By Tererai Karimakwenda
22 November 2012
Members of the Kimberley Process Civic Society Coalition, who monitor
Zimbabwe’s diamond industry, walked out of a breakfast meeting organized by
the Mines Ministry on Wednesday, following threats by the Mines Minister
Obert Mpofu and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.
Speaking in Harare on Wednesday, at a meeting meant to review the just ended
Victoria Falls Diamond Conference, Mpofu accused local civic society
organisations (CSOs) of “deliberately peddling falsehoods” and “malicious
reports” on Zimbabwe’s diamond industry.
“Let me warn our colleagues in civil society that if you do not want to work
with us, then we will go it alone and we will be very hard on you,” Mpofu
He added that he will not continue to tolerate, “a bunch of individuals
masquerading as representatives of the people” and diminishing the
government’s efforts and gains through “unjustified vilification” of the
Adding to Mpofu’s threats, Attorney General Johannes Tomana told the CSO
representatives that the country “will not hesitate to evoke laws” against
individuals and organisations who “deliberately seek to derail” the economic
interests of the country.
“Our economy is protected by the way. Anybody who threatens our economic
interests violates the law and the laws are there. Anybody who threatens our
security interests as a nation is violating the law and we have those laws,”
Tomana is quoted as saying.
Thabani Nyoni, spokesperson for the Crisis Coalition, told SW Radio Africa
that the threats are not new but they are taken very seriously by the CSOs.
Nyoni insisted that CSOs would continue to hold government accountable, in
spite of any threatening rhetoric from politicians.
He pointed to the recent arrest of activists from the Counselling Services
unit (CSU), who were taken from Harare to Bulawayo without being charged and
then released on bail. Nyoni described this as “persecution by prosecution”,
saying no crime had been committed.
“We know a number of CSO representatives will be arrested, some will be
detained and some intimidated, especially as we build up towards the next
election. But no amount of threats will stop us from holding the state
accountable, especially if they continue selling diamonds without
accountability,” Nyoni explained.
A Crisis report quoted Cephas Zinhumwe, CEO of the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), blasting Minister Mpofu for his
comments and blaming him for the deteriorating relationship with CSOs.
“There is now serious mudslinging and instead of engaging freely the
Minister wants us to wash his feet and hero-worship him. As civil society we
continue to call a spade, a spade, come rain or thunder. That is our
mandate”, Zinhumwe is quoted as saying.
Asked what the CSOs want next, Zinhumwe told SW Radio Africa: “What we are
looking for in terms of all mineral resources and anything our government
does, is the issue of accountability. It’s a long journey but we are looking
at various mechanisms until we are all accountable.”
The Mugabe regime has always been critical of civic groups in the country,
accusing them of being agents of the Western countries with a regime change
agenda. The groups have also been accused of working with opposition
political parties, particularly the MDC-T.
The truth is that civic society exists as the eyes and ears of the people,
to monitor, document and expose the activities of government officials,
political parties, councils, in fact anyone in the system who needs to be
held to account. As such, they represent a threat to anyone guilty of human
rights abuses and corruption.
By Alex Bell
22 November 2012
There has been an angry reaction to comments by the Mines Minister Obert
Mpofu, who has offered to pay off civil society organisations using diamond
Mpofu was speaking at a review meeting of this month’s international diamond
conference in Victoria Falls. He said that organisations who have been
investigating the situation at the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields
were being funded by ‘hostile governments’ and were against ‘national
“Why should a Zimbabwean be funded and supported by a foreigner? If we
brought our civil society on board on all issues and prepared a budget for
them, I think they would be behaving differently. One who pays the piper
calls the tune,” Mpofu said.
He added: “We can say all diamond producers should set aside a small levy of
about 1 percent for the NGOs. As a matter of principle, to make progress we
will consider some allocation from the diamond producers towards the civil
society. The permanent secretary and his colleagues will work on that and I
will persuade the diamond producers.”
Mpofu’s offer has been described as an obvious ‘bribe’, as civil society has
been the most vocal critic of the situation at Chiadzwa, where there are
ongoing reports of abuse, smuggling and other illicit activities. ZANU PF
control of the area and of the diamond proceeds has also been widely exposed
by civil society groups, who have demanded transparency and accountability
at the diamond mines.
Phillip Pasirayi, an activist with the Centre for Community Development,
slammed Mpofu’s comments saying: “We as civil society utterly reject this
“Mpofu should be educated enough to know that civil society cannot be forced
into being part of the ZANU PF patronage system. We demand accountability
and we demand transparency,” Pasirayi said.
He also criticised Mpofu for offering the diamond proceeds as a ‘bribe’ when
the money is so desperately needed by other sectors of society. The Finance
Ministry has insisted that money from the diamond mines is not being
directed to the national coffers, despite the struggling economy. This means
dilapidated infrastructure is still falling apart, hundreds of thousands of
people don’t have access to clean water, and civil servants are earning a
pittance, among a host of problems.
“The cash generated from diamonds should go into social services, and
infrastructural development, and improving access to medical care and basic
service. That is where the money should go,” Pasirayi said.
By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Thursday, 22 November 2012 10:05
HARARE - Veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war have set their sights
on the contentious diamond money, 15 years after they arm-twisted President
Robert Mugabe into a payout that precipitated a national economic meltdown.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary for
projects Andrew Ndlovu told the Daily News that former combatants wanted
government to set aside a chunk of diamonds money for them.
“We are not asking them to pay us from their pockets. They do not have money
but this country is rich and we are making lots of money from the sale of
diamonds. They should pay us from that,” Ndlovu said in comments showing the
extent of the clamour for diamonds money from pro-Zanu PF groups.
Ndlovu accused the state of infiltrating the liberation fighters’ ranks to
weaken their resolve and demands.
“We were infiltrated because some within the establishment felt threatened
by our unity. We wanted the late Chenjerai Hunzvi to be minister responsible
for war veterans but after we chased away Witness Mangwende (then War
Veterans minister), the President never appointed anyone,” said Ndlovu.
“We were then transferred to the Defence ministry as a department and that
has weakened us.
“The reasons given were that we were and are still too divided,” said
Ndlovu, showing frustration with the government.
“War veterans were promised annual payouts after the initial ZW$50 000 but
that never happened.
“The government embarked on a sinister plot to destabilise us and brought
disunity. Now you see, we have various groups led by opportunists
masquerading as saviours of suffering war veterans,” he said.
Asked if the commitments by government were on paper, Ndlovu said: “In the
military one never asks their commander for minutes of a meeting or a
written agreement. It will show lack of trust and that is never tolerated.
You can die for that kind of behaviour. Everything that happened then was
recorded and we had no reason to think our leaders would not honour it,”
War veterans are viewed by many suffering Zimbabweans as an ungrateful lot,
particularly after receiving huge payouts in 1997 and getting farms under
the often violent land reform programme spearheaded by Hunzvi, a “medical
doctor” turned land invasions leader.
The 1997 gratuity payouts represented a rare capitulation to pressure Mugabe
and, since they were not budgeted for, came at a huge cost to the country’s
Analysts blame the payments for what came to be known as the “Black Friday”
of November 14, 1997, when the Zimbabwe dollar crashed and lost nearly half
its value in a single day.
The stock market was also hit, losing about 46 percent of its value as
investors scrambled for cover.
Ndlovu said former fighters who have been harassing Finance minister Tendai
Biti for their “lack of welfare”, are knocking on the wrong door.
“In as much as Biti is a Cabinet minister he does not make a decision.
“He cannot pay us on his own, he gets direction from a collective Cabinet
and we want the government and in particular those who lead it, to do
something now,” he said.
Biti has consistently urged the former fighters to confront Mines minister
Obert Mpofu and Zanu PF, whom he accuses of running a separate government
outside the coalition authority through diamonds money siphoned from
Mpofu and government have repeatedly dismissed the allegations as baseless.
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 November 2012
The commander of the Zimbabwe Defences Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga,
is likely to incur the wrath of the MDC-T after he slung mud at the party by
linking it to Mozambique’s Renamo forces.
At a meeting with war vets at One Brigade headquarters in Bulawayo last
week, Chiwenga told them ‘the MDC-T neRenamo zvinoshanda zvese’ (MDC-T and
Renamo work together).
The country’s top military commander also admitted that the army owns shares
in the diamond mine company. This contrasts sharply with Defence Minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s statement last week challenging people to prove that
the army does have an interest in Chiadzwa diamonds.
But it is his statement on Renamo that will offend and infuriate Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party. Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told
us that four war vets who attended the meeting confirmed what Chiwenga said.
‘Many of those who attended perceived his statement to be part of a
propaganda campaign against the MDC-T,’ Saungweme said.
Recently Renamo leader Alfonso Dhlakama was quoted as saying his army will
return to war and destroy Mozambique, unless the government of President
Armando Guebuza meets several demands, key among them political reforms and
a revision of the 1992 peace accord.
The peace accord ended the country’s civil war and led to the integration of
former Renamo fighters into the army, police and state institutions. But
Dhlakama left his home in the port of Nampula last month and led an
estimated 800 armed Renamo back to base at Casa Banana, at the foot of Mount
He said he was fed up with President Guebuza’s failure to share government
posts, reform the political system and integrate ex-Renamo rebels into the
Immediately after this Jameson Timba, Tsvangirai’s foreign policy advisor,
said his party noted with concern a possibility of looming insecurity
arising from the political dispute between Dhlakama and the Frelimo led
‘As a party, we believe in dialogue, as the only humane, civil, mature and
democratic way to a resolution of any political disputes and other hot baton
issues. Gone are the days where armour, military takeovers and violence were
the means to achieve political objectives in Africa.
‘The sovereign right to govern must be derived solely from the people and
not from a few in military fatigues and wielding bayonets. We urge the
political leaders in Mozambique to take this seriously and give dialogue a
chance,’ Timba said.
Retired army Colonel Bernard Matongo told SW Radio Africa that Chiwenga’s
statement was an attempt to whip up emotions within the army to try and
create a backlash against the MDC-T.
‘The only problem with that is most people in Zimbabwe, including the army,
know the MDC is not a party that takes up arms to fight Mugabe or his ZANU
PF. His statement will not have any takers, even amongst his troops and they
all know this is election season so he’s bound to do that to whip up support
for ZANU PF,’ Matongo said.
WASHINGTON — Remarks by Zimbabwe National Army commander, Lieutenant General
Philip Sibanda, that the military would not allow former colonizers to
recolonize the country through the back door using what he said are
“misguided elements”, has renewed calls for security sector reform in the
southern African nation.
The state-controlled and Zanu PF leaning Herald newspaper quotes Sibanda as
making these remarks at a pass out parade in Magunje, Mashonaland West
Province, a few days ago.
Human rights groups and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) formation have accused the 30,000 strong ZNA of
The MDC charges that the military and other arms of the security service are
loyal to President Mugabe's Zanu PF party and not the people of Zimbabwe.
Several senior military officials have, since 2002, threatened to stage a
coup if President Mugabe lost an election.
Mr. Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have been resisting security sector reforms
as agreed in the Global Political Agreement.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediator president Jacob Zuma
of South Africa has also been pushing for security sector reforms but Mr.
Mugabe’s party has refused to give in saying Zimbabwe is a sovereign state.
Efforts to reach Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa were futile.
Giles Mutseyekwa, MDC secretary for security and retired major in the ZNA,
said Sibanda’s remarks are uncharacteristic of the man saying he is
professional but might be under political pressure to make controversial
Programs manager Joy Mabenge of the Institute for A Democratic Alternative
for Zimbabwe said security sector reform is long overdue.
Reclaiming properties ... Bishop Gandiya, his wife Faith (left) and Victoria
by Moses Chibaya
BISHOP Nolbert Kunonga, the excommunicated former head of the Anglican
Church in Zimbabwe, owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills on
the church’s properties which he controlled illegally over the last five
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Kunonga to return church property he
seized after his excommunication in 2007.
Justice Yunus Omerjee ruled that Kunonga has no right to the church property
because he left the mainstream Anglican Church when he announced a breakaway
during a row over homosexuality.
Bishop Chad Gandiya, the new head of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, said
they had compiled an inventory of the church’s properties since Monday which
also indicated movable property had gone missing.
Speaking at a press conference in Avondale, Bishop Gandiya said: “One of the
first things that we have been doing is to take an inventory including any
debts that may have been incurred during this last five years.
“Debts in terms of utilities we only know of one or two parishes that seemed
to have some information.
“Remember we were out of our properties for the last five years. As we move
back, we will ask the local authorities and other service providers to take
stock before we actually move in so that any bills are properly
Kunonga had, on the strength of earlier court judgments, taken over at least
80 Anglican Church buildings, nine secondary schools, an early learning
centre and an orphanage in the Harare Diocese alone. The Harare Diocese has
72 parishes dotted around Mashonaland East, West, Central and Greater
St Andrew’s parish in Glen View has an electricity bill of US$7,000 while
two other parishes owe the Harare City Council US$5,000 and US$3,000
When the water and electricity bills are finally in from all the parishes,
Bishop Gandiya said the bill could easily top $300,000.
Kunonga had also seized colleges, schools and crèches owned by the church,
sometimes leasing the facilities out and collecting rentals.
“The church cannot be asked to settle outstanding debts owed by illegal
occupants, whose illegality has now been confirmed by the courts,” Bishop
“We must acknowledge that the tenants are occupying the properties
illegally. We are not going to continue with an illegality. They are abusing
our church property and we will ask them to leave.”
Parliament is currently leasing Pax House, but Gandiya said the arrangement
was “legal” and no eviction would be necessary.
Zimbabwe’s Anglican Church has been divided since Kunonga, a loyalist to
President Robert Mugabe, was excommunicated in 2007 by the main Anglican
Province of Central Africa and the worldwide head of the church for
allegedly inciting violence in sermons supporting Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.
But Kunonga insisted the dispute was over the Anglican Church’s moves to
recognise homosexual partnerships. He held the Anglican Cathedral in Harare
and several other churches, with the help of police who were enforcing
rulings by the lower courts supporting Kunonga’s claims to the properties.
The schism left mainstream Anglicans without places of worship and many were
subjected to intimidation and violence.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said the Supreme Court
decision “heralds a new era for the Anglican Church there.”
“We can at last say that there is justice for a long-suffering and
beleaguered community, and also give thanks for the astonishing courage and
endurance they have shown in the face of constant violence and
intimidation,” he said from London.
“The hope must also be that this is a sign of better things to come
eventually for all the people of Zimbabwe: the rule of law is not after all
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Thursday, 22 November 2012 09:55
Bishop Nolbert Kunonga
HARARE - Shocking details have emerged of widespread abuse of orphans at an
orphanage and schools which were run by disgraced and dethroned Anglican
bishop Nolbert Kunonga, prompting human rights organisations to demand an
Yesterday, the Anglican Church Harare diocese convened a press briefing
where the dastardly endeavours which happened in the past five years under
Kunonga’s watch were revealed.
Kunonga was in charge of the institutions after he seized them from the
Church of the Province of Central Africa, often using violence and help from
Chad Gandiya, who is the bishop of Harare, told reporters in Harare that the
Anglican Church, which won a landmark court victory on Monday, was carrying
out an inventory that will ultimately lead them to their vast properties
which had been turned into “lucrative business joints” by the
With more than 100 parishes and sub parishes in the diocese of Harare which
encompasses, Mashonaland, East, West and Central provinces and hundreds of
schools in the same diocese, Kunonga has not been settling electricity and
water bills and an inventory would allow bona fide Anglicans to know the
amount that the self-proclaimed Zanu PF supporter is supposed to pay.
Kunonga lost the case of control of the Anglican Church properties with
costs at the Supreme Court and is supposed to clean his slate before he
exits the buildings which he has personalised and even “desecrated” in the
past five years.
Gandiya said on December 16 a cleansing ceremony will be carried out to
drive out demons before the church gets to use its defiled sanctuaries.
But it is the issue of abuse of children which is most shocking, especially
coming from men of the cloth.
Just like with other schools and hospitals, the Anglican Church lost Shirley
Cripps, an orphanage to Kunonga, who violently kicked out nuns, some of whom
had been running the place for more than 30 years.
Debauchery by Kunonga’s men was to follow, Gandiya said yesterday.
“The children’s home is very dear to us, last week we received information
that children were being abused. The matter was referred to the police and
we are happy a person was arrested. There is widespread sexual abuse at the
While Anglicans across the country are on cloud nine celebrating their
victory, Gandiya expressed concern with the manner in which Kunonga’s
supporters are deserting premises literally abandoning children.
“We are not there to fight anybody. If people are moving out they should
inform us so as to ensure that children do not starve,” said Gandiya.
After leaving the Anglican Church, ostensibly over homosexuality, Kunonga an
acclaimed supporter of President Robert Mugabe’s policies, went on to
replace professionals at the institutions he had seized.
Standards have plummeted with children at the Anglican Church-run schools
complaining of abuse while infrastructure is in a sorry state.
Officials say sexual abuses at Shirley Cripps are just a tip of the iceberg
judging from the decadence of the moral fibre at institutions that had been
in the hands of Kunonga.
Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart said his ministry
will take stern measures against teachers who will be found to have abused
“We are certainly going to investigate. We will support the Anglican Church
and they should give us any kind of allegation which they have so that we
take it to the police commissioner-general. If we find that teachers abused
children, then we will punish them severely,” said Coltart.
Irene Petras Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the
Human Rights Commission which was recently given teeth after Mugabe signed
the Human Rights Bill into law should investigate the matter along with the
ministry of Education.
“Children just like everyone else should enjoy their rights. What happened
when Kunonga was in charge should be investigated by the ministry of
Education because the first mandate of education is to ensure that children
develop in a proper environment.
This is something that the Human Rights Commission should also do,” said
Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she is
still in the dark about the matter.
Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana yesterday said a recent judgment by the
African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to hear the case of a former
commercial farmer seeking to reverse the land reform programme was
insignificant. The ruling was made at a session of the ACHPR held in Cote d’Ivoire
last month but was made public on Tuesday in favour of Ben Freeth and his
co-plaintiff Luke Tembani.
Mr Tomana said he was yet to be notified of the case that he said had no
bearing on land tenure in Zimbabwe.
“I have not heard of that ruling, but it would not surprise me because it
(ACHPR) is a forum that anyone can go to and complain,” he said.
“It would be up to the commission to approach all the parties involved in
the matter and our course of action will be determined by what they will
“However, if they want to challenge the land reform programme, that case has
been dealt with by Sadc and I do not see how any other tribunal will deal
with the matter.”
Mr Freeth and the late Mike Campbell approached the now defunct Sadc
Tribunal seeking to reverse the land reform programme.
They won their case before Zimbabwe appealed against the ruling arguing that
the tribunal was improperly constituted.
The Government also argued that the tribunal could not override domestic
courts of sovereign countries, leading to the suspension of its operations
and eventual disbandment last year.
The Sadc heads of state and government have since tasked ministers of
justice and attorneys-general in the region to reconstitute the tribunal and
come up with new mandates.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 15:06
The selective distribution of the presidential input scheme in Gokwe
vindicates the MDC’s repeated assertions that the so called presidential
input scheme recently launched by Mugabe at the Zanu PF Head Quarters was
nothing but the usual Zanu PF vote buying scheme.
What is happening in Gokwe exposes Mugabe’s hypocrisy and insincerity. The
all too familiar Zanu PF vote buying antics are not only primitive but very
out dated and do not conform to modern dictates of politics.
Mugabe and his Zanu PF should learn from past experience that people cannot
be hoodwinked by portions of handouts from those purporting to lead them.
If Mugabe truly represents the national father figure he purports to be,
then he should put an end to this scandal and bring the culprits to book. We
call upon an investigation into such activities.
As a party, the MDC will continue to fight for every Zimbabwean to benefit
from national programmes irrespective of political affiliation, creed or
race. It is time people of Zimbabwe distinguish between real people parties
from petty partisan groupings obsessed with satisfying selfish personal
Zimbabweans have suffered enough at the hands of a brutish Zanu PF regime; a
lot more have died due to politics induced hunger. Everyone has a right to
food and as MDC, we will continue to fight in the Inclusive Government to
ensure every Zimbabwean is catered for by government until such a time the
nation has fully stabilized in terms of food security.
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
Staff Reporter 2 hours 39 minutes ago
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has left Harare for a War Council in Kampala where
he will meet with his ally Ugandan President Yoweri Museven amid reports the
two leaders are preparing military deployment in the Democratic Republic of
Congo where rebels backed by Rwanda have captured cities in the West,
sources in said this afternoon.
A source said Mugabe and Museveni will meet under the cover of the 16th
COMESA Summit inKampalaand they will discuss military options available to
defend the current DRC government led by Democratic Republic of Congo
President, Joseph Kabila’s.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and high level
Zimbabwean military and intelligence officials are already in the Ugandan
capital for the War Council preparatory meeting which started on Wednesday.
In 1998, the Zimbabwean government sent troops to assist Laurent-Désiré
Kabila's rebel forces.
President Robert Mugabe was the most ardent supporter of intervention on
Kabila's behalf. Zimbabwe was the only country involved in the conflict with
a modern and experienced air force.
The air force and the Zimbabwe National Army Special Forces—which included
the Zimbabwean Commandos and Paras as well as the Special Air Service—all
played a crucial role in securing Kinshasa as well as repulsing rebel troops
who had reached the outskirts of the capital.
Zimbabwean warplanes played a major role in the destruction of enemy columns
that were about to enter the capital. It was also Zimbabwean troops who
recaptured the Inga dam intact from the rebel forces occupying it, resulting
in the restoration of electricity in the capital.
In 2002, then Zimbabwe Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramayi announced the
Zimbabwean military withdrew from the DRC in October 2002, but in June 2006
reporters said a 50-man strong force had stayed in the DRC to protect Kabila
and some sources said they are still protect the Presidential compound.
DRC Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mawampanga Mwanananga has called on SADC to
intervene in his country’s crisis which has seen the provincial capital of
Goma fall to Rwandan-backed M23 rebels.
Mr Mwanananga said the regional bloc must intervene outside the United
Nations mandate as the peace keeping force is not protecting the interests
of the Congolese people, but is being manipulated by the western global
powers who control the UN system.
“It’s time SADC took a decision to say no to the UN way of doing things,”
said Ambassador Mwanananga.
Ambassador Mwanananga also criticised Rwanda for being used by the West to
loot the DRC’s resources saying there is nothing called “M23” but just a
collection of Rwandese soldiers seeking to destabilise his country.
The embattled Kabila’s situation where his authority is under threat from
the M23 rebel group has been likened to that of former President Mobutu Sese
Sese Seko was dethroned by forces led by Laurent Kabila in 1997 before he
died in exile later that year. Now, Joseph Kabila, son of Luarent Kabila,
faces the same kind of revolt from the M23 rebels.
The rebels insist Kabila should quit his position as president of the
country claiming he was not the legitimate winner of the presidential
elections last year.
Speaking on SAFM’s AM Live this morning, Professor David Moore, head of
Development Studies at theUniversityofJohannesburg, said the rebels
overtaking of the provincial capital, Goma after days of clashes with
government troops reflected the Laurent Kabila’s invasion of Goma backed
"So we see the same type of thing that was happening in 96/97. And the M23
people are saying we are going toKinshasa."
Yesterday, the M23 rebel group received a warm welcome in Congolese as some
Congolese soldiers and policemen defected to the M23 rebel group.
Mooreadded that the Congolese were disenchanted with Kabila’s inability to
get things right in the country.
"I think one person was interviewed saying, 'We really don’t have a choice,
do we? We should welcome people who are coming to rule us.'"
The M23 rebel group, which is backed byRwandaaccording to UN report, say
they plan to "liberate" all of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda,
however, denies this.
Meanwhile, Joseph Kabila says he is ready to look into the grievances of the
M23 rebel group. President Kabila says he will consider negotiating with the
Mugabe was seen off at the HarareInternationalAirportby Vice President Joice
Mujuru, Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Development Minister
Nicholas Goche, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere, Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and
Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and other government officials.
By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Thursday, 22 November 2012 09:55
HARARE - Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya-Moyo is a man in the news
these days for castigating party officials who have gone on a vote-buying
But, a Daily News investigation today exposes Khaya-Moyo as one of the
officials at the forefront of the vote-buying scheme and it seems he has
taken this dirty political campaign to new levels.
And, unlike other officials, Khaya Moyo has brought creativity that fellow
vote-buyers will only marvel at.
His portrait is emblazoned on bags of maize meal which he intends to use to
An undercover investigation by the Daily News busted Khaya-Moyo.
A highly-placed insider revealed to the Daily News the name of the company
and person (names supplied) behind the idea and facilitating the imprinting
of faces and such other insignia for electoral purposes.
“A lot of them are involved and they are stampeding to place orders,” a
An undercover reporter from the Daily News was given a copy of the proforma
invoice dated November 21 made out to Khaya-Moyo for the purchase and design
of 3 000 10kg bags of maize meal.
A sample of the 10kg bags which the Daily News has in its possession shows a
portrait of Khaya-Moyo and has the inscription; “Ambassador S.K. Moyo Mudle!
Lidle! Roller-meal, proudly Zimbabwean.”
Moyo has been pouring vitriol on senior members of Zanu PF whom he accuses
of abusing their wealth to buy votes, describing their actions as a scourge
“Some members are using money to buy votes, what nonsense is that?
“People are being treated as commodities and we must not allow this to
happen,” said Moyo according local media.
“Why should we destroy the party with stolen money? Investors bring money
and some senior members divert it so they can flaunt it to the people to
gain popularity and get voted for.
“What kind of politics is that?” Moyo is reported as having angrily said at
a rally last week.
Moyo has said he is worried when he sees party structures weakening, yet the
money is running around all the provinces.
“If you have the money, why can’t you take it to the party offices if it
will help the party?” he said.
Moyo’s mobile was at first available before it went off.
“Ngise South (I am in South),” Moyo said without elaborating whether he was
in Matabeleland South or South Africa.
The campaign material reveals the divisions in President Robert Mugabe’s
A probe into the awarding of tenders and the allocation of space for car
sales and outdoor advertising has revealed massive abuse that deprived the
Harare City Council of huge sums of revenue.
by Edgar Gweshe
In an explosive report, the probe team, appointed by Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo in September, unearthed details of how politicians
abused their influence to engage in fraudulent deals. The seven-person team
is headed by TelOne Finance and Administration Director, Ellen Chivaviro.
Chombo told The Zimbabwean: “My officials are now looking into the matter
and they will give me an official position on Friday, after which we will
map the way forward.”
The results reveal how officials from the City’s Department of Engineering
Services received life threatening messages from anonymous callers following
plans to pull down some illegal outdoor advertising structures. According to
the probe report, the anonymous callers claimed to represent some political
The report listed nine companies operating in outdoor advertising in Harare,
namely Creation Desk, Continental Outdoor, Fuldon, Askeland, IQ Media, AXA,
Finemark and Ceterson.
“These companies have not been paying amounts due to council. Collectively
they owe $3,596,541.66 as at 31 August 2012,” reads the report, adding that
the erection of billboards in the city was being done in violation of
council policy, which requires that all outdoor advertising activities be
awarded through public tender.
“At least 50 percent of the billboards are illegally and wrongly placed. The
Director of Urban Planning revealed that the Council has not been able to
quantify the total number of illegal bill boards in Harare,” reads the
Of the 200 car sales operating in Harare, the team found that only 47 have
lease agreements, and of those only three meet the town planning
requirements. It was noted that only one of the 47 car sales was in full
compliance with licensing requirements.
The report noted how efforts by a team appointed by council to penalise car
parks without stand numbers and leases hit a snag due to fears of an
outbreak of violence.
“The team was unable to check what form of Council Authority these car sales
were using because of the previous violence and gunshots experienced when
council previously made an attempt to clean up the illegal car sales,” reads
The probe also noted a lot of underhand dealings in the tender awarding
process “as some companies that were disqualified for not meeting the set
tender criteria were later awarded contracts”.
“The procurement Board disregarded professional advice from the Chamber
Secretary to the extent of violating Council’s tender policy. Some
councillors who are members of the Procurement Committee are not conversant
with tender procedures,” reads the report.
Thursday, 22 November 2012 09:55
HARARE - Mines deputy minister Gift Chimanikire has exonerated his boss
Obert Mpofu on accusations of amassing incredible wealth allegedly through
misappropriating proceeds from Marange diamonds.
Chimanikire, a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, said after
working with Mpofu at the Mines ministry, he learnt that the super-rich
Umguza MP and Zanu PF politburo member had in fact worked hard for the vast
empire he owns.
“What kind of a genius could he be to create such amount of wealth in one
year?” Chimanikire asked at the Diamond Conference review breakfast meeting
“When I joined the Mines ministry, Mpofu had been there for a year.
“He already had that kind of wealth,” Chimanikire said, adding that though
they were from different political parties, he had worked very well with his
Mpofu, who belongs to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, has developed
a close relationship with his deputy.
His comments are at variance with accusations from MDC ministers who claim
Mpofu is a beneficiary of diamond mining deals.
Chimanikire went on to refer Mpofu as “King of Matabeleland”, before teasing
him as the “ever obedient son” in reference to a boot licking sign-off by
Mpofu on a letter he sent to Mugabe.
This comes as the multi-millionaire Mpofu has challenged a Canadian
non-governmental organisation Partnership Africa Canada (Pac) to prove he
splashed $20 million on properties in recent years using money obtained from
Pac had released a report claiming that looting at the Marange diamond
fields had worsened, with Mpofu and military chiefs being the chief
culprits, adding he had spent $500 000 on philanthropic activities.
Recently, Mpofu splashed close to $30 million to bail out financial
institution ZABG Bank.
Documents leaked to The Zimbabwean suggests that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
officials took advantage of chaos at the central bank to make shady
purchases of farming equipment under the Farm Mechanisation initiative
adopted during the quasi-fiscal era. The initiative involved buying
equipment such as tractors, generators and combine harvesters in bulk for
free distribution to people mostly aligned to Zanu (PF).
by Tawanda Majoni
At the height of a decade-long economic meltdown that started in 2000, the
RBZ assumed the role of the Ministry of Finance, with Governor Gideon Gono
arguing that it was necessary to do so in order to save Zimbabwe from
economic collapse in the face of targeted sanctions.
A management report done by auditors BDO Kudenga and Co for the year ended
31 December 2008, reveals one instance of the abuses of the mechanisation
scheme, and indicates that Bank officials could have prejudiced the bank of
close to $2million through the purported purchase of generators.
According to the auditors, RBZ made payments to a supplier called Trade
Access for the supply of the generators, but “the quantities received…do not
match the quantities ordered as per invoice” and “the difference could not
When the auditors asked the bank to provide a reconciliation it emerged
that, in most cases, there were shortfalls that a highly placed source said
had not been accounted for to date.
Records show that RBZ ordered a total of 200 40 KVA Kipor Diesel generators
at a unit price of US$20,000, but none were delivered even though payment
was claimed to have been made.
This prejudiced the bank of $4million. It lost a further US$378,000 when it
ordered 400 20KVA Kipor generators, of which only 20 were received at a
purchase price of $7,000 per unit.
According to our source, in order to cover up for the fraud, officials
connived to buy large amounts of smaller generators, such as the 10KVA Kipor
and 5.5KVA Amec generators, but a close analysis of the figures still shows
a loss of US$1.77million.
The auditors reported highlighted this as “potential for fraud” and
recommended that RBZ should reconcile the matter with the supplier. RBZ
management had promised to investigate the transactions with Trade Access,
but, according to our source, the recommendation has not been followed to
Gono did not respond to questions sent to him four weeks ago, even though
his senior personal assistant acknowledged that he had seen them, while
Trade Access could not be traced for a comment.
Gono has routinely insisted that he conducted business at RBZ aboveboard,
even though he has ducked appearing before the Parliamentary Finance
Portfolio Committee to answer to allegations of corruption and fraud during
the quasi-fiscal period.
Munyaradzi Kereke, Gono’s former advisor, has approached the Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission with a 23-page dossier detailing alleged
corruption at the RBZ.
In the dossier dated 8 October 2012, Kereke projects that Gono could have
offset the collapse of banks through excessive borrowing from them, and
accuses him of abusing his office by bringing pressure on the financial
institutions to lend him the money.
“Gono is the Governor of Zimbabwe’s Central Bank. By excessively borrowing
from almost every other bank, he directly undermined his independence and
objectivity in supervising them,” stated Kererke.
He said two banks Gono borrowed from, Rennaissance and Interfin, “virtually
collapsed…on the back of bad loans” and challenged the governor to “produce
the list of assets he used to serve as collateral for the $40million plus
borrowings from the banks”. The Constitution explicitly bars anyone who
fails to repay borrowed loans from holding public office.
Kereke also alleges that RBZ wrote off $6.5million that it was defrauded of
by a company called Saltlakes, owned by Temba Mliswa. The case was reported
to the police under reference number CID Homicide Harare DR 15/07/10, but is
reported to have been parked.
A document in our possession indicates that Senior Assistant Commissioner
Simon Nyathi, the Officer Commanding Criminal Investigation Department, on 8
September 2011 wrote to Gono querying the manner in which RBZ had handled
the Saltlakes case.
According to Nyathi, Saltlakes borrowed the $6.5 million from RBZ through a
Memorandum of Deposit in 2009. He allegedly purchased tobacco from farmers
but subsequently tried to avoid repaying the loan by claiming that the
tobacco had been spoilt by moisture. In his letter, Nyathi quizzed Gono on
why RBZ was dealing directly with Mliswa even though arrangements had been
made for the repayment to be done through CBZ, a bank in which Gono has an
“Why was communication from RBZ… being directed to Saltlakes and not through
the CBZ Bank who had been given the responsibility of managing the
day-to-day aspects of the facility?” queried Nyathi.
He further probed: “Would the RBZ write off the amount owed in this behalf
(sic) and if so, under what circumstances?” and wondered why Gono had okayed
a loan to a private individual using public funds.
The Finance Portfolio Committee has indicated that it still intends to probe
Gono, despite the Governor apparently enjoying backing from a powerful
clique in Zanu (PF).
Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00
Zimbabwe has agreed to set up a new visa application system specifically for
the Chinese market as the country moves into top gear to tap into the 70
million outbound Chinese tourist market.
Ever since Zimbabwe launched the Look East Policy about a decade ago, visa
application in the vast country has been centralised to the Zimbabwean
Embassy in Beijing, forcing all tourists intending to travel to Zimbabwe to
fly to Beijing.
The Principal Director of the Department of Immigration Mr Clemence Masango
told exhibitors at the China International Travel Mart, in Shanghai, China
that he was responding to complaints from Chinese tourists.
“We will be introducing a new visa management system where Chinese visa
applicants can apply on-line. While applicants have had to travel to Beijing
where the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe is housed to apply for visas,
this will be a thing of the past as this will now be done on-line thereby
reducing inconveniences for the potential traveller.
“While we recorded 30 000 Chinese arrivals in 2011, this new system should
see a marked increase in arrivals from 2013 onwards.
“We have already tried and tested the system with two countries so far, and
it has proved to work effectively,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s tourism and hospitality industry has always reiterated the need
to aggressively tap into the Chinese market as China is one of the fastest
growing economies in the world and this shift in the Visa regime is expected
to unlock the potential.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke welcomed the
“While we received 30 000 arrivals from China in 2011, our vision for the
Chinese market is 50 000 arrivals by 2015. Timeous and hassle-free issuance
of Visas will see us realising this vision as it will complement our
marketing efforts,” said Mr Kaseke.
The latest development comes at a time when the tourism and hospitality
industry in Zimbabwe has intensified efforts to keep a big presence in
China, where 70 million tourists leave for other countries annually.
Secretary for Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ms Margret Sangarwe said:
“China is a massive country with over 70 million outbound tourists which
need to be aggressively tapped into for Zimbabwe to gain a substantial
“Currently very little is known in this market yet there is so much for
Chinese tourists to explore in both our natural resources and investment
opportunities” she said.
“China is known as Zimbabwe’s all weather friend in Asia and these bilateral
relations which date back to the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe need to be
nurtured for mutual benefit of the two countries and tourism can be the
gateway to achieve this. There is need therefore for us to make consented
efforts to assert ourselves in the market as serious players are ready to
attract and receive Chinese tourists,” she said.
Mark Peter Nthambe
HARARE — Zimbabwe’s indigenous languages face extinction due to lack of
incentives for growth, says international development scientist, Dr.
Speaking at a conference organized by the U.S Embassy’s Public Affairs
Section in Harare on Tuesday, Dr. Tsodzo, who comes from the famous Tsodzo
family of Shona writers, said indigenous languages are lagging behind in
development to such an extent that some of them face extinction:
Language, he said, “is a tool for meanings and communication that develops a
people’s culture. The death of a language means the annihilation of their
cultural norms and values.”
Tsodzo said because of changing trends, most people in Zimbabwe no longer
worry about using their local languages as they use English on a daily
Companies like Microsoft have started work on software that will incorporate
indigenous languages such as Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Zulu, Holof and others
to take advantage of the more that 150 million Africans that use them while
the owners of the languages look down upon them, said Tsodzo
Zimbabwean minority languages include Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Nambya,
Ndau, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa, among others
His organization, Maendeleo, is currently working with some government
departments to translate important policy documents into local languages.
A young cultural activist, who also attended the event, Rudombo Tenga said
young people are shunning local languages.
Zimbabwe is currently working on a new constitution with political parties
still bickering over some sticking issues including the need to make
minority languages part of the country’s official languages like Ndebele,
Shona and English.
Education Minister David Coltart recently said the government has sourced $9
million to enable local people to write books in indigenous languages which
could be used at schools.
By Alex Bell
22 November 2012
South African sugar company Tongaat Hulett is facing even more pressure from
the ZANU PF led Empowerment Ministry, which is now reportedly investigating
the company’s Zim operations for alleged ‘misrepresentation.’
Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who has led a threatening campaign
against international companies that have been slow to give in to the
indigenisation exercise, said this week that Tongaat Hulett is being
“We are investigating Tongaat Hulett because there is a feeling that the
company lied about the ownership structure of Hippo Valley and Triangle.
This could be a futile attempt to evade indigenisation. Government suspects
the company directors deliberately supplied false information and, if this
is true, they will definitely go to jail,” Kasukuwere said.
These are not the first threats Kasukuwere has issued to the sugar producing
giant, which was given a two week deadline last month to submit its plans to
parcel out more than half of its shareholding. Tongaat Hulett’s sugar
operations in Zimbabwe comprise the wholly owned Triangle Sugar operation as
well as a 50.3% holding in Hippo Valley Estates.
In a letter dated October 23rd and addressed to Triangle, the Ministry of
Indigenisation warned that it was losing patience with the sugar company
and, “should we not receive a proper compliant plan within the prescribed
period, ministry and government would take it that shareholders of Triangle
are not interested in continuing to do business in the country.”
Tongaat Hulett has not commented on what it plans to do next, although if it
does give in it will join a list of other big name companies who have
detailed their 51% share-handover plans.
But economist John Robertson has said that the threats are not helping
Zimbabwe, and are instead ensuring that future investors steer clear of the
“There is no useful purpose to these threats and these menacing statements.
The message it will be sending to other international investors is that
Zimbabwe has an extremely hostile investor climate, and they will stay far
away,” Robertson warned.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
The MDC is astounded by the allegations by Dr. Lovemore Madhuku that
President Tsvangirai’s stance on the constitution making process shows he is
childish. It is one thing for Professor Madhuku to constructively criticize
our President and it is another thing to hurl empty insults at President
Tsvangirai as if someone is on a Zanu PF payroll.
The stance taken by President Tsvangirai is that the constitution making
process being undertaken under article 6 of the Global Political Agreement
is a parliamentary process in which principals must play a minimalist and
largely facilitative role.
This is in line with the crucial doctrine of separation of powers. It is
clear from the wording of Article 6 that the drafters of that article and
the signatories thereto intended this process to be a parliamentary process.
Further in line with article 6, Copac was appointed and did carry out an
outreach program designed to enlist the views of Zimbabweans on what they
want included into the constitution. Thereafter, Copac produced a draft
constitution that was presented by Copac to the Second All Stakeholders
In terms of the Global Political Agreement, Copac must submit its draft and
report to parliament. Only then can the executive through the Minister for
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs get seized of the document in
preparation for the referendum. Any changes to this process are tantamount
to rewriting the Global Political Agreement.
The current draft constitution is a product of the outreach programme and
the political negotiations that took place during the drafting period. Most
of the issues that delegates disagreed on during the Second All Stakeholders
Conference were the very issues in respect of which the Management Committee
engaged in extensive negotiations. Therefore no useful purpose is served by
renegotiating the same issues at whatever level.
It is regrettable that Professor Madhuku does not seem to appreciate this
impeccable reasoning on the part of President Tsvangirai. It is even more
astounding that Madhuku does not appreciate the very positive achievements
in this constitution. Maybe this is because he rejected this document before
it was even written. This, in our view is a serious misinterpretation of the
processes guiding the constitution making. The professor’s judgment is
seriously impaired by his fanaticism on Mugabe and is indeed misguided.
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
Press Release: 22 November 2012
NCA’S RESPONSE TO MDC-T
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) dismisses with the utmost
contempt a press statement from the MDC-T’s Information Department attacking
the NCA Chairperson Professor Lovemore Madhuku over comments attributed to
him in the state controlled Sunday Mail newspaper dated 18 November 2012. It
is unfortunate that there are some in the MDC T who appear to be paid to get
emotional and angry on behalf of their party president much to the detriment
of their own misplaced political reason.
The statements attributed to Professor Madhuku are in no way a deviation
from the values and principles of the NCA as they relate to the continuing
struggle for a people driven constitution as opposed to the fallacy and
national disaster that has been the political principals’ undemocratic COPAC
process. For the MDC-T to want to lecture the NCA and its leadership on
constitutionalism is the height of political hypocrisy and a deliberate
continual misleading of its supporters in order for its leaders to continue
feeding at the ill-gotten trough of personalized political opportunism and
It is no longer a secret that the MDC-T deviated and compromised from the
principles which laid the base of their formation as far as constitution
making is concerned by shamelessly embracing Article 6 of the GPA. The MDC
founding manifesto in 1999, which was subsequently adopted by its inaugural
congress on February 28 2000, states.. ‘’that the party rejects the current
appointed constitutional commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act, and
will facilitate the writing of a peoples constitution through a
constitutional commission defined by and accountable to a conference of
representatives of elected, civil and other social groups, after mass
education on the constitution.
For the record we wish to ask the MDC on what exactly they are calling
‘positive’ developments in the draft when:-
• The COPAC Draft allows a very big government. There is no limit on the
number of Cabinet ministers and deputy Ministers.
The president is allowed to appoint as many Ministers and Deputy Ministers
as he/she wishes. The president can use the unlimited numbers of Cabinet
positions for patronage, thereby wasting scarce resources on perks for
• There are 2 Vice-Presidents
• The size of Parliament has been increased by 60 MPs from the current 210
• Parliament is not given power to summon the President and ask him
questions on the performance of the government.
• There are no term-limits for Parliament.
• The electoral system is not conducive to a multi-party democracy
reflecting all political opinions in the country. The winner-take-all system
has been retained.
• There is no right to vote for Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
• The Electoral Commission is not independent enough to run free and fair
elections. For example, its chairperson is still appointed by the President.
• There is no devolution of state power to provinces.
Categorically, we wish to tell the MDC-T to stop fooling Zimbabweans to
support this scandalous draft which they crafted together with ZANU PF so
that they enjoy the same powers. Instead, their focus should be in dealing
with their internal problems which range from corruption, factionalism,
waning popularity and not spending time attacking the NCA and its leadership
for its principled stance on the drafting of a new charter for Zimbabwe.
The NCA re-affirms its position on the principle of a genuine people driven
democratic constitution in our country.
We understand that the struggle for democracy is far from being completed
and its intention to resolve the national, class and gender contradictions
through social and economic emancipation of all Zimbabweans.
In all our actions, we are guided by the need to achieve a genuine
democratic constitution and the Peoples Charter objectives, and will never
compromise, nor over-exaggerate any component of the democratic struggle.
There is therefore nothing retrogressive in the observations of the NCA as
this is located within the context of National Working Peoples Convention,
the Peoples Charter and aimed at building a truly democratic Zimbabwe.
We have no business with the MDC whatsoever, as they are not part of NCA
because of their chameleonic tendencies of being part of a bogus and
illegitimate money spinning constitution making process.
The MDC-T must embrace the basic tenets of democracy and criticism is part
of universally agreed principles of democracy. Those who fight to silence
citizens voices like MDC-T must not worry themselves because their struggle
was won long back by the dictatorship we are fighting. We urge MDC-T to pay
focus on critical governance issues that improves the life of ordinary
NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER, NO FEAR UNTIL A DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION IS
ACHIEVED..TAKE CHARGE AND COMPLETE THE CHANGE!!!!!!
NCA Information and Publicity Department
by Staff Reporter
A JUDGE has told three Zanu PF activists that they thrived in a climate of
intolerance as he jailed them for 10 years each for the murder of a man they
suspected of voting for the MDC.
Nelson Nare Mudau, 68, died six days after he and his two daughters were
savagely attacked at their home in Beitbridge district by war veteran Boy
Ndlovu, 62, Ben Tshidino Ndou, 58, and Ndangano Ndou, 53.
Justice Nicholas Ndou, sitting at the Bulawayo High Court on Wednesday, was
critical of delays in concluding the case triggered by the March 2002
The three men pleaded not guilty to murder but to a lesser charge of
Justice Ndou said he had been minded to jail them for 15 years, but said the
time it had taken to prosecute them was unacceptable.
“Zimbabwe is a democratic country where people are free to join political
parties of their choice,” Justice Ndou told the men as he jailed them for 10
years each, with five years conditionally suspended.
“The attack perpetrated against Mudau and his family shows that you have no
respect for human life.
“The polarisation of our society seems to be fuelling political intolerance,
and you clearly thrived in that.”
Lewis Maunze and Timothy Simbarashe Makoni, prosecuting, told how on March
16, 2002, following the announcement of presidential election results, the
three men had joined a group of Zanu PF supporters celebrating Robert Mugabe’s
The trio then conspired to go to Mudau’s home and intimidate him for
allegedly voting for Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition.
They found Mudau with his two daughters and attacked them with logs, fists
and booted feet.
Mudau and his two daughters were admitted at Beitbridge Rural District
Hospital the next morning with serious injuries, before he was transferred
to Gwanda Provincial where there were better medical facilities.
But Mudau succumbed to his injuries on March 22, six days after the assault.
A post mortem report showed he died of septic shock as a result of an
inflammation of the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and
covers most of the abdominal organs.
The pathologist also found that he had fractured ribs of the right side and
had a collarbone fracture on the left side.
Staff Reporter 11 hours 17 minutes ago
PARLIAMENT will only intervene in the feud between Professors Arthur
Mutambara and Welshman Ncube over the status of MDC Parliamentarians if the
factions officially communicate their positions.
Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr Lovemore Moyo yesterday said Parliament
would not rush to take a position before the interested parties make the
He said he was yet to receive communication from the rival factions.
“They haven’t communicated their positions to me, so I wouldn’t want to be
seen to be instigating them to take any actions,” he said.
“I will only be able to comment and explain the procedure when I am
confronted with a request.
“If a party says it is withdrawing its support for so and so, then I will be
able to explain the procedures.”
The feud between the two escalated on Monday when Prof Mutambara wrote Mr
Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe letters saying Prof Ncube had no
authority to expel MDC legislators.
This followed the announcement by the Prof Ncube-led MDC faction on Monday
that it had fired eight lawmakers and 49 councillors for indiscipline and
crossing the floor to MDC-T.
Prof Mutambara advised Parliament’s presiding officers to disregard attempts
by Prof Ncube’s faction to have the legislators fired.
The two are embroiled in a wrangle for leadership of MDC and the matter is
still before the Supreme Court.
It is understood that some of the axed councillors openly declared that they
had defected to MDC-T. Section 41 of the Constitution is the one that is
used to axe legislators from Parliament if they defect to another party.
The secretary-general of a political party is required to write to the
Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Senate President informing them
that the legislators no longer represent their party’s interest.
However, the Supreme Court is yet to make a determination of whom between
Prof Mutambara and Prof Ncube is the legitimate leader.
Prof Ncube also expelled 49 councillors, but the Urban Councils Act does not
provide for the sacking of councillors if they are fired from their parties.
MDC-T last year fired the entire Chitungwiza council and the mayor on
allegations of corruption, but they have remained councillors.
It is the same case with the 12 councillors the party recently expelled over
corruption allegations, they have remained at work because the law does not
provide for their expulsion.
COURT WATCH 21/2012
[22nd November 2012]
Supreme Court Decides Anglican Church Appeals:
Ruling For the Official Anglican Church and Against Kunonga Camp
On Monday 19th November the Supreme Court decided two appeals in favour of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa [“the Church”] – and against breakaway former Bishop of Harare Nolbert Kunonga and his adherents. The Church has at last, after a five-year legal battle, obtained a final court order confirming its legal right to possession and control of the Church’s property in Zimbabwe – and putting an end to the claims of Dr Kunonga and his adherents to Church property. [The background to the appeals was described in Court Watch 20/2012 of 24th October.]
The Meaning of the Decision
[Note: “the Church” refers to the Church of the Province of Central Africa – the long-standing “official” Anglican Church]
The effect of this decision is to grant the Church an order:
· prohibiting Dr Kunonga from claiming to be the Church’s bishop of Harare
· prohibiting Dr Kunonga and his “board of trustees” from:
· claiming to be office bearers in the Church
· accessing and operating the Church’s bank accounts
· working or doing business from any of the Church’s cathedrals, churches, chapels and other immovable property
· ordering Dr Kunonga and his “board of trustees” to surrender all the Church’s movable assets, including motor vehicles, to the Church
· ordering Dr Kunonga and the members of his “board of trustees” to pay the Church’s legal costs in both the High Court and the Supreme Court cases.
The Supreme Court’s decision was written by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba. Judges of Appeal Vernanda Ziyambi and Omeerjee concurred. It was read out in open court on Monday 19th November by Justice Omerjee. [Full text of judgment available from firstname.lastname@example.org]
Justice Hlatshwayo’s Decisions both Overturned
Both the appeals were against decisions handed down in the High Court by Justice Ben Hlatshwayo awarding control of Church property to Dr Kunonga and his “board of trustees” notwithstanding their breakaway from the Church, The Deputy Chief Justice said the question to be decided was whether those people who had been members of the Board of Trustees for the Diocese of Harare [Dr Kunonga and his adherents] relinquished the right to control the Church’s property on 21st September 2007 [the date they broke away from the Church].
The Deputy Chief Justice said that the judge had gone wrong when he ruled that Dr Kunonga and his “board of trustees” had continued to be members of the Church and retained their former rights to control Church property. He had also erred in relying on the Church’s failure to take “disciplinary action” against them. The Church could not, said Justice Malaba, take “disciplinary action” against persons who no longer belonged to it. Both Justice Hlwatshayo’s decisions were accordingly reversed.
Kunonga Camp Created a Schism
The Deputy Chief Justice, disagreeing with Justice Hlatshwayo’s interpretation of what had happened, said he had overlooked aspects of the evidence led in the case. After a detailed analysis of this evidence, Justice Malaba ruled that in September 2007 Dr Kunonga and those following him had voluntarily withdrawn from membership of the Church. In so doing, they had lost the right to possess and control Church property.
Their action in establishing a separate church, with a doctrinal position on homosexuality differing from that of the Church, showed that they had “separated themselves automatically from ... and ceased to form part of” the Church. These actions had created a “schism” – defined as “the separation of a church into two churches or the secession of a group owing to doctrinal, disciplinary differences” and, said Justice Malaba, “a person who is responsible for the creation of a schism cannot be heard to say he or she has not withdrawn membership from the former church”.
Summing up, Justice Malaba said: “ From all the circumstances of the dispute between the Church and Dr Kunonga and his adherents, it is clear that they constituted the seceding party. They broke away from the Church citing irreconcilable differences on the question of tolerance of homosexuality … It is common cause that the property belongs to the Church. It has a right to an order for vindication of its property from possessors who have no right to have it. The learned Judge was wrong in giving Dr Kunonga and his followers the right to possess and control the property of the Church without its consent. They had no right to continue in possession of the congregational buildings when they had departed from the fundamental principles and standards on which the Church is founded.”
Contents of the Judgment
Justice Malaba’s judgment is well worth reading by anyone interested in the story, not only lawyers. It goes into the whole question most thoroughly.
· It gives a history of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, showing that legally the Church has a Constitution with which all members must comply and that under this Constitution the Church is headed by an Archbishop. All Church members, including Bishops, are bound by the Constitution to obey the lawful directions of the Archbishop.
· Ownership of Church property in the whole Province is owned by the Church but administered through separate Boards of Trustees in each diocese, one of who is the Bishop of the Diocese.
· Debate on Homosexuality Dr Kunonga and his followers insisted that the Church should not even allow homosexuals to worship God in the Church and that Church members should not associate with homosexuals or anyone who supported with or sympathised with them. The Church doctrine states that “The Church of this Province believes that marriage, by divine institution is a lifelong and exclusive union and partnership between one man and one woman. Its Law and regulation are based on this belief.” It also considers all men and women as God’s children and that homosexuals remain human beings entitled to be treated with dignity as long as they do not practise homosexuality in Church or against the law.
· Steps taken by Kunonga to secede On 4th August 2007 at a diocesan meeting Dr Kunonga and his adherents resolved to secede from the Church over the homosexuality issue. In a letter dated 21st September Dr Kunonga wrote to the Archbishop formally withdrawing the Diocese of Harare from the Church.
· The Church’s formal response on 16th October was:
o that under the Church’s Constitution the Diocese could not be thus withdrawn from the Church
o that the Church accepted that Dr Kunonga and his supporters had by their letter “severed relationship with” the Church
o to declare the position of Bishop of Harare vacant, and to appoint a Vicar-General pending installation of a new Bishop
o to direct the immediate surrender of all Church properties and assets to the Vicar-General.
· Kunonga replaced On 7th November the Church appointed Rt Rev Sebastian Bakare as Acting Bishop of Harare until the election of a substantive Bishop. On 20th December the Church revoked Dr Kunonga’s pastoral licence.
· Kunonga’s formation of a new church Dr Kunonga and his followers did not surrender possession of Church property. And on 12th January 2008 they formed a new church called the Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe, with Dr Kunonga as archbishop and five dioceses headed by bishops consecrated by him. The Kunonga camp’s refusal to surrender Church property resulted in five years of litigation described in Bill Watch 20/2012 of 24th October, culminating in the appeals to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court judgment confirms that the Church throughout acted in accordance with its Constitution and Canons [church laws]. It was Dr Kunonga and his adherents who did not.
It is regrettable that it has taken so long for the matter to be resolved – although the Supreme Court was commendably prompt in arriving at Monday’s decision less than a month after hearing the appeal on 22nd October. But earlier stages in the litigation took too long in both the High Court and Supreme Court.
It is also regrettable that Dr Kunonga and his adherents refused to comply with Justice Makarau’s carefully-crafted early January 2008 decision – subsequently endorsed by other judges – that Church premises should be shared for purposes of worship pending final resolution of the dispute. Instead, frequently resorting to violence or with police assistance, they prevented Church members from using Church property and seized de facto control of many properties from Church loyalists.
Getting back the properties The Church’s Bishop of Harare, Chad Gandiya, who took over from Acting Bishop Bakare, has expressed the hope that those in occupation of Church property will now voluntarily relinquish it. Where this does not happen, it may be necessary for the Church’s lawyers to obtain eviction orders from the High Court. As with any court order in a civil case, eviction orders would be carried out by the Deputy Sheriff – and the police would be under a constitutional and legal duty to ensure that the Deputy Sheriff is allowed to give effect to the evictions. A press report has quoted police Commissioner-General Chihuri’s as giving a non-committal response to a question on police readiness to assist [“I do not belong to that church”]. If correctly quoted, this is disquieting, bearing in mind the police support enjoyed hitherto by the Kunonga group.
Minister of Education’s offer of assistance Many properties are involved, ranging from churches and rectories in over 70 parishes, to missions and an orphanage, and hundreds of schools. The Minister of Education has pledged to support the Church in the renovation of schools which have been allowed to run down or converted to other uses under the Kunonga regime.
The position in Manicaland diocese Strictly speaking, the Supreme Court’s decision applies only to Church property in the diocese of Harare. But it is a powerful precedent for deciding any corresponding case in the same way. As mentioned in Bill Watch 20/2012, there was a separate High Court case concerning the position in the Manicaland Diocese where former Bishop Jakazi followed the Kunonga lead. In that case – anticipating the Supreme Court by two and a half years – the judge ruled Mr Jakazi had voluntarily left the Church and had no rights to its property or to take part in its affairs. Mr Jakazi appealed, but his appeal was “struck off the roll” last month for failure to comply with the rules of court. As this was not a final dismissal, Mr Jakazi has since applied to the Supreme Court to have his appeal reinstated. To succeed in this he must, among other requirements, convince a Supreme Court judge that his appeal has a reasonable prospect of success – a formidable task indeed, given Monday’s resounding unanimous decision against the Kunonga camp on identical facts. Meanwhile, the May 2010 decision that Mr Jakazi that has no rights to Church property, or to take part in its affairs is fully operational, because currently there is no appeal in existence.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied