By Violet Gonda
30 September 2009
A two day all stakeholders land conference started in Harare on Wednesday,
to try to find ways to revive the shattered agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, senior government officials, bankers, and
farming groups were among the participants at the conference, funded by a
multi-donor trust fund.
A recent report by government stated that since the so-called land reform
programme started in 2000, 203 farms out of the gazetted 6,571 farms have
John Worsley Worswick from Justice for Agriculture (JAG), and a participant
at the conference, told SW Radio Africa that while it is true that over 200
farmers have been compensated, it does not constitute fair and equitable
compensation for their properties. He said the government financial offers
ranged from five to 10 percent of the true value of the property. JAG said
in many of the cases this left the farmers destitute after being forced to
accept these 'ridiculous offers from the government."
Furthermore, Worswick said the government has not been following its own due
process on the issue of compensation. "There should have been a compensation
board set up, a compensation fund set up and the compensation board should
have actioned qualified valuators to go on to the farms and for that
valuation to form a basis for a written offer to the farmers."
The JAG spokesperson also said the first day of the stakeholders conference
did nothing but expose the polarisation in opinion about the crisis in the
agricultural sector, between those from government and all the other
stakeholders. He said many are concerned that Zimbabwe is facing yet another
disastrous agricultural season and another drought. "But on the government
side they made light of this saying it is very prepared and the same
propaganda talk that we have seen in the past, and told we have all the
ingredients for a good harvest if not a bumper harvest. So the polarisation
there is quite massive," Worswick said.
Stakeholders say a return of the rule of law and respect for property rights
are absolutely essential to bring back investor confidence and for the
restoration of the economy.
Over 4 000 farmers have so far been violently evicted from their farms in a
land 'redistribution' programme that has mainly benefited Robert Mugabe and
his inner circle. Many of the beneficiaries own multiple farms and most of
these farms are lying barren and unused.
Meanwhile, it is reported that a taskforce set up by the government to
investigate reports of farm invasions will present its preliminary report to
the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee on Thursday. Many
observers have queried why there has to be yet another report, when the farm
violence is already extremely well documented.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe's remaining beleaguered farmers face daily violence and
attacks, while they wait for someone to do something about the crisis that
has made Zimbabwe one of the most food aid dependent countries in the world.
By Tichaona Sibanda
30 September 2009
The three principals to the Global Political Agreement will meet on Monday
next week to push for the conclusion of all outstanding issues in the Global
A highly placed source in government told us that before Mugabe left for his
New York trip, the principals agreed to deal with the issues on his return.
Mugabe is back in the country and on Wednesday chaired the weekly cabinet
'They don't discuss GPA issues in cabinet but they will meet on Monday where
remaining issues in the GPA will top the agenda,' our source told us.
James Maridadi, Morgan Tsvangirai's spokesman, confirmed the three leaders
will meet next week but would not confirm what they would discuss.
In the last two months Mugabe has reneged on a number of promises, all the
while insisting that it is the MDC who has not honoured the pledges in the
power sharing agreement. But it is Mugabe who has delayed appointing
provincial governors from the MDC formations, backtracked on swearing in Roy
Bennett and who has flaty refused to reverse the appointments of the Reserve
Bank governor and Attorney-General.
Mugabe has been telling his supporters that the MDC-T is not doing enough to
influence its 'allies' to lift targeted sanctions which, along with the
closure of external radio stations, remain the only outstanding issues as
far as he is concerned. . The sanctions were slapped on him and selected
members of his previous government in 2002, for human rights violations and
Last week in New York Mugabe all but conceded that targeted sanctions
against him won't be lifted anytime soon. He told Reuters news agency that
he was giving the U.S. Obama administration time to lift the sanctions,
saying he did not expect immediate action.
The ZANU PF leader said he was giving time to the Obama administration to
make their decision, which he said they inherited from George W. Bush. He
said of Obama; 'They found them (targeted sanctions) on his desk and we don't
expect him to get rid of them that quickly.
The European Union said recently it will not remove sanctions targeting
Mugabe and his loyalists, or resume development aid, until more is done to
implement the year-old power-sharing agreement and restore human rights.
Political analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga said Mugabe is now aware that he has no
valid excuse to delay implementing the GPA in full.
'When the SADC summit met in the DRC early this month, they gave him a stay
of execution by supporting his call to lift sanctions on the basis that he
will go back home and implement the GPA. He has not done that and I'm sure
there are leaders in the region who are putting pressure on him to deliver
on his promise,' Mhlanga said.
He added; 'The ball is now in his court because its clear the western
nations will not budge until he introduces more reforms,' Mhlanga said.
By Blessing Zulu
29 September 2009
A decision from Zimbabwe's Supreme Court on Monday barring further
prosecution of human rights activist Jestina Mukoko on terrorism charges has
caused alarm among top government officials and the country's security
forces implicated in her late-2008 abduction and torture.
Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, and others seized by state
security agents and later charged with plotting to overthrow the government
of President Robert Mugabe, filed suit against the state for various abuses
to which they say they were subjected, and have vowed to identify those who
allegedly abducted and tortured them.
Mukoko was abducted by state security agents last December from her home in
Norton about 40 kilometers northwest of Harare, the capital.
Seventeen activists of the Movement for Democratic Change have sued their
alleged abductors and named the Home Affairs co-ministers, Giles Mutsekwa of
the MDC and Kembo Mohadi of ZANU-PF as defendants along with Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa and State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramai as
Mukoko's lawyer said she is seeking damages from the state of US$510,000.
Combined, the activists are suing for a total of US$19.5 million.
Attorney General Johannes Tomana told VOA that the state will respect the
supreme court decision. He added that the state will continue to prosecute
the other activists, though he conceded that his office cannot prevent the
activists from suing.
The state has tried to block publication of the names of the alleged
abductors and torturers, arresting newspaper reporters and editors who
published reports based on court documents. But now legal experts say the
Supreme Court decision leaves them exposed.
Lawyer Andrew Makoni told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that the Supreme Court judgment concerns Mukoko alone.
The Telegraph newspaper have put a Swedish company under the
spotlight, reporting that: “DeLaval, a leading equipment firm based in Sweden,
is part of the giant Tetra Laval group owned by the Rausing dynasty
which includes some of Britain’s wealthiest people. It sold a 32-cow-capacity milking parlour, two giant cooling tanks and
consumables worth £300,000 to Gushungo Dairy Estate, now controlled by Grace
Mugabe.” A few days ago The Sunday Telegraph broke the news that Nestlé was
one of Grace Mugabe’s biggest customers, buying milk from her dairy empire based
on farms stolen from commercial farmers. The Swiss government has its own set of
targetted sanctions imposed against some of the Zanu PF elite profiteering out
of illegal activities, and Grace Mugabe is one of them. On the Swiss [sanctions] list she is described as “spouse of the head of
government and as such engaged in activities that seriously undermine democracy,
respect for human rights and the rule of law”. The Swiss government have since distanced themselves from Nestlé
Zimbabwe saying Swiss targetted sanctions measures do not apply to
Nestlé Zimbabwe: a spokesman for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said the
rules only applied to companies in Switzerland itself, and not their foreign
subsidiaries. Officials had contacted Nestlé headquarters in response to the
Telegraph story, he said. “Nestlé confirmed that no
individuals or companies in Switzerland were in any way involved in the relevant
transactions,” she said. “Therefore, no further investigations are planned at
the moment.” Nestlé has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the
purchases (via The Telegraph). DeLaval, the Swedish company, appear to have responded with
integrity and accepted responsibility for what they have done: Benoit Passard, DeLaval’s spokesman, said the company “regrets to
confirm” that its South African subsidiary had carried out the deal. He said: “At the time of this transaction, we had no knowledge or reason to
believe that the beneficial owner of the farm was Mrs Mugabe. “With today’s facts at hand we should simply not be part of this kind of
controversial business transaction. “Unfortunately our internal control systems have failed and we will initiate
a project to review and strengthen them to avoid a reoccurrence of a similar
event.” The company was investigating to see if its actions had breached the
sanctions measures, he added. “Should that be the case, it would clearly be a breach of our code of
business conduct.” I do hope companies doing business with the Mugabes and other elite members
of the asset-stripping Zanu PF government are becoming aware that they can’t
hide, and that they will be sniffed out and publically asked to account for
controversial deals. I hope too that the the subjects of these targetted
sanctions are becoming increasingly aware that its not going to be easy to
profiteer in Zimbabwe. Well done The
The Telegraph newspaper have put a Swedish company under the spotlight, reporting that:
“DeLaval, a leading equipment firm based in Sweden, is part of the giant Tetra Laval group owned by the Rausing dynasty which includes some of Britain’s wealthiest people.
It sold a 32-cow-capacity milking parlour, two giant cooling tanks and consumables worth £300,000 to Gushungo Dairy Estate, now controlled by Grace Mugabe.”
A few days ago The Sunday Telegraph broke the news that Nestlé was one of Grace Mugabe’s biggest customers, buying milk from her dairy empire based on farms stolen from commercial farmers. The Swiss government has its own set of targetted sanctions imposed against some of the Zanu PF elite profiteering out of illegal activities, and Grace Mugabe is one of them.
On the Swiss [sanctions] list she is described as “spouse of the head of government and as such engaged in activities that seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law”.
The Swiss government have since distanced themselves from Nestlé Zimbabwe saying Swiss targetted sanctions measures do not apply to Nestlé Zimbabwe:
a spokesman for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said the rules only applied to companies in Switzerland itself, and not their foreign subsidiaries.
Officials had contacted Nestlé headquarters in response to the Telegraph story, he said. “Nestlé confirmed that no individuals or companies in Switzerland were in any way involved in the relevant transactions,” she said. “Therefore, no further investigations are planned at the moment.” Nestlé has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the purchases (via The Telegraph).
