Michael Ross May 28, 2012 – 8:34 AM ET | Last Updated: May
28, 2012 8:46 AM ET
For cognitive dissonance, see under: The
United Nations. It’s no longer just a platform for countries with
less-than-negligible human rights records to bash Israel and other
democratic nations, or the dispatcher of envoys like Kofi Annan to Syria
(under whose watch some 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered) or the
patronizing professional busy-body Olivier De Schutter, a Belgian “UN
special rapporteur on the right to food,” to lecture Canada. The UN is now
an expert on tourism to Africa and deciding who is best suited to promote
The UN just announced that its favourite African megalomaniac, Robert
Mugabe, and his Zambian sidekick, Michael Sata, have been appointed United
Nations international tourism ambassadors in recognition of the promotion
and development of tourism. The UN through the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation will officially confer the status to the two presidents at a
function to be held in Victoria Falls this week and officiated by the UNWTO
secretary general Mr Talib Rifai. The honour comes even though the European
Union and U.S. have imposed travel bans on Mugabe and many of his senior
government officials due to widespread human rights abuses.
attention has been paid to the plight of Zimbabwe’s terrorized mostly Anglo
farmers whose fields were seized under President Mugabe’s ill-conceived and
disastrous land appropriation program. But the abject ruination the Mugabe
regime has wrought on the small landlocked country has affected all of its
citizens regardless of race or tribal affiliation. Mugabe’s fight to convert
white-minority-ruled Rhodesia into the modern African state of Zimbabwe was
once considered a noble cause but under his despotic rule, Zimbabwe’s
decline has been absolute and has effectively turned this relatively wealthy
functioning model of black-white co-existence into an impoverished country
that now has one of the lowest life expectancy rates and one of the worst
HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world.
Some 3,500 people die per week in
Zimbabwe due to HIV/AIDS alone. Tag on the random muggings, violence, and
property crime in a country with an unemployment rate hovering at around 80
per cent, and what remains of Zimbabwe’s populace is very beleaguered. One
of the best measurements for determining that a country has in fact hit rock
bottom is the appearance of cholera. When a state can no longer separate its
potable water from raw sewage, then any sense of concern for the general
welfare of the citizenry by the government is non-existent. Over several
visits I made to Zimbabwe some years ago, I watched the economy and quality
of life deteriorate before my very eyes. The country once touted as the
bread-basket of Africa and a showcase of interracial harmony and prosperity
has become a living hell on earth.
So the question that needs to be
asked of the bureaucrats enjoying the tax-free scenery from the UN’s
headquarters on Turtle Bay, is how does a destroyer of nations like Mugabe
become a tourism ambassador? I just hope the tourists read the fine print
when they book their next trip to Zimbabwe. I also wonder if they know that
the country has now been listed as “very high” with respect to major
infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria, schistosomiasis, and rabies just to
name but a few?
Petroc Trelawny, the BBC classical music presenter arrested
in Zimbabwe for compèring at a charity event without a work permit, is due
to fly home to Britain after the country's attorney general decided not to
prosecute his case.
By Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing in
6:30PM BST 28 May 2012
Mr Trelawny, a Radio 3
presenter from London, will remain in hospital where he has been receiving
treatment for a dislocated shoulder until his release, expected to be
He is then likely to board a lunchtime flight from the southern
city of Bulawayo, where he was being held, to Johannesburg, where he will
catch a connecting flight to London.
His lawyer, Munyaradzi
Ngarayapenga, was visiting him in hospital to give him the good news, after
successfully convincing Johannes Tomana, the attorney general, that the
presenter was in Zimbabwe to work as an unpaid narrator for a music festival
involving disadvantaged children.
He said his client was pleased to be a
"He was very happy and thanked us all very much. He was
smiling a lot," he said. "The nurses were attending to him so I had to leave
him, but he is a free man and tomorrow morning we will attend to the
formalities, and get his passport back from immigration and a few personal
possessions. I do not know when he will be leaving Zimbabwe, that will be
Mr Trelawny, who turned 41 on Sunday, was arrested by
immigration officials on Thursday as he appeared at the opening night of a
festival run by the Bulawayo Music Academy, a charitable organisation aimed
at widening access to the arts.
He was admitted to hospital over the
weekend after he dislocated his shoulder by slipping on a wet floor while in
an un-electrified police cell, and has remained there under police guard
On Monday he was taken from hospital to Bulawayo Magistrates Court
where the magistrate appeared to be sympathetic to his cause.
McDonald, one of the event's organisers, said the magistrate said it was
"not the responsibility" of Mr Trelawny to arrange a Temporary Employment
Permit (TEP), but that of the music academy.
He said Mr Trelawny's lack
of permit was simply an oversight, and that other performers from the UK had
"Somebody slipped up I am afraid. I have discovered he should have
had a TEP," he said.
Mr Trelawny, a frequent visitor to Zimbabwe, was
acting as an unpaid narrator for a performance of Song of the Carnivores, a
British Council-funded production which brought together over 500 children
from 10 schools to perform at the Bulawayo City Hall.
his friend Judith Todd, the daughter of former liberal Rhodesian prime
minister Sir Garfield Todd who visited him in hospital for his birthday on
Sunday, he was determined not to let his experience prevent him from
returning to the country.
"Petroc only had praise for everyone who he has
been in contact with him since he got to Bulawayo," he said.
not want to be deported as he wants to come back here again and
"He was in good spirits and he is comfortable. He is in a
single ward with two very nice young policemen guarding him. He is being
Speaking from Shropshire yesterday, Mr Trelawny's elder
brother Andrew, said he was "praying that he's safe" and he only heard of
his arrest when his daughter read the news online.
passionate about classical music and he loves going there to work with the
kids," he said.
ZIMBABWE is struggling to maintain its foreign missions amid
reports that some diplomats have been evicted from their homes for failing
to pay rentals, a parliamentary committee has revealed.
on the parliament portfolio committee on foreign affairs last week told Joey
Bimha, the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s permanent secretary, that the
humiliation of the country’s envoys was an embarrassment for the
Hurungwe North MP Peter Chanetsa (Zanu PF) said there were
reports that the delay by Treasury in releasing money had caused some
Zimbabwean diplomats to be evicted from their houses for failing to pay
"We have friends who tell us, it is not proper, you need to tell us
what is happening because it is the image of Zimbabwe that is suffering," he
The MPs also said some the country’s embassies were threatened with
closure because of unpaid rentals while envoys that have completed their
tours could not be recalled because the government did not have the money to
finance their return.
Bimha admitted that the ministry was
experiencing financial problems but claimed some of the reported troubles
were being exaggerated by "disgruntled and emotional officers". "Yes, we
have slowed down on a number of recalls. We have started with those who have
stayed longer," he said.
"Even under those difficult circumstances, we
have tried to ensure that their children go to school and rentals are paid.
We have tried to do some financial gymnastics, but I want to warn members of
the committee not to rely on hearsay."
Zaka East MP, Samson Mukanduri
(Zanu PF) added: "If you don’t know when you will get your salary, it’s a
problem. That’s why we have this concern. It is our responsibility (as
government) to ensure that our people don't suffer while they are
Bimha blamed the financial problems on Treasury’s failure to
release in full the US$73,6 million allocated in the last budget to his
ministry. Of that money, US$7,5 million was meant for the Ministry’s Harare
head office while US$66,1 million was for diplomatic
"Projected releases for the first quarter of the year would
thus amount to US$12,6 million. However, due to liquidity constraints,
Treasury only managed to avail a total of US$8,3 million, thus falling short
US$4, 2 million (34 percent) below the expected level,” he
Treasury has only released US$626,417 for the head office for the
first three months of the year, representing 33 percent of expected
Bimha said the money had been used on operational expenses
including “unavoidable” trips by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe
HARARE - South African President Jacob Zuma’s strong facilitation
team comprising senior figures Lindiwe Zulu, Mac Maharaj and Charles Nqakula
are in Harare for talks with the negotiators of the three parties in the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
A South African official moving
around with the team confirmed their presence saying they are on a mission
to meet the negotiators of the three political parties in the GPA and to get
an update on the progress that has been made in the implementation of the
agreement in various areas.
The current visit by the facilitators comes
hot on the heels of a SADC special summit of the SADC Troika Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security in Johannesburg, South Africa last
The Troika Summit last month expressed satisfaction with the
progress on the implementation of the GPA and the making of a new
constitution in the country.
gpa.jpgRobert Mugabe has said that the
inclusive government no longer has the people’s mandate as it has overstayed
the duration it was given by the GPA.
The visit of the facilitation
team is being viewed as a precursor to the SADC summit to be held in Angola
this week where the facilitator President Jacob Zuma will be expected to
brief the Southern African leaders on the Zimbabwean
Robert Mugabes frantic push for elections this year faces a
Southern African Development Community (Sadc) test this week when the bloc
convenes an emergency meeting in Angola. Sadc executive secretary Dr Tomz
Augusto Salomao yesterday said although Zimbabwe was not officially on the
agenda, the summit was likely to review the countrys political situation,
given the recent discordant remarks over the roadmap to the next general
Yes, there will be a Sadc Extraordinary Summit meeting in
Luanda this week, Salomao said. The summit will review the political
developments in member states such as the elections in Lesotho, the conflict
in the Democratic Republic of Congo and so on, and Zimbabwe, though not on
the agenda, can be discussed as well.
The inclusive government is a
Sadc-negotiated political settlement, which brought together former
protagonists President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Over the past few weeks, both Mugabe and Tsvangirai
dispatched their respective Zanu PF and MDC-T party envoys to various Sadc
member states to drum up support for their positions as tussling over
elections and reforms escalated.
State Security minister Sydney
Sekeramayi met Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete on Saturday as Mugabe stepped
up his campaign to win Sadc backing for elections he wants held this
Media reports said Sekeramayi travelled to Tanzania with a special
message from Mugabe after meeting Zambias President Michael Sata in Lusaka
Before him, Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had
flown to Angola to deliver a special message to President Jos Eduardo dos
Santos while Vice-President John Nkomo reportedly met Botswana President Ian
Khama on a similar diplomatic offensive.
Last month, Tsvangirai
dispatched MDC-T international relations secretary Jameson Timba to several
regional countries to drum up support ahead of the Luanda
Sadc leaders are expected to oppose Mugabes manoeuvres to call
for elections before the completion of major reforms as this might result in
a repeat of the 2008 poll violence.
Last week, United Nations Human
Rights chief Navanethem Pillay advised against rushed polls and urged Mugabe
to ensure free and fair future elections. Pillay was in the country on a
five-day working visit to assess the human rights situation.
(88), who is also fighting against old age and reported ill health, has
maintained that he wants elections this year and it is suspected his
emissaries delivered special messages to regional leaders to drum up support
for his poll bid with or without reforms.
mediator South African President Zumas international relations advisor
Lindiwe Zulu yesterday said her team would be in Zimbabwe today to check on
progress in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement
The facilitation team is coming to meet the principals tomorrow
(today) to check on the progress made in implementing outstanding issues in
the GPA, she said.
It is our responsibility as the facilitation team
to check on the progress and report to Sadc. Earlier this year, Zulu said
outstanding issues in the GPA should be finalised before the country holds
Regional leaders are expected to discuss the ongoing political
crisis jamming the implementation of the GPA and election roadmap, which is
a requirement for the holding of a credible election in Zimbabwe.
An MDC-T ward chairman in Mashonaland
East was murdered over the weekend, by a gang of ‘known’ ZANU PF thugs who
attacked party activists gathered for a rally at Chimukoko Business
According to witnesses, 67-year old Cephas Magura was assaulted
by ZANU PF youths who had approached the MDC-T gathering, armed with logs
and sticks. Seven other MDC-T activists were taken to Harare Hospital for
treatment after the attack, which took place in the presence of
Piniel Denga, MDC-T spokesperson for Mashonaland East, told SW
Radio Africa that the perpetrators are known in the area.
the perpetrators of the violence are in ZANU PF structures in the area and
are known to our supporters,” Denga said.
Denga explained that the MDC-T
had organised a rally licensed by police at Chimukoko Business Centre, to
mobilise support ahead of elections expected in the country. He said the
event had not even started when ZANU PF youths started chanting slogans and
“They had put a blockade across the road which had to be
removed to get to the venue. To our surprise we realised ZANU PF was having
a ‘green show’ at the same centre this time of year. But they were just
finding something to gather for. Any excuse for them to disturb the rally,”
Sekuru Magura, MDC-T chairperson for ward 1, Mudzi North,
fell down after he was hit with a stone and was severely assaulted as he lay
on the ground. The gang, which the MDC-T said was led by ZANU PF councillor
for Ward 3, David Chimukoko, then dragged Sekuru Magura to the roadside and
left him there.
The ZANU PF MP for Mudzi North, Newten Kachepa, allegedly
drove the violent youths to Chimukoko in his truck. Also implicated in the
attack are the ZANU PF Mudzi North youth chairperson, Graciano Kazingizi,
Gerald Nyatsinde, Patrick Mutepeya, Clement Simendi, John Karonga, Ward 2
councillor Jevas Chiutsa and George Katsande, son of the Mudzi West MP
Denga said police have made no arrests so far,
claiming investigations are underway. But the MDC-T are demanding that all
known perpetrators of the attack be arrested immediately.
that four of the injured MDC-T activists had been treated and released, but
three others were still at Harare Hospital receiving treatment. Denga
blasted Robert Mugabe for publicly talking about peace while at the same
failing to order the arrests of known criminals within his own
“If he is ordering Police Commissioner (Augustine) Chihuri to
arrest known perpetrators of violence then Chihuri is not complying and he
should be the one arrested for that,” Denga stressed.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday met his Chinese
counterpart Wen Jiabao in Beijing where they exchanged views on issues of
common concern, including China-Zimbabwe ties.
Tsvangirai’s visit to
China has been described by observers as significant for the stability and
development of China-Zimbabwe economic relations and the development of
During his week-long visit, the Prime Minister will
meet with senior Chinese government officials, speak to groups of Chinese
business leaders, including with executives of SinoHydro, China Machinery
Engineering Corporation and Sinosure.
These companies are involved in
infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe like the Kariba Hydro Power station,
Hwange 7 & 8 Thermal Power station, rehabilitation of Harare City
council water and sewerage systems and the Matebeleland Zambezi Water
There are expectations Zimbabwe and China will double trade by
2015. Currently, that trade is tilted heavily in China’s favour. Tsvangirai,
who met Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People updated him on political
developments in Zimbabwe.
He said the country was about to conclude
the constitution making process which he said was a key process in a roadmap
brokered by SADC ahead of the next election.
“Premier Jiabao noted
the stability in Zimbabwe which he said was due to the positive impact of
the inclusive government, adding that Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s presence
in government had added to the rejuvenation of the economy and improved the
lives of the people,” a statement released by Tsvangirai’s press team
The statement said China wants to maintain high level bilateral
exchanges to uphold common interests, with both premiers urging close
co-operation and the exchange of expertise between the two
United States based political analyst, Dr Maxwell Shumba told
SW Radio Africa that Tsvangirai’s visit is significant in that it breaks
ZANU PF’s myopic view that its political friends should only meet with those
from the former ruling party.
“The attacks and vilification of the
Prime Minister’s delegation was an attempt to discredit him only because
they want people in ZANU PF to have contact with the Chinese. ZANU PF needs
to know that each era has its needs which shape the type of relationships,”
He added: “During the struggle ZANU PF needed arms and China
provided. In 2012 Zimbabwe does not need arms but a conducive business
atmosphere and sound economic ideas of which the Prime Minister and his team
are focused on. This visit may be an indictment of the failure of ZANU PF’s
economic policies and China might be looking for fresh partners with fresh
Tsvangirai’s delegation included State Enterprises Minister,
Gorden Moyo and Water Resources Minister, Sam Sipepa Nkomo. The Prime
Minister and his delegations attended the official opening of the China
International Fair for Trade and Services. On Tuesday he is expected to
address the Sino-Africa Forum.
Harare, May 28, 2012 – Police on
Monday claimed they were not privy to the identities of members of the
terror group Chipangano as Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) parties jointly denounced the shadowy group.
Republic Police (ZRP) spokesman James Sabau said police were not aware who
comprised Chipangano. Zanu PF Harare youth leader Jimmy Kunaka is known to
be the leader of the group.
“Who are these people? We as the police don’t
know them. If anyone has their identities they should approach the nearest
police office so that they are arrested,” said Sabau after being quizzed by
journalists on why the police were turning a blind eye to the terror's
campaign in Mbare where they are reportedly setting up illegal road-blocks
among other criminal activities.
In a joint press conference held at the
head offices of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC)
lunchtime Monday, also attended by ZRP officers including Sabau, the three
chairperson of Zanu PF and the two MDC formations, Amos Midzi, Paul Madzore
and Trynos Mgutshini respectively, disassociated themselves from the shadow
In a press statement read by Mgutshini on behalf of the three
provincial chairpersons of the three political parties labelled Chipangano a
criminal gang not linked to any of the parties’ signatory to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).
“We as chairmen of the Harare province,
representing the three political parties in the GNU, hereby denounce
Chipangano as a criminal gang not affiliated to any of the political parties
represented in JOMIC,” read part of the statement from ZANU-PF and the two
Chipangano has, however, been largely associated with
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
It has been accused of terrorizing
members and supporters of the two MDC formations, particularly Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s popular faction.
But ZANU-PF has made it
clear its structures are well structured and do not include
The three political parties appealed to the public to report
any criminal activities by members of Chipangano to the police.
urge the police to do their work without fear or favour. We believe there is
no one above the law in this country. We want to tell members of Chipangano,
whoever there are, that their time is up,” it added.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais MDC-T party last Friday
submitted a report to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi
Pillay accusing Zanu PF of stalling the constitution-making process in order
to manage its internal power struggles.
Pillay was in the country to
assess the human rights situation and warned against fresh elections without
The MDC-T said although Zanu PF had been making loud demands for
fresh elections, the party was heavily divided on the way
Although Zanu PF have been clamouring for elections this year,
it is clear that its key structures are engaged in a debilitating and
dysfunctional power struggle, reads part of the document.
that Zanu PF have now realised that they are not ready for
The delay in conclusion of the constitutional process will
hopefully lead to a delay in elections. The current antics in the
constitution-making process are simply meant to delay it and give Zanu PF
more breathing space.
Zanu PF and some sections of the military have
started making determined efforts to derail this programme.
methods employed to derail the programme was massive propaganda against the
process channelled through the State media, unwarranted attacks on the donor
community as well as intimidation of the Parliamentary Select Committee
(Copac) members by some sections of the military, MDC-T said.
politiburo member Jonathan Moyo recently described the Copac leaders as a
mafia and called for the disbandment of the drafting team.
added: Recently, Zanu PF brought to Copac what it termed its position paper
in terms of which it seeks to drastically change not only agreed positions,
but the views of the people.
The impression that Zanu PF has given in so
doing is that it has not been involved in the production of the draft
constitution. This is simply not true.
Having failed to influence the
people of Zimbabwe via State media propaganda, Zanu PF is clear that the
people of Zimbabwe will overwhelmingly vote for the draft
Therefore, it wants to create a deadlock in the process and
prevent the production of the constitution. This way it blocks the
referendum with the net result being that Zimbabweans will not make their
own determination on whether they want the draft or not.
Zanu PF also
wants to completely change the views of the people of Zimbabwe in the
This will lead to the people of Zimbabwe rebelling against
the constitution during the referendum. Elections will then be held under
the current constitution.
The MDC-T claimed Zanu PFs demands were
meant to justify its push for elections under the old constitution. But Zanu
PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa dismissed the accusations as
mere wishful thinking.
Tell them that what they are saying is wishful
thinking, it is absolutely untrue, we want elections yesterday, he
When the GPA (Global Political Agreement) was proposed, MDC said it
wanted it to last 12 months and we at Zanu PF realistically said 36
months. The mediator (former South African president Thabo) Mbeki then said
Twenty-four months was a compromise given by Mbeki where
MDC just wanted 12 months.
Now it has lasted more than what was
agreed not because that is what Zanu PF wanted, but because Zanu PF wanted
elections right from the beginning.
Let not MDC cry foul because there is
no one in the country who can be fooled by them.
So, we are saying
let us go to elections tomorrow with or without the constitution. Let them
hear from me that our house is very much in order. - newsday
GAME rangers in Binga have shot and killed a suspected
Zambian poacher just days after another Zambian national was seriously
wounded in a shoot-out, an official said.
Rangers recovered 14 ivory
tusks after the shooting on Saturday near Bimbi 4, an area of Binga in
Matabeleland North close to the Zambezi River, Parks and Wildlife Authority
spokeswoman Carol Washaya-Moyo said.
Washaya-Moyo said police were
working with their Zambian counterparts to identify the dead poacher who was
cornered by 16 parks rangers.
Rangers had increased patrols in the area
since last week’s shoot-out with poachers which resulted in George Chingandu
of Kazungula in Zambia being shot and seriously wounded.
raid, rangers recovered 22 tusks. Chingandu remains in the intensive care at
Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo under police guard.
Washaya-Moyo said on
Monday: “Over the last week, a total of 36 ivory tusks have been recovered;
67 rounds of ammunition; an AK rifle; a 375 rifle and one round; a cell
phone with two Zambian lines and cooking pots.
“The authority wants to
continue to warn would-be poachers that illegal entry into parks estates for
the purposes of hunting illegally is suicidal.”
Zambian poachers cross
the Zambezi in small boats and enter Zimbabwe where they kill elephants,
usually during the night, and they are gone by daybreak – leaving behind
carcasses with gaping wounds. Elephant ivory is typically smuggled to Asia
where it is carved into ornaments.
THE Comptroller and Auditor General has laid bare corporate
abuses at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and revealed that the
state broadcaster made a loss of about US$4 million in 2009.
has failed to produce audited statements, flouted the corporate governance
framework for state enterprises and also made some acquisitions without
going to tender as required.
“The broadcaster was disbanded and operated
as eight separate companies from 2004 up to the end of 2006. In 2007, the
companies were combined to form the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. The
corporation last presented its financial statements for audit in 2004,”
comptroller and auditor General Mildred Chiri said.
“For the periods
2005 to 2007, the broadcaster failed to produce consolidated financial
statements for audit while those for 2008 which did not require comparative
information were supplied and audited. The 2009 financial statements were
prepared and the corporation incurred a loss of US$3,800,949.”
added that ZBC acquired a Transliner Omnibus in June 2009 for over US$82,000
without going through the State Procurement Board as is required for
purchases of over US$50,000.
The report also said ZBC’s internal audit
was being manned by one person who occupies the lowest level in that
department, “rendering the internal control environment weak thereby raising
the risk of failure to detect fraud and error”.
The ZBC – which is
wholly owned by the government – enjoys a broadcasting monopoly in Zimbabwe.
Critics of its monopoly say managers are appointed and promoted on political
considerations with no pressure to turn the broadcaster – accused of
pandering to Zanu PF – into a commercial success.
The United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights has been criticised for comments she made in Harare last week,
calling for the suspension of targeted sanctions placed on members of the
Robert Mugabe regime by the European Union (EU) and Western
Speaking as she ended a five-day visit to assess human rights
in Zimbabwe, Navi Pillay said the restrictive measures were now ‘opposed’ by
all three parties in the unity government and, although the measures were
targeted at specific individuals and companies, she said: “they are in fact
having a wider impact on the general population.” However, Pillay did not
explain how this was so.
Her call for removal of the sanctions
surprised many Zimbabwean activists and some observers, who said Pillay was
aware of the continued arrests of MDC officials, state sponsored violence,
the absence of independent broadcasters, repressive legislation and reforms
in the GPA that ZANU PF refuses to implement.
“I would urge those
countries that are currently applying sanctions on Zimbabwe to suspend them,
at least until the conduct and outcome of the elections and related reforms
are clear,” Pillay said to journalists on Friday.
But civil groups
and the MDC formations, all of whom met with the UN rights chief last week,
have said they are against the suspension because human rights abuses by the
Mugabe regime have not stopped. And this would hinder Zimbabwe from
conducting a free and fair poll.
Okay Machisa from the Crisis Coalition
said we should not be concerned with political comments or games politicians
play. He explained that he is more “worried” about the ongoing human rights
abuses that could “slide the country” back to the violence that marred the
“What is more worrying is that we have state institutions
led by prominent individuals, especially the army, who make pronouncements
supporting one political party. More worrying is that we have gross
violations perpetuated by state machinery,” Machisa explained.
added: “I see people who committed these atrocities, known people walking
around with impunity. What we have to do is make these people accountable
for their crimes.”
Machisa pointed to the fact that an MDC-T ward
official was murdered in Mashonaland East the day after Pillay made her
“These are the kinds of things on the ground that we should be
concerned with before we ask whether we are we ready for elections,” the
Bulawayo, May 28, 2012-
Government has engaged Ernst & Young Consultancy firm to probe Air
Zimbabwe’s collapse and advise on how to revive the
Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development
Minister, Nicholas Goche told Radio VOP that the consultancy firm began it
work a fortnight ago.
“Ernst and Young will come up with
recommendations after their investigations and the Cabinet will act
accordingly on those recommendations to revive Air Zimbabwe,” Goche said in
a telephone interview.
Goche said the ‘consultancy firm is looking at
various problems facing Air Zimbabwe that need to be attended to ensure the
success in reviving it.’
In October last year, the government was forced
to engage accounting and consulting firm KPMG to probe financial
irregularities at Air Zimbabwe.
The airline is on the verge of
Unending labour disputes, a grounded fleet and the inability to
fly the lucrative London and South Africa routes, have epitomised
government’s failure to run the airline.
Air Zimbabwe owes various
creditors over US$140 million and also faces possible liquidation after
restive workers – said to be owed US$35 million -- sought to have the
airline placed under judicial management.
Two of the company’s aircraft
were briefly seized by creditors in South Africa and the United Kingdom late
last year forcing the airline to pull out of the lucrative Johannesburg and
Zimbabwe's finance minister has made a bold claim that a
clique of politicians from a rival political party are on a diamond looting
spree to bank roll their lavish life styles.
Topping the list of
luxuries allegedly procured by Zanu PF politicians are expensive private
′′Tendai Biti claims the unbridled theft of the gems in the
southern African country can only be compared with the kleptocratic regime
of the Democratic Republic of Congo, then Zaire, during the late Mobutu Sese
Seko's era. ′′
Biti, who is the secretary general from Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC, says the looters were not afraid of flaunting
their ill-gotten riches.
′′"There is no doubt that a small coterie of
individuals is benefitting from Zimbabwe's diamonds. Some of us who are
benefiting, are not afraid to flaunt our monies. We are buying all kinds of
"I am a government minister and earning $800. How do I buy some
of the assets that we are buying? People are now buying private jets because
of our diamonds," he said.
′′Biti, who said looting was rampant at
the country's vast Marange diamond fields - situated in the eastern part of
the country, however, did not name those he accuses of looting.
Diamond revenue was expected to contribute $600 million to this year's
national budget, but estimates have since been reversed downwards, as the
finance ministry says money generated from the gem sales are not being
channeled into government coffers.
′′The taxman, Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority (Zimra), was recently blocked from carrying out audits at a
diamond mine, Mbada Diamonds last week, further raising concerns at the
illicit trade of gemstones in the country. ′′
Unlike its diamond
producing neighbours, Botswana, Zimbabwe does not have trained valuators to
determine the true value of the diamonds.
Treasury had received $35.1
million from diamond mining against the target of $169
′′Anjin, a Zimbabwean army and Chinese government mining
company, has not remitted any funds to treasury despite being the largest
mining operation in the diamond rich fields.′′
government owns a 50 percent stake in all the companies — Anjin, Mbada,
Diamond Mining Corporation and Marange Resources - mining diamonds in
Gabriel Mupasiri a car dealer and computer
technician in Zimbabwe’s southern town of Masvingo on 24 May 2012 stormed
into the newsroom at The Mirror’s newspaper offices where he assaulted the
weekly’s news editor Passmore Kuzipa. 28.05.1202:30pm by
Mupasiri said he wanted to see the author of a satirical column,
Hot on the Heels, which carried a story titled - Rhodene man locks up
The column carried in the weekly’s edition of 24-31 May 2012, did
not name Mupasiri as the alleged culprit, but the car dealer insisted he was
the person mentioned in the story.
Mupasiri said he wanted to deal
directly with the person who writes the column. When he failed to identify
the writer, he turned his anger on the news editor and assaulted him with
A report was made at Masvingo Central Police station
where an assault case number 1347075, was opened against
According to officials at The Mirror, the police were still
pursuing the matter.
Zimbabwe's Industry Minister
Welshman Ncube says the delay in finalizing the ZISCO and Essar Africa
Holdings deal is worrying the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company's Germany and
Chinese creditors who should have started receiving their payments had the
deal been implemented as agreed.
Ncube told the parliamentary industry
committee Monday that under the deal, Essar is supposed to settle
Ziscosteel’s $400 million debt to KFW Bank of Germany and Sinosure of China
but has not done so after government failed to meet its part of the
"The problem that we have encountered is that the Chinese do not
want to directly deal with Essar in recovering their money," he
Government last year sold its 54 percent stake to Essar in a $750
million deal but it stalled as others in the coalition government complained
negotiators had grossly undervalued resources involved.
economist Eric Bloch said creditors have the right to file for the
liquidation of New Zimbabwe Steel Limited which agreed to takeover
Cabinet resolved recently to press ahead with the
deal, which was almost collapsing, by transferring mining claims to the
Indian steel giant to save New Zimbabwe Steel Limited, the company formed
through the ZISCO-Essar deal, from crumbling.
The government is
expected to hand over to Essar the vast iron ore reserves held by Buchwa
Iron Mining Company now known as New Zimbabwe Minerals anytime
Minister Ncube said the Indian company will receive its share
certificate after transferring the iron ore.
This story has been sent me by someone who does not wish to be
I had the rare opportunity of meeting -------------
and engaging in discussions that lasted more than 3 hours. I
deftly manipulated the discussion so we spent more time talking about
hard politics. I particular we discussed the constitutional
reform process, elections, succession, the position of the military
with regards contemporary political issues and the security situation now
and in the foreseeable future.
I will share with you only snippets of
what I perceive to be the most important issues that arose from the
The military, as is Zanu Pf, is totally opposed to the
draft constitution produced by COPAC, and they have resolved to
ensure that the draft is not endorsed and should never be brought to
a referendum in its current state. They have joined forces with Zanu Pf in
their condemnation of the draft, and they have developed a three-phased
strategy to deal with the issue, and it goes something like:
one, which they are currently implementing, involves critiquing the draft,
and possibly shredding it to pieces, and convincing the nation and the world
that the document is so deficient as to be unsuitable for a constitution. The
conclusion of this phase would be marked by Zanu Pf, with the support of
the military, openly rejecting the draft document in its entirety
and pressing for the dissolution of COPAC and closure of the constitution
Phase two would involve President Mugabe announcing
election dates and dissolving Parliament. Zanu Pf would insist on holding
the elections under the old constitution, and would dismiss
any protestations by the MDC and any threats to boycott the poll
as inconsequential. They would do everything possible to secure victory
for President Mugabe and the party, the focus being on controlling both the
House of Assembly and the Senate.
The final phase, which would come
immediately after the elections, would involve the Zanu Pf dominated
parliament selecting a constitutional review committee to draft a
constitution. The committee would depend on the COPAC outreach document, the
Kariba Draft, the Constitutional Commission Draft that was rejected
in 2000 and the current Lancaster House Constitution as the main source
documents in coming up with a new draft constitution. The draft would be
taken to a referendum within the shortest possible timeframe.
envisage that the new constitution would retain an all-powerful
executive president and provide for a way for President Mugabe to
hand over power to successor who would guarantee his safety.
to a senior MDC-T official who professed ignorance about this Zanu Pf
strategy. And when I asked him how the MDC would possibly respond to such
developments, he said he was not sure how. His honest opinion was that the
MDC was ill-prepared to respond to such a scenario and the party's only
recourse would be to turn to SADC and the international community with pleas
The constitution envisioned by Zanu Pf would provide
for a clear succession procedure, where the VP would take over and complete
the term of the president should anything happen so that he is unable to
complete his elected term. This then places VP Mujuru in a better position to
take over from Mugabe. This is probably what has ruffled Mnangagwa's feathers
and compelled him to publicly declare his willingness to contest for the top
Contrary to what is peddled by the media, Gen Chiwenga does
not lead a faction in Zanu Pf and is not interested in taking over
from Mugabe, either as party leader or state president. He
actually belongs to the Mnangagwa faction, and is instrumental in
achieving the militarization of the party. When he retires, he would like
a position in the politburo, a Senate or parliamentary seat and probably a
Chiwenga's vision is to see the military depending less
on funds from treasury, and relying instead on profits generated
by businesses in which the military is a JV partner. He is the
brains behind the mining of diamonds by the military in Chiadzwa
in conjunction with Anjin of China; the acquisition of platinum
claims from the ZMDC in Selous and the creation of a JV (Global
Platinum Resources) between the ZDF and Norinco of China; the acquisition
of vast tract of agricultural land across the country and the acquisition
of prime land in Harare where the army and its Chinese partners are building
what could be Harare's biggest hotel. Three other hotels are planned for in
Mutare, Bulawayo and Masvingo. His focus is therefore on weaning the military
from the state during peacetime, and not on running for political
On the issue of national security, ------------- said the
military was not engaged in rhetoric when they say they are not prepared
to countenance a possible MDC victory. They mean it and they are ready to
take over power in the event the MDC wins the next election.
On the issue
of elections he said there was nothing that could stop President Mugabe and
Zanu Pf going ahead with the elections in 2012.
He said the reasons
for wanting the elections this year were totally different from the reasons
peddled by the media, namely that Zanu Pf wanted to have the elections before
age and health of their presidential candidate, Presidential Mugabe,
deteriorated to levels that would make it difficult for him to endure the
rigours of the campaign trail. In other words, the media and some people
in Zanu Pf that we have spoken to have suggested that an early election
was part of the Zanu Pf strategy to manage the succession issue.
