By Susan Njanji (AFP) – 23 hours ago
JOHANNESBURG — Rights groups voiced fears Monday that the Zimbabwean
authorities would launch a crackdown on rights activists ahead of a
referendum and elections scheduled early next year.
The "situation of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe remains grim as their
operating space can be further shrunk" in the run-up to polls, the
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said.
Zimbabwe is due to approve a new constitution next year, and vote in polls
to end a power-sharing deal that turned sour between President Robert
Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980, and his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai.
Rights activists still face intimidation, harassment and torture in the
troubled nation, the Observatory said in Johannesburg, launching a report
after a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe.
A recent police raid at a counselling centre for victims of violence shows
activists are in for a rough time, said Arnold Tsunga, vice president of the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), one of the partners in the
Three officials of the Zimbabwean Counselling Services Unit, which offers
medical and psychological assistance to victims of organised violence, were
arrested last month and their office equipment and records seized.
"If you attack the prime human rights defender with impunity in such a
brazen way, it shows that potential for human rights defenders to really be
squeezed ahead of the election," Tsunga told AFP.
Lobbyists cannot watch the crucial vote as closely with continued targeting,
Lawyers for Human Rights, another partner organisation that produced the
report, handle around 1,500 cases of abused rights activists in Zimbabwe
each year, said Tsunga.
International mediators, especially regional bloc the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), which brokered the power-sharing deal, were
losing steam on the Zimbabwean crisis, another commentator said.
"It would seem that SADC is fatigued, because they do not seem to be able to
push the (reforms) agenda as quickly and as forcefully and as expediently as
should be the case before the next election," said Thomas Sibusiso Masuku, a
former Swaziland high court judge, who was part of a probe team that
examined the rights activists situation in Zimbabwe.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:41
HARARE - Human Rights defenders in Zimbabwe continue to face terrorisation
amid fears of an election “bloodbath” in the expected 2013 election, an
international observatory has reported.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the
Observatory) a joint programme of the International Federation for Human
Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) said
securities meant to be strengthened by the Government of National Unity are
still absent as necessary reforms have not yet been put in place.
The observatory whose mission is to establish a mechanism of systematic
alert of international community on cases of harassment and repression of
defenders of human rights and fundamental freedoms released the fact finding
mission report titled “Ongoing risks for human rights defenders in the
context of political deadlock and pre-electoral period.”
“The latter (human rights defenders) is still characterised by acute acts of
harassments, intimidation and reprisals, including particularly repeated
arbitrary arrests and detentions, judicial harassment and acts of torture
and ill-treatment as well as obstacles to the exercise of their right to
freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly,” the report read.
Among the human rights defenders who have faced persecution at the hands of
the police, according to the report are Abel Chikomo, Farai Maguwu, Jestina
Mukoko, Munyaradzi Gwisai and members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza).
The report states that institutions put in place to ensure protection of
human rights are weak, while law enforcement and state agents are used by
Zanu PF to perpetrate the intimidation.
“Most of the institutions are weak or are deliberately weakened and
manipulated for political ends. Some of the institutions that were primarily
set up to offer protection end up being the persecutors themselves.”
“Police and security agents appear to be the main violators of the rights of
human rights defenders, as they are responsible for their arrest, abduction,
harassment, intimidation and even torture or murder.
Despite their duty to carry out their tasks in an impartial and professional
way, the evidence on the ground, however, suggests that a number of them
have been politicised and play active political roles in stifling the
enjoyment of the rights and freedoms of those perceived not to be
“politically correct,” states the report.
The report went on to question the independence and impartiality of the
prosecuting authorities in Zimbabwe.
The observatory said the current political deadlock compromised any
improvement of the political environment.
Those who had personally been victims during the elections, or whose
relatives, friends or acquaintances had been subjected to such acts of
violence, feared for the worst as perpetrators of violence have not been
brought to book.
“The interlocutors feared that in case an election was held in the
prevailing atmosphere, a bloodbath was feared. The ‘infrastructure of
violence’, comprising youth militias, war veterans, some soldiers, police
force, intelligence operatives, Zanu PF local leaders, hitmen and torture
bases set up in 2008, has never been dismantled notwithstanding the GNU. It
may have declined at some point, but there have been recurring signs of its
re-activation since the call for elections.”
The report also noted the intimidation of independent newspapers and
“The media remain gagged and journalists continue to be forced to exert
In its recommendation the group called for the African Union and the
Southern African Development Community to guarantee the presence and
deployment of local and international observers during the next elections in
And: “To make every effort to ensure that the military and security sector
are not involved in the organisation and management of the next elections in
By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:56
HARARE - Civic society has called on the Government of National Unity (GNU)
to refrain from encouraging violence in the wake of upcoming elections.
Addressing journalists in the capital, group leader for Zimbabwe Young Women’s
Network for Peace Building (ZYWNP), Grace Chirenge said the nation’s fears
of bloody polls are slowly being confirmed.
“Whatever the chapter of this ‘marriage,’ we call upon the partners therein
to refrain from promoting all forms of violence and discrimination which
fuel hate, as doing this only serves to stir up a spirit of divisions across
the country,” Chirenge said.
She was speaking at the launch of the “End Hate” campaign in the capital
Chirenje said violence stifles economic growth, and government must fight to
promote gains achieved by the make-shift government.
She said it has become the norm that towards elections, the country
experiences an upsurge in political violence and arrests of those critical
of Zanu PF and President Mugabe’s administration.
Observers have warned intimidation is going to change for the worse as
elections, which President Robert Mugabe insists should be held in March
next year, draws near.
This observation follows the arrest of three key staffers of the Counselling
Services Unit (CSU), a registered medical clinic that provides counselling
and referral services to victims of trauma.
The three are accused of spraying some MDC graffiti at an information centre
in Bulawayo last month in contravention of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) described the situation regarding
violence in the country as driven by “paranoia” as the unit provides medical
counselling care for victims of police brutality and political violence.
“This incident is a forerunner of more shocking raids, arrests, intimidation
and detentions that are to follow as the country gets ready for elections in
2013,” ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said.
“This is not only an attack on the CSU but also on the broader human right
defenders’ network because within that network, CSU has been doing sterling
work in providing medical and counselling care for victims of police
brutality and political violence.”
To date the nation has seen the emergence of Chipangano operating in Harare,
Top Six in Chinhoyi, Jocho-mondo in Hurungwe, Jambanja in Marambapfungwe,
and Alshabab in Kwekwe.
These are all youth militia groups driving political violence in their
It remains to be seen if the polls are going to be as peaceful as GNU
Principals have promised.
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 November 2012
The three principals to the GPA have tasked a three member cabinet team with
trying to break the COPAC deadlock, as they try to keep negotiations over
the new constitution on track.
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara resolved during their Monday meeting to set up
It will be made up of three cabinet ministers who will be responsible for
devising a way to incorporate submissions from the second All-Stakeholders’
Conference on the new Constitution, which was held last month.
The three ministers will be drawn from ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.
They will be joined in group discussions by the three COPAC co-chairs;
Edward Mkhosi, Douglas Mwonzora and Paul Mangwana.
The move follows a deadlock in which finalization of the draft Constitution
was shelved earlier this month following disagreements in the Constitution
Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) in charge of drafting the governance
George Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesman, told the state media on Monday the
committee was only set to deal with areas of disagreement in the Second
He said anything that comes out of the committee would first be presented to
the leaders in government and leaders of political parties. If they were
happy with the report the party leaders would return it to COPAC, for onward
transmission to Parliament.
But the setting up of this committee has drawn an angry response from many
Zimbabweans who believe it is sheer waste of time coming up with additional
structures, on top of COPAC and the management committee.
Dewa Mavhinga, policy research director with the Zimbabwe Democracy
Institute, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the principals should just
resolve outstanding issues within the framework of the existing structures.
‘Is creating another structure the solution? I do not think so. This is
sheer waste of time and resources because the buck stops with the
principals. Already, too many structures including COPAC, the COPAC
Management Committee, Parliament and the people’s views through a
referendum, are there to be used to deal with issues arising from the draft,’
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara held talks on Monday and resolved to set up a
cross-party committee that will break the present logjam on the new
The committee, to be made up of three cabinet ministers, one each from Zanu
PF, MDC-T and the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, will devise a mechanism for
incorporating submissions from the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference on
the new constitution held last month.
Monday’s efforts came after the draft constitution was put on ice two weeks
ago following disagreements in the Management Committee – made up of six
negotiators, two for each party as well as their representatives on the
Constitution Select Committee (COPAC).
The Management Committee was hopelessly divided on how infuse
recommendations from the conference, mainly from Zanu PF, into the draft
first published in July.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and the MDC led by Welshmen Ncube
took the position that the draft should be sent to Parliament – which is in
charge of constitutional reform – and ultimately to a referendum, while Zanu
PF insisted that party leaders could sit and make amendments.
Ncube’s MDC was not happy with the outcome of Monday’s talks, at which he
was kept waiting outside and invited in just as Tsvangirai, Mugabe and
Mutambara had already fixed to set up the committee.
Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga, secretary general of the MDC, said
Tsvangirai and Mugabe were just too happy to “play ping-pong while going in
“They decided to set a small committee to look into the submissions from the
Second All Stakeholders’ Conference. This means the process has been opened
to renegotiation to allow the Zanu PF proposals. We are going to meet as the
MDC to evaluate the proposal but definitely we will not agree to that,” she
Her leader Ncube was parked outside after Mugabe reportedly said he did not
want him to be part of the meeting.
Ncube was called at the eleventh hour by both Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s
office, but was not told where the meeting would be held. He later hunted
the Zanu PF and MDC-T leaders down to State House where he found the meeting
already in progress and Matinenga waiting outside to report to the meeting
on the tasked he was given last week.
Matinenga was ordered to prepare a report of the divergent views from the
conference submissions for the principals to decide on the way forward when
Ncube – who was away in Uganda for a Common Market for Southern Africa
(Comesa) Summit last week – would be in attendance.
Misihairabwi Mushonga added: “Now we have a bigger problem with Tsvangirai
than we have with Mugabe and Mutambara. Tsvangirai is saying one thing in
the public and behaving differently in private. He cannot say to Mugabe the
things he says in public.
“Tsvangirai had indicated that he would boycott any meeting called in the
absence of Ncube but to our surprise he was already in the meeting without
Ncube. I wonder how Tsvangirai can agree to such a stupid plan. He had
repeatedly said he would not allow renegotiation on the COPAC draft, and it
is indeed his party’s position.”
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson William Bango said he was not aware Ncube was not
part of the meeting that he said was mainly concerned with the process,
rather than the content of the constitution-making process.
“The MDC can make those allegations, but the meeting looked at the process,
not the content,” Bango said.
“They will meet again next week to discuss the content. But I assure you
that the PM is very willing to engage with Ncube and last week he called him
personally to invite him for the meeting.”
The latest stalemate has raised doubts about Zimbabwe’s ability to get the
draft to a referendum in time for elections which Mugabe says will be held
Bango went on: “They (the leaders) are generally in agreement that the
matter should be completed within the next week or so. What is in dispute is
not the content, what they are looking at at the moment is how to proceed
after the Stakeholders’ Conference and the submissions that came out of the
“So it is these process issues that they are dealing with at the moment.
They agreed to keep talking so that the process can be cleared, any
roadblocks regarding the finalisation of the constitution making process can
Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said: “Minister Matinenga was tasked by
leaders of political parties to look at the whole document (Second
All-Stakeholders’ substantive report) with a view to recommend a way forward
to the Principals.
“Today’s meeting allowed Minister Matinenga to table his recommendations to
leaders of political parties. The minister recommended that a mechanism
outside the Parliamentary process should be found by the three political
parties to resolve the contested matters.
“The leaders of the political parties agreed that each political party
nominates a member from Cabinet who will sit on the committee that will work
expeditiously towards a resolution on the contested issues.”
Charamba said the product of that committee would at the first instance go
back to the leaders in government and leaders of political parties.
Upon satisfaction, said Charamba, the party leaders and leaders in
government would return the report to COPAC for onward transmission to
“Thereafter, the process will continue as visualised in the Global Political
Agreement where the document [draft constitution] has to go Parliament for
Staff Reporter 20 hours 8 minutes ago
HARARE - In a development likely to cause widespread outcry, parties to the
inclusive Government have agreed to form a committee comprising three
Cabinet ministers nominated by political parties to “expeditiously” resolve
areas of consternation in the Second All-Stakeholders’ substantive report.
The report encompasses all issues compiled by Copac after the Second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference and the input added by the Management Committee
after receiving the report from Copac.
All Copac co-chairpersons, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF), Mr Douglas
Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Mr Edward Mkosi (MDC), would join the three Cabinet
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga would also
sit in that committee as the convener and chairperson.
Last week the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore
Madhuku criticised Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s stance on the draft
and the MDC responded by saying Dr. Lovemore Madhuku's stance on the
constitution making process shows he is childish.
"In terms of the Global Political Agreement, Copac must submit its draft and
report to parliament. Only then can the executive through the Minister for
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs get seized of the document in
preparation for the referendum."
"Any changes to this process are tantamount to rewriting the Global
Political Agreement. The current draft constitution is a product of the
outreach programme and the political negotiations that took place during the
"Most of the issues that delegates disagreed on during the Second All
Stakeholders Conference were the very issues in respect of which the
Management Committee engaged in extensive negotiations. Therefore no useful
purpose is served by renegotiating the same issues at whatever level."
"It is regrettable that Professor Madhuku does not seem to appreciate this
impeccable reasoning on the part of President Tsvangirai. It is even more
astounding that Madhuku does not appreciate the very positive achievements
in this constitution," a statement from the MDC said.
However, Robert Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba confirmed the
development, saying the committee was not a substitute to Copac.
He said the committee was only set to deal with areas of disagreement in the
substantive Second All-Stakeholders’ report.
“Minister Matinenga was tasked by leaders of political parties to look at
the whole document (Second All-Stakeholders’ substantive report) with a view
to recommend a way forward to the Principals.
“Today’s (yesterday) meeting allowed Minister Matinenga to table his
recommendations to leaders of political parties.
“The minister recommended that a mechanism outside the Parliamentary process
should be found by the three political parties to resolve the contested
“The leaders of the political parties agreed that each political party
nominates a member from Cabinet who will sit on the committee that will work
expeditiously towards a resolution on the contested issues.”
Charamba said the product of that committee would at the first instance go
back to the leaders in Government and leaders of political parties.
Upon satisfaction, said Charamba, the party leaders and leaders in
Government would return the report to Copac for onward transmission to
“Thereafter, the process will continue as visualised in the Global Political
Agreement where the document has to go Parliament for further
Before the meeting of leaders of political parties that include President
Mugabe, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Welshman Ncube, there was a
routine meeting of Principals that included Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara, minus Prof Ncube.
Although Charamba refused to divulge the contents of the substantive report,
he said the report was divided into three notable parts.
The first part, he said, covers provisions in the draft where no one raised
queries and the second part is the provision in the draft where comments
were made without attracting contestations.
Charamba said the last part relates to provisions where there where
disagreements in the draft Constitution.
Minister Matinenga also confirmed that he presented his recommendations to
He said MDC leader Prof Ncube attended the meeting, adding that he would
issue a statement at the “appropriate time”.
Dar es Saalam, Tanzania, November 27, 2012 - A joint civil society
delegation from Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe has called on the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) to dispatch an early warning
team to monitor current political developments in Zimbabwe.
The delegation also called for the repeal of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), describing it as one of the worst
condemned pieces of legislation in the world.
A statement by the Zimbabwe Crisis Organisation on Tuesday said there was
need to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe as current developments seemed to
indicate an emerging trend in political violence, arrests and intimidation;
especially those related to sprouting militia groups and other state
The Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Dr Helen
Kijo-Bisimba, also emphasised the need to push SADC to be transparent and
effective in monitoring the forthcoming Zimbabwe election.
Kijo-Bisimba was quoted by the Zimbabwe Crisis Organisation as also having
called for civil society in Tanzania to independently observe and monitor
the referendum, draw lessons, and eventually monitor the general election.
The joint delegation emphasised the need for LHRC to put pressure on the
Tanzania government in partnership with other civil society organizations in
Tanzania to ensure that their government keeps its eyes focused on Zimbabwe’s
inclusive government so that it can complete the constitution, implement
electoral reforms and professionalise the security sector as part of the
demands for a free and fair election.
LHRC is one of the leading civil society institutions in Tanzania promoting
human rights. The meeting with LHRC was a build-up to previous meetings as a
way to strengthen regional solidarity as Zimbabwe gears toward a watershed
election scheduled for next year.
The joint delegation also called for Joint Monitoring Committee ( JOMIC) to
be empowered enough to engage, monitor, evaluate, and hold state security
institutions to account and for SADC to establish guidelines for conduct of
the security sector and political parties before, during and after elections
with clear consequences for transgression.
On the constitution the delegation highlighted that the constitution making
process must be completed as per Article 6 specified in the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) so that the people of Zimbabwe can have a final say through
a free and fair referendum.
Kijimbo-Bisimba said Tanzania's civil society needed to know the timelines
of what is supposed to be done (that is when the referendum and the
elections should be held).
“On the constitution and referendum, we want to have a civil society
monitoring team led by TACCEO, an organisation that monitors human rights
conditions in Tanzania. We can do a monitoring of referendum and publish our
reports to SADC’, she emphasised.
Dr Kijo- Bisimba indicated that the Tanzania government is not well informed
about the political situation.
‘We will put the information to our government, raising awareness so that
they [government] understand from the other side of the coin because they
understand the situation from the perspective of the Zimbabwe government’.
Action Support Centre also committed to link up with the organisations in
Tanzania so that there can be more coordinated regional solidarity in 2013.
Meanwhile the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Tanzania
chairperson, Mohamed Tibanyendera, condemned AIPPA labelling it as the worst
law condemned by global activists today.
‘AIPPA is very bad because in practice everyone [in Zimbabwe] can end up
being in jail’, he said.
He criticised moves by the Tanzania government to reproduce AIPPA and called
for civil society organisations in the region to resist it.
The delegation include Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson, Thabani
Nyoni, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Director, Phillan Zamchiya,
Women’s Coalition Chairperson, Virginia Muwanigwa; MISA-Zimbabwe Director,
Nhlahla Ngwenya, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Board Chairperson,
Kate Gardner of Action Support Centre, Sipho Theys and Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition Information Assistant, Maureen Gombakomba
Tanzania is the current SADC Troika Chair with a mandate to monitor the
inclusive government and ensure that Zimbabwe holds peaceful, free and fair
elections next year.
In the same meeting, South Africa’s Action Support Centre (ASC)/ Zimbabwe
Solidarity Forum (ZSF) emphasised the importance of regional solidarity in
seeking prosperity, peace and democracy not only in Zimbabwe but in other
hot spots like DRC, Swaziland and Madagascar.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 00:00
Chutungwiza Municipality workers have gone for three months without getting
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
MDC-T-run Chitungwiza Municipality has virtually collapsed with debts,
running into millions of dollars, outstripping revenue. This has triggered a
strike by workers who have now gone for three months without getting their
Documents in our possession show the sorry state of affairs at the
The municipality’s monthly wage bill stands at US$1,7 million, against
US$1,4 million revenue.
This translates to a deficit of US$300 000 every month.
“The income and expenditure reveal that the organisation is accumulating a
deficit every month and at this rate, banks are hesitant to continue
offering exposures to the municipality. This, therefore means that we have
to consume what we have collected,” read minutes of a meeting held last
Council has several obligations, as a result of loans taken from banks
during the era of the resuscitation team.
Every month, the National Social Security Authority needs US$200 000, Zimra
US$100 000, Premier Services Medical Aid Society US$100 000, FBC Bank US$140
000 and Kingdom Bank US$100 000.
As at November 2012, Chitungwiza owed Metropolitan Bank US$2 750 000, FBC
Bank US$1 524 161.87 and Kingdom US$773 341.06.
“The three (bank) exposures are attracting interest to the tune of around
US$200 000 per month. Although payments are being made on a daily basis to
Kingdom and FBC banks to cater for these exposures, the amounts committed
for the reduction of the exposures have not made a significant impact with
the substantial amount going towards bank interest,” read the minutes.
Management is now living in fear of debt collectors.
“During the months of October and November 2012 only, we had threats of
property attachments from Muskwe and Associates and PSMAS. For Muskwe and
Associates a total of US$73 000 was paid and for PSMAS, the amount needed
was US$400 000 and from the 16th of November up to the 20th of November we
have paid US$161 000 towards PSMAS,” read the minutes.
Management said it created a separate account for salaries with effect from
“At least 50 percent of our daily collections have been deposited into a
separate account so as to have a reserve for salaries and wages. Enough
funds have been saved to pay for grade one to four for September 2012.
“However, due to payments to PSMAS only salaries for grade one to three have
been paid and as of today, the balance in that reserve account is US$6
542.86. The total net for grade four is US$296 361.10.”
Yesterday, the workers gathered at the council head office, saying they
would not resume work until management made a commitment to offset the
“The problems at Chitungwiza Municipality are not just monetary ones, but we
have a management that has a wrong attitude to our grievances,” said
Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers Union secretary-general Mr Bernard
Chitungwiza chamber secretary Ms Last Madzivanyika yesterday referred all
questions to town clerk Mr George Makunde.
Mr Makunde was unavailable for comment as he had reportedly gone to the
Ministry of Labour and Social Services for conciliation with the striking
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 November 2012
The notoriously violent ZANU PF MP for Mudzi North, Newton Kachepa, on
Saturday threatened villagers in his constituency to be aware of what could
happen to them if they continued to snub his functions.
The MP was left fuming when a musical gala he had organized at Nyamapanda
business centre flopped as villagers decided to stay away.
There are reports the event was poorly attended after Kachepa and his
cronies hijacked the venue, which had earlier been booked for the memorial
service for the late Cephas Magura.
The 67 year-old Magura, who was the MDC-T ward one chairman in Mudzi North
in Mashonaland East province, was killed in May, allegedly by a group of
ZANU PF activists who attacked MDC-T supporters returning from a district
rally at Chimukoko Business Centre.
Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us his sources in the district said
Kachepa threatened people at Nyamapanda with the return of the 2008 torture
bases if they aligned themselves with the MDC-T.
‘He also accused villagers of snubbing his gala on Saturday which was poorly
attended. There was also a case of the Mudzi North ZANU PF chairman Smart
Chizhowa, who beat up Diana Mukarati for refusing to give them tap water for
free to use at their gala. This water is paid for but ZANU PF activists
wanted it from her for free,’ Saungweme said.
Saungweme said villagers in Mudzi take Kachepa’s threats seriously because
in 2008 it is alleged he played a leading role in the murder of MDC-T
activists Themba Muronde, Tom Butau, Kingston Muteta and Benazia Nyapunde.
‘He is also accused of involvement in the assault leading to injury and
broken limbs of many MDC-T activists. He was also at the forefront when
Magura was murdered,’ Saungweme added.
He said the whole plan by Kachepa to hold the gala on Saturday was in order
to thwart an earlier proposal to hold a memorial for Magura.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:47
HARARE - A Zanu PF councillor in Hurungwe East has grabbed a farm from a
resettled farmer ostensibly because he backs Prime Minister Morgan
Zanu PF councillor for ward 3 Eddy Ndlovu on Sunday gave the farmer John
Clever Dindiwe one week ultimatum to vacate Plot No. 15 Pangwarati saying he
did not deserve the farm given his MDC links. Dindiwe has an offer letter
from the Lands ministry.
Dindiwe, who is the MDC Mashonaland West provincial secretary for finance
and economics and also runs a night club at Nyamakate Business Centre,
confirmed he had been ordered to vacate his two-hectare farm under a tobacco
crop, another two hectares with potatoes and one hectare under maize.
“Zanu PF has ordered me to leave my farm this morning saying my political
affiliation does not qualify me to be a landowner,” Dindiwe told the Daily
“They are jealous of my tobacco crop as well as my potatoes. I have my
resources to be productive on the land which is why I chose to also get the
He said the farm was legally allocated to him in 2000.
“I was then issued with another offer letter in 2007 after these people
(Zanu PF) attempted to
repossess my farm again so I have two letters from the Lands ministry,” he
said. “I have reported to the police — RRB number 1595092, so I eagerly
await the police action.”
Officer-in-charge of Karoi Rural Police Post, (where the matter was
reported) who only identified himself as Sithole said: “I am not at work now
so I cannot comment right away. Why don’t you call the office to verify?”
Officers at the police station declined to comment citing protocol.
Ndlovu confirmed he wanted Dindiwe out, but claimed the land belonged to a
deceased Zanu PF member, one Chifamba.
“How can he inherit Chifamba’s wealth when he has a family?” Ndlovu asked.
“His son was young when he took that land and now that he is grown up it is
our responsibility as leaders to look after his welfare. Moreover, the land
reform programme is a Zanu PF project so Dindiwe must just vacate and let
the rightful owners of the land use it.”
He claimed Dindiwe’s offer letter was fake.
“It is true that he was issued offer letters but they are fake, I saw them,”
he claimed. “You can check with the district administrator (DA) who is the
chairperson of the Lands Committee.”
The DA was unreachable for comment.
Two weeks ago, another MDC activist Mark Manhenga, who is the MDC deputy
organising secretary for Hurungwe West, was ordered to vacate the land he
inherited 10 years ago from his late parents by Chief Dendera — who is loyal
to Zanu PF.
The purge of MDC supporters in the province, which is home to President
Robert Mugabe, is intensifying as the country hurtles towards a fresh
poll. - Mugove Tafirenyika
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:41
HARARE - Disgraced clergyman Nolbert Kunonga and his surrogates have up to
4pm today to vacate all Anglican Church properties, the Daily News can
Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) has engaged the police and
the Messenger of Court to push the defrocked bishop out today.
CPCA has obtained a “Warrant of Ejection” from the High Court. If the
recalcitrant Kunonga does not get out of church properties by 4pm today, he
will be in “contempt of court” and liable to arrest.
Initially the CPCA, which last week won a Supreme Court victory to regain
control of all Anglican Church’s properties, wanted “a peaceful
handover-takeover” exercise. But Kunonga, who has refused an olive branch
from the Bishop Chad Gandiya-led church, spurned the invite, refusing to
join the church as a layman.
Boasting of more than 100 parishes and sub parishes in the diocese of Harare
which encompasses Mashonaland East, West and Central provinces and hundreds
of schools and hospitals some of which are major cash cows, his surrogates
have defiantly refused to let go of the Anglican properties.
Although Kunonga and company are not prepared to join the CPCA, they will be
forced to surrender the church’s vast properties today as police and the
Messenger of Court move in to enforce the Supreme Court verdict that
directed them to leave.
Kunonga was insolent when the Daily News reached him yesterday, dismissing
the 4pm ultimatum. He was still at the Cathedral.
“They are not important,” charged Kunonga, referring to the eviction notice.
“What do they have? Can they shoot us with guns? No, they can’t,” he said
curtly, before hanging up the line.
Efforts to reach him later to find out if he was complying with the eviction
order or not, were futile.
However, the roping in of the police is an extraordinary turn of events as
for five years; Kunonga relied on the force to deny bonafide Anglicans
access into their church properties.
Clifford Dzavo, the CPCA secretary, said the Anglican Church intended to
carry out an inventory to determine bills that Kunonga’s faction ran up,
what was owed to local authorities and the power utility.
CPCA says it has now been forced to change tact; and moved to enlist the
services of police and Messenger of Court to kick Kunonga out.
“We wanted to involve Kunonga peacefully in order to enable us to carry out
an inventory but now we are going to use the legal way,” Dzavo told the
Daily News yesterday.
“We have engaged the Messenger of Court and an eviction notice was given to
Kunonga on Friday. Kunonga has been given 48 hours to leave and we start
counting today (Monday) since Saturday and Sunday were weekends.”
But with Kunonga’s departure inevitable, the Anglican church will have to
retire astronomical utility bills of close to half a million dollars, as the
ex-communicated bishop was not paying bills and was in serious default to
various service providers.
“We know our assets and before we left, we did an inventory and we are going
to do another one to establish whether our properties are still in place,”
“If we do not find our cars and other things, then we will have to engage
the police in order to get what belongs to us.”
CPCA, which has returned to its churches albeit slowly due to resistance
from residual elements in Kunonga’s faction, is moving to repossess the
Cathedral which is the main seat of the diocese of Harare and the symbol of
the struggle for control of the Anglican Church.
Posted on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:28
By Janet Shoko
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is reported to be reluctant to send
soldiers to back his Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart Joseph
Kabila because his government is owed $1 billion incurred during its
previous deployment in 1998.
Mugabe sent troops to defend Kabila's late father Laurent Desire Kabila who
was battling a rebel menace.
Zimbabwe was joined by Angola and Namibia in a civil war that also sucked in
troops from Rwanda and Uganda.
There have been calls for Southern African Development Community (SADC)
countries to intervene in the latest DRC conflict after M23 rebels seized
the strategic city of Goma and started marching towards the capital
But the intervention seems unlikely because Mugabe was the most avid
supporter of the previous SADC military action.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, a leading business weekly, government
officials says the impoverished Southern Africa country has been pushing for
the $1 billion compensation since 2000.
The money is for lost military hardware and consumables but DRC officials,
the paper said.
"The aftermath of the DRC war on Zimbabwe has been very bad," the paper
quoted a government official saying.
"After Zimbabwe withdrew its troops, South Africa and other bigger powers
moved in to do business
"Zimbabwe's mining contracts there were cancelled.
"The DRC refused to compensate Zimbabwe for war losses and Kabila distanced
himself from Mugabe."
It is also said that Kabila lacks appreciation of Mugabe's help rendered to
his late father who was assassinated by his bodyguard in 2001.
Zimbabwe would now "only act within SADC, the African Union (AU) an United
Nations (UN) frameworks".
Regional leaders met in Uganda on Saturday in the latest summit intended to
find a solution to the crisis.
Uganda, whose leader Yoweri Museveni is acting as a mediator, has had its
credibility tarnished by revelations in a UN report that some of its
military officials actively support M23 rebels.
Rwanda is also accused of supporting the rebels but both countries deny the
Sitting between fertile farming soils and a rich mining belt, Banket could
easily be heaven on earth. Yet it is quite the opposite for a mother and son
The seemingly sleepy town, where locals live in abject poverty despite the
resources surrounding them, is home to a juvenile and a mother living a life
of hell.It is a bumpy ride to get to Banket’s Kuwadzana suburb where Violet
Mupfuranhewe stays with her six-year-old son Nigel.But bumpy is nothing
compared to the path that has left Violet from being a “normal” political
activist to a mother nursing life wounds from the worst torture at the hands
of the State security officials.
That Nigel became Zimbabwe’s “youngest terrorist” at the age of two years
appears enough for a shock story.Now six years old, Nigel is much unlike his
age mates. While the country has “moved on” from the volatile 2008 election
violence which affected Violet and her husband Collen, the scars are too
deep to ignore.
Nigel was christened the “world’s youngest terrorist suspect” at the age of
two. For allegedly plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe’s previous
administration, he became one of Zimbabwe’s youngest prisoners and had to
endure three months in both police and prison detention.
This is the life of Nigel Mutemagawu, a six year-old boy who was abducted by
state security agents in October 2008 during the height of Zimbabwe’s
political crisis together with his parents and held incommunicado at various
secret locations for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Mugabe.
Together with 19 other political and human rights activists, Nigel was
captured alongside his parents in Banket located in President Mugabe’s home
province of Mashonaland West and was allegedly beaten by State security
agents.His parents’ captors denied knowledge of their whereabouts and only
surrendered them to a police station in Harare in December 2008 after human
rights lawyers mounted a vigorous search on them.
Nigel was only released to his relatives in January 2009 in a moving
incident while his parents remained incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum
Prison.During the illegal detention, the alleged terrorists, who included
75-year-old Fidelis Chiramba, also from Banket, were severely tortured to
confess to allegations of plotting to unseat the government through bombing
and burning bridges, police stations and undergoing military training in
Botswana, charges which they denied.
The parents only secured freedom in February 2009 when they were released on
bail. Their trial in the High Court has been stayed pending the outcome of
their application for a stay of proceedings in the Supreme Court in which
they want the Constitutional Court to determine the violation of several of
their rights. That State security agents believed a two-year old minor could
plot to destablise the country and carry explosives to blow up bridges and
police stations still boggles the mind.
Nigel’s story is no ordinary schoolboy tale as his parents can testify. As a
result of the abduction and detention at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, Nigel
still suffers from hallucinations. His father Collen told The Legal Monitor
that his son was behaving strangely.
“We are worried that his behaviour is no longer normal. He seems not to have
forgotten the wild experience that he endured because the image of what
transpired while in detention is very much in his mind,” said Mutemagawu,
who together with other abductees have sued their captors including
ministers for more than $20 million for illegal arrest, detention and
torture. “Up to this day he still shouts at his friends statements such as
‘D1-Terror’, which are names that were called out by prison guards while we
were detained at Chikurubi,” Mutemagawu added.
Chikurubi Maximum Prison, where Nigel was held, is notorious for its
atrocious conditions even during Zimbabwe’s better days. Now, the conditions
are much worse as prison authorities do not have enough food and resources
to feed and clothe inmates.Ever since his ordeal, Nigel’s life has been full
of misery.In 2009, just about a year after his abduction, the then
three-year-old boy dropped out of kindergarten school.
His parents said he quit attending kindergarten classes after finding it
difficult to cope with life at the pre-school following months of detention
at various torture centres around the country where his parents were
subjected to rigorous torture.“He is fearful and is refusing to go to
crèche. He doesn’t like crowds and if he hears voices of people singing he
starts crying,” her mother said.It is not Nigel alone.
Nigel...A life of tormentHis brother Allan is failing to cope as well.
According to his parents, Allan, now 10, at one time refused to stay at his
parents’ home in Kuwadzana Township in Banket, where they were forcibly
seized by State security agents.“He doesn’t stay at home and if he sees big
vehicles he runs away,” said Collen. Four years after the torment and long
forgotten by the government and institutions that ruined his life and
exacted anguish on him, Nigel, now six, finds himself in the deep-end
again.He has failed to enroll for Grade One lessons at a local school in
Banket because his parents cannot raise money to pay school fees in a
special class that needs $350 to cover for his tuition fees and uniforms.“
We were advised to register him in a special class because he is still
retarded in comprehending things. I need my son to be in school,” said an
emotional Violet while fighting to contain tears.Nigel, Violet says, still
needs counseling and psychotherapy support.“He is hardened now to the extent
that he can’t play well with others. He beats them and sometimes throws
stones at them. He doesn’t respect me to the extent of calling me Vie (short
cut for Violet) because he says that is what prison wardens called me in
prison,” Violet said.Although international treaties stipulate that
juveniles must be detained in separate facilities from adults and that their
detention should be a last resort and for the shortest period, that was not
the case with Nigel. He endured incarceration with adult suspects and
This has a detrimental impact on juveniles where conditions within juvenile
systems remain unsafe.Such callous actions by the government of Zimbabwe
were in breach of Article 37 of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights
of the Child, which binds State parties to take adequate legislative and
other measures to reduce the use of pre-trial detention.The government
violated Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights which states that: “Accused juvenile persons shall be separated from
adults and brought as speedily as possible for adjudication.”
In Zimbabwe, the detention of innocent juveniles together with parents or
guardians, is rampant. They share the same prisons with adults awaiting
trial for their crimes. While the police and other authorities paid no heed
to the respect for these international treaties including the Zimbabwean
Constitution and the Children’s Act, the detention of the “world’s youngest
terrorist suspect” attracted the wrath of High Court Judge Justice Charles
Hungwe, who castigated the police for violating children’s rights by
abducting and holding incommunicado the then two-year-old minor.
Justice Hungwe warned that such treatment puts people at risk of torture or
other forms of ill-treatment if they are detained in solitary confinement.“People
are at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment if they are detained
incommunicado. The risk increases the longer they are held as this allows
for a longer period for injuries to be inflicted and visible marks of these
injuries to fade,” Justice Hungwe said in his judgment.
The Judge said despite being a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child, the government, through the acts of its public officials, failed
to protect Nigel’s rights.“To subject a two year old to the rigours of
detention simply on the grounds that its mother may have committed some
criminal offence is totally unconscionable and immoral. This is made worse
by the denial of basic rights to the mother in the present case.
It cannot be over-emphasised that the police can only act within the law...
“It hardly needs me to point out that being a signatory to the Convention on
the Rights of the Child, the Republic of Zimbabwe must be seen, through the
acts of its public officials, to be protective of the rights of the child,”
Justice Hungwe said in his judgment.
However, for his bravery and the yawning scars he endured, Nigel has a
consolation: the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in 2009awarded him its
‘Democracy and Governance Individual Award’.Four years after his harrowing
tribulation, it remains to be seen whether justice will finally be done to
him or it would once again be a long and bumpy road for Nigel.
- There is no political will among rich nations to find funding for developing countries experiencing the brunt of changes in global weather patterns, and the current climate change conference will fail to do so, according to Professor Patrick Bond, a leading thinker and analyst on climate change issues.
“The elites continue to discredit themselves at every opportunity. The only solution is to turn away from these destructive conferences and avoid giving the elites any legitimacy, and instead, to analyse and build the world climate justice movement and its alternatives,” Bond, a political economist and also the director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, told IPS.
As the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began in Doha, Qatar on Monday Nov. 26, Bond described past COPs as “conferences of polluters”. He believes COP18 will be no different.
“Qatar is an entirely appropriate host country for the next failed climate conference. On grounds of gender, race, class and social equity, environment, civil society voice and democracy, it’s a feudal zone, and the Arab world’s best mass media, Doha-based Al Jazeera, can’t tell the truth at home,” said the professor and author of the book, “Politics of Climate Justice”.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
Q: What is in it for Africa? What is Africa likely to get or to lose from this conference?
A: The most hopeful opportunity is that with the passing of (Ethiopia’s prime minister) Meles Zenawi a few months ago there is a chance for fresh leadership, unencumbered by revelations about Washington’s influence.
Meles was unveiled as purchasable in the WikiLeaks’ U.S. State Department cables from February 2010 … Meles’ pro-Washington stance meant that though he was the loudest official African voice for climate debt and lower northern emissions, it was hard to take the continent seriously.
Sadly, since the quietening of the eloquent Sudanese voice from Copenhagen, Lumumba di Apeng (Sudanese diplomat and chief negotiator for developing countries at COP15), no African leader has made a positive impression.
And though there is a possibility that adaptation funding may flow a bit more to Africa, evidence so far confirms that the West pays elite Africans instead of the people most adversely affected. The Qatar meeting won’t change these crippling problems.
Q: What progress do you anticipate on the Kyoto Protocol in Doha?
A: None at all. The only hope they have is to boost the Green Climate Fund – but already the main polluters like the U.S. have signalled that in spite of Hillary Clinton’s 100 billion dollars a year promise at Copenhagen in 2009, they won’t support it financially, so it is empty and cannot begin to meet either mitigation or adaptation requirements.
Q: From your writings, you hold quite strong views about the Green Climate Fund. Why?
A: Although a vast “climate debt” payment mechanism from the global north to the global south is urgently required, probably on the scale of a trillion dollars a year, we must be critical of the proposed Green Climate Fund from the outset, because its huge potential was destroyed even at the level of design.
This is in part because African elites like the late Zenawi and (South Africa’s former minister of finance) Trevor Manuel played critical co-chairing roles from 2009 through last year.
Because of their pro-market ideology, Manuel especially bought into the insane argument that emissions trading can provide up to half the fund’s revenues, when in reality, these markets are sputtering to their deaths, as witnessed in 2010 at the main U.S. market, in Chicago, and the collapse of the European market over the past 18 months.
That means that there’s insufficient pressure on the north to raise funds through penalising polluters by fining – and then rapidly banning – emissions. It is also likely that the fund’s tiny revenues will be squandered on what we term “false solutions” – a variety of corporate-designed gimmicks to allow them to continue polluting.
What is needed is wide-ranging investment in a post-fossil society, as well as a reparations mechanism to get resources to people suffering from climate change – such as a “basic income grant” for those in affected areas, without interference by the likes of local tyrants – and one leading pilot study for this comes from rural Namibia, funded by German churches, whose results are most encouraging.
Q: How are we doing then on global climate governance?
A: As the (COP17) Durban disaster proved, the idea of global management of the climate catastrophe, given the present adverse balance of forces, is farcical in general…
It is beyond doubt now that any progress at the multilateral level will require two things: first, a further crash of the emissions trading experiment, so as to finally end the fiction that a market run by international bankers can solve a problem of planet-threatening pollution caused by unregulated markets; and second, a banning of delegations from Washington – the U.S. government and Bretton Woods Institutions – since that’s the city most influenced by climate denialists. Hence every move from the U.S. State Department amounts to sabotage.
Q: What of the 2012 climate change negotiations prior to Doha?
A: For every tip-toe step forward taken in Durban – in a context in which during this century, 200 million additional Africans are expected to die early because of extreme droughts and floods – there were reversals by leaps and bounds…
Because of WikiLeaks, we know in great detail that the U.S. State Department is slyly bribing even the occasional courageous delegation, such as the one from the Maldives right after the Copenhagen fiasco. So given the degree of bribery, bullying and corruption from Washington, why would we expect the COP system to suddenly become functional?
Q: What is the future of climate change negotiations?
A: To sum up, the 1987 Montreal Protocol should have immediately been expanded to incorporate greenhouse gases, but instead, because Washington insisted on ineffectual carbon trading a decade later in Kyoto – we have simply not seen an appropriate degree of political will and strategic sophistication, and until this changes, we will not be successful at the multilateral scale.
That means the future of any potentially successful negotiations is actually between activists and the popular support they rally to the cause on the one hand, and governments – and the corporations that often control those governments – on the other.
Even public consciousness has shifted quickly, as a result of extreme weather in the most backward regions of the world, like the northeastern U.S. These are the only bright lights in the world’s efforts to halt climate change, and I feel that if more people know these stories, they would lose their despondency and take action against both their local polluters and crony-corporate governments.
Super ZAPU was the group of South African backed dissidents, which operated in Southern Matabeleland from late 1982 until mid-1984.
Super ZAPU consisted of probably fewer than 100 members who were actually actively deployed in Zimbabwe. They were largely recruited from refugee camps and led by ex-ZIPRA members, who had been retrained in South Africa, in the covert operation known as Operation Drama.
A Zimbabwean Government briefing paper on the situation in 1983 conceded “the recent efforts of the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland have offered the South Africans another highly motivated dissident movement on a plate”.
Some sources claim that it was once again Matt Calloway, an ex-member of the Rhodesian CIO who acted as a double agent for the South Africans, who was a key player in the campaign to recruit from Dukwe Refugee camp in Botswana.
While they operated, South Africa provided ammunition for Super ZAPU, and some of this found its way to other dissident groups in the country: arms and ammunition used by dissidents frequently indicated South Africa as the source of origin, particularly during 1983. Super ZAPU were also directly responsible for the deaths of white farmers in southern Matabeleland, during their time of operation.
However, other dissident groups treated them with suspicion because of their South African link. “We said we don’t want to be UNITA”, was the comment of one ex-dissident, who saw a connection between Super ZAPU and South Africa’s involvement in the civil war in Angola.
Loyalty to ZAPU ideals by local dissidents contributed to the fact that Super ZAPU was comparatively short-lived. By mid-1984 Super ZAPU was collapsing, partly as a result of clashes with other dissident groups, and also because of official military response and complaints to South Africa from the Zimbabwean Government.
Apart from its role as a destabilising force, Super ZAPU probably also played a minor anti-ANC role. Since the 1960s the ANC had used Matabeleland as one entry point to South Africa, and placing Super ZAPU in Matabeleland would have helped provide a buffer zone against their infiltration.
While some sources contend that Super ZAPU had a brief revival in 1985, evidence in support of this is not well substantiated.
Other dissident groups
The ex-ZIPRA dissidents could be characterised as being motivated, in 1980, by political disgruntlement, and by 1982, mostly by the desire to escape persecution. Super ZAPU were those who sought to destabilise the country at South Africa’s behest.
There were also dissidents who were not ex-ZIPRA, although they might have had similar motives. Those fleeing persecution included not only ex-ZIPRA soldiers, but other 5 Brigade target groups such as ex-refugees and ZAPU youth. Most of these became refugees in Botswana, but some joined groups of dissidents.
A few others who became dissidents were motivated by revenge, especially in the wake of the “Gukurahundi”, or 5 Brigade massacres.
Some were criminals capitalising on the situation, to rob and plunder. These dissidents were not necessarily ex-ZIPRA members, and it is possible that some of these did not surrender at the Amnesty.
There was a final group of what has been referred to as “pseudo dissidents”, including the gang led by Gayigusu in Matabeleland South, which was responsible for the murder of 16 missionaries in November 1987.
This gang was allegedly the personal “hit squad” of politically powerful ZANU PF officials in this part of the country. They were summoned by local squatters engaged in a land dispute with the missionaries who were trying to evict them. Sixteen men, women and children were axed to death.
It is difficult to estimate numbers of those who were perhaps more correctly criminals than dissidents, particularly as it seemed to suit Government statistics to attribute every armed robbery in Matabeleland during the 1980s to dissidents, while such events were attributed to criminals when they occurred elsewhere in the country. (See comments on The Chronicle in section on Data Sources).
However, after the Amnesty in March 1988, the official position became reversed at times: the Government no longer wished to view certain crimes which had at the time been called “dissident”, as the work of dissidents. The trial of a man who allegedly murdered two German tourists in 1987 is an example of this policy reversal.
While the crime was referred to as the work of dissidents at the time, and the accused considered himself to be a dissident, and therefore exempt from sentencing under the terms of the Amnesty, the State urged that he be viewed and sentenced as an ordinary criminal.
He was in fact found guilty of criminal rather than dissident activity and sentenced to death accordingly.
This was a heinous crime, but there was no evidence of theft. The ambush was clearly an act of terror, and others who committed similar crimes went free, such as Gayigusu who headed a gang responsible for murdering 16 missionaries in Nov 1987.
This case serves merely to illustrate the way in which officialdom would use or abandon the label “dissident”, depending what suited their purposes at the time.
Taken from a report on the 1980’s disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands. Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, March 1997.