October 14, 2011
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg
Zimbabwe’s Education Ministry has instructed that all teachers and
professional staff evicted from Anglican mission schools by a renegade
bishop be reinstated immediately.
Senior political sources in Zimbabwe say the Ministry of Education issued
the reinstatement directive Thursday. It covers all teachers and staff who
had been evicted by Nolbert Kunonga - an excommunicated Anglican bishop who
has taken over many Anglican schools, churches and immovable property.
It follows a week of high-level developments on the reinstatement issue.
On Wednesday, the Harare High Court ruled some of the evictions were illegal
and ordered 14 teachers, headmasters and medical staff be allowed to return
to their posts immediately. Judge Chinembiri Bhunu said the rule of law had
been violated because they had been dispossessed of their jobs without due
On Monday the head of the worldwide Anglican Church met with Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams protested
the evictions and other abuses he says members of his church have suffered
since Kunonga began his seizures in 2007. Mugabe promised to look into the
Kunonga, a former Anglican bishop of Harare and vocal supporter of Mugabe,
established his own Anglican church in Zimbabwe in 2007 - claiming that the
worldwide community of Anglican churches supported homosexual marriage.
By Lance Guma
14 October 2011
South Africa’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, has expressed concern
at the continued lawless invasions of farms owned by South African citizens
in the country. On Thursday Mavimbela met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and reminded him the farm seizures violated a Bilateral Investment Promotion
and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) signed between the two countries in 2009.
“Some of the things seem to be happening not only to the South African
companies, but also to the farmers and this has got a possibility of
violating the agreement. We raised that concern,” Mavimbela said of the
meeting with the PM. “Some of the clauses in that agreement say that even if
farmers are evicted they need to be compensated for improvements made on the
farms,” he added.
Mavimbela narrated instances where farm invaders, “just walk in the farm and
tell the farmer that they are taking over the farm without producing any
documentation to show that they are entitled to the farm. We have talked to
the police to say can you intervene and these people have come into the
farm, with nothing as proof to show that they are entitled to it.” He said
the police claim they can’t intervene.
According to the Ambassador the situation is so serious that relations
between the two countries have worsened. Mavimbela admitted that as embassy
staff they were limited in what they could do and they have since asked
their government to intervene and engage in ‘state-to-state dialogue’.
Commentators however questioned the South African diplomats approach in
contacting Tsvangirai over the issue, when he would know fully that it is
Mugabe and his ZANU PF party who are driving the campaign of lawless farm
takeovers and that Tsvangirai has no power to change that.
Over 200 farmers from South Africa, who were forced to leave Zimbabwe, have
over the years battled to get their government to protect their interests
but without success. South Africa has avoided publicly condemning the
seizure of property owned by its citizens although such acts were in clear
contravention of the protection agreements signed by the two countries. The
farmers were forced to seek recourse in the courts.
In April South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the government
was not liable in cases related to the unlawful land grab in Zimbabwe. It
said a High Court decision ordering the government to compensate a South
African farmer for land invasions in Zimbabwe was wrong in law.
The High Court had earlier ruled that the South African government did have
a constitutional obligation to provide protection.
By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Friday, 14 October 2011 08:54
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says the appointment of
Seiso Moyo as deputy minister of agriculture was a “necessary evil” as party
members felt unjustly treated by Zanu PF’s Joseph Made who has been at the
helm of the ministry.
Tsvangirai personally made the decision to replace party treasurer Roy
Bennett as the deputy minister of agriculture designate and other senior
members endorsed the decision, MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.
Mwonzora said Moyo’s appointment is aimed at addressing injustices
perpetrated against MDC members and supporters by Made and Zanu PF.
“The appointment of Moyo as deputy minister was activated by necessity,”
“There was a feeling that the party is not effectively represented in the
ministry of agriculture.
“There were a lot of injustices that were being perpetrated by Made against
the people of Zimbabwe who are not Zanu PF. Therefore, it is the
anticipation of the party that Moyo will go in there and seek to correct
those injustices,” said Mwonzora.
“With Moyo as the deputy minister, we believe we are going to see redresses
in the distribution of inputs to all Zimbabweans in the country. It will no
longer be a Zanu PF and Made’s prerogative to choose who benefits from the
inputs given out by the government,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mwonzora said the MDC had finally informed Bennett of the
decision to replace him with Moyo in the deputy agriculture ministry.
The Daily News reported earlier that Bennett, who is currently in the United
Kingdom, had expressed shock at news that he was no longer the designate
deputy minister of agriculture as has been the case for the last three
“We have informed him (Bennett) of the decision made. It is the prerogative
of the Prime Minister to make appointments to Cabinet.”
There was a felling that the party is not effectively represented in the
ministry of agriculture.
Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:29am GMT
HARARE Oct 14 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's headline consumer inflation quickened
to 4.3 percent year-on-year in September from 3.5 percent in August,
Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency said on Friday.
Zimstats figures showed increases in the prices of food, alcoholic and
non-alcoholic beverages, as well as transport and communication were behind
the jump in inflation.
Utility charges, especially electricity, also drove inflation higher after
the state power utility raised prices by 31 percent in September. On a
month-on-month basis, CPI accelerated to 0.8 percent from 0.1 percent in
By Tichaona Sibanda
14 October 2011
The country’s draft constitution is now only expected to be ready for a
referendum by February next year after the September deadline was missed,
putting Robert Mugabe’s plans to have elections in March 2012 into disarray.
The delay has been blamed on the continuous bickering and the failure to
adhere to agreed positions by the main political parties in the Global
Political Agreement, (GPA).
The new charter is meant to clear the way for fresh polls following the
country’s bloody 2008 elections, but the drafting process is running months
behind following endless inter-party disputes over the drafting process.
After the September deadline passed, there was optimism it could be ready by
December but the MDC-T’s Douglas Mwonzora, co-chairman of COPAC, told SW
Radio Africa the December deadline was no longer possible.
He said the country can now expect a referendum between February and March
next year. The Nyanga North MP revealed that COPAC has already completed the
district and provincial reports and was working on a national report, in
line with the requirements of the constitution-making process.
Mwonzora said: “This report will be ready in two weeks time. It should have
been ready weeks ago but we faced a period where ZANU PF tried to disrupt
the compilation of the data by raising and inflating non-constitutional
The report will be sent to the three drafters who will compile a new charter
for the country. The drafters are Justice Moses Chinhengo, a Botswana High
court judge, Priscilla Madzonga, former Zimbabwe High court judge and Brian
Crozier, a former legal drafter in the Attorney-General’s office.
