By Tererai Karimakwenda
01 November 2012
A group of four ZANU PF thugs broke into the home of an MDC-T official in Kadoma Wednesday night, brutally assaulting him and his wife before taking their money and escaping.
But there is fear that the attack was political and not criminal, because the thugs wore ZANU PF bandanas and left valuable laptops and other goods in the house.
The assault was on John and Jackie Kinnaird from Kadoma. He is the MDC-T Midlands North Treasurer.
Kerry Kay, an activist and member of the MDC-T executive, said one of the youths was armed with a metal rod that looked like a car spanner used to remove bolts from a car tyres. One of the youths continuously hit John over the head.
Another youth took Jackie into the bedroom, where she violently tried to break free. Her arm was broken as a result.
Kerry said John had an x-ray and scans of his head taken. Fortunately he did not suffer any internal injuries and was treated and sent home.
But Jackie is still at the hospital, where she is scheduled to have an operation on her arm on Friday. Kerry said she has a compound fracture and the bone was sticking out of her arm.
Kerry blasted the MDC-T for not doing enough to stem the tide of violence already grips Zimbabwe ahead of elections. She said the party is not being strong enough in responding to political violence from ZANU PF thugs.
“There is no rule of law in the country and when there is no rule of law, nothing functions. We’ve got 31 people sitting in jail for the murder of a policeman. All the evidence given in court so far exonerates them 100 per cent. Yet they are still in jail 18 months later. They are prisoners of conscience, not criminals,” Kerry fumed.
The activist warned that whenever Robert Mugabe speaks publicly of peace and non violence, the country can expect violence to flare up and intensify soon after that.
“To be perfectly honest, when the president talks no peace and non violence, I’ve seen this since 2000 at the referendum when he said we will respect all people, and two weeks later people were beaten up. My husband was beaten and left for dead. It’s the same modus operandi. It is a smokescreen,” Kerry said.
See more images
By Alex Bell
01 November 2012
Officials at the Save Valley Conservancy have reached an agreement with
seven local chiefs, in a move that could see the withdrawal of hunting
permits recently handed over to ZANU PF officials.
The agreement, signed Tuesday, will see local community involvement in the
Conservancy. Chief Nhema, (Ranganai Bwawanda of Zaka), Chief Tshovani (Felix
Mundau of Chiredzi), Chief Gudo (Mavivi Karukai of Chiredzi) and Chief
Msikavanhu (Vusani Mutumebvi of Chipinge) signed the agreement on behalf of
their communities at Chishakwe Ranch in the conservancy. Levison Budzi
represented Chief Budzi of Bikita while Norman Muchini signed the agreement
on behalf of Chief Chamutsa of Buhera. Rodwell Mabuyaye signed on behalf of
Chief Mutema of Chipinge.
The Conservancy has become the latest target of the ZANU PF led land grab
campaign, despite warnings about the destructive consequences such a
campaign will have on the wildlife and tourism sectors. Earlier this year a
parliamentary committee said in a damning report that the forced seizure of
Save by top political and military figures with “no interest (or) experience
in wildlife conservation” had resulted in massive destruction there.
These same officials were given 25 year land leases for Save back in 2007,
and then in August the group was handed hunting licences. Part of this group
are war vets leader Joseph Chinotimba, Major General Gibson Mashingaidze,
Major General Engelbert Rugeje, Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister
Titus Maluleke, ZANU PF Masvingo provincial chairperson Lovemore Matuke, the
late Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge, Health Deputy Minister Douglas
Mombeshora, ZANU PF central committee member Enock Porusingazi and ZANU PF
MPs Alois Baloyi, Abraham Sithole, Samson Mukanduri and Noel Mandebvu.
Former ZANU PF MP and war vet Shuvai Mahofa was also a beneficiary of this
campaign, illegally seizing the Savuli Ranch in the Save Valley Conservancy
and evicting the owners and their employees this year. Mahofa has since been
implicated in poaching, after a butchery she owns was raided by police and
the carcasses of three buffalo and other bush meat was discovered.
Behind the scenes there have been ongoing meetings and discussions about
what to do, particularly because of the strong public outcry that met news
of the handover of the hunting licences to ZANU PF cronies. The meetings
have included high level discussions of the ZANU PF politburo, and there is
speculation the party has been attempting some damage control, to save face
ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly,
scheduled for next year at Victoria Falls.
The result of all this has been the agreement reached this week with
officials at the Save Valley Conservancy and local chiefs from the
surrounding areas. Wilfried Pabst, the Vice Chairman of the Conservancy,
said the agreement was originally proposed back in 2000, but a refusal by
the government to engage with them on this plan meant it was never
“We have basically taken action into our own hands now and said to the local
councils and chiefs ‘lets get together’,” Pabst explained, adding: “We could
have done this years ago but we never had support from the government.”
He said the deal is the first step in involving the local communities in
various projects at the Conservancy, to the benefit of all involved. He said
the government’s attempts to ‘nationalise’ the Conservancy would be
‘disastrous’, adding that the permits and hunting licences that were
illegally handed over will soon be withdrawn.
“The leases are highly illegal. No one has ever produced a legal document,”
He also explained that the hunting permits were handed out illegally, and
the individuals involved have since tried to extort thousands of dollars out
of the Conservancy in exchange for the permits. He said that “Cabinet has
decided to withdraw these licences and that will happen soon.”
on November 1, 2012 at 4:51 am
Struggling national airliner Air Zimbabwe is suing the Civil Aviation
Authority of Zimbabwe for over US$8,5 million in damages after one of its
planes collided with wild pigs on the runway three years ago.
Air Zimbabwe’s MA60 aircraft
The airline’s MA60 aircraft collided with the pigs at the Harare
International Airport runway in November 2009 as it prepared to take off
resulting in the flight from Harare to Bulawayo being cancelled.
The aircraft veered off the runway into bushes and two of the 34 passengers
sustained minor injuries. The plane was extensively damaged. None of the
four-crew members on board was injured.
In its summons filed at the High Court on October 23 this year, Airzim is
suing for breach of contract and negligence and argues that CAAZ has, among
its many functions, the responsibility to maintain safety standards at
Government’s domestic and foreign travel expenses gobbled more than $7
million dollars in August - far exceeding the budget figure of $4,5 million.
by Edgar Gweshe
A Consolidated Financial Statement from the Accountant General’s Department
for the month reflects that government forked out $5,454,423on foreign
travel -nearly double the budget allocation of $2,480,000.
Domestic travel expenditure went $645,485.41 over budget to $1,732,485. The
statements provide a summary of government’s financial resources and their
application for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.
In his mid-year fiscal review this year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti
announced a number of austerity measures to keep government’s travel
expenses in check. He said expenditure on foreign travel remained
disproportionate to what was spend on essential services such as health,
education, social protection, infrastructure development and support for
In 2011, President Robert Mugabe overshot his travel budget by 133 percent
in the first half of the year - gobbling $5 million more than his annual
travel allocation of $15 million. In the same year, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai spent only $3,7 million - 64 percent of the $5 million annual
budget allocated to his office.
The latest statement also shows that mining royalties fell some half a
million dollars short of government’s expectations - $11,243,911 received
against the budgeted amount of $11,700, 000. Earnings from the tobacco levy
were also half a million dollars short - with $871,000 budgeted and receipts
of only $203,533.
On medical supplies and services, the government forked out $1,157,935.39 –
slightly above the budget of $977,000. It overspent substantially on
maintenance - $44,469,867 against a budget of $3,467,000.
Thursday, 01 November 2012 09:59
HARARE - Parliament's constitution select committee is giving in to
executive demands to hand all Constitution reports so that the three
Principals can finalise the writing of the new charter.
The 25-member Parliament select committee met in Harare yesterday amid
executive demands to present a report from the Second All-Stakeholders
report and the constitution draft to President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara so that they can take it from
“We are still finalising the report and have set up a subcommittee which is
working on the report to present to the Principals. This will be done
through the management committee,” Zanu PF Constitution Parliamentary
Committee (Copac) co-chair Paul Mangwana told the Daily News yesterday.
The Copac management committee is made up of coalition government
negotiators and the minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Mangwana said the final draft which will be presented to the Principals will
incorporate changes based on the contributions made by stakeholders at the
constitutional conference in Harare last week.
“We are making changes according to what was agreed; on those issues that we
disagreed, we are using our deadlock-breaking mechanisms to come to an
agreement and make changes based on that,” he said.
The Second All-Stakeholders’ ended peacefully but observers reported that
political parties had coached their delegates on arguments to present in the
18 thematic committees which discussed the draft and made recommendations to
Edward Mkhosi, Copac co-chair from the smaller MDC, said it will be up to
the management committee to decide what to do with the reports.
He said nothing has been finalised on who they will present the reports to.
“After the technical committee has finished working on the report, which we
hope they will have done by Monday, they will give it to the full select
committee which will then present it to the management committee. It is up
to the management committee to decide who to present it to,” he said.
Minister Matinenga said whatever they decide to do with the report as the
management committee will be in line with Article 6 of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA), which prescribes that the constitution-making process must
be spearheaded by Parliament not by the three Principals.
“We will cross the bridge when we get there, at the moment I would not want
to speculate on what we will do with the report,” he said.
“We will know what to do with it once we have the report, depending on its
content,” Matinenga said.
President Mugabe has insisted that GPA Principals will have a say in the
final product before the draft goes to a referendum.
Opening the fifth session of the seventh Parliament on Tuesday, Mugabe said
the Principals had mandated the MPs to undertake the outreach programme for
them and they will now complete the process themselves given the deadlock
over demands by Zanu PF to make over 200 amendments to the July 18, 2012
draft produced by Copac.
“Copac should work frantically to produce a report of the (Second All-
Stakeholders) Conference summarising the views expressed by the
stakeholders, in particular divergent views and submit a report to the
Principals who will take necessary steps to set up an appropriate mechanism
to build required consensus on the way forward, mindful that our major
objectives remain the holding of the harmonised elections in March 2013
under a new constitution,” Mugabe said.
Civil society groups have raised fears that the draft will be manipulated by
Principals to suit their political interests, relegating views gleaned from
nationwide public consultations held in 2010, useless. - Bridget Mananavire
Thursday, 01 November 2012 09:59
HARARE - Delays in announcing results of the March 29, 2008 presidential
elections were caused by “political interference” and resource constraints,
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has claimed.
Speaking to journalists in Kadoma yesterday, acting Zec chairperson Joyce
Kazembe and the commission’s deputy chief elections officer, Utoile
Silaigwana said political parties made their work almost insurmountable as
expectations were high from the two leading political parties.
Zanu PF lost its Parliament majority to the MDC in the March vote and
President Robert Mugabe lost the presidential polls to MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, who however, failed to garner the 50 percent-plus one vote
needed to enable him to become the President.
The country had to go for a presidential election run-off, again run by Zec,
which was however marred by violence. Between March and May, the world was
made to wait for more than five weeks by Zec which did not announce election
results amid MDC allegations that Zec was cooking up results to fix the
matrix of an election run-off.
“There was a lot of political interference in 2008,” Silaigwana said.
“People were announcing results when we were still in the process of
counting the votes. We had to go back to the polling stations and restart
the counting manually.”
MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti announced election results after tallying
results posted outside polling stations countrywide. There was a lot of
political drama during the election results hold-up, with Zec claiming it
was “meticulously verifying” results.
At one point, the MDC, which claimed to have won elections, took Zec to the
High Court in order to stop the commission from recounting ballots.
A new look Zec formed in 2009 after the formation of coalition government
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai has a new governing law which requires that
election results should be announced within five days after the poll date.
Kazembe admitted there was mischief from political parties as the country
anxiously waited for poll results before the announcement, which also
heralded the genesis of an orgy of violence allegedly engineered by
shock-troopers, war veterans and youth militia.
The army also stepped in and is widely believed to have propped up Mugabe to
controversially return the presidency after Tsvangirai dropped from the
run-off race citing escalating violence meted on his supporters.
Now with another election beckoning, Kazembe said the commission is in the
process of computerising its systems so as to eliminate delays that could be
caused by human error.
“In 2008 there were a lot of human errors but we do not rule out mischief.
So we would like to eliminate human error. When votes are transferred, we
hope it will be done through the computer,” said Kazembe. - Wendy Muperi and
By Alex Bell
01 November 2012
Zimbabwe’s government is being criticised for selectively honouring trade
and investment agreements with other countries, with warnings that this
practice is scaring off any further investment.
The comments were made Thursday by the President of the Commercial Farmers
Union (CFU), Charles Taffs, who urged the government to honour all trade
Taffs was reacting to statements by Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi who said this week that the investments of South
African citizens in Zimbabwe will be protected.
“There is no doubt regarding this country’s economic interests in Zimbabwe.
They are and will remain protected,” Mumbengegwi told reporters after talks
with his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Tuesday.
Mumbengegwi was understood to be in South Africa as part of on-going
attempts to secure a multi million dollar loan from the neighbouring ANC
government. The main opposition party in South Africa has urged the
government not to extend the US$100 million loan to Zimbabwe, fearing the
money may be diverted by ZANU PF for use in a terror campaign against any
opposition ahead of elections. Observers have now said that these latest
‘commitments’ to South African investment being voiced by Zimbabwe are
purely linked to attempts to secure this loan.
The CFU’s Taffs meanwhile said any commitment to protecting foreign
investment is welcome, but only if the commitments are not “selective”. He
said that dozens of South African citizens have lost land and property as
part of the land grab campaign, with no interference from government.
Most recently, South African born Dirk Visagie and his wife Heidi were
forced to pack up their belongings and leave their Chegutu farm last month
after Dirk was found guilty of remaining on the property. The ruling ended a
decade long fight to remain on his farm that he bought from a government
parastatal in 2001. Back then he received a ‘certificate of no interest’
from the Lands Ministry because the property was considered ‘peri-urban’ and
not one Gazetted under the Lands Act for seizure under the land grab
But about a month later a local official called Timothy Madavanhu, the
chairman of the rural district council, arrived to claim Visagie’s property
as part of the land grab. Madavanhu initiated a campaign of harassment and
intimidation that included moving hired thugs onto the property, breaking
into the Visagie family home and lighting raging veld fires. A prolonged
court battle followed, ending last month with the Visagies being evicted
from their home.
There has been no word form the South African authorities about the campaign
against the Visagies, despite the bilateral investment protection agreement
between the two countries.
“If you’re going to respect investment then you need to respect all
investment or else you’re simply not going to get any new investors.
External investors will not feel secure about coming to Zimbabwe if there is
selective application of the protection agreements,” Taffs said.
The South African farmers are not the only foreign citizens who have
suffered from Zimbabwe’s refusal to honour trade agreements. Farmers from
the Netherlands and Germany and other countries have all lost their
properties as part of the land grab, despite investment agreement that
existed between the two countries.
BY RAY NDLOVU, NOVEMBER 01 2012, 11:54 | 0 COMMENT(S)
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s repeated overtures for peace as elections loom
next year may have influenced the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its
decision to relax its restrictions on technical assistance to the country.
