By Tichaona Sibanda
25 May 2011
The High Court has ordered the release of seven army officers who were
arrested four years ago on allegations of planning to oust the former ruling
ZANU PF party from power.
The ‘coup plotters,’ who face charges of ‘an intention to remove Robert
Mugabe from office by unconstitutional means, and conspiracy to commit
treason’, pleaded not guilty when they first appeared in court but have
remained in custody since 2007.
The men were accused of planning attacks on military installations and
provoking disharmony within the armed, hoping to trigger instability and
setting the stage for the ousting of the ZANU PF led government.
The seven former army officers; Albert Matapo, Nyasha Zivuku, Oncemore
Mazivahona, Emmanuel Marara, Patson Mupfure, Shingirai Mutemachani and
Rangarirai Maziofa, were also accused of trying to replace Mugabe with
Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa.
Military analysts familiar with ZANU PF’s modus operandi said the crackdown
on the army officers was a well calculated move to instill fear among
serving members of the defence forces and ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe.
A former member of the Zimbabwe National Army told SW Radio Africa that
there have been many reports of ‘attempted coups’ against Mugabe that have
been used as a ruse to round up any one perceived as opponents of ZANU PF.
‘We have seen it happen countless times. How many people in Zimbabwe,
including academics, journalists, politicians and soldiers have appeared in
court facing separate charges of plotting to bring down ZANU PF?
‘Not a single person though has gone to jail facing charges of treason.
These are all well calculated manoeuvres to jail foes and to silence
opponents,’ the former member of the army said.
Pro-democracy activist John Chikwari said there have always been suspicions
that reports of such coups were aimed at creating a climate of fear and
provide an excuse for the Joint Operations Command to prolong Mugabe’s rule
by cracking down on his opponents.
‘That has been a viable campaign tool that ZANU PF used to great effect but
it will not work anymore because Mugabe is now in an inclusive government
with other partners,’ Chikwari said.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 16:09
HARARE - White commercial farmers have come under renewed siege from farm
invaders following the disbandment of the Sadc Tribunal last week, according
Charles Taffs, the Commercial Farmers Union vice president said his
organisation had received fresh invasions in Manicaland’s Chipinge area as
well as on the outskirts of Harare this week.
He said the dissolution of the Sadc Tribunal, the white farmers’ last
frontier of hope, had left them as cannon fodder to President Robert Mugabe’s
allies clamouring for the complete removal of whites from farms.
Sadc leaders last Friday dissolved the Sadc Tribunal, which acted as a
regional court for citizens denied justice in their own countries, for 12
months pending a review of operations.
“These new invasions are being encouraged because of the disbandment of the
Sadc Tribunal which had ruled in our favour in the past two years and we
want a way forward over these matters as the invasions are disrupting
farming operations,’’ said Taffs.
Although the Zimbabwe government had refused to recognise the court’s
rulings, positive judgments from the court kept a glimmer of hope for white
farmers whose majority lost land under the often-violent land reform
Taffs said only 230 commercial farmers remained in business from 4 500 at
the start of the land reforms in 2000.
“There are problems in Chipinge where two farmers are being chased off their
farms since the beginning of this week. We are in the process of trying to
negotiate with the invaders to allow the farmers to continue with farming.
We have also another farmer, Desmond Fox facing the same problem in Pomona
area,’’ said Taffs.
The Sadc summit was expected to be a culmination of an early-drawn out
process that began in August last year when some regional leaders led by
Mugabe called for the review of the role, functions and terms of reference
of the Tribunal.
Mugabe’s regime has been at the fore-front of attacking the Tribunal, which
had ruled against Mugabe’s land reform programme in a series of cases
dealing with land disputes brought by white commercial farmers.
“The white commercial farmers are being discriminated because of the colour
of their skin. These are professional farmers that are being denied the
chance to ply their trade yet the country needs them,’’ said Taffs.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
25 May, 2011
Police in Tsholotsho have continued to deny lawyers access to two officials
from the ZimRights civic group, who were arrested in this area of
Matabeleland North on Monday. Regional coordinator Florence Ndlovu, and
paralegal officer Walter Dube, have not been seen since they were taken by
police at a roadblock set up ‘to specifically arrest’ them. They had been
banned from holding an anti torture workshop at Tshino Business centre, even
though they had a court order giving them permission.
ZimRights director, Okay Machisa, told SW Radio Africa that he was “very,
very worried” for their safety, after a police guard with an AK 47 rifle
told lawyers on Wednesday he had been “instructed to shoot” if they
continued trying to pass through the gate. Colleagues from ZimRights who had
brought some food were also denied entry into Nyamandlovu police station,
where they say Ndhlovu and Dube are being held, although police deny this.
“The car they were driving is no longer parked in a conspicuous place where
everyone can see it,” Machisa said. He added that the vehicle driven by the
arrested officials was now parked behind the police station. “How can they
have the car and not have the people that own it?” a frustrated Machisa
Ndhlovu and Dube were in Tsholotsho to teach villagers about the evils of
torture and its effects, in an area where thousands of them suffered during
the so-called Gukurahundi massacres of the mid-eighties. But police banned
the workshop, saying “the subject of torture is not in line with Zimbabwean
The arrests were similar to an incident in Lupane last month, when police
arrested MDC-N MP Moses Mzila Ndhlovu, who is also a co-Minister for
National Healing, and Father Max Mkandla, a priest who had given a church
service on the massacres.
By Alex Bell
25 May 2011
South Africa has joined the rest of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) in appearing to protect Robert Mugabe’s unlawful land grab
campaign, in another blow for dispossessed farmers.
South Africa’s Constitutional Court has this week dismissed a final attempt
by a farmer who lost land in Zimbabwe, to seek compensation for his losses.
Crawford von Abo, a South African citizen, was left penniless when his 14
farms in Zimbabwe were destroyed by land invasions under Mugabe’s land grab
scheme. Since 2008 Von Abo has tried to get the South African government to
take diplomatic steps to address the violation of his rights in Zimbabwe,
arguing that as a citizen his government should have protected him.
In February 2010 the High Court found that the South African government had
a constitutional obligation to provide diplomatic protection and ordered
that it had 60 days to take all necessary steps to have Von Abo’s violation
of rights by Zimbabwe remedied.
But the Supreme Court of Appeal has since said that although South Africa’s
response to Von Abo’s plight was ‘inappropriate’, the High Court made ‘vital
mistakes of law’ when it made its decision last year. Von Abo then made an
application to the Constitutional Court, stating that the Supreme Court of
Appeal’s ruling was unconstitutional.
This application has now been dismissed, effectively ending Von Abo’s
battle. Observers have said that this lets South Africa off the hook for not
protecting its citizens affected by the illegal land seizures, and also
prevents any potential diplomatic squabbles with Mugabe.
The development comes as leaders in the rest of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) have dissolved the human rights Tribunal for at
least another year, in a move that is being described as a ‘massive blow’ to
farmers. The Tribunal ruled in 2008 that Mugabe’s land grab was unlawful
after a landmark case, launched by commercial farmers.
Mugabe and the then ZANU PF government refused to honour the rulings, and
were repeatedly charged with contempt for snubbing the Tribunal. But, rather
than take Mugabe to task for this blatant disrespect of the court, SADC
leaders instead suspended the Tribunal last year.
That suspension is now set to last a further 12 months, after SADC leaders
last week gave its Council of Justice of Ministers and regional Attorney
Generals more time to review the role and functions of the court. This is
despite an independent review that upheld the court’s rulings on Zimbabwe,
and also upheld its jurisdiction to make and enforce such rulings. Analysts
have said that this shows ongoing allegiance with Mugabe.
Ben Freeth from the SADC Tribunal Rights Watch group said he is “shocked and
quite disheartened” by this development. Freeth, together with his late
father-in-law Mike Campbell, led the farmers case before the Tribunal in
2008. He told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that “this has shown the true
colours of the region, and clearly they don’t have the human rights of SADC
citizens at heart.”
“What SADC has done serves absolutely no purpose but to allow for ongoing
corruption, abuse of power and erosion of human rights in the region,”
Mike Campbell, who passed away earlier this year as a result of a savage
beating when he was abducted from his farm, still had a case pending before
the Tribunal. He once again made history by citing all 15 SADC leaders as
respondents in the new case. The application, filed in late March this year,
urged SADC to fully reinstate the workings of the Tribunal. The application
also asked for an order that ensures “the Tribunal continues to function in
all respects as established by the Treaty, which all the leaders are
Freeth explained that he doesn’t know what will happen with this case now,
adding that “I am glad that Mike is not alive to see what SADC has done.” He
continued that ultimately, it is the citizens of SADC who are losing out,
not just Zimbabwean farmers, because their rights are being trampled on.
Freeth and Mike Campbell’s case at the SADC Tribunal was never just about
their rights as white farmers, but always about a million farm workers and
their families who lost their jobs, their homes, their schools, their
clinics and their future, as a result of the unlawful theft of land and
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 26, 12:41 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe — An independent media freedom group says the party of
Zimbabwe’s president keeps a “stranglehold” on broadcasting in the southern
The Media Institute of Southern Africa says Zimbabwe, with just one
broadcast station airing on four radio wavelengths and two television
channels, lags far behind other African countries in opening its airwaves to
crucial free expression. The group made the statement Wednesday, Africa
The group says independent broadcasting mushroomed throughout Africa while
Zimbabwe’s electronic media “stagnated” under President Robert Mugabe’s
control as a propaganda tool for his party.
The group says other nations have more radio stations. Uganda, which
recently cracked down on the media, has more than 120. Tiny Benin has 73.
4 hours 27 minutes ago
BULAWAYO, May 25, 2011- Incacerated Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) senior
official Paul Siwela has been admitted to a clinic at the notorious Khami
Maximum Security Prison on the outskirts of Bulawayo after his blood
pressure went up.
According to his close friends, Siwela was rushed to the prison clinic a few
days ago after prison officers reported that he had turned pale and had
become too weak to stand.
His lawyer Lucas Nkomo of the newly formed Abameli Human Rights Network
confirmed that Siwela was seen by a medical officer at the clinic after his
condition deteriorated last week due to high blood pressure caused by too
Siwela has been in detention since March when he and two other MLF Bulawayo
executive leaders, John Gazi and Charles Thomas were arrested for allegedly
distributing what police described as “ subversive material ” whose aim was
to incite Zimbabweans especially those from the western province of
Matabeleland to rebel against President Robert Mugabe.
When the three officials appeared in court, the judge granted the two, Gazi
and Thomas bail of US$2 000 leaving Siwela to be incarcerated in prison.The
judge said Siwela who is a prominent businessman in Bulawayo, had another
serious case pending and related to his activities with those seeking a
separate Ndebele state.
When he appeared for another bail hearing two weeks ago, a Harare judge told
Siwela to write an affidavit dissociating himself from the activities of
those seeking a separatre state of Matabeleland.Meanwhile Gazi, a former
Zipra special weapons expert is fighting allegations that he has been a mole
for the secret service since the 90s.
Another MLF official, Max Mkandla, also a former Zipra guerrilla officer has
denied he has links with the spy agency, the Central Intelligence
By Alex Bell
25 May 2011
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has warned against the ongoing
plunder of Zimbabwe by foreigners, especially the Chinese, saying the
country’s natural resources should benefit the people.
ZCTU President Lovemore Matombo told journalists at the commemoration of
Africa Day in Harare that Zimbabwe’s resources “are not for Chinese or any
other foreigners to enjoy for a song.” He urged the government to instead
use the country’s natural wealth to help the majority of Zimbabweans living
His comments come as a delegation of young Chinese entrepreneurs has arrived
in Zimbabwe to explore business opportunities in the country. The ten man
group is being hosted by the ZANU PF led Youth and Empowerment Ministry, and
the focus of their visit is understood to be a tour of the controversial
Chiadzwa diamond fields.
The delegation is being led by the Secretary of the Central Committee of the
Communist Youth League of China, Zhou Changkai, who praised Robert Mugabe as
a good friend of the Chinese.
“President Mugabe is a friend of the Chinese people and as Chinese youths we
would like to wish good health to the President,” Zhou said
He also said the objective of the visit was future oriented and the
delegation wanted to know the social and economic environment in Zimbabwe.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said the visit “may be
pleasant for ZANU PF, but it will not be well received by the rest of the
country.” He explained that China’s encroachment of Zim’s industry has many
people concerned, “because the belief is that they are coming just to loot
our resources,” and not put anything back into the struggling economy.
The Chinese already have a strong stake in many businesses in Zimbabwe,
including the diamond industry, where Chinese owned companies are the only
foreign owned businesses likely to be spared from any indiginisation plans.
ZANU PF’s empowerment Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, has said that the
Chinese mining firms will be exempt from handing over 51% of their shares to
locals as part of the indiginisation measures being punted by ZANU PF.
This strong relationship meanwhile has also prompted China’s Ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Xin Shunkang, to pledge China’s support for Zim diamond exports to
be allowed. Shunkang was speaking at the Chinese run Anjin mining company in
Chiadzwa over the weekend, where Mines Minister Obert Mpofu praised the
company for "improving the livelihood” of its Zimbabwe employees. This is
despite the company recently recruiting the army to forcibly remove local
Chiadzwa villagers from their homes to make way for more mining endeavors.
Shunkang meanwhile said that a Chinese delegation will rally behind Zimbabwe
at the next meeting of the diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process
(KP), where the confusion surrounding Zimbabwe’s trade status is meant to be
debated. Zim was suspended from trade in 2009 over human rights abuses at
Chiadzwa. But the new Chairman of the KP has this year unilaterally given
Zimbabwe the green light to resume exports, despite ongoing reports of
irregularities at the diamonds fields.
“Since a Chinese company is involved in the diamond mining here in Zimbabwe,
we will walk together because we want both countries to benefit. As a
government, we are very excited with the developments happening here,”
Peta Thornycroft | Harare, Zimbabwe May 24, 2011
Zimbabwe’s new farmers are growing massive amounts of tobacco, mainly on
formerly white-owned farms, and some of them are earning more than they ever
dreamed possible. Tens of thousands of new farmers are working land seized
from whites by President Robert Mugabe since 2000.
Peter Garaziwa, who is 55, was a potato farmer in eastern Zimbabwe’s
mountains until 2004 when he was given white-owned land in a prime tobacco
area south of his traditional home.
This year he says he will have produced 32 bales of Virginia tobacco
produced on a farm he says is called Gazala. He does not know what happened
to the white farmer, but says he uses barns built by the former owner to
cure his tobacco.
Garaziwa said next year he hopes to produce even more. He was in Harare at
the Boka Tobacco auction floors selling his first batch of bales.
"At the moment I have got, maximum, seven bales, left, maximum, 25," said
Garaziwa. "Tobacco farming, this is the second year. Before that I was just
studying how to grow this tobacco, so I am now dealing with tobacco and I
take tobacco as my project.’
Garaziwa and his wife said they are satisfied with the prices for their
tobacco on the large auction floor south of Harare.
Industry specialists estimate there are 47,000 small scale tobacco farmers,
most of whom came into the industry in the past two years. In 2004 there
were about 4,000 small-scale black farmers.
Most leaf grown by the new farmers is lower grade tobacco, and 50 percent of
Zimbabwe's crop is bought by the Chinese Tobacco Company.
At the height of white farming activity, Zimbabwe regularly produced more
than 220 million kilograms of tobacco. After land seizures, the crop size
fell, until by 2009 Zimbabwe was producing less than a third of what it had
regularly produced for 40 years.
Industry insiders say this year, Zimbabwe will produce about 135 million
kilograms, much of it by new farmers resettled on former white-owned farms.
Farayi Kawadende is the information officer at Boka Tobacco, Zimbabwe’s
largest tobacco auction, which has about 4,000 growers on its books. It
sells about 6,000 bales a day. He said prices vary by quality.
"Good grades of tobacco going at $4, something not so good you find are
going for 80 cents," he said.
Boka Tobacco chief executive Rudo Boka has just reopened the company's
auction floors after a decade of difficulties. She said many new farmers
complain about delays in selling their tobacco, because they do not know the
complexities involved in sales that have developed over many decades.
“A lot of them are new farmers. They have not done this before so they need
to register first with the Tobacco Marketing Board," said Boka. "They have
to have filed crop estimates and they need to book their tobacco.”
Boka said the farmers are paid the same day their tobacco is sold and there
are many temptations in a big city like Harare for small-scale farmers far
from home with more cash in their pockets than ever before.
“A lot of the women are not coming in just to shop, it is a social issue
because you have got the husband who comes to town, sells his tobacco and he
disappears once he has got the money, so they are coming to ensure that 'No,
no, no,' he comes back home with the money," she said. "We have had two
babies born here, we had a girl born last Wednesday and a boy two weeks
before at the floor, it was a miracle.”
Not all new farmers are happy with the prices they received this year. A
group of unhappy farmers, resettled since 2000 in Zimbabwe’s top tobacco
producing area 200 kilometers north of Harare, say they can not afford to
grow tobacco again because of poor prices.
They complained that only big farmers are helped by banks and the
government, and say even if they grow only one hectare of tobacco, they
contribute to Zimbabwe's economy.
“We just expect them to help us, since they know that in the farms there is
some people who [are] going to be for tobacco, since tobacco is a major, it
is THE, part which gives us foreign currency in the country," said one new
farmer. "As a farmer we are helping the country in fact, and my family."
Small-scale farmers are assisted by their families to produce tobacco, but
commercial growers, who produce the best leaf, employ hundreds to produce
tobacco. Many say the costs are now so high they do not know if they will be
able to continue next season.
Industry insiders, many of them evicted white tobacco farmers now teaching
new black farmers to grow tobacco, say the future of Zimbabwe’s tobacco
industry lies in the hands of the tens of thousands of small-scale
May 25, 2011—Zimbabwe’s tobacco growers are disgruntled over the flue-cured
prices being offered at the country’s auction floors and are urging the
government to intervene, according to a story in The Standard.
This year, the number of registered tobacco growers surged to 60,000 from
last year's 15,000 because of the profitable returns that seemed to be on
However, Zimbabwe Progressive Tobacco Farmers’ Union president, Nicholas
Kapungu, said the prevailing prices at the floors were only serving to deter
new farmers from growing tobacco next season.
"We have a whole lot of experienced farmers in our union who have been
farming tobacco for many years, but the prevailing prices are nothing short
of sabotage," said Kapungu.
Last week, prices hovered between US$0.80 per kg and US$1.20 per kg,
regardless of crop quality, he added.
"As a union, we are not even consulted when the authorities select buyers,"
said Kapungu. "Government is not paying attention to the needs of farmers
and, as a union, we call upon the authorities to address our plight."
Relations between Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Mr. Zuma's African National
Congress recently chilled as ZANU-PF hardliners resumed sniping at Mr. Zuma
and aides facilitating power-sharing talks in Harare
Blessing Zulu | Washington 24 May 2011
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe flew to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday
for an extraordinary summit of the African Union focused on the Libyan
He was expected to take the opportunity to do some damage control with South
Africa following tensions over that country’s role in pressing for reforms
President Mugabe is expected to meet with South African Vice President
Kgalema Motlanthe, who is representing President Jacob Zuma at the AU
Relations between Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Mr. Zuma's African National
Congress chilled recently as ZANU-PF hardliners resumed sniping at Mr. Zuma
and his aides who have been facilitating power-sharing talks within the
ZANU-PF hardliners called Mr. Zuma a dishonest broker after a SADC troika
meeting in Livingstone, Zambia, last month issued a communique rebuking Mr.
Mugabe for political violence and urging him to step up the pace of
The state-controlled, ZANU-PF leaning Sunday Mail newspaper said Vice
President John Nkomo and Party Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo complained to the
ANC charging that Mr. Zuma's foreign policy aide Lindiwe Zulu had made
“reckless and inflammatory remarks” subsequently published in an ANC
publication. It said Zuma's facilitators were worried about the consequences
for reform if Mr. Mugabe were removed from the scene.
Zulu told VOA that the African National Congress has received no such
The Sunday Mail accused Zulu of meddling in Zimbabwean politics, declaring
that her "wings should be clipped" A ZANU-PF position paper seeking to
marginalize Mr. Zuma at the just-ended SADC summit in Namibia - Mr. Zuma
excused himself saying he was tied up with local elections - backfired as
regional leaders backed the mediator.
ZANU-PF moderates are urging Mr. Mugabe not to antagonize Pretoria. Party
chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, considered to be a relative moderate within the
former ruling party, distanced himself from the alleged complaint about
Lindiwe Zulu’s conduct.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator Dewa Mavhinga said
divisions in ZANU-PF are deepening as international pressure for reform
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 13:46
Zimbabwe owes Britain’s Export Credit Guarantee Department 190.4 million
pounds and has not indicated when it will repay the money, the
Undersecretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Edward Davey,
told the House of Commons yesterday.
Zimbabwe is among 24 countries, eight of them African, which owe the ECGD
2.4 billion pounds.
Sudan owes the highest amount of 663.68 pounds and like Zimbabwe has not
indicated when it will repay the money.
Indonesia is second with 445.96 million pounds but it has indicated that it
will repay the money by 1 June 2021.
Iraq is third and owes 290.18 million pounds. It has indicated that it will
repay the money by 1 January 2028.
Zimbabwe is fourth.
Relations between Britain and Zimbabwe have been frosty but this has not
affected business to a large extent. It is estimated that there are about
400 British companies in Zimbabwe.
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:49
HARARE - A health crisis is looming in Zimbabwe after the United Nations
Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) pulled out of a critical multi-million
dollar water treatment partnership with local authorities.
The development puts more than four million people – one in every three
Zimbabweans – at risk of contracting serious water-borne diseases such as
cholera. UNICEF was supplying 20 urban and rural councils, including
Harare, with free water treatment chemicals and will stop this
critically-needed assistance by the end of next month.
Alarmed local authorities who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said that
the move held “grave consequences” for the public because both the councils
and national government were broke and could, therefore, not afford the
This meant that there was a very high and real risk of a repeat of the 2008
nationwide cholera epidemic that traumatized the nation and claimed the
lives of more than 4000 people.
“The situation is critical,” said Francis Duri, secretary-general of the
Zimbabwe Local Government Association, the umbrella body for the country’s
urban and rural councils.
A UNICEF spokesperson told the Daily News that the agency had been
supporting local authorities with their water treatment chemicals since
February 2009, following the cholera epidemic of the previous year.
“Thus far, water treatment chemicals worth over US$10 million have been
procured, ensuring provision of safe water to an estimated 4 million people.
“Following various deliberations, UNICEF’s support for procurement of
chemicals, which was originally planned to end in December 2010, was
extended to June 2011 to allow the local authorities ample time to put in
place mechanisms for enhanced cost recovery and to make appropriate
allocations for procurement of chemicals.
“All the local authorities have been informed well in advance about the end
of UNICEF’s support for water treatment chemicals, effective 30 June 2011,”
the international body said.
But all local authorities say they are still not in a position to afford the
“This is a worrying development to all local authorities because revenue in
most of these municipalities is still below the 50 percent mark and they
were relying on UNICEF.
“What is making the whole issue more disturbing is that only Harare seems to
be in a better position to procure chemicals though they are also operating
below optimal. They have started to make provisions but most of the urban
councils are in dire need of assistance,” said Duri.
Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said his council was ill-prepared for this
eventuality and warned of a rebound in cholera. He said Harare needed at
least US$2 million a month for water treatment chemicals.
“If we don’t do something about the problem we risk going back to the
cholera era,” he said.
Duri said the problem needed urgent intervention from the central government
and other stakeholders to prevent “a disaster”. As a first step, government
needed to help the local authorities by paying its dues so that councils
could buy the much-needed chemicals, he said.
“Most of the local authorities will find the going tough and we are afraid
that if nothing serious is done between now and the month-end of June we
will be in a precarious situation,” Duri said.
In Harare the problem is likely to be worsened by the dilapidated water
infrastructure that has seen pipes bursting on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE) says water challenges
will persist as long as central and local governments fail to invest in the
rehabilitation of sewage and water pipes.
“In the meantime, Harare residents will continue to rely on boreholes and
shallow wells, some of which are unprotected and may be contaminated with
sewage” said engineer Bernard Musarurwa, a member of the ZIE.
He said despite the rehabilitation of water supply sources such as Morton
Jaffray water works and the completion of Kunzvi Dam which he said would
take at least five years, the current population had surpassed the potential
supply of adequate water by the local authority.
“There is a desperately urgent need to invest in more water supply sources,
commensurate with the vast growth of the population served by Harare water,”
By Lance Guma
25 May 2011
Board members at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) are allegedly taking
home as much as US$2,000 a month in allowances, while ordinary workers
receive a paltry US$150 a month. The Daily News reports that because of this
key staff members are resigning and others are applying en-masse to be
The newspaper says that so serious are the problems Finance Minister Tendai
Biti summoned the board members to his office for an explanation of both the
looting allegations and the mass resignations by senior employees. Workers
now want the government to intervene and stop the pillaging of the central
The Daily News obtained documents showing that board members collected more
than US$111,000 in retainer and sitting fees, as well as fuel and
communication allowances from May last year. Deputy Chairman Charles Kuwaza
got US$14 020, Willard Manungo (US$10 745), Godfrey Kanyenze (US$10 920),
Primrose Kurasha (US$12 870 and Daniel Ndlela US$11 570.
The controversial Governor of the central bank, Gideon Gono, did not claim
any money and told the paper he would only get his share of directors’
allowances once the bank had got back on its feet. As Gono is renowned for
being seriously wealth, he is unlikely to go hungry while waiting.
Workers at the bank are said to be puzzled at what the board members
actually do, since Finance Minister Biti cut down the scope of
responsibilities assigned to the central bank.
Additionally the Zim dollar is not in use, something that would have been a
core function of the bank. Before the coalition government the bank used to
be notorious for printing endless amounts of money to finance quasi-fiscal
activities and prop up the Mugabe regime. This, among other disastrous
policies, was blamed for the hyper-inflation that set world records.
South African advocacy group People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty
or PASSOP says many Zimbabweans were obliged to pay bribes of 20 to 50 rand
(US$3-7) to collect their passports
Tatenda Gumbo | Washington 24 May 2011
Many Zimbabweans living in South Africa say they still have not gotten
passports from their consulate in the country, preventing them from
completing residency applications.
They complain that the scheduled delivery of passports earlier this month
was marred by confusion, leaving thousands of expatriates unable to claim
Zimbabwean authorities announced a three-day period from April 28 to 30
during which Zimbabweans could collect passports from temporary office in
But a South African advocacy group, People Against Suffering Oppression and
Poverty or PASSOP, says thousands of Zimbabweans were unable to go to the
temporary office during that window of time, or if they did, were unable to
get their documents.
Zimbabwean officials established the temporary office in Cape Town following
complaints from expatriates after authorities initially said passports would
only be handed out by the Johannesburg consulate - but the alternative
location was poorly publicized.
PASSOP says many Zimbabweans were obliged to pay bribes of 20 to 50 rand to
collect their passports. PASSOP Project Assistant Langton Miriyoga says his
group monitored the process closely and documented many cases in which
bribes were extracted.
Miriyoga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that the entire process
has led the advocacy group to appeal for South African authorities to
intervene with Harare.
9 hours 22 minutes ago
JOHANNESBURG, May 25, 2011- Oprah Winfrey has donated $1.5 million to
Westport’s Save the Children in order to rebuild a primary school in
Zimbabwe and mark the end of her 25-season run.
Save the Children said that Friday’s “Oprah” episode revealed that the talk
show host’s favorite guest of all-time was Tererai Trent, a woman from
Zvipani, Zimbabwe. Trent’s passion for education and her dream to go to
school inspired Winfrey, and the money donated will go to re-build the Matau
Primary School in Trent’s home village.
Construction will begin on the school within the next few months, the
charity said, with primary work being done on new classrooms, restrooms, a
preschool playground, a school administration building and teachers’ houses.
Additionally, Winfrey’s donation will fund locally-made desks, chairs,
books, toys and other learning materials for both students and preschoolers
in order to support craftsmen in Zimbabwe.
Of the donation and of Trent, president and CEO of Save the Children Charles
MacCormack said, “Tererai is an inspiration to all of us. She is proof that
you can come from a small village and still dream big because education has
the power to transform lives.”
MacCormack also thanked Winfrey.
“Save the Children is grateful to Oprah for this contribution which will
allow thousands of Zimbabwean children who aspire to be the next Tererai to
learn, grow and succeed in school and life.”
Trent first appeared on Winfrey’s program in 2009.
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 15:41
LONDON - Zimbabwe is providing sanctuary to a Rwandan mass murderer with a
US$5 million bounty over his head wanted over the 1994 genocide, prosecutors
for a special United Nations court in Tanzania said this week.
Major Protais Mpiranya was the commander of the presidential guard for the
former Rwandan leader Juvenal Habyarimana, whose plane was shot down above
Kigali airport on April 6, 1994, — the trigger for the slaughter that
Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800 000 Rwandans — mainly Tutsis —
were killed in the space of 100 days in revenge killings for the President’s
assassination by his Hutu supporters.
The United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Monday
began hearing evidence against a businessman suspected of bankrolling Rwanda’s
1994 genocide, who is now believed to be hiding out in Kenya.
Similar hearings aimed at preserving oral evidence will begin in the case of
Mpiranya, whom prosecutors say is hiding in Zimbabwe.
Claims that Mpiranya is hiding in Zimbabwe were first made by the Belgian
government last year, and they have not yet been officially denied by the
The United States government has put a US$5 million bounty on his head.
Under its Rewards for Justice programme, the US says the cash prize will be
claimed by anyone who can “furnish information leading to the arrest or
conviction, in any country, of Mpiranya”.
The US government says Mpiranya uses several aliases including Yahaya
Mohamed, Hirwa Protais Alain, Alain Protais Muhire, James Kakule, and Mambo
A clause of the tribunal’s statutes, adopted by the judges in plenary
session in May 2009, provided for a special dispensation to allow for the
collection of evidence to use in the event of a future trial of the genocide
suspects in their absence.
A prosecutor and a defence lawyer will be present during the hearings, but
the proceedings do not represent a formal trial.
“This is a new and important procedure that the ICTR is embarking upon,” the
tribunal’s chief prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow said after Monday’s
unprecedented court session to hear evidence against Felicien Kabuga, who
tops a list of the court’s 10 most wanted.
Kabuga is accused of buying tens of thousands of machetes and supplying them
to militia who in turn killed ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the
three-month killing spree.
“The process is designed to ensure that the evidence against the accused is
preserved and that the continued evasion of justice by the fugitives does
not, in the event of unavailability of the witnesses, erode the ability of
the prosecution to establish the case against the accused when they are
eventually arrested and brought to trial.”
In coming weeks, similar procedures will be adopted regarding Rwanda’s
former defence minister, Augustin Bizimana, who is believed to be
hiding out in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jallow said that Bizimana, Kabuga and Mpiranya were crucial suspects and
that it was vital to avoid losing any proof of their alleged guilt before
they were brought to trial.
The ICTR was set up by the UN Security Council late in 1994 to try the key
suspects in the genocide that swept across the small central African
By Thelma Chikwanha, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 16:01
HARARE - Energy Minister Elton Mangoma’s trial continued yesterday with the
third and fourth witnesses giving evidence while the state’s star witness,
State Procurement Board chairperson Charles Kuwaza, is yet to testify.
Kuwaza is expected to give evidence when the trial resumes on the 30 May
Mangoma, a high ranking member of the MDC, is being charged with criminal
abuse of office after he allegedly procured five million litres of fuel in
January without going to tender. His lawyers say the charges are trumped up.
They argue Mangoma was only trying to avert a national crisis as the country’s
fuel sticks were running low.
Four other state witnesses, who are energy permanent secretary Justin
Mupamhanga, director of petroleum Morgan Mudzinganyama, PetroTrade acting
chief executive officer Griefshaw Revanewako and PetroTrade finance manage
Tanka Squiller failed to provide the state with necessary ammunition to nail
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu postponed the trial to the 30th of May 2011.
9 hours 21 minutes ago
MASVINGO, May 25, 2011-Three Masvingo polytechnic students who were dragged
before the courts for undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority after
they were caught watching a video which allegedly vilified the president
were acquitted after the state failed to provide enough evidence against the
The trio were being charged under the criminal codification reform act
section 3 (2a) (i) and the offence carries a penalty of one year in prison
or an option of fine not exceeding US$100.
Desire Chikwanda (20) a Power engineering student, Monalisa Katsaruware (23)
a Computer systems student, and Nyasha Chambinuka (23) a Machine shop
student appeared before Masvingo magistrate Patrick Mapiye who ruled out
that they had no case to answer.
The students first appeared in court on 4 March 2011 for initial remand and
were remanded to 14 March but the case continued to be postponed to allow
the state to gather evidence for prosecution.
The three were nabbed at the college after a police tip off by an alleged
informer only identified as Chamisa. According to the state led by Frank
Chirairo the students were watching a video clip entitled “strike back
Zimbabwe” and the video was allegedly brought by Nyasha from Kwekwe and was
later copied into Desire’s laptop.
The clip showed patrons in a pub watching television in which President
Mugabe would be addressing a rally. One of the patrons would then go out and
start dressing into army regalia before arming himself with a gun. At this
moment the video shows the President coming out of the pub and being shot in
the head before falling down dead.
Collen Maboke of Mwonzora Associates who represented the trio argued that
the case was on the court roll for a long time meaning that state was not
serious and essential elements of the offence were not clear.
By Ignatius Banda
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, May 25, 2011 (IPS) - A newly available electronic
banking service has received a lukewarm reception from cross-border traders
in Zimbabwe’s second largest city Bulawayo, despite it alleviating the need
to move around with large sums of cash.
Cross-border electronic card services in different currencies were launched
in April in Bulawayo as part of efforts to ease transactions for traders who
source their wares in neighbouring southern African countries.
The Rand card loaded with the South African currency is valid for use in
South Africa while another card is used in Botswana.
According to the chairperson of the Cross-Border Traders’ Association,
Killer Zivhu, the Rand card enables informal cross-border traders to deposit
their cash with a Zimbabwean bank and then access the funds at banks in
South Africa without using informal moneychangers, as has been the case thus
The city of Bulawayo has always had a thriving parallel market for foreign
currency due to its large numbers of cross-border traders who make frequent
trips not only to neighbouring countries but also as far afield as the
Democratic Republic of Congo and United Arab Emirates.
As in the rest of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo’s cross-border traders use multiple
currencies that include the U.S. greenback, the South African Rand and
Cross-border traders, of which the vast majority are women, typically use
informal cash systems to purchase currencies. This practice, which had
become widespread due to the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar, was illegal
before the politically beleaguered country suspended its currency in 2009.
These are the traders that the sponsors of the cards expect to tap. With the
Beitbridge border post into South Africa being the busiest in southern
Africa, the potential of cross-border traders as a source of foreign
currency for Zimbabwe is enormous.
"This is part of efforts to bring cash back into the formal banking system
while, at the same time, protecting traders who carry huge sums of money
during their cross-border trips," Zivhu said at the launch of the service in
Stories abound about Zimbabweans losing money to tricksters in neighbouring
countries when seeking to purchase local currencies. The electronic cards
are presented as the panacea for such problems.
But, while the new service was launched with pomp and fanfare in the city,
cross-border traders were less than enthusiastic.
At the bustling flea markets littered across Bulawayo, selling wares ranging
from clothes to cheap electrical appliances, some of the women who spoke to
IPS pointed out that they would lose money if they used the official
The city's sidewalk moneychangers traditionally offer better rates than
"It makes little sense to me to get my money through the bank when we
already know the official exchange rate is lower than what we get in the
streets," said Mavis Maravanyika, from her stall outside the Bulawayo
revenue hall where traders sell an assortment of imported goods.
"I will wait for others to hear what they have to say about this card," she
Said another trader Sibatshaziwe Ndlovu, "we understand the dangers we are
exposed to when we travel with a lot of cash across the border, but I cannot
afford to lose even a few cents to banks.
"Many people complain about bank charges, which is the reason why many of us
gave up putting our money in the bank in the first place," Ndlovu noted.
Economist Takura Dzimuto thinks it will take a while for Zimbabweans to
again trust banks with their money.
"It is a grand plan only if we ignore attitudes that have emerged in this
country about putting money in the bank. A lot of mistrust in these
institutions has bred over the years. The traders will need convincing,"
Tax may be another reason why traders may want to remain under the radar.
Poor border control means that Zimbabwe loses much-needed revenue as traders
move goods without paying customs duties.
"There are people who cross borders with goods that they want to sell but
claim that they are for personal use. It’s against the law," said Patrice
Silamulela, a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority official who was also present at
the launch of the card service.
According to officials at the Cross-Border Traders’ Association, which has a
membership of more than 15,000, up to 2,000 traders cross into South Africa
Cross-border traders are among the interest groups that have lobbied for
liberalised trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as
part of the region's broader economic integration plans, which include one
common regional currency.
4 hours 20 minutes ago
BULAWAYO, May 25, 2011-A junior police officer has been languishing at
Fairbridge police detention barracks on the outskirts of Bulawayo for the
past two weeks following his arrest for using toilets reserved for President
Robert Mugabe during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) last
Sergeant Alois Mabhunu of West Commonage police station in Bulawayo was
arrested on 7 May and has been languishing in detention for the past two
weeks and is expected to appear at police internal court based at the
regional headquarters at Southampton house on May 27.
Allegations against Mabhunu, a homicide police detective, are that on May 6,
he was on duty at the ZITF grounds during the official opening of the trade
show case by Jean Louis Ekra, president Afreximbank and President Mugabe.
Mabhunu due to the call of nature rushed to the toilets reserved for Mugabe
and his guest Ekra, but was stopped by other officers guarding the toilets.
Under intense pressure from the call of nature, the officer forced his way
in and managed to relieve himself.He was arrested the following day on May 7
after a report was made to Mugabe’s security men and to senior police
officers in the city.
When contacted for comment Bulawayo police spokesperson Mandlenkosi Moyo
said: “ that’s an internal matter ” before referring Radio Vop to his senior
Several motorists have in the past been assaulted by Mugabe’s security men
for not giving way to the Presidential motorcade. Some of the riders who led
the motorcade have also been killed after some motorists failed to observe
the unwritten law of giving way when the motorcade approaches.
25 May 2011 – Africa Day
THE SUSPENSION OF THE SADC TRIBUNAL HAS SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE REGION
SADC Tribunal Rights Watch is deeply shocked at the decision taken at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of SADC in Namibia on May 20 to dissolve the region’s internationally respected human rights court, the SADC Tribunal, for another year.
This is in flagrant disregard of the findings of the independent review commissioned by the SADC Heads of State, which confirmed that the Tribunal had the legal authority to deal with individual human rights petitions and that its rulings should be binding over member states.
Furthermore, the consultants, WTI Advisors Ltd, Geneva, an affiliate of the World Trade Institute, reported that the Tribunal was properly established and that its protocol entered into force in accordance with international law.
Instead of upholding the review findings, the Summit took the decision to dissolve the Tribunal. This deals a devastating blow to the rule of law in the region because it denies individual people access to justice when they have no legal recourse in their own countries.
The Summit’s decisions were:
3. That the Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General would be mandated to initiate a process aimed at amending the relevant SADC legal instruments and would only be required to submit their final report to the Summit scheduled for August 2012.
4. That the Tribunal should not take on any new cases or have hearings of any cases until the SADC Protocol on the Tribunal has been reviewed and approved by the SADC Heads of State at the August 2012 Summit.
As a result, the urgent case lodged in March 2011 by Zimbabwean commercial farmers Mike Campbell (78) - who passed away in April as a result of injuries sustained during his abduction and torture in 2008 - and Luke Tembani (74), will not be heard by the Tribunal.
Their application asks for an order that ensures “the [SADC] Tribunal continues to function in all respects as established by Article 16 of the Treaty.” It also takes to task the SADC Heads of State for not abiding by the SADC Treaty signed on behalf of the people of SADC in 1992 for their development and protection.
The suspension of the region’s highest court serves no purpose but to allow corruption, the abuse of power and the erosion of human rights in southern Africa to become entrenched.
As the region celebrates Africa Day, SADC Tribunal Rights Watch calls upon the Southern African Development Community to initiate an urgent, wide-reaching consultation among civil society groups, legal experts and individuals to resolve this crisis and enable them to continue seeking legitimate legal redress at a regional level.
Submitted by / For further information:
SADC Tribunal Rights Watch
Cell: +263 773 929 138
What I am going to say may smell very African or very unAfrican depending
with your school of thought. This analogy is important as it mutate across
African region, too diverse yet peaceful and at times volatile depending
with the region. It is important to note how Africa has progressed from
Stone Age or not at all in some regions. What I can safely say without
putting a defensive shield on my face is that Africa has abundant talent,
resources and agility to reed it’s self from both self and colonial
infliction. Today we mark the Africa day, born out of our fore fathers, King
Haile Selassie of Ethopia became the first OAU President on 25 May 1963. Yes
when we celebrate 25 May as an African holiday, we are honouring our heroes
who founded the organization to spear head the total emancipation of Africa
from colonial rule. Rastafarian movement regard him as the founder of a
nation of black people, calling him; “HIM, Jar Rastafaria” By the way in
1924 he abolished slavery in Ethopia.
Africa has progressed at a small pace at times so frustrating that it
continues up to today to suffer from brain drain. Not all brain drain is bad
from Africa, look at Barrack Obama the senior, who out of frustration ended
up migrating to America to look for greener pastures. That journey clutching
the African gene today gave birth to the first and greatest President of USA
for centuries. Even his adversaries agree that Barrack Obama is talent out
of this world. Many Africans abroad continue to run Western economies
without which they will crumble, but hang on why are these people not
developing Africa? I will come back to that later. Let’s take a back seat
and think of Boutros Boutros Gali (Egypty) and Koffi Annan (Ghana), all
finest sons of Africa who became UN Secretary Generals. I am not going to
ignore the women power in the name of Dr. Anna Tibaijuka (Tanzania) longest
serving UN Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Habitat. The
woman who exposed the brutality of Robert Mugabe during operation
Murambatsvina which disposed of over 700 families of their habitat in and
Africa is free form white colonialism; I have to be careful to say “white”
because colonialism is still going on in African, black against black. In
Zimbabwe and Sudan we still have both mental and physical colonialism. Let
me dwell on Zimbabwe which is my birth place. Mugabe ruler for over 30 years
still deny the people of Zimbabwe the right to freedom, often using security
agencies to torture and persecute perceived opponents of the state. Free and
fair elections are elusive, over 85% leave under the poverty datum line,
ironically Zimbabwe is the only African country still being ruled by a
“freedom fighter” of 87 years. Not all African leaders who became presidents
of OAU had good intentions, actually Mugabe became one on 2 June 1997, among
them, Idi Amin 28 July 1975 and Muhammad Siad Barre on 12 June 1974.
Can we dismissively say that Africa is a dark continent and that nothing
will come out of it? Of course that would be not only naïve but totally
being in denial of reasoning. Africa is no longer the continent of 1963,
both politically and economically. What Africa needs is leadership that have
the drive to rediscover the African values and talents, use them to forge
peace and development, I mean the Obama types of leadership, peaceful yet
forceful, talented yet submissive. South Africa has become the supper power
both economically and politically and with good intentions can soon be no
longer in the developing world. Mozambique under the incumbent Almando
Gwebuza has transformed once a war ravaged country into one of the peaceful
and prosperous nation. Look at Botswana’s jewel of Africa policy. One wishes
that Nigeria with Goodluck Jonathan, will indeed be luck enough to escape
the miserable past.
I have a dream that Africa one day will be like Japan, China and India.
Those countries that capitalise on harnessing its talent and millennium
development goals will be the beacon of hope in Africa. Come on Africa, you
can do it!! Yes we can, so said Obama. I hope and pray that when we
celebrate the next Africa day in 2012, Zimbabwe will be free of its
Advocacy for Social Justice and Zimbabwean Politician.
May 25th, 2011
Media reports in April indicate that Zimbabwe’s political turmoil continues to grow and that the positions adopted by the MDC parties and Zanu-PF are becoming increasingly polarised. As the MDCs continue to oppose Zanu-PFs policies, the latter’s methods to resist political change in Zimbabwe are evolving and becoming ever more inventive. This, it seems, is resulting in surprising changes in the distribution of the categories, and numbers, of violations being recorded under the ZIG watch project.
We recorded breaches in 82 media articles published in the month of April. Each recorded article signifies a unique breach of the terms set out in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). By categorising these articles according to the nature of the breach, we have generated representative statistics.
Violations in the form of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality were identified in 27 articles (32.9% of total). Legal harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters followed with breaches found in 21 articles (25.6% of total), while cases of corruption, or efforts to entrench corrupt practices, were found in 14 different articles published in April (17.1%). The fourth category of breach – violations in the form of gross non co-operation of a GPA partner with the terms of the GPA – was identified in 9 articles (11.0% of total). In total, these four categories of breaches (71 articles) accounted for 86.6% of the total analysed. Within these four categories, Zanu-PF was accountable for 93.0% of the violations in April.
At the end of this mailing we list ten articles that are representative of this April’s media activity in relation to breaches of the GPA. We should note that whilst the latter are representative, they do not represent the enormity and volume of human rights violations being committed with impunity against the people of Zimbabwe. We therefore invite all our readers to review the summaries (or original articles) of all articles (and if possible, previously captured articles) on the webpage http://www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch and ask you to share this information with your colleagues and other interested parties.
We begin our report with selected articles illustrating this month’s most significant violation – that of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality. Media reports suggest that Zanu-PF has instructed the police to target church services and the clergy for their implicit opposition of President Mugabe’s violent, authoritarian rule: a truckload of armed riot police officers violently disrupted the “Praying for Peace to Save Zimbabwe” Church Service at the Church of Nazarene in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah. About 500 people, including 4 Bishops and 46 pastors from Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo and Gweru had congregated to pray for peace in Zimbabwe. The Riot Squad, armed with rifles, baton sticks and tear gas, stormed the Church during prayer, ordered everyone to disperse, and fired tear gas into the church. The ensuing pandemonium led to a stampede with some worshipers forced to escape through broken windows.
In a separate incident, a Roman Catholic priest stationed in Lupane, Father Mark Mkandla, was arrested by police in Lupane soon after a church service organised by the organ for National healing and Reconciliation. Co-minister of the organ, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, said that Father Mkandla was arrested after the meeting where the priest delivered a powerful sermon against violence: “… I do not know why the police waited for everyone’s departure to arrest the priest. All he did was to deliver a sermon against violence,” said Minister Ndlovu.
Article 18 of the GPA calls on all parties to “consistently appeal to their members to desist from violence”; however, reeling from intra-party violence that marred provincial elections, the MDT-T party took adopted an equivocal stance in advance of its congress, saying it could not guarantee peace to delegates during its national congress. Organising secretary, Elias Mudzuri said: “I cannot guarantee peace during the congress . . . We will, however, not brook any violence. We anticipate a violence free congress . . . We hope we will not have external interference.” (The party’s youths fought in the streets of Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru during provincial elections).
Violence and intimidation continues in the rural areas of Zimbabwe: 82 year old headman Rwisai Nyakauru, who was arrested and tortured by Zanu-PF youth militia and war veterans, died from his injuries on 16 April 2011. Militants had targeted him because he attended an MDC-T rally addressed by Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora. It is understood that the three Zanu-PF thugs who abducted and tortured him prolonged the intimidation by taunting villagers in Nyanga about his death: “The assailants are roaming free in the villages of Nyakomba. They are teasing people about the death of the old man as we speak and they don’t face justice,” Mwonzora said in an interview.
Legal harassment and efforts to impede free political activity (a breach of Article 10 of the GPA) emerged in relation to the MDC-T congress held at the end of April in Bulawayo. Police were trying to bar the MDC-T congress: the article reporting this alleges that the police aim was to scuttle MDC-T plans for general elections that President Robert Mugabe wants held later this year, going on to suggest that the MDC-T is favoured to win the elections and so police moves to bar the congress are intended to shore up Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party’s chances. Further efforts to impede the congress were also highlighted in the article: the MDC-T was also barred from using education institutions for accommodation, apparently an attempt to leave hundreds of delegates stranded. And while Zanu-PF never pays the police for security at its functions, the police claimed they needed US$10 000 to provide extra security at the MDC-T congress.
Zanu PF have to date mustered every legal impediment they can to block MDC-T Treasurer General Roy Bennett from assuming his post as deputy Agriculture minister. In mid-April, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw Bennett’s nomination to Senate because Bennett missed 21 consecutive seatings of the Senate, a situation that arose because Bennett was forced into self-imposed exile in South Africa by sustained Zanu-PF persecution. According to the law, if a senator misses 21 consecutive sittings he loses his seat. Mugabe originally refused to swear in the former Chimanimani MP citing his race and colonial past.
Moving on to articles that highlighted cases of corruption – these undermining Article 7’s commitment to equality and national healing – award-winning human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa reported in April that Zanu-PF officials tried to bribe her to stop representing President Robert Mugabe’s opponents. Mtetwa said she had resisted offers of a farm and appointments to boards of parastatals, but she refused to name the officials who attempted to bribe her: “I have also been offered perks if I abandon my human rights work,” Mtetwa said. “I found it very interesting because the people making those offers were people I had once represented when their own rights had been violated by the very [same] system.” Mtetwa said she turned down the offers because she believed in what she does.
Corruption in relation to diamonds once again made the news: the resignation of mines minister Obert Mpofu has been called for, after rough diamonds worth Rs 10.17 crore were seized in Surat by India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. The two men arrested confessed that the diamonds came from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond field. Centre for Research and Development (CRD), a Zimbabwean NGO that investigates corruption and human rights violation in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields, has called upon Mpofu to publicly apologize and resign from his post. CRD says there is weak security throughout the supply chain and mining activities, mainly due to Mpofu’s failure to implement the joint work plan developed with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
And in our last category – non co-operation with the partners of the GPA – President Robert Mugabe clearly put on record his determination to resist co-operation with his GPA partners: ”MDC thinks SADC or the AU can prescribe to us how we run our things,” Mugabe was quoted as saying at a meeting of his party’s central committee. “We will not brook any dictation from any source. We are a sovereign country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We will resist that.” Mugabe’s response came after an unusually strong rebuke from regional leaders criticising slow pace on the power-sharing deal with MDC leader Tsvangirai and demanding an end to political violence.
It appears that despite Zanu-PF wanting elections held later this year, and the government being unable to finance elections this year, Zanu-PF is reported to have turned down an offer by the United Nations to fund and supervise elections. They accuse the UN of taking the wrong side in the Ivory Coast conflict. UNDP approached Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa with the offer, but Zanu-PF hardliners said it was “unacceptable”. Zanu-PF reportedly accused the UN of siding with Alassane Outtara, accepted internationally as the winner in the Ivory Coast presidential elections, instead of the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, whom the party credited with fighting “the imperialist West.” ZANU PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo made similar comments, when he said his party would not allow funding of the elections by the European Union. It is believed that neither of the rejections were discussed with the MDC parties, co-signatories in the GPA.
disrupt praying for peace church service, arrest 9 and teargas Glen-Norah
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 09/04/2011
A truckload of about twenty armed riot police officers violently disrupted the Praying for Peace to Save Zimbabwe Church Service at the Church of Nazarene in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah. An estimated flock of 500, including 4 Bishops and 46 pastors from Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo and Gweru had congregated to pray for peace amidst the resurgence and escalation of politically motivated violence, arrests, polarization and the general breakdown of peace. The Riot Squad, which stormed the Church during prayer, ordered everyone to disperse, were armed with rifles, baton sticks and tear gas, which they fired into the church. The ensuing pandemonium led to a stampede with some worshipers forced to escape through windows.
guarantee peaceful congress, says MDC-T
THE MDC-T, reeling from serious intra-party violence that marred provincial elections, says it will not guarantee peace to delegates during its forthcoming national congress set for Bulawayo next week. MDC-T organising secretary, Mr Elias Mudzuri said: “I cannot guarantee peace during the congress . . . We will, however, not brook any violence. “We anticipate a violence free congress . . . We hope we will not have external interference.” The party’s youths last week shocked many when they set upon mourners at Warren Hills Cemetery during the unveiling of tombstones for MDC-T activists and damaged police and private vehicles. They also fought in the streets of Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru during provincial elections.
assaulted elderly headman taunt villagers
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 19/04/2011
82 year old headman Rwisai Nyakauru, who was arrested and tortured by Zanu-PF youth militia and war vets, died from his injuries on Saturday. Militants targeted him because he attended an MDC-T rally addressed by Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora. Now, it is understood, the three Zanu-PF thugs who abducted and tortured him are taunting villagers in Nyanga about his death. “The assailants are roaming free in the villages of Nyakomba. They are teasing people about the death of the old man as we speak and they don’t face justice,” Mwonzora told us in an interview. The Nyanga North legislator paid tribute to the headman for being resolute throughout his ordeal.
Catholic Priest Nabbed For Preaching On Violence
A Roman Catholic priest stationed in Lupane, Father Mark Mkandla, was on Wednesday night arrested by police in Lupane soon after a church service organised by the organ for National healing and Reconciliation in the area. Co-minister of the organ, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, said on Thursday that Mkandla was arrested after the meeting where the priest delivered a powerful sermon against violence. “Father Mkandla, head of the Roman Catholic diocese in Hwange, was arrested by the Hwange police while at a national healing church service which I also attended. I do not know why the police waited for everyone’s departure to arrest the priest. All he did was deliver a sermon against violence,” said minister Ndlovu.
block MDC-T congress
Zimbabwe Standard, The (ZW): 16/04/2011
POLICE are reportedly trying to bar the MDC-T congress set for month-end in Bulawayo in a bid to scuttle MDC-T plans for general elections which President Robert Mugabe wants held later this year. MDC-T is favoured to win the elections and so police moves to bar the congress are meant to shore up Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party’s chances. The openly partisan police claim they do not have adequate manpower to cover the meeting and are demanding US$10 000 a day to provide extra security. The party is also being barred from using education institutions for accommodation, which might leave hundreds of delegates stranded. Zanu-PF never pays the police for security at its functions.
wins on Bennett
Zimbabwe Standard, The (ZW): 16/04/2011
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will finally win over the appointment of MDC-T treasurer general Roy Bennett as deputy Agriculture minister when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai withdraws Bennett’s nomination to Senate this week. Tsvangirai has been forced to take the drastic action after Bennett missed 21 consecutive seatings of the Senate. He was forced into self-imposed exile in South Africa by sustained Zanu-PF persecution. According to the law, if a senator misses 21 consecutive sittings he loses his seat. It was not clear yesterday who Tsvangirai had chosen to replace Bennett as senator and deputy Agriculture minister designate. Mugabe refused to swear in the former Chimanimani MP citing his race and colonial past.
tried to bribe me – Mtetwa
Zimbabwe Standard, The (ZW): 10/04/2011
AWARD-winning human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa says Zanu-PF officials tried to bribe her so that she would stop representing President Robert Mu-gabe’s opponents. Mtetwa said she had resisted offers of a farm and appointments to boards of parastatals, but she refused to name the officials who attempted to bribe her. “I have also been offered perks if I abandon my human rights work,” Mtetwa said. “I found it very interesting because the people making those offers were people I had once represented when their own rights had been violated by the very system.” Mtetwa said she turned down the offers simply because she believed in what she does.
Zim Blood Diamonds Increase Pressure On Mpofu To Resign
The seizure of blood diamonds, originating from Zimbabwe, has led to the demand for resignation of country’s mines minister Obert Mpofu. Rough diamonds worth Rs 10.17 crore were seized in Surat by India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The two men arrested, confessed that the diamonds came from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond field. Centre for Research and Development (CRD), a Zimbabwean NGO that investigates corruption and human rights violation in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields, has called upon Mpofu to publicly apologize and resign from his post. CRD says there is weak security throughout the supply chain and mining activities, mainly due to Mpofu’s failure to implement the joint work plan developed with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
vows to resist regional pressure
President Robert Mugabe on Friday vowed to resist pressure from fellow African leaders to resolve tensions in his power-sharing government with MDC. “MDC thinks SADC or the AU can prescribe to us how we run our things,” Mugabe was quoted as saying by the state-run New Ziana news agency at a meeting of his party’s central committee. “We will not brook any dictation from any source. We are a sovereign country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We will resist that.” Mugabe’s response came after an unusually strong rebuke from regional leaders criticising slow pace on the power-sharing deal with MDC leader Tsvangirai and demanding an end to political violence.
snubs EU and UN funding for elections
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 13/04/2011
ZANU PF is reported to have turned down an offer by the United Nations to fund and supervise elections, accusing the UN of taking the wrong side in the Ivory Coast conflict. UNDP approached Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa with the offer, but ZANU PF hardliners said it was “unacceptable”. ZANU PF reportedly accused the UN of siding with Alassane Outtara, accepted internationally as the winner in the Ivory Coast presidential elections, instead of the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, whom the party credited with fighting “the imperialist West.” ZANU PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo made similar comments this week, when he said his party would not allow funding of the elections by the European Union.