------------- said Zanu Pf was concerned about possible pressure from the
international community, especially from countries perceived to be
unfriendly, wanting to monitor and observe the elections. The party was also
concerned about the international media, which it perceives to be largely
hostile, focusing on Zimbabwe's elections and reporting in a way that
would likely influence opinion against them.
According to Zanu Pf's
analysis, 2012 is the most ideal year to have elections...the new
administration in Paris is focused on domestic issues. Germany is expecting
elections in 2013 and Chancellor Merkel is focusing on winning a crucial
third term and her biggest preoccupation is finding a lasting solution to
the economic crisis afflicting Europe. Brussels is inward looking
and under pressure to find solutions to the crisis that threatens
to unravel the union. The US is preparing for elections in November, and
the UN and the world media are focusing on the crisis in Syria and the
possible pre-emptive strike on Iran and the consequences of that on world
So, Zanu Pf believe that this is the time most ideal to
have elections in Zimbabwe, when global attention is focused to
more important developments across the world.
This was a completely
new revelation, which is at variance with what are generally believed to be
the reasons for Zanu Pf wanting elections as soon as possible.
Culture in Stone, an exhibition which showcases three
Zimbabwean artists’ work to an international audience in London, has been
extended due to popular demand.
originally scheduled to end on 3 June, will now be open 11am to 6pm daily until
Collen Nyanhongo, and Hilary Manuhwa each combine ancient Shona cultural
heritage with contemporary themes in their stone sculptures.
and Collen were taught by their father, first generation sculpture artist Claud
Nyanhongo, alongside their sister, Agnes Nyanhongo, herself an
“We started when
we were kids,” Gedion told *****The Zimbabwean, “I started making sculptures
before I knew my name!”
After learning his
craft by helping Claud finish his sculptures, Gideon was sent off for an
apprenticeship with family friend Joseph Ndandarika, who polished Gedion’s
The early hard
work paid off. Gedion launched his solo career in 1988 and is now an
international success with studios in Zimbabwe and Scottsdale, Arizona in the
sculptures from both studios to the London exhibition, and is happy with the
public’s response to his art.
“A lot of people
have come in, from a variety of cultures, and have responded very positively to
my work,” he said.
social issues such as unemployment in his work, but still tries to make art that
people can enjoy on their own terms.
“I want my art to
make people happy, and to promote peace,” he said.
Collen agreed, and
said it was important to remember that buyers end up displaying the sculptures
in their homes.
like this one is enjoyable because we get to spend time talking to the people
who will eventually live with our work,” Collen said.
Like his brother,
Collen has had success around the world. His work has been honoured in Zimbabwe,
France, England, South Africa, the United States, to name a
working with stone is difficult, but rewarding.
“I look at the
stone and consider it before I sculpt. I work the stone to find out what it can
be, what it is saying. It can take months to finish one
Hilary, though not
part of the Nyanhongo dynasty by blood, was taught by Gedion early in his
career, before moving to the UK in 2001.
“It was difficult
in Britain at first,” Hilary said, “but eventually I won a grant which enabled
me to establish myself as an artist here”.
have responded well to my work. British society is quite diverse – people
respect any culture as long as you respect theirs – so it didn’t take much for
people to respond to my work.”
himself in the UK, Hilary has been able to experiment much more with different
mediums, but always finds himself drawn back to African
“I can work with
many types of stone – stone from both Europe and Africa – but I only transfer
African concepts to the stone,” Hilary said.
One of Hilary’s
pieces is called Mother Africa, which represents Hilary’s belief that, although
people in Africa live in different countries and speak different languages
today, they all came from the same place, long ago.
“Some people have
never been to Africa, but through our work they can learn something about
African and Zimbabwean culture. I think they appreciate that.”
Asked when he
knows a sculpture is finished, Hilary smiled. “They’re never really finished. At
one point you just have to let it go, usually you can feel when the time is
right, but it’s not always easy.”
exhibition in the family, a third Nyanhongo, and Gedion’s daughter, Yvette, has
helped to launch and run the exhibition. Studying marketing in Mutare, Yvette
found the exhibition “a great opportunity to learn how to market art and run
exhibitions.” Something she thinks will be useful as she is a budding artist
Though none of her
artwork is on display, she is hopeful for the future. “I have completed a few
pieces of sculpture, I’m still learning though.”
If her family name
is any guide, you can be sure the youngest Nyanhongo has a great future in the
art world ahead of her too.
Sadly the Post
Office computerised system encountered some major glitches, so the majority only
opened for service on the 21 May, giving them 11 days, including weekends and
extended hours, to issue the 800 000 or so discs. A large Post Office can issue
about 100 discs per day, using at least 3 tellers. So, I will be generous and
use that as a national average for the 50 designated venues, plus the 10 mobile
service providers. Here is the maths:
No. gazetted post
offices (including 10 mobiles)
No. licenses issued per
day on average
National Total per
No. days from opening
of service to deadline
Total potential discs
to be issued
No. vehicles in
% possible of 800 000
vehicles in 11 days
There is pandemonium at our Post Offices, tempers are
frayed as members of the public are spending up to 8 hours in the queue and
still not being served, returning the next day for another massive loss of
potential productive work. The Post Office workers are barely able to type as
they have only ever worked on manual systems previously, now they have to
capture screeds of information per disc. The form is long and complicated
the amount of paperwork required cumbersome.
What is amazing is
the ingenuity of Zimbabweans in latching on to the potential for lucrative
business. Some Post Offices resorted to issuing place numbers to help alleviate
time spent in queues. I know one elderly person who queued for 4 hours to get
his number and who ONLY had to spend 2 hours in the queue the following day.
But, a few particularly enterprising individuals quickly saw the opportunity for
profit, spent the day queuing, were issued several numbers for their hard work
going from the front to the back of the queue and the next morning they sold
places for US$10 a number! Alas, the Post Office officials quickly caught on
and stopped the number system!
Yet another friend
hired a queue sitter. This individual obviously received priority service as he
is a member of the police, and for $25 my friend was the proud owner of 3 new
discs for his small fleet of vehicles.
Now you have to
remember there is one variable that has not been taken into account – the fact
that the new system is entirely dependent, of course, on electricity, the scarce
commodity that is needed to run the state of the art equipment. Need I say
The new disc plan
is a good plan, and nobody can deny it, but oh dear Zinara has really aimed far
too high in announcing the programme would be complete within the deadline
period of 1 June and no grace period will be awarded. Perhaps the Zinara head
of information, communication and technology Mr Gift Kanotangudza and his
colleague, head of corporate communications, Mr Augustine Moyo, should sign up
for a few basic maths lessons, for through their insistence that there will be
no extension, they have created a mathematical impossibility.
This entry was posted by Still Here on Monday, May 28th,
2012 at 12:20 pm.
Bulawayo is a city
in depression, businesses closing, social services in collapse, failed DiMaf
funding…all doom, gloom and despair. BUT, one great moment on the city’s
calendar, one which lifts everyone’s spirits is the annual Bulawayo Music
The buzz around
the festival starts months in advance, and this year was no exception given the
fantastic line up of local, regional and international artists for its
festival. (Click on the image below to view the full
in the festival, the musicians visit and perform at Bulawayo schools to educate
and entertain culturally starved students and every year the organisers put
together events to bring school children into the festival. This year Richard
Sisson composed and arranged an extravaganza to include over 500 children from
10 schools to perform at the Bulawayo City Hall.
started rehearsing months ago and it was great excitement for all. The piece
entitled, “Song of the Carnivores”, is written about the five large carnivores
in the country, its aim to educate audiences about these great creatures. In
the programme Netty Purchase and Michael Bullivant explain the wonderful
potential presented by the extravaganza with plans to take it to SADC and
possibly even to London. Donors, wildlife organisations and the Music Academy
had a dream and they made it happen.
website, perfectly captures the excitement of the event, “At
the rehearsal I went to, seeing the song, with it’s beautiful lyrics, sung by
hundreds of students actually brought tears to my eyes. The lyrics and
composition are spectacular and the whole program has had incredible education
benefits to all students involved.”
Thursday evening, 24 May, the premiere was held, the large city hall packed to
capacity for the performance at 5pm and the second performance at 6.30pm equally
packed. 500 excited pupils sardined on the stage, all incredibly well behaved
and who gave a fabulous performance. Petroc Trelawny, the world famous compere
dynamically pulled the performance together with boundless enthusiasm, stitching
the songs together with delightful anecdotes, all done because of his long known
support for the festival, giving of his time and energy for
programme captures the spirit of the “Song of the Carnivores” in the line “ With
a little bit of effort and understanding we can live together with these
majestic species of Zimbabwe.” How sad it is that Zimbabwe’s short sighted and
officious civil servants refuse to embrace the little bit of effort and
understanding needed to bring together Bulawayo’s majestic children and instead
they sully all they come into contact with.
This entry was posted by Still Here on Monday, May 28th,
2012 at 1:39 pm
The portfolio committee will be holding public hearings in Bulawayo
and Harare on State Procurement Procedures
Bulawayo:Monday 28th May,Holiday Inn10 am
Harare:Tuesday 29th May,
Chairperson:Hon ZhandaClerk: Mr
The public, interested groups, business persons and organisations are invited to
attend the hearings, at which they will be given the opportunity to make
representations.These will be
considered by the committee in compiling a report to be tabled in the House of
Written submissions and correspondence are also welcome and should be
addressed to: The Clerk of Parliament, Attention: Portfolio Committee on
Budget, Finance, Economic Planning and Investment
Promotion, P.O. Box CY298 Causeway, Harare.If delivering, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to
Parliament, between Second and Third Streets.Emails may be addressed to email@example.com by those unable to
attend, including Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
Committee Meetings Open to the Public 28th to 31st
Committee and Portfolio Committee meetings will continue this coming week, in
both open and closed session.The
meetings listed below will be open to the public as observers only,
not as participants, i.e. members of the public can listen but not speak.The meetings will be held at Parliament in
Harare.If attending, please use the
entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets.
This bulletin relies on the latest information from Parliament.But, as there are sometimes last-minute
changes to the schedule, persons wishing to attend a meeting should avoid
disappointment by checking with the committee clerk [see below] that the meeting
is still on and open to the public [telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and
252936].If attending, you must have
Monday 28th May at 10 am
Committee: Transport and Infrastructure Development
Oral evidence from Zimhighways on the status of the tender for
dualisation of Harare-Beitbridge road
Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon ChebundoClerk: Ms Macheza
Committee:Mines and Energy
Oral evidence from Diamond Beneficiation Association of Zimbabwe on
their operations and challenges
Chairperson: Hon Chindori-ChiningaClerk: Mr Manhivi
Committee:Industry and Commerce
Oral evidence from the Minister of Industry and Commerce, and the
Minister of Mines and Mining Development on the agreement between the Government
and Essar Africa Holdings regarding New Zimbabwe Steel Ltd
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon MutombaClerk: Ms Masara
Monday 28th May at 2 pm
Committee:Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare
Oral evidence from the National Employment Council for Zimbabwe
Furniture and Allied Timbers on the operations of the NEC and challenges faced
by employees in the sector
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon ZinyembaClerk: Ms Mushunje
Tuesday 29th May at 10 am
Thematic Committee: MDGs
Oral evidence from Environmental Management Agency on its