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Zimbabwe's Mugabe joins rivals in investor appeal

Thu May 6, 2010 11:30am GMT

* Mugabe dismisses investor concerns over ownership rules

* At World Economic Forum with Tsvangirai, Mutambara

* All reiterate Western sanctions on Zimbabwe should end

By Matthew Tostevin

DAR ES SALAAM, May 6 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe made a
surprise showing at Africa's biggest business meeting on Thursday to appeal
for investment alongside other members of the fractious coalition

Mugabe dismissed investor worries over new ownership laws which are designed
to ensure that black Zimbabweans hold a stake of at least 51 percent in all
companies and which have strained the unity government.

"People have said it will drive away investment. We say it won't," Mugabe
said at the World Economic Forum for Africa.

"Companies have been forthcoming ... I don't think it's a painful thing for
them. Forty-nine percent is a lot," he told reporters.

Mugabe took the stage at the World Economic Forum for Africa with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, an old rival who joined him in a unity
government last year, and Arthur Mutambara, the third member of the

Zimbabwe's economy grew last year for the first time in a decade after the
scrapping of a near worthless local currency and the political agreement.

In Harare, Zimbabwe's Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube told
Reuters in an interview Mugabe had rejected bids by foreign steel firms
wanting to take over the country's grounded state-owned steelmaker because
they "too big".

Ncube said Mugabe preferred to deal with medium-sized firms.

Western countries are withholding aid to push for faster political reform
and there has been no major inflow of foreign investment because of the
continuing uncertainty over the government and its policies.

"Zimbabwe is ready to do business. If Africa's time has come for investment,
then Zimbabwe cannot miss the boat," Tsvangirai said at the meeting, which
has highlighted Africa's relatively rapid emergence from the global

"The political crisis does no longer exist. The country is making progress
and it's time that investors started looking at Zimbabwe from a different
perspective. So that is the message we have been communicating."

Tsvangirai stressed that discussion was continuing on the empowerment law
and its application.

Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai reiterated appeals for an end to Western
sanctions targeting the 86-year-old leader and his closest aides. He has
ruled since independence in 1980 and is accused by critics of ruining the

"It doesn't make sense that people from the same government are not able to
travel because of the travel ban," Tsvangirai said.

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Mahoso’s position on the media commission will be ‘temporary’

By Violet Gonda
6 May 2010

There has been an outcry after it was revealed that media hangman Tafataona
Mahoso has been appointed chief executive officer of the secretariat of the
new Zimbabwe Media Commission. But Godfrey Majonga, the chairman of the ZMC,
has said Mahoso’s position is temporary.

Majonga told SW Radio Africa on Thursday: “I don’t think it is correct to
say he has returned to head the ZMC secretariat. What has happened is that
the ZMC is going to meet and look at what structure they require for the
process that they are going to embark on and it is only after that, when
they have drawn up that structure, that we will be able to place people.”

“As of now we are using a structure that has been there because it has been
very difficult to work in a vacuum and it has taken long to set up.”

He said since their appointment early this year, the Commission still doesn’t
have enough funding and it has been difficult to operate. “And that is why
we have been able to move as fast as we are doing today because we are using
existing structures.”

The ZMC chairman said his Commission will be meeting in the next few weeks
to draw up the structure they want.

In October last year Dr Mahoso was controversially appointed by ZANU PF
Information Minister Webster Shamu as chairman of the Broadcasting Authority
of Zimbabwe (BAZ). An appointment Prime Minister Tsvangirai declared ‘null
and void’. Mahoso had been removed as chairman of the now defunct Media and
Information Commission in 2008 by the High Court, because of his political

Meanwhile, Majonga said scores of journalists and several media
organisations have applied to the ZMC for accreditation and operating

He said the privately owned daily newspapers, The Daily News and NewsDay,
had both submitted their application forms for registration, and their
applications will be processed ‘expeditiously’. He said the process should
not take long if they have filled in all their requirements.

Five other applications have been submitted so far for magazines and

Media organizations and journalists have been given a month to normalise
their status, or risk being fined.

Journalists are cautiously optimistic about moves to license newspapers,
though most have said it is ‘too early to celebrate’. There is still concern
over the slow pace of opening up the airwaves and that no moves appear to
have been made to revise the repressive media laws.
Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Jameson Timba is quoted in the
Daily News’ online publication saying that according to the government work
programme, these media laws would be repealed by the end of the year.


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Diamond company official abducted

By Violet Gonda
6 May 2010

Andrew Cranswick, the CEO of African Consolidated Resources (ACR), the
company at the centre of a legal battle over the Chiadzwa diamonds claim,
says one of their officials was abducted from the ACR offices in Harare on

He told SW Radio Africa that ACR Financial Officer Ian Harris was abducted
at 4pm by members of Mines Minister Obert Mpofu private police, the CID
Mineral Squad. Cranswick said the police are refusing to tell lawyers where
Harris has been taken.

We were not able to get a comment from police at the time of broadcast but
it is alleged that the ACR official is being accused of fraud and
corruption. Cranswick says: "It is pure abduction and charges of corruption
and fraud are mere harassment."

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Tsvangirai and Biti hold tete-a-tete over infighting reports

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 May 2010

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Secretary-General Tendai Biti recently held
a tete-a-tete meeting during which they discussed alleged infighting and
ideological splits within the party.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed Tsvangirai wanted to 'clear the air'
with Biti following persistent reports that the two were at loggerheads.
Biti moved to quash suggestions he was preparing to succeed Tsvangirai,
insisting he was solidly behind him and had nothing to do with the recent
violent incident at the party headquarters.

In the last two weeks the state controlled media went into overdrive,
suggesting the MDC party was fracturing under the weight of a series of
power struggles within the leadership.

MDC Senator for Chisipite, Obert Gutu, said it is disturbing to hear
reports, especially from ZANU PF controlled state media, to the effect that
Tsvangirai is under siege from Biti.

'There is nothing like that. We are wholly, totally and fully suppportive of
our party leadership. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise that Biti is
trying to topple Tsvangirai unconstitutionally from his position,' the
Senator said.

He added; 'Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is our face of the struggle in
Zimbabwe. Each struggle has a face. In South Africa, the face of the
struggle against apartheid was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Tsvangirai is the
face of our struggle against ZANU PF.'

A source told us a preliminary report into disturbances at Harvest house
indicates that the party heaquarters has become a hotbed of personality
clashes and intrigue. Senior staff at director level were allegedly
canvassing for Biti to take over from Tsvangirai when he steps down.

However, Tsvangirai is expected to be retained as party President during
next year's congress. Biti is also heavily favoured to retain his position,
though its reported that he faces a challenge from Ian Makone, Tsvangirai's
chief of staff.

'Since the party is having its congress next year, there were mutterings of
discontent over the plot to push Biti to take over the leadership. Others,
mainly the youths, saw this as a direct challenge to Tsvangirai. Biti had
nothing to do with any of what was happening but was roped in because all
staff at Harvest House report to him,' a source told us.

The source added; 'There has been a lot maneuvering and positioning at
Harvest house and this effectively led to open political warfare between
followers of Biti and Tsvangirai's faithful. These are more of personality
clashes between staff at Harvest house that have sucked in both Tsvangirai
and Biti.'

Senior MDC officials this week moved to rally their support to the two men,
insisting the duo were the right men to lead the party through testing
times. MDC deputy Secretary-General Morgan Komichi said Biti and Tsvangirai
were serious politicians for serious times.

'At the moment, things have got so frenzied, every dot and comma in articles
that people write, or things that people say about the two, is examined.
Frankly, I think we should put the magnifying glass away and see if there is
any truth in what is being peddled, mainly by the state media,' Komichi


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War veterans confront Biti over pay

May 6, 2010

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - War veterans on Thursday confronted Finance Minister Tendai Biti
demanding that the government resume paying their monthly allowances that
were terminated last year.

The government cited the liquidity crisis which has been prevailing in the
country for stopping the payments to the ex-combatants.

Speaking to The Daily News Thursday, Biti played down the action by the war

He said the former freedom fighters were not violent but were only demanding
to know when government would resume their payments in US dollars.

Zimbabwe has been forced to dump its useless dollar in favour of the US
dollar and other currencies.

Biti said he told the war veterans to be patient as the country went through
difficult motions of economic recovery.

"I advised them that government was currently facing a cash crisis and as
such, we needed to wait a bit," said Biti.

"Our meeting was friendly. I, however, advised them that all arrangements
previously made had not been changed save for the salary issue which was
being worked on."

Joseph Chinotimba led the war veterans' delegation to the minister's office.
Chinotimba said the ex-combatants had not gone to fight with Biti but to
discuss ways of alleviating the suffering of the former liberation fighters

"There's now the GNU; so issues are discussed amicably," said Chinotimba
speaking in English and Shona over the phone. "I am 100 percent Zanu-PF;
Biti is Tsvangirai's MDC but we have to work together.

"You journalists are the one who want to set us to fight each other. You are

In 1997, following demonstrations by the war veterans, the government of
President Robert Mugabe paid out ZW$50 000 to every former combatant in
recognition of their role in the liberation struggle. The payments were not
budgeted for and this single act contributed considerably to the beginning
of the decline of the Zimbabwean economy.

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Minister Says Real Power Is For Zanu PF, MDC Just Administrators

06/05/2010 10:58:00

Masvingo May 06, 2010 - Higher and Tertiary Education Minister and President
Robert Mugabe's adviser, Stan Mudenge said his Zanu (PF) party was the one
ruling while the inclusive government was just administrative.

"The set up of the inclusive government does not mean that we surrendered
power to MDC-T. Vamwe vanhu vemamwe mapato vari kutio tave panyanga.
Ahhh...ini handizvione wani. (Other political parties say they are now at
the helm, but I do not see that," said Mudenge.

"Zanu (PF) is still in control, and will remain in control of the country's
affairs," said Mudenge, also national secretary for external affairs in the
party. He was speaking at Chikarudzo business center at his victory
celebrations which were also attended by Information and Publicity Minister
Webster Shamhu.

He added that the three most powerful people in the land were the president
and two vice-presidents-who all happen to be Zanu (PF). President Mugabe's
deputies are Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo.

"The inclusive government is mainly concerned with administration of
government duties than power sharing," said Mudenge.

Mudenge said his party would never hand real power to MDC-T leader and now
Prime Minister in the power sharing government, Morgan Tsvangirai.

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Mugabe Uses Presidential Powers To Acquire Disputed Land

06/05/2010 14:19:00

Harare, May 06, 2010 - In a latest twist to the land scandal in Harare,
President Robert Mugabe has used his Presidentials Powers to acquire part of
the land that is in dispute between his nephew, Philip Chiyangwa and the
city of Harare.

In a notice by the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Herbert
Murerwa, published in the state press, Mugabe used his Presidential Powers
to compulsorily acquire land in Harare for urban development.

The land had been acquired from the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA),
Jetmaster Properties and Pinnacle holdings, owned by Chiyangwa.

Part of the notice read: "Notice is hereby given in terms of section 8 (1)
of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20: 10), that the President has
acquired compulsorily the land described in the schedule."

"Deed of transfer 5021/07 , registered in the name of Pinnacle holdings
(private) limited, in respect of land situate in the district of Salisbury,
being The Remainder of Subdivision A of Stoneridge, measuring five hundred
and eighty six comma eight nine six zero (586,8690) hectares.

The notice also said the government has also acquired 605 hectares from ZTA
while 193 hectares were taken from Jetmasters.

A councillor who is privy to what is happening told Radio VOP that the land
that was compulsorily acquired by Mugabe was actually in dispute between the
residents of Harare South who were fighting court battles to resist eviction
that was being sought by Pinnacle, Jetmasters and ZTA.

"The land that was acquired by the President was in dispute between the
residents and Pinnacle. Pinnacle was claiming ownership but if it had
succeeded that will have meant that Harare South constituency would have
ceased to exist and this did not go down with Zanu (PF)," the councillor
said on condition of anonymity.

"As you are aware that Hubert Nyanhongo is the only Zanu (PF)
parliamentarian in Harare province.This was done just to keep the
constituency and please the residents of Harare South who got their stands
through Zanu (PF)."

The city of Harare wrote a report this year which said Chiyangwa used
unprocedural methods to acquire vast land in around the capital, but the
police had been reluctant to pursue the case although the council made a
formal report.

Councillors who wrote the report have been arrested and are appearing in
court over the report.

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Zimbabwe rejects bids for state steel firm

Thu May 6, 2010 1:40pm GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has rejected bids for the take-over of state
steel maker ZISCO from ArcelorMittal's South Africa and India's Jindal Steel
and Power Ltd in a move that could slow a drive to attract foreign

The government had shortlisted the two firms, but Industry and Commerce
Minister Welshman Ncube said President Robert Mugabe had rejected the two
bids because the two companies were too big to invest in ZISCO.

"That is the feeling of the presidency, as strange as that might seem,"
Ncube told Reuters.

"The feeling is that we are a small country and we will have problems with a
big multilateral company. The thinking is that we need a medium-sized
investor for ZISCO."

The move could be a major blow to the country's drive to attract badly
needed foreign investment in an economy that has endured a decade of
contraction and remains fragile due to lack of donor support and investment.

A new unity government formed between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai last year raised hopes among investors that the country would
pursue policies to open up the economy to foreign investment.

ZISCO has capacity to produce 1 million tonnes of steel per year and had
been targeted to be the first state-run firm to be disposed, but the
government's decision is likely to put into question its readiness to
welcome investors.

Ncube, a minister from a splinter Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
group, said the government would restart the bidding process, which should
be concluded in three months.

"What is left for us is how to attract the medium-sized investors and this
time we will have a trunkated bidding process, not the one year it took us
during the previous one, so that it can be completed within three months,"
Ncube said.

He said ZISCO's privatisation would not be affected by a controversial law
forcing foreign-owned companies, including mines and banks, to sell 51
percent shareholding to locals.

The empowerment law has divided the unity government, with Mugabe defending
it as necessary to redistribute wealth to the country's poor while
Tsvangirai says the rules would discourage foreign investment.

The new administration has estimated around $10 billion is needed to repair
the economy but foreign investors are also reluctant to pledge funds without
faster political reform.

ZISCO was once the largest integrated steelworks in the region and a major
foreign currency earner for the then white Rhodesian government before
independence in 1980.

The steel maker has been grounded since 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe's
economic meltdown and analysts say it would need a big investor to help
offset its $300 million debt.

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MDC youth leader out on free bail after allegedly insulting Mugabe

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 May 2010

MDC provincial youth chairman for Mashonaland Central, Tonderai Samhu,
appeared in court on Tuesday facing allegations of insulting Robert Mugabe.

Samhu handed himself over to the law and order section in Bindura on Monday.
Police had been hunting him down since he organized a rally in Mvurwi last
week Wednesday to bid farewell to the late MDC provincial Chairman Biggie

'I went voluntarily to the station and I therefore didn't see any reason why
the police detained me overnight. After they told me I was to appear in
court Tuesday, I thought they would let me go home and report to court the
following day. But they had their own agenda,' Samhu said.

He added; 'In fact I was told there was an order from the top to teach me a
lesson by locking me behind bars. This is no longer policing but a vendetta
by ZANU PF against MDC members.'

The youth leader is facing accusations of organising a political rally
without police authority and another of allegedly insulting Mugabe.

Samhu is alleged to have chanted an MDC slogan that denounced Mugabe and
ZANU PF at the burial ceremony of Chigonero in Guruve last week. But he
insists the slogan; 'Mugabe bvisa (remove Mugabe)' is routinely used during
party gatherings and was not insulting, but a rallying call to remove Mugabe
through the ballot box.

'Fortunately the courts saw it that way and I was able to be given free
bail. The state said they will continue with the case by way of summons if
ever they need me in court again,' Samhu said.


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No Government Policy to freeze civil service salaries - Mukonoweshuro

By Blessing Chapwati

Published: May 6, 2010

Harare  -  Zimbabwe's minister of Public Service said Thursday, there is no
government policy to freeze civil servants salaries disputing a statement by
Finance minister Tendai Biti calling for wage freeze until government
coffers recovers from the current dry spell.

Addressing journalists in Harare, Public Service Minister Elphas
Mukonoweshuro said it was not government's position to freeze salaries.

The pronouncement affirmed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's May Day
statement last week in which he told a worker's gathering that government
was not going to freeze salaries.

"There is no government policy to freeze civil service salaries at present.
That is the position of government, which at the moment is cast in stone.
The Prime Minister therefore, lucidly pronounced government policy on the
issue, and that is the last word," Mukonoweshuro said.

The Public Service minister's statement has seemingly exposed the rift
between policy makers in government who in the past have made conflicting
statements rousing anxiety amongst the civil service.

Mukonoweshuro scathingly took a swipe in what he called "super ministers"
who are side stepping their responsibilities in government and in this case
Biti who a fortnight ago called for a wage freeze.

"It is important for me to stress that all issues pertaining to the Ministry
of Public Service, remuneration issues, conditions of service, human
resources policy and management are the responsibility and central mandate
of the responsible minister and no-one else.
"This government does not operate on the basis of "super Ministers" who may
frequently arrogate to themselves responsibilities that are neither in their
present province of competence nor designated mandate," he said.

Asked whether this was not a show of diverging views in government,
Mukonoweshuro played down any clashes between the said ministries.

Recent events have shown that, minister Biti is on a collision course with
colleagues in government and his party where violence erupted in the last
weeks between alleged factions in the party who support him and Prime
Minister Tsvangirai.

Government has admitted that salaries do not constitute a living wage based
on the fair day's work for a fair day wage.

Three cabinet committees have since been set up to look into the plight of
civil servants who downed tools early this year to demand for a decent wage.

The committees are Cabinet Committee on Resource Mobilisation, Cabinet
Committee on Cost Drivers and the Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee.

The Inter-ministerial advisory committee is set to meet next week to engage
leaders of the civil service staff associations to review and make
recommendations on the state of the civil service to government.

Salary negotiations between civil servants and their employer have not
yielded positive results early in the year resulting in street
demonstrations that had last been seen in 1996.

Workers are demanding a minimum wage of over $450 from the current average
of $170.

Government is the largest employer, empolying 290 000 workers of which 192
000 are covered under the Public Service Act and the Health Service Act.

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Drought hits Zimbabwe rural population hard


by Tabelo Timse  - Thu May 6, 12:08 pm ET

KWARA, Zimbabwe (AFP) - One bag of maize, two big pumpkins, some watermelons
and two small shopping bags of ground nuts is the only food the Togarepi
family of seven is left with after the harvest.

As she looks at the barren fields outside her thatched-roof mud hut in Kwara
village in southern Zimbabwe, Tamary Togarepi, 17, worries about where her
family will get food, especially for her ailing mother and three-year-old

"Our harvest is not even enough to last us two months. We now eat only once
a day, in the evenings," says Tamary as she shows AFP her spoilt green

"If we see the food is running out we will skip a day and eat the next day."

Humanitarian agencies say at least two million Zimbabweans currently need
food aid, and the figures are set to rise as a result of drought and a
decade of agricultural mismanagement.

In a country where at least 85 percent of the population is unemployed,
Tamary, who finished high school last year, said her family depended solely
on its crops since none of her family members had paying work.

Although her native Zaka district is known for its heat, the sun has been
extra cruel to the villagers this year.

Tamary spends her days under a tree plaiting her hair or shelling ground
nuts. Occasionally she waves to passing villagers as they return from
fetching water at the dam a few kilometres away.

Fana Chenjerai, a 61-year-old villager, said this year's drought was the
worst he had seen in some years.

"We have been confronted with this situation before but not to this scale.
What makes it worse is that we don't have help from government. We have to
wait for food agencies, but they also prioritise the worst affected. But
this time around I think it's the same for every family," he said.

Chenjerai, a subsistence farmer, said he was grateful for the food he
sometimes received from aid agencies, but complained that villagers were not
given enough seeds.

"We are asking for more seeds because we want to diversify our crops and use
more land," he said.

Zimbabwe was a food exporter until President Robert Mugabe launched a
controversial land reform programme in 2000, a politically charged and
violent campaign to forcibly resettle mainly white commercial farms with new
black farmers.

The ensuing chaos undermined the agriculture-backed economy, which shrank to
half its 2000 size. The country has relied on donor food ever since.

Deon Theron, president of the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe, blames
the land reform programme for the country's food crisis.

"We used to be a country that could export to the region and now we can't
even feed ourselves," he said.

Last year, about six million people needed aid despite better rains and
economic reforms introduced by the power-sharing government formed in
February 2009 between Mugabe and long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

This year, Zimbabwe is set to harvest 1.5 million tonnes of grain, leaving
the country with a 185,000-tonne shortfall, according to a crop assessment
report by the Zimbabwean government and the United Nations.

Elizabeth Luanga, UN humanitarian coordinator in Zimbabwe, said a lack of
funding from donors this year would put extra pressure on aid agencies to
provide food relief to affected families, especially in rural areas.

Luanga said the food aid programme has only 26 percent of the money it

"Unfortunately, in 2010 we have so far been confronted with serious cuts in
funding," she said.

"It is clear that humanitarian assistance is still urgently required."

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HOT SEAT:Makumbe says MDC-T must address issue of internal violence


SW Radio Africa Transcript

Political analyst Professor John Makumbe analyses the alleged infighting in the MDC-T. Violence broke out in MDC Headquarters two weeks ago when rowdy youths reportedly confronted the party's Director General, Toendepi Shonhe and took his car. Speculation is rife that the incident was a result of power struggles within the MDC -T leadership ahead of next year's party congress. Is Secretary General Tendai Biti trying to upstage President Morgan Tsvangirai? Are these 'power struggles' a result of disagreements over strategies and tactics, or a mere smear campaign by ZANU PF?


VIOLET GONDA: My guest on the Hot Seat programme is political analyst, Professor John Makumbe with his analysis of the alleged in-fighting in the MDC . Violence broke out at Harvest House, MDC Headquarters in Harare a fortnight ago when a group of youths allegedly attacked the Party's Director General Toendepi Shonhe and took his car. It is reported that MDC youths also assaulted three private investigators who had been called in to investigate the disturbances. Speculation is rife that the incident was a result of the power struggles within the MDC . Professor Makumbe, what is your understanding of what is going on in the MDC ? Are there power struggles?

JOHN MAKUMBE: There are always power struggles in every Party, because people are people - they like power, they enjoy power and once they are in certain positions, they aspire for higher positions, so there's a real possibility that there may be power struggles in the MDC . We are waiting to hear what the report, which should be released today will be saying.

GONDA: Well I was talking to some of the MDC people who were speaking on condition of anonymity and they were saying that they didn't think that the report would be coming out this week because the committee investigating these disturbances was still interviewing people. But even if the report does not come out right away, what is your understanding of what exactly is happening because there are some people who are saying there are rivalries between the Secretary General, Tendai Biti and the President Morgan Tsvangirai?

MAKUMBE: I have heard those rumours also but it's very difficult Violet to go by way of rumours. In this country, rumour mongering is an industry and you can be led up the garden path really by believing rumours. But I think that it is really very unlikely that Tendai Biti would be wanting to push Morgan Tsvangirai out before there is a Congress. I think their Congress is due next year or is it later this year, I don't remember. And then at the Congress, anyone not just Tendai Biti but all the others are free to contest if Morgan Tsvangirai wants to stand again. But I have seen very little or anything that actually is credible in terms of saying Tendai Biti is undermining Morgan Tsvangirai or Morgan Tsvangirai is undermining Tendai Biti. I suspect very strongly that a lot of that is coming from the Central Intelligence Organisation and then there are also elements within the MDC who are influenced by it and the rumour mongering really spreading all kinds of innuendos about the relationship between Biti and Morgan. For starters I know very well that Morgan would not hesitate to take the matter to the National Executive Council of the MDC if he thought that Tendai Biti was undermining him.

GONDA: But I've been trying to get MDC officials to talk on the record about these reports of in-fighting but it's a problem getting people to go on record. What is the sensitivity with this issue?

MAKUMBE: Well largely people usually don't want to go on record because sometimes what they are saying is not borne out by evidence; it's not really true, it's not really happening. Sometimes they are really pushing a rumour they heard somewhere and they don't want to be, they don't want it to be attributed to them, but I think if there was clear evidence that there is a power struggle between Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai, it would be evident and anybody speaking about it would actually be willing to say - yeh, put my name to that.

GONDA: A statement issued by the MDC on Friday accuses ZANU PF of embarking on a smear campaign and they said that this is to malign Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti by alleging that they are involved in a non-existent power struggle. But Professor Makumbe, to what extent is this just a mere smear campaign?

MAKUMBE: Robert Mugabe got into the Government of National Unity for one purpose and one purpose only - to destroy the MDC . And so his puppets, his running dogs have the responsibility of manufacturing anything and everything possible to cause the MDC to break down. Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF know very well that Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti are the lynch pins of the MDC -Tsvangirai and so the best way of destroying the MDC -Tsvangirai is to place these two against each other. Whether it is imagined or real I really can't say at this stage but I personally suspect that there is no truth whatsoever in the allegations that Tendai Biti is trying to upstage Morgan Tsvangirai and vice versa. It is fiction.

GONDA: Well some observers say that there are some disagreements over strategies and tactics between those in the MDC leadership in terms of how to solve this crisis in the unity government and of course in Zimbabwe .

MAKUMBE: Oh I agree entirely and these have been with the MDC since its formation, in fact at one stage on the 12 th of October 2005 , the differences resulted in the split of the MDC with the Mutambara and Ncube group going their way and the mainstream MDC remaining with Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai. So yes, there are differences in methodology of how to resolve the crisis but these differences have never escalated within the MDC leadership to the level where there are really struggles for positions as is alleged at the moment. But there are people who would like to take that history of 12 th of October 2005 and say, this is now recurring but now between Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai and I still think that differences in how do you proceed, what's the best methodology of removing a dictator have always been within the MDC because it is essentially a movement of various fingers, various people with various views. Very different from ZANU PF which has a dictator; whatever he says goes. In the MDC , people actually discuss issues and when they disagree, then the people of weak minds take those disagreements to mean that, therefore these people are actually fighting for power, and it is fiction.

GONDA: Some of the MDC supporters are saying that the MDC is acquiescing too much to ZANU PF and are now unable to provide a forceful alternative for Zimbabweans. Do you agree with this?

MAKUMBE: I don't agree with that. I don't think there is anything on the horizon other than the MDC as an alternative to ZANU PF. I don't agree that the MDC is acquiescing too much; when the Iranian President came visiting, the MDC literally boycotted him, Morgan himself went on a regional trip and that's not acquiescing. And the MDC have to observe a certain modicum of behaviour - not only in parliament but also in government. So there are certain things they must do lest even Jacob Zuma will say no minister of a government behaves in this manner and, the SADC itself, will find the MDC to be the spoiler of the Global Political Agreement. As things are now, everybody knows it is ZANU PF which is the spoiler but the MDC have to beat their time, they have to compromise because the Government of National Unity is a compromise and their objective for this compromise, the new constitution must be written, new elections must be held and a new government, a straight government from one party will then emerge and you will not observe those if you don't at least compromise, give and take here and there.


GONDA: How do you respond to others who say that important decisions are still being made without consultation by ZANU PF?

MAKUMBE: I think it is correct. It is correct that there are decisions being made by ZANU PF without so much as a 'by your leave' from the MDC and those, the MDC have placed on the agenda as outstanding issues. Not only that but also the issue of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and also the recently gazetted, again, legislation on fuel procurement, all those are being added onto the list by the MDC . But if people think that the MDC should therefore throw up and walk out - walk out to where? To 2008? Walk out from what? From the current stability in the country, from the current pseudo peace, the false peace that is prevailing in the country because we know there is still violence, there is still farm invasions and there are still very serious problems.

But where we were in 2008 is very different from where we are now. True the MDC have to put their wheel to the shoulder, they have to continue to light the fires and let ZANU PF run around putting them out. I think they are not doing enough of that, they should do more, but again there is a certain modicum which they have to observe lest the whole GNU collapses.

GONDA: And there are many who believe that Mugabe will never give in to the MDC 's demands and that these negotiations are going to go on forever. So what happens then? Do they just continue with these endless talks? What's the way forward on this?

MAKUMBE: That is true - Mugabe will never give in. He knows if he gives in and he goes out of power he will be heading for The Hague , that is true but eventually, even a dictator really faces doomsday eventually. The way forward for Zimbabwe is for the MDC to continue to hold that democratic space which they have in government until a constitution is written, until elections are held, until the results of those elections - and I'm not saying we will not have a repeat of 2008 where Mugabe loses but stays put and refuses to go - let that happen again and the whole world will know who the spoiler is and the whole world will know how to deal with a dictator and even the MDC will wake up to the realisation that a dictator cannot be removed from office through democratic means.

GONDA: Going back to the issue of the violence or the disturbances that took place at the MDC Headquarters, the MDC said in their latest statement about this that the disturbances were to do with administrative issues which the leadership is currently seized with and the culprits have since been suspended and investigations are underway. We all know that Parties do have internal tensions and we have plenty of examples showing how ZANU PF uses violence to control situations, but a Party that has based its principles on using non-violent means to achieve its objectives has the MDC really addressed the issue of internal violence? When you hear that Party youths are dealing with grievances by attacking the Director General of the Party, and this has happened before where senior Party officials were assaulted by rowdy youths?

MAKUMBE: No this is an issue that is a product of the culture created in Zimbabwe by ZANU PF. All of us Zimbabweans are violent in nature, that's our nature, that's our culture. We are bred, born and bred in a violent culture, to think that because the youth in MDC are in MDC therefore they are not violent is really fiction. So that issue still needs to be addressed and I doubt the MDC were doing their best to address the issue of violence by suspending and eventually they may actually expel the violent youths. But I think it needs more work, it needs a lot of work to be done but it is not typical of MDC youth to be violent, it is typical for Zimbabweans to be violent whether they are in ZANU PF or MDC . What the MDC has done to pursue peaceful means of replacing a dictator needs to be interrogated needs to be questioned - will it work? We have evidence that it has so far failed to work. Is it possible that it will work next time or is it possible that the MDC might be brought to the realisation that the only way that a dictator can be removed from power is through force and therefore, rather than discourage violence within its own ranks, the MDC should direct that violence, not at its own leadership but at the supporters of ZANU PF. That also hasn't been attended to and needs to be attended to.

And I don't really think that the Party was very wise when they joined the Government of National Unity to remove both the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General from the Party and put them in government. One of the Secretary Generals should have stayed at Harvest House in charge of the administration, in charge of the running of Harvest House, the Headquarters of the MDC and this didn't happen and there's been considerable corruption going on at Harvest House and the youth are rebelling because they see some of this corruption going on. But the Party leadership, the Secretary General, the President, the Deputy are not even there, they are now in charge of the nation and so the youth have been forced to take matters into their hands and that's very unfortunate.

GONDA: And what about issues to do with setting up independent investigation committees because many people say the Parties always set up these committees but nothing concrete ever comes out or is publicised about the findings?

MAKUMBE: I totally agree with independent commissions or committees of enquiry. I don't really see how anyone in MDC , if there is factionalism in the MDC , I don't see how anyone in the Party cannot be aligned to one faction or the other. I don't see how you then select a committee to investigate an issue within the MDC and you select that committee from members of the MDC . It would be wise and transparent to appoint people who are not members of the MDC who therefore, cannot be accused of being aligned to one of the groups or one of the factions or the other.

GONDA: So these commissions in your view, should they still have a few members from the Party or it has be hundred per cent independent? The reason I'm asking this is because the latest committee that is investigating the disturbances that took place at Harvest House, I understand comprises of some MDC officials, including Seiso Moyo who is the MP for Nketa and the Deputy Minister of Justice Jesse Majome and one or two other members of the MDC . Should they still be involved in a committee like this because others will say they are too junior also to be investigating issues that involve senior party leaders? What can you say about that?

MAKUMBE: I agree, I agree, not only are they junior but because they are members of the MDC they have a faction which they will be supporting if there's factionalism in the MDC and so you are going to end up with a report which is either biased in one direction or the other. But I personally believe that these committees of enquiry should be entirely independent and the MDC cannot claim that they couldn't find anyone in Zimbabwe who could actually be a member of such a committee who is totally not aligned to either ZANU PF or the MDC or one of the factions in the MDC -M or one of the factions in the MDC -T. It's not true, they need to have transparency and they need to deal with issues as they come, For junior members to investigate senior members is always risky especially when a Party is now in government because what comes out of these reports can determine whether an individual continues to be in Cabinet or maybe relieved of their duties or will be appointed into Cabinet next time or will be overlooked. It is really tricky. In politics there are no permanent friends, there are no permanent enemies, there are only permanent interests.

GONDA: And I remember the last time we spoke you also said the same thing about the need for the MDC to set up an independent committee to investigate the allegations of corruption in their UK Chapter and I understand that a committee has been set up and it will be in the UK this weekend. But again, the composition of this committee comprises mostly of people who are in the Party, for example Minister Sipepa Nkomo, MP Thabitha Khumalo and the Finance Director of the Party , Rumbidzai Nyamayemombe.

MAKUMBE: No it is not an independent committee and therefore it will not do a good job. It is going to be aligned one way or the other and it is going to doctor whatever it finds out in terms of its own preferences or the preferences and interests of its members or a combination thereof. And so in my view, I think we are again going to end up with a report about the UK fraudulent activities that is again questionable, that report could be disputed and therefore we will still see the MDC will not actually get to the bottom of the problem and when you don't get to the bottom of the problem, those problems are likely to recur, it's just as simple as that.

GONDA: And a final word Professor Makumbe.

MAKUMBE: I think there is nothing on the horizon. There is no way the MDC should get out of the unity government at the moment. They must stay in there, they must fight, from both within and without. Zimbabwe is too precious to be surrendered to ZANU PF and Robert Mugabe forever. The fight must go on and it must take all fronts, not only one front.

GONDA: Thank you very much Professor John Makumbe for participating on the programme Hot Seat.

MAKUMBE: My pleasure always Violet.

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Zimbabwe Weekly update - Number 17

WEEK ENDING TUESDAY 4 MAY 2010 - Number 17
Roundup of events during the last 7 days in Zimbabwe

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held talks with two regional leaders this
week, opting to visit SA's President Zuma and Botswana's President Khama,
instead of meeting with visiting Iranian leader Ahmadinejad.
The discussions reportedly centred on the lack of progress in the full
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the fact that
President Mugabe reneges on agreements after meeting with his hardliners in
Zanu PF.
The South African team of facilitators working on behalf of President Jacob
Zuma to end a lengthy deadlock in Zimbabwe's troubled power-sharing
government visited Harare on Thursday for further talks, but reported no
The MDC has completed its investigations into internal factional violence
and has promised to punish offenders.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced plans for a civil service wage
freeze, saying the government wage bill was too big.  However, speaking at
Workers' Day celebrations Saturday, Prime Minister Morgan, Tsvangirai
assured workers that the salary freeze was not in line with government
policy and that the door was still open for negotiations.
A militant Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA)
splinter group, which claims it wants Zanu PF to remain in power forever, is
now demanding 20 percent of all acquired land and a slice of the economy as
compensation for participating in the war of liberation.
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo is being sued by the Marondera
Residents' Association over his unilateral and unconstitutional appointment
of three 'special interest' Zanu PF city councillors in March. The eleven
elected councillors are all MDC. In Bulawayo, Mayor Patrick Thaba-Moyo has
already rejected similar plans to appoint special interest councillors.
Zimbabwe's largest election monitoring body, the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN), says that the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is
neither independently staffed nor sufficiently financed to enable electoral
reform. The ZEC's functions are still subject to ministerial and
Presidential approval.
ZESN advocates for an electoral management body that is independent and free
from executive control, which reports and is accountable to parliament.
Villagers in Lupane North Constituency in Matabeleland North have filed an
application in the High Court in Bulawayo to compel the newly commissioned
ZEC to call for a by-election in the constituency within the next 30 days.
The area has been without representation in parliament since their MP was
sacked by vice-president Arthur Mutambara last year.
Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku says the delay in holding
by-elections to fill up to 20 vacancies in Parliament is illegal. Some seats
in both the Senate and the House of Assembly have been vacant for more than
a year. Madhuku, leader of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), said
President Mugabe could be taken to court for violating the Electoral Act and
the supreme law of the country.
The remuneration of CEOs of Zimbabwe's 80 failing parastatals is being
investigated. The mainly Zanu PF appointees are resisting demands by State
Enterprises minister Joel Gabbuza (MDC), to reveal their top executives'
salaries and perks, which in some cases are estimated at more than US$12 000
a month.
Civil service employees are protesting their low salaries of US$240 a month,
while state pensioners receive as little as US$10 a month. "All state
enterprises in the country are in financial crisis but the vehicles used by
managers at these state enterprises are top of the range," said one ministry
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised growth forecasts to 2,2
percent from the initial 6 percent. Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI) president Kumbirai Katsande said the IMF projections reflect the
reality of conditions for the productive sector. He said power shortages,
inadequate capital to recapitalise companies and high production costs have
created a serious handicap for the turnaround of the economy.
A new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe board was named by Finance Minister Tendai
Biti. The new board has reputable members drawn from the business, legal and
academic fields and its mandate is to restructure the beleaguered bank and
monetary policy.
Zimbabwe has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sino Hydro of China
to focus on the expansion of the Kariba South Bank extension through funding
from Chinese financial institutions. The extension would have the capacity
to produce between 250 - 360 megawatts of power.

Speaking at May Day celebrations Saturday, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said
the indigenisation laws should not benefit people who want to grab what they
did not invest in. "You cannot benefit where you did not put a cent," he
said. "The programme should not be chaotic like the land reform programme."
The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund, which has no
resources of its own, has announced it will force a private company levy to
fund development of its empowerment programmes.
The Zimbabwe chapter of the Institute of Directors and the Zimbabwe
Leadership Forum are drawing up a new code of business conduct for members,
aimed at eliminating corrupt business practice and encouraging investment.
The code will also recommend amendments to listing requirements on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Mobile phone operator Econet published its year-end results, showing US$113
million in profits. Its shares rose by 40c, leading a slight rally on the
ZSE industrial index this week. The company has also introduced a new 'free
call' facility via its payphone network, to enable the poor to contact
emergency services, or send a 'call me back' message to relatives.
Around 5 000 textile industry workers lost their jobs between 2007 and 2009
as the effects of cheaper imported materials and finished goods from China
and other Asian countries continues to damage local production.
South African gold miner DRDGold invested US$1 million (R7,5 million) for a
49 percent stake in a local firm, Chizim Investment, for gold exploration at
Leny claims near Norton.
The Ministry of Mines has again barred a parliamentary team from touring the
Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange, a move that could cause further friction
in the inclusive government, and fuel divisions within Zanu PF. This was the
second time in 30 days that the committee has been barred from touring
The Zimbabwe high court has not yet approved the sale of 129 000 carats of
diamonds belonging to African Consolidated Resources (ACR), while the
Minister of Mines declared his intention to defy the Kimberley Process.
Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has applied to Mines minister
Obert Mpofu asking for a mining concession to be run by and for the police
force (ZRP) in the Marange diamond fields.
Mining minister Obert Mpofu, 30 years after Zimbabwe's independence, has
said that government is 'worried' about the ownership of mines.
"More than four companies, all of them foreign, are operating there (along
the mineral-rich Great Dyke) and that is totally unacceptable," he said.
Among the companies operating along the Dyke are Mimosa, Zimplats, Camec and
Zim Alloys.
The Associated Mine Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ) has issued a notice
to go on strike as the standoff between mineworkers and employers' body, the
Chamber of Mines, over wages, intensifies.
A Chipinge magistrate was attacked in his courthouse by a violent group of
squatters.  He had earlier ruled to evict the 300 squatters from
foreign-owned Makandi Coffee Estates, which is protected under a Bilateral
Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).  Makandi Estates -
which produces coffee and bananas mainly for export - is run by a German
Ten families have been evicted from Godden farm in the Masvingo district by
former Zanu PF provincial lands secretary Bhota Chitumba, who torched their
homes with the help of the police.  The families had invaded the formerly
white-owned farm at the height of the "land reform" programme in 2000, but
are now themselves destitute and living by the roadside.
Political Violence
The Zanu PF MP for Muzarabani South, Edward Raradza, is fuelling a surge of
violence, torture and burning of homes in the district. Led by Zanu PF
militias and youths in recent weeks, the political violence has the blessing
of the Zanu PF provincial governor Martin Dinha, who has ordered local
police not to interfere.
Human rights organisations also report an upsurge of violence in rural
areas, such as Mutasa North, Mudzi, Bindura and Masvingo, perpetrated by
Zanu PF sponsored thugs.
A 15-year old Mwenezi schoolboy, who had been waiting to see justice done to
the people who murdered his father during the 2008 elections, was provoked
beyond endurance by his father's killer in church Sunday. When Zanu PF thug
Nhamo Machacha attempted to harass worshippers and demanded that the service
be aborted, the youth pulled out a knife and stabbed him, wounding him
The MDC has demanded the arrest of rogue Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) spy Joseph Mwale and his accomplice, who are wanted for the
double-murder of the Prime Minister's election agent, Tichaona Chiminya, and
MDC activist, Talent Mabika in 2000.  Mwale and Zanu PF terror squad leader
Tom Zimunya have not been arrested even after a High Court judge ordered
their incarceration.
The Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (ZIMTA) has revealed that 45,000 teachers
quit the profession and sought jobs abroad over the last decade, but that
since February 2009, around 7 000 teachers have returned. The country has a
current shortage of 30 percent of its teacher requirement.
The government has made it easier for foreign news correspondents to report
from the country. According to a gazette published Friday, foreign media
organisations will now pay US$2 500, slashed from the previous $30 000 fee,
for permission to operate in-country.
The South African government has recruited, equipped and deployed 'Red Ant'
brigades to forcibly and violently evict Zimbabwean economic refugees in the
vicinity of Soccer World Cup venues in several municipalities.  Scores of
foreign nationals were killed during xenophobic attacks in South Africa in
The Good News
Zimbabwe's cricket team has stunned both Australia and world champions
Pakistan by beating both national teams in warm-up matches for the World
Twenty20 tournament.
Leaders of the women's wings of the three unity government partners signed a
resolution to work across their political divides to accelerate
implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and build a common
agenda for women's empowerment. The resolution was immediately endorsed by
the Women's Parliamentary Caucus of Zimbabwe and welcomed by other women's
Prime Minister Tsvangirai will receive the W. Averell Harriman Democracy
Award for his 'tireless efforts to restore democracy, human rights and the
rule of law to Zimbabwe'. The Harriman Award will be presented by the USA's
National Democratic Institute at their 25th anniversary celebration on 10

Source:   Zimbabwe Democracy Now

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Zimbabwean youths turn to dance to end political violence

May 6, 2010, 11:31 GMT

By Jan Raath, dpa

Harare (dpa) - Twenty months ago, the 35 teenagers were either the victims
of terrifying political brutality, or the ones who beat them with iron rods
on the unlit, rubbish-strewn streets of Harare's Mbare township.

Last week they were on the stage of the Zimbabwean capital's Reps theatre,
in one of the unexpected triumphs of the annual Harare International
Festival of the Arts (HIFA).

Transgressions is a deeply moving dance drama that eloquently portrayed the
cruelty and cynical control of a party that sucked them and many thousands
of others into the violence during the last elections in June 2008.

To Brahms' turbulent 1st symphony, the youngsters executed an hour-long
spare, fast-moving contemporary dance, in which they staged robot-like
battles, rolled in agony on the floor, dragged their dead and injured off
the stage, and finally rejected the brutal autocrat that had created the
violence to proclaim the victory of his pacifist opponent.

It had the audience in the packed auditorium on its feet and the faces of
the hitherto stoney-faced dancers wreathed in broad smiles at their success.

'It was really great,' said Tongai Masunda, one of the leading dancers. 'We
didn't think people would like us very much. We are just from Mbare.'

Octogenarian president Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party unleashed a reign of
terror before and after the 2008 presidential elections against the then
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - which is now in a rickety
power-sharing arrangement with Zanu-PF.

The violence left around 200 MDC supporters dead and thousands maimed, as
mobs of Zanu-PF youths, press-ganged into joining, roamed the streets of
townships and rural business centres, hunting suspected supporters of MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

MDC supporters tried to resist the ritual lashings and destruction of their
homes, but were no match for the Zanu-PF gangs, who were backed by police
and the army.

Earlier this year, volunteers of the Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace in Zimbabwe gathered 35 youths from both sides of the political divide
in Mbare to unite them in training - this time for a peaceful purpose.

Volker Eisenbach, 39, runs an unusual dance company in Berlin that draws on
youths and young adults with no experience of dance, to bring dance to
ordinary people. The Commission called him to Harare to try his luck with
the rough and rowdy youths from Mbare.

'Most of them were involved in the violence in 2008,' he said. 'We had both
sides, victims and perpetrators. But it was never an issue at rehearsals.
There was never an incident, no-one ever said 'I don't want to dance with
you,' or 'he did this or that to me.' They left all that outside. They just
wanted to do something.'

He had had two weeks to turn the motley crowd of toughs into dancers. 'It
was great from day one,' he said. 'When I entered the room to meet them,
they did a little dance routine to welcome me.'

Much of Eisenbach's work in Berlin is with difficult teenagers in the poorer
parts of the city.

'You have to work hard to create an environment where they listen to you and
stop fighting and offending each other,' he said. 'Not with the Mbare kids.
They were open eyes and ears. They said: 'We are ready, teach us

For five hours each weekday of the fortnight, they rehearsed.

'I didn't look for the best among them, anyone could come,' Eisenbach said.
'They came every day. There was so much power, they needed to dance. They
were open to everything, total commitment. Even the worst days were really

The dance 'is about power, losing power, the reluctance to give up power,
about people who started out really good and turn to the opposite in the
end, and their reluctance to step down,' he said. 'It's about freedom, about
suppression, and forcing people to do things they don't want to do.'

He is adamant that he was not creating a statement about Mugabe's 30-year
autocratic rule. 'Zimbabwe was not the main thing in my head. I never told
the dancers this is about Zimbabwe. It's completely applicable to (Premier
Silvio) Berlusconi in Italy.'

But Transgressions touched a raw nerve in the electrified audience, several
of whom spoke afterwards of the vivid and troubling depiction of what
Zimbabweans have come to accept as normal election behaviour.

Eisenbach also organized a free show for children on a netball court in

'They clapped and cheered when the leading dancer portraying the 'king' or
the 'president' was taken down and a new leader triumphed,' he said.

In its 11th year, HIFA has established itself as a significant international
arts festival, drawing respected local and international artists in
classical and contemporary dance, theatre, opera, drama and comedy.

The programme runs to about 30 events each of its six days and runs like

This year drew a massive attendance of 61,000 people, many of whom came from
abroad specially for the festival.

HIFA is the brainchild of renowned concert pianist Manuel Bagorro, who
spends most of the rest of the year scouting for talent in Europe, America,
Australia and the East.

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Kunonga, the rule of law and justice

1.   According to the agreement entered into between ZANU(PF),  MDC(T) and
MDC(M) in 2008, the parties have emphasized the importance of their
commitment to "re-orient" their attitude towards respect for the
Constitution and the Rule of Law.
2. At an international conference on the Rule of Law and Peace, held
recently, it was confirmed that within the framework of the Rule of Law,
Governments and their officials, including the police and agents, are
accountable under the law for official misconduct, including abuse of office
for private gain, acts that exceed their authority and violations of
fundamental rights.  The international conference recorded, in addition,
that judicial proceedings and decisions should be free of bias or improper
influence by public officials or private interests, should be fair and
protect fundamental rights and the security of property.  Judges should be
impartial and accountable.  Judicial proceedings should be efficient,
accessible and effective so that judgments are enforced without unreasonable
delay and timely and effective remedies are given to prevent and address
lack of compliance with the law.
3.  The people of Zimbabwe yearn to restore the tattered reputation of this
potentially great country so that with the intended change of attitude and
recognition of the Constitution and the Rule of Law, among other
commitments, Zimbabwe  may become one of the finest, fairest, most
democratic and just, peaceful,  humane and prosperous nations in the world.
These factors are relevant for purposes of this commentary.
It is also important to set out sufficient information on the Anglican
Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) to enable everyone to
understand the structure:
1.  The CPCA spans across 4 countries : Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and
Zimbabwe.  There are currently 15 dioceses each with a bishop, one of whom
is the Archbishop of the CPCA.  In commercial parlance, the CPCA is the
holding company and each diocese is its wholly-owned subsidiary.  The 15
bishops convene from time to time under the Chairmanship of the Archbishop
at what is known as the Episcopal Synod (the "Provincial Executive").  Again
using the commercial analogy, each bishop is the equivalent of a managing
director of a subsidiary company with the Archbishop as the Chairman of all
the subsidiary companies (or dioceses).  The decisions of the Episcopal
Synod are binding on all 15 dioceses in the Province.
2.  On taking office, every bishop swears a solemn oath that he consents to
be bound by, and to govern his diocese in conformity with all the Laws and
Canons of the CPCA  (The Canons are enactments of the CPCA binding on all
Anglican priests in the four countries of the Province)
3.  In each Diocese a Diocesan Synod or "Diocesan Parliament", comprising
the bishop, all clergy and lay representatives from parishes within the
Diocese meets periodically to attend to the affairs of that Diocese.  It,
like each bishop, has always to comply with the overriding laws of the CPCA.
4.  On the subject of property, the CPCA through its Provincial Synod or
"Provincial Parliament", (15 bishops and lay representatives elected from
each Diocese) frames rules for the management of property situated in and
held by the Dioceses in all four countries.  The CPCA has full powers and
authority over each diocese to determine in what manner and upon what terms
such property shall be used or occupied.   CPCA Trustees hold the property
in trust.  They obey and are under the authority of the Provincial Synod.
In turn, Diocesan trustees exercise their powers on behalf of the Provincial
Synod and have to ensure the provisions of the CPCA Constitution and Canons
concerning property and funds are complied with, not only by the Diocesan
Trustees themselves, but by every person or body in their Diocese dealing
with property, including the bishop.
5.  Finally, for any diocese to break away from the CPCA it is necessary to
obtain the approval of every diocese in the CPCA as well as a two-thirds
vote of approval by the Provincial Synod and also the endorsement of the
Archbishop of Canterbury.
With these laws in mind we can now assess the legality or otherwise of
Nolbert Kunonga.

When he came into office as Bishop of the Diocese of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga
swore a solemn oath that he was bound by and would govern the Diocese in
accordance with all the laws of the CPCA.  He knew perfectly well that he
could not cause the Diocese of Harare unilaterally to break away from the
Province and knows the property of the Diocese of Harare (the Diocese)  does
not belong to him but to the CPCA.
After his enthronement it became obvious that Kunonga had his own
preconceived agenda.  His unsuccessful though persistent attempts to amend
the laws (Acts) of the Diocese to give himself  supreme and unchallengeable
power in the Diocese was a  clear signal that he  had no intention
whatsoever to be bound by his oath. Kunonga pursued an oppressive path
apparently assisted by his secretary Morris Brown Gwedegwe and others.  He
intimidated Anglican clergy in the diocese, callously revoked priests
licences and dismissed a number without affording them the right of an
ecclesiastical trial.  He falsely accused priests and members of the laity
of misdemeanours, especially that of not being supporters of the ruling
party.  Allegedly he even attempted to incite a priest to eliminate certain
persons. Unilaterally, it seems, he removed memorial plaques  from the
Cathedral. Unprocedurally and without justifiable reason he dismissed
lawfully elected members of existing committees, boards and institutions.
He replaced them with his own hardliners so that he could be guaranteed they
would do exactly what he told them.
It became increasingly necessary to draw the attention of Kunonga to the
laws of the Diocese and the CPCA and respectfully advise him not to
transgress them. He ignored this, and supported by his collaborators, moved
ahead with his own premeditated plans.
With hindsight, it seems clear that Kunonga was determined to break away
from the CPCA, form his own Province, be his own master, detach himself from
all ecclesiastical laws,   and  entrench himself as Archbishop of the whole
of Zimbabwe.
At the Harare Diocesan Synod held on the 4th August 2007 most members of the
Synod were taken by surprise to receive at the beginning of Synod,  a notice
of motion which read, "The Diocese of Harare does not recognise homosexuals
as an acceptable Christian norm and hence does not recognise marriages from
such relationships".  Sneaking in the notice at the last minute seemed to be
a tactical move to catch Synod members unprepared.  A notice of motion must
be sent to members of Synod at least 18 days in advance of Synod to enable
Church Councils to discuss and formulate their views on it before coming to
Synod. In any event, 40 years previously  the CPCA had passed a resolution
that, "the Church of this Province believes that marriage, by Divine
institution, is a lifelong and exclusive union and partnership between one
man and one woman.  Its law and regulation are based on this belief".
Kunonga was well aware of this.   So there was absolutely no reason to
consider the  motion tabled at Synod.  However, Kunonga and his supporters
needed a deceitful excuse to push forward with his plot.  The motion was
reluctantly passed by Synod but only as a statement.  There was no mention
of the Diocese withdrawing from the CPCA.
Just four days after that Synod, Kunonga, accompanied by some of his clique
attended the Provincial Synod in Malawi.  Although it was not on the agenda,
Kunonga raised the question of homosexuality.  To their surprise he then
told Provincial Synod that he and the Diocese of Harare had resolved at its
recent Synod to withdraw from the CPCA, which was totally untrue.  Indeed
Kunonga subsequently admitted to the Herald newspaper on about the 15th
September 2007 that the "Canons do not recognise homosexual marriages,"
which implicitly emphasized there had been no need for the Diocesan Synod to
have had the notice of motion thrust in its face.  But despite this, Kunonga
addressed a letter on the 21st September 2007 withdrawing himself and the
Diocese from the CPCA with immediate effect,  thereby unlawfully and without
any approval from Synod severing the ties of the Diocese of Harare from the
CPCA.  The grounds fabricated by Kunonga were that the CPCA supported
On the 20th October 2007, the CPCA wrote to Kunonga pointing out that the
CPCA laws do not permit the Diocese of Harare to sever its links with the
Province in this manner. The approval of each diocese, as well as two thirds
of the Provincial Synod and the endorsement of the Archbishop of Canterbury
are required.  The CPCA wrote that as Kunonga had broken his vow of
obedience, and had caused a schism, he and his accomplices, present and
future, were no longer regarded to be or recognized as  Anglicans. Kunonga's
personal withdrawal from the CPCA and therefore also from the Diocese of
Harare was accepted but the Diocese of Harare itself remained within the
CPCA.  He was no longer the bishop of the Diocese of Harare and was told to
hand over the property of the Diocese to a vicar-general about to be
appointed by the CPCA.  The term "Church" in the laws of the Diocese means
"the Church of the Province".  These same Diocesan laws call on the Diocesan
Trustees to deal with "the property and funds of the Church" in the Diocese
which puts beyond doubt that the CPCA owns the Diocesan property and funds.
Kunonga hotly disputed this and, against the weight of the Anglican Laws,
claimed he was still bishop of the Diocese and the Church property belonged
to him even though he had withdrawn from the CPCA.  The CPCA, like any
company, club, organisation or institution has its own rules and
regulations. Kunonga swore to obey those rules.  The Church decreed in 2007
that because Kunonga had voluntarily removed himself from and is no longer a
member of the CPCA, he simultaneously ceased to be the Bishop of the Diocese
of Harare which is a constituent member of the CPCA.  The Anglican
worshippers, the Diocesan assets and funds are not owned, controlled by and
do not in any way belong to Kunonga.   That is the CPCA law and its ruling.
It would be entirely unlawful, indeed would constitute spoliation, theft,
trespass, invasion of privacy among other things, if the managing director
of a Subsidiary Company resigned,  walked out of the Company and said,
"Although I no longer work for the Company and will not recognise the
Holding Company, let me warn you I have claimed all the assets and funds of
the company as my own.  Not one of the workers nor the subsidiary company's
customers will be allowed inside the premises or to deal with company
matters unless they first pay allegiance to me and accept me as the head of
the subsidiary company and owner of its property. I will pay no attention to
any rules or laws."
This is sheer unsustainable nonsense.  In such as case, a court application
would urgently result in an order evicting this ex manager from the property
and restraining him from trespassing, using or having access to the assets
and funds of the Company in any way, and from preventing the workers and
customers from entering the premises. A Court of law in these circumstances
would order the police or other authority to prevent the ex-manager from
interfering with the business of the Company.    This is how the Rule of Law
and Justice would immediately be applied and how the courts would react in
an impartial, independent, free and fair judicial system to ensure effective
justice is seen to be done.  And the police would immediately react where
required to support the judicial officers (judges, sheriffs, deputy
sheriffs, magistrates, messengers of court and so on) to make certain the
court orders were swiftly, fully enforced and the retired Managing Director
removed forthwith from the company premises.  He would not be permitted to
influence the police nor any public officials.
Yet to the amazement of the world, especially Anglicans and other Christian
denominations, in the case of the CPCA,   almost the exact opposite to the
court and police reaction given above has happened.  Kunonga and his
hangers-on, aided by the police, throw innocent CPCA members out of churches
and unlawfully cling to CPCA assets.
Two notable judgments given in the High Court of Zimbabwe were free of bias.
The one commented as a judicial dictum that the court did not recognise
Kunonga as having any jurisdiction in CPCA matters as he was not its
representative.  The other called on the CPCA and the Kunonga faction to
share access to the Churches until the "dispute" between the parties over
the assets and funds, which was already before the courts in another case,
had been resolved.  The first judgment was in 2007;  the second not long
after that.  We are now in2010.  What steps has Kunonga taken to comply with
the "sharing of the premises" court order?
Most of the priests of the Diocese and the great majority of church members
refused to follow Kunonga into his self-chosen exile.  He contemptuously
unleashed a reign of violence and intimidation on these persons, propped up
by the police, some thugs and a few persons he hastily ordained as his
"priests".   The beatings, persecution, prevention by the police of
legitimate churchgoers from attending their normal services, the locking and
chaining of the cathedral doors by Kunonga, his wife and supporters to stop
CPCA services from being held and the disdainful ignoring of court orders
while calling for and receiving unjustified police support, are all
indications of a breakdown of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe.  For the Police
to arrest the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court when he was apparently
carrying out his duty in terms of a High Court order at the Anglican
Cathedral in Harare is contrary to the Rule of Law.   For the Police, whose
duty is to uphold the law and assist fellow officers of the court including
judges and Deputy Sheriffs in maintaining justice, to ignore court orders
and exceed their authority by violating instead of protecting of fundamental
rights is an abuse of office.
The Courts in Zimbabwe are supposed to be independent.  They are subject
only to the Constitution and the laws of the land and are to apply these
without fear or favour or bias.  Interference with the operation of the
courts is not permitted and the State, including the Police, has an
obligation to ensure that judgments as well as the impartiality and
independence of the courts are protected.
Judges are aware, and the police should be aware, that anything which
creates the slightest suspicion that the course of justice is being
interfered with, damages the reputation of the judiciary and its law
officers - including the reputation of the police where applicable.
Regrettably, there seems to be a continuous, intensifying abuse of office
and contempt for the fundamental rights of individuals, including freedom of
worship, assembly, access to one's own property and security thereof.  There
is a perception that Kunonga has misled police officials by mendaciously
telling them his faction is the legal custodian of the Church property in
the Diocese of Harare and thus has the sole right to the use thereof,
despite the two judgments referred to above.  Under such false pretences he
has obtained Police support.  Directives have purportedly been given by very
senior police officers to their juniors to ignore court orders delivered by
anyone without first consulting the Provincial Command. Allegedly Kunonga
has  called on the police, who have made themselves available,  to "silence"
the CPCA.  It has been claimed that Kunonga has even complained that some
directives sent from Assistant Commissioners or other officers to police
details, presumably at the request of Kunonga, have not been complied with
because these police details are (quite rightly) asking for proof of such
things as court orders which do not exist or cannot be obtained.  In short,
senior police officers are perceived to be collaborating with Kunonga, his
bogus "priests" and thugs in assaulting and persecuting the very persons who
have a legitimate right of access to and worship in their own churches and
buildings; property which belongs to the CPCA.  Kunonga and his faction have
not contributed one cent towards these buildings.  On the contrary Kunonga
takes rental from CPCA properties for his own purposes.  For senior police
officers to give directives to prevent lawful churchgoers from worshipping
in their own churches, and to assault and remove those who are legitimately
inside a church is morally and legally unjust.  Yet it is happening.  Either
the police have been totally duped and hoodwinked by Kunonga or they are
deliberately bent on helping him to occupy, retain and use what is not his
to the prejudice of the rightful owners and users.  This is tantamount to
undue and wanton interference in the rights and affairs of the Church by the
police which makes them accessories to the increasing victimization and
persecution by just a few self-idolising imposters over the massive
following of CPCA churchgoers.
In all this, where is the respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law
including the Judicial System which the political parties to the agreement
of the 15th September 2008 are committed to?   Where is the accountability
under the law for violations of fundamental rights?  Where is the security
of property?  Where is the impartiality and fairness?
While illogically maintaining he was still bishop of the Diocese of Harare
and owner of the property of the Church,  Kunonga announced on about the
12th January 2008 the formation of his own church. This underlines the
motives he had nurtured for several years; his yearning to be boss of his
own organisation.
Marching ahead with his pernicious plans Kunonga held a ceremony on the 23rd
February 2008 to establish his very own province with himself as self
proclaimed Archbishop.   He made Harry Mambo Rinashe, Caxton Mabhoyi, Alfred
Munyuni and Morris Brown Gwedegwe bishops in his organisation and
subsequently made other appointments including Elson Jakazi as his bishop in
Manicaland.  This  reinforced the fact that Kunonga had cut ties completely
with the Anglican worldwide communion  and the CPCA. His mindset was to walk
out of the CPCA in August 2007, slam shut the door and turn his back on
Anglicanism forever. It also stamped irrevocably on him and his men the
label of "schism makers". By these actions he has undeniably accepted that
he and his fellow travellers are excommunicated, are no longer priests in
the CPCA, are no longer Anglicans and, in fact, do not want to be.  To make
sure the public knows of the establishment of his new personal faction, he
arranged for the announcement to be published in banner headlines in the
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail on the 24th February 2008.  Kunonga and his retinue
obtained robes, crooks and mitres to dress up as bishops.   But the formal
attire or fancy dress only emphasizes that these persons and their followers
are definitely not part of the CPCA and are in a separate clique of their
own making. Holding themselves out to be Anglican bishops and priests is
inaccurate -  a "make believe"  masquerade.
A case has been pending in the High Court of Zimbabwe since about 2007 to
obtain a ruling that the property of the Diocese of Harare belongs to the
CPCA and not to Kunonga as he alleges.  In the meantime numerous interim and
other court orders have been made, apart from the two notable judgments
previously referred to.
Assisted by aggressive "bogus" priests and hired thugs, backed by a
compliant police force, Kunonga immorally and unlawfully pays no attention
to court orders that do not suit him and still persists in unjustified
assaults on and persecution of the Anglican churchgoers, priests and workers
within the CPCA and brings vexatious application after vexatious application
before judges in chambers.  A number of appeals lie in the "in basket" at
the Supreme Court awaiting a hearing. Other judgments are still pending.
One of these applications brought by Kunonga before a particular judge in
chambers deserves mention here to illustrate the lengths to which he will go
and the astonishing results that, at times, are forthcoming from judicial
It has already been explained that Kunonga had evidently deliberately
designed and carried out his breakaway from the CPCA in order to become an
archbishop in a new  organisation of his own making, and that he had made
himself that Archbishop, totally separated from the CPCA and from
Anglicanism.  It has been explained that he obstinately insisted that, he
and the entire Diocese of Harare had left the CPCA and he was still bishop
of the Diocese of Harare and all the church property belonged to him.
Commonsense, let alone the law, shouts from the rooftops that one cannot be
a bishop (or a licenced priest) in one faction (CPCA) and an archbishop in
another faction which does not recognise and has broken away from the CPCA,
especially as the CPCA has accepted the resignation of the bishop and has
defrocked him.  But Kunonga kept insisting that the CPCA property, through
some obscure untenable reasons, was his and he was bishop of the Diocese of
Harare as well as being Archbishop of a body outside and in conflict with
the CPCA.
Then, in July 2009 Kunonga put in an urgent application to a judge in
chambers challenging the right of the CPCA to ordain and enthrone Bishop
Chad Gandiya who was taking over from Bishop Sebastian Bakare, (the bishop
who was appointed Vicar-General and Acting Bishop when Kunonga left the CPCA
and the Diocese)as Bishop of the Diocese of Harare. In his affidavit Kunonga
did an about turn.  He now suddenly realized and accepted it had not been
lawfully possible to withdraw the Diocese of Harare from the CPCA as this
was against the Church laws (which he had up until then ignored).  In other
words, he admitted without reservation  that the Diocese has at all times
been part of the CPCA despite his ill-conceived verbal and physical attacks
on the CPCA churchgoers, assisted by the police and others to keep them out
of what is theirs.
In his affidavit he now argues that as he has conceded the (purported)
resolution of the Diocesan Synod dated the 4th August 2007 was invalid, all
that he has done after that date must be forgotten and ignored. He will just
continue seamlessly from the date of that Synod to be the incumbent bishop
and control all the property and funds of the Diocese as if he had never
withdrawn from the CPCA and created a schism; becoming Archbishop of his own
separate domain.  Consequently, he argues, there was no need to have elected
Bishops Bakare and  Gandiya to be incumbents of his, Kunonga's, diocese.  He
goes on to put forward what he seems to maintain is a generous compromise.
He is prepared to turn the clock back to the 4th August 2007, reconcile with
and forgive all who had been against him and take them back into his fold.
And the presiding judge was perceived in his chambers and in his judgment to
have concurred with Kunonga that this reasoning was logical and acceptable!
He recognized Kunonga as the present incumbent.
Does such a decision comply with the Rule of Law? Is it just?  How can it be
possible by any stretch of a tortuous imagination that a person who leaves
and clearly stands outside the CPCA, snubs it, forms his own organisation
and publicly declares himself its leader and its archbishop, a person who
has been deprived of his bishop's status by the CPCA and, with his
followers, is no longer connected with or deemed to be a member of the
worldwide Anglican communion; how can such a person who has defied the rules
and decisions of the CPCA do a volte face and have the audacity to say he
had all along been wrong to assume he could leave the CPCA and take the
Diocese with him,  but because of his error, he would wind the clock back,
return to the CPCA as bishop of the Diocese from the 4th August 2007 and
expect to have the CPCA doors open wide to him, the very man who is
Archbishop of his own faction opposed to the CPCA?  And how can such a
process meet with the approval of a judge  where justice, fairness,
impartiality and the protection of fundamental rights, are supposed to be
ingrained as guaranteed tenets of an independent judiciary without fear,
favour or prejudice?
In the meantime, despite escalating,  unrelenting persecutions aided by the
police, the faithful, law abiding Anglican Churchgoers continue to meet in
their thousands each week in the open, in parks, outside the churches they
are barred by Kunonga from worshipping in, while Kunonga and his fellow
"priests" stride through the front door into God's Houses where the front
row is barely filled with Kunonga supporters.   In some cases, because no
one is present at his "services" Kunonga keeps the churches locked and still
will not allow the CPCA Christians to use them.  He has banned marriages and
funerals in the empty Diocesan churches.  He and his few adherents, with
police help, have disrupted and stopped confirmation services.  He is openly
invasive and threatening.  But still he has virtually no following.
This is an ideal opportunity for the three political parties to the 2008
Agreement to display actively the need for respect for the Constitution and
Law of Zimbabwe and for the police to carry out their duties impartially and
be accountable for any abuse of office, and for the judiciary to prove its
independence, impartiality and effectiveness in carrying out the law without
fear, favour or bias.

Dean and Acting Archbishop of The Anglican Church The Province of Central

Date:  4th March 2010


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