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‘Alshabab’ member attacks and kills patron in KweKwe pub

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 October 2012

A 29 year old Mbizvo resident in KweKwe was on Tuesday hacked to death in a
pub in front of friends and patrons, by a member of the notorious ZANU PF
militia that calls itself ‘Alshabab.’

Admire Kadamoyo was confronted by the ‘Alshabab’ member identified as ‘Smart’
who was wielding a machete. The unprovoked attack saw Kadamoyo being dragged
onto the floor as patrons watched in terror.

Drinkers enjoying the evening sundowner fled in horror as Kadamoyo was
repeatedly slashed with the machete and left in a pool of blood. He
repeatedly pleaded for mercy as ‘Smart’ savagely struck his head.

Confirming the incident, the MDC-T MP for Mbizvo, Settlement Chikwinya said
what pains him most about the attack is the time taken by the police and
medical people to attend to the mortally injured Kadamoyo.

“After the attack, I’m told by eyewitnesses that ‘Smart’ hanged around the
area for quite some time, talking to friends, while Kadamoyo was pleading
for help. The incident also took place were the Alshabab group hangs
around,” Chikwinya said.

He added: “I’ve made several enquiries and everybody tells me it was ‘Smart’
from the Alshabab that is controlled by ZANU PF. He is a well known figure
of the group and is easily distinguishable with his dreadlocks.”

The MP said the inability by the police to arrest the murderer is
“unbelievable.” The suspect is now believed to be on the run.

“It is clear who is behind the attack and the police have all of a sudden
developed cold feet. The weapon used (machete) is synonymous with ZANU PF as
a tool of violence. This was a savage attack carried out in front of
witnesses and I find it amazing the police have not made an arrest yet,”
complained the MP.

In recent weeks the ‘AlShabab’ group has been on the rampage in Mbizvo,
harassing and beating up residents. Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s
henchman, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube, is reportedly behind the new militant outfit
named after the notoriously bloodthirsty Somalian based Islamic terror

The group has also been forcibly evicting shop owners from their business
premises, taking them over under the guise of youth empowerment. ‘Alshabab’
claims to promote ZANU PF’s controversial indigenization drive.

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Civil workers to strike after government ignores ultimatum

By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 October 2012

Civil servants under the Apex Council have resolved to issue government with
a notice of intent to strike, after the Public Service Minister ignored a
48-hour ultimatum to resume negotiations for a wage increase.

Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ), told SW Radio Africa that member unions met on Thursday, after
government ignored their ultimatum, and decided on several options.

He said the Council found it “deplorable” that government, in particular the
Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga, would choose to “remain mum” and
ignore government workers. The silence is an indicator that Matibenga has
adopted an “intransigent and irresponsible” approach, Zhou added.

Minister Matibenga suspended talks with the workers last month, claiming
there is a leadership row at the Apex Council and she cannot recognize the
negotiators submitted by the new president David Dzatsunga. The Council
insists there is no leadership row and Matibenga does not know what to do
about the wage increases.

The labour unions had delayed strike action since last Friday, hoping
negotiations would resume with either the new negotiating team or the old
one, headed by the former Apex chairperson, Tendai Chikowore.

“As Apex we are flexible and willing to allow the old committee to
negotiate, in case government is not comfortable with the new leadership. We
are also taking the legal route and challenging government on the selection
of negotiators, because by law the Council chooses its own negotiators,”
Zhou explained.

The unions also decide to draft a letter notifying government of their
intent to strike. Zhou explained that the law requires them to give a 14-day
notice before engaging in any labour action.

It is not clear whether the notice will be handed to government on Friday or
by Monday next week. Zhou said it all depends on when the notice is
completed and delivered to government.

Many public servants earn less than the poverty datum line, currently pegged
at $600 per month. They have been demanding wage increases and better
working conditions for years, with promises being made by government
officials. But the workers continue to struggle to support their families.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has insisted that there is no money in the
treasury and government has a $400 million deficit in the current budget.
Biti accuses ZANU PF and military chefs of failing to remit funds being made
from the sale of diamonds from the Chiadzwa fields.

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Lawyers Name And Shame Mangoma's Persecutors

By Professor Matodzi Harare, October 11, 2012-Human rights lawyers have
named and shamed the police officers who masterminded the persecution of
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) deputy treasurer and Energy and Power
Development Minister Elton Mangoma for allegedly slurring President Robert
Mangoma was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and charged with contravening
Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when he
allegedly uttered the words; “Chifa Mugabe chifa. Chibva Mugabe chibva,”
loosely translated to “Pass on Mugabe and go now” on 18 May 2012 at an MDC
meeting he addressed at Manhenga Business Center in Bindura, Mashonaland
Central province.

Influential human rights group, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
unmasked the police detectives who stormed his offices at Chaminuka Building
and picked him before detaining him at the notorious Harare Central Police

ZLHR identified the five police detectives as Detective Sergeant Kamuzwimbi,
Detective Constable Nzombe, Detective Constable Dickson, Detective Sergeant
Gunduza from the Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station.
Chief Superintendent Charles Ngirishi led Mangoma in recording the warned
and cautioned statement. Ngirishi has been previously named in the
persecution of political and human rights activists including former MDC
transport manager Pasco Gwezere and University of Zimbabwe lecturer and
International Socialist Organisation leader Munyaradzi Gwisai.

Mangoma, who was represented by ZLHR member lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and
Selby Hwacha denied the charge in “its totality” and was released after
Ngirishi recorded a warned and cautioned statement from him.

The persecution of Mangoma was full of drama as the police first took him to
Harare Central Police Station before attempting to transfer him to Bindura
Police Station but with his lawyers giving chase, the police made an about
turn and returned to Harare Central Police Station where they recorded a
warned and cautioned statement from him.

The arrest of Mangoma, who was twice arrested in 2011 and later on acquitted
and freed on charges of flouting tender procedures in the procurement of
fuel and for fixing tenders in the purchase of electricity metres brought to
45 the number of insult cases that ZLHR has monitored and handled in recent

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Zaka residents warn of worsening violence in Masvingo

By Alex Bell
11 October 2012

Residents in Zaka have warned that there is worsening violence in Masvingo
province, with ZANU PF being blamed for a growing number of attacks and
incidents of intimidation.

Most recently, the ward chairman of the MDC-T in Zaka Central was
hospitalised along with his wife after their home was petrol bombed by
suspected ZANU PF members last week. Nelson Bvudzijena and his wife were
rushed to St. Anthony’s Musiso hospital with reportedly serious injuries.

A resident in Zaka told SW Radio Africa this week that the attack on the
Bvudzijena home followed a confrontation between the ward chairman and a
gang of known ZANU PF thugs. The argument is believed to have been about
Bvudzijena’s loyalties to the MDC, which prompted the ZANU PF members to
threaten him. The thugs are said to have warned Bvudzijena that they “would
come for him at night.” Days later, Bvudzijena’s home was burned down while
was sleeping.

The resident explained that not one of the perpetrators of the arson attack
was arrested, despite the group openly bragging about the incident. The same
group is believed to have assaulted a number of other people in Zaka last
week, and have threatened to repeat the same violence seen in the province
during the 2008 elections.

The resident told SW Radio Africa that people are living in fear, because
the memories of the violence in 2008 are still strong.

“Things are so bad that right now I am looking around to see that no one
hears me. If they heard me talking like this I could be in danger,” the
resident said.

The MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai visited Bvudzijena over the weekend,
during a memorial service held in honour of MDC members who were murdered in
Zaka district at the height of the 2008 election period. Tsvangirai said:
“We need justice to prevail because we are going for a crucial election and
the fear factor has to be dealt with. We are aware ZANU PF is involved in
military actions that are being planned against unarmed civilians.”

“(Robert) Mugabe is a hypocrite because he is only shedding crocodile tears
calling for an end to violence when he is not keen to stop violence,”
Tsvangirai said, adding: “We are tired of being fooled around with by ZANU

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Chinese Nationals Assault Zimbabwe Police

Harare, October 11, 2012 - Two police officers were severely assaulted by
Chinese nationals at a local hotel that is under construction close to the
National Sport Stadium along Bulawayo road earlier this week as the Chinese
continue to act above the law, Radio VOP learnt Thursday.
The police officers had gone to the construction site to investigate a case
of assault that had been reported by a Zimbabwean national, Langford
Sibindi, at Marimba Police Station and when they were making their
investigations they were confronted by scores of Chinese nationals who began
to beat them up.

According to the workers one Chinese national severely beat up the
Zimbabwean guy using clenched fists and martial arts resulting in the
employee falling to the ground bleeding heavily.

“The Chinese boss accused Langford of being lazy and he started beating him
up heavily using clenched fists. We had to do nothing and he only left him
after he started bleeding heavily. After the beating he left the area and
that’s when we assisted him," said one employee who did not want to be

"He then went to the police station to report and only to come back with the
officers who were also beaten up by the other Chinese guys who used martial
arts to beat them. They had to flee heading towards Bulawayo road."

The Hotel under construction has been marred with controversy with
Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema and the
Environment Management Authority (EMA) disputing the area saying that it was
a wetland thus deeming it unfit for construction. They later agreed to the
construction but the move was denounced by environmentalists.

When he was reached for a comment, Harare province Spokesperson, Tadius
Chibanda said: “I haven’t received such reports I will have to check first."

Cases of Chinese brutality at workplaces have been on the increase and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara once called parliament to act over
the matter. The Chinese have strong ties with Zanu (PF) and are heavily
safeguarded by the state.

The Chinese have been constructing major construction sites in the country
which include the multi-million dollar national defence college, the
expansion of the Victoria Falls hotel among others. The Chinese also have
massive interests in the mining sector especially in diamonds.

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Ncube insists a united MDC not possible

By Alex Bell
11 October 2012

The leader of the smaller MDC faction in Zimbabwe’s government, Welshman
Ncube, has again insisted that his party will not unite with the faction led
by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Ncube was speaking at a meeting in Bulawayo on Thursday and answering
questions posed by members of the public. One of the questions was about the
possibility of a strong, united MDC party to take on ZANU PF at the
forthcoming elections.

But according to SW Radio Africa’s correspondent Lionel Saungweme Ncube said
this will not happen.

“People who came to the meeting are worried about the prospect of opposition
to ZANU PF and going into an election divided. They asked Professor Ncube
whether he could seek reconciliation or form a coalition with the MDC led by
Morgan Tsvangirai to remove ZANU PF,” Saungweme said.

Saungweme said that Ncube reiterated his previous comments that he is not
going to be working with the MDC-T come elections.

“His reasoning is that there is no different between Morgan Tsvangirai and
Mugabe and he says change should not be change for the sake of change alone.
But it must be change that is better than Mugabe,” Saungweme said.

He added that the concern about a divided MDC is strong among many
Zimbabweans, who are worried that some form of united party will be best to
take on ZANU PF at the next elections.

“It is a clarion call and there seem to be a dire need. It is a source of
worry for many people and I think for many Zimbabweans,” Saungweme said.

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Trial of MDC-T “Innocent 29” continues

By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 October 2012

The trial of 29 MDC-T activists accused of murdering a policeman in Glen
View last year continued at the High Court Thursday, after Justice
Chinembiri Bhunu denied bail for the detainees the day before.

Two more MDC-T officials, arrested Monday in connection with the same
murder, appeared in court separately Thursday afternoon. Jackson Mabota and
Tarisai Kusotera, both youth leaders from Glen View South, were arrested
Tuesday and charged with murder. They have been in detention since.

On Wednesday, Justice Bhunu denied bail for the activists again, citing
irregularities. He dismissed testimonies that were given by the late cop’s
father and brother during a bail hearing last month, which implicated ZANU
PF and the police in the murder.

Bhunu instructed the defense lawyers to apply for bail through the Supreme
Court instead.

Officer Petros Mutedza was killed by revelers at a local pub in May, 2011.
The police insisted he had been killed by MDC-T members who had gathered
there for a meeting. Claiming to be investigating, they rounded up MDC-T
members only in Glen View area.

A total of 29 were eventually jailed, including the Chairman of the National
Youth Council, Solomon Madzore. The MDC-T insists that the arrests were
political and ZANU PF is trying to destabilize their structures.

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Accreditation dates for 2nd all stakeholders conference changed

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 October 2012

The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) has moved the dates for
accreditation to the Second All-Stakeholders conference from this weekend to
Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that ideally they
would prefer the exercise to be conducted on a weekday rather than on a

Accreditation for delegates to the conference, set for Harare between the
21st and 23rd October, will be carried out at all provincial capitals around
the country.

Mwonzora said the number of delegates will remain the same – 1 100. 246 will
come from political party representatives, 284 will be seating MPs and 571
from the civil society organizations.

Mwonzora denied that COPAC was choosing which CSO’s were allowed to attend
the conference, claiming such allegations were being peddled by some
disgruntled members of the civil society.

“All we have done is to ask the CSO’s to provide us with names of their
delegates attending the conference. I think we’ve virtually invited all CSO’s
operating in the Zimbabwe but we can’t determine who will be coming from
each organization,” Mwonzora said.

He reiterated the conference will give delegates an opportunity to
scrutinise the COPAC draft constitution and make recommendations.

The conference would not be a drafting conference, but would focus on
comments and recommendations on the draft from the stakeholders, which would
then be incorporated into a report for COPAC’s consideration.

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No one has power to shut down COPAC: PM

No one in the inclusive government has the power to shut down COPAC because
it is a constitutionally established body whose mandate is to draft a new
constitution for the country, MDC leader prime minster Morgan Tsvangirai has

by Regerai Tukutuku

Tsvangirai also said he and president Mugabe have not agreed on any election
date and therefore its premature to talk of any dates at the moment.

Addressing civic organization at the end of his tour of Masvingo province
last week Tsvangirai said Principals in the inclusive government have no
intentions to shut down COPAC because it has not finished its job.

He said reports that he and president Robert wanted to shut down COPAC were

"I do not have the power to shut down a constitutionally set up body neither
does Mugabe have the power to do so", said Tsvangirai.

"Copac is mandated to spear head the drafting of a new constitution until it
submits a prepared document to parliament", said the MDC leader.

"We are yet to hold a second all stake holders conference and how can
someone talk of shutting down COPAC".

COPAC is a parliamentary select committee set up under the Global Political
Agreement to craft a new constitution to ensure that elections in the
country are held under a new constitutional frame work .

Speculation had been rife thaat the president Mugabe and prime minister
Tsvangirai might shut down COPAC given sharp differences that have erupted
regarding the crafting of the constitution".

Zanu Pf and the two MDC formations are at each's throat on the draft
constitution with the former insisting that changes crafted by the party's
poliburo be incoporated into the draft.

The party has since watered down its demands saying a national report should
accompany the rdaft at the all stake holders conference which has been
pencilled for 21st and 22 nd of this month.

The two MDC formation which have already endorsed the COPAC draft are
arguing that the all stake holders conference should not be reduced to a
drafting committee but instead should make recommendations or addittions
basing on the draft.

Turning to the envisaged reforms to ensure a free and fair election
Tsvangirai said the inclusive government has fallen far shot of implementing
the envisaged reforms.

"We have not yet come up with media reforms because of resistances from our
parteners in the inclusive government who feel that any meanin full media
reform is a part of a regime change agenda", he said.

The MDC leader also its is only himself and president Mugabe who have to
agree on election dates.

Said Tsvangirai;"I hear some people talking of the March next year election,
it could be but that is not what we have agree".

"After a ferendum we will sit down and come up with election dates.
Elections will definitely be held next year but no dates have been set yet".

