By Associated Press, Published: November 27
HARARE, Zimbabwe — The Roman Catholic church says Zimbabwe’s chronic water
shortages should be declared a national disaster.
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace says in a statement Sunday
collapsed water and sanitation facilities will cause “more suffering and
deaths” as annual rains begin.
Nearly 250 cases of the waterborne disease typhoid have been treated in
Harare this month. No deaths have so far been reported, but in 2009 a
cholera outbreak killed more than 4,000 people.
The commission says emergency funds are needed in areas where people take
contaminated water from drains and shallow, makeshift wells.
Some impoverished townships haven’t had access to piped water for months —
or even years — amid the country’s economic meltdown.
by Staff report
2011 November 26 23:53:13
PRESIDENT Mugabe on Friday capped 1 679 Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU)
graduates, among them pioneers of the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of
The graduates are from 31 different degrees and diplomas offered by the
institution with 48 percent of the graduands being women.
Those who graduated with PHDs are Mines and Mining Development Minister
Obert Mpofu (Policy Studies), Zanu-PF Chief Whip Cde Joram Gumbo (Policy
Studies) and Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Charles Makono (Philosophy
Ms Ntombiyendaba Muchuchuti obtained a Master of Philosophy degree.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, ZOU Vice Chancellor Dr Primrose Kurasha
said the institution believed in quality education for all without any
She said ZOU had become a renowned institution in the country and the
"As testimony to the quality of our programmes, Sir (President Mugabe), the
lecturers of all the local and many of the regional universities, use the
ZOU learning materials or modules as instructional materials," Dr Kurasha
"Through our special Directorate for Higher Degrees, we currently have
learners in and outside Zimbabwe who have enrolled on these programmes."
Dr Kurasha said ZOU engaged supervisors with the requisite qualifications
from anywhere in the world adding that the distance learning institution
will never run out of supervisors and examiners.
She said ZOU now offers training to new farmers through the Centre for
So far, Dr Kurasha said 1 000 farmers have been trained in Mashonaland East
province but the institution targets all the 60 000 small-scale tobacco
farmers by 2013.
She said the intention was to apply the same model to all other crops and
Dr Kurasha said ZOU will introduce a School of Health Sciences and a Faculty
of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication adding that the
programmes were now with the regulatory authority.
She said the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and the HIV/Aids
pandemic had seen potentially brilliant young people failing to access
Dr Kurasha said to cater for these, ZOU had introduced the school leavers
open distance learning programme.
She paid tribute to the Government for the support to retain qualified
Because of the support, she said the institution had reduced its staff
turnover going to levels of less than one percent from a high of 64 percent
Minister Mpofu said the ceremony was an eventful occasion in his life.
"I cherish this very much because I had desired this for a long time.
"This adds fertility in my intellectual capacity and as a leader I have
benefited a lot from what I have learnt and this is going to help me in
executing my leadership roles," he said.
Cde Gumbo said he had gained a lot of wisdom during his studies.
"I have not obtained this qualification to make myself employable but to
improve myself in gaining more wisdom.
"As a Government official this qualification will help me give wise counsel
and advise to the Government and the community at large," he said.
Cde Gumbo who is Mberengwa West legislator urged fellow parliamentarians to
further their studies to make wise contributions in Parliament.
Snr Ast Comm Makono said: "I hope those people who have been looking down
upon our police force will see that we are also qualified and professional.
"I want to thank Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri for allowing
us to pursue our studies while urging other police officers to endeavour to
improve themselves academically."
ZIMBABWE and South Africa are among African countries that invest in
training doctors and ended up losing $2 billion as the expert clinicians
leave home to find work in more prosperous developed nations, researchers
said on Friday.
A study by Canadian scientists found that the two countries suffer the worst
economic losses due to doctors emigrating, while Australia, Canada, Britain
and the United States benefit the most from recruiting doctors trained
The scientists, led by Edward Mills, chair of global health at the
University of Ottawa, called on destination countries to recognize this
imbalance and invest more in training and developing health systems in the
countries that lose out.
“Many wealthy destination countries, which also train fewer doctors than are
required, depend on immigrant doctors to make up the shortfall,” Mills’ team
wrote in a study, which was published in the British Medical Journal.
“Developing countries are effectively paying to train staff who then support
the health services of developed countries.”
Experts say the migration, or “brain drain,” of trained health workers from
poorer countries to richer ones exacerbates the problem of already weak
health systems in low-income countries battling epidemics of infectious
diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
The World Health Organization adopted a code of practice in 2010 on
international recruitment of health personnel that highlighted the problem
of doctor brain drains and called on wealthy countries to offer financial
help to poorer ones affected.
The code is seen as particularly important for sub-Saharan Africa, which
suffers from a critical shortage of doctors and has a high prevalence of
diseases such as HIV, TB and malaria.
The latest United Nations global HIV/AIDS report released on Monday found
that 68 percent of the around 34 million people worldwide who have the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS live in Africa.
Using various data including published reports on primary and secondary
school spending from UNESCO, Mills’ team estimated the cost of educating a
doctor through primary, secondary and medical school in nine sub-Saharan
countries with some of the world’s highest rates of HIV.
The countries studied included Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South
Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The research team then added the figures together to estimate how much the
origin countries paid to train doctors and how much the destination
countries saved in employing them.
The results show that these governments spend between $21,000, the figure
for Uganda, and $59,000, in South Africa, to train a doctor, only to see
them in many cases migrate to richer countries.
“Among the nine sub-Saharan African countries most affected by HIV/AIDS,
more than $2 billion of investment was lost through the emigration of
trained doctors,” the researchers said. “Our results indicate that South
Africa incurs the highest costs for medical education and the greatest lost
returns on investment.”
The findings suggested the benefit to Britain was around $2.7 billion, and
to the United States was around $846 million. Australia was estimated to
have benefited to the tune of $621 million and Canada was $384 million
By Staff Writer
Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:22
HARARE - Harare City Council has accused the police of fuelling chaos in the
city centre by participating in the invasion of council properties.
Speaking during last week’s council meeting, Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi said
he met with police Deputy Commissioner General Innocent Matibiri to raise
Efforts to get a comment from the police spokespersons went fruitless as
James Sabau said he was off duty and referred the matter to Wayne
Bvudzijena, who turned off his phone after ringing once.
Mahachi said he told Matibiri that police should deal with an illegal flea
market flourishing outside Harare Central Police Station.
He told councillors that during his meeting with Matibiri, he made it clear
the flea market outside the police station should be attended to by the
police themselves as they have the capacity to deal with the “mess”.
“I told Matibiri that those people occupying that flea market close to
Harare Central Police Station cannot be dealt with by council because most
of the tables there are occupied by police officers. So we agreed that they
should sort out themselves,” Mahachi said.
Mahachi said council and the police agreed to co-operate to ensure illegal
squatters and invaders of council properties are evicted and most of them
are believed to be Zanu PF supporters.
The MDC-dominated local authority admitted it has failed to bring normalcy
to the city as invasions of property and unauthorised flea markets are
Kambuzuma councillor Thomas Muzuwa revealed that most tables at the flea
market near the police station are owned by spouses of police officers.
“Your worship we need to be honest with ourselves regarding certain
resolutions that we make as council.
“It is very impossible for us to expect those people who have invaded that
area near the police station to leave because the police themselves have
“We should think of other things as opposed to talking about an area we will
not succeed,” said Muzuwa.
Hatfield councillor Pumulani Musagwiza also claimed that wives of police
officers were the bulk operators of the stalls at the illegal flea market as
they supplement the low salaries earned by their husbands.
Mahachi also told councillors that he asked Matibiri to assist the local
authority in dealing with traffic congestion as most commuter omnibuses are
owned by police officers.
Harare, November 27, 2011 – The Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe
chapter says it doubts the coalition government’s sincerity towards wide
sweeping media reforms after the controversial Broadcasting Corporation of
Zimbabwe (BAZ) awarded known Zanu-PF apologists radio licences.
On 24 November 2011 BAZ announced it’s awarding to two so-called independent
national radio licences to the state-controlled Zimpapers Talk Radio and AB
Communications as Zimbabwe’s first ever licensed free-to-air independent
national commercial radio stations since independence in 1980.
This follows four public hearings conducted by BAZ in terms of the
Commissions of Inquiry Act and Section 10 (8) of the Broadcasting Services
MISA Zimbabwe said the licensing of Zimpapers Talk Radio was set to raise
eyebrows on whether the radio station will truly be independent as
stipulated under the African Charter on Broadcasting considering that the
government has a controlling stake in Zimpapers.
Former broadcast journalist, Supa Mandiwanzira, who was taken to task over
his alleged links with Zanu-PF, is the majority shareholder and CEO of Zi fm
stereo under the AB Communications stable.
“The licensing of the two applicants also brings into question the sincerity
of the government’s calls for Zimbabwean journalists manning foreign-based
stations to return home and legalise their operations,” said Misa-Zimbabwe
in a statement to the media.
One of the foreign-based stations, Radio VOP (Communications), which was
also among the applicants, was denied one of the two licenses that were on
Misa-Zimbabwe said also likely to be in contention will be the legality of
the licenses issued given the outstanding issue of the legal status of the
current BAZ board which remains unresolved since its illegal constitution by
the Ministry of Information in 2009.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the popular faction of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Welshman Ncube, the leader of the
smaller faction of the MDC, have publicly demanded the reconstitution of
BAZ, which is headed by Tafataona Mahoso, who is seen as a Zanu-PF apologist
and media hang-man.
Mahoso, who also doubles-up as the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe
Media Commission, presided over the closure of four newspapers in 2003.
By Jeffrey Muvundusi, Own Correspondent
Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:20
HARARE - Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller faction of the MDC has
slammed the decision to grant free-to-air licences to companies with links
to Zanu PF describing it as deception.
On Thursday the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) granted licences to
Zi Radio, a company owned by AB Communications and Zimpapers’ Zimpapers talk
AB Communications is owned by former ZBC reporter Supa Mandiwanzira while
Zimpapers owns several titles including the flagship Herald.
None of the independent companies who had applied for the licences was
Ncube said the licences could be tactically used as an extension of
propaganda by Zanu PF.
On Thursday Baz chairman Tafataona Mahoso said the two companies had met the
qualification selection process and granted the two radio licenses to AB
Communications and Zimpapers.
Speaking to journalists on Friday in Lower Gweru, Ncube dismissed the whole
set up saying the move was just a reproduction of well-known Zanu PF mouth
pieces in the form of ZBC and the Herald.
“These are not new players. If you licence ZBC then you say you have another
new station, you license The Herald then you say you have another newspaper;
that is plain nonsense.
“That is certainly not the idea we had, the idea was that we have plurality
of interest in the media. You can have a hundred of licences but if you are
issuing to ZBC you have not done anything.
“Son clearly, what has happened is not what we envisaged and it’s not
congruent with the election roadmap,” protested Ncube.
He attributed the latest development to the ineffectiveness of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) in dealing with the broadcasting issue.
“One of the mistakes we have made in the GPA was failure to create an
independent broadcasting authority. It is that failure that has given us
this outcome; it is actually deception.
“What has happened is they are trying to deceive us that new players have
indeed been introduced when in fact they actually reproduced the players
which are already in existence by another name.” Ncube added.
However, Ncube who is also the minister of Industry and Trade said his party
was not going to watch while Zanu PF attempts to hoodwink Sadc into
believing that the election roadmap was properly being implemented with
regards to the liberalisation of airwaves in the country.
“We have to take it up within the context of GPA, Jomic, Cabinet and
Parliament and if need be we will take it up with the negotiating forum
within the framework of Sadc.
“As far as we are concerned Baz has not performed the obligation of
licensing new players. What it has done is to simply give fresh licences to
already existing players and that’s not the meaning of the roadmap.”
ZBC enjoys a monopoly in the broadcasting services sector.
Despite being in existence for 10 years Baz had not licenced any single
applicant until last Thursday prompting pressure from pro-democracy and
media groups to push for liberalisation of the airwaves.
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:17
HARARE - Farai Maguwu, the award-winning director for Mutare-based Centre
for Research and Development (CRD) has broken ranks with Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on an explosive motion to nationalise Marange
Maguwu said the motion, which has won parliamentary approval and has been
sent to Cabinet for ratification, was not the best model for Zimbabwe.
The motion suggests kicking out all companies out of the Marange site, and
then the state fences it, protects it properly and then goes out to tender
for a new private operator before nationalising the Marange diamond mines.
“On nationalisation, even though I agree that the licences should be
revoked, I don’t think nationalisation is the way to go,” Maguwu told the
Daily News on Sunday.
“Nationalisation means government will take full control of mining in
Marange and we know that the cemetery of companies which have been owned or
taken over by the Zimbabwe government is always growing.
“It means if we nationalise Marange diamond mines, they will fall in the
same category with NRZ, GMB, Zesa and the list is endless.”
Maguwu was speaking just after his arrival from Toronto where he received
the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award — the highest honour granted by
international rights group Human Rights Watch for working to end the silence
against the rights abuses in the Marange diamond fields.
Maguwu said Zimbabwe should copy the Botswana model.
“The best example that Zimbabwe can emulate is the Botswana deal, Debswana,
where you have De Beers which is the leading giant in terms of diamonds and
manufacturing and the Botswana government which owns one of the biggest
kimberlite diamond deposits in the world.
“And their example is perfect. There is transparency, there is
accountability, there are tangible benefits to the Botswana nationals coming
from this partnership. Therefore, I think this private public partnership is
the best way to go. But it must be negotiated in a very transparent and
The controversial Marange diamond claim was grabbed by government from a
British firm and given to a joint venture between state-owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and private firms.
Maguwu said at the moment all the companies in Marange got their licences
through a special grant which is offered from the President’s Office.
“This means all these were political deals,” Maguwu said. “Or one can say
the companies were appointed by the CIO people who were from the President’s
Office. So there was no transparency. And similarly the money is not being
accounted for; there is no transparency because the whole process was
fraudulent from the beginning.
“I believe you cannot gather figs from a thorn tree. If the manner in which
these companies gathered their licences was fraudulent and unprocedural,
there is no way we can expect government to maximise revenue from Marange
because if the shareholding of Marange is not straightforward, so be it that
the proceed from Marange will not be channelled to the right place.
“Therefore I think revoking the licences is a good starting point. And then
we have an inclusive approach, where even Parliament is involved and the
government goes through the tender procedure.”
SIMPLICIUS CHIRINDA | 27 November, 2011 01:27
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was inundated with questions about his
marital status this week but chose to keep the nation guessing.
On Tuesday the country woke up to news that the premier - whose wife Susan
died in 2009 - had married a wealthy businesswoman with Zanu-PF links.
Her family had confirmed this to the media. But Tsvangirai, who has been
linked to several women, vehemently denied that he had married Locadia
Karimatsenga, although he did not deny she was pregnant - with his twins.
Some Zimbabweans even wondered why the premier had married in November - a
month regarded as sacred in Shona tradition, during which you are not
supposed to get married.
But sources told the Sunday Times that Karimatsenga arrived at Tsvangirai's
Strathaven home last week, demanding to be taken in as a live-in lover
because she is pregnant.
"She came on Friday with relatives. They said they had come to leave her,
but the Prime Minister would not have any of that. He went to the family on
Monday to pay damages but he was upset, as the Karimatsengas turned
everything into a marriage ceremony when it was not," said an MDC official
close to Tsvangirai. "Of course, if he had not gone to pay damages, it could
have got even messier than what it is."
Tsvangirai is said to be furious at what his allies call "a dirty fight" by
the Karimatsenga family, but his hands are tied and he is likely to be
forced to find an amicable solution.
Tsvangirai was so keen to keep the matter private that he did not even brief
his spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, who was in the dark when contacted for
Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai was still single and "will tell the nation when
the time comes to announce his marriage".
For his part Tsvangirai's brother Manase, who was among the emissaries who
visited the Karimatsenga family in the premier's official convoy, would
neither confirm nor deny the marriage.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Jameson Timba, a confidant
of the premier, said Tsvangirai "recognises that the nation needs to know,
he will communicate his marital status and plans at an appropriate time".
Asked what he made of the claims by the Karimatsenga family that Tsvangirai
was now officially their son-in-law, Timba could only say: "Marriage takes
He warned the media against speculating on the matter.
Karimatsenga's sister, Beater Nyamupinga, the Zanu-PF MP for Goromonzi,
confirmed the marriage.
"My sister is a humble and hard-working person and we have confidence in her
as a family that she can withstand all the pressure that comes with her new
"She is a quiet and reserved person but she really loves people. As a
family, we are really happy with what she has done," Nyamupinga said.
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:10
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s addresses at political rallies
and HIV/Aids conferences are often marked by the now famous refrain: “Kana
muchiridza ngoma yeZion pfekai gemenzi”.
Loosely translated, this Shona expression is an exhortation to Zimbabweans
to always practice safe sex and to always protect themselves when in
But developments surrounding the PM’s recent escapades, including his
disputed “marriage” to a Harare businesswoman that he apparently impregnated
out of wedlock, have sullied the character of the man and his well-meant
public pronouncements — at least in the eyes of Aids activists and ordinary
people who were taking his safe sex campaign seriously.
While preaching the much-needed gospel of safe sex has been easy for the
widowed PM, putting this message into practice in his own life is proving
much harder for the popular former trade unionist, opening himbto criticism
from political opponents and activists that he is undermining government’s
safe sex campaign.
Last week the PM, who has been linked to a string of women since his wife
died in 2009, was apparently “forced to pay compensation” to the family of a
woman, Locadia Tembo, who is believed to be carrying his twins.
Tembo’s family insists that the cash the PM paid to them was lobola, the
term used for bride price.
His officials, on the other hand, deny that the PM married Locadia. They say
the money was just for “damages”, the crude word used to refer to
compensation paid by a man who impregnates a woman out of wedlock.
But what is sullying the MDC leader’s reputation is the fact that he is
practicing unprotected sex in short-term relationships. HIV/Aids prevention
campaigners are seething.
Some, like activist Simba Nyamukondiwa, think Tsvangirai owes the nation an
apology — if he is to redeem his standing.
“The PM’s reckless behaviour has profound public consequences and he needs
to apologise to the nation for having unprotected sex. He needs to pledge to
change his ways to bolster government’s safe sex campaign.
“When you tell people to use condoms — and he is fond of saying this at his
rallies — he should lead by example. If you tell the nation to use condoms,
you also must do it. This is so wrong at so many levels,” he said.
Jameson Timba, a close Tsvangirai ally who works as the PM’s Minister of
State, refused to comment.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka also backed away from commenting
when approached by the Daily News on Sunday.
“I would not want to comment on that matter,” was all Tamborinyoka could
Hope for Women Survivors, a group representing women who have suffered
various forms of injustices, including physical abuse, HIV/Aids, poverty and
political violence, described the PM’s behaviour as “appalling”.
“If these cases are true then it falls under the category of women abuse as
far as we are concerned and we don’t expect our leaders to be abusing women
and treating them like garbage. This is about women abuse by some men and in
this case the man happens to be our PM,” the group said in a Facebook
Blessing Vava, a social activist and spokesman for constitutional reform
campaign group National Constitutional Assembly, said: “If it is indeed true
that Locadia is carrying the PM’s twins, it is unfortunate that both were
indulging in sex before marriage which is against our norms and cultural
“Abstinence and protected sex are vital in curbing the spread of HIV and we
expect people of his stature to be aware of those basic issues. For them to
go ahead and have unprotected sex, worse still before marriage, sends a
wrong signal. We do hope that they got tested before they indulged,” he
Institutions such as the World Health Organisation say unprotected sex is a
leading contributor to the transmission of HIV/Aids.
Although the HIV/Aids prevalence rate in Zimbabwe is gradually decreasing,
from 16 percent of the population in 2007 to 13 percent in 2010, campaigners
say more needs to be done to reduce the figures even further.
Political will, they say, is also key in these efforts — hence the current
spotlight on the PM.
By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:15
HARARE - The Daily News on Sunday today exposes the direct link between
ex-communicated Anglican Church Bishop Nolbert Kunonga on one hand, and the
police and President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party on the other, in his
desperate bid to take over the church.
Violence has often been the modus operandi for Kunonga and his supporters to
seize control of property such as church buildings, schools, orphanages and
health institutions owned by the Central Province of the Anglican Church.
Kunonga has enjoyed vital and overt support from police in this endeavour,
to the extent that communication in the possession of the Daily News on
Sunday show that law enforcement agents received written updates from
Kunonga on which spots to raid.
In fact, there has been close contact between Kunonga and Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri since 2008 when the dispute began — with the
correspondence showing that Kunonga sometimes suggested to Chihuri how the
police could effectively destabilise the main church led in Harare by Bishop
Kunonga would also complain to Chihuri about officers he felt were not doing
enough to block CPCA parishioners from meeting at various church premises.
In return, police bosses gave orders to ensure that only Kunonga’s
supporters were allowed near church properties.
The communication also shows that police deployed spies from its internal
intelligence unit to keep an eye on the situation as well deploying patrol
teams “to saturate their (Gandiya) areas”.
Officers from police intelligence unit (Pisi) were ordered to remain alert,
gather intelligence and “alert each relevant Officer-in-Charge with
information that requires action without delay.”
Other officers received orders to “ensure that only one church service is
conducted by the Kunonga breakaway faction” and to “ensure that no other
service is conducted after the Kunonga service has been conducted.”
Kunonga would, each time, faithfully give reports to Chihuri.
In a letter dated October 30, 2008, written to Chihuri — in which Kunonga
was giving a brief report on his takeover scheme — the renegade bishop
expressed gratitude for the help he was getting from the police, but
appealed for more support.
“We give you a brief report Province by Province of what is happening in the
Church and appeal for more assistance. We applaud the assistance we are
getting from the police. We could have been dragged into chaos but the
police were available to silence the Gandiya faction movement at stations
like Highfield St Paul,” Kunonga wrote appreciatively to Chihuri.
He even gave advice to the police commissioner on some areas that needed
more police attention and how to deal with some police details that were
refusing to evict CPCA members without a court order authorising them to do
“What we have observed is that the Dispol (district police) Assistant
Commissioner sends the directives but the police details under him seem to
be undermining the authority. They demand things which are not available at
“Things like court orders cannot be obtained. The police details should take
orders from their seniors, which I believe will help diffuse the Mashonaland
West scenario,” wrote a frustrated and impatient Kunonga.
Police in Harare were on the rampage against CPCA members at that time,
attracting accusations of using gross violence to disperse CPCA members.
The brutal clampdown forced CPCA members to abandon churches to worship
under trees and in school classrooms.
“What the police are doing in Harare, we appeal that the same position be
taken by the Propols (provincial police commanders) in the Provinces of
Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West.
“It is good that the pattern remains uniform. If we allow these people to
keep using our churches, then there is a loophole somewhere,” wrote the
In his letter, Kunonga also explicitly showed his political inclination.
“However, we cannot run away from our stance that we support the ruling
party (Zanu PF) and we shall keep praying for peace and sanity under the
leadership of President Robert Mugabe,” he said.
Kunonga’s advisor, Admire Chisango, on Friday said his faction had a duty to
keep police informed on developments within the church.
“Chihuri is a professional person. We cannot tell him what to do. We simply
talk to him on issues relating to peace and security because we are a
peace-loving church. That doesn’t mean we advise him on what to do,”
Gandiya has in the past repeatedly accused police of actively supporting
ZOLI MANGENA | 27 November, 2011 01:27
In the clearest sign yet that President Robert Mugabe and senior government
ministers do not care about fiscal discipline, the VIPs blew $45-million in
the first nine months of this year, a huge amount by local standards.
The issue of VIPs' foreign travels and shopping sprees is a serious
indictment of Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and their ministers,
as there is a conspiracy of silence over the continued squandering of public
Mugabe, who always travels with a huge entourage, has a notorious record of
foreign travels. Only this week, he returned from Hong Kong and China after
a recent visit to Singapore. Before the US and the European Union imposed
travel bans on him and his cronies, his wife Grace had earned herself a
dubious soubriquet, Marie Antoinette, after the flamboyant and extravagant
18th century Queen of France, because of her insatiable love for overseas
trips and shipping binges at Harrods in London and other glamorous places.
Apart from Finance Minister Tendai Biti, no one in government has been
lobbying to cut down on the extravagant overseas and local trips.
Presenting his budget in Parliament this week in Mugabe and Tsvangirai's
presence, Biti lambasted the VIPs - among them cabinet colleagues - for
their lack of financial control, which has resulted in the costs of travel
soaring to an "unacceptable" $45-million.
"With regards to foreign travel, this continues to be a cancer in the
management of our public resources. Between January and September 2011, an
unacceptable sum of $45.5-million, representing 1.2% of the total budget,
had been spent on travelling.
"Government has tried to prescribe measures to restrain travel outside the
country, thereby containing travel expenditure. However, there still remains
a lot to be done, especially a change in culture and self-financial
discipline at all levels," Biti said.
He admitted that measures put in place to control the expenditure -
including stripping ministers of aides on foreign trips - had so far failed.
"I, therefore, appeal to the principals of government [Mugabe and
Tsvangirai] to rein in [themselves and ministers] on this issue, for without
their support no success can be yielded. This would empower Treasury in 2012
to take corrective measures that will ensure that line ministries do not
spend on travel beyond specified amounts allocated."
Biti said Treasury was under pressure from some ministers for increased per
diems when travelling on government business and appealed to the coalition
government leaders for help in bringing the expenditure under control.
"Treasury is always under pressure from some cabinet ministers over per diem
rates in excess of the thresholds set, as well as being accompanied by
security aides on every business trip," he said. "Accounting officers in
line ministries are also confronted with rising domestic travel bills
emanating from both official and private travel of ministers and deputy
ministers," he said.
Biti said he would propose a review of the "terms and thresholds for
domestic travel" for ministers and deputy ministers to help curb what he
described as "wasteful expenditure".
This is not the first time Biti has complained about this issue but he
continues to be ignored by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and others.
STANLEY KAROMBO | 27 November, 2011 01:28
It has been almost three decades since the Gukurahundi massacres. But the
memory of the atrocities remains vivid in the minds of three survivors who
told their stories to the Sunday Times.
Sibongile Ncube, 58, now lives in the densely populated suburb of Hillbrow,
in Johannesburg, with her three children and a grandson.
Ncube, who left her remote village of Matobo, in Matebeland province, 29
years ago says: "I can't go back to Zimbabwe because the person who killed
my father is there. He wants to finish off what he started."
When asked how she knew this, she says: "I still have relatives at home.
I've information about the goings-on back home."
She also claims that "soldiers who were involved in the massacres were
Ncube adds: "All I want now is to give my father a decent burial wherever he
is. I have to take his spirit back to the village. May his soul rest in
Devastated by the death of her mother, barely a year after that of her
father, Ncube and her four sisters joined the exodus of Zimbabweans crossing
illegally into South Africa.
She talks of "her last happy day with her father".
She remembers: "It was a Sunday morning. The sky was so clear. Mother was at
home cooking and doing household chores.
"Soldiers descended on us. They dragged him away after accusing him of being
a dissident. It was his day to preach in church."
Her last memory of her father was of him trying to hug her before being
taken forcefully away by the 5 Brigade soldiers.
Would she like to take revenge? "No, it's not for me, revenge is for God."
Meanwhile, Admire Giyani Ndebele, 49, was 15 when the Gukurahundi massacres
started. He undoes his trousers quickly with one hand, revealing his
shattered kneecap that was battered with a bayonet and, below it, the stump
that still aches.
He told the Sunday Times the soldiers demanded to know where the dissidents
were: "They started beating us up with iron bars."
He remembers how his family crossed to Botswana despite him bleeding
Another survivor, Ndumiso Mlilo, says his family was killed one by one
inside a toilet they had hidden in for three days, but he survived despite
"I just couldn't seem to die," he says. "And when I asked them to kill me,
they laughed and taunted me. They said: 'You're a son of a dissident, you've
to die now.' They left me unconscious. 'He's dead' was the last I heard."
He says he was lucky to be alive despite his wounds, hunger and dehydration,
among the lifeless bodies of his parents, sisters and other family members.
"The killers had set fire to everything that was left. One day someone is to
pay for this!"
The official line in Zimbabwe is that the nation must forgive and forget,
that it is time to move on. Yet there has been no justice for hundreds of
thousands of Ndebeles.
What prompted the Gukurahundi massacres? Zimbabwe had serious security
problems, particularly in the western part of the country. Dissidents were
killing civilians and destroying property.
The government responded with a massive security clampdown in Matabeleland
and parts of the Midlands.
The government deployed the North-Korean-trained 5 Brigade, which, human
rights groups say, left 20000 civilians dead.
In 1983, Mugabe commissioned an inquiry into the atrocities but refused to
make its findings public. He once said the atrocities were "a moment of
madness" but buried a government report on the affair.
Magugu Khumalo is on a mission to spread the story of the massacres, hoping
it can prevent future atrocities. She is a founder member of Gukurahundi
Genocide Victims for Justice (GGVS) organisation.
Her organisation, she says will campaign for the reburial of the victims and
pursue litigation against the perpetrators.
"We need to bury our dearly departed according to our own customs. We need
to identify and engage with the survivors of Gukurahundi.
"We are going to set up a platform where these survivors will come up front
and tell their stories to the whole world."
by Staff Reporter
ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa said the days of “barbarism” were over as he
urged supporters to register and vote in elections likely to be held next
Dabengwa said President Robert Mugabe had “robbed” ZAPU of victory in the
1980 elections, the first since the end of the independence war against
white colonial rule.
Speaking at Sanzukwi business centre in Mangwe district on Saturday, the
ZAPU leader, who intends to run against Mugabe in the next elections,
appealed for a violence-free poll.
“The time for barbarism came and went,” Dabengwa said of past elections
which were marred by violence, mainly by Mugabe’s supporters.
He added: “Don’t be intimidated by anyone. Go and register to vote and make
sure that ZAPU wins.”
ZAPU went into a unity government with Mugabe’s ZANU in 1987 to end
extrajudicial killings of thousands of its supporters.
Dabengwa, nicknamed the ‘Black Russian’, was the commander of ZAPU’s
military wing, ZIPRA, during the independence war. Along with other top ZAPU
leaders, he was jailed by Mugabe without trial soon after the 1980
He said on Saturday: “Everyone knows that ZAPU was robbed of victory in
1980, after our party literally liberated the country and was ready to form
a government. Others with long knives came and skinned the elephant that we
had killed while we watched.
“We grudgingly joined Zanu PF in the unity government thinking they would
give us a chance. We were patient from 1987 up to 2008. This time we are not
willing to make way for anyone. It is ZAPU’s time. Only ZAPU can implement a
A central plank of ZAPU’s campaign message, he said, was the empowerment of
communities by giving them rights over local resources.
ZOLI MANGENA | 27 November, 2011 01:28
Top MDC-T official Roy Bennett says Zimbabwe is being run by a "criminal
syndicate" dressed in swanky suits, but operating like a "mafia".
This syndicate has ruined the country through repression and looting,
forcing millions to flee to neighbouring countries and overseas, he said.
In a hard-hitting speech at the International Human Rights Congress in
London this week, Bennett said the "criminal cabal" had forced millions of
Zimbabweans, including himself, to seek political and economic asylum,
mainly in SA and the UK.
"Zimbabwe is now ruled by a mafia - a criminal syndicate that dresses itself
in elaborate forms of propaganda, but make no mistake, it is a criminal
syndicate," said the former MP, who spent eight months in jail for flooring
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa during a heated parliamentary debate in
"This lot, Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, strut around in the vestments of
anti-colonial liberation, but they are a bunch of felons, pure and simple.
Zanu-PF is the operatic performer of Africa's Cosa Nostra. All frills and
shrills, but at heart a common crook and criminal, no less. It must be
dragged kicking and screaming to the penitentiary."
Speaking on the conference theme - immigration and integration - Bennett,
who left the country after his farm and other assets were seized by Mugabe's
regime, said Zimbabweans were running away from "vicious political
"International migration is, of course, a complex phenomenon. But the
Zimbabwean experience is the one I know and - apart from its own importance
in terms of scale - I believe there are a series of lessons to be learnt
from Zimbabwe that apply to many countries and situations in the world," he
"So Zimbabweans are, by and large, reluctant migrants. It is critical to
grasp this point. Of the millions who left the country in the last 10 years,
the majority have done so because they felt they had to, not because they
wanted to. There are an estimated three to five-million Zimbabweans who have
set up camp in SA. This represents between 20% to 30% of Zimbabwe's
population, including the diaspora," Bennett said.
"The great Zimbabwean migration of the 21st century is directly and
"Many Zimbabweans have fled under direct threat to life and limb, others
have been forced to leave as a consequence of systematic collapse, but it is
a collapse that has occurred for political reasons."
To our disappointment there was no sign of the promised Zanu PF demonstrators when a Vigil supporter went to check outside the Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street, just around the corner from the Zimbabwe Embassy.
Mugabe fans in the UK, led by George Shire, Lloyd Msipa and Laurence C Muzembi (brother of Zanu PF Minister Walter), had said they were to present a petition today to Mr Cameron calling for an end to the vicious neo-colonialist, racist, destructive and ineffective illegal sanctions which have deprived Zimbabweans of electricity and water, destroyed agriculture, caused potholes, prevented drugs reaching the sick and the supply of spares for ambulances and caused the drought and floods.
At the last count the petition had amassed 51 signatures so perhaps the weight of it delayed the planned march from Lancaster House. In any case, the place near 10 Downing Street set aside for demonstrations was occupied by Yemenis celebrating the ousting of the despised President Ali Abdullah Saleh – yet another of Mugabe’s despot friends to bite the dust.
The Vigil was surprised at how few people appear to have signed the Zanu PF petition given the number of long-serving Mugabe PF supporters who have been forced by the illegal sanctions to come to the UK. Perhaps they are keeping low so they don’t join the failed asylum seekers now being sent back to Zimbabwe. On the other hand, since they are here at all, they could have friends working in the UK Border Agency like the ex-Nigerian jailed this week for fraudulently allowing his former countrymen into the UK.
Vigil supporters found much food for thought in a speech delivered in London this week by Roy Bennett, exiled MDC Treasurer General. He noted that western countries had given hundreds of millions in humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe and that thousands owed their lives to this generosity. But he argued that a sizable portion of this aid should have been directly targeted at political change.
‘It is a false economy to pour billions into aid over an extended period when a fraction of those resources could be used to deliver change in a fraction of the time’, he said. ‘Zanu PF and its supporters will shriek and wail about imperialism and regime change . . . but the groups capable of confronting authoritarian regimes must be directly funded and resourced’.
At a time when Mugabe says it is satanic of the British Prime Minister to link aid to the question of human rights (if gays are to have human rights!) Mr Cameron might usefully rethink how Britain spends its annual $100 million official aid to Zimbabwe.
After all, it appears to us at the Vigil that nothing is changing in Zimbabwe. There is no sign of Zanu PF implementing the GPA, no sign that Zuma will put real muscle into his mission and little enthusiasm for any elections in the foreseeable future . . . The Vigil wants aid for change.
· Mugabe’s place in the pantheon of despots has been highlighted in a hilarious Nando’s advert on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EX--vdxh4. The UK Daily Mail (http://dailymail-nandoslastdictator.notlong.com) has picked up the story.
· We laughed even more at the sight of two people from the Embassy walking past us sideways so we could not take pictures of their faces (see: Vigil diary of 12th November).
· We are anxious about two Vigil supporters who are in detention at the moment. They are Tecla Bandawe and Stephen Ndalama. Tecla has been advised she is to be deported on 5th December.
· Human rights activist Martin Chinyanga joined us and laid flowers in the Embassy doorways to mark the death of MDC activist Albert Vhiriri.
· Thanks to Kennedy Mashonganyika for his wonderful singing.
· We hear that intrepid human rights activist Jenni Williams of WOZA has received the French Order of Merit from the French Ambassador in Harare. A well-deserved honour.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 87 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
· Human Rights Day at the Zimbabwe Vigil. Saturday 10th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London. We will be joined by the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) who will be bringing human rights speakers and activists from a variety of civil society organizations in Zimbabwe.
· ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 10th December (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB. Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353.
· ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 31st December from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to email@example.com and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
November 26, 2011, 12:53 am
There was a story this week about MDC members in Masvingo being refused
entry to the ZNA. I don’t know how widespread this practice is but it has
certainly happened before. It is, of course, tantamount to blackmail:
support Zanu PF or you will not be allowed to follow your chosen career.
In Masvingo this week, a war veteran called Max Chitera made it his business
to vet (no pun intended) the line of young hopefuls who were about to
participate in a 10km. marathon from which ZNA recruits would be selected.
Max Chiteya apparently walked among the aspiring recruits and pointed out
those who, he claimed, were MDC members. “No MDC members would be allowed to
become soldiers.” Comrade Chitera is alleged to have said, “They should
first convert to Zanu PF, the party with liberation credentials, if they
were serious about pursuing their dreams of getting into the ZNA.”
Comrade Chitera’s use of the word ‘convert’ is significant, suggesting as it
does, a religious conversion to another belief system. This ‘conversion’
however, is not voluntary, it does not represent a genuine change of mind or
heart but rather an enforced move brought about by external pressure, rather
like someone converting to Roman Catholicism in order to get a job in the
Vatican! Enforced conversion is exactly how Zanu PF operates; we see
evidence of it every day in the statements made by officials from different
walks of life. This last week we had the Army chief saying that he would not
allow security reforms because “they are being pushed by Rhodesians” –
whoever they are! Then there was Obadiah Musino, the head of the Mapostori
sect and a rabid supporter of Robert Mugabe. Zimbabweans will remember that
Mugabe was pictured wearing Mapostori robes. Obadiah has been busy ‘singing
for his supper’ ever since. This week he was preaching Zanu PF doctrine
while handing out agricultural implements and residential stands in return
for ‘conversion’ to Zanu PF. “Mugabe was chosen by God” says the Mapostori
chief, “he will rule until he dies.”
The conviction that Zanu PF has a ‘divine right’ to rule Zimbabwe has long
been their creed. The claim that they liberated the country is accompanied
by access to a whole range of privileges. Farmers in Matabeleland North this
week were threatened with violence if they refuse to pay for the upcoming
Conference though we also read this week that Zanu PF themselves are
refusing to pay for use of the Conference venue in Bulawayo on the grounds
that they – Zanu PF – are ‘the revolutionary party’. The fact that Bulawayo
has an MDC-led council just might be a factor in their refusal to pay up!
It will be interesting to see whether delegates to the Zanu PF conference
agree to have voluntary HIV tests ahead of World Aids Day on December 1st.
That may seem irrelevant but it would be foolish to discount the possibility
that sexual privileges are sometimes included in Zanu PF ‘rights’ It is not
beyond the bounds of possibility either that sex is sometimes used to gain
the favour of a Zanu PF chef.
The International Crisis Group this week said very bluntly that Mugabe’s
party is the chief obstacle to timely and fair elections. A number of Zanu
PF people have said that they are not going ‘to negotiate themselves out of
power.’ There is certainly evidence that Zanu PF already have measures in
place to rig the election and it would be miraculous if the forthcoming
meetings between the parties - in the presence of the South African
Facilitation team - succeed in overcoming the chasm between the parties. It
was more than surprising then to read that Robert Mugabe, with all the Zanu
PF dirty tricks at his disposal, is appealing to Russia and China for
protection in the event that Morgan Tsvangirai challenges the conduct of the
elections at the UN. “We rely on good friends like you to protect us” Mugabe
is reported to have said. With the police, the CIO, the army – and the
Mapostori - so firmly on his side, it’s hard to understand what Mugabe needs
protection from, unless it’s himself – but perhaps he knows something we don’t.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.