DeLaval, the Swedish company, appear to have responded with integrity and accepted responsibility for what they have done:
Benoit Passard, DeLaval’s spokesman, said the company “regrets to confirm” that its South African subsidiary had carried out the deal.
He said: “At the time of this transaction, we had no knowledge or reason to believe that the beneficial owner of the farm was Mrs Mugabe.
“With today’s facts at hand we should simply not be part of this kind of controversial business transaction.
“Unfortunately our internal control systems have failed and we will initiate a project to review and strengthen them to avoid a reoccurrence of a similar event.” The company was investigating to see if its actions had breached the sanctions measures, he added.
“Should that be the case, it would clearly be a breach of our code of business conduct.”
I do hope companies doing business with the Mugabes and other elite members of the asset-stripping Zanu PF government are becoming aware that they can’t hide, and that they will be sniffed out and publically asked to account for controversial deals. I hope too that the the subjects of these targetted sanctions are becoming increasingly aware that its not going to be easy to profiteer in Zimbabwe.
Well done The Telegraph.
By Violet Gonda
30 September 2009
AfriForum, a South African civil rights initiative, on Wednesday launched an
international campaign calling on people to boycott all Nestlé products,
until the company stops buying 'blood milk' from Robert Mugabe's wife Grace.
An outcry erupted early this week when it was revealed that the Mugabes own
12 farms between them and that the Swiss national food giant has been buying
milk from Mrs Mugabe, who controversially 'acquired' Gushongo Dairy Estate.
This was after the previous owner was forced to sell his farm at just a
fraction of its value, after a prolonged campaign of violence in 2003.
AfriForum CEO, Kallie Kriel, told SW Radio Africa that the pressure group
has launched a website, www.nestlebloodmilk.com, asking people around the
world to boycott Nestle products, unless the company stops buying the milk
from Mrs Mugabe by October 7th. Afriforum said it will embark on protest
actions at Nestle offices around the world if there is no response from the
company by that date.
The South African civil rights group has sent a letter to the headquarters
of Nestlé in Switzerland and the affiliates of the company in Africa,
demanding that the purchase of milk from Mugabe should be stopped.
Kriel said the milk produced on the farm can be described as 'blood milk'
because the farm, as well as the production process, is a result of the
oppression of thousands of Zimbabweans by the Mugabe regime. He said the
regime has blood on its hand and for Nestle to support Mugabe's inner circle
makes them complicit and should make them rethink.
A statement from AfriForum also said: "Nestlé's purchase of approximately 1
million litres of BLOOD MILK from the dairy farm which Mugabe had "obtained"
under questionable circumstances, is a denial of the basic human rights of
every Zimbabwean whose blood has been spilt, and is still being spilt at the
hand of Mugabe's brutal security forces and vigilante groups. Nestlé owes
the people of Zimbabwe an apology."
2 hrs 14 mins ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe - The World Bank is donating $74 million to help poor
farmers in Zimbabwe.
David Rohrbach, a senior agricultural economist for the bank, says the money
will benefit 700,000 families, helping to buy seeds, fertilizers and other
agricultural equipment for the coming harvest.
The money will be channeled through non-governmental organizations involved
in the agricultural and humanitarian sectors.
Many international donors prefer not to make donations directly to the
government for fear it will be misspent.
Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of the region but has been struggling to
feed itself. The country's political crisis has crippled the economy. A lack
of fuel, tools, seeds and fertilizers have been blamed for poor harvests.
Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:38pm GMT
* Beatings of farmers, farm workers increasing
* Farm disruptions cause drop in output
By Muchena Zigomo
PRETORIA, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Violence on Zimbabwe's farms, which were once
the country's economic mainstay, is worsening and farmers are taking "an
even bigger hiding" than before, the country's Commercial Farmers Union said
Many white farmers have been evicted from land by President Robert Mugabe's
government since 2000, as part of a land reform programme credited with
causing a slump in agriculture. "The reality is that we're receiving an even
bigger hiding now than before," said CFU president Deon Theron. "Although
everything seems to be fine on the outside ... the rule of law just isn't
there. It's applied very selectively," he told an agriculture conference in
Pretoria, South Africa.
Disruptions to farming were still enormous, possibly denting hopes that the
country would kickstart its agriculture sector and end years of hunger and
Finance minister Tendai Biti said last month that Zimbabwe expects to
harvest 2.5 million tonnes of the staple maize in the 2009/10 season, more
than double the 1.2 million tonnes harvested the season before.
However, the figures have been disputed, and the CFU, a grouping of the
country's remaining white farmers, says maize output will drop to 396,250
tonnes this year from 417,000 tonnes in 2008, largely due to disruptions
caused by farm violence.
Critics and rights groups say a power-sharing government formed by Mugabe
and bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now the country's prime minister, has
failed to clamp down on rights abuses in the country.
The government was cobbled together after a disputed election, but the pact
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai has been beset with problems as their parties
accuse each other of failing to implement the deal fully.
"There has been progress, but the reality is that the government of national
unity has no unity," Theron said. (Reporting by Muchena Zigomo; editing by
Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:51pm GMT
By Nelson Banya
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's farmers' unions on Wednesday warned the
country could face another grain deficit in the next season due to poor
preparations and lack of funding, despite government projections of the
biggest harvest yet.
Zimbabwe, once a regional bread basket, has failed to feed itself since
2001, after President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms to
resettle landless blacks.
Mugabe and long-time rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, formed a
power-sharing government in February in a bid to end a protracted political
and economic crisis.
The new government has projected maize output of up to 2.5 million tonnes
next season, which would mark a return to food self sufficiency for a
country that had about 7 million people -- over half the population --
relying on food aid last year.
Zimbabwe needs about 1.8 million tonnes of the staple maize per year,
according to official figures.
But farmers' unions attending an agricultural conference convened by the
government and donors in Harare on Wednesday expressed doubts over the
The Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU), which represents most of the country's
black farmers, said the forecast was optimistic.
"What we're seeing on the ground paints a different picture," ZFU vice
president Berean Mukwende told Reuters.
"Many farmers are having difficulties, in terms of accessing inputs and time
is running out."
"The rains are upon us, yet we're still talking about finding finance," said
Charles Taffs, vice president of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which
represents the few remaining white farmers in the country.
"I have been around the country and seen how unprepared we are. We are going
to have another deficit."
Ngoni Masoka, a senior official in the Ministry of Agriculture, said that
increased government funding and donor support would raise cereal
Foreign aid groups have raised $74 million so far, in a drive to provide
inputs to 685,000 households.
Masoka, however, remained adamant that production would rise significantly
"Last year, we were assisted by the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), through South Africa, to get 300 million rand. Now we are talking of
more money, so we should produce more," he said.
Farmers attending the conference said problems relating to land title were
also affecting the funding of agriculture.
Unlike the previous owners, the newly resettled farmers have no title deeds,
making it difficult to borrow from banks.
Zimbabwe has issued 99-year leases that banks refuse to accept as collateral
because they cannot be sold or transferred.
"We need to address the ownership issue of land so that we go back to the
situation where farmers have security of tenure," CFU's Taffs said.
"Without that we are not going anywhere and we may just stop thinking of the
recovery of the agriculture sector."
U.S. Embassy Harare
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Standard Chartered Bank of Zimbabwe (Stanchart) today signed an agreement that will enable the bank to expand its lending by US$20 million over five years. The program, made possible under USAID’s Development Credit Authority, is targeted at the agricultural sector and will allow Stanchart to increase the number of loans directly to farmers and enterprises that can provide inputs and technical assistance to small holder farmers with the ultimate objective of increasing productivity and production.
Donald Petterson, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. at the U.S. Embassy, witnessed the signing ceremony. He hailed the cooperation between USAID and the private sector to support the recovery of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector.
“The credit authority is being established as one of several assistance programs, above and beyond U.S. humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe, which have come about because of President Obama’s commitment to provide agricultural and other assistance to the people of Zimbabwe. President Obama made this commitment to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during the prime minister’s June 2009 visit to Washington, D.C. The assistance demonstrates the will of the American people to assist Zimbabwe to restore its once vibrant agricultural sector,” said Petterson.
Stanchart Head of Origination & Client Coverage Samuel Nhakaniso signed on behalf of Stanchart while USAID was represented by Mission Director Karen Freeman. The ceremony was also attended by senior U.S. Embassy officials and representatives of Stanchart.
USAID Director Freeman also announced that her organization, through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, will provide approximately 13,000 vulnerable households with seeds and fertilizer for the coming agricultural season through $1.7 million in funding to the Food and Agriculture Organization and NGOs.
USAID’s Development Credit Authority Program is already operational in over 23 countries worldwide, assisting thousands of enterprises to access the financing they need to grow their businesses.
# # #
The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years. For more information on USAID programs in Zimbabwe, please visit www.usaid.gov/zw
Issued today by the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. Contact: Tim Gerhardson, Public Affairs Officer, Tel. +263 4 758800-1
September 30th 2009
30 September 2009
In a cruel twist, Zanu PF - practised in the art of one-sided war, sabotage
and thuggery - have resorted to tagging their civic opponents with a
sinister new label - asymmetric warriors.
At the opening of a military training seminar earlier this month, the
Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Lieutenant-General Philip Sibanda, accused
non-governmental organisations and private radio stations of waging
asymmetric (one-sided) warfare against Zimbabwe by spreading hate messages
that he claims will lead to "rioting, despondency, and eventually cause
"Our country is undergoing asymmetric type of war where all means are used
to achieve set objectives by our detractors," said Sibanda. He said the
country's armed forces would "not sit by and watch them threaten our
hard-won peace and independence."
But in reality, Zanu PF is using this as a pretext to justify its
retaliation against those who are peacefully challenging President Robert
Mugabe and his henchmen. By claiming a war situation, the army wants to
legitimise the use of military force against supposed 'terrorists' who
criticise the current regime.
For decades, Zanu PF has waged one-sided warfare against any political
movement it perceives to be a threat to its vicious grip on power, resources
and influence. Now it is promising to focus on civic organisations, too.
"Given their past track record, we should be concerned," said Helmoed
Heitman, correspondent for Jane's Defence Weekly. "They are going to do
everything they can to ensure Mugabe stays in power."
While Zanu PF accuses its detractors of fighting an asymmetric war, they
have already engaged in an asymmetric war of their own, with the mass
destruction of townships and the planting and 'discovery' of arms caches on
targeted individuals' property.
The aim is to justify the oppression of the opposition and to enable
subsequent charges of 'treason,' which carries the death penalty in
Zimbabwe. To them, it is treason to want a better life.
Observers are concerned that an asymmetric war could escalate into
full-blown civil war. The military training seminar certainly points in that
direction, its aim being to equip the military with the latest in warfare
Subjects covered include intelligence gathering, asymmetric warfare, the law
and use of force, and low intensity operations (LIO), a military term for
the deployment of troops in situations other than war. LIO is really just a
fancy name for state terrorism.
Just as alarming is a recent report by the International Peace Information
Service (IPIS), a Belgian-based research hub, stating that Zimbabwe is
stockpiling modern weapons. The report noted that throughout last year, when
the political climate was most volatile, it tracked shipments of arms in and
out of the country, which posed a threat to Zimbabwean citizens.
In the space of 48 hours last August, 53 tons of ammunition were allegedly
flown from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Harare, said Brian
Johnson-Thomas and Peter Danssaert, authors of the report.
The first shipment comprised 32 tons of 7.62×54mm cartridges and the second,
which is believed to have arrived two days later, contained 20 tons of
7.62×39mm cartridges, the kind of ammunition used in AK-47s.
Four months earlier, a controversial consignment of arms from China aboard
the An Yue Jiang made headlines when the Durban High Court ordered that its
controversial cargo could not be transported across South Africa to
Zimbabwe. However, the IPIS report claimed that the consignment was flown
into Zimbabwe a month later from Angola.
The urgent question is why is ZNA investing in weapons and training in
asymmetric warfare now? The population at large is unarmed and offers no
resistance to Mugabe and his men who are accustomed to operating with
impunity, no matter how horrifying the crime.
So who are they afraid of? Is it the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU)
or Southern African Development Community (SADC) peacekeepers? Or are they
afraid the Zimbabwean citizens are finally losing patience?
Heitman said the recent positive talks between Mugabe and the EU could be
making those at the top uncomfortable. "They may be afraid of being left out
on a limb."
A further theory is that Mugabe and Joint Operations Command are already
strategising for a referendum on a new constitution and the next general
election. Credible reports indicate that discussions are underway with
Venezuela, Cuba and Korea to fund a war-chest for this purpose.
Lieutenant-General Sibanda's comments have caused an international alert.
According to SW Radio Africa, Loughty Dube, chairman of the Media Institute
for Southern Africa - Zimbabwe (MISA), said Sibanda's statements were
dangerous and reckless. He said hate speech can destroy communities and
should be condemned.
Genocide Watch put Zimbabwe on high alert in 2002, and are currently
updating their assessment. On June 20, 2008, Genocide Watch issued a
politicide warning in response to Zanu PF's brutal post-election and
pre-Presidential run-off election campaign during which appalling atrocities
were perpetrated and more than 200 people were killed, some hacked to death
or burnt alive.
Are Sibanda's words pointing to another pogrom in Zimbabwe? If we're even
asking that question, then we need to take his words seriously. The
inclusive government needs to challenge the intentions of the national army,
which should be protecting civilians, not attacking them.
Mugabe must be prevented from gearing up for another Gukurahundi-style
Zimbabwe Democracy Now
Masvingo, September 30, 2009 - Interviews to select trainee nurses at
a Roman Catholic's Msiso Mission Hospital in Zaka were abandoned on Tuesday
following a directive from the Masvingo governor that two thirds of the
places should be filled in by Zanu PF youth.
The course starts mid October.
Mission sources said it had no choice but to give in to the directive
by Titus Maluleke.
"It was very embarrassing to have all the 20 students getting in
without being interviewed. What also pains most is the fact that a lot of
competent candidates who had applied for the course had to be dumped so that
these would be accommodated," said a highly placed source at Msiso.
Speaking on behalf of the church, Father Walter Nyatsanza, said: "I
can confirm that there are some problems as some big guys would also want to
bring their people. There is a serious problem and we are afraid that some
competent people might be left out along the way. I can not comment further
than this on telephone,"
Masvingo Governor denied the allegations saying: "I do not want to
talk about that issue to you. There is nothing I did and I do not want to
get questions about that from you again."
Member of Parliament for Zaka West constituency, Festus Dumbu,
complained over the issue saying the people in his constituency were
planning to demonstrate at the mission. He said the standards of health
professionals must not be compromised by a few greedy individuals from Zanu
"We are aware of the incident and we are not happy. The people here
are planning to stage a demonstration at the mission sometime this week. We
do not want to see that happening. Few corrupt individuals must never be
allowed to continue ruining this country willingly," said Dumbu.
By KITSEPILE NYATHI, NATION Correspondent, HARAREPosted Wednesday, September
30 2009 at 14:38
Zimbabwe has pulled out of a regional court, which ruled that 78 white
farmers can keep their farms because Harare's land reforms programme
discriminated against them.
A year ago, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal ruled
that Zimbabwe had violated the treaty governing the 15-nation regional block
by violently seizing the white owned farms.
President Robert Mugabe has refused to abide by the ruling, which said his
previous government was "in breach of the SADC treaty with regards to
The failure to respect the judgment had caused friction within the unity
government Mr Mugabe formed with his former foe and now Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
Last week, Mr Tsvangirai said one of the challenges the government faced was
the refusal by Mr Mugabe's Zanu PF party to respect international protocols.
The Prime Minister had vowed that he will ensure Zimbabwe complies with the
SADC Tribunal's ruling.
But on Wednesday, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, Mr Patrick Chinamasa
said the council of ministers chaired by Mr Tsvangirai has endorsed Zimbabwe's
decision to pull out of the SADC Tribunal until the court's mandate had been
He said the ministers had agreed that the jurisdiction and functions of the
court based in Windhoek, Namibia should be reviewed in line with a
resolution by the SADC summit held in the DRC.
"It was also agreed that the review should look at the persons or entities
over which it will exercise that jurisdiction and the Tribunal's
relationship to national courts such as our Supreme Court as well as
determining which cases it can look at as a court of first instance and,
which cases it can adjudicate upon only after exhaustion of domestic
remedies," Mr Chinamasa told the Herald newspaper.
Zimbabwe argues that the tribunal is not yet operational because the
protocol establishing it has not been ratified by the requisite two thirds
of the regional block's membership as per the conditions set in the SADC
"The meeting was satisfied that the tribunal was not yet operational because
the protocol giving it powers, functions and parameters of jurisdiction and
the amendment have not yet been ratified by the requisite two-thirds
membership of SADC as required by the treaty and the protocol itself," he
"This means that any decisions that the Tribunal took are not binding on
Zimbabwe because it is not yet legally subsisting.
"Zimbabwe is among those countries which have not yet ratified and therefore
is not yet even a State party to the protocol."
Only Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius and Lesotho have ratified the
Zimbabwe's remaining few white commercial farmers say they are under siege
from Mr Mugabe's militant supporters who stepped up the farm invasions
following the formation of the unity government.
The invaders who include senior security commanders and Zanu PF officials,
with the veteran ruler's tacit approval, have ignored court rulings ordering
them to stop interfering with farming activities.
Government's decision to pull out of the tribunal means the farmers now have
nowhere to turn to for protection.
Harare, Zimbabwe - The Zimbabwe government said Wednesday it had
short-listed six companies, most of them from outside the country, to take
over the nation's huge loss-making iron and steel company.
The government owns a majority stake in the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company
(Zisco), but wants to off-load this to an investor willing to revive the
company's operations and take over its huge debt of US$300 million.
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said six bidders, most of them from South
Africa, had been selected and the winner would be announced shortly.
Zisco, which has shut down operations due to lack of capital and other
difficulties, is the first company to be earmarked for privatisation by the
country's new coalition government.
The government wants to raise US$8 billion to revive Zimbabwe's shattered
"The government will only come up with a winner after a technical team
tasked to look into Zisco has presented its findings. The technical team is
expected to submit the results of its findings before the end of the month,"
Among the bidders are Arcelor Mittal and Murray and Roberts, both of South
Africa, and steel companies from India.
Harare - 30/09/2009
By Patience Rusere
29 September 2009
The government has until next week to respond to a report compiled by the
Kimberley process team alleging human rights abuses in the Marange diamond
The report comes two months after the KP team's visit to Zimbabwe. It
details alleged human rights abuses against the people of Marange and the
The KP team interviewed ordinary people, human rights lawyers, government
officials, chiefs and other interested parties during their stay in Zimbabwe
before drafting the report.
Studio Seven was unable to obtain comment from Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.
But press reports quote him confirming receipt of the report and promising
to adhere to the Kimberly process reccommendations.
Sources say after the Zimbabwe government's response a Kimberly Process
committee will meet to decide whether or not to suspend the sale of diamonds
from the country in November.
World Diamond Council chairman Eli Izakoff, told Studio Seven reporter
Patience Rusere that it is important Zimbabwe adhere to the reccommendations
if it is to continue trading in diamonds on the world market.
Wed Sep 30, 12:41 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A senior US official called Wednesday for African nations
to keep pressure on Zimbabwe to ensure it moves towards democracy and hailed
the role of South Africa's new President Jacob Zuma.
Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for Africa, said Zimbabwe
has made "important progress," particularly in reviving a crippled economy,
since President Robert Mugabe entered a power-sharing deal in February.
Under the so-called Global Political Agreement (GPA), Zimbabwe is supposed
to draft a new constitution by August next year followed by free elections
in a nation led by Mugabe for nearly 30 years.
"The international community has joined us in calling for transparency in
the process of drafting a new constitution and the conduct of closely
monitored elections," Carson testified before the Senate Foreign Relations
"We also call on the nations of Africa, in particular the members of the
Southern African Development Community, to ensure that Mugabe and his
cohorts fully implement the GPA and work toward democratic reform," he said.
Carson said the United States was "pleased" that Zuma visited Zimbabwe in
August and "stressed the importance his government places on democracy and
respect for human rights in Zimbabwe and compliance with the GPA."
Western nations had uneasy ties with South Africa's former president Thabo
Mbeki in part due to his insistence on engaging Zimbabwe rather than
punishing Mugabe for purported abuses.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in August hailed a new relationship with
South Africa after she visited and met with Zuma.
September 30, 2009
Southern Province police commanding officer Lemmy Kajoba has revealed that
Livingstone police on Monday night retrieved the body of a Zimbabwean
national who plunged to death at the Victoria Falls on Friday.
"Yesterday [Monday] at 19:00 hours, we retrieved the body of Mr Temba, a
tour guide and driver of Sun Way Tour Operators of South Africa who plunged
to death on Friday after saving a tourist who had fallen into the Zambezi
River and was about to be swept over the falls into the gorges. The
operation took that long because the body was spotted at a place where the
water from the falls drops on and we had to wait for the body to shift
positions. So when the current shifted the body, we managed to puddle to
where it was and retrieved it.
by Own Correspondent Wednesday 30 September 2009
HARARE - University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Geoff Feltoe has emerged as the
leading candidate from 25 applicants following interviews of prospective
commissioners to the Independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (IZEC) by
Parliament on Monday, sources said.
Feltoe, Dr Phillip Mazorodze and two members of the controversial Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) - Joyce Kazembe and Theopilus Gambe - make up the
top four of the 12 candidates whose names will be forwarded to President
Robert Mugabe from which he will select the final eight people.
Members of Parliament's standing rules and orders ommittee and human
resources consultants had by Monday evening completed the scoring of marks.
"Geoff Feltoe emerged the winner from the 25 people who we interviewed
earlier in the day," a source from the standing rules committee told
ZimOnline on condition that his name was not published.
"He was followed by Joice Kazembe, and the other lady who did well during
the interviews was Dr Petty Makoni. The names will be taken to the President
who will elect the final eight names from the 12 that would be submitted to
him. The President will also elect a chairman but not from the current
Another source from the interview panel also confirmed that Feltoe had come
first ahead of all the candidates.
"Feltoe emerged the winner after scoring high marks during the interviews,"
the source said. "This time around unlike the last time when the interviews
for the media commission were held, there was unanimity as to who the winner
was. I doubt if they would be any hullabaloo as to who the winner is.
Some of the candidates who were interviewed on Monday were Evelyn Manyame,
Yakayama Dube, Nancy Saungweme, Stan Mubonderi, Phillip Mazorodze, Eliah
Njini, Susan Changawa and Naboth Chaibva. Davison Kaunokanya, Vivan Ncube
and Sethimbiso Khupe did not turn up.
The five panelists were Senator Obert Gutu (MDC-T), Mutoko North Member of
the House of Assembly Marble Chinomona (ZANU PF), Bulawayo East Member of
the House of Assembly Thabitha Khumalo (MDC-T), Mangwe Member of the House
of Assembly Edward Mkhosi (MDC) and Chiefs Council president Fortune
The IZEC is part of several commissions to be formed by Zimbabwe's
power-sharing government as part of a raft of reforms meant to reshape and
democratise Zimbabwe's politics.
The other commissions provided for under Constitutional Amendment Number 19
that established the power-sharing government are the Zimbabwe Media
Commission (ZMC), Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).
Once the commissions and a new constitution are in place the government will
call fresh elections with the whole process that began in February expected
to last between 18 to 24 months.
Rich Western nations have refused to back the Harare government or lift visa
and financial sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle seven years
ago, saying they were not happy with the slow pace of political reforms. -
September 30, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - THE Parliament of Zimbabwe pampered the Speaker, Lovemore Moyo, for
12 months by booking him into executive suites in the world-famous elegance
of the Meikles Hotel in Harare, it has been reported.The online Zimbabwe
Guardian newspaper reports that Parliament forked out a total of $6 000 a
month for the comfort of Moyo, whose own home is in the second city of
It is reported that Moyo stayed in the sumptuous ambience of the Meikles
since his controversial election to the position of Speaker of the House at
the end of August 2008. He only checked out at the beginning of September
after Parliament secured a house for him at a rental of US$1 800 per month,
a saving of $4 200 of his monthly bill at the Meikles.
Renting a house for the Speaker right from the beginning would have saved
Parliament a total of $50 400 over the year.
Moyo, 44, was elected Speaker of Parliament on a ticket of the Movement for
Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Moyo is the
national chairman of the party. Questions submitted to the information and
publicity department of the party on Monday seeking to establish whether the
party's chairman had, indeed, indulged in the alleged profligacy had not
been responded to by Wednesday morning.
The questions were submitted to MDC official spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, who
is the Minister of Information Communication Technology in the government of
national unity and to Luke Tamborinyoka, the director of the party's
department of information and communication.
The Guardian reported that Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, had confirmed
last week that Moyo had been booked into the Meikles Hotel after Parliament
failed to secure "suitable" accommodation for him in the capital city.
Members of Parliament and guests of the House normally stay in the
three-star New Ambassador Hotel, just across Kwame Nkrumah Avenue from
Zvoma reportedly went on to reveal that Parliament had recently paid more
than US$10 000 in bills for the Speaker's stay at the hotel. It was not
clear from the report whether the decision to book Moyo into the Meikles was
made by Zvoma in his capacity as chief executive of Parliament or whether
Moyo had insisted on the five-star hotel as his accommodation of choice.
Zvoma is a long-serving Clerk of Parliament and a powerful Zanu-PF stalwart.
He is not very popular in MDC circles.
In July the MDC expressed shock that the Clerk of Parliament had produced a
report that the chaos that disrupted the first day of the All Stakeholders
Constitution-making process was caused by unaccredited delegates from
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOS).
"The report presented by the Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, is a typical
report concocted at Zanu PF headquarters. It misses by miles the truth that
Zanu PF senior officials and rowdy Zanu-PF youths were the authors of the
chaos," said the MDC in a statement,
Zvoma reportedly further disclosed last week that Parliament to date owed
more than US$400 000 to service providers, including hotels,for services
Meanwhile, Members of Parliament have complained that vouchers by Parliament
have been rejected by hotels and other service providers that are owed vast
amounts of money.
The Guardian reported that repeated efforts to obtain comment from Moyo over
his US$201 per night stay in Zimbabwe's premier hotel had been in vain. The
Speaker's monthly bill was at least US$6 030 a month. The total bill for the
year Moyo was in residence at the Meikles would have been at least $72 360 -
enough to buy a decent house in Parklands, Bulawayo, or Westgate in Harare.
The average civil servant survives on an allowance of $100 a month.
"Parliament's demands far outweigh resource allocation," Zvoma was quoted as
telling the Guardian, a newspaper which is characterised as leaning towards
When an MP is elected as Speaker of the House of Assembly, he leaves his
constituency to live in the capital city.
September 30, 2009
By Owen Chikari
MASVINGO - A fresh outbreak of cholera has hit Chiredzi District in Masvingo
province where five new cases of the disease were reported this week, health
officials have said.
This brings to 10 the number of cases that have been reported over the past
week, following another five new cases which were reported in Chipinge in
Health officials here said the five fresh cases were reported in the Sengwe
Communal along the Mozambican border.
"We have deployed personnel to the affected areas and the situation is under
control", said a senior official within the Ministry of Health. "It would
appear the disease is spreading from the neighbouring Mozambique".
Masvingo provincial medical director Robert Mudyirandima said: "I am yet to
get officials reports but it would appear cholera has affected parts of
Mozambique as such some of our areas along the border risk being affected."
Officials in the ministry yesterday said that initial tests had proved that
the reported cases were confirmed as those of cholera.
"We are yet to establish whether it is ordinary diarrhoea or cholera but
initial tests have indicated that it's cholera," said one official who said
he was not authorised to speak.
Zimbabwe's inclusive government is battling to resuscitate the health sector
which had virtually collapsed for almost a decade.
Last year hundreds of lives were lost due to a cholera epidemic which swept
The country's major urban centres are battling to restore their water and
sanitary services which had collapsed over the years with Harare, the
capital, grappling with a serious water shortage, the worst in living
Some parts of Harare have been without water for up to two years running and
the country's other cities and urban centres have not been spared from the
Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera said the health sector was
well on its way to recovery since the consummation of the inclusive
government in February this year.
By MIKE MAKOMO
Published: September 30, 2009
HARARE - BARCLAYS Zimbabwe has started providing Visa facilities on their
automated teller machines for individuals who hold Visa-branded cards issued
by other banks.
Holders of Visa-branded cards issued by banks outside Zimbabwe that are
international can withdraw US dollars cash from Barclays ATMs countrywide.
The accessibility of Visa on Barclays ATMs has globalised the Zimbabwean
banking environment and provided tourists with a financial solution away
Commenting on the activation of Visa on all Barclays ATMs, Barclays acting
managing director, Lawrence Nyazema, said: "This is a good achievement, not
only for Barclays, but for all sectors as this allows visitors coming into
Zimbabwe to access banking services via the ATM.
This has been a key issue since the economy dollarised, and it is pleasing
that Barclays has been able to contribute to making Zimbabwe an easier
destination to visit."
Barclays retail director, Francis Ruwanda, added: "Our partnership with Visa
has allowed us to offer service convenience to all Visa card holders,
including Zimbabweans with offshore accounts."
The dollarisation of the economy without the use of international credit
cards has discouraged international tourists from visiting the country.
Zimbabwe's tourism sector, like almost all other sectors of the economy, is
operating on a cash basis but most international tourists prefer to use
In most cases, up to 99 percent of international tourists rely on plastic
Published: September 30, 2009
HARARE Some 300 cell phones are stolen in Zimbabwe every day with the
authorities doing little to recover them, an industry official has said.
C G Butau, managing director of Phonetrace Zimbabwe, a cell phone protection
agency launched recently said, "There is accelerated theft of mobile phones
in Zimbabwe. People are parting with confidential information, such as phone
numbers. Three hundred handsets go missing every day and most are not
Butau said efforts by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to recover the
phones largely failed as the authorities did not have the necessary
technology. Under the Phonetrace system perfected in Finland, missing phones
can be located using each handset's unique serial number. The phones are
then tracked using the global satellite tracking system known as GSM.
Another company official, Jimmy Chamboko said the organization would work
with the police to recover stolen handsets. Lost phones that are found can
be traced back to their owners if they are registered with the service.
Meanwhile there is a roaring business in stolen mobile phones in Zimbabwe.
Regular raids at shopping malls in Harare, where the phones are bought and
sold have apparently failed to stop the trade.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that some corrupt policemen are part of the
Cell phones have become the standard way of communication in the country as
the monopoly state-run fixed line network Tel One has virtually collapsed
due to shortages of cash to import equipment to revamp its antiquated
equipment. Theft of cables has also accelerated the problem.
AN 18-YEAR-OLD Mutare girl stricken by a rare disease which has deformed her
face arrives in London on Thursday for an operation after a successful worldwide
fund-raising campaign. Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana is set to undergo an operation at the St
Bartholomew's Hospital on October 10 to treat her of the unusual disease known
as cemento-ossifying fibroma -- a hard fibrous growth in the jaw and mouth that
will continue to enlarge unless treated. Accompanied by her mum Thandiwe, Nomatter will touch down at London’s Gatwick
Airport at 6.20AM aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight from Harare. The national
airline donated two return tickets. Betty Makoni of the Girl Child Network which fronted a worldwide appeal to
raise £10,000 for the operation said on Tuesday that “all preparations for her
here in UK are now in place”. She added: “We are happy to announce that we hit the target for the appeal
and we suggest that anyone who wants to donate after October 1 can do so
directly to Tare’s mum.” By Tuesday, the appeal had raised £10,178. Of that, £8,000 is to be paid
directly to the hospital for the operation and covers up to 15 days of intensive
care following the operation. Nomatter, whose dream is to become a doctor, should be sitting her final A’
Level exams in Maths, Biology and Chemistry in October but she will be on an
operating table fighting for a second chance at life. The surgery will involve removing the tumor and a partial or complete removal
and rearrangement of her jawbone as well as a partial removal, grinding and
rearrangement of the maxilla -- paired mouthparts located behind the jawbones
used for swallowing. Those wishing to contact Nomatter’s mother are advised to call
30/09/2009 00:00:00 by Staff Reporter
AN 18-YEAR-OLD Mutare girl stricken by a rare disease which has deformed her face arrives in London on Thursday for an operation after a successful worldwide fund-raising campaign.
Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana is set to undergo an operation at the St Bartholomew's Hospital on October 10 to treat her of the unusual disease known as cemento-ossifying fibroma -- a hard fibrous growth in the jaw and mouth that will continue to enlarge unless treated.
Accompanied by her mum Thandiwe, Nomatter will touch down at London’s Gatwick Airport at 6.20AM aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight from Harare. The national airline donated two return tickets.
Betty Makoni of the Girl Child Network which fronted a worldwide appeal to raise £10,000 for the operation said on Tuesday that “all preparations for her here in UK are now in place”.
She added: “We are happy to announce that we hit the target for the appeal and we suggest that anyone who wants to donate after October 1 can do so directly to Tare’s mum.”
By Tuesday, the appeal had raised £10,178. Of that, £8,000 is to be paid directly to the hospital for the operation and covers up to 15 days of intensive care following the operation.
Nomatter, whose dream is to become a doctor, should be sitting her final A’ Level exams in Maths, Biology and Chemistry in October but she will be on an operating table fighting for a second chance at life.
The surgery will involve removing the tumor and a partial or complete removal and rearrangement of her jawbone as well as a partial removal, grinding and rearrangement of the maxilla -- paired mouthparts located behind the jawbones used for swallowing.
Those wishing to contact Nomatter’s mother are advised to call +447508286549 from Thursday
SW RADIO AFRICA TRANSCRIPT
HOT SEAT: Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited Chairman, John Moxon denies externalising funds and threatens to take legal action against co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa, who accused him of externalising millions of dollars. He also reveals he was forced to flee the country last year after he was warned that CEO Nigel Chanakira had motivated Affirmative Action Group Chairman Supa Mandiwanzira, Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, to ‘molest him.’
BROADCAST: 25 September 2009
VIOLET GONDA: On Hot Seat this week we continue with the saga surrounding the specification of one of the country’s largest companies, Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited. Last week I spoke to co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa who said he authorised the seizure of the company because Chairman John Moxon committed a serious crime by externalising millions of US dollars. On Thursday I spoke to John Moxon himself, who gives us his side of the story. Thursday was also the day that riot police stopped the company’s shareholders from holding their EGM in Harare , where they wanted to remove group CEO Nigel Chanakira. I first asked Moxon to tell us what happened.
JOHN MOXON: They were to meet in terms of the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which had been called, giving the appropriate notice – which is just short of a month’s notices. And the purpose of the meeting was to remove three directors from the board. Those being Chanakira himself as the Director and Chief Executive; Callistus Jokonya and Busi Bango – all of whom are closely associated with Chanakira. And they were to be removed because the board felt they were obstructing the process of de-merging the bank from the rest of Meikles – that was Kingdom Bank. The final resolution was to remove those directors from any of the subsidiary boards of the company. That was the purpose of the meeting. It was to start at 10am and the shareholders assembled at the venue for the meeting but they were told when they got there that there is a court order organised by Chanakira and I assume government to postpone the meeting for two weeks. So the meeting was postponed for two weeks. There were present police and other security forces to ensure that shareholders complied with this order. So they all dispersed and that was the end of it.
GONDA: Was Mr Chanakira himself present for the EGM?
MOXON: No, Mr Chanakira is in Johannesburg . He is allegedly ill, which is one of the reasons given for the court order. In other words they were suggesting that for compassionate reasons the meeting should be postponed. How ill he is I don’t know but we do know from people who spoke to him, yesterday, that he managed to conduct his business quite satisfactory from wherever he was in hospital. So he can’t be that ill.
GONDA: Oh so he is actually in hospital.
MOXON: He was admitted, we understand, to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg .
GONDA:Is it known what is wrong with him?
MOXON: We heard on record, which is his own voice, voice clips that he had flu.
GONDA:I spoke to one of the Home Affairs Ministers Giles Mutsekwa and he accused you of externalising funds. Did you commit a crime? Did you externalise funds?
MOXON: Violet, the comment externalisation conjures up in anyone’s mind illegal transfer of monies or assets from Zimbabwe to another country, and that is why I don’t like the word externalisation. In our case money was invested in South Africa from Zimbabwe with Reserve Bank approval and the funds were remitted by the Reserve Bank to South Africa on our behalf. Those were the days prior to the present Reserve Bank governor’s office. It was when Leonard Tsumba was still governor – in other words it goes back before the current people there. Now the documentation for all this is available and has been given to the Zimbabwe State President in the last few weeks and it is hoped that he will use his offices to rectify these accusations.
As far as the co-Minister is concerned his comments or his accusations are defamatory and I have handed that over to my lawyers and I imagine they will be taking action against him. He has said things about me which are untrue and which he has to accept responsibility for. I have been advised, in fact, to sue him by other government Ministers – which is interesting. But I am still going to ask my legal people to advise me on what I should do.
GONDA:When you say you got authorisation years ago, you mentioned that it was during the time that Leonard Tsumba was the Reserve Bank governor, how long ago was that exactly, and is it not the case that a company needs to get authorisation for each and every transaction?
MOXON: Yes but that transaction was done in the early 2000s and our whole process of transactions goes back in fact to 1996 onwards. So we are talking over a very long period of time and a period over which the company developed a very good relationship with the Reserve Bank on these investments. Originally the company did its IPO in 1995, 1996 and at that point in time the foreign investors, who had invested in the company, were encouraged to invest on the basis that the company was to go regional and invest not just in Zimbabwe but in the region. And that was the basis in which we raised substantial sums. In fact it was the largest capital raised that Zimbabwe , up to that point, had ever done. And that whole process was negotiated with the Reserve Bank prior to the IPOs and so we are really going back a process of 15 years now.
GONDA:But when you were given this authorisation were you given a blank cheque, you know cart blanche, or the authorisation was just for one transaction?
MOXON: No it was for different transactions. There was a transaction connected to the Cape Grace Hotel (SA), there was a transaction connected with a company called Rebserve. So there were specific transactions at the time and those still exist. The entire business investments of the Meikle group – whether in Zimbabwe or elsewhere - were all displayed in the annual reports every year for shareholders to read and at the investor presentations which were held twice a year for many years – these were all discussed.
GONDA:So can you describe the nature of the allegations against you then and why you think you are being targeted?
MOXON: I think it all goes back to April last year when it came to my view, my opinion that the relationship between us as a family – or me in particular - and Chanakira was not going to survive. The family had the view that he had his own agenda and his own objectives different from the Meikles ones and we didn’t approve with the manner in which he was trying operate or run that company. Now moving forward from April we got increasingly concerned and in August we tried to remove him by calling an EGM for that purpose but he managed to get that blocked in the courts, as we now have now. At that point in time the family – despite having 43percent of the shares – were isolated because the board of directors as a whole at that time were not terribly supportive of the family nor were certain shareholders. And they all felt that Nigel Chanakira was doing a satisfactory job.
However by January and February of this year the major shareholder – Econet and the appointees to the board saw that this was not the case and they have been supportive in trying to remove Chanakira from the board. It’s no longer a battle between Chanakira and Moxon which is portrayed in a lot of the press. It was a battle between Chanakira, his appointees to the board, his friends outside the company – in political circles, and the company itself and management in the company and the workers in the company. The opinion in the company and the group is that they do not want Chanakira there and hence this effort at the EGM to have him removed and today (blocking of EGM) has been a big disappointment to management and to the employees of the company because they are really hoping that this situation can be sorted, that the company can progress, that the company can attract additional investment and become a vital company once more, in the Zimbabwean context.
And I am told, although I am in Johannesburg and not in Harare , I am told that the long faces amongst management after the EGM frustration is very relevant. They are furious, they are angry. They are angry that the EGM was once again frustrated, frustrated by elements in government, by Chanakira himself - whether he is ill or wasn’t ill. And all it has done is stop the company from progressing further and looking after its 4 500 employees for the benefit of one or two individuals - in this case probably one individual.
So Violet the issue is that he must go, he must go. He must go his own way and the company must then rebuild and that is where we are at. The whole board, it was the board who called the EGM, not Moxon, not the Meikles family. We were not part of that. It was the board. So over this last 12 months the entire board has gradually come around the view which Moxon saw last year that this man was the wrong man for that job. And the EGM we had on June 22 nd – the purpose of that EGM was to separate the group to dis-invest from the bank. That the bank - which he considers his - goes its own way and that Meikles go its own way. But there were problems involved with that separation and hence the present problems.
The main problem is that the bank has been advanced monies from Meikles to capitalise it properly – in terms of the Reserve Bank requirements – and those funds have to go back to Meikles. And then the case that the bank is going to struggle to do that. So even the de-merger, the publicised de-merger from June 22 nd has not been implemented and that is why we still have these problems today. Shareholders at that time were of the opinion that ‘lets de-merge the bank, that the bank goes its own way and let Chanakira go with it and let Meikles then look after itself.’
GONDA:What were the indicators that showed Mr Chanakira was the wrong man for that job because there are allegations that you are victimising him, or only want to remove him from the company because he disapproved with the way you were running the company and had noticed that you were illegally externalising money?
MOXON: Well Violet I think if you were to have a survey today of management and employees and I think the bank inclusive, you will find that there is no support for him. So it’s not me who is saying now that he has been the wrong man for that job. I am saying that, of course I am saying that but I am one of 4 500 people who are saying that and as far as his accusations are concerned, it started off in this manner:
After the merger at the end of 2007, and I will always remember this, we had a very good management conference. He stood up at the conference and told all the managers present and said ‘one thing I can tell you all is that John Moxon is not a racialist’ and then he presented me with a bible, and I have still got that bible. Now that was a start and it was a good start.
But when this dispute started, the first thing that happened was I was accused of racialism. And he has even conveyed those accusations to the State President, which I object to very much. The next thing is he went to the Reserve Bank and made false accusations of externalisation. The next thing that he did was get the family (Meikles) specified, and he achieved that. Now no one is going to start fighting the family’s battles because the family consists of five people only. So no one is going to fight that battle – one of those people is in a mental home anyway. So what does he know about what goes on in the company and in business in general. He is unable to earn a living for his whole life unfortunately.
So now because an EGM was called to remove this man from office, and that EGM was called by the board of directors and not by Moxon, who is no longer a director - he immediately went to government and got his own company specified. Now that I do know for a fact because management, after it was specified, went to see the MDC Minister of Home Affairs to object to the specification - and I noticed that he is saying they were my emissaries. They were not. They were acting on their own and for the 4 500 people. They were concerned and I can understand that. So they went to the Minister of Home Affairs and complained about the company being specified. Next thing that happens is the EGM being cancelled by government. And that started earlier in the week when the so-called investigators wrote a letter to the chairman of the company saying that anyone who attended the EGM would be committing a criminal offence. They said any shareholder, any employee, anyone and if that is not intimidation what is intimidation?
The day before the EGM, the co-Minister had a meeting with the chairman of the company at which the government, through the co-Minister, said they didn’t want this EGM to take place. So they decided that they would stop it on the basis of compassionate grounds for this so-called sick man - and that is what happened. But result of blocking of the EGM is not whether it hurts Moxon or Chanakira but it has hurt 4 500 people and that is the issue now. And I think there is going to be a heightening of tension now because the company does not want Chanakira and that is it. Although, I am getting to be an old man now to appoint, the company in fact wants me back and not him. And that is the message you will get if you were to question people in the company, even if you were to ask the waiters, the waiting staff in La Fontaine. If you go to TM supermarkets, the stores, that is the message you will get from them all.
GONDA: Which Minister ordered the blocking of the EGM?
MOXON : It was the MDC Minister for Home Affairs, Giles Mutsekwa and he agreed with the Chairman of the company Much Masunda, accompanied by one of the directors of the company called Dennis Stevens; they agreed that on compassionate grounds they would recommend to the shareholders that the meeting would be postponed. Now, when the shareholders as a whole arrived at Meikles Hotel for the meeting and they were denied entry into the meeting place, they were told apparently that a court order had been instituted in the morning with Justice Garwe that the meeting could not take place on compassionate grounds because Chanakira was ill. Now that was at half past nine; the meeting was supposed to be at 10am and I’m told that they had riot police outside the hotel, they had plain clothes police, there was a real threat there to shareholders who assembled there to do nothing more than to exercise their rights as shareholders to vote.
GONDA: But Mr Moxon, once a company has been specified, is it not a fact that a board, or the company’s board can no longer, or has no legal weight or authority after it has been specified? That under the Anti-corruption Act, once there’s a declaration, the powers of whatever board cease and are then passed onto an administrator?
MOXON: Violet, there are two answers here which I want to make. The first one is, if one was to examine the Act carefully, the board of directors are not restricted from calling an EGM, in fact it is their duty to call an EGM or an AGM , and it’s their duty still to carry out their judiciary duties. In this case the administrators have adopted powers which are not part of the Act and they are doing this by intimidation of the people in the company. If you were to speak to some of the management in the company who have close contact with those administrators, it is just like – and I’ll use this expression – it’s just like the Gestapo in Nazi Germany, it is no different. That’s their tactics. Now the second point I want to make Violet is this, the lawyers, both the company’s lawyers which is Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans, my lawyers which is Sternford Moyo of Scanlen and Holderness have pointed out to government that in fact both the company and the family, the Meikle family are not in fact legally specified because the specifications were done illegally, they were not done properly and so we are not specified, none of us are specified at law and that the administrators are, as a result of that, unlawfully appointed and it’s a nullity. That is the situation legally but of course in Zimbabwe today, the law - what is the law?
GONDA: It appears from a recent interview you did with Moneyweb recently you only brought in Nigel Chanakira because you wanted him to be a token black face, to be seen as complying with the government’s policy of increased black participation and that you actually never intended to adhere to this policy. Would you agree with that observation?
GONDA: And you know it’s also believed that Chanakira is a small fish in this whole saga, do you think there is someone or some group or somebody who is bigger or behind Chanakira in this case?
GONDA: Speaking about the Minister, when I interviewed him last week, he said you sent representatives but you denied this earlier on in the interview, but the minister said you sent in representatives to him and you gave him assurances, through the representatives that you would repay whatever money you externalised. But now you are saying this is a lie, this never happened so what does this really mean? Are you not going to repay the so-called 21 million US dollars that was allegedly externalised?
MOXON: Violet those emissaries, as I think they were described, were not sent to see the Minister by me. They were representing management and the employees of the company, quite rightly to object to the specifications because of its impact on the company and in that context I think they would have told the Minister what they thought. And I don’t know what they told the minister because I’m not privy to that and the Minister at the end or the day after, said he had been misled. He made that comment publicly. These emissaries said that, I understand, that the Minister acted on Chanakira’s advice and he only listened to one side. So they weren’t my emissaries and the Minister has not made any contact with me at all. So that is that situation.
Now as far as the return of funds to Zimbabwe is concerned, those funds were legitimately invested outside Zimbabwe . They were invested with agreements down here in South Africa and so you can’t just suddenly sort of break those agreements and send the money back. But the real issue is this – and this is the important thing – it’s not whether the company should break its agreements with co-investors in South Africa , it’s whether the company should be a responsible citizen, which means that the company will remain a regional operative, a regional investor and attract investment into Zimbabwe , into the company.
Now what hasn’t been given publicity, and I’ll tell you now, is that if this situation is sorted out, the company can expect investment in the company in Zimbabwe of anything up to 100 million US dollars. And that has not been given publicity but that investment is not going to happen, it’s not going to materialise until that company becomes a responsible citizen again. People are very wary about investing, not only in Zimbabwe at the moment, and this is a good example I think, but also in the company unfortunately.
GONDA: But once specified, is it a straightforward task to de-specify the company and also can you translate the loss of business and effects of the specification?
