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MDC-T headquarters besieged by armed police

By Alex Bell
01 November 2011

The crackdown against the MDC-T intensified on Tuesday after a group of
armed police officers besieged their headquarters, barricading the main road
and firing tear gas.

It’s understood that the afternoon’s chaos began when police tried to arrest
local vendors who retaliated, resulting in skirmishes with officers. The
police officers apparently retreated to get reinforcements, but when they
returned the vendors had scattered.

According to the MDC-T, a group of more than 30 fully armed police officers
immediately stormed Harvest House, saying they were looking for the vendors.
The officers blocked the main road outside the headquarters and then started
firing tear gas, both inside and outside the building, causing MDC-T staff
and passers-by to flee.

Eyewitnesses meanwhile explained that the chaos spread across the city, with
police officers firing tear gas at members of the public. On First Street,
people were seen scurrying for cover as gas canisters were launched at
passers-by. On the social networking website Twitter some Zimbabweans shared
images of the police stationed on the corner of First Street and Union
Avenue “waiting to pounce.” It was also reported that many businesses were
forced to close early.

One Twitter user quoted a policeman who said a colleague was “beaten by
people hiding at Harvest, so they went to ‘fish the guys out.”

The MDC-T’s deputy spokesperson, Tabitha Khumalo, told SW Radio Africa on
Tuesday that the police officers eventually left the area without making any
arrests. An angry Khumalo said: “The issues of the vendors was just a
scapegoat so they could track down our members who were at the Hatcliffe
rally on Sunday.”

A number of people were injured when that rally was disrupted by over 100
ZANU PF youths, resulting in clashes between members of the two parties.
Police had to fire teargas and rubber bullets during the clashes, but
focused their attack almost entirely on MDC-T members.

“We think that the police believe that we are hiding people who were part of
that incident, which is why they stormed our headquarters today (Tuesday),”
Khumalo said.

She added: “We are disgusted by the behaviour of the police who are still
carrying forward ZANU PF’s fight from Sunday.”

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Zimbabwe police seal MDC offices, fire tear gas

Tue Nov 1, 2011 4:59pm GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean police sealed the offices of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai's party on Tuesday, firing tear gas into the building and
at bystanders in central Harare and raising tensions ahead of elections that
could come next year.

A Reuters witness saw a truck carrying dozens of anti-riot police parked at
the entrance of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) offices
while police re-routed traffic away from the area.

An unidentified small group of men was seen throwing stones at the police
before the officers gave chase and fired tear gas at the group.

The police also fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of bystanders, forcing
several shops to close early.

An MDC official said police were looking for an MDC member but would not
give details.

"The police just fired teargas into the building without warning and we were
forced to escape using a back exit," the official said.

Police would not immediately comment.

President Robert Mugabe's supporters and police have barred and disrupted
Tsvangirai's rallies in the western Matabeleland region in the past few

The MDC won the majority of seats in Matabeleland in elections in 2008.

Last Saturday, another MDC rally organised by a minister jointly responsible
for police affairs was disrupted by ZANU-PF militants after a clash with MDC
youths reminiscent of flare ups witnessed early this year.

ZANU-PF has previously denied engaging in violence and instead accuses MDC
supporters of provoking its supporters.

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Makone warns of Egypt style uprising in Zimbabwe

By Lance Guma
01 November 2011

Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone has warned the Mugabe regime of an
Egypt style uprising if they persist in provoking peace loving Zimbabweans.
The MP for Harare North was reacting to the way ZANU PF thugs violently
disrupted a scheduled rally in her constituency on Sunday.

ZANU PF youths who were throwing rocks attempted to disrupt the rally but
were instead sent scurrying for cover by angry MDC-T supporters. The police,
who initially ignored the MDC-T calls for help for about 2 hours, only went
to the scene when it became clear the ZANU PF youths had been over-powered.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa on Tuesday Makone said: ‘The best way to breach
a dictatorship is to follow a reasonably peaceful path like what happened in
Egypt. What happened in Libya is not a solution because of the number of
people who died and the destruction to infrastructure.”
“There is nothing more powerful than people power and one day people will
say enough is enough. As a party we have opted for peaceful change,” Makone

Asked whether the MDC-T had failed to provide the leadership required to
make an ‘Egypt’ possible she said “there is a breaking point for any
society. You do not take leaders and lead people onto the street before the
population actually speaks to you. You will know what needs to be done when
its time to do it,” she said.

Makone said the decision by MDC-T supporters to defend themselves against
the planned violence by ZANU PF mobs in Hatcliffe showed that “people are
not going to be battered again like they did in 2008.” Back then she said
they had asked their supporters not to retaliate but now the message was:

“You do not attack anyone; you do not offend anyone, but should anyone
strike you, don’t just sit there because they will kill. You have seen them
do it before. This is what ZANU PF got on Sunday from the people. The people
refused to be battered again,” she said.

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Tension builds in Harare ahead of SA facilitation team’s visit

By Tichaona Sibanda
1 November 2011

An escalation of ZANU PF attacks on MDC officials and activists in Zimbabwe
risks triggering retaliation, an MDC-T official said on Tuesday, pointing to
a growing risk of instability in the country.

Incidents over the past few days have included acts of violence against the
MDC-T in Hatcliffe, the blocking of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
rallies in Matabeleland North, where police threatened to shoot anyone
trying to attend any of his gatherings, and the violence at the MDC-T
headquarters on Tuesday.

This has increased tension ahead of a crucial visit to Zimbabwe by President
Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team that jetted into Harare on Tuesday. The visit
comes at a time when the MDC-T has lost patience with police inaction in
preventing the crackdown on its supporters by ZANU PF.
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us only Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma’s
international relations advisor, and Charles Nqakula made the trip to

Zulu told SW Radio Africa recently that it was important that a meeting
between the facilitation team and the negotiators be held ‘very soon’ to
work out an agenda for Zuma and the principals.

A SADC summit held in Pretoria, South Africa in June also recommended that a
three member team be deployed in Zimbabwe to help the Joint Monitoring
Committee (JOMIC) effectively monitor the implementation of the GPA. The
members are supposed to be drawn from South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

But there is an ongoing delay and that is because Tanzania and Zambia have
yet to name their representatives.

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Suspected Zanu PF supporters detain lawyers

A group of suspected ZANU PF supporters on Monday 31 October 2011 detained,
harassed and threatened two human rights lawyers with assault, who had
represented two Mbare residents, who were recently charged with committing

The suspected ZANU PF supporters numbering about 40, blocked Charles
Kwaramba and Obey Shava of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal
Practitioners, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
from leaving Mbare Magistrates Court after they assumed representing Mbare
residents, Lionel Grezha and Ngoni Shanya, who appeared in court on Monday
31 October before Magistrate Brighton Pabwe.

The two human rights lawyers successfully sought for a postponement of the
duo’s trial to 8 November 2011 from Monday 31 October 2011 to allow them to
take instructions from their clients and properly represent them as they had
just assumed representing them from other lawyers.

The rowdy suspected ZANU PF supporters who were following the case in court
parked their truck and camped outside the exit point at Mbare Magistrates
Court where they blocked the lawyers from leaving court.

They threatened to inflict damage on the lawyers’ vehicle and assault them
if they attempt to leave forcing them to retreat into the court building
where they were “detained” for almost two hours.

Kwaramba and Shava informed Magistrate Pabwe of the security threat posed by
the ZANU PF supporters and the Magistrate advised them to liaise with the
officer in charge at the police post located at the court.

The lawyers, who made a report at Mbare Police Station only stealthily
escaped after spending two hours while holed up in the court building by
using another exit point, which was not spotted by the boisterous ZANU PF

The detention of the lawyers follows the recent harassment of three human
rights lawyers employed by ZLHR, who first represented the two Mbare
residents last week. On Monday 24 October 2011, the ZANU PF youths, who were
led by Jim Kunaka, the party’s Harare province youth chairperson ambushed
Belinda Chinowawa and her co-counsel, Jeremiah Bamu and Kennedy Masiye all
of ZLHR as they left the court room and interrogated them for being
“unpatriotic”, by representing the two Mbare residents, who were accused of
committing sodomy, against President Robert Mugabe’s pronouncements
castigating the practice.

At first Chinowawa, Bamu and Masiye tried to explain to the ZANU PF mob that
as lawyers it was their function and duty to represent anyone who sought
their services. But this only served to further incense the youths as they
began hurling profanities and threatened to assault the lawyers.

Kunaka blocked the lawyers as they attempted to drive away from the court
and launched a tirade

against them and threatened to stone their car if they defied him by
continuing to drive.

The ZANU PF youth leader threatened the lawyers with violence should they
dare to return to court last Tuesday for the delivery of the ruling of a
bail application which they had filed for their clients before recording the
registration numbers of their vehicles.

In response to the harassment of the lawyers, ZLHR executive director Irene
Petras protested to Magistrate Pabwe, the Resident Magistrate at the Mbare
Magistrates Courts against the treatment of the legal practitioners whom she
said faced “a serious security issue in terms of which the lawyers face the
very real probability of being assaulted and possibly even worse should they
attend the Mbare Magistrates’ Court.”

Petras requested that the matter be moved from Mbare Magistrates Court to
any other court where the lawyers can continue to represent their clients
without fear of reprisals. The human rights lawyer said not only will the
trial of the Mbare residents be imperiled should the behaviour of the ZANU
PF supporters not dealt with effectively and urgently by the appropriate
judicial and law enforcement authorities, but also such impunity will spur
similar criminal acts and escalate the assault against the justice delivery
system in future cases which are not to the liking of particular individuals
and/or sectors of society.

The harassment of Kwaramba and Shava also makes a mockery of Magistrate
Pabwe’s security guarantees which he pledged last week in response to Petras’

Magistrate Pabwe had on Thursday 27 October 2011, assured Petras of some
security guarantees for her lawyers to represent their clients when trial
commences on Monday 31 October 2011. The Resident Magistrate had also
undertaken to carry out a vetting exercise for all civilians entering the
court house.

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Zim businessmen granted bail

November 1 2011 at 08:21pm

A Zimbabwe court has freed on bail three businessmen arrested on Wednesday
on charges of spying for the US, Canada and Afghanistan.

Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi on Tuesday ordered two telecommunications
company directors to pay $2 000 (about R16 100). The third suspect was
ordered to pay $700. They are to reappear in court on November 15.

Prosecutors allege the three set up unlicensed satellite communications
equipment bought from a Canadian company and used it to send state secrets
to Canada, the US and Afghanistan. Prosecutors say the three countries are
Zimbabwe's “enemies”.

The three businessman have denied any wrongdoing.

Defense lawyer, Lewis Uriri, said the state's case was weak and they had no
evidence to prove the three had committed the crime.

Espionage carries a possible 25-year imprisonment. – Sapa-AP

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KP greenlight for 'immediate' Marange diamond exports

01/11/2011 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE Kimberley Process on Tuesday cleared Zimbabwe to resume rough diamond
exports from two compliant mines in Marange “with immediate effect” – ending
years of wrangling.

Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds are free to sell their stockpiles of
diamonds on the international market, while a third mine, the Chinese-owned
Anjin, will be confirmed as fully compliant within two weeks.

The decision was accepted with an unprecedented thunderous applause as well
as with a standing ovation from virtually the entire KP community of

The World Diamond Council (WDC) welcomed the agreement ratified by all 76
members of the world’s diamond-producing nations meeting in Kinshasa, the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"This is a real milestone, and demonstrates categorically that the Kimberley
Process provides the framework through which the integrity of the rough
diamond chain of distribution can be protected, while at the same time
enabling producing countries gain benefit from their natural resources,"
says Eli Izhakoff, President of the WDC, from the meeting in Kinshasa.

He added: "Congratulations and thanks are due to the European Union, for the
critical role it played in proposing the agreement and bringing it to

"Credit also is due to Zimbabwe, the African nations led by the South
Africa, the United States, and a host of individuals and delegates who put
in long hours in negotiating the arrangement, which has escaped us for more
than two years.
“It has been a long time in coming, and I fervently hope that it allows us
to move both the KP and the industry forward.”

Prior to the adoption of the agreement, there were a lot of countries that
specifically spoke out in favour of it. China, India, Canada, Namibia,
Australia, Norway, Botswana, UAE, Switzerland, Ghana, CAR, Brazil, Europe,
and Liberia all expressed their strong support for the decision.
Some of the countries that in the past were considered to be the greatest
obstacles to the agreement now talked warmly of it.

In his acceptance speech, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu noted that "the world
has been with us, and only a few voices of resistance were drowning our
global support.”

Mpofu also spoke graciously about the WDC’s Izhakoff and said that even in
times of personal distress, he was always there to help him and show him
that the KPCS was the only way to go in solving the Zimbabwe impasse.

Zimbabwe has been pushing for the certification of Marange diamonds by the
international watchdog, but it had faced opposition from western countries
who claimed there were human rights abuses going on in the diamond fields to
the east of the country.

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MDC takes police ban to Sadc

By Godfrey Mtimba
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 08:44

MASVINGO - The MDC has resolved to seek Sadc’s intervention over the banning
and often violent disruption of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
activities by police and Zanu PF militants, in a sign of worsening relations
between bickering coalition partners.

An irate Tsvangirai was due to confront President Robert Mugabe over the
partisan conduct of the police yesterday but the meeting failed to take
place because Tsvangirai was launching a health fund in Marondera.

The fresh standoff between the long-term rivals turned uneasy coalition
partners comes after police banned three MDC rallies in Matabeleland region
and barred Tsvangirai from addressing a meeting in Victoria Falls over the

Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said the meeting between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai has been postponed but will happen this week.

“The meeting did not take place because the Prime Minister was launching the
Health Transition Fund at Marondera Hospital. They will probably meet soon
after Cabinet (today),” Tamborinyoka said.

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said it was unlikely that Mugabe would
take serious steps to end police partisanship as well as resurgent violence
that were “getting out of hand.”

This has left the party with little option but to approach Sadc, the
mediator and guarantor to Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition government.

“We are taking up the matter to Sadc and African Union (AU) to find a
solution,” Mwonzora told the Daily News yesterday.

“It is important to note that this is a trademark act of the junta
represented by the police headed by its leader Augustine Chihuri (police
commissioner-general),” said Mwonzora.

Mwonzora said the police action was “systematically planned” by security
agents to “denigrate and disrespect” the Prime Minister MDC takes police ban
to Sadc while performing his duties of supervising government work.

He was referring to the banning of the premier from touring a hospital
during the same period.

“The Prime Minister is supposed to supervise government programmes and by
stopping him we wonder if they still want the inclusive government to
function,” he said.

He said Zimbabwe could only hold credible elections if regional and
continental leaders acted to end resurgent human rights abuses to guarantee
peace ahead of watershed polls that are likely to be Mugabe’s last.

Sadc, through South African President Jacob Zuma, has been closely
monitoring events in the country after getting a mandate from the AU to
mediate and ensure fresh elections in Zimbabwe following the violent 2008
presidential election runoff whose results were rejected by the
international community.

Regional leaders shaken by the military-led 2008 atrocities are determined
to use their leverage to push for the completion and adoption of a
Sadc-endorsed road map to credible elections free of violence.

Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said Tsvangirai’s accusations were
“nothing new”.

“Those are unfounded allegations. I have no knowledge of the police banning
the rallies,” Mandipaka said.

Mwonzora said apart from briefing Sadc and AU, Tsvangirai would tackle
President Robert Mugabe over the deteriorating situation.

“We also need an explanation from Mugabe over this issue. We want Mugabe to
tell us if he still wants the inclusive government to work,” said Mwonzora.

This will not be the first time that Tsvangirai has raised similar concerns
with Mugabe or Sadc.

On its part, Sadc has continued pushing for genuine reforms in Zimbabwe,
keeping the country on the radar for close to a decade.

But previous meetings between Mugabe and Tsvangirai over selective
application of the law and violence have failed to define a way forward,
leaving Zimbabweans with little hope that Tsvangirai’s latest efforts at
finding a solution will end violence.

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Gwisai’s defence team starts cross examining ‘star’ witness

By Tichaona Sibanda
1 November 2011

The ‘star’ witness in the trial of University of Zimbabwe law lecturer,
Munyaradzi Gwisai, on Monday finally turned up for cross examination and
identified himself as a genuine serving police officer.

Gwisai was arrested in February after he watched videos of the Arab spring
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia with several other civic and human rights
activists in Harare.

Jonathon Shoko infiltrated that meeting and provided all the information
that led to the arrest of the former MDC-T legislator and other participants
to the police. But infiltration is the job of the intelligence services, not
the police, and so questions were raised as to who employed him.

Initially Gwisai was charged with treason and plotting to overthrow Robert
Mugabe but that was downgraded to ‘conspiracy to commit public violence.’ He
is being jointly charged with Antoneta Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson
Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto.

Under cross examination from defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama, Shoko told the
court he was a police officer based at the Harare Central police station.
However the defence team allege he is on the payroll of the CIO and was
testifying falsely.

It was Shoko’s testimony that he joined the police force in 2001 after
completing his ‘A’ level studies at Mutare Boys High School.

The ‘police officer’ however did not seem to be confident about the
operations of the department he claims to be attached to. This led to the
defence lawyer pointing out the inconsistencies in his testimony and that
preliminary investigations with the police had shown that he was not in the
books of the force.

His force number is believed to be ‘fake’ and did not match anybody in the
police after the defence team checked the force records. The number is in
the range of those who joined the police around 1998-9, while he says he
joined in 2001. The trial was adjourned to Friday when the defence will
continue with their cross examination.

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Guzha Appointed To The Media Council Board

Harare, November 01, 2011 - Veteran playwright and seasoned artist, Davies
Guzha, has been appointed into the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe
(VMCZ) Board.

Guzha a producer at Rooftop Promotions will be one of the seven Public
Representatives in the new board. He is also a Regional Coordinator with
Artists Trusts of Southern Africa

Guzha's recent work involves a story of Zimbabwe's slow moving process of
national healing called Rituals.

Seasoned journalist and broadcaster, Tapfuma Machakaire, has been appointed
to chair the newly created Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) Ethics

Machakaire is also a member of the VMCZ Board.

Machakaire will be deputised by Precious Chakasikwa from Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Former Standard Editor, Bornwell Chakaodza is also part of the VMCZ board.

The Ethics Committee will be responsible for encouraging adherence to media
ethics. The committee will also be tasked with dealing with issues of gender
in the media.

Machakaire sits in various media committees and currently chairs the
National Journalist and Media Awards (NJAMA) Committee.

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Human rights violations rise

By Samantha Tarwireyi, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:53

HARARE - Zimbabwe is recording an increase in cases of human rights
violations as campaigning for elections whose date is yet to be announced
gathers steam, a report by leading rights group Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)

According to ZPP’s latest report covering the month of September,
politically-motivated human rights violations spiked from 720 recorded in
August to 791 in September.

Midlands, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Masvingo
provinces are hardest hit, according to the report.

In Midlands 163 incidents were recorded in September with the majority of
the violations being cases of harassment and intimidation.

A huge number of the cases were recorded in Shurugwi North, Gokwe Kabuyuni,
Chiwundura, Kwekwe Central and Mberengwa West.

Manicaland Province had a high profile of murder cases, particularly in
alluvial diamond-rich Chiadzwa.

The province witnessed a rise in violations from 149 in August to 199 in

ZPP accuses Zanu PF supporters of leading political violence in most
incidents that were recorded in September.

Zanu PF has consistently denied accusations of perpetrating violence.

Food and other forms of aid violations rose slightly to 77 from 66.

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Land invaders bash Mugabe relatives

By Staff Writer
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:55

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s cousin Chief Zvimba and 16 others are
smarting from violent attacks by newly resettled farmers as the black on
black war over farms intensifies.

Chief Zvimba, real name Stanley Urayayi Mhondoro, told the Daily News that
he had gathered his relatives to help prepare his tobacco fields when the
settlers launched the attack at Lion Kopje Farm in Banket last week.

“Eleven settlers and former farm workers and others mobilised from three
nearby farms came to my farm and attacked my relatives that were working in
the tobacco field,” Chief Zvimba said.

The chief said the assailants were from Mushangwa, Gumbu and Enddose farms.

“They wanted to burn the tractor but they ended up not doing this. They
attacked the tractor driver and farm workers with catapults, sticks, wire
and open hands,” the chief said, confirming he was a close relative of the

The relatives who had come to help the chief all sustained different degrees
of injuries and were ferried to Chinhoyi hospital with the worst affected
receiving 14 stitches on the head.

Chief Zvimba ruled out politics saying the issue was purely a fight for farm

He said four of the settlers were offered land at a farm 20kilometres from
his farm at Montgomery but were reluctant to go.

Cases of blacks targeting fellow blacks for farm takeovers have further
tainted Mugabe’s often violent land reform programme, which was touted as an
empowerment tool for landless blacks who received farms formerly owned by

Recent farm violence has, however, not been limited to black-on-black land
wars. Reports of farm attacks have been on the increase in farming areas
such as Chegutu where farmer Bruce Campbell was attacked in March this

Campbell struggled with a mob of farm invaders at his property.

In September, another white farmer Collin Ziestman was brutally murdered at
his farm. His wife Tinka was also assaulted by unknown assailants.

Immediate past president of the Commercial Farmers Union Deon Theron said
the violence on the farms mirrored the general atmosphere in the country.

“What has happened shows that there is no law and order. People are allowed
to get away with breaking the law. It really shows that accountability isn’t
what it used to be because what we see today is that certain people are not
being held responsible for their actions,” Theron said.

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Commonwealth Members Wants GPA Implementation

Harare, November 01, 2011 –Commonwealth member countries said they look
forward to the return of Zimbabwe into the grouping of former British
colonies but on condition that political parties implement the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) “faithfully and effectively.”

The Commonwealth member countries said they continue “to look forward to the
conditions being created for the return of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth”.

The member countries also added that they “continue to encourage the parties
to implement the GPA faithfully and effectively”,  read part of the
communique at the end of the grouping’s 21st Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Perth, Australia.

The Zimbabwean issue was not part of the meeting’s original agenda but was
discussed after several African countries insisted that it be looked into.

The countries, particularly those drawn from the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) grouping argued that the country’s suspension
must be reviewed because of the changed political dynamics in the country
brought about by the GPA.

Zimbabwe was suspended in 2003 following a largely disputed election the
previous year where observers from Commonwealth and European Union (EU) were
barred from the country.

The election which was like many previous elections in the country marred by
violence was declared a sham. As part of the reasons for suspension, the
grouping was also concerned about the escalation in human rights abuses.

Zimbabwe and Fiji, where a military junta is in charge, are the two
countries currently serving suspensions while Sri Lanka, the host of the
nest CHOGM is facing various human rights allegations it however denies.

Several countries, particularly western have threatened to boycott the next
CHOGM if Sri Lanka does not act on the allegations.

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Zimbabwe politician recommends no sex for women who fail to vote

Nov 1, 2011, 10:34 GMT

Harare - A Zimbabwean politician has urged ethnic Ndebele men to deny their
wives sex if they can't prove they have voted in the next election.

Women from the minority group had in the past cost the MDC-N party many
votes, party secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was quoted as
saying in state media.

Some 300,000 registered women voters in the capital Harare, home to a Shona
majority had cast their ballots in the last election in 2008.

But in the smaller and predominantly Ndebele western city of Bulawayo, less
than a third of the 300,000 who registered showed up at the polls, she said.

'This shows us the extent to which women are letting us down,'
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

Men should inspect their partner's fingers for traces of the indelible ink
in which voters have to dip their fingers on election day.

'If there is no ink to prove they have cast their vote, then they should put
a total sex embargo on their wives,' she said.

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Zanu (PF) silent for first time on Mugabe as poll candidate

General elections are expected next year but may be pushed back to 2013 amid
funding shortages and political stonewalling
Published: 2011/11/01 07:51:01 AM

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) has for the first time
retreated from publicly promoting its leader as its candidate in the next
elections ahead of its annual conference in the country’s second city,
Bulawayo, this weekend.

The silence signals that Mr Mugabe, battling ill health and old age, could
be facing a turning point in his long career in the party he has led for
more than 30 years.

General elections are expected next year but may be pushed back to 2013 amid
funding shortages and political stonewalling.

Mr Mugabe is said to be suffering from prostate cancer that has metastasised
to other organs, and doctors have urged him to quit politics . He had
reportedly agreed to do so after the 2008 elections, but is still active in

Since the beginning of the year, Mr Mugabe has been shuttling between Harare
and Singapore for medical treatment. In the past few weeks, he has been to
Singapore twice . Although he often denies ill health, saying he is
travelling on family business or private business, it is now known that he
is going for medical treatment.

Asked about his health on his return from Singapore on Sunday, Mr Mugabe
said: "You want to ask me about my health? As you can see, this Mugabe is
fit, but I don’t know about the other Mugabe (in media reports)."

Reports said he looked frail.

In recent months, his spokesman, George Charamba, has said he has
"cataracts" but the explanation has failed to stick. Zimbabwe has many eye
specialists from whom Mr Mugabe could seek treatment. His travels to
Singapore reportedly cost $1,2m a trip. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has
publicly complained about Mr Mugabe’s travels there.

Beyond the cataracts story, Mr Mugabe’s aides say he goes there on family
business. His daughter, Bona, is studying in Hong Kong. Until recently his
wife, Grace, was "studying" in China. She has also been entwined in a
property dispute with a Chinese estate agent.

Zanu (PF) insiders say there are serious divisions in the party over
endorsing Mr Mugabe as its candidate during the conference in Bulawayo from
December 6-10. Those who want Mr Mugabe to stay say the party would "sink"
without him.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, a senior Zanu (PF) politburo member,
said recently in Geneva, Switzerland, his party would not survive without Mr
Mugabe. "We can’t change the captain in the midst of a storm or when the
ship is under threat of being shipwrecked."

But other officials say it would be unreasonable and impractical to field an
ailing candidate aged 88 in crucial and demanding elections.

Zanu (PF) spokesman Rugare Gumbo said last week although Mr Mugabe was
likely to be endorsed as a candidate in Bulawayo because he was elected at a
Zanu (PF) congress in 2009, the issue was open for discussion. The congress
elects new leaders every five years.

Previously, before every annual conference, Zanu (PF) officials would
stampede to endorse Mr Mugabe. However, they have been extraordinarily quiet
this year , reflecting the seriousness of the debate under way.

"The issue is very serious, because what happens if he falters in the middle
of campaigns," a senior politburo member said. "That would be a disaster."

Mr Mugabe is under intense pressure, as he was in 2007, to transform the
conference into a congress to allow the possibility of electing a new party
leadership and candidate. He has tried to ward off pressure by claiming the
conference would be "just as good as a congress", but the demand remains.

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Zimbabwe's Political Parties Blame Each Other For Weekend Disturbances

31 October 2011

Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation has declared his candidacy for president in
the election most expect will be held in 2012, just as ZANU-PF has named
President Robert Mugabe its candidate for the highest office

Violet Gonda | Washington

London based academic Pedzisai Ruhanya said: “What it simply shows is that
the MDC is a junior partner. The MDC does not have authority. The MDC does
not have access to the repressive state apparatus. It does not have access
to the state.”

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai confirmed Monday that it will appeal to the Southern
African Development Community regarding the obstruction by police of Mr.
Tsvangirai's political rallies.

This weekend police blocked rallies in Lupane and Victoria Falls,
Matabeleland North province, despite a court order saying they could go

Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation has declared his candidacy for president in
the election most observers expect will be held some time in 2012, just as
ZANU-PF has named President Robert Mugabe its candidate for the highest

Elsewhere, Co-Minister of Home Affairs Teresa Makone, member of Parliament
for Harare North, accused ZANU-PF youths of violently disrupting a rally she
had planned on Sunday in Hatcliffe, charging that police later protected the

Political violence in Hatcliffe left five in the hospital and one person
missing after clashes between ZANU-PF and MDC supporters, party officials

Makone expressed bitterness that her position in the Ministry of Home
Affairs - which in theory oversees the Zimbabwe Republic Police - meant
nothing in this situation.

If that was the case, she was asked, what was the point of being a minister
in the unity government? Makone responded: “We want to demonstrate that in
spite of our peaceful approach, the people we are dealing with are a violent
lot and ... the onus is now on [the Southern African Development Community]
and the African Union to reign in ZANU.”

ZANU-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo denied members of his party disrupted the
rally, saying MDC members attacked ZANU-PF youths who were out organizing.

Gumbo accused the MDC of conjuring up reports of political violence whenever
there is an international meeting under way such as the meeting of the
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme now under way in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

“I don’t understand why the MDC should go to SADC. We are an independent
country; we have to resolve our differences in here. That only shows that
these people have no programs. They depend on outsiders for their political
objectives,” Gumbo said.

Tsvangirai-MDC Organizing Secretary Nelson Chamisa said his party has the
right to refer the matter to SADC because it is a guarantor of the Global
Political Agreement.

He rejected the charge that MDC youths had instigated the latest violence.

“It’s clear what Mr. Gumbo is saying is mere parroting. We were in Bulawayo,
Lupane, Nkayi, Tsholotsho and we had problems at the hands of the police. We
had problems with the structures of ZANU-PF that attempted to disrupt our
meetings. What they are obviously trying to do is defend the indefensible,"
Chamisa said.

Chamisa denied the MDC is over-reliant on SADC. He said the MDC has many
options including "exhausting domestic remedies in the context of the
inclusive government."

Analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya, an academic based at London’s Westminster
University, said ZANU-PF has a tendency to deny even events taking place in
broad daylight.

Ruhanya was asked about police restrictions on Mr. Tsvangirai. "{What it
simply shows is that the MDC is a junior partner. The MDC does not have
authority. The MDC does not have access to the repressive state apparatus.”

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Investor bets on Zimbabwe growth

REUTERS/ Helen Nyambura-Mwaura | 01 November, 2011 15:42

At the height of Zimbabwe's hyperinflation, restaurant prices would increase
in the time it took to serve and eat a meal.

Those days are gone, and some bold investors are now betting on growth in
the troubled southern African nation, while keeping alert to the high
political risk.

"Zimbabwe we like. Obviously we sleep with one eye open due to the
unresolved political situation there," Thabo Ncalo, portfolio manager of
Stanlib's $300 million African equities fund told Reuters last week.

"I don't think anyone wants to get back to that period of economic turmoil
in Zimbabwe. I hope the political leadership will be smart enough not to
take people back to that type of inflationary environment."

Zimbabwe stocks have outperformed others in Africa. Stanlib's Africa fund is
10 percent invested in Zimbabwe, where the dollar-denominated benchmark
Industrial index is down 5 percent in the ten months to end October.

In comparison, Nigeria's All-Share index is down more than 17 percent so far
this year in dollar terms, while Kenya's NSE 20 , has plunged 21 percent.

In 2009, the government abandoned a local currency rendered worthless by
hyperinflation -- which reached 500 billion percent at the peak of its
economic and political crisis -- to adopt multiple foreign currencies that
helped stem the decline.

Inflation has since returned to single digits and the economy is in
recovery, but investors remain wary of President Robert Mugabe and his
controversial policies on land seizures and forced majority ownership of
local units of foreign firms.

The dollarisation of Zimbabwe's economy is one less thing to worry about for
foreigners investing there.

Zimbabwe's best performer is Fidelity Life up 559 percent year to date and
TN Holdings with a 337 percent gain. The worst performers are Star Africa
down 82.9 percent and Gulliver , down 76.2 percent.

Top picks for Stanlib at Harare's bourse are Delta Corporation , a unit of
global brewer SABMiller , and Econet Wireless , the country's largest mobile
phone operator.

"It is the cheapest telco in Africa with some of the largest growth
prospects," Ncalo said. "All the telcos in Africa are actually going
ex-growth but Econet is bucking the trend. It is coming from a very low base
so it's easy to grow subscribers."


Fast-food group Innscor is also attractive, especially given its pricing
model after the adoption of the U.S. currency.

The lowest dollar value in Zimbabwe is the $1 bill, but Innscor prices meals
at amounts requiring change less than a dollar.

With no change for customers, restaurants hand out coupons in lieu of coins.
This keeps patrons coming back to claim their coupons, but they end up
spending more.

Stanlib has invested nearly a third of its fund -- which is down about 16
percent in the year to end September -- in Nigeria, another 15 percent in
Egypt and 8 percent each in Kenya and Mauritius.

"It's been a rough ride. We opened at the wrong time, just before the
crisis. Luckily, some clients have stayed with us and have adopted the
long-term approach needed in investments such as those in African markets."

The fund is investing in banks across the continent. It favours GT Bank ,
Access Bank , Stanbic IBTC , Zenith Bank in Nigeria.

Stanlib also looks at Kenya's biggest banks by market value, Equity , and
KCB because of their expansion across the region.

It is also looking at Egypt's National Societe Generale Bank Egypt and
Commercial International Bank .

Stanlib also participates in London-listed resource firms with operations in
Africa such as mining services firm Capital Drilling .

African markets never recovered when emerging markets started rebounding in
2009, although company earnings on the continent kept growing, Ncalo said.

When big index funds allocate funds to Africa, they actually only invest in
South Africa, Morocco and Egypt, he said.

"I think the hype has not been created yet. I am still very bullish because
even during the downturn globally Africa still didn't go into a recession."

"Africa is actually out of favour right now but it will come back, you just
have to stick in there."

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African viewpoint: Zimbabwe's ghosts and intrigues
1 November 2011 Last updated at 10:44 GMT
Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai (archive shot)

In our series of viewpoints from African journalists, film-maker and columnist Farai Sevenzo returns to his home country, Zimbabwe, to find that both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Morgan Tsvangirai are under intense scrutiny.

Zimbabwe has been in the grip of a spectacular heatwave, which has had the bell-shaped jacaranda blooms on Harare's expansive avenues wilting and popping on the burning tarmac in the more than 30C heat.

After a long absence, I took a road trip from neighbouring South Africa and found Zimbabwe not as broken as it once seemed.

But, of course, I am not an impartial observer in search of news - the single malt tastes better in the dust of my townships and my thoughts are as far removed from dead dictators as it is possible for them to be, despite the clamouring newspaper fliers displaying the bloodied body of a departed colonel on every street corner.

But sooner or later the conversations turn to politics and it is common now, as we look at the fallen dictators of 2011, to discuss the fate of those rulers who have passed more than two decades at the helm - Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Angola's Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Cameroon's Paul Biya and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe - even though the Arab Spring is so very far away from us.

Zimbabwe, though, is a nation forever in political intrigue - while bloody skirmishes between rival political parties continue to make the news, does Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai actually run anything?

When will elections be held to put an end to the farce of the marriage of convenience between his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party?

'Gods of Commerce'

And will Zanu-PF's candidate be the same man as at every vote since 1980 and is that man sick or is he just old?

In reality, the people are in the grip of the relentless heat and the American greenback, with Zimbabwe having abandoned her own currency, which had once given rise to the collectible Z$100 trillion note, after the coalition government was formed in 2009.

A beggar at a restaurant in Zimbabwe (archive shot) Only some are benefiting from Zimbabwe's wealth

Travelling from the Limpopo to the capital by road, it becomes plainly obvious that the American dollar is king - you buy your sim card with it, your airtime, your bottle of water, your newspaper, your tomatoes, your bunch of bananas and at some stage you begin to wonder if everyone's notes are kept in the bottom of their shoes - so tattered and illegible has this symbol of capitalism become in the hands of every vendor.

But approach Harare and you can believe that there are more Mercedes Benzes than donkeys in this city. In fact, the total absence of donkeys becomes all too apparent.

New roads are under construction, the restaurants are full and the windfall of the nation's diamond money sparkles in the four-wheel-drive vehicles dodging pot-holes and the outrageous designs for new homes in suburbs.

In the airport on the way out, the executive lounge is full of South African, Bulgarian, Latvian, English, American and Chinese businessmen and women.

There is a feeling here that the Gods of Commerce, rather like Zimbabwe's eternal potential, and the diamonds sprouting in the east, attract more friends than critical journalists.

Is it possible, though, to measure a nation's wealth in the shiny cars, shiny suits and filling restaurants?

If anything, the visible presence of such wealth points to a widening gap between those that have and the rest.

The lady picking up rubbish on my street on behalf of Harare City Council tells me her niece has been kicked out of school because the $15 (about £9) school fees for the term have not been paid.

The sick are confronted with the rising costs of medical care and medicines, the youth hang around washing people's cars to make that illusive buck and the borders still strain to the movements of those in search of greener pastures.

And then there is the nation's political health - how to measure that?

'Supernatural justice'

Nearly three years of a government of national unity has blunted the opposition's edge - the MDC has seamlessly become part of the ruling class, in their official vehicles and trappings of power.

And the conundrum for Zanu-PF, as we have learned in a year of Wikileaks revelations, is what act should follow the "Father of the Nation" - that is, if he or some higher power deems his own performance to be finally over?

The violence that marred the nation following the 2008 elections was the talk of the streets yet again last week when a young man, murdered by Zanu-PF loyalists in 2009, was finally buried.

For two years, his body lay in the Gokwe District Hospital mortuary in north-west Zimbabwe.

People displaced by violence in Zimbabwe in 2008 Violence displaced thousands during the 2008 poll

Strange, indeed, were the events surrounding Moses Chokuda's non-burial.

The parents of the deceased refused to bury him until the known culprits had been brought to book.

It is said that for two years the dead man appeared before his murderers, herding their cattle in plain sight.

Then a sham trial delivered an acquittal for the accused, among whom was the son of a Zanu-PF governor, and the presiding magistrate lost his mind and was to be found on the streets of the town muttering insanities.

"He is fighting his own war," said the dead man's father.

The police tried to force a burial by attempting to carry the body to the graveyard, but up to 10 policemen could not lift the metal coffin and were reported to have been sprayed with fresh blood from the corpse.

Finally, the governor paid compensation to the bereaved family of some $12,000 plus 20 head of cattle and a burial was finally approved.

This supernatural justice has got tongues wagging - in the absence of justice it seems that the dead are speaking up for themselves.

But then again Harare is full of strange tales.

Take the case of the syndicate of women who police allege have been raping men in order to use their semen in rituals said to bring about untold wealth. Or that of the man who took home a nightclub prostitute who then shape-shifted into a donkey.

Latest reports are that man and ass are now very much in love.

So, that is where the donkeys have gone.

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Chipangano, a Business Outfit, Hiding behind Zanu PF

30 October 2011, Mbare- SO much has been written about the Chipangano
(Agreement) shadowy
group, notorious for its crude reaction to opposition to Zanu PF. However,
there has been a clear
distinction in the manner the private and the state-controlled media has
covered similar events where
this outfit is involved. While there have been attempts to make the
Chipangano grouping a formal Zanu
PF outfit, the leadership has always disowned them, instead claiming this
group belonged to the MDC.
That is untrue and those in Zanu PF know this.

In this instalment I will explore the origins and motives of this grouping,
made of young women and
men, mostly drawn from Mbare’s different hostels and Jourburg Lines. It will
be an injustice if I end
without highlighting some of their major actions and actors, their
backgrounds and linkages within the
unfolding Zanu PF succession battle. An indepth analysis of these will
follow. I will prove that this group
is merely there to protect business interests of various leaders within Zanu
PF, who also use the outfit to
intimidate and silence critics and opponents. I will lastly attempt to
suggest solutions to ending the reign
of terror by this outfit.

Mbare residents live in fear. They are constantly harassed and threatened
with beatings. And they are
consistently forced to attend meetings, with unclear agendas, convened
outside bars, markets, in
corridors, and pambureni (where firewood is sold), and in open spaces, even
at service stations. Mostly,
there is no notice of the meetings but rowdy young men and women move into
your neighbourhood
and coerce everyone to attend meetings.

How do you locate the security apparatus in all this? In terms of Section 25
(1) (b) of the Public Order
and Security Act (Chapter 11:17), a convener of a meeting should give a
notice of the intention to hold a
meeting, in writing signed by him or her to the regulating authority for the
district in which the public
meeting is to be held.

The Act further states in Section 25 (5) that “Any person who knowingly
fails to give notice of a
gathering in terms of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and liable
to a fine not exceeding level
twelve or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both
such fine and such

Taken literally, the above paragraph means that anyone who convenes a
meeting without notifying the
police shall be arrested. That is not the practice the nation has witnessed
in relation to Chipangano. This
outfit has been exempt from these legal requirements and the Police have a
lot to explain on this.

According to knowing people, Chipangano was set up by the late Ali Khani
Manjengwa in 2001, who was
aspiring to be a councillor in the March 2002 Harare Municipal Elections.
Other senior people who have
direct links to this outfit include Jimmy Kunaka, Onismo Gore, who now heads
another offshoot of the
Chipangano group called the Zimbabwe Home Industries and Marketers
Association (ZHIMA), targeting
the home industries. Kunaka and Gore are losing municipal and parliamentary
Zanu PF candidates since
2002, after repeatedly being trounced by the MDC’s different candidates. The
other actors are Gobvu,
Namion Modern Chirwa, the Chairperson of the Joshua Nkomo District, Douglas
who operates from Mbare District 3, Nathan Mapuranga, Elizabeth Madzimure
among the
influential players (commonly known as Mai Bwanya) of the Women’s Affairs in
the party’s District
Coordinating 5 Committee (DCC) 6 and also a Zanu PF provincial member, whose
husband Cornelius
Mandizvidza Bwanya is a Zanu PF Central committee member.

As the name implies, Chipangano means ‘agreement’ or taken in context of
existence implies an ‘oath’
among those involved.

From an outside viewpoint, the oath or agreement among those who spearhead
the work of
Chipangano including murdering, harassing and beating up those who stand in
its way, mostly with

The media has been trying hard to link this outfit to Zanu PF as an
institution. My discussions with
various Mbare residents indicate that at its foundation, Chipangano was
established with the following
key objectives;
*To mobilise support for Zanu PF candidates in Mbare, to control all council
properties and make
money, and to prevent the penetration of the area by the MDC and any other
civic groupings
not linked to Zanu PF.

While these objectives are not in writing, the actions and language of the
lead actors speak of their
desire to accumulate wealth at all costs, ostensibly hiding behind powerful
Zanu PF faction leaders or
warlords in Mbare. The primary goal is to control the levers of financial
power, especially the retail and
wholesale farmers’ markets, Siya-So and Magaba home industries, car parks,
Mupedzanhamo Flea
Market, the bus termini. Who are these people?

At the retail and wholesale markets they are called makoronyera, at
Mupedzanhamo they are
‘wezvingoro/majega’ and they are the lead gate marshals who spent time
chanting words inviting
people to buy different clothing. There is also a team of security guys,
those who monitor the
movements and language of people.

How does this work?

From interviews with knowing people, there is leadership at all these
places. The touts who harass
people at bus termini, the people with the pushcarts, the vendors you see
selling their wares, the stall
holders in flea markets and the retail and wholesale markets are all under a
known structure, with strict
reporting systems.

For any person to be allowed to operate a stall or table, or even push those
cards, and even to be
allowed to operate as a vendor, one has to produce a Zanu PF membership card
that indicates your cell,
branch among other details. Usually there is a fee to be paid to security
teams that claim to be
protecting operators. Currently they are gathering voting information. Where
one is not registered they
are facilitating the registration through writing of confirmation letters of
residential addresses for all in
the markets. People are forced to comply or they will lose their market

To operate a market stall or table, one has to pay a monthly figure,
determined by these structures.
Only 10 percent goes to the City of Harare, paid at Remembrance District
Office while the rest is taken
by individual warlords/landlords who operate more than one table and stall.
What this means is that
from the council infrastructure, local bullies have taken over and making
more money than the council.

They make the rules. You object you are ejected. You complain you are
victimised as an opposition

From the early formative days, this outfit was structured in such a way that
different districts, wards and
branches had their own sources of money- council buildings, car parks,
markets and ranks. Loyalties
within Mbare are along these lines. The leader makes decisions on who gets
what, where, when, why
and how. In their operations, these complex lines are maintained and
respected as in a cult movement.

But there are key areas of convergence among these players. When Zanu PF
leaders have a
meeting/demonstration/receiving of foreign dignitaries in Harare, they are
all expected to rally behind
the ‘party’ and ‘ensure that everyone’ attends without fail or they lose
their positions/markets/stalls.
This scenario would explain why you will find that the thousands who appear
to rally behind Zanu PF
during these public shows of support activities are not translated into
ballot votes. Zanu PF has lost all
elections contested in Harare, except for Harare South, since 2000.

The majority of the participants in the demonstrations/ meetings/marches and
toyi-toying are coerced
and threatened with different punishments- leaving them without any choice
but to participate. In fact
all markets are shut down whenever Zanu PF’s top leadership have activities
in Mbare. Despite
differences among the leaders, the Chipangano group is mandated to publicly
keep everyone in line
behind the leadership. Yet when they are not in their groups, the same
members of Chipangano talk of
how much money they are making and claim they will do everything in their
power to protect their right
to make money. These same people end up voting for the ‘enemy party’ yet
continue to moonlight as
the real ‘party members’.

Why Not Arrest them?

This has been a serious matter of concern to citizens, particularly Mbare
residents. In this part I will
attempt to highlight why these young men and women are not arrested. In my
investigation, both as a
journalist and also a civic leader, I stumbled upon disturbing information.
The operations of Chipangano
are indirectly linked to individual policemen at Matapi Police Station,
Stodart Police Station and at the
police bases spread across Mbare District. What apparently happens is that
respective group members
give certain police officers money as bribes for staying out of their way.

So, when a member of the public reports harassment and persecution by these
people, the police will
not do much for you, unless one knows the police system to take the matter
up the ladder using the
police complaints desks. These identified police officers have become so
entrenched in Chipangano that
they have actually become a part of the repressive outfit.

What the police have been doing is that they document all reports of
violence by the Chipangano
members and stagger the arrests and prosecution. We have seen some of the
violent youths being
arrested but being left of the hook.

My belief is that some powerful people have assured the youths that they
will not be arrested even if
they commit crime.

To deal decisively with Chipangano in our society, the police have to arrest
them and send a clear
message that this outfit has no business interfering in people’s lives. Let
the arrested hooligans flood
the courts and face the music.

Because Chipangano is linked to senior leaders in Zanu PF, the liberation
movement has to rid itself of
this barbaric unit that continues to distance Zanu PF from the grassroots.
While Vice President John
Nkomo and party spokesman Rugare Gumbo have distanced Zanu PF from this
notorious outfit, more
has to be done to demonstrate their willingness to facilitate the
disbandment of this harmful unit that
has potential to even kill or maim its masters. As long as Chipangano
exists, Zanu PF does not stand a
remote chance of winning against any other party in Mbare and elsewhere in
Harare. Let the police do
their work and end this madness.

However this problem of youths causing chaos in communities may be directly
linked to unemployment,
which can be traced right through to such issues as domestic violence,
marriage breakdowns,
corruption, and political instability. The insecurity that people daily
experience is coming from
unemployed youths who have had their dreams shattered by economic hardships
brought by an
irresponsible leadership in national politics and state institutions.

The existence of Chipangano is purely an economic interest initiative that
should be ended political and
through a comprehensive national development strategy.

Precious Shumba, Founder and Coordinator of the Harare Residents’ Trust

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Bill Watch 47/2011 of 31st October [Inaugural PM's Question Time & Another Private Member's Bill]

BILL WATCH 47/2011

[31st October 2011]

Both Houses of Parliament sat last week and adjourned until 15th November

Inaugural Prime Minister’s Question Time in House of Assembly

Prime Minister’s Question Time was inaugurated in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 26th October, taking up the hour immediately after the opening prayer at 2.15 pm.  Questions put to the PM by MPs included:

Are there contradictions within Cabinet on indigenisation policy?  The PM said No, asserting that the policy is to encourage every Zimbabwean to participate but not to contradict the “whole thrust of promoting investment”  because “everyone would agree that the idea is not to share a small cake, the idea is to grow the cake so that we can all share”.  A follow-up question on the ZIMPLATS Community Share Trust was disallowed by the Speaker as raising matters that should be dealt with by the appropriate Minister.

What is Government policy on unfinished projects, some as much as 10 years old?  The PM, referring in particular to nearly completed building projects, replied that the policy is to complete unfinished projects before implementing new projects.

What is Government doing to ensure Zimbabwe is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?  The PM said lack of resources meant the Government might not achieve all the MDGs on time, but it was doing well with health services.

What is Government doing about ending the broadcasting monopoly and opening up the airwaves?  The PM assured the Houses that the GPA principals regarded it as “critical” that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe board be reconstituted.  He added that the principals had directed Minister Shamu accordingly and that there have to be multiple media voices. 

What is Government policy on stopping inter-party political violence?  The PM said violence was not taking place at the higher levels, but in the villages and on farms.  The government would be convening a meeting of national executives of all political parties to come up with a code of conduct for parties down to branch or ward level.

Are the current delays in the constitution-making process caused by lack of funding?  No, said the PM, funding has been provided.  Delays are caused by other factors. 

[The (uncorrected) Hansard record of the question and answer session can be accessed on the Parliamentary website at House_Of_Assembly_Hansards/27_October_2011_38-13.pdf ]. 

Next PM’s Question Time for the House will be on Wednesday 30th November [last Wednesday of the month]. 

Inaugural Prime Minister’s Question Time in Senate Cancelled

The first PM’s Question Time in the Senate was scheduled for Thursday afternoon but was called off after the Prime Minister sent his apologies, saying he would not be able to attend.  The next opportunity for Senators to question the Prime Minister will be on Thursday 24th November [last Thursday of the month].

MPs at Victoria Falls This Week

This week most Parliamentarians will be attending the Pre-Budget Seminar, which will run from Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th November at Elephant Hills, Victoria Falls.  The Houses will not sit.  The only committee meetings will be on Monday and Tuesday [details not yet available from Parliament].

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

The 13-page final communiqué of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth, Western Australia, dated 30th October, contained one brief paragraph on Zimbabwe:  “The Heads of Government agreed ….. to look forward to the conditions being created for the return of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth and continue to encourage the parties to implement the Global Political Agreement faithfully and effectively.  [Electronic version of complete communiqué available from]

What Happened in the House of Assembly Last Week

New Private Member’s Bill to amend the Urban Councils Act:  On 25th October after brief debate the House approved a motion giving leave to MDC-T backbencher Tangwara Matimba, MP for Buhera Central, to bring in a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Urban Councils Act “by reducing the powers of central government over municipal and town councils, thereby encouraging democracy at local levels”.  Hon Matimba then handed in a copy of his Bill.  Parliament will now send the Bill to the Government Printer for printing and gazetting.  Once it has been gazetted Hon Matimba will be able to introduce it and it will be read the First Time.  From then it will follow the stages applicable to all Bills – scrutiny by the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] and the appropriate portfolio committee, Second Reading, etc.  [Electronic version of Bill available from]  [Reminder: Only Government Bills may be introduced without the leave of the House.  Private members have the right to introduce Bills, but must obtain the leave of the House before doing so.  This is the first move to bring in a Private Member’s Bill since MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese was given leave to introduce his POSA Amendment Bill in late 2009.]  

Other Bills:  The three lapsed Bills have not been revived:

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC] Bill:  Minister of Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa has not yet given notice of a motion to restore this Bill to the Order Paper. 

Electoral Amendment Bill  Mr Chinamasa has not given notice of a motion to restore this Bill either.  Even if the Minister gets it restored to the Order Paper, further proceedings will have to wait for the PLC’s report to be tabled.  The PLC has already drafted an adverse report, identifying aspects of the Bill it considers unconstitutional but the draft has not been made public.

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill:  A motion already on the Order Paper by the Minister of Industry and Commerce proposes the restoration of this Bill to the Order Paper.  

International Agreement approved:  The Statute of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.


Motion on diamond mining operations at Marange/Chiadzwa diamond fields approved:  On Wednesday MDC-T MP Eddie Cross delivered a detailed speech proposing his motion, which calls for nationalisation of the diamond fields; for mining to be carried out only by a reputable company, selected by international tender, and in partnership with the Government and the community; and for halting illicit dealing in diamonds by removing all unauthorised persons from the fields securing the boundaries against unlawful entry.  Citing the example of Botswana, Mr Cross gave figures illustrating that under his proposals Chiadzwa could generate $2.8 billion annually for the fiscus.  Several MPs made contributions in support of the motion, and it was approved unopposed on Thursday.

Professor Mukonoweshuro condolence motion:  Hon Dumbu introduced his motion to extend condolences to the family of the late Minister of Public Service and MP for Gutu South, who died on 5th August.  Debate was adjourned to permit further contributions.

Motion on unconstitutional statements by service chiefs restored to Order Paper:  The House resolved that Hon Chikwinya’s lapsed motion be restored to the Order Paper to allow further debate.

Portfolio Committee report on state of affairs at Shabani-Mashava Mines:  The House approved a resolution “taking note of” the portfolio committee’s report, which criticised the Government’s handling of this issue.  [Electronic version of report available from] 

Questions:  The hour following Wednesday’s inaugural Prime Minister’s Question Time was devoted to Ministers responses to MPs’ written questions previously put down on the Order Paper.  Topics covered included: 

Copies of birth certificates  Co-Minister of Home Affairs Makone explained the birth registration system and said it is not necessary for people to come to Harare to get copies of long birth certificates; they are obtainable at provincial registry offices. 

Contribution to GDP by arts and culture sector:  The Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, giving a detailed reply, said the sector contributes 14%-16% of the GDP [approximately $500 billion in 2007, more than the agricultural sector’s $400 billion].  The arts and culture sector is also a major factor in the success of the closely-related tourism sector.

NSSA pensions:  The Minister of Labour and Social Services gave an overview of the various NSSA pension schemes and said pensions were being reviewed with a view to an increase next year.

Improving O level pass rates:  The Deputy Minister of Education went into detail about the Ministry’s plans to improve exam results, including: achieving by the end of 2011 a book-to-pupil ratio of 1:1 for the 6 core secondary school subjects; restoration of subject-specialist education inspectors to enhance service delivery by subject teachers; and the abolition of hot seating. 

BEAM disbursements:  The Minister of Labour and Social Services explained that to qualify for BEAM [Basic Education Module] funding a child must already be registered at a school, but unable to pay fees; the neediest beneficiaries are selected by a committee of the school community, bearing in mind the community’s BEAM budget allocation; once validated by a school community meeting, the beneficiaries list is verified by the district education officer and the district social welfare officer before approval at provincial level.  The social welfare department conducts spot checks to curb abuse.

MDGs:  The Minister of Labour and Social Services also explained her Ministry’s coordinating role in Zimbabwe’s efforts to achieve the MDGs on time, and gave the Government's list of priorities:  1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2. achieve universal primary education; 3 reduce child mortality.

What Happened in the Senate Last Week


Motion to Restore POSA Amendment Bill to the Order Paper adjourned again:  This meant that there was no further debate on Mr Gonese’s motion to revive his Private Member’s Bill.  On 11th October Mr Gonese’s made a speech urging Senators to pass this motion, and debate was adjourned until Minister Chinamasa could be present to elaborate on his contention that the Bill should not be proceeded with because it is under consideration as part of the GPA implementation negotiations. 

International Agreements

The Senate approved the following agreements already approved by the House of Assembly:

·      Statute of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology approved by the House of Assembly on Tuesday

·      Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements with India, Iran and Botswana.

Status of Bills

Bills Passed by Parliament awaiting gazetting as Acts

Deposit Protection Corporation Bill [final reading in Parliament – 2nd August]

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill [final reading in Parliament – 12th July]

[These Bills have been awaiting the President’s assent for some time.  The President’s absences from the country should not hold things up – the Constitution allows an Acting President to assent to Bills.]

Bills Awaiting Presentation                                               

Older Persons Bill [gazetted 9th September]  [Electronic version available from]

Urban Councils Amendment Bill [Private Member’s Bill – see above]

Government Gazette

No Bills or Acts were gazetted on the 21st nor on the 28th October.  

Statutory Instruments

21st October:  SI 121 set out Bulawayo Cemeteries amendment by-laws.

28th October: SIs 122-125 provided for customs rebates and suspensions. 

SI 126 enacted new domestic workers wages and allowances effective 1st October [this is the first such statutory instrument since 2007]; wages range from $85 to $100 per month; allowances, for workers not living on the employer’s premises cover accommodation [$50 per month], transport [$25 per month] and lights, fuel and water [$15 per month in total].  [Electronic version of SI 126 available from] 

General Notice 459/2011 of 28th October under the indigenisation regulations fixes net asset value of $100,000 for businesses in the manufacturing sector and specifies four annual stages to achieve the 51% indigenous shareholding.  [Electronic version available from] 


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