By Tichaona Sibanda
15 November 2011
Nevanji Madanhire, the editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Standard newspaper, and
reporter Nqaba Matshazi, were arrested in Harare on Tuesday and charged with
theft, unlawful entry and criminal defamation.
It is believed the journalists were taken to the Harare Central Police
station. Company lawyers were making frantic efforts to gain access to the
The duo’s arrest is over a story Matshazi wrote on 6th November that claimed
a new health insurance firm, Green Card Medical Society, was reportedly on
the brink of collapse. The story claimed that the company’s expenditure
outstripped its income.
Matshazi’s article was based on leaked documents, which the company founder
Munyaradzi Kereke claims were stolen from his offices to cast his firm in
It’s revealed in the documents that Green Card members had made claims of
about US$121,000, yet the company had only collected US$87,600, meaning the
company was spending up to a quarter more than it was receiving. These
figures were from April 2011 to September 2011.
Kereke, who is Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono’s advisor, is also claiming
US$2.5 million compensation, in a civil case for the story published by the
On Friday last week, five plain clothes police details raided the newspaper’s
offices with a search warrant, claiming that they were looking for stolen
documents belonging to Kereke.
Reports said the policemen, led by detective assistant inspector J. Mukandi
searched through desk drawers belonging to deputy editor Walter Marwizi,
proof reader Chipo Masara, and reporters Nqaba Matshazi and Kudzai
They then went through to editor Madanhire’s office. All they found was
Kereke’s response to allegations that his company’s financial expenditure
outweighed its income position. Media organisations roundly condemned the
police raid saying such actions were detrimental to the development and
growth of press freedom in Zimbabwe.
By Tichaona Sibanda
15 November 2011
Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s 2012 budget presentation to Parliament has
been postponed, reportedly because of the absence of Robert Mugabe who is in
Hong Kong attending daughter Bona’s university graduation.
The budget presentation has been moved from Thursday, to next week
Wednesday. Our correspondent in Harare, Simon Muchemwa, told us Mugabe’s
frequent trips to the Far East are now causing consternation because they
are creating a state of paralysis in government.
‘Nothing happens when he is away. The weekly Monday meetings with other GPA
principles are cancelled when he’s not in the country and so too are cabinet
‘The number of times he’s been away has grown steadily this year and you
sense there is a growing feeling it is beginning to seriously affect
government business,’ Muchemwa said.
Mugabe left for the Far East on Friday, his eighth trip to the region since
January. The ZANU PF leader has also spent an extravagant amount of money on
foreign travel this year, gobbling up over US$20 million. This amount is
beyond Mugabe’s US$15 million travel budget for 2011.
The 87 year-old is believed to travel to the Far East to seek medical
treatment for prostrate cancer. His aides deny this, leaving Zimbabweans to
speculate on the seriousness of his ailment.
During his latest visit Mugabe, and his wife, on Tuesday witnessed Bona
graduate with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree at the City University in
Hong Kong. From there, Mugabe and his delegation will travel to Beijing,
China for a state visit.
A source told SW Radio Africa the postponement of the budget presentation is
expected to give Biti time to realign it to the new expectations arising
from the export of rough diamonds from three mining operations in the vast
The Kimberley Process earlier this month gave Zimbabwe the green light to
export the controversial Marange diamonds that the government says will
generate US$2 billion per year. Some observers have questioned this figure,
saying it is much lower.
The national budget for 2012 is expected to be $3.5 billion, up from $2.7
billion this year.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission last month submitted a $200 million budget
to the Treasury for both the referendum and the general elections, set for
By Alex Bell
15 November 2011
The City of Harare is being harshly criticised for allegedly ignoring
warnings from residents that typhoid symptoms were being seen, at least a
week before the City moved to intervene. But even that intervention has only
been in one suburb.
The City has said that it will sink new boreholes in the high-density suburb
of Dzivarasekwa, where two confirmed cases of typhoid are said to have
originated from. A City spokesperson is quoted as saying they are “on top”
on the situation, despite more than 80 people now being under observation at
the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital.