MOXON: Yes, I don’t know legally how easy it is to de-specify, particularly in this case when the lawyers are saying we’re not specified anyway, so I’m not quite sure what the procedure is. All I do say is that it must happen fast because the company is deteriorating rapidly day by day as a result of this. Now where it is deteriorating, it’s deteriorating in its relationship with its bankers, its creditors. The suppliers are worried about it and are not extending normal trading terms to it. We have a relationship in TM Supermarkets with Pick ‘n’ Pay in South Africa and they are very worried about their investment and whether they should be supplying goods and I’m going to see them in fact tomorrow morning to try and discuss that with them.
Now even down to the Cape Grace Hotel with all this going on, it’s in South Africa, it’s in Cape Town and one would think on the surface it’s fairly isolated from what’s going on in Zimbabwe, but one is surprised how all the tour operators who supply the business to the Cape Grace Hotel have all picked up on all this and they’re all contacting the Cape Grace Hotel and saying well should we continue to be putting guests or encouraging guests when they come to Cape Town to go to the Cape Grace. And the Cape Grace management right now having to handle that issue, so it’s doing a lot of damage as we sit here tonight.
GONDA: And in monetary terms?
MOXON: Well let me put it this way, in 2007 at the date of the merger at the end of 2007, the market capitalisation of the group was 500 million US dollars and it was the largest market capitalisation, it was the largest group on the Zimbabwe stock exchange. Today it is unlisted, we’ve lost our listing on the Zimbabwe stock exchange so I wouldn’t like to say what it is worth – probably nothing.
GONDA: Are you a fugitive from justice because I understand that you actually fled the country last year and that’s why you live in South Africa ? So what is happening here?
MOXON: I’ve been described as two things, the first thing I am, I’ve been described by the company’s attorneys in South Africa as an oppressor – I’m not quite sure who I’ve oppressed, but I’m an oppressor so I’ve got a new way of life now from what I used to have and now I’m an oppressor. The second thing is a fugitive from justice, fugitive from justice – what does that mean? If you say will I go back to Harare tomorrow morning, which I’d love to do, the answer is no I won’t and I’ll tell you why I left Harare which was exactly a year ago and that was in September. And that was just as the family had called for the first EGM to remove Chanakira. We had a phone call at home in Harare and we were told by a friend to leave our house because we were about to be molested because we had called this EGM. Now we did leave, we left the house and we went and stayed with a friend and then we started making enquiries with some contacts we had and we were told, yes there is nothing wrong in terms of the police which is the same today incidentally, there are no charges of any nature against us today in legal terms, as we sit here today, but we were told that Nigel Chanakira had motivated three members of what is called the Affirmative Action Group to molest us, molest me and I will give you their names right now. One was Philip Chiyangwa, next was a government minister as he is today Kasukuwere, Saviour …
GONDA: Saviour Kasukuwere?
MOXON: Yes and the third one is Mandi, who is current chairholder for the Affirmative Action Group, Supa Mandizvidza.
GONDA: Supa Mandiwanzira?
MOXON: Yes, he was the other person involved in that effort last year. And the fourth one of course is Chanakira himself. So what we are going to do at the age, I’m now 64, I was a younger man last year, I was only 63, so what are you going to do at that sort of age when you get told that these people are going to try and get you locked up in those sort of prison conditions or whatever it is you’ve got in Harare? You reach an age eventually when you lose resilience to face up to that. If I was thirty years old I would have probably told them well I’m going to stay here and go to hell but not at my age.
GONDA: In terms of the rule of law, what does this Anti-corruption law do, as a person who has been affected by this?
MOXON: Well in the case of my family and I, my entire family, we have left Zimbabwe because we don’t want to be harassed by the investigators appointed by government. These investigators have acquired powers which the law doesn’t allow them to have, but they’ve acquired those powers, all of which is intimidatory and very similar to Nazi Germany to be frank. The law in terms of this Act, this Act is I think fairly unique in the world, I don’t think they’ve got it elsewhere, it was a most unsatisfactory Act, it does not allow for property rights in the normal sense of the word, it doesn’t allow for the rule of law, but even then, in Zimbabwe these people are interpreting the Act to their own advantage so in effect you are living in a complete and utter Nazi Germany type police state and that’s the implication of it.
GONDA: And a final
GONDA: OK, thank you very much Mr John Moxon for talking to us on the programme Hot Seat.
MOXON: OK thank you Violet, thank you very much.
Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
September 29th, 2009
ZLHR Press Release - 28 Nov - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is
overjoyed by today's Constitutional Court ruling in which Jestina Mukoko won
a permanent stay of prosecution due to the violation of several of her
fundamental rights by state agents.
In handing down the unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court bench,
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, sitting with Deputy Chief Justice Malaba,
and Justices Sandura, Ziyambi and Garwe, found that Mukoko's constitutional
rights had been violated, and as a result her criminal prosecution had to be
Mukoko, the Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was the victim of an
illegal abduction/enforced disappearance in December 2008, and was subjected
to various other human rights violations during her incommunicado detention.
The court held that her fundamental right to be free from torture had been
violated by "the State, through its agents". So too, the court found that
State agents had violated her constitutional right to personal liberty and
denied her protection of the law. The violations committed had been to such
an extent as to warrant a permanent stay of criminal prosecution, and the
charges against her in her criminal trial were therefore withdrawn.
ZLHR commends the Constitutional Court bench for its brave and just decision
and sincerely hopes that this is a sign of genuine movement towards the
restoration of the Rule of Law and the dignity of the justice delivery
system in Zimbabwe. Today's ruling will go a long way in beginning to
restore public confidence in the judiciary as an independent institution
which can and will protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all the
people of the country, without fear or favour.
The unanimous ruling was the only rightful and foreseeable outcome in light
of the overwhelming facts and legal arguments presented in support of
Jestina Mukoko's application.
Many of the violations and much of the wasted time, costs and anguish caused
by this malicious prosecution could have been averted had the office of the
Attorney General properly advised its clients, namely the police and state
security agents, of their unlawful actions and properly performed its
constitutional duty to ensure that such violations were punished by a
refusal to prosecute. Instead, representatives of this office time and again
sought to abuse their functions for the purposes of persecution, rather than
justifiable prosecution. ZLHR sincerely hopes that the Attorney General will
reflect deeply on how this case was mishandled and ensure that he does not
tolerate similar actions by the errant law officers who were involved in
this case, or any others, which may arise in the future.
Whilst we celebrate today's victory with Jestina, we are mindful that 7
other abductees remain unaccounted for to date, and we urge the Attorney
General to advise the law enforcement authorities to comply with several
court orders for them to investigate these disappearances and inform of the
whereabouts, and/or produce Gwenzi Kahiya, Lovemore Machokoto, Charles Muza,
Ephraim Mabeka, Edmore Vangirayi, Peter Munyanyi, and Graham Matehwa, which
orders they continue to defy with impunity.
Among all people of conscience deeply concerned about the future of
Zimbabwe, nothing has riled them more than the recent Mutsekwa-sanctioned
seizure of Meikles group of companies, one of nation's foremost corporate
brands listed on both Harare and London stock exchanges. To the MDC, Giles
Mutsekwa has become a conspicuous embarrassment, possibly the biggest
embarrassment ever. Even worse, Mutsekwa has shown no signs of public
contrition. He must therefore resign from his job or least be demoted and
reassigned for bringing his office and the MDC to such levels of
For 'unpaid' ambassadors of Zimbabwe like those of us in the Diaspora, we
grudgingly, yet unavoidably resumed our mildly interesting responsibility of
explaining to citizens of host countries what this recent 'Mugabe madness'
is all about. What made our jobs more complicated this time around is that
one of our own (for those in MDC), the co-Minister of Home Affairs -
Mutsekwa, presided over the debacle by irresponsibly cooperating with Kembo
Mohadi in authorizing this criminal act.
What perennially irks ordinary Zimbabweans is the elusive definition of
'government'. In recent past, similar mendacious statements were made by
state media that the 'government' had taken over company X or Y or Z,
because of externalization charges or dealing in prohibited foreign
currency. But it was irrefutable that Mugabe's coterie of handpicked
sycophants like Gono were always the very looters of companies the same way
they gobbled productive farms and divided them equally (among themselves).
SW Radio Africa, a highly credible news organization, recently (September 28
2009) reported that Zimbabwe's advanced-age dictator and his wife own at
least 12 farms most of which are in dilapidated state. However, shamelessly,
they are still able to sneak supplies of fresh milk into Switzerland through
Nestle, while the people of Zimbabwe are starving. How hypocritical is it
that there is never any mention corruption as one of the key factors that
brought Zimbabwe to its knees?
Heck, didn't Chiwewe remind us recently the extent of the loot when he
recently said he knows several Ministers with at least ten farms?
Zimbabweans were duped with this land 'redistribution exercise'. In addition
to be ing a politically expedient gimmick, it's also a fraudulent hype!
Before the dollarization of the economy earlier this year, not even one
organization, (even the most religious, such as Church organizations) could
operate without foreign currency obtained from the black market. It is a
fact that Gono incessantly printed money on his behalf and on behalf of the
'government' and mopped up foreign currency from the black market.
Just like today, every Zimbabwean knows that there is always a political and
a malicious reason for taking over companies such as Meikles. Didn't Gono
raid foreign currency accounts of private companies and NGO's under the
guise of funding 'government' activities which turned out to be 'blood
money' that funded the violent presidential campaign of 2008?
Using dislocated and clumsy statements Mutsekwa arrogantly defended his
actions as motivated to pursue “a noble cause”. It begs the question: Since
when did Mugabe's causes become noble? How will a government that has
consistently failed to run its own affairs ever manage to run a blue-chip
like Meikles? How many parastatals did the 'government' fail to run down?
Since Zanu PF began its interference with Meikles, its flagship
brand -Meikles Hotel, has seen its standards plummeting.
Mutsekwa has become a real joke. In April 2009, at the height of abductions
and murders of activists as well as prolonged unjustifiable incarcerations
of Roy Bennett and Jestina Mukoko, I protested Mutsekwa's incompetence as
tantamount to a 'wasted appointment'. (see archived article at
www.nationalvision.wordpress.com). If Biti had presided over that Ministry,
Zimbabwe would be different today. But again we need him in Finance to fight
Gono, another Mugabe clone just like Mohadi. Suggestion: Biti goes to Home
Affairs while someone with a spine replaces him at the Ministry of Finance.
Then there will be the much-needed bloodbath in that horrendous Ministry of
Instead of fighting to bring change and sanity to the murderous Kembo Mohadi
and his ministry, Mutsekwa is conniving and working subserviently as an
employee of Mohadi. Mutsekwa must be reminded that hundreds of people
perished under the hands of Mohadi since he took over as Mugabe's Home
Affairs Minister in August 2002.
No one was ever brought to book for those daylight murders. Some MDC
activists rotted in filthy prisons characterized by sub-human conditions,
while others disappeared without a trace. Mugabe's militias committed
heinous crimes and brutalization of defenseless citizens which Mohadi aided
and abetted. Rights group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) this week
made the stunning revelation that the 7 missing MDC activists abducted last
year by state agents and and the military have not yet been found.
If Mutsekwa is not the one ordering the arrest of MDC MP's, then surely
Mohadi is. It is thus saddening to hear that these two men are reportedly
having a cozy working relationship. While Mohadi's track record proves
beyond reasonable doubt that he is kept and paid to harm Zimbabweans and
their properties, the people of Zimbabwe expect nothing less than total
revulsion if Mutsekwa is really working to sabotage people's rights and
The overarching charge is not about the damage and distraction he is causing
to the MDC. But is about his utter incompetence and chronic
under-performance as someone holding such a critical ministry. It is
scandalous for Mutsekwa to continue clandestinely running such a
high-visibility ministry as if he is a Minister without portfolio.
All this is happening at a critical time when Zimbabwe's future is
increasingly becoming uncertain once again as Zanu PF invokes old tricks to
entrench its parallel government alongside GNU. Our patience must be running
out now. Mutsekwa has failed the people of Zimbabwe and must resign or be
demoted to a less influential position for condoning violence and for
passively working for Mohadi.
This is a litmus test for the Prime Minister Tsvangirai as it goes down to
the core of how people will define him as a leader. In addition, the ethical
dimension and moral bankruptcy of this fiasco requires his immediate
intervention. Mugabe recycled and rehabilitated incompetent Ministers for
nearly three decades. What will Tsvangirai do differently? It remains to be
seen whether he willing to flex his muscle in order to send a clear message
that MDC is a democracy-driven party which does not tolerate lawlessness but
is fully committed to the rights of individuals and companies.
This is coming at a time when the court of public opinion has issued its own
verdicts. One such an inescapable verdict is that Mutsekwa, like many other
new ministers from across political spectrum have now resigned to their
newfound lifestyle which the GNU ushered in. For those in power such as
Ministers and other 'chefs', life is good and 'power is sweet' just as Paul
Mangwana recently put it. Mutsekwa is no exception. The luxury includes
numerous perks that include new Mercedes Benz and 'cash allowances'.
It is an insult for Mutsekwa to be seen hanging on piously to his job
pandering to Zimbabweans as a martyr and also bragging ad nauseam that“I am
the best qualified” yet he co-engineered the seizure. The last time we
checked, those jobs did not go to tender, let alone opened to all the
capable people of Zimbabwe. It was a political appointment. Period. Now the
people of Zimbabwe are taking an audit of his performance. The results are
in. Predictably, there is overwhelming incriminatory evidence of ineptitude!
We, the 'undersigned' people of Zimbabwe, condemn the Home Affairs Minister
for engaging in acts of violence and then defending his actions in a
contradicting,disingenuous and nebulous manner. On one hand Mutsekwa says “I
appreciate “the repercussions where this big company, which is on the stock
market, is specified” but he also admits that the process was not done
In a recent interview with the terrific Violet Gonda of SW Radio Africa, in
his opening statement Mutsekwa apologized for making the mistake of “
listening to only one person who is an aggrieved character, and we took it
for granted, being a Christian, everybody thought he was up to his word”.
How then did Mutsekwa arrive at the conclusion that the company committed a
crime before all the facts were in? Why did Mutsekwa find it expedient to
employ junta tactics to short-circuit legal and due process to 'settle' a
corporate problem in the first place? Mutsekwa concluded by saying that the
move will be reversed soon, yet the damage has been done already.
When the story is finally retold, I personally (and sincerely) hope that Mr
Chanakira will be completely absolved from swirling allegations that he
indeed unleashed 'his' Zanu PF comrades to seize Meikles' assets. It would
really be a disgrace for Zimbabweans to realize that respectable and
celebrated entrepreneurs like Nigel Chanakira were after all playing dirty
politics all along to be where they are today.
MDC must therefore understand the people's frustrations concerning this
issue specifically and the wobbling GNU in general. People want a break and
at the same time public opinion should not shift to portray MDC as mere
adventurers who signed up for a rabid experiment. They don't want a relive
Mugabe era which rewarded ministers for their destructive tendencies and
worthlessness or where political elite and 'chefs' committed crimes against
individuals and businesses with impunity.
Mohadi and Mutsekwa severely undercut the Prime Minister's efforts of wooing
international investors and global reintegration for the much needed
economic recovery. Mutsekwa has less than succeeded (failed) and must be
relieved of his duties without further delay. Mutsekwa is not just a
Minister. He is an MDC minister who took an oath to uphold the law and
should consequently be held at a higher standard than Zanu PF Ministers.
Dr Paul Mutuzu,
MDC- USA Secretary, www.mdc-usa.org, Email: email@example.com Archives:
[29th September 2009]
Supreme Court Decides Constitutional Case in Favour of Peace-Worker Jestina Mukoko:
Jestina’s Constitutional Rights Violated
The court’s unanimous decision, announced yesterday by Chief Justice Chidyausiku, flanked by Deputy Chief Justice Malaba and Judge of Appeal Garwe, ruled that the State through its agents had violated Jestina’s constitutional rights protected under sections of the Constitution of Zimbabwe:
· 13(1), enshrining the right to personal liberty
· 15(1), prohibiting torture and inhuman or degrading treatment
· 18(1), guaranteeing protection of the law.
Permanent Stay of Prosecution Against Her Granted
The court said Jestina’s constitutional rights had been violated to an extent entitling her to a permanent stay of the criminal proceedings associated with the violations. It accordingly ordered the permanent stay of the case pending against her in the High Court on a charge of recruiting persons for training as insurgents or saboteurs. In other words, Jestina no longer faces trial or conviction and sentence on that charge – ever.
She has started civil proceedings for damages against those responsible for violating her rights.
Reasons for the Decision to Follow
The Supreme Court did not hand down the full written reasons for its decision. Those will be provided at a later date, as yet unspecified. The full judgment will include a decision on costs.
Impact on Proceedings Against Other Abductees
The Supreme Court’s decision directly affects Jestina’s case only. Reports suggesting that the Supreme Court also stopped the criminal proceedings against some other ex-abductees are wrong. Jestina was the sole applicant in this case. The court’s order did mention the criminal case known as “The State versus Emmanuel Chinanzvavana and others” – which is the name of the case in which Jestina would have been tried in the High Court – but that was merely to pinpoint the charge against Jestina for the purposes of the court’s order, not to extend the benefit of the stay of proceedings to Jestina’s co-accused.
This means that the fifteen other ex-abductees who were indicted in June still technically face High Court trials – eight charged with recruiting for training as insurgents or saboteurs and seven charged with sabotage [bombings]. The spotlight will remain on the Supreme Court, because all fifteen have already lodged constitutional applications with the Supreme Court alleging the same violations of their rights as Jestina [abduction, forced disappearance, illegal detention, torture and/or inhuman or degrading treatment, etc.] and seeking permanent stays of their trials. Their lawyers will probably try to have all the applications to the Supreme Court dealt with together, citing the similarities between them and Jestina’s case, and will invoke the court’s decision in her case as a precedent dictating identical results for their clients.
An Outrage that Should Never have Happened
There were tears of joy and relief outside the court as Jestina and her family, friends and supporters in her ordeal celebrated the Supreme Court decision. Jestina is now free to resume her normal life and to travel out of the country [her passport has been returned]. Her ordeal started with her abduction and enforced disappearance on 3rd December last year – a time of suffering, fear and deprivation for her and terrible anxiety for her family. When State agents produced her in court three weeks later there followed a period of solitary confinement in Chikurubi maximum security prison, while her lawyers and doctors fought to get her first to hospital and then out on bail. Even when out on bail she was unable to live a normal life, never visited her own home for long for fear of being picked up again, and lived in constant apprehension about the outcome of her court case – the charges levelled against her by the State carried a potential sentence of life imprisonment.
What Jestina and the other abductees went through was an outrage to human decency. It should never have happened. Even without the benefit of the court’s reasons for judgment, the Supreme Court’s decision will be seen as a telling indictment of the conduct of State security agents and police – and of the Attorney-General’s Office in persisting over a period of several months in defending what the Supreme Court has now ruled was indefensible, thereby needlessly prolonging the ordeal undergone by Jestina and the other abductees. When the case was eventually argued before the Supreme Court the Attorney-General’s representative could find little to say in opposition to the compelling arguments advanced by Jestina’s counsel and was finally obliged to concede that Jestina’s constitutional rights had indeed been violated.
The Supreme Court decision has done much to restore faith in the judiciary. Every Zimbabwean can now play a part in showing our appreciation of Jestina’s and the other abductees’ courage, by working for a society free of outrages such as kidnapping, illegal detentions, torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment of fellow human beings.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.