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ZANU PF army general calls for elections in 2011

By Tichaona Sibanda
27 May 2011

A Brigadier-General in the Zimbabwe National Army has declared that Robert
Mugabe should remain in office for life and called on elections to be held
this year.

Douglas Nyikayaramba, the commander of the Mutare based 3 Brigade, told the
weekly Zimbabwe Independent that a poll this year would ensure ‘political
stability’ as ZANU PF would win the election.

But it’s an open secret that every time there is an election in Zimbabwe,
the military elite unleash its forces on members of the MDC, and innocent
civilians across the country, at the request of ZANU PF.

Dewa Mavhinga, the regional co-ordinator for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
South Africa told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the General’s remarks
confirms their position of the urgent need for security sector reform.

The constitutional role of the security forces is to defend the country
against external and internal security threats and not get involved in

But Mavhinga said; ‘The conduct of some of the officers and men of the Army
is openly and blatantly partisan on the side of ZANU PF. It is very clear
that this statement is meant to incite the people of Zimbabwe and to
intimidate those who may wish to vote otherwise away from the choice that
has been declared by Nyikayaramba of supporting ZANU PF and Mugabe.’

He added; ‘This is the heart of the crisis of governance in Zimbabwe that
the military leadership is partisan and excessively interferes in civilian
and political affairs of the country.’

Mavhinga said the general’s utterances have clearly shown how important it
is for SADC to ensure there is security sector reform before any elections
can be held in Zimbabwe.

Civil Society Organisations in Zimbabwe have for long said one man, one vote
will only prevail when the security institutions are neutral and are willing
to provide an enabling environment for all parties, voters and stakeholders
in the electioneering process.

Public statements by police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri last
week, in which he described Mugabe as God-given and a visionary leader, also
showed the importance of security reforms before the next elections.

However ZANU PF has declared it will not accept any proposals for security
sector reform and this week said they had officially informed negotiators of
this fact.

Two years ago parliament passed a security bill, which established a
National Security Council to oversee the military. Though this body meets
monthly the old Joint Operations Command (JOC) still, unconstitutionally,
meets Mugabe on a weekly basis.

Analysts argue that JOC operates outside government parameters and has taken
over most of the levers of state power and coercion. In March Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai suggested that Mugabe was no longer in charge of the

Tsvangirai said many of the issues that he and Mugabe agree to during their
weekly Monday meetings are often later reversed, ostensibly by security
chiefs. But other commentators feel that Mugabe plays the ‘good cop, bad cop’
role, where he appears to be agreeing to democratic reforms, knowing full
well his security forces will ensure this can never happen.

But there are reports that suggest South African President Jacob Zuma is
ready to take a strong position on security sector reform with Mugabe.
The Zimbabwe crisis will be discussed during a SADC session on Zimbabwe to
be held in Johannesburg next month.

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Securocrats retarding Zim’s reforms

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Friday, 27 May 2011 16:15

HARARE - Regional lawyers have thrown their weight behind calls for urgent
security sector reforms in Zimbabwe, saying security agents have become the
biggest obstacle to reform.

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Lawyers’ Association said
the harassment of civil society representatives by Zimbabwean security
agents at the Sadc extra-ordinary summit in Namibia amplified the need for
such reforms.

Civil society representatives claimed that Zimbabwean security agents and
their Namibian counterparts harassed and interrogated representatives who
had travelled to Windhoek for the Sadc summit last Friday.

They were pushing for Sadc leaders to act on ending Zimbabwe’s political

“To this end the association supports the call made by the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights (ZLHR) for the reform of the Zimbabwean security sector as
enunciated in the Global Political Agreement (GPA),” said Thoba Poyo-Dlwati,
the Sadc Lawyers’ Association president.

“The state security agents in Zimbabwe are reminded that civil society
organisations and individual citizens have a right to be heard and to
participate in issues that affect how they are governed,” said Poyo-Dlwati.

Security sector reforms have become a thorny issue among awkward coalition
government partners, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan

Mugabe has rejected attempts by Tsvangirai to enforce Article XIII of the
GPA, the coalition’s founding accord, to ensure impartiality of security
agents that have sided with Zanu PF for the past three decades.

Tsvangirai says it is impossible to hold a free and fair election without
security reforms, citing the lead taken by the military in the 2008 violent
presidential election runoff campaign.

The former trade unionist says the brutal campaign, which forced him to
boycott the runoff, left over 200 of his supporters dead and thousands

The security agents took their campaign against civil society and political
activists to Namibia last Friday in scenes described by Sadc Lawyers’
Association as unacceptable.

Security agents allegedly briefly detained and interrogated the activists
before force-marching them off the venue of the Sadc leaders meeting where
they were distributing material such as pamphlets.

Those detained include National Association of Non-Governmental
Organisations chairperson Dadirai Chikwengo, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
officials MacDonald Lewanika, Dewa Mavhinga, Phillip Pasirayi, Pedzisai
Ruhanya and other representatives from the Zimbabwe Election Support

ZLHR executive director Irene Petras, Joy Mabenge of Institute for a
Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe, Lloyd Kuveya of Southern Africa
Litigation Centre and Makanatsa Makonese of Sadc Lawyers Association also
suffered harassment at the hands of the security agents.

The security agents confiscated freelance journalist, Jelousy Mawarire’s
camera before asking him to erase images capturing the harassment.

Mawarire was released and his camera returned following the intervention of
Namibian human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe.

“It is sad that the Namibian police officials allowed themselves to be used
by the Zimbabwean security state agents to harass harmless and peaceful
civil society organisation representatives who had not committed any
offence,” said Poyo-Dlwati.

Namibia says the activists were only asked to leave the venue of the summit
because they were not accredited.

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‘Free airwaves before elections’

By Godfrey Mtimba
Friday, 27 May 2011 16:09

MASVINGO - Civil society and community groups have demanded that inter-party
negotiators include the freeing of airwaves as a critical component of
negotiations on the crafting of a roadmap to free elections.

Participants to a public debate on elections held on Tuesday said any
elections held before private radio and television players were allowed to
operate would be skewed in President Robert Mugabe’s favour.

They attacked Mugabe’s Zanu PF party for throwing spanners in a bid to
maintain the monopoly of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), which
it controls with a firm hand.

“The roadmap negotiations should consider the issues of giving private
players space in the broadcasting sector before the elections are held. We
need independent private stations to broadcast news to the people who can’t
access newspapers,” said National Association of Non-Governmental
Organisations Masvingo provincial officer, Ruvimbo Mushonga.

She said alternative views had become urgent because the country’s sole
broadcaster, ZBC, continued to churn out hate speech and rabid Zanu PF
propaganda despite coalition government partners’ promises to turn it into a
genuine public broadcaster.

“The people should not be forced to listen to biased news from a single
broadcaster so we want private radio and television stations to be opened to
give the electorate various opinions and views,” said Edison Guyo of
Masvingo Youth for Democracy (MYD).

Guyo said Zanu PF had been manipulating the rural populace who had no access
to privately-owned newspapers by denying them the opportunity to listen to
alterative stations.

“Zanu PF knows very well that if private players were to be given licences
the people, especially those in the rural areas, will have the chance to
listen to news from different sources and get informed,’’ he said.

Although the print media has been opened up with several newspapers hitting
the streets over the past year, the government has refused to budge on the

This has resulted in community radio stations and other players being forced
to broadcast from foreign countries.

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MDC-T say call for radio licenses “bogus” and a diversion

By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 May, 2011

The offer of two commercial radio licenses, made by the current Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on Thursday, has been dismissed as “bogus” by
the deputy Minister for Information, Murisi Zwizwai, who said he was also
speaking as the MDC-T representative in the inclusive government.

In line with the response of media groups in the country, Zwizwai said the
BAZ board has no legal standing and the inclusive government “has not as
 yet” advertized for the issuing of radio licenses.

Just a day after adverts appeared in the state run Herald newspaper and on
ZTV, the deputy Minister dismissed the radio license offer, saying it was
made by “a group of bogus individuals masquerading as the BAZ board”.
Zwizwai said the MDC-T and inclusive government will “not labour to respond
to individual posturing and the positions of people with no legs to stand

Asked to comment on the exorbitant fees and the June 30th deadline quoted in
the adverts, he said applications and fees will be determined “when the BAZ
board is properly constituted”.

Zwizwai confirmed reports that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert
Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara had agreed, in a meeting last Monday, to
reconstitute the boards of the Mass Media Trust, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation and BAZ. They also agreed on the number of officials each party
would nominate to the boards.

The license offer is therefore a political distraction, Zwizwai said,
adding: “They are trying to create sideshows to divert us but we will keep
our eye on the ball and ensure that full implementation of the GPA is done”.

This meeting of the principals that he refers to took place last Monday and
as always Zimbabweans had not been made aware of the agreements that were
made. A free media is recognized as essential to democracy and Zimbabweans
have an absolute right to be told about discussions such as these, which
could have such a profound effect on their future.
But there is also consensus that Mugabe and ZANU PF will continue to make
decisions without consultation, as they have done regarding many issues
since the signing of the GPA over two years ago.

Despite the MDC-T’s defiance and desire to follow the GPA roadmap, ZANU PF
has consistently resisted opening up the democratic space and continues
using the security forces to deny Zimbabweans freedom speech and of

The Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe (MISA) has released a
statement calling for “clarity on the legal status of BAZ so that aspiring
broadcasters are clear on which board to approach for broadcasting licenses”.
This is in line with the position taken by civic groups in Zimbabwe.

While the Mugabe regime continues to resist media reforms, other African
countries are making much progress in that sector. According to statistics
compiled by MISA the DRC has 381 radio stations, Benin 73, Uganda has more
than 120 and Mali has 200.

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New electoral act to bar cops from polls

Written by Staff Reporter
Friday, 27 May 2011 16:42

HARARE - The Election Resource Centre has commended fresh reforms to the
Electoral Act speeding up the release of election results and barring police
from interference in voting in future, but said the devil is always in the
The three parties in the GNU agreed to amend the Electoral Act so that the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declares presidential election results not
more than five days after the day of voting to avert a repeat of the 2008
scenario when election results were released after five weeks.
The proposed amendments would also bar police officers - who in the 2008
poll were accusing of manipulating disabled or illiterate voters to cast
their ballots in favour of Mugabe - from "taking part or interfering with
the electoral process beyond maintaining law and order."
Amendments would allow the recently established independent Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission to warn election candidates, election agents or parties
implicated in acts of political violence and to set up special courts to try
such cases.
Zimbabwe's last electoral authority - which the MDC has said was a rathole
of CIO officers - took more than five weeks to announce the results of a
March 2008 presidential poll that gave Tsvangirai victory but not enough
votes to assume power.
The ZRC said the realization and apparent consensus by parties to the
coalition government, on the need to reform both the constitutional and
electoral frameworks was an important step towards normalizing Zimbabwe’s
fouled political environment.
"While in the past, good laws have been developed and promulgated, the
problem with Zimbabwe might not have been entirely about obnoxious and
restrictive laws in existence, but has more to do with a bad political
culture shown by political players," ZRC said in a critique of the Electoral
Acty amendments. "This culture negates and chooses to ignore even laid down
rules and regulations, at times, in pursuit of selfish individual or group
"It is such a political behaviour by politicians which has left Zimbabwe
with a shameful label of disrespecting the rule of law, abuse of human
rights, anarchy culminating in conflict-ridden political engagements at both
national and international level." ZRC said it was hoped that through the
proposed reforms to the Electoral Act, necessary reforms will be undertaken
to redefine civilized political engagements. The transitional authority
offers an opportunity to set new parameters that would guide the nation’s
political conduct and interaction, the election watchdog said.
"These ongoing legal and institutional reforms are important renovations
before Zimbabwe holds another election expected at the conclusion of
political reforms. However for all these reforms to be successful, the main
political actors in the country must cultivate a culture that gives respect
to the rule of law. It would indeed be a betrayal of the people, if
political actors make good laws on which they will be the first to
disregard," the critique said.

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Missing ZimRights staff finally found in Lupane

By Alex Bell
26 May 2011

Two employees from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), who
have been missing since their arrest on Monday, were finally located by
their lawyers at a Lupane police station on Thursday.

Florence Ndlovu, the ZimRights regional coordinator for Matabeleland
province, and Walter Dube a paralegal officer, were arrested on Monday in
Tsholotsho, after they were banned from holding an anti-torture workshop at
Tshino Business centre.

Although police at Nyamandlovu Police Station had denied holding Ndlovu and
Dube in their cells, the ZimRights employees said that they had been held at
the police station since Monday, where they were denied access to their
lawyers. The pair was only moved to Lupane Police Station on Wednesday where
Ndlovu was officially charged with communicating “false statements
prejudicial to the State.”

The police insist that Ndlovu told villagers at Monday’s anti-torture
workshops that the “police torture and assault people.” The ZimRights
official has denied the allegations, and said that she only spoke about
examples and scenarios of torture.

Dube meanwhile was released without charge.

The police intimidation of active civic groups is intensifying, and last
week employees of the Centre for Community Development were detained for
several hours in Mashonaland Central. The Centre’s Vellim Nyama and Tsungai
Vere, along with the Director of the Institute for Young Womens Development,
Glanis Changachirere, were set to address a meeting about the constitutional
referendum and possible elections, as well as service delivery.

But they were stopped by police who insisted on searching their car and
their personal belonging. The police found copies of the Centre’s “Thinking
Beyond” newsletter, and other campaign materials, and then began to
interrogate the group. The police officials insisted that they had not been
given clearance to hold any meetings.

All four activists were eventually released after a “pointless, time-wasting
detention and delay of law-abiding human rights defenders,” according to the
Centre for Community Development. The group said in a statement that it
denounces “the unconstitutional violation of random and unjustifiable
searches of vehicles and persons. This violates all personal bodily
integrity and criminalises individuals for no justifiable reason apart from
a high-handed abuse and display of police power.”

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IATA demands $2m from Air Zimbabwe

27/05/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has demanded that Air
Zimbabwe puts down a US$1,7 million deposit before it can be restored on its
worldwide financial and flight booking service.

IATA suspended the cash-strapped airline earlier this month over a
US$280,000 debt which the aviation control body insists must be paid, on top
of the huge deposit – a penalty for defaulting.

On May 15, IATA told travel agents worldwide to "immediately stop all
ticketing and refund transactions" for Air Zimbabwe after the crisis-hit
airline failed to pay the debt for worldwide billing and ticketing fees.

The state-owned airline is still flying using only its own booking
facilities, but it has suffered a sharp drop in bookings by passengers who
are not Zimbabwean nationals.

Air Zimbabwe, which is sitting on a debt of over US$100 million, said
bookings made through IATA-accredited travel agents accounted for nearly 80
percent of its international travellers.
But the airline’s push to be restored on the service suffered a major
reversal when IATA imposed the latest penalty.

“We had raised the US$280,000 required by IATA and were ready to make a
settlement when the bill shot up to nearly US$2 million, including the
deposit,” the airline’s general manager for Europe David Mwenga revealed on

The setback means it could take Air Zimbabwe several more months before IATA
gives the green light for travel agents to start making bookings for the
debt-ridden carrier.
Mwenga said they continued to engage IATA, calling for understanding.

“We never defaulted before this incident, and we feel the deposit
requirement is harsh,” said Mwenga, who blames the failure to pay on
crippling month-long strikes by pilots which grounded the airline’s planes
and decimated its revenues.

Air Zimbabwe’s troubles have snowballed into a major crisis, caused partly
by aging planes which have put it at a disadvantage against regional and
international competitors using newer equipment.

The airline was recently forced to ground three of its Boeing 737 which the
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe said were unfit to fly.

Air Zimbabwe then took on a Zambezi Airways B737-500 on a long-term lease
which is now servicing the regional routes previously plied by its grounded
medium-range planes. Even that agreement nearly collapsed on May 18 when Air
Zambezi withdrew its plane over a US$460,000 debt, which has now been

The airline has two Boeing 767s which service the Harare-London and
Harare-China routes. Its only other remaining aircraft is a Chinese-made
MA60 turboprop. One other MA60 remains unserviceable, while another was
damaged after hitting warthogs on the Harare runway and has been scrapped.

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Zim diamond group warns against rushed resumption of trade

By Alex Bell
27 May 2011

The Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds Campaign on Friday warned against any rushed
decision to allow Zimbabwe to resume diamond trading, saying the local
industry is still not compliant with international standards.

The group’s Gabriel Shumba told SW Radio Africa that the “time is still for
right,” for Zim diamond exports to resume, explaining that there is still
rampant smuggling and reports of human rights abuses at the controversial
Chiadzwa diamond fields.

Shumba was reacting to the news that the World Federation of Diamond Bourses
(WFDB) has called on the international trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process
(KP), to allow Zimbabwe to resume trading. WFDB President Avi Paz said in a
statement that the KP needs to “resolve their internal disagreements on the
issue of rough diamond exports from Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe’s trade status remains unclear, after the new KP Chairman Mathieu
Yamba earlier this year unilaterally gave the country the green light to
resume exporting its diamonds. This was despite a lack of consensus from the
rest of the KP, with some members still concerned that Zimbabwe is not
meeting the minimum standards of international trade. These members insisted
that no decision can be made until consensus is reached, but Yamba has
declared that he will not review his decision until the next KP plenary
session later this year.

The WFDB has now urged KP members to take the “essential and courageous
decision,” to allow Zimbabwe to export its diamonds, warning that the
diamond industry’s credibility was at stake.

“The Kimberley Process, due to the deadlock in its decision-making process
and its experts' ensuing indecision to allow rough diamond exports from
Zimbabwe to resume, is about to cause irreparable damage throughout the
entire to supply pipeline of our industry and trade, and threatens the
livelihood of literally millions of people throughout the international
diamond and jewellery sector,” said WFDB president Paz.

He added: “While the diamond industry and trade is in a position to
contribute to the betterment of many Zimbabwean citizens, the inaction of
the Kimberley Process, its members and its experts is now the major
stumbling block toward real progress. In addition, if the Kimberley Process
remains indecisive on Zimbabwe, there is a real danger that the relevance of
the Kimberley Process itself will be at stake.”

The Zimbabwe Blood Diamond Campaign’s Shumba said that while it agrees that
the KP needs to resolve the situation, there is a real danger of the KP
being forced into making the wrong decision.

“This implies that a resolution includes sweeping under the carpet all the
human rights violations in Zimbabwe’s diamond trade, and endorsing the
resumption of sales without Zimbabwe meeting international standards,”
Shumba warned.

He also countered Paz’s claims that it was the KP’s deadlock on Zimbabwe
alone that was tarnishing the diamond industry’s image.

“What is tarnishing the industry’s reputation is that trading has continued
despite smuggling and other violations. The fact that the KP has
continuously failed to resolutely deal with these violations is the real
problem here,” Shumba said.

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Deal collapses over empowerment

by Tobias Manyuchi     Friday 27 May 2011

HARARE – One of Zimbabwe’s top gold miners Rio Zim says foreign investors
withdrew an offer to invest in the firm because of concerns over President
Robert Mugabe’s controversial plan to transfer control of the mining sector
to local blacks.

Rio Zim chairman Tichaendepi Masaya said the investors, who he did not name,
had shown keen appetite to invest in the firm during seven months of
negotiations only to pull the plug on the deal because of fears over plans
by the government to limit equity that foreigners can hold in local mining

"Foreign investors who had shown appetite and capacity for the deal withdrew
recently due to the limitations on the equity stake imposed by the
indigenisation and empowerment legislation," Masaya said in a circular to

Masaya lamented the opportunity to raise badly needed capital lost when the
investors pulled out of the deal, adding that before developing cold feet
Rio Zim’s foreign suitors had even offered “short term financial support
pending the conclusion of the rights issue."

Mugabe’s previous government used its majority in Parliament in 2007 to ram
through the indigenisation law requiring all foreign-owned companies to cede
at least 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans.

Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a hawkish ally of Mugabe who is
spearheading the empowerment programme, has said the indigenisation campaign
will begin with the mining sector, the bedrock of Zimbabwe’s fragile

Kasukuwere has given foreign owned mining firms until June 2 to submit
details of how they plan to sell majority stake to local blacks by
September, under the programme that he and Mugabe claim is necessary to
ensure blacks benefit from the country’s lucrative mineral resources.

But critics say the empowerment campaign is a ploy by Mugabe to seize
thriving businesses and hand them over to his allies as a reward for support
much in the same way that the veteran leader’s land reforms were executed in
the name of the people but benefited his top lieutenants the most.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who says he is for genuine indigenisation
of the economy that benefits ordinary Zimbabweans, has castigated Mugabe’s
empowerment drive as “looting by a greedy elite”.

Besides Rio Zim, other big mining firms under pressure to sell controlling
stake to local blacks include the country’s largest platinum miner Zimplats,
owned by Impala Platinum (Implats), the world’s second largest producer of
the metal used in the automotive industry.

Mwana Africa, which owns Bindura Nickel Mine and Freda Rebecca gold mine and
Zimbabwe’s largest gold miner Metallon Gold Zimbabwe are also some of the
companies being targeted by the empowerment drive. -- ZimOnline

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Zuma Refuses Mugabe Request for Zimbabwe Mediation Team Reshuffle

ZANU-PF accused Mr. Zuma of siding with the Movement for Democratic Change
formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai following his submission of a
report to SADC critical of President Mugabe

Blessing Zulu | Washington  26 May 2011

ZANU-PF has declared that it will no longer discuss the road map to the next
elections in Zimbabwe which Mr. Zuma and the SADC troika have requested

South African President Jacob Zuma, who has been mediating in the Zimbabwe
crisis for the Southern African Development Community since 2009, has
indicated that he will not modify his team of facilitators to accommodate
proposals for the addition of experts on electoral reform and other issues,
or complaints from President Robert Mugabe.

A recent meeting in Livingstone, Zambia, of the SADC troika on politics,
defense and security recommended adding a number of experts to Mr. Zuma's
facilitation team, including specialists on conflict resolution and
electoral systems reform.

The expanded team was supposed to work with the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee to assist in that body's work of following,
evaluating and encouraging full implementation of the 2008 Global Political
Agreement for power sharing.

But sources in Pretoria say Mr. Zuma will not be expanding facilitation team
or making any other changes as demanded by Mr. Mugabe's former ruling
ZANU-PF party, which has been unhappy with statements attributed to
facilitator Lindiwe Zulu.

ZANU-PF has declared that it will no longer discuss the road map to the next
elections in Zimbabwe which Mr. Zuma and the SADC troika have requested, and
has rejected calls for reform of the security sector which has been accused
of partisanship.

ZANU-PF has also accused Mr. Zuma of siding with the former opposition
Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and the smaller MDC wing led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, this after
he submitted a report to SADC accusing Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF of stalling on
key reforms.

SADC leaders will meet in June in Johannesburg to discuss the Zimbabwe

Lindiwe Zulu, a foreign policy aide to Mr. Zuma, told VOA that the
facilitation team cannot be expanded at this point in its mission. Political
analyst Trevor Maisiri agreed, saying revamping the facilitation team now
would be counterproductive.

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More evidence surfaces linking Minister to murder

By Lance Guma
27 May 2011

The niece of a Lutheran World Federation employee murdered in 1999, has told
SW Radio Africa that co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi wrote a letter
asking to meet her uncle Strover Mutonhori, around the time of the

Speaking on our Behind the Headlines series Jane Dongo told us that Mohadi,
who was then Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing, wrote a letter to Mutonhori asking to meet him at the Ambassador
Hotel in Harare. Mohadi did not say why he wanted the meeting but offered to
take him back home at the end of it.

Sensing something was wrong Mutonhori is said to have declined to meet the
Deputy Minister. It’s suspected that Mohadi was following up on allegations
that Mutonhori was having an affair with his wife, Tambudzani. The two
worked together in Mberengwa. Dongo told us they are in possession of a
letter written by Tambudzani to Mutonhori, but in the letter she only
discusses the degree program the two were doing at the time.

Because Mutonhori declined to meet Mohadi the family believe that a further
plot was hatched to set him up for the kidnapping several days later. Dongo
said what puzzles them is that Mutonhori was not supposed to be at work on
the day he was kidnapped, “he was off duty but was called and told – you
have got to attend it, you have got to attend it.” Eventually he went to the
workshop at the Omadu Hotel in Kezi.

Mutonhori played soccer that night and around 9pm went to his room. Dongo
said delegates to the workshop were booked into rooms in pairs but somebody
tampered with the arrangement and gave Mutonhori his own room to ensure he
was alone. He was told that the person booked in the room with him was no
longer coming since they lived in Bulawayo and would come to workshop the
following day.

Dongo said Mutonhori’s kidnapping was meticulously planned. She said the bed
was never used on the night. “Mutonhori was kidnapped with one shoe, one
sock. The two hundred Zim dollars which was in his purse was there, the cell
phone was there, the suitcase with his clothes was there. Only him and one
trainer and one sock were missing.”

Mutonhori went missing on the 1st March and his decomposing body was only
found on the 17th August at the Whitewaters Range in Matopos, “just bones,
sheer bones,” Dongo said. Mutonhori’s wife was able to identify his remains
by counting the number of teeth he had in the upper jaw. “She only
identified those bones with one tooth which was missing and a belt which he
was wearing on that particular day.”

When Mohadi was appointed Home Affairs Minister in 2002, investigations into
the case were dropped and evidence went missing.

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Who's a killer?

By Pindai Dube
Friday, 27 May 2011 14:14

HARARE - In A sign that political temperatures are rising rapidly, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday challenged President Robert Mugabe to
come out in public and declare that he is not a murderer.

Speaking at a party in Plumtree, to celebrate Speaker of Parliament Lovemore
Moyo’s stunning re-election in March, Tsvangirai said he was “a very clean
man” who had never killed anyone in his political career – challenging
Mugabe to also come out in public and say the same.

“My hands are very clean and my conscience is clear. I did not kill anyone
during Gukurahundi. I did not kill anyone during Operation Murambatsvina and
I did not kill anyone during the 2008 presidential elections run-off.

“I challenge Mugabe to come out in public and say the same,” he said to
enthusiastic applause.

During the Gukurahundi massacres in the early 1980s, which were carried out
by Mugabe’s Zanu PF government, an estimated 20 000 innocent civilians were
murdered in cold blood in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces – while
thousands more disappeared.

Many of the victims were buried in mass graves, others were buried alive
while others were thrown into disused mines. The killing sprees were
conducted by the notorious and North-Korea trained 5th Brigade.

More than 200 MDC supporters were also killed during the bloody 2008
Presidential elections.  Much of the mayhem then was laid at the door of
Zanu PF’s much feared war veterans, youth vigilantes also known as the Green
Bombers and suspected serving members of the country’s security structures.

Tsvangirai also said at yesterday’s celebration that moves by Zanu PF to
force through an early election would be opposed vigorously.

He said negotiators from the three political parties in the unity government
were currently working on the election roadmap that would usher in a new
democratic dispensation in the country – and which would be discussed during
a Sadc extraordinary summit on the Zimbabwe crisis to be held in South
Africa next month.

"It is not about having a new constitution and holding elections this year.
It is about having a document that protects and respects the will of the
people. It is better for us to take our time being thorough as we write this
document,” he said.

He went on to condemn state-sponsored violence, saying security institutions
should protect the people of Zimbabwe and not abuse peace loving

Moyo's party was attended by hundreds of people and several senior MDC
officials.  It followed his convincing thumping of Simon Khaya Moyo of Zanu
PF for the crucial post in March.

The MDC chairman beat Khaya-Moyo, chairman of Zanu PF and former Zimbabwean
ambassador to South Africa, by 105 votes to 93 – in a ballot widely seen as
a potent harbinger for the general elections that Mugabe desperately wants
later this year.

The tense and dramatic election began with serial political flip-flopper
Jonathan Moyo being accused of trying to bribe some MDC MPs, while the
eventual winner was barred from casting his vote and suffered the indignity
of being ejected from Parliament before voting commenced.

A total of 199 votes were cast during the ballot, including one spoilt
paper, which came from the Zanu PF side.  The MDC had 96 MPs, the same as
Zanu PF, with the smaller faction of the MDC having seven.  Ominously for
Zanu PF, this meant that some MPs from Mugabe’s party voted with the two
MDCs against Khaya Moyo.

Jubilant MDC MPs broke into song and dance the moment Clerk of Parliament
Austin Zvoma announced Moyo had been re-elected, while their  Zanu PF
counterparts stood on the sidelines, embarrassed and dejected following
their embarrassing defeat.

Speaking after the momentous election, MDC secretary general, Tendai Biti
said forces of good had triumphed over evil.

“What happened today is proof of a number of undeniable and indisputable
truths. The first truth is that evil will never triumph over truth. Evil
will never triumph over good and today the forces of good triumphed over

“The last election was on the 29th of March 2008. We won that election
decisively. The election today was an attempt by Zanu PF to reverse the
gains of the 29th of March 2008. But once again the people of Zimbabwe
triumphed through their delegates.

“Our prayers and obligation go to the Almighty. We wouldn’t have gotten here
without God. We are in a transition government that is shaking, but what has
happened today has proved that no bullet, no durawall, no junta, no
securocrat can prevent and stop an idea whose hour has come.

“The idea of change, the idea of the MDC, the idea of Morgan Tsvangirai has
come and nothing is going to stop us,” an ecstatic Biti said.

The controversial Moyo had been instrumental in the nullification of
Lovemore Moyo’s post after he successfully appealed to the Supreme Court.

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Ongoing arbitrary detention of Ms. Florence Ndlovu for discussing torture issues


Paris-Geneva, May 27, 2011. The Observatory for the Protection of Human
Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for
Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT),
strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest of two Zimbabwean human rights
defenders and the continuing detention of one of them, in a context of
repression against human rights defenders prevailing in the country.

On May 23, 2011, Ms. Florence Ndlovu and Mr. Walter Dube, respectively
Regional Coordinator for Matabeleland province and Paralegal Officer for
Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo provinces for Zimbabwe Human Rights
Association (ZimRights), were arbitrarily arrested by the police as they
were coming out of a workshop in Tsholotsho. This arrest took place soon
after the police disrupted this workshop, which had been convened by
ZimRights to raise villagers’ awareness about torture and its effects.

For more than 48 hours - the legal time-frame within which one can be
detained without being brought before Court - the Zimbabwean police denied
holding the two. Yet, their illegal detention by the police was proved by
the presence of their vehicle in front of the police station in Matebeleland
North province, both on May 23 and 24.

In the late afternoon of May 26, 2011, the police finally confirmed their
detention at Lupane police station. Later in the day, Mr. Dube was released
with summons pending further investigation, while Ms. Ndlovu was maintained
in detention on charges of contravening Section 31 of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly “communicating false statements
prejudicial to the State”. The two defenders were detained during three days
without any access to their lawyers.

The police alleged that Ms. Ndlovu told villagers who participated in
ZimRights workshop that the “police torture and assault people”. However,
Ms. Ndlovu denied the allegations and indicated that she only spoke about
examples and scenarios of torture.

The Observatory strongly condemns Ms. Florence Ndlovu’s detention and urges
the Zimbabwean authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally,
as her detention seems to merely aim at sanctioning her human rights
activities, as well as to guarantee in all circumstances her physical and
psychological integrity.

“It is clear that Ms. Ndlovu and Mr. Dube have been unlawfully arrested and
detained in retaliation for their legitimate human rights activities. We are
very concerned about Ms. Ndlovu’s physical and psychological integrity
considering the infamous conditions of detention at the Lupane police
station. A few months ahead of the general elections, the authorities of
Zimbabwe still have to demonstrate their maturity to tolerate free
discussions on human rights issues”, said Ms. Belhassen, FIDH President.

“We are very concerned for all Zimbabwean human rights defenders in a
context of increasing acts of harassment and intimidation at this moment and
we accordingly call upon the authorities to put an end to all acts of
harassment against defenders in the country. The authorities should be
particularly cautious to ensure that the rights of those under arrest are
not patently violated by law enforcement bodies”, said Eric Sottas, OMCT
Secretary General.

More generally, the Observatory urges the authorities in Zimbabwe to comply
with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders, as well as all regional and international instruments on human
rights ratified by Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe sees 2011 gold output up 35 pct-chamber

  Fri May 27, 2011 6:50am EDT

* 2011 production to rise to 12-15 T from 9.6 T in 2010

* Power shortages, high production costs limit growth

* Chamber says $1 bln/yr needed to raise output to 50 T/yr

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe, May 27 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's gold output is
expected to rise by up to 35 percent this year but funding and power
shortages and high costs will continue to stifle growth in the sector, a
chamber official said on Friday.

Victor Gapare, president of Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines said the gold sector
would need $1 billion a year to increase production to 50 tonnes in the next
five years.

"The 2011 production is expected at between 12 to 15 tonnes, an increase of
35 percent. As our short to medium term target, we believe gold production
should be at 20 tonnes a year," Gapare said at the chamber's annual meeting.

Production last year was 9.6 tonnes.

Gold production plunged to a record low of 3 tonnes in 2008, as mines choked
from hyperinflation and acute foreign currency and electricity shortages.

A power-sharing government since set up by bitter rivals President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai dumped a worthless local
currency for multiple foreign currencies, taming hyperinflation and
stabilising the economy.

Most mothballed mines have since come back into production as companies are
keen to benefit from the bullish outlook for gold, which has been hitting
record highs this year.

"We expect the firm prices of gold to remain. With this positive outlook for
gold, it is high time we put in place policies that will allow us to ride
the crest of this positive trend," Gapare said.

Spot gold XAU= stood at $1,526.00 an ounce by 1000 GMT.

Companies in Zimbabwe's gold sector include Mwana Africa (MWA.L),
privately-held Duration Gold, Canada's New Dawn Mining Corp (ND.TO) and
RioZim (RTNR.ZI).

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Zimbabwe Plans to Buy 14 Chinese Locomotives, Herald Reports

By Brian Latham - May 27, 2011 4:26 PM GMT+1000

The state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe plans to buy 14 locomotives
from China at a cost of about $29 million, the Herald said, citing NRZ
spokesman Fanuel Masikati.

The railway company currently has 65 locomotives against a requirement of
83, the Harare-based newspaper said on its website. NRZ owns about 3,000
kilometers (1,900 miles) of railway line and carries 6.4 million metric tons
of freight a year, the Herald said.

The railway company needs an additional $10 million to replace vandalized
equipment that has stopped the movement of its electric-powered locomotives,
said the state-owned Herald.

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Outrage As Britain Protects Butcher Of MDC Members

8 hours 13 minutes ago

LONDON, May 27, 2011- A former operative of Zimbabwe,s dreaded spy agency,
the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) has been allowed to stay in
Britain despite confessing to killings and torture of MDC supporters and
other activists in the country.

According to British media reports, Philip Machemedza, the former spy who
fled to Britain claiming he had seen enough of killings and torture of
activists and MDC supporters, cannot be deported back to his country
following  a ruling by a immigration tribunal.
The tribunal said the ruling was made to protect his human rights even
though the self confessed butcher of MDC members took away the freedom and
lives of innocent people at home.
The tribunal said Machemedze could himself face torture if he was returned
home, having turned his back on Mugabe's regime, the Mail reported.

Both Machemedze and his wife were allowed to stay in the UK, after a judge
ruled sending Machemedze back to Zimbabwe breached his human rights, the Sun
newspaper reported when the story broke in the UK on Thursday.
Machemedze worked as a bodyguard to a senior Mugabe regime minister, as part
of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation, the reports said.
The tribunal heard Machemedze helped "slowly kill" members of MDC party
whose limbs were then hacked off, The Sun reported.Court documents exposed
the horrendous acts he allegedly committed as a state-sponsored torturer.

The tribunal heard he smashed one victim's jaw with a pair of pliers, before
pulling out a tooth.Another victim, a farmer accused of supporting the MDC,
was shocked with electric cables, slapped, beaten and punched unconscious.
Mr Justice David Archer admitted Machemedze was "deeply involved in savage
acts of extreme violence", the Sun reported.

But the judge added: "Whatever crimes he has committed, he cannot be
returned to face the highly likely prospect of torture and execution without
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May will seek to overturn the judge's
ruling, The Sun reported on Friday.

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Zimbabwean Conservationist Seeks to Protect Black Rhinos

Goldman Environmental Foundation recognizes efforts of Raoul Du Toit

Jackson Mvunganyi  May 27, 2011

Zimbabwe has one of the largest populations of black rhinos in the world.But
conservationists say their numbers are declining, mostly because of man-made
problems, including poaching and human encroachment, as people look for new
land to farm. Every year hundreds of rhinos are killed for their horns,
which are sold for medicinal purposes in markets as far away as Asia.

The Goldman Environmental Prize recently went to Raoul Du Toit, coordinator
of the African Rhino Program at the Florida-based International Rhino
Foundation and one of a small number of conservationists working to preserve
the animals. The Goldman Environmental Prize is awarded to those working at
the grassroots level to protect and enhance the environment.

Rhinos are victims to poachers who are more active because of the decline in
law enforcement in the conservation areas, said Du Toit. He attributes the
situation in Zimbabwe to a lack of resources and political and economic

Animal-human competition

Black rhinos are also threatened by competition from the relocation of
people into conservation areas in search of land for growing food crops.
“There has been a kind of haphazard and disorganized settlement going on,”
he explained, “where there is potential for major livestock problems with
disease transmission from wildlife to livestock….”

Human settlements are driven by economics and by politics. Du Toit said the
Zimbabwean government’s fast track land resettlement program has led to an
expansion of subsistence farming in the rhinos’ wild habitat.

He said the program “was not adopted in a way that incorporates wildlife
land reform adequately.”

Du Toit dismissed the claim by some that a decline in wildlife is natural as
animals compete with humans for land and that the animals will adapt and

“A lot of wildlife has been lost in Zimbabwe in areas that are settled,” he
said, pointing to the reduction of “big animals like elephants and rhinos.”

“Big game cannot live around farms and gardens, because they will ultimately
overrun it” and be killed by the community, which can also sell their horns.

The way forward

Du Toit mentioned some of the practical efforts. Rhinos have been moved to
areas in southern Zimbabwe where cattle ranches have been converted into
wildlife conservancies that protect and breed animals.

Help has also come from the private sector, which Du Toit said is seeking
government partnerships and engagement with local communities. The ultimate
goal, he said, is to sensitize people about the need to preserve the rhino

Economic incentives can provide income and local employment, like tourist
lodges owned by the community. Du Toit said he is far from advocating that
every square kilometer in Zimbabwe be given to wildlife. “There should be
crop production…livestock production…mining…but what we want,” he said, is a
better “approach towards fitting together these uses within the landscape.”

What’s needed, he said, is a greater efficiency in resource use and more
technical support, combined with what he called more rational government

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ZANU PF sympathisers launches violence magazine

Written by The Zimbabwean
Friday, 27 May 2011 13:45

A group of well known ZANU PF sympathizes masquerading as political
commentators has launched a magazine with information and pictures detailing
incidents of political violence they allege  were committed by supporters of
Movement for Democrat Change –Tsvangirai (MDC-T)
Speaking at the launch of the Magazine called Movement for Democratic Change
MDC-T and The Culture of Violence at a local hotel in Harare last night
Godson Nguni said it was  high time that the world knows the truth about the
MDC-T’s culture of violence.
“Since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, the
people of this country have never  enjoyed a good night sleep because the
part is  a puppet of the Western Countries and is mainly composed of former
Rhodesian forces who are perpetrating violence the same way they used to do
during the smith regime” Nguni said.
Defending ZANU PF he said his party is non-violent and far more welcoming,
and that most situations were MDC-T claims  are some snakes bites or road
accidents, activist who succumb to  chronic ailments such as AIDS and Cancer
have found themselves in the list of victims of political violence,  just to
swell MDC-T’s statics and even victims of common criminals have claimed to
have been beaten by ZANU PF activist.
nguni_bookHe added that that the MDC-T had a fully fledged department which
had a budget allocation tasked at stage managing violence for the benefit of
the gullible private press and western governments. “The bulk of these
reported acts of violence appear to be stage managed top serve specific
political purposes with the perpetrators turning around and casting
themselves as victims, in fact the alleged victims of ZANU PF violence are
more often that not rented crowd” said Nguni
Responding to the publication of this Magazine the MDC-T National
Spokesperson  Douglas Mwonzoro said that was  a desperate attempt by ZANU PF
ahead of the SADC meeting on the 11th June to support  their case as victims
of political violence yet they were the perpetrators.
He urged that ZANU PF sympathisers to go and  ask the police why victims of
political violence such as Tonderai Ndira  other heroes, such as Learnmore
Jongwe, Mabika, Better Chokururama, Chiminya, Mtetwa, Godfrey Kauzani, Jani
to mention but a few who were murdered or beaten by Zanu PF thugs yet these
cases have been unresolved yet they have all the evidence.
“The death of these comrades epitomizes the magnitude of the evil driven by
power greed as ZANU Pf was confronted with the people’s verdict to surrender
power to a new dispensation of an MDC government of the people by the people
during the elections of March 2008” said Mwonzora.
Mwonzora added that the perpetrators were walking scot free and some of them
even getting promoted to high position in ZANU PF led institutions and
nothing is being done. The Magazine according to Nguni will be translated
into various languages such as French and Portuguese and distributed for
free to the whole world through Zimbabwean embassy.
The Magazine is called Movement for Democratic Change MDC-T and Culture of
Violence and has no contact details or the names of the editorial team, it
carries pictures and stories published in the State controlled Media about
the purported acts of violence committed by MDC-T activist dated as far back
as 2000.

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Morgan Tsvangirai’s keynote address at the launching of the Panel of Zimbabwe Elders

May 27th, 2011

The Panel of Elders

The secretary-general of the SADC council of NGOs Mr Boichoko Ditlhake and
your colleagues

The executive chairman of the Centre for Peace Initiatives Africa, Dr
Leonard Kapungu

Government ministers here present

Traditional leaders

Members of the diplomatic corps

Invited Guests, Ladies and gentlemen

It is with great pleasure that I stand before you today on the occasion of
the launch of the Panel of Zimbabwe Elders, one of the many brilliant
initiatives to ensure that our country achieves peace.

Many a time, we have often failed in Africa to live in peace amongst
ourselves because of conflicts arising from differences based on tribe,
race, religion or political affiliation.

We have fed the stereotype of a violent Africa because of internecine wars,
conflicts and our desire to mete out violence on political opponents.

We have confirmed the negative belief held by Africa’s critics by decimating
each other through political violence orchestrated mainly by organs of the

Indeed, ours has been a story of violence and conflict from the Sudan to
Somalia, from the Ivory Coast to the Saharawi Republic and from Libya to

And that is why every Zimbabwean should join me in celebrating the creation
today of this body of elders that is prepared to work towards achieving
peace and harmony in Zimbabwe.

We must celebrate these ambassadors of peace; brave men and women from
across the social spectrums, who have decided to work towards promoting a
peaceful Zimbabwe.

I notice that the panel is rich in its diversity. It comprises people of
diverse backgrounds who include university professors, church leaders,
businessmen and women, academics, chiefs, retired judges and retired senior
military personnel.
This inclusive body of elders working together to prevent violence in our
country is a great story unto itself and a clear testimony that collective
effort is important to ensure that the citizens of this country live in
peace, with neither fear nor coercion.

We all want a new era in this country; where knives, machetes, knobkerries,
guns and booted feet as instruments of violence and repression are no longer

As a country, we have been forced to walk the painful road of violence and
hatred and we are not prepared to walk it forever more.

We have lost relatives. Our homes and property have been destroyed. We have
seen State agents actively engaged in shameful acts of violence and the
unbridled violation of the people’s rights and freedoms.

But we have all refused to be cowed and to be distracted from the urgent
national assignment of fighting for democratic change in Zimbabwe.

I, too, have personally experienced this violence and I understand the pain
of brutality and indignity.

Zimbabwe cannot afford to slide back if it is to reclaim its rightful place
among the civilized family of nations.

Across the political, tribal, religious or racial divide, we all want to
live in peace and harmony; in a tranquil environment where our rights and
basic freedoms of assembly, speech, movement and association are respected
and protected.

The challenge of the new crop of Africa leaders is to kill this culture of
violence against defenseless citizens so that governments concentrate on
pressing national issues such as eradicating poverty, creating jobs, growing
the economy and delivering quality and affordable service to the people,
especially health and education.

A new Zimbabwe where political or religious differences are not an excuse
for violence and unnecessary conflict; where state institutions promote
peace and unity – not war and violence against defenseless people.

Our current situation is being compounded by the war psychosis-the constant
reference to Chimurenga and the war language associated with it. It puts the
country into an unnecessary war mode because any war environment
necessitates the suspension of the Constitution and the undermining of the
civilian authority. The civilian authority becomes substituted by partisan
organs of the State and the whole country is thrown into fear and

We cannot have peace unless all these issues have been dealt with.
Statements by service chiefs that they will not respect the expression of
the people’s will, as well as statements in the press today in which a
senior army officer is trying to determine the date of the election, only
serve to confirm the uniqueness of our situation and the importance of
vaccinating State organs from acting like political entities.

Unnecessary election talk leads to disfunctionality and polarity in the
country. It polarizes Cabinet, Parliament and the security sector and leads
to unilateral actions and selective application of the law.

We must all understand that peace is a major ingredient in the creation of a
conducive environment for investment, economic growth and development.

Peace is a precondition in any endeavor to promote and improve people’s

Peace must be everyone’s clarion call and I urge you to leave no stone
unturned in rallying everyone to support the creation of a peaceful nation.

I notice that among the terms of reference of the panel of elders is to come
up with strategies that enhance a peaceful environment by intervening to
stop violence at every level and spearheading a public campaign against
politically motivated violence.

I am glad that your policy document considers free and fair elections as the
best way out of the current political, economic and social challenges in the

I am also glad that you are seeking co-operation with all actors nationally,
regionally and internationally in securing peaceful and free conditions
ahead of the next election.

Surely, these are noble initiatives in which all of us are agreed and I
would be surprised to learn that there are others who hold the strong view
that a peaceful election and a peaceful country are not in the best interest
of the people of Zimbabwe!

I wish to thank SADC and the facilitator, President Jacob Zuma, for their
patience and hard work. Despite unnecessary provocation, they have retained
their firm and unwavering commitment to the crafting of a roadmap, with
clear benchmarks and time-bound milestones, to ensure a peaceful electoral
environment that will not breed another contested outcome in Zimbabwe.

Yes, we need a free and fair election under a new Constitution.

So we must all be able to support that roadmap and to fight violence in
every quarter. Let us fight for peace in and among political parties, peace
in the homes and peace in the country as a pre-condition for creating a
better society and a better foundation for future generations.

I wish to thank the people of Zimbabwe for investing their faith in this
transitional arrangement that has given us a modicum of peace; for choosing
hope over despair, peace over violence and a bright future over a troubled

The civil servants, peasants, workers, farmers, housewives, students and
everyone across the social spectrum have stood resolute in support of the
peaceful foundation we have laid for a bright future.

I am aware, however, that the peaceful foundation we have tried to lay is
being threatened by those that want us to slide back to the conflict and
violence of 2008. I know they will fail!

I have traversed the length and breadth of Zimbabwe and spoken to villagers,
farmers, students, church leaders, businessmen, cross-border traders and
factory workers.

I have talked to bankers, investors, housewives, the youth, women and
minority groups and I have been humbled by their unequivocal support for a
peaceful country,a new Zimbabwe and a new beginning.

As we embark on this last mile to full democracy, I urge the church and
everyone committed to peace to take a leading role in committing our country
and its leadership to God.

I urge all God-fearing Zimbabweans to unite in prayer and ask God the
Almighty to bless our country.

Let us join hands in this last mile as we all walk united in our collective
quest for a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe where war and
violence have no place, where we are united in our diversity and where every
Zimbabwean has the freedom to pursue and live their dreams..

Our faith in the Lord and our fortitude in waging this great fight for
peace, dignity and prosperity should continue to drive us in in the coming

The uniqueness of our situation means that bringing Zimbabwe back to
legitimacy and peace is both a national and international issue.

In the words of Psalm 122 verse 7:“May there be peace within your walls and
security within your citadels.”

It is my singular honor and privilege to declare the Panel of Zimbabwe
Elders officially launched.

I thank you

This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

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Military junta must stop meddling in Zimbabwean politics

Friday, 27 May 2011

The MDC condemns in the strongest terms, the statements published in this week’s The Zimbabwe Independent by Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba calling for elections in Zimbabwe this year.

The remarks by Nyikayaramba once again highlight one of the fundamental problems facing Zimbabwe today: a biased, partisan Zanu PF activist masquerading as a national army chief.

Yet his Constitutional mandate enjoins him to serve all Zimbabweans in their political diversity.

It must be noted and accepted that Nyikayaramba is the de-facto spokesperson of the military junta whose gruesome national human rights records since independence is well known.

Nyikayaramba declares that elections will be held this year and that the winner will only be Robert Mugabe. He further claims that if anybody other than Mugabe wins the election, the military will not salute that person, announcing that Mugabe must rule Zimbabwe for life.

The statement is a clear admission by the junta that it has unlawfully and unconstitutionally taken over the running of affairs in Zimbabwe.

However, while the MDC always knew that Nyikayaramba is Zanu PF, the party and the people of Zimbabwe expects him and his few colleagues in the State security sector to understand that the past was another country and real change and a new Zimbabwe is definitely coming.

What is saddening is that our key national institutions are being dragged into the realm of Zanu PF partisan politics as the dying party seeks to destroy the professionalism and patriotism of our public officers willing to serve Zimbabwe in an honest and impartial manner.

It further confirms our fear that without reforms of the security sector, then elections will be a farce, and a declaration of war on the citizens of Zimbabwe.

The people of Zimbabwe want a credible, free and fair election in terms of a clear, time bound roadmap.

The MDC salutes the thousands of army personnel and other State security officers who have struggled to remain uncontaminated by Zanu PF and decided to pursue their Constitutional mandate under extremely difficult circumstances.

Nyikayaramba and those of his ilk represent Zimbabwe’s sad and dark past and must never be allowed to contaminate Zimbabwe’s bright future.
Together, united, winning, the people’s covenant to real change!!

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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Opportunites and gaps in the proposed electoral reforms

May 27th, 2011

Election Resource CentrePress release – 27 May 2011: The Cabinet has reportedly approved the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act which by and large contribute positively towards the effort to sanitize Zimbabwe’s electoral system and processes. It is however necessary for the new regulations to be informed by past mistakes and controversies in order to minimize the recurrence of election related disputes.

In the table below, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) highlights the risks and opportunities emanating from the proposed reforms in view of the broader electoral reform spectrum.

Proposed Reforms Analysis
Polling site specific voters roll- voters must register to vote and do the actual voting at one polling site. -The proposals are not clear whether the adoption of a polling station based voter’s roll would be followed by a fresh registration of voters. It is important at this juncture to intensify lobbying efforts on the need to overhaul the present voters roll which is known through various voter’s roll audits to be in shambles. With ZEC having indicated that the process of re-registration of voters would require at least six months, it is prudent to conduct the fresh registration of voters before the next general election.

- The need for a fresh voter’s roll is amplified by the possible chaos that could emanate from the allocation of people on a voters roll to a given polling station without consultation. This might result in many people being assigned to polling stations further away from where they currently reside especially in rural areas where would-be voters do not always register using actual physical addresses.

- A fresh registration of voters would therefore give voters a choice on which polling site to belong to, as well as to do away with names of deceased people and names incorrectly captured in the voter’s roll.

Declaration of Presidential election results– the ZEC is obliged to declare presidential election results not more than five days after the polling day. -Welcome development especially after the 2008 debacle on presidential results.

-The law should spell out clearly what sanctions follow the abrogation of the set time limits. Will failure to adhere to the 5 day limit mean nullification of the ultimate result to be announced?

Nomination of candidates- it is proposed that party candidates fill in generic forms endorsed by their political parties. The nomination form must also bear the candidate’s signature to signify his or her acceptance of the nomination. The new changes further propose that the candidate or his/her agent should also countersign the form to indicate consent. However independent candidates or candidates of political parties not registered under the Political Parties (Finance) Act shall remain obliged to support the nomination of their candidates by five persons whose names appear on the voters roll in the concerned constituency. -Curtails incidences of double candidature for political parties as witnessed in the March 2008 election where the major political parties had two or more contestants in a single constituency or ward.

-However on the registration of political parties the law should explicitly compel all existing political formations to register as such.

Role of police officers- the new changes attempt to clarify that police officers at polling sites should not take part or interfere with the electoral processes and should only maintain law and order. The proposals further emphasize that the Police Commissioner-General should establish a police post at every polling station. -Selective application of the law should be addressed. There should be a departure from the previous malpractice by the national police of treating some political players as sacred cows or untouchables, whilst others are criminalized routinely and often times unjustifiably.
Assisted voters- an illiterate, physically incapacited or visually impaired voter must be assisted by a person of his or her choice of or above the age of 18 years and can exercise his or her right to vote without the assistance of the presiding officer or polling officer. It further proposes that an incapacitated voter who is unable to vote but is literate should be permitted to vote with the assistance of a person of his or her choice of and above the age of 18 and without the presence of the presiding officer or polling officers. -It is positive development in trying to empower all voters as equals and upholding one’s freedom of choice as well as secrecy of the ballot.

-Epitomies of intimidation and violence like the police are commendably set to be relegated from assisting the voters.

-Whilst this proposed change greatly facilitates the minimization of voter intimidation within a polling station, it fails to deal with endogenous organized violence. This might result in a high number of assisted voters being “forcibly assisted” in voting by architects of violence in the localities, purporting to be their chosen assistants.

Transparency on ballot papers-ZEC must give all relevant information to political parties and candidates participating in elections, the total number of ballots printed, and the ballots distributed to each polling station. -The proposed regulations must compel ZEC to adequately and equitably provide relevant information to all political contestants without favouring any given political formation, for whatever reason.

-The law should allow political parties to monitor the production of ballot papers, their security and distribution.

-No political party should have access to privileged information which the other parties cannot access as exhibited in March 2008 elections where one political party began talking of the nation heading towards a presidential election run-off, yet the official results had not been announced.

Voters roll accessibility- There is a proposal that upon request, the electronic copies of the voter’s roll are given to parties and candidates contesting in an election free of charge. -Whilst it is a positive development, accessibility of the voter’s roll should be assured not only to politicians, but also to organized civic organizations with a legitimate reason of wanting to encourage prospective voters to inspect the voters roll or to register.

-Voters rolls should always be easily accessible to the entire electorate for continuous inspection of their names.

Complaints mechanism-it is proposed that a special body should be set up to receive complaints or allegations of politically motivated acts of violence, to monitor and carry out investigations of such reports. The allegations will in turn be referred to police for expeditious investigations and possible prosecution. -ZEC has existing conflict management structures like the Multi-party liaison committees aimed at managing election related conflicts, which in previous elections have not been put to effective use.

-The proposed power conferred on ZEC to receive such complaints is indeed necessary in as far as it helps the management body to make an objective analysis, deter and resolve election related conflict.

-However intensive institutional reform is necessary to sanitize the police force and engender a culture of professionalism in order for them to be able to objectively handle cases of political violence, especially if it involves high ranking officials linked to certain political parties.

Special Election Complaints court-ZEC should be empowered to summon candidates, election agents or parties accused of engaging in political violence. ZEC will be empowered to warn candidates, election agents or parties implicated in acts of political violence and to set up a special court at the magistrate’s level to try such cases. The Attorney General is also enjoined to set up a special unit in his office dedicated to prosecuting cases of political violence committed during elections. Upon conviction by special courts, the court can make a special order banning candidates from further participation in the election process. The question of partisanship of the judiciary system should adequately be addressed before having a realistic hope in the efficacy of the proposed amendments. Precedence has shown that there is continued biased prosecution of political offenders, where most cases involving ZANU PF are either swept under the carpet or the prosecution is done lethargically.

-This noble complaints mechanism thrives better in an environment devoid of political manipulation of the Attorney General’s office. Having an AG who openly declares allegiance to a political party dampens the confidence the electorate might need to have in the judicial processes.

Postal Voting- postal voting will be limited to officers outside the country on state duty, whilst polling officers, security officers and any persons involved in running of the election will be permitted to vote within a week before polling. -The electoral environment in Zimbabwe has for long been dogged by controversies surrounding the mystery and lack of transparency with regards to the postal voting system. Whilst persistent calls have been made by civic society for Zimbabweans living abroad to be able to vote as well, using this system, it is welcome for the law to clearly state the measures that should be done to ensure transparency.

-It has to be clear on whether political parties, local and international observers are eligible to monitor the early voting processes to ensure accountability and avoid potential disputes.

Police clearance on candidates-it is proposed that the provision doing away with clearance certificates, whether from the ZRP or from local authorities, be entrenched in the Electoral Act. -This would come as a relief especially to those aspiring candidates who would have been victims of arbitrary arrest and conviction on political grounds.
Second round of elections-the existing provisions requiring the winner to win at least 50% plus one vote, has been retained. -It remains important to have a popularly elected President; therefore this provision ensures that the country is ruled by a popular head of state and government.
Audit of Presidential election results-it is proposed that results of the Presidential elections must be audited by a reputable and independent auditing firm to authenticate and legitimize the winner. -This is an important process that would consolidate the legitimization of the President, so elected. However, this should be audited by a reputable and independent auditing firm to authenticate and legitimize the winner.


The realization and apparent consensus by parties to the coalition government, on the need to reform both the constitutional and electoral frameworks is an important step towards normalizing Zimbabwe’s fouled political environment.

While in the past, good laws have been developed and promulgated, the problem with Zimbabwe might not have been entirely about obnoxious and restrictive laws in existence, but has more to do with a bad political culture shown by political players. This culture negates and chooses to ignore even laid down rules and regulations, at times, in pursuit of selfish individual or group desires.

It is such a political behaviour by politicians which has left Zimbabwe with a shameful label of disrespecting the rule of law, abuse of human rights, anarchy culminating in conflict-ridden political engagements at both national and international level.

The nation’s hope is that through the proposed reforms to the Electoral Act, necessary reforms will be undertaken to redefine civilized political engagements. The transitional authority offers an opportunity to set new parameters that would guide the nation’s political conduct and interaction.

These ongoing legal and institutional reforms are important renovations before Zimbabwe holds another election expected at the conclusion of political reforms. However for all these reforms to be successful, the main political actors in the country must cultivate a culture that gives respect to the rule of law. It would indeed be a betrayal of the people, if political actors make good laws on which they will be the first to disregard.

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Deconstructing The Language Of Integration And Unity In Africa



THE Windhoek SADC Summit came and gone. And so has the Africa Day which was
celebrated across the continent on May 25.

People are now probably preparing for next year to perform the same rituals.
I say rituals here because nothing seems to change – which is the
characteristic of a ritual. But someone might grab me by my throat and says
‘that’s not true’, and under that pressure I would probably concede that
things have indeed changed. But what has changed?
Yes, we have changed the name of the Southern African Coordination
Conference to Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1992, in the
high-altitude city of Windhoek. And we did the same with the Organisation of
African Unity when we changed it to the African Union (AU) in 2002, in the
coastal city of Durban. But stubbornly, I might still insist that things
have not changed because despite the name changes Southern Africa, and
indeed Africa itself, is still far from being integrated and united.
There is neither an integrated SADC region nor is there a united Africa with
a union government. In the case of SADC, we were told that by 2008 the
region will have a Free Trade Area (FTA) – reducing or eliminating tariffs
or relaxing non-tariff barriers to the movement of goods and services. This
has not happened as yet after a good 31 years. In the case of the African
Union, African leaders have been talking about African unity and a union
government for the ‘United States of Africa’ since the formation of the
original OAU in 1963 in Addis Ababa. Thus Kwame Nkrumah’s urgings for a
union have been in vain.
Thus any serious discussion of the problems facing the integration or unity
agenda in the region and in Africa must involve a process of restructuring
the African reality itself. This reality, however, can be very complex and
re-sculpting it produces its own sets of blinkers and ideological
predispositions. And these predispositions affects the way we see, describe
and understand the problems that face post-colonial Africa and its various
projects whether at the national, regional or continental levels.
I therefore argue here that the integration and unity-talk is essentially
following the same political trajectory that pertains at the national level
of the various African countries themselves. Thus unless one addresses the
national question first, one cannot hope to move on to the higher ground –
which is the regional level. The example of the European Union is
instructive here. There was no blanket admission to the Union in Europe.
Some countries were required to put their houses in order first before they
could seek membership. In Africa, any system goes however. Commenting on the
recent suspension of the SADC Tribunal, the radical lawyer, Norman Tjombe,
asked why SADC leaders should support a strong regional court if they don’t
support strong courts in their own countries?
Proceeding from that perspective, one can legitimately argue that as time
elapses, as the post-colonial period lengthens and African societies
rediscover their past, then the significance of nationalist politics becomes
less so. We are witnessing it here in Namibia where identity politics (read
tribal politics) is taking root. Thus if individual countries themselves
aren’t united internally how can they unite at the regional and eventually
at continental level?
Let me, however, as a corollary to the preceding discussion look at the
significance of Africa in contemporary global politics assuming there was a
semblance of integration and unity. In recent years and weeks, especially in
the wake of recent ‘revolutions’ in North Africa, we have heard and read
about ‘African solutions to African problems’ being tossed around and about.
Specifically in the case of Libya where NATO forces have been maintaining a
no-fly zone and also the bombing of military targets (of course with the
usual civilian casualties caught in the cross-fire) African leaders have
been urging that to be stopped because they see it as another Western
imperialist agenda and would instead argue that Africa can solve its own
But when did Africa solve its problems? That’s the question. Why didn’t
Africa intervene before the UN and NATO came into the picture? They are
calling for dialogue between the Libyan leader and the rebels – which is now
too late, I’m afraid. Muammar Gaddafi has had ample chance to do so. But he
decided to unleash the might of the Libyan military on his ‘own’ people.
Closer to home, what is SADC doing in the case of Zimbabwe where President
Robert Mugabe has been defying all political agreements and protocols
including those by the now suspended SADC Tribunal?
Indeed, where was Africa, the OAU, in 1994 when a horrified world watched
the unrelenting brutality of the violence that was unfolding during the
Rwandan tragedy where close to one million Africans were brutally killed?
Some of these organisations have no significance and rationale for their
continuing existence. And there will be no ‘African solutions to African
problems’ until such time that a radical revolution, both politically and
intellectually, take place on the continent. And as one SMS message recently
put it: it is time to dissolve these entities. I couldn't agree more.

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Machemedze could spark a serious crisis in Britain and the EU

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 27/05/11

There is understandable anger at the granting of asylum by a UK judge to
Phillip Machemedze, a CIO spy in Mugabe’s regime, who admitted smashing an
MDC supporter’s jaw then pulling out his tooth. In my view, a spy will
always be a spy, there is no way a spy can be an ex-spy. After all, he is
said to have resigned by word of mouth. Is that enough?

Now outraged Britons and human rights activists the world over are demanding
his deportation. The CIO agent who also confessed to committing acts of
torture has attracted the attention of scores of British photojournalists
who have camped outside the house where he lives in Bristol on learning that
Machemedze is on state benefits and he and his wife are HIV positive. While
the house is being referred to as if he owns it, that seems unlikely because
of his refugee status, however since he is from the CIO, who knows?

The presence in the UK of Machemedze who spent four years in the CIO
confessed to electrocuting, slapping, beating and punching “to the point of
being unconscious” a white farmer and to many other offences, is threatening
to get worse by the day. Arguably, the case has assumed the character of a
terrible scandal.

Ironically, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) are
reportedly keen to interview the CIO spy who won his appeal for asylum in
terms of the European Human Rights Convention. That his case has caused
embarrassment to the British Government is noticeable from a story claiming
the British embassy in Harare has said it will lobby for the deportation of
Phillip Machemedze (Zimdiaspora, 27/05/11).

The Machemedze ‘scandal’ has the potential to cause a serious crisis within
the European Union as Britain tries to wriggle its’ way out of the tentacles
of the European Human Rights Convention. However, a worse predicament facing
the UK is what to do with Mugabe’s spy agent who may now be eligible for
full citizenship and be able to stand for any public office in the United
Kingdom and indeed the European parliament unless he has a ‘criminal record’.

Such prospects are not academic as Machemedze may already be on the UK’s and
EU’s Voters Register which entitles him to vote in UK and EU parliamentary
elections. Unless disqualified by the tribunal case which he appealed
against, Machemedze who has been in the UK for 11 years as a CIO agent could
one day contest the post of Prime Minister of Great Britain if he wants to.
I bet his mates in Zimbabwe would urge him to go for it!

There is concern that Machemedze could spark a serious crisis in Britain and
the EU.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,

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A letter from the diaspora

Written by The Zimbabwean
Friday, 27 May 2011 16:39

Just a week ago the SADC Summit opened in the Namibian capital. 11 regional
leaders were present and the meeting was all over in a few hours. Zimbabwe
was not on the agenda but that did not stop the Namibian police with the
help of Zimbabwe’s CIO from forcibly removing Zimbabwean civil rights
activists from outside the venue. SADC has shown very few signs that its own
citizens’ concerns are of any importance in their deliberations. And, as if
to illustrate that point, SADC dissolved their Human Rights Tribunal this
The dissolution of the SADC Human Rights Tribunal was a blow, not only for
Zimbabwe’s remaining white farmers but for all Southern African citizens.
There are apparently just 230 white farmers left in business from the
original 4.500 at the start of the so-called Land Reform Programme. Right on
cue, Zimbabwe’s Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa declared that the
government would now push ahead with its land reforms without the Tribunal
“on its back”. True to his words, government backed war veterans are now
moving from farm to farm in the Midlands and Mashonaland provinces
intimidating white farmers to get off their land. Title deeds have long
since ceased to have any meaning in Zimbabwe where the Rule of Law has
virtually collapsed thanks to a partisan police force and judiciary. Robert
Mugabe is pushing for elections this year and has made it known that he
wants all white farmers off the land before elections are held.
Zanu PF declared this week that they have abandoned the GPA ‘electoral
roadmap’ and hardliners within the party have threatened to leave SADC
unless they get their own way. The next SADC meeting is scheduled for June
11th and the MDC is demanding that reform of the security sector be
discussed there. “That is not going to happen” says Patrick Chinamasa and
Robert Mugabe, also rejecting the MDC call for reform of the security sector
declares them to be “an exemplary and reputable force”.
How Mugabe can justify such a claim is hard to fathom when in this one week
alone we have seen numerous examples of the police being utterly
disreputable. They have refused lawyers access to their Zimrights clients
and even denied they know where the two, Florence Ndlovu and Walter Dube,
are being held. In blatant disregard of a court order which had given
permission for an anti-torture workshop to be held for villagers in
Tsholotsho, the Zimrights activists were picked up at a road block with the
police claiming that they had instructions to shoot. That was five days ago
and the two activists have not been seen since. Woza women were once again
arrested after they mounted another peaceful demo in Bulawayo against power
cuts and twenty seven innocent mourners at the funeral of an MDC official
were arrested and held for five days before they were released without
Most shocking in my view are the attacks on churches.   Civilised countries
would consider police disrupting church services as totally unacceptable. It
is in fact unconstitutional in a country where the constitution enshrines
freedom of worship as a basic right – as the Zimbabwean constitution does.
The Christian Alliance is a coalition of church leaders which has compiled a
report they intend to put before the next SADC meeting. In their report they
have detailed the numerous examples of police harassment against churches
and their congregations. The Alliance Director is the Reverend Useni Sibanda
and his comment goes to the heart of the matter: “The surprising thing is
that the police never cause disruptions when Zanu PF officials join the
apostolic church sects in worship where they turn those gatherings into
political rallies.” Zimbabweans all know exactly what the Reverend Sibanda
was referring to.
By dissolving the Human Rights Tribunal, SADC has left citizens of all
faiths and none at the mercy of a partisan police force with nowhere to turn
for justice.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of the Dube
books which detail in fictional form the gradual decline of the ZRP over the
past decade. The books are available from

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