By Tichaona Sibanda
24 May 2013
The MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday read the riot act to
aspiring parliamentarians from his party, warning them against polluting the
primary elections with vote buying, intimidation and violence.
The internal process to choose the makeup of the party team to contest the
elections kicks off in Harare on Saturday, amid reports some of the
candidates were determined to bulldoze their way into parliament through
vote buying. Manicaland province will be the last to have the exercise on
Each province will have a day to conduct the primaries and where sitting
legislators are not confirmed by a two thirds majority, primaries will be
held in two weeks time.
Tsvangirai told over 1,000 candidates vying for the 210 parliamentary seats
in Harare that the party will not tolerate any incidents of using cash to
buy votes in the election, adding that anyone found in breach of the
offences will be ‘dismissed on the spot.’
The Prime Minister urged the candidates to strive to have their names
associated with good deeds and not entice people to vote for them based on
their financial strength.
Popular disc jockey, Ezra ‘Tshisa’ Sibanda, an aspiring candidate for Vhungu
in the Midlands South, told SW Radio Africa the Premier laid down tough
rules for the primary elections.
‘In fact the Prime Minister, Lovemore Moyo (chairman) and Nelson Chamisa
(organizing secretary) told us the primaries will be strictly monitored to
prevent vote-buying and election violence. The national chairman was
emphatic the party will dismiss on the spot anyone caught using violence to
win the primaries,’ Sibanda said.
He explained that the party leaders were unequivocal in their rejection of
corruption during the week long exercise, arguing that they would not allow
the party’s track record on its commitment to clean governance and fair
political play to be tarnished.
By Guthrie Munyuki, Senior Assistant Editor
Friday, 24 May 2013 11:27
HARARE - Zanu PF has launched an audacious bid to wrest control of Harare
from the MDC in the forthcoming harmonised elections in what could prove to
be an acid test given the popularity of its main rival.
Since 2000, the liberation movement has failed to control Harare following a
dismal performance spawned by poor policies and protest vote from a
disillusioned urban support base.
If there was any reminder to Zanu PF of what lies in store in its battle to
regain Harare, last Sunday’s MDC star rally looms large.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a star rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in
Highfield which was attended by a bumper crowd.
The crowds served to remind his critics and rivals that he is still the
biggest game in urban areas.
Undaunted by this, Zanu PF Harare province has been drumming up support
ahead of the elections by holding evening meetings in the northern suburbs.
This is part of a strategy that will see provincial chairman Amos Midzi and
high profile speakers that include ministers visiting all the 29
constituencies in the capital.
Zanu PF currently holds the Harare South Constituency.
“We have learned from our previous mistakes and this time we are determined
to getting it right. I have been listening to your grievances but I must say
they are a result of voting for the wrong people and wrong party,” Savior
Kasukuwere, Indigenisation minister, told the crowd that gathered at Lewisam
Primary school in Harare East Constituency recently.
“President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF want to empower Zimbabweans so that we
are in control of our economic affairs. We have dealt with the land reform
and now we are implementing empowerment to distribute wealth amongst our
Kasukuwere, who is also Zanu PF secretary for Indigenisation in the
politburo, implored Harare East Constituency to dump sitting MP Tendai Biti
whom he said is living in comfort.
“Where is Biti today? He is in comfort yet you struggle to register your
children with schools in this constituency? Where is municipal development?
“All we see are potholes and persistent water shortages. Last time you did
not vote wisely and this election gives you an opportunity to correct past
mistakes,” said Kasukuwere.
This week, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo told Harare North
residents to ditch the MDC and elect councillors with the pedigree to
develop their wards.
Addressing a crowd at Pandhari Lodge, Chombo said it was a travesty of
justice that the current crop of councillors serving the capital had shown a
penchant for lavish lifestyle, abrogating from their duties.
"You elected the wrong people. Let me tell you: a councillor, in my opinion,
is even more important that an MP. These MDC councillors you elected are
more concerned with demanding more allowances and I-Pads. Most of them were
just picked from Copacabana bus termini and got elected into office,” said
Poor service delivery and corruption by some MDC councillors have given Zanu
PF the platform to lay into its opponents.
Tsvangirai fired councillors over corruption, including in Chitungwiza where
vast tracts of land were sold for personal gain.
Chombo said this was reason for residents to elect councillors who were not
“In 2008 Zanu PF lost because you said the supermarket shelves were empty
and that there was hyperinflation. Now the goods are back on the shelves and
there is dollarisation. Could there be any other reason for you not to vote
By Violet Gonda
24 May 2013
Elias Kanengoni, the deputy director of the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), who was once convicted for attempted murder and accused
of election violence, collapsed and died at his farm in Concession,
Mashonaland Central on Wednesday.
The news has been met with mixed feeling on social forums with many people
expressing sympathy over the death and at the same time noting the pain and
suffering that has been caused by CIO operatives in Zimbabwe over the years.
The MDC-T MP for Mazowe Central, Shepherd Mushonga told SW Radio Africa that
Kanengoni was a controversial figure both in ZANU PF and in his role as a
“ZANU PF provincial structures complained about his conduct in provincial
meetings, despite the fact that he was a civil servant. Equally on our part
in the MDC we complained about his conduct during the 2008 run-off period.
It was very unfortunate for a professional government official to be so
partisan and result in the loss of life.
“But we thought with time he was going to learn that there is need for
co-existence. But nevertheless we are sorry and we pass our condolences to
his family,” Mushonga said.
Kanengoni, who was the head of the CIO’s internal operations, was convicted
of attempted murder in 1990, for the shooting and maiming of the late former
Gweru mayor and businessman Patrick Kombayi, in the run up to the 1990
general elections. Kombayi was challenging the late Vice-President Simon
Muzenda for the Gweru Urban seat, for the late Edgar Tekere’s Zimbabwe Unity
Kanengoni, who was the provincial intelligence officer for the Midlands
province at the time, and his accomplice ZANU PF MP Kizito Chivamba, were
convicted of the assassination attempt and sentenced to seven years in
prison, but both men were pardoned by President Robert Mugabe.
Kanengoni sparked controversy again a few years later when the MDC-T named
him as one of the people who orchestrated violent attacks that led to the
deaths of 14 party activists who were killed in a single night at Chaona
village in Chiweshe, Mashonaland central province on 5th May 2008. This was
just days after the Mugabe regime finally released the official results of
the March 29th election.
The MDC held a memorial service for the victims last year which was attended
by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who visited the Chiweshe victims’
graves. Speaking to SW Radio Africa during that time, Mushonga said
villagers were tied up and killed by blows to the head or by machetes. “The
awful thing about this massacre is that people were executed in cold blood
and in public view by perpetrators well known in the district and province.
These innocent people were destroyed when all they did was to exercise their
democratic right to choose their leader.”
The MDC-T submitted a full list of the alleged perpetrators to the Attorney
General and the Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, but no
arrests were made.
The MDC-T also protested when Kanengoni was made a member of the powerful
ZANU PF Central Committee in 2011, saying the CIO director of internal
operations could not also be a senior member of a political party.
It’s reported that the CIO chief intended to contest in the forthcoming
senatorial elections for the Mazowe constituency in Mashonaland Central
Province on a ZANU PF ticket.
We could not reach ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo for comment. Information
and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu told NewsDay that the news was “really
sad” but could not give more details as he was in a meeting.
By Alex Bell
24 May 2013
With the government’s election bill continuing to stretch into the
multimillion dollar bracket, the nation will be required to pay more in
pension contributions to try to fund it.
The election date is still to be announced, but the poll is expected
sometime this year. In the meantime, the Finance Ministry is under pressure
to find the funds for the poll, which are likely to cost more than US$100
The shock decision to increase compulsory pension contributions is now being
seen as an indication of where some of the elections cash will come from.
The official line is that the contributions are being raised in an effort to
bail out the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), which funded the
referendum in March.
The Finance Ministry managed to raise US$40 million by borrowing from Old
Mutual and the NSSA to help pay for the referendum. The social security
body, which all employed Zimbabweans are compelled to contribute to, was
reportedly left facing collapse after the referendum loan.
According to a report by South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper, which
quoted “banking sector sources”, the decision to raise pension contributions
was made to curb “a financial disaster” at the NSSA.
The newspaper reported that the increase would also leave room for funding
of elections later this year.
“If you do the maths you will realise the windfall to the NSSA is far
greater than what they will pay out in pensions. This will leave the
government with space for further borrowings to finance electoral costs,”
said a banker who did not want to be named.
SW Radio Africa’s correspondent, Simon Muchemwa, reported Friday that this
was a likely plan which, combined with general tax increases, would help the
broke government fund the polls.