The decision will pave the way for an IMF staff-monitored economic programme
to be launched, economic and political observers said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Mr Mugabe urged peace at the opening of Parliament and said
violent acts between members of his Zanu (PF) and the Movement for
Democratic Change party were "primitive". He made similar calls at last week’s
indaba on the constitution-making process.
Trevor Maisiri, from the International Crisis Group said Mr Mugabe needed to
say all the right things to ensure that next year’s election was deemed
legitimate by the international community.
The about-turn by the IMF is widely seen as a timely boost for Finance
Minister Tendai Biti, who is preparing to present a $3.8bn budget for next
year. Mr Biti this week cut the economic growth forecast for the second time
this year, to 4.3% from 5.6%, on revised mineral output and gross domestic
product (GDP) figures for last year.
Last year, the country’s GDP was $8.8bn, representing growth of 10.3%. GDP
is expected to rise to $11.4bn this year, a 4.3% growth.
Mr Biti has indicated that next year the economy is projected to grow 7.4%
The IMF said in a statement that despite growth in productive sectors such
as mining and agriculture, Zimbabwe’s economy continued to face funding
challenges which resulted in the government failing to meet critical
But the IMF’s board of member countries had agreed there had been
"significant improvement in Zimbabwe’s co-operation on economic policies and
renewed commitment to address its arrears problems", the IMF said.
As a result, the IMF’s technical assistance to Zimbabwe would now be
extended to cover tax policy and administration, public financial management
and expenditure policy, financial sector and central bank reform measures,
monetary and exchange policies, and economic statistics — in what is the
strongest sign yet of normalising relations with the W ashington-based
Kipson Gundani, an economist from the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce
said the technical assistance would be different to the IMF’s economic
structural adjustment programme which the country adopted in the early
"Essentially, the IMF is advising us on our own domestic policies and they
are not imposing as it were, like the time of (structural adjustment). The
country will still be able to exercise some form of autonomy," Mr Gundani
"It remains critical that we meet our debt obligations and our political
leaders move to cultivate the right environment for recovery and stability.
Mr Mugabe’s recent stance on violence is commendable for the sake of
Meanwhile, Mr Biti again hinted at the persistent lack of transparency at
the country’s Marange diamond minefields, with $30m worth of diamond sales
slipping past the Treasury and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
In Parliament this week, Mr Biti said it was important that revenue from
Marange was accounted for transparently in terms of the law.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 20:07
Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter
CIVIL servants’ threat to go on a crippling nationwide strike has faltered
amid intense infighting between representative unions in the government
workers’ umbrella body.
The Apex Council, the public servants umbrella body, is presently ravaged by
factional fighting, rendering union leaders ineffective in organising
nationwide industrial action.
A two-week ultimatum given to the government expired last week without any
The 235 000-strong government employees had issued the ultimatum early
October, threatening to take to the streets to press for a salary increase.
But it emerged this week that the government will most likely pay its
workers an annual bonus after all as Finance Minister Tendai Biti moved to
assure the restive workers.
Lucia Matibenga, the Public Service Minister, recently wrote to the Apex
Council, advising the public workers body to put its house in order first
before engaging the government over civil servants concerns.
“I advise that you resolve your internal leadership squabbles and recommend
for the appointment of a new Apex Council that will make decisions that are
legally binding and would not subject the Ministry to any litigation,” reads
part of Matibenga’s letter in possession of The Financial Gazette.
The Minister’s letter came after the civil servants’ representative body had
written to her office, advising Matibenga that due to the squabbling within
their ranks, they had resolved to let the previous executive led by Tendai
Chikowore, lead salary negotiations with government while the infighting was
But Matibenga’s stance that there must be an executive that will make
legally binding decisions has left a hole in the divided Apex Council, which
effectively has been left leaderless.
David Dzatsunga, who holds the disputed Apex Council presidency, had written
to Matibenga thus; “We, the current leadership of (the) Apex Council, for
the purpose of progress and in the interest of the workers that we
represent, are willing to allow the previous Apex executive led by Tendai
Chikowore, less the individual who is bringing this confusion, that is
Cecilia Alexander, to engage and negotiate with government while this
alleged impasse is being addressed. We are willing to give this executive
all the powers to act for and on behalf of the workers while this issue is
urgently being addressed.”
Dzatsunga, who took over from the Chikowore executive early this year, is
also the president of the College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe while
Public Service Association leader, Alexander also purports to represent
Matibenga suspended negotiations, citing the divisions within the Apex
Civil servants last had a salary increase in July in 2011 while they were
promised a review for January 2012, which never came.
They are pressing for a monthly salary pegged at the Poverty Datum Line, at
US$600. Currently, the lowest government worker gets US$250 per month.
Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a travel warning about
the possible outbreak of political violence in the run up to a
by Edgar Gweshe
It identified war veterans as some of the major culprits of political
violence in Zimbabwe.
“Although the economic outlook in Zimbabwe has improved, political tension
remains, particularly in light of a possible constitutional referendum and
elections in 2012/2013. Farm invasions continue, often accompanied by
violence and looting of property. Exercise caution when visiting areas you
are not familiar with,” reads the travel update.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said political tensions in
Zimbabwe remained high due to the failure by parties in the inclusive
government to fully implement reforms agreed under the Global Political
Agreement as well as state-sponsored harassment of MDC-T ministers.
“Be aware that the open hand is the political symbol of the former
opposition, now the party of the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. So, a
friendly wave may be misinterpreted,” says the travel update.
It adds that the Zimbabwe Republic Police cannot be relied upon to respond
to cases of political violence.
In August this year, the programme coordinator for ZimRights NGO Forum, a
coalition of 19 human rights organisations, Blessing Gorejena, said the
organisation was wary of a possible outbreak of violence during the
constitutional referendum and elections.
British nationals were also warned against the brutality of Mugabe’s
security personnel who form part of the Presidential motorcade.
“There have been a number of incidents where people have been assaulted by
the security forces for stopping in the wrong place or for not stopping soon
enough,” says the update.
The update also highlights British concerns over disease outbreaks,
“Typhoid has been reported in several of Harare’s western suburbs with over
4,000 cases identified. The outbreak is ongoing and has spread to other
“You should ensure that your typhoid vaccination is up to date,” it says,
while expressing concern that health services in Zimbabwe “are patchy and
the provision of health care is unreliable”.
It also warned its citizens about the unreliable nature of Zimbabwe’s
airline services and poorly maintained roads.
ZBC employees have gone for two months without salaries amid revelations
that they are being punished for alerting the anti-corruption commission to
graft involving top brass at the Pockets Hill headquarters.
by Thabani Dube
ZBC operates four national radio stations beamed on Frequency Modulator and
a Shortwave Station based in Gweru - Voice of Zimbabwe. The corporation also
has the country’s sole television broadcaster, ZTV.
Last month, anonymous employees put forward a lengthy dossier chronicling
corruption by senior officials at the state run broadcaster led by Chief
Executive Happison Muchechetere, a war veteran.
The reports were directed to the anti-corruption commission and copied to
Information Minister Webster Shamu. Employees allege that management staff
awarded themselves salaries ranging between $ 5,000 and $20,000 plus vast
allowances, while their own average salaries of between $ 300 and $500 were
not being paid in time.
Disgruntled employees told The Zimbabwean *********** that they are yet to
get their August salaries and management was not forthcoming in addressing
their plight.“All that is being said is that the company does not have
money,” said one worker at Pockets Hill. “What makes it painful is that we
languish in poverty while our bosses grant themselves company’s loans to buy
very expensive cars,” said another employee who spoke on condition of
Workers at the broadcaster’s Gweru station said they were shocked to receive
$60 as salary payment last week. “What do you do with $60 when you have gone
for two months without pay?” asked an irate reporter.
Another worker said the report made to Anti-Corruption Commission had
worsened the situation called upon relevant authorities to intervene. “It is
now like we are being punished for reporting them as they are now more
arrogant while the commission is doing nothing against them,” said the
ZBC Public Relations Manager, Sivukile Simango told The Zimbabwean that the
workers have since received their dues. “They have been paid up to date
wages and I do not discuss salary issues with the press,” he said, adding
that the allegations remained speculation until proven otherwise.
Chiredzi man in trouble for striking Mugabe portrait over employment woes as
magistrate refers case to supreme court
01 November 2012
CHIREDZI MAN IN TROUBLE FOR STRIKING MUGABE PORTRAIT OVER EMPLOYMENT
WOES AS MAGISTRATE REFERS CASE TO SUPREME COURT
ZIMBABWEAN police have charged a Chiredzi man for undermining the
authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe after he allegedly
struck the octogenarian leader’s portrait in a bar in frustration over
failing to secure employment.
Regis Kandawasvika aged 35 years was arrested on Tuesday 30 October
2012 and charged with contravening Section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act after he allegedly held President
Mugabe accountable for failing to secure employment despite having
obtained six Ordinary Level subjects during his educational pursuits.
According to State prosecutors, Kandawasvika, who appeared at Chiredzi
Magistrates Court on Wednesday 31 October 2012, slurred President
Mugabe when he struck the Zanu PF leader’s portrait hung in Khomanani
Bar in Tshovani high density suburb on 2 October 2012 after protesting
against his agonising employment circumstance, which he alleges was
authored by the former freedom fighter.
Kandawasvika reportedly uttered the following words; “Ndiri kutambura
nokuda kwehutongi hwezimudhara iri Robert Mugabe. Ndine masabhujekiti
six pa”O” Level kasi handina basa rekuita. Handidi kana kumboriona
zimudhara irori. Ikozvino gwendo runo riri kuenda kamwe chete”, which
the police translated to mean “I am suffering because of the ruling of
this old man Cde Robert Mugabe. I have six “O” level subjects but I
have no job. I don’t want to see this old man. This time he is going
The State says the alleged utterances were unlawful, abusive, indecent
After stating these words, which followed an altercation in a bar with
Robert Madhambara, a security guard over political party allegiance,
prosecutors charged that Kandawasvika then picked bottle tops from the
floor and threw them at Mugabe’s portrait three times after failing to
hit the portrait with a pool table cue stick.
The prosecutors allege that Kandawasvika was only stopped from further
pounding Mugabe’s portrait by Augustine Mafukidze, a security guard,
who informed the police leading to his arrest.
Kandawasvika, who was represented by Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) was granted $20 bail by a Chiredzi
Magistrate on 31 October 2012 with conditions not to interfere with
State witnesses and to continue residing at the given residential
address until the matter is finalised.
Meanwhile, Nyamandlovu Magistrate, Victor Mpofu, on Thursday 1
November 2012 referred to the Supreme Court the case in which Jeritha
Nkomo is challenging the constitutionality of her prosecution on
charges of undermining the authority of or insulting President Mugabe.
Nkomo, a 36 year-old woman, had been on trial since September after
the State summoned her for trial for an offence which was allegedly
committed in December 2011.
Nkomo, who was represented by Lizwe Jamela of ZLHR, is alleged to have
uttered some unprintable words as she criticised President Mugabe for
allegedly discriminating her and her MDC party supporters from
accessing agricultural inputs such as seeds.
01 November 2012
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has reached an out of court settlement with
Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo – the woman who claims they were married but whom
the PM says he just paid damages to.
But she was confirmed as Tsvangirai’s customary wife by the courts when she
successfully objected to his marriage to his new wife Elizabeth Macheka in
Speaking to Newsday newspaper Karimatsenga’s lawyer, Jonathan Samukange,
confirmed the settlement, but he refused to clarify the terms of the deal.
Karimatsenga has apparently withdrawn a $15,000 a month maintenance claim,
in return for an undisclosed lump sum and other benefits.
Various websites are reporting that the amount she has been paid is
US$300,000 (about R2.5 million).
Speculation is now rife as to where the Prime Minister found that kind of
money to give her.
Thursday, 01 November 2012 09:47
BULAWAYO - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says the
government is not doing enough to fight human trafficking in the country.
Addressing a media workshop on human trafficking in Bulawayo yesterday,
Tapfumaneyi Kusemwa, the IOM Zimbabwe counter trafficking officer said lack
of legislation fighting human trafficking is fuelling the practice.
Zimbabwe will remain southern Africa’s transit point for human traffickers
if no such legislation is put into place, he said.
“We are in a bad situation because we do not have legislation to fight or
prevent human trafficking,” Kusemwa said.
“The country will remain as a source, transit and destination for human
traffickers because of lack of necessary legislation to fight it.”
He said Zimbabwe should copy Zambia that now has tough legislation fighting
“In Zambia one can be sentenced to close to 15 years in jail for practising
human trafficking,” he added.
The IOM official said cases of human trafficking in the country are rampant
in Harare, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South especially in Plumtree and
Beitbridge because of their proximity to South Africa where trafficked
individuals are taken for slave jobs and prostitution.
Kusemwa indicated the failure by government to ratify and domesticate the
Palermo Protocol to fight the practice is to blame for the increase in human
Parliament only approved the Palermo Protocol, a United Nations protocol to
prevent, suppresses and punish human trafficking in July.
Human trafficking is rife in Zimbabwe with women being lured to as far as
China and Canada for prostitution while men are lured into exploitative
labour in countries like Malaysia and Nigeria, the trafficking in persons
report for 2011 released by the United States, says.
The report says Zimbabwean women and men are lured into exploitative labour
situations in Angola, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South
Africa with false offers of employment in agriculture, construction,
information technology, and hospitality, and some subsequently become
victims of forced labour.
Young women and girls are also lured to China, Egypt, the United Kingdom,
and Canada under false pretences, and then subjected to prostitution.
But the traffic is not one way. Some are coming into or through Zimbabwe.
Men, women, and children from Bangladesh, Somalia, India, Pakistan, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are trafficked
through Zimbabwe en route to South Africa.
Women and children from border communities in neighbouring countries are
trafficked to Zimbabwe for forced labour and prostitution.
A small number of South African girls are exploited in Zimbabwe in domestic
servitude. - Pindai Dube
By Guthrie Munyuki, Senior Assistant Editor
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:09
HARARE - South Korea wants to bring to an end Zimbabwe’s electricity agony
which has seen intermittent power cuts adversely affecting key sectors of
Boasting of experience in building power stations both at home and abroad,
the Asian country seeks to help Zimbabwe expand its power base.
However, there are no prospects of an immediate deal.
“Construction of power stations in your country is a necessity. A viable
energy sector is what your country needs desperately right now because
without energy you cannot do anything,” Korean ambassador to Zimbabwe, LEW
Kwang-chul,” told the Daily News this week.
“In this sector (power and energy) Korea has a role to play because we have
built a lot of power stations, and every kind of power station in other
“You need to construct more power stations, either hydropower, coal fuel or
gas turbine station.
“But as Korea we did not only build many power stations in our own country
but we do have lots of experience building power stations overseas.
“So for us, if our companies can make a contribution they can come to your
country and start building modern power stations.”
However, there are no immediate plans to engage the Koreans in the expansion
of power stations.
Government is yet to sound its Korean counterparts while it continues using
ad hoc measures to keep Zimbabwe powered.
“Your government is having an interest in renovating the hydropower
“Our strength lies in building thermal power stations. As your industry
grows I am sure you will see the need to build more power stations.
“We have lots of things to cooperate with you. As I told you, we can play a
significant role. Once terms of negotiations are met appropriately from both
sides, certainly we can do that.”
The Korean envoy spoke as Zimbabwe continues to experience power shortages
as a result of varying factors.
Among them are the cash squeezes to import more power to augment what is
currently produced and finance rehabilitation of current power stations.
Zimbabwe needs about 2 200 megawatts of electricity at peak consumption but
generates less than 1 300 megawatts.
As part of an audacious bid to improve power supplies, Zimbabwe looks
expectantly to the Batoka Hydro Project agreed with Zambia.
It has the potential to generate between 1 600 to 2 000 megawatts.
Currently, Zimbabwe relies heavily on Kariba and Hwange power stations whose
power-generation capacities are severely restricted — putting more strain on
treasury which finances import of additional supplies from the region.
Regionally, only the Hydro Cahora Basa in Mozambique is exporting power to
Zimbabwe amid surging power demand in southern Africa.
Yet South Korea says its profile in building thermal power stations both at
home and overseas, is enough testimony of its commitment to end power woes.
“We accumulated a lot of experience in building, in our country, these
energy producing stations. On the other hand we went abroad and there we
built a lot of power stations.
“We do not only build power stations but we also run them under Independent
Power Project for between 15-20 years and hand over to the host country,”
South Korea has built power stations in the Middle East, Africa and some
Asian countries such as Philippines, according to the envoy.
The Asian country, with a population of 50 million, is Asia’s fourth largest
and the world’s 15th largest economy.
Its economy is export-driven, with production focusing on electronics,
automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics.
Zimbabwe is among the several African countries that have benefited from the
$1 billion assistance under the Korea Africa Economic Cooperation (Koafec).
Kwang-chul said Korea’s rapid economic and social development, particularly
in the field of IT and agriculture holds valuable promise for Zimbabwe.
“Obviously, Korea, like China, is also a very well known industrial country.
“We do produce a lot of manufactured goods. In doing so, the natural
resources are a necessity for our country.
“It’s quite natural that a many Koreans population do have a lot of interest
in countries like Zimbabwe.
“We do have keen interest in the extractive industry. Agriculture in certain
aspects is also a natural resource.
“Some of the Korean companies have a lot of interest in resuscitating
commercial farming in your country. As far as I know some of them are
already in negotiation phase with your concerned authority.
“That’s my understanding. But as you know, it takes some time to complete
all these negotiation procedures.
“Certainly in the near future, some of the bigger Korean companies will make
their presence in Zimbabwe.
“They are open to do business in extractive industries and commercial
farming,” said the ambassador.
However, he implored the government to establish a legal and ownership
system that allows commercial farmers to run their businesses with
While seeing resuscitation in agriculture, Kwang-chul observed that most
farms were saddled with poor irrigation equipment despite the abundant small
“You have many small dams but unfortunately because of many factors
including lack of electricity you cannot take advantage of these dams even
though you have water in these dams. You cannot draw it to the farms,” he
Most farmers have suffered bad cropping as a result of drought-induced
effects, including poor rains.
Consequently, Zimbabwe has remained on the throes of cereal and grain
deficits blamed on both these factors and its chaotic 2000 agrarian reforms
which empowered peasants and Zanu PF politicians.
But Kwang-chul said Zimbabwe was poised to rejuvenate its agriculture by
installing new measures such as technology.
Korea, said its envoy, has programmes that would open avenues to new trends
in different sectors of the economy.
“In order to reach this level of course, Korea had to run a lot of public
complicated economic development programmes.
“Those economic experiences are the things we want to share with
Zimbabweans. We are ready to open our
expertise and know-how which we have gathered through all these complicated
“From government side, we already have some programmes run through the
Knowledge Sharing Programme.
“We continue our exercise to transfer our technology and expertise to the
Zimbabwe people by inviting more of Zimbabwean trainees either to Korean
International Aid Cooperation (Koica) or some other programmes,” said
He said big Korean corporations were also running their own training
“Perhaps we can take advantage of that. I would like to see enhanced
exchange of people, just ordinary people, students, tourists, visitors and
“Ordinary people are the backbone of that valuable cooperation for the two
In his one-and-half years in Zimbabwe, Kwang-chul observed that the
transition government has made progress which he said was sufficient to lead
towards national consensus in resolving socio-economic and political issues.
“My observation is that your country is moving in the right direction.
“I would want to see all these complicated procedures move on peacefully,
non violent, smoothly and to see a united people.
“I want to see Zimbabwe united even though you have to run this very
“Unity from own experience, is quite important for the country to move
ahead,” said Kwang-chul.
‘Bring us on board, we will light you!’
Harare, November 01, 2012 - Advocate Pansy Tlakula, the Special Rapportuer
on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa and a member of
the African Commission on People’s and Human Rights says she is “deeply
concerned by the continued existence of laws that impede the work of the
media in Zimbabwe.”
Tlakula told Radio VOP in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the
inaugural Carlos Cardoso Memorial lecture at the University of
Witwaterstrand in Johannesburg that Zimbabwe should repeal the laws such as
Access to Information and protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Public and
Order Security Act (POSA) which continue to impede media work.
“The new constitution will not solve all the problems. Even after the new
constitution is put in place, you will still have to deal with all laws that
impede expression like AIPPA, POSA and all the other laws that are not in
conformity with regional and international instruments that Zimbabwe has
ratified,” Tlakula who also works as an advocate of the High Court of South
“Those laws remain a source of concern for us but we are hoping with the
adoption of the new constitution, the constitutionality of these laws will
In addition she said, in the meantime journalists in Zimbabwe should fight
for the repeal of these laws and if they are not repealed they will have to
take the fight to the courts.
Asked what she thinks about the recent move by South African president,
Jacob Zuma to withdraw a lawsuit against popular cartoonist Jonathan Zapiro,
she said, “I am very happy about it, it’s a victory for media freedom in
Zuma had been suing Zapiro following one of his cartoons which showed him
preparing to rape a woman who represented the justice system in South Africa
with the help of his government and political party members.
ANGLO American Platinum, the world's largest miner of the metal, has agreed
to transfer majority of its Unki mine in Zimbabwe to locals, the firm said
on Thursday, following pressure from President Robert Mugabe's government.
Amplats and the government said in a joint statement the transaction values
the 51 percent stake at $142.8 million. A state fund will take 21 percent of
the mine with employees, a community trust and unnamed local investors
taking 10 percent each, they said.
The deal will be funded through the dividends due to the new local
shareholders for the next 10 years.
Harare is championing a controversial law requiring foreign-owned firms,
mostly mines and banks, to surrender majority stakes in their Zimbabwean
operations to local blacks.
Earlier this year, world No.2 producer Impala Platinum bowed to Zimbabwe's
pressure to surrender a 51 percent stake in its Zimplats unit to local black
Zimbabwe, with the largest known platinum deposits in the world after South
Africa, is seen as a growth area for the sector. But analysts say the 51
percent local ownership requirement diminishes the country's attraction as
an investment destination.
Zimbabwe says its empowerment policy seeks to redress the racial inequities
of past colonial rule, but the government's seizure of white-owned farms
over the last decade has destroyed commercial agriculture in what was once
described as a regional bread basket.
Women in Zimbabwe have called for the repealing of repressive and unjust
laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the
Public Order and Security Act and the Broadcasting Services Act, which
should be replaced by legislation that takes the needs of the citizens into
by Tony Saxon
This came out at Women’s Rights Forum stakeholders’ meeting held in the city
last week. In an interview with The Zimbabwean on the sidelines of the
meeting, Susan Makoni, from the Women in Action Zimbabwe said freedom of
expression must be a guaranteed right.
