By Alex Bell
28 November 2011
Police have forced the MDC-T to reschedule two of its party rallies in
Masvingo, claiming ZANU PF had already booked the venues.
The rallies in Zaka on Friday and Bikita on Saturday were both disrupted by
police, despite the MDC-T informing the authorities well before time.
The party’s Masvingo provincial spokesperson, Harrison Mudzuri, said the
police’s claim that the venues were booked by ZANU PF is “baseless”.
“We informed the police in time and they pretended as if everything was in
order and they even told us that they were processing our application and we
did not suspect anything,” said Mudzuri.
He added: “To our surprise we received a message that the rallies had been
had cancelled in favour of the ZANU PF event. We would like to know the
method they used to justify the ZANU PF rally ahead of our programme.”
Meanwhile, according to an MDC-T statement on Monday, a ZANU PF activist who
was serving an 18 year jail term for the murder of MDC-T activist Moses
Chokuda, was murdered by other inmates at Hwahwa Prison in Gweru last week
The MDC-T said that the ZANU PF activist, Abel Maphosa was killed by Moses
Pedzisai Mahuvava, Wellington Gadzira and Nyasha Masiiwa “after refusing to
escape from prison.”
Gwanda, November 28, 2011, - Movement for Democratic Change President,
Professor Welshman Ncube Saturday expelled Umzingwane legislator Ms
Nomalanga Khumalo from his party accusing her of working with MDC-T.
Ncube said it was unfortunate that she was using Mutambara as a shield when
in actual fact she belongs to the MDC-T.
Nomalanga Khumalo is the only MP from the MDC who has publicly pledged her
loyalty to Mutambara while disowning Ncube.
Speaking after a rally in Umzingwane which Ms Khumalo snubbed, Ncube said it
was evident that the deputy speaker of Parliament was unfit to represent his
party in any election.
“Her departure is not a painful loss to the MDC family, that is her
democratic decision, we work as a team and in a team if a player gets
injured you substitute him, you don’t dissolve the team” , said Ncube.
Professor Ncube said Ms Khumalo had decided to cross the floor and could not
continue to be their member.
“But it’s something else if a member of team A decides to play for team B.
It becomes clear that the member is as good as not being a player. That is
the case with MaKhumalo.” said the Professor.
Ncube hinted that legal implications would follow after the finalisation of
the Prof Mutambara High Court case.
The law stipulates that if a House of Assembly member is expelled from the
party he/she ceases to be a Member of Parliament and the seat should be
MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abedinico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and
Norman Mpofu lost their seats under similar circumstances.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Writer
Monday, 28 November 2011 12:46
HARARE - Parliamentarians across the political divide are plotting war
against Finance Minister Tendai Biti by holding back approval of his 2012
budget proposals until he gives in to their demands for new cars and unpaid
The fresh showdown with Biti could potentially throw his budget which was
crafted with the poor in mind, off the rails.
Biti presented his budget proposals to Parliament last week, but MPs are
seething that he failed to allocate resources to buy them new cars as well
as pay off salaries and allowances outstanding since 2008.
The law gives the MPs power over Biti’s budget.
Government ministries’ ability to tap into allocations provided for in the
budget hinges on Parliament’s approval of the budget.
Legislators from Zanu PF and the MDC separately told the Daily News at the
weekend that they would use their power to push Treasury to meet their needs
or get some of form of undertaking before passing the budget.
Paddy Zhanda, chairman of an inter-party welfare committee for MPs, told the
Daily News yesterday that legislators felt the executive had taken them for
granted for too long, hinting that it was time for MPs to flex muscles.
“Do a survey in the Sadc region and find out how much MPs are paid compared
to us. It is very unfortunate that people can perceive that we are trying to
arm twist the government when the truth is that government is not looking at
our welfare issues,” said Zhanda.
An MDC MP who refused to be named said: “This is neither about political
affiliation nor being greedy. We are just uniting against an executive that
wants us to play subservient to it when we are a separate arm of
The MPs argue that they need the resources to effectively cover their
The move could open a fresh war between the executive and the legislature.
MPs accuse the executive, led by President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara of pampering
themselves with multiple luxury cars and other perks that include paid
foreign trips while legislators wallow in poverty.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai in October agreed to suspend payment of allowances for
MPs for the period July 2008 and October 2011.
Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, a Tsvangirai appointee,
later questioned the decision, which he described as illegal.
He said the coalition government principals made the decision without
“sufficient argument or information having been proffered to them”.
MPs are supposed to get about $500 salary per month. They are also entitled
to a $75 allowance per sitting.
“In the Sadc region the average salary of the MPs is $10 000 per month,”
There was furore in the House of Assembly last week when MPs cornered
Mutambara over their dues.
MPs from all political divides demanded that Mutambara should bring Mugabe
and Tsvangirai to Parliament to explain why legislators were being
Zhanda is also chairman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on Finance,
Budget and Investment Promotion, which is responsible for scrutinising the
He said apart from the issue of outstanding allowances and perks, MP would
resist the executive’s arm-twisting tactics to force them tO approve the
budget without much inspection.
“We must have the opportunity to scrutinise the budget to check if there is
no misallocation of resources. There is a strong sentiment amongst MPs that
the budget is an important tool to the life of parliament and it must be
approved by them after thorough scrutiny. We are not going to rubber stamp
it without scrutiny,” said Zhanda.
“Parliament adjourned to next week so that we can meet with stakeholders and
the Minister of Finance to look at the budget as various portfolio
committees,” said Zhanda.
This will not be the first time MPs have clashed with the executive over the
Last year, Vice President Joice Mujuru and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
had to whip the legislators into line for them to approve the budget after
they raised concerns.
By Alex Bell
28 November 2011
Hundreds of members of pressure group Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
took to the streets on Monday for a peaceful protest to Parliament, as part
of a global campaign against gender violence.
The 16 Days Campaign was launched last week and is taking place across the
world under the theme ‘From peace in the home to peace in the world: Let’s
challenge militarism and end violence against women’.
On Monday, the WOZA members gathered near the parliamentary buildings and
marched through the streets, singing songs and handing out pamphlets about
gender violence. Despite being closely monitored by police and followed by a
known member of Robert Mugabe’s presidential guard, the WOZA march was not
Once at parliament, different WOZA members gave speeches about gender
specific violence, including the fact that recently, in just 11 days, 124
women had been raped. They also mentioned the fact that sexual harassment is
experienced by up to 70 % of women, while women aged between 15 and 44 are
more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car
accidents, war, and malaria.
WOZA leader Jenni Williams told SW Radio Africa on Monday that this year’s
global theme is particularly fitting for Zimbabwe, where “there is deep
violence in the home and in public spaces.”
“There is so much concern about the increase in militarisation across the
country, with more youth militias and people being harassed. In some parts
of the country, whole villages are being forced to attend rallies and made
to toyi-toyi for hours and they are too afraid to say no,” Williams said.
Williams also explained that WOZA was not invited to the official Campaign
launch, which had been organised by the Women’s Affairs Ministry last week.
“Ministry officials ordered the police not to allow WOZA to participate and
in fact used the word that we were ‘barred’. Instead of even being invited,
we were barred. So when we received the news we were outraged, but we have
proceeded with our events anyway,” Williams said.
Williams meanwhile was last week awarded with the French National Order of
Merit, in recognition of her relentless advocacy for democracy and human
rights in Zimbabwe. The decision to give the award was made by the French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, on the recommendation of the French Embassy in
Williams said in her acceptance speech that it was not too late for Zimbabwe’s
political leadership to return to the promises of the liberation war.
“Enough blood has been spilt in a violent war for these ideals. WOZA members
fight tirelessly, but this time non-violently so that we can see, feel and
enjoy those promises,” she said.
She also accepted the award in recognition of the thousands of community
activists who championed for change in the country.
“This award will also help to lift the profile of these champions and
protect them from abuse and torture and may even save their lives,” she
By Pindai Dube
Monday, 28 November 2011 09:41
BULAWAYO - Sesel Zvidzai, the deputy minister of Local Government and Urban
Development said traditional chiefs’ posts should be abolished as Zanu PF is
now using them to gain political mileage.
Speaking to the Daily News in Bulawayo on Saturday on the sidelines of
National Residents Conference on the constitution-making process, Zvidzai
whose ministry is responsible for traditional chiefs, said their posts
should be abolished since most chiefs have turned into Zanu PF activists.
He said countries like Tanzania are being run without traditional chiefs and
there is great development there.
“My personal opinion as Zvidzai is that traditional chiefs’ posts should be
abolished in Zimbabwe as that won’t affect any development in the country.
In Tanzania there are no traditional chiefs but President Kikwete is running
his government smoothly. Right now Bulawayo as a city has no traditional
chief but it’s being run smoothly, even Harare the capital city has no chief
and it is also being run well,” said Zvidzai.
Zimbabwe’s rural areas are currently Zanu PF strongholds and traditional
chiefs have been criticised for using their powers to punish those who
belong to the MDC and other opposition parties in previous elections.
Ignatius Chombo, the minister of Local Government and Urban Development who
is Zvidzai’s boss has also been criticised in the past for dishing out
vehicles and other allowances to traditional chiefs to get support for Zanu
In November last year, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met with the
president of the council of chiefs Fortune Charumbira and used the meeting
to implore errant traditional leaders to stay out of politics.
Tsvangirai said traditional leaders are not politicians and should not be
involved in politics.
Charumbira, at a recent Zanu PF conference held in Goromonzi, urged chiefs
to declare President Robert Mugabe life president.
Civil society and human rights groups have also accused traditional leaders
of championing violence in rural areas.
Reports from Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) and Zimbabwe Peace Project
(ZPP) claim that most traditional leaders force-march villagers to attend
Zanu PF rallies and deny suspected MDC supporters food aid usually sourced
from aid groups.
by Staff Reporter
THE marriage saga engulfing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai took on a
dramatic turn on Sunday as it emerged that Locadia Tembo – the woman he
insists he has not married – is now at the MDC-T leader’s home in Buhera,
completing traditional rites that follow the payment of lobola.
The state-run Herald newspaper on Monday published a picture of Tembo, 39,
sweeping the yard with a grass broom at the home of Mbuya Lydia Tsvangirai –
the Prime Minister’s mother – in Humanikwa Village.
Tsvangirai’s mother lives in a neat home adjacent to her son’s rural
homestead, where the Prime Minister says in his recently published book he
retires to when he needs time to himself.
Tsvangirai, meanwhile, left for South Africa on Friday on an unexplained
trip. The NewsDay newspaper speculated on Saturday that the Prime Minister
had “gone to reassure his children based there following the pregnancy
scandal that has literally shredded the family’s image”.
Tsvangirai found himself at the centre of a media storm, starting on Monday
last week, when New Zimbabwe.com revealed that he had married Tembo during a
traditional ceremony in Mazowe.
The Prime Minister did not attend the ceremony but his emissaries, including
his uncle Innocent Zvaipa, paid lobola on his behalf and delivered
groceries. Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone, a friend of both Tsvangirai
and Tembo, was also present.
The events of that day have been challenged by Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke
Tamborinyoka, who denies the 59-year-old MDC leader married.
Others suggest his emissaries probably went beyond their brief and
overcommitted. In off-the-record briefings, some of Tsvangirai’s friends
insist he had simply asked his emissaries to pay “damages” – which would
appear to confirm a report by the privately-owned Daily News that Tembo is
pregnant with twins.
Despite the denials, Tembo’s family have been steadfast, accusing Tsvangirai’s
spokesman of “dragging our family name in the mud” by continuing to deny the
marriage took place. The Sunday Mail newspaper reported that Tembo's family
had threatened to release a video of the proceedings on YouTube if the
It has now emerged that Tembo, a sister to Zanu PF’s MP for Goromonzi West,
Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga, left her rural home in Christon Bank, Mazowe,
soon after last week’s “lobola ceremony” and moved in with Tsvangirai’s
uncle – Zvaipa – in Harare.
Tsvangirai’s mother, according to the Herald, explained that Tembo had
arrived in Buhera in pouring rain on Saturday night to complete the final
leg of her marriage.
The newspaper said its two reporters and a photographer were not readily
welcomed by Tsvangirai’s mother, who advised them to come some other time.
She is quoted as saying: “We know you want to keep the nation informed but
you can’t just swarm in like birds.”
When the reporters congratulated her on her new daughter-in-law, she
replied: “The congratulations are for all of us.”
Tembo and her aunts are said to have swept the yard while the reporters were
present, before fetching water from a nearby village well.
Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, with whom he had six children, died in a car
accident in March 2009 . Since then, he has been linked with a string of
women, including a 23-year-old Bulawayo woman, Loreta Nyathi, who says she
has a son named Ethan with the Prime Minister.
Aides have warned the Prime Minister to get a grip on his love life,
cautioning that failure to do so could do irreparable harm to his public
Alex Eliseev | 10 Hour(s) Ago
Police have confirmed the wife of Zimbabwean politician Justine Chiota died
in hospital at the weekend.
The estranged wife was shot by Chiota at his home in Morningside, northern
Johannesburg. Chiota later committed suicide.
The politician made headlines in 2008 after it emerged that the founder
member of Zimbabwe's People's Party was driving a black VIP vehicle linked
to the presidency.
Police spokesperson Kim Cloete says despite the suicide a charge of murder
is still being investigated until the docket is finalised.
Chiota's wife had arrived at his home to serve him with a protection order
when she was shot.
by Staff Reporter
CONSTITUTIONAL Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga says he will quit at the next
elections, disappointed with the level of violence in local politics and
leaders’ pre-occupation with power and personal enrichment instead of
serving the people.
Matinenga, who won Buhera West for the MDC-T in 2008, said he had been
“naïve” to think politics was about service when he was approached by party
leader Morgan Tsvangirai to contest the constituency.
“I think I was a bit naïve. To me politics was about service to the people
and I thought everybody wanted to move from the past into the future and
build a better Zimbabwe,” he said in an interview with the Zimbabwe
“I didn’t realise how some look at politics in terms of power and control.”
Matinenga said he was particularly shocked to discover the level of violent
factionalism in the party.
The MDC-T was rocked by violent clashes between rival factions during
provincial elections leading up to its national congress in Bulawayo in May.
“I was shocked at what I witnessed of that process. I didn’t believe that as
the MDC we could sink that low … I was saddened and still saddened by that
He also felt Tsvangirai could have moved more decisively to deal with the
“I briefed (Tsvangirai about the violence) and he expressed outrage. I met
him subsequently and he always said he would set up a body to look into
this,” he said.
“I am hoping that this body would carry a full investigation into the
matter. If I was in a position of authority, I would have addressed this
matter immediately, but people work differently. I hope the way he is
tackling the issue would bear positive results.”
Matinenga also said he was disappointed with the failure of the coalition
government to substantively address the myriad of challenges facing the
“Ministers are addressing issues on partisan lines. When we debate issues
they simply go back to their political trenches. This is a huge
disappointment,” he said.
“I don’t think Zanu PF wants to make a clean break with the past. Zanu PF
positions on political issues are rigid.”
Matinenga insisted he had not been pushed aside to make way for University
of Zimbabwe lecturer, Dr John Makumbe who has since been selected to
represent the MDC-T in Buhera West.
“Nobody pushed me out! I had set myself a target to do my term only,” he
“I participated in the process to find my successor (and) I think John
Makumbe is electable.”
Matinenga said he would be returning to legal practice after his unhappy
sojourn into politics.
“I will have to re-apply to be admitted to the Advocate Chambers. My office
and library are still in place and I hope I will pick up from where I left
By Lance Guma
28 November 2011
Three women from Gweru charged with ‘raping’ seventeen male hitchhikers and
collecting their semen appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on Monday.
The trio of Rosemary Chakwizira and sisters Netsai and Sophie Nhokwara were
arrested in October after being found with 31 used condoms containing semen.
Also charged is Sophie’s boyfriend, Thulani Ngwenya, who allegedly assisted
in committing the spate of sex attacks that has got the whole country in
All four suspects will now be given a trial date on Tuesday, after the
defence successfully resisted attempts by prosecutors to have the matter
postponed to the 5th December. Up to seventeen ‘victims’ have been
identified, including a soldier and policeman, who claim they were abused
without using condoms.
Stories of male hitchhikers being ‘raped’ were reported frequently in the
press accompanied by claims that a ‘sperm harvesting’ syndicate was behind
it. Police arrested the three women after they tried to retrieve 31 used
condoms from a car owned by Sophie, which had been involved in an accident
that killed a pedestrian.
In their defence the women said they were prostitutes who were too busy to
throw away the used condoms. Semen for ritual purposes is reported to be
“selling like hot cakes” in neighbouring South Africa where a full condom
can fetch as much as US$400.
The story has generated general disbelief at a number of levels, including
whether it is possible for women to rape men. Several men who spoke to SW
Radio Africa said they would voluntarily give their semen in exchange for
free sex and there was no need to rape them for it.
The testimony from some of the victims has also been sensational in most
cases. For example one victim narrated his ordeal on national television and
said that he was offered a lift by a group of three women in Harare.
“One of the women threw water in my face and they injected me with something
that gave me a strong sexual desire. They stopped the car and made me have
sex with each of them several times, using condoms. When they had finished
they left me in the bush totally naked. Some people gathering grass helped
me by calling the police, who took me to hospital to deal with the effects
of this drug that I had been given, as the urge to have sex was still
The treatment of the women who are still suspects has been contrasted with
the manner in which the late convicted serial rapist Madzibaba Godfrey Nzira
Nzira was given a presidential pardon and the Attorney General and several
ministers attended his ‘release’ party in Chitungwiza. In contrast the Gweru
women have been paraded in public and scores of Gweru residents besieged the
local police station where they were initially being held, wanting to beat
Wilf Mbanga, the editor of the Zimbabwean newspaper, said: “Is it because as
a society we don’t view the rape of a woman as a serious crime? Is it
because in our patrilineal society we regard women as objects of sexual
desire and when the tables are turned we act in a despicable manner?”
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Monday, 28 November 2011 15:46
HARARE - An uneasy truce is holding in Zimbabwe after the signing of a
non-aggression pact by bitter rivals turned coalition government partners
two weeks ago.
Following the inter-party violence indaba convened by national executives of
Zimbabwe’s three ruling coalition partners on November 11, President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the two MDC parties say relative peace is holding, for
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s subsequent November 20 rally at Chibuku
Stadium in Chitungwiza was the scene of an unusual arrangement where police
provided security at an MDC rally.
Police won rare commendation from the MDC for ensuring law and order at the
rally after youths suspected to belong to Zanu PF had earlier in the month
used violence to disrupt a similar rally at the same venue.
“If an MDC member commits a crime, they should be arrested. Likewise, when a
Zanu PF member commits a crime, they should be arrested,” Tsvangirai told
the Chibuku Stadium rally.
The rally came after an earlier rally scheduled for the same venue was
violently broken by knobkerrie-wielding youths.
Scores of MDC officials and supporters were injured when the group besieged
the venue where preparations for the rally were underway forcing the party
to abandon the meeting.
Earlier, similar incidents had taken place in Matabeleland North where the
police disrupted scheduled MDC rallies.
But it was the first Chibuku Stadium violence that precipitated events
leading to the anti-violence indaba.
The arrangement was formalised by a Code of Conduct dubbed the Harare
Declaration. Ordinary Zimbabweans have welcomed the ongoing
So far, the “ceasefire” between Zanu PF and the two MDC parties appear to be
holding as South Africa-mediator to the Zimbabwean political standoff —has
also turned up diplomatic pressure on Harare to end violence.
The apparent halt to the violence has been welcomed by leaders of the ruling
Despite the seeming calm — which followed reports of sporadic fighting —
there were fears that the truce could prove a farce because of deep
suspicion between Zanu PF and the two MDCs.
Reports suggest that Chipangano, a militant outfit linked to Zanu PF,
continues to consolidate its grip on Harare even though there have been no
reported cases of violence by the militia since the peace pact.
Kurauone Chihwayi, deputy spokesman of the breakaway MDC faction led by
Professor Welshman Ncube, said the truce was holding, but slammed Prime
Minister Tsvangirai’s MDC and Zanu PF for inciting hate through public
“So far we haven’t received any cases of violence,” Chihwayi told the Daily
“What we are witnessing are inflammatory statements from people who should
be on a crusade for peace. We have (Zanu PF chairman) Simon Khaya-Moyo on a
crusade, (Tsvangirai-led MDC chairman) Lovemore Moyo talking the same
We should lead by example, we should walk the talk. But the other partners
have not been sincere,” said Chihwayi.
Both Khaya-Moyo and Moyo have urged their respective supporters to retaliate
if they are attacked.
Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the main MDC party, said despite sporadic
outbreaks, the truce was holding.
He also said: “The Code of Conduct or the Harare Declaration does not
guarantee that there will be no violence. The reason why there is so much
violence in Zimbabwe is because of selective application of the law.
“Police arrest MDC people but don’t arrest Zanu PF perpetrators, leaving
Zanu PF supporters to believe they are above the law. The Code of Conduct is
a simple piece which is not worth the paper it’s written on if there is no
corresponding instruction to the police to arrest all perpetrators.”
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo’s two mobile phones remained unavailable
yesterday. But speaking to the leadership of Zanu PF and MDC at the November
11 anti-violence indaba, Mugabe said: “Let us walk the talk of peace.
“This is our sincere plea from our hearts. People must hold their meetings
freely. Don’t stand in the way of those who are holding a meeting.”
Observers and ordinary Zimbabweans say a prolonged truce will benefit the
coalition government because it would allow the fragile administration to
get on with its job unimpeded.
Finance minister Tendai Biti told Parliament last Thursday that peace and
stability were key to achieve the projected 9.4 percent economic growth this
“We should applaud the meeting of our political leaders, their main organs,
that is the Central Committee of Zanu PF, and the National Councils of the
two MDC formations.
“Mr Speaker Sir, I have no doubt, the nation hopes and trusts that the
principles of their Harare Declaration will be implemented,” Biti said.
The Harare Declaration Code of Conduct says: “The leader of a party that has
subscribed to this code will instruct the party’s officials, candidates,
members and supporters that no weapon of any kind, including any traditional
weapon, may be brought to any political rally, meeting, march or other
demonstration...accepts that intimidation in any form is unacceptable
...will not use official state, provincial, municipal or other public
resources for campaign purposes.”
By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Monday, 28 November 2011 15:20
HARARE - Women have scored big against Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede
after years of being told they cannot secure birth certificates for their
children before changing their surnames to those of their husbands.
High Court judge Martin Makonese recently granted an order against Mudede’s
“There is no provision at law that compels married women to change their
surnames to those of their husbands,” said Justice Makonese.
In terms of Zimbabwean marriage law, a married woman is legally free to keep
her last name. She also has the option to use it in combination with her
But that had not stopped officers from Mudede’s office from forcing married
women to changing their surnames before obtaining birth certificates for
However, all that should be a thing of the past following the order granted
by High Court Judge Justice Makonese in a matter involving Fadeke Obatolu, a
After her husband made three fruitless efforts to register their newly born
son last year at the Mount Pleasant District Registry, Obatolu decided to
take the matter to court.
In her application she cited Mudede, Home Affairs Co-Ministers, Kembo Mohadi
and Theresa Makone as first and second respondents respectively, while
Attorney General Johannes Tomana was cited as an intervener.
“I believe first respondent is obliged to register all births that occur in
Zimbabwe notwithstanding the citizenship of the mother,” Obatolu said in her
She further told the court that: “I am aware that first respondent
habitually and incessantly forces married women to change their surname
before registering the births of their children. I do not believe there is
any provision in the Births and Deaths Registration Act that empowers him to
“I believe he is in breach of his constitutional obligations not only to me
but to the masses of women whom he summarily compels to assume the surnames
of their husbands.”
Ruling in Obatolu’s favour, Justice Makonese said: “The first respondent
shall not compel or require the applicant to change her surname to that of
her husband before or after the birth of the applicant’s child.
“The first and second respondents shall no later than seven days hereof
instruct the Registrars not to compel women to change their surnames to
those of their husbands.”
Sarudzayi Njerere of Honey and Blanckenberg represented Obatolu. Tinei Dodo
of the Attorney-General’s Office represented Mudede and consented to the
order sought by Obatolu.
By Taurai Mangudhla, Staff Writer
Monday, 28 November 2011 12:03
HARARE - Rights groups in South Africa have begun fighting efforts by that
country to stop asylum seekers from working and studying, a policy that
would further tighten screws on Zimbabwean exiles already facing deportation
and harassment from SA’s law enforcement agents.
The South African government is instituting a review of its policies on the
minimum rights to which immigrants are entitled.
South African Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni says the review
could be done in a year.
“We are hoping that we will be able to process whatever amendment within the
next year, that is the next sitting of the National Assembly,” Apleni said
“In terms of the right to work, we are talking about asylum seekers — we
currently have a process that is really not helpful. People come through our
ports of entry and then are immediately issued with a section 23 permit.
This enables you to present yourself to any of our refugee centres,” added
But groups representing the rights of immigrants argue that such a move
“without offering an alternative will have the effect of practically making
it impossible for genuine asylum seekers to get protection, thus ultimately
violating South Africa’s obligations under domestic and international law.”
Four rights groups, Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, Solidarity Peace Trust, Passop
and Southern African Litigation Centre have taken a united stance on the
matter, and have issued a joint statement stating their intention to fight
“The decision would merely force more asylum seekers underground, thus
making them liable to exploitation in this country,” the groups said.
The exact number of Zimbabweans living in South Africa legally and illegally
is unknown, although immigrant rights groups estimate the figure at about
Zimbabwe’s Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede recently told Parliament the
figure was no more than a million, most of who could be affected by the
“The (rights) organisations believe that if carried out, any decision to
revoke the right to work and study of asylum seekers will fly in the face of
the Bill of Rights, and may be a subversion of the courts,” reads the group’s
They cited the case of The (South African) Minister of Home Affairs and
Others versus Watchenuka and Another in which a South African court ruled
that: “Human dignity has no nationality. It is inherent in people — citizens
and non-citizens alike — simply because they are human. And while that
person happens to be in this country — for whatever reason — it must be
respected, and is protected, by s10 of the Bill of Rights...The freedom to
engage in productive work — even where that is not required in order to
survive — is indeed an important component of human dignity.”
The groups said the decision to review work and study rights for asylum
seekers revealed “more fundamental questions about the commitment of the
South African government to protect non-nationals within its borders, as
asylum seekers and refugees have already been stripped of the right for
example to obtain a driving licence in this country.”
South Africa received more than 207 000 individual asylum applications in
2008 and a further 222 300 in 2009, representing nearly a four-fold rise in
both years over levels seen in 2007, according to UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
Most of these people are from crisis-torn countries such as Zimbabwe,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Somalia.
The review of the policy comes as South Africa has started deporting
Earlier this month, a Daily News crew witnessed large streams of Zimbabweans
being deported from South Africa.
Most of them were women and children who were dropped off at the tip of no
man’s land between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Some said they are holders of
genuine asylum papers waiting for permits to regularise their stay in Africa’s
Most of the people who were being deported said they planned on finding
their way back to South Africa.
Many Zimbabweans entered South Africa illegally as they fled biting
decade-long economic and political turmoil.
Monday, 28 November 2011
Weston Katiyo, an MDC activist was this month awarded a US$12 168
compensation at the High Court for damages sustained after he was abducted
and assaulted by Zanu PF thugs in Murehwa on 13 June 2008.
Katiyo, 70, was abducted by 14 Zanu PF youths from his home in Jonga Village
and taken to a torture base at Madamombe Business Centre some six kilometres
away, where he was heavily assaulted for two days.
During that period, another MDC activist, Chrispen Chinjeke collapsed and
died due to the assaults.
Those who were ordered to pay the damages are; Robson Marozva and Phanuel
“The respondents shall pay to the applicant jointly and severally, the one
paying the other to be absolved the total sum of US$12 168 together with
interest at the prescribed rate from the date of summons to date and full
payment. Respondents shall pay costs of suits,” reads the ruling made at the
During the assault, Katiyo’s right leg broke and he had to seek medical
Thousands of MDC activists were injured prior to the sham June 2008
presidential run-off after Zanu PF and its presidential candidate, Robert
Mugabe were defeated in the March 2008 elections by President Tsvangirai.
Over 500 more MDC activists died during this period.
The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
28 November 2011
Call for applications for local radio station licenses.
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on 27 November2011 called for
applications for free to air local commercial radio broadcasting service
licenses and content distribution broadcasting services in terms of Section
10 of the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:06].
“Free to air broadcasting service” means any broadcasting service
transmitted otherwise than by means of an encoded signal.
“Local Commercial radio broadcasting service” means an audio-broadcasting
service operated for profit or as part of a profit making enterprise and is
provided in a particular area.
The two fall under the free- to -air local commercial radio broadcasting
According to the advert placed in The Sunday Mail of November27- December 3,
2011, the local free-to-air licenses will each be allocated to Harare,
Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Gwanda, Marondera,
Lupane, Plumtree, Kariba, Victoria Falls and Beitbridge have all been
allocated one license each.
The initial application fee for a “free- to- air local commercial” is US$2
500 and for a radio broadcasting service license the cost is US$7 500.
The basic license fee is US$50 000 plus 1% of annual gross turnover or
deemed turnover. The Broadcasting Fund -0.5% of the audited gross annual
turnover or deemed payable annually. The frequency fee is US$30 per
frequency per month. The license is valid for 10years.
Meanwhile, the “Content Distribution Service” applies to service provided by
a content distributor comprising content aggregated within or outside
Zimbabwe that is made available in Zimbabwe with or without payment of a
subscription fee and the reception is through satellite transmission.
The Content Distribution Service application fee is US$2 500. The basic
license fee is US$100 000 per annum plus 3% monthly subscription turnover or
deemed turnover monthly. The Broadcasting Fund -0.5% of the audited gross
annual turnover or deemed payable annually. The license will be due for a
period of 10years.
The deadline for submission of applications for both types of licenses is 31
28 November 2011
Government representatives from Zimbabwe, Belgium and the United Arab
Emirates are finalizing plans of opening satellite sales offices in Antwerp
and Dubai to facilitate the sales of diamonds from Marange, reports the
Zimbabwe's Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu, confirmed to
the news source that emissaries of Belgium and the UAE approached Harare
with the offer earlier this month and that it is specifically aimed at
optimizing earnings from Zimbabwe's diamond mining and trade.
"We are discussing with Dubai and Antwerp for us to open offices in these
countries for the convenience of trading in our diamonds," Minister Mpofu
told the Zimbabwe Guardian. "We would also like to ensure value is added to
the gems. It is an encouraging development that will make it easy to polish
The report did not give any details of when the sales offices would to
operate or estimate the amount of trade that would be conducted through the
In an explosive and at times emotional interview with Lance Guma, the co-Minister for Home Affairs, Theresa Makone, responds to allegations that she is causing chaos within the MDC-T by meddling in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s private life.
Makone admits she is close to Tsvangirai, as his late wife Susan was her close friend, but angrily denies involving herself in his affairs with other women. She said she does not control the PM and has no ambitions to take his post at any time. Her life’s work, she said, is dedicated to helping women in Zimbabwe.
Interview broadcast 24 November 2011
Lance Guma: Good
evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining us on this special programme.
Yesterday we ran a story on the alleged marriage of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and we spoke to political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya who had in his
analysis blamed the co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone for getting the
Prime Minister in this mess, accusing her as he said of meddling in his private
affairs. I’m happy to report that we have the co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa
Makone joining us on this programme. Thank you so much for your time.
Theresa Makone: Thank you very much Mr. Guma for calling me.
Guma: Now I’m sure
you have had the chance to look at the report and see the allegations made by
Mr. Ruhanya. What would you like to say in response?
Makone: What I would like to say takes the whole day so I shall try and be as brief as I can. First of all I don’t know what Pedzisai Ruhanya’s problem with me is. I don’t know him from a bar of cheese and he seems to particularly enjoy taking a dig at me at every turn.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe is turning 60 next birthday and so am I. I do not know what a 60 year old man is doing listening to Minister Makone for what to do with his private life. How do I meddle in someone’s life to the extent that I would want to ruin his life? And in this case, concerning women?
The Prime Minister and I have got a relationship which does not include meddling in his private affairs. I am married to Ian Makone, I have known my husband for the last 37 years. I have known the PM and his wife for up to ten years to the time of Mai Tsvangirai’s death and now almost 12 years with the Prime Minister.
We do not involve each other in our private lives. We involve each other to the extent that we want and there are boundaries in that relationship. The Prime Minister has never allowed me to go into that area of his life and Ian and I have never allowed him to go as far as our private marital matters are concerned.
So if the Prime Minister was at all ever being influenced by myself, then the Prime Minister’s life should be mirroring mine and so I really don’t know. I, when I got married to my husband I was not pregnant, thirty seven years ago, and I had just left university as a 24 year old, I was not pregnant my child was born long after my white wedding and I’ve got no other things that anyone can pin on me which are of an immoral nature of any kind.
I’ve got no other relationships in private or in public except with my husband so what is it that Ruhanya is saying about me, what does he know about me? I think Mr. Ruhanya really needs to get his head read and in fact I can tell the world now, I am actually going to sue him and I’ll sue him to the last cent because I think this man is getting carried away because I have never responded to all his accusations and now I am sick and tired.
The Prime Minister leads a private life and I’m not part of that life. He has never introduced the subject to me and I’m not going to discuss the subject with him. If he talks to me about it, I will give him my opinion as far as things stand right now but I have got nothing to do with anything that he does with his private life.
Guma: In the story that we did and in the interview we had with Mr. Ruhanya concerning the alleged marriage to Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo, Mr. Ruhanya had indicated that part of the problem was that Ms Tembo is either a friend or relative of yours. Would you like to respond to that?
Makone: So what? So what? Whether she is a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, so what? So what has that got to do with me if she is going to have a relationship with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe? Her relationship with me at any level, and I know a lot of people, they can have their relationship with the Prime Minister which has got nothing to do with my relationship with them.
So really it does not matter and I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. I know you Lance. To the extent that I know you, I’ve never influenced your life and you have never influenced mine. So how do you say because people know each other, therefore they have got a relationship, therefore what they do in their private lives actually impacts one on the other. That is ridiculous. I know many people and she is not a stranger to me.
Guma: I suppose
the suggestion there is that the fact that you know her might have meant you
introduced her to the Prime Minister, I think that’s the allegation being
Makone: Well he can say what he likes and I don’t have to reveal or tell the world how the two met because it’s really none of my business. It really is none of my business and I refuse to get involved with the Prime Minister’s private life. I refuse to get involved with the Prime Minister’s private life. I refuse to get involved. I don’t want to get involved because when he wants me involved in this particular matter, he shall approach me. When he hasn’t approached me as he has done so far then it means he does not want me to get involved.
Guma: Mr. Ruhanya
aside, I’m sure over the years you and your husband have received these sort of
accusations before, it’s not the first time, it has happened a lot. Several
other MDC-T officials that we have spoken to have made the same type of
accusation. What’s behind this Mai Makone?
Makone: You know I think it is a problem of proximity. There is no question that I was Susan Tsvangirai’s best friend and that, I have paid for with my political life. People have got this natural hatred, I don’t know if you can call it hatred or jealousy of anyone who happens to get close to a leader, any leader I think in the world and it just happens that Susan and I had something in common.
Like I told you just now I’ve been married to Ian for 37 years and Susan was married to her husband for close to 32 years up to the time she died and from that point of view as African women and the way we conduct our private lives, we had a lot in common. So we struck that friendship on a moral and spiritual level that no-one can take away from us and that obviously brought me closer to the Prime Minister than most people because I had that personal relationship with Susan.
And obviously once I got close to Susan, it followed that my husband would become part of that circle because he is the only friend and husband that I’ve got. There is no-one in this nation who can actually say that they’ve ever been close to me enough to come to my home or myself going to their home.
I don’t have those kind of friends, in fact I don’t have that kind of a life, but this is the first time that I had a friend that became so close that she came into my home and I went into her home and our children became friends and with her passing on there was no-one ever to replace her and she will never be replaced because I’m just very busy, I don’t have the time and I don’t have that in common with a lot of people.
So if people hate that little bit then it is really their very serious problem because there is nothing I can do about it and there is no way the PM can write off ten years of that very close relationship which has got nothing to do with politics. Absolutely nothing. Whether or not I was going to stay in politics or move out of politics, that relationship is now there and there is nothing that can destroy it.
So people can write and say what they like. They can say that we influenced the Prime Minister – well if we influenced the Prime Minister, then it follows that he influences us. So if he is influencing Ian and I to live the kind of life that we do as husband and wife, then he is doing a good job so what are we doing interfering with his life so that it ends up on the public domain?
I want people to understand that even in a close relationship there are boundaries, there are areas where you don’t go into each other’s lives and who he marries is his business. If he introduces me to the person that he has married or he wants to marry or that he will marry, that will be my privilege but so far he has not done that and I don’t want to even go there because he has not broached the subject with me.
When he does, I
will then respond to him but before he does I’m not going to get involved. And
it’s no good saying Mai Makone’s got something to do with it, for a start people
are saying that he cannot think, that he is led by the nose by myself so if
people think that he cannot think how does he end up being the Prime Minister of
the Republic of Zimbabwe and being the leader of the biggest party in the
Guma: Help us with this Mai Makone – this was a nightmare story for journalists to report on, the alleged marriage with Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo and then we had other reports that no actually it wasn’t a marriage it was just a ceremony to go and pay damages. Would you like to help us clarify this because it’s still a source of confusion.
Makone: I would not want to comment. Lance I’ve just said I don’t want to discuss the Prime Minister’s private life and please respect that. I actually do not want to discuss his life. I’m not a journalist and if journalists are having a nightmare, it’s actually their problem. If they want information, they must look for other sources.
This source has
got no news to give, absolutely none. I choose what I want to say or what I want
to discuss and these are personal things of the Prime Minster that I do not want
to go into. I do not have authority to discuss his life because he has not
authorized me to discuss his life.
Guma: We received an email yesterday soon after we ran the initial story and like I explained to you, several allegations being made by several other people other than Mr. Ruhanya and one email had suggested that you were a very ambitious, go-getting woman and that you actually have ambitions to be the next president sometime in 2016. We were even told there’s what is known as Project 2016 that you are spearheading within the party and rallying structures around you. Would you like to respond to that accusation?
Makone: That is really wonderful that people actually think that I have the potential to lead any party let alone this mammoth party called the MDC. Let me tell you something, I did not want to get into politics until my own life was affected economically. If I had the choice right now and the country was normal, I would rather be doing what I was doing and I was a successful business person.
And I have had to sacrifice everything that I ever wanted to do because of the ruin that was brought upon me by the mismanagement of the economy by Zanu PF. So I am now the leader of women in MDC. Surely, surely, at my age this is really something to write home about, this is something to be proud of? What do I want to do, starting to fight for 2016 and by the way by that time I think I will be going towards my 65th or 66th birthday, what will I still be wanting to achieve?
Are we saying that there are no people in this country that can run this party or are we saying that the Prime Minister himself will have outrun his time? Well let me tell you something, I honestly believe that if we went into elections now, Morgan Tsvangirai would win the elections and more than that he will run this country for the next ten years after elections.
The Prime Minister and myself have got an age difference of six months so we are practically the same age, so when it is time for him to go home it will be more than time for me to go home as well. I have no ambitions to become even the secretary general or organiser or anything in the standing committee.
That position that I occupy as the leader of women in the MDC for me is the highest privilege that I can ever attain. If people see me working very hard and not staying at home and campaigning for my party with every free hour that I’ve got, it is because I would like to see the MDC one day becoming the government.
Because if I don’t do that, if I don’t do my job as the chair of women, then I will have let down Zimbabwe, I will have let down the women, so if people think that I am doing it for myself then they’ve got another thing coming. They are going to wait for a very long time and Theresa Makone does not want or does not even aspire to become the president of the MDC so let them talk.
Let them create whatever they want to create. They want people to think that I am fighting my president, well apart from being my president, like I told you, we have a strong family bond dating back to the year 2000 which cannot be broken, no matter the malicious rumours, those I have heard from, from people who actually want to do that and they want to hide behind my back they must just forget it, it’s not going to happen.
Guma: Now my final question for you Mai Makone, they say sometimes perception is more prominent than reality so although you have explained your side of the story many in the party continue to have this negative impression of you and I think you even remember from the last interview I had when we had the whole issue with Didymus Mutasa’s son, some in the party actually say you are too close to Zanu PF, what do you want to say to them when they are listening to this interview?
Makone: Well I really don’ know what I should say. How close am I to Zanu PF? What makes them think that I am close to Zanu PF? What have I done or what do I say that says I am close to Zanu PF? Those same people go out of their way to marginalize all the work that I do every single day for my party. They do everything to make it impossible for me to function as I should and they fought as hard as they could to make sure that I do not emerge at Congress.
They spent a lot of money canvassing against me but you know what? The women told them to go to hell and I won resoundingly against their better judgement so the people that matter to me are the women of Zimbabwe that I interact with, that I work with at the grassroots level who know where my heart is, who know my passion for the freedom of Zimbabwe.
Those people and their ambitions can go exactly where they belong. Lance I am thoroughly unimpressed, nothing is going to stop me doing the work that has been assigned to me by the women of Zimbabwe which is to be the chairperson of the National Assembly of Women of the Movement for Democratic Change, nothing else.
Zimbabwe, that’s the co-Home Affairs minister and the MDC Women’s Assembly
chairperson Theresa Makone joining us on this special broadcast. Thank you so
much for your time.
Makone: Thank you Lance.
Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Question Time looks at the confusion surrounding reports that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had married long term girlfriend Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo. Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya blames co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone for meddling in Tsvangirai’s personal love life. In a hard hitting interview he says Makone should focus on her duties as a minister.
Interview broadcast 23 November 2011
Lance Guma: This week the media was ablaze with the story that the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had paid thirty-six thousand US dollars in lobola for a new wife in Harare businesswoman Locadia Tembo. Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka however denied this, setting into motion a lot of confusion and speculation around the matter.
Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya early this year advised Tsvangirai to settle down, arguing that history has shown the wives of political players are sources of stability or instability to their husbands. Mr. Ruhanya is my guest on this special edition of Question Time. Thank you for joining us.
Pedzisai Ruhanya: You’re welcome.
Guma: Now the media provided a lot of evidence that Tsvangirai had gone to the Tembo family to pay something but his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka denied there was a marriage. Starting off point – what did you make of this whole story?
Ruhanya: I think I totally agree with Tamborinyoka. Those who understand our tradition know what damage means and for the Prime Minister to go and pay damage to someone with a 16 year old child and someone who has been married before, someone who was a divorcee is not what our culture says.
So when I read the story and I critically looked at what Tamborinyoka is saying, then I understood that there was no marriage, that the marriage was still-birth because the Prime Minister, as I understand him cannot go to pay damage to someone who is that age having been married before and has a child from a previous marriage.
What it indicated to me is that he was simply accepting something that he could have erred in the process but actually was denying that there was a marriage and that he was not prepared to co-habit with the lady.
Guma: Okay so what we know right now is that she is seven months pregnant, so are you saying given her age and the fact that she already has a 16 year old, Tsvangirai was not even obligated to go and pay those damages?
Ruhanya: Because if it is true that she is pregnant, it’s an acceptance maybe to say that he is responsible for the pregnancy but not to take the individual as his wife because if he was going to marry, there was no need to pay damage, damage for what?
Damage in our culture, ha, ha, means either that the individual was a virgin, the individual has been disturbed from her schooling or other activities but you cannot damage someone who has been married before and someone who has a child. So the damage that is being paid here is acceptance of what has happened and with an indication that they are not going to marry.
Guma: Okay so where has this come from – that Tsvangirai has married because there was quite a lot of heightened publicity around this, we saw all the state media papers covering this?
Ruhanya: If you look where this issue has come from, there are several sources. One source is the family who have come out clearly that Tsvangirai has married; the other source is the behavior of the state media which to me was very curious because if Tsvangirai had actually married and married an individual who’s solid, they would have lampooned Tsvangirai, they would have attacked Tsvangirai, they would have tried to do everything to soil that marriage but to show that there’s something that is very, very sinister about this whole arrangement, they are celebrating it, they are giving it good coverage which is very, very dubious.
The behavior of the Herald, the behavior of the state media as far as this marriage is concerned, to me is dubious to the extent that this marriage never happened. So there is the state media, there is also I think the role of the intelligence doing the bidding for Zanu PF to put Tsvangirai into bad public position and also the family to pressurize Tsvangirai and to blackmail Tsvangirai into doing what he doesn’t want.
And also there is a key factor, a key figure in this whole melee and this key figure is Theresa Makone. This woman (Tembo) is related to Theresa Makone, this woman is a friend of Theresa Makone and the MDC and anyone who does not see the hand of Theresa Makone is not being faithful to themselves. This woman is a source of instability in the MDC in the long run, in the short run and probably in the future of the party if they are not careful about her machinations.
Guma: So how should the Prime Minister’s office have handled this particular matter because there is a school of thought that perhaps if they had been more forthright in explaining the true circumstances of this, this could have been avoided?
Ruhanya: I think Tamborinyoka has done a good job; only that he has done it in a very intelligent manner. I must applaud Tamborinyoka for the way he has handled the matter. Anyone who listened to Tamborinyoka, anyone who has followed what Tamborinyoka has said is that there is no marriage and Tamborinyoka is the spokesperson of the Prime Minister.
He cannot go public to say that there is no marriage when the marriage takes place. So people should listen carefully and critically analyse what Tamborinyoka is saying. What Tamborinyoka is saying I have come to the conclusion that what Tamborinyoka is saying is the fact that there is no marriage, that it is still birth and I suppose there must be blackmail activities behind the scenes from the CIO, from the state media and particularly Theresa Makone.
Theresa Makone should do her job as a public figure and an elected member of parliament, a national executive member of the MDC and should move out of the private, personal activities of the prime minister because she is cooking rotten food around.
Guma: What’s her interest if you allege that she is doing this and…
Ruhanya: Obviously to control, to control the prime minister. The Prime Minister Mr. Tsvangirai has immense public support, immense public sympathy and he is the figure, the face, the driver of the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe and if elections were to take place in a free, fair environment, despite all these machinations, Tsvangirai is definitely going to occupy State House, he’s going to win elections.
So she thinks that she can be minister of Home Affairs, she can be, she is over-ambitious. The post that she holds currently does not deserve, she does not deserve it but she thinks that because of her closeness to the Prime Minster and all that kind of stuff she is there, not by merit but because of her political machinations.
What is she doing as minister of Home Affairs that you know, going to Matapi (police station in Mbare) to remove (Didymus) Mutasa’s children. Her traces, her linkages, the thread of Theresa Makone to Zanu PF is as clear as a goats behind and she is behind all this fuss.
Guma: Why would Tsvangirai, given a situation where maybe some of his officials are saying exactly what you are saying about Theresa Makone, why has he not acted? Why, does he owe Theresa Makone anything?
Ruhanya: This is for him to explain, hah, this is for him to explain but if he’s not careful by the time he realizes it, by the time he explains it, he could be political history. He needs to be very careful on issues to do with romance, on issues to do with his private life.
The most important thing that the prime minister must know is that he is a monumental political actor in Zimbabwe. He has contributed immensely to the democratization agenda and it is in the public view that Tsvangirai is the next president of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
So we will look at his private and his public activities because he is such a huge political player. People, a person who, where people have put their hopes to deliver us from the evils of the regime.
So those people like Theresa know that Tsvangirai, given free, fair elections will be the president of the Republic so they want to control him but we should not only blame Theresa, we should also give a caution to the prime minister, that he has to look at the people around him and see whether they are good for purpose or they are not good for purpose.
I can argue, I can write a thesis, I can write a PhD thesis to say that Theresa Makone is not fit for purpose.
Guma: Let’s look at the whole issue surrounding this particular matter. I’d like to contrast this with the response that I got from the Prime Minister when I interviewed him several weeks ago when he seemed to imply that his private life is just that – it’s private. Can we really separate his private life and his public life as the prime minister or a future president whichever way you…
Ruhanya: Of course we do agree that any politician has a private but you see there is a thin line between the private and the public especially if you are a public figure of that monumental life. The same applies to President Mugabe, we look into their private life because what they do influences everything that happens in the public domain. So we cannot hide under the issue of privacy, he has to be accountable, he has to be responsible and this is the time to be.
Guma: Let me just clarify a few things that have happened; I’m sure listeners who are listening into the programme would like to know – it was initially reported thirty-six thousand was paid in lobola, we are now told it’s actually under ten thousand US dollars. The state media had also reported that Tsvangirai went to the Tembo homestead, we are now told that is not true. The prime minister was nowhere near…
Ruhanya: Those issues tell me that there’s an underhand, that there are people who want to use this issue to destroy the prime minister. All the lies about money, the thousands, all the lies about him going there when they know, the state media know through the CIO that the prime minister was never there, they know through the family he did not pay that amount and that family did not say that they were given thirty-six thousand by Tsvangirai.
So allowing these lies, these half-truths to go around, particularly by the state media and some journalists who do not want to check facts and just write 36000, laziness in some journalist shows that there’s a hidden hand to think that Tsvangirai can be destroyed but I think that this is an issue that cannot destroy Tsvangirai but Tsvangirai must learn lessons from such kind of activities.
I think he is beyond this kind of disruption. The good thing is that he has good people like Tamborinyoka who is insisting on the truth and I think the line that is taken by Tamborinyoka must continue as it is, except that in fact they maybe in future need to say one or two things but Tamborinyoka has been doing and is doing a fantastic job. The prime minister did not marry.
Guma: Let’s look at Tsvangirai’s private life – obviously a lot of people are, he’s coming in for some serious criticism, this is now on record I suppose the second woman he has got pregnant in two years I think, people are looking at that obviously and asking questions.
Ruhanya: Yah but there’s no evidence that he impregnated the other woman or even this one. We are yet to find out. Those are speculations, the prime minister has never come out and said that he has done that. But there is an issue around his marital status which needs to be addressed. This is the critical matter. These issues about impregnating this and impregnating that one, is not factual, we don’t have…that kind of evidence.
Guma: Why is it important for Tsvangirai to get married? You made this argument…
Ruhanya: Not to get married?
Guma: Yah to get married yes.
Ruhanya: To simply settle down or to control his zip. It is important for him to control his zip as prime minister, not that he should marry, because we are not saying, it is not for us to say he should marry or he should not marry but he should behave in a manner that does not question his behavior as a politician, as a public figure. That’s what we are saying.
Guma: You did make the argument previously that women are a source of stability or instability depending on what sort of character they are and you even drew comparisons with the late Sally Mugabe and her effect on Mugabe. What would be the importance of a stabilizing figure for Tsvangirai?
Ruhanya: It’s important because the family of a public figure, of a monumental character like Tsvangirai, matters. Let me give you an example: the late vice president Nkomo had a wife, the late Mama Mafuyana did she ever have a scandalous story?
Ruhanya: Not that we know, so she was a stabilizing. We never heard about her shopping, her this and that and when she passed on people were really touched. That is what we expect. Even Mai Muzenda, what is it that you can say about that woman? Very little that you can. Those are the kind of individuals that you expect.
With the marriage to a public figure comes responsibility. Look at that how that appears on New Zimbabwe dot com, that woman, that Locadia woman, that is not in good taste for the poor in good taste for a country with economic problems such as Zimbabwe so to those people, those things matter.
Guma: Now we are told and this again is speculation but maybe you might have information on this, this whole issue about Locadia is creating some fissures within the MDC and there are various competing interests, what do you know about this?
Ruhanya: Ah I don’t think I have got any information but what I know as a matter of fact, people talk about it but they don’t want to confront it, Theresa Makone must extricate herself from the alleged role that she plays behind the scenes to do with the private life of the prime minister and she must do her work as a public figure and not think, because we hear that when she’s drunk she says that the prime minister is always in her pocket. How does a prime minister, a president of a whole political party go into a pocket of a political hoodlum like Theresa Makone?
That is overzealousness that we cannot accept but also the prime minister has a responsibility to make sure that he does the correct thing, it is not only about Theresa Makone but it is also his position and he should be seen to be controlled by some dubious elements within the party.
Guma: So what happens from here Mr. Ruhanya because this issue seems to be very messy now? Should the MDC come out and clarify this matter once and for all?
Ruhanya: I don’t think the MDC should come out, I think the prime minister will handle his case, his family will handle that case and I think Tamborinyoka is doing a good job.
Guma: Well Zimbabwe that’s Question Time. We were joined by political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya looking at the issue around the reported marriage of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and subsequent denials by his office that in fact no marriage took place. Mr. Ruhanya thank you for joining us on the programme.
Ruhanya: You are welcome.
To listen to the programme:
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28th Nov 2011 15:37 GMT
By Rejoice Ngwenya
FORMER media hatchet man Dr Tafataona Mahoso and his team at the Broadcast
Authority of Zimbabwe [BAZ] have sunk to the deepest and darkest enclave in
the abyss of parochial shame.
Last Thursday, 24 November 2011, they gave the country’s first two
commercial private radio broadcast licences to two institutions aligned with
ZANU-PF: Super Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications’ Zi Radio and Zimpapers’
Mr. Mandiwanzira is a former Zimbabwe Television reporter and president of
indigenisation pressure group Affirmative Action while Zimpapers is a
State-controlled public company.
The tragedy of this blatant act of partisan theatrics is aggravated by Dr
Mahoso’s cult worship of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF,
masquerading as head of a board ostensibly meant to protect and defend media
freedom! He has a democratic right to be a member of an ideologically
bankrupt party, but must be stopped dead in his tracks in attempting to
force-feed its malignant institutions on progressive Zimbabweans.
In fact, BAZ have to be really narrow-minded to take citizens so much for
granted that they will accept Zimpapers / AB Communications outfits as
‘alternative, independent media’.
By a stroke of fateful coincidence, a few days earlier, the African National
Congress [ANC] of South Africa had itself engineered a systematic return of
that country’s media to the Inquisition. The so-called ‘secrecy bill’ meant
to muzzle freedom of expression passed by 229 votes to 107 attracting
criticism from the Nobel prize-winning trio of author Nadine Gordimer,
ex-Robben Island inmate Nelson Mandela and human rights activist Bishop
Opposition Democratic Alliance Parliamentary whip Lindiwe Mazibuko
threatened to seek Constitutional Court recourse if the Bill was passed into
law. In Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF treats court verdicts with contempt, yet if Dr
Mahoso insists on his Kamikaze mission, enlightened media stakeholders will
have no choice but lace the arteries of BAZ with populist venom.
Zimbabweans have a right to protest, and vigorously. BAZ’s raison de etre is
entrenching the hegemony of ZANU-PF on media as inherited from Ian Smith’s
Rhodesia. Zimbabwe Newspapers group is a ZANU-PF loudhailer manipulated to
exalt authoritarian dictatorship.
In no way can one argue for media diversity when President Mugabe and his
cronies control all local broadcast networks and the public press. What
Zimbabweans are fighting for is freedom of not multiplicity in media.
Whereas the ANC wants to classify most government information as ‘secrets’,
ZANU-PF is intent on perpetuating totalitarian insanity during the 2012-13
plebiscite era. Therefore Dr Mahoso’s decision must be met with objective
hostility to prove that Zimbabweans are not political poodles rolling over
for their bellies to be caressed.
BAZ is duly constituted under the Commissions of Inquiry Act and Section 10
(8) of the Broadcasting Services Act. Coalition partners Movement for
Democratic Change [MDC] are disputing its legitimacy, thus BAZ have no moral
standing to stifle media freedom through an imbecilic and mythical
‘qualification and selection process’.
It would be a tragedy of incalculable proportion if truly independent
broadcast continues to be excluded from Zimbabwe’s pre-election landscape.
ZANU-PF, under a smokescreen of ‘indigenisation’, will camouflage its
predatory gluttony by using so-called ‘independent’ analysis on Zimpapers
and Zi Radio stations. The externally based Voice of the People, SW Radio
and Studio 7 will be no match to locally modulated ZANU-PF propaganda.
Zimbabweans should take up the challenge of discrediting BAZ by making life
intolerable for Dr Mahoso and his compliant board. Media Institute of
Southern Africa, Media Alliance Zimbabwe, Voluntary Media Council of
Zimbabwe, Editors Forum, African Media Initiative, Zimbabwe Union of
Journalists, Advertising Agencies, human rights organizations, media
students at National University of Science and Technology, Media State
University, Zimbabwe Open University and University of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo
and Harare Polytechnic must unleash a relentless cyber revolution against
this contagious monster called BAZ.
Our politics must, once and for all, be inoculated for immunity against
ZANU-PF’s irritatingly arrogant pre-election partisan paranoia.
COURT WATCH 2/2011
Cases in the Supreme Court
The cases Court Watch will cover are selected constitutional cases, appeals on human rights issues, cases involving political activists and other cases of general public interest. It will not attempt to cover the court’s ordinary appeal work involving labour disputes, marital disputes, or commercial and other civil cases of limited general interest.
Former Attorney-General Gula-Ndebele’s Appeal in Supreme Court Tuesday 29th November
In May 2008 then Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele was removed from office by President Mugabe following the decision of a special tribunal appointed in terms of section 110 of the Constitution finding him guilty of misbehaviour in discharging the functions of his office. Mr Gulu-Ndebele then took legal action against the chairperson of the tribunal, High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu, asking the High Court to set aside the tribunal’s recommendation on the grounds of gross unreasonableness. Mrs Justice Makarau dismissed the application on procedural grounds, ruling that Mr Gulu-Ndebele should have cited the President as a defendant; she did not rule on the merits of the complaint against the tribunal. Mr Gulu-Ndebele appealed to the Supreme Court against this decision, but when the appeal came up for hearing the other side objected that his notice of appeal was invalid and the appeal accordingly a nullity. After hearing legal argument, the Supreme Court in September 2010 overruled the objection and suggested Mr Gula-Ndebele should amend his notice of appeal. The appeal will go ahead on 29th November, when Mr Gula-Ndebele will request the Supreme Court to overrule Mrs Justice Makarau’s decision and send his case back to the High Court for a hearing on the merits of his original application.
Constitutional Cases Awaiting Hearing
In Court Watch 1/2011 we mentioned the Constitution’s provision for the referral to the Supreme Court of possible infringements of the Declaration of Rights that arise during proceedings in lower courts – such as the magistrates court and the High Court. The constitutional section concerned is section 24(2), which provides that “if in any proceedings in the High Court or in any court subordinate to the High Court any question arises as to the contravention of the Declaration of Rights, the person presiding in that court may, and if so requested by any party to the proceedings shall, refer the question to the Supreme Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.”
In this bulletin we describe some of the cases that have been referred to the Supreme Court in terms of section 24(2). In all these cases hearings before the Supreme Court are still to take place. As the Supreme Court’s current sittings end on 2nd December none of these cases will now be heard until next year; the court’s sittings will resume in January next year.
A Constitutional Case on Repression of Artistic Freedom
Owen Maseko Challenges Prosecution over Paintings at Bulawayo Art Gallery
In March 2010 police in Bulawayo shut down an exhibition of paintings by internationally-renowned Bulawayo artist Owen Maseko. The paintings depicted torture and massacres that took place in the 1980s during the period of civil unrest called Gukurahundi. Mr Maseko himself was arrested and taken to court accused of undermining the authority of or insulting the President and causing offence to persons of a particular race or religion, contrary to sections 33 and 42 of the Criminal Law Code. He spent four days in custody before bail was granted and he was placed on remand. Later, the State added another charge: contravening section 31 of the Criminal Law Code by publishing or communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the State. The police action against Mr Maseko came only a day after a photographic exhibition at Harare’s Delta Gallery, organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, was abandoned after police tried to confiscate the photographs on show, in defiance of a court order.
In September 2010 Mr Maseko’s lawyers made a section 24(2) application to Bulawayo magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu, arguing that the prosecution of Mr Maseko infringed his rights under sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Constitution [section 18 covers protection of the law, section 19 freedom of conscience and section 20 freedom of expression]. The magistrate granted the application, holding that it was neither frivolous nor vexatious.
The record of proceedings has been received by the Supreme Court. What remains to be done before the case can be set down for hearing is for the registrar of the Supreme Court to call on the parties for their heads of argument. [A later Court Watch will examine why it seems to take an inordinately long time for cases appealed or referred to the Supreme Court to come up for hearing.]
Two Constitutional Cases on Personal Liberty
State’s Right to Block Accused Person’s Release on Bail under section 121(3) of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act Challenged
There have been many complaints over the last few years that the State has improperly used section 121(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to thwart the release of accused persons on bail when a magistrate or judge grants bail. Section 121(3) provides that a decision by a judge or magistrate to admit an accused person to bail is suspended if, immediately afterwards, the judge or magistrate is informed that the Attorney-General or his/her representative “wishes to appeal” against the decision. The accused person then remains in custody while the Attorney-General or representative decides whether or not to pursue the appeal, a decision that must be made within 7 days. If before the 7 days is up, an appeal is lodged, the accused person continues in custody until the appeal is decided. If no appeal is lodged, the accused person must be released on bail on the expiry of the 7 days, or earlier if the Attorney-General or his/her representative notifies the magistrate or judge that the appeal will not be pursued. Lawyers for some of the provision’s many victims have had the constitutionality of section 121(3) referred to the Supreme Court for a final ruling.
MDC-T Director-General Toendepi Shonhe was an early victim, in June 2009. He appeared before a magistrate charged with perjury and was granted bail. The prosecutor invoked section 121(3), so Mr Shonhe was kept in remand prison while the State set about appealing. Mr Shonhe’s lawyer promptly applied to the magistrate for the constitutionality of section 121(3) to be referred to the Supreme Court and the application was granted by the magistrate. But this did not mean freedom for Mr Shonhe; it was not until eight days after section 121(3) had been invoked that a High Court judge dismissed the State’s appeal against the grant of bail and Mr Shonhe was released. The Supreme Court is yet to deal with the constitutional point referred to it more than two years ago.
MDC-T MP Douglas Mwonzora and 22 MDC-T co-accused were arrested in February this year on charges of public violence allegedly committed following an MDC-T meeting in Nyanga. When the Nyanga magistrate granted them bail a few days later, the State invoked section 121(3), resulting in all 23 remaining in prison for 25 days until their release following the dismissal of the State’s appeal by a High Court judge. In this case, too, the magistrate acceded to a defence request to refer the constitutionality of section 121(3) to the Supreme Court.
Constitutional Cases on State’s Abduction, Unlawful Imprisonment and Torture of Accused Persons
Should the Courts Stop the Prosecution of Victims?
In September 2009 the Supreme Court granted Jestina Mukoko a permanent stay of prosecution on serious charges on which she had been indicted to stand trial in the High Court [recruiting people to undergo training to commit acts of insurgency, sabotage, etc]. A magistrate had referred Mrs Mukoko’s case to the Supreme Court in terms of section 24(2) of the Constitution, the point for decision being whether the abduction, unlawful imprisonment and torture she said she had suffered at the hands of State agents over a period of several weeks before being taken to court for prosecution was a breach of her constitutional rights entitling her to a permanent stay of prosecution on the charges laid against her. On 26th September 2009 the Supreme Court issued an order granting the stay of prosecution and said its reasons for judgment would be handed down later. More than two years later those reasons have still not been released.
Meanwhile the cases of Kisimusi Dhlamini and other persons allegedly abducted, and subjected to treatment similar to Mrs Mukoko’s, before being indicted for trial on similar charges, have also been referred to the Supreme Court. In these cases, too, the Supreme Court is asked to decide on requests for stays of prosecution. [The order in the Mukoko case did not halt their prosecution because it referred only to Mrs Mukoko.] The scheduled hearing of their cases on 15th September was delayed by the State’s preliminary objections on procedural grounds; and, ironically, one of those objections was that the hearing could not take place until the Supreme Court had delivered its reasons for judgment in Mrs Mukoko’s case. The court has not yet given its ruling on the State’s preliminary objections.
Two Constitutional Cases on Press Freedom
The State vs The Print Media: Statutory Offence of Criminal Defamation Challenged
With increasing frequency the police have responded to stories in the Press by charging editors and journalists with the offence of criminal defamation contrary to section 96 of the Criminal Law Code and/or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State in contravention of section 31 of the Code.
State press: Not even the State press have been immune. In March 2009 the then editor of The Chronicle and a reporter were brought before the courts charged with criminal defamation over a story implicating senior police officers in alleged corruption at the Grain Marketing Board. The constitutionality of section 96 of the Criminal Law Code was later referred to the Supreme Court by a Bulawayo magistrate in response to a defence application.
Independent press: When an independent newspaper, The Standard, ran a story about the postponement of police promotion examinations, the paper’s editor and a reporter were taken to court in November 2010 and charged with contravening both these provisions. On 2nd August this year a Harare magistrate granted a defence request for the constitutionality of both sections to be referred to the Supreme Court. The defence said it would ask the Supreme Court to strike down the provisions for inconsistency with section 20 of the Declaration of Rights guaranteeing freedom of expression.
[Note: On 24th November 2010 the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights passed a resolution calling on States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to “repeal criminal defamation laws or insult laws which impede freedom of speech”.]
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES
[28th November 2011]
Committee Meetings Open to the Public: 29th November
This week, from Monday to Thursday, House of Assembly portfolio committees are conducting their Post-Budget Analysis. Each committee will have two meetings:
· the first meeting will be to analyse the Budget proposals for the Ministries/sectors which the committee oversees; this will be done with the assistance of officials of the Ministries concerned and recognised stakeholders. This meeting will be open to the public, but as observers only, not participants.
· the second meeting will be for deliberations and preparation of the committee’s report for presentation when the debate on the Budget resumes in the House of Assembly on Thursday 1st December. This meeting will not be open to the public.
The remaining meetings open to members of the public – all on Tuesday 29th November – are listed below. All meetings will be held at Parliament in Harare, entrance on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets.
Note: If you wish to double-check on the programme, or if you are a stakeholder and wish to participate, please contact the committee clerk concerned, as listed below. Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 and 252936. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced.
Tuesday 29th November from 9 am to 12 noon
Portfolio Committee: Public Works and National Housing
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon Mupukuta Clerk: Mr Mazani
Portfolio Committee: Local Government, Rural and Urban Development
Committee Room No. 2
Chairperson: Hon Karenyi Clerk: Mr Daniel
Portfolio Committee: Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement
Chairperson: Hon Jiri Clerk: Ms Mudavanhu
Portfolio Committee: Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Committee Room No. 311
Chairperson: Hon Mwonzora Clerk: Miss Zenda
Portfolio Committee: Education, Sport, Arts and Culture
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Mangami Clerk: Ms Chikuvire
Portfolio Committee: Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon Mukanduri Clerk: Mr Chiremba
Portfolio Committee: Women, Youth, Gender and Community Development
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon Matienga Clerk: Mr Kunzwa
Portfolio Committee: Industry and Commerce
Government Caucus Room
Chairperson: Hon Mutomba Clerk: Ms Masara
Tuesday 29th November from 2 pm to 5 pm
Portfolio Committee: Media, Information and Communication Technology
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon S. Moyo Clerk: Mr Mutyambizi
Portfolio Committee: Small and Medium Enterprise
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon R. Moyo Clerk: Ms Mushunje
Portfolio Committee: Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon M. Dube Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Note for the record: The following portfolio committees had their open meetings this afternoon, 28th November: Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Transport and Infrastructural Development; Mines and Energy; State Enterprises and Parastatals; Budget, Finance and Economic Development; Health and Child Welfare; Defence and Home Affairs; Higher Education, Science and Technology. Veritas was not able to get notification out in time.
Veritas makes every effort to esure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied