on October 12, 2012 at 12:52 am
By Lance Guma
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has suggested that military generals in
Zimbabwe will do anything in their power to prevent Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai from taking over should he win presidential elections next year.
Asked by BBC journalist Andrew Harding about the possibility of Tsvangirai
winning the presidential election as he did in March 2008, Chinamasa who
lost his own parliamentary seat in Makoni Central to an MDC-T candidate
“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.”
Asked by the BBC journalist what he meant by trouble, Chinamasa said “You
could put any interpretation on it that you want.” But when 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
After Tsvangirai won the March 2008 presidential election the Joint
Operations Command (JOC), a grouping of all the state security agencies
loyal to Mugabe, responded with the brutal Operation Mavhotera Papi (where
did you vote).
Over 500 perceived MDC-T supporters were killed, while tens of thousands
were tortured and maimed. A power sharing deal to save face for Mugabe was
eventually put in place following pressure from the SADC regional grouping.
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
"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
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.
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 October 2012
The MDC-T MP for Mbizvo in KweKwe, Settlement Chikwinya, was briefly
detained by police in the Midlands town over a story SW Radio Africa carried
The MP had confirmed to us that a 29 year old Mbizvo resident 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.’
In remarks that he didn’t want us to publish at the time, Chikwinya told us
a source in the police force had alerted him that authorities were planning
to arrest him over the fact that he had been giving information to the media
about the Alshabab terror group.
But on Friday the MP sent SW Radio Africa a text message saying: ‘Arrested.
At KK (KweKwe) central police over alshabab story.’
The MP had been highly critical of the fact that police had not arrested the
alleged murderer, who is reportedly 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,” the
MP complained on Thursday.
by Business Reporters I Reuters
ZIMBABWE’S economy is projected to grow 8.9 percent next year if the
political environment remains stable and the government lives within its
expenditure targets, the finance ministry said on Friday in a pre-budget
The projection contrasts with a less optimistic forecast by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) which recently said the country would
register six percent gross domestic product (GDP) next year before slowing
down to four percent by 2017.
Uncertainty over the date and conduct of elections due within the next year
is casting a shadow over the economy given the recent history of violent and
Finance Minister Tendai Biti is due to present the budget to parliament on
In July, Biti, slashed his 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 percent from 9.4
percent due to a poor harvest and a lack of donor funding and investment.
The finance ministry statement said inflation, which has remained in single
digits since Zimbabwe adopted foreign currencies in 2009, would average 5
percent next year.
Consumer inflation slowed to 3.63 percent in August from 3.94 percent
The government projects that revenues should grow to $3.8 billion next year
from an expected $3.4 billion in 2012 as authorities crack down on corporate
After a decade of steep economic decline and hyperinflation, Zimbabwe's
economy has been growing since the formation in early 2009 of a unity
government between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and veteran President
In its annual review of the Zimbabwean economy, the International Monetary
Fund said growth should moderate over the medium-term to average about 4
percent, although poor power supply and tight liquidity conditions could
The IMF warned that that the Euro crisis and a possible slow-down in China's
performance in the short term would likely affect economies in sub-Saharan
Africa, including Zimbabwe.
"South Africa, strongly linked to Europe, would be particularly affected
with possible repercussions for some economies in Southern Africa, and
softer commodity prices would adversely affect the region's natural resource
exporters," the IMF said.
The country also carries a huge debt burden that is preventing it from
securing new aid. Its total external debt was estimated at $10.7 billion, or
113.5 percent of GDP, at the end of 2011. Of this, more than half is in
By Tererai Karimakwenda
12 October 2012
Two more youth leaders from the MDC-T’s Glen View structures have been
jailed in the case of murdered police officer, Petros Mutedza.
Jackson Mabota and Tarisai Kusotera, both from Glen View South constituency,
were arrested Tuesday at their homes. The Youth Assembly spokesperson,
Clifford Hlatywayo, told SW Radio Africa that Mabota and Kusotera appeared
in court Thursday and were remanded in custody till October 26th.
“They were charged with murder and face an alternative charge of public
violence. They will be at Harare Central Remand Prison. These are key people
who drive our programmes in Glen View. ZANU PF is trying to destroy our
structures at district level,” Hlatywayo explained.
A total of 29 other MDC-T officials and supporters are already on trial for
the cop’s murder, including the Chairman of the National Youth Council,
Hlatywayo also named several councillors and MDC-T National Council members
among the detainees. He said human rights activists suspected of being MDC-T
supporters were also targeted. Cynthia Manjoro from Zimrights is one of
On Wednesday at the High Court, Justice Bhunu denied bail for the activists
again, citing irregularities. He dismissed testimonies given by the late cop’s
father and brother during a bail hearing last month, which implicated ZANU
PF elements in the murder.
Bhunu accused the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights of coaching Mutedza’s
brother Solomon. The judge instructed the defense lawyers to seek bail
through the Supreme Court instead. The trial resumes nextTuesday.
Officer Petros Mutedza was killed at a Glen View pub in May, 2011. The
police claim he was killed by MDC-T members who had gathered there for a
meeting. They rounded up MDC-T members only in the Glen View area, including
many who had clear evidence that they were not at the scene when Mutedza
Hlatywayo said that it is strange for a total of 31 people to be charged
with the murder of one person. He added that this shows the whole affair is
political and not a criminal case.
Some of the accused members have been in jail for over a year, with the
courts repeatedly denying them bail as flight risks.
October 11 2012 at 10:40pm
Expelled African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema is
planning a trip to Zimbabwe for talks with "progressive forces" there.
Johannesburg - Expelled African National Congress Youth League leader Julius
Malema will visit Zimbabwe on Friday, the Economic Freedom Fighters said.
Malema would meet “progressive forces in Zimbabwe” to discuss economic
freedom, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement on Thursday.
“During the visit, Malema will also attend the wedding of the deputy
secretary general of the Pan African Youth Union and member of Zanu-PF
Youth, Comrade Tendai Wenyika.”
Malema would be accompanied by Shivambu and suspended ANCYL secretary
general Sindiso Magaqa.
“Economic Freedom Fighters will forever associate with and interact with
progressive forces across the country, the African continent and whole world
and will never be ashamed,” Shivambu said. - Sapa
By Professor Matodzi Harare, October 11, 2012-THREE former legislators have
turned the heat on High Court Judge President Justice George Chiweshe after
demanding to be furnished with reasons for his ruling which ended President
Robert Mugabe’s misery over fixing election dates in three Matabeleland
constituencies after allowing him to set the dates by the end of March next
Justice Chiweshe, who led the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that presided
over the violent and controversial harmonised elections and the discredited
June 2008 presidential re-run election, recently granted Mugabe six months
to comply with a Supreme Court order compelling him to declare dates for
by-elections in Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East.
Chiweshe, who in 2008 led the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which delayed
the announcement of presidential results by more than six weeks for unclear
reasons amid wide speculation that the electoral management body used the
delay to manipulate figures to deny Movement for Democratic Change leader
Morgan Tsvangirai an outright victory against Mugabe said he will give his
reasons for the order later.
But the three former MDC legislators Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and
Norman Mpofu through their lawyers this week petitioned Chiweshe demanding
to be provided with reasons for his decision which could enable them to
consider noting an appeal against his ruling in the Supreme Court.
“We kindly request to be furnished with a copy of the reasons for ruling as
per the Honourable Judge’s undertaking to the parties. Please take note that
the respondents, who are our clients, urgently require the said reasons to
enable them to pursue an appeal in the Supreme Court,” reads part of the
letter written to the Registrar of the High Court.
Last month Mugabe petitioned the High Court in a bid to evade contempt of
court charges by begging for an extension of time allowing him to call for
elections by March 31, 2013 rather than October 1, 2012 as dictated by the
Supreme Court recently.
In his urgent chamber application, Mugabe justified the extension as
necessary to allow his government to raise financial resources amounting to
almost $270 000 needed to stage a referendum on a new draft governance
charter, hold by-elections and harmonised general elections planned for
March 31 2013.
Mugabe’s elections dilemma was brought upon him by three former MDC
legislators Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu, who in 2010
took him to court demanding the staging of by-elections after their
parliamentary membership was terminated following their suspension and
subsequent expulsion from the MDC party.
Mugabe’s latest bid for an extension was the second one inside one month
after he first obtained a reprieve in the High Court late last month when
Justice Chiweshe granted a consent order extending the period within which
he should fix by-elections dates to October 1, 2012.
Winter crops worth more than $20,000 have withered at Redwood irrigation
scheme in Umguza after the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority cut power
supplies for non–payment of bills.
by Zwanai Sithole
“We admit we owe ZESA a debt of $3,000 but they should not have disconnected
us without discussing our payment arrangements which we had submitted. The
farmers were willing to settle their debts after harvesting their crop
during the first week of November,” said Newton Gwetu, one of the affected
Another farmer at the scheme, Charles Ndlovu said farmers had used a lot of
money to buy farming inputs such as chemicals, seed, fertilizer, labour and
“All our efforts have gone down the drain. I was intending to clear all my
bills after the harvest but now I am stuck. I do not even know where I am
going to get the inputs for the coming farming season. The government should
assist us,” said Ndlovu.
The outgoing president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union), Donald
Khumalo said the situation could have been avoided if the farmers had
approached his organisation for assistance.
“What happened at Redwood is unfortunate. Farmers should always engage us
and ZESA when they have such problems. We have approached ZESA on such
issues several times and they have been very supportive. Everyone knows that
things are bad for every sector that is why ZESA is willing to negotiate on
payment arrangements,” said Khumalo.
Friday, 12 October 2012 09:14
The MDC maintains that local authorities should provide for safe and secure
communities whilst availing people with accountable councilors and officers
whose first priority is: service to the people.
It is against this background that the MDC has assessed and audited its
local authority on service delivery. As such, the MDC dismisses Chombo’s
claims of his incapacity to deal with what he refers to as “corrupt and
inefficient” MDC led councils. In a vain attempt to win the sympathy of the
citizens, Chombo claims to be hamstrung by certain Urban Council legislative
pieces, which he blames for curtailing his powers to deal with the corrupt
In a clear demonstration of selective amnesia characteristic of the entire
Zanu PF leadership, Chombo claims his inaction against the 12 councilors
dismissed by the MDC on corruption charges has been necessitated by lack of
evidence from the MDC to warrant dismissal. In an apparent travesty of
justice, Chombo chooses to relegate the cases of the 12 corrupt councilors
to an “internal political feud” claiming that he does not want “to be
involved in the MDC’s internal fight.” This is a clear display of double
For the record, the MDC is not embroiled in any internal feuds as purported
by Chombo. In fact, if there are any feuds, they are resident in Zanu PF. We
take great exception at Chombo’s frivolous excuses aimed at hiding his
incapacity, ineffective and clueless leadership. Chombo himself is not fit
to conduct investigations into alleged corrupt dealings, as he is one of the
most corrupt individual in the country.
The MDC believes that local authorities should create a business-friendly
local council, which provides better treatment to local businesses while
according fair chances to all business entities irrespective of the size of
municipalities that they operate in.
Our clarion call remains: Councils for service Delivery, Transparency,
Accountability and Excellence!
The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!
EX-communicated Anglican Bishop, Norbert Kunonga, has intensified his
grabbing of the Anglican Church properties amid revelations that the Zanu
(PF) sympathizer recently seized St Francis Church in Chivhu, displacing
hundreds of worshippers faithful to Bishop Chad Gandiya.
by Edgar Gweshe
In mid-September, The Zimbabwean reported that Kunonga had seized St Cyril
Church in Chivhu, headed by Syprian Shamuyarira of the Chad Gandiya faction
and also threatened to continue grabbing Anglican Church properties in the
In an interview, Godfrey Tawonezvi, head of the Masvingo diocese told this
newspaper that on September 30 a group of people aligned to the Kunonga
faction came in the company of police officers and ordered worshippers
gathered at St Francis church to leave the premises.
Militant Kunonga emissaries went on to threaten the parishioners with
violence if they returned to worship at the church again. Parishioners at St
Cyril and St Francis are now conducting their church service at Liebenberg
“The incident is reminiscent of what occurred in mid-September when the
police and members of the Kunonga faction came and ordered us out of St
Cyril Church,” said Tawonezvi.
After the seizure of St Cyril, Tawonezvi said they reported the case to the
police but no action was taken against Kunonga and his group as the law
enforcement agents maintained that the ex-communicated Anglican bishop was
the rightful owner of the property.
Tawonezvi also expressed concern over the police conduct, which he said was
“It is difficult for us to take any action to address the situation when
people from Kunonga faction come with the police to do such an unlawful act.
The police say Kunonga is the rightful owner of the properties and that is
why they have refused to listen to our concerns over the issue.”
He said that after effecting the eviction of the parishioners at St Francis
church, the police went on to change locks to the doors to deter any entry
by parishioners aligned to the Chad Gandiya faction.
When contacted for comment, police spokesperson for Mashonaland East
province Bulisani Bhebhe defended the police action saying they were acting
on a court order which recognized Kunonga as the rightful owner of Anglican
Church properties in Zimbabwe.
He said the police presence during the evictions was to “guard against
By Alex Bell
12 October 2012
Activists in Zimbabwe are demanding that the National AIDS Council (NAC)
declare how they are spending the national AIDS levy, amid allegations of
Hundreds of activists in Harare this week staged a march to the NAC offices
in the capital, despite a police ban on the demonstration. The group waved
placards and wore t-shirts bearing messages like: “HIV Positive” and “Where
is Aids Levy going?” Under a heavy police presence the group marched to the
NAC office and handed over a petition, calling for transparency on how the
millions raised by the national AIDS tax is being spent.
In 1999 Zimbabwe introduced the tax, with 3% of workers salaries being set
aside to raise money for AIDS treatment and prevention programs. But
HIV/AIDS patients have raised concern that the money is not being
distributed properly, with antiretroviral medication not always being
According to Tinashe Mundawarara, the Programme Manager for the HIV/AIDS,
Human Rights and Law Project at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, many
patients are not given the correct drugs, or cannot access them at all. He
explained that the argument provided by the NAC that money is being
‘invested’ is not good enough if basic drug requirements are not being met.
“The National AIDS Act provides for financial investment from the levies
gathered only when these funds are not immediately required by the NAC. But
how can they be investing funds when there is a huge gap of treatment with
some people not getting their medication?” Mundawarara said.
Meanwhile the National AIDS Council director Tapiwa Magure has been quoted
as saying that the levy is not being abused.
“We are up to date with our audits. There are tight controls, so whoever
wants to demonstrate must come to use. All I am saying is, we are more than
ready to explain everything,” said Tapiwa.
The Zimbabwe Diabetes Association has reported an increase in the number of
diabetes-related deaths saying the disease was claiming more lives than HIV
by Tarisai Jangara
In an interview with The Zimbabwean ahead of the World Diabetes Day, the
association’s National Chairperson, Ngoni Chigwana, attributed the increase
in the number of diabetes-related deaths to the high consumption of refined
The World Diabetes Day 2012 campaign marks the fourth year of the five-year
focus on “Diabetes education and prevention” and will be commemorated on the
“The last survey carried out in this country in 2005 showed that 10% of the
population suffered from diabetes. Now, because of the lifestyle that many
are leading, this number has trebled and many people are dying,” said
He said the prevalence of diabetes was set to increase as evidence-based
research had shown that 50-80 % of all people affected with the disease were
unaware of their condition.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Henry Madzorera has
pledged to embark on a vigorous awareness campaign to educate people on the
dangers of diabetes.
“One in four Zimbabweans has hypertension and one in 10 has some form of
diabetes. The ministry had taken steps to educate the public on
non-communicable diseases to help people maintain their good health. We have
been focusing on disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups
countrywide, with particular attention on populations migrating from rural
to urban centres,” said Madzorera.
He added that there was need for adequate resources if awareness programmes
on diabetes were to bear the desired results.
A nurse, Augustine Mugidha, said rural populations without access to health
care were often in the dark about conditions that cause long-term harm.
“There is need to promote awareness that every person with diabetes or at
risk of diabetes deserves the best possible quality of education, prevention
and care available. Difficulties in accessing health care are highest among
those who are outside the system, or are less likely to access or become
aware of available services,” said Mugidha.
A consulting physician at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Dr Elopy Sibanda, said most
health resources were being spent on HIV when evidence suggests that even
more are affected by diseases such as diabetes.
He said little had been done to educate Zimbabweans on how to prevent the
serious health consequences of high blood pressure, such as heart or kidney
disease, or the equally serious effects of diabetes.
“My mum, aged 72, just had her leg amputated at Mpilo Hospital due to a
diabetic foot ulcer. Her foot was literally rotting away, as a consequence
of her being diabetic. Some may not agree with me, but I am thoroughly
convinced that fast foods are destroying people’s health,” said a woman only
identified as Martha. The World Diabetes Day 2012 campaign will link the
urgent need for action to the protection of the health of our future
generations. Particular focus will be placed on highlighting the importance
of education for health professionals, people with diabetes and people at
risk in reducing the impact of diabetes throughout the world.
The campaign aims to educate, engage and empower youth and the general
public on diabetes. It will have a special focus on children and young
people as the driving force for the promotion and dissemination of
There is need to build awareness among children and young people of the
warning signs, risk factors for diabetes and the that, in many cases, these
can be prevented through healthy eating and physical activity.
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 October 2012
Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) are resisting invitations sent directly
from the country’s political parties, to attend the Second All-Stakeholders
Conference, arguing it will affect their credibility.
Mcdonald Lewanika, the director of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, told SW
Radio Africa’s Election Watch program on Friday that CSO’s are not
appandages of any political party in Zimbabwe.
‘We met COPAC today (Friday) and reiterated our demands that if we are not
attending as independent actors we will not attend at all because we do not
belong to any political party,’ Lewanika said.
It is alleged the ZANU PF and the two MDC formations agreed on a pact to
invite civil society organizations of their own choice. This would allow
each party to send out 173 invitations to members from civil society.
COPAC announced the number of delegates attending the conference will be
1,101. That means 246 from political parties, 284 MPs and 571 from civil
‘As civic society we expect to have 571 delegates and we told COPAC they
should let us choose our own members. The position we want to make clear is
we are no one’s civic society.
‘While we may share a common vision for Zimbabwe with some political actors,
it doesn’t mean we are them or we belong to them,’ he said.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director emphasized that going to the
conference as part of ZANU PF or MDC will compromise any contributions they
might want to put across.
‘For example, say you got your invitation from ZANU PF or MDC-T, what will
the other side think of you when you stand up to contribute. They will
immediately say you are compromised because your views represent a
particular party,’ he added.
There are also other problems for CSO’s associated with any political
parties, as they are registered in various ways. Lewanika explained that
there are groups who are registered as private voluntary organisations.
‘The legal position with that is once you become affiliated to any political
parties the government can easily de-register you…there is that danger,’
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 October 2012
The Commander of the 40,000 strong Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General
Constantine Chiwenga is terrified of his estranged wife Jocelyn who
regularly beat him up, according to court papers filed with the High Court.
The media in Zimbabwe has been gagged by a High Court Judge from revealing
any proceedings from this high profile divorce case. In May Judge Chinembiri
Bhunu barred journalists from reporting on the lawsuit, in which Jocelyn is
suing the ZDF commander for $40-million.
In granting an order sought by Chiwenga’s new wife Mary Mubaiwa, the Judge
ruled that only witnesses, Mubaiwa and Jocelyn’s lawyers, would be allowed
in court to follow proceedings.
SW Radio Africa can however reveal that Chiwenga, in filing for divorce from
Jocelyn, said that he fled the family home after he was routinely beaten by
At one point, according to the divorce papers, the highly aggressive Jocelyn
arrived at his office at the army HQ and demanded $300,000. When told he did
not have the money, Jocelyn went ballistic and destroyed furniture in the
General’s office, in the presence of his subordinates.
Embarrassed, Chiwenga ordered his driver to take him their Borrowdale Brooke
home ‘feeling sick.’ When he got home, he phoned his physician, Dr Paul
Chimedza. When Chimedza examined Chiwenga he administered some sleeping
medication and as he was beginning to feel drowsy, it is alleged Jocelyn
burst in shouting at the top of her voice.
Chiwenga’s lawyers explained what transpired thereafter in their court
application: ‘She jumped into General Chiwenga’s bed and beat him up on his
face with clenched fists. As he was sedated, he could not defend himself.
‘Dr Chimedza pulled Jocelyn away from General Chiwenga and pleaded with her
that he was genuinely ill and she should not continue assaulting him. When
Dr Chimedza thought he had calmed Jocelyn down, she then pushed General
Chiwenga off the bed. He fell to the floor and hit his head against the step
of the platform on which the bed rests.
‘As a result of the fall he injured the right side of his head. General
Chiwenga was bruised and swollen from assaults. Owing to sedation, he was
When the army chief picked himself up and sat on the bed, Jocelyn charged at
him again threatening to kill him with a spear and axe. This is when Dr
Chimedza called Chiwenga’s personal staff officer, Colonel Michael
Chaminuka, who arrived and took his boss to another of the army chief’s
properties in Greystone Park.
The General, who is now married to Shingi Kawondera’s former wife Mary
Mubaiwa, said his marriage to Jocelyn had irretrievably broken down because
Jocelyn was is very temperamental and believed strongly in her own ways. He
said no amount of counseling would restore the lost love.
Jocelyn, who is notorious for public violence, in 2009 launched a violent
attack on a journalist and hurled insults at then opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai at a busy Harare supermarket. Flanked by bodyguards Jocelyn
shouted at Tsvangirai; ‘I want to take away your manhood today.
She proceeded to slap photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi who was covering the
MDC leader’s tour of the complex.
In April 2002 she reportedly showed up at a farm outside Harare with an
armed gang and ordered the farm’s white owner to turn over his property to
her or be killed. She reportedly warned the farmer: ‘I have not tasted white
blood for 20 years.’
In 2003 Jocelyn confronted Gugulethyu Moyo, a lawyer representing the Daily
News, and beat her so severely that she had to seek medical attention. She
yelled at the lawyer; ‘Your paper wants to encourage anarchy in this
Problems continue to mount for Parliament of Zimbabwe after the House of
Assembly and Senate were forced to adjourn to mid-November due to serious
Scores of lawmakers who live outside Harare had to look for alternative
accommodation after hotels in the capital city refused to accommodate them
as parliament failed to settle a $600,000 bill.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, some lawmakers also
failed to get fuel to return to their constituencies.
Clerk of Parliamant Austin Zvoma is quoted by the paper as saying the
treasury has failed to release funds to pay for the legislators’
In a VOA Studio 7 panel discussion, Innocent Gonese, chief parliamentary
whip of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, said sadly parliament has been relegated to just another
government branch or department.
Gonese said august house is not being given due recognition by the executive
arm of the government.
Zanu PF’s Goromonzi North lawmaker Paddy Zhanda said parliamentarians are
not fully using powers of the legislature and in the end blame everything on
Zhanda said Zimbabwe has a lot of mineral wealth to pay for such bills and
therefore parliament should play its oversight role in monitoring the
activities of the state.
By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Friday, 12 October 2012 09:57
HARARE - The United States Embassy in Harare yesterday joined hands with a
Mufakose private voluntary organisation Blossoms Children’s Community to
celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child.
Held at Glen View 1 High School under the theme “Educate a girl child change
the world,” the celebrations focused at ending gender stereotyping,
discrimination and violence.
Addressing hundreds of school children and teachers, US deputy public
affairs officer Jillian Bonnardeaux said there was no limit to “what an
empowered girl can do”.
“When a girl is educated the opportunities are unlimited for them but they
will need the support of both men and boys without which they would be
doomed. We need to work hard to end barriers to quality education for girls
and bring an end to girl child marriages,” Bonnardeaux said.
“An empowered girl will improve herself, community and family,” she said.
According to Bonnardeaux, the US has assisted more than 84 million girls
worldwide to access education, thereby empowering them against abuse.
Blossom Child Community executive director Pamhidzayi Mhongera, a former
student of Glen View High 1 School, urged girls to delay sexual encounters
and concentrate on education.
“Our message to you is very clear. Stay in school, I am a testimony to you
today that good things can come from poor areas like this one. My mother
used to sell tomatoes not far from here to get us to school.
“The problems you are facing today as girl children are not unique to you.
They have always been there but there are concerted efforts to militate
against them in order to make life easier for you,” Mhongera said.
Blossom Child Community was formed in 2005 and according to Mhongera, it
caters for no less than 150 children in both primary and secondary schools
across Harare’s poor western suburbs.
The community-based organisation works with orphans and vulnerable children
in the provision of school materials and psyco-social support. It mobilises
resources in partnership with donors, communities and the public sector for
the benefit of children in areas within its reach, according to Mhongera.
Glen View High 1 School with 3 744 students is Zimbabwe’s biggest in terms
The United Nations General Assembly last year declared 11 October the
International Day of the Girl Child in an effort to raise awareness around
the abuse of girl children and end child marriages.
Friday, 12 October 2012 09:50
HARARE - Taken from his plush office and thrown into a cab usually reserved
for police dogs, Energy minister Elton Mangoma learnt the hard way that
being part of the “unity” government provides no insulation from harassment.
Police officers, whose boss Augustine Chihuri openly says he supports Zanu
PF, dragged Mangoma from his office on Wednesday on allegations of calling
for President Robert Mugabe’s death.
It was a scene from the movies, Mangoma said as he relived his ordeal to the
Daily News yesterday.
In a brutal display of force, they tried to bundle him into the back of the
The officers struggled with the minister, while others frantically tried to
shove him into the back of a Mazda B1800 truck.
Mangoma, a senior official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party,
struggled as he tried to prevent police from throwing him into the “dog
A mini scuffle ensued. But the four detectives eventually allowed him to
“voluntarily” climb into the truck and they drove him to Harare Central
“I have got a thick skin, they tried to embarrass me,” a fuming Mangoma told
the Daily News yesterday. “They tried to shove me into the back of a pickup
truck, to try to embarrass me.”
From Harare Central Police Station, he was driven to Bindura but the car
made a u-turn along the way.
“On the way to Bindura, someone called and we returned to Harare,” he said.
It is not immediately clear who called.
“I do not know what happened, who called,” Mangoma said.
Mangoma was later released after signing a warned and cautioned statement.
He is to be charged under a law that makes it illegal to “undermine the
authority of or insult the President,” the police say.
The charge is in connection with Mangoma’s alleged remarks at an MDC rally
held at Manhenga Business Centre on May 18 when he reportedly said: “Chifa
Mugabe chifa, Chibva Mugabe chibva.”
Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, said Mangoma made derogatory
remarks against Mugabe in contravention of Section 33 of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act, and defied summons to appear at the Bindura
Police Station to answer the charge.
Mangoma’s arrest has not only rocked Zimbabwean politics, but has also
raised the suspicion that he might have been targeted in a vengeful
The arrest has thrown up a myriad of conspiracy theories.
Mangoma has been a controversial figure long before the latest imbroglio.
More importantly, as the MDC lead negotiator in the absence of Tendai Biti
who is away in Japan for IMF Spring meetings, he was scheduled to meet with
the Sadc facilitation team in Harare yesterday to give a briefing on the
political, and security situation in the country.
Tsvangirai’s MDC said he was arrested a day before he was set to present
vital information on the operations of Jomic — a peace organ the MDC alleges
Zanu PF has sought to paralyse by its continued and glaring absence from its
Further, the arrest comes at a time when the country is getting ready for
the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference slated for October 21 where
Zimbabweans will have a chance to input into the draft constitution that was
produced by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution (Copac).
Minister Mangoma is one of the MDC representatives in the management
committee of Copac.
“The MDC therefore, finds the latest assault on its leadership as part of
Zanu PF’s concerted efforts to weaken the MDC leadership ahead of these
crucial meetings,” the MDC said in a statement to the Daily News.
“The continued harassment of the MDC leadership is part of Zanu PF’s grand
plan to divert people’s attention from pertinent issues of
Constitution-making and the continued looting of state resources by Zanu PF
cronies in Chiadzwa.”
Rivals and enemies within the fragile three-year-old unity government would
also benefit by seeing the haughty Mangoma embarrassed.
Phillan Zamchiya, regional coordinator for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
said: “The trend is consistent with previous politically calculated arrests
meant to instil fear in the context of crucial national negotiations.
“In this case, these include deliberations on the constitution ahead of the
Second All Stakeholders’ Constitutional Conference, the minister is the MDC
negotiator and is a member of the management committee, the ethanol fuel
negotiations favoured by Zanu PF and fiercely resisted by the minister,” he
said referring to the Chisumbanje ethanol project touted as a panacea to the
country’s $73,1 million annual fuel import bill.
Most mainstream politicians have long savaged Mangoma over his resistance to
the ethanol project, which has eventually been okayed by Cabinet. - Gift
BY TREVOR NEETHLING, 12 OCTOBER 2012, 06:19
TRAVEL through the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe
is being delayed due to industrial action by home affairs officials, the
National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) said on
Volumes at the border — Southern Africa’s busiest inland port serving trade
with Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo — can
reach up to 12,000 people and 3,500 vehicles a day, according to the African
Two sources at the border post said yesterday that a go-slow by home affairs
staff was delaying travellers by up to five hours, but home affairs
officials were adamant that no industrial action was taking place.
Nehawu said the go-slow started yesterday and border staff were taking three
times longer than usual to process passports and permits. "The employees at
Beitbridge are angry over recruitment processes which they believe are
fraudulent. They say bosses are unfairly employing members of their families
at the expense of the masses," Jacob Adams, Nehawu’s Limpopo secretary,
Mr Adams said the workers’ grievances had been communicated to home affairs’
management at the border, and union officials would take up the matter.
A Zimbabwean immigration official, who asked not to be named, said the
go-slow started a few days ago.
"The delays are on South African side of the border, specifically at the
home affairs department. It is taking up to five hours for a passport to be
stamped ," the official said.
But the Department of Home Affairs’ director of labour relations, Ronald
Oppelt, said yesterday he was not aware of any industrial action by
Beitbridge border personnel. "We have thoroughly investigated the claims but
there is no truth to it. We don’t know where these claims come from. There
is no go-slow at the port," he said.
The South African Revenue Service said on Thursday its staff at the border
post were not involved in the industrial action.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said its members were not
involved in the go-slow, but Popcru spokeswoman Theto Mahlakoana said its
members, including police and traffic officers stationed at the post, were
aware of the go-slow.
Chrome-ore mining will be cut on the North Dyke, says George Zimuto, a
Zimasco contractor who has been told to halt mining.
Author: By Brian Latham and Godfrey Marawanyika
Posted: Friday , 12 Oct 2012
JOHANNESBURG (BLOOMBERG) -
Zimasco Ltd. will cut ferrochrome production in Zimbabwe by 40 percent as
the global slowdown damps demand from its customers in the U.S., Europe and
The "global economic crisis and lower than expected economic activity" had
forced it to reduce output, the unit of Sinosteel Corp. said in a faxed
statement today from Harare, the capital.
Chrome-ore mining will be cut on the North Dyke, George Zimuto, a Zimasco
contractor who has been told to halt mining, said by phone yesterday. Most
of Zimbabwe's ferrochrome deposits lie in the Great Dyke, a mountain range
that runs the length of the country, rich in ferrochrome, platinum and gold
Zimuto said he and all contractors on the North Dyke were told to return all
railway track and equipment to Zimasco's Mutorashanga office.
Sinosteel acquired Zimasco in 2007. The company has mined ferrochrome on the
Great Dyke since the early 1900s and has been owned by local businesses,
Union Carbide Corp. and Rio Tinto Plc. (RIO)
"The North Dyke around Mutorashanga mines very high- quality chrome from
very narrow seams, which is more expensive," Zimuto said today. "The South
Dyke mines in Shurugwi and Lalapanzi have thicker seams which are cheaper to
The closing means "well over 1,000" people will be out of work, he said.
"It's going to devastate the area."
Harare - The Zimbabwean government says it will not rush into accepting
diplomatic credentials of the new Libyan government, an official told Radio
Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary Joey Bimha said his government
was still studying the situation in that country and wants to satisfy itself
with the pan-african credentials of the new authority led by Prime Minister
Mustafa Abu Shagur before making any
“Its a difficult situation but the Libyans have to come to us with their
credentials,” said Bimha. “At the moment we are studying the situation and
want to see what sort
of government is now running that country.”
This comes barely a week after President Robert Mugabe described the death
of Muammar Ghaddafi as “a great loss to Africa.”
Mugabe was a good friend of the late Libyan leader such that he was moved to
expel the last Libyan ambassador to Zimbabwe Taher Elmegrahi and his embassy
staff within 72 hours renouncing the leadership of Gaddafi’s authority.
At the time the National Transitional Council (NTC) had just taken over in
The Libyan Embassy along Harare Street in the capital remains deserted with
a lone police officer standing guard at the premises which used to house the
embassy and the Republic of Jamahiriya school for Libyan children.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met with South African president
Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team Thursday and expressed serious concern over
the non-implementation of outstanding issues and agreements in the Global
Mr. Tsvangirai spoke about the crackdown by the state machinery on some of
his party members. President Zuma is the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) appointed mediator in Zimbabwe.
Sources privy to the bilateral talks said Mr. Tsvangirai said his party is
committed to ensuring the constitution-making process is speeded-up so the
draft charter can go through the remaining stages.
They said Mr. Tsvangirai said he was also dismayed by the unity government’s
failure to implement reforms necessary for the holding of free and fair
elections - these include security sector and media reforms.
The prime minister was accompanied by Energy Minister Elton Mangoma,
Minister in the Prime Minister’s office Jameson Timba and party spokesman
The facilitation team was also expected to meet President Robert Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party officials Thursday.
The South Africans met Monday with the Movement for Democratic Change
formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube.
The facilitation team’s visit is being viewed as a precursor to the SADC
troika on Politics and Defense to be held in Tanzania where Mr. Zuma is
expected to brief Southern African leaders on the Zimbabwean issue.
International relations expert Clifford Mashiri, a former Zimbabwean
diplomat in Addis Ababa, says Mr. Zuma’s team is now struggling to close the
deal in Harare.
Friday, 12 October 2012 09:48
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu PF is stepping up a campaign of violence and intimidation, but this
will not deter voters fed up of repression and a stagnant economy.
He was briefing a Sadc facilitation team in Harare to get an update on the
Tsvangirai met with President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team at his
Highlands home and told the mission that the political environment was
poisoned as the reeling country edged warily toward a general vote in which
Tsvangirai poses the strongest challenge to Mugabe’s 32 years in power.
Tsvangirai spoke as security officials have cancelled several MDC rallies
and detained MDC officials including Elton Mangoma, a senior Tsvangirai ally
who is also Energy and Power Development minister on charges of insulting
Mangoma was only freed after he was roughed up and a warned and cautioned
statement was recorded on what Tsvangirai says are “trumped-up charges”.
The MDC leader told the facilitation team — comprising Lindiwe Zulu, Charles
Nqakula and Mac Maharaj; and South Africa ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi
Mavimbela — that the Zanu PF regime was planning to use arrests to
intimidate the MDC.
The deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe is accused of trying
to fight the poll through violence, dominated yesterday’s meeting which was
also attended by Mangoma as MDC negotiator, minister of State in the PM’s
Office Jameson Timba, and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.
The PM reportedly told the facilitation team to take “appropriate action” to
chart the roadmap to a free and fair election in Zimbabwe, and called for an
immediate end to intimidation and harassment of the political opposition by
Mugabe’s Zanu PF, and hate speech by the state media.
Tsvangirai said if the political violence continues, then he could kiss the
troubled three-year unity government goodbye, days after the establishment
was shaken by the violence that flared up in Masvingo Province.
Tsvangirai is fuming that his MDC supporters are once again coming under
attack from Zanu PF militants and has threatened to quit the unity
government, even though political analysts say he will not quit and it is
gamesmanship to get election observers into the country.
Tsvangirai, who heads the larger MDC, had a session of frank talk with Zuma’s
Top South African and MDC officials have repeatedly said Zuma did not
tolerate Mugabe’s repression.
Zuma has stressed the road to a free and fair election would have to take
place within the framework of the power-sharing Global Political Agreement
(GPA) that gave birth to the GNU.
Zuma’s team echoed that position on Thursday. Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s
spokesperson confirmed his boss had emphasised his fear that the forthcoming
All-Stakeholders’ Conference over a new constitution drafted by an
inter-party parliamentary committee could degenerate into chaos given the
The second national conference is expected before the end of October.
“The PM had a fruitful one-and-half hour discussion with the facilitation
team briefing them on developments in the country particularly on the
constitution making process, reiterating his wish, which is also the wish of
the Principals collectively that the All-Stakeholders’ Conference will be
peaceful and non-violent,” Tamborinyoka said.
Mugabe’s Zanu PF wants over 200 amendments to the draft that dilute
presidential powers, and curtail other civil liberties.
“The PM also raised other reform issues that have remained stagnant despite
agreement, the general political environment which remains poisoned by the
arrest of minister Mangoma as well as other key reform issues that have not
been implemented,” Tamborinyoka said.
Zimbabwe’s coalition partners have failed to resolve a number of outstanding
issues from the GPA, including security sector, political and media reforms.
The GNU has been credited with stabilising the economy and ending
record-breaking hyperinflation, but Tsvangirai said momentum of economic
recovery has been lost over the past year as election talk dangerously
The failure by the former foes to resolve outstanding power-sharing issues
and to quicken the pace of political reforms has hurt the Harare government’s
reconstruction programme with major Western nations refusing to release
significant financial support until the coalition agreement is fully
Mugabe’s deliberate effort to radicalise the state appears to have shored up
his own power in the short-term, but at a high economic and diplomatic
Tamborinyoka said: “And one of the issues that stick like sore thumb is the
issue of media reforms where the responsible minister has simply refused to
implement agreed positions.”
In the months leading up to the forthcoming elections, the state-owned
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s television and radio services and the
government-controlled Zimbabwe Newspapers group have showed overt bias and
played megaphone to Zanu PF’s whims.
Article 19 of the GPA says steps should be taken to ensure that the public
media provides balanced and fair coverage to all political parties for their
legitimate political activities.
Political analysts said the South African government was becoming more
worried about the likelihood of an influx of more refugees from Zimbabwe,
where unemployment is now running at more than 80 percent if the transition
is not managed well.
The South African government has made it very clear it is very worried about
a failed transition in Zimbabwe. - Gift Phiri
12 OCT 2012 00:00 - RAY NDLOVU
Bulawayo's water woes are set to mount, with its city council indicating
that it will be extending water restrictions from three days a week to four.
The move comes just two months after the council introduced restrictions in
an effort to preserve dwindling water supplies following the decommissioning
of the Lower and Upper Ncema dams.
The Bulawayo city council also made international headlines last month when
it introduced a synchronised toilet-flushing programme on weekends, aimed at
unblocking the city's sewer system after prolonged water restrictions.
Water usage in the city remains at 123 000 cubic metres a day, which the
council wants to reduce to 93000 cubic metres. The rainy season is not
expected until early November and although the meteorological services
department has forecast normal rains, local officials have indicated that,
should there be a delay, a humanitarian disaster may unfold.
In the meantime, the minister of water resources, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, has
refused to bow to pressure from non-governmental organisations, councillors
and residents to declare a state of emergency. Nkomo has said water
shortages are not unique to Bulawayo and are prevalent in other parts of the
country such as Harare and Chitungwiza, where they have led to outbreaks of
cholera and typhoid.
"I believe that we have not yet reached that critical stage. I have got a
document from some members of Parliament asking me to declare Bulawayo a
state of disaster, but we have to assess the implications first. We have
problems in other cities where the situation is worse than here," he said.
Observers argue that Bulawayo's water crisis is shrouded in politics and
does not stem from mismanagement. A lasting solution to the city's water
woes, they say, would be to complete the long-stalled Matabeleland Zambezi
Water Trust project, which would draw water from the Zambezi River.
Throughout the Matabeleland region, President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF is
largely blamed for dragging its feet over implementing the project.
Analysts warn that the water crisis may tilt the scales against Zanu-PF in
the next elections, because it remains an emotive issue.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai used the occasion of the MDC's anniversary
celebrations to play up the mounting anger against Zanu-PF.
"The water crisis in Bulawayo did not start with the MDC, but it is an issue
that has been present for the past 30 years and Zanu-PF has failed to
address it. They [Zanu-PF] are the ones to blame," Tsvangirai said.
Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo said this week that the local authority was
considering drawing water from the Zambezi using bowsers. The water would
then be ferried to Bulawayo by train. Critics have dismissed this proposal
|What kind of politics is it that thrives on seeing people starve or beg?|
|Life without a destination|
|Security sector reform key to peaceful elections|
|The mean season for gays|
|Zimbabwe - crisis over?|
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
President Robert Mugabe believes elections can be held in Zimbabwe in March next year, but his opponents and election watchdogs say a new poll under current conditions will again be riddled with violence and fraud.
There are too many reforms still to be made before a free and fair election can be held, critics say. They argue that the unity government was originally created to ease tensions enough to allow the parties to work out reforms towards fresh elections whose outcome would not be contested.
Mugabe is keen to hold elections quickly, hoping to rid himself of the coalition and regain complete power. But the Southern African Development Community has asked Zimbabwean parties to draw up a road map towards elections. At their last summit, the SADC heads of state urged the coalition partners "to develop a road map with timelines that are guided by the requirements of the processes necessary for the adoption of the constitution and the creation of conditions for free and fair elections to be held".
But the road to new elections is blocked by the absence of required reforms and a lack of funding.
Zanu-PF has rejected a draft constitution compiled by an interparty committee that included its own members. This has stalled progress towards adopting a new constitution.
The draft must be taken to an "all-stakeholders conference" later this month for debate. The conference should include all parties, as well as other interested groups. This is the second such conference – the first ended in chaos after Zanu-PF militants violently disrupted the event and there are fears of a repeat.
The conference is aimed at making changes to the draft constitution before it is presented to Parliament, after which a referendum will be held, leading to elections.
Mugabe's target for a November referendum will likely be missed, according to Welshman Ncube, leader of one faction of the MDC and a key negotiator in the reform process.
"Elections will never be held in March next year, because we have missed several deadlines already. As it is, the second stakeholders conference has been postponed to the end of October, which means we are unlikely to have a referendum until mid-December," said Ncube.
Funding the election
With no donor aid, Zimbabwe is struggling to raise cash for the elections. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's acting chairperson, Joyce Kazembe, said $104million was needed to hold the referendum.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has had to dip into International Monetary Fund money, setting aside $100million for the election. But a senior commission official believes the total bill for the poll will likely be up to three times that amount.
Zimbabwe already has a $400million budget deficit and has approached neighbours, including South Africa, for aid. The IMF has warned Zimbabwe that it might have to seek foreign funding to run the election, but Zanu-PF is opposed to soliciting Western aid for the polls.
Still, Zanu-PF insists that elections must be held by March.
"If they [the MDC] do not want elections, they should not participate," said Zanu-PF administration secretary Didymus Mutasa.
According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, the country's independent election monitor, an audit of the voter's roll showed that 27% of the people it listed were dead. This, the network said, showed that no credible elections could be held by March.
According to legal watchdog Veritas, compiling a new voter's roll would take "at least six months" and other electoral reforms are also needed.
Although Mugabe has frequently called for an end to violence, his opponents say recent attacks by his supporters indicate a repeat of the 2008 violence.
Morgan Tsvangirai's supporters were attacked two weeks ago while travelling to their party's 13th-anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo, just days after militants attacked a rally held by the other MDC party.
Media reform is one of the main issues on the unity government's agenda. Two new national radio stations were recently licensed, although media group Misa-Zimbabwe says they are run by pro-Zanu-PF operators. Zanu-PF also retains control of the state broadcaster and no private television stations have been licensed.
Laws that restrict free expression remain and arrests for "insulting the president" are frequent.
After weeks of damaging personal scandals, Tsvangirai received a lift recently when thousands of his most fervent supporters gathered for his party's anniversary in Bulawayo.
A Freedom House survey had showed that his party was losing support due to his failure to push through reforms and crack down on corruption in municipalities run by his party.
But an apology he made for his behaviour, said party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, would see his stock rise. Mwonzora said the large crowd at the rally showed that the prime minister "remains the people's hope" for unseating Mugabe.
The message of change will once again be at the centre of Tsvangirai's campaign. The party has been criticised for not having any policy beyond ousting Mugabe, but the MDC calculates that Zimbabweans are so desperate to get rid of Mugabe that its "change" platform is still relevant.
Zanu-PF will rely on its old methods to garner support: land reform and black empowerment. These policies are widely criticised for stifling investment and hurting the economy, but they resonate with Mugabe's support base.
Some believe that Mugabe will also rely on violence and fear, which returned him to power after his first-round loss in 2008.
The party is also working overtime to seize the urban vote from the MDC. This strategy includes housing co-operatives, whereby Zanu-PF allocates plots of land to the poor on the verges of the city, provided they join the party. It has worked before: Zanu-PF won its only urban seat, Harare South, after turning an area just south of the capital into a maze of hundreds of informal settlements run by its enforcers.
Zanu-PF is now spreading this plan elsewhere. The party reportedly believes it has gained 175 000 new members from the scheme. Last week, the mayor of Harare said the city had run out of land to dole out to the co-operatives.
The smaller faction of the MDC claims it has been gaining support over recent months. Its leader, Welshman Ncube, said he believed voters were moving away from the "anything but Mugabe" politics and would be more "perceptive" in the next election.
Although the recent Freedom House survey showed that open support for the "middle ground" had shrunk even further, Ncube said the 47% that the survey showed was "undecided" gave him hope.
The party also runs on the "change" platform, but hopes to take advantage of doubts over Tsvangirai's leadership. Ncube could garner much support in the Matabeleland region.
October 12th, 2012
Zanu PF is making a huge hullabaloo over the PM’s somewhat checkered love life, but at the end of the day it is up to the ordinary Zimbabwean to make a decision who they will follow, regardless of any individual indiscretions. Lest Zanu PF forget, their own Catholic leader was busy having an affair with his secretary Grace, producing several offspring, while his ailing wife, Sally, was slipping off this mortal coil. The affair began while Grace was still married to Stanley Goreraza, an air force pilot, now working in the Zimbabwe embassy in China, a convenient posting for the cuckolded husband. The couple were married in an extravagant Catholic Mass, titled the “Wedding of the Century” by the Zimbabwe press, attended by two of the first family children.
Does the populace actually care about the PM’s love life?
The answer is a resounding no! Everyone in this country wants the same thing, an end to political instability, poverty, hunger and disease and then we can all just get on with our lives. And anyway, all too many Zimbabwean men secretly, or not so secretly, admire and respect the PM for his obvious appetites.
White City Stadium, the venue for the recent MDC 13th anniversary bashed was packed, with an estimated crowd of around 20 000 there to enjoy the festivities. The photographer had the opportunity to mix with the crowd and asked many there what they thought of the PM’s apology for his indiscretions. The vast majority just do not care, it is not an issue to them. But they were indeed impressed with the new Mrs Tsvangirai, she certainly seemed to charm the audience.
When the photographer did a quick drive around the stadium to make sure there was no trouble in the offing, he was pleasantly surprised by the distinct lack of a police presence, both in and out of the stadium. Instead of the usual intimidating presence, the MDC T youth provided a well-disciplined security detail to protect cars and pedestrians.
So, can Zanu PF please stop griping about the PM’s love life and rather start the long overdue clean up of their own camp.