The bacterial disease, which spreads most easily through dirty water, causes
vomiting, fever and diarrhoea and the public have been urged to use good
hygiene to prevent the situation from worsening. But according to the Harare
Residents Trust, the City has ignored the “early warning signs” reported to
them at least a week ago.
The Trust’s Precious Shumba told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the group
had notified the City some time ago, after an increasing number of city
residents were visiting local clinics with typhoid symptoms.
“The City didn’t take heed of our calls, so we then approached a human
rights group who said we had to get a written letter from the City Mayor
explaining that they needed help. This still has not happened. So basically,
this typhoid outbreak has been caused by human negligence,” Shumba said.
The typhoid fears come as residents are already on high alert for a
potential return of cholera, which is similar to typhoid in that it is
spread most easily through dirty water.
The city and surrounding areas have been struck by severe water shortages,
with some areas not being supplied with clean water for many weeks. The
shortages have sometimes resulted in residents fighting each other while
trying to access water from the limited number of boreholes across the city.
The boreholes were sunk back in 2008 when a devastating outbreak of cholera
swept through the city. The worst affected areas were Glen Norah, Budiriro
and Glen View, and once again these areas are facing serious water
“The typhoid outbreak is symptomatic of the failure of the City health
department to respond to the tell tale signs, and a failure of the City in
not providing clean water,” Shumba said.
By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2:20 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Health authorities say 207 cases of typhoid are being
treated in Zimbabwe’s capital after a prolonged spell of unusually hot
weather amid acute water shortages.
Harare city council health director Dr. Prosper Chonzi says no deaths have
occurred so far in the monthlong outbreak.
He said Tuesday the disease will be difficult to contain in impoverished
townships relying on water from shallow, makeshift wells and marshlands.
Some haven’t had access to piped water for months — or even years — amid the
country’s economic meltdown.
He says humanitarian agencies have been asked to help provide clean water.
A cholera outbreak in 2009 blamed on the collapse of water, sanitation and
prevention services in Zimbabwe killed more than 4,000 people.
14 November 2011
The Herald newspaper reported Monday that COPAC had thrown out a bid by the
MDC formation of Prime Minister Tsvangirai to smuggle homosexuality into the
new constitution under the guise of protecting minority rights.
Violet Gonda | Washington
The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has dismissed as propaganda state media reports that it tried to
smuggle decriminalization of homosexuality into the new constitution being
drafted under the guise of protecting minority rights.
Constitution Select Committee co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Tsvangirai
MDC said Monday the parliamentary body and experts met only to set
constitutional principles for the drafting process last week.
He said it was at this meeting that he brought up the question of minority
rights but the issue of gay rights was never discussed.
“I and Jessie Majome (select committee spokesperson) raised the issue of
minority rights - and minority groups in this country mean cultural
minorities, ethnic minorities and religious minorities, and we even have
political minorities," Mwonzora said.
"That’s all we meant. We are surprised that the ZANU-PF propaganda machinery
wants to belittle the rights of the minority by trying to say these are gay
According to Mwonzora, data compiled from the outreach program shows that
some people are in full support of gay rights and advocating for freedom of
choice while others oppose the issue.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe has
consistently denounced homosexuality as un-African and unChristian.
Last year Prime Minister Tsvangirai supported Mugabe's position, but
appeared to backtrack last month saying he hoped "the new constitution will
come out with freedom of sexual orientation, for as long as it does not
interfere with anybody."
Gays and Lesbian Association of Zimbabwe Director Chesterfield Shamba said
his organization is advocating for the right to non-discrimination, privacy
“We are concerned that already there seems to be a push from certain
political parties to make sure that at the end of the day it’s their
positions that really come out strongly and not the position of what was
actually said during the (outreach) process,” Shamba said.
by Own Corespondent Tuesday 15 November 2011
HARARE – Zimbabwean church leaders say they have asked Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to publicly clarify his position on homosexuality following his
calls in recent weeks for the country to uphold gay rights.
Tsvangirai, who has previously backed President Robert Mugabe’s notoriously
hostile stance on gays and lesbians, last month told the BBC that he wanted
Zimbabwe’s proposed new constitution to guarantee and protect the rights of
He has also told his supporters at a recent public meeting that the new
governance charter should enshrine the rights of all Zimbabweans including
But the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) that yesterday met
Tsvangirai in Harare said he told them that he does not condone
homosexuality. They said they had in turn told him to clearly state his
position in public.
"He noted that he does not condone homosexuality and the church's plea was,
let that come out very clear in the public domain," EFZ general secretary
Reverend Lindani Dube told journalists.
Dube, who said Zimbabweans were a Christian people that he expected to
reject any new constitution that upholds gays rights, called on national
leaders to clearly state their opposition to same-sex relationships.
No comment was immediately available form Tsvangirai’s office on the meeting
with the church leaders.
Homosexual acts are prohibited in Zimbabwe, as they are in most African
countries where same-sex relationships are considered un-Christian and
Tsvangirai, a social democrat, has struggled to strike a balance between his
personal belief in the rights of all citizens regardless of sexual
orientation and his desire to please his supporters who are largely
conservative and view homosexuality as an abomination.
The PM, whose support for gay rights is opposed even by some senior members
of his own MDC party, has said his calls for the new constitution to protect
gay rights were an expression of his own personal beliefs.
Tsvangirai, who is frontrunner to win the next presidential election, if it
is free and fair, has said he would not attempt to dictate to Zimbabweans
what to put in the constitution. -- ZimOnline
Karoi, November 15, 2011 - Some aspiring soldiers were left stranded here on
Monday night after war veterans ran short of Zanu-PF party cards.
"We are waiting for party cards from Chinhoyi as they have run out here. We
can not get our files that have personal documents unless we produce a
Zanu-PF party card" said one aspiring
soldier speaking on condition that he is not named.
Radio VOP reported on Sunday about unconfirmed reports on war veterans
‘assisting’ the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in the recruitment of junior
officers in Karoi for the 2.3 infantry battalion.
Disgruntled aspiring junior army officers speaking to Radio VOP said it was
mandatory to have a Zanu-PF party card as well as a recommendation letter
from local party leadership from one’s area.
Radio VOP witnessed some of those waiting for the cards looking dejected as
they had nowhere to go around late in the evening.
Nearly 70 youths were affected by card shortages as over 200 had been
registered in Karoi
town. Some came from surrounding farms and had no accommodation in the
farming town situated about 204 North West of Harare.
However, some expressed concern over demands by the war veterans
facilitating the vetting exercise forcing them to pay $1 as administration
''They want $1 as administration fee and another dollar for the card. Where
do they think we get that money when we are unemployed? We thought war
veterans do not get paid for this exercise as patriotic citizens" added
another one who set for Ordinary Level exams this year.
Although the exercise is being done countrywide, Magunje's 2.3 Infantry
Battalion that hosts Mashonaland West is targeting at least 1800 recruits,
according to our sources.
War veterans claim they are assisting in recruiting soldiers "to get rid of
unpatriotic youths and
sell outs" in a move aimed at propping up Zanu PF ahead of possible
elections next year.
The youths took over after election officers from the Registrar general were
purged as Movement for Democratic Change supporters and at least 75 000 were
employed as payback by Zanu-PF government.
Zanu-PF party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and army spokesperson could not be
reached for comment at the time of writing.
By Lance Guma
15 November 2011
A senior government official has told SW Radio Africa that the late army
general Solomon Mujuru was murdered after plans for an alliance between his
faction of ZANU PF and the MDC-T were uncovered by Mugabe.
Speaking on condition of anonymity the official said Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai had agreed a deal with Mujuru that would have seen his wife Joice
Mujuru be Vice President in a ‘new look coalition government’ – in the event
the MDC-T leader won the next presidential election.
An allegedly furious Mugabe and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa demanded
a meeting with Mujuru, and it was during that meeting that tempers flared
uncontrollably. Recently leaked US diplomatic cables had suggested that
relations between Mujuru and Mugabe were so strained at one time that the
two did not speak to each other, after Mujuru challenged the ZANU PF leader
to step down.
The cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website also exposed the fact that the
Mujuru faction sponsored the presidential campaign of former Finance
Minister, and one time ZANU PF politburo member, Simba Makoni, in 2008. That
move is said to have cost Mugabe votes in ZANU PF strongholds. Since the
WikiLeaks saga Mugabe is said to have decided he can only trust the rival
What has happened since has been a series of events aimed at weakening the
Mujuru faction. First was to be the suspicious death of Solomon Mujuru in
the mysterious fire at his farmhouse in Beatrice. Next was to be the arrest,
on ‘espionage’ charges, of Mujuru’s right hand man, prominent banker Farai
Rwodzi. This ‘key money man’ in the faction calls Joice Mujuru ‘mainini’ or
auntie, and is a close relative.
Rumblings of discontent from Mujuru’s 69 year old elder brother Joel
Tazviwinga Mujuru also suggest a lot is being kept from the public. Joel has
already said he is not happy with the police investigation and the way
senior ZANU PF officials are ignoring the matter.
The Mujuru family have also said they are contemplating removing Solomon’s
remains from the National Heroes Acre and reburying him in their home of
Joel was also particularly scathing of State Security Minister Sydney
Sekeramayi, saying as a close relative his refusal to help the family to
find answers was very hurtful. “Sekeramayi is a nephew in our family, but he
has not been coming here,” Joel told the NewsDay newspaper. Attempts by Joel
to speak to police spokespersons Wayne Bvudzijena and Andrew Phiri also
By Nkululeko Sibanda and Thelma Chikwanha
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 16:59
HARARE - A potentially charged Zanu PF annual conference in Bulawayo next
month is set to split the party even further as some senior members are
pressing ahead with threats to raise the WikiLeaks saga which President
Robert Mugabe has left unresolved.
Insiders told the Daily News at the weekend that some members were baying
for the blood of those who were exposed by the whistle blower website
WikiLeaks for calling for the octogenarian leader’s ouster in secret
meetings with United States diplomats.
Angry party officials have also been hoping that Mugabe would deal with the
sellouts by putting the WikiLeaks scandal on the agenda of their party’s
This, they hope, will expedite disciplinary processes for the likes of
serial political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo, politburo members Saviour
Kasukuwere, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Vice President Joice Mujuru for engaging
in dubious meetings with Washington envoys.
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF’s secretaryfor administration, said at the weekend
the sellouts could meet their fate at the December conference.
“Our position as a party still stands. We are still downloading the cables
ying them to see how we can proceed with this matter.
“By the time we get to the congress, we should have a clear picture on how
we are going to deal with this matter,” he said.
“As I said, some action will be taken. But it is premature for me to say
what action will be taken at this moment,” Mutasa said.
According to the party’s constitution, members found guilty of misconduct
should go through disciplinary processes but Mugabe has left them hanging
two months after the sensational revelations.
Sources said Mugabe had initially planned to deal with them by initiating
leadership changes in December by turning the conference into an elective
Mugabe appears to have backtracked however, after sensing that rival
factions that want him out were plotting to hijack the event and turn on the
But this has not stopped his loyalists from pushing for punishment, many of
them hoping this will set them up for higher positions if the Wikileaks
Political analyst Charles Mangongera said despite the push, Mutasa and his
crew were unlikely to have it their way since Mugabe was acutely aware of
the damage such a fallout will inflict on the already fractured party ahead
of watershed elections.
Mangongera, who is a leadership associate with the Institute for a
Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe (IDAZIM) said everything in the party
was centralised around Mugabe who has become increasingly unpopular.
“Mugabe will determine the agenda because there is so much power around him.