“The Finance Ministry has been tasked with finding funds, but most donors
want conditions to be met first, which ZANU PF is resisting. So the
government is collecting as much as possible from within the country,”
He added that if there was proper legislation in place to control the
remittances of the diamond sector, tax increases and pension contribution
hikes would be unnecessary.
“But we see there is a lack of respect for the rule of law, so the
government has to make another plan,” Muchemwa reported.
By Nomalanga Moyo
24 May 2013
Zimbabwe took another step towards holding elections when President Mugabe
signed the country’s new constitution on Wednesday.
The new constitution was a condition for the holding of elections under the
Global Political Agreement, signed by the two MDCs and ZANU PF following the
disputed 2008 poll.
The new charter paves the way for crucial electoral processes to take place,
including another 30-day voter registration exercise.
However from the start the electoral processes have been inadequate
resourced, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) laying the blame on
On several occasions ZEC had to trim down its ambitious elections budget
from an initial $220 million for both the constitution-making and voter
registration processes. This was revised down to $85 million and $107
Treasury eventually disbursed $31 million for the referendum and according
to ZEC $500,000 for the just-ended 20-day mobile voter registration
The national budget allocation for the two electoral processes was $50
million, with Finance Minister Tendai Biti indicating that the country had
no capacity to hold this year’s poll.
Now with another mandatory 30-day mobile voter registration exercise on the
cards co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, whose ministry oversees the
Commission’s activities, has revealed that $25 million is required for a
Its predecessor was heavily criticised, with concerned citizens citing the
inadequate education, inaccessibility of centres and unprofessionalism by
the Registrar General’s teams, while ZEC complained about the lack of
However, economic analyst Masimba Kuchera told SW Radio Africa that the
first mobile voter registration exercise had proved that ZEC should be
concerned about getting its job right rather than just focusing on money.
“The issue is not just about resources it’s also about ZEC and the registrar
general’s office doing their job in a professional, non-partisan manner.
Even with the $25 million that Mohadi is asking for, if the departments
involved are not organised, then the new exercise will be just as chaotic as
the preceding one.
“What they should be doing is addressing the location of centres, publicity
and all the concerns raised about the foregone exercise. In other years ZEC
has achieved a lot with less, the problem now is a lack of political will,”
Figures indicate that 200,000 people registered to vote during the 20-day
mobile registration exercise.
On Thursday, Mohadi told the Herald newspaper that $25 million is needed for
his teams to conduct comprehensive mobile voter registration.”
Speaking to SW Radio Africa Friday, Minister Mohadi blamed the Finance
Ministry for the slow pace of the registration exercise, and accused
Minister Biti of playing politics.
“There are names on the voters roll, people voted in 2008. The majority of
people who are registering now are those who turned 18 after the last
election and delays by Treasury in disbursing funds will not stop the voting
process from going ahead,” Mohadi said.
Mohadi denied that the Finance Ministry was broke because revenue from the
country’s mineral resources was not being remitted to Treasury. He blamed
foreign firms, which he said ran the mining sector, for siphoning funds out
of the country.
He also denied that police were hampering voter awareness efforts by
arresting those interested in voter mobilisation: “There isn’t a single
police station or courtroom with records of such arrests.”
We would suggest that the Minister checks out just two of our recent stories
on this problem.
Three MDC-T youths arrested after registering to vote
Election group charged for encouraging youths to register as voters
By Tichaona Sibanda
24 May 2013
Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma has been acquitted in a
case where the state was accusing him of insulting President Robert Mugabe
and ‘wishing him dead.’
Mangoma had been on trial on charges of undermining authority of/or
The MDC-T deputy secretary-general was arrested in October last year, five
months after he allegedly uttered the words ‘chifa Mugabe chifa chibva
Mugabe Chibva’ (Mugabe die-Mugabe go) at a party meeting in Manhenga,
The minister has always strenuously denied the charges. On Friday, seven
months after junior police officers humiliated the minister by arresting him
from his Harare offices, Bindura magistrate Tendayi Chifamba acquitted him,
due to lack of evidence
This is not the first time that Mangoma has been detained by the police. In
March this year he was arrested on corruption charges relating to a US$5
million fuel deal.
He was eventually acquitted by a High Court Judge over the charge that he
authorized the purchase of five million litres of fuel without going to
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu told the court it was common knowledge fuel was in
short supply at the time and the Minister was therefore alleviating a
By Nomalanga Moyo
24 May 2013
On Friday the Supreme Court reserved judgement in the case in which a Harare
man was seeking an order to force President Mugabe to announce the date for
Last week, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku agreed with Jealousy Mawarire,
who approached the court through his lawyer Joseph Mandizha, that the matter
was urgent and granted the order.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s appeal against the High Court application
made by Mawarire seeking to force Mugabe and his coalition partners to
announce a date for an election to be held by June 29th, was thrown out by
A full Supreme Court bench heard the matter. In his application, Mawarire
argued that the looming expiry of Parliament had triggered confusion and
debate among representatives of political parties and the inclusive
He argued that the MDC formations were pushing for the extension of the life
of parliament when there is no such provision in the Constitution.
Mawarire also claimed that if the election date is not fixed, in line with
the looming expiry of the terms, Zimbabwe would be plunged into a situation
where it would be run illegally.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa after the court hearing Professor Welshman
Ncube, who was cited as one of the respondents, said Mawarire’s case was
“This is a hopeless case brought by irresponsible people who are only
interested in grandstanding and have no national interests at heart.
“Right now Zimbabwe is a country in transition with a new constitution that
obliges us to carry out certain electoral processes such as voter
registration, and to realign laws under which elections must be called.
“Demanding for an election date, when the law under which that election has
to be held doesn’t exist, is madness: we do not have a law to guide the
nomination of candidates, women’s special seats in the House of Assembly or
“Much as we may want to proclaim an election the law that allows us to do
this is not there yet, so this challenge is nonsensical,” the MDC leader
Friday, 24 May 2013 11:26
HARARE - As most Harare suburbs go dry, 60 percent of water pumped by
council is going to waste, a Cabinet minister has revealed.
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo said residents are consuming only
40 percent of water from Harare’s treatment plants while the rest is lost
through leakages and theft.
“The high level of non-revenue water (the difference between produced and
sold water) is due to physical water losses in the network, non-functional
meters and illegal connections,” said Chombo in a memorandum.
The cash strapped Harare City is constantly attacked by pressure groups for
using the bulk of revenue on salaries and luxuries at the expense of service
In protest most residents are defaulting on their bills, a situation that
has further affected the local authority’s monthly revenue inflows.
Water production levels have since dropped from at least 600 mega-litres a
day to 500 mega-litres.
Harare City Council spends $3 million on water treatment chemicals plus $1
million on power and pumping processes. - Wendy Muperi
By Jeffrey Muvundusi, Own Correspondent
Friday, 24 May 2013 09:59
BULAWAYO - Former United Nations peacekeeping mission ambassador Ray Ncube
has waded into the war between the MDC formations and Zanu PF over security
sector reform following threats by some security sector commanders who have
threatened not to recognise Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai if he won
Ncube, a retired military colonel, says the utterances are a reckless threat
Several security sector commanders have repeatedly vowed never to salute
Tsvangirai even if he was to win elections.
The former Bulawayo provincial chairperson for the revived Zapu party said
in his international military and diplomatic experience, the conduct by the
commanders was “unheard off and ill-advised”.
“The recent statements by the service chiefs are very unfortunate and can
only serve to assure the nation the democracy we uphold so much as a nation
is inconsequential,” said Ncube.
“The democratic values dictate that civilians run the government or a state.
Security organs are security and defence tools or arms that facilitate good
governance,” he said.
Ncube said the generals had no say on how a country or state must be
“Service chiefs come and go and have got very little if anything to say on
government transitional systems and we hope that with time they will refrain
in word and deed from such inflammatory language,” said Ncube, who has
worked in several European and African countries under UN peace keeping
Addressing more than 30 000 people who attended an MDC rally in Harare last
weekend Tsvangirai warned the security sector commanders against assaulting
the will of the people.
Tsvangirai said the constitution required security institutions to be
“professional and non-partisan”.
“They should be professional and respect the wishes of the people,” he said.
“I don’t get my mandate from anyone else except the people of Zimbabwe,”
said Tsvangirai, who was recently described as a “psychiatric patient” by
Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga.
By Associated Press, Published: May 24 | Updated: Saturday, May 25, 12:15 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe — A Zimbabwean human rights activist says he wants the
nation’s highest court to order prison authorities to ensure suspects in
jail can receive their life-prolonging HIV/AIDS medications.
