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Zimbabwe Army General Points Gun At MDC MP

Masvingo, October 10 , 2009 - Major General Engelbet Rugeje, the
fourth in command in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF),  on Friday night
left revellers paralysed by fear when he pointed a pistol at MDC-T
legislator for Masvingo South, TichaonaChiminya's forehead, before
threatening to shoot him after the MP allegedly failed to recognise the army
top brass.

The incident, witnessed by Radio VOP, happened at Chevron Hotel Bar at
about 1030 hours.

ZANU PF Chivi North Member of Parliament, Iverne Dzingirai-who was in
the company of Brig Gen Rugeje-later cooled down tempers and pleaded with
him to put back the gun in his pocket.

All hell broke loose when retired army Major Kudzai Mbudzi-who was
having an argument with Chiminya, his political rival who out polled him in
last year's harmonised elections-acknowledged the presence of Major Gen
Rugeje when he entered with Dzingirai.

"Let me acknowledge the presence of my senior here who is level
headed, not opportunists like you," Retired major Mbudzi told Chiminya, to
which the MDC-T MP replied saying, "I do not care, what army general? The
bell toils for them."

This did not go down well with Major Gen Rugeje who- in a drunken
stupor-pulled out a pistol, pointed it at the legislators' forehead, before
threatening to open fire.

"Who are you to say that, I will shoot you now and I will get away
with it. To me killing a person is like killing a fly, you will disappear
without a trace," Rugeje said, amid deafening silence.

Dzingirai later pleaded with Rugeje to calm down.

"Gono chiregai kudaro, mwana waresva, inga akumbira ruregerero wani,"
(Forgive him he made a mistake and has apologised), Dzingirai said, as all
revellers were dead silent, struck by fear.

Chiminya apologised and later left the place immediately after the

No formal police report has been made so far.

Chiminya's mobile was switched off for the greater part of Saturday to
establish whether he was going to press charges against Major General
Rugeje, a loyalist of President Mugabe.

Provincial chairman, Wilstuiff Sitemere, said he had received a
report, but stressed consultations were still underway to map the way

This is not the first time that Major Gen Rugeje has displayed
bullying tendencies. At the height of the run-up to the presidential runoff
elections last year, Rugeje-who had come to Masvingo to violently drum up
support for Mugabe-turned the whole town into a ghost one after forcing all
shops to close for the ZANU PF rally held at Mucheke stadium.

The pint-sized but very powerful Rugeje later threatened the people
with a post election war if Mugabe lost the elections.

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Row Over Zimbabwe Vice President Nomination

Gwanda, October 10, 2009 - Acting ZANU PF National Commissar Richard
Ndlovu says John Nkomo's endorsement as a nominee for the Vice President's
post by the party's leadership in Bulawayo was irregular and has since
declared it null and void.

Addressing the provincial party's leadership Friday Ndlovu said a
circular advising members of the vacant posts has to be sent to all
provinces by the party Chairman before elections could be held.

Nkomo, who has shown interest in filling the void left by the late
Joseph Msika, is the party's' chairman mandated with informing members of
vacant posts.

Elections to choose the country's second vice president were deferred
to an undisclosed date after Ndlovu noted the anomaly.

"Without the circular we cannot proceed with the elections and members
shall be informed of developments", he said.

Ndlovu said elections in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North would also be
cancelled until further notice.

ZANU PF is reportedly divided over the decision to endorse Nkomo who
last month was accused of sodomy by a Bulawayo man.

Ndlovu's decision to have the elections moved ahead is reportedly
meant to stifle Nkomo's elevation in the presidium.

Matabeleland South provincial ZANU PF chairman has said three
candidates have shown interest in taking up the position.

Zimbabwe's envoy to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo who attended the
meeting is reportedly among those seeking nomination.

VP nominations are penciled to be concluded by next week Wednesday.

Matebeland North and South met on Friday in Lupane and Gwanda to come
up with their candidates.

Former Zanu PF politburo member and now chairman of the newly revived
ZAPU, Dumiso Dabengwa, has rubbished the nomination process, saying Zanu PF
had no right to claim that the candidate must come out of ZAPU since the
unity accord was no longer existing.

Dabengwa claimed Msika had died a bitter man due to the failure by
Zanu PF to honour the unity government and had masterminded the revival of

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'CIO controlled SA prosecutions chief'

by Own Correspondent Saturday 10 October 2009

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Agency (CIO) secret
service might have controlled South African top lawyer Bulelani Ngcuka when
he worked as director of that country's National Prosecuting Authority
(NPA), it emerged this week.

In an ongoing trial of former South African police chief Jackie
Selebi, defence lawyers said a letter handed to Selebi by state witness
Glenn Agliotti alleged that the country's former NPA boss was under the
control of foreign intelligence agencies he did not name but who many
observers believed to be the dreaded CIO.

According to the defence, the letter was from Zimbabwean business
tycoon Billy Rautenbach, from whom Agliotti had allegedly solicited money
promising that Selebi would help them cover up their criminal activities.

The letter alleged that the foreign agents were blackmailing Ngcuka in
shady deals involving mineral rights in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC).

Ngcuka was a close ally of former South African President Thabo Mbeki
and the former NPA boss's wife, Pumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was made deputy
president when Mbeki fired his then Jacob Zuma. Zuma is now South Africa's

Mbeki protected President Robert Mugabe form international censure
through the former South African leader's "policy of quite diplomacy"
without which political analysts say the Zimbabwean President would have
been history a long time ago.

Rautenbach's letter, according to Selebi's lawyers also said Ngcuka
had tried to extort a bribe from the Zimbabwean businessman, who was under
investigation by South African revenue authorities for tax evasion and money

"I will not go into detail on what the blackmailing was about, but do
you agree that this is what is in the letter," asked Jaap Cilliers, the
defence counsel for Selebi.

"Do you agree that the accused was more interested on the document
about the Ngcuka issue? That he never got back to you about helping
Rautenbach?" asked Cilliers.

Agliotti replied with a yes to both questions.

Ngcuka allegedly wanted Rautenbach to use his close links to
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party to assist the
former NPA chief with securing rights for mining deals in Zimbabwe and the
DRC in exchange for an investigation against him being abandoned.

That information was passed on to the then police chief Selebi so that
he would help make the charges against Rautenbach disappear. The defence is
arguing that Selebi had no intention of helping Rautenbach but was only
interested in the information he gave him concerning Ngcuka.

Rautenbach handed himself over to South African authorities last month
and agreed to pay a R40 million fine, bringing to an end his 10-year attempt
to escape fraud and tax-evasion charges.

The controversial Zimbabwean multi-millionaire businessman, who was
two years ago expelled from the DRC for entering the minerals-rich country
illegally, committed the tax crimes while he headed the South African arm of
the Hyundai Motor Corporation.

Selebi is facing trial on charges of corruption. - ZimOnline

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MDC hails Nobel Prize winner Obama

by Own Correspondent Saturday 10 October 2009

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party on Friday
congratulated United States President Barack Obama for being named 2009
Nobel Peace Prize winner, saying he is an inspirational figure among all the
different peoples of the world.

"The MDC would like to congratulate US President Barack Obama for winning
the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize today," Zimbabwe's former opposition party said
in a statement.

"The MDC believes that President Obama's inspirational figure; his
extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation
between peoples make him a perfect candidate for winning this award," it

Obama - the first African-American to head the White House and only came
into office in January - beat a strong field of 205 candidates that included
Zimbabwean Premier Tsvangirai to win the prestigious prize.

The MDC said Tsvangirai's nomination as one of the candidates for the prize
was fitting international recognition of the "determination by the people of
Zimbabwe to achieve peaceful, democratic change".

"As a party, we are happy that our president was one of the short-listed
nominees. For years, the MDC president, the party and the people of Zimbabwe
at large have fought tirelessly and tenaciously for a peaceful and
democratic Zimbabwe in which all people work and live in harmony," the MDC

But in recognition of Obama's growing global influence the Norwegian Nobel
Committee praised the US President for "his extraordinary efforts to
strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

"Very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's
attention and given its people hope for a better future," the committee said
in a citation.

Obama, who became the third senior US Democrat to win the prize this decade
after former Vice President Al Gore won in 2007 along with the UN climate
panel and Jimmy Carter in 2002, has called for nuclear disarmament and
worked to restart the stalled Middle East peace process since taking office
in January.

The prize worth 10 million Swedish crowns will be handed over in Oslo,
Norway, on December 10.

Previous Southern African leaders who have won the Nobel Prize are former
South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Meanwhile Tsvangirai, who in February agreed to form a power-sharing
government with political rival President Robert Mugabe to end a crippling
political and economic crisis, won two other awards for the promotion of
human rights in his country.

The Zimbabwean Premier was in Spain this week where he received the
prestigious human rights award from the International Bar Association

Tsvangirai was also given the International Lifetime Achievement Award 2009
from the Spanish Foundation Cristobal Gabarron, for his fight for peace and
democracy. - ZimOnline

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Editors Seek Regular Meetings With Mugabe

HARARE, October 10, 2009 - The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Information and Publicity, George Charamba says he has no problems in
arranging regular meetings for local editors with President Robert Mugabe.

"Yes we can organise meetings with His Excellency," said Charamba,
addressing more than 30 editors from both the independent and public media
in Harare.

However ZBC did not attend.

Editors had asked why President Mugabe regularly addressed US's CNN
and UK's BBC when he did not talk to local media other than those from ZBC
and Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited Group.

"We will begin the dialogue when he returns from his trip to
Switzerland," Charamba said. "This has been on the cards and indeed we will
begin the necessary dialogue for you guys. It is long overdue but HE wanted
you guys to invite him and not inviting you. You should have initiated this

The Minister of Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, had promised
the Editors when he met them last year that he would arrange that they meet
President Mugabe informally soon.

During the 1980s President Mugabe, then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe,
regularly held informal briefings with the local media including the
independent press.

He, however, told the senior journalists then that the discussions
were not for publication.

He was ruffled when Parade magazine later went on to publish his love
affair with Grace Marufu now Mugabe - the First Lady.

At the informal gathering President Mugabe had revealed that he was
about to marry "a beauty queen" and Parade went on to publish the juicy

Meetings were then immediately stopped by his angry office.

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Zimbabwe Rights Group Says Political Violence, Food Discrimination Persist

By Chris Gande
09 October 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe said Friday that peace has been
restored in the country following the formation in February of a national
unity government. He told Reuters in Spain that there has been substantive
progress despite continued sporadic incidents.

But the Zimbabwe Peace Project in a report on conditions as recently as July
says things have not improved a lot on the human rights front, saying many
teachers remain fearful and some youth militia previously involved in
political violence have been brought into schools to teach.

The group said that while the 1,335 human rights violations documented in
July reflected a decline from 1,558 incidents in June, incidents of
harassment and assault remain "disturbingly prevalent in all the 10
provinces" of the country. It added: "Also disturbing are resurfacing
inclinations toward extreme forms of violence."

The group said that harassment, discrimination and violence "continue haunt
the distribution of humanitarian and food assistance, as well as support of
small farmers.

It also cited the "urgent need to respond to reports of lawlessness, forced
labor, beatings, murder and smuggling" in the Chiadzwa diamond field of
Marange district, Manicaland.

Human rights activist Clemence Moyo of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
told reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while the
prime minister may be generally correct, there are signs violence may flare
again over constitutional reform.

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EU Offers to Fund Zimbabwe Land Audit - But Redistribution Hardliners Dig In

By Sandra Nyaira
09 October 2009

The European Union has promised to fund a land audit to help Zimbabwe chart
its course on land redistribution and revitalization of its moribund
agricultural sector.

President Robert Mugabe launched land reform a decade ago and since 2000 the
majority of white-owned commercial farms have been taken over in the
often-chaotic and violence process, some redistributed to small farmers,
many others grabbed by top officials.

Many large Zimbabwean farms are lying fallow or are poorly managed and
yielding only a fraction of their potential output.

Lands Minister Herbert Murerwa recently said an audit, called for by the
2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing, would cost 30 million
dollars, so the initiative could not be launched. But EU Ambassador Xavier
Marshal told a meeting in Harare Thursday that Europe would fund an
inclusive, transparent and comprehensive land audit.

Marshall added however that the government should assume responsibility for
the dislocation it caused in the sector by seizing farmland willy-nilly,
which caused tensions between Harare and Western governments over related
legal, human rights and economic issues.

Political analyst and human rights lawyer Brian Kagoro told reporter Sandra
Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while Zimbabwe needs a land audit
to return the farm sector to order, donors like the EU should give more
priority to pressing humanitarian issues.

Meanwhile, ZANU-PF hardliners are pushing for the Cabinet to adopt a plan
that would see the few remaining white commercial farmers driven from their
property within a few months.

Earlier reports suggested the draft submitted by Lands Minister Murerwa
would recommend that the farmers be given two years to vacate. But sources
say the draft calls for continued land seizures and says no foreigner should
be allowed to own land in the country.

The document is silent on the question of a land audit, the sources said.

It is estimated that fewer than 300 white farmers remain on the land. The
General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe has estimated
that more than 66,000 farm workers have been left homeless since February
due to continued invasions.

Minister of State for Security Didymus Mutasa, in the office of President
Mugabe, told Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the proposed plan is
backed by the Movement for Democratic Change. But MDC spokesman Nelson
Chamisa said this is not the case, arguing that the arbitrary seizure of
land by top officials must end for the country's economic good.

Much the same sentiments were echoed by spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa of the
rival MDC formation led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

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Zimbabwe among worst governed - report

October 9, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Zimbabwe is still among the worst governed in Africa, according to
a report published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

According to the 2009 Ibrahim Index of Governance published by the
foundation on Monday, Zimbabwe was ranked 51st out of all the 53 African
countries, only outshining Chad and lawless Somalia which are ranked 52 and
53 respectively.

The latest rankings are based on the 2007/2008 period, before the formation
of the inclusive government.

However, the assessment will still be a big blow to the current transitional
government's efforts to depict the country as a reformed democracy.

Zimbabwe was also graded the worst governed country in Southern Africa,
coming out position 12, in a region which produced half of the continent's
10 best performing countries.

Except for Seychelles and Tanzania which fall under East Africa, all the
other SADC countries come under Southern Africa.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has defined African regions according to the
criteria set out by the African Development Bank.

At 31.3 out of 100, Zimbabwe scored well below the Southern African regional
average of 58.1, and the overall continental average of 51.2.

At category level, Zimbabwe also scored well below the continental average
in all 4 categories - Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human
Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.

Although the latest rankings are based on the 2007/2008 period, before the
formation of the inclusive government, the international community is yet to
be satisfied with
Zimbabwe's cosmetic reforms.

President Robert Mugabe is still firmly in control of the levers of power
despite a power sharing arrangement brokered by SADC in September last year,
which compels the veteran leader to share power with his former rivals in
the then opposition MDC.

The assessment has put paid to continued claims by President Mugabe's that
his government was being vilified by the West for expropriating vast tracts
of arable land from the minority white Zimbabweans, who are descendants of
Britain, Zimbabwe's erstwhile colonial master.

Meanwhile, Mauritius tops the 2009 Ibrahim Index with a total score of 82.8,
ranking first in all four main categories.

Cape Verde is ranked second with a total score of 78.0. Seychelles is ranked
third with a total score of 77.1, followed by Botswana with a total score of
73.6. South Africa is ranked fifth with a total score of 69.4.

Somalia is the worst governed country on the continent, with a total score
of 15.2. In 52nd place, Chad has a total score of 29.9, while Zimbabwe is
third from bottom.

Southern Africa is the continent's best performing region, with an average
score of 58.1, followed closely by North Africa with an average score of

West Africa is ranked third with an average score of 51.7, followed by East
Africa with a score of 46.9.

Central Africa is the worst performing region across all four categories,
with an average score of 40.2.

All seven Central African countries are ranked outside the top 20 in the
2009 Ibrahim Index, with all of them except Gabon performing below the
average for the continent.

The Ibrahim Index is Africa's leading assessment of governance, established
to inform and empower the continent's citizens.

The Index measures the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by
government or non-state actors across 84 qualities of governance.

Those governance indicators are grouped in four overall categories: Safety
and Security, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic
Opportunity, and Human Development. All 53 of Africa's countries are then
ranked on their total scores across the categories.

For the first time, in 2009 the Ibrahim Index covers all 53 countries in
Africa. It also includes data from 2008, making it more current than any
other assessment of African governance.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance was created in recognition of the
need for a robust, comprehensive and quantifiable tool for citizens and
civil society to track government performance in Africa.

The Foundation's focus is the promotion of good governance in Africa and the
recognition of excellence in African leadership.

The Foundation aims to stimulate debate on good governance, provide criteria
by which citizens and civil society can hold their governments to account,
and recognise achievement in African leadership and provide a practical way
in which leaders can build
positive legacies on the continent when they have left office.

The Foundation also confers the Ibrahim prize for Achievement in African
Leadership, the largest annually awarded prize in the world.

The Prize Committee, chaired by Kofi Annan, awards US$5 million to a former
Executive Head of State or Government who has demonstrated excellence in
leadership during their time in office. The announcement of the next winner
will take place on Monday October 19.

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Rush to trade in Zim

JASON MOYO - Oct 10 2009 06:00

Amid growing debate over the role of foreign multinationals in Zimbabwe,
none of the large South African corporations in the country is considering

Old Mutual would not say whether it would hold on to a large investment in
Zimpapers, the company that owns The Herald newspaper, a notoriously
one-sided Zanu-PF mouthpiece.

Old Mutual is the second-largest shareholder in the newspaper group, after a
government-controlled trust.

Old Mutual had not responded to questions sent by the Mail & Guardian at the
time of going to press.

South African banks have provided financial support to Zim­babwean
agriculture, most of which is now owned by Zanu-PF bigwigs and other
beneficiaries of land grabs since 2000.

According to treasury statistics detailing financial institutions' support
for this year's farming season, Nedbank's Zimbabwe subsidiary, MBCA Bank,
channelled lines of credit worth US$40-million to the Zimbabwe government
for the purchase of farm inputs. Some of that lending also went towards
funding the purchase of tobacco.

Stanbic, Standard Bank's subsidiary, provided US$18-million to support
cotton merchants this year.

It is not possible to find out how much of this funding reached resettled
farmers. Nedbank did not immediately respond to queries sent to it.

This week banks in Zimbabwe said they would no longer lend to farmers
sitting on seized land until they have legal title to the land. In response
Mugabe said he would "speak to them" so that they accept as security for
loans "offer letters", which allow holders to forcibly take over farms.

Few foreign firms look ready to leave Zimbabwe. And, given the steady stream
of South African business delegations arriving in Zimbabwe in recent weeks,
more South African money is heading that way.

SABMiller has put an additional $16-million into Delta Beverages to expand
its canning factory and meet growing beer demand.

Patrice Motsepe's African Rainbow Minerals is investing $300-million in new
coal and platinum projects in Zimbabwe, according to Dan Simelane, the
company's chief executive for exploration.

Motsepe led a delegation of South African businessmen that met Mugabe in
Harare in April. That meeting was arranged by Business Unity South Africa,
which encourages its members, some of the largest South African companies,
to invest in Zimbabwe.

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, of ArcelorMittal South Africa, confirmed that
Africa's largest steelmaker is one of six foreign bidders for Zimbabwe's
state steel company Ziscosteel, which was run into the ground by a
succession of scandals involving top government officials.

Mzi Khumalo's Metallon Gold is seeking funding to restore its Zimbabwe
operation. Its five mines accounted for more than half of the country's
total gold output before they were shut down last year after the reserve
bank failed to pay for gold deliveries worth $20-million from the company.

At the height of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, large retailers such as
Pick n Pay and Edcon wrote off their Zimbabwean investments. But the retail
chains are now sinking more money into the country.

Shoprite plans to buy into OK Zimbabwe, whereas Pick n Pay will maintain its
25% share of TM Supermarkets. Pep Stores also has a presence in Zimbabwe,
through the Power Sales clothing chain.

Tongaat Hewlett is investing R145-million to restore its sugar estates in
the south and east of the country. The estates have long been a centre of
controversy, with the Zimbabwe government seeking to resettle thousands of
small-scale farmers on the company's Hippo Valley estates.

Zimbabwean rights groups have welcomed the international pressure that
forced Nestlé to stop buying milk from a dairy farm run by Grace Mugabe.
Yet, few would publicly back a campaign to pressure other multinational
companies to withdraw from Zimbabwe.

Mugabe would use any such pressure to justify his repeated claims that
Western sanctions are to blame for Zimbabwe's economic collapse.

Although he has managed to convince his regional peers that Western measures
against himself and his associates are the cause of the economic crisis, a
senior United States diplomat in Harare this week restated the Western
position that action against Mugabe's rule has been specifically targeted.

Trade between Zimbabwe and the US has in fact doubled since the measures
came into effect in 2003, according to James Garry, second secretary for
economic affairs at the US embassy in Harare. Legislation bars US
representatives in international financial institutions from authorising
lending to Zimbabwe. But Garry insists these laws have never been used.

"While US sanctions may have harmed the business interests of some
individuals, there is no evidence that they have had any negative
macroeconomic impact on Zimbabwe," said Garry.

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Two of Nestle's bank accounts frozen

Eyewitness News | 40 Minutes Ago

The private media in Zimbabwe is reporting that the central bank has frozen
two bank accounts belonging to Nestle.

Nestle Zimbabwe stopped buying milk from Grace Mugabe's dairy farm last week
after an international outcry.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper says forensic auditors will be
investigating some of Nestle's transactions.

The paper claims two of the company's five bank accounts have been frozen.

Central Bank Chief Gideon Gono says the probe has nothing to do with Nestle's
decision to stop buying Grace Mugabe's milk.

He says the bank is always obliged to investigate where there are suspicions
of irregularities

This report has not been officially confirmed but it will get would-be
foreign investors very worried.

Nestles decision to stop buying Grace Mugabe's milk may have proved costly.

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New Zimpapers Board Appointments Clarified

Harare, October 10, 2009 - Zimpapers Acting Chairperson Paul Chimedza
said the new board members who were recently appointed, were appointed by
the Board in terms of the company's Articles of Association, contrary to the
erroneous reports that the appointments were made by the Media, Information
and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu.

According to Chimedza the new Zimpapers' board members were appointed
by Zimbabwe Newspapers Limited board on September 15, 2009 in terms of
Article 56 and 57 of its Articles of Association which allows the directors
holding office to appoint an eligible person as a director for the purpose
of filling any vacancies that may arise.

This clarification follows stories in the state owned Herald and other
media stating that the Minister had appointed new members to the following
Boards; Zimpapers, BAZ, ZBH, Transmedia, Kingstons Holdings and New Ziana.

The Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity, George Charamba,
has since been quoted saying that Zimpapers was included on the list by
mistake as the information was received at a time when the ministry was also
processing for release the list of other appointments to different
parastatal boards.

Chimedza said that the names of the new board members are going to be
ratified by the shareholders at their annual general meeting in May 2010.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met on October  05, 2009 and agreed on the
names of the commissioners to serve on the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).
Unconfirmed reports say former  Sunday Mail Editor and Ziana and ZBC Chief
Executive Officer Henry Muradzikwa was appointed new chair.

Mugabe during his key note address at the official opening of the
Second Session of the Seventh Parliament on October 6 assured the public
that the appointments to the ZMC board, and other commissions including the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission, were imminent.

The Prime Minister has since confirmed reaching an agreement on the
final list of names to be appointed to the ZMC board, although he said the
appointment of the BAZ board was irregular and was not agreed upon.

The announcement by Mugabe came almost two months after the names of
the 12 candidates shortlisted to the ZMC were submitted to the president on
August 18.

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Elephant Poacher Killed in Zimbabwe, 3 Others Arrested

 Written by Rhishja Larson
Published on October 9th, 2009

After a gun battle in Charara National park near Sanyati Gorge, park rangers
shot and killed an elephant poacher, arrested three accomplices - and
recovered an AK-47 rifle.
While out on patrol, two rangers stationed at Charara Safari Area and
Tashinga National Parks came across the carcass of an elephant, who appeared
to have been recently killed. As their regular rounds did not turn up any
suspects, they decided to wait in ambush near the elephant's carcass.

Parks director-general, Dr. Morris Mutsambiwa, explained in an
report that waiting for the poachers to return to the scene of the crime
paid off.
  They laid an ambush near the carcass and at about 7:00 PM, they heard a
motorised boat approaching and four people disembarked from the boat and
headed straight to the place where the elephant carcass was.

Park rangers ordered the poachers to surrender - but the poachers refused
and fired shots at the rangers.

  One of the poachers was armed with an AK-47 rifle. The rangers then
challenged the poachers to surrender, but when they resisted, they opened
fire .

Dr. Mutsabiwa said that one of the poachers was killed instantly, and that
all four of the poachers (Billy Kanwell, Amonga Daniel, Victor Sibangwe,
Robert Musonda Mwenda) were from Zambia. Kanwell was the individual who was

In addition to the AK-47 rifle, park rangers recovered 300 rounds of
ammunition, 365 kilograms of elephant meat, and the boat used by the

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SA to debate land reform law

by Own Correspondent Saturday 10 October 2009

JOAHNNESBURG - South Africa's government plans to resubmit to Parliament a
law that would allow it to seize land from farmers if negotiations to buy
the land from them failed.

Land Affairs director general Thozi Gwanya told the media on Thursday: "The
minister of public works and the minister of rural development are in the
process of reviving the discussions of the bill so that they can go and
reopen the debate and the hearings (in Parliament). We don't have a timeline
yet for when it will return to Parliament."

The proposed law, that President Jacob Zuma's ruling ANC party says is
necessary to quicken South Africa's snail-paced land reform programme, was
first brought to Parliament last year. It was put on hold after farmers'
groups, opposition parties and civic groups objected to the law saying it
could lead to land Zimbabwe-style land grabs.

South Africa, which like Zimbabwe inherited an unjust and skewed land tenure
system from previous white minority governments, wants to transfer over 30
percent of agricultural land to landless blacks by 2014.

But the land redistribution process has been painfully slow with only about
5.2 million hectares of the targeted 24 million hectares of agricultural
land handed over to blacks since the fall of apartheid in 1994.

While the ANC government is under pressure to quicken land redistribution,
it has also been keen to reassure investors and the markets that its land
reform programme will be orderly and not violent and lawless as happened in

But critics say many of the same problems faced by Zimbabwe, including lack
of proper support for new black farmers and inadequate farming skills, are
likely to hinder South Africa's programme. - ZimOnline

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The Zimbabwean Denies Plans To Launch A Daily Paper

Harare, October 10, 2009 - The Zimbabwean Editor Wilf Mbanga has
denied plans to launch a daily newspaper in Zimbabwe, contrary to a story
carried out by Radio VOP this week.

It also denied it had launched a sports newspaper, Football Zimbabwe,
saying: "We did not launch Football Zimbabwe - its published by a Botswana
company. They simply advertise in The Zimbabwean."
Mbanga, who was the Editor in chief and Chief Executive Officer for
the Community Newspaper Group (CNG), said they did not print newspapers in
the UK and fly them to Zimbabwe as erroneously noted by the story. "We print
the southern African edition in South Africa where we have a registered

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Zimbabwe confident of Test return
Saturday, 10 October 2009 15:48 UK
Heath Streak fields off his own bowling
Zimbabwe last played a Test against India in 2005, losing by 10 wickets

Zimbabwe expect to return to Test cricket in "two to three years" after resolving differences that led to some leading players quitting the country.

The national team has not played a Test since 2005 after becoming uncompetitive because of a policy of selecting mainly inexperienced black players.

But former captain Alastair Campbell told BBC World Service Sport: "Bygones need to be bygones.

"I think we'll be good enough in two or three years to get back and compete."

Campbell, who played 60 Tests and 188 one-day internationals, is now chairman of selectors of Zimbabwe Cricket and also works with the team as a batting coach.

He added: "Selection is now on merit and that's a huge step in the right direction.

"ZC makes no apology for the fact that there was a policy of affirmative action before. There are 13 million black people in Zimbabwe and you're not going to will that away - they had to become more integrated."

Campbell acknowledged that there were question marks over the "manner" in which the policy was implemented.

"I don't think it was thought out. When you get cricketing decisions made by non-cricketers, that is what happens.

"There were a lot of people who muddied the waters as well and I think it just became an exercise that had the right intentions but just got out of control."


Zimbabwe were granted Test status in 1992 and only took 11 matches to register their first win, beating Pakistan in Harare.

They produced a number of world-class players, including batsman Andy Flower, now national team director for England, and seam bowler Heath Streak, with both players having spells as captain.

But as international opposition grew to the policies of president Robert Mugabe, teams became reluctant to tour Zimbabwe.

Flower and team-mate Henry Olonga took part in a black armband protest against the "death of democracy" in their country during a World Cup match in 2003, which led to both emigrating to England.

And the situation worsened the following year when Streak was replaced as captain by young black wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu and he, along with 15 other players, had their contracts rescinded by Zimbabwe Cricket.

In January 2006, Zimbabwe withdrew from Test cricket after a series of poor performances but has retained one-day international status since that date.

Players like spin bowler Ray Price have returned to the fold and Streak is reportedly close to being appointed head coach of the national team.

Prosper Utseya
Prosper Utseya is the current captain of the Zimbabwe team

"We want to get as much expertise here as possible so that when we go for a meeting in two or three years with the International Cricket Council to say that we want Test match cricket back, we have proof that we can sustain that," stated Campbell.

Ozias Bvute, managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket, told the BBC that he believed one day everyone would understand what they had tried to do.

"To allow cricket to grow, we had to ensure that everybody was represented and that we picked our team from the entire population, rather than just a facet of it," he said.

"At one stage we were only able to raise a team from 200 to 300 individuals. That situation has changed now."

Bvute added: "Ultimately, you can't take away the fact that there are over half a million youngsters who now play cricket in Zimbabwe, that there are over 200 professional cricketers in Zimbabwe, that wherever you go in and around Zimbabwe, people now know about cricket."

Zimbabwe begin a five-match one-day series against Kenya on Monday.

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Death Penalty: Should It Be Abolished in the New Constitution for Zimbabwe?


‘You are killing an innocent man and ……… ’These are recorded as the final words of death row inmate Roy Roberts as he was executed in Missouri, USA in 1999.Discomforting evidence later emerged that cast doubt on his conviction for murder.

Then last week there was a gruesome botched  execution of Romell Broom in Ohio,USA.It is reported technicians tried but failed to find a vein to administer the required mortal fluids and at one time Broom lay on his side trying to help them find the vein. On 25 March 1997 in Florida Pedero Medina was on the electric chair awaiting his fate. With the first jolt of 2300 volts blue and orange flames sparked from the mask covering Medina’s face. Flames up to a foot long shot out from the right side of Medina’s head for 6-10 seconds. The execution chamber was clouded with smoke and the smell of burnt flesh filled the witness room. We all remember the sorry sight of Saddam Hussein as he was led to the gallows with a very strong barbaric rope round his neck, with taunts echoing in the background. Doesn’t society have better methods of dealing with its’ malcontents?

The death penalty remains a controversial sentencing sanction. The debate on it’s’ merits or lack of is probably as old as the sanction itself. It is with great interest that MDC-T last week published their red zone on constitutional reform issues in Zimbabwe. Inevitably the party stated that it was advocating the abolition of the death penalty in Zimbabwe and this is the subject of this article.

The death penalty has been on Zimbabwe’s statutes for a long time. Probably some of the most celebrated death row victims are the spirit mediums Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi who were hanged by the colonialist regime in 1898. Capital punishment is provided for by Section 12 of the Zimbabwean constitution which states ‘it shall be lawful for a person to be killed following a death sentence imposed on him/her by court’. Various offences can attract the death penalty in Zimbabwe including first degree murder and treason. The Zimbabwe Prison Service reports that 76 African male prisoners were executed between April 1980 and December 2001.In the same period 244 inmates had been sentenced to death by the High Court of Zimbabwe. Approximately two thirds of those sentenced had their sentences quashed by the Supreme Court or commuted to life imprisonment.Chidhumo and Masendeke are probably the latest high profile inmates executed in Zimbabwe.

This does not imply that there has been universal support for executions in Zimbabwe. Two former Chief Justices have been noted to have voiced their concern over executions. Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena is noted as having said to the Herald of 7 Dec 1987 ‘ I believe that many people we sentence to death for killing somebody should not be sentenced to death but given a life imprisonment term’. His predecessor C.J Gubbay is recorded as having said ‘What may not have been regarded as inhuman or degrading a few decades ago may be revolting to new sensitivities which emerge as civilisation advances’. In that case, he was ruling on whether delaying executions and appalling conditions of incarcerations were not contrary to Sec 15 [1] of the constitution [CCJP v A.G and others [1991] [1] ZLR 242.More significantly the draft constitutions produced by the Chidyausiku Commission and the National Constitutional Assembly in 2000 did not contain the death penalty, neither does the controversial Kariba Draft.

At international level it can safely be said that we are moving towards abolition of the death penalty. Legally speaking the death penalty is not prohibited by international law, and neither is abolition yet a norm of international law. The celebrated International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR] which is binding to most countries of the world actually does not prohibit the death penalty. Article 6 [2] of the same merely restricts its use to the ‘most serious crimes’. Most serious crimes is aptly unqualified and subjective to each country and region. However the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR adopted in 1989 does prohibit the death penalty to state parties to the protocol [Article 1].Henceforth it remains optional. Efforts have been made through the United Nations to adopt resolutions abolishing it. In 1971 through Resolution 2857 and 1977 through Res 32/61, the UN took the first steps towards declaring abolition of death penalty as a universal goal and calling for restrictions on its use. However it was only in 1989 that the UN GA adopted the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.

In addition both instruments instituting UN International Tribunals for Former Yugoslavia [ICTY] and for Rwanda [ICTR] did not carry the death penalty as a sanction. These tribunals were formulated to prosecute very serious crimes of interest to the international community: that is genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In addition when the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was debated and formulated, the death penalty was also omitted as a sanction, yet this court has jurisdiction over ‘serious crimes of interest’ to the international community.

As of now it is reported that 96 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, 8 for ordinary crimes and 43 are de facto abolitionist. In Africa there are at least 15 abolitionist states and 21 de facto abolitionist [those who have the death penalty but haven’t used it in the last ten years and have committed not to use it].Sadly for Africa as on November 2008 Amnesty reports only six of the fifty three states had ratified the second optional protocol to the ICCPR on abolition of the death penalty.90% of all world executions are carried out by six countries: the USA, China, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Pakistan. Draw backs have been encountered as some states have reinstituted the death penalty after abolition. Papua New Guinea abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes in 1975 but reinstated it for wilful murder in 1991.The Philippines abolished it after the overthrow of President Marcos in 1989 but brought it back in 1993.It took Gambia only two years to reinstate the death penalty having abolished it in 1993 whereas New York brought it back in 1995 after 30 years of abolition.

It is the progression of the human rights movements that have had a major impact on abolishing the death penalty. The Council of Europe has made abolition a prerequisite for membership. In April 1983 it adopted Protocol No 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights which abolished the death penalty in peace time only. However in 2002 Protocol No 13 was adopted which abolished capital punishment in all circumstances. As a result Europe is a death penalty free zone and there has not been an execution since 1997.In 1990 the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States adopted Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to abolish the death penalty. However this protocol only calls for restriction of use rather than erasure. The African Charter does not mention the death penalty. However in 1999 the African Commission on Human Rights adopted a moratorium on the death penalty.Very few states have observed the moratorium, forcing the commission to issue a plea in Abuja Nigeria in 2008 to do so.

Crucial to these human rights instrument is the provision in most that prohibits subjection to inhuman or degrading treatment, [European Convention on Human Rights Article 3, American Convention on Human Rights Article 5, African Charter Article 5, ICCPR Article 7].Various court judgements from these regions have expanded on what ‘inhuman and or degrading treatment’ is to attack most methods and process of execution. In Soering v UK the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the death row phenomenon in the USA constituted inhuman and or degrading treatment fouling Article 3 ECHR.The same judgement was found in Zimbabwe by the Supreme Court in Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace v Attorney General and others 1993.In South Africa in the case of The state v Makwanyane and others [CCT/3/94], the Constitutional Court found the death penalty to be inherently cruel, inhuman or degrading and therefore unconstitutional. In Tanzania in the Republic v Mbushuu and another [1994] TLR 146], the Court of Appeal ruled the death penalty inherently cruel, inhuman or degrading though constitutional. The same line was pronounced in the Privy Council case of Pratt et al v Attorney General of Jamaica.

Other judgements have centred on the methods of execution. The UN Human Rights Committee ruled the use of gas chambers constituted cruel, inhuman treatment in Ng v Canada. It found also public executions incompatible with human dignity. Public stoning was pronounced barbaric particularly when the size of the stones were used to prolong suffering.Currenly there are challenges on legality of lethal injections in some states in USA though at international level lethal injections were found to be legal in Cox v Canada [No 539/1993] UN Doc. [Opinions of the UN Human Rights Committee are not binding but have persuasive power].

What are the merits or demerits of the death penalty? Most Muslim states argue that their Islamic laws and religion allows executions for various offences. The Islamic Council adopted a Universal Declaration of Rights which guaranteed the right to life but also provides for the death penalty under authority of the law under article 1[a]. Some Christians also argue that the bible prescribes executions as just. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross apparently for blasphemous. Leviticus 24:17-21 says ‘he who kills a man shall be put to death’. Numbers 35: 30-31 reads ‘if anyone kills a person, the murder shall be put to death on the evidence of witness: but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Moreover you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilt of murder, but he shall be put to death’. Genesis 9:6 ‘Whoever sheds blood of man; by man shall his blood be shed’. Exodus 21:12-14 provides ‘Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, and then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. But if a man wilfully attacks another to kill him treacherously, you shall take him from my altar that he may die’. Lastly Romans 13; 1-4 says ‘let every person be subjected to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement.if you do wrong, be afraid for the authority does not bear the sword in vain: He is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrong doer’

However the same bible provide that ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the lord’ in Prov 25; 21.Moreso when Jesus was crucified he did not pray for vengeance but prayed ‘Forgive them Lord for they not know what they are doing’

Retributionists have argued that death penalty deters criminal behaviour and recividism.Scientific studies have consistently failed to find evidence that death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments. A report in the Wall Street Journal of June 21 2002 stated that in the past ten years then the number of executions in the USA had increased while the murder rate had declined. Still the report noted murder rates in non death penalty states were found to have remained consistently lower than states with a death penalty. States in the Northeast that have abolished the death penalty actually have a lower homicide rate than retentionists.More interestingly was that retentionists’ states have higher rates of police details homicides than abolitionists states. From 1989 -1998, 292 police were killed in the South, where 90 percent of all executions occurred in 2000, while 80 were killed in the northeast where there are one percent of executions [FBI records]. From 1990 to 2004 murder rates in states without death penalty declined much more from 9.16 to 4.02 per 100 000 than those with capital punishment from 9.5- 5.71 per 100 000.Canada has seen its homicide rate decrease consecutively since it abolished the death penalty in 1976.The average homicide rate was 2.7 per 100 000 in 1977 compared to 2.8 the year before. Over the next twenty years the rate fluctuated between 2.2  -2.8/100 000.In 1995 it went down to 1.98 [data from Amnesty].However South Africa has seen an increase in rape , murder since abolition.

Some have argued that death penalty deters the murderer who is executed. In other words, the executed is incapacitated from reoffending either in prison or outside. They argue if criminals are sentenced and executed potential criminals will think twice before committing a crime for fear of losing their lives. Prof Hag argues ‘Execution of those who have committed heinous murder may deter only one murder per year. If it does, it seems warranted. It is the only fitting retribution for murder I can think of’. He goes on to argue that although penalties can be unwise, repulsive or inappropriate and those punished pitiable, in a sense the infliction of legal punishment on a guilty person cannot be unjust. By committing the crime, the criminal volunteered to assume the risk of receiving a legal punishment that he could have avoided by not committing the crime. Convicted criminals have elected to give up some of their rights because of their acts’. What about the rights of their victims which they so violently violated. Is it not a question of sympathising with the offender irrespective of the victims needs? John MacAdams remarked ‘if we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of criminals. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would rather risk the former’. Very retributionist indeed.

These arguments seem to accept that the deterrent effect of death penalty is at most minimum. They are ready to argue it is ‘just deserts’, they deserve it, no more no less, no matter how uncomfortable the execution is. To some extend I sympathise with this reasoning. A woman with her 14 year old daughter are a victim of a crime. The offender first rapes the daughter as her mother watches in anguish. He chops of both arms and let her bleed to death slowly as the mother watches. He rapes the mother and then shots with his pistol through her private parts. He hacks of her boobs and lets her bleed to death slowly. Graphic and horrendous indeed. Those are the stories of the genocide in Rwanda, of Foday Sankoh’s exploits in Sierra Leone. I watched in 2001 as Zanu PF thugs led by Joseph Mwale burnt to death my two colleagues Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika in Buhera.Premeditated cold blooded murder. What rights do these criminals have to claim violation of human rights, that the execution are inhuman and degrading? What of the methods they used to execute their victims for unlawful reasons?

However it is the realisation that criminal justice systems the world over are shrouded in imperfections that makes the death penalty undesirable. Execution is a totality, and irreversible. A recent study by the Columbia University Law School found that two thirds of all capital trials in USA contained serious errors. When cases were retried over 80% were not sentenced to death and 7% were actually acquitted. The Innocence project in America notes since the reinstitution of the death penalty 176 people on America’s death row have been found innocent. The most telling was the discovery in 2003 than 13 Illinois death row inmates were not guilty as charged. The then governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in Illinois remarking ‘our capital punishment system is haunted by the demon of error’. In Japan Sakae Menda was sentenced to death in March 1950 for a murder committed in 1948.Thirty years later he was found not guilty and released.

Now these are developed countries with top resources for their judiciary and yet errors are abound. In Zimbabwe most of those sentenced to death are very poor citizens who can not afford private legal representation. The human rights movement in Zimbabwe have noted that most are represented by pro bono lawyers supplied by law firms as a social service. However the down side is that it has been noted that law firms mostly makes available their most junior practitioners thereby compromising the quality of representation. It is not far fetched then to conclude that a great number could have been saved if the representation was right.

It has been argued that the cost of life sentencing is far greater than executions. However in USA because of the never ending appeals and spoilation litigation, it has been noted that death row inmates cost more to the state than those who have been sentenced to life imprisonment. Besides imprisonment without prospect of release is as punishing as any sanction and has equal deterrent effect. It has been noted that most lifers actually go mental within their incarceration and the constant thought of guiltiness, shame, and loss of liberty is more painful than executions.

It is for these reasons that I support abolishing the death penalty. There is a plus also to international cooperation especially in the field of extradition. Abolitionist states would not extradite a suspected criminal to a country which has a death penalty. Rwanda learned it the hard way when leading genocidaires fled to Europe and most European countries refused to extradite because Rwanda still had a death penalty. Cooperation only resumed when it abolished it.

Nothing works !

[ The writer is cognisant of the fact that most data used for analysis is foreign and might not apply to the Zimbabwean context]

The writer can be contacted at

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Under the carpet

Dear Family and Friends,

Every window and door is open, shoes are abandoned, blankets are back
in cupboards and now we wait, every day looking upwards, waiting for
the rains to come. It's a blistering hot October and yet shortly
after dawn every morning silhouettes appear in the vleis, along the
railway lines and even on roadsides in residential areas. Bent in
half, hacking away at baked earth, men and women are preparing a
place in which to drop a few maize pips. Little children sit on their
mother's wraps under the few trees that have been spared the firewood
axe, and they play in the dust.

The irony of a decade of propaganda about "our land and our
sovereignty" accompanied by a decade of agricultural destruction is
never more apparent than now. The very people who are prepared to
toil on the dusty roadsides at dawn in order to grow food, still have
no land. One man I spoke to said that four times he has filled in the
paperwork necessary to receive land from the Zimbabwe government. He
says he meets all the requirements but each time he has been turned
down. He collects leaves, makes compost and now trundles backwards
and forwards depositing his precious black gold onto the roadside
where he will plant maize when the rains come.

"There's no better fertilizer than the farmer's footsteps," my friend
says, and the man smiles and nods as he sets off again, with his
squeaking wheelbarrow, to collect another load.

Land is one of a raft of contradictions obstructing progress here.
Every day the state propaganda burbles on about developing tourism
and how we're apparently set to benefit massively from the 2010
football games to be held in South Africa. And yet Beitbridge, the
main entry point into the country from South Africa remains a mafia
headquarters where even the most hardened visitors are harassed by
touts, forced to pay bribes and made to wait hours in queues in order
to get into the country. One recent visitor told me how every official
at Beitbridge was in on the scams and backhanders and said she was
ashamed to watch border officials treating people in buses like
livestock, reducing old ladies to tears.

Then there's the contradiction of investment. We desperately need
people to come back, old and new businesses to open, factories and
industries to get the country going, and yet the ground rules remain
murky and the boundaries unclear. Law and order, property rights and
Title Deeds are some of the problems. Double standards are another.
This week during the opening of parliament Mr Mugabe talked about how
Zimbabwe would be following SADC protocols on environmental
protection, wild fires, water, women, gender equality and others and
yet just a month ago Zimbabwe refused to accept a SADC tribunal
ruling on land.

The final contradiction this week came when a BBC reporter said the
Minister of Youth was happy the BBC were back in Zimbabwe and that we
had nothing to hide. Oops, this coming from the Ministry that spawned
the Youth Brigade, green bombers we called them. Youngsters notorious
for intimidating, beating, raping, and re-educating people -
particularly before and after elections. Indeed Zimbabwe has nothing
to hide, so long as you don't look under the carpet or behind the
door. Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathyCopyright cathy
buckle 10th October 2009.

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Bill Watch Special of 9th October 2009 [Interviews forHuman Rights Commission Monday 12th October]


[9th October 2009]

Interviews of Short-listed Applicants for Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission

Monday 12th October

8.30 am through to 5 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament

35 applicants have been short-listed out of over 100 who applied for appointment to the Human Rights Commission. 

Proceedings Open to Public:  The public will be permitted to attend and to watch and listen but not participate.  As seating is limited, anyone wishing to attend is advised to check with Parliament’s Public Relations office on Harare 700181.  Admission will be through the public entrance to Parliament, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue between Second and Third Streets, and IDs must be produced.

Selection Procedures:  Under the Constitution it is the President who appoints the chairperson and the eight other members of the Electoral Commission.  The chairperson is appointed by the President “after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders” [CSRO] – he or she does not have to be appointed from a list put forward by Parliament.  “After consultation” means that the President has to discuss his choice with the bodies to be consulted but may disregard their views – although if the appointment he makes is inconsistent with a JSC recommendation, the President must inform the Senate as soon as practicable.  The 8 other members of the Commission, at least 4 of whom must be women, must be appointed by the President from a list of 16 nominees submitted to him by the CSRO [Constitution, section 100R(1)]

Qualifications for Appointment to Human Rights Commission

Members:  Section 100R(3) of the Constitution states that persons appointed to the Commission must be chosen “for their knowledge of and experience in the promotion of social justice or the protection of human rights and freedoms”. 

Chairperson:  In addition, the chairperson must be a person who has been qualified for at least five years to practice as a legal practitioner.

Interview procedure:  The interviews will be conducted by a five-member panel using structured questions drafted by consultants.  Another 8 designated members of the CSRO will be permitted to put supplementary questions after the panel has asked the set questions.  The other members of the CSRO are expected to attend and observe.

Members of the interview panel are the same as for the Media and Electoral Commission interviews:

    Senator Obert Gutu [MDC-T]

    Thabitha Khumalo MP [MDC-T]

    Edward Mkhosi MP [MDC-M]

    Mabel Chinomona MP [ZANU-PF]

    Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira. 

Candidates’ performance on interview will be rated by the consultants advising the CSRO, the interview panel and the 8 other designated members of the CSRO.  The scoring of these three groups will be compared and if there is agreement the list will be finalised there and then.  If the compared scorings do not produce a clear result, the final decision on which candidates will be put forward to the President will be taken by the full CSRO.

Names of the Short-listed Candidates:  Parliament has not released an official list of the short-listed candidates but have notified them[some on very short notice]

Functions and Powers of the Human Rights Commission

The Commission’s functions listed in section 100R(5) of the Constitution include:

· Promoting awareness of and respect for human rights and freedoms at all levels of society

· Promoting the development of human rights and freedoms

· Monitoring and assessing the observance of human rights

· Recommending to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights and freedoms

· Investigating alleged violations of the Declaration of Rights by any authority or person

· Assisting the responsible Minister in the preparation of reports to be submitted to regional and international bodies under human rights conventions

The Commission is empowered to take over and continue any investigation instituted by the Public Protector [formerly known as the Ombudsman] where the Commission decides that the dominant question in issue involves an alleged violation of the Constitution’s Declaration of Rights.

The Constitution also provides that an Act of Parliament may confer additional powers on the Commission – such as the power to conduct investigations either on its own initiative or on receipt of complaints; the power to visit prisons, places of detention, refugee camps and institutions for mentally disordered persons to ascertain the conditions under which inmates are kept, and to make recommendations to a relevant Minister; and the power to secure or provide appropriate redress for violations of human rights and for injustice.  A Bill to regulate matters incidental to the establishment of the Commission was announced by the President in his speech opening Parliament on 6th October as being on the legislative agenda for the forthcoming session of Parliament.  The Bill has not been published, so details of its content are at present unavailable; it could well provide for these and other additional powers for the Commission. 

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.

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