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Inclusive govt reaches logjam

Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:08

THE coalition government has reached a “logjam” that is set to plunge its
operations in a state of paralysis, political analysts have warned. Their
warning comes in the wake of revelations that Zanu PF ministers and senior
civil servants were not giving Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai the respect
that he deserved.

Tsvangirai recently complained to President Robert Mugabe that his ministers
were undermining his powers as mandated by the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) by boycotting the council of ministers’ meetings he chairs.

The MDC-T says the intransigent ministers, who allegedly report directly to
Mugabe’s inner circle, have created a parallel government structure and
another “ministry of finance” to weaken the GNU, which brought about the
current relative economic and political stability.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora blames Zanu PF hardliners, senior police
and army officials, whom he accused of ordering ministers and civil servants
to boycott Tsvangirai meetings in their bid to wreck the coalition
government. Several senior army and police officers have openly declared
their allegiance to Zanu PF.

“They are trying to undermine the Prime Minister as a way of collapsing the
inclusive government,” said Mwonzora. “Some of them are just ambitious
individuals, who want to ultimately takeover Zanu PF leadership. harassing
Tsvangirai is a display of their political strength.”

Mwonzora said the boycott affects the implementation of government
programmes, which effectively impact negatively on the lives of ordinary

“For example, the PM was recently on a tour, with a view of raising funds
for programmes such as health projects but in some cases, he was not able to
access them because officials were absent,” said Mwonzora.

Even senior civil servants such as district administrators, he said, were
deliberately absenting themselves from work whenever he visited provinces to
supervise projects, throwing the administrative operations of the
Government of National Unity (GNU) into disarray.

A former permanent secretary in Mugabe’s administration in the 1980s, Ibbo
Mandaza, said if the reports were true, it was unfortunate that Zanu PF was
running parallel structures.

Mandaza, a renowned academic, said the parallel structures were detrimental
to national development. “It definitely has a negative effect, if it is
true,” said Mandaza.

“I would not want to call it a parallel but irregular structure. If public
funds are not channelled through the normal channel, then such transactions
are irregular.”

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to track such funds for
accountability purposes, he said. Another political analyst, Char-les
Mangongera said boycotts and creation of parallel structures showed that the
unity government had reached an administrative logjam.

He said the problem was worsened by the fact that most senior posts in
governments were occupied by Zanu PF activists who masquerade as civil

“If the Prime Minister is not able to follow up on projects and programmes,
it means there is no ad ministrative role for the GNU,” said Mangongera.”
Senior civil servants who spoke to The Standard said they could not openly
welcome Tsvangirai because they feared victimisation following the expulsion
of Zanu PF MP for Marondera East Constituency, Tracey Mutinhiri, on
allegations of engaging in activities contrary to the former ruling party’s

“You will be labelled an enemy of the party once you are seen welcoming
Tsvangirai in your province or travel around with him,” said one senior
civil servant in Manicaland province. “So most people absent themselves, not
because they want, but due to fear of victimisation.”

Evidence of a parallel government emerged a few months ago, when civil
servants were given a salary increment without the knowledge of the Minister
of Finance, Tendai Biti.

There was friction between Biti and Mines and Mining Development minister
Obert Mpofu over the remittance of money realised from the sale of diamonds.

Biti said there was no nexus between income from diamonds, output and
international prices and he called for an audit trail of revenue from gems.
But Mpofu last week dismissed claims, saying everything was done above

‘Tsvangirai lacks disciplinary powers’

Charles Mangongera said it was unfortunate that Tsvangirai had no powers to
discipline the intransigent ministers. The GPA gives Tsvangirai mandate to
“ensure all the ministers develop appropriate implementation plans to give
effect to the policies decided by Cabinet.

In this regard, ministers will report to the Prime Minister on all issues
relating to the implementation of such policies and plans.” “He was just
given responsibility without power. The administrative system is not able to
function because of political bickering,” said Mangongera.

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‘Violence Indaba, a futile exercise’

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:28


AN anti-violence meeting held in Harare last week has been criticised as a
futile exercise because of its failure to specifically address the role of
the JointOperations Command (JOC), largely blamed for spearheading political

The three parties in the unity government last week convened a meeting where
President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T)
and Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC) jointly addressed their national
executive members on violence.

They all urged the police to protect all citizens against violence, with
Mugabe and Tsvangirai also talking about the need to form inter-party
committees that would preach peace and reconciliation at grassroots levels.

But University of Zimbabwe lecturer turned MDC-T activist, John Makumbe
rubbished the meeting as a futile exercise which would not stop political

“I think the three leaders were genuine in everything they said but
unfortunately, that was a futile exercise which is not going to change
anything because JOC, the main perpetrator of violence in this country, was
not involved so come election time, they will be sponsoring violence,” said

“There was no specific order from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
to Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Defence Forces Commander
General Constantine Chiwenga.”

Mugabe is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Makumbe, who has
declared his intention to contest a parliamentary seat under an MDC-T
ticket, said the police and army chiefs should have been given slots to
address the gathering as well.

“The truth is it is the armed forces that are in charge,” he said.
“Politicians may talk but won’t achieve anything.” MDC-T spokesperson
Douglas Mwonzora said although doubtful of Zanu PF’s sincerity, his party
was prepared to work with it to bring peace in the country.

“We are doubtful because Mugabe has spoken against violence before but we
saw the opposite happening,” Mwonzora said.
“Recently, he was speaking against violence while addressing parliament and
Kunaka and his Chipangano were beating up people, just a few metres away
from him.”

Said Mwonzora, “We are very very doubtful that Zanu PF meant a word of what
they said but we will be pleasantly surprised if they are genuine.”
The MDC-T has said at least 200 of its supporters were murdered by Zanu PF
militia in the 2008 violent elections. Zanu PF has however, denied
spearheading any form of violence.

Kunaka pledges to preach peace

Zanu PF’s Harare provincial youth chairperson Jim Kunaka, who has previously
been accused of mobilising party youths to attack political opponents, said
he will soon embark on a programme to encourage his party members to take
heed of Mugabe’s pleas for peace.

“We are happy that Tsvangirai finally joined President Mugabe in denouncing
violence and we hope his ward leaders will start going around urging their
members to stop provoking us,” said Kunaka, who is linked to Chipangano.

“I am prepared to work with my counterparts in MDC in campaigning for
 peace.” Kunaka added: “But the leaders also need to now create more
employment opportunities for youths because people are hungry and some of
the fights, for example those involving market stalls, were purely over food
and had nothing to do with politics.”

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More illegal settlements mushroom in Harare

Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:03

THE mud walls of hundreds of houses in a sprouting settlement in Harare seem
to be sagging under the plastics and cardboard roofing. Someone who has
never been to this area would be forgiven to think that it is one of the
remotest rural areas in Zimbabwe, yet it is only a stone’s throw from the
capital’s city centre.

There is no running water, electricity or proper ablution facilities,
setting a good platform, for the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and
dysentery. Welcome to Southlea Park, a jumbled up settlement which lies
about 15km south of Harare.

Southlea Park is one of the many new settlements that have been mushrooming
in and around Harare in recent years, courting controversy on lack of
transparency in the manner residential stands are allocated and the
standards of the structures being built.

Many believe that the housing structures do not conform to city by-laws but
cannot be destroyed because Zanu PF was behind most of the settlements. When
The Standard news crew visited the settlement last week, some residents were
busy putting up their structures.

One resident claimed he could build and inspect his own house if need be.
“Should anyone feel that I made a mistake with the planning; I will pull the
house down and rebuild it,” he said.

An official at the developer’s office, said there were 56 companies selling
stands in Southlea Park. There is one developer and one inspector who
travels from Domboshava daily during week days to carry out inspection of
the structures.

Residents who require his services pay a US$5 transport fee while those with
own transport can pick the inspector from the developers’ office to their

The official said there were no title deeds for the stands which cost US$7
500 for 1 000m2 although most people buy 200m2 stands which are cheaper.
The official, who could not give the total number of people who have bought
residential stands in Southlea Park, said water and electricity would be
installed next year.

“What is important now is for people to have somewhere to stay,” said the
official. “They will upgrade their homes in accordance with their plans but
we cannot control what people do on their stands because they paid for

Residents must submit plans to council for approval: Gwindi

Harare City Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi urged residents to submit
plans before beginning construction of their houses. He said council would
demolish such structures if the plans were not approved.

“People have to submit plans and if they meet the standards they are given
the green light to start building but if the house does not meet standards
we bring it down,” said Gwindi.

The city housing department has revealed that the housing backlog is
standing at 500 000 residents with over 200 housing cooperatives not yet
short-listed for any residential stands.

Politicians behind the settlements, say councillors

There are several other squalid settlements sprouting in and around Harare
which councillors said must be demolished. Some of the settlements are found
in Hopley, Kambuzuma, Dzivarasekwa, Glen Norah C, Hatcliffe, Snake Park,
Mabvuku-Tafara and Epworth.

Councillors who spoke to The Standard last week said it was difficult for
the council to control such developments because there were powerful
politicians behind them who were parcelling out stands in exchange for

The councillors insisted that the settlements do not conform to the city’s
laws and this may affect the future laying down of sewer lines in those
areas because land is unserviced.

While government allows stand owners to build on unserviced stands, council
requires that water and sewer pipes be installed before construction.
“Many people now know that State land is being parcelled out by Zanu PF to
its supporters for example in Harare South’s Ward 1 where Southlea is,” said
one Harare councillor, adding that some of the settlements were later
licensed by the city.

Harare City Council housing and community services committee chairperson
Charles Nyatsuro said proper development of the city could only be achieved
if political parties worked together.

“This situation can be contained if we worked together with one vision but
unfortunately, some people involve too much politics in these issues,” said
Nyatsuro, who added that Zanu PF was promoting the mushrooming of illegal
structures in Harare.

Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo were
fruitless as his mobile phone was unavailable. Chipangano, a Zanu PF-linked
militia group, is said to be scuttling a U$5 million housing project meant
for the poor in Mbare.

Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has said the group was demanding that 51% of
the housing units to be constructed with funds from a donation by the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation be given to its members.

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Byo MDC-T youths warn Chipangano

Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:00

BULAWAYO — MDC-T youth assembly in Bulawayo has vowed to “teach the
notorious Chipangano militia a lesson” should it export violence to the
country’s second largest city during the former ruling party’s conference
set for early December.

Chipangano, a Zanu PF youth militia outfit, has been causing havoc in
Harare, terrorising residents and disrupting MDC-T rallies. Bekithemba
Nyathi, the MDC-T Bulawayo youth assembly chairperson, said the party’s
youths will not tolerate the intimidation of city residents by Chipangano
when it comes to Bulawayo for Zanu PF’s conference.

“We know those thugs might come to Bulawayo during Zanu PF’s conference to
intimidate residents. As the MDC-T youth assembly, we warn those gangsters
that they will be taught a lesson if they export their violence to the
 city,” Nyathi said in an interview.

“Our parents in Bulawayo and Matabeleland as a whole have suffered a lot
under Zanu PF since independence, for example during Gukurahundi.
“As such, we warn those Chipangano militias that they will not be tolerated
in the city by the party’s youths.”

He said the MDC-T youth assembly will not “allow them to come during the
Zanu PF conference to disturb the peace and tranquility prevailing in

Zanu PF holds its conference in Bulawayo in early December where the party
is also set to endorse Robert Mugabe as the party’s presidential candidate
in upcoming polls.

A number of politically-motivated incidents of violence in Harare,
particularly in Mbare, have been blamed squarely on Chipangano, which is
allegedly being sponsored by senior Zanu PF officials.

The group have taken over control of the Mbare-Musika market, the country’s
busiest bus terminus, where they extort money from vegetable vendors as well
as from touts. They also control informal markets such as Siya-So, Magaba
home industries, car parks and  Mupedzanhamo flea market.
The militia operate with impunity and have not been arrested.

Police must impartially maintain order: Chamisa

Nelson Chamisa (pictured), the MDC-T national organising secretary said the
police must maintain order and “the law must be applied fully and
impartially in bringing all perpetrators to book for the sake of peace,
security and stability.

“Zimbabweans have suffered enough and are not going to endure another
political semester of tears and blood,” said Chamisa. “By turning to
violence now and even beyond, Zanu PF must gear itself for yet another
undignified exit from Zimbabwe’s political spectrum. Times have changed.”

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Typhoid spreads in Harare

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:08

THERE are fears that typhoid could spread to other suburbs in Harare with
the number of people under observation at the Beatrice Infectious Diseases
Hospital rising from 54 to 84 by Friday.

City of Harare spokesperson Lesley Gwindi yesterday said the number of
confirmed cases remained at two, adding that all the cases where from
Dzivarasekwa high-density suburb.

“We are working with our partners to contain the outbreak and I would say we
are on top of the situation,” Gwindi said.  “We have identified a shallow
well in Dzivarasekwa and our Health Department will soon be closing it down.

“With the help of our partners, we are working on providing an option before
closing the well and as part of this. Five boreholes are being sunk in

But the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) said it feared the disease could
spread across the city, claiming that it had received reports that seven
people from Mabvuku had also been admitted at the hospital due to the

Gwindi however, said he had not received any information on any cases from
outside Harare. HRT coordinator Precious Shumba urged charity organisations
to intervene before the outbreak of the disease in other suburbs.

“People in such suburbs as Msasa Park and Glen Norah are also using shallow
wells and we tried to intervene by asking Unicef to assist them with
bowsers,” said Shumba.

“Mabvuku, Tafara, Budiriro and Glenview are among other suburbs which need
urgent intervention if this outbreak is to be contained.” Intermittent water
supplies have forced many in Harare’s high-density suburbs to draw water
from shallow wells among other unprotected water sources, posing a threat of
water-borne diseases like typhoid and cholera.

Insects feeding on excreta may occasionally transfer the typhoid bacteria
Salmonella through poor hygiene and sanitation. The disease’s symptoms
usually develop one to three weeks after exposure to the bacteria. They
include poor appetite, abdominal pain, headaches, high fever of up to 40
degrees Celsius, generalised aches and pains, lethargy, diarrhoea and

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Constitution process hobbles on

Sunday, 13 November 2011 10:03

THE Constitution Select Committee (Copac)’s technical select committee is
set to finish working on a draft list of issues to be included in the new
constitution this week, Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora said the drafting stage would immediately commence once the issues
that must be in the constitution are identified. Mwonzora said Copac had
finalised the framework for a constitution and they had  agreed on 23
constitutional principles including the principle that land belongs to all
Zimbabweans and must be de-racialised.

“We have a principle that security forces must uphold the constitution and
human rights, we have principles on gender and equality and gender
mainstreaming and protection of minority rights,” said Mwonzora.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has called on Copac to publicise reports of
the outreach programme before the drafting of a constitution. MDC national
organising secretary Qhubani Moyo said publicising the provincial and
national reports of the outreach programme is essential to avoid conflicts
in the long run over the validity of views in the draft constitution.

“This will assist in building confidence in the process as the public will
be informed of what came out of the process and how those views were
converted to a draft constitution,” Moyo said.

But Mwonzora said it was too early to publicise the reports because they
were not yet complete. According to the power-sharing agreement, the country
will also go for polls after the conclusion of the constitution-making
process, which is however behind schedule.

President Robert Mugabe insists that elections should be held early next
year while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai feels that elections can only be
held in the third quarter of 2012. But Ncube was quoted last week saying
holding elections next year was impossible, predicting that polls can only
be held in the last quarter of 2013.

The constitution-making process has been bogged down by disagreements and
financial constraints amid reports that Copac is in debt with several
service providers.

—By Nqobani Ndlovu

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Jocelyn spills the beans

Sunday, 13 November 2011 09:45


JOCELYN Chiwenga, the estranged wife to commander of the Zimbabwe Defence
Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga, claims she fears for her life since
her marriage to the commander collapsed over a year ago.

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview held on Friday at her Zimsafe offices
in Willowvale, Jocelyn bared her soul as she opened up on how, over the
years, she has been subjected to physical and emotional abuse by her

“Why can’t he tell the nation that he used to beat me up and then send me to
Malaysia for treatment? After that he told people I am the one who used to
abuse him. How can one claim I abused a trained soldier?

“I could not report to the police because he would threaten to shoot me. I
know these are serious allegations I am making but I was threatened that if
I made a report I would be killed but now I have made peace with my God and
I am not scared to die.

“If anything bad happens to The Standard newspaper journalists and me after
the publication of this story, because I am telling the truth, the nation
should know it came from his (Chiwenga’s) office.

“Right now, as we speak, I have soldiers living in my garden, peeing in my
swimming pool. He put them there and I have to make a court application to
get them out,” she said.

Jocelyn said since Chiwenga moved from their Borrowdale Brooke home and went
to stay at number 5 Rosary Road, Greystone Park some 19 months ago, she has
had to live with threats and harassment from him.

“I have been harassed left, right and centre by Chiwenga and I feel the
nation has to know that if anything happens to me, it’s him. But I don’t
fear him, I only fear God.

“He walked out on me and never communicated with me until I saw that
newspaper article last month saying he had married a 28-year-old woman,
maybe he wanted to spite me. I must say I was so embarrassed for him, how
can he sleep with a girl old enough to be his own daughter?

Jocelyn also accused Chiwenga of bigamy after the defence chief recently
married Mary Mubaiwa, former wife to footballer Shingi Kawondera while still
legally married to her.

Jocelyn and Chiwenga were married on November 1998 under Chapter 37, now
Chapter 5.11. “I am still legally married to him because as far as I know, I
have never signed any divorce papers, unless he has had someone sign the
papers for me, go check at the courts, our marriage is still valid.

“He is not by law supposed to marry another woman until we are legally
divorced but he is abusing the law.” Jocelyn spoke about an incident that
happened early this year at her Shamva farm where Chiwenga’s aide in the
company of one Colonel (names given) and another soldier, a trained sniper,
allegedly came to her farm around 11pm to harass her. She said she was
fortunately not there.

Asked why she had not opened up before about the alleged abuse, Jocelyn said
she had kept quiet because she didn’t want to tarnish Chiwenga’s image and
embarrass President Robert Mugabe.

She claims almost two years after Chiwenga walked out of their matrimonial
home, her efforts to have him take his “things” together with his clothes
that he left had yielded no results.

According to Jocelyn, her lawyers, Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans have written
several letters to Chiwenga through his lawyers Scanlen and Holderness since
April last year when Chiwenga ditched her that have never been replied to.

She added that efforts to meet with Chief Marange, her relative, to finalise
the divorce have failed to yield any results after Chiwenga, on six
different occasions, allegedly turned them down.

Jocelyn accused Chiwenga of trying to “grab” her businesses and the
Borrowdale Brooke house from her. “He wants to take everything from me, even
the white house on the hill (Borrowdale Brooke), maybe he had told his young
wife that they are his properties. He forgets that when we married I already
had some of my businesses running,” she said.

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Police raid on newsroom condemned

Sunday, 13 November 2011 09:54


MEDIA organisations have condemned the recent police raid on The Standard
newspaper’s offices saying such actions were detrimental to the development
and growth of press freedom in Zimbabwe.

Five plain clothes police details raided the newspaper’s offices on Friday
morning with a search warrant claiming that they were looking for stolen
documents belonging to Green Card Medical Aid Society, owned by Munyaradzi

The policemen, led by detective assistant inspector J Mukandi searched
through desk drawers belonging to deputy editor, Walter Marwizi, proofreader
Chipo Masara and reporters, Nqaba Matshazi and Kudzai Chimhangwa.

They then went through to the editor, Nevanji Madanhire’s office. All they
found was Kereke’s response to allegations that his company’s financial
expenditure outweighed its income position.

Nqaba Matshazi wrote the story based on sources’ information that revealed
the unstable financial situation prevailing at the company. Zimbabwe Union
of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary general Foster Dongozi said the arbitrary
police action was a big public relations disaster for a country which is
trying to improve its image on the in ternational scene.

“Journalists are usually accused of tarnishing the image of the country. The
latest action by police is an indication that there are some individual
police officers who are bent on tarnishing the image of Zimbabwe by engaging
in acts of harassment or abuse of journalists, which will naturally attract
the attention of the international community,” said Dongozi.

“We will always encourage organisations and individuals who perceive
themselves to have been wronged, to use peaceful means, such as using the
VMCZ (Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe) or the ZMC (Zimbabwe Media
Commission),” he said.

VMCZ director Takura Zhangazha urged people with complaints against the
media to seek recourse through the council’s media complaints committee
rather than pursuing criminal proceedings.

“The VMCZ condemns in the strongest terms, the arbitrary actions of the ZRP
(Zimbabwe Republic Police) in pursuing matters that are not within their
specific mandate,” said Zhangazha.

“The ZRP is not a regulatory body, it is a law enforcement agent and should
not be found getting involved in matters that relate to disputes over media
stories,” he said.

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Msipa Jnr faces fraud charges

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:39

CEPHAS Mandlhenkosi Msipa (Jnr), the son to former Midlands governor and
Zanu PF politburo member Cephas Msipa, will stand trial for trying to
fraudulently acquire a piece of land in Harare’s Borrowdale area.

Msipa Jnr, who for the past years has been embroiled in a struggle for
control of Lot J of Borrowdale Estate (Crowhill), is set to appear in court
on November 28 to answer to charges of fraud.

He was supposed to have appeared in court on November 7 but absconded and a
warrant of arrest was issued against him. A timely intervention by his
defence team led to the cancellation of the warrant of arrest and a new
trial date was set.

Msipa has since 2004 tried to evict beneficiaries of the land reform
programme from Crowhill Farm claiming he legally owned it. However, it is
the State’s case that Msipa unlawfully and with clear intent to defraud the
State, misrepresented to one Joseph Munyanyi, an employee with the Ministry
of Lands that he had a permit to acquire the estate.

It is also alleged that he went on to register the piece of land into his
name with the Registrar of Companies using a fake permit. After making the
false presentations, Msipa proceeded to develop the plot that had been
allocated to two A2 model farmers.

According to the State outline, the piece of land was gazetted in 2003 and
published in the Government Gazette for compulsory acquisition.
The farm was deemed acquired as per schedule 7 of the constitution of
Zimbabwe Amendment No. 17.

The state alleges Msipa has continued to interfere with farming operations
of the A2 beneficiaries through pegging of housing stands, opening up of
roads, quarrying, sand abstraction and cutting down of trees among other

The state also alleges Msipa’s actions are a prejudice to beneficiaries of
the land reform programme.

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Court awards MDC-T activist damages

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:53

MDC-T activist Weston Katiyo was recently awarded US$12 168 by the High
Court for damages he suffered after being abducted and tortured by Zanu PF
supporters in Murehwa in 2008.

He was represented by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum’s public interest
unit (PIU). Katiyo was abducted from his home and assaulted by the Zanu PF
supporters before being taken to a base at Madamombe Township in Murehwa,
where he was detained for three days and three nights under inhuman

“During his detention, Mr Katiyo was denied medical treatment and was forced
to share the room with a corpse of a fellow villager who had succumbed to
the same gruesome treatment by the defendants,” said the forum.

0Sixteen other MDC-T activists and a journalist are suing four cabinet
ministers and the security agents for US$19,2 million for their alleged
abduction, unlawful detention and deprivation of liberty in 2008. The
activists and journalist Shadreck Manyere are demanding US$1,2 million each
in damages from the ministries of Home Affairs, Justice and State Security.

Other respondents cited in documents filed by the activists with the High
Court included Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, prisons boss
Paradzai Zimondi and Central Intelligence Organisation director-general
Happyton Bonyongwe.

A group of 10 MDC-T activists who were arrested and detained in March this
year but later released without any charges preferred against them have
instituted civil claims for compensation against the police. The activists
recently took their matter to the High Court seeking compensation for
damages suffered during their period of arrest and detention by the law
enforcement agents.

They are claiming US$60 000 each as compensation for their unlawful arrest
and detention during which they allege to have suffered serious
psychological and emotional stress, discomfort and loss of liberty.

The activists claim that they were unlawfully arrested at MDC-T headquarters
in Harare on March 13 this year when police pounced on them while they were
discussing with some party supporters.

Upon their arrest, they were taken to Harare Central police station where
they were held for four days, only to be released on March 16 without any
charges being preferred against them.

Their lawyers, led by Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa and Mtisi legal practitioners
is arguing that the police pounced on the activists without any reasonable
suspicion of them having committed any offence hence their arrest and
detention was unlawful.

Chief Inspector Clever Ntini and Morgan Makombe of the CID Law and Order
Section are cited as the first and second defendants in the case. Home
Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone are cited as third and
fourth defendants respectively while Police Commissioner-General Augustine
Chihuri is the fifth defendant.

NGo applauds court ruling

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum applauded the court ruling in favour of
Katiyo as a milestone towards fostering respect for the rule of law and
human rights in country that has been characterised by political intolerance
for over a decade now.

“This is a positive step towards promoting respect for human rights and
serves to deter future violators of human rights thereby fostering a culture
of accountability in the communities.” Several other activists are suing the
State for illegal detention and torture. This comes at a critical moment,
when principals to the coalition government are calling for peace.

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Moyo tells govt to release funds for new Parly building

Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:02

VICTORIA FALLS — Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo (pictured) has called
on government to quickly avail funds for the construction of a new
parliament building because the current one is too small for the increased
number of legislators.

Addressing parliamentarians at a 2012 pre-national budget seminar in
Victoria Falls recently, Moyo expressed concern that the proposed new
co-mplex, to be built in Harare’s Kopje area, has been on the cards for too

“It is important to note that the new parliament building is a national
asset which therefore places an obligation on government to endeavour to
fund its construction as a matter of priority,” said Moyo.

The project has been on government plans for more than two decades. Renewed
calls for the construction of a new parliament building comes in the wake of
an increase in the number of lawmakers who are now 210. There are also 93
senators that use the same building.

Reports say that the proposed Parliament building was designed by local
architects and would accommodate about 250 MPs and 200 senators. It was
designed in such a way that it could be further renovated to accommodate
about 500 MPs if the need arose.

Moyo said though he acknowledges latest government’s efforts in facilitating
the acquisitions of Quality International Hotel for use by parliament there
was still need to move to a bigger building.

The hotel will be used to accommodate legislators coming from outside the
capital to attend parliamentary sessions. Moyo appealed to the Treasury to
timeously release funds to procure furniture for the hotel.

A tender for the construction of the parliament building was awarded to a
Chinese construction firm. It is expected that the proposed new complex, to
cost about US$140 million, would also include flats for MPs representing
non-Harare constituencies.

The landscaping of the Kopje Hill was done by the Chinese company in 2007
but work was stopped in 2008 due to lack of funding.
The current structure was built in 1895 as a hotel before being converted to
a parliament in 1898.

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Tourist arrivals increase

Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:20

ZIMBABWE continues to record a steady increase in the number of tourist
arrivals that has seen the first half of 2011 registering a 16% increase.
According to a Tourism Trends and Statistics report of the first half of
2011 compiled by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), 657 302 tourists
visited the country, representing a 16% increase from 568 706 in 2010.

The report says arrivals from all regions experienced an increase during the
period under review. The report also notes that Africa remains the major
source market for the country while Europe is the largest overseas market in
terms of total arrivals.

“Of the 657 302 tourists received by Zimbabwe during the period under
review, Africa contributed 86% followed by Europe 5%, the Americas and Asia
all at 3%. The Oceania contributed 1% while the Middle East contributed less
than 2%,” the report says.

In Africa, major tourist arrivals were recorded from South Africa that saw
246 889 tourists coming into the country.  This however, represents a 33%
decline as compared to the same period last year that recorded 367 538 South
African tourists making their way into Zimbabwe.
Malawi, Tanzania and Angola recorded the highest increases in tourist
arrivals which the ZTA attributes to trade purposes.


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New twist to SMM saga

Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:18

MINES and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu has been given up to
tomorrow to disclose the name of the institution that has allegedly taken
over ownership of SMM Holdings Zimbabwe (SMMHZ) in a new twist to the
business seized by government seven years ago.

SMMHZ was seized from businessman Mutumwa Mawere via the Reconstruction of
State Indebted and Insolvent Companies Act (Reconstruction Laws and
Regulations) which deemed his companies indebted to the state by owing

SMMH was deemed to be indebted to the State by virtue of owing money to the
central bank (Z$30 billion), a Z$252 million debt to the National Social
Security Authority, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (Z$396
million), Zimbank (Z$20 billion), Zesa (Z$8,2 billion) and owing the tax
collector, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority of Z$49 billion.

In a letter dated November 9 2011, Mawere’s lawyers, Kyle Attorneys, wants
Mpofu to disclose the identity of the said institution “who you allege has
taken up ownership of, or became the registered shareholder of SMMHZ and
advise on what basis of law or circumstance, the said institution became the
lawful owner of or registered shareholder of SMMHZ”.

The lawyers want Mpofu to furnish them with a written undertaking that he
would not instruct the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) to
implement the proposed takeover of Shabanie Mashava and African Associate
(AA) Mines. Mpofu is also expected to make an undertaking that mining
activities at the mines should not take place until he says who the lawful
owner of SMMH is.

Early this year government transferred Mawere’s empire, under
reconstruction, to Mpofu’s ministry from Patrick Chinamasa’s authority as
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs.

ZMDC has so far ordered an audit and has promised to pay the mine workers
who have been unpaid in the past two years. The latest correspondence is a
follow up to earlier letters written to ZMDC board chairman Godwills
Masimirembwa who said that ZMDC was neither the owner nor registered
shareholder of SMM, but was only a statutory body taking instructions from

Mawere is fighting to reclaim his empire arguing that SMMH is owned by SMMH
(UK) and that government failed in its attempt to be registered as the
shareholders by UK courts.

Parliament has also given Mawere a ray of hope after calling for a review of
the reconstruction laws arguing that such legislation exposes citizens to
the risk of losing assets to the state without meaningful judicial

In a comprehensive report to parliament, the portfolio committee on Mines
and Energy urged a cautious look at the legislation. “A law that arbitrarily
converts claims of state-owned institutions to state obligations governed
under the reconstruction laws has to be carefully examined and interrogated
by the House,” it said.

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Surge in mining sector despite indigenisation threat

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:06

THE nominal surge in mining sector activities in the country has contributed
to the growth of Murray and Roberts’ (M&R) order book this year, according
to chief executive officer Stewart Mangoma.

Speaking at the company’s 37th Annual General Meeting last week, Mangoma
told stakeholders that the current order book stood at US$29 million as at
October this year.

“There was a 23% contribution from the mining sector against last year’s 12%
and this has led to an improvement in the order book,” said Mangoma.
Investment in Zimbabwe’s mining sector has been deterred by uncertainty over
the indigenisation law that the government has been advocating for.
Investor concerns stem from the empowerment threshold, which is considered
too high at 51%.

He said that the company’s construction division was breaking even while a
total of US$1,6 million was spent on capital expenditure with focus mainly
on equipment for onsite projects.

The company is also set to benefit from a significant number of tenders it
won from government as the latter has increased focus on infrastructure
development projects.

Most construction related companies have only managed to secure short-term
projects as the liquidity crunch and economic constraints continue to
determine levels of business activity.

“The situation is improving in the construction business although it’s all
really a matter of funding for larger projects,” he said. Mangoma said the
Proplastics division, a Murray & Roberts subsidiary that specialises in the
manufacturing of PVC pipes and accessories, had performed exceptionally well
this year too.

The Pro-plastics division order book stands at US$4 million as at October
this year. “Capacity utilisation is up 54% from the previous 46% while the
factory is presently loaded with orders,” he said adding that demand for
products mainly emanate from local water authorities.

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Strict requirements force banks to shun RBZ facility

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:01

THERE has not been any drawdown on the US$7 million lender of last resort
facility as banks are not keen to tap into the pool due the limited nature
of the fund and collateral requirements, central bank governor Gideon Gono
has said.

Treasury gave Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) US$7 million for banks to
access in the event of short term liquidity mismatches. “As the lender of
last resort, we operate on the basis of actual approaches from banks
themselves. So far banks have not been keen due to the very limited nature
of the fund, as well as the current format of collateral requirements,” Gono

The lender of last resort role was revived in February this year after RBZ
got funding from Treasury. The central bank had last performed that role in
2008 leaving banks vulnerable in the event of problems in the sector.

Under the current dispensation, banks are supposed to use Deeds of Transfer
on immovable property as security and the industry has been lobbying
treasury to introduce treasury bills which are easily tradable and are a
widely accepted form of security throughout the world.

In the event of liquidity mismatches, banks are supposed to seek
accommodation from the central bank. They have to pledge security to access
the funds.

Gono told Standardbusiness the issue of funds and collateral would be
addressed in due course by the bank in consultation with treasury.
The disadvantage of using Deeds of Transfer on immovable property as
collateral is that it has inherent costs relating to perfection which
involves bond evaluation and registration.

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president John Mushayavanhu said on Thursday
the industry was in discussions with the ministry of Finance and hopes its
proposal for the reintroduction of treasury bills would be included when
Finance minister Tendai Biti unveils the 2012 national budget this week.

In his mid-term monetary policy statement, Gono said the limited fund and
its complicated collateral had seen banks being more prudent by keeping
unnecessarily large balances of liquid assets in cash, especially given that
most of their liabilities are demand deposits.

Under normal circumstances, banks keep liquid assets in a combination of
cash as well as short-term liquid and tradable instruments such as treasury
However, the absence of tradable securities means that balances in Real Time
Gross Settlement would be higher.

However, the absence of treasury bills on the market means that liquidity
will remain constrained and this effectively kills a vibrant secondary
market of trading financial instruments, which is a critical source of
revenue and liquidity for the sector.

Treaury bills are short-term securities pu-rchased for a price that is less
than their face value. When they mature, the government pays the holder the
full face value.

In developed financial markets, banks diversify their risks by investing in
treasury bills and municipal bonds among others thereby stimulating various
investment avenues for the economy.

Currently in Zimbabwe, banks are by default only investing in loan assets in
the absence of treasury bills and other quasi-government bonds. This
effectively increases concentration risk in one asset class and in turn can
cause systemic risks if some of the loans being created by banks do not

In his mid-term monetary policy statement, Gono said RBZ was mulling
introducing market stabilisation bills to resuscitate the money market and
ensure the lender of last resort facility is sufficiently enhanced.

Gono told Standardbusiness on Thursday work on the reactivation of the money
market is still ongoing and the market would be advised once firm structures
are in place.

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‘Religion is the opium of the people’

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:18

In the famous work, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of
Right (1844), Karl Marx wrote that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed
creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless
conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the
illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness.”

Let me state here that this writer is neither Marxist, nor anti-religious.
However, recent events in global current affairs seem to vindicate Marx’s
statement, as in some quarters of the world, a misdirected religiosity seems
to persist.

For instance, the recently sacked South African former minister of
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Shicelo Shiceka allegedly
abused taxpayers’ money on several luxuries, including R55 793 for a night’s
stay in a hotel with a sangoma (an African traditional healer who practices
divining and foretelling through ancestors). My guess is that the sangoma
didn’t foretell that the former minister’s job was in jeopardy.

Shiceka’s dealings with this sangoma at the South African public’s expense
are representative of a generation of leaders and businessmen who have
failed to understand that belief without action is meaningless.

One can offer several sacrifices and perform innumerable rituals, but
without hardwork and diligence, there can be no reward. Across the African
continent, there are several examples of men and women who attained the
status of petit bourgeoisie in high-density townships prior to independence
through hardwork and diligence.

This, in spite of oppressive policies such as segregation and apartheid. But
where are these families now? In most instances, great potential has
translated into failure, owing to weird superstitions and misguided beliefs.

Now, some of the African youth are putting their trust in the same warped
belief-systems that they saw their parents embrace, and as a result many of
us strut about believing that sangomas can cure HIV and Aids, and that
unemployment is caused by witchcraft.

On the other hand, the more educated African seems to be turning away from
customary beliefs, and towards Christianity, Pentecostalism in particular.
The World Christian Database reports that pentecostals now represent 12%, or
about 107 million of Africa’s population of nearly 890 million people, and
in Zimbabwe for instance, it has been reported that Evangelical
denominations, primarily Pentecostal churches and apostolic groups, were the
fastest growing religious groupings in the period 2000–2009.

Having said that, while recently conducting research in a Pentecostal church
in South Africa, I found that although many people admit that they are
“praying for jobs and blessings,” further probing reveals that most people
are praying for a blessing in the form of a job, particularly one of a
permanent nature and preferably in government.

No one seems to pray for, say, ideas to start a business, or for the power
to work harder, or the strength to wake up earlier, or the ability to spend
less, or the grace to further one’s skills. I believe that it is written
somewhere that faith without deeds is dead.

We as Africans need to compliment our beliefs with diligent works, without
which our beliefs and religious practices become sensual and
self-beneficial, like a drug, opium.


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Newsroom raid despicable

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:17

Friday’s police raid on The Standard newsroom, a brazen attempt by
Munyaradzi Kereke to muzzle the press, needs to be condemned in the
strongest terms.

Five detectives from Serious Fraud Section stormed the newsroom and
conducted an unprecedented search operation that has been widely condemned
across the media divide.

For any journalists worth their salt, having detectives visiting the
newsroom, let alone, rummaging through reporters’ and editors’ drawers is
the last thing imaginable.

A newsroom is the hallowed territory for journalists. Here ideas are
developed into stories and then undergo editing before publication.It is
also a place where information on key contacts and confidential papers are
kept without any fear that powers-that-be can lay their hands on such
documents. In short, newsrooms are the engine rooms for the gathering and
news writing processes.

They form in the process, an appropriate sphere through which, the exchange
of healthy ideas for all citizens must take place without fear of
unjustified government censorship.

So when five detectives stormed The Standard newsroom on Friday armed with a
search warrant, the intention was obvious — to muzzle this paper.
The detectives demanded documents related to Green Card Medical Aid, owned
by Kereke, an advisor to RBZ governor Gideon Gono charging they were “stolen

The documents were said to contain financial statements, membership and
claims reports. This unwarranted police action disrupted the entire Standard
production process for close to three hours and the police officers had no
apologies for that.

While the police were over-excited by their mission, the clear fact that
Kereke was behind this plot was not lost. Kereke clearly wants to stop The
Standard from publishing anything about his medical aid society, which is
reportedly facing financial problems. Sadly, his actions, in the eyes of
journalists who are fighting for a free press in Zimbabwe, amount to one
thing: the abuse of the judicial process.

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Service providers extortionate

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:14

When a government punishes its nationals through unreasonably high service
charges for non-available services through quasi-government institutions
like Zesa and local authorities then it ceases to be legitimate, whether it
is an inclusive government or not.

These quasi-government institutions are ultimately answerable to central
government hence the government is also guilty. It is critical for our
leaders to understand that citizens cannot afford the service charges for
public utilities.

Those who think strategically will tell you that this issue is a national
security threat. Unfortunately, it seems there are no strategic thinkers in
government any more, maybe because of the uncertain nature of the inclusive
government, the more reason we need an elected government soon.

Government enacted the various Acts of Parliament that gave rise to these
institutions and it knows that they are monopolies which need to be
monitored in case they abuse their monopoly, as is the case.

Had it not been that these institutions provide basic services and consumers
are forced to pay through an Act of Parliament, all these institutions would
have collapsed, as has happened to Air Zimbabwe.

Picture the following utility bill from the City of Harare for a resident in
the medium-density suburb of Msasa Park, which went for over four continuous
years without water.

When the multi-currency system was introduced residents started receiving
water one day per three months and then one day per month and to date it is
a few hours per fortnight.

Balance brought forward     — $250
Property tax domestic zone 33     — $18
Water fixed monthly charge     — $11
Water monthly consumption     — $18
Sewage                                           — $13
Water reconnection fee     — $10
(Being charged every month since disconnection was effected. Disconnection
done on a dry tape.)
Refuse                                   —$11
Total for September     — $81.

I am sure the water charge would be astronomical if water was available
everyday of the month. The extra cost of fetching water when it is not
available amounts to around US$90 per month including transport and the
purchase price of the water. The inconvenience is even more. Loss of
property value owing to shortage of water is massive. Tenants are now
shunning Msasa Park.

The Blair toilet in my rural area is much better than the toilets in Msasa
Park, residents have been reduced to sub-human beings by the City of Harare
yet they have the audacity to take us to court. Msasa Park residents must
not pay more than 10% of council bills in retrospect.

Soon after becoming mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda is on record saying
residents must pay for water that they were not receiving. What a shame!
Government must make sure this does not happen. It does not help to wish the
problem away since the City of Harare is now suing residents for services
not provided.

We will meet in court with my counter claim! The following statement is also
printed on the statement:

Please Be Advised That Council Is Instituting Legal Action Icluding
Attachment Of Property For Recovery Of Outstanding Arrears. Water
Disconnections In All Areas Will Be Done Without Further Notice. Please Take
Heed Of This Message And Visit Your Local Office For Payment/Or Arrangement.
The US$250 balance carried forward includes legal fees that City of Harare
charged me when they attempted to sue me in the past. This means they became
both the complainant and the judge!

I am prepared to fight this injustice in court all the way to the Supreme
Court. I am sure that the Urban Councils Act assumes that council must meet
its own end of the bargain. The astronomical bills that the city fathers
sent us arose from non-provided service!

My assumption is that payment in foreign currency should have sorted the
water problems in Harare but most of the money is going towards salaries and
allowances of city council senior managers, employees and councillors.

City Council must stick to its core business, does it need to be venturing
into funeral business when its workers can be catered for by private funeral
parlours? Even blue chip companies do not own funeral parlours.


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Editor's desk: Voter secrecy only way to stop violence

Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:11

Political violence doesn’t make any sense, does it? You batter people and
expect them to vote for you! You have broken their bones, torn their skins
and injured their pride and on polling day they vote for you! How does that
work? Why does political violence work?

Whenever the weak have pain, both physical and emotional, inflicted upon
them by the powerful, they desire revenge. They look forward to the day they
can fight back and humiliate the perpetrators of the violence.

During colonialism when the white man treated adult Africans as children by
administering corporal punishment or giving them humiliating assignments to
do, the Africans often fought back in ways that sought to reduce the white
man’s standing among them.

Those who worked as domestics often spat or urinated into the white man’s
drinking water and when they saw the white man looking refreshed after a
long swig they felt they had fought back.

Political violence is rampant in Zimbabwe in the run-up to any election.
Adult men and women particularly in the rural areas are beaten up and
humiliated in front of their colleagues and their children by people young
enough to be their offspring.

The situation is not too different in urban areas with thugs often going
door-to-door terrorising people as has often been reported in Mbare, where a
quasi-secret society called Chipangano is a law unto itself.

What Jabulani Sibanda, chairman of the Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Association is
allegedly doing countrywide demonstrates the impunity which perpetrators of
political violence enjoy. That his colleagues have voiced their concerns
about his actions shows the extent to which he has humiliated people in the
provinces he has worked in.

In Masvingo, the provincial leadership had to complain saying that Sibanda’s
actions are too extreme and may turn the whole province against Zanu PF.
In normal circumstances the people of Masvingo would be itching for revenge.


They would suffer quietly until the day they would demand their pound of
flesh; obviously that would be the day of the polls when they would enter
the polling booths and put their X into the box that would exact revenge on
their bullies. Countrywide there should be thousands upon thousands of
people suffering quietly in the same predicament as the people of Masvingo.

There is an inherent contradiction in electoral violence; you beat up people
in order that they vote for you! This doesn’t make sense at all especially
in a situation where voting is done in secrecy. One cannot expect the people
he or she has humiliated to vote for him or her. But that is what happens in

But why?
The perpetrators of violence are aware that the people they have humiliated
hate them with a passion but they don’t care. Jabulani Sibanda for example
knows pretty well that the people he is terrorising daily in Masvingo loathe
him but he doesn’t care.

He knows how the philosophy of violence works: keep them in perpetual fear
before elections; threaten them during elections and punish them communally
after elections if some of them have voted in a way you dislike.

The most important stage of this three-pronged strategy is the second:
threaten them during the polling process by reminding them that their vote
is not secret; this is the fulcrum of electoral violence. This point cannot
be harped on enough. If they were assured that they would vote in secrecy
they would seek revenge.

It would seem civil society organisations and political parties that should
harp on this until policy makers’ ears begin to ring are guilty by omission
and commission for perpetuating a flawed electoral process in Zimbabwe.
There are two types of electoral violence in Zimbabwe.

The first is that between small groups of members of different political
parties. It happens all the time in all countries in Africa and other
developing regions. This is normal and is difficult to eliminate entirely.

These little groups meet at townships or even communal wells and because
they have failed to change the others’ thinking, they resort to fist fights.
All political groupings without exception are guilty of this at one time or

This kind of violence can be reduced if concerted efforts are made by elders
in the communities to counsel peace or if a real national healing and
reconciliation strategy is put in place. This has been done successfully in
Ghana, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

In Ghana, for example, reports say the United Nations worked with the
government, the electoral commission, the media and civil society to ensure
that the 2008 elections were peaceful. The process was an unqualified

The second type of violence is the obnoxious variety which is
state-sanctioned. This is perpetrated by senior members of political parties
in government, directly or through their proxies. These people would be
protected by law enforcement agents who apply the law selectively.

The police in this case would descend with full wrath on certain groups
while allowing other groups to inflict pain and suffering on their opponents
with impunity. The country’s prosecuting authority — in our case the office
of the Attorney-General — usually remains supine in the face of this. This
is the kind of violence Zimbabwe has continued to experience in the past

It is already rearing its ugly head in spite of the lull of the past two
years with the deployment of military personnel into the rural areas and the
reported resurrection of torture bases all over the country.

This type of violence is almost impossible to stem even if international
organisations such as the UN, or in our case the Sadc, do not intervene. The
only way to stop it is by removing its fulcrum or hinge, which is that
people are not voting in secrecy.

If voters are enabled to express their free will in secrecy violence becomes
entirely useless; it will, as it naturally should, turn prospective voters
against perpetrators.

As we reluctantly totter towards another harmonised election, Zimbabweans
must interrogate holistically the whole electoral process and identify those
facets of the process that militate against voter secrecy.

The place to begin could be the whole legislation pertaining to the
electoral process and the agents such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
that enforce the legislation. The aim would be to reinforce voter security
in the polling booth so that every voter is assured there is absolutely no
Big Brother watching.

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