Douglas Muzanenhamo said in court documents Friday he was denied
anti-retroviral drugs when detained for a month in 2011 on treason charges.
He was acquitted of involvement in an allegedly subversive meeting that
studied upheavals in North Africa known as the Arab Spring.
Muzanenhamo said he was infected with the AIDS virus 18 years ago. He said
police and prison officers stopped him receiving daily medication and his
immune system rapidly deteriorated.
He said the denial of vital drugs to suspects is “cruel and inhuman” and
endangers lives in breach of basic prisoner rights.
No date has been set for a court ruling.
Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00
Government hospitals are facing a serious shortage of blood following the
National Blood Services Zimbabwe’s decision to demand cash upfront for blood
and its products from the hospitals, it has emerged.
Most of the hospitals cannot afford to buy blood on a cash basis because of
shortage of finances.
Masvingo provincial medical director Dr Robert Mudyirandima said on a
monthly basis, the province would need at least 1 300 units of blood, but in
March alone they managed to buy only 500 units. Half of this blood is
consumed by pregnant women.
Dr Mudyirandima said hospitals are failing to procure required units of
blood because of budgetary constraints.
“Since the European Union’s coupon system to buy blood came to an end, we
never had enough blood in our institutions,” he said.
“This was worsened by NBSZ’s decision to cut credit facilities for us to
Although patients are made to pay for the required pints of blood, Dr
Mudyirandima said the majority of them could not afford, while for those who
can pay, the pints are not enough.
Matabeleland North provincial medical director Dr Nyasha Masuka said
district hospitals in the province were referring patients to Lupane
Provincial Hospital where blood supplies were also deminished.
He said this resulted in complications as some mothers who need blood
transfusion fail to receive it.
“We have three maternal cases which occurred before transfusion as the
district hospital did not have any blood in stock,” said Dr Masuka.
“The problem is really serious and we are hoping it will be resolved soon.”
Acting provincial medical director for Mashonaland East Dr Admire Kuretu
called on funding for blood, saying most patients who required it could not
afford to buy.
Blood costs US$50 per pint at mission hospitals while it goes for US$65 per
pint at Government hospitals.
NBSZ withdrew a credit facility for hospitals to get blood at the beginning
of the year after they failed to settle debts.
The blood transfusion organisation said it is owed about US$1 million by
Government in unpaid bills for blood and blood products.
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare acting secretary Dr Davis Dhlakama said
Government was aware of the shortage of blood in hospitals and plans were
afoot to address the challenges.
“We are trying to get money for that and we hope it will soon be resolved,”
he said. “We have the Health Transition Fund (HTF), which is trying to
address all those challenges.”
Some of the components of the HTF, a pool of funds from donors, include
supporting maternal and child health.
By Alex Bell
24 May 2013
The government has been urged to put a stop to illegal hunting taking place
in the protected Hwange National Park, where the Environment Ministry has
been accused of granting hunting quotas.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) has raised concern about the
illicit practice, which the group’s Chairman Johnny Rodrigues said was the
result of illegal hunting licenses being handed over.
Rodrigues told SW Radio Africa that they have received a number of reports
from tourists in Hwange who heard gunfire in the park. He said this backs up
their investigations that have uncovered what appear to be sport hunting
quotas approved by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, in
areas that are protected.
“The areas are supposed to be no-hunting areas, areas that are prime tourism
locations for photography and photographic safaris. But some people are
being given licences to hunt and we have already lost two elephants,”
Hwange is home to Zimbabwe’s Presidential elephant herd, a unique clan of
over 500 wild African elephants that roam freely on unfenced land adjoining
Hwange National Park Main Camp. They are meant to be protected.
“When people’s backs are turned underhanded things continue to happen
involving people who have solid government connections. We are also hearing
unconfirmed reports that paying overseas hunters are once again, as did
happen in previous years despite denials by the wildlife authorities, being
allowed inside Hwange National Park to hunt,” Rodrigues said.
He added: “It is past time that the Ministry of Environment and Natural
Resources look after the wildlife that they are tasked to protect rather
than assisting in its destruction, especially in such an important tourism
area as Hwange and we are appalled that no progress in fixing any of the
problems is evident.”
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Friday, 24 May 2013 11:37
HARARE - MDC MPs have complained that youths from their party are being
excluded from a fund meant for youth empowerment programmes which they say
is benefitting Zanu PF youth members only.
Government has disbursed $10 million towards the youth fund since the
formation of the coalition government to empower youths start
But the MDC says the fund is blighted by patronage.
This came out when Central African Building Society (Cabs) senior managers
presented oral evidence to the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on
Indigenisation and Empowerment on progress in the disbursement of the
Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund yesterday.
Cabs is handling the fund and managers Brian Mpofu and Patrick Maseko were
grilled by MDC legislators over the disbursements of the funds.
Morgan Femai, Senator for Chikomba and Rorana Muchiwa, Senator for Hwata
raised the issue.
“We are hearing from our youths in urban constituencies that they are being
excluded with youths from rural areas getting preference and these are
mainly associated with a certain political party in the inclusive
government,” said Muchiwa.
“The application letter is being accompanied by letter from senior party
bigwigs to make their application acceptable, this is causing problems to
youths associated with our party,” said Femai.
MDC senator Buda Masara demanded that the financial institution provide
names of the youths who have benefitted from the fund amid reports the funds
were being dished out based on political patronage.
Cabs is working with the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment
ministry headed by Zanu PF youth leader Savior Kasukuwere in running the
In response, Mpofu said Cabs got names of youths to benefit from the fund
through Kasukuwere’s ministry.
“We get the names from the Youth ministry but we don’t ask for one’s
political affiliation,” said Mpofu.
by Staff Reporter
UNIONS have dismissed as a dud a move by the Education Ministry to promote
to substantive heads some 5,000 teachers who have been acting school heads
around the country, in some cases for up to 12 years.
Education Minister David Coltart confirmed the development saying: “We do
not have a particular number of posts but we have an unacceptably high
number of education officers on acting capacity and we would love to have
them elevated to substantive posts.
“This is a policy issue in our ministry and our intention is to do that as
early as possible but of course that is subject to budgetary issues and
approval by PSC.”
But Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu said
discussions with the ministry had not included conditions of services for
the promoted officers.
“Our deliberations had nothing to do with the conditions of service for
teachers but we talked about the issue of transfers and promotions which
have been frozen. The government explained its financial position and that
it was unable to pay the salaries for new posts,” he said.
“However, it was explained that despite the constrained budget for the year,
it was possible for the Government to promote about 5 000 teachers who are
acting heads. In some places it has already been done and we can confirm
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond
Majongwe dismissed the exercise as “useless”.
“We are aware of that but the whole plan is that they will elevate people to
those posts and fail to increase their salaries. What is important is to
give people rewards for the increased responsibility,” he said.
“This is piecemeal issue because without an increase in salaries those
promotions are a nullity. I think the Government is doing this because it is
afraid of punishment as we had planned to take the matter to the
International Labour Organisation (ILO).”
Ndlovu also said thousands of posts still remained vacant around the
“That number (5,000) is nothing compared to the vacant posts in the country.
It is sad that the budget for the ministry remains low despite the increase
in enrolment at our schools. The education sector remains in dire straits in
terms of budget and the disbursements are slow,” he said.
Up to 80 percent of the heads at some 8,000 schools around the country are
understood to be working in an acting capacity.
The government also recently revealed that it was struggling to fill about
22,000 vacant teaching posts.
By Violet Gonda
24 May 2013
The African Union turns 50 on Saturday and several Zimbabwean veteran
nationalists, including the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo and the late
former Zanu national chairman Herbert Chitepo will be honored at the Golden
Jubilee celebrations in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa.
The state controlled Herald newspaper said the national heroes will be
honoured posthumously, together with other nationalists and revolutionaries
from the African continent for the role they played in the liberation of
their countries. Honorees include Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Ghana’s Kwame
Nkrumah and Oliver Tambo of South Africa.
The paper reported that Zimbabwean author Doris Lessing and Brazilian soccer
legend Pele are among a group of other people who excelled in other
disciplines, and will also be honoured.
President Robert Mugabe, who is already in Ethiopia, is accompanied by
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and several other government
The AU which was formed to accelerate the political and socio-economic
integration of member states, is still criticized for failing to adequately
transform the lives of people on the African continent – many of whom still
live in abject poverty and are denied basic human rights.
on May 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm
By Nyasha Francis Nyaungwa
WINDHOEK – Confusion surrounds the extension of the controversial power
purchase agreement between NamPower and Zimbabwean power utility, ZESA.
NamPower MD, Paulinus Shilamba announced this week that a 2007 power
purchase agreement signed between the two power utilities which was coming
to an end in October this year, has been extended by another year to the end
Shilamba’s announcement come days after the Zimbabwean Energy minister,
Elton Mangoma was quoted in a Zimbabwean weekly, the Independent saying the
agreement, which was initially scheduled to end last year, will be
terminated in October this year and will reduce that country’s power deficit
understood to be around 800MW.
Mangoma was quoted as saying: “The power purchase agreement is for 150MW so
you can see it’s a lot of power which when that contract terminates we will
be able to have another 100 to 150MW supplied to the country.
“What they (NamPower) have done is to ask us to sign a power purchase
agreement which is a lot more than the amount that they have given us. For
instance, we have got a contract that says we should be able to export power
which sometimes is in the region of US$4 to US$5 million a month to them.
“As you can see if we were just repaying with electricity we could have just
taken ten months or one year and finished it, but they instead actually pay
us for that electricity or a portion of it until the end of the power
purchase agreement which is in October.”
Briefing journalists on the electricity supply situation in the country on
Tuesday, the NamPower MD declined to give details of the new deal citing
confidentiality agreements between the two parties.
In 2007 NamPower entered into a power purchase agreement with Zimbabwean
power utility in which NamPower injected US$40 million into the
rehabilitation of the Hwange thermal power station in return for 150
megawatts of power for five years.
An outcry in both countries over the rationality of the agreement had
threatened the agreement and any future renewals.
In fact in 2010, the then Zimbabwean Energy Minister, Elias Mudzuri said
that Zimbabwe should stop exporting electricity to Namibia until the Hwange
Power Station was producing enough electricity. Namibia Economist
SW Radio Africa’s Violet Gonda brings you the first in a two-part interview with Finance Minister and MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti. He outlines how an MDC-T government will tackle the party’s indigenization policy and restore Zimbabwe’s industries, including the diamond sector, which Biti says has lost $4billion through theft in the four years he has been Finance Minister. He also talks about how the MDC-T intends to repay the country’s $10.7 billion debt and how they will establish an accountable state, after so many years of political instability.
BROADCAST: 16 May 2013
VIOLET GONDA: My guest on the Hot Seat programme is Finance Minister and MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti who will talk about his party’s policy document that was unveiled at the MDC’s 8th annual policy conference in Harare last week. Welcome on the programme Mr Tendai Biti.
TENDAI BITI: Thank you Violet.
GONDA: Well first of all, what are the key aspects of this document, the policy document?
BITI: It’s a defining paradigmatic document in the sense that, number one it seeks to address a mischief and that mischief being the 33 years of worst, of abuse, of misdirection, of coercive, exclusive economic policies that have been addressed by Zanu PF. So it is addressing the past. Then secondly it is seeking to consolidate the decent work we have done in the inclusive government, particularly the issue of macro-economic stabilization. And then third it seeks to redefine a new path of growth, of upliftment anchored in a democratic developmental model of development. So from that point of view it is a unique document.
GONDA: So how exactly are you, as a party, going to address the issue of macro-economic stabilization?
BITI: Macro-economic stability is simple. Macro-economic stability refers to what I can call for lack of a better word, the economic vitals of a country. Just like a human being has bodily vitals like your body temperature, your blood pressure, your heartbeat. So macro-economic stability refers to issues such as inflation, your rates of inflation, your growth rates, your current account, your balance of payment. So these things, particularly from our experience in government, require common sense, require decency, require discipline. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that inflation harms you. We Zimbabweans lived in an era, which got us to a point of 500 billion percent inflation by December of 2008 and 231 million per cent by July 2008.
So in respect of macro-economic stability, firstly there must be a social open market system where supply and demand sets pricing policies. We’ve done that in the last few years and we have seen the stabilization of prices. Our inflation has been averaging three percent in the last five years and we will continue doing that.
Number two we have liberalized interest rates in Zimbabwe. During the crisis years, interest rates were kept artificially low because the government was borrowing a lot through treasury bills. We have hardly borrowed from the market in the last few years and interest rates have remained positive and market determined.
Number three is the issue of supply side recovery because supply side recovery is so key to macro economic and here there are a number of things that the MDC will pursue which are fundamentally different from Zanu PF. In the outlook period 2013 to 2018 we will maintain the US dollar as the anchor currency of Zimbabwe. We know that Zanu PF wants to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar but we are saying as MDC it’s not yet time to return the Zimbabwean dollar.
The beauty of not returning the Zimbabwean dollar in the outlook period 2013 to 2018 is that number one you maintain people’s confidence; two you don’t create exchange rate arbitrarily; three you don’t create monetary policy distortions particularly in situations where we have seen in the past where people try to monetize the budget deficit by the printing of money with all the consequences that we saw between 1997 and 2008.
The fourth thing that we will do is of course to maintain cash budgeting or a balanced budget. It is so critical for a developmental state to maintain a balanced budget because as I said before, budget deficits and in particular the manner that you finance them is very disastrous.
Number five we intend, the MDC government intends to deal with the issue of the crippled current account deficit and then of course another issue that is so key to our macro-economic performance is the issue of Zimbabwe’s sovereign debt. We’ve got a sovereign debt of ten point seven billion US dollars. It is critical that that debt is wiped off, both from a macro and micro point of view so that we are able to accept the huge amounts of money that are most essential for development of our country. So that’s on macro-economic stability.
GONDA: Where will you get the money from in terms of sorting out Zimbabwe’s huge debt?
BITI: The country doesn’t have a capacity to deal with its own debt. Even if we had capacity, it would be very foolhardy for anyone, and any finance minister to use our resources to pay for our legacy debts when we have got our schools in the positions that they are, our hospitals in the positions that they are, our roads in the way that they are. I think it’s immoral to pay ten point seven billion dollars of debt that we half understand – some of it was used to pay guns, some of which was used to engage in all kinds of shenanigans.
So instead of looking in the past, the positive thing is to engage in a programme of sustained engagement with the World Bank, with the IMF, with the international donor community so the same can counsel and forgive our debt. We have already started that; at the Ministry of Finance, through the development of the Zimbabwe accelerated debt and development strategy. So the long and short of it is that the international community must end, if we do our macro-economic trajectory right, will pay and will cancel and forgive our debt.
GONDA: And who will pay for infrastructural development since you say Zimbabwe does not have money and these are some of the issues that… interrupted
BITI: What we envisage as MDC is that within the first ten months of President Tsvangirai’s government we will have an international conference to deal with Zimbabwe’s reconstruction. You will recall in 1981 with the Zimbabwe conference on debt and development, it is so important that we have a full dialogue with the international community for full reengagement. You’ve just seen in London last week, the conference on Somalia, we definitely intend to have a bigger one with all the multi-lateral, the bi-lateral international community there, the Chinese, the Americans, the British, the Scandinavians. That conference is very important because Zimbabwe has to be fully reintegrated.
Then number two; it is important Violet that we have proper full integration in the IFIs, in particular the African Development Bank, in particular the World Bank. Donald Kaberuka the president of the World African Development Bank has been excellent for Africa in his capacity as president of the ADB. The African Development Bank has over 30 million US dollars for infrastructural development for Africa for the next five years. We are not on the party because of these huge arrears.
The World Bank, both under the old president and the new bank president, has got over 75 billion US dollars for Africa, we are not able to access that.
Most importantly Violet, because of our high risk factor, because of our arrears we are not able to go on the international markets to issue bonds or other paper, in other words borrow from the international finance market. If you look at Rwanda, it has just floated a bond of 600 million, Zambia floated a bond of 300 million dollars, it was subscribed to the tune of 11 billion US dollars, and we can’t do that.
So the bottom line of what I’m saying is that once we lower our risk profile, once we deal with our arrears clearance, it will be able for Zimbabwe to access money from the international community at a bi-lateral level, hence the conference I’ve discussed.
Two it will be able to access money from the IFIs.
Three it will be able to access money from the international markets.
Four it will be able to access capital in the form of foreign direct investment but the precondition for this is a sustainable, credible election and our policies are written on the basis that we are going to win this election, Morgan Tsvangirai’s going to win this election by 78%. He’ll form the next government and he will implement what we are calling ART – Agenda for Real Transformation in Zimbabwe and ART is what we will be launching on Sunday afternoon, the 19th of May in the year of our Lord 2013.
GONDA: So how would you answer your critics who say you’ve had four years to show Zimbabweans that this is what you are capable of doing and so why have you not been able to do that in this inclusive government?
BITI: Firstly we have stabilized the economy Violet. When I came in, inflation was 500 billion percent, now inflation is three percent; when I came in there was no food in the supermarket, there was water and firewood, now there is any goods that you want in the economy. When I came in the economy had last had a positive growth rate in 1996; in the last four years we have had the positive growth rate, in fact between 2009 and 2011, Zimbabwe was the fastest growing economy on the planet so we have done these things.
The second level of our growth trajectory, is inclusive growth, sustainable growth and we can do that, but you must also know that Zanu PF has been working against us. If you take the indigenization policies where comrade Mashakada has been saying foreign directors must come in with investment, you know what the minister of Indigenization has been doing.
So we have done extremely well with one hand of ours tied. Can you imagine what we can do when all our hands are free? We’ve done well with our legs tied; can you imagine what we can do when we can sprint? We will be faster than Usain Bolt.
GONDA: You mentioned the issue of indigenization and many people believe that one way of encouraging or restoring investor confidence is if Zimbabwe establishes a proper indigenization policy because the Zanu PF indigenization policy seems to be frightening investors.
BITI: That’s correct Violet, that’s correct Violet.
GONDA: So what’s the MDC’s policy?
BITI: What ART is going to do which is already articulated in JUICE – what ART is going to do is do the following: number one acknowledge that the Zimbabwean economy needs to be democratized so everyone needs to be an economic player and not an innocent bystander. So we agree that there has to be upliftment. But the best form of upliftment is the following: number one – it’s a job. Everyone needs a job and a job is development and development is freedom. Without a job there is no development and without development there is no freedom.
So we have put at the epicenter of ART and of JUICE – job creation, which is why we have said in the next five years between 2013 to 2018, we will create a minimum, a minimum of a million jobs. Jobs are empowering. As you know if you don’t have a job, you are so totally disempowered. So that’s number one.
Number two – as part of our, if you like, our empowerment programme and in the process of creating those jobs, the issue of domestic savings is critical. The MDC intends to ensure that there is financial inclusivity in this country, which will guarantee savings of at least 30 to 50% of GDP. When people save it means others will borrow and start businesses, re-equip their businesses, retool their businesses.
Number three is foreign direct investment. This economy needs foreign direct investment that is at least 75%, 50% of GDP and because we have got friends all over unlike Zanu PF, we will be able to attract foreign direct investment.
Number four Violet; we have got a false – and this is where Zanu PF doesn’t get it right, we have got a false accumulation model. The false accumulation model, which we have is extractive; diamonds are extracted and sent to Israel; tobacco is extracted – 90% of it goes elsewhere. We make the best cotton in Zimbabwe but 80% of it goes out. If you look at a dress that a person is wearing in Zimbabwe or a shirt it is all written made in China and so forth so there is no value edition. So the MDC is saying let’s change the accumulation model from extraction to beneficiation and value addition. So the greatest empowerment project of the MDC is an agro-industrial transformation of Zimbabwe which will see beneficiation and value addition industrialization, industrialization, industrialization it’s key.
Number four is the issue of technology – ICT. This economy is rural and it’s underdeveloped. So you need to revolutionize this country through ICTs so that there is 4G, there is futuristic technology. If you have a population that is educated, ICT literate which is producing manufactured goods, not the situation where we can’t even make chisharo chebhasikoro then you have got proper empowerment in our country. Then of course you must also have a situation where in respect of every investor, there is an appreciation of what he is doing for the local economy. In fact in terms of taking locals on board, in terms of educating our people, in terms of community social responsibility, the building of schools, of hospitals. What we are calling in our document ‘horizontal and backward linkages’ – spatial linkages particularly in the mining sector, one of the sad things about the Zanu PF mining policy if you take Marange and so forth, is that people are just being given licenses’ left right and centre, nothing comes to the country, there is no valuation of what is underground.
So if a person spends three million dollars to set up a diamond company like Mbada, one diamond carat is five million, what comes to the government is zero because everything is shrouded in corruption and so forth. So the issue again of giving meaningful mineral values to our minerals is an essential corner of the MDC policy.
GONDA: How much can you estimate in terms of how much the country is losing out from these diamonds. How much has Zimbabwe lost since you became Finance Minister?
BITI: We’re talking about the MDC policy Violet.
GONDA: Yes I’m going to come back to that issue.
BITI: Yes, I’ll answer both questions. Firstly if we get our mining policy right, if Zimbabwe gets its mining policy right and I said this in my 2013 budget and we say this in ART, the Agenda for Real Transformation, the country should by 2018 be getting at least 14 billion US dollars mineral exports, 14 billion US dollar mineral exports. But there has to be a paradigm shift, a fundamental paradigm shift.
Number one you need exploration; exploration is not taking place. Exploration last took place in 1968 in Zimbabwe, real exploration.
Number two you fundamentally need to change the way you parcel out concessions. At the present moment Mpofu just quietly, nocturnally, opaquely parcels out mining concessions. Some of us we just read the newspapers – ah suddenly there’s a company called OGPD in diamonds, suddenly there’s a Ghanaian company mining diamonds. It’s opaque it’s not transparent! How those concessions are being given out nobody knows but the value is being lost.
Thirdly you must come out, we must revise the Mines and Minerals Act so that when an investor is coming in here we need to know the value of the platinum that is underground – that is not happening.
Fourth is the issue of spatial linkages that I’ve already referred to. Number one you need horizontal linkages. This is a situation where procurement, domestic procurement for mining is sourced locally, then backward linkages which is value addition. Then the most important thing – spatial linkages. Spatial linkages arrive in the following manner – mining is high value, low impact so companies extract but the communities around those companies are very poor so you want to ensure that there is high value and high impact. So if you take a mine like let’s say Mbada, it must build houses, it must build universities, it must value add the diamonds that it is making. And with diamonds it pains me Violet that a little village called Surat in India is employing 60 000 Indians who are cutting and polishing our diamonds when we can do that – because to cut and polish a diamond you don’t need a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Zimbabwe but Zanu PF is allowing these things because they functionally illiterate when it comes to issues around the economy.
But to your more specific question on diamonds – in 2013, 800 million US dollars diamonds were exported out of Zimbabwe but what we got as treasury was 45 million US dollars. Now 45 million as a percentage of 800 million is less than 10% so people are stealing and people have got degrees of stealing. These are not sustainable. So I’m suffering as Minister of Finance and yet, and I’m going around begging, but I’m begging with a gold begging bowl because people are stealing. That’s not sustainable.
What we are saying is now, and what we are saying in ACT and JUICE is Zimbabwe must move away from these vicious cycles of extraction to virtuous circles of inclusion, of incentive, of putting the country first. Unfortunately that is not the position right now.
GONDA: You mentioned that we only got 45 million in 2013 alone but are you able to give us an estimate from 2009 to 2013?
BITI: The rough estimate would be around four billion dollars. Remember, remember when we say 800 million that is only that which has been acquitted through the central bank, that has been acquitted through the central bank in terms of CD 1 forms but you and I know that the bulk of the diamonds are not even being sold legally. They are being transported illegally, smuggled out illegally. So if you were to get the figures of production, the current figures that are coming from the ground and just put a rough cost of say 60 dollars a carat, what has been lost since we started producing diamonds is at least four billion US dollars.
GONDA: Right what will happen to all these dubious companies that you mentioned that have been given licenses’ clandestinely? What will an MDC government do about this?
BITI: Well anything that has been done irregularly, irregularly, must be regularized. Anything, done illegally, irregularly, must be regularized.
GONDA: We hear there is massive theft everywhere – in the diamond industry, in government departments – so how will you monitor this and how will the MDC establish an accountable state?
BITI: The problem with the current situation is that the law is not being presented and one of the things of ART is that there must be a redesigning of the state so that the state itself, the government institutions themselves respect the law, respect the people of Zimbabwe and are transparent and accountable and subordinate to parliament. And if you look what we have done in the constitution, which is an integral part of MDC policy, the MDC, the constitution was born out of struggles of the MDC and the democratic movement in Zimbabwe. One of the things that is happening is that you have all these executive commissions liable, all these executive commissions and their people subject to two terms of office including permanent secretary. That will go a long way towards establishing an accountable state. But in terms of resources the law is very clear – even the current constitution – every cent to the benefit of Zimbabwe must go the Consolidated Revenue Fund and the Consolidated Revenue Fund is the budget which is looked after by parliament but the problem now is that you’ve got sub-budget – the police have got their own police fund, the judiciary has got its own fund for fines and so forth, a road fund and so forth. So you’ve got a multiplicity of these funds. The constitution must be respected. Unless parliament itself has said you can have this fund like the road fund everything must come to the Treasury.
So the question Violet is not about what has happened in the past, the question is are you going to move forward well and correct and legal in the future and that is what the MDC wants to focus on – in the future because if you are not careful you might spend a lot of your energy pursuing the past. The MDC doesn’t drive looking in the rear view mirror, it looks at the front mirror because we want to move forward and serve our people.
