by 7 hours 17 minutes ago
Harare, -Zimbabwe’s ailing leader, Robert Mugabe on Friday travelled to
Singapore, one of his frequent destinations in Asia, where he has been
receiving medication in recent months contrary to State media reports that
the President had left for China as we reported elsewhere.
Mugabe was accompanied by his wife Grace Mugabe following what sources said
were over night deteriorating conditions during a trip to Bulawayo on
State media said Mugabe was on a State visit to China.
Some critically ill patients at United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) in Bulawayo
were on Thursday forced to temporarily vacate the Intensive Care Unit which
was reserved for ailing President Robert Mugabe who officiated at a National
University of Science and Technology (NUST) graduation ceremony in the city.
Highly placed sources at the government run health institution said two
armed police officers spent Wednesday night and the whole day on Thursday
guarding one of the intensive care unit which had been reserved for the
President in case any mishap happens to him.
“One intensive care unit was on Thursday reserved for the President, in case
of any emergency. Some patients in that unit were removed. The hospital
authorities were forced to buy new bad linen and other equipment for the
President’s special medical unit which was also manned by doctors,” said a
source at the hospital that can not be named for fear of victimisation.
Some of the hospital’s ambulances were also on standby the whole day on
Thursday. Mugabe who travelled to Bulawayo with a chartered plane capped 1
234 grandaunts at the institution’s 17th graduation ceremony before
officially opening the university’s ceremonial hall.
Informed government sources disclosed that the octogenarian leader flew out
of the country to Singapore on Friday evening accompanied by his wife Grace
although the motive of Mugabe’s visit to Singapore was not yet clear.
Mugabe is scheduled to return back home on Sunday. The trip to the Asian
country is his ninth this year.
Last month Mugabe travelled to Singapore but upon his return he could not
confirm whether he had sought medical treatment.
Speculation is growing around the 87-year-old leader’s health. Early this
year, Mugabe’s spokesperson disclosed that he had visited Singapore for a
But the Zanu-PF leader frequently denies rumours about his ill-health. Last
month upon his return from Singapore, Mugabe told a journalist from the
state-run media at the Harare International Airport that he was “fit” when
asked his heath status.
One of his lieutenants and personal banker, Gideon Gono, the central bank
Governor allegedly told American diplomats that Mugabe “was out of it” 75
percent of the time.
On Thursday, NUST students 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 their departments.
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.
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. One student said.
“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
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Saturday, 12 November 2011 17:03
HARARE - Zanu PF youths on Thursday effected a citizen arrest on a white
Zimbabwean male Henry Harkin accusing him of insulting and undermining the
authority of President Robert Mugabe with his utterances.
Harkin, 71, was taken to the Harare Central Police Law and Order section by
members of the shadowy Chipangano group and detained overnight at the
Chipangano is a militant wing of Zanu PF.
According to the police charge sheet, Harkin is alleged to have approached
Tinashe Chikara, a member of the militant group who was playing Mbare
Chimurenga Choir song Sunga Jumbo Tiende and asked him to lower the volume
saying: “You are playing b……t and you are like your President who is chasing
The incident happened on Thursday morning along Kaguvi Street in Harare,
according to the charge sheet.
Harkin was taken to the Zanu PF provincial offices at Fourth Street where he
was detained and interrogated.
He was asked to apologise before being taken to the police where he was
detained and charged.
Harkin’s lawyer Obey Shava of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal
Practitioners said police want to interview his client further.
“He was arrested and released and I have been asked to come back with him on
Monday,” said Shava.
“My client is denying the charges because the police cannot arrest him on
these allegations as he did not understand the music and words of the song.
So he could not have commented on it. These are framed up charges for my
client.” said Shava.
Many people have been trouble for undermining authority of the President
through words or comments on songs associated with Zanu PF.
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is expected to pay a formal visit to
Zimbabwe in the next two weeks to persuade President Robert Mugabe to return
to the rule of law and ensure free and fair elections next year. His
facilitation team has been in the country doing the groundwork.
by Chief Reporter
Both the MDC and JOMIC have written to Zuma recently, highlighting the
escalating violence of recent weeks as Zimbabwe slips deeper into chaos.
Biti’s letter to Zuma, a copy of which is in possession of The Zimbabwean,
says: "The political and security situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating at
an alarming pace and the MDC calls on SADC to intervene to ensure the GPA
does not collapse. It is now 32 months after the consummation of the
inclusive government. Despite the economic gains made thus far, the
political situation still remains precarious with the potential of
degenerating into anarchy."
Top MDC sources said Zuma promised to bring back sanity and ensure full
implementation of the GPA and the election roadmap.
Zuma, a scheming political operator who has quashed a rebellion in his own
ruling African National Congress by sacking Julius Malema, is coming to
Zimbabwe in a last-ditch bid to try to save his northern neighbour from
"It will be a formal visit. President Zuma will be coming to exchange views
on how to best address the situation in Zimbabwe," said a South African
diplomat in Harare.
"We think discussions can help to advance us to an amicable solution to the
preparations for a free and fair election. There is still hope, we are
hopeful," he added.
The SA ambassador Vusi Mavimbela was not immediately available for comment.
Africa and the rest of the world will be watching to see how Mugabe handles
the South Africans this time round. He has publicly compared his party’s
campaign ahead of the next elections to a military operation.
"The ball is clearly in Mugabe’s court and the destiny of Zimbabwe in his
hands. He can seize the opportunity by playing ball with the South Africans
and return his country to tranquillity," said a Namibian diplomat.
"Or he can play games with them, close the doors and push his country and
even the whole southern African region into chaos," he said, adding:
"Zimbabwe is contagious and it could affect its neighbours."
Meanwhile, in a rare show of unity senior party officials from all
signatories to the GPA met on Friday to discuss ways of ending political
The three principals Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, President Robert
Mugabe and leader of the smaller faction of the MDC, Welshman Ncube,
addressed the historic meeting, organised by the Joint Monitoring and
They all agreed that security agents, especially the police, should provide
adequate security to all citizens irrespective of their political
affiliation and not be enemies of the people.
The police have in the last month banned or disrupted MDC meetings across
the country, assaulting and arresting several MDC supporters, while the
known Zanu (PF) supporters responsible have not been apprehended.
MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti called for all parties to commit to 10
important issues in an attempt to end violence. These include sincerity on
the part of politicians, tolerance, unity among Zimbabweans, a national
vision and freedom of expression, assembly and choice.
“Let us act now, together and differently. It cannot be business as usual,”
By Thelma Chikwanha, Community Affairs Editor
Saturday, 12 November 2011 13:23
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his coalition government partners have
“demanded police action over violence”, although the octogenarian leader has
defended his security men’s handling of recent disturbances in Harare and
This comes as anti-riot police units kept a presence at the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)’s Harare headquarters and annulled many of the
former opposition party’s rallies nationwide.
“The police are complaining that they are being sent away from meetings. You
need them to be there, but not to interfere. Please do not fight the police,
complain yes, but do not send them away,” Mugabe said.
“We do not want police to be the enemies of the people, hostility no, enmity
no, opposition yes, differences yes,” he added.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he has had to
confront the Zanu PF leader over escalating violence and alleged partisan
policing in the country.
“I have brought to the president’s attention the embarrassing case where
Members of Parliament were beaten up in the presence of police, but to date
we have not seen any arrests,” he said, adding the emerging blood letting
tendency over political differences was not necessary in a civilised nation.
“One might as well quit politics and become a common criminal given to
harassment, abuse and maiming of people without the tag of politics,”
Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC formation said Augustine Chihuri’s
men must help restore order and ensure that political parties co-habited
“We must have the same vision and a tolerant spirit. I implore the security
sector to help us as a political leadership of this country to achieve this
vision,” he said.
While the Zimbabwean president has defended police conduct over recent
political incidences, the MDC complains that the force was colluding with
Zanu PF youths to disrupt their rallies such as its Chibuku Stadium and
Matabeleland North gatherings.
This week, it said that two of its members were arrested in connection with
Sunday’s disturbances in Chitungwiza, yet Zanu PF perpetrators have not been
The Friday meeting of principals, which was arranged under the auspices of
the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, comes as political
tensions are rising ahead of anticipated elections next year.
It was also fashioned out to ensure that parties abide by articles three and
18 of the GPA, which deal with violence and political clashes under the
The meeting also comes as the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
guarantors of the GPA are becoming increasingly impatient with the
Zimbabwean crisis and Tsvangirai’s formation has dispatched an 11- page
document to President Jacob Zuma outlining six key issues unsettling
stability in the country.
Through its facilitator and point man Zuma, the regional bloc has called for
far-reaching reforms, including security sector changes, before any
elections can take place, but Mugabe and Zanu PF are frustrating this.
In addition to the 2 500-page dossier that he dispatched to Sadc this week,
Finance minister and MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti told the meeting that
there were 10 key issues that the inclusive government had to fulfil under
Specifically, he said the three parties must express or show sincerity over
the full implementation of the GPA, commitment to public service and
cessation of hostilities or violence under the inclusive government.
He also said Zimbabweans must have freedom of choice, vision, spirituality
and a leadership, which committed to a message of peace right down to party
The resurgence of violence forced the three main political parties to take
action as fears of a repeat of the bloodletting violence of 2008 gripped the
In the run up to the 2008 presidential run-off called after both Tsvangirai
and Mugabe had failed to outrightly win the March 29 polls, opposition
supporters were severely wounded in retributive violence which followed.
Tsvangirai claimed 200 MDC supporters were killed in the orgy which was
allegedly led by security agents and war veterans.
The MDC leader pulled out of the run-off days before polling citing extreme
violence against his supporters.
Mugabe declared himself a winner in a “one-man election” which was roundly
condemned and branded a sham by the international community.
12 November, 2011 20:13
De Beers high-quality diamond retail arm Forevermark will not sell any
diamonds from Zimbabwe's controversial Marange fields, CEO Stephen Lussier
said at the launch of the exclusive brand in SA.
This comes after the diamond regulator, Kimberley Process, last week gave
Zimbabwe the green light to resume diamond exports from its Marange fields.
International sales from Marange were banned in 2009 because of military
interference in the country's mines, which included abuses such as murder
Lussier said the Marange diamonds were generally too small and low in
quality for the brand to sell.
In addition, Forevermark's selection process went well beyond adherence to
the minimal standards of the Kimberley Process, said Lussier. "The
Forevermark carries a guarantee that the diamonds used for our products have
contributed positively to communities, the environment and supply chains
along the way.
"In a diversifying and maturing industry, consumers seek more from their
luxury purchases. Not only do they demand value for money, but there is
increasing interest in the source of their purchase and the journey it has
travelled. Forevermark offers customers a promise of responsible sourcing,
paired with rarity and beauty. Less than 1% of the world's diamonds are
eligible to be branded Forevermark," he said.
Currently, Forevermark obtains about 95% of its diamond supplies from the De
Beers mines in SA, Botswana, Namibia and Canada.
Mining major Anglo American last week announced that it would take over all
of the De Beers operations, including its retail arm, after buying out the
Oppenheimer family's 40% stake in De Beers for $5.1-billion.
Lussier said while this symbolised the "end of an era" in the diamond
industry, business, especially on the retail side, is set to continue as
usual. He said Anglo CEO Cynthia Carroll had made it clear that Anglo
understood that the marketing of diamonds is different to that of any other
"De Beers has the best diamond distribution system in the world and Cynthia
Carroll has indicated that Anglo will support and continue along existing
marketing structures," said Lussier.
A key marketing drive for De Beers in recent years has been to enter and
penetrate emerging markets. "China has been a success story for De Beers.
Fifteen years ago there wasn't a single store selling diamonds in the whole
country, and most consumers hadn't really seen diamonds before."
Currently, China represents about 12% of world diamond demand and is
expected to become the world's second-largest diamond market, overtaking
Japan, as early as next year. By 2015, China and India are expected to take
up about a third of the world's diamond demand.
"The Chinese are very focused on luxury goods. An upper-middle-class Chinese
consumer will spend about six times as much as his or her Western
counterpart on acquiring luxury goods, which makes this a very exciting
market for De Beers and Forevermark," said Lussier.
The Forevermark brand has been rapidly expanding its geographical footprint
in recent years, entering big markets such as the US, China, Japan and
India. Lussier said the company would continue with an aggressive building
and expansion programme. It planned to grow by at least 50% a year for the
next four years.
As part of the brand's expansion drive, Forevermark has partnered with local
diamond distributor and jewellery manufacturer Carato to launch the brand in
"This partnership will give us a good mix of local experience and knowledge,
matched with the brand's global expertise."
Forevermark is sold in Jewel Africa shops.
by Staff Reporter
AIR Zimbabwe resumed overseas flights on Friday after resolving a payment
dispute with its fuel suppliers.
The airline cancelled flights to China and London last weekend over a debt
thought to be in excess of US$1 million.
President Robert Mugabe was on board the Harare-Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight
on Friday as he travelled to China on an official state visit.
An Air Zimbabwe spokesman confirmed the Sunday day flight from Harare to
London would go ahead as scheduled, with the return flight on Monday
The state-owned airline has struggled to stay afloat in recent years owing
to old aircraft, poor management and declining passengers. A strike by
pilots over pay between July and September this year cost the airline
millions of dollars.
Last week, ministers announced that the government was assuming Air Zimbabwe’s
US$140 million debt to clear the way for talks aimed at finding an
international partner for the airline.
The government plans to introduce a “second chance” programme to help
children and youth forced out of school by political violence return to
school or acquire vocational skills to enable them to move on with their
lives, Education Minister David Coltart said.
by Vusimusi Bhebhe
Speaking at the launch of the Global Partnership for Education in
Copenhagen, Denmark, Coltart said the Zimbabwean government was pursuing
several initiatives to improve enrolment and the quality of education by
“We will introduce a major programme of second chance and skills education
for children and youth who have missed out through the political chaos of
the last decade, in particular for orphans and vulnerable children,” he
Thousands of children have been forced to cut short their education since
2000 following the displacement of their families from rural areas.
Marauding gangs of Zanu (PF) youth militias and self-styled war veterans
have terrorised students and teachers at rural schools, accusing them of
supporting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.
Coltart said other initiatives being pursued by the government included a 75
percent increase in public spending on education during the next four years
and introduction of stricter rules barring the expulsion of pupils over fees
“We will endeavour to increase domestic government funding for basic
education by 75 percent from $469 million in 2011 to $822 million
benefitting over four million young Zimbabwean learners,” he said.
He revealed that Zimbabwe, which has already abolished rural primary school
fees, would “offset the school costs for 700,000 orphans and vulnerable
children in 2012 and prohibit exclusion of learners for non-payment of
levies through the reform of education regulations”.
Police here have begun forcibly to evict dozens of self-styled war veterans
occupying a white-owned farm, with one defiant group detained this week.
by Chief Reporter
Officers set on fire the makeshift dwellings at Chikore Farm south of the
Masvingo city, after ordering the more than 70 occupiers to remove their
belongings and evacuate.
This has been the first serious move against the war veterans amid
continuing farm invasions.
The police action was reportedly ordered by the co-ministers of Home Affairs
ministers, Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi.
More than 4,000 farms have been invaded since President Robert Mugabe began
the controversial land “reform” programme a decade ago.
"We have received instructions to be more strict with former fighters who
refuse to obey government orders," a police officer who sought anonymity
However, it was not clear how long the eviction process would continue or
whether it would be extended across the country.
Those rounded up have been detained at Masvingo Remand Prison.
No action has yet been taken anywhere else, although a large number of the
occupied farms are not on the official list for acquisition. Police have
previously ignored several court orders to evict the squatters.
Informed sources say Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan Mudenge was
also interested in the farm, previously owned by whiter commercial farmer,
Peter Buchan. On Wednesday about 70 squatters were driven off the farm near
Great Zimbabwe, a tourist resort about 20km from Masvingo amid spirited
The evictions continued on Thursday as police continued demolishing several
makeshift homes in the vicinity of the farm.
In recent weeks, President Robert Mugabe has come under increasing pressure
to restore law and order in farming districts, which are the backbone of
Mugabe has said that war veterans will only be allowed to remain on those
farms acquired by the government, ending the uncertainty in the rest of the
By Staff Writer
Saturday, 12 November 2011 16:40
HARARE -Chief Chinamhora of Domboshava is allegedly demanding a $100 payment
from all resettled farmers in his constituency as a sign of showing respect
to his leadership, failure of which one would be forced to leave the area.
But Chief Chinamhora has refused to comment on the matter telling Daily News
to “write what you want,” when he was approached to comment on the matter.
Furious new farmers who were resettled on the land as far back as 2000 told
the Daily News that the chief has been demanding payment in either cash or
The villagers said those who cannot raise the required $100 are being asked
to pay two goats and a $20 top up.
The small-scale farmers in Chief Chinamhora’s constituency are said to
number over 1 000 and those among them who fail to honour his demands are
said to be facing threats of eviction.
“The chief is saying imari yekuombera dare ramambo,” said one villager.
Outraged villagers said it was an elaborate extortion scam meant to help
swell the chief’s personal coffers.
However some villagers are said to have taken the chief to court to stop the
According to the villagers the chief will appear at the Goromonzi Court on
Staff Reporter 17 hours 25 minutes ago
HARARE - The beleaguered controversial Harare businessman and President
Mugabe's nephew Phillip Chiyangwa has filed an application at the High Court
seeking to quash Harare City Council's decision to set up a tribunal to
probe his land deals with the council.
He is also challenging the composition of the probe team, which he claims
is anti-Zanu- PF and likely to be biased against him. The land transactions
between Mr Chiyangwa's two firms, Pinnacle Holdings and Kilima Investments,
took place between October 2004 and December 2009.
In September this year, council constituted the Independent Land
Investigation Tribunal to probe the land sales, leases and exchanges that
involved the municipality and the two companies.
Former Attorney General Andrew Chigovera, Retired Supreme Court judge
Justice Ibrahim and Mrs Sarah Kachingwe from the civil society constitute
the probe team. Through his lawyers, Mutamangira and Associates Mr Chiyangwa
filed the application at the High Court on November 4. He argues that
council being an interested party that participated in the land transaction
could not have constituted the probe team.
He argues that the tribunal would not deliver any justice and that the risk
of bias towards council could not be overruled in the circumstances. The
business mogul challenges the composition of the tribunal chosen by council,
which had a bone to chew with him.
He says the idea was calculated at wrestling property belonging to his two
firms. City of Harare, he says, as an interested party, was determined to
condemn the transactions so that it may create an excuse to confiscate
applicants' property without making restitution.
Mr Chiyangwa described the tribunal as "a kangaroo tribunal". According to
the application, there was danger of bias, interest, and lack of
independence on the part of the whole committee.
Harare mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda, according to the court application, was
the one who proposed names of the tribunal members and he was cited as
second respondent in the court application.
"There is a clear danger of bias. It cannot be denied that council will have
influence over the tribunal. I submit that council is seeking to act as a
judge in its own cause under the disguise of the investigating tribunal,"
the application read.
In his affidavit, Mr Chiyangwa stated that council approached him in 2007
offering to sell to Pinnacle stand Number 625 of Lot 7A of Mandara for Z$200
601 000 000 (billion). Pinnacle then successfully negotiated for the price
to come down to Z$160 billion and in terms of the agreement the company was
supposed to pay as consideration for the stand, two Land Rover defenders
valued at Z$55 billion each and Z$114 280 000 000 cash.
"A binding and an enforceable contract thus came into existence between the
parties. First applicant (Pinnacle) tendered payment in the sum of Z$114 280
000 000 and delivered the vehicles as agreed.
"I believed that everything was in order and I proceeded to accept the
property on behalf of first applicant, which belief I was entitled to hold
and still hold. I am advised that when an individual deals with a corporate
body, he is entitled to assume all persons who purport to act on behalf of
the body corporate have the requisite legal authority to do the acts that
they will be purporting to do.
"As such I was not wrong to believe that the individuals who were
transacting in the place and stead of council had the requisite authority to
validly enter into binding contracts on behalf of council."
In another case, council wrote to Kilima Investments on November 9, 2007
proposing a land exchange transaction in respect of Stand 389 of Derbyshire
owned by Kilima with a council residential piece of land, stand Number 19345
of Gunhill in Harare. The deal was stopped on the strength of a ministerial
directive and council opted to offer Kilima five pieces of land in lieu of
Stand19435 Gunhill. Mr
Chiyangwa is challenging the composition of the tribunal saying the
individuals appointed were likely to be biased against him.
He argued that the tribunal was likely to fix him for being a member of
"Andrew Chigovera is former Attorney General of Zimbabwe. The circumstances
relating to his resignation, although unclear show that it was
"It is common knowledge that he did not have good relations with the then
Zanu-PF Government, which I was part of as MP. Justice Ibrahim is a former
Supreme Court judge who resigned at the age of 65. It is reported by the
ESPN Cricket Information website that during his tenure as a Supreme Court
judge, he delivered some judgments that were directly opposed to the then
Zanu-PF Government in that at one time, he came under pressure to step down.
"Sarah Kachingwe is involved in civil society in Zimbabwe. She comes from a
section, which is full of Western funded conduits and pundits of regime
change. There is no doubt in my mind that she cannot objectively discharge
her mandate in this matter . . . "
Mr Chiyangwa argues that the tribunal was set after the media had already
damaged him and the two companies following an initial report that he
described as highly defamatory. Council lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama, said
they were yet to get instructions on the matter from their client.
"I only heard about the case. It was served on council. I believe it is on
its way to our office. We are yet to get instructions on that one. As of now
I cannot comment on it until I have read the papers," said Mr Muchadehama.
by Staff reporter
2011 November 12 14:29:53
Zimbabwean pressure group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has launched a
campaign to garner the sympathy of human rights fighters to write to The
Deputy Commissioner General (Crime), Innocent Matibiri demanding that he
stops harassing and arresting them.
Woza implored human rights fighters to express concern at the repeated
arbitrary arrest, intimidation, harassment and ill-treatment of WOZA and
MOZA activists by the police.
In a statement, WOZA said; "Write to the Deputy Commissioner General
(Crime): Giving brief details of the cases outlined above and expressing
concern at the repeated arbitrary arrest, intimidation, harassment and
ill-treatment of WOZA and MOZA activists, calling on him to respect the
right of WOZA and MOZA members to exercise their constitutionally and
internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression, association and
Since February 2003, members of the women's rights organisation Women of
Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have repeatedly been arrested while taking part in
demonstrations to protest about the social, economic and human rights
situation in Zimbabwe.
Many have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in appalling conditions. As
a form of punishment for their activism, some of those held in police
custody have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment and denied
access to medical care, food and lawyers.
On 10 May 2011, around 40 WOZA members were beaten by riot police during a
protest against poor service and excessive electricity bills by the Zimbabwe
Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC). The beatings
occurred after around 2,000 WOZA members had marched peacefully towards the
offices of ZETDC, aiming to deliver "yellow cards" in protest.
On 28 February 2011, seven members of WOZA and its partner organization‚ Men
of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA)‚ were arrested in Bulawayo. They were reportedly
tortured at Bulawayo Central police station before being released on bail
two days later, on the condition that they report to police twice a week.
Meanwhile, 14 WOZA activists were arrested on 1 March during various
meetings to discuss social issues in Bulawayo. They were released the same
day without charge.
In September 2010, 83 WOZA and MOZA activists were arrested during a march
to commemorate International Peace Day in Harare. In previous years, women
have been arrested during events held on St. Valentine's Day and
International Women's Day. On Zimbabwe's parliamentary election day in 2005,
police arrested around 260 women, some carrying babies, for holding a
peaceful post-election prayer vigil. Some were forced to lie on the ground
and were beaten on the buttocks by police officers. The
women and children were detained overnight in an open-air courtyard, under
armed guard, and had to pay a fine in order to be released.
The treatment of WOZA and MOZA members illustrates the Zimbabwean
government's intolerance of peaceful public demonstrations expressing
criticism of government policies. It also highlights the malicious use of
the law, particularly the combination of the Public Order and Security Act
and the Miscellaneous Offences Act, to allow for arbitrary arrests and
detentions and to facilitate a range of other human rights violations by the
By Staff Writer
Saturday, 12 November 2011 15:29
HARARE - The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) has intensified its
campaign for the freeing of the country’s airwaves targeting rural areas
where it is assisting information-starved villagers establish community
The organisation is in the process of setting up a structure that can
prepare rural folk to apply for community radio licences to serve their own
areas whenever government calls for applications.
Thabani Moyo, the Misa advocacy officer, told villagers in Nyanga’s Sedze
area on Wednesday that his organisation was helping them lay the necessary
ground work which will give them the ability to argue strongly for a radio
licence when applications are called.
“We are here to help you set up a community radio structure which will help
you as a community to apply for a licence when the government calls for
radio licences,” said Moyo, adding that it was important for the villagers
to have their own radio stations because they help them promote their own
way of life.
“Your own radio station will help you communicate important messages such as
deaths, important events such as cattle dipping and health messages
when there is an outbreak such as cholera.
It is also important in the education of your children because it can be
used to encourage them to study whenever they are going towards
examinations,” said Moyo.
The villagers, most of whom belong to community-based organisation Chitsanza
Development Association (Chida), welcomed the initiative.
A community leader, who identified himself as Peter Phiri, said a community
radio station will be the only way that the villagers can get their problems
“We have a lot of problems in this area such as the theft of copper wire and
rape, a radio station will help us address this and start a community debate
on this and find solutions,” said Phiri.
Misa has already established community radio structures in several urban
areas which are now grouped under the umbrella body, the Zimbabwe
Association of Community Radio Stations (Zacras).
Despite promises by Minister of Information and Publicity Webster Shamu that
the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) would licence prospective radio
and television applicants, there has not been a single licence awarded.
Recently, Baz finalised the interviews of the prospectives licencees but it
is yet to make public the two applicants who have been earmarked for the two
slots currently available.
12 November, 2011 20:12
Zimbabwean motorists started filling their vehicles with an ethanol fuel
blend from Green Fuel's Chisumbanje ethanol plant this week.
But villagers living near the plant in Chisumbanje want to shut the
operation down, accusing the owners of taking away their farming land.
Green Fuel spokesman Lilian Muwungani said the new fuel had gone on sale at
selected filling stations.
"We are proud to announce that today we sold our first litre of blend from
our ethanol in the capital," said Muwungani.
"Our blend product, E10, is at FMI service stations nationwide.
"We are very excited to have come from the construction phases of the
project to actual product merchandising against all odds and warnings from
prophets of doom.
"Our story represents the triumph of hope over reality," said Muwungani.
The building of the Chisumbanje ethanol plant faced resistance from pressure
groups in Chipinge, who claimed that it took away people's land.
The plant is on a 40000ha site, much of which was unused when construction
Green Fuel cleared the land and built irrigation canals.
A snap street survey found that motorists were asking about the fuel blend
at BP and Shell service stations around Harare.
At Bond Service Station, a petrol attendant said 10 motorists had bought the
fuel. Others could be seen purchasing it at Matlock BP Shell service station
The Green Fuel ethanol blend is selling for $1.36 a litre, while the normal
petrol goes for $1.45 a litre.
The ethanol blend petrol is a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% ordinary
Ethanol is clean-burning and its use means less air pollution and a
greenhouse gas emission reduction of between 60% and 90%, according to the
International Energy Agency.
Green Fuel is Africa's first large-scale ethanol factory, making anhydrous
ethanol from sugar cane.
Sugar-cane ethanol is one of the most successful biofuels to date, offering
the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an efficient
The company said its ethanol blend will help create a green revolution in
Zimbabwe, driving economic growth and reducing the country's carbon
footprint and its fuel bill.
However, the Platform for Youth Development (PYD), a Chisumbanje
community-based organisation, said the plant has badly disrupted the lives
of people in the area.
The PYD's Claris Madhuku said: "There is nothing about development in this.
"It is a pure capital- generation venture disregarding people's lives and we
shall continue fighting it."
Beef prices here have shot up drastically following the lapsing of the deal
between the Botswana government and the Cold Storage Company last month.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare
Most residents in Bulawayo have now resorted to chicken and dried fish due
to the prohibitive price of beef. Most residents in Bulawayo have now
resorted to chicken and dried fish due to the prohibitive price of beef.
In August Botswana engaged the cash-strapped CSC to assist it in
slaughtering cattle infected with foot and mouth to curb the disease from
spreading from zone V1 - along the border with Zimbabwe.
The Botswana Meat Commission, which exports beef to the European Union, did
not have the capacity to cull about 45 000 animals from the infected area
within a certain period as per the strict requirements of the EU
Now the cattle slaughtered under that deal have finished, creating a huge
shortage that local abattoirs are failing to meet.
The price of beef now ranges from $6 - $14 per kilo in butcheries and
supermarkets. Before the sudden increase a kilo of the Botswana beef was
pegged at $3 while the price of local economy beef was between $4 and $5
defending on the quality.
“Beef is now very expensive. With my family of five people, I need almost
$100 to buy beef which can take me through the month. Most people have
resorted to imported chickens and fish. The situation is now almost similar
to where we were before the formation of the inclusive government,” said
Obey Zisengwe of Pumula.
Another Bulawayo resident, Okay Ngulube, complained bitterly about the
“Before the arrival of the Botswana cattle, the prices of beef was
reasonable. This is very unfair. These private abattoirs are just out to
make money. Now ordinary people can no longer afford to buy meat,” he said.
George Anderson, who owns a private abattoir in Kelvin North industrial
area, defended the beef increases saying they were justified.
“There is shortage cattle on the market. The few available are selling for
as much as $800 per beast. We are just passing on the costs to the
consumers, otherwise we are not making any profit,” said Anderson.
Matabeleland province used to be the hub of the country’s beef industry
before the chaotic land “reform” programme began in 2000.
Most of the former prime cattle producing ranches and farms were taken over
by Zanu (PF) supporters and war veterans who have turned them into maize
fields. Some of the occupants have returned to their rural areas after
realising that the ranches were not suitable for crop farming
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Saturday, 12 November 2011 16:37
HARARE - Lovermore Matombo, who claims to be the rightful president of the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), is set to hold an elective congress
in December in the latest fight for the leadership of Zimbabwe’s biggest
Matombo is locked in a battle for control of the ZCTU with George Nkiwane,
elected at the August congress boycotted by Matombo.
Nkiwane says he is the bonafide ZCTU president and has taken residence of
the ZCTU president’s office at Chester House, the labour movement’s
headquarters in Harare.
Matombo, on the other hand, says all is set for the “real” ZCTU congress
where he said a new leadership will be elected.
“We are going to be holding our own congress next month and it will be free
and fair,” Matombo said. “We shall choose the true trade unionists to lead
the ZCTU. We don’t recognise the Nkiwane faction that held its bogus
congress in August.”
Raymond Majongwe, a key player in the Matombo faction, confirmed that they
are putting up the final touches to their congress.
“We are in the process of holding a regional congress and workers are coming
to join us so those who wish us away will be disappointed because we have
the support of the workers,” said Majongwe.
Staff Reporter 18 hours 24 minutes ago
HARARE - State media reports that members of the Professor Arthur
Mutambara-led MDC faction were on Friday ejected from the high-level indaba
on political violence.
It took the intervention of President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to convince the faction to leave.
This was after MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube threatened to walkout of
the meeting if the Mutambara faction was allowed to take part.
The faction members led by chairman Joubert Mudzumwe remonstrated with
security personnel demanding entry into the venue without invitations.
Mr Mudzumwe accused MDC secretary-general Mrs Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga of orchestrating the confusion.
"When Priscilla walked in, she saw us seated and she cried saying they would
boycott the meeting if we were allowed to attend.
"She argued that we would boo Welshman. This meeting was organised through
Government, but it was not possible for Prof Mutambara to attend because of
the court interdict. I was supposed to represent him.
"I ended up meeting President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai over the
issue and they convinced me that we should just leave because they wanted
the meeting to proceed after Welshman threatened to walkout."
But Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga dismissed the claims, saying the meeting had
been organised through a political parties' forum.
"This was purely a political parties' meeting and not a Government
initiative and there is also an interdict against Mutambara," she said.
"So it doesn't make sense for anyone to claim to represent a person who has
been interdicted. Mudzumwe and his people had no role at this meeting
because we had a standing rule as political parties that it is for political
On allegations that she cried, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga said: "I will not
dignify that nonsense with a comment."
Politicians from parties that attended yesterday's meeting hailed their
leaders for calling for a violence-free society.
Members of the executive committees of the parties said the message had come
at the right time.
Zanu-PF secretary for Women's Affairs Oppah Muchinguri said women had been
given a spur to campaign against violence.
"We are happy that this gives women that vigour," she said. "We are
reinvigorated and we are committed now than before."
Muchinguri said lower structures of the political parties should heed the
message to stop political violence.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said it was important that the
leaders asked the police to take action against those perpetrating violence.
"It is critical that the police are instructed to take action," he said. "We
are happy that the principals know about the political violence."
Zanu-PF Central Committee member and Gutu West legislator Noel Mandebvu said
it was important for the leadership to preach peace.
"It is refreshing that our leaders have spoken against violence and that we
should accept each other's choices," he said.
"Now we need to have this message cascaded down to the lower echelons of our
structures because that is where a lot of work has to be done.
"After this meeting, it is important that we go to the provincial structures
down to the cell structures and demonstrate to them that they can co-exist
despite belonging to different parties."
Nkulumane MP Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu (MDC-T) described the meeting as a
milestone in fighting political violence.
"What the leaders said is very important because now we will be able to
treat each other with dignity," he said.
"Political leaders should always ensure that what they tell their
subordinates is implemented on the ground.
"Supporters usually follow what their leaders tell them and as a country we
can only develop when we tolerate each other and there is peace."
Said MDC vice president Mr Edwin Mushoriwa: "This meeting was a good start
and the fact that our leadership has decided to converge and send a clear
message of peace to the grassroots shows how sincere we are.
"What they said is very important for everyone because we have to know that
we are all Zimbabweans first before we wear our political party affiliation
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has denied media reports that President
Mugabe had told him he wanted to quit but was scared his party would
disintegrate along factional fault lines.
by Chief Reporter
"So the question of the story that I read in the media that he had confided
in me that he was resigning I don't know where that came from," Tsvangirai
"I said yes, the question of age is catching up, the question of health is
catching up and I'm sure that advisedly he would be in a position, for the
sake of the country, for the sake of his legacy, for the sake of his
children to consider stepping down. That’s the context I said that. I did
not categorically say that he told me that he wanted to leave but he was
being held ransom. Surely that was an exaggeration by the media. I did not
Mugabe's deteriorating health has been the subject of much speculation in
the local and foreign media. But his frequent trips for medical treatment in
Singapore have apparently alarmed his party Zanu (PF) and his military
allies- a dangerous situation that could prompt an army takeover and
subsequent suffering to the Zimbabwean people under another tyrant leader.
Asked about his perception of Mugabe in the three years he has worked with
him in the GNU, Tsvangirai said there was good and bad.
"There are some things that I can praise him for but there are certain
things that I will certainly condemn him for," Tsvangirai said. "But at a
personal level we confer, we communicate, we exchange, we disagree, perhaps
he thinks that that’s the best tactic to manage me, I think it’s the best
tactic to manage him. I think it’s a quid pro quo thing, and I think it has
I thought it would never come to this, but it has – we’re re-living the 2008
violence, this time thanks to Chipangano, a terror group that is closely
linked to Zanu (PF).
by Fungi Kwaramba
The revelations that some top Zanu (PF) officials fund Chipangano is no
surprise to ordinary Zimbabweans, the gang of unemployed youths do not have
the financial muscle to sustain their dastardly acts of terror. Somebody
with the wherewithal is behind them and funding them.
That is not to say that Chipangano has no way of generating its own funds.
The Combined Harare Residents Association estimates that Chipangano rakes in
at least $30 000 from bus terminuses in Harare. The mobs have also taken
over several council markets like Siyaso and Mupedzanhamo where they charge
vendors extortionate fees.
Chipangano have also taken over a council building, Carter House, in Mbare,
and the council has been threatened into silence over the matter. Carter
House is now the unofficial Chipangano headquarters and a torture base where
MDC activists are held.
There are so powerful that they scuttled a $5 million housing project that
had the potential of transforming the suburb of Mbare. With the way things
are going, Zimbabweans are scared that Chipangano could blossom and become a
terror group similar to Al-Queda.
This indeed is chilling and possible. When will Zanu (PF) call these bandits
Civil wars have been sustained by terror groups that were formed by war
lords paying their youths in drugs. Like other terror groups, Chipangano
breaks the law with impunity and the police have so far been no more than
bystanders. They have done nothing to investigate the origins of violence in
Harare and other parts of the country.
The MDC and other organizations say that in 2008 many women were raped and
more people were killed by known Zanu (PF) supporters, but nothing was done
to the perpetrators. This is now happening in Harare and it is scary.
Chipangano is slowly crystallizing into a formidable group of war mongers
that could give future government sleepless nights.
11 November 2011
Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri has come under fire for the
failure of his Zimbabwe Republic Police to step in to stop outbreaks of
politically inspired violence and to arrest those responsible
Senior officials of Zimbabwe’s three governing parties meeting in a crisis
session Friday heard President Robert and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
condemn political violence and urge members of their parties to be tolerant,
respectful, and to maintain the peace despite their differences - but many
doubted the message would have an impact.
President Mugabe urged all political parties in the country to be tolerant
and work towards peace. “We have committed heart and soul that we ensure
that our country is without violence. We want to live in a peaceful
country,” Mugabe said
In a thinly veiled attack on President Mugabe's former ruling party, Mr
Tsvangirai said political leaders must stop coercing people to vote for
them. "The men and women in this room must all ask themselves whether they
are not the perpetrators of the violence that has pervaded the country;
indeed whether we are not the ones that instruct our cells and our branches
to beat up people and force them to support our parties, to buy our cards
and to attend our rallies and meetings."
Some participants and observers hailed the meeting as historic while others
dismissed it as meaningless political grandstanding that was unlikely to
change the behavior of militant supporters who see violence as just another
Legislator Piniel Denga of Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change
formation represents the Harare suburb of Mbare which has seen much violence
in the past year. Though Mbare is a stronghold for Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC
formation, it has also become a base for the so-called Chipangano Youth gang
implicated in much urban violence.
Denga told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Friday's meeting would not put an
end to the violence unless there is major reform of the police and other
Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri has come under fire for the
failure of his Zimbabwe Republic Police to step in to stop outbreaks of
politically inspired violence and to arrest those responsible. But Chihuri,
a Mugabe loyalist who has often exhibited disrespect for Prime Minister
Tsvangirai, has not been held accountable.
Mr. Tsvangirai has accused Indigenization and Youth Minister Saviour
Kasukuwere of having a hand in an outbreak of violence last Sunday in the
Harare satellite town of Chitungwiza, where ZANU-PF supporters stoned MCC
members attending a rally.
Kasukuwere told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that he has demanded an audience
with Mr. Tsvangirai to clear his name. As youth minister, Kasukuwere was
closely associated with the ZANU-PF youth militia implicated in deadly 2008
Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee Chairwoman Priscilla
Misihairambwi-Mushunga called the inter-party conference on violence
historic – but expressed doubt whether it will have much impact on political
violence at the grass roots.
Political consultant Gladys Hlatshwayo, a former legislator, said
politicians must now walk the talk, not only talk the talk about ending
From the Zimbabwe Vigil
We have been asked to circulate the following by Zimbabwe We Can.
Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
From Zimbabwe We Can
11th November 2011
Who Are We
We are concerned ordinary Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe – black and white, from all tribes and corners of the country, Christians and non-Christians, workers and peasants, students and professionals, young and old, mothers and fathers representing our children in Zimbabwe and in the diaspora, victims and survivors of the dictatorship, political parties and civil society groups, entrepreneurs and consumers, tillers of land and miners of precious minerals – we are the Zimbabwe citizens from all walks of life.
We are the people who helped free Zimbabwe from colonial bondage. We are now intent on liberating our beloved Zimbabwe: from the gridlock caused by political polarisation, from the blatant disregard of the people’s will, from the culture of impunity, from rampant corruption and ravenous greed, from the lack of accountability on the part of the inclusive government, from the self-enrichment agenda that has become the object of this government, from the lies that the inclusive government is the ONLY way forward, from the violence and fear that has become a way of life in Zimbabwe whenever the political elites feel their ill-gotten wealth and privilege is under threat, from man-made poverty and disease.
We are the Zimbabweans who put our country first, seek to develop a national identity, adopt a national vision and develop a national agenda for our nation grounded on the philosophy that ‘Nyika Vanhu, Ilizwe Ngabantu!’ – ‘Zimbabwe belongs to its peoples!’ This approach, we believe, has the capacity to pull the people out of the rubble of division, hatred and frustration to a platform where the nation comes first. We are concerned citizens who are worried about the increasing prospect of another bloody election campaign and possible civil war which would bring down Zimbabwe to another Somalia.
We are peace loving Zimbabweans who are appalled by the 1980s’ inhuman Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands regions, the on-going violent and partisan land reform programme, the 2005 Murambatsvina retributions, the March 2008 electoral banditry/terrorism by the State, the continued human rights violations and who fear the likelihood of another stolen election amid untold bloodshed if not civil war.
We are Zimbabweans who believe that together: We Can stop the rot, We Can stop the suffering, We Can stop this dictatorship, We Can liberate ourselves from the culture of fear and begin to dream again.
We are the Zimbabweans who believe that Zimbabwe has enough resources and adequate manpower skills to ensure every Zimbabwean has a job, food on the table, reasonable income, can afford education and health, can live peacefully alongside each other and bring Zimbabwe back to its rightful place among the community of nations.
We are the Zimbabweans who hate to see wealth being concentrated on 5% of the population whilst the rest suffer in abject poverty and without basic necessities. We believe this is immoral and can be stopped.
STRATEGIES / METHODOLOGY
· To lobby, as part of the election roadmap, for a permanent United Nations observer mission in Zimbabwe 12 months prior to any general election
· To lobby for the UN to monitor and validate the next general election in Zimbabwe and oversee the transfer of power to the winner.
· To challenge and resist: all unjust laws and policies, arbitrary use of coercive power, illegitimate governance, the lack of accountability and transparency characterising this inclusive government, the imposition of a constitution by the political elite, the continued enrichment of the few at the expense of the majority, gangster politics and its surrogate evil - violence, among other ills.
· To challenge every citizen of Zimbabwe to stop blaming others or expecting others to make change and to encourage everyone to accept responsibility for the Zimbabwe crisis and to actively get involved in searching for solutions based on national interests and executing them in with total commitment and in good faith
· To organise ourselves into interim structures wherever we are and to develop programmes for implementation.
· To name and shame those who abuse power and engage in corrupt activities regardless of their political affiliation, to identify with the suffering people of Zimbabwe by conducting protest marches against all things unjust and be the voice of the voiceless.
· To educate the people on their rights and highlight the weaknesses of the GPA: the inclusive government is only a temporary ceasefire between MDC and ZANU PF, a facility for self-enrichment on the part of the political elite, a dictatorship of the elite and deceitful way of prolonging the people’s suffering by SADC, a weak and ineffective strategy on the way forward which does not solve the Zimbabwe crisis wrought by leadership failure, etc.
· To galvanise resources for local empowerment programmes – we need to help orphans, the elderly, help restore and further develop infrastructure, etc. Those in Zimbabwe must join hands with those in the diaspora to develop our local communities.
· To actively challenge the downgrading of our citizens to mere bystanders on social, political and economic issues that concern our welfare and that of generations to come.
· To share the message at an individual level, recruit volunteers to help with the empowerment project, form structures nationwide down to the local level, and form alliances with other organisations who share the same ideals and principles.
· To raise international awareness to the fallacy that has become of the inclusive government, the continued human rights abuses and the ever-growing threat of a bloodier election than ever seen before and the fact that ZANU PF does not subscribe to the rule of law and hence will not cede power peacefully.
In all the things we may get involved in or do, lets proudly identify ourselves as Zimbabweans above all else, rally under the banner of ZIMBABWE WE CAN, be guided by a national perspective, and shun discrimination in all its forms and manifestations.
Interim committees at all levels (national, provincial, district, ward, branch) shall consist of: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Vice Secretary, Treasurer, Organising Secretary, Publicity and Information and three elected committee members. These committees shall be joined by the Chairpersons and Secretaries of Women and Youth assemblies.
More information on the Movement to be found in the constitution which will soon be posted on the ZWC website http://www.zimbabwewecan.org
Isaiah Bizabani Publicity and information Secretary 07427496737
Dear Family and Friends,
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2011, the world remembered the men and women of their armed forces who lost their lives in war; their fallen heroes.
Zimbabwe also remembers. We remember our men and women who died in wars, and also those who were killed in more recent times which have often felt like war. We remember:
The men of all races who fought and died in World War One. Sources indicate that731 were killed in service abroad between 1914 and 1918.
The men and women of all races, who fought and died in World War Two. Sources indicate that 1173 people were killed in service abroad between 1939 and 1945.
The men, women and children, of all races who died in the Rhodesian Bush War of the 1960’s and 70’s. An estimated 35 thousand people on both sides lost their lives.
We remember the estimated 20 thousand men, women and children who lost their lives in the early 1980’s at the hands of Zimbabwe’s Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland in what is known as the Gukurahundi massacre. Those who perished were unarmed and outnumbered. They could not get state protection, did not have the chance to fight back and fell at the hands of their own government.
We remember the men and women who lost their lives in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the late 1990’s into the new millennium. Their names and the number of people who died, have never been made public.
We remember the people of all races who were brutalized and also those who lost their lives during Zanu PF’s seizures of commercial farms around the country from 2000 to 2011 and which are still continuing today. The victims were unarmed, outnumbered and unable to get protection.
We remember the men, women and children who were brutalized, and also those who died before, during and after the violent elections of 2000, 2002 and 2005. They were unarmed and outnumbered; they tried and failed to get protection.
We remember the losses and suffering of 800,000 men, women and children whose homes and livelihoods were obliterated when government bulldozers mowed their houses down. We do not know how many died as result in the bitter mid winter of 2005, we do know that nearly a million people lost everything at the hands of their own government.
We remember the hundreds of men, women and children who died in the violence before, during and between the two elections of 2008. Hundreds died and thousands fled. They were unarmed and outnumbered and tried but failed to get protection.
To them all we dedicate a thought on Remembrance Day.
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.12th November 2011.
Copyright © Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com
November 12, 2011, 12:16 am
Interviewed on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time this week, Rugare Gumbo was
asked, “Why did we have this scenario in 2008 where people were killed in
election violence, abductions and things like that?” Gumbo replied with a
casual, almost throw-away line: “It doesn’t help us just to go back.” Coming
from a man whose party’s claim to popular support is based on past glories,
that’s pretty ironical. Where would Zanu PF be without Mugabe’s constantly
repeated claim that he brought the country freedom from colonialism –
thirty-one years ago?
Writing in Heidi Holland’s book ‘Dinner With Mugabe’ (First published in
2008 by Penguin Books) Edgar Tekere comments that it was Rugare Gumbo, still
in the government, who preached the idea of ‘democratic centralism’ to
Mugabe way back when they were in Mozambique together. The idea is that
while everyone is entitled to have an opinion - that’s the ‘democratic’
bit - it is the leader’s opinions alone that ultimately determine party
policy. As Tekere says, “It’s a recipe for dictatorship.’ For the last
thirty-one years Robert Mugabe’s opinions have dominated on every subject:
on the use of violence as a political weapon, on the politics of race, on
the land question and ongoing farm invasions and more recently on
indigenisation. These are Robert Mugabe’s declared beliefs and they are
central to Zanu PF policies. What Mugabe thinks is what matters; the fact
that the pro-Mugabe Chipangano gang continues – unchecked - to terrorise
Harare suits Mugabe’s political agenda. There are repeated claims that top
Zanu PF officials, cabinet ministers, serving and retired military officers
and even church leaders are financing Chipangano and giving them material
support. It is Chipangano’s violent activities that led directly to the
abandonment of a planned housing project for Mbare that would have benefited
hundreds of poor people.
On Sunday last the MDC was due to hold a big rally in Chitungwiza. The
Herald published a picture of Zanu PF youth on their way to the MDC rally,
armed with sticks and machetes. No wonder the picture was withdrawn within
hours; seven people were hospitalised and a further fifteen were injured as
the Chipangano-inspired violence escalated. (The picture is in this week’s
After the cancellation of the Chitungwiza rally, the Prime Minister prepared
a detailed dossier of the violence, saying that the police were nowhere to
be seen during the attack. Despite that, the police proceeded to arrest MDC
youths for causing the violence. Then, up pops Rugare Gumbo, he wasn’t there
either, denying that Zanu PF had anything to do with the violence. It was
the MDC claimed Gumbo, they provoked the violence by force-marching people
to their rally. But it is not the MDC who have to force people to their
rallies, that is Zanu PF’s way! So unpopular have they become, that the
party is reported to be in ‘panic mode’ as elections draw near. Precisely
when those elections will be we still don’t know but whenever they take
place, people dread them. Elections and violence have become synonymous in
Mugabe makes all kinds of promises to Morgan Tsvangirai about stopping the
violence but promises mean little; in the 32 months of the GNU’s existence
Mugabe has repeatedly broken his word on a whole range of subjects. “What do
you expect?” asks Douglas Mwonzoro, “from a party that reneges on everything
it agrees on.”
SADC announced this week that the Troika will ‘meet very soon’ to find ways
of ending Zimbabwe’s crisis. ‘Very soon’ hardly implies urgency; it could
mean later on today, tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year.
Perhaps by the time the UN Secretary General visits Zimbabwe in February
next year, things may have changed – for the worse, if past experience is
anything to go by. Rugare Gumbo claims that ‘going back to the past doesn’t
help’ but for the hundreds of victims of Zanu PF brutality, it is past
experience that has taught them always to be wary of Zanu PF, especially at
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.