By Reagan Mashavave (AFP) – 2 hours ago
HARARE — Young supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe stoned and
beat up backers of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday, blocking a
planned rally of his Movement for Democratic Change party.
A group of youths singing anthems of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party threw rocks at
MDC supporters inside the stadium where the rally was to be held, in the
sprawling Harare suburb of Chitungwiza 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of
the capital, an AFP correspondent said.
Police fired tear gas to disperse the ZANU-PF supporters, but failed to stop
them from throwing stones and beating MDC activists, forcing the MDC to
cancel the rally before Tsvangirai could deliver his address.
"Unfortunately we are unable to do this rally because of incredible acts of
wanton violence, malicious violence that we have suffered at the hands of
ZANU-PF this morning," Tendai Biti, MDC secretary general, told a news
Biti said seven MDC activists had to be hospitalised and 15 more treated for
injuries, while five party vehicles were damaged.
"There are literally hundreds of people that have been beaten up, that have
been stoned by ZANU-PF supporters. They have suffered bruises, tissue
injuries, various degrees of injuries", he said.
He said police had failed to protect the MDC.
"They watched us as these ZANU-PF youths destroyed our property and
assaulted our members," he said.
Biti, who is also Zimbabwe's finance minister in the power-sharing
government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, accused ZANU-PF of using violence
to provoke fear in the run-up to elections expected to be held as soon as
"It is self-evident that ZANU-PF is already building up to the next
election. It is quite clear that we are in a chaos scenario where they are
unleashing violence," he said.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said he had received reports of clashes
but was still gathering information and could not comment or give details.
ZANU-PF national spokesman Rugare Gumbo said he had not heard about the
"But we are not surprised by the claim that ZANU-PF is the one that caused
the violence. That is what we always know the MDC will say," he told AFP.
Zimbabwe's unity government has been riven by problems since it was formed
in February 2009, after a bitterly disputed first-round 2008 vote where
neither candidate won an absolute majority.
That election sparked a wave of attacks that killed more than 200 MDC
supporters. To end the bloodshed, Tsvangirai pulled out of the second round
against Mugabe, the country's ruler since 1980.
The power-sharing pact was meant to introduce security sector reforms that
would prevent a repeat of the violence, but Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of
failing to uphold his end of the deal.
Tsvangirai briefly quit the coalition in late 2009, but regional mediators
persuaded him to resume working with Mugabe.
The leaders are supposed to oversee the drafting of a new constitution that
will steer the country to fresh elections, but the process has been marred
by violent disruptions of community meetings by Mugabe supporters and is
running more than a year behind schedule.
(AP) – 6 hours ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The party of Zimbabwe's prime minister says 22
people were injured and property was destroyed after youths attacked
hundreds of supporters gathered at a rally in a town south of the capital,
Tendai Biti, secretary-general for the Movement for Democratic Change, says
the party was forced to cancel a Sunday rally after attackers stoned and
beat up supporters. He says the attackers were identified as President
Robert Mugabe militants, known as Chipangano in the local Shona language.
The incident came as regional mediators wound up a visit to Harare aimed at
easing tensions in Zimbabwe's two-year coalition.
Mugabe formed a shaky coalition government with former opposition Morgan
Tsvangirai in 2009 after disputed elections in 2008.
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 06 November 2011 12:58
HARARE - The recent crackdown by police in Harare and a countrywide lockdown
of political activities has once again underscored the security sector’s
role in fomenting violence ahead of possible elections next year, analysts
and political parties said yesterday.
This comes as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday warned of a
possible coup in Zimbabwe — after the nasty Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania
and Niger developments — and claims that the same cabal, operating under the
auspices of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), was effectively running a
“State security agents have instituted a coup over the civilian authority
and they are now above the law, to the extent of disrupting government
programmes, and assaulting civilians with impunity,” the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader said.
Despite Mugabe’s platitudes that he was against violence, a highly partisan
police force has become the major source of instability in the country and
on Monday Tsvangirai asked Mugabe to use his constitutional powers to deal
with errant cops, and security personnel fanning violence across Zimbabwe.
But barely a day later, truckloads of police besieged the MDC’s headquarters
and caused mayhem in surrounding streets.
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza says the security forces have become the
“fifth column”, which is running a parallel administration and even
“We’re hearing JOC is calling the shots and the President is essentially
powerless,” said a Western diplomat.
Edmore Veterai, the Matabeleland North police commander, stopped Tsvangirai
from touring St Paul’s Clinic in Lupane last week and subsequent rallies at
Lupane Business Centre as well as Chinotimba Stadium in Victoria Falls
despite court orders okaying the rallies.
“When a police officer refuses to respect a court order, this is total
disregard for the rule of law and it represents a break-down of justice in
the country,” a fuming Tsvangirai said.
Analysts say the fresh crackdown was meant to stop the MDC or any other
political party from unseating — through an election — long-time Zimbabwean
ruler Mugabe and his military leadership.
“A majority of the top police leadership have openly declared their
allegiance to Zanu PF so their actions are reflective of the wishes of those
giving them instructions,” civil rights activist Blessing Vava told the
Daily News on Sunday.
“After noting that their attempts to have elections this year have flopped,
Zanu PF now wants to push MDC to exit the GNU, frustrate the
Constitution-making process and have elections next year. Zanu is desperate
for an early election because of Mugabe’s failing health and age,” he said.
Promise Mkwananzi, the MDC Youth Assembly secretary general, said: “It’s no
longer clear whether the police are working to prevent or to provoke unrest.
We know that this is not the wish of the ordinary policeman who is largely
youth, but orders from Zanu PF demagogues who are working to advance Zanu PF
interests in total disregard of their constitutional obligations.”
Vava and Mkwananzi’s views also come as American assistant secretary for
African affairs Johnnie Carson said early last week that there was need to
de-link state institutions from Zanu PF if Zimbabwe’s stabilisation efforts
are to be fully realised.
But Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo rejected charges that his party was
giving instructions to the police.
“The party has nothing to do with police or law and order. It’s meant to
smear Zanu PF so that the international community has a poor perception of
Zanu PF. How can Zanu PF instruct police, we don’t have that power, where do
we get the authority?” he quipped.
Welshman Ncube, president of the smaller MDC, told the Daily News on Sunday
that the GNU was meant to allow Zanu PF to demobilise its shock troopers —
war veterans, youth militia and soldiers — and return power to civilians.
He says the on-going election talk has caused JOC to latch into its “default
mode of violence.”
“The election talk has heightened the Zanu PF armed wing’s state of
preparedness that we are ready to go to war,” Ncube said.
Article 12.1(b) of the GPA commits the GNU to “undertake training
programmes, workshops and meetings for the police and other enforcement
agencies directed at the appreciation of the right of freedom of assembly
and association and the proper interpretation, understanding and application
of the provisions of security legislation.”
But the security chiefs have staunchly resisted security sector reforms.
Peter Maregere, a security and intelligence analyst with the Institute for
Peace and Security Studies, said: “It is common cause that violence can
never be justified as a conflict resolution mechanism because it is
abhorrent, inhuman, unjustified and must be condemned at all cost. It is
immutable that violence has no place in a democratic
society and it is regrettable that we continue to witness it in our
International rights group Amnesty International (AI) has repeated calls
that the Zimbabwe police force needs an independent oversight body to handle
complaints against police.