Everything is centralised around him. He will make sure that it is not on
the agenda because it is divisive,” Mangongera said.
He added: “I do not think he would countenance having such an explosive
subject being discussed but he will deal with these people in his own time.”
Mangongera said the octogenarian leader, who has been in and out of the
country several times to receive treatment for an undisclosed ailment, would
not fall for the scheming of a group of people who want to use the Wikigate
to strengthen their positions in the party.
“Mugabe cannot be fooled. He knows he needs the full support of everyone and
he knows dealing with the WikiLeaks will weaken his position.
The group that is pushing for it to be placed on the agenda comprises those
who have not been fingered in the scandal and now want to use this to
strengthen their positions,” he said.
14 November 2011
The organ's co-chairperson Sekai Holland said the code seeks to have a
punitive impact on offenders and instill discipline among political players
Chris Gande | Washington DC
Zimbabwe's Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration says it
has finished drafting a code of conduct to hold political parties
perpetrating violence to account for their actions.
The organ's co-chairperson, Sekai Holland told the state-controlled Herald
newspaper that the draft has been sent to various political parties.
"It will be voluntary to start with. But it will have a punitive mechanism
for enforcement and possibly instilling discipline," Holland said.
The code emphasizes that political parties should be able to campaign and
disseminate their political ideas around the country without fear.
Political commentator Alois Dzvairo, also Chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly, said it is doubtful the code will make any
difference to stem political violence because it does not have legal teeth.
Zimbabwe has witnessed a resurgence of political violence in recent weeks
blamed on rowdy ZANU-PF youths who blocked a rally by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai in Chitungwiza last week and assaulted his MDC supporters.
15 November 2011
Political stability in Zimbabwe has, for sometime now, been on a knife-edge
following incessant clashes between members of the country's main political
parties, the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and
the Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T).
About a week ago, at least 22 people were injured and property destroyed in
the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, about 30 km south of Harare, after youths
allegedly linked to Zanu-PF attacked an MDC-T political rally meant to be
addressed by Tsvangirai. The incident came as regional mediators concluded
their visit to Harare aimed at easing tensions in Zimbabwe's two-year
The MDC-T has since accused the police of being partisan and failing to
protect their rallies even where the party has had legitimate permits for
the rallies. Other political parties and civil society groups have, too,
accused the inclusive government, particularly the ZANU PF side of failing
to dismantle the infrastructure of violence and the police of failing to
reign in on violence allegedly perpetrated by Chipangano, a youth militia
group linked to Zanu-PF.
The wave of violent skirmishes has raised tension in various parts of the
country including in the capital, Harare, where it is seen a central
electoral tool of ZANU-PF in the run up to the country's next elections
expected sometime next year.
These recent developments have signalled a disconnect between President
Mugabe's public pronouncements and political realities on the ground. In
August during the burial of former military officer, Solomon Mujuru,
President Mugabe exhorted Zimbabweans to pursue peace and a month later,
told parliament, to loud cheers from both sides of the political divide that
there would be "zero tolerance" of political violence. Some have argued
Mugabe might have lost control and that the state security agents might;
thus, be usurping the civilian authority.
In an attempt to bring political stability to the country, representatives
to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), a multi-party
panel set up to monitor the implementation of the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) met and resolved to set up its own investigation into the clashes.
Although some people have welcomed the possibility of a probe in the recent
skirmishes, others have dismissed it as strategy to save face and to merely
calm down raging emotions.
Indeed, as has been the case in other instances where similar investigations
over politically motivated violence have been made, the perpetrators are
Following the meeting by JOMIC representatives early last week, on Friday
11th November, the leaders of the three main political parties in the
inclusive Government, Mugabe of Zanu-PF, Tsvangirai of MDC-T and Professor
Welshman Ncube of MDC met and subsequently condemned the increasing violence
while urging their supporters to co-exist peacefully.
While the three principals also agreed on a code of conduct for parties
against political violence, they did not spell out clear strategies and
mechanisms for tackling violence. This has led some to question whether the
government is willing to transform the country's security sector, which is
key to reforms in Zimbabwe and to stopping violence.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the three leaders have agreed to announce
the election date after the report of the constitution-making process has
been approved. This may mean that elections could be held earlier than
anticipated, although the prevailing political climate is certainly
worrisome to have peaceful, free and fair elections.
by: Bruce Loudon
From: The Australian
November 16, 2011 12:00AM
AT 87 and reportedly suffering advanced prostate cancer, there isn't much
these days that goes right for Zimbabwe's notorious dictator Robert Mugabe.
But if he's suddenly seen walking with a new spring in his step there should
be no surprise. His beleaguered nation is about to enjoy an epic windfall
that has the potential to transform the survival prospects of a rag-tag
regime seen to be on its last legs.
In a move that analysts say will realise a staggering $2 billion a year -
almost equal to Zimbabwe's annual budget - the international statutory body
controlling the sale of so-called blood diamonds has, to the dismay of human
rights campaigners, ended an embargo on marketing those from Mugabe's
What are known as Marange blood diamonds are from a vast field close to
Zimbabwe's border with Mozambique, a deposit regarded as the biggest single
discovery of diamonds since the 19th century, and said to hold more than a
quarter of the world's reserve. Finance Minister Tendai Biti describes it as
"the biggest field of alluvial diamonds in the history of mankind".
In 2008, when gross human rights abuses and torture were exposed at Marange,
with Mugabe's army killing more than 200 miners as it sought to wrest
control and steal the wealth from individual prospectors, an embargo was
placed on the sale of blood diamonds from Zimbabwe.
The international diamond industry's control body, known as the Kimberley
Process Certification Scheme, deemed the human rights violations were such
that Mugabe's Marange blood diamonds should not be traded.
Mugabe's frustration was palpable. Zimbabwe was sitting on a fortune - one,
cynics said, that would further enrich the regime. The country did some
underhand deals, selling off some diamonds at a cut rate. But they yielded
nothing like their huge value.
Mugabe campaigned to lift the embargo. So, too, did global diamond buyers
led by India, which claims a fine human rights record and is the world's
biggest processor of uncut diamonds.
Now that campaign has paid off. At a meeting in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, the Kimberley Process, significantly with support from the US, EU and
Canada, has decided to lift the embargo on Zimbabwe's blood diamonds. And
that news could hardly be better for Mugabe and his cohorts as international
traders, led by India, clamour to buy vast stocks, which are 40 to 50 per
cent cheaper than uncut diamonds from elsewhere.
Mugabe's ministers are exultant. "We are going to unleash our worth to the
world. Zimbabwe will not be begging for anything from anybody," says Mines
Minister Obert Mpofu, while Rugare Gumbo, spokesman for Mugabe's ruling
Zanu-PF party, says the windfall will help bust sanctions.
Others are more cynical - just as human rights campaigners are appalled - by
the decision. For though the Kimberley Process monitors have had a change of
heart, altering their stance from three years ago when the army massacres at
Marange were judged to have put the Zimbabwean diamonds beyond the pale,
it's hard to discern any justification for that change of heart. A veil of
what is described as "opaqueness" hangs over Marange. Mugabe's murderous
army has become part of the exploration and selling process. The army is
pivotal to keeping Mugabe, and his successor, in power. Rich, well-heeled
generals are unlikely to be troublesome.
And, if precedent is anything to go by, in a country where the ruling elite
becomes ever wealthier they're unlikely to be the only beneficiaries.
Scathingly, a columnist in the Zimbabwe Independent has taken up Mpofu's
assertion that with the windfall the country is set to surprise the world,
writing: "Surprise us by telling us about where our money from the sales . .
. went. Above all, surprise us by telling us who are the true owners . . .
of the mines."
To human rights workers the Kimberley Process's decision is a travesty that
won't give consumers any assurance their diamonds are blood-free. Not that
concern about human rights matters much to diamond buyers clamouring for an
end to the embargo.