Copac co-chairman from ZANU PF Paul Mangwana confirmed to the Herald that
the remaining stages did not make it possible to have a referendum this
year. He said a referendum is now likely to be held in February next year.
Copac officials are in agreement that elections are now expected in
September or early in 2013 when Mugabe would be 89 years old.
By Chengetai Zvauya, Senior Reporter
Friday, 14 October 2011 08:52
HARARE - Police have barred members of Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) from marching in the streets of Harare to demonstrate
against the continued harassment of teachers countrywide.
They wanted to demonstrate against the dismissal and victimisation of
teachers who were given a blanket amnesty by the coalition government in
2009 to return to work after they had absconded from their duties seeking
greener pastures in neighbouring countries.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the union had mobilised its
members to march along Julius Nyerere Way to National Social Security (NSSA)
building in the city but were stopped by the police.
“Teachers given amnesty to return back to their teaching stations are being
victimised and dismissed from their work. The amnesty has ended and this is
what we want to demonstrate against,” said Majongwe.
PTUZ petitioned the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture with
demands they needed addressed including the non-payment of salaries for some
teachers who were blacklisted for their perceived support of the MDC.
Some have not been paid since their reappointment March in 2009.
David Coltart Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture said he did not
support the non-payment of the teachers who were given amnesty in 2009.
“When we announced amnesty to the teachers we agreed as cabinet that they
must be paid, and that the political victimisation of the teachers has to
stop,” said Coltart.
PTUZ is teacher union body with membership of 15 000 countrywide.
By Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Friday, 14 October 2011 09:27
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has rejected Zimbabwe Platinum Mines
(Zimplats)’s $10 million offer to operationalise the country’s first
Community Share Trust (CST), saying it was insufficient.
The Australian-listed platinum miner on Thursday donated $10 million to
fund operations of newly-formed community share trust founded under the
controversial indigenisation program.
The miner however said the funds would be spread over three years as it
would not be paying dividends due to its on-going $460 million Ngezi
expansion programme aimed at boosting production to 270 000 ounces in 2014.
“I don’t know whether Zimplats was given prior notice of the event or not.
They should have multiplied the $10 million ten times because they are a
huge company and also considering the amount of money they made from mining
operations. I wanted to sing 10 times 10 today, but I can only sing 10 times
one,” Mugabe said.
“We were given these stones and Zimplats is removing them and making lots
and lots of money and we are saying let’s share because you can’t benefit
alone,” he added.
Mugabe said he hoped to see better offers as the CST scheme progressed,
adding that the next launch was likely to be in the Marange diamond mining
areas were a trust has already been formed.
David Brown, Zimplats chairman and Implats chief executive said communities
of the Mhondoro-Ngezi,Chegutu and Zvimba districts where the company
operates would be the beneficiaries of the 10 percent reserved for CSTs.
“First tranche of this money, in the sum of $3 million, will be made
available to the trust as soon as it is operational,” Brown said.
He, however said 36 percent of its claims released by the platinum producer
in 2006 to government in exchange for empowerment credits remained
“Indeed Zimplasts has been an all-weather friend of Zimbabwe. In 2006 when
the government requested Zimplats to release some of its mining claims to
the state so that new indigenous players could join the platinum group
sector, the company was happy to release 36 percent of its claims. We note
however, that there is no production taking place as yet on these claims.”
The Indigenisation Act requires all foreign-owned companies to cede a
minimum 51 percent ownership to locals.
According to the empowerment policy, companies which exploit natural
resources, including mines, are mandated to allocate 10 percent shareholding
The other outstanding shareholding is distributed through public share
offerings and employee and management share schemes.
Insurance giant Old Mutual recently announced a $100 million deal which
could see the company relinquish 25 percent shareholding to locals.
Zimplats mining operations produced 182 100 ounces of platinum in the year
to June 30.
Zimplats is 87, 3 percent owned by South African Impala Platinum.
13 October 2011
Sources in Zimbabwe's fragile national unity government say a rift between
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over
indigenization is widening to the point of jeopardizing cohesion
Studio 7 Reporters | Harare/Washington
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, officiating Thursday at the launch of a
community share trust set up to hold equity made over by platinum miner
Zimplats, said the government does not want to take over mine operations
under indigenization but intends to ensure the country's black majority
shares in resource wealth.
President Mugabe put his personal stamp on the launch of the Mhondoro Ngezi
Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust set up to manage Zimplats shares
transferred under the indigenization or black economic empowerment program.
He told Zimplats Chairman David Brown that foreign investors should stay as
junior partners in Zimbabwean business ventures, repeating that the
indigenization program is intended to ensure the majority of black
Zimbabweans share in the national wealth, as correspondent Thomas Chiripasi
reported from Selous, Mashonaland West province.
Social development expert Liberty Bhebhe of the National Youth Development
Trust offered the view that more companies should follow the Zimplats
example in cooperating with the indigenization program – but warned
politicians may hijack the scheme.
Meanwhile, sources in Zimbabwe's national unity government say a rift
between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over
indigenization is widening to the point of jeopardizing the cohesion of the
already fragile government.
Mr. Mugabe has urged the process be expedited. But Mr. Tsvangirai says the
impact of the program on the economy must be assessed before pushing ahead.
Mr. Tsvangirai has asked Minister of State Jameson Timba, a top aide, to
call a meeting of economic ministries including Indigenization, Mining,
Industry, Finance and Tourism.
Mr. Tsvangirai wants to pressure Kasukuwere to move more cautiously on the
indigenization of key economic sectors such as banking and mining to give
the Cabinet a full account of the impact thus far of the indigenization
drive. US investors recently told Mr. Tsvangirai that the program is a
deterrent to investing in Zimbabwe.
Indigenization Minister Kasukuwere told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that
there is no turning back, even where banking is concerned. Harare economist
John Robertson said targeting foreign-owned banks could backfire on the
12 October, 2011 10:32
Malawi is trying to woo some of Zimbabwe's white commercial farmers who were
pushed off their farms by the government's land reform programme after 2000.
According to information at hand, Malawi hopes to harness the reputed
expertise of the farmers from Zimbabwe to jump-start that country's
commercial agricultural sector in crops other than maize. Malawi had bumper
maize harvests in the last three years but had a reduced harvest last season
with a surplus of about 200,000 tonnes in the 2010/2011 season.
Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union president Charles Taffs said his union
had received communication from the authorities in Malawi offering land to
"The advertised land - at least 112 state farms are on offer to our former
farmers," Taffs exclusively told BusinessLive this week, adding: "These
farms used to belong to former president Kamuzu Hastings Banda and were
repossessed by the Malawi government after his demise. Now the state wants
to lease these out and they have given us the first offer."
"They have confidence in our skills and experience on 'the finer points of
commercial farming and finance' and believe we could make Malawi the
breadbasket of Africa," he said.
"We're very happy to be accorded such recognition," he said. "Our farmers
enjoy doing what we do best, which is farming... Africa needs more success
stories," he added.
Hoping Zimbabwe's loss might be its gain, Malawi has offered at least 112
state farms to the Zimbabwean farmers to be recruited under renewable leases
in different areas of the country to boost and maintain the state's
commercial agriculture projects.
Malawi's economy has taken a knock after western countries - who were
financing the country's balance of payments and budgetary support - pulled
out after differences over issues of governance, allegations of economic
mismanagement and President Bingu wa Mutharika's strong stand against gays
marriages in the country.
Taffs said the union may help coordinate the move to Malawi if there are any
takers "but so far there aren't any. Many still have issues here (in
Zimbabwe)", he explained.
White Zimbabwean commercial farmers were made landless by President Mugabe's
land reform programme, embarked upon in 2000 when government repossessed
land to ostensibly give it to landless blacks.
Many of these farmers migrated to different countries on the continent among
them Mozambique, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo to continue
their farming operations.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
14 October, 2011
The High Court on Friday failed again to proceed with the bail application
hearing for Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson arrested
last week. For the second time this week the State Prosecutor, Edmore
Nyazamba, claimed he was not ready to make presentations.
The hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday, but at the time Nyazamba told
the court he was “overwhelmed”. Then on Friday the investigating officer
said he had not yet completed “investigations” and asked that the case be
postponed to Monday.
Madzore was arrested last week and is facing trumped-up charges of murdering
police officer Petros Mutedza in Glen View, back in May. Police arrested
only MDC supporters, claiming party activists killed the cop at a local pub,
despite evidence many were not even at that location on the day.
A total of 28 MDC-T members were arrested by police. Eight of them,
including Madzore, are still in remand prison while the others were granted
bail by the High Court.
By Own Correspondent
Friday, 14 October 2011 09:04
HARARE - Constantly feuding MDC and Zanu PF councillors in Mutare have for
once found common interest — perks.
For two years, elected MDC councillors who form the majority and a few
special interest councillors handpicked by local government minister
Ignatius Chombo from Zanu PF ranks have crossed swords over how best to
serve the city.
But they formed a united force this week, demanding that the city hands them
perks that include residential stands ahead of elections that could usher in
a new council.
Speaking during a full council meeting this week, the councillors were in
union that the perks should be paid out before year-end.
“We demand the benefits now or like yesterday as we might die anytime,” said
deputy mayor George Jerison.
“We need them as soon as possible. In the event of death, these benefits
will not be given to our wives and for female councillors their husbands
will not benefit either,” said Jerison to an applause from fellow
Jerison suggested that a special meeting be held today to discuss how best
councillors can lay their hands on the perks without delay.
“The matter has to be fast-tracked as we are running out of time,” he said.
He said today’s meeting should deal with the matter “once and for all” so
that councillors can present their case to Chombo for the benefits to be
Special interest councillor and Zanu PF member Kenneth Saruchera weighed in
saying with elections around the corner, councillors had to move with haste
“before it is too late.”
Another councillor, Crispen Dube said the councillors deserved to be
rewarded for their work.
Many suburbs in Mutare have gone for years without reliable water supply,
while thousands of residents still use communal toilets.
Sources said the councillors were worried that ratepayers, who make the
majority of voters, will boot them out at the next election for poor
performance hence the rush for a last-minute grab.
Mutare has 20 elected councillors and four special interest councillors.
Oct 14, 2011, 16:02 GMT
Harare - Zimbabwe's prison services will never allow condoms into the
country's jails, despite the risk of AIDS infection through homosexuality, a
senior official said Friday.
'Let me say a big yes, we know this activity (sodomy) takes place in our
prisons,' deputy commissioner Agrey Machingauta was quoted as saying on
Under Zimbabwean prisons laws, 'it is an offence and we actually have legal
powers to try and punish (offenders),' he said.
'On the issue of condoms, we cannot issue them out until parliament passes
legislation to legalize homosexuality,' he said.
He said if prisoners were caught, 'we take corrective action,' but did not
President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly condemned homosexuality, and
describes gays as 'worse than dogs and pigs,' although the country's gay
movement, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, operates openly and runs
AIDS-prevention courses among gays.
By Alex Bell
14 October 2011
A Zimbabwean rights group in South Africa has slammed the country’s
apparently clandestine decision to resume deporting Zim nationals, after
hundreds were forcibly removed from the country this week.
More than 500 nationals had been taken across the border and handed over to
immigration officials at Beitbridge by Thursday evening, after South Africa
apparently lifted its moratorium on deportations earlier this week. The
deportations were expected after a directive from South Africa’s department
of Home Affairs was quietly circulated earlier this month, indicating that
the removals would begin “with immediate effect.” No official announcement
about the removals has been made.
South African Home Affairs officials accompanying the deportees have been
quoted as saying that they will be deporting Zimbabweans twice a week – on
Wednesdays and Thursdays.
“We are only deporting undocumented immigrants and those who are intercepted
while trying to skip the border through illegal entry points,” an official
said. “In the last two weeks we have rounded up a number of people of all
nationalities whom we have been screening and repatriating back to their
The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) has previously warned that arrests and
detentions of Zim nationals have been underway for several weeks, despite
the documentation project that was launched last year. The group’s Director,
Gabriel Shumba, told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the return to
deportations now is ‘alarming’.
“This has happened at a time when civil society has warned that the
political climate and the socio-economic environment in Zimbabwe is not
permissive for people to be returned to,” Shumba said.
He added: “There is an urgent need for South Africa to revisit this
A moratorium on Zim deportations had been in place in South Africa since
2009 and the authorities had originally said that it would remain in place
until it had completed the Zimbabwe Documentation Project (ZDP). That
process was launched last year to give as many Zimbabweans as possible a
chance to regularise their stay in South Africa. About 275 000 people
applied for permits to remain legally, and the project is still being
But more than a million Zim nationals are believed to be in South Africa,
meaning hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of deportation. The
threat has seen a rush of people trying to secure their status as asylum
seekers, but this does not appear to be a guarantee of safety from
The husband of a Zimbabwean woman threatened with deportation this week has
told SW Radio Africa that she was detained despite previously being granted
asylum. The woman and the couple’s two young children were detained
overnight at a shelter in Cape Town after she was arrested on Wednesday,
while trying to renew her asylum status.
“She went to renew, but they immediately said she would be deported,” the
woman’s husband explained, adding: “They treated her like a criminal!”
The couple, who asked to remain anonymous, have two young children,
including a 10 month old baby that was born in South Africa. They are trying
to argue on legal terms that the family should not be split up and deported.
“I am very traumatised. We came here for greener pastures and we get treated
so badly. People are very rude. I don’t know what will happen to my family
now,” he said.
Posted On : October 11, 2011 1:10 PM
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, said
today that the dispute within the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe was “a result
not of schism but of thuggery.”
In a statement issued after visiting Zimbabwe with Archbishop Rowan Williams
of Canterbury at the weekend, Archbishop Makgoba said members of a
pro-Mugabe breakaway faction of the church under deposed bishop Nolbert
Kunonga were being “helped to steal church property without recourse.”
The full text of Archbishop Makgoba's statement reads:
My trip to Zimbabwe was a pastoral visit in which I took the opportunity to
express the solidarity of Anglicans in Southern Africa with persecuted
Anglicans in Zimbabwe.
I was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams,
and the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Revd Albert Chama. We were
also joined by the Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Revd Valentino Mokiwa,
who is also president of the All Africa Conference of Churches, and the
Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Trevor Mwamba.
On Sunday more than 10,000 worshippers gathered in a sports complex to greet
and hear from us. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached, and I gave a
message of support to the persecuted. I received warm applause when I told
them that the dispossession and persecution of faithful Anglicans in
Zimbabwe is a result not of schism but of thuggery, where people are helped
to steal church property without recourse.
I told them that I came to bring the prayers of all Southern African
Christians, and that, though burdened by this thuggery, Zimbabweans should
know that they are not forgotten.
In South Africa’s bleakest moments under apartheid, we were held and
encouraged by solidarity visits. If those who persecute Zimbabwean Anglicans
touch Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, they touch all Southern African
Anglicans; if you touch Southern Africa, they touch the Archbishop of
Canterbury and all of us. On behalf of Southern Africa Anglicans I presented
Bishop Chad a cheque to assist the work of the Church there.
On Monday our walk of witness moved from Harare to Manicaland. We
experienced the reality of Nolbert Kunonga’s campaign of destabilization and
dispossession. The majority of Anglicans were worshipping in shabby places
while their churches stood locked. In Mutare a group held placards and
refused us entrance into St John’s Cathedral.
At the historic St Augustine’s Mission, Penhalonga, near Mutare, another
group held more placards and blocked the entrance to the Mission. We
abandoned our cars and walked up the hill to the Mission. We prayed with the
sisters and the faithful in all areas we visited. In each place, those who
protested against us were in the minority, and the majority received us with
Later on Monday, we had a fruitful two-hour meeting with President Robert
Mugabe. Although moving on in age and forgetful in certain instances, the
President was aware of our pain, frustration and disappointment at the
police-aided church conflict and violence by Kunonga. I appealed to his
heart and his Catholic conscience, and asked him to stop the suffering of
President Mugabe asked that we also pray and intervene to end sanctions, as
they were hurting all Zimbabweans. He also said Britain had dishonoured its
pledges in the implementation of the country's post-independence land reform
We then held a press conference and later the Archbishop of Canterbury met
privately with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
During our visit the atmosphere was a mixture of deep despair yet strong
emergent hope. Perhaps it is best summarised in my words to the people
gathered at the worship service in Harare: if God is on our side, who can be
against us; and nothing can separate us from his love, not even persecution
and immense trial. So we can take heart.
Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Inquiries: Wendy Tokata on 021-763-1320 (office hours)
JASON MOYO HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Oct 14 2011 07:35
The pews are often virtually empty on Sunday mornings at Harare's St Mary's
and All Saints Anglican cathedrals, but this is Bishop Nolbert Kunonga's
"throne" and he is prepared to defend it with violence.
After a service attended by a few followers last Sunday, Kunonga, the priest
who has divided the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe and set disciples on rival
clergymen, stood in front of his pulpit and raved against gays and Rowan
Williams, the visiting archbishop of Canterbury. "This is my throne," he
declared. "I am in charge. He [Williams] cannot come here."
Kunonga regards the cathedral as a prized asset among hundreds of church
properties he has taken over in a fight that has demonstrated the impunity
enjoyed by President Robert Mugabe's allies.
Excommunicated in 2007, Kunonga is fighting for control of the Anglican
Church, seizing assets and barring worshippers from churches. A dossier on
the dispute presented to Mugabe this week claimed that at least one
parishioner, Jessica Mandeya, might have been killed in attacks by Kunonga's
Also last Sunday, 15 000 members of the rival faction led by Bishop Chad
Gandiya were attending a mass held by Williams in a sports arena. Kunonga
rustled up a crowd of women, who marched outside the cathedral where he was
preaching to denounce Williams. One placard read: "Homosexuals must die."
It is Kunonga's central claim: the church is at risk of being overrun by
homosexuals and he alone stands in its defence.
"Williams is the reason why the Anglican Church all over the world is
divided. He has not taken a position on homosexuality," he has said.
But his critics see this as a cover for his campaign for power. Parishioners
have left him, to worship in parks and rented halls, but he has insisted:
"It is not about who has the majority or the minority. It is about who is
Finding an ally
Kunonga was elected bishop in 2001, beating Tim Neill, a rabidly anti-Mugabe
priest. At a time when the church -- including Mugabe's own Catholic
Church -- was growing increasingly critical of his rule, Mugabe found an
ally in Kunonga among the hostile clergy.
At Mugabe's inauguration in 2002 Kunonga described his victory, which came
after a violent campaign, as "God's will". He has also described Mugabe as
"a prophet of God who was sent to deliver the people of Zimbabwe from
A church tribunal accused Kunonga of plotting the murder of rival priests
and misusing church funds, but the trial was abandoned after a judge hearing
the case stepped down.
In 2007 he formed a splinter church, claiming it was in protest at the
Anglican Church's tolerance for homosexuality. He began seizing church
assets, at one time moving out of his suburban home to sleep in the
cathedral to ensure that his rivals stayed out.
Over recent months Kunonga has grabbed churches, schools, hospitals and
orphanages, evicting priests and staff and locking out worshippers.
He has also seized the church's most sacred shrine, which honours one of
Africa's earliest martyrs, Bernard Mizeki.
On Monday Williams handed Mugabe a dossier giving details of Kunonga's
campaign. It said that police had "disrupted church services and used tear
gas and batons to drive people out of church buildings".
"As a consequence most churches lie empty each Sunday, except where a
handful of Dr Kunonga's priests and their families are able to occupy them,"
the dossier stated.
Priests and deacons were arrested without charge and many of the arrests
were deliberately made on Fridays to keep priests from church, said the
"Parishioners are not only denied access to their churches, but increasingly
are threatened with punishment if they worship at all, or attempt to carry
out their ministry to the community."
Kunonga's followers barred Williams from entering churches in Mutare on
At church hospitals, his loyalists have also been denying health care to
members of the rival faction and turning away drugs and equipment donated by
Kunonga denied the dossier's charges and said he would continue the fight
"as long as the archbishop of Canterbury remains homosexual".
The large crowd attending Williams's mass contrasted sharply with Kunonga's
small congregation, but he remained defiant.
"Williams's coming here will not make them get in the church buildings. We
are the ones here in the cathedral; they are meeting at the sports centre.
"I am the owner of all this. Gandiya is showing off with a white man and I
do not care. This is not the end of Kunonga."
Zimbabwe defends its record
The troubles that have gripped Zimbabwe's Anglican Church have further
exposed the country's feeble human rights record, even as it mounted a bold
defence during the United Nations Human Rights Council's universal periodic
review this week.
In Geneva, Switzerland, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Patrick Chinamasa said Western-imposed sanctions -- in place since 2003 --
contributed to the suffering of Zimbabweans and were "the greatest
violation" of human rights.
Zimbabwe's attorney general, Johannes Tomana, has threatened to take legal
action against the European Union over the sanctions.
The debate on Zimbabwe's human rights coincided with a visit from the global
Anglican Church leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.
A report presented to the UN council by a coalition of 27 civil society
organisations from Zimbabwe challenged the government's glossy report on the
human rights situation in the country. Dewa Mavhinga, regional co-ordinator
of Crisis in Zimbabwe, said: "We want the world to know the real situation
in the country. It is not ready for elections next year. There is still just
a lot to be done on the human rights front."
Effie Ncube, a political analyst, said: "Zanu-PF's denial of the atrocities
and human rights violations of the past 31 years is a demonstration of the
severe moral deficiency in the party."
South Africa demanded an investigation of the killings that occurred during
the presidential run-off elections in June 2008. The United States,
Australia and Pretoria have all expressed their deep concern over the
killings and said those responsible in the army, police and secret service
had to be punished.
Zimbabwe's dark human rights past has hogged the international limelight
with several high-profile cases, such as the Gukurahundi massacres during
the 1980s, the controversial Murambatsvina clean-up exercise in Harare in
2005, the killings by the military at the Chiadzwa diamond fields in October
2008 and the violent presidential run-off elections in June that same year.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have estimated that nearly 300
Movement for Democratic Change supporters were murdered during the run-off
elections by Zanu-PF members.
But a rare triumph of justice has occurred in the past month when a court
sentenced Zanu-PF militia base commander Gilbert Mavhenyengwa (55) to 20
years in jail for the rape of the wife of an MDC supporter during those
elections. -- Ray Ndlovu
Harare, October 12, 2011: An independent South African political commentator has cautioned against ignoring transitional justice issues while local human rights organizations intensify outreach campaigns to promote awareness.
“Transitional justice is about bridging the violent past with the present transition in order to create a peaceful future,” said Leon Hartwell, a South African independent political commentator.
“If you look at Zimbabwe’s most recent history, there have not been many public debates about transitional justice aside from the Johannesburg symposium in 2003.” Hartwell warned that, “the biggest mistake that Zimbabweans can make is to assume that an election, even if it is free and fair, will solve all your problems. If you don’t link these processes, it will be difficult to imagine that Zimbabwe will experience long-term stability.”
Hartwell and Shastry Njeru, Transitional Justice Program Officer at the Human Rights NGO Forum, co-facilitated a Food for Thought session on transitional justice at the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Eastgate auditorium on Tuesday. They discussed a recent report on transitional justice compiled by the Forum.
The report incorporates the views of 3,189 respondents (51 percent female) in 84 constituencies across the country. It revealed that 18 percent of respondents had encountered some form of violence. Of these respondents, 76 percent still feel bitter or struggle to cope with the violence. A large group (71 percent) of respondents said a transitional justice process should only cover the period from 2000 onwards.
Only 14 percent of respondents called for the prosecution of perpetrators, while the rest preferred compensation (49 percent), truth recovery (22 percent) and reparations (21 percent).
Respondents said churches (30 percent) and government (29 percent) could lead a transitional justice process, while only a small group of respondents wanted civil society (12 percent) and the Organ on National Healing (3 percent) to be in the driver’s seat.
“We are going to translate the report into local languages, produce fact sheets and other materials in accessible formats to motivate a discussion at all levels. We want a convergence in terms of understanding of what should be done so that we are informed rather than being told what to do,” said Njeru.
According to Njeru, the report is targeted at policy makers. He said that future surveys will look at specific gender and youth issues in relation to the transitional justice processes.
“At this level, this report is for policy makers because of the nature of its contents. We have gone through several phases of violence in the country,” said Njeru citing the pre-colonial, post independence and recent electoral periods in Zimbabwe.
“It is important that a debate about transitional justice takes place at all levels,” added Hartwell. “When the debates finally took off in South Africa, especially after our 1994 election, we had it in the media, in multiple languages, and in workshops that were held with different social groups.”
Transitional justice generally refers to a range of processes that states may use to address past human rights transgressions, including judicial and non-judicial approaches. It seeks recognition for the victims and to promote possibilities for peace, reconciliation and democracy. Hartwell concluded, “It is important for civil society to push the transitional debate. You can anticipate resistance and don’t expect to please everyone on what the final product will look like.”- ZimPAS© 2011.
# # #
ZimPAS is a product of the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. Queries and comments should be submitted to Sharon Hudson-Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org Url: http://harare.usembassy.gov
|Empowerment does not mean just taking over the mines, banks and big factories. We cannot do that because we don’t have the money, so we will start with the sell-outs who are opposed to indigenisation|
|Impunity rules during Zimbabwe's "transition"|
|Import duties drive up food prices, hurt poor|
|Short changed and angry|
|Deportations of Zimbabwean migrants set to resume|
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Help to build the foundations of a broader educational system in Zimbabwe
We believe that students can benefit from:
· A smaller learning environment, with more teacher attention
· A greater emphasis on creative learning and cross-curricular teaching
· Education that goes beyond the traditional classroom
· Happiness of the individual – where a contented child can learn to the best of their ability
· Readily available modern educational technology
For most young people, school-days are filled with highs and lows of growing up, learning and finding out who they are. But for some, the academic demands of school life threaten to overwhelm not only how they achieve, but adversely affect who they even believe themselves to be. As they struggle to perform in the mainstream academic environment, they lose faith in themselves and their abilities, for reasons such as dyslexia, ADHD or even emotional issues.
In order to cater for this group of individuals, several forward-thinking parents in Zimbabwe decided to establish a small school called St Christopher’s in 2009. We were born out of the vision that some students are more likely to achieve their full potential if they are in a smaller learning environment with more teacher attention and a greater emphasis on creative learning and cross-curricular teaching.
With the support of one of Zimbabwe’s leading mainstream educational establishments, we were able to set up a school where students could be taught in small classes (ten students per Form) but still benefit from full interaction with sports, activities and social interaction at the mainstream school.
At St Christopher’s, we subscribe to the philosophy that a contented child will learn to the best of their ability and we therefore prioritise the happiness of each individual wherever we can. We try and reduce stress and anxiety associated with learning in order to help the students maintain high levels of self-esteem and achieve their personal best.
Modern educational technology is an important feature at St Christopher’s, with interactive SMART-Boards in every classroom. Each student follows the ICDL programme and has a personal laptop and wireless internet access. We particularly encourage our dyslexic students to maximise on their use of laptops.
The subjects taught at St Christopher’s adhere to the core academic syllabi of a mainstream school and our students take the same examinations but in our own environment. Our aim is for our students to achieve a minimum five Cambridge iGCSEs.
We also offer an education that goes beyond the traditional classroom, taking students on regular field trips and camps throughout the term and inviting external guest speakers to talk to them on a variety of topics.
How you can help:
Our school is growing! We already have completed application forms for 2015 demonstrating that there is a great need for this sort of educational alternative. Having raised enough money to purchase a fantastic property, we are currently fundraising to do the necessary renovations for our four classrooms, art room and Assembly hall. But we need help!
We would be delighted if anyone reading this appeal feels the urge to contribute to our work, helping to build the foundations of a broader educational system, one student at a time.
For more information, please contact
one of our school Trustees
St. Christopher’s School
23 Harry Pichanick Avenue, Alexander Park, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Chipinge, 14 October 2011
Prior to the commencement of the ethanol project, ARDA’S estates, Middle
Sabi and Chisumbanje, had been adversely affected by the negative economic
climate and hyperinflationary environment prevailing up to 2008. The estates
were totally derelict with water pumping units and agricultural equipment in
a state of complete disrepair. Workshops housing agricultural machinery were
in a sorry state informing of the urgent need for capital injection at
Middle Sabi and Chisumbanje. The impact of this was evident on the huge
workforce that ARDA laid off and the dilapidated state of the community
irrigation schemes which relied on technical assistance from ARDA for their
ARDA needed credible investors. An important factor for ARDA was to:
- Come up with a format to attract financing considering the unjustified and
unfavourable investment perception harboured by the generality of investors
on Zimbabwe as an invesmtnet destination- hence the Build, Operate and
Transfer partnership model.
- Identify from an array of wiling partners investors with sufficient
financial commitment and organisational muscle to inject capital into a
massive infrastructural rehabilitation programme within and beyond the
estates, and to re-mechanise all business units while pursuing a vibrant
social responsibility agenda for the benefit of rural community in
Chipinge – in line with ARDA’S institutional mandate of rural development.
To date ARDA’s B.O.T (Build, Operate and Transfer) venture with Macdom and
Rating at Chisumbanje and Middle Sabi respectively has created 4 265 jobs
and as the project progresses to the next phases, by 2014 over 10 000 fully
trained local Zimbabweans will have been employed in the agricultural,
construction and manufacturing divisions of the ethanol project. The planned
construction of the Condo Dam for increased water volumes required along
Save River, will create more jobs for the rural populace. The agricultural
dimension of the project is highly mechanized and to cater for the skills
gap created by the use of latest high tech equipment, training centres have
been established on both estates to absorb local school leavers for on job
training programmes. Further to this, a steel fabricating unit has been
established in Harare with a staff establishment of over 100 artisans
involved in the manufacture of a range of parts required for the ethanol
project. 13 Local commuter bus companies in Chipinge have been contracted to
ferry labour from the villages to the project site on a daily basis. More
importantly, 30% of the artisans employed in the distillery and boiler
sections of the ethanol project are Zimbabweans previously based outside the
country in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique.
A priority within the investment programme is to ensure that ARDA has
capacity to carry out its institutional mandate of rural agriculture
development. Through Rating, the agricultural company at Middle Sabi, ARDA
has been able to rehabilitate 18 community irrigation schemes located in a
25 kilometer radius around Middle Sabi. These schemes are a source of
livelihood for 2 861 families and form part of the horticultural belt which
has traditionally fed the local industry with fresh produce for processing
and overseas marketing. A Small Scale schemes water engineering department
has been created at Middle Sabi to supervise the water conveyance systems of
these schemes to ensure sustainable viability.
Prior to the implementation of the B.O.T, the ZINWA water pumping units at
Middle Sabi was completely broken down. This unit is a lifeline for the
estate and close to 60 resettled farmers located along the 25 kilometer
canal. Through the B.O.T, ARDA was able to attract financing for the
rehabilitation of the pumping unit subsequently reviving A2 commercial
farming through consistent and adequate water supplies. ARDA’s investment
programme with its B.O.T partners carries a commercial out grower component
which targets individual farmers keen to grow sugarcane for supply to the
mill. The farmers are supplied with all the technical assistance in the form
of land preparation for 10 hectares and inputs whose costs are deductable
from their total sales after harvesting. To date 650 hectares have been
developed in the pilot programme and handed over to the 116 war veterans who
have been farming on ARDA land on lease agreements.
Chipinge South falls under climatic region 5 which is characterized by poor
rainfall pattern. In the context of the B.O.T between ARDA and Macdom at
Chisumbanje, 4000 hectares of land is being developed for community
irrigation at a rate of just 500 hectares per year. This will effectively
migrate communal farmers from dry land farming to irrigation and give the
farmers control over their yields. To date just under 200 hectares of land
have been fully developed and inputs, in the form of maize and fertilizer,
have been sourced sufficient to crop 200 hectares, for the first batch of
farmers to benefit from the scheme. The irrigation development targets
farmers who have been using ARDA land prior to the B.O.T implementation.
Through Macdom at Chisumbanje, ARDA has commenced rehabilitative works on
key public service facilities which include schools, roads and health
centers. Work has commenced in this direction with initial focus on
educational facilities on both estates and the major health referral centre
closest to Chisumbanje -St Peters Hospital at Checheche with constructive
repairs and giving additional capacity through the construction of new
structures to cater for the swelling service demand created by the volumes
of staff on site.
On average, US $2 million is injected into Chipinge South every month as
wages, salaries and procurement finance for construction material. This has
resulted in increased commercial traffic. The newly constructed mobile
communication boosters by the three major companies in and around
Chisumbanje, the new branches of 5 commercial banks, reports from the
Chipinge Rural District council of a swell in the demand for commercial and
housing stands at Checheche from around 100 applications before the project
to over 2000 – all inform of an upward trend in commerce in Chipinge South.
On the 19th of October in 2009, an official launch of the project was
conducted. This brought together various stakeholders from the community who
included traditional leaders, government officials from various ministries,
council officials, ARDA and the investors. A major outcome from the launch
was an idea to create a forum to oversee the implementation of the project
with a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people who had been
farming within the designated Greater Chisumbanje area. The Chisumbanje
Joint Ethanol Project Advisory Committee (JEPAC), a locally constituted
community development forum, was created. JEPAC has an immediate mandate to
develop a sustainable irrigation model for the affected dry land farmers so
that their livelihoods are maintained or improved. JEPAC has the
chairmanship of the Chipinge District Administrator and comprises
representation from the traditional leadership through the paramount Chief
Garahwe and his council of headmen, Chipinge Rural District Council, ARDA,
local police and Agritex. Within JEPAC, there are ground committees headed
by the headmen and the area counsellor whose immediate responsibility is to
ensure that as the community irrigation development rollout programme is
implemented, deserving beneficiaries affected by the project are given
priority to migrate from dry land farming.
LAUNCH OF THE 2011/12 GOVERNMENT FUNDED AGRICULTURAL INPUT SUPPORT
1. Honourable Ministers, the 2011/12 agriculture season has started in
earnest with farmers already preparing for the season following the recent
rains received throughout the country.
2. The agricultural sector remains one of the key sectors of the economy
together with communications and mining. To that extent it is therefore
critical for government to create conducive environment and policy framework
to maintain sustainability of the same.
3. In this regard the Government has since 2009 ensured meaningful financing
to agriculture together with the private sector and cooperating partners.
4. Between 2009 and 2011, the Inclusive Government together with
international partners and private financiers have committed a total of
US$1.9 billion into the agricultural sector. Budget support on its own has
totaled US$552 million.
Support to Agriculture (US$)
Source of Funding 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
Government support 79,040,040 300,206,439 172,730,737
Presidential facility 30,000,000
Development partners 74,000,000 60,000,
Bank sector support 94,765,128 331,242,000 411,628,246
Lines of credit 162,746,635 150,379,749 14,500,000
Total 336,551,803 855,828,188 688,858,983
Total as % of Total Budget 37 40 25
Total as % of GDP 6 13 8
Support to Agriculture by Government, Development Partners & Private
Financiers; & Agricultural Growth Rates: 2008/09 Season – 2010/11 Season
5. Government finance alone has risen from US$79 million in 2009 to the
projected US$248.2 million in 2011.
6. The table below shows Government’s contribution to agriculture over the
past three years.
Item 2009 2010 2011 TOTAL
Grain Procurement 5,650,000 101,345,967 75,050,000 182,045,967
Input Support 60,000,000 87,400,000 45,000,000 192,400,000
Capitalisation of Agribank 17,000,000 2,500,000 19,500,000
Extension & Other Support Services 13,390,040 93,617,472 103,853,800
Irrigation Development 843,000 11,763,500 12,606,500
Total 79,040,040 300,206,439 238,167,300 617,413,779
2011/2012 Crop Input Support Facilities
7. Government has committed itself to mobilize and coordinate banks,
development partners, seed houses, farmers unions, fertilizer companies as
well as individual farmers to put in place the necessary financing
arrangements for the 2011/2012 Summer Cropping Season.
8. Therefore, Government has, in partnership with local input producers, so
far secured agriculture inputs worth US$75 million to be accessed by both A2
and Vulnerable farmers as highlighted below.
US$30 million Input Facility
9. The scheme targets farmers that have delivered grain to the Grain
Marketing Board and have not yet been paid for their deliveries. The farmers
will access inputs such as maize seed, fertilizers and lime against
outstanding amounts for grain deliveries.
10. The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development
has already proceeded to sign contracts with individual producers of inputs
on 7 October 2011 and inputs are being delivered to GMB depots.
US$45 million Input Facility
11. The scheme which we are launching today (13 October 2011) will target
500 000 vulnerable farmers including 100 000 vulnerable households and will
be complemented by cooperating partners, whose support will be announced in
12. The scheme is structured as follows:
i. US$8.1 million Agriculture Input Support Facility for the Vulnerable –
This facility will support 100 000 vulnerable farmers with an input package
comprising 1x 10 kgs maize seed or 1x5kgs of sorghum, 1×50 kgs compound D
and 1 x 50 kgs Ammonium Nitrate.
The farmers will access the inputs from GMB depots for free through a
ii. US$20.3 million Communal Farmers Subsidised Agriculture Inputs Support
facility – This facility will support 250 000 communal farmers with an input
package similar to the one mentioned above.
The identified farmers will be given a voucher which will enable them to
access inputs at subsidised prices from GMB depots on cash basis.
iii. US$ 17 million A1, Small Scale Commercial and Old Resettlement Farmers
Subsidised Agriculture Inputs support facility – This facility will support
150 000 A1, Small Scale Commercial and Old Resettlement farmers with an
input package comprising 1x 25kgs maize seed, 1×50 kgs compound D and 2x 50
kgs of Ammonium Nitrate valued at US$17 million.
Access to inputs by this category of farmers will be through the same
mechanisms as outlined under the Communal Farmers Subsidised Agriculture
Inputs Support Facility.
Comprehensive Agriculture Strategy
13. Government finance alone does not deal with the problems of agriculture.
It is important to deal decisively with the problems which lead to
inefficient spending and wastages. As I indicated in my Mid Term Statetment,
there is need for a paradigm shift.
14. Identified areas of intervention include:
• Finalisation of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme and the Land Audit;
• Defining the judicial framework governing property rights and in
particular the restoration of the land market through a judiciary
• Development of Human Capital, infrastructure, biological capital and
research including climate change;
• Strengthening use of technology including ICT;
• Establishing reliable and consistent private sector model of financing
• Establishment of open commodity exchange markets for agricultural outputs;
• Resolving the issues of compensation as defined in the GPA.
• Complementing the above will be measures aimed at enhancing farmers‟
productivity through improvements in mechanisation, high yield seed
varieties, use of fertilisers and chemicals, irrigation and provision of
15. Consistent with the liberalisation measures instituted by Government
since 2009, the Strategic Grain Reserve should operate and be managed on a
revolving basis, to allow for renewal of old stocks and stabilization of
grain supplies and prices in the market.
16. However, the current pricing policy where the maize floor prices (US$285
per ton for 2011) remain above regional parity prices (US$220 per ton) is
resulting in grain stocks accumulating without any outflows, thereby putting
unnecessary pressure on the fiscus to finance procurement of grain and
Buyer of Last Resort
17. Now that the country has achieved the targeted threshold of 500 000 MT
of grain, it is necessary for us to institute policy measures and strategies
that guarantee our farmers access to markets for their produce in a
18. Sustainable marketing arrangements will need to be put in place to
ensure that GMB becomes the buyer of last resort unlike the current
situation where the parastatal is the buyer of first choice more so given
the competing demands on the fiscus.
19. The implementation of the Commodity Market Exchange will facilitate
farmers to access markets and credit in the absence of security of tenure.
20. Additionally, security of tenure for our farmers is critical to enable
investments in the agriculture as well as mobilization of funding from the
market, particularly the banking sector.
21. In this regard, provision of security of tenure through the issuance of
the 99-year leases becomes critical.
I THANK YOU
Friday October 14th 2011
This week Robert Mugabe described the Unity Government as ‘an incompatible
marriage’ ie. a union where the parties are incapable of existing together
in harmony. That is hardly a description of a happy union but this week
Patrick Chinamasa went to the UN Human Rights Periodic Review in Geneva and
reported to the world body that everything in Zimbabwe is rosy. Despite the
fact that Chinamasa rejected 67 of the 177 recommendations to improve the
country’s appalling human rights record, he still went on to claim that
Zimbabwe is ‘committed to human rights’ and blamed the ‘continuing suffering’
in the country on ‘illegal sanctions’. He defended the infamous POSA as a
‘justifiable piece of legislation’ though it is hard to see why a nation
would require such draconian legislation if indeed all is sweetness and
light and its citizens’ rights are protected by a government committed to
human rights. Mugabe and his sycophantic Zanu PF ministers continue to
deceive the world with downright untruths about the state of affairs in
Zimbabwe. You have to wonder who believes them any more? Today, Friday, we
learn that the report which Chinamasa was touting at the UN as representing
the views of ‘the government’ had not even been seen by the MDC ‘partner’ in
this ‘incompatible marriage’ we call the coalition government!
It was the arrival of the Anglican Archbishop Rowan William last weekend
that highlighted a specific area of human rights abuse: the horrific
treatment that Anglicans have suffered at the hands of Norbert Kunonga. The
Archbishop of Canterbury handed Mugabe a dossier giving a detailed account
of how Anglican priests, nuns and parishioners have been targets of Kunonga’s
vicious campaign against them.
“We have asked in the clearest possible terms,” Williams told the press
after his meeting with Mugabe, “to use his powers as Head of State to put an
end to all unacceptable and illegal behaviour.” The question now is whether
Mugabe will keep his word and rein in Kunonga who with his banner-waving
thugs barred Rowan Williams from entering Anglican churches in Mutare and
Penhalonga. In typical Zanu PF style Kunonga has totally distorted the real
issue and turned it into an anti-homosexual rant. He accused Rowan Williams
of “acting for homosexuals” not to mention being an envoy of the British.
This was after Rowan Williams had preached what his colleagues called ‘the
sermon of his life’ in front of thousands of cheering, ululating Anglicans
in Harare. That service took place not in the Anglican Cathedral as you
would expect but in a sports stadium because Kunonga has taken over the
Anglican cathedral. “I am in charge of the church and all its properties. I
am in the cathedral. That is my throne. He cannot come here.” declared
Kunonga. No wonder the Archbishop attacked the ‘injustice and arrogance of
false brethren.’ More like megalomania than arrogance I’d say.
The question remains: will Mugabe keep his promise and do something about
Kunonga, a man whose sole objective appears to be to acquire property. Since
he appointed himself archbishop in 2008 he has seized 40% of Anglican church
property. This dispute is nothing to do with theological differences, it is
‘a result not of schism but of thuggery’ as the Archbishop of Capetown
commented. On a more hopeful note, twice this week Kunonga has lost High
Court actions and been ordered to vacate the church properties he has
Ironically, of all people it was a group of war veterans this week who said
bluntly that Zanu PF, to which Kunonga owes unswerving allegiance, had been
“ hijacked by thieves and crooks, bent on lining their pockets”. That’s
hardly a fitting epitaph for the party which liberated the country from
colonial bondage; neither is it a fitting legacy for Robert Mugabe, the
great liberator – as he would have us believe.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of the Dube
books, detective stories with a political slant set in Zimbabwe and
available from Lulu.com