“We do not trust that police are capable of investigating themselves.
The ZRP has been instrumental in silencing government critics since 2000 and
continues to do so with total impunity,” said Irene Khan, secretary general
AI has specifically called for urgent reforms of the law and order section
of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and its anti-riot unit, which have been
named as key divisions for torture, arbitrary arrests and unlawful detention
of suspects under Zanu PF’s tools of repression against perceived political
Tsvangirai wants commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and Defence Forces
Commander Constantine Chiwenga, whose term of office ends in February 2012,
to be relieved of their duties and he also wants the new commanders to
declare allegiance to the Constitution.
Although Tsvangirai and other political principals’ consent is required to
renew Chihuri and other security men’s tenure of office, Mugabe has
disregarded this GPA requirement and publicly stated that he will not
countenance any attempts to change his military or security command.
Without fundamental reforms, observers say a transition looks increasingly
tenuous and unachievable, as attempts by President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation
team to deal with this thorny issue are being thwarted by Zanu PF.
Now, Zimbabwe is pinning its hopes on the Southern African Development
Community team — to be dispatched before the end of November — to try and
help the largely impotent Joint Monitoring, and Implementation Committee to
tackle this important issue.
by 7 hours 37 minutes ago
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Reports from Zimbabwe say President Robert Mugabe has massively tightened
his security and that of his family in the wake of the Arab spring.
Sources say that because of Wikileaks revelations, Mugabe no longer trusts
many senior officials in Zanu-PF.
Wikileaks showed that senior government officials, including his personal
banker, spoke privately to the US embassy about the Zimbabwean leader.
The Standard newspaper is reporting that Mugabe’s security has been beefed
Mugabe attended the ground-breaking ceremony for his wife’s new school at
the Mazowe District on Thursday.
The newspaper says heavily armed soldiers and unarmed police were deployed
in nearby hotels and garages and residents were told to minimise their
The sources said the enhanced security was also necessitated by the fact
that Mugabe no longer trusts his cronies following revelations by
whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks, that most of them wanted him to go.
Some questioned his ability to continue to lead due to advanced age and
failing health. Mugabe’s reinforced security was evident last week in
Mazowe, about 40km outside Harare, where he officiated at the ground-
breaking ceremony for the multi-million dollar Grace Mugabe Foundation
The school was built on the same land that the First Lady grabbed from local
residents who had built their houses on it. Some of the 62 affected families
had built their houses while others were at foundation level.
Security details on Thursday were almost everywhere in Mazowe when The
Standard news crew visited the area.
Armed and unarmed police officers and soldiers were deployed at a dirt road
that turns from the main road along the Harare-Mazowe road from Blue Ridge
Shopping Complex, almost 10km from the venue of the ceremony.
Heavily armed soldiers were also deployed in the mountains near Mazowe Dam
and by midday some were visibly tired as they slept under trees.
The Standard news crew was prevented from covering the event by security
manning the entrance who accused it of writing negative things about the
orphanage and the First Lady.
Residents of Mazowe were afraid of walking freely because of the heavy
Some of the residents said they were told to minimise their movements a day
before the event because the First Lady was visiting the area.
“I have not seen anything like this,” said one resident.
“How can one family have such security details around it? Is Mugabe really
under threat?” The resident stopped talking after a police officer emerged
from a service station shop where he had replaced the guard, who usually
keeps check at the door.
They were taking turns to sit in the shop. Other details were deployed at
the hotel and two shopping centres along a road that leads to Iron Mask
Farm, a prime agricultural farm that the First Family grabbed from a white
Sources said Mugabe’s security was enhanced soon after demonstrations that
rocked Malawi in July. The fall of leaders such as Muammar Gaddaffi of
Libya, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
has shaken the 87-year-old leader, who has been ruling Zimbabwe to the core.
Efforts to get a comment from the Minister of State for State Security in
the President’s Office Sydney Sekeramayi were fruitless as he could not be
reached on his mobile phone.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe is slowly but surely
descending into lawlessness with a resurgence of political violence
reminiscent of the months leading up to the bloody 2008 elections.
He accused Zanu-PF "fascists" of being behind the violence against his
In wide-ranging remarks to journalists in Harare, Tsvangirai said the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have exposed themselves as partisan and
disrespectful to him and the executive office he holds.
On Tuesday, armed riot police descended on Tsvangirai's headquarters,
Harvest House, and assaulted vendors and passers-by within the vicinity of
the property in what critics say could be a resurgence of state-sanctioned
violence against President Robert Mugabe's opponents as fresh polls loom.
Mugabe, who is battling old age and health problems, has intimated he wants
elections in March next year, contrary to advice from South African
President Jacob Zuma, the Southern African Development Community's (SADC)
appointed mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis.
There is general consensus that Zimbabwe is not yet ready for fresh
elections to bring closure to the acrimonious government of national unity,
which includes Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
It is also understood hardliners in Zanu-PF want Mugabe to win the
presidential poll against the premier before he retires.
But speaking after police ransacked his headquarters before arresting six
vendors who were selling MDC-T CDs outside Harvest House, Tsvangirai said
misguided elements in Zanu-PF were pushing for early polls.
He accused the police of being used by Zanu-PF hardliners to persecute his
"We meet at a time of rising political tension, increasing cases of
violence, sabotage and total disrespect by the police and other government
agencies of the prime minister, even as he executes government programmes,"
said Tsvangirai, in apparent reference to the disruption of his tour of
provinces by Zanu-PF supporters.
Violence in the past month have shown an increase, he added, saying one
human rights group recorded 800 cases of human rights violations in the
month of September alone .
"The violence we are witnessing is state-sponsored and state-driven. It is
being championed by a few fascist leaders who want to reverse the little
progress we have made.
"I want to promise these misguided elements their days are numbered because
I and the president agreed on Monday that we must put a stop to this
violence in Harare and elsewhere," he said.
He said state security agents have instituted a coup over the civilian
authority and they are now above the law, to the extent of disrupting
government programmes and assaulting civilians with impunity.
"The country is at a high risk of imploding if some in the leadership
continue privately abetting lawlessness while publicly preaching
He said, however, the inclusive government was trudging on, albeit with
differences on how best to economically empower the people of Zimbabwe.
"We differ with our Zanu-PF colleagues in government because they seek to
empower a small, well-connected elite while some of us are advocating for a
comprehensive plan which creates jobs, uplifts the ordinary people, and
attracts investment so that everybody benefits.
"I have travelled the whole country and what is evident is that, despite the
rhetoric of indigenisation, over 90% of our population has no jobs."
Tsvangirai said one other key challenge the inclusive government faced was
the lack of progress on key reforms.
"One of the most important of these is media reforms. I am saddened to note
there is no movement on this arena, especially the liberalisation of the
"The minister of media, information and publicity has simply refused to act
to ensure movement in this key area."
Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:24
HARARE - The Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) has given a strongest
hint that the new constitution might be a negotiated document by taking an
unprecedented step of filling into the constitutional draft issues not
raised by people in their contributions during the outreach programme.
Representatives of the country’s three political parties to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) met last week in Masvingo at a pre-drafting
workshop where they agreed to fill in gaps on constitutional issues which
were not raised by the people during the outreach programme.
Zimbabwe is in the process of drafting a new constitution which will lead to
new elections to elect a new leader for the country.
Douglas Mwonzora, a Copac co-chairperson told the Daily News on Sunday that
the committee met in Masvingo last week for a pre-drafting workshop.
He said the three political parties agreed on several issues including the
controversial agreement on adding up constitutional issues that were left
out during public consultations.
“We met and agreed on five fundamental themes. We agreed to draw up a list
of extracted constitutional issues, a draft framework which basically lists
the chapters of the constitution, a list of constitutional principles which
represents in general terms the vision of the country’s future
constitutional order,” said Mwonzora.
He added that they also agreed to “identify gaps in the information given by
the people looking at what was not said by the people and suggest ways of
closing the gaps. We agreed that we will close the gaps by research based on
In addition he said they agreed on a dispute resolution mechanism on any
Mwonzora said the actual drafting of the constitution should start on
November 20 and will last until December 31.
Three constitutional drafters have already been identified.
They are Justice Moses Chinhengo — a Judge at the Botswana High Court,
former Zimbabwe High Court Judge Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crizier, a
former legal drafter in the Attorney-General’s office and also a legal
practitioner in Harare.
Mwonzora said barring any disputes that might stall the constitution making
process, the constitutional referendum is now expected between the end of
March and May 31, 2012.
Zimbabwe expects a new constitution to replace the outdated Lancaster House
constitution negotiated in London in 1979.
The constitution has so far been amended 19 times.
An earlier attempt by the government to come up with a new constitution in
2000 was rejected by the populace which voted for a No Vote.
HARARE CORRESPONDENT | 06 November, 2011 03:22
Zanu-PF spin doctor Jonathan Moyo has gatecrashed the Zanu-PF negotiations
of the SADC-sponsored power-sharing truce facilitated by South African
President Jacob Zuma as the stalemate over outstanding issues in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) remains.
Moyo and Zanu-PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa met Zuma's facilitation
team of former cabinet minister Charles Nqakula and Lindiwe Zulu - Zuma's
international affairs advisor who doubles-up as the spokeswoman for the
The former minister of information and publicity was a surprise inclusion in
the talks, but Chinamasa said Moyo, who was re-admitted into Zanu-PF last
year after serving a five-year suspension, stood in for Nicholas Goche and
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the other two Zanu-PF chief negotiators.
He is seen as one of the hardliners in Zanu-PF and is close to the
securocrats who have vowed not to salute Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
even if he beats President Robert Mugabe in the next elections.
Moyo has been a fiery critic of Zuma's mediation efforts and particularly of
Lindiwe Zulu, whom he has attacked in lengthy articles in the state media.
Sources familiar with Tuesday's talks between Zuma's team and negotiators
said the two came face-to-face but there was no incident.
In one of his articles on July 17, 2011, in the state-owned Sunday Mail,
Moyo said Zulu should shut up about the goings-on in Zimbabwe.
He called her "an African sell-out who continues to fail to tell the
difference between facilitation and dictation, and who continues to fail to
understand that, even in terms of the GPA - let alone the constitution of
Zimbabwe - the determination of who shall rule Zimbabwe, and how they shall
do so, is the exclusive and sole prerogative of Zimbabweans alone."
Moyo added: "Why has Lindiwe Zulu become such a recklessly willing friend of
Zanu-PF's enemies, who is always available to comment negatively after every
Zanu-PF politburo meeting but never does the same after any MDC meeting?"
Critics say it is Moyo's acerbic tongue that Zanu-PF has found to be a vital
cog in its propaganda machinery as the party attempts to reverse its
political misfortunes against Tsvangirai's MDC as elections loom.
The combative Moyo, who is accused of orchestrating the closure of The Daily
News in 2003, as well as the bombing of its printing presses earlier, is
seen to be rising in Zanu-PF after being appointed to the central committee
before being parachuted into the politburo after his re-admission in July
But it is his emergence on Tuesday, as one of Zanu-PF's negotiators, which
surprised both friends and foes within and without Zanu-PF.
Critics note that in fact his star has been on the rise since his
re-admission in 2009 after being suspended for five years for standing as an
independent in Tsholotsho.
Last month, Zanu-PF seconded him to represent the party in the Joint
Implementation and Monitoring Committee of the GPA. He is thought to be
working on the Zanu-PF manifesto for the election President Mugabe wants in
March next year.
His rise in Zanu-PF at a time the party battles fissures fuelled by the
death of retired army general Solomon Mujuru, the fight to succeed Mugabe,
as well as the WikiLeaks disclosures, is attributed to hard work, planning
But Moyo is also known for his litigious tendencies against the country's
During his tenure as the spokesman of the Mugabe administration, he sued
several local and regional newspapers.
In September this year, Moyo filed a $100000 lawsuit against the Associated
Newspapers Group, publishers of the Daily News, over two articles based on
As a political scientist, critics say other political opponents of Mugabe
have no match in Moyo.Independent newspapers continuously refer to him as a
"serial flip-flopper", due to his seeming love-hate relationship with
"There is no doubt he appreciates the political environment and issues
better than most within Zanu-PF," said Bekithemba Mpofu, a political analyst
who has been following Moyo's political career.
"This shows that Zanu-PF has gone for individual strength rather than
cronyism, which some believe is a major challenge with most Zimbabwean
parties. Professor Moyo's role within Zanu-PF is set to become more
influential as we approach the constitutional referendum and general
HARARE CORRESPONDENT | 06 November, 2011 03:21
Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu says Zimbabwe stands to
generate at least $2-billion per annum through the export of diamonds.
This follows a Kimberley Process (KP) plenary session in the Democratic
Republic of Congo that approved the export of diamonds from mines that had
previously been banned from doing so.
Zimbabwe, which already has massive stockpiles of diamonds, believes that
following the KP approval, the mining industry could contribute about 50% of
the country's Gross Domestic Product.
At least $30-million in diamond revenue has been going to Treasury every
month, according to Mpofu.
"This is a historical development we all had been waiting for," Mpofu told
reporters after arriving from the DRC this week. "We want to shock and shake
the world. We are going to unleash our worthiness to the world and Zimbabwe
will not beg for anything from anybody again.
"I am instructing diamond mines in Marange to ratchet their operations and
sell in a big way. It is not a secret that Zimbabwe has the largest diamond
reserves in the world. Our sovereign rights to trade in our diamonds had
been unjustifiably denied by participants with hostile foreign policies on
Zimbabwe," the minister said.
Government moved into the Marange diamond fields about five years ago to
clean up what had fast become a regional diamond smuggling hot-spot.
Illegal miners had flooded the claims that became a lifeline for thousands
in the wake of a recession highlighted by unprecedented inflationary
Three diamond companies have gone into partnership with the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation to extract the diamonds.
But diamonds from some producers in Marange had until now been banned by the
Kimberley Process, the international organisation that polices diamonds,
following reports of large-scale killings and abuse by Zimbabwe's security
forces in the diamond fields.
Mpofu said following the approval, a KP team would arrive in Zimbabwe within
two weeks to officially give the green light for diamond exports from
producers that were approved this week.
by Business Reporter
FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has said initial budget projections of US$3.4
billion will have to be revised to take into account proceeds from diamond
sales after the Kimberly Process approved the export of gems from Marange.
“Our budget is worth US$3.4 billion. We have based this on the anticipated
revenue. We had not factored in the diamond revenue that will increase
following the decision by the KP,” Biti said while discussing his 2012
national budget in Harare last Thursday.
“I will engage with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development because I
am seriously considering increasing the Budget to factor in the KP
Last week, Kimberley Process experts meeting in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) agreed to allow Zimbabwe to sell diamonds from the Marange
fields in the eastern Manicaland province.
Zimbabwe, which has denied allegations of human rights abuses in the area,
had been under sanctions since 2009 because of "significant noncompliance."
The KP decision allows all diamonds from the area to be sold with the
country understood have stockpiled some 4.5 million stones valued at around
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu welcomed the development and insisted Zimbabwe
would no longer need to beg for international assistance.
"We are going to shock the world. We are going to unleash our worthiness,"
Mpofu told reporters in Harare.
"Zimbabwe will no longer be begging for anything from anybody."
Karoi, November 06, 2011 - Home Affairs co-minister, Theresa Makone took a
swipe at Zanu-PF accusing the party for plunder and looting of the country’s
Makone who is also the chairperson o the mainstream Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) lambasted Zanu-PF bigwigs for self enrichment through illegal
diamond sales when majority of the population is languishing in poverty.
Makone made the attacks in Karoi where she was addressing a political
“If diamonds are sold transparently everyone will benefit not the situation
where few individuals are busy looting and lining up their pockets when
majority of the population is battling to make ends meet.
Makone also attacked Zanu-PF’s sponsored indegenisation and empowerment law
that according to Zanu-PF seeks to transfer Zimbabwe’s wealth into the hands
of the black majority.
“The claims of empowerment are just an excuse to enrich few individuals in
Zanu-PF’’ lamented Makone.
On farms Makone assured resettled farmers that they are not going to lose
“If MDC-T forms the next government resettled farmers will not be removed
from their farms as it is a Government policy to resettle people”.
Makone also defended her boss, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over
accusations leveled against him by Zanu-PF that he called for imposition of
‘’Zanu PF must ask their own members among them Professor Jonathan Moyo and
former Governor, Josia Hungwe for submitting names of top officials who were
slapped with sanctions” added Makone.
by Gilbert Nyambabvu
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe chief Gideon Gono has angrily rebutted widespread
criticism of his stewardship of the central bank which now teeters on the
brink of collapse, weighed down by debts of up to US$1.4 billion.
The RBZ is technically insolvent with critics blaming its massive debt pile
They accuse Gono of presiding over a spending spree after assuming office in
2003 which saw the RBZ freely printing money and engaging in so-called
quasi-fiscal operations that included funding elections, acquisition of farm
implements and luxury vehicles for government officials.
This, the critics add, helped stoke inflation which reached record levels of
11.2 million percent in 2008, leading to the ditching of the Zimbabwe
But the RBZ chief hit back in a statement issued to the state-owned Sunday
“The belief is that RBZ and my management team spent US$1,1 billion either
buying tractors and scotch-carts (mechanisation programme) or simply went on
a debt contracting spree and blew away the money in support of non-existent
programmes or at the worst, the whole amount is a Gono debt which he must
find a way to repay,” he said.
Gono said all the expenditure had been requested and authorised by the
government through successive Finance Ministers adding the RBZ could easily
liquidate its $$1.1 billion obligations if the government paid up its own
debt of US$1.4 million to the institution.
“We at RBZ asked for specific letters authorising us to mobilise forex
resources for government, with limits being placed by government in relation
to how far and how much the Ministry of Finance wanted RBZ to mobilise on
its behalf,” the statement read.
“This we insisted upon in order to avoid the kind of irrational debate we
are currently having as a nation.”
Gono said the RBZ owed external and internal creditors US$1,082 billion in
government authorised borrowings.
The government, however, owes the RBZ US$1.5 billion in funding extended
towards supporting various state enterprises, grain imports, acquisition of
farm implements, cars for ministers and other officials and funding for the
“It is also recommended that without any further delays, the Hon Minister of
Finance (Tendai Biti) be advised to acknowledge and take over these
government debts from RBZ books and work out amicable repayment plans with
creditors,” he said.
The RBZ chief appeared to be particularly incensed by criticism of his
involvement in helping farms acquire implements with many of them failing to
pay for them.
“In debates about RBZ debt, the discussion of RBZ debtors has only centred
around Farm Mechanisation debtors who owe RBZ about US$198,0 million which
is 12,4 percent of RBZ’s debtors, while ignoring 87,6 percent of the debts
owed to the bank by government,” he said.
“If government was to repay RBZ US$1,4 billion that it owes the apex bank
tomorrow, the bank would in turn be able to pay its US$1,1 billion debt to
creditors and still remain with US$300 million for its capitalisation,
lender of last resort operations, day-to-day needs and then focus on its
He also claimed to have inherited a debt of US$400 million when he assumed
office in 2003 and added that the ditching of the Zimbabwe dollar and
liberalisation measures introduced by the coalition government in 2009
further worsened the situation.
“The new economic measures introduced in March 2009 saw the sudden and
abrupt abolition of any inflows of funds into the RBZ coffers by way of
export surrender proportions, gold proceeds retentions as well as the use of
the Zimbabwe dollar as a medium of exchange,” he said.
“This move, while intended to revive the economy and therefore most welcome,
brought with it unintended consequences which are the subject of this debt
debate and RBZ debt crunch.”
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:19
HARARE - Valiant efforts by Parliament to clip Local Government, Rural and
Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo’s powers are bearing fruits after
it approved a motion giving leave to MDC backbencher Tangwara Matimba to
bring in a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Urban Councils Act.
The MP for Buhera Central is among those leading the charge to have Chombo’s
Zanu PF and the MDC are now headed for a bitter clash in Parliament before
year-end as the bill that seeks to curtail Chombo’s excess powers come up
The MDC has intensified its quest to pass amendments to the law which it
says has been used by Chombo to suspend its elected members in local
authorities around the country.
Chombo is on record saying he acts in accordance with the law and denies
The MDC accuses Chombo of particularly using Section 114 of the law to wield
the axe on several MDC councillors countrywide. Last week, MDC lawmakers
forced Parliament to grant leave to table the amendments.
Zanu PF legislators, had, however, earlier staunchly resisted the motion,
saying the MDC was seeking to interfere with the job of the Minister of
Chombo has so far suspended a total of four MDC councillors in Harare for
corruption — five in Rusape, one in Nyaminyami Rural District Council and
two in Zvimba Rural District Council.
Two of the suspended Harare councillors Warship Dumba of Mt Pleasant and
Casper Takura of Mabvuku were suspended after they had opened a council
probe seeking to expose Chombo’s alleged corrupt activities particularly on
how he had acquired so many properties in Harare and several other
properties in councils around the country.
Four Harare councillors suspended last December over allegations of
irregularly acquiring stands and forcing themselves into council houses,
councilors Maxwell Katsande of Ward 26, Johnson Zaranyika Ward 39, Paul
Gorekore Ward 3 and Silas Machetu Ward 25, were reinstated by High Court
judge Justice Bharat Patel last week.
The judge ruled that their dismissal was “so grossly irrational in their
defiance of logic that no reasonable person applying his mind to the matter
could possibly have arrived at those decisions.”
Backing the motion, MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese said the Urban Councils
Act has a staggering 406 references to the minister while the Rural District
Councils Act mentions the minister 329 times.
“The problem is that this particular piece of legislation gives immense
powers to the Minister of Local Government,” Gonese said.
Matimba’s Private Members Bill aims to amend the Urban Councils Act “by
reducing the powers of central government over municipal and town councils,
thereby encouraging democracy at local levels”.
He has handed in a copy of the Urban Councils Amendment Bill. Parliament is
now set to send the Bill to the Government Printers for printing and
After gazetting, the Bill will be tabled in the Lower House for its first
Zengeza MDC MP Collin Gwiyo said Chombo must be stopped.
He said the minister has used the law in the past few years to fire MDC
mayors countrywide “defeating the will of the people”.
He said Chombo had used the Urban Councils Act to sack the first MDC
chairperson of Hwange Council Jessie Majome, who is now deputy minister of
Women Affairs in the inclusive government.
The minister also used the law to fire the MDC Mutare Mayor Misheck
Kagurabadza, now Mutasa South MP.
Former Mayor of Harare Engineer Elias Mudzuri was another victim of the
provisions of this law.
Chombo also used the Urban Councils Act to fire Chitungwiza MDC Mayor
Misheck Shoko, claiming the mayors were incompetent.
Matimba, who chairs the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local
Government, Rural and Urban Development said the rigidity of the Urban
Councils’Act gives supreme and absolute powers to Chombo.
Musundire said Chombo had abused his position and alleged Chombo had become
“the symbol of corruption himself” through the wide powers he enjoys under
The Urban Councils Act empowers Chombo to appoint “councilors representing
special interests, not exceeding one-quarter of the number of elected
councillors as the Minister may fix in respect of the council by statutory
instrument, and who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Minister.”
The Urban Councils Act also gives the minister power to suspend or dismiss a
councillor, to act on behalf of council, to take possession of any
undeveloped council land, including surveyed land.
The minister also has power under the Act to make or adopt by-laws on behalf
of councils, and also has power to make general regulations for the conduct
By Xolisani Ncube, Staff Writer
Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:23
HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) will continue investigating Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and other Zanu PF members allegedly
involved in shady land deals, despite his directive to stop the probe.
HCC resolved that investigations into Chombo’s “illegal” land acquisition
will continue by way of a commission of enquiry, comprising councillors and
independent investigators most of whom are former government administrators.
Muchadeyi Masunda, the Harare Mayor, said a special council meeting adopted
the resolution on Thursday.
“We have re-constituted the special committee which will be made up of
Justice Ahmed Ebrahim, Andrew Chigovera, Sarah Kachingwe, plus three other
councillors with John Reid Rowland providing necessary back-up service to
the special committee,” said Masunda.
Documents seen by the Daily News reveal that Chombo, who was implicated for
illegally grabbing council land, directed Masunda to reverse a council’s
resolution to assemble an independent team tasked with bringing finality to
the land scam.
In his directive, Chombo said the constitution of such a team was illegal
saying council has no authority to appoint and remunerate such a committee.
“Council has no powers to remunerate the members of the tribunal set up in
terms of the invalid resolution although it has agreed to pay the members
from the funds of council. The resolution to appoint the tribunal and
remunerate its members is therefore not in the interest of residents and
rate payers as it priorities that payment of the special tribunal is
unlawfully appointed at the expense of service delivery,” wrote Chombo in
his October 6 letter.
Efforts by residents, councillors and other stakeholders to have Chombo
investigated or arrested regarding how he benefited from the vast tracts of
land in Harare have so far drawn blanks.
A team of councillors which attempted to have the police investigate the
matter has so far been rebuffed and some of the councillors have been
Masunda last month said council was merely doing its work and had no
“personal” axe to grind with Chombo.
“It (the probe) is in the interest of not only the city council and Chombo
but also stakeholders of greater Harare and indeed, the whole of Zimbabwe."
“For the matter to be put to rest it must be investigated so that we may
move on with our respective obligations of getting our capital city and
country back on the right path,” said Masunda.
He said Chombo did not have the locus standi to give instructions to council
on how it should run its affairs, especially concerning the matter at hand.
“In the circumstances, Chombo would not ordinarily have any locus standi to
issue the sort of directive contained in his letter of 6 October 2011 simply
because he is an interested party.
“He clearly has more than a passing interest in the outcome of the
investigation into the land transactions,” Masunda said.
VLADIMIR MZACA | 06 November, 2011 03:22
The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture is on an ambitious drive to
get a large chunk of the national budget for 2012, aiming to make sure that
government continues to give top priority to the education sector.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti is expected to announce next year's budget in
the next two weeks.
In recent weeks his team has been on a countrywide consultative drive.
He is on record as saying that a huge share of the budget will go towards
paying the civil service bill, while another considerable figure will go
towards electoral reform.
However, Education Minister David Coltart has sent his wish list to Biti.
"We want at least 22% of the budget. There is a lot to be done in the
education sector to keep it alive," said Coltart.
Coltart heads a ministry whose workers' union activists do not shy away from
threatening industrial action.
The minister has argued that there is a need to improve the working
conditions of teachers for them to stay in service.
"The issue does not start or stop with their remuneration. Conditions of
service are also important. Some schools have dilapidated infrastructure and
textbooks are still an issue," he added.
In Coltart's view the ministry has always been underfunded, which is why
problems are getting worse.
"If you are always short-changing the education sector, it always carries
forward its burdens to a point that they become too many. That is why things
are like this at the present moment," he said.
In the 2011 budget the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the
Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education received the largest allocation of
the government's budget.
In 2010 Biti stated that 555 primary and 399 secondary schools had no desks.
Furthermore, the textbook to pupil ratio was 1:15.
He also pointed out that at least 26% of primary classrooms needed repair.
In a drive to alleviate a textbook shortage, Unicef came up with a textbook
distribution programme in 2010 that seeks to ensure a textbook to pupil
ratio of 1:1 at primary schools.
It is difficult to gauge the success of this programme since it has not yet
Zimbabwe's education system was once among the best in Africa. Since the
turn of the century it has suffered a serious decline in public funding,
along with hyperinflation and political unrest which has resulted in the
mass exodus of teaching staff in search of greener pastures in neighbouring
Biti said the projected budget for 2012 was $3.6-billion, so the 22% that
Coltart referred to amounts to $750-million.
SUNDAY TIMES INVESTIGATIONS | 06 November, 2011 03:22
South African Justice Minister Jeff Radebe is demanding answers on the Hawks
conducting illegal "renditions" of people from South Africa to Zimbabwe.
And, in a move that puts him on a collision course with cabinet colleague
and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, he said the renditions "fly in the face
of our [SA's] constitution and its values".
Radebe's comments follow an exposé in the Sunday Times on how top
investigators from the elite crime-fighting unit were fingered in sending
several Zimbabwean nationals to their deaths in Zimbabwe. Radebe is
demanding answers from the justice cluster to "map a way forward".
Radebe said the rendition claims were "very worrying", especially
considering the allegations "were levelled not only against organs of state,
but one that is responsible for law enforcement and security".
This week more cases surfaced, in which the Hawks and members of the SA
National Defence Force were accused of arresting people and handing them
over to Zimbabwean police - and where they were either murdered or tortured.
Their actions flout the Immigration Act and breach a government moratorium
on deportations to Zimbabwe as well as the UN Convention Against Torture,
which South Africa ratified in 1998.