“Media freedom should take the needs of the citizens into consideration and
should recognise the right to freedom of expression and association of
Zimbabwean women,” she said. Makoni added that women in Zimbabwe demanded
the right to form and hold opinions.
“We should be able to have and express opinions without fear. Women should
have the freedom of print, electronic and artistic media. The government has
an obligation to guarantee these fully and encourage an environment that
limits control and censorship,” she said. “Women are not being given the
chance to express their views especially in the state media like Herald and
ZBC. We are being sidelined by these state papers, as our views are
perceived to be anti- Zanu (PF),” she said.
She added that media production houses must have a stipulated quota of
women-related issues. “The Zimbabwe media commission should play the
monitoring role on this issue,” she added.
Makoni felt that gender training should be introduced at all journalism
schools to ensure that reporters were not gender blind in their reporting.
The prophets of doom were put to shame by the manner that the Copac Second
All Stakeholders’ Conference was smoothly and successfully conducted last
week. Attended by some 1,300 delegates, the conference was a classic
demonstration of what Zimbabweans can achieve when they are allowed to work
peacefully together across the political divide.
by John Makumbe
Although there were heated debates in some of the thematic or chapter
discussions, the general atmosphere was peaceful and cordial, and the
business of the conference was accomplished to the satisfaction of all
people of goodwill. The opening statements by the President and the Prime
Minister set the tone. Good old Ago also spoke well - although he should not
have been allowed to take Welshman Ncube’s place on the podium. Mutambara is
not a Principal in the Government of National Unity - but Welshman Ncube is.
Both President Mugabe and PM Tsvangirai should come to terms with this
One of the blemishes of the conference was the content of Mugabe’s jocular
speech. We all know that Article VI of the Global Political Agreement places
the task of writing the new constitution in the hands of Parliament. In
compliance with the principle of separation of powers, the Executive should
not interfere with the Legislature in regard to this task. It was therefore
a misplaced assumption for Mugabe to chide both Mwonzora and Mangwana, two
of the three co-chairs of Copac for their handling of the writing of the
The Executive should not be allowed to usurp the powers and functions of the
Legislature. A few weeks before the conference, my good friend, Eric
Matinenga, the Minister of Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs, had
been pressured by the Principals to instruct Copac to hand over the
finalising of the draft constitution to them. Advocate Matinenga flatly
refused to do so, arguing that this would be a violation of the principle of
separation of powers. This nation needs to caution the Principals that any
tampering with the Copac draft constitution by them may result in the
rejection of the document at the referendum. History should inform us.
The agreed terms of reference for the conference had been very carefully
thought out by the Select Committee of Parliament. It had been agreed that
the conference was not a drafting forum but an occasion for the tabling of
the Copac draft and receiving of feedback from those who attended. This was
very clever since it meant that only recommendations for adjustments could
be made at the conference with little, if any, debate on what was suggested.
As it turned out, Zanu (PF) delegates had been coached on what to recommend
for change in each and every chapter in order to ensure that that party’s
266 amendments to the draft would be adopted. Both MDC formations insisted
that the content of the Copac draft should remain or be retained. The Copac
secretariat recorded both these views for ultimate submission to the Select
Committee, which would then make the final decision. For any recommendation
to be adopted there would have to be consensus among the three political
parties in Copac. Failure to reach consensus would mean that the content of
the Copac draft would be retained. This was a knock-out strategy.
It remains to be seen whether any significant changes will be made to the
existing Copac draft as the Select Committee begins its meetings this week
to study the conference reports. The nation is waiting on tenter-hooks,
while the Principals are itching to have a go at the revising and
re-drafting the Copac document. May real good sense prevail. -
Not all Zanu (PF) policies in the 1980s failed. A more worthy wealth
redistribution initiative launched a much-needed improvement in education.
Although former Rhodesian governments had achieved a better standard of
education than had any other African country, the system’s major shortcoming
was that too small a percentage of junior school pupils could find places in
the limited number of senior schools.
by John Robertson
Towards the end of the 1980s, the numbers of high school graduates was above
100,000 a year and the lack of employment opportunities had become
Mugabe promised that senior school places would be created for all children
and that the State would bear all the costs of tuition for all children.
With considerable help from donor countries and aid agencies, the education
promises were kept.
By the mid-1980s, tens of thousands of well-educated young people with high
hopes were offering themselves to the employment market. Unfortunately, with
the handicaps imposed on the business sector still very much in place, jobs
to absorb more than a fraction of the school-leavers were simply not being
These continuing constraints on the business sector, specially price
controls, shortages of foreign currency and threats of eventual take-overs
by the Marxist-Leninist State, showed every sign of continuing to discourage
the investment needed for employment growth.
Very few companies could maintain apprenticeship or other training
programmes, and that problem was made worse by new regulations that allowed
government to choose which young people would selected for apprenticeship
Towards the end of the 1980s, the numbers of high school graduates was above
100,000 a year and the lack of employment opportunities had become
World Bank economists were able to persuade government that investment was
needed for employment creation, but that domestic investment depended on
savings that, with high taxes and price controls, were too difficult to
Obtaining foreign investment instead depended on competing successfully for
foreign investors, but they preferred to avoid countries that imposed
controls on almost every form of economic activity.
With offers of financial assistance, the World Bank proposed a programme of
trade liberalisation measures that was conditional upon government keeping
its promises to reduce controls, and also to reduce its own budget deficits
as these were “crowding-out” business activity. The plans were accepted, and
when the terms became known, Zimbabwe enjoyed an upsurge of investor
To keep the budget deficit from rising above three percent of Gross Domestic
Product, the World Bank advised the government to shed the employees who
were not needed. Government agreed, World Bank money arrived, the first of
the measures were introduced and business began to warm to its new freedoms.
With price controls being lifted and access to more imports, the business
sector in 1990 enjoyed the first flush of real optimism it had seen since
Government then announced its proposed 1991 budget. Contrary to the agreed
plan, this showed that it intended to raise a substantial sum to fund
another large budget deficit.
The World Bank was most displeased, and their reasoning soon became clear:
when government loan stock was offered to the market to fund the deficit,
the private sector ignored it. With trade liberalisation and the removal of
controls, every business and all the institutions were looking forward to
investing their funds in ways that were much more exciting than waiting for
Government Stock to mature.
Further attempts were made to sell government paper, but as the terms of
their agreement had been breached, the World Bank decided that Zimbabwe had
disqualified itself and the request for more help was denied. Try the IMF,
The IMF said they could certainly help, but warned that the conditions would
be a good deal tougher that those of the World Bank. They amounted to very
much more than the already difficult instructions to get rid of subsidies
and controls, to cut the size of the public sector, to cut taxes and to
reign in the budget deficit.
To this list, the IMF added, among other things, a substantial devaluation,
the abolition of the import licensing and allocation system and the
privatisation of Zimbabwe’s loss-making parastatals. After much debate, the
IMF’s Economic Structural Adjustment Programme was adopted.
As import licences were abolished, as price and rent controls were removed,
as taxes were reduced and as investment regulations were greatly simplified,
business conditions improved enormously. New housing schemes were started
and new shopping malls were designed around the rising numbers of retailers
who at last had access to imported goods.
But not everybody was happy. A severely dissatisfied group was soon to
emerge and its members were those who had lost their income from the sale of
foreign exchange allocations and import licences.
These former recipients of substantial handouts were left out in the cold.
But they claimed that their entitlements were not being respected so they
formed themselves into a militant war veteran’s pressure group.
They confronted Mugabe himself and, to make up for their lost incomes, they
demanded pensions for the rest of their lives. Also, they demanded
substantial gratuities to make up for the lack of support they claimed had
been shown in previous years. On top of all that, they demanded free
For reasons that became the subject of some speculation, Mugabe felt obliged
to concede to all their demands. But finding the money for pensions and
gratuities proved to be a serious problem, specially as nearly twice the
number of people expected presented themselves for registration as war
Additional taxes were proposed to help raise the amounts, but these led to
street riots, so the government was forced to seek other options. It ended
up raiding the proposed capital expenditure budget for some of it, and it
simply printed the rest.
Mugabe’s land acquisition plan proved more difficult. His initial demands
were that large-scale farmers should relinquish five million hectares of the
eleven million hectares they were farming. Specific farmers were identified,
Land Acquisition Orders were served and an initial batch of a few hundred
farmers was ordered to vacate their land.
However, the farmers challenged these orders in court, claiming that their
property rights were protected by Zimbabwe’s constitution. The courts
agreed. These court decisions so angered Mugabe that he started making
arrangements to replace the constitution. The new one, which had to win the
approval of the electorate in a referendum, was duly prepared and contained
clauses that would formally and legally empower him to dispossess
landowners. However, the referendum rejected the new constitution.
This made Mugabe even angrier. His responses to it were, first, to use his
parliamentary majority to pass constitutional amendments that legalised his
right to confiscate land and, second, to declare that commercial farmers
would be forced to relinquish, not five million hectares, but all eleven
million hectares. Thirdly, he set about replacing all the judges who had
The events that followed devastated Zimbabwe’s economy. But because Mugabe
believes the electorate has since shown him deep disrespect by voting
against him in several elections, he feels nothing for their hardships. He
now holds the population in contempt and is eager to see it punished and
disciplined. Other tactics are being used to render powerless the opposition
parties, the very existence of which he treats as an insult.
What is particularly insulting about the Movement for Democratic Change, the
principal political challenger, is that it originated from the trades union
movement. Morgan Tsvangirai is the former leader of the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions. Mugabe’s reactions against his challengers suggest that he
firmly believed that they were his most loyal supporters.
To politicians who pretend to have left-wing convictions, employers always
seem to offer a never-ending source of lucrative targets, but the same
politicians always seem surprised when the inevitable casualties from the
employees’ ranks reach critical mass and the workers find their voice. –
Part 3 next week: Land Reform devastated the economy because the farming
sector consisted of thousands of companies that made up the largest business
01 November 2012
Tony Hawkins says there are no shortage of apologists determined to gainsay
the awful consequences
Land reform and Zimbabwe's lost decade
The story of Zimbabwe's land resettlement began in 2000 when Robert Mugabe
released his dogs of war to evict white commercial farmers from their land.
That year the country's farmlands yielded some 4.2m tonnes of agricultural
produce, according to the Commercial Farmers Union (see chart below). But by
the end of this country's "lost decade", 1998 to 2008, agricultural output
had slumped more than 60% to 1.6m tonnes. The estimate for 2012 is 2.1m
tonnes-half of what was produced 12 years ago.
Were that the sole statistic for measuring the achievements of land
resettlement, it would be bad enough. But when the impact on the economy as
a whole is taken into account, the picture is far bleaker.
Zimbabwe's real GDP fell 40% from $6.6 billion in 2000 to $4.1 billion in
2010, while real per capita incomes in 2011 were 37% lower than when
Zimbabwe finally gained independence from Britain in April 1980, according
to the World Bank.
Despite these harsh truths there is no shortage of apologists determined to
gainsay them. These range from itinerant United Kingdom academics seeking to
establish a reputation for themselves using specious, carefully-sanitised
case-study data to the political scientists, journalists and politicians
determined to prove that sub- Saharan Africa would be a better place without
It is true that if the official data are to be believed-and they come with a
very serious health warning-in 2011 there were some 700,000 people employed
on re-settlement farms, double the number ever employed in commercial
agriculture before 2000. But there is very little in these data for land
reform apologists to celebrate. For a start, the figures for 2010 show that
a year earlier there had been 1.15m people employed on these same farms and
that some 450,000 jobs had disappeared in just 12 months.
Then there are the wage numbers. Farmworkers on resettled properties were
earning $10 a month in 2011 in an industry where the minimum official wage
is $80 monthly, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency. The
average wage outside agriculture is $530 a month, which also speaks volumes
for the "success" of resettlement.
At independence in 1980, large-scale commercial farmers, almost all of them
white, owned 15.5m hectares of land, or 39% of the total, predominantly in
the regions of the country with better climates and soil. The bulk of the
rest was owned communally (41.4%) while urban/ national parks and other
state-owned land accounted for a further 15.9%, leaving small-scale
non-communal farmers occupying just 3.5% of the total.
Following the completion of the land programme in 2009, resettlement farmers
occupied 26.8% of the land while the share of large-scale commercial growers
had been reduced to 6%. The communal share was unchanged at 41%, as was the
share of parks and state-owned land at 15.9%.
A degree of equity in land occupation-though not ownership-was achieved,
albeit in an extraordinarily arbitrary and unfair way. The Zimbabwean media
is full of reports of multiple farm ownership by prominent politicians,
judges, bureaucrats and army, air force and police officers. According to
the September 14th 2012 edition of the Independent weekly newspaper, Senate
President Edna Mazongwe owns six farms, Local Government Minister Ignatius
Chombo owns five, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi four and Indigenisation
Minister Saviour Kasukuwere owns two.
Had the process been conducted in a transparent, non-violent and, above all,
legal manner, it might have been possible to share the apologists' view that
social gains had been made, albeit at enormous economic cost. But the entire
operation was cronyism and political patronage at its worst. Those now on
the land do not own it. They can never be certain that a future government
will not seek to reverse the process. Even the arbitrarily-distributed
social benefits are cloaked in insecurity and uncertainty.
Worse, the programme lacked economic rationale. The original aim in the
early 1980s was to reduce the overcrowded population on communal lands to
some 350,000. But by the early 1990s, after a decade of lacklustre progress
in land resettlement, there were over 1m families eking out a precarious
living as subsistence farmers.
For land resettlement to work, the government should have opted for a multi-
pronged approach. For a start, it needed to raise productivity and living
standards in the communal areas, not just by reducing the population there,
but also by investing in infrastructure and skills development. At the same
time, as people were moved out of these areas, they should have had either a
place-or better still-a job to go to. This did not happen. When fast-track
land resettlement took off, the government simply allocated land-or allowed
people to evict the owners and settle-without funding, without extension
support and without infrastructure. The programme was programmed to fail, as
it duly did.
This was hardly surprising. A government bureaucracy which has proved unable
to operate a customs post at Beitbridge on the South African border, or a
passport office in Harare, was never going to make a success of a
highly-complex and technical task such as land resettlement, especially
since it was starved of funds.
A further aspect, neatly captured by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in
their 2012 book "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and
Poverty", was the conduct of "extractive" institutions (their term) as
distinct from inclusive ones. "Extractive political institutions concentrate
power in the hands of a narrow elite and place few constraints on the
exercise of power. Economic institutions are then structured by the elite to
extract resources from the rest of society."
In Zimbabwe extractive institutions in the form of cronyism in land
redistribution, in the exploitation of diamonds and in access to bank loans,
municipal land and government contracts worked to the advantage of the
Zanu-PF elite. Recent media reports and anecdotal evidence show that some in
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change have been quick to leap
aboard the same gravy train. Until Zimbabwe's society becomes more
pluralistic and its institutions more inclusive, little will change.
The apologists have seized on structural change in the tobacco sector to
justify their claims that-given time- land resettlement will succeed. In
2013, according to the state Tobacco Industries Marketing Board, there will
be more than 50,000 registered tobacco growers, all but 800 of them
small-scale. In 2012 resettled farmers produced 42% of the crop, while 750
large-scale commercial farmers grew 29%. Communal farmers and small-scale
commercial producers grew a further 29%.
Within a few years-since 2007-the centre of gravity in the tobacco industry
has swung from large to small scale, fuelled in part by the extension of
contract farming to smallholders. With this shift, quality and productivity
have declined. The proportion of below-average quality tobacco rose from 16%
in 2001 to 35.5% in 2010. Over the same period, yield per hectare for the
entire industry tumbled 20%.
In a dollarised economy, exporters cannot look to currency devaluation to
offset this combination of declining productivity and deteriorating quality.
This is where the smallholder tobacco models are falling short. So long as
smallholders can minimise costs by "employing" family labour, failing to pay
minimum wages and cutting down trees to cure tobacco rather than buying
coal, tobacco will probably remain a profitable crop. But Zimbabwe's tobacco
reputation was built on producing high-quality leaf. If this prestige is
tarnished, the country will continue to lose share at the top end of the
Whatever its socio-political impact, land reform represented a step
backwards in terms of productivity, efficiency and competitiveness. At a
time when agriculture throughout the world is moving away from smallholder
farming to integrated value- chain production units, dominated by commercial
growers, mostly on medium-sized and large farms, Zimbabwe is heading in the
Zimbabwe gave up its technological lead in agriculture and made itself more
dependent than ever on low-cost production. This has translated into low
wages, as is already the case on resettlement farms. Or it could also lead
to increased technology and mechanisation, which will mean higher unit costs
and fewer jobs in a country with massive unemployment and underemployment.
Neither is an optimal growth path for a low-income country, starved of
capital, and with extremely high unemployment in excess of 60% of the labour
Over time, as economies develop, agriculture's share of both GDP and
employment falls. Workers leave the land for better-paid jobs in the towns
and cities. Starved of young able-bodied workers, farms mechanise and
productivity rises. There is no reason to expect Zimbabwe's future growth
path to be any different. With a mere 700,000 people currently employed in
the formal economy (excluding agriculture and private domestic service), or
14% of the workforce, land resettlement cannot and will not solve the
country's unemployment problem.
Those who expect-hope for?-a return to large-scale commercial agriculture
have lost touch with reality. It is not going to happen. No future
government is going to evict the settlers. Omelettes simply cannot be
unscrambled. The best that can be hoped for over the long haul is a gradual
recommercialisation of agriculture by freeing up land markets and allowing
successful smallholders to expand their land ownership. At the same time the
state must re-think its policy towards the communal areas by investing in
infrastructure and seeking to foster off-farm job opportunities in the field
This article first appeared in Africa In Fact, the journal of Good
01 November 2012
Eddie Cross says that without property rights there can be no real progress
Fundamentals for the Future - Property Rights
In 1980 when Zimbabwe became a democratic State after 86 years of government
by various white settler dominated governments, the new government took
control of an economy that had been created without significant overseas
aid, had very little debt, a currency that was worth twice the value of a US
dollar and a population that had the second highest per capita income in
Africa. That this was achieved despite the country being at war with itself
for many years, operating under mandatory, universal, United Nations
sanctions enforced by the Security Council, was an astonishing achievement.
In 2008, when the control of the State by Zanu PF was finally broken by
regional intervention and the imposition of an inclusive government
including the MDC, the Zimbabwean economy was in a sorry state. Despite
receiving many billions of dollars in foreign aid over the previous 28
years, the currency had totally collapsed and was worthless. National debt
was 240 per cent of GDP - perhaps the worst in the world and even if all
export receipts had been used to pay back the debt; it would have taken
nearly 8 years to do so. Incomes per capita were the third lowest in the
world, three quarters of the population was living on aid from the west -
mostly the United States and Europe, nearly all schools and hospitals were
closed and the infrastructure collapsing.
What had gone wrong?
There are many of my former compatriots who would say "we told you so",
arguing on a racist basis that black Zimbabweans simply could not manage the
State properly. Sure, corruption was and is a problem, sure they made
mistakes in macroeconomic policy, but in my view that was not the problem.
The problem was that the new regime destroyed property rights in their
efforts to perpetuate their hold on the State and maintain their privileges
and patronage rights.
When I was a small boy, my father became an alcoholic. I must have been
about 5 at the time. He lost his job as a senior executive with an oil
company, lost the house and car and all his savings. My mother took over
with five children and two years of basic schooling. She taught herself how
to type and write shorthand, got a job as a secretary and quickly
established herself as a personal assistant and secretary to a senior
executive in a local company. We moved from the most exclusive part of town,
to a slum area made up of houses built in the War to accommodate air force
After living in this house rented from the local authority for some years,
the government announced that they were going to sell these houses to their
occupants - the deposit was what we had been paying as rent and in future
the rentals would go towards paying off the bond. The place would be ours in
I was only 12 when that happened but I will never forget how that decision
transformed out lives. Overnight, our community changed, walls went up,
gardens were planted, houses painted, roofs repaired even house extensions
and basic improvements started. In months, the place was hardly
recognizable. The only thing that had changed was that we now owned the
places we lived in. We were still poor, we still struggled to put food on
the table and meet our bills, but we owned our own home.
If you drive around any town, anywhere, you will be able to quickly identify
where people own their own homes and where they do not. This principle is
universal, operates in all cultures and places.
Nearly all newly independent States in Africa abolished freehold rights to
property early in their new history. The reason being that such rights were
alien to African cultures, where people relied on free access to land as the
only basis on which they could make a living and have any long term
security. But such societies did not allow accumulation or differentiation.
The people were all poor together and the only people, who had any security
of title, were the feudal type tribal leaders and then the leaders who came
out of the bush to claim the right to leadership and control, in most cases
Here, because of the constitutional restrictions imposed in 1980, it took
many years for this process to manifest itself and for the first 18 years of
independence there were few changes to the security of tenure and property
rights. In the towns, people built homes and bought and sold them, people
went into business and invested their savings and time and energy to create
businesses, farmers went about their business and agriculture expanded
steadily right up to the year 2000.
Sure over that whole period the regime became steadily more corrupt and they
violated the fundamental rules of macroeconomic management, but the economy
carried the burden and there was a slow but steady improvement in life for
most people. Then came the challenge to the control of the State, this time
from an unexpected quarter and suddenly the people who came in from the bush
to assume control in 1980, felt threatened. They then attacked what had been
the basis of the fragile stability and growth over the previous century -
property rights. The reason - the people who lived on the farms were just
too independent and held the balance of power between the towns (where
secure property rights prevailed) and the communal areas where there were no
property rights and feudal political structures prevailed.
The problem was that when you attack such fundamental rights you undermine
those rights throughout the economy. The net effect was not just the
collapse of agriculture, but the entire economy. Once they did that, the
whole edifice came tumbling down, the consequences of living for years on
credit and beyond their means came home to roost, business took steps to
protect themselves and the productive elements in our society looked for
greener pastures. Suddenly, in a mere 7 years, we were a basket case.
What made Rhodesia such a resilient and self sufficient place was the issue
of ownership. It is the only explanation for why farmers, living in isolated
areas, were able to put up with the pressures of the war, sanctions and the
real sacrifices that had to be made. They were defending their homes and
families. But in an urban context, even though the relationship is more
complex, it is the same and if that is threatened then everything else is
vulnerable. This is why indigenisation is such a threat to all of us. In
Zambia, the Mulungushi declaration by Kenneth Kaunda (essentially the same
thing as indigenisation) stopped the Zambian economy in its tracks and there
was no significant growth in that country for the next 20 years.
Property rights are fundamental to economic growth and stability. They are
also the very foundation of democracies and not just in Europe or America,
but wherever men and women choose to make a place their home.
Eddie Cross is MDC MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his