Harare, May 05, 2012- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi
Pillay will visit Zimbabwe for the first time on 20 May, her office
She was supposed to have visited in early February but her trip was abruptly
cancelled with the Zimbabwean government claiming that she was engaged
“UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will also on 20 May begin the first
ever mission by a UN Human Rights chief to Zimbabwe, at the invitation of
the Government,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights announced Thursday”.
Pillay is due to meet President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Legal Affairs and
other ministers, as well as the Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament,
President of Senate and Thematic Committee of Human Rights.”
She will also meet the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and members of civil
society in the country on her highly anticipated trip.
Her office said she is also considering a number field visits within and
outside Harare, including to the Marange Diamond Fields.
The South African has in the past raised concern over the rising human
rights abuses in the country and called for the restoration rule of law and
address abuses committed against Zimbabwean citizens.
Written by Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Saturday, 05 May 2012 12:13
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has admitted that Zanu PF risks losing the
next elections due to its penchant for violence, factionalism and
vote-rigging, which are tearing away the former ruling party.
Zanu PF has been embroiled in serious intra-party violence countrywide as
factions battling to replace the 88-year-old leader fight for control of
district coordinating committee (DCC) elections.
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Joice Mujuru are said
to be leading two known factions seeking to replace Mugabe both as party and
Mugabe told hundreds of Zanu PF supporters and soldiers gathered at the
National Heroes Acre yesterday for the burial of politburo member Edson
Ncube that the on-going squabbles left the party open to another electoral
“We are looking forward to holding elections after this so-called
constitution-making process. Let us not continue with disunity, we are now
picking up from the blow of 2008 March elections. Let us unite,” Mugabe
pleaded with his supporters.
Mugabe said he had evidence suggesting that vote-rigging was rampant within
“I have in my possession letters written during DCC elections instructing
people not to vote for someone.
They say do not vote for so and so, who are you? This is bad,” an emotional
Mugabe said at the top of his voice.
Mugabe said vote rigging was tarnishing the image of his party.
“If the people do not like you, it will not change. People will not vote for
you on that basis. What you are doing is going to destroy the party,” said
The ageing leader has already tasted defeat to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
who is likely to be his main opponent in the coming elections.
Tsvangirai won the first round of the 2008 polls but failed to gain enough
votes to make him President, at least according to figures released by
Tsvangirai pulled out of a subsequent run-off citing gross violence,
resulting in Mugabe contesting the election as a solo candidate. He was
forced into a coalition with Tsvangirai after African leaders rejected the
As Mugabe and Zanu PF publicly clamour for a general election this year,
chaos rocking the former liberation movement indicates a party ill-prepared
for such a watershed poll.
Last week, Zanu PF was battling to put its house in order in Manicaland,
Masvingo and Bulawayo provinces as allegations of vote rigging along
factional lines took centre stage.
In Manicaland, fist-fighting erupted as disgruntled party members besieged
the Zanu PF provincial headquarters demanding the resignation of Mike
Madiro, the provincial chairperson. Party supporters are also claiming DCC
elections in the province were rigged.
In Masvingo South, armed police had to fire in the air to disperse fighting
supporters after a faction said to be aligned to Mujuru rejected results of
the chaotic polls held last week.
Members of the faction want the elections nullified.
Mugabe also appeared to take aim at some of his close loyalists who went
against the party policy and engaged with the West in what appeared to be
plots to oust him as revealed by whistle blowing website, WikiLeaks.
Senior party officials, among them former information minister and serial
political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo, discussed party secrets with US
diplomats and ways to remove Mugabe.
“It is shame that some still believe in whites as the only people who can
assist them. If you still believe in that, you are not a member of the
liberation movement. You do not belong to us,” said Mugabe.
Ncube died last Sunday at the age of 74, and was buried at the national
shrine where both MDC factions snubbed the burial.
Only mainstream MDC minister for Water Resources Sipepa Nkomo attended.
04 May 2012
Blessing Zulu | Washington
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who has been calling for fresh polls to
end the uneasy coalition government, is considering pushing the elections to
next year as fissures continue to grow in his ZANU-PF party as factions
position themselves to take over from the veteran leader.
Lambasting party officials on Friday for fanning factionalism, Mugabe said
elections would be held following a constitutional referendum. In the past
he has threatened to call elections this year even in the absence of a new
constitution and other democratic reforms.
Sources say infighting has spiraled out of control, and is worsened by
so-called securocrats demanding to be included in key party structures.
The party’s supreme decision-making body, the politburo, has scheduled a
special session to discuss the divisions.
The sources say senior party officials loyal to factions allegedly led by
Vice President Joyce Mujuru and Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, traded
barbs in the politburo Thursday.
Hardliners led by Tsholotsho lawmaker, Jonathan Moyo, want the party to pull
out of the constitutional revision exercise.
But others are worried this may lead to the party’s isolation in the region
and internationally. Mr. Mugabe on Thursday demanded that the parliamentary
select committee drafting the country’s new charter deliver a draft to the
principals by next week.
But a management committee meeting expected to deal with outstanding issues
in the draft constitution has been rescheduled as three cabinet ministers
who sit in the group will be in Brussels for the resumption of dialogue
between Harare and the European Union.
Permanent secretary Joey Bimha in the foreign affairs ministry told VOA
reporter Blessing Zulu that the ministers will be in Belgium early next week
for talks with their EU counterparts.
ZANU-PF select committee co-chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said there are
some outstanding consultations that need to be done before they can submit a
complete draft to the three principals.
Sources say Mangwana was grilled by ZANU-PF hardliners at the heated
politburo meeting who want to scuttle the process to their own benefit.
Political analyst Earnest Mudzengi, director of the Media Centre, says
infighting in ZANU-PF is now a way of life.
by Chris Gande I VOA
CANDIDATES have started jostling for positions in Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC-T party, resulting in divisions developing in some areas as
Already in Manicaland province, two MDC legislators - Mutasa North lawmaker,
David Chimhini and Trevor Saruwaka of Mutasa Central - have been suspended
allegedly for fanning factionalism in the party.
Parliamentary hopefuls are said to dividing people at the grassroots level
as they position themselves ahead of possible elections this year.
President Robert Mugabe and hardliners in his party want elections to end
the shaky coalition government but Tsvangirai and others say polls may only
be called once democratic reforms have been implemented.
MDC-T officials have been gathering suggestions on how best to conduct
elections to choose party representatives without tearing the party apart.
Others want the party to adopt the system used by the African National
Congress in South Africa, in which officials elected at congress dominate
the election register.
Organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, told Voice of America's Studio 7 the
party is still consulting and will soon come up with guidelines for those
seeking parliamentary seats. He said some aspiring candidates will be
disqualified by the guidelines.
“We are a democratic party and we will follow democratic guidelines in
coming up with the best and most suitable candidates,” said Chamisa.
04 May 2012
Gibbs Dube | Washington
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s investigations department has invited Mines
Minister Obert Mpofu to a meeting to discuss his source of funding after he
was given the greenlight by the finance ministry to purchase the
financially-troubled Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group.
RBZ sources say the department has already gathered a lot of information
about Mpofu’s assets and source of some of his funds. Under Zimbabwean law
anyone who wants to own or run a financial institution must go through a
rigorous probe so the state can ascertain the source of his money.
The department is set to give the RBZ board a detailed report on May 29.
Sources say it will be used to determine Mpofu’s eligibility to own a bank.
Economists and other observers fear that the report may not be made public
since the investigations involve a senior government minister who is on
record as having said he is one of the richest people in Zimbabwe.
Mpofu was not immediately reachable for comment. The Banking Act compels
people and companies venturing into the financial sector to disclose their
source of funding to weed out money linked to blood diamonds and terrorists.
Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said many people are eagerly waiting
for the report due to Mpofu’s state portfolio and allegations of bribery
leveled against him by some mining firms in the Marange diamond field.
The ZABG, set up by the RBZ following the collapse of several banks due to
alleged corruption and money laundering, failed to raise the required $12
million minimum capitalization threshold required by the central bank
resulting in Mpofu's bid.
Written by Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Saturday, 05 May 2012 12:31
HARARE - Secrecy surrounds the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court
and High Court by President Robert Mugabe on Thursday after it emerged Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party was unaware of the development.
Even deputy minister of justice and legal affairs Obert Gutu, a Tsvangirai
appointee was unaware of the appointment and swearing-in of the judges, a
sign of how fragile the coalition government is.
Anne-Marie Gowora and Yunus Omerjee were elevated from the High Court to the
Supreme Court, while Advocate Happias Zhou moved from private practice to
the High Court as a judge.
Their appointment has raised tempers and highlights how Mugabe continues to
undermine the power sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA) which states
that he should consult Tsvangirai before making such senior appointments.
Gutu said he was not consulted on the appointments, neither was he invited
to the swearing-in ceremony of the judges at State House.
“We were hearing from the grapevine since last week within the legal
fraternity of the appointment of the three judges. But I was not informed or
consulted as the deputy minister of justice and a senior legal practitioner
in the fraternity. The invitation was never extended to my office as should
have happened,” he said.
“This shows how the coalition government is operating and I want to express
my displeasure with the manner everything was done without involving us,”
Tsvangirai was not present at the occasion, which was attended by Patrick
Chinamasa, the justice minister, High Court and Supreme Court judges and
senior members from the legal fraternity.
Omerjee was absent and will take his oath when he returns back.
Judges are appointed after the recommendation of the Judicial Services
Commission to the President.
The number of Supreme Court judges has risen to seven from five.
Gutu said the move to secretly appoint the judges showed how MDC ministers
are side-lined in key decision-making processes.
“I am not surprised at all by this type of conduct. Most, if not all
important engagements are not brought to my attention as a deliberate and
wicked ploy to side-line me and make me irrelevant in the ministry.
“This is the work of people who have sold their souls to the devil and who
somehow, think that the MDC will disappear from the country’s political
“The days are numbered for these messengers of darkness and evil,” said
Gutu, whose party ended Mugabe and Zanu PF’s political dominance.
May 5 2012 at 04:47pm
Zimbabwe wildlife authorities say rangers shot and killed two marauding
elephants after a man was trampled and gored to death in the country's
State radio reported Saturday the man died late Friday when a herd of about
19 elephants roamed into a village farming district near the Mozambique
border. It said rangers were trying to drive the herd back into unpopulated
areas spanning the frontier.
The radio said wildlife authorities warned villagers not to confront
elephants stomping through their fields with “provocative actions.”
A fully grown elephant eats about 300 kilograms of foliage a day. Elephant
attacks are common in areas in Zimbabwe where impoverished human settlements
are encroaching into wildlife sanctuaries. -Sapa-AP
Saturday, 05 May 2012
Six MDC members were today hospitalised following a violent attack by Zanu
PF thugs in Highfield West last night around 10 pm. Three houses were
damaged in the same attack.
The six, Thulani Ncube, Shadrick Ngirazi, sisters, Maud and Tsitsi
Chinyerere, their two daughters, Rosie (14) and Nomatter (13), sustained
head and body injuries.
Hon. Hove was scheduled to address a rally in Highfield at the Western
Terminus where provincial leaders were to speak on, among other issues, the
conditions of a sustainable election in Zimbabwe.
According to Hon Hove, the six were assaulted with wooden blocks, booted
feet and other unknown objects.
"This attack is proof that there is no such thing as freedom of assembly and
association in Zimbabwe. This is clear evidence that Zanu PF is intolerant,
hateful and violent. We applied for a rally today at the Western Terminus
and this was approved. Zanu PF had shown discontent and was trying to
influence the police to change the venue. When this failed, they attacked
known MDC leaders and their families. This is evil," he said.
He said, houses were attacked in New Canaan and Western Triangle.
Mrs Maud Chinyerere is a provincial executive member of the Women's Assembly
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!
Harare, May 05, 2012 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says all journalists
who are involved in promoting hate speech will be arrested and tried in
their personal capacity.
“We agreed as GPA principals that no journalist or media organisation should
make a media blitz against any political party or any person. No Journalist
or media organisation must promote hatred, whether the public media or
Private media, that is what we agreed.
“Doing so is against the constitution and the law. Let me tell you what
happened in Rwanda, Journalists who used the media in creating and promoting
hatred were arrested and tried. They had to answer for the hatred and
hostility they were promoting during that time.
“This has nothing to do with anybody, you the very person who is promoting
hatred shall answer for the hatred and hostility you are promoting in a
country which has a constitution which says you must not do that, “Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told Journalists in Harare at an event held to
commemorate world press freedom day.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai continues to be castigated by the state
media despite his government position.
He has over the past decade been complaining about the way the state media
treats him but nothing has changed.
In bid to stop the media blitz in his capacity as the country’s prime
minister and one of the Global Political Agreement Principals Tsvangirai has
on several occasions approached SADC.
Observers say media reforms are the only way of getting rid of hate speech
coming from state controlled media.
by Phyllis Mbanje
PROSECUTORS have warned that the owner of the boat which capsized on Lake
Chivero on Christmas Day killing 11 children could face murder charges after
witnesses claimed the tragedy was not an accident.
Boat owner Latif Ameer, 53, employees Enoch Yolani Zulu, 36, Joseph
Abrahams, 36, and Fadil Ramon Weale, 27, face 11 counts of culpable homicide
but prosecutors warned Friday that charges may be altered to murder.
This followed yet more dramatic testimony by two survivors as the trial
entered its second day at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.
Asked by Prosecutor Michael Reza if she thought the tragedy had been
accidental, 16-year-old survivor Ester Murodzi vigorously shook her head and
declared: "It was a planned thing, the boat was overloaded and they decided
to go and drown us.”
Another survivor, Shanice Ruzvidzo, 15, claimed that Weale, the boat
captain, and Zulu, who was the driver, had winked at each other just before
the boat’s engines shut down and the vessel started to take on water before
"I saw the driver wink at Weale and he winked back. At first we dismissed it
and actually laughed it off but immediately there was a clinking sound and
engine stopped," she said.
"It was just after the winking incident that the sound was heard and I
believe Zulu was shutting off the engine."
Reza told the court that if more witnesses corroborated the teenagers’
evidence, charges would have to be altered to murder and the case taken to
the High Court.
Defence lawyers Hamios Mukonoweshuro and Yaqub Ali Jogee vowed to vigorously
oppose the motion.
"Your worship, the state is trying to sneak in new evidence which now
alludes to murder charges," Mukonoweshuro said. "If it is accepted, it will
be highly prejudicial to accused persons whose current charges are those of
The two teenagers stuck to their testimonies despite spirited challenges by
the defence lawyers.
Ruzvidzo, who lost two sisters and a cousin in the tragedy, said as water
gushed into the vessel, Weale stood up, and dived into the lake to swim to
the shore after telling the passengers to “kiss their lives good bye”.
"We started panicking following Weale's statement and when Zulu also bid us
farewell before he jumped off, there was chaos on the boat with everyone
scrambling to their feet, shouting and screaming," she said.
"The boat then capsized and we were all thrown into the water but I clung to
a rope that was on the boat and that is how I survived until we were rescued
by the other boat."
The teenager also claimed that the boat owner, Ameer, had tried to coach
them on what to tell investigators when they were rescued and further
claimed that a police officer who spoke to them had done a “cut-and-paste”
job on their statements which are similar.
"He [the police officer] merely copied material from Esther's statement onto
mine saying it was ok since we had both been on the same boat," she said.
"I [also] told him about the dam wall issue but he said it was not important
and even the winking incident he dismissed it."
Meanwhile, the lawyers also engaged in heated exchanges after prosecutors
said the trial should continue on Saturday since most of the witnesses were
students and would be returning to school next week.
"We are horrified that Reza even said he had already made arrangements for
standby staff and if we failed to come he will proceed anyhow," Jogee said.
Reza and Jogee also exchanged harsh words after the defence lawyer ordered
the prosecutor to be seated.
"I'm not a child whom you give such instructions," a visibly upset Reza said
pointing a finger at Jogee, forcing the magistrate to intervene as matters
threatened to get out of hand.
Ameer, Zulu, Abrahams and Weale all deny the homicide charges in the closely
On Thursday, the court heard Ammer would deny authorising the boatcruise. He
will contend that Weale and Abrahams – said to have collected the money for
the boat ride – were not his employees but part of a group of friends and
relatives he had invited for a day out at the lake.
He also said he only remembered Zulu approaching him asking for work, but
told him there were no vacancies. He was shocked to learn that he had taken
one of his boats out on the lake.
Weale also denied he was the boat captain, insisting he was only part of the
group of family and friends at the lake for a day out with Ameer.
Earlier on Christmas Day, the court heard from Weale, Ameer’s group had
returned from their own ride. As they pulled in to disembark, a group of
people on the shore – including the tragic children – suddenly rushed aboard
and refused to get off, resulting in the craft turning back for another
"A crowd of people just emerged and jumped into the boat. There was much
jostling and shoving I failed to get off the boat and it took off with Zulu
as the driver," he said.
"Many seemed to have been drinking because I could see them holding beer
But survivor Murodzi said the boat had been carrying paid trips on the lake
adding that they had in fact waited in a queue for some time before getting
"Abrahams collected the fares and since there were so many people, some were
made to sit with legs astride so that others could sit between their legs,”
"Weale introduced himself as the captain and Zulu the driver.”
Four of the dead children – Tanaka Ruzvidzo, Tatenda Ruzvidzo, Sharon
Ruzvidzo and Angeline Rusito – were from the same Domboshava family.
The others who perished were Rasim Jaison from Harare, Anna Chitungo from
Nyanga, Munashe Joramu from Norton, Sprenner and Anesu Kaseke, Tadiwanashe
January and Pathras Chimimba.
The trial continues on Saturday after the magistrate dismissed the defence
Zimbabwe’s rampant corruption within positions of authority has made it one
of the lowest rated countries on the corruption perception index at 154 of
183 countries researched, and the control of corruption index where it
currently sits at 173 of 187 countries (Transparency International,
Corruption Perceptions Index 2011).
by Staff Reporter
Similarly the World Bank’s rating of the country’s government effectiveness,
control of corruption and accountability have all fallen below 10% in the
last decade (World Bank – Worldwide Governance Indicators).
This footage is of the Fields Day (formerly Agriculture Day) celebration, a
huge annual event in the Zimbabwean national calendar marking the beginning
of the agricultural marketing season. The event is usually held on the farm
of an influential local farmer and is usually attended by the cream of the
ruling party’s political line-up. This year it was held on Glasara farm, a
large tobacco farm in the Mt. Darwin area (The Sunday Mail, ‘Go for value
addition’, 04 March 2012).
It is an event considered equal in importance and status to Heroes Day and
is attended by many politicians, who themselves also often own large-yield
tobacco farms (VOA, www.whoswho.co.za political profiles). While the agenda
of the meeting is for rewarding Zimbabwe’s most resourceful and successful
farmers (as well as being a forum for agricultural development), the day is
dominated by speeches highlighting party ideologies for the upcoming
Local perceptions of rife corruption (Transparency International, Daily
Lives and Corruption: Public Opinion in Southern Africa Survey, 2011) are
further supported by the personal and political interests of the speakers in
this footage. This begs the question of whether this trend of mixing
personal interests and political ambition might exacerbate the already
fragile stability of the country’s political and social situation leading up
to the national elections later this year.
Sat May 5, 2012 11:10am GMT
* Carry-over surplus cut to 330,436 tonnes
* To cut surplus to 46,495 tonnes by June
LUSAKA May 5 (Reuters) - Zambia signed a contract to export of 300,000
tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe from its huge surplus of carry-over stocks from
last year, Zambia's Food Reserve Agency (FRA) said on Saturday.
"The sell reduces the surplus stock being held by the agency to 330,436
tonnes," the FRA, which is in charge of maize exports, said in a statement.
The agency said it planned to reduce surplus stocks to 46,495 tonnes by June
to create space for new stock and prevent price distortions.
The FRA estimated that Zambia lost 190,388 tonnes of maize from its
2011/2012 harvest due to inadequate storage facilities.
Carry-over stocks of 770,931 tonnes from the last season plus current
production gave the country a maize surplus of 1,035,333 tonnes.
Zambia's maize output declined by about 6 percent to 2.8 million tonnes in
the 2011/2012 season.
It needs just over 2.5 million tonnes of maize for human consumption,
strategic reserves, stock feed and brewing.
By Staff Reporter 5 hours 56 minutes ago
THE Zambian Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has signed a US$42.5 million contract
with a shadowy Zimbabwean company linked to State Security agency CIO,
Sakunda Trading of Zimbabwe for the sale of 300, 000 metric tonnes of maize
in a deal believed to be a secret pact between President Mugabe and his
Zambian counter-part Michael Sata.
Last week Sata visited Zimbabwe on an official engagement and sources said
he pledged his backing for Robert Mugabe re-election by providing him with
maize for campaign in the countryside.
FRA public relations officer Mwamba Siame said in a statement issued in
Lusaka yesterday that the sale of the 300,000 metric tonnes of maize to
Zimbabwe will reduce the surplus stock kept by the agency to 330, 435 metric
In Zimbabwe, maize procurement is supposed to be carried out through the
State company, the Grain Marketing Board, GMB and paid by the Ministry of
Finance and sources said the deal has been financed by a diamond company
Mbada Private Limited which is run by a cabal of military and Zanu-PF
On its website Sakunda says it is an Energy company, and claims it's largest
supplier of liquid fuels and other petrochemicals, and business of
providing energy solutions that which it says keep the wheels of industry
and the economy turning.
“The maize will mainly be from Eastern, Northern and Southern provinces. The
operation starts soon. FRA hopes to reduce surplus stocks to 46, 495 metric
tonnes by June 2012,” Mrs Siame said.
She said FRA has sold over one million tonnes of maize on the local and
international markets since November last year.
Mrs Siame said the agency intends to capture a major share of the maize
market demand by the end of the year to create space for the new stocks. The
FRA will pay outstanding debts and prevent maize price distortions.
She also said the process of destroying maize grain that was certified unfit
for animal and human consumption, after being exposed to rain due to
inadequate storage facilities, has commenced.
Mrs Siame said FRA currently estimates a loss of 190, 388 metric tonnes from
the 2011/2012 maize stocks.
And the agency’s senior management team will soon visit various depots to
monitor the process of destruction, which will create room for the next crop
to be purchased by FRA.
Mrs Siame said the monitoring is also a way of resolving all outstanding
issues in the countryside in preparation for the marketing season set to
commence on June 1.
She said the agency plans to do things differently this year and avoid costs
associated with the crop-marketing programmes of 2007/2011.
Incorporated in 2005, Sakunda says it has grown exponentially to achieve its
vanguard position in the energy supply industry through a tenacious
adherence to the highest standards of service.
It goes on to say, initially a small operation helmed by the executive
management team of Kudakwashe Tagwirei and Sandra Mpunga, Sakunda
concentrated on the provision of diesel and petrol fuels to Zimbabwe during
what could conservatively be called the darkest hour in the country's
The ability to thrive where similar organisations where struggling to
survive has since translated into the excellent service proposition that
makes Sakunda the number one supplier of liquid fuels in the country.
However, sources said the company is linked to high-level Zanu-PF leaders.
In 2008 President Mugabe accused the late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa
of siding with the then opposition party led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, the MDC after Zambia had banned exports of white maize to
Zambia had exported 85,000 tonnes of white maize to Zimbabwe after recording
a surplus in the 2005/06 season, Mwanawasa said the FRA was looking for
another southern African country that would buy the maize.
Zanu-PF officials publicyly expressed disappointment with Mr Mwanawasa who
became the subject of attack by President Robert Mugabe.
The irony of this is that Zambia gave sanctuary and helped re-settle large
numbers of the white farmers that Mugabe and his thugs drove out of
Zimbabwe. Now, Zambia has a crop surplus and Zimbabwe is still starving.
With a surplus of over 800,000 tonnes of maize from last farming season,
Zambia is considering selling to Zimbabwe through a guaranteed payment by
the World Bank, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) said.
ZNFU commodities chairman Graham Rae said Zambia has over 800,000 tonnes of
maize which has to be sold before the new crop comes on the market.
In an interview in Choma recently, Mr Rae said Zimbabwe has contacted the
Zambian government through the embassy in Harare and through other medium on
the maize deficit facing that country.
Zimbabwe has a deficit of one million tonnes of maize.
“I honestly feel that we should do a government-to-government deal and move
the maize into Zimbabwe underwritten by the World Bank, put it under
collateral management and guarantee the payments from Zimbabwe which should
create a win-win situation for both countries,” he said.
Mr Rae said Zambia has the cheapest maize in the region and it should help
Zambian maize is being sold to millers at US$140 per tonne and exported at
US$170 per tonne.
He said South Africa is trading its maize between US$270 and US$300 per
tonne while Chicago is close to US$200 per tonne, making Zambia the cheapest
Mr Rae said if the country does not sell the maize quickly, this will create
a huge storage problem when the new crop comes on the market.
He said buyers will also opt to buy the new crop first because it is fresh,
which will leave Government with the huge problem of storage.
“It’s better to get rid of the maize that we have got. And if we do face any
problems, we can import from South Africa, which would be far cheap in the
long run than having a huge stock not secured properly,” he said.
Written by Lloyd Mbiba, Staff Writer
Saturday, 05 May 2012 12:21
HARARE - Most teachers in Zimbabwe are corrupt, at least according to the
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), adding that the Education
ministry is fuelling corruption in schools by failing to monitor how the
Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) funds are being used.
Oswald Madziba, the PTUZ programmes and communications officer made these
remarks in Harare at a public meeting on corruption in the education sector
facilitated by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ).
“First and foremost, as a teacher I must admit that teachers are corrupt in
Zimbabwe. If a survey is to be carried out most of us will be found
wanting,” said Madziba.
He said the legal policy and administrative framework governing the Beam
project, under which government helps support orphans and other vulnerable
children, had many loopholes that allowed for the perpetration of
“One of the administrative problems concerning Beam is that the ministry of
Education which distributes the funds does not follow up and see how the
funds are being utilised. Without accountability the funds are bound to be
abused,” Madziba said.
The distribution formula for the Beam funds is outdated and the project is
open to political manipulation, Madziba noted.
“The government says only 25 percent of the students are likely to be
failing to pay for their education so they distribute funds basing it on
that number. This approach is flawed as in some instances we can have more
than 25 percent students failing to pay fees at a school,” he said.
Madziba criticised the ministry of Education for demanding a dollar from
each student for the national youth games saying this is abuse of office.
He said: “We are against the initiative by the ministry of Education to tax
a dollar from each student in the country. Most of the youths who are
playing in those games are no longer in school, so why are you punishing the
students? The games should be funded by the government and not the parents
because it is very unfair to punish them.”
Paurina Mpariwa, the Labour minister acknowledged the corruption in the Beam
project and said moves were underway to address the problem.
“Let us help each other. Some of the incidents might not reach us but if the
people partner with us we can do a good work in eliminating the vices,” she
Beam is facilitated by the ministry of Education, ministry of Labour and
donors who include the United Nations.
Mary-Jane Ncube, the director of TIZ, said the scourge of corruption in the
education sector has reached “alarming” rates.
May 05, 2012
Sebastian Mhofu | Harare
Zimbabwe has long struggled with such issues as land seizures, violence,
election irregularities, human rights abuse and economic troubles. But each
year, Zimbabwe hosts a week-long event that provides a respite from the
daily drudgery. The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) brings
international artists from around the globe.
Music is known as the universal language. If that maxim is confirmed
anywhere it is at the Harare International Festival of the Arts, or Hifa, in
There are artists from Europe, Latin America, Central America and Africa.
One can hear music being sung in nearly every language imaginable, and the
effect is the same. Happiness.
The German reggae music band Jamaram is playing in their native language.
Fans try sing along. The festival is not just about music. There are actors,
dancers and other practioners of the performing and visual arts. Samm
Monro, better known as Comrade Fatso, is a British-born Zimbabwean artist
participating at the HIFA. He says the arts festival plays an important
role in Zimbabwean culture.
"I think HIFA week is really an important week in Zimbabwe," said Monro. "It
gives us an opportunity to see what we can do as Zimbabweans. It creates an
amazing space of mixing between Zimbabwean cultures, classes, et cetera."
Jamaram is a German eight-member music group performing three shows at the
HIFA. One of the shows is performed free of charge for Zimbabweans who can
not afford the festival's $20 entry fee. Jamaram member Samuel Philip says
music is not just about entertaining people.
"No matter where you are from in the world when you do music… it does not
matter, music brings people together. It is the classic. It is the universal
language," he said.
HIFA organizers say they want the arts festival to become as grand as the
popular Rio Festival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to develop Zimbabwe’s ailing
economy. HIFA Chairman George Mutendadzamera says the 13-year-old annual
festival is more than just artists entertaining Zimbabweans.
"It is the economic impact of HIFA," he said. "The bottom-line is when you
have a festival we drink. There is employment creation. We generate wealth.
Last year we created something short of 1300 jobs."
While artists and HIFA organizers are positive about the festival's cultural
and economic benefits, Stanley Kwenda, the director of Artists for Democracy
thinks Zimbabwean artists are being overshadowed by their international
"Local artists like Mokoomba should get more time," he said. "They are as
good as international artists. This crowd as you can see has been energized
by Mokoomba. We did not get what we wanted from Mokoomba. Let us have local
groups which are of international quality. We want them to give local
artists more time than they give to Oprah music, like they do to foreign
artists. Mokoomba is fantastic."
Whatever the criticism, the HIFA Arts Festival is an event that has rocked
Zimbabwe. And with HIFA's close Sunday, many might wish for more to help
them forget their miseries in the troubled nation.
5 May 2012
By Steve Vickers BBC Sport, Harare
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has cleared 33 players who were
under investigation for match-fixing.
They include three key national team midfielders - Khama Billiat, Ovidy
Karuru and Willard Katsande.
But 66 players and 16 officials are still to have their fate decided by an
independent disciplinary committee.
The investigation centres around controversial tours taken by the national
side to Asia in 2007 and 2009.
Among the people still facing an uncertain future are former captain Method
Mwanjali, Sudan-based striker Edward Sadomba and former Warriors coach
Mapeza was replaced by Rahman Gumbo in February, when all those under
investigation were suspended from the national team.
Billiat and Katsande, who play in South Africa, and France-based Karuru will
now be available for next month's 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Guinea
and Mozambique, and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against
"It's good news for Zimbabwe," Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze
told BBC Sport.
"We are waiting for the committee to finish with the rest of those being
investigated, and we will forward the list of those exonerated to Fifa and
A Zifa investigation into the tours of Asia between 2007 and 2009 found that
players were paid to lose matches.
by Ibbo Mandaza
EVEN as it claims to have at last completed its task (after a whopping 36
months!), the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) has failed to dispel the
growing public perception that it is largely a failed and wasteful exercise.
But, as it is obvious Zimbabwe does need a new constitution, we have to
consider how best to salvage a goal that has so far proved elusive. To do so
requires, in the first instance, an analysis of the problems that have
afflicted Copac itself, with the benefit, perhaps, of some comparisons with
an earlier attempt at constitution-making, namely the Constitutional
Commission of 1999/2000.
Therefore, Copac has to be evaluated in terms of three obvious and
all-inclusive criteria: conception, process and output. With respect to the
conception of Copac, the question is: to what extent has it ensured and
enhanced the integrity of the constitution-making process or raised the
profile of constitutionalism within the Zimbabwean historical and political
To be fair, Copac has been mired in controversy from the very outset in
Copac got its mandate through Article VI of the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) wherein the three political parties agreed it should lead the drafting
of a new constitution for Zimbabwe. Herein lies the first problem: a
political tri-partisanship that has proved almost fatal for Copac and in
general accounts for the incessant bickering therein, the failure to
complete work within the stipulated 12 months and the obscene budget of
For example, even as recent as March 13, it was reported out of Copac that
the lead drafters could not start work on the final version of the draft
constitution until all issues had been finally agreed by a plethora of
structures borne out of this tri-partisanship: by the three Copac co-chairs,
Select Committee of Parliament itself, Management Committee which includes
the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, and the three GPA
parties’ principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
By comparison, the Constitutional Commission was appointed on April 26,
1999, through Statutory Instrument (138A of 1999) and sworn-in on May 21,
1999. The commission’s first working plenary was held on June 18, 1999. That
plenary adopted the commission’s method of work and thematic committee
structure. The commission was directed to submit its recommendations by
November 30, 1999 and given specific terms of reference, charging it with
the responsibility to set in motion a process the outcome of which should be
a new constitution.
The commission consisted of 400 members: 150 MPs constituted the core of the
membership; and the other 250 members were drawn from the private sector and
a cross-section of civil society. An impressive leadership bureau was
appointed: the Judge President of the High Court, now Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku, was chairman of the commission, with prominent female
statesperson, Mrs Grace Lupepe, Anglican Archbishop Jonathan Siyachitema and
renowned academician, the late Professor Walter Kamba, as his deputies.
The executive committee operated within a 15-member coordination committee
chaired by Kamba and consisting of a secretariat headed by Secretary to
Cabinet, Dr Charles Utete, with his deputy then Dr Misheck Sibanda (now
Secretary to Cabinet), as the contact person; an administrative and finance
subcommittee chaired by this writer, an academic, former senior civil
servant and head of Sapes Trust; and media and public relations subcommittee
chaired by an academic, Professor Jonathan Moyo.
Included in the coordination committee were the chairs of the thematic
committees: lawyer and jurist Rita Makarau for separation of powers (pillars
of the state); Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei for executive organs of the
state; prominent lawyer Canaan Dube for citizenship fundamental and
directive rights; academician Dr Themba Dlodlo for levels of government;
academician Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa for customary law; social and political
activist Lupi Mushayakarara for independent commissions (pillars of
democracy); prominent businessman Eric Bloch for public finance and
management; and prominent lawyer Honour Mkushi for transitional mechanisms.
Therefore, by comparison, the leadership of Copac is a pale shadow of that
of the constitutional commission: no doubt a major factor and problem
attendant to Copac. The three co-chairpersons of Copac are less than
high-profile in their respective parties and have enjoyed little or no
tangible support from both their party leaders and the Copac membership.
Poor leadership accounts in no so small measure for the obvious Copac
weaknesses and slack coordination.
This introduces the second criterion when assessing and evaluating Copac: To
what extent has the process — or the methodology — assisted in the pursuit
of producing a sound document, including the deepening of constitutionality,
through a process-based approach that is inclusive and participatory?
Of course, the latest revelations confirm there is little correlation
between the purported outreach exercise and the resultant draft
constitution. At one of the Sapes Trust’s Policy Dialogue Sessions a few
months ago, Professor Welshman Ncube asserted that, given the numerous
problems attendant to the Copac exercise, the latter would have to resort to
the ‘‘negotiation’’ method if a draft constitution was to emerge at all.
In short, Copac has so far succeeded most in affording constitution-making a
negative image. A laughing stock perhaps! But Zimbabweans in general are no
more informed about constitutionality under Copac than they were in 2000
when the draft constitution was rejected, for the wrong reasons, in that
referendum. To be fair, people have become cynical about
constitution-making, let alone about Copac.
By comparison, the constitutional commission was instructed, mandated to
gather evidence through its own organisational structures which it was free
to create, hold public hearings throughout Zimbabwe to receive oral and
written submissions and to ensure the new draft constitution would be
informed, as far as was feasibly possible, by the views of the people. The
President further informed the commission that after its submission on or
before November 30, 1999, the draft constitution would be put to the people
in a referendum and, if accepted, would be brought into force through the
appropriate Legislative Act.
On November 29, 1999, the commission submitted its report in the form of a
draft constitution to the President of Zimbabwe after it had fulfilled its
mandate within the stipulated time-frame of five months, at an (audited)
cost of US$7,280,652 (or, at that time, the equivalent of Z$297,196,900).
Indeed, Copac should have paid more attention to the work and output of the
constitutional commission. And if, as is now obvious, Copac’s output in the
form of a draft constitution remains not only tentative and incomplete after
36 months, then there is urgent need to salvage this constitution-making
process through another constitutional commission.
In other words, the constitution-making exercise has to have a legal basis
as opposed to the largely political context within which Copac was conceived
and operates. The new constitutional commission should likewise be
time-framed, no more than three months (June to August, 2012) given that a
lot of work has already been done through previous exercises, including the
NCA draft, the Kariba one and Copac itself.
In general, the model of the constitutional commission of 1999 remains the
only possible alternative to ensure Zimbabwe has a new constitution before
the next elections are held.
Mandaza, an academic, author and publisher, was an executive member of the
Constitutional Commission of 1999/2000. He is currently convener of the
Sapes Trust’s Policy Dialogue Forum. This article was originally published
in the Zimbabwe Independent
Saturday, May 5, 2012
BILL CORCORAN in Cape Town
THE FACTIONALISM dividing the leadership in Zimbabwean president Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has spread to its lower structures, leaving the
former liberation movement struggling to rally its supporters ahead of
elections expected next year.
Reports from Zimbabwe claim that in recent weeks Zanu-PF, sharing power with
arch rivals the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has had to suspend
district elections in five of the nine provinces after fights over
vote-rigging and intimidation.
South Africa’s Mail and Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that local
leaders wishing to align themselves to the two main factions vying to take
control of Zanu-PF in the post-Mugabe era was the cause of the infighting.
These factions are said to be led by defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and
vice-president Joice Mujuru, although both leaders have denied waiting in
the wings for Mr Mugabe (87) to relinquish control of the party.
The octogenarian has refused to stand down or name a successor, which has
left a political vacuum that ambitious Zanu-PF politicians have been
manoeuvring to fill.
In Masvingo province, the police fired warning shots and engaged in running
battles with supporters of the rival factions, a development only associated
with rallies held by the MDC and civil society in the past.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said officers were forced to separate
both groups at a rural school in the province where the Zanu-PF party’s
district poll was taking place, to “maintain law and order”.
Walter Mzembi, the Zanu-PF MP , said indiscipline was “tearing at the core
of leadership and needs to be stopped”, according to the Mail and Guardian.
In Manicaland province, where the MDC took 20 of the 26 seats in the 2008
general election, attempts to reorganise Zanu-PF have stalled, with some
supporters defecting to the MDC after charges of cheating and intimidation
during their district party poll.
Mr Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s senior leadership has been pushing for fresh polls
to end the country’s stalled powersharing arrangement for a year now, but
the latest developments have cast doubts over whether the party could carry
out its traditional campaigning strategies.
Zanu-PF’s rural grassroots structures have been the key to getting Mr Mugabe’s
supporters to the polls in past elections. Opposition activists claim they
are used to intimidate communities into voting for the former liberation
movement. However, it appears loyalty to the party has been usurped by