For Mugabe, the outlook could hardly be better as the regime contemplates
the windfall and the advantages it will bring to their hold on power.
November 15th, 2011
I thought it would never come but sadly it has, it’s 2008 once again, relived this time through Chipangano a terror group that is closely linked to Zanu PF.
The revelations that some top Zanu PF officials fund Chipangano, a shadowy militia group that has became the face of terror in Zimbabwe, is no surprise to ordinary Zimbabweans foe Chipangano, a group of unemployed youths, do not have the financial muscle to sustain their dastardly acts of terror. So somebody with the wherewithal is behind them and funding them.
With the way things are going many Zimbabweans are scared that Chipangano could blossom and become a widespread terror group. This indeed is chilling.
When will Zanu PF call back its terror bandits? And even if they make such calls are they going to be respected? No single call for an end to violence may arrest the wayward ways of Chipangano for acts of violence often become habitual since the people loot at will and also earn a living through violence.
Civil wars have been sustained by terror groups that were formed by youths paid through drugs. Youths who are given the nod to rape innocent civilians at will.
In 2008 many women were raped and many people were killed by known Zanu PF supporters, recently scores of people were hospitalized after Chipangano hunted down the victims once again.
It is scary as the country is watching in awe a slow motion disaster that will obviously have a tragic end. Chipangano is slowly crystallizing into a formidable group of war mongers that may forever give the future government sleepless nights.
by Crisford Chogugudza
Social Worker and Journalist
Since the 1990s, a number of Zimbabwean social workers have left Zimbabwe
for the UK, settled and doing well to a large extent. However, the trend has
lately been on the decrease due to the existence of stringent regulations in
respect of overseas social care recruitment by successive UK governments. In
2010, there were roughly 300 registered social workers trained in Zimbabwe,
working and living in the UK according to GSCC country Statistics (2010).
This number does not take into account additional hundreds of Zimbabwean
born social workers who have trained in the UK in recent years. Social work
is now the second most popular training course after Nursing for Zimbabweans
at UK universities today. It is suspected the number will gradually decrease
following the increase in tuition fees next year, 2012 as most Zimbabwean
students in UK pay their own fees and this increase could be prohibitive to
their career prospects.
The departure of hundreds of Zimbabwean social workers did not only leave
serious staffing problems in the Department of Social Welfare, the largest
employer of social workers in Zimbabwe, but created a vacuum in the delivery
of services to deserving poor people, especially in rural areas. In response
the unfolding crisis created by the mass exodus of social workers the
authorities in Zimbabwe, the authorities have unfortunately but conveniently
decided to employ sociologists and other graduates with no prior social work
background. Analysts say, this crisis management has resulted in the gradual
decimation of professional social work ethics and the denigration of the
profession. In as much as it appears social work tasks can be done by
anybody, l wonder how untrained social workers albeit being graduates in
their own right, are able to effectively deal with such issues as adoption,
fostering, casework and routine social work issues that require professional
training and judgement to address.
In response to the development above which has been in place for a few years
now, l interviewed Mr Phillip Bhowasi, current Chair of the Council of
Social Workers in Zimbabwe, who was unsurprisingly dismayed by this
absurdity. Mr Bhowasi said in a telephone interview, ‘’the decision to
replace professionally trained social workers with psychologists and other
graduates who have no clue of social work ethics, is the most ridiculous
decision any responsible employing organisation can ever make’’. Mr Bhowasi’s
outrage at the decision has strengthened his resolve to protect the social
work profession in Zimbabwe, in his current role as Chair of the social work
regulatory body. He has approached respective policy makers in this area, to
try and have the situation resolved professionally in a logical way, in
order to protect the sanctity of the social work profession in Zimbabwe. It
is true that Social Work, unlike temporary teaching, which every ‘Jack and
Jill’ can do, as long as they have 5 GCEs, social work is arguably, a more
sensitive profession that requires thorough training to execute. It is
unfortunate that social work like journalism ,has been infiltrated by
‘citizen professionals’ who are unregulated and can not be held responsible
for any malpractice during the execution of their duties. Some leading UK
based social workers have suggested that it may be advisable to offer them
compulsory registration as auxiliary social workers (unqualified) in order
to monitor their practice.