GONDA: You know, people will say your proposals are good on paper but will be difficult to implement because of maybe a small group of people, the elite, and that until there’s political stability, it’s going to be difficult even to get people to invest in Zimbabwe, so how are you going to manage this?
BITI: You know Violet, the reason why all political parties must put their policies on paper, and so far we are the only party who has done that, is that people must be able to hold us accountable. You said you were going to do this – what have you done? Zanu PF has not done that, they are attacking our JUICE but what do they have.
Even indigenization is not a Zanu PF policy – it is a government policy. They don’t have anything on paper. In 2008 they didn’t even have a manifesto so we are putting this so that we are held to account – you guys you promised this, why are you not doing this? You guys you have got your JUICE, you have got your Agenda for Real Transformation, why are you not delivering? So that’s important.
Then the second thing is yes, implementation Violet is a problem. You are going to have the challenge of number one; the securocrats, the selectorate – those that are appointed, the bureaucrats, if they don’t want you to move these things, you won’t move them. That will be a fight. Then number three you will have a fight with Zanu PF and the chaos faction of Zanu PF.
Number four you will have a fight with certain sections of the international community that are not sympathetic to you because you would have shut tapes that they were drinking from when Zanu PF was there. So we are aware of these challenges but we don’t need to say I am not going to go into my field to plant because it is going to rain today. You don’t do that. You look the beast in the eye and you won’t blink and the MDC is not going to blink!
GONDA: Join us next week for the final part of the interview with Finance Minister Tendai Biti where the MDC-T Secretary General details his party’s land policy. What will happen to multiple farm owners and will the party embark on a land audit? He also responds to questions regarding the image of the MDC-T, which some observers say has been damaged by individuals who have adopted the ‘Zanu PF way of thinking’.
by Nelson Sibanda
Proclamation of 29 June 2013 as election date by President Robert Mugabe
before the new constitution came into being was misplaced and
constitutionally unacceptable, said political analysts.
The call by Mugabe for election coming June was described as political noise
directed to the Zanu (PF) audience which wanted Zimbabwe to go to the polls
without agreed reforms.
Political analyst, Goodwin Phiri, told The Zimbabwean that: “Mugabe speaks
to different constituencies which include Zanu (PF). The 29 June 2013 date
was meant for Zanu (PF) supporters even though everybody else knew it was
Phiri said even after the signing of the Constitutional Bill into law
yesterday at State House does not give Mugabe the powers to proclaim
election dates before reforms and consent from other GPA principals.
He said the constitutional electoral process has to be observed before any
election is held.
“SADC, AU and other foreign players learnt lessons from the Zimbabwe June
2008 election fiasco and want things to out correct this time around. There
will not be any short cuts this time around,” said Phiri.
Another respected political analyst, Enerst Mudzengi, said: “In the Zimbabwe
situation Mugabe could have been correct to proclaim the 29 June 2013
election date before the new constitution since here politics reigns
President Mugabe signed the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act
into law paving the way for elections later this year after the election
road map has been cleared of sticking points.
Eight provisions of the new constitution to do with elections would take
immediate effectiveness following the signing.
The provisions include Chapters 3 relating to citizenship, Declaration of
Rights, election and assumption of office of the president, election of
members of parliament, relating to the jurisdiction and powers of the
Chapters to do with principals of administration and leadership, conduct of
members of the security forces and provincial and local government would
also take immediate effect.
Particular national processes must occur in terms of the new Constitution
before an election date can be announced.
(a) All amendments to the Electoral Law and election-related legislation
must be finalised and operational.
(b) A 30-day voter registration and inspection exercise has been carried
out. [If a date is announced after (a) but still during the voter
registration exercise, the announcement can only be done 15 days before the
end of the voter registration exercise.]
(c) Once an election date is proclaimed, a minimum of 44 days (14 days
between proclamation of the date and the sitting of the Nomination Court,
and a further 30 days between the sitting of the Nomination Court and
Polling Day) must elapse before actual voting.
(d) The polls must be held within 4 months of the dissolution of Parliament.
[At the latest elections must be held by 29 October 2013, if Parliament runs
its full course, or alternatively within 4 months of the date on which the
President dissolves Parliament.]
For Parliament to extend its life, and/or for the current government to
extend itself beyond 29 October 2013, there will be need for a
constitutional amendment, possibly together with a new political agreement.
If the above processes are not complied with there will be a constitutional
crisis that would give rise to the real probability of protracted
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
24 MAY 2013 00:00 - ANALYSIS JASON MOYO
The Movement for Democratic Change has adjusted policies in its election
manifesto but is this enough to win against Zanu-PF later this year?
The red shirts and berets at the Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC's)
policy conference this week were a nod to the party's labour past, but its
election manifesto reflects a party still trying to find a compromise
between its roots and the need to appeal to foreign investors.
The phrase "social democratic state" appears frequently throughout the
247-page manifesto, but the party leans heavily towards a free market
economy, with its economic plan pinned almost entirely on foreign
The MDC's policy looks for a sharp break from Zanu-PF's policy of promising
ownership of foreign businesses. The MDC would cut state subsidies, and
focus on creating jobs, which the party says is its central strategy.
In the manifesto, "creating a conducive investment climate" is mentioned as
a precondition for the success of the MDC's policies. The MDC believes its
policies will grow Zimbabwe into a $200-billion economy by 2040.
The MDC manifesto says: "An MDC government will seek to address the
unfinished business of land ownership [and bring] finality to the emotive
But this would be the toughest task of the MDC government. Previously,
senior officials suggested the MDC would reverse Mugabe's reforms once in
power. However, over recent years, the party has realised it cannot
realistically drive resettled farmers off the land, but would rather carry
out a land audit to weed out the owners of multiple farms.
Zanu-PF itself has called for such an audit, most recently at its last
conference. But with many top leaders known to hold several farms, this is
unlikely to happen. The MDC says it will end all state subsidies to farms,
including the supply of inputs.
This contrasts sharply with Zanu-PF; parcelling out inputs, including seed
and farm implements, has helped to support new farmers, while at the same
time oiling Zanu-PF's web of political patronage.
The MDC hopes to appeal to resettled farmers by offering to provide them
with title deeds. In contrast, Zanu-PF offers long-term leases to large
landholders, but many resettled farmers have no official claim to land
beyond frequently disputed "offer letters".
There would be "deracialisation of the land programme – every Zimbabwean has
a right to land", says the MDC. Zanu-PF says white farmers can apply for
land, but white farmer unions say it is rare for their members to be
There would be full compensation for both land and improvements, says the
MDC. Zanu-PF, on the other hand, vows never to compensate for land, which it
says is stolen land that is being reclaimed by its rightful owners. The MDC
also wants a cap on the size of farms, though it does not say whether this
would apply to large commercial estates, which its manifesto says it wants
Indigenisation is the centrepiece of Zanu-PF's electoral campaign. Through
"community share ownership schemes", Zanu-PF's empowerment model forces
companies to dole out shares to community trusts.
The MDC says it realises that there would be a need to enact policies that
"rectify imbalances resulting from past practices and policies". But where
Zanu-PF says these can only be corrected by redistributing wealth through
its 51% local ownership, the MDC says investment and creating jobs are the
The MDC's approach to empowerment includes the establishment of a Sovereign
Wealth Fund, into which foreign investors would contribute a portion of
their profits. A separate fund would be created, compelling foreign
companies to finance community development.
However, apart from dropping Zanu-PF's "indigenisation" for the word
"empowerment", there is little detail in the manifesto on the MDC's
An MDC government would return to the Commonwealth, from which Zimbabwe
withdrew in 2003, and "normalise" its relations with Britain and other
This would include the "repeal of all restrictive laws that militate against
normal relations" with the United States.
There is a thinly veiled jab at China. An MDC government would "maintain
sound relations" with China – which the MDC notes could be the world's
biggest economy in future – "the relationship will be based on transparency
and mutual benefit".
Although Zanu-PF is mending ties with the West, it has thrown in its lot
with China and the Far East under its Look East policy.
Defence forces will be "depoliticised" so that they accept the "primacy of
civilian rule" and respect the Constitution, the MDC says. Zanu-PF, on the
other hand, believes the army cannot be separated from Zanu-PF.
The MDC says it plans to cut the size of the defence forces, which may be an
unpopular plan with the rank and file of the military that the MDC hopes to
reach out to. The defence ministry, run by Zanu-PF, has on the contrary been
recruiting more soldiers to the army, without consent from the treasury.
On how the MDC would treat past injustices, the party says it will "combine
elements of restorative justice to balance the delicate attainment of both
reconciliation and justice".
The MDC says Zimbabwe has experienced four periods of rights violations: the
Gukurahundi campaign in the 1980s; farm invasions; electoral violence since
1980; and the violence after the 2008 elections.
It omits the liberation war, which could easily be seized upon by Zanu-PF,
whose usual reaction to calls for justice is that war-time atrocities must
be included. Zanu-PF wants past issues dealt with through a ministry set up
especially for "national healing".
on May 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm
The new Constitution of Zimbabwe prohibits the security forces from engaging
in partisan conduct, a development that could rein in the very institutions
whose leaders have, on numerous occasions, threatened to reject any
electoral outcome in which President Robert Mugabe loses.
President Mugabe signed the document – overwhelmingly endorsed at the March
referendum – on Wednesday May 22.
The historic event was held at the State House in Harare and was witnessed
by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara among other government officials.
The document replaces the ceasefire constitution adopted at the sunset of
colonial rule at Lancaster House, London in Britain in 1979.
The Security Service bosses – Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantine
Chiwenga, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and Prisons Chief
Paradzai Zimondi – have been insisting they will not tolerate an election
victory which favours anyone who did not participate in the liberation
However, the Sixth Schedule of the new supreme law which came into effect
upon the signing says stipulations relating to the conduct of members of the
security services in section 208 have become law.
“Neither the security services nor any of their members may, in the exercise
of their functions act in a partisan manner, further the interests of a
political party or cause, prejudice the lawful interests of any political
party or cause,” reads the new Zimbabwean law.
Given that Chiwenga recently called Tsvangirai a “psychiatric patient” the
new law speaks to such conduct stating:
“Defense forces of Zimbabwe must be non-partisan, national in character,
patriotic, professional, and subordinate to civilian authority as
established by this constitution,” the important document reads.
Chihuri is on record for confessing that he is a member of Zanu-PF and all
the service chiefs have been featuring at the party’s gatherings while Chief
Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka is already campaigning to be a member of
parliament while he is still an active serving member of the ZRP.
Low ranking soldiers have allegedly been deployed to run Zanu-PF election
campaigns in the past, but according to the new Constitution’s Sixth
Schedule which came into effect on Wednesday:
“Members of the security services must not be active members or
office-bearers of any political party, or organisation. Serving members of
the security services must not be employed or engaged in civilian
institutions except in periods of public emergency.”
The greater part of the Constitution will come into effect after the
elections. Report prepared by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
on May 24, 2013 at 7:40 pm
223 213 5 0
To: The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President
The Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai
The Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara
The President of the MDC, Professor Welshman Ncube
Ref: New Constitution and the imperatives for comprehensive media
The Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe Chapter (MISA-Zimbabwe) by
virtue of this letter humbly welcomes the endorsement of the Draft
Constitution by Parliament as a significant milestone that offers immense
opportunities for the entrenchment of democracy and enjoyment of fundamental
rights in Zimbabwe.
As a media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information advocacy
organisation, MISA-Zimbabwe is particularly encouraged by the inclusion in
the Constitution of explicit provisions that for the first time guarantee
media freedom and citizens’ right to access to information.
In view of this significant development, MISA-Zimbabwe takes this
opportunity to humbly draw your highly esteemed attention on the attendant
urgency and imperative need for comprehensive media legislative reforms
subsequent to the signing of the Draft Constitution into the country’s
supreme law by His Excellency President Robert Mugabe.
We humbly submit that the urgency for these reforms is of significant
importance ahead of the harmonised elections and thus necessitating
increased impetus towards the realignment and streamlining of the country’s
laws, media regulatory bodies and the public media accordingly.
This will ensure conformity with the new constitution and other regional
and international instruments that Zimbabwe is signatory to, notably among
others, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, African Charter on Human
and Peoples Rights, Banjul Declaration on the Principles of Freedom of
Expression in Africa, Southern Africa Protocol on Sport, Culture and
Information, African Charter on Broadcasting.
Viewed in the context of the forthcoming elections, ensuring that these
reforms are instituted well in advance will not only allow for increased
enjoyment of media freedom, citizens’ right to freedom of expression,
assembly, association, and access to information, but will go a long way in
complying with the SADC Guidelines and Principles on the Conduct of
Democratic Elections as well as the region’s asserted position on Zimbabwe’s
Existing laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA), Public Order and Security Act (POSA), Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act, Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), Censorship
and Entertainment Controls Act, Interception of Communications Act, Official
Secrets Act and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Act, among others, stick out as some
of the Acts crying for wholesale repeal or amendment of some of their
MISA-Zimbabwe is therefore appealing to your esteemed offices to ensure that
all the relevant ministries, government institutions, the Parliament of
Zimbabwe and other key institutions are sufficiently implored, resourced and
galvanised towards fulfilling the urgent task ahead.
In making this humble appeal, MISA-Zimbabwe together with its alliance
partners under the auspices of the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ), is not
only guided by the universally accepted fact on the critical role played by
the media in the enjoyment of fundamental rights, but more so by the fact
that media freedom by its very intrinsic nature, is a key ingredient in
complying with democratic benchmarks.
We thus stand ready to render our assistance towards fulfilling the nation’s
high expectations in the country’s democratisation process underpinned by
the requisite and urgent comprehensive media legislative reforms.
c.c Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable. Lovemore Moyo
c.c President of the Senate, Senator Edna Madzongwe
c.c Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Honourable Webster Shamu
c.c Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Honourable
c.c Minister of Transport and Communications, Honourable Nicholas Goche
c.c The Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda
c.c The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, Mr
c.c The Chairperson Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information
and Communication Technologies, Honourable Settlement Chikwinya
c.c The SADC Facilitation Team
Soft-focus documentary catches Robert Mugabe over lunch with his wife and
children, talking of love, family, politics and Tony Blair
David Smith in Johannesburg
guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 May 2013 12.03 BST
Flowers, silver cutlery, and a box of tissues adorn the spotless white
tablecloth. The family says grace and "bon appetit!" before tucking into
their vegetables. Sitting at the head of the table, dad worries aloud about
his son's schoolwork and his daughter's boyfriends, while mum chortles about
confiscating the PlayStation.
This is lunch with the Mugabes, a surreal glimpse of Zimbabwe's first family
as no one has ever quite seen them before. Before the TV cameras Robert,
wife Grace and two of their children declare their love for each other,
discuss philosophy and religion, and laugh about the time Grace punched a
British photographer. The result is compelling and at times jaw-dropping.
Some might describe it as car crash television.
The gates of Harare's secretive State House were thrown open to interviewer
Dali Tambo, flamboyant son of South African liberation hero Oliver Tambo. He
gives Mugabe a sympathetic hearing and admits he is "totally" braced for the
charge that he is sanitising and glorifying a dictator just months before
Zimbabwe holds crucial elections.
Indeed, those who blame Mugabe's 33-year rule for their suffering may find
it hard to stomach the climax of the two-part documentary which finds the
president, dapper as ever in suit and grey tie with folded handkerchief in
breast pocket, lunching with his wife and children in a stately room that
once hosted the Queen. In a routine familiar to fans of his long-running
People of the South series, Tambo asks his subjects to look each other in
the eye and emote.
Wearing dreadlocks and a blue patterned dress, Grace Mugabe, more than four
decades younger than her husband, takes his hand and declares: "You're very
loving, you're kind, you're generous, you kind of like brought me up and you
know that I appreciate everything that I've been able to do."
Dubbed "DisGrace" by headline writers for an allegedly profligate lifestyle,
she continues: "I've tried to use [my position] to benefit the less
privileged of this country, and whatever I do, I do it complement the work
you're doing. I'm really happy to be your wife and I feel blessed to be part
of your family."
In a somewhat cringeworthy moment, a stilted Mugabe, who married Grace in
1996, responds: "When I said I wanted to marry her, I meant it. I said to
her from that moment on if I had any girlfriends, I would leave them and
that's what I have done to recognise you and you alone as my partner.
Whether you believed it or not, that's what it has been.
"And I valued her, I valued the transformation that you brought to my life
and the kids that you gave me and the happiness that they brought and the
happiness you brought, and I remain very grateful for that. And that is why
sometimes perhaps when you tend to be angry with me or perhaps I've not
acted as quickly as you thought I should on certain matters, I have not
reacted, I just kept quiet and allowed that to win."
Mugabe has not finished pouring out his heart for the cameras yet. The
89-year-old goes on: "This is how we have lived. I do hope we continue that
way and that our children also benefit from our oneness and that you also
benefit from the little that you can learn from me, that interaction, and
also even our relatives can learn from us how marital life should be, and
especially the younger ones, so please continue to love the children but of
course, above all, to love this boyfriend called Robert Mugabe."
There is laughter around the table and Grace rises to give the president a
chaste kiss. Earlier in the programme, of which the Guardian has seen a
near-complete edit prior to broadcast, the couple share similar exchanges
with their children. Son Bellarmine, who bears a striking resemblance to
Mugabe and wears a suit and tie to match, says his father always makes time
for him. "I also love the fact that if I sleep and I'm outside the blankets,
he'll come and tuck me in."
Mugabe warmly describes daughter Bona, a postgraduate student wearing a
pink-tinted leopard patterned dress, as "very obedient" and "absolutely
trustworthy" but chides Bellarmine, whose studies at a private school came
to an abrupt end earlier this year. "He has not made me happy in the way he
takes to his studies. He should be more serious than he is at the moment."
Tambo touches a raw nerve by asking Mugabe what qualities he would look for
in a future husband for his daughter. Brow furrowed and voice gruff,
Africa's oldest leader would be enough to strike fear into any potential
suitor. "Regarding such approaches,, one from a wolf who has come to seize
one of my lambs – that's the feeling.
"But it must be a person of her own choice. My hope would be first,
qualities of a good husband will live with her, because he loves her through
thick and thin and not just look at her now as she still is that flower,
attractive, blooming. She will have kids and quite a lot of what is now the
real charm will disappear and the face will start having wrinkles. So he
should not pit her at that time against up and coming younger ones, which is
what most people do and as a result we gets lots of divorces."
During the lunch, Mugabe takes out the rosary beads that he always carries –
"I went to war with it" – discusses God and claims he is still a Marxist,
though not in "absolute terms".
Grace, meanwhile, makes merry as she recalls thumping a British photographer
outside a five-star hotel in Hong Kong four years ago. "They saw us and
started running towards us. I said, 'No, enough is enough, why are you
treating us like this? What wrong have I done?' ... So I ran after him and I
caught him. I started beating him. He was pleading with me to get the
camera, please, I didn't answer so I kept on punching him." There is mirth
at the table.
Tambo's late father was close to Mugabe but it took him three years to land
the interview, which will be shown in South Africa on the SABC3 channel at
8.30pm on Sunday 2 June. His style might strike critics as fawning and
sycophantic. But it does win unprecedented access and enable him to question
Mugabe on everything from the 1980s massacres in Matabeleland province to
starting an affair with Grace while his first wife, Sally, was terminally
Asked what attracted him to Grace, who was a typist in his office, Mugabe
blinks often as if holding back tears and offers a most unorthodox reply:
"It was not just the fact that one was attracted. After Sally was gone it
was necessary for me to look for someone and, even as Sally was still going
through her last few days, although it might have appeared to some as cruel,
I said to myself well, it's not just myself needing children, my mother has
all the time said, ah, am I going to die without seeing grandchildren?
"So I decided to make love to her. She happened to be one of the nearest and
she was a divorcee herself, and so it was. We got our first child when my
mother was still alive."
Tambo asks if Sally, who died from kidney failure in 1992, accepted the new
relationship. "I did tell her and she just kept quiet and said fine but she
did ask, 'Do you still love me?' I said yes. And she said, 'Oh, fine'."
Sitting on wooden chairs in the gardens of the colonial era State House, the
pair run through Mugabe's life story, from cattle-herding as a boy with a
whip in one hand and book in the other to dancing the quickstep and waltz
with student nurses. As a freedom fighter against white minority rule, he
was jailed for 11 years. "When you're in prison, you say 'OK, when we get
out, these bastards, we are going to deal with them'," he recalls.
Initially, when he came to power at independence in 1980, Mugabe preached
reconciliation but his reputation rapidly crumbled with the violent seizures
of white-owned farms from 2000. For this he blames then British prime
minister Tony Blair for reneging on promises of funding land redistribution
made under the 1979 Lancaster House agreement.
"Mrs Thatcher, you could trust her," Mugabe continues. "But of course what
happened later was a different story with the Labour party and Blair and
company, who you could never trust. You couldn't compare them to Thatcher
and the others … Oh, who can ever believe what Mr Blair says? Here we call
Asked about the condemnation he still faces for the way land reform was
handled, Mugabe responds with a South African comparison: "They will praise
you only if you are doing things that please them. Mandela has gone a bit
too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at
the expense of them … That's being too saintly, too good, too much of a
During the interview, which lasted two-and-a-half hours, the Zanu-PF leader
claims that upcoming elections will be peaceful but does not sound like a
man ready or willing to let go. Banging his fist on an armrest, he unleashes
the old fiery rhetoric: "There is a fight to fight. The British are calling
for regime change, that I must go. That call must not come from the British.
"The sanctions are still on us and what man is there who, when his own house
is being attacked, will run away and leave the family and the children still
under attack? It's a coward … My people still need me and when people still
need you to lead them it's not time, sir, it doesn't matter how old you are,
to say goodbye. They will say you are deserting us and I am not a deserter,
never have been, never have thought of deserting people. We fight to the
finish: that's it. I still have it in me here."
People of the South makes no mention of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change and will do no harm to Mugabe's attempts to rebrand
himself, which have already led to signs of a softening in western opinion.
Tambo, who grew up in exile in north London, said his show is "not Hardtalk"
and he makes no apologies for humanising a man he believes has long been
Describing Mugabe as "warm, charismastic and very humorous", he said: "I
feel, honestly, a pride in that man and I think that he has been
misunderstood and ill-judged by a lot of the press. He's made mistakes but
in general he's going to go down in history with a very positive perspective
May 24, 2013, 12:59 pm
There was a report yesterday that there are signs of re-engagement with
Zimbabwe by the US, the EU and various other nations. First reaction: well,
that’s great! It means the world has moved on, no longer are the nations of
the world riven by the ideological divisions of the past; there’s no longer
the ‘great divide’ between east and west, we are all one great big happy
community of nations. The sins of the past are forgotten: Robert Mugabe,
once regarded as a cruel despot responsible for the deaths of thousands in
the Gukuruhundi, the horrors of Murambatsvina and countless other examples
of civil rights abuse, his image has been renewed as the leader of a modern
democratic nation. No longer is Zimbabwe regarded as a ‘no-go’ area for
tourists. Now, it’s a top destination for travellers anxious to see for
themselves the wonders of the Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe and the
magnificent animals in the country’s game reserves. There is now no reason
for tourists to avoid Zimbabwe, it is a country at peace with itself, where
its citizens enjoy all the freedoms of a democratic state. Is that the true
state of affairs, is that the reality for ordinary Zimbabwean citizens - or
is it just plain wishful thinking on the part of the rest of the world?
This change of attitude on the part of the EU, the US and the other
nations towards Zimbabwe can perhaps be best explained by some of the
statements made by certain high-powered American visitors who have recently
been granted interviews with President Robert Mugabe. First it was the
former UN Ambassador Andrew Young who was dispatched by President Obama to
let Mugabe know that the US was ‘interested in repairing strained relations’.
Then it was the Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson who said, “When there’s
growth and investment, everybody wins. And we want to be part of helping
remove... barriers that stand between our two countries.” As proof of good
will, in March the EU lifted sanctions against 81 Zimbabwean officials
excluding Robert Mugabe and 10 of his top officials. Next it was the turn of
the US who lifted sanctions against the Agricultural Development Bank and
this week the EU availed Zimbabwe education of $17 million. Was all this
generosity and good will on the part of the US and the EU anything to do
with the fact that Zimbabwe is about to ‘indigenise’ its very substantial
mineral resources and they want a part of the action -or was it an attempt
to outflank the Chinese whose vice president is getting VIP treatment on his
current visit to Zimbabwe. Whatever the explanation, the bottom line is
profit. With the discovery of vast platinum and other mineral resources,
including Chiadzwa’s diamonds, Zimbabwe becomes a very attractive target for
foreign investors - or that’s what you would think. Enter Obert Mpofu,
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines. “If there is anyone who thinks they own land,
please prepare yourselves for the shocks that will actually befall you,” he
said this week. “No one owns the land - especially mining land. It is owned
by the state.” And everything else it seems! From now on everyone will have
to apply for a licence to own a shop and NO foreign owned company will be
granted a licence we are told. This action is apparently targeted at
Chinese, Congolese and Nigerian shop owners and street traders. Of course,
it’s no coincidence that all this is happening in the run-up to elections,
now further delayed by the shambles of the voter registration exercise. No
doubt all those outsiders who are now courting Zimbabwe have drawn a veil
over the horrors of the past and concentrated instead on the positive fact
that the new constitution has become law. Perhaps that is as it should be:
that all the ills of the past are forgiven – but justice demands the victims
must never be forgotten.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson.