Petroc Trelawny, the BBC music presenter arrested in Zimbabwe for failing to
obtain a work permit to compère at a music festival, is facing prison after
immigration authorities filed a new charge against him of lying on his visa
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
5:43PM BST 30 May 2012
The latest development came just hours after a High Court judge ruled that
Mr Trelawny's passport be returned to him and he be allowed to leave the
He has been held in police custody since he was arrested last Thursday while
on stage with 500 local schoolchildren at the Bulawayo Music Festival, on
suspicion of working without a permit.
On Monday, Zimbabwe's Attorney General ruled that Mr Trelawny should not be
prosecuted for failing to obtain a Temporary Employment Permit since it was
the duty of the academy which invited him.
But immigration authorities challenged the Attorney General's decision, and
on Wednesday ordered that he appear before the courts on a new charge of
violating the conditions of his entry into the country on a tourist visa.
Friends of Mr Trelawny, 41, who spent the weekend in hospital under police
guard after slipping and dislocating his shoulder in his police cell, say he
is bewildered by the continued legal wranglings. He is determined however to
be exonerated of wrongdoing as he wants to return to Zimbabwe.
Munyaradzi Ngarayapenga, his lawyer, said he had been released from hospital
into the custody of a friend.
"He has been released but immigration is going to prosecute him to stand
trial tomorrow. He doesn't have his passport. He is now here on a temporary
permit," he said.
"He is being charged with violating the conditions of his entry, in other
words he is accused of making a false declaration when he came into the
If found guilty, Mr Trelawny could be fined up to £3,200 or a prison
sentence of 10 years. If they want to depot him, they must secure a
The latest development has laid bare fierce political wranglings between the
government's state security arm – which backs President Robert Mugabe's Zanu
PF – and ministers from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change, who run the Arts and Home Affairs ministries, responsible
for managing visitors' permits.
David Coltart, the MDC Arts, Culture and Education Minister, condemned the
treatment of Mr Trelawny "in the strongest possible terms".
"This is outrageous conduct by the Department of Immigration and is
seriously damaging to Zimbabwe's international reputation," he said.
"It undermines the efforts of many of us who are trying to persuade the
Europeans and North Americans to engage with us."
Theresa Makone, the MDC Home Affairs Minister, said the immigration
authorities had "no right" to insist on Mr Trelawny's continued detention.
"As far as I am concerned, he has committed no offence. It's not his
business to get a TEP but in any case, it's not a matter of life and death
whether he had one or not because he was not working for profit, he was
working as a volunteer to assist under-privileged children."
A Harare lawyer with expertise in immigration issues said Home Affairs would
have little sway over those driving Mr Trelawny's prosecution.
"The immigration department has enormous powers," he said. "They can conduct
their own investigations. There are people who have been in remand prison in
Harare for years on immigration offences. This case is quite extraordinary
given that the attorney-general declined to prosecute."
By Tichaona Sibanda
30 May 2012
This week’s SADC summit, which begins on Thursday in Luanda, Angola, will
focus particularly on the next steps Zimbabwe will take before elections can
be held, a top SADC official has said.
The regional bloc has found itself in the middle of a political tug-of-war
between ZANU PF on the one side and the two MDC formations on the other,
over the timing of the next election in Zimbabwe.
ZANU PF’s Robert Mugabe insists elections have to be held before the end of
this year, while his arch-rival, Morgan Tsvangirai says they can only be
held next year and after the necessary reforms have been implemented.
Leaders from 15 SADC states, including the principals to the GPA will attend
the summit to discuss regional issues. But the crisis in Zimbabwe will once
again come under the spotlight following recent pronouncements by Mugabe
that he will call for fresh polls this year, with or without a new
constitution. This is according to a SADC official who spoke to SW Radio
Africa on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe will also be on the agenda of the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence
and Security on Thursday. A full SADC summit on Friday will then get a
briefing of the Troika findings from South African President, Jacob Zuma,
who chairs this tripartite grouping.
Zuma’s facilitation team was in Harare on Monday in meeting with GPA
negotiators. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that part of what was
discussed between the negotiators and the facilitation team will form Zuma’s
report to the summit.
Talks between the parties had stalled following disagreements on the timing
of new elections and sharp differences that emerged from the drafting of a
SW Radio Africa understands that Zuma’s team was told a final draft of the
new constitution could be ready by this Friday, clearing the stumbling block
in crafting the election roadmap.
“All Zuma was waiting for all along was the completion of a draft
constitution. Now with guarantees that a draft of the new charter could be
in place by the end of this week is a critical milestone in the next step
towards a responsible ending of this long drawn crisis in Zimbabwe,” a
Analysts however don’t think SADC will let Mugabe call for elections before
a referendum is held and the adoption of a new constitution is in place.
“The most important issue is for SADC to respect its own commitments, for
instance, the appointment of the 3 member team to work with JOMIC and their
insistence for Mugabe to make democratic reforms ahead of new elections,”
the source added.
In March last year, the Troika issued a unusually sharp rebuke to Mugabe,
demanding an end to political violence and insisting that reforms promised
in the GPA are implemented.
29 May 2012
Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington
Political analysts and ordinary Zimbabweans are looking to the forthcoming
Southern African Development Community summit set for Angola beginning of
June to see if regional leaders can make headway in dealing with outstanding
Global Political Agreement issues affecting the shaky coalition government
Of particular importance is SADC's response to pleas by President Robert
Mugabe, who's seeking support from his colleagues to call elections that
will bring to an end the uneasy inclusive government that has been in place
South African President Jacob Zuma, SADC mediator in Harare, on Monday
dispatched his facilitation team to Zimbabwe ahead of a SADC troika meeting
that will hear from all three political parties in the government on
elections. After the troika meeting, Heads of State will meet in summit to
discuss issues that include regional integration and Zimbabwe, among other
Harare insists that Zimbabwe is not on the summit agenda.
Sources privy to Monday's discussions between political party negotiators
and the facilitation team led by Mr. Zuma’s international relations adviser,
Lindiwe Zulu, said there were complaints all around about the slow pace of
the Zuma-led talks in Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF, led by Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, insisted on holding of
elections this year.
But the two MDC formations in the coalition told the facilitators that
election talk in the absence of key democratic reforms was causing political
temperatures to rise unnecessarily in the country.
They urged the facilitators to put pressure on President Mugabe to implement
agreed positions, adding he should also tone down his election rhetoric.
But Zanu PF sources said Mr. Mugabe will make a pitch to his SADC colleagues
to support his push for elections this year even without a new constitution
or key democratic reforms in place.
Pretoria sources, though, say Mr. Zuma is not falling for it.
The Zanu PF-leaning Herald newspaper denied Tuesday that Zimbabwe will be on
the agenda of the SADC Summit, questioning Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's logic to travel to Luanda for a “Head of States” meeting.
But Zuma’s adviser Zulu confirmed to VOA's Blessing Zulu, without divulging
much about her team's Monday visit to Harare, that Zimbabwe will be
discussed at the summit.
Regional coordinator Dewa Mavhinga of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said
Mr. Zuma must continue to insist on reforms in Harare before elections can
Meanwhile, the three political parties in the inclusive government have
since Monday worked with legal experts to audit the draft constitution
against views collected from the public and documents handed over to
The MDC formation of Prime Minister Tsvangirai seconded lawyers Shepherd
Mushonga and Innocent Gonese to the team, while Zanu PF sent Freddy Gijima
and the Welshman Ncube MDC is represented by Josphat Tshuma. The attorneys
are working with the select committee writing the country’s new governing
charter to tie-up lose ends.
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told VOA's
Jonga Kandemiiri the team has so far covered close to 10 out of 17 chapters.
But he added devolution remained an unresolved issue.
Eyewitness News Today, 17:23
ZIMBABWE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday had to cut short a
state visit to China in order to attend an urgent Southern African
Development Community (SADC) meeting in Angola.Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) insiders said the unexpected meeting could indicate that SADC
wants to get tough on Zimbabwe. As a result, Tsvangirai ended his visit
two days early. The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security will meet
on Thursday for an "unexpected meeting".</p><p>On Tuesday, state media said
Zimbabwe was not on the agenda. Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe's
party said that holding polls in 2012 was the logical conclusion to the
coalition deal between Zanu-PF and the MDC. But last week, United
Nations Human Rights Envoy Navi Pillay warned that reforms had to be
implemented before the country heads to the polls
By Staff Reporter 20 hours 24 minutes ago
BEIJING,-- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and highlighted the traditional friendship between the two
peoples and the solid foundation laid between the two political communities.
China is willing to further assist Zimbabwe in fields including education,
public health, agriculture and energy and encourage Chinese companies to
expand their investment in the country, Wen told Tsvangirai.
He proposed that the two nations provide further guidelines for an expansion
of bilateral trade cooperation, promising that China would transfer many
technologies with practical utilities to increase Zimbabwe's capacity
Tsvangirai expressed his gratitude for China's long-term help, saying that
his country will learn from China's successful experience of national
development and step up its trade cooperation with the Asian country.
Prime Minister encouraged the Chinese to invest in Zimbabwe, saying
opportunities exist in mining, agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure
This comes at a time when MDC-T is at the forefront of condemning existing
Chinese investments in Zimbabwe, claiming they are not beneficial.
In his address at the Sino-Africa Trade in Services and Investment Forum in
Beijing yesterday, PM Tsvangirai made a passionate plea to the Chinese to
invest in Zimbabwe.
“For those of you who have yet to invest in our country, you are welcome
especially as we seek to deepen our economic relations on a win-win basis
that serves the interest of our people,” he said.
“We are the new place to do business, not as junior partners, but in
mutually beneficial partnerships that benefit the people of our countries.”
Added PM Tsvangirai: “While we have been dogged by toxic politics, the star
status of Zimbabwe as a natural destination for investment is a matter of
public record — a country with abundant skills and a hospitable people that
yearn for the best for itself and future generations.”
Mr Tsvangirai then attacked Government’s Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment drive that seeks to economically empower indigenous Zimbabweans.
He said the regulations discouraged foreign investment in the country.
“We have many opportunities in mining, agriculture, tourism and
manufacturing and our quest to attract investment has been affected by the
way in which sections of our inclusive Government have gone about
implementing measures to promote the participation of our previously
disadvantaged citizens in the mainstream economy,” PM Tsvangirai said.
He pledged to disable implementation of the regulations.
“But you must appreciate that implementing such measures in an uneasy
coalition government would be difficult and we will continue to mitigate the
excesses of the law pending the next election when I am confident the
elected government will bring finality to this issue,” he said.
PM Tsvangirai blamed lack of investment and prosperity in the country to an
“uneasy coalition” but assured the Chinese that “any company that operates
within the confines of the law has my protection and that of our
He said the country’s economic turnaround efforts were being hindered by
“It is in the economic interest of China and our other developed friends to
work with us to resolve these infrastructural challenges to open up the
African resource and to build markets,” he said.
“China could play a part — both in present and future relations — as we
strive to build a strong economy, use market principles with safety nets and
targeted policies to promote economic and social justice and to provide jobs
and uplift our people.
“I am encouraged that Chinese State-owned enterprises and others have shown
interest in our country.”
PM Tsvangirai is in China on a week-long visit.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
30 May 2011
The murder of Sekuru Cephas Magura, the MDC-T chairman for Ward One Mudzi
North, has again cast a spotlight on the issue of police loyalty to ZANU PF,
and many Zimbabweans are demanding that the perpetrators be punished to the
full extent of the law.
The Mudzi disrict of Mashonaland East is said to be tense and people have
been staying at home whenever possible since Saturday, when a ZANU PF mob of
about 300 attacked 70 MDC-T activists at a rally at Chimukoko Business
centre. The thugs had also put up roadblocks in the area.
According to accounts by those who were at the rally, ZANU PF activists led
by Ward 3 councillor David Chimukoko started toyi-toying and chanting
slogans near the venue of the MDC-T rally. Chimukoko even threatened
Seargents Ngwenya and Mashipe after they told him the rally was cleared.
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe said the reason that the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) requires notification of the police when
holding public events is so that they can be present to ensure there is no
harassment or disturbances. But they always fail to protect the MDC.
“What is worse is that in Mudzi the police were looking on rather than
intervene while people were being beaten. In a very subtle way the police
are the ones perpetuating political violence,” Makumbe explained. He added
that Mugabe will not order the arrests of his own party members because he
would lose support.
Witnesses have said Sekuru Magura went missing after the attack and his body
was found over an hour later, lying by the roadside where the mob had
dragged and left him for dead. The 67-year old official appeared to have
been stoned and kicked repeatedly.
The ZANU PF activists have reportedly claimed Sekuru Magura died after
falling from a moving truck at the scene. However, they did not explain why
they had violently disrupted the rally. Seven other MDC-T activists were
also hospitalised after the attack. Four were treated in Harare and
Graham Nyahada, MDC-T spokesman for Mashonaland East, told SW Radio Africa
that a post mortem examination was being carried out and results would be
soon be released. He said there was no doubt, even to the district police,
that Magura had died from injuries during the assault.
Nyahada is also the provincial co-chairperson for the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC), who are now said to be investigating the
incident. He said six ZANU PF activists have been arrested so far and are
due for a remand hearing Thursday.
Newten Kachepa, the ZANU PF MP for Mudzi North who allegedly drove the ZANU
PF youths to the rally, filed a false report at Kotwa Police Station,
claiming he had been attacked by the MDC members.
Unconfirmed reports said Kachepa was arrested at Parliament on Monday, and
had already been released from custody.
An angry MDC-T member writing on the Facebook social network said: “police
have been ZANU-nised”, suggesting they work only for ZANU PF and do not
protect members of any other party.
The grieving party member blasted the police at Kotwa, saying they refused
to send re-enforcements, even after MDC-T officials offered their truck as
transport. A constable Kachidza allegedly said police do not ride in MDC
vehicles. The truck that was offered had no name written anywhere.
The issue of partisan police and security institutions that publicly declare
loyalty to Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF has been one of the most problematic
issues faced by the political parties working on a roadmap to elections. And
the Mudzi incident is reminder of why this has to change.
Six people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Cephas
Magura, Chairperson for ward 1 Mudzi North. The deceased aged 58 was
severely assaulted at Chimukoko Business Centre on Saturday 26 May 2012 at
around 12pm. He was hit by a stone on the head and fell on the ground and
was severely assaulted by ZANU PF youth who had come to disrupt the rally.
The rally was disrupted just 30 minutes after it started.
by Heal Zimbabwe
It is reported that close to one hundred MDC supporters had gathered at
Chimukoko Business centre for a rally which was sanctioned by the police.
Heal Zimbabwe applaud the police for arresting the six perpetrators but
questions emerge on why the police failed to calm the situation at a rally
that was sanctioned. A sanctioned rally is supposed to have members of the
police to monitor and make sure the rally is peaceful, it was the police’s
duty to protect the victim from the hooligans. It is the responsibility of
the police to protect people from violence regardless of their political
affiliation. The MDC by informing the police means they wanted a peaceful
rally with no disruptions.
Mr. Chikuna who was part of those who attended the rally narrated that
ZANU-PF supporters came and started singing at the same venue they were
having their rally. He states that the violent youth started singing their
party songs and started attacking the people who were at the rally. The MDC
supporters responded by fleeing the venue but the youth pursued them and in
the process hit Mr. Mugura with a stone on the head and he died on the spot.
Six other MDC supporters were assaulted and are still receiving treatment at
a hospital in Harare.
The post mortem results indicate that the late Mr. Mugura was hit on the
head with a blunt object and assaulted all over his body. Mourners are
gathered at Dotso Village, Goronga, Mudzi. The deceased will be laid to rest
on Saturday, 2 June 2012.
Heal Zimbabwe castigates the upsurge of political violence and is surprised
by utterances from political leaders during the visit by the UN Human Rights
Commissioner, Ms Pillay that cases of political violence have stabilized in
Zimbabwe when almost every day there are reports from various parts of the
country of harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders. Eight
people were killed in Mudzi alone in the 2008 political violence. Levels of
political polarization are alarming in the country. JOMIC and the Organ on
National Healing have a daunting task ahead of the oncoming elections. The
scheduled SADC summit should address these issues. We call upon political
activists to walk the talk of peace as a fulfillment of the Global Political
Agreement. We assert and continue to emphasise that the state has to play
its role in prosecuting past perpetrators of political violence and deal
effectively with current cases of impunity.
Violence is on the increase and most of it is politically motivated, a
recent survey by the Combined Harare Residents Association has found.
by Staff Reporter
“Zanu (PF) is still holding on to council premises, from which council is
supposed to be earning rent. But all the money is being pocketed by the
party’s youth militia. Only a quarter of business operators in Mbare pay the
monthly service charges. Most operators who do not sympathize with Zanu (PF)
have been chased away from Magaba, Siyaso, Mupedzanhamo and Masimbi,” says
CHRA reported previously that Mbare market stalls have been turned into Zanu
(PF) districts, with regular party meetings being held and funds collected.
Now it says the party has penetrated residential areas.
“A classic example is Carter House which was violently seized by Chipangano
and currently houses more than 20 youth militia. Efforts by council to
regain the property have on several occasions proved to be bloody, as these
youths can simply unleash violence without fear of consequences,” says the
It adds that “about 87.5% of residents who were knowledgeable of national
institutions like JOMIC and the organ on national healing said these bodies
had failed to mitigate violence”. Research found that residents were still
being coerced to attend Zanu (PF) rallies and those who refuse to do so are
marked for retribution.
Residents have called on the government to address the operations of the
police force “because statements alone will not put to end violence”.
Haggling between Zanu (PF) and MDC-T over the content and scope of the Human
Rights Bill is the major stumbling block to the activation of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission, The Zimbabwean has established.
by Tapiwa Zivira
Touted as the solution to the country’s bad human rights record, ZHRC is yet
to start functioning, two years after the swearing in of its commissioners.
Parliament is finding it difficult to pass the Human Rights Bill that would
give the ZHRC the legal mandate to investigate human rights abuses because
of persistent differences between the two major political parties.
The ZHRC is a provision of the Global Political Agreement, established by
Section 100R of the Constitution Amendment 19, of 2009.
UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay, who visited Zimbabwe last week to assess
the rights situation in the country expressed serious concerns about the
commission and urged that it should start working ahead of the next
She joins the long list of local, regional and international human rights
advocates who have called on the inclusive government to speed up the
implementation of all provisions of the GPA.
Zimbabwe’s polls have become synonymous with political violence and the
commission is regarded as a crucial tool to address past violations and
ensure the avoidance of future abuses.
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa last Friday claimed at
a press conference that MDC-T was frustrating the Bill.
“Last year we, including the two MDCs, agreed on all the issues to be
incorporated into the bill but the MDC parliamentary caucus opposes it every
time I present it in Parliament,” said Chinamasa.
He said it had been agreed that the Commission would only deal with human
rights issues relating ‘‘to the present and future’’. Those pertaining to
the period before the GNU coalition government in 2009 ‘‘will have to be
dealt with through another mechanism’’.
But MDC-T spokesperson, who is also chairperson of the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Douglas Mwonzora, accused
Chinamasa of lying.
“It does not make sense to look at issues after 2009, we did not agree to
that,” he said.
There has been heated debate over how far back the body should investigate
human rights abuses and Zanu (PF) has been adamant that it should only deal
with cases which happened after the formation of the inclusive government in
This has been interpreted as an attempt by the party to get away with the
1980s Gukurahundi killings and the political violence from 2000 to 2008.
Mwonzora said the committee made recommendations for changes to the Human
Rights Bill in October, but the minister had not responded yet.
“The Bill currently does not make sense because we cannot have a commission
that is under the control of the Justice Ministry. That effectively negates
its independence, which is critical,” he said.
The commissioners include Reginald Austin, llen Sithole, Joseph Kurebwa,
Jacob Mudenda, Japhet-Ndabeni Ncube, Sheila Matindike, Elasto Mugwadi, Ona
Jirira and Norma Niseni.
by Business Reporter
NATURAL gas and coal deposits have been discovered on both sides of the
Zimbabwe-Mozambique border, Deputy Mines Minister, Gift Chimanikire has
The discovery was made by Mozambique authorities who indicated that deposits
appeared to extend into Zimbabwean side of the boarder.
If confirmed, the deposits could help transform Manicaland which already
boasts of alluvial diamond deposits said to be among the largest in the
“According to details from the Ministry of Mines in Mozambique, natural gas
from their side is flowing into Zimbabwe,” Chimanikire said.
“There are plans by Government to carry out an aero magnetic survey. It was
initially done in the 1980s but was stopped as a result of a civil war in
Mozambique. We floated a tender that flopped because of irregularities.”
Chimanikire claimed that investors in South Africa had already indicated
interest in exploiting the discoveries adding plans were already underway to
determine the size of the deposits.
“We are going to form a joint venture between Government and the private
sector to carry out the survey and the exploration company will soon go on
the ground. A tender will be floated soon.”
The mining sector has bee credited with helping drive the country’s recovery
from a decade-long recession and in 2011 alone contributed US$2,1 billion to
national exports, representing 50 percent of total foreign exchange
Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, recently said the sector was on course to
archive projected growth of 15,8 percent this year.
30 May 2012
Former ZANU PF Women’s League Political Commissar and Marondera East MP Tracy Mutinhiri has told SW Radio Africa that she was attracted into joining the MDC-T because the party prioritises “putting bread and butter on people’s tables.”
Mutinhiri represented ZANU PF as Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare in the shaky coalition government before she was expelled in August last year for allegedly de-campaigning the party. She joined the MDC-T a few days after the expulsion but the switch was only announced early this month for her own safety.
On Wednesday the ex-wife of retired army Brigadier-General, Ambrose Mutinhiri was a guest on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time. She said when the MDC was formed she was serving as a diplomat in the former Yugoslavia and like many in ZANU PF believed the ‘propaganda’ about ‘how bad the party was’ for Zimbabwe.
“But when I joined the inclusive government and seeing how they were working, how they were functioning, how they would want to reach out to people and bring bread and butter on peoples tables, I said after all this party is not as bad as it was being portrayed and some of their core values I respect them,” she said.
Mutinhiri said her problems in ZANU PF started because she had a good working relationship with her boss, the Minister for Labour and Social Welfare Paurine Mpariwa who is from the MDC-T. She explained: “They (ZANU PF) preferred me to fight with Paurine from time to time, disrupting our government programmes.”
Mutinhiri said things came to a head when she and Mpariwa conducted a government work programme close to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s home area. The PM invited them over to his home and when pictures of Mutinhiri and Mpariwa were published in the MDC-T newsletter, her problems began.
In the interview broadcast Wednesday evening Mutinhiri claimed State Security Minister Sidney Sekeramayi was behind most of her problems because she had turned down his sexual advances. She also blamed the breakdown of her marriage to Brigadier-General Mutinhiri on Sekeramayi and his ‘emissaries.’
Mutinhiri also tackled issues around how she and her ex-husband violently seized their farm from its former white owners, the killing of MDC-T supporters by the Central Intelligence Organisation and the dumping of the bodies in the Wenimbe Dam in Marondera and whether she will stand as an MDC-T candidate.
To listen to the full interview with Tracy Mutinhiri: Click Here
Johannesburg, May 30, 2012- Deputy Minister of Women and Gender Affairs
Jessie Majome conceded at a meeting held in Johannesburg Wednesday that the
Constitutional and Parliamentary Committee’s (Copac) led process was nothing
but political contestation casting doubts of the credibility of the draft
On several occasions the leading constitutional lobby group, the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has argued that the Copac was not going to
deliver a people driven and democratic constitution as the process was
solely controlled by political parties.
“This constitutional process is nothing but politics” Majome said at a civil
society meeting organised by the Action for Conflict Transformation.
“The politics of the constitutional process is acrimonious, there is deep
polarisation in Zimbabwe that a number of issues had to be parked during the
drafting process such as multiple citizenship, number of vice presidents,
devolution and land issue” added Majome.
Majome, who is also Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change secretary
for parliamentary and constitutional affairs, took a swipe at Zanu (PF)
alleging the party was in desperate need of proper legal advice as she
alleged the party exposed ignorance even on obvious issues of human rights.
Demonstrating trivia exposed by Zanu (PF), Majome, added that Zanu (PF) at
certain points spent time arguing even on semantics like ‘good’ preferring
to have such terms omitted.
Majome warned Zanu (PF) should learn from Muammar Gaddafi who desperately
needed human rights defence at the dusk of his political career when holed
up in a trench where he was captured by the rebels.
Zanu (PF) is reported to be calling for the military to be allowed to
participate openly in political processes which is viewed by civil society
as a danger to democracy and accountability. Majome also cited issues of
underfunding of the process that in a way hampered the process.
“The constitutional process is probably one of the under-funded processes in
the world. Currently about US $42 million has been invested in the process
and to complete the exercise might reach the figure of US$46 million”
This figure is minute if compared to other countries like Kenya that
consumed about US $1 billion in its constitutional making process.
The meeting was attended by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, National
Constitutional Assembly, Movement for Democratic Change, Congress of South
Africa Trade Unions among others.
By Professor Matodzi Gweru, May 30, 2012 - Zanu (PF) is facing eviction from
its offices here over unpaid rentals, electricity, water and other charges
amounting to $ 5 667.
The Catering Industry Pension Fund (CIPF), which owns Development House,
which has been home to the former ruling party for several years, has
dragged Zanu (PF) to court seeking its eviction from the Gweru premises for
failing to pay rentals for the past two years.
Summons filed at the High Court early this month by CIPF show that Zanu (PF)
had not been paying rentals, rates and electricity and water charges from
the period August 2010 to April this year.
The pension fund wants the High Court to terminate the lease agreement it
signed with the former ruling party and eject it from occupying its
premises. It also wants the party to pay $5 667 comprising of rental
arrears, electricity and water charges and the cost of detergents and fire
extinguishers used at the premises.
“As a result of the defendant’s breaches aforesaid, plaintiff is legally
entitled to and claims for cancellation of the lease agreement and for the
defendant’s eviction from the leased premises,” CIPF noted in court papers
perused by Radio VOP this week.
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:00
Harare is on high alert following reports of a cholera outbreak in Chiredzi,
the city’s health services director, Dr Prosper Chonzi, has said. Giving an
update on the typhoid situation in Harare, Dr Chonzi
confirmed health officials were on high alert “because of the high mobility
of people between Harare and Chiredzi”.
According to media reports, two people have so far died in Chiredzi while
more than 100 others were treated for cholera.
Dr Chonzi said the city was still far from declaring the typhoid outbreak
over because people are still being treated for the disease. He said the
numbers have gone down drastically from around 90 patients per day to an
average of one or two per day. The longest the city has gone without
recording a single case was 10 days. Dr
Chonzi said council has dismantled the tents at Kuwadzana and Beatrice
Infectious Diseases Hospital which were set up to accommodate the large
numbers of typhoid patients.
“We are now redeploying our staff back to their usual workstations,” he
Zimbabwe experienced a severe cholera outbreak in 2008 that left at least 4
200 people dead.
29 May 2012
Tatenda Gumbo | Washington
Zimbabwe has continued its crackdown on unregistered colleges and private
schools, closing down some 160 uncertified learning institutions.
Last year 124 private colleges and independent training institutions were
shut down while 31 others were de-registered when they failed to comply with
the country's education laws.
Private learning institutions mushroomed in Zimbabwe over the past decade as
the country's public education system collapsed. Now officials are clamping
down on schools that fail to follow laid down rules.
Authorities also say most of these colleges have exploited families and
students out of hard-earned cash, ignoring structured education standards
Zimbabwe National Students Union spokesman Zachariah Mushawatu told VOA the
closing down of these institutions has a greater affect on students who have
invested time and money into their studies.
"There are some unregistered institutions which subscribe to quality
standards that are actually at par," he said. "They employ people that have
the qualifications to impart knowledge."
Mushawatu said the government must weed out the ones working to gain money
College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe president David Dzatsunga supports
the government’s move to close down "dubious" institutions, which he says
down grade education in the country.
"At the end of the day you wonder if these so-called colleges have got the
personnel to offer the kind of quality education Zimbabwe has been famed
for," said Dzatsunga. "You would want to believe that those who may be
attain qualifications in reputable institutions become diluted by these
fly-by-night commercial colleges."
By Alex Bell
30 May 2012
The United Nations (UN) tourism body has insisted that Robert Mugabe has not
been an awarded an official title, after he and his Zambian counterpart were
asked to be tourism ambassadors.
Local and international media have both reported on the shocked and
indignant reaction to the news that Mugabe and Zambia’s Michael Sata had
been selected as tourism leaders. This follows news that the two countries
will jointly host the UN World Tourism Office (UNWTO) General Assembly next
The UN has since been strongly criticised with some reports stating the
decision to choose Mugabe as a ‘tourism leader’ was hypocritical, because of
the UN’s commitment to human rights. Other reports said the decision brings
the UN’s credibility into question, because Mugabe is a known human rights
But the UN grouping has insisted that no official honour or ambassadorial
role has been bestowed on Mugabe or Sata. The UN says it is simply trying to
encourage the African nations to promote tourism as a valuable source of
Sandra Carvao, UNWTO’s co-ordinator of communications, said: “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 open letter implies no legal commitment or title attribution to
the country or the head of state or government in question.”
The move however is still being criticised as a questionable embrace of
Mugabe as a tourism envoy, despite the ageing dictator remaining under
targeted international sanctions.
By Julian Pecquet - 05/30/12 10:36 AM ET
The United Nations has “hit a new low” with its decision to honor Zimbabwe
strongman Robert Mugabe as an international tourism leader, House Foreign
Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said Tuesday.
Mugabe has been accused of rigging elections, cracking down on political
opponents and plunging his country into economic ruin. The president is an
international pariah subject to a travel ban by the United States and the
But on Tuesday, Mugabe and one of his political allies, Zambian President
Michael Sata, inked an agreement for their countries to co-host the United
Nations World Tourism Organization's general assembly in August 2013. The
U.N. also sent Mugabe and Sata a letter asking them to serve as "global
leaders" for tourism.
“The UN has hit a new low with the naming of Mugabe as a UN tourism envoy,
as if North Korea chairing the Conference on Disarmament and Cuba serving as
vice president of the Human Rights Council had not been enough,”
Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “The continued rewards the UN bestows upon
the world’s dictators has reached the point of absurd. An organization
devoted to world peace and stability is propping up and aiding the very
regimes that oppose such ideals. Enough is enough. We need real UN reform
with real consequences for these outrages.”
Ros-Lehtinen is the author of legislation that would enable the United
States to withhold funding for U.N. agencies it disagrees with, such as the
Human Rights Council, which many lawmakers view as being anti-Israel.
In response to international criticism, the UNWTO said it didn't give Mugabe
any tourism title but merely sent him the same “Open Letter on Travel and
Tourism” that more than two dozen other heads of state received. The letter
calls on the leaders to acknowledge tourism as a driver of economic growth
and confers no legal commitment or title, according to the U.N.
Media reports in Great Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial master, said
Mugabe was being named an honorary “ambassador” or “envoy” — titles that the
World Tourism Organization does not even bestow, according to the U.N.
The UNWTO controversy comes just days after U.N. High Commissioner for Human
Rights Navi Pillay called for the suspension of international sanctions
imposed on Zimbabwe since 2002.
"While it is difficult to disentangle the specific causes of Zimbabwe’s
major social and economic ills, there seems little doubt that the existence
of the sanctions regimes has, at the very least, acted as a serious
disincentive to overseas banks and investors. ... Taken together, these and
other unintended side effects will in turn inevitably have had a negative
impact on the economy at large, with possibly quite serious ramifications
for the country’s poorest and most vulnerable populations who have also had
to cope with the political instability and violence as well as a severe
drought,” Pillay said at a press conference at the end of her five-day visit
to the country ahead of new elections that are expected within a year.
“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.”
Zimbabwe's President Mugabe, who signed an agreement to co-host a UN tourism
conference, now has an honorary position as envoy, despite a long record of
human rights abuses.
By Scott Baldauf, Staff writer / May 30, 2012
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe follows proceedings at celebrations to mark
32 years of independence of Zimbabwe, in Harare, in this April 18 file
photo. Mugabe has just been named the UN’s international envoy for tourism,
despite a long record of human rights abuses.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has just been named the UN’s
international envoy for tourism. It’s a special recognition for Mr. Mugabe’s
agreement to co-host, with Zambia, a United Nations World Tourism
Organization general assembly next August.
At a ceremony in Victoria Falls, Mugabe said the agreement between Zimbabwe,
Zambia, and the United Nations is of “historical importance.”
“For our people, the signing of the agreement attests to our commitment, our
readiness to welcome the entire tourism fraternity to our countries,” Mugabe
was quoted by the independent Zimbabwe newspaper NewsDay as saying. “For the
UN World Tourism Organisation, on the other hand, the signatures testify to
the confidence and trust that was bestowed upon us.”
That Mugabe, a man who faces a European Union travel ban and economic
sanctions because of his repression and torture of opposition activists,
would be named a UN envoy for tourism has drawn a certain amount of
Mr. Mugabe’s ruling party is accused of arresting, detaining, and in some
cases killing members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
during the 2008 national elections. He later formed a coalition government
with the MDC, after an 11-month stalemate in which the national currency
became worthless and inflation soared to more than 1 million percent.
Mugabe is also blamed for a violent land-reclamation campaign, in which
armed thugs stormed and took over the property of white commercial farmers,
as well as the Gukurahundi counterinsurgency campaign in the early 1980s
against the rival ZAPO militant group in the Matabeleland region, which
killed as many as 20,000 people.
So Mugabe’s selection as UN tourism envoy is not an obvious choice.
At the Victoria Falls ceremony, where Mugabe and Zambian President Michael
Sata signed an agreement to hold the UNWTO assembly, the UN’s Taleb Rifai
told a gathering, “By coming here, it is recognition, an endorsement on the
country that it is a safe destination."
Zimbabwe once had a thriving tourism industry, both before and after the
fall of the racist white Rhodesian government to Mugabe’s ZANU-PF majority
government in 1980. Then, tourists flocked to see the gorgeous Victoria
Falls or trundled around game parks to see lions, elephants, and rhinos in
their native environment. Economic collapse and political instability
changed all that, and Mugabe’s hanging on to power for 32 years has given
the local tourism industry little incentive to grow. A UN conference will
certainly add a little jingle in a few pockets, but once the suited
diplomats leave, there is little indication that Zimbabwe’s tourism industry
is heading toward a revival.
Members of the MDC, an opposition party that now shares power with Mugabe’s
ZANU-PF, condemned the UN’s honoring of Mugabe.
"I can't see any justification for the man being an 'ambassador,' " Kumbi
Muchemwa, an MDC spokesman told the Guardian newspaper. "An ambassador for
what? The man has blood on his hands. Do they want tourists to see those
Mugabe's spokesman Rugare Gumbo told the Telegraph that the "situation on
the ground in Zimbabwe is not as bad as portrayed."
There have been rumors for years that Mugabe would like to step down from
power, and pave the way for a peaceful succession for his ZANU-PF to remain
in power, so the seeming rehabilitation of Mugabe by various UN agencies
could be seen as a gentle nudge toward honorable retirement.
Navi Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged Europe and
the US to lift economic sanctions and travel bans against Mugabe and his
inner circle of supporters because all three of the major parties in
Zimbabwe now oppose them. Lifting sanctions would allow Zimbabwe to hold a
fresh round of elections, perhaps by early next year, Ms. Pillay said.
"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 told journalists on May 25,
following a five day trip to Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.
Could a few honorary degrees, an honorary ambassadorship, and a few thousand
tourists persuade Mugabe to step down from power? Perhaps. It’s certainly a
cheaper alternative to war
Sapa-AP | 30 May, 2012 11:53
Taylor, 64, was convicted last month of all 11 counts of war crimes and
crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone's Revolutionary
United Front (RUF) during the country's brutal 1991-2001 civil war.
In return, the court said, he was paid in diamonds mined by slave labour in
areas under control of the rebels, who murdered, raped and kept sex slaves,
hacked off limbs and forced children under 15 to fight.
"The accused has been found responsible for aiding and abetting some of the
most heinous crimes in human history," said Special Court for Sierra Leone
judge Richard Lussick on Wednesday.
"The trial chamber unanimously sentences you to a single term of
imprisonment for 50 years on all counts," the judge said as he announced the
ruling of the court based at Leidschendam, just outside The Hague.
"The trial chamber noticed that the effects of these crimes on the families
and society as a whole in Sierra Leone was devastating," Lussick said in
handing down the ruling, the first sentence against a former head of state
in an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in 1946.
Taylor, wearing gold-rimmed glasses and dressed in a dark suit and gold tie,
listened with his eyes closed as the judge handed down the sentence, which
Taylor's team, and prosecutors, have two weeks to appeal.
Early this month, chief prosecutor Brenda Hollis argued for 80 years behind
bars for Taylor, once one of west Africa's most powerful men and a driving
force behind Sierra Leone's decade-long war which claimed 120,000 lives.
His defence argued such a sentence would be "excessive".
Throughout the trial, Taylor himself maintained his innocence and insisted
he was instrumental in eventually ending Sierra Leone's civil war.
He will remain in the UN's detention unit in The Hague until his appeal
procedure is finalised.
Taylor's sentence will be served in a British prison. London's offer in 2007
to host Taylor in custody if he was found guilty was part of the deal to put
him on trial in the Netherlands-based court.
The trial, which lasted nearly four years, wrapped up in March 2011.
It saw several high-profile witnesses testify, including supermodel Naomi
Campbell, who told of a gift of "dirty diamonds" she received in 1997 at a
charity ball hosted by South Africa's then president Nelson Mandela.
Handing down the verdict last month, Judge Lussick stressed that although
Taylor had substantial influence over the RUF, including its feared leader
Foday Sankoh, this "fell short of command and control" of rebel forces.
Sankoh died in 2003 before he could face trial.
Authorities in Nigeria arrested Taylor in March 2006 as he tried to flee
from exile after being forced to quit Liberia three years earlier, under
international pressure to end that country's own civil war.
He was transferred to The Hague in mid-2006 amid security fears should he go
on trial in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown.
Taylor's sentencing came 66 years after the International Military Tribunal
at Nuremberg sentenced admiral Karl Donitz to 10 years in jail for his part
in Nazi crimes during World War II. Adolf Hitler had appointed Donitz his
successor shortly before committing suicide in Berlin in 1945.
UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, last week urged the EU and US to
suspend the restrictive measures against President Robert Mugabe, his
lieutenants in Zanu (PF) and companies aligned to the party, saying they
were hurting the poor. The Zimbabwean interviewed ordinary people, who
expressed mixed feelings over the Commissioner’s call.
by Tapiwa Zivira
Never Ndoro, 39, a Glen Norah airtime vendor said sanctions did not have an
impact and were just used by Zanu (PF) as a scapegoat.
“Zanu (PF) has run out of excuses to remain in power, that is why the
President continues to tell the world that he will remain in power until
sanctions have been removed. These measures do not have any impact on the
economy of the country,” said Ndoro.
Another airtime vendor, who identified himself as Charity, argued that
sanctions must be removed because they give Zanu (PF) a chance to sell
itself as a martyred party.
“If they fail to deliver as a party, they just use sanctions as an excuse to
whip up people’s emotions against other parties. So sanctions must go
because some people really believe what Zanu (PF) says when they say
everyone must unite behind them against the West,” said Charity.
“But have you ever seen the West coming to destroy agricultural production?
Or is it the West that unleashed violence against the people of Zimbabwe in
2008? Why blame the sanctions if Mugabe and his party are the ones to
blame?” he asked.
Asked about Pillay’s statement urging ‘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,’ Wendy Musari (22)
of Engineering, Highfield accused the EU and the United States of being
insincere about facilitating democratic reform in Zimbabwe.
“It is clear that these sanctions continue to be an issue that is occupying
a lot of space in the GNU. If they are removed, there can be more time to
focus on other issues like economic reform and the creation of a peaceful
election environment. If the US and EU are sincere about proper reform and
free and fair elections, they must give Zimbabwe the benefit of doubt and
remove sanctions to allow reform to take place,” said Musari. A Zanu (PF)
youth member, who identified himself only as Comrade Dee, said Pillay’s
statements were welcome given that his party has been advocating for the
removal of sanctions for nearly a decade now.
“Pillay must be praised for being realistic about the sanctions issue and
the Americans and Europeans must immediately remove the sanctions because
they are all members of the UN,” he said.
“In essence, Pillay’s statement is a sign that the international advocacy
against sanctions by Zanu (PF) has worked and we must consolidate that
achievement by making noise to the EU and US to scrap the sanctions,” he
A Highfield electrician, Tinashe Muskwe (24), said Pillay’s assessment
regarding the sanctions was wrong.
“I do not think sanctions affect us as a nation. They only affect certain
targeted individuals and these are the ones who complain about them,” said
He said President Mugabe should instead ensure that there were democratic
elections before the sanctions could be lifted. “If sanctions are removed,
Zanu (PF) will feast on that and unleash violence that will hinder free and
fair elections” said Muskwe.
But Madzibaba Arnold of the Johanne Masowe WeChishanu Apostolic sect in
Budiriro 5 thinks Pillay’s statements come at the right time. “Sanctions
must be removed forthwith to set the pace for economic development as there
will be no more excuses for economic failure,” he said.
Madzibaba added that the UN must actively participate to lobby for the
removal of these restrictive measures instead of just talking.
May 30, 2012 1:20 pm by Tony Hawkins
Last week Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said sanctions
on Zimbabwe applied by some Western countries were having “a negative impact
on the economy at large, with quite possibly serious ramifications for the
country’s poorest and most vulnerable populations”. Her claim does not bear
Nor does her assertion that the sanctions, on more than a hundred
individuals and on businesses owned by the ruling Zanu-PF and the state, are
“a disincentive to overseas banks and investors” and have “limited certain
exports and imports”.
Official data tell a very different story. In the three years since the
country dollarised at the start of 2009, GDP growth has averaged 8 per cent
a year – the fastest yet achieved over such a period since Independence 32
Inflation has averaged less than one per cent a year, while exports have
increased 40 per cent annually – about ten times the growth rate of world
trade. Imports – far from being limited by sanctions as Pillay says – have
almost trebled to reach an unsustainable 75 per cent of GDP in 2011. The
trade gap trebled from $1bn in 2008 to $3bn last year.
Pillay’s comments on investment and foreign loans are equally wide of the
mark. Foreign direct investment rose from $105m in 2009 to $373m last year
while portfolio inflows, mostly through the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, are put
at $140m. In the last two years the country has borrowed $1.2bn offshore.
The real reason why Zimbabwe’s offshore borrowing is constrained is the
country’s foreign debt arrears of over $7bn (70 per cent of GDP). Targeted
sanctions are not part of the equation.
To claim that the vulnerable and poorest segments of the country’s 11m
people are suffering because of financial and travel sanctions imposed on
president Robert Mugabe and his closest supporters is misguided. Per capita
incomes have risen five per cent a year for the last three years – the first
such growth since the mid-1990s. Some 45,000 new formal sector jobs were
created in 2010 (there are no employment data yet for 2011) after a decade
in which over half a million people lost their jobs. Meanwhile, average real
wages have more than doubled since 2008.
Living standards and employment collapsed in the “lost decade” to 2008, not
because targeted sanctions were imposed in 2002 but because Mugabe’s Zanu-PF
government adopted economically disastrous policies, from fast track land
reform to reckless central bank credit creation that culminated in the
collapse of the currency and the disappearance of the Zimbabwe dollar at the
end of 2008.
The subsequent turnaround in the Zimbabwe economy is primarily the result of
dollarisation with a little bit of – usually exaggerated – help from the
inclusive government headed by Mugabe and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai
since February 2009. Whatever adverse effects the sanctions have had were
swamped by the positive impact of exchange rate stabilization which squeezed
hyperinflation out of the system in just a few weeks, reviving the financial
sector and restoring business confidence, at least in the short term.
But the dollarization bounce is beginning to run of steam. Economists say
GDP growth in 2012 is likely to be little more than the estimated 9 per cent
achieved last year. Because sanctions have had minimal economic and social
impact, their immediate suspension, advocated by Pillay, would not stimulate
economic growth. Instead, it would give Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party a boost
before elections to be held sometime over the next 18 months – thereby
putting at risk the fragile gains achieved during the last three years.
May 30th, 2012
“Zimbabwe has just celebrated its 32 years of self-rule, all dominated by one political party and the same ‘big man’. It is a country at a crossroad… in dire need of renewal, and that renewal can no longer come from the old-guard nor the party of independence,” writes Tapera Kapuya, a Zimbabwean analyst with the National Endowment for Democracy in Australia.
“… The current situation suggests considerable cause for concern for anyone interested in Zimbabwe’s democratic transition. The unity government constitutionally comes to an end mid-2013 and elections or another political negotiation, or both, will determine the country’s immediate future…,” Kapuya says. “For Zanu-PF, the unity government gave it room to breathe, weaken the opposition, and buy time (for) Mugabe has never really shared any power at all…. Zanu-PF has retreated to its liberation war tactics, in particular, reactivating the party’s political-military alliance…. It is this political-military alliance that guides Zanu-PF’s march into its future.”
During March, it became increasingly clear that President Mugabe and a significant number of his powerful ‘old guard’ are driving a call for general elections as early as mid-2012 and are bent on determining when they are held. Mugabe has also threatened to abandon the completion of a draft new Constitution and force through elections under the old ‘Lancaster House’ Constitution of 1979, which some believe could effectively and irrevocably collapse the Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed in September 2008.
Violence is reported by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) politicians and NGOs to be on the increase, both in rural and urban areas, to the extent that some MDC MPs cannot safely enter their own constituencies. Zanu-PF’s evolving ‘parallel administration’ is openly seeking support and resources from China and Iran, while diamonds are reportedly being clandestinely siphoned off and sold to build up Zanu-PF’s ‘war chest’. Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is brazenly admitting that the indigenisation exercise is designed to be a vote-buying exercise to benefit Zanu-PF supporters.
On the ground, Zanu-PF’s entrenched abuse of State apparatus is clearly demonstrated in the current and almost routine banning of numerous MDC rallies and gatherings, and the illegal arrest of their members for attending legitimate private party meetings. The police crackdown on student voices is also escalating. In the rural areas, hijacking of donor food aid by Zanu-PF officials is becoming increasingly commonplace once again, with food being openly denied to many MDC supporters close to starvation. The main causes of the food deficit are drought conditions – mainly in the traditionally drought-prone provinces – and the collapse of commercial agriculture.
In Parliament, Zanu-PF is deliberately blocking debate on any legislation that could potentially strengthen the hand of coalition parties. The allocation of licences to ‘free the airwaves’ is being blocked by the skewed and delayed allocation of licences.
A total of 78 media articles were recorded during March for ZIG Watch, each representing a unique breach of the terms of the GPA. Representative statistics were generated by categorising the articles according to the nature of the breach.
The greatest number of violations involved the category featuring cases of legal harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters. This was followed by cases of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality. Next were cases of denial of the right to freedom of speech, or the abuse of freedom of speech, while the fourth highest involved cases of deliberate or consequential economic destabilisation. Zanu-PF was either responsible for, or involved in, all breaches recorded.
Of particular note is the number of cases of legal harassment, at 38.5% of the total, which far outstripped the second highest category of violence and intimidation – at 16.7%. This is clearly owing to the deliberate use of delays and postponements by amenable judges and State prosecutors to drag out cases as long as possible. The strategy is to keep MDC supporters and perceived opponents of Zanu-PF tied up in court or on remand, to curtail their political activities, cripple them financially and systematically demoralise them, thus limiting their effectiveness.
Within the 78 recorded breaches for March are at least 13 different cases of legal harassment. These range from a high-profile murder trial to the clandestine harassment by police of the mainstream Anglican Church in Harare which is being victimised by ex-communicated Anglican bishop Nobert Kunonga, an ardent supporter of President Mugabe.
During April, Sokwanele observed a small number of notable changes in the political landscape that may turn out to be significant in the short to medium term. The general chaos and levels of violence, harassment and corruption have not changed but, significantly, President Mugabe’s plans to railroad through an early general election have hit a serious snag.
Zanu-PF had been uniting to attack and discredit the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC)-led process and its new draft Constitution, which could lead to a constitutional crisis. However, in the interim, Zanu-PF’s internal political succession issues have escalated over the month at an alarming rate, with severe outbreaks of violence. So serious is the problem that President Mugabe has spoken openly about it in public, and there are indications that he may be changing his stance on early elections to give Zanu-PF time to get its house in order.
In the business sector, Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere continued to cause alarm and despondency to the point of economic destabilisation in his relentless and at times patently illegal drive to seize control of companies owned by foreigners or whites. Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo exacerbated the level of chaos by obstructing, discrediting or removing elected MDC officials in Local Councils across the country. Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa finally admitted to subverting the legally established process of diamond sales, a fact previously believed, but now confirmed.
A total of 61 media articles were recorded during April for ZIG Watch. As was the case in March, the greatest number of violations involved cases of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality. This was followed closely by cases of legal harassment of perceived opposition politicians and supporters. Cases of deliberate or consequential economic destabilisation shared a joint third place with cases of subversion of legal, or legally established processes. Zanu-PF was either responsible for, or involved in 98.4% of all breaches recorded.
To complete our report, we have compiled and appended ten articles to represent media coverage of events in relation to the GPA during March and April. This list is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive because of the sheer volume of articles. We invite our readers to review the list of summarised articles, original articles (links provided) and previously captured articles, on the webpage http://www.sokwanele.com/zigwatch and ask you to share this information with your colleagues and other interested parties.
Our first article for March is in the harassment category and retells the painfully long history of efforts to arrange bail for 29 MDC-T members facing charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View. On 19 March the application was postponed for the seventh time. This time the postponement was due to a power blackout in central Harare. The activists now have to wait until 21 March for the hearing to go before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu. Twice during the previous week the hearing was postponed because the Judge reportedly fell sick. Prior to this, Judge Felistas Chitakunye postponed the hearing twice to examine the defence’s bail application. When the defence filed for a fresh bail application soon after the group was taken into custody early this month, the hearing was postponed to allow State prosecutors time to make a response.
Armed police officers raided the Harare residence of MDC-T Chief of Staff, Abisha Nyanguwo, at around 5am on 22 March, searching for weapons of war. Nyanguwo’s lawyer denied them entry as they did not have a search warrant. Reinforcements arrived with a search warrant, claiming that the raid was in connection with the bombing of Zanu-PF’s Gweru offices in December 2011. The search failed to reveal any weapons and no-one was arrested. Police then impounded Nyanguwo’s vehicle, alleging that it had been used in the bombing. It is believed that the bombing is another set-up job by Zanu-PF, and that police are trying to manufacture evidence in order to frame Nyanguwo for the supposed ‘crime’.
A report dated 2 March indicates that police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri has involved himself in a legal battle with women activists who claim police are forcing them to remove their underwear in dirty police holding cells, while withholding sanitary wear. It is common practice for those in detention to be forced to wear only one piece of clothing on the upper body, and one on the lower. This forces women in dresses into the dehumanising position of going without underwear, tantamount to violence against women. Lawyers for the women are taking legal action against Chihuri after he admitted to holding female suspects in male prison cells and vowed not to provide sanitary wear for the inmates. The appalling and unsanitary conditions at Harare Central Police Station holding cells are degrading in the extreme and are likely to lead to further outbreaks of disease. In one example, a woman was advised by a male police officer to wipe herself with her bare hands after using the toilet because there was no toilet paper.
The racially-driven indigenisation exercise being championed by Zanu-PF has ironically come to haunt one of its rich and controversial white supporters. In a report dated 11 March, the US$600 million Chisumbanje ethanol project is threatened with collapse as Zanu-PF chefs, including Cabinet ministers, demand free shares in the venture under the guise of indigenisation, after realising its financial potential. The project is a partnership between the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and Billy Rautenbach’s Green Fuels, Rating and Macdom Investments in a 20-year Build-Operate-and-Transfer arrangement signed in 2009. The greedy politicians are claiming Rautenbach, born in Zimbabwe, but not ‘indigenous’, has to cede a 51% shareholding to them in accordance with the Indigenisation Act. “He is Zimbabwean, but of the wrong colour,” said the source.
Freedom of speech continues to be under assault. In a report dated 23 March, Information Minister Webster Shamu snubbed calls for media reforms, which were allegedly ordered by the principals of the GPA. Prime Minister Tsvangirai told journalists last month he had met with President Mugabe and Deputy President Mutambara, who had agreed to reform the boards of three key media institutions, as the latter had been illegally appointed. They gave Shamu until March 12 to implement changes. Minister Shamu deliberately delayed until now when, according to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), he said the boards of the ZBC and Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) are “here to stay” because they were appointed “legally”. The third board is that of the Mass Media Trust.
In April’s category of violence, intimidation, hate speech, threats, abductions and brutality, the consequences of Zanu-PF’s violent and inhumane intimidation of rural villagers are recorded. This is a worrying situation being repeated across the country. In an article dated 1 April, desperate Buhera villagers blamed Zanu-PF officials and war veterans for exposing them to permanent hunger after they chased away two NGOs providing them with food. The long dry spell has hit villagers hard. “If we do not get food soon people might die. The NGOs ran irrigation schemes that sustained us. Now they have gone, most of us are hungry,” said a village elder in Chief Nyashanu’s area. “The donors worked tirelessly to save us from hunger. I do not have anyone to look after me. The donors used to look after me, but they have gone. Who will look after me?” an elderly villager asked.
The next article, dated 13 April, shows the impunity with which Zanu-PF thugs perpetrate violence – this time in a high-density suburb near Harare. The violent Zanu-PF youth gang, Chipangano that has terrorised residents of Mbare has started campaigning for the party. Innocent residents are being forced to reveal their personal details and are being ordered to vote for Robert Mugabe in the next election. Gang members have been regularly forcing anyone they can find to attend Zanu-PF rallies in the area. In a recent incident on 7 April near Mbare Netball Complex, people with no identity documents had to reveal their personal details to the group, on the promise that Chipangano would approach the Registrar General for ‘help’ in registering them to vote.
Also in the category of violence, but this time within Zanu-PF, members turned on each other at a party meeting in Nyanga on 26 April to discuss the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections. The meeting disintegrated into an all-out brawl, as tensions between rival factions of Zanu-PF came to a head, and scores sustained minor injuries. Riot police were called to separate the warring factions, but no-one was arrested. Skirmishes are common in Zanu-PF politics, but this incident was particularly violent and is significant because it marks an escalation of the showdown between loyalists of Vice President Joice Mujuru and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The category profiling cases of subversion of legal, or legally established processes includes an article dated 14 April which reports that Finance Minister Tendai Biti (MDC-T) has criticised the manner in which the indigenisation law is being interpreted and applied. He implicitly dismissed the overtures being made by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, who has threatened to seize substantial shareholding of banks, under the guise of the law. “This act has been misinterpreted…,” said Biti, “… [it] says it is the intention to reach … 51% ownership, so it’s discretionary. …..” Kasukuwere has also threatened to nationalise mines, where such provision does not exist in the law.
In a surprising turn of events, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has confirmed widespread fears of ongoing military involvement in the country’s diamond industry. Mnangagwa told an audience at Midlands State University in Gweru on 25 April that army deals were struck with diamond companies from China, Russia and other nations as part of efforts to counter Western targeted sanctions. He said the trade deals “to a large extent, stabilise industry and eliminate chances of internal economic sabotage.” This information may well explain the low receipts from diamond sales as received by the Ministry of Finance.
hearing for 29 MDC-T activists postponed for 7th time
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 19/03/2012
The bail hearing for 29 MDC-T members, facing charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, was on Monday postponed for the seventh time. Monday’s postponement was due to a power blackout in central Harare. The activists now have to wait until Wednesday for the hearing to go before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu. Twice last week the hearing was postponed because the Judge fell sick. Before that Judge Felistas Chitakunye postponed the hearing twice to examine the state’s response to the defence’s bail application. When the defence filed for a fresh bail application, soon after the group was taken into custody early this month, the hearing was postponed to allow state prosecutors time to make a response.
raid senior MDC official’s Harare home
Armed police officers today at around 5am, raided the residence of MDC Chief of Staff, Abisha Nyanguwo in Harare, claiming to search for weapons of war, before they impounded his Isuzu double cab vehicle. Police went to Nyanguwo’s house but were denied entry by his lawyer because they did not have a search warrant. Police called for reinforcements and officers from Harare’s Law and Order Section arrived with a search warrant, claiming the raid was in connection with the bombing of Zanu-PF’s Gweru offices. They searched the house but failed to find any weapons and no-one was arrested. Police then impounded his vehicle on allegations that it had been used to bomb the Gweru offices in December 2011.
sucked in underwear fight
Daily News (ZW): 02/03/2012
Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri is involved in a fight with women activists who claim police are forcing them to remove their underwear in dirty police holding cells, while withholding sanitary wear. Lawyers for the women are taking legal action against Chihuri after he admitted to holding female suspects in male prison cells and vowed not to provide sanitary wear for the inmates. So appalling are the conditions at Harare Central Police Station holding cells that one of the women taking Chihuri to court says she was advised by a male police officer to use bare hands to clean herself after using the toilet because there was no toilet paper, according to court papers.
chefs plan to grab ethanol project
Zimbabwe Standard, The (ZW): 11/03/2012
The US$600 million Chisumbanje ethanol project is threatened with collapse as Zanu-PF chefs, including Cabinet ministers, demand free shares in the lucrative venture under the guise of indigenisation. “The sharks have realised the potential of the project and their mouths are wide open, ready to pounce,” said one of the sources. The project is a partnership between the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and Billy Rautenbach’s Green Fuels, Rating and Macdom Investments in a 20-year Build-Operate-and-Transfer arrangement signed in 2009. Some politicians claim Rautenbach, born in Zimbabwe, but not indigenous, has to cede 51% shareholding to them in accordance with the Indigenisation Act. “He is Zimbabwean, but of the wrong colour,” said the source.
Information Minister says no to media reforms
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 23/03/2012
Information Minister Webster Shamu has snubbed calls for media reforms, which were allegedly ordered by the principals of the GPA. Prime Minister Tsvangirai told journalists last month he had met with Mugabe and Mutambara, who had agreed to reform the boards of three key media institutions, as the latter had been illegally appointed. They gave Shamu until March 12th to implement changes. But Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba caused confusion immediately after the announcement by dismissing the claims, saying no reforms had been agreed to and the boards were legal. Minister Shamu delayed until now, when, according to ZBC, he said the boards of the ZBC and Broadcasting Authority (BAZ) are “here to stay” because they were appointed “legally”.
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 01/04/2012
Desperate Buhera villagers have blamed Zanu-PF officials and war veterans for exposing them to permanent hunger after they chased away two NGOs providing them with food. The long dry spell has hit them hard. “If we do not get food soon people might die. We had irrigation schemes that sustained us with the help of NGOs. Since they have gone, most of us are hungry,” said Tonderai Mushavaviri, a village elder in Chief Nyashanu area. “The donors worked tirelessly to save us from hunger. I do not have anyone to look after me. The donors used to look after me, but they have gone. Who will look after me?” said an elderly villager, Stanslaas Taremeredzwa.
Chipangano gang campaigning for Zanu-PF
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 13/04/2012
The violent Zanu-PF youth gang that has terrorised residents of Mbare suburb in Harare has started campaigning for the party, forcing innocent civilians to reveal their personal details and ordering them to vote for Robert Mugabe in the next election. The gang, operating with impunity and the support of top Zanu-PF officials, has been regularly forcing residents, vendors and passers-by to attend Zanu-PF rallies held in the area. The most recent incident occurred last Saturday at Number Five grounds near Mbare Netball Complex, where people with no identity documents were forced to reveal their details to the group, on the promise that Chipangano would approach the Registrar General for help in registering them to vote.
supporters come to blows in Nyanga
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 26/04/2012
A Zanu-PF meeting to discuss the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections disintegrated into an all-out brawl on Thursday, as tensions between rival factions came to a head in Nyanga. Scores of people sustained minor injuries. Police in riot gear intervened and managed to separate the warring factions. No one was arrested. While skirmishes are common in Zanu-PF’s messy politics, Thursday morning’s incident at the Nyanga Country Club appeared to be particularly violent and marks an escalation in the showdown between the political camps of Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa. The reason for the violence was differences of opinion regarding the conduct of the DCC elections.
misinterpreting indigenisation law — Biti
Zimbabwe Standard, The (ZW): 14/04/2012
Finance minister Tendai Biti has criticised the manner in which the indigenisation law is being interpreted and applied. He implicitly dismissed the overtures being made by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, who threatened to seize substantial shareholding of banks under the guise of the law. “This act has been misinterpreted. … this act says it shall be the endeavour of government to ensure that every company in Zimbabwe that is foreign-owned is at least 51%-owned (locally),” said Biti. Said Biti, “The law does not say that every foreign-owned company shall be 51%-owned, … [it] says it is the intention to reach … 51% ownership, so it’s discretionary. …..”
admits army involvement in diamond trade
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 25/04/2012
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has confirmed fears of ongoing military involvement in the country’s diamond industry, which human rights campaigners have for years linked to abuses in the Chiadzwa diamonds fields. Mnangagwa told an audience at Midlands State University in Gweru that army deals were struck with diamond companies from China, Russia and other nations as part of efforts to counter Western targeted sanctions. He said the trade deals “to a large extent, stabilise industry and eliminate chances of internal economic sabotage.” Analyst Clifford Mashiri meanwhile said there is little surprise that China and Russia have been linked to the Zimbabwean army, saying it justifies concerns already raised about their dealings in the local diamond industry.
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES
[29th May 2012]
Committee Meetings Open to the Public 28th to 31st May
Parliament has circulated one change to the list of open committee meetings notified in the Bill Watch – Parliamentary Committees Series bulletin dated 28th May. The committee concerned is the Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprise. Its meeting originally scheduled for today at 10 am will now be held on Thursday with a different agenda [see below].
For the convenience of interested parties we set out the full revised list of open meetings for Thursday only [there are no committee meetings on Wednesday 30th May]:
Thursday 31st May at 9 am
Portfolio Committee: Small & Medium Enterprises [AS RESCHEDULED]
Oral evidence from Zimbabwe National Cooperative Federation on their operations and challenges
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon R. Moyo Clerk: Ms Mushunje
Thematic Committee: Human Rights
Oral evidence from Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee on its operations
Committee Room No. 2
Chairperson: Hon Marava Clerk: Ms Macheza
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied