The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Problems continue to mount for ZBC

October 14, 2012 in Local

PROBLEMS continue to mount for under-fire Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC) managers who are being investigated for corruption, it has emerged.

Report by Our Staff
Sources said Media, Information and Publicity minister, Webster Shamu
visited the State broadcaster last week, a day after the Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) swooped on the institution to investigate
allegations by workers that senior managers were looting.
“Shamu wanted to understand what was going on at ZBC,” said a ZBC manager.
“In the past he used to heap praises on management, not knowing that all is
not well at the company. Shamu is now under pressure from his colleagues in
Zanu PF to act against the managers. They fear that the rot at ZBC will
affect the party’s election campaign next year. ”
ZBC workers recently wrote to the ZACC alleging that their bosses were
enriching themselves while the ailing company was going aground. They
alleged that managers were paying themselves salaries of over US$20 000,
while ordinary staffers were getting between US$300 and US$600.
The workers yesterday said they had still not been paid their September
salaries as the company was struggling to raise revenue as most advertisers,
as well as viewers and listeners, had abandoned it. Shamu was yesterday
reluctant to comment. ZBC spokesperson Sivukile Simango professed ignorance
over the matter.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Government axes 6 000 ghost workers

October 14, 2012 in Local

GOVERNMENT has axed 6 000 ghost workers from its payroll, removing the
remaining outstanding issue towards initiating a staff-monitored programme
(SMP) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Report by Ndamu Sandu

In a report released after a recent executive board meeting on Zimbabwe, the
IMF said most of the “red flags” that had been raised in the payroll and
skills audit had been addressed.

“A report from the Public Service Commission (PSC) indicated that some 6 000
irregularly employed youth officers have been removed from the payroll,”
said the report.

“Also, the PSC report affirmed that the bulk of the red flags raised in the
Payroll and Skills Audit have been explained or addressed.”
An SMP is an informal and flexible instrument for dialogue between the IMF
staff and a member country on its economic policies. Under SMP, the country’s
targets and policies are monitored by the IMF staff.

Discussions towards an SMP had been held back by two issues — timely
reporting of data and ghost workers.

However, the timely reporting of data was achieved last year.

The Public Service minister, Lucia Matibenga could not confirm or deny that
the ghost workers had been axed last week.

Finance minister Tendai Biti could not be reached for comment as he was said
to be out of the country.

The World Bank financed the Payroll and Skills audit that was undertaken by
Ernst and Young (India) to flush out ghost workers.
Two reports were submitted in November 2010 and in July last year.
Most of the ghost workers were recruited just before the June 2008
presidential election run-off to campaign for President Robert Mugabe.

These included unqualified youth militias and war veterans deployed by
government and were to draw salaries from Treasury.

Some of them were those whose names were listed on the payroll as receiving
salaries, but did not exist or no longer worked for the concerned

Their payments and other benefits may have been captured by corrupt third

Biti has in the past said the money paid to ghost workers was capable of
changing the lives of the civil servants.

Early this year, MDC-T legislator for Mutare West, Shuah Mudiwa, told
Parliament that at least US$25 million would be saved monthly if the ghost
workers were removed from the government payroll.

The IMF said moving towards an SMP would require improving macro-economic
policy management and making regular payments to the Poverty Reduction
Growth Trust.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Minister stands up to Mugabe, PM

October 14, 2012 in Politics

PARLIAMENTARY and Constitutional Affairs minister, Eric Matinenga, has
defied GPA principals, saying he will not be part to any arrangement that
jeopardises the constitutional draft.

Report by Report by Nqaba Matshazi

This follows a directive by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai that he takes over the administration of Copac ahead of
the second all-stakeholders’ conference.

The move could have resulted in the executive taking over from Parliament
the process of drafting a new charter for the country.

“The process remains a parliamentary process and I am not going to interfere
with the process,” said Matinenga. “I am not going to be part of that
[taking over Copac].”

The minister was last week called by Mugabe and Tsvangirai and asked to take
over administration of the Copac processes, together with Justice minister,
Patrick Chinamasa, a request he shot down.

Matinenga insisted that when it came to Copac, he was guided by Article 6 of
the GPA, which states that parliament should drive constitutional reform.

Matinenga said Copac should be allowed to “run its course” and not be
usurped by the executive.

Zanu PF has been calling for amendments to the Copac draft, claiming it did
not reflect the views of the people.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai reportedly want to have a final say on what the final
draft would read, and had Matinenga acceded to their demands, they would
have had their wish.

“I will not be part of a process that will jeopardise acceptance of the
draft at referendum stage,” he declared. “We do not want a repeat of the
2000 scenario.”

In 2000, a referendum rejected a constitutional draft after Zanu PF and the
government campaigned for it vociferously.

Matinenga explained that the All-Stakeholders’ Conference was not meant to
edit the draft and that seemed to generate misunderstandings that the draft
could be amended.

Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba refused to comment on Matinenga’s
stance. Instead, he referred questions back to Matinenga.
Chinamasa and Tsvangirai’s spokes-person, Luke Tamborinyoka, could not be
reached for comment last week.

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting of the Copac management committee, which was
due to be held last Thursday, will now be held tomorrow.
An official at Copac confirmed that an emergency meeting had been called to
deal with the chaos bedeviling the constitution-writing exercise.

However, Copac co-chairperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said it was not an
emergency meeting, but rather a scheduled gathering.

“We were supposed to have the meeting [Thursday], but [Zanu PF
co-chairperson] Paul Mangwana, is not around,” he said.

“Tomorrow (Friday) I will be attending a funeral, so the meeting will now be
held on Monday.”

The second all stakeholders conference is set for Monday next week at the
Harare International Conference Centre.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC-T divided over draft constitution

October 14, 2012 in Politics

THE Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T is divided over the draft
constitution on the issues of presidential powers, devolution and the
running mate clauses ahead of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference
scheduled for next week, authoritative sources have said.

Report by Nqaba Matshazi

While Tsvangirai has been campaigning for the draft publicly, informed
sources say privately he was unhappy with some clauses.
The Premier has found an unlikely ally in President Robert Mugabe, who is
also sceptical of the same clauses.

The sources said party secretary-general Tendai Biti, spokesperson Douglas
Mwonzora and Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs minister, Eric
Matinenga wanted the draft constitution to be adopted as it is.

They said Tsvangirai, party negotiator Elton Mangoma and members of the
so-called kitchen cabinet were opposed to this as they felt the draft would
have stripped the president of all major powers. The Group, sources said,
was confident that Tsvangirai would win the next elections.

“The feeling is that the President, if the draft is accepted, would have
been reduced to a clerk, literally,” a well-placed source said.

“So they are fighting to have some of those powers restored.”

Ironically, Biti, Mwonzora and Mangoma were part of the MDC-T’s delegation
in the Copac management committee.

“The situation is made worse by that the lawyers — Biti, Matinenga and
Mwonzora — are on one side and some members think this puts the
intelligentsia on one side and the rest of the party on the other,” the
source continued.

Another MDC-T insider said the party agreed that Tsvangirai should not open
up the discussion with Mugabe over Copac, but the Prime Minister had
continued to do so.

This has given rise to further divisions within the party.
“When we launched the campaign to vote for the constitution, the president
(Tsvangirai) made it clear that he would not discuss the constitution with
Mugabe, but now he is doing it at their Monday meetings and this is raising
consternation within the party,” the insider said.

Biti and Mangoma could not be reached for comment this week.
But Mwonzora said reported divisions were untrue, adding that the party had
reached a consensus on all the issues in the Copac draft.

He said while Tsvangirai continued to meet Mugabe over the Copac draft, it
was not about content but rather of processes like the Second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference and security arrangements leading to the

“Tsvangirai’s position is clear, he supports devolution, this (Copac) is a
parliamentary-driven process,” he said. “This draft was endorsed by the
standing committee, the national executive council and the national

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zapu rocked by divisions

October 14, 2012 in Politics

ZAPU’S problems reached a new low last week.

Report by Silas Nkala

Disgruntled party members called for party leader Dumiso Dabengwa’s head if
he failed to reinstate expelled Bulawayo provincial chairman, Ray Ncube.

Ncube was expelled after he wrote a letter to Dabengwa chronicling problems
the party faced but was in turn accused of setting up parallel structures.

Dabengwa — the disgruntled party members charged — behaved like he owned the
party, yet he was invited by Ncube when Zapu was revived in 2008.

The members met at the end of last month and passed a vote of no confidence
in the party’s leadership.

Disgruntled members are calling for the nullification of Ncube’s expulsion,
arguing that the party had not followed procedures in suspending him as
there had been no disciplinary hearing.

“Ncube’s expulsion was done without the people’s mandate,” said one district
member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The majority of people in the 12 districts of Bulawayo are against Ncube’s
expulsion and we will fight along with him. If president Dumiso Dabengwa and
the National People’s Council (NPC) chairman Isaac Mabuka, do not want to
work with Ncube, they must go themselves.”

Dabengwa could not be reached for comment last week.

But Mabuka however, stuck to his guns, insisting that the NPC had a right
and mandate to expel errant members.

“The NPC has agreed that Malambani Dube acts as the chairman at the moment,
as the party prepares to elect a new substantive chairman,” Mabuka said.

“All the party’s district executive members are behind the new chairman and
I do not know who you are referring to as against the NPC’s decision to
expel Ncube.”

Dube confirmed he was at the helm of the province following Ncube’s

“You know that our former chairman has been expelled and the NPC agreed to
endorse me as an acting chairman for now.

“According to what I know following the meeting held this week by the NPC to
appoint me, no one is opposed to my appointment,” he said.
Zapu has been lurching from one crisis to the next, amid reports that it was
struggling to pay its rentals.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDCs defy Mugabe’s elections ultimatum

October 14, 2012 in News

THE two MDC formations have vowed to resist fresh attempts by President
Robert Mugabe to call for early elections before the full implementation of
agreed political and electoral reforms.

Report by Patrice Makova

Mugabe told the Zanu PF Central Committee on Friday that elections would be
held in March next year, whether the two MDCs liked it or not. He claimed
that the environment was conducive for the holding of free and fair polls.
But the two MDC formations yesterday said Mugabe would not succeed in
calling unilateral elections.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora said as long as the agreed electoral
and other reforms have not been implemented, his party, with the support of
Sadc, would stop Mugabe and Zanu PF from calling for early elections.

“Mugabe has always been wishing for an election where his Zanu PF is not
contested, but unfortunately he can no longer make unilateral decisions,” he

Mwonzora said if Zanu PF was serious about holding early elections, the
party should expeditiously agree to the implementation of reforms, including
the election roadmap and new constitution for the country.

“The position of the MDC is not so much about the date for elections,” he
said. “We insist on conditions that guarantee secrecy of vote and security
of both the vote and voters. If key electoral reforms are implemented today,
we are not afraid to hold free and fair polls next week.”

Nhlanhla Dube, spokesperson for the MDC formation led by Professor Welshman
Ncube, said his party would only agree to the holding of elections between
June and October next year, in line with the life of the current Parliament
of Zimbabwe.

“Mugabe does not understand what it means to level the playing field,” he

“The Global Political Agreement is very clear on reforms that have to be
made to level the playing field. Sadc at its last summit in Maputo also made
it clear that these reforms have to be implemented before elections are

But Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, insisted that the two MDCs were
powerless and could not stop Mugabe. “The only person who has the power to
call elections according to the constitution and the GPA is the President
(Mugabe),” he said.

“The two MDCs know it, but they are only making this noise because they are
playing to the gallery.”

Zanu PF Central Committee meeting agreed that the party’s primary elections
would be held soon after the delimitation exercise.

The party had previously agreed that the primaries would be held after the
Copac’s second All-Stakeholders Conference next week.

“It was agreed that there was no point in holding primary elections before
the delimitation of constituencies as this is expected to change boundaries
in several areas,” said a senior Zanu PF official.

Another source said the Central Committee also agreed to hold training
workshops for party delegates who would attend next week’s All-Stakeholders

This was meant to ensure that they project the party’s position.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

People living abroad will not vote: ZEC

October 14, 2012 in Politics

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said people living in the
Diaspora would not be allowed to vote in the next elections because of
logistical and financial reasons.

Report by Nqaba Matshazi

This is despite clamours by those living abroad who want to exercise their
voting rights.

ZEC chief elections officer, Lovemore Sekeramai told an all-party workshop
in Harare on Friday that it was difficult to administer a Diaspora vote.

“Zimbabweans are all over the world, how do we administer elections across
the world? Looking at the economy and what is needed financially, it’s just
not possible,” he said.

“We will have to airlift people and equipment from here and that is

Sekeramai said in the event that ZEC were to administer an election abroad,
the commission could not go to all the countries but would have to select
some, which could then lead to new controversies.
“If we go to Britain, Zimbabweans in Australia would ask why we did not go
there, so as it is, their voting is a logistical problem,” he said.

The ZEC official gave an example of South Africa, which did not allow people
in the Diaspora to vote and only allowed votes from Britain after a court

Sekeramai explained that if South Africa, a far much larger economy than its
northern neighbour, baulked at the expenses and logistics involved in
allowing the Diasporians to vote, then it was also almost impossible for
Zimbabwe to run such an election.

ZEC commissioner, Geoff Feltoe said legally, those living in the Diaspora
could not vote, as they were not covered by the electoral law.

He said for now, all they could do was lobby for their inclusion.
Feltoe, a University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, explained that Zimbabwe’s
voting system was ward-based and a person should reside in a particular ward
within 12 months of an election.

Most of the people in the Diaspora have been away for much longer than that.

MDC-T deputy organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe told a Zimbabwe Election
Support Network meeting recently that his party and Zanu PF had agreed to
block people in the Diaspora from voting in the next election.

There have been calls by people living outside Zimbabwe that they be allowed
to cast postal ballots but so far the clamours have fallen on deaf ears.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Byo water crisis: Churches warn of violent protests

October 14, 2012 in Local

BULAWAYO — A coalition of church organisations have warned government of
massive protests in Bulawayo as people revolt against the water crisis being
experienced in the country’s second largest city.

Report by Nqobani Ndlovu

The water shortages have also caused the closure of several companies,
resulting in hundreds of employees being redundant.

Christian Alliance, a coalition of churches that promotes peace and
tolerance, said it was a matter of time before Zimbabwe witnessed a violent
protest against government for failure to solve problems affecting Bulawayo.

Useni Sibanda, Christian Alliance director said Bulawayo’s water problems
“magnify a deliberate government policy of marginalisation of the region”.

“Government is sitting on a time bomb; it faces a rude awakening because
people are angry about company closures and water shortages,” said Sibanda.

“This will lead to chaos, violent protests because people will not accept a
situation where they are denied jobs and now water.”

Sibanda was addressing a peace building meeting organised by Bulawayo
Agenda, Christian Alliance and the Church and Civil Society Forum (CCSF),
held in Lupane last week.

Bulawayo mayor, Tha-ba Moyo has said the council may be forced to use
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) locomotives to ferry water from the
Zambezi River to the city.

“We will not sit and watch,” he said. “We have made some plans to bring
water from other towns or from the Zambezi River using the National Railways
of Zimbabwe goods trains.”

Close to 100 companies have shut down in Bulawayo since 2010, sending close
to 20 000 employees into joblessness.

The few that are operating have downsized operations while mulling
relocation to other cities, citing crippling water shortages.

Some suburbs have gone for weeks without water after the local authority
introduced a tight water rationing regime following the decommissioning of

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said water shortages and a host of
problems facing Bulawayo was a deliberate marginalisation policy by the Zanu
PF administration since 1980.

The meeting was attended by chiefs, village heads, political parties,
churches, youth organisations and Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee officials.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

PM’s vacillations self-destructive: Analysts

October 14, 2012 in Local

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s recent promise to grant a blanket amnesty
to service chiefs could dent the party’s credibility and cost him valuable
votes in the forthcoming elections, political analysts have warned.

Report byCaiphas Chimhete

The MDC-T leader last week said he was prepared to grant a blanket amnesty
to services chiefs if he wins next year’s elections, to ensure a peaceful
transition of power in the country.

But this contradicts his previous statements, that all those that committed
crimes, including violence and politically-motivated murders, would face

In October last year, Tsvangirai told his supporters in Gutu at the memorial
service of the late Public Service minister, Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro
that he would compensate victims of political violence and make the
perpetrators accountable for their deeds.

Analysts said Tsvangirai’s indecisiveness could anger victims of political
violence and his supporters, especially those whose relatives were murdered
during Gukurahundi and in the run-up to the June 2008 elections.

Some of the service chiefs are linked to rape and murder of an estimated 20
000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands during the Gukurahundi era in the

Only four years ago, security chiefs were the force behind President Robert
Mugabe’s holding on to power after the violent 2008 elections, during which
at least 200 MDC-T activists were reportedly killed.

Bulawayo agenda director, Thabani Nyoni expressed shock that Tsvangirai
wanted to give a blanket amnesty to service chiefs.
“We are very much surprised by the vacillation by the Prime Minister,” said

“Our position is that everyone should be accountable for their actions.
Tsvangirai should know that he is not the only one who should decide the
future of this country.”

Nyoni believes Tsvangirai’s statement could cost him votes and the
credibility of his party in the eyes of relatives and victims of political

Relatives of people who died during the Gukurahundi era and of those killed
during any other time would have to reconsider if it was worthwhile to
support him, he said.

“This sounds like an abandonment and people will start to consider whether
it is worth it,” he said. “People will see him as one of those leaders who
will shake hands (when he wins elections) with his rivals, as if nothing had
happened before.”

Analysts said what was most shocking was that Tsvangirai promised to pardon
perpetrators of political violence a few days after touring Masvingo, where
he met with victims who gave chilling accounts of how they were tortured by
people they knew very well.

Some of the victims have deformed faces while others lost limbs.
But their tormentors, who are walking scot-free, continue to chide them.

‘Tsvangirai trying to curry favour with generals’

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Shakespeare Hamauswa said
Tsvangirai was trying to win the hearts of the generals because they are a
real threat to him ascending to power if he wins the next elections.

He said the security chiefs were determined to protect the wealth they
accumulated over the years and avoid possible prosecution in future.

“You can’t threaten the generals who have guns, they will not allow you to
rule,” said Hamauswa. “But like Lenin [Soviet Union Founder] once said
‘Promises are like pie crusts, made to be broken’.”

He said Tsvangirai’s statement could be an attempt to manipulate the
generals into thinking they would be safe in the event that the MDC-T wins
elections and then prosecute them later.

The Human Rights Commission Bill, which was signed by President Robert
Mugabe recently, provides for investigations for past atrocities while the
draft constitution seeks to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission
to address previous cases.

However, the bill only allows for the investigation of cases of
politically-motivated violence starting from 2009, effectively burying
atrocities committed during Gukurahundi and in 2008, when most of Tsvangirai’s
supporters were butchered in cold-blood.

“The PM was simply saying the MDC will not waste time on retribution once
the party gets into power,” said MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora. “The
MDC will spend a lot of time on repairing the lives damaged by Zanu PF
militias, including some members of the security services.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

War brewing in Apostolic sects

October 14, 2012 in Community News

CHILDREN from various Apostolic sects last week challenged some practices
that exposed them to abuse in their churches, making them vulnerable in

Report by Moses Chibaya

Among the practices they vowed to resist are child abuse, early marriages
and prohibition from seeking medication from hospitals.

They also said they wanted access to information on reproductive health and
the right to sound education.

The children, who were attending a workshop organised by the Union for
Development of the Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (Udaciza) and
United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), said such repressive practices were
retrogressive and should be done away with.

The workshop was attended by children drawn from five provinces — Harare,
Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland.
“Some of our girls are married at a tender age,” said one of the

“They are married not at their will, but they are forced into some of these

Another girl claimed that at their church, teenage girls were routinely
tested for virginity and anyone found to have lost her virginity was paraded
in front of the whole church.

“We are regularly tested,” she claimed.

“Anyone found not to be a virgin is paraded. The experience is so painful.
No young man in the church will want to marry you and at the end of the day
we are left with no option but to marry someone older than our fathers.”

A girl from Mashonaland Central added: “Those married at a tender age have
children year after year because they are not able to access family planning
pills. They end up having many children, who they fail to fend for.”

Unicef gender and human rights advisor, Anna Mutavati, said the attitude
shown by the children was “something that is ground-breaking”. “We have had
many programmes targeting different children, but we have never really had
an opportunity to discuss issues affecting children who are growing up in
apostolic churches,” she said.

Udaciza secretary-general, Reverend Edison Tsvakai, said they would urge
different churches to revisit doctrines and philosophies.
“The major purpose of this gathering is to try to gather the problems that
are being faced by apostolic children; issues such as early marriages and
not sending children to school,” he said.

“We decided to engage children so that they grow up knowing what is expected
of them when they have children as far as education, health and child rights
are concerned and how they can change future generations.”

Tsvakai said they were working with the ministries of Education, Sport, Arts
and Culture, and that of Health and Child Welfare, as well as Labour and
Social Welfare, in trying to address issues affecting children whose
parents attended Apostolic sects.

But it looks like the children are definitely going to face an uphill task.

During the workshop, one elderly member of the church vowed that they would
not go for HIV-testing, claiming that such a disease was non-existent in
their church.

“Our church started in 1932 and there are rules that are there. For example,
we do not allow sex before marriage,” said the member, whose name could not
be established. “We know that we don’t get the disease because we are
faithful. So we don’t allow anyone to go for HIV-testing.”

Ministry engaging sect leaders: Mombeshora

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Douglas Mombeshora, said his
ministry was also engaging leaders of the Apostolic sects.
“We have these programmes, where we are actually trying to engage their
leaders,” said Mombeshora.

“At one point, I actually visited them and talked to their leaders for three
hours during the night and they then allowed us to immunise their children.”
He added: “It’s a process. It is a complicated issue that needs a tactful

Politicians, including President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, have in the past attended Apostolic sects’ gatherings, but have
never openly condemned such practises.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Abolish death penalty: NGOs

October 14, 2012 in Community News

TWO non-governmental organisations (NGOs) last week repeated calls for
government to scrap the death penalty which has been included in the current
draft constitution.

Report by Jairos Saunyama

The call came as the country celebrated the World Day Against the Death
Penalty last week.

Amnesty International (AI) and the Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention
and Rehabilitation of the Offender (Zacro), said they dedicated the world
anti-death penalty day to lobbying the government to lift the law that
allows for a death sentence.

AI’s Zimbabwe executive director, Cousin Zilala, said the draft constitution
had done enough justice to the issue of death penalty.

“Amnesty International welcomes Zimbabwe’s efforts to reduce the application
of the death penalty in the draft constitution, but calls on the government
to ensure equality for all by abolishing the death penalty in all cases”, he

“It is the predetermined and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the
state and it is unacceptable, regardless of the nature of the crime, the
characteristic of the offender or the method used.”

He said the death penalty was cruel, inhumane and a degrading punishment.

“It is the ultimate breach of the right to life as enshrined in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he added.

Zimbabwe last carried out executions in 2005, but there are about 60 inmates
still facing capital punishment. Zacro director, Edison Chihota, appealed to
all countries including Zimbabwe that still uphold capital punishment to
follow the example of progressive African countries such as Angola,
Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, that have abolished the death penalty.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Harare water unsafe to drink: HRT

October 14, 2012 in Community News

MOST people in Harare have since stopped drinking water from the local
authority because they believe it is unsafe, a survey by a local residents’
association has revealed.

Report by Charles Mazorodze

The survey, which was conducted by the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) in 15
suburbs recently, indicated that most residents now shunned water from City
of Harare.
Some residents are buying bottled drinking water from the shops while others
get it from boreholes.

“Those residents who attempted to drink the water have been complaining
about diarrhoea and stomach aches, yet the Harare City Council (HCC) makes
unfounded claims that the water is clean,” said HRT.

“In the process, to conceal the dire situation which the Harare residents
are subjected to, HCC has gone a step further by gagging local clinics from
releasing health-related information related to water consumption.”

HRT said such a move clearly showed the lack of sincerity on the part of the
city fathers to address the plight of residents.

“The authorities are failing to address the residents’ grievances and public
health while the council management is munching over 52% of the collected
revenue and they still admit that they have failed to perform by not
providing essential public services to the heterogeneous citizenry,” said
the association.

HRT said the failure by the council to provide clean water to residents of
greater Harare was an exhibition of high levels of incompetence and

The association said the magnitude of the water crisis in Harare required
direct intervention by the central government through the Health, Water
Resources and the Local Government, Rural and Urban Development ministries,
to engage the local authority.

Residents living in uncertainity

Most western suburbs and northern suburbs have not had city water for a long

Residents in most western, northern and southern suburbs and the generality
of the residents have lost confidence in HCC’s water.

The association said residents were receiving a barrage of letters of final
demand and summons in most high- density suburbs, which council is using to
intimidate and frighten residents into settling unreasonable and
unjustifiable bills.

The trust condemned HCC for trying to recover money from residents for
services which they were not providing.

“Residents are living in uncertainty as council has gone behind the back of
residents to seek court orders in order to continue to fleece them,” said
the association.

This is mostly common in suburbs such as Mabvuku, Glen View, Kuwadzana,
Kuwadzana Phase 3, Tafara, Highfield, Mufakose, Rugare and Kambuzuma.
In 1999, the late Harare Mayor Alderman Solomon Tawenga’s administration was
fired after failing to provide water to Harare residents for six days, owing
to corruption and rampant mismanagement of public resources.

“The honourable co-urse of action for Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and the Town
Clerk Tendai Mahachi administration, which has failed to provide clean and
potable water to the residents for over three years, is to tender their
resignation en masse,” said the association.

“How do they continue to justify being in charge of Harare if they continue
to admit that they have run short of ideas to deal with residents’ problems?
Yet they continue to take residents’ money.”

The water crisis has resulted in the outbreak of waterborne diseases such as
typhoid and cholera in the past few years.
Over 4 000 people died from cholera from the end of 2008 to 2009.

Efforts to get a comment from council spo-kesperson Leslie Gwindi were
But the council is said to have appealed to government for help as its
infrastructure is failing to cope with demand, leaving residents without
supplies for days.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Indigenisation model given thumbs down

October 14, 2012 in Business

ZIMBABWEANS are against the taking over of companies under the government’s
indigenisation and empowerment programme, which has frightened away
potential investors, a recent survey has established.

Report by Moses Chibaya

The programme is being spearheaded by Youth Development, Indigenisation and
Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

According to a recent survey by Afrobarometer, a research project that
measures public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters in
sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of Zimbabweans preferred an empowerment
programme that created employment as opposed to grabbing shares in
foreign-owned companies.

The survey, which was co-ordinated by the Mass Public Opinion Institute
(MPOI) in the country, also measures public attitudes on democracy,
evaluates quality of governance and economic performance.

According to the survey, more than 78% of the respondents preferred the
creation of jobs, as a way of empowering them, as opposed to taking over
shares in foreign-owned companies.

“More than three quarters (78%) of respondents agree with this approach,
either ‘strongly’ (24%) or ‘very strongly’ (54%),” read a statement released
by MPOI. “Zimbabweans therefore robustly endorse the empowerment-via job
creation model. Taking over companies has very mild support with only two in
10 (19%) of citizens in support for this approach.”

At least 2 400 adult Zimbabweans were interviewed in the survey.

MPOI added that this policy preference got strong endorsement across
provinces, gender, age and all education groups.

However, support for job creation consistently declined with age from 82%
among the youth (18-30) to 78% among the middle aged (31-45).

It further went down to 76% for the 46-60 age group and dipped to 72% among
senior citizens aged 61 plus.

“Support for indigenisation runs in the opposite direction ie, in other
words, it increases with age from 15% among the youth to 23% for those aged
above 60 years old,” said the survey.

The coalition government has been plagued by apparent policy inconsistency,
particularly over how to apply the indigenisation law, a move which has only
served to deter much-needed investment inflows.

The indigenisation law, which was enacted in 2007, requires all
foreign-owned companies to hand over a majority stake of 51% to local
However, unlike Zanu PF, the two MDC formations are in favour of an
empowerment model based on employment creation.

Both Finance minister Tendai Biti and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor
Gideon Gono, have registered their opposition to the laws affecting banks,
saying the move would hurt the already fragile economy.

The regulations also target the tourism sector, safari and cruise yatch


Kasukuwere has caused a great deal of consternation in the international
investment community seeking to invest in the country as the policy has
already taken its toll in the mining sector. The indigenisation policy is
now set to be applied to all foreign-owned banks.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘Trade stifled by development levels’

October 14, 2012 in Business

EQUITABLE intra-regional trade, as espoused by the tripartite free trade
area (TFTA), is being stifled by varying levels of economic development in
different countries, a cabinet minister said last week.
The envisaged TFTA is composed of member states from the Common Market for
East and Southern Africa (Comesa), Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) and East African Community (EAC).
Regional Integration and International Co-operation minister, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said individual countries in the region were unlikely
to disrupt their national industrialisation interests in favour of regional
industrial development objectives.
“The TFTA would encourage the opening up of markets to member states so as
to facilitate trade, but each individual state needs to protect its own
local industries.
“Without some form of protection, you end up messing up your own
industrialisation process,” she said.
The minister said some countries were reluctant to reduce tariffs.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga however, said there was a commitment made by member
states to assist each other in terms of working on the industrialisation
aspect, following tripartite discussions at the grand free trade area forum
in May last year in Namibia.
The existence of trade restrictions and bureaucratic regulations have also
been fingered as key impediments towards regional integration as most of the
concerned economies are reliant on revenue emanating from exports and import
The TFTA integration process is to be centred on three pillars, namely:
market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development,
with the objective of addressing member states’ productive capacity
Critics said regional integration was characterised by ambitious targets yet
member states had a drab implementation record.
For example, although governments affiliated to the TFTA last year adopted a
roadmap for the establishment of the grand free trade area, with specific
timelines for activities and an institutional framework relating to
negotiations and their conclusion, the time-frames have not been closely
In respect of tariff negotiations, member states are required to undertake
national and regional consultations on amalgamating tariff liberalisation in
each regional economic community and submit remarks to a tripartite task
force before end of this month.
A researcher with the South Africa-based Trade Law Centre, Sean Woolfrey
said instead of being a binding regional industrial policy, the language of
the draft TFTA suggested an approach simply based on co-operation between
“The downside of this weaker approach is that it opens up the possibility of
some member states forging ahead with domestic industrial policies based on
national objectives, while other less proactive members fail to make
substantial progress in this area,” said Woolfrey in a research paper.
“Such a situation could easily serve to exacerbate existing levels of
inequality in industrial development in the region.”

Tariff negotiations

Under the tariff negotiations, member states that are presently
participating in free trade areas are encouraged to extend the maximum level
of tariff liberalisation achieved in their regional economic communities to
all other TFTA states.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Africa needs new models for economic growth

October 14, 2012 in International, Opinion

Africa’s liberation movements have dismally failed to deliver on their
promises because they were simply unrealistic and unachievable.

Report by Vince Musewe

The liberation movements promised political freedom to the masses; in
addition to that, they assured that the masses would own the means of
production and the natural resources of their countries. They actively
condemned capitalism as the source of all evil and promised to create more
equitable and just societies, with the black African at the centre stage.

Almost all have dismally failed to deliver on their promises because they
were simply unrealistic and unattainable. Instead, our so-called liberators
have become the true capitalists, who do not only control political power,
which they continue to hold onto, but have also accumulated considerable
personal wealth through corruption and pillage. The cry for economic freedom
by the ordinary African citizen has become an inconvenient irritation, to be
soothed and hopefully contained by empty sounding political rhetoric.

Post-independent Africa has clearly failed to deliver. As I watch events
unfolding in South Africa, I am not surprised at all that the masses have
run out of patience, and are taking matters into their own hands. It appears
to me that traditional trade unions are fast-becoming irrelevant platforms
to address what are fundamentally structural economic problems.

The situation is certainly going to get worse, as the realisation dawns on
most that, sustainable economic transformation is not about higher wages,
better work conditions or higher social grants, these are temporary. We
need significant shifts in the structure of African economies: from raw
capitalism, which is characterised by incessant accumulation of economic
power by a few, to a more equitable economic welfare system that seeks to
deliberately expunge mass poverty.

Most post-independent African states have failed to shift their economies in
that direction because of weak political leadership that simply adopted the
colonial capitalist state, because it was convenient and less painful. They
pursued the safest route of preserving the capitalist regimes of
pre-independent Africa, by getting a few blacks to graduate into owners of
capital without fundamentally changing the economic system.

What this has done, is to create a black elite, keen on preserving an
exclusive resource ownership regime. The masses are wondering what could
have happened to the promised economic freedom.

This has been the experience in Zimbabwe for example, hence 32 years later;
we are still talking about indigenising the economy. This, besides having
already taken over vast agricultural resources of the country.
Unfortunately, this will not work because it lacks credibility and vision.
Our politicians and the top military brass have carved out for themselves
lucrative sectors of the economy and are effectively running a parallel
economy, to the benefit of a few.

The masses are expected to irk out a living while remaining at the fringes
of the economy. South Africa has done no better; the poor have become more
marginalised as we see a rapacious black capitalist class emerging. These
black elite are far removed from realities of shack dwellers and underpaid
miners who are now fighting for economic freedom. The chickens are coming
home to roost.

I do not think that, as long as we pursue the capitalist model of
production, we are going to see meaningful economic freedom in Africa as
articulated by South Africa’s “economic freedom fighters”. Capitalism
favours those that have and penalises those who supply labour and those who
aspire to enter the market.
It also favours the proliferation of international conglomerates in the form
of monopolies and oligopolies, whose brands and products have become the new
colonisers. The black capitalists have partnered with international
conglomerates to entrench in development projects, thus further entrenching
the skewed ownership structures.
You must appreciate that, the international capitalist model has Africa at
its fringes, providing raw material, as was the case during colonial times.
It has Africa receiving aid to address its social problems while providing a
huge consumer base for its technology and consumer goods. The Chinese have
mastered this and are, as we speak, extracting significant wealth from
Africa. We have been duped.

As far as I see it, we need to have this conversation in Zimbabwe. It is
imperative that we have new conversations on how we can create a new
economic system rather than merely reviving and strengthening the
post-independence capitalist base. As we try to revive the economy, it is
critical that we address the fundamental inappropriateness of capitalism as
a tool for the democratisation of economic power.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

PM’s private life his undoing in the coming elections

October 14, 2012 in Opinion

The scandal-ridden private life of the Prime Minister goes way beyond mere
reckless sexual contacts; it goes to the core of good governance, the MDC-T’s
prospects for electoral victory and good common sense, as it will be shown

Report by Laiton Mkandawire

Morgan Tsvangirai has displayed a lack of basic common sense, a prerequisite
in all good leaders. The guy goes to hunt in protected enemy territory. When
he is discovered and exposed for poaching, he alleges the government’s
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)’s, involvement in his love life. He
wants the nation and the entire world to believe that Zanu PF and the CIO,
and not his promiscuity, led to his troubles.

Even those who initially believed the Zanu PF and CIO-plot excuse proffered
by Tsvangirai, must have been shocked when the man they believe will deliver
political change in Zimbabwe failed to change himself and went back to Zanu
PF territory to get another lady with her roots steeped deep in the party,
Elizabeth Macheka.

The natural question to ask our Prime Minister is: if Zanu PF and the CIO
are seeking to destroy your political career and penetrated your
relationship with a Zanu PF lady, Locardia Karimatsenga, what has changed to
stop them from penetrating your relationship with Elizabeth, another Zanu PF
daughter? It is an apparent and glaring lack of clear-mindedness and good
judgement on the part of the man entrusted by millions of Zimbabweans, who
believe in him, with the momentous task of unshackling Zimbabwe from the
tight grip of Zanu PF rule.

It must be disappointing to his legion of loyal followers and others seating
on the fence who believed in his potential to unseat President Mugabe from
the throne. The man admits to multiple, concurrent, and unprotected sexual
relationships and yet has the temerity to point fingers at enemies for the
liaisons. Did the CIO find him the women? Did Zanu PF and the CIO undress
him in readiness for unprotected sexual acts, resulting in pregnancies?

Sexual addiction is a common enough health condition. Admit to it and seek
professional help before even attempting to assume the mantle of national
leadership and embarrassing the whole nation. To believe that Tsvangirai was
looking for a wife when he was sleeping with all those women would be the
height of naivety. He was being an Aids ambassador, rather.

More worrying to the entire MDC-T family is Tsvangirai’s public apology for
his sexual indiscretions at an MDC-T function in Bulawayo to celebrate its
13th year of existence. It goes to show how easily the man mixes business
with pleasure at the party’s expense. Imagine a future Zimbabwean president
making such an apology at a public forum asking for forgiveness for sampling
the delights of the nation’s women with reckless abandon. And the apology
was insincere because, directed at the women he caused pain and suffering,
he has not privately made peace with them, at least not with Locardia, who
is now being blamed for miscarrying as if it was by choice.

Does Zanu PF need to campaign vigorously in the next national elections? No.
Tsvangirai will campaign for them harder than they can ever imagine with his
own mistakes. That’s how bad Tsvangirai is to his own cause. He is scoring
own goals. All Zanu PF has to do is “harmonise” the disgruntled womenfolk’s
vote and romp to a resounding victory, courtesy of a clumsy presidential

It’s high time the opposition in Zimbabwe in general took a good look at
themselves in the mirror. Is the picture that you see not ugly? Tsvangirai
has betrayed people’s aspirations and dashed their hopes.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chinamasa’s tone inflammatory

October 14, 2012 in Editorial

Patrick Chinamasa was the Zanu PF candidate for the Makoni Central House of
Assembly seat in the March 2008 elections.

Standard Comment

He was defeated by the Movement for Democratic Change candidate, John
Nyamande. He polled 4 050 votes against Nyamande’s 7 060.

President Mugabe appointed him to the Senate in August 2008 and subsequently
swore him in as Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs in January the
following year.

It is highly unlikely that he will win the seat come elections next year.
The reasons he lost it are as valid today as they were then. It is clear
that his political life depends on Mugabe’s magnanimity. He is not the only
one who finds his political fortunes hinged on those of one individual. That
is what makes him and like-minded individuals in Zanu PF a danger to peace.

The danger he poses was manifested in the interview he gave to the BBC last
week. In the interview he said that the military and veterans of the 1970s
liberation war would rise against Morgan Tsvangirai if he wins the
presidential elections.

Not only has Chinamasa taken it upon himself to be the spokesman of the two
groups, but also, the tone of his words implies that he is ready to incite
the groups to subvert the popular will.

The language Chinamasa has chosen to use is quite inflammatory and can
easily turn into hate speech. We have seen how the war vets have acted in
the past when they have taken the law into their own hands with the backing
of the military. Hundreds of people have died in the past 12 years at the
hands of paramilitary gangs who have been incited by Zanu PF’s political
leadership. The scenario is likely to repeat itself if people like Chinamasa
continue to use stirring language during a time when the country is going
through such a delicate phase.

Chinamasa should know that ultimately, it is the people who decide whom they
want to be ruled by and politicians who have failed, and are unlikely to win
future elections, must explore other career paths.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Managing change: Lessons from Senegal

October 14, 2012 in Editorial

Saly is a seaside resort perched on the Atlantic coast south of Dakar,
Senegal. It is the foremost tourist destination in West Africa, despite the
stifling heat which is immense because of the humidity; it’s like you are in
a microwave oven whose timing mechanism has been removed. You have the sense
of being cooked slowly, so much so when you eventually escape into the
air-conditioned interior, you are like a sizzling under-done steak, juices
ooze out of you, you can almost hear the heat hiss as it escapes from deep
inside your body.

Report by Nevanji Madanhire

The sea stinks at Saly; as the waves lash out at the shore, the odours of
the sea come all pervasive and overpowering. The smell of the sea is in the
food as well; it makes your stomach churn and the cramps make you double
over as if you have been hit in the abdomen by a hammer blow.

But all is not gloom in Saly. Tourism is thriving and is the backbone of the
economy. European visitors can be seen everywhere, their skins burned into a
dark hue by the searing heat. They don’t mind for they will quickly enough
cool off in the hotel complexes and later in nightclubs, bars and
restaurants. There is plenty of water sport too, so tourists are in and out
of the green water.

Senegal is a French-speaking country, very few natives speak English. Your
nightmare stay in the country begins right at the point of entry because of
the language barrier. There are no English language newspapers either and TV
programmes are all in French.

It was difficult, therefore, to learn much about the “new” Senegal; new in
the sense that it had a new, younger president in the shape of 50-year-old
Macky Sall.

Dakar seems to have improved a lot since my last visit in 1994 with new
buildings going up. I am afraid though that the new high-rise buildings may
not be up to our exacting engineering standards, the concrete columns are
way too thin to carry the weight. I think very soon the buildings will begin
to collapse as has been happening in Nigeria.

I wanted to know the effect the coming in of a new president has had on the
general populace and what the general attitude towards him was? I was also
keen to know the lessons that could be learnt from the transition and the
things that can’t be taken for granted when change happens?

So many questions, the answers all embargoed in a concrete language barrier!

Then I had a brainwave; there was Trudy Stevenson, our ambassador to
Senegal, playful, talkative and otherwise quite disinterested in her
discourse! But as journos would know, it’s very difficult to get anything
that would shake the world from a diplomat unless one can really read
between the lines of diplomatic-speak.

But I was able to glean interesting anecdotes from her and also from the
people on the market, who in their attempt to con me out of the little money
I had, gave me snippets of what was going on in Senegal.

President Macky Sall’s honeymoon is over! Not fast, it’s only been six
months! Yes. Six months is what history gives to those who would wish to
change the world. The euphoria of change has dissipated and criticism is
coming in thick. Sall’s detractors accuse him of nepotism and sloth, the two
vices most responsible for Africa’s woes.

Senegal remains a country of contrasts and contradictions, as do the
majority of our countries here in Africa. So Dakar has magnificent high-rise
buildings and architectural prize-winners with splendid views over the coast
and ocean, but just next door in the same Dakar are the slums of Pikine and
Guediawaye, where sheep, goats, rats, flies and fleas graze on the garbage
thrown out by entire families living in one room.

Sall embodied change, in this election, and everyone wanted change. But as
he has proceeded to appoint relatives and close associates to key positions
in both government and parastatals people are beginning to ask the obvious
question — is this really change?

Analysts believe he is doing his best to keep his promises, but the
circumstances are not favourable — so he has had to face reality and be
pragmatic. What has impressed commentators, apart from the election itself
and the peaceful transition, is the extent to which the new “opposition”
president has retained the previous institutions and eminent citizens in all
their various positions in exactly the same positions. This, they argue,
ensures institutional memory and hand-down. Is this a lesson Zimbabwe can

What is clear in the people’s body language is that they were extremely
reinvigorated by the change in their sense of patriotism and their immense
pride in their country for managing that change so well — they frequently
cite Senegal as the best democracy in Africa, and the Senegalese as the most
democratic and tolerant.

While other predominantly Moslem countries erupted into rebellion recently
over the Innocence of Islam video, Senegal didn’t. Senegalese insist that
Islam preaches tolerance and peace. This was proof enough of this.

Perhaps the most important lesson from the Senegal transition is that a
highly educated, professional and apolitical security sector is vital.
Senegal’s generals are highly professional — they don’t dabble in politics
and are proud of it. But, it was amazing how many of former President Wade’s
closest allies appointed to high posts by Wade himself abandoned him either
immediately before or immediately after the second round. Forget about our
own generals causing trouble when Robert Mugabe loses; they will be the
first to abandon ship and salute Morgan Tsvangirai, such is fickleness of
human nature!

Another lesson — it is important that the defeated president has somewhere
to go outside the country, at least for the first few months after the
change, without appearing to be fleeing.

Civil society played a huge part in managing the change — and they need to
be allowed to do that. It was largely thanks to civil society that there was
no violence. Another aspect of the Senegal election — many of the
politicians are highly qualified professionals with their own resources.
They also openly fund-raise in the west — in US, France and Canada in
particular — and this is accepted as perfectly normal. Linked to that, the
military and the civil servants seem sufficiently well-paid that they are
not dependent on hand-outs or kick-backs from government.

Back to the Top
Back to Index