Mr Bhowasi informed me that in view of the dilution of the profession, he
was in consultation with the two new social work training institutions thus
Women’s University in Africa and Bindura University to advice them on the
professional requirements for social workers in Zimbabwe in order to
ameliorate the problem of recruitment and deployment in the field. Mr
Bhowasi has also approached the University of Zimbabwe to reintroduce the
Diploma in Social Work abolished a few years ago in order to cater for these
unqualified people masquerading as social workers to access post graduate
training to improve their practice and reduce the potential of damaging the
integrity of the profession any further.
There is however, a lot of activity in the social work profession in
Zimbabwe these days. Only recently, the Council of Social Workers helped
resuscitate the previously defunct National Association of Social Workers
(NASWZ) and hosted a well attended Social Workers Conference, which
discussed the issue of encroachment from the unqualified helpers working in
the district social services offices as social workers. It must however, be
recognised that these helpers (professionals in their own areas) have played
a crucial role by filing in the gap left by the exodus of social workers to
the UK and providing them with in-service training leading to their
acquiring the post graduate Diploma in Social Work is the way to go.
Finally, it is clear that the social work profession in Zimbabwe has
developed much faster in recent years than it has done in two decades. The
time has now come to keep those involved in the profession engaged and
informed, both at home and abroad. Those qualified and experienced in the UK
would be of greater benefit when they return to Zimbabwe through the
processes of knowledge exchange and brain circulation. The advent of two new
social work training institutions; Women’s University in Africa and Bindura
University is a welcome development which should ease the critical staff
shortages in the social work profession. What is worrying though in Zimbabwe
is the lack of media coverage of the profession and little understanding of
what the profession stands for across the political divide in Zimbabwe. It
would help if people with professional social work background could join the
ranks of politics and try to improve its image in the country. The
profession is proud to have had the likes of the late Vice President Dr
Joshua Nkomo, Sikhanyiso Ndhlovu and a few other grandees as social workers.
For those interested in further social work debate there is a face book page
called Zimbabwe Social Workers, which should help in more social intercourse
Food for thought
Social Worker and Journalist
Cris can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES
[14th November 2011]
Owing to late release of information by Parliament, this bulletin is being sent out too late to give advance notice
of meetings open to the public on Monday 14th November.
Committee Meetings Open to the Public: 14th to 17th November
The committee meetings listed below will be open to members of the public, but as observers only, not as participants, i.e. members of the public can listen but not speak. All meetings will be held at Parliament in Harare, entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets.
Note: This bulletin is based on the latest information released by Parliament on 14th November. But, as there are sometimes last-minute changes to the meetings schedule, persons wishing to attend a meeting should avoid possible disappointment by checking with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting is still on and still open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252936. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced.
Monday 14th November at 10 am
Thematic Committee: Gender and Development
Oral evidence from Norton Town Council on progress made towards provision of clean water to Norton community
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon Chitsa Clerk: Ms Masara
Portfolio Committee: Mines and Energy
Oral evidence from ZESA Holdings on challenges faced in electricity power generation
Chairperson: Hon Chindori-Chininga Clerk: Mr Manhivi
Tuesday 15th November at 10 am
Thematic Committee: MDGs
Oral evidence from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare on progress being made with regard to MDG Goals Nos. 4, 5 and 6 [Goal 4: Reduce child mortality; Goal 5: Improve maternal health; Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases]
Government Caucus Room
Chairperson: Hon Chief Mtshane Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Thursday 17th November at 10 am
Portfolio Committee: Education, Sportsand Culture
Oral evidence from the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture on the secondary school textbook tendering and distribution process
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Mangami Clerk: Ms Chikuvire
Veritas makes every effort to esure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied