Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)
Johannesburg, 26 November– In a landmark legal request, the African Court on Human and People’s Rights has been asked to use its advisory powers to determine whether the suspension of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal by the region’s leaders was legal or not.
The request for an advisory opinion was lodged by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) at the Court in the Tanzanian city of Arusha on Friday, 23 November.
PALU and SALC maintain that the decisions taken by SADC Heads of State and Government to suspend the SADC Tribunal were unlawful since they violate judicial independence, access to justice, the right to effective remedies and the rule of law.
“A positive ruling from the African Court is one of the last remaining avenues to securing a revival of the SADC Tribunal and preserving the rule of law in southern Africa,” said Nicole Fritz, Executive Director of SALC. “Without the Tribunal, most of the region’s inhabitants – who cannot access credible domestic courts – have no real prospect of securing justice and redress.”
If the Court rules that the suspension was illegal, it will be a definitive legal determination of the lawfulness of the SADC Summit’s actions – a ruling that SADC will find difficult to ignore given that it is required to coordinate its policies and programmes with those of the African Union (AU).
“The Courts of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), such as the SADC Tribunal, are crucial in guaranteeing cross-border and inter-regional business and trade investment, and just rule of law in which the rights of individuals, businesses, groups and Member States are equally protected,” said Don Deya, Chief Executive Officer of PALU. “Our request for an advisory opinion is part of an initiative by African civil society to realise independent, empowered, effective and efficient REC Courts all over the continent.”
In their request for an advisory opinion, PALU and SALC have asked the African Court to determine whether:
· The decision by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government to suspend the SADC Tribunal and not to reappoint or replace members of the Tribunal whose terms had expired is consistent with the African Charter, the SADC Treaty, the SADC Tribunal Protocol and general principles of the rule of law;
· The decisions of the SADC Summits of August 2010 and May 2011 violate the institutional independence of the Tribunal and the personal independence of its judges as provided for in the African Charter and the UN Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary;
· SADC’s 18 August 2012 decision violates the right of access to justice and effective remedies as guaranteed in the African Charter on Human and Peoples, the SADC Tribunal Protocol and the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law; and,
· The decision making processes undertaken in the review of the SADC Tribunal jurisdiction are in compliance with the SADC Treaty.
The request for an advisory opinion has been supported by a number of other prominent regional civil society organisations, including the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the SADC Lawyers Association (SADC LA).
“Regional civil society has waged a tireless advocacy campaign to save the SADC Tribunal but despite our best efforts to engage with member states and highlight their legal obligations, SADC leaders persisted in dismantling the Tribunal,” said Arnold Tsunga, Executive Director of the ICJ Africa Programme. “The African Court provides another chance to convince them to change their policies and resurrect the Tribunal for the good of all southern Africans.”
It is a view echoed by Kondwa Sakala Chibiya, President of the SADC LA. “Obviously we would have preferred SADC to have resolved this issue on its own and for us not to have been forced to approach the African Court,” she said. “But after SADC ignored the recommendations of the legal advisors it had appointed and its own ministers of justice and attorneys general, there was no other option.”
The SADC Tribunal has been defunct for more than two years after SADC leaders demanded a review of its powers and functions, following a series of cases in which it had ruled against the Zimbabwean government.
Despite a campaign spearheaded by legal bodies, civil society organisations and individuals such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, SADC’s leaders decided not to the revive the original Tribunal at their Summit in August 2012.
Instead, they opted to destroy it, resolving that a protocol for a new Tribunal would be negotiated and that the new Tribunal’s mandate would be limited only to adjudication of member states’ disputes. The new Tribunal – shorn of a human rights mandate and with all access by individuals, companies or organisations denied – will be little more than a shell.
For further information contact:
Donald Deya, CEO of PALU +255 787 066 888
Nicole Fritz, Executive Director, SALC – Tel: +27 82 600 1028; Email: Nicolef@salc.org.za
Arnold Tsunga, Executive Director of ICJ Africa Programme – Tel: +27 73 131 8411
Makanatsa Makonese, Executive Secretary of SADC LA – Tel: +27 72 571 4247
Southern Africa Litigation Centre
t: +27 (0) 11 587 5000
f: +27 (0) 11 587 5099
Nov 26, 12:07 PM EST
BY JON GAMBRELL
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Zimbabwe uses laws and beatings by security forces to
suppress human rights activists in the southern African nation ahead of
elections planned for next year, according to a report released Monday.
The report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
comes as President Robert Mugabe is pushing for constitutional amendments
that will allow for elections to end his ZANU-PF party's uneasy coalition
government with the nation's main opposition party. That has some worried
that Zimbabwe could experience the same repression and violence seen in its
2008 election, in which at least 163 people were killed and some 5,000 were
tortured or beaten.
"These stories paint a very, very gloomy picture about the situation of
human rights defenders in Zimbabwe," said Thomas Sibusiso Masuku, a former
high court judge in Swaziland who contributed to the report.
The report highlights the struggles of several activists in Zimbabwe, mostly
targeted by security forces and allegedly arrested for flimsy causes. One
activist was detained for weeks and questioned about her work after police
took her into custody saying her car was allegedly near the scene of a
killing, according to the report. Another activist who was investigating
abuses around Zimbabwe's diamond region was repeatedly harassed, it said.
A third activist told investigators that security forces abducted her from
her home in 2008 while she was in pajamas. The activist said men repeatedly
questioned her about other activists while beating the soles of her feet to
the point she suffered from internal bleeding, according to the report. Days
later, the report said that security forces took her to a police station.
They refused to allow her to be admitted to a hospital, though she received
some medical care.
Officials "took her back to prison, with the intravenous tubes dangling from
her body," the report said.
Those not beaten often find themselves at the mercy of laws in Zimbabwe that
make it difficult to hold opposition meetings or publish critical articles,
according to the report. It listed several circumstances where protesters
found themselves attacked by riot police while peacefully demonstrating.
Mugabe and ZANU-PF have ruled Zimbabwe since the country gained independence
in 1980. But his land reform policies that have laid waste to the country's
once-thriving agricultural sector and he has resorted to repression to hold
on to power. After the 2008 election, Human Rights Watch accused the ruling
party and its allies of involvement in the election killings.
Zimbabwe's government has issued blanket denials of human rights abuses in
the past. Rugare Gumbo, a ZANU-PF spokesman, dismissed the report as
"We know all these reports are all sponsored by the West," Gumbo said
Monday. "They are preparing in the minds of the international community that
when we have elections and ZANU-PF wins, to say they were not free and
He added: "Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and there is no violence."
Officials with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change could not be
immediately reached for comment Monday.
While acknowledging that the situation in Zimbabwe is "unlikely to improve
in the near future," officials with the group who spoke to journalists
Monday in Johannesburg repeatedly declined to specifically say Mugabe needed
to leave office to allow for change. However, Arnold Tsunga, a past
president of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, said a "change in the
system of government" might be needed to end the apparent immunity from
prosecution those who attack activists enjoy.
"These evil people who attack human rights defenders will have their backs
broken ... only if they are not allowed to destroy all the evidence," Tsunga
said. "We need to break the cycle of impunity if the country is to move
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is part of a
French organization called the International Federation for Human Rights, an
umbrella rights group based in Paris.
Associated Press writer Gillian Gotora in Harare, Zimbabwe, contributed to
on November 26, 2012 at 2:18 am
By Myleen Sibanda | Nehanda Business |
Zimbabweans are set to endure a miserable festive season of blackouts after
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) announced a massive load
shedding programme starting this Monday until the beginning of next year.
In an emergency Power Supply Update released over the weekend, Zesa
spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira, said the power cuts would be necessitated
by an extensive maintenance programme at Hwange and Kariba power stations.
“There will be an increase in load-shedding outside the publicised schedules
from Monday 26 November due to a maintenance exercise at Unit 2 of Kariba
Power Station,” he said. This be completed within a period of 18 days.
Gwasira said “The power supply situation will be compounded by Unit 3 of
Kariba Power Station that will be taken out on 15 December 2012 for a period
of six weeks for further technical repairs.”
“Thereafter, the remaining units 1, 4, 5 and 6 will be out one by one at a
time for a six-week period each for further technical repairs.” Gwasira said
more maintenance work would also be done at Hwange Power Station.
“Unit 1 of Hwange Power Station will be taken out on 7 December 2012 for a
20-day maintenance period,” he said. Gwasira urged consumers to use the
available power sparingly to minimise the effects of load-shedding.
So why have they picked the festive season?
The original plan was to carry out maintenance between April and May, but
Gwasira said they realised it was the winter peak period and so they
postponed to December when demand is low after most companies close for the
By Tichaona Sibanda
26 November 2012
One of the worst blackouts to hit Bulawayo this year left most of the city
without power for more than 20 hours from Sunday evening to Monday
The Central Business District, as well as most the eastern and western
suburbs were all affected. It is unclear why the supply was so severely
interrupted but reports say torrential rains that fell in the city over the
weekend may have caused the blackout.
Our correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, told us the power cut happened at
around 6pm on Sunday and power was restored to some areas by 2pm on Monday.
Power cuts are now a common occurrence in Bulawayo because of a fundamental
shortage of power and an ageing grid. The chaos caused by such cuts has led
to protests against the power utility company, ZESA.
‘The blackouts are becoming more frequent typically because of government’s
lack of investment in the energy infrastructures, and which are also prone
to serious weather. This latest power cut completely shut down production at
companies and critical infrastructures such as telecommunication networks,
financial services, water supplies and hospitals,’ Saungweme said.
He said authorities were working to restore service to some areas that still
had no power, adding that there are fears the power blackouts will become
more frequent, owing to the lack of incentives to invest in national grid
Saungweme said the widespread power outages seriously disrupted business and
industrial activities which adversely affected productivity.
He said, ‘It also caused disruptions and inconveniences to residents. In
addition, such failure to provide a reliable service clearly has negative
consequences for business confidence of both domestic and foreign investors,
which in turn impacts on the country’s economic growth targets.’
Patson Mbiriri, the secretary for energy and power development, told an
annual congress of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in July this
year that energy-starved Zimbabwe will suffer longer and more frequent power
shortages for the next 10 years.
Zimbabwe needs about 2 200MW of electricity at peak consumption, but
generates just below 1 300MW while relying on imports to fill the gap.
Mbiriri said the country will only be able to generate enough power for
domestic and industrial power by 2022.
by Staff Reporter
HEAVY rains pounded parts of Zimbabwe on Sunday – including the parched
south – as the Met Services Department issued a nationwide alert for flash
floods, heavy winds and hailstorms.
The Met said the heavy rainfall, brought by a cloud system moving eastwards
from Botswana, would continue until Wednesday night.
“This cloud band will be accompanied by strong violent winds with heavy
falls in excess of 60mm in 24 hours, sometimes accompanied by hail. The wet
spell is expected to last until November 28,” the Met said in a statement on
“Uprooting of trees, flash flooding and destruction of infrastructure cannot
be ruled out with this type of rainfall intensity.”
The Met warned the public against attempting to cross flooded rivers and
bridges on foot or by car.
“People should quickly move to higher ground if they notice that their area
is becoming flooded, and they should not take shelter under trees during a
thunderstorm to avoid being electrocuted.”
Bulawayo, which has been in the grips of a serious water crisis, could ease
a four-day-a-week water rationing schedule after significant inflows to its
The heavy downpour came as the city fathers had called inter-denominational
prayers for Tuesday, November 27, to ask for divine intervention.
The city’s public relations officer Bongiwe Ngwenya says the prayers at the
Large City Hall will still go ahead, starting at 2PM.
“Residents and stakeholders are invited to attend the prayer and
thanks-giving day as we pray for rains in Bulawayo. You are also requested
to also invite members of your congregation and other members of society,”
Education Minister David Coltart, a resident of Bulawayo, was glad to see
the heavens open up.
He said on Twitter: "Thank you Lord for the wonderful rains in Bulawayo this
afternoon. 26mm at the last count, still drizzling now."
By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 November, 2012
Anglican clergy and parishioners who went back to worship in church
buildings that had been seized by the former Bishop of Harare, Nolbert
Kunonga, have said for the most part parishes were peaceful but they faced
resistance in some areas.
Kunonga’s followers are also alleged to have poisoned a mango orchard at St
Paul’s Church in Chinhoyi, in what is believed to have been an act of
revenge against clergy and worshippers in the main Anglican church.
The process of taking back the church buildings went peacefully in most
parishes, following last week’s Supreme Court ruling ordering Kunonga’s
faction to return all seized properties to the official Anglican church. The
court also acknowledged Bishop Chad Gandiya as the Bishop of Harare.
Peaceful services were held in many parishes, including Avondale, Cranborne,
Mabelreign, Mufakose, Budiriro and Norton, where church services were
conducted midweek after Kunonga’s bishops and priests moved out.
But strong resistance was reported at three of Kunonga’s parishes on Friday,
including St Philip parish in Tafara and St James parish in Mabvuku, where
Reverend Raymond Makiwa is alleged to have threatened to unleash dogs on
anyone trying to evict him.
Also resisting are Morris Brown Gwendenge and his wife Portia at St Philips
Parish in Guruve. It is believed that Kunonga is directing the resistance
from some hiding place and planning violence against the main church, from
which he was ex-communicated in 2007.
Precious Shumba, spokesperson for Harare Diocese, told SW Radio Africa that
it was Kunonga’s son who poisoned the mangos, with unfortunate consequences
“Kunonga’s son Rutendo reportedly sprayed mango trees with some undisclosed
poisonous substance and unfortunately for him his son was playing outside
picked one of the mangos and consumed it. Immediately he was taken very,
very sick to Chinhoyi Hospital,” Shumba explained.
He added that the child recovered and is fortunately out danger. But the
news was disturbing to many Anglicans, who said they believed the intention
had been to poison those who in the main church who opposed Kunonga. Shumba
said they had been told that police are dealing the matter.
Shumba said inventories will soon be completed and a total of how much is
owed to local authorities and the power company, ZESA, will be known.
He added that those responsible for the unpaid bills will be held
accountable. According to Shumba, an average of $3,000 is owed by parishes
in urban areas, with those in remote locations owing an average of $1,000.
Regarding the clergy who had left the main church and followed Kunonga after
the split, and those who are resisting the supreme Court order, Shumba said
the Harare Bishop Chad Gandiya has advised that they are welcome to rejoin
the church as ordinary citizens.
“The Bishop said these people have to be forgiven and where possible,
re-admitted as ordinary people, starting afresh to be rebaptised,
reconfirmed and inducted on Anglican values because they had been lost,
physically and spiritually,” Shumba said.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Monday, 26 November 2012 10:26
HARARE - Anglicans yesterday failed to celebrate Mass at two parishes in
Harare after bishops aligned to disgraced clergyman Nolbert Kunonga locked
Members of Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) failed
to hold their church service after Raymond Makiwa of St James Mabvuku Parish
and one Mukariri of St Philips Tafara Parish bolted the church premises.
At St Columbus Kuwadzana Parish, Bishop Takokera Tandi reportedly threatened
to beat up CPCA church wardens Felix Tashaya and Anthony Kanyama.
The two were forced to call in riot police to control the situation.
Precious Shumba, spokesperson of Anglican Harare Diocese, said church
members were forced to hold services elsewhere.
“We understand there was resistance from Kunonga’s sympathisers who denied
our members from Mabvuku and Tafara entry into the church for Mass service,”
Shumba told the Daily News.
“To avoid trouble, our members did hold their services somewhere not at our
churches. I understand the church is in the process of organising eviction
orders for the two members of Kunonga faction to vacate our premises.”
Shumba said in other parishes, Anglican Church members of the CPCA led by
Bishop Chad Gandiya managed to hold their church services without any
“CPCA members across the Harare diocese have been allowed to conduct church
and Mass services without any problems. We are not using the altar until we
have held our cleansing ceremony next month,” Shumba said.
“Our parishes held their two church services in the morning around 7am and
9am at the parishes. I am at Mbare St Michael Parish where our church
members are in a celebratory mood after the victory we had over Kunonga. The
church services were conducted smoothly.”
Shumba said Gandiya is in the process of visiting parishes in the Harare
diocese to assess the situation. Yesterday, he visited St Faith Parish in
Budiriro, and St Paul’s Marlborough and a church service was held in the
“Bishop Gandiya is overwhelmed by the response he is getting from the
Anglicans who are happy to be worshipping in their churches again,” he said.
“I know the bishop attended church in Budiriro and Marlborough in the
morning but on Saturday he was at Mhondoro St Michael’s Parish, where he
presided over confirmation of 70 new members in Mhondoro including Chief
Mubaira, who has become our church member.
“I understand they did not use the church because it could not accommodate
the people who had come and attended the service, welcoming Bishop Gandiya.”
The Supreme Court ruled last week that Kunonga had no title to Anglican
property and must hand back all property to CPCA.
The ruling has brought peace and tranquillity in the church except for a few
pockets of resistance and residual elements in Kunonga’s faction who are
failing to come to terms with the ruling.
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:51
HARARE - An NGO aligned to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has written to
immigration authorities seeking the blacklisting of officials from
Partnership Africa Canada (Pac) which recently claimed $2 billion has been
looted from Marange diamonds.
Resource Exploitation Watch (REW) which is a Zanu PF-aligned NGO involved in
the monitoring of mining activities — has petitioned the chief immigration
officer to deny entry to two directors of the Canadian civil society group
from entering the country.
The chief immigration officer has been urged to declare Bernard Taylor and
Allan Martin of Pac persona non grata. The two frequently visit Zimbabwe to
carry out research.
“The two have been coming to Zimbabwe frequently to conduct their
‘researches’ and their conduct is injurious to the national economic
interest of Zimbabwe,” Tafadzwa Musarara, REW chairperson said in the
“It is all clear that Pac, which is funded by the US state department and
Canadian foreign ministry, is bent to perpetuate the hostile foreign
policies of their funders.”
Musarara claimed the two threatened national security.
Pac courted the ire of the NGO after producing its damming report titled
Reap what you sow, greed and corruption in Zimbabwe: Marange diamonds
fields. The group alleged that there was systematic looting of proceeds from
sales made on Marange gems.
According to REW, the timing of the report’s release was “well calculated to
rubbish the diamond conference” in Victoria Falls two weeks ago.
“In view of the foregoing, we therefore appeal to your office to declare
persona non grata Allen Martin and Bernard Taylor in terms of section
14(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, who are the authors of the report and
directors of Pac,” read the petition.
Musarara claimed Pac’s report which claimed that diamonds worth over $2
billion have been looted, was false and contained malicious statistics meant
to discredit the conference. Pac claimed that the involvement of military
personnel in Marange has caused the death of more than 200 people and REW
claims the Canadian based NGO has no evidence to such claims.
Marange diamonds have been a source of conflict between Zimbabwe and some
international organisations who allege that human rights violations are rife
in the mining area.
Government has denied the allegations. - Xolisani Ncube
Masvingo, November 26, 2012 - The President of the Chief’s Council, Chief
Fortune Charumbira has ordered traditional leaders and Zanu (PF) leadership
here to buy votes from villagers using funds acquired from the
indigenisation programme’s community ownership scheme so that President
Robert Mugabe retains power in next year's elections.
Speaking during a Zanu (PF) meeting for the community ownership scheme at
the Civic Centre over the weekend, Chief Charumbira said: “The wealth and
funds coming from these big companies should be used to appease and lure
back our supporters. We should go there and drill boreholes, repair roads,
clinics and other infrastructure so that we will win the hearts of the
people to support us in the forth coming polls."
Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere and
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo attended the chief's meeting.
The meeting was held to prepare for the launch of the community ownership
scheme in Masvingo to be addressed by President Robert Mugabe. Foreign owned
companies operating in the province have been forced to raise $10 million
for the scheme.
“We are talking here of huge amounts of money and we can wisely use it to
our advantage in elections. We need to make sure that we win the elections
and be a one party state again by putting that money directly to the people
to support us,” he said.
Charumbira lambasted Zanu (PF) leaders in Masvingo and warned them to stop
factionalism ahead of the elections.
“Zanu PF her is a laughing stock, we are always fighting each other along
factional lines for selfish reasons while we are losing support.
We should stop that now and focus our attention on retaining our lost
support so that we win elections and now that we have this money from the
scheme we have an advantage,” Charumbira said.
Companies that had been targeted to bank roll Zanu (PF) campaign under the
guise of contributing to communities in the province include, giant sugar
producers, Tongaat Hulett, Rio Tinto’s Renco gold mine, Lithium giant Bikita
minerals mine, Murowa diamonds mine and Save valley conservancies still
owned by white operators.
Zanu (PF) has since launched the Presidential inputs scheme, yet another
programme viewed by critics as a vote buying strategy ahead of next year’s
break or make general elections.
Written by Dean Wingrin
Monday, 26 November 2012 10:28
The plush Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town was the venue for a three day
meeting between South Africa and Zimbabwe to discuss a wide range of
security and defence issues affecting both countries.
The South Africa-Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security
(JPCDS), an annual bilateral meeting held to discuss matters of mutual
concern with respect to security, safety and defence that affect the two
countries, held its 7th Session from 21 to 23 November.
The deliberations focussed on cross-border crime, human trafficking,
counterfeit goods, rhino-poaching, and drug trafficking. The South African
delegation was led by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe
Mapisa-Nqakula, and included numerous Ministers and Deputy Ministers from
the departments participating in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security
Cluster. The Zimbabwean delegation was led by Sydney Sekeramayi, Minister of
State Security, and included the Minister of Defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Senior government and military officials from both sides were also in
The recent seizure of the town of Goma in the resource-rich eastern
Democratic Republic of the Congo by the M23 rebel group was “condemned in
the strongest terms”. The Commission called for the halting of any further
advances and demanded an immediate withdrawal by the rebels.
Around 2 000 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel are
currently taking part in peacekeeping operations, including a large
contingent as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). Two South African peacekeepers were
wounded earlier this month after being caught in a gun battle between the
army and rebels in the eastern province of North Kivu.
The Commission urged SADC (the Southern African Development Community) to
call on the United Nations to review the mandate of MONUSCO with a view to
realign it to become more relevant to the security challenges in the DRC.
The continued existence of transnational criminal syndicates in both
countries was noted with concern. These crimes include irregular migration,
international terrorism, drug and human trafficking, money laundering,
poaching and illicit mining. Other areas of concern were the smuggling of
tobacco, precious metals and other goods.
The Commission noted further that the fight against corruption must be an
integral part of the anti-crime measures as criminals are often aided by
The Commission also noted with satisfaction the continued liaison between
the South African and Zimbabwean security forces to ensure effective border
patrols to curb illegal activities.
The 8th Session of the Commission will be held in Zimbabwe in 2013.
By Tichaona Sibanda
26 November 2012
Residents in Harare have called on the city fathers to accelerate and
improve service delivery in the capital and desist from wasteful spending on
‘unnecessary’ vehicles for senior officials.
The council is being roundly condemned for buying two top of the range
vehicles for the town clerk Tendai Mahachi and Josephine Ncube, the chamber
secretary. The vehicles will cost the cash-strapped municipality close to
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and the Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda
have apparently joined forces to defend the Council decision to buy the
vehicles, a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 valued at $190 000 and a Jeep Grand
Cherokee valued at $117 000.
Simon Muchemwa our correspondent in the city told us most residents are
against the purchase of the vehicles and are riled that council is barely
able to carry out its mandate to improve the image of Harare.
The residents have instead implored the council to improve their service
delivery, in line with the vision of the MDC-T led council that aspires to
foster national development through effective delivery of services.
Muchamwa said residents view the buying of the two vehicles as a ridiculous
waste of public money.
‘They view the whole situation as ludicrous despite the fact that the
purchase of the vehicles is part of the contractual obligations the city has
on the two directors. They are saying if there is no money for basic
services so why should council go out of their way just to please two
officials rather than the millions of residents in the city,’ Muchemwa said.
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:58
HARARE - A bid by a Harare residents’ group to block Harare City Council’s
2013 budget from approval hit a brick wall on Friday after the High Court
dismissed their application.
Justice Martin Makonese dismissed an urgent chamber application filed by
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) meant to stop operationalising council’s 2013
According to the residents group, council did not comply with provisions of
the Urban Council’s Act which stipulates that the budget should be
advertised in the press for public notices.
However, council advertised the budget in the state media on November 2,
inviting objections from stakeholders before November 26.
In their application, HRT, represented by its director Precious Shumba,
wanted the High Court to declare the advertisement insufficient to the
“The notice is inadequate, it gives residents less than 30 days to object,”
read Shumba’s affidavit. “Further the notice was only advertised in one
newspaper instead of two.
Finally the notice was not posted at the offices of the city council for the
prescribed period of 30 days.”
However, Justice Makonese ruled that the matter was not urgent.
He said HRT should have filed an urgent application immediately after
noticing the anomaly.
According to HRT, represented by Happy Tsara from Tsara and Associates, the
local authority gave its residents 24 days to object to the proposed budget
instead of the stipulated 30 days.
Council argued that residents were aware of the budget as it was posted at
all council polyclinics as well as council district offices.
Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni legal practitioners
successfully represented the local authority. - Xolisani Ncube
By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 November, 2012
Sunday, November25th, is commemorated every year as the International Day
for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It is also the beginning of
the 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence campaign, meant to highlight the
continuing problem worldwide.
This year the theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s
Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” And many organisations
around the world have planned activities to mark this important occasion.
The “16 Days Campaign”, which originated in New York in 1991 at the Centre
for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), is being observed in Zimbabwe,
particularly at the popular Book Café where a full calendar of arts
programmes and workshops was launched on Saturday.
There was a fiesta involving different types of artists, who wrote conscious
messages on the walls of the café, protesting violence against women
Speaking on our Beyond Protest programme last Friday, Book Café organiser
Penny Yon said they have also organised a 16-day campaign full of
entertainment and educational workshops, in an effort to help end violence
Politically motivated violence still affects women in Zimbabwe more than any
other demographic group, making the 16 Days campaign very important. This
year is particularly relevant in, following the recent brutal assault of a
well-known actress by her boyfriend.
According to reports that are based on available country data, between 15 to
76 per-cent of women experience physical or sexual violence perpetrated by
men during their lifetime. The violence takes place at home, at work, on the
streets and in schools. It does not matter whether it is during peacetime or
Women’s rights activist, Betty Makoni, who also heads the Girlchild Network
in Zimbabwe, posted on her facebook profile: “All that I have achieved today
for myself and thousands of girls round the world is just driven by passion
and a determination to stop gross violations of girls’ rights so that one
day girls reach their full potential as women leaders.”
Part of the Girlchild Network’s mission is to monitor and document gross
violations of girls’ rights in Africa, then use their global advocacy
network to inform the EU, African Union and United Nations.
The 16 days of activities at the Book Café will end December 8th with a
special appearance by the acclaimed American hip-hop artist, Akua Naru.
December 10th is Human Rights Day around the world and World AIDS Day will
be commemorated on the 1st of December.
By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Monday, 26 November 2012 10:09
HARARE - Gender and Community Development minister Olivia Muchena said on
Saturday the budgetary allocation to her ministry was insufficient to launch
a comprehensive campaign against gender-based violence (GBV).
Muchena was speaking in Harare at the commemorations of the International
Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the ensuing 16 days of
activism against GBV.
The 16 day-campaign against GBV, starting November 25, is commemorated every
year around the world to raise awareness and trigger action on this
pervasive human rights violation.
Muchena launched a five-year national gender-based violence strategy (NGBVS)
for 2012 to 2015 yesterday, to promote awareness among Zimbabweans, but said
the campaign risked being hamstrung by lack of finance.
Her ministry received only $2,5 million out of the $3,8 billion national
budget for 2013.
“The meagre resources allocated by government are not enough to improve
awareness and effectively disseminate information to the vulnerable. The
ministry is mainly dependent on private-public partnerships to run,” Muchena
She said despite the meagre allocation, her ministry will pursue
public-private sector partnerships to eliminate GBV.
“To effectively prevent and respond to GBV, a multi-sectoral and
inter-agency approach is needed and the NGBVS provides the platform for
awareness promotion.” said Muchena.
In his budget presentation, Finance minister Tendai Biti said government
recognises women as essential to the realisation of food security, as well
as formal labour across various industries.
‘‘Implementing the national gender policy through mainstreaming gender
budgeting, reconstitution of gender focal persons, capacity strengthening,
and dealing with GBV through strengthening of requisite institutions is
government’s way of intervening to eliminate GBV,” Biti said.
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:48
HARARE - Uzumba Zanu PF MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa has blasted the State
broadcaster ZBC for failing to give adequate radio and television
“It’s unacceptable that 32 years after independence, we have sections in
Zimbabwe which don’t get any radio from Zimbabwe and any TV from Zimbabwe,
its criminal,” Mudarikwa told a workshop on access to information at
Mazvikadei Dam on Friday.
Organised by the local chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa
(Misa-Zimbabwe), the workshop — attended by members of the parliamentary
portfolio committee on Media Information and Communication Technology,
members from Parliament’s secretariat and journalists from national media
houses — explored domestic laws and regional protocols on freedom of
The licensing authority, the Tafataona Mahoso-led Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe (Baz), is sleeping on the job, Mudarikwa said.
“Why are you there now, why are you there as a commission when these people
don’t see TV or radio? The same thing happened in Beitbridge, the same thing
happened in Mangwe constituency, again. democracy is about everybody being
The straight-talking Zanu PF MP said Transmedia will have to give a better
signal and expand its reach amid reports the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) is only reaching 30 percent of the country. ZBC runs all
broadcast media, which are seen as mouthpieces of Zanu PF.
ZBC subsidiary Transmedia is the only signal carrier in Zimbabwe at present
and has transmitters at Pockets Hill in Harare and Montrose Studios in
“It is critical that the delivery of the signal improve,” Mudarikwa said.
“Most of these stations we don’t even know they exist. Open the radio and
there is a noise like there is a snake in your radio; you can run away.
“There is a need to improve the signal carrier.”
Transmedia has said it is looking for $64 million to buy transmission
equipment from China, South Africa and Europe for its so-called National
Transmission Grand Plan.
Alfred Mandere, Transmedia CEO has said in the past that Zimbabwe’s radio
and television transmitters are now antiquated, with most of the equipment
dating back to 1974.
Mudarikwa said it was unacceptable that ZBC as a national broadcaster beams
only to towns and cities.
Media academic, Rashweat Mukundu described it as self-defeating government’s
attempts to tighten control over domestic media and block the efforts of
foreign outlets to beam unfiltered news into the country.
“Just look at the number of satellite dishes, even in the rural areas,” he
said. “Zimbabwe is the only country in Sadc with so many satellite dishes.”
The Broadcasting Services Act bans foreign funding in this capital-intensive
sector, making it very difficult for private players to enter the market.
The Baz has licensed two private radio stations, the Zimpapers-run Star FM
and Supa Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM.
Despite constitutional provisions for freedom of expression, officials have
displayed an openly hostile attitude towards media freedom, and a draconian
legislative framework continues to effectively inhibit the activities of
journalists and media outlets. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor
Published on Monday 26 November 2012 00:00
ZIMBABWE’S ageing strongman Robert Mugabe has approved plans to build a new
city for his party elite near his home town of Zvimba amid suspicions that
diamonds will fund the project.
If completed, the new settlement, situated 40 kilometres west of the capital
Harare in the hamlet of Mount Hampden, could be the site of parliament, a
new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe building, a presidential villa and mansions for
VIPs, as well as luxury hotels and shopping malls, press reports say.
Planners have included a wildlife sanctuary for wealthy residents to relax
in – while modern wind and solar stations mean that they should escape the
power shortages that still dog most Zimbabwean cities.
A promotional video says the city will “inspire future generations and serve
as the country’s heritage,” according to the private newspaper Newsday. But
the lack of clarity over the source of funding for the development has
sparked outrage in Zimbabwe, where finance minister Tendai Biti of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has had to revise down
economic targets this year because only a fraction of £374 million projected
taxes from diamonds mined in the infamous eastern Chiadzwa fields has been
remitted to the Treasury. ′Mr Biti says the gems are funding a “parallel
government” run by Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF ahead of polls next year. The Zvimba
project is the brainchild of local government minister Ignatius Chombo, a
former teacher whose fabulous wealth was inadvertently revealed during messy
divorce proceedings in 2010.
“A new university, technology centre, schools, churches, hospitals and an
industrial site are some of the landmarks promised in the video,” said
The development is modelled on the exclusive suburb of Sandton in
Johannesburg, South Africa.
The public works minister, the MDC’s Joel Gabbuza – who should be in charge
of the project – said he was being kept in the dark: “The project is
shrouded in secrecy. A parliamentary committee was appointed, which was
supposed to be chaired by my ministry, but I later gathered it was being
chaired by Chombo. When I queried it, I was told that Chombo was simply
there to provide land,” he said.
Mr Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, downplayed the plans this weekend,
insisting only a parliament building was to be built. “Could [the reports]
be referring to the new site atop Mount Hampden for the proposed new
parliament which the Chinese have offered to build at no cost to government
and the people of Zimbabwe?” he wrote in the Saturday Herald.
But Minister Chombo said in a separate interview: “The satellite city will
be properly planned with residential houses, state-of-the-art shops, hotels
and offices. This will ease congestion in Harare.”
Mr Mugabe, 88, was born in the Zvimba district and regularly travels home.
The road linking Harare to Zvimba was recently upgraded.
University of Zimbabwe political analyst John Makumbe told The Scotsman:
“There are already workmen there. The money is largely coming from the
Chinese. They will be compensated by diamonds they are mining from the
SILAS NKALA/NQOBANI NDLOVU 7 hours 17 minutes ago
FORMER Zanu PF politburo member and Cabinet minister Enos Nkala has
predicted a landslide victory for MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the
forthcoming general elections, tentatively set for March next year,
describing his former party as “moribund”.
In an exclusive interview with NewsDay in Bulawayo on Saturday, Nkala, who
is one of Zanu PF’s surviving founding fathers, said his former party, which
has been in power for the past 32 years, was headed for a crushing defeat
because most of its leaders were “too old to challenge the vibrant, young
Nkala, who quit government and active politics over two decades ago after he
was implicated in a motor vehicle scam — the Willowgate scandal — said
contrary to recent poll surveys which predicted a Zanu PF victory,
Tsvangirai remained ahead of the pack because of his wide grassroots support
“Tsvangirai and his party are still ahead of all others. Even if you goto
Harare, Beitbridge, Matabeleland North, Manicaland, Masvingo and everywhere,
you hear people talk about Tsvangirai and his party,” Nkala said.
“Zanu PF was then a massive party, but now it is moribund. It is too old and
what I know at the moment is that it is led by (President Robert)Mugabe and
nothing else. In Matabeleland, Zanu PF no longer has vibrant people. It is
just left with individuals who are too old like me. It is totally finished.
What can a person of my age do to challenge a new and strong party like
Nkala said only the MDC-T was “alive” throughout the country, dismissing
other political parties as mere Zanu PF “fragments” and “a waste of time”.
“Other little fragments must be forgotten. I do not know if Zanu PF will use
other resources or diamonds where it has an upper hand to gain votes or not,
but MDC-T is clearly in the driving seat in terms of votes.”
He warned other parties that do not enjoy the same popularity as Tsvangirai
and his party to desist from vote-buying.
“A person cannot be bought. People will vote for the party that they hope
will deliver a better future for them.”
Nkala’s remarks come at a time when Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya
Moyo has publicly admitted that there was a lot of vote-buying within his
party. Zanu PF national spokesman Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for
comment at the time of going to print yesterday.
Meanwhile, MDC-T national youth leader Solomon Madzore on Saturday said his
party was poised for what he termed an “ocean victory”.
Addressing journalists at Bulawayo Press Club, Madzore, who is still
smarting from a 14-month remand prison spell for the alleged murder of
Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View, Harare, last year, said:“We
are going to have an ocean victory, not a landslide victory.
“I can assure you that we have lots of support in the military and among
prison officers. We are not worried about their (security chiefs) threats
not to recognise our victory next year. They (security chiefs) represent
only themselves and not ordinary members of the military and other security
establishments,” Madzore said.
He also threatened to prematurely announce national election results to
safeguard against alleged manipulation by State security agents.
“We have to protect our vote. As such, we are going to announce our
independent election results after tallying the results posted outside
polling stations. We are not scared of being arrested for trying to protect
our vote,” Madzore said.
However, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chief elections officer
Lovemore Chipunza Sekeramayi said Madzore could be charged with flouting
“It is illegal to do that. Zec is the only authority that has the powers and
the right to do so,” Sekeramayi said - NewsDay
Monday, 26 November 2012 06:05
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gonohad become the Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front’s poster boy for corruption and financial
mismanagement, former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee said
barely a month after the swearing in of the inclusive government.
According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, McGee said this after
meeting Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Industry Minister Welshman Ncube and
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Gorden Moyo.
They were complaining that the continued presence of Gono at the central
bank complicated chances of getting assistance.
Biti said that he was seeking a US$300 million line of credit for private
businesses and short-term budgetary support from South Africa but he had
been told by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel that Zimbabwe would not get the
money as long as Gono remained in the picture.
Ncube said when he discussed credit facilities with the business sector he
was told that recovery of a collective total of US$204 million frozen at the
RBZ would be as important as credit.
When he took up the issue with Gono he was told that the money was gone. The
Joint Operations Command had ordered him to use the money for the March
elections in a letter of indemnity signed by then Minister of Security
Moyo said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had come up with a multi-pronged
approach to get rid of Gono. This included putting pressure on President
Robert Mugabe, using the Southern African Development Community and
This long and interesting article can be found at
Last week in the latest of the Sokwanele “land debate” contributions, Dale
Doré used his slot to critique our work in Masvingo. Since the publication
of the book, Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and Realities, exactly two years
ago we have had plenty of reviews, and a number of critiques. M
by IAN SCOONES
Others have focused on the credentials and backgrounds of the research team,
while others have questioned our sampling and methodology. Still others have
called us names familiar to the discourse from the liberation struggle
(sell-outs, collaborators, sympathisers, liberals, apologists and so on).
Others have been plain bonkers or simply abusive, and I won’t share these,
in case there is a family readership of this blog.
All this shows the heated nature of the debate, and frustrations felt. Doré’s
piece focuses on methodology, while offering no new data to counter our
arguments. He questions our approach to the study of complexity in
particular which aimed at discovering emergent patterns from diverse data,
arguing instead for a model-driven reductionism. In this regard he has
problems with our chapters on labour and markets, suggesting that they are
neither novel nor revealing. Well, others disagree, and so do I.
This data offers, I would argue, fundamentally new insights into labour
regimes and market processes, which have not been discussed before, and
certainly both chapters analyse the processes and outcomes in great detail.
The frustrations Doré feels may be due to disciplinary preferences (he’s an
economist), but exploring patterns and processes on the ground in great
detail, I believe has important merits, and reductionist approaches may do
violence to the complexity observed.
Also, as part of his methodological assault, he disputes our use of
baselines against which change is measured. But if you read the book you can
see we were careful on this – using data on nearby communal areas, the past
work of Bill Kinsey and colleagues on old resettlements, and the limited
available data on the production and economics of commercial farms. And in
relation to the baseline costs on investments, I am afraid he missed the
detail in the footnotes which contains all the assumptions: the analysis
cannot thus so easily be dismissed as ‘sheer nonsense’ Doré goes on to
accuse us of simply creating ‘straw men’ myths to ease the flow of our
This is an argument I have heard before. Surely, people have argued, no-one
ever believed these myths! Well, just take a look at any media commentary,
donor document and many academic pieces and you will see these myths (and
many more) are alive and well. A particularly pure form appeared in the
press recently penned by UZ Professor Tony Hawkins if you need convincing
Later, in the piece Doré also accuses us of lack of triangulation, an
approach to probing the robustness of data. Triangulation may be of methods
(and we used every method, qualitative and quantitative, we found
appropriate) or of cases (and again the site comparisons, within and between
clusters, was central in the book), although we do admit that we did find it
difficult to gain perspectives from former farm owners and workers, despite
many attempts. Finally, Doré accuses us of making ‘egregious’ ‘false claims’
about the process of land reform.
Again, I beg to differ. Our book offered the stories of what happened on 16
farms – all were different (as is clear from studies from elsewhere). The
simplistic picture Doré paints, backed up not by empirical information but
by broad proclamations, is not enough to understand the diversity of
settings, processes and outcomes of Zimbabwe’s land reform.
Two years on (and why did it take this long for this review to emerge?), we
actually have many more cases to compare with, improving possibilities of
triangulation. In several talks last week in Harare I presented the
following map, showing all the studies I know about which have looked at
what has happened in the new resettlements since 2000.
These include our Masvingo studies (green), the African Institute of
Agrarian Studies district level research (purple), the Ruzivo Trust studies
(now a book, yellow), the Livelihoods after Land Reform small grant studies
(light blue) and a growing number of PhD studies (pink), some which were
reported on in the Journal of Peasant Studies special issue. It is an
impressive array, with pretty good geographical coverage, although clearly
still some gaps. This is definitely an incomplete picture, so please let me
know if you are doing something that is not captured here, as it is an
important base for comparative analysis and reflection, both on
commonalities and differences.
While there are important variations across sites, there is an emerging,
common story that Doré and others still find difficult to accept. These are
indeed inconvenient truths. The accumulating and converging evidence points
to the following:
A1 farms are doing relatively well (although could do better), with a solid
‘middle farmer’ group within them who are reinvesting profits from
agriculture in their farms. By contrast, A2 farms have struggled, although
things have improved since the end of hyperinflation and in the
multicurrency environment since 2009. They have been greatly assisted by
contract farming arrangements that have provided much needed capital and
Private and community investment in the resettlement areas is significant,
especially in the A1 sites. But more needs to be done, with clear needs for
public investment in infrastructure.
Capture of farms by high level, politically-connected elites has taken
place, and this varies between different parts of the country, especially in
relation to proximity to Harare. However even in these areas, the dominant
story remains small and medium scale A1 and A2 farmers. A1 farmers,
particularly on land that was invaded and occupied, are largely from nearby
communal areas and small towns, while A2 farmers are predominantly former or
serving civil servants, teachers and business people, with urban
The potential for production across the resettlements is far from being
realised due to inefficiencies in input markets, a lack of credit and rural
finance and the high costs of transition in infrastructure, and up and
downstream industries. However, production has not collapsed, and is booming
in some commodities and areas. Markets may be informal, but they generate
employment and spin-off benefits from economic linkages in an area.
There are nuances and variations – yes complexity – but the picture is
increasingly clear, as are the policy challenges. The now infamous five
myths we set out to examine in Masvingo are rejected countrywide, although
with important qualifications – as indeed we offered in the 288 pages of
small type in our book for Masvingo.
In stark contrast to the Dale Doré diatribe on the Sokwanele site, at the
SAPES Trust Policy Dialogue I spoke at last week, I was pleasantly surprised
by the tone of the discussions. A sense of pragmatism and realism prevailed
(mostly). The room was packed, with over 100 people attending from all sides
of the debate – the CFU was represented in force, including the current
President, as was the MDC, with the Director of Policy and Research, Charles
Mangongera, offering the discussant’s comments. And representatives from the
Ministry of Lands were there too, including the Minister, Herbert Murerwa.
Mandi Rukuni chaired the debate superbly, and it was clear that there was
more agreement than many would expect.
As Zimbabwe moves into a new phase, and a new election settlement some time
next year, the more consensus building and solid debate around facts and
evidence that occurs the better. Ibbo Mandaza’s SAPES Dialogues are good
examples of such fora. Sadly unfounded accusations and gratuitous swipes, as
in some of Doré’s piece, are not.
“This first appeared at
The Dumbutshena Report
The Government instituted a Commission of Inquiry into events surrounding Entumbane, conducted by the then Chief Justice Enock Dumbutshena. However, Mr Mugabe complained about its findings, and the Dumbutshena Report has never been made public.
The Entumbane uprising led to mass defections of ZIPRA members from the Assembly Points (APs). Defectors interviewed in the 1990s have stated they saw their decisions to leave the APs as life-preserving, or alternatively as reflections of their disillusionment with their experiences in the APs.
Some of this disillusionment was with what was perceived as a political bias in the army towards favouring ZANLA, especially where promotions were concerned.
ZIPRA members also commented on the growing number of ZIPRA soldiers who seemed to be “disappearing” under mysterious circumstances from army ranks, and to a growing paranoia among ZIPRA members, who, for example, began to imagine plots to poison them in the army.
It was thus disillusionment and fear, rather than any strong political motivation, that led ZIPRA soldiers to defect from the army and hence to a life on the run.
Those who defected took their weapons with them, and armed banditry increased.
The “discovery” of large arms caches in Matabeleland in February 1982 had major political repercussions for ZAPU.
The ZANU-PF leadership now openly accused ZAPU of planning an armed revolt, to make up for ZAPU’s comparatively poor showing in the 1980 General Elections.
ZAPU Cabinet Ministers Nkomo, Chinamano, Muchachi and Msika were dismissed from the Government and ZIPRA’s former military leaders Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku were arrested with four others, and subsequently tried for treason.
The High Court later acquitted all the men on the treason charges, and referred to Dabengwa as “the most impressive witness this court has seen in a long time” and “the antithesis of [a person] scheming to overthrow the government”.
However, Dabengwa and Masuku and the four others were re-arrested and held in detention for many years.
The seriously ill Masuku was released in March 1986, to die in April, and Dabengwa was released in December 1986.
The harsh treatment given to ZAPU leaders in the wake of the finding of the arms caches – at least some of which were later found to have been planted at the instigation of white former members of the CIO working as South African agents – convinced many more ex-ZIPRAs that they could not expect fair treatment if they remained in the APs or in ZNA units.
Many – possibly thousands – of ex-combatants deserted at this time: the exact number remains speculative. The perception among ex-ZIPRA soldiers that they were being increasingly persecuted as 1982 progressed, led to more defections.
For example, six dissidents made the decision to leave the ZNA after their company commander announced in Lupane, in the late 1982 search for dissidents, that he would kill “dissidents” – meaning former ZIPRA guerrillas – in the company first.
By the end of 1982, there were many hundreds of ex-ZIPRA soldiers who had deserted the ZNA for one reason or another, and the availability of weapons in the bush helped snowball dissident growth.
At first, dissident operations were piecemeal, and complicated by the existence of Super ZAPU, although how active Super ZAPU was, in particular in Matabeleland North, is still partly a matter of conjecture.
They appear to have used southern Nyamandlovu as a corridor into the country at times, but whether they committed any crimes in that area or further north is not clear.
The Government increasingly used the anti-ZIPRA and anti-ZAPU rhetoric which had become apparent as early as 1980, and there was a change in semantics at this time, so that all armed robberies in Matabeleland became referred to as the work of “bandits” or “dissidents”.
There were also repeated speeches by Government officials linking ZAPU to dissidents.
In addition, from 1982, ex-ZIPRA combatants – and not just deserters – increasingly faced persecution: ex-ZIPRAs who had been formally demobilised and those still in the army were increasingly subjected to arrest and harassment.
Detention camps were established at St Paul’s in Lupane, at Tsholotsho, at Plumtree airstrip, and at Bhalagwe in Kezi, where the CIO interrogated ex-combatants.
Within army battalions, tensions ran high: ZANLA and ZIPRA each suspected the other of concealing arms, and ZIPRA members noticed the escalating arrest and disappearance of cadres from their ranks.
The response of ZIPRA ex-combatants and ZAPU officials to this was varied: many fled the country to become refugees in Botswana or Zambia, or to find work in South Africa, and some formed bands of armed dissidents.
Some of those who fled to Zambia were assisted by the UNHCR to escape to various European countries, while others were pursued and killed by Zimbabwean Government agents. Those who left frequently lost property left in the country, and many have never returned. According to Alexander:
…interviews with ZIPRA guerrillas consistently indicated that their persecution at this time, rather than the political rift, was the key in causing mass desertions. Many felt they had little choice but to flee or take up arms again to save their lives.
The dissidents themselves reveal that the 1980s war was one with no clear goal or direction. In the words of one dissident:
“… in the 1980s war, no one was recruited, we were forced by the situation, all of us just met in the bush. Each person left on his own, running from death.”
Another researcher who has interviewed dissidents in the 1990s, recorded comments which confirm the idea that self-preservation was the strongest motive ex-ZIPRAs had in becoming dissidents.
“We wanted to defend ourselves personally. Our lives were threatened.”
“Apart from defending ourselves, there was very little we wanted to achieve.”
“We were threatened. That was why I decided to desert.”
Those who deserted or demobilised with the simple intention of going home to start their lives again found themselves driven away by the arrival of 5 Brigade.
“They were hunting ex-ZIPRA members…and if they found [them], they killed those people.”
“If you say that you have been in the army, they would take you.”
“Some of us who demobilised, thought it best to return home because at least you could live in your own house. But little did we know that we were coming to a much worse situation.
“I did not even have time to spend my demob money before I had to leave to go to this second war…. Since you were a demobilised ZIPRA ex-combatant, they would immediately find you guilty and level you [i.e. kill you] as a dissident.”
In direct contrast to the Government’s claims that dissidents were being supported by ZAPU, dissidents express a sense of “abandonment by their leaders, who were often in jail or who actively dissociated themselves from, and condemned, their activities.”
At the same time, the dissidents “maintained their loyalty to ZAPU and tenaciously clung to their liberation war identity as ZIPRA guerrillas.”
This loyalty expressed itself in the attempts of the dissidents to echo ZIPRA command structures and ethics, even though they lacked high level political or military leaders and were few in number.
In late 1983, the dissidents divided Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands into three operational regions, in accordance with ZIPRA principles.
The existence of Super ZAPU was a factor which encouraged the other dissidents to organise themselves along the lines of ZIPRA command structures, in order to help undermine and separate Super ZAPU from themselves.
The regions were as follows.
1. The Western Region, mainly Tsholotsho and Bulilimamangwe, which ran from the Victoria Falls railway line to the Plumtree railway line, and was under the command of a dissident called Tulane.
2. The Northern region, mainly Kwekwe, Lupane and Nkayi, which ran from the Victoria Falls Bulawayo railway line east to Silobela, and was under the command of three successive dissidents, first Gilbert Sitshela, then Mdawini, then Masikisela.
3. Matobo, Insiza, Gwanda and Beitbridge formed the Southern region, from the Plumtree railway line east to Mberengwa. One dissident interviewed commented that a Matobo unit was allowed to make contact with this southern structure only in 1986, because of fears of Super ZAPU. This region was under the command of a man called “Brown” in 1987.
Each region had a commander and a few platoons of 15 to 30 men, with sections of around five.
The dissidents faced operational problems: shortage of ammunition was a major concern, and this in turn led to a defensive strategy, with most dissident activities being restricted to night-time attacks or forays into villages for food, followed by hurried retreats and then lying low during hours of daylight to avoid being detected by troops. “What is five bullets against an army?” commented one dissident.
The dissidents’ commitment to seeing themselves as ZIPRA throughout this time, in spite of the absence of direct instruction from ZAPU, was instrumental not only in the swift demise of Super ZAPU, but also in the quick and orderly surrender after the Amnesty, when the dissidents obeyed the call of senior ZAPU officials that they should lay down their arms.
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES
[24th November 2012]
Public Accounts Committee Meeting Open to the Public
Monday 24th November
The only committee meeting open to the public during the coming week is this one:
Monday 26th November at 10 am
Public Accounts Committee
Oral evidence from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development on the 2009 and 2010 annual reports by the Comptroller and Auditor-General.
Committee Room No 4
Chairperson: Hon Chinyadza Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
The meeting 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. It will be at Parliament in Harare. If attending, please use the entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets and note that IDs must be produced.
This bulletin is based on the latest information from Parliament. But, as there are sometimes last-minute changes to the schedule, persons wishing to attend should avoid disappointment by checking with the committee clerk [see below] that the meeting is still on and open to the public. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252936.
House of Assembly portfolio committees and Senate thematic committees will also be meeting during the week, but in closed session. They will be considering their work plans for the session or finalising their post-Budget reports in readiness for the House debate on the 2013 Budget.
NB: Members of the public who cannot attend meetings, including Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, can at any time send written submissions to committees by email addressed to to firstname.lastname@example.org
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied
BILL WATCH 52/2012
[24th November 2012]
Both Houses of Parliament will Resume on Tuesday 27th November
Budget presented The Minister of Finance presented the 2013 Budget Statement in the House of Assembly on Thursday 15th November. At the conclusion of his speech the Minister tabled the Estimates of Expenditure for the fiscal year 2013 [the 2013 “Blue Book”]. Both the Budget Statement and the estimates of Expenditure are available on the Ministry of Finance website www.zimtreasury.gov.zw. For those without Internet access Veritas can email them on request [available on request from email@example.com] [Note: these documents are large and may be difficult to download for those without broadband; the Budget Statement is a zipped pdf document of 3.3 MB, the Blue Book is a zipped Excel document of 3.5 MB].
A noteworthy feature of the Blue Book is its inclusion of a “Ministry profile and outputs”, signed by its accounting officer [in most cases, the permanent secretary], for each and every Ministry. These include statements of: major achievements during 2012; key result areas; policy priorities for 2015; and tables of goals, outcomes, expected output and indicators of achievement.
Expenditure – Selected Figures
[2012 amended figures are shown for comparison purposes]
Total projected expenditure: $3.82 billion [2012 – $3.62 billion]
All expenditure comes out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund [CRF] consisting of all government revenues. True to the Minister’s guiding principle that the government will only spend what it earns, the Budget aims to align expenditure to revenue. The breakdown is: employment costs 68.5%; operations 16.8%; capital expenditure 14.6%.
Expenditure comes under two headings:
· Constitutional and statutory appropriations: $440 million [2012 $425 million]
· Vote appropriations: $3.42 billion [2012 – $3.2 billion] [see below for major vote appropriations]
Constitutional and statutory appropriations [“cons and stats”]
The Constitution and certain statutes [Acts of Parliament] mandate these payments from the CRF for specific purposes. They do not have to be approved by Parliament again during the current Budget exercise, but they must be covered by projected revenue. Examples of “cons and stats” are: the salaries and allowances of the President, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the President of the Senate, the judges and other constitutional appointees such as the Attorney-General, Public Protector, Comptroller and Auditor-General; all State pensions, including veterans and ex-political prisoners pensions. Pension-related payments account for the bulk of “cons and stats”. Amounts listed under this heading include:
· President’s salary and allowances: $110 000 [2012 $105 000]
· Speaker’s and Senate President’s salary and allowances: $170 000 [2012 - $160 000]
· Public Service and other State pensions [ex-judges, Ministers, MPs etc]: $231 million [2012 - $215 million]
· War veterans etc pensions: $101 million [$102 million]
· Commutation of pensions: $54 million [$62 million]
Major allocations to Ministries
[These and all the other “vote appropriations” in the Estimates require the approval of the House of Assembly and enactment into law by the Appropriation Bill. They include the majority of State employment costs.]
Figures to nearest million
Education .................................................. 755 716
Health........................................................ 381 301
Higher Education ...................................... 287 271
Defence ..................................................... 356 318
Home Affairs [including Police] .................. 308 297
Agriculture ................................................. 148 184
Justice [including Prisons] ............................ 96 88
Allocations to Ministries incorporate expenditure for:
Constitutional Referendum and Elections The Minister said the amount needed for these “inescapable programmes” exceeds US$150 million, way above the proposed 2013 allocation of US$25 million. He would therefore have to rely on Government’s “friends and partners” for assistance and would also look for funds from diamond revenues.
Financing of political parties The vote for the Ministry of Justice includes $5 million for disbursement to political parties under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
Constitutional Commissions Amounts allocated for running costs are: Human Rights Commission - $1 354 000; Zimbabwe Electoral Commission - $7 197 000; Media and Information Commission - $314 000; Anti-Corruption Commission - $2 246 000.
Taxation Proposals and Financial Sector Reform
Taxation No changes to income tax bands or rates are proposed, but the tax exempt threshold for annual bonuses goes up to $1 000 with effect from 1st November, covering 2012 end of year bonuses. Changes to customs duty to encourage local manufacturers is also proposed, one of which has already been gazetted [see below]. There will be a “sin tax” [excise duty increase] on clear beer and cigarettes with effect from 1st December, proceeds to be earmarked for the education sector. There will be other customs duty changes from 1st January 2014.
Financial sector changes The Minister said there will be measures to correct “corrosively high interest rates” on bank loans and to mobilise domestic savings, such as regulating high bank charges and requiring payment of interest on deposits. There will be Bills to make major amendments to the Banking Act; to enact a new Deposit Protection Act and a Microfinance Act; and to make detailed amendments to the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money-Laundering Act.
Business in the House and Senate in the Coming Week
House of Assembly
Resumption of Budget debate on Tuesday 27th November The House of Assembly will start debate on the Budget, starting with a contribution by the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development.
After the debate and the approval of the Estimates of Expenditure, the two Budget Bills will be introduced in the House:
· Appropriation (2013) Bill – to authorise expenditure in accordance with the Estimates of Expenditure
· Finance (No. 2) Bill – to make amendments to the Income Tax Act, the VAT Act, the Customs and Excise Act, giving effect to changes proposed in the Budget statement. The Bill also contains provisions designed to protect the assets of Air Zimbabwe Corporation and its successor company and the Grain Marketing Board from being attached and sold to satisfy debts to their creditors; for Air Zimbabwe this protection will lapse on 1st January 2015 [the explanation given in the Bill’s explanatory memorandum is that this temporary protection is to enable Air Zimbabwe to repay its creditors “in orderly fashion”].
Motions: There are several motions on the Order Paper in addition to the traditional motion of thanks to the President for his speech opening the session:
· Hon Gonese’s motion to revive his Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [the Bill lapsed at the end of last session]. This is unlikely to come up until Wednesday when private members’ business has precedence over Government business. It remains to be seen whether the motion will be stalled on the basis that the admissibility of Private Member’s Bills is sub judice in a Supreme Court appeal [see Bill Watch 22/2012 of 23rd May].
· a motion calling for reasonable remuneration for Government workers
· a motion to revive a lapsed motion on a portfolio committee report on challenges in the education sector.
Senate The only item on the Order Paper is the motion of thanks to the President.
Expulsion from MDC of MPs and Senators
The Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC on 19th November announced the expulsion from the party of 3 members of the House of Assembly [Deputy Speaker Nomalanga Khumalo, Thankeko Mnkandhla and Maxwell Dube] and 2 Senators [Kembo Dube and Dalumuzi Kumalo]; all hold Matabeleland seats. The MDC has told them that at a time of its choosing the expulsions will be notified to the Speaker and the President of the Senate to trigger automatic vacation of their in terms of section 41(1)(e) of the Constitution. Professor Mutambara, who was MDC leader at the time they were elected on the MDC ticket, has written to Parliament saying the Ncube executive has no right to take this step when the Supreme Court has not decided the contested leadership issue [the Mutambara camp has lodged appeals against two High Court decisions in favour of Professor Ncube]. Pending receipt of the expulsion notifications by Parliament, all five individuals retain their seats. And when/if such notifications are lodged, the yet-to-be-heard Supreme Court proceedings may well delay a final decision on their fate.
Appointment of Private Voluntary Organisations [PVO] Board
A General Notice [GN 504/2012] gazetted on 16th November announced the appointment by the Minister of Labour and Social Services of the PVO Board. There are 21 members, as required by the PVO Act – 5 representing PVOs at national level, 10 representing PVOs at provincial level [one from each province], and six representing Government Ministries specified in the Act. These members will serve a three-year term of office ending on 2nd September 2015. Ms Lindiwe Chaza-Jangara of NANGO is the chairperson. [GN with full list available from firstname.lastname@example.org]
Government Gazette 16th to 23rd November
Two Budget Bills [see above] were gazetted on 23rd November [available from email@example.com]:
Customs Duty Two SIs were gazetted on Budget Day to come into effect on 16th November:
SI 178A/2012 – new duty on chicken imports
SI 178B/2012 – rebate of duty on fiscalised electronic registers, fiscal memory devices and spares
Collective bargaining agreement SI 179/2012 covers wages and allowances for the commercial sectors for July 2012- June 2013.
Local authority by-laws SI 180/2012 sets out new rents and service charges for the Jahunda area of Gwanda municipality
Government financial statements [these have to be gazetted monthly and quarterly in terms of the Public Finance Management Act] The statements for September were gazetted on 23rd November.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied