January
this year, Mutambara said he would not be seeking re-election as president,
This paved the way for Welshman Ncube to take over in that role. However
soon after Mutambara made a u-turn when he discovered the party did not want
him to retain the post of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) in the coalition
government. A court interdict was then obtained by Ncube’s MDC to bar
Mutambara from operating as president of the party.

However Mutambara has managed to keep the DPM post, with the backing of
Robert Mugabe. He has also been attending GPA meetings in his capacity as
DPM and principal. Last week a splinter group, which backs Mutambara and is
led by former national chairman Joubert Mudzumwe, told a press conference
that Mutambara was now ‘stepping down’ as president of the party to avoid
contravening the court interdict and Mudzumwe would meanwhile take over his
duties. Mudzumwe’s group have challenged Ncube’s appointment as president in
court. This gave the impression that Mutambara would be quiet for a while.

But this weekend it appeared he was still secretly fighting in his own
corner, after the Sunday Times of South Africa alleged that he has now
written a letter to South African President Jacob Zuma, stating that
Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders should not regognise
Ncube because his position was being challenged in the courts. Zuma is
heading the SADC facilitation team on Zimbabwe.

In the letter, Mutambara is understood to also have accused Ncube’s MDC GPA
negotiators, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila Ndlovu, of
abusing their posts to settle internal political problems in the party – and
says he will ‘withdraw’ them if they don’t change.

On Monday, political analyst Professor John Makumbe said Zuma is likley to
rubbish this letter. “He is likely not to take it seriously at all, because
Arthur is not an entity, he is a person, an individual. He cannot replace a
party,” Makumbe said.

“It is unfortunate that he should insist on representing a party which
elected a new leader, Welshman Ncube, as the president. It is very
unfortunate, it is the tragedy of African politics,” he explained.

“The way he is sticking to the DPM position is really confusing everybody
and doesn’t help the nation. It literally just makes Zimbabwean politics the
laughing stock of the region.”

Efforts to reach Mutamabara for a comment were unsuccessful.

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Ncube Rules Out Unity With MDC-T

4 hours 27 minutes ago

HARARE, May 23, 2011- MDC leader Welshman Ncube has again ruled out
prospects of a unity deal with Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the MDC ahead
of future elections saying differences that divide the two factions are ‘too
deep and strongly felt.’

Ncube, who was responding to a question on his fan page on the social
network website Facebook on Tuesday sad he does not believe Tsvangirai’s MDC
will ever accept unity under equal terms.

“I don’t believe that there is such a possibility,” he said. “The things
which divide us are deep and strongly felt.”
He mentioned the issue of violence, politics of deception, abuse and slander
hardly distinguishable from Zanu PF as some of the things that made unity

“ Notwithstanding all the differences as a party, we have remained open to
working with them and have never ruled out anything as borne out by the fact
that in 2008 our national council endorsed the pact which we had negotiated
and included the agreement to back Tsvangirai as the sole opposition
candidate, ” Ncube added.
“ But the MDC national council rejected that pact. I do not believe that
they would ever accept any re-unification, except that which amounts to
surrender by our party. ”

Ncube also posted his views on the micro blogging website Twitter. He said
his party will not be forced into unconditional surrender.
Last year David Coltart, the secretary for legal affairs in the MDC hinted
that there were discussions to reunite the two factions which split in 2005
over differences around the party’s participation in Senate elections.
Several efforts have been made to reunite the two formations but they have
all come to nothing.Zimbabweans believe that only a united MDC can defeat
Zanu (PF) in the elections.

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MDC eyes ZCTU elections

By Chengetai Zvauya, Staff Writer
Monday, 23 May 2011 17:28

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is keeping an eye on the
forthcoming Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) elections as the labour
movement seeks a candidate to replace outgoing secretary general, Wellington

Front runner in the race and party preference Lucia Matibenga, an MDC
national executive member and ZCTU vice president, is tipped to take over
from Chibebe.

The ZCTU congress is set for 17-19 August. The MDC, according to party
sources, is keen to ensure it retains the support of the country’s labour
federation, where many of its leaders, including Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, came from.

Matibenga has already started campaigning for the post, according to ZCTU
and MDC sources.

Others are ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo and incumbent deputy
secretary-general Japhet Moyo.

Matibenga is no longer eligible to contest for a position in the presidium
because she has served two terms as vice president, according to the ZCTU

This explains her decision to run for the secretary-general’s post.  The
same applies to Matombo hence the move to seek another portfolio within the
labour movement.

The secretary-general’s post is a powerful position because the incumbent is
responsible for the day-to-day administration of the organisation.

Chibebe is set to assume a new post as secretary-general of the
Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation immediately after the
ZCTU congress.

Chibebe took over the post of secretary-general from Prime-Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, while Matombo succeeded the late Gibson Sibanda in 1999 when the
MDC was formed.

Matibenga yesterday refused to discuss her interest in the job.

“I am not ready to talk about it. I have no comment to make at the moment
until election time,’’ she said.

Matibenga is one of several political leaders with roots in the labour
movement that gave birth to the MDC.

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MDC calls for release of activists and mourners

by Irene Madongo
23 May 2011

MDC-T activists and mourners from a funeral, who are still being held behind
bars since last week, must be released as they are being held on trumped-up
charges, says Obert Gutu, the MDC-T’s Secretary for Harare Province. Gutu
also said some of those being held are unwell, yet they are being denied
access to their medication.

LastThursday 35 people were arrested in Warren Park, Harare, at the funeral
of MDC-T activist Jack Ndeketeya, who died in a car accident last week. The
35 included MDC-T activists, Ndeketeya’s elderly and ailing father, a pastor
and other mourners. They were held at Harare Central Police Station and
charged with assault and theft.

There were also allegations that the mourners provoked farmers at the
near-by Boka Tobacco Auction Floors after the funeral. The MDC-T has denied
this, saying they were ambushed by suspected ZANU PF activists who showed
up, caused trouble and then blamed the MDC-T.

Over the weekend Ndeketeya’s parents were released. But on Monday, the MDC-T
said the remaining activists and mourners appeared in court charged with
theft and assault, with the authorities still refusing to say who they are
alleged to have robbed. They were remanded in custody and will appear in
court again on Tuesday.

Gutu said he is concerned about those still locked up and that their
condition has left him depressed. He said it was ridiculous to accuse them
of robbing or provoking people in their state.

“There are some who are on anti-retroviral medication and they were not
given permission to access their tablets, which I was advised they had to
take on a daily basis. There was this elderly gentleman, I could not get his
name, but he was very frail looking,” Gutu explained, “he said he had a tube
in his stomach or somewhere and he said he was just sick. I could see for
myself he was not well.”

“This is just the usual ZANU PF strategy of just trying to victimize MDC
supporters and anyone who is perceived to be sympathetic to the MDC. It’s
just the abuse of the law, the judicial system, just to persecute MDC
activists,” Gutu said.


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Pastor, Mukoyi And Mourners Wallow In Detention


HRD’s Alert

23 May 2011




27 mourners including a Pastor, who were arrested and charged with public violence last week, on Monday 23 May 2011 spent their fifth night in detention after Mbare Magistrate Reward Kwenda postponed his ruling on their bail application to Tuesday 24 May 2011.

Pastor Dominic Dziwedziwe (36) of Kuwadzana, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Harare Province Vice-chairperson Shakespeare Mukoyi and 25 other mourners appeared in court on Monday 23 May 2011 for their initial remand, where their lawyers Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa and Mtisi Legal Practitioners and Tarisai Mutangi of Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practitioners, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights applied for their admission to bail.

In his bail application Mtisi argued that his clients were mourners who were travelling to Kuwadzana high density suburb after burying their colleague at the graveyard.

But Magistrate Kwenda postponed the bail hearing to Tuesday 24 May 2011 to allow State Prosecutor Sidom Chinzete to respond to the bail application after he indicated that he was not in a position to file some submissions in response to the bail application, although he indicated that he would oppose bail.

Chinzete alleged that the 27, Charged with contravening section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for public violence were arrested on Thursday 19 May 2011 while coming from burying the body of an MDC activist Jack Ndeketeya at Granville cemetery, who had passed away early last week.

He alleged that the mourners alighted from their vehicles at Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and assaulted some farmers and other people by throwing stones at them and tore some ZANU PF posters and banners pasted at the tobacco auction floors.

The prosecutor accused the mourners of throwing stones at some tobacco farmers who were waiting to sell their tobacco crop at the auction floors forcing them to flee for safety while leaving their goods at a flea market unattended.

Chinzete claimed that the mourners stole clothes, a mobile phone handset and a sim card valued at $339 before they were arrested by the police near Kuwadzana suburb.

Police seized the five vehicles which were ferrying the mourners to Kuwadzana suburb and intend to use them as exhibits together with MDC regalia, which include a red and white cap, a red vuvuzela and a wrapping cloth.

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Nyanga Magistrate Refers Mwonzora's Case To The Supreme Court As Police Defy Court Order To Release Copac Vehicle

HRD’s Alert

23 May 2011




Nyanga Magistrate Ignatio Mhene on Monday 23 May 2011 granted an application filed by Nyanga North Member of Parliament Hon. Douglas Mwonzora and 32 Nyanga residents, seeking a referral of their matter to the Supreme Court to determine the violation of several of their constitutional rights.

Hon. Mwonzora and the Nyanga residents who were arrested in February and charged with public violence filed a constitutional challenge on 10 May 2011 arguing that their rights to liberty, protection of the law and protection from inhuman and degrading treatment as enshrined in the Constitution were violated when they were arrested, abducted and detained in filthy police and prison cells in Nyanga and Mutare respectively.

In his ruling which was delivered on Monday 23 May 2011, Magistrate Mhene upheld that the application was not frivolous or vexatious as claimed by the State prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasira, who had opposed the application filed by Mwonzora and the residents’ lawyers Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and David Tandiri of Maunga, Maanda and Associates Legal Practitioners, who is a member of ZLHR.

Magistrate Mhene ruled that all the questions raised by Hon. Mwonzora and the Nyanga dwellers relating to the alleged violation of their rights enshrined in the Constitution should be referred to the Supreme Court in terms Section 24 (2) of the Constitution as requested by the applicants.

The Magistrate suspended the reporting conditions for the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) joint chairperson and the all the Nyanga residents pending the determination of their application in the Supreme Court.

Hon. Mwonzora and the other applicants had been reporting once a week to the police as part of their bail conditions.

Magistrate Mhene also ordered the police to immediately release upon sight of the court order a Mazda BT 50 vehicle which Hon. Mwonzora had been using to execute COPAC duties.

But as has become customary and in defiance of a court ruling the police refused to release the vehicle even after the lawyers had shown them the court order.

Detective Inspector Kasi, the Officer In Charge of CID Law and Order in Manicaland province, who had earlier advised Detective Inspector Mutema of Nyanga to release the vehicle reportedly made an about turn and ordered Mutema not to release the COPAC vehicle.

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IOM assists counting of Zim migrants

by Tobias Manyuchi     Monday 23 May 2011

HARARE -- The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will today hand
over information technology equipment worth over US$25,000 to the Zimbabwe
National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT).

The equipment is part of IOM’s capacity building initiatives aimed at
strengthening evidence-based policy development to maximise the development
potential of migration for Zimbabwe.

Over the last decade Zimbabwe experienced socio-economic challenges that led
to an unprecedented exodus of Zimbabweans from the country.

Most Zimbabweans have emigrated to South Africa, Botswana, United Kingdom,
Canada, United States of America, New Zealand and Australia.

With estimates ranging from half a million to around 4 million Zimbabweans
abroad, and despite recognised immense potential of diaspora for national
development, there is lack of up-to-date and credible statistics on the
nature and extent of the Zimbabwean diaspora which has hampered
evidence-based diaspora initiatives.

As part of ongoing partnership between IOM and ZIMSTAT, IOM is providing
technical support to ZIMSTAT for the diaspora enumeration in the 2012
National Census. Such initiative is the first of its kind in the SADC
Region, and aims to collect the much-needed information on the size, spatial
distribution and demographic characteristics of the Zimbabwean diaspora.

In order to strengthen the capacity of ZIMSTAT to enumerate Zimbabweans in
the diaspora in the forthcoming National Census, IOM procured state of the
art information technology equipment, which will be utilised in the 2012
National Census.

The information technology equipment complements IOM’s earlier support,
which included the training of the agency’s draught-persons in using the
latest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies and applications
which would be used in analysing census data.

In addition, IOM supported ZIMSTAT to host a workshop for migration
statistics stakeholders to deliberate on diaspora enumeration methodologies.
In this regard the workshop identified two methodologies, that is, the
biological and sibling methods, which could be used to enumerate the

Further, IOM has supported ZIMSTAT to pilot these two methodologies in the
two rural districts of Chivi and Tsholotsho. -- ZimOnline

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Chombo suspends Mutasa council

By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Monday, 23 May 2011 17:33

HARARE - Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius
Chombo has taken his war with elected MDC councillors to Mutasa district in
Manicaland Province, where he has suspended two councillors.

Chombo, known for his vile meddling in local authorities since the MDC
snapped control of the majority of both urban and rural councils, is
charging councillor Owen Mbona and Michael Nyangani with dishonesty and
gross mismanagement of council funds.

The councillors from the MDC controlled Mutasa Rural District Council have
been appearing before a committee of inquiry appointed by Chombo since last
week in a probe that ends today.

According to the charge sheet seen by Daily News, Nyangani is accused of
awarding timber harvesting contracts to various companies without council

He is also accused of unprocedurally allocating flea market stands to his
supporters at Muchena Business Centre without following laid down council

“On a date unknown but sometime in 2009, you allegedly awarded timber
harvesting contracts to various companies without council resolution."

“Thus showing favour to individuals hence you abused your office in that it
is alleged you intimidated internal auditor (s) who were lawfully carrying
out their duties thereby creating in the mind of an ordinary person, lack of
confidence in the administration of the council,” reads part of Nyangani’s
charge sheet.

He is also charged with misappropriating council funds.

“On a date unknown but sometime in 2009 you misappropriated funds from sand
harvesting amounting to US$95 which amount was supposed to be surrendered to
council,” reads the charge sheet.

Nyangani has denied the charges. Mbona refused to comment. Nyangani told
Daily News yesterday that the charges were premeditated by political
opponents in Zanu PF.

The disciplinary team appointed by Chombo comprises of Mutare lawyer Peter
Makombe, Obert Muzawazi the town clerk for Mutare, Nowell Mundeta the
district administrator for Chipinge and Richard Maruta, the Manicaland
provincial administrator.

Nyangani denied that he allocated anybody a flea market stand saying he only
regularised the “chaos” which had affected the selling of stalls.

“I did not give anyone a stand but intervened to regularise the set up at
the market stalls. There was confusion with people fighting almost on a
daily basis,” said Nyangani.

Chombo’s interference in local authorities has become legendary.

Between 2001 and 2003 he fired almost all elected MDC mayors in major cities
such as Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare, replacing them with handpicked
commissioners. He has followed up his act with regularity, firing or
suspending councilors from councils ranging from Bindura to Victoria Falls
and Rusape.

Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe (ECAZ), a grouping formed to
protect the interests of elected councilors, has since advised the Mutasa
council not to meet the cost of the probe team as demanded by Chombo.

“The appointment of this probe team is done in a non-professional manner
with the aim of the minister getting the results that suit his ulterior
motives,” said ECAZ.

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Youth Demands for the Holding of Elections in Zimbabwe

After extensive consultations with youths from various walks of life, the Youth Forum drafted the following conditions for elections; these conditions came from the youths, mostly the marginalised youths. The youths believe these conditions will ensure that the elections are free and fair and will deviate from the past norms where elections were largely characterised by violence and bloodshed.

1.      A Legitimate Constitution

It is of paramount importance that any national election be held under a new constitution that guarantees the rights to administrative justice, emphasizes the principle of equality, does not give excessive powers to the Executive, provides for checks and balances between the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive, emphasizes the principle of transparency and accountability and has sufficient provision for the protection of human rights among others. Without such a new constitution, it is very difficult to see any election being considered free and fair as the current Lancaster House document we are using does not guarantee any of the above principles.

It is equally important to note that the current constitution-making process led by COPAC has so far failed to guarantee that it will bring about such a constitution as this process is likely to give us a negotiated constitution. However, the process should be able to give a document that is credible enough to be used as the country’s supreme law for the transition from the negotiated settlement we are currently reeling under to a democracy. After the installation of a democratic government, the new government must make it a priority to initiate a genuine people-driven process for the writing of a new constitution.

2.      National Healing And Accountability For Past Human Rights Violations

According to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), the current inclusive government “shall give consideration to the setting up of a mechanism to properly advise on what measures might be necessary and practicable to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre and post independence political conflicts”. What this simply implies is that until and unless national healing, cohesion and unity are achieved, we must not have elections. The government must ensure that all past victims have been compensated adequately before rushing into elections as this will lead to more violence and more political conflicts. Also, the new constitution should guarantee the democratic principles of tolerance and peaceful disagreement.

Only after the achievement of national healing and accountability for past human rights violations have been achieved will the people of Zimbabwe feel free to participate in national processes like elections, so it is important that these be addressed as a matter of urgency before calling for any elections.

3.      Freedom Of Expression And Political Participation

The need for Freedom of expression and the right to information cannot be overemphasized; we demand that there be a diverse media that is not the subject of intimidation and abuse. It is only after the advent of such media that the youths of Zimbabwe, together with the toiling masses, can make informed and meaningful decisions on whom to vote for during the election. The GPA clearly states that there is need to have more broadcasters other than the public broadcaster, which is notorious for being unashamedly partisan. The arbitrary arrests, intimidation and victimisation of journalists and other media personnel based on draconian legislation must stop.


The GPA, the document that guides how the current government is to move forward and stipulates what is expected of the Inclusive Government, declares clearly that there should be free political activity throughout Zimbabwe within the ambit of the law in which ALL political parties are able to propagate their views and canvass for support, free of harassment and intimidation. It also recognises that the right to canvass and freely mobilise for political support is the cornerstone of any multi-party democratic system. The current government must ensure that such freedoms are guaranteed before any election as it is only under such conditions that the people of Zimbabwe will be free to exercise their democratic right of engaging in political activism without fear. The situation where belonging to certain political parties is regarded as a crime while belonging to other parties makes one untouchable must end.


4.      Non-Partisan State Security Institutions, National Organs and Events

State institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties, and should dispense of their duties ethically and professionally in conformity with the principles and requirements of a multi-party democratic system. The security institutions should work with the people and not against the people, their mandate is to maintain peace and security and not to be used for partisan reasons against the same people they are supposed to protect.

National events like Independence Day celebrations, Heroes’ Day celebrations among others should also be non-partisan events and benefit and receive participation from Zimbabweans from all walks of life regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, political affiliation or religion.

With non-partisan security institutions, the country will experience less political violence and related crimes as the law will be at play and any crimes committed will be dealt with by these institutions.


5.      Real Electoral Reforms

The current electoral laws cannot be relied on to give us a democratic government as they have failed in the past, leading to sometimes nasty contestations as in the 2008 June Run-Off election. SADC should also make sure that such reforms are in tandem with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing democratic Elections. This includes adhering to the following

a)      Full participation of the citizens in the political process;

b)      Freedom of association;

c)      Political tolerance;

d)      Regular intervals for elections as provided for by the respective National Constitutions;

e)      Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media;

f)        Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for;

g)      Independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions; and

h)      Voter education.

i)        Acceptance and respect of the election results by political parties proclaimed to have been free and fair by a competent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in accordance with the laws of the land.

j)        Challenge of the election results as provided for in the law.


The Voter’s Roll needs to be revamped so that it shows a true reflection of registered voters and not the current state in which dead people are still found in the roll and are actually participating in elections. With the Youth Forum currently running a campaign aimed at adding 1 million new young voters to the voters roll, it has also been discovered that the requirements for registration are stringent especially for the youths.


6.      The SADC and AU to establish an early warning system to respond to political violence and human rights violations.

It has also emerged that the youths attach serious importance to the role that SADC plays in ensuring that elections are held in a peaceful environment. With a history of serious bloodshed in the previous elections, the youths demand that SADC together with the African Union start to monitor the likely elections at least six months before they are held. This will enable the bodies to bear true witness and come up with an accurate position regarding the freeness and fairness of the election.

The monitoring systems to be established should also be able to detect areas of serious violence and take appropriate action against the offenders. It should also be able to immediately disclose to the relevant SADC and AU structures any relationship that could lead to a conflict of interest with their duties or with the process of the observation and assessment of the elections.


It is only after these conditions have been met that the youths and general populace of Zimbabwe can vote freely and fairly. It is the duty of the Inclusive Government, together with other groupings to make sure that these conditions are met.


Youth Forum Information and Publicity Department
+263 773 850862, +263 773 014693
Fax:+263 710 237
Promoting Informed Participation of Youths in National Development.

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Four NUST students appear before a Bulawayo magistrate

Written by Student Solidarity Trust
Monday, 23 May 2011 14:04

Four National University of Science and Technology (NUST) students appeared
before a Bulawayo magistrate court this morning May 23, 2011. The, four
David Mushawani, Beven Nyamande, Ernest Makoni and Duncan Mombeshora, are
facing charges of participating in an illegal gathering with the  intent to
cause public violence. The allegations stem from a demonstration by NUST
students in 2010. Trial for the case has again been postponed because the
state prosecutor failed to turn up, it has been set for the 9th of June.

The Student Solidarity Trust (SST) abhors the lengthy durations that the
students face with the majority of the cases being postponed to a later
date. For justice to be attained the state has to ensure that the students
are being treated fairly and that the courts are being fair to those seeking
justice as numerous court appearances in a short space of time do not serve
both parties favorably, not only does it waste taxpayer’s money but also
compromises the liberty of those seeking justice from the courts.

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Give Us Money, Not Treatment: Gukurahundi Survivors

7 hours 59 minutes ago

JOHANNESBURG, May 23, 2011- Survivors of post independence Gukurahundi
massacres who still have bullets lodged in their bodies say they don’t want
medical treatment but financial assistance to ward off starvation and get
out of poverty.

During a recent healing and reconciliation prayer conducted by a Catholic
priest Father Marko Mkandla in Lupane, the survivors broke their silence for
the first time in more than 20 years and revealed the extent of their
injuries.Some told horrifying tales of how they survived the massacres which
still haunts the government.
Former Lupane Member of Parliament, Njabuliso Mnguni says he has been trying
without much success to persuade the survivors with bullets lodged in their
bodies to seek medical assistance.

“ Some donors and doctors are willing to assist with surgery to remove the
bullets from the survivors but the villagers say they don’t want medical
treatment but financial assistance.Some are now sick because of the injuries
they sustained during the shootings, ” Mnguni told Radio Vop.

Mnguni said during his visit to Lupane villages to speak to the survivors,
he discovered that many people were now willing to speak out about what
happened and how they survived the mass killings of innocent people by the
government,s notorious Five Brigade which President Robert Mugabe christened
“ Gukurahundi. ”
The brigade, exclusively made up of former Zanla cadres from Tongogara
Assembly Point executed its mission with ruthless efficiency and left a
trail of blood and destruction.
Mnguni says in one village he met three women who witnessed 24 villagers
burning to death after the soldiers rounded them up, put them in one hut and
set it on fire.The three survivors were among the villagers put in the hut
in Gwampa area but they managed to break free and fled.The soldiers kept on
firing at them but they missed until they were in a safe area.

“ I met one old man we tried to help seek treatment for his injuries but the
doctors advised that if the bullet was removed, he could die.Now everyone
does not want to have the bullets removed while others say there is no
reason to remove the bullets now when they have lived with them for more
than 20 years, ” Mnguni told Radio Vop.

According to medical and forensic experts, survivors of firearm incidents
can carry bullets in their bodies for long periods of time as souvenirs.If a
bullet remains embedded in the body for a long time, it termed as a souvenir
Bullets can be lodged in bone or soft tissue in any firearm incident without
causing any serious damage or may be located in an area where surgical
removal could prove fatal. It is advisable to leave the bullet as such if it
is too dangerous to manipulate or if it is lodged in an innocuous area
without any potential risk or complication.
Foreign bodies such as bullets can remain silent for a long period of time
without giving rise to clinical symptoms. It is important for the surgeon to
consider removal of a foreign body/bullet only if there is a serious health
hazard, keeping in mind the possibility of causing a pathologic fracture.

“ I think the government has to find a way to pay compensation to survivors
and families of those who perished during the massacres, ” said
Mnguni.President Mugabe described the massacres as “ a moment of madness by
his government. ”But he has not publicly acknowledged the killings or pay
compensation to survivors.

According to columnist Farai Chikowore,the collective communities in
Zimbabwe have never come forward to condemn the original sin of Gukurahundi.
The reasons of standing back and keeping quite are not justifiable in that
silence, fear and moving on are open to interpretation. Zimbabweans
communities have been silent on this issue for a long time and one should
not blame the victims for assuming the meaning of the silence.
The idea of moving on has obviously been proven wrong the current
developments but the idea also carries an element of misunderstanding and
lack of practical rationality. Those who are not directly Gukurahundi
victims indirectly understand the impact of this horrific crime. Having said
that the idea of moving on is not only wrong but it is an insult to the
victims. Moreover it raises the question whether one is on the side of the
victims or the perpetrators.
The logic that Zimbabweans fear to talk about Gukurahundi demonstrates a
lack of vision. The fear of talking about Gukurahundi is the most
unjustified of all fears because we have already taken a stand against
oppression. If Zimbabweans fought the liberation struggle to free people
from oppression then they should condemn Gukurahundi publicly because
genocide is a violent form of oppression. What's more is that its impact
will affect the younger, future generations and generations of generations
if it's not dealt with.

-Thabo Kunene

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The Africonomist: A Talk with Pat Devenish

Monday May 23, 2011, 16:37

by The Africonomist

Agro-industrial businesses in Africa are playing an increasingly important
role in the global food supply chain as the cost and demand for commodities
rise and as the world’s population expands.

Pat Devenish, the group CEO of AICO Africa Ltd., a Zimbabwe-based
agro-industrial business that has been connecting small-scale African
farmers to markets overseas for at least a decade, said the African-based
agribusinesses not only provide a way for Africa to become self-sufficient
but also offers investors sustainable profits, in an interview with the
editor of Africonomist, David Dankwa.

Devenish, a member of the Frontier 100 initiative, which aims to increase
investment in Africa by forging partnerships between CEOs in Africa and the
United States, discussed with the Africonomist some of the opportunities he
sees in agribusiness and why he thinks it is the most important sector in

The following is an edited version of the interview.

What opportunities are there in agribusiness in Africa for foreign

Devenish: I think agriculture is certainly the most important sector in many
African countries. Getting towards food-sufficiency is very important to
those countries that are not food self-sufficient, and so is moving toward
exports or value-added beneficiation for those countries that are. The
companies that I represent are very interested in small-scale farmers. We
see them as a highly motivated and highly diligent group of people who are
able to take advantage of opportunities when presented with them. AICO
Africa owns three companies, one of which is a hybrid seed company. We sell
seed in about a dozen African countries and have large operations in about
half a dozen. In the countries we operate, you will find that it is not long
after we get there that those countries become food self-sufficient. We also
fund the production of cotton with 80,000 small-scale farmers. These are
some of the investment opportunities that I can recommend directly. There
are other agricultural opportunities in Zimbabwe, including a dairy business
with great products and brands and a company focused on crushing cotton
seeds and soybeans into oil. Ultimately, I think the big opportunity in our
world is in the improved seed space. Genetically-manufactured organisms have
not yet come to Africa outside South Africa, but we think it is not a
question of if, it’s a question of when.

As an investor in this space, how do deal with the inherent volatility in
commodity prices?

You deal with that like any business has to deal with it. There has been
huge volatility in the minerals sector as well. You saw [the] copper price
rise very high prior to 2008, and now it has recovered. We are seeing cotton
prices at historical highs, and everyone in this business is enjoying that.
We would rather see a more consistent price which is stable and good for
everyone. There are ways to smooth out those peaks and troughs, but I just
think it is one of the hazards of doing business. It requires good
management to make sure you benefit in the good times and don’t get busted
in the bad times.

What about the severe weather conditions. Is that also a part of doing
business in Africa?

Weather, especially drought, is always an issue in Africa. We have been
lucky in the last few years with drought, although Kenya had a terrible
drought in 2009. I think that is part of life in the agricultural space and
it depends on the length of the view you take and what part of the industry
you are in. From an investment perspective, drought over time is not a huge

What do you think are the biggest barriers to investing in Africa?

I am probably the most optimistic person about Africa so I don’t see that
many barriers. That said, I think currency in some countries may be a
barrier. The perception of corruption in some countries may be a barrier.
Liquidity of investments and ability to exit on time may be barriers as
well. However, I am very positive about Africa as an investment destination.
The growth of the middle class amongst several other factors is going to
lead to huge growth.

How do you promote liquidity in Africa when that’s an issue that even
developed markets struggle with?

If you look at my country, Zimbabwe, where we have just come through a very
tough 10 years, the decision by our government in February of 2009 to
dollarize our economy has had an incredible impact on the way business is
done. It has removed a lot of those barriers to both incoming and outgoing
investment. So I think some kind of dollarization or quasi-dollarization
would make a big difference to a number of African countries and could
promote liquidity.

Do you think it is critical for Africans to invest in themselves in order to
attract foreign investors?

The large African pension funds are very well-invested domestically.
Certainly in southern and eastern Africa, I am not aware of pension funds
investing massively overseas. If I look at the pension fund of Seed Co., for
instance, it has recently come down from the high-90 percent in equity down
to around 85-90 percent. Just about all their investment is in equity for
very obvious reasons. The same applies in South Africa, East Africa, and
those markets where currencies are most stable.

The Africonomist, launched in February 2009, is a financial newsletter
focused on investments and economic development in Africa. Its primary goal
is to inform our readers about the people and events shaping the economic
landscape in Africa.

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Mugabe film set for big screen

23/05/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

A NEW film being promoted as the “definitive account” of President Robert
Mugabe is set to get its first screening at an international festival in
South Africa next month.

“Whatever Happened to Robert Mugabe?”, an 80-minute film by Simon Bright,
has been given opening night billing at the 13th Encounters South African
International Documentary Festival to be held in Cape Town and Johannesburg
from June 9-26.

In advance publicity material, the festival’s organisers said the
documentary “tells the stories of Rhodesia’s transition to Zimbabwe and the
personal journey of Robert Mugabe, using one to explain the other, finally
suggesting why Mugabe chose the road he has”.

“As a biography it has everything – first-hand accounts of Mugabe’s early
life with a desperately poor Catholic mother, what he was like at school,
the effects of a Jesuit education and his rage against his absent father,”
the organisers said in a statement.

They added: “The parallel story of the transition is equally well
researched, as are later episodes of importance, notably Lancaster House,
the Matabeleland genocide and the growing role of global business in Africa’s

“But it’s the behind-the-scenes jostling for power which Bright exposes that
are the most riveting, and from it Mugabe emerges as unquestionably one of
history’s most canny, devious leaders. It is a haunting film, the music an
achievement in itself, a mix of liberation, folk and contemporary sounds.”
Bright was co-producer of the 1996 Zimbabwe liberation film, "Flame".

Although many books have been written about the mercurial Zimbabwean
strongman, 87 this year, fewer biographies have been released on film.

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Angels abroad and angels at home

May 23rd, 2011

In Zimbabwe the operational environment and respect for human rights has
drastically worsened, even with further decline in 2011, with arrests of
innocent citizens under the nefarious POSA for various reasons, most of
which are flimsy and unsustainable. Following uprisings in the Middle East,
the army was deployed in both urban and rural areas to harass and intimidate
people – the very same people who they are supposed to protect.

What has surprised most Zimbabweans is that these same forces are being sent
outside the country on peace keeping missions. In fact, the United Nations
has lauded the Zimbabweans as disciplined when peacekeeping in foreign
lands. Why is it their discipline at home is entirely questionable?

Inside Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is infamous for
arbitrary arrests and torture of innocent women, students, MDC officials and
supporters, lawyers, human rights activists and farmers.

It is ridiculous and surprising that the United Nations (UN) in its wisdom
continues to put its faith in the much discredited ZRP for international
peacekeeping duties. This is despite the fact that it has been brutal,
corrupt, incompetent and partisan in its discharge of duties at home.

One of the key duties of the international peacekeeping force in war torn
countries is to protect innocent civilians against warring parties in an
impartial manner and yet here at home the ZRP has never been anywhere equal
to this task.

This entry was posted by Bob Gondo on Monday, May 23rd, 2011 at 10:10 am

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Bill Watch 20/2011 of 23rd May [Update on Parliament, Newly Gazetted Acts and SADC Tribunal]

BILL WATCH 20/2011

[23rd May 2011]

The House of Assembly met on 17th May and adjourned to Tuesday 14th June

The Senate is  adjourned until Tuesday 5th July

Parliamentary Update

Senate  The Senate did not sit last week.  It last sat, briefly, on 10th May, when it adjourned to 5th July.  Business awaiting attention includes the Public Order and Security Amendment Bill and the Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill, both for Second Reading.

House of Assembly 

Adjournment to June  The House sat for less than ten minutes on 17th May without transacting any business.  Proposing the adjournment of the House to Tuesday 14th June, the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs said the majority of members were “involved elsewhere”, a reference to their presence being required in the ongoing Thematic Committees Stage of the constitution-making process.

Order Paper for 14th June  The House agenda for 14th June will be the same as the untouched agenda for last Tuesday, including the Second Readings of two Bills – the Deposit Protection Corporation Bill and the National Incomes and Pricing Amendment Bill.  [See Bill Watch 19/2011 of 12th May.]  The Human Rights Commission Bill, currently being printed, could come up for its First Reading later in the week if it is gazetted before the end of May.  [Standing Orders require that a Bill be gazetted at least fourteen days before it is introduced.]

Committee Meetings  Regular ordinary meetings of House of Assembly portfolio committees and Senate thematic committees remained suspended this week.  But the Thematic Committee on MDGs is holding public hearings on social protection programmes from 20th to 23rd May, travelling to four rural districts.  [For details see Bill Watch Parliamentary Committee Series bulletin of 19th May.]

Committee Reports  At least three new committee reports will be ready for tabling when the House resumes.

Two Acts Gazetted

General Laws Amendment Act [No. 5/2011] [GLA Act]  This was gazetted on Tuesday 17th May, coming into force immediately. [Electronic version available.]  17 Acts are amended, including the:

·      Reserve Bank Act, to stop sales in execution of Reserve Bank property seized on behalf of creditors who have obtained court judgments against the Bank for payment of debts [GLA Act, section 14].  This provision is backdated to 10th June 2010, which is the date on which SI 115/2010 enacted a similar provision under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures).  Since that SI expired in mid-December 2010, creditors have had the last few months in which to take action against the Bank, and some have done so.  The effect of the backdating on completed sales in execution remains to be seen.

·      Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, to substitute the word “business” for “company” in section 3(6) of the Act. This will empower the Minister responsible for indigenisation and empowerment to carry out “indigenisation and empowerment assessment ratings”, not just for companies, but for all “businesses” as defined in section 2 of the Act, i.e., companies, associations, syndicates and partnerships conducted for the acquisition of gain.  [GLA Act, section 9.]

·      Parks and Wild Life Act, to provide for heavy mandatory prison sentences of 9 or 11 years for poaching of specially protected animals, particularly rhinoceros.  [GLA Act, section 11.]

Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Act [No. 2/2011]  This short Act was gazetted on Friday 20th May, coming into force immediately.  It makes the Minister responsible for prisons [currently this is the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs] an ex officio member of the Zimbabwe National Security Council.  [Electronic version available.]

SADC Summit Windhoek on 20th May

An Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government met in Windhoek on 20th May.  The Summit did not discuss the situation in Zimbabwe because South African President Zuma, the SADC facilitator of the GPA, was not present – he was still involved in local government elections in South Africa.  The Heads of State and Government will now have an opportunity to discuss Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Council and Summit in South Africa on 12th June.

SADC Tribunal   The Summit considered the report of the Committee of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General on the review of the Role, Responsibilities and Terms of Reference of the SADC Tribunal and decided as follows:

·      to mandate the Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General to initiate the process of amending the relevant SADC legal instruments and submit a progress report to the August 2011 Summit and a final report to the August 2012 Summit

·      not to reappoint members of the Tribunal whose term of office expired in August 2010 and not to replace members of the Tribunal whose term of office will expire on 31 October 2011

·      to “reiterate” the moratorium on the Tribunal receiving any new cases and hearing any cases until the SADC Protocol on the Tribunal has been reviewed and approved.

[Comment: While this decision on the Tribunal technically falls short of the “abolition” claimed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, its practical effect is much the same, because the Tribunal will not be able to function and will soon have no judges at all.  The report by the Committee of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General has been not been made public, but a drastic reduction of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction is foreshadowed by the Summit’s decision and recent statements by Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa.  It also seems inevitable that the Summit will not be taking steps to compel Zimbabwe to accept and act on the Tribunal’s decisions in the Campbell case and other cases on the land question.  Withholding the report of the Committee of Ministers and AGs from public scrutiny is regrettable, given that the independent consultants hired by SADC to advise the Committee are reported as having rejected Zimbabwe’s contentions that the Tribunal was not legally established.]

Update on Acts and Bills

Acts Gazetted [see above] [Electronic versions available.]

·      Zimbabwe National Security Council Act (No. 2/2011)

·      General Laws Amendment Act (No. 5/2011)

[Note: Acts 1, 3 and 4/2011 have not been gazetted.  They are in the pipeline; see below.]

Bills Passed and Awaiting Presidential Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts  [Electronic versions available.]

·      Criminal Laws Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill [still being printed]

·      Attorney-General’s Office Bill [printed and sent to the President’s Office for the President’s assent]

·      Energy Regulatory Authority Bill [still being printed]

Bills in Parliament [Electronic versions available.]


·      Public Order and Security Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading

·      Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading

House of Assembly

·      Deposit Protection Corporation Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading

·      National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill – awaiting Second Reading

Bills Gazetted and Awaiting Presentation in Parliament – None

Bills Being Printed for Presentation in Parliament [electronic versions not available – texts not yet released]

·      Human Rights Commission Bill [to be presented by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs]

·      Older Persons Bill [to be presented by the Minister of Labour and Social Services]

Bills Referred for Drafting after Approval in Principle by Cabinet

·      State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill

·      State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill

·      Zimbabwe Investment Authority Amendment Bill.

Statutory Instruments and General Notices

[Electronic versions NOT available.]

Gazette of 13th May

New Tariffs of Fees for Deputy Sheriffs and Messengers of Court  SIs 57 and 58/2011 enact new fees for services rendered to litigants by deputy sheriffs and messengers of court respectively.

NSSA Notices  SI 59/2011 prescribes various matters under the National Social Security Authority [NSSA] Accident Prevention and Workers Compensation Scheme, including amounts of compensation and employers’ assessment rates for this year.  SI 60/2011 deals with rates of contributions and benefits under the NSSA Pension and Other Benefits Scheme.

Public Health By-laws for Norton  SI 56/2011 contains Norton Town Council by-laws covering sanitation, food premises, water pollution, keeping of horses and other animals, nuisances, and other public health concerns.

Gazette of 20th May

Radiation Protection  SI 62/2011 contains the Safety and Security of Radiation Sources Regulations, made under the Radiation Protection Act.  The regulations came into force on the date of gazetting, 20th May.  They will be administered by the Radiation Protection Authority.

Government Financial Statements  Also issued with this Gazette were the Accountant-General’s Consolidated Statements of Financial Performance for March 2011 and the first quarter of 2011.  Gazetting of these statements is required by the Public Finance Management Act.


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