Radebe's comments are in opposition to those of Police Minister Nathi
Mthethwa, who on Friday told the Sunday Times "there is nothing in front of
[me ]" to warrant an investigation. He said the claims of rendition
involving the Hawks were "baseless and imaginative".
This is despite a paper trail, published by the Sunday Times, confirming
that a number of individuals were arrested as "illegal immigrants" by the
Hawks and taken through the Beitbridge border, where they were handed over
to Zimbabwean police. At the time Hawks boss General Anwa Dramat confirmed
they had "deported" three individuals - Witness Ndeya, Gordon Dube and
Pritchard Tshuma - but said this was done "properly".
Ndeya died of "multiple gun shot wounds" on November 20 - two weeks after
his arrest in South Africa - while in police custody in Bulawayo, according
to his death certificate. Tshuma and Dube are believed to have met a similar
Now more details of a number of other cases have emerged. In one, John
Nyoni, 33, was arrested on January 26 by the Hawks and deported . In another
case, Gift Nhadzi - a former organiser of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) - detailed how he was arrested by members of the SANDF, who then
handed him over to Zimbabwean police officers in plain clothes. He was then
tortured in front of villagers.
"While they were torturing me they said: 'This is how a sell-out and a
terrorist is treated'," he said. "My wife was four months pregnant. They
said they wanted to skin her alive because there is a sellout in her womb."
Nhadzi said after begging for mercy, they beat her belly, and she then
suffered a miscarriage. Nhadzi has since fled back to SA.
Nompumelelo Moyo, Umzingwane, November 06, 2011- Police in Matabeleland
South blocked Zapu from conducting a road show in Umzingwane district were
they were scheduled to meet their members and supporters.
The road show was scheduled for last Saturday in areas around Mbalabala,
Nswazi and Mawabeni.
Speaking to Radio VOP, Zapu spokesperson, Methuseli Moyo, said his party had
initially planned holding the event on Wednesday November 2, but the police
advised them to give them more time to prepare and suggested Saturday, which
Zapu agreed to.
“We were surprised when Esigodini police called on Friday and told us we
should not go ahead with the event. The police claimed that they did not
have enough manpower and resources to cover all the areas we wanted to
“We were left with no option but to comply even though it was clear that the
police were not genuine in their conduct. All along they were aware of our
plan, which we gave them in writing. How then does the issue of manpower and
resources suddenly become a hindrance? In any case, Zapu is aware of the
challenges facing the police and we have at all times transported police
details to venues of our meetings if they so wished,” said Moyo
He added that as Zapu they believe that the police were acting on
instructions from the Zanu-PF establishment not to allow Zapu to campaign.
“We call on the co-ministers of Home Affairs and the rest of the Inclusive
Government to prevail on the establishment to allow Zimbabweans to freely
conduct political activities.
"Zapu is fast losing patience with the dictatorship. If the situation
remains unchanged, our party will in the near future go ahead with its
activities, with or without police clearance. We would rather face the
consequences than allow other human beings to trample on our God-given right
to associational life,” fumed Moyo.
He called on Zanu-PF to learn to respect other political parties or else the
people of Zimbabwe will soon teach them how to do it.
Moyo concluded by saying that they hoped the dethroning and demise of
celebrated dictator Muammar Ghaddafi of Libya at the hands of self-trained
fighters was a good warning for the Zanu-PF establishment to change its
Last week, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai ran battles with the police in Matabeleland North province
when they banned their three rallies that were scheduled to be held in
Lupane, Binga and Victoria Fall.
MDC-T had been granted a court order allowing them to conduct the rallies
but the police declared that the rallies were illegal and they even barred
the Premier from visiting St Paul’s Hospital under maternity government
Bulawayo, November 06, 2011- Zimbabwe’s media environment remains hostile to
privately owned newspapers and its journalists despite the disbandment of
the Media and Information Commission.
The International Federation of Journalists for Human Rights (IFJHR) made
In a report released on Friday by the IFHR entitled Steadfast in Protest -
Annual Report 2011 Zimbabwe, the human rights’ organisation said the
privately owned media remains gagged and its journalists exposed to severe
acts of reprisal.
IFHR added that the state has not repealed repressive laws governing the
media that have been used to harass journalists and media houses.
“Journalists and human rights defenders were intimidated and arrested as
part of an increased harassment campaign,” the report said.
The report also said lack of justice for past abuses remains a serious
“Authorities have failed to discipline, remove from their posts or charge
with criminal offences leaders of the security forces who were involved in
human rights violations, abducting and torturing human rights activists,”
reads in part the report.
The report also added that political violence, lack of respect for the rule
of law and human rights violations remained a serious concern in Zimbabwe
and defenders of sexual minorities continue to be targets of repression.
Bulawayo, November 06, 2011---Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) chairman,
Godfrey Majonga has come out guns blazing in defense of the controversial
ZMC chief executive officer, Tafataona Mahoso saying he is performing his
job very well.
Mahoso of late has been attacked by his long-established opponets of
continuing undermining media freedom in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with Radio VOP after addressing journalists at the Bulawayo
Press Club last Friday, Majonga said since they started working with Mahoso
last year, he has been doing his job well.
“Since we started working with Mahoso in the commission, we haven’t seen any
reasons why we can say he is failing to do his job. He is performing his job
very well and we hope he will continue like that,” Majonga told Radio VOP.
Mahoso who has been nicknamed “Zimbabwe Media Hangman” has a deplorable
track record of implementing all kinds of restrictions against the media in
this country in the past years.
He was appointed ZMC chief executive officer last year. Under his
chairmanship of the now defunct Media and Information Commission (MIC) more
than five newspapers including the popular Daily News were banned and
several foreign and local journalists were arrested and some were deported
Majonga who was being accompanied by two ZMC commissioners Mathew Takaona
and Luton Hikwa also said the commission will launch the Media Council of
Zimbabwe before year end.
“According to Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)
the commission is required to set up a Media Council which will oversee the
professional and ethical conduct of the media and media practitioners.
“We wrote letters to all associations and groups as identified by the Act to
submit three nominations from which the commission will appoint one of them
to sit on the Media Council,” he said.
Majonga said the Media Council is expected in consultation with commission
to develop a Code of Conduct and Ethics governing the rules of the conduct
to be observed by journalists and mass media services.
The ZMC added that foreign newspapers sold in Zimbabwe without being
registered by the commission will be banned as they are taking business from
JAMA MAJOLA | 06 November, 2011 03:22
A fierce battle is raging behind the scenes over the fraud scandal in which
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his close relative Hebson Makuvise,
ambassador to Germany, are accused of misappropriating $1.5-million in
public funds meant to buy the premier a house in an up-market suburb of
Information obtained by the Sunday Times this week shows divisions and
fights have erupted within the law enforcement and state security agencies
over the issue.
Tsvangirai's high-profile case has attracted the interest of the police and
the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which brings together army, police and
The JOC wants Tsvangirai arrested, although some of its members fear this
could trigger political upheaval in the country ahead of elections and
propel him to power by default.
The issue has generated quarrels within the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ),
which gave Tsvangirai the $1.5- million, the police and other state security
The controversy has also attracted the attention of President Robert Mugabe,
who in 2009 approved the $1.5-million for the house, which is currently
Makuvise allegedly misappropriated the money in collusion with the premier.
The money was approved by Mugabe on November 13 2009, after a request by
Tsvangirai through RBZ governor Gideon Gono for it to buy the house because
Mugabe had allegedly blocked him from moving into either the State House or
Government officials say there has been explosive conflict between the
police, JOC and the RBZ over the issue. Senior officials said this week the
unfolding battles were on how to handle the sensitive issue, which has
serious political implications for Tsvangirai and the country.
There are two main contending arguments over the issue. One group within the
JOC wants Tsvangirai arrested, claiming there is overwhelming evidence there
has been fraud. Others say, even though that might be true, arresting him
would be a serious political mistake, as it could plunge the country into
chaos and fast-track Mugabe's demise.
"There is serious infighting going over the issue. Endless meetings have
been held in recent months to deal with that but no solution has been found
yet. One group, mainly in the JOC, wants Tsvangirai arrested and charged
"This group argues that it doesn't matter what the people's reaction will be
as long as the allegations can be substantiated," a senior government
official told the Sunday Times. "The opposing camp contends that, even if
the allegations were to be proven in a court of law, the majority of the
people won't believe it. They will say it was a political case and the
charges were trumped-up. That might plunge the country into chaos and
fast-track Mugabe's departure."
Another government official said strategically for Mugabe, arresting
Tsvangirai would be a "disaster". "In terms of political strategy, arresting
him would be a blunder, because whatever the outcome, most people would
complain. If he is convicted they will say it a political issue and if he is
acquitted they will say there was no issue in the first place. So you can't
win," the official said. "Damned if you find him guilty, damned if you
A senior intelligence officer said the biggest fear was creating "a Jacob
Zuma out of Tsvangirai". "You see those cautioning against his arrest say
Zimbabwe's political leaders and security operatives must learn something
from South Africa," the officer said.
"Zuma was charged over the arms deal and hauled before the court on
allegations of rape, although he was acquitted on the latter case. Quite
clearly, the manner in which those issues were handled propelled him to
power. If those matters were dealt with differently, Zuma may not be the
president of SA today. So others are saying let's learn from that."
Efforts to get comment from the police on Friday were unsuccessful. Police
have denied in the past that they were investigating the premier despite
overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Tsvangirai has denied the charges.
By Staff Writer
Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:13
HARARE - Zanu PF has extended an invitation to the new Zambian leader,
Michael Sata to attend its annual conference set for Bulawayo next month but
the charismatic figure has so far kept them guessing on whether he will
The liberation movement is scheduled to hold its annual conference which has
been billed as a mini congress next month in Bulawayo.
Party officials told the Daily News last week that the party has invited
Sata but he has not yet confirmed his attendance.
President Robert Mugabe has decided to use the conference as an elective
congress although analysts see the move as an opportunity for the wily
87-year-old leader to purge a number of his colleagues implicated in
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa who has been tasked
with the role of inviting Sata to the conference said he is still in the
process of inviting the Zambian leader.
“We are still talking and we haven’t finalised on the matter,” said Mutasa.
Sata is expected to travel to Bulawayo next month with his white Vice
President Guy Scott who met with Mugabe in Malawi last month during the
Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa).
At the meeting the two struck a deal which resulted in Scott pushing for the
re-admission of Zimbabwe into the commonwealth family of nations at the just
ended Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Perth, Australia.
The government recently invited South Sudan President Salvar Kirr to come
and open the Harare Agricultural show, but the Sudanese leader cancelled his
trip to Zimbabwe at the last minute.
Since his election to the presidency of his country, Sata is yet to travel
outside Zambia as head of state as he seeks to consolidate his political
position at home.
Last week he fired more than a dozen army generals as part of a raft of
reforms aimed at giving him a steady grip on his country’s politics after
years of campaigning as an opposition political party leader.
Sata has also been on a mission to mend relations with past foes in the
region such as Malawi and Angola.
But he has been also been seeking to settle old scores with others.
He has demanded that Zimbabwe pay a colonial debt dating back to the 1950s
failure of which will result in the death of a proposed power generation
project on the shores of the Zambezi River.
Recently he sent the country’s former President Kenneth Kaunda to Luanda,
Angola and China to apologise for backing Jonas Savimbi’s Unita forces
during the country’s 27-year-old civil war and for criticising Chinese
investments in his country, respectively.
By Helen Kadirire, Staff Writer
Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:05
HARARE - Zimbabwe, which is slowly emerging from a decade-long political and
economic crisis, has been named among the least developed countries in the
sub-Saharan region according to the latest figures released by the United
The UN Human Development Report ranks Zimbabwe at position 173 out of 187
UN Human Development Report represents an annual assessment of measures of
progress in human well-being.
The 2011 Human Development Report shows that Zimbabwe’s development is at
The index combines measures of life expectancy, literacy, school enrollment
and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.
Dubbed Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All, the report notes
that income distribution has worsened in most of the world.
The Human Development Index (HDI) which measures the average achievements in
a country in three basic dimensions of human development which are — a long
and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living, shows
that Zimbabwe ranks below even war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the report public health expenditure in Zimbabwe is 4.1 percent
of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the life expectancy at birth is
now below 51 years.
Between 1980 and 2011 Zimbabwe’s HDI increased from 0.366 to 0.376 with an
average annual increase of 0.1 percent.
In 2010 Zimbabwe ranked 163 out of 163.
Between 1980 and 2011 Zimbabwe’s life expectancy at birth decreased by 7.8
percent, years of schooling increased by 4 percent and expected years of
schooling increased by 3.4 percent.
However, comparison between the years is not effective as data collection
methods have changed due to the increase in countries being assessed.
Niger and Kenya which are ranked 186 and 143 respectively are the two
countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are close to Zimbabwe in terms of rank
and population size.
Like Zimbabwe, the two countries were recently blighted by various spates of
political violence which left their populations severely scarred.
The index ranks Zimbabwe’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) of 0.583 at 118 out
of 146 countries in the Index.
According to the report 17.9 percent of Parliamentary seats are held by
women, with 48.8 percent of women having reached secondary or a higher form
of education as compared to the 62 percent for men.
For every 100 000 live births in the country, 790 women die from
pregnancy-related complications, with the adolescent fertility rate at 64.6
births per 1 000 live births.
Sixty percent of women participate in the labour market as compared to
74.3 percent for men.
Countries at the bottom of the list, one of which is Zimbabwe, suffer from
inadequate incomes, limited schooling opportunities and low life
expectancy rates due to preventable diseases such as malaria and HIV/Aids.
The report stresses that a lot of the problems encountered by countries with
low rankings are worsened by armed conflicts and its devastating
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the country with the lowest
ranking, more than three million people died from warfare and conflict
In Zimbabwe most service delivery provisions have suffered due to decades
long economic and political implosion once described as legendary by world
The index identifies Norway, Australia and the Netherlands as the top ranked
countries in well being of people’s lives while DRC, Niger and Burundi
countries still experiencing war are at the bottom of the ladder.
According to the report, Latin America has the largest income inequality,
although it is more equitable than sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in life
expectancy and education.
The Vigil is appalled that the EU has cleared the way for Zanu PF to expand massively its diamond swindle. We believe the EU’s craven capitulation to commercial interests will undermine fatally any attempts to get Zanu PF to honour the GPA.
With virtually unlimited funds at Zanu PF’s disposal, Vigil supporters believe it is farewell to hopes of free and fair elections (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/nov3_2011.html#Z2 – Approval of Zimbabwe gem sales will fund Mugabe, politician warns and http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/nov3_2011.html#Z5 – Process Lets Zimbabwe Off The Hook, Again). We are not surprised that people are now talking of violent resistance.
The EU’s foreign affairs chief, the British mediocrity Baroness Ashton, lauding the Kimberley Process agreement, spoke of monitoring and transparency. What delusion! (http://eu-ashtonstatement.notlong.com/ – Statement by EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the agreement reached in Kimberley Process regarding Marange diamonds).
The less deluded Zimbabwe Mines Minister Obert Mpofu jubilantly declared that Zimbabwe would ‘unleash her worthiness’ on the unsuspecting world. He elaborated on this: Zimbabwe will uphold KP standards ‘in a way that has never been seen before’. Quite! (see: http://voa-mpofu-diamonds-statement.notlong.com/ – Kimberley Process Clears Zimbabwe Diamonds for Export; US Chairmanship Mooted).
Mr Mpofu’s protestations somehow minded us of the man from Zvishavane who took a young lady home from the bar only to find she had turned into a donkey by the next morning. (Zimbabwean man claims prostitute turned to donkey – http://telegraph-zim-man-donkey.notlong.com/).
‘I find I am now in love with the donkey’ he told a court – echoing the breathless new British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert the morning after a 90 minute assignation with Mugabe (see: UK envoy speaks on Mugabe charm, Tsvangirai intelligence – http://zim-mail-ukenvoy-mugabe.notlong.com/). ‘Such a courteous gentleman. Friendly and engaging.’ Ms Bronnert could hardly restrain herself from gushing ‘we must drop these illegal sanctions preventing Gushongo from investing his hard-earned $3 billion in Switzerland (Mugabe Family planned to open Bank Accounts in Switzerland – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/nov1_2011.html#Z12).
The Vigil believes that Ms Bronnert could have delivered a more pertinent message: UK taxpayers – that includes us at the Vigil – have given you $130 million this year to make up for the billion dollars plus that you have been stealing from Marange and we insist that you honour your obligations under the GPA.
If Ms Bronnert’s new romance is difficult to take on board, how about the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor talking about his true love – chickens. Not just ordinary chickens but Lunar chickens! It turns out from an interview with Business Digest that Gono is not only a Lunartic visionary but has some real qualifications – in ‘chickenomics’ (see: RBZ Governor speaks on business empire – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/old/nov4a_2011.html#Z8).
· The Vigil is happy to report that our supporter Shamiso Kofi has been released from detention after the government’s failure to deport her. Another case to which we drew attention involved ROHR activist Lovemore Muzadzi. An attempt to deport him on Monday resulted in the pilot refusing to fly and Lovemore was taken off the plane.
· The Vigil has received a reply to our open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury about his visit to Zimbabwe (see: http://zimvigil-lambeth-palace.notlong.com/ for full text of both letters). The Archbishop expresses his ‘deep and sincere gratitude’ for our support. The reply says the Archbishop thanks the Vigil for its ‘continuing dedication’ and that he is following assiduously the situation in Zimbabwe.
· We were joined by about 100 uniformed members of the Chinese spiritual organisation, the Falun Gong, whose demonstrations against communist oppression we have supported. The group included a large musical ensemble drawn from several countries. We discussed with them our disquiet at Chinese involvement in the Marange diamond racket and other matters such as arms sales to Mugabe.
· Vigil management team member Luka Phiri has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Conference: Freedom from Torture, 111 Isledon Road, London N7 7JW on Saturday 19th November.
· Thanks to Marbel Matewa who worked hard selling the Zimbabwean newspaper.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
FOR THE RECORD: 73 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
· ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 12th November (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB. Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future meetings: 10th December. Same times / venue.
· ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact; Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353. Future demonstration: 31st December. Same time and venue.
· Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
· Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
· ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe. To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to email@example.com and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 06/11/11.
It is the author’s personal wish that a UN Special Envoy for Zimbabwe be
appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr
Ban Ki-moon ahead of his reported planned fact-finding visit in February
Such an envoy would help oversee the democratisation process in the country
especially as SADC has not yielded much progress via the Joint Monitoring
and Implementing Committee as previously thought soon after the Sandton
The attached Microsoft Excel document is an Appendix to this opinion paper
and does not in any way try to represent the views of any political party or
organisation in Zimbabwe or elsewhere except by coincidence. The paper does
not seek to promote hatred at all but dialogue and of-course action by the
Harare regime in redressing the crisis in the country.
Among various issues, the paper recommends the arrest and prosecution of
Jabulani Sibanda, a self-styled war veteran who had reportedly called for
the stoning to death of a prominent Zimbabwean politician because the
politician spoke out in defence of gay rights. Furthermore, Sibanda is
allegedly terrorising people in Masvingo and other parts of the country and
threatening them for their political views.
The paper is intended to contribute to an intellectual and certainly
practical debate on nation building by focusing on specific issues
considered by the writer to be outstanding and critical in creating an ideal
environment ahead of Mr Ban Ki-moon’s visit.
In other words, if true, the Secretary General’s proposed visit should be a
golden opportunity for getting the Harare regime implement reforms some of
which it has been sitting on since 2009. By no means are the suggested
tasks, persons responsible, durations and milestones an intention to
undermine the authority of the persons or office holders mentioned in this
“Case Study” or those holding public office in Zimbabwe or other countries.
The fact that one can identify so many issues that need urgent attention
shows that probably it is pre-mature for a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe
by the Secretary General of the United Nations before reforms and genuine
commitments on human rights, the rule of law and democracy are made.
At least my grand-children will not blame me for not doing anything about
the Zimbabwe crisis.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Former Diplomat, London, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards last month announced the launch of an exciting new writing award to be presented at their prestigious event next April at a London hotel. Instead of nominating for the best writer, like in other categories, ZAA has set up a writing competition to encourage, inspire and celebrate the best literary talent abundant in Zimbabwe. There is a $1,000 cash fund for the winners plus publication in a volume of shortlisted and highly commended entries.
This competition will become one of very few. Apart from the NAMAs and the Yvonne Vera Award presented at the annual Intwasa festival, there isn’t much else recognition for Zimbabwean writers. Competition brings out the best out of people, and the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, is a platform to celebrate the best of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean literature continues to flourish, despite a contracted publishing scene. The announcement of NoViolet Bulawayo as the winner of the 2011 Caine Prize shows the immense potential from Zimbabwe to conquer the world. We want to unearth more of this talent.
The new award is a way to promote the growth of quality Zimbabwean literature. While the competition is aimed at encouraging Zimbabwean writers who write in Zimbabwe under severe conditions and with fewer resources and opportunities, the competition will also be open to all Zimbabweans regardless of their geography.
An anthology of new writings selected from the very best submissions that will be received for the competition will be published and launched in the New Year. The shortlist will be revealed at the end of December and the eventual winner at the 2012 ZAA event. The competition will become an annual fixture on the Zimbabwean literary calendar and hopefully become an incentive to positively encourage young and emerging Zimbabwean writers.
Entries should be no more than 5,000 words and submissions will be by electronic mail only and must be forwarded to email@example.com . The deadline line is 20 December 2011. For more information visit www.zimachievers.com
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