Police leave the scene after throwing teargas at a house
in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, November 6, 2011.
main political leaders have a key meeting Friday to try and stop violence that
is threatening progress towards free and fair elections and economic recovery.
The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, or JOMIC, will open an
investigation into a sudden surge of violence against the Movement for
Democratic Change party (MDC).
ZANU-PF leader President Robert Mugabe,
MDC leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and Welshman Ncube, leader of the
small MDC party, will meet in a more formal environment than their regular
weekly get-togethers as the nearly three-year-old inclusive government faces
increasing political and economic trouble.
The JOMIC met Wednesday ahead
of the summit and said that party leaders must stop giving mixed messages to
“At political party leadership we are able to sit and engage
and talk and joke but it is not translating to the lower levels of our political
parties," said Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who represents the small MDC on
JOMIC and is a longtime negotiator for political reform. "It is important
therefore we begin to cascade the values and statements we are giving out as
political party leadership and ensure that those issues also cascade to the
Elton Mangoma represents the MDC, which won the 2008
elections. He was also at the JOMIC meeting Wednesday.
“It is the
commitment we want to see from the political party leadership so what they say
in public is what they say in private," said Mangoma. "This violence will
consume this nation and will take us backwards.”
Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa represents ZANU-PF on JOMIC and he said violence would undermine the
credibility of the next elections.
“A peaceful environment is very
critical to our future for economic recovery and development and conducive to
the forthcoming free and fair elections," said Chinamasa. "It goes to the bone
MDC supporters have reported increasing attacks and
harassment in recent months, including the disruption of many MDC political
Veteran Zimbabwe analyst Brian Raftopoulos said the surge in
violence may be the result of political impatience by ZANU-PF connected to
Mugabe’s age and his health, as the party needs him as a candidate for the next
polls. The president will be 88 early next year.
“Mugabe’s health is not
improving, in fact is deteriorating," he said. "That they need to get an
election where he is still available as a candidate.”
facilitation team, which has a mandate from the Southern African Development
Community to help Zimbabwe move toward undisputed elections, says it hopes SADC
will call a high-level security meeting to address this surge in
Piers Pigou is the new project director for southern Africa for
the International Crisis Group and says that the violence is connected to groups
in ZANU-PF who want elections before 2013.
“It seems to be associated
with calls for elections in early 2012, which are clearly being resisted by the
MDC, the SADC facilitation team and civil society groups,” said
MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti said the police did not assist
those attacked by ZANU-PF youth at an MDC rally last Sunday that had to be
By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior
Writer Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:01
HARARE - The Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee, (Jomic) is seeking an urgent
meeting with Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) commissioner general Augustine
Chihuri to discuss police’s role in stamping out political violence in the
Incumbent Jomic chairperson for the month of November, Priscilla
Misihairambwi-Mushonga, who is also the secretary-general of the Welshman
Ncube-led MDC revealed this while addressing journalists at the committee’s
offices in Harare yesterday.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga said the meeting
with Chihuri and the leadership of the police was part of various meetings
they were holding to address the rising cases of politically-motivated
“There is an investigation that is taking place around what has
been happening or what happened recently,” she said.
“Some of our
colleagues have been holding meetings with representatives of Zanu PF and
the two MDC parties to find out what these parties are doing to stop the
violence. We believe that political parties will play a central role in
monitoring and ensuring there is no violence,” she said.
She added: “We
will be engaging the leadership of the police, especially meeting the
commissioner general of the police, to find out what has happened since the
violence took place and to understand what has happened to those that were
instigating and perpetrating violence.
“We are also trying to understand
what is going to be taking place from now onwards around the same issue of
violence. That discussion will be taking place and we are seeking to hold
that meeting very soon.”
Misihairambwi-Mushonga said Jomic’s meeting with
Chihuri was long overdue as it had been postponed for some time.
had hoped to meet the commissioner some time later. We have been postponing
these meetings due to a number of reasons. But what has happened has forced
us to want to expedite this meeting so that we can speed up the whole
“As Jomic, we have tasked Chinamasa (Patrick) to arrange that
meeting with the police and we hope that he will succeed in facilitating the
meeting,” she said.
Meanwhile, a top MDC official Zebediah Juaba has
launched a complaint with Jomic over the brutal attacks he endured together
with other MDC supporters over the weekend.
Juaba said they were
attacked by Zanu PF youths.
He told the Daily News that he sustained
serious injuries on the head, hands and legs while attempting to attend the
ill-fated Chibuku stadium rally that was supposed to be addressed by
Juaba also said the police were biased in their conduct as
they did not protect the MDC supporters from the attack.
“We did not
provoke Zanu PF supporters, it is them who came armed with stones and iron
bars to attack us in the stadium were I was supervising the erection of the
tent by our party members.
“I was struck with an iron on the head, and I
was struck on the right knee before I fell down," said Juaba.
youths were shouting that uri mutengesi, vanhu vekwaTsvangirai muri
kutengesa nyika zvino tinokuurayai (you are a sell-out. You Tsvangirai
people are sell-outs, we will kill you,)” Juaba added in his letter of
complaint to Jomic.
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has told
President Jacob Zuma that current tensions that have resulted in resurgent
violence are partly a result of intensifying hate speech churned out by the
In a letter to the South African president, MDC secretary
general Tendai Biti said state controlled newspapers as well as radio
stations and televisions run by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
had ganged up to denigrate and belittle the Prime Minister and his MDC party
to the extent of fanning hatred.
Sadc appointed Zuma as its point man
in dealing with Zimbabwe’s political stalemate to ensure credible elections
to end a fragile unity government formed by President Robert Mugabe and
Tsvangirai following the disputed 2008 elections.
Article 19 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that gave birth to the
coalition government, the public media should provide balanced and fair
coverage to all political parties for their legitimate political
“It is business as usual for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) and the Herald and the MDC continues to be viewed as the
chief enemy of the state regardless of more than two years of an inclusive
government,” reads the letter dispatched to Zuma’s office.
complained through Jomic (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) and
ZBC about our discontent at the airing of political jingles by ZBC but in
response these have gone several decibels up.
“ZBC’s four radio stations
air Zanu PF jingles at 30 minute intervals. It seems our colleagues in
government are already in an election mode and are obsessed with the power
In the past week, state media has maximised on
Tsvangirai’s support for gay rights to bash the former trade unionist who
became the first person to defeat Mugabe in an election in the 2008
presidential election first round.
The international community, including
the African Union, rejected results of a second round boycotted by
“On Monday, October 31 2011, the state media nicknamed the
Prime Minister “More-gay”. We find this to insinuate that the Prime Minister
is gay. We find this derogatory and a means of vilifying the MDC and its
President,” says the letter to Zuma.
Last week Tsvangirai again had
to address the issue saying he was a father, a grandfather and a Methodist
parishioner and “certainly not gay.”
At a function earlier this year in
Chitungwiza, Tsvangirai struck rare unity with Mugabe saying he was against
gay rights, and on a BBC News Night programme he said he would not mind if
gay rights were enshrined in a draft constitution being crafted.
beliefs on this issue are a matter of public record,” Tsvangirai said last
week. “My beliefs manifest themselves in my practice. I am a Christian
associated with the Methodist Church. I am a father. I am a grandfather. I
am a family man.”
The letter to the Sadc-mandated facilitator notes
several previous pleas to the state media to report fairly which have fallen
on deaf ears.
“Unfortunately some elements in our midst continue to drag
the country back into this abyss of uncertainty and continue to stall
progress,” the letter says.
“Zimbabwean citizens clearly want to move
forward and achieve real change and can only rely on Sadc and Africa to
employ its wise counsel in ensuring that the Zimbabwe crisis is
The announcement this week that the three principals to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) have agreed to hold elections as early as possible
has ignited angry responses from ordinary Zimbabweans and activists, who say
the environment is too violent and too polarized to hold credible
Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara discussed elections during their meeting on
Monday and agreed the inclusive government should come to an end because it
is not working.
But a snap survey in the NewsDay newspaper on
Wednesday revealed that most ordinary Zimbabweans were “frightened stiff” of
holding elections under the current conditions. Many of them pointed to the
issue of violence as the most crucial issue that needs to be dealt
Political commentator Bekhitemba Mhlanga told SW Radio Africa on
Thursday that this week’s development adds more confusion to a situation
that already has multiple processes at play. Mhlanga referred to the SADC
facilitated negotiations that are still going on, the constitutional
referendum due before elections, and crucial reforms that ZANU PF is
“SADC will have to make it clear that if they do not monitor
the elections then all players must be prepared to accept that the outcome
will not be laid at their door,” Mhlanga explained.
projects director for the International Crisis Group Southern Africa, said
there is a real danger violence will be employed again by ZANU PF to force
people to go and vote or to stop them doing so.
“I think there is an
emerging consensus in many quarters that elections should be and can only be
held in March, or June 2013. But much depends on what happens at the ZANU PF
conference in December,” Pigou said.
The principals did not announce a
date for elections, and it remains to be seen whether ZANU PF will finally
give in to the demands stipulated in the GPA.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora rejected charges
by some that the prime minister is falling into a trap set by
Violet Gonda & Blessing Zulu | Washington
agreement by the principals is that there must be an election in Zimbabwe.
The agreement is not that there must be an election tomorrow or next year in
March or in June,” explained Mwonzora.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai is coming under fire from civic activists and analysts for
agreeing with President Robert Mugabe to move towards elections even as
political violence is escalating and many outstanding issues relating to the
2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing remain
Mr. Tsvangirai told reporters earlier this week after meeting
with President Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara that the
GPA principals had agreed to work towards elections as the 32-month-old
inclusive government is disfunctional.
But sources in Parliament said
the Electoral Amendment bill intended to overhaul the country's balloting
system has gridlocked because Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Prime Minister
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change differ on key issues.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and other civic groups have called on the
Southern African Development Community and others to insist on a raft of
reforms including a new constitution and electoral reforms before elections
They warn that Zimbabwe is not ready for elections which,
if held too soon, risk turning into another blood bath as with the last
round of elections in 2008.
ZANU-PF sources said the party wants
early elections to accommodate an aging President Mugabe who has refused to
ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said his party wants the unity
government to come to an end. “We wanted elections this year but because of
the prevarication of the MDC we said we will wait until the constitution
making process is over," he said.
"So as soon as the constitution
making process is over and we have a draft constitution we then have
elections early next year,” Gumbo said.
Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Douglas
Mwonzora rejected claims by some that the prime minister is falling into a
trap set by ZANU-PF. “The agreement by the principals is that there must be
an election in Zimbabwe. The agreement is not that there must be an election
tomorrow or next year in March or in June,” Mwonzora said.
Dube, spokesman for the MDC wing led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube,
said it is premature to call for elections before the reforms set out in the
GPA have been implemented. He said he believes elections cannot be held
Rindai Chipfunde-Vava, director of the Zimbabwe Election
Support Network, said the political parties must at least set minimum
conditions for free and fair elections.
Harare - Police in Zimbabwe briefly arrested several workers of the
British charity Oxfam, a local human rights group said on
Police raided a hotel in Harare on Wednesday, where Oxfam
officials were holding a meeting, and arrested 10 foreigners. They were held
for four hours and later released, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights, which monitors rights abuses.
There was no comment on the
incident from Oxfam, whose work in Zimbabwe focuses on sustainable
livelihoods, health and helping the poor.
President Robert Mugabe, who
has ruled the country for 31 years, has often accused Western aid agencies
of running clandestine spying missions. In 2008, all aid agencies were
ordered to close down for several months despite a major famine in the
The power-sharing government between Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai has been struggling for 30 months to draw up a democratic
constitution ahead of upcoming elections, expected to be held within the
next two years.
The Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) has
taken delivery, via an African intermediary, of the first of several
consignments of Chinese small arms and equipment.
The delivery, via a
so-far unidentified intermediary, has been negotiated by Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa. The indirect route is intended to keep the
deliveries below the radar of Western governments, which have imposed an arms
embargo on Zimbabwe since 2002 – and of Southern African governments, trade
unions and journalists who have hampered recent deliveries.
consignment is intended to re-equip the army ahead of a national referendum and
national elections within the next 18 months. It includes basic equipment for
the ZDF’s infantry units: at least 20 000 AK-47 automatic rifles, uniforms and
12 to15 trucks. The inclusion of 21 000 pairs of handcuffs points to the
intended domestic deployment of the refurbished units. A second consignment is
due before year’s end.
The two Zimbabwean officers responsible for
coordinating delivery are Colonel Ndlahli Mbkhalhe and Captain
Although the intermediary country is
so far unidentified and it is unclear whether the weapons’ end-user certificates
identify Zimbabwe as the recipient, it is unlikely that Beijing is unaware of
the ultimate destination. Chinese officials are directly involved with
Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) – China is
constructing an intelligence training campus for Harare – and with its armed
China has in the past been Zimbabwe’s most reliable source of
weaponry for the past decade. During Zimbabwe’s involvement in the civil war in
the DRC (1998-2002), China sold it at least US$66-million worth of small arms.
Since 2004 China has sold to Zimbabwe 139 military vehicles and 24 combat
aircraft. This has, however, not been sufficient to offset the losses in the DRC
campaign or the ravages of Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation period. With a Western
arms embargo imposed in 2002, Zimbabwe has been seeking a reliable source of
arms, particularly small arms.
Since South African trade unions thwarted
delivery of six container-loads of small arms and equipment in 2008 (preventing
China Ocean Shipping Company’s vessel, the An Yue
Jiang, from unloading in Durban), Harare has also been keen for a reliable
delivery route. In March this year Mnangagwa told local journalists the military
was looking for arms, but was struggling to acquire them because of the arms
A month later (April 2011), dockworkers in Beira, Mozambique
identified two containers unloaded from another China Ocean Shipping Company
vessel as containing arms. The consignment, apparently containing AK-47
ammunition mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades, was addressed to
Abaxis Enterprises, a company owned by Neville
Mutsvangwa, son of a Zanu-PF official and former ambassador to China.
After Mozambican trade unionists informed their counterparts in Harare, the
containers were reportedly never collected.
Speculation on the health of Robert Mugabe continued to grow after
the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo on
Thursday made last minute changes to the graduation ceremony he was
NUST students who spoke to SW Radio Africa said it has
always been a tradition that Mugabe, as chancellor of all state
universities, caps them individually. But on Thursday the ZANU PF leader,
who arrived an hour late, was clearly not up to the physical demands
required to do that. Instead he capped the students in blocks according to
There was however to be some face-saving as the 87
year old managed to individually cap those who graduated with Masters
Degrees and others who came out with distinctions in their chosen
programmes. This meant capping approximately 100 to 150 students instead of
A student who spoke to SW Radio Africa on condition of
anonymity said they were initially given name tags to give to the dean of
each faculty and these tags were to be presented to Mugabe, one by one.
“This entire programme was changed at the last minute and he capped us in a
block,” the student said.
Although Mugabe does a similar block capping at
the University of Zimbabwe, where the student population is much larger, he
has always capped students at NUST individually, SW Radio Africa was told.
One student told us “Mugabe looked old and tired and the feeling amongst
many of us was that he needed to rest.”
NUST had its 17th graduation
ceremony on Thursday and for the first time used the recently completed
Ceremonial Hall. Among those who attended included Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara, Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, his deputy Lutho
Tapela and Bulawayo East MDC-T MP Thabitha Khumalo.
Only last week a
visibly shaking Mugabe was helped to walk the stairs up to the podium at the
Chinhoyi University of Technology graduation ceremony. He also shied away
from making any long speeches and instead conferred degrees while seated.
Even the ceremony itself was delayed by 2 weeks as he sought treatment in
the Far East.
Mugabe has been to the Far East 8 times this year alone
while seeking medical treatment. It is widely speculated he is receiving
serious treatment related to his battle with prostate cancer. Recently
leaked US diplomatic cables quote Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono as
telling former US Ambassador James McGee in 2008 that the disease would kill
Mugabe within five years.
In a report of the June 2008 meeting
released by WikiLeaks, McGee wrote: “Gideon Gono, Governor of the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), told the Ambassador on June 4 that President Robert
Mugabe has prostate cancer that has metastasised and, according to doctors,
will cause his death in three to five years.
According to Gono,
Mugabe’s doctor had recommended he cut back on his activities. The time
frame given by doctors also suggested that Mugabe will not live beyond 2013.
The cable also quoted Gono saying “Mugabe’s wife had confided to him that
the President was ‘out of it’ about 75 percent of the time and she wanted
him to step down.”
10/11/2011 00:00:00 by Dumisani
Muleya I BusinessDay
ZIMBABWE on Wednesday suffered nationwide power
cuts after experiencing a major technical fault on the national electrical
grid, triggered by glitches on the Mozambican and Zambian transmission
The breakdown was reminiscent of the failures on the
interconnected electricity network that Zimbabwe experienced frequently at
the height of the economic meltdown in 2008 and preceding years. The
malfunction meant most Zimbabweans were expected to spent the night in
Richard Maasdorp, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Power
Company, said there was a sudden "shutdown" just after 6AM of both of
Zimbabwe’s major generation plants, at Kariba and Hwange . Kariba
generates hydroelectricity, while Hwange uses coal to produce
"This was caused by a major system disturbance on the transmission
network. Early indications are this disturbance originated from the
transmission line from Mozambique. It would appear that this was a severe
shock as it also impacted on the Kariba North Bank station in Zambia,"
Maasdorp said. He said he hoped Kariba could be brought back online by the
end of the day on Thursday, but Hwange could take several
Harare and other cities were suddenly hit by power cuts in the
early hours of the morning for several hours, although electricity was
restored in some areas by late Wednesday afternoon. Some places remained
The President of Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers Union
this week warned that the country was heading for ‘disaster’, with farm
invasions intensifying across the country.
comes in the wake of several violent attacks from Zanu (PF)-aligned thugs in
Umvutcha, Bulawayo and Mazowe. Last weekend, the Fletcher family were attacked
in their home by intruders who assaulted them with machetes and made off with
$16 000. A 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy were affected by the
farm in Barwick East, Mr Fussel was ordered off the last 40 hectares of his land
by a gang of war veterans on a directive from the Governor, Martin Dinha, and
the District Administrator, Mrs Nyakudya.
clinically blind and he and his wife were forced to leave most of their
belongings behind, including chemicals for farming, tractor spares, furniture,
two motorbikes and cattle branding equipment. They also had to abandon their
125-strong herd of cattle and the garlic that they were growing for
trips to the police station to collect police officers, the men stood in the
background while war veterans harassed and intimidated Mr Fussel and his
CFU head, Charles
Taffs, said that the situation is extremely serious, describing a “definite
spike in invasions with orders coming from high up in the
Currently, a South
African national who leases a Belgian owned tobacco farm near Mazowe, is
fighting to get the government to intervene, after he was evicted by land
invaders this week. The farm, Taveydale, is one of the biggest tobacco producers
left in the country. The South African farmer is also meant to be protected
under a bilateral investment agreement between Zimbabwe and his
“Things are really
intensifying and there is no effort to intervene. I have spoken to the MDC side
of government, but there has been response,” Taffs said. “We seem to be a lost
sector, and all the concern and focus is on mining. But the thing is, primary
agriculture has to be restored, because without agriculture, Zimbabwe has no
chance. And we are heading for a disaster if this carries on.”
Meanwhile, it has
been reported that a Zanu (PF) official from the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee was behind the invasion of a German-owned farm
recently. The farm, owned by the Von Pezold family, has faced repeated threat of
seizure despite an investment protection agreement (BIPPA) between Germany and
Zanu (PF)’s JOMIC
representative, Kizito Kuchekwa, is behind the most recent invasion of the Von
Pezold’s tobacco farm.
Zimbabwe’s first rains have fallen, yet hundreds of
thousands of the poorest farmers have not yet received either seeds or
fertiliser from the government to plant crops. And the weather department
and the Commercial Farmers’ Union predict that good rains will only fall
Then the rains will stop, so only early planters will get
Last year the rainfall pattern was similar, and crops failed
almost completely in most of Matabeleland South, Midlands, and parts of
Masvingo and Manicaland provinces.
The seeds and fertiliser arrived
four months late last season.
Veteran Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) politician and community leader Paul Themba Nyathi said the problem
“We see many children not going to school now because
they are too weak, and there is so little food aid. There was total crop
failure last year.” The failure was worst in his home area of Gwanda, south
The NGO Solidarity Peace Trust has just released a stark
report on rural poverty and the lack of seed and fertiliser from the
The report said finance minister Tendai Biti had made money
available for free seed and fertiliser for the 100 000 poorest farming
families, and subsidised these inputs for another 500 000 vulnerable farming
But so far none of the inputs had arrived. Solidarity called on
Zimbabwe’s civil society to “broaden the demand from the current focus on
human and political rights to include social and economic
“Humanitarian relief is urgently needed and the delay in
roll-out of feeding of vulnerable groups … needs to be ironed out, as many
families are already compromising severely on their daily food intake,” the
“The grinding poverty of many rural Zimbabweans needs to be
a priority with government and with the international community: there is a
need to urgently address matters of economic development, as food handouts
cannot be a permanent solution.”
Shari Eppel, director of Solidarity
Peace Trust, said: “The problem which people are facing in Matabeleland
South and, I assume, all over country, is that there are no free inputs
available, and it is absolutely crucial that people plant now.
they don’t plant this week, we believe there will be total crop failure
again in several parts of the country.”
Children were crying from
hunger during interview sessions with Solidarity, and by the second round of
interviews in October, adults were noticeably weaker, she said.
is a real concern about families with children when there is no food
whatsoever in the house, which is the situation at the moment.”
also said South Africa should immediately stop deporting illegal Zimbabweans
as this was just increasing the numbers who had to be fed. The UN Children’s
Fund Unicef said last week that a third of Zimbabwe’s children under five
were malnourished. This would hamper their development and blight the rest
of their lives.
Agriculture minister Joe Made declined to answer
questions about the problem.
His officials announced on Tuesday that
they would be delivering vouchers to the Grain Marketing Board throughout
the country this week, which the poorest could exchange for fertiliser and
But few expect this to happen in time for peasant farmers to get
their seeds in the ground before December.
Eppel said she was
distressed at the lack of emergency food aid available for so many hungry
people around the country. – Independent Foreign Service
Residents of Harare, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Victoria Falls and other
cities and towns said beef prices range from US$7 a kilogram for cheaper
cuts to US$12 a kilo for fillet in most shops
Gibbs Dube & Jonga
Kandemiiri | Washington
The price of beef has more than doubled
in most Zimbabwean cities due to a scarcity of livestock and the end of a
program importing thousands of head from Botswana.
Harare, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Victoria Falls and other cities and towns said
beef prices range from US$7 a kilogram for cheaper cuts to US$12 a kilo for
fillet in most shops. Not long ago beef prices ranged from US$4 to US$6 a
kilo, sources said.
Many less-affluent Zimbabweans have resorted to green
vegetables as pork and chicken prices have also surged as consumers shifted
Bulawayo single mother Linda Mpofu said life has
become unbearable for most families due to the spike in beef and other meat
prices. Victoria Falls resident Siphambaniso Moyo said even chicken and pork
are out of reach. “The majority of residents will now have only one meal a
day due to the high meat prices,” said Moyo.
Gwanda cattle producer
Patrick Dube said many farmers are slaughtering their breeding stock. He
said the government should intervene to rebuild the national
Legislator Moses Jiri, chairman of Parliament's agriculture
committee, said the headlong land reform program launched in 2000 is to
blame for dwindling herds.
Zimbabwe halted beef exports to the
European Union in 2001 due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. It had
a beef export quota to the EU of 9,100 tonnes a year under the so-called
Beef and Veal Protocol of the Lome IV Convention. Zimbabwe used used to
export beef to Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and
The City of Harare has warned residents
who owe money to the council to settle their accounts, or risk losing their
homes if they fail to do so. A public notice in the Sunday Mail newspaper
and radio messages threatening to attach homes over unpaid bills, received
angry reactions from residents who said the city has failed to provide basic
services and should offer refunds instead.
Notices from the city
treasurer demanding payment have been received by many households in Harare,
giving them just 14 days to pay up or face legal action. SW Radio Africa
sources said many households owe at least $1,000 and fear they may lose
The city council charges basic rates of all residents,
mostly for services like refuse collection, running water, road maintenance,
sewerage and street lighting, all of which have been poorly rated by
residents in the capital.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) coordinator,
Precious Shumba, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he was shocked to
hear Harare Mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda, threatening residents in a radio
broadcast, when he has failed to improve services during his
“Making those kinds of threats against ordinary citizens who are
languishing in poverty is insensitive and misplaced. It represents
arrogance. It represents incompetence and failure to run a city of Harare’s
magnitude,” Shumba said.
Regarding service delivery, Shumba explained
that 20 percent of the population of Harare have no running water. The
remaining 80 percent receive very erratic supplies. Refuse collection has
also been erratic, with some areas getting rubbish pickups only once a
Shumba said HRT is currently educating residents so they can
analyze their bills, beginning with those from February 2009, when the unity
government was formed and the US currency was adopted.
“The threat to
attach property will be resisted,” the activist said.
By Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer Thursday, 10
November 2011 10:23
HARARE - Prices of blended petroleum have gone
down dramatically bringing smiles on motorists following the successful
introduction of ethanol which is being blended with petrol.
ethanol plant in Chisumbanje, fronted by Green Fuel and has seen the
ethanol-petrol blended fuel’s price selling for $1,36 at service stations
while unblended petrol is going for $1,44 per litre.
This means that
motorists can now save nine cents per litre.
This comes after government
gave the green light to the multi-million dollar project, to be run at a
blend ratio of 10 percent locally-produced ethanol and 90 percent
Lilian Muungani, Green Fuel spokesperson, said uptake on the
company’s initiative, in the first few days of sale, is overwhelming, with
fuel dealers calling for a wider distribution network.
“What has also
been a point of motivation towards our product has been the lower price on
our blend and the desire by most motorists to use clean locally
environmentally friendly fuel,” she said.
“An important factor driving
the market towards Green Fuel is the high octane rating of the fuel results
in better engine performance without affecting the consumption rate (and)
consumers can alternate between our blend and petroleum without any
resulting effects on their engine performance,” Muungani added.
further, market analysts have indicated possibilities of further price
decrease as the market absorbs the impact of the new blend.
Fuel is a joint venture between private local investors and the state-owned
Arda and plans to build six processing plants at Chisumbanje, each with a
capacity of up to 300 000 litres per day.
Zimbabwe has had experience
with blend from old generation ethanol in the early eighties.
policy was suspended when local production levels dwindled and could not
meet the volumes required to enforce a minimum blending policy.
has already invested more than $300 million in the processing plant and
about 7 000 hectares of sugarcane plantations.
It currently employs 4 500
people, less than half the size of peak employment figures of up to 10 000
By-products from the plant will be used to produce electricity,
enough to light up the whole of Manicaland and also produce large quantities
of stock feed.
HARARE –Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear
an application for bail by seven MDC activists, saying they should have
first sought permission from the High Court before lodging the
The applicants, who include Tungamirai Madzokere, a councillor
for MDC for ward 32 in Harare’s Glen View low-income suburb, have languished
in remand prison for six months on charges of murdering police inspector
Petros Mutedza in Glen View in May. They deny the charges.
activists applied for bail at the Supreme Court – Zimbabwe’s highest court –
after High Court Judge Tendai Uchena turned down their bail application in
July saying they were a flight risk.
Refusing to hear the bail
application, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba said under court procedures
the seven should have first notified the High Court of their intention to
appeal against Uchena.
Meanwhile, the High Court will next week, hear a
fresh application for bail by MDC youth assembly chairman Solomon Madzore
after the court last month refused to grant him bail.
accuses Madzore of taking part in the murder of Mutedza. But he is being
prosecuted separately because he was arrested after his co-accused had
already been apprehended and charged.
All in all 28 MDC members have
been charged with the killing of Mutedza. The others were granted bail in
They all deny the charges, while the MDC has accused Attorney
General Johannes Tomana and police chief Augustine Chihuri of wanting to use
the murder case to harass its activists as part of a wider campaign to
persecute and intimidate its members and supporters ahead of elections
expected next year. -- ZimOnline
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer Thursday, 10 November
HARARE - The bare-faced display of suspiciously gotten
wealth never bounced off a Zimbabwean government minister and chief
architect of country-wide homelessness under the guise of cleaning up urban
centres during Operation Murambatsvina six years ago.
meeting an emissary of one of the richest people on earth, local government
minister Ignatius Chombo could not resist bragging about his own fabulous
So overwhelming was the presence of a team representing mega-rich
couple Bill and Melinda Gates that Chombo voluntarily offered an insight
into the luxuries surrounding his own life.
The setting was his
Makombe Building offices this week, where the Gates Foundation
representatives were paying a courtesy call after visiting to assess a
housing project for the poor.
Flaunting his flamboyant life, Chombo
showed them he is nowhere near the poor that the foundation is
Bragging about his American car, army of household staff and
lighting that can brighten up a whole street, Chombo showed he lives the
high life in a sea of poverty.
As the Gates team discussed with the
minister on how best the government and local authorities under his control
can improve the welfare of the poor, Chombo jumped into his lavish
lifestyle, leaving the Gates crew down with sarcastic laughter.
have two maids in the house and two guys outside,” said Chombo
“I have 10 lights on the two sides of the road because
I reside at the corner. Even the side that covers the road area is much
clearer. Not street lights but our own lights.
“I can provide
lighting much better and cheaper because I have a guy who is employed
full-time responsible for that,” said Chombo, attracting huge laughter from
Melanie Walker, a programmes officer who led the delegation.
“Why have so
many guys? That’s about five?” asked a genuinely surprised Walker, whose
boss Bill is worth $56 billion and is only second to Carlos Slim Helu from
Mexico, according to international researchers.
She got a response that
highlights the swanky life enjoyed by most Zimbabwean cabinet ministers,
many who only started amassing wealth after joining government
“It works here but is doesn’t work in your country,” said
Chombo, fidgeting but not showing any signs of shame.
university lecturer turned super rich government minister enlightened Walker
and her group even further.
He added that the extent of his wealth did
not end with him but has since rubbed off to his subordinates.
you look at the Zimbabwean situation and the need for shelter, everyone
wants a bigger house, even my driver wants to build a bigger house, he
doesn’t want to build a small house,” said Chombo.
He was not done
“I bought my car in America and was given 48 months to pay but I
could have burnt it and changed from one state to another and got away with
it,” he said in twisted irony to the mortgage bubble that burst leaving some
Americans homeless after foreclosure.
Gates, the former Chairman of
Microsoft and founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are funding
the construction of houses for poor residents in the impoverished
The Gates foundation, the largest private foundation
globally, is also financing the refurbishment of Mbare Hostels, where
residents suffer atrocious living conditions because of decades of
But among all the pomp, Chombo spared a little
thought for the poor who rely on his ministry for services.
understand why the city could spend money cutting grass between my house and
the road. This is what the city does here.
“They have absolutely no
capacity to do it and how they cut does not match the beauty that I want. So
my guy does the grass outside because I have a guy who does
Struck by Walker , Chombo could not resist giving the tall and
slender American a bear hug before telling her: “Next time when I come to
Texas, I have a grandson there in Dallas, I will make sure that I see you,”
The minister’s massive wealth was brought to the fore by
his estranged wife Marian in a messy divorce case that is still before the
courts. His lawyers have asked the court to gag the media from further
revealing details of the divorce case. The court is still to rule on the gag
Below is Chombo’s wealth as revealed in Marian’s divorce court
papers which Chombo is disputing:
4 Toyota Land Cruisers, 3
Mercedes Benzes l Mahindra 2 Nissan Wolfs, 1 Toyota Vigo, 1 Mazda BT-50, 1
Bus 1 Nissan Hard body 1 Toyota Hilux Mrs Chombo was also claiming other
properties that included:
2 Glen View houses 2 flats in
Queensdale, A property in Katanga Township,` Stand Number 1037 Mount
Pleasant Heights 4 Norton business stands 3 Chinhoyi business stands, 4
Banket business stands, 1 commercial stand in Epworth, 2 residential
stands in Chirundu 4 commercial stands in Kariba 1 stand in Ruwa 1
stand in Chinhoyi, 2 stands in Mutare 2 stands in Binga. 4 stands in
Victoria Falls 1 stand in Zvimba Rural Chitungwiza (two residential and
two commercial stands) Beitbridge (four stands), 20 stands in Crow Hill,
Borrowdale 10 stands in Glen Lorne, 2 flats at Eastview Gardens (B319 and
B320) 1 flat at San Sebastian Flats in the Avenues, Harare Number 79 West
Road, Avondale. Greendale house Number 36 Cleveland Road, Milton
Park Number 135 Port Road, Norton, 2 Bulawayo houses. Number 18 Cuba
Rd, Mount Pleasant Number 45 Basset Crescent, Alexandra Park, 2 Chegutu
houses 1 Glen Lorne house (Harare) 2 houses (Victoria Falls). 1 Stand
along Simon Mazorodze Road, Norton (one stand) Avondale (two
stands) 365 Beverly House (one stand) Bulawayo (three stands), Mica
Point Kariba (one stand). Other properties named also include, cattle at
Darton Farm, shared chicken runs, pigsties, a shop, grinding mill, house,
mills, tractors, lorries, six trucks, five of which are non-runners, four
trailers (three non-runners) and one truck. Marian also revealed that the
minister has shares in 10 companies including Dickest, Hamdinger, Landberry
and Track in Security Company. She further revealed that Chombo has a stake
in Mvurwi Mine, hunting safari lodges in Chiredzi, Hwange, Magunje and
Chirundu as well as properties in South Africa. This is what they have
agreed in court to share: Part of agreed property by Chombo and his former
wife Marian 1 Norton stand, 4 Queensdale flats, 1 flat on Mutare
Road, 1stand in Kariba, 2 Glen View house, 1 Ruwa stand, 2 Stands
in Chinhoyi Allan Grange Farm. 1bus, 6 truck horses, three
trailers, a tanker, 8-tonne truck, 1 Land
Cruiser 1Mercedes-Benz, 1 twin-cab Hardbody, 1Nissan Wolf 2 Shawasha
Hills stands, 1 Ruwa plot and 1Alexandra Park house. Part of agreed
property by Chombo and his former wife Marian 1 Norton stand, 4 Queensdale
flats, 1 flat on Mutare Road, 1stand in Kariba, 2 Glen View house, 1
Ruwa stand, 2 stands in Chinhoyi Allan Grange Farm. 1bus, 6 truck
horses, three trailers, a tanker, 8-tonne truck, 1 Land
Cruiser 1Mercedes-Benz, 1 twin-cab Hardbody, 1Nissan Wolf 2 Shawasha
Hills stands, 1 Ruwa plot and 1Alexandra Park house. However these do
not include government vehicles and other shares which the minister has
refused to hand over saying they are undividable.
By Own Correspondent Thursday, 10 November
MUTARE - A Mutare city councillor arrested for allegedly
taking a bribe from a Harare businessman to favourably consider a tender has
been freed on $300 bail.
Exavia Upare, chairperson of the Mutare city
council’s procurement board, is accused of taking $18 000 bribe from
businessman Anderson Mwashita to favour him in a tender deal to supply pipes
for a water project.
Upare was not asked to plead when he appeared before
Fabian Feshete, who remanded him to November 22 for continuation of trial.
He is charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Prosecutor Truman Joma alleges that Upare moved a motion on December
23, 2010 during a full council meeting to award a tender to Shitazburg Pvt
Ltd, a company owned by Mwashita.
It is alleged that Upare’s motion
was adopted and confirmed.
On December 30, 2010 council advanced Mwashita
$332 000 as down payment and was deposited into his account.
state alleges that Upare subsequently opened a bank account with Barclays
Bank account number 1010776 where Mwashita’s company deposited $18 000.
Many Zimbabweans have welcomed a move by South Africa’s ruling ANC
party to suspend its firebrand Youth League leader, Julius Malema, calling
it a “commendable” move.
Malema, along with five other top members of
the ANC’s Youth Wing, were punished with suspensions by the party’s
Disciplinary Committee on Thursday. The committee said that Malema had
damaged the standing of the ANC and South Africa’s international reputation.
He has also been asked to step down as Youth League leader.
was found guilty of three of the four charges brought against him, which
included disrupting a national ANC meeting, and of bringing the party into
disrepute by calling for regime change in Botswana. He was also found guilty
of provoking serious divisions within the party by praising former President
Thabo Mbeki, who was sacked as party leader and then ousted as South
Africa’s president by the ANC three years ago.
In Zimbabwe meanwhile,
Malema has been linked to ZANU PF and his Youth League counterparts. ZANU PF
was also recently accused by the ANC of “influencing” Malema’s radical
campaigns for nationalisation and land reform. The ANC Secretary General
Gwede Mantashe voiced these concerns during talks with ZANU PF’s top
leadership in Zimbabwe, where he claimed that ZANU PF was ‘feeding’ Malema’s
SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa on
Thursday said that many people in the city have welcomed the move, saying it
shines a light on the ongoing “indiscipline in Zimbabwe
“In Zimbabwe, there is violence and other issues that are left
completely unattended. So people think the ANC is leading the way in this
commendable action,” Muchemwa said.
Malema’s reputation has grown
increasingly infamous over the last few years, from being regarded as a
Jacob Zuma protégée, to the leader of Zuma’s potential ouster. Economically
South African markets have also been left shaken by Malema’s calls for
nationalisation and Zimbabwe-style land reform. But on Thursday, the markets
started improving shortly after his suspension was
Muchemwa explained that Zimbabwe can learn a lot from this
move, especially on the business front, where investor confidence has been
left rattled by ZANU PF’s indigenisation campaign and ongoing land
“The business community in Zimbabwe has said that the ANC’s
suspension of Malema is a confidence building move and they commend it too,”
The Youth Assembly of the MDC in South Africa has also
welcomed the decision, saying in a statement: “Malema is not victim of
circumstances. We believe his suspension is not motivated by his lobbying
for radical policies, but the manner in which his has presented himself to
the world. He is the author of his own demise. We suspect the long play
record that started with his hate speech hearing might not actually be over
yet. There are more songs coming his way, he should dance until the record
Malema meanwhile has said that the “gloves are off”,
telling South Africa media: “Let the enemy enjoy, but that victory will not
“We will be liberated by Mangaung 2012,” said Malema, referring to
the ruling party’s elective and policy making conference to be held in the
Free State next year.
“Real leaders of the ANC must now stand up in
defence of the ANC,” he added.
Marondera, November 10, 2011- Five Marondera-based
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) residents have been charged with
malicious damage to property after they allegedly trashed and burnt
President Robert Mugabe’s banner.
The five residents include Charles
Ngwena, a security guard with Marondera Municipality, Shown Chinai, Brian
Phiri, Caleb Marange and Omega Mutsaru were arrested last month and charged
with contravening Section 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act Chapter 9:23.
Prosecutors allege that the five residents trashed and
burnt a banner belonging to Zanu-PF Marondera district political commissar
Matereke claimed in court recently that the value
of the banner beaming with President Robert Mugabe’s picture was
According to prosecutors, Matereke was drinking beer with friends
at Dombotombo Business Centre in Marondera on 16 October while proudly
displaying a banner on the bar wall bearing President Mugabe’s face and
inscribed: “Our land is our sovereignty” when the MDC supporters allegedly
The five MDC supporters allegedly arrived at the
business centre in a convoy of five cars and allegedly pulled down the
banner and set it on fire. The State alleges that the MDC supporters waited
until the banner was burnt to ashes.
“The banner is valued at
US$300 and the remaining chuffs can be produced as exhibit,” reads the State
Prosecutors say the MDC supporters who have since been freed on
bail had “no right to act in the manner they did.”
Besides the five
MDC supporters, dozens of Zimbabweans have in recent years landed in trouble
for allegedly tempering with Mugabe’s posters or mocking the ageing former
In Manicaland, two Honde Valley villagers are facing
charges of contravening Section 152 of the Electoral Act after they
allegedly destroyed a Mugabe political campaign poster in
Several MDC legislators have since January this year been brought
before the courts for allegedly insulting and undermining the authority of
Constitution Watch Content Series 12/2011 - 9th November 2011 [Social, Economic and Cultural Rights]
CONTENT SERIES 12/2011
Social, Economic and Cultural
Rights : Should they be Protected in the New Constitution?
What are social,
economic and cultural rights?
“Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” was the
slogan of the French Revolution, and some writers have used the slogan as a
rough guide to divide human rights into three
The first generation of human rights, which
were the first to be recognised in international law, are those concerned with
“liberty”, i.e. with the right to participate in political life.Examples of these rights are the rights to
personal liberty and the protection of law, freedom of association and speech,
and the right to vote in elections.
The second generation of rights are those
directed at bringing about equal treatment for all members of society.These rights are also called social, economic
and cultural rights, and they include such rights as:
·the right to
work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work,
including equal pay for equal work, and protection against
·the right to
rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic
holidays with pay;
·the right to
education, which should be free at least in the elementary and fundamental
·the right to
·the right to
social security, including social insurance.
·The right of
different cultural groups to maintain their cultural identity and
generation of rights [a broad and rather woolly category] are those directed at
“fraternity”, i.e. at ensuring social harmony.They include:
·the right to a
healthy environment, including the right to clean water;
·the right to
·the right to
In this Constitution Watch, when we refer
to “social, economic and cultural rights” [which we shall abbreviate to “SEC
rights”] we mean second-generation rights as well as any third-generation rights
which are capable of being defined reasonably clearly.
Several SEC rights are enunciated in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and many more in the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966.
rights be protected by the new constitution?
There is a strong moral argument for
protecting SEC rights in the Declaration/Bill of Rights in the our new
constitution.Most Zimbabweans face
hardship and poverty throughout their lives.To them, first-generation rights such as freedom of expression and
association may be less important than social and economic rights such as the
right to adequate housing and health care.The right to be legally represented by a lawyer of one’s choice, for
example, is not much use to someone who cannot afford to pay the lawyer’s
fees;the right to travel anywhere in
Zimbabwe is of little importance to someone who cannot afford a bus fare.If the new constitution does not protect at
least some basic SEC rights it is liable to be seen as a document drawn up by
members of the political and social élite for their own benefit, rather than
addressing the concerns of the broad mass of the people.
enforcing constitutionally protected SEC rights
If SEC rights are to be protected by the
new constitution, how will they be enforced?This is not an easy question to answer, firstly because it is not always
clear who has a duty to provide SEC rights;and, secondly, because it may be financially ruinous for the country to
Who will have the duty of providing SEC rights?
Giving someone a right to something
necessarily involves imposing a duty on someone else to provide that thing.As lawyers put it, every right must have a
corresponding duty, and that duty must be imposed on
Constitutional rights are normally regarded
as “vertical”, i.e. enforceable against the State, and not “horizontal”, i.e.
enforceable by one individual against another.This is the case with most SEC rights:the State is expected to provide the services and facilities needed to
give effect to the rights.But there may
be grey areas, where the responsibility for providing the right is not
Take the right to education, for
example.Clearly the State is expected
to provide enough schools and teachers to satisfy the needs of the country’s
children.Obviously the right would not
allow poor parents to pick a rich businessman at random and compel him to pay
for their children’s education.But,
would the right allow parents to demand that a private school accept their
children even though they cannot afford the school fees?And would the right prevent a school from
expelling a child on the ground of non-payment of fees?These are some of the grey areas mentioned
As another example, take the right to
adequate housing.If this right is
protected in the new constitution then generally it is the State that would have
a duty to satisfy it.Householders
should not be compelled to accommodate homeless people in vacant rooms in their
homes.On the other hand, the State
might call on others to assist it in providing accommodation, for example by
requiring employers to provide housing for their employees.How far the State could go in sharing its
responsibilities in this way is debatable — another grey
How far should SEC rights be enforceable?
Even if SEC rights are set out in the new
constitution, it may not be possible to give full effect to them, given the
country’s slender financial resources.As an example, take again the right to education.Zimbabwe has done better than its neighbours
in providing primary school education to its children, but providing all its
children with secondary and tertiary education would overstretch its
resources.The same goes for other SEC
rights:the government lacks the
resources to provide all Zimbabweans with access to clean drinking water and
adequate housing, for instance, and is barely able to provide them with basic
Another problem with enforcing SEC rights
if they are contained in the new constitution is that, like all other
constitutional rights, they would have to be enforced through the courts.The courts would have to balance competing
claims of fundamental social values — they might have to decide, for example,
whether limited financial resources should be expended on providing clean water
rather than schools — and this is not something that the courts are well fitted
to do.Judges and courts lack the
political legitimacy and institutional competence to decide such matters.Furthermore, the courts cannot raise
revenue;that is the province of the
legislature.The constitutional doctrine
of separation of powers lays down that it is the function of the legislature and
executive between them to decide how revenue is to be raised and how it is to be
spent, and the courts must not meddle in that sphere.It would be wrong for a court to order the
State to spend particular sums on, say, education, when the effect would be to
reduce the revenue available for health.
How SEC rights
can be dealt with in the new constitution
Given the difficulties in enforcing
constitutionally-protected SEC rights, it is not surprising that the
constitutions of countries throughout the world adopt different approaches
towards these rights.
Countries where SEC rights are not enforceable
The constitutions of some countries —
India, Ireland and Namibia, for example — set out SEC rights but state
specifically that they are not enforceable through the courts.Instead, the rights are stated to be
directive principles of social policy or good governance which must guide the
Legislature and the Executive in making and applying laws.The effect of this depends on the approach
taken by the courts in the countries concerned.The Indian Supreme Court, for example, has interpreted directive
principles expansively and has ruled that the right to life includes the right
to health and health care, thereby giving real legal effect to at least some
economic and social rights.
Constitutions where SEC rights are enforceable
Other countries’ constitutions do have
enforceable economic and social rights, notably South Africa, Thailand,
Indonesia, Afghanistan, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, South Korea, Cuba,
Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
Most of the SEC rights set out in the South
African Constitution are hedged about with limitations which relate to
reasonableness and the availability of funds. For example, the right of access
to adequate housing (set out in section 26) requires the State to take
reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to
achieve the progressive realisation of the right.This formulation has two advantages:first, it makes it clear that the State is
primarily responsible for providing housing;second, it recognises that the State does not have the resources to
provide everyone immediately with adequate housing.Other SEC rights are subject to similar
These limits are very important because
they allow the Constitutional Court to give due weight to the dichotomy between
a stated right — for example, “Everyone has the right to have access to adequate
housing” — and the State’s inability to satisfy that right immediately.If there were no such limits there would
probably have been a clash between the executive and the legislature, on the one
hand, and the judiciary on the other.
The Constitutional Court of South Africa
has developed a considerable body of case-law in which it has affirmed SEC
rights while recognising its limited power to control broad issues of government
policy.For instance, the court has
accepted that the government must be able to evict squatters who are illegally
occupying private land, but has laid down that the government should provide at
least temporary accommodation for squatters who would be in a desperate plight
if they were evicted.The court has
adopted a basic doctrine of “reasonableness”, under which the court may require
the State to take measures to meet its constitutional obligations and may
evaluate the reasonableness of those measures, but will determine their
reasonableness in the light of budgetary implications and will not seek to
rearrange the State’s budgets.
The new Zimbabwean constitution?
The makers of the new Zimbabwean
constitution would do well to follow the lead of South Africa in its treatment
of SEC rights.Zimbabwe faces many of
the same socio-economic problems as South Africa and has fewer resources to deal
with them.Some provision must be made
for SEC rights in the new constitution if it is to be accepted by the broad mass
of the people as “their” constitution;but if the new constitution makes those rights unenforceable, the needy
sections of society — the majority of our people, in other words — are likely to
reject the constitution as irrelevant at best and fraudulent at worst.Making those rights enforceable is
feasible,as South Africa has shown, and does not necessarily lead the courts
to intrude into areas of policy which are the preserve of the Legislature and
the Executive.It might, however, allow
people to ensure, at least to a limited extent, that the government expends its
resources wisely and in their interests.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot
take legal responsibility for information supplied
Bill Watch 49/2011 of 8th November [Budget Seminar for MPs; Increased Political Violence; SADC Facilitation Team]
BILL WATCH 49/2011
[8th November 2011]
Both Houses of Parliament are adjourned until 15th
MPs at Victoria Falls Last
For most of last week the majority of
Parliamentarians were attending the Pre-Budget Seminar, which ran from Wednesday
until Saturday at the Victoria Falls.Neither House sat.There were
committee meetings on Monday and Tuesday only.
The Minister of Finance explained that the object of the seminar was
to explain to Parliamentarians how the Budget would give effect to the Medium
Term Plan’s proposals to stimulate growth.Parliamentarians’ response to his proposed budget allocations was
critical and they brought up a number of issues they wanted the Executive to
·MPs expressed scepticism about the success of the Medium Term Plan
[MTP], the country’s latest economic blueprint, if Ministers failed to recognize
their accountability to Parliament.
·The Speaker voiced Parliament’s displeasure at the way the Treasury
decides Parliament’s budget, saying this was inconsistent with Parliament’s role
as an independent institution.[The Constitution lays down
that Parliament’s Budget is allocated by the Treasury, so any change in method of allocation would have to be to the
·The Speaker also raised the issue of sitting allowances for members
of the House of Assembly and Senators [Bill Watch 48/2011 of 7th November].
·Elected Senators demanded the funding of separate constituency
development funds [CDFs] of their own.The setting-up of CDFs under the supervision of members of the House
of Assembly has irked Senators from their inception in 2009.[In fact people living in Senatorial
constituencies already benefit from the existing CDFs, because each Senatorial
constituency includes 2 or 3 House of Assembly constituencies, and under the CDF
constitutions the appropriate elected Senator sits on each of the CDF committees
which decide how to utilise the funds in those constituencies.]
·Some MPs took advantage of a ZESA presentation on power sector
priorities to ask for MPs to be exempted from paying electricity
It is a positive sign that Parliament is pressing to assert its
independence and to strengthen its oversight role of the Executive, but were
some Parliamentarians more concerned with issues affecting them personally, than
with larger national issues related to the Budget?
Kimberley Process Decision and How it Will Affect the
On 1st November the Kimberley Process [KP] meeting in Kinshasa
approved the sale of diamonds by two of the three “official” producers at the
Chiadzwa diamond fields, with approval of the third producer scheduled to be
finalised later.Precisely how this will
impact on Budget revenue and expenditure projections for 2012 is not yet clear,
but the Minister of Finance said later that the Budget’s projected revenue of
$3.4 billion would have to be revised.The Minister of Mines claimed the fiscus would benefit to the tune of $2
billion a year.There is need for far more transparency about all the companies
mining diamonds at Chiadzwa – how much is being mined and sold, what taxes and
royalties are being paid, so that the whole nation can benefit from legal sales.KP monitors arrived in Zimbabwe over the
weekend to carry out their duties – this time South African Abby Chikane will
not function alone, but together with Belgian diamond expert Mark van Bockstael who is Chief Officer,
International Affairs, at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
Increase in Violence
Police Crackdown on MDC-T and MDC rallies
Over the last two weeks MDC-T and MDC have been prevented from
holding meetings and political rallies.Mr Tsvangirai’s scheduled rallies in Matabeleland North [at Lupane on
Saturday 29th October and Victoria Falls on 30th October], although sanctioned
by court order, were prevented from going ahead by armed police.Hon Theresa Makone’s 29th October
constituency rally in Harare’s Hatcliffe suburb was disrupted by ZANU-PF supporters whose actions were
not stopped by police.[Hon Makone is Co-Minister of Home Affairs
but could not get police assistance.]MDC leader Welshman Ncube’s rally in Chivi, intended for 5th November,
was disallowed by police.Mr
Tsvangirai’s Star Rally at Chitungwiza on Sunday 6th November had to be called
off when riot police dismally failed to control anti-MDC-T violence at the
venue; many people were injured, 7 victims had to be hospitalised, several MDC-T
vehicles were damaged, the MDC-T sound system was destroyed and looted, and cash
stolen.On 1st November police,
over-reacting to a trivial incident outside, besieged the MDC-T headquarters at
Harvest House, beat up people, entered and fired teargas into the building,
teargassed bystanders going about their business and brought theentirenearby city centre to a standstill as citizens ran for
cover.MDC-T have said that this
targeting of their rallies and headquarters comes on top of ongoing attacks and
harassment of their individual activists.
There are counter accusations of MDC-T youths attacking both the
police and ZANU-PF youths.Conflicting
press propaganda makes the situation difficult to assess, and there is lack of
access to precise information on police investigations of such incidents.If the POSA Amendment Bill had been passed it
would oblige the
senior police officer present when police use force to disperse or prevent
disorder at a gathering, to promptly prepare a written report detailing why and
how force was used, any deaths, injuries or loss of or damage to property that
resulted and to deliver copies of the report to the Minister of Home Affairs and
the convener of the gathering”.Parliament would have the right to ask for such a report.
Mr Tsvangirai’s official
functions as the Prime Minister also impeded
During a government work programme visit to Matabeleland North, police
blocked Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s visit to the Lupane Clinic on 29th November,
chasing away staff and locking the gate, leaving patients
Last week’s there were threats against Hon Eddie Cross MP following a
speech he made in the House of Assembly[Bill Watch 48 of 7th
November 2011].This came after MPs and Parliamentary
officials were threatened during last month’s public hearings on the new
Electoral Amendment Bill by the Portfolio Committee on Justice.In July there were violent disruptions of
several public hearings held by the Portfolio Committee around the country on
the Human Rights Commission Bill, culminating in an invasion of Parliament where
MPs were manhandled, chased, threatened or actually assaulted and the Portfolio
Committee’s proceedings brought to a standstill.
Interference with Parliamentary activities, both in Parliament itself
and at official Parliamentary Committee meetings elsewhere, constitutes serious
criminal contempt of Parliament, punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, if
perpetrators are found guilty by a Privileges Committee of Parliament or by the
ordinary courts of the land.So far
there is little indication that the culprits have arrested.
Prime Minister's Statement on
Violence: 3rd November
At his second monthly Prime Minister’s Press day on Wednesday 2nd
November the Prime Minister issued a statement in which, as well as mentioning
progress made by the inclusive government, he said that he had “witnessed the participation
of the police in gross human rights violations.The violence we are witnessing is State-sponsored and State-driven. It is
being championed by a few fascist leaders who want to reverse the little
progress we have made. They have become a threat to peace, stability and social
order in the country.I want to promise
these misguided elements that their days are numbered because I and the
President agreed yesterday that we must put a stop to this violence in Harare
and elsewhere.”[Electronic version of complete statement available from firstname.lastname@example.org]After the Chitungwiza violence on Sunday 6th November the GPA
principals decided at their regular Monday meeting that there would be a meeting
between the MDC-T and MDC National Councils and the ZANU-PFCentral Committee on Friday,
to discuss the issue of political violence.
Visit bySouth African Facilitation
Two members of the South African facilitation team. Lindiwe Zulu and
Charles Nqakula, arrived in Harare on Tuesday 1st November to follow up on
progress on the implementation of the roadmap to elections and resolution of
contentious inter-party issues.Their
visit had been planned before the worst outbreaks of violence against the MDC,
but the MDC and JOMIC said they would be raising the issue of escalating
violence with them.Thefacilitators met GPA party negotiators,
COPAC, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and civil society organisations, and
returned to South Africa on 3rd November.ZANU-PF ‘s lead
negotiator, Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa, was accompanied by Professor
Jonathan Moyo when he met the facilitators.Professor Moyo, who was recently made one of ZANU-PF’s representatives on JOMIC, was said
to be standing in for absent ZANU-PF negotiators Nicholas Goche and
The stalemate on the contentious “grey areas” in the only
partly-agreed roadmap to elections – political violence, security sector reforms
and changes in the staff of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission – remains
unresolved by the principals, notwithstanding the expectations of the
facilitation team that by now the principals would have discussed them and
possibly reached agreement. [Note: The first “agreed” version of the
roadmap – minus timelines – was signed by the negotiators onApril 2011; the “roadmap with timelines” was
signed on 6th July.One of the obstacles
to tangible progressby the principals
and the party negotiators was that there has never been definite time frames for
settlement of disputes,the agreed
“implementation matrix”and now the
election roadmap.Instead there have
been flexible terms such as “immediately” and “as soon as possible” which have
left the whole process open to manipulations and delaying tactics]
On 31st March the SADC
Livingstone Summit resolved that the Organ Troika must appoint “a team of officials to join the
Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the
GPA”.At their Sandton Extraordinary
Summit the SADC leaders “urged” the
Organ Troika to appoint their
representatives “as soon as possible to
participate in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC)”.The Troika members are South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania, and each
country is to provide one member of the team.The Troika officials have still not joined the facilitation
Visit from President Zuma/ Meeting of SADC Organ Troika/SADC
The facilitation team’s spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu said the stalemate
between the parties meant that the only option was for President Zuma to engage
the principals directly.The team is
expected back in Harare on 21st November.Ms Zulu said there would “soon” be a visit to Zimbabwe by President Zuma,
ahead of a meeting of the SADC Organ Troika.She also said that the Organ Troika Meeting would be followed by an
extraordinary SADC Summit with Zimbabwe on the agenda.
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