By Tichaona Sibanda
29 May 2012
Zimbabwe will be on the agenda of the SADC troika on Politics, Defence and
Security on Thursday in Angola, a senior MDC-T minister has said.
Jameson Timba, the party’ secretary for International Relations told SW
Radio Africa on Tuesday an invitation was extended weeks ago for Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to attend the summit.
“The SADC Troika discusses political and security issues around the region.
Zimbabwe is therefore on the agenda of this meeting on Thursday in Luanda
and whatever is discussed there will be presented at a full SADC summit on
Friday,” Timba said. His comments are contrary to state media reports that
Zimbabwe will not be on the agenda
A number of analysts contacted by SW Radio Africa were bemused by assertions
that Tsvangirai is making frantic efforts to attend the summit meant for
Heads of State and Governments only.
The state controlled Herald even quoted Joey Bimha, the permanent secretary
in the Foreign Affairs ministry saying regional integration was the only
item on the agenda of the summit.
Dewa Mavhinga, the regional coordinator for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
told SW Radio Africa that Zimbabwe and the political and security situation
in the region will feature prominently in the SADC debate on Thursday and
Zimbabwe has been on SADC’s agenda for a long time, and the leaders are
pushing to resolve the crisis in the country to secure what has proved to be
an elusive peace deal between Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
“For all I know, Zimbabwe will be discussed and a report will be presented
to SADC leaders on the progress of an electoral roadmap,” Mavhinga said. The
SADC Troika is chaired by South African President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma’s facilitation team on Zimbabwe jetted into Harare on Monday and
immediately went into a closed door meeting with the six GPA negotiators
representing ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.
The team’s latest mission, its first visit to Zimbabwe this year, is
reportedly to get an update on the progress that has been made in the
implementation of the GPA and election roadmap.
More importantly, the team wants an update on the drafting and completion of
a new constitution for Zimbabwe. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that a
second and final draft of the new charter will be ready by Friday this week.
Zuma’s team is expected to draft a report that they will present to the SADC
appointed mediator, who will in turn present it to Troika and a full SADC
summit. The report is expected to contain details and progress of the
roadmap designed to pave the way for free and fair elections in the country.
Over the past few weeks, both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have dispatched their
respective envoys on diplomatic offensive missions to drum up support for
their positions, as tussling over elections and reforms continues to
Mugabe wants to push for elections this year without the necessary reforms
while the MDC formations want a new constitution to be adopted before the
parties can agree to an election date.
Mugabe however faces a stern test in convincing SADC leaders to have
elections before the completion of major reforms, as the regional bloc fears
a repeat of the 2008 poll violence.
28 May 2012
Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington
Zimbabwe's governing parties in the shaky coalition government continued
their regional offensive Monday as the Southern African Development
Community prepared for a crucial June summit where the southern African
nation will be high on the agenda.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC and President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF
have dispatched senior party members to meet regional leaders, seeking
backing on their positions ahead of the summit.
This, as South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitators, arrived in
Harare Monday to discuss the country’s roadmap to elections and progress
made so far in implementing the Global Political Agreement ahead of the
summit. Mr. Zuma is SADC’s mediator in Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF's Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and State Security Minister
Sydney Sekeramai have since last week been doing the rounds in the region,
delivering special messages from President Mugabe to his counterparts.
Sources said Zanu PF is lobbying for regional support as it seek to call
elections this year. The MDC on the other hand is against polls being called
this year in the absence of a new constitution and key democratic reforms.
The party has dispatched Jameson Timba, the party's international relations
secretary to bolster its position.
SADC Politics, Defense and Security Troika will meet ahead of the summit to
hear the three governing parties on their take on elections before the
Independent political analyst Charles Mutasa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that he does not see the offensive by the political parties swaying SADC’s
position on elections.
Meanwhile, the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was on
Monday blaming Zanu PF for disturbances in rural communities ahead of the
polls that Mr. Mugabe and hardliners in his party want held this year.
The MDC in Mashonaland Central reported that Zanu PF supporters, with the
help of some army personnel, had invaded a farm owned by MDC provincial
member, Fidelis Mugari, who’s also the party’s acting secretary for
MDC provincial spokesman Wilson Makanyaire said Jomic Mashonaland West was
trying to mediate so Mugari, who has gone into hiding, can be allowed back
onto his farm.
The release of Petroc Trelawny, the BBC Radio 3 presenter arrested for
working in Zimbabwe without a permit, has been delayed indefinitely after
immigration officials refused to cancel an arrest warrant or give back his
By Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg
6:00PM BST 29 May 2012
Zimbabwe’s Attorney General agreed on Monday to drop Mr Trelawny’s
prosecution but immigration officials have told The Daily Telegraph they
believe he still has a case to answer.
The 41-year-old classical music presenter from London was arrested last
Thursday while on stage at Bulawayo City Hall, where he was compèring at a
music festival involving 500 local children. Held in police custody over the
weekend, he slipped on a patch of water in his cell and was admitted to
hospital with a dislocated shoulder.
On Monday, his lawyer persuaded Johannes Tomana, the attorney general, to
release him on the grounds that it had been the responsibility of the
festival organisers, rather than Mr Trelawny, to obtain a Temporary
Employment Permit (TEP).
Police were informed that the prosecution had been dropped and Mr Trelawny
was to be released and allowed to leave the country.
Mr Trelawny’s flight home was booked for lunchtime on Tuesday and he was
preparing to be discharged from hospital, only to be told that his passport
was being held by the Department of Immigration in Bulawayo.
Munyaradzi Ngarayapenga, Mr Trelawny’s lawyer, said that officials there
were refusing to cancel their arrest warrant.
“Immigration has the document from the police stating that no prosecution
will take place but they have told me they are now in consultations with the
Attorney General’s office in Harare, and we don’t know what those
consultations could be about,” he said.
“Legally, Mr Petroc is a free man but technically, he is not as the warrant
of arrest has not been withdrawn by immigration.”
He said it was not clear whether the delay was deliberate or down to red
“If he is not allowed to go free I may have to explore other legal avenues,”
he said. “Mr Petroc is therefore likely to remain in hospital in Bulawayo
for another day.”
B Lunga, Bulawayo’s Chief Immigration Officer, said: “The department of
immigration believes we do have a case against him and have informed the
Attorney General in Harare.
“We believe there is a case that should be settled by a court of law.”
He would not comment on suggestions that Mr Trelawny’s detention while on
stage at Bulawayo Music Festival had been unnecessarily heavy-handed.
Mr Trelawny has now been in custody for 48 working hours and so under
Zimbabwean law, must either be released or brought before the courts
29 May 2012
At least six ZANU PF activists have reportedly been arrested in connection with the murder of an MDC-T ward official in Mudzi North last Saturday, but already there are concerns that the arrests are simply a ZANU PF ploy to save face, ahead of the SADC summit next week.
Cephas Magura, the MDC-T chairperson for ward 1, Mudzi North, died from injuries sustained during an assault by ZANU PF thugs at Chimukoko Business Centre. The MDC-T had organised a rally there with permission from the police.
Graham Nyahada, the MDC-T information secretary for Mashonaland East, said there are unconfirmed reports that Newten Kachepa, the ZANU PF MP for Mudzi North who was implicated in the attack, was arrested at Parliament on Monday afternoon. He allegedly drove the youths to the rally.
Nyahada also dismissed statements made by MP Acquilinah Katsande, who claimed Magura was not murdered, but had simply fallen off a truck at the venue.
“The ZANU PF people took him from the spot where he was stoned and moved him to the roadside so they can say he was in the car,” Nyahada said.
He also expressed doubt that the arrests were sincere, saying ZANU PF has a history of arresting their own just to save face, then release them later.
“We have a SADC summit in Angola next week and team from South Africa who jetted into Zimbabwe yesterday. So this is only a face-saver,” Nyahada explained.
A similar scenario took place in the mining compound of Shamva last month, when police officers murdered an MDC-T supporter following a gold deal that had gone sour. The police officers were arrested after an angry demonstration by the local villagers, but they were later released on bail.
According to the MDC-T, Magura was hit with a stone by the ZANU PF gang, who continued to assault him as he lay on the ground. He was then dragged to the roadside and left for dead. Seven other MDC-T activists were injured and treated at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.
One of the accused ZANU PF thugs, George Katsande and his mother Acquilinah, who is the MP for Mudzi West, gained notoriety after the 2008 presidential runoff, when MDC supporters were targetted and assaulted, livestock taken and homes destroyed in Mudzi West.
A dossier in the possession of SW Radio Africa shows that Aquilinah Katsande orchestrated a reign of terror between April and June 2008, which gained her a reputation for being brutal and heartless.
According to the dossier, Katsande “was present when most heart wrenching punishments were meted out on MDC activists in her constituency.” Most of her victims died instantly or a few days later.
The son George and Tawanda Mazunze led a gang of ZANU PF militia who abducted Fianda Katiyo on the 1st June 2008. They took Katiyo to Nyahondo torture base and subjected him to terrible torture throughout the night. Katiyo died a week later.
These ZANU PF officials and thugs were never prosecuted and they lived to repeat the same actions four years later. Magura’s death last weekend could have been avoided.
For more details of the brutal deeds of MP Acquilinah Katsande and her son George, see SW Radio Africa’s expose: Click here
29 May 2012
A former member of the European parliament has questioned why the British government is not pushing for Robert Mugabe’s prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “crimes against humanity.”
Glenys Kinnock, who was Minister of State for Africa in the last Labour government, was speaking during a parliamentary debate last week Thursday. Her argument was that crimes against humanity are defined by the United Nations (UN) as, “a widespread attack on a civilian population.”
According to Kinnock, Mugabe should be investigated and subsequently indicted by the ICC over “the Matabeleland massacres in the 1980s, continued state-sponsored violence against political opponents, and ongoing atrocities in the diamond fields in Zimbabwe,” because “there is evidence of his responsibility.”
Responding to the question the British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, David Howell said: “Zimbabwe is not a party to the Rome statute and to get an ICC charge against Mugabe would require a UN Security Council resolution. That means getting past all five of the permanent members.”
Howell said the reluctance of some permanent members especially China and Russia, “to see these matters taken up by the UN and remitted to the ICC for charges” meant people “who have committed unsavoury acts” like Mugabe were outside the reach of the ICC.
Last month former Liberian president Charles Taylor became the first African leader to be prosecuted and found guilty by the international court. A three judge panel found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity for supporting rebels who carried out atrocities in Sierra Leone.
The Zimbabwe president, accused of ethnic cleansing and bankrupting his
country, asked to champion tourism
David Smith in Johannesburg
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 29 May 2012 16.59 BST
With a line-up that includes Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom,
and Ricky Martin, the UN's choice of ambassadors has been known to cause
raised eyebrows or the odd smirk.
Seldom, however, has there been such anger, or questioning of the
organisation's credibility, as that greeting the appointment of a new
international envoy for tourism: Robert Mugabe.
Improbable as it seems, the Zimbabwean president, who is widely accused of
ethnic cleansing, rigging elections, terrorising opposition, controlling
media and presiding over a collapsed economy, has been endorsed as a
champion of efforts to boost global holidaymaking.
Despite that fact Mugabe, 88, is under a travel ban, he has been honoured as
a "leader for tourism" by the UN's World Tourism Organisation, along with
his political ally, Zambian president Michael Sata, 75. The pair signed an
agreement with UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai at their shared border at
Victoria Falls on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Rifai urging tourists from
around the world to visit : "I was told about the wonderful experience and
the warm hospitality of this country … By coming here, it is recognition, an
endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination."
The agreement will also see the two southern African countries co-host the
UNWTO general assembly in August next year.
UNWTO said it had not appointed Mugabe to any formal position but
acknowledged he would receive an open letter like other heads of state who
have joined its leaders for tourism campaign.
The development has stunned human rights campaigners and political
opponents, who regard Mugabe as a tyrant.
Kumbi Muchemwa, a spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
said: "I can't see any justification for the man being an 'ambassador'. An
ambassador for what? The man has blood on his hands. Do they want tourists
to see those bloody hands?"
Meanwhile, British MP Kate Hoey, chair of the all-party parliamentary group
on Zimbabwe, said: "It is an absolute scandal – and an affront to the people
of Zimbabwe, who didn't vote for Mugabe as their president but had him
imposed because he used violence and the armed forces to hang onto power in
defiance of the democratic will of the people of Zimbabwe.
"For a man who has destroyed his country's infrastructure and cynically
engineered hunger to be an 'ambassador' for tourism is disgraceful –
particularly as he has been personally responsible for the downward spiral
of the economy and destroyed the hotel, travel and tourism industry in the
Mugabe and his allies are subject to EU and US sanctions preventing them
from travelling to EU countries including Britain, although he does attend
the UN general assembly in New York.
Muchemwa added: "Robert Mugabe is under international sanctions, so how do
you have an international tourism ambassador who can't travel to other
"The UN is losing credibility in this process. Does it think people should
go to a country where the law is not obeyed? An MDC activist was murdered
last Saturday. Zimbabwe is doing things which don't encourage the arrival of
There was also criticism from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella
organisation of civil society groups. Dewa Mavhinga, its regional
information and advocacy officer, said: "It boggles the mind how the UN
could appoint Mugabe as an ambassador of any sort. I don't think he's an
"It sends the wrong message to Mugabe that he is now acceptable to the
international community. This is the same guy who last week was bashing gays
and lesbians, who he says are worse than dogs."
Zimbabwe is rich in tourism potential, boasting attractions such as Victoria
Falls, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and the Hwange wildlife game reserve, and
one of the best climates in the world. Its official tourism branding entices
with "a world of wonders".
The past decade has hit the industry hard, with the national airline going
bust, but there have been recent signs of a gradual recovery.
John Makumbe, a politics professor at the University of Zimbabwe, said of
Mugabe's accolade: "I think it's ridiculous because Zimbabwe is one of the
countries least used by tourists.
"Tourism is at its lowest level because of the political and economic crises
it's gone through. Tourists really wish Victoria Falls was in another
country, like South Africa.
"Robert Mugabe will do more damage to international tourism than good. His
image is in tatters, his country is an international pariah.
"It undermines the reputation of the UNWTO as being detached from the
reality on the ground in terms of human rights violations and political
But after visiting the country last week, the UN high commissioner for human
rights, Navi Pillay, urged western countries to lift their targeted
sanctions, arguing that they are hurting the poor. She also called on
Zimbabwe to pass reforms to avoid violence in the next election.
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party seized on his UN honour as evidence that opponents
and media have exaggerated the country's problems. Spokesman Rugare Gumbo
said: "There's no alternative but to accept the reality on the ground. We
can theorise about sanctions but the reality is that the UN is in control of
the situation. If you can't defeat them, join them: that is what we are
He continued: "The situation on the ground in Zimbabwe is not as bad as
portrayed. If we say this ourselves, you say it's propaganda.
"What do you expect from the MDC? They are paid by the US and Europeans and
they have nothing else to offer. They keep making noise but the reality on
the ground is different."
UNWTO, which has headquarters in Madrid, insisted that it had not awarded
Mugabe an official title. Sandra Carvao, its co-ordinator of communications,
said: "Correct would be to say UNWTO has presented both presidents with an
open letter which calls for them to support tourism as a means to foster
sustainable development in their countries to the benefit of their people
and consequently ask them to support the sector in this respect."
She added: "UNWTO does not have an ambassadors programme and the receiving
of the UNWTO/WTTC [World Travel and Tourism Council] open letter implies no
legal commitment or title attribution to the country or the head of state or
government in question."
Victoria Falls, May 29, 2012 — The Zimbabwe/Zambian border was on Tuesday
temporarily shut down for a ceremony that will see President Robert Mugabe
and his Zambian counterpart, Michael Sata, sign an agreement to co-host the
United Nations World Tourism General assembly next August.
The signing ceremony will be held at the No-Man’s Land on the Victoria Falls
Bridge border on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile tourists and cross border traders were stuck as they were stopped
from crossing the border this morning until after the ceremony.
Radio VOP witnessed hordes of foreign tourists in trucks being turned away
from viewing the rainforest on Tuesday morning.
“We are shocked by this behaviour we were turned away from viewing the falls
by some soldiers. We understand your president will be here,” one Canadian
tourist told Radio VOP.
Keagen Moyo, a cross border trader, said: “The border has been shutdown and
we are just stuck here, we cannot cross into Zambia for business...”
Victoria Falls, May 29, 2012 – Zambia's President Michael Sata on Tuesday
addressed his Zimbabwean counterpart President Robert Mugabe as
“grandfather” to the laughter of guests invited to the launch of
preparations for the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in the resort town.
“Comrade Sekuru (grandfather) Robert Mugabe was my boss and I was his youth.
Your Excellency may I call upon you to deliver your speech,” Sata who is 75
years old said.
Mugabe who is 88 years and has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980
sighed and laughed as he stood up to give his speech. He said; “The
President of the Republic of Zambia comrade Michael Sata, muzukuru (nephew),
grand, grand, grandson, Sekuru is grandfather.”
The Zanu (PF) party wants Mugabe to contest forthcoming elections whose date
is yet to be announced.
Zimbabwe and Zambia are co-hosting the UNWTO general assembly next year and
the two neighbouring countries will become the only other African countries
to host the general assembly after Senegal hosted the meeting a few years
The signing ceremony on the No-Man’s land on Victoria Falls Bridge was
attended by UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai, government officials from
both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mugabe and Sata welcomed hosting the UNWTO general assembly encouraging
local and foreign tourists to visit the two southern African countries which
share the majestic Victoria Falls.
May 29, 7:23 AM EDT
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Wildlife authorities say rangers shot dead a
poacher in northwestern Zimbabwe and seized 28 elephant tusks from a bush
The National Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement Tuesday the
poacher, aged about 50, died in an exchange of fire over the weekend in
Binga near the border with Zambia.
Authorities said that another 22 tusks were found last week near the Zambezi
river upstream from Victoria Falls. They said one member of a six-man group
of poachers was seriously wounded and hospitalized after clashing with
rangers. The others fled.
The Wildlife Authorities said weapons, ammunition and a Zambia-registered
cell phone were recovered.
Illegal ivory sells for about $250 a kilogram (2.2 pounds.) All 50 tusks
could fetch nearly $60,000.
Harare, May 29, 2012— Zimbabwe’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will
decelerate to 4,4% this year from 6,8% in 2011 due to challenges facing the
economy, according to a latest African Economic Outlook report released
The decline in growth is attributed to high cost of capital and
inconsistencies especially on the indigenisation regulations, the report
It also said obsolete technologies and power and water shortages militate
against the growth of the economy.
“These downside risks are further exacerbated by the disputes among the
government partners about the new constitution, the national referendum to
adopt it and pending national elections,” the report said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently said the country would
register real GDP growth rates of 4, 7% and 6, 3% this year and 2013
However, the report has some good news: Zimbabwe would register a real GDP
growth of 5,5% driven by the agricultural, mining, manufacturing and
The report said inflation, once the country’s number one enemy before it was
tamed by the use of multi-currencies, would rise but projected to remain
within single digit levels this year and 2013.
“Overall, inflationary developments in the short to medium term will
continue to be influenced by the USD/ZAR (South African Rand) exchange rate,
inflation developments in South Africa, international oil prices and local
utility charges,” the report said.
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation is 4, 03% as in April and there are fears it
would surpass the 4, 5% year- end target.
According to IMF World Economic Outlook, Zimbabwe’s inflation would end the
year at 6, 2% before coming down to 5, 1% by the end of 2013.
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
A post mortem was carried out today on Sekuru Cephas Magura, 67, the MDC
Ward One chairperson in Mudzi North, Mashonaland East who was murdered by
known Zanu PF activists at Chimukoko Business Centre on Saturday and results
will be released tomorrow.
According to witnesses, Sekuru Magura was stoned to death by Zanu PF thugs
at a well attended MDC police-sanctioned rally.
Police details from Kotwa were present during the attack.
The Zanu PF mob leader, David Chimukoko was in the company of Graciano
Kazingizi, the Zanu PF Mudzi North youth chairperson, Gerald Nyatsinde,
Patrick Mutepeya, Clement Simendi, John Karonga, George Katsande, the son to
Mudzi West MP Aqualinah Katsande and Jevas Chiutsa, Ward 2 councillor.
Newten Kachepa, the Zanu PF MP for Mudzi North provided thugs with transport
to Chimukoko business centre.
The late Sekuru Magura will be buried at Botso Village in Mudzi on Saturday
where the national MDC leadership is expected to attend.
Sekuru Magura is survived by his wife, Mabel, six children and several
Meanwhile, four of the seven MDC members who were assaulted on the same day
have been discharged from a Harare hospital.
The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!
Posted on Tuesday 29 May 2012 - 10:10
Problem Masau, AfricaNews reporter in Harare, Zimbabwe
It is every woman's dream to be a mother. But sadly some women never get
to hold their off-spring who die during delivery in Zimbabwe. The situation
is particularly dire in rural areas whose ill-equipped public health
facilities are shunned by medical professionals, including midwives.
When I had to give birth, I went to Chinhere Clinic, but I was told
there were no midwives. I had to be transferred to Hurungwe District
Hospital. Some women have died during the transfer process, said Abigail
Ngoma, who recently gave birth through Caesarean section.
A senior midwife at Hurungwe Rural District Council said most midwives
shunned rural deployment because of poor working conditions.
Imagine attending a woman in labour using a candle because there would
be no electricity! In fact, most hospitals in rural areas are far away from
major roads and this makes them inaccessible, she said.
She said demands associated with the job, particularly in government
institutions, often saw midwives refusing to respond to the rural call of
Not many nurses are willing to train as midwives because the job is too
demanding. The government has advertised for posts on numerous occasions,
but student midwives have not responded, said the midwife.
She attributed the critical shortage of midwives to movements to better
salaries and working conditions in neighbouring countries like South Africa
and Botswana, or further abroad in Europe.
Salaries are poor, working hours are long. We risk contracting diseases
because of poor sanitary conditions. Wards are poorly equipped too, she
For every 100 000 women giving birth, 960 die during the process in
Speaking in Domboshava recently, Health and Child Welfare deputy
minister Douglas Mombeshora said the shortage of midwives had forced the
government to introduce another three midwifery schools nationwide.
We have a situation where an expecting mother is referred to another
hospital because of shortage of midwives. This has seen some women dying in
the process. We are facing the problem especially in rural hospitals, he
Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network executive director Naomi
Chimbetete said the critical shortage of midwives needed to be treated with
When a bus is involved in an accident and claims 21 people, it is
declared a national disaster, but when 960 women die for every 100 000
births, that is ignored, she said.
Speaking at the launch of a campaign for improved health services in
rural areas held recently in Domboshawa, Chimbetete said the government
should declare the shortage as a national disaster and consider ways of
reducing the rate at which women were dying due to pregnancy complications.
There was no need for women to die while giving birth.
Zimbabwe has been locked in an economic recession for more than a
decade, resulting in a massive exodus of doctors, nurses, teachers and other
Health facilities for maternal care in the rural areas are also scarce.
Jennifer Masara (28) from Guruve made a 200km journey to the capital,
Harare, in the last stages of her pregnancy after the local clinics only
midwife was retrenched.
I was told a few days before I was due to deliver that the nurse
(midwife) had suddenly left her job, Masara told NewsDay. Officials from the
Ministry of Health wanted to fire her after a mother died during delivery at
The European Union (EU) has availed a $2 million package to support the
Accelerated Midwifery Training programme in the country to ensure that at
least 60% of nurses at any health facilities are midwives.
Head of EU Delegation in Zimbabwe, Aldo DellAriccia, said the midwifery
programme was one of the European Commission support to the Zimbabwean
public health sector and local people.
As part of the recognition for more qualitative health services, the EU
decided to support the Accelerated Midwifery Training programme at a cost of
$2 million to ensure that at least 60% of nurses at any health facility are
midwives, said Ariccia during the launch of Accelerated Midwifery Training
programme at Murambinda Mission Hospital.
He said increase in number of qualified midwives was expected to lead to
the reduction of maternal death, which currently stands at 960 per 100 000
live birth up from 555 per 100 000 live births in 2006. He added the
programme also aimed at reducing prenatal deaths.
Qualitative midwives are key in an effort to achieve the Millennium
Development Goal to reduce maternal mortality ration by 75% compared to that
of 1990, by 2015, he said.
DellAriccia said qualified midwives played a critical human right role
in providing women with information on their rights during pregnancy and
issues related to HIV and Aids prevention, care, mitigation and sexual
He said the EU had been a consistent and engaged partner of Zimbabwe in
the health sector for more than 10 years.
Text of the speech by Roy Bennett at Rhodes House, Oxford, May 29 2012
Distinguished guests, Rhodes scholars, ladies and gentlemen-
I am grateful for the opportunity to speak at this venue tonight. I do so in
the knowledge that some will wince-and others will rub their hands
together-at the sight of a former white Rhodesian farmer addressing an
audience that benefits from the largesse of Rhodesia's founder and colonial
overlord, Cecil John Rhodes. But these connotations and associations
constitute the main reason why I accepted the kind invitation to speak to
I intend to tackle these issues head-on. I do so in the expectation that
some will disagree violently with what I have to say, while others-both
black and white-will distort my words for their own ends.
I also recognise that Zimbabwe's history and politics are complex and that I
have been a participant rather than a neutral observer. However, I will try
to be honest and to speak the unvarnished truth as I see it.
The central thesis of my talk is that Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF have, since
independence in 1980, consistently used ethnicity and other smokescreens to
disguise brutal political and material objectives. But before I get started,
I need to make clear that I am not denying the colonial wrongs upon which
they hang many of their obfuscations. There can be no denying the arrogance,
exploitation, violence and humiliations that accompanied much of white rule
Land was stolen, people were brutalised, basic human rights were denied and
the system was rigged to promote the interests of a minority. At the same
time, I do refute deliberately simplistic interpretations and manipulations
of that history, particularly where these are used to justify the unjust and
defend the indefensible.
There are, I think, two misconceptions that need to be uncovered if we are
to disentangle the twists and turns taken by Zanu-PF over the last 32 years.
The first is the fallacy that Zanu is, in effect, a victim of history and of
various invisible forces that seek to undermine the party's ongoing role as
liberator. Certainly, every government faces various constraints, but
Zanu-PF frequently presents itself as confronting only two options: that of
capitulating to subversive, usually imperialist, forces or that of bravely
fighting against them. Yet it must be remembered that when Mugabe was given
the legal power to govern the country, he and his party quickly consolidated
their control over the state apparatus. They have retained that control ever
since. They have been in a position to make a range of choices-and they have
used this discretion to pursue an agenda that has nothing to do with
national liberation or freedom. I will illustrate my point in a minute.
The second misconception, related to the first, is that Zanu-PF grapples
sincerely with the legacies of colonialism and the realities of north-south
inequality. In the views of some, they have done so wrong-headedly, but they
have nonetheless done so with good intentions.
This view is prevalent among Africa's ruling classes and is shared, with a
few reservations, by some in the West. But it is to buy into the stereotypes
propagated by Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith, who represented black
people as simpletons, with the slightly more intelligent political types
capable only of subjecting themselves to communist puppeteers. It is ironic
that Zanu-PF should continue to broadcast a colonial view of themselves as
They are far from that. Mugabe and his lieutenants have deliberately,
cynically and strategically acquired and defended power. They have
deliberately, cynically and strategically used propaganda to disguise their
purposes. When the history of Zimbabwe is more fully written and understood,
this point will become even more clearly visible than it was at the time to
those of us who have experienced the depredations of the regime. Zanu-PF
have been cunning and calculating-and to a degree and level of detail that
would astonish many outsiders. I respect Mugabe for very little, but as an
intellect from hell he is outstanding. And he is not alone.
In highlighting Zanu-PF's freedom to make choices and the cunning
self-awareness with which they have done so, I am not suggesting that the
colonial experience left Mugabe and his comrades without scars, nor am I
saying that nothing has ever been done in Zimbabwe with the intention of
reversing historical disparities.
What I am asserting is that the primary agenda has always been the pursuit
of wealth and power-and that basic human rights, let alone the national
good, have always been thrown out the window when they impinge on that
agenda. The Big Lie is found in the contradictions between rhetoric and
reality: the ‘liberators' enslave, the ‘avengers' steal, the ‘defenders'
murder and rape.
Whites were not the first object of Mugabe's wrath. In the early years of
independence, it was the Ndebele people who bore the brunt of Zanu-PF's
ambitions while the world lauded Mugabe for a supposed policy of
reconciliation and for a non-aligned foreign policy. The Ndebele stood
solidly behind Joshua Nkomo's party, Zapu-and they were relentlessly
repressed, oppressed and bludgeoned until 1987. We were told that Zapu were
plotting against the government. We were told the Ndebele had not accepted
their minority status and sought to reverse the will of the majority.
We were told they were a clear and present danger to democracy, that they
were orchestrating bandits to make the country ungovernable. We were told
lies. This was the first of the smokescreens blown at us after independence.
The real reason was that Zapu was the main obstacle on the road to a
It stood in the way of Zanu's desire to rule in solitude and so it had to be
knocked over. Zapu was attacked mercilessly, both directly and indirectly.
Its officials were arrested, tortured and ‘disappeared'- and its supporter
base, civilians-were treated to a medievel-style pogrom in 1983 and 1984.
Many thousands died in what was the crudest of crude attempts to force Zapu
into capitulation through the screams of its supporters and families. There
remains much to be said and much to be done about that period.
There were other events in this early period that show how the supposed
objectives of national liberation were subordinated to political
imperatives. One of the most striking is the handling of the land issue in
Matabeleland while Zapu was being persecuted. Land was the centrepiece of
Zanu's wartime platform. As in most African countries, most of Zimbabwe's
population lived in the rural areas and Zanu had tapped into resentments
over the large tracts of land that had been occupied by white farmers, some
of which had been seized in living memory.
During the war, Zanu promised that this land would be taken back and
redistributed among the black peasantry after independence. Therefore, in
1980, when Zanu-PF took power, there was a burden of expectation on the
government and it sought donor aid to design, fund and implement land
In Matabeleland, the United Nations Development Program funded World Bank
personnel to conduct research and come up with a scheme appropriate for
Matabeleland's climate and demography.
After four years of extensive survey work and community consultation in both
Matabeleland North and South, a resettlement plan dubbed ‘Model D' was
ready. Custom-designed for the region, it had been approved by the Zapu
leadership, the chiefs and the people on the ground. All that remained was
for government to give it the go- ahead.
Instead, it was unceremoniously dumped in the bin. This had nothing to do
with a lack of money, an excuse that the government rolled out repeatedly
when questions were asked about the slow pace of land reform. At the time,
Zanu-PF was more interested in murdering the Ndebele than developing them.
Indeed, at the very moment Model D was tabled, the government was using the
military to block food aid reaching drought-stricken Matabeleland South.
Thousands were starving as a result. So much for agrarian reform. So much
for liberation promises.
I repeat my point: in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, when politics and greed collide
with the national good, it's politics and greed that win-and usually with
more than a touch of brutality.
Fast forward to Zanu-PF's ‘Fast-track land reform program'-the
internationally famous land invasions that began in 2000. If the media
version was to be believed, this was when Mugabe ‘turned bad' and turned on
the whites after 20 years of moderate government. (Of course, the Ndebele
had long told a different story, but few had been listening.)
At the other end of the spectrum, we now have a revisionist school in
academia that seeks to correct what it sees as different media
distortions-the notions that all the land was taken by Mugabe's cronies and
that peasant agricultural production has collapsed. But this is to attack a
It is to miss the point. Both the media and this revisionist school have a
poor understanding of the primary colours of Zanu- PF's rule since 1980.
The key to understanding the land invasions is to look at motive. Why did
Zanu-PF endorse and organise the land seizures? The rhetoric of land reform
and the constant harping about race and inequality was another smokescreen.
The fundamental reason was political-Zanu's grip on power had been
The party had become deeply unpopular after trashing the economy and it was
under immense pressure from a new opposition, the Movement for Democratic
Change, or MDC.
The land invasions were a way of hitting back and the thinking here was
twofold. First, it was an electoral gimmick. Zanu-PF hoped that a free-for-
all on white farms would help it recover some lost support.
It was a deliberate attempt to appeal to base instincts-and to cash in on
some cheap gratitude. The evidence is more than circumstantial. In private
conversations, Zanu leaders made explicit reference to this rationale. In
one document from a sensitive source, Eddison Zvobgo, a senior member of the
party, says that he regretted the economic chaos that would result from the
invasions but remarks that it had to be done for electoral reasons.
Note the juxtaposition here. This was not mere populism. It was a last-ditch
effort to pull back support in spite of the massive damage it would do to
the country. Zvobgo was one of the few in Zanu-PF who had shown a flicker of
genuine interest in development, especially in his own province.
On this issue, he was as moderate as you would get in the ruling party, but
the attitude was: we need to do this to stay in the driving seat-and the
consequences be damned. Again, politics and greed over the national good.
The second rationale was that some of the MDC's key support structures were
on the white farms. Zanu-PF's propaganda machine made a hullabaloo over
whites who had donated money to the MDC in an attempt to portray the party
as a front for white interests.
That was a lie, but away from the spin, the Zanu-PF security machinery did
have a keen awareness of the importance of white farmers and their workers
to the MDC. Many farmers had become involved with the new party and were
putting finances, logistical support and their knowledge of the rural areas
toward the building of MDC structures.
Similarly, a very large proportion of the million-strong white farm
workforce were anti-Zanu-PF and were working closely with their employers.
This rural constituency threatened not only to make inroads into Zanu-PF's
traditional rural support base but it was merging with the MDC's strong
urban labour structures in what was looking to be a powerful and well-
balanced opposition. Zanu decided that it had to break these linkages. The
white farmers had to be disrupted or driven off the land and their workers
My own experience is a case in point. When it became clear to Zanu-PF that I
was going to stand on an MDC ticket in the rural seat of Chimanimani, I was
summoned to the local country club in May 2000, one month before the
elections. There I was met by a member of Mugabe's intelligence
organisation, Zanu-PF officials, the police and an assortment of thugs. It
was not the colour of my skin that was the topic of conversation. Rather, I
was told that my involvement with MDC was a problem.
The message was that if I persisted, I would lose my farm and possibly my
life. But if I desisted, everything would be ok. It was also at this time,
when our collective determination was becoming evident, that my workers and
party helpers began to be beaten and harassed. This was in every sense of
the word a political operation. It was one that was repeated in thousands of
locations across the country.
In 2012, there are but a handful of white farms left. The enemy has become
less and less visible. The whipping boys are few and far between. And so the
mirrors and smokescreens become more and more absurd. The latest is the
drive toward ‘indigenisation', a bastardisation of South Africa's Black
Economic Empowerment program. Having freed the land from the British
kith-and-kin, it is time, we are told, to free the remainder of the economy
from the clutches of white capital and return it to real Zimbabweans. The
official definition of an indigenous Zimbabwean is overtly racist. ‘Vir
gebruik deur nie-blankes'-‘for use by non-whites only' as the Apartheid
government would have put it. But I'm not going to dwell on this. It is
another facade-another hall of mirrors.
Again, the gap between rhetoric and reality shows the lie. Some of Zanu-
PF's most important partners, co-sponsors of the current economic anarchy,
are whites. There is a relatively small but very significant network of
whites that work closely with the ruling party. Behind closed doors, Zanu-PF
is infinitely pragmatic. The message will come down from on high: ‘He is one
of us; leave him alone'.
The relationships are hidden, but the reasons for them are simple. These men
help push the gravy train and grease the wheels of the party machine. Greed
was an important sub-theme of the land invasions, with many of the best
farms going to Zanu-PF functionaries. But ‘Fast-track Land Reform' was in
the first place an election stunt, a desperate and particularly perverse
form of pork barreling.
Indigenisation has flipped the order of priorities. The propaganda is still
populist in its presentation, but Zanu-PF knows that no-one is listening.
There is no chance of pulling back electoral support. The talk now hides,
very barely, sheer gluttony and rampant avarice. This is a disease, an
addiction unhinged and uncontrollable. Many of Mugabe's acolytes have become
unimaginably rich. But, now, in Zimbabwe, enough is never enough.
Mining companies are squeezed for shares, backhanders and chunks of land.
Others are bounced from their claims once they have paid upfront. These are
the endless line of victims- gullible at best, but generally complicit,
prepared to ‘play the game' to survive.
The perpetrators, the white and black mafia, Zimbabwe's Cosa Nostra,
connive, steal, smuggle and murder together, shifting the country's
resources out the back door and trampling the people underfoot.
The hypocrisy of Zanu-PF's racial rhetoric is shown most clearly in the
history of the individuals with whom it chooses to couple. Among those who
became ‘one of us' are people who used to bust sanctions for Ian Smith
during the war, while others were closely connected to South African
intelligence during Apartheid.
Still others include former members of the Selous Scouts, the Rhodesian
special forces unit that Zanu charges with more wartime atrocities than any
other. Roy Bennett, too, could have been ‘one of us' if he had helped milked
the cow. Race and history are not barriers but screens to the good life in
These people some the most important comrades of Zanu-PF, men from the ranks
of the Rhodesian enemy, a phantom, a Zimbabwean version of the Jewish world
conspiracy whose representitives are, in reality, often closer than
brothers. Yet they are not alone. Sadly, this is not a show just for the
scum of black and white Zimbabwe.
Foreigners are welcome to join the fun, as long as they play by Zanu's
rules, such as they are. Many of this hodge-podge of international brigands
and profiteers also come from places and backgrounds denounced by Zanu-PF
propaganda. White South Africans play a substantial role, collaborating with
Zanu in ripping off our resources-a case in point being the exploitation of
diamonds from claims that were acquired through theft and carnage.
The Russians were given the cold shoulder in the 1980s because of their
historical support for Zapu, but now they are more than acceptable because
they have useful skills and a common disdain for human rights and the rule
of law. Among other ventures, the Russians are now mining diamonds on my
These relationships are not limited to corrupt politicians and businessmen,
but active members of Zimbabwe's security services are increasingly
involved. The Central Intelligence Organisation, or CIO, cooperates closely
with Russian intelligence in what is both an offshoot and buttress of mutual
CIO also works with Sam Pa, a Hong Kong businessman whose company trades $20
billion of oil with Angola each year. Pa and CIO run a joint venture in the
diamond fields, among others.
What we have, then, is the exaltation and ruthless pursuit of mammon, a god
whose worshippers come from all shades of life and who are supported by
regional and international bandits and shoplifters. This criminal syndicate
is laying waste to what remains of the nation's body and soul.
But it's not just a problem for Zimbabwe. We are not just breeding and
importing disease and destruction, we are exporting it as well. Most
strikingly, the Zimbabwean cancer is spreading to South Africa.
Bottom feeders from South Africa, many of them outwardly respectable
companies like Old Mutual, have trampled on ethics and human beings in the
stampede for the Zimbabwean carcass. Arrogant and hard-hearted, they have
shown no hesitation in standing on the heads of the Zimbabwean poor as they
cavort with the Zimbabwean rich. They believe they are untouchable,
practicing, as they see it, their own cunning brand of worldly-wise
expediency-and now practicing it, judiciously they think, at home in South
Africa. ‘TIA', they say-‘This is Africa'; ‘walk in with the bowler'.
What they do not realise is that they are bringing with them the people and
practices that will annihilate the very foundations upon which their
comfortable lives are based. South Africa is ripe for the Zanu-PF variety of
national liberation. Ethnic and racist propaganda will work a treat for
those whose mouths have been fed by the same corrupt corporates and whose
appetites have been whetted yet further by the feeding frenzy across the
border. Already there is a dialogue between the demagogues in Zimbabwe and
The president of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, visited Zimbabwe to
learn some of the tricks of the trade from our Minister for Indigenisation,
the ironically-named Saviour Kasukuwere. Malema probably thought he had to
give them something back, so he taught them the song, ‘Kill the boer', which
was banned in South Africa-though they changed the lyrics to ‘Kill Roy
Malema has since been expelled from the ANC, partly for his refusal to tone
down racist and extremist rhetoric and partly for his overt challenge to the
authority of President Jacob Zuma. Zanu-PF has apparently encouraged and
funded both aspects of the Malema circus. I doubt very much whether South
Africa has seen the last of Julius Malema-and I have no doubts at all that
the Zanufication of South African politics is taking root.
I have digressed somewhat in making the point that Zanu-PF's anti-white,
anti-imperalist and pro-poor rantings obscure the deification of greed in
Zimbabwe. The populist appeal of mob rule is now hardly worth the candle, so
the smokescreen is now largely to conceal the activities of the new Cosa
Nostra. But does this mean that ‘Indigenisation' and economic ‘liberation'
is not being used to hide the pursuit of political power? Has that other god
of the Zanu pantheon slipped from view? Far from it. The mirage of electoral
support may have disappeared, but strategic calculations remain.
It is possible to get filthy rich and to stay in control. In fact, the one
depends on the other. The syndicate have put aside a portion of the loot so
as to thump the people at the next elections. People may not be persuaded to
vote for the party but they can sure as hell be coerced into doing so. It's
a routine that Zanu-PF knows only too well. And it's a routine that costs a
bit of money; this is tithing, Zanu-style.
The security services must be paid, the bullets must be bought, the militia
must be dispatched. Already, the tried and tested methods are being dusted
off for the next elections. Meanwhile, some of the lucre must be distributed
to members of the opposition whose eyes have become bigger than their heads.
This is the largely untold story of the last four years, since MDC has
entered the so-called government of national unity.
The mafia lives by the adage that every man has his price-and in Zimbabwe
this has too often proven true. Some have effectively changed sides and
joined the kleptocracy. Principle dissolves into a grey mass of voracity and
covetousness. It is a problem that manifests itself from bottom to top, from
councillors to leaders. It is now fashionable among Western diplomats to
speak positively about a post-Mugabe future based on an informal alliance
between the MDC and supposed Zanu-PF moderates. What they are really talking
about is an undeclared merger with kleptocracy.
If the vision of the future has come to that, then God help us. There are
some who stay strong, some who have kept their hands clean. I am thankful
for them. Certainly, the people of Zimbabwe want something new. Yet they are
less aware of these realities-and largely unable to do anything about them
in the absence of democracy. I fear that we stand on the edge of a
This brings us to the nub of the problem-and to my dreams for the future. I
could plead for the acceptance of whites and Ndebeles as full citizens. I
could appeal for a multi-ethnic, non-racial nation in which whites are not
whites and the Ndebele and not Ndebele, but are, first and foremost,
Zimbabweans. Yet I would be entering a debate whose parameters have been set
by Zanu-PF's propagandists.
It is a debate some of my colleagues have been suckered into, feeling the
need to make excuses for why they did not fight with Mugabe's guerrillas or
why there are whites in MDC or why they oppose indigenisation. The real
problems in our country are more basic than Zanu-PF's convoluted, deceptive
and hypocritical sound bites would have us believe.
Looking back, I see a Zimbabwe destroyed by the worst instincts of human
nature, by the extremes of ambition, power-lust and greed. The dividing
lines here are not black and white but good and evil. Looking forward, I
hope and pray that truth, justice and integrity will win the day.
Their presence or absence, strength or weakness, signals life or death for
the nation. We will never come to terms with our past or future without
them. Painful they are, but utterly necessary. For those who lived it, our
history will never be buried without truth, justice and integrity. Too often
it has been used as a political tool or a personal excuse.
If the past, back to 1980 and beyond, needs to be dug up and dealt with, so
be it. I speak as one who participated in the war. And I speak as a victim
of Mugabe's Zimbabwe. I have views, but I do not have all the answers. Let
the truth come out.
The truth is cleansing and it is good. We must shine the light and we must
do it humbly. Perhaps I am a fantasist. We are far from truth and justice in
Zimbabwe. Perhaps the past will only be buried with those who made it. Time
will tell. But we will certainly fail if we do not try. And what of the
present and its own tragedies?
We need Zimbabweans to choose principle over expediency. We need them to
know that values matter, morally and materially. We need them to choose
those who stand on values and we need to fight against those who don't. If
these choices are not made, if the fight is not fought, the nightmare can
and will get worse. I give the same message to outsiders-at least to the
ones who are prone to listen. I appeal today to a group of people who will
become influential global leaders in government and business. Will your
country or company operate amorally and immorally? Will you cut corners for
money and self- interest?
When you die, you will take neither wealth nor prestige with you, but you
can surely leave the world a worse place than it was. Or a better place. It
is the daily, sometimes small, choices that make for a life and a legacy.
What will yours be?
I thank you.
The last two pieces of this series of comparisons between the current and the COPAC Draft Constitution focussed on the differences between the two in respect of the Office of the President. The comparisons found much favour. This week, we continue with a focus on the security services sector.
The security structure is an important source of power both at national and international level. Those who can draw power from the security structure are likely to have control over others. Within the nation states, the political neutrality of the security structure is important, both for the fairness of the political process but also for the integrity of the nation-state. Since the security services providers are the only lawful holders of arms, it follows that they have exclusive control and a monopoly on the power drawn from the security structure. Any person or political party that can draw favour from the security sector will therefore have an unfair advantage over other competitors for political power. But more importantly, civilian politicians will always be at serious risk from the security service providers if the latter have free passage and interference in politics. Thus from an institutional point of view, power drawn from the security if not regulated and used properly, power drawn from the security structure can be a threat to the very existence of the nation state that it is supposed to protect.
The following is a comparative assessment between the current and Draft Constitution in respect of the security services sector. Since this is a continuation from the previous two papers, we start from Issue 18.
|Issue 18||Security Services|
|Draft Constitution||Chapter 12 dedicated to regulating the distribution of power to and among the security services|
|Current Constitution||There is no separate chapter. Provides for the structures of the security services but does not regulate the conduct of state power.|
|The creation of a separate chapter in the Constitution recognises the security forces as an important source and centre of power within the state. The difference is that the new Constitution would not only provide for the creation of the structures in the security services but will also regulate the conduct of members of the security forces who like all other state structures are ultimately accountable not only to the Constitution but to the people from who authority is derived. The draft Constitution specifically requires that all the security services must be regulated by law through Acts of Parliament.|
|What they don’t want||Clear provisions for regulating the distribution and use of power within the security structures of the state.|
|Issue 19||Human Rights & Rule of Law|
|Clause 12.1(3) specifically enjoins those charged with power in the security services to have the utmost respect for the rule of law fundamental rights and the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution|
|Current Constitution||There are no such specific obligations|
|The difference is clearly that whereas the current Constitution is general, vague and unclear, the new Constitution would specifically require security services providers to adhere to and uphold human rights, the rule of law and the democratic values and principles in the Constitution. This sets the ultimate standards upon which the conduct of the security services must be measured.|
|What they don’t want||Clear constitutional statement that the conduct of security services must adhere to and uphold human rights, democratic values and the rule of law.|
|Issue 20||International Law|
|Requires that in securing national security, it must be done in accordance with the Constitution and the law – which also includes international law. This introduces a constitutional requirement to observe the rules of international law. Clause 12.3 (1) actually specifies that,“Members of the security services must act in accordance with this Constitution and the law, including customary international law and international agreements binding on Zimbabwe”. This would include such agreements as the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.|
|Current Constitution||There is no such specific Constitutional requirement.|
|Change||The difference is that whereas the new Constitution would specifically introduce an international law standard in the conduct of security services, the current constitution is general and vague about these issues. Such international law would include treaties and conventions that protect human rights, including the prevention of abuse of power by security service providers through use of methods such as torture, genocide, etc.|
|What they don’t want||Clear requirement to adhere to international law in the conduct of the security services.|
|Issue 21||Inclusion of the Intelligence Service|
|Draft Constitution||The intelligence service is recognised and included as one of the security services of Zimbabwe. Clause 12.16 (1) states that “Any intelligence service of the State, other than an intelligence division of the Defence Forces or the Police Service, must be established in terms of an Act of Parliament which, subject to this Constitution, defines the structure, powers, functions and accountability of the intelligence service”. Emphasising political neutrality of the institution, Clause 12.16 (2) states that “Any intelligence service of the State must be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to the civilian authority as established by this Constitution”.|
|Current Constitution||There is no such recognition.|
|Change||The fundamental change is that the recognition and inclusion of the intelligence service brings this key agency of state power with the constitutional realm. It would have the effect of requiring the intelligence service to adhere to and uphold the Constitution including its values and principles. As one of the state agencies and institutions it would be specifically enjoined to observe the constitutional standards set for all security service providers and state instrumentalities. It is notable that Clause 12.1(2) requires that all security services (which include the intelligence service) must be regulated by Acts of Parliament ensuring therefore that no person is above the law.|
|What they don’t want||The recognition and regulation of the intelligence service by the Constitution.|
|Issue 22||No armed militias or paramilitary bodies|
|Draft Constitution||Proscribes the formation of armed militias and paramilitary groups outside the structures of established laws.|
|Current Constitution||No such specific prohibition.|
|Change||The difference is that the new Constitution would specifically prohibit the formation of armed militias whether funded privately or by the state. All armed groups must be formed in accordance with the law and must therefore be regulated by and adhere to the law. It introduces clear accountability. This is recognition that holders of arms have immense power over others – they can threaten the security of the state and also threaten the security of the public.|
|What they don’t want||Clear rules that prohibit the formation of militias that can easily be abused to threaten the security of the people.|
|Issue 23||Diversity in Membership (should extend to leadership)|
|Draft Constitution||The new Constitution would require that membership of the security services must reflect the diversity of the people of Zimbabwe.|
|Current Constitution||No specific clause|
|Change||The difference is that it becomes a constitutional requirement to ensure that the security forces reflect the demographic composition of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a diverse country composed of people from different regions, cultures, races, tribes and different gender and sex. It is important that men and women be represented just as it is good for stability that the defence forces, police, intelligence services are not dominated by members of one region, tribe other such index. It allows people to have a sense of belonging and also enables the security forces to communicate and relate more closely to the communities that they serve.|
|What they don’t want||Clear requirement for diversity in the security services sector.|
|Issue 24||Political Neutrality|
|Draft Constitution||Clause 12.3 (3) prohibits the security services or any of their members from acting in a partisan manner, to further the interests of any political party or cause or to prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause or indeed to violate the rights of any person. A specific provisions states that “Members of the security services must not be active members or office-bearers of any political party or organisation”. Parliament is required to enact a law to ensure the political neutrality of members of the security services. Clause 12.6 (3) on the defence forces also states that Defence Forces “The Defence Forces must be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to the civilian authority as established by this Constitution”.|
|Current Constitution||Makes no specific provision for political neutrality (although this is no licence for security services to be partisan).|
|Change||Although under the present
system it is unlawful and undemocratic for security services or any of its
members to openly demonstrate partisan support for one political party or cause
the fact that the new Constitution would specifically make provision prohibiting
such conduct makes things clear. It places the issue beyond doubt. The
institutional integrity of the state requires a separation between the military
and the politics and the independence of the security services. Security
services must retain their political neutrality and independence in order to
deliver an efficient service to the state.
The division is important because the security services draw power from the exclusivity of their control of arms, which exclusive role is created by the law. For example, Clause 12.6 (2) states that “The Defence Forces are the only lawful military forces in Zimbabwe”.
Since no one else apart from the security forces (and other authorised by law) can lawfully hold arms, it is important that they remain neutral in the political arena because any partisan loyalty would automatically confer an unfair advantage on the person or party that they support. It is important in this regard, to look beyond the politics of today and consider instead the importance of building institutions for the future.
|What they don’t want||Specific constitutional rules that separate the security forces from politics and prohibit partisan political support by the security services.|
|Issue 25||Independent complaints mechanism|
|Draft Constitution||Clause 12.5 makes provision for the establishment of an independent mechanism for handling complaints against members of the security services. The independent complaints mechanism will also have powers to remedy any harm caused by the misconduct of members of the security services|
|Current Constitution||There no specific constitutional provision for such a mechanism.|
|Change||The difference is that the
new Constitution would specifically make provision for the establishment of an
independent complaints mechanism which will have powers of remedying any harm
caused. This is over and above the normal judicial mechanisms available to
members of the public. In addition to providing specific avenues for redress for
the public it also has the capacity to help develop a culture of accountability
on the part of members of the security forces. The mechanism may take time to
fully deliver results but developing this institution is critical in the long
term as it could impact heavily on building a culture of accountability.
|What they don’t want||An independent complaints mechanism which would provide members of the public with an easier, cheaper and probably faster and more efficient mechanism to resolve complaints against members of the army, police, etc.|
|Issue 26||Deployment of Defence Forces|
|Draft Constitution||Clause 12.8 specifically
requires the President to inform Parliament within seven days of the deployment
of Defence Forces to defend Zimbabwe against external aggression.
There is also a specific requirement for prior approval of Parliament for the deployment of the Defence Forces within the country to support the police to maintain public order and other civilian agencies in the event of an emergency or disaster or outside in fulfilment of international commitment of defence of national interest.
Where it is not reasonably possible to seek prior approval, it must nevertheless be obtained within fourteen days. In that case the President has onerous obligations to give sufficient detail of the deployment including,
“(a) the reasons for the deployment;
(b) the place in Zimbabwe or the country where the Defence Forces are deployed;
(c) the number of people involved; and
(d) the period for which the Defence Forces are expected to be deployed”.
|Current Constitution||No specific constitutional requirement for the President to inform Parliament.|
|Change||The difference is that
whereas the current Constitution provides almost unfettered powers to the
President for the deployment of Defence Forces, the new Constitution would
require accountability to Parliament depending on the nature of the deployment.
The President would be constitutionally required to inform Parliament and in
other cases to seek prior approval of Parliament.
This accountability prevents or at least minimises the abuse of the Defence Forces and facilitates accountability of the President and the Defence Forces to the people through their parliamentary representatives. If this rule applied, the 1980s deployment of the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland duringGukurahundi or the use of the defence forces during Operation Murambatsvina, for example, to be lawful would have required Parliamentary approval if this constitutional requirement existed at the relevant times.
These rules would also have required Parliamentary approval of the deployment of troops into Mozambique to defend the Beira Corridor and therefore Zimbabwe’s national during the 1980s and into the DRC in the late 1990s.
|What they don’t want||Provisions ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of the Defence Forces.|
|Issue 27||Term Limits for Commanders|
|Draft Constitution||Clause 12.9 (3) sets a maximum threshold of two terms for Commanders of the Defence Forces or any of their branches. Therefore, the Commander of the Defence Forces, the Army Commander, etc would serve for a maximum of two terms. Each term is set at five years.|
|Current Constitution||There is no constitutional term limit.|
|Change||The biggest change is that the new Constitution would set a maximum term limits. This is important for the institution not only to minimise the risk of entrenchment but also to promote progression in the ranks of the defence forces as it opens up vacancies and facilitates promotion of subordinates.|
|What they don’t want||Maximum term limits for Commanders.|
|Issue 28||Appointment Procedures|
|Draft Constitution||Clause 12.11 on the
membership of the Defence Forces Commission provides that members are appointed
by the President subject to the approval of Parliament, following the procedures
set out in the Sixth Schedule. As we have seen in this series, the Sixth
Schedule sets out a rigorous appointments procedure which ensures that
Parliament must approve Presidential nominees.
Commanders of the Defences Forces are appointed by the President on the advice of the Defence Forces Commission.
(There are similar provisions in respect of other branches of the security services, such as the Police and Correctional Services).
|Current Constitution||There is no requirement for Parliamentary approval in the appointment of members of the Commissions.|
|The change is that the institution of the Defence Forces Commission (and similar Commissions) is likely to have more independence than is the case at present because the appointment of its members will require Parliamentary approval. If Parliament executes its mandate well, it will check and balance the power of the President so that members of these Commissions are not puppets of the President. These Commissions have a serious responsibility of advising the President in appointing the Commanders, which means their independence and integrity is fundamental.|
|What they don’t want||Transparency and accountability in the appointment of members of the Defence Forces Commission (and similar Commissions) which have the important responsibility of advising the President in the appointment of key officers in the security services sector.|
|Issue 29||Illegal Orders|
|Draft Constitution||Clause 12.3 prohibits members of a security service from obeying an order that is manifestly illegal.|
|Current Constitution||There is no equivalent provision|
|Change||The new Constitution would effectively make it clear that obeying an illegal order is not defence for members of the security services. For example, torture is manifestly illegal and if a soldier is ordered to torture an individual he cannot argue that he was obeying an order because that order would be manifestly illegal. This places primary responsibility in the hands of the soldier or member of the security services – he can obey lawful orders but he cannot obey manifestly illegal orders. If members of the security services are ordered to perform acts that would constitute genocide and they proceed to perform those acts, they would not defend themselves by saying they were obeying orders because such orders would be manifestly illegal.|
|What they don’t want||Ensuring that the individual member of the security services takes primary responsibility for his or her actions and has the option to disobey orders that are manifestly illegal.|
It goes without saying that, the security services sector plays a critical role within the nation state. They are the sole lawful bearers of arms. This exclusivity and monopoly over arms is a source of immense power. This power needs to be controlled constitutionally to ensure that civilians retain control of the affairs of the state. The converse would be a dictatorship by the military which is the very antithesis of democracy and civilised government. The provisions of the Draft Constitution try to balance the power of the security services sector and the civilians. A civilian, the President is the Commander in Chief and Parliament plays an important role in checking the power of the President to prevent abuse and misuse of the security services.
Political neutrality of the security services is very important. As we have seen structurally the security sector is a key source of power and any person or political party that is favoured by the security services will naturally have an unfair advantage over other competitors. It is important to look beyond the politics of today and think about the institutions that we want for the good of the nation-state.
A partisan security services sector is a serious hazard and threat to the threat of the nation-state that it is otherwise designed to safeguard. The Draft Constitution makes reasonable provisions that can be used and improved upon to build credible and enduring institutions in the security services sector. But of course, this does not find favour in some circles. There are those who would rather these changes never see the light of day.
But at least the public deserves to know the difference between the current and the proposed constitutions. You be the judge.