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Legislators name, shame Ministers

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 18:25
Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

MEMBERS of Parliament, for long regarded as toothless bulldogs, have come
out with their guns blazing, accusing government ministers, including
Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa of
undermining their oversight role — laying a fertile ground for a bruising
turf war between the legislature and the executive.
The current Parliament has been criticised for underperforming due to
failure by MPs to agitate for the implementation of the government’s
legislative agenda, top of the list being long-awaited media and electoral
Critics say there has not been any urgency on the part of the lawmakers to
implement what they had set for themselves to achieve because there was no
opposition in the bicameral Parliament after the three main political
parties — ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations —
were roped into the coalition government in February 2009 following
inconclusive presidential elections in 2008.
With less than nine months of their terms remaining, the legislators have
heaped all the blame on government ministers from across the political
divided whom they accused of making their work difficult.
The MPs revealed this week in Parliament that the whip system was being
abused by ministers to silence them.
At one point, lawmakers from the three governing parties held a joint caucus
to discuss parliamentary business but were forced to make a hasty retreat
after it was feared that they could rebel against their parties.
Siyabonga Ncube, the lawmaker for Insiza, said the whipping system had
curtailed robust debate in the august House.
“The other issue why the executive is not taking us seriously is the issue
of whipping. Once you are seen opposing a minister from your party, you are
pointed at and you are looked at by the Chief Whip who then makes a sign to
say you have gone over bounds. Madam Speaker, the issue of whipping must
stop so that we do our job,” said Ncube.
As a result, ministers were riding roughshod over the backbenchers.
For instance, government bureaucrats are failing to reply to committee
reports and giving feedback on recommendations from the legislative assembly
as required by Parliamentary procedures.
Legislators suspect that a lot of ministers could also be masking their
underperformance by pleading that the government does not have the money to
implement various projects without coming up with tangible plans to change
the situation.
MDC-T Bulawayo South MP, Eddie Cross, said the Public Finance Management Act
enacted two years ago compelled ministers to table in Parliament quarterly,
half yearly and annual reports as well as audited reports of government
agencies and departments.
But during the past year, only two reports were received regarding financial
affairs of ministries.
“We are about to enter into the new budget cycle, and I note that the
government treats this House like a rubberstamp and I think one of these
days we must send a message to the Minister of Finance that we are not going
to rubberstamp his proposals and if we do not like what is being presented
to this House, we will change what he is doing and we will not approve his
budget until he does so,” said Cross.
MDC-T Mbizo lawmaker, Settlement Chikwinya, said the majority of ministers
do not respond to Parliamentary reports or recommendations.
Chikwinya said Mnangagwa had approached him in October 2011 following the
adoption of a motion condemning political utterances by service chiefs,
saying the defence forces wanted to clarify some of the positions raised by
lawmakers during their debate.
“That statement had to be resuscitated on Order Paper due to prorogation of
Parliament and it went for about two to three months respectfully waiting
for the minister to come back. In his wisdom or lack of it he decided not to
come back, therefore to me it is only an issue of undermining the authority
of Parliament,” said Chikwinya.
In moving the motion, MDC-T Silobela MP Anandi Sululu, said in March this
year the Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development
recommended that Nicholas Goche, the Transport Minister should appoint a
board for the National Railways of Zimbabwe as soon as possible to help turn
around the parastatal’s fortunes. But six months later, Goche has not done
Sululu said a question asked in October 2011 was still on the order paper
due to failure by ministers to respond.
Members of the Committee on Mines and Energy are also not happy. After
extensive travels; conducting over six workshops and holding more than five
fact finding visits nationwide, resulting in the production of one of the
most comprehensive reports, nothing much has come out of their efforts.
“But sadly, and more disheartening and demoralising, the hon. Minister of
Mines (Obert Mpofu) decided not to respond to that report. It elapsed at the
end of the Third Session and was brought into the Fourth Session, which
might come to an end maybe today,” said Sululu.
ZANU-PF Zvishavane MP, Obert Matshalaga, said Information Communication
Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa was one of the ministers who have stood
before Parliament and lied.
He said about two years ago, Chamisa promised every MP a laptop and members
were of the view that since he is young and vibrant he would deliver, but up
to now nothing has been delivered.
The MP also had no kind words for the co-Ministers of Home Affairs — Kembo
Mohadi and Theresa Makone. He said it was unnecessary for people to queue
for passports had the co-ministers championed computerisation so that people
could apply or get a response on whether they would be able to get their
passports or not online.
Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma also came under fire for
his handling of the Chisumbanje ethanol project said to be threatening close
to 10 000 jobs.
However, Tourism and Hospitality MP, Walter Mzembi, was applauded for
updating Parliament on tourism events, especially at Victoria Falls.
ZANU-PF Uzumba MP, Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, said while lawmakers had
recommended that cotton farmers must be paid US$1/kg so that the sector does
not collapse, farmers were being paid US$0,29c/kg in what he said was theft
legalised by a government department.
ZANU-PF Mhondoro Ngezi MP, Bright Matonga, questioned the performance of
Water Resources Development and Management Minister, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo.
He asked: “Do we have a water policy? Do we have the Minister of Water who
can stand up and push the issue not only of Bulawayo but of everybody?”
MDC-T Bulawayo East legislator, Thabitha Khumalo, said it is a waste of
taxpayers’ money for MPs to be funded to carry oversight and other duties
not recognised by the executive saying backbenchers were being reduced to
cadres of political parties.
MDC-T Magwegwe lawmaker, Felix Sibanda, said the composition of the Standing
Rules and Orders Committee needed to be reviewed to enhance Parliament’s
Currently, the committee has more members of the executive, resulting in
their voices drowning those of backbenchers.

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MDC MP drags Zanu PF to Jomic

Thursday, 11 October 2012 12:54
MASVINGO - Zaka West MDC MP Festus Dumbu has dragged Zanu PF to the peace
organ Jomic after he was attacked by rowdy party youths.

Dumbu said Zanu PF youths attacked him and deflated his car tyres while he
was attending the burial of a colleague at Harare’s Warren Hills cemetery.

The youths were burying a party official from Mbare at the cemetary.

In a letter dated October 9 addressed to Jomic national coordinator Patience
Chiradza, Dumbu demanded that action be taken to end such violence.

“I register my case of political violence perpetrated against me by Zanu PF
activists on October 8, 2012 at Warren Hills Cemetery at around 1430hrs,”
reads part of the letter.

Dumbu said he was worried at the level of violence against MDC officials at
a time President Robert Mugabe is preaching peace.

Earlier that day, Mugabe had called on Zimbabweans to tolerate each other
regardless of political affiliation when he addressed mourners at the burial
of the late Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge.

Dumbu appealed to Jomic to take action against Zanu PF supporters he accused
of boasting that nothing would happen to them as long as Mugabe is in power.

“While President Mugabe is moving around preaching peace, his party
continues its usual terrorist attacks on members of other political parties,
particularly those of the MDC. This is a serious case of political violence
which leaves me severely worried by the level of insecurity and lawlessness
prevailing in this country,” reads Dumbu’s letter.

Dumbu said he was attacked by the youths who were in a lorry and identified
his Parliament car.

He said he reported the matter to the police at Warren Park Police Station
but no arrests have been made.

Political parties and rights groups say incidents of political violence in
the country are on the increase despite calls of peace by Mugabe and other
government leaders.

Efforts to get a comment from Jomic national coordinator Chiradze were
fruitless as she was unreachable.

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South Africa Labor Strikes Paralyze Goods Clearing Agencies

Gibbs Dube

Customs clearing agents in Zimbabwe’s Beitbridge border post are losing up
to R20,000 each in potential revenue due to the decline in the volume of
transit haulage trucks following a violent strike by truck drivers in South

Some of the clearing agents told VOA Studio 7 the strike will have
devastating effects on their businesses if it does not end soon.

Thomas Phiri of AMES Border Agencies said the strike has not yet affected
the importation of mealie-meal, rice and other food items which are being
sourced in nearby Mesina and Luis Trichard towns.

The truck drivers, who have blocked haulage vehicles from leaving
Johannesburg and other major cities, are demanding salary increases.

Phiri said Zimbabwe may soon experience shortages of basic commodities if
the strike continues.

According to Reuters, some of South Africa's striking truckers agreed to
return to work Wednesday, easing pressure on Africa's biggest economy where
two weeks of labor unrest in the transport sector have hit supplies of fuel,
cash and consumer goods.

But disputes in the mining sector escalated after Gold One fired the
majority of its 1,900 workers at its Ezulwini operation, paralyzed since
last week by a wildcat strike.
Atlatsa Resources said it had also fired 2,161 miners for an illegal strike.

Since August, almost 100,000 workers across South Africa, including 75,000
in the mining sector, have downed tools in often illegal and violent strikes
that may hit economic growth this year and undermine investor confidence in
the minerals hub.

Two transport unions with 5,500 members agreed to abandon the truckers'
strike, but the biggest labor group, the South African Transport and Allied
Workers Union (SATAWU) which represents about 28,000 workers, pressed on
with the boycott.

Another 9,500-strong transport union denied reports its members would also
suspend strike action, saying negotiations were continuing.

An employers' association had earlier said three transport unions had
suspended the strike because "employers have now offered double digits (a
pay rise) for the year". It said it was still in talks with all groups to
hammer out a final deal.

The rand which fell to 3-1/2 year lows against the dollar on Monday on
worsening investor sentiment about labor strife, firmed on news the
transport unions would end their walk-out.

SATAWU is demanding annual wage increases of 12 percent for two years - more
than double the inflation rate, while employers have offered a total 18
percent pay rise over that period.

An employers' body said last week that the freight industry was losing
around 1.2 billion rand ($135 million) in turnover each week. If the
protests expand to rail and ports, exports of coal and other minerals would
also be hit.

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Zimbabwe passport form – Now available online

According to today’s Herald, the Registrar General’s office now enables one to access the passport application form online, fill it in, print it out, bring it to a passport office – and get an SMS when it’s ready for collection.

Today, our attempts to access the Registrar General’s website have been intermittently successful – Suggesting that perhaps they’re getting more hits with the launch of this service than their server has capacity for. But we were able to get to the online form, which looks like this:

I did think to myself – “But I’m not Patience. Can’t I be Amanda whilst the form is downloading?” but other than that, I can’t complain.

I could fill in the form on their site, print it locally, and could take it to the passport office and submit it in person if I wanted to apply for a passport.

According to The Herald, the fee for using the online form will be $33 – less than the standard $50 charge, and you’re spared the step of having to queue up just to get the form. So all of that certainly sounds more convenient than the current system.

So, will it really work? Who will be the first to try it? If you do, let us know! This entry was posted on October 11th, 2012 at 9:35 am by Amanda Atwood

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Police exposed

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 18:23
Tinashe Madava, Senior Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has not arrested a single person involved
in three widely reported incidents of political violence in the past month,
targeting non ZANU-PF people; in what critics say gives credence to
assertions by the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
that the force is biased in favour of President Robert Mugabe’s party.
Suspected ZANU-PF supporters have, in the past four weeks, been fingered in
the assault and harassment of supporters of the MDC parties in Mutoko,
Shangani and Masvingo.
But information obtained this week suggested no arrests had been made in the
three areas.
Failure by the police to effect arrests particularly ahead of fresh
harmonised polls President Mugabe wants held in March 2013, about six months
away, has raised fears of a repeat of 2008 political violence, which led to
inconclusive presidential elections, resulting in the consummation of the
present inclusive government.
Critics said the police inaction flew in the face of statements attributed
to new police spokesperson, Charity Charamba who early this week strongly
denied that the ZRP was partisan and deliberately targeted supporters of the
two MDC formations.
While the police attributed the violence in Shangani to clashes between
gold-panners and MDC-T supporters, Prime Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai’s
party said it has evidence that the attacks were perpetrated by ZANU-PF
supporters in attempts to disrupt them from attending the party’s 13th
anniversary celebrations held in Bulawayo last month-end.
Violence also flared up in Masvingo last week as an MDC-T ward chairperson
in Zaka, Nelson Bvudzijena, was injured when his house was petrol bombed. He
was taken to St Anthony's Musiso Hospital. Again no one has been arrested
for this incident.
PM Tsvangirai used his visit to Masvingo last Saturday to parade MDC-T
supporters with disfigured faces at a rally in Zaka he said were victims of
the 2008 political violence.
This week, the MDC formations, in a reaction to Charamba’s claims that the
ZRP was professional, accused the police spokesperson of lying to the public
after she also claimed the police discharged their duties without
consideration of political affiliation.
The MDCs said their respective supporters have been victims of political
violence and yet the police have not moved to arrest anyone implicated in
such acts since the perpetrators were connected to ZANU-PF.
More so, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, is on record saying
he is a ZANU-PF supporter, a statement heavily criticised by opponents of
the liberation war party who say it was meant to direct those below him to
tow the line by supporting the party of their boss.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the secretary-general of the Ncube-led MDC,
laid into the new police spokesperson, saying she has gone out of line by
claiming the ZRP was a professional outfit.
“As a rule, you don’t go around saying I am the prettiest. You wait for
others to pass their assessments. But the reason why we have an Article on
State organs in the Global Political Agreement is that we knew we would have
such a problem. We certainly have State organs that are partisan. We have
State sponsored violence. State sponsored means that the State organs are
implicated in the acts of violence,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesperson for the MDC-T, described Charamba’s
pronouncements as irresponsible.
“That was a very irresponsible statement by the police spokesperson. It
clearly shows that she has no facts. The police have clearly been conducting
their duties along partisan lines,” he said.
Job Sikhala, president of another MDC offshoot, MDC99, was equally damning.
“I have been a victim of these people for no apparent reason. I have been
arrested 61 times, went to court 61 times and was acquitted all these times
which shows you that these were just trumped-up charges. The police are
against anyone who is not ZANU-PF,” said Sikhala.
But in an interview with The Financial Gazette, Charamba insisted the ZRP
was a professional force, which did not conduct its duties on partisan
“It’s an issue of stating what we do. No one is above the law. If a report
is made, the police investigate,” she said.
Charamba said police had received a report about the attack on MDC
supporters in Mutoko and said investigations were underway.
On the Shangani and Zaka incidents, she said her boss, Commissioner General
Chihuri would make a statement.
But Sikhala disputed this saying Charamba was trying to put lipstick on a
“If it is what they want to practice in the future, then we wait and see,
otherwise it is a fact that the police has been known to be against anyone
who is not ZANU-PF,” added Sikhala.
Meanwhile, reports say President Mugabe this week signed the Electoral
Amendment Bill into law to ensure a violence-free campaign period as the Act
criminalises and disqualifies those found guilty of inciting violence.
The Act provides for the Attorney-General to ensure sufficient competent
prosecutors are provided to try all cases of politically-motivated violence.
PM Tsvangirai this week threatened to pull out of the inclusive government
if his party supporters continue to be victims of political violence.
Speaking in Zaka at the weekend, he said he would soon convene an emergency
council meeting to decide whether or not to stay in the inclusive
The MDC-T says more than 200 of its supporters were killed in the run-up to
the 2008 elections and the subsequent presidential election runoff.
But ZANU-PF denies its supporters have a penchant for violence.

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Russian firm to build new oil pipeline

11/10/2012 00:00:00
by Business Reporter

RUSSIAN oil giant Rosneft will take part in the construction of the
Zimbabwe-Mozambique pipeline, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The official said the project, which includes an oil storage terminal near
Harare, opens new markets for the company in Africa.

The pipeline will run from the port of Beira in Mozambique carrying oil to
Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.
A Russian trade delegation led by Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov
visited Zimbabwe this week to explore investment opportunities.

Speaking after meetings with local officials, Manturov said: “We already
have a number of Russian companies operating in the country concentrating
mostly in the mining sector.

“We have a lot of areas where we feel we can partner the Zimbabwe government
by investing in such as platinum mining.”
In August Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma said the
government planned to build a new pipeline to boost the capacity of the
existing Feruka line.

"We are already putting together a consortium with the Mozambican government
and private players. Hopefully construction will begin early next year,”
Mangoma said then.

In addition to road transport, Zimbabwe currently imports fuel through the
287-km long Feruka pipeline stretching from Beira in Mozambique to the
Feruka oil refinery outside Mutare.

The government controls 21 km of the Feruka line while Mozambique's
Companhiado Pipeline Mozambique-Zimbabwe company controls the rest.

Feruka has a carrying capacity of 130 million litres per month and officials
said the new pipeline is expected to carry 10 million litres of fuel in a

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Nigeria Gains From Zimbabwe as Farmer Helps Cassava Drive

By Dulue Mbachu - Oct 11, 2012

Graham Hatty, who was forced off his land in Zimbabwe a decade ago, is
helping Nigeria in its drive to return to food self-sufficiency.
The cassava he grows in central Kwara state was on the first ship exporting
the crop to China, in August. The government is trying to boost production
of the starchy root, as well as of rice and sugar, to slash the $10 billion
spent every year on food imports. President Goodluck Jonathan plans to
increase food production by 20 million metric tons by 2015 by providing
land, funding and lending via the central bank.

Cassava farmer Graham Hatty said, “There’s huge demand for cassava flour,
especially by biscuit makers.” Photographer: Dulue Mbachu/Bloomberg
Enlarge image
Nigeria's government is trying to boost production of cassava, as well as of
rice and sugar, to slash the $10 billion spent every year on imports of
wheat, rice. sugar and fish. Photographer: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
“The potential is tremendous,” Hatty, 73, said from the balcony of his
farmhouse in Shonga, which overlooks a lawn dividing his house from cassava
fields near the bank of the Niger River. “There’s huge demand for cassava
flour, especially by biscuit makers.”
Africa’s biggest oil producer is trying to reverse a decline in the
agriculture industry that has led to a 16-fold increase in wheat imports
since 1970, when the country’s oil boom began. Half of Nigeria’s 160 million
people live in rural areas and four-fifths of those are below the poverty
line, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The country, which grew enough food to feed itself in the 1960s, is now the
world’s largest importer of rice and sub- Saharan Africa’s biggest importer
of wheat and sugar.
“We want to be the largest processor of cassava in the world and not export
jobs to other countries that are exporting wheat to Nigeria,” Akinwunmi
Adesina, the country’s agriculture minister told reporters in Abuja, the
capital, in July. “Why do farmers in Arkansas, in Nebraska, love Nigeria?
Because we keep buying wheat we don’t produce.”
Left Zimbabwe
Hatty and 12 other white Zimbabwean farmers moved to Nigeria in 2004 after
his soybean, corn and wheat farm was seized by armed men as part of a
government program of land expropriation. He was recruited to come to
Nigeria by the Kwara state government, which sent delegations asking
dispossessed farmers to emigrate. Zimbabwe, once Africa’s second-biggest
corn exporter, now imports its staple food.
While four of those who came with Hatty have left, the others run poultry
and dairy operations, he said.
Nigeria is now taking further steps, including central bank funding for
farmers, tax holidays for investors and regulation designed to favor local
crops as it seeks to revive an industry that once exported peanuts, palm oil
and cotton. The country is still the world’s fourth-biggest cocoa exporter.
Agriculture including subsistence farming accounts for more than 40 percent
of gross domestic product, compared with 16 percent for oil.
Wheat Substitution
Flour millers in Africa’s most populous country are now required to blend
cassava into wheat flour. The current ratio of 20 percent is set to rise to
40 percent by 2015, according to a regulation passed in October last year.
Wheat imports will fall by 20 percent initially and by 40 percent once the
set targets are reached, Olalekan Saliu, executive secretary of the
Lagos-based Flour Milling Association of Nigeria, said in an interview on
July 30. Association members include Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FLOURMIL),
Dangote Flour Mills Plc (DANGFLOU) and Honeywell Flour Mills Ltd.
In the last crop year Nigeria produced just 100,000 tons of wheat, according
to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About 650 billion naira ($4.1
billion) of wheat was imported last year, most of it from the U.S.,
according to the Agriculture Ministry. Nigeria bought 3.25 million tons of
U.S. wheat in the 2011-12 marketing year ended May 31, the USDA said.
Cassava Fund
A 65 percent levy on imports of wheat flour came into effect on July 1 in
addition to the existing 35 percent import duty, Finance Minister Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala said in Abuja on July 11. The proceeds will be used to set up
a cassava fund for further research to increase wheat substitution, she
The country also consumes about 5.4 million tons of rice a year, of which it
produces 2.3 million tons, according to the agriculture minister. The
government is seeking to end imports, mostly from India and Thailand, in
three years by bringing more land under cultivation through incentives to
farmers, President Jonathan said in August last year. Those imports cost 350
billion naira year.
The central bank has made available $800 million for loans, which will be
used to set up rice mills across the country, Adesina told reporters in
Abuja on March 1.
Still, the country has obstacles to remove if it is to foster an
agricultural revival.
Aside from the initial funding provided to Hatty by the Kwara state
government, he hasn’t been able to secure credit from banks even though the
central bank has pledged to make money available and is pushing commercial
banks to do the same. That’s hampered plans to introduce irrigation to grow
cassava year-round and plant rice on his land by the river bank.
“Banks aren’t interested in agriculture, and if they’re not going to get
interested, agriculture can’t grow,” he said. “We’ve been hearing for years
that central bank money is coming, but it goes to these big companies; it
doesn’t come to us small guys.”

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ZNNP+ stages demonstration at Nac offices

Thursday, 11 October 2012 12:52
HARARE - Business came to a standstill yesterday at National Aids Council
(Nac) offices as close to a 100 members of Zimbabwe National Network for
People Living with HIV/Aids (ZNNP+) staged a demonstration.

But they received a hostile reception from Nac director for communication
Madeline Dube who told them they were not special.

Nac officials were forced to lock gates as people living with HIV (PLHIV)
descended on the organisation’s office, accusing officials of squandering
Aids levies paid by taxpayers. They said Nac officials were sacrificing the
infected people to line their pockets.

The protestors held placards reading: “Invest in ARVs not stock markets”,
and “Where is Aids Levy going?”
“We have not been getting any cotrimoxazole from government for the past
year but we always hear you (Nac) telling lies that we are getting adequate
drugs,” shouted one man.

“You have been giving us cotrimoxazole meant for children, can you tell us
how the children will survive when we take their medicine?” queried a woman
in the crowd.

According to the angry protestors, they take eight tablets of cotrimoxazole
prescribed for children instead of the normal four.

ZNNP+ Harare advocacy team chairperson Joao Zanagroti said Nac was
squandering huge amounts in unjustified administration costs.

He alleged the levy administrator was consuming 40 percent of funds from
National Aids Trust Fund on administration and sending bloated delegations
to international conferences.

Over $70 000 is said to have been spent on seven Nac officials who attended
an HIV conference in the United States while employees got $3 000 loans from
the same pocket.

“We (PLHIV) say the Aids Levy is a national resource fund contributed to by
all working people. We cannot afford another Aids scandal,” declared
Zanagroti in a letter addressed to stakeholders.

He vowed his organisation would continue protesting until government
provided adequate supplies to HIV patients.

“We will become an immense well of anger that will occupy the streets should
there be further
delays in responding to our needs,” he said.

Dube’s speech triggered insults from the demonstrators, who described her as
“arrogant and well-fed”.

Said Dube while addressing the protestors: “There is no one who does not
know that there is Aids in Zimbabwe. You should also remember that you are
infected and we are also affected. Hapana munhu asina nhoroondo (There is
noone without a history).” - Wendy Muperi

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Community News Activist Denied Freedom

Kariba, October 11, 2012 - Kudakwashe Matura, a community news activist
facing charges of criminal defamation was on Wednesday denied his freedom
when the State invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Act to effectively suspend bail granted by a Kariba magistrate earlier.

Kariba is a town located in northern Zimbabwe.

Matura was arrested on Monday, after a complaint was lodged by one Sam
Mawuwa on allegations that a story published in the Kariba News newsletter
about him was defamatory. He is, therefore, facing criminal defamation

Magistrate Felix Chauromwe had granted Matura $100 bail before prosecutor,
Unite Saizi, invoked the controversial Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
The invoking of this section immediately suspends the operation of any court
ruling pending the noting of an appeal by the Attorney General’s Office. The
appeal has to be noted within seven days.

This effectively means that Matura will be in custody until October 19
before a bail hearing can be heard. Lawyer, Tapiwa Muchineripi, is
representing him under the auspices of the Media Lawyers Network.

The Zimbabwe Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA-Zimbabwe) has said recent arrests of journalists prove the
criminalisation of journalism in Zimbabwe under the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act and vindicates their strident calls for the
repealing of the law which infringes on media freedom.

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Tsvangirai asking for trouble: Chinamasa

11/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is headed for trouble with the country’s
military and veterans of the liberation struggle in the event he wins next
year’s presidential elections, a senior Zanu PF official has warned.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold fresh elections next year to replace a
fractious coalition administration which has been in office over the past
three years following violent and inconclusive elections in 2008.

But questions remain over the prospects of a peaceful transition in the
event Tsvangirai, currently Prime Minister in the coalition government, wins
the Presidential vote after senior military generals warned that he would
not be allowed to take over power.

Zanu PF politburo member and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa added to the
anxiety in an interview with the BBC when he declined to state whether his
party was prepared to accept a Tsvangirai presidency.

Asked whether Zanu PF was prepared to respect the will of the people,
whatever the outcome, Chinamasa said: "He [Tsvangirai] cannot win. He has
been campaigning and mobilising against the interests of Zimbabweans on many
issues, whether talking about land, seeking to reverse the gains of the
liberation struggle.

"And this is where the military comes in…. Young people participated in the
liberation struggle to gain control over our resources. Many friends died
and are buried in unmarked graves.

"Now if anyone is going to say: 'When I come into power I'm going to reverse
that,' they [the military] have every right to say: 'Please - you are asking
for trouble. You will be asking for trouble.'

"He [Tsvangirai] will be asking for trouble to seek to reverse the land
reform programme. There is no-one who is going to accept any enslavement."

Challenged to clarify what he meant by ‘trouble’, Chinamasa said: "You could
put any interpretation on it that you want."
Zanu PF has long accused Tsvangirai of being a front for the interests of
Western countries as well as white former commercial farmers still nursing a
sense of grievance over the takeover of their farms for re-distribution to
landless blacks.

Said Chinamasa: "I know he [Tsvangirai] is the front of (sic) the countries
that impose sanctions.
"And if those countries impose for him to win, that result will not be
acceptable. We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn't that

Tsvangirai recently claimed that senior Military officers privately told him
that he would never be allowed to take-over power even if he wins the

The MDC-T leader is insisting that on-going constitutional and other
political reforms should be completed before the elections to guarantee the
“security of the vote and whoever wins the elections.”

President Robert Mugabe has already said the new elections will likely be
held in March next year although Tsvangirai says the precise date would have
to be agreed between the leaders of parties to the GPA administration.

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Mudenge death body blow for Mnangagwa

Thursday, 11 October 2012 12:24
HARARE - Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge’s sudden
collapse and death in Masvingo has reportedly shifted the political ground
for Zanu PF in Masvingo.

Reports indicate that a faction aligned to the party’s presidential aspirant
and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is severely weakened following the
death of Mudenge.

Highly placed insiders said fiery Masvingo senator Dzikamai Mavhaire has
taken advantage of Mudenge’s death to assert his authority.

“Mavhaire is now in charge. Remember he is a member of the Mujuru faction.
The Mnangagwa faction is now history. We expect their faction to die a
natural death,” said an insider who requested anonymity.

Mavhaire denied being in charge of any faction in the province.

“We have one structure that has President Mugabe and Mujuru as his deputy.
If there are people with a different view then that is factionalism,” he

“As far as I know there is nothing like that but a healthy democracy in
which people contest each other during primary elections is always expected.
I do not own any people. I joined the party alone,” Mavhaire told the Daily
News yesterday.

He said problems will only arise if people do not welcome competition.

“If competition becomes antagonistic or some do not welcome it then it
becomes a problem,” Mavhaire said.

Addressing mourners at the burial of Mudenge on Monday, Mugabe admitted the
party was beset with factionalism across the country.

“In the party you go to Masvingo what is the leadership there? Mudenge,
Hungwe (Josaya) — sometimes of course Mudenge used to be involved in
factionalism. It is all over the country not Masvingo alone,” Mugabe said.

Insiders say Mavhaire is aligned to the Mujuru faction, while Mudenge led
the Mnangagwa faction with the help of Hungwe and provincial chairperson
Lovemore Matuke and a host of parliamentarians involved in the invasion of
wildlife sanctuaries including the Save Conservancy.

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Draft Zim constitution fails citizenship test

Most existing commentary on the citizenship provisions in the draft Constitution of Zimbabwe released on 17 July 2012 by the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) has focused on the issue of dual citizenship, and on the status of those who may have the right to claim the citizenship of another state – whose Zimbabwean citizenship has been contested in recent years.

While these are important issues, this commentary by the Open Society Foundations - which is based on an analysis of all the citizenship provisions in the COPAC draft against existing law in Zimbabwe and international standards and with reference to the amendments proposed by ZANU-PF published in late August - argues that it is perhaps even more important that the basic framework proposed by the COPAC draft is quite unclear in some respects and, if adopted as it stands, is highly unlikely to resolve the controversies on this issue that have plagued Zimbabwe for the past decade and more.

Moreover, despite some improvements, the draft fails to respect Zimbabwe’s obligations under international law to ensure that children born on its territory have the right to Zimbabwean citizenship if they do not have the right to any other citizenship.


The draft Constitution includes significant improvements over the existing Constitution: it provides improved protections against statelessness and it enshrines a right for all citizens to passports, identity documents and birth certificates (in the case of birth certificates, this should not be restricted to citizens, however). The new draft also confirms some of the important changes brought in by the constitutional amendments of 2009, including the final removal of gender discrimination and the extension of rights to obtain citizenship in some circumstances from grandparents as well as parents.

The right to citizenship

The most important way in which the draft COPAC Constitution is deficient is that it does not respect Zimbabwe’s obligations under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to guarantee the right to a name and a nationality (in this context, a synonym for citizenship) to all children. Article 6 of the Charter, which Zimbabwe ratified in 1995, requires States Parties to include in their constitutions the principle that “a child shall acquire the nationality of the State in the territory of which he has been born if, at the time of the child's birth, he is not granted nationality by any other State in accordance with its laws.” This principle, which is also provided in the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (to which Zimbabwe is not yet a party), and reflected in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is an important protection against statelessness, and Zimbabwe is not taking the opportunity of this moment of constitutional revision to ensure it is respected.

Thus, although the draft Constitution provides that citizenship cannot be taken away from a person if he or she thereby becomes stateless, it does not provide strong protection at the other end of the process, by granting citizenship to a child who does not acquire another country’s citizenship. The draft makes the welcome addition to Zimbabwe’s existing citizenship laws that a child of unknown parents is presumed to be citizen (Section.3.2(3)); but there are many more children whose parents are known, but are either stateless themselves, or do not have the right to pass citizenship to a child born outside of their own country of citizenship.

It would be desirable if in addition to the basic protection given to a child who would otherwise be stateless, Zimbabwe adopted the provision common in many African (and other) countries that a child born in the territory who is still ordinarily resident at majority, or a child born in the country of one parent also born there, has the right to claim citizenship. Many of those whose citizenship has been under contestation in Zimbabwe would be protected by such provisions, which have the additional merit of being much easier to understand than the categories of citizenship currently provided.

Categories of citizenship

The draft Constitution confirms the three existing categories of citizenship: by birth, by descent and by registration. However, the current significance of the distinctions among them is quite hard to grasp, especially when the COPAC text provides, in the opening section on citizenship, that all citizens are “equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship” (Section.3.1(2)).

In order to understand these categories, some history is necessary. The distinction between citizenship by birth and by descent derives from the system that was established in most Commonwealth countries at the date of independence. According to this system, those born in the country after independence became citizens based solely on the fact of their birth in the country, irrespective of the citizenship of their parents (unless the parents were in the country with diplomatic status). These citizens were citizens by birth; known also by the Latin tag as citizens by jus soli, or law of the soil. (Most African countries, and the UK itself, from which the provision derived, have since removed the absolute jus soli rule.) Those born outside the country of a citizen parent (or only a citizen father, in many cases) were citizens by descent (citizens based on jus sanguinis, law of blood). Zimbabwe inherited variations to this system that already applied in Rhodesia following the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The 1979 Constitution was exceedingly complex, creating a series of exceptions and qualifications to jus soli rights. In summary, it limited the transmission of citizenship by birth to children born in the country of a father who was a citizen or ordinarily resident and legally present in Zimbabwe; while transmission of citizenship to children born outside the country was limited to one generation, through provisions that stated that only a citizen “otherwise than by descent” could pass on citizenship to a child also born outside the country. Gender discrimination also applied, in that it was the only father’s citizenship that counted for the purposes of the rights of the child (unless born out of wedlock, in which case only the mother’s citizenship was relevant). The provisions on award of citizenship by registration to adults (in other countries more usually called naturalisation), based on marriage, long residence, or other criteria, were less complex. However, in the case of marriage, only the wife of a Zimbabwean citizen had the right to acquire citizenship on that basis, but not the husband.

The constitutional framework on citizenship remained the same until 1996, when gender discrimination in the transmission of citizenship to children was removed, after a long campaign by women’s rights activists and a Supreme Court ruling (in the Rattigan case). However, the right to citizenship of the child of a father ordinarily resident and legally present in Zimbabwe was not extended to a child of a mother with that status; instead, citizenship based on birth in Zimbabwe was restricted to children of citizens, removing any rights that came simply from birth in the territory. Citizenship by descent was still limited to one generation born outside the country. This framework remained in place until 2009. The 2009 amendments to the 1979 Constitution (that introduced changes related to the establishment of the government of national unity), and now the 2012 COPAC draft, keep the terminology of citizens by birth and by descent, but remove the restriction on transmission of citizenship to children born outside the country.

A child born in Zimbabwe is, under the 2009 constitutional amendment and the COPAC draft, a citizen by birth if either parent is a citizen (of any type), or if any grandparent is a citizen by birth or descent (that is, not if the grandparent was only registered as a citizen) (Section 3.2(1)). A child born outside Zimbabwe is also a citizen by birth if one of the parents is a citizen (of any type) and “ordinarily resident” in Zimbabwe or working for the state or an international organisation (Section 3.2(2)). These provisions expanded the law to provide a right to citizenship deriving from grandparents -- but did not restore the right to citizenship by birth for children born in Zimbabwe of legal residents.

In addition, the COPAC draft introduces a welcome new provision that a child found in Zimbabwe “who is, or appears to be, less than fifteen years of age, and whose nationality and parents are not known, is presumed to be a Zimbabwean citizen by birth.” This safeguard is in line with Article 2 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

The 2009 and COPAC provisions on citizenship by descent are that a child born outside Zimbabwe is a citizen by descent if either parent or any grandparent was at the time of the birth a citizen “by birth or descent” or if either parent was a citizen by registration. In addition, the birth must be “registered in Zimbabwe in accordance with the law relating to the registration of births” – a foreign birth certificate will not be sufficient to prove the right to citizenship (Section 3.3).

In effect, the 2009 constitutional amendments, preserved in the COPAC draft, removed the distinction between citizens by birth and by descent in terms of transmission of citizenship, while retaining the terminology. The impact is positive, in that the generational restriction on transmission of citizenship for those born outside the country is removed; but the meaning of the distinction is made very confusing. Indeed, its only significance appears to be potentially in the context of dual citizenship.

The COPAC draft keeps the same terms as the 2009 constitutional amendment for citizenship by registration, providing for a right to apply after 10 years’ residence in the country, or marriage for at least 5 years (Section 3.4 (1)&(2)). These provisions are longer than those in most African countries, but within the international norms. Gender discrimination in relation to acquisition of citizenship by a spouse was removed only in 2009, and gender neutrality is preserved in the COPAC draft; the ZANU PF suggested amendments concede gender neutrality but propose an increased period of marriage of ten years before citizenship may be acquired. A child adopted by a Zimbabwean citizen is entitled to be registered as a citizen – this should rather be an entitlement to recognition as a citizen by birth (Section 3.4(3)). No mention is made of the award of citizenship by registration to refugees and stateless persons, whose access to citizenship by appropriate procedures should be facilitated, especially in the case of stateless persons.

Dual citizenship

The distinction between citizens by birth and by descent seems to become meaningful only in the context of the provisions in the COPAC draft on dual citizenship, which are themselves quite confusing. The draft is silent on the question of dual citizenship for citizens by birth, leading to the presumption that dual citizenship is permitted. However, the text provides that parliament may make legislation regarding “the prohibition or permitting of dual citizenship in respect of citizens by descent or registration”. This wording then confuses the situation for citizens by birth, since the only reason for which legislation would be needed, given the presumption that what is not expressly forbidden is permitted, is the prohibition of dual citizenship. However, the intention appears to be to enable restrictions on the ability of Zimbabweans born outside the country to retain Zimbabwean citizenship if they acquire a new citizenship, and/or a requirement that those registering as Zimbabwean citizens renounce another citizenship. The ZANU-PF amendments to the COPAC draft made this intention more explicit by referring only to prohibition of dual citizenship for citizens by descent or registration. It is only here that the concept of citizenship by descent has any meaning, rather than in the transmission of citizenship itself.

SADC citizens

The COPAC draft constitution includes an important new provision aimed at redressing some of the injustices of the past decade committed against persons born in Zimbabwe with one or more parent who was a citizen of one of the neighbouring countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Such a person is under the draft recognised as a citizen by birth, if the person is “ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe” when the constitution comes into effect. This provision should in theory remove the ambiguity surrounding the citizenship of those of Mozambican, Malawian, Zambian and other southern African descent. However, given that even under the current laws the status of many of those denied confirmation of Zimbabwean citizenship by the Registrar-General should not have been problematic, this provision would likely face difficulties in implementation. Moreover, there are many others whose citizenship has been denied whose parents were not from SADC countries but from further afield. And finally, the reality is that many people whom this provision could benefit have had to leave Zimbabwe because their citizenship has been denied, and they will therefore not be “ordinarily resident” on the relevant date. The ZANU PF proposed amendments delete this provision altogether.

Revocation of citizenship

The COPAC draft for the first time introduces provisions into the constitution on revocation of citizenship, which was previously left to act of parliament (Section 3.5). This is welcome, in that it restricts the reasons for which citizenship may be taken away to fraud (in the case of those who are citizens by birth under Section 3.2(2), ie are born outside the country; or citizens by registration), or collaboration with the enemy in time of war (for citizens by registration only). In addition, it is specified that a child of unknown parents recognised as a citizen by birth loses that citizenship if his or her “nationality or parentage becomes known, and reveals that the person was a citizen of another country”. Given that dual citizenship is permitted for citizens by birth, this seems an entirely unnecessary restriction; and possibly very harmful for the person concerned if the identity of the parents becomes known at a much later date. Another positive inclusion is that the COPAC draft provides that Zimbabwean citizenship must not be revoked if the person would be rendered stateless, which is in line with Article 8.1 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

Citizenship and Immigration Board

The COPAC draft provides for the establishment of a Citizenship and Immigration Board to be responsible for decisions on citizenship by registration (only). This board, like its current version, is insufficiently independent, since its three members are appointed by the President without further oversight, and has limited jurisdiction; while its powers are not specified by the constitution, and there are no formal guarantees of due process in proceedings before it. A right of appeal to the courts is not explicitly included.


The citizenship provisions of the draft Constitution should be simplified and its measures against statelessness strengthened. In particular:

1. A child born in Zimbabwe should be a citizen by birth if either parent is a citizen of any type, or a legal resident, or if a grandparent is a citizen other than by registration;

2. A child born outside Zimbabwe should also be a citizen by birth if either parent is a citizen of any type, or if a grandparent is a citizen other than by registration;

3. The registration of a child born outside Zimbabwe should be possible either in Zimbabwe or at a consulate of Zimbabwe in the relevant or closest country;

4. A child of unknown parents under the age of 15 found in Zimbabwe should be a citizen by birth, and should not lose citizenship if the identity of the parents subsequently becomes known;

5. A child born in Zimbabwe who is otherwise stateless should be a citizen by birth;

6. A child born in Zimbabwe who is still resident there at majority, or of one parent also born there, should have the right to acquire citizenship;

7. A child adopted by a Zimbabwean citizen should be entitled to recognition as a citizen by birth;

8. The award of citizenship by registration should be facilitated for spouses of citizens (including by a shorter residence period than for other applicants) as well as for refugees and stateless persons;

9. Birth registration should be the right of all children born in Zimbabwe, not only children who are citizens;

10. All citizens should be “equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship” in relation to dual citizenship as much as the rights to transmit citizenship to their children and spouses;

11. Measures to restore citizenship to those whose rights have been in doubt should be expanded beyond SADC citizens and those who are ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe;

12. Due process protections should be strengthened in relation to the composition, jurisdiction, powers and procedures of the Citizenship and Immigration Board, and the right to appeal to the courts.

It would be important to bring the Citizenship Act into line with the new text (the current Citizenship Act does not conform with the 2009 amendments to the 1979 Constitution).

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Would Zanu-PF accept Tsvangirai as president?
Morgan Tsvangirai (L) and Patrick Chinamasa (R) photographed in 2002Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC has spent four years in government with Patrick Chinamasa (R) of Zanu-PF

Zimbabwe's Justice Minister and Zanu-PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa is a tall, urbane lawyer with a fantastically messy desk and a self-deprecating cartoon on his wall about greedy lawyers.

As Zimbabwe inches towards a new constitution and a crucial new election designed to end four years of power-sharing between Zanu-PF and the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Mr Chinamasa is at the heart of the negotiations.

When it comes to the tussles over constitutional drafts, stakeholder conferences and the finer points of organising elections, Mr Chinamasa offers an encouraging narrative of progress made, of gentlemanly disagreements overcome or put to one side and of law and decorum observed.

It is an enticing picture of a country that has, undeniably and against steep odds, made impressive progress in some respects over the past four years.

The economy has been saved from collapse, schools are functioning, and - for all their public disagreements and the heavy-handed efforts of the security forces - Zimbabwe's political leaders are still talking.

But the picture is incomplete.

Towards the end of our interview in Mr Chinamasa's office, I raised the seemingly innocuous issue of the theoretical possibility that the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai, whose party won the 2008 parliamentary election, might win the presidency.

Start Quote

If those countries impose for him [Tsvangirai] to win, that result will not be acceptable. We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn't that clear?”

Patrick ChinamasaJustice minister

Senior Zimbabwean military officials have publicly stated that they would not accept Mr Tsvangirai - currently prime minister in the power-sharing government - as head of state, and it seemed appropriate to ask Mr Chinamasa whether that was Zanu-PF's official position or whether he would like to state, for the record, that the will of the people would be respected, whatever the outcome.

'Asking for trouble'

Mr Chinamasa's answer, which I have transcribed below, is highly revealing.

"He [Tsvangirai] cannot win. He has been campaigning and mobilising against the interests of Zimbabweans on many issues, whether talking about land, seeking to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.

"And this is where the military comes in…. Young people participated in the liberation struggle to gain control over our resources.

"Many friends died and are buried in unmarked graves.

Zimbabwean soldiers pictured on 8 October 2012Zimbabwe's military do not want to see Morgan Tsvangirai as head of state

"Now if anyone is going to say: 'When I come into power I'm going to reverse that,' they [the military] have every right to say: 'Please - you are asking for trouble. You will be asking for trouble.'

"He [Tsvangirai] will be asking for trouble to seek to reverse the land reform programme.

"There is no-one who is going to accept any enslavement."

I asked the minister what he meant by "trouble" and if he was suggesting that he would not accept a Tsvangirai presidency under any circumstances.

Initially he said: "You could put any interpretation on it that you want."

But when I asked him for his own interpretation he said: "I know he [Tsvangirai] is the front of (sic) the countries that impose sanctions.

"And if those countries impose for him to win, that result will not be acceptable.

"We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn't that clear?"

So there you have it.

If Mr Tsvangirai wins - and I am not suggesting that is either likely or certain - and if Zanu-PF claims he has done so because of foreign support, then Zanu-PF's justice minister will not accept the result.

Is that a fair interpretation, and what does it say about the prospects for a democratic election in Zimbabwe next year?

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UN Day of the Girl Child – 11 October 2012

October 11th, 2012

Girl Child

On this day it is a time to focus on the heartbreaking circumstances facing the girl child in Zimbabwe, but also to celebrate the courage and tenacity of the women of tomorrow.

Sokwanele stands behind the first International Day of the Girl Child, a day to celebrate the future of girls around the world – let this day shine as a beacon of hope to the girl children of Zimbabwe.

Our girl children face multiple challenges in Zimbabe and the United Nations report ‘Country Analysis Report for Zimbabwe’ clearly indicates that gender policy and legislation is sadly lagging.

“Despite the many instruments, policies and laws in place, implementation has been slow due to inconsistencies between statutory and customary law, lack of resources, and resistant attitudes and perceptions based on patriarchal and religious beliefs.”

“Women in Zimbabwe have inadequate information on their rights and the mechanisms that have been established for their protection. They face negative attitudes and perceptions from society, particularly against those who choose to assert themselves. Their participation in key economic sectors is further limited by inadequate access to financial resources and this has the effect of perpetuating their dependence on men. In many cases, women also have inadequate access to affordable healthcare and legal aid.

Different duty bearers lack the capacity to meet their obligation to protect and fulfil women’s rights due to the following challenges:

  • The absence of legislative provisions for affirmative action in key areassuch as politics and employment;
  • Non-resourcing of institutions mandated to provide and enforce genderequality and protection measures such as the Anti-Domestic Violence Council, the Police Victim-Friendly Units and the courts;
  • Inadequate coordination among various actors resulting in a fragmentedapproach to gender equality;
  • A lack of technical guidelines for sectors to mainstream gender;
  • The absence of a national system for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of strategies and progress made, and
  • Insufficient donor support to national systems and programmes.”

The Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) report, “Married too Soon: Child Marriage in Zimbabwe” states in its introduction,

Child marriage is common in Zimbabwe, and 21% of children (mostly girls) are married before the age of 18. According to the Girl Child Network (GCN), a civic organisation whose mission is to shelter, educate, and empower female victims, an estimated 8 000 girls have been forced into early marriages or were held as sex slaves since 2008. Chief Chiduku, a senator for Manicaland province in Zimbabwe and a member of the African Apostolic Church was quoted as having said there was nothing wrong with marrying off underage girls in a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting. Statements like these from a chief do not come as a surprise because chiefs are the gatekeepers and custodians of custom and tradition. The question that arises is whether the ‘tradition’ of early marriages is something that society should perpetuate in view of the negative effects of the practice on the girl child as well as human rights standards that prohibit marriage under the age of 18 . Should not tradition evolve and do away with aspects that are harmful to children and the girl child in particular?

Without education the plight of the girl child in Zimbabwe is destined to deteriorate even further:

THE number of girls reportedly dropping out from school after the completion of their primary education has reached alarming levels and there is need for the Government to develop mechanisms that will effectively curb this trend, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Senator David Coltart, said over 50 percent of young girls meant to go to secondary education were being forced to drop out because of various reasons; chief among these being the unavailability of funds and societal preference to educate the boy child (source).

But it is thanks to organisations like Camfed that our girl children are being supported.

Young Zimbabwean girls are set to receive a better education thanks to the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) programme that was launched by MDC Senator David Coltart in Guruve last week. A British agency, the UK Department for International Development, has unveiled a US$19 million bursary fund to support the project for 24,000 disadvantaged secondary schoolgirls throughout Zimbabwe. (source)

Yes, Zimbabwe’s girl children are all too often victims, their voices silenced by a blighted political and economic landscape, young lives threatened by HIV and Aids, living as orphans, victims of sexual abuse, hunger and poverty. The film “Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children” is a sad reminder to all of us of the harsh reality that faces the young of our nation.

But then watch the film “Tapestries of Hope” a shocking expose on rape but also a “breathtaking portrait of hope in the face of overwhelming odds.”

Read the stories of girl heroes, stories like the one told by Rachel who despite falling pregnant at 14, went on to finish her education. Gracsious Ncube who grew up in rural Zimbabwe with little chance of an education is now studying for a master’s degree at university.

Today on the International Day of the Girl Child, celebrate the talent of Zimbabwe’s women and find inspiration from Chiwoniso’s song “Rebel Woman”.

“The song is about the physical conditions of fighting, and the price people pay,” she explains, but it is also a tribute to strong women who suffer because they do not follow the restrictions society tries to place on them. “The truth is that when you’re a strong woman you might lose our husband, your home, because the way the systems are structured you’re not allowed to be strong as women, unless you follow the rules. This is a song about